Kassim Afegbua, the spokesperson for an ex-military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, has revealed that his life is in danger following series of interrogation by Nigeria’s security agencies.
Mr Afegbua had released a press statement by the former military ruler where he told Nigerians not to vote President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 should he seek re-election.
The statement which was denied by some person was later confirmed by Mr Babangida himself to a national newspaper.
Since the release of the now controversial statement, Mr, Afegbua had been declared wanted by the Nigerian police and was also invited for questioning by Nigeria’s secret police, Department of State Security (DSS).
“Let me state at this point that my life is in danger as we speak. I have been receiving series of unknown phone calls from people threatening me and my family,” he said in a statement made available to New Telegraph.
“But I am resolute in the true spirit of a free-born, that threats, intimidation, harassment and psychological torturing has never and will not stop me from exercising my right of free speech as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; as well as carrying out my professional responsibility. I will not submit to intimidation, harassment and threats. Certainly not. I have just a life to live and no one under God will live forever,” the statement added.
Buhari to chair Tinubu’s birthday colloquium
President Muhammadu Buhari would lead several distinguished Nigerians to chair the 10th Bola Tinubu Colloquium to commemorate the 66th birthday of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In a statement signed by Secretary to the Lagos state government, Mr Tunji Bello, this year’s event themed “Investing in People” would hold at the Eko Convention Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos with a view to bringing together stakeholders including policy makers, academics and members of the civil society groups.
Bello said that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode would be the chief host as the event would also provide a talk shop for attendees to tell unique Nigerian story of what it meant for the government to act as a social investor in the affairs of its people.
He said: “When stretched further, the Colloquium would ascertain whether the quest for the government to act as a social investor can be regarded as campaign slogan or a mere ideology with no incremental/socio-economic benefits. The gathering would also debate whether such decision by government should be regarded as a necessary policy action which the nation must embrace if she must witness any real development.”
2018 budget: Niger gov signs N134.28bn into law
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, yesterday signed the 2018 N134.28 billion appropriation bill into law, saying the late passage of the budget by the House of Assembly would affect road construction components of the fiscal law.
The budget, which was against the earlier N128.01 billion presented by the executive last December, now had an increase of N6.27 billion.
The governor raised the fears after assenting to the bill passed by the House of Assembly last Thursday.
According to him, “We have lost almost three months in the year, we have already had the first rains in Minna; the lateness in the passage of the budget will have some effects on our road projects because of the rains.”
He, however, charged the House of Assembly to expedite action on the 2019 budget when presented, saying that the executive would ensure the fiscal estimates were ready at least in the last quarter of the year.
For speedy action, he specifically directed the State Planning Commission to commence work on the budget so that it would meet the deadline.
Bello said: “With the signing of the bill, government business will move at a faster pace, we have no excuse not to succeed, we have lost a few months due to nobody’s fault, but we will make up for the lost ground.”
Dapchi: How our schoolmates died in custody – Freed girls
…104 schoolgirls freed
Christian student in custody over refusal to convert
FG: We didn’t pay ransom
Soldiers withdrew before Boko Haram returned girls
Insurgents issued threat to residents
PDP: FG, APC stage-managed abduction, release
UN: Abductors must face justice
After one month in captivity, 104 students of the Government Girls Science and Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, Yobe State were yesterday freed by their abductors.
One other girl and a boy were freed by the insurgents along with the schoolgirls.
Unfortunately, five of the 110 abducted schoolgirls died in the custody of Boko Haram terrorists.
One of the students, a Christian, is said to be in custody because she failed to convert to Islam. The girls were abducted on February 19.
Boko Haram members returned the schoolgirls a few minutes after soldiers were withdrawn from the town.
The fighters drove the girls to Dapchi yesterday morning in trucks, dropped them and left the town.
One of the rescued girls, Fatima Makinta Liman, said they spent about four days on the road before they reached Dapchi.
She added that they were escorted by some Boko Haram members.
The government did not make any mention of deaths yesterday.
The Chairman of the Dapchi Abducted Schoolgirls Parents Association, Mr. Bashir Manzo, said five of the girls died in the captivity of the terrorists.
One of the freed girls, Khadija Grema, told Reuters how five of their schoolgirls died in custody.
“About five are dead, but it was not as if they killed them – it was because of the stress and trauma that made them tired and weak.
“They didn’t harm us. They were giving us food, very good food. We didn’t have any problem.
“One is still with them because she is a Christian,” Grema said.
Grema said she didn’t know why they were returned. “I don’t know why they brought us back, but they said because we are children of Muslims,” she said.
One of the freed girls, according to BBC, said the five had been crushed to death as they were herded into vehicles and driven away.
The girl said they were taken into the bush, to an “enclosed place”. The girl said they had to cook their own food.
Muhammad Bursari said his niece, Hadiza Muhammed, who was one of the freed girls, told him the remaining student was still in captivity because she had refused to convert to Islam.
The father of the girl who was said to be in Boko Haram custody because she refused to convert from Christianity to Islam, Sharibu Nata, told BBC that he was happy that his daughter had not renounced her faith.
A resident of Dapchi told our correspondent that the group first dropped off one of the girls at a nearby village, then drove into the centre of Dapchi to drop the rest.
The military did not allow journalists into town. They were forced to stay about two kilometres from the city centre.
Our correspondent, who was in Dapchi, observed a motorcade which came into the town ostensibly to deliver the girls.
One of the parents of the abducted girls, Mallam Makinta Liman, who spoke with our correspondent on the phone, said the insurgents returned the girls in the early hours of yesterday, a few minutes after soldiers were withdrawn from the town.
It was learnt that Boko Haram members gathered the abducted schoolgirls in one place and preached to them for about 30 minutes in Dapchi.
The terrorists asked the girls to return to the path of Allah (God) and stop pursuit of Western education. The terrorists also told the girls they were released because they wanted to give them another chance to return to Allah.
Hundreds of parents and residents of Dapchi surrounded where the girls were being kept, but soldiers kept them at bay.
Another resident, who did not want his name in print, said the terrorists threatened to come back to unleash more terror on Dapchi.
He said: “They gave our District Head a 30-day ultimatum. They said that from now, we should stop going to school for Western education, if not, what they would do to us next would be very sad. They threatened to come back to destroy the school.”
But Liman said the people, particularly the parents, were happy over the return of the girls.
He said: “There is jubilation in Dapchi now as our daughters are back home safely. The girls were kidnapped on February 19.”
One of the residents of Dapchi, Mallam Mustapha, said that the militants came with the girls in eight vehicles same way they took them away.
He said there was confusion in the area as members of the community scampered into the bush as the terrorists appeared in the town.
Aliyu Maina, reunited with his 13-year-old daughter, said the fighters “stopped and blocked the road, they didn’t talk to anybody, they didn’t greet anybody.”
“They said people should make space for people to recognize their children and I got my child,” Maina said.
Mohammed Dala said he had found his 12-year-old daughter in a crowd of the girls in the centre of town.
“Some motors painted in military colour came with our girls,” he told Reuters. “They (the militants) said
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