The Federal government has deployed drones in the fight against insurgency in the Northeast.
The deployment followed the recent killing of some soldiers fighting insurgency in the region who were ambushed by the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
The Nigerian delegation made the revelation in its Country report presented to the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja on Friday.
The report presented by Mr Sani Rano, also contained losses to the country from incessant farmers/herders clashes.
The deployment of the drones followed an attack on the Nigerian forces in Borno by the insurgent group, an attack which led to the killing of no fewer than 44 soldiers, the report stated.
The delegation, in their report, informed the parliament that the insurgent group killed 44 soldiers in three military bases in Borno state: Metele, Gajiram and Mainok.
The report said that the country in reaction to the attack had deployed the drones to constantly survey the area, even as it had set up a multi-national joint task force to curb the menace.
“It is worth mentioning that Nigeria has constituted the Multi-National Joint Taskforce (MNTF) made up of Chad, Benin, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria, in fighting Boko Haram.
“It is a multinational formation comprising of equipped units, mostly the military aimed at containing the ravages of terrorism and armed insurgency.
“Presently, drones are patrolling Nigeria’s borders with Chad, Niger and Cameroon as instruments for intelligence collection.
“The Nigerian government is working closely with the Cameroonian government with the aim of negotiating efforts in enabling more Cameroon Boko Haram members to surrender,” the report said.
The report, however, stated that before the recent attacks on military bases, the Nigerian troops had made good progress in tackling insurgency and reopening towns previously seized by Boko Haram.
It said that Nigeria had gone into partnerships with other countries including the U.S. and UK, France, Germany, ECOWAS, AU and the UN which had led to the purchase of weapons including 12 Super Tucano Aircraft.
On the herders/farmers clashes, Rano stated that no fewer than 1,300 persons were killed in Nigeria.
The number according to the report was six times more than the number of persons that had been killed by Boko Haram as at the time of the report.
He said that apart from the loss of lives, Nigeria as a country was also losing billions of Naira on the importation of food which would have been produced locally if there were no crisis.
“An independent report from the international crisis group cited 1,300 deaths in the region, due to the conflicts between herders and farmers.
“The ongoing conflict between farmers and cattle herders is costing Nigeria at least $16 billion in potential revenues annually,” he said.
Rano explained that clashes were due to accusations made by the farmers against herdsmen of failing to control their cattle and allowing them to damage their crops.
He said the herdsmen also accused the farmers of stealing and slaughtering their cattle, adding that the clashes that ensued led to the killing of many, including innocent bystanders.
The report noted that the Nigerian government had, however, taken steps to address the crisis and the senseless killings.
The Nigerian Army, as well as the Police, were said to have deployed intelligent and surveillance to avert any re-occurrence especially with the coming of the dry seasons when the herders would need to search for fresh pasture.
Akpabio vows to crush Emmanuel
Godswill Akpabio, the former governor of Akwa Ibom State on Sunday vowed to crush the incumbent governor in the 2019 elections. He stated that he brought Emmanuel Udom from Lagos and installed him as Governor of the state.
Akpabio further disclosed that Emmanuel Udom never had a membership card of any political party neither had he contested for any election on his own, before he (Akpabio) picked him up from Lagos and made him Governor.
Daily Post reported that the former Senate Minority Leader who said the All Progressives Congress, APC, would record a landslide victory in the general elections in the State, added;
“I was shocked that Emmanuel whom I brought from Lagos and installed as a Governor even though he was not a member of the party on whose platform he stood election and become Governor, could call a world press conference to insult me.
He said, ‘’the electorate in the state would reciprocate the kind gesture of Mr President Buhari by voting massively for him and all candidates of the APC in the state.’’
Akpabio who took a swipe at Governor Emmanuel over what he described as hypocritical campaign slogan tagged “only God”, said God cannot be mocked, noting that;
“Only God could have made it possible to make someone who was never a party member to become a governor.
“Only God could have made somebody who has never had a party card or know what is called ward to become a governor.
“Only God could have made someone who could not have stood election on his own even as a Councilor and win to be brought from somewhere and made Governor.
”Only God could have made a man who has never helped anyone to become anything to become governor.”
Buhari to meet APC NWC
President Muhammadu Buhari may meet All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole and members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) this week over the campaign for next year’s poll.
The meeting may also review reconciliation efforts to pacify aggrieved members.
The President has banned public officers and agencies from contributing to his campaign.
There are indications, however, that most leaders prefer the beginning of marathon rallies from January.
Other support groups can, however, engage in various campaigns nationwide.
The NWC wrote President Buhari before his trip to Poland for an audience to firm up campaign modalities.
A presidency source said: “Mr President will soon kick off his campaign after consultations with the party. The NWC actually wrote to seek an audience with him on some issues.
“These issues are campaign modalities, determining the kick-off date, outcome of the reconciliation efforts and how to ensure victory at the poll. Do not forget that the party gave the six reconciliation panels a two-week deadline to complete their assignment.
“The President promised to meet with the NWC after his trip to Poland. So, the session may hold this week.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “ Buhari does not want public funds diverted to his campaign. He has warned public officers, ministries, departments and agencies against contributing to his campaign.
“ The President is determined to end the practice of diverting funds meant for projects to the campaign. Certainly, the 2019 poll will be based on character and the achievements of this administration.
“Government officers and heads of agencies who plan to fiddle with public funds for the campaign will have themselves to blame.”
Most APC leaders prefer January for campaign shuttles in order not to disrupt the Christmas session.
Some leaders also advised the President to lay the 2019 Budget before embarking on the campaign.
Donald trump nominates Heather Nauert as UN envoy
The President of the United States,Donald Trump has announced that the spokeswoman for the State Department and former Fox TV news anchor Heather Nauert Friday will be the new ambassador to the United Nations.
Trump told reporters that Nauert, who is going to be Nikki Haley’s sucessor, had done well at the State Department by all,” Trump said.
He further added that Nauert through her hard work and diligence has proved beyond doubt that she is worthy of the office.Haley,the incumbent ambassador announced who had also served as the governor of South Carolina has decided to step down to pursue her political dreams.
Nauert — a former anchor of “Fox and Friends,” among the television-loving Trump’s favorite shows — is the spokeswoman of the State Department despite the fact that she lacks foreign policy experience.
Unlike her predecessor , Nauert is not expected to have cabinet status,which means that foreign policy decisions will remain firmly with Trump’s hawkish national security advisor John Bolton, and Nauert’s current boss, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
This recommendation would have to go through the senate and it is likely to come to fruition and gain support since the republicans enjoy majority in the house.
Israel, a very close ally has shown their support for the new change, they hope to continue to enjoy the support of the United States in the UN Security Council.
“Ms. Nauert has stood by the State of Israel in her previous positions, and I have no doubt that the cooperation between our two countries will continue to strengthen as ambassador to the UN,” Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, said in a statement.
Haley, in what could be a final diplomatic push, on Thursday failed in a bid for the UN General Assembly to condemn the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas for firing rockets at Israel.
But for the United States, the vote also succeeded in reaffirming its stance that the United Nations is biased against Israel.
Court sacks APC exco
The Anambra State Executive Committee (SEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by Emeka Ibe, has been sacked by a Federal High Court. But in a statement, yesterday in Awka, the state capital, by the State Publicity Secretary, Okelo Madukaife, the party said there was no cause for alarm.
The sack followed a suit filed by one of the state chairmanship contestants in the party’s congress in May, Mr Onyi Uzochukwu.
The plaintiff said Ibe was not properly nominated during the Congress.
He prayed the court to nullify the Congress and call for a fresh one.
Delivering judgment yesterday, Justice I. B. Gafai nullified the congress and ordered for a fresh one.
But the party said the court judgment had not been served on any of the sacked persons.
The statement said: “Our attention has been drawn to reports in some sections of the media to the effect that the Anambra State Executive of APC has been dissolved by a Federal High Court sitting in Awka.
“Our State Executive has not been served with any court process in any High Court matter relating to any subject around our mandate duly conferred on May 19…
“However, given our status as a party of the rule of law and due process, we shall, if and when we are served with such a process and judgment, study it properly with a view to doing the needful on it, within the hierarchy of laws and courts in Nigeria.
“For now, there is no shaking, as we remain in our duty post with three years and a half to complete our tenure.
“In the interim, our Executive remain intact, properly constituted and within the due discharge of its duties in our great party.”
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