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Abducted Girls: Netizens Kick As Kidnappers ‘Raise Ransom To N700m’



Nigerians on Monday took to social media to knock the Federal Government and security apparatus over the kidnap and killings of some residents in the Federal Capital Territory.

This is coming hours after reports emerged that the kidnappers had allegedly killed three of their victims and raised the ransom being demanded to N700 million.

Among those allegedly killed, as reported by Daily Trust, was a secondary school student and daughter of the Ekiti state-born chief legal officer of the National University Commission, Miss Folorunsho Ariyo.

The kidnappers dumped the remains of four victims they executed around a former military checkpoint behind Idah Junction along the Bwari-Jere SCC Road in Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State, the report added.

The PUNCH had on Friday, January 5, reported how two policemen sustained bullet injuries, while seven family members were abducted, with one killed during an attack by bandits in Bwari, Abuja.

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The earlier abducted persons were Mansoor Al-Kadriyar, his five children, and the daughter of his late brother who was killed during the attack.

While Al-Kadriyar was later released with an order to provide ₦60 million as ransom for the abducted girls, one of his daughters, Nabeeha was killed and buried on Friday, while the abductors raised the ransom to ₦100m for the remaining five girls.

When contacted by one of our correspondents on the development, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Josephine Adeh revealed that the police was on top of the matter, while noting that details could not be revealed for security reasons.

We’re on top of the matter. But we can’t reveal details for security reasons,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force has vowed to rescue four sisters and their cousins who were kidnapped in their family home in the Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory on Wednesday, January 3, 2024.

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Reacting to the development on Sunday, the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said the police had initiated a comprehensive plan of action to rescue the abducted girls and arrest the bandits.

Adjobi noted, “In the wake of the abduction of six young girls in the Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, it is vital to state that the Police Force has already initiated a comprehensive plan of action. The Force Headquarters is diligently coordinating efforts to address this and prevent any further occurrence, as all hands are on deck to rescue the victims.

“However, the sensitivity of the situation necessitates discretion, and as a result, specific details are being kept confidential to avoid compromising ongoing operations. The NPF is actively engaging and contacting individuals crucial to the rescue operations and investigation. The objective is not only to bring perpetrators to justice but also to intensify efforts in rescue operations for victims still in captivity.

“Furthermore, recognising the psychological impact on affected families, the Police are encouraging open communication with their operatives to provide support, information, and assistance to mitigate the psychological warfare imposed by kidnappers on the relatives and loved ones of their victims.

But reacting to the killings and worsening insecurity in the country, Nigerians took to X on Monday, decrying the level of boldness of bandits and kidnappers across Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Police Intensifies Rescue Operations For Six Sisters Kidnapped In Abuja

They were reacting to unconfirmed reports that the kidnappers raised their demand from the initial N60 million per person to N100 million, now totalling N700 million after killing some of their victims.

On her part, an X user, @FakhuusHashim said it was surprising that kidnap victims were being killed because of delayed ransom payment.

She wrote, “These bandits have access to social media. That is the only reason they would increase ransom to N700m after killing 3 of the 10 victims for delayed payment. Still no statement from FG. VP has carried his leg and travelled to Davos in the midst of this horror.

“This is why Pantami’s tweet was incredibly dangerous and a shame he didn’t learn public engagement from his term in office.”

Another user, @Letter-to-Jack, knocked a former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, for helping in raising part of the ransom demanded by bandits to release sisters of slain Nabeeha.

As minister, you enforced NIN for every Nigerian and made sure every SIM card was linked to NIN, to make it easy to track, curtail and arrest kidnappers. Less than 8 months after you left your role, you’re on the internet helping to crowdfund ransom payments to kidnappers.

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“How am I going to explain to a non-Nigerian that a professor of cybersecurity and the erstwhile minister of communications and digital economy has friends who raised $50k for the purpose of ransom payment to kidnappers?” He wrote.

Also, @realdanielemeka said, “Wait I want to understand. Kidnappers raided an Estate in Abuja. Communicated their Demands. Came back to dump the bodies of those who couldn’t pay. Went back to renew communication of their demands. In Abuja??? And no one knows who they are or where they went? Haba!!!.”

Another user, @Burmese_Tyga_ wrote, “When politicians publicly involve themselves in crowdfunding ransom for kidnappers. The whole idea is not to save an individual or a family…the real sinister motive is to legitimise an already thriving criminal industry. Nigerians get ready for next level disaster.”

@Deshysmalls said, “The moment you kill hostages, you’ve lost all leverage & negotiating power. The government should wipe the floor with these Kidnappers, the body language should be NO TOLERANCE. Unfortunately, I have yet to see any real official statement addressing the situation and general insecurity.”

Also, @FaruqBashar wrote, “No way they are paying the N700m ransom, if they give in to that demand we are actually finished. That money will be used to expand the reach and facilities of those kidnappers, it’ll only get worse from there.”


Wike Lists His Priorities As FCT Minister To British High Commission




Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has told the British High Commission in Abuja that security, agriculture and job creation are among the top priorities of the FCT Administration.

The minister made this statement when he received a delegation from the British High Commission in Nigeria led by the British High Commissioner, Richard Montgomery, on a courtesy visit to the FCT Administration on Tuesday.

The British High Commissioner had sought to understand the priorities of the FCT Administration for the development of the FCT in order to improve bilateral relations.

Responding, Wike said the creation of jobs, especially in the agricultural sector, is being prioritized to ensure that the teeming youth in the FCT are provided with a source of livelihood. He added that the FCT Administration, in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has also provided the necessary support to the security agencies to address the security challenges in the FCT.

READ ALSO: Wike Places N20m Bounty On Two Wanted Abuja Kidnappers

He said the ongoing provision of infrastructure in the Abuja city center and the Area Councils, apart from accelerating the development of the FCT, are also avenues for job creation for the youths who would be engaged during the course of the projects.

According to the Minister, “When you say priority, creation of jobs is key. If you are not able to create jobs, of course, you know what that will mean for the teeming youths. So, we believe that the creation of jobs is not only in the white-collar sector. Through these activities, many of the youths are employed.

“If you go to the area councils today, there are lots of jobs going on that have created opportunities for the youths to be employed. So, the creation of jobs is a priority for this administration.”

Stressing that the FCT has vast arable lands for agriculture, the FCT Minister also expressed the readiness of the FCT Administration to collaborate with investors in the agricultural sector to create employment for youths and promote food security.

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We have to remove the youths from the streets. So, we believe that in partnering with investors in the area of agriculture, that will also create jobs. So, that, in fact, to us, is a major priority. We will be interested if we can see partners in these areas,” the minister stressed.

Wike also added that the FCT is open to investments and collaborations in the tourism sector to make the city a major tourist attraction.

Speaking further on the security challenges in the FCT, the Minister stated that remarkable improvements have been achieved in the last few months due to the level of support and commitment of the security agencies.

The FCT Minister, who blamed the heightened insecurity in the FCT in the recent past on the activities of kidnappers and bandits, from the states sharing borders with the FCT, noted that the security agencies have done quite well to tame the activities of the bandits and other criminal elements.

He expressed confidence that the improved security in the FCT will also increase investors’ confidence in the nation’s capital.

We cannot say that we have been able to solve all the problems, but it is important to know that we are making progress, particularly on the issue of security, which has been a source of concern, not only to residents but the diplomatic community,” Wike said.

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Alleged Diversion Of Palliatives: Sacked Kogi Council Boss, Atawodi Breaks Silence




Hassan Atawodi, the sacked Transition Chairman of Ofu Local Government Area, has opened up on why he was removed.

The Secretary to Kogi State Government, Folashade Arike Ayoade, had on Monday announced the sack of Atawodi in a statement by Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo, for allegedly diverting palliatives meant for his local government.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Atawodi said he was removed from office courtesy of some political leaders who do not like him.

He added that the palliative meant for Ofu LGA was not handed over to him, saying, “How can I divert what was not given to me?”

While noting that it was a gang-up against him, as there was no time he diverted any palliatives meant for his people, Atawodi stressed that he was denied the clearance letter that would have allowed him to collect the palliative.

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“My travails began from the first day I was appointed, possibly because I was not the choice of some alleged power brokers in my local government. After signing for the palliative for Ofu, the next day I could not get the clearance letter because of orders from above.

“Upon assumption of office, I appointed my five aides and six special advisers. Later, they reported me to the powers that be that I made the appointments without consulting them.

“They went to the extent of sending pictures of somebody I appointed to say he was a member of an opposition party.

“I was asked to meet with the Leader of the local government in the company of the House of Assembly member, the local government, and the zonal party chairmen, which I did and asked that they should please forgive me, following their report, with a call on them to please join me so that we can work together.

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“Following my appeal to those who reported me over the appointment, I was asked to dissolve the aides I appointed, which I did by going on air as promised and dissolved all the SSAs.”

The former Transition Chairman said he is innocent of the allegations of diversion of palliatives leveled against him, calling on the State Governor of Kogi State to look into the matter critically, as the said palliative was never handed over to him.

Continuing, he said, “I was not given a palliative to share. On hearing about the palliative, I went to the Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, who said there is an instruction for me not to be given the palliative.

“The ommissioner asked me to put a call across to the Deputy Governor before it could be released. I called from the morning through till about 4:00 pm on the said day, without my calls being picked.

“I later went back to the Commissioner, who said the Deputy Governor is yet to call. I had to leave to return the following day.

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“The next day, upon arrival at the Government House, I saw the DLG, SLG, and the APC Chairman for my local government. The commissioner said he has been directed to release the palliative to them.

“I was asked by the Commissioner to remain calm, particularly that with the several leaders I have in my local government, he doesn’t think I should bother myself with how the palliative would be shared.

“After they moved the palliative from the Muhammadu Buhari Civic Centre, I called the DLG to ask about the whereabouts of the palliative, that is the 1200 bags of rice. He said it was off-loaded at the residence of the Zonal Chairman in Ejule. I asked if it was safe there, as I would have guaranteed that if brought to the Local Government Secretariat, it would be safer and would reach the intended beneficiaries.

“I was at the Governorship Tribunal in Abuja yesterday when somebody called me to inform me that a letter of replacement was being typed to replace me, after which I was later told that I had been replaced.”

While the former Transition Chairman said he has taken the power play against him as the will of God, he lamented that he was surprised to read on social media that his sack was connected with the alleged diversion of palliatives that were never given or handed over to him.

“My hands are clean, and I know that my God will fight for me. Since my assumption, it’s been one battle to another. The DSS are all aware of my travails.”

The former Transition Chairman called on Gov. Ahmed Usman Ododo to constitute an investigation into the reason behind his removal, pointing out that it could not have been over a palliative that was not handed over to him.


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FX Crisis: Dollar May Exchange For N4000 By End Of 2024 — Ozekhome Warns




Human rights activist, Mike Ozekhome, says the Dollar may exchange for N4000 by the end of 2024 should the Naira keep falling against the Dollar at its current rate.

Ozekhome stated this in an interview on Channels Television on Tuesday.

The senior lawyer said there are no visible signs that the Naira won’t fall any further.

He said, “Just today, we paid out another $400 million that was so identified. In terms of the reserves, it has gone up to $34 billion.

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“If we are not careful we will get to the situation in Ghana, where they were carrying cedis in baskets to the market to go and buy things and put in their pockets.”

”Why have BDCssit under the trees and tables control our economy.”

Ozekhome stated that the government needs to do everything in its power to alleviate the suffering by going back to the drawing board.

He expressed surprise at the current administration blaming its predecessors for the economic state of the nation

”But to me, it is most embarrassing when I see officials of this government blaming the Jonathan government that left office in 2015, nearly 10 years ago.

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”Ironically blaming his own predecessor whom they took over from in the APC government. I think everything has gone wrong,” he said

Ozekhome noted that the current administration’s slogan of renewed hope translates to poverty.

This is not renewed hope, this is renewed poverty.”

Recall that recently, the scarcity and demand for dollars have led to a significant decline in the Naira. The problem according to analysts has been compounded by persistent foreign exchange supply challenges and a significant demand backlog.

But, the CBN governor, Olayemi Cardoso, in his MPC meeting announcement on Tuesday said he ”will do what it takes” to address the monetary issue equally promising to generate more liquidity for the forex market.

”Before the end of this year, if we are not careful, the Naira may exchange for N4000 to the dollar because e there is nothing in place,” he added.


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