Benue gives mass burial to victims of herdsmen attacks, Dangote remains Africa’s richest man and other top stories of the week

These are the stories that drove conversation this week.

Residents of Benue remained mournful as bodies of the victims of the Fulani herdsmen attacks of Jan. 1 and 2 on parts of the state were given mass burial.

Governor Samuel Ortom had also declared three days of mourning for the victims of the attacks on communities in Logo and Guma Local Government Areas of the state.

Meanwhile, killer-herdsmen have extended their bloody campaign to Taraba, killing 55 people in Lau Local Government Area.

About 200 homes and huge piles of foodstuff were destroyed. Many people are missing in the attacks.

Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i of Kaduna has said that Thursday’s protests embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state against the dismissal of thousands of over 30,000 workers will not change his government’s position on the matter.

The NLC, led by its National Chairman, Ayuba Wabba, had embarked on a protest march in spite of a heavy security presence.

President of Dangote Industries, Alhaji Aliko Dangote remains Africa’s richest with a net worth of $12.2 billion, according to Forbes.

This is an increase of $100 million from his worth when the assessment was done by the influential magazine last year.

Dangote is the continental richest for the seventh year in a row.

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a substantive Director-General (DG) for the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

He is Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, a retired career Foreign Service officer, who until his appointment served as Senior Special Assistant to the President (SSAP) on Foreign Affairs/International Relations.

A statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Abubakar had extensive experience working with the United Nations in peace support operations, mediation process, preventive diplomacy and good offices, as well as promoting good governance and respect for the rule of law and human rights.

About 107 Boko Haram terrorists have been killed following intense battles with troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in the Northeast.

The Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, said four soldiers were also killed, with nine injured.

Foreign reserves have hit a three-year high at $40.4 billion, data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have shown.

The figure indicated an increase of about $1 billion between December 2017 and January 2018.

The CBN said the new reserves level was as projected by Governor Godwin Emefiele in November during the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN) Annual Bankers’ Dinner in Lagos.

In order to check herdsmen farmers persistent clashes, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, has said the  Federal Government is ready to establish cattle colonies.

The initiative is expected to provide sustainable solution to the herdsmen/farmers killings across the country.

The Kogi State government sacked 1,667 civil servants for alleged certificate forgery.

Eight permanent secretaries were also retired as part of the civil service reforms.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Petra Akinti Onyegbule, said those affected had served for four years and above.

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Kogi directed its members to resume strike on Monday – January 8 – over an alleged failure by the state government to meet their demands.

Dr Godwin Tijani, the Chairman of the association, said in Lokoja that the inability of the state government to pay the doctors’ full salaries was unacceptable.

Besides, Tijani said all the doctors’ associations and union dues as well as members’ cooperative society contributions were not remitted in full whereas 100 per cent taxes were deducted from their salaries.

According to Tijani, even some doctors are yet to be paid.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) has once again said it has no plan to increase price of premium motor spirit, (PMS) otherwise known as petrol in country.

NNPC in a statement by Ndu Ughamadu, Group General Manager Public Affairs Division, said the pump price of petrol remains N143 per litre in NNPC Retail outlets and N145 in other fuel stations, while maintaining PMS ex-depot price of N133.28k per litre to marketers.

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