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Anxiety heightens as soldiers lay siege on Aba, markets shut

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Last Updated on June 1, 2024 by Fellow Press

Tension is increasing in Aba, Abia state, as soldiers have taken over the city following the killing of five of their colleagues at a military checkpoint located at Obikabia junction, Ogbor Hill.

Gunmen suspected to be enforcers of the sit at home order directed by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, had attacked the checkpoint and killed five soldiers and burnt two patrol vans as well as their checkpoint.

The tension over the killing has increased with two military helicopters still hovering over the Ogbor Hill area and environs.

Residents have resorted to scampering for safety whenever they sight the several patrol teams of soldiers who move on top speed.

Soldiers had stormed Cemetery, Ngwa road, Nsulu markets and other business centres and ordered traders to leave the areas. Many schools in the city didn’t open for studies as parents did not allow their children to leave for school while some schools closed before midday.

However, the Aba main motor park was still a beehive of activities when Vanguard visited. Soldiers had left the military checkpoints at Asa road and Emelogu junction in Ogbor Hill.

Residents of Umuola, Ukaegbu, Ehere, New Umuahia and Ururuka roads in Ogbor Hill and Obohia and Ohanku in Ndiegoro area, as well as adjoining areas have remained indoors for fear of reprisal from soldiers.

Fierce looking soldiers have also barricaded the Aba – Umuahia section of the Enugu – Port Harcourt expressway. Passengers now alight at Arungwa, Umuekea, Isiala Ngwa and Ntigha junctions and trek a kilometer while raising their hands. To avoid the situation, some motorists navigate through local routes to avoid the numerous military checkpoints on the expressway.

Efforts to get the reaction of the Army Public Relations Officer,14 Brigade, Ohafia, Lt. Innocent Omale, was unsuccessful, as he didn’t respond to a message sent to his mobile number.

Entertainment

Nollywood actress, Stella Ikwuegbu, dies

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Last Updated on June 16, 2024 by Fellow Press

The Nigerian Movie Industry has once again been thrown into mourning following the demise of another actress, Sandra Ikwuegbu.

The Veteran Actress is said to have died today, June 16, after a battling with leg cancer,

Her colleagues in the industry have taken to social media to mourn her. Movie Producer, Stanley Ontop , wrote;

‘’Popular Nollywood actress/veteran Mrs stella ikwuegbu is dead.

The Veteran Actress left this world today after battling with Leg cancer. Rest well madam Stella.

Nollywood not again

It’s well

Shalom!”

Another colleague of hers, Ijele Ozioma Christy Ejiofor, who paid a visit to the late actress’s home this afternoon, wrote

‘’Ukwu Gi Dia. Why? You scaled through several, accident s and all. Eniure/Achiere came, and in less than a week, it killed you. Oh my… I feel bad.

Stella Ikwuegbu, nenu Jennifer, you didn’t enjoy a thing. Why? Just why?

Adieu Great Actress Extraordinary…”

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Food shortage in Southwest will be calamitous– Yoruba Group

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Last Updated on June 16, 2024 by Fellow Press

A Yoruba socio-political group, Yoruba Commitment Forum (YCF) has raised an alarm about the looming food shortage in the South West region of the country.

The group said, though, the impending food insecurity is a national crisis, stressing that its impact on Yorubaland is going to be calamitous.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Otunba Hon Tayo Onayemi, Barr. Akeem Aponmade, Barr. Femi Mokikan, Otunba Niyi Sodiya, Mrs. Buky Tunde Oshunrinde and Mrs. Sola Maja, and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

The YCF attributed the looming food shortage to the invasion and destruction of farmlands by rampaging Fulani herders.

The group, while calling for adequate security of farmers and their farmlands, equally appealed to the federal government to adequately compensate whose farmlands were destroyed and as well give them financial incentives, to encourage them to go back to farm.

The statement titled, “Nigeria’s headaches, food insecurity in Yorubaland”, read, “we have observed that for about seven years now, Fulani herdsmen have been engaging in a relentless destruction of farmlands and settlements in Yorubaland. These criminal Fulani elements resorted to kidnapping, raping, maiming and killing of farmers and Yoruba sons and daughters.

“Neither the governments at any level, nor Fulani herdsmen’s apologists would claim ignorance of the atrocious activities of these ruthless people. Video recordings of their wicked actions suffuse the internet. The end result is that farmers began to be scared off their farms gradually until now when farms have been completely abandoned.

“When this started years ago, foresighted individuals raised concerns; they warned about the potential danger of food insecurity beginning with rising food prices and the need to ensure a stable food supply. It appears that Southwest was deliberately targeted and the invasion of our farmlands was the execution of a conscious plan to starve our people to death.

“We, the Yoruba Nation agitators, cried out for help against the brazen onslaught, but none came from the federal government led by a Fulani man.

“Unfortunately, the hens have now come home to roost as the consequences of our action, and inaction, are now here for real with food shortages and very high prices making it increasingly difficult for our people to access the basic necessity of food.

“Before the current situation spirals out of control, we hasten to inform the government that there is no alternative to large scale farming which Fulani herdsmen have destroyed by waging a war against farmers. Subsistence farming through the backyards, as good as it is, cannot serve the purpose of assuring any people of food security. Farmlands in the South West must be made very safe.

“We state emphatically that the situation whereby a basket of tomatoes is sold for #4000 in the North while the same is sold in Yorubaland for #150,000 is callous, ruthless and unacceptable to us.

We also call for assistance to use cheaper rail transport among others to assist our market men and women. Other regions do this, why not here in Yorubaland?

“Secondly, governments must incentivise farmers whose investments have been destroyed during the war of attrition waged against them by Fulani terrorists. Without government’s financial assistance, there is no way most farmers will be able to go back to farming, even if security of their lives and new investments are assured”, the statement concluded.

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