Two days after the siege by bandits on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway, many people are still missing.
The Sunday’s attack had claimed the life of a former Director of Protocol in the FCT and a 2019 gubernatorial aspirant in Zamfara State, Alhaji Sagir Hamidu, while many people could not be accounted for.
Minutes after the attack, security operatives, rescue officials and commuters met many vehicles empty at the scene while others veered off the road.
According to report, it was the first major attack on the highway since September 14 when bandits attacked the road during which they killed a police officer and abducted the Emir of Bungudu in Zamfara State, Alhaji Hassan Atto, around Dutse village.
Ironically, the kidnappers returned to the highway on Monday after the Sunday’s attack and reportedly abducted many travelers.
Daily Nigerian said that the kidnappers returned to the highway at about 4.30 pm and opened fire on motorists.
It quoted sources saying the incident occurred less than five kilometres away from the point the assailants operated on Sunday.
Lawan Sani, a witness who plied the road immediately after the incident said he saw at least four abandoned vehicles with shattered windshields and flat tyres.
“There was serious commotion and panic around the area. Soldiers arrived at the scene almost immediately but the bandits briskly finished the operation within minutes and disappeared into the bush with many people.
“I saw an 18-seater bus belonging to Zamfara Mass Transit, a Toyota Yaris, a Volkswagen Golf and one other vehicle I could not remember the model. The vehicles were raided with bullets and without their occupants,” Lawan added.
Making reference to the two incidents in 24 hours, some locals and security experts said the only way to tackle the bandits was to have permanent surveillance along the road.
“We only see active surveillance by security operatives on the highway when a major attack was launched by the terrorists,” said Maikano Ali, a farmer at a village close to Rijana.
“And the operation lasts for just a few days…The security operatives would just disappear and you will only be seeing them from time to time,” he said.
Another villager who did not give his name said the bandits knew when best to attack.
“They take weeks moving on the road, joining other passengers in public transport just to monitor the situation until they are satisfied that the security operatives have relaxed patrol before they would strike,” he said.
Asked about the female soldiers deployed on the road, he said “They are not stationed in one place and you rarely see them also. Maybe they move in plain clothes but the truth is that we need a new approach.”
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UBA Group Dominates the 2021 Banker Awards, Wins ‘African Bank of the Year’
Breaks the Banker Magazine Record as it wins Best Bank in Nigeria and 12 of Its Subsidiaries Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc yet again, reaffirms its leadership position across Africa, as the bank has been globally recognised as the African Bank of the year 2021 by the Banker Magazine, a leading global finance news publication published by the Financial Times of London.
UBA’s solid financial performance, its excellent service delivery to customers and its continuous role of facilitating rapid economic growth across the African continent were some of the reasons that led to the bank being named best bank in 12 of its African subsidiaries and in Nigeria. UBA Nigeria Plc, UBA Benin, UBA Burkina Faso, UBA Cameroon, UBA Chad, UBA Congo Brazzaville, UBA Cote D’Ivoire, UBA Gabon, UBA Guinea, UBA Liberia, UBA Senegal, UBA Sierra Leone and UBA Zambia all came out top as the best banks in their respective countries.
This will not be a first for UBA. In 2020, six of its subsidiaries in Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Chad, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Zambia were winners of the Best Bank award. This year, the UBA Group is breaking a record with its exceptional wins as African Bank of the Year and Bank of the year in 13 countries. The total 14 awards makes it the first time ever in the history of the almost 100 years of The banker, that any banking group will be clinching as many as 14 wins in a single year.
At the Virtual award ceremony which was held on December 1st 2021, the Middle East and Africa Editor for The Banker, John Everington, explained at the event that a rigorous and highly analytical process is made annually to reach the decision for each Bank of the Year award and the institution’s reputation for independence, authority and integrity is thoroughly applied to each submission.
“While several African banks impressed the judges this year, there was no doubt as to the worthiest recipient of the Bank of the Year for Africa – UBA Group – a clear winner across a wide range of criteria. UBA has performed impressively across its footprint with a strong financial performance across most of its markets,” Everington said.
UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka, who expressed delight over the recognition from The Banker stated “Like I always say, at UBA, we must be doing something right. Winning 14 total awards in13 subsidiaries and the Bank of the Year on the African continent is a big achievement.’
Continuing, Uzoka said, “The recognitions come as a reassurance that we are on track in consolidating our leadership position in Africa, as we continue to create superior value for all our stakeholders. We have our millions of customers across the globe and our many thousands of staff to thank for this. They are the very reason why we keep winning’
Since1926, the Bank of the Year awards has been celebrating the best of global banking and is regarded as the industry standard for banking excellence. The 2021 edition highlights those institutions that have outshone their peers in terms of performance, strategic initiatives and response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Banker Magazine is a publication of the Financial Times – a leading global finance news publication which has been in existence since 1888. The Banker magazine is the definitive reference in international banking for high level decision makers.
United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-five million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries.
With presence in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail; commercial and corporate banking; innovative cross-border payments and remittances; trade finance and ancillary banking services
Crisis Rocks Ghana Parliament As Members Clash Over 2022 budget
The 2022 budget of Ghana suffered another set back as the House could not reach concerts on its passage.
The Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta had presented the budget for the House to deliberate upon and possibly approve it for passage to the president to work with. But the House is in disagreement.
The Majority members had earlier hoped in easy passage but, they were shocked to witness a tie in the House. The ruling Party, New Patriotic Party ( NPP) has 137 members in the House, same to the main opposition party, The New Democratic Congress(NDC)
The Speaker who could have added one to the ruling NPP lacks the constitutional right, as the Constitution denies him voting right as the presiding officer.
The case will then be taken to the Supreme Court for intervention. The issue has been a major challenge threatening the smooth democracy in the country. The decision to go to Supreme Court is expected to be taken before or by Friday sitting.
By Moses Owopade,
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