The Ebonyi Government has urged Ekwashi and Ukwuagba Ngbo Autonomous communities of Ohaukwu LGA in the state to stay calm as government was working to resolve the attack on them on Tuesday.
The state governor, Chief Dave Umahi made the call in Ngbo on Wednesday when he visited the communities attacked by Agila, a bordering community in Benue.
Umahi, represented by his deputy, Mr Eric Igwe, led a team of security agencies including the Police, military, the Department of State Services and stakeholders on Border Peace and Conflict Resolution and media.
He confirmed that five persons were killed while some farmlands were destroyed by the Benue community over a land dispute.
Umahi frowned at the level of destruction noting that in spite of efforts by Ebonyi Government to resolve the crisis, the Agila people went on to attack its neighboring communities.
He said that more measures would be taken to strengthen the agreement between the two states while he called on Federal government for quick intervention on the warring communities.
He appreciated the Ngbo community on their adherence for not giving room for reprisal.
The governor said that local vigilance groups would be empowered to assist and accompany farmers whose farmlands are located at the dispute areas.
He charged traditional rulers, coordinators, chairmen and other stakeholders from the areas to devise means to also enable farmers visit their farms.
“I warn that no farmer should go to their farms alone without being accompanied by the local vigilance group.
“Enough is enough. We will meet to take more measures because two wrongs cannot make a right but we will ensure lives are saved,” he said.
The Chairman of Ohaukwu Local Government Area, Mr Clement Odah, who expressed dismay over the attack, said that the five persons killed include three females and two males whose bodies were recovered from the farm land.
Odah said some persons were hospitalized while means of livelihood and farm lands were destroyed.
He said that the frequency of the attack was becoming unbearable, in spite of all efforts made by the state government including a recent meeting held by the two states with a communique issued but the Agila reneged and attacked Ngbo people.
“We need an end to this interstate crisis. Those killed, injured were in their farms to harvest before the attack,” Odah said.
A regent of Ukwuagba Community, Mr Emmanuel Igboke, while narrating his ordeal, said that the circumstances were due to land issues.
Igboke disclosed that the land dispute had been in existence immediately after the Nigerian Civil War.
“The Agila people attacked them during harvest period. This issue has consumed lots of souls.
“They cut off the women’s breast, arms, and legs of the men. You need to see the inhuman act,” the regent cried.
He pleaded that the land be demarcated to avoid further attacks adding that an access road be constructed for them.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Musa Kimo while condoling with the victims’ families and communities demanded their cooperation to the police.
“We assure you that the crisis would be resolved but we appeal that your partnership will be needed,” he said.
Bodies of a female and a male victims were shown to the team.
IATA Inaugurates Turbulence Aware Data Resource To Forecast Turbulence
The ability of airlines to forecast and avoid turbulence would now be greatly enhanced as the International Air Transport Association, IATA, has inaugurated a turbulence aware data resource.
IATA said the system would pool and share turbulence date generated by participating airlines. The global body for airlines said before now, airlines had to depend on reports and weather advisories from pilots to offset the impact of turbulence.
IATA says the result would be the first global, real-time, detailed and objective information for pilots and operation’ professionals to manage turbulence.
It is expected that airlines operating in Nigeria would participate and benefit from this new system.
Oil Price Stability Buoys Nigeria’s Budget Benchmark
Nigerian budget benchmark appears buoyed by oil price stability as a result of cuts in production levels to which OPEC members have agreed.
The benchmark of sixty dollars was eroded by sustained drops in price. The high for the year was eighty-six dollars which dropped to about fifty-eight dollars last week.
It rebounded to sixty-two dollars per barrel last week, just as the federal executive council was to hold an emergency meeting on how the price drops would affect the Nigerian budget.
Opec countries had agreed to reduce daily production by eight hundred thousand barrels, while non-OPEC members decided to reduce production by four hundred thousand barrels per day.
CBN And MTN Plan To Settle $8b Rift Out Of Court
It seems as though the Central Bank of Nigeria and telco giant, MTN, are trying to find ways of resolving the $8 billion rift between them. One of MTN’s lawyers is quoted as saying they are making moves toward an out-of-court settlement.
Meanwhile, counsels for both parties have secured another adjournment until late January.
Another $2 billion case involving MTN and the Nigerian attorney general’s office was adjourned as well last week until early January. This case is related to alleged back taxes owed by MTN. The telco giant has denied it owed the taxes.
The $8 billion case was a result of a charge against MTN for allegedly violating Nigeria’s extant laws. In August, Central Bank of Nigeria sanctioned MTN Nigeria for allegedly using irregular certificates of capital importation to transfer $8.1 billion to South Africa on behalf of its offshore investors.
MTN is being asked to return the $8.1 billion to Nigeria.
Mtn group’s Nigerian operations account for one-third of its entire African market share.
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