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Boko Haram: Military hands over 86 repentant child fighters to Borno govt

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Boko Haram : Army kills three commanders, others in Borno

The Defence Headquarters has disclosed that Operation Safe Corridor (OPSC) of Nigerian Military has handed over 86 Boko Haram child fighters to Borno State Rehabilitation Centre in Bulumkutu.

The Acting Director of Defence Information, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement on Thursday, said that the fighters voluntarily surrendered to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.

Nwachukwu said the move was part of effort to ensure that minors and other repentant Boko Haram fighters in the North East were given the necessary support and opportunity to embrace peace through the auspices of OPSC.

He added that the repentant child fighters would undergo comprehensive Child Care Programme sponsored and organized by United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in conjunction with Borno State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

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According to him, the child fighters who are between ages 10 19 are part of over 1,370 Boko Haram fighters who have so far surrendered to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.

After a thorough profiling and screening, the minors were considered suitable for the six months De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Re-integration (DRR) programme.

“Arrangement is also ongoing to transfer another set of 500 repentant insurgents to Operation Safe Corridor for DRR Programme.

“The handover ceremony was witnessed by the Borno State Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo and UNICEF Official, Mr Clement Adams.

“They congratulated the surrendered fighters for laying down their arms and urged them to take advantage of the DRR programme to turn a new leaf and abandon the senseless struggle.

“Operation Safe Corridor is a Defence Headquarters led non-kinetic multi-national and multi-agency humanitarian operation conducted in tandem with extant international humanitarian laws to encourage willing and repentant Boko Haram terrorists in the North East to shun violent extremism.

“The operation is designed to also de-radicalise, rehabilitate and re-integrate repentant Boko Haram combatants who willingly surrender to troops.

“The scheme is a global model that enjoys collaboration and support from local and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as well as Multi-national Organisations,” he said.

Nwachukwu said that the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) had called on willing Boko Haram fighters to abandon the futile struggle and surrender to the troops.

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According to him, those who voluntarily surrender to troops are guaranteed of safety and will benefit from the Operation Safe Corridor de-radicalization, rehabilitation and re-integration programme.

The AFN is further committed to its strict adherence to the rules of engagement and other extant laws especially as it relates to minors in conflict situations,” he said.

 

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#RevolutionNow: DSS asks Osun protesters to provide parents before release

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The Department of State Security [DSS] asked four of the arrested #RevolutionNow Movement protesters to provide their parents before they could be released, their lawyer has said.

WuzupNigeria reports that three out of seven protesters arrested on Wednesday in Osogbo were released to their parents on Thursday.

Their counsel, Alfred Adegoke, told our correspondent that four of the protesters were still being detained at the DSS office in Osogbo.

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Adegoke gave the names of those released as Samuel Olowolafe, Gift Erupke, and Martins Jesuloni.

According to him, the four that are still held were unable to bring their parents as demanded by the DSS.

He said,

“They are still being held. The condition that they should produce their parents is uncalled for.

“They are adults. For instance, Olawale Bakare lost his mum long ago. Also, parents of one of those being held live abroad.”

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Covid-19: FG approves gradual reopening of international flights

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The Presidential Task Force (PTF), on COVID-19, has approved the gradual reopening of international flights and train services across the country.

Newsmen report that this was part of the decisions reached at the end of the second extension of the second phase of eased lockdown.

Mr Boss Mustapha, the Chairman of PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said this while speaking at the daily briefing of the PTF on Thursday in Abuja.

He said,

“It’s important to ensure that restrictions are not completely relaxed in order to control transmission.

“It is also important that at this Community Transmission Phase of the pandemic sub-national governments step up to take more responsibilities by owning the response.

“To sustain gains already made, therefore, the PTF recommended to the President the retention of the current phase of the response with minor changes to address economic, socio-political and health concerns.

“It is, however, important to inform you that the major changes being proposed are aimed at achieving the following:

“Gradual re-opening of international air flights within established parameters;

“Re-opening of rail transportation within established parameters”.

Mustapha also granted permission to exit classes to resume ahead of examinations and allowing civil servants from Grade Level 12 to resume work, and also the opening of recreational parks for supervised exercises.

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Also speaking, the Coordinator of PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, said the PTF had communicated to the aviation ministry to begin processes of reopening international flights.

Aliyu also noted that one of the new requirements would be to ensure that international passengers arrived three hours before departure to ensure proper checks before takeoff.

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He further stated that if all requirements from the aviation sector were made the resumption of international flights would be a matter of weeks and not months.

Answering a question from the media, the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, explained that the aviation sector was ready to open any moment.

Sirika also explained that international flights would open as soon as it was safe to operate as all efforts were being put in place to ensure the reopening in weeks and not in months.

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Covid-19: Yobe announces reopening of schools

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Yobe State government has announced August 8, 2020, as the date for the reopening of schools across the state.

The new date applies to all boarding schools in the state while academic activities will commence in all schools on August 11, 2020.

The State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Dr. Mohammed Sani Idris announced this in Damaturu Thursday while briefing journalists on the preparedness of the state to reopen schools after their closure about four months ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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He said:

“Yobe State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education wishes to inform the general public that SS3 and boarding Junior Secondary School students should unfailingly resume on 8th August, 2020.

“While Private schools and Government Day Secondary Schools (GDSS) students should resume on 11th August, 2020.

“The Ministry equally advises all students to come with their facemasks, as school authorities will also provide all preventable measures against the pandemic.”

The Commissioner also noted that

“Gov. Mai Mala Buni has assured that Yobe state will always abide by all preventable guidelines provided by the federal government.

He urged all SS3 students to prepare themselves well for the WAEC which will commence August 17, 2020 in order to get the best results and make the state proud.

“We are determined to reverse the negative educational statistics associated with our state. We therefore call on the students to read hard and make the state proud,” Dr. Sani said.

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