Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Tuesday, 27 February, 2018.

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
Some residents were reportedly killed and many houses burnt in fresh religious violence that broke out in Kasuwan Magani community in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State yesterday.

The police have deployed armed personnel in the troubled commercial town which is about 36 kilometres away from Kaduna metropolis.

According to an eyewitness account, about 20 persons were injured in the fracas between Christian and Moslem youths. Property worth millions of naira, including vehicles, were burnt by the irate youths.

The eyewitness said the crisis erupted following a misunderstanding between some Christian and Muslim youths over an alleged conversion of two Christian girls into Islam.

But some residents of the area, including Ahmadu Dogo and Jummai, told journalists that attempts by Christian and Moslem youths to stop their girls from dating their male counterparts from religions different from theirs was the major cause of the violence. They said some people were killed during the fracas.

The Sole Administrator of the local government, Aminu Rabiu, said the “disagreement among the Christian and Moslem youths led to the loss of lives, property and peace in the area.”

He said the quick response of the security agencies helped in restoring order.
“We have already evacuated the injured persons to the hospital and they are responding to treatment.”

Rabiu appealed to the residents to embrace the culture of living in peace.

The Spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Mr. Murkhtar Aliyu, confirmed the incident and said security agents had been drafted to restore peace.

“There are casualties, but I cannot ascertain the number at the moment. But I can assure you, peace has been restored to the area,” he said.

Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has ordered arrest and prosecution of the culprits.

In a statement, El-Rufai’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, said the governor directed the prosecution of the masterminds shortly after receiving a preliminary report on the mayhem.

Aruwan said the government had sympathised with the victims and their families and directed the State Emergency Management Agency to take an inventory of damage and provide relief materials immediately.

Meanwhile, clerics under the Northern Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) have condemned the religious violence.

In their reaction to the inci dent, the northern CAN’s Public Relations Officer, Reverend John Hayap said religious leaders must intensify the teaching of right doctrines to their followers.

He said it was sad for youths and followers of two prominent religions in northern Nigeria “in this age of education and technology to be fighting and killing each other because of religion or boy friend and girl friend matter.

“If they don’t have good knowledge of their faith, then their exposure to this modern era should help them stop this shameful act.”

According to CAN, leaders of these youths from both faiths should see this as a sign of failure to teach good morals and the importance of the sanctity of life.

“How can a well-informed religious person fight another because he or she befriends someone from another faith? This is not only shameful but a display of a high level of ignorance.

“Both Christian and Muslim clerics from our religions must step up their teachings to eradicate this shameful act,” he said.

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday urged the National Assembly to immediately investigate the circumstances surrounding the abduction of 110 Dapchi schoolgirls in Yobe State.

The party said the probe became imperative in the face of “rising speculations and conspiracy theories in the public space, fuelled by conflicting reports, attempts at cover-up and disagreements among government officials and agencies regarding the incident”

In a statement yesterday by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said that in conducting the investigation, the National Assembly must take a critical note of the allegation by the Yobe State governor, Ibrahim Geidam, that the abduction was preceded by withdrawal of troops safeguarding the troubled area.

“The governor is the chief security officer of the state and his statement cannot be taken lightly or even dismissed by just a wave of the hand by anybody or any government agency under any guise whatsoever.”

The PDP also urged the lawmakers to investigate the various conflicting reports that have greeted the abduction, particularly the initial alleged moves by the Federal Government to deny the occurrence of the incident.

“Nigerians are indeed worried about the apparent deliberate design to hide the facts of this abduction and demand to know the truth. It is a common saying in Africa that thunder does not strike on the same spot twice.

“We must not allow our national ambience to be filled with speculations from conspiracy theorists. Our lawmakers must, therefore, in unravelling the matter, question all security agencies, particularly those operating in the area,” the party added.

Also, the President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON), Ona Ekhomu, advised the Federal Government to set up a special task force to rescue the abducted girls.

He said the team which should report to the National Security Adviser (NSA) should include personnel of the security agencies and the Federal Ministry of Justice.

He called for an immediate announcement of a N50 million reward for information leading to the rescue of the girls. According to him, the money would induce people who have information to talk.

Even Cable News Network (CNN) anchorwoman and correspondent, Isha Sesay, is worried . Yesterday, she engaged President Muhammadu Buhari in tweets over the abduction.

Buhari had recently described the attack on the school as a national disaster, but Sesay disagreed, describing the incident as a national disgrace.

In a series of tweets, Sesay faulted Buhari’s narrative, saying “ ‘national disaster’ doesn’t cut it. I’m taking ‘national disgrace’ which implies blame and responsibility.” According to her, it is an “understatement” to describe the incident as a disaster.

The journalist tweeted that the Yobe abduction was a reminder of a similar incident in Chibok, Borno State where over 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped in 2014.

“Lack of clarity surrounding #Yobe attack and whereabouts of #schoolgirls is enormously distressing. It feels like I’ve been taken back to 2014 #Chibok nightmare.

“I want to live in a world where the lives of the #DapchiGirls are held to be just as important as those of kids in other places, not a world where everyone is talking about schoolgirls being stolen by terrorists. Is that too much to ask?”

Some 110 girls were declared missing in the wake of an attack on the school in Dapchi last Monday by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.

Sesay, who covered the agitation for the release of the Chibok girls for CNN, lamented the recurrence of the incident in Yobe and urged the people and government of Nigeria to move against the wicked act.

“No parent should ever endure this. No government should be allowed to look away. Use your voice to demand action!” she tweeted.

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
The Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has unveiled plans to acquire 100 new cabotage vessels in collaboration with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who disclosed this at the second stakeholders’ meeting in Warri, Delta State, said the agency is currently in talks with NCDMB, and the project is at advanced stage.

Peterside, who described the maritime as a multi-stakeholder industry that plays an important role in the growth of the nation, noted that without the sector, it would be difficult to fund the Federal Government’s budget.

“In our industry, all of us are equally important and have our different roles; but it is only when we work synergistically that we can accomplish great results. For us in NIMASA, we have our eyes on the ball and the different achievements made in recent times are because of the roles of the different stakeholders,” he said.

He also recalled that in the past few months, NIMASA had made significant progress in various areas including sponsoring 298 cadets to do sea time training in United Kingdom, and Egypt, while Nigeria had moved up in ease of doing business. “Also, it is a fact that because of the New Cabotage Compliance Strategy (NCCS), in the past six months we have had over 200 seafarers onboard different Cabotage vessels amongst other developmental initiatives,” he added.

Stakeholders, who spoke at the event, expressed their continued support for the maritime agencies, and for the growth and development of the maritime sector.

The Chairman, National Seafearers Welfare Board, Kunle Folarin, said government, through various agencies like NIMASA, shipowners, manning agents, and other contracting parties in Nigeria, should take the issues of seafarer welfare seriously, and address them as parts of national, economic, and social policies.

He said: “Inspection of on board facilities should be regularly performed. Shipowners and manning agents should engage in all best practices in both human and material resource management, particularly in areas of fair wages without disparity.

“Health and safety standards and facilities, dispute resolution, prompt attendance to distress situation, and provision of welfare facilities for seafarers should receive prompt attention,” he said.

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
President Donald Trump said Monday he would have rushed unarmed into the Florida school targeted by a mass shooter, as student survivors of the slaughter brought their campaign for gun control to Congress.

Nearly two weeks after the attack in Parkland, Florida left 17 people dead, US lawmakers reconvened after a one-week recess under intensifying pressure to address gun violence.

Trump has since called for reforms including tougher background checks on firearm purchases, but the White House has yet to announce support for specific legislation in Congress, where enacting federal gun restrictions faces major obstacles especially in an election year.

During a White House meeting with state governors, Trump said he would have felt compelled to confront the shooter.

“I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon,” Trump said. “You never know until you’re tested.”

Having previously criticized an armed deputy who failed to intervene in the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Trump also branded the performance of some local law enforcement “frankly disgusting.”

The deputy, Scot Peterson, pushed back through his lawyer, saying he positioned himself outside a school building because he believed the shots were originating from outside.

“The allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue,” lawyer Joseph DiRuzzo said in a statement.

Lunch with the NRA

Spurred to action by the shooting — the worst at a US school in six years — several Parkland survivors travelled to the US Capitol, where they met Monday with top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers.

Trump, who touted his Second Amendment credentials on the 2016 campaign trail, said he lunched Sunday with Wayne LaPierre, the head of the powerful National Rifle Association, and told him changes were needed.

“We’re going to do strong background checks. Very strong,” Trump told the governors. “If we see a sicko, I don’t want him having a gun.”

Trump has also called for boosting school security, and controversially, arming some teachers and staff in addition to on-campus guards.

Most Democrats want gun control efforts brought to fruition in Congress, and a new CNN poll showed that 70 percent of Americans support stricter gun laws, up 18 points since October.

But it remains unclear just what measures can pass Congress in Washington’s overheated partisan fog, and Republican House and Senate leaders have remained largely silent on the issue.

Senate Republican Pat Toomey and centrist Democrat Joe Manchin want to reprise their 2013 bill that would expand background checks to include purchases online and at gun shows.

Manchin told reporters Trump would need to express his support for the measure for it to pass the Republican-controlled Senate.

Republicans from suburban districts, where calls for gun control have gained ground, have expressed openness to raising the age limit for purchasing semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, or banning devices that turn such weapons into machine guns.

Senator Susan Collins, a Republican moderate, said she also supports expanding background checks and addressing mental health.

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
The Lagos State police command yesterday paraded 70 suspected cultists including three alleged to be responsible for the death of a Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC) official, Bolaji Monsuru.

Three of the suspects – Bello (aka 17), Adio (aka trouble), and Odofin, were said to have led others at large to murder the LNSC official last week in Surulere.

According to Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, the 57 suspects were rounded up during an initiation rite of the Black Axe group at a hideout in Elemoro, Ajah. He said the arrested cultists would be charged with armed robbery and illegal possession of firearms.

The police boss noted that the command had commenced massive clampdown on cultists, urging parents and traditional rulers to prevail on their wards to renounce cultism.

He said: “It is no more business as usual as we are serious in this issue of war against cultism. We have started pressing for stiffer punishment. Before now, it used to be lesser charges against cultist but now we are going to charge them with armed robbery and illegal possession of firearms.

“We want to appeal to parents to advise their children to shun cultism as we are serious in charging any suspect for armed robbery and we will not hear any plea from any parent.”

Continuing, Edgal said he was satisfied that the killers of the LNSC were caught within five days after he gave the assurance. He added: “The deceased’s enlistment into the LNSC sent jitters down the spine of most cult members because he knew most of them. Hence the suspects, Bello, Adio and Odofin along with other accomplices now at large attacked and killed the deceased at Umunede Bar, Mallam Isa Close, Aguda, where he had gone to watch soccer at the close of work.

“The suspects have confessed that they participated in the killing of Bolaji. An axe and knife with blood stains were recovered from the suspects and have been sent to the forensic unit of the police for analysis.”

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
South Sudan is close to another famine, aid officials said yesterday, after more than four years of civil war and failed ceasefires in the world's youngest nation. 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
One of the expected outcomes of today's relaunch of Bendel Insurance Football Club will be the club becoming self sustaining with government... 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
The Lagos State government has charged civil servants on optimal performance for improved efficiency in service delivery to the citizens in the state. 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
Having an old father could knock years off your life, according to new research. 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
GE (NYSE: GE), the world's premier digital industrial company has announced a partnership with the National Youth Service Corps 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Managing Director of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr Fidet Okhiria 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
To ensure market penetration and meet the growing need for air-conditioners that can perform on a higher level in Nigeria, LG Electronics has launched... 

Tue, 27 Feb 2018
Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi 11 and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria... 
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