Tension grips Enugu as herdsmen strike again – Newspaper Review

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Just when Nigerians especially those in the southeast thought attacks by marauders have been a thing of the past and peace could be given a chance, some alleged Fulani herdsmen have restored tension to the region with a fresh attack in Enugu state.

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Suspected Fulani herdsmen have reportedly attacked a community in Enugu state, many have been reported dead. File photo.

The new attack has sent tremors round the nation, this event has taken central stage of the news, making it to many front headlines of Nigerian dailies for today, August 26. Below is a review of the major headlines for this Friday.

We begin with The Vanguard which bears the headline: “Again, herdsmen invade Enugu, kill seminarian”.

August 26 - 3

Four months after herdsmen invaded Nimbo village in Enugu State, killing and maiming the villagers, another village in the same state was, yesterday, attacked by, at least, 50 herdsmen leaving death and tears in their wake.

The invaded village was Ndiagu,Attakwu, Akegbe-Ugwu in Nkanu-West Local Government Area of the state.

Some of the victims include 26-year-old Seminarian, Lazarus Nwafor, on a year apostolic work, who was slaughtered and a six month pregnant woman whose stomach was ripped open.

Four members of Ogbodo Nwarum family, whose house the slain Seminarian was a tenant, also sustained severe machete cuts from the rampaging herdsmen, who ripped open the stomach of a 6-month pregnant woman, Mrs Nwarum, in the operation that started at about 2:15am.

The attack on the Enugu community came on a day four persons, including the son of a World bank consultant, got drowned in Egbe River, Egbe, in Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State, as they were on a World Bank assessment mission to the dam and had commenced work on Tuesday night.

Until his death,Nwafor,was a seminarian at the Catholic Spiritan International School of Theology, CSIST, Attakwu. The injured victims are in critical conditions at the Mother of Christ Teaching Hospital and Parklane Teaching Hospital, Enugu.

The Punch takes a look at another security related issue with the headline: “Rescue our girls or resign Chibok parents Buhari”

August 26 - 6

Parents protesting the failure of the Federal Government to rescue over 200 schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram sect in Chibok in 2014 have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately rescue  the girls from captivity or resign.

The parents, who joined the #BringBackOurGirls coalition on Thursday for another protest march to the Presidential Villa, were again stopped by armed policemen.

A representative of the parents, Rev. Enoch Mark, accused the Federal Government of not doing enough to rescue the girls, saying the government should negotiate for their release.

Mark, whose two daughters were among the 219 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram, said he suffered a stroke while worrying about his daughters.

He insisted that Buhari must negotiate with Boko Haram for the release of the schoolgirls.

He said: “We cast our votes for Buhari because he promised to rescue our girls. Now, the parents are asking you, Mr. President, to meet the insurgents and make a decision.

“Either use the military force or go for negotiation; some countries are ready to give you a helping hand. What are you waiting for? Are you not interested in bringing back our girls? 

“We have intelligence agencies in Nigeria; there is nothing in this country that they don’t know. Why didn’t you give them orders to bring back our girls?

“Are you not a General? You know what is happening and you know where our daughters are. Buhari, if you feel that you are incapable of rescuing the girls, step down now and give it (power) to someone else. We have many intelligent persons in the country who can handle this situation. You cannot tell us that you don’t know where the girls are.”

Still on the issue of terror, insurgency and militancy, the front page of This Day reads: “Niger Delta Crisis: Soyinka Tells Buhari to Engage Militants”.

August 26 - 5

Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, on Thursday urged the federal government to engage the Niger Delta militants and respond positively to their demands in order to engender lasting peace in the region.

The Nobel Laureate, who said he had been contacted to intervene in the Niger Delta crisis, spoke as the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, met in Abuja with traditional rulers from the coastal communities of the region and agreed to recommit to a peaceful resolution of all the issues in the oil rich region.

Although Soyinka was not forthcoming with details of the intervention in the crisis that had injured the nation’s economy decisively, he lashed out at the Nigerian media, accusing them of extreme invention and distortion of facts that had escalated the dispute.

He said at a press conference in Lagos that he would no longer be speaking to the local media over issues concerning Nigeria’s efforts to end militancy in the Niger Delta.

News reports had quoted him as saying that the services of international mediators would be sought to mediate between the federal government and militants to resolve the Niger Delta crisis.

Soyinka had met with President Muhammadu Buhari on August 11, and when approached by journalists afterwards, he said they had discussed “national and international matters, general matters, that’s all”.

He, however, promised to schedule a press conference later to give further details about the meeting. Soyinka said Thursday that he would rather discuss a Lebanese-Nigerian partnership involving his Wole Soyinka Foundation.

He said: “I know that when I was – to use the press expression – ambushed at the Villa the other day, I did say that I would answer questions about my visit to the Villa at a press conference that I‘d already planned, which was this one as a matter of fact.

“But I always fulfil my word, and so I’m going to speak very briefly about that visitation. And what I have to say about it is that today is not the day for talking about that visitation.

“And the real reason is this, let me tell you media, the real reason is that I had a meeting in London in the House of Lords. The meeting was not about the main subject that took me to Aso Rock which is the problem with, among other things, the problem we have in the Delta.

“But I used that opportunity to meet a certain number of international figures, parliamentarians, royal heads, etcetera, to pass on a message internationally to prospective interveners to what’s happening in the Delta at the request of some of the militant groups here.”

Soyinka said the meeting in London was reported in the media and was badly distorted. “Let me make a plea, it is bad enough distorting whatever happens, events, statements on certain subjects, bad enough. But on an issue like the insurgency in Nigeria, the Delta in particular, we are on very, very delicate grounds and the media has a huge role to play in that,” he said.

Moving down to business and the Nigerian economy, The Leadership reports “FG Saves N1.3trn In Oil Sector”.

August 26

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has saved N1.3 trillion from its oil deregulation policy.

The deregulation, he said, had resulted in the availability of petroleum products to Nigerians, adding that there is no part of the country where the products are not available.

Speaking at the closing of the National Council on Development Planning in Kano, yesterday, Prof. Osinbajo noted that modern economies hardly experienced growth without strategic planning.

He pointed out that one of the priorities of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is the diversification of the economy, with agriculture as top priority.

This is even the vice president, at the 4th Lecture Series of Progressive Governors’ Forum earlier in Kaduna, noted that the federal government was left with only a few years to transform the country.

“We have the next few years to transform this country and I hope we would be able to make that change. I’m sure the states here are the ones to make that change,” he said.

Prof Osinbajo asserted that Nigeria had what it takes to be a great nation, but noted that the desired positive change cannot be achieved except public servants take responsibility for the transformation of the country.

He called on state governors, especially the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors, to deliver on the change agenda of the party, noting that they are the real agents of change that can bring about the social justice the party promised during the electioneering period.

Osinbajo said: “We have what it takes to make a big difference. Like I said in Kano a few minutes ago, we have the capacity in this country to make a great nation. I don’t believe there is any country, especially on the African continent, that has the resources, men and material that we have.”

“But a lot will depend on us, the public servants, whether we are elected or appointed, we are the ones that can make a difference in this country.

“If we as public servants see ourselves as being responsible for transforming our society, we see ourselves as being the hope the country and continent, then, perhaps, the change is really possible. But without us taking responsibility, very little can happen.

“We don’t have shortage of ideas or shortage of intentions in Nigeria, but what we lack is ability and capacity to see something through and complete it. For me, one of the greatest frustrations of government is that there are so many great ideas, great thoughts, but we face difficulties of completing things.

“The challenges that many states in Nigeria face today are not self-inflicted; some are historical; they are legacy challenges. But then, we are required to come to the table with fresh ideas to solve the problems. Some of the problems are not problems we can solve in few months or even years.”

Still on business, The Guardian bears grim news on its frontpage with the headline: “20 shipping firms leave Nigeria over low business”.

August 26 - 2

Groaning under intense hardship imposed by poor government policies and global economic crunch, over 20 shipping firms have exited the nation’s shores.

This is coming as Dockworkers Union of Nigeria (DUN) lamented that over 3,000 workers have already been laid off by various shipping companies, terminal operators and logistic companies, owing to lack of financing and poor import policies of the Federal Government.

The workers also blamed the massive retrenchment on the inability of the Federal Government to meet its joint venture obligation with the international oil companies which are major partners with the marine logistic companies.

Some of the companies that have already made an exit include Mitsui O.S.K Line, Nippon Yusen Kasha, Taiwan’s Evergreen Line, Messina Line, Hapag-Lloyd and Gold Star Line (GSL), among others which were forced to withdraw from the West Africa route due to growing losses as a result of declining volumes.

The President, Dockworkers Union of Nigeria (DUN), Anthony Emmanuel Nted, yesterday bemoaned the poor state of the ports, terminal and work environment in the maritime industry.

Nted revealed that about 20 shipping firms have left the shore of the country because of low traffic occasioned by government importation policy.

According to him, Nigeria as an import-dependent country cannot suddenly ban the importation of the principal goods being generally consumed in the country.

“Hence, the current government policy on importation though with the best intention seems to be wreaking more havoc on the economy and ought to be reviewed urgently,” he said.

He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to review the ban on the importation of rice, wheat, vehicle spare parts and industrial machinery until the nation is able to produce for local consumption.

He added that the failure to do this would encourage smuggling, diversion of ships to neighbouring countries, idle ports, retrenchment of workers, unemployment and general loss of revenue to government.

The wailings of Soludo takes frontpage of the Daily Sun with the caption: “Soludo: Economy in deep trouble”.

August 26 - 7

Former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Charles Chukwumah Soludo yesterday said the economy is in deep trouble considering the reduction in per capita income and dwindling Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He said the economy had compressed by 50% in the past year.

With inflation already at 16.48 per cent and still rising, most Nigerians are finding it increasing hard to meet their basic needs, as the economy entered into full blown recession following two quarters of consistent negative growth.

His comment on the economy came barely 24hours after another ex-CBN governor and Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, expressed regrets on the policies of government.

But speaking in Kaduna yesterday in his lecture at the fourth progressive governance lecture series of the Progressives Governors’ Forum in Kaduna, Soludo said the collapse in the oil prices was a blessing for the country to start a new beginning.

His lecture was titled: “Building the economy of states: Challenges of Developing Inclusively Sustainable Growth”. It was organized by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) governors.

Soludo stated for instance that the GDP has been compressed to 50 per cent from $578 billion after the rebasing programme of 2014 to $290 billion due to huge deterioration in key economic indications, while per capita income has also dropped from $3,100 to $1,500.

He noted that this has to be urgently addressed by economists if the country is to survive the harsh realities and continue as a going concern.

The former CBN boss who further observed that the collapse of oil is a privilege for a new beginning for Nigeria, stated that the current recession was structurally and politically induced and that the APC-led government must stop the blame game and start on a clean slate.

Soludo, a foremost economist, noted that agriculture, which is currently receiving massive attention from the Federal and state governments, may not afterall, serve as a means of economic diversification because many people will be forced out of the business when mechanised farming is fully implemented.

“Nigerian economy has been massively compressed by 50 per cent. GDP is being compressed to 50 per cent from $578 billion to $290 billion while per capita income has also dropped from $3,100 to $1,500.

“The transition to a Nigerian economy without oil cannot be sustainable by merely pumping money into the system. If the aggregate demand is on one side, we have other things on the other side to consider in order to be able to sustain our economy,” he said.

According to him, no state can develop sustainably if the overall governance and economy are in crisis, stressing that Nigerian economy in terms of the dollar has collapsed by about 50 percent.

“Nigeria is facing unprecedented and tremendous political and economical challenges with global and local dynamics. Regardless of these challenges, opportunities and possibilities abound if we address some fundamental issues.

The key to achieving this is to have a development plan that is anchored on realizing inclusive and sustainable growth.

He therefore, recommended the restructuring of the economy from consumption-driven to production-based and consistency in micro-economic policies.

“Encouraging fiscal federalism in ways that allow states to have greater control of their resources, evolution of a master plan for mass export-oriented industrialization that answers the economic questions and realities of today,” he said.

The Nation takes a look at what an intervention which Nigerian government is trying to put in place to aid the plight of the people. “N7.5b local car purchase loans scheme on the way” reads the front headline of this major Nigerian daily.

August 26 - 4

More Nigerians are expected to ride brand new cars soon –  thanks to a loans  scheme which is in the works.

The Federal Government is pushing the credit scheme through the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC). It will give Nigerians a chance to buy locally assembled vehicles.

According to the Director, Policy and Planning, Mr. Luqman Mamudu, the council is contributing about N7.5 billion at a low interest rate. Counterpart funding is coming  from a company in South Africa.

Speaking during a press briefing in Lagos, Mamudu said: “This is what we have been working on for the past two years. We looked at the available access to asset financing in the country, we found out that the high interest rate is frustrating the purchase of a new vehicle. This is the gap we want to fill. We are working with a company in South Africa which has footprints in eight African countries where they have developed a commercial and financial model to recoup their investment.”

NADDC is contributing  N7.5 billion into the scheme. The South African company will source for finance from Development Finance Institution (DFI) at single digit interest rate.”

Mamudu said when the funds are put together, it will guarantee an interest rate that will be easy for people to purchase vehicles at 8 to 10 per cent.

“By the time we put the funds together, it will guarantee an interest rate that is fairly okay. ‘

“We are in discussion with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to originate the loans and float it so that it will be attractive for investors to partake in the scheme. Going forward, this will further bring down the interest rate. This facility will be given to people that have the capacity to buy cars because we expect that they will have good credit to purchase a car.

“If you go to America, over 80 per cent of car purchases are through loans. The credit purchase scheme will assist the operators to help the masses,” he added.

Mamudu said the council was planning to build capacities in local assembling to attract component manufacturers to set up their factories in Nigeria.

The post Tension grips Enugu as herdsmen strike again – Newspaper Review appeared first on Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Read Naij.com 24/7.

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