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Boko Haram, Bandits Killed 8,279 Nigerians In 2020 – Report

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The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has disclosed that Boko Haram terrorists and bandits killed 8,279 Nigerians in 2020.

In the report, USCIRF, an independent government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyse and report threats to religious freedom globally, stated that the number reflected those killed in northern Nigeria.

The report, which focused on violation of religious freedom by violent Islamic groups in northern Nigeria, revealed that security challenges also slowed down the country’s economic growth and development.

This is especially while Nigeria battles with the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts that claimed many lives. Borno, which has been the epicenter of Boko Haram terrorism for over a decade, claimed 3,005 persons.

“In Kaduna, 1,026 persons were killed, Katsina recorded 876 deaths, while Zamfara and Niger states lost 845 and 236 citizens in 2020,” the report stated.

It also revealed that about 37,500 deaths were recorded since 2011 due to Boko Haram activities and other violent Islamic groups.

Despite Nigerians’ pleas for the Federal Government to “intervene and stop” the killings, not much has been done on the slaughter of innocent people. As a result of the massive killings, Nigeria’s economy is taking the heat with a 16.5 percent inflation rate in January 2021,” it added.

The report also pointed out that the country, which has the largest economy in Africa, has become most unsecured and continued to scare many investors.

The insecurity of life and property in the country is scaring prospective investors away. Violent Islamist groups in northern Nigeria remain the deadliest and most formidable jihadist groups globally,” it stressed.

Besides, it lamented that the violent groups have also committed war crimes against humanity, adding that the U.S.

Recall that department of State had designated Boko Haram as an Entity of Particular Concern (EPC) under the International Religious Freedom Act for engaging in or tolerating systematic, on-going and egregious violations of religious freedom.

Source: Naija News

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows. Gbenga is an alumnus of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State and The Polytechnic, Ibadan.

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How Some Govt Agencies Disobeyed A Directive From Osinbajo And Were Not Punished

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The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman has accused some government agencies of disobeying a directive from Vice President Yemi Osinbajo which should have made work faster and easier.

According to the NPA boss, some agencies refused to obey the executive order signed by Prof Osinbajo on ensuring 24-hour port operations and synergy among such agencies.

She recalled that Osinbajo had given the directive in 2017 when he was the acting president of Nigeria.

Usman however lamented that some government agencies affected by the directive, intentionally disobeyed and are still disobeying the directive but nothing has been done to them in the form of sanctions or punishment.

She made her claims on Thursday while speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ programme.

In her words, “If you recall there is an executive order that was signed by the Vice-President which directed all agencies of government to conduct inspection (of containers) in one location and that executive order was signed in 2017.

“Certain agencies of government have not complied and one of the things we have said is sanctioning for non-compliance of an executive order that was released cannot be done by the Nigerian ports.

“If an agency of government violates an executive order signed by the Vice-President, I believe the Vice-President and indeed the Presidency should sanction that agency for non-compliance but that has not been done. The executive order sought to have all agencies do inspection in one location hence consignees don’t have to have multiple areas of inspection.”

She added that she has taken necessary steps by reporting the matter to the Presidential Council on Ease of Doing Business chaired by Professor Osinbajo but nothing has been done to the erring agencies.

Usman lamented that it is bad enough for the agencies to have disobeyed the order but the failure of the presidency to address the non-compliance of the affected agencies is also an issue of concern.

She said: “There is an executive order to that extent. Some agencies have not complied. There have been several explanations and justifications for the non-compliance by these agencies. The NPA has raised it to the Presidential Council on Ease of Doing Business chaired by the VP to ensure sanctioning for non-compliance and as I keep saying, if a directive is given and agencies don’t comply, if there are no consequences for action and inaction that means I have not performed.

“We must be held accountable for not complying with a directive. For example, we have 24-hour port operation that has been directed. All agencies of government are required to deploy personnel to have 24-hour port operation. We deployed our personnel but the other legs were absent. And of course, we cannot sanction other agencies of government.

“We drew the attention to the Presidential Council on the Ease of Doing Business to ensure those agencies also participate in the 24-hour ports and that non-compliance has to be done by the Presidency arising from the executive order.”

Meanwhile, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has revealed that the federal government had abandoned the state government to its fate to rescue students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara.

The governor said this on Thursday while playing host to former Abia State Governor and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu who paid him a sympathy visit at the Government House, Minna.

Bello said that the federal government had left the state to shoulder all the financial responsibilities which the current spate of insecurity in the state has caused.

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Bandits Reveals Why They Are Killing, Says Governors Give Them Money To Survive

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Some killer herdsmen have stated that their inability to access quality education was responsible for their decision to take up arms and go into crimes.

Speaking with Daily Trust, one of them, who seemed to be the leader of the group, said President Muhammadu Buhari can only tackle insecurity by seeking international intervention.

While lamenting neglect by the government, the bandit said they want quality education and employment opportunities in government parastatals.

He said, “This issue is beyond any governor; even the president himself, if he knows the true situation in the forest and the condition people find themselves, there’s no way he would have left this responsibility to the governors or any individual.

“The problem cannot be surmounted by a governor; even the president would have to seek help from other countries to tackle the problem. Just look around, these are people bearing arms and they have nothing to do. Many have lost their loved ones. The parents of some of them have been killed.”

“What we want is that our pastoralists should be employed just like the way their own children are employed. Our children should be enrolled in schools so that we can also become knowledgeable. In this country, there is oil, there are gold and many other natural resources but we don’t know how any of those things are being managed,” he added.

He accused members of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad and officers of the Nigerian Army have taken their cattle from them, leaving them poorer.

“What more cattle do we have now? Soldiers and SARS personnel have carted away all the cattle,” the bandit leader said.

Asked how they survive in the forest, he said the bandits feed on the proceeds from selling the few cows they have left.

He also alleged that they get money from some governors and lawmakers who pay off the bandits after they must have raided such person’s domain.

“The way we survive is, some of us with two or three cows, sell one and bring the money here which we share and buy some food items.

“Sometimes, some governors or lawmakers, if our people are disturbing their domain, they would send N100, 000 or N200, 000. That’s how it’s been,” he said.

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‘Africa Has The Best Herbs’ – Says Ooni As He Unveils COVID-19 Herbal Drugs

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Respected Yoruba monarch, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has said he is still in wonder why the African continent go after developed countries to import medical ingredients.

Naija News understands that Ooni stated this while unveiling a series of traditional medicines, made from local herbs, that is capable of fighting against infectious diseases including the dreaded COVID-19 disease.

Speaking at the product launch which was held at the Ile Oodua Palace of Ile-Ife on Thursday, February 25, the monarch said it is a proven fact, which is equally established by the World Health Organisation, that Africa has the best herbs which can be used for vaccine production.

This online news platform understands that the launching of the herbs was done through a platform called Herbal Remedies with the Ooni as the Chairman, in partnership with ace traditionalist, Dr Akintunde Ayeni, C.E.O/Chairman of YEMKEM International LTD.

“We are not doing this in isolation and I am happy to inform you that the National Assembly is currently working on a bill submitted by the Federal Executive Council,” Ooni noted while addressing newsmen.

He added that “the bill has passed through several legislative procedures and shall be passed into law very soon.“

According to Ooni, a foundation has been launched for indigenous research-based initiatives in traditional medicines.

He continued: “I am very honoured to be in partnership with the oldest, YEMKEM International, which has been in the industry for the past 40 years.

“He owns the largest (herbal medicine) production plant in Nigeria; We have been on this for over one year during which we have worked with various stakeholders in the health sector, including the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

“To the glory of God, NAFDAC gave us all the approvals last September but I insisted that the products be packaged properly. To the glory of God, these products have been tested, especially on thousands of COVID-19 patients, including some in positions of authority who are currently free from the pandemic,’’ the Oba said.

The Yoruba monarch revealed that one among many others of their focus is to employ 100,000 youths within the next fifteen months.

In his goodwill message, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, Mr Afolabi Imoukhuede, commended the Ooni over the innovation, adding that many youths would be engaged productively.

He said: “If you study the value chain associated with this innovation right from the cultivation of herbs, production, packaging and distribution, it is obvious that many jobs will be created and countless doors of opportunities opened for our youths,”

On his part, the Chairman of YEMKEM, Dr Akintunde Ayeni, described the development as his greatest achievement in his over 40 years of practice. Ayeni explained that such landmark achievement was more spectacular because it is coming from Ile-Ife, the “source of mankind’’.

He said: “It was not easy and I wish to state that the Ooni, who conceived the idea, gave us all the support, including huge sums of money.

“He has been supportive morally, financially and spiritually and I appealed to other monarchs to emulate these good virtues,”

Speaking also at the event on behalf of the Commissioner, Osun State Ministry of Health, Mr. Gbenga Adepoju, pledged the government’s support for the newly launched products, noting that the country had what it would take to solve her problems.

Adepoju, who is the Director of Public Health in the Ministry, said Ooni’s effort in the development of a vaccine against COVID-19 was a huge addition to the government’s effort.

“As we keep fighting against this common enemy, I want to implore us to keep observing the COVID-19 protocols, including wearing of nose masks, observing social distancing and maintaining personal hygiene.”

In their separate speeches, NAFDAC Director-General, who was represented by the agency’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Jimoh Abubakar, commended the fatherly role of Ooni in ensuring that the citizenry enjoys qualitative health. Also, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), represented by Mr Gideon Amosun, declared the organisation’s support for the innovation, applauded the frontline African monarch over the medical breakthrough. (NAN) The herbal products unveiled included Verozil, an immune booster; Bitter Leaf Capsule and produced to attack diabetes and high blood pressure.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported 634 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria.

Naija News reports that the new cases were reported in a post on the disease control agency’s Twitter handle on Thursday night, February 25, 2021.

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