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Call for self-defense against violent Fulani herders in Nigeria gains momentum

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Ovation Magazine publisher, Dele Momodu

Calls by prominent Nigerian and rights activists for self-defense against jihadist herders have gained further momentum in the oil-rich African country, which has lost thousands of civilians to jihadists who are said to be “Fulani herdsmen.”

The calls for self-defense became necessary after several reports by villagers and investigators accused government forces of aiding jihadist Fulani herdsmen to raid communities in the country.

Among those who ask Nigerians to defend themselves is Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of a separatist group- the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). He believes that the only way to stop the killings in Nigeria is for citizens to arm and defend themselves, adding that the dissolution of Nigeria is the permanent solution.

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Ovation magazine publisher, Dele Momodu, lamented how the marauding herdsmen are returning Nigeria to ancient times with their nefarious activities. While he called on Nigerians to defend themselves and their lands, he blamed the federal government for which he said protects jihadists.

Like Nnamdi Kanu and Momodu, a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, also blames the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for the violence by the herdsmen. He said the president pardons and treats terrorists with kid’s gloves, allowing them to kill unarmed citizens. He believes that self defense is a solution.

Former presidential aide under the Goodluck Jonathan administration, Reno Omokri, also believes in self-defense, but cautions that the Fulani herders should not be provoked.

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“Dear citizens of Nigeria,
•Do not attack herdsmen
•Do not provoke herdsmen
But, if herdsmen attack or provoke you, then DEFEND yourselves. You have a United Nations, @UN, guaranteed right to self defence. You do not have to die to prove you are patriotic!,” he twitted on Monday.

Those who also see self-defense as necessary in Nigeria are clergymen, activists, and others.

A former Army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Theophilus Danjuma (retired), had in 2018 accused government forces in Nigeria of complicity in the murder of Nigerians, mainly in the south.

He said “They collude with the armed bandits to kill people, kill Nigerians.”

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Ivory Coast police rescue 68 children working on cocoa farms

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FILE PHOTO: A farmer prepares to cut cocoa pods at a cocoa farm in Agboville, Ivory Coast April 24, 2017. REUTERS/LUC GNAGO

Police in Ivory Coast have rescued 68 children working on cocoa farms, most of whom were trafficked from neighbouring Burkina Faso, authorities said.

The West African country is the world’s top cocoa producer and has close to 1 million children working in the sector despite years of efforts to end child labour.

At a care centre in the southwestern region of Soubre, one of the rescued children told Reuters his father had brought him from Burkina Faso at the age of 13 to work on his uncle’s cocoa plantation and had left him there.

“I’ve been working in cocoa for two years, since I arrived in Ivory Coast,” said the shy Nounfo, who was found by the police splitting open cocoa pods with a machete.

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Police said Nounfo’s family links were not clear to the purported uncle who was among about 25 suspected traffickers arrested and now facing up to 10 years in prison.

The issue could weigh on exports to the European Union, which is considering new laws to ban the import of commodities linked to human rights abuses.

The operation involved around 100 police officers last Thursday and Friday and was the first since 2014 in Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa belt.

More action is hampered by a lack of funding, said Luc Zaka, a police commissioner in charge of the special unit on child labour.

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“We lack the means to be more efficient and to achieve the expected results, but each time we are in the field we manage to save children and arrest suspects,” he said.

Brahima Coulibaly, a member of the national monitoring committee on child labour, said authorities will conduct operations in another region in a few months.

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UGM: Governor imposes curfew from 7pm-6am in Rivers

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Nyesom Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has imposed a new curfew aimed at curbing attacks on government forces by those described as “Unknown Gunmen (UGM).”

Seven policemen were killed last week Friday in a new attack by unidentified gunmen who had killed at least 12 government forces in attacks on police formations.

“As a further step towards enhancing our collective safety we have reviewed the existing night time curfew across the 23 Local Government Areas, which will now start from 7 p.m. and end at 6 a.m. until further notice from tomorrow 11th May 2021,” said Wike in a state-wide broadcast on Monday.

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The governor also ordered law enforcement agencies to deal decisively with any person or group who violates or attempts to violate the curfew.

Meanwhile, government forces blocked all roads leading to their facilities across the state, causing a traffic jam that left many people stranded and forced to walk a long distance before reaching their places of business and homes.

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ISIS imposes taxes, recruit children in northern Nigeria

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"The Islamic State is plundering parts of Nigeria now, they manage to impose the Islamic tax of Zakāt at least in some regions at this point"

Images, posted on social media on Saturday, show members of the Islamic State terrorist group collecting taxes and recruiting children in northern Nigeria.

Children are recruited by terrorists under the guise of a humanitarian gesture by distributing them each N500 (five hundred naira), as well as food, shows images posted on Twitter by Pieter Van Ostaeyen, a Belgium reporter, analyst and historian.

“The Islamic State is plundering parts of Nigeria now, they manage to impose the Islamic tax of Zakāt at least in some regions at this point,” Ostaeyan said in Saturday’s report, which confirmed reports that earlier claimed that ISIS had infiltrated Nigeria.

The United States, alongside others, had said that Islamic State was trying to infiltrate the oil-rich African country already being ravaged by Boko Haram, ISWAP and Fulani herders.

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