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Redouble efforts to release Leah Sharibu, Chibok girls – Reps to Buhari Govt

The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, called on the Federal Government to redouble its efforts toward securing the release of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram.

The lawmakers also urged the government to do everything within its power to free Leah Sharibu and others from their abductors.

This followed a motion under matters of urgent public importance by Rep. Asabe Vilita-Bashir (APC-Borno) at a plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Yusuff Lasun, at the National Assembly, Abuja.

No fewer than 276 of the students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, were abducted by Boko Haram group on April 14, 2014.

Out of the number, 57 of the girls escaped before the insurgents could transport them to their base in Sambisa Forest, four others escaped after two years while a total of 103 were released after an agreement with the government.

Moving the motion, Vilita-Bashir, who represents Chibok/Gwoza/Damboa Federal Constituency, said it is disheartening that after five years of abduction about 112 of the girls were still in the custody of the terrorists, NAN reports.

‘‘The house notes that the April 14 marked the 5th anniversary of the kidnapping of 219 Chibok girls by Boko Haram insurgents.

‘‘The house further notes that over 100 Dapchi schoolgirls were also abducted by the same insurgents.

‘‘The house is concerned that in spite of the local and international cries, 112 of the Chibok girls, Leah Sharibu and Alice Ngaddah are still in captivity,’’ she said.

The lawmaker, who commended the federal government for its efforts so far, said there was the need to do more toward ensuring freedom for all the abductees.

Contributing, Rep. Diri Douye (PDP-Bayelsa), said it is unfortunate that the country is still being faced with the challenge of securing the release of the remaining girls five years after.

‘‘It is heart-bleeding for us to still be talking about the release of our sisters who have been in captivity for five years. This same thing goes for Leah Sharibu.

‘‘If efforts have been intensified, I know today, we would not be raising this motion. This is a wake up call on the federal government and all of us,’’ he said.

Rep. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, (PDP-Abia), said it is sad that some of the parents died while waiting for their daughters’ return.

The lawmaker, who commended the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group, said the country has failed in its responsibility of securing the lives of its citizens.

‘‘Around the world, this has been the conversation, even in the U.S.,’’ she said.

Also speaking, Rep. Ken Chikere, who commended the federal government for its effort so far, noted that government still deserved some praises so that it could do more.

Rep. Sergius Ogun, (PDP-Edo), said there is the need for the federal government to tell the abducted girls’ parents and the nation on the current status of the girls.

On his part, Rep. Toby Okechukwu, (PDP-Enugu), who said it is unimaginable the way the girls were kidnapped by the terrorists, queried why it has taken such a long time to secure their release.

‘‘Until we begin to be accountable, we may not be able to find solutions to our problems.

‘‘People in government should begin to exercise their functions with some level of responsibility,’’ he said.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Lasun, said it is painful that after the Chibok girls’ abduction, ‘‘we still have another set of girls being captured by the insurgents.

‘‘It is painful because in my area, my people say it is better for a child to be announced dead than to be declared missing.

‘‘We just need to improve on our security architecture,’’ he said.

Lasun, however, remarked that ‘‘with the knowledge or fact that some of the girls might have died in the hands of their abductors, coupled with some of the security personnel who might have lost their lives in the course of rescuing the girls,’’ the House should observe a minute silence for them.

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Arewa

Teenager, man drown in Kano within hours

A teenager, Umar Murtala, on Sunday evening, drowned in a pond at Gwazaye, opposite the Abacha Youth Centre in Gwale LGA of Kano State.

Spokesman for the Kano State Fire Service, Alhaji Saidu Mohammed, told the News Agency Of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano, that 18-year-old Murtala drowned at 5pm.

“We received a distress call from one Abubakar Aliyu at 5pm that Murtala’s body was found floating in a pond.

“On receiving the information, we sent our rescue team to the scene at 5:15pm.

“The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

“Murtala was found dead and his corpse was later handed over to his father, Alhaji Murtala Salisu,’’ the spokesman said.

In another development, the fire service spokesman added that 20-year-old Mohammed Shaharali drowned when he fell into an open pool of water on Sunday morning at Ladanai in Nasarawa LGA of Kano State.

The spokesman said that the service received a call from one Mr Ishaiaku Yaro, at 9:22am who said that a body was found floating on the water.

“Upon receiving the information, we quickly dispatched our rescue team to the scene at 9:30am.” he said.

According to him, the deceased was rescued unconscious but later confirmed dead.

The spokesman said that his remains were handed to the Head of Hotoron Arewa Central Ward, Alhaji Murtala Mohammed.

He advised the general public to be careful while bathing in pools, ponds and other sources of water.

NAN reports that there have been increased cases of drowning since the commencement of the heat season in Kano about a month ago.

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Arewa

Kaduna: ECWA pastor, daughter, 16 others kidnapped

A senior Pastor of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Dankade, in Igabi local government area of Kaduna State, Rev. Zakariah Ido has been kidnapped.

The Nation reports that the Pastor and 16 others, among whom were his daughter and son of the pastor of Assemblies of God Church, were seized by gunmen within the church premises during service on Sunday.

Zaria DCC Secretary of the church, Rev Nath Waziri said “It is sad to inform you that one of our pastors, his daughter and 15 other members of ECWA Church Dankade were kidnapped in the early hours of today.

“The church hosted a combined choir fellowship Saturday night to early hours of today. Then, this morning (Sunday), kidnappers stormed the church, when the gunmen came, they asked everyone in the church to surrender his or her phones and demanded the whereabouts of the pastor.

“After threatening the choristers they became afraid and showed them the pastor’s home. They took him away and his daughter with 15 others, including the son of the pastor of Assemblies of God Church.”

He added that as at 10 p.m. on Sunday, no contact has been established with the kidnappers.

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Arewa

Kwara: Gov. Ahmed speaks on ‘moving’ State-owned property out of Government House

The Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed-led Kwara State Government has denied moving State-owned property out of the Government House.

The Government, in a statement to DAILY POST on Monday, dismissed the story making the rounds in some quarters as false news.

It was reported that Gov Ahmed and some other government officials in the Government House, Ilorin were moving government property just few days to the end of their tenure.

However, in a brief statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Dr Muyideen Akorede, the government said what was being erroneously circulated were images of a truck load of charity (Zakat) items provided by Alhaji Aliko Dangote through his foundation which were being taken out of government house for distribution to people in keeping with the annual practice.

The statement added, “Clearly, those were not government property. For the record, all government property inside government house are bar-coded and contained in an inventory which will be handed over to the incoming government.”

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