FG sensitises airport workers on Ebola dangers

The Federal Government on Thursday commenced workers’ sensitisation on Ebola at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

A statement by the Coordinating General Manager, Aviation Parastatals, Mr. Yakubu Datti, said the workers were from different agencies operating at the two major international airports.

He said the employees  were sensitised by Port Health officials on the dangers posed by the Ebola virus and how to prevent the spread of the virus in the work place, home and the community.

Datti said, “The awareness campaign was carried out to complement other measures already put in place by Port Health at the country’s international airports to prevent the presence and spread of the Ebola virus in Nigeria.”

The Director, Port Services, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Sani Gwarzo, charged aviation stakeholders to be abreast of dangers posed by the virus and how to prevent the spread of the virus at the airport.

The statement noted that Port Health personnel had been deployed in the two arrival halls of the MMIA for the purpose of testing arriving passengers for signs and symptoms of the deadly virus.

It said, “Arriving passengers are to be processed first by Port Health personnel who are expected to carry out necessary tests on every passenger with special devices that do not permit physical contact.

“Those found to be free of any signs or symptoms would proceed to the immigration area for other formalities. A holding area has been provided at the tarmac for suspected cases while index cases are expected to be isolated in a designated area outside the airport for further examination and treatment.”

In attendance at the awareness campaign, according to Datti, were officials from airlines, Immigration, Customs, NDLEA, Nigeria Police Force, handling companies, FAAN and NCAA, among other agencies at the airport.

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15 feared killed as gunmen sack Rivers communities

No fewer than 15 persons were feared killed in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State by some rampaging gunmen.

The gunmen, numbering about 12, stormed seven communities in the local government area and opened fire on unsuspecting persons.

It was gathered that the assailants, who were all armed with AK-47 rifles, rode into the area with six motorcycles and operated from 9pm on Wednesday till the early hours of Thursday.

A source in the area said that while three persons were shot dead in Ede, one of the communities in the area, one person lost his life in Obite.

In Egite community, two persons were killed by the trigger-happy gunmen while two others were injured.

The source told our correspondent that four persons were shot at close range in Egita community while one also died in Obiosimiri community during the raid.

“In Akabta community, the gunmen killed one person and injured an undisclosed number of people. So far, 15 persons were killed during the night raid by the gunmen.

“They (gunmen) began their operation at about 9pm on Wednesday night till early this (Thursday) morning. As I speak with you, some of our people, who were injured, are in the hospital,” the source from Egi clan in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni added.

The State Police Commissioner, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, confirmed the attack but said eight people were killed.

Ogunsakin added that investigations into the killings had begun.

Jonathan names Abba new Inspector-General

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday named an Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, the new Inspector-General of Police.

Abba, who until his appointment, was the AIG in charge of Zone 7, takes over from Muhammed Abubakar, who proceeded on statutory retirement on Thursday.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, who confirmed the change of guard in the police top echelon in a statement, said Abba’s appointment takes effect from Friday.

The statement read, “President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has approved the appointment of AIG Suleiman Abba as the new Inspector-General of Police.

“AIG Abba, currently the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 7, comprising Abuja, Kaduna and Niger states, replaces the incumbent Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar, who proceeds on statutory retirement today having completed 35 years in service.

“The incoming Inspector-General, a lawyer, hails from Jigawa State and is an alumnus of the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies.

“Positions previously held by him in the Police include Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department, FCT Command, Deputy Force Secretary and Commissioner of Police, Rivers State.

“His appointment is with effect from Friday, August 1, 2014.”

The former IGP had led Abba to a closed-door meeting with the President shortly before his appointment was made public.

In an interaction with State House correspondents after the meeting, Abubakar thanked Nigerians for their support.

He described the position of an IGP as challenging but said the experience was worth the while.

State-sponsored killings: NHRC begins hearing Sept 2

The National Human Rights Commission has said it will on September 2 commence a public hearing on the allegations of state-sponsored killings in the country from 1995 till date.

The commission made this known in a statement by its spokesperson, Fatimah Agwai, in a statement on Thursday.

“To this end, the NHRC will on the said date, September 2, 2014, inaugurate a panel that will conduct the public inquiry at the Headquarters of the Commission in Abuja to unravel alleged cases of State sponsored killings within the period,” the statement said.

The commission had since February called for public memoranda on the allegations of state-sponsored killings which fell within the period of 1995 and 2014.

The call for memoranda followed a letter by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan, alleging that he (Jonathan) was training snipers for the purpose of eliminating political opponents.

Obasanjo had in the said letter alleged that in addition to training snipers, Jonathan was placing 1,000 political opponents on a watch list.

The statement said the commission, through its Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Prof. Bem Angwe, callled on “the general public and all persons to whom specific requests had been made for submission of memoranda, to do so before September 2, 2014.

“He therefore called on Nigerians to cooperate with the commission in this assignment while assuring them that the public inquiry will be thorough and fair to all persons concerned,” the statement added.

Okiro congratulates Abba on appointment as IG

The Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mike Okiro, has congratulated the new Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba on his appointment.

Until his appointment, Abba was the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in Charge of Zone 7, Abuja.

Okiro in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, advised him to rise up to the challenges of his new appointment.

He noted that as a tested officer who had held various Command positions in the Nigeria Police Force, he has no doubt that Abba would bring new perspectives in the search for solutions to the security threats confronting the nation.

FG not behind attack on Buhari -NSA

The National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) on Thursday said contrary to the claims by some individuals, the Federal Government was not behind last week’s attack on the convoy of a former military leader, Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd).

He said as far back as February, leader of the Boko Haram sect, Shekau, had threatened Buhari and some others, calling them infidels that must be dealt with.

Dasuki spoke while fielding questions from State House correspondents after the Council of State meeting during which the issue of the attack on Buhari came up for discussion.

He said, “We said something about the attack on Buhari and Sheik Dahiru Bauchi.

“There was a threat as far back as February this year issued by Shekau calling them infidels by names and positions saying that they were in trouble and they were going to see.

“Well, the government was not responsible, and if you say that the government was responsible in the case of General Buhari, why don’t you say the same in the case of Sheik Dahiru Bauchi?

“We said it not because we had facts but because it is what sells the paper. That is the most unfortunate thing. And we want to say that it was not only General Buhari, there were others mentioned too.”

On the fears that the Boko Haram sect might have started turning the schoolgirls abducted from Chibok, Borno State to female suicide bombers, Dasuki said the government did not have control over the girls when still in captivity.

He however said when they are released, government would put in place a reorientation programme for them before they would reunite with their parents.

He said, “What really can anybody do? The Chibok girls who are in captivity are not under Federal Government’s control.

“The only thing we do is to try and address those who are outside. There is already a programme we will put them through if they are released today to make sure that if there is any indoctrination, we will try and reduce the intensity.

“That is all we can do before they go back to normal life. We can’t do anything to stop them from being indoctrinated.

“The girls who are doing these things are not by any means indoctrinated. That is not what we have as at now.”