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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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Presidential Candidate: PDP PCC Accuses Wike of Frustration, Lack of Integrity

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The Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Council in Rivers State has taken a swipe at the state governor, Nyesom Wike, over the cancellation of the approval granted for the party’s presidential campaign in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

The spokesman for the PDP PCC in the state, Dr Leloonu Nwibubasa, who stated this in an interview with The PUNCH, also said the governor lacked integrity for not naming his preferred presidential candidate in January as he promised.

Nwibubasa said from all indications, the governor was increasingly frustrated.

On Wednesday, the state government cancelled the approval given to the PDP for the rally of its standard bearer to hold in the state on February 11, 2023.

The cancellation was contained in a letter signed by the state Commissioner for Sports, Christopher Green, and addressed to the Director General, PDP PCC, Aminu Tambuwal.

The letter said credible information available to the state government showed that the PDP PCC was working in collaboration with a faction of the All Progressives Congress in the state led by Tonye Cole.

It added that information at the government’s disposal show that activities of the APC in the state have always been marred by violence due largely to irreconcilable internal conflicts within the party.

It added, “The Rivers State Government is unable to risk damage to or destruction of the very valuable and priced asset, the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, which your use of the same in collaboration with your Tonye Patrick Cole APC faction will expose it to.

“In the circumstance, the Rivers State Government has come to the painful but inevitable decision to withdraw the approval earlier given to you for the use of the stadium and the said approval is hereby withdrawn.”

Nwibubasa, while confirming the development, described the state government’s earlier approval as a Greek gift.

Berating Wike, Nwibubasa further said the governor was not a good fighter, because a good fighter knows when to quit.

Nwibubasa stated, “We are not surprised when certain decisions are taken because it all amounts to the fact that the level of frustration is increasing.

“We will only appeal to him that he should return to his party and return to the part of peace. And that is part of honour. No one fights a war and refuses to evaluate the same war, and knows when to call it quits. He is not a good fighter.

“For the presidential candidate of the PDP, we are very certain that Rivers people are happy with him. They are in love with him and they are going to vote for him en masse come February 25, 2023.”

Asked what he thinks about Wike’s inability to name his preferred presidential candidate as he had promised, he said it shows the governor has no integrity.

“His inability to name his preferred candidate as publicly announced in January, again is a pointer to his level of instability and incoherence.”

“It tells of his integrity that he cannot match his words with action. So, for us, it is painful that we have a governor who says one thing and does the other.

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Just In: Fifth Columnists in the Presidency Working Against Tinubu, Says El-Rufai

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By Michael Effiong

Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has revealed that there are some fifth columnists in the presidency who want the All Progressives Congress ( APC) to lose the 2023 Presidential election.

Speaking on Channels TV flagship programme, Sunrise Daily, Governor El-Rufai affirmed that there was serious division in the APC Presidential Campaign Council.

He stated that some people in the Presidency because Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was not their preferred candidate are working against his interest.

He noted that the Naira redesign was not an APC problem but a Presidency problem, urging Nigerians to ignore their current situation and still vote for Tinubu as a person.

On the fuel crisis, he said fuel subsidy had been a problem for many years and that it was President Buhari and not APC that has insisted on the subsidy which is costing the nation a whopping six Trillion Naira.

He revealed that as far back as 2016, Buhari had been advised to remove subsidy but he had bluntly refused.

Governor El Rufai used the opportunity to hail his tenure in Kaduna State, noting that his government has attracted over $4billion worth of investments to the state.

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Atiku Vows to Construct Funtua-Gusau-Sokoto Road, Reiterates End to Banditry

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the February 25 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, has pledged to reconstruct the Funtua-Gusau-Sokoto road, if elected. He also promised to float empowerment programmes that will combat poverty among the citizens.

Atiku made the pledges on Tuesday in Sokoto while addressing a crowd of supporters at his presidential campaign rally.

The PDP presidential candidate also pledged to end the security challenges bedevilling the nation, ensure stability for profitable farming, grazing as well as reopen the nation’s borders to bolster business activities.

He urged citizens to support PDP candidates at all levels at the forthcoming elections, vowing that a PDP-led administration would curb social, economic and infrastructural decay in the country.

Mr Atiku had inaugurated a remodelled presidential lodge and the Dandima flyover bridge constructed by the Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s administration.

The PDP presidential flag bearer also paid homage on the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad III, after an interactive session with community and traditional rulers in the state.

Earlier, the PDP National Chairman, Dr Ayochia Ayu, presented the party’s flag to PDP governorship candidate in the State, Sa’idu Umar and received scores of defectors from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mr Ayu described the Sokoto rally as home coming and enjoined party loyalists to use their PVCs to change the national government as well as sustain the achievements of Tambuwal.

Leader of the defectors, Amb. Faruku Yabo, said the PDP-led administration in the state had the people’s interests at heart, and it was capable of surmounting the national challenges.

The event witnessed presentations from various party chieftains on the ways to address the challenges being faced by the citizens.

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