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Police, NAPTIP burst human trafficking gang in Benue

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From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

The Benue State police command on Saturday intercepted two buses loaded with 32 young girls and boys at Ameladu area of Gboko Local Government Area of the state.

The buses which were intercepted by men of Operation Zenda were said to be headed for Ede in Osun State had 13 boys and 19 girls with the oldest being about 25 years.

It was gathered that a young woman identified ad Mrs Linda Angbandoo Akaasema who was in charge of the young girls and boys claimed that they were returning to Osun State where they were schooling after visiting Benue for the festive period.

She claimed to be an orphanage owner with the name Akaasema Child Care Foundation which she alleged was registered in Benue but operational in Osun State.

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The suspect disclosed further that the children were from Zaki-Biam, Jootar, and other towns in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State.

However, when she was asked to provide evidence that the children were already in school and only visited home, the suspect could not provide any and was also unable to provide any document to identify herself, saying she forgot all while leaving Osun State.

Police Public Relations Officer PPRO, Catherine Anene, confirmed the report in a WhatsApp chat on Saturday.

In a related development, there was a suspected case of human trafficking involving six victims and a suspect was on Friday at a motor park in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

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Kidnappers collected N3m ransom, killed my daughter, buried her in shallow grave – Dad

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Shuaibu Wa’alamu, father of an eight-year-old girl, Asma’u, allegedly abducted and killed by his neighbour in Zaria, Kaduna State, lamented how his daughter was killed by her abductors despite collecting N3m as ransom.

This is coming on the heels of the abduction and subsequent killing of a five-year-old Hanifa Abubakar in Kano by her teacher after collecting N6m ransom.

Asmau, who was said to have spent 42 days in the hands of her abductors was said to be kidnapped by one of their neighbours on the 9th of December, 2021, according to her father.

She (Asmau) was found killed by her abductors after collecting N3m from the parent.

The story which was first broken by a friend of the father, one Musa Ahmed, shared by Hausa Fulanii on Instagram, hinted that the little girl was kidnapped while on her way to buy a recharge card.

... read, “My friend’s daughter, an eight-year-old girl, had been kidnapped on her way to buy a recharge card in our neighbourhood.

“She was for the past 42 days with her abductors who demanded the sum of N3m which was given to them, but sadly, they killed the girl eventually.”

“It was said that perhaps the girl recognised her abductor who happens to be residing close to their house. In fact, she was playing with his kids almost everyday.

“They called her father demanding for additional money which he obliged and sent someone with the money.

“In the event of waiting for them, the guy was so furious because of the cool weather at night. He called the father and informed him he hasn’t seen anyone yet.

“Then, the father called the number and asked them to tell him the truth if they have killed the girl. Lo and behold, they said, they have killed and buried her in a shallow grave, four days ago.”

Speaking with newsmen in Zaria on Saturday, Wa’alamu said her daughter was abducted on December 9, 2021 and he immediately reported the case to the police after failure to return her daughter return home.

He said after some days, the abductors reached out to the family and first demanded a ransom of N15m which was negotiated and N2m was given to the abductors.

According to him, the hoodlums later called and demanded for another N1.045m as condition for releasing the little girl.

He declared, “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 and demanded 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 for another N1.045m as the only condition to release my daughter. I did not argue. But 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 switch 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.”

However, the Kaduna State Police Command had yet to confirm the incident as there was no response from the state police command’s spokesman, Mohammed Jalige, when contacted as of the time of filing this report.

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Alumni of Osun schools pump in N2Billion: Governor Oyetola

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By Dorcas Elusogbon/Ile-Ife

Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun said his administration has attracted over N2 billion in alumni contributions across the state since the review of education policy.

Oyetola, who was represented by Folorunso Oladoyin, Commissioner for Education, made the disclosure on Saturday at the 60th anniversary of St. John’s Grammar School, Ile-Ife.

The event was organised by the Old Students Association at the school playing ground.Some alumni of St. John’s Grammar School Ile-Ife

“Since the reform of education policy that we carried out, we have attracted over N2 billion intervention fund from old students across the state.

“We thank you for your quick intervention in the structural renewal of your school infrastructures.

“We are immensely grateful that you heeded our call for a partnership between the government and all stakeholders in the education sector to move education to the next level.

“Our vision is to deliver 21st-century education that will make our student to be globally competitive, we realise that the four legs on which education stands like a table must corporate and work together.

“I agree with the Lord bishop on the level of rot in public education, it has been cumulative over the years and the improvement will not be a sudden flight, it will be gradual steps.

” We have introduced policies that are impacting education which will attract public schools to the middle and upper class,” he said.

The Chairman of Organising Committee of the Anniversary, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, said the association was not happy with the way the past administration practically destroyed education by centralising schools in Osun.

Adefaye, however, commended the governor for restoring the name, uniform and collaborated with stakeholders to transform the school.

In his benediction, Bishop of Osogbo Diocese, Catholic Church, Lord Bishop John Oyejola, charged government to revamp public education for the sake of the common man since politicians no longer send their children to public schools.

”We went to public school and we had quality education. Today, those in government do not send their children to public schools, but missionary or private schools.

“It is unfortunate that the Europeans came and planned a good future for us, but we cannot replicate same for our children.

“We must rise for the youths. The building built by government are already dilapidated while those built by missionary still stand. We must learn to begin to do the right thing for the benefit of the youths,” he said.

Also, Sen. Babajide Omoworare, Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly (Senate) to President Muhammadu Buhari, said that SJOBA has set the pace by contributing to restore the lost glory of the school.

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Jonathan to deliver keynote speech at Bayelsa education summit

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President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to deliver a keynote address at the Bayelsa education summit scheduled to hold from February 7 to 10, 2022.

The state government said the three-day summit in Yenagoa, the state capital, with the theme, ‘Optimising the delivery, performance and sustainability of outcomes in the education sector of Bayelsa State,’ was aimed at repositioning the education sector.

The Commissioner for Education, Gentle Emelah, said it had become necessary for the state to shift its focus to technical and vocational education and training, science, technology, engineering and mathematics and other modern approaches at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

The shift in focus, according to the commissioner, would enable the state government to ensure the provision and sustenance of the quality of education that meets global standards.

Emelah further said, “We have contacted and received the acceptance of very important and knowledgeable persons, institutions and organisations to both speak, attend and share useful strategies with the state on the development of our education sector. Notably, Dr Goodluck Jonathan GCFR, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, shall present the keynote address.”

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