Police arrest Mubi murder suspects

Security experts have begun search for the gunmen who invaded Mubi, Adamawa State, on Monday night, killing about 26 students from three higher institutions in the state.

The search for the killers on Wednesday led to a house-to-house search in Mubi during which an unspecified number of suspects were arrested.
The state Police Commissioner, Mohammed Ibrahim, who confirmed the arrest to Reuters, declined to give further details.

The search began just as President Goodluck Jonathan ordered the security forces to intensify efforts to fish out the killers, widely believed to be members of dreaded sect, Boko Haram while Senate President David Mark called for capital punishment for the attackers.

The gunmen who had attacked students of the Federal Polytechnic, Adamawa State University and the School of Health Technology, all in Mubi, were said to have gone from room to room in a building in the town on Monday and killed the people they found there with guns and machetes.

The commissioner said the police were still keeping an open mind on whether the killing spree was carried out by militants or rival students, but there were signs of an “inside job”.

“Relatives of the slain students said the assailants called their names out before killing them. The majority were killed with gun shots or slaughtered like goats,” he added.

According to a local media, One possibility was that the killings were related to a dispute between rival groups at the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, following a student union election on Sunday,

“The second day after the election winners were declared, you have the killings … Really we cannot rule out the possibility that the attack may have been carried out by either the Boko Haram or a … gang,” the commissioner added

Mr Jonathan, who was briefed about the incident, along with other cabinet members, by the Minister of Education, Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, at a meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) Wednesday in Abuja, condemned the attack.

According to the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president, Reuben Abati, Mr Jonathan described the killings as tragic, sad, barbaric and shocking.

“The president has directed security agencies to investigate the matter and get to the root because this kind of incident, where people are called out and shot, is really shocking,” he said in a statement.

Senate president in reaction to the attack, advocated capital punishment for the killers to serve as a deterrent to others.

In his remarks while the Senate was considering a motion by Senator Bindowo Jibrilla, from Adamawa North Senatorial District, said the time has come for the country to test the capital punishment clause as enshrined in the statute books.

Before observing a one-minute silence for the victims of the attack, the Senate urged the Federal Government to swiftly bring the perpetrators to book.

He said: “The security challenges before us in this country are grievous and we have to tackle them headlong. On the specific issue of this are the Mubi killings.

“I think it is a pity that people will go from one room to the other calling names and slaughtering the people. It is totally unacceptable. Even if it is just attacking the symptoms now, those involved must be arrested and brought to book.

“I know that this is a democracy and with due respect to all of us, but capital punishment is still in our statutes.”

He said the time and opportunity had come for the country to apply the death clause in the statute books and use it as a deterrent to others.
While blaming government for its slow response to security emergencies, he said: “It is not that crimes don’t take place in other places; they do. But it is the reaction of government; the speed with which those involved in crimes in other countries are arrested, tried and punished accordingly that differs.

“However, when they happen in this country, after a week, we tend to forget it and wait for the next one to happen.

“I think we have gone beyond the point of singing these songs of lamentations over and over again. We should not be lamenting, we should be able to act. And government needs to act as swiftly as possible.”

Mr Mark urged both the Federal Government and states to live up to their responsibilities of providing security to the citizenry.
“I think this is a very serious issue and if we don’t tackle the real issues and begin to go on diversionary expeditions, we will be missing the point.

“Terrorists will succeed once they can stop you from doing what you want to do and once they can stop government from doing what they want to do, they want all Nigerians to be very scared of sending their children to polytechnics and universities. I think there are very serious challenges and we must address them,” he added.

Abati and Okupe deny any rancour between them

The presidency has denied reports that the recent appointment of Dr Doyin Okupe as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs has led to a conflict between him and the the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati.

Dr Reuben Abati who convened the meeting to introduce Dr Okupe to State House correspondents, affirmatively declared that there is no conflict between his office and that of the Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, stating that Dr. Doyin Okupe was hired to complement him in engaging the public coherently.

Briefing State House correspondents on their positions on Tuesday, Dr Abati and Dr Okupe jointly declared that there is no conflict in the information management process in the presidency, as speculated by some media reports.

Acoording to Dr Okupe, “the position of Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs is not in any way conflicting with the job of the Special Adviser to the President. The Special Adviser to the President remains the presidential spokesman. All official policies and statements emanating from the President are released through him. Anything that is official, which has to do with what the President has spoken, will be spoken of by Dr. Reuben Abati. My job is public affairs” explained the new appointee.

Dr Abati also explained that the former Minister of Information is joining the team with a lot of confidence in the Jonathan project. “One thing we both have in common is that we both have a passion for the Jonathan’s transformation agenda and we believe in President Jonathan that he deserves the support of all Nigerians and that as many people as possible should join hands together to promote that transformation agenda, to support this administration and our responsibility in terms of how this administration information process is managed is to make sure that we engage the public robustly and moving forward, our team remains very strong.”

The two appointees cheerfully debunked the report, noting that they rather would join hands to promote the transformation agenda of the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

FG is working ‘very hard’ to contain security challenges-Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has given the assurance that the Federal Government is working very hard to overcome Nigeria’s current security challenges.

The president made this known at an interactive session he had in Rio de Janeiro with members of the Nigerian community in Brazil.

President Jonathan is in Brazil to attend the on-going United Nations Earth Summit on Sustainable Development, tagged Rio+20.

Dr Jonathan stated that the first person he called when he arrived in Brazil was the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS) in order to be abreast with developments in the troubled Kaduna and Yobe states.

“We have challenges, but they are not insurmountable. We remain fully focused and committed to national development in spite of sponsored lies against this administration” he said.

“We are ready to work together with all of our people to move the country forward. We will work even harder to place concrete realities on the ground that will further prove our sincerity and commitment to all Nigerians,” he pledged.

The President noted that the earlier individuals and groups, especially opposition politicians stopped playing politics with every decision of government, the better for the country.

“One of the problems we have is that some Nigerians play politics with everything, but we cannot destroy our country because of personal political ambitions” he said.

“We now have a constitutional democracy and no one can stay in office forever. It will therefore be best for our nation if we all support whoever is there for the development of the country instead of trying to pull him down by all means.”

Nothing to lose

Meanwhile the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, to the President Dr. Reuben Abati, has also stated that the nation has nothing to lose with the president’s attendance of the summit in Brazil.

Dr Abati on the side-line of the Rio+20 Summit expressed his displeasure on the criticism that has trailed the president’s departure from the country to PUNCH Newspapers.

“It is as if there is nothing you can do to please our people. It is not that Nigeria is going to lose anything by Mr. President’s presence here rather; the country is going to gain a lot from his presence” he stated.

According to Dr Abati, the president is in Brazil “serving the interest of Nigerians; it is not as if he has abandoned his responsibilities.” “The crisis in Kaduna and Yobe occurred almost on the eve of the President’s departure for this event and commitments have been made.”

The aide also noted that the president’s presence in Brazil for Rio+20 summit at a time violence broke out in Kaduna and Yobe states does not mean the President has abandoned his responsibility, adding that the president met with security chiefs before he left the country and he was confident that security agencies were on top of the situation.

He further explained that the president needed to attend the conference because of its importance to Nigeria and because commitments had already been made on his attendance, adding that his presence at the summit was in the best interest of the country.

“The conference, Rio+20, is very important and nobody can doubt that. The issues that will be discussed at this conference are also issues that are relevant to Nigeria’s interest. It is also an opportunity for Nigeria to promote its interest in terms of its place in global community” he said.

Dr Abati noted that security agencies are aptly handling the situation, saying that “in any event, it is not as if the government has abandoned the situation at home. Security agencies are there, they are on top of the situation.”

“Before the President left, he met with security chiefs. The business of leadership cannot just stop because there is a crisis there” he added.

He appealed to the opposition not to always play politics with everything, as he claimed that “if the President had refused to come to Rio, the same persons (opposition parties) will turn around and say that there is an important conference attended by world leaders and the Nigerian President stayed away from it.”