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WHAT’S NEWS? September 12, 2023

Top Stories in Nigeria
By Ezinwanne Onwuka

● Burna Boy loses 7 BET Hip-Hop Awards nominations

Nigerian Afro-fusion singer Damini Ogulu, known by his stage name Burna Boy, did not win any award at the 2023 BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta. Burna Boy was among the top nominees for the Awards with seven nods out of the 17 award categories, but he lost all seven nominations.

He lost the “Hip-Hop Artiste of the Year”, “Lyricist of the Year” and the “Best Live Performer of the Year” awards to U.S. rapper Kendrick Lamar. 50 Cent grabbed the “Hustler of the Year” award and the “Best Collaboration of the Year” award went to Lil Durk and J. Cole’s “All My Life”.

Burna Boy’s “Sittin’ On Top of the World” also lost the “Song of the Year” and “Best Hip-Hop Videos” awards to American rapper Lil Uzi Vert’s “Just Wanna Rock”. The event took place at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center on October 3 and then aired on Tuesday [Oct. 10] night.

● Passport application nightmare ends for Nigerians

Nigerians would no longer need to wait for months to get their passports as the government is making efforts to make passport application and processing seamless for citizens. Nigerians face a lot of hassles to get passports at the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) offices across the country from bribing NIS officials to dealing with officials’ negligence of duties to avoidable delays in the processing.

But by pegging the timeline for the processing of passport applications to two weeks, Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Bunmi Tunji-Ojo is turning things around for the better. Other major developments being initiated by Minister Tunji-Ojo to reduce the stress and delay Nigerians experience during passport application include the home delivery of passports to applicants. The Minister said this will begin in February 2024.

Also in motion is the full automation of the passport application process. The Minister said that by December 2023, Nigerians will be able to upload their passport photographs during the online application. Before now, after filling out the online form, Nigerians go to any NIS office for capturing and biometrics. Minister Tunji-Ojo said that era is gone, only the biometrics process will be done physically. Meanwhile, the NIS has cleared 204,332 backlog of passport applications as of October 1.

● Army Commander to soldiers: Look for Boko Haram terrorists, find them and kill them

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Christopher Gwabin Musa. Credit: Defence Headquarters on X.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Christopher Gwabin Musa. Credit: Defence Headquarters on X.

Christopher Musa, the chief of defence staff (CDS) in Nigeria, has ordered his men to be on the offensive in the war against Boko Haram jihadists. “Don’t just come and sleep in the theatre, make sure you look for Boko Haram and kill,” the CDS was quoted by local media as saying.

He gave the order to troops of “Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK)”, a counter-insurgency military task force in the Sambisa Forest in Borno State and Lake Chad, at the Maimalari cantonment, Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. Borno and other northeastern states in Nigeria are terrorist jungles for Boko Haram.

For years Nigeria’s military has been overwhelmed by armed insurgencies in multiple States and as many as 30,000 bandits in its northwestern States. General Musa told the soldiers to always attack the insurgents first. His instruction was simple and clear: “Do not go and sit down until they attack and we repel, there is nothing like repel, go and find and kill them. They should not be looking for us, we should be looking for them.”

● Nigerian President goofs in fresh appointment

New EFCC chair Olanipekun Olukoyede. Credit: Nairaland Forum on X.
New EFCC chair Olanipekun Olukoyede. Credit: Nairaland Forum on X.

President Bola Tinubu has appointed Olanipekun Olukoyede as the executive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) – the functional equivalent of the FBI in the U.S. Olukoyede’s appointment, announced on Thursday [today] by presidential spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale, immediately sparked off controversy about his suitability for the role.

Statutory requirements say the commission’s chair “must be a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or equivalent; possess not less than 15 years experience.” But Olukoyede has played more administrative roles since joining the EFCC in 2016.

Between 2016 and 2018, he served as the chief of staff to the then-acting EFCC chairperson Ibrahim Magu. He was, in 2018, promoted as secretary and held office until his suspension in 2020 by immediate past president Muhammadu Buhari over corruption allegations. Olukayode’s appointment is pending Senate confirmation, and if ratified, he will take over from Mr Abdulkarim Chukkol, who took charge of the agency in an acting capacity after Mr AbdulRasheed Bawa was suspended.

● Military air strikes kill over 100 bandits

In what seemed to be a massive win against insurgency in northwest Nigeria, the Nigerian Army bombed more than 100 bandits during a series of air strikes in Kebbi state on Wednesday afternoon. 17 motorcycles were burnt, a damaged AK-47 rifle and 17 rounds of 7.2mm special ammunition were recovered.

According to Zagazola Makama, a counter-insurgency publication focused on the Lake Chad region, the armed forces laid an ambush at Sageko Malekachi village in Kebbi following a tip-off that the bandits planned to launch an attack in the area. The coordinated airstrikes lasted for an hour. About 17 of the bandits who survived and fled were also captured and killed.

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Ezinwanne Onwuka reports for TruthNigeria from Abuja.

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