Category Archives: politics

Opinion: The ‘defeat’ of Boko Haram by Sonala Olumhense

Editor’s note: The author Sonala Olumhense in this piece talks about the declarations made by different officials in authority that the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram has finally been defeated.

Last Monday, Nigeria’s highest authorities declared Boko Haram, the militant group which has caused tremendous violence and agony for nearly 10 years, finally contained.

Speaking during a Town Hall gathering in Maiduguri, the ground zero of the menace, Abdulrahman Dambazzau, the Minister of the Interior, described the group as “completely decimated.”

He added that the group’s structure was degraded and its leadership, dismantled.

Minister of Information Lai Mohammed cited the “resumption of flights, bubbling nightlife, and football matches in Maiduguri” as signs normalcy has returned to the Borno State capital.

It is interesting to note that the report of the event was filed by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), and nobody explained why the national and international media in the area appeared unable to find the venue.

As part of the back-slapping, Defence Minister Mansur Dan Ali announced that at least 30,000 hostages kidnapped by the insurgents were freed by the troops.

Two days earlier, also in Maiduguri, Rogers Ibe Nicholas, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, also declared Boko Haram “completely defeated.” Speaking at the inauguration of the Nigeria-Cameroun Military Joint Mission, he explained that only the previous day, his troops had overrun Boko Haram’s “Camp Zero,” dislodging the militants and occupying the area.

“We have broken the heart and soul of Shekau’s group, taking over the camp and its environs,” Nicholas said. “They are on the run and we are pursuing them to wherever they go. This time around there is no place for escape anywhere.”

The news comes some six weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari first made the announcement of the militants’ fate. In a statement on the eve of Christmas 2017, he declared “the long-awaited and most gratifying news of the final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave in Sambisa Forest.”

That was followed on January 7 by another affirmation by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Yusuf Buratai, that his troops have won the war against Boko Haram.

The declarations come exactly three years after President Buhari said Nigeria had “technically” won the war. But the militants had then mounted more attacks against troops and populations.

All of this comes six months after Mr. Buratai gave the soldiers 40 days to capture Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the terrorist group, “dead or alive.” He ordered the then Operation Lafiya Dole chief, Ibrahim Attahiru, to spare no trick in his wine-skin bag “to smoke out Shekau wherever he is hiding in Nigeria.”

Given Shekau’s habit of re-appearing each time the army claims he has been killed or wounded, there was little surprise that after 40 days, the army could present to Buratai neither the militant nor his head.

On the contrary, there followed a new wave of Boko Haram attacks upon Nigerians, and an embarrassed military early in December went on a face-saving mission. Major General Attahiru was summarily removed and shoved to a desk assignment described as “policy and planning.”

While it would be incorrect to attribute the latest developments to the military wizardry of Nicholas, what he has achieved in such a short time is highly impressive. Despite that, using such language as “totally defeated,” or “crushed,” or “completely decimated” seems overblown, particularly with Shekau still in play.

And he didn’t take too long last week to announce himself. On Wednesday, he published a new video in which he declared Nigeria’s version of recent events to be false, affirming that he is in, and still controls Sambisa forest.

Obviously, until the challenge of finding Shekau is answered and his means and methods decapitated, the claim the insurgency has been defeated will continue to sound hollow. Among other questions is: where are the remaining Chibok High School girls? Where are the members of an oil exploration team the militants snatched in July last year which included policemen, NNPC researchers and University of Maiduguri professors? It is notable that Shekau brags about this point in his latest video, which he autographs as “the one that is an invincible enemy that you are fighting.”

These evident elements of doubt may explain why only NAN directly reported the government’s landmark celebrations last week. But the declarations of victory raise a key question about the $1bn the government announced in December it wanted to take from the Excess Crude Account allegedly to fight the insurgents.

Where do we go next? Despite the giant strides the Nigerian military has made in the combating Boko Haram, Buhari lack of both vision and patriotic ambition as a leader have become apparent in the past three years, and one of those areas is in sadly mistaking propaganda for action.

To that end, how does the government intend to handle the huge rebuilding and restoring challenge in the northeast, given how much officials such as the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir Lawal have taken advantage of Buhari’s weaknesses to exploit the poor and dispossessed.

In November 2016, the United Nations said in Abuja that Nigeria faced a massive humanitarian crisis arising from the insurgency, and that 26 million people would be affected by the crisis into 2017. At the time, it also warned that about 75,000 children could die from hunger within just two months.

On March 30, 2017, the New York Times reported that over 130,000 people fleeing Boko Haram had amassed in Niger’s Diffa region, along National Route 1 in the southeast of the country, with nowhere to go. In May, Medicins San Frontieres, quoting the authorities, said that number had almost doubled, to 240,000. Nigeria has never responded to their presence.

Only last week, UN-OCHA announced that over 8.5 million persons need life-saving support due to the humanitarian crisis arising from the insurgency; in 2017, it had targeted 6.9 million displaced persons.

This is a good time for the government to come up with a massive plan not only to help victims of the insurgency, including those outside our borders, but to address the national problems that facilitated the rise of Boko Haram in the first place. Sadly, those problems exist all over the country, and we have seen how they drive Nigerians into desperation, and sometimes out of the country into slavery and death.

The question is whether Buhari, given his alarming and disappointing record in the past three years, and confronted over the next with trying to remain in power in 2019, can summon the inspiration and strength he has lacked in three years, to tackle these problems.

The truth is that in view of Nigeria’s burgeoning population, business as usual is no longer an option. The tens of millions who have barely survived Boko Haram, in addition to the tens of millions all over the country who continue to be neglected while officials connive and help themselves to a lifestyle of opulence and privilege in the face of a weak anti-corruption preachment, is a tinderbox waiting to consume the unwary.

The poverty of purposefulness in high places must end now. Hopefully, it is clear to all that the days of hoodwinking the populace—like the days of coup-plotting and election-rigging—are over.

Boko Haram is not defeated until Nigeria is not just a political playpen.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of africanentertainment.info

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Buhari loses 2 family members in quick succession – Presidency

​Presidency has said that President Buhari lost two family members in quick succession

President on media and publicity, Garba Shehu identified one of the deceased as Hajiya Halima Dauda

– He identified the second deceased as the wife of the president’s older brother, Alhaji Mamman

The Presidency on Saturday, February 10, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s extended family was bereaved with the deaths of two members in quick succession.

Punch reports that the senior special assistant to the President on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, announced this in a statement made available to journalists.

“President Muhammadu Buhari’s extended family has been struck by the loss of two senior members who died within a few hours of one another,” the presidential spokesman said.

African entertainment  gathered that Shehu identified one of the deceased as Hajiya Halima Dauda.

He said the deceased who was buried in Daura on Saturday morning, February 10, was the President’s niece and younger sister to his close associate and nephew, Mamman Daura.

“She died at about the age of 56, leaving behind 10 children, four of them male and six female including one of President Buhari’s personal assistants, Mohammed Sabi’u Tunde,” he added.

He said the burial was attended by a federal government delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.

Others on the team were the minister of state, aviation, Hadi Sirika; two businessmen- Alhaji Isma’ila Isa and Sayyu Dantata; three senior special assistants to the President – Sarki Abba, Ya’u Darazo and Shehu; the director general of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar, the permanent secretary, State House, Jalal Arabi and the State Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Lawal Kazaure.

Shehu said the Buhari family had earlier on Friday buried Hajiya Ai’sha Alhaji Mamman on Friday, February 10.

He identified the second deceased as the wife of the president’s older brother, Alhaji Mamman.

Receiving condolences, Malam Mamman on behalf of the family and the Emir, Alhaji Umar Faruk for the people of Daura Emirate thanked God for the lives of the deceased and all the visitors for sharing the moment of grief with them.

Among those received by the family in Daura were the Governor of Bauchi state, Mohammed Abubakar, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu; and a former Military Governor of Kaduna State, Brig.-Gen. Jafaru Isa (retd.).

Meanwhile, African entertainment had previously reported that a sister in-law to President Muhammadu Buhari, Hajiya Aisha Mamman, is dead.

It was gathered that the information officer of the Daura Local Government Council in Katsina, Alhaji Salisu Haro, made the disclosure in in Daura.

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Governor Fayose’s passionate advice to the youths of Nigeria

Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State is a fearless opinion leader in Nigeria; while some see him as a noisy person, some others see him as a fearless voice for the downtrodden. His brand of politics is to identify more with the masses and the lowest persons in the society. This has connected him more with the ordinary man on the street.

Sitting in an interview with Anthony Eshemokhai of NAIJ.com recently, Governor Fayose cuts the picture of a man easily misunderstood; one only needs to listen to him with an objective mind to discover an uncommon honesty and love for Nigerians and Nigeria. 

He wants the political leaders to take responsibilities for their actions rather than shifting blame while the masses are suffering.

Check out the video below to objectively assess Governor Fayose’s stand on national issues. You will find his advice for Nigerians quite interesting. Happy viewing.

News source naija.com

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Patience Jonathan’s property in Abuja demolished

 A property reportedly belonging to Patience Jonathan was demolished in Abuja

The lawyer in charge of the property claimed no notice was served

– According to him, the issue of the building is still pending in court

A property allegedly belonging to the former first lady, Patience Jonathan, was on Tuesday, January 16, demolished by the FCT Development Control Department.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the building, which is inside A. Aruera – Reachout Foundation/Women For Change and Development Initiative, is situated on Shehu Yar’Adua Way along Mabushi–Kado–Life Camp Expressway, Abuja.

Emmanuel Anene, a lawyer with E.A. Ezugwu and Associates, told NAN that the issue of the building is still pending before the Federal High Courts in Lagos and Abuja.

“Sometime before, people from Development Control came to the site, alleging that there was no approval for the building.

We met them at their office and showed them the approval, which they accepted. We thought that the matter was over.

“They had earlier gone to court with application for forfeiture of the property to the government which they failed to achieve at the Lagos High Court.

“So we were surprised that a team came in this afternoon without notifying us to remove the structure.

“Also, we were not served with any notice for demolition, they just came in now and started the demolition of the structure,” he said.

Responding, Muktar Usman, director of development control, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), told NAN that the building had no approval and that notice was served for the demolition of the property.

He said the building was not the only one affected by the demolition in the area as there were others that were also demolished.

Muktar alleged that members of staff of the Development Control Department were also assaulted at the premises.

Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission approached the Federal High Court in Lagos for an applicationseeking the forfeiture of the funds in 15 bank accounts linked to Patience Jonathan.

The funds which the EFCC is seeking to seize, include a total of $8,435,788.84 and over N7.35bn.

The EFCC’s application was, however, objected to by a team of senior lawyers led by Ifedayo Adedipe and Mike Ozekhome who challenged the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the application.

The lawyers told the judge that the funds which the EFCC seeks to seize were already a subject of litigation.

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History of Nigerian army force(Must Read) 

Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa and its armed forces are the biggest on the western part of the continent. Unfortunately, the big size doesn’t mean modern gear, best aircraft and ships, and other innovative equipment. Many soldiers can only perform the basic protective operations due to the lack of innovation and modernization. Still, the history of Nigerian army goes back to 1860s and thus we must recollect how it was formed and what it had to go through until today.

History of Nigerian army force

History of Nigerian Armed Forces

The country celebrated its independence from Great Britain in 1960, however, the history of Nigerian army began nearly a century before this. The first local force was formed by Sir John Hawley Glover nearly 100 years before the nominated date.

Sir John was a respected person in Nigeria. He was the officer of the Royal Navy, and, however, he was a military man, he disregarded many rules while serving as the governor of Lagos Colony. In 1863, he chose several native Africans who used to be slaves grouping them into so-called Glover Hausas.

History of Nigerian army force: Sir John Hawley Glover

The first military force wasn’t big. It only counted 10-18 soldiers who helped their founder to guard local trade routes. However, this quickly changed. By 1865, the small organization grew so much, it was renamed first into Hausa Constabulary and then into Lagos Constabulary that was helping the colonial government to guard territory near Lagos and accomplishing army, police, and other tasks.

Nigerian Regiments (NR)

The next 40 years helped the army grow and become stronger. In the early 1900s, the name was changed again. The force was called Lagos Battalion and it consisted of different units under the WAFF and command of soldier Sir Frederick Lugard. WAFF was an abbreviation for the West African Frontier Force.

The foundation of WAFF united all the known units into two NR regiments:

  • Northern
  • Southern

West African Frontier Force

Both big units of Nigerian armed forces helped with the country’s annexation by Lugard in 1901-1903.

The uniting of the country in 1914 also combined the regiments into four Battalions: the Northern NR consisted of the first and second Battalions and included field artillery and the Southern unit accounted the third and fourth divisions.

The next big changes took place in winter 1956. It was the time when Queen Elizabeth of Britain arrived to Nigeria. The Nigerian army got a new name that sounded as QONR (the abbreviation stands for Queens Own Nigerian Regiments).

Queen Elizabeth of Britain arrived to Nigeria

Nigerian Army (NA)

Soon the West African Frontier Force was reorganized providing all the units within it full independence from each other.

Two years later from the Queen Elizabeth’s visit, the army was renamed into NMF which stood for the Nigerian Military Force. This military unit has been finally controlled by the Nigerian Government, ever since 1958.

The independence two years later once again renamed the Nigerian army from NMF into RNA (Royal Nigerian Army) and later into NA (Nigerian Army).

History of Nigerian army force from 1863

Nowadays

The long history of Nigerian army counts over 250 years. The modern green khaki uniform was introduced in 1960. The structure also changed that year from what used to be in WAFF into what Nigerian army is like today.

The President of Nigeria is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian armed forces that have over 100,000 officers and soldiers. The unit receives all the directions from the Army Council.

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2019: Opposition parties begin strategising for full representation in Lagos

Some opposition political parties in Lagos have begun mobilizing for full representation in governance, ahead of 2019

– The parties include the National Conscience Party, African Democratic Congress, Peoples Party of Nigeria and Action Alliance

– They plan to work together and support each other by supporting the most popular among themselves in a particular locality instead contesting against each other

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, some opposition political parties in Lagos state say they are mobilising and restructuring to win and be fully represented in governance.

Leaders of the parties told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, January 16, that voters were eager to have a true change in government. 

African Entertainment gathers that the Lagos state chairman of National Conscience Party (NCP), Mr Fatai Ibuowo, said the party was restructuring to ensure it had full representation in the state.

“We are doing our best to make sure we occupy Lagos politics; Lagos NCP is restructuring its bases in order to make its dream a reality.

“We are also working tirelessly to ensure we create an alternative for the people of Lagos state,’’ Ibuowo said.

The Lagos state chairman of African Democratic Congress, Mr Nkem Lemchi, also said the party was mobilising and strategising for the elections.

“However, our not winning seats in Lagos is not as a result of lack of plans but the peculiar style of electoral fraud that prevails.

“There is no way to win election than to continue mobilising and strategising,’’Lemchi said.

The Lagos state chairman of Peoples Party of Nigeria, Chief Gboyega Adeniji, said that the party would present credible candidates for the polls.

We were in Ogun state House of Assembly between 2011 and 2015 and we are winning more in Lagos state this time around.

“The voters are already dissatisfied with performance of the ruling party, so our plan is to present credible community-based tested and trusted candidates for the elections,’’Adeniji said.

The Lagos state chairman of Action Alliance (AA), Mr Shola Omolola, said that the party was planning to work with other smaller parties ahead of the elections.

“We are trying to see if we, the smaller parties, can work together and support each other by supporting the most popular among us in a particular locality instead of all of us contesting against ourselves.

“We will keep giving the people an alternative candidate to vote for during the elections while also intensifying our work this year and building on it toward the 2019 elections,’’ Omolola said.

He said the party believed so much in the grassroots where it had a stronghold through its interface with the people.

The AA chairman said that the party had commenced training the people on the importance of coming out to vote in the elections and ensuring their votes counted.

Omolola said: “In one of our trainings, we told the people that they should not believe that who shares the highest money will be the winner of the contest; rather, they should believe in INEC to be an unbiased umpire.’’

The first-class traditional ruler, therefore, urged Nigerians to continue to work towards its success as he stated that the ruling party could not be eased out so soon.

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Days after winning senatorial rerun, Victor Umeh presents car to Catholic priest

Chief Victor Umeh, the senator-elect for Anambra central district on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), has presented a car and cash gifts to two reverend fathers of the Roman Catholic Church serving in the state.

Reports say Umeh, a former national chairman of APGA, gave the car to a newly ordained priest, Rev Fr Peter Ikeatuegwu.

The cash gift was presented to Rev Monk Chukwuma Onyekaonwu, who was said to have completed his final profession.

Days after winning senatorial rerun, Victor Umeh presents car to Catholic priest
The car presented to the Catholic priest. Credit: National Helm

Both religious leaders are indigenes of Aguluzigbo community in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra state.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Victor Umeh winner of the Anambra central Ssenatorial re-run as he beat 13 other candidates.

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BREAKING: President Buhari, Governor Ortom, David Mark in crucial meeting (photos/video)

President Buhari met with Benue elders inside the Council Chamber at the Presidential Villa

The meeting was convened to to discuss how peace and stability can be achieved in the area

President Muhammadu Buhari held a meeting with Governor Samuel Ortom and elders from Benue state over the reported killing by suspected herdsmen in the state.

Benue state was thrown into mourning over the killing in the state and President Buhari had earlier sent the inspector-general of police, Abubakar Idris, to the state to attend to the critical situation.

The president met the Benue elders inside the Council Chamber at the Presidential Villa on Monday, January 15, to discuss how peace and stability can be achieved.

BREAKING: President Buhari, Governor Ortom, David Mark in crucial meeting (photos/video)

President Muhammadu Buhari met elders from Benue state on how to end insecurity in the state. Credit: Twitter, Prsidency

Present at the meeting were former Senate president, David Mark; former governor George Akume; the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse,; Senator Barnabas Gemade, former Attorney-General and minister of justice, Michael Aondoakaa; Senator Joseph Wayas; and speaker of the state House of Assembly, Terkimbir Kyamb.

BREAKING: President Buhari, Governor Ortom, David Mark in crucial meeting (photos/video)

Cross section of the president’s meeting with Benue elders. Credit: Twitter, Presidency

Also in attendance are minister of defence, Mansur Dan-Ali; minister of agriculture, Audu Ogbeh; minister of interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau and other government officials.

BREAKING: President Buhari, Governor Ortom, David Mark in crucial meeting (photos/video)

Presidency Buhari said he is committed to finding lasting peace in the state. Credit: Twitter, Presidency

Meanwhile, bishops of the Catholic Ecclesiastical Province of Abuja called for prayers to forestall the re-occurrence of the killings in villages in Benue communities by herdsmen.

In a communiqué after its meeting on January 12 and 13 in Makurdi, the bishops, while condemning the massacre of over 73 people in Guma and Logo local government councils, called on the church to remain resolute in prayers.

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Donald Duke indicates interest to run for president in 2019

Donald Duke, the former governor of Cross River state says that he will contest for presidency in 2019

The former governor notes that he will start the process at the right time

– Duke attributes the failure of governance on the lack of consequences for erring leaders

Former Cross River state governor, Donald Duke, on Sunday night, January 14 in Abuja has said that he will contest to become Nigeria next president in the 2019 general elections, Vanguard reports.

African Entertainment  gathered that Duke, who declared his interest at the 3rd Mike Omotosho Annual Lecture titled, “Mellinials as Protagonists in Nation Building,” promised to kick-start the process at the right circumstances.

He said: “I am entitled to run for the presidency of this country. I am entitled to it. Only on right circumstances I will aspire for it. I don’t shy away from responsibility, only the right circumstance, I will aspire for presidency of this country. I have what it takes to be president of this country.”

However the former governor, challenged the youths to fully participate in the electoral process by getting their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and sensitising others ahead of 2019 general election.

Duke said, “I hear young people say to me that why would there spend hours queuing and casting their votes when at the end their votes won’t count. And I tell that if their parents conceived them they never gave up on them considering the high mortality rate so why would there not take a chance in building this nation?

“We had young leadership at one stage or the other. Even in our first republic, besides the likes of Awolowo, Tafawa Balewa, M. T. Mbu was in his twenties when he became a minister.

“Gowon was 30 when he became the head of state. It comes back to the disaster therein because most of them didn’t have experience in governance, which led us into war. We need the combination of both.

“What I think we should be doing is to a government that is youth friendly to provide opportunities because we need to groom the next set of leadership.”

The former governor, while rating the activities of the present administration, said, there was disconnection between President Muhammadu Buhari and his cabinet members, adding that: “The challenge we have today is the disconnect. That is the challenge of the governance today. Because if you speak with the folks in government, and I am been candid here.

I think we should stop to deceive ourselves here and stop all these political correctness. There is disconnecting between the president and even the ministers.”

He attributed the failure of governance on the lack of consequences for erring leaders which has given room for incompetence.

African Entertainment  previously reported that Former Cross River state governor, Donald Duke, on Thursday, November 2, 2017, criticised President Muhammadu Buhari-led government for rejoicing over Nigeria’s ‘exit’ from recession.

This Day reports that Duke, who said he was broke, also advised the administration to work harder, stating that the masses were yet to feel the development.

Duke sounded a bleak warning that all is not well in Nigeria, despite the September news that the country was out of recession.

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IBB pleads for end to further bloodshed, communal clashes

The former military leader says the bloodletting has become too much

– He urged Nigerians to show some respect to fallen members of Nigerian Armed Forces who gave their lives for the security of the nation

– He also urged politicians not to make matters worse by using the current security crisis to gain cheap political advantage

Ex-military head of state General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd.) on Sunday, January 14 urged Nigerians to put an end to communal clashes and resultant bloodshed because the country has witnessed too much bloodletting.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that, in a statement he made available to newsmen in Minna, Babangida urged Nigerians and governments at all levels to serve as national vanguards in resolving some recent disturbing incidents affecting national security.

The statement read in part: “It is customary to observe the Armed Forces Day on the 15th January every year to remember officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces who laid down their lives for the unity of our country.”

Babangida called on Nigerians to demonstrate appreciation of the courage of the gallant fallen heroes by appreciating their contribution and providing support for the welfare and upkeep of the families they left behind, especially their widows and children.

He added: “We should cooperate and support our security with relevant information and intelligence to help in tackling the problems.

“As people we should inculcate our cultural values that promote good conduct, tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

We should eschew hate speeches, discrimination and other vices that trigger senseless violence and bloodshed.

“We have witnessed so much bloodshed through communal clashes and conflicts that need urgent actions to stop them now.

”As we enter the electioneering period, I urge our political office holders as well as politicians from all political parties to be conscious of their campaign slogans.

“For the members of the armed forces and security agencies, I urge them to remain apolitical, neutral and focus on the ethics of discipline which is the hallmark of their profession.

“In conclusion, I wish to once again express my condolence to the families of members of the Armed Forces who lost their lives in their effort to keep Nigeria secured in various military operations.

Lalong said his comments after visiting President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Thursday, January 11, were misinterpreted.

On Saturday, January 13, Lalong said: “I must say that I humbly apologise for my comments.”

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