The late 5: Suspected herdsmen kill six in fresh Benue attack, UK appoints Minister for Loneliness and other top stories

These are the top stories from Nigeria that drove conversation today.

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) on Wednesday threatened to launch a fresh attack on critical oil and gas facilities in the country.

In a statement pushed on NDA website by its spokesman, Murdoch Agbinibo, the group specifically threatened to attack the operating offshore facilities like Bonga, Agbami, Akpo Britania-U and the yet-to-arrive Egina FPSO.

The group, which reiterated its call for the restructuring of the country, also lashed out at the nation’s armed forces for killing notorious kidnapper and waterways robber, Kareowei.

It also blasted the Muhammadu Buhari administration for its double standards, saying the government failed to see the myriad of woes and discomforts in the Niger Delta, but committed $1 billion to the fight against insurgency in the North East.

Senator Isa Misau (Bauchi, APC) has accused President Buhari of appointing incompetent people into his cabinet.

He also said the appointment of the Director General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Abubakar, was shrouded with favouritism.

He alleged that Abubakar failed examinations preceding his appointment.

The cleric who evaded arrest by the State Security Services (SSS) in Jos, Monday said he refused to honour an invitation by the agency because their action was illegal.

Isa El-Buba stated this Tuesday evening in an interview with journalists in Jos.

Sonni Ogbuoji (Ebonyi south), was stopped from defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday.

Speaking on the floor of the senate, Ogbuoji cited problems in the PDP, both in his state and at the national level, as the reason why he wanted to leave the party.

But his colleagues in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cut him short midway into his defection speech.

Suspected herdsmen have killed six people in fresh attacks on Benue communities.

The attacks were said to have been on communities in Logo, Guma and Okpokwu Local Government Areas of the state.

Governor Samuel Ortom confirmed the attacks on Wednesday when he received a former military administrator of the state, Brig. General Dominic Oneya (retd),  at the Government House in Makurdi.

And the top stories from around the world.

UK Prime Minister, Theresa May has appointed Tracey Crouch as the country’s Minister for Loneliness.

Crouch is the current junior minister for sport and civil society.

The appointment is one of the recommendations made by a commission set up in honour of Jo Cox, a Labour MP.

North and South Korea have agreed to form their first joint Olympic team, and will march together under a unified Korea flag at the opening ceremony of the Winter Games next month.

They also agreed to field a joint women’s ice hockey team after rare talks at the village of Panmunjom.

Sweden is preparing to issue leaflets to 4.7 million households this spring amid growing fears it could be dragged into the perils of war.

The leaflets, which urge citizens to prepare for “crisis and catastrophes in peacetime, but also for different kinds of attacks on society and Sweden,” is the latest step in the country’s revamped defense strategy in response to perceived Russian aggression.

Catalonia‘s parliament has met for the first time since the region’s failed bid for independence from Spain.

The legislature was dissolved following the unsuccessful secession effort, with Madrid calling fresh elections in a bid by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to defuse Spain’s worst constitutional crisis in decades.

But pro-independence parties are now in the majority and the session has seen separatists start the process of getting sacked regional leader Carles Puigdemont back into power.

The US will give a UN agency $60 million in aid for Palestinian refugees but withhold a further $65 million “for future consideration”, the State Department says.

The decision would sustain schools and health services, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a daily briefing.

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