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Armed Soldiers Shut Daily Trust, Arrest Editor, Reporter |The Republican News

Armed soldiers invaded Daily Trusthead office in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, hours after taking over the newspaper’s regional office in Maiduguri, Borno State and arrested the Regional Editor, Uthman Abubakar and a reporter, Ibrahim Sawab.

They demanded to see some senior staff, among whom was the Political Editor, Hamza Idris.

At the Abuja headquarters of the newspaper, they reportedly forced the gate open and drove in with three Jokic vans loaded with armed soldiers.

Everyone in the building was asked to move to the ground floor while they moved the newspaper’s computers.

Last night, security operatives sealed up the premises of Media Trust Limited, publisher of Daily Trust newspaper; over Boko Haram stories.

The operatives, led by a Second Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army, arrived the Utako, Abuja premises at 6:00pm, with scores of soldiers and plain-cloth personnel. They immediately demanded to see some staff. The soldiers wore masks and cordoned off the Mafeni Crescent, off Solomon Lar Street of the newspaper.

Staff of the organisation, who gathered in group outside the office, told Daily Sun that the operatives,
on arrival, asked them to converge at the front yard of the office. After that, the soldiers, reportedly disconnected computers in the office, assembled and loaded them into their vehicles and drove away.

A statement by the Deputy Managing Director of the organisation, Mahmud Jega, said the soldiers still laid siege to the newspaper’s office, as at yesterday night.

Jega said: “Armed soldiers in several vehicles have laid siege to Daily Trust headquarters in Abuja. They have surrounded the premises, dismissed the Mobile Police guards and do not allow entry or exit. “

“Soldiers had earlier today (yesterday) entered Daily Trust’s office in Maiduguri and arrested two reporters, including the Bureau Chief, Usman Abubakar. They say it is regarding today’s lead story of Daily Trust on Sunday. Production has stopped.”

As at 8.30 pm soldiers were still manning the entrance and premises of the newspaper at Utako. Several staff of the organisation gathered in groups, on the street, and discussed the development. Meanwhile, the Lagos Bureau Office of the newspaper, was also, yesterday night, taken over by a combination of armed military and police officers.

The security operatives had earlier in the day besieged and shut down the Borno regional office of the news publication before arresting the regional editor and a reporter.

At about 9:00pm, seven security operatives’ vehicles were stationed within and outside the Lagos office premises situated at the Textile Labour House on Acme Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja.

Of the seven vehicles, two Hilux vans and one Rapid Response Squad (RRS) car were situated right in front of the Bureau office.

Four other Hilux vans were situated at the other side of the road, facing TheNews publishing house, a stone throw from Media Trust office.

About 15 soldiers and police officers were seen angling around the premises; as at the time of filing this report.

But, Defence Spokesman, Brigadier-General John Agim, described the newspaper’s Sunday publication as unpatriotic and capable of undermining the war against Boko Haram.

He told Daily Sun that the newspaper published highly classified details about a Boko Haram operation; which could ultimately hinder the war against insurgency.

In a development yesterday night, the Federal Government ordered the military to vacate Daily Trust’s offices.  (The Sun)

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Buhari Admonishes Chief Security Officer Over Punch Reporter Explusion

President-Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari, has disowned his Chief Security Officer Bashir Abubakar, over the expulsion of Punch Newspaper’s State House Correspondent, Olalekan Adetayo, from the Presidential Villa. The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina through his twitter handle @femadesina said, “We weren’t consulted in the media office by the CSO before he expelled The Punch reporter. President Buhari is committed to press freedom.

An amicable solution would be found to The Punch reporter matter. President Buhari does not intend to muzzle the media in any way.”

Abubakar had earlier summoned Adetayo to his office and questioned him on two reports he considered uncomplimentary of Buhari and his administration. He referred to the lead story of Sunday Punch of April 23 titled “Fresh anxiety in Aso Rock over Buhari’s poor health” and queried the motive behind it. He also referred to Adetayo’s column, Aso Rock Lens, published on Saturday, April 22, and titled “Seat of power’s event centres going into extinction.” Abubakar asked one of his men to go and take Adetayo’s statement and revert to him. He thereafter directed the Officer in Charge, Department of State Services, Victor Nwafor, to withdraw his accreditation tag and lead him out of the premises after retrieving his personal belongings from the Press Gallery of the Council Chambers. Nwafor left an instruction at the Admin Reception that Adetayo should no longer be allowed into the premises after which he handed him over to another security operative who led him to where his car was parked to ensure he left the premises as instructed.

Buhari’s CSO, Bashir Abubakar

 

These are the tweets:

We weren’t consulted in the media office by the CSO before he expelled The Punch reporter. President Buhari is committed to press freedom.

An amicable solution would be found to The Punch reporter matter. President Buhari does not intend to muzzle the media in any way.

Meanwhile, Nigerians have started to react to the issue, as captured below from Adesina’s Twitter handle:

(Culled from Punchng.com, The Sun)

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Revived By Rally, Trump Turns Back To Governing |The Republican News

 

By CATHERINE LUCEY

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — One day after delighting in a massive campaign-style rally, President Donald Trump is turning back to the business of governing.

Trump, who is spending the weekend at his private club in Florida, plans to spend Sunday interviewing at least four candidates to be his new national security adviser. The meetings come as he seeks to refocus his struggling administration after weeks of tumult.

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One Saturday, Trump said he had “many, many that want the job.” He also hinted he had a favorite.

“I’ve been thinking about someone for the last three or four days, we’ll see what happens,” Trump said. “I’m meeting with that person. They’re all good, they’re all great people.”

Scheduled to discuss the job with the president at Mar-a-Lago were his acting adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg; John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster; and the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said there could be more meetings for the job, which is unexpectedly open after retired Gen. Michael Flynn’s firing early this week.

Also on Trump’s schedule Sunday: phone conversations with several foreign leaders Sunday and a health care policy meeting.

But for a moment on Saturday, Trump went back into campaign mode with a massive rally before thousands of supporters at an airplane hangar in Melbourne, Florida where he revived campaign promises to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, reduce regulations and create jobs — and continued his attacks on the media.

Trump told the cheering crowd that he wanted “to speak to you without the filter of the fake news.”

Trump promised anew to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, reduce regulations and create jobs. He also pledged to “do something over the next couple of days” to address the immigration order that has been blocked in the courts. Said Trump: “We don’t give up, we never give up.”

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for the "Make America Great Again Rally" at Orlando-Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)© The Associated Press President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for the “Make America Great Again Rally” at Orlando-Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)  

Insisting he was the victim of false reporting, Trump said his White House was running “so smoothly” and that he “inherited one big mess.” The president has been trying turn the page after reports of disarray and dysfunction within his administration.

The rally was put on by Trump’s campaign, not the White House. Trump told reporters he was holding a campaign rally because “life is a campaign.”

Trump, who held a rally in the same spot in Florida in September, clearly relished being back in front of his supporters, welcoming the cheers and letting one supporter up on stage to offer praise for the president. He also enjoyed reliving his surprise victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

And the president’s supporters welcomed the opportunity to see him. Kenneth Wood, a 45-year-old electrical engineer from Daytona Beach, said this is his fourth or fifth Trump rally.

“His bond with his supporters is really like nothing I’ve ever seen,” said Wood. “They’re fun and Trump’s a hell of a showman.”

Asked about Trump’s recent comments about the media, Wood said: “I can’t say I completely disagree.”

The rally came during Trump’s third straight weekend at his private south Florida club, Mar-a-Lago.

Trump has lurched from crisis to crisis since the inauguration, including the botched rollout of his immigration order, struggles confirming his Cabinet picks and a near-constant stream of reports about strife within his administration.

Flynn’s departure was another blow. Flynn resigned at Trump’s request Monday after revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about discussing sanctions with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the transition. Trump said in a news conference Thursday that he was disappointed by how Flynn had treated Pence, but did not believe Flynn had done anything wrong by having the conversations.

Trump’s first choice to replace Flynn, retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward, turned down the offer.

AP

 

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