‘You Can’t Muzzle Nigerians,’ IBB Condemns Hate Speech Bill

'You Achieved Great Success In Anti-Corruption Fight’, IBB Tells Buhari At 76
General Ibrahim Babangida during an interview on Channels Television’s Roadmap 2019, in April 2018.

 

 

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), has lent his voice against the Hate Speech Bill, warning the sponsors of the bill not to try to muzzle Nigerians.

He said the bill was inimical to the growth of the country and does not support the ideals of a democratic society.

General Babangida spoke during the visit of the national leadership of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Wednesday at his hilltop residence in Minna, the Niger State capital.

According to him, there is no basis for the ‘Hate Speech Bill’ before the National Assembly and no one can muzzle the voice of Nigerians.

The former military leader noted that a similar bill was presented before the 8th National Assembly and he advised against it saying, he was surprised that the bill has resurfaced.

“There is no basis for this; now we are developing and we should be allowed to develop,” he said.

He added, “If we make mistakes people can be cautioned; if somebody goes off, you have the right to call him to say ‘no we don’t want this.”

General Babangida noted that government at all levels would only experience progress when people were able to express themselves on happenings in the country.

He stated that the only reason for the bill was that the sponsors wanted to show “eye service as we call it in the Army”.

The former military president also described the death penalty prescribed in the bill as “crude”.

He said, “If somebody made hate speech and you put him in the gallows and shoot him, it is crude; it is not 21st century. It could have happened may be some 300 years ago but not now.”

Babangida, however, informed his visitors that he would join the NUJ and other stakeholders to protest against the passage of the bill.

“I am with you on this; I will also talk to those of us who could be in position to bring sanity to bear on some of these things,” he assured.

The former military president explained that he had been following media publications on the forth coming United States election, saying journalists would have been jailed in Nigeria if that was the case.

He credited himself with opening up the media space in the country, even when some of his colleagues opposed his policy, saying the country was better for it.

Babangida, therefore, challenged the media remain strong focussed on what Nigeria wants, stressing that threatening freedom of speech with death threat or N10 million it sounded ‘silly’.

Earlier, the NUJ National President, Christopher Isiguzo, solicited the support of the former military president to bring down the hate speech bill before the National Assembly.

Social Media Accounts, Count Me Out- IBB

'You Achieved Great Success In Anti-Corruption Fight’, IBB Tells Buhari At 76
FILE: General Ibrahim Babangida

 

General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida GCFR, has distanced himself from the existence of several twitter pages and other social media handles purportedly owned by the ex-military leader.

According to a statement by the media office of the former Military President, General Babangida currently has no twitter handle or any “social media” account.

READ ALSO: EFCC Has Not Accused Me Of Fraud, Says Okupe

The General stated categorically that the twitter handles bearing his name and photographs are fake and targeted at misleading unsuspecting members of the public.

“We wish to emphatically state that General Babangida is an elder statesman and a peacemaker. A malicious story in an online media, ELOMBAHNEWS, dated 16th February 2019 credited to General IB Babangida is a malicious Fake News.”

“Accordingly, we wish to advise the social media community and the general public to be wary of the fake accounts, mischievous fake online news and discountenance whatever message conveyed therein.” the statement read in part.

Buhari, IBB Mourn ‘Patriotic Leader’ Shehu Shagari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari and Former Nigerian ruler, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida have expressed sadness at the passing away of Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari.

Shagari, the First Executive President of Nigeria, died on Friday, December 28.

He died at the National Hospital in Abuja after a brief illness.

In his message, President Buhari described Shagari as an unparalleled patriotic leader.

Similarly, a former military ruler, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida has said Nigeria and Africa as a whole have lost a great leader.

IBB said Shagari will be remembered for his tolerance and politics of peace without bitterness.

He described Shagari as a statesman and democrat full of wisdom, counsel, honesty, and transparency.

Below are the full official statements of President Buhari and IBB.

“PRESIDENT SHAGARI WAS A MAN OF UNPARALLELED PATRIOTISM AND HUMILITY – PRESIDENT BUHARI

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed great sadness at the news of the passing away of the First Executive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari.

President Buhari said, “ On behalf of my family, the government and the people of Nigeria, it is with immense sadness that I received the news of the passing away of the First Executive President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari which event happened Friday in Abuja”

The President described the death as the departure of a patriot whose life of service and humility was widely acknowledged.

President Buhari recalled part of the birthday message he (Buhari) sent to him last February when he said, “ we are enthralled and regaled with the many years of unequalled patriotism, sacrifices and contributions to national development. More specifically, we celebrate the role modelling qualities of integrity, diligence and humility that have been the hallmark of your visionary leadership.”

President Buhari is however, grateful to God that Alhaji Shagari lived to a ripe age and led an exemplary life, which he urges Nigerians of all walks of life to emulate.
“Nigerians held him in the highest esteem even when he was out of office until his demise and will forever miss his wise counsels.”

He prayed that Almighty God will comfort the family of the ex-president and all those who mourn him and will grant the soul of the late nonagerian eternal rest.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
December 28, 2018″

“IBB CONDOLENCE TO THE NATION ON THE PASSING OF PRESIDENT SHEHU USMAN ALIYU SHAGARI, GCFR

 

With deep heart and sympathies I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the Family of the first civilian Executive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Turakin Sokoto, Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, GCFR who passed on today, Friday, 28 December 2018 at the National Hospital after a protracted illness.

My heart and prayers go to his Family, the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Sokoto Caliphate and Sokoto State.

Nigeria and indeed Africa has lost a statesman and democrat whose wisdom, counsel, presence and experience and his sterling qualities of honesty and transparency are needed in these very trying moments of our national life.

President Shehu Shagari was a great patriotic leader and an accomplished gentleman, at first a teacher, an administrator, a technocrat and an honest decent unassuming simple Nigerian Leader.

He will be remembered for his tolerance and politics of peace without bitterness. President Shehu Shagari was a nationalist who never showed any discrimination due to ethnicity or religion and was a very dependable bridge builder.

To keep his memory alive Nigerian politicians and indeed all fellow Nigerians must put to practice all his ideals of peace and party politics without rancour, irrespective of any form of provocation.

I urge all persons vying for political office to emulate him and keep alive the political principles of the late Turakin Sokoto, Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, the quintessential public servant who was “Beckoned to Serve”.

I pray for the repose of his soul in Jannatul Firdaus. I pray that the entire nation, his Family, Sokoto State and indeed the Sokoto Caliphate will accept his passing with equanimity.

General Ibrahim Babangida, GCFR
Former President Federal Republic of Nigeria
Friday, 28 December 2018″

IBB Mourns Tony Anenih, Describes Him As A ‘Master Strategist’

IBB

 

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (GCFR), has described Tony Anenih as a master strategist which the nation will greatly miss.

IBB while reacting to the death of the former Minister of Works, said, “Indeed Nigeria and Nigerians will greatly miss a political master strategist in the next political dispensation”.

In his tribute, the former Military Ruler referred to him (Anenih) as a charismatic Elder Statesman that has a unique passion for providing solutions in the governance of the country.

“The demise of Chief Tony Anenih is a big loss to the political scene of Nigeria at this crucial time of electioneering campaigns”, he added.

General Babangida also commiserated with the entire Anenih family, Oba of Benin, government and people of Edo state as well as the entire members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Chief Tony Anenih died on Sunday at the age of 85.

2019: You Have My Support, IBB Tells Saraki

The former military ruler, President Ibrahim Babangida has supported the Presidential bid of the Senate President Bukola Saraki.

He pledged his support on Sunday when the Senate President visited him at his hilltop resident in Minna, the Niger State capital.

He (IBB) told Saraki that “You have my support” as he runs for Presidency under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

According to IBB, he believes the unity, economic development and security of the country are key principles that should drive the leadership in Nigeria.

He said that the Senate President has got the right objectives for a campaign for leadership of the country.

“You have got the objectives for leadership,” he told Saraki.

General Babangida says like his other colleagues in the military, he holds the unity of the country dearly in his heart.

The Senate President on his part thanked the former military ruler for his support and assured him of doing his best.

On impeachment threats, Saraki said that he is not afraid, adding that those agitating for the resumption of the Senate are only doing it for their selfish political interest.

He said the postponement in the resumption of the National Assembly had nothing to do with him but was a matter of constitutional provisions.

 

2019: David Mark, IBB Meet Behind Closed Doors

Attempt To Impeach Ortom Is Unconstitutional, Says David Mark
Former Senate President, Senator David Mark (file)

 

Former Senate President, David Mark is meeting with former military President Ibrahim Babaginda at his hilltop residence in Minna, Niger State.

David Mark’s visit to the former military ruler is to consult with him on his 2019 Presidential bid.

He joined the Presidential race on September 4, 2018, under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Senator Mark says IBB has been a father to many of his likes, hence the need to always seek his blessings.

He is accompanied by his Campaign Director General, Senator Zainab Kure, Senators Tunde Ogbeha, and Suleiman Adokwe who is the Chairman Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation.

He will be battle with other Presidential Aspirants including Atiku Abubakar, Bukola Saraki, Sule Lamido, Ahmed Markafi amongst others to win the party’s flagbearer come October 5 and 6, 2018.

Eid-El-Kabir: Let’s Unite To Solve Our Problems, IBB Tells Nigerians

IBB Reacts To Atiku’s Defection, Expects Successful PDP Convention
File photo

 

A former military President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, has urged Muslims and all Nigerians to use the Eid-el-Kabir celebration as a time to devote themselves to the teachings of Islam and further unite and strengthen the nation.

Babangida said this in his Sallah message to Nigerians on Monday.

He said: “It is our collective duty during this sacred month and period of devotion to glorify Allah and adhere to our religious teachings by maintaining peace, protecting the sanctity of human life and unite to solve the problems bedeviling us collectively as a nation”.

According to him, “It is a unique and important festivity in the last lap of the Islamic calendar year for all Muslims globally to make sacrifices and religious rites.”

The former Military President also cautioned politicians not to allow their personal ambitions overshadow their sense of reasoning.

He advised that they should be guided in their utterances as some comments are capable of plundering the polity in jeopardy especially as the general elections draw near.

He said, “At this auspicious occasion of Eid-el-Kabir, I urged all Nigerians from all works of life or political affiliations to be in the vanguard of peace and unity and work towards rancour-free polls in the build-up to the forthcoming political dispensation”.

Obasanjo, IBB, Nwosu Absent As FG Confers National Honours On Abiola, Others

A collage showing the presumed winner of the 1993 Presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola and former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

 

Former military President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, and Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo were absent on Tuesday as the Federal Government conferred national honours on Chief MKO Abiola and others.

Also absent at the investiture was Humphrey Nwosu, the Chairman of the country’s electoral body – the National Electoral Commission, at the time of the 1993 elections.

All three of them, however, sent messages to the investiture which took place in Abuja to apologise for being unable to attend the programme.

Chief Obasanjo and Nwosu explained that their absence was due to the fact that they are away from the country.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, informed the gathering about their absence and the reasons for it.

ele
Former military President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida

Both the former military president and Obasanjo have been criticised by supporters of the June 12 struggle.

General Babangida has continued to receive criticism for annulling the elections, which have been widely praised for being the freest and fairest in the country.

Chief Obasanjo on the other hand, was criticised for failing to honour MKO Abiola between 1999 and 2007 when he was President.

Nobody Gives Me Credit For Conducting Nigeria’s Freest Election – IBB

Nobody Gives Me Credit For Conducting Nigeria's Freest Election – IBB
General Ibrahim Babangida

 

Nigeria’s former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd), says nobody cares to know the actual reason why the presidential election conducted in 1993 was annulled, or give him credit for how fair the poll was.

General Babangida said this during an exclusive interview on Roadmap 2019, a Channels Television programme that aired on Monday.

READ ALSOAwolowo’s Vision And More: What IBB Wants In A Young President

The late Moshood Abiola, a philanthropist and successful businessman, had won the election which was later cancelled by the then military junta headed by General Babangida.

The poll, which was adjudged as one of the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s democratic history, was the first presidential election held in Nigeria since 1983 when the military took power in a coup.

The late MKO Abiola of the then Social Democratic Party (SDP) had defeated Bashir Tofa of the defunct National Republican Convention (NCP).

IBB Asks FG To Use Psychological Approach Against Insurgency

Twenty-five years later, General Babangida was displeased that despite explaining why the June 12 election was cancelled, nobody cared to listen to him.

He said he had a good relationship with the presumed winner of the election whom he said they had communicated at different occasions.

“Nobody has ever sat down to say the two persons are friends, what went wrong? We tried to rationalise why we had to do what we did but nobody is prepared to listen to us,” the elder statesman said.

“I have never seen anybody write anything on this to try to give people a different version altogether. He (Abiola) knew my feeling; I knew his feeling about the country generally because I do talk about Nigeria with the presumed winner of the truly democratically freest election. We even talked about it during the crisis itself.”

Babangida stressed further that the election was widely accepted to be the freest in the history of Nigeria, but he has yet to get a credit for conducting the poll.

He decried that Nigerians were instead interested in ‘he cancelled the freest election, noting that he loved being criticised.

On whether is he is planning to write an autobiography, the former military president said, “People may not read it because it’s coming from a dictator. Yea, he cancelled June 12 and that will kill the thing about the book, but I will try.

“I hope one day if God spares my life I will discuss about it (June 12 elections) because I still believe people don’t get what we were trying to put across.”

IBB Asks FG To Use Psychological Approach Against Insurgency

Insurgency: IBB Asks FG To Seek Psychological Approach
General Ibrahim Babangida

 

Former Military President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), has advised the Federal Government to employ psychological and unconventional methods in fighting the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

General Babangida gave the recommendation during an exclusive interview with Ladi Akeredolu-Ale on Roadmap 2019, a Channels Television programme.

While the government increases efforts to ensure the safety of Nigerians at all times, the former military president noted that it would be a mistake to use regular war tactics against the insurgents.

“What we tend to forget is that the insurgents have also got tacticians or people who think for them, and once they do that, then you have a problem.

“You have to find a way of countering that information they dish out,” he said, adding that there is no way other than good equipment, training, psychological operations to win the war.

Babangida, who described the insurgency as a double-edged sword, stressed the need for government to understand the concept of how the insurgents operate in such way.

He said the government must ensure that necessary measures are put in place to keep important places well protected, especially where the people must be secured.

Explaining how the psychological operation works, the former military president advised the government to assure the people that it is aware of their security concerns and ask them to go about their normal duties without fear.

He added that government should embark on sensitisation campaigns in a bid to “dish out a lot of not so good information about the other people (terrorists) so that the populace will have confidence that no matter what happens, the military is there to protect them.”

Watch on Roadmap 2019 on Monday, April 16, at 9pm for the full interview with General Babangida.

Week In Review: IBB’s Controversial Statement, Metuh’s Dramatic Trial, Others

2018 Week Six: February 3 – February 10

It was a twist in the political scene as the former President, General Babaginda was said to have issued a statement to President Muhammadu Buhari, through his media aid, Kassim Afegbua, telling him to step down in 2019 to allow for a generational shift and urged Nigerians to cooperate with the Buhari till his tenure ends. 

The statement further lamented the flow of blood in the country.

The comments of the former military ruler come two weeks after former President Olusegun Buhari advised President Buhari not to seek for a second term in office.

To Babangida, Nigeria is at a major crossroads at this moment in its history. He specifically warned that the choices Nigerians make regarding the leadership question would determine the country’s vision politically, economically, and religiously.

While regretting that Africa’s most populous nation is still in search of the right leadership to contend with the dynamics of a 21st century, the former military believes that our strength lies in our diversity.

He said, “In 2019 and beyond, we should come to a national consensus that we need new breed leadership with requisite capacity to manage our diversities and jump-start a process of launching the country on the super highway of technology-driven leadership in line with the dynamics of modern governance.

“It is short of saying enough of this analogue system. Let’s give way for digital leadership orientation with all the trappings of consultative, constructive, communicative, interactive, and utility-driven approach where everyone has a role to play in the process of enthroning accountability and transparency in governance.

However, that same day General Ibrahim Babangida dissociated himself from a statement credited to him and signed by his media aide, Mr Kassim Afegbua.

Babaginda in his rebuttal said the views expressed in the statement are not his views but that of the writer.

In the statement personally signed General Babangida, he said as former President and statesman, he has an unfettered channel of communication with the highest authorities without sensational public correspondence.

He, however, expressed worries over the current political events and civil unrest in many parts of the country, which he said have raised many questions on the governance and unity of Nigeria.

Still in the nation’s capital, on Sunday, military authorities revealed that the Nigerian army has completely defeated Boko Haram insurgents in the country.

Troops, Army, Terrorists, Boko Haram

The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Rogers Nicholas said this on Saturday during the inauguration of the Nigeria-Cameroon military joint mission in Maiduguri, Borno State capital.

According to General Nicholas, troops under the operation “Deep Punch II” had on Friday dislodged the insurgents for their tactical ground “Camp Zairo.”

“My soldiers are in the heart of Boko Haram enclave that is Camp Zairo. The gallant troops have taken total control of Sambisa forest. We have broken the heart and soul of Shekau’s group, taking over the camp and its environs.

On corruption matters, on Monday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused the Federal Government of ‘massive corruption’ amid the controversy over the alleged payment of fuel subsidy.

The party made the allegation in a communique issued shortly after the meeting of members of its National Working Committee (NWC) on Sunday in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

As fuel scarcity persists, the PDP questioned why billions of naira are allegedly deducted monthly from the Federation Accounts.

Just a day after the military claimed they have completely defeated Boko Haram, this did not go down well with the sect group as one person was reportedly killed after suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked Kala village, opposite the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Dalori, Borno State.

An official of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr Bello Dambatta, confirmed the attack to Channels Television in a telephone interview on Monday.

Dambatta, the Head of SEMA Rapid Response Team, said the deceased was set on fire by the insurgents who injured another man during the attack which occurred on Sunday night.

According to him, the assailants also burnt down some houses in the village.

The SEMA official said officials of the agency are already at the scene while the injured victim has been evacuated to the Maiduguri Specialist Hospital in the state’s capital.

Now to legal issues, former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olisa Metuh, has appeared at the Federal High Court in Abuja on a stretcher.

Olisa Metuh being lifted into an ambulance from a stretcher

Mr Metuh is standing trial for alleged money laundering being part of the funds linked with former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd).

His lawyer Emeka Etiaba had informed the court in January that his client was on admission at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital for an undisclosed ailment.

The former PDP spokesman was, however, wheeled to the court on Monday following the threat by Justice Okon Abang to revoke his bail if he fails to appear in court today.

Lead counsel in the case, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu informed the court that attempts to get Metuh’s doctor to give a timeframe for which he would be released from hospital proved abortive.

After the statement released by the former President, General Ibrahim Babaginda through his media aid,  Kassim Afegbua, telling President Muhammadu Buhari to step down in 2019 to allow a generational shift, the police has declared the spokesman wanted.

File photo: Kassim Afegbua

Mr Afegbua is wanted because of conflicting statements bordering on the performance of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and whether the President should seek re-election.

The spokesman for the Nigerian Police, Mr Jimoh Moshood, told Channels Television that Mr Afegbua is wanted for giving false statement, defamation of character and act capable of inciting public disturbance.

The police spokesman advised him to report to the nearest police station.

Still explaining, Mr Moshood stated that the controversy started not long after he issued the statement when a second statement was issued in which the former military President denied authorising the statement.

In declaring Mr Afegbua wanted, the police advised him to report to the nearest police station.

On Tuesday morning, the Police Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, told Channels Television that Mr Afegbue made “injurious falsehood”, among other criminal offences.

“The Inspector General of Police has ordered his arrest for giving false statement, making injurious falsehood and equally defamation of character or an act which is inimical to law and order in the country,” Mr Moshood said when he appeared on the breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

He added that the police became involved after General Babangida denied authorising the statement.

On Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari, ordered the arrest of persons in possession of illegal firearms vowing to put an end to the incessant killings by maintaining law and order in the country.

The President who was in Nasarawa State on Tuesday to inaugurate some projects asked security agents newly deployed to the troubled areas to go after the perpetrators of the act in order to bring justice to the victims of the attacks.

“I also want to assure the people of the North Central and indeed all Nigerians that the Federal Government is working day and night to ensure peace and stability. We have deployed additional resources to all affected areas to maintain law and order.

“The attacks by suspected herdsmen and other bandits will not be tolerated. I appeal to all Nigerians to restrain from reprisal attacks. The security agencies I have sent them instruction to arrest and prosecute any and all person found with illegal arms,” he said.

In another controversy, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday reinstated the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf.

Mr Yusuf was suspended by the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, in June 2017, for alleged gross misconduct.

The Minister had set up a panel after Yusuf’s suspension and the panel found him culpable of alleged nepotism and theft of public funds.

Adewole approved the NHIS boss suspension alongside eight other top officials of the NHIS.

The suspension, according to a statement by the ministry on July 17, 2017,

File photo: Professor Usman Yusuf

is in furtherance of the activities of the investigative panel of inquiry as well as the desire to have an uninterrupted and robust investigation of all petitions against some officials of the NHIS.

But the Federal Government through the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed has said the reinstatement of the NHIS boss will not stop the EFCC from further investigations concerning him.

On the farmers/herdsmen crisis, the House of Representatives has asked President Muhammadu Buhari, to sack and replace the Inspector General of Police (Ibrahim Idris).

The lawmakers are asking President Buhari to replace the IGP with a more professional officer.

They made the call during plenary on Wednesday, accusing the IGP of failing in his duty.

The lawmakers had earlier considered a motion demanding the immediate removal of the Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO), Jimoh Moshood, for making derogatory remarks against the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom.

In the motion sponsored by Rep. Mark Gbillah which enjoyed the support of most lawmakers, the conduct of the police officer was roundly condemned.

The motion seeks to have the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to provide an unreserved apology to the Benue state governor and also relieve the PPRO of his position.

Earlier, the Benue state Caucus of the House had addressed a press conference demanding the resignation of the PPRO over professional misconduct and partisanship.

According to the lawmakers, the statements of the Police Officer while appearing on the Channels Television Programme, Sunrise Daily, where he demanded the resignation of the Benue state governor indicates the partisanship of the Nigerian police as an agency.

It seems the leader of the Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, is not letting his guards down as he has released a new video pledging to continue attacks days after Nigerian army repeated that the group had been defeated.Boko Haram Leader, Shekau Threatens More Attacks

The factional leader said in the video which was released on Tuesday said that a recent effort to clear out Boko Haram’s stronghold of Sambisa forest in Borno State had failed and vowed to keep fighting against Nigeria and western education.

“The person that believes in nationalism is the one we are at war with, the person who believes in disseminating western education, which is replete with unbelief, is the one we fight”, Shekau said in the 11-minute video.

In the video, delivered in Hausa Language, Shekau expressed frustration on the continued hostility and loss of his supporters to Nigerian army.

In a way to curb the farmers/herdsmen clash, the Nigerian Army has launched a new operation code-named “Ayem Akpatuma”, meaning ‘Cat Race’ to tackle the crises between herdsmen and farmer as well as cases of kidnapping in Benue and other states.

Army Launches ‘Exercise Cat Race’ To Tackle Killings In Benue, Other States
Army Launches ‘Exercise Cat Race’ To Tackle Killings In Benue, Other States

Chief of Training and Operations, Major General David Ahmadu, announced this on Wednesday while briefing reporters at the Army Headquarters Conference Room in Abuja.

According to him, the operation will run from February 15 to March 31 in Benue, as well as Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger states.

The deployment came after several killings involving farmers and herdsmen in the north-central region of the country which resulted in several deaths and destruction of property worth millions of naira.

In commiserating with the Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom over the recent in the state, the governors of Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose and Rivers state, have visited the state.

Fayose, who was received by Governor Samuel Ortom, declared support for the Anti-Grazing Law implemented by the state government in 2017, warning that it must not be compromised.

The Ekiti Governor said there was a federal conspiracy against the law and criticized the Federal Government and security agencies for poorly handling threats to the state prior to the New Year’s Day attack which left 73 indigenes of the state dead.

While Governor Wike donated the sum of N200 million to Benue State as part of his support to help the state in the recent herdsmen attack its facing.

Wike was on a solidarity visit to the state to commiserate with the New Year Killings of about 73 people by suspected herdsmen.

He challenged the Nigerian Governors Forum to defend the integrity and office of Nigerian Governors from partisan police authority who demean their Benue state colleague on a live Television programme.

On Thursday, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria rejected the proposed plan of the Federal Government to set up cattle colonies in the country.

President of the conference Reverend Ignatius Kaigama said this on Thursday when he led a delegation of the religious body to visit President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Catholic Bishops Visit Buhari, Reject Cattle Colonies

On ways to end the clashes between farmers and herdsmen, he advised the government to seek other alternatives to open grazing rather than introducing cattle colonies.

But in his response, President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the speculations that he is doing nothing to address the crisis between farmers and herdsmen in the country.

The President said this on Thursday when he received a delegation of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) led by Most Reverend Ignatius Kaigama at the State House in Abuja.

In a bid to reduce the recent crisis affecting the country, the Vice President professor Yemi Osinbajo, has called for the creation of state police amid increasing security challenges in the country.

File photo: Yemi Osinbajo

He made the call on Thursday at a National Assembly security summit, as he believes this would help tighten security across the nation.

According to him, the state policing system is the way to go because having a centralized system –  as is currently practised, cannot effectively secure the nation.

Despite calling for the creation of state police, Professor Osinbajo also wants the Nigerian Police Force to be strengthened and proposed that the current number of police in the country be tripled.

Back to legal matters, the Supreme Court on Friday ruled that a former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, should face trial for alleged fraud thereby rejecting his appeal.

Metuh
File photo: Olisa Metuh

Metuh is standing trial for allegedly diverting N400 million from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

The trial judge, Okon Abang, had in March 2016 ruled that Mr Metuh and his company, Destra Investment, had a case to answer in the seven-count charge of fraud brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Also, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday approved the compulsory retirement of Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.

The President also approved the dismissal from office of Justice O.O Tokode of the Benin Division of the Federal High Court.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, explained in a statement that the approvals followed recommendations from the National Judicial Council (NJC).

“The disciplinary actions on the two Justices are in pursuance of section 292 (1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended),” the statement said.

Justice Tokode has also been directed to refund all salaries and allowances he allegedly earned illegally from December 2, 2015, when he was sworn-in as a judge of the Federal High Court to date.

President Buhari further asked judicial officers to be alive to their responsibilities and eschew corruption in the discharge of their duties.

Over the weekend, former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday paid a visit to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in Umuahia, Abia State Capital.

The former President, however, refused to comment on his lengthy public statement where he advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek re-election but should in a dignified way dismount from the horse (seat of power).

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Umuahia, Abia State Capital on Saturday, February 10.

Obasanjo in response to questions by journalists in Umuahia on the public statement only said ‘all is well,’ as he declined to questions with a wave of hands.

Police Declares IBB’s Spokesman Wanted Over Controversial Statement

A former Edo State Commissioner for Information and spokesman for former Military President General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, Mr Kazeem Afegbua, has been declared wanted by the police.

Mr Afegbua is wanted because of conflicting statements bordering on the performance of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and whether the President should seek re-election.

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The spokesman for the Nigerian Police, Mr Jimoh Moshood, told Channels Television that Mr Afegbua is wanted for giving false statement, defamation of character and act capable of inciting public disturbance.

The police spokesman advised him to report to the nearest police station.

General Babangida had on Sunday distanced himself from a statement credited to him and signed by his media aide, Mr Kassim Afegbua, urging President Buhari to step down and allow ‘generational shift.’

Babaginda in his rebuttal said the views expressed in the statement are not his views but that of the writer.

Babaginda’s spokesperson however insisted that the statement he issued was endorsed by Babangida. Afegbua who appeared as a guest on Channels Television Programme Sunday Politics said as a professional who has been on the job for 13 years, he has never gotten a rebuttal after releasing a statement on behalf of the former president.