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INEC Declares Umeh Winner Of Anambra Central Senatorial District Election |RN

Chief-Victor-Umeh-wins-Anambra-central

Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate,  Chief Victor Chukwunoyelum Umeh winner of the Anambra Central Senatorial District rerun election conducted yesterday in the state.

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)  candidate,  Chief Victor Chukwunoyelum Umeh yesterday received a landslide victory in the Anambra Central Senatorial District rerun election to emerge the Senator for District.

Umeh scored a total of 64, 879 votes to end the two years tortuous journey to the red carpet chambers of the National Assembly.

APC came a distant second with 975 votes why PPA came third with 116 votes.

Umeh victory yesterday gave APGA it’s first Senate seat and places it the list of the Nigeria Senate.

Declaring the result after the final collation of the results at the INEC headquarters Seka,  the Returning Officer and Deputy Vice Chancellor,  Academics, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka,  Prof.  Charles Esimone said that Umeh having scored the highest costs and satisfied the provisions of the law “is hereby declared winner and duely returned.”

Results:

NJIKOKA LGA
ACCORD – 5
ACD         – 5
ADC         – 3
APC         – 158
APGA     – 11,506

GPN        –  7
ID            –   0
KP          –   2
LP          –   17
MPPP    –  69
NPC      –   3
PDC      –   0
PPA        – 16
UPP      –  7

AWKA NORTH LGA

Accord    – 2
ACD        –  2
ADC        –  4
APC        –  81
APGA     – 7,572
GPN       –  3
ID           –  2
KP          –  1
LP          –   5
MPPP    – 11
NCP       –  3
PDC       –   0
PPA        –  4
UPP        –  1

IDEMILI SOUTH LGA

Accord    – 5
ACD         – 0
ADC         – 4
APC         – 104
APGA      –  4,647
GPN        –  5
ID            –  3
KP          –   0
LP           –  11
MPPP     –  0
NCP        –  1
PDC        –  0
PPA        –  12
UPP        –  4

DUNUKOFIA LGA

Accord    – 5
ACD         – 3
ADC         – 6
APC         – 124
APGA      –  7,307
GPN        –  7
ID            –  3
KP          – 2
LP           –  9
MPPP     –  4
NCP        –  6
PDC        –  3
PPA        –  41
UPP         –  8

AWKA SOUTH LGA

Accord    – 7
ACD         – 12
ADC         – 22
APC         – 231
APGA      –  12,384
GPN        –  13
ID            –  4
KP          –   2
LP           –  23
MPPP     –  10
NCP        –  23
PDC        –  1
PPA        –  8
UPP        –  6

ANAOCHA LGA

Accord    – 8
ACD         – 1
ADC         – 10
APC         – 120
APGA      –  12,245
GPN        –  7
ID            –  0
KP          –   4
LP           –  19
MPPP     –  14
NCP        –  1
PDC        –  1
PPA        –  19

UPP        –  12

IDEMILI NORTH LGA

Accord    –  3
ACD         – 10
ADC         – 8
APC         – 157
APGA      –  9218
GPN        – 6
ID            –  2
KP          –   1
LP           –  11
MPPP     – 3
NCP        – 35
PDC        –  0
PPA        –  16
UPP        –  17
(Source :The Sun)

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Mark Zuckerberg Loses $3.3bn From His Fortune After Facebook News Feed Change|RN

Adam Lusher
Mark Zuckerberg standing in front of a stage            © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited  

Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to change the way Facebook operates people’s news feeds has cost him $3.3bn, with his personal net worth dropping by 4.4 per cent, it is believed.

After Facebook went public with the news feed change on Thursday, the website’s share value dropped by nearly four per cent before US markets opened on Friday.

By close of business on Friday Facebook shares were trading at $179.37, down more than 4.4 per cent on Thursday’s price of $187.77.

And Forbes has calculated that for Mr Zuckerberg, the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Facebook, this translated into a personal hit of 3.3bn – a 4.4 per cent fall in his personal fortune.

Mr Zuckerberg, 33, who started Facebook in 2004 aged 19, still owns a 17 per stake in the company, which went public in 2012.

He explained his reasons for changing the news feed algorithm in a Facebook post on Thursday, saying he wanted the website to prioritise posts from friends and family over businesses and brands.

“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us,” he said. “But recently we’ve gotten feedback that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.

“Based on this … . I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

Some, however, have suggested that the change might also have been influenced by Facebook’s alleged desire to counteract what the company is believed to refer to as “context collapse”.

This is the phenomenon where people stop sharing as much information about their personal lives on Facebook, yielding less useful data for the advertisers on whom Facebook relies to make its money.

Tweaking the news feed to encourage people to talk about their personal lives might, therefore, be seen as a means of increasing Facebook’s commercial value.

The markets, though, appear to have reacted badly to the news feed change, at least in the short term.

a screenshot of a cell phone: facebook-share-price.jpg© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited facebook-share-price.jpg Some analysts, however, think the tweak will work well for the company in the long term.

Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC, told Bloomberg: “Making the feed more relevant should boost user and engagement growth over time.

“We believe these changes will be beneficial to Facebook in the medium and long term.”

Just how much Mr Zuckerberg will worry about the short term drop in his wealth is also unclear.

Given that Facebook shares were trading at around $127 in January 2017, the company’s value is still up by more than 40 per cent year-on-year, even after this week’s fall.

Despite losing $3.3bn, Mr Zuckerberg is still worth $72.4bn (£52.7bn) – and, anyway, it’s not as if he intends to hold on to his Facebook shares.

Mark Zuckerberg standing in front of a stage

 

In December 2015 Mr Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan said they were planning to give away 99 per cent of their Facebook shares over the course of their lives.                 (The Independent)

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South Africa: Chaos As EFF Invade H&M In Protest Against Racist Advert |RN

Derrick Spies and Alex Mitchley

H&M stores were trashed at Sandton City and Menlyn Park this morning as EFF members protested a recent ‘racist advert’.

Tshwane – A large group of protesters dressed in EFF regalia have stormed the H&M stores in Sandton, Menlyn Park and East Rand on Saturday, trashing the stores in an apparent protest of an online ad that has been labelled racist.REZA Crime Network have reported shots fired at the East Rand H&M.

At Menlyn Mall, a number people in EFF regalia were protesting outside the H&M. The store has been closed but not before it was completely trashed.The REZA Crime Network also urged shoppers to avoid the H&M in Santon City, which was also trashed.

 

https://youtu.be/RUhOmg9lQN4‘Racist’ advert at heart of protest

EFF’s Floyd Shivambu tweeted:

“That @hm nonsense of a clothing store is now facing consequences for its racism. All rational people should agree that the store should not be allowed to continue operating in South Africa. Well done to Fighters who physically confronted racism.”

The international chain store earlier this week apologised after an outcry on Twitter over an advert depicting a black child wearing green hoodie with the inscription “coolest monkey in the jungle”.

The company apologised on its Twitter account and said it would investigate the online shopping ad, which sparked outrage among observers on social media.

“We’ve not only removed the image from our channels, but also the garment from our product offering,” the group said.

READ: H&M withdraws ‘monkey’ hoodie after black child ad outrage

A News24 reporter at Menlyn Mall reported a heavy police presence at the mall, with protesters engaging with police.

The reporter was warned that the protesters were not taking kindly people filming them.

H&M-racist-advert

This is a developing story. More to follow

Source: (News24)

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Porn Star Allegedly Paid $130,000 For Silence On Trump Affair |The Republican News

DENIS SLATTERY

A former porn star was paid $130,000 by President Trump’s personal lawyer a month before the 2016 election — part of an agreement to keep her quiet about an extramarital affair she had with the President, according to a report Friday.

Attorney Michael Cohen arranged the payment to X-rated actress Stephanie Clifford after her lawyer negotiated a nondisclosure agreement, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Clifford, who made dozens of dirty movies under the name Stormy Daniels, told friends the encounter with Trump took place after they met at a July 2006 celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

Another porn star, Alana Evans, told the Daily Beast that Daniels had told her “I ended up with Donald in his hotel room. Picture him chasing me around his hotel room in his tighty-whities.’”

“I was like, ‘Oh I really didn’t need to hear that!’” Evans told the website.

Trump has denied several allegations of sexual misconduct in the past and spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in 2016 that it was “absolutely, unequivocally” untrue that Clifford had a relationship with Trump.

Clifford, 27 at the time of the alleged consensual encounter, has appeared in films including “On Golden Blonde,” “Breast Side Story” and “Good Will Humping.”

Stephanie Clifford, who has made dozens of dirty movies under the name Stormy Daniels, privately alleged the encounter with Trump took place after they met at a July 2006 celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper.© TNS; Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images Stephanie Clifford, who has made dozens of dirty movies under the name Stormy Daniels, privately alleged the encounter with Trump took place after they met at a July 2006…  

“These are old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election,” a White House official told the Journal on Friday.

Neither Clifford nor her lawyer returned requests for comment from the Daily News.

Cohen, a longtime Trump Organization lawyer, denied anything took place between the President and Clifford and sent a two-paragraph statement by email addressed “TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN” and signed by “Stormy Daniels” denying that she had a “sexual and/or romantic affair” with Trump.

“Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are completely false,” the statement said.

The report said Clifford, now 38, had complained after signing the agreement that the payment wasn’t coming quickly enough and threatened to can the deal and break her silence.

In 2016, the Journal reported that Clifford was set to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to discuss her relationship with Trump in the wake of the paper’s story alleging the National Enquirer had paid a former Playboy centerfold $150,000 to keep quiet about her affair with Trump.

Trump is longtime friends with David Pecker, the chairman of American Media which owns the National Enquirer.

The Daily Beast reported it had been in talks with Daniels to tell her story, but she abruptly backed out just five days before the election. The site said it had three sources, including Evans, who told them Trump and Daniels had been involved.

The President has denied cheating on his third wife, First Lady Melania Trump, whom he married in 2005. She gave birth to their son Barron just months before the alleged tryst.

The alleged agreement with Clifford came around the same time that a recording of Trump bragging about grabbing women by their genitals was leaked.

Another adult film star, Jessica Drake, alleged that same month that Trump kissed her and two other women without permission in a hotel suite after the same 2006 golf event.

“I did not sign (a nondisclosure agreement), nor have I received any money for coming forward,” Drake told the Journal. “I spoke out because it was the right thing to do.”

Nearly two dozen women have come forward with accusations of sexual assault against Trump.

The women include former adult film stars, a contestant on “The Apprentice,” and several journalists.

The White House has maintained that the allegations are all false.

Trump’s public affair with actress Marla Maples brought about the end of his first marriage to Ivana Trump in 1990.   (New York Daily News)

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Fulani Herdsmen Killings: Nigeria May Explode Soon – Nyiam |The Republican News

Col-Tony-Nyiam

Col. Tony Nyiam

Series of socio-economic challenges facing the country including problems of insecurity and other social vices have been traced to lack of visionary leaders in the country.

Making this submission in an interview with Tunde Thomas, Colonel Tony Nyiam (rtd) lamented that Nigeria has not been blessed with visionary leaders either in the years past or at present.

“Except for late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and to some extent, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Nigeria since independence has not been blessed with visionary leaders, and this is why Nigeria has not made much progress in her 57 years of nationhood. Sadly, some of the people who emerged as leaders are not only parochial, they are weak, ineffectual and lack focus,” the former military chief involved in the Gideon Orkar’s attempted take over of power in 1989 declared.

Nyiam also spoke on other national issues including the Fulani herdsmen attack in Benue State, which led to loss of several lives, the controversial 1 billion dollars deduction by the Federal Government from the Excess Crude Account to fight Boko Haram, President Buhari’s leadership style and restructuring of the polity. Excerpts:

Some Nigerians have expressed concern about the recent killings in Rivers and Benue states, especially that of Benue where suspected Fulani herdsmen were on rampage attacking and killing innocent villagers. Do you see this as a good way for the nation, pining under so many challenges to start the New Year?

To me, what is responsible for all these crises all over the country can be traced to lack of visionary leadership. Except for late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and to some extent Sir Ahmadu Bello, Nigeria has not had visionary leaders, and our government is not hinged on vision, it is like having or taking action without reasoning. Reasoning controls actions. Nigerian leaders both past and present who are still alive should seek forgiveness from God for bringing the nation to this sorry state. Again in the case of Nigeria, we also need to seek spiritual rejuvenation because these things happening to us or taking place are not ordinary, they are not physical. To get things right in Nigeria, we have to restore the principles of justice, fairness, truth, equity, liberty, compassion and also our leaders should see to the general well being of citizens so that the objective of governance can achieve the desired goal. The objective of governance in Nigeria should reflect the thinking of the popular French philosopher which says greatest happiness to greatest number of people. Today, can we say that greatest number of Nigerians are happy? Obviously no, and this is why there is a need for our leaders to be visionary. Governance should be about greatest happiness to a greater number of citizens. Once a government or leaders lacks vision, anything such government or leader does will not work.

The New Year speech by President Buhari was a disappointment. First, his speechwriters were insensitive to the yearnings of majority of Nigerians. His speechwriters were also arrogant to mislead the President to think that he can lecture Nigerians on what they want by saying that the problems with Nigeria are processes and not structures. That statement lacked intellectual depth in the sense that Buhari’s speech writers should have told him that processes are pre-determined by the system in which processes work.

Processes or actions doesn’t operate in isolation, they are always context- bound. It is the structures that determine the processes, and effectiveness of processes, but processes do not exist on their own, they are always determined by the system in which the processes are being conducted. To that extent, Buhari’s speechwriters didn’t do Buhari a good job.

Secondly, Buhari needs to do what General Ibrahim Babangida used to do when we used to work with him. When you write a speech for Gen. Babangida, he would now engage the speechwriters in a discussion in order for him to have a good knowledge of the speech he wanted to read. It is wrong for Buhari to just take any speech they gave him to read without he, himself, having knowledge of what he was reading or about to read. I also believe that it was wrong for Buhari to say that it is ethnicity that is dividing us. But I believe that is wrong, rather our diverse ethnicity should have been an advantage to make Nigeria a very strong nation.

Are you saying that ethnicity …

(Cuts in) …  I know that Nigeria is made up of different ethnic nationalities, but what I’m saying is that, that diversity should have been turned into an advantage. The President should not have been emphasizing the ethnic diversity issue as a problem for the nation in his address. We should have been able to transform our diversity into a source of strength. Again it is wrong for President Buhari to have dismissed calls for restructuring. For Buhari to have made such dismissal, it means that Buhari has been grossly misinformed about what restructuring is all about. The problems we are having all over the country now are a consequence of lack of appropriate governance. That’s why we have these recurring clashes between the Fulani and host communities.

Buhari also appeared to have been misinformed about the clashes between Fulani herdsmen and host communities or Buhari and his aides are deliberately twisting the whole thing to  be as if the clashes are between Fulani and host communities. This is wrong. Fulani herdsmen are the aggressors. They are invaders. They are the ones unleashing violence on host communities, killing and maiming innocent citizens.

But the impression Buhari and fellow Fulani apologists want to create is that there are clashes between two parties. No. Clearly, it is the Fulani herdsmen that are the aggressors. They are the invaders. We should be able to call a spade a spade.

We are talking about invasion by Fulani herdsmen, and here our Inspector-General of Police is saying that it is a communal clash. What a shame. This mischievous and dubious talks by government officials like the Inspector-General of Police will not help matters. When there is an assault on an individual, then the person who assaulted the other party can’t now turn around to say that it is a fight between two parties.

To pretend that invasion of Benue communities by Fulani herdsmen is a communal clash is very unfortunate. In fact there was a prior warning about the invasion, and the state governors, Samuel Ortom cried out and the irony of it is that the governor of Benue State and the President belong to the same party, yet the President couldn’t do anything to forestall the attack by the herdsmen.

Why should Buhari order the Inspector-General of Police to go and fight well -armed herdsmen, whereas in minor cases involving militants and even demonstrators in the Southeast soldiers were deployed by the Federal Government? This amounts to double standards. Why this double standards? I think Buhari should help himself. Buhari through his own actions is undermining his own government, through his utterances, actions and inactions.

Where non-state actors like Fulani herdsmen are defying government, even defying Buhari himself is very sad. It’s been said that Buhari is even the Grand Patron of Miyetti Allah, the umbrella body for Fulani herdsmen, but, be that as it may, another leader of Miyetti Allah group has come out to condemn the invasion by Fulani herdsmen. What this means is that some people in the Miyetti Allah Association also believe that ultimately what some of these herdsmen are doing is not good in their own interests in the long run. Buhari’s frequent reduction of clear cases of the violent and sophisticated armed Fulani herdsmen invasion of other people’s lands, farms and communities to a case of two communities or two parties fighting is grossly unfair to the Middle Belt communities who have always been the victims.

Like I said in an earlier interview, Nigeria is cracking already and if we failed to do the needful now, it is a matter of time before the nation suffers implosion which may have terrible consequences. The only way to avert looming danger is for us to carry out restructuring. Things have never been this terrible. Nigeria is being turned into a killing field, and yet they tell us that we have a government in place, but what kind of government is that, that can’t protect lives of citizens, or what kind of government is that, that values lives of some citizens more than the others? Buhari should not pretend that he doesn’t know what restructuring is all about or believe that he can run away from restructuring. It is either we restructure or we suffer an implosion.

There is a lot of boiled up anger and tension in the land. Our leaders should not think that all is well – No. Buhari should not deceive himself or allow himself to be deceived that all is well. He should not allow a group of servile advisers to keep on deceiving him that all is well. Millions of Nigerians are hungry and angry.

Calls and agitations for restructuring should be taken serious by Buhari, otherwise when the looming implosion eventually happens, nobody can predict its consequences, but definitely it will have a devastating effect on the nation.

Let me define again what restructuring means for the benefit of those who don’t know what it means or pretending not to know what it means, Restructuring, simply put, means an appeal for the restoration, or for the enthronement of timeless and universal principles of justice, truth, fairness, equality and engendering of a sense of belonging in all the people and nations that make up Nigeria. The issue of restructuring is an issue of correcting injustice in the land – lack of fairness, and inequality has resulted in people not having a sense of belonging in the nation. We are sitting on a keg of gunpowder, which can explode at any moment.

The sum of one billion dollars was recently ordered to be withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account, ECA, by the Governors Forum to tackle Boko Haram insurgency, but the issue has polarized the Forum with two governors, Ayodele Fayose and Nyesom Wike kicking against it. Fayose had even gone to court to challenge the withdrawal while Wike demanded that a similar amount should be withdrawn to tackle environmental challenges in Rivers State, what’s your view on this?

Both Wike and Fayose are right. That withdrawal of 1 billion dollars to tackle insurgency is illegal, more so since it didn’t go through National Assembly for approval and neither was it appropriated for. I fully support their action in challenging the illegality. Wike is also right in demanding that 1 billion dollars should also be released from the Excess Crude Account to tackle environmental challenges in the Niger-Delta because while Niger-Delta has been suffering over the years from environmental oil degradation as a result of oil exploration, such a measure has never been taken like it is being done in the case of the Northeast where 1 billion dollars is being withdrawn to tackle Boko Haram insurgency. In the case of Boko Haram attacks, we are talking of human lives being affected, but I also want to ask our hypocritical leaders this question, is it not human lives that is involved in Niger-Delta where the zone has been suffering from ecological disaster over the years. What is even more annoying is the fact that this money being withdrawn to tackle crisis in the Northeast is got from Niger-Delta, while Niger-Delta where the money is got or which owns the money is neglected and abandoned. This is another case of double standard by the Buhari government. Buhari’s government is a government of double standards.

Again, that 1 billion dollars being withdrawn to tackle insurgency in the Northeast as they claim will provide another opportunity for looters. To me, it is a misplaced priority for government to be talking of using the 1 billion dollars to buy new equipment in order to contain the Boko Haram war. For me, this is a wrong approach.

Buying armoured tanks, and fighter jets is a waste of time because the Boko Haram war is not a conventional warfare where two armies faced one another directly in battle. What Boko Haram used mostly now is guerilla tactics, hit and run approach. Not only that, they also used suicide bombers. Do you now fight a suicide bomber with fighter jets or armoured tanks? What kind of battle tactic or strategy do you call that? That’s very defective. This is why I said earlier that the 1 billion dollars will be looted. It will provide easy money for some contractors and arms manufacturing firms. If at all 1 billion dollars is to be released to contain the Boko Haram insurgency, that money should be used to recruit more intelligence officers because what the Boko Haram situation now require is intelligence gathering, which will make it easier for Boko Haram suicide bombers to be detected through intelligence gathering. More personnel can also be recruited for armed forces, police and other security agencies. But like I said earlier, the double standard approach of Buhari’s government will create more problem for Nigeria. Ogoni, an oil producing community has been suffering serious neglect, and has been abandoned as a result of oil exploration, and the excuse the Federal Government has always been giving is lack of funds to start the clean up project, but when it now concerns the North, they find it easy to withdraw 1 billion US dollars to tackle the problem – what a double standard? The impression our leaders are giving is that some citizens are special more than others, but this should not be so. Buhari is showing too much bias for the Northeast and Northwest to the detriment of other geo-political zones in the country. But even in the Northeast, some areas are also marginalized by this administration. Non-Kanuri areas and Chibok areas in the Northeast are being marginalized by Buhari and this is not good for our nation. Buhari should behave like a visionary leader, a visionary leader is the one that not only sees all parts of the country as his own constituency, but also ensures that he doesn’t show preference or bias towards any section.

It is indeed a very big shame that 1 billion dollars oil money is being taken from Niger-Delta that produces oil to solve a problem in the Northeast, a non-oil producing community, whereas Ogoni, an oil producing community has been suffering from oil pollution that requires a massive clean up for several years now, but that community has been abandoned by the government citing lack of funds as an excuse for delaying the clean up project, so where is justice in all these? Most of these people who parade themselves as national leaders are deceitful. They are parochial, very partial and biased. We need visionary leaders to take Nigeria to greater heights.

It is very sad that Nigeria has been bereft of visionary leaders, and the nation is paying dearly for it. With all these crises here and there, what are your fears for Nigeria?

My fears for Nigeria is that we may suffer the consequences of lack of courage or failure to take right actions by our leaders. The present state of insecurity is very worrisome. Violence and bloodshed are on the ascendancy, and agitations for justice and equality are on the rise. Our leaders should not pretend that all is well. We are in a very explosive situation. This is not the Nigeria of the dreams of the nation’s founding fathers. The situation in Nigeria today is not only pathetic but also very worrisome – the only way out, the only way to save or prevent the looming implosion is restructuring. There is no alternative to restructuring. It must also be emphasized that as a matter of urgency, we need to have a group or platform that will comprise eminent, principled and people of integrity who are apolitical that will be saddled with the task of grooming visionary Nigerians that will later emerge as the nation’s leaders.

Nigeria’s growth and development has been stunted over the years as lack of visionary leaders. Without visionary leadership, Nigeria’s quest to attain greatness or desire to be in the league of great and powerful nations will only be a mirage.

What is happening in Nigeria today calls for sober reflections. All stakeholders should rise above partisan interests and think first of Nigeria as a nation. We should all strive to build a nation where fairness, equity and justice reign supreme. (The Sun)

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Fulani Herdsmen Killings: FG Cautions Against Incendiary Comments, Images |RN

 

e846a-lai-mohammed3-690x450

Minster of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government has appealed to the media and public commentators to exercise utmost restraint in their coverage of the fallouts of the recent farmers/herders’ clash in Benue.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who made the appeal in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, cautioned against “incendiary comments, unrestrained use of pictures and footages that offended human sensibilities” in the coverage of the crisis.

The Minister also cautioned against “finger pointing” that could exacerbate the situation and complicate ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to end the crisis

He stressed that the media and commentators should be cautious of their coverage in order not to further inflame passion and worsen the situation.

Mohammed said that the Government is working hard to address the situation with a view to preventing a recurrence, not just in Benue State but everywhere across the country.

”Lest we are misunderstood, we are neither saying the media should not cover the crisis nor asking public commentators to desist from commenting on it.

“All we are saying is that both must be circumspect.

”The current poisoned atmosphere of incendiary comments, unrestrained use of pictures and footages that offend human sensibilities as well as finger pointing can only exacerbate the situation and complicate ongoing efforts to end the crisis,” he said.

The Minister said that the Government was saddened by the loss of lives and the destruction of property resulting from the crisis.

He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, in commiserating with the Benue Governor, unreservedly condemned the killings.

He said the President had also assured of the necessary security measures to prevent further attacks and bring the perpetrators to book.

Mohammed said the Government had mapped out short and long-term solutions to the incessant clashes, including a planned conference of stakeholders.

He assured of the government’s strong determination to find a lasting solution to the farmers/herders’ clashes.  (NAN)

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Jonathan Responds To Presidency, El-Rufai, Condoles With Victims Of Herdsmen Attacks

cec85-president-goodluck-jonathan5b15d

Immediate past President, Dr Goodluck E. Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has reacted to the recent killings in Benue, Taraba by Fulani Herdsmen.Jonathan, in a press statement by his Media Reps, condoled with the victims and also responded to reports that 756 people were killed in his tenure by Fulani Herdsmen.

The statement read;

‘”Former President Jonathan wishes to express his condolences to the government and people of Benue, Kaduna, Taraba, Adamawa and Nasarawa states, over the recent spate of killings occasioned by herdsmen/farmers clashes.

“His heart bleeds for the sufferings of Nigerians and he calls on the authorities to do everything in their power to put an end to these needless killings.

“Having said that, let it be known that we find the statement by the Presidency stating that 756 Nigerians were killed by Fulani herdsmen in two years under the government of former President Jonathan as a mischievous assertion by a callous Presidential spokesman who thinks that death is something to be trivialized.

“For the avoidance of doubt, let it be known that the figure of 756 is wrong. But the issue is not that it is a false figure, the issue is that former President Jonathan was not inactive in the face of Fulani herdsmen killings during his Presidency.

“While in office, the former President knew that the capacity of the Nigerian police would be challenged by the sophistication of arms available to the herdsmen and so after he was elected President and sworn in on May 29, 2011, former President Jonathan summoned a National Security Council meeting and ordered that Fulani herdsmen attack must be decisively dealt with.

“In July 2012, the Plateau state government reported that herdsmen killings had reached a head in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area leading to tens of deaths of Nigerian citizens by Fulani herdsmen, many of whom were not even Nigerian citizens.

“Then President Jonathan, when briefed about the situation insisted that there would not be such impunity under his leadership and immediately ordered the army and the Air Force to go to the affected communities and fish out the perpetrators and bring them to book.

“The military immediately obeyed the then President’s orders and sent troops and helicopters to Barkin Ladi Local Government Area. They ordered all residents to leave their residence for temporary accommodation provided for them so they could conduct a joint air and ground operation to flush out the armed herdsmen who had been suspected of killing innocent Nigerians.

“The residents complied and the soldiers went in and not only did they clear the area, they made arrests which led to trials and convictions.

“We wish to remind Nigerians that when this episode was being carried out, it was precisely members of the opposition who later became the All Progressive Congress that heavily criticized then President Jonathan’s orders.

“In fact, a prominent member of the APC and now the Governor of Kaduna State and a known confidante of the President, Malam Nasir El-Rufai tweeted his now infamous tweet on the 15th of July 2012 threatening that ‘We will write this for all to read. Anyone, soldier or not that kills the Fulani takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes.’ (his exact words).

“So the question Nigerians need to ask instead of allowing themselves to be distracted by the statement from the Presidency is this: Are Nigerians now repaying the ‘loan’ that El-Rufai threatened to make Nigeria repay?

“If the then President was not active in decisively sending the military after herdsmen, why would El-Rufai have been so pained to have made such a statement?

“Let it be known that the former President views herdsmen who kill unprovoked and with the intention of advancing their own economic and other interests as terrorists, pure and simple.  ( Akahi News)

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