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The Nigerian Army on Friday arrested the head of Benue Livestock Guards, Alhaji Aliyu Teshaku for allegedly masterminding recent killings in Benue State. Teshaku was arrested on Friday by the Army’s 707 Special Forces Brigade in Makurdi on suspicion of his involvement in some of the deadly attacks recorded across the state since January 1.

The Army said Teshaku was a Boko Haram suspect and his arrest had input from the police and the State Security Service (SSS). Some of the allegations include his alleged involvement in the attack on a Catholic Church on Tuesday in which at least 15 worshipers were killed, including two Catholic priests.

But some Benue activists are seeing his arrest as a persecution for his fierce opposition to herdsmen activities in the state.

Recall that leaders of the Miyetti Allah have repeatedly called for Teshaku’s arrest, accusing him of enforcing the anti-open grazing law and leading a militia allegedly raised by the governor.

While announcing the arrest, Olabisi Ayeni, spokesperson for the Nigerian Army in Makurdi, said security agents moved in time to prevent attacks that were being hatched by Teshaku and his cohorts in Bauchi, Borno and Yobe and Nasarawa States.

The Army described him as Aminu Yaminu (a.k.a.: Tashaku), but findings revealed that the suspect’s name is Aliyu Teshaku.

He was once detained at the Force Headquarters in June 2011 when he turned himself in after being declared wanted as a Boko Haram suspect. But he was later released by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), then headed by Babagana Monguno, now the National Security Adviser, in September 2011.

The police said they released him to the DIA in the spirit of inter-agency cooperation after the agency requested for him.

Teshaku, however, denied the allegations in an interview in March, saying the DIA released him because there was no evidence to establish his connection to Boko Haram. The arrest is seen by some Benue officials as a setback for Governor Samuel Ortom administration’s efforts against the activities of herdsmen in the state.

Teshaku became the head of Civilian Joint Task Force tasked with checking herdsmen attacks in Benue and Nasarawa States in 2013. But his group later changed its name to Benue Livestock Guards following the introduction of anti-open grazing law in Benue State last year.

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Benue State has long accused Teshaku of terrorising herdsmen and other Benue residents of Hausa or Fulani origin. Following the January 1 killings of over 100 people in Logo and Guma Local Government Areas of Benue, Teshaku was accused of being the head of a militia allegedly raised by Governor Ortom.

In January, Nigerian soldiers arrested nine suspected killer herdsmen on the Benue border with Taraba State. They accused Mr Teshaku of providing arms to the suspects.

But in an interview shortly after the allegations, Teshaku accused the military of trying to frame him. He also said the military was carrying out the agenda of Miyetti Allah which remained vehemently opposed to the anti-open grazing law.

He added that Benue Livestock Guards had about 2,500 members and eight of them were killed in the January 1 attack in Guma because they were not armed.

The governor also denied the allegations of raising any militia, saying the Nigerian security agencies should rise to their duty and end killings of his people. He inherited Teshaku’s group from former Governor Gabriel Suswam and kept it in place because of continued attacks by suspected herdsmen.

Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom has said the Benue State Government will not interfere in the investigations and will allow the law to take its full course.

The special adviser to the governor, Paul Hembah confirmed that no ulterior motive was suspected on the part of federal government, even though he acknowledged the longstanding opposition of Miyetti Allah to Teshaku. “The governor has said he will not support any criminality from anyone, no matter who the person may be,” Mr Hembah, a retired colonel, told newsmen by telephone Saturday morning. “The governor will not interfere in his arrest or his release.”

“The governor is working to end the killings so if anyone is caught, the law should take its cause,” he added. “We don’t suspect any foul play. We don’t think the federal government or the army is doing this to persecute him. But he would be arraigned in court and I am sure the security agency will bring out any evidence they have against him,” he said.

He indicated that the Benue Livestock Guards would not be disbanded as a result of the arrest. “Naturally, someone else would be appointed to replace him because the Benue Livestock Guards would not be disbanded,” he said.

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NEWS

N65,000 Minimum Wage: Labour Begins Nationwide Strike Thursday

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The organised labour has served to warn of an imminent nationwide strike which will kick off on Thursday over Federal Government delay in the implementation of a new National Minimum Wage.

Mr Joe Ajaero, President, United Labour Congress (ULC) gave the warning in a communique issued after its meeting on Monday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the organised labour, made up of the NLC, TUC and ULC had on Sept. 12 issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government to state an amount to enable the minimum wage committee to conclude its sitting.

Labour had collectively demanded for N65,000 per month as the new National Minimum wage for all Nigerian workers as harmonised by organised Labour.

Ajaero said that if the government failed to meet their demand on the expiration of the ultimatum, it would collaborate with other labour centres and Civil Society Organisations to embark on a nation-wide strike.

”We shall no longer be obliged by this time to give any further notice to the government before embarking on the action.

”By this communiqué, we order all our affiliates and state councils nation-wide to move to the final level of alert in their preparation for the proposed nationwide strike,” he said.

The labour leader said that a new national minimum wage was desirable and possible, adding that lack of patriotism, greed and corruption was the bane of a reasonable wage.

Meanwhile, the Central Working Committee (CWC) of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has empowered the National Administrative Council (NAC) and its leadership to carry out all necessary actions in conjunction with other stakeholders to ensure the achievement of the minimum wage. (NAN)

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NEWS

FRSC Screens 300,000 Applicants For 4,000 Jobs

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About 324,000 job applicants nationwide have commenced screening exercise for a slot of 4,000 positions in the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

Speaking on Monday during an assessment tour to the screening centres in Abuja, its Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, said only 400 vacancies are made available for the officer cadre but have about 105,000 applicants were jostling for the job.

He said 3,200 vacancies were made available for Road Marshal assistants while 1000 vacancies were made available for Marshal Inspectorate cadre.

Oyeyemi said that they would go through different levels of screwing exercise ranging from credentials screening which has commenced, aptitude test to be conducted by the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB), interview screening and drug test.

He noted some irregularities ranging from the presence of married women who were not supposed to participate in the recruitment exercise.

He also frowned at the presence of pregnant women and applicants below the height limit required for the job.

Oyeyemi appreciated the military and the Department of State Security Services (DSS) for their support in ensuring the smooth conduct of the screening exercise.

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LIFESTYLE

You Can Now Apply For A Free Retail Stall At The 2018 GTBank Fashion Weekend [DETAILS HERE]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Do you make or sell fabulous fashion apparels and accessories? Can your fashion brand stand out at the biggest fashion event in Africa? Then, the 2018 GTBank Fashion Weekend is calling for you!

Now in its third year, the GTBank Fashion Weekend has become the premier consumer-focused event that places African fashion on the global stage and helps small businesses in the local fashion industry thrive. The first and second editions of the event, which held in November 2016 and 2017 respectively, brought together over 250,000 people to interact with some of the best minds in the global fashion space and directly patronize more than 200 indigenous small businesses in the local fashion industry.

Organized with an overall vision of Promoting Enterprise, the 2018 GTBank Fashion Weekend will provide more than 130 small businesses with free stalls to showcase and sell the finest ensemble of apparels and fashion accessories. Applications for free stalls at the event are now open and will close on Saturday, September 29, 2018.

To apply for a free Retail Space at the GTBank Fashion Weekend, kindly visit; https://fashionweekend.gtbank.com/apply

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