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30 killed as herdsmen attack Ebonyi/Benue border communities

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At least 30 people were killed on Sunday when gunmen suspected to be herdsmen attacked some Ebonyi communities.

The gunmen attacked Odoke, Ndiobasi and Obakotara communities in Ebonyi local government area.

Sources in the area said the gunmen struck the three communities around 3am on Sunday morning.

The communities share boundary with Ado local government area in Benue State.

A resident in the area, Uchenna Okpokwu said the herdsmen invaded with guns and machetes.

“They came into Ndiobasi village and started slaughtering the people. After slaughtering them, they entered Odoke, from that Odoke, they went to Obapta”.

“Currently, people that were slaughtered in Ndiobasi are up to 30 according to the video clips on the incident but Odoke and Obapta are very far and nobody was able to entered those two villages to capture those that were killed.

“When I received call from one of my villagers over the attack, he told me that the herdsmen are currently at Ojaba forest and that place is their hideout because there is no other way for them to escape.

“The herdsmen are currently in that forest as at the time I was called on phone”

“I was told our local government Chairman went with some security men but couldn’t get to the affected villages. If there is a way security agents will be sent to the affected villages, it will be good.

“Currently, I have been trying to reach my family members on phone but their lines are not through and all of them are in the village,” he said.

Another resident, Onyibe Jeremiah lamented no action was taken to protect the communities despite earlier warnings of thw herdsmen impending attacks.

Hé said, “One young man from Enugu state that saw the herdsmen when they were coming into the Ebonyi villages made the voice call that went viral to alert the state but it appears that it was ignored which was why these attacks were recorded despite the alert.

“Nobody took that voice serious and the herdsmen came and killed not less than 30 people now. They are currently attacking more villages.”

The Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT) confirmed two children were killed while being taken to the hospital for treatment.

It said it has scrambled a team to the area to help in treatment and evacuation of victims.

“Terrible scenes at Ohagelode Health Center this morning. An attack on an Izzi village inside Benue State, allegedly by herdsmen, resulted in many casualties.

“Many were carried all the way to Ohagelode Health Center. The Uloanwu Ambulance was called and eleven 11 person’s, six adults and five children, were transported to AEFUTHA in Abakaliki.

“Sadly two children already died after reaching AEFUTHA. An AMURT team of doctors, lead by Dr. Omogo, the MD of AMURT has rushed to Ohagelode. We are trying to support the wounded carried to AEFUTHA, the statement by AMURT West Africa”, the statement said.

Chairman of Ebonyi local government area, Chinyere Nwaogbaga confirmed the incident.

She said she went to the area and helped to evacuate many of the residents from the area to hospital.

“Yes, the communities are Izzi(a clan in Ebonyi) speaking communities but they are geographically located in Benue. Since they are indigenes of Ebonyi though located in Benue, the State governor directed we go and bring them to hospital and treat them and also give them relive materials”.

She said more buses have been sent to the area by the local government, Ebonyi Speaker and the state government to evacuate more victims.

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FG to begin rehabilitation work on part of Enugu-Onitsha Expressway

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The Federal Controller of Works in Enugu State, Olufemi Oyekanmi, has said the ministry will soon begin the rehabilitation of the dilapidated Ugwu-Onyeama portion of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.

Mr Oyekanmi said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Friday, saying the project would ease the plight of motorists plying the road.

He said the ministry had awarded to RCC Nigeria Ltd, the contract for the rehabilitation of the 15km stretch of the expressway from 9th Mile to Enugu.

He said the contract also included the construction of a state-of-the-art bypass to take care of the perennial traffic gridlock at 9th Mile during Yuletide.

The remedial work at Ugwu-Onyeama would start on June 21 and run to the end of the year, while the second contract would begin after the rains in October, Mr Oyekanmi said.

He said he had informed the leadership of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Petroleum Tanker Drivers and other interested groups in the area about the federal government’s plan to fix the road.

He said he had informed the leadership of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Petroleum Tanker Drivers and other interested groups in the area about the federal government’s plan to fix the road.

According to him, major repair work will start on the most critical areas of the road on Monday. “As a matter of fact, we will start moving equipment and materials to that place.

“The planned palliative will solve the problem of accidents that are not related to recklessness around Ugwu-Onyeama.

Reacting to the development, the Chairman of IPMAN, Enugu Depot Community, Chinedu Anyaso, thanked the Federal Government for its “timely intervention” on the road.

The Enugu depot community is in-charge of Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi states.

Mr Anyaso said his leadership had a meeting with Mr Oyekanmi who assured them that remedial work would soon begin on the Enugu-bound lane of the dual carriageway.

He expressed the hope that the repairs would bring relief to oil marketers and petroleum tanker drivers in the South-east.

According to him, oil marketers and tanker drivers have suffered huge financial losses as a result of road accidents on the road.

He said since the beginning of the year, over 20 product-laden tankers had fallen on the road, resulting in spill, fire and vehicle damage.

Mr Anyaso said the association was planning a protest to show its bitterness over the situation before it learnt about the federal government’s planned intervention.

“You know we rely on other depots for supply because Enugu depot has not functioned for about 15 years.

“So, good roads are important to us because it will reduce our business risks and save the lives of millions of people,” the IPMAN chairman said.

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I sold about N70,000 bread daily to bandits when Kaduna students were abducted – Baker

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Hassan Magaji, a baker in the Galadimawa area of Kaduna State, has confessed to supplying bread to bandits.

Magagi, who was recently arrested by the Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector-General of Police, said he sold bread worth N70,000 to the bandits during the time that some university students were abducted.

It is not clear if he was referring to students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, who spent over a month in captivity.

“I observed that whenever they kidnapped many people, like during the kidnap of those university students, the quantity of bread that they bought increased. During that period I delivered up to N70,000 worth of bread everyday until recently when it dropped to N50,000 again.”

“I have not benefitted much except that I married a new wife and I was able to save money to take care of two wives. To stop banditry, government should recruit more security men. We prefer police because they know the job.”

Bandits have been terrorising residents of Kaduna and its environs.

On Saturday, angry residents blocked the ever-busy Abuja-Kaduna highway to protest incessant attacks.

Despite repeated assurances from government, armed gangs have been making life a hell for people.

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FG kicks as Kwara, Bayelsa fail to implement homegrown school programme

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Federal  Government has Kwara and Bayelsa states among other states of the federation, over non-implementation of its National Home Grown School Programme in their respective states.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya U Farouk, said this on Friday in Ilorin, Kwara State, during a courtesy visit to the state Deputy Governor, Kayode Alabi.

Alabi who represented  the governor urged the Federal Governemnt to be patient with the state, agreeing that the advantages inherent in the programme are phenomenal.

He said that the programme would increase enrolment of pupils in schools, boost the economy of the state and generate employment.

The minister,Hajia Farouk had hinged the state’s delay in the enrolment on initial non compliance with the programme’s guidelines and Covid-19 pandemic.

The minister said that “with the relaxation of lockdown caused by COVID-19 and resumption of schools, the state will soon be there.”

Represented by Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National and Social Investment Programme Dr Nasir Mahmud, the minister said that the state recently expressed its preparedness to come on board the programme.

Hajia Farouk said that based on the data available from the state no fewer than 96,000 pupils in public schools from primary one to three would benefit from the programme, adding that over 1500 schools would also be enrolled.

She added that primary one to three pupils are the targets of the school feeding programme in the country.

Said she: “Recently, the state communicated to the ministry that it is ready and we are here to assess the status of the preparedness and if there is any support we need to give, the ministry will give it to make the state come on board.

“So far, we are very happy with what we saw. We just debriefed the state Deputy Governor about our findings. There are very few gaps here and there and we believe together with the national and state governments will soon address them to make sure they state begins the programme. In a matter of weeks I am confident that the programme will commence in the state.”

She said the programme had steadied enrolment of pupils in public schools in the federation.

“We have seen tremendous improvement in schools enrolment in the country. The other objective of the programme is to make sure students stay in schools resulting in learning improvement,” the minister added.

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