Connect with us

NEWS

Bandits on the rampage in Plateau, Niger, kill 52, abduct hunters, others

Published

on

Fifty-two persons have been killed in separate attacks on communities in Plateau and Niger states.

While 18 persons were confirmed killed after gunmen attacked the Ncha community in the Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, gunmen on Wednesday attacked two communities in Niger State and killed 34 persons.

The Niger State incident appeared to be reprisal as a few weeks ago some special hunters and local vigilantes killed scores of gunmen who were terrorising the communities.

The gunmen launched Wednesday’s attack on Nakuna and Wurukuchi communities when the villagers were on their farms harvesting produce.

All the houses in Nakuna, with a population of about 200, were burnt down by the gunmen, who invaded the community in search of vigilantes.

According to Yahaya Mota, who lost 10 members of his family to the attack, 20 other bodies were discovered in the bush.

Mota stated, “After the attack on Nakuna, we discovered that 10 persons from one family were killed and we later found the bodies of 20 others in the bush.

“Also in Wurukuchi, four members of the same family were killed on their farm.”

Apart from the razed houses, he said the gunmen also burnt food barns in the communities before leaving.

“These people didn’t only kill our people and burn down our houses, they also burnt down all the food barns before leaving,” Mota stated.

He added that during the search for members of the vigilance group and local hunters, the gunmen abducted three of the special hunters.

The 75-year-old Mota said six children and four others, who came to assist in the harvesting of farm produce, were killed in a terrible manner, adding that their hands were tied to their backs before they were shot.

When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Monday Kuryas, confirmed the incident but said the command had yet to ascertain the actual number of people killed during the attack.

He added that security personnel had been deployed in the affected communities to restore normalcy.

In Plateau State, a youth leader in the Ncha community, Nuhu Bitrus, confirmed the killing of 17 persons on Wednesday.

Bitrus said that the gunmen, who carried out the attack, also burnt several houses belonging to the residents, while several persons sustained injuries.

According to the youth leader, the attack on the community took place in the early hours of Wednesday and lasted for several hours

He said, “We have a disaster currently in one of our communities in Ncha. Some gunmen, whom we know to be Fulani, last night invaded the community and started shooting everywhere and killing anyone they saw in sight, while setting people’s houses on fire. Right now, we have counted 17 dead bodies and six persons that were injured during the invasion, which started around 2.30am.

“The Ancha community is the same place that one person was killed just a few days ago by the same people. We don’t know what to do before the government and security agents will see the need to protect our people from extermination, which obviously is the intent of the attackers.”

But later on Wednesday evening, the Irigwe ethnic nationality of Plateau state under the aegis of Irigwe Development Association said 18 people were killed.

It released the names of the deceased.

A statement issued on Wednesday night by the National Publicity Secretary of the association, Davidson Malison noted that among those killed by the gummen was a three-month-old baby identified as Monday Bitrus which he said “justified an act of inhumanity to man”

Malison listed other deceased persons as Gideon Goh, 30 years; Danladi James, 26 years; Yohanna Musa, 17 years; Achi Alhaji, 16 years; Monday Abba,52 years; Musa Tegwi,80 years; Christiana Sunday, 45; Laraba Bitrus, 38; Andrew Bitrus, 7; Wiki Bitrus, 5 ; Danjuma Rimbe, 10; Monday B Bitrus, 19 ; Moses Weyi, 21; Mbe Weyi, 21; Azumi Wreh; Danladi David Musa, 28 and Garius Gado Sunday.

The military task force in charge of maintaining peace in the state, Operation Safe Haven, also confirmed the attack on the community on Wednesday.

A statement signed by the Military Information Officer, Major Takwa Ishaku, said, “In the late hours of Tuesday, January 11, 2022, troops of Operation Safe Haven received a  distress call of an attack on the Acha community in the Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.

“The troops responded swiftly and mobilised to the village. On reaching the community, the attackers had fled the village. Houses were destroyed and some villagers lost their lives during the attack.

“Troops of Operation Safe Haven are on the trail of the assailants and details of the pursuit will be made available later.

“The Commander, Operation Safe Haven, Maj Gen I. S. Ali, while commiserating with the families of those who lost their lives during the attack, reiterated his resolve to ensure that the perpetrators of evil on the Plateau face the consequences of their dastard acts.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NEWS

Governors, Labour kick as NNPC presents N3tr subsidy bill to FEC

Published

on

The controversies surrounding continued payment of fuel subsidy may not have ended as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited, yesterday, presented a bill of N3 trillion for deliberations at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, N3 trillion is the amount required to continue to subsidise petroleum products for the 18 months extension recently approved by the Presidency.

Ahmed, who broke the news to State House correspondents, explained that FEC considered the request so as to make additional funding provisions that will enable government meet incremental fuel subsidy payment in the 2022 budget.

According to her, only N443 billion is currently available in the 2022 budget meant to accommodate subsidy from January to June.

Buttressing the position of the government, she said with current realities on ground, especially the poverty rate on the part of Nigerians, the NNPC presented a request for N3 trillion to the Ministry of Finance for 2022.

“What this means is that we have to make incremental provision of N2.557 trillion to be able to meet subsidy requirement, which is averaging about N270 billion per month.

“In 2021, the actual under-recovery that has been charged to the Federation was N1.2 trillion, which means an average of N100 billion, but in 2022, because of the increased crude oil price per barrel in the global market, now at $80 per barrel, and also because an NNPC’s assessment shows that the country is consuming 65.7 million litres per day, we will end up with an incremental cost of N3 trillion in 2022.

“Having taken into account the current realities; increased hardship in the population, heightened inflation and also that measures needed to be taken to enable a smoother exit from the fuel subsidy regime are not yet in place, it was agreed by Council that it is desirable to exit fuel subsidy at a conducive time.”

She revealed that the Council directed the ministry to approach the National Assembly for an amendment to the fiscal framework, including the budget.

BUT the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have blamed the NNPC for the mismanagement of the proceeds accruing from oil.

They have also resolved to enter into working partnership to investigate consumption and distribution figures released by NNPC regarding petroleum products. The NGF disclosed this, yesterday, at its meeting with labour leaders, led by NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, to deliberate on the fuel subsidy removal issue.

A statement by NGF’s media adviser, AbdulRazaque Bello Barkindo, disclosed that “both parties agreed that the lacuna in the subsidy removal agenda was hidden in the untruths bandied by the administrators of the subsidy, particularly the NNPC, which both groups identify to be at the forefront of the mismanagement of the proceeds that accrued therein.”

Delivering his opening remarks at the meeting, which was also attended by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) president and a host of other leaders of organised labour in the country, NGF chairman and governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, argued that the nation’s economy is at the precipice and that it has become necessary for the two groups to carefully verify all NNPC’s estimates, to ensure that whatever action is taken on subsidy will be to the benefit of the people and not a few wealthy individuals and their cronies.

The NGF chairman, who led a delegation of governors Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State and Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, to the meeting, stressed that governors cannot ignore the economics of petroleum, arguing that all the countries surrounding Nigeria, including Niger, Mali, Cameroun and Ghana have their fuel pump price at the equivalent of a U.S. dollar.

“Nigeria has a pump price that is far less than a dollar and is uncomfortable with the removal of subsidy until the challenge of what the NNPC is telling the country is confronted frontally.

“We need a partnership with the NLC to confront the challenges of what the NNPC is about, because there is a lot of fraud in the consumption and distribution figures that the country is getting and we can only move forward if the NLC engages all those who are knowledgeable in the field like PENGASSAN to conduct a thorough research into the sector before any further action is taken on subsidy,” Fayemi said.

He added that only about eight states are benefitting directly from the subsidy while all the others have to contend with the situation on their own.

Commenting, Obaseki warned that the country has a choice of continuing to behave “like Father Christmas (Santa Claus) or take concrete actions on a problem that is permanently with us rather than throwing away N3 trillion on subsidy.”

The Plateau governor, who like Obaseki, joined the meeting virtually, recalled that the NGF had spent three years on this matter. He stated: “We must find options and create opportunities that address the hardships that stare our people in the face.”

The unionists, according to the statement, argued that the conflicting figures that always came from managers of the petroleum sector had always tended towards inefficiency, which have remained, and to organised labour, completely objectionable.

Wabba and TUC president, Quadri Olaleye, wondered why the subsidy issue had always been shrouded in secrecy on the part of government.

Also, NLC National Deputy President, Comrade Bello Ismail, has advised the Federal Government against any attempt to increase the pump price of petroleum products during the tenure of this administration that would terminate in 2023.

Ismail, who addressed Kaduna State workers on the outcome of the suspension by the Federal Government of its initial plan to hike the pump price of petrol, said labour would continue to watch any action of the Buhari administration and ensure it did not increase pump price of fuel in future.

MEANWHILE, the Presidency, yesterday, reiterated the concerns of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) that Nigeria would have to pay a price to continue subsidising petrol, adding that the country may be left with no other choice than to continue borrowing to shoulder its fiscal overhead.

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said this when he featured on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme yesterday. He said petrol is not deregulated by the Federal Government, as the price is sold at between N162 and N165/litre at filling stations, far lower than the actual cost of the commodity.

In June 2021, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, stated that petrol price should be more than N280/litre, while the commodity had been subsidised and sold at N162/litre since last year.

Continue Reading

NEWS

Gunmen kidnap Ex-President Jonathan’s cousin in Bayelsa

Published

on

Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin, Jephthah Robert, has been abducted by gunmen at his residence in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.

It was learnt that the abductors had yet to contact the family since his kidnap on Monday.

The police spokesman in Bayelsa State, SP Asinim Butswat, who confirmed the abduction, said they were intensifying efforts to rescue the victim and arrest the abductors.

Though the detail of the abduction was sketchy, the rate of kidnappings in Bayelsa State has been on the increase recently.

Just last Monday, the state Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Federal Otokito, regained freedom after spending five days in the kidnappers’ den.

He was said to have been kidnapped by the cartel operating illegal refineries in his community for trying to obstruct their operations.

Continue Reading

NEWS

FEC okays proposed amendments to 2022 budget

Published

on

The Federal Executive Council has approved a proposed amendment to the 2022 budget following the initial adjustments made by the National Assembly to the proposal submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2021.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the approved amendments to be transmitted to the National Assembly would request to repeal clauses 10 and 11 concerning the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit operations in the 2022 budget and as well restore what the lawmakers had deleted amounting to N103bn.

She said: “Clause 10 is referring to a provision that has been made that will enable the EFCC and NFIU be able to take 10% of whatever collections that they recover.

“We’re asking for that to be repealed because this is in direct contrast to the Acts of these two agencies and also it is in contravention of the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Finance Act 2021.

“Clause 11, on the other hand, is a provision that has been made that says that the Nigeria embassies and missions are now authorized by this Appropriation Act to expend funds allocated to them under Capital Components without the need to seek approval of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

She said FEC also ratified an instrument on diplomatic relations between Nigeria and South Africa with the coming of Africa’s Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Continue Reading

Trending