Benue First Lady Named Face Of Akata Fishing Festival

The Wife of Benue State governor and founder of the SEV-AV Foundation, Mrs. Yemisi Suswam has been named the face of Akata fishing and Cultural Festival.

The festival, a celebration of the rich culture of the Tiv people in Benue State, will begin on Tuesday, June 4, 2013.

A statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by the principal consultant, Gren Business Dimensions, Mrs. Rosemary Duamlong named the first lady of the state as the ambassador and face of Akata 2013 because of her achievements in the area of women and youths empowerment through the SEV-AV foundation.

“The choice was informed by her outstanding achievements in the holistic development of the state and her consistency in the course that seeks to prime humanity to loftier heights.”

The statement praised Mrs. Suswam for her role in community development, capacity building and sensitization of the people on pressing issues through SEV-AV Women Coalition Against HIV/AIDS (now NAWOCA), SEV-AV Agro-processing Centre and SEV-AV Craft and Skills Acquisition Centres.

Stressing the impact of the organization, particularly in the areas of empowerment of the youths and women as well as sustainability of economic, social and infrastructural developments in the rural areas, the statement commended Mrs. Suswan for the establishment of crafts and skills acquisition centres at Vandeikya and Gboko, Sev-Av Agro-processing Centre in Katsina-Ala and Ukum Local Government Areas and the three PMTCT Clinics in Vandeikya, Gboko and Otukpo.

The statement also commended the governor’s wife for training and financially empowering more than 150 widows across the state.

“In 2008, the foundation distributed infant formula to babies exposed to HIV in Makurdi. In 2010 and 2011, wheel chairs were distributed to the physically challenged in Makurdi. In addition to this, at different times, Her Excellency on behalf of Sev-Av Foundation, donated food stuff and other materials to orphans and widows in Benue State” the statement said.

Continuing, the statement said the Foundation provided care and support to People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAS) and orphans in Benue and Nassarawa States.

“More than 100 orphans in Benue State were catered for through payment of school fees and provision of school materials. Anti-malaria and HIV/AIDS drugs worth millions of Naira were distributed to the 23 Local Government Areas of the State. To improve reading culture in students and children, various brands of books were donated to pupils and students of primary and secondary schools in the State”.

“Her Excellency and other key players in Nigeria, particularly Governors, Ministers, National Assembly Members, Traditional Rulers, Commissioners and their wives, House of Assembly Members and their wives, Chairmen of Local Government Areas and their wives,  other top Government officials, business magnates, prominent artists and youths are going to be here” the statement added.

16 die in ethnic clashes in Taraba state

More ethnic clashes erupted in Taraba state where 16 people were killed in communal fighting between the Tiv and Fulani peoples.

The victims claimed in the attacks were from the Tiv community, an ethnic group of farmers native to the area. The attacks were retaliatory, reports said, and were exacted by the Fulani people, nomad sheep-breeding people from the mainly Muslim north of the country.

A series of communal clashes between the two conflicting groups have claimed hundreds of lives in attacks and counter-attacks.

Politicians, traditional and religious leaders called on the government to step in and provide a solution to the ongoing bloody feud between both communities.

A combined team of police and army operatives have been deployed to the area to restore peace.

A report published by a local social-cultural association ‘Miyetti Allah Katual Hore’, who have been monitoring the clashes, says over one thousand farmers have been killed in the past year of fighting with breeders.

The report further states that the Fulani group, the fourth largest ethnic group in the country, has been at odds with Christian-Animist minorities, such as the Berom and Tarok in Plateau or the Tiv in Benue and Taraba.

16 killed as Tiv and herdsmen clash in Nasarawa

Sixteen people have been reportedly killed in a clash that occurred between Tiv farmers and Fulani herdsmen in Kadarko, a community in Giza Local Council of Nasarawa State. Among those killed were two policemen while scores of other people in the market square suffered varying degrees of injury

The crisis, which allegedly started in April last year, assumed a worrisome dimension at the weekend when armed Fulani youth purportedly shot some Tiv and Ogoja traders in a market located at the Nasarawa/Benue border.

Residents disclosed that the gunmen launched the attack at exactly 12.00 noon and took over Gidan Kunde village, a Tiv settlement in Jenkwe development area as their permanent place of abode after attacking and displacing the Tiv inhabitants. They were also said to have destroyed farm produce worth several millions of naira there.
So far, about 5,000 residents have fled the community for safer areas in nearby towns in Benue State.

The Nasarawa State Police Public Relations Officer, Cornelius Ocholi confirmed the Kadarko attack, adding that policemen had been deployed to the area to restore law and order.

At least 16 killed in ethnic clashes in Benue State

At least 16 people were killed in inter-ethnic violent clashes in Nigeria’s central federal district of Benue state, police officials confirmed on Tuesday.

According to reports, the victims are said to belong to the Tiv community and the onslaught had begun when attackers suspected to be from a rival ethnic group stormed the remote community, burning homes and killing locals.

Residents of the Tiv community reported far higher death toll numbers, putting the number of people killed in the clash at 45, including women and children, while local media put the death toll at 30.

Police spokesman Ejike Alaribe told press agencies that the “precise number of people that were killed were 16,” adding that the assailants had “opened fire sporadically, started shooting everywhere and started burning houses”.

Joseph Mom, a representative of the Tiv community, a farming tribe native to the region, blamed the attack on the Fulani people, a nomad tribe of herdsmen.

There have been violent outbursts between the two groups in the past. However, Mom says the “situation has changed during the last few months. The Fulani come down from the north, heavily armed, seeking pastures for their cattle and attack anybody that objects.”

Mom called on government officials to provide protection for the locals.

Attempts to quell the conflict between both tribes have failed in the past. Police officials say they are on ground now to monitor the situation and ensure peace for the time being.