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Kuje prison terrorist attack: Nigeria is a joke

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Terrorists are at the verge of overrunning Nigeria. That is the unfortunate sad truth nakedly before all of us. Evidence suggests that they are in strategic offices and everywhere in the country – no bush in any part of Nigeria is save for farming anymore. We must acknowledge these facts without bringing in any sentiments of politics, religion or tribe so that we could in unison genuinely try to redeem the already hopeless situation. Above all, President Buhari must fairly and justly act now and decisively too, because it does appear that the security of this country has been compromised.

The manner terrorists successfully attacked the Kuje prison in Abuja and released their captured members is an international embarrassment and a disgrace that has exposed Nigeria to global ridicule as unserious country. The situation is inexplicable and unacceptable. When the implication will begin to manifest, it will be extremely devastating and too costly to this nation, economically and security wise.

How can a sane mind explain that a sovereign country with army, air force, police, DSS etc. and many secret security agencies at its arsenal did not get any tip when this evil of attack was even at its elementary stage of hatching, to talk of it being successfully executed? Where is the intelligence-gathering unit of this country? Reports have it that this bunch of terrorists operated for more than “2 hours 45 minutes” trying to release their captured members. This is intolerable and despicable, and it is a heavy indictment of accomplice on the part of perhaps some security agents/chiefs and some leaders of this country. Is this not terrible?

The tragic irony of it all that made the embarrassment and the disgrace so scary is that the ugly incident happened in no other place than the Federal Capital Territory Abuja – not far away from Aso Rock, the place President Buhari and his kitchen cabinets reside. If these terrorists could have a successful operation in Abuja, the message simply means that nobody is safe anywhere in Nigeria. Just a few days ago the convoy of President Buhari was attacked. Thank God that he was not in the convoy and that no life was lost. If the convoy of a president with all the military forces attached to him can be attacked: who is safe?

According to reports, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr Shuaibu Belgore said that the attack did not “come to” him “as a surprise because the security architecture in the entire country is very weak, especially in the North West, many amongst the security personnel operating on Abuja – Katsina/Zamfara routes are informants to terrorists.” Is this country not a joke?

It was reported that when President Buhari visited the attacked Kuje prison he was shocked and asked many questions. “How many inmates were in the facility? How many of them can you account for? How many personnel did you have on duty? How many of them were armed? Were there guards on the watchtower? What did they do? Does the CCTV work? How can terrorists organize, have weapons, attack a security installation and get away with it?” President Buhari was reported to have queried. The questions he asked are the right questions, however they are the same questions Nigerians and the entire world are expecting to get the answers from him and his security chiefs.

I also have many questions in my mind. Who were those on duty at the time of the attack? The attack was reported to have lasted nearly three hours; were the security forces like army and air force etc. informed? If they were informed, who informed them? If they were not informed; why? If they did respond; were they on time and also with enough military and right weapons? Are the Nigerian air force and military war jets not functioning? If they are not functioning; why? And if yes, why have they not been used to aerially attack and follow the terrorists until they have no place to hide? And why is the Nigerian government not finding it necessary to make it as a routine policy to use the Nigerian air force to aerially comb all the bushes that are hiding kidnappers, bandits and terrorists etc. – and also as a policy of response to any distress call of bandits, heavy armed robbers and terrorists’ attack? If this approach can be adopted, around 80 % of this nonsense would have been taken care of. But this is not possible in a place like Nigeria, and not because that the money is not there but because events have made it evidently clear that some highly privileged animals are secretly behind this pain of Nigerians. Meanwhile billions are mapped out monthly by both the state and the federal government in the name of security votes, which they actually use to secure only themselves and their immediate families

A country where terrorists and kidnappers use mobile phones to negotiate how much should be paid to them for the release of their victims without being traced is a country where the security system is compromised or has collapsed.

President Buhari must do the needful now by first sacking the Minister, Federal Ministry of Interior, Ogbeni Adesoji Aregbesola and Controller General for Nigeria Correctional Service Haliru Nababa. Equally, he must fairly and justly investigate the security agents on duty on this day of the attack to ascertain the role they played and take the right action.

If terrorists could attack a presidential convoy, and also a place like Kuje prison for nearly three hours and successfully free their members without suffering many casualties, it tells it all that Nigeria is indeed a joke.

♦ Uzoma Ahamefule, a refined African traditionalist and a patriotic citizen writes from Vienna, Austria. WhatsApp: +436607369050; Email Contact Uzoma >>>>

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Otu-Umuokpu Anambra USA in Houston Gets New Leadership  

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Houston – TX: The Otu-Umuokpu Anambra USA Association Inc., Headquartered in Houston, Texas, has inaugurated its new executive leadership. An election was held in November 2023 where a set of new executive leadership emerged and was officially sworn-in on February 4, 2024.

Adaeze Stella Icon Adeone Samuel ( Stainless) is now the group’s new President, whereas Adaeze Nkiruka Mbonu ( Mmili doluedo) is the  Vice President.  Former President, Adaeze Dr Maria Elioku (Nkpulunma) remains the President Emeritus. A complete list of the new executive board members will be available on the group’s website, it was gathered.

While welcoming the new leadership team, President Emeritus Dr. Elioku thanked the outgoing executives for their impeccable service during their tenure. “As we all know, our mission as Otu- Umuokpu Anambra, USA Association is to promote and uphold our welfare and culture as well as foster unity, love, and harmony among us; and I am glad that within the past years, we were able to curtail distracting challenges to uphold those values,” she said.

Otu- Umuokpu Anambra, USA Association is a community of all paternal daughters of Anambra State of Nigeria with the core mission to promote and uphold the welfare and culture of her members; and foster unity, love, and harmony among them. The group has since its inception shared the uniformity of their ancestry as a unifying tool for community development and bonding of sisterhood.

For more information about Otu-Umuokpu Anambra, USA Association, Inc., please call 832-640-6329 or click to visit their website >>>>

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Mexican Authorities say they saw a huge increase in migrants from Africa and Venezuela in 2023

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Mexican authorities say they saw a huge increase in the number of migrants from Africa and Venezuela entering the country in 2023.

Those migrants generally enter Mexico from Central America, and cross the country in a bid to reach the U.S. border.

Mexico’s Interior Department said year-end figures showed that nine times more migrants from Africa entered Mexico in 2023, with numbers rising from 6,672 in 2022, to 59,834 in 2023.

The report also showed the number of migrants from Venezuela more than doubled last year, rising from 96,197 in 2022 to 222,994 in 2023.

In part, that may reflect more rapid and more numerous movements of migrants through the jungle-clad Darien Gap that connects South America to Panama.

Smugglers are moving migrants more quickly through the dangerous route, which last year was traversed by over half a million migrants. Once in Panama, migrants make their way through Central America to Mexico.

Overall, the number of all irregular migrants found in Mexico in 2023 rose by 77%, going from 441,409 in 2022 to 782,176 last year.

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White House pushes back on GOP attacks on Muslim judicial nominee

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WASHINGTON — The White House is slamming three Republican senators for leveling what it deems to be “cruel and Islamophobic attacks” at a Biden judicial nominee as part of a larger “smear effort” to discredit the man, who would be the first Muslim American judge to serve on the federal appeals court if he is confirmed.

GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri and Tom Cotton of Arkansas are being called out specifically for a “malicious” line of questioning about circuit court nominee Adeel Mangi’s views on Hamas militants’ terrorist attack in Israel on Oct. 7 at his December confirmation hearing. That led to a broader attack from the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative judicial advocacy organization.

“While Mangi served on its board of advisors, the [Rutgers Law School Center for Security, Race, and Rights] taught students to hate Israel and America and to support global terrorism, blaming America for the 9/11 terrorist attacks — and most recently blaming Israel for the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7th,” the group wrote in a statement released Monday.

The White House said conservatives’ criticisms were driven by Islamophobia.

“Mr. Mangi has been subjected to uniquely hostile attacks, in a way other nominees have not — precisely because of his Muslim faith,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement first shared with NBC News. “Senators Cruz, Hawley, and Cotton owe Mr. Mangi an apology.”

“He represents the best of America, and when confirmed, Mr. Mangi will not only make history — he will make an outstanding judge,” Bates added.

The senators told NBC News they remain opposed to Mangi’s candidacy, with a Cotton spokesperson accusing him in a message of “ties to antiSemites,” a Cruz spokesperson saying the White House “can’t defend Adeel Mangi’s record” and a Hawley spokesperson saying of Mangi that “people who advise pro-terrorist campus groups have no place on the federal bench.”

All three cited Mangi’s involvement in the Rutgers Law School Center for Security, Race, and Rights and condemned its decision to host an event on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which featured as a speaker Sami Al-Arian, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiracy to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The Biden administration is under pressure to improve its standing with Muslim and Arab American communities following its vocal support of Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza.

President Joe Biden nominated Mangi to serve as a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Philadelphia, last fall.

The Anti-Defamation League, which battles antisemitism, said Mangi was “subjected to aggressive questioning unrelated to his professional expertise or qualifications,” and it criticized the Republican senators for “berating” Mangi “with endless questions that appear to have been motivated by bias towards his religion.”

“This was an attempt to create controversy where one did not exist,” the ADL said last month.

Weeks later, the Judicial Crisis Network launched a digital ad campaign against Mangi, alleging he is antisemitic and “radical.”

Bates, the White House spokesman, wrote, “Mr. Mangi has forcefully and repeatedly condemned Antisemitism, terrorism, and the October 7th terrorist attacks.”

At the hearing, Cruz repeatedly asked Mangi whether he condemned the atrocities of the Hamas terrorists and whether there was “any justification for those atrocities.”

“I have no patience ― none ― for any attempts to justify or defend those events,” Mangi said in December in reference to the Oct. 7 attacks.

Nonprofit groups dedicated to combating Islamophobia in the U.S. have spoken out in Mangi’s defense, as well.

“The deplorable smear campaign against him is steeped in Islamophobic tropes that have no place in our country,” Arsalan Suleman, the CEO of America Indivisible, told NBC News in a statement. “The Senate should confirm Mr. Mangi as soon as possible and condemn these malicious and spurious attacks.”

So far, 177 of Biden’s nominees to be federal judges have been confirmed. More than 65% are women and 65% are people of color, according to the White House.

Biden has nominated and Congress has confirmed more Black women to life-tenured federal judgeships than during any previous administration, according to the White House, including Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court.

While Mangi has cleared the Judiciary Committee process in the Democratic-led Senate, it’s unclear when his nomination will be brought up for a vote in the next procedural step before a confirmation vote.

If he is confirmed, Mangi would be only the third Muslim American federal judge ever.

Mangi has served on the board of directors of the Muslim Bar Association of New York, the Legal Aid Society of New York and Muslims for Progressive Values and as an ally board member for the National LGBT Bar Association, according to his biographical page at the law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, where he is a partner.

Culled from the NBC

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