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Kidnapping still a thriving Enterprise In Kogi

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Kidnapping still a thriving Enterprise In Kogi

Efforts by the Kogi State government to stem the menace of kidnapping in the state has failed woefully, as the illicit trade has continued to thrive.Even though kidnapping has marginally reduced, kidnappers now adopt new strategies, as their older strategies no longer work, especially with the efforts of security agents, who are matching them weapon-for-weapon and trick-for-trick.

However, there is still tension in the state as kidnap for ransom is gradually shifting from the highways to the interior villages, creating fears in the minds of residents who can no longer go to their farms, or get water from streams.The Guardian checks revealed that most kidnappers operating in the state infiltrate the area from some northern states. A number of times, they block highways and kidnap commuters after which they demand ransom, which usually range from N2m to N5m.

Recently Abdul Abaji was kidnapped along Ajegwu-Itobe Road on a Saturday. He was travelling from Lokoja to Idah with some people he offered a free ride, before he was intercepted at about 6pm around Ukunube Hill stretch, a spot notorious for kidnapping activities over the years.
An occupant of the car, a lady, who luckily escaped, said the kidnappers collected their money and phones and dragged Abaji into the bush because he actually attempted to make a detour on sighting them at the top of the hill, but luck was not on his side as some other gun men emerged from the bush behind and stopped him.Abaji’s car was, however, recovered by SARS same day, and the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Busari, while confirming the incident said three persons along with a Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) official that were kidnapped along Chikara Road the previous week had been released.

In KotonKarfe Local Council, the incessant cases of kidnapping and armed robbery has crippled social life. In Gegu-Beki, Iraki, Omoko, Akpogu, Kpareke and Achara, kidnapping has also affected commercial activities of the people, making them to remain indoors.According to a community leader in Iraki, Chief Idris Salihu: “The kidnappers invaded the community at about 2am some months ago and began to shoot sporadically, causing panic among the people.“One Mallam Yunusa Zaga was kidnapped while returning home in his car and kept in captivity for about three days before he was released. Ransom was paid.

The same gang, after the incident attempted to kidnap other members of the community on two occasions, but did not succeed due to efforts of members of the vigilante group. “Since they started kidnapping in our community, we can no longer sleep peacefully, we now live in fear,” he said.The Imam of Iraki Community Mosque, Idris Ibrahim, said: “Government should please provide security. We can no longer go to our farms. Our women cannot go and fetch water and firewood because of fear of being kidnapped.”

The head of the vigilante group in Iraki community, Zakari Hussain, lamented that kidnapping and armed robbery have been a great challenge to his people for sometime now.He said a few months ago, one of his brothers was kidnapped and huge ransom was paid before he was released, adding that due to the spate of kidnapping in the area, the vigilante members under his leadership have been doing all they could to ensure that the people are safe.

“We keep vigil from 8pm to 8am every day. We hardly have time to sleep. What we do is patrol round the community all through the night,” he said.He appealed to the government to support them with security personnel and weapons to keep the kidnappers away.At Gegu-Beki, one Murtala Muhammed, a butcher and cow dealer who was recently kidnapped from his home regained freedom after parting ways with N2m ransom.

The butcher, who said the kidnappers swooped on him and took him away with N1m cash at 11pm on the night he was kidnapped, added that he was kept in captivity for about three days and a ransom of N1 million was paid before he was freed.Members of his family and other people in the neighborhood now live in fear.Also at Gegu-Beki, a woman identified as Aisha Abdulkareem, was kidnapped on March 6, at about 7:40pm, by four gunmen while selling at her provision store.

The kidnappers, it was gathered, actually came for her husband, but when they missed him they decided to kidnap the wife after which they demanded N50m ransom. Abdulkareem was with her kidnappers for five days before some money was paid as ransom and her release effected.
At Omoko Community, the wife and daughter of the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the area, Alhaji Audu Omoko were kidnapped recently.

The kidnappers released them unhurt after collecting some ransom from the family.At Kpareke, a member of a vigilante group in the area was killed during an unsuccessful kidnap attempt. It was learnt that the kidnappers abducted one person during their second attempt on the community. Achara and Akpogu communities on their parts have equally witnessed the grim activities of kidnappers in recent times.

The Administrator of Kogi-Kotonkarfe Local Council, Tanko Mohammed, who described the spate of kidnapping in the council as alarming, said government was working alongside security agencies to address the menace.He said following the combing of the kidnappers’ hideouts by security operatives and the subsequent arrest of some of them, cases of kidnapping has reduced in the past few days.The council administrator, however, appealed for more security presence and possibly, joint security operations in thet council in order to flush out the kidnappers from their hideouts.

Recently the Kogi State Police Command paraded 52 suspected political thugs and kidnappers, which he said were arrested from criminal hideouts, black spots and flash points across the state.The Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Busari said the suspects admitted to “have participated in political thuggery in the just concluded 2019 general elections, several kidnappings, armed robberies and attack on innocent travellers on the major highways across the state.He said his men arrested one Musa Haruna, who was involved in the kidnap of Alhaji Usman Magaji. Four other members of the kidnap gang were later arrested

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Post Covid-19: Synergos Nigeria urges states to go e-governance

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Post Covid-19: Synergos Nigeria urges states to go e-governance


By Friday Idachaba


Synergos Nigeria, an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) on Wednesday, enjoined State governments to adopt e-governance as part of measures to bridge gaps created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Country Director of Synergos Nigeria, Mr Victor Adejoh, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja, Kogi State.

Adejoh said that government at all levels needed to adopt e-governance to address the challenges created by the global pandemic.

“I dare say that life today is unpredictable and it’s very important that we adapt to changes in our world today by continuously renewing ourselves to succeed in our current turbulent environment.

“How the different sectors and stakeholders in Nigeria manage the existing and emerging socio-economic challenges will depend largely on the gaps in leadership that are bridged.

“The states now need to begin to look at how to computerise some of their activities and allow people work from different locations to add value to the work of the state.

“The states need to begin to look at how to apply Information Technology (IT) for delivering government services. Technology is advancing the delivery of obligations in all the sectors.

“So, in this post-covid era, a lot of activities are taking place online, changing how people organise themselves, how they communicate, how they learn and indeed, how they lead to become leaders,” he said.

He urged the states to improve on how they engage with citizens, saying that, like Synergos, the states should embrace ambiguities and approach governance with a mindset of continuous adaptation. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Cross River North Senate Seat: Gov Ayade storms Abuja to stop Jarigbe

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Cross River North Senate Seat:   Gov Ayade storms Abuja to stop Jarigbe

Concerned stakeholders from Cross River State have raised alarm over alleged pressure on the  Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan by the state government to scuttle the planned swearing in of Hon. Jarigbe Agom as duly elected  senator for Cross River north .
The group at a chat  with  journalists in Abuja  today alleged,last minute moves by  Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River to  armtwist the leadership of the Senate to ignore the recent judgment in of the Supreme court which recognised Hon. Jarigbe as the PDP candidate for the December 5th  bye election for Cross Rivers North .
The Governor was alleged to have arrived Abuja last minute, yesterday and had since met with a powerful political associate of the Senate president for preliminary talks on Cross River north Senate Seat.

Leader of the group James Ikem told journalists that the Governor may have met with proxies of the Senate president earlier to further dru support for senator Stephen Odey whose stay in the Senate has since been nullified by the apex court . I speak on behalf of many democrats in the state, we ate worried over the turn of events in the case of Cross Rivers north and we want  the Senate president to act now and fast “Stephen Odey whose Certificate of Return has been nullified, is still being allowed to take part in Plenary. It’s an act that desecrates the sanctity of the Senate Chamber.

The fresh offensive is coming barely 48 hours after the Governor was reported to have threatened to dump PDP over his neglect.
But the group in Abuja today claimed the Governor may have reached out to the Senate in his desperate bid to stop the swearing in of Hon.Jarigbe to take his seat in the red chamber .
 According to him “Governor Ayade hurriedly caught a flight to Abuja yesterday, after he received a Call, asking him to get to Abuja, immediately. His trip to Abuja is to afford him the opportunity of seeing the Senate President or through proxies, reach out to him, to stop the Swearing In of Hon Jarigbe Agom, as Senator for Cross River North. He got a call and was informed of the pressure on the Senate President to do the right thing. He boasted in Calabar before his departure, that he was going to Abuja to stop the Swearing In, with everything available to him.

Gov Ayade should know that the Treasury of Cross Ricer State, cannot buy an Institution, such as the National Assembly. Sen Ahmed Lawan should avoid Ayade and his proxies. The Rule of Law should prevail. The Senate President should act on the Legal Advice by the Legal Department of the National Assembly and the recommendations of the Clerk of the National Assembly. The Judgment of the Supreme Court is final. Our Institutions should not be desecrated. “

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90 days after LG elections in Kogi no results, Human Right activist raises concern

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90 days after LG elections in Kogi no results, Human Right activist raises concern

Executive director Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) Idris Miliki Abdul has raised concern that 90 days after LG elections in Kogi results are yet to be declared

In a statement that was signed by Idris Miliki Abdul and made available to the National Update on Thursday the  elections were conducted  in Kogi State on the 12th of December 2020, the State Independence electoral commission (SIEC) it is yet to release the results to the public. “Despite colossal amount claimed to have been spent on water he refferred to as kangaroo elections, in a digital age by the state government, the SIEC in the state despite having a website. He said, “Investigation carried out and the complaint received by CHRCR, many of those engaged during that period that performed one role or the other are yet to be paid their entitlements, which he said  is corruption espite the huge amount provided in the 2020 budget.
For the purpose of records, research and and documentation, transparency and accountability he is calling on the Kogi State Independence Electoral Commission and the States Government to release results without further delay.
According to him, the statistical data of the local government council elections conducted on the 12 December 2020 should be made public

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