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Benue Security Council calls for release of repentant militiamen

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The Benue State Security Council rose from an expanded meeting on Friday with a call for the release of all repentant youths arrested on Tuesday by men of Operation Ayem A Kpatuma on their way to being granted amnesty by the state government.

The Security Council also called for the release of vehicles and all items confiscated by the army during the operation, including the official Hilux vehicle of the Executive Chairman of Katsina-Ala Local Government Council, Hon. Alfred Atera, in which the late Terwase Akwaza also known as Gana was being conveyed to Makurdi.

The call came just as Mzough-U-Tiv (MUT), a tiv socio-cultural organisation, condemned Gana’s killing, describing it as extra-judicial.

Briefing journalists at the Government House Makurdi after the Security Council meeting, Governor Samuel Ortom said the council had resolved to demand the release of the affected youths to enable them to complete the amnesty process.

Governor Ortom said the people of Sankera had expressed deep concern about the circumstances and stories surrounding the arrest and killing of Gana, noting however that government would continue to interface with the army for an amicable resolution of the impasse.

He stated that Council also resolved that the amnesty programme be extended to other parts of the state, saying that a committee had been constituted to ensure the training and reintegration of the repentant youths into the society.

The Governor appreciated the stakeholders from Sankera who were part of the amnesty programme for the confidence-building which he said had enhanced peace in the area.

Council also called for the beefing up of security in Sankera and other border communities to forestall breakdown of law and order

Condemning Gana’s killing by the military, MUT recalled that he was waylaid on his way to Makurdi for an amnesty programme and killed by military men belonging to 4 Special force Battalion in Doma, Nassarawa State.

Speaking to newsmen in Makurdi yesterday, the President- General of Mzough- U- Tiv (MUT) CP Iorbee Ihagh (rtd) described the killing of Gana who voluntarily surrendered as “extra-judicial murder”.

The Tiv tribal leader stated that even in war situation, once an enemy surrenders, the worst situation is he will be taken as prisoner of war and made to face trial.

He described the statement by military which claimed they exchanged gun fire with Gana as totally false, saying the wanted leader was in the company of Katsina Ala Local Government chairman and traditional rulers before he was taken out and killed .

He called for a judicial commission of inquiry to determine who and how Gana was killed, saying it was an affront on Tiv nation.

He said: “There is amnesty programme in South-south, Southeast, North and even Boko Haram are granted amnesty plus N500,000 given to them. So why should the amnesty in Benue be a different case?”

CP Ihagh also called on the military to immediately release those who were arrested along side with Gana to continue with the amnesty programme.

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NIGERIA

No going back on Water Resources Bill – FG

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The Federal Government has declared it will go ahead with the Water Resources Bill.

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed told reporters the bill was not designed to cause water wars in the country.

He said the bill is a panacea to likely water conflicts in the country.

He said critics of the bill have either not read it or might be mischievous.

He said there is no hidden agenda behind the bill.

He said it is not a subterfuge reintroduction of RUGA.

Mohammed made the clarifications at a joint briefing with the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu in Abuja.

He said: “There is nothing new about the National Water Resources Bill. This is because it is an amalgamation of Water Resources Laws that have been in existence for a long time.

These are:

– Water Resources Act, Cap W2 LFN 2004

– The River Basin Development Authority Act, Cap R9 LFN 2004

– The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (Establishment) Act, Cap N1100A, LFN 2004

– National Water Resources Institute Act, Cap N83 LFN 2004

“So, why are the laws being re-packaged as the National Water Resources Bill 2020?

“The answer is that they are being re-enacted with necessary modifications to bring them in line with current global trends as well as best practices in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

“The overall objective of this amalgamation is the efficient management of the Water Resources Sector for the economic development of Nigeria and the well-being of its citizens.

“The Bill provides for professional and efficient management of all surface and ground water for the use of the people (i.e. for domestic and non-domestic use, irrigation, agricultural purposes, generation of hydro-electric energy, navigation, fisheries and recreation).

“The Bill will ensure that the nation’s water resources are protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in a sustainable manner for the benefit of all persons.

“Critics contend that the Bill is aimed at taking the resources of a certain part of the country for the use of herders. In other words, the Federal Government is seeking to implement RUGA by subterfuge.

“We also want to state that the Bill is for the good of the nation, and has no hidden agenda whatsoever.”

Adamu said the bill was sent to all the states for concurrence without any object.

He said the bill predated the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said:” This was never a Buhari bill, it is a bill for Nigeria. It started 2008 long before the President thought of winning election.”

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NIGERIA

#Fuel hike: No going back on strike, protest – NLC

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The Nigeria Labour Congress has vowed to proceed with its planned strike and protest with effect from September 28 following the failure of the Federal Government to reverse the hike in electricity tariff and fuel price.

Rising from its National Executive Council meeting in Abuja a few minutes ago, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the proposed action by the organised labour would proceed from next week.

He stated that the decision was unanimously taken by the chairmen of the 36 states and FCT chapters of the NLC.

Details later…

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Business

#Technology: Sanusi Urges Youths To Explore and not Rely on Government

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The Former Central Bank Governor, CBN, Mohammed Sanusi (II), has urged Nigeria youths not to rely on government but to explore and create opportunities for themselves, especially with technology.

The former CBN governor who was the guest speaker on the second day of the Kaduna Investment Summit explained that over-reliance on oil has left the country unproductive.

“We need to think over and over again as to how we understand economics and what we see. How do we understand technology or electricity are we consumers or are we producers and that’s why investment in human capital is so important.

“Produce young men who know that they are worth more than just using their phone to import a pair of shoes,” he said.

Sanusi said Nigeria has to take economic diversification more seriously in order to experience growth and development.

Referencing Malaysia, Sanusi gave a breakdown of the economic growth of both countries within a 30-year period.

According to him, for Nigeria “there was an increase in wealth but without any structural transformation”.

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“We were growing but we did not diversify and that explains the huge levels of poverty in the country, it explains the huge levels of inequality in the country, it explains the vulnerability of the economy to shocks, it also explains the relatively slow pace of growth because when Malaysia started, they started from a GDP per capita level lower than Nigeria’s GDP per capita in 1985. It started from $310 to $4,045 while we started from $345 to $2,055”.

He also stressed the importance of the government creating the right environment and infrastructure for private businesses to thrive.

The former CBN governor who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency noted that with the right environment, the country can move away from being only consumers to producers of technology.

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