Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara says the government will not apologise over the alleged killing of villagers in the state during the bombardment of suspected bandits’ camps in Dumburum village in Zurmi local government area of the state.
The governor, who made the statement when a seven-man investigation team on the matter visited him at his Talata-Mafara private residence, said Dumburum village had served as a hideout for criminals over the last three years.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state’s Council of Chiefs had, a fortnight ago, alleged that innocent citizens were recently bombarded through air strikes in the area by personnel of the Nigeria Air Force.
“As far as I am concerned and as the head of government in the state, I haven’t seen anything wrong done by the Air Force. I haven’t received any brief on such matter.
“Dumburum has been a criminal hideout for over three years and the Emir of Zurmi had once asked me to go and wipe out the area, saying all those residing there were bandits.
“So, I am surprised that the emir will be part of those saying innocent people were killed in an encounter in the area,” Yari said.
The governor, who said some powers were working against the state, maintained that “some people will stay in Abuja and fabricate things against the operations in Zamfara in order to distract the operation,” warning, “this we must not allow.”
“Please, all security agencies, especially the Air Force, should continue with your usual constitutional duties and the state government will give you all the support to facilitate your concentration in trying to bring back peace which has eluded the state since 2007.
“You should continue with fire power to show the criminals that there is a government in place and we won’t negotiate with them again because when we did that in the past, the leaders pretended as if all was well while they allowed their boys to continue to lay siege to the communities,” the governor added.
Handing over a letter of condolence to the governor from the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, the team leader, AVM Idi Lubo, said it was part of Abubakar’s concern in case the allegations were true.
He said, “the Chief of Air Staff has directed us to properly investigate the matter in order to unravel the truth.
“We have visited other stakeholders and discovered that there was misinformation which we have now resolved and wish to assure the people of the state that we shall continue to discharge our assigned responsibilities in protecting the innocent with professionalism.”
The team, which was conducted round by the Commander of 207 Quick Response Group, Squadron Leader Sunkanmi Thomas, thanked all stakeholders for the support given to the Air operations in the state.
NAN also reports that the team visited heads of security agencies, traditional rulers and government officials, among others, while in the state.
Police Take Funke Akindele, Husband to Court for Violating Lockdown Rule
The Lagos State Police Command has taken Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, and her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello popularly called JJC Skillz, to court for flouting the lockdown order in Lagos State.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, confirmed to The PUNCH that the actress, popularly called ‘Jenifa’, had been taken to a Chief Magistrates’ Court in Ogba, Lagos.
The police spokesman said “The husband arrived at the SCID around 2 am and they will be arraigned together.”
They were arraigned for breaching the Lagos Infection Diseases Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) which prescribes a jail term of one month or N100,000 fine or both for persons found guilty of hosting gatherings or flouting the lockdown order.
It reads in part, “Where there is a violation of a close down or stay at home order, security Agencies shall have the power to arrest without warrant and may detain any person who violates the close down or stay at home order for at least 48 hours.
“Where the arrested person is found guilty, the person is liable to a fine of N100,000.00 or one-month imprisonment or three months Community service.”
The police had arrested the actress on Sunday evening for hosting a party in honour of her husband.
However, JJC Skillz and Naira Marley were absent during the time of arrest, causing the police to invite them.
FirstBank Salutes Medical Professionals Tackling COVID-19
By Felix Onajite
First Bank of Nigeria Limited has saluted medical professionals tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and the world, THE WITNESS reports.
The Bank in series of tweets on its Twitter page on Friday, acknowledged the role medical experts are playing to fight the virus.
Some of the messages read: “No capes, just heroes. To all the health professionals at the frontline of efforts to tackle COVID-19, we say thank you. Your timeless efforts are much appreciated. The world called and they responded.”
“No cape, just lab-coats. No superhuman capability, just dedication, strength, and compassion. As we play our parts of staying at home, we thank our medical professionals for being our ‘Avengers’.”
“The world called and they responded. We salute our frontline warriors.”
FirstBank has been in the forefront of supporting the drive to flatten the curve with promoting public enlightenment being among its many measures to check the rising spread of Coronavirus since the outbreak of the disease in Nigeria.
Recall, the lender, as part of a robust effort to combat the deadly virus, recently announced a donation of N1 billion to the federal government of Nigeria for the expansion of health facilities, purchase of relief materials, critical care facilities, protective gears to contain the spread of the virus and treating individuals diagnosed with the disease.
The donation is in addition to the Bank’s drive to move one million children to e-learning, together with an early partner – Roducate – as recommended by the Lagos State Ministry of Education.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the e-learning initiative is a complementary effort in education to support students and minimise the disruption to their education resulting from closure of schools.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Friday night confirmed 20 new cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
Eleven cases were confirmed in Lagos, three cases confirmed in the FCT, 3 in Edo, two in Osun and one in Ondo
“Two new deaths have been recorded in Lagos and Edo States, with 25 cases discharged. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 210,” the centre said.
APC Chieftain, Ogiemwonyi Celebrates Oshiomhole at 68
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Edo State and renowned technocrat, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, has joined millions of well wishers to celebrate the party’s National Chairman, Adams Aliu Oshiomhole who clocked 68.
Ogiemwonyi described Oshiomhole as a Pathfinder and Leader of leaders in a message he signed.
It read “Happy 68th Birthday to our National Chairman, a pathfinder, a coach, mentor and Leader of leaders.
“Comrade Adams Aliu Eric Oshiomhole,
On behalf of My family, friends and Political Associate, I pray that whatever you ask may you receive, whatever you seek may you find, whatever door you knock may it be opened on your birthday and always.
“May the joy that you have spread in the past come back to you on this day. Another adventure filled year awaits you so wear a seat belt and be sure to enjoy the journey. Happy birthday”
Ogiemwonyi recently joined the fight against coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria with the donation of relief materials such as nose mask, gloves and sanitizers to Edo rural dwellers and appointed coordinators across the 18 local government areas of the state to sensitise them on personal hygiene in a bid to stop the spread of the COVID-19.