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Moghalu Vows Renewed War Against Inland Water Sailings Without Lifejackets

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Moghalu Vows Renewed War Against Inland Water Sailings Without Lifejackets

… As NIWA says ‘Every Life is Important!’; Cautions Against Reportage of Inaccurate Accident Figures***

The Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Managing Director, Dr. George Moghalu has expressed grave concern over non-adherence to safety rules on inland waters, particularly water transportation, without lifejackets, which often results in avoidable deaths by drowning.

He also decried the sensational media attitude to boat mishaps reportage, noting that unverified figures, often inflated were seemingly churned out.

Also read: NIWA: Moghalu Embarks on Measures to Boost Cargo Transportation by Water

“Every life is important… Every life is important!”, Stated Dr. George Moghalu emphasized the sanctity of life, frowning on media flying of figures, which on verification, was often a far cry from reality.

He was particularly appalled by an instance where two persons drowned in a Lagos boat mishap, over non-usage of lifejackets and the media reported 17.

Fielding questions from the Maritime First, the NIWA Boss warned boat operators to desist from transporting passengers beyond 7.00 p.m. in sincere adherence to safety rules, stressing that many of the boats also lack navigational aids.

Dr. Moghalu equally lamented that though NIWA had constituted a waterways task force to arrest every boat operator, operating at any jetty beyond the stipulated time, it was saddening that some have relocated from approved jetties to other convenient shores, thereby making arrest difficult, while perpetuating illegality.

Expatiating further, he said the Task Force comprised of Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, the Marine Police and the Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN).

He reiterated the NIWA’s total commitment to driving his Sensitisation for stakeholders’ adherence to safety rules, highlighting that his management also currently runs radio jingles on local stations in Port Harcourt, Ogun State, and Lagos State among others, in addition to regular visitations and distribution of flyers and lifejackets amongst passengers in the riverine communities, by the various Area NIWA Managers.

“In terms of reach, the radio is the best, but at the same time, we are using the traditional institutions, the churches and mosques, the clerics, our religious leaders… they all have a serious impact on our lives!”, Moghalu stated, again, stressing the sanctity of life.

Buttressing his view, Dr. Moghalu noted that the Societal men of means (the Big men) were hardly involved in boat mishaps because they always avoid being reckless with NIWA’s safety rules; avoid overloading their boats, keeps navigational aids intact, even though, they do not operate on the water at nights.

 

Health and Safety

Police Begin 24-hour Bike Patrol On Third Mainland Bridge 

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Police Begin 24-hour Bike Patrol On Third Mainland Bridge 
…As Troops neutralise 7 insurgents, recover weapons, motorcycles in Kaduna

The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Police Command in Lagos State have begun a 24-hour bike patrol on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.

RRS made this known in a post it shared on its official X handle @rrsLagos767 on Monday.

It stated that the Commander of RRS, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, had directed the squad’s motorcycle riders to begin a 24-hour patrol on the Third Mainland Bridge.

“RRS Commander, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi has directed the squad’s Bike Riders to commence a 24-hour patrol of the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos as a way of protecting the infrastructure on the bridge.

“Also to prevent the incidence of harassment of road users by miscreants.

“This is in line with the directives of the State Commissioner of Police, CP Adegoke Fayoade to the squad for the protection of lives, property and public infrastructure on the newly renovated bridge,” it stated.

RRS said that Egbeyemi appealed to motorists and road users to cooperate with the riders so that they could serve them better.

In another development, showing observable security improvement, the 1 Division Nigerian Army, said its troops have neutralised seven insurgents and recovered weapons and motorcycles in Kaduna.

This is contained in a statement issued by Lt-Col. On Monday in Kaduna, Musa Yahaya, the Acting Deputy Director of Army Public Relations 1 Division Nigerian Army.

Yahaya said, “Troops of 1 Division Nigerian Army deployed at a blocking position at Udawa carried out a fighting patrol along Udawa – Kurebe road on May 19.

According to him, during the aggressive patrol, troops made contact with insurgents and terrorist elements. They engaged them with a heavy volume of fire leading to the annihilation of five terrorists and violent extremists.

 He disclosed that items recovered during the encounter included,  one pump action gun, six cartridges, one empty AK 47 rifle magazine, one MP3 radio, one phone battery, two Baofeng radios,  two Baofeng radio chargers, four memory cards, two sim cards and four charms.

Some of the weapons recovered by troops of 1 Division Nigerian Army from the terrorists in Kaduna.

He said, “Relatedly, the division deployed at Sabo Birni in Igabi Local Government of Kaduna State intercepted suspected movement of terrorist elements at Baka general area on 19 May 2024.

 Yahaya said the troops swiftly mobilised to the area and engaged the terrorists.

“In the firefight that ensued, the terrorists who could not withstand the superior firepower of the troops cowardly fled to nearby hills in disarray with several degrees of gunshot wounds.

 “The troops exploited the general area and recovered one AK 47 rifle and two motorcycles while blood stains were seen all over the scene of the incident.

He also disclosed that troops of the Division while lying in wait at Kwaga village in Birnin Gwari local government of Kaduna state, made contact with terrorist elements and neutralised two of the criminals.

 “Items recovered included two AK 47 rifles, two magazines and two motorcycles, “Yahaya said.

The spokesperson said Maj-Gen. Mayirenso  Saraso, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division NA and  Commander of Operation, Whirl Punch, commended the troops for their aggressive posture.

He charged them to sustain the tempo and make life unbearable for terrorists, insurgents, violent extremists and their cohorts.

He equally appealed to all law-abiding citizens to report to the NA or nearest security agencies, persons seen with gunshot wounds seeking medical attention.

 Yahaya also appealed to the good people of Kaduna and Niger States to avail the Army and other security agencies with timely and actionable intelligence for prompt action. 

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Health and Safety

ONSLAUGHT: Troops Eliminate 227 Terrorists, Apprehend 529 In 1 Week

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ONSLAUGHT: Troops Eliminate 227 Terrorists, Apprehend 529 In 1 Week

 The Defence Headquarters says troops have within the last week, eliminated no fewer than 227 terrorists, apprehended 529 and rescued 253 kidnapped victims, following ground and air operations across the country.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba disclosed this while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Abuja on the operations of the Armed Forces.

Buba said the troops recovered 231 assorted weapons and 6,441 assorted ammunition, comprising 89 AK47 rifles, 40 locally fabricated guns, 59 Dane guns, 250kg bombs used by NATO and Eastern Bloc aircraft and one MRAP.

Others according to him are; 4,198 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 841 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 88 rounds of 5.56mm, 16 rounds of 7.62 x 39mm, 99 rounds of 7.62x51mm, 956 rounds of 7.62x54mm, 242 live cartridges, one PKM magazine, 24 magazines among others

In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised 83 terrorists, arrested 59 suspects and rescued 58 kidnapped hostages as well as recovered a large cache of arms.

He said that 219 terrorists comprising 29 adult males, 65 adult females and 125 children surrendered to troops within the theatre of operations between May 8 and 14.

In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirle Stroke, neutralised 27 insurgents, arrested 154 violent extremists and rescued 42 kidnapped hostages.

In the North West, he said the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji, also neutralised 58 terrorists, arrested 125 terrorists and rescued 105 kidnapped hostages.

Buba said the air component had on May 8, bombarded a new terrorist enclave in Faskari area of Katsina State following an intelligence trail and confirmatory ISR on the migration of notorious terrorist elements to the deserted settlement.

According to him, battle damage assessment revealed that several terrorists were neutralised and their structures as well as logistics destroyed

He added that troops of Operation Whirl Punch apprehended 68 illegal miners from an illegal mining site in Gwagwalada Area Council of FCT Abuja during the week.

He said that the troops also neutralised 25 terrorists, arrested 97 suspects and rescued 32 kidnapped hostages.

He also said that in the South-South, troops of Operation Delta Safe recovered 1,442,700 litres of stolen crude oil and 154,650 litres of illegally refined AGO.

According to him, troops discovered and destroyed 18 dugout pits, 34 boats, five drums, four receivers, four reservoirs and 97 storage tanks.

”Other items recovered include 198 cooking ovens, nine vehicles, three pumping machines, two speedboats, one baofeng radio, one outboard engine and 57 illegal refining sites.

”Troops also neutralised three extremists and apprehended 16 suspected oil thieves and other violent extremists’’.

In the South East, Buba said the troops of Operation UDO KA neutralised 21 terrorists, arrested 45 violent extremists and rescued 12 kidnapped hostages as well as recovered a cache of arms. 

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Health and Safety

Senate Berths Death Penalty For Hard Drugs, Substance Trafficking

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Senate Berths Death Penalty For Hard Drugs, Substance Trafficking

The irresistible attraction for drug pushing is set to wane as the Senate on Thursday, prescribed the death sentence as the penalty for trafficking in hard drugs and other substances in Nigeria.

This followed the passage of the  National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Amendment Bill 2024.

It also prescribed not more than 15 years imprisonment without the option of fine, for conviction on consumption of hard drugs and substances.

This followed the adoption of the Senate Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and Drugs and Narcotics report on the NDLEA Amendment Act at plenary.

The report was presented by the Chairman of the committee, Sen. Mohammed Monguno (APC -Borno).

Monguno in his presentation said the amendment sought to strengthen the operations of the  NDLEA, empower its operations to establish laboratories for forensic review and update the list of dangerous drugs.

He said the amendment was also designed to review penalties and enhance the powers of the NDLEA to prosecute drug-related offences and issue subsidiary legislation.

He said the Senate had on Feb.28, deliberated on the bill, which was transmitted from the House of Representatives for the Senate’s concurrence.

He said it was important to make a general comment on the bill,  especially on the classification of the offences and penalty categorisations of drug-related offences.

He said the categorisations were peculiar and different from other laws because of the sentencing guideline used in determining drug-related offences.

“These guidelines in drug laws are designed to promote fairness, consistency and proportionality in the criminal justice system while considering the broader goals of rehabilitation and public safety.

“It is also important to note that several variables are used to determine the penalties imposed on a suspect.

“This includes type and quantity of controlled substance, defendant’s criminal history, intent behind drug-related activities, aggravating or mitigating circumstance such as organised crime, violence, use of offensive weapon.

“Others like  endangerment of minors can aggravate penalties,  conversely mitigating factors like cooperation with law enforcement or lack of prior criminal record may lessen the severity of punishment.”

Earlier, before the passage of the bill during clause-by-clause consideration, Sen.Ali Ndume (APC Borno), had moved a motion for amendment to clause 11 of the bill, which initially prescribed life imprisonment for drugs and substances trafficking in Nigeria.

Ndume had called for stiffer sanctions and moved a motion for a prescribing death sentence.

The motion was seconded by Sen.Onyekachi Nwaebonyi (APC-Ebonyi), who said that drugs and substance trafficking were doing great harm to the nation and hence,  stiffer penalties should be given to offenders.

When the voice vote for adoption of the motion on the death penalty was put to the vote, the “Yes” had their way as the Deputy President of the Senate, Barau Jubrin (APC- Kano), who was presiding ruled in favour of the “Yes.”

However, the decision did not go well for Sen.Adams Oshiomhole (APC – Edo), who objected to the ruling, saying that he was responsible to his constituents for every law passed in the Senate.

He said issues of life and death should not be passed based on a “Yes or No” response, advocating for a voting by every senator.

Responding, Barau said the best approach for the Edo lawmaker was to have called for a division immediately after the clause on the death sentence was adopted.

Barau said the decision to rule in favour of the “yes” was not the presiding officer’s making but on the members’ voice vote.

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