Insecurity in Nigeria dominates Council of State meeting

The insecurity in Nigeria on Thursday was the issue that dominated the National Council of States meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House in Abuja.

Present at the meeting were past Nigerian leaders including Shehu Shagari, Ernest Shenekan and Abdulsalami Abubakar as well as the governors of the 36 states of the federation or their deputies.

There was no formal briefing after the meeting but sources said that National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki briefed the meeting on security situation in Plateau state and the efforts being put in place so far to nip it in the bud as well as the situation in Mali and its effect on neighbouring countries including Nigeria.

The Belgore Report on constitutional matters and the National Honours list were also discussed during the meeting

The 36 state governors met last night in Abuja to take a common position on the incessant violence in parts of the country ahead of the council meeting.

Officials close to the forum said the governors were discussing the level of insecurity especially in the North, and were considering taking a common position ahead of the Council of State meeting.

The governors’ meeting was summoned in the wake of the latest bloodshed in Plateau State, where dozens of people were in killed in attacks on villages, which also led to the deaths of Senator Gyang Dantong and state legislator Gyang Fulani.

Last night’s meeting was held at the Rivers’ State Governors’ Lodge in Abuja.

The governors’ meeting was attended by governors of Katsina, Kaduna, Borno, Zamfara, Kebbi, Taraba, Jigawa, Kogi, Enugu, Delta, Lagos, Ekiti, Ondo, Ebonyi, Abia, Plateau, Rivers, Bayelsa, Anambra, Gombe and Adamawa states. Deputy governors of Kano, Nasarawa, Niger, Kwara, Ogun and Yobe states were also in attendance.



Senate mourns death of colleague in Jos killing

The Senate on Tuesday suspended all activities to mourn the death of its member representing Plateau North Senatorial district, Senator Gyang Dantong.

Senator Dantong died last Sunday while attending a mass funeral for victims killed in clashes in Plateau state. The Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Honourable Gyang Fulani was also killed in the attack while a member of the House of Representatives was injured.

An empty agenda was on the paper of the Senate as a sign that the upper chambers of the National Assembly was not going to discuss any issue for the day, to honour the late Dantong.

Tears flowed freely inside the Senate chamber, as some lawmakers wore solemn clothes to match their grief.

The usual boisterous lawmakers were subdued.

The Senate leader Victor Ndoma-Egba, moved the only motion of the day.

The lawmakers, led by the Senate president, signed the condolence register.

The late Senator Gyang Dantong died on Sunday July 8th in renewed crises in Plateau state.

Scores of Nigerians were also killed in the violence that lasted through the weekend.

Senate President, David Mark and some lawmakers restated that dialogue still remains the solution to the insecurity crises.

Other lawmakers eulogized the late Senator describing him as a peace maker.

However some visibly upset lawmakers condemned the incessant killings of Nigerians and the inability of government to find a solution to the crises.

For the lawmakers and many Nigerians, this level of insecurity on a daily basis needs urgent solution by the government.

Jos Killings: David Mark visits Jos

The Senate President, Senator David Mark has condemned the killings in some villages of Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas of Plateau state, over the weekend as he paid a visit to the troubled state on Monday.

Amongst those killed in the savage killings that claimed over 100 lives were serving Senator, Senator Gyang Dantong and the Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani.

Describing their death as avoidable and the supreme price for peace Senator David mark commiserated with the state’s governor, Mr Jonah Jang and people of the state.

The Senate President expressed shock on the incessant attacks and he appealed to the perpetrators to embrace dialogue as violence cannot solve any issue no matter the grievances, he stated.

Referring to the persistent targeted killings in the state in the last two years, the state governor noted that the state has been under siege for over two years.

The governor blamed the attacks on the influx of foreigners into the state and he renewed his call to security operatives to intervene on the activities of those he called terrorists, who are in the state are determined to cause instability in the state and the northern part of the country.

The Senate President in company of other Senators and members of the House of Representatives visited the state to commiserate with the government and people of plateau state urging them to be prayerful and see the death of the parliamentarians as the supreme price for peace.

The state government as a means of avoiding reprisal attacks and the breakdown of law and order in the state has imposed a dusk to dawn curfew starting from 6PM every evening to 12 noon till further notice.


Gov Orji describes Senator Dantong’s death as painful

The Abia State governor, Theodore Orji has joined well-meaning Nigerians to mourn the death of Senator Gyang Dantong, a member of the senate and the Majority Leader of Plateau State House of Assembly and other Nigerians who met their untimely death last weekend through the bullets of unknown attackers.

Mr Orji speaking through his chief press secretary Ugochukwu Emezue, described the incident as a big blow not only to the national assembly, Plateau State government and House of Assembly but to all Nigerians.

He said there was no justification for such attack and killings he urged security agencies to rise up to the occasion.

He further described the death of the lawmakers as very painful especially at a time when their contributions in the senate and the state assembly are needed most. He sympathized with the families of the deceased and told them to take heart.

He also consoled the Governor of Plateau State,  Jonah Jang and the members of the State Assembly and the Senate who will surely miss their dead colleagues.

Mr Orji prayed God to grant the souls of the deceased eternal rest.

Fish out killers of Senator Dantong, Jonathan orders Police

President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday ordered security agencies to fish out the killers of a federal Senator, Gyang Dantong.

Mr Dantong, who represented Plateau North constituency and the Majority Leader of the state House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani were on Sunday killed along with over 20 people during an attack by some gunmen.

The incident followed the earlier gruesome discovery of 50 corpses in a church in the area. They were the corpses of members of a church said to have fled an onslaught by Fulani herdsmen.

President Jonathan, speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, described the killing as cruel and regrettable.

Mr Abati said that the President had directed security agencies to carry out a thorough investigation to ensure that the culprits are apprehended and brought to justice in due course.

He further said “President Jonathan commiserates with the government and people of Plateau State and members and the leadership of the Senate on the incident.”

“The Federal Government is working hard to ensure that there is a check on impunity.

“That much was demonstrated with the recent changes made in the top echelon of our security architecture, especially with the appointment of the new National Security Adviser.

“We shall continue to re- invigorate our fight against terrorism and impunity and we are already taking concrete steps. The President further assured citizens of their safety wherever they live,” Mr Abati said.