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Kwankwaso Not Stepping Down For Atiku, Tinubu – Campaign Spokesperson

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Mr Ladipo Johnson, spokesperson of the Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso Presidential Campaign organisation, has dispelled speculations that the candidate is considering backing other candidates.

Johnson was reacting to speculations on social media that the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) presidential candidate, Kwankwaso, was considering stepping down for either the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar or the APC candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

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In a statement in Lagos on Sunday, Johnson said: “Kwankwaso is in the race to win.

“I do not know how and why people come up with these assertions and speculations. Kwankwaso cannot and will not step down for anyone.”

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He said that Kwankwaso would contest the 2023 presidential election to the end as he joined the race of his convictions that he would make the desired change in Nigeria.

“Kwankwaso is not in the race to negotiate. He has the capacity, track record for competence and the political will to lead Nigeria to greater heights.

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“Our candidate has no reason to step down. His path to victory and chances are very high. Competitive yes but his chances are very high considering his acceptance nationwide as a man of integrity.”

He said that the party was ready for the campaigns and would transverse the entire country to convince Nigerians and to explain the reasons why they should support the NNPP.

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Johnson said it was time for Nigerians to take what they read on social media with a pinch of salt, stating that as campaigns drew nearer, a lot of lies would be unleashed to confuse Nigerians.

“I advice we check all information and be sure its truth before believing them.

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“There will be a lot of campaign of calumny against politicians that are more acceptable to the people but we are ready to put such campaigners to shame.”

He said that the NNPP as a party has a clear vision of its intentions for Nigerians and would not be dragged into unnecessary criticisms but would face the task of convincing Nigerians of the fresh ideas it would be bringing on board if elected.

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18,406 Persons Displaced By Flood in Borno – SEMA

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By Gloria Ikibah

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The Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has said that no fewer than 18,406 persons have been displaced by flood in 14 local government areas of the state.

The Director-General of SEMA, Yabawa Kolo disclosed this in an interview in Maiduguri.

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She said the affected persons including women and children were displaced by flood occasioned by heavy rainfall recorded this season.

Kolo listed the affected areas to include Shani, Kwaya Kusar, Biu, Damboa, Askira Uba, Chibok, Kaga, Dikwa, Maiduguri, Monguno, Jere, Mobbar, Gwoza, Monguno and Kala Balge among others.

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The SEMA boss said the damage assessment exercise conducted in Monguno and Kala Balve LGAs showed that the flood submerged farmlands, displaced 1,735 persons, destroyed 681shelters and 112 toilet facilities at the GGSS, NRC and Gana Ali Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

“Reports from international partners in different fields and locations indicated that a total of 4,989 houses were destroyed and 16,393 victims affected.

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“This prompted SEMA to conduct rapid independent assessment to ascertain actual level of damage.

“Most of the displaced persons are seeking shelter in primary schools in neighbouring communities. They are now in need of shelter kits, mats, blankets and food items,” she said.

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Yabawa said that the state’s Flood Response Committee, headed by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Usman Kadafur, has been working to assist the victims of the disaster.

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Reps Urge FG to Deploy Military To Secure Abuja-Kaduna Expressway For Contractor To Complete Work

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By Gloria Ikibah

The House of Representatives has resolved to called on the Federal Government to deploy the military personnel and material resources as well as intelligence necessary to secure the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway to enable the contractor resume work without risk to personnel and equipment.

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This resolution is sequel to a motion of urgent public importance on Tuesday at plenary sponsored by Hon.Garba Datti and 38 other lawmakers on the urgent need for the federal ministry of works and housing to direct the contractor to immediately resume reconstruction of the Abuja-Kaduna expressway.

Debating the motion Datti recalled that in March 2021, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, announced that the Federal Executive Council had approved the contract for the rehabilitation of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway, amongst other approvals with a delivery date of December 2022.

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According to him, the firm, which had initially been contracted to undertake the rehabilitation work on the road, Julius Berger Plc., would also be responsible for the reconstruction of the road.

But due to the incessant and rampant incidents of banditry along the Abuja-Kaduna Highway, the contractor withdrew its workers from the road for security reasons.

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The lawmaker noted that at the time of the withdrawal by the contractor, at least one half of the stretch of road had been graded and covered only in laterite which, but the intense rainfall of the past few months, has given way to gorges and potholes that have left the road un-motorable and severely slowed down traffic such that a journey that would ordinarily last one and a half hours now took three hours to complete.

He added that as a result of the current condition of the road, it only takes for a vehicle or truck to breakdown on it for a few minutes and it would result in a build up of static traffic.

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He stated: “Distressed that this was exactly what happened on the road i.e. a truck broke down on the road as a result of which there was massive gridlock on the road and that this gridlock was cleared only after five (5) days.

“Distraught that, to worsen matters, the gridlock that was occasioned recently often left motorists and commuters stranded on the road sometimes for between six (6) to nine (9) hours on a journey that should last no more than one and a half (1½) hours.

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“Anxious that there is a high probability that that this gridlocks will become a very recurrent occurrence in the immediate future.

“Wary that although the security situation has recently vastly improved along that stretch of road, gridlock on it still exposes commuters held up in it to the probability of bandit and terrorist attacks with their attendant loss of lives and property.

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Naijablitznews.com reports that the Abuja-Kaduna highway is the gateway between the North and the South of Nigeria and the major link road to the North West and North East as well as to many neighbouring countries; and the Abuja-Kaduna highway is the key outlet for the transportation of persons, commodities and goods across Nigeria and this is evident in the extraordinary traffic on it.

The lawmaker expressed worries that the situation on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway has become a debilitating drawback for the Nigerian economy, that if not immediately rectified, spells doom for the economy and the social life of Nigerians contrary to section 15(1) of the Constitution, which mandates the Nigerian State to “provide adequate facilities for and encourage free mobility of people, goods and services throughout” Nigeria as well as section 41(1) which guarantees the right to freedom of movement throughout Nigeria to every Nigerian.

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“Determined that that the aforementioned circumstances have made it urgent that the contractor, Julius Berger Plc. be immediately brought back to site to complete this phase of the contract especially the stretch between Jere and Kaduna”, he added.

The house in a unanimous voice vote adopted the motion and called on the Minister of Works and Housing to urgently and without further delay direct the contractor, Julius Berger Plc. to immediately return to site and complete its reconstruction work starting with the Jere–Kaduna stretch.

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The lawmaker also mandated the House Committee on Works to liaise with the Minister of Works and Housing as well as the heads of the relevant security agencies towards ensuring the implementation of the house resolutions and report back within three weeks for further legislative actions.

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Army, SSS, Police rivalry worsening Nigeria’s insecurity – Amos Ojo

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Amos Ojo, the clerk of the National Assembly, says the rivalry among the Nigerian Army, the police, the SSS and other security agencies is worsening the deterioration of insecurity in Nigeria.
He also called on Nigerians to support security operatives to tackle bandits and other criminals terrorising the country.

“The consequences of inter-agency rivalry have far-reaching implications on national security and exacerbate the already existing security challenges confronting the country,” the clerk stated. “The findings of KAS showed more light on intricacies associated with some laws guiding the operations of security agencies, which include (an) overlap of functions, unclear delineation of functions.”

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The clerk gave the charge in Abuja on Monday while delivering the opening remarks at a two-day retreat on National Security Legislative Reform for Senate Committee members, organised by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS).

Mr Ojo expressed concern over the escalation of security challenges through social media, adding a need to put relevant legislation in place to strengthen the country’s security architecture.

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He said social media was having a field day, feasting on such conflicts, especially inter-agency rivalries witnessed among security personnel, arising from the circulation of texts, pictures and videos.

The clerk said it was the duty of Nigerians to support security agencies and not to escalate situations through social media to avoid worsening the current insecurity across the country.

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Mr Ojo added that amending all existing incongruous legislations and making provisions that would eliminate counter-productivity and ensure inter-agency collaboration required deliberate efforts and resources.

The retreat was organised in furtherance of activities undertaken to address issues relating to the country’s overlapping mandates of security agencies.

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Others, according to him, are the conflicting description of conditions and guidelines for collaboration between security agencies.

The study by KAS in 2020 revealed that the duplication of duties and lack of proper coordination often led to inter-agency rivalry among security agencies.

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