The Big 5: FG to shut land border to curb rice importation, Dangote gifts Borno IDPs N2bn housing estate and other stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has disclosed plans by the Federal Government to shut down one of  the country’s  land border to avoid smuggling of foreign rice into the country.

Ogbeh made the disclosure on Monday during a leadership clinic under the auspices of Guardians of the Nation International (GOTNI),  in Abuja stressing that the planned action had become necessary to encourage local production and sustain the economy of the country.

He added that a neighbouring country was bent on destroying the economy of Nigeria and discouraging local production of rice, hence the need to shut down the border.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Maiduguri, Borno heaved a sigh of relief after they received housing units built and inaugurated by the Aliko Dangote Foundation.

The Dangote village, a self-sufficient set of 200 housing units worth N2 billion, with school, hospital, irrigation farms and poultry farms among others to enable the beneficiaries, mainly widows whose husbands were killed by the Boko Haram terrorists. the occupants make a living.

Chairman of the foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote in addition to N100,000 given to each of the benedciaries to start  a new life, pledged that the  foundation would take care of teachers’ emolument for five years and as well share in the burden of the ongoing educational programme launched by the Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima.

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has said that polio remains a threat in Nigeria as over 100,000 child are yet to be immunised against the disease in the North East.

Adewole who stated this at the annual meeting of African Regional Certification Commission for Poliomyelitis Eradication, ARCC, in Abuja on Monday, explained that Nigeria remains on the list of polio endemic countries because some areas in the northeast remain inaccessible to the polio programme.

The minister said this is despite the government making considerable progress in immunisation programmes in the region.

Suspected kidnappers have murdered and buried a senior staff  member of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) in Rivers State, Mr. John Iheanacho, after collecting ransom in foreign currency.

Iheanacho, who was the President of Eastern Zone of Investment Cooperative Society Limited, was abducted and killed last week in an an uncompleted building in a community in Ndoki, Oyigbo, Rivers from where he was thereafter taken to a forest to be buried by the assailants in a shallow grave.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari who heads the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team disclosed that the suspects-Samuel Ikechukwu, Alexander, a.k.a PILAR, Chima Mark, Stephen Iniobong and Teddy Ifeanyi, have been arrested after recovering the remains of the man on Monday.

The Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Stefano Pontesilli has dismissed reports that his country  sometimes sent Nigerians and migrants from other countries migrants on sea route to Europe back to Libya.

The envoy told newsmen in Abuja that though thousands of Nigerian migrants were trapped in Libya; those who made the perilous journey to Italy were never sent back to the North African country adding that He said the Italian government has been doing alot on migration by saving thousands of lives, including that of Nigerians during the Mediterranean crossing.

And……stories from around the world:

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, where he will likely brief Chinese President Xi Jinping on his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump last week, as Washington and Seoul agreed to suspend a major joint military exercise.

In an unusual move, Chinese state media announced Kim’s visit and said he would stay for two days. Previously China would only confirm Kim had visited after he had left the country. No other details were provided.

Kim’s third trip to China this year, is coming a week after he met Trump in Singapore for historic talks. (Reuters)

President Donald Trump says the United States would not be a “migrant camp” as his administration defended its controversial practice of separating migrant children from their parents at the border.

The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” Trump said during remarks at the White House on Monday.

“You look at what’s happening in Europe,” he continued, “you look at what’s happening in other places – we can’t allow that to happen to the United States. Not on my watch.” (The Guardian, UK)

Britain has warned of possible attacks on its territory by battle-hardened extremists sneaked into Nigeria from Syria by leaders of terrorist group, Islamic State (IS).

According to a report by the UK SUN yesterday, fanatics, including Boko Haram insurgents, were also being sent to the Middle East for training in what it described as exchange programme.

The report said there were fears that strong links between Nigeria and the UK would make it easier for IS to send its killers to Britain to orchestrate terror attacks, death and destruction.

It noted that more than 150 British troops are conducting counter-terror training with Nigerian forces in an attempt to stem the bloody tide and stop IS from taking hold in the West African region.At one training mission in Kaduna, a senior Nigerian Air Force commander revealed how local jihadi groups were learning from IS after swearing allegiance to its black flag.

The Government of Thailand says it has carried out its first execution since 2009, a move condemned by Amnesty International as “deplorable”.

Theerasak Longji, a 26-year-old convicted murderer was executed on Monday, six years after his conviction. (AFP)

A former Israeli cabinet minister, Gonen Segev (62) once imprisoned for trying to smuggle ecstasy pills, has been charged with spying for Iran, according to security officials in Israel.

Segev, who had been living in Nigeria, was arrested during a visit to Equatorial Guinea and extradited to in Israel in May on suspicion of “committing offenses of assisting the enemy in war and spying against the state of Israel”, the Shin Bet security agency said on Monday.

It added that Segev, an Israeli energy minister in mid-1990s, acted as an agent for Iranian intelligence and relayed information “connected to the energy market and security sites in Israel including buildings and officials in political and security organisations.” (Aljazeera)

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