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2022 budget ‘ll be fully implemented –Lagos State govt

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By Lukman Olabiyi

Lagos State Government has assured that it would ensure the full implementation of the 2022 budget. Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Sam Egube, accompanied by some members of the state executive council gave the assurance at a press briefing on the detailed analysis of this year budget, held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre Ikeja.

Speaking on the 2022 estimates, he said the budget, christened “Budget of Consolidation” was a landmark in the history of the state both in its size and texture, adding that the approved budget was of 1.58 trillion naira made up of 1.167  trillion naira capital expenditure and 591. 281 billion naira recurrent expenditure.

He added that the budget analysis was a demonstration of the present administration’s commitment to complete all ongoing projects, massive infrastructure renewal and development towards rebuilding and actualizing a Greater Lagos.

The commissioner said the budget will focus on construction and completion of projects in the aspects of roads, traffic management, infrastructure, health, science, technology, sports, building of stadia across the five divisions and environment.

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He noted that the objectives of the budget were tourism, agriculture, food security, wealth creation, employment, human development, social intervention, energy and the education sectors which included rehabilitation of schools, Eko excel, among others.

He appealed to all the citizens of Lagos to participate in governance and fulfill their civic responsibilities by paying their taxes as at when due in order to ensure optimal performance of the budget.

In his remarks, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, thanked the media for their support and urged them to be objective by giving accurate reports of the 2022 budget analysis.

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Boko Haram, ISWAP recruiting child soldiers – Army

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The Nigerian Army said it was studying the video of the Islamic State West Africa Province children fighters executing its personnel.

The video released by the ISWAP, according to the , was published on Tuesday by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi activities.

In the video, a man in the Nigerian Army uniform, who claimed that he was with the army special forces, was shot twice in the head by a boy of about 12.

Shortly after, another soldier, who said he was captured in April 2021, was shot in the head by one of the three masked fighters behind him.

Speaking with our correspondent on Friday, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, stated that the action of the terrorists had been a long time practice in terrorism across the world.

He said the terrorists were trying to embark on recruitment drive with the video as many of their fighters had surrendered to troops.

Nwachukwu stated, “We are studying the video. However, the action of the terrorists has been a long time practice in terrorism across the globe.

“They have always taken advantage of the vulnerable in society, particularly women and children, to advance their evil cause.

“Recall that the terrorist groups, ISWAP/Boko Haram, have in the past used women and children as suicide bombers. They have also conscripted children and minors, who they engage as child soldiers, and women, who they use as sex slaves.

“Having been depleted by our troops, the imbroglio in their ranks and the massive surrendering of Boko Haram, the terrorists in a desperate move are embarking on a recruitment drive to shore up their strength with child soldiers, who they can easily indoctrinate, manipulate and cheaply manage financially.

“We have raised this alarm before now and have since commenced sensitisation in the North-East to guard against and block their recruitment drive.”

Nwachukwu urged residents of the North-East not to be deceived by the gimmicks of ISWAP terrorists into releasing their children and wards for their evil cause.

He assured them that troops would remain resolute in decisively countering the terrorists.

AP had quoted the Executive Director, SITE Intelligence Group, Rita Katz, as saying that ISIS “is now more desperate than ever to keep its name in the global discussion…given the fact that it no longer has a physical ‘caliphate’ outside of relatively small bases in different countries.”

The video, she said, “demonstrates the immense focus ISIS is placing on Africa” and puts a “spotlight on Nigeria as one of its strongholds and projecting itself as an adaptive, enduring force to the world.”

The UN children’s agency estimates that globally, more than 93,000 children were recruited and used in conflicts between 2005 and 2020.

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Another girl, 8, kidnapped, killed in Zaria

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From Noah Ebije, Kaduna 

Residents of Zaria in Kaduna State have been thrown into mourning following the murder of an 8-year-old Asma’u Shuaibu who was kidnapped and later killed by her abductors a few days ago.

This incident followed the Kano State incident involving little Hanifa Abubakar who was kidnapped and later poisoned to death by her teacher in Kano.

Asmau who was said to have spent 42 days in the custody of her abductors was allegedly kidnapped by one of her neighbours early in December 2021. 

Alhaji Shuaibu Wa’alamu, narrating to newsmen in Zaria at the weekend how his daughter was abducted, said: “My daughter was abducted on the 9th of December, and when she failed to return home, I lodged a formal complaint with the police. 

 «After some days, the abductors began to call my number demanding N15m. But we negotiated and I first gave them N2m.

“They collected the money in Rigasa area of Kaduna. Later, they called me again and demanded another N1, 045m as the only condition to release my daughter. 

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 «I did not argue, I gave the money to them. 

 «However, after paying the ransom as demanded on the 19th of January, they called me to tell me they killed her and switched off the phone. 

 ‹You see, from the initial stage, I was following her abductors and doing their bidding because of the fear of losing her. Now, they have killed her. 

“I know those who abducted her and killed her. They are around us. I have strong evidence. I have told the police. And they are on it. In fact, the suspects have been arrested,” he said.

However, as at the time of filing the report, the police have not confirmed the incident.

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Human trafficking: Edo vigilante rescues 28 victims in Benin

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From Tony Osauzo, Benin

A team of local vigilantes has rescued 28 victims of human trafficking in Benin City, the Edo State capital. 

The state Coordinator, Edo State Community Vigilante Security Network, Oboh Emmanuel Otoide, disclosed this while addressing journalists at the weekend in Benin City.
He said the victims who were between the ages of 13 and 17 years were rescued during a stop-and-search operation by his men.
“The victims were rescued by our men around 2 am on Tuesday along Akpakpava Road in Benin City. Three suspects, including two drivers conveying the victims to their destinations were arrested during the operation and handed over to the Department of State Services for further investigations.

“Our preliminary investigations revealed that the victims were being moved from the South East, enroute Edo State, to the South West of the country,” he said.

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He added that in another operation, officials of the Edo State Community Vigilante Security Network arrested a man who robs people of their personal belongings while pretending to be insane.

“The man who identified himself as Olatunji was arrested around Baptist Church at Ring Road, Benin City and has been handed over to the Nigeria Police Force. Among the items recovered from the suspects include ATM cards belonging to victims of his criminal acts,”‎ Oboh stated.

He disclosed that the group is working assiduously with other security agencies in the state to secure the state.

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