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GROUP CHARGES FG OVER MILITARY INVASION OF BENUE VILLAGES

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Following the Friday’s military invasion of some villages in Shangeiv-Tiev area of Konshisha Local Government of Benue State where over 100 lives were reportedly lost, resulting from a militia attack on the army convoy in which some soldiers were killed and others missing within the area, a group, Shangev-Tiev Assembly (STA) has charged the Federal Government of Nigeria and other concerned bodies to intervene in the situation, withdraw military presence, bring offenders to book and bring a lasting solution to the communal crisis that led to the upheaval.

In a press statement titled PRESS RELEASE ON THE ON-GOING MILITARY INVASION AND GRUESOME KILLING OF THE UNARMED PEOPLE OF SHANGEV-TIEV, KONSHISHA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, HELD ON THE 9th APRIL, 2021 IN MAKURDI, BENUE STATE, the group writes:

It is common knowledge that the communal crisis between the people of Mbator in ShangevTiev of Konshisha Local government and the Okpute of Oju local government of Benue state has endured several decades. Several attempts by stakeholders from both sides to bring it to an end have not yielded the desired results. When the crisis resurfaced, a peace meeting was initiated and a committee inaugurated by the Benue State government on the 22nd June 2020. Certain positive recommendations were made by committee to the government of Benue but unfortunately, the state government did not show any serious commitment towards its implementation.

Unfortunately also, the Okpute, people under the financier of one Major General, continued to use the Nigerian army and the Igede militia to carry out series of unprovoked attacks on our people. Following these wanton destruction and continued attacks, raping of our wives and daughters on our soil, the Shangev Tiev Assembly utterly condemn the unprofessional conduct of men of the Nigerian Armed Forces in a crisis situation like ours. It is rather disheartening to note that the trained senior officers are allegedly responsible for some of these security challenges in the area.

A Wounded Youth From The Invasion

In as much as we wail our dead, we unequivocally condemn in strongest terms, the alleged killing of the military officers. We also express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Nigeria, and equally express our heartfelt condolences to the families of our beloved unarmed and defenceless people who have been killed by the Nigerian Army.

Related: ZAKI BIAM: The Untold Story of Military Killings in Benue

As a peace loving people of Shangev-Tiev, Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State- Nigeria, we wish to draw the attention of the general public and request the timely intervention to the on-going senseless killings of unarmed and peaceful people of Shangev-Tiev.

Property Demolished During the Invasion

The general public may wish to know that the Nigerian Army has consistently deployed fighter-helicopters that operate on daily basis and scores of armoured vehicles that continually shelled sophisticated firepower to kill and destroy property of our people. The army has so far razed and demolished farms, schools, hospitals and residences of Bonta, Tse-Jembe, Tse-Anyom, Gbinde, Mbaakpur, Aku, Agidi, Gungul, Adoka, Guleya, Awajir, Shiliki, Achoho and Ullam in Gwer Local Government Area, and are still planning to do same to other neighbouring towns within Konshisha Local Government Areas of Benue state.

According to Section 33 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution, ‘Persons living in Nigeria, shall have a right to life and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life unless in execution of the sentence of a court of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty’. We are confused on what the Right to Life mean in this context. Our unarmed people are being killed intentionally in large numbers by armed personnel of the Nigerian Army. Presently, over 70 persons are reported dead and more than 100 people are missing, mostly women, children and the elderly and hundreds of thousands displaced with its attendant humanitarian consequences.

The members of the Shangev-Tiev Assembly reaffirm that insecurity in all its forms and manifestations constitute one of the most serious threats to national unity and peace. We reiterate that any act of banditry is criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of any aclaimed motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever. We reaffirm the need for government at all levels to combat criminality within the provisions of the extant laws of the land. We wish to further state here that the Nigerian military is recruited, trained and remunerated by tax-payers money and is vested with the constitutional duty to defend the territorial integrity of the country against internal insurrection and external aggression. We make bold to question the the rules of miliatry engagement in quelling communal crises. Does the communal conflict between (Mbator) Shangev-Tiev of Konshisha LGA and the (Okpute) Igede of Oju LGA constitute an insurrection or external aggression? THE ANSWER IS A CAPITAL NO! Suffice to add that there are always rules of engagement in any internal security operations by the military. For what reason, whatsoever, would a military turn its arms and ammunition on a defenseless, pauperized, neglected and already traumatized civilian population? Who ordered the operation? Was the conflict beyond the capacity of the Mobile Police Force?. Nigeria has an avalanche of violent criminality, including terrorism, insurrectionism, banditry, kidnapping etc, none these is found in our community. Yet, the military is hugely found wanting in contending the various forms of violence that threaten the corporate existence of the Nigerian State. This level of lawlessness and impunity in Nigeria is at variance with democratic principles and conflict management styles. Curiously, the Defence Headquarters claimed that the Operation Whirl Stroke was ambushed while on a routine patrol. Granted that they were; however, the questions begging for answers are: Has the area ever being under siege by bandits at any point in time? Why are the government officers inconsistent in their statements on who invited the army officers where no single police officer was on ground? These and many more questions need to be answered. It should be noted that upon the inauguration of the President and Commander in-Chief of The Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President swore to defend the lives and property of all Nigerians. Can we be right to state that the on-going military pogrom on our people is at variance with the oath he took? We therefore, pray that authorities concerned should save us from the on-going military invasion and onslaught on unarmed people of Shangev-Tiev. Actions sought:  The on-going killing of our unarmed and defenceless people and destructions of property by Nigeria Army should henceforth be stopped.

 The government should order the withdrawal of armed personnel from a Major General’s home town (Okpute) to show fairness to all parties

 The Benue State government should ensure that the land under dispute is amicably demarcated.

 A panel of enquiry to include civil society organizations should be setup to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the crises and the roles of the military. Anyone found wanting should be punished in accordance with the laws of them land.

 Compensations should be given to all victims in Shangev Tiev community.

Oche Onu Reports

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BREAKING: CBN Bows To Pressure, Increases Withdrawal Limit to 500k

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revised its cash withdrawal limit policy, stating that individuals and corporate organisations can now withdraw N500,000 and N5 million respectively within a week.

Platforms Africa reports that the apex bank announced this in a letter dated December 21 and signed by the CBN Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa. The letter, which was made available to PlatformsAfrica, was addressed to all deposit money banks and other financial institutions.

“The maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all channels by individuals and corporate organizations shall be N500,000.00 and N5,000,000.00 respectively,” the letter read.

Cash withdrawal above the limits shall be subject to a processing fee of 3 per cent and 5 per cent for individuals and corporate organisations respectively.

According to the CBN, the decision to revise the policy was based on feedback received from stakeholders.

Previously, individuals were constrained to N100,000 cash withdrawals weekly and N20,000 daily while corporate organisations were limited to weekly withdrawals of N500,000.

“Third-party cheques above N100,000 shall not be eligible for payment over-the-counter, while the extant limit of N10 million on clearing cheques still subsist,” the letter added.

The CBN said monthly returns on cash withdrawal transactions above the specified limits should be rendered to the banking supervision department, other financial institutions’ supervision and payments system management departments.

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Breaking: Ronaldo To Join Al-Nassr For €200m euros per year

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Cristiano Ronaldo is close to agreeing on a mega transfer to Saudi Arabian outfit All-Nassr.

In a report published by Spanish publication Marca, Ronaldo has been offered a two-year contract by Al-Nassr, who are able to sign the 37-year-old on a free transfer following his departure from Manchester United.

CR7 left United by mutual consent this month
Available on a free transfer.

Marca reports that Ronaldo has also attracted interest from MLS, but he is very conscious of picking up the most lucrative wage possible if calling time on his illustrious career in Europe.

Al-Nassr are willing to pay the Portugal forward a grand total of €400 million if he agrees on a deal to play for the Saudi Arabian club until 2025.

Ronaldo’s second spell at Old Trafford came to an acrimonious end earlier this month as United announced the termination of his contract by mutual consent. The decision was made following the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s controversial interview with Piers Morgan, during which he accused the club of betraying him and admitted to having no respect for head coach Erik ten Hag

Should Ronaldo indeed end up joining Al-Nassr, he will link up with another former Premier League star in David Ospina, who played in goal for Arsenal between 2014 and 2019.

The striker is currently starring for Portugal at the 2022 World Cup, and will hope for another start when Fernando Santos’ side wrap up their group stage campaign against South Korea on Friday.

Source: goal.com

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2023: Why I Will Vote For Peter Obi – Sheikh Gumi

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Controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi has revealed what would make him vote for the Labour Party, LP, presidential candidate, Peter Obi in 2023.Gumi assured Obi of his vote if he can restructure Nigeria if elected president in 2023.

He spoke in Kaduna yesterday while playing host to the former Anambra State governor and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed.Obi and his running mate were in Kaduna to attend an interactive session for presidential candidates organised by a joint committee of Arewa groups in the build up to the 2023 general elections. However, Gumi commended Obi for visiting and briefing him about his plan for Nigeria.

Sheikh Gumi

According to Gumi: “As you come here (Kaduna) people will like to hear your views about restructuring Nigeria; Nigeria has been restructuring itself from independence to date. It was never static, but I want to know about views on restructuring so that I can write on my Facebook page `this is the presidential candidate who can do this for me; I will assure him of my vote’”. Gumi also asked the LP presidential candidate how he intends to address the issues of agitations and poverty in the country.

“How are you going to deal with the issue of polarity and agitations across Nigeria? Every region is agitating because people are not happy, how are you going to make these people (agitators) happy under one table?“You talked more about the economy; the economy sometimes is more than the figures,” he added.

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