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Suspected bandits kidnap village head, son in Bauchi

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*Captors yet to contact family

Gunmen suspected to be bandits have invaded and attacked Zira village in the Toro Local Government Area of Bauchi State and kidnapped the village head, Yahaya Abubakar, and his son Habibu.

The PUNCH reports that the incident is coming barely 24 hours after suspected bandits launched an attack on Tudun Wadan Jada village in the Alkaleri Local Government Area of the state and killed four people, while three others were injured.

Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed hails from Alkaleri LGA.

The gunmen had invaded the Governor’s village with the intention of kidnapping the village head and other villagers, but the village head raised an alarm and the youths from the village and surrounding villages were said to immediately mobilise themselves and resisted them and they were unable to go with the abducted people.

But the suspected bandits, seeing that their mission had failed, then opened fire on the large number of the youths that resisted them and killed four of them, while three sustained varying degrees of injuries.

Confirming the recent incident at Zira village in the Toro Local Government Area, the District Head of Lame, Aliyu Lame, said it happened on Saturday night and that the kidnappers of the village head and his son were yet to contact the family.

He said: “Yes, it is true that the village Head of Zira and his son were abducted last Saturday by bandits.

“They (captors) are yet to contact the family of the victims. It’s time for the Federal Government to look into what is happening, particularly in Northern Nigeria.”

The Bauchi State Police Command confirmed the incident to journalists on Monday with an assurance that the kidnappers would be apprehended soon and those abducted rescued.

The Command’s Public Relations Officer, Ahmed Wakil, a Superintendent of Police, stated this in a telephone interview with journalists.

“The bandits went to the village which is under (the) Rishi Police Division, a border village with Plateau State, around 2am last Saturday and kidnapped the village Head, Saleh Abubakar, and his son, Habibu Saleh.

“The Command has since dispatched a team of detectives and other police officers to rescue the victims and presently our men are combing the bush in search of the abducted victims. We assure residents that the abducted persons shall soon be rescued.”

Wakil said that the Commissioner of Police, Umar Sanda, has urged the public to remain calm and go about their normal businesses and report any suspicious characters as police are doing everything possible to rescue the victims.

The PUNCH also reported that a former Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Sani Toro, former Assistant Coach of the Nigeria Super Eagles, Garba Yila, and one of their friends, Alhaji Isa Jah, were kidnapped on Saturday evening while returning to Bauchi from Abuja.

They were reportedly kidnapped in a village around Akwanga in Nasarawa State at about 7.30pm after attending the wedding of the son of former NFF President, Aminu Maigari, which took place in Abuja on Saturday.

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Governor’s wife advises Jerusalem pilgrims on conduct

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The returnees who participated in the 2022 pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Jordan have held a thanksgiving service to appreciate God for the successful journey.

According to a statement issued by the state government, the service, held at Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, was graced by the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

Represented by the wife of a former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs Mayowa Ikuforiji, Sanwo-Olu advised the returnees to be true ambassadors of Christ and allow their encounters during the pilgrimage to strengthen their relationship with God and the people around them.

The governor’s wife said, “You cannot afford to go back to your old ways and lifestyles. As you have been described as the light and salt of the world in the Holy Book, it means that you have a lot of tasks ahead of you.”

Sanwo-Olu then thanked God on behalf of the pilgrims for the successful completion of the exercise and the journey mercies experienced.

She said, “We bless the Lord that there was no report of any negative eventuality. It is fitting at this point to state that we are indeed peculiar people with a deep sense of appreciation and we show this trait in praises and thanksgiving to God who specifically called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.”

In her remarks, the Secretary, Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mrs Yetunde Gbafe, said the thanksgiving service was in line with God’s injunction as recorded in Psalm 100 where believers were enjoined to come into His presence with praise and thanksgiving.

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up oil spills – Report

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up decades-old oil spills in southern Bayelsa State over a 12-year period, a new report revealed on Tuesday, as it singled out two international oil companies, Shell and Eni, for being responsible for most of the pollution.

Oil majors in Nigeria have long faced legal challenges over Niger Delta spills, which they mostly blame on sabotage and vandalism of pipelines and illegal refining.

The Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission said in a report that it started an investigation in 2019 on the impact of spills and looked at evidence from forensic scientists, blood samples from people in affected areas and company data, according to Reuters.

The investigation discovered, among other findings, that toxic pollutants from spills and gas flaring were many times higher than the safe limits in samples of soil, water, air, and in the blood of local residents, the commission said.

“The report finds failures of strategy, prevention, response and remediation by oil companies,” it said.

Reuters stated that a spokesperson for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited said the oil firm was not privy to the final report and could not comment.

An Eni spokesperson said the oil spills were due to theft to feed illegal refineries as well as illegal exports and sabotage but the company undertook to remedy all spills.

Most of the gas produced from Eni’s Nigerian unit was converted into LNG and fed local power plants, the spokesperson said, adding that “Eni conducts its activities according to the sector’s international environmental best practices, without any distinction on a country basis.”

Toxins that cause burns, lung problems and risk of cancer were widespread while oil company-led clean-ups were often poorly executed and could further contaminate soil and groundwater, the commission’s report said.

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Experts advise marketers to leverage technology

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Experts have advised marketing professionals to take advantage of technology to revamp marketing tactics.

The marketers were admonished at the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria Ikeja Chapter 3rd Annual Public Lecture held recently in Lagos.

Speakers at the event said due to the highly competitive marketing arena, marketers must be willing to adjust their approaches in response to shifting market trends and economic circumstances, to remain competitive and achieve success.

The Ikeja Chapter Chairman of NIMN and Chief Executive Officer of Procon Group, Adebayo Oke, noted that the conference was basically to review the position of things in the institute in the face of the country’s dynamic economy.

He said, “We all know that in terms of political economy, we are going to be having a change very soon. Where we are coming from, there are issues that have affected consumerism in terms of the power of a consumer, choices and whether it will get tougher or better that is why we are here. To also share knowledge among the top practitioners to floor it down.”

According to him, a lot of quacks are in the market and most companies believe marketing is anybody’s function.

“And going forward, we are going to be regulating the practice of marketing across all industries and in partnership with the international brands in the areas of marketing, including the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK, amongst others,” he stated.

He disclosed that the institute would be partnering with most companies to ensure that only certified marketer would be allowed to practice marketing, to enable the institute get rid of all the quacks.

The President and Chairman of Council for NIMN, Idorenyen Enang, in his keynote address, highlighted the significance of marketers harnessing the potential of technology while ensuring that they adhere to ethical principles of the profession.

He said, “The benefits of technology in streamlining operations are widely appreciated. However, concerns about job displacement due to AI have arisen. Marketers must strive for a harmonious implementation of these technologies, striking a balance that mitigates such disadvantages.”

He added that while automation greatly enhances efficiency, there is a potential loss of intellectual capacity as the current generation prioritises speed, brevity, and simplicity.

Also, the Head Sub-Saharan Africa Digital Media & Insights of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc, Ifeoluwa Obafemi, said, “In the phase of technological advancement and changes in consumer behaviour, as marketing professionals, we should set our organisation in a future forward mode. For businesses to maintain a competitive edge in the present-day business environment, undergoing a marketing transformation is a necessary process.”

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Axiom Intel Limited, Kolawole Oyeyemi, said, “Marketers should attract and retain their customers. Nowadays, customers are now more informed and know your business more than you do because they now compare your services to global best practices.

“There is a revolution in technology which has assisted in creating tools and devices and building platforms to allow customers to interact with companies across the world.”

According to him, it is a volatile environment and things one does not think will connect one’s business may connect from a very long distance.

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