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Intelligence Cooperation Among West Africa Police Services Ensured Arrest Of Evans – IGP

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The Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, has attributed the arrest of Chukwujeme Onwamadike, the suspected kidnapper popularly known as Evans, to information sharing and intelligence cooperation among police services in West Africa.

“Information sharing is crucial to tackling the menace of trans-border crimes in West Africa; it is through such exchange that we were able to nab a Ghanaian/Nigerian kidnapper two weeks ago, after evading arrest for many years,” Idris said on Wednesday.

Idris spoke in Accra, Ghana in a paper titled: “The role of Nigeria Police in national security and its contributions in West Africa”, delivered at an ongoing West Africa international security conference.

The paper was sent, via email, to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lafia.

“For several years, Evans terrorised Nigerians and nationals of many countries across West Africa. Efforts to apprehend him did not yield the desired results until we spread our search net wider,” he said.

The police chief, who solicited closer ties among security agencies in the sub-region, emphasised the need to improve the method of monitoring and surveillance, particularly among border and coastal police units.

Idris called for improved communication capabilities among intelligence gathering outfits in West Africa, and called for mutual support to plug loopholes usually exploited by criminals.

He said that the Nigeria Police Force had 300,000 personnel in 127 area commands and 5303 divisions, adding that the force had consistently contributed to stability and peace in ECOWAS nations and under UN mandates.

“The Nigeria Police Force trained 250 Liberian Police personnel in 2005 and has consistently offered training slots to police officers from Gambia and Sierra Leone at the Police Staff College, Jos and the Police Academy, Wudil.

“We also trained 100 police officers from the Republic of Niger on mobile police combat in 1998. At the end of the training, Nigeria donated trucks, riot equipment and tear smoke to the Nigerien government,” he said.

Idris said that the Nigeria Police Force also helped to stabilise Guinea Bissau in 2012, when the military intervened in its leadership and truncated democracy.

“Our police personnel remained there until democracy was restored in 2014,” he stated.

The IGP expressed Nigeria’s readiness to consistently cooperate with police formations in other countries to track down criminals, pointing out that such mutual cooperation had become even more necessary as technology had reduced the world to a small village. (NAN)

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‘I don’t believe foreigners are involved in Nigeria killings’ – French envoy contradicts Buhari

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Denys Gauer, outgoing French ambassador to Nigeria, says he does not believe that foreigners are involved in the killings across the country.

The French’s envoy position contradicts that of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari had said that the killings are as a result of the influx of mercenaries from the Sahel region.

“It has always been there, but now made worse by the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the West African sub-region,” the president had said when Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, visited him in London back in April.

But speaking with journalists on Friday in Abuja, Gauer said impunity is encouraging the killings in the country and those responsible must be punished.

The envoy spoke to journalists in commemoration of the 2018 French National Day.

“The reason for the killings is demography; some people are fighting for land, so there must be direct policy to develop agriculture and animal husbandry,” he said.

“I think impunity is encouraging the killings and those responsible must be punished. I don’t believe foreigners are involved in the killings.

“The second is justice. When there is that kind of killing, there must be proper prosecution and perpetrators must be properly sentenced. If that does not happen then, it cannot end.”

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INEC: Smartphones can be used at polling units but not inside voting cubicle

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has not banned the use of smartphones around polling unit areas.

The electoral body says the rule only comes into effect once a prospective voter enters the voting cubicle to cast his or her vote.

Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to INEC chairman, made the clarification in an interview with NAN on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said this while reacting to a statement issued by Uche Secondus, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), condemning the decision of INEC to ban the use of smartphones at polling booths.

Secondus had alleged that the decision was to perfect a rigging formula for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

But Oyekanmi said the challenge of vote-buying and selling had prompted many stakeholders to call on INEC to devise innovative ways to tackle the problem.

He said: “In consultation with other stakeholders, the Commission came up with new measures to solve the problem, one of which is to disallow the use of smartphones and other electronic devices in the voting cubicles on election day.

“In other words, INEC is not banning phones around the polling unit area, but the ban takes effect from the moment a prospective voter collects his or her ballot paper and enters into voting cubicle to thumbprint and thereafter drop the folded ballot paper into the ballot box.

“After that, the voter can have access to his or her phone.”

Oyekanmi urged Nigerians to disregard any attempt by any individual or group to politicise what was purely a preventive measure.

NAN

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Report: Over 40% of world’s poorest will live in Nigeria, Congo by 2050

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More than 40 percent of “extremely poor people” in the world will be living in Nigeria and DR Congo by 2050, a report by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has revealed.

In the 2018 goalkeepers report released Tuesday, the foundation said by 2050, Nigeria will have 152 million people in extreme poverty out of a projected population of 429 million.

It blamed this on the lack of investment in human capital to correspond with the increasing population growth.

Nigeria is currently the seventh most populous country in the world with an estimated population of 198 million.

The annual report, produced in partnership with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, tracks progress being made on the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs).

In June, Brookings Institution reported that Nigeria had overtaken India as the nation with the highest number of poor people , with 87 million of its citizens in extreme poverty.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had also said in March that Nigerians are getting poorer due to the lack of coherent and comprehensive economic reforms.

The goalkeepers report said while more than a billion in the world have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty since 2000, “extreme poverty is becoming heavily concentrated in sub-Saharan African countries”.

“By 2050, that’s where 86 percent of the extremely poor people in the world are projected to live. The challenge is that within Africa, poverty is concentrating in just a handful of very fast-growing countries,” the report said.

“By 2050, for example, more than 40 percent of the extremely poor people in the world will live in just two countries: Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. Even within these countries, poverty is still concentrating in certain areas.”

It warned that decades of stunning progress in the fight against poverty and disease may be on the verge of stalling.

This, the report said, is because the poorest parts of the world are growing faster than everywhere else. “If current trend continues, the number of poor people in the world will stop falling – and could even start rising,” it said.

THE WAY OUT

The foundation said to address the poverty crisis, adequate investment would need to be made in young people, especially in areas of education, health and human capital development.

The education and health sectors in Nigeria have suffered neglect over the years. In 2018, N542 billion was earmarked for the education sector while health got N356 billion – out of the N9.1 trillion budget.

“Investing in young people’s health and education is the best way for a country to unlock productivity and innovation; cut poverty, create opportunities and generate prosperity,” the report added.

“The next step is making sure children don’t merely survive but also thrive.”

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