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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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PETER OBI VISITS SOLUDO

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Peter Obi and Chukwuma Soludo

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi, has paid the Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, a courtesy visit at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.

Soludo and Obi met behind closed-doors after which Obi lauded Soludo for the “great job he is doing in Anambra State.” This is contained in a statement posted to the Facebook Page of Soludo TV on Friday. The statement, which is titled, ‘Soludo receives Peter Obi on a courtesy visit’, read: “Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, received earlier today, Mr Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra State and Presidential candidate of the Labour Party at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.

“Both leaders had a mutual discussion behind closed doors. Afterwards, Mr Peter Obi commended Governor Soludo highly for the great job he is doing in Anambra State. Governor Soludo, on the other hand, welcomed Mr Peter Obi to Anambra as a prominent son of the state and wished him well in his Presidential bid as the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party.”

After the meeting, Soludo, wrote on his verified Facebook Page, “Today after my engagement with the YESS family, I received in audience my brother and Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, in a private meeting at the Governor’s lodge, Amawbia.

“Mr. Obi is one of the two illustrious Sons of our dear State gunning to be the President of Nigeria. The other is Justice Peter Umeadi of our great Party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

“As the Governor of these great Sons of the State, I am proud of this moment in history. And wish them the best of luck.”

Source: The Punch

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Peter Obi in Close Meeting With Ortom, Wike, Mimiko, Ikpeazu, others

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The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, yesterday met with the Governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike and other governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State.

The meeting is the second time Obi would meet with Wike after dumping the PDP and declaring his presidential ambition.

Obi’s meeting was disclosed via Twitter by former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko.

Mimiko disclosed that the meeting was held yesterday night.

Others in attendance include, former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke; former Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwanbo; Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu; Mohammed Adoke and several others.

Sharing a photograph of the meeting, Mimiko wrote: “Nice to share some time last night with @GovWike @Donald_Duke @PeterObi @HEDankwambo @GovSamuelOrtom @GovernorIkpeazu, Mohammed Adoke SAN and many other friends.”

As of the time of filing this report, the aim and location of the meeting is unknown.

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Police Arrest “BUGA” Singer, Kiss Daniel

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Music star, Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe, also known as Kizz Daniel has allegedly been arrested by the Tanzanian Police.

Kizz Daniel was arrested for not showing up at his scheduled concert.

He was scheduled to perform at the Warehouse, Old Nextdoor Arena in Tanzania on Sunday but did not show up to the venue.

Disgruntled fans had taken to social media, expressing displeasure over the Singer’s failure to show up on Sunday.

Reports said the ‘Buga’ crooner refused to mount the stage because he allegedly forgot his travelling bag in Uganda and didn’t want to wear borrowed clothes.

However, the angry fans who reportedly paid $5000 for tables were seen hurling bottles at each other and destroying properties at the event centre.

A viral video of the arrest showed the singer wearing a hooded jacket and being led into a police vehicle.

This is the second time the singer has failed to perform at a fully booked concert while fans waited.

He had last month kept fans waiting for hours at his DMV concert in New York but later blamed his no-show on immigration challenges.

Source: The Punch

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