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One Beheaded, Seven Killed In Makurdi Bloody Rival Cult Clash

A bloody rival cult clash has reportedly claimed the lives of seven persons and also led to the beheading of another in the North Bank area of Makurdi town.

It was gathered that the clash which erupted Friday afternoon at the North Bank Market, near the Nigerian Army School of Military Engineering, NASME, following a minor disagreement between two members of the rival red and black cult gangs later escalated into a bloody fight.

According to the eyewitness who spoke on condition of anonymity, “it all started when a member of one of the cult group came to North Bank Market, just close to NASME to purchase something. Members of a rival gang saw him and harassed him, so he went back and told his friends and they came back to fight. That is how the whole issue started.

“And before anybody knew what was happening, they turned the market into a war zone traders had to close their businesses and flee for their lives.

“The fight continue till Saturday because they went hunting members of rival gangs. Anyone they caught was either hacked to death or gunned down. So far seven persons have been confirmed dead in the fight.

“Though calm has return today (Monday) because the Military, Police, DSS, NSCDC and others have moved into the area and they are arresting the suspects.”

The Chairman of North Bank Market, Cibilus Odinaka who confirmed the development, said the market was closed down from Friday as a result of the crisis.

Odinaka who lamented the slow response of security personnel to the crisis said “between that day and today, six persons have been killed. To calm the whole issue, that is a stakeholders thing. But as market leaders, we request that they should provide us security.

“Even if we have six force men, three behind and three in front of the market, it will give the people peace of mind to transact without fear.

“Sometime ago this also happened with several deaths and destruction. When you call the soldiers they will not come. The issue of barrack as far as we are concerned is completely unhelpful. Even the C Division, we don’t have anyone. Their response are usually very very slow.” Also, the Commander of Operation Shere, and anti cult group, Nura Umar, who mobilised his team to help quell the crisis, informed that aside the six, one of the victims was beheaded and the severed head taken away.

He said some of the dead also had their hands severed “and there were no injuries. They outrightly killed each other. One of the corpses had the head severed and nobody knows where they took the head to. Even hands were severed.

“From our findings its was a fight between the red and black cult. The red cult killed two, while the black killed four. And there was a commercial motorbike rider who was not a cult member but was killed in the cross fire.

“They also destroyed a house near a school. We learnt that one of the cult boys ran into the house when the rival gang members chased him. And for that reason they destroyed the house because the owners allowed the boy to escape into their house. All this happened throughout the weekend.

“But today (Monday) we have soldiers, DSS, Police, Hunters and others who are here in North Bank to make arrests and to ensure peace.”

Contacted, the Police Pulic Relations Officer, Superintendent, SP, Catherine Anene who confirmed development said “cult activities in North were reported and the Command deployed police officers to take charge. investigation is on going. I have no report of the number of the victims.”

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Junii Pope: NSIB launches investigation, sends team to accident site

The Nigeria Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has launched an investigation into the boat accident that claimed the lives of Nollywood actor, Paul Odonwodo, popularly known as Junior Pope; Abigail Frederick; Precious Oforum, and Joseph Anointing, while returning from a movie location.

THN reported that the boat accident involved a commercial speedboat and a fishing canoe on the Anam River in Anambra State on Wednesday, April 10, 2024.

The boat carrying 12 film crew members and a boat operator reportedly crashed into the canoe, resulting in the loss of five lives.

Tthe director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, NSIB, Bimbo Oladeji in a statement on Sundat, said the Bureau has dispatched an investigation team to the accident site.

According to Oladeji, examination of the wreckage from both boats involved in the collision, interviews with surviving crew members, eyewitnesses, and a review of operational procedures for the commercial speed boat would be analysed, among others.

“The NSIB extends its deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in this heartbreaking accident.

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“Also, the director general of NSIB, Capt. Alex Badeh Jr, share in your grief and NSIB is fully committed to conducting a thorough investigation to determine the cause of this tragedy and prevent similar occurrence in the future.

“An investigation team has been dispatched to the accident site, and inquiry has begun. The investigation scope includes, but is not limited to: examination of the wreckage from both vessels involved in the collision, interviews with surviving crew members, and eyewitnesses, review of operational procedures for the commercial speed boat, analysis of weather and environmental conditions at the time of the accident, and assessment of compliance with relevant safety standards and regulations for inland waterway transportation,” NSIB spokesperson said.

Oladeji further assured Nigerians that the Bureau will release the preliminary reports of the investigation to the public.

“NSIB will collaborate with relevant authorities, including the Marine Police section of the Anambra State Police Command, maritime authorities, and industry experts during the investigation.

“The bureau will release its findings in a preliminary report, followed by a final report upon the investigation’s conclusion. These reports aim to enhance safety by providing recommendations to prevent similar accidents in the future.Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims affected by the Anam boat mishap,” she added.

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Invasion of Assembly: Police arrest 20 Yoruba nation agitators, recover 67 cutlasses, others

The Police in Oyo State have arrested 20 suspected Yoruba nation agitators over Saturday’s invasion of the state’s House of Assembly complex in Ibadan.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a group of persons allegedly invaded the complex located at the Government Secretariat vicinity in an attempt to take it over.

Police spokesman in Oyo State, SP Adewale Osifeso confirmed the arrest of the suspects in a statement he issued in Ibadan.

Osifeso stated that the 20 suspects arrested had in their possession three pump action guns, 29 life cartridges, two expended cartridges, 67 cutlasses, five bulletproof vests and six pairs of boots,

They also had in their possession, 10 Public Address Systems, three berets with Oodua insignia crafted on them, seven belts, 11 Oodua Nation camouflage uniforms, one unregistered bus and three motorcycles, he added.

Osifeso stressed that the police, in collaboration with sister security agencies successfully thwarted the attempt by the agitators to forcefully take over the secretariat.

“The suspects who wore military camouflage came heavily armed in an unregistered bus and had cutlasses, pump action rifles, cartridges, assorted charms and an Oodua Nation agitation flag with them.

“They were overpowered and completely suppressed by officers and men of the police in concert with those of sister security agencies,’’ he stated.

Osifeso described the act of the suspects as criminal and unpatriotic and a clear case of treasonable felony and terrorism.

He assured that appropriate punishment would be meted to those found culpable, while the police would continue to protect law-abiding citizens.

The spokesman stated that the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mr Adebola Hamzat already ordered an investigation and an enlargement of the dragnet to arrest others connected with the incident.

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Military destroys illegal refining sites in Rivers

The air component of Nigeria’s military special taskforce, “Operation Delta Safe’’ bombarded several illegal oil refining sites and other bases of economic saboteurs in Rivers on Friday and Saturday.

Director, Public Relations and Information at the Nigerian Air Force, AVM Edward Gabkwet, stated on Sunday in Abuja that the air strikes diminished the capabilities of oil thieves significantly.

He assured that the strikes ensured that economic saboteurs would no longer be able to burst pipelines to steal crude oil.

Gabkwet stated that an illegal refining site was destroyed at Idama community and four boats which reconnaissance found to have been loaded with illegally-refined products were equally destroyed.

“Similar reconnaissance missions were conducted over Ogbomkiri community where an active illegal refining site was identified and destroyed.

“Reconnaissance over the Arugbana community showed that oil thieves were trying to set up an illegal refining site and, on sighting the approaching aircraft, they scampered to safety.

Several illegal sites were also observed at Samkiri community and were engaged and destroyed.

“In all, about seven illegal refining sites and four boats were discovered and destroyed in the two-day operation,’’ Gabkwet added.

 

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