Portugal beat Iran 1-0 in a nail-biting Group B game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. A Cristiano Ronaldo header in the fourth minute was enough for Portugal to take all three points in their Group B clash against Morocco.These are three things we learnt from the game.Match stats1. Unbeaten run against non-EuropeansPortugal continued their unbeaten run in the World Cup against non-European countries with the 1-0 win over Morocco.The win stretches their unbeaten run against a non-European nation to 16 years. The last time they lost a World Cup game against a non-European country was in the 1-0 win over South Korea in 2002. Since then they have won six and drawn three games against non-European countries.2. Impressive Group game results for PortugalApart from the 4-0 loss to Germany in Brazil 2014, Portugal have not lost in their last 11 World Cup group games. They have won six and drawn the other four in their 11 last Group games of the World Cup.3. World Cup blues for MoroccoMorocco’s 1-0 loss to Portugal has now made it the seventh time they are losing a World Cup game in 11 matches. 4. Another record for Ronaldo Ronaldo’s winning goal for Portugal was his 85th international goal for his country, making him the highest European goalscorer in the history of football.5. Half-time recordsWith the winning goal coming just in the fourth minute, Portugal are still yet to lose a World Cup match in which they have been leading at halftime.Morocco on the other have never won when they are trailing at half-time.
Watch the video for ‘Fully In’ by South African rapper, AKA. AKA has released the visuals to his new single, entitled, ‘Fully In’.Fully In is a single off his upcoming third studio album, ‘Touch My Blood’.The Black and White themed video sees AKA celebrate the victories he has attained in the course of his career.The visuals is directed by Alessio Bettocchi for Studio Space Pictures.
Murtala Muhammed International Airport, LagosThe United States, yesterday, deported 34 Nigerians over alleged immigration and related offences.
The deportees arrived at the cargo session of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMlA), Lagos, aboard a chartered Omni Air International aircraft with Registration Number W342AX.
The Spokesman of the Lagos Airport Police Command, Joseph Alabi, confirmed the development, saying: “At about 14:30 hours (2:30 p.m.), we received 34 Nigerians who were brought back from the United States. They were made up of 32 males and two females.”
He said 25 of the persons were alleged to have committed criminal offences, with one involved in narcotics.
Others were alleged to have committed immigration-related offences.
Alabi said the deportees were received by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the police.
Also involved were officials of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
He said the deportees were profiled by the relevant authorities and allowed to depart to their various destinations.
Airline operators, meanwhile, commended the Federal Government’s removal of the controversial mandatory five per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on air travel tickets.
The operators, who recently had threatened to stop paying the tax, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government for listening to the cries of domestic airlines in the country.
The Guardian learnt that the action was effected by an Executive Order stating the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) from “All Forms of Shared Transportation”, following the Federal Executive Council (FEC) Meeting o June 6, 2018.
The VAT is among 37 sundry charges, under the guise of taxes and levies at airports nationwide that account for at least 65 per cent of revenue accruing to the airlines.
The Chairman of the Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON), Capt. Nogie Meggison, said they had, for decades, called for discussions on the immediate removal of VAT from domestic air transportation, in line with global best practices.
He said: “VAT is an added burden on our passengers who have limited disposal funds and have reached their elastic point in this difficult time in the nation’s economy.
“This adversely affects the sector by reducing the number of those who can afford to travel by air, due to high fares.
This has been shown to be true, according to a recent report from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that passenger traffic dropped by 27 per cent in 2017 and by another seven per cent in the first quarter of 2018, making it a total of 34 per cent drop in passenger traffic within a span of one year.”
He said domestic air travel in Nigeria is the only mode of commercial transportation that pays VAT.
“VAT on commercial air transportation is a huge departure from what obtains worldwide and is an increased burden on Nigerian travellers.
Ghana, Benin Republic, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire, located next door to us, have all abolished VAT for air transportation.
“The recent decision by the Federal Government to remove VAT from domestic air transportation will go a long way in bringing succour to groaning Nigerian travelers.
They will be able to afford travel by air, and the growth in demand for domestic air travel will lead to the creation of jobs by the entire air transport service chain (airlines, airports, ground handlers and catering companies), as well as increase revenues for government.
“This is a step that Ghana took over a year ago and the benefits are there for all to see today, as Accra is fast becoming the aviation hub for West Africa,” he said.
Former England international, Paul Robinson said it would be hard for the Super Eagles of Nigeria to advance from group D having fluffed their chances against Croatia in their opening game.
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President Muhammadu Buhari has raised concern over the National Assembly’s injection of strange projects and sundry irregularities into the 2018 budget.
He made the observation at the Presidential Villa, yesterday, as he signed the appropriation bill of N9.12 trillion into law, after seven months of delay.
At the event witnessed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and members of the National Assembly, Buhari accused the legislators, saying they “made cuts amounting to N347 billion in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578 billion.”
He regretted: “Many of the projects cut are critical and may be difficult, if not impossible, to implement with the reduced allocation. Some of the new projects inserted by the National Assembly have not been properly conceptualised, designed and costed, and will therefore be difficult to execute.”
He also said many of the new projects “have been added to the budgets of most MDAs with no consideration for institutional capacity to execute them or the incremental recurrent expenditure that may be required.
“As it is, some of these projects relate to matters that are the responsibility of the states and local governments, and for which the Federal Government should therefore not be unduly burdened.”
Read More: Buhari unhappy about National Assembly alteration of 2018 budget
Giving instances of the cuts, the president said: “The provisions for some nationally/regionally strategic infrastructure projects such as counterpart funding for the Mambilla Power Plant, Second Niger Bridge/ancillary roads, the East-West Road, Bonny-Bodo Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Itakpe-Ajaokuta Rail Project were cut by an aggregate of N11.5 billion.
“Similarly, provisions for some ongoing critical infrastructure projects in the FCT, Abuja, especially major arterial roads and the mass transit rail project, were cut by a total of N7.5 billion.
“The provisions for various strategic interventions in the health sector such as the upgrade of some tertiary health institutions, transport and storage of vaccines through the cold chain supply system, provision of anti-retroviral drugs for persons on treatment, establishment of chemotherapy centres and procurement of dialysis consumables were cut by an aggregate amount of N7.45 billion.
“About 70 new road projects have been inserted into the budget of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
In doing so, the National Assembly applied some of the additional funds expected from the upward review of the oil price benchmark to the ministry’s vote.
Regrettably, however, in order to make provision for some of the new roads, the National Assembly has cut the amounts allocated to some strategic major roads.”
Buhari also expressed concern over the Assembly’s increase of the provisions for Statutory Transfers by an aggregate of N73.96 billion.
He said “most of the increases are for recurrent expenditure at a time we are trying to keep down the cost of governance.
“An example of this increase is the budget of the National Assembly itself, which has increased by N14.5 billion, from N125 billion to N139.5 billion, without any discussion with the executive.”
Notwithstanding the objections, Buhari said he decided to sign the budget “in order not to further slow down the pace of recovery of our economy, which has doubtlessly been affected by the delay in passing the budget.”
He expressed his “intention to remedy some of the most critical of these issues through a supplementary and/or amendment budget”, which he hoped the National Assembly would “expeditiously consider.”
The president praised the successful implementation of the 2017 budget, saying a total of N1.5 trillion was released for capital projects during the fiscal year with significant improvement in the performance of the economy.
He said his administration was set to achieve the laudable objectives of the 2018 budget, while working hard to generate the revenues required to finance the government’s projects and programmes.
“The positive global oil market outlook, as well as continuing improvement in non-oil revenues, make us optimistic about our ability to finance the budget.
However, being a deficit budget, the borrowing plan will be forwarded to the National Assembly shortly.
I crave the indulgence of the National Assembly for a speedy consideration and approval of the plan,” he said.
He explained that the budget provides for aggregate expenditures of N9.12 trillion, which is 22.6 per cent higher than the 2017 appropriation.
But some members of the National Assembly dismissed Buhari’s concerns.
Senate Deputy Majority Leader Bala Ibn Na’Allah told State House Correspondents after the event that the legislators had simply carried out their constitutional duties.
“It’s a very delicate issue. If somebody says he wants N500 million for the maintenance of bridges nationwide, do you expect the National Assembly to say, ‘Okay, that budget is approved,’ just because it came from the executive?
Then we have not done our work. We will be interested in knowing which of the roads you are going to maintain.”
Na’Allah, who represented Senate President Bukola Saraki, blamed Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the delay in passing the budget, saying they failed to show up with their presentations.
“About the issue of delay, the president is right. But at the same time, if you remember, the president had to order some MDAs to appear before the Assembly for the purpose of defending their budgets,” he said.
But a member of the Senate Appropriation Committee, Rafiu Ibrahim, was more virulent in his criticism of the president.
“Why did he sign? He should have withheld his signature and seen what would have happened. We are no longer interested in all that drama.
He shouldn’t have signed. He should have confronted us with those (insertions), called the leadership of the National Assembly and confronted them. The president is playing to the gallery,” he said.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, said: “The leadership of both chambers have directed the chairmen of our committees on appropriations to provide item by item, detailed explanations on all points raised by the President for the benefit of members of the public.”
He said a press conference will be addressed today, adding: “It should, however, be noted that the action of the National Assembly while working on the budget was informed by the provision of the constitution on the need for inclusion, balance and the fact that the first responsibility of government is the security and welfare of all citizens.”
Amid continuing reactions, a renowned economist, who pleaded anonymity, said: “If the president had really hoped to restore the country to the January-December calendar, he would have submitted the budget earlier.
Likewise, if the lawmakers understood the import of the document in development process, they would have accelerated its passage. They are all jokers.”
The Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Limited, Bismarck Rewane, regretted the delay. The misnomer has only enthroned a slow process of recovery, as some constraints have already set in, he said.
The Centre for Social Justice, a knowledge-based organisation, noted: “A claim to have spent N1.58 trillion in the 2017 capital vote is hanging in the air. Nigerians need the specific details of the projects the money was spent on.”
It will be noted that the Federal Government appropriated about N22.7 trillion in the last three years. The processes, implementations, public finance information and enabling laws involved, however, have remained faulty.
The breakdown is: N6.06 trillion in 2016; N7.4 trillion in 2017, and N9.3 trillion in 2018.
Although the current administration has recorded the highest level of capital vote and claims of cash-backed implementations, these have remained controversial due to obvious lack of information.
Consequently, the capital expenditure component has not performed fully, as with previous administrations.
This has been due to delay in budget passage and cycle, which has remained the same.
Submitting the 2018 budget estimates November 7, 2017, fell short of eagerness to restore the budget calendar.
The legislature under the circumstance had about one functional month to conclude the appropriation process and come out with a clean copy of the budget.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) mandates the executive to prepare the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and have it endorsed by the Executive Council of the Federation before the end of the second quarter.
Unfortunately, this has not been the case.
“It is pertinent to state categorically that there is no concrete evidence on the ground to back the claim,” Brig.-Gen. John Agim, the Acting Director Defence Information said on Wednesday in Abuja. The Defence Headquarters has said that there was no concrete evidence to support the claim that the Islamic State – ISIS was sending its members to Nigeria to train the Boko Haram terrorists.“It is pertinent to state categorically that there is no concrete evidence on the ground to back the claim,” Brig.-Gen. John Agim, the Acting Director Defence Information said on Wednesday in Abuja.Agim recalled that the Barnawi faction of Boko Haram terrorists in 2016 pledged alliance to the ISIS after troops dislodged them from Sambisa forest.“The Armed Forces of Nigeria is aware that there is collaboration between terrorist groups, thus, it is important to note that the activity of one group in a country influences other groups in other countries and because of this knowledge, activities of other terrorist groups usually affect our own military strategy.“The Nigeria military will continue to condemn all tactics by terrorist groups of isolating the Armed Forces of Nigeria, from any foreign collaboration,” Agim said.He assured that proactive measures were being taken to nip any such development (ISIS training terrorists in Nigeria) “if it exists in the bud”.The DDI assured Nigerians that the armed forces was capable of defending the country and its citizens from every attempt to infiltrate it by criminals.“Hence, the ill motivated stories, clips and their claims should be disregarded,” he said.
Survivors relive narrow escape at Ojuelegba, three confirmed deadOne more person was recovered dead at the scene yesterday where a containerized truck fell on four vehicles at Ojuelegba on Tuesday night, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has said.
This recovery brought to three the number of persons killed in the accident that occurred at about 8:30p.m.
A truck with unknown registration number laden with wooden sheets tilted while negotiating the curved part of the bridge, causing the container to fall on three commercial buses and a saloon car down the bridge, leaving many others injured.
According to LASEMA’s General Manager, Adesina Tiamiyu, the prompt response by emergency and security agents saved two trapped victims as they were extracted from the crushed vehicles.
He said: “Two trapped victims were extracted with the aid of the agency’s light rescue equipment and immediately taken to the hospital by the officials of the Lagos State Ambulance Service for further medical treatment but unfortunately three male adults were confirmed dead.
“The agency and other responders ensured that all the wooden sheets and accidented vehicles were cleared off the road to avoid any secondary incident and free flow of traffic around the axis. Proper investigation would be conducted on the incident.
Read More: Two feared dead as truck falls off Ojuelegba bridge
“Heavy-duty drivers should ensure that their vehicles are in good conditions and that loaded goods are properly secured to the flat bed before embarking on any journey. Overloading of trucks should also be discouraged as it oftentimes lead to fatal accidents on the highway,” he said.
Yesterday, traders and transporters at the Ojuelegba park renewed their call on the Lagos State government to restrict the movement of trucks on the bridge to prevent a recurrence of the tripping trucks from the bridge.
According to an eyewitness, the truck was moving on high speed when the plywoods tilted off the truck and fell on a bus and a Camry car.
A bus driver known as Aro and a National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) official known as Ijebu have been identified as those who lost their lives, while the occupant of the Camry car escaped death by the whiskers.
A trader at the bus stop, Ganiyat Adekunle, said the driver of the bus was calling on passengers when the incident happened.
She noted that there were no passengers inside the bus.
The people already inside alighted from the bus when it refused to get filled on time or leave the bus-stop, not knowing they were moving some steps away from an untimely death.
Ijebu was busy collecting money from the driver at the time the incident occurred.
Some passerby were also injured and were rushed to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) immediately.”
A bus driver, Emehara Eze, who said he was in shock on how he was saved from the jaws of death, due to his refusal to hike the transport fare like his colleagues.
He said: “Others were asking passengers to pay N300 fare but I decided to reduce mine to N200 so I can leave on time.
Aro who died was to load after me, I had not reached the next bus-stop when I heard what happened.”
Eze commended the swift response of LASEMA for preventing more casualties.
He said: “LASEMA tried their best last night, their response was fast and I must say I was impressed.
One of my friend and colleague who was rescued is in LUTH receiving treatment and I hope he survives.”
A passerby, Mr. Akinwale Daso, who plies the route daily, urged the state government to ban truck from moving on the bridge but instead make use of the road underneath.
He said: “Lagos State should stop this deadly truck from moving on the bridge.
These trucks have killed many previous years and if government doesn’t interfere, more of this might occur in future.”
At the scene on Tuesday night, it was pure bedlam as people tried to scamper to safety, while some others at the same time, attempted to rescue those trapped.
According to eyewitnesses, the driver was trying to navigate the bend on the bridge when its gravity first pulled the body of the truck down and its head followed.
Upon landing, it fell on some the car and three commercial buses and some pedestrians who were walking on the busy road.
It was gathered that part of the problem was that some tanker drivers had already taken possession of one part of the road as their park, thus forcing other motorists to only one lane.
With this incident, it brings to a total of four of such cases whereby tankers and trucks have fallen off the Ojuelegba Bridge in the last two years.
According to him, the bank, in its desire to meet customers’ needs, offered 100 million dollars to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment got 55 million dollars. Mr Isaac Okorafor, Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said the apex bank boosted the foreign exchange market with 210 million dollars to meet customers’ requests in various segments.Okoroafor said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.According to him, the bank, in its desire to meet customers’ needs, offered 100 million dollars to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment got 55 million dollars.Okorafor also said customers needing foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others, were also allocated 55 million dollars.He recalled that the CBN on thursday, intervened with 343.06 million dollars to cater for requests in the retail segment of the foreign exchange market.He added that the naira continued its stability in the foreign exchange market, exchanging at an average of N360 per dollar in the Bureau De Change (BDC), segment of the market Wednesday.
House of Representatives of Nigeria PHOTO:WikipediaThe House of Representatives yesterday commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the 2018 Appropriation Bill into law.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Abdulrazak Namdas, it however, maintained that the decision to inject additional projects into the budget was in line with the powers conferred on it by the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Specifically, it noted that the inclusion of zonal intervention projects in the budget was in line with the wishes and aspiration of Nigerians.
Namdas also said there was nothing awkward with the N150 billion budgeted for the National Assembly on the basis that it had been underfunded over the years.
“The budget is usually a proposal from the Executive to the National Assembly, which the latter is given the constitutional powers of appropriation to alter, make additions, costs or reduce as it may deem necessary.
“The Legislature is not expected to be a rubber-stamp by simply approving the Executive proposals and returning the budget to Mr. President.
Therefore, the additions the President complained of in his speech are justifiable.
“We are on the same page with Mr. President in his desire to return our budget cycle to January-December.
By the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, the budget estimates should be with the National Assembly around September of each year.
“In the case of the 2018 budget, the estimates came behind schedule in November 2017, although this attempt was seen as one of the earliest in recent years. Going forward, we urge the Executive to speed up the reporting time to the National Assembly by complying fully with the FRA,” the statement reads.
On new projects in the budget, the House reminded Mr. President that they were representatives of the people, adding that even the common man deserves a mention in the budget by including projects that would affect his life positively.
It explained that before 2015, its budget was N150 billion for several years but that it was reduced to N120b in 2015 and further down to N115b in 2016. In 2017, the budget was N125b and N139.5b in 2018.
“This means that the budget of the National Assembly is still far below the N150b in the years before 2015,” it added.
Meanwhile, Chief Whip of the House, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, noted that President Buhari’s observations were critical to the successful implementation of the budget.
“I think some of these major concerns Mr. President has raised are very critical. Speaking as an individual and a member of the House, I want to believe that the President is at liberty to raise some of the observations,” he said.
9jaSAFE AwardFormer Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Musiliu Smith and former military governor of Ondo State, Rear Admiral Sunny Olukoya (rtd) have been appointed as governing board members for the 2018 edition of the Nigeria Safety Award for Excellence Hall of Fame (9jaSAFE Award).
Also on the list of the newly-formed governing board are Chief Executive Officer, 9jaSAFE Award, Alhaji Lateef Alebiosu; head, 9jaSAFE Award 2016 Judging Panel and former president, Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON), Chief Innocent Okunanmiri; and Chief Operating Officer, 9jaSAFE Award, Femi Da-silva.
Furthermore, the nominations for this year’s edition of the award slated for September 14 at the Lagos Oriental Hotel has commenced.
According to Da-silva, constituting a governing board for the 9jaSAFE Award became necessary in order to deliver a world-class event.
Da-silva, who has been made secretary of the board, added that the move would afford the organisers the opportunity of taking the message of safety a step higher in the society, while showcasing the essence and immense importance of safety at workplace to the nation at large.
He said: “This is the 4th edition of 9jaSAFE Award.
Safety Record newspaper, organisers of the event, decided to inaugurate a governing board of eminent personalities for the award to reflect how far we have gone with our efforts to reposition the brand.
This will ensure the brand lives up to its vision of effectively propagating the message of workplace safety.
JournalistsAs the 67th World Congress and General Assembly of the International Press Institute (IPI) opens today in Abuja, there is high expectation that the conference will address critical challenges affecting journalism practice across the world, especially in a country like Nigeria.
Over 300 top journalists, media executives, publishers and communication experts are expected to participate in the summit.
The three-day event with the theme “Why Journalism Matters”, would discuss hate speeches, press freedom and quality journalism, among other issues.
This is the first time the congress is holding in Africa more than 70 years after the establishment of the institute.
Founded in 1950, the IPI is a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists dedicated to furthering and safeguarding press freedom, promoting the free flow of news and information, and improving the practices of journalism.
The hosting of the congress in Nigeria and the theme is very apt especially as the 2019 general elections approach.
The media plays a critical role in not only deepening and institutionalizing democracy but in building an informed society. Citizens need credible information from a media that can skillfully moderate debate and provoke meaningful conversations that can lead to transforming Africa.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, despite being seen as one of the fastest-growing and most vibrant media landscapes on the continent still face numerous challenges ranging from arrest of journalists by security agencies, casualisation and non-payment of workers salaries, among others.
The leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria otherwise known as Shi”te, Ibrahim El-ZakzakyThere was pandemonium in Kaduna yesterday following a clash between members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiites, and police during a protest against the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Two policemen and some Shiites were seriously injured during the clash in the heart of the metropolis.
Members of the group who had come out in their thousands to protest, took over the popular Ahmadu Bello Way, carrying placards with various inscriptions demanding release of their leader, when the police attempted to disperse them to avoid breakdown of law and order.
But the efforts by the police to disperse the protesters were resisted, leading to shooting by the security agents.
An eyewitness, who did not want his name mentioned, said the protesters shot back at the police. According to him, two policemen and some Shiites may have lost their lives in the clash.
At a press conference shortly after the fracas, the leader of IMN in Kaduna, Sheikh Aliyu Tirmizi, denied that the Shiites confronted the police with weapons.
He said it was the police that came out well armed to attack the protesters.
Tirmizi alleged that the police shot live bullets at their members, injuring several of them. He said other members of the group were arrested during the protest and were still in the custody of the police.
“No intimidation from security personnel will deter us from protesting the illegal detention of our leader,” he vowed.
The fracas paralysed business activities along the routes where the protest took place apparently for fear of the unknown.
Two journalists who were apprehended by the police were later released following the intervention of the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna council.
The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mukhtar Aliyu, confirmed that two policemen sustained injury. He did not speak on the condition of the arrested Shiites.
Meanwhile, Justice Nafisa Lawal of the Plateau State High Court 11 has said it would on July 19 rule on the bail application by two detained members of the IMN in Jos.
Super Eagles attacker, Victor Moses has stated that Iceland will be a hard nut to crack, when they clash with the Eagles on Friday.
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Ekiti state.Journalists yesterday marched through the streets of Ado-Ekiti to sensitise residents against electoral violence.
Acting under the aegis of Ekiti State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), they urged residents to conduct themselves peacefully during the poll.
They cautioned against plunging the state into chaos before, during and after the poll.
The procession started at the NUJ Secretariat in Oke Bareke and marched through Isato, Irona, Ijigbo, Old Garage, Okeyinmi, Okesa, Ojumose and Atikankan areas of the city.
Members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), students and officials of the Ado-Ekiti campus of the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ) also participated in the walk.
The journalists and their allies carried placards and distributed leaflets to denounce violence, arson, electoral malpractice and other actions that could cause breakdown of law and order.
Some of the placards read: “We want peace in Ekiti,” “Vote, not fight, election no be war,” “Remember that your life is very precious,” “Your vote is your power, vote right,” among others.
They stopped at various junctions to make advocacy for peaceful poll, and were applauded by the people for making the timely call.
Ekiti NUJ Chairman, Rotimi Ojomoyela, urged the people not to allow the forthcoming poll to be marred by violence.
Nigeria Air Force (NAF)The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), through its 207 Quick Response Group (QRG) in Gusau, Zamfara, has rescued three kidnap victims that had been held captive for weeks.
A statement yesterday in Abuja said the rescue was made through coordinated air and ground operations on armed bandits’ positions at Daji Kagara area of Zurmi Local Council of the state.
The mission, which was conducted by personnel of NAF Special Forces, followed human intelligence reports and subsequent confirmation by the force’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, of the hideout of the gunmen.
The statement reads in part: “The recently deployed EC-135 helicopter and one of the NAF’s ISR platforms provided the needed air support for the Special Forces to execute the rescue mission.
“It may be recalled that the NAF recently deployed a weaponised EC-135 helicopter to 207 QRG Gusau as part of efforts aimed at intensifying the fight against armed banditry in Zamfara State and environs.”
It added: “More coordinated air and ground operations will be executed in the coming weeks towards improving the security situation in the state.