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Insurgents Burn Three Villages, Kill Seven In Borno …Two Soldiers Killed In Accidental Discharge

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Boko Haram insurgents last Wednesday night burnt down three villages in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State in an attack that left at least seven people dead.
The insurgents attacked and set Wanori, Kaleri and Amarwa villages on fire in a two hour operation that began at about 9:00 p.m.
Villagers said the insurgents shot indiscriminately, looted food items before setting the villages on fire.
Competent security sources told newsmen that the insurgents were sighted on motorcycles along the Alau General Area.
“We suddenly started seen fire from Dalori, Kaleri and Amarwa followed by continuous gunshots from the general area.
“The Alfa jet was quickly deployed to the scene but the insurgents had taken over the villages as at that time,” one of the security source said.
A resident of Amarwa, Goni Kachalla, who fled the attack amidst the onslaught by the insurgents, said they were shooting everybody and people fled in different directions.
“I am yet to locate my family members,” Kachalla said, adding that the insurgents looted their belongings shouting Allahu Akbar and shooting everybody.
Another victim of the attack, Usma Grema, said all houses in Kaleri were set ablaze by the attackers, adding that “the jet came and chased them away. I have lost everything.”
Head, Emergency Response of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Bello Dabbatta, confirmed the attack and said the agency had deployed its personnel to the affected areas.
Dabbatta said that he was yet to get the number of people killed or injured.
Both the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Borno Police Command also confirmed the attack, but said they would respond as soon as they have details on the incident.
Meanwhile, two Nigerian soldiers attached to the 192 Battalion of the Nigerian Army have been killed by accidental discharge during training.
The Army in a tweet said the soldiers were killed today during in-theatre training. The soldiers are members of Operation Lafiya Dole fighting Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen Tukur Buratai has already directed the Commander of 26 Brigade, Gwoza to investigate the incident and forward a report to the Army headquarters.
The tweet read: “Accidental discharge kills 2 soldiers. We deeply regret to announce the death of 2 soldiers of 192 Battalion who lost their lives as a result of an accidental discharge during in-theatre training today.’
“The Chief of Army Staff has directed the Commander 26 Brigade Gwoza to immediately constitute a board of inquiry to unravel the circumstances that led to this unfortunate situation.”

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Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road

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No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.

By: Taneh Beemene

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Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank

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The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.

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Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms

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Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.

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