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Over 28,997 Lives Lost To Insecurity In Benue By Peter Duru MAKURDI—No fewer than 28,997 persons are reported to have lost their lives to insecurity in Benue State, even as over 54,476 houses and farm produce valued at over N21 billion were also destroyed in the state. A don, in the Department of Economics at the Federal University, Wukari, Dr. Vincent Gisaor, made this known, while presenting a paper at the symposium, organised by the Benue State government, in Makurdi, titled: ‘The Socio-Economic Development of Benue State: The Journey Ahead’. Dr. Gisaor who referred to “the combined effect of the records of Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, between 2010 and 2022, the Nigeria Police Force from 2009 and 2022 and the Report of the Benue State Committee on Conflict Resolution and Peace Building of 2014”, pointed out that insecurity in the state had collapsed the rural economy of Benue state and left the people impoverished. According to him, “over 28,997 persons are reported dead in all the recent insecurity incidents in the state. Some deaths have not been officially reported while some deaths are even on-going up to this moment of presentation.” He stated that the crisis also led to the burning down of five Police stations and 33 markets in parts of the state; “and the burning of Police Stations and markets further entails the suspension of law and order and all economic activities relevant to production, distribution and exchange hence the net effect has been the intensification of poverty and pauperization among the Benue people. According to Dr. Gisaor “the destruction of lives, homes, crops, farms, domestic trees, seeds and seedlings makes it difficult for the affected people to restart their life supporting activities. “Hence the total collapse of farming and other economic activities has raises the prospect of rural unemployment, farming and starvation in the affected communities. “Farm produce destroyed has been estimated at over N21billion while over 54,476 houses have been reportedly destroyed excluding thatched houses.” ……… READ MORE Terrorists Kill Ten, Abduct Several Others In Fresh Zamfara Attack By Mohammed Babangida Ten people were killed and several others injured when terrorists attacked a convoy of vehicles on Magami – Gusau road in Zamfara State on Saturday. Several passengers were also abducted while the terrorists burned three vehicles in the convoy. The attack occurred around 3:00 p.m. at Dogon Tsauni, while a convoy of several vehicles was moving from Magami to the state capital, Gusau. PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the wounded vigilante and other passengers have been rushed to the Federal Medical Centre in Gusau. The bodies of those killed in the attack have been deposited at the centre’s mortuary. “We took ten corpses into the mortuary yesterday (Saturday). Five of them were vigilantes. The level of injuries suffered by some of the people brought into the hospital is sickening,” a nurse at the hospital told PREMIUM TIMES. He asked for anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press. He said some of the wounded had bullet wounds with bruises while others were trampled on in the commotion ............... READ MORE Restricted Grazing: Key To Ending Spiraling Violence In Middle Belt By Regrettably, armed attacks on farming communities often are blamed on cattle herdsmen who chiefly belong to the Fulani ethnicity. The great Fulani people as a whole do not deserve this mean stereotype. Nonetheless, the regular attacks on unarmed farmers and their families are misattributed by Nigerian Mainstream media [NMSM] to “farmer-herder clashes,” a term that greatly distorts and conceals the political and sectarian motivation of radical jihadist mercenaries. As is well known, the herding class is almost a synonym with Fulani, the most prolific herders in West Africa. These attacks have scarred the Middle Belt for decades and left a traumatic stain on Nigeria’s Independence Day celebrations in Plateau and Benue States. Reprisals against herding groups are rare but sometimes happen. It’s a fact that the displacement of farming families by land-grabbing terrorists has made the Middle Belt a cauldron of misery for 4 million displaced people. However, a novel solution dubbed “Livestock Alimentation and Rural Management Initiative” (LARMI) promises a compelling solution to and could usher in a new era of peaceful coexistence. Nigeria’s current beef industry relies upon open grazing of livestock, which entails large herds of cattle straying or deliberately herded into crop farms, where the blood, sweat and tears of countless farm families are despoiled. Farmers who dare to defend themselves against the unexpected invasions of herds have been gunned down in their fields or have endured “reprisal attacks” months later. The herders carry automatic rifles with impunity in a nation that strictly enforces gun control laws against non-herders.……. READ MORE Nigeria's President Challenged Over Alleged Diploma Forgery By Rédaction AfricaNews with AP Nigeria's main opposition said Thursday it will present new evidence to support its court challenge seeking to overturn this year's presidential election, saying it can show the declared winner provided faked academic credentials to authorities. President Bola Tinubu forged a diploma from an American university that he presented to Nigeria's election commission before the February vote and should be removed from office, first runner-up Atiku Abubakar and his lawyer alleged in a briefing with reporters. They cited records obtained from the university in a U.S. court hearing and shared with The Associated Press. Abubakar previously has argued Tinubu should not be president because the election commission did not follow due process in announcing the winner and Tinubu was not qualified to run, citing allegations of dual citizenship and of a criminal indictment in the United States. Tinubu has denied those claims. He did not comment on the new allegation, but his spokesman denied it. "A man cannot forge the academic records he possesses," Temitope Ajayi, Tinubu's media aide, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. The challenge is being closely watched by many Nigerians following a divisive election that saw Tinubu win with less than 50% of the votes, a first in Nigeria's history. Abubakar is one of three candidates who are in court seeking to void Tinubu's election victory. Kalu Kalu, Abubakar's lawyer, said they are set to present "fresh evidence" in the case pending before Nigeria's Supreme Court. "A party at fault cannot be allowed to enjoy the fruit of his illegality," Kalu said…...……. READ MORE

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