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Stop Distracting Nigerian Government

Government

‘Stop distracting Nigerian government with amnesty demand for bandits,’ Pro-Buhari group tells Gumi

The Buhari Media Organisation on Wednesday advised the Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gumi to “shut up” and desist from distracting the Federal Government with his clamour for amnesty for bandits.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju; and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke; the group said there was no basis for President Muhammadu Buhari administration to suspend ongoing military operations in the forests of Zamfara State and adjoining areas.

The cleric had been unrelenting in his demand for amnesty for bandits terrorising the citizens in the North-West part of the country.

The statement read: “Like many Nigerians, we are concerned that the Islamic cleric could be vocal enough to say that the bandits were ‘going nowhere’, in spite of ongoing air and ground assaults on their positions.

“Sheikh Gumi has, by those comments, confirmed his description as the patron saint of criminal elements that had for some time held some states in the North-West hostage.

“Is it not strange that a religious leader could be so supportive of bandits that are known to have pillaged communities in the far North, waylaid travellers on highways, kidnapped people including students for ransom, and even ended up killing their hostages after collecting ransom?

“We wonder where the Sheikh was when those who the Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle and his Katsina State counterpart, Aminu Bello Masari granted pardon returned to the forests to resume their lives of criminality.

“It is even strange that in a bid to justify the criminal acts of those bandits, Sheikh Gumi went to the extent of drawing an analogy between them and the former Niger Delta militants.

“We know that the comparison was designed to whip up local sentiments in the North-West region against President Buhari, but we dare say that the people have suffered too much in the hands of bandits to fall for his cheap blackmail.”

BMO also commended governors of affected states in the region for collaborating with the Federal Government on efforts to tackle the problem.

It added: “Until now the governors were working at cross purposes, and taking measures that suggested that the bandits were easily moving to other states to commit further atrocities.

“But today, we are impressed that the state governments almost simultaneously announced security measures, including shutting down certain highways, schools and markets, as well as restricting the movement of cattle and bulk purchase of fuel.

“And as it turned out, those measures, including the shutdown of telecommunications services in Zamfara, were a prelude to ongoing military operation tagged ‘Festival of fire’ which from all accounts is going on well.

“We hope that Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, is watching and will take a cue from those governors who took security containment measures in collaboration with the Federal authorities.

“We also commend the defence authorities for showing that Nigerian troops are more than capable to deal a decisive blow on the bandits in spite of the shrill voice of dissent from the Sheikh.

“We invite Nigerians to note that the battle against banditry is in line with the President’s pledge to tackle insecurity headlong and it came after fruitless appeals to those criminal elements to embrace common sense.”

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News

Supreme Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Adeleke’s Candidacy

The Supreme Court has affirmed Ademola Adeleke as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the just concluded Osun State Governorship Election.

This has laid to rest the suit filed by Dotun Babayemi, a governorship aspirant of the party who sought the invalidation of Adeleke’s victory.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Amina Augie, the five-member panel held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit after counsel for the appellant, Adebayo Adelodun, withdrew the earlier notice of appeal that was filed within time.

At the resumed hearing, Adelodun, who represented the appellant and Babayemi informed the court that he sought to withdraw the earlier notice of appeal to replace it with the fresh application he filed.

But the panel held that Section 285(11) of the constitution stipulated that an appeal on a pre-election matter must be filed within 14 days from the day of the decision, and that having filed the second appeal out of time, the apex court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Justice Augie, therefore, dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Babayemi had asked the court to invalidate the primary election that produced the governor-elect, citing non-compliance with a court order.

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News

400 Staff To Lose Jobs As BBC Goes Digital

The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC world service has on Thursday disclosed that about 400 of its staff will lose their jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme and move to digital platforms,

The BBC said its international services needed to make savings of £28.5 million ($31 million) as part of wider reductions of £500 million.

In July it detailed plans to merge BBC World News television and its domestic UK equivalent into a single channel to launch in April next year.

BBC World Service currently operates in 40 languages around the world with a weekly audience of some 364 million people.

But the corporation said audience habits were changing and more people were accessing news online, which along with a freeze on BBC funding and increased operating costs meant a move to “digital-first” made financial sense.

BBC World Service director Liliane Landor said there was a “compelling case” for expanding digital services, as audiences had more than doubled since 2018.

“The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing,” she added.

 

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Environment

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian made landfall at around 15:10 local time (19:10 GMT) on Wednesday, smashing into the coast with wind speeds of up to 241km/h (150mph).

Dramatic scenes saw a hospital roof blown off, cars submerged and trees ripped out of the ground.

The category four hurricane was later downgraded to a tropical storm.

However, Floridians were warned that the most dangerous 24 hours lay ahead and the mayor of Tampa urged people to shelter in place through the night into Thursday morning.

“We are going to get the majority of the rain and the higher winds starting about 20:00, and they are going to last throughout the night,” Jane Castor said during a Wednesday evening briefing.

In a message posted on Facebook, the Weather Prediction Center told residents in the Central Florida Peninsula to expect “widespread life-threatening, catastrophic flash and urban flooding” continuing into Friday morning, with potentially up to 76cm (30ins) of rain falling locally.

Residents were ordered to leave their homes, but many have decided to remain and seek shelter indoors.

Mark Pritchett, who lives in the city of Venice, some 95km (60 miles) south of Tampa, described the “terrifying” moment he stepped outside his home as the hurricane made its way across the Gulf of Mexico.

“Rain shooting like needles. My street is a river,” he said in a text message to the Associated Press news agency.

In Lee County – the south-west region where Ian made landfall – police were prevented from responding to reports of looting at a petrol station because of the storm damage.

As a result, a curfew has been declared “until further notice”.

Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais said that the Fort Myers community had “been – to some extent – decimated”. According to news agency AFP, some neighbourhoods in the city of 80,000 had been left resembling lakes.

State Governor Ron DeSantis described Ian as the “biggest flood event” south-west Florida had ever seen, and announced that 7,000 National Guard troops are ready to lead rescue operations in flood zones.

President Joe Biden will receive a briefing on Thursday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ian is now continuing to move north through Florida. Jacksonville International Airport, based in north-east Florida, cancelled all flights scheduled for Thursday.

The storm is forecast to emerge into the Atlantic by Thursday morning.

It is expected to reach Georgia and South Carolina on Friday. Virginia has also joined Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida by declaring a state of emergency.

Cuba’s western coast was hit by Hurricane Ian on Tuesday. Power has now been restored in some areas after the island was plunged into a total blackout. Two people are understood to have been killed in Cuba and more than 20 Cuban migrants are believed to be missing at sea.

Predicted path of Hurricane Ian. Updated 27 September

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