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Herdsmen Not Behind Benue Latest Attack – Military

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Herdsmen were not behind the latest attack in Benue State, the Military High Command has said.

Our correspondent reports that 21 people were killed early hours of Tuesday in attacks on villagers in Guma, Logo and Tarka LGAs of Benue.

Three more dead bodies were recovered in Tyotugh in Tarka LGA where 15 of the corpses were earlier discovered, bringing the numbers of causalities to 24.

Chief of Defence, Training and Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major General Adeyemi Yekini, has however pledged the military’s commitment to find the perpetrators of the act.

He made the pledge when he paid an on the spot visit to scenes of the attacks.

“I’m here on the authority of the Chief of Defence Staff. He directed a team led by me to come here and find out what happened. I understand that 15 people or thereabout were killed in this community (Tyotugh). But as to who and who is responsible, to me, personally, is not herdsmen.

“I was pioneer Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke OPWS and I spent three years in this general area. And I know that what we have here is actually bandits attack but it will not be proper to pin it down to herdsmen. Because this area is a bit far from the normal grazing route of herdsmen. In fact, most of the herdsmen that we have in Benue usually operate at the boundary areas between Benue and Nasarawa states.

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“Tarka is far from the normal grazing route and I believe that herdsmen might not be responsible for this. But whichever group is responsible will be tracked down and neutralized. We will unmask which group did this, go after them That is why I’m here.

“All options are open. Our intelligence unit is working on it. But judging from my knowledge and working experience here, as I have said, I worked here for three good years and I can speak from experience. But like I said, our intelligence unit is working on it to unmask those who were responsible for the attack. And we will go after them decisively.

“To a large extent, we can say that there’s relative peace in Benue. Of course, there are still occasional attacks by bandits and all that but when you look at the overall security situation in Benue; one can say there’s relative peace in the state. However, there’s still need for improvement.”

“The instruction is clear; track them down and kill them. The President has made it clear that anybody found with weapons should be killed and that instruction has been passed to me and I have passed same to the operations commanders to unmask these people and bring them to swift justice,” he said.

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Over 100 injured in Spanish train collision

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At least 150 people have been injured after two trains collided in the Catalonia region of north-eastern Spain, emergency services have said.

The crash, which occurred around 07:50 (06:50 GMT), took place at a station on the outskirts of Barcelona.

Local media reported that the trains had been travelling in the same direction and collided while one was parked at the station.

It is unclear how the accident happened and officials have yet to comment.

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Emergency officials wrote on Twitter that the crash happened at the Montcada i Reixac – Manresa station, about 12km (7 miles) from the city centre.

Writing on Twitter, emergency services said that 150 people were “in a mild condition” and five others had been left with “in a less serious condition”.

They added that three people had been transferred to hospital.

Train traffic was briefly disrupted on several lines due to the accident, the national rail service Renfe said.

One passenger told RAC1, a local radio station, that “train was full and my carriage, which was the last one, was completely full” at the time of the collision.

BBC News
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ICPC Arraigns Rector, others over N6m fraud

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The Rector, Samuel Timi Johnson and the Acting Bursar, Werepere Martins Degbegha of the International Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, as well as one Yerikema Tony Tombra have been arraigned for their complicity in a Six Million Naira (N6,000,000) fraud.

The defendants were brought before Honorable Justice M.A Ayemieye of High Court 2, sitting in Yenagoa, by ICPC, on allegations bordering on ‘using office to confer corrupt advantage, conspiracy & making false statement.’

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ICPC, in a 7-count charge, is accusing the Rector and the Acting Bursar of conspiring and using their offices to confer corrupt advantage on themselves when they withdrew the above sum from the confers of the institute under the guise of spending the money on renovations of a viewing centre in Tropani Community while investigation revealed otherwise.

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Fuel queues to end soon, says NMDPRA

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The Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) yesterday said the queues at filling stations will soon disappear as marketers commence massive loading of petrol.

The Chief Executive Officer Farouk Ahmed spoke while leading a delegation of the Authority on a stock monitoring exercise within depots in Lagos.

The delegation visited the NIPCO, Total, Aiteo, OVH, Conoil, 11 Plc and HOGL depots in Apapa.

Farouk said: “I am comfortable with the load-out of petrol across the depots.
“The current distribution of petrol across the nation will address the issue of tightness in the market.”

The NMDPRA boss said all depots in Apapa had products and were loading massively to Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and other states.

He said three vessels were also discharging petrol at Apapa jetty to depots.

Farouk urged Nigerians to avoid panic buying.

According to him, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPCL) stock report shows that there is enough product.

Managing Director of NIPCO Plc, Mr Suresh Kumar, said the company had about 28 million litres in stock and has commenced loading to all NIPCO stations.

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”We are expecting two more vessels to come. This will increase our stock capacity to 55 million litres,” he said.

Also, 11 Plc is loading 100 trucks of petrol daily with nine million in stock, while Aiteo is loading 126 trucks daily with 20 million litres of stock capacity.

TotalEnergies loads 100 trucks daily with 65 million litres of stock, and OVH is loading 70 trucks with over 10 million litres.

Also yesterday, the Lagos Satellite Depot Branch of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), urged the Federal Government to ensure that all marketers are given a level playing ground to operate in the industry.

Chairman of the Lagos Satellite Depot, IPMAN, Mr. Akin Akinrinade, alleged that NNPCL of not meeting up the supply needs of marketers.

According to him, IPMAN members are now forced to buy the product from private depots at higher ex-depot prices.

He added that consultations are ongoing for the Association to take a position if the NNPCL does not arrange for IPMAN members to load petrol at the government price of N148.17 per litre within the next seven days.

“How do you explain the fact that major marketers and the NNPC retail outlets sell petrol at N170/litre and N169/litre at their stations, respectively, and still make a profit?

“Why is it impossible for the private depots to sell to IPMAN members at regulated prices since they get their supplies from the same source as major marketers?

“Nobody seems to be interrogating this obvious anomaly,” he said.

Flanked by other executive members of the Association, Akinrinade was categorical that his members have gotten to a point where they may boycott the depots “until the NNPC thinks it fit to arrange depots for us to load petrol at government approved price”.

Ex-depot petrol price soars to N235/litre

Private depots have increased the petrol price to N235 per litre.

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Besides, the regulator (NMDPRA) has not updated the sole importer – NNPCL – of PMS stock sufficiency record on its website since November 24.

The opaqueness is at variance with the transparency that the Federal Government and NNPCL prided themselves on when the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) came into force last year.

Besides, the NNPCL spokesman, Malam Garba Deen Muhammad, has been unreachable since the prolonged petrol scarcity began as Nigerians groan.

He has also refused to reply to the text messages asking to explain why the petrol scarcity persists.

Similarly, the NMDPRA Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Apollo Kimchi, has also not responded to our correspondent’s messages on the lingering scarcity.

IPMAN National Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi, said the NNPCL’s distribution tactics had aggravated the dearth of the product.

According to him, NNPCL only supplies petrol to private depot owners and major marketers.

Maigandi said: “The scarcity is because of the way NNPC is distributing the product.

“They are only giving it to private depot owners and when they give private depot owners they sell it at a higher rate to independent petroleum marketers.

“Presently, marketers are buying this product at the rate of N235 per litre.

“Since the time NNPC said the fuel will be available before the festivity period till now we have not seen any change.”

The Nation

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