Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Apologises For Benue Killings

The Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyeama, watches as the National Secretary of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Mr Saleh Alhassan, shakes hands with Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State at an event in Makurdi on October 26, 2019.

 

 

The Fulani socio-cultural group, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has apologised to Governor Samuel Ortom for the herdsmen attacks and killings in Benue State.

Mr Saleh Alhassan who is the national secretary of the association tendered the apology at an event attended by both men on Saturday in Makurdi, the state capital.

He said Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore regretted the killings in Benue and pledged to ensure peaceful coexistence between herdsmen and farmers in the state going forward.

READ ALSO: Military Action Alone Won’t Tackle Insurgency, UN Tells Nigerian Govt

The group’s secretary described Governor Ortom as a peace-loving man who stood firmly for the emancipation of his people.

He gave assurance that members of the association would embrace the peace initiatives put forward by the governor.

In his response, Governor Ortom noted the enactment of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law by the state government.

He explained that the government’s action was aimed at ending the killing of innocent people and to encourage ranching as the global best practice of animal husbandry.

The governor stated that any person or ethnic group wishing to rear livestock in the state was free to come, acquire land, and ranch, according to provisions of the Ranching Law of the state.

He added that the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law protect has both farmers and livestock owners, stressing that the law was not targeted at promoting crisis of any kind.

The peace initiative was brokered by the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyeama, at a wedding reception in the state capital.

Earlier, the airline boss emphasised the need for peaceful coexistence between farmers and herders in Benue.

He said this informed his decision to personally bring Mr Saleh to broker peace between Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and the people of the state.

Group Faults Amnesty International’s Report On Number of Deaths In Benue

 

A group of campaigners against open grazing of cattle in Benue State called the Movement Against Fulani Occupation (MAFO), has faulted a report by Amnesty International’s where it allegedly put the number of deaths in Benue State between 2016 and 2018, at 726.

According to the group, almost 10,000 farmers have been killed within the time frame, as against the figure mentioned by Amnesty International.

The legal adviser for the group, Mr Terence Vembe, at a press briefing on Saturday noted that over 3,900 persons were killed in Agatu alone, while scores of persons had been killed in Gwer West, Makurdi, Guma, Logo, Buruku and Kwande Local Government Areas.

“In view of the above and many other observations, MAFO wishes to state as follows: the casualty figure of 726 for Benue State, has been strategically downplayed in order to water down the impact of the crisis of Benue communities and present a different picture to the rest of the world, especially coming from a globally known organization like Amnesty International,” he said.

Vembe, therefore, called on Amnesty International to re-evaluate its report by conducting fresh investigations in the affected Benue communities.

The group also faulted comments credited to Senator George Akume, alleging that the Benue State government is responsible for the killings.

Miyetti Allah Demands Apology From Benue State Govt

The Secretary-General, Miyetti Kautal Hore, Mr Saleh Alhassan, has demanded an apology from the Benue State Government for linking the association to the attacks and killings in the state.

Alhassan made the demand on Monday during his appearance on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

According to Alhassan, the recent arrest of the Commander of the Benue State Livestock Guards, Aliyu Teshaku, has vindicated the association.

“Today, they have arrested Aliyu Teshaku who is alleged to be the Head of the Livestock Guard in Benue who is behind those killings. He is arrested now,” he said.

“People that killed the two clergymen and 17 others in the church are being tried in Makurdi and they are all Tiv people. And they are all members of the livestock guard working for Governor Ortom.

“So we expect by now there should be an apology from the Benue State Government to our association because we have never promoted violence. We have always advocated for a peaceful resolution of the crisis.”

READ ALSO: Benue Sues Miyetti Allah Over ‘Killings’

We Warned Ortom Not To Proscribe Open Grazing ‘Overnight’

Apart from linking Tiv people to the attack on the Catholic church in Benue State that left two priests and 17 other worshippers dead, Alhassan accused the state government of propaganda against the association.

“I have always insisted that Governor Samuel Ortom is on a voyage of propaganda against our association,” he said. “And today, if you look at the arrest made in Benue, with respect to the perpetrators of the conflict there, you look at their ethnicity and background and you look at who is employing them, we have been vindicated.”

Alhassan’s comments come in the wake of attacks that have gripped the north-central state in which many people have been killed and many others displaced.

Allegations making the rounds say that the killings may be connected with the Anti-Grazing Law signed by Governor Samuel Ortom last year that led to a faceoff between the state government and herdsmen.

War of words

Since January 1, 2018, when suspected herdsmen attacked villages in Benue State killing 73 persons, Governor Ortom has repeatedly accused the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore of being responsible for the attacks, vowing not to go back on the prohibition against open grazing.

The governor has also rejected claims that the state government armed militia groups in the state and that it had a hand in the attacks.

To back its claim, the state government said it had documentary evidence linking the association to the killings and it engaged the police in a war of words earlier in the year over the failure to act on the evidence.

In April 2018, the state government filed a case against the association at the State High Court in Makurdi, accusing it of murder and widespread violence across 14 out of the 23 local councils of the state

On its part, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore has rejected all allegations against it insisting it is a peaceful organisation.

As far as it is concerned, the prohibition of open grazing and subsequent actions by the state government are responsible for the violence, claims Governor Samuel Ortom denies.

 

Killings: Police Recover 10 Bodies In Benue Villages

Truck Driver Allegedly Beats Wife To Death In Benue

The Police in Benue State, on Friday, said they have recovered 10 bodies suspected to be that of the victims of an attack, scattered around bushes in some villages in the state.

Fresh attacks were earlier reported in some communities in Benue State on Thursday night. The attack was carried out by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.

The Police in a statement signed by Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Moses Yamu, said the bodies were found in the bush around Tse-Adudu and Enger villages in Gwer West Local Government Area of the state.

READ ALSO: Court Jails Woman For Killing Babies

“Eight dead bodies were found in the bush around Tse-Audu and Enger villages in Gwer West local government. This is in addition to the two bodies that were removed from the same area on the same day.

“They were believed to be victims of armed bandits, suspected to be cross-border insurgents and cattle rustlers. The Mobile Police Force Unit deployed in Naka general area, had in the course of their patrols, encountered the same Insurgents,” the police said.

The police said security operations have been stepped up in the affected communities with reinforcement of the Police Special Forces to counter insurgency and criminal activities of the gunmen.

The police, therefore, asked members of the public to report any suspicious movement in their areas to security agencies.

Benue State has witnessed several conflicts involving farmers and herdsmen with increased killings since January 2018.

We Want These Killings To Stop, Adeboye Says In Benue

Pastor Enoch Adeboye and wife, Folu with Governor Samuel Ortom and others during Adeboy’s visit to Benue State on Friday, March 16.

 

The General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye has called for an end to the killing in Benue State and other parts of the country by suspected herdsmen.

Pastor Adeboye made this call on Friday when he alongside his wife, Folu, paid a visit to the Benue State.

The cleric believes only God, however, can stop the killings and give the people victory over the ‘battle’.

“We want these killings to stop. Happily, we know someone who can stop it, He is the Almighty God, He does not fail nor compromise, He is the God of all. We will continue to call on Him to fight this battle and you can be assured that victory will be certain,” he said.

Pastor Adeboye also prayed for the people, saying Benue State is very dear to him.

He explained that he did not visit the state earlier before President Muhammadu Buhari visited, to avoid politicising the incident.

READ ALSO: Tears In Benue As 26 More Killer Herdsmen’s Victims Are Buried

He said, “Benue state is very very close to my heart, I had felt every pain you people felt and I wept when I saw you weeping.

“No man of God will see a mass burial anywhere and not feel the pains of the people affected.”

Governor Samuel Ortom earlier while receiving Adeboye lamented over the incessant killings. He said apart from the deaths of many the attacks have created a huge humanitarian crisis in the state.

He appealed to the church to continue praying for the government and people of the state adding that the crisis posed a great challenge to the wellbeing of the people of the state.

On Thursday, March 15, Omosu community in Benue State was thrown into sadness as 26 victims of herdsmen attack in the community were laid to rest in a mass burial.

This is after 75 victims of suspected herdsmen attack in Guma and Logo Local Government Area of the state were also given mass burial.

We Appreciate Buhari’s Visit, But Didn’t Get Any Hope – Benue Govt

Killings: Convince Your People We’re Doing Our Best, Buhari Begs Benue Leaders
President Muhammadu Buhari addressing a gathering at the State House in Makurdi, the Benue State capital on March 12, 2018.

 

Three days after President Muhammadu Buhari visited Benue State, the state government has said the visit did not rekindle any hope in the people.

Special Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom on Media and ICT, Mr Tahaz Agerzua, stated said on Thursday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

READ ALSO: Convince Your People We’re Doing Our Best, Buhari Begs Benue Leaders

“We appreciate the visit, but we didn’t get any hope,” he said. “In Benue State, the President did not condole with us.”

“We appreciate that he was able to take his time and come and sit down for several hours to listen to the stakeholders, but he did not sympathise with the families,” the governor’s aide added.

 

Special Adviser to Benue Governor on Media and ICT, Mr Tahaz Agerzua, reacts to President Buhari’s visit during his appearance on Sunrise Daily on March 15.

 

The President’s visit to Benue comes weeks after some communities in Guma and Logo Local Government Areas of the state were attacked by suspected herdsmen.

After conducting a mass burial for at least 70 persons in the wake of the killings, the state government is preparing to bury more victims of the attacks.

Ortom Asks Buhari To Upgrade Exercise Cat Race

Reacting to the recent killings on behalf of Ortom, Agerzua said the people of the state expected the Commander-in-Chief to assure them of chasing the ‘invaders’ from the state.

Referring to the Miyetti Allah Kuatal Hore, he alleged that the group had issued a threat to resist the Anti-Open Grazing Law being implemented in the state.

“What we expected from the President was to give us assurance that the invaders would be chased out; there are presently 170,000 displaced people in eight counts across the state, that is a huge humanitarian crisis.

“We thought that there would be some word of chasing these people so that the displaced can return to their houses,” the governor’s aide said.

He further dismissed claims that the state government had sent the herdsmen parking from the state, in retaliation for the reported killings.

Ortom’s adviser, however, maintained that the status of the grazing law remains the same while the herdsmen are advised to abide by it.

According to him, the move s to avoid cattle from further destroying farm produce that might result in more clashes between the farmers and the herders.

Earlier, President Buhari had during his visit to Benue on Monday, appealed to leaders of various groups in the state to convince their constituents that the Federal Government was doing its best to end the recurring attacks by armed herdsmen in various parts of the country.

On his part, Governor Ortom had asked the President to upgrade Exercise Cat Race to a full military operation to further tackle the farmers-herdsmen crisis.

Benue Killings: Obasanjo Lays Wreath At Grave Of Victims

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday paid condolence visit to Benue State.

The former President during the visit laid a wreath at the graveyard of the 73 persons killed by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen in Guma and Logo Local Government Area of Benue State.

See Photos Below:

Fayose Faults FG, Security Agencies Handling Of Benue Killings

The Governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, has faulted the Federal Government’s response mechanism and poor handling of the herdsmen killings in Benue state.

Fayose said contrary to the believe in some quarters that the Anti-Grazing Law implemented by the state government was responsible for the killings, the Federal Government’s handling of security matters was to blame.

“The constitution has given you powers to make laws to protect your people. I made that law, I stand by it. Stand by your own. You are not saying you are making laws for other people, you are making it for your people. For the protection of your people, the peace of your people.

“The anti-grazing law must not be compromised,” he stressed.

He made this known on Thursday, when he visited the state to commiserate with the government and people over the death of over 70 residents.

The Ekiti governor also criticised President Muhammadu Buhari over comments he made asking Benue residents to accommodate their countrymen.

“How can a governor give you advance warning under secrete security information.

“How can you tell a governor in a situation like Governor Ortom has found himself, to go and accommodate people killing you, god forbid bad thing o.” he said.

Governor Fayose who was received by Governor Samuel Ortom from the airport, alongside top officials headed to the site of the mass grave where a minute silence was observed in honour of the victims of attacks on New Year ’s Day.

Thereafter, they headed to the Government House where he made a donation of N10 million to help support the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Benue Killings: Senate Rejects Report On IGP’s Failure To Arrest Perpetrators

The Senate has rejected a report by its ad hoc committee mandated to find out why the IG of Police did not comply with an earlier directive from the Senate to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of killings in Benue State.

The Upper Chamber rejected the report presented by the Chairman of the committee Senator Abu Ibrahim for failing to speak with the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, to get his own side of the security issues in the state.

The Upper Chamber has refused to consider the report, instructing the committee to speak with the state governor and report back in one week.

The Senate had on January 16, 2018, issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Ibrahim Idris, to investigate and arrest the perpetrators of the Benue attacks that led to the death of over 73 persons.

The two chambers of the National Assembly on Tuesday, condemned the wanton attacks by suspected herdsmen as they resumed plenary for the first time this year.

On its part, the House of Representatives also noted that it will set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the killings in Benue and other states of the country and report back in four weeks.

Benue Killings: 24 Arrested, 19 Arraigned In Court – Owoseni

FILE COPY

About a month after shocking killings erupted in Benue State on New Year’s day, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, has said that 24 suspects have been arrested with 19 arraigned in court in connection with the incident.

Owoseni stated this on Thursday during a telephone interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily where he vowed to ensure that justice would take its course to serve as a deterrent to others.

“A total number of 24 suspects that have been arrested in connection with some of these cases which borders on culpable homicide, grievous hurt, and mischief by fire, the total number is 24. The number that have been arraigned in court are 19 while five of the cases are still being investigated,” he said.

The CP said there would be no sacred cow in the fight against crime.

He also promised to completely eliminate criminals as all those found guilty will be made to face the full weight of the law.

He, however, noted that the state is currently enjoying relative peace due to the collaborative efforts of the police and the public.

The police boss, until his assuming duties last month as the police boss in the state, was in charge of Administration at the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID) at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Week In Review: Armed Forces Remembrance, More Benue Killings, Fresh Boko Haram Attacks

Week In Review: Armed Forces Remembrance, More Benue Killings, Fresh Boko Haram Attacks

 

2018 Week Three: January 15 – 21

A new week, same issues. The third week of the year continued a dominant trend with reactions to the killings of several persons in Benue State by suspected herdsmen. The issue got the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari who met with a delegation of Benue leaders led by Governor Samuel Ortom on Monday in Abuja. Addressing the leaders, President Buhari said: “ I ask you in the name of God to accommodate your countrymen. You can also be assured that I am just as worried, and concerned with the situation.” Meanwhile, Nigeria joined the rest of the world to honour fallen heroes and members of the military who have fought and are still fighting in various theatres of conflict. At various events across the country to mark the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, President Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and Senate President Bukola Saraki, as well as state governors paid tributes to fallen soldiers by laying wreaths.

L-R: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, and President Muhammadu Buhari walk during the Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony in Abuja.

 

On the tragic side of the day, the people of Lagos woke up to what some tagged a ‘sad morning’ after an explosion occurred at a gas station in Magodo area of the state, killing at least two persons. The popular gas station is located on a residential estate and has been the destination for cooking gas users in the axis and neighbouring areas. Far from the southern part of the country, Taraba State was thrown into mourning following the death of one of its lawmakers, Honourable Hosea Ibi. Late Ibi, the member representing Takum II Constituency in the State House of Assembly, was found dead about two weeks after he was kidnapped by gunmen in December 2017.

The educational atmosphere in Osun State turned controversial as hundreds of public school students were sent home over unpaid tuition fees. In a swift reaction, the state government denied the claim as it said the students were only asked to show evidence of payment of taxes and education trust levies by their parents or guardians.

Osun Public School Students Sent Home Over Unpaid Fees
Students reported sent home by school authorities

 

In Abuja, the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the Nigeria Police Force, for the second time, to unseal the head office of the Peace Corps of Nigeria. Justice John Tsoho also directed police and other security agencies laying siege at the premises vacate immediately, as well as hand over possession of the office to the organisation.

The second day of the week also had more reactions to the Benue killings both from the government’s side and that of the citizens’. Reports had emerged that Governor Ortom warned Professor Osinbajo while President Buhari was on medical vacation against the imminence of the killing in Benue State. The Presidency, however, denied the report while Mr Ortom, on his part, warned those raising false alarms and making inflammatory statements to desist from such acts or face arrest.

File photo: Yemi Osinbajo

 

While the Senate leadership briefed President Buhari about their decisions and resolutions regarding the Benue crisis, the Upper House issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Ibrahim Idris, to investigate and arrest the perpetrators of the attacks that led to the death of over 73 persons in the state. Also reacting to the attacks, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group, Mr Aliko Dangote, believes increasing rate of unemployment was responsible for herdsmen and farmers’ crisis; while a former IGP and Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr Ibrahim Coomassie, blamed state governors for the spate of killings occasioned by conflicts.

Away from Benue matters, security continued to be a major concern as not less than three persons were feared killed when Boko Haram terrorists attacked Pallam village in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State. The attack was reported on Tuesday, although it took place on Monday, as residents fled the community after some houses were burnt down by the insurgents. On the anti-corruption war, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) requested a Federal High Court in Lagos to grant an order of interim forfeiture of the sum of $3,645,013.73 allegedly linked the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience. Similarly, the anti-graft agency re-arraigned a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Jumoke Akinjide, before a Federal High Court in Lagos. Mrs Akinjide was accused of conspiring with some persons to directly take possession of N650million which the EFCC claimed forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act.

Patience Jonathan, Court, EFCC
File photo: Mrs Patience Jonathan

Renewed Attacks In Northern Nigeria

Fresh terrorist attacks and litigations dominated January 17, 2017. It was a sad day for the people of Borno State when at least 12 persons died after two suicide bombers attacked a market in Muna Garage in Maiduguri. The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Damian Chukwu, who confirmed that the assailants were among the 12 who died, told reporters that 48 people got injured during the attack. Benue State got in the news again following renewed attacks in which six people were killed in Logo, Guma and Okpokwu local government areas of the state. Confirming the attacks, Governor Ortom said Guma and Logo LGAs were attacked on Tuesday while that of Okpokwu LGA took place on Wednesday.

The Kaduna State Police Command also confirmed the abduction of four foreigners – two Americans and two Canadians – by gunmen who killed two of its personnel during a gun duel. Meanwhile, a militant group in Nigeria’s southern region Niger Delta Avengers threatened to resume fresh attacks on oil installations in the region. The group, through its spokesman Murdoch Agbinibo, vowed that the round of attacks would be the ‘most deadly’ and would be targeting the deep-sea operations of the multinationals.

The EFCC also continued its anti-corruption fight with the arraignment of Justice Mohammed Yinusa before a Lagos High Court in Ikeja, Lagos. Justice Yinusa was arraigned alongside one Esther Agbo work reportedly works with the law firm of a senior lawyer, Rickey Tarfa, on five counts of financial impropriety.

Justice Mohammed Yinusa

 

The Commission also arraigned Mohammed Adamu, son of former governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Adamu, alongside one Felix Ojiako on five counts of money laundering before Justice J. K. Dagat of the Federal High Court in Kano. However, the Lagos High Court in Ikeja adjourned the arraignment of the Chairman of Innoson Nigeria Limited, Innocent Chukwuma, over allegations of fraud after the businessman failed to show up in court.

As part of efforts to find a permanent solution to lingering fuel challenges, the House of Representatives summoned the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru.

Both men were directed to appear before a Joint Committee of the House to explain the rationale behind the payment of fuel subsidy and to account for the funds spent on subsidy payment since January 2017.

Tackling Herdsmen-Farmers Crisis

On Thursday, the killings triggered by the crisis between herdsmen and farmers seem not to be worrisome for the Federal Government only but also state governors. In a bid to address the numerous conflicts, the National Economic Council constituted a 10-man working committee to check the spate of killings across the country. The committee is headed by Vice President Osinbajo while governors of Kaduna, Zamfara, Taraba, Benue, Adamawa, Edo, Plateau, Oyo, and Ebonyi states are members. Meanwhile, the police said they have confirmed the existence of militia groups in Benue State which they said investigations would reveal soon. Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Jimoh Moshood, told Channels Television on Sunrise Daily that they have evidence of members of the group who are armed with AK-47 rifles. Also on police matters, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, decried the inadequate annual budgetary allocation to the Force. Mr Ibrahim, who appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs, noted that the allocations make it difficult to meet the current security needs of the country.

Killings: 'Mischievous Politicians Are Worsening Situation'
File photo: Jimoh Moshood

 

Also on security issues, the Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed the application by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) challenging its proscription as a terrorist organisation. Justice Abdul Kafarati held that the application was properly brought before the court as an ex parte motion by the Attorney-General of the Federation. Elsewhere, Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku asked security agencies in the state to arrest the killers of a slain lawmaker in the state. Until his death, Honourable Hosea Ibi was the member representing Takum II Constituency in the State House of Assembly. He was found dead about two weeks after he was kidnapped by gunmen in December 2017.

In the education sector, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Kaduna State of called off its indefinite strike which began on January 8, 2017, in protest of the sack of 21,780 teachers in the public primary schools who failed a controversial competency test in June 2017. The union said the decision was taken after the government offered the sacked teachers another opportunity for consideration under the State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) programme of continuous recruitment. Far in the South-East, the Ebonyi State government directed schools to close following the outbreak of Lassa fever in the state. The government said the directive was given as part of measures to contain the spread of the disease after the death of four persons.

Controversial Friday

Friday was clouded with controversy when President Buhari’s wife, Aisha, reposted the videos of two senators criticising her husband’s administration with her official Twitter handle @aishambuhari. In the said videos, Senator Isah Misau – who represents Bauchi Central – faulted the appointment of the Director General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), while Senator Ben Murray-Bruce (Bayelsa East) lambasted government over what he termed Nigeria’s ‘lawlessness’. Meanwhile, the President explained why he doesn’t make decisions hurriedly in addressing burning national issues. “I decided to drop the uniform and come back here (to be President of Nigeria), so I have gone through it over and over again. This is why I am not in a hurry to do anything. I will sit and reflect, and continue to (operate) with my clear conscience,” President had told some APC chieftains in Abuja.

President Buhari stands while addressing APC chieftains at a dinner in Abuja

 

Somewhere in the North East, at least five people were reported killed when suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked Kaya village in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State. The attack, which took place on Friday morning, was swiftly reacted to by local hunters who killed one of the terrorists and apprehended three others. Another death was recorded in Nasarawa State but as a result of the resurgence of Lassa Fever disease in the state. The state government said relatives of the deceased have all been tested and placed under surveillance.

News of suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans, might have been fading away but his trial alongside five others continued on Friday at the Ikeja High Court in Lagos. After series of proceedings, the court adjourned hearing till March 2 for the continuation of trial and ruling on a bail application brought by the sixth defendant. In Oyo State, the installation of 21 kings by the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, was nullified by a State High Court. The court declared as null, void and unconstitutional, the review of the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration as well as other Related Chieftaincies in Ibadan land by the Justice Akintunde Boade Review Commission set up by the state government.

Weekend In Summary

Nigerians woke up to the cheery news of the freedom of the four foreigners – two Americans and two Canadians on Saturday – about four days after they were abducted by gunmen in Kaduna State. The Commissioner of Police, Mr Agyole Abeh, said the foreigners were rescued at Jere Area in Kagarko Local Government Area of the state. The Delta State Police Command, however, confirmed the kidnap of five oil workers by gunmen in the state. The Command’s spokesman Andrew Aniamaka told Channels Television on Saturday that the hoodlums seized the workers on Wednesday at an offshore location near Ajoki, a border community between Delta and neighbouring Edo State.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) asked the Federal Government to ensure the victims of herdsmen attacks get justice to convey the sense of equity and restore confidence among the people. Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, on his part, conveyed a meeting of stakeholders aimed at tackling the crisis between herdsmen and farmers in his state. The meeting followed an unfortunate incident which claimed the life of a young Tiv woman said to be eight-month pregnant in Ekiti.

NBA Seeks Justice For Victims Of Herdsmen Attacks
NBA delegation pays condolence visit to Benue State

 

Barely three days after five people were reported killed in Madagali Local Government Area (LGA) of Adamawa State, three persons were confirmed dead in an early Sunday morning raid on Kikon Village in Numan LGA. The attackers who were suspected to be herdsmen rode into the village on motorbikes, setting houses ablaze and carted away cattle belonging to farmers in the village. A farm belonging to a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Olu Falae, was also set on fire by suspected herdsmen in Ondo State. The Ondo State Police Command confirmed the incident to Channels Television.

Meanwhile, the leadership of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) in the South East rejected the proposed plan by the Federal Government to establish cattle colonies in states as a means to tackle the farmers and herdsmen clashes. Vice President of PFN in the region and former Chairman, Imo State branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Cosmas Ilechukwu, stated this after the national leaders of PFN met in Owerri. However, the umbrella body of Muslims in Nigeria, Jamatu Nasril Islam (JNI), said it was absurd and wicked for CAN to blame herdsmen for the murder of more than 70 persons in Benue State and other parts of the country. Secretary-General of the group, Dr Khalid Abubakar, cautioned the Christian body against attributing crimes or criminals to religious and ethnic lines.

Buhari Will Visit Benue, Other Theatres Of Killings – Adesina

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina has explained why President Buhari has not gone to Benue State to commiserate with the government and people of the state over the recent killings saying the President will eventually visit the state and other troubled states.

Adesina, who was a guest on Channels Television programme, Politics Today, however, did not state when exactly the President will visit Benue. He also reacted to claims by some Nigerians that the Presidency has been slow in action towards the herdsmen attacks noting that the President reacted immediately and has directed top security officials to the state.

READ ALSO: Presidency Replies Bakare, Says Buhari’s Administration Is ‘On Course’

“Before I talk about visiting, you need to also recall the things the President has done. Apart from condemning, the Deputy Inspector General in charge of operations was directed to go into that theater of unrest. After that, the Inspector General himself was directed to go, after that, the Minister of Interior was sent, then the military, so a lot has been done.

“Tomorrow (Monday), the President is receiving 35 elders from Benue at the State House. He has received the governor of the state, last week. So, a lot is been done on that issue.

“In terms of visiting, the President will eventually visit, not just Benue. Recall that killings are taking place in Taraba, Kaduna, Rivers. The president will visit most of these theaters of killings, not just Benue,” he said.

Adesina said the Presidency is not sluggish in reacting towards the attacks as much efforts has been taken by the Federal Government. The President, according to Adesina, is saddened by the killings and has not only condemned the attack but also ordered security agencies to take speedy actions.

”If killings happened on January 1 and the President reacts on January 1, then I don’t see anything sluggish in that. If you call it sluggish, it will just be your opinion. Anybody that says sluggish, it will be that person’s opinion and they will have a right to it. But what we know and it is on record that on the day it happened, the President condemned it and directed security agencies on what to do.

”It is a very sad development in our country. The President himself has expressed his sadness about it. You would recall that right on the day the incident happened, he caused a statement to be issued from the office of the Special Adviser on media and publicity that the development was condemnable, that the security agencies must move in immediately and put it in check and then he directed that the malefactors must be arrested and brought to justice,” he said.

Reacting to Red card movement led by the former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili giving a warning to the two major political parties in Nigeria and other dissatisfaction from Nigerian citizens, Adesina said everyone is entitled to their opinion.

“In a country of 180 million, there is no way you won’t have dissatisfaction from some areas. But, every news of dissatisfaction that comes to the President, he looks into. If anybody is waving a red card and the Nigerian Referees Association recognises her as a referee, then she can wave the red card,” he said.