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Again, FG Warns Ortom, Govs Against Acquiring Arms

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The National Security Council, on Friday, said sub-national governments have no power to acquire arms and ammunition for their various security outfits.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, revealed this to State House correspondents shortly after the NSC meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa.

Irabor, who spoke alongside the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said no state security outfit would be allowed to bear arms without undergoing the proper procedure.

This follows a one-month ultimatum issued by the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, who, on Thursday, threatened to procure AK-47 rifles for the State Volunteer Community Guards if his people endorsed it.

Ortom spoke during the passing-out parade of the second batch of the State Volunteer Community Guards in Makurdi, the state capital.

He lamented that the Federal Government had yet to approve his request to procure automatic assault rifles.

“If there is no reply in the next one month, I will revert to my people to advise on what to do because the Federal Government is complicit on the issue of herders’ attacks on the state,” said Ortom.

In August, the Zamfara State Government revealed plans to procure at least 7,000 guns for operatives of the Community Protection Guards, who will be deployed in rural communities and villages to protect residents from bandits.

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, had earlier faulted the Presidency for allegedly approving weapons for the Katsina State Security Outfit while the Amotekun Corps in his state was denied such opportunity.

But the Presidency has remained firm, saying “no state has approval or authorisation for automatic weapons.’’

“Under the existing regulations, only the Office of the National Security Adviser can issue such authorisation, upon proper clearance by the President and Commander-in-Chief. At this moment, no such approvals have been issued to any state government.

“In the specific Katsina State often cited, the Governor, Aminu Bello Masari wrote to explain that the administration invited the Provost of the Civil Defence Training College in Katsina to train their Vigilantes for five days in the handling and operations of pump action rifles,’ emphasising that ‘’the vigilantes were not trained to take over the responsibilities of the security agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria but to assist them,’” the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, said in a statement in September.

Echoing the government’s stance on Thursday, the CDS said, “you do not ask for what you do not have the power to acquire.”

“No state has been given a licence for that (automatic AK-47 riffles). And the sole responsibility of licensing lies with the federal government agencies. Also, it is to be used by government security agencies and not quasi-security forces. So, you do not ask for what you do not have the power to acquire,” the CDS insisted.

The interior minister, Aregbesola, explained further, “Let’s first debunk the insinuation and false information that state governments have been empowered to arm any of their security outfits.

“There is a procedure for whoever wants to bring in weapons legally. And whoever is authorised by the law of the land to bring in legitimate ammunition, including the army, must go through that process. So, whoever wants to import ammunition or weapons is advised to go through the legitimate process.”

The Council also directed the Offices of the National Security Adviser and Secretary to the Government of the Federation to convene a “strong team” to investigate the rising spate of crude oil theft in the Niger Delta and expose those behind it.

The Punch

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Adeleke Loses As Tribunal Declares Oyetola Winner of Osun Guber Election

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The Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Osogbo has sacked Governor Ademola Adeleke as the duly elected governor of the state.

The tribunal in a split document of two to one declared that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, should withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Adeleke and issue the same to former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola

The majority judgement which was read by the Chairman, Justice Tertse Kume said Oyetola scored the majority lawful votes of 314,931 against Adeleke’s 219,666

Radio Radio Ibadan

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Katsina Youths Boo, Stone Buhari’s Officials During Visit in Protest to Hardship

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, commenced a two-day official visit to his home state of Katsina where he inaugurated some projects executed by the state government.

However, his first day in the state was marked by a protest by youths decrying the hardship in the country.

The youth staged the protest a few minutes after noon, shortly after the President inaugurated the Kofar Kaura Underpass in Katsina.

The protesters caused a commotion at the Kofar Kaura Underpass where they threw stones at the crowd after Buhari left the area.

The boys also set up bonfires along the Yahaya Madaki Way, a few metres from the underpass, while shouting: ‘We don’t need you,’ ‘We no go do,’ in Hausa.

A viral video showed a mass of youths violently denouncing the government as they engaged some policemen on the road.

The development is coming 72 hours after the Presidential standard bearer of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, was stoned by suspected hoodlums at a campaign rally in Katsina.

The thugs reportedly threw stones outside the campaign venue, damaging several vehicles.

“Our candidate had met with women in a town hall and then held a hugely successful rally at the Muhammad Dikko Stadium. However, on his way to the airport, hoodlums attacked the car our candidate was riding in with heavy stones from his driver’s side causing substantial damage to the vehicle,’’ the Head of Media, Obi/Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Diran Onifade, disclosed in a statement.

Buhari had finished the ceremony and left when the youth stormed the underpass and started shouting, ‘Bamuyi,’ ‘Bamuyi’ (We are not interested.)

They also threw stones at the convoy of state government officials departing the project site.

They were subsequently dispersed with tear gas by security personnel.

One of the youth said they were protesting the hardship in the country, adding that they wanted to draw the President’s attention to the situation.

One of the protestants declared,  “ We are suffering; no job; no life…no money…”

But the spokesman for the Katsina police command, Gambo  Isah, said there was no protest.

He noted, ‘’The President was neither booed nor his convoy stoned. I was part of the convoy. The President successfully inaugurated the project. We were at another inauguration when we learnt that hooligans known as kaoraye were fighting one another at Sabwa ungwa area and we went there. We arrested no fewer than 10 of them and an investigation is already going on.”

The Special Adviser to the governor on Security Matters, Ahmad Katsina,  did not respond to inquiries on the youth’s actions.

The Punch

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Festival of Joy Promo: Ibadan Hosts Another Draw

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Globacom, on Thursday, held a draw in Ibadan, Oyo State capital to pick the winner of another 3-Bedroom apartment in the ongoing Glo Festival of Joy promo.

The event was held at Gloworld, Challenge, in the presence of several Glo subscribers who were in the shop to transact business.

Commenting about the exercise, a walk-in customer, Mr. Matthew Aina, who drew the winning number, commended Globacom on transparency of the draw, while Mrs. Taibat Azeez, who also witnessed the emergence of another house winner, said the exercise was fair enough.

The three-bedroom apartment will be presented to the winner, who was informed by Glo officials after the draw at a presentation ceremony scheduled for Friday, January 27, 2023.

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