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FCTA demolishes 2,400 “Ruga” settlements on airport corridor

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FCTA demolishes 2,400 “Ruga” settlements on airport corridor

…As Ogun police parade 6 suspected robbers operating in army uniform***

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Tuesday, began the demolition of 2,400 shanties in the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) settlements located at Kukwuaba- Wuye District along the corridor leading to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Over 1,000 shacks were removed during the exercise carried out under heavy security presence by FCTA Department of Development Control.

Director of the Department, Malam Muktar Galadima, said the exercise was to checkmate security challenges posed by the threat of Boko Haram and kidnapping and bring orderliness and sanitation to the nation’s capital city.

Galadima explained that apart from security threats to Abuja, the shanties were becoming a serious environmental hazard within the railway corridors and it must not be allowed to continue.

He promised that the exercise would be sustained with weekly monitoring to ensure that occupants of the affected shanties do not reassemble.

According to him, the illegal squatters are notorious of defying the laws, and disregarding government orders.

” This is in continuation of implementation of the FCT mandate of the Next Level by ensuring that we checkmate the issue of security challenges as well as bringing orderliness and sanitation to the nation’s capital city environment.

” So far, we have cleared over 1000 shanties (temporary structures made of batchers and sacks. The work is ongoing, so we will continue till the end.

” We had series of consultation with them, because in the spirit of the current administration, we don’t just move in, we do some engagement and consultations.

” So that the people would be fully aware. And that is what we have done with the community here.

The Chairman, FCT Task Force on City Sanitation, Mr Ikharo Attah, said the “RUGA”  was growing too fast and becoming notorious for rape and other crimes.

“From my own assessment, what will eventually go here will be about 2,400 structures because even as at today, the bulldozers are still working.

” It is really painful, but the displaced persons should understand that the city centre is not for everybody; they should go to the suburbs,” Attah said.

Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the FCT Minister, Mr Ahmed Rasheed, said that security assessment claimed that 90 per cent of the crimes perpetrated in Wuye and Kukwuaba districts were traced to the shanties settlement.

Rasheed said it was resolved after due diligence from all the security agencies, that if the ruga was removed everybody within the area, would be secured.

He also said some months ago, some people from the shanties attacked and broke four window glasses of a train on test running on the rail corridor.

” It is good for us (FCTA) to remove the shanties to make sure that the railway corridor is safe and people in Wuye and Kukwuaba Districts and the whole city at large.

” The Director, Development Control Department has set up a team to do a follow-up cleaning, which on a daily routine, in conjunction with security agencies, so that this kind of illegal settlement will not come up again.

” This is the best approach for security control of a city like Abuja,” Rasheed said.

Reacting to the operation, Secretary to the Chief of the Ruga Community, Usman Abubakar, conceded they could not question the relevant authority from demolishing the structures in the settlement.

Abubakar, however, pleaded with the government to consider them as Nigerian citizens, and assist them to stop slums from thriving having been living on the settlement for more than 25 years.

“We will be satisfied if government can give us a small land in this Abuja, so that we will occupy and settle down.

” Considering that our children especially youth and our women are living here, but now many of us have nowhere to go from here.

” We are pleading with the government to consider helping us, because the incident has affected at least 500 households,” Abubakar said.

In another development, the Ogun Police Command on Tuesday paraded six suspected armed robbers allegedly operating in army uniform on Lagos – Ibadan expressway.

Parading the men in Abeokuta, the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun,

said the suspects were arrested in their different hideouts within and outside the state by operatives of the Special Anti – Robbery Squads (SARS).

The police commissioner told newsmen that the leader of the gang sustained bullet wounds in his abdomen, right hand and thigh during an encounter with the SARS operatives.

He added that he was traced to his home in Ajangbadi area of Lagos on September 17 where the wife was treating him.

Also read:  Game Over: Police, vigilante group apprehend 3 bandits in Oyo

Ajogun said that the gang leader had lied to his wife that he sustained the injuries in a road accident.

The police chief warned criminals to steer clear of the state.

The gang leader later told journalists that he “hustles” at Alaba International market, Lagos, saying that he regretted his action.

He said that he had earlier left the gang because of the way they were shortchanging him with proceeds from robbery operations only to rejoin them later.

 

Health and Safety

LASG Unveils 24-hour Customer Service Centre To Enhance Traffic Management

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LASG Unveils 24-hour Customer Service Centre To Enhance Traffic Management

In a significant move to enhance the operations of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), the Lagos State Government has launched a 24-hour Customer Service Center, equipped with a dedicated Toll-Free Hot Lines, a Walk-In Complaint Centre, a Website, a Whistleblower App, and a new Department of Statistics, Research, and Data. 

According to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Sola Giwa, the centre is at the LASTMA headquarters.

Speaking at the inauguration, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Giwa officially opened the Customer Service Center and announced the dedicated lines as 0800-00-527862 or 0800-00-LASTMA.

Explaining the initiative, Hon. Sola Giwa said Motorists can contact the Call Center via the toll-free hotlines to report incidents, request assistance, or seek information on road conditions, including updates on the activities of LASTMA personnel. 

He said the centre will also enable drivers get real-time updates on road conditions and traffic advisories, enabling them to plan their routes more effectively, avoid congestion and reduce travel time.

Highlighting the features of the customer support centres, the Special Adviser further explained that the whistleblower app is designed to involve everyone in the state’s traffic management. 

“When you see something, say something,” he added. The app is available for download on the Android Play Store”, Sola Giwa said, stressing that the whistleblower app will allow Motorists and other road users to report dangerous driving and other reckless behaviours on the road, enabling LASTMA to take immediate action and uphold traffic regulations. 

He said the public can also earn points for every valid incident they report and get rewarded for their actions.

Hon. Giwa also mentioned that a walk-in complaint centre and a live interactive website (lastma.org) are available for citizens to engage with traffic management personnel, urging everyone to embrace the initiative.

Discussing the new Department of Statistics, Research, and Data, he explained that the department aims to provide a comprehensive breakdown and analysis of vehicles on Lagos roads. 

This includes real-time data on the number of vehicles impounded, categorized by private and commercial vehicles, and details on accidents and other traffic offences.

In the demonstration on statistics and data carried out between January and June 2024, the Special Adviser debunked the belief that the agency concentrates more on private vehicles disclosing that 5, 547 commercial vehicles were impounded for traffic infringement as against 3, 823 private vehicles. 

In his address, the Commissioner for Transportation Mr Oluwaseun Osiyemi emphasized that the customer support centres aim to improve communication between the public and LASTMA, streamline traffic operations, and significantly enhance the overall driving experience in Lagos State. 

He noted that with these new centres, Traffic Management Officers are now just a phone call away, at no cost to the public.

The General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Olalekan Bakare Oki, confirmed that officers managing the newly launched Call Center have been thoroughly trained by the government, noting that the agency will use multiple languages, including English, Pidgin, and Yoruba, to ensure convenient communication for all members of the public.

 

He reiterated the agency’s commitment to prioritizing public feedback, stating that input from citizens will aid in efficient traffic management across the state.

The event was also attended by the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos Ministry of Transportation Mr. Olawale Musa, Directors in the ministry and LASTMA Personnel.

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Health and Safety

Waterloo: NAF Kills Several Terrorists In Aerial Bombardment In Borno

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Waterloo: NAF Kills Several Terrorists In Aerial Bombardment In Borno

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai, has eliminated several terrorists in an aerial bombardment in their hideouts in Borno.

This is contained in a statement by the Director, Public Relations and Information, NAF, AVM Edward Gabkwet, on Thursday in Abuja.

Gabkwet said that the hideouts located near Degbewa and Chinene in the Mandara mountains in the state were known terrorists’ hideouts.

He said the air strikes became expedient after several days of aerial surveillance which revealed a consistent gathering of a large number of terrorists in the area.

According to him, the location is also suspected to be a site for manufacturing Improvised Explosive Devices and a storage area.

”The terrorists were also observed to be loitering within the vicinity, clearly oblivious of what was to befall them, and probably confident that their location was safe and secured from any form of military bombardments.

”The air strikes were thus authorised with the aircraft bombarding the locations in several passes until the majority of the terrorists were eliminated.

”Others observed fleeing the location were taken out using canons,” he said.

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Health and Safety

Sumal: 1 Dies, 12 Arrested In Ibadan Palliative Protest – Police

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ABUJA: Police Arrest 1 Prankster, 5 Kidnappers

… Affirms protest hijacked by criminal elements who forced their way into the factory

The Police Command in Oyo State says one person died and 12 suspects were arrested in a violent protest by workers of Sumal Food Company, Ibadan, over palliatives on Monday.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Adewale Osifeso, confirmed this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Ibadan.

Osifeso said the protest broke out in the factory located at Oluyole Industrial Estate, Ibadan around 4 p.m. on Monday.

He said that the workers staged the protest to challenge what they called non-distribution of the palliatives allegedly given by the Federal Government to all private companies across the country.

Osifeso said that it was sad that the protest was hijacked by criminal elements who forced their way into the factory, thus destroying vehicles and other property worth millions of naira.

“One person died and 12 suspects were arrested in connection with the violent protest,’’ he said.

The spokesman, however, said that normalcy had returned to the area where the company is located, following the deployment of police operatives to maintain peace.

He also said that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ayodele Sonubi, had ordered the transfer of the matter to the homicide unit of the Criminal Investigations Department for further investigation.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the protest was premised on false information created and peddled by some workers over the disbursement of palliatives to privately-owned companies,’’ he said.

Osifeso said that the command would give further information on the matter as soon investigation was concluded.

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