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Zamfara Gov Accuses FG of Holding Meetings with Bandits, Says He Has Evidence

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Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State has said his administration has enough facts to show that some officials of the Federal Government met secretly with bandits in the state.

On Monday, Lawal had claimed that some agencies of the Bola Tinubu-led government had entered a secret dialogue with the bandits after he ruled out the option of negotiating with criminals.

In a statement by his spokesperson, Sulaiman Bala Idris, the governor said some government agencies engaged in negotiations with bandits without the knowledge of the state government and other security agencies.

Lawal, therefore, called for an urgent and comprehensive investigation by the Tinubu government into the secretive negotiations held with bandits in the state by the agencies.

In a swift reaction to the allegation, the Federal Government claimed that there was no truth in the claim that some of its agencies held a secret negotiation with bandits in Zamfara.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, however, accused the Zamfara government of politicising security in the state.

Responding to the minister, the Zamfara governor said he had evidence to expose some Federal Government agents involved in the negotiations with bandits.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Lawal stated that the Minister of Information should have conducted a thorough investigation before discrediting his government.

The governor, therefore, urged the federal government to take a firm stance against such activities and investigate the motives of those who engage in negotiating with the criminals.

The statement read in parts: “We sought clarification from the Federal Government regarding the sneaky negotiations with bandits carried out by some of its agents without recourse to the State Government and heads of Security agencies in the State.

“We have facts and evidence on what had transpired between these agents of the Federal Government and the bandits during the negotiations in several places across Zamfara.

“It is disappointing that the information minister discredited our claim without verifying it first. What is expected of him as a professional is to collaborate with relevant authorities to substantiate the claim’s authenticity.

“Zamfara State Government respects protocol and established authority. We would not come out in the media to start exposing the names of the Federal Government agents involved in the covert dialogue with bandits.

“We want to clarify that those individuals leading secret negotiations with bandits in Zamfara are politicising insecurity, not the State Government.

“The Information Minister’s statement claiming that there were no negotiations between government officials and bandits in Zamfara requires further clarification. We have already exposed a few locations where such talks were held with bandits, such as Birnin Magaji, Maradun, Mun Haye, Ajah, Bawo, and Bagege.

“Negotiating with bandits in Zamfara is a grave mistake we cannot afford to make. It is not the solution to the problem and only encourages and emboldens the criminals.

“We urge the Federal Government to take a firm stance against such activities and investigate the motives of those who engage in them.”

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HoS Suspends Perm Sec over Sexual Harassment Allegation, Orders Probe

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The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa, has been suspended by the Office of the Head of Service over sexual harassment allegation.

The Head of Service, Folashade Yemi-Esan, said the permanent secretary would be on suspension pending the outcome of a probe into the allegation against him.

“The permanent secretary has been suspended pending the outcome of the probe by the committee set up, “ a senior director in the OHCSF told our correspondent in Abuja.

It was learnt that following a petition submitted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, against Lamuwa, the HoS constituted a committee to look into the matter.

The complainant in the petition submitted by Tuggar was one Simisola Ajayi, who accused Lamuwa of serial sexual harassment.

Ajayi, in the petition filed by her lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), outlined alleged instances of harassment.

In a letter addressed to the Head of Service on May 27, 2024, Tuggar expressed his concern over the serious nature of the allegations involving the permanent secretary.

“I am compelled to write to inform you of a formal complaint against the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa, on allegations of sexual harassment.

“Bearing in mind the gravity of the matter, I feel it necessary to draw your attention to it and ask that you handle it accordingly,” the minister stated in the letter.

An official familiar with the case told our correspondent on Wednesday that following the receipt of Tuggar’s letter on the allegation against Lamuwa, the HoS had set up a probe panel.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter, said, “Yes, the Head of Service has set up a committee to probe the whole matter. There are pieces of evidence, which will be tabled and witnesses who will also be invited to speak on the matter,  so it is not a matter that will be swept under the carpet.

“The minister (Tuggar) is also very much interested in the outcome. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a special ministry that operates even outside the shores of the country, so you can’t expect that an issue of such gravity will be swept under the carpet.”

Ajayi had, in a petition dated May 29, 2024 and addressed to Tuggar, accused the permanent secretary of serial sexual harassment.

The petition, signed by Adebayo A. Oniyelu LP of Falana & Falana’s, was titled “Request For An Investigation Of Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa’s Conducts Of Sexual Harassment At The Place Of Work, Abuse Of Office, Official Intimidation And Discrimination.”

According to the petition, Ajayi narrated multiple instances of harassment allegedly by Lamuwa, which had created an unsafe and uncomfortable working environment.

She claimed for instance that during a policy retreat on October 7, 2023, Lamuwa allegedly made inappropriate advances towards her, suggesting she joined him in his hotel room.

He reportedly continued with inappropriate remarks throughout the retreat.

She also cited an incident on November 10, 2023, where Lamuwa allegedly invited Ajayi to travel to Hong Kong, promising significant personal benefits from the trip.

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DSS Warns Against Protests to Undermine Public Safety, National Security

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The Department of Security Services (DSS) has issued an alert, warning the public about a planned physical protests across the country.

A statement signed by the Service’s Director, PR & Strategic Communications, Mr. Peter Afunanya, also noted that though citizens have a right to protest, it should not be to undermine public safety and national security.

Read the statement in full:

The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to plans by certain individuals and groups to stage physical protests in some parts of the country on 12th June, 2024. The protests are designed with sinister objectives to coincide with the Democracy Day Celebration. While citizens may have the rights of assembly and expression, such freedoms should not be used to undermine public safety and national security.

The determination by some non-state actors to incite mass disaffection through demonstrations that may turn violent will not be tolerated. However, it is instructive to note that violent demonstrations are at variance with the peaceful disposition of the Federal Government to amicably address all contentions including the minimum wage. Citizens are, therefore, called upon to resist any persuasions to be lawless or cause disorder and anarchy in the nation. Displeased persons are rather encouraged to appropriately channel their grievances through the right channels and procedures.

Consequently, the DSS reaffirms its unequivocal position to protect the country from inimical acts being orchestrated by disgruntled groups to cause a breakdown of law and order. It will also sustain collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including sister security agencies, to maintain the peace as well as protect lives and property across the nation. Law abiding citizens are enjoined to go about their businesses without fear.

The Service, while felicitating the government and citizens on this auspicious occasion of celebrating 25 years of unbroken democracy, calls for continued patriotism, unity and commitment in building a Nigeria of our collective dream. Meanwhile, the DSS website, dss.gov.ng; email address- dsspr@dss.gov.ng and Telephone lines +2349153391309;+2349088373514 remain open to the public in the event that there is need to contact it.

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Osun Primary Healthcare: Committee Completes First Phase, Hails Gov Adeleke

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The Osun Primary Healthcare Renovation Committee on Monday rounded off the first phase of its constant facilities inspection and project monitoring to different primary healthcare centres in the state in the ongoing rehabilitation and upgrades of 345 primary healthcare centres in the state under the administration of Governor Ademola Adeleke.

The project monitoring team, according to a statement by the Governor’s aide, Oluniyi Isamotu, were at Atile Primary Healthcare Centre and Odeyinka Model Primary Healthcare centre (Irewole LG), and equally Edun-Abon Primary Healthcare centre (Ife North).

The project coordinator and Special Adviser on Public Health to the Governor, Dr Akindele Adekunle appreciate the efforts of the project committee for trying their best in fulfilling the mandates and desire of the Governor on the upgrade of the facilities and also admonishing the health workers to imbibe maintenance culture in order to sustain the success achieved on the upgraded facilities.

He further charged the project engineers on site not to relent on the level of progress recorded so far on the project as another phase of the project takes effect immediately.

Onbehalf of the project committee, Dr Akindele Adekunle assured they will continue their relentless effort in ensuring they deliver on the mandate of the Governor Ademola Adeleke led administration in the state in providing quality basic healthcare service for the people of Osun State.

The Chairman Primary Healthcare Board, Alhaji Tajudeen Adisa and the Special Adviser on Primary Health, Dr Michael Oyerinde were among government officials in the inspection team while Egnr Kunle Adeboyejo (Ministry of Works and Infrastructure) and Dr Akintayo (Deputy Director, Medical Services OSPHB) were part of other career and technical officers of the project committee that joined the project committee on facilities inspection today.

Some of the facilities rehabilitated and upgraded so far includes, Owode-Ede PHC (EDE-SOUTH), OJA-TIMI(EDE-SOUTH), LOOGUN-EGBEDA PHC(EDE-NORTH), SEKONA PHC(EDE-NORTH), IPERINDO PHC (ATAKUMOSA), IWARA PHC(ATAKUMOSA), OKE-ELU PHC, GBONGAN (AYEDAADE LGA), TOTAL PHC (ISOKAN LG), TELEMU PHC (OLA-OLUWA), OGBAAGBA PHC (OLA-OLUWA), ORA PHC IFEDAYO LGA), ERIPA PHC (BOLUWADURO LGA), OLONDE PHC (IFELODUN LGA), ANWO PHC (IREPODUN LGA), OLUFON PHC (OROLU LGA), ISALE-AGBARA PHC (OSOGBO), ATIBA PHC (OSOGBO), BIIRO PHC (OLORUNDA LGA), AKEDE-IYALOJA PHC (OSOGBO LGA) IKOYI PHC (ISOKAN LGA).

Others are; ATILE PHC (IREWOLE), ODEYINKA MPHC (IREWOLE), FEESU PHC (IWO LG), OGBURO MPHC (IWO LG), POPO PHC (EJIGBO LGA), ISALE-OBA, KUTA (AIYEDIRE LGA), IWOYE PHC (EGBEDORE LGA), IKOTUN PHC (EGBEDORE LGA), EYINGBO PHC (IREPODUN LGA), IBA PHC (IFELODUN LGA), ASHI/ASABA PHC (ODO-OTIN LG), OKUKU PHC (ODO-OTIN LG), ADEKUNLE PHC (ILA LGA), ALAGBEDE PHC (IFEDAYO LGA), ORORUWO PHC (BORIPE LGA), ADEOWO PHC, MODAKEKE (IFE EAST), YEKEMI PHC (IFE EAST), OKE-OJA PHC, OSU (ATAKUMOSA WEST), ESA-OKE PHC (OBOKUN LG), IBOKUN PHC (OBOKUN LG), IPETU-IJESHA PHC (ORIADE LGA), OBALENDE PHC (ORIADE LGA), IMO PHC (ILESA EAST), IJAMO PHC (ILESA EAST), OKE-IYIN PHC (ILESA WEST), EREJA PHC (ILESA WEST), EDUNABON PHC (IFE NORTH), ONIGBODOGI PHC (IFE-SOUTH LG), ENUWA PHC (IFE CENTRAL LG), ABAGBOORO PHC (IFE CENTRAL) while several others are still ongoing.

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