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Benue evacuates students from Taraba varsity after killing

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The Benue State Government announced on Wednesday that it had commenced the evacuation of Benue State students at the Federal University, Wukari in Taraba.

The evacuation followed the closure of the university after the alleged killing of two Benue students in the institution on July 30 by people suspected to be members of the Jukun militia.

Hundreds of people have been killed over the years in recurring communal clashes between ethnic Jukun and Tivs in the agricultural belt of Northern Nigeria.

The bloody conflict has taken its toll on the two ethnic groups with many lives lost and property estimated at millions of naira destroyed.

Speaking in a telephone interview with newsmen in Makurdi on Wednesday, the Benue Commissioner for Education, Prof. Dennis Ityavyar, said the evacuation of the students was due to the closure of the university.

He said that relevant security operatives and the government of Taraba had been notified about the evacuation.

Ityavyar said that the Benue Government was hopeful that the Taraba Government would provide adequate security for all Benue citizens, including students residing in Taraba.

He said the Benue Government had since started making arrangements to provide for the needs of Benue students affected by the crisis.

“The Government of Benue State has contacted the Government of Taraba State, police commissioner, the army and other security formations in Taraba State to ensure the safety of Benue State indigenes in Taraba State.

The commissioner appealed to Taraba indigenes schooling in Benue to remain calm, assuring that the Benue Government was on top of the situation to ensure safety for everyone.

“There should be no panic moment of students of Taraba State origin who are schooling in Benue State. We are on top of the situation,” he stated.

Benue and Taraba Governments have held series of meetings over the years to find a lasting solution to the crisis but the killings have not abated.

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Arewa

What Buhari told lawmakers in Katsina

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday in Daura told Katsina State lawmakers that leadership entails earning the trust of the people who voted you into office and consistently staying the path of honesty and fairness at all times,

Receiving the leadership of the State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Tasiu Musa Maigari, Buhari said the essence of contesting elections was to serve the people, and political actors must always remain loyal, dedicated and focused on delivering on their promises.

“Having been chosen by your people to lead, you must ensure that you remain trustworthy. Ensure fairness at all times.

“Leadership at home, community or national level is a heavy responsibility. And it must be discharged with fairness, firmness and justice,’ the President said.

He urged the lawmakers to be selfless, visionary and committed to meeting the needs of the electorate while minding their constitutional responsibilities.

In his remark, the Speaker thanked the President for providing leadership at the national level, and setting a standard on integrity and forthrightness for others to emulate.

Maigari assured the President that the Katsina House of Assembly will continue to support his policies, and ensure a trickling down in the state to favour their various constituencies.

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Arewa

Controller speaks on ‘jail break in Keffi prison’

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Emmanuel Okoro, the Controller of the Nasarawa State Command of the Nigeria Correctional Service, on Thursday, refuted reports by a section of the media which claimed there was a jail break at the Keffi Old Prison.

Okoro denied the news while speaking to newsmen in Lafia, adding that what happened at the prison was a reaction by some angry prisoners who were not allowed to smoke cigarettes within the prison yard.

The controller explained that the inmates were refused access to cigarettes because it was against the regulation of the service, NAN reports.

“These inmates here are for us to correct them; we can not allow them indulge in habits that will further expose them to more harm within the prison yard,” he said.

Okoro, who said that he personally visited the facility after the incident, revealed that the smokers became aggressive until officials were able to restrain them and brought the situation under control.

According to him, no inmate escaped or got injured during the altercation with officials of the service.

“I was there and I spoke to some of the inmates and they told me that they had no plans for a jail break and all they wanted was to smoke.

“So I informed them it was against regulations to allow smoking in the facility and they apologised.

“Lets be clear on this, what they demanded to smoke was cigarettes not Indian hemp or any other hard drugs. As I speak to you, the situation is under control,” he added.

Okoro, however, said the command would constitute a committee to immediately investigate the matter with a view to coming up with recommendations on how to prevent such ugly happening in future.

”We are setting up a committee to unravel the remote cause of the clash.

“In a week’s time, we will get a better picture of what really happened. But mark my words, what happened was not a jailbreak,” he insisted.

The Controller also expressed dismay with the speed at which some newsmen jumped to conclusion and reported unverifiable stories without contacting the appropriate authority first.

He, therefore, urged reporters to verify information before going to press.

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NDLEA talks tough over Gombe farmers inducing labourers with hard drugs

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has warned farmers in Gombe State against inducing labourers with hard drugs to work for them.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the NDLEA Commandant in the state, Mr Aliyu Adole gave the warning in an interview with the newsmen on Friday.

Adole said that investigation revealed that some farmers were in the habit of adulterating milk and pudding with drugs before giving them to labourers employed to work in their farms, to enable them work tirelessly.

According to him, most of their victims were youths between the ages of 15 and 30 irrespective of gender.

The Commandant said “I want to seize this opportunity to warn perpetrators of such act, that NDLEA will not leave any stone unturned to ensure they face the wrath of the law.

“Those found wanting will be prosecuted, therefore desist from such act.

”Research in the state had shown that youths, male and female, were the major victims of drug abuse.

”Further findings showed that the impact of drug abuse on academic activities impede with the physiological, psychological and emotional functions of the students.”

Adole said that the effect of drugs could impair the memory and affects other intellectual faculties.

He also said that some of these youths also engage in related vices of drug trafficking which seriously affect the nation’s development and render the labour market saturated with unwanted or unqualified labour force.

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