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Bandits Burn Reverend Father to Death in Niger

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Terrorists on Sunday swooped on a church in the Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State, abducting five worshippers.

The terrorists also shot and injured the church pastor, who was not abducted along with the worshippers.

The spokesman for the Katsina State Police Command, SP Gambo Isah, confirmed the incident.

He identified the abducted worshippers, who were all females, as Rabi Isiaku,15; Rabi Saidu,36; Rabi Baba,49; Nooseba Shuaibu,13; and Saratu Hadi, 27.

The police spokesman also identified the injured cleric as Pastor Haruna.

The worshippers and the pastor arrived at the church, ‘New Life for All,’ in Jan Tsauri, Gidan Haruna, Kankara LGA, around 7am.

They were just settling down for service when the terrorists swooped on them.

Isah said, ‘’The terrorists stormed the church in large numbers at 7am and abducted five worshippers, who were all women. They shot and wounded the pastor, identified as Pastor Haruna.  They did not go away with him, but they abducted the women.”

Reports from the community said all was calm while many residents stayed indoors throughout Sunday after the incident, while nothing had been heard from the terrorists.

In a related development, suspected bandits on Sunday burnt a reverend father to death in Kafin Koro community in the Paikoro LGA of Niger State.

The bandits were said to have invaded the community around 1am and shot sporadically while heading for the uphill residence of the priest, Isaac Achi, of SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Kaffi Koro.

A resident, who identified himself only as Paul for security reasons, said the bandits divided themselves into two.

According to him, while some went to the Catholic priest’s official residence, others stayed in the town, shooting to stop any form of interference.

Paul stated that when the bandits couldn’t access the late Achi’s residence, they set the building ablaze and waited until it was burnt to ashes with him in it.

The Divisional Police Officer was said to have been called, but help did not get to Achi until he died.

The Niger State Police Public Relations Officer, Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed the incident in a statement to our correspondent in Minna, the state capital.

He said, “The bandits reportedly attempted to gain entrance into the residence, but it seemed difficult and they set the house ablaze, while the said reverend father was burnt dead.

“A colleague of the reverend father identified as Father Collins was equally shot in the shoulder while trying to escape from the scene.

“The lifeless body of Father Isaac was recovered while Father Collins was rushed to the hospital for treatment.”

The Christian Association of Nigeria, in a statement by the Chairman, Most Rev Bulus Yohanna, condemned the killing of the priest.

The CAN chairman called on the government, the police and other security agencies to double their efforts in tackling banditry and insecurity.

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Gunmen Abduct Channels TV Reporter in Rivers, Demand N30m

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Gunmen have kidnapped a journalist and reporter with Channels Television, Mr Joshua Rogers, at his residence in Rumuosi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Thursday night.

Rogers, who covers the Rivers State Government House for his organisation, was reportedly trailed after he closed from work to his residence.

The miscreants accosted him before he alighted from his car, pointed a gun at him and whisked him along with his vehicle off to an unknown destination at about 9 pm.

A source who said he doesn’t want his name mentioned said the reporter had earlier covered an event in Ndoni in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of the state where Governor Siminalayi Fubara, inaugurated a Primary Healthcare Centre.

The facility was built and donated to the state by the PAMO Educational Foundation, founded by former Rivers governor, Dr Peter Odili, on Thursday.

The source said, “Yes, he was kidnapped last night at his residence in Rumuosi and taken away in his car by some unknown gunmen.

“We are appealing to the kidnappers to release him immediately and unhurt. He is just a journalist doing his job and not a moneybags. So I don’t know the purpose of his kidnap.”

It was also gathered that the hoodlums had contacted his wife and demanded N30m as ransom before releasing him.

Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, for confirmation, were unsuccessful as she did not pick up several calls put across to her by The Punch.

Iringe-Koko has also yet to reply to a text message sent to her as of publication on Friday morning.

The Punch

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Bobrisky Goes to Jail! Sentenced to Six months Term, with No Fine Option

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Cross-dresser, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye popularly known as Bobrisky, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment without any option fine for abusing the Nigeria currency – naira. 

Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in her sentence, said the judgment will serve as a deterrent to others who are fond of abusing and mutilating the naira.

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Odili Endorses Fubara As Rivers Political Leader

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A former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, has endorsed Governor Siminalayi Fubara as the political leader of the State, praising him for defending the interests of the people.

Odili, who served between 1999 and 2007, stated that Fubara, having secured his electoral victory both through the ballot and the courts, is now the political leader of the State.

Odili spoke on Thursday at the unveiling of a Primary Healthcare Centre donated by his PAMO Foundation in Ndoni, his hometown in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area.

He emphasised the strategic importance of Rivers State, warning that if it sneezes, the entire nation catches cold. He urged Governor Fubara to act with this awareness in all his decisions.

Assessing Fubara’s performance in the last 10 months in office, Odili commended him for making significant strides in critical sectors within his first year in office, particularly focusing on the well-being of the people.

He noted that Fubara’s administration is in alignment with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda, especially in the health sector, following the recent launch of the Primary Healthcare Fellows scheme by the Federal Government.

Odili encouraged the governor to maintain this alignment with the President and his policies to attract Federal government attention and support to the State.

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