Sahara Reporters Latest News Today Sunday 21st February 2021

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today Sunday 21st February 2021

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 21/02/21

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E2%80%93ministry target=_blank rel=noopener>We Have No Plan To Make Benin 37th State of Nigeria –Ministry

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has dismissed media reports that the Republic of Benin aspires to be the 37th state in Nigeria.
In a statement issued by the ministry spokesperson, Ferdinand Nwonye, Onyeama said the report was misleading.

“The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to misleading reports in the media that the Republic of Benin is aspiring to be the 37 State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in the presence of his counterpart from the Republic of Benin, granted an interview after a very fruitful meeting between ministerial delegations from both countries and stated therein ‘… the President of Benin Republic said he would like the relations between the two countries to be so close as if Benin was the 37th State of Nigeria.’
“The Federal Republic of Nigeria has no territorial ambition and has never aspired to make Benin or any country as part of Nigeria,” Nwonye said.
The statement further called on the general public to disregard the wrong information.

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E2%80%98prayer-points%E2%80%99-against-fulani-herdsmen target=_blank rel=noopener>Adeboye Disowns ‘Prayer Points’ Against Fulani Herdsmen

Pastor E.A Adeboye

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has disowned a list of prayer points against Fulani herders circulated on social media.
In a tweet on Saturday, Adeboye branded the ‘prayer points’ as ‘fake news’ and said he never issued it and he never asked anyone to publish it on his behalf.

Pastor E.A Adeboye

The so-called ‘prayer points’ partly read, “The Fulani Moslems, well-organised, have encircled us with high calibre arms and ammunition pretending they are cattle-rearers, wait for orders to overrun our land and kill our people. They have perfected their strategies.
“Now, oh Lord, arise and defend us; contend with those that contend with us.
“Oh, Lord, protect us. Stop them from destroying our farmlands, raping our women, killing our people, burning our houses, kidnapping and robbing us.”
But the 78-year-old cleric urged the general public to disregard the so-called ‘prayer points’ as he did not come up with it.
“Calvary greetings! Please ignore this prayer point titled, “Prayer from Daddy G. O. Adeboye” he captioned a copy of the so-called ‘prayer points’.
“It is not from me, and I have not assigned anyone to come up with it. I am not associated with the content neither the author of the content. Please beware of such! God bless you!” he added.
Calvary greetings!Please ignore this prayer point titled “Prayer from Daddy G. O. Adeboye”.It is not from me and I have not assigned anyone to come up with it.I am not associated with the content neither the author of the content.Please beware of such!God bless you!!! pic.twitter.com/B0mqTA6MLM— Pastor Adeboye (@PastorEAAdeboye) February 20, 2021

The South-West region has been in the eye of the storm lately over criminal elements who masquerade themselves as Fulani herders. These criminals have been accused of many crimes, including kidnappings, killings, rape, and farmlands destruction.
The governors in the region have since banned open grazing, night grazing and underage grazing, amongst other measures to curb the menace and foster peaceful co-existence between the Hausas and their host Yoruba communities.

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target=_blank rel=noopener>Nigerian Soldiers In Viral Video Taunt Shekau, Dare Him To Come Out

Troops of the Nigerian army have claimed to have taken over a farmland said to be owned by Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Jama’atu Ahlussunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad faction of Boko Haram.
According to a trending video on social media, the land is situated inside Sambisa forest, a stronghold of the sect in Borno State.

The soldiers were seen taunting Shekau, asking him to come out to face them.
“Shekau, where are you? See us on Shekau’s farm inside Sambisa. Shekau king of noise-making, where are you? Come out now and see if we will not waste you.
“This is Shekau’s farm inside Sambisa. Villagers take as much of the products as you can; after all, it is yours.
“Shekau, see us on your farm. We are going to have our Juma’at prayers on your farm,” one of the soldiers said in the video.”
TRENDING VIDEO: Nigerian Soldiers Taunt Shekau, Dare Him To Come Out📹:@TahaAdam_ pic.twitter.com/iPVSF16SHQ— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) February 20, 2021

However, it is not clear when the video was recorded as the Nigerian army has yet to comment on it.
Shekau has been at large and remains wanted by the authorities.
He has embarrassed the authorities on numerous occasions for claiming to have killed him.
In 2014, the Nigerian Army had said the Cameroonian military killed Shekau during a Boko Haram attempt to capture Kodunga, a small village north of Maiduguri.
The Cameroonian military-backed this claim by releasing a photo of Shekau’s supposed corpse on social media.
But shortly after, he appeared in a video, mocking those who claimed responsibility for his death.
But in a video he released in October 2014, Shekau taunted the military, saying he has “one soul”.
“Here I am, alive. I will only die the day Allah takes my breath. I am running our… Islamic caliphate and administering sharia punishments,” he had said.
“Nothing will kill me until my days are over… I’m still alive. Some people asked you if Shekau has two souls. No, I have one soul, by Allah. It is propaganda that is prevalent. I have one soul. I’m an Islamic student. I’m the Islamic student whose seminary you burnt… I’m not dead.”
Also, Chad President Idriss Deby in 2015 claimed Shekau had been replaced with one Mahamat Daoud.
But five months after, Shekau resurfaced in a video where he described Deby as a “hypocrite”.

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target=_blank rel=noopener>Residents Protest As Soldier Shoots Truck Driver Over N200 Bribe

Rivers state map

The serenity of the Airport Junction stretch of Omuagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State was shattered on Friday when an unidentified soldier allegedly shot a truck driver.
According to PUNCH, the incident occurred about 9 pm at an army checkpoint along Port Harcourt-Airport-Owerri Road, Omagwa.

Rivers state map

TheSun

The soldier had reportedly demanded the usual N200 charge for tankers from the victim, but the latter refused. The soldier reportedly shot the victim.
The soldier’s action provoked a protest by other truck drivers in solidarity, leading to gridlock as air passengers and commuters were stranded.
The driver accused the soldiers of extorting them daily, saying the shooting was the height of it, even as the soldiers later deserted the area for fear of being attacked.
Commenting on the incident, Chairman of Ikwerre LGA, Samuel Nwanosike, said the victim was rushed to the hospital for medical attention, adding that the council authority intervened and reopened the road.
“We had a development last night where security operatives had issues with tanker drivers in the state. The Association of Tanker drivers shut down the road to commuters,” he said.‌”To the glory of God, the tanker driver that was attacked is alive. We took him to the hospital, and he is receiving treatment. The local government is taking care of that. We have spoken with the association; the road has been opened.
‘What we are saying is that the perpetrators of this act must be brought to book. The military man must be fished out. Security is provided to ensure the protection of lives and property and not to cause havoc.
“We are saying that no security operatives should collect money from commercial drivers. Ikwerre local government is the only local government that does not have a task-force collecting money from motorists. And we are saying that we will not accept the soldiers to collect money again. We will set up a task force to that effect,” he added.

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E2%80%93-foreign-affairs-minister target=_blank rel=noopener>Benin Republic Ready To Be Nigeria’s 37th State– Foreign Affairs Minister

Nigeria Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama speaks at the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region in Oslo, Norway February 24, 2017

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the President of Benin Republic, Patrice Talon, had expressed readiness for his country to be part of Nigeria.
Onyeama, who stated this shortly after a closed-door meeting with Beninoise Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Aurélien Agbenonci, said the Beninoise president made the offer when he visited President Muhammadu Buhari, a few weeks back.

File Photo: Nigeria Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama speaks at the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region in Oslo, Norway February 24, 2017

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“The President of Benin said as far as they are concerned, they want (not just saying it like that), but in reality, Benin should be the 37th state of Nigeria,” he said, according to a report by DailyTrust.
“We should be one. They charged us to come together at the ministerial level, to work out a framework for a sustainable relationship.”
Onyeama said during the visit, both presidents discussed agreements between the two countries on how to put the issue of smuggling to an end.

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target=_blank rel=noopener>BREAKING: Bandits Currently Attacking Another Community In Niger State

Armed men suspected to be bandits are currently attacking Gurmana in the Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
SaharaReporters gathered that the heavily armed bandits came into the village Saturday evening, shooting sporadically.

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“They are currently shooting sporadically into the air and on target, which has resulted in many casualties.
“In the process of running away for safety, unspecified numbers of people have been drowned in River Kaduna,” a villager told SaharaReporters.
The attack comes a few days after bandits stormed Government Science College (GSC) in Kagara, abducting many students and staff members.
While one student who tried to escape was gunned down, a staff member escaped from captivity.
According to the state government, 27 students, three teachers, two non-teaching staff and nine family members of the staff staying in the quarters were taken away by the gunmen.

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Residents Flee As B’Haram Terrorists Take Over Borno Community, Kill Many

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target=_blank rel=noopener>Residents Flee As B’Haram Terrorists Take Over Borno Community, Kill Many

Dikwa the map

Boko Haram insurgents on Friday night attacked Dikwa town in Borno State, killing many civilians, a military source told SaharaReporters.
Dikwa is about a 60km drive from Maiduguri, the state capital and a stone’s throw from Mafa Local Government Area, where Governor Babagana Zulum hail from.

Dikwa the map

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SaharaReporters gathered that the insurgents pushed back military forces and took over the community for several hours.
Frightened villagers were said to have fled into the forests, nearby mountains and towns where they hid for hours.
The source said apart from those killed; several others were left with serious bullet injuries.
“Our men in the community were overpowered by the insurgents. Details of casualties still remain uncertain but the terrorists killed some residents,” the source said.
The attack comes a few days after ten soldiers were killed in an ambush in New Marte, Marte Local Government Area of the state.
Boko Haram and its offshoot, Islamic State West Africa Province, have become more ferocious in recent times.
The Nigerian army has repeatedly claimed that the insurgency had been largely defeated and frequently underplays any losses.
The terror group has caused over 40,000 deaths and displaced millions of individuals, mainly in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

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E2%80%93-senate-president-lawan target=_blank rel=noopener>S’West Governors Responsible For Killings In Sasha Market, Others – Senate President, Lawan

Senate President Ahmad Lawa

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, says divisive utterances by some Southwest governors were responsible for the killings in Sasha market in Ibadan, Oyo State and other violence against northerners in the region.
A crisis had on February 18 erupted in Shaha following an argument that ensued between a pregnant Yoruba woman and a Hausa businessman.

Senate President Ahmad Lawa

Following the development, many were killed while many houses were burnt, which rendered thousands of Hausa residents homeless.
Speaking in an interview with BBC Hausa Service, Lawan attributed the violence to the latest call for the eviction of Fulani herders out of Southwestern states.
“Leadership failures in the region cause what happened in Oyo State and other things that kept happening in the Southwestern states,” he said.
“Some utterances by some governors also went a long way in inciting the citizens to take up arms against other ethnic groups settling in their states.
“The governors’ utterances emboldened the criminals to unleash violence against the northerners.”
Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo state, had last month issued a seven-day quit notice to Fulani herdsmen operating illegally in the state’s forest reserves.
Apart from ejecting the herdsmen, the governor also banned underage grazing, night grazing, and cattle movement within the cities and on highways.
The issue generated an uproar, and after a meeting with various stakeholders, Akeredolu asked herdsmen to register with the government to operate unhindered in the forest reserves.
Sunday Adeyemo, better known as Sunday Igboho, also asked herdsmen in Igangan in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo state to leave within seven days following reports of the killing of some residents.
Days after, violence erupted in the area during which the houses and property of the Seriki Fulani, Alhaji Saliu Abdulkadir, were burnt.
Abdulkadir had told SaharaReporters that he, his wives and children were sent out of the settlement, adding that 11 vehicles and houses were burnt in the process.
The Seriki had after that fled the community with his family, as aggrieved youths set fire on the settlement.

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E2%80%94residents target=_blank rel=noopener>Nigerian Army Killing Innocent People In Orlu—Residents

Some residents of Orlu communities in Imo State have accused soldiers of the Nigerian Army of killing ‘innocent’ people.
The residents disclosed this in a survey conducted by SaharaReporters.

Many people have been reportedly killed in the community following a clash between Nigerian army operatives and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) security outfit, Eastern Security Network (ESN), on January 25.
Videos seen by SaharaReporters during the week showed helicopters hovering around the town in search of the camps occupied by the ESN personnel.

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Tension As Nigerian Military Conducts Air Strikes In Orlu In Search Of ESN

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Are you a resident of Orlu in Imo State? We want to hear from you. Please fill out this form: Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) February 19, 2021

A spokesperson for the Nigerian army 34 artillery Brigade, Obinze, Owerri, Babatunde Zubairu, who confirmed the operation, said the locals were not being harassed.
The army spokesperson said that the operation was an offshoot of military intelligence.
Kanu, leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, had launched the ESN on December 12, 2020, saying the regional security outfit would help to tackle just like Amotekun in the South-West crimes and criminalities.
After the clash, Kanu accused Governor Hope Uzodinma of working with the army to “flush out and attack ESN officers from the bushes where they are operating.”
On Friday, the Imo State Government said ESN operatives are hoodlums and would be treated as murderers by the government.
The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Cyprian Akaolisa, said, “The Imo state government invited the military to flush out the hoodlums who call themselves ESN in Orlu.”
According to Akaolisa, Kanu was endangering the people of the state by the activities of ESN In the area.
Replying to a survey conducted by SaharaReporters, some responders accused the military of killing innocent people. For fear of victimisation, some of them didn’t mention their names.
“The military is killing innocent people. They should channel their aggression to the Fulani herdsmen and terrorist bandits,” one of the responders claimed.
Another responder said, “It’s so scary and full of injustice. We now live in fear of the Nigeria army and attack from the armed Fulani herdsmen.
“I cannot go back to my regular business of selling local gari to feed myself and my three children. We are helpless and hungry. We cannot call on the government because they’re biased.
“The government has failed us. They protect their relatives to the detriment of our lives. Do I still have confidence in this government again? The government should negotiate with ESN as they do with Fulani bandits.”
One of the respondents said his friend was allegedly killed by Nigerian soldiers.
“So badly, my gee named Onyebuchi don die, bullet touch am. What’s going on?? ESN is not a terrorist group. Since it was created, no one has been raped, no bad news about them, yet the military is killing us, using them (ESN) as an excuse. What’s going on?” He asked.
“We live in fear; an old woman coming back from her farm was killed. The ESN is not a threat to anyone; the military is. And all the victims of the military assault so far are harmless civilians, not ESN,” another resident of the town said.
“There are reported cases of arrests and deaths, yet to be ascertained by me. There is no crisis in Orlu. The Buhari regime is only displaying a high-level cluelessness. They should return their interest to the northern axis of terror because the ESN is only defending the eastern territories from the ravages of the Fulani herdsmen whom this regime are sponsoring,” one of the residents said.
Another said he lost his business during the clash.
He said, “I lost my business. I must defend my ancestral home if I am equipped to do it. Many people are currently in the hospital, and many can’t go to the hospital because they are afraid the army could come to take them from the hospital. The Nigerian government can’t do anything because they are the ones instigating the crisis.”

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target=_blank rel=noopener>Nigerian Consulate In New York Shut As COVID Spreads Among Staff

The Nigerian Consulate in New York has suspended operations temporarily over the exposure of some of its staff members to the coronavirus. The consulate disclosed this in a public notice dated February 18, adding that the action became necessary to safeguard its staff and visitors’ health.

The notice read, “The general public is, as a result of this, notified that the Consulate General of Nigeria, New York, will be temporarily closed from Thursday, February 18, 2021, to Sunday, February 28, 2021, due to the number of staff who are quarantined as a result of exposure to COVID-19 at work.”This action has become necessary to safeguard the health of staff and visitors to the consulate.”Therefore, passport applicants who have been earlier scheduled for biometrics within the period of closure would be rescheduled and informed accordingly.”All other requests for consular services should be mailed to the Consulate during this period.”The consulate general said it would reopen for regular services on March 1, 2021.The US has the highest number of COVID cases in the world.

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