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UPDATED: Many feared dead, several injured, vehicles damaged as Shiites clash with soldiers, police in Abuja .





Molly Kilete, Abuja

Hell was let loose, on Monday, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), when members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN reportedly overpowered the police who had been preventing them from gaining access into Abuja and engaged soldiers of the Guards Brigade in a shootout.

In the process, an unspecified number of persons were said to have been killed, several others injured while some motorists had their vehicles destroyed by the Shiites group who threw stones and other dangerous items at innocent people.

The Shiites were said to have stormed Nyanya in their thousands.

The pandemonium that ensued led to a traffic gridlock on the ever-busy Nyanya/Keffi road, as thousands of residents and travelers alike spent several hours on the road.

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Those who could not withstand the situation abandoned their vehicles and trekked home.

The situation was so bad that even commercial motorcycle operators popularly known as ‘Okada’, could not ply the route.

Men of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Vehicle Inspection Office, Special Marshall’s and other security agencies called to help with the traffic situation were overwhelmed by the situation.

One motorist told Daily Sun that it took him two hours to get to AYA junction from Power house junction and wondered when he would get home.

Trouble was said to have started after members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), overpowered the police who have been preventing them from gaining access into the FCT, at Mararaba and marching into the city when they were stopped at a military checkpoint by soldiers who refused them from going any further.

Angered by the audacity of the soldiers, the group was said to have opened fire at the soldiers and using dangerous object to stone them.

The incident which happened at about 3:30 p.m., in the afternoon led to a shootout between the Shiite group and the soldiers.

Daily Sun gathered that the police who have been battling since Saturday to confine the group at Mararaba, a satellite town in Nassarawa state near Abuja, were eventually overpowered by the group thus forcing the police to retreat.

When contacted on the matter the commander Guards Brigade, Brigadier General U. T. Musa, confirmed the incident but said normalcy has been restored in the area and urged people to go about their lawful business.

He, however, warned that the brigade would not tolerate a situation where innocent persons are attacked without the slightest provocation.

Moreover, Gen. Musa, said the standing rule of the Brigade is that nobody is allowed entry into the city of Abuja without due permission, adding that the brigade would do all in its powers to ensure no persons of group violates the order.

Narrating what happened, the commander said it was actually the Shiite group that opened fire at the soldiers after they refused them to pass through and that the soldiers had no option than to defend themselves.

“They started shooting at us and we had no option but to defend ourselves and that is exactly what we have done”

Narrating what happened, Gen. Musa said “the Shiites came in their thousands stoning soldiers, police and even motorists plying the road and every body.

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“So, we operated as per the Rule of Engagement, so that was what happened”

“This whole mess started about 3:30 or thereabout and it started from Nyanya, where they stoned the police and overpowered them.

“You know We have a checkpoint around Karu bridge and we have a rule that nobody enters into this city without permission so it was actually at the checkpoints that this thing happened”.

“They were in their thousands chanting and stoning everybody and destroying everybody’s vehicle along the road and we cannot take that.

“We have restored normalcy and traffic is flowing now,” Guards Brigade commander told Daily Sun, in a telephone interview.

The post UPDATED: Many feared dead, several injured, vehicles damaged as Shiites clash with soldiers, police in Abuja . appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.


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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes



Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers



CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike



Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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