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Police to Army: Where is Alhaji Hamisu, kidnap kingpin?

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Although President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Defence Headquarters to probe the killing of 3 policemen by soldiers and freeing of a major kidnap suspect, the police gave a foretaste of fireworks to be unleashed before the panel in a fresh statement today.

The statement showed an angry Police High Command sending a barrage of embarrassing questions for the army to answer on the unfortunate Taraba incident.

In the statement today, the police appeared incensed by the attempt of the army to justify the incident.

They then drew attention to gaping holes and distortions in the statement by Colonel Sagir Musa and asked the question most Nigerians have been asking: Where is the kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume?

The police also wondered why the soldiers shot the policemen at close range after they identified themselves, where the army got a distress call from and why it has not arrested the fake caller and why the army failed to document the so-called rescued kidnap victim.

Read the statement:

The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to the Press Release by the Nigerian Army dated 07 August, 2019, seeking to justify the unprovoked and unwarranted murder of three (3) Police officers and one (1) Civilian, and serious injury to other operatives, who were on legitimate criminal investigation activities to Taraba State, to arrest one Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume indicted in a series of high-profile kidnap incidents in the State.

In the best tradition of Esprit de Corps, Inter-Agency Harmony and National Interest, the Nigeria Police Force would naturally have kept quiet, but it has become imperative to set the record straight by addressing the obvious distortion of facts inherent in the Press Release by the Nigerian Army.

The most important question arising from the Nigerian Army Press Release is: Where is Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume? Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume is a millionaire kidnapper arrested by the Police but paradoxically treated as a ‘‘kidnap victim’’ by the Soldiers and subsequently ‘rescued’ by them. Where is he? Where is the rescued kidnapper?

Secondly, the Press Release was silent on the source of the alleged distress report or identity of the complainant, on the strength of whose report, the Army claimed had informed their decision to engage in the purported chase and rescue operation. Needless to state that in the true spirit of transparency and accountability, the Nigerian Army ought to have arrested the purported distress caller – if any – for obviously and deliberately furnishing them with false and misleading information. Besides, such arrest should in fact be made public!

Thirdly, it is not true that the Policemen failed to identify themselves as alleged in the Press Release. The video on the incident, now viral, wherein the voice of one of the soldiers was heard loudly proclaiming that the Policemen were from the Force Headquarters, Abuja speaks volume. Besides, the presence of the IRT personnel was well known to the Taraba Police Command as the Operatives officially and properly documented not only at the State Command Headquarters but also at the Wukari Area Command and the Ibi Divisional Headquarters. As a matter of fact, some of the Detectives from the Taraba State Command’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) were part of the operation.

The Force also considers it insensitive, disrespectful and unpatriotic for the Press Release by the Army to continue to describe Policemen on lawful National Assignment as ‘suspected kidnappers’ long after it had become crystal clear to the Army that these are Law Enforcement Officers who unfortunately were gruesomely murdered in the line of duty by Nigerian soldiers attached to 93 Battalion, Takum.

In the final analysis, we leave the Nigerian Army authorities to provide Nigerians with answers on the following questions emanating from their Press Release:
· Where is the notorious kidnapper, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume ‘rescued’ by the soldiers?
· How and why was Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume released by the soldiers?
· How could a kidnap suspect properly restrained with handcuffs by the Police escape from the hands of his military rescuers?
· If Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume is a ‘‘victim of kidnap’’ as claimed, and properly rescued by soldiers, why was he not taken to the Army Base for documentation purposes and debriefing in line with the Standard Operating Procedure in the Nigerian Army?
· Why were the Police Operatives shot at close range even after they had identified themselves as Police Officers on legitimate duty as evident in the video now in circulation?

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Why Sowore was re-arrested – DSS

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has explained why it re-arrested Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow movement.

The secret police in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya and made available to The Witness on Saturday said Sowore was re-arrested because he “resorted to acts inimical to security”.

The statement further disclosed that its officers did not arrest the activist in court, claiming that the journalist’s supporters were only acting an “orchestrated drama”. The security agency said there were none of its officers involved in the incidents recorded in the courtroom.

 

Read the full statement below:

It has become important that the Department of State Services responds to the serial misinformation being circulated in the media about its involvement in the incident that occurred on 6th December, 2019 at the Federal High Court, Abuja. It is instructive to note that during the court proceeding of the day under reference, Defence Counsel, Femi FALANA (SAN), called the attention of the Judge to a suspicion that the Service was planning to re-arrest Omoyele SOWORE immediately after the court session. The Court discountenanced his alarm and asserted that the Service was law abiding and would not engage in such and subsequently adjourned to February, 2020.

However, when SOWORE stepped out of the court and sighted operatives of the Service within the premises, he ran back into the courtroom. In a bid to shield him from an imaginary arrest, his uncontrollable supporters mobbed him while chanting “you can’t arrest him” thus the pandemonium that ensued.

A critical look at the videos in circulation would convince any objective viewer that there was no DSS personnel during the entire period the Sowore crowd acted out its orchestrated drama. Its personnel were never, at any time, involved in the incident. In actual fact, it was his people who seized him. And from the latest developments, it has become obvious what the intent for such mischief was meant for – simply to serve a propagandist purpose as well as bring the Service to disrepute.

Eye witness and several media accounts have disclosed that the Court had adjourned peacefully without an untoward incident when suddenly the unruly crowd imported into the Courtroom went into frenzy on the mere suspicion that DSS was sighted at the court premises. The eventual re-arrest of Sowore by the DSS was effected outside the courtroom. His lead counsel has affirmed this.

The DSS, as a professional, responsible and law abiding Organization, could not have invaded a courtroom including the one presided over by a respected Judge who is not only handling its case but whose Order was unconditionally obeyed within a 24 hour ultimatum. The Service holds the judiciary in utmost respect and will continue to work with it for national peace and public safety in Nigeria.

It has therefore become unarguable and raises a moral question as to who, between Sowore and the Service, dislikes or disobeys the Courts. In this regard, public attention may be drawn to the 25th July 2019 statement of SOWORE that “I’m not talking of protest. I’m embarking on revolution… Don’t tell me about legal implications or what a Judge will say. I don’t care …” On 5th December when SOWORE was released, he had, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja addressed a group of persons who, he reassured of his cause to create anarchy in the country.

It may be recalled that the Service had on 3rd December, 2019 raised alarm about a plot to destabilize the country. It is quite remarkable that the plot has already started playing out. To ensure this objective is further achieved, some persons and groups are scurrying to seize the opportunity of the misleading court incident and the wrong narrative against the DSS to organize an insurrection in the country. They have continued to falsely curry and mobilize international sentiments and attention, through clear misrepresentation of the facts, for their selfish ends.

For emphasis, it should be noted that SOWORE is facing trial not as an activist, journalist or a politician, but for his resort to call for violence, forceful takeover of government and suspected transnational illegal activities. It is most unfortunate that SOWORE, shortly after being released from custody, based on court order, resorted to acts inimical to security. To this effect, only SOWORE has been re-arrested as his co-defendant, Olawale BAKARE, was not picked up even when FALANA had promised to deliver him to the Service that is not presently interested in him.

Though sections of the populace have been fed with spurious narratives about these developments, Nigerians and the International Community should not be gullible or even vulnerable to the machinations of groups desirous of misleading them.

The Service is committed to the discharge of its mandate of detecting and preventing threats against the internal security of Nigeria. It supports democracy in the country and will do all that is legal to protect it. It will also ensure that efforts of anti-democratic forces are frustrated.

 

Peter Afunanya, Ph.D
Public Relations Officer,
Department of State Services,
National Headquarters,
Abuja
7th December, 2019

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NITDA: Promoting agriculture in Nigeria through Smart Agric platform

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By Lukman Lamid

 

Today marks the beginning of a transformation in the agriculture sector to enable the sector to contribute effectively to the digital economy of Nigeria and create jobs for the teeming youths.
What we did is to rethink agriculture differently, by creating a digital platform that will connect the Agric ecosystem and enable the possibility of new business models by the private sector which will, in turn, generate new products and services and create value across the Agric value chain.

This is to support the Honourable Minister’s digital economy focus especially in a critical sector of the economy as Agriculture in order to bring into reality the economic diversification of the Mr. President and ensure attainment of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 which is to end hunger and achieve food security by 2030.

NITDA Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA) is a project conceived to create about 6 Million jobs in the next 5 to 10 years through our technology Platform.

The platform is to connect all the Agric ecosystem members comprised of farmers, government agencies, Agric. Experts, the banks and micro-lenders, extension services, hardware solution providers, software developers, customers, marketplace, among others across the Agric value chain.

The idea is to support 25 graduates in each of the 774 LGAs on modern Agric methods, give them the resources and the right technology to enable them to manage their farms from planting to harvesting and marketing.

This pilot phase is a proof of concept which had witnessed selection, training and support of 15 graduates in Gombe State on modern farming methods in collaboration with National Agriculture Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS).

We have developed a digital platform in which its mobile app components will be launched today by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami and my DG, Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi. The Platform will continue to serve NITDA supported farmers, any other farmers and all the ecosystem members when it is fully ready.

Ability to get information to monitor farms in real-time and connect with resources to manage farm effectively will improve crop yield, quality of farm produce per block of land and profit for these farmers.

In the future, we would deploy and integrate smart technologies such as IoT on the platform to improve the accuracy and the processes of getting information in real-time, integrate with GIS technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Big data analytics among other emerging technologies to add more value to the platform.

I will like to note that this innovation is a product of research paper “Towards Diversification of Nigeria Economy through Smart Agriculture” published by the Hon. Minister in June 2017 in International Journal of Computer Science and Information Technology Research.

This gentleman is an uncommon leader, a mentor, innovator, agent of change and name it- you have to give it to him. We are proud of you Honorable Minister sir.

I want to appreciate my DG, a silent achiever who has demonstrated professionalism and has been consistent with Pantami’s ideal. If not for his support, this would have not been possible. Thank you, sir.

In view of this, I will have the honour to present the 15 farmers to the Hon. Minister and the DG for the presentation of the support fund and tablet.

Thank you and God bless.

 

– Lamid, a desk officer speaking at the recently concluded eNigeria conference (Dinner and Awards Night)

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Breaking: Popular Evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke is dead

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Reinhard Bonke

German Pentecostal Evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke is dead.

He died on Saturday at the age of 79. He was born on April 19, 1940.

His wife, Anni Bonnke, announced the passing away on his Official Facebook Page a few minutes ago.

She said; “Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, It is with sorrow that the Bonnke Family would like to announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke.

“He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on December 7, 2019. For the past 60 years he has preached the glorious Gospel of Jesus throughout the entire world. We want to thank you on behalf of him and our family, for your kind love and unwavering support, which enabled him to preach the matchless message of salvation to countless people.

“He preached Jesus…

“Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the saints!
Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy.
For all nations shall come and worship before You,
For Your judgments have been manifested.”
Revelation 15:3-4

“We kindly ask, in lieu of flowers, to please make a donation to Christ for all Nations – Africa Crusade.”

The German Pentecostal evangelist was principally known for his gospel missions throughout Africa.
Bonnke has been an evangelist and missionary in Africa since 1967.

On November 12, 2.19, Bonnke wrote on his Facebook Page what he termed “A personal matter” to announce that he had a successful right femur bone surgery.

He wrote; “My dearest prayer partners,

“It is my desire to share with you my present situation. I definitely need your prayers, as Paul the Apostle needed it from the early churches for his personal needs.

“Right now, I am in hospital and have undergone a right femur bone surgery. All has gone well so far, but now I have to add a few weeks of learning to walk again. My spirit is rejoicing, especially when I think of you. I have been able to pray for you and your very many needs and am asking you to pray for me now. I will read every reply and thank you in anticipation and in the Name of Jesus.

“Pressing towards the mark with jubilation.”

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