Division among bandits delays abducted Niger schoolboys’ release
- There were strong indications on Monday that a disagreement among bandits in Niger State was delaying the release of 27 students and 15 workers of Government Science College, Kagara, who were abducted on Wednesday.
- A top government source, who confided in our correspondence said the bandits, who carried out the abduction, had not agreed with the warlord government negotiated with.
- There was controversy over the release of the abductees on Sunday. Earlier in the day, officials of the Niger State and security sources said the abductees had been released and were on their way to Minna, the state capital.
- Also, a prominent Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, who was involved in the negotiation for the release of the abductees, explained the delay in releasing them. Gumi, in an interview on Monday, said the bandits holding 42 pupils and 15 workers of the GSC Kagara were still being persuaded to release them.
Ortom attacks Mohammed, calls Bauchi gov ‘Fulani terror’ member
- BENUE State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Monday said he remained convinced that his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed, is a member of Fulani terrorists group terrorizing Nigeria.
- Governor Ortom, who stated this during a press conference in Makurdi, also cried out that his life was being threatened by his counterpart’s outburst.
- He said the Bauchi governor was part of the conspiracy against him, adding that with the manner Mohammed was attacking him, his life is no longer safe.
- The Bauchi governor had criticised Ortom when he accused him (Ortom) of creating bad media campaign against Fulani ethnic group, stating that the situation had worsened the herder-farmer crisis.
- Mohammed had further accused Ortom of criminalising the entire Fulani across the country.
- Ortom, who reacted, said with the continuous support for Fulani herdsmen, his Bauchi counterpart “is one of the Fulani terrorists” that have invaded the country.
NCDC calls for calm as another COVID-19 variant surfaces in Nigeria
- The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Monday said a new variant of COVID-19 had been detected in Nigeria and 15 other countries.
- The new strain, B.1.2.5 which is different from the highly infectious B.1.1.7 has, however, not been described as a variant of concern.
- Disclosing this at the press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, the NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Iheakwazu,said researchers and scientists were still working hard to understand if this variant had any effect on the virus transmissibility, immunity, as well as diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics.
- Also the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, on Monday said Nigeria might take delivery of its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines between now and next week Monday. Shuaib, who spoke at the weekly press briefing, declined to give specific date of delivery.
Three arraigned for invading palace, beating up Osun monarch
- A 35-year-old man, Wasiu Tijani, and two others were on Monday dragged before an Osun State Magistrates’ Court sitting in Osogbo for allegedly beating up a monarch in his palace.
- Tijani, alongside 35-year-old Tairu Akangbe and 30-year-old Samad Mutairu were said to have stormed the palace of the Alabudo of Abudo, a community in the Egbedore Local Government Area of the state, Oba Morufu Olawale, and assaulted him.
- The defendants were also accused of beating up labourers working at the palace of the Alabudo.
The police prosecutor, Kayode Asanbe, said the defendants were arraigned on two counts of breach of peace and assault. In his ruling, the presiding magistrate, Isola Omisade, ordered that the defendants be remanded in the Ilesa Custodial Centre and adjourned ruling on the bail application till Thursday, February 25, 2021.
NDPHC seals agreement on power supply to Togo
- The Niger Delta Power Holding Company on Monday said it had signed a Power Purchase Agreement to supply electricity to Togo, a neighboring country in West Africa.
- According to NDPHC, a firm owned by the federal and state governments, a total of 70 megawatts of electricity would be sent to Togo from the Calabar Power Plant in Odukpani, Cross River State.
- In a statement issued in Abuja by the Head, Communication and Public Relations, NDPHC, Olufunke Nwankwo, stated that the company’s Executive Director, Generation, Kassim Abdullahi, disclosed plans to supply power to Togo while inspecting the Calabar power plant.
- Abdullahi also stated that the company was working to improve power supply to Nigerians through the eligible customer framework.