Insecurity: Address The Nation Now, ‘Concerned Benue Mothers’ Tell Buhari

 

A group of women known as Concerned Benue Mothers (CBM) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently address the nation and caution Fulani herdsmen to stop the killings.

The Benue Mothers who were drawn from the three Senatorial Districts of the state made the call on Monday while addressing journalists in Makurdi, the state capital.

While calling on President Buhari to cancel the planned imposition of grazing reserves on Nigerians, the group led by a former federal lawmaker, Rebecca Apedzan, called for a National Ranching Policy.

“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently address the nation and caution Fulani herdsmen to stop the killings. We know that if he makes the address directly to Fulanis and means every word of what he says, they will listen to him,” they said.

The group holds a press conference in Benue State on May 31, 2021, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently address the killings across the country.

 

“The President should, as a matter of urgency, announce the cancellation of his plan to impose grazing reserves on Nigerians and instead evolve a National Ranching Policy.

“The Federal Government should also throw its weight behind Southern Governors’ Asaba declaration against open grazing.

“President Buhari should motivate security agencies and direct them to be professional and neutral in the discharge of their duties.”

See the full statement issued by the group below:

PRESIDENT BUHARI IS FOR SOMEBODY AND NOT FOR EVERYBODY

Being the text of press conference by Concerned Benue Mothers on Monday, May 31, 2021.

Protocol

Ladies and gentlemen of the press

We the Concerned Benue Mothers are here with very heavy hearts to address you on issues bothering us as a people, Benue State and Nigeria as a nation. As mothers of this state and the nation, we owe our children the duty to voice our feelings when we see things going wrong and those who should speak have chosen the path of silence.

We owe this country the duty to call its leaders to order and counsel them when it has become apparent that the leaders we elected are not doing what is right. We have no other country than Nigeria.

You are much aware of the worsening security situation in the country being perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen who have killed thousands of Benue people and in other states. You are equally aware of the attitude of the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari who is not bothered to see women and children being killed daily by Fulani herdsmen. We are left with no other option than to conclude as many others have said, that the President is happy to watch his kinsmen turn Benue and other parts of the country into killing fields.

A few days ago, we woke up to the news that President Buhari has vowed to create grazing routes and establish grazing reserves in the 36 states of the country next month whether anyone likes it or not. His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu was the one who announced the President’s decision. We are wondering if this is the same democracy that we all fought and got in 1999 leading to the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as elected President in 2015. Has Mr President forgotten that this country is now being run by the Constitution and not decrees? What about the Land Use Act which vets all lands in State Governors? Has the Act been repealed? From where is President Buhari deriving his authority that he feels he can impose draconian and dictatorial policies on Nigerians and expect us to applaud him?

The other time, the Buhari Presidency introduced Cattle Colonies, it took the courage of patriotic Nigerians like Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom to rise and reject the conquest agenda. The President later dusted the programme and renamed it as Ruga, but again, our eagle-eyed Governor and other patriots saw through the veil and kicked against Ruga. The President reluctantly canceled the Ruga programme.

Today, the entire country is speaking with one voice in opposition to open grazing of cattle while embracing ranching which Benue has been leading the campaign since 2016. All Governors of Northern and Southern Nigeria have taken a unified stand to ban open grazing. Shockingly, President Buhari has come out to mock the Governors and is threatening to impose grazing reserves on the people of this country. The words of his Media Adviser, Femi Adesina last year that people should choose between holding unto their lands and death are still fresh in our minds.

 

This is unacceptable! Nigeria is not practicing despotism. Ours is a country structured on the principles of federalism and democracy. We did not vote a tyrant as President. We believed that we voted a man with the right experience and discipline who would will be for all of us and defend us not just his ethnic group. What crime did we commit by going out in large numbers under the Sun to vote for President Buhari that he has now chosen to reward our love with hatred and our ballots with bullets?

From all indications, President Muhammadu Buhari is for somebody and not for everybody, contrary to his words on May 29, 2015 when he took the oath of office.

We want Mr President to remember that our children and grand children also deserve a decent future; a future they will no longer be afraid to go to bed with the thought of being slaughtered by rampaging herders. The humanity and conscience in President Buhari should make him to think about the thousands of children whose parents were killed by herdsmen and are now in internally displaced persons camps for four years as orphans! Don’t such children deserve to live in a country they call their own? What about the hundreds of widows whose husbands were slaughtered by herders and thrown to the birds to feed? Don’t they deserve to return to their lonely homes to start life in the dehumanizing way?

At the last count, Benue had over one million displaced people!

We Concerned Benue Mothers Say No to Grazing Reserves and any similar policy that seeks to enslave our people and hand our lands to killer Fulani herdsmen!

We have also observed a disturbing trend where Fulani militia attack our people but the Federal Government comes out swiftly to absolve them of any blame. A recent example was when Governor Ortom was attacked on his farm by those who say that he is standing in their way to conquering Benue and other parts of Nigeria. The terror group known as Fulani Nationality Movement, FUNAM came out to claim responsibility of the attempt on the Governor’s life. Yet, the Nigerian Police Force exonerated the group. The police high command deployed an investigation team to Benue which confirmed the identities of the culprits as armed Fulani herdsmen. The police made arrests and took the suspects to Abuja only for the Inspector General of Police to go to Aso Villa a few days after and declare that those who wanted to kill Governor Ortom were not Fulani people! What a shame! This is condemnable. Is the Nigerian Police now a Fulani Police Force and no longer for the protection of all Nigerians?

OUR DEMANDS

 

We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently address the nation and caution Fulani herdsmen to stop the killings. We know that if he makes the address directly to Fulanis and means every word of what he says, they will listen to him.

The President should, as a matter of urgency, announce the cancellation of his plan to impose grazing reserves on Nigerians and instead evolve a National Ranching Policy.

The Federal Government should also throw its weight behind Southern Governors’ Asaba declaration against open grazing.

President Buhari should motivate security agencies and direct them to be professional and neutral in the discharge of their duties.

We also expect Mr President to call his appointees to order to stop assaulting the sensibilities of Nigerians. What the Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami said comparing the ban on open grazing with spare parts business was insensitive, condemnable and akin to fanning embers of crisis. The other aide of the President called Garba Shehu denigrates anyone who holds an opinion contrary to that of the Presidency. This is gross negation of the tenets of democracy. In democracies where government is of the people and for the people, leaders of such countries listen to constructive criticism in order to improve.

We call on the international community and lovers of peace across the world to show interest in what is happening in Nigeria, particularly in the Middle Belt region where killings of innocent people by herders have become a common sight.

Benue for instance, is the food basket of Nigeria and for many years, farmers have been displaced from their ancestral lands. The ugly scenario has resulted to food crises and is set to take a more dangerous dimension if not stopped now.

We expect the Federal Government to fulfill its promise to assist the Benue State Government in resettling the displaced people back to their homes. The longer the IDPs stay in the camps, the worse their plight will get.

We also want to urge our sons and daughters who are still sitting on the fence to wake up and speak against the evil being perpetrated in our land. This matter is not only about Governor Samuel Ortom. Benue sons home and abroad who think that they are not affected by the crisis must know that we are all casualties whether we are at home or not. They should raise their voices to condemn the injustice being visited on us. This is no time for politicking. They should send relief materials to those in IDP camps and also solicit the support of international donor organizations to come to the aid of our people.

Finally, we wish to call on Nigerians who love justice, peace and equity, to rise and condemn what is happening to the innocent people of Benue State. The killer herdsmen are still here with us. They have resorted to guerrilla warfare. They now attack our people in their sleep and leave their familiar trademark of death.

Enough is enough!

Thank you all and God bless Nigeria.

Signed:

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTOS: Civil Society Groups Protest In Abuja, Condemn Killings Across Nigeria

 

Members of the civil society groups are protesting the rising level of killings in different parts of the country, calling for demanding accountability from the government.

The groups on Friday gathered in front of the National Human Rights Commission in Abuja, for a walk tagged “Day of Mourning”.

They displayed placards with inscriptions such as “End kidnapping,” “Nigerians Lives Matter,” and “I stand for Rights to Life” among others.

See Photos Below:

 

CAN Declares Three Days Prayers Against Killings, Banditry, Others

A file photo of some Christians gathered at a church in Abuja. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has declared three days of prayers against insecurity and other problems in the land.

CAN National General Secretary, Daramola Joseph, announced this in a circular dated May 11, 2021, and addressed to the leadership of the Christian body at various levels.

He explained that the leadership of the association considered the prayers important for God’s mercy and intervention in the continued killings, banditry, terrorism, and other problems facing the country.

Noting that the prayers were scheduled to hold between May 28 and 30, Joseph hinted that all local churches were directed to gather in the evening of each day.

He asked them to pray to God in the attitude of soberness for the bloodshed of many innocent Nigerians.

The CAN listed some of the suggested prayer points to include seeking forgiveness for sins committed by the church or Nigerians, especially their leaders.

Another important point was a prayer for the speedy recovery of Nigeria from all its losses to make it a nation everyone in the world would love to be.

Read the circular by the religious body below:

11th May 2021

To All:

National Leaders,

Bloc Leaders,

Zonal Chairmen,

State Chairmen & their Secretaries.

 

Dear Sir,

NATIONAL DAYS OF SOBERNESS/MOURNING AND FERVENT PRAYERS FOR GOD’s MERCY BY CHRISTIANS IN NIGERIA FROM FRIDAY, 28TH MAY – SUNDAY, 30TH MAY 2021.

This is to inform you that the CAN President, in view of the continuous killings, banditry, and host of other problems in Nigeria has considered it imperative and absolutely necessary that our country needed prayers for God’s mercy and intervention in our land.

Consequently, all local churches are expected to gather in the evening of each day set aside for the prayers to pray to God in the attitude of mourning or soberness for the bloodshed of many innocent Nigerians most especially Christians.

In the light of these, the following are the suggested prayer points to be followed during the said prayer meetings:

o That we are sad and pained for the blood of many innocent Nigerians that evil people in our midst had shed or for those kidnapped and abused in various ways. That God should forgive our sins wherever we as a church or Nigerians, especially our leaders had sinned against God.

o That the plans of the evil people in our midst to paralyze human, social and economic activities in this nation and throw the nation into chaos would be foiled by the Lord Jesus Christ.

o That any religious madness, or war that would not allow us to worship God in the way we are convinced to worship Him would be nullified by the Lord.

o Pray that the church would prevail over all threats to her existence in Nigeria. That the gate of hell will never prevail against the church in the name of Jesus.

o That our leaders would do justice in leadership and show fairness to all ethnic and religious groups in all their actions so as to douse ethnic and religious tensions we have presently.

o That the law enforcement agents would rise to their responsibilities and provide the necessary security we need in Nigeria.

o That every step the terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, gunmen and other wicked people in our midst take henceforth would be failed. That unseen hands and the army of the Lord would fight them and Nigeria would be at peace.

o Pray and plant righteousness, Godliness, prosperity, peace, and love in our nation.

o Pray for the speedy recovery of our nation from all our losses so that this nation might become very soon a nation that everyone in the world would love to be.

o Pray to break the yoke of the generational curse that might have been placed on Nigeria and her leadership during the slave trade by the victims.

Thank You

Signed

Daramola Bade Joseph

CAN’s National General Secretary

11 May 2021

Ebube Agu Not After IPOB – Umahi

Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi

 

Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi has said that the newly created security outfit in the southeast, Ebube Agu, is not against the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).

The governor stated this on Friday during the handing over of some vehicles to security agencies to aid their work of bringing safety to lives and property of the residents of the state in Abakaliki.

Governors from the South-East had on April 11 have established a security network as part of plans to checkmate the rising unrest in the region, stemming from an increase in criminal activities.

According to a communique put out by governors of the Southeast, the agency is to oversee and monitor the activities of vigilante groups in the region.

But Umahi, who is also the Chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum said the regional leaders did not float the security outfit because they were at loggerheads with the outlawed IPOB.

READ ALSO: ‘EBUBE AGU’: South-East Governors Establish New Outfit To Tackle Rising Unrest

“Ebube Agu is not after the Eastern Security Network (ESN) or after IPOB, no. Ebube Agu is meant to protect the people of Ebonyi State and her visitors,” he said.

“I have asked every citizen of Ebonyi State to protect themselves against any killing, no Ebonyi person should be killed again by anybody for any reason.

“We will not take the killing of any Ebonyi person lightly any longer. We have not deployed our Ebube Agu. The social media is saying we have deployed, we merely said this is the uniform we are preparing.”

Umahi said Nigerian youths were aggrieved, adding that leaders must find a way of engaging them in order to bring the current partial breakdown of law and order under control.

National Security: Buhari Disappointed, Sad To Hear Ortom’s Accusations – Presidency

Photo combination of President Muhammadu Buhari and Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom.

 

The presidency has reacted to accusations levelled against President Muhammadu Buhari by the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom over the insecurity in the country.

Ortom had on Tuesday accused President Buhari of working for the Fulani ethnic stock to take over Nigeria in a reaction to the recent killing of residents allegedly perpetrated by herdsmen.

But the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, condemned Governor Ortom for blaming President Buhari for the deaths.

READ ALSO: Insurgency: We Are Committed To Destroying Boko Haram Terrorists – COAS

In a statement titled ‘Governor Ortom Only Sees The Problems Of Others, He Doesn’t See His Own,’ on Thursday Shehu said the President was saddened by the killings in the country as well as the governor’s accusations.

He said, “The President expresses his condolences to the families of our dear citizens who lost their loved ones in the recent spate of killings in Benue State.

“Furthermore, he states that the rising levels of incidents, especially the killings and violence in various parts of the country call for further collaboration with security agencies to curb its recurrence.

“He also states his disappointment and sadness to hear Samuel Ortom, the Governor of Benue State make a litany of accusations against his person and his government following the recent unfortunate incidents in the state.”

‘Deeply pained’

President Buhari and his administration has come under heavy criticism over the violence and killings in several parts of the country. While many critics have accused him of failing to act to secure the nation, Mr Shehu suggested that the government was working to secure the nation.

“No responsible government takes pleasure in such events as the killing of the military and that of innocent citizens taking refuge in an Internally Displaced People’s camp,” he said.

“President Buhari is deeply pained by the terrible acts of violence happening not only in Benue State but also in other parts of the country and expects that the law enforcement agencies will go to every possible extent to catch the perpetrators of these heinous acts and bring them to justice.”

On April 27, after some internally displaced persons were killed in an IDP camp in Benue, Governor Ortom said: “What is happening now, to me, is very clear; Mr President is just working for these Fulanis to take over the whole country.”

“His body language is what is being played out. The body language, the action and inaction of Mr. President shows that he is only the President of Fulani people; I have known this.”

He also lamented that no fewer than 70 people have been killed in the last two weeks in three local governments in the Benue State.

See Garba Shehu’s full statement below:

GOVERNOR ORTOM ONLY SEES THE PROBLEMS OF OTHERS,  HE DOESN’T SEE HIS OWN

The President expresses his condolences to the families of our dear citizens who lost their loved ones in the recent spate of killings in Benue State.

Furthermore, he states that the rising levels of incidents, especially the killings and violence in various parts of the country call for further collaboration with security agencies to curb its recurrence.

He also states his disappointment and sadness to hear Samuel Ortom, the Governor of Benue State make a litany of accusations against his person and his government following the recent unfortunate incidents in the state.

No responsible government takes pleasure in such events as the killing of the military and that of innocent citizens taking refuge in an Internally Displaced People’s camp. President Buhari is deeply pained by the terrible acts of violence happening not only in Benue State but also in other parts of the country and expects that the law enforcement agencies will go to every possible extent to catch the perpetrators of these heinous acts and bring them to justice.

The lives of fellow citizens should not be desecrated by deploying them in political diatribe which unfortunately appeared to be the intent of the string of emotional attacks and blame laid at the doors of the President for those killings by Governor Ortom. President Buhari took an oath to defend the life and property of every citizen, a duty he takes seriously and is committed to ensuring.

Those citizens regardless of their affiliations, who either incite, sponsor or are proven to be abettors of these atrocities will face the law squarely and be answerable for their crimes against our fellow citizens and nation.

President Buhari continuously stresses that the strength of our country lies in our diversity in faith, culture, and traditions and attempts to sharpen the divide between northern and southern Nigeria, between Muslims and Christians, and between communities that have coexisted for centuries should be frowned upon and resisted. As Nigerians, we accuse colonial rulers of the policy of divide and rule. Today, it is our own leaders who put region against region, religion against religion, ethnic group against ethnic group and community against community.

The future of Benue State and indeed that of the entire country lies in harmony and respect for the law, order, and the constitution. It is the only way to achieve progress and development.

While the President will continue to keep security, police and the armed forces on their toes to be on top of their act in troubled parts of the country, the situation in the states will greatly be helped by everyone working together because that is the foundation on which progress and prosperity can be achieved.

Benue under the Ortom administration ought to cooperate with the Federal Government in the implementation of a number of national strategies programs in addressing underlying issues militating against peace, progress and development. This can still get done when the interest of the people is placed above all other interests. A government voted into office by the people, should treat the people as its masters and not as its servants.

Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

April 29, 2021

 

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.

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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.

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