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TREM Bishop blames traditional rulers over insecurity

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Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Mike Okonkwo, has blamed traditional rulers for the prevailing kidnapping in their domains.

Okonkwo stated this while speaking to journalists, after his sermon at the 7th edition of the Leading Edge Conference and Business Summit organised by TREM (Vision House) in Utako, Abuja, with the theme, ‘From mourning to dancing.’

According to him, any traditional ruler whose domain records cases of kidnapping and needless killings should be suspended.

The cleric warned against “ethnic, personal, religious and political profiling” of the security problems in Nigeria, saying “as long as people look at the situation of Nigeria from those parameters, we will go nowhere.”

Okonkwo said, “The people perpetrating kidnapping and other forms of violence did not drop from the sky; they came from somewhere. They are living in the same community where they do these things.

“I have spoken with some traditional rulers that these things that are happening. As far as I am concerned, if somebody comes to my town or a state where I am operating and begins to kill people indiscriminately, then I will suspend the traditional ruler.

“How can that happen? I am in charge of a place and the traditional ruler of a town and such incidents like kidnapping happen in my town. You mean I cannot do something to find out where they are coming from? Where are they and where are they hibernating?

“They shoot people in the highway and run back into the bush in a state where somebody is a governor. We have had cases where some culprits were arrested. Governors and traditional rulers should own these problems and not be crying. Every day, they are crying; I am tired of their crying, they should do something as leaders.”

Okonkwo added, “The President is not in a place like Enugu; why should I be the governor of a state and be looking at the Presidency to come and handle my state for me when I have security votes?

“The menace of kidnapping is staring every Nigerian in the face. I have always said something concerning this country. When problems of Nigeria are handled from religious, tribal, political or personal sentiments, we miss the whole point.”

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National News

UN estimates Boko Haram kills 35,000 so far in Nigeria

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An estimated 35,000 persons have lost their lives in the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States and other parts of Nigeria since the beginning of the conflict in 2009, the United Nations has said.

“These are 35,000 too many deaths,” it said in a statement.

The agency also said 37 aid workers lost their lives in the course of their duties in the region.

This was disclosed in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in commemoration of its humanitarian day.

”In total, 37 aid workers have lost their lives in service of humanity since the beginning of the conflict. We are here together to honour them and their grieving families, relatives, and children surviving them.

”As I stand before you today, my thoughts also go to the families of our colleagues who are still being held captive by armed groups. The UN and its humanitarian partners call for their immediate release and return to safety.

”My heart also goes out to the families of the thousands of civilians who have been similarly abducted and whose whereabouts are still unknown,” it said.

”Today, we are here together to remind the world that the humanitarian crisis hitting Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states is far from over.

”The less attention we pay to the crisis in the North-east, the more risks face our colleagues who are working in extremely volatile areas struck by violence and devastation.

”As respect for the laws of war weakens, aid workers are increasingly vulnerable, though they are more needed than ever before,” it added.

The UN also acknowledged the female humanitarian workers deployed in the North-east and the ones who died in the line of duty.

”Women are active in every aspect of humanitarian action: from negotiating access to people in need to addressing deadly diseases such as measles and cholera. From reuniting separated children to ensuring people uprooted by natural disasters and conflict have shelter, access to clean water, healthcare, food and education,” it said.

”Women humanitarians bring a unique perspective to this work through their understanding of the specific needs and priority of girls and women.

”And women humanitarians extend our global humanitarian access in parts of the world by their ability to reach women and girls who might otherwise be out-of-reach and bring them the information, support and services they need.

”Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, Hauwa Mohammed Liman; they were midwives with ICRC and were executed after being held in captivity by non-state armed groups for more than six months. Both aid workers were abducted from Rann town, Borno State in March 2018 along with a nurse from UNICEF who is still held in captivity.

”Faye Mooney, she was a British communications and learning specialist with the non-governmental organisation, Mercy Corps. She lost her life in an attack by gunmen in Kaduna State earlier this year.”

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Governor Matawalle appoints new head of service

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Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle has appointed Kabiru Balarabe as the new head of service for the state’s civil service.

Until his appointment, Balarabe was the permanent secretary, Government House.

A statement signed by Yusuf Idris, the Director-General of press affairs to the governor on Saturday, said the appointment takes immediate effect.

The appointment followed the retirement of Mujtaba Isa, the former head of service.

Matawalle charged the new head of service to live up to the administration’s expectations by restructuring the service in the state and making it a role model.

Born in March, 1966, Mr Balarabe, a graduate of the University of Sokoto, joined the civil service as a research officer in the old Sokoto Military Administrator’s office in August, 1991.

He served in various capacities including as private secretary to former President Shehu Shagari between 1993 and 1996.

Balarabe was also a principal private secretary to the Zamfara State first civilian governor, Ahmed Sani, and a former local government sole administrator of the old Kasuwar Daji Local Government.

(NAN)

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Herdsman lands in prison over alleged rape of 14-year-old girl

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Lawani Oseni, 22, has been remanded in prison custody by an Iyaganku Chief Magistrates’ court sitting at Ibadan on Friday, for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr O. Adisa, in his ruling said the court had no jurisdiction to preside over the case, but remanded the defendant at Agodi prison.

However, Oseni’s plea, was not taken.

Adisa, thereafter, adjourned the matter till Aug. 27.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Lawani, a cattle herder, of undisclosed address, was in court on one-count charge of rape.

The Police Prosecutor, ASP Ade Adebusuyi, told the court that the accused on Aug. 5, at about 12 noon, was alleged to have forcefully penetrated the girl, without her consent.

He said: “The victim was said to be hawking sachet water and Lawani, who was rearing his cattle, stopped her on the pretext that he wanted to buy.

“Lawani in the process allegedly had unlawful canal knowledge of her without her consent in the forest.

“The victim was alleged to have been deflowered by the defendant in the process, she shouted and called for help, and farmers in a nearby farm came to her rescue.

“The victim was rescued and the defendant arrested, while the matter was reported at Idi-Ayunre Police Station, Ibadan.’’

Adebusuyi said, the offence is contrary to Section 357 and punishable under Section 358 of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, Vol. II, Laws of Oyo State 2000.

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