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Repentant Boko Haram members getting soft landing – Security Expert


A seasoned security expert and analyst, Ona Ekhomu, has described the recent graduation of about 600 repentant Boko Haram members and their planned reintegration into society by the Federal Government as a ‘soft landing’ after the carnage caused by the terrorists.

WuzupNigeria reports that the dreaded Boko Haram, according to Council on Foreign Relations, killed over 37,500
people killed since May 2011, displaced an estimated 2.5milloin people in the Lake Chad Basin and created about 244,000 Nigerian refugees.

The terrorists have shown no mercy on the Nigerian state and its citizens. They have not only kidnapped and violated many, including young schoolgirls – turning them to sex slaves and suicide bombers – they have murdered many, beheaded some, executed some openly, burnt some to ashes and turned many children to orphans, wives to widows and men to widowers.

Ekhomu, who is the chairman of Trans-World Security Systems Ltd., described that warm reception FG accorded repentant Boko Haram terrorists as inhumane to their victims over the years.

“It (the rehabilitation and planned reintegration) is a mistake and a very unfortunate circumstance because reality is being stood on its head,” said Ekhomu in a The Punch report.

“The perpetrators are getting a soft landing; they are living on government largesse, all in some unproven claims that they have been deradicalised, which we know is not true.

“When somebody commits murder, you keep them in jail for life or you even hang them, yet these people who are beheading others, bombing people and killing thousands are being given a soft landing. Part of the problem we have is that we don’t have our priorities right.”

He added,

“I totally oppose it and think it’s very inhuman of whoever the policymaker is that came up with the idea that they should be rehabilitating those fighters.”

Ekhomu, who earned the Certified Protection Officer Instructor from the United States-based International Foundation for Protection Officers, stated that the programme was a reflection of misplaced priorities, noting that the country should have learnt from what happened to the late leader of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Ibrahim al-Baghdadi.

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He said,

“They (the terrorists) have been a great threat to the society and they ought to be held. The point is that Operation Safe Corridor is a mistake. It’s a mistake and a bad strategy because they cannot guarantee the outcome or that it would meet the policy objectives.

“I keep telling them the famous story of (Abu Bakr) al-Baghdadi, who was released in a similar manner by the United States military in Iraq. They didn’t know at that time they were releasing a guy who would go on to behead many Americans, Europeans and cause the death of many people.

“Even though al-Baghdadi is in his grave, his hands are still here in the North-East of Nigeria, causing havoc for us.

“So, what they are doing is recycling the fighters and the soldiers would wonder why the government is bringing in these people to fight them again. It’s a nation that fights a war, not the army and that is why we have other institutions. Why can’t the criminal justice system work? You keep them in a place for six months and then you turn back and say they are graduating them. What graduation?”

Ekhomu described the programme as indefensible, noting that it must have been an initiative of the Boko Haram sympathisers.

“Many of the sympathisers have departed from it because they have seen the dangers in this, yet we are still defending it,” he said.

“The other day, I saw one very laughable and ridiculous statement that the repentant terrorists have sworn allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria; I laughed and asked if people could be so funny.

“You mean a Jihadi guy swore allegiance to Nigeria, how does that work? They don’t care about you or your authorities; they don’t care about your government, neither do they have any regard for them. This is a very bad policy that should never have been brought in.”

“As of Friday, the war had been on for 11 years and four days and here we are. It started on July 26, 2009 in Bauchi State, is it not enough already? Killing their leader, Mohammed Yusuf, extrajudicially in July 2009 in Maiduguri is the silliest thing they (police) have ever done.

“You never kill the head of an insurgency; you take him alive so that he can talk to his guys. We killed Yusuf but we are faced with Abubakar Shekau. Look at where we are.”


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Oluwo of Iwo loses mother




The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi is currently in a state of mourning as he has lost his mother, Suebat Amope Akanbi.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Oluwo, Alli Ibraheem made the sad announcement via a signed statement.

Read the statement below:

“Rest on Iya Oba, Your Death is Regrettable But Deserves Celebration – Oluwo

I mourn the death of Iya Oba, Suebat Amope Akanbi nee Alimi “Iya Onigold”. Your passing was regrettable but we dare not question God. As a nonagenarian, I will celebrate your passing to a greater glory because your glory shined in your lifetime.

You were an achiever. You witnessed the glory of your child becoming Oluwo. You felt fulfilled. You felt the joy and died joyfully.

May your continue to rest in peace good mother. I felt the loss but still celebrating it. You came, you saw, you conquered.

Alli Ibraheem, Chief Press Secretary to Oluwo”

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India’s Covid-19 tally crosses 2.3m as deaths surge past 46,000 mark



The number of COVID-19 cases in India rose to 2,329,638 on Wednesday as the deaths crossed the 46,000 mark, reaching 46,091, said the data released by the Federal Health Ministry.

Over the past 24 hours, as many as 60,963 new cases were recorded across the country, while 834 deaths due to the virus were registered.

There are a total of 643,948 active cases in India presently and 1,639,599 people have been cured and discharged from hospitals.

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Wednesday is the 13th consecutive day when over 50,000 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in India.

The recent surge in fresh cases is due to ramping of samples testing.

A total of 733,449 samples were tested on Tuesday alone, bringing total samples tested to 26,015297.

According to the federal health ministry, the recovery rate amongst the COVID-19 patients has reached almost 70 per cent.

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Also, the fatality rate presently stands at two per cent and is steadily declining.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that there was an urgent need to increase testing of samples to curb COVID-19 in 10 states, which account for nearly 80 per cent of fresh cases across the country.

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These states are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Bihar, Gujarat, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.

Interacting with the chief ministers of all the 10 states through video-conferencing, Modi stated that if the virus was defeated in these states, the entire country would emerge victorious in the battle against COVID-19.










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UK in recession for the first time in 11 years



Boris Johnson

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has confirmed the UK’s nosedive back into recession after nearly 11 years, and there are fears of worse yet to come.

Fresh figures show the pandemic sent the economy plunging by a record 20.4% between April and June – with hospitality singled out as the worst-hit industry.

The stark announcement has been declared a ‘tragedy for Britain’ by Labour – coming just a day after it was revealed nearly one million jobs had already been lost during the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown.

Alarm bells are ringing warning of another spike in job losses as firms have to begin paying towards furloughed workers’ wages as the scheme ends altogether in October.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak today issued a stark warning that ‘many more’ will lose their jobs as the recession is officially declared, but he has urged Britain not to lose hope.

His statement read:

“I’ve said before that hard times were ahead, and today’s figures confirm that hard times are here.

“Hundreds of thousands of people have already lost their jobs, and sadly in the coming months many more will.

“But while there are difficult choices to be made ahead, we will get through this, and I can assure people that nobody will be left without hope or opportunity.”

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds tweeted criticism of Boris Johnson’s handling of the crisis: “We’ve already got the worst excess death rate in Europe – now we’re on course for the worst recession too.

“That’s a tragedy for our country and it’s happening on the PM’s watch. A downturn was inevitable after lockdown – Johnson’s jobs crisis wasn’t.”

The ONS confirmed the official recession declaration on Wednesday, in a major milestone for a flailing UK economy.

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The statistics agency said the UK economy had contracted by 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020, as the Covid-19 lockdown pushed the country into an unprecedented slump.

A recession is defined as two successive quarters of decline in gross domestic product (GDP), which has not been seen in the UK since 2008 and 2009 during the financial crisis.

It comes after ONS data showed around 730,000 UK workers have been removed from the payrolls of British companies since March when the lockdown began, in a sign of the pandemic’s toll on the economy.

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The numbers do not include the vast amount of people at risk of redundancy but still technically employed for now as the furlough scheme continues for just over another month,

Employment also dropped by the largest amount in a quarter since 2009 between May and June.

But monthly figures showed the economy bounced back by 8.7% in June, following upwardly revised growth of 2.4% in May, as lockdown restrictions eased.

The ONS said the economy is still a long way off from recovering the record falls seen in March and April after tumbling into “the largest recession on record”.

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TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“The best way to get our economy back on its feet is to keep people in work. The more jobs we protect the faster we’ll recover from this crisis.

“Ministers cannot afford to dither. They must do everything possible to stop mass unemployment.

“That means extending the job retention scheme for companies that have a viable future but need support beyond October.

“And it means investing in the decent jobs we need for the future in green industries, social care and across the public sector.”

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Economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic means Chancellor Rishi Sunak may delay his autumn Budget, according to the Financial Times.

The paper said fears of a second wave of Covid-19 had led Mr Sunak to consider delaying major public spending decisions until after the crisis, most likely until the spring.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS, said the economy was beginning to whir back into action- but explained the GDP remains in the doldrums.

He said:

“The recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has led to the biggest fall in quarterly GDP on record.

“The economy began to bounce back in June with shops reopening, factories beginning to ramp up production and housebuilding continuing to recover.

“Despite this, GDP in June still remains a sixth below its level in February, before the virus struck.

“Overall, productivity saw its largest-ever fall in the second quarter. Hospitality was worst hit, with productivity in that industry falling by three-quarters in recent months.”

The statistics agency said there had been record quarterly falls in services, production and construction output in Quarter 2.

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The falls have been particularly prevalent in those industries that have been most exposed to government lockdown restrictions.

This week, Britain’s high street bloodbath continued this week with more jobs being put on the line.

Department store Debenhams axed 2,500 jobs in branches and warehouses.

It comes the day after the Government reported the highest daily Covid-19 cases – 1,148 – since June 21.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Brits on Tuesday that the economy will have more “bumpy months” ahead.

He added:

“We always knew this was going to be a very tough time for people.”

Speaking during a visit to a construction site at The County Hospital in Hereford, he said: “What we are going to have to do is to keep going with our plan to ‘build, build, build’ and build back better, and ensure we make the colossal investments we can now make in the UK economy to drive jobs and growth.”

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