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Atiku decries growing insecurity in Nigeria following weekend of mass abductions

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Former Vice President of Nigeria and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has decried the escalating spate of insecurity in Nigeria following a weekend of mass kidnappings in different parts of the country.

Atiku, who was reacting to the spate of abductions by gunmen in different parts of the country over the weekend, said the growing spate of insecurity had become a cause for concern.

The former VP, who made his views known in a post on his X handle on Sunday, lamented the recent abductions of journalists, judges, a labour leader and members of their families in Kaduna State.

“In these perilous times, the courageous sentinels of truth, our journalists, stand as beacons of light, unwavering in their duty to hold power accountable,” Atiku said.

“Yet, they find themselves besieged not only by the terror of abductors but also by a government that continues to assault their freedom through arrests and detention.

“Adding to this travesty is the kidnap of 78-year-old Mr. Takai Shamang, President and Founder of Gantys Aid for Widows, Orphans and Needy Foundation (GAWON) and former President General of the National Union of Electricity and Gas Workers (now known as the National Union of Electricity Employees) between 1982 and 1989.

“Before then, Janet Galadima-Gimba, a customary court judge in the same Kaduna, had been abducted and released. But her sons are still in captivity, with the abductors reportedly making a demand of N150 million as ransom.

“Elsewhere in Katsina, 75-year-old Hauwa’u Adamu, mother of the popular Hausa singer, Dauda Kahutu Rarara, or Rarara, as he is fondly known was kidnapped on Friday.

“This despicable act underscores the dire state of our nation’s security and the gross failure of our leaders to protect its citizens.

“These abductions are damning indictments of our leaders’ failure to secure the safety of citizens and an intolerable breach of press freedom as it relates to the journalists.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the abducted. I call upon the security agencies to act decisively and without delay to secure their release but to prioritise intelligence gathering and sharing.”

Metro

Statistics reveal over 600k Nigerians sought asylum abroad under ex-President Buhari

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A new report released by Statisense, a data collection organisation, has revealed that well over 600,000 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries between 2016 and 2023, during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to the report released on Wednesday, a total of 664,384 Nigerians sought asylum in eight years, with 355,792 persons applying for asylum in foreign countries between 2016 and 2019, while 308,592 sought asylum between 2020 and 2023.

“On a year-by-year basis, 66,862 sought asylum in 2016, 91,924 in 2017, 84,624 (2018), 112,382 (2019), 73,233 (2020), 83,105 (2021), 83,402 (2022), and 68,852 in 2023,” the report said.

“The figures indicate a surge from the past years, as Statisense noted that within 12 years – 2004 to 2015 – only 204,791 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries.

“In total, 869,175 Nigerians filed for asylum in the last 20 years, notably from 2004 to 2023,” the report stated, citing the United Nations Refugee Agency.

“The organisation also stated that the Republic of Niger topped countries with the most Nigerian refugees in 2023 with about 200,497 Nigerians and a total of 1,268,464 Nigerian refugees between 2015 and 2023.

“Niger, a border country, shares proximity with Nigeria’s north, where residents battle a spate of insecurity in the region ranging from banditry, terrorism and herdsmen-farmers crisis,” it said.

“Nigerians topped the list of African countries who sought asylum in Canada in 2023 with about 10,111 asylum seekers followed by Kenya with 1,345.

“1,345 Nigerians however sought asylum in the United Kingdom and 5,136 in the United States of America,” the report added.

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Zambia’s Anti-Corruption Commission DG resigns amid public outcry over corrupt practices

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The Director-General of the Zambian Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Thom Shamakamba, has resigned from his position following public outcry over the state of corruption and corrupt officials in the country.

Chief Communications Specialist at the State House,
Clayson Hamasaka, who confirmed Shamakamba’s resignation in a statement issued in Lusaka on Tuesday, said President Hakainde Hichilema has accepted the resignation of the former D-G while wishing him well in his future endeavours.

“President Hakainde Hichilema has accepted the resignation of Mr. Thom Trevor Shamakamba from his office as Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission,” Hamasaka said.

“The President thanked Shamakamba for his service to the government and wished him well in his future endeavors,” he added.

Local media reports that an ACC Board Member and a lecturer at the University of Zambia (UNZA), Dr. Obrien Kaaba, had exposed deep-seated looting of the National Treasury involving State Chambers and allegedly facilitated by the ACC.

“State Chambers are at the forefront of looting the Treasury and are strong allies of corruption,” Dr. Kaaba had stated in a petition.

The lecturer also claimed that the ACC had been captured and unable to fight corruption in its current state.

“Judges are identified outside Lusaka to sign off corrupt settlements. The ACC DG threatened to sort me out and finish me for exposing corruption,” Kaaba alleged.

He noted that the strong anti-corruption fight Hichilema launched when he ascended to office had ebbed off and lost traction while “institutions charged with fighting corruption were merely massaging, bandaging and covering up corruption.”

The Executive Director of an advocacy group, Alliance for Community Action (ACA), Laura Miti, had also supported Dr. Kaaba’s observations and called for the sanitization of the ACC.

Miti urged the President to act on reports of Treasury looting involving state chambers with the support of the ACC.

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