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Okomu Attack: INC Talks Tough, Warns Those Twisting The Incident To Desist Or…

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…narrates how it all happened

The Ijaw National Congress (INC) has cautioned those twisting the Okomu attack incident to desist from such an act or face the wrath of the law.

Recall that some militia allegedly led by one Lawrence Yanbor invaded the community on May 14, 2024, burnt down over 30 houses in the community, shot some Edo State Security Network personnel in their base in the community and also set ablaze double (85) Horse Power Speed Boat donated by the Edo State Government.

The terrorists were said to have  also invaded the community on June 7, attacked military personnel and also shot the traditional ruler of the community.

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But some online publications believed to have been paid twisted the story, saying the military carried  out the May 14 2024 attack where over 30 houses were burnt, and also that of June 7, 2024 attack, where three military personnel were injured and the traditional ruler of the community shot.

READ ALSO:Okomu Attack: Edo Govt Has Failed In Its Responsibility; We Need Military Base – Community

Putting the record straight, Chief Freeman Cousin, INC Chairman, Okomu clan, while debunking the report being twisted that military came to attack Okomu community on the invitation of the traditional ruler, said the report was not only misleading but cooked by some mischievous persons and rumour mongers.

Chief Cousin, who said he is also affected as his house was completely burnt down by the gang, added: “I wish to categorically state that publication by some ill-trained bloggers a few days ago that our king invited Lawrence and his gang for a meeting in disguise for them to be arrested by the military is not true. This is a lie peddled by Lawrence and his supporters. And the online platforms, rather than calling chiefs in the kingdom or persons like me who represent the apex body of the Ijaw nation in the kingdom, failed to do so but went ahead to publish the lies. This is an unprofessional conduct in the little I know about journalism. Now, if we take such online platforms to court, they will call us all sorts of names.”

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He added: “This is exactly what happened in Okomu. There was information, according to the 4 Brigade Commander, that there were some persons that were involved in the Okuama killings in Delta State that were hiding in Okomu forest with Lawrence Yanbor. So, on the 7th of May,  they went to Okomu community led by 4 Brigade Commander, and from there they went to Okorodudu and to Opuba where Lawrence and his group were hiding. So, on the third day of their stay the soldiers pulled out from the area in line with the directive from the 4 Brigade Commander, believing that there would be peace.

READ ALSO: I’ll Deal With Officers Soliciting Undeserved Promotion – IGP Vows

“Lawrence Yanbor and his gang came to Okomu community and alleged that it was Okomu community people that brought the army.

“Lawrence and his gang thereafter invaded the community and burnt down over 30 houses including mine, the base of Edo State Security Network and double (85) Horse Power Speed Boat Edo State Government donated.”

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He continued: “After this incident, the Brigade Commander sent another troop to the scene of the crime. Thereafter, they left some soldiers at Makilolo community. They were saddled with the responsibility of maintaining peace through regular patrol between Makilolo community and Okomu community.

“And this was exactly what they were doing when on the 7th of June, on their normal routine patrol, they went to Okomu community and went to the King’s palace to greet him and stayed with him for a while. Immediately they left, according to the King, Lawrence and his gang surrounded the palace, and said they heard that the soldiers were in the palace. But unfortunately, the soldiers had left before they came.

READ ALSO: FULL LIST: Akande, Olanipekun Others Get Varsity Governing Council Appointments

“So, as this happened , the king put a call across to one of the leaders of the troop and informed them that Lawrence and his gang have taken over his palace. They were about entering their boat en route to Makilolo community, but because of the call from the King, they retrieved and as they were trying to get back to the palace for intervention as requested by the king, Lawrence and his gang laid ambush on the soldiers and opened fire on the soldiers.

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“At this point, three soldiers sustained injury. The gang scattered the soldiers gunboat glass with bullets.

“After the attack on soldiers, the gang went back to the palace, shot the king, destroyed his house and took away some valuables from the palace. As people tried to rush the King to hospital, the gang stopped them, insisting that he must die. But along the line some persons summoned courage and rushed the king into a wooden boat to an undisclosed hospital in Ondo State. As we speak, he is still receiving treatment,” he narrated.

On allegation that the king invited the soldiers to Okomu to attack Lawrence and his gang and that the soldiers shot him (king), Chief Cousin questioned: “If truely he invited the soldiers, would they have shot him? Would they have destroyed his palace and cart away valuables?”

Chief Cousin thereafter warned those twisting the Okomu attack to desist from such an act, stating that any further twisted report by any platform whatsoever would be attended to legally.

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JUST IN: Heavy Gunshots Erupt At Benin Airport As Shaibu Arrives

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There were heavy gunshots at Benin Airport today, Thursday 18, 2024 as political thugs took over the place.

It was the occasion of the arrival of the reinstated Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu in Benin, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate, Senator Monday Okpebholo.

The duo were leaving the Airport on arrival when the shooting occurred.

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The gunmen had stationed themselves at the exit gate of the Airport in a Sienna vehicle and opened fire targeted at Shaibu and Okpebholo’s convoys.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Reps Slash Salaries By 50% Over Nationwide Hunger

Shaibu was said to have arrived at the Airport alongside the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 21st election.

The gun fire targeted at Okpebholo and Shaibu resulted a reprisal gunshot by armed security details attached to the APC candidate and Deputy governor Phillip Shaibu.

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Some unidentified persons were seriously injured, one person was feared dead.

READ ALSO: Final Year Student Of Bayelsa Varsity Allegedly Killed Over N150

The shots, audible inside the Airport Arrival Hall and along Airport Road, near the Miracle Centre of the Church of God Mission, caused widespread panic.

Businesses closed, and drivers abandoned their vehicles in a rush to escape.

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It took the intervention of the Mobile Squad of the Nigeria Police to bring the situation under control.

Meanwhile, several officers continued shooting to disperse the said attackers as they fled in a Toyota Sienna bus.

The shooting occurred just one day after a Federal Court ordered the Inspector General of Police to restore the security detail of Philip Shaibu as Deputy Governor of Edo State, following the nullification of his impeachment.

 

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BREAKING: NASU, SSANU Protest Four-month Withheld Salaries

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The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) have commenced a one day nationwide protest over their four-month withheld salaries.

Their protest has led to disruption in administrative work in universities and inter – university Centres.

As early as 7:30am, the union members converged on the popular Unity Fountain, Abuja from where they would march on the Federal Ministries of Education and Labour and Employment.

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General Secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi said letters would be presented to both ministries.

READ ALSO: Top 10 Richest People In Asia In 2024

The workers are asking the Federal Government to pay “us what you owe us.”

The unions said meetings with the government over the withheld salaries have not yielded positive results.

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Former Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige invoked the ‘No work, no pay’ policy when the four university based unions embarked on a prolonged strike in 2022.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Protest Rocks University Of Ibadan Over Fee Hike

Salaries of members of the university-based unions who participated in the strike were withheld by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

But President Bola Tinubu in October 2023 granted amnesty to the university workers and directed that four months of the withheld salaries be paid to them.

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Details Shortly…

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APC Destroyed Nigerian Economy, All Institutions Built For 16 Years – PDP Governors

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Governor elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PPD, have accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, of running down the nation’s economy and inflicting untold hardship on Nigerians.

The governors, under the umbrella body of PDP Governors, expressed dismay and grave concern over what they called “unprecedented hardship faced by the majority of Nigerians as a result of the dismal performance of the APC-led federal government”.

They frowned at the long delay in the minimum wage negotiations.

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Rising from a meeting hosted by Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah, the governors welcomed the autonomy granted Local Government Councils, and said that they believe in the efficacy of the Local Government system which ensures that governance is taken closer to the people as enshrined in the constitution.

The Forum also frowned at what it called the destruction of good institutions and developments put in place by the party when it was in power at the federal level by the ruling APC.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Appoints New MD, Board Chairman For NPA

The Forum expressed strong support for the Governor of Rivers State in his political battle and said that a political solution that would bring peace to the state would be initiated.

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A communique from the meeting read by the Forum’s Chairman, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State said:
“The meeting deliberated on a wide range of issues bordering on critical national interest. The unprecedented hardship faced by the majority of Nigerians as a result of the dismal performance of the APC led federal government, the minimum wage negotiations and the recurring issue of intergovernmental relations with special reference to local government autonomy and funding.

Following an exhaustive discussion and consultations with all the organs of the party as you can see here, the national Working committee of the party.

Upcoming congresses

“In the spirit of the founding fathers of our great party who adopted internal democracy as a fundamental principle on which our party was built, the congresses leading to the elections of the party leaders at the various tiers must be all-inclusive, transparent, fair and in compliance with the constitution of our party. To ensure the successful conduct of the congresses of the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory”.

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READ ALSO: Japa: 7 Mistakes To Avoid When Applying For A Schengen Visa In 2024

Off-season election.

“Of the off-season elections in Edo and Ondo, the Forum admonishes all parties in the election to ensure that campaigns are issue-based, violence-free and in strict compliance with the provision of the electoral act. The forum urges the Independent Electoral Commission INEC to provide a level playing field that guarantees transparent, fair and peaceful elections as any act of bias will be resisted. The forum urges the president to show leadership as a true democrat by refraining from making any statement suggesting political interference in the entire process”.

The economy

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“The Forum notes with dismay and grave concern the mismanagement of the economy by the APC led federal government”.

The Minimum wage

“The Minimum wage negotiations are becoming unduly protracted in the face of the attendant unprecedented hardship and impoverishment of the people. The forum resolves as follows: The Labour’s demand for a substantial salary raise is eminently justified and therefore commands total support of the forum. While the forum supports Labour’s demand, agreement must take into consideration the ability to pay by the sub-nationals, the federal government and the third tier of government.

“While negotiations are ongoing, we appeal for restraint in both utterances and actions that could lead to a complete breakdown of law and order and ultimately the collapse of the economy”.

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Supreme court ruling on LG autonomy

“The forum believes in the efficacy of the local government system which ensures that governance comes closer to the people as provided in the constitution. The forum will also support the autonomy of the local government as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Japa: New Zealand Simplifies Work Visa Rules For Spouses Of Foreign Students

Restoring the Nation’s Past Glory

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“The forum regrets that the 16 years of the tremendous development of the PDP-led federal government during which the country with single-digit inflation, the establishment of the existing anti-corruption institutions and higher standard of living by the majority of Nigerians has been eroded during the lifespan of the lacklustre APC led federal government.

“The forum identifies with the Nigerian populace in these troubling times and promises to bring back those good old days of low inflation rates, affordable food, fuel and transportation, steady FDI influx resulting in high Naira value and great quality of human life that was recorded.

“In that regard, the meeting commended the Governors of the PDP-controlled states for their innovative approach to governance in many fields, especially infrastructure, education, health, women and youth initiatives and the timely delivery of developmental projects across the country.

“The forum notes the crisis in Rivers State of the party and commits to supporting the governor of Rivers State and also resolved that the issue could be done through the political solution that will be required and other measures that all the leaders of the organs of the party will be committed so that we can go together and resolve this issue with minimal friction, division or rancour.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: ECOWAS Heads Meeting Starts In Abuja As Tinubu’s Tenure Ends

“The forum therefore calls on all Nigerians to refrain from any anarchy as we all march towards the return of the PDP to power in 2027”.

Earlier the chairman of the Forum described the meeting as “an extraordinary meeting of the PDP Governors Forum and some of our major stakeholders, including our National Working Committee and various organs of the party. This meeting is very unique and auspicious because we are here to showcase our history as a party. We have been leading in this country as a party. We have all the structures established before the commencement of the APC administration”.

The governors in attendance were Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Umo Eno of Akwa-Ibom, Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta, Godwin Obaseki of Edo, Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau, Agbu Kefas of Taraba, Dauda Lawal of Zamfara, and Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, Douye Diri of Bayelsa, and the host governor, Peter Mbah.

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Also in attendance were the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Adolphus Wabara and the Acting National Chairman of the party, represented by the Deputy National Chairman, South, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, former governor of Kaduna State and former Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, and former governor of Niger State, Dr Babangida Aliyu.

 

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