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El-Rufai receives 27 freed Kaduna college students, two missing

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Twenty-seven abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, in the Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, have been released by bandits.

The Chairman of The Forum of the Abducted Parents,  Malam Abdullahi Usman confirmed it to on the telephone on Wednesday.

The elated chairman said, “Yes, they have been released after 50 days.”

On March 11, 2021 bandits invaded the school located in Afaka along the Kaduna International Airport road and abducted 39 students.

The bandits demanded N500m as ransom for their release, but 10 of the 39 students had been released in two batches of five each.

It was learnt that the release was facilitated by the Sheikh Abubakar Gumi dialogue committee with support from former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Meanwhile, a source told our correspondent that on the day the students were abducted, two out of the 39 escaped.

He added that in order not to put the lives of the remaining abducted students in danger, it was decided that nothing should be said about the two students that escaped.

Earlier, the forum had refuted  a claim  by one of them that they met with the Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, who directed them to a Fulani man, Ahmad, whom they paid N800,000 to.

A parent, who spoke in an interview with Root TV, had said they paid N800,000 to the said Ahmad.

However on Wednesday, the forum dismissed the claim, saying nobody was paid any money.

In a statement titled, ‘Re: Afaka 39: Kidnapped student’s mother exposes Sheikh Gumi, reveals his role in banditry.’ signed by Usman and the Secretary, Mrs Catherine Saleh, the forum said, “The woman is not a member of the committee representing the affected parents and did not speak on behalf of the parents.

Also Read: Govt approach wrong, ransom payment won’t end kidnapping – Obasanjo

“For the record, the committee representing the parents of the 39 abducted students visited Sheikh Gumi to seek his intervention for the release of our children, but he declined on the grounds that he would not want to go against the position of the state government which has forbidden anyone to negotiate with bandits.

“We apologise to the esteemed Sheikh for any personal injury the statement might have caused him.”

Kaduna hails release

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, said the state rejoiced with the freed students.

Aruwan said, “The Kaduna State Police Command has reported to the Kaduna State Government, the release of the remaining students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation.

“The government rejoices with the freed students, their families and the management of the institution over this development.

“Governor Nasir El-Rufai charged them to view their ordeal as a motivator to put the past behind and work hard towards a happier and successful future ahead.”

The students  were seen at the state police command with the Commissioner of police, Umar Muri.

The students looked weak and in their night wears. They were later taken to an undisclosed hospital for medical evaluation.

Buhari welcomes release of Afaka students

Also, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday welcomed the release of the students.

He also congratulated their friends, families and the government and people of Kaduna State on the development.

A statement by Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, quoted the President as saying. “We are happy they have been released.

“We express our deep appreciation to all the actors who contributed one way or the other to this happy outcome, in particular the defence and security agencies, the officials of the Ministry of Environment and the government of Kaduna State. We thank Nigerians for their prayers.”

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Insecurity: Hotel Business Dying In Imo, As Banks Go After Mgts Over Loans

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Insecurity: Hotel Business Dying In Imo, As Banks Go After Mgts Over Loan

Except Imo State Government succeeds in its efforts to restore normalcy in the state, the Hotel businesses which flourishes in Imo would become a thing of the past.

Investigation carried out by Lead revealed that most of the popular Hotel owners and management have cut drastically down the number of their workers following their inabilities to pay back the loans collected from banks caused by low patronage occasioned by insecurity in Imo.

Imo State in the recent times has been on the news over attacks by unknown gunmen and the security agents in the bid to restore peace were said to have killed some innocent persons, an act which crippled night clubs and other activities.

Speaking with Weekend Lead, the owner of one of the Five Star Hotels in Imo appealed with Imo state government to come to their aide, pointing out that some of the banks in the state are after them, demanding for payment of Loans which he said was over-due for payment but following the low patronage of Hotels occasioned by insecurity, the management of Hotels are unable to pay back. 

The said Hotel owner who chose to speak on the guise of anonymity told Lead that at their Union level, the Hospitality Management in Imo had gone to the Imo State Commissioner of Police to interact with him on the best way to improve on the security to enable them revive their businesses which he said is at the comatose state adding that with the state of insecurity in Imo, Hotels hardly have customers as people have boycotted night lives and other social activities.

He decried how Imo which is known for its hospitality industry in the nation is losing grips over insecurity adding that it is also affecting the IGR as well as the working population of the state. 

Also Read; Imo Security Challenges: Akajiugo Calls For Collective Fight

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Imo Security Challenges: Akajiugo Calls For Collective Fight

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… Urges Leaders TO Sheath Sword

… Backs Government Peace Moves.

Given the Security challenges which hitherto have to a reasonable extent grounded the economy of Imo State, one of the chieftains of the All progressives Congress in the State, Prince Joseph Okwara, Akajiugo of Umuna has called on both the political leaders, heads of various religious groups, Traditional Rulers amongst others to see the situation as a serious one which must be tackled head long.

This is even as he appealed with political leaders to sheath their sword and unite against insecurity which he described as an ill wind that blows no one any good.

In a press release signed by Okwara himself and made available to weekend Lead, he expressed gratitude to the Imo State Government led by Governor Hope Uzodinma on the continued efforts to ensure that peace returns in Imo which he described as the only State we have.

Prince Okwara, a business Mogul cum politician who used the medium to condemn the call on the Governor by the Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party to resign his seat charged the leaders of the party not do play politics with what he termed a ‘sensitive’ issue.

Imo State chapter of the PDP had few weeks ago, called on Uzodinma to resign his seat as Governor, accusing him of incapacity to provide the State with adequate security, a statement which had received various condemnation in Imo and beyond.

Describing a peaceful State as that which breeds development, Akajiugo called on those behind the destruction of Government Institutions in the State to desist pointing out that such would only retard the development of the State as well as deplete our population.

He further used the forum to call on the security agencies to toe the line of professionalism in the discharge of their noble duties of protection of lives and properties and not the other way round.

Also Read: Shadow Government gives reasons for stopping Uzodinma’s criticisms

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Shadow Government gives reasons for stopping Uzodinma’s criticisms

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… Calls on Imo people to exercise patience

… Describes Governor as committed leader.

Following the calls on the leadership of the Shadow Government, a pressure group that constructively critices the Governments at all levels over its sudden silence on the activities of the Imo state Government led by senator Hope Uzodinma, the body has finally given reasons for the said silence.

In a press release signed by the president of the group, Dr Anthony Iroegbu Njoku and made available to Lead Express, he revealed that shadow Government as a pressure group only speaks when the need arises particularly when the Government’s policies both at the federal and states are anti people adding that its silence after its report few months ago on Imo which attracted varying reactions from the Government and individuals is not out of fear or any other reason rather has been studying the Government’s policies and its style of governance to enable the group point succinctly the strength as well as the weakness of the government.

Iroegbu while marshalling out the reasons revealed that though Uzodinma may not have lived upto the people’s expectations one hundred percent but he is indeed committed and desirous of moving the state forward.

Dr Iroegbu who contested the 2019 Governorship seat of Imo state revealed that Uzodinma has good intentions but given the enormous challenges both man made and naturally made now slow down the required speed adding that two months to his assumption of office as the Governor of Imo state, the covid 19 virus hit the world which until now, is still ravaging the universe.

Iroegbu popularly known and addressed as Omenuko noted that while Imo and the World in general are still battling the effects of the covid-19, Uzodinma was struck with another but an unavoidable distraction from the Okorocha’s political dynasty of alleged converted Imo properties which almost resulted in open combat between the loyalists of senator Okorocha and the Appointees of the state Government.

While that was on, Unknown gunmen started causing havocs in the state which included destruction of Owerri Correctional Centre, the Imo state police command amongst others.

Iroegbu further revealed that the series of attacks both in Orlu by yet to be identified gunmen which led to loss of lives and properties, Ihitte Uboma,Oguta amongst others at the formation of the Uzodinma’s administration are capable of distracting a focused and determined Government yet Uzodinma to a reasonable extent is committed in moving the state forward, he said.

He advised him to look into the poverty in the state with a view of solving it.

He however appealed with Imo people to exercise a little patience with the Governor assuring that he is likely going to take Imo to that Promised Land.

He used the medium to call on those responsible for the said attacks to cease adding that Imo does not belong to Uzodinma but for all of us hence all we still suffer the pains of the destruction of the Government institutions in Imo.

Also Read; JUSUN continued strike: Imo Lawyers roast, resort to borrowing

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