Cultists vandalise Benue school, Gov. Ortom reacts

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Monday described the vandalism of facilities at St. Catherine Primary School, Makurdi by cultists as needless and barbaric.

Ortom said this while speaking at an inspection tour of some facilities and projects in Makurdi.

The governor expressed worry that the school had become a haven for cultists, saying: “I am told that the vandalism on this school was done by cultists.”

He said the renovation of the school would be captured in the forthcoming phase of schools upgrading exercise. Ortom called on security agencies to strengthen security around school facilities in the state to avoid similar acts of vandalism.

He said: “I also urge the Universal Basic Education Board and the school management to fortify security within school premises.

“Employ security guards to watch over school premises and ensure that cultists and hoodlums do not come near.”

The governor further expressed concerns that the school had become a shadow of its former self because of the activities of cultists.

He said: “This is where I finished my primary education in 1976, I left here and proceeded to Idah for my post primary education.

“This school is very dear to me, this is the reason I came to see things personally.

“I am worried at the level of decay and vandalism.”

Ortom also decried the level of infrastructure decay at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital.

He said the state government had released N150 million for the repair of some leaking roofs in the hospital.…

King Alfred Diete Spiff Palace destroyed in Town brass

One person was reportedly shot when a mob protesting against the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) over years of neglect attacked the palace of the Amayanabo of Twon Brass, King Alfred Diete-Spiff in Brass Council of Bayelsa State.

Indigenes of NAOC’s host community were protesting against protracted power outage, refusal to pay indigenous contractors and failure to meet its corporate social responsibility (CSR).

The Guardian learnt that the protest, which began on Sunday, May 16, 2020 and lasted till Tuesday, snowballed into chaos where some youths hijacked the rally and attacked Diete-Spiff, during a meeting with the protesters.

It was also learnt that after soldiers attached to Diete-Spiff, a former military administrator of old Rivers State took him to the palace, the mob still proceeded to attack there.

We learnt that the mob destroyed some property, while a soldier, who tried to disperse the mob, shot one of the protesters on the leg.

Responding to the incident, the Brass chapter of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) condemned the attack on Diete-Spiff, saying it would not condone any disrespect for the monarch from indigenes or foreigners.

In statement issued by its Chairman, Hello Richard and representative of the Ijaw clan, Benjamin Tustin, the group said: “Our attention has been drawn to the shooting of a protester by a military personnel during a peaceful protest by the people of Twon Brass Kingdom in Brass Council against Agip.

“From our findings, the protest, triggered into chaos after some persons hijacked it and started fomenting trouble in the process, which eventually led to the attack on Diete-Spiff.

“We further learnt that while trying to protect the monarch, a soldier shot one of the protesters in the leg and the situation generated tension in the community. The shooting took place when some persons hijacked the protest and destroyed part of the palace.”

The group stressed that it had become expedient that the leadership of Brass Clan of IYC should appeal to the people of Brass Kingdom to remain calm and urged security agencies to find