Fire Guts Gombe Main Market Shops

Fire Guts Gombe Main Market Shops

A raging inferno in the early hour of yesterday gutted 25 shops at the Gombe Main Market.

Witnesses account said the fire, which lasted for four hours, started around 1:45am.

They added that 25 shops were razed.

Chairman of the Market Traders’ Association, Alhaji Uba Abdullahi, told reporters that surge in electricity supply was responsible for the inferno when electricity supply was restored to the market.

He estimated properties destroyed to be in the region  N50 million.

According to him, mostly affected by the inferno were tailors, dealers of plastic items and hides and skin traders among others.

 “We are lacking proper street layout in the market, which made it difficult to get easy access to the shops during emergency like fire outbreak,”  Abdullahi noted.

But, Governor Samuel Ortom yesterday donated N50 million to the victims of fire which gutted the multi-million naira modern market in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, for the third time.

The market was built by the late first civilian Governor Aper Aku.

The governor also set up a commission of Inquiry to unravel the circumstances behind the inferno, which destroyed two blocks containing 200 shops. He said the fire incident was one too many.

He told traders that he came to sympathise with them for losing goods worth billions.

Ortom told them to be strong and trust in God as no life was lost.

He also lifted the suspension of union activities in the market.

Secretary of Board of Trusties of the market Emeka Ofeogbu told the governor that the fire started after traders closed by 5:30pm.

He said the traders are worried that despite the presence of hordes of security personnel in market no one could identify the cause of the fire.

The Makurdi fire, according to a trader, James Ekeson, started at about 6:30pm.

Ekeson said the market usually closed at about 5:30p.m and no trader is allowed behind.

He added that his two shops with goods worth N5 million were consumed by the inferno.

Another victim, Mrs. Chika Chukwu, told The Nation that she took delivery of goods from Lagos on Sunday and Monday.

Chukwu, who sells bags and shoes, said she could not quantified goods lost in the inferno. She appealed to the government to assist her financially to start all over again.

Source: The Nation

Armed Men Kidnap Nursing Mother, 3 Others In Abaji

Armed Men Kidnap Nursing Mother, 3 Others In Abaji


A nursing mother simply identified as Ramatu and her 40-day-old baby, alongside three others were abducted in the early hours of Monday at Naharati, a suburb of Abaji town, FCT.

The gunmen invaded the area and forced their way into some houses where they abducted their victims.

It was reported that the kidnappers wanted to abduct the husband of Ramatu but that when they broke into the house, he escaped through the back door so they took away his wife and the baby.

One of the wives of the FCT PDP treasurer, Kande Saidu, was among those kidnapped by the armed men.

The FCT PDP treasurer, Alhaji Saidu Dan Masani, while narrating the incident to our reporter, yesterday, said the incident happened at about 12:45am when the gunmen broke into his house while he was sleeping in the parlor.

He said the gunmen whisked away his wife after they searched for him in all the bedrooms but did not see him.

“I was sick and after taking my drugs I decided to sleep in the parlour with my senior wife. When the gunmen forced the door open and entered into the house, I covered myself with blanket but saw how they were searching for me,”he said.

He said a masked woman led the gunmen into his house. “I heard a woman’s voice who wore a mask insisting that they should search everywhere that I was inside the house.  But when they did not see my car at home, they whisked away my wife,” he said.

He said the kidnappers spent over 45 minutes before gaining access into his house but that they had left before policemen arrived.

Another victim, Kamal Abdullateef, said he was abducted but released same day.

“I heard strange noises and I woke up to go and find out what was happening.  My mother even asked me not to go out. As I stepped out, I discovered that gunmen had already surrounded my house. One of them asked me to go and open the door for them,” he said.

He said they collected N190,000 from him and as they led them through a bush path to their den, they asked him to go back.

It was also gathered that the wife of the FCT PDP treasurer and the nursing mother with her 40 days old baby as well as a yet to be identified man were still being held captive, while the family and relatives of the victims had started negotiating with the abductors for ransom.

The FCT police command spokesman, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, did not pick calls put across to him and did not reply to a text message.

  Source: Daily Trust

FG Restricts Sale, Use Of Sniper

FG Restricts Sale, Use Of Sniper

The federal government yesterday placed a restriction on the sale and use of the fatal agro-chemical product, Sniper.

Since Sniper hits the Nigerian market, it has become the favourite of most Nigerians, especially the poor for killing mosquitoes and other pests.

Similarly, the product has found its way into the hands of youths, who have continued to use it to commit suicide.

In recent times, several Nigerian youths have committed suicide at the least provocation including failure in examinations; jilt by loved ones, using Sniper.

It is against this background that the federal government yesterday directed that the product be withdrawn from the open market with immediate effect.

The government’s directive, which will be enforced by the National Food, Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), was made public in Ibadan, Oyo State.

By the order, the agency will ensure that all agro-chemical dealers and other stakeholders remove Sniper from both the open market and supermarkets across the country with immediate effect.

NAFDAC’s director, Veterinary Medicine and Allied Products Directorate, Dr Bukar Usman, stated this at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.

Usman, who spoke at the launch of a new herbicide for cassava farmers, “Lifeline”, produced by UPL, Springfield Agro and IITA, explained that the agency had asked agro-dealers to stop the sale of the product in the open market and supermarkets.

He said that Sniper is an agro-cultural product meant for use only in the farms and not for households.

For the full enforcement of the restriction, he charged manufacturers and dealers to cooperate with NAFDAC to mop up the 100ml size of the product, which was cheap and easy to acquire.

Usman said that the directive was not an outright ban on the product but a restriction of its use and availability to farms alone, adding that all agro-chemicals meant for farms should not be used in households.

He said: “There are appropriate products for the control of mosquitoes and other household pests” he said.

Reacting to the development, the president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, stated that NAFDAC has a responsibility to safeguard the health of Nigerians.

According to him, if a product that is supposed to be used for vectors and diseases is being used by humans to kill themselves, it behooves NAFDAC to take action.

He, however, said that while NAFDAC is taking the measure, the government holds it a duty to find out why more Nigerians are committing suicide.

Ohuabunwa said:  “If you ban this product, what else are they going to use. Is NAFDAC going to keep banning products? It’s important to try and find out what it is that is making people, especially the younger ones to commit suicide so we don’t end up banning everything that is available.”

Also, a family physician with the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital and former chairman of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Chira Obiora, said that though the move was commendable, “it is not the solution to the problem.”

Obiora said: “A lot of people drink a lot of things when they want to commit suicide. Withdrawing Sniper does not make it not to be seen. There are several other things that can be taken to commit suicide.

“There are positive uses of Sniper insecticide, banning it is not the approach.  If you want to solve a problem, you will solve it from the root. When people jump into the river, will you go and dry up the river. It is not the right thing to do so that we don’t end up increasing the rate of depression by also causing depression on the people that are importing Sniper,” he said.

A Nasarawa State-based lawyer, Mr Emmanuel Kuza, said that Sniper has caused more human death than we could imagine.

According to him, “everyday, people in Nigeria see it as the easiest way of ending their life. To me, it has reached its epidemic and the federal government should urgently enforce the law restricting its sales.

“The manufacturers should be either pressured to look for a way to make it harmless to human beings or the government should follow up and seal their factories and equally revoke their licences.

‘Parents are losing their innocent children daily to this dangerous substance,” he lamented.

A civil servant, Fidelis Agera, described the government’s action as a welcomed development. He said that the so called “Sniper is a deadly substance that has claimed so many families.”

Agera said that he knew a family of four who ate beans treated with Sniper and died. He therefore urged the federal government to ensure that its decision is sustained and monitored, unlike the ban on the importation of some goods such as foreign rice that still find its way into the Nigerian market.

For Mr Jeremiah Itodo, if the restriction on Sniper was monitored well, suicide cases among the youths would be drastically reduced.

Itodo claimed that many traders applied Sniper on grains such as “bambara nuts, beans among others for preservation without minding the health hazards it constitutes to other Nigerians.”

In his view, the chief medical director, Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Prof. Terrumun Swende, described the restriction on the product as a welcome development, adding that the substance was being abused by the end users.

He said that the misuse had caused a lot of health problems for several families.

Swende urged the government to set up a committee to ensure strict monitoring against the importation of the substance into the country.

To Engr. Herbert Nda Egbeja, the restriction on such pesticides which had harmful effects on human beings was well thought out.

He lamented the rate at which Nigerians commit suicide particularly those using pesticide such as sniper, which is meant to kill pest in the house for other purposes as worrisome and condemnable.

“The government must also do all it can to ensure that the restriction is fully enforced and where possible bring erring vendors to book,” he said.

In a similar manner, a housewife, Hajiya Kemi Ibrahim hailed the directive on Snipers’ sales.

Mrs Ibrahim who operates a patent medicine store along Murtala Mohammed Way, Ilorin, noted that Sniper has its usefulness, but decried the rate at which it was being used for suicide.

She noted that many youths had resorted to taking Sniper for suicide because of problems that could be solved with patience.

But a group of youths in Sokoto State under the auspices of Zumunchi Youths Forum (ZYF) said the restriction of the sale of Sniper by the government was inconsequential.

It said rather than unveiling the real reasons behind the rise in suicide, the government is playing to the gallery by dishing out half-truth.

The youth group leader, Suleiman Shinkafi, said that the rise in suicide in any country was an indication of government’s failure to address the basic needs of the citizens.

Shinkafi said that it was unfortunate that frivolities had taken over real painful national discourse in Nigeria.

He said: “Rather than thinking of how best it will confront the issues of Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping, unemployment, poverty and hunger, amongst others, the federal government has again gone astray by selling unacceptable narratives.

“No right thinking Nigerian will ever accept the restriction as a solution; rather it is applying salt on an injury. Lest you forget, there are a good number of unemployed youths who survived on the sales of these insecticides to those who use same to fumigate their homes against mosquitoes and other insects.

“Now they have been taken out of business by this directive. How do you expect them to survive? Is the federal government by this action not creating more troubles in the country?

“Our advice as youths is that the government should urgently come out clean and give a lasting globally- acceptable solution to the social economic battle for survival that exists between farmers and herders which is responsible for nearly 80 of the bandits’ attacks ravaging most parts of the country, especially the northern region,” he said.

 Source: Leadership

Ex-Minister’s Son Regains Freedom 24 hours After Abduction

Ex-Minister’s Son Regains Freedom 24 hours After Abduction

The frightening spate of kidnapping in the Southwest spread its tentacles to Oyo State on Tuesday evening as suspected gunmen abducted Mr. Dayo Adewole, son of the immediate past Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole.

It, however, emerged last night that Dayo has been released, though it could not be confirmed if a ransom was paid or not. Dayo was released barely 24 hours after he was kidnapped at his farm located at Iroko, near Fiditi in Afijio Local Government Area of Oyo.

An aide to the ex-minister confirmed to newsmen last night that the victim was released on Wednesday evening. He said: “The minister’s son regained freedom just this evening and he is with his family in Ibadan. Details are still sketchy but we will issue a press release soon.”

The kidnappers had reportedly wore facial masks to hide their identity and took away Dayo, escaping through the neighbouring village. One of Dayo’s workers immediately raised the alarm and alerted the villagers who quickly sent local hunters after the kidnappers. The hunters found the car used by the kidnappers but neither Dayo nor any of the abductors were found on Tuesday evening.

The village head, Oniroko of Iroko, made a phone call on a radio programme and alerted the public.

It was gathered that the military, the police and security agencies joined forces with the villagers to search for Dayo. The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Leye Oyebade, had earlier yesterday disclosed that three persons had been arrested in connection with the abduction.

The AIG confirmed the police manhunt for the kidnappers, combing the forest with a view to apprehending the criminals. The three persons arrested included the driver that the victim employed a few days ago, Mr. Gbenga Ogunleye; the farm manager, Mr. Sodiq Adebayo, and one other worker at the farm.

Adebayo said the kidnappers were four in number and their hooded leader wore military camouflage, while three others did not cover their faces, but only put on black clothes, and were armed with guns and other dangerous weapons, adding that the kidnappers spoke a tongue he suspected to be Fulani language.

Dayo was taken away from his farm in his car and the car was later abandoned about two kilometres from the farm, and he was taken into the thick forest, and probably transferred into another vehicle.

The car was recovered from where it was parked, but a combined team of security agencies and local hunters reportedly combed the forest throughout the night on Tuesday with a view to rescuing the young Adewole, but to no avail. However, their toil paid off yesterday evening when Dayo was rescued unhurt.

The father, Prof. Adewole, as gathered, was out of the country at the time the incident occurred but he reportedly cut short the trip to return to Nigeria yesterday.

AIG Oyebade, who visited the scene of the incident at Iroko, enjoined members of the public and political office holders to be security conscious on those they employed as their aides as some of them are dangerous elements who do give away their masters.

Source: The Guardian

Man Sentenced To 4 Months For Stealing Planks Of Wood

Man Sentenced To 4 Months For Stealing Planks Of Wood

A Kubwa Grade1 Area Court on Tuesday sentenced a 30-year-old man, Friday Peter to four months in prison for stealing four planks of wood.

The judge, Ibrahim Balarabe. However gave Peter an option of N20, 000 fine and ordered him to pay compensation of N52, 000 to the complainant, Akinrole Wasiu or return the said planks of wood to him.

Peter was convicted and sentenced over a charge of theft.

The prosecutor, Babajide Olanipekun told the court that Peter stole the planks of wood from the complainant’s site at Kubwa, Abuja on June 15.

He said the planks were worth N52, 000, adding that the offence contravened Section 287 of the Penal Code.

Peter who pleaded guilty begged for leniency.


Three Confirmed Killed In Fresh Kaduna Attack

Three Confirmed Killed In Fresh Kaduna Attack

Three people, including two children and a teenager, have been confirmed killed in a fresh attack on a village in Kaduna state.

The Nation gathered the attack was launched on Unguwan Rimi Village in Kauru local government area of the state around 2:30 pm on Monday.

An eyewitness told our correspondent the attackers suspected to be herdsmen invaded the village and started shooting sporadically, leaving some people dead and several others injured.

Meanwhile, Kaduna State Police Command while confirming the incident said three people were killed in the incident.

In a confirmation statement by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Yakubu Sabo gave the names of the victims as: Monday Yahaya 8 years, Samson David 17 years and Ashimile Danladi 9 years old.

According to the statement, “Information reaching us has it that, on 17/6/19 at about 14:25hrs, DPO Kauru received a distress call that, armed men entered Unguwan Rimi village, Chawai District of Kauru LGA, started shooting sporadically and in the process shot dead one Monday Yahaya 8 years, Samson David 17 years and Ashimile Danladi 9 years old respectively.

“Teams of Policemen quickly moved to the area, evacuated the dead bodies to the hospital and ensured that the situation was brought under control.

“Preliminary investigation later revealed that the attack might not be unconnected with the attack of Fulani camp early morning of the same date in the area.

“However, efforts are on to apprehend the perpetrators and the command has intensified patrols and other proactive measures to forestall further breach of peace in the area.” The statement read.

Source: The Nation