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Reps want Buhari to reverse order revoking licenced guns

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President Muhammadu Buhari

The House of Representatives has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse the Executive Order revoking all gun certificates and licences throughout the federation.

This is sequel to the adoption of a motion of Matter of Urgent Public Importance by Rep. Nnenna Ukeje (PDP-Abia) at the plenary on Thursday.

According to the members, the order strips innocent people of the right to life and self-defence.

Leading the debate, Ukeje expressed concern over the rising spate of insecurity in the country.

She said that insecurity, which was hitherto confined to the North East and North Central states, had spread rapidly to all other parts of the country.

The lawmaker also said that there was an increase in the number of deaths resulting from terrorism, kidnapping and banditry; as well as other violent crimes in the country.

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Ukeje said that in response to the local and international outcry, the President signed an executive order to remove, revoke and banish all gun certificates and licences throughout the federation.

She said that the order was targeted at legal gun owners while there appeared to be no institutional actionable policy or plan to mop up small arms and light weapons in the country.

The legislator said that she was convinced that the high number of illegal guns was responsible, amongst other factors, for the increase in crime across the country.

Rep. Edward Pwajok (PDP-Plateau) said that there was no known investigation or research which revealed that licenced guns were responsible for insecurity.

He said that the president and security agencies should rather go after guns without licences.

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The lawmaker said that licenced gun owners used them to protect themselves and family members, and should, therefore, not be taken from them.

According to Pwajok, licenced guns had bullet registration numbers and could be traced if used for criminal activities.

He called on the president to rescind the order as it further exposed Nigerians to falling victims of violent crimes.

Also speaking, Rep. Adamu Shika (APC-Niger) said that licenced gun owners played a significant role in supporting security agents.

According to Shika, owners of licenced guns often came to the aid of neighbours by shooting to scare robbers when their neighbourhood was under attack.

He said that rural communities also had vigilante groups that used Dane guns to protect lives and property.

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In his contribution, Rep. Mojid Alabi (APC-Osun) said that he had applied for a licence for a gun after three robbery attacks, but was denied.

Alabi said that there was no clear-cut, transparent and verifiable process to acquire a gun permit.

He said that some persons could have gotten their licences through the back door adding that there was a need to clean up the system.

He recommended that a transparent process be developed and presented to the National Assembly for proper legislation on the matter.

The rep urged the president to sign into law the Bill on the establishment of a National Commission against the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons, a domestic law which is also a treaty obligation.

NAN

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ACCI calls for stronger Nigeria-India economic relations

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Mr. Adetokunbo Kayode, President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), has called for a refocused and stronger economic ties between Nigeria and India.

Kayode made the call on Tuesday in Abuja while speaking as a panelist at the webinar meeting tagged: “India – Nigeria Business Promotion, Challenges, and Opportunities – Post-COVID-19”.

Kayode, an economic expert, noted that in a rejigged relationship, a win-win situation should be the watchword.

He said that it had been informally estimated that there would be around 10 billion dollars of investment by Indian companies in Nigeria.

“A maybe very substantial part of that amount has been loaned to Indian companies by Nigerian government-owned banks like, Bank of Industry, Nigeria Exim Bank, Development Bank of Nigeria, NIRSAL FUND of the Central Bank of Nigeria as well as commercial banks.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted negatively on the relationship between the two countries, especially on medical tourism, which is one of the key areas.

“Some of us attended schools that Indians were teachers. For us to move forward, we need to rejig the already existing obsolete 1973 Trade Agreement between Nigeria and India.

“In doing so, we have to bear in mind that Nigeria has several areas where it can do business with India,” he said.

According to him, if Nigeria is ready to use Indian technology then, India should also help Nigeria to diversify its economy into agriculture, mining, manufacturing, amongst others.

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He recalled that in the Great Gujarat gathering in 2019, it was discovered that several Indian companies were rather using Indian firms in Nigeria to carry out activities in a manner that undermined local legislations, particularly in trading in retail and distribution services.

On the challenges in the trade relations, Kayode pointed out that the absence of Indian manufacturing hubs in Africa and Nigeria, in particular, as well as intrusion into local businesses needed to be addressed to strengthen the ties.

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In a remark, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Abbay Thakur, said Nigeria was one of Indian’s biggest trading partners for several years.

He highlighted some of the activities of Indian companies in Nigeria in several sectors cutting across agriculture, power, technology, automobile, health, and pharmaceuticals, among others.

Other participants at the event unanimously expressed the desire to actively participate in activities and programs that would ensure the sustainability of the already existing cordial relationship.

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In a bid to be spidermen, three brothers let Black Widow spider bite them, land in hospital

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Three brothers have been hospitalised after letting a Black Widow spider bite them believing it would turn them into Spider-Man like the Marvel comics hero.

The boys, aged 8, 10, and 12, were herding goats in the town of Chayanta, in the Andean region of Potosi in Bolivia when they came across the Black Widow spider.

In hopes that they would become Spider-Man, the boys approached the spider and prodded it with a stick on May 14, until it bit each of them in turn, epidemiology chief at the Bolivian Ministry of health, Virgilio Pietro, told local outlet Telemundo.

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The boys started experiencing symptoms within a few minutes and their concerned mother rushed them to a local health centre where their conditions continued to worsen and they were taken to a hospital in Llallagua.

The next day they were transferred to the Children’s Hospital in La Paz, where they were admitted with fever, tremors, sweating and muscular pain, Pietro said.

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The boys were successfully treated at the hospital and were able to be discharged a week later. Pietro said the incident should be taken as a warning that “for children everything is real, movies are real”.

A bite from a Black Widow spider can cause varying symptoms and can prove fatal to young children.

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Their venom affects the nervous system and can immediately cause pain, burning and swelling, as well as longer-term symptoms such as stiff and sore muscles, nausea, abdominal pain, swollen eyelids and weakness or tremors.

The spiders are native to North America, South America, and southern Europe. They are also found in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

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EEDC warns against obstruction of power line, condoles with family of Nnewi electrocution victim

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The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) has again warned the public to avoid erecting structures or trading under the power line right-of-way.

The Head of Corporate Communications of EEDC, Mr. Emeka Eze, gave the warning in a statement made available to the Newsmen in Awka on Tuesday.

Eze’s warning followed the electrocution of Mrs. Patience Ugbana, 55, and her 10-year-old granddaughter, Adaeze Ugbana, when a high tension wire fell on their shop in Nnewi, Anambra, on May 18.

He however said that the management of the company had paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased, noting that the deaths were unfortunate.

The spokesman for EEDC blamed the deaths on obstruction of power line right-of-way by the victims.

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He said that the incident would not have occurred if the residents had adhered to the company’s earlier warnings and sensitization.

“On the incident that occurred in Anambra, the victim put up makeshift shop made of the metallic container directly under the high tension line, which was why the victims were caught up and electrocuted.

“The fact is that we wouldn’t have lost these lives if they were not under the power line”, Ezeh said.

The EEDC spokesman described the power line right-of-way as the mapped out corridor for distribution and transmission of electricity.

He reiterated that precautionary safety measures and mandatory clearance levels must be observed by the public.

He explained the various power lines and their respective clearance levels that should be maintained.

”There should be 11 meters observance on 11KV and 33KV lines (that is 5.5 meters on both sides), while 30 meters is observed on 132 KV line (that is 15 meters on both sides).

”Also, 50 meters should be observed on 330KV line (that is 25 meters on both sides),” Eze noted.

He warned that in situations where electricity lines sagged or snapped and the specified clearance level was not observed, the lives of people within the area would be exposed to possible electrocution.

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He said the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) had directed Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to disconnect the power supply to all structures, buildings, and premises that were in violation of the power line right-of-way.

The EEDC’s head of corporate communications said that the company had since begun disconnection of erring properties within its network.

”EEDC is working in full liaison with relevant government agencies to ensure the directive is carried out effectively.

“We frown at indiscriminate manner structures are erected within electricity right-of-way and warn customers to desist from the hazardous behavior.

“We have been disconnecting properties identified to be in violation, and working closely with relevant government agencies; some of these structures have been demolished”, he said.

He added that EEDC had applied various communication media in sensitizing customers on the need to be safety conscious by observing the clearance levels.

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