The Commissioner of police, Nasarawa state command, Mr Umar Shehu has debunked claims that 50 NYSC members serving in Nasarawa state lost their lives as a result of the ethnic clashes in the state.
Although the ethnic violence between the outlawed Ombatse militia of Eggon and the Alago people of Obi local government spreads from Aduba through Obi to Assakio, he assured that youth corps members serving in these areas are under security protection.
Mr Shehu disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the efforts made by security operatives to contain the crisis.
The fresh crisis erupted following the killing of an Eggon man by the Alago group, which led to reprisal attacks yesterday.
The violence between the two ethnic groups began 24 hours ago, with hundreds of houses set ablaze which the police said did not claim any lives.
Mr Umar said that security personnel have contained the crisis in Aduba and Obi local government and 8 additional units of mobile police officers from Benue and Plateau states, are expected in the state before nightfall.
The commissioner also disclosed that detachments of military officers have been drafted in to contain the spate of violence.
Meanwhile, Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Damichi Luka condemned what he described as “unwarranted attack on innocent people” across the state and urged the groups to cease hostilities in the interest of peace.
Over the past 10 days, there has been series of violent attacks in different parts of Nigeria. Starting with the clash between security operatives and suspected members of the Boko Haram sect in Baga, Borno State where over 187 people were killed to the killing of over 20 police officers by cult members in Nasarawa state.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday had to cut short his trip abroad and rushed back to the country to hold emergency meetings with security chiefs in a bid to find solution to the growing insecurity in Nigeria.
Three analysts – Security Expert, Ona Ekhomu, Rights activist, Dare Dairo and the National Coordinator, WANEP, Ifeanyi Okechukwu, who were guests on Channels Television weekend programme, Sunrise, examine steps that should be taken to stem the growing tide of insecurity in Nigeria.
The recent killing of over 60 police officers in Nasarawa state as well as other parts of the country is an indication that respect has been lost for constituted authority, law enforcement and military forces as security operatives have become targets of various attacks.
This was the view of a security consultant; Dr Ona Ekhomu, while speaking on Channels Television breakfast show; Sunrise Daily on Friday.
Dr. Ekhomu noted that there are a lot of factors that are responsible for a successful execution of such killings and ambush and this he listed to include; intention, motivation and feasibility to have the adequate manpower or training to carry out such act.
He explained further that the killings in Nasarawa was a sophisticated one, stating they (the militia) were informed that the officers where coming to arrest the killers and they laid an ambush for the officers.
Dr. Ona said most of these militants might have had military experience, “so that’s how they know how to make use of their information and ambush”.
He advised the police and security agencies to tighten up their ranks, noting that there could be informants within the forces. He called for an internal security capability.
The security expert also stated that where there are operational orders, the deployed officers have to be protected.
He emphasized on the way we handle ambush and violence must change.
Gunmen on Wednesday attacked police officers in Alakio village, 10kilometres from Lafia, the state capital, killing no fewer than 20 police officers.
According to the Commissioner of Police in Nasaarawa state, Mr Akeri Mame, the victims were going about their lawful duty of dislodging some criminal abode before they were hit by gun shots from the unidentified gunmen.
But, the Governor of Nasarawa state, Ibrahim al-Mukura is reported to have told journalists in Lafia that the attackers are cultists, popularly called ‘Ombatse militia group’, that were terrorizing the state.”
He however maintained that no amount of intimidation would stop his administration from continuing with the war against cultists in the state.
A similar attack was allegedly recently staged in the state when security operatives were attacked and killed by the group which also launched attacks on civilians, killing undisclosed number of people a fortnight ago.
Governors of the opposition parties that are involved in merger talks on Tuesday met in Lagos for a closed door meeting.
Attending the meeting were all the governors from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and other opposition political parties such as the All Nigeria People’s Party, (ANPP) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).
In attendance are all the ACN governors from the south west and governors from Yobe, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Borno and Zamfara.
Although no official statement has been made, it is believed that the meeting is in connection with the proposed merger of the ACN, ANPP and CPC.
The three parties are working towards merging to face the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2015 general elections.
The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has directed teachers in all the states that are yet to implement the enhanced salary structure to begin indefinite strike action as soon as the schools resume for a new session in September.
Addressing the media in Abuja, the President of NUT, Comrade Michael Olukoya said the teachers have ran out of patience, three years after an agreement on the payment of the 27.5 per cent enhanced salary scale was signed between the union and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.
The NUT president said the union has exhausted all efforts to convince the teachers that there was significant difference between the payment of Minimum Wage and the 27.5 per cent teachers’ enhanced allowances.
The affected states include Delta, Lagos, Cross River, Ogun, Katsina, Ekiti, Kogi, Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi and Nasarawa states.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Wednesday in Abuja paraded 87 suspected fake corps members who were arrested in Nasarawa based on intelligence reports. The Deputy Commandant-General (DCG) of NSCDC in Nasarawa State, Walter Akubuiroh, who disclosed that the 87 culprits were arrested on Tuesday, said “Due to the security situation in the country, our officers have been keeping surveillance and any abnormality noticed will be immediately investigated, and this arrest is the result of that surveillance”. Mr. Akubuiroh said most of those arrested were young people, desperate graduates, who for various reasons could not go for the national service and were lured into the illegality by a cartel.
The DCG further said some of the suspects escaped during the raid, but he assured that the command was making efforts to arrest them. The suspects, aged between 20 years and 30 years, were first camped in Nyanya, Abuja before they were moved to Toto in Nasarawa State, where they were given kits and call-up letters. They were also training regularly and waiting for deployment letters for their primary assignments before they were rounded up by officers of the NSCDC on Tuesday.
The Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, in conjunction with the Institute for Peace, is set to host a regional peace forum in an attempt to put an end to increasing sect-related violence in Africa’s most populous nation.
The NEMA-hosted forum will take place this week in Lafia, Nasarawa state, the UPI reported.
Director General of the agency, Muhammad Sani-Sidi, announced intentions for the forum after his visit to St. Finbars Catholic Church in Jos, Plateau state where 11 had been killed in suicide bomb attacks.
Sani-Sidi called on community and religious leaders to be more vigilant and security conscious and above all to remain calm and strive for peaceful co-existence. The parish priest, Rev. Peter Umoren thanked the DG for his concern.
A series of bomb attacks targeting worship places have been attributed to the radical Islamic sect Boko Haram. The sect claims to want a wide spread implementation of Shariah law and has claimed responsibility for several attacks targeting security operatives.
Nasarawa United have made arrangement to play their home games in Kafanchan in this season’s Nigeria National League (NNL).
Chairman of the club, Barrister Isaac Danladi said the traditional home of the Lafia based club will be under renovation which will last a period of three months.
“The contract has been awarded and very soon work will start on the (Lafia) stadium. We are hopeful that everything will be done in three months.
“After then Nasarawa United will come back to Lafia. The stadium will certainly be one of the best in the country by the time renovation work is concluded.
“We are eager to play before our home crowd because we know they will act as a motivating force for the players. I want to thank the governor who is working to see that Nasarawa United becomes a brand name in the country with the total renovation of the stadium in Lafia,” said Danladi.
Nasarawa United were relegated from the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) in the 2008/2009 season when they finished 19th with 39 points.