WhatsApp limits message forwarding

With billions of people unable to see their friends and family due to COVID-19, people are relying on WhatsApp more than ever to communicate. People are talking to doctors, teachers, and isolated loved ones via WhatsApp during this crisis.

Last year the social platform introduced users to the concept of messages that have been forwarded many times. These messages were labeled with double arrows to indicate they did not originate from a close contact. In effect, these messages are less personal compared to typical messages sent on WhatsApp.

“We are now introducing a limit so that these messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time.

“As a private messaging service, we’ve taken several steps over the years to help keep conversations intimate. For example, we previously set limits on forwarded messages to constrain virality. At the time, we saw a 25 per cent decrease in total message forwards globally,” the social platform said.

It said not all messages forwarded are bad because many users forward helpful information, as well as funny videos, memes, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful. “In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organise public moments of support for frontline health workers.

However, we’ve recently seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can contribute to the spread of misinformation. We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation.

“In addition to this change, we are working directly with NGOs and governments, including the World Health Organisation and over 20 national health ministries, to help connect people with accurate information.

Together these trusted authorities have sent hundreds of millions of messages directly to people requesting information and advice.

You can learn more about these efforts, as well as how to submit potential myths, hoaxes and rumors to fact checking organisations, on our Coronavirus Information Hub,” it added.

It said it believes that now more than ever people need to be able to connect privately. “Our teams are hard at work to keep WhatsApp running reliably during this unprecedented global crisis. We’ll continue to listen to your feedback and improve ways for people to share with each other on WhatsApp,” it added.

Culled: The Nation

‘We paid N20m ransom for kidnapped woman’

Wife of the slain immigration officer in Nasarawa State, Salisu Usman Maku, Mrs. Asma’u Salisu Maku has been released by her abductors but it was after N20 million ransom was paid, a family member has said.

Mrs Maku was kidnapped on July 14 in her residence in Gudi town, Akwanga council alongside her husband who was later killed by the kidnappers.

The kidnappers also killed Usman’s younger sister, Sa’adatu.

Commissioner of Police, Bola Lange, said the officers who were at a nearby checkpoint have been arrested and detained for failing to stop the criminals.

BUHARI DRAGGED TO COURT

President Buhari has been sued by a lawyer Lawrence Nnoli, over an alleged delay in appointing Supreme Court Justices.

Nnoli who noted that the number of justices has decreased to 12 as against the constitutionally required number of 21 in his lawsuit filed at the federal high court in Lagos, affirmed that the president’s failure to appoint more justices of the supreme court was “a serious breach of Section 231(2) of the 1999 Constitution and poses a grave danger to the course of justice in Nigeria”.

He added that even with the National Judicial Council (NJC) recommendation of elevation of some court of appeal justices to the apex court, the Nigerian President is yet to forward their names to the national assembly for screening and confirmation.

The lawyer asked the court to compel President Buhari to perform his duties as it “poses a grave risk to the peace and progress of Nigeria as citizens’ confidence in the supreme court towards dispensing justice in a timely manner may be eroded owing to the insufficient number of Justices of the supreme court available.”

Mention NASS members who got NDDC contracts, Reps tell Akpabio

The House of Representatives has asked Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to publish, within 48 hours, members of the 9th National Assembly who got sixty percent of contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Ruling on a matter of privileges brought by Minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said the Minister, who alleged 60 percent of contracts from the NDDC were given to members of the National Assembly, should publish the benefiting lawmakers, especially members of the 9th Assembly.

He further said the names of their companies and the contracts they got should be published or face the wrath of the House.

Although he said his initial reaction was to have a good laugh when the Minister made the allegations, he realised it infringes on the integrity of the House.

He said the Minister owes it a duty to himself, the House Committee on Niger Delta, the people of Niger Delta and Nigerians to publish the names of lawmakers who got contracts from the NDDC.

SPEAKER FEMI GBAJABIAMILA APOLOGISE TO NDDC MD

ACTING Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Kemebradikumo Pondei will no longer appear before the House of Representatives panel probing him the agency’s Interim Management Committee (IMC), Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, said on Monday.

Speaking after Prof Pondei was taken to a hospital after he fainted at the probe venue, Gbajabiamila directed the panel to use documents he already tendered to the panel to reach its conclusion.

Prof Pondei, who is the managing director of the agency’s Interim Management Committee (IMC), collapsed while he was being grilled by the panel over allegations bordering on the mismanagement of funds.

Wishing Pondei a quick recovery, the Speaker apologised over the poor condition of the hearing room which was stuffy.

He said: “We wish him well. I have been here barely five minutes and I am already sweating profusely. So, I do understand and apologise to everybody here for the poorly conducive atmosphere. I want to say at this point and make it clear, that it is not an adversarial hearing. It is not even inquisitorial.

“It is a fact-finding mission for the people of Nigeria. Just to make things better and we should handle this as such. No one is under inquisition. The fact must come out and that is why the committee is doing what it is doing.

“Because of these conditions in this hall, we don’t need to hear further from the acting MD because he has already submitted his written report. I think you can use the documents to do the work that needs to be done.

“Starting from the minister, Dr. Cairo Ojougbo and all the executive directors – we are sorry under the conditions which you have been invited and my members are under the same conditions. We wish Mr Pondei all the best.”

Gbajabiamila commended Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, chairman of the probe panel, for recusing himself from the investigation.

“I want to commend the chairman of the committee who this morning recused himself from being part of the proceedings. It shows the level of integrity of himself and by extension his committee and further extension to the House of Representatives. I believe he has set the stage for a fair hearing,” the speaker said.

TROOPS RESCUE 34 KIDNAPPED VICTIMS, ARREST SUSPECTED KIDNAPPERS AND RECOVER CACHE OF ARMS AND AMMUNITION IN BENUE STATE

In continuation of the aggressive clearance operation to rid criminal elements out of the North-Central region of the country, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE recorded tremendous successes against Kidnap kingpins. Following credible intelligence on the activities of a notorious kidnap syndicate operating in the general area of Igbom village in Nenzev council ward of Logo LGA, troops of Sector 2 and 4, on 16 July 2020 carried out a raid operation on a suspected kidnappers den location at Tomayin village in Logo LGA of Benue State.

Maj. Gen. John Enenche coordinator
Defence Media Operations, noted that the bandits leading to exchange of fire as troops closed in on the hideout .The gallant troops responded with superior fire forcing the armed bandits to fled in disarray into the bushes

The determined troops engaged the criminal elements in hot pursuit leading to the killing of one Zwa Ikyegh identified as the ring leader and others escaped with various degrees of gun shots wounds.

The successful encounter led to the rescue of 32 kidnapped victims some of whom have been in captivity for over a month.

All the rescued kidnapped victims have been reunited with their families in different communities in Logo LGA. Troops also recovered one AK 47 rifle, one AK 47 magazine, 6 locally made rifle, one locally made pistol and a magazine. Others include 22 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 2 cartridges, 2 motorcycles and some Charms. The hideout has been equally destroyed.

However, In another development, troops of Sector 2 deployed at Gbise in Katsina Ala LGA and Zaki Biam in Ukum LGA of Benue State responded to a distress call on another kidnapping incident at Austoma in Mbanema Council ward of Ukum LGA. Troops promptly mobilized to the scene leading to the arrest of 2 suspects.

The suspects are Mr Sealemun and Orduem both of whom are linked to late Terugwa Igbagwa Aka Orjondu. Troops recovered one motorcycle which the kidnappers were using for their heinous crimes. The suspects are currently undergoing investigation after which they will be handed over to the Nigeria Police for further necessary action.

The Military High Command congratulates the gallant troops for their professionalism and encourages them to intensify the onslaught against the enemies of our country.

TROOPS OF OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE NEUTRALIZE TOP BHT/ISWAP COMMANDER AND SEVERAL OTHER LEADERS

Troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have continued to conduct intelligence-based operations which continues to degrade Boko Haram /Islamic State of West Africa Province across the Theatre.

Major General John Enenche the defence media operation coordinator disclosed this in a press release. He said Following credible intelligence, the gallant troops of of Operation LAFIYA DOLE on 17 July 20 targeted the terrorists on their market activities and undercover movement around Kolofata, a border town with Cameroon where troops of Strong Response Area (SRA) Pulka neutralized 6 Boko Haram terrorists attempting to cross from Cameroon Border towards Sambisa Axis.

Weapons and equipment captured from the terrorists include 3 AK 47 rifles, Magazine with 48 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, one Honda Salon Car, one Motorcycle, 8 Bicycles, 3 Phones with multiple Sims and Memory Cards and 5 copies of the Holy Qur’an, among others.

Major General John maintained that there was also a letter written in Hausa to Abu Fatima (Boko Haram top commander),documents and other logistics. Shortly after the successful operation, the enemy communication intercept confirmed killing of a top Boko Haram Commander named Sayinna and other fighters during the encounter. The other slayed terrorists were suspected to be Imam and Mansur to Abu Fatima who hibernate in Sambisa forest.

In recent times the troops have been delving serious blows to BHT/ISWAP terrorists in the North East. It could be recalled that the troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE gallantly neutralized 8 prominent leaders of the disorganized, marauding elements of the terrorists in their futile attempt to infiltrate Army Super Camp Damasak. During such misadventure, the terrorists met their waterloo on 2 July, 2020 when they were led by their top leaders (Amirs) to attack the troops in Damasak from 2 flanks in an effort to cause them massive casualty. However, with own troops’ doggedness, superior fire power and maneuver the terrorists were devastated and the rest escaped in total disarray.

The Military successes of Operation LAFIYA DOLE particularly since the turn of the year 2020, has continually caused confusion and disharmony in the camps of the insurgents. This is evident by the frequent changes in ISWAP leadership within a short period and these was largely due to the several losses inflicted on them by own troops in both men, weapons and equipment.

Amongst the top BHT/ISWAP leaders killed during the encounter at Damasak and buried by the terrorists at Goski village in the early hours of 3 Jul 20 were:
a. Tumbun Dabino – Ba Issoufou.
b. Tumbun Bororo – Amir Batam.
c. Tumbun Jaki – Almustapha.
d. Tumbun Bagaruwa – Modou Kollo.
e. Dogon Tchoukou – Issah.
f. Tumbun Rakke – Mustapha Woulama.
h. Tumbun Dila – Boukar Kowa.
i. Tumbun Mita – Abou Aisha.

The series of successes so far recorded has led to several of the insurgents surrendering in their numbers. They voluntarily admitted that the insurgency is driven more by need for money, power, greed and criminality and less of any ideology.

The High Command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria has commended all the security agencies operating in the North East Zone, for their sustained successes. They are further urged to remain resolute and maintain the momentum of onslaught against the enemies of our country.

You are please requested to disseminate this information through your medium for the awareness of the general public. Thank you for your usual support and cooperation.