Category: Politics

Over 25 Killed Again by unknown gunmen in fresh attack on Benue communities

According to reports, at least 25 people were slain in an early-morning attack on Imande Mbakange and nearby communities in the Kastina-Ala Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state, on Saturday. The attackers were unidentified gunmen.

In addition to injuring numerous attack survivors, the assailants are said to have destroyed numerous homes and farmlands in the impacted towns.

According to information obtained from a local source, the gunmen broke into the neighborhoods at around 4 am when the residents were still in bed, firing randomly to rouse them.

He said: “The gunshots woke the people from sleep and as they made efforts to flee for their lives, anyone they caught up with was killed.

“As they killed the people, they also set their houses and nearby farmland on fire. As we speak the place is like a war zone. The communities have been deserted and residents of neighbouring communities are also fleeing for fear of being attacked.”

Confirming the development, the Chairman of Kastina-Ala LGA, Mr. Alfred Atera who condemned the attack appealed to security agencies to intensify patrols in the communities to end the carnage.

The Chairman in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Tsar Tartor said “in the early hours of Saturday there was an attack on Imande Mbakange community and other neighbouring communities in Mbacher Council Ward by unknown gunmen which claimed at least 25 lives and left several others injured and houses burnt with properties worth millions.

“The Chairman describe the senseless killings by the unknown gunmen as inhumane and barbaric and calls on all security formations to double their efforts in combating the renewed attacks as a matter of urgency. The chairman calls on security operatives to intensify surveillance in the areas prone to attacks to avert further breakdown of law within the Local Government.

“The Chairman while expressing his profound sympathy to families of the victims, promises to continue to support and implement every lawful means in a bid to permanently end the senseless killings of innocent people of Katsina-Ala Local Government and all her inhabitants.”

Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent, SP, Catherine Anene confirmed the attack but said she was yet to receive full details of the incident.

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Gov Yahaya Bello’s convoy attacked by Gunmen, security aides injured

The Kogi Government reported on Saturday that gunmen attacked the governor’s convoy on Saturday along the Abuja-Lokoja route.

It stated that the strike happened close to a naval base, some distance from Lokoja, the state capital.

Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, the Kogi Commissioner for Information, revealed the information in a statement issued in Lokoja.

Fanwo alleged that the gunmen were political thugs of an opposition political party in the state, the  Social Democratic Party (SDP).

The commissioner said the incident which occurred at about 12.30 p.m.,  left several people including security aides injured and taken to the hospital for medical attention.

“The gunmen suspected to be political thugs of the SDP, having sighted the convoy of  Bello approaching,  blocked the road and started shooting at the convoy.

“A Tundra branded with the logo and flags of the party also blocked the governor’s vehicle and the occupants were armed with rifles and short guns.

“But thank God our governor left the scene unscathed and there is no cause for panic.

“Some security aides and other aides attached to the governor sustained some degrees of injuries and have been rushed to medical facilities for attention.

“We urge the people of Kogi to remain calm as security agents are in full control to ensure the arrest of the hoodlums behind the attack, ” he said.

Fanwo said the state government would not allow any breakdown of law and order but would do all it could to bring the attackers to justice.

According to him, the governor has warned that no APC member should get involved in any reprisal attack as insecurity from any quarter will be met with stiff penalties.

Responding, Mr Kunle Afolayo, Media Aide to the  SDP Governorship Candidate, Mr Yakubu Ajaka, denied the allegations saying:  “It was the other way round because it was his political thugs that attacked us.”

 “Is it possible for an opposition political party to attack a governor just like that?

“We were on our way to the Palace of Maigari in Lokoja from Koton Karfe this afternoon, when the governor’s convoy, heading to Lokoja from Abuja, met us on the way and launched an attack on us just like that.

“God knows the truth. It’s unfortunate that APC administration in Kogi is using government might against us and to lie against us for a crime they committed against us, ” the media aide said.

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Avoid Buhari’s mistakes, groups advice Tinubu

The Rule of Law Accountability Advocacy Center, which is run by civil society organizations, has encouraged President Bola Tinubu to appoint the Inspector General of Police without repeating the mistakes made by the previous administration.

In a joint statement dated June 2, 2023, they stated that “the recently sworn-in President, Bola Tinubu, must avoid the wrong, blatantly illegal, and unconstitutional steps of the past Buhari regime which led to controversies and judicial challenge of appointments made by the President.”

The groups noted that the appointment of IGPs by successive administrations has often “triggered avoidable controversies that have been allowed to fester over the years,” which had now led to the call for the intervention of the President as Chairman of the Police Counsel.

They argued that the appointment of IGP Usman Baba by President Muhammadu Buhari had been untidy, following the shock sacking of his predecessor, former IGP Muhammed Adamu, while on assignment in Imo State on April 6, 2021, adding that IGP Baba’s appointment was also nepotistic, “against the letter and spirit of Nigeria’s Federal Character, a constitutional imperative”.

Again the CSOs said the IGP’s appointment and extension of tenure, contravened section 18, paragraph 8 of the Police Act 2020, which stated that every police officer shall, on recruitment or appointment serve in the Nigeria Police Force for 35 years, or until the age of 60, whichever is earlier.

“As at the date of his appointment Usman Baba was 58 years old and following the rules, should have retired in two years, while he was stepping into an office with a four-year tenure.

In appointing Baba or extending his tenure – as with previous similar appointments or extensions, there was no evidence that President Buhari sought the concurrence of the Police Council as is required by both the Constitution and the Police Act”.

The groups also faulted the appointments of all three IGPs of Police appointed by the Buhari administration, noting that the President had prematurely retired the Assistant and Deputy Inspectors-General of Police to fulfil the requirements of paragraphs 2 and 6, Section 7 of the Police Act 2020, which required that officers must be no less than the rank of an AIG to be appointed Inspector-General of Police.

The CSOs therefore called on the President to avoid the pitfalls of the previous administration, and ensure adherence to the Police Act 2020, adding that appointments must only be based on capacity and ability, rather than

“In appointing a new IGP to replace Baba, President Tinubu should avoid a repeat of the pitfalls, errors, and brazen illegalities of the past. In short, appointments must be based on legal and constitutional stipulations, merit, competence, qualifications, seniority, and existing line of

We offer this advice to help this new administration chart a refreshingly new course, which, to us, is in tandem with the President’s commitment to the rule of law and the undertaking he publicly gave in his inauguration address on May 29, 2023”.

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I will not join APC, says Wike

After meeting with President Bola Tinubu on Friday, Nyesom Wike, the recently-resigned governor of Rivers State, denied rumors that he intended to defect from the People’s Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

Four days after Tinubu took office as president of Nigeria, Wike visited with him to give support along with Seyi Makinde and James Ibori.

Wike, a PDP leader, disputed reports that he intended to move to the APC and denied that doing so was on the agenda of the meeting.

When asked by State House correspondents if switching to the APC was on the agenda of the meeting he had, Wike replied: “No. No plans. Nothing like that in the offing.

“We are Nigerians and we have come to give the president support.

“That is what is required. There is no big deal about that.”

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Subsidy Removal: Be patient with Tinubu,we feel your pain too -APC-USA urges Nigerians

Following the outcry over the new pump price of premium motor spirit, often known as gasoline, after the elimination of subsidies, the US chapter of the All Progressives Congress has urged Nigerians to have patience with President Bola Tinubu.

The Nigeria Labour Congress threatened to go on a statewide strike on Wednesday, prompting the appeal.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited was particularly warned by the NLC that if the price rise for PMS to N184 per litre was not reversed, the NLC would not rescind its decision to downshift.

In response, the Federal Government has said it is considering an increase in the national minimum wage to reflect the current economic realities in the country.

Speaking with our correspondent, the Chairman of APC-USA, Prof. Taye Balofin, and his United Kingdom counterpart, Tunde Doherty, appealed to Nigerians to be patient as President Bola Tinubu works to stir the ship out of troubled water.
The two APC stalwarts appealed when they visit the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, at the secretariat.

Balofin stated that it was easier for people to believe those of them in the Diaspora cannot relate to the pains Nigerians are passing through at home.

The APC-USA chairman argued that people buy fuel for as much as $3.50 per litre in America because the country does not pay any marketer for subsidy.

He said, “I trust that the president will put some measures in place to cushion the effect of subsidy so it doesn’t go overboard. It is only a matter of matter. In other countries, especially in the United States, the cost of fuel ranges from $3.40 to $3.50 per litre when compared to what we buy in Nigeria. Again, the important thing is that if there is fuel, even if it is expensive, they are going to balance the equilibrium as soon as possible. But I trust President Tinubu is a strategic person who knows what to do and how to manage Nigerians and resources. I believe we will start enjoying the benefit any time soon.

“The expectation of the impact of the subsidy which we already know was the decision of the representatives of Nigerians who are represented in the House of Representatives and Senators. They have gone through the rudiments of the removal of subsidies. Therefore it is the responsibility of the congressmen to appeal to Nigerians about the impact of the removal.

Of course, we are going to get there and I know it will help Nigerians. I just want to plead with all Nigerians to be patient and have an understanding of the situation.”

Doherty corroborated the position of Balofin when he said the United Kingdom does not also pay subsidies on its petroleum products.

The APC-UK chairman described petrol subsidy as an ‘infectious enjoyment’ that has been allowed to thrive for too long in the country.

“We have to be very factual and truthful to Nigerians at the start of this regime. The subsidy has not helped us in any way. Rather it has become a kind of infectious enjoyment in Nigeria because the determinant of pricing is the marketers. Now that there is no subsidy, I agree that it might be very difficult for people at this time. But I can tell you that President Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is in charge of the situation now. Within the next few months, he will cushion the effect of what Nigerians have suffered.

“For instance, where we came from in the United Kingdom and the United States, the prices are not equal because there is no subsidy anywhere. In the UK today, we have Costco Oil selling for £1.3 and we have Sabre (Oil and Gas) selling for £1.7. So it is a liberalised economy with petrol. We cannot continue to let Nigerians suffer. We have to start by telling Nigerians the truth about the oil subsidy. It doesn’t take us anywhere. It is just pretentiously put us in a future we cannot predict.

“There is no subsidy where we live in the Diaspora and we enjoy fuel. We have never experienced fuel scarcity. The time for us to enjoy that ‘Renewed Hope’ is here,” he said.

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Breaking: Tinubu announces Gbajabiamila as Chief of Staff 

Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has been appointed Chief of Staff of the Federation by President Bola Tinubu.

Remember that Gbajabiamila was reportedly appointed as the COS of the newly inaugurated President on Thursday?

The reports claimed that the speaker was introduced as the COS at a meeting between Tinubu and security chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Gbajabiamila declined to confirm the claims and said: “Let’s allow the system to work.”

“Be patient, be patient. The system works in its own way. Let’s allow the system to work,” the lawmaker added.

“We’ll see, we’ll see, we’ll see. Thank you very much.”

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Dog lover blast Hilda Baci, for cooking, eating dog meat

A dog lover has taken issue with chef Hilda Baci and influencer Enioluwa for allegedly turning her “babies” into a delicacy.

“I’m right now extremely furious. Members of the My Dog and I group donned their shirts during the cook-a-Thon to show their support for Hilda. At the cook-a-thon, dogs were there to support Hilda. Imagine my astonishment then when I scrolled through Instagram this evening and saw that Hilda had shared a photo of herself and Eniola devouring a dog on a news blog.

“I’m disappointed in Eniola because you are supposedly the president of Gen Z. He insisted he did not eat the dog, but I will never be found on a table where dog meat is being served. You won’t see me there for nothing. So whether he ate the dog (meat), I don’t know about that. But even sitting at a table where the delicacy being served is dog meat. That’s a taboo.”

She expressed fear that dogs may be at risk coming around Hilda as all she thinks of when she sees them are spices to garnish their meat and what delicacy to make with them.

She called for Hilda to be ‘cancelled’ for giving a wrong representation of Nigeria as a country of dog eaters.

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Obi presents results of 6 states, 115 LGAs as evidence proving his claims

In order to prove his victory in the presidential election held on February 25, Labour Party candidate Mr. Peter Obi produced certified copies of the results from six federation-wide states on Thursday.

The results, which came from 115 Local Government Areas (LGAs), were presented by Obi as evidence before the Abuja-based Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).

Obi’s legal team was headed by Prof. Awa Kalu, SAN, although one of his attorneys, Chief Emeka Opoko, SAN, submitted the Forms EC8A from the Bar, which contained the election results.

The first set of results of the election that was tendered before the court by the LP candidate who came third in the presidential election was from 15 out of 22 LGAs of Rivers State.
Despite opposition by all the respondents in the matter, Justice Haruna Tsammani-led’s five-member panel admitted the Rivers state results and marked them as Exhibits PD 1 to PD 15.

Obi and the LP equally tendered results from 23 LGAs in Benue state, which were also admitted in evidence and marked as Exhibits PC 1 to PC 23, while results from 18 LGAs in Cross River State were added in evidence as Exhibits PD1 – PD 18.

On Niger state, Obi tendered Forms EC8A from 23 LGAs and they were admitted in evidence as Exhibits PE-1 to PE 23, as well as that of 20 LGAs in Osun state which were marked as Exhibits PF 1 – PF 20.

The last set of results the petitioners adduced and tendered in evidence before the court were from 16 LGAs in Ekiti and they were marked as Exhibits PG 1 to PG 16.

The Justice Tsammani-led panel subsequently adjourned further proceedings in the matter till Friday.

All the respondents said they would give reasons why they challenged the admissibility of the presidential election results that Obi and the LP tendered in evidence, in their final written address.

Cited as 1st to 4th respondents in the petition, are; the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima and the All Progressives Congress, APC.

It will be recalled that Obi and the LP had indicated their decision to call a total of 50 witnesses in the matter.

Specifically, Obi, in the joint petition he filed with the LP, is contending that President Tinubu was not the valid winner of the election.

The petitioners, in the case, marked: CA/PEPC/03/2023, equally maintained that President Tinubu was not qualified to participate in the presidential contest.

According to the petitioners, at the time Tinubu’s running mate, Shettima, became the Vice Presidential candidate, he was still the nominated candidate of the APC for the Borno Central Senatorial election.

The petitioners further challenged Tinubu’s eligibility to contest the presidential election, alleging that he was previously indicted and fined the sum of $460,000.00 by the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in Case No: 93C 4483, for an offence involving dishonesty and drug trafficking.

On the ground that the election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices and non-compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act, 2022, the petitioners argued that INEC acted in breach of its own Regulations and Guidelines.

The Petitioners argued that the electoral body was in the course of the conduct of the presidential poll, mandatorily required to prescribe and deploy technological devices for the accreditation, verification, continuation and authentication of voters and their particulars as contained in its Regulations.

They are, therefore, praying the court to among other things, declare that all the votes recorded for Tinubu and the APC, were wasted votes owing to his non-qualification/disqualification.

“That it is determined that on the basis of the remaining votes (after discountenancing the votes credited to the 2nd Respondent) the 1st Petitioner (Obi) scored a majority of the lawful votes cast at the election and had not less than 25% of the votes cast in at least 2/3 of the States of the Federation, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and satisfied the constitutional requirements to be declared the winner of the 25th February 2023 presidential election.

“That it be determined that the 2nd Respondent having failed to score one-quarter of the votes cast at the presidential election in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja was not entitled to be declared and returned as the winner of the presidential election held on 25th February 2023.

In the alternative, the petitioners, want an order cancelling the election and compelling INEC to conduct a fresh election in which Tinubu, Shettima and the APC, listed as 2nd, 3rd and 4th Respondents, respectively, shall not participate.

They urged the court to declare that since Tinubu was not duly elected by a majority of the lawful votes cast in the election, therefore, his return as the winner of the presidential election, was unlawful, unconstitutional and of no effect whatsoever.

In a further alternative prayer, the petitioners want the court to hold that the presidential election was void on the ground that it was not conducted substantially in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, and the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Likewise, the applied for an order, “cancelling the presidential election conducted on 25th February 2023 and mandating the 1st Respondent to conduct a fresh election for the President, the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

Meanwhile, both Obi and his Vice Presidential candidate, Baba Ahmed Datti, were in court on Thursday to observe the proceeding.

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US President falls on Air Force stage

President Joe Biden fell face-first on stage at the Air Force Academy in Colorado on Thursday after stumbling over a barrier, although he seemed unharmed.

Biden, 80, had just shook hands with a student and started back to his seat after giving the military academy grads’ commencement address when he slipped and collapsed.

Air Force soldiers assisted him in standing back up, and he didn’t seem to need any more assistance.

As he rose, Biden pointed to the object that had apparently caught his foot. It resembled a small black sandbag on the stage.

White House Communications Director Ben LaBolt tweeted shortly afterward that “he’s fine. There was a sandbag on stage while he was shaking hands.”

Biden is the oldest person ever in the presidency and is seeking a second term in the 2024 election. His official doctor’s report this year declared him physically fit and he exercises regularly.

In November 2020, shortly after winning his election against the incumbent Donald Trump, Biden broke his foot while playing with a pet dog.

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Subsidy will end Nigeria if not removed — Shettima

As many state governments and some stakeholders kicked against the policy, yesterday, Vice President Kashim Shettima stressed the need to end fuel subsidies saying failure to do so would end the country.

Speaking to journalists on his first day in office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Shettima said Nigeria needs to get rid of fuel subsidy, arguing that the subsidy regime was not benefiting Nigerians but has been subsidizing the lifestyle of the rich.
He, however, assured that despite expected opposition from beneficiaries of fuel subsidy President Tinubu would frontally address the menace.

His words: “The President has already made pronouncements yesterday (Monday) on the issue of the fuel subsidy. The truth is that it is either we get rid of subsidy or the fuel subsidy gets rid of the Nigerian nation.

“In 2022, we spent $10billion subsidizing the ostentatious lifestyle of the upper class of the society. “We will get fierce opposition from those benefiting from the oil subsidy scam but where there is a will, there is a way. Be rest assured that our President is a man of strong will and conviction.

“In the fullness of time you will appreciate his noble intentions for the nation. The issue of fuel subsidy will be frontally addressed. The earlier we do so, the better.”

However, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, in a statement by its President and Secretary General, Festus Osifo and Nuhu Toro, respectively, warned that it is a joke taken too far.

The body while assessing the President’s inaugural speech, said “”While listening to Tinubus’s Inaugural Address, we were at first encouraged by his pledge to lead as a servant of the people (and not as a ruler) and to always consult and dialogue, especially on key and knotty national issues. But we were subsequently taken aback, even horrified, when he announced the withdrawal of subsidy on petroleum products.

“If by this, he means increases in pump price and the exploitation of the people by unregulated and exploitative deregulated prices, then it’s a joke taken too far. It is not for nothing the Buhari government pushed this to the new administration. But we expect the Tinubu government to be wise on such a sensitive issue and be more explicit in its pronouncement to avoid contradictory interpretation when comparing his written statement, what he said and the provision in 2023 Appropriation Act.

“We dare say that this is a very delicate issue that touches on the lives, if not very survival, of particularly the working people. Hence, it ought to have been treated with utmost caution, and should have been preceded by robust dialogue and consultation with the representatives of the working people, including professionals, market people, students and the poor masses.

“Accordingly, we hereby demand that President Tinubu should tarry awhile to give room for robust dialogue and consultation and stakeholders’ engagement.”

“This new administration cannot be seen to be speaking from both sides of its mouth, we urge President Tinubu to be a President with a human face,” it added.

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