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Senate Jerks Up FCT Statutory Budget By N46bn

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The Senate Friday passed the National Statutory Budget of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The budget of N278,355,365,947bn has an increase of N46bn on the earlier amount of N232,875,365,947 proposed by the administration to the legislature.

Explaining the increase, the Senate committee chairman on FCT Abubakar Kyari ( APC Borno North ), said funding for security was doubled to enable the security architecture of the territory rejigged for required efficient and effective security services delivery by all concerned relevant agencies.

He said: “it is noteworthy that the current security apparatus cannot guarantee safety and security in the FCT and it’s surrounding towns and villages.”

He also noted that 50 percent releases of the 2019 budget of the federal Capital Territory reduced capital expenditure performance to 35 per cent, which he noted was dismal.

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Structure of expenditure for the proposed 2020 FCT budget showed a total Recurrent expenditure of N110,946,584,530 consisting of personnel costs standing at N53,876,241,095 and the overhead costs put at N57,070,343,435bn.

According to the FCT appropriation bill passed by the Senate, N121,928,781,417 was allocated for Capital expenditure for 2020 fiscal year.

The amount is about N75.6bn higher representing 260 per cent increase on last year’ capital budget of N46,,292,431,523.09.

The Engineering services has the highest allocation of capital expenditure with the sum of N59.946bn allotted it was followed by N36.540bn for Satellite Towns Development Do (STDD).

The administration will be spending N9.410bn on transportation the passed appropriation bill stated.

The Senate thereafter adjourns plenary till January to observe it’s Christmas holiday.

This was after the President of the Senate has named Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC Kogi West) as the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation.

Adeyemi replaced Senator Dino Melaye who lost the November 16 re-run senatorial elections.

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Inside Nigeria

‘How Boko Haram Threw Child Into Burning Vehicle’

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Ex-military governor of Lagos State, Brig Gen Buba Marwa (retd.), says he was informed that Boko Haram fighters threw a child into a burning vehicle during their attack on Auno, Borno State, two weeks ago.

The hoodlums reportedly burnt to death at least 30 people.

Marwa, who is the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse, said this on Channels TV’s programme Sunrise Daily on Monday.

The ex-Borno State military governor said only persons under the influence of hard drugs could have done that.

He said, “Last week someone in Auno near Maiduguri mentioned to me that there was a woman in one of the buses burnt.

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“She threw her child out, so that at least the child would survive, but the insurgents picked up the child and flung him back into the bus.

“What kind of depravity could that be unless somebody was completely out of his senses?

“So this is the root cause of most of our problems, including security, and must be tackled.”

Marwa said raids on terrorist hideouts had shown the insurgency was being fuelled mainly by hard drugs.

According to the retired general, Nigeria will have a lot of problems if it doesn’t tackle drug abuse effectively.

The committee, constituted in December 2018, submitted its report to the President in October 2019.

But the report has not been implemented as it is being reviewed by a second committee chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

According to Marwa, the second committee is expected to meet later this week and he will be “surprised” if its implementation does not “start in another month.”

He said, “The drug control scourge in Nigeria, unless it is tackled, we are finished.

“Whether it is Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping, they (hoodlums) all use drugs.”

Among the recommendations of the committee are the declaration of emergency on drug abuse and the establishment of a new agency – the National Drug Control Commission.

When asked why the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency couldn’t be expanded, Marwa said the agency would be “moved to work in partnership” because it “faces supply reduction”.

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DSS Allegedly Gives ‘Anti-Kidnapping Manual’ To VIPs

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has ignited a new round of controversy after allegedly giving an anti-kidnapping manual to Very Important Personalities (VIPs).

Daily Trust reported that the manual which provided tips against kidnapping, was conveyed to the Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele through a letter dated January 17, 2020, and acknowledged on January 20, 2020.

The handbook titled: ‘Kidnapping, why me and my family’, was also reportedly sent to top government functionaries, including heads of government agencies, departments, boards and parastatals.

The Forward of the anti-kidnapping book which was signed by Ahmed Salisu on behalf of the Director-General of DSS, partly reads:

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“Following in-depth assessment of kidnapping trend across the states of the federation in recent years, and the seeming lack of awareness of basic preventive tips and guidelines among the populace, the Service as part of its proactive measure against the crime has produced a handbook, aimed at sensitizing Very Important Personalities (VIPs)…”

The introductory note in the 19-page handbook reads;

“Given the pecuniary motive driving kidnapping activities, the affluent in the society become easy targets of attack. However, with the appropriate application of relevant security tips and guidelines, the vulnerability of Very Important Personalities (VIPs) to attacks can be reduced to its barest minimum. This handbook is therefore designed to specifically acquaint VIPs of important tips that would enhance their personal security and that of their family members.”

Some of the tips given in the book include;

“The following if not well managed could expose you to dangers of kidnapping: Your appearance and disposition; your level of popularity; occupying sensitive and important positions in the society; raving flippant and unguided aides; engaging inadequately vetted household employees; inordinate business transactions involving one’s bank accounts without adequate knowledge about intentions; entrusting confidential and personal matters into others; inappropriate disclosure of one’s itinerary, and living a flamboyant lifestyle and inappropriate display of wealth.”

“Recognize your self-worth; assess the threat level of your environment, and the perception of others about you in any given location.”

“Your security aides are there to secure you and your household. They are also to educate you and your household on security-related issues. Ensure you obtain intelligence relating to the security situation of places you intend visiting for public functions or personal purposes.

“Be humble enough to see things from your security aide’s perspective when you are advised not to visit an area. Your aides are your buffer against danger, take care of them. Vigilance keeps you at alert when others are not. It entails being conscious of every activity/happening around you and your family…”

VIPs who got the book were also advised to install Close Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV), maintain a moderate lifestyle and also avoid phone calls that discuss financial issues in the public among others.

The handbook has however generated concern as some Nigerians accused the DSS of neglecting ordinary citizens who are most vulnerable to the crime.

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Boko Haram Burns Churches, Kills Soldier In Adamawa

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Two churches were burnt at the weekend by Boko Haram insurgents who attacked Garkida, Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

Residential houses, hospitals, shops and vehicles were also torched by the terrorists.

The Army on Sunday confirmed the death of a soldier.

The burnt places of worship are a parish of the Living Faith (aka Winners Chapel) and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa, a Nigeria (EYN) church.

Last month, Boko Haram terrorists beheaded Rev. Lawan Andimi, chairman of the Michika LGA branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Adamawa State.

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But as the level of insecurity rises nationwide, a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, said: “Prayer can solve problems better and faster than generals and soldiers can do with physical weapons.”

Governor Ahmadu Fintiri on Sunday visited Garkida to sympathise with the people.

However, the 23 Armoured Brigade of the Nigerian Army in a statement also said another soldier was injured by troops of 232 Battalion, who engaged the insurgents in gun duel.

The statement by Major Haruna Mohammed Sani, Assistant Director of Army Public Relations, the 23 Armoured Brigade, indicated that the destruction would have been more extensive, but for intervention of the troops who killed some of the insurgents.

The statement reads: “Gallant troops of 232 Battalion of 23 Armoured Brigade under Operation Lafiya Dole deployed in Garkida, Gombi LGA of Adamawa State, had thwarted a planned criminal attack on the peaceful town on February 21, 2020 by some criminal Boko Haram terrorists.

“The terrorists besieged the town in about seven gun trucks and a number of motorcycles, setting some buildings ablaze and causing unrest within the community.

“Instinctively, the gallant troops mobilised and intercepted the criminals’ advance and engaged the marauding criminals unleashing high volume of fire, leading to the elimination of several of the criminals while others withdrew in disarray, many of them with gunshot wounds as evident in the trails of blood along their withdrawal route.

“Regrettably, one gallant soldier paid the supreme price while another soldier was wounded in action. The wounded soldier has since been evacuated to a military medical facility and is positively responding to treatment.”

The statement added that the Commander of the 23 Armoured Brigade, Brig. Gen. Sani Mohammed, who visited the troops in Garkida on Saturday, congratulated them for their fighting spirit, but warned them to be vigilant as the terrorists may plan a reprisal “due to the casualties they suffered.”

Gen. Gowon and the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, have advocated prayer as the surest means to ending the spate of killings and other forms of violent crimes in the country.

Gowon, who is the National Chairman and Convener of ‘Nigeria Prays’, spoke in COCIN LCC Millennium Quarters, Yelwan Kagadama , venue of the Northeast Zonal Prayer rally in Bauchi, Bauchi State.

”Let us be assured that our prayers are not in vain. I can say this with every authority that prayer can solve problems better than faster than generals and soldiers can do with physical weapon,” he told the rally participants.

He lamented the spate of insecurity and activities of insurgents and called on God to guide President Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, in tackling the problems.

“I have no doubt in my heart that God will honour our collective prayers and intercession for our dear nation and heal our nation of our afflictions,” the former Head of State added.

Gowon thanked the leaderships of CAN, Bauchi State chapter , church leaders across Northeast and the entire body of Christ in Bauchi state for their collective resolve to stand in gap and fervently pray for peace, prosperity and security in the nation.”

Governor Bala Mohammed, who also attended the rally, said: ” We need prayers to overcome the challenges in the state. We have 1.3 million out of school children in the state. We need prayers to overcome the agents of darkness and under development in the state.”

Also on Sunday, hundreds of people in Ilorin Emirate, Kwara State, prayed divine intervention in tackling the security problems in the country at the palace of the Emir , Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu- Gambari.

The intercession was part of the special prayer organised by Sulu- Gambari to seek God’s guidance for 85 professors of Ilorin Emirate extraction.

The Chief Imam of Ilorin, Sheik Mohammed Salihu, led other clerics to ask God to give Nigerian leaders wisdom and the will to win the anti- insurgency and banditry war in the troubled states.

The emir acknowledged and praised the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in curbing insurgency and other forms of crimes.

He, however, maintained that what the nation required to overcome the security challenges was divine intervention through prayers by the leaders and adherents of the two major religions in the country.

“I commend President Buhari’s efforts at ending insecurity in the country, but of paramount importance is the need for us to seek divine intervention through prayers in overcoming the insurgents, “Sulu- Gambari said.

The emir also hailed the steps taken so far by the Federal Government to forestall the import of Covid-19(Coronavirus) and spread of Lassa fever in the country.

Sulu- Gambari hailed the professors and urged them to use their vantage positions to better the lots of Ilorin Emirate, Kwara and Nigeria in general.

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