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Benue records ₦425 billion property loss amid alleged herders’ attacks on farmers

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Benue records ₦425 billion property loss amid alleged herders' attacks on farmers

In a startling revelation, the Benue State Government announced on Wednesday that property valued at over ₦425 billion has been destroyed due to the ongoing alleged herders’ attacks on farmers in the state.

The Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Mr. Aondowase Kunde, disclosed these staggering figures during a visit by Senior Course 46 Students of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, in Makurdi.

 

The ongoing crises have inflicted substantial damage, impacting property and farmlands in eight Local Government Areas of the state. Commissioner Kunde revealed that more than two million people have been displaced within this period, with many seeking refuge in IDP camps, host communities, and with relatives across the state.

 

Kunde painted a grim picture of the situation, stating, “Thousands of our people were killed during these attacks, thousands others sustained several degrees of injuries while hundreds are still missing.” He emphasized that the destruction included property worth ₦400 billion and crops worth ₦25 billion.

 

The root causes of the crisis, as outlined by Kunde, are multifaceted, including herders/farmers’ attacks, communal and land disputes, armed banditry, kidnapping, and cultism. The aftermath of the conflicts has not only led to loss of lives and property but has also caused food shortages in the state and the nation at large.

 

“It has also increased the number of out-of-school children and an increase in trafficking of persons, just to highlight a few,” he stated.

 

To address the humanitarian crisis, the state government, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is conducting a biometric enumeration and enrollment of IDPs. The exercise, covering six local government areas, aims to provide data for effective planning regarding the welfare and resettlement of IDPs. As of November 23, 77,109 individuals and 19,973 households have been successfully enumerated.

 

While commending the military for their efforts in securing the state through Operation Whirl Stroke, Commissioner Kunde called for new tactics to tackle the evolving security challenges. He highlighted concerns about the concentration of military operatives on highways, leaving the hinterlands vulnerable to criminal activities. Additionally, he raised issues about the use of primary schools as military bases, impacting normal academic activities.

 

“In most communities affected by humanitarian challenges, public primary schools have been converted to military bases, preventing normal academic activities from taking place,” Kunde noted.

 

He stressed the need for the prosecution of those arrested for committing crimes, advocating for severe punishment as a deterrent to others. Despite the efforts by the Nigerian Army, the challenge of insecurity remains, and Commissioner Kunde called for a comprehensive strategy to address the security situation in the state.

 

The leader of the visiting team, Cdr. Robert Obeya, Director of Logistics, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, stated that the group, comprising representatives from two African countries, was in the state for research as part of their requirements for completing Senior Course 46.

 

“The ministry of humanitarian affairs and disaster management plays a crucial role within the border framework of internal security. It is our sincere belief that by embracing this inclusive approach, we can forge a path towards a more secure, cohesive, and prosperous Benue,” Cdr. Obeya added.

 

The situation in Benue remains a cause for concern, and the government, along with collaborative efforts, seeks ways to address the multifaceted challenges affecting the state.

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EFCC, NUPENG Join forces against oil theft

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The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, (NUPENG)is seeking a collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC)to fight the scourge of illegal oil bunkering in the country.

 

 

The President of the Union, William Akporeha made the request when he led members of his executive to the corporate headquarters of the EFCC in Abuja.

 

 

 

Akporeha, who commended the EFCC boss for repositioning the anti-graft agency on the path of professionalism and rule of law, stressed the need to sanitise the oil and gas industry.

 

 

Akporeha itemised some of the challenges involved in the movement of petroleum products across the country, pleading with the EFCC to always come to the aid of truck drivers experiencing difficulties in the course of their works.

 

 

 

In his response, Olukoyede said it is important that major players in the oil and gas sector collaborated with the EFCC to confront the National Economic sabotage in the sector.

 

 

 

He assured members of the union that the Commission would not arrest or detain any truck or driver who did not dabble into shady deals, noting that the process of profiling suspected oil thieves and evaluation of petroleum products involved are often long drawn.

 

 

Olukoyede promises to continue to work with every stakeholder in the oil and gas sector to ensure sanity in their operations.

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Kidnap kingpin, Boderi, feared killed as troops battle terrorists in Kaduna

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Troops of the Nigerian Army operating in 1 Division area of responsibility have neutralised some insurgents and recovered more firearms and ammunition in encounters with the criminals in the General area of Igabi, Giwa and Birnin Gwari Local Government Areas of Kaduna State.

 

A Statement by the Army spokeperson, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu said a notorious terrorist, Boderi, who orchestrated many high profile kidnappings including those of the Yauri school girls, Greenfield University students and the Nigerian Defence Academy attack may have been killed alongside another kingpin, Bodejo in the ambush.

 

The statement said while on a fighting patrol along Maganda-Dausayi – Mugaba axis, troops came under fire from insurgents who employed rustled herds of cattle as shields while they engaged the troops with direct fire. Two of the terrorists were killed in the process and arms as well as other items including 1 Techno phone, 3 Hilux vehicles and motorcycle keys, wraps of substance suspected to be marijuana, tramadol tablets and the sum of 13,200 Naira only, were recovered.

 

Also, during the encounter, some of the rustled livestock used as shield by the insurgents were caught in the crossfire. Troops are still on the trail of the fleeing insurgents and remain resolute on ridding the area of armed violence according to the army.

 

In a separate operation, conducted by troops of 1 Division of the Nigerian Army on Wednesday 22 February 2024, the troops successfully ambushed marauding insurgents along the Bada – Riyawa axis on the Kaduna – Birnin Gwari Road. In the encounter, troops killed 6 insurgents and recovered arms and 19 motorcycles which were destroyed.

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Senate confirms Cardoso Chairman, CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee, 11 others as members

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The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the appointment of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Olayemi Cardoso, as Chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee alongside eleven others.

 

 

The confirmation follows the adoption of a report of the committee on Banking and other Financial Institutions presented by its chairman Adetokunbo Abiru (APC Lagos East).

 

 

Abiru, in his presentation, said the nominees possess the academic qualifications, technical knowledge and professional experience to be members of the Monetary Policy Committee.

 

 

Abiru further stated that the Senate Committee on Banking did not receive any petition against the nominees.

 

 

He added that the nominees were all cleared by the Nigeria Police Force and the State Security Services and possessed the Code of Conduct Bureau acknowledgment slip.

 

 

 

Other lawmakers in their submission charged the newly confirmed Members of the MPC to come up with proper economic policies to salvage the current situation in the country.

 

 

Those confirmed are CBN Deputy Governors, Mohamed Sani Abdullahi , Bala Bello, Emem Usoro and Philip Ikeazor.

 

 

Others are the Director General, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Jafiya Shehu, murtala Sabo Sagagi, Aloysius Uche, Aku Paulin, Mustapha Akinwumi and Bandele Amon.

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