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The Big 5: Osinbajo visits Plateau, CAN condemns Plateau killings and other stories

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These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo, on Monday visited Plateau following attacks on villages that left scores of people dead to assess the situation and interact with leaders in the state.

Osibanjo expressed sadness over the development and said perpetrators of the heinous crime would not only be arrested but be made to face justice as Special Forces have been deployed to restore peace in the state.

He urged all leaders to show restraint in what they say and do.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has expressed shock at the spate of killings unleashed on three local government areas of Plateau State by armed bandits.

President of CAN, Dr Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, said on Monday that it was noteworthy that the affected communities were yet to come out with the exact figure of the death toll, but that it was alarming that over 86 lives, as confirmed by the police, have been lost, including defenseless women and children.

He expressed sadness that despite assurances and promises by President Muhammadu Buhari that his government was committed to safety of lives and property, the latest coordinated and premeditated attacks on Plateau towns was unprecedented, adding that the Federal Government needs to review its security machinery in a bid to make it effective.

Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, on Monday advanced reasons curing severe lead poisoning has been difficult, expressing regret that children who are receiving treatment for the ailment would grow up with low intelligent quotient (IQ).

Bwari who gave the explanation at a media briefing for an International Conference On Lead Poisoning scheduled for Tuesday in Abuja, explained that although the disease was preventable, its treatment and environmental remediation were expensive. He said the victims would experience learning disabilities, memory disorders and violent criminal behaviour.

“The only effective long-term solution is finding ways to prevent the outbreak in the first place,” he stated

President Muhammadu Buhari has dissolved the Governing Board of the National Business and Technical Examinations Board over N49m contracts allegedly unaccounted for and reinstated the suspended Registrar, Prof. Ifeoma Abanihe.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, who revealed the President’s decision in a statement on Monda noted that the suspension of the registrar and four directors in the agency by the governing board did not “follow the due process.”

The Nigeria Customs Service on Monday vowed to deal ruthlessly with those involved in the smuggling of prohibited items, particularly rice, saying that it was working with the Nigerian Air Force to deploy drones for border surveillance.

The Deputy Comptroller-General, Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection, NCS, Aminu Dangalidima, said this during the issuance of 30 additional Toyota Hilux patrol vehicles to the Strike Force team of the service, noting that apart from the vehicles, the service was working with the NAF to deploy drones for border surveillance which according to him, will assist in reducing the activities of smugglers at the borders.

“We are using technology to check smuggling and this is part of it. We are even thinking higher than this. We are thinking of having drones and we are also thinking of trying to bring in the Air Force. We are also trying to have the un-manned aerial vehicles and others that can assist us; and all these are in progress,” it added.


And stories from around the world:

La Celeste of Uruguay thrashed Host nation, Russia 3-0 to emerge as winners of Group A in a thrilling encounter on Monday.

Saudi Arabia however ended a run of 12 World Cup matches without a win (D2 L10), recording their first victory in the competition since June 1994 (1-0 v Belgium), as they defeated the Pharaohs of Egypt 2-1 after scoring a brilliant goal in injury time. Both teams however failed to secure qualification to the next round of the tournament despite the outcome of the match.

In Group B, La Roja of Spain held the Atlas Lions of Morocco to a 2-2 draw after a late VAR decision ensured they grabbed a point from the match, which was enough to see them through to the next round of the competition as group winners. Morocco were however eliminated from the tournament.

Team Melli of Iran ended their campaign at the 2018 World Cup after an impressive match against Portugal in which they held the European side to a 1-1 draw.

Portugal have now progressed from the group stage of the World Cup for the fourth time in their history (also 1966, 2006 and 2010).


A US border security chief says he has temporarily stopped launching criminal prosecutions of migrants who illegally enter the country with children.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan told reporters in Texas the prosecution referrals were suspended last week.

He said it followed an order last week by President Donald Trump calling for an end to migrant family separations. (BBC)


The European Union and Canada imposed sanctions on seven senior military officials from Myanmar on Monday, including the general in charge of an operation accused of driving more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh.

Within hours of the EU announcement, the Myanmar military announced that one of the sanctioned generals had been fired on Monday and another had left the army last month after being removed from his post. (Reuters)


The populist Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini has called for migrant reception centres to be set up on the southern borders of Libya after a meeting with the African nation’s leaders in Tripoli.

He said the proposal, one of many in a Italian package designed to crack down on migration, will be put to EU heads of governments at a meeting on Thursday. (The Guardian, UK)

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