Buratai Blames Zamfara Violence, Others On Aggrieved Politicians

No Efforts Will Be Spared In Flushing Out Boko Haram Remnants, Says Buratai
Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai

 

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has blamed the violence in Zamfara and other states in the north-west on aggrieved politicians who lost out in the recently conducted elections.

Buratai stated this on Wednesday when the House of Representatives Committee on the Army visited the Headquarters of the Theatre Command Operation Lafiya in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

“I want to believe and rightly so that what is going on in the northwest is a fall out of the just concluded general elections.

“There are several political interests; politicians in particular who lost in the election and because of their defeat, therefore they are trying to take revenge sponsoring some of those banditry activities and seeming conflicts between farmers and herders,” he stated.

The Army chief explained that strong evidence indicates that the attacks, including the kidnappings going on in the northwest, have political undertones.

READ ALSO: Military Dissociates Self From Call To Topple Buhari’s Administration

According to him, the House Committee’s visit is an opportunity to call on the members to prevail on some of these politicians to look at national interest first before any other political or sectional interest.

“We have some strong evidence, but we are still being conscious, but the best thing is to advise these politicians who are aggrieved for no just cause and are inflicting serious injury and discomfort to individuals and the country,” he said.

Buratai’s claim comes nine days after the Nigerian Army banned the use of motorcycles in the north-western states of the country, due to the increased rate of kidnapping and banditry.

While announcing the ban in a statement, the Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, said the affected states are Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara and Niger.

The Army explained that “armed bandits, criminals and kidnappers hibernate and all around where troops are conducting operations alongside other security agencies.”

The development follows ongoing military operations in the affected states code-named Exercise Harbin Kunama aimed at combating security challenges in the area.

We Won’t Tolerate Holding Our Officials Hostage, INEC Warns Politicians

We Won’t Tolerate Holding Our Officials Hostage, INEC Warns Politicians
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at a press conference in Abuja on March 7, 2019. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cautioned politicians against electoral malpractice during the governorship and state house of assembly elections scheduled for Saturday.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, gave the warning on Thursday at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Professor Yakubu warned political actors, especially those contesting in the elections that anyone found culpable in any form of electoral malpractice would not receive the certificate of return.

He said, “The commission is concerned that many of our materials, including ballot boxes, voting cubicles, voters’ registers, and smart cards, were lost to the act of hooliganism and thuggery in the elections held two weeks ago.”

READ ALSOAdebutu Endorses Akinlade, Asks Ogun PDP Supporters To Vote APM

“Most worrisome is the attack on electoral officials. Some of our staff were abducted and taken hostage in an attempt to disrupt elections or influence the outcome,” the INEC boss decried.

He added, “The commission will not tolerate the act of holding our officials hostage and forcing them to declare winner under duress. Where such occurs, the commission will not reward bad behaviour by issuing them the certificates of return.”

 

The INEC chairman was briefing reporters at an interface with the heads of security and other relevant agencies, as part of preparations for the coming polls.

He noted that that the nation’s security agencies have worked effectively to ensure that the elections were conducted under a peaceful atmosphere.

Professor Yakubu also said that lessons can be learned from the incidences of violence during the presidential and National Assembly elections.

He commended the police for the several arrests made as a result of violence recorded in parts of the country during the February 23 elections.

The INEC boss said, “I wish to assure Nigerians that the commission will work very closely with the Inspector General of Police and the Nigerian Police to ensure the diligent prosecution of all violators of our electoral laws.”

See photos below;

R-L: INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, with acting Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, at a press conference in Abuja on March 7, 2019. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, at a press conference in Abuja on March 7, 2019. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

Elections: DSS Warns Politicians, Youths To Shun Violence

Elections: DSS Warns Politicians, Youths To Shun Violence

 

The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned politicians and youths to flee from violent related activities in the country.

The agency gave the warning in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Mr Peter Afunanya, on Monday, less than one week to the elections.

“Politicians and the youth are expected to shun all acts of violence the same way observers are urged to keep to the fundamentals and principles of election monitoring as allowed by law and global best practice,” Afunanya said.

He added, “Without doubt, the Electoral Act is clear on the roles of stakeholders.”

The DSS spokesman, however, urged all stakeholders including politicians, voters, and observers among others to be law abiding and observe the rules of engagement.

READ ALSOBoko Haram: PDP Berates FG As APC Insists Insurgents ‘Have Been Caged’

He explained that doing so was relevant to the success of the exercise while the Service would commit itself to the provision of adequate security throughout the period of the electoral process.

“The common aim of all and sundry should be for Nigeria to hold successful elections that will be adjudged free, fair, transparent and credible and accepted nationally and internationally,” Afunanya said.

He added, “Everyone is urged to conduct themselves properly before, during and after the elections and avoid actions that may cause breakdown of law and order.

“On its part, the DSS will professionally discharge its statutory mandate which, among others, is to detect and prevent threats and crimes against the internal security of Nigeria.”

The DSS spokesman added that the Service would engage stakeholders appropriately in a bid to ensure the protection and success of the elections.

He stressed that ensuring security that would make the electoral process acceptable to participants and their supporters was important to the Service.

In this regard, Afunanya said the DSS was determined to identify and arrest criminals and their collaborators whose activities oppose the objective of achieving peaceful and orderly elections.

He, thereafter, warned that the Service would not condone fake news, incendiary or hate speeches aimed at whipping up dangerous ethnic, religious, and political sentiments capable of promoting violence.

“Prospective lawbreakers are forewarned to steer clear of acts capable of undermining national security and stability,” Afunanya said.

“The Service will, however, not stand idly and watch miscreants and mischief makers bring avoidable chaos and disorder upon the nation.”

The DSS spokesman urged Nigerians to support the security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct violence-free elections.

He also them to promptly provide the agencies with information regarding suspected thuggery, theft of electoral materials, and violence of any kind that can bring the nation’s democratic journey to question.

Afunanya said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the following telephone lines and e-mail address (07055655591; 09030002189 and [email protected]) can be used to reach the Service during the period under reference.”

2019 Elections: Northern Traditional Rulers Warn Politicians Against Rigging, Other Malpractices

2019 Elections: Northern Traditional Rulers Warn Politicians Against Rigging, Other Malpractices

 

Traditional rulers of the 19 northern states have called on politicians to shun acts capable of causing tension in the country.

The royal fathers made the call on Wednesday at the Fifth General Assembly of the Northern Traditional Rulers Council in Kaduna State.

The meeting tagged ‘Pervasive Insecurity In An Election Year; Prospects And Challenges’, was also attended by the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Yakubu Mahmood.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Council and Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar, said the meeting was convened to discuss the preparedness of the electoral umpire for the general elections in 2019.

He identified some areas which he noted if not properly addressed by the Federal Government could hamper the peaceful conduct of the polls.

The Sultan explained that the meeting with the INEC Chairman has become crucial because of the fundamental debate across party lines bordering on whether the commission was fully ready and committed to conducting credible, free and fair elections next year.

On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, he noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has withheld assent to the bill and the controversy that followed, especially the reaction of the National Assembly to the President’s decision.

The council chairman then asked the next step INEC would take should the lawmakers override the President to pass the bill into law, as being purported in some quarters.

 

On his part, the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, was concerned about the issue of security during the elections.

He called for the prosecution of election offenders by a special tribunal which he said would reduce incidents of rigging by politicians.

“Elections are never rigged by the electoral body, or by the police, or by security (agencies). Elections are rigged by politicians,” the Emir stated.

“If politicians see this as a matter of life and death; if you are in office whether or not the people want you, you must remain; or if you want to take an office whether or not they want you, you must take it; that is where they try to compromise INEC, compromise the police.”

The traditional ruler believes there is a need to continue to call on politicians to respect the rule of democracy, as a way of ensuring credible elections.

He also warned those seeking election into political offices against violence and intimidating the electorate during the polls.

The Emir said, “Electoral fraud and rigging do not happen on election day alone. We have seen political parties have rallies and people come out with dangerous weapons, swinging them around and being a threat to the general population.

“You create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation that may stop people from coming out to vote on voting day; that is part of rigging.”

He decried that nothing has been done to address these issues, adding that it was not the first time he would raise such alarm.

Issues raised by other members of the council include poor voter education, election manipulation, insecurity, and logistics challenges, among others.

Professor Mahmood, in his response, informed the traditional rulers that INEC was fully committed conduction credible and fair elections in 2019.

He added that the electoral body would continue to protect the nation’s democratic governance through a credible election process.

The INEC boss, however, blamed politicians who overheat the polity or blackmail the commission whenever the outcome of an election was not in their favour.

2019 Elections: Don’t Endanger The Lives Of Citizens, Abdulsalami Warns Politicians

 

A former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retired), has warned politicians in the country against endangering the lives of Nigerians ahead of the general elections in 2019.

General Abubakar, who is also the Chairman of the National Peace Committee, gave the warning during an interview on Channels Television.

“Let us do the right thing and ensure we do not endanger the lives of citizens of this country in trying to avoid violence during the election,” he said on the latest edition of Question Time which aired on Thursday.

He added, “And let us campaign on issues and not on personal (basis). I believe these gentlemen who are front-runners are decent people who will avoid violence, who will not allow their followers to take to violence.”

Former Head of State and Chairman of the National Peace Committee, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (retired).

 

The former Head of State’s interview aired following the signing of the peace accord by President Muhammadu Buhari, and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, among other presidential candidates.

Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, as well as former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, were among candidates that have signed the agreement.

Speaking further about the forthcoming elections, General Abubakar says he is in no ‘tight corner’ amid claims that two of the candidates are considered as his political associates.

According to him, the political elites must ensure they put the interest of the nation first before considering their respective local government areas or states of origin.

The peace committee chairman, thereafter, advised the political parties and persons contesting in the elections to refrain from the politics of bitterness and the use of abusive language.

He said, “We are too happy with how the campaigns are taking place. We want to make sure that the campaign should be focused on issues, not on personalities.

“A party has a manifesto; candidates should try to sell the manifesto of his party.”

“What we have seen of recent is that some people have started using some abusive languages, people carrying weapons, big sticks and so on. And I think this has no role in democracy,” he added.

General Abubakar said the committee would remain committed to bringing harmony and sanitising the nation’s political system.

2019 Elections: APC Asks Nigerians To Resist Desperate Politicians

Ekiti APC Governorship Primaries: Aspirants Insist Poll Must Be Credible

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on Nigerians to resist desperate politicians ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The party in a statement by its Acting National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena, claimed that some political parties were bent on deploying illegal, undemocratic and sinister means to manipulate elections.

It warned that the discovery was a “red flag” which security agencies must be alert to as political activities heighten in the lead-up to coming elections.

The party also reiterated the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to improve the electoral system in the country.

“We also call on all well-meaning Nigerians to support ongoing progressive efforts by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration to ensure that our elections are transparent, free, fair and credible,” the statement said.

The APC also called on the opposition to cooperate in ensuring the peoples’ votes count, adding that the will of Nigerians would “prevail in all elections.”

On the budget for the 2019 elections, the party appealed to the leadership of the National Assembly to “urgently do the needful by reconvening to consider and pass the 2019 election budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”

 

No Arm Of Govt Can Exist Without Another, Ambode Tells Politicians

No Arm Of Govt Can Exist Without Another, Ambode Tells Politicians
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode (file)

 

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has advised politicians across the country to always remember the need to work together in their service to the people who elected them.

He believed it was impossible for any arm of government to exist without the other and as such, there must be collaboration and mutual understanding across party lines for effective governance to take place.

The governor made the remarks on Friday while declaring open the Second Quarterly General Meeting of Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria at the Lagos House in Ikeja.

“There is no arm of government that can exist without another,” he said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, while reacting to the wave of defection by politicians in the country.

He added, “Legislature is vital to the sustenance of democracy. Its stability, equity, and economic prosperity through the effective performance of legislative duties and oversight functions cannot be overemphasised.”

Governor Ambode urged Nigerian lawmakers, including members of the National Assembly, to avoid all acts that can constitute an obstruction to the wheel of progress as a result of party differences.

He noted that the spirit of politics was to serve the people and give back to the society, stressing that politicians across party lines must be constantly reminded that the essence of politics as enshrined in the Constitution was to protect the lives and property, as well as the welfare of the people.

The Governor said, “As politicians, we must ensure that the electorate continues to believe and trust in the principles of equity and the rule of law.

“No arm of government must be a clog in the wheel of progress on the basis of partisan differences and that was why I said that it is very significant that irrespective of our party lines, irrespective of what has happened, we are still here to find a common ground to discuss national issues that relate to autonomy, that relate to State Police and that is the message that we have been sending in the last three and half years.”

“The whole essence of us being called politicians is to be able to give service to our people. When we do the road, bridge or the hospital, it does not ask whether you are PDP or APC neither does it ask whether you are Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba before you can climb on the Third Mainland Bridge.”

Ambode added, “There are only two reasons why we are in this business of politics which are also enshrined in the Constitution – protection of lives and property and welfare of our people and so no matter what strategy or path or geographical landscape we use, what is important is that we should be able to achieve those two objectives.”

The speakers of the 36 State Houses of Assembly in the country were in Lagos to discuss issues of national importance, including the creation of state police among others.

Pro-Buhari Group Accuses ‘Unpatriotic Politicians’ Of Sponsoring Killings

Pro-Buhari Group Accuses 'Unpatriotic Politicians' Of Sponsoring Killings
A file photo of one of the communities attacked by suspected herdsmen in Plateau State in June 2018.

 

A group known as the ‘Buhari Voters Guard and Awareness’ has accused some “disgruntled and unpatriotic politicians” of sponsoring the repeated killings in parts of the country.

Members of the group also alleged that the motive was to discredit the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in securing the lives and property of the people.

READ ALSO: There’s Evidence Of ‘Some Politicians Using Criminals To Perpetuate Killings’ – Presidency

The leader of the group, Mohammed Killani, made the allegations when he addressed a news conference on Wednesday in Kaduna.

He noted that some people who were unhappy with the successes recorded so far in the fight against insecurity and were taking advantage of the herdsmen-farmers crisis.

He added that the said people were hiding under the guise of the conflict to perpetrate further attacks on innocent citizens just to discredit the President.

Killani alleged that the crisis has been taken out of proportion by the political class, hence the need for patriotic citizens to join hands with government to tackle emerging security challenges across the country.

He then called on the police and other security agencies to arrest and prosecute those behind the violence, especially as the nation prepares for the general elections.

The group leader also reacted to the emergence of the Reformed All Progressive Congress (R-APC), which recently formed a coalition with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and over 30 others to unseat President Buhari in 2019.

Killani described members of the R-APC as political opportunists, saying neither the faction nor the coalition would pose any threat to the re-election of the President.

The group’s allegations came on the heels of the continued killings that have claimed hundreds of lives and displaced more since the beginning of the year.

Amid heavy criticism from various parts of the country, President Buhari said the repeated killings of innocent citizens cannot be justified by any religion or culture.

He had also called on Nigerians to rise and condemn the bloodshed in the country, describing such as “wicked, condemnable and completely unacceptable acts”.

Bello Seeks Creation Of Rehabilitation Centre For Looters

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State wants President Muhammadu Buhari to establish a rehabilitation centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The move, he stated, was to reform politicians who have siphoned the state resources over the years.

Bello made this known in Lokoja, the state capital while addressing some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state on the way forward.

While describing the action of the politicians as being worse than the menace of Boko Haram, the governor insisted that they needed to be rehabilitated.

The governor believes that the President should run for a second term as the people of the state and other states would vote massively for him.

The state Chief Executive blamed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the alleged misfortune they have brought to the country.

To Bello, it is only the leadership of Buhari that can salvage the nation out of poverty.

Killings: ‘Mischievous Politicians’ Are Worsening Situation – Police

Killings: 'Mischievous Politicians Are Worsening Situation'
File photo: Jimoh Moshood

 

The Nigeria Police has accused ‘mischievous politicians’ of frustrating its efforts in tackling the herdsmen and farmers’ crisis in the country.

Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Jimoh Moshood, made the allegation on Thursday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

Giving a brief on police operations in Benue and other states where some residents were recently killed by suspected herdsmen, Moshood said, “Utterances from both sides of the divides, and from mischievous politicians are worsening situation which we are trying to clear.”

READ ALSO: Six Persons Killed In Fresh Attacks In Benue LGs

He, however, noted that the police have sent a stern warning to erring individuals that they would not hesitate to prosecute anyone found culpable for creating any public disorder.

“When mischievous politicians decide to create some mess around, the responsibility of the police is to clear these mess and ensure that those who are involved are prosecuted.

“And that is why the Force has sounded a warning; ‘your utterances shouldn’t be one that can incite people to further disturbances” the police spokesman added.

His briefing comes one day after Governor Samuel Ortom confirmed renewed attacks by suspected herdsmen on communities in Logo, Guma, and Okpokwu Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Benue State.

According to the governor, two women were reported killed in Guma and two persons in Logo on Tuesday, while the others were reported killed in Odidi and Ojokpailo in Okpokwu LGA on Wednesday.

The police, on their part, confirmed the death of only two persons in Guma LGA, although the cause is yet to be ascertained.

Moshood said: “It’s not five like they said, two corpses of two women were found in Guma yesterday (Wednesday) by the police.

“Some exhibits were recovered at the scene and we are still going to look at what is the cause of this latest attack in that village.”

He said measures have been put in place to contain the incident from spreading into other communities.

The police spokesman further stressed that the Force is committed to carrying out its responsibilities without bias as there was also a reported attack on some herdsmen settlements.

He said, “The police have prevented the so-called crisis from spreading beyond Guma and Logo local government areas of Benue state, and there is equally an incident where the Fulani settlements were equally attacked in another area which is close towards Enugu.”

France Arrests 10 Over Suspected Plot Targeting Politicians

 

Ten people were arrested in France on Tuesday over a suspected plot to target mosques and politicians, including a government spokesman, a source close to the investigation told AFP.

The arrests by anti-terror police of suspects aged 17-25 were part of an investigation into far-right activists, the source said.

The nine men and one woman are suspected of links to Logan Alexandre Nisin, a former militant of the far-right group Action Francaise Provence who was arrested in June, the source said.

Another source named the targeted politicians as government spokesman Christophe Castaner and radical left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon.

The suspects, taken into custody for “association with terrorist wrongdoers”, were also thought to be plotting to target migrants as well as mosques.

“They were only in the earliest planning stages,” one source said.

A 21-year-old former Action Francaise member was charged in July after making threatening posts on social networks against migrants and jihadists, the sources said.

Nisin was arrested near Marseille on June 28 after posting that he planned to attack blacks, jihadists, migrants and “scum”.

Local prosecutors took up the case initially before the anti-terror prosecutors took it over.

One of the probe sources said investigators had determined that Nisin, who possessed arms and practised shooting, had the intention of following through with his threats.

AFP

Buratai Warns Soldiers To Avoid Politicians

Army Acquires 500 Hectares Of Land For University In BornoThe Chief of Army Staff, LT Gen. Tukur Buratai has asked soldiers and officers who may be interested in joining politics, to apply for voluntary discharge and leave the Army.

The warning, according to him, is coming against the backdrop of reports of officers and soldiers who are being approached by some individuals for what he describes as “undisclosed political reasons.”

In a statement by the Army spokesperson, Brigadier General, Sani Usman, the Army Chief warned officers and soldiers against involvement in politics or any activities that could constitute a breach of the constitution.

“Any officer or soldier of the Nigerian Army found to be hobnobbing with such elements or engaged in unprofessional conducts such as politicking would have himself or herself to blame.”

He says the Nigerian Army remains committed to upholding the nation’s constitution and therefore asked officers and soldiers to stay out of politics.