Three people have been killed on day 2 of the protest by some indigenes of Nasarawa State who are asking the state legislators not to impeach the Governor.
The ‘leave Al-makura alone’ protest on Thursday in Lafia turned violent when supporters of Information Minister, Mr Labaran Maku, an aspirant on the platform of the PDP, clashed with the pro-Al-makura protesters.
The account of the violence stemmed from alleged vandalization of Maku’s posters around Alamis market on UAC road by some of the pro-Al-makura protesters who locked down the state capital to press home their demand for lawmakers to rescind the impeachment plot against the Governor.
Military men were drafted in to contain the crisis. Two corpses were seen in Police van with their legs hanging down while the military arrested some persons.
The police spokesperson, Numan Umar, said that he was yet to confirm the casualty figure but referred our reporter to the B division of the Nigerian Police which was under heavy military presence and people were barred from gaining entry.
The aggrieved youths from southern Kaduna senatorial zone on Friday staged a peaceful protest in Kagoro town of Kaura Local Government Area of the state over the frequent killing of their kinsmen and destruction of property by unknown gunmen.
The protesting youths who go by the name, ” concerned southern Kaduna Youths” made a passionate appeal to both Kaduna State and the Federal Government to urgently curb the spate of further wasting of innocent souls and bring the culprits to book.
The Youths however, revealed that in the wake of the attack over 3000 people were killed across the communities in Kaura, Sanga, Jaba, and Kachia Local Government Areas of the state since 2012 till date.
The group further said that, over 150,000 people were rendered homeless and that the recent attack in Sanga, a week ago, recorded about 200 casualties and over 10,000 displayed.
The youths, who marched along some major roads in Kagoro town around 10:00am local time, carried placard with different inscriptions conveying their feelings and lamenting their ordeal.
“Since the bloody attacks in the area increased a year ago, the state government has not shown much concern or intensified effort to stop the killings,” they said. According to them, the frequent attacks have afflicted pains and severe hardships on the affected families and the entire Southern Kaduna, owing to lack of adequate security presence in the affected communities.
The angry youths therefore marched to the palace of the traditional ruler of Kagoro where they presented their protest letter for further presentation to the governor of the state and President Goodluck Jonathan.
The leader of the group,M. Vincent Badmos, who presented the letter, called for state of emergency in Kaduna State to stem the tide of invasion by armed Fulani herdsmen who always wreck havoc on the people and their belongings.
The youths likened the situation in southern Kaduna to what is happening in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States in the northeast, currently under the state of emergency declared because of the increasing attacks on villages, churches, mosques and schools.
They, however, advocated for the formation of a vigilante service to boost the ‘lean effort’ of the military in tackling the security challenges facing the Southern Kaduna people.
In a swift reaction, the State government denied the allegation of negligence and lack of concern in protecting lives and property of the people.
The spokesman of the Kaduna State Governor, Ahmed Maiyaki, told Channels Television that the government had released funds for the resettlement of displayed persons in the areas affected and was rehabilitating former grazing site to avoid the frequent clash between the Fulani herdsmen and the farmers.
The protesters, however, urged the State and the Federal Government to show serious commitment to the plight of the people and stop further killing in the area.
The National President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN), Babatunde Oguns has announced plans by the association to commence an industrial action in the first week of January.
The association has expressed its seriousness to carry out this threat if the Federal Government fails to rescind its decision to privatise the nation’s refineries.
Addressing members of the association at the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in Abuja, Mr Oguns, flanked by the Deputy President of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers, said that the planned privatization is an attempt to hand over the nation’s refineries to cronies of the Federal Government.
He said that an indefinite strike will be declared in the first week of January 2014, to press home their demand on the Federal Government not to sell the nation’s refineries in the name of privatization.
“If between now and 24th of this month (December), government does not retract that every statement that has been made has been put on hold while further engagement is made, and everything we have to do is hinged on PIB (Petroleum Industry Bill) by first week of January, be rest assured that PENGASSAN and NUPENG will go on indefinite strike.”
He further said: “You cannot sell something without a model, without Nigerians knowing exactly what you are doing…the nature in which they do business in the oil and gas industry is fraught with secrecy. There must be a retraction first and it’s what they will make public, so Nigerians will know that it is on hold.”
Officers of the Nigeria Police dispersed a group of angry women who staged a fresh protest in Awka on Wednesday as a means of airing their grievances on the Anambra Governorship Election conducted by INEC.
Although a group of women had initially protested the election and called for a cancellation, another set of women staged a demonstration march in Awka, the state capital, making the same demand.
The women, who carried placards with various inscriptions, marched through a 2 kilometer road and headed for the INEC office but were prevented from entering the premises by security men who were stationed nearby.
They said that they had been disenfranchised in the process.
One of the protesters who called themselves ‘Anambra Women’ described the election as a ‘scam’ and the ‘destruction of the Igbo land.’
The police officer had to deploytear gas in a bid to disperse the crowd when the confrontation turned physical.
The electoral umpire, INEC, has admitted that there were several lapses in the election process and has announced that there would be supplementary governorship elections in areas where votes were cancelled.
The Egyptian capital, Cairo is poised for renewed protests by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Mursi. They are expected to take place two days after authorities broke up Muslim Brotherhood protest camps in Cairo with the loss of at least 638 lives.
Mr Morsi’s supporters plan to converge on central Ramses Square from city mosques after Friday prayers. A state of emergency is in force and police have been authorised to use live ammunition in self-defence.
The Muslim Brotherhood called on its supporters to gather in mosques for Friday prayers and then take to the streets of Cairo in a “march of anger”.The group’s leaders say they will hold marches under the slogan “the people want to topple the coup”.
Security in the capital is tight, with many armoured personnel carriers on the streets. Members of groups opposed to Mr Morsi – the National Salvation Front and Tamarod – are reported to have called for counter-demonstrations in response.
Egypt’s Coptic Christian community has been targeted by some Islamists who accuse the Church of backing the army’s overthrow of Mr Morsi last month.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, an NGO, says 25 churches, along with private homes and businesses belonging to Copts and other Christian denominations, were attacked on Wednesday and Thursday.
Alexandria, a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold, appears largely quiet. The authorities in Egypt’s second city have cleared piles of sandbags, barricades and a tent camp set up by Mr Morsi’s followers and sympathizers in the past few weeks outside the main pro-Morsi rallying point, Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque.
Many shops and malls remain closed despite the end of the nightly 12-hour curfew imposed here and in 13 more cities. At night, the city’s streets look virtually empty as the authorities have further applied emergency laws and authorised the use of live ammunition if vital security and military posts come under attack.
Unlike other curfews in the past two and a half years, there is no defiance from the general public. However, vigilante groups have been formed in several neighbourhoods to protect private property including houses and cars.
The city has been at the heart of the political turmoil gripping the country since the removal of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
There are fears of renewed bloodshed after authorities said the police were authorised to use live ammunition to protect themselves and key state institutions from attack.
Reports say there were renewed attacks on security forces on Thursday, with at least seven soldiers and a policeman killed in the Sinai peninsula and another police officer killed in the central city of Assuit.
US Republican Senator John McCain said Newsnight that the ousting of President Morsi was a “coup” and President Obama should have cut off aid to Egypt as a result.
The entire PDP from the three senatorial zones of Abia State has staged a protest march to the government house in Umuahia against the reported return of former Governor Orji Kalu, to the party.
The protesters numbering over thousands marched round the government house in Umuahia, in protest against any move to re-admit the former governor into the party.
Carrying Placards with inscriptions that read ‘’OUK means confusion “Abia grassroots say no to the return of Orji Uzor Kalu to PDP’’,’’PDP Igbere ward A: Orji Uzor Kalu is not our member’’ among others.
According to Emma Ukwu-Rocks (Abia north), the peace and unity in Abia should be sustained as it has provided infrastructural development and cordial relationship with the Federal Government stating that the wishes of the party faithful in the state should be the priority of the national party secretariat.
Receiving the protesters on behalf of Governor Theodore Orji, the Deputy Governor Emeka Ananaba thanked them for the peaceful manner they conducted themselves and promised to convey their message to the governor.
Hundreds of ex-militants from Imo state have accused President Goodluck Jonathan of not recognising the state as part of the oil producing states in the country, vowing to disrupt oil production activities.
The youths who claimed to be ex-militants from Ohaji Egbema oil producing local government area of Imo state staged a protest in Owerri, the state capital over what they termed the outright removal of Imo state from the list of the Niger Delta States.
The states included on the list are to benefit from the third phase of the Presidential Amnesty Programme by the Federal Government.
During the protest, many of the angry youths barricaded major roads in Owerri.
While carrying placards with various inscriptions, the group accused the presidential amnesty office in Abuja headed by Kingsley Kuku of deliberately excluding their state from the list.
Sacked workers of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on Tuesday blocked the entrance into the National Assembly complex demanding their reinstatement. The workers caused a vehicular gridlock, making it difficult for the workers of the National Assembly to get into their offices.
Attempts by members of the Senate Committee on National Population and Identity Card to appeal to the workers were rebuffed as they insisted on being addressed by the senate president.
The four thousand disengaged staff of NIMC said they came from various states of the country to protest their mass sack.
The protesters want lawmakers to influence the removal of the commission’s management whom they accuse of sacking them without following laid down procedures.
The all-day barricade disrupted legislative activities as the major entrances into the parliament remained blocked thereby leading to a two-kilometre traffic jam on the road into the complex.
The protesting workers who became unruly at some point also promised to return for a bigger showdown if their demands are not met.
The management of the University of Abuja on Monday shut down the institution following students’ protest.
The protesting students reportedly disrupted the second semester examination that was already underway and blocked the Abuja – Gwagwalada road and the main entrance to the University campus causing huge traffic congestion.
Soldiers and policemen are presently making attempts to restore law and order in the University as at the time of filing in this report.
Some of the protesters, who spoke with Channels Television, said the problem started when students of the Faculty of Engineering protested the inability of the school authority to produce a time table for their examination; even when students in other faculties have started theirs.
This is not the first time in 2012 that the authority would have to shut down the University following students’ protest.
In April, the management of the institution closed the University after a violent protest by students resulted in a breakdown of law and order in the school community.
The students had protested against the suspension of four courses offered by the University
The Federal Government had suspended some courses including Medicine, Veterinary medicine, Engineering and Agriculture because the departments offering these courses have failed to get accreditation from the National Universities Commission.
Ex – militants on Wednesday staged a protest in Abuja over the non-payment of their amnesty allowance for the past two years. The militants who alleged that they had been enrolled into the third phase of the Federal Governments amnesty programme claim that the government has not lived up to its promises to some of its members after laying down their arms.
A former militant, Alex Makaraba, who was among those in the protest said: “The government asked us to drop our guns for the third phase of the amnesty, that nobody should be with arms in the Niger Delta Region so that there will be peace. We’ve dropped all our guns; they gave us certificates and did accreditation. They promised us that very soon they are going to pay us and empower us.”
He said that after two years, the government is yet to fulfil its promise.
“If we are the people producing the oil, apart from the oil, you promise to give this people (the Niger Delta people) a better life, why are they delaying to pay us this our amnesty money of which everybody knows that we dropped our things (arms)?
“Those are things (guns) people use to eat. That is what they use to feed themselves,” Mr Makaraba said.
Reacting to the protest and demands of the ex-militants, the spokesperson of the amnesty office, Daniel Alabra dismissed their claims, saying that the third phase of the amnesty programme is yet to begin.
The amnesty programme was an initiative of late President Musa Yar’Adua. Through the programme, repentant Niger Delta militants were granted amnesty and empowered to be self-dependent. This according to the initiator of the programme will help to bring peace in the once troubled Niger Delta Region.
Egypt’s army imposed an overnight curfew around the defence ministry in Cairo on Friday after protesters clashed with troops there during demonstrations against military rule and the exclusion of candidates from the presidential election.
The crowd hurled projectiles and insults at the soldiers sent to defend the ministry after 11 people were killed in fighting there on Wednesday, and called for the overthrow of the head of the ruling army council, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.
The army fired back water cannon then teargas and riot police surged towards the crowd with batons. Scores of wounded protesters were taken away on motorcycles and dozens of soldiers were injured.
“Field Marshal leave. The people are dangerous,” shouted the crowds, and “Raise your voice. Our revolution will not die.”
The street violence comes less than three weeks before an election that represents the first chance for Egyptians to freely choose their leader. A successful vote would mark the most important step in a messy transition to democracy since the overthrow of autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak 15 months ago.
Last-minute changes to the line-up of contenders, bickering over a new constitution and suspicion that the military will continue wielding power after a new president is chosen are making for a chaotic backdrop to the campaign.
The troops pressed forward when protesters began cutting through barbed wire used to seal off the ministry building in Cairo’s central Abbasiya district.
Protesters ripped down a metal fence at an underground railway construction site to build a barricade. Some cried “God is Greatest” as army helicopters swooped overhead.
The teargas scattered the crowd far down the rock-strewn streets. Troops blocked off several streets between Abbasiya and central Cairo using armoured personnel carriers and some fired shots in the air.
The Health Ministry said 128 people were wounded, state news agency MENA reported. The injuries included teargas inhalation and cuts and bruises, some serious, and 82 people were taken to hospital.
“The crowd is coming here with sharp weapons. We have batons and water cannon and teargas to disperse them,” said one commander. “Some of them believe if they kill a soldier they will go to heaven. What do you expect us to do?”
VIOLENCE AFTER DARK
As dusk approached, gunfire rang out from the top of a mosque in Abbasiya. Army special forces climbed the minaret, brought down 10 people and drove them away.
The pro-democracy Sixth of April Youth movement said on its Facebook page its followers were withdrawing from the Abbasiya area because of the bloodshed.
Protesters regrouped closer to the town centre after dark, waiting to return to the defence ministry, and some threw rocks and stones at troops blocking their path, state media reported.
The one-night curfew will last from 11 p.m. local time (2100 GMT) to 7 a.m. on Saturday, the military council said in a statement read out on state television.
The army “calls on all citizens to adhere to this or the military will confront with determination those who try to violate it,” it said, vowing legal action against those responsible for the unrest.
Some election candidates suspended their campaigns on Wednesday after unidentified assailants fired at protesters camping near the defence ministry, starting clashes that the security forces seemed unable or unwilling to quell.
Many of those protesters were hardline Salafi Islamists upset that their candidate was ruled out of the vote, which begins on May 23 and 24 with a run-off in June.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which dominates parliament, saw its first choice disqualified too, handing a potential advantage to Mubarak-era contenders such as former foreign minister Amr Moussa and ex-prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.
Some Egyptians see the last-minute changes to the candidate line-up as proof the generals are trying to manipulate the vote.
“Remnants of Mubarak’s regime are not eligible to assume any power,” Hashem Islam, a sheikh from Egypt’s highest authority of Sunni Islam, Al-Azhar, told protesters at the defence ministry.
Several thousand Islamists, liberals and left-wing revolutionaries also massed on Friday in Tahrir Square, headquarters of the street movement that has transformed decades of tightly-controlled Egyptian politics.
Banners draped in Tahrir demanded implementation of a law banning figures from the Mubarak era from high office. Shafiq was briefly disqualified as a result of the law, but still found his way back into the final line-up of presidential candidates.
Members of the ruling military council on Thursday renewed a pledge to exit politics after handing power to the new president by mid-year. They said the handover could come earlier in the unlikely event that one candidate wins outright in the first round.
But tension between the army’s interim government and the Islamist-dominated parliament has left Egypt in a state of policy paralysis that is deepening an economic crisis caused by more than a year of political turmoil.
Mohamed el-Beltagy, a senior figure in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party, said the violence since Wednesday was the result of a deliberate policy to draw an unpredictable reaction from protesters and delay Egypt’s political transition.
“This was done so that they (the authorities) could carry out emergency measures,” he said.
The University of Abuja has been shut indefinitely following protests by students of the school over the suspension of four non-accredited courses by the minister of education.
A statement signed by the registrar of the school Mohammed Modibbo however says the university was closed for students to go on Easter break with effect from Wednesday 4 April 2012. The statement advised students to vacate the hostels before 6pm.
Students of the University of Abuja had protested against the suspension of four courses run by the institution.
The Federal Government had on Tuesday suspended some courses in the university. These courses include Medicine, Veterinary medicine, Engineering and Agriculture. The departments offering these courses have failed to get accredited by the National Universities Commission and many students have therefore been unable to graduate from them for years.
The protesting students have obstructed traffic on the expressway outside the permanent site and refused people access into the university. The expressway is one of the major entry routes into Abuja and also leads to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
Traffic to and from Abuja on that axis has been halted.