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14 IDPs killed, 1,250 shelters destroyed by fire in Borno

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14 IDPs killed, 1,250 shelters destroyed by fire in Borno

…As Troops recover 14 AK47 rifles, 10,000 ammunition from Zamfara bandits***

No fewer than 14 persons were burnt to death with 1,250 shelters destroyed in a fire outbreak in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Ngala Local Government Area of Borno State.

Rep. Zainab Gimba, representing Bama/Ngala/Kalabalge constituency in Borno, made this disclosure in an interview with the newsmen in Maiduguri on Thursday.

Gimba said that 15 persons sustained various degrees of injuries, while property including foodstuffs were destroyed by the Thursday inferno.

She said that dozens of households in the camps were displaced during the fire outbreak which gutted almost half of the shelters at the camp.

The lawmaker said that the incident had further compounded the plight of the IDPs.

“I wish to sincerely sympathize with the victims of today’s fire disaster..

“I am deeply shocked and touched. For those that lost their loved ones, please accept my heartfelt condolences, for those that sustained injuries, I wish them quick recovery.

“I am also mindful of the fact that the next few weeks will be difficult because it is not easy to be an IDP and homeless at the same time, but very soon Insha Allah, I will send relief materials to cushion the hardships,” she said.

Gimba appealed to the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC), State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), NEMA, and UN Humanitarian organisation to come to the aid of the displaced victims.

When contacted, Hajiya Yabawa Kolo, Chairperson of SEMA, described the incident as “unfortunate” noting that it came at a time when the state was faced with another humanitarian challenge of preventing COVID-19.

Also read:   Fire razes 700 shelters in Borno IDPs camp

Kolo said that a team of the agency would conduct on the spot assessment to ascertain level of damages incurred as a result of the fire incident with a view to providing immediate humanitarian support to the affected victims.

She said that the agency would adopt proactive modalities to prevent future recurrence of the incident.

NAN recalled that a similar incident occurred in less than 24 hours when fire destroyed 700 shelters and rendered thousands of IDPs homeless at a camp in Mafa local government area in the state.

In the meantime, the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has called for full-scale investigations into the fire outbreaks that affected parts of the Accountant-General of the Federation’s office and the headquarters of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Abuja.

The NYCN, in a statement signed on Thursday by its President, Mr Solomon Adodo, said the incidents were regrettable, especially at a time the country was battling with the novel Coronavirus pandemic threatening human existence.

Adodo sympathised with the Federal Government over the unfortunate incidents, but noted that thorough investigations were needed to unravel the causes of the fire outbreaks.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that fire recently broke out at the Treasury House, the building housing the AGF’s office in Abuja.

NAN also reports that exactly one week after, another fire outbreak was reported at the headquarters of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), a situation that made many to be suspicious of the coincidence.

However, the NYCN urged Nigerians to be calm and give government the benefit of unraveling the causes of the incidents, even though the AGF had assured that the inferno did not destroy any record.

“We urge the government to do a full-scale investigation, using the right professionals and security agencies to determine exactly what led to the fire incidences.

“If it is a case of sabotage, those guilty should be made to bear the consequences of their dastardly acts, as the fire that gutted particularly the AGF’s office had raised concern in many quarters.

“Some have alleged that funds donated for management of COVID-19 pandemic had been diverted and that the building was set ablaze to destroy documents and records of the social intervention transactions during this period.

“Thankfully, the AGF has come out clearly to say that all the financial documents are intact,” the statement quoted Adodo as saying.

He urged the Federal Government to remain committed to addressing the challenges posed by COVID-19 and ensure that all donations made towards the containment of the pandemic were judiciously and transparently applied.

“We hereby call on the Federal Government to ensure judicious and transparent utilisation of all the donations.

“We also urge government to ensure that the social intervention efforts get to the citizens who truly deserve assistance, particularly the youth, who have been deprived of eking out a living owing to the lockdown,” the statement added.

In the meantime, Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has received 14 AK47 rifles and 10,000 live ammunition recovered from bandits by troops of  Operation Hadarin Daji (OPHD).

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Brig.-Gen. Aminu Bande, Commander of the OPHD handed the firearms to the governor at the Operation’s headquarters in Gusau.

Bande, who is also the Commanding Officer, 8 Division Sokoto, informed Matawalle that the troops had made life very unbearable to the bandits both in the bushes and along their escape routes.

“This is why many of the unrepentant bandits are lobbying to come and surrender themselves under the state government peace initiative in order to escape the troops’ superior fire power.

“We will continue to engage these criminals until the whole state and its environs are completely secured,” Bande said.

The commander also informed the governor that one General Purpose Machine Gun, three Fabrique Nationale rifles and one AK-47 rifle were surrendered to the troops by some repentant bandits.

The commander attributed the successes to the cooperation given to the troops by the people of the state, especially in divulging credible information that led to breaking up the ranks of the criminals.

Gov. Matawalle lauded efforts of the officers and men of the operation and announced a donation of 190 motorcycles to ease movement of the troops in hard to reach areas where the criminals take refuge.

He said that the state government would soon release additional 200 vehicles to security outfits in the state to facilitate their operations and rid the state of criminal elements.

NAN reports that criminal activities including banditry, cattle rustling and kidnappings had resurfaced in the state after an initial lull.

The situation provoked aggressive pursuit of the criminals by troops, forcing them to either surrender or leave the state.

 

Accidents

Overspeeding Claims 7 Lives In Ibadan- Iseyin Road Crash- FRSC

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Overspeeding Claims 7 Lives In Ibadan- Iseyin Road Crash- FRSC

…As 15 people sustain varying degrees of injuries

Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has confirmed the death of seven persons in a road accident that occurred on Ibadan-Iseyin road on Thursday.

The Public Relations Officer, FRSC, Oyo Sector Command, Mr Mayowa Odewo, said in a statement that the deceased were five male adults, one female adult and one female child.

Odewo said that 15 people also sustained varying degrees of injuries out of the 22 people involved in the crash.

He attributed the accident, involving a Nissan Urvan commercial bus, with registration number: SEY 254 ZY and a Mazda commercial bus, with registration number LGB 343 XA, to speed violations and fatigue.

Odewo stated that the 13 injured victims, including three male adults, nine female adults and one female child, had been taken to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

He said that four of the seven corpses of the victims had been claimed by their families, while the remaining three had been deposited at a morgue.

“The police from Motor Traffic Division (MTD) Police Division, Moniya, Ibadan, have taken possession of the two crashed vehicles, including bags and other valuables recovered from the scene,” he said.

The FRSC spokesperson noted that no victim was saved by the seat belt or other defensive gadgets.

He urged motorists to always obey traffic rules and regulations as well as adhere to all traffic cautions on the road to prevent avoidable crashes. 

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Accidents

Man Dies After Falling Off Cruise Ship in Australia

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Man Dies After Falling Off Cruise Ship in Australia

Australian police had found a man’s body off Sydney’s coast while searching for a cruise ship passenger who went overboard on Monday.
The man fell overboard before dawn near Sydney Heads, about 18 kilometers from the shore, with police and other emergency services launching a search, New South Wales police said.

At about 10.30 a.m. (0030 GMT), officers located the body and retrieved it, police said.

Police would now prepare a report for the Coroner and have launched an investigation into how the incident unfolded.

P&O Cruises’ ship Pacific Adventure was due to arrive in Sydney Harbour on Monday.

“We thank guests for their care, understanding, and patience on what’s been a distressing day for guests and crew,’’
a statement from the company said, as quoted by local media.

“Our thoughts are with the family of the guest at this difficult time.’’

The ship was returning to Sydney from a three-day trip to Queensland’s Morton Island.

– dpa

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Accidents

4 Dead, 70 Vehicles Burnt In Fuel Tanker Explosion In Rivers – Police

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4 Dead, 70 Vehicles Burnt In Fuel Tanker Explosion In Rivers – Police

…Gov. Fubara visits accident scene, describes it as tragic and sad

The Police Command in Rivers says four people and over 70 vehicles were burnt in Friday’s fuel tanker explosion in the state.

The explosion occurred along Eleme section of the East-West Road in the state at about 7:30 p.m.

SP Grace Iringe-Koko, spokesman of the command, told the newsmen in Port Harcourt on Saturday that the tragedy occurred following a collision between a heavy-duty truck and a petrol-laden tanker.

A correspondent who visited the accident scene reports that there were severely burnt vehicles and charred bodies of victims on the road.

The incident happened a few meters from the Indorama Petrochemical Company and roughly 10 kilometres from the Port Harcourt Refinery.

There was an extensive gridlock stretching over five kilometres on the road under reconstruction as part of the N200 billion Ring Road project by the Rivers Government.

State government trucks, accompanied by police and Federal Road  Safety Commission officials, were seen evacuating the burnt vehicles to facilitate traffic flow.

An eyewitness, Onyeka Ubani, who narrowly escaped the explosion, stated that while transporting passengers on his newly acquired tricycle (Keke), they heard a deafening sound ahead of them.

“The loud sound was followed by a massive fireball, causing everyone to flee for safety.

“We managed to escape, but unfortunately, my Keke caught fire in the process.

“I thank God for my life, but I am at a loss about what to do with my life now, having recently purchased this Keke,” a distraught Ubani said.

Another eyewitness, David Jumbo, said that he was returning home from work around the Akpajo axis of the East-west Road when the incident occurred.

He narrated that after the explosion, vehicles and victims were caught by fire which stretched over 200 metres.

“It happened so quickly that it could be likened to scenes from Hollywood movies.

“While I was fleeing for safety, I saw a pregnant woman struggling to exit one of the commercial vehicles.

“Unfortunately, when I returned this morning, I found the deceased pregnant woman trapped in the bus as she tried to escape,” he recounted.

Jumbo attributed the accident to the recklessness of truck drivers who disregarded road warnings despite the ongoing road construction.

Gov. Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers, who visited the accident scene, described it as tragic and sad.

He urged motorists to always exercise caution while on the road.

“This incident is not a pleasant one, we recorded a huge number of vehicles destroyed and lives lost.

“I have already asked the relevant agencies to brief us on how we can support the bereaved families to mitigate their losses.

“This incident would have been avoided if the motorists had adhered to proper conduct. People should ply this road with caution,” Fubara said. 

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