- We’ll get victory for Tinubu, Fani-Kayode boasts
- Kaduna-Train Attack: Terrorists release oldest hostage, 2 others
- Insecurity: Zamfara farmers negotiate with bandits today
- Nigeria Decides 2023: Politicians bombard police with special protection requests
- Airlines unable to repatriate $464 million from Nigeria, IATA says
Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn‘t miss:
We’ll get victory for Tinubu, Fani-Kayode boasts
Femi Fani-Kayode, a former aviation minister and senior member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has guaranteed that the party in power will assure Bola Tinubu’s victory in the 2023 presidential election.
On Thursday, Fani-Kayode responded to the meeting he had a few days prior with Tinubu and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on his verified Twitter account.
The former minister praised the two politicians’ meeting as fruitful and useful and predicted that “big things will happen” if Tinubu wins the presidency of Nigeria.
Fani-Kayode tweeted: “It was an honour and privilege to spend quality time with our presidential candidate and great leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, my old friend and brother, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila a few days ago.
“Our meeting was fruitful and productive and together we shall move forward and go into battle to ensure victory for him and our great party the APC in next year’s presidential election. Great things are going to happen in Nigeria under his watch.”
Kaduna-Train Attack: Terrorists release oldest hostage, 2 others
Terrorists released Mama Halimatu Atta, 90, and her 53-year-old daughter, Adama Atta, on Friday. Atta was the oldest kidnapped passenger on the tragic AK 9 Abuja-Kaduna train and a grandmother.
They were also released with Alhaji Modin Modi Bodinga, a native of Sokoto State, and Mohammed Sani Abdulmaji, also known as M.S. Ustaz, an Islamic cleric.
According to sources, Mama Halimatu and her daughter Adama were abducted in March 2022 after arriving in Abuja from Saudi Arabia, where they had done the smaller Hajj.
When word of the train attack broke that tragic night, the delight of family members waiting at the Rigasa train station in Kaduna to welcome the duo from pilgrimage was transformed into a nightmare.
While disclosing the development to journalists in Kaduna on Friday evening, former negotiator and Media Consultant to Sheikh Gumi,Malam Tukur Mamu Dan Iyan Fika,said ” I can confirm that earlier on Friday, four additional victims of the train attack were released by their abductors.”
He said, “The four released victims just left my office. They said they came collectively to thank me for the past efforts I made to meditate on their behalf and for convincing their abductors to drop the threats of executing them and to plead for all stakeholders especially the Federal Government to intensify efforts as the condition of the remaining 23 victims they left at the forest is pathetic.”
Malam Tukur Mamu, however, urged the Federal Government to intensify efforts and rescue the remaining victims in captivity as the terrorists threatened to marry the youngest female victim in captivity, 21 year old Azurfa Lois John, the way Leah Sharibu was married off.
Insecurity: Zamfara farmers negotiate with bandits today
Farmers in Zamfara State are scheduled to meet with the state’s bandit leaders to discuss their protection and the right to produce their farms.
Remember how farmers and locals in several towns in the north of the nation said they had been paying levies and taxes to alleged bandits to avoid being assaulted by the thugs?
The farmers, who spoke on behalf of the Zamfara State chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, stated that their meeting with the bandits was scheduled to take place on Saturday (today).
Abdulhafiz Alkali, the public relations representative for AFAN, bemoaned on Thursday that the Federal Government appeared to have abandoned them and any thought of providing security for farmers.
He said, “What I know about protection with the farmers is just the negotiation between the bandits and the farmers. I am living in Zamfara State now. I know that there will be a meeting by this coming Saturday between the farmers and the bandits.
“We lost a lot of things in Zamfara State. We sent letters to the Federal Government to secure us five years ago after complaining that the bandits were disturbing us.
“We needed the intervention of the Federal Government but it never came. What we lost in the past seven to six years is between N30bn to N50bn on commodities only.
“Many people from different countries and states used to come to the Dansadua axis to buy commodities to the tune of over N50b in a year, but now, in a year, we get less than N2bn to N3bn.
“In Zamfara State, the commodities business was worth over N200bn to N300bn, but these bandits interrupted the business. We wrote letters, we complained, but up till now, no response from the Federal Government.”
Speaking further on the backdrop of the recent query of the House of Representatives on the N18.9b COVID-19 agriculture project spent by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Alkali said the government had not been carrying AFAN along in its recent agriculture project.
2023 Campaigns: Politicians bombard police with special protection requests
The police have stated that there has been an increase in requests for protection by politicians as political campaigns and the 2023 general elections approach in the midst of festering insecurity throughout the majority of the country.
The police stated that more applications were being received and more were expected, but cautioned that not every application would be approved as the campaigns for the presidential and National Assembly elections began on September 28 and the general elections began on February 25.
In an interview on Saturday, the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, explained that although there has been an increase in requests for police protection, the police will still evaluate each one individually and work constantly to improve overall security for the safety of the public.
The increased number of murders and kidnappings for ransom in various sections of the nation has caused public anxiety and dread, which has fueled the elite’s and politicians’ demands for specialized police protection. Numerous cops and policemen have been killed by terrorists and other criminals during the ensuing unrest.
Senators, including those from the ruling All Progressives Congress, gave President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.) six weeks to solve the security situation before the start of their break in order to avoid being impeached when the National Assembly reconvenes in September.
Because of the unrest, House Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu pleaded with his colleagues to spend their holiday away from the Federal Capital Territory, stating, “I want to implore members; Abuja is no longer safe; please, if possible, go back to your areas. This area is quite unsafe.
These followed the release of infamous Boko Haram militants and other criminals during a terrorist attack on the Kuje Medium Correctional Center. Several officers were killed when gunmen attacked members of the Nigerian Army Presidential Guards Brigade.
The Force PRO acknowledged that it may be challenging to estimate the number of requests for police protection that have already been received, but added that the uptick may not be unrelated to the approaching campaigns and the 2023 elections.
“I don’t have the figures at this time because the office of the IG will continue to receive requests from different directions, but generally speaking, there has been an increase because the majority of the new candidates would prefer to have police protection. I am aware of the rise.
Airlines unable to repatriate $464 million from Nigeria, IATA says
The Worldwide Air Transport Organisation (IATA), the leading international trade association for airlines, has criticized Nigeria for not allowing foreign airlines to repatriate their profits and warned that this may do more harm to the nation.
According to the organisation, in July, the amount that airlines were unable to repatriate from the nation reached $464 million (N199.2 billion).
IATA expressed its “disappointment” at the Nigerian government’s failure to heed its concerns to permit prompt return of the monies in a message on its official Twitter account on Friday.
“The IATA is disappointed that the amount of airline money blocked from repatriation by the #The Nigerian government grew to $464 million in July. #blocked funds,” it said.
“IATA’s many warnings that failure to restore timely repatriation will hurt Nigeria with reduced air connectivity are proving true with the withdrawal of @emirates from the market.”
The response followed Emirates’ announcement that, as a result of its refusal to repatriate money from the country, all flights to Nigeria will be suspended beginning September 1.
The airline announced three weeks ago that it will stop flying to Nigeria starting on August 15 because it had failed to repatriate $85 million in a letter to Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
Joshua is a multidisciplinary creative and tech enthusiast who seeks to create meaningful experiences that make for a better and more equal world. He is a creative entrepreneur and human rights activist whose work navigates socio-cultural discourse and how it can be used as a vehicle for change.