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NDLEA Clashses with Akeredolu on Cannabis, Destroys 3,900 Hectares in Ondo

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has said it never advocated the growth of cannabis sativa for medicinal purpose or economic gain, adding that it had destroyed 3,900 hectares of cannabis sativa in Ondo State.

The NDLEA Chairman, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (retd), stated this on Monday, noting that he and the Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, did not go to Thailand to learn how to grow cannabis sativa for economic gain, as being reported in some quarters.

The governor was reported on Saturday as saying the state government was planning to take advantage of the commercial value of the plant to create jobs for the youth.

He urged the Federal Government to support cannabis cultivation in large quantities in Ondo, saying the trade would boost the state’s Internally Generated Revenue.

But the NDLEA chairman said in a release on Monday that he never visited Thailand to advocate cannabis cultivation, saying Nigeria’s staunch opposition to legalising cannabis as restated at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs’ round-table talks in March 2019 still stands.

Abdallah said, “My attention has been drawn to the misinformation that the Ondo State Governor and I were in the Republic of Thailand to learn how to grow cannabis sativa for medicinal purpose or economic gain.

“This is far from the truth. At no point did I make any remark in favour of the commercial and medicinal value or monetary gain of cannabis.

“The purpose of the visit to Thailand is to understudy how the country has successfully migrated some of her citizens hitherto engaged in illicit plant cultivation to the cultivation of legitimate economic crops and other lawful businesses.

“The NDLEA under my leadership has been consistent in our opposition to legalisation and decriminalisation of cannabis.

“For example, Operation Thunderstorm undertaken by the Ondo State Command of the NDLEA destroyed 3,900.73 hectares of cannabis sativa planted in forest reserves.”

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Police Arrest Six Cultists While Fighting over Gun Deal

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Four Lagos-based suspected cultists and two others have been arrested by men of the Ogun State Police Command in Odogbolu.

The suspects were arrested while allegedly making arrangements to purchase a locally-made pistol for an operation.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed this on Wednesday in a statement.

Oyeyemi said Oluwadamilare Aboyeji, Matthew Adebiyi, Jacob Solomon and Iliasu Jubril were based in Ikorodu, Lagos State, while Segun Olubanjo and Samuel Olaniyan were based in Odogbolu.

According to the PPRO, the suspects were arrested on November 27, 2020 in Odogbolu when the four Lagos-based alleged cultists came to meet Olubanjo and Olaniyan to foment trouble as a result of a gun transaction between the two groups.

Oyeyemi said, “Investigation revealed that the Ikorodu-based suspects contracted Samuel Olaniyan to purchase a locally-made pistol for them, and when the gun was delivered, they discovered that the pistol was not serviceable; hence they came with full force to deal with the Odogbolu-based cultists for betraying their trust.

“While the pandemonium was going on, a distress call was made to the Odogbolu Division, consequence upon which the DPO, SP Awoniyi Adekunle, quickly led his men to the scene, where the six suspects were apprehended.

“Recovered from them were one locally-made pistol and two live cartridges.”

The PPRO added that the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, had directed that the suspects and exhibits be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation with a view to charging them.

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Nigeria’s Problem is Not Restructuring, But Hunger, Poverty, Says Amaechi

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The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, says the problem of Nigeria is not restructuring but hunger and poverty, which have led to insecurity in the country.

Speaking on Channels Television programme, Sunday Politics, Amaechi said he does not see anything wrong with calls for the restructuring of the country but insists that the Federal government is more concerned about tackling hunger and poverty.

“If to you, what is important is restructuring, I don’t see anything wrong with restructuring but I am saying it is not the most critical problem we have.

“The most critical problem we have is that hunger and poverty are breeding insecurity,” Amaechi said when asked his take on restructuring.

The former governor of Rivers State added that the President Muhammadu Buhari-administration is more concerned about reducing poverty in the country, and believes that creating jobs for the people will keep them away from crime.

“If you are able to create employment, you create security. If you like, hire as many men as you want to hire that are policemen, you would do nothing until you put food in the hands of people.

“When you do not create a legitimate economy, the people will create for themselves an illegitimate economy and be able to feed themselves.”

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No More Drivers License without NIN, FRSC Tells Nigerians

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Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), said the corps will introduce the National Identity Number (NIN) information for vehicle registration by the first quarter of 2021.

Mr Oyeyemi revealed this when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Friday.

The corps marshall said the essence of the NIN was to enhance road safety through the use of technology.

The FRSC boss also said that from December, driver’s licence would no longer be issued without the NIN information.

“I must commend the government. With the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), now we have one national database, one identity. You cannot use double identity now and with the biometrics, you cannot be funny.

“You know before some people have about five different identities but now you are forced to pick one. Once you pick one with NIMC that is what you will be using because it is now going to be as from next month (December). It is going to be compulsory.

“Now if you want to renew your driver’s licence or you want to obtain a fresh driver licence, you must provide your NIN. NIN is the first thing and with that, no biometrics will be done again they will import it from NIMC.

“So I am talking about using technology now to enhance security so with this I think we make progress we are really on course.”

The FRSC boss, Mr Oyeyemi,  explained that only the Vehicles Inspection Office (VIO) was authorised to test applicants before prescribed fees could be paid to the state government through their internal revenue service.

He added that the VIO would, in turn, refer applicants for capturing which would be transferred to the database of the country.

“Now a lot of things have been occurring, you cannot get a licence by proxy, anybody that does not go for the physical capture for the first issuance of a licence is not a genuine licence, it is fake.

“I am happy when I came on board, I came on board in 2014, the first thing we did was to establish a verification portal. Where the portal is now done, all those with fake licences disappeared, they now had to go and do a new one.

“A fake licence is N25,000 to N30,000, an original licence is N6,350 but I won’t blame them, it is the ‘bigmanism.’ People are not ready to follow the process and along the line too this NIN information for drivers licence the same thing will come on board before the end of the first quarter next year for vehicle registration.

“If you want to register your vehicle, it is going to be compulsory for you to provide your NIN. These are parts of the security checks. So once you provide your NIN, it makes the matter to be simpler,” the FRSC official said.

He urged the country to take a cue from China and other developed countries that made use of technology to fight crime.

He commended the security agencies for making use of their unrestricted access to the database in checking corrupt practices in the system.

“I must commend all of them from EFCC, NFIU, ICPC, the military intelligence unit of the Army, Navy, Air force and DSS. This is what they are now using, the paperwork is no more because they have access to the database and they are utilizing it effectively.

“The country is growing even though I need to let people know the efforts of Mr President, the country is developing as par 21st technology innovation and we must just catch up with best practices.

“The best practice is for you to have the database that you can use to fight crime,’’ he said.

(NAN)

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