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DHQ: We Bombed Terrorists In Nasarawa Not Innocent Herdsmen



Last Updated on July 18, 2023 by Fellow Press

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) dismissed as unfounded, allegations by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigerian (MACBAN) that scores of its innocent members on their way from Makurdi, were killled in an airstrike in Nasarawa State early this year.

At a media briefing of the Directorate of Military Operations (DMO) in Abuja, Air force Spokesman, Ayodele Famuyiwa,said the narrative by the association was far-fetched.

He spoke just as the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), announced that 64 terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements were killed while 175 others were arrested by troops in collaboration with other other security agencies in various operations aimed at addressing the current security challenges across the country.

The Director, Defence Media Operations (DMO), Maj Gen Musa Danmadami said the military troops also recovered 41 Ak47 rifles, rescued 34 abducted civilians and destroyed stolen crude oil products in the Niger Delta valued at N82.445million from 1 – 15 June 2023.

The two senior military officers spoke during the fortnightly briefing on troops activities and operational successes being recorded in the various operational theaters within the six geo-political zones of the country.

There were lingering reports of concerns from human rights bodies including Amnesty International (AI) about the allegation by Miyetti Allah that dozens of herders were killed in a community in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State in Januray, on their way from Makurid where they had gone to claim their cows that had been seized by the Benue State Livestock Guard for violatinng the state’s anti-open grazing law.

But speaking to journalists on the matter, Air Commodore Famuyiwa declared that no innocent person was killed in the said operation.

“Let the people who said innocent people were killed provide the evidence and let the press do that analysis and let the truth come out,” he said.

The Airforce spokesman, who decried the sustained attempts by by some human rights bodies, “to put the military in disrepute,” also blamed the Nigerian media for leveraging on the position of the human rights bodies without necessarily hearing from the Airforce.

“And very sadly blowing up the position of the human rights watch without you doing your own discrete investigation and being sure that whatever position that you are taking is correct.

“On the 24th of January, and even before then, there had been intelligence (reports) from several reliable sources of the activities of terrorists in that particular area. You are all aware of the nefarious activities of criminal elements in that particular area; you are also aware that there’s an on-going operation, that is the Operation Whirlstroke.

“The intel here from several/different sources and even to the Commander of that Operation and to the air component, was that there was a plan by terrorists within that area to carry out a massive attack and then there was a secondary school in question that the terrorists were bound to kidnap students. To that extent, the Airforce carried out surveillance”, he said.

“There was surveillance and the surveillance confirmed terrorists, and I mean terrorists, and how do you know that they are terrorist? They have tactics which they adopt: you see them coming on bikes in triples, converging at a location and after that, they disappear, hiding under the forage and that surveillance continued for almost throughout the day until later in the evening when a truck appeared in that scene. The truck was suspected to have brought logistics to them. That was why approval was given by the appropriate authority that, that truck should be take out and the truck was taken out.

“Now, if anyone is coming around to say innocent people were killed, has the press asked them, where is the photograph of that truck that brought the cattle that they are talking about? The claim is that they came there to come and collect their cattle. Now, if you say people died, where is the truck? where are the cattle? Where is the photograph of the dead bodies and if you do your investigation very well, you will discover that if you say people died from a strike, there’s going to be a way the bodies will look. Did the press do that?, he queried.

Air Commodore Famuyiwa maintained that “the position of the Airforce is that terrorists were struck that day and whether it is Miyetti Allah or whatsoever group that thinks there were innocent people, let them provide evidence. If you think the military is going to give you the evidence of that operation for now, you won’t get it because there are some information that cannot be de-classified now. But let’s put the burden on the people: if they came there to collect their cows, where are the cows? Where is the picture of the truck that was struck? How did those people die? I think the press needs to do better than this”.

He argued that “if you look at it, after that particular incident, have you heard of any terrorist activity in that area? Have you heard? So, I think we need to do much better. No innocent person was killed. Let the people who said innocent people were killed provide the evidence and let the press do that analysis and let the truth come out.”

Briefing the media on the operational actitivies in the various geo-political zones, Major-General Danmadami disclosed that within the weeks in review, troops in the North-east zone recovered 14 AK47 rifles, one G3 rifle, six dane guns,one FN rifle, one pistol, 2 x 36 hand grenades, two locally made grenades, one RPG tube, one pump action gun, 547 rounds of 7.62mm special, 75 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 46 empty cases of 7.62mm NATO, 15 empty cases of 7.62mm special, 10 empty cases of 12.7mm ammunitions and 1 Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonating fuse.

Other items are 27 sacks of grinded corn, 10 bags of corn grains, 6 bags of beans, 5 bags of local rice, gallon of palm oil, 12 sleeping mats, clothings, 37 sachets of seasoning powder, 15 packs of spaghetti, 12 bar soaps, 3 vehicles, 8 chemical sprayer, two packs of maggi seasoning, five pairs of Boko Haram Terrorist uniforms, eight cartons of fish, 10 motorcycles, 49 bicycles, 14 arrows, 16 mobile phones, 12 sacks of substances suspected to be cannabis and the sum of N11,046,010.00.

“Troops equally neutralized 20 Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists, captured seven suspected terrorists, apprehended 40 suspected terrorists logistics suppliers and 15 notorious criminal gang members.

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Food inflation soars by 61 per cent in one year– NBS



Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Nigerians are finding it more difficult to feed themselves, as food inflation rose to 40.66 per cent in May.

This was as the cost of food rose by 61 per cent from 25.25 per cent in June 2023 to 40.66 per cent in May 2024, highlighting a steady rise in the cost of living.

This is according to an analysis of the latest Consumer Price Index and Inflation report released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The CPI measures the average change over time in the prices of goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living.

On Saturday, the NBS disclosed that headline inflation moved by 0.26 per cent to 33.95 per cent from 33.69 per cent recorded in April.

The report noted that the inflation rate climbed to a 28-year high since March 1996 on higher food and transport prices.

It said, “In May 2024, the headline inflation rate increased to 33.95 per cent relative to the April 2024 headline inflation rate which was 33.69 per cent.”

The statistics agency also reported major contributing items to headline inflation in May 2024 including food & non-alcoholic beverages (contributing 17.59 per cent), housing, water, and electricity, gas & other fuel (contributing 5.68 per cent), and clothing & footwear (contributing 2.60 per cent).

A breakdown of the data showed that the price of food commodities increased steadily from 25.25 per cent in June, to 26.98 per cent in July, 29.34 per cent, 30.64 per cent in August, 31.52 per cent in September, 31.52 per cent October, 32.84 per cent in November and 33.93 per cent as the end of December 2023.

The rate further increased to 35.41 per cent in January, 37.92 per cent in February, crossed the 40 per cent mark in March, 40.53 per cent in April and 40.66 per cent in May.

NBS said the rate rose to 40.66 per cent in May, compared to the 24.82 per cent reported in the same month last year — indicating an increase of 15.84 per cent points.

The bureau said semovita, oatflake, yam flour prepackage, garri, bean, etc (which are under bread and cereals class), Irish potatoes, yam, water yam, etc (under potatoes, yam and other tubers class), contributed to the year-on-year increase in the food inflation rate.

Other contributors are palm oil, vegetable oil, etc (under oil and fat), stockfish, mudfish, crayfish, etc (under fish class), beef head, chicken-live, pork head, and bush meat (under meat class).

“The food inflation rate in May 2024 was 40.66 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.84 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in May 2023 (24.82 per cent).

“The average annual rate of Food inflation for the twelve months ending May 2024 over the previous twelve-month average was 34.06 per cent, which was 10.41 per cent points increase from the average annual rate of change recorded in May 2023 (23.65 per cent),” the report said.

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Omokri tackles Peter Obi over his criticism of ‘new’ presidential jet for Tinubu



Peter Obi

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, on Monday accused the 2023 Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, of lying over the reported purchase of a presidential jet for President Bola Tinubu.

Omokri said, contrary to Obi’s claim, the Nigerian government has no plans to buy a new private jet for Tinubu.

He clarified that the idea to change Tinubu’s presidential jet did not emanate from the presidency.

On Friday, the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence asked the FG to purchase new aircraft for Tinubu and Shettima.

Reacting, Obi said: “It’s on record that our presidential jets have an average age of 12 years, purchased when most Nigerians could afford basic necessities. Now, as our country faces significant challenges, including a high debt profile, our citizens are in even greater need.”

However, Omokri faulted Obi’s comment, which he described as “another Gbajue lie.”

Posting on X, Omokri wrote: “The statement by Peter Obi condemning the Federal Government’s plan to buy new presidential jet for President Tinubu is another Gbajue lie from a man who has elevated lying to an art.

“The reason for this is because there is no such plan. It was the National Assembly that mooted the idea, as is their right. The Executive did not make such plans and has not budgeted any money for such a purpose.

“It is the same way he lied and blamed the Tinubu administration for spending N21 billion on the new residence of the Vice President. What he failed to tell his gullible supporters is that that project was initiated and funded by previous administrations, dating to when our party, the Peoples Democratic Party, was in office. Please note that Peter Obi was then our card-carrying member, but he did not attack the project.

“Mr. Peter Obi counts on your gullibility and refusal to research what you read before believing him. That is why he tells such fibs.”

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