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Nigeria Newspapers

Imo Chief Priest, 2 councillors, community leader, abducted

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From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri

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Barely 24 hours security taskforce and the Imo State government evacuated dead bodies from the kidnappers’ den at Orsu Local Government Area of the state, gunmen yesterday again whisked away the Chief Priest of Owerri Ancient Kingdom in Owerri Municipal council, Reginald Ejiogu and two councillors from Orsu whose identities are yet to be identified as at the time of filing this report.

Also, the Chairman of Umunwagbara village in Owerri Nchi-Ise kingdom, Sunny Unachukwu, has also been kidnapped.

A source from the area told Sunday Sun that the Chief Priest and the community leader were abducted at Christ Church road, Owerri.

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Residents of the state have described the abduction of the duo as desecration of the customs and traditions of Owerri people even as they are afraid of who the next victim would be.

“We have never seen this one before. This is a desecration on the culture and tradition of the Owerri people. The eyes of the gods kidnapped! No, this is unbelievable!

“Onyeishi Ala Owerre, Reginald Ejiogu, together with Umunwagbara village Chairman, Sir Sunny Unachukwu were this morning, 18th Dec 2021, abducted by unknown gunmen at Christ Church Road by Ihugba Street.

“The entire Owerri indigenes are apprehensive about the whereabouts of their Chief Priest, having gone round all police stations in Owerri without any tangible success,” one of the sources lamented.

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When contacted, the police spokesman in the state, Michael Abattam, said he was not aware of the incident.

Nigeria Newspapers

Gunmen blow up Catholic church in Taraba

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Less than 24 hours after terrorists killed three relatives of the village head of Wuro Bokki, in Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State, an explosive suspected to have been planted by terrorists blew up at the Catholic Chapel of St. John’s College, Mutum-Biyu, the headquarters of Gassol LGA.

The Principal of the College, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Vershima Ikyaan, told that the explosion went up at about 7:20 pm.

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He said, “We thank God no life was lost, but the Church has been destroyed. About 10 minutes after the explosion in the school, we started hearing gunshots in the town.

“The youths and some students were holding a programme in the Chapel which doubled as the school hall and had left the premises shortly before the explosion.

“This is a religious premises and if attacks like these are happening to the Church, where will people run to?

“I want to call for a thorough investigation to unravel those behind the attack and the perpetrators brought to book.”

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The Taraba State Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Abdullahi Usman, confirmed the attack in a telephone interview with our correspondent.

“What happened was that some kidnappers came to kidnap the owner of one filling station in the town, unfortunately for them, they could not achieve their mission.

“In the process of running to escape begin trapped, they started shooting sporadically to escape.

“It was in the process that they threw an explosive into the church to cause fear to enable them to escape. The explosion blew up and caused some damages to the building,” Usman said.

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Nigeria Newspapers

NAFDAC bans alcohol production in sachet, PET bottles

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Deborah Tolu-Kolawole, Abuja

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has stopped the registration of alcohol in sachet, small volume PET and glass bottles below 200 millilitres.

The Director-General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, disclosed this in a statement issued by the agency on Monday.

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Adeyeye said the registration of new alcoholic drinks in sachet and small volume PET and glass bottles above 30 per cent alcohol by volume had been banned by NAFDAC, following the recommendation of a high powered committee of the Federal Ministry of Health, NAFDAC, and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and Industry in December 2018.

Other members of the committee are the Association of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employers and Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria.

According to the NAFDAC boss, the agency will ensure that the validity of renewal of already registered alcoholic products in the affected category does not exceed the year 2024.

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She explained that manufacturers of low volume alcohol beverages (200ml) with satisfactory laboratory reports already submitted to NAFDAC for registration before the decision, have been directed to reformulate their products to the stipulated standards free of charge.

She said, “Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria was also given a matching order to embark on intensive nationwide sensitisation campaigns against underage consumption of alcohol by adolescents below the age of 18 years in the bid to stem the tide of alcohol abuse in the country.

“Producers of alcohol in sachets and small volume agreed to reduce production by 50 per cent with effect from January 31st, 2022 while ensuring the products are completely phased out in the country by 31st January 2024.

“The agency is committed to the strict implementation of the regulations and regulatory measures towards safeguarding the health of Nigerians particularly the vulnerable youths against the dangers of reckless consumption of alcohol.”

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