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NIGERIA

Again, gunmen kill seven in Southern Kaduna

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Gunmen suspected to be Fulani militia on Thursday night reportedly invaded Agwala Magayaki of Doka Avong in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State, killing seven persons, including an 85-year-old man. Some locals have been declared missing.

Several houses were also razed during the attack.

This was just as the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, earlier on Thursday said banditry attacks were occurring everywhere in the North-West states of the country. He, however, said the attacks in Southern Kaduna were laced with ethnic and religious colourations.

Giving the details of the latest attacks, a source said on Friday that apart from those killed, scores were injured during the attack which took place at about 8 pm when the villagers were sleeping.

The deceased had since been given mass burial while those who sustained varying degrees of injuries were admitted to the Idon General Hospital where they are currently receiving treatment.

This was fourth in the series of attacks launched by suspected Fulani militia on Southern Kaduna communities in Kaura and Zango-Kataf local government areas of the state.

Recently, gunmen invaded Kukum-Daji village in Kaura Local Government Area at about 10 pm and killed no fewer than 21 people at a wedding, mostly youths.

In another attack that took place last Monday in Gora Gan in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area, 10 people were killed, while on Wednesday, five people were killed in an attack on Kizachi-Chawai community, Kauru Local Government Area.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Police Command has yet to confirm the fresh attacks.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mohammed Jalige, did not take his calls or reply to a text message sent by our correspondent.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party minority caucus of the Kaduna State House of Assembly has said both the federal and state governments are not doing enough to stop the killings in the southern part of the state.

Emmanuel Kantiok, who spoke on behalf of the lawmakers at a press conference held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists Secretariat in Kaduna on Friday, said the citizens of Southern Kaduna whose lives were cut short deserved the President’s empathy.

“How would the government explain the killings in Zangon Kataf during a state government-imposed 24-hour curfew?” he asked, adding that it was high time the government deployed security operatives to unmasked the perpetrators of the killings.

He said, “Our attention has been drawn to the Presidency’s press statement dated July 21, 2020, on the spate of attacks and killings in Southern Kaduna which was signed by Mallam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity.

“The Presidency must accept that it has failed woefully in its primary duty of the protection of lives and property. Sadly, it is also failing to demonstrate empathy as a basic instinct required in the art of governance, especially in troubled times.

“The Presidency’s statement is most unfortunate under a democratic dispensation that should hold and fulfil the promise of how inviolable and sacred human life is.

“Garba Shehu and his co-travellers need not be reminded that the first duty of every President is the security and protection of the citizens of the country, irrespective of their inclination. It is, indeed, the whole duty of the President.”

Also, a former member of the House of Representatives, Sunday Marshall-Katung, said the Presidency should accept its failure on the killings and destruction of property in Southern Kaduna.

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NIGERIA

Ijaw nation vows to resist national water resources bill

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Following its earlier condemnation by different groups and individuals, the Ijaw Nations Development Group (INDG) has condemned the reintroduction of the National Water Resources Bill in the National Assembly, vowing to resist it vehemently.

The INDG described the bill as not only provocative but also a complete distortion of Nigeria’s federalism, insisting that reintroduction of the bill was the height of insensitivity to the plight of ordinary Nigerians.

Ijaw stakeholders, who stated this yesterday during a virtual meeting attended by over 100 participants, lamented that the Federal Government sent the bill to the National Assembly without engaging the states and peoples that are the direct stakeholders but only acknowledged them as footnotes.

The Keynote Speaker at the meeting, Anthony George-Ikoli (SAN), described the bill as a deleterious agenda.

“Taking a critical look at the National Water Resources Bill 2020, currently in the legislature and our national consciousness, I am compelled to align myself with more speakers, who in recent times, have come to the conclusion that such a bill can only be the product of an undisclosed, deleterious agenda,” he said.

He explained that true federalism usually serves to recognize the rights of the constituent units to ownership and protection of the same, noting that by its vesting sections, the bill represented an egregious distortion of federalism.

“The Federal Government has not only deprived the states of the minerals and mineral oil in the land within their territories, but it is also now plotting to take the only resource left for the states to administer for the benefit of their people through the National Water Resources Bill,” he added.

He said the time was past when the Ijaw nation would sit aloof and watch, but it was time to set an agenda for its legislators at all levels.

Another speaker and Niger Delta activist, Ann Kio-Briggs, said it was disheartening that the Federal Government was tampering with the rights of Ijaw people and the Niger Delta region.

“Water represents life and belongs to my people, we live on and by the water. For the first time, the Ijaw have to wake up because they have taken our land, oil, and air through pollution and now, they want to take our water. It is our responsibility to protect our rights,” she stated.

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NIGERIA

Finally, APC concedes defeat, admits Edo poll free, fair

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The governing All Progressives Congress on Monday conceded defeat 24 hours after Governor Godwin Obaseki, of the Peoples Democratic Party, was declared the winner of the Edo Governorship Election.

Chairman of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee, Mai Mala Buni, in a statement titled, “Edo State Governorship Election: Victory for Democracy,” which he signed, congratulated Obaseki over his victory.

Buni said,  “Edo State Governorship election is over, the winner has been declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the person of the Mr. Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the People Democratic Party.

“We hereby congratulate the winner of the election, the people of Edo State and all Nigerians. The peaceful conduct of the election and its outcome represent a victory for Nigeria’s democracy

“As a party, we join our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, to affirm our ‘commitment to free and fair elections’ in order to strengthen ‘the foundation for our political and moral authority.

“ We commend INEC, our security agencies, and all political parties that contested the election for the successful conduct of the election. As a governing party, we will take every step necessary to support the Federal Government to consolidate all the gains achieved. “

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NIGERIA

Government has no business running refineries — Osinbajo

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The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said the problems associated with Nigeria’s refineries will persist if the Federal Government continues to own and run them.

He noted that experience has shown that refineries were better managed by the private sector hence the need for the government to restrict itself to providing the regulatory framework for such businesses to thrive.

Osinbajo said this at a virtual meeting organized for the All Progressives Congress bloggers and social media influencers at the APC National Secretariat, in Abuja, Monday.

According to him, it was time for the nation to do more to develop its gas and renewable energy resources which are cheaper and cleaner.

He said, “If the refinery is left in the hands of the government, it will continue to experience the same problem it is experiencing now. I do not think that it is the business of the government to run the refinery. It should be the business of the private sector, which is why we are trying to focus on assisting the private sector to develop modular refineries.”

Speaking further Osinbajo said, “There is a 100,000-barrel capacity refinery about to come on stream and we hope it will by the next year. It is completely private and closely located near the Port Harcourt refinery so that it can share the facilities of the Port Harcourt refinery. We are hopeful it will come on stream in the first quarter of next year.

“There are also six modular refineries that are almost ready. There is a Niger Delta Petroleum refinery in Delta state, there is another one in Imo, there is also another modular refinery in Edo State.

“We engaged the oil-producing communities to find a new vision for the Niger Delta and we tried to encourage modular refinery that will give the people in the oil-producing states a stake so that the modular refinery is not just private but the people there have some stake and equity.

“The whole idea is to support as many private refineries as possible. We are also waiting for the Dangote Refinery with 250,000 barrels capacity which is bigger than all of the government refineries put together.

“In the next two or three months, we will see the private sector playing a bigger role and things will quickly improve. We hope that this particular effort will complete the refurbishment of the refineries which will be completed soon but I am more hopeful of the private effort been the key to the future.”

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