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•Nnamdi Kanu

UMUAHIA—AFARA community in Ibeku Land, Umuahia, Abia State was electrified last Friday when their son and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, returned to his ancestoral home after he was released the Kuje Prisons on bail.

The community had been in joyous mood since the day he was released and naturally they have been looking forward to seeing his return home to cool his head for some time.

So when the news filtered in early Friday morning that Kanu was likely to come home, all eyes were focused on his father’s palace. Of course they were aware of the restriction placed on him via his bail condition but they believed they would be able to at least wave to him from afar as their brother.

 

Gaining acceess

 

At about 2.00pm, Kanu arrived in a rather quiet manner. He was just driven into the palace to the joy of his siblings and family members who out of joy could not resist making shouts of joy while welcoming him. Though the members of the community were not allowed in, because of the desire for respect of the bail conditions, they began to celebrate the moment they heard the shouts of joy in the palace of their monarch, which indicated that the son turned hero has arrived home. They sang and danced around their areas but without gaining access to the palace.

It was obvious that the people of Afara were elated over the return of their son. No security personnel were seen but it was believed that some secret police personnel were planted around the area to monitor ths situation. However, a handful of youths believed to be members of the IPOB were seen around the gate to “protect their leader.” They were all calm and well behaved, just asking visitors few questions on their mission to the place.

Later in the evening, sound of the traditional 21 gun salute was heard from the direction of his Nnamdi’s father’s palace indicating that a hero has arrived home. Though there was open and loud celebration of his return to Umuahia but the members community were happy that their prince and brother has eventually returned home. “Yes we are very happy. If not for the restriction placed on him by the court, this community would have turned to carnival of a sort. But we have to obey the order and to help him because we want the government to know that he is not a law breaker but a law keeper”, a resident of the community, Emeka Akabuike said.

His father, His Royal Highness, Eze Israel Kanu believes that God who made it possible for his son to be granted bail would also make it possible for him to have total freedom. He described his son as someone who does no think ill of anybody. “I am giving God all the glory, while thanking every one who in one way or the other contributed to his release. He will not fail or deny the struggle which he is into.The struggle he is into is like a relay race, after running his own portion of the race, he will hand over to another to continue when he gets tired until victory is achieved”, the monarch said.

Eze Kanu that the IPOB leader wants to comply with the bail conditions to letter so as not to run foul of the law.

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THE NATION

2019 Elections: The Army staged a coup against Rivers state – Wike

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has stated that the Nigerian Army staged a coup against Rivers State during the 2019 General Elections, describing their actions as the worst in the nation’s democratic history.

Addressing the Joint House of Representatives Committees on Army, Police, Human Rights and Justice at the Government House Port Harcourt on Monday, Governor Wike said that the Nigerian Army acted illegally because they were working to impose a pre-determined leadership on Rivers State.

He said: “It is really unfortunate. All of us know that there was a coup in this state, organised by the Nigerian Army. In the history of this country, it has never happened where during an ordinary election, the Army will begin to kill people for no just cause.

“Because they believe a particular person or a particular party must win, it doesn’t matter how many people die. It was shown on National Television. We watched how the Army invaded the whole Electoral Commission “.

He regretted that the Federal Government has never worked to assist Rivers State Government fight insecurity.

“This is the only state the Federal Government has never assisted to fight insecurity. Instead of us to team up and fight insecurity, you politicize it.

“Even if you make recommendations, nothing will happen. I don’t know whether we are in a military regime or Civil Administration”, he said.

The Governor noted that aside the Army, the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARs) has been a major anti-democratic force in the state, since the 2016 rerun elections.

He pointed out that the F-SARs murdered a Ph.D. Holder and Chartered Accountant in cold blood simply because they wanted to subvert the will of the people.

Governor Wike wondered why the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army is still unpunished, despite the negative roles he played during the elections.

“The GOC here is a politician. Nothing has happened to him because he was sent. If it was when the country was a country, you cannot be keeping that GOC. He is sabotaging the security network “, he said.

He suggested that urgent measures be taken to rejig the security architecture of the country, in view of the nation-wide security challenges.

The Governor said rather than address the security challenges facing the country, security agencies move against critics of security failures.

Earlier, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Army, Rimande Shawule Kwewum said that were in the state to investigate killings by the F-SARs on the basis of a motion by the Member Representing Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency, Mr. Kingsley Chinda on the killing of Dr. Ferry Gberegbe during the elections.

He said that the joint House of Representatives Committees are in the state are on a fact-finding mission.

He said that the Committees will sit down and allow all the stakeholders to state their positions for the committee to arrive at the truth and make relevant recommendations.

The Federal Lawmaker said that there is a correlation between insecurity and under-development. He said that countries that suffer insecurity hardly make progress.

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Dabiri-Erewa lauds Buhari over release of Zainab Aliyu

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The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for facilitating the release of two Nigerians arrested in Saudi Arabia.

Zainab Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, who embarked on Lesser Hajj in Dec. 2018, was detained by the Saudi Arabia authorities for allegedly being in possession of banned substances.

Ibrahim Abubakar, another Nigerian, was also detained by Saudi authority for alleged drug-related offence.

However, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mustapha Sulaiman on Tuesday in Abuja announced the release of the two Nigerian detainees by Saudi authority

Dabiri-Erewa, who gave the commendation in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said Buhari’s timely intervention saved the two Nigerians from being punished for offence they did not commit.

“We thank God and thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his immediate intervention.

“When we brought the matter to him about two weeks ago, he immediately directed the Attorney General of the Federation to ensure Zainab and Ibrahim were released.

“All I can say is, I am happy that this young promising girl did not get punished for an offense she did not commit,” she said.

The presidential aid, however, expressed concern over the authority’s was handling of case of the suspects, who allegedly planted banned substances in Zainab’s bag at the airport.

“My worry is that those who set her up are now on bail. NDLEA must ensure prosecution of those culpable.

“Egypt Air and Ethiopian Air must ensure compulsory baggage identification of passengers.

“All the cases we have had so far have involved only those two airlines. Security surveillance at our airports must also be strengthened,” she said

The permanent secretary had said that the release was as a result of intense diplomatic engagements between the Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

He said that the ministry made great effort to establish their innocence.

Suleiman noted that the government had raised several note verbal with the Saudi Embassy in Abuja and their Consulate in Kano over the matter.

He said that the news of her release was heartwarming to the government and Zainab’s family. (NAN)

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Dangote donates 2,160-bed hostel to ABU

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AFRICA’S foremost businessman and Aliko Dangote Foundation Chairman Alhaji Aliko Dangote donated at the weekend a 2,160-bed space hostel complex to the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State.

The hostel, comprising 10 blocks of 360 rooms, built at  N1.2 billion, is coming after similar gestures to Bayero University, Kano and University of Ibadan, Ibadan, where the business mogul donated multi-billion naira business school complexes, respectively as part of his contribution to the education development in the country.

The inauguration of the hall of residence coincided with ABU’s 41st convocation during which the varsity conferred on Dangote and the renowned Labour leader Hassan Sumonu, honourary Doctorate degrees.

Also 15,787 graduating students were also awarded various degrees.

The President of Dangote Group explained that he was moved to build the structure having realised that the students’ population at the universities have recorded significant increase without a corresponding growth in terms of infrastructure.

He lamented that the situation has remained a subsisting and growing major challenge as public varsities grapple with under-funding.

Dangote said: “Thus, I will like to use this opportunity to enjoin the Federal Government to consider allocating special funds to the universities to enable them to improve on research and upgrade their infrastructure. Such special intervention has become imperative given the perennial funding challenges facing our universities.”

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