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News headlines for the 14th of March 2021

News headlines for the 14th of March 2021

Insurgency: CDS, Service Chiefs storm Maiduguri again

  • As the military intensified the fight against insurgency in Borno, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, and Service Chiefs have arrived in Maiduguri, for the second time in one month to assess the situation on ground.
  • Addressing troops, on Saturday, at the headquarters of “Operation Lafiya Dole” in Maiduguri, Irabor lauded them for the successes recorded.
  • He also commended them for their commitment and resilience, adding that there was a mandate given by the President and Commander in Chief that must be accomplished.
  • He thanked the CDS and service chiefs for their prompt response in addressing requests from the theatre and assured them of the troops’ commitment to delivering on assigned tasks.
  • The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CDS and service chiefs also visited the 7 Division Military Hospital, to interact with wounded soldiers receiving treatment.

$1bn arms funds: PDP, TI, SERAP demand probe of Monguno’s allegation

  • The Peoples Democratic Party has described the regime of the President, Muhammadu Buhari as “a parlour of corruption for fraudsters.”
  • The assertion by the opposition party followed the reported revelation by the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, that $1bn arms funds went missing under the watch of the immediate-past service chiefs.
  • This was as Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project; and Transparency International called for the probe of Monguno’s allegation by anti-graft agencies.
  • Monguno had, in an interview with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation early Friday, alleged that neither the funds nor the weapons the ex-service chiefs were meant to buy could be traced.
  • But after Monguno’s comment went viral in the news, the Presidency said no such funds were missing, adding that Monguno was misquoted.

Farmer-herder crisis: Six states reject FG’s livestock scheme

  • Six state governments, namely Delta, Cross River, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, and Edo have said they will not donate any land to be used as grazing reserves for herdsmen under the National Livestock Transformation Programme.
  • However, 17 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, as well as three southern states, namely Ekiti, Ondo, and Ebonyi, have signed up for the programme.
  • The Federal Government had in February said it had mapped out 30 grazing reserves across the country for the planned implementation of the NLTP.
  • The government said the implementation of the programme would result in a lasting solution to the farmers-herders crisis in the country.
  • However, some southern state governments on Saturday rejected the idea of creating a grazing reserve for herders. They said they did not have any land to donate for the initiative.

Nnamdi Kanu has changed the registration status of IPOB, Igbo group insists

  • SOME concerned Igbo professionals have reiterated their claim that the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has changed the registration status of the proscribed group.
  • In the statement, the professionals recalled that barely twenty-four hours ago, they had alerted the public on the development in the UK, wherein Kanu was reported to have registered IPOB as a “community interest company”.
  • Operating under the aegis of Coalition of South East Professionals Network in Nigeria and Diaspora, CSEPNND, the Igbo professionals who claimed that Kanu carried out the change of IPOB’s registration in the United Kingdom, UK, said the action vindicated their consistent position that the fugitive was using the platform to achieve personal and selfish desires.
  • While maintaining that Kanu’s agitation for the realisation of the Republic of Biafra was anything but altruistic, the coalition urged well-meaning Ndigbo in particular, and Nigerians in general, to disregard the “terrorist” group and their activities, which they insisted, were inimical to national security and progress.
  • Their position was conveyed in a statement by their National President, Prof. Madumere Chika, and National Secretary, Anayo Uchemba.

Trucks defy govt order, remain on Apapa roads

  • Despite the Lagos State Government announcement of the clearing of the Tin Can port access road,  fuel tankers and container vehicles have maintained their stance on the roads.
  • The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Lagos State on New Media, Jubril Gawat, in a Twitter post on Thursday showed the taskforce team ridding the axis of fuel tankers.
  • The tweet read, “The Lagos State Taskforce team on Apapa today started the Clearing of First and Second gate Tin Can port and environs. The Apapa Freedom is a continuous exercise till full sanity is restored.”
  • However, a tour of the Tin Can port access road at 9am on Friday by our correspondent showed that the oil tankers had not yet been cleared.
  • Our correspondent observed that fuel tankers were parked on both sides of the road to allow commuters seeking to access the Apapa-Oshodi manage the middle stretch of the road alone which was relatively free.
  • President of Council of Maritime Transport Unions and Associations, Leye Thompson, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said nine truckers had been arrested with fake e-call up forms.
  • Meanwhile, truck drivers under the National Association of Road Transport Owners have accused Hitech Construction Company Ltd, a construction company rehabilitating the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, as part of the impediments frustrating the electronic call-up system.
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