US Forces kill 6 of 7 abductors to rescue countryman

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On Saturday 31 October 2020, American military forces rescued an American citizen who was taken hostage by armed men earlier in the week in Niger and held in northern Nigeria, the Pentagon said.

U.S. forces conducted a hostage rescue operation during the early hours of 31 October in Northern Nigeria to recover an American citizen held hostage by a group of armed men. This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of State. No U.S military personnel were injured during the operation,”

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement. “We appreciate the support of our international partners in conducting this operation. The United States will continue to protect our people and our interests anywhere in the world.”

The mission, which was several hours long, was conducted by the Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6 which was flown to the region by Air Force special operations, a US official with knowledge of the operation told journalists. The US forces which conducted the mission killed six of the seven captors, the official said.

The US believes the captors have no known affiliation with any terror groups operating in the region and were more likely bandits seeking money. The State Department confirmed earlier this week that a US citizen had been abducted in Niger. Local media outlets reported that the US citizen was a male missionary. But journalists had not been able to confirm the citizen’s true identity. The governor of the local region where the abduction took place was quoted in various local media and by French media reporting from Niger as saying that six men on motorbikes armed with AK-47s came to the man’s property in the village of Massalata, close to the border with Nigeria. The governor, Abdourahamane Moussa, told these media outlets that after demanding money, the men took the American citizen with them in the direction of the Nigerian border.

…in a seperate development.

The Enugu State Govt. accuses Flavour and Phyno

The recent allegation levelled against popular music heavyweights, Flavour N’abania and Phyno by the Enugu State government that the duo collected the sum of N78 million from the former Deputy Senate President, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu to tarnish the image of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi during the nationwide #ENDSARS protests are currently raising dust in many quarters.

Some concerned stakeholders in the state are still wondering why the Technical Assistant to Governor Ugwuanyi on Media and Public Relations, Comrade Stanley Ezediuto, should make such a ‘grave accusation’ on his social media handles, while many others have asked the Enugu State government to apologise to the artistes. However, the truth remains that many celebrities across the country participated actively in the #ENDSARS protests while it lasted. Flavour and Phyno were no exception.

The likes of Runtown, Falz, Davido, Tiwa Savage, DJ Switch and comedian AY were there. Others were Femi Kuti, Peter Okoye of defunct Psquare group, media personality Toke Makinwa, popular disc jockey DJ Spinall and former Big Brother Naija stars Anto Lecky and Nelson Enwerem Prince. Big Brother Naija’s Tacha and Elozonam, Dija and Jaywon, MC Lively, Bello Kreb among others participated in the protests.

At the international stage, artistes like Rihanna, rapper Kanye West, Estelle, Trey Songz, Chance the Rapper, CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey and German-Turkish Arsenal player Mesut Özil supported the demonstrators by sending solidarity messages.

In Enugu popular singers alongside Zoro, Kcee among other musicians led thousands of youths in protest against the dreaded Special Anti Robbery Squad. Following their active involvement in the protest, Comrade Stanley Ezediuto had accused the duo of collecting N78 million from Senator Ike Ekweremadu to campaign against the incumbent governor of the state. “We are aware of the gifting of a huge sum of N78 million to Phyno and Flavour to campaign against the governor of Enugu State in the ongoing #EndSars protest nationwide by Senator Ike Ekweremadu. But we are warning against hijacking of the protest by strange characters for political reasons. Enugu State Government has lived up to expectations and the governor will continue to deliver dividends of democracy to the people.”

“Ike Ekweremadu should not use this opportunity to castigate the working government of Enugu State through Phyno and Flavour for his 2023 guber aspiration. If he fails to desist from so doing, we shall remind him of the many abandoned projects in his constituency which should be of major concern to him. These revered artistes should not allow themselves to be used against the peaceful state of Enugu,” he warned.

Reacting to the allegation, Flavour’s elder brother, who’s also his booking agent, Benjamin said the highlife Afro singer participated in the #ENDSARS protests like other celebrities across the country. “It means that all the celebrities that participated in the #ENDSARS protests also collected money from the politicians. That’s what the allegation implies. So, in this case, you just have to use your common sense,” he added. Also, reacting to the allegation when contacted, Flavour’s younger brother, DJ Derekz, said the “Nwa Baby” singer will soon release an official statement to that effect.

Days back, Flavour and Phyno had taken to their social media platforms, warning that should anything happen to them, the governor of Enugu State should be held responsible for it. They alleged that the governor threatened to deal with them for announcing that he should do more in delivering dividends of democracy to Enugu people. “Today our lives were threatened and we are making it clear that if anything happens to any single one of us or any protesters, let it be known that it was done by the Enugu State Government,” Flavour wrote on IG.

Courtesy Vanguard Newspapers

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