After Tomato Ebola, Maize Ebola Threatens Food Production in Nigeria


AT a period Northern Nigeria experiences tomato Ebola, there is a fear of another food scarcity with Maize Ebola in the South.

The new maize disease has been uncovered in the South West geopolitical zone of the country by the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Moor Plantation, Ibadan.

With Nigerians still grappling with high price of food stuffs, the Institute raised the alarm of looming acute scarcity of maize in the South-West sub-region of the country due to the discovery of a new maize disease ravaging maize on the field in the area.

The institute which is the zonal coordinating research institute for maize in the South-West in a statement issued in Ibadan by its Head of Public Relations Unit, Mr. Adeniyi Amusat, said uncommon pest/disease is presently ravaging maize farm in the South West agro-ecological zone of Nigeria which may likely lead to shortage of maize in the region.

While calling on all stakeholders to aggressively address the looming danger, he maintained that if not checked there may be scarcity and shortage of maize as experienced with tomato recently. The statement noted that the new discovery portends serious danger for production and consumption of maize in the country as it forms larger percentage of live stock feeds formulation especially in poultry. He however, assured that IAR&T which is the institute saddled with maize production mandate in the region is already setting machinery in motion to control the menace.

The disease, has rendered many hectares of maize plantations malnourished and in some instances stunted and yellowish without maize buds for eventual harvest this year. And many farmers are rueing the development, describing it ‘as an unprecedented phenomenon in recent years.”  – Economic Confidential

—  May 31, 2016 @ 19:55 GMT


‘Lagos Records 4,035 Rape, Child Abuse Cases in One Year’


LAGOS State recorded 4,035 cases of sexual and child abuse in the last one year, the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, has said.

Kazeem said this during a news briefing on the activities of the state’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Mr. Habib Aruna, said.

Through the DSVRT, Kazeem said government handled a total of 192 cases comprising 89 domestic violence cases, 62 defilement cases, 18 rape cases, six attempted rape, 10 child neglect and seven child abuse cases. Ninety-two cases are presently being heard in court.

Kazeem warned that the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode would not tolerate domestic violence and child abuse and would do everything within its powers to tackle the issue.

“Let me sound a note of warning here that no matter how highly placed you are in the society, if you commit any domestic violence crime, Lagos State will go after you and prosecute you in court,” he said.

Apart from bringing perpetrators of domestic abuse and sexual assault to book, Kazeem said the state government had taken steps to ensure the rehabilitation of victims.

He was quoted as saying, “As regards the provision of shelter for victims, the Ministries of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and Youth and Social Development as well as strategic partners NGOs have played key roles in ensuring that victims were evacuated to a safer environment of shelter homes.

“All the victims of sexual assault received medical attention from Mirabel Centre and State Hospitals, and so far, 50 of such cases were charged to court.”

Kazeem gave the assurance that the state government would increase its efforts to address issues related to sexual abuse and domestic violence on the front burner.

Consequently, he said the DSVRT would on Friday hold a free clinic for victims of domestic violence, rape at the state secretariat, Alausa.

—  May 31, 2016 @ 19:10 GMT


Bayelsa Gets New Commissioner of Police


A New Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adeyinka Sodipo, has been posted to the Bayelsa State Police Command.

Sodipo takes over from Mr. Peter Ogunyanwo, who has been redeployed to Police Force Headquarters, Abuja.

In a statement by the command’s spokesman, Asinim Butswat, Sodipo assumed duty on Tuesday.

Butswat said until his (Sodipo’s) present posting, he was the Commissioner of Police, Osun State Police Command.

He said the new command’s helmsman is a disciplinarian and a professional police officer, who has served in various commands and formations in different capacities.

Butswat said, “The command hereby solicits the cooperation and partnership of the good and well-meaning people of Bayelsa State to accord the new commissioner the necessary support in the discharge of his duties of maintaining law and order in the state.”

—  May 31, 2016 @ 19:14 GMT


772,224 Displaced Children Live in IDPs Camps – UNICEF


NO fewer than 772,224 children registered by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) are living at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the northeast.

Olusoji Adeniyi, UNICEE Emergency Specialist, disclosed this on Tuesday at a workshop on emergency preparedness organized by the fund for stakeholders in Kaduna. “Out of the number, 50 per cent of the children have no family tracing, which was causing more concern on child protection.”

Adeniyi said some of the children were traumatized and required psycho-social attention and support to appropriately reintegrate them into the society. “Most of the children are lost out because they have lost very precious parts of their lives as a result of insurgency,” he said.

He said the situation called for collective action from all concerned as the “children are the responsibility of everyone everywhere. So, we must join hands in saving their lives and guaranteeing their future,” he stressed.

The workshop was organized by UNICEF to create awareness among stakeholders on the importance of emergency preparedness, child rights and protection.

—  May 31, 2016 @ 18:50 GMT


Buhari Meets Leadership of South East APC, Six States’ Governors


PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, May 31, met separately with some South East chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and six states’ governors in the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The two meetings were held behind closed doors. The president first met with the governors of Zamfara, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Katsina, Ondo and Imo before meeting with the South East politicians led by former Senate President, Ken Nnamani.

‎The 18-member delegation, under the aegis of South East Group for Change, comprised mainly members of the ruling APC. The delegation included the National Auditor of APC, George Moghalu; former Senators ‎Ifeanyi Ararume and Osita Izunaso. Others were the former House of Representatives’ member, Sharon Ikeazor and the former Executive Vice-Charman of Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Ernest Ndukwe.

The rest were the APC National Vice-Chairman (South East), Hon. Emma Eneukwu; member of the APC Board of Trustees, Chief Austin Edeze; Dr Uzoma Obiyo ‎and Chris Akomas. When accosted by State House correspondents on the outcome of their meetings with the president, both the governors and the leadership of the South East APC delegation ‎declined comments. No official statement has been issued on the meetings as at the time of filing this report. – Vanguard

—  May 31, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT


Wike Appoints Yobo as Senior Special Assistant on Sports


GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has appointed Joseph Yobo, former Super Eagles Captain, as his Senior Special Assistant on Sports Development. The governor has also appointed Chibuzor Aholu as Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Financial Matters.

A statement by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media noted that both appointments take immediate effect.

—  May 31, 2016 @ 18:45 GMT


Life Sentence of Former Chadian Ruler Marks Victory for Accountability – Freedon House


IN response to a special court in Senegal backed by the African Union convicting former Chadian ruler Hissene Habre of crimes against humanity and sentencing him to life imprisonment, Freedom House lauds the ruling.

“The court’s verdict is a huge victory for human rights and the rights of victims throughout Africa,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director for Africa programs”, in a statement issued in Washington and made available to Realnews on Tuesday, May 31.

“By pursuing Hissene Habre on African soil, the nation of Senegal, with the support of the African Union, is setting a new standard of accountability for heads of state and other senior officials who ignore fundamental human rights and yet have avoided prosecution for crimes committed in power. Wrong-doers, no matter their status, can no longer count on other leaders protecting them,” he said.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

—  May 31, 2016 @ 18:05 GMT


Lagos Appeals to the Public on Disruption of Water Supply


THE Lagos State Government has again appealed to Lagosians to bear with her as residents in some parts of the state are experiencing disruption in public water supply in their areas, saying that this is due to shortage in gas supply to the Akute Independent Power Plant, IPP, and other facilities.

Babatunde Adejare, commissioner for the Environment, who made the appeal recently, stated that the inadequate supply of gas could be attributed to the vandalisation of gas pipelines in the Niger Delta Region of the country, adding that the adverse effect of this vandalisation has also affected the water production at other Water works facilities across the State.

According to him, “… As a responsible and responsive government that has the interest of the people at heart, we are working tirelessly to connect to the National Grid to ensure that an alternative power supply is connected to the power plants within a short while.”

The commissioner noted that the main concern of the government is to increase the supply of water due to the ever increasing population of Lagos, as a commercial nerve centre, stressing that, “As at 2010, the daily water demand by residents was 500 million gallons per day while daily supply was 210 million gallons per day. There is therefore a short fall of 290 million gallons per day.”

“It has been projected that by 2020, the daily consumption demand will be 733 million gallons per day while the daily supply will be 745 gallons per day, thereby having excess of 12 million gallons per day. It is expected that the planned expansion of Iju, Adiyan 1-3, Isasi, Ikosi, Odomola 1 and 2 will ameliorate the situation.”

He stated that in order to optimise the distribution of water in some areas, the Corporation is introducing the Water Distribution Kiosk System by creating Centralized Water Points to purchase potable water at a substantially cheaper price by Water Vendors, maintaining that this is a new innovation in Nigeria and is meant to complement the 5Km reticulation and the existing network.

While soliciting for the patience and understating of Lagosians in respect to the disruption in the supply of potable water, the Commissioner appealed to the people of the state to report anyone found tampering /vandalizing water power plants to the government through the State Water Corporation.

Adejare further stated that indiscriminate and unhealthy laying of water pipes across drains, patronage of unlicensed and unapproved water vendors are unacceptable, describing such practices as avenues for spreading water borne diseases such as cholera and diarrhea among others.

—  May 31, 2016 @ 18:00 GMT


Flood Ravages Ebonyi Villages, Farmers Seek FG’s Help


FARMLANDS in five communities in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have been submerged by flood.

The flood was caused by the blockade of a dam being constructed by the Federal Government in Npu, Anuri LGA of Enugu state.

The affected communities are Ameke, Okue, Amaokwe, Ngwogwo and Obodo.

Governor David Umahi, who raced to the site of the dam on learning of the development on Monday, ordered a comprehensive report of farms and cash crops destroyed by the flood.

Noting that the damage was huge, Umahi said the report would be sent the Federal government with a view to assisting the state and farmers whose means of livelihood had been severely affected.

He said, “We came to the point of the Ukeh River Dam that is being constructed by the Federal Government in Npu, Anuri LGA of Enugu State.

“A comprehensive report will be carried out so that we can seek Federal Government’s assistance not only to the state but to the farmers whose agricultural produce have been seriously damaged.”

O. Ude, caretaker Committee Chairman of Ivo local government area, who accompanied Governor Umahi to the site of the dam said the blockade caused water to overflow backwards, thereby destroying the farmlands in the affected communities.

Youths showing rotten cassava tubers at one of scenes of the flood in Ngwogwo, a community in Ishiagu, Ivo LGA
Youths showing rotten cassava tubers at one of scenes of the flood in Ngwogwo, a community in Ishiagu, Ivo LGA

“If you look back from where we are standing, you will see a river coming down from there, that is Ivo, and this river is Ukeh. So the rivers meet here and it is from here that the constructors created an embarkment that makes water to flow backwards.”

Johnson Ukpai, chairman of Ngwogwo Community Development Union, lamented that the flood had destroyed agricultural produce like yams, cassava, rice, Maize and cocoyam.

He pleaded with the federal government to come to their rescue.

“The blockage of dam which resulted in the over flow of flood to this our community has caused enormous damage to this our community. Our crops like, yams, cassava, rice, maize, cocoyams has been destroyed.”

Youths of the area were seen displaying cassava tubbers which had decayed due to the impact of the flood.

Augustine Ossai, a liaison officer in Ivo legislative council, also lamented the damages done by the flood and called on the federal government and the National Emergency Management Agency to immediately come to the assistance of farmers in the area.

—  May 31, 2016 @ 17:50 GMT


Umahi Extends Olive Branch to Elechi


DAVID Umahi, Ebonyi state governor has extended a hand of friendship to his immediate predecessor, Martin Elechi, by asking him to forget the past and join hands with him to rebuild the state.‎

Umahi, who spoke during this year’s Democracy Day celebration at the Abakaliki Township Stadium, also announced Elechi as one of the elder statesmen that would be honoured by his administration for their contributions to the upliftment of the state.

Others that will be honoured are former Governor Sam Egwu, former governor of old Abia State, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and a former Sercretary to Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim.

Umahi said the honour will be an annual event slated for every Democracy Day to recognise great achievers of Ebonyi origin.

He said, “This year and of course every democracy day, we are going to be honouring our elder statesmen who have contributed in one way or the order to the upliftment of our state.

“We will not tell you what we shall honour them with, but the House of Assembly has given me the powers to do what I am set to do.

“So we shall be honouring His Excellency, Dr. Sam Egwu, the first civilian governor of this state. We also will be honouring His Excellency, Anyim Pius Anyim, the former SGF.

“We also will be honouring His Excellency, my boss, my father and my friend, Chief Martin Elechi. And I use the opportunity to ask him to please come on board, let old thing pass away, let’s come together to rebuild Ebonyi state.”

Umahi, who served as Elechi’s deputy, reassured the people that all the inherited projects from various administrations in the past, including those of Elechi’s administration, would be completed.

He asked the contractors handling the projects to relocate to their sites as according to him, they still had chunks of the state’s money paid to them to execute the contracts.

It should be recalled that Elechi had strongly opposed the candidacy of Umahi as governor in preference for Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, a former minister of Heath.

This led to the frosty relationship between governor Umahi and Elechi.

—  May 31, 2016 @ 17:30 GMT


Bayelsa Spends N123 billion Servicing Bonds


THE Bayelsa State Government has spent about N123 billion between 2012 till date on servicing of debts, including bonds and foreign loans obtained by the previous administration.

Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, deputy governor (retd), expressed ‎regret about huge financial burden which the Governor Henry Seriake Dickson’s administration has been facing amidst the prevailing economic challenges.

Jonah stated this on Tuesday during the Monthly Transparency briefing held in Government House, Yenagoa,

According to him, the state government has paid a total of N62 billion on bonds obtained by the immediate past administration, while more than N61 billion have so far been deducted at source by the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, for loans and over-payments to the previous administration.

Giving further clarification on the N50 billion bond, he explained that, the total value of the bond was N104 billion, which was expected to be paid off in June 2017.

The Deputy governor also spoke on the income and expenditure for the month of March 2016, and announced a gross inflow of N5.5 billion, which comprises statutory allocation of N1.5 billion, derivation (N3.4 billion), Value Added Tax (N550.7 million) and exchange differential (N78 million).

Speaking on deductions, he stressed that, N1.2 billion went for bond payment, while comprehensive reconciliation of over-payment made to the state between November 2006 and June 2010, the third out of 28 installments, is N392.8 million.

Also, refund on over-payment of 13 per cent derivation indices from August 2008 to 2009, the third out of 22 instalments, amounted to N187.8 million.

Jonah also stated that, N741 million went for the Federal Government’s restructured bank loans, over-payment from Excess Crude Account accounted for N253 million as well as about N168.2million on the servicing of commercial agricultural loans’ schemes one and two.

Other deductions include, refund of over-payments on E.A Oil Field from November 2006 to June 2010, the third out of 6 installments, amounting to N170 million, deductions on the bailout for the local government staff salaries gulped N32.5 million, while refund of arrears to Akwa Ibom State on the Ekanga Oil Field was N131.5 million.

According to him, the total deductions amounted to N3.3 billion, thereby bringing the net inflow to N2.2 billion, adding that, IGR for the month of February was N446 million in addition to funds from other sources, amounted to N2.7 billion being total funds available as at the end of March 2016.

Jonah announced a total outflow of N1.3 billion, comprising N1.2 billion on a loan facility obtained by the state government to augment workers’ salaries last year.

At the event, Jonathan Obuebite, state commissioner for Information and Orientation, appealed to the militants to embrace dialogue in addressing their grievances, as their activities in the Niger Delta have caused a drastic reduction in revenues, occasioned by the sharp drop in crude oil production.

Also speaking, Duate Iyabi, State chief economic adviser, who stressed the need to boost the internally generated revenue base through appropriate taxes and levies, assured that the government would not over-burden the people on taxation.

—  May 31, 2016 @ 17:25 GMT


Standard Chartered Launches Africa’s Most Extensive Mobile, Online Banking


Standard Chartered launches Africa’s most extensive roll out of mobile and online banking‎ as it makes digital banking easier, faster and safer for more than one million clients across eight markets

STANDARD Chartered Bank is bringing its newest mobile and online banking platform to one million clients across eight African markets, the most extensive digital rollout of its kind in Africa by an international bank. Supported by the Bank’s global-standard technology, clients will enjoy a consistent online experience across laptops, tablets or mobile phones, and the convenience of banking from the location of their choice.

After the rollout to Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe in the first half of 2016, the Bank will launch fingerprint recognition technology in these markets later in the year, giving clients a more secure and convenient way to log in to their accounts.

“We’re bringing the best in mobile banking to Africa – consumers across the continent are increasingly affluent and tech-savvy and they want convenient access to their bank, wherever they happen to be,” said Karen Fawcett, Standard Chartered’s CEO for Retail Banking‎, in a statement the bank made available to Realnews Tuesday, May 31. “Africa is important to Standard Chartered and this launch is another demonstration of that.”

“We are committed to making banking easier, faster and safer for our more than 1 million retail clients across Africa,” commented Jaydeep Gupta, Standard Chartered’s regional head of Retail Banking for Africa and the Middle East. “This multi-country roll-out is in line with our promise to bring world-class products and functionality to Africa, consistent with the trends and progress we are making in our international markets in Asia and the Middle East. By early next year, we expect at least 35% of all client transactions to be done through online channels; significantly advancing the transformation of banking in Africa.”

The launch is central to Standard Chartered’s strategy of using digital technology to deliver the future of banking to clients in Africa. The Bank last year announced it will invest $1.5bn in technology globally over three years.

With Africa’s mobile penetration estimated to be around 67 percent, the launch brings Standard Chartered Mobile, Standard Chartered’s mobile banking application to Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe for the first time. In Nigeria and Ghana, mobile banking clients will move to the Bank’s standard global platform.

Through Standard Chartered Mobile, clients can check balances, transfer money and pay bills securely, all through their smartphones.

Standard Chartered is also upgrading its online banking platform in these eight markets, so clients will benefit from improved navigation and user-friendly interfaces on the Bank’s websites. Clients will soon be able to use a new self-service option for wealth management that lets them set up their investment profiles online and find out which products are most suitable by answering a series of questions on their financial position, investment objectives and risk tolerance.

Overall, clients will enjoy a consistent mobile and online banking experience: usernames and passwords, beneficiaries, standing instructions and bill payees are replicated across both channels. Paying bills is easier too as the revamp comes with an expanded list of utility companies, cable TV and internet providers.

This online and mobile banking platform puts Standard Chartered at the forefront of digital banking technology in Africa and the first international bank to extend a brand-new global platform to eight countries in one rollout. In Kenya and Nigeria, the bank also recently launched the Retail Workbench, a tablet-based sales-and-service tool that “brings the bank to clients.”  Retail Workbench allows sales staff can open an account for a client in any location and makes banking services like loan approvals and credit card issuance fast, simple and completely paperless. Zimbabwe and Zambia have also launched digital branches, revolutionising traditional branch formats.

Standard Chartered’s retail banking business serves the banking needs of nearly 10 million individual and business clients across more than 30 markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, through more than 1,000 branches, 5,000 ATMS and a range of digital and staff-assisted channels.

In 2015, Global Finance named Standard Chartered the World’s Best Consumer Digital Bank and Best Regional Consumer Digital Bank for Africa and the Middle East.

—  May 31, 2016 @ 17:16 GMT


Delta Lawmakers Pass Vote of Confidence on Gov. Okowa, Speaker


LAWMAKERS of the Delta State House of Assembly, on Tuesday, praised Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Monday Igbuya, speaker, and other principal officers of the House for strengthening the bond of unity, fostering the spirit of oneness, enhancing development and promoting good governance in the state.

The lawmakers also passed a vote of confidence on them followng a motion moved by the representative of Dennis Omovie, Warri South 11 state constituency, during the proceedings in the legislature.

Omovie, a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, member, and also the chairman, House Committee on DESOPADEC, commended Governor Okowa for his sterling performance and integrity, pointing out that “there is no gainsaying that Nigeria and by extension Delta State suffered dangerous drop in her revenue being a mono- driven economy but there is no correspondent drop in the very high expectations of the citizenry and by extension our various constituents”.

Specifically, he praised Governor Okowa for representing the interests and the desires of the people.

“We in Delta State can walk tall in the midst of this dangerous paucity of resources because we are blessed with a man who is a wonderful manager. Governor Okowa is managing Delta State as if there is surplus. He is giving to Delta State and Deltans what they expect”.

He also praised Okowa, Igbuya and others for strengthening the state’s economy, expanding job opportunities and reducing spending”

“My colleagues, I therefore move that a vote of confidence be passed on this wonderful manager, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and the leadership of this hallowed chambers for their strides and the wonderful leadership they have given Delta State thus far” he said.

A member of the PDP, Hon Ayiba Tonye Timi, who represents Patani state constituency, seconded the motion.

Later, the House unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the governor, speaker and the other principal officers, according to press release issued by Ebireri Henry Ovie
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly

—  May 31, 2016 @ 17:10 GMT


BON Cloud Debuts License-Free Content for African Broadcasters Seeking China-Related Stories


China-focused globally integrated content archive produces and archives video content across business, travel and culture in full HD, ready for delivery through BON Cloud media platform to African broadcasters free of charge

FOLLOWING the launch of the BON Cloud media platform in August 2014 and an expansion with cooperating media partners through South and Southeast Asia, BON Cloud now reaches Africa for the first time.

As a part of the launch, BON Cloud publishes a new video series about international lives connected with China. We discover a South African man who has taken to life in China. As a senior golf professional, he manages one of the most exclusive Golf Clubs in southern China, in Shenzhen, a sprawling metropolis, with fascinating insights into everything golf in China.

Next, we experience a unique window into life in China, Chinese Buddhist temple philosophy. The story vividly captures the philosophical connection between Chinese Zen Buddhism and an equivalent practise in Western world, captured through the eyes of a German court judge who explains the story.

Built as a one-stop-shop international media solution for producers, publishers and broadcasters alike, BON Cloud, specialize in creating and distributing China-focused short video content and footage.

Now fully established, BON Cloud boasts an active database of more than 6,000 international media professionals downloading, re-editing and re-purposing BON Cloud created assets every day, resulting in the production, to date, of more than 4,200 short videos.

“The purpose of BON Cloud is to provide access to fresh, professional China-related content to content acquisition professionals, editors, and producers, across Africa’s 54 nations, and license – free”, explained Ash Bowkett, VP, International Business Development at BON Cloud, “Across Africa, audiences and industry alike are showing increasing interest in China, whether as a strategic development partner, for international trading purposes, or as a holiday destination. We are strongly positioned as the only non-news China-content provider source for Africa.”

While the Associated Press and Bloomberg already source culture and business content and footage from BON Cloud, hundreds of television broadcast stations and websites around the world also access the Platform when they require a China story.

BON Cloud is currently being used by traditional and digital broadcasters to locate broadcast-ready video content, obtain media packages for reproduction, including video, audio, scripts and footage, add extra multicultural segment value to the broadcast output and directly utilise the mainland China-based production services offered by the Platform ecosystem.

BON Cloud content is story-focused, diverse, high-quality and current, preferring to offer stories about China, instead of advertising or promotions. The international team driving BON Cloud is at the disposal of media organisations across Africa, ready to support the online delivery of fresh, compelling video stories whenever the broadcast need arises.

—  May 31, 2016 @ 17:00 GMT


Military Never Arrested Our Strike Team – Avengers


THE Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, new militant group responsible for the bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region, has said that claims by the Nigerian Military that 10 of its suspected members were arrested on Sunday, May 29, was false.

The militant group in a tweet on Tuesday, May 31, via its Twitter handle, @NDAvengers, said, “Our attention has been drawn to the arrest of 10Niger Delta Avengers boys by Nigerian Military. None of our Strike Team has been arrested. It’s all lies.”

The Nigerian Army said it arrested 10 suspected militants and pipeline vandals in the Niger Delta region, on Sunday. Farouk Yahaya, commander, 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Benin City, while addressing journalists had said that the Nigerian Army arrested 10 suspected militants and pipeline vandals in the Niger Delta region,

Yahaya had said the suspects were arrested during a cordon and search exercise conducted in Oporozoa community and its environs in Delta State. However, he said the arrested suspects may have links with the Niger Delta Avengers. He said guns, ammunition and other equipment were recovered from them.

He said the operation was conducted professionally in line with the code of conduct and rules of engagement of the Nigerian Army. He said the Army is committed to tackling pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region.

—  May 31, 2016 @ 15:45 GMT