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Police Arrest Elders Of Anambra Community Over Alleged Death Of 4 Herdsmen, 108 Cows

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The Nigerian Police is still reportedly detaining leaders of Ifite-Ogwari town in Ayamelun Council of Anambra State, two weeks after they were arrested after a meeting with Governor Obiano

The detained leaders include Chief Nwaora Ikeozalla (Deputy President General) and Chief Michael Akamala (Chief Security Officer) of Ifite-Ogwari, respectively.

According to reports by Igbo Mandate Congress, the traditional ruler of the town, HRM Dr A.I. Ofuebe was almost arrested with the other elders at the scene of the meeting with Governor Obiano. Since then, the detained community leaders have been dumped at cells meant for hardened criminals at the CID cell in Awka, Anambra State

A week after their detention, the leader of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria MACBAN, in the South East, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki alleged that youths of Ifite-Ogwari killed four herders and 108 cows between December 20 and January 27, 2020.

Igbo Mandate Congress, IMC, have been following up on the issue since the Miyetti Allah leaders raised alarm last week, at the behest of Igbo leaders, and have interacted with stakeholders in the community, state government, the police and members of the Fulani community. Igbo Mandate Congress has released its preliminary reports to Ohanaeze Ndigbo, PFN, CAN and members of the diplomatic community on the situation at Ifite-Ogwari capable of turning Anambra State into a theatre of war.

Igbo Mandate Congress IMC noted that:

The community leaders of Ifite-Ogwari are being detained at the insistence of leaders of Miyetti Allah in the South East. They justified their two-week incarceration on the mantra that they are still investigating and looking for the killers of the herdsmen and the 108 cows.

The Legal Adviser to the community, Barrister Michael Chukwuemeka, has been denied proper access to the detained elders and that the Deputy President General is in bad state of health.

Top officials of Anambra State Govt told IMC that the Governor recently asked the Commissioner of Police to release the elders but the Police declined, insisting that only order from Abuja can effect their release.

Igbo Mandate Congress leaders were told by the Ifite-Ogwari elders that they were living in peace with the Fulani’s till a murderous and rapist group entered their midst.

These Murderous groups specialize in destroying people’s farms and brandishing dangerous weapons when challenged by the displaced farmers.

The murderous herders graduated to raping young girls in their farms to the point that young girls do not go to farms again.

The Murderous herders descended on married women who refused to be chased away from farms and raped them repeatedly.

The men, then started escorting their women to farms, and the herders graduated into raping married women in the presence of their husband.

The elders and youth of Ifite-Ogwari made repeated efforts to get the attention of the state government to the tension, and they were repeatedly told to forgive their enemies for the sake of national unity.

They claimed that at no point between December and January, did the youth mobilize against the Fulani, insisting that if such had happened, probably hundreds would have died.

That if anybody ever died, as claimed by Miyetti Allah, it could be as a result of a private clash between an infuriated farmer and a rapist herdsman, and the community was not involved in it.

That the claims by Miyetti Allah leaders that they killed four herders are a subterfuge to attack the community.

That whether Willie Obiano defends them or not, they will not allow rapists to invade their farmlands anymore, and will defend the community against any attack.

That Governor Obiano is insisting that the community pays N38 million naira being compensation for alleged 108 cows and that the community elders have raised some million from communal taxation.

Igbo Mandate Congress in its recommendation, advises the leaders of Miyetti Allah to expunge those murderers and rapists from their midst terrorizing communities around Ayamelum.

Igbo Mandate Congress deems Miyetti Allah actions in Anambra State as triggers for disintegration of Nigeria.. While IMC has been working in concert with Igbo elites and professionals to stem the secessionist tide in the South East since 2014, with great success, including severally calling some youth leaders to order , the Miyetti Allah counterparts are encouraging rapists and murderers in their midst .

Igbo Mandate Congress advises Governor Obiano to stop taxing the Ifite Ogwari community, and pay from state coffers the N38 million naira the Miyetti Allah demanded for the allegedly killed 108 cows. Governor Obiano should also pay N18 milllion naira for the destroyed farmlands and N18 million naira for rehabilitation of families whose daughters and mothers have been senselessly raped since the state failed to protect the community after repeated alarms.

The Nigerian Police should order the release of the community elders detained and pay them compensation for illegal two weeks detention.

The youth of Ifite Ogwari should suspend any planned reaction and allow a solution to be worked out within the next few days by concerned Igbo leaders.

Igbo Mandate Congress is a major stakeholder in Anambra State and expects those concerned to act in the interest of peace.

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COVID-19: Rivers Govt Concludes Plans To Distribute Foodstuffs

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on Sunday announced that his administration has set in motion the platform for the distribution of food palliatives to Rivers people following the sit-at-home directive to check the spread of coronavirus.

Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt on Sunday after inspecting the State Food Bank established for the distribution of the food palliatives, Governor Wike informed that a State Committee will be set up to implement the distribution of the foodstuffs.

Wike was accompanied by Service Commanders who are members of the State Task Force on Enforcement of the Ban on Public and Religious Gatherings .

He said: “We inspected where we kept the relief materials for our palliative programme. Our intention is to ensure that we mitigate the impact of the sit-at-home directive.

“We are going to set up a committee for the distribution of the foodstuffs meant to serve as palliative for Rivers people.”

At the State Food Bank , the State Government has rice, garri, beans, noodles, yam, palm oil and salt to be distributed to the less privileged in all the 23 Local Government Areas.

Governor Wike warned against the politicisation of the fight against coronavirus, saying all stakeholders must make sacrifices.

“We say to our people, this is not a time to play politics. Nobody should play politics with the lives of people. Everybody has to make sacrifices to make sure everyone stays alive,” he said.

The Rivers State Governor said that the State Government is prepared to tackle the deadly virus.

He said: “For now, we are not hundred percent ready, but we are about 90 percent ready. Luckily for us, we have no serious cases.

“The confirmed case is doing very well. They have sent her samples and it came out negative. The final sample has been sent and we are expecting the results.

“We are doing quite well. All members of the security council are working together to ensure that we prevent the spread of coronavirus.”

On the monitoring of compliance by Churches, Governor Wike said the Task Force is happy with the level of cooperation from the Churches.

He said: “We are happy with the level of compliance that we have seen throughout Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas. The churches complied.”

The Task Force monitored compliance at
Omega Power Ministries, OPM, Saint Patrick’s Anglican Church, Rukpokwu and Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chaplaincy, Catholic Institute of West Africa, Rumuibekwe.

Governor Wike also inspected the progress of work at the State Isolation/Treatment Centre under construction.

“We have visited this location to see the readiness of the isolation/treatment centre in Port Harcourt. Even though they failed to deliver the job on Saturday as promised, we are confident in the next four days, it would have been completed”, he said.

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COVID-19: African Countries Need To Quickly Ask For Debt Relief — Okonjo-Iweala

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Former minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has advised Nigeria and other African countries to quickly pressure the G7 and G20 for debt-relief in order to deal with the economic and health issues arising from the novel Coronavirus.

The economic expert who played a huge role in getting Nigeria an $18 billion debt-relief as minister of finance, stated a debt relief will aid in getting resources to tackle the spread of Coronavirus.

Okonjo-Iweala averred that the money owed by some African countries can be channeled towards dealing with Coronavirus.

She told BBC;

“You know we have several sources, you’ve got the African Development Bank, which has just floated a social bond for $3 billion that will be available to the countries on the continent,” she said.

“You have the World Bank that has set aside $14 billion of which they’ve already committed $2 billion to 25 countries — and 11 of them are Africans. Many of our countries need to move, to take advantage of this, and they are willing to commit $150 billion dollars over the next 15 months.

“The IMF has put forward $50 billion as an emergency fund, and already 80 countries have applied for this, many of them African.

“It also has a $1 billion grant fund; catastrophe containment and relief trust, which they can approach. Let me mention my own organisation, GAVI, where I am chair of the board. We have made immediately available $200 million to $300 million grant.

“Once these monies become available, if the countries get debt relief, that means that the monies they would have been paying to service the debt that they’ve taken from other countries; bilateral debts or from institutions, this monies can now be used to procure food and supplied and support the livelihood of people in the rural and urban area.

“Government can use these resources as part of an intervention fund to help people directly, and I think this is what they should be looking to do. But we need to move quickly, the debt relief we haven’t got it yet.

“There needs to be a great deal of pressure on the G7, G20 to come forward with this measure and then countries need to start availing themselves of the already available resources, and then pressure for the debt relief.”

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COVID-19: FG Seeks National Assembly Approval For N500 BILLION Intervention Fund

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Zainab Ahmed

In a bid to conquer the Coronavirus pandemic in the country, the Federal government has approached the leadership of the National Assembly for approval for the establishment of a N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund.

The Minister of Finance, Ahmed Zainab, met with the lawmakers today April 4th at the National Assembly complex. At the meeting, Ahmed said the proposed fund would be dedicated to upgrading of existing health facilities in states across the federation. She added that the fund if approved by the lawmakers, would also be deployed to take care of special Public Work Programmes currently being implemented by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

“What we are proposing is an establishment of a N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund. This fund that we are proposing, that should be created, will involve mopping up resources from various special accounts that the government, as well as the Federation, have, to be able to pull this N500 billion. Our general view is that this crisis intervention fund is to be utilised to upgrade healthcare facilities as earlier identified” she said.

On how the fund would be pooled, the Minister said the fund would be drawn from various special accounts, grants being expected and loans from multilateral institutions.

President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, appreciated the Federal government for the palliatives being handed to Nigerians following the Coronavirus outbreak but called for more interventions asides doling of cash.

“I think the time has come for us to redefine the implementation of the Social Intervention Programme, probably going out to communities to give them N20,000 per person might not be the best way to go. It is still an effort, but I think we need a better approach that will be more efficient. The Federal Government also needs to be in a position to improve health care facilities not only in the states but to provide intervention to the states.

We know that there will be a need for the parliament to agree and approve the taking of loans from these special accounts and we will be coming back with a proposed bill in that regard that will define what the fund will be used for” he said

Earlier in his opening remarks, the President of the Senate said the meeting, the second time since President Buhari made the pronouncement on lockdown to combat the deadly scourge, was necessary to fast track the process of legislative approval for the Executive request.

“Just like we told Nigerians when there is need for us to meet or to take legislative action in support of ensuring that the government responds appropriately to developments issues and challenges in the country, we will do so. This meeting, the second in the series after we shut down the National Assembly for two weeks, is a clear testimony of what we have said. Governance requires that we work together, so we want to listen to those things that you have on your side and how we can also play our constitutional role in ensuring that Nigerians continue to benefit from governance and how we are able to weather the storm created by COVID-19. Going forward, we need to interact more because very fundamental decisions will need to be taken, and these decisions can only be said to be constitutionally legal if the legislature gives its stamp of authority for the executive to implement and execute.

“I think coming to us for those loans is critical because we are in an emergency and time is of the essence. So, we must work as expeditiously as possible to ensure that we place the request before the National Assembly.” Lawan said

In attendance at the meeting were Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Speaker, Honourable Idris Wase and some other principal officers from both Chambers.

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