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2019: It’s Game Over For Cabals In Politics – Mike Onoja |The Republican New

Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

Benue South senatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Mike Onoja, has said that his emergence as a senatorial candidate marks the end of cabalism in the zone.

Onoja stated this at the Nocros Primary School, Otukpo, during the decamping ceremony of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members from the Benue South senatorial district commonly known as Zone C to the SDP.

“The era of cabals in Zone C and in the state is ended. We don’t believe in cabalism in SDP and we will not tolerate it. The motor of SDP is good governance, sustainable development and social justice for all. We will make sure that everybody in our party is fairly treated.”

Onoja who noted that this is the first time he was emerging as a candidate of any party, said the SDP had come to change the narrative of underdevelopment that had been known to be the norm in the zone, in the state and in the country at large since 1999 till date.

“I have never participated in a general election before. I have only been participating in primary elections and as you know, primary election is highly manipulated because a few people who are connected sit together and decide who to vote for irrespective of your capacity.

“Since (the return of) democracy in Nigeria in 1999, Idoma has nothing to show for it. This is now time for change and SDP stands for change in Zone C which will bring about development in all spheres of human endeavours. Idoma land is going to see great development if SDP is voted into power.”

The senatorial candidate who expressed optimism of winning the election said the people of the zone were eager to see change in terms of dividends of democracy.

Speaking earlier, state Chairman of the Party, Mr. John Enemari, promised the new entrants that there would be equal opportunities for every member of the party.

In his remark, the senatorial candidate of the party for the Benue North East senatorial district, Chief Barnabas Gemade, disclosed that everyone he campaigned for had always won elections. He urged the people to vote for all candidates of the SDP in the forthcoming elections.

Dignitaries who graced the occasion include Chief Gemade, SDP governorship candidate, Dr. Stephen Hwande, his running mate, Amb. Dickson Akor, and a delegation from the party’s national secretariat among others.  (The Sun)

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Armed Policemen Take Over Benue House Of Assembly Complex |RN

Benue-House-Of-Assembly

 

…As lawmakers reconvene at Govt. House, suspend former Speaker

Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

Another drama played out at the Benue State House of Assembly, on Friday, after armed policemen took over the Assembly complex and barred members of the Assembly from gaining access to the facility.

The heavily-armed policemen also ordered staff of the Assembly who had resumed for work to leave the premises even as all offices within the complex were put under lock and keys.

Saturday Sun gathered that trouble started when the recently sacked Speaker of the House, Terkimbi Ikyange, came and barricaded the main entrance to the Assembly complex with his official vehicle and insisted that he was still the Speaker.

Following the development, other members who are mostly from the faction of the new speaker, Titus Uba (Kyaan Constituency), who came thereafter, were subjected to screening and still were not allowed access into the premises.

Our correspondent gathered that many of the legislators who scaled through the fence to gain access into the premises were prevented from entering into the Chambers of the Assembly.

After exploring all possible means to sit in the chambers of the Assembly without success, the Uba-led faction, thereafter, reconvened at the old Banquet Hall of the Government House to hold a plenary.

In a motion, Majority leader of the House, Hon. Avine Gbom moved for Ikyange’s suspension for six months for insubordination and for tarnishing the image of the House.

The motion was seconded by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Egli Johnson Ahubi (Otukpo/Akpa State Constituency).

Earlier, Deputy Majority Leader of the Assembly, Hon. Audu Sule (Agatu State Constituency), had moved that the Commissioner of Police in the state should explain why his men besieged the Assembly complex.

The motion which was seconded by the Deputy Speaker also asked that the CP order his men to immediately vacate the Assembly premises.

In his contribution, the lawmaker representing Ukum State constituency, Hon. Paul Biam noted that he saw the former Speaker at the main gate of the Assembly complex with his official vehicle insisting that he was still the Speaker.

He stated further that the members had to sit at the Government House because they could not gain access to the chambers of the Assembly.

In his ruling, Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Uba suspended Ikyange for six months and adjourned sitting till August 21, 2018.

Saturday Sun observed that 19 lawmakers were physically present while another legislator sent a letter stating why he could not attend the Friday sitting.

Efforts to get the police to react was unsuccessful as Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni was, on Thursday, transferred out of Benue while the new helmsman was yet to resume as at the time of filing this report.

Spokesman of the command, DSP Moses Yamu, could not also be reached as was not available at the time of filing this report.  (The Sun)

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Benue Assembly: Impeached House Speaker, Ikyange Gets 6 Months Suspension |RN

Terkimbi-IKYANGE

The Former Speaker of Benue State House of Assembly, Mr Terkimbi Ikyange

The impeached Speaker, Benue House of Assembly, Mr Terkimbi Ikyange, has been suspended by his colleagues for six months for what they called “unparliamentary behaviour”.

The legislators took the decision on Friday in Makurdi during their sitting at the Old Banquet Hall of Government House, Makurdi.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the legislators could not hold their parliamentary session at the Assembly Complex because the police locked the main entrance to the building.

The action compelled some legislators to scale the Assembly high walls to enter the premises only to discover that the chambers were also securely locked.

Following their inability to hold their sitting at the assembly complex, they relocated to the Government House Banquet Hall to conduct their business.

The motion for Ikyange’s suspension was moved by the Majority Leader, Mr Avine Agbom, who cited the news conference granted journalists by the impeached speaker, insisting that he was still Speaker amounted to unparliamentary conduct which deserved a suspension.

He explained that 21 out of 30 legislators, at their emergency meeting on July 24, passed a vote of no confidence on Ikyange and other Principal Officers and eventually impeached them.

He said the action taken against the principal officers was legal and in compliance with the House Standing Rules.

According to him, such a behaviour is against the parliamentary rules and because of that singular act and other sundry issues standing against him, he needs to be suspended.

He also accused the former Speaker of using official vehicles to block the main entrance of the Assembly Complex, thereby preventing them from entering the chambers.

Agbum regretted that in spite of the impeachment of the Speaker, the police were still supporting his actions.

He said the staff of the Assembly, who were civil servants, were also prevented from entering the complex.

The motion was seconded by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Egli Ahubi, who said that “the motion for suspension is apt and timely too”.

Ruling on the matter, the Speaker, Mr Titus Uba, said that Ikyange had violated the House Rules as such the motion calling for his suspension was in order.

Uba, therefore, handed down a six months suspension on his predecessor.

NAN reports that the House had adjourned from July 10 to Aug. 15 by the impeached Speaker but a section of the lawmakers, numbering 21 had on July 24, reconvened to impeach him and other principal officers.

Ikyange has described his impeachment as an “act of illegality” and insisted he was still Speaker.   (The Sun)

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Benue Assembly Speaker, Deputy Impeached, New Speaker Elected |RN

Titus-Uba-Benue-House-New-Speaker

New Benue State House of Assembly Speaker, Mr Titus Uba

Titus Uba was elected the new Speaker of the 8th Assembly following his nomination by member representing Otukpo/Akpa, Hon. Egli Johnson Ahubi

Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

The Speaker of Benue State House of Assembly, Terkimbi Ikyange, has been impeached. The House has also elected member representing Kyaan State Constituency, Titus Uba, as its new Speaker.

Daily Sun gathered that Uba’s election, yesterday, followed the adoption of a motion for a vote of no confidence in the immediate past leadership of the House.

Twenty-two out of the 30 members of the assembly were said to have signed the motion for Ikyange’s impeachment, alongside his deputy, James Okeefe, and the Majority leader of the House, Benjamin Adanyi.

Their impeachment, according to the letter, was premised on alleged abuse of office, high handedness and other sundry offences.

The motion for their impeachment was moved by Hon. Richard Ujege, representing Konshisha State Constituency, and seconded by his counterpart from Ado, Hon. Anthony Ogbu.

Uba was elected the new Speaker of the 8th Assembly following his nomination by the member representing Otukpo/Akpa, Hon. Egli Johnson Ahubi, and seconded by Hon. Steven Tyochir representing Gwer East State Constituency.

Egli Johnson Ahubi was also elected as Deputy Speaker, following his nomination by Hon. Joseph Ojobo, representing Ogbadibo state constituency, and seconded by his counterpart from Makurdi North, Hon. Avine Agbom.

The new Speaker and his deputy were, thereafter, sworn-in by the clerk of the House, Dr Torese Agena.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Titus Uba thanked members for finding him worthy to serve in that capacity and promised exemplary leadership of the 8th Assembly.

Other principal officers elected are Hon. Avine Agbom as Majority Leader, while Hon. Sule Audu (Agatu), who was earlier elected as Speaker Pro-Tempo, after the dissolution of the old leadership of the House, is now Deputy Majority Leader. Hon. Kester Kyenge representing Logo State Constituency was also elected Majority Whip.

The House later adjourned sitting till August 15, 2018, following a motion moved by Rt. Honourable Paul Biam and seconded by Honourable Damian Cheme, representing Ukum and Gwer West state constituencies, respectively.

Meanwhile, during plenary Avine Agbom submitted his letter of defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP). (The Sun)

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Nwodo, Clark, Adebanjo, Others Stopped From Flying To Southern, Middlebelt Leaders Summit

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Aeroplanes using NAF facility must obtain permission: AVM Adesanya

Philip Nwosu, Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja and Rose Ejembi, Makudi

The Southern and Middle Belt Forum (southern flank) led by Chief Edwin Clark, said they were stopped from travelling to Makurdi yesterday, to attend the Middle Belt summit on restructuring.

They alleged that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was gradually descending into a military dictatorship.

Speaking for the group, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, John Nwodo, at a press conference in Abuja, after they were stopped from flying, said even though they had secured a charter aircraft, which was ready to fly to Makurdi, they were told that for security reasons, they needed clearance to land at the airport.

Nwodo said the elders spent about five hours at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, trying to obtain clearance to make the journey, but were refused by the Commandant of the Makurdi Airport, whose name was given as Lt. Commander A. Audu.

 

“We arrived in time for our flight today (yesterday) at 12:00 noon, but the airport commandant disallowed us from flying and said we needed to get permission to land in Makurdi.

“We consider this fundamental infringement on our democratic right of freedom of movement and freedom of association. There is nothing in our law precluding us from moving to wherever we like and holding an opinion, insofar as we do not breach any law in Nigeria.

“What has happened to us today expresses a lot of doom for fundamental human rights in our country, for the free exchange of ideas as unavoidable instruments of achieving growth and development of our polity.

“We deprecate the treatment that we were given today, which treatment prevented us from physically joining our brethren in the Middle Belt, in a common view which we all hold, a very patriotic view, which we think will be the only way to guarantee the future of our country.”

Nwodo, who joined other southern leaders to watch the live transmission of the conference in Chief Clark’s residence, said they wanted to show solidarity with the Middle Belt people, who, he said, had supported the forum.

He urged the media: “Please publicise this for many reasons. One, the teeming crowd that you saw on television in the Middle Belt are our brethren, who showed us solidarity in other zonal summits. The fact that we were barred from showing them solidarity is bound to hurt them. Through this press conference, we want to express our solidarity with them. We want them to know we are one and the same in our views of the restructuring of the federation

“Secondly, to deprecate this new tendency. Not too long ago, the president signed into law an Executive order, which gives him the right to seize people’s assets. This is almost like a military government. And, we think this is an intrusion into the principles of separation of powers in our country.

“It is the responsibility of the legislature to make law, of the executive to implement the law and the judiciary to interpret the law. I do not think Section 5 of the Constitution gives the President such Executive authority to make laws.

“The right to property is a fundamental right in a democracy. It cannot be expropriated here without the decision of the court. What has happened to us today shows a continuing tendency to slide into a dictatorship in a democratic government. That is condemnable.”

On whether they saw it as an attempt to sabotage their participation at the summit, a member of the forum, Yinka Odumakin, said: “The first jet that was to take us started this funny game of saying that there was a bad weather to Makurdi and that they could not fly until we got to other airlines, and I asked what’s bad about the weather. They said they were ready to take us.

“As we were about to make payments, they now said there were landing permit issues. They called the commandant in Makurdi, who said they should send the application.

“The Chief of Staff to the Benue State Governor said we should fax the application to him and to the commandant.

“We waited at the airport for hours. Eventually, the Chief of Staff had to contact the commandant in Makurdi and was told that the landing permit requested by the first airline was still on their table. At that stage, General C. Ariyo Niege, a veteran ex-soldier, who was head of Nigerian military forces in Sudan, went to the commandant in Abuja.”

Narrating what happened Ariyo, who was present at the press briefing said: “I pleaded with him (Commandant) that we were having issues with flying to Makurdi for the summit, and he told me for security reasons civilian aircraft are no longer allowed to fly into Makurdi airport.”

Others at the briefing hosted by Chief Clark, were Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Dr Chukwueka Ezeife, and Col. Tony Nyam.

Clark, Adebanjo and Ezeife later gave goodwill messages to the Makurdi summit through the telephone that was broadcast on live television.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force said it was not aware of any move to prevent any commercial or charter aircraft from landing in its airfield in Makurdi Benue State.

The Spokesman for the Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, who denied allegations that the force prevented a commercial charter airplane from landing at its airfield, said the standard procedure was for the airplane to apply for permission in writing and obtain same in writing from the NAF Headquarters, before it could be allowed to take off from its destination to Makurdi.

He told Daily Sun on a telephone that the only airport in Makurdi is the airfield, which belongs to the Nigerian Air Force, and there is the need for any aircraft which wants to use the facility to obtain permission in writing.

He said: “If it is our own base that is being referred to, you know it is only NAF aircraft that is allowed to land there. Any other aircraft, either of another military or another registration that will land there would have to obtain permission from the Nigerian Air Force and when the NAF discovers that the aircraft will not constitute a security risk, they will give authority to the base in Makurdi to allow the aircraft land.”

He said that what is obtainable worldwide in the aviation industry is that, if the Nigerian Air Force plane wants to travel to Sierra Leone, for instance, it would first obtain landing rights from the Airport in Freetown before taking off from Nigeria.

AVM Adesanya explained that the practice is the standard worldwide.  (The Sun)

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Fulani Herdsmen Kill 2 Soldiers, Injure 2 Others In Benue |RN

Fulani-Herdsmen3

Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

At least, two Nigerian soldiers were, on Tuesday, killed and two others injured after they were an ambush by Fulani herdsmen in Benue State.

Daily Sun gathered from sources in the area that the attack occurred on Tuesday while the soldiers were travelling between Branch Umenger and Bakin-Korta, Mbadwem Council Ward of Benue State.

Chairman of Guma Local Government Area, Hon. Anthony Shawon who confirmed the report stated that the attackers had on Monday, dug trenches around a bridge in the area to prevent easy access of the Military in case of an attack.

“The Fulanis came yesterday and dug trenches around a new bridge the Governor Samuel Ortom administration built at Bakin-Korta linking Keana in Nasarawa state.

“They came in their thousand and dug the trenches on both sides of the bridge so that the army would not have easy access to the area in the event of an attack.

“When the soldiers got wind of the development, they mobilized the community to fill up the trenches and the people in my local government went and filled it up.

At about 5am today(Tuesday), they (the soldiers) also moved to Keana to find out those who carried out the act and why. On their way to Ruga, a Fulani camp, somehow the people (Fulani) heard of their coming and laid an ambush for the soldiers

“Two of the soldiers were killed on the spot, a Captain who is the Unit Commander was also shot. But he is currently in the hospital in Makurdi.

“All the houses in that area have all been burnt down by the marauders. They have been coming from that place to attack my people. It is good that the soldiers took the proactive action,” Shawon said.

Efforts to get confirmation from the Theatre Commander, Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), Major Gen. Adeyemi Yekini failed as several calls to mobile phone line were not picked or returned at the time of filing this report.  (The Sun)

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Benue Mass Killings: We’ll Never Give Up Our Land To Fulani Herdsmen – Shuluwa

Fulani-Herdsmen-Attack-Benue

 

Says attackers sponsored to take over, occupy Benue land

Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

A first class traditional ruler in Benue State, Chief Abu King Shuluwa, has vowed that the Tiv will never cede any part of their land to the Fulani herdsmen, no matter the intimidation.

Shuluwa, who said this in a chat with Daily Sun, at his Makurdi residence, alleged that the herdsmen who are attacking Benue people have an agenda to take over and occupy Benue land.

While noting that the Tiv man, as a farmer, doesn’t joke with his land, the Tor Sankera said it is the vast fertile land and water in the Benue valley that the attackers and their sponsors are after.

“Every piece of land in Tiv land belongs to a family. So, the Fulani who are now killing us are sponsored, and the idea is to conquer. Nigerians should know that these Fulani are here to conquer. It has nothing to do with the grazing law which has been in existence for ages. The Fulani have an agenda and the agenda is to conquer.

“Tiv people are largely farmers and the struggle for fertile land is the reason for the scattered settlement patterns. A Tiv man doesn’t mind migrating to a far distance in search of a fertile land. A Tiv man knows which land is rich for his kind of farming.

“Fulani were not attacking us before. In the past, when they come, they would go to the chief and register their presence. They were also only coming during dry seasons, and as soon as the rains set in, they would return to where they came from.

“What is happening this time around is surprising, and they have taken us unawares.
The normal Fulani we knew before would never kill anyone. These new crops of Fulani have come to conquer and settle. Nigerians should know we don’t have Fulani settlement in Tiv land or in Idoma land,” Shuluwa said.

The traditional ruler, who regretted that the pogrom would not end because of the agenda to take over the Benue land, however, maintained that his people would no longer watch and see their people killed mercilessly by the invaders.

“We know that the Fulani man doesn’t forget and this fight will still continue, but one thing is that we are also ready for them whenever they come. We will not leave our land for them. They have an agenda to conquer Benue and then move down south.”  (The Sun)

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Benue Has Lost N40bn To Fulani Herdsmen Attacks – Ortom |RN

a9dbc-ortom

Says no regret over the ranching law

Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

Benue State Government said it has lost over N400 billion worth of property to renewed militia herdsmen attacks on communities in between 2015 and 2018.

Governor Samuel Ortom, who disclosed this when he briefed newsmen on the achievements and challenges of his administration in three years, at Government House, in Makurdi, said the estimate was arrived at following the preliminary report of the assessment of damages caused by the crisis.

He said the continued herdsmen attacks on the state has caused untold hardship on every resident either directly or indirectly adding that the loss is much and difficult to recover from.

He insisted that the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 is the peoples’ legislation.

“I have no regret. Why should I have any regret doing the will of my people? They trusted me and gave me their votes and I will not betray what they want. I’m doing what they want and I’ve no regret,” the governor stated.
He commended his colleagues from Ekiti, Taraba and Abia States for keying into the ranching law, saying it is the right way to go even as he called on Nigerians with a better alternative to bring it on the table to find a lasting solution to farmers and herdsmen crisis in the country.

Ortom challenged the Defence Minister, Dan-Masur Ali, to come out and tell Nigerians why there are killings in Zamfara, his home State and other states in the country, like Kaduna, Adamawa, Plateau, Enugu and Kogi, among others, where there is no anti-open grazing law. He also wants the minister to apologise to Nigerians over his comments. (The Sun)

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Mass Killings: APC Angry Over Calls To Suspend Anti-grazing Law |RN

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The All Progressives Congress, APC, has reacted to the recent call by Minister of Defense, Mansur Dan-Ali for suspension of the anti-grazing law in the state.

Hon Agbo Samuel Terkula, Publicity Secretary APC, Benue State, in a statement issued on Thursday said the call by Dan-Ali was an indication that there was an ethnic cleansing agenda against the people of Benue.

He called on the minister to withdraw his statement.

His statement reads:

These are not the best of times for our dear Benue State especially as a result of sustained efforts by herdsmen to decimate the people of the Benue valley and take over the land as evident in press conferences addressed firstly by the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and later by the forum of cattle breeders in Nigeria.

While our eyes are yet to dry from tears that keep flowing from them as a result of the mass killing of our rural populations, we are again confronted with anti-democratic, tyrannical and anti-people by Nigeria’s Minister of Defence Mansur Dan-Ali as it borders laws regulating animal husbandry in the affected states in Nigeria.

Need by the Minister be reminded, since his utterances indicate that he is ignorant of trends in the state, it was the search for what will end skirmishes that began existing between crop farmers and animal rearers that the people of Benue State demanded a law that would regulate animal husbandry. The product of this agitation is the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law (of Benue State of Nigeria) 2017. The law among other things provides for the protection of the interest of these two categories of farmers because of stiff penalties for cattle rustling and open grazing.

It is also pertinent to draw the attention of the Defence Minister to the fact that public hearings for the purpose of collecting opinions in order to come out with a people-oriented legislation were conducted in the three senatorial districts that comprised Benue State namely: Benue North East, Benue North West and Benue South before ending up at a Town Hall meeting in Makurdi, the State capital. The bill was then passed into law and enjoyed the assent of the Governor His Excellency Samuel Ortom.

While the process for enactment of the law was in progress, herdsmen preferred to stand aloof only to start issuing threats after the passage of the bill into law and even indicated time to which they will strike. This they did as on 1stJanuary, 2018, while the people were still in the euphoria of the New Year Day, the herdsmen struck, leaving no fewer than 73 dead bodies in their trail. Since then, the killings have continued unabated.

We restrained ourselves from joining issues with the Defense Minister when he seemed to justify the New Year Day killings by alleging that they were as a result of the “grazing law” in Benue State and called for the opening of grazing reserves and cattle routes. Today, he is in the news again, this time with dictatorial. that a law that has been passed by a State House of Assembly be suspended.

He is said to have urged the President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the law and we ask: How? The law is not a decree; it is an act of parliament. A decree can be abolished; a law can only be repealed. Mansur Dan-Ali: Go to court! That is how it is done in a democracy or better still, go through the legislature that enacted the law for repeal; this is our candid advice.

But then, we ask, why is the Minister head bent on reactivation of cattle routes and grazing reserves with a skewed reasoning that had been the practice even before independence when the matter has been put to rest by the National Economic Council and the Northern Governors’ Forum? Is it not true that many policies of the Nigerian government have been changed with the passage of time? At Independence, we were practising the parliamentary system of government. Is it not true that it has been changed to the presidential system? Only recently, Nigeria’s system of education has been changed from 6-3-3-4 to 9-3-4, the fourth time since independence. Why is it being so difficult to adopt the global best practice of ranching? In any case, ranching is not being imposed on states as states that are comfortable with open grazing are free to continue with the outdated practice of animal husbandry.

Let it be known that as a political party that is trusted with the destiny of the people of the state, we stand with and by them in shine and in rain; we are absolutely behind our Governor His Excellency Dr Samuel Ortom in his unwavering stance in giving the people he governs what they want. The people want a law prohibiting open grazing that is what they got because the State Assembly stood on the side of the people and that is where we belong.

Our Governor, we beseeched you to remain steadfast; remain courageous as you have been. Benue is behind you. APC Benue is behind you. And God, in whom you believe will not forsake you. This too we shall overcome.

Lest we forget, what does Abuja wants of Benue State? Initially, when a delegation from the state visited Mr president after the burial of the 73 victims of the New Year day attack, the president told them to come back and learn to live with their neighbours. It was not long when the same president was in London accusing Libyans of the crimes in Benue State.

Now we ask, by advising the president to suspend the law, is the Defence Minister implying we do that for the good of the Libyans? They are not Nigerians, therefore, how can we suspend a law that is meant for the safety of Nigerians because it affects nationals of other countries? We beg to differ with Mr Defence Minister who is supposed to be at the forefront of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria but has descended so low to take sides with herdsmen who have vowed to resist the prohibition of open grazing law because a Mansur Dan-Ali is a defence minister.

Let it be known that we are in total agreement with the Senate’s directive that Mr Mansur Dan-Ali retracts his statement with respect to Anti-Open Grazing Law. It is unthinkable that a cabinet member in a democracy would make such utterances. We also in total agreement with the Benue State House of Assembly following their vote of no confidence on the Minister of Defence and their call for his immediate sack.

He has been insincere, blatantly trying to rewrite the history of killings by herdsmen in Benue State and elsewhere in Nigeria. Plateau, Kaduna and Zamfara have witnessed atrocities from herdsmen that predates the current dispensation, likewise Benue State. Is there a prohibition of open grazing law in operation in these states?

We are constrained to conclude that utterances of the Defence Minister have emboldened the killer herdsmen to continue their quest to decimate communities, without limit to areas where their archaic practice of open grazing is prohibited. Hence, “grazing law” cannot be the reason for the continued onslaught as erroneously reasoned by Dan-Ali in his desperate bid to protect his cattle business. Less than 24 hours when he came public again, the herdsmen saw reason to continue with their dastard acts, killing no fewer than 10 persons in Guma and Logo Local Government Areas of Benue State.

We urge the President and the National Security Council to disregard the advice of Mansur Dan-Ali by adhering to the Rule of Law and give marching orders to security agencies to curtail the killings of Nigerians and enforcement of laws of the country be they local government, state or federal laws. Otherwise, undermining the laws of Benue State implies undermining the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Conclusively, there is no going back because Prohibition of Open Grazing Law has come to stay in Benue State whether or not a Mansur Dan-Ali likes it.

Once again, we reiterate sincerely that we remain behind His Excellency Governor Samuel Ortom in his bid meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the state.  (Antisocialnews)

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Fresh Attack: Fulani Herdsmen Kill 9 In Benue |The Republican News

Fulani-Herdsmen3

Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

In the early hours of yesterday, suspected Fulani herdsmen launched a deadly attack on Guma and Logo local government areas of Benue State, killing nine persons. Daily Sun gathered that eight persons were killed in Tse Shan in Saghev, Guma LGA, while one person was killed in Tse Igbur village in Logo.

Sources from Guma said that the armed militiamen, at about 3am yesterday, attacked Tse Shan village, shooting in all directions, and the villagers, who were just returning home after months in IDP camps, ran for safety. Our sources said eight villagers were killed and the corpses have been recovered, while several residents are said to be missing and many more injured.

The chairman of Guma LGA, Mr Anthony Shawon, lamented that the victims included two students who came to write the National Examination Council (NECO) exams in the community. Shawon told our correspondent that he has already submitted the report of the attack to the special adviser on security, Col. Paul Hemba (rtd), adding that both the dead and the injured have been conveyed to Gbajimba General Hospital.

Shawon stated that he also received information that, while retreating, the militia attacked several people along their routes, with one body discovered along the road in Logo.

A community leader in Logo, Chief Joseph Anawah, who confirmed the attack on Tse Igbur, said the herdsmen attacked the area at 9:30pm on Tuesday, killed one person and injured many. Anawah, who had earlier raised the alarm over the withdrawal of security agents posted to the area on Sunday, alleged that the sudden withdrawal of the security operatives was to give the killers the opportunity to strike.

“We earlier suspected sinister motives by the sudden withdrawal of security posted to this area. It appears like a collaboration with the killer herdsmen by the military,” he said.
Our correspondent gathered that the commander of the 72 Special Forces Battalion has dispatched soldiers to the scene of the attack. According to Hemba, the attackers possibly came from a base in Logo LGA.

The police could not confirm the incident at the time of filing this report.  (The Sun)

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