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New York Visit: Osinbajo Claims Kidnapping Not ‘Entirely’ New In Nigeria

lun, 2019-06-24 17:38

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo Guardian NG

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has told Nigerians in the Diaspora that the spate of kidnappings in Nigeria is exaggerated and not entirely new.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in New York on Sunday evening, Osinbajo said the social media “tends to be hysterical about practically everything”.

The vice-president spoke in response to several questions and comments on the security situation back home.

Many members of the audience had taken turns to express concern about the reported spate of killings and kidnapping back home, and wanted to know what the government is doing to address the situation.

He said, “With respect to general kidnapping which we have seen in parts of the country, again, this is not entirely new. In fact, some of the kidnapping stories you read or listen to are simply not true anywhere, some are fuelled by politics.

“There are cases of kidnapping, no question at all about that, but some of the more dramatic stories that you hear are simply not true.

“Every report of kidnapping we receive, we try to verify, and at the end of the day you find out that people just tell all sorts of stories,” he said.

The vice president said the federal government was working with the states to check kidnapping where it was actually taking place, using technology to track the perpetrators.

He said the efforts were already yielding results with several arrests made by security agencies in affected areas.

Osinbajo said the government was capable of addressing the security challenges, assuring Nigerians that the news “will be a lot better very soon”.

Turning to banditry and farmers/herders clashes in the North-west and central, the vice president described them as “resource conflicts”.

According to him, banditry, especially in Zamfara and Katsina, was more of a fight over the control of mining sites by armed groups.

He said the government was taking several measures, including shutting down the mines, to address the problem.

“In the north central, we have the livestock transformation plan to address the farmers/herders conflict.

“Ultimately, it is ranching that will solve the problem because you cannot have people wandering across the country with their cattle.

“It is not helpful to them, this they know, because ranching is more convenient and profitable.

“So, we are building herd dams in the northern states so that people don’t necessarily come down south in search for water and green pastures for their herds.

“We are also trying to ensure we provide grazing areas before we come to cattle routes,” he added.

Osinbajo said in fairness to herders, the livestock sector had not enjoyed the kind of government’s funding and support accorded farmers over the years.

He stated that there was also, the need for government’s intervention in livestock, and solicited private sector support and investment in that area, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

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Multinational Force Says ISWAP Under Pressure To Establish Caliphate Near Lake Chad

lun, 2019-06-24 16:51

The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) says the flurry of attacks by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in the last couple of weeks followed pressure mounted on them by foreign collaborators to establish a caliphate.

It, however, assured that it was working with national forces to thwart the terrorists’ effort to make the Lake Chad area a sanctuary.

“It is imperative to mention that the MNJTF is aware of the pressure on ISWAP by its foreign collaborators to deliver on the Caliphate, hence the flurry of ISWAP inspired attacks of the last couple of weeks on both military and soft targets,” MNJTF spokesman, Col. Timothy Antigha said in a statement on Monday.

Antigha gave the breakdown of loss suffered by ISWAP in a recent operation at Doron Naira, in terms of equipment: 17 AK 47 rifles, two GPMG, one LMG, three AA guns, two 81MM mortar one RPG tubes, two RPG7 40MM bombs with chargers, two boxes of 12.7MM ammunition and 323 RDS of 7.62MM.

Others were three grenades, a gas cylinders and IED-making materials, while the ISWAP ammunition dump was destroyed.

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Police In Ethiopia Kill Coup Mastermind

lun, 2019-06-24 16:27

The suspected chief plotter of Saturday's failed coup attempt in Ethiopia's Amhara region has been shot dead by police.

The BBC reports, Brig-Gen Asaminew Tsige was killed on the outskirts of Amhara's capital, Bahir Dar.

Ethiopia's army chief Gen Seare Mekonnen was killed by his own bodyguard trying to foil the coup.

Gen Seare and Amhara governor Ambachew Mekonnen, who was also killed on Saturday, were seen as close allies of the prime minister.

Flags have been ordered to fly at half-mast throughout the country to honour loyalist who died in the failed coup attempt. 

A heavy contingent of pro-government forces has been deployed in Bahir Dar and the federal capital, Addis Ababa.

The internet has been shut across the country, days after services resumed following an unexplained blackout of more than a week.

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UPDATE: Tribunal Throws Out Atiku's Request To Inspect Server

lun, 2019-06-24 16:13

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has dismissed an application by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, requesting permission to have access to the central server said to have been used by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the conduct of the general elections. 

In a unanimous ruling, the Justice Mohammed Garba-led bench of five judges upheld the separation objections by the three respondents to the petitioners’ application.

The tribunal dismissed the application, holding that granting the request would amount to pre-judging the main issue meant for trial during the substantive hearing of the petition. See Also Elections Atiku Seeks Court Permission To Inspect INEC Server 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

Justice Garba, who delivered the lead ruling of the tribunal, held that INEC having denied the existence of the said server and insisted that results of the election were not electronically transmitted into any server as alleged by the petitioners, granting the application would amount to deciding the central issue in the petition at the interlocutory stage.

He added that granting the application would imply that the court had “indeed recognised and found out that there is a central server into which results of the held on February 23, 2019 were electronically transmitted by the 1st respondent (INEC)”.

He said the Supreme Court had on many occasions warned judges to desist from “making observations, comments or pronouncements in its rulings with any likely effect of prejudging the main issue that can be regarded as the issue to be tried in the course of trial.”

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Five Months After, Disability Act Yet To Be Implemented

lun, 2019-06-24 15:09

Five months after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Disability Act into law in January 2019, its implementation has yet to begin. 

The lack of action by the government is at the fore of a petition for an equal world for individuals living with some form of disability, to be launched on Monday by SightSavers, an organization that advocates for the rights of persons with a disability.

The petition, which aims to get member countries of the United Nations to uphold the rights of PWD’s, is seeking signatures around the globe. 

The signed appeals will be handed over to the global body and governments of member states at the UN General Assembly in New York, USA, in September.

“In Nigeria and around the world, people with disabilities are denied the rights to go to school, find a job, access health care and take part in political processes. This discrimination is an injustice on over 20 million Nigerians with disabilities,” Sunday Isiyaku, Country Director of SightSavers said in a release Monday. 

This class of persons has been largely underdeveloped, leading to lost economic opportunities in countries where prejudice and a lack of growth among PWD’s is rife. 

Tessa Murphy, Campaign manager for the Equal World petition, said the organization hopes to show the UN that there is a rising intolerance for the continued ignorance of the rights of PWD’s.

“We want to show the widespread support for disability rights here and around the world. We want every government and the UN to know that people everywhere are no longer prepared to tolerate the rights of 15 percent of the world’s population being denied.”

Apart from the global call to the UN, the Equal World petition has specific calls to action targeting the governments of Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, India, Ireland, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda. 

The petition can be signed at

SightSavers has campaigned for the rights of PWD’s since 2013. Within that span, it has made concerns around disability a priority among international organizations and several national governments.

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Nigerian Troops Kill 3 Terrorists, Free 51 Children, 42 Women

lun, 2019-06-24 14:54

The Nigerian Army says it has rescued 42 women, 51 children and two men used by Boko Haram terrorists as labourers on a farm in different clearance operations in Borno.

Col. Sagir Musa, the Acting Director Army Public Relations, stated this in a statement, adding that three terrorists were neutralized in the operation.

Twenty-four of the children rescued were administered with polio vaccines by the Nigerian Army regimental medical officers.

According to him, it was in line with the Chief of Army Staff directive on the collaboration between the army and National Primary Health Care Development Agency to reach out to areas not captured in the polio vaccination exercise.

Musa said new camps set up by the terrorists were also destroyed.

The army said it recovered copies of the Quran, one generator, two bicycles, flags, five bicycles, five SIM cards of different networks and clothing materials from the terrorists’ enclaves.

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Court Orders Arrest Of Innoson CEO, Innocent Chukwuma

lun, 2019-06-24 14:49

A Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos State has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the CEO of Innosson Nigeria Ltd, Innocent Chukwuma and two others over fraud allegations.

Justice Ayokunle Faji gave the ruling on Monday, directing that the Innoson boss be arrested and produced in court for trial.

Details later...

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Port Master Plan Will Determine If Lekki, Badagry Deep Seaports Will Exist Together -NPA Boss

lun, 2019-06-24 14:46

Hadiza Bala-Usman, Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority, has said a new port master plan for the Badagry deep seaport project will determine if the port is viable enough to be constructed, considering the construction of another in Lekki. Both projects are in Lagos- within the Western corridor and the agency’s boss says it had halted the $2.6 billion project because the previous master plan was done poorly.

“If you look at the Badagry and the Lekki deep seaport projects, they are all within the Western ports. The port master plan will guide us on whether it is okay to have two deep seaports in close proximity to each other,” Punch quoted Bala-Usman as saying. She explained this as the reason for the cancellation of the contract.

“When I assumed office, I inherited a consultant that was supposed to do a Port Master Plan for the Badagry project, but the consultant did a very bad job. When we took the job to the consultant that did the project’s Terms Of Reference, our internal people looked at it and said it wasn’t good enough. Even the consultant that did the TOR confirmed that the job wasn’t properly done.

“So because of these issues, we cancelled the contract, and the project’s promoters took us to court. We are currently in arbitration. Now we are working on re-awarding the contract. I just gave the go-ahead for the engagement of another consultant that will do the Port Master Plan. The master plan will allow us to know where ports should be deployed in the country in-view of environmental issues, in view of commercial and financial liabilities.”

“So what we need to do now is to prioritize having those deep seaports that will have the required draft for larger vessels. Bala-Usman restated that the country’s ports are river sized in depth and can therefore not handle vessels that require a large draft. The Apapa port complex which handles 80 percent of Nigeria’s cargo is 14m in depth and today’s vessels require a depth of 17m.

“Our ports are river ports, and we need to move on to have deep seaports. In that area, we are working with Lekki deep seaport. We have signed the necessary papers, and they are in the process of completing their payment as regards their financing terms. They have built the breakwater. We are hoping that it will be a milestone achievement. We also have other proposals like the Ibom deep seaport and the Ibaka deep seaport.”

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Anybody Who Hates Biafra Can't Make Heaven -Nnamdi Kanu

lun, 2019-06-24 14:43

Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, says anybody who hates Biafra agitations can never make heaven.

The IPOB leader also urged Igbo in the Diaspora to double their efforts in the actualization of Biafra, stressing that those who heard his campaigns for Biafra and refused to act would never make heaven.

Kano said this yesterday in Houston Texas, United States while addressing Biafra supporters as part of his sensitization tours in the US. 

He said, “God gave you a gift in America to rescue us if you like you can leave it. But I can assure you, if you have heard this gospel (Biafra) today, you return to your homes and do nothing, you will never make heaven. Anybody that hates Biafra can never make heaven. In heaven, the angels speak the Igbo language.”

The gathering chorused “ise” (Amen) as he continued his speech.

While comparing Biafra to Israel, the IPOB leader said there were attempts by foreigners to dominate Israel, adding that Israel failed to act because “they thought it was a joke.”

“After 2000 years, their land was no longer called Israel, it was called Palestine and they had to fight their ways. The Quoran says Jerusalem belongs to Israel. The Bible says Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.  But today, Israel does not have full ownership of Jerusalem because of one mistake.”

He added, “I hope that the value that has driven Biafra civilization for 5000 years will come back to sustain us for another 5000 years. This evening, we have started something that will culminate in the coming of Biafra.

"All of you that did those wonderful works in years back, I call upon you now to redouble your efforts and do the same thing you did before but only now slightly differently; where before you have Nigeria, remove it and put Biafra.

“All hail Biafra. Anybody from Enugu here? Do you know that your land has been taken over? And we think it’s a child’s play. Nature abhors a vacuum, not just theories, it happens. Do you see how clean this place is? If you lock this place and come back here in 20 years, it would decay on its own because you left home, that is why the Fulani have come.

“The only people who are against Biafra are either saboteur, their fathers were saboteurs during the wars. Anybody that hates Biafra is not of pure Biafra blood. That is why we are relying and counting on you.

“No matter how many Igbo villages you built in Virginia, a place I will personally knock down myself…People built Chinatown to make money if they had built it to make money I can understand.

“What you are saying (by building houses in America) is that we no longer exist and that for people to know who we are, they need to go to a museum and be looking through a window to see things. As long as we stand, our fight is two-fold. Biafra will come and the name Nigeria will cease to exists forever and ever.”

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BREAKING: Court Rejects PDP’s Request To Access INEC Server

lun, 2019-06-24 14:36

The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has refused to grant the prayer of the Peoples Democratic (PDP) to access the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The PDP and Atiku had on June 13 asked the tribunal to give it permission to inspect the electronic gadgets used by INEC in Feb. 23 presidential election.

Rejecting the prayer, the five-man panel unanimously refused the application of the PDP and Atiku saying that issues have been joined by parties on the existence or otherwise of the server.

The judges also said the tribunal cannot delve into this issue at the interlocutory stage.

More details later…​

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Tragic Love: Two Killed In Akwa Ibom Over Woman

lun, 2019-06-24 11:44

In a tragic love-affair tango, two persons have been killed and three injured after a violent conflict between Ikot Osute and Ikot Ukpong villages in Oruk Anam local government area of Akwa Ibom State. 

According to reports, a divorcee, Ime Etuo who reunited with her husband was said to be involved in a love affair with another man from Ikot Ukpong village.

The husband felt slighted but the adamant wife decided to part ways again with him.

However, that did not go down well with some youths in her community as they attacked Etuo’s new lover.

A witness, Idongesit Jacob, said in retaliation, the village head of Ikot Osute, Chief O. Tana, mobilized some youths and in the ensuing melee one Idongesit Bassey was killed, while two others sustained gunshot wounds.

One of the injured later died in a hospital.

The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon, confirmed the casualties, adding: “The police have mounted surveillance in the area to forestall further hostilities but would arrest suspects for investigations and bring the culprits to book.”

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Oshiomhole Doesn’t Want Obaseki Back In Office –Oyegun

lun, 2019-06-24 11:40

The war of words between the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole and his predecessor, John Odigie-Oyegun, continues as the latter accused the former of trying to deny the incumbent Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, the opportunity for a second term in office.

But Oshiomhole said he was only concerned about the rule of law and transparency in the state run by Obaseki.

Odigie-Oyegun, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Political Affairs, Chief Ray Murphy, said: “Today, there are all kinds of rancour coming from Edo State. They all boil down to attempt by godfather and godfatherism heating up the polity in the state.

“To what purpose is this idea of the APC chairman putting the state under tension? Ask anybody from Edo state: what is Obaseki’s biggest distraction and they will tell you that his distraction is not whether he has governed well or not, but from his immediate predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole.

“What has been trending is how his predecessor who happens to be the party chairman doesn’t want him back in the office.

In replying to his predecessor, Oshiomhole claimed: “I am a democrat. That I accept the credit, not only that I fought godfatherism, I launched the one-man, one-vote campaign to fight against election rigging. 

“How can I be a governor physically presiding over people who are more endowed than me? You know the law provides how the house of assembly should be proclaimed transparently the day it’s announced. Members-elect are informed of date and time for inauguration.

“For me, it’s very embarrassing if any state governor, particularly of APC extraction, will do anything that is less than what the constitution says and the example that our president has set.”

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Court Jails 5 Rural Electricity Agency Directors For Fraud

lun, 2019-06-24 11:31

A federal high court has sentenced former directors of the Rural Electricity Agency (REA) to various jail terms for being involved in a N5.2 billion scam.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko sentenced Samuel Ibi Gekpe, former Managing Director of the agency; Simon Kirdi Nanle, the agency’s accountant; Kayode Orekoya, Director of Projects at the agency; Abdusamad Garba Hahun, Assistant Director; and Kayode Oyedeji, the agency’s Head of Legal Department.

The defendants were convicted and sentenced with Gekpe handed a three-year jail term with an option of N5 million fine.

Orekoya, Hahun and Oyedeji were sentenced to three years imprisonment with an option of N500,000 fine each.

However, a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Dr. Abdullahi Aliyu, who is the second defendant, was discharged and acquitted.

The defendants were accused of fraudulently facilitating the withdrawal of N119.7 million from the account of the agency, domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged them with criminal breach of trust in fraudulently awarding the contract for Grid Extension and Solar Electricity from the amended 2008 Budget of REA.

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World Bank To Give $200 Million To Nigerian Farmers

lun, 2019-06-24 10:08

Female groundnut farmer

Female groundnut farmer Femi Ipaye

The World Bank says it will give a total sum of $200 million to over 60,000 Nigerian farmers through its Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) initiative. 

This was made known in a statement by Anne Ihugba, the head of Corporate Communications of Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), on Sunday.

According to the statement would be executed across 6 states with 21,000 women as direct beneficiaries of the World Bank project.

Ihugba said the project would be deployed in Cross River,  Enugu, Lagos, Kogi, Kaduna, and Kano states, targeting 60,000 beneficiaries and 360,000 farm household members as indirect beneficiaries.

“It is anticipated that 35 percent of direct beneficiaries or 21,000 individuals will be women. Additionally, the project has a dedicated sub-component to benefit women and youths that will allow them to develop agri-businesses that are expected to create jobs and improve their livelihoods,” she added.

NIRSAL has signed Memorandum of Agreement and Action (MoA) on APPEALS.

She noted that the project was meant for development, financing, and support of de-risked and optimized agribusiness projects.

Ihugba stated that: “In line with the project development objective of APPEALS, NIRSAL would provide its Tools, Techniques, Methodologies and strategic Partnerships (TTMPs) according to its Mapping to Markets (M2M) strategy on the project.”
According to her, this was with the aim of enhancing agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers.

She equally noted that NIRSAL, through the project, would ensure “improvement of value addition along the cassava, cashew, rice, poultry, aquaculture, cocoa, wheat, tomato, maize, ginger and dairy value chains in a sustainable manner.”

Ihugba said the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, had at the signing of the MoA, assured that APPEALS had found a trustworthy, reliable and capable partner that shared the project’s objectives of improved value addition among others.

The NIRSAL CEO assured that the agency would deploy its technologies toward the formation of Agro-Geo-Cooperatives for selected commodity value chains through geospatial mapping, soil suitability tests, Bank Verification Number (BVN) enrolment for farmers among others.

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Former Bauchi Governor Spent N2.3 Billion To Buy Burial Materials, Incumbent Governor Claims

lun, 2019-06-24 10:05

Mohammed Abubakar, ex-governor of Bauchi State

Mohammed Abubakar, ex-governor of Bauchi State

Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, says his predecessor, Mohammed Abubakar, spent N2.3 billion to buy materials for burying dead bodies in the state.

The accused has yet to respond but a spokesperson for him said the allegation was ridiculous.

The incumbent governor, who spoke through his spokesperson, Dr. Ladan Salihu, in an interview with journalists in Bauchi claimed over N900 million of the money was spent on buying white cloth materials used for wrapping dead bodies while over N1.4 billion was used to buy the wood for lacing the graves for the burial.

According to him, the government discovered various issues of corruption, venality, daylight robbery of the common wealth of Bauchi State where billions of naira were siphoned illegally.

He said: “These monies which ought to have been appropriated by the Assembly before expenditure, all of a sudden emanated from our treasury books. How could you imagine that a state government, within five months that is between January and May 2019, spent well over N2.3 billion on funeral materials, the clothes that are used in wrapping dead bodies and the woods that you lace the graveyards with?

“The immediate past government spent N2.3 billion, that government did not spend a quarter of that amount in our own hospitals and clinics. They have the temerity to want to put up a show of shame.”

He added, “Government will take very, very stern measures; we will recover every kobo that has been looted or stolen by the immediate past administration and in fact, the administration before it. It is an obligation: you don’t allow criminality to run roughshod on the rest of us because these are public funds.

“We must take steps, there’s no factor of fear or favour or ill will, and it is just the way the business of government must be conducted. We will take every measure. We’ll use every institution and go after everyone that has stolen Bauchi State’s money. We will pursue this case in the relevant institutions of recovery whether it is EFCC, ICPC, the constitution of a Special Recovery Mechanism within the state, I can assure you, we will pursue these issues vigorously, rigorously and without let.”

When Nigerian Tribune contacted the then-Special Adviser to the former Governor Abubakar on Media and Strategy, Ali M. Ali, he said, “That is very ridiculous, I cannot make further comments on the issue because I am not aware of such allegations.

“I’ve not heard of anything like that, so I will speak on it when I make my findings but this is laughable. I will get back to you on that when I have done my findings from my principal.”

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Building Collapse: Lagos Government Says It Has Started Rehabilitation Of Ita-Faaji Survivors

lun, 2019-06-24 09:42

Following the collapse of another building, Lagos Government says it has commenced rehabilitating survivors of Ita-Faaji Building collapse

According to the state government, the Ministry of Health commenced the rehabilitation of the survivors of the Ita-Faaji building collapse to get them back on their feet.

The ministry said this on Sunday, following the collapse of another building in Mafoluku area of Lagos State. See Also Breaking News LIVE: Rescue Of Children Trapped In Lagos Island School Building Collapse 0 Comments 3 Months Ago

On March 13, at least 20 people died after a three-storey building housing a school collapsed at Ita-Faaji, Lagos Island.

According to a statement signed by Titilayo Goncalves, the Permanent Secretary at the ministry of health, the rehabilitation is to ensure full recovery of the survivors.

She said: “As part of efforts to ensure full recovery from the shock and trauma suffered by the victims, especially the bereaved among them, mental health talk and support is also being offered by our trained psychiatrists, grief counsellors and social workers because some of them after such a traumatic incident, require mental health support to help them overcome their grief.”

Goncalves, therefore, urged residents of the state to subscribe to the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme, stressing that the state government, through the ministry, would ensure quality, affordable and accessible health care services.

“We have started the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme and with N8,500 a year, you can enjoy quality health coverage which is efficient and accessible,” she said.

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Militia Attack: Taraba Residents Flee Town

lun, 2019-06-24 09:33

Residents of Sondi town in Wakari, Taraba State, have fled their town following an attack by suspected armed militia who stormed the town on Friday, killing people.

The attackers allegedly crossed into the area from Benue State in the night. The attacks which lasted till Saturday had trapped many, especially women and children in the town, Daily Trust reports. 

Soldiers sent from Takum were said to have provided safe passage on Saturday morning to those trapped, just as they are now in Wukari headquarters of the local government. 

One of the survivors of the attack, Jibrin Yahaya, explained that the attack was devastating as “many” were people killed and “over 50 houses” razed.

He added that the authority was downplaying the scope of the attack and the number of people killed. 

According to him, it is better for Taraba State government to leave out politics of the Jukun/Tiv crisis otherwise the Jukun will continue to lose its people.

He said both Taraba and Benue state governments must find an immediate solution to the conflict. 

Mallam Yahaya said it was the soldiers that helped those trapped moved to Wukari adding that the town is almost a ghost town now.

On the onslaught on Chunko, another Jukun town which was attacked last week, it was gathered that the attackers not only burned Chunko chief's palace, and a police station but also cut all economic trees in the town. 

David Misal, spokesman for the Taraba police command, confirmed the attack on Sondi but said only one person was killed during the attack.

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Nigerian Air Force Denies Supplying Weapons To Herdsmen In Enugu

lun, 2019-06-24 08:57

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has denied the allegation that its helicopters were dropping weapons in Akwuke Forest, Enugu State for herdsmen’s use.

The force, speaking through Faith Aigbeoghain, acting Public Relations and Information Officer of NAF Ground Training Command (GTC) in Enugu State, said: “The attention of Headquarters GTC of Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Enugu has been drawn to social media and online story being circulated by some mischievous and misguided elements. 

“The mischievous elements purported that NAF helicopters were being used to ‘drop weapons’ for Fulani herdsmen in the forest area of Akwuke community in Enugu South local government area (LGA) in Enugu state. 

“The report alleged that helicopters had been seen on several occasions flying at a low level and landing in the forest area to ‘discharge their packages’.” 

She explained that the report was “deliberately misleading and obviously concocted by the writer to cause disaffection and incite negative divisive emotions among Nigerians”. 

She noted that NAF has two helicopter training institutions under its purview, which have been operating in Enugu for several years. 

Aigbeoghain said that these are International Helicopter Flying School (IHFS) and 405 Helicopter Combat Training Group (405 HCTG), whose training curricula include low-level flying around the forest areas near Akukwe, which is one of their designated training areas. 

She added, “In particular, the 405 HCTG commenced tactical training on the newly acquired 109 Power Helicopters on May 24, 2019, which includes low-level flying as well as other manoeuvres requiring them to land and take off within the training area. 

“However, at no time was any NAF helicopter used to ‘drop’ any materials, let alone deliver weapons to any individual or group. 

“Members of the public, especially residents of Enugu state, are therefore advised to discountenance the fake report and go about their normal activities without fear.” 

She said NAF as a professional fighting force, remained resolute in performing its constitutional role of defending the territorial integrity of a united Nigeria. 

“Accordingly, we shall continue to work assiduously, in synergy with sister services and other security agencies, to rid the country of all criminal elements in order to enable all Nigerians pursue their legitimate aspirations,” she stated.

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13.6 Million Nigerians Suffer From Malaria Annually

lun, 2019-06-24 08:52

Each year, at least 13.6 million Nigerians suffer from malaria, the Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN) says

Malam Umar Aminu-Imam, President of the association, made the disclosure during the ‘International Environmental Health Day’ celebration held in Katsina as contained in a statement released on Sunday.

The statistics accounted for 25 percent of world’s 54,750,000 malaria cases. 

The statement said: “In a report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in September 2018, there were 219 million cases of Malaria globally with over 435,000 deaths in 2017 alone. 

“African continent accounts for 92 percent of the total cases and 93 percent of the total death. 

“Five countries account for 50 percent of the entire global cases; namely Nigeria with 25 percent; Democratic Republic of Congo, 11 per cent; Mozambique 5 per cent; India 4 percent, and Uganda 4 percent. 

“Nigeria, with less than 1 percent of the world’s population, account for 25 percent or 54,750,000 cases and over 108,750 lives lost, 61 percent of them or 66,337 are children below the ages of five years. “This gloomy picture was in 2017 alone on malaria.’’ 

Aminu-Imam added that every year, billions of naira were lost to drugs due to diseases and death from preventable diseases. 

He said the diseases that bedevilled Nigeria as a nation like malaria, typhoid, poliomyelitis and diarrheal diseases among others were all exclusively environmentally related diseases. 

Aminu-Imam said that the maternal deaths in the country were environmentally related because infections and cultural factors were among the leading causes of maternal and child mortality. 

He said most of the interventions currently undertaken and sponsored by NGOs and the governments were curative-based and chemotherapeutic in nature. 

“It is the believe of this association that no matter how much money spent in procurement of drugs to combat malaria, no reasonable result would be recorded if the environmental factors are not targeted and addressed. 

“All advanced countries were able to eradicate malaria not because of vaccination or drug utilisation but only by improving environmental sanitation of their respective countries.

“Thus the association decided to partner with the Muslim Community College of Health Technology and various MDAs to raise awareness of the community on the dangers of poor sanitation and the consequences of open defecation,” he noted.

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Lagos Building Collapse: Emergency Team Rescues Two Buried Under Rubble

lun, 2019-06-24 08:38

Two people have been rescued from the building that collapsed at No. 36 Adesanya Street, Mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos State, on Sunday.

SaharaReporters had reported the collapse earlier on Sunday, noting that at least 10 people injured.

However, speaking on the incident, Oke Osanyintolu, the Director General of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), said two people had been rescued.

He said no death was recorded and the injured victims had been moved to a hospital.  

He said, “It was an old building. However, the building will be pulled to ground zero for the safety of the people living in the area. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Many Injured As Building Collapses In Lagos Again 0 Comments 1 Day Ago

“The people there have been evacuated and the injured are responding to the treatment; no death was recorded. All the buildings adjacent and those beside the collapsed building will be subjected to solid materials testing.”

Also, Titi Ajirotutu, Public Affairs Officer of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), said the site supervisor, Dada Olaniyi, was arrested by policemen from the Makinde Police Station and detained.

“The building caved in on Sunday, while the labourers were doing partial demolition on the site. Information gathered revealed that the renovation works commenced around 4 pm on Friday in an attempt to avoid LABSCA and get the building renovated to attract buyers.

“They were trying to use the opportunity of the weekend to work in order to avoid LABSCA and that was when the building collapsed on the labourers breaking the walls. The state government has brought down the whole building through LASEMA,” Ajirotutu said.

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