Ortom Calls On Immigration To Upgrade Border Security

ortom Following the resurgence of Fulani herdsmen attacks on the Benue communities, Governor Samuel Ortom has called on the Nigerian Immigration Service to upgrade the Kwande and Taraba border port with the Cameroons to check the influx of armed foreign herdsmen.

The governor made the request at a security meeting with both the Assistant Controllers of Immigration and Prisons in charge of the North Central Region, where herdsmen have continued to rain terror on local farmers on a yearly basis.

The ACG Immigration, North Central, Taylor Harry assured the people of Benue and other states within the region of immediate solutions, by tracking violent extremist fleeing from the Boko Haram enclave and armed foreign elements.

Also, the Assistant Comptrollers-General (ACG), Prisons, North Central, John Mrabure, has been tasked with the responsibility of jailing offenders.

Since 2011, armed Fulani herdsmen have been attacking local communities in Benue state to kill farmers and occupy their ancestral homes, which is the case with Tombo and Mbalagh, where 13 persons were killed in 2016, only for them to record more deaths this year.

Buratai Lays Foundation Of Military Battalion In Southern Kaduna

Buratai Lays Foundation Of Military Battalion In Southern KadunaThe Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has laid the foundation stone for a military battalion in Kafanchan, the headquarters of Jemaa Local Government Area of the state as part of effort to end Southern Kaduna crisis.

Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony, General Buratai said that the decision to establish a military formation in the area was in line with the mandate of the military to protect the territorial integrity of the nation as well as providing internal security of lives and property of the citizens.

He warned that the Nigerian military will not spare anyone or group that is behind the restiveness in the area, and assured residents that the presence of the Army in Southern Kaduna is basically to restore peace.

The atmosphere was that of joy and optimism as the people rolled out their drums to celebrate the ground breaking ceremony for the building of a military formation in the area.

For too long, the people have been faced with incessant attacks by suspected herdsmen, with many killed, injured and rendered homeless.

Asides the Army boss and the state governor, traditional rulers and other dignitaries were also present to perform the ground breaking ceremony.

The Army boss was optimistic that with the deployment of troops to the troubled communities, the present crisis will come to an end.

He also appealed to all the warring parties to sheath their swords.

“Anywhere that my troops were sent to maintain peace, it is part of my schedule to visit them and to see how they are carrying out their statutory functions in line with rules of engagement.

“The present crisis is coming to an end. Now, we have restored normalcy in the troubled areas. People have started coming back to their homes. I was in Ninte this morning. I saw the farmers and the Fulani. I spoke with them on the need to live in peace with one another.

“You can’t separate the farmers and the herdsmen. They have a long history of co-existence. So, they must live together. The better they live together the better for them and everyone,” the COAS said.

On his part, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the military authorities for deeming it fit to site a military battalion in Southern Kaduna.

He acknowledged that this will help in curbing the security challenges in the area.

He also reiterated that all those involved in the attacks that have claimed so many lives must be brought to book in order to serve as a deterrent to other criminal elements.

He assured Buratai of the state government’s commitment to fast track the deployment of troops by providing accommodation and other facilities for their operation.

“We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the two military battalions in Kaduna South senatorial zone. We will provide military with facilities to deploy its personnel as many as they can to secure Southern Kaduna” the said.

Apostle Suleiman Honours DSS Invitation, Goes Home After Statement

Johnson Suleman, DSS, Omega Fire MinistriesThe General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleiman, has finally honoured the invitation extended to him by the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja.

The cleric was alleged to have made some inciting statements capable of causing disaffection among Nigerians.

Apostle Suleiman, who was initially billed to visit the DSS Headquarters by 10.00AM, did not arrive at the agency’s office until 8:25PM.

An inside source said Apostle Suleiman was asked to go home by 10.30PM after making a statement to the service.

The source, however, declined giving further details of the Apostle’s interrogation by the Department of State Services.

In an interview earlier on Monday, he said he stands by his initial statement calling on all Nigerians to defend themselves against Fulani herdsmen.

Herdsmen, Farmers Clash: Oyo Govt. Constitutes Committees To Address Issue

Abiola Ajimobi, Farmers, Herdsmen, OyoThe Oyo State government has set up stakeholder committees at both state and local government levels to address the crisis of the Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the state.

The Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Security, Mr Olusegun Abolarinwa, made the disclosure in Ibadan, the state’s capital in southwest Nigeria.

Mr Abolarinwa highlighted the activities of the state government to avert the incessant clashes between the two groups.

“The state government does not have any policy on grazing zone yet, as the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture is yet to make a pronouncement on nomadic rearing to be domesticated in all states.

“In the interim, the state government has taken proactive steps to constitute committees at both the state and local levels comprising security agencies, chairmen of local councils, farmers’ associations, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Seriki Hausawa, community leaders and relevant stakeholders in the community,” the governor’s aide stated.

He disclosed further that Senator Ajimobi has directed his Special Adviser on Community Relations, and his Senior Special Assistant on Security to address the crisis erupting in the religion sector.

The governor also asked them to tackle the community related crises at the Ibarapa area of the state, with specific instructions to meet with the aggrieved sects of farmers and the Fulani herdsmen.

Mr Abolarinwa explained that the crisis began when farmers allegedly laced their farms with poison in a bid to retaliate on the herdsmen whose cows purportedly destroyed their farmlands.

He, however, urged the aggrieved parties not to take laws into their hands, reiterating that the government has put adequate measures in place to strengthen the security of the state.

The security adviser hinted that some of the measures include: joint security patrol, procurement of armoured personnel carriers for the Oyo State Police Command, procurement of Hilux vehicles for security agencies and rendering various forms of assistance to the security agencies in the state.

He urged the people of the state to be security conscious by constituting themselves as watchmen in their neighbourhood.

The appeal was contained in a statement issued on Friday by the Oyo State Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun.

Anambra Varsity VC Counters News Of Herdsmen School Invasion

Anambra Varsity VC Counters News Of Herdsmen School Invasion The Vice Chancellor of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu University, Igbariam, Professor Fidelis Okafor, has debunked the news making rounds on social media that herdsmen had invaded the university environment.

He dismissed the rumors as sensational and capable of causing panic and fear, while however lamenting the overbearing presence of the herdsmen in the university environment.

According to him, their presence has resulted in unquantifiable damage of experimental crops and other agricultural products belonging to the university.

The university is situated in Anambra East local government area, one of the agrarian areas of the state.

Reports says the greenery and very expansive landscape which appears like a grazing field, is perhaps the attraction for the herdsmen and their cattle.

The VC in an attempt to clear the air said: “The word invasion connotes so many things and can send fears into people’s mind. As far as the University is concerned, we have not experienced any danger that is to say, any attack or any such movement.

“Maybe someone who is passing by seeing a large number of cattle moving around within the university environment and with herdsmen also behind them and in front of them may feel afraid that this might be what people had always feared. But then, we have suffered some destruction from these cattle,” he admitted.

He went on to add that: “We have a Faculty of Agriculture, we have experimental farms by the students and by the staff, research farms, plantation, all these had at one time or the other been destroyed by the cattle. And the feaces from these cattle litter all around the campus attracting flies and fleas.”

Furthermore, Okafor explained that the herdsmen’s unlimited access to every area on campus unsettled the students.

According to him, the institution had repeatedly complained to relevant authorities both of government and the Police but the situation had prevailed.

He, however assured parents, students and the general public that against all odds, the school was still very safe.

“I am assuring the parents, the students and the general public that there is no invasion in the sense which we know what an invasion is.

“If there were, I wouldn’t be here talking to you. So I would tell the parents and the students and the public that the university is safe, very safe.”

Also reacting on the issue, the Anambra state Commissioner of Police, Sam Okaula, warned people to desist from causing sensation and panic as the long arm of the law will soon catch up with such elements.

He said the police were ready to assist the University on the issue of the cattle menace as he heads the Cattle Menace Committee set up by the state government to mediate on issues concerning the cattle herders and the host communities.

“We have not received any of such complaints from the university authorities of recent. One thing I want to assure you is that we have a committee in place, it is called Cattle Menace Committee.

“I am the chairman of that committee comprising traditional rulers, heads of Fulani communities, and heads of security agencies in the state.

“This committee was set up by His Excellency, the governor of the state and he has been doing a whole lot of wonderful jobs.

“Where we have cases of Fulani cattle destroying property, we step into such cases and we examine the circumstances and we have always come up with solutions where victims have been compensated.

“We also talk to Fulani leaders ensure that the avoid invasion of people’s crops and destroying property.

“He also lashed out on those who carried the false news, referring to them as “mischief makers”.

He described the act as unfair, while asking them to desist from doing it.

“They are not doing the community or the society any good. You don’t go about raising false alarm and putting people on high jump.

“I don’t know what they benefit from that, may be for obvious reasons, for pecuniary reasons they do that. But I think nemesis will catch up with such people soon. I can assure if that happens, they will pay for their sins.

“We will not condone that kind of act. It’s unfair for anybody to just wake up one day and start raising false alarm and telling falsehood all over the places, it doesn’t help us and it doesn’t help the person either.

“So I warn them to desist henceforth because we will definitely catch up with such people, we will do,” Mr. Okaula said.

Soldiers Recover Arms From Herdsmen In Southern Kaduna

Soldiers Recover Arms From Herdsmen In Southern KadunaSoldiers from the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, have recovered arms and ammunition from suspected Fulani herdsmen and villagers during an operation in Southern Kaduna.

The soldiers were deployed to the area as part of efforts to end the killings in some communities in the area.

The General Officer Commanding, 1 Division, Kaduna State, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, who disclosed this in a statement, explained that the Army had been meeting with the Fulani and the villagers in a bid to find a lasting solution to the crisis.

He said the Army authorities had also approved two battalions to be stationed in Southern Kaduna for as long as possible.

He said, “We have presently mopped up arms from the Fulani herdsmen and the locals.

“Our operations based on intelligence gathering are still ongoing and we are also working with the Department of State Services.

“As it is well known, the Army has approved two battalions to be stationed in Southern Kaduna. One of them is in Kafanchan. So, we are not leaving. We will be there for as long as it’s necessary.

“We have other fundamental issues in the area, which the political leadership needs to resolve.

The Governor has engaged various stakeholders and as our operations continue, peace is returning.

“People are returning to their villages. However, it will take some time for them to calm down.

“They are repairing their burnt houses and they are also clearing their farmlands.

“We have assured them of maximum protection on their farms, and also for the Fulani herdsmen when they need to lead their cows for grazing”.

Southern Kaduna Killings Are Reprisal Attacks By ‘Unforgiven Fulani’ – Bala-Bantex

The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Barnabas Bala-Bantex, has said that the killings in southern part of the state are reprisal attacks perpetrated by Fulanis who move into the state from other places. 

He told Channels Television on Tuesday that the government had taken time to understand that the reprisal attacks were occasioned by the post-2011 election crisis.

Mr Bala-Bantex also pointed out that the security situation in Kaduna State was across the entire state as part of the legacies of previous administration.

“In 2014, prior to our coming into office, my community, Manchok, in the southern part of the state lost over 100 people to this kind of skirmishes.

“The architecture of the security situation in Kaduna state differs from one region to the other.

“In the northern part, a forest in the area was harbouring very high numbers of criminals that were rustling cattle and killing the owners of those cattle.

“We are taking adequate measure in form of a coalition of all the states concerned and there was a joint military operation to flush out these bandits up north.

“We have been able to achieve that relatively and people can now go back to their farms in the north,” he said, explaining how the government had tackled insecurity in the northern part of the state.

kaduna-killings
One of the buildings torched by the Fulanis that attack communities in southern Kaduna

In the case of the southern part of the state, however, he insisted that in the post-2015 election crisis in the area some Fulani men were killed, some of whom were not from Kaduna, but were moving through the state.

“The Fulani, as we know, unfortunately, have these highly unforgiven spirit.

“The attacks are not known in terms of their location. They simply come in as residents, do the killings and disappear,” he said, insisting that they are not Nigerians.

On what the government had done to address the situation, he explained that the governor had expressed the state’s commitment to compensating them for whatever loss they had experience.

He also told Channels Television that the government had put military presence in place to keep the attackers away.

mark-jacobs-former-attorney-general-of-kaduna-state
A former Attorney General of Kaduna State, Mark Jacobs

Although Mr Bala-Bantex dismissed claims by religious leaders in the region that there was a religious inclination to the killing, a former Attorney General of Kaduna State, Mark Jacobs, said the killings in southern Kaduna was genocide

He claimed that security operatives that have the capacity of arresting the perpetrators were not doing anything.

“It is genocide and we have no other word to describe it. They have gone from one village to the other and they have targeted people and sometimes they claim that their cattle were stolen. I have never seen in any of these attacks were stolen cattle were recovered.

“We can count up to 2,000 dead people and it is going on unchallenged,” he said.

He suggested that a task force should be setup to handle the crisis.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai had earlier said that the attacks on communities in the Southern part of the state were largely carried out by armed Fulani herdsmen from neighbouring west African countries.

Addressing reporters in his office on Tuesday, the governor explained that security reports revealed that most of the armed herdsmen come from Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Senegal to perpetrate the dastardly act.

Governor El- Rufai also said that his administration had established contacts with some leaders of the Fulani communities in those countries with a view to bringing the attacks to an end.

Cattle Breeders Seek FG’s Intervention In Ekiti Grazing Restrictions

Cattle rustling and Grazing RestrictionsThe Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria have appealed to the Federal Government and security agencies to wade into what it describes as an unprovoked aggression against its members in Ekiti State under the guise of enforcing restriction laws against cattle breeders.

In a statement by the National Secretary of the Association, Baba-Othman Ngelzarma, says members of the association were attacked by the Ekiti Grazing Enforcement Marshal by 2.30p.m. local time on Friday when the law allowed cattle breeders to move about with their cattle till 6:00p.m.

The association called on the Ekiti State government to compensate its members who list five cows to the activities of the Ekiti Grazing Enforcement Marshals, claiming that the officials operated outside the stipulated time recommended by the Ekiti Grazing Bill.

Anti-Grazing Bill

The Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, had in August signed an Anti- Grazing bill into law in a bid to curtail the alleged inordinate activities of herdsmen.

The Governor described as ‘shameful’ the practice of herdsmen rearing cows in cities, including the nation’s capital, Abuja

Governor Fayose also threatened to charge any cattle rearer found in the state carrying arms while grazing with terrorism.

Herdsmen, Ayo Fayose, Hard copy, anti-grazing bill
Governor Ayodele Fayose says the entire Ekiti people are behind the bill

After the signing the bill into law, he told stakeholders and leaders of communities across the 16 local government areas of the state in Ado Ekiti, the State’s capital, that the recent killings and attack on the people of Oke Ako Community in Ikole Local Government Areas of the state by suspected herdsmen was unfortunate.

The Act was read to the Assembly of all traditional rulers, chiefs and legislators by the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Kola Oluwawole. It prohibits the activities of herdsmen in the state.

According to him, the state government is already working with local
government officials for the allocation of portions of land for grazing to all
local government authorities in the state.


The Speaker also gave the highlights of the Anti-Grazing Law, revealing that “grazing activities must be from 7:00a.m. to 6:00p.m. local time daily.

In the new law, anyone caught grazing on portions of land or any farmland not allotted by government would be apprehended and made to face the full wrath of the law.

The Anti-Grazing Law also provides that any herdsman caught with firearms or other weapons during grazing activities would be charged with terrorism and their cattle confiscated.

It also says that farm produce destroyed by the activities of any caught herdsman would be estimated by agricultural officers and the expenses of the estimate shall be levied on the culprit.

Any herdsman who violates any of these rules shall face six months’ imprisonment without option of fine, the law also stipulates.

Governor Fayose while appending his signature on the Anti-Grazing bill said passing the bill into law was borne out of his desire to interface with the traditional chiefs on security issues bedevilling the state.

Ajayi Ayodele, who spoke for the community, commended the Governor for signing the bill into law.

ECOWAS Court Adjourns MAFO N500bn Suit Against FG

Benue, Police, HerdsmenThe ECOWAS Court of Justice sitting in Abuja, has adjourned hearing to November 9, 2016 for the 500 billion naira compensation suit filed against the Federal Government by the Movement Against Fulani Occupation, (MAFO).

This follows a motion on a notice filed by the federal government seeking an extension of time to allow it file all processes and a preliminary objection challenging the suit.

The MAFO group had accused Fulani herdsmen of  attacks in which many lives and property have been destroyed.

11 indigenes of Benue State, co-ordinated by the group, represented the victims in a protest against the Fulani herdsmen attacks in the state.

 

The alleged failure of the federal government to protect them from the said attacks have prompted their legal actions.

The group is therefore seeking for the fundamental human rights enforcement from the federal government, in addition to the 500 billion naira compensation to guarantee safety of human lives and properties.

“Within the last three years, Fulani Herdsmen have carried out over 50 major attacks on Benue communities, the most prominent of them taking place in 15 out of 23 Local Government Areas” the group said.

They emphasized that the locations of the Fulani herdsmen who carry out the attacks are well known to the security agencies.

However, they have accused the federal government of refusing to accost the herdsmen which according to them will prevent further attacks on their communities.

Sultan Says Armed Herdsmen Are Foreign Terrorists

Sultan of Sokoto, Sa'ad AbubakarThe Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, says the so-called Fulani herdsmen moving with guns, causing violence, fighting with farmers are not Nigerians, but foreign terrorists.

The Sultan, in his Eid el-Kabir message to the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria said that these are foreigners coming into Nigeria to cause a breach of the peace.

According to him, “the so-called Fulani herdsmen moving with guns, causing violence, fighting with farmers are not Nigerians.

“Foreigners are the ones coming into Nigeria to cause a breach of the peace. They are therefore terrorists and should be treated as such by the Nigerian security agencies.”

The Sultan, while noting that Nigerian herdsmen were peace-loving, however, acknowledged that there are problems between Fulani herdsmen and farmers, which should only be resolved through dialogue.

He warned that “Nigeria would continue to lag behind if there is no peace and unity”.

“Our diversity should be our strength and God has not made a mistake by creating us with diverse differences.”

“Don’t Ascribe Criminal Activities To A Tribe”- Buba Galadima

Buba Galadima, Herdsmen attack, Enugu state, fulani Herdsmen Member of the All Progressives Congress, Board of Trustees, Mr. Buba Galadima insists it is premature to blame Fulani herdsmen for the recent attacks.

Addressing the guest on Sunrise Daily,  he said “We must build our nation, if miscreants carry out some heinous activities, we should call them by their name, not ascribe it to a tribe”.

Following the recent attacks and alleged murder of a woman in the Ndiagwu community of Enugu state by Herdsmen, concerned Nigerians have continued to offer suggestions on how to end herdsmen attack on farmers and local communities in some parts of the country.

Mr Galadima said it is common among communities for Fulanis and farmers to have disagreements over grazing, however, they always settle the issues amicably.

He highlighted that there are always miscreants in every community therefore, not all the cases of alleged herdsmen killings have actually been true.

“You can never see somebody rearing over 200 cattles, leaving them to go and attack a village,” he added.

Also commenting on the issue was Chairman of the National Transformation Party, Mr Emmanuel Mok, who opposed the idea that the Fulani herdsmen should not necessarily be held responsible for the attacks.

He said that they would not have fled their settlement before the police came, if they were not guilty of the attacks.

He also mentioned that the government should go beyond condemning the activities of herdsmen and order their arrest.

The community leaders say there hasn’t been any agreement between members of the community and the herdsmen, who constantly threaten them over their farm lands.

Hence, they have appealed to the government to take an immediate step to prevent future attacks.

Death Toll Rises To Two In Enugu Alleged Herdsmen Attack

Enugu Herdsmen Attack, Ifeoma AgboOne of those wounded during the attack by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Ndiagwu Attakwu, Akegbe-Ugwu in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State has been confirmed dead.

The woman, identified as Mrs Ifeoma Agbo, is now an addition to the Catholic seminarian, Lazarus Nwafor, who was murdered during the incident on Thursday, August 25 in southeast Nigeria.

The Chairman of Nkanu West LGA, Mr Afam Okereke, confirmed the death of the injured victim in an interview with Channels Television.

He said in a bid to prevent such occurrence, especially after the Nimbo attack, he had called several security meetings with the Fulani community.

Mr Okereke disclosed that the state government has called an emergency security meeting to address the issue.

On his part, the traditional ruler of Ndiagwu Attakwu autonomous community, Gregory Ugwu, urged the Federal and state government to take a firm and decisive action on the activities of Fulani herdsmen in the area.

The people of the area also implored the government to direct that all Fulani should leave the area immediately, saying they might be push to take laws into their hands.

In reaction to this, the Enugu State Police Command said they have arrested a suspect identified as one Umaru Isah for his alleged involvement in the incident.

The spokesman for the command, Ebere Amaraizu, said investigation was on top gear to fish out all the perpetrators of the evil act.

He added that police officials have been drafted to the area, to forestall any further breakdown of law and order.

Visiting the Fulani settlement within the community, Channels Television crew could not meet anyone as the place looked deserted.