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Peace keeping: Nigerian Army officer bags Commonwealth Peace Award

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The Commanding Officer, 72 Special Forces Battalion Makurdi, Lt. Col. A.D. Alhassan, has been honoured by the West African College of Freelance Journalism, for the tremendous achievements recorded under his command.

The award “Peace Award for Excellence and National Unity and Professionalism” was presented to Alhassan recently in Makurdi, Benue, in collaboration with the Commonwealth College of Bishops and Clergy Councils.

A statement by Bishop Abel King, Executive Director of the council, noted the resilience and commitment of the commanding officer and the professionalism of his troops in combating security threats in the middle belt and the country at large.

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King said that the performance of other security agencies had been enhanced through the sterling leadership skills of the commanding officer particularly in the middle belt area of the country.

“This call for recognition is to encourage and further boost the morale of the Nigerian Army and its personnel to continue to do more to restore and maintain the existing peace in the state and the region.

“At a time that professionalism is being tested by activities of criminals, Lt.-Col. Alhassan has lived up to the task of securing lives and property as well as guaranteeing an enabling environment for citizens.

“This has enabled the people to live without difficulty,” he said.

He said that the Nigerian Army under the leadership of Lt.-Gen Turkur Buratai had proven itself time and again by giving responsibility to tested hands such as demonstrated by Alhassan.

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He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, not to relent in the support given to the Nigerian Army to compliment the country’s conventional security agencies for lasting peace in the nation.

“The Nigerian Army continues to be our last line of defence at all times and must be encouraged to give out its best for our overall good,” he said.

 

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Police arrests 35 primary, secondary school students at s3x party in Kenya

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No fewer than 35 primary pupils and secondary school students in Kenya have been arrested on Friday by the Police at what appeared to be a sex party after some of the teenagers were found drunk and naked.

While six others escaped, 20 girls and 15 boys aged between 13 and 17 were arrested in a drunken state.

According to local reports, used condoms were also found in the 2-bedroom apartment in the raid led by Arujo Location Chief Robert Lango, Homa Bay Township Assistant Chief Duncan Odhiambo and his Arujo Sub-location counterpart Jackton Olielo.

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Lango said a parent rented the house for her two daughters, but neighbours raised the alarm after hearing loud music. The owner of the apartment, Patrick Ayieko was also arrested.

He said;

“We found used condoms which we believe the children used to engage in sex. Six managed to escape when we arrived.

“Some of the minors were dressing up when we got to the house. They had turned the house into a brothel.

“I mobilised my team and went to the house. We locked the door and called police officers who came in a vehicle and arrested the children. The owner of the house, Patrick Ayieko was also arrested  for allowing children to conduct immoral activities within his compound.”

They were all taken to Homa Bay Police Station but were later released because of lack of space.

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Homa Bay Sub County Police Commander Sammy Koskey who also confirmed the incident said that they have summoned the parents and guardians of the children to report to the police station on Monday, July 6.

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Kwara has spent N1.6bn on Covid-19- Rafiu Ajakaye

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The spokesperson of state Technical Committee on COVID-19, Rafiu Ajakaye has said that Kwara State Government has spent N1.6 billion on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The breakdown of the spending, according to Ajakaye, include the running (cost) of the activities of the technical committee (N132,931,510); medical supplies and equipment (N713,480,100.90); palliatives (N525,277,030.00); COVID-related renovation works N149,928,753.80; and security, health workers’ allowances and logistics (N47,490,550.00).

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Ajakaye, who is also Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s spokesperson said: “These expenses covered the purchase of military-grade Toyota Land Cruiser Ambulances; automated ventilators and several other Intensive Care Unit (ICU) gadgets/equipment; production of hand sanitizers; and the cost of running the activities of the technical committee and its subcommittees.”

He added the expenses also included the cost of the palliatives distributed during the lockdown; renovation of the Sobi Specialist Hospital and the Hajj Camp; mass production of face masks, purchase of surgical masks, digital thermometers, N95 and respirator-sperien 5311, and other Personal Protective Equipment; medical supplies and consumables; security expenses; trainings; allowances for medical personnel and other supportive staff in charge of the pandemic; part-renovation of the Offa General Hospital as an isolation centre; and patients’ management, among others.

“It is important to add that the government has not spent a kobo from these donations as the funds have not been appropriated by the House of Assembly. However, materials including foodstuffs donated have been distributed accordingly,” he said.

He also announced the receipt of N243m as financial donations from private individuals and corporate bodies between from March 27th.

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FG moves to end DSTV’s monopoly, says Multichoice is cheating Nigerians

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The South African Broadcasting group is about to see a big decline in their market as the Federal Government has revealed plans to end the monopoly enjoyed by cable television service providers.

The FG has especially pointed out Digital Satellite Television, owned by MultiChoice, a South Africa-based company.

The plan is said to include ending exclusive rights to sporting events.

Only DStv currently broadcasts major football competitions in Nigeria, especially the English Premier League.

The government said it had amended Nigeria’s broadcasting code to prevent DStv and others from monopolizing their channels and contents.

The House has been probing DStv for allegedly cheating its Nigerian subscribers by restricting them to prepaid plans and increasing its subscription rates on June 1, 2020, despite the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown on the people.

At the continuation of the investigative hearings organized by an ad hoc committee of the House on the matter in Abuja on Tuesday, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had dismissed claims by DStv that pay-per-view was not proper for the Nigerian market.

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Mohammed noted that StarTimes, the cable arm of the Nigerian Television Authority, was already operating for some years.

In an audio recording obtained by our correspondent, Mohammed could be heard responding to questions from the lawmakers.

The minister said,

“On the issue of increase in price for subscribers, with the onset of COVID-19, one of the first things we did in the ministry with the NBC (National Broadcasting Commission) was to provide succour to broadcasters.

“We suspended payment for the initial two months to all broadcasters so that they would be able to absorb the impact of COVID-19. Therefore, it will be unfair for those for whom we have suspended payment to also at the same time increase their own fees. And I’m sure that the DG of NBC will take up this matter.”

On the issue of monopoly, Mohammed stated that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had in 2019 set up a board of inquiry to look into the activities of broadcasting stations, to ascertain the potency of the broadcasting code and broadcasting act to curtail and regulate the industry against excesses.

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He added,

“We took that opportunity also to make the right recommendations to Mr President, including the breaking of the monopoly of the various giant operators. It is to the credit of Mr President that he did approve those recommendations.”

Mohammed noted that some recommendations would require that the National Assembly amend the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Act.

The minister said,

“You will notice, in recent weeks, a lot of attacks on the ministry as a result of these amendments. These amendments have actually struck at the heart of monopoly. These amendments are, for once, giving back to Nigerians their own industry.”

Earlier, Chairman of the committee, Mr Unyime Idem, asked Mohammed and the acting Director-General of the NBC, Armstrong Idachaba, to order DStv to suspend its recent rates’ increment.

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Mohammed immediately ordered the Idachaba to issue the notice.

Idem had stated that the minister and all stakeholders present should ensure and commence full implementation of its directives.

The House committee’s order included

“a marching order to the service providers, particularly Multichoice’s DStv, to reverse the recent June 1, 2020 price hike and revert to the old price as this is not the best of times to increase the prices of services, no matter the reasons for such increase, taking into consideration the ravaging effect of COVID-19 on the economy of Nigerians.”

It added,

“Come up with a robust strategy to break the monopoly and open up the industry for larger participation. PAYG regime for digital TV broadcasting in Nigeria, with particular reference to DStv, GOtv, StarTimes, and Kwese TV.

“Deregulation of content right by DTH (direct-to-home), DTT (digital terrestrial television), and IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) operators. Encouraging local content participation through content sharing.

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