Police Avert Major Clash Between PDP, APC in Rivers

A major clash between members of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and All Progressive Congress, APC was averted yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers state when members of the two parties poured into the streets.

As early as 7:15am, members of the APC had gathered at the party’s secretariat on Forces Avenue, warming up to march down to the House of Assembly complex on Moscow road to denounce alleged refusal by the leadership of the assembly to swear in two elected members of the party, Hon Victoria Nyeche, Port Harcourt state constituency 1 and Hon Andrew Miller elected to represent Opobo Nkoro state constituency.

Almost at the same time, members of the PDP had assembled around Moscow road, housing the assembly complex chanting party songs. The Police quickly moved to avert any clash as it deployed patrol vehicles blocking any direct contact between the two groups.

Meantime, secretary of the APC in the state, Chief Emeka Beke said the protest was to condemn the alleged reluctance on the leadership of the House to swear in the two members of the party elected as state legislators.

He said they had to shelve the idea of marching to the assembly complex because they heard the governor was going to the House so will not want any clash.

“Two of our members were elected to serve in the Rivers State House of Assembly and today, they don’t want to swear them in. Even if it is one person, the person should be a minority voice in the House. Give our members, Victoria Nyeche and Andrew Miller the opportunity to sit in the Chamber. That is what we are asking for.

“The governor had fixed a programme in the House of Assembly and because APC is a law-abiding party that has the fear of God, we want to give them the benefit of doubt. But subsequent times, we will not accept that. Whatever they want to happen will happen; we will not take it anymore.” He later led his party members to protest on a portion of Aba road. Some of the placards they carried read, “Wike respect rule of law, swear our elected members into the House. Rivers state House of Assembly must obey court order, swear our members in “.

The PDP on its part, said they came out in their large numbers because they wanted to pay a solidarity visit on the Speaker of the House, Hon Adams Dabatorudima but were being prevented by the police. Publicity secretary of the party, Mr Sam Nwanosike alleged that members of his party were attacked by the Police in a bid to stop them from marching to the complex.

His words, “As Peoples Democratic Party members, we wrote the state chairman and told him that we are going to pay a solidarity visit to the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, who incidentally is a youth. It is on record that this is the first time a youth is running the affairs of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“So, we chose today, November 17, 2016 to visit Mr. Speaker. Funny enough, on our way to the Rivers State House of Assembly, we saw fierce looking Policemen, who attacked us with live ammunition, enough tear-gas. As I am talking to you, a few of our colleagues are in the hospital right now with life threatening injuries. One is at Saint Patrick’s Hospital, another one is at Riverside Hospital and I don’t know the hospital they took him to.”

Boko Haram Factions Involved In Deadly Clash In Borno

There have been deadly clashes between two factions of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, security and local sources have told the BBC.

Details of the violent fighting in the Monguno area of Borno state near Lake Chad are sketchy because of lack of mobile communications in the north-east.

It was sparked after so-called Islamic State (IS) announced last month that Abu Musab al-Barnawi was the leader of Boko Haram, replacing Abubakar Shekau, the reports claim.

However, Mr Shekau, who initially pledged the group’s allegiance to IS, said he was still in charge.

Some analysts believe the split could help the Nigerian military in its efforts to defeat the insurgents.

There has been no comment yet from the Nigerian authorities on the fighting.

How I Intend To End Fulani Herdsmen, Farmers Clashes– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari said Monday in Abuja that poverty, injustice and the lack of job opportunities were mainly responsible for inter-communal and intra-communal conflicts in Nigeria.

Speaking while receiving a delegation from the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, an organization active in the promotion of peace in Nigeria, President Buhari said to achieve enduring peace in the country, greater effort must be made to eradicate poverty and injustice.

The president described ethnic and religious conflicts in parts of the country as outward manifestations of underlying problems of joblessness, injustice and poverty.

On conflicts between farmers and herdsmen, President Buhari said that a plan to map out grazing areas will soon be presented to the Nigerian Governors Forum as a temporary solution to the frequent conflicts until cattle owners are persuaded to adopt other means of rearing their cattle.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Minister of Agric & Rural Development Moves To End Farmers, Herdsmen Clashes

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Devlopment, Audu Ogbeh, has said that the incessant clashes between farmers and cattle herdsmen in the country would be brought to an end in the next two years.

Mr. Ogbeh said on Tuesday that the federal government would create grazing areas in the country where the herdsmen would take care of their cattle.

“We will grow grass in the South to feed the cattle in the North, just as Saudi Arabia did,” he said.

According to the minister, if Saudi Arabia with the largest cattle ranch in the world can grow its grass for the cows in the United States of America, Nigeria should be able to do same.

Mr. Ogbeh said the government would lobby banks to peg interest rate at five per cent instead of the current nine per cent.

He made this known in Ilorin at the launching of the 2nd phase of Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprise (AEHE) programme at the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanism, (NCAM).

The minister said nine per cent was too high as interest rate for farmers, adding that for people of Nigeria to feed well, agriculture must grow.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Iran Summons Nigerian Ambassador To Protest Shi’ite Clashes In The North

Iran has summoned the Nigerian Charge d’Affaires in Tehran to protest against deadly clashes between Shia Muslims in the country’s north and the army.

Iran’s foreign ministry called the violence between the military and followers of the Shia Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) “unacceptable”, the official ISNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif had earlier contacted his Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama to express his “deep concern” about Saturday’s events in the city of Zaria.

ISNA said at least 12 people were killed, with both sides blaming each other.

The Nigerian military said one of its convoys was attacked by followers of Ibrahim Zakzaky, the leader of the IMN.

“The sect numbering hundreds carrying dangerous weapons, barricaded the roads with bonfires, heavy stones and tyres,” an army statement said.

“The troops responsible for the safety and security of the Chief of Army Staff, on hearing explosions and firing, were left with no choice than to defend him and the convoy at all cost.”

Credit: Aljazeera

How PMB Intends To Address Farmers/ Herdsmen Clashes

President Muhammadu Buhari is considering adopting the blueprint he formulated during his tenure as chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) in resolving the frequent clashes between farmers and Fulani herdsmen in the country.

Accordingly, the president has directed the Ministry of Agriculture to perfect strategies on how to put an end to the clashes that have claimed innocent lives.

The permanent secretary in the ministry, Mr. Sunny Echono who gave the hint while briefing journalists after meeting with the president said they were at the Presidential Villa to update Buhari on the activities of the ministry.

According to him, the president outlined the blueprint to involve the creation of grazing reserves and stock routes.

“Incidentally, the president had received a detailed report on this when he was at the PTF on how to resolve this problem and this blue print is going to be made available to us, together with experts and others who have also worked on the subject”, Echono stated.

He noted that the recent national economic committee resolution chaired by one of the state governors will also be considered.

He said, “We are going to look at all of this and come up with proposals that will address this problem. We are looking at the possibility of delineating stock routes with monuments and establishment of grazing reserves.

“We are also looking at the issues of ranches across the country and addressing the reality of the farmers’ challenges in terms of the cost of pastures.

“If we localize all our pastures, you need to provide pasture and the ranges vary depending on the region you find yourself. These peculiar problems are the things that will come up in the blue print”.

The perm sec. further hinted that President Buhari also urged the Agric ministry to ensure that the agriculture extension services scheme is restored and to also create job opportunities for the youth through agriculture.

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36 Killed In Libya’s Renewed Clashes

Renewed clashes in Libya’s second largest city Benghazi have killed at least 36 people and injured 71 others, military sources said .

A spokesman for the Libyan army’s Special Force said that “a total of 36 people have been killed due to a double suicide attack and the clashes with Islamist militants, who were advancing towards the Benina airport.

” The spokesman said the death toll quickly rose after many of the injured died of their wounds, according to Al-Marj General Hospital.

Since Thursday, renewed clashes have erupted around Benghazi’s Benina Airport between Islamist militants and pro-secular militias who are loyal to renegade General Khalifa Haftar,

who launched Operation Dignity last May against Islamist militants in what he described as an anti-terror campaign.

Local media reported that the Islamist militants, including those with Ansar al-Sharia, Shura Council and Libya Shield, were trying to seize the airport before Eid al-Adha, or Muslim’s feast of sacrifice.

The crucial air hub was considered as Haftar’s last stronghold to house heavy weaponry and ammunition.

Local citizens also saw Haftar’s helicopters and warplanes taking off from the airport to launch several sorties of attacks on Islamist militant bases on Thursday