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Niger Delta Avengers order fighters to prepare for war

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The militant group, Niger Delta Avengers has declared war against the Federal Government and pledged to attack and knock its forces down.

The group said that it has asked its fighters to prepare to fight the “enemy” as it claimed Nigerian authorities were not ready for dialogue.

The Avengers declared a ceasefire last year after staging major attacks on oil facilities crippling Nigeria’s oil output.
Although the Nigerian government has been holding talks for more than six months with Niger Delta leaders, the former militants have complained that no progress has been made.
In a statement posted on its site yesterday, NDA said it was set to resume hostilities.
Titled ‘OPERATIONS WALLS OF JERICHO AND HURRICANE JOSHUA’ NDA informed “the people of our Niger Delta, sane minds in Nigeria and the comity of nations that the remaining 11 months and couples of weeks in 2017 will be filled with surprises and a reconfiguration of the struggle for the liberation of our motherland.”
“Since, the declaration of cessation of hostilities in the region by all fighters and affiliates, it has been evidently clear that the Nigerian state is not ready for any form of dialogue and negotiation with our people to addressing the issues sustaining the unending sufferings and deprivation of the people of the Niger Delta.
“The world is aware that, after listening to calls from our Royal Fathers, Community Leaders, Stakeholders and members of the comity of nations especially the governments of the United States of America, Great Britain and the European Union, we halted all actions. This prospect for hope for a genuine dialogue and negotiations have been dashed and rejected.
“The world knows that PANDEF as team of critical stakeholders was mandated to engender a genuine dialogue and negotiations process that will be made of apolitical committed Niger Deltans to engage with the government and people of Nigeria, representatives of the International Oil Corporations and neutral observers. But this government decides to go around to politicising and blackmailing the process to forestall any genuine dialogue and negotiations.
“The world should be assured that, our next line of actions to redeem Operations Red Economy will be unannounced with surely overwhelming signatures to this government and humanity.
“The world is aware that the government of Nigeria has ear problems but we never knew that it has taken a detoriating deaf level dimensions. It is only through hard knocks we can speak to the Nigerian government henceforth”.
Continuing Avengers assured Niger Delta people that “we feel your pains from these dashed hopes of a genuine talk once again. All fighters and commands are hereby placed on high readiness in your webs of operations to hit and knock the enemy very hard.
“That is the way to discuss with a deaf, when he cannot understand your soft massage. We are determined to hit him very hard and deadly that even his eyes will shed blood, his ear will be more deafened and his heart shall quake; when he sees, hear and feel the outcome of our next activities.
“On this note, we are declaring “Operations Walls of Jericho and Hurricane Joshua” simultaneously to reclaim our motherland and dislodge all cleavages the Nigerian Ruling oligarchy has foisted on the region that is sustaining the ongoing primitive accumulation by dispossession.”

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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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