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We are going nowhere, Igbos tell Arewa youths

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The Igbo Delegate Assembly and Northern Igbo Chiefs, groups comprising stakeholders from the south-east, have told the coalition of Arewa youth that Igbo would remain in the north.

The Arewa group has given those from the south-east up till October 1 to leave the region but the elders said they have found a home.

They visited Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state on Tuesday.

“We are not happy with the call for division. We want Nigeria to remain as one so that all of us can benefit. Northern youth have been our brothers. The Igbo are not going anywhere, we will remain with our Arewa brothers in the north.” Chikezie Nwogu, president-general, Igbo Delegate Assembly, said. commended the federal government and government of Kaduna, over the manner they handled the issue.

He commended the federal government and the government of Kaduna for the manner in which the issue was handled.

“We are here in Kaduna to hold a meeting based on what has been happening in the north, especially with the Arewa Youth and the ultimatum given to Igbos and the agitations by IPOB,” he said.

“We are not here to condemn anybody.We thank the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and other northern governors, traditional rulers and the federal government for their interventions at the heat of the issue.”

He appealed to the government to tackle the root cause of agitations and subsequent quit notice by northern youth and find solution

‎”Let us look at the problem of the youths when there arcomplaintsns, it is also good to restructure in a way that will benefit everyone,” he said.

El-Rufai, who had earlier ordered the arrest of the Arewa youth, insisted that those behind the quit notice must be arrested.

He said the state, which had been affected by different crises, would not tolerate sensitive comments that could incite and cause disaffection among the people.

“We are going to arrest the Arewa Youth and bring them to justice no matter how long it takes. Since the press conference was done in Kaduna,” he said.

“If they had done it in any other place, we would have just condemned them but since it’s in Kaduna, we are going to arrest them.

“Kaduna used to be a home for all, but so much crises have left the divided across religious lines”

He assured his visitors of their safety in not just Kaduna but across all the 19 northern states.

“I have the mandate of the northern governors’ forum under the chairmanship of Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, to reassure the Igbo in the 19 northern states and Abuja that their lives and property are safe in the north,” he said.

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Army withholds salaries of 45 soldiers in Borno

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Authorities of the 7 Division Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, have withheld the salaries of 45 soldiers, according to sources.

The soldiers, who were among the 149 troops of the 153 Task Force Battalion withdrawn from Marte, Borno State, after spending three years in counterinsurgency operations, were accused of for abandoning their duty posts.

The battalion came under attack on three occasions during which several soldiers were killed while a range of weapons, equipment and vehicles were either carted away or destroyed.

The battalion was overhauled after the last attack in February.

A source said necessary changes were made and troops who served with the battalion were moved to different formations in Maiduguri before a new deployment was made.

“Some of the soldiers who were not seen at their new units were believed to have gone on AWOL (Absence Without Leave). Their salaries accounts were not credited in April,” he said.

But one of the affected soldiers said the allegation of desertion against them was untrue.

“We were not given our salaries and when we asked our supervisors in the 7 Division, we were shocked to hear that we had forfeited all our entitlements over desertion.”

Attempts to get the response of army authorities were not successful.

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EFCC goes after top officials of PDP over N10bn scandal

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The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has invited officials of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for questioning over alleged criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of funds and fraud.

This is coming barely a month after a chieftain in the PDP, Kazeem Afegbua, petitioned the anti-graft agency to scrutinise the Secondus-led National Working Committee on financial misappropriation.

In the letter of invitation dated May 17, 2021, and addressed to the Prince Uche Secondus, the EFCC said the need to obtain certain clarification from the party has become imperative.

The agency, however, requested the party’s National chairman to release the National Auditor, National Organising Secretary and Director of Finance to report at the EFCC headquarters from May 19th to 21st 2021.

The agency also requested the national officers to honor the invitation with relevant documents relating to sole of forms into the party’s elective positions from January 2017 to date.

Kazeem had in his petition alleged that much of the financial transactions of the PDP under Prince Uche Secondus has been shrouded in mystery, accusing the leadership of deliberate attempt to shortchange the party in the build up to the 2023 general elections.

However, Secondus had since denied the allegation and filed a N1 billion suit against the petitioner, Kazeem Afegbua.

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Nigeria’s drug control agency approves new COVID-19 vaccine

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has granted approval for the conditional emergency use of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.

Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is the third vaccine recommended for administration in the country.

The director-general of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojiola Adeyeye, in a statement on Tuesday, said information on the vaccine shows it met the criteria for efficacy, safety and quality.

She said, “The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a single dose. Results from a clinical trial involving people in the United States, South Africa and Latin American countries found that Janssen COVID-19 vaccine was effective at preventing COVID-19 in people from 18 years of age.

“The Phase III clinical trial involved over 44,000 people. Half received a single dose of the vaccine and half were given placebo (a dummy injection). People did not know if they had been given Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine or placebo.

According to her, the trial showed a 67 per cent reduction in the number of symptomatic COVID-19 cases after two weeks in people who received Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.

The most commonly reported side effects were pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and nausea. Most of these side effects were mild to moderate in severity and lasted 1-2 days.

On the vaccine safety, Adeyeye said NAFDAC, in line with its pharmacovigilance and safety monitoring plan for COVID-19 vaccines, will closely monitor and subject the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to several activities that apply specifically to COVID-19 vaccines.

The AstraZeneca vaccine which Nigeria has been giving out has garnered many sceptics internationally after some recipients of the vaccine died.

At least 16 countries including Germany, France and Sweden have suspended the use of AstraZeneca, which put on the Nigerian government to suspend it.

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