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37 killed’ as herdsmen, farmers clash in Kaduna

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A fresh round of violence between farmers and herders in Kajuru, Kajuru Local Government in Kaduna State has left at least 37 persons dead with scores injured within the last two days.

This is coming barely a week after Miyyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) had blamed foreign herdsmen for the perennial clash between farmers and Fulani herdsmen in the country,

Kajuru is about 50 kilometers away from Kaduna, the State capital.

Assistant National Secretary of MACBAN, Ibrahim Abdullahi, had, at a press conference, blamed alien Fulani herdsmen for the crisis across the country.

However, when contacted, the Acting Police Public Relations Officer, Kaduna Police Command, ASP Yakubu Sabo, said the police is aware of a misunderstanding among some individuals in Kajuru community, which later led to a clash when some people took the laws into their hands.

He said the police and the army have, however, gone to the place and brought the situation under control.

“Not only the police but the joint patrol comprising the police and army are still there and the situation has been brought under control. I spoke with them this afternoon and they confirmed to me they’re still there; there is no way this type of thing will happen and we will just withdraw like that,” he said.

Sabo, however, said the police were yet to confirm the number of casualties. He said: “As soon as I confirm the casualty, I will let you know, but for now, we don’t know.”

It was gathered that the violence was said to have started on Sunday, when some Fulani youths went to a village at Ungwan Uka to avenge the killing of a certain Fulani herdsman said to have been attacked and killed some days back by some Kadara youths at a farm at Banono village.

One of the Kadara youths, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, confirmed the killing, but said the Fulani man who was killed was a known bandit who has been harassing the people of the area and was killed by a mob while trying to escape.

He said when this happened, the matter was explained to the Fulani community leader in the area, who, he said, also knew the man to be a bandit, but their youths insisted on revenge.

“The Chief of Kajuru even called them and spoke with them, but we were surprised that in the early hours of Sunday morning, they came and carried out the attack,” he stated.

It was also learnt that the Fulani youths killed five of the youths they were said to have identified as having a hand in the killing of the Fulani herdsman. But their action was said to have angered the Kadara youths who, in turn, mobilised themselves on Monday and launched an attack on the surrounding Fulani settlements, burning their tents and other property with no fewer than 12 persons killed.

An eye witness, Salisu Mohammed, said after the attack, on Monday, some security agents were drafted to the communities and things calmed down for the period they were around .

He, however, said things got out of hand again when they left the bushes and the Kadara youths launched another attack on the surrounding Fulani settlement and killed no fewer than 10.

“These are the ones whose bodies have been recovered, as I’m talking with you, we don’t know the actual number of casualties as our people are scattered all over running for their dear lives,” he stated.

He said the victims were buried in a mass grave, and while at the site of the burial they also received information to prepare for the burial of another nine whose bodies were recovered at various points in the surrounding bushes.

A Kadara youth, Cafra Cairo, when contacted, said the youths have been restive following the attacks, but said efforts were on by their elders to calm the restive youths as there was tension in the area.

“We’ve heard of several attacks, but when I called people in some of the communities, they said it’s not true,” he said, adding that no fewer than 10 persons, including a seven-month old baby died in the attack

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Army withholds salaries of 45 soldiers in Borno

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Authorities of the 7 Division Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, have withheld the salaries of 45 soldiers, according to sources.

The soldiers, who were among the 149 troops of the 153 Task Force Battalion withdrawn from Marte, Borno State, after spending three years in counterinsurgency operations, were accused of for abandoning their duty posts.

The battalion came under attack on three occasions during which several soldiers were killed while a range of weapons, equipment and vehicles were either carted away or destroyed.

The battalion was overhauled after the last attack in February.

A source said necessary changes were made and troops who served with the battalion were moved to different formations in Maiduguri before a new deployment was made.

“Some of the soldiers who were not seen at their new units were believed to have gone on AWOL (Absence Without Leave). Their salaries accounts were not credited in April,” he said.

But one of the affected soldiers said the allegation of desertion against them was untrue.

“We were not given our salaries and when we asked our supervisors in the 7 Division, we were shocked to hear that we had forfeited all our entitlements over desertion.”

Attempts to get the response of army authorities were not successful.

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EFCC goes after top officials of PDP over N10bn scandal

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The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has invited officials of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for questioning over alleged criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of funds and fraud.

This is coming barely a month after a chieftain in the PDP, Kazeem Afegbua, petitioned the anti-graft agency to scrutinise the Secondus-led National Working Committee on financial misappropriation.

In the letter of invitation dated May 17, 2021, and addressed to the Prince Uche Secondus, the EFCC said the need to obtain certain clarification from the party has become imperative.

The agency, however, requested the party’s National chairman to release the National Auditor, National Organising Secretary and Director of Finance to report at the EFCC headquarters from May 19th to 21st 2021.

The agency also requested the national officers to honor the invitation with relevant documents relating to sole of forms into the party’s elective positions from January 2017 to date.

Kazeem had in his petition alleged that much of the financial transactions of the PDP under Prince Uche Secondus has been shrouded in mystery, accusing the leadership of deliberate attempt to shortchange the party in the build up to the 2023 general elections.

However, Secondus had since denied the allegation and filed a N1 billion suit against the petitioner, Kazeem Afegbua.

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Nigeria’s drug control agency approves new COVID-19 vaccine

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has granted approval for the conditional emergency use of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.

Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is the third vaccine recommended for administration in the country.

The director-general of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojiola Adeyeye, in a statement on Tuesday, said information on the vaccine shows it met the criteria for efficacy, safety and quality.

She said, “The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a single dose. Results from a clinical trial involving people in the United States, South Africa and Latin American countries found that Janssen COVID-19 vaccine was effective at preventing COVID-19 in people from 18 years of age.

“The Phase III clinical trial involved over 44,000 people. Half received a single dose of the vaccine and half were given placebo (a dummy injection). People did not know if they had been given Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine or placebo.

According to her, the trial showed a 67 per cent reduction in the number of symptomatic COVID-19 cases after two weeks in people who received Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.

The most commonly reported side effects were pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and nausea. Most of these side effects were mild to moderate in severity and lasted 1-2 days.

On the vaccine safety, Adeyeye said NAFDAC, in line with its pharmacovigilance and safety monitoring plan for COVID-19 vaccines, will closely monitor and subject the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to several activities that apply specifically to COVID-19 vaccines.

The AstraZeneca vaccine which Nigeria has been giving out has garnered many sceptics internationally after some recipients of the vaccine died.

At least 16 countries including Germany, France and Sweden have suspended the use of AstraZeneca, which put on the Nigerian government to suspend it.

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