The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), says it has intensified efforts to ensure the safety of trains and passengers that travel via the Abuja-Kaduna Train Service(AKTS).
Mr Paschal Nnorli, Manager, AKTS, NRC, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Abuja, said that the 1955 Railway Act that established the NRC created a command for the protection of lives and property.
“The command is usually headed by a Commissioner of Police with six or seven area commanders. On this corridor which cuts across FCT, Niger and Kaduna, there are three police divisions in Idu, Kubwa and Rigasa.
“Aside that, any train you see on this corridor is having at least 15 armed policemen and you know this trains stop at the stations.
“There are some plain clothed policemen deployed recently by the Inspector-General of Police, including Police Mobile Force units. We also have DSS personnel attached to us for intelligence gathering.
“Again, we are in synergy with the military who sometimes use helicopters to escort our trains when they have information of security threat.
“At Rigasa in Kaduna town, we have the army on ground very near to our station, so it will be extremely difficult for anyone to attack the train,” he said.
The manager debunked claims by an online media that a train was attacked along the Abuja-Kaduna route last week.
According to him, no such attack took place.
“We wish to use this medium to inform our passengers that adequate security arrangements are in place on all our trains.
“We thank the security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police and the Military, for their support toward securing our train service.
“Our passengers are appreciated for their trust and continuous patronage; we want to assure them that safety and security remains our priority,” Nnorli said. (NAN)
The Nigerian Army has commenced the trial of the former General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division, Sokoto, Maj.-Gen. Hakeem Otiki, over alleged stolen N400 million by some soldiers under his command.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, while inaugurating the General Court Martial on Tuesday in Abuja, said the trial was in line with the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 Laws of the Federation 2004.
The General Court Martial is to be presided over by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Army Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, as the president of the court.
Members of the court are Maj.-Gen. A.A Tarfa from the Headquarters Training and Doctrine Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. F.O Agugo from Department of Army Transformation and Innovation and Maj.-Gen. J.S Malu from the Headquarters Nigerian Army Engineers.
Others are Maj.-Gen. M.A. Muhammed from the Headquarters Nigerian Army Signal, Maj.-Gen. C.T Olukuju from Land Forces Stimulation Centre while Maj.-Gen. C.C Okonkwo will serve as a waiting member.
Buratai also appointed Maj. A. Muhammed from the Headquarters Directorate of Army Legal Services as the Judge Advocate of the court.
The prosecuting officers are Maj. J.A Orumo, Maj. J,A Obot, from the Office of the National Security Adviser, Maj. I.A Suleman from Guards Brigade.
According to the convening order issued by Buratai, the General Court Martial as composed is to assemble at Army Headquarters Command Mess Abuja for the purpose of trying the accuse person.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the army authorities had in July begun the interrogation of the former GOC over the missing N400 million.
Five soldiers had been confirmed to have carted away a consignment containing the money, while on an escort duty from Sokoto to Kaduna states in July. (NAN)
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the re-appointment of Mr Segun Adeyemi and Mr Williams Adeleye as his Special Assistants (Media) attached to the Office of the Minister of Information and Culture.
Mr Joe Mutah, the Chief Press Secretary to information and culture minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said the re-appointment letters of the two SSAs, which were signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, stated that their appointment took effect from Sept., 6 2019.
Adeyemi and Adeleye served in the same capacity between November 2015 and May 2019.
Mr Sunday Nwonu, a Sanitarian and Senior Environmental Health Officer, Ministry of Environment, Ebonyi, says the ministry plans to sanitise Abakaliki and environs following the recent outbreak of yellow fever in the state.
Nwonu made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki on Tuesday during a programme to strengthen efforts in controlling the circulation of the yellow fever virus.
The Sanitarian said that the exercise was to ensure total elimination of mosquito vectors in dirty environments and to prevent further outbreak in the area.
Nwonu who is also the President, Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria, Ebonyi Chapter, said that it would also complement the long-term strategy of high coverage of yellow fever vaccination.
He said the association was collaborating with the state ministry of health to commence the exercise.
He appreciated the efforts of the World Health Organisation, (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Gavi, the state government, among other partners, in containing the situation.
“It is not enough to administer the vaccines to people because environments where the mosquitoes live is still a factor.
“We are making plans to interface with state government to embark on disinfection process around government property, drainages, residential areas and removing objects that will help the mosquitoes reside, among other factors.
“The exercise is the responsibility of the environmental health officers to attack the mosquito vector and eliminate the yellow fever,’’ Nwonu said.
He called on residents, schools and other public establishments to support government efforts by disinfecting their premises against yellow fever.
He, however, encouraged them to properly discard abandoned objects such as old tyres, cover empty containers and pots with water to avoid mosquitoes residing in them.
NAN reports that the state ministry of health reported that no fewer than 15 persons had died following the outbreak of yellow fever in Iboko community, Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi.
The European Parliament on Tuesday backed the choice of Christine Lagarde, the former Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as the next president of the European Central Bank (ECB).
In a secret ballot, 394 EU lawmakers voted in favour, 206 against and 49 abstained.
Lagarde’s appointment is due to be formally confirmed by EU leaders at their next summit, on Oct. 17, Oct. 18.
Lagarde was nominated in July to succeed ECB chief Mario Draghi, as part of a package of top EU appointments. She would be the first woman to take on the job.
The ECB’s core task is maintaining price stability across the eurozone. To this end, it seeks to keep inflation at just under 2 per cent. It had been hovering significantly below that for several months.
Socialist group leader, Iratxe Garcia, welcomed Lagarde’s pledge to prioritise green and sustainable growth, but warned that, “we will be on her heels to make sure monetary policy is used to improve people’s lives.“
According to the Head of the liberal Renew Europe group, Dacian Ciolos, Christine Lagarde faces a challenge to unite the ECB and provide coherent policies in an increasingly turbulent global economy.
“But I have no doubt that she is the right person for this job,“ he said.
Green EU lawmaker, Sven Giegold, commended Lagarde as experienced and assertive, adding, “we will pay attention that Lagarde follows up her green words with green actions.“
However, while parliament’s approval was not a legal requirement, its support was considered politically important. Many EU lawmakers had long insisted on more female representation at the helm of the ECB.(dpa/NAN)
China and Russia clashed with the US and other United Nations Security Council members on Monday over Beijing’s insistence on including a reference to its U$1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative in a resolution on the UN’s political mission in a resolution on the UN’s political mission in Afghanistan
The mission’s six-month mandate expires on Tuesday, and council members met behind closed doors for more than 2½ hours, unable to agree on a text after China’s demand.
Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, council president, said that diplomats were working on a compromise text. He said the council would meet on Tuesday in the hope of reaching unanimous agreement.
This is the second time in six months that the resolution to keep the UN political mission in Afghanistan operating has become embroiled in controversy over belt and road language.
Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has approved the appointment of 180 additional aides to serve as Executive Assistants (EA) and Senior technical Assistant (STA).
Mr Clement Nweke, Principal Secretary to the governor in a statement in Abakaliki, directed the appointees, which include two former members of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, EBSHA, and ex-deputy speaker, Mrs Dorothy Obasi, to report for their documentation on Monday.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the appointed executive assistants include: Mr Chidiebere Egwu, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) South East Zonal Youth Leader and Mr Igberi Nweme, former Charmian of Ikwo Local Government Area among others.
The appointees into the STA position include: retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Kelvin Opoke and Stephen Orogwu, former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Others are: Mr Maxwell Umahi, state Vice Chairman of PDP, Mrs Dorathy Obasi, former Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr Oliver Nwachukwu, former member of the state House of assembly among others.
The new appointees into the technical assistant position include: Chief John-Williams Nwode- former LGA Development Centre Coordinator, Nnannna Nwangele and Nkem Madu, prominent Youth leaders in the state among others.
Umahi had on Aug. 6, Gov. Umahi said that he will no longer appoint more aides, with the members of the state Executive Council increasing from 70 to 83. (NAN)
Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state has called on the state police Commissioner, Mr Amba Asuquo, to expose those behind the killing of two students of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE) during a protest.
Fayemi, who made the call in a broadcast on Monday, said a Judicial Panel of Inquiry would be constituted to probe the incident, as demanded by student union bodies.
He said the state government would compensate families of the dead as well as foot the bills of those injured.
The governor also lauded the exoneration of his wife, Bisi, from cause of the deaths.
He said it was wrong for anyone to terminate the lives of students holding a lawful protest over poor electricity supply to their campus.
“I have in the last few days agonised over the incident that took place at FUOYE on Tuesday, Sept 10, 2019
“Until the multiple investigations already set up are completed, I am necessarily constrained from talking about the details of what transpired
“I however do not need to be constrained about the emotions a tragedy like this evokes
“Any death is a tragedy. Any shooting arising from legitimate protests diminishes our fledgling democratic dispensation and calls to question, our commitment to fundamental human rights
“Having heard from all parties to the incident, it is pertinent that I now personally convey my deeply felt sorrow for the loss of two promising young lives and for those who suffered injuries
“Our government prides itself on its strict adherence to the rule of law. The right of citizens to protest on any issue relating to governmental actions or inactions is a fundamental component of our good governance agenda
“We could not therefore under any circumstances, have directed that deadly force be used on any of our citizens freely expressing their right to protest
“Even before the conclusion of the investigations into this matter, we have taken a number of steps; a high level government delegation has visited the families of the deceased
“This will not be a one-off intervention. We will stand firmly with, and support the families at this time. Those persons with varying degrees of injuries will also be given support whilst their hospital expenses will be defrayed by government
“I have directed the State Commissioner of Police to urgently commence an investigation into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate shooting incident with a view to identifying possible culprits within and outside the Force
“Taken together with the ongoing investigation by the University management, we will consider the need for an independent panel of inquiry, if necessary once these fact finding investigations are concluded,” he said.
The governor said he had suggested to police authorities to explore the use of non-lethal rubber bullets in managing public protests, vowing that the Nigerian Governors Forum would take this up at the highest level.
“I note the initial public statement by the University authorities and its Students Union body. We welcome the conclusion that neither the wife of the Governor nor any Government official directed the shootings
“Indeed it is obvious that the wife of the Governor and those on her entourage are victims of this unfortunate incident.
“The issue that led to the protest has been the subject of intense disagreement and negotiations with BEDC since I became Governor
“Only last week, my Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public Utilities was still in Benin to see BEDC management on the matter of inadequate and inconsistent supply of electricity in Ekiti State
“Though Governors do not have any control over privatised power distribution companies, the four Governors from the states covered by the Benin DISCO have consistently expressed dissatisfaction with the services of BEDC and taken the matter up with the Vice President who chairs the Privatisation Council
“In addition to this, I have been talking to the Rural Electrification Agency about including FUOYE in the next round of their University Electrification Project,” the governor said.
He appealed for calm and caution as government awaited the reports of the various investigations, saying no persons or group should attempt to use the tragic incident to destabilise the peace and progress of the state. (NAN)
At least 36 people are missing after the sinking of a boat on Sunday at Maluku commune, a district on the banks of the Congo River in Kinshasa’s suburbs, according to announces of the Congolese national police on the spot.
According to police authorities, only 76 survivors have so far been counted out of a hundred of passengers embarked on the edge of the boat, which came from the province of Mai-Ndombe, a province located southwest of the city of Kinshasa.
The boat filled with goods and passengers capsized at Mambutuka locality in Maluku commune.
For the moment, research is underway to try to find other survivors in the accident area.
Nobodies have yet been retrieved by the local river services in the area where the authorities say they have deployed the Congolese army’s naval forces, to intensify research on the extent of the accident, which is not away from the main port of the village of Maluku located about 50 kilometres from the city of Kinshasa.
Shipwrecks are frequent between the city of Kinshasa and the province of Mai-Ndombe, where dozens of boats leave with passengers to go to refuel agricultural goods and others.
The overload and poor conditions of the ships are generally at the root of most shipwrecks on the river and across the country, where most of these ships cannot withstand storms during navigation. (Xinhua/NAN)