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Wednesday, 5 February 2020

North launches own security outfit ‘SHEGE KA FASA’, seeks formalities

Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has unveiled Northern Regional Security Initiative “SHEGE KA FASA” for ratification by the northern governors as part of measures to address security challenges within the region.

Addressing a press conference shortly before unveiling the outfit, CNG emphasised that for the past 12 years, the North has struggled with disabling challenges that include dwindling economy, rising poverty and more worrying, a crippling security situation that has taken a huge toll on lives, property and the overall cohesion of the region.

The spokesperson of the group, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman who addressed the press before the unveiling said that the.security challenges manifested in 2008 in the form of a deadly insurgency from the Northeast and within a short time, spread to other parts of the region and virtually turned the entire region into a battlefield.

The Coalition noted that while the insurgency raged, other disturbances were created in the region in the form of cattle rustling that pitched northern communities against each other.

“A new dimension was introduced to the farmers/herders conflict which gradually deteriorated into an uncontrollable proportion and deepened the artificial rift between communities in the region.

“This trend suddenly metamorphosed into a deadly armed banditry and kidnapping for ransom which is recycled for arms and drugs. This is in addition to another frustrating trend of the theft and forced trafficking in northern children to other parts of the country for reasons that are largely dubious.

“The culmination of these security challenges has for the past decade turned the entire region into a house of horror with violent killings reported on a daily basis, communities displaced with formal and informal IDP camps spreading across the region.

“The situation today, on most northern highways, innocent travelers are waylaid, robbed and abducted, towns and villages attacked and sacked by bandits who have created an atmosphere of palpable fear across the region.

“As the situation grows more desperate by the day with the North as the most porous and vulnerable, with northerners as the most distressed and estranged.

CNG stressed that it is absolutely impossible to expect that communities would continue to fold their arms while criminals invade their abodes, kill, abduct and displace them.

“By this, today we unveil the symbols for the Shege Ka Fasa outfit which would be formally inaugutated in the coming few weeks when all necessary legal processes might have been completed or formally adopted and ratified by the northern states governors.” It stated.

CNG, therefore, observed that, there is an apparent correlation between the current security situation and the unchecked proliferation of hard drugs and other dangerous substances and that the current security challenges in the region are therefore driven by the proliferation of firearms and hard drugs which are deliberately introduced into the region by outside interests.

It also observed that the drug and firearms trade is fueled by illegal funds channeled by international financial criminals such as Yahoo boys desperate to launder money into the country and that already, this trend has completely undermined the economic and social fabrics of the North, and is responsible for the rampant social problems like banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping, and other forms of security challenges witnessed today.

“That the current desperate situation in the North can be largely contained and eventually controlled by intensifying the task of anticipating and checkmating the manoeuvres of all criminal elements and blocking the supply channels for such dangerous merchandise as firearms and drugs.

“That this task can only be successfully achieved with the active involvement of the members of all northern communities that are at the receiving end of the apparent security lapses.

“That in the prevailing circumstances, the only option, is to resort to voluntary self-defense mechanisms in line with initiatives taken by other regions that are even least affected in comparison to what obtains in the North”.

CNG, therefore, resolved that “Against the backdrop of these concerns and observations, the Coalition of Northern Groups does not wish to remain silent or passive and allow things that affect the North and potentially cause greater instability in the country to continue unchecked.

“Aware also of the need for concerted efforts to assist the Federal Government to restore peace and security and to disband all militias and armed groups in northern Nigeria to ensure that no group has the capacity to challenge the State in its prerogative to maintain law and order, and protect citizens’ lives and properties, the CNG has:

“Initiated practical measures for the setting up of a northern regional security outfit to compliment the efforts of the police, the military, the security services to detect, expose and defeat all criminal machinations and carry out specific and general tasks that would realign the attitude and thinking of the public with the ideals and objectives of the founding fathers of the region.

“The outfit, codenamed “SHEGE KA FASA” is designed to be the vanguard of the entire North encompassing every ethnic group and religion and to be deeply patriotic in its operation.

Read Also: Insecurity: FG directs NCC to revise SIM card policy

“In addition to performing general complimentary tasks for enhancing security in the region, the outfit shall also Coordinate operations against the influx of hard drugs into the North, take steps to neutralize all centers of gravity for the supply, manufacturer and distribution of such drugs and other dangerous substances”.

The group further revealed that the outfit will Coordinate vigilance to check and expose illegal arms trade, supply channels and possession. Guard against the theft and illegal traffic in kids and other vulnerable sections of the northern population and expose operations of fraudsters like the Yahoo boys whose ill gotten wealth forms part of the source of funding for the drug and arms trade.

The group calls the attention of all governors of northern states to the urgent necessity to join their counterparts in the South-West and South-East by adopting and ratifying this initiative for northern regional security and providing the necessary legal framework for its operation in order to secure the lives of the people that are in constant threat.

It also resolved to formalize this request by writing to the governors through the Northern Governors Forum and to the leaderships of traditional, religious and cultural institutions in the region.

It restated that if the state governments and other leaders of the region fail to take action to protect the region the way their southern counterparts are doing, adding that CNG is willing to follow through with all the processes of obtaining the required legal backing for th

Spurs 3-2 Southampton: Son & Lucas set comeback & send Spurs into FA Cup last 16


Tottenham recovered from 2-1 down to beat Southampton 3-2 in Wednesday's FA Cup fourth-round replay thanks to a couple of late goals.

Match Report

Son Heung-min scored a late penalty as Tottenham produced a late rally to beat Southampton 3-2 in Wednesday's FA Cup fourth-round replay.

Spurs were pegged back by Sofiane Boufal's strike in a 1-1 draw at St Mary's in the first meeting and looked set to be knocked out of the competition when they trailed 2-1 in the return game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Tanguy Ndombele's shot deflected in off Jack Stephens to give the hosts the lead against the run of play, but Shane Long profited from some poor Hugo Lloris goalkeeping to level before the break.

Danny Ings then put Southampton in front 18 minutes from time, only for Lucas Moura to fire in an equaliser and Son to convert from the spot after he was fouled by Angus Gunn, setting up a home tie with Norwich City in the next round.

Match Events

3' Sessegnon's shot too straight

Easy stop for Gunn. Tottenham are looking to break at speed, and Dier's quick free-kick allows the hosts to swiftly free Son on the left. 

He tees up Sessegnon, but the shot is straight at Gunn.

12' OWN GOAL! Tottenham 1-0 Southampton (Stephens)

Stephens turns in Ndombele's shot!1-0 Spurs! Southampton have been by far the better side, but Winks feeds Sessegnon in behind, causing Stephens some real problems. 

A scrambling challenge sees the ball break to Ndombele, whose low wayward shot deflects off Stephens and into the net.

19' CLOSE! Ings hits the beam

Huge, huge chance for Southampton! It is a stunning pass in behind from Ward-Prowse, and Lloris bizarrely opts to stay on his line. 

Ings gets to the edge of the six-yard box before hammering against the crossbar. Lloris stood little chance from that range, but Ings could not hit the target.

34' GOAL! Tottenham 1-1 Southampton (Long)

Lloris has given Southampton every opportunity to score with his poor handling, and his latest parry grants Long the simplest of finishes.

Redmond twists in the area and shoots low, and Lloris pushes the ball out to Long.

40' Injured Ward-Prowse replaced by Vestergaard

That seemingly serious Ward-Prowse injury just stifled the atmosphere, but Southampton are maintaining control of the ball.

46' Redmond's long shot over the bar

Southampton move the ball nicely on the edge of the Tottenham area and it is finally Redmond who gets space 20 yards out to shoot. 

He leaves Winks behind but blazes over. It is a really poor effort in a great position.

49' Hojbjerg's header over the bar

Ings picks the ball up on the left and runs across the area but cannot work an angle for a shot. 

They stay patient. Finally, a cross from the left finds Hojbjerg, who heads over. 

52' Missed! Lucas' header wide out

Son just keeps the ball in from Sessegnon's deflected pass down the line on the left. 

Son then swings in a stunning cross to find Lucas Moura in the centre of the area, but he somehow heads wide.

64' Vestergaard's header stopped by Lloris

Son just keeps the ball in from Sessegnon's deflected pass down the line on the left. 

Son then swings in a stunning cross to find Lucas Moura in the centre of the area, but he somehow heads wide.

72' GOAL! Tottenham 1-2 Southampton (Ings)

Southampton have the lead they deserve! 2-1! It's Ings! Their form man has a clinical finish at the end of a rapid break, Tottenham's ambition from the corner punished ruthlessly.

78' GOAL! Tottenham 2-2 Southampton (Lucas)

Lovely, lovely goal! It's 2-2! Out of nothing, Lucas Moura dances into space just inside the area and sweeps a right-footed finish into the bottom-left corner.

87' Penalty Goal! Tottenham 3-2 Southampton (Son)

Tottenham have a huge chance to win it! A wonderful pass from Alli sets Son clear and he skips past Gunn and goes down. There is very little contact but the penalty is given.

Harry Kane usually takes these spot-kicks, but Son keeps his cool and tucks his finish inside the left-hand post. 

It's harsh on Southampton, but the pressure had been building.

Player Ratings

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Tuesday, 4 February 2020

FG LAUNCHES NEW VISA POLICY: Creates New Visa Categories For Ease Of Doing Business, Dual Citizens In Diaspora To Use Foreign Passport To Enter Nigeria

The Nigeria Federal Government has officially launched the Nigeria Visa Policy (NVP)2020.
The Visa Policy which is coming on the heels of the signing of the African Continental Free trade agreement a treaty seeking to establish a continent-wide market place with increased trade and freer movement among its major Economic powers, has as its objective in strengthening Nigeria’s Position as a key economy in Africa by attracting more foreign direct investment into the country’s economy which will, in turn, provide jobs.
Briefing StateHouse Correspondents after the launch at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa Abuja, Interior Minister Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said operation of the new Visa Policy is cardinal to the ease of doing business in Nigeria and will further enhance The Nations security architecture and open Nigeria to more foreign business.
He added that the new visa policy which is also part of the economic recovery and growth plan (2017-2020) will boost Tourism, Aviation, entertainment, commerce and other areas where Nigeria has comparative Advantage over other African Countries.


According to the interior minister, the New Visa Policy will also present Nigeria with the opportunity to apply the principle of reciprocity with her visa policy in the Nation’s Bilateral and Multilateral Relations.
The policy also makes it possible for Nigerians in Diaspora with dual citizenship to be able to make use of the Passport of their adopted countries to visit Nigeria without the need for short stay Visa.
Aregbesola assured Nigerians that the new visa Policy will not compromise National security in anyway as adequate control measures have been provided before and after entry into the country.

The statement reads in full :

PRESS RELEASE

FG LAUNCHES NEW VISA POLICY: Creates new visa categories for Ease of Doing Business

The Federal Government has officially launched the Nigerian Visa Policy (NVP) 2020. This enhanced visa policy by Nigeria, one of Africa’s key economies and demography, comes on the back of the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, a treaty seeking to establish a continent-wide marketplace with increased trade and freer movement among its major economic powers. The objective of the reforms that have birthed NVP 2020 is to strengthen Nigeria’s position as a key economy in Africa by attracting more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country’s economy which would in turn provide jobs for the people and lift Nigeria’s teeming population out of poverty in line with the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari to take 100million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.

NVP 2020 is also designed to support the attainment of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017 -2020) and is a pathway to achieving the Security, Economy and Transparency (SET) Agenda of the present Administration.

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola while speaking at the launch of the NVP 2020 at the State House, Abuja on Tuesday 4th February 2020, stated that its operation is cardinal to the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria. The new visa regime is expected to boost economic activities in the areas of tourism, aviation, entertainment, commerce and other areas where Nigeria has comparative advantage over other African countries. It also presents Nigeria with the opportunity to apply the principle of reciprocity with her visa policy in the nation’s bilateral and multilateral relations.

“The NVP 2020 introduces special visas for Nigerians in diaspora who either by birth, marriage or nationalization have assumed dual citizenship. Such category of Nigerians will now be able to make use of the passports of their adopted countries to visit Nigeria without the need for short stay visa”, he said. The Minister expressed the commitment of his Ministry to the implementation of the NPV 2020 in view of its supervisory role on the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola assured that the NIS would adhere to the published conditions of issuance of visas in a professional, timely and transparent manner. He assured that NIS would invest heavily in the training of the officers and men that will be charged with the responsibility of processing visas in all our visa issuing centers and passport control at our points of entry. The Minister emphasized that NIS would also work with all stakeholders within and outside Nigeria to ensure that the policy is not abused and the security of Nigeria and indeed other countries is not compromised.

“The implementation of the NVP 2020 will not compromise national security as adequate control measures have been provided both before and after entry into Nigeria”, the Minister stressed. While encouraging Nigerians in Diaspora to respect the provisions of the immigration laws of their new countries as well as those of Nigeria, the Minister congratulated the Nigeria Immigration Service for the landmark policy and also invited all prospective visitors, investors and residents to a new and refreshing experience in Nigeria and with Nigeria Immigration Service.

“The implementation of the NPV2020 will require collaboration with several MDAs involved in diplomacy, trade, investment, education, tourism, manufacturing, monetary policies, security, intelligence and many more”, the Minister reiterated.

Some of the features of NVP 2020 include, Visa On Arrival for African Union nationals, increase in the classes of visas from 6 to 75, creation of visa codes for all classes of visa and introduction of e-visas.

The benefits of the new NVP 2020 are many. It presents a good opportunity for Nigeria to be a major consideration for investment in Africa and hosting of international events particularly the ones scheduled to hold in Africa. It also serves as a major boost for Nigeria’s aviation, entertainment and tourism industries.

The new visa policy is expected to take Nigeria some steps up in the Africa Visa Openness Report published annually by the African Development Bank (AfDB) which would be a further boost on the global Ease Of Doing Business league table.

Mrs. Grace Njoku

Chief Information Officer

For: Director, Press and Public Relations

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