Killings: Desperate Politicians Aligning With Bandits To Destabilise Nigeria – Umahi

 

The South-East Governors Forum have accused desperate politicians of aligning with bandits to stabilise Nigeria.

Chairman of the Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, made the comments on Tuesday after a virtual meeting with the five governors of the region in attendance.

“The governors are so worried about the killings and kidnappings that are going on by our people in the southeast, killing our own people and the security agencies,” he said.

“The situation is being heightened by the activities of very desperate politicians, this time irrespective of party affiliations.

“There are so many desperate politicians in all the political parties that are so desperate for power and they have aligned with some bandits in the southeast to destabilise the nation.”

Governor Umahi explained that the five southeast states dissociated themselves from a bi-partisan meeting convened by some stakeholders from the region on the security situation.

The Ebonyi governor urged them to instead speak out and condemn killings within their domain.

Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi speaks at the Government House in Abakaliki on January 5, 2021.

 

He also seized the opportunity to shed more light on a viral social media video, relating to the eviction of some Nigerians from the northern part of the country resident in Ebonyi State.

READ ALSO: There Has Been No Increase In Electricity Tariffs, Says Keyamo

“The Fulani settlement that decided to move to Taraba State and retained some of the family members in Ebonyi State and of course, the man is still here.

“Politicians as we have intelligence gathering went to put a voice and said it is the Igbos that are chasing away the herdsmen from Ebonyi State.

“Such a video went very wide and was causing panic in other parts of the country. That was very much uncalled for because we also have over 11 million of our people living in the north.

“We have so many of our people living in south-south and south-west. When people do this, they think they are doing it to pull down a particular governor, not knowing that they are doing it to start killings against our people.”

I Did Not Call For A Coup In My Christmas Message, Says Kukah

The Catholic Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah speaks during a press conference in Sokoto on December 28, 2020.

 

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto Catholic, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah has denied calling for a coup in his 2020 Christmas message.

He made this known on Monday night during a press conference at St Bakhita Secretariat in Sokoto.

“It is unfair for a journalist or news medium to report that I called for a coup while expressing my personal view about Nigeria,” he said.

“I am pained and very sad that my emergency critics never see that many innocent lives are being lost on a daily basis. The loss of lives in the last ten years, even before the advent of this administration, calls for concern.

“The reactions are a reflection of every citizen that make up Nigeria. It is sad that when you drop something in Nigeria, everybody goes back to their enclave and abandon the larger picture. I am someone who never takes offense to what people say about me.”

READ ALSO: Killings: Buhari’s Govt Owes Nigerians An Explanation, Says Kukah

Speaking further, Bishop Kukah said it is only feeble minds that would misconstrue his statements as an indication of the intention to go into party politics.

While noting that everyone has the right to hold political views, he said nothing stops him as a priest and conscience of society from speaking truth to power.

“To make it more interesting, a retired General from the North-West who is a Muslim has also released a statement on his handle to say all that I said is true.

“I have no plan and will never play partisan politics for any reason. Those who link me to partisan politics because of my statement are only playing into the gallery,” he added.

Kukah’s remarks come four days after he said President Muhammadu Buhari’s government owes Nigerians an explanation over the killings of innocent people in the country.

In his Christmas message titled, ‘A Nation in Search of Vindication,’ Bishop Kukah said Nigeria appeared to be heading for darkness under his administration.

“This government owes the nation an explanation as to where it is headed as we seem to journey into darkness,” he said.

“The spilling of this blood must be related to a more sinister plot that is beyond our comprehension. Are we going to remain hogtied by these evil men or are they gradually becoming part of a larger plot to seal the fate of our country?”

Insecurity: Sultan Of Sokoto Visits Zulum, Laments Killings Have Taken New Dimension

 

The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar has lamented the spate of killings arising from the security challenges in the country.

The Sultan who is also Co-Chairman National Council of Traditional Rulers said the killings have taken a new dimension.

“The killings have taken new dimensions and we really don’t know what are the causes of these mass killings of innocent people,” he said on Monday while leading his colleagues from the south and northern part of the country to meet Governor Babagana Umara Zulum in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

“We had various fora with our political leaders, mentioned these things out, how to take care of our securities in various communities. We have written papers, sent our Governors, we have discussed with all our leaders, all the way forward.

 

 

READ ALSO: Abductors Of Students Have Contacted Us, Masari Tells Buhari

“But we see things getting worst and worst. It used to be Boko Haram alone in Borno and Yobe, now in all over the north in particular and generally all over the country. You have bandits and terrorists all over the north, you can’t even move freely, in the south it’s the same thing.”

On their mission to Maiduguri, Sultan Abubakar said they did not only come to commiserate with the governor on the rent killing of farmers in the state but to make a strong statement with regards to the insecurity affecting the entire nation.

The revered monarch asked the military to occupy Sambisa Forest and Lake Chad region housing Boko Haram insurgents.

On his part, Governor Zulum thanked the royal fathers for the special visit.

He however decried the continuous dependence on donations to feed the internally displaced persons as the main source of livelihood.

Buhari Condemns Boko Haram Killing Of Rice Farmers In Borno

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the killings of rice farmers by Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State.

The President in a statement signed on Saturday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu described the killings as senseless.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed grief over the killing of farmers on rice fields at Zabarmari, in Jere Local Government of Borno State, describing the terrorist killings as insane.

READ ALSO: Another Killing Recorded In Ekiti State As Gunmen Murder Cleric

“I condemn the killing of our hardworking farmers by terrorists in Borno State. The entire country is hurt by these senseless killings. My thoughts are with their families in this time of grief. May their souls Rest In Peace.”

“President Buhari said the government had given all the needed support to the armed forces “to take all necessary steps to protect the country’s population and its territory.”

At least forty farmers were killed on Saturday morning around Marrabati and Hammayya villages, near Zabarmari in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State by Boko Haram terrorists.

The farmers were waylaid on their way to their rice farms which they were harvesting before the surprise attack happened.

An unspecified number of farmers were also taken away by the criminals.

 

#EndSARSImmediately: Lagos Youths Protest Late Into The Night

 

The last is yet to be heard of the calls seeking to disband the police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), as youths in Lagos stayed up late into Thursday night protesting that the unit be scrapped totally.

In recent times, the activities of the police unit have come under scrutiny and several members of the squad have been found guilty of using their position of authority to trample on the rights of citizens, especially the youths.

End SARS protests were held in various locations across Nigeria on Wednesday and Thursday, however, while many thought the noontime demonstrations would be all for the day, a group of young people including Mr. Debo Adebayo, a comedian popularly known as Mr. Macaroni, stormed the premises of the Lagos Assembly, asking that the lawmakers pass legislation that will see to the disbandment of the SARS unit in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The youths decried the constant harassment encountered in the hands of SARS operatives, lamenting the rate at which many young creatives are being battered and killed by the ‘ruthless’ police officers in the squad.

Mr Macaroni and the other youths spent hours at the gate leading into the Lagos Assembly complex, seeking to see Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who they were told was as expected not in office at the time.

Officials and other members of the parliament tried to persuade the angry youths to leave and return at dawn, but they held their grounds and insisted that they would not leave till the number one citizen in Lagos addresses them and assures them that they would work to ensure and end if brought to the ‘menace’ that SARS has become in the country.

“If we say we want to see the one that we elected into office, it is not too much,” Mr Macaroni insisted while addressing an official of the Lagos legislature.

After a long while of waiting which tapered into the early hours of Thursday, the Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, finally arrived at the scene to address the protesting youths.

Mr Obasa told the crowd that members of the parliament will hold an emergency meeting in the morning of Thursday to deliberate upon the #ENDSARS concerns.
He promised it will not be a deliberation by only the legislators, as the governor and all other stakeholders concerned will be at the meeting.

The speaker apologized for the ordeal that the youths have been through while staging their protest at the gates of the parliament, and assured them that a lasting solution will be found for the issues that have been tabled.

Heartless killings and a 72-hour protest

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the police force was put together to tackle robbery and crimes related to armed robbery within the country, but the unit has for quite a while been overreaching in its operations across the nation.

Without any legislation or order, the unit has morphed itself into some form of anti-graft agency, harassing many young Nigerians, especially men who spot dreadlocks and other forms of fancy head styles.

What would have been associated with culture and the arts, seemed to have been labeled a criminal act by SARS officials, one which operatives of the unit on routine patrols have reportedly tackled either by extorting various individuals or killing them in the name of attempting to arrest them for crimes that never get disclosed nor tried.

More often than not, encounters between men of the SARS unit and the civilian populace have ended in infringements of rights and a show of lawlessness on the part of those who swore to uphold the law and protect the citizens.

It is in an attempt to bring an end to SARS brutality that many Nigerians kicked-off a campaign via social media demanding that the squad be dissolved.

What seemed like a mere Twitter storm soon spilled over into the streets with countless youths in various parts of the country protesting and calling for an end to cruelty by SARS officials.

The latest protest in Lagos began in the early hours of Wednesday with a large crowd convening at the secretariat in Alausa within the Ikeja area of the metropolis.

While the protest in Lagos was going on, some other states states witnessed similar demonstrations, with celebrities, media personalities and ordinary citizens all lending their voice to the call for a total eradication of SARS operations.

In the wake of heated arguments and protests on social media, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu banned the personnel of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other Tactical Squads of the Force from embarking on routine patrols.

IGP Mohammed banned the SARS and other Tactical Squads of the Force including the Special Tactical Squad (STS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Anti-Cultism Squad and other Tactical Squads operating at the Federal, Zonal and Command levels, from carrying out routine patrols and other conventional low-risk duties – stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks and traffic checks.

He warned members of the tactical squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens including  the “indiscriminate and unauthorized search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart devices”.

The IGP ordered members of the various units to concentrate and respond only to cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes when the need arises, an order for which the police boss was praised by different groups and individuals.

However, this stand by the IGP was and is not enough for the youths in Lagos, for though he vowed to see the SARS reforms through, the young people believe only a total scrapping of the unit will suffice in “bringing an end to the dangers posed” by its agents.

Determined to see to it that SARS becomes a thing of the past, the vivacious young men and women in Lagos staged the ongoing protest which some say may last up to 72 hours (three days).

 

 

Eight Feared Killed In Fresh Southern Kaduna Attacks

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

 

Barely two days after religious leaders convened a peace summit to find a lasting solution to the conflicts in southern Kaduna, gunmen have killed several people in fresh attacks, resulting in renewed tensions between the Atyap natives and their Fulani neighbours.

Police authorities are yet to confirm the latest incidents, but the spokesman of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, Luka Biniyat, said eight people were killed by suspected Fulani militia in Zango Kataf and Kaura Local Government Areas.

On his part, the leader of Fulani Community, Dr Ahmed Yandeh said four Fulani people were killed by gunmen suspected to be Atyap militias between Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

According to Yandeh, a young Fulani boy was among those killed at Zaman Dabo, a border community between Zango Kataf and Kauru local government areas, while three others were killed and two injured at Gora Gan.

He explained that the incident happened when they were attending a peace summit in Kafanchan as part of efforts to stop the killings and ensure lasting peace returns to the region.

The Fulani leader, however, said security operatives have arrested some people in connection with the attacks, even as he calls on his people not to engage in any form of reprisals.

Insecurity: Special Forces Arrive In Southern Kaduna

Troops of the Special Forces deployed by the Defence Headquarters arrive Southern Kaduna on August 14, 2020.

 

The Special Forces approved by the Defence Headquarters to halt the senseless killings and restore peace in Southern Kaduna have arrived Kafanchan ahead of their deployment to the various flashpoints in the area later today.

The Special Forces were drawn from the Nigerian Army.

They were received at Sector 7, the headquarters of Operation Safe Haven, by the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan.

Addressing the troops, the Commissioner charged them to take the battle to the bandits and ensure that peace and security are restored to southern Kaduna.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kill Bauchi Lawmaker, Abduct Wives And One-Year-Old Daughter

He also thanked the Defence headquarters for graciously approving the deployment of the troops to Southern Kaduna, and however, assures the support and cooperation of the state government in making the operation a huge success.

Aruwan also called on non-state actors, especially residents of the affected communities to give their maximum support to the troops during the period of the operation through intelligence sharing mechanism.

Kaduna has been experiencing a series of attacks with a recent one carried out four weeks ago.

On July 19, 21 people were killed while 28 others sustained various degrees of injuries when gunmen attacked Kukum Daji Village of Kaura Local Government Area of the state.

According to the President of the Community, Mr. Yashen Titus, the gunmen suspected to be herdsmen, invaded the venue of a wedding party in the community at about 10 pm.

Similarly, on July 7, no fewer than 38 persons lost their lives in separate attacks on two villages in Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna state on July 7.

The Council Chairman, Emmanuel Adamu, who confirmed the attack, said the gunmen unleashed mayhem on Ankpon Village in Nandu and Kabamu Village in Fadan Karshi, all of Numana district.

While describing the incident as unfortunate, he said the gunmen killed 38 persons including women and children.

See Photos Below:

Southern Kaduna Killings: Christians Declare One Month Prayer, Fasting

Christians praying in church (File Photo)

 

The Christian Association of Nigeria in Kaduna State has declared a non-denominational prayer and fasting rally to seek for God’s intervention on the incessant attacks by gunmen in some communities in the southern part of the state.

Speaking during the prayer session held at ECWA Church in the Kaduna State capital on Sunday, the state CAN Chairman, Reverend Joseph Hayab and the state Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Hassan Hyet, both faulted the government and security agencies for not doing enough to stop the killing of Christians in Southern Kaduna.

The CAN Chairman specifically asked the presidency to stop being the mouthpiece of the bandits going by its recent statement on the southern Kaduna killings, even as he described the attacks on mostly Christians communities as an ethnic cleansing.

Read Also: Southern Kaduna Lawmakers Call For Arrest, Prosecution Of Perpetrators

But the Commander of Operation Safe Haven which is involved in the ongoing security operations in southern Kaduna and Platuea State, Major General Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, says the attacks are pure reprisals and counter reprisals carried out by the Fulani communities and Southern Kaduna natives, and therefore, has no ethnic agenda.

He, however, added that enough is being done by security agencies to bring lasting peace to Southern Kaduna, while he also called on both parties to sheath their swords.

Killings: Nasarawa Gov Orders Community Leaders To Fish Out Criminals

Nasarawa is a state in north central zone of Nigeria.
Nasarawa is a state in north central zone of Nigeria.

 

The Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule has asked leaders of Udege chiefdom to fish out the killers of Mr Amos Ewa Obere, the traditional ruler of Odu community in Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state.

According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ibrahim Addra, Governor Sule told the leaders that the security of lives of the citizens is a priority of his administration and that criminals must not be allowed to truncate the peace and destabilise economic activities of the state.

“We believe there are criminal elements amongst the people of this area and we must fish them out,” he said when he paid a fact finding visit to the palace of the Osu Ajiri, Halilu Bala Usman the traditional ruler of Udege Chiefdom of the state on Sunday.

Worried about the resurgence of insecurity in the area that was peaceful only months ago, the governor admonished youths in the area to shun crime.

The Osu Ajiri on his part, commended the governor for beefing up security in the area as well as the ongoing construction of the Mararaba Udege – Udege Mbeki road.

He, however, wants the speedy appointment of more district heads in the area for ease of administration and improved security.

Southern Kaduna Killings: FG Has Failed Nigeria – Hon Saleh

The lawmaker representing Kachia Kagarko Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Honourable Gabriel Saleh during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on July 27, 2020 decried the spate of killings in Southern Kaduna.

 

The lawmaker representing Kachia/Kagarko Federal Constituency, Kaduna, in the House of Representatives, Hon. Gabriel Saleh has decried the spate of killings in Southern Kaduna.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Saleh said the Federal Government has failed Nigeria.

Obviously pained by the attacks in his constituency, the lawmaker regretted that over 40 people have been killed in less than two weeks.

According to him, the people of the state have been displaced following the onslaught by suspected bandits and herdsmen.

“In my village which is called Jabon Tudu, there was a threat. Everyone left his house, for the past one week nobody is sleeping at home.

“So I feel the Federal Government has failed Nigeria. Our people are crying and suffering, over 40 people were killed in less than two weeks,” he said.

 

While describing the assailants as terrorists, he wondered why they will just attack innocent people and kill them just like that.

READ ALSO: Southern Kaduna Killings: Ojukwu Charges Police, Security Agencies To Sit Up

The lawmaker, therefore, called on the Federal Government to deploy security personnel to the affected area in order to forestall future attacks.

He recalled that the House of Representatives passes a resolution that mandated President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the nation’s service chiefs over the deteriorating state of insecurity in several parts of Nigeria.

Speaking further, Saleh said Nigerians voted President Buhari in 2015 because he promised to tackle the numerous security challenges at the time.

Photo of some vehicles and motorcycles burnt by bandits in Kaduna state recently.

He noted that while Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum will openly lament the spate of insecurity in the state, Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna states are not being spared.

The lawmaker’s remarks come two days after suspected Fulani militiamen launched fresh attacks on Southern Kaduna communities despite a 24-hour curfew imposed by the state government.

Following the fresh attack, the umbrella body of Southern Kaduna people, Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, said 63 people had been killed in the past one week by the militiamen.

According to the spokesperson for SOKAPU, Luka Binniyat, no fewer than 50 gunmen invaded Zikpak and started shooting repeatedly. After attacking Zikpak, the gunmen reportedly headed for Ungwan Masara and Maraban Kagoro, where they also carried out further attacks.

Southern Kaduna Killings More Complicated Than Many Are Ready To Admit – Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari (File Photo)

 

 

The presidency has reacted to the killings in southern Kaduna State, saying that it is more complicated than many people are willing to admit.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, noted that the problem in southern Kaduna is an evil combination of politically-motivated banditry, revenge killings and mutual violence by criminal gangs acting on ethnic and religious grounds.

He added that the region enjoys comprehensive security deployments, including the army, special forces of both the army and the Air Force, surveillance aircraft by the Air Force and mobile police units that are on the ground on a 24-hour basis to forestall criminality and keep the peace.

“Unlike other parts of the country, the problem of Southern Kaduna is more complicated than many critics are ready to acknowledge and understand.

Read Also: 11 Persons Killed in Another Kaduna Attack

“From available security records, the problem in Southern Kaduna is an evil combination of politically-motivated banditry, revenge killings and mutual violence by criminal gangs acting on ethnic and religious grounds.

“It is a situation in which one criminal group will kill a member of another criminal group out of ethnic and religious motivations which in turn leads to the eruption of revenge and counter-revenge, thereby making the job of the security personnel deployed to protect lives more difficult,” the statement read in part.

The presidency, therefore, warned residents against taking laws into their own hands, adding that it makes the job of security personnel more difficult.

“What is required is for the local authorities to radically improve their intelligence capabilities so that security agencies will be alerted in a timely manner to enable them forestall any planned attacks,” Shehu added.

“The Presidency, in the same manner, condemns the recent attacks by bandits in Igali, Birnin Gwari and Giwa local government areas of the State while urging security agencies to intensify their response,”.

 

Following a series of attacks in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State, indigenes took to the streets of the FCT on March 19, 2019, in a protest.

PHOTOS: Southern Kaduna Indigenes Protest Over Killings In Kajuru

At least 11 people have been reported killed by gunmen in another attack in Gora Gan Village of Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The latest attack comes barely 24 hours after 21 people were killed by bandits at Kukum Daji village in neighbouring Kaura Local Government Area.

Police authorities have yet to confirm the latest attack, but the Chairman of Zango Kataf Local government Area, Ezekiel Manzah told Channels Television that the attack happened on Monday evening.

Killings: Benue Youths Accuse Police Of Bias

A photo showing the map of Benue, a state in North-Central Nigeria.
An image showing the map of Benue, a state in North-Central Nigeria.

 

The youths in Benue State have accused the Nigeria Police of bias over the killing of seven persons in Logo Local Government Area of the state.

This comes a week after the Defence headquarters in a statement confirmed the attack, renewing calls for the designation of armed herdsmen as a terrorist group.

Addressing journalists in Makurdi on Monday, President of the Benue Youth Forum, Terrence Kuanum, expressed the forum’s concerns over attempts to change the narrative and blame victims of the attack for killing themselves.

Kuanam noted that the reaction of the police authorities is in support of the herdsmen who have allegedly threatened to destabilise the state in the wake of the law banning open grazing of animals.

But reacting to the allegation, spokesman of the State Police Command, Sewuese Anene, said that hired gunmen were responsible for the killing.

Anene said the development is related to a mining field dispute between two brothers, leading to the attack after one of them was paid compensation by a mining company in Cheme village in Logo LGA.