The presidency says the identity of those financing bandits and Boko Haram insurgency has been established and that the findings are shocking.
It also said there is a link between kidnapping for ransom, banditry and Boko Haram sponsorship. Senior special assistant to president Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu said these sponsors include some bureau de change operators with contacts abroad.
Shehu said there is evidence that money is being sent from United Arab Emirates to Boko Haram leaders.
He said, through intelligence information, many people have been arrested, and those involved will be exposed after investigation.
Meanwhile, president Muhammadu Buhari has ordered security chiefs to “take out” the leaders and sponsors of bandits and kidnappers. He also charged them to bring down violence in the country within the next few weeks.
Garba Shehu said “It is shocking to any Nigerian that places of worship and farmland are places where killers of policemen and security officials are being harboured. He warned that there would be no sacred cows even if those involved were found to be politicians.
He added that “The new Service chiefs are working with the IG and heads of intelligence agencies and there is a clear lead. A lot of people have been arrested in terms of their financing (of terrorism). “Bureau de change are facilitating money to terrorists. We have already concluded with the UAE on Nigerians who are transferring money to Boko Haram terrorists and this also happens domestically.
“And I tell you that by the time we conclude this investigation, the shocking details will surprise many Nigerians.”
National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) told State House reporters: “Mr. President has made it very clear to both the intelligence and operational elements that the first assignment will be to identify the leaders of these bandits, kidnappers and take them out, in order to restore confidence in those areas.
“Mr. President has said that he will no longer tolerate a situation whereby bandits and kidnappers are the ones dictating the pace and setting the tone and he will not also condone a situation in which our own operations are reactionary rather than being proactive.
“He has also indicated his willingness to provide all the resources required by our own troops in order to put down these criminals. They must be brought down with all the ruthlessness that is required and whoever is working in collaboration with them will be brought to book.
“He has also declared that there will be no adjustment in whatever the National Security Council has already laid out until normalcy is restored. He’s also aware of attempts by certain elements, working in cahoots with all kinds of people in and out of the country to continue with exploiting the minefields, especially in Zamfara State.
“A ban has been placed on mining and that ban has to be enforced, people have to comply with whatever the President has laid out. Of course, we, in the intelligence domain, are aware that there are individuals and groups who are planning to link up with all kinds of non-state actors in order to frustrate the efforts of government in implementing the ban on mining, as well as enforcing the no-fly-zone so that no rotary aircraft will land, drop whatever and pick up whatever. That has to be enforced.”
Gen. Irabor promised that the Service chiefs would live up to the President’s expectation. He said: “What Mr President said is that we must bring down the level of violence in the country within few weeks to enable our farmers to go back to the farms. That is on course.
“I believe that before the rains come you will have witnessed a downward trend in the violence across the country and i’m sure that you will attest to the fact that the heightening of operational engagements has yielded positive results.
“He is encouraging us to heighten the tempo of operations. He is satisfied with the way we’ve started and he wants us to maintain the tempo and increase it.
“We’re on course. I’m saying that our operational engagement, the totality of all our engagements, both in manpower increase as well as equipment increase and heightened operational engagements, the totality of it is what I’m saying is on course”.
Many Feared Dead As Tanker Explodes In Benue
Many residents of Oshigbudu in Agatu local government area of Benue state are feared dead today after a tanker explosion in a residential area in the town on Sunday. Many shops and houses were also razed in the inferno that ensued.
Executive secretary of the state emergency management agency, Dr. Emmanuel Shior said the destruction to lives and property was still to be quantified but described the accident as quote, “the chief of all the calamities that have fallen us this year,” end quote.
Meanwhile, the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, in Ondo State has confirmed that six persons have died in an auto crash in which an 18-seater bus plunged into Owena river in Akure on Sunday. They include three males, two females and a child. Eight were reportedly injured and are receiving treatment in hospitals.
A newly married man was among the fatalities, while his wife is said to be seriously injured.
The two were said to be returning to Akure after their wedding at a registry, with plans to conduct their traditional wedding next weekend.
The driver is said to have lost control while speeding in heavy downpour. As a result of the heavy rain, help was said to have been impeded from reaching them for more than an hour.
The bus was said to have hit a rock at the bottom of the river causing the deaths.
JUSUN Strike: FG, Staff Union To Meet As Nigeria Judiciary Paralyze
The judiciary workers’ strike is still going strong with no end in sight. The umbrella body, the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN has begun a nationwide protest in Abuja on Monday over its demand that governors across the country comply with constitutional provisions for the judiciary’s financial autonomy.
The union began a nationwide strike two weeks ago and has stuck to its guns that the protest will not end until the union’s demands are met.
This strike action has paralyzed services at the nation’s courts, including the supreme court. JUSUN decided to begin nationwide protests after talks failed with governors on Friday.
Meanwhile, the judiciary workers’ strike could not have happened at a more opportune time for former aviation minister, senator Stella Oduah, whose arraignment on a twenty-five billion naira fraud and money laundering charges at the federal high court in Abuja today has been scrapped because of the strike.
There was no access to the court today as the gates were locked as a result of the strike. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had hoped to arraign and dock her today along with eight others.
On two other occasions, other events had prevented Oduah’s arraignment in the same court. Her lead counsel, chief Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, says Oduah would be ready to honor the court’s schedule whenever it reopens.
NCDC Confirms 26 New COVID-19 Cases
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control says 26 new cases of covid-19 have been recorded in the country bringing the total number of infections in Nigeria to 164,233.
The data shown on its official twitter handle on Sunday say the new cases were registered in five states including, Ebonyi 10 cases, Kano-Two, Lagos nine, Osun-two Oyo-one and the Federal Capital Territory-FCT two cases.
So far, more than 154,000 persons have recovered from covid-19 and discharged from hospitals since the pandemic was reported in 2020.
NCDC has advised Nigerians to take responsibility to protect themselves, loved ones, customers, employees and society by disinfecting surfaces in their homes, shops and offices regularly to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in their communities.
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