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114 IPOB women: The untold story

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114 IPOB women: The untold story

They may be free, but their bodies and minds bear marks of a horryfying one week in detention

 

When a High Court in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on the 24th of August, 2018, unconditionally freed more than 114 women sympathetic to the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), after about one week in detention for embarking on a peaceful procession, many people believed the greatest abuse suffered by the women was the illegal incarceration.

Following the release of the women, it has become evident that ‘incarceration’, was just one aspect of a traumatising episode of shame and impunity.

The women may be free apparently, but their bodies now bear tell-tale marks of a horrifying one week in detention.

Narrating their ordeal, the Imo State IPOB woman leader, Madam Queen Ikeama, who was also arrested, assaulted and detained said, “When our procession got to IMSU junction, without any provocation, the police started shooting teargas at us. From that point to Orlu Road roundabout, which is more than half a kilometer, the police were persistently firing teargas canisters at us. But for some reason, the teargas was not working and not giving them the desired result as it was unable to disperse our women.

 

“As we turned towards Orlu Road, apparently frustrated, the policemen disembarked from their patrol vans and unleashed the worst level of brutality I have ever experienced; punching, kicking, gun-butting elderly women, mothers, and ladies alike. Right before me, they beat one of our members to a coma. She fell in front of me and went still, I could not tell her identity immediately because the procession was carried out by women from 11 states. Before we fled from the assault, my impression was that she was already lifeless.”

She continued: “The beating did not stop, when we got to the police headquarter; these policemen even kicked women who were already on the ground. There were broken ribs, broken heads, miscarriages and a lot of unthinkable dehumanisation. About 50 women were stuffed into one stinking cubicle they called a cell, where we defaecated and urinated. At some point we were convinced the idea was to eliminate us extra Judicially.”

“Coming towards Alvan Ikoku College of Education, we saw another police team operating in a light brown Toyota Camry car; they were punching and kicking a middle aged woman, trying to force her into the car. On approaching, we identified the woman who was almost too weak to fence off her attackers; she is one of our members from Okigwe and we all know she is pregnant. They eventually forcibly stuffed her into the vehicle. By the time I saw her at the Imo State Command Headquarters, she was in a coma and it took about nine hours to revive her. She was just laid out on the floor and the Police did not bother to even revive or take her to the hospital.”

 

She was not the only near fatality in the gory episode. According to the woman leader, “Around 6:00 pm, they dragged women to go and write statement. In the course of writing the statement, another woman slumped. She was shouting, ‘my BP is high’, ‘my BP is high’ before she slumped. This was in the Rapid Response unit and as the woman stretched out for more than four hours, these policemen did not as much as give her a second look. It was the women that ran helter-skelter, searching for water and praying for God’s intervention. She was miraculously revived.”

 

Before entering the cell, Madam Queen noted that Policemen stole from most of the women, as most of the mobile phones; bags collected from the women were not registered and could not be accounted for.

 

“In my cell, we were about 44 women in a small cubicle that was hardly up to 12’x12’ in size. We had to sit on the floor, lap ourselves so we could all be accommodated. In that same room, 44 women with some of us in their monthly period, defecated and urinated all in that space. It was dehumanising”, she recalled.

 

Telling her story also, Gift Ibe who has a deep gash to her head said: “At the Warehouse roundabout, apparently after their teargas failed to disperse our women, the police deliberately started using the metallic teargas canisters as missiles shooting at the women at close range and inflicting grievous injuries with direct shots.

 

“At that point I noticed a policeman just across the road fixing a canister to his gas gun while facing the opposite direction. I didn’t suspect anything; I was merely turning my head to know what was happening on my flank when I saw the policeman pointing the nozzle of the gas gun in my direction at close range. Before I could move from his line of fire, he had already shot at my head. I literally blanked out at the impact as blood gushed from my head. My head was stitched repeatedly and some said I had convulsion. I have since been advised by my doctor not to drink water until a re-evaluation. My head still throbs with pain.”

 

“For Mrs. Josy Ege, the third victim, stuffed into the unmarked brown Camry car alongside the pregnant woman and another whose clothes were ripped from her body by the policemen; she was marching with other women brandishing banners and placards when her shoe lace became loose. She was bending to knot the lace, when a canister of teargas fell directly under her legs and the smoke gushed into her nose, eyes and mouth. She was choking and groping for help when some policemen attacked her from behind, dragged her to the same brown Camry. Apparently unresponsive, Mrs. Ege said the policemen jabbed the gun-butt on her rib cage and leg making it difficult for her to walk.

 

“I was slapped twice, punched and then kicked from behind and I fell into the vehicle. The effect of the teargas was wearing off then and I saw the state of the Okigwe woman who was also in serious pain.”

 

She recalled that for the Okigwe woman who is also pregnant, “When the Policemen asked her to move to the car, she obeyed and was moving towards the car. But the policemen were beating her as she walked towards the car and suddenly she stopped and queried why they should still be beating her when she obeyed their instruction, they beat her some more and she said she was not going any further until they stopped beating. The mindless policemen swooped on her from all sides and beat her to stupor that she could barely walk and then threw her into the car. The third woman with us in the car was stark naked. While she was being beaten and dragged to the car, she tried to fend off her attackers and one of the policemen lost a button from his shirt. The policeman went berserk and tore her clothes to shred while battering her. She was dumped in the vehicle all bruised.”

 

Mrs. Josy continued: “When the policemen entered the vehicle to drive us to the Police headquarters, the one that sat in the back with us apparently had not forgiven the Okigwe woman for her little resistance, and was repeatedly punching her as we rode to the Police Headquarters. Now in tears, the woman in her feeble effort to protect her stomach from the punches, left her chest bare and the policeman landed an elbow to her chest and she passed out.”

 

The women eventually managed to tell the Policemen that the Okigwe woman may have passed out, but they dismissed it, adding that “It will also teach her in her next life how not to protest and disturb the peace of the state.”

 

“When we got to the Police Headquarters, we all managed to get out of the car but the Okigwe woman was still slumped over. She was not moving. The policeman who beat her into coma shouted, ‘We know your type’ and he dashed to the vehicle and started slapping the unconscious woman. The slaps were countless; when he got tired of slapping her numb body, he forced us and other women to drag and carry her out of the car. The Okigwe woman was in coma. She was laid out on the floor, with no help from the Police authorities, the scores of women who were already at the headquarters when we arrived kept trying and praying. She was revived after about nine hours.”

 

“It would be noted however that on sighting the woman who was beaten and stripped naked by the policemen, all the women who were already at the police headquarters, stripped their blouses and tops in protest until they rallied to clothe the naked lady.

 

According to Mrs. Ege, apart from the two other women that slumped in court and were dumped and abandoned in a certain hospital by the police without feeding or paying for their medical bills, a most disturbing sight was that of one of their members, who after the beatings, bled out in police cell and lost her baby through a miscarriage.

 

“This woman started bleeding while in the police cell. We called the attention of the Police but it meant nothing to them and they did not respond. The woman begged and got inmates to contribute tissue papers with which we tried to pad the bleeding. Even when we were taken to court, she was made to stand in a police van for over one hour, she bled and got weaker. There was no intervention whatsoever until she eventually lost the baby.

 

“ How can such insensitive and mindless creatures be called the policemen of a country? With this kind of system, there is just no way we are quitting. They have vindicated our leader, Nnamdi Kanu and they should tell us if they have killed him. Whether dead or alive, sick or healthy, we want his body. As for this struggle, it will continue.”

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Tunisians voting in unpredictable presidential contest

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Tunisians voting in unpredictable presidential contest

People in Tunisia are casting their ballots in the country’s presidential election, with some of Tunisia’s most prominent politicians taking part in the contest.

It is the second presidential vote in the country since longtime ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was removed during the revolution in 2011.

The election was brought forward by the death in July of 92-year-old president Beji Caid Essebsi, who had served as head of state from 2014.

More than seven million people are eligible to choose from 24 candidates on Sunday, making the outcome difficult to predict.

Polls opened at 8:00am (07:00 GMT). Some voting stations will remain open until 6:00pm, while others will close two hours earlier, for security reasons.

The crowded field of 26 was narrowed slightly by the last-minute withdrawal of two candidates in favour of Defence Minister Abdelkarim Zbidi just before Saturday’s campaign blackout.

Zbidi has pledged he will change the Constitution to resolve the deadlock between the presidency and Parliament.

Prominent candidates

Among the key players are media mogul Nabil Karoui – behind bars due to an ongoing money-laundering probe – Abdelfattah Mourou, who heads a first-time bid on behalf of his Islamist inspired Ennahdha party, and Prime Minister Youssef Chahed.

The prime minister’s popularity has been tarnished by a slow economy and he has found himself having to vehemently deny accusations that Karoui’s detention in late August was politically inspired.

Last week, Karoui, 56, launched an open-ended hunger strike but on Friday, an appeal to have the Tunisian businessman released from jail was rejected, his party and lawyers said.

Candidates must secure 50 percent of the vote to win, but if no single candidate obtains a majority on Sunday, the two candidates with the most votes will advance to a second, decisive round.

Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker, reporting from Tunis, said voters at one polling station say they are hoping their vote is going to make a difference.

That’s because “jobs, the economy, unemployment … and the security situation is worse than it was before 2011,” Dekker said.

“The question people are asking here: what is democracy really giving to them,” she said.

“They want change, they don’t just want another person to come and sit on the chair, as they say.”

Publication of opinion polls has officially been banned since July, but many voters remain undecided, due to difficulties in reading a shifting political landscape.

Shortly before polls were due to be open, Sofiene told the AFP news agency that she remained “undecided between two candidates”.

“Honest candidates don’t have much chance of winning,” she said.

Some hopefuls have tried to burnish anti-establishment credentials in a bid to distance themselves from a political elite discredited by personal quarrels.

One key newcomer is Kais Said, a 61-year-old law professor and expert on constitutional affairs, who has avoided attaching his bid to a political party.

Instead, he has gone door-to-door to drum up support for his conservative platform.

Distrust of the political elite has been deepened by an unemployment rate of 15 percent and a rise in the cost of living of close to a third since 2016.

Tunisia’s president controls foreign and defence policy, governing alongside a prime minister chosen by Parliament that has authority over domestic affairs.

Some 70,000 security agents have been deployed, including 50,000 focused solely on polling stations, according to the interior ministry.

Exit polls are expected overnight Sunday into Monday, but preliminary results are not expected from the electoral commission until Tuesday.

The date of the second round and final round has not been announced, but it must happen by October 23 at the latest and may even take place on the same day as legislative polls, slated for October 6.

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44 bodies found in Mexican well

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44 bodies found in Mexican well

Forensic scientists in Mexico have managed to identify 44 bodies buried in a well in the state of Jalisco.

Discovered just outside the city of Guadalajara, the human remains were hidden in 119 black bags.

The remains were discovered earlier in September when local residents started complaining about the smell.

Jalisco is the heartland of one of Mexico’s most violent drug gangs and this is the second major find of bodies in the state this year.

The vast majority of the bodies were cut up, so authorities had to piece together different parts in order to identify them.

A local organisation which searches for missing people has appealed to the government to send more specialists to assist with identification, reports the BBC.

They say the local forensic department is overwhelmed and does not have the necessary skills to complete the operation.

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44 bodies found in Mexican well

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44 bodies found in Mexican well

Forensic scientists in Mexico have managed to identify 44 bodies buried in a well in the state of Jalisco.

Discovered just outside the city of Guadalajara, the human remains were hidden in 119 black bags.

The remains were discovered earlier in September when local residents started complaining about the smell.

Jalisco is the heartland of one of Mexico’s most violent drug gangs and this is the second major find of bodies in the state this year.

The vast majority of the bodies were cut up, so authorities had to piece together different parts in order to identify them.

A local organisation which searches for missing people has appealed to the government to send more specialists to assist with identification, reports the BBC.

They say the local forensic department is overwhelmed and does not have the necessary skills to complete the operation.

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Trump: We’ve killed Osama bin Laden’s son

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Trump: We’ve killed Osama bin Laden’s son

The son of former Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed during a US counter-terrorism operation, Donald Trump has said.

Hamza bin Laden, who had been groomed by his dad to become his successor, was killed in the region of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The White House said the son of the 9/11 mastermind had become an increasingly prominent figure in the terrorist organisation.

But they gave no further details on when Hamza bin Laden was killed or how the United States confirmed his death.

The statement said his death ‘not only deprives Al Qaeda of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operation activities of the group’.

Osama bin Laden was killed by US Navy Seals in a raid on his house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011.

In July US intelligence officials leaked news of the Saudi Arabian born terrorist’s death but they refused to offer further information on when or how he died.

This is the first time US involvement in the 30-year-old terror heir’s death has been confirmed.

A $1million reward for information leading to his capture was issued by the US State Department in February this year.

Hamza’s last known public statement was released by Al Qaeda’s public relations department in 2018.

In it, he issued a threat against Saudi Arabia and called on the people of the Arabian peninsula to revolt.

Hamza was born to Khairiah Sabar, one of Osama bin Laden’s three wives, reports metro.co.uk.

The terror heir married a daughter of high-ranking Al Qaeda operative Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah when he was 17.

He was dubbed the ‘Crown Prince of Terror’ in 2008 after a poem said to have been written by him was unearthed.

It said: “Accelerate the destruction of America, Britain, France and Denmark.”

In August 2015, he released an audio message which saw him call on followers to wage jihad (holy war) on Washington, Paris, London and Tel Aviv.

Hamza moved with his late father to Afghanistan in 1996, and appeared in propaganda videos after bin Laden Sr declared war on the United States.

The infamous terror mastermind became the world’s most wanted man after plotting the September 11 2001 attacks on New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.

A total of 19 Al Qaeda terrorists killed 2,977 people after flying airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington DC and crashing a third jet into a field in Somerset County Pennsylvania.

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Trump: We’ve killed Osama bin Laden’s son

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Trump: We’ve killed Osama bin Laden’s son

The son of former Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed during a US counter-terrorism operation, Donald Trump has said.

Hamza bin Laden, who had been groomed by his dad to become his successor, was killed in the region of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The White House said the son of the 9/11 mastermind had become an increasingly prominent figure in the terrorist organisation.

But they gave no further details on when Hamza bin Laden was killed or how the United States confirmed his death.

The statement said his death ‘not only deprives Al Qaeda of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operation activities of the group’.

Osama bin Laden was killed by US Navy Seals in a raid on his house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011.

In July US intelligence officials leaked news of the Saudi Arabian born terrorist’s death but they refused to offer further information on when or how he died.

This is the first time US involvement in the 30-year-old terror heir’s death has been confirmed.

A $1million reward for information leading to his capture was issued by the US State Department in February this year.

Hamza’s last known public statement was released by Al Qaeda’s public relations department in 2018.

In it, he issued a threat against Saudi Arabia and called on the people of the Arabian peninsula to revolt.

Hamza was born to Khairiah Sabar, one of Osama bin Laden’s three wives, reports metro.co.uk.

The terror heir married a daughter of high-ranking Al Qaeda operative Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah when he was 17.

He was dubbed the ‘Crown Prince of Terror’ in 2008 after a poem said to have been written by him was unearthed.

It said: “Accelerate the destruction of America, Britain, France and Denmark.”

In August 2015, he released an audio message which saw him call on followers to wage jihad (holy war) on Washington, Paris, London and Tel Aviv.

Hamza moved with his late father to Afghanistan in 1996, and appeared in propaganda videos after bin Laden Sr declared war on the United States.

The infamous terror mastermind became the world’s most wanted man after plotting the September 11 2001 attacks on New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.

A total of 19 Al Qaeda terrorists killed 2,977 people after flying airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington DC and crashing a third jet into a field in Somerset County Pennsylvania.

Continue Reading

News

Trump: We’ve killed Osama bin Laden’s son

Published

on

By

Trump: We’ve killed Osama bin Laden’s son

The son of former Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed during a US counter-terrorism operation, Donald Trump has said.

Hamza bin Laden, who had been groomed by his dad to become his successor, was killed in the region of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The White House said the son of the 9/11 mastermind had become an increasingly prominent figure in the terrorist organisation.

But they gave no further details on when Hamza bin Laden was killed or how the United States confirmed his death.

The statement said his death ‘not only deprives Al Qaeda of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operation activities of the group’.

Osama bin Laden was killed by US Navy Seals in a raid on his house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011.

In July US intelligence officials leaked news of the Saudi Arabian born terrorist’s death but they refused to offer further information on when or how he died.

This is the first time US involvement in the 30-year-old terror heir’s death has been confirmed.

A $1million reward for information leading to his capture was issued by the US State Department in February this year.

Hamza’s last known public statement was released by Al Qaeda’s public relations department in 2018.

In it, he issued a threat against Saudi Arabia and called on the people of the Arabian peninsula to revolt.

Hamza was born to Khairiah Sabar, one of Osama bin Laden’s three wives, reports metro.co.uk.

The terror heir married a daughter of high-ranking Al Qaeda operative Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah when he was 17.

He was dubbed the ‘Crown Prince of Terror’ in 2008 after a poem said to have been written by him was unearthed.

It said: “Accelerate the destruction of America, Britain, France and Denmark.”

In August 2015, he released an audio message which saw him call on followers to wage jihad (holy war) on Washington, Paris, London and Tel Aviv.

Hamza moved with his late father to Afghanistan in 1996, and appeared in propaganda videos after bin Laden Sr declared war on the United States.

The infamous terror mastermind became the world’s most wanted man after plotting the September 11 2001 attacks on New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.

A total of 19 Al Qaeda terrorists killed 2,977 people after flying airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington DC and crashing a third jet into a field in Somerset County Pennsylvania.

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How impostor of NNPC’s COO almost scammed UK firm

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How impostor of NNPC’s COO almost scammed UK firm

A company based in Salehurst, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, United Kingdom (UK), narrowly escaped being scammed by am impostor of Chief Operating Officer, at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

 

The Corporation, which confirmed this on Saturday, advised that individuals and corporate bodies, locally and internationally, should be wary of unscrupulous elements parading themselves as officials of the corporation.

 

 

The warming, NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said in a statement, came in the wake of the claim by a group of dubious individuals to be representing “a Gas and Power Committee” of the corporation, hosting a chief executive of a United Kingdom based company in a purported “office of NNPC” in Abuja recently.

 

The release said one of the miscreants had claimed the identity of NNPC Chief Operation Officer (COO), Gas and Power, Engr. Yusuf Usman, all in an attempt to swindle the unsuspecting company based in Salehurst, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, UK.

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Xenophobia: SA’s President booed at Mugabe’s burial

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Xenophobia: SA’s President booed at Mugabe’s burial
  • As leaders, supporters bid farewell to late Zimbabwe President

 

 

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa felt the full force of the feeling of Africans towards his nation following recent xenophobic attacks on foreigners in the Rainbow Nation, when he was booed by the crowd in the Harare’s National Sports Stadium, venue of Saturday’s burial ceremony for Zimbabwe’s founder Robert Mugabe.

 

The attacks, which took place earlier this month that triggered international anger, were mainly targeted on shops owned by African migrants.

 

 

The master of ceremony was forced to appeal to the crowd to give Ramaphosa a chance to speak. Eventually when he did, Ramaphosa showed contrition for the attacks when he said: “I stand before you as a fellow African to express my regret and to apologise for what has happened in our country.”

 

His apology brought cheering from the crowd. Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe for 37 years, from independence until he was ousted by the army in November 2017, was honoured as an icon, principled leader and African intellectual giant at the state funeral, after a week of disputes over his burial threatened to embarrass President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

 

He died in a Singapore hospital on September 6 aged 95, far away from a country he left polarised by a raging political rivalry between its two largest political parties, ZANU-PF and the opposition MDC. His remains will be interred in a mausoleum at the National Heroes Acre in the capital Harare in about 30 days, his nephew said on Friday, contradicting earlier comments that a burial would be held on Sunday.

 

On Saturday, Mnangagwa walked behind the casket carrying Mugabe’s body as it was wheeled into the centre of Harare’s National Sports Stadium and placed on a podium decorated with flowers so that heads of states could say their farewells.

 

Senior army generals and Mugabe’s wife and children followed, as a brass band played. The 60,000-seater stadium was only half-filled. In a tribute to his predecessor, Mnangagwa said Mugabe stood in defence of Africans. He urged the West to remove sanctions that were imposed during Mugabe’s rule.

 

 

“We who remain shall continue to hear his rich, brave, defiant and inspiring voice … encouraging and warning us to be vigilant and astute,” Mnangagwa said in a speech. Walter Chidhakwa, who spoke on behalf of Mugabe’s family, said Mugabe was an icon who was determined and unflinching in pursuing policies like land reform and later the black economic empowerment programme. Mugabe left behind a country wrecked by hyperinflation, dollarisation and deeply entrenched corruption.

 

 

Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta called Mugabe an intellectual giant, “a visionary leader and a relentless champion of African dignity.” Other heads of state who attended Saturday’s funeral included long-ruling leaders from Equatorial Guinea and Congo while China, Russia and Cuba, which supported Zimbabwe’s liberation movements that fought white minority rule, were represented by officials. Prominent officials from Western countries, which were critical of Mugabe’s rule, did not feature in the official funeral programme.

 

Mnangagwa led heads of state in viewing Mugabe’s body, which was followed by a military 21-gun salute to honour Mugabe, reports Reuters

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Border closure: Benin, Niger economies under pressure

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Border closure: Benin, Niger economies under pressure

…no respite until neighbouring countries end smuggling

 

•Customs inaugurate 2 armoured anti-smuggling vessels

 

•Niger bans importation of foreign (parboiled) rice from Benin

 

A

s the anti-smuggling and anti-oil theft borders patrol operation launched recently by the Federal Government of Nigeria, enters its day 26 today, indications are that the economies of Benin and Niger Republics have come under severe pressure even as the Government of Niger Republic has banned the importation of foreign (parboiled) rice into the country in an effort to persuade Nigeria to re-open the borders.

The people of Niger Republic do not eat parboil rice (they eat white rice), but importers based in Benin and Nigeria import parboiled rice to Benin Republic in very large quantities and then re-export same to Niger, Chad and Cameroon (all Nigeria’s next door neighbours) for smuggling into Nigeria where parboiled rice is eaten.

This is coming as the National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj. Gen. Mohammed Babagana Monguno (rtd) has disclosed that the ongoing border security operation, code-named ‘Exercise ‘Swift Response’, will continue in the four geo-political zones of the country until Nigeria’s neighbours take decisive action to ensure that their countries no longer serve as transit points for smuggling of goods into or out of Nigeria.

Speaking at the inauguration of two armoured anti-smuggling patrol vessels acquired by the Nigerian Customs Service, on Thursday in Lagos, Maj. Gen. Monguno said President Muhammadu Buhari had already conveyed to the leaders of the neighbouring countries that the operation will continue until neighbours ensure smuggling into or out of Nigeria stops

He said: “The bottomline of what Mr. President is saying is that if it is in the interest of neighbouring countries to allow all these dangerous items to transit their territories into Nigeria, so that they can collect transit charges, then it is in Nigeria’s national interest to shut our borders.”

Maj. Gen. Moguno added that the operation has been very successful and did not give any indication that it will end soon.

Sunday Telegraph learnt that as the border hurts the economy of Niger Republic, President of the country, Mahamadou Issoufou had pleaded that the borders be reopened, but Nigeria had told him to first of all stop smuggling of rice and other products across the borders into Nigeria.

To this end, President Issoufou had on September 5, placed a ban on the importation of the foreign (parboil) rice from Benin Republic.

In a circular to all the Customs formations and relevant Government Agencies in Niger a copy of which was made available to PRNigerian; the Nigerien government said that the ban took effect from September 5, 2019.

The DIG in-charge of Customs Service in Niamey, Mr. Oumarou Amadou said revenant agencies of government are to comply strictly or face severe sanctions. 

Recall that when the President of Benin Republic, Patrice Guillaume Athanase Talon met with President Buhari at the recent Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7) in Yokohama, Japan; he had pleaded that the border operation be brought to an end.

Meanwhile, the Controller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has said at the commissioning of the two anti-smuggling patrol vessels in Lagos that Nigeria’s quest for non-oil revenue is a largely dependent on the Nigerian Customs Service to fight smuggling and bring it to the barest minimum.

According to him, experience has shown that whenever smugglers face stiff enforcement by Customs anti-smuggling operatives on the land, they turn to the waterways to carry out their illegal trade.

He added: “Unfortunately, before now the Service has been weak on the water arising from the lack of seagoing vessels to effectively to checkmate smugglers on the high sea. This situation led to the death of nine Customs Marine officers while confronting deadly petrol smugglers on the sea in 2014.

He explained that the two seagoing vessels are well equipped with necessary firepower and other requirements for long time water patrol is in line with the ongoing repositioning of the Service to effectively deliver its mandate to the nation.

Col. Ali said: “With these vessels, I hope smugglers will no longer take advantage of NCS vulnerability on water to smuggle in contraband. NCS Marine operatives can now sail to intersect them right on the high sea.

“The timing of this commissioning is strategic as it will on the immediate boost the ongoing joint security Ex-Swift Response on the water and henceforth remain symbol of NCS strength on the sea  the NCS as a present unbundling of the Service now has four marine Commands, namely Western marine,  Easter Maritime,  North western marine and North Eastern marine Command. It is therefore the resolve of management that smugglers find no space to operate either on land, air or sea.”

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Buhari’s successor should come from S’East –Gen Williams

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Buhari’s successor should come from S’East –Gen Williams

one-time Head, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Nigerian Army Maj-General Isola Williams has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor should come from the South East after his second term in 2023. Isola, who made this known in an exclusive interview with Sunday Telegraph, was airing his view on reports making the rounds that the National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, would like to take a shot at the presidency after Buhari. “Yes, he has the right to aspire to succeed Buhari. It is his constitutional right. But I have a different view about it.

 

The next leader in 2023 should come from the South East. “Obasanjo has gone for two terms, Yar’Adua, who did not complete his two terms, had Jonathan who did it for him. In addition, he (Jonathan) had one term, Buhari making two terms now. We have been rotating it.

 

How can the South have two? Secondly, a Yoruba man as Vice President, two terms. Why don’t we have an Igbo president and somebody from the middle belt as Vice President? Within Middle Belt, Plateau, Kogi, Benue, as Vice President. That is what I am looking for. Any ethnic group in this country can produce one very good leader.”

 

Also, he spoke on the current insecurity ravaging the entire country, adding that Buhari is not being told the truth about the insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country. “In every normal country where there is strategic thinking and you have a serious issue with your policing and your crime fighting, you do not post the military to do what the police can do. Whereas the military is facing insurgency within the country and they are finding it difficult to cope. The same old story: “Technical defeat”.

 

What is technical defeat? Do we want to be like Pakistan in which you continue to fight insurgency forever? It creates instability in itself, not only insecurity and not insurgency alone.” Furthermore, he said that the Federal Government cannot resolve the issue of the leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim el Zakzaky, who has been in detention since December 2015. Nigeria, he continued may face urban guerrilla which is more dangerous than Boko Haram should the leader die in detention. “I do not think el Zakzaky will be crazy enough to become like the Boko Haram.

 

The only thing that can happen is that if he dies in detention, then he loses control over his own people. What I am afraid that may happen in his own case will be urban guerrilla warfare. It is worse than Boko Haram because they strike and go back into the bush. Their own they will be in the city and be attacking anyone all over Nigeria. “The way out of it is that the Islamic Community in Nigeria must find a way out of it. Nigeria is not the only country where you have the Shiite people. The Shiite is like the Pentecostal.

 

The Sunni and the Shiite must find a way to solve the problem. The government cannot do it.” He spoke on other national issues which are all contained in his explosive interview on pages. •Read full interview on pages 22,27

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