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 Buhari mourns ex-NUJ  President 

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From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

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President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the government and people of Abia State as well as the Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ) on the passing of former national president, Bonnie Nwoha.

According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari also commiserated with the family and friends of the veteran newsman and well respected member of Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE), who was a one-time Managing Editor, Daily Times Nigeria, Commissioner of Information, Abia State and a Special Adviser Media to the Governor of Abia State, a position he held until his demise.

The President noted that the late Nwoha’s remarkable legacies include his passion to mentor young and upcoming journalists, his tireless work to champion a free press and the interests of members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm.

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He said his  prayers and thoughts are with the family, friends and associates of the deceased even as he prays God to grant the soul of the departed eternal rest.

Nigeria Newspapers

NAPTIP, DSS operatives found trafficked Burundians in Imo

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From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) with the support of the Department of State Services (DSS), Imo State Command, have rescued a middle – aged Burundian woman and her three children suspected to have been trafficked in a village in Imo State.

NAPTIP in a statement released in Abuja, on Wednesday, disclosed the identity of the rescued victims as Ms Siniremera Snadrine Bizimana and her three children, namely, Murwaneza Zertha Maecy, Akimana ken Bethel and Umwiza Goodluck Collins, and that they were rescued at Umunoha village in Mbaitolu Local Government Area of Imo State.

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NAPTIP said its investigation revealed that the victims were rescued based on a complaint from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees lodged at the headquarters of NAPTIP in Abuja, and further directive from the Director General of the Agency, Dr. Fatima Waziri–Azi.

It said that, in cause of the investigation, they found out that the victims have refugee status in Kenya, and were trafficked to Lagos, by yet-to-be identified human trafficker in September 2021, and thereafter moved to Imo State where their forced into menial labour.

NAPTIP also confirmed that the travel documents of the victims and other valuable personal belongings were also confiscated by the unknown trafficker in the process.

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Imo State Commander of NAPTIP, Mr. Earnest Ogbu, stated that account from the victims indicated that they might have been deceived by the trafficker into coming to Nigeria and a remote village in Imo State without any resistance.

Meanwhile, the Director General of NAPTIP, Dr. Fatima Waziri–Azi, thanked all the stakeholders and partners who provided information and assisted in ensuring a successful operation that led to the rescue of the victims.

She specifically appreciated the effort and collaboration of the Imo State Command of the Department State Services for providing the needed operational support.

She assured that those behind the ordeal of the victims would be identified and prosecuted. “I have directed our operatives to carry out diligent investigation on how the victims got to the village. I am hopeful that the traffickers would be identified and made to face justice”, she stated.

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Nigeria Newspapers

Ijaw youths warn blackmailers to stay away from NCDMB boss

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From Tony John, Port Harcourt

The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide has warned blackmailers and mischief makers hiding under civil society organisations to steer clear of the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wabote.

IYC President Peter Igbifa, in a statement, described attempts by such persons to tarnish the image of Wabote using a subjudiced matter in the United States of America (USA), as laughable, deceptive and childish.

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Igbifa explained that no court in the USA had found Wabote guilty of any wrongdoing, saying persons behind reports accusing Wabote of perjury should be arrested and tried for causing public nuisance and civil unrest.

He described Wabote as a frontline Niger Delta son and an upright public servant, saying the persons raising unnecessary dust had no locus to make a defamatory suit filed by Wabote himself a matter of public discussion.

Igbifa said IYC had compiled the names of persons behind attempts to pull down Wabote, whom he described as one of the rising Ijaw stars, and warned them to tread cautiously or risked burning their fingers.

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He said Wabote had repositioned and reformed the NCDMB making it the only agency without political interference and using it to champion development across the states in the country.

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Igbifa said: “Wabote has made us proud as an Ijaw man. His professionalism in the management of the affairs of NCDMB is outstanding and his achievements as the Executive Secretary of the Board are extraordinary. Therefore, IYC under my leadership cannot allow any campaign of calumny designed by envious losers to embarrass him.

“NCDMB under Wabote is the only agency in the heart of Niger Delta that has operated without any political interference. Under Wabote’s NCDMB, youths across the country are trained, employed and empowered in various fields of endeavour. We won’t allow anybody to destroy the character of this performer.

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“Recently, some IYC leaders from Central Zone were given leadership training by NCDMB. Also, over 100 youths are undergoing boat operation training in Delta State. Wabote’s NCDMB has given numerous skill acquisition training to many Niger Delta and Nigerian youths.”

Igbifa said persons angry with Wabote because they had yet to directly benefit from NCDMB should retrace their steps and consider the general interest of the region.

He advised Wabote not to be discouraged by the antics of desperadoes and called for synergy from all stakeholders to tackle the challenges facing the Niger Delta.

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