Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum has on Monday blamed the military over the recent attacks and abductions of travellers and villagers by Boko Haram insurgents in Jakana area of the state.
Zulum reacting to last weekend’s abduction of more than 3o travellers and many other such incidences that have become a daily occurrence on Maiduguri-Damaturu road, said that he was majorly disappointed for the fact that majority of the attacks within the last two years, took place between Auno and Jakana, a distance of about 20 kilometers.
Jakana is one of the major towns along Maiduguri-Damaturu road where Boko Haram has been carrying series of successful attacks on travellers.
The governor speaking at the scene of the attack, expressing shock and annoyance on how such magnitude of attack was being perpetrated under the watch of the soldiers and police special squads deployed to protect the highway.
Zulum lambasted the military and the state established Rapid Response Squad for not seeing them along the Maiduguri-Damaturu road and accused them of being “busy harassing and collecting money from innocent travellers, both police and soldiers.”
He added that “if the army cannot protect people travelling within a distance of only 20 kilometres, then I cannot foresee the capacity of the army ending this insurgency any time soon.”
The state governor however said that despite the setbacks he would be convening an emergency security meeting as soon as he returned to the state capital.
Nigerian Govt Releases N10bn For Local Vaccine Production
The federal government is putting funds behind its call for local production of covid-19 vaccines. The ministry of finance has released ten billion naira to support the effort and is exploring options to kick-start the vaccine production in Nigeria.
The government has also instructed each local government area in the country to conduct at least four hundred fifty covid-19 tests in line with its testing plans.
During the Monday briefing by the presidential task force on covid-19 in Abuja, health minister, Osagie Ehanire said the government was considering collaborative efforts with recognized institutions for vaccine production in the country.
He said the government is looking at ways to augment the one hundred thousand vaccine doses it would receive by the end of this month, the ten million doses it had requested from the African union, and the more than forty million doses from COVAX. He says those would only cover one fifth of the population, but the government plans to cover an additional fifty percent of citizens.
The health minister says the ministry will hold a national vaccine conference in preparation for mobilizing experts, role players, development partners and stakeholders to deliberate on the nation’s COVID-19 response strategy, especially now that there is a spike in cases.
Presidency Warns Akeredolu Over Herdsmen Quit Notice
The presidency has warned Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, not to unilaterally order herdsmen out of Ondo forests. The governor had issued an ultimatum this week to herdsmen to vacate state forest reserves.
Presidential special assistant, Garba Shehu said the governor should not oust the herders whom he said have lived their entire lives in the state on the guise of clearing the forest reserves of criminals. He said terrorism and crimes should be separated from ethnicity, geographical origins and religion.
In response, governor Akeredolu says only unregistered Fulani herdsmen are being asked to vacate the state’s forest reserves.
State commissioner for information and orientation, Donald Ojogo, characterized Garba Shehu’s statement as “a brazen display of emotional attachment,” which he says is inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria.
FG Extends NIN Registration Deadline
Nigerians can breathe easy for now as the federal government extends the registration deadline for National Identification Number, NIN.
Those who have not obtained the NIN would now have until February the ninth to tidy that up and link their numbers with their sims.
The National Identification Management Commission, NIMC, had initially given yesterday, January the nineteenth, as the deadline.
The commission warns the NIN enrolment is free.