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EXCHANGE: Katsina govt. swaps 6 bandits in exchange for 20 abducted victims

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Considerate bandits release additional 30 kidnapped victims in Katsina

…As Police arrest man for allegedly robbing, killing own brother in Ekiti***

Six bandits detained by security agencies have been released by the Katsina State Government as part of a peace deal with bandits terrorising eight local government areas in the state. This release was effected, just the police in Ekiti arrested a 24-year-old man, for allegedly robbing and killing his own brother.

The Dandume, Sabuwa, Faskari, Kankara, Safana, Danmusa, Batsari and Jibiya local government areas in the state have come under intense bandits attacks for long.

The situation prompted the state government to initiate dialogue with leaders of the bandits a week ago, during which agreements were reached including the release of some of the bandits held by security agencies.

Gov. Aminu Masari recalled during the handover of the six bandits that for the last one week, he and Security Chiefs had been visiting the LGAs that shared borders with Rugu forests, which served as hideout for the bandits.

Masari explained that part of the agreement was the handover of bandits in detention who had not been prosecuted.

According to him, the bandits would in return, handover to government people they kidnapped and were in their custody.

He said the process started on Monday, with the release of five people, two females and three males, while 20 more will be released before the end of Sept. 10.

He added that many more kidnapped victims would be released as part of the peace deal.

Masari expressed the hope that the process would be completed within the next one or two days, so that government would start the second phase of the peace initiatives which started with his visit to their hideouts.

In Ekiti State however, the police in Ekiti have arrested a 24-year-old man for allegedly killing his own brother.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Amba Asuquo, who announced this in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, said that the suspect also stole a motorcycle belonging to his victim.

Asuquo spoke while parading the alleged killer and 24 other suspects for various criminal offences at the police headquarters.

The commissioner alleged that the suspect, who hailed from Jege in Kogi, killed his brother with  a knife and a long screw driver on Aug. 29.

He said the suspect with three others now at large invaded the victim’s house at Abe Cocoa area, Okeila, and stabbed him to death.

After allegedly killing the victim, the commissioner said the suspect went away with his Bajaj motorbike marked Ekiti ADK 100 UJ.

He said that the knife and long screw driver as well as the motorcycle had been recovered from the suspect.

“They hit him in the stomach and pierced his intestine when his wife and children were not at home,” he said.

Asuquo also alleged that the attackers drove a long screw driver into the deceased’s skull while struggling to rob him of the motorcycle.

READ MORE…Why we took to kidnapping, attack on communities in Zamfara – Repentant bandits

Also recounting to newsmen how his brother was killed, the suspect,  who decribed his brother as stingy, said he only hired his friends to help him collect money from the victim.

“I did not really follow them inside the room, but upon realising that my brother had been stabbed and was shouting, I then rushed in and wanted to rescue him but he bit me and chopped off my finger.

“The guys later came to my house to attack me. They wanted to sell the motorcycle, I resisted it. I was thinking of coming to the police to report when I was arrested with the motorcycle,” he said.

The command also paraded a 20- year-old, who with five other suspected armed robbers, invaded some hostels at Iworoko Ekiti on Aug. 25 and in the process injured one Bello Ayodele Habeeb.

The suspect and other members of his gang were said to be dressed in army camouflage during the robbery operation.

The command had set up a unit of “Operation Puff Adder” and had reorganised its Special Anti Robbery Squad as part of efforts to make the state safe for all.

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Onslaught: Troops Eliminate 105 Terrorists, Arrest 140 Others In 1 Week – DHQ

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Exercise Enduring Peace recording successes in FCT – Army

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria operating in different theatres of operation eliminated 105 terrorists and apprehended 140 others in the last one week.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba said this at a bi-weekly news briefing on the operations of the armed forces on Thursday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops also arrested 26 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 86 kidnapped hostages in the South-South region.

He added that the troops recovered 208 assorted weapons and 5,332 assorted ammunition comprising 95 AK47 rifles, one assault rifle, 39 locally fabricated guns, 34 Dane guns, 14 pump action guns, among others.

In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised seven terrorists and arrested four terrorists as well as recovered 20 AK47 rifles, two fabricated guns and 12 dane guns.

He added that 353 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 209 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 34 live cartridges, 62 mobile phones and the sum of N100,000, among others, were also recovered.

According to him, 224 ISWAP/JAS terrorists fighters and their families comprising 23 adult males, 126 adult females and 87 children surrendered to troops in the Bama and Konduga areas of Borno within the week.

Army raid kidnappers, rescue C/River commissioner; Police neutralise 3 suspected gunmen, recover 50 arms

In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirl Stroke neutralised 35 insurgents, arrested 65 violent extremists and 15 rescued kidnapped hostages.

He added that troops also recovered various caches of arms and ammunition within different theatres of operation.

In the North Central, the defence spokesman said the troops of Operations Hadarin Daji and Whirl Punch, neutralised 57 insurgents, arrested five and rescued 66 kidnapped hostages during the week.

In the South-South, Buba said the troops of Operation Delta Safe destroyed 18 illegal refining sites and recovered 657,300 litres of stolen crude oil, 23,750 litres of illegally refined AGO and 1,050 litres of DPK.

He added that the troops discovered and destroyed nine dugout pits, 19 boats and 21 storage tanks, 35 cooking ovens, nine vehicles, nine mobile phones, and three pump machines.

According to him, troops rescued three kidnapped hostages and apprehended 50 people suspected of oil theft and other violent extremists/insurgents as well as recovered 20 weapons and 243 ammunition, amongst other items.

In the South East, Buba said the troops of Operation UDO KA neutralised six insurgents, arrested five and recovered various types of arms and ammunition.

“All recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authorities for further action,” he said.

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Food Prices: Tinubu Directs Immediate Release Of Grains, To Foreclose Crisis

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A little respite in the nation’s food crisis is expected as President Bola Tinubu has directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to release about 42,000 metric tonnes of grain including maize, millet, and garri. The gesture is to douse hunger and prevent looming protests.

Some Nigerians however told the Maritime First that the directive was a lot coming late; and the metric tonnes being expected, too little, for over a hundred million people. Some cynics bluntly blame the President for his inability to tame insurgency and terrorism, which apriori, prevented the farmers from going to work.

ALSO READ:… Nigerians Now Eat Junks as High Food Prices Put Balanced Diet Out Of Reach- Survey

Some states have begun dress rehearsal for the real crisis protests, over galloping food prices. A bag of rice which sold for N62,000 Tuesday, last week in Bodija Market in Ibadan, emerged N69,000 Wednesday morning. less than 24 hours later, throwing calculation to the winds.

The Maritime First can freely indicate that widows, single mothers, and those from polygamous-induced large families are presently, not finding it too easy to cope.

In the meantime,, the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria has also committed to immediately release over 60,000 metric tonnes of rice to the public. The body however failed to indicate why they waited till the Presidential directive, before making their commitment.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this after the meeting of the Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention on Thursday in Abuja.

The Minister also failed to indicate measures to be adopted, to ensure that middlemen do not hijack and mess up Tinubu’s honest effort.

He said that these were immediate measures taken by the Federal Government to reduce the hardships faced by Nigerians who are made to bear the brunt of high prices of food in the market.

“These will be made available and we know that that is enough to take Nigeria in the next couple of weeks. One month, six weeks, perhaps up to two months.

“Now the whole idea of this is to crush the cost of these food items. And these are measures that will happen immediately.

“Now, the third item is that government is also looking at the possibility of, if it becomes absolutely necessary and as an interim measure, to also import some of these commodities immediately so that these commodities can be made available to Nigerians,” he said.

Idris also said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security would further invest massively in the farming process to boost production and ensure the country’s food potential is fully exploited.

He said that government would appeal to persons or groups to stop hoarding these products in order to maximise profit at the detriment of ordinary Nigerians.

“Government of course is also looking at all those who are hoarding these commodities because actually, these commodities are available in the stores of many traders.

“Government is appealing to them that they should open up these doors and make these commodities available in the interest of our nation.

“There is no point when the whole country is looking for this food you are locking up these products where you make more money and then Nigerians suffer. Of course, the government will not fold its arms.

“If they don’t respond by bringing these commodities to the market, the government will take appropriate measures to ensure that these products are made available to Nigerians.”

The Minister said that the government would also take measures to ensure that food continues to be accessible and affordable to Nigerians.

“We ask that Nigerians need to be more patriotic; be our brother’s keepers. Sell this thing, of course at a margin but at a margin that is not also killing to Nigerians.

“This is an emergency. Every nation faces emergency situations. This is our own time to face these challenges.

“The President has directed that whatever it will take, food will be available to Nigerians at a cost that is also very reasonable,” he said.

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President Tinubu Returns After Private Visit To France

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President Bola Tinubu has returned to the country after a two-week private visit to France.

The President arrived in Abuja aboard the presidential flight at about 9:0 pm on Tuesday.

He was received by top government officials led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume.

The president left Abuja on Jan. 24 for his first break since assumption of office on May 29, 2023

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