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UN Boko Haram offensive drives 40,000 refugees into Niger

Nigeria’s army offensive against Islamist militants, Boko Haram has pushed nearly 40,000 refugees over its northern border into Niger, a UN agency said, in a drive that is straining food supplies in the drought-prone country. Reuters reported that the United Nations estimated in June that there were 6,000 refugees from Nigeria but the figure has soared as President Goodluck Jonathan has stepped up attacks on Boko Haram militants. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest monthly report that of a total 37,332 refugees, nearly 29,000 are officially Niger nationals and the rest are Nigerian.

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Gunmen kill 2 soldiers, 2 civilians in Rivers

No fewer than four persons were reportedly killed by suspected gunmen in Rivers State in the early hours of yesterday along Agip/Saipen area of Port Harcourt. The victims include two soldiers and two civilians. Daily Sun gathered that the bandits caught the soldiers unaware, as they tried to escape through Nkpordiagha waterfront, in Rumuolumeni community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state. The deceased civilians, according to a source, were hit by stray bullets as the fleeing hoodlums shot sporadically to escape. It was also gathered that the gunmen were fleeing after a foiled kidnap attempt around the area, before they met the unsuspecting soldiers. But, another anonymous source said that the suspects were fleeing after a successful robbery operation and escaped

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Gunmen sack 7 communities in Benue, kill 25 •JTF averts suicide attacks in Kano/Abuja, kills 5 insurgents, loses 2 men

Many injured in Osun communal clash weekend, with many others injured and communities numbering seven completely sacked in one of the incidents. In Benue State, not less than 25 people were feared dead in a renewed clash between Fulani mercenaries and Agatu gamers in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State. The clash, which an insider said started early Saturday, raged till the evening. Seven communities were said to have been completely sacked by the rampaging Fulani men. Last Thursday, two communities were said to have been attacked by the Fulani in a raid that resulted in the killing of three persons, injuring of many others and displacement of about 6,000 people.

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100 million Nigerians live in destitution – World Bank

About 100 million Nigerians live in destitution, the World Bank has said. The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly, said this at the bank’s Country Programme Portfolio Review in Enugu on Tuesday. She said that the bank’s ongoing commitment to Nigeria stood at $5.34bn. According to the World Bank boss, the number of Nigerians living in destitution makes up 8.33 per cent of the total number of people living in destitution all over the world, which the bank plans to reduce drastically by 2030. She said, “1.2 billion people live in destitution out of which 100 million are Nigerians. Inequality is rising in many developing nations.

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APC ready to take power in 2015, say Buhari, Tinubu

National leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Gen. Muhamadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday said the party is ready to take power in 2015. They urged the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to plan ahead of the 2015 general elections. The APC leaders spoke yesterday in Benin, the Edo State capital, at Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s fifth year anniversary in office and launch of the party in the state.

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Confab: Anyaoku seeks true federal structure

Former Commonwealth Secretary General, Emeka Anyaoku, has said the proposed National Conference should be used as a platform to evolve a workable federal structure for the country. Anyaoku said this in Lagos yesterday at the third Goody Jidenma Public Lecture, entitled: “The Practice of True Federalism in Africa, the Nigerian Experience and the Way Forward,” held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NIIA. He said: “The National Conference should offer Nigerians the golden opportunity to discuss an appropriate federal structure for the country. “The conference should be made to focus on the required system of government. “There should be a return to the six federating units, with each unit developing at its own pace.” The former secretary general said such units would ensure equitable sharing of proceeds from the nation’s resources. Anyaoku noted that Nigeria attained “faster development” when it operated regional structure of government.

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Ojukwu family’s bid to recover Ikoyi property suffers setback

The bid by Ojukwu Transport Limited to recover one of its properties, comprising a two-storey detached house at No 4, Macpherson Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos, suffered a setback yesterday as a Lagos High Court stuck out the originating summons filed by the company. Delivering judgement in the suit filed by the company against persons unknown/ the occupier of the property, Justice Olatunde Oshodi, held that going by the documents presented in court, the claimant ought to have commenced the suit by means of writ of summons and not by originating summons.

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Confab, Jonathan’s plot to abort 2015 elections –Gov Kwankwaso

Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, yesterday accused President Goodluck Jonathan of planning to use the planned national conference to cause confusion that could lead to the failure of the 2015 general elections. Also, the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, insisted that the proposed national dialogue should end at least six months before the 2015 general elections to avoid any clash with the polls. Kwankwaso and ACF spoke in Kano during a consultative meeting of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference with stakeholders in the North-West. The North’s apex sociopolitical organisation also canvassed the inclusion of the 250 ethnic nationalities as delegates to the