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Photo News: Police Stop Senate Delegation From Seeing Dino Melaye In Hospital |RN

By Michael Abimboye

 

The Police on Wednesday denied the Senate leadership from visiting Senator Dino Melaye in the National Hospital, Abuja.

The senators were stopped by police officers stationed at the hospital.

The delegation was led by Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Na’Allah.

It included Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Francis Alimikhena, Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha and Deputy Chief of Staff to Senate President, Hon. Gbenga Makanjuola.

(New Telegraph)

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SHOCKING: Herdsmen In Army Uniform Kill Another 43 Benue Farmers |The Republican News

By Cephas Iorhemen, MAKURDI

 Herdsmen-fulani

 

Less than 24 hours after Fulani herdsmen killed nineteen people including two Catholic Priests in Benue, the insurgents in the wee hours of Wednesday attacked fifteen villages in Guma and Gwer West local government areas leaving at least 43 local farmers dead.

The herders who residents said were dressed in the Nigerian Army uniforms, attacked the Mbakpaase, Tse-Umenger, Tomanyiin, Tse-Ali Agudu and Mbanyiar communities, while in Gwer West they attacked ten council wards.

New Telegraph gathered that the heavily armed men, numbering more than 50, stormed the Tse-Umenger on Tuesday night around 7pm and set the entire village on fire and killed nineteen (16) people.

It was gathered that while the attack was going on, another group of the insurgents numbering over 20 attacked Tomanyiin in Saghev council ward, Tse-Ali Agudu, Mbanyiar at Mbawar council ward at about 11 pm killing 19 persons.

As if the killings were not enough, the armed Fulani herdsmen also invaded and attacked Abiam village in Sengev council ward of Gwer West local government area and killed eight people after they had abducted one person and took him to an unknown destination.

Chairman of Gwer West, Mr Francis Ayaga told reporters that the herders have occupied ten out of fifteen council wards of the local government adding that the invaders made an incursion into the area from Doma in neighbouring Nasarawa State to attract the people.

Mr Ayaga said however that he could not ascertain the casualty figure as more bodies were being recovered from the bush but said many people were killed.

A resident of Gwer West who did not want his name mentioned said, the victims who have been taking refuge in Naka, had gone home to find out whether they could return home when the herdsmen attacked them.

“The victims went home to find out whether their village was safe for them to return but they were attacked and abducted by the herdsmen”.

“This morning they collected a phone of one of the victims and called his family members and while he was still speaking they executed him”.

“The herdsmen also called and told family members of the victims to go and collect the bodies of the deceased. But nobody can go there because the herdsmen are still occupying the place”.

Former governorship aspirant on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the state, Dr Tivlumun Nyitse, who hails from Umenger community told journalists that the invaders killed many people in the village and burnt many houses stuffed with food items.

Hordes of the inhabitants including women, children and old people alike who deserted their homes are said to be taking refuge in the bush, while in Mbakpaase, corpses recovered were hurriedly buried by the villagers, who have since fled for safety while lots of people were still missing as at press time.

A source from the area who pleaded anonymity hinted that no single house was reported standing in these villages at the time of this report.

The attacks, it was learnt, occurred same day the herdsmen attacked Gwer East local government and killed 19 persons, including two Catholic Priests.

Commissioner of Police in Benue State, Mr Fatai Owoseni told journalists that he was yet to obtain details about the killing and promised to divulge them as soon as they were ready.    (New Telegraph)

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Fulani Herdsmen Kill Two Priest, 14 Worshippers In Benue, Buhari Condemns Killings

Fulani-Herdsmen3
                   Fulani Herdsmen

Omololu Ogumade in Abuja and George Okoh in Makurdi

In another gruesome incident, Fulani herdsmen Tuesday morning attacked a Catholic church at Ukpor-Mbalom in Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State, killing two priests and 14 worshippers.

The armed herdsmen attacked the St. Ignatius’ Quasi Parish in the community when an early morning mass was in progress.

The Makurdi diocese of the Catholic Church confirmed the attack, saying two of its priests and worshippers were slain during the violent onslaught in the morning.
The attackers also burnt nearly 50 houses during the attack and sacked the entire community.

The attack occurred barely four days after the murder of 10 persons by herdsmen in Guma Local Government Area and the destruction of several houses by men suspected to be military personnel in Naka, Gwer West in the state.

Reacting to the dastardly act, President Muhammadu Buhari described as vile and satanic the slaughter of the worshippers and condoled with the government and people of Benue State.
The Makurdi diocese of the church identified the dead priests as Reverend Fathers Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha.

According to the director of communications of the diocese, Fr. Moses Iorapuu, the two priests were killed during the deadly attack by herdsmen/jihadists early Tuesday.
He said in their classic style, they burnt down homes, destroyed food items and killed at will.
“The police seem to know nothing of the attacks which have been going on in other villages within Benue State since the Anti-Open Grazing Law came into effect last year,” he said.
He said many people were wondering why the international community has remained silent over the massacre of Benue citizens.

“The answer is simple: It has been the goal of the jihadists to conquer Benue and Tiv people who have resisted their advance into the Middle Belt and the Eastern part of Nigeria since 1804.
“These are the people (Benue indigenes) who rejected Islam and fought for the unification of Nigeria in the civil war of 1967 – 1970,” Iorapuu added.
He said the people of Eastern Nigeria today have very little sympathy for Benue people who fought on the side of Nigeria, adding that the Muslim North was enjoying its sweet revenge, which has been overshadowed by an insensitive regime.

Iorapuu disclosed that there were over 170,000 internally displaced persons in the state before the Naka invasion, adding that surely with the current situation in Mbalom, Benue will be flooded with thousands more.
“What cannot be said at this point is the consequences of the deaths of the missionaries and the silent other killings that have been ignored by the federal government for over a year,” he said.

He said the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, one of the largest in Nigeria, has been active in providing relief materials, including education and skills acquisition programmes for residents in the state.
“To go after the priests means total destruction of everything we stand for and believe in as a people,” he added.

Also confirming the church attack, the Benue State Police Command said Tuesday that 16 people, including two Catholic priests, were killed during the morning mass.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, told newsmen in Makurdi, the state capital, that unknown gunmen, suspected to be herdsmen, opened fire on Catholic worshippers during morning mass.

“The worshippers were attacked around 5 a.m. during morning mass. Other victims were killed during a burial ceremony later in the day,” he said.
Owoseni, who described the attacks as “unfortunate”, vowed to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
He said preliminary investigations revealed that the herdsmen had been in the area for sometime before carrying out the attacks.

The police commissioner said more policemen were deployed in the area to forestall further attacks.
Reacting to the incident, the president described as vile and satanic the slaughter of innocent worshippers in Ukpor-Mbalom and condoled with the government and people of Benue State.

A statement by his media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, said Buhari also extended his condolences to the Mbalom community, the priests and members of the affected church, describing the cruel act as despicable.
According to him, attacking a worship centre and killing priests and worshippers was satanic and capable of causing a religious crisis.

“I extend my sincere condolences to the government and people of Benue State, the Mbalom community, and especially the bishop, priests and members of the St. Ignatius’ Catholic Church, whose premises was the unfortunate venue of the heinous killings by gunmen.

“This latest assault on innocent persons is particularly despicable. Violating a place of worship, killing priests and worshippers is not only vile, evil and satanic, it is clearly calculated to stoke up a religious conflict and plunge our communities into endless bloodletting,” the president said.

Joining the president to condemn the latest killings in Benue State, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar said on Twitter Tuesday: “It was heart-rending to hear about the invasion and killing of worshippers in Benue State today. My condolences to the Catholic dioceses of Benue State. May the deceased rest in peace.”  (ThisDay)

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Sex-for-mark Scandal: Student Victim, Monica Osagie, Appears Before OAU Panel

Monica-Osagie-lecturer

Claims to have scored 45 in Prof. Akindele’s course

Femi Makinde, Osogbo

A post-graduate student of the Department of Management and Accounting, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ms Monica Osagie, who accused Prof. Richard Akindele, of demanding sex from her to upgrade her mark has appeared before the committee set up by the university to investigate the scandal.

The committee members met with Osagie and another lecturer, who the female student claimed she reported the matter to for his intervention, at the Pro-Chancellor’s Lodge on the campus on Tuesday.

The venue of the sitting was devoid of human traffic because the school was not in session, except some OAU security personnel deployed to man the gate and prevent people from going inside the lodge.

However, some journalists and members of the Women Advocate Research and Documentation Centre, as well as a lawyer, Mrs Nkechi Nwagbaoso, were at the lodge but were prevented from witnessing the proceedings.

Osagie, who was dressed in an ash colour T-shirt and jeans, and the Executive Director of WARD-C, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, as well as another lawyer from the centre, were allowed inside the venue.

After the meeting which lasted for about four hours, Osagie emerged with the two lawyers.

Sandwiched between the two female lawyers, Osagie walked quickly into a waiting sports utility vehicle outside the gate and refused to speak to journalists.

However, Akiyode-Afolabi, protested against the closed-door policy of the investigative committee, saying officials of the National Human Rights Commission ought to have been allowed to be part of the proceedings.

While narrating what happened during the meeting to journalists, she said Osagie scored 45 in the course which Akindele taught her and not 33 that the lecturer claimed that she scored.

Akiyode-Afolabi said, “The meeting was a fact-finding one and they told us that they had not got to the level of legal representation: Because of that, we were there as observers.

“The other lecturer also brought a lawyer, but the committee refused to allow him (lawyer) inside. So, lawyers were not allowed to appear as legal representation, but we were allowed to observe the proceedings.

“The committee members asked her ( Osagie) to narrate her ordeal with the professor which she did. She explained what happened and she didn’t deny the recording (leaked telephone conversation).

“She affirmed that the recording took place and she justified why she resorted to self-help because there was no effective support coming from the university.

“The incident happened towards the end of last year (2017). It was not two years ago. She has completed her programme. She passed the course that we are talking about.  She didn’t fail.

“The school reaffirmed that she passed and that she scored 45 and not 33, and the man (prof.) did not give her mark. Apparently, the man was using the 33 as a bait to get her.

“She talked about her understanding of what happened. She talked about the fact that she is a good student and that she passed all her courses. That she shouldn’t have failed the course and that she checked and found out that she passed and that the 33 the man talked about must have been his (lecturer) imagination.

“It must also have been a way of negotiating with her to get her to bow to his wish, which was the reason she recorded the conversation.”

Asked if the professor eventually had his way with Osagie, the lawyer said her client did not succumb to the alleged pressure from Akindele to have sex with him.

“I can categorically say that there was no sexual relationship between her and the man.

“I am not satisfied with the closed-door policy. I didn’t know the reason why the officials of the National Human Rights Commission were not allowed in to be part of the proceeding. We felt they should allow them but they said they were not allowed in because the other man came with a lawyer and that the lawyer was just an observer.

“As far as we are concerned, if they need more evidence, Monica Osagie is ready to give them. This case is not about her alone, but about other students out there who are being assaulted and harassed by lecturers.”

The lawyer said the centre hoped that whatever decision the university arrived at would serve as a deterrent to other lecturers who were in the habit of harassing and exploiting female students.

Osagie came into public notice after a telephone conversation was leaked on the Internet, during which the lecturer demanded sex before he would upgrade her mark from 33 to a pass mark.

The university set up a committee to investigate the issue and the committee established a prima facie case against the lecturer, who was subsequently suspended indefinitely by the OAU based on the interim report of the panel.  (Punch)

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Paul Kagame Closes 6000 Churches, Mosques In Rwanda |The Republican News

 

 

Rwanda’s government has closed thousands of churches and dozens of mosques as it seeks to assert more control over a vibrant religious community whose sometimes makeshift operations, authorities say, have threatened the lives of followers.

President Paul Kagame has said he was shocked by the high number of churches in this small East African country. “700 churches in Kigali?” he said of houses of worship in the nation’s capital in March. “Are these boreholes (deep wells) that give people water? I don’t think we have as many boreholes. Do we even have as many factories? This has been a mess!”

Kagame said Rwanda doesn’t need so many houses of worship, claiming that such a high number is only fit for bigger, more developed economies that have the means to sustain them.

The closings are bringing mixed reactions in Rwanda, where human rights groups have long accused Kagame’s government of clamping down on freedom of expression, which the president has denied. Six Pentecostal pastors who protested the church closures were arrested and accused of “illegal meetings with bad intentions,” and since then other critics have refused to discuss the issue with The Associated Press.

While Rwanda’s government describes the closures as tackling churches that have failed to comply with building safety standards, it is taking other steps to oversee the religious community in the largely Christian nation of 12 million people.

Proposed legislation aims to regulate faith-based organisations separately from civil society organizations, said Alexis Nkurunziza, president of the private Rwanda Religious Leaders Forum. Suggestions from religious leaders soon will be forwarded to the Rwanda Law Reform Commission for scrutiny and later to parliament, he said. The legislation is expected to be passed as the ruling party holds a majority of parliamentary seats.

The new legislation would require pastors to have a theology degree before they start their own churches so that they teach correct doctrine, said those familiar with the discussions. The aim is to regulate the Pentecostal churches that often spring up under leaders who claim to have received a call to preach. Not everyone, however, has the money to such a degree, some observers have said.

The majority of churches that have been closed are said to be small Pentecostal prayer houses, with some preachers suspected of growing rich off often impoverished followers. Some churches meet in tents or houses that cannot accommodate crowds and noise pollution from nighttime gatherings is a concern, authorities said.

“The prayer houses were found in such poor physical conditions, and we are not targeting any religion,” Anastase Shyaka, the head of the Rwanda Governance Board that regulates faith-based organizations, told the AP. “We are closing prayer houses of all different denominations and asking them to meet existing health and safety standards for their followers.”

Local media in the capital have reported that over 6 000 churches have been closed so far across the country, but Shaka said the actual number was still being compiled.            (Times Africa)

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First Scrotum And Penis Transplant Performed |The Republican News

The transplant was carried out by surgeons at John Hopkins university hospital© Other The transplant was carried out by surgeons at John Hopkins University hospital
A man who lost his genitals in a war injury has received the world’s first full penis and scrotum transplant.Surgeons at Baltimore’s John Hopkins University have rebuilt the veteran’s entire pelvic region from the parts of a deceased donor.

It is hoped that the operation will give the injured man full urinary and sexual function within weeks.

In an ambitious March operation lasting 14 hours, surgeons connected tiny nerves, blood vessels, skin, muscles and tendons to rebuild both the man’s penis and extensive surrounding tissue.

While a handful of successful penis transplants have been reported in recent years, this was the first to reconstruct the scrotum as well – making it far more complex and expensive than previous procedures.

The recipient, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he “felt finally more normal” on waking up from the operation.

The operation took 14 hours in total           © Other The operation took 14 hours in total

“It’s a real mind-boggling injury to suffer; it is not an easy one to accept,” he said.

The extent of the patient’s injuries – he had lost his penis, scrotum, and much of his abdominal wall – meant taking an exact replica of what was missing was the most sensible option for the surgeons treating him.

“We’ve really replaced like with like,” surgeon Dr Richard Redett said. “We looked at the defect our patient had and procured the exact same graft from our donor.”

The full transplant is radically different to current procedures – often used in transgender surgery or to treat congenital abnormalities – that use a patient’s own skin to construct a penis.

Such operations require patients to use an implant to achieve an erection, bringing a higher risk of infection than the highly experimental full transplant.

But while they avoid such problems, transplants present new ethical problems in penis surgery.

The families of deceased donors need to give explicit permission for a penis – as parts of the face or hands – to be given for transplant, for example.

This replaces a larger area of genitalia than any previous operation© Other This replaces a larger area of genitalia than any previous operation

It was also decided in this operation that a scrotum transplant should not extend to the donor’s testicles, which would bring the possibility of having children. “We just felt there were too many unanswered ethical questions,” surgeon Damon Cooney said.

Surgeons at John Hopkins described lost penises as “an unspoken injury of war”, suffered in silence by patients who face stigma as well as a loss of sexual intimacy and urinary function.

The US Department of Defense trauma registry has recorded 1,367 male service personnel with having suffered genitourinary injuries between 2001 and 2013, although it is not clear whether how many of those resulted in the loss of all or part of the penis.

Patients can also lose a penis through cancer or accidents. One previous penis transplant, in China, was reversed after psychological problems experienced by the recipient and his wife.

After the surgery in March, however, doctors say the first penis and scrotum recipient is doing well.

(SkyNews)

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JUST IN: Buhari In Close-door Meeting With El-Rufai, Yahaya Bello, Other APC Governors

By New Telegraph

BUHARI-APC-GOVS

President Buhari and APC governors in a closed-door meeting

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently meeting with governors of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).

Governors in attendance include Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Simon Lalong of Plateau, Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, Rochas Okorocha of Imo and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano.

Others are Kashim Shetima of Borno, Abubakar Bello of Niger, Tanko Almakura of Nassarawa, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Godwin Obaseki of Edo and Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, are also in attendance.  (NewTelegraph)

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