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‘Self-obsessed and not bright’: what Middlesbrough’s mayor thinks of his councillors

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‘Self-obsessed and not bright’: what Middlesbrough’s mayor thinks of his councillors

A local council is beset by self-obsessed, selfish and not-very-bright councillors, says the town’s own mayor.

Andy Preston, the mayor of Middlesbrough, intervened after complaints lodged by councillors against their colleagues this year neared the combined total for the previous two years.

“For way too long, politics in Middlesbrough has been a disgrace. There are some brilliant councillors here but there are also way too many self-obsessed, selfish and frankly not very bright people who seek to cause trouble for the good of their own self-promotion,” he said.

There have been 12 complaints from council members in roughly the first nine months of 2021, compared with four in 2020 and nine in 2019.

According to Teesside Live, Preston said: “Politics in Middlesbrough features a significant number of people who seek to cause trouble for others by making official complaints about them citing all sorts of false allegations, from bullying to pretty much anything they can dream up.

“What the public don’t necessarily realise is that every single one of those complaints costs the tax-paying people of Middlesbrough thousands of pounds in council time and resources. Some unscrupulous councillors are racking up council bills that amount to thousands simply to cause political trouble.

He continued: “The worst and increasingly frequent example I’ve seen is councillors trying to bully others by falsely alleging they themselves have been bullied. I want to see a culture change in Middlesbrough council that will end this outrageous waste of time and money and, for once, get all councillors focused on putting Middlesbrough first.”

Preston, who stood as an independent, has been at odds with councillors in recent months and even encouraged those who do not like his style of leadership to make official complaints against him.

Several councillors, including his deputy, resigned in May after telling him they had “collectively agreed that we can no longer support you … due to your consistent poor conduct and behaviour.”

The BBC reported that they accused Preston of incurring costs of £600,000 without official senior approval and of appointing and paying a friend without following required procedures.

The broadcaster quoted Preston as saying the allegations were unfounded and had been made by people “who don’t like the fact that I’m upsetting the applecart”.

He said: “I do things differently, I challenge the status quo and I clearly upset a few people along the way who’d like things to stay just how they are. I won’t stop. I won’t resign. I’ll keep doing what’s best for Middlesbrough. Ultimately, if anyone believes I’ve done wrong, they’d be better advised going through the appropriate channels and put in an official complaint to the council.”

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Woman who masterminded self-kidnap, two others nabbed in Benin

A Benin, Edo State-based woman, Blessing Ogunu, who allegedly masterminded her own kidnap has been arrested by police operatives in the State.

The woman who is now cooling her feet with two other suspects in police custody, was arrested on 23 March, 2024.

The Command’s spokesman, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, in a statement on Monday in Benin, said the suspect was arrested with two other accomplices, Esther Anthony and Ukpebor Joel.

According to him, “The Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber Crime Unit received a complaint from one Samuel Prince Omomuzo, of No 102 Ihama Road, GRA, Benin City who reported that one Blessing Ogunu, a staff of Bliss Legacy Limited, Benin City was kidnapped in Benin and the kidnappers demanded for four million, eight hundred thousand naira (N4,800,000.00) ransom.

“The operatives, using technical intelligence, arrested the supposed victim of the kidnap, one Blessing Ogunu, Esther Anthony and Ukpebor Joel.

“During interrogation, the supposed Blessing Ogunu confessed that she masterminded her self-kidnap because her company refused to allocate land to a customer whom they have received money from.”

Nwanbuzor disclosed that the suspects would soon be charged to court.

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NAF airstrikes eliminate 30 terrorist kingpins, fighters in Borno

The Air component of the Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK), has executed a precision airstrike on the hideouts of ISWAP terrorists, killing over 30 of their fighters within Kolleram village along the shores of Lake Chad.

This is contained in a statement by AVM Edward Gabkwet, the Director, Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on Tuesday in Abuja.

Gabkwet said the airstrikes conducted on April 13, were a decisive blow against terrorism in the North-East.

He said the operation yielded significant success as the Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) post-strike conducted revealed the neutralisation of over 30 terrorists.

Gabkwet said that among those neutralised were some senior commanders of the insurgents including Ali Dawud, Bakura Fallujah, and Mallam Ari.

“Additionally, numerous vehicles, motorcycles, and logistical assets were destroyed, severely hampering the terrorists’ operational capabilities.

“Intelligence gathered after the air strike further indicated that the aerial bombardment effectively obliterated a key facility within the Kolleram enclave, which served as a hub for the terrorists’ food processing activities, including grinding machines.

“The success of these airstrikes underscores NAF’s commitment to eradicating terrorism and ensuring the safety and security of Nigerian citizens.

“By neutralising key terrorist figures and destroying their logistical infrastructure, the operation has significantly degraded the capabilities of the ISWAP group in the region.

“These airstrikes complement the ongoing efforts of ground forces in the Lake Chad flank and represent a crucial step forward in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria,” he said.

(NAN)

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Francis Okoye arrested in Anambra bound commercial bus with firearms, POS machine

A 22-year-old man, Francis Obinna Okoye, has been arrested by operatives of Edo State Police Command’s Monitoring Unit for alleged possession of firearm.
Also recovered from him was a blue-coloured pos machine.
Okoye who resides at No 26, Jatto Street, Okolo, Lagos State, was arrested on 7 April, 2024.
A statement by the Command’s spokesman, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, said the suspect was apprehended by the  operatives while on stop and search duty along Lagos-Benin expressway, by Ovia river axis.
He was intercepted in a commercial bus loaded with passengers from Lagos state heading to Anambra state.
The suspect allegedly confessed in his statement that one Emma whose surname is unknown, gave him the gun to threaten his uncle, Mr. Paul Okoye, who was alleged to have killed his father with chams.
However, when operatives of the Command took him to Lagos on Monday, 8 April, 2024, to arrest Mr. Paul Okoye, they found out that the suspect lied to the operatives.
“The suspect will soon be process to
court,” the Edo Police Command spokesperson said.
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