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Over 6 Million Illegal Weapons In Circulation Across Nigeria — Abdulsalami Abubakar

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A former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, has raised an alarm over the proliferation of weapons in the country, saying an estimated six million arms are circulating illegally.

Abubakar, who is also the chairman of the National Peace Committee, disclosed this at a dialogue session of the committee with key stakeholders in Abuja on Wednesday.

He stated that the proliferation of weapons has heightened insecurity in the country and led to over 80,000 deaths.

Abdulsalami said challenges facing the country is not only insecurity in the narrow sense of the military definition but that it has assumed an all-encompassing nature.

He listed these challenges to include the Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, increasing poverty, calls for the balkanisation of the country from different quarters, threat of hunger arising from the insecurity that farmers have faced and continue to face, increasing sense of collective despair and despondency among the populace.

“The proliferation of all calibre of weapons not only in our sub-region in general and in Nigeria, in particular, is worrying. It is estimated that there are over six million such weapons in circulation in the country.

“This certainly exacerbated the insecurity that led to over 80,000 deaths and close to three million internally displaced persons,” Abubakar said.

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The ex-military Head of State, while assessing the security situation, said the security forces are not just overstretched but underfunded.

He said the security agencies can perform better with more sophisticated weapons, equipment and funding.

He said, “We believe Nigeria must find a way out of these problems. Our hope is that perhaps among us, by listening to your different perspectives, we can begin to build up confidence among our people so that we can hold together.

“So our hope is that we shall not only share our collective lamentations about the current situation but propose some concrete suggestions that can point the way forward, suggestions that can inspire more confidence among our people and ensure that our country remains one.”

He added that President Muhammadu Buhari was aware of the meeting and that he supported it.

The meeting was attended by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III; John Cardinal Onaiyekan; Ekiti State governor and chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi; Plateau State governor and chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Simon Lalong; religious leaders, service chiefs, top military brass, police chiefs, among others.

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BREAKING: Benue Murdered soldiers for burial today

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Remains of 12 Soldiers who were killed by Bonta Militias in Konshisha local government area of Benue State, have arrived the Military cemetery in Wurukum Makurdi, Benue State capital for burial.

The 12 military personnel including one captain and 11 soldiers were ambushed at Bonta last Monday and killed by the militias.

At time of filling this report, the state Governor, Samuel Ortom, top government officials as well as military top bras have arrived the venue waiting for the commencement of the burial rites

Details later …

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If They Like, Let Them Kidnap My Son, I Will Never Pay Ransom To Bandits – El-Rufai Vows

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Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has made his stance on paying ransom to bandits clear.
He said he will never pay ransom to bandits even if they kidnap his family members.
The governor said this in a radio chat on Friday in Kaduna to corroborate his government’s policy of not negotiating with bandits.
Mr El-Rufai had said bandits are at war with Nigeria and there is no other way to approach the current insurgency but for security forces to take the war to the bandits and recover forests where they are occupying.
In his current remarks on Friday, Mr El-Rufai said he had warned his family members to be careful to avoid being abducted. He said he also told them he would never pay a ransom for their freedom, should any of them get into the hands of bandits.
“I mean it and I will say it again here. Even if my son is kidnapped, I will rather pray for him to make heaven instead, because I won’t pay any ransom.”
Speaking on efforts of his government in securing the release of the students kidnapped at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Kaduna, in March, the governor said the government would keep exploring other ways to get them back to their families but stressed that the government is “absolutely not paying ransom.”
He said the state government will keep exploring those other means until the students are released.
Mr El-Rufai has been under pressure from the parents of the students, other concerned persons and groups to negotiate with the bandits for the release of the students.
The state governments of Katsina, Niger and Zamfara were believed to have negotiated with the abductors for the release of hundreds of students kidnapped from schools in the states.
The federal government too was also believed to have negotiated with the abductors of students from a girls’ school in Dapchi, Yobe State in an incident in which the terrorist-kidnappers withheld one of the students, Leah Sharibu, allegedly because she refused to renounce her faith, one of their conditions for the release of the students.
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Imo attacks: Uzodima is incompetent and weakly looking for who to blame.

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A former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha on Thursday berated the incumbent Governor, Hope Uzodimma over his comment on the recent gunmen attacks on the Police Command headquarters and the Correctional headquarters in the State which led to the burning of over fifty cars and escape of over 1800 inmates in the facilities.

Uzodimma had in the wake of the attacks, while featuring on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme blamed the attacks on aggrieved politicians whom he said were sponsoring the gunmen.

According to the Governor, the objective of the aggrieved politicians was to destablise the All Progressives Congress administration under his leadership.

But Okorocha who spoke with Journalists in Jos on Thursday after attending a burial ceremony of Mrs Felicia Kaneng accused the Governor of conjuring up false narrative to cover up his “incompetence and weakness in managing the affairs of Imo state”.

“I don’t think any sane politician can ask anyone to go and attack the police headquarters or Correctional facility.

I think he should stop politicizing everything. When somebody wants to escape from his own weakness in managing the state affairs, he will blame politicians. Which politicians?”, Okorocha querried.

The Senator who represents Imo West in the National Assembly insisted that the attacks on police stations and a correctional facility in Imo State were products of national poverty and injustice going in Nigeria.
He added that what happened in Imo state could have been avoided if Governor Hope Uzodimma had consulted him for guidance and advice as a former Governor on how he was able to manage all the different groups operating in the State without any problem during his administration.

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The Senator said:
“When I was Governor, there was peace in Imo state. All the security outfits by whatever name they were called were on including IPOB, and because we applied wisdom,the peace was sustained .

“He (Governor Hope Uzodimma) should face the challenge of leadership and consultations at this time is very important because if the Governor had consulted me and asked how I was able to handle IPOB during my tenure or the issue of kidnapping and agitations by various groups and other challenges, I would have told him how we did it and there was peace in Imo.

“But this idea of bringing the army, airforce and so on as a response can aggravate things.”

Okorocha maintained that dialogue and not confrontation remains the only solution to the problem of insecurity and other challenges facing Nigeria

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