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Buhari Calls For ECOWAS Commitment As AfCFTA Begins Jan 2021

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The African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement which kicks off on January the first, was one of the main items on the agenda of the thirteenth extra-ordinary summit of the African Union assembly of heads of state and government that took place virtually on Saturday.

President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, called on member states of the Economic Community of West African States to give their full commitment to the agreement.

Onyeama said the successful commencement of the trade in January would fulfill the collective dreams of Africa’s founding fathers.

He said the Continental Free Trade Agreement would seek to achieve better, united, peaceful and prosperous Africa, and that any abuse of the rule could affect trade relations, and could cause disorder, regional and geopolitical tensions and reduced economic growth.

The president assured ECOWAS member-states Nigeria would take all necessary steps toward the effective commencement of the trading at the beginning of the new year.

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Police Confirm 8 Deaths, 60 Arrests In Effium-Ezza Effium

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The police in Ebonyi State have confirmed eight persons were killed in the unrest between Effium and Ezza Effium communities in Ohaukwu local government area of the state.

Ebonyi commissioner of police, Aliyu Garba said normalcy has returned to the communities, but at least eight houses and a petrol station were burnt.

He said a leadership tussle at the branch of the national union of road transport workers in the area, that involved old and new executives, torched the nerves that resulted in the fracas.

Garba said his command has ensured proper security in the area.  He expressed confidence no further breach of the peace would occur in the area again.

Commissioner for border, peace and internal security, lauded what he called the police proactive response which he said helped in restoring normalcy to the areas.

The deputy governor has called for calm.  He said the government would ensure this would be a permanent solution to the problem.

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Presidency Seeks Peace Over Ondo Herdsmen Fracas

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The federal government says it wants a peaceful resolution to the Ondo herdsmen conflict that has roiled sharp exchanges between the Ondo government and the presidency in the last week.

The seven-day ultimatum issued by the Ondo State government to unauthorized herdsmen to vacate the state’s forest reserves expired on Sunday.

In a bid to foster peace, the federal government has prompted the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria to hold an urgent meeting with southwest governors today, Monday.  State chairman of the association, Garba Bello, says the Natioal chairman of the association, Abdullahi Badejo, as well as governors of Ekiti, Osun, Jigawa and Kebbi states will participate in the meeting.

Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, has warned the presidency and the Arewa Consultative Forum against playing politics and ethnicity with what it calls the worrisome state of insecurity in the southwest.

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Saraki Calls For Peace In Ondo, Oyo Herders Crises

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Former senate president, Bukola Saraki has called for peace in Ondo and Oyo states where crises are brewing over quit notices to herders. In some parts of Oyo State, properties belonging to Fulani herdsmen have been burned because of tensions arising from opposing actions by the governor and a youth leader in the state.

Governor Seyi Makinde says the quit notice issued to the herdsmen in Igangan, Ibarapa local government area of the state by youth leader, Sunday Adeyemo, was illegal.  Adeyemo says the herdsmen are responsible for insecurity, kidnappings and other forms of violence in the area, and they should go.

Inspector-general of police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the Oyo police commissioner, Ngozi Onadeko, to arrest Adeyemo, also known as Igboho, and transfer him to Abuja.

This has sparked tensions in parts of the state.  Former senate president, Olusola Saraki, has released a statement that these developments pose a threat to the unity of the country, and that initiatives must be taken to douse the tension.  He called on Nigerians to live in peace with one another. He also urged president Muhammadu Buhari to provide leadership by finding appropriate solutions.

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