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Newspaper review: Blood flows again in Rivers, military barred from rerun election

– There is fear and unease in Rivers state ahead of the rerun election scheduled for Saturday

– An army major and another soldier were killed in the latest burst of violence in the state

– The APC and the PDP are blaming each other for the unfortunate killings

– Fulani herdsmen struck again in Benue state and killed over seven people

– The EFCC traced a memo for the release of N3.145billion allegedly given to some PDP chieftains

Today, March 18, major Nigerian dailies are focused on various issues such as the tension in River state ahead of the rerun election and the war against corruption by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

There is tension ahead of Saturday’s federal and state legislative Rivers rerun elections.

The Punch reports that three soldiers were killed on Thursday during a shootout with a group of gunmen in Abonnema, Akuku-Toru local government area of the Rivers state.

Newspapers

The Punch front page, Friday March 18, 2016

The soldiers were reportedly ambushed by the militants and there was an exchange of gunfire which lasted for about 40 minutes.

After the encounter, the gunmen escaped through the waterways in Abonemma.

A source who gave his name as Charles said: “We learnt that a Major and two soldiers were killed when soldiers and the gunmen started shooting. Though we were far away, we heard the sound of the gunshots and people were afraid.”

However, the assistant director, army public relations of the 2 brigade, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Captain Eli Lazarus, said one officer and a soldier were killed during a gun battle.

He promised that the army would apprehend the gunmen, noting that they were currently in pursuit of them.

Vanguard reports that the two strong political parties in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been blaming each other for recent killings in the state.

Nigerian newspapers

Vanguard front page, Friday March 18, 2016

The PDP-led state government, in a statement issued by the state commissioner for information, Austin Tam-George blamed APC agents for the incident.

He called for an international enquiry into the unfortunate killing of the soldiers, saying, “we strongly believe that APC-sponsored cultists may be behind the killing of these soldiers in their ugly plot to pitch innocent Rivers communities against the military.”

In reaction, the APC governorship candidate in the 2015 election, Dakuku Peterside blamed the killing on what he alleged as the provocative statements by Governor Nyesom Wike and members of the PDP.

He also alleged that the governor was camping 3,000 boys in the area of the attack on the soldiers.

According to The Guardian report, the military has been barred from the state rerun election.

Nigerian newspaper

The Guardian front page, Friday March 18, 2016

A Rivers state High Court sitting in Port Harcourt ruled that the military should be restrained from deploying its troops to conduct, monitor and supervise the election.

Justice George Omereji gave the order following a suit filed by the PDP and the Rivers state chairman of the party, Felix Obuah.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has already taken delivery of electoral materials from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and has commenced distribution.

Senate president, BukolaSaraki has called on the various stakeholders in the rerun elections to ensure that the exercise is free, fair, credible and violence-free.

In other news, a memo for the release of the N3.145billion allegedly given to the PDP campaign for disbursement to six party chieftains and the Goodluck Support Group (GSG) has been intercepted by the EFCC, The Nation reports.

nigerian newspapers

The Nation front page, Friday March 18, 2016

Report has it that some of the PDP chiefs who benefitted from the money ran to former president, Goodluck Jonathan for help because he reportedly approved the memo.

One of the beneficiaries said the memo was allegedly based on the instructions and approval of Jonathan, who is yet to speak on allegations that he authorised many “curious” payments before the 2015 general election.

The anti-graft agency is insisting that the cash must be refunded.

Meanwhile, Daily Sun reports that suspected Fulani herdsmen invaded Buruku local government area of Benue state, killing no fewer than seven persons.

Daily Sun front page

Daily Sun front page, Friday March 18, 2016

The herdsmen were said to have stormed some villages in the early hours of Thursday and started shooting sporadically at the people.

Confirming the incident, the state police public relations officer, ASP Moses Yamu said seven persons, including a Fulani man was killed in the crisis.

Nigerian newspapers

Complete Sports front page, Friday March 18, 2016

The post Newspaper review: Blood flows again in Rivers, military barred from rerun election appeared first on Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Read on NAIJ.COM.

This post was syndicated from Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Read on NAIJ.COM. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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