We are leading with the latest updates on the abductions in Kagara, the screening of Service Chiefs by lawmakers, and the lingering challenges holding back NIN registration.
Yet Another School Abduction
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, gunmen stormed Government Science College, Kagara, in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State. One student was killed during the attack and 42 other persons, including students and teachers, were kidnapped.
In response to the attack, President Muhammadu Buhari directed security forces to ensure the safe return of the kidnapped persons. and the Niger State Government ordered the immediate closure of all boarding schools in the bandit ravaged areas of the state.
The Kagara assault is the latest on schools across the country. Gunmen have previously abducted students from Kankara in Katsina State, Dapchi in Yobe State, and Chibok in Borno State. Many are still in captivity.
It also highlights the poor state of security nationwide as the police, military, and other agencies struggle to stretch finite resources.
Senate: Members of the red chamber asked the President to declare a state of emergency on insecurity in the country.
NGF: The Governors Forum met behind closed doors at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja to discuss the state of insecurity in the country.
Perspective: A Niger State Senator, Sani Musa, said the gunmen were not bandits but terrorists. And a security consultant, Gen. John Temlong, said the payment of ransom leads to the fueling and arming of terrorism.
Service Chiefs Face Lawmakers
The House of Representatives’ Committee on Defence on Wednesday started the screening and confirmation process of the newly appointed Service Chiefs.
The security bosses, appointed by President Buhari on January 26, have already swung into action. They are expected to be confirmed by the lawmakers.
Bashir Magashi: Speaking with newsmen after the screening, the Minister of Defence said Nigerians should not be cowards in the face of bandit attacks and learn to defend themselves.
Quote: “We shouldn’t be cowards,” General Magashi said. “Sometimes the bandits come with about three rounds of ammunition and when they fire shots everybody will run. In our younger days, we stand to fight any form of aggression.”
Related: The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has deployed 302 Special Forces to Kaduna State as part of efforts to tackle banditry, kidnapping, and other violent crimes in the state.
Challenges Remain With NIN Registration
The National Identification Number has been touted as one of the tools that can help to tackle insecurity nationwide. But Nigerians have continued to complain about the registration process.
The Federal Government has extended the deadline for linking the NIN with SIM cards at least twice. but it might have to do it again.
Lagos: While the usual crowds have thinned out at the registration centre in Ikeja, enrolees say that a lot more should be done to improve the process.
Abuja: The situation is similar in the Federal Capital Territory where applicants say they have been scheduled for dates beyond the government’s deadline.
What else is happening?
Abdulsalam Abubakar: The former Head of State said if nothing is done to address the growing tension in the country, it might lead to a point of no return.
Borno: An IDP camp was gutted in Maiduguri by fire on Wednesday, killing three people, including a child. The inferno also destroyed 620 makeshift houses.
Catholic: Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of lent, a period of fasting for 40 days that comes to an end on the Saturday before Easter.
Invictus Obi: The Forbes-endorsed millionaire was sentenced to ten years in prison by a US court for wire fraud.
PDP: Governors elected under the aegis of the party have called for an urgent decentralisation of the Nigeria police. According to them, it will help to stem the tide of insecurity across the country.
Ethiopia: The conflict-torn northern Tigray region has been hit by an electricity blackout, the government said on Wednesday.
Cyberattack: US authorities said North Korea tried to steal $1.3 billion in crypto and traditional currencies from banks and other victims.
And that’s it for today. It’s almost Friday and then the weekend. See you.