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Health and Safety

FRSC records 108 accidents, arrests 6,055 offenders

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FRSC records 108 accidents, arrests 6,055 offenders

… As Police refutes abduction of 60 travelers on Gusau-Sokoto highway***

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it recorded 108 accidents during the Eid el-Kabir special operations nationwide.

The corps said it recorded 123 accidents during the 2019 Eid el-Kabir, representing 12 per cent decrease.

The Corps Public Education Officer, Assistant Corps Marshal, Bisi Kazeem, said this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

Kazeem said that 6,055 offenders were arrested for committing 7,609 offences between July 16 and July 25, the period the operations lasted.

He revealed that due to the need to ensure compliance with established traffic laws, the corps marshal had directed commanding officers across all formations to mandate patrol operatives.

This he said was to intensify efforts in clamping down on aggressive drivers whose recklessness often contribute to road traffic crashes.

“In compliance with that directive, the corps operatives covered 1,575 routes, impounded 3,191 vehicles representing two per cent increase in impoundment.

“The operatives also apprehended 6,055 offenders as against 5,529 offenders in 2019, representing 10 per cent increase; for committing 7,609 offences as against 6,177 offences in the same period in 2019 which represents 23 per cent increase, ” he said.

Kazeem said the establishment of station offices in the 774 local government areas  accounted for the success recorded.

He said there was also intensified public enlightenment and sensitisation campaigns held nationwide in collaboration with key stakeholders in the road transportation sector and effective patrol operations.

Kazeem quoted the Corps Marshal, FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, as saying that the Corps now had a wider coverage due to the establishment of more FRSC commands.

Oyeyemi said that outposts, road side clinics and Zebra points that were hitherto not thoroughly covered were included.

He also revealed that the comparison made with year 2019 period was due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 which halted conventional operations.

Oyeyemi further stated that the reduction both in accidents during the period in review was a combination of aggressive enforcement and public enlightenment.

He added that the achievement was also broadened through the establishment of the National Traffic Radio 107.1 FM which was yielding results.

Oyeyemi said  the tempo in the operational and advocacy front would be sustained to ensure continuous decrease in number of road crashes, persons involved and killed.

According to him, the corps will keep on advancing steadily towards the realisation of its corporate mandate of creating a safer motoring environment and eradicating RTC on our roads.

“This tempo will surely be sustained as all efforts have been adequately put in place to make the roads safer for all, ” he said.

The FRSC boss called on the public to assist the corps by reporting any form of obstruction or emergency on the road to the spokesperson through the FRSC Toll Free numbers 122.

“Or tune into the National Traffic Radio 107.1FM to report same or any other contravention seen on the road.

“The Station can also be reached through its social media handles as follows; WHATSAPP 08052997848, FACEBOOK TRAFFICRADIO 1, INSTAGRAM TRAFFICRADIO 1.

“Or Call the following numbers; GLO 08052998090, MTN 09067000015, and SMS on GLO 08052998012 and the FRSC toll free emergency line 122, ” he said.

The newsmen report that the corps marshal had earlier directed that the 2021 Sallah special patrol operations should be made to cover 45 corridors

In a related development, the Zamfara State Police Command, on Tuesday, refuted reports claiming that armed bandits abducted 60 passengers along the Sokoto-Gusau highway on July 25.

A statement by the command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Muhammad Shehu, however, confirmed the abduction of 11 passengers on the highway, with two of the abducted passengers already rescued by police operatives, while efforts are on to rescue the remaining nine from their captors.

“The attention of the Zamfara State Police Command has been drawn to the above story trending on social and some conventional media that armed bandits blocked Sokoto – Gusau road and abducted 60 people travelling from Sokoto to Abuja.

Also read: DPO, 6 bandits die in attack

“The command wishes to debunk the story and viewed it as inaccurate and a calculated attempt by some mischief makers to create fear and apprehension into the minds of the general public, especially commuters.

“For the avoidance of doubt and for purposes of clarity, the command is hereby giving the accurate report of the incident”, the PPRO said.

“On Sunday 25th July, 2021, a large number of armed bandits blocked a Toyota bus belonging to the Sokoto State Mass Transit and abducted 11 passengers, who were travelling from Sokoto to Abuja along the Sokoto-Gusau road in Bakura LGA,” Shehu said.

“Police Tactical operatives attached to ‘Operation Restore Peace’ were alerted and they quickly mobilized to the location and dislodged the hoodlums, who had blocked many vehicles for the purpose of abduction.

“The road was instantly cleared for motorists and other road users and more police operatives reinforced to improve the security and safety of commuters.

“In the course of mopping up the scene, a Toyota bus belonging to the Sokoto State Mass Transit was sighted empty and it was revealed that 11 passengers, including the driver, were abducted and taken into the bush before the arrival of the police.

“The operatives embarked on search and rescue operation in the surrounding bushes with a  view to rescuing the kidnapped victims.

“Two persons, who were left far behind with other hoodlums, were abandoned by their captors for fear of being neutralized by the Police operatives, the remaining nine victims were, however, taken into the forest.

“The command is currently employing various search and rescue strategies aimed at rescuing the victims safely. In view of this, the command enjoins members of the public to discountenance the purported abduction of 60 persons”, Shehu added.

Members of the press are also urged to always verify the authenticity of any information they receive before going public, the PPRO said.

 

Accidents

NIWA Condoles Actors Guild Of Nigeria, Victim’s Families Over Boat Mishap

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NIWA Condoles Actors Guild Of Nigeria, Victim's Families Over Boat Mishap

…As Ali Nuhu says recent deaths in movie industry rob the nation of legendary filmmakers

 The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has conveyed its deepest regret over the unfortunate boat mishap which claimed four lives on Wednesday.

It could not yet be established whether or not, all the passengers wore lifejackets at the time of the incident.

A condolence message by Dakio Horsfall, the Acting General Manager (Marine) of the authority, on Thursday in Lokoja, said the management of the authority condoled with the Actors Guild of Nigeria and the victims’ families over the losses.

The mishap reportedly involved two boars on the River Niger en route to Asaba in Delta State at about 2:00 P.M. on Wednesday.

The accident, which involved an unregistered fibreglass boat with 12 persons on board and a privately owned wooden boat with a lone driver, left four persons dead, while seven others were rescued.

Horsfall said: “Preliminary reports indicated that the accident resulted from a frontal collision between the two boats due to overspeeding.

“Sadly, two people died at the scene of the accident, two more bodies were recovered 24 hours later off-site, while 7 persons were rescued.

“Consequently, the Authority commiserates with the families of the deceased persons and pray that the good Lord will repose the souls of the departed”.

He said that upon the receipt of the report of the accident through its community-based structure, the NIWA deployed its search and rescue team to the scene for immediate rescue activities.

NIWA Condoles Actors Guild Of Nigeria, Victim's Families Over Boat Mishap

According to him, the team and other stakeholders including the local divers, swung into action and have continued the search and rescue effort since Wednesday.

“As of the last count, one person is still unaccounted for.

“Also, the Marine Department of NIWA has activated its accident investigation mechanism to determine the cause(s) of the accident and make appropriate recommendations,” he said

The manager stressed the need for all users of the inland waterways to, mandatorily, adhere to all the established safety protocols, including the completion of passenger manifest at the loading and offloading points.

“The usage of life jackets on the waterways is mandatory, avoiding over speeding, and yielding to weather dictates, at all times,” he said.

Horsfall commended the Marine Police, local divers/ fishermen, Maritime Unions and other good-hearted Nigerians who rose to support the Authority in its rescue efforts.

“Nevertheless, NIWA hereby assures all Nigerians of its continuous efforts aimed at promoting safer inland waterways for the use of all”.

In another development, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Mr Ali Nuhu has said that recent deaths in the movie industry have robbed the nation of legendary filmmakers.

This is contained in a statement signed by Brian Etuk,  the Director of Public Affairs of the NFC in Abuja.

Nuhu described the death of Saratu Gidado (aka Daso) and John Odonwodo,  known as Junior Pope, as heart-wrenching for colleagues and film industry stakeholders.

”Their deaths, which occurred within the week has left  Nigeria’s movie industry in a state of mourning.

”Stakeholders have been pained by the frequent recent losses robbing the country of legendary filmmakers,  who have impacted and contributed greatly to the growth of Nigeria’s film industry.

“Their footprints within the development of the Nigerian film industry will not be forgotten,” he said.

Speaking about the late Gidado, the NFC boss said she caught the fancy and interest of Nigerians, particularly as a lead character in several of Kannywood films,  such as ‘Linzami Da Wuta’ and ‘Gidauniya’.

”She was a Zuma Film Festival(ZUFF)  2023 Life Time Achievers Awardee but sadly succumbed to death in the early hours of Tuesday, April 9.

“Odonwodo’s role in showcasing the professional competencies and screen delivery by actors is remarkable,  as can be found in ‘Honey Money’, ‘Blood Affair’ and ‘Wrong Initiation’ movies in which the late actor acted.

 “While Mr Ibu delivered that evoked laughter and comic relief,  leaving behind a gap to be filled, the refined gentlemen shall be greatly missed,” he added.

Nuhu pledged that the NFC would continue to support the film industry policy initiatives that promoted friendly and safe working conditions,  including medical, health and life insurance schemes for stakeholders.

Nuhu also sympathised with the immediate families, friends and associates of the deceased, as well as the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and prayed that Almighty God grant them rest.

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Health and Safety

MMA Customs Intercepts N5.7b Ammunition, Tramadol, Others

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The Murtala Muhammed Airport command of the Nigeria Customs Service has, in its anti-smuggling drive intercepted offensive items with duty paid value of N5.794 billion.

The seized items include fifty pieces of 9mm live ammunition which was discovered in a joint examination conducted by the service and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Muhammed Sani Yusuf disclosed this at a press conference in his office on Monday.

According to him, other first-quarter seizures in the command are 1,164kg of sea cucumbers, 58kg of donkey genitals and 17 packages of Tramadol.

He noted that all the seized items contravened some of the provisions of the extant laws as enshrined in the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023. 

Three persons, he said, were arrested in connection with the seizures.

The command also achieved an increase of 111.7 per cent in its revenue collection in the first quarter of 2024 when compared to the revenue generated during the same period in 2023.

Comptroller Yusuf stressed that despite certain challenges, the command collected N45,232,483,528.00 between January and March this year against N21,362,752,676.44 generated in the corresponding period of last year.

The controller stated that this year’s first quarter collection is N 23,869,730,851.56k higher than 2023 first quarter collection which is a 111.7 per cent increase.

On stakeholder engagement, the controller noted that the command has maintained its open-door policy and resolved a lot of issues of common interest with concerned stakeholders.

Yusuf thanked critical stakeholders, sister agencies and the media for their collaborative efforts and synergy while carrying out the command’s statutory mandate in the state.

He also expressed his appreciation to the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR and his management team for their continued support as well as officers and men of the command.

The controller enjoined his men to remain focused and steadfast in discharging their assigned responsibilities.

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Economy

Lawmaker Secures Release of 4 Persons Involved in Illegal Arms Manufacturing in Delta

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Lawmaker Secures Release of 4 Persons Involved in Illegal Arms Manufacturing in Delta

Sen. Ned Nwoko (PDP-Delta), on Wednesday, disclosed that he had secured the release of four family members involved in manufacturing arms at the Onicha-Olona Illegal Arms Factory in Delta.

Nwoko representing Delta North Senatorial District, who disclosed this in an interview in Abuja, said that the release of the four persons was through collaborative efforts.

On March 12, troops of 63 Brigade, Asaba, uncovered an illegal arms manufacturing factory in Onicha-Olona, Delta North Senatorial District and arrested eight family members in connection with the crime.

Nwoko disclosed that efforts have been made to ensure fair treatment for those involved, balancing justice with the opportunity for rehabilitation and contribution to society.

“Following my recent visit to the headquarters of 63 Brigade, Asaba and productive discussions with the Brigade Commander, I am pleased to announce progress in addressing the situation regarding the illegal arms factory discovered in the Onicha-Olona community, Delta.

“Efforts have been made to ensure fair treatment for those involved, balancing justice with the opportunity for rehabilitation and contribution to society.

“I am pleased to reveal that through collaborative efforts, I have successfully secured the release of four family members implicated in the illegal activity.

“However, our commitment to upholding the law remains unwavering, and endeavours continue for fair judgment and potential pardon for the remaining four individuals,” he said.

The lawmaker stressed that the underlying issue highlighted by the discovery, however, remained of paramount importance.

“We must seize the opportunity to redirect the talents demonstrated by those involved towards lawful and productive endeavours.

“The young man in the family, known for his passion and ability to build drones, exemplifies this potential.

“His skills should be harnessed and put to good use,” he said.

Nwoko added that the Industrial Revolution served as a pertinent historical precedent where individual efforts catalysed transformative change and made possible by governments that created conducive environments.

“We can emulate this model here. We can provide support and opportunities for talented individuals like the young drone builder, and stimulate a new wave of innovation and economic growth in Nigeria.

“As previously stated, Nigeria’s economy faces significant challenges exacerbated by escalating imports, particularly in the realm of arms and weaponry.

“Therefore, we must harness our indigenous talents for the greater good and bolster our local industries,” he said.

Nwoko further said that the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), as well as the Ministry of Science and Technology, have crucial roles to play in this regard.

According to him, by engaging with individuals possessing such skills, we can offer them legal avenues for their expertise to flourish.

“The aim is not only to prevent the proliferation of illegal arms or other weapons manufacturing but also to channel these talents towards legitimate industries for national development.

“I reiterate the need for the government to support and integrate such offenders with specialised skills and talents into the formal economy.

“This initiative should focus on recognising their capabilities and providing opportunities for them to contribute to the development of our local indigenous technology.

“As noted earlier, an individual capable of modifying an AK-47 magazine, originally designed to hold 30 rounds, to accommodate 60 rounds using rudimentary equipment, holds immense potential for greater achievements.

”Such individual can do more with proper legal support and access to adequate resources.”

He disclosed that he was committed to proposing or supporting a new law aimed at assisting talented and skilful individuals involved in illegal activities and also partnering with law enforcement agencies in these endeavours.

“I am committed to proposing or supporting a new law aimed at assisting talented and skilful individuals involved in illegal activities and also partner with law enforcement agencies in these endeavours.”

“They have the intelligence and insights of the potential beneficiaries of this “amnesty” drive towards creating a new cadre of indigenous technologists.

“This law would establish an agency dedicated to providing government support and resources to rehabilitate and engage these individuals in legal and productive activities.

“I tentatively suggest naming this proposed law the “National Talent Rehabilitation and Integration Act”.

“This legislation will not only focus on rehabilitation but also on harnessing the skills and talents of offenders for the benefit of society.

“By providing a structured environment and necessary support, this agency will facilitate the transition of individuals from illicit activities to lawful and productive ventures.

”And they will be contributing to both their personal rehabilitation and national development,” Nwoko added.

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