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Gunmen Attack Ebonyi Communities Again, Kill Scores

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Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Garba, confirmed on Monday that gunmen attacked another community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area (LGA) of the state on Sunday.

Garba told newsmen that the gunmen attacked Ebele village, Umuogodo Akpu, Mgbo in the LGA.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that gunmen attacked five communities in the state – Egedege, Obegu, Amazu, Nkalagu and Umuhuali on March 29.

A number of persons were reported killed in that attack.

Garba said: “on the effects of Sunday attack, it is yet to be ascertained. We are yet to get any report from there and I have not been around. I am waiting for the report.’’

Mr Stanley Okoro-Emegha, Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, also said he was yet to get details of the attack.

“They said it was communal crisis, while others said it was herdsmen who carried out the attack, but we do not know the people behind the attack yet.

“We cannot say exactly what happened although we heard about the attack this morning (Monday).

“Nobody has called to say somebody died or property destroyed, but we shall find out.

“Right now, we do not know who is responsible,’’ Emegha said.

Governors in the southeast rose from a meeting in Owerri on Sunday where they deliberated on rising wave of insecurity in the region.

At the end of the meeting, they jointly endorsed the formation of a region-wide security organisation tagged “Ebube Agu” (fear of a lion).

The  governors and heads of security agencies in the region signed a communiqué to maintain the joint security outfit.

The communique read in part: “after discussions on the current security challenges in the southeast and with valuable contributions from participants at the security summit in Owerri, it was resolved as follows:

“To strongly and unequivocally condemn terrorism and banditry in any part of Nigeria, particularly in the Southeast.

“The meeting strongly condemned the burning of police stations, violent attacks on custodial centres with the unlawful release of inmates, and the killings including security personnel, natives/farmers and herdsmen.

“That the political leadership in the southeast has resolved to bring together all the arsenals at their command, as one united zone, to fight and flush out criminals and terrorist from the zone.

“That the heads of all the security agencies in the southeast have resolved to exchange intelligence in a seamless, effective new order that will help to checkmate crime in the zone.

“That to fast track crime-busting in the southeast, the heads of security agencies have been mandated to draw up a comprehensive list of their logistics and material needs for sustainable success in the fight against criminality, for the immediate provision by the leadership of the southeast.

“That a committee made up of security personnel, government officials and relevant stakeholders be set up to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the southeast joint security platform.

“The meeting resolved to maintain a joint security vigilante for the southeast, otherwise known as Ebube Agu.

In attendance were governors of Abia, Okezuo Ikpeazu; Anambra, Willie Obiano; Enugu, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Ebonyi, Dave Umahi; and the host governor, Hope Uzodimma.

Also in attendance at the security summit was the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, Prof. George Obiozor as well as top security chiefs in the zone. (NAN)

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Suspected herdsmen kill 27 in Agatu

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No fewer than 27 people have been reportedly killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen on Sunday in the Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State.

The attackers were reported to have invaded the Odugbeho community in the local government between 5:00 pm and 5:30 pm.

A native who mentioned his name to be Dan told Tribune Online that the attackers stormed the community even when some people were burying their dead.

Dan also hinted that the attackers came in their numbers and unleashed terror on the community.

Dan said: “The herdsmen were believed to have come from Nasarawa State and attacked in a guerrilla-style.

“Unfortunately, on Sunday was a market day and some people in the community were burying their dead when they observed that herdsmen had invaded.

The State Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), John Ngbede, also told our correspondent on the phone that 25 corpses have been recovered and buried.

Ngbede who is a political leader in the local government said: “A leader in the village told me this morning that 25 corpses have been found and buried and people are in the bush searching for missing persons.

“The local government chairman with security operatives have gone to the affected community this morning, when they are back, we will be able to know the actual number of people that died.

While confirming the attack, the council chairman, Adohi Sule, said that the militia herders stormed the community between 5:00 pm and 5:30 pm where they killed 27 people.

Sule explained that the attackers invaded the community when some people were burying their dead and others were in the market.

Sule added: “We are just coming back from the community, 27 people were found killed and the herdsmen attacked and fled.

When contacted, the State Command spokesperson, DSP Catherine Anene, did not pick her phone and did not respond to text messages sent to her cellphone.

(Source: Tribune)

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IPOB ORDER: Open Your Shops or Lose Them, Umahi Threatens Ebonyi Traders

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Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has warned that traders who comply with the Monday’s sit-at-home order should be ready to forfeit their shops.

Umahi issued the warning in a state-wide broadcast on Saturday in Abakaliki to mark the sixth anniversary of his administration.

He was reacting to the order by the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) to the people of South-East zone.

He directed that all markets in the state should open for business on Monday.

The governor said: “There should be free movement of people in the state on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and other days of the year.

“People should go to church on Sunday to pray for the nation’s fallen security agents, civilians and peace and unity of the state and country.

“I challenge the youths, local government area chairmen, security agents, Ebebeagu security outfit, among others, to ensure that no one is molested in the state.

“Anyone who has nothing to protect himself should do so with cutlass, which should be for protection and not for attack.”

He said that all forms of procession had been banned in the state except those by youths organised by council chairmen.

“I have been notified about such processions and they are being used to profile our people for empowerment.

“I charge the Ebubeagu security outfit, which is backed by the state laws, to ensure that the people are protected,” Umahi said.

He said the state could not go into “second slavery under any guise”, pointing out that “the secession the people need is massive economic development.

“There will be movement in other parts of the country, if there is none in the South-East so people should therefore ignore such order.

“Ebonyi people are grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for all his assistance and if people do not see his goodness, he has been good to us,” he said.

He urged parents and relevant stakeholders to advise youths to toe the path of peaceful co-existence and not depend on the illusionary influences of hard drugs and fetish powers.

In a related development, the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Mr Mohammed Aliyu, also advised residents to disregard the IPOB order.

Aliyu gave the advice in a statement issued in Enugu by the command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, on Saturday.

According to Ndukwe, the commissioner appeals to residents to discountence the order and go about their legitimate businesses without fear of intimidation.

“We are reassuring everybody about the command’s commitment to collaborate with other security agencies to sustain adequate public security and safety in the state, in line with the mandate of “Operation Restore Peace.”

“The command warns anybody or group harbouring any sinister intentions to disrupt the relative peace and security enjoyed in the state to desist forthwith, as such attempt will be resisted.

“The command entreats parents, guardians as well as religious, traditional and town union leaders to caution their subjects against allowing themselves to be incited by mischief-makers to foment trouble,’’ Ndukwe stated.

The statement further urged residents to “remain law-abiding and vigilant as they go about their legitimate businesses”.

It appealed to the people to report criminal elements and persons found fomenting trouble to the nearest police station.

It implored the people to alternatively call the following emergency command’s hotlines: 08032003702, 08075390883, 08086671202 or 08098880172.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that IPOB had issued a sit-at-home order in the southeast on May 31 to commemorate the death of many people during the civil war that ended about 51 years ago. (NAN)

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Buhari Appoints Maj. Gen. Yahaya as New Army Chief

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Maj. Gen. Farouk Yahaya as the new chief of army staff.

The appointment came barely one week after Attahiru, along with 10 other military officers, died in a plane crash at the Kaduna International Airport.

The appointment is contained in a statement signed and released on Thursday by military spokesman Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu.

Prior to his appointment Yahaya was the General Officer Commanding 1 Division of the Nigerian Army and the incumbent Theatre Commander of the Counter terrorism Counter Insurgency military outfit in the North East code named Operation HADIN KAI, the statement said

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