Buhari Condemns Benue Killings, Says ‘No One Should Attack Anyone’

A combination of file photos of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Samuel Ortom.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the recent killings in Benue State occasioned by a herders/farmers clash.

Gunmen had attacked Gbeji community in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State on Wednesday killing at least 23 persons including a police officer.

Three days after the attack, Buhari called the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and commiserated with the people of the North-Central State on the killings.

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In a statement on Saturday by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, the President said no one should attack anyone because of their way of life. He said politics must be set aside to bridge divisions in the interests of all citizens.

“No one should attack anyone because of their way of life. Neither should anyone take revenge on others for injustice done to them. Both should be held accountable for their actions, and justice delivered,” the President said.

“President Muhammadu Buhari and all his administration condemn the recent attacks in Benue State. It is unacceptable for lives to be taken by herdsmen and farmers alike.”

According to the Commander-in-Chief, it was unacceptable for lives to be taken by herdsmen and farmers alike.

When tragedies like these occur, the President said Nigerians must remember first and foremost that they are all equal citizens of the country.

President Buhari equally warned that his administration would hold those that took innocent lives to account.

“It is equally unacceptable for the lives of those merely practicing their duties as police officers and government officials to also be lost.

“As those who have been entrusted with leadership by our citizens, we have a duty to remember that and do everything we can to bridge divisions and come together in the interests of all our people.

“There are many times when Buhari and Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue have disagreed politically. But, today, the president puts all these aside, to reach out to the Governor to express the heartfelt condolences of the nation for what has occurred in recent days,” the statement added.

Kaduna Security:  PDP Councillors Decry Killings In Southern Kaduna

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.
A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria’s north-west region.

 

 

Local Government Councillors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party have decried the incessant killings and attacks by terrorists and bandits in the Southern part of Kaduna State.

The councillors, numbering up to 44, said the killings had claimed hundreds of lives and the attacks led to the destruction of properties worth millions of naira.

According to them, the attacks in Southern Kaduna, just like other parts of the state, have not only claimed several innocent lives, they have destroyed communities and their means of livelihood, leaving residents of the zone in a state of hopelessness and despair.

At a news conference in Kaduna, the Secretary of the forum (of councillors),  Zacharia Achi, said apart from insecurity, Southern Kaduna also had the challenge of infrastructural decay owing to government’s negligence over the years.

The dearth of needed infrastructure, he explained, had significantly affected the socioeconomic wellbeing of the people of the zone.

As a result, the councillors resolved to support and vote for only candidates who have the capacity, competence and courage to represent Southern Kaduna and attract development.

In view of the criteria,  the forum resolved to support the candidacy of the PDP Senatorial candidate, Sunday Katung, whom they believe has the qualities of attracting development and security to Southern Kaduna.

They said, “We need not remind you that Southern Kaduna, just like other zones in Kaduna State, has been on the wrong side of the news, owing to the criminal activities of terrorists,” they said.

“These terrorists have ransacked our villages, rape our Women, killed and kidnapped our brethren, including children. They have destroyed our communities, leaving our citizens homeless. With impunity, these terrorists have continued to carry out attacks on our communities unchallenged.

“Apart from insecurity, our zone is also suffering from infrastructural decay, owing to government’s negligence. We are suffering from a lack of roads, lack of electricity, lack of healthcare system and industries.

Defending their backing for the PDP candidate, they said, “We need someone who the whole Kaduna South Senatorial District and Southern Kaduna can believe in, someone who has the will and the courage to see justice prevail and ensure fairness to the citizens. We need someone who has the capacity to see beyond rhetorics, someone who has the National and International network to make our zone better, someone who can change the negative narrative of the zone for the better. We need someone with the capacity to influence and attract development to the zone and we are in dire need of someone that can unite the people.

“Make no mistake, the task ahead is indeed daunting but surmountable. A better Southern Kaduna is possible and we cannot afford to experiment at this time. We need a visionary Senator that will set the agenda and make the zone better, we need a senator that would pull all our elected representatives together in unity for the general good of our people.”

Insecurity: Reps Decry Continued Killings, Ask FG To Engage Mercenaries

A file photo of some members of the House of Representatives during a plenary.

 

Members of the House of Representatives have again voiced their displeasure over the continued killings by bandits and terrorist groups in the country.

They, therefore, called on the Federal Government to engage the services of mercenaries to supplement the efforts of security agencies in containing the situation.

In addition to this, the lawmakers renewed their call on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in the security sector.

They took the decisions during the plenary on Wednesday at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

These followed debates on another set of two motions bordering on the recent attacks by bandits and killer-herdsmen in Plateau and Benue States respectively.

Gunmen suspected to be bandits had invaded villages in Kanam Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State on Sunday, killing scores of villagers and setting houses ablaze. Gyanbahu, Kukawa, Karen, and Dungur were said to be the worst-hit communities.

READ ALSO: 23 Locals Killed In Fresh Attacks On Two Benue Communities

In Benue, authorities confirmed the killing of 23 locals during attacks by killer herdsmen on Mbadwem and Tiortyu communities in Guma and Tiortyu LGAs respectively on Monday night.

During the plenary, the lawmaker representing Pakshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Constituency of Plateau State, Yusuf Gagdi, and his counterpart from Gboko/Tarka Federal Constituency of Benue State, John Dyegh, moved separate motions to draw the attention of the House to the plight of the villagers in their respective constituencies.

In their various contributions, a majority of members noted that cases of killings, now a daily occurrence, had cheapened the lives of Nigerians and would appear that security agencies and the government had lost total control of the situation.

Some of them blamed President Buhari on whose table they said the bulk stopped and urged him to take more decisive actions against criminal elements in the country.

Among their suggestions included that the President should sack the National Security Adviser immediately and a repeated call for a state of emergency on insecurity in the country.

A key prayer, which was unanimously endorsed by the House, was to invoke Section 83 (1) of the 1999 Constitution to provide special funds, through a supplementary budget, to hire mercenaries in order to strengthen the anti-terror war.

The House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, moved the prayer which was unanimously voted for at the session presided over by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Ahmed Wase.

A prayer to declare a state of emergency on insecurity was also unanimously sought by the lawmakers who complained that they were overwhelmed by the daily wailings of their constituents.

Pastors Protest Killings In Kaduna, Demand Massive Bombing Of Bandits

 

A group of pastors under the umbrella of Interfaith Alliance have staged a peaceful protest against the incessant attacks and killings by bandits in Kaduna State.

The protesters are asking the Federal Government to step up actions against banditry with the aim of wiping them out.

The protest comes days after 10 soldiers were killed and some others injured by bandits proscribed as terrorists who attacked a military base in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of the State.

READ ALSO: 10 Soldiers Killed As Bandits Attack Military Base In Kaduna

The religious leaders marched through the major roads of the Kaduna metropolis with placards of various inscriptions.

They said although the security forces are trying their best in the fight against banditry and terrorism, their best wasn’t good enough.

They appealed to the Federal government to implement the submissions made by Governor Nasir El-Rufai and launch a massive and precise bombing of the bandits inside the forest.

Some pastors took to the streets to protest insecurity in Kaduna on April 7, 2022.
Some pastors took to the streets to protest insecurity in Kaduna on April 7, 2022.

 

In addition, they also appealed to the Federal Government to compensate all the victims of bandits attacks, award scholarships to children affected by the banditry, and also rebuild communities ravaged by attacks.

According to them, these measures will cushion the suffering of the victims and make them overcome the psychological trauma they may be experiencing as a result of the attacks.

10 Killed, 19 Others Injured At Festival In Plateau

A photo combination of some of the persons injured during the attack.

 

Ten persons were reportedly killed and nineteen others injured during the celebrations of the annual ritual festival ‘Zerreci’ in the Chando Zerreci area of Miango Chiefdom in Bassa Local Government Council of Plateau State.

While confirming the incident in a statement, the National Publicity Secretary of the Irigwe Youth Movement, Lawrence Zongo, said the attackers late Saturday night invaded the venue of the annual festival which is to commemorate the commencement of the rainy season farming in Irigwe land and wreaked havoc.

The attackers, according to the statement, shot sporadically into the celebrating crowd leading to the death of ten persons while nineteen others sustained gunshot wounds and machete cuts.

Many of those who survived are receiving treatment at the hospital in Miango, the spokesman disclosed.

READ ALSO[PHOTOS] Troops Destroy Terrorists’ Stronghold In Sambisa, Recover Heavy Weapons

The leadership of the Irigwe Youth Movement in condemning the incident enjoined security agencies to ensure that perpetrators of the heinous act are apprehended and prosecuted accordingly.

The attacks on Irigwe chiefdom have been a reoccurring incident that has left scores dead and several properties destroyed.

Killings: Kaduna Govt Constitutes Panel Over Southern Kaduna Conflicts

A combination of file photos of the map of Kaduna State and a gun recovered from crime suspects.

 

The Kaduna State Government has constituted a joint committee to look into the immediate and remote causes of the recent violent conflicts among communities in Jema’a, Kaura, and Zangon Kataf local government areas.

The committee, which was inaugurated by the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, is chaired by the Administrator of Kafanchan Municipal Authority, Mrs Phoebe Sukai Yayi, with the chairmen of Jema’a, Kaura, and Zangon Kataf as members.

Other members of the committee are representatives of Jama’a tul Nasir Islam (JNI), the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN), and the affected communities.

The committee has one week to submit its report to the Kaduna State government.

The setting up of the committee which was arrived at on Thursday followed a peace dialogue with stakeholders from Jema’a, Kaura, and Zangon Kataf local government areas towards finding a lasting solution to the incessant violent conflicts in the areas.

The dialogue, which was held at Kafanchan, was attended by elected government officials, traditional rulers, community leaders from affected communities, leaders of the two religious bodies, CAN and JNI as well as heads of security agencies, comprising the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police Force, and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.

READ ALSO: [PHOTOS] Troops Destroy Terrorists’ Stronghold In Sambisa, Recover Heavy Weapons

While constituting the committee, the deputy governor mandated members to look into the immediate and remote causes of the conflicts, recommend measures to be taken by both government and various ethnic groups, leading to peaceful and harmonious coexistence among them.

She also directed the three local government chairmen to resume the weekly meeting of the local government security committees as instituted by the state government, which will serve as a forum to discuss security issues and proactively tackle those problems before they escalate.

While she also condoled the families of the victims of the attack, including the officers who paid the supreme price in the course of duty, the deputy governor disclosed that the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has been directed to provide relief materials to affected communities.

The deputy governor added that government will further provide relief allowance to those affected after documentation by the relevant government agencies.

Reps Recommend N390m Compensation For Extrajudicial Killings By Customs

File photo: Mr Femi Gbajabiamila presides over a plenary at the House of Representatives chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

The House of Representatives on Tuesday called on the Nigeria Customs Service to pay N390,000,000 as compensation to victims of extrajudicial killings and injuries caused by its officers across the country.

This is sequel to the recommendations in the reports by the House Committee on Customs and Excise after investigating two incidents in Oyo State and one incident in Katsina State.

Chairman of the Committee on Customs and Excise, Leke Abejide, had last week presented the reports, which the House considered and adopted in plenary on Tuesday.

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This is after the committee probed the unrest in Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo State due to the killing of indigenes by men of the Nigeria Customs Service.

In upholding the committee’s recommendation, the House agreed that “life has no duplicate and cannot be replaced once lost, as such, the families of the deceased should be compensated in monetary terms, each soul lost at the Iseyin incidence be compensated by the Nigeria Customs Service with the sum of N20, 000,000 each. The number of souls lost being four; the value of total compensation for the four deceased is N80, 000,000 only.”

“For the person who sustained a gunshot injury in the Iseyin incident, the sum of N2,000,000 only be paid as compensation for the treatment of the injuries sustained,” the recommendation further read.

“The grand total for compensation for both the deceased and the injured is the sum of N82,000,000 only.”

Buhari’s Delegation In Gusau, Offers Condolences Over Zamfara Killings

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday conveyed his condolences and that of his government to the people of Zamfara State on what he described as the “extremely unfortunate” mass killings of innocent people by retreating bandits.

The president, who said the recent incident was a very sad one for the nation, reiterated his earlier commitment to tackle the monster of terrorism head-on, giving assurances that the besieged communities and other Nigerians will not be abandoned to their fate.

In an address to the governor, commissioners, emirs, the chief judge and grand khadi, legislators, council chairmen and political leaders, President Buhari who was represented by a delegation led by the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), expressed the strong determination of the administration to get rid of these bandits who have now been classified as terrorists.

“There will be no let-up in the ongoing campaign to rid Zamfara and other affected states of the menace of these terrorists. Since they have no regard for the sanctity of life, so shall they be dealt with,” he said.

“The government is fully informed of what is going on and will do whatever it takes to end this. We are here to talk to the governor and to assure the state that the administration is determined to do more to defend the life and property of the people,” he said.

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President Buhari condoled with the government and the people of the state over the losses of life and directed the military and other security agencies to intensify the ongoing campaign until everyone and everywhere is safe.

The governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Bello Matawalle, who welcomed the delegation said that it is a testimony to the strong support of the president and the government at the center.

He appreciated the wisdom and vision of the president in approving the ongoing military campaign in the state, the effect of which has led to the dismantling of terrorists’ hideouts used as launching grounds for kidnapping, rustling and terrorism but said that more still needed to be done.

The governor added that president Buhari is an example to the world in the establishment of democratic values and commended him for responding positively to all the requests so far placed before him by the state government.

He called on the federal government to fortify the security of the state with additional armoured personnel carriers, APCs and to roll out a special intervention fund for Zamfara and other states equally affected by the scourge of insecurity.

The delegation conveyed the approval of the president for palliative items for the Anka and Bukkuyum emirates, the latest to be attacked, and for other areas equally affected by the attacks in the recent past.

Other members of the delegation were the minister of police affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, the minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Faruk, the national security adviser, Major General Babagana Munguno (rtd), Inspector General Of Police, Usman Alkali Baba and the Senior Special Assistant to the President On Media And Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Zamfara Killings: APC Governors Visit Matawalle

 

The governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have visited Zamfara State Governor, Zamfara, Killings over the recent killings in the state.

Last week, bandits raided some villages in Bukkuyum and Anka local government areas of Zamfara and killed over 58 people, dealing a heavy blow to authorities struggling to restore order.

According to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq, more than 10,000 people were displaced in the attack with scores still missing.

A few days after the incident, Governor Atiku Bagudu and his Katsina State counterpart, Aminu Masari were in the state to commiserate with the government and people of the state.

Speaking on Wednesday at the Government House in Gusau, Governor Bagudu said that despite some positives by the federal and state governments, massive cooperation is vital to combat the threat.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Abduct Another Zamfara College Official In Gusau

Bagudu stated that in the last few years, a lot is being done to address the security challenges facing the country, and more resources, community mobilisation, support is still needed to flush out the terrorists.

Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Atiku Bagudu leads other governors on a condolence visit to Zamfara State on January 12, 2022.

 

In his remarks, Governor Masari observed that the efforts and commitment of the government towards tackling banditry must be complemented with the support of the people through the provision of credible intelligence to authorities to help fish out the perpetrators of criminality.

“We are all in this together, nobody is left out. We must conquer, reclaim our territories,” the Katsina Governor said.

“We have no choice, we must stand up. We need to mobilise ourselves and cannot allow some few individuals to totally disrupt our own lives, kill us, destroy our economic fortunes.”

On his part, the host governor said his administration will not rest on its oars to stop the incessant attacks on residents and ensure peace returns to Zamfara State.

“We will continue to do everything within our powers to achieve our objective of restoring peace in our domain,” he said.

Matawalle said that the military campaign against the bandits is already yielding positive results in the north-western state.

Arewa Consultative Forum Cries Out Against Killings In The North

 

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) says it totally disapproves, remains frustrated and is angry over what appears to be an endless killing in Northern Nigeria.

In a statement by the ACF spokesperson, Emmanuel Yawe, oN Monday, the group said it is outrageous that those elected to govern the people have not deemed it fit to visit the places where citizens were brutally murdered.

Recently, 38 persons were hacked to death in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

According to Samuel Aruwan, the State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, many houses, trucks, cars and food crops were also destroyed during the attacks.

Reacting to the incident, the ACF while joining the Governor of Kaduna and the President of Nigeria in consoling those who suffered losses during the latest attack, called on all the state governments and the Federal Government to show more empathy and sympathy in such grave security breaches.

“Nothing stops the President and a State governor from visiting such places.

“We sadly note that he has never felt it necessary to do so. In fact, following his example, not one governor has done so except Governor Zulum of Borno,” the ACF stated.

According to the ACF, those affected by the savage attacks within the region are often left to think that their lives don’t count.

“The President and the northern governors are unwittingly creating the impression that only their lives, those of their immediate family members and their offices matter,” the group further noted.

The ACF said it believes that the president and the northern governors have the capacity to do better than is currently being done.

What Nigeria Should Do For Bandits To Drop Their Weapons – Gumi

Sheikh Ahmad Gumi made an appearance on Channels TV's Politics Today on February 22, 2021.
Sheikh Ahmad Gumi made an appearance on Channels TV’s Politics Today on February 22, 2021.

 

Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has called for the provision of more social amenities to curb banditry in the country.

Bandits have stepped up attacks in several parts of the country killing people, kidnapping for ransom and raping people.

Gumi, who spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at a retreat on inclusive security organised by the Global Peace Foundation in collaboration with Vision Africa, said bandits initially started by kidnapping people before they resorted to killing their victims.

“We all know that bandits initially don’t kill people like that, they kidnap people to get money. So what has metamorphosed and turned them into a Frankenstein, a monster that is now trying to kill people just like that for the pleasure of it,” Gumi said.

“What we need to do is to build homes and schools, giving locals animals to breed, giving them medical attention, planting, engaging the local community.

“This is all that we need to do with the Fulani herdsmen to get them pipe down and drop their weapons. This is all that we need and we don’t need to wait for the government.”

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While noting that criminal activities cannot be justified, the cleric stated that every criminal has a justification for his crimes.

According to him, bandits were out to avenge the killing of their family members by the military through airstrikes.

He believes that once their needs are met, the bandits would drop their weapons and stop the killings in the country.

The Islamic cleric who is a known advocate for bandits recently vowed to stop meeting with them.

Sheikh Gumi had noted that he took the stance following the recent prescription of bandits by an Abuja Federal High Court.

Umahi Offers N2m Reward For Information On Attackers

A file photo of Ebonyi Sate Governor, Dave Umahi. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
A file photo of Ebonyi Sate Governor, Dave Umahi. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi has announced N2 million as a reward for anyone with useful information that will lead to the arrest of those brewing insecurity in the state.

The governor made the announcement on Friday during an inter-denominational prayer summit organised by the state government in Abakaliki, the state capital.

He called for the cooperation of all residents of the state in the fight against crime, noting that the killers can be identified as they reside both in houses and forests.

“It is time for us to rise up; we know these people. They are in houses [and] forests. Give us information and every information that will lead to the arrest of any killer will have a cash reward of not less than N2 million,” he said.

The governor also reiterated his faith in Nigeria, insisting that he doesn’t support calls for the disintegration of the country.

While commending the Wife of the President for initiating the summit for Nigeria to seek the face of God over the seemingly intractable security problems confronting the nation, Umahi said leaders would work with God and the people to enthrone peace in all parts of the country.

The Ebonyi leader also called for the disbandment of the Eastern Security Network to allow governors and other South-East leaders to pursue a political solution to the agitation against marginalisation.

On her part, the Ebonyi First Lady, Rachel Umahi, extolled the president’s wife for directing the prayer summit, which aimed at seeking the face of God to restore peace in the country.

“Our coming together is to seek the face of God over the security challenges and other problems facing the nation,” she added.

“Through our constant prayers, we can overcome the rising cases of killing, armed robbery, kidnapping, and other violent crimes in our country.

“God has been so kind to Ebonyi and our state has been so peaceful but we cannot take this for granted.”