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Communal clashes: Ebonyi indigenes in China sue for peace

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The Association of Ebonyi State indigenes in China has appealed to different waring communities in the state to eschew violence and embrace peace, saying their worst enemies were those sponsoring the clashes.

Observing that natural communal clashes do not last for more than one month, they noted that the law does not respect anybody who felt he had a monopoly of violence, urging them to sheathe their swords.

The Chairman of the group, Comrade Stanley Emeka-Uzor, an Ambassador of Peace, made the appeal in Abakaliki, on Tuesday, during a meeting with journalists.

Emeka-Uzor noted that the rate of communal crises recorded in some parts of the state was worrisome, stressing that the ugly trend was driving investors out of the state.

He commended the State Government for the massive infrastructural transformation in the state, pointing out that there was a need to continually embrace peace for much development.

Emeka-Uzor said, “We are here for the very fact that the Association of Ebonyi Indigenes in China wants peace in the state. We are here to call on all the warring parties and communities to know that the one who kills his brother is not a strong man.

“We are here to appeal to the people to, ‘Say No’ to the crises in our state. We are not happy that in various areas of our state, a lot of crises have been going on-killing our brothers, sisters or wives, and children we are not happy that this is going on.

“So we, living in China, first and foremost, thank the state government for its efforts in making sure that peace is restored. We also thank the security operatives for how far they have gone in curtailing the crises and we also encourage them to do more. We are also happy about how our state has been transformed infrastructurally and in other areas. We are saying that we should continue to build unity and love.

“The waring communities should, please drop their weapons and let’s come together as one. We here in China are from different Local Government Areas of Ebonyi State; but we don’t discriminate, we do not see ourselves as different people, we do things together and that same love is what we want in Ebonyi.
This is because when the state is conducive, we can come home and invest, and other people who are not from Ebonyi can also come and invest but when there is a crisis, nobody will come home and invest. So there is a need, an urgent need, for peace.”

He charged the security operatives to do more in fishing out those behind the communal clashes in the state.

He added, “Communal crisis cannot last for more than a month and when such happens, you know that somebody somewhere is sponsoring it either for political reasons or for communal reasons, to show the power of supremacy to a weaker community.

“So security agencies should do more to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to book. The law is not a respecter of any man who is involved in these crises and sponsoring them. Those involved should be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.”

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New Zealand PM Ardern cancels her wedding as Omicron rages

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Agency Reports

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has cancelled her wedding as the nation imposes new restrictions to slow the community spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, she told reporters.

New Zealand will impose mask rules and limit gathering from midnight on Sunday after a cluster of nine cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant showed community transmission from the North to South islands after a wedding.

A family travelled by plane from the North Island capital of Auckland to a wedding in the South Island attended by 100 people.

The family and a flight attendant tested positive.

New Zealand would move to a red setting under its COVID-19 protection framework, with more mask wearing, and a cap of 100 customers indoors in hospitality settings and events such as weddings, or 25 people if venues are not using vaccine passes, Arden said.

“My wedding will not be going ahead,” she told reporters, adding she was sorry for anyone caught up in a similar scenario.

Asked by reporters how she felt about her wedding cancellation, Ardern replied: “Such is life.”

She added, “I am no different to, dare I say it, thousands of other New Zealanders who have had much more devastating impacts felt by the pandemic, the most gutting of which is the inability to be with a loved one sometimes when they are gravely ill.

“That will far, far outstrip any sadness I experience.”

Jacinda’s wedding to Clarke Gayford this summer was rumoured to be fast approaching. Some reports said it was fixed for this month.

But no specific date has actually been announced.

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Kalu meets Abdulsalami Abubakar

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Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Saturday night paid a private visit to former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar.

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Kalu who made the announcement through his verified Facebook page, revealed that his discussion with the former president centered on national issues and peaceful coexistence of Nigeria.
He wrote: “ Tonight, I paid a visit to the former President of Nigeria, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, to greet him for the new year. We also discussed major national affairs and peaceful coexistence of our nation.”

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Lagos police arrest NURTW members amid calls for ban

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By Moses Omorogieva/Lagos

The Police Command in Lagos State on Saturday said that its men arrested some members of the National Union of Transport Workers ( NURTW) who clashed on Lagos Island on Friday.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) , CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Saturday.

Ajisebutu did not mention how many people were arrested and where they were being detained.

He added that normalcy had returned to the Island as more operatives had been deployed there.
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“The police have quelled the crisis. Sufficient facilities were deployed in the area immediately we received a distress call and normalcy was restored.

”Investigation into the crisis is ongoing,” he said.

Two factions of the NURTW clashed over the control of some motor parks on the Island on Friday.

The videos of the clash went viral showing the hoodlums using dangerous weapons against each other

The arrests come amid call by Accord Party for a ban on the notorious union in Lagos.

Lagos State chapter of the Accord Party called on Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to proscribe the union following repeated violence by its members.

The Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Dele Oladeji, in a statement on Saturday called on Sanwo-Olu to tame the members of the NURTW by proscribing the union with immediate effect.

“Again, the members of the NURTW were enmeshed in a deadly fight on Lagos Island which was reported to have resulted in the untimely death of some four youths.

“This deadly clash created a security scare, in which innocent and hardworking residents of Lagos had to scamper into shops, crevices, under table and inside gutters for dear lives.

“Many rushed into shops and were locked in with the shop owners, just to stay away from stray bullets or being caught up in the fracas.

“Traders were forced to shutdown their businesses, which led to the loss of transactions running into billions of naira.

“We advise the Lagos State governor to, with immediate effect, proscribe the NURTW for a peaceful and safe Lagos city.”

The spokesman said that the recent violence was one too many among the members of the NURTW in Lagos State.

Oladeji said that though members of the union were always in the habit of killing themselves during such fracas, their action had always defied the security set up in Lagos State and had always created a state of insecurity among residents.

“Ask an average resident of Lagos, and they will tell you they live and commute in utter fright of these ‘union boys’ daily on the streets and roads.

“Gov. Sanwo-Olu should rise up in service to residents of the state and proscribed these lawless group for a safer Lagos State,” he added.

He said that NURTW factions were known to frequently engage in free-for-all over power tussles at different locations and parks.

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