Police Mounts Road Blocks In Lafia As Tension Mounts Over Suspected Attack

NAsarawa_LafiaThe Nasarawa State capital, Lafia, is in state of high alert following reports of an Ombatse Militia Group making its way towards the town for a retaliatory attack.

The security concern follows Saturday night’s attack on Alakio by suspected Fulani herdsmen, with unconfirmed reports of the killing of the Ombatse traditional ruler, Baba Alakio, among others.

Channels Television correspondent reports that police have mounted roadblocks and surveillance across Lafia Town to forestall any further breakdown of law and order.

The militants are reported to have earlier attacked Shabu, a settlement on the outskirts of the state capital and burned over 20 houses.

A man suspected to be an Ombatse militant was also killed and set ablaze along Emir Road in the state capital.

There are also unconfirmed reports that about 8 people have been killed in skirmishes between Ombatse and Alago tribesmen at the outskirts of Lafia.

The State Police Public Relations Officer, Theodore Ugochukwu, who confirmed the Alakio attack by herdsmen, said the police have increased security around Lafia Town.

 

Boko Haram’s Expiry Date Is Near – Chima Nnaji

Chima NnajiA public affairs analyst and lawyer, Chima Nnaji, on Thursday predicted that the end of the Boko Haram insurgency is near, while airing his views on the activities of the group as well as the conspiracy theories surrounding it.

“There’s nothing hidden under the sun and it’s only a matter of time because everything under the sun has expiry date and that date will come and it is very near. When the wound is about to heal, the scratching increases” he said concerning the activities of the terrorists and their sponsors.

The group recently gained global attention following the kidnap of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State which seems to be the biggest hit by the insurgents in the entire country.

However, the arrest of one of the Nyanya bomb blast suspects 48 hours after he was declared wanted was described as a commendable feat by the analyst.

“This is one of the results of collaboration and it’s a good development,” he said, adding that “no one single group or body can achieve much result all alone,” he said, while stressing the importance of team work in the fight against terrorism.

On reports that soldiers of the 7th Division attacked a vehicle carrying their General Officer Commander (GOC), Nnaji said it was not the first time related cases would he heard, making reference to an officer who was allegedly a member of the cultist group, Omabatse, responsible for the death of several policemen.

“This is a very trying time because it’s a war without front. You don’t know who you are fighting. People are shouting Boko Haram, but there might be one Haram Boko in the system doing a reverse function of what the State is about to do,” he said.

He noted that the #BringBackOurGirls campaign was a “task that must be done” but maintained that the aggression was displaced. “The President did not cause the kidnap,” he said, adding that the Boko Haram insurgency was engineered by ‘some people.’

Nnaji further corroborated the conspiracy theories which blamed government opposition for staging the insurgency which has spiraled out of control.

He insisted that those directly affected by the terrorists activities, the North East region, are not as agitated or pro-active in the rescue mission as protesters in other parts of the country.

Agbaje Says Emergency Rule Will Alter Existing Legal Order

Lawyer and public affairs analyst, Fred Agbaje has said that the imposition of state of emergency on some troubled northern states is comparable to a military coups d’état.

Mr Agbaje, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise daily, said President Goodluck Jonathan did the right thing by not suspending constitutionally elected officials while declaring the emergency rule.

He however said in principle when the President declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, “the existing legal order must give way to the new one because the two cannot operate pari passu or concomitantly.”

Mr Agbaje said President Jonathan should have suspended the executive and legislative arms of government in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states while the state of emergency lasted.

He said though the Nigerian constitution does not empower the President to sack democratically elected officials, it also did not say that the president cannot remove these officials from office during a state of emergency.

Emergency Rule: Why Jonathan Didn’t Remove Governors – Abati

The Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati on Wednesday said the president action of declaring a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states does not violate any part of the Nigerian constitution.

Mr Abati, who disclosed this in an interview with Channels Television, said thought the constitution gave President Jonathan the power to declare a state of emergency on any state where there is a breakdown of public order and public safety, it does not empower him to remove democratically elected officials.

President Jonathan had on Tuesday imposed a state of emergency on Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states as a step in curtailing the growing tide of insurgency in northern Nigeria.

In a nationwide broadcast, the President drew his power on section 305(3 (c) (d) (f) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, which states that the President shall have power to issue a state of emergency only when “there is actual breakdown of public order and public safety, there is a clear and present danger of an actual breakdown of public order and safety in the federation or any part to require extraordinary measure to restore peace and security or to avert such danger” and there is any other public danger which clearly constitutes a threat to the existence of the Federation.

Watch the video below for the full interview with Mr Abati.

Economist Says Foreign Investors Will Not Be Deterred By Emergency Rule

An economist and the Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company, Bismarck Rewane has said that the imposition of emergency rule in some troubled northern states is a positive step in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Nigeria.

Mr Rewane, who was a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Business Morning said in a crisis ridden country, investors expect that the government do nothing, do the right things or do the wrong things.

The economist said Nigerians must abandon the notion that it will only take foreign investors to alter the economic destiny of the country.

He said, “Let us get away from this understanding that foreign investors are going to alter Nigerian’s economic destiny. If domestic investors do not invest in a country, no foreign investor will invest there.

Default Mode of Nigerians Is Fraud – Lawyer

A lawyer, Kenneth Odidika on Wednesday said that corruption is so widespread in Nigeria that the default mode of the citizens of this country is fraud.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Odidika said the declaration of emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states following the incessant violent attacks in these areas is a good move by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The lawyer blamed corruption as responsible for the proliferation of illegal weapons especially those in the control of the rebel groups in Northern Nigeria.

He said, “Our default mode as Nigerians is fraud. These arms and ammunitions are not invincible; they don’t come to Nigeria and then materialize. They are brought in through our borders and I can assure you some of the borders are not even the ones we talk about in Yobe and Adamawa. I’m talking about through our ports and we have Customs people there.”

Speaking on the state of emergency declared on three troubled states in the North, Mr Odidika said this is a sign that President Jonathan is not weak and should serve as a warning to other state governments that have not been able to curtail violence in their domain.

He said, “By virtual of what he did yesterday (Tuesday), it is obvious now to those who thought he couldn’t act that this man could actually act and he could bite.

“If what has happened in Kano continuous, chances is that he will take the same action and even more drastic one.”

Criminologist Says Kano Also Qualifies For Emergency Rule

A Professor of Criminology, Femi Odekunle has said the declaration of emergency rule in three northern states by President Goodluck Jonathan should have included Kano.

Mr Odekunle, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the president took the right step by declaring emergency rule in an area occupied by some people who are waging war against the state.

He said, “I thought there must be some criteria for declaring a state of emergency on any part of the country. And I was thinking, from all indications, why is Kano for example excluded because Kano had suffered in terms of quantum and quality of terrorist damage like the other states.”

Mr Odekunle argued that based on the frequency of attacks in Kano, President Jonathan should have included it among Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states that are currently under emergency rule.

In what appeared to be about the boldest step taken by the Federal Government in tackling the insurgency in the northern part of Nigeria, President Jonathan on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

The President said the state of emergency is a necessary step to halt the insurgency of the dreaded Boko Haram members who have turned down the offer of dialogue and amnesty extended to them by the Federal Government.

Watch the full interview with Mr Odekunle below:

Nasarawa Police Ambush: Gov Confirms 43 Deaths

The Governor of Nasarawa state; Tanko Al-Makura, has confirmed the death of 43 persons in Wednesday’s attack by a cult group in the state on officers of the Nigerian Police Force.

Speaking in Lafia while receiving officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Governor Al-Makura announced that 17 more bodies are still been expected.

Diverse figures have been reported since the ambush with some claiming 100 officers were killed in the massacre.

The Governor noted that the attack was a huge surprise as the security men were doing their legitimate job to bring about peace but unfortunately, they were ambushed by the militia group, Ombatse which had been outlawed by the state.

He added that the activities of the cult group had become a problem to the state as they have transformed into a militia group launching attacks on churches and mosques.

He assured residents of the state that the government will do all it can to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The state ‘s Commissioner of Police; Abayomi Akeremale, on Thursday told journalists that the contingent of 20 police officers were on a mission to raid the Ombatse shrine.

Leader of the NEMA team, Air Commodore Charles Otegbade, declared the agency’s commitment to bring succour to displaced persons through the provision of relief materials.

The Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of the zone; Michael Zuokumor in an interview with Channels TV, disclosed that normalcy has returned to the state as the security agencies are intensifying their efforts to prevent a reoccurrence.

Lawmaker Begs Police To Forgive Militia That Killed Over 60 Police Officers In Nasarawa

A member of the House of Representatives; Joseph Kigbu on Thursday urged the House to appeal to authorities of the Nigeria Police Force to forgive the militia group; Ombatse, that killed over 60 police officers in an ambush in Nasarawa state.

Representative Kigbu urged the militia to embrace peace and find an amicable solution to the crisis that has claimed an untold number of lives.

The House leadership also urged the force to let go of any plan to retaliate against the killing its personnel by a suspected cult group.

Lawmakers condemned the attack on the police officers who were ambushed on a mission to dislodge the group, but urged restraint. They pledged to institute a team to reach out to the spouses of the slain officers.

Leading the debate on the killings, Mr Kigbu stated that within six months, the state has lost many people as a result of similar clashes.

He urged the federal government and Nasarawa state government to dialogue with the group involved in the killings instead of retaliating.

“We cannot condone it anymore as the crisis if not checked will stretch to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja,” Mr. Haruna warned.