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Nigerian Soldiers Intercept ‘Strange’ Military Equipment In Adamawa |The Republican News

According to Premium Times, Nigerian soldiers manning a checkpoint in Adamawa State have intercepted six mine resistance vehicles that seemed to have been transported into Nigeria without due process.

The military personnel, attached to the Nigerian Army 23 Armoured Brigade in Yola, seized the equipment in Fufore Local Government Area this week.

The Nigerian Army could not immediately verify the ownership of the equipment, where they were being shipped from and their destination, PREMIUM TIMES learnt from military sources.

Although the Nigerian Army headquarters has directed an urgent investigation into the discovery, the equipment have been handed over to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in the interim.

On Saturday, the commander of 23 Armoured Brigade, S.G. Mohammed, handed over the vehicles to the comptroller of Customs in charge of Adamawa and Taraba, Olumoh Kamaldeen, at a ceremony in Konkol, Fufore LGA, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

It is not immediately clear whether suspects have been arrested. It is illegal to import such equipment without an end-user certificates from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), which is the only federal agency with powers to issue such document.

The development could further upset security agencies, who have continued to grapple with acute insecurity and violence across the country.

Security analysts regularly question how terrorists and other criminals acquire weapons they have used to keep the country under siege for many years, urging security and intelligence agencies to devote more time to understanding the complex web of illicit arms movement.

The latest seizure of six mine-resistance all terrain vehicles (MATV) came three months after a Nigerian politician, Ibikunle Amosun, handed over weapons he had illegally stockpiled for several years to the police.

Mr Amosun kept the weapons for several years at Government House, Abeokuta, until his last day in office when he realised he would no longer enjoy immunity from arrest and prosecution.

The police have failed to arrest the former governor, now a serving senator, despite the widespread uproar and concerns amongst Nigerians that prosecuting Mr Amosun could serve as deterrence to other politicians involved in proliferation of deadly arms across the country.

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North Will Suffer If Nigeria Breaks Up —Dr Gumi |The Republican News

Sheikh Dr Ahmad Abubakar Gumi

A prominent Islamic scholar, Dr Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi, has declared that Nigeria will disintegrate and that the North will suffer most compared to the other regions.

According to him, in the face of a possible break up, the Southwest will be relatively stable; Southeast will be stable, but the North will be volatile.

Narrating what Nigeria will be like if disintegrated, the cleric said, “I see chaos and probably Nigeria can even disintegrate. And disintegration will be bad for Nigeria,” he was quoted by Sun.

“Let me tell you about the North if there is disintegration. The worst thing any country will like is to have an unstable country as a neighbour.

“So, Southwest will be relatively stable; Southeast will be stable, but the North will be volatile. How can we contain Boko Haram in the Northeast? No way.

“How can we contain the problem of the herdsmen in the North? We cannot contain them.

“In fact, the little weight the Southwest and Southeast are adding to fight them is what is suppressing them, but if you go and leave us with them we will just eat ourselves and you have a very volatile North and I do not think we will have peace there because the borders are not barbed-wires and there are so many inter-marriages.

“In fact, Nigeria will just be like another Lebanon or Yemen. Nobody can control the North because nobody has monopoly of power in the North.

“The herdsmen, if they have any iota of political acumen, even if they are evil since your man is in power what do you do? You lie low to allow him to have the power.

“You don’t become so virulent that you end up destroying the northern power by attacking people everywhere not caring who is there. Let me tell you this.

“Nobody is in control of the North now. No northern politician has that clout to embrace everybody in the North.

“Everybody in the North is with his clique and that is a very dangerous situation for the country. The Southwest is divided into two equal house and nobody is in control there too, but generally, the people there are not violent.

“They can negotiate and stay in peace. The people of the Southeast seem to understand each other because their own is business. I see it to be more stable even though the Kanu IPOB people are there because generally the population there can understand and negotiate.

“They can only have population problem if people ask them to go back to their region. But the North? So, you can just imagine

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MUST READ: How Boko Haram Was Formed, Transformed Into Deadly Group, By Ahmed Salkida

As the only journalist who dispatched the first ever report on late Muhammad Yusuf’s activities in Maiduguri, on the 23rd of July 2006, at a time when the sect was relatively unknown to many Nigerians, I should be able to give an insight into the Boko Haram saga.

I have closely followed the activities of the Boko Haram sect. In fact, I was invited by the late Yusuf at that period to establish and head an Al-mizzan styled newspaper for him. However, in the course of our deliberations, I tabled the following issues that set us apart: I wanted to be partner in the project, I wanted editorial freedom to edit out anything I may find to incite the public in the publication and I wanted to introduce a regular column that totally disagrees with his ideology.

I think, my conditions, at a time when I hadn’t any gainful employment, shocked the prospective investor who thought any budding journalist would rush at the opportunity to become an editor-in-chief especially of a promising paper, on account of the large followership and the group’s loyalty to their Imam.

However, my relationship with late Mohammed Yusuf continued as he visited me when I lost my 8 months old son that died of malaria. Perhaps, he saw me partially as one of his students and partially as a dissenter due to my independent disposition. But, to be fair to him, I admire his depth of knowledge, oratorical prowess and apparent willingness to emulate Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

In early 2002, Yusuf was seen by many as a likely heir to the renowned late Sheik Ja’afar Mahmud Adam in Maiduguri on account of his brilliance and closeness to the late renowned scholar. But all that changed shortly when one late Mohammed Alli approached late Yusuf with reasons to boycott democracy, civil service and western oriented schools. Late Yusuf then disengaged his service with the Yobe state government.

Then, in a 2006 press release signed by the sect’s Shura (Consultative) Council, they stated that, Islam permits them to subsist under a modern government like Nigeria but has explicitly prohibited them from joining or supporting such governments in so far as their systems, structures and institutions contain elements contradictory to core Islamic principles and beliefs.

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau and his mother

However, the late Alli argued that the sect must embark on Hijra (migration), but late Yusuf declined and Alli proceeded to Kanamma in Yobe with his faction, and one thing led to another, the group launched an insurgent attack on the Police that resulted in the loss of many lives and property in Kanamma and later in Gwoza in Borno state. Although the insurgents, a renegade group that called itself “Taliban,” led by Alli, fiercely disagreed with late Yusuf and many of the escapees later returned to Yusuf.

Unlike Alli, Yusuf went on undeterred, though he was prevented from preaching in several mosques and was denied TV/Radio appearances in the state. But he setup a preaching outlet in the front of his house at the railway quarters and at Angwan Doki, millionaires’ quarters among others. The demand for his tapes increased by the day all over the north and the proceeds there from increased tremendously. He, then asked his landlord and in-law, late Baba Fugu Mohammed to allow him to build a mosque whom he named Ibn Taimiyya Masjid.

It was in Ibn Taimiyya Masjid that late Yusuf together with his hard-line top lieutenant Abubakar Shekau alias `Darul Tauhid,’ began to build an imaginary state within a state. Together they setup Laginas (departments), they had a cabinet, the Shura, the Hisbah, the brigade of guards, a military wing, a large farm, an effective micro finance scheme, and late Yusuf played the role of a judge in settling disputes, each State had an Amir (leader) including amirs in Chad and Niger that gave accounts of their stewardship to Yusuf directly.

The sect, led by Yusuf took advantage of the poor quality of our educational system, the incessant strikes, cult activities, widespread malpractices and prostitutions that is made worse with no offer of jobs after graduation to wheedle many youth to abandon school and embrace Yusuf’s new and emerging state that promises to offer them a better alternative.

Late Yusuf also took advantage of the irresponsible leadership at all levels of governmentas unemployment, poverty, corruption and insecurity become the order of the day. And, as he points out such failures, citing verses of the Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet, the youth see him as the leader that will indeed deliver them from malevolence to the promised land.

In my write-up of February 28, 2009 in the Sunday Trust I wrote about the sect, where I alerted the general public about the sect’s total disregard for civil obedience. The report in question warned that to disregard the simmering cauldron “smells like rebellion…and it will be irresponsible of any authority to wait for the occurrence of violence before it acts in the face of impending threat to law and order,” in subsequent reports and during my interactions with senior security agents, I did not only predict the crisis but hinted on the strategy of the sect. But, typical of investigative journalism, instead of these revelations to catch the attention of the relevant agencies, their attention was shifted on how to frame me. Apparently, the plan was never to prevent a crisis but to allow it to occur.

However, in fairness to the government of Borno state that is living witnesses to the unruly behaviour of the sect and its extreme dislike for government institutions, the state government like other governments in northern Nigeria saw the need to halt this nuisance in their states; they were alarmed that the sect that started with a handful of people is hitting the 7-digit mark and one day (if not very soon) the likelihood that the sect may determine the politics of the land cannot be dismissed.

According to Isa Yuguda, the Governor of Bauch state in a recent interview with a weekly newspaper, “When the Boko Haram issue came, I sat down and scientifically organised a Commando raid on their stronghold. We identified them over a period of time and made sure the Ulamas came and preached against them for two weeks and they in return issued fatwa against the Imams that are preaching against them. We had to attach policemen to the Imams because the Boko Haram people threatened to slaughter them. We planned for them.

“We cordoned off their area around 3a.m. in the morning and phoned my neighbours in Borno and Yobe states about the operation I was going to carry out because their leader was there at that time. After exchanging gunshots for some time, we smoked them out of their houses. They were fully armed with grenades, machine guns and rocket launchers,” said Yuguda.

Having kept track of political activities in the state, I knew very well that Ali Sheriff, unlike Yuguda, could not afford to strike first, Borno could take anything from him but not an attack on Muslims. However, the government in Borno setup a joint security patrol nicknamed, `operation flush’ in order to serve as a constant check on the sect.

As the crisis started in Maiduguri, reporters did the obvious; live and tell the story' and they stayed mostly in the Government House (GH) and most of them contacted me directly or indirectly to get briefed because I chose to do theunexpected’, which is to `risk my life to tell the story.’ Indeed, I took undue risk which exposed me to the unimaginable that would form the subject of a book I am now writing.

On Tuesday 29th July 2009 when I made a stop at the Borno state Government House, a staff of the GH, one Yusuf dragged me into the office of the Chief Security Officer to the Governor, insisting that the governor’s aide wanted to see my face for the first time. The aide wanted to know from me why I did not shave my beards and lower my trousers below the ankle to avoid the wrath (Alas! bullets) of the security agents.

I, then, told him that it is wrong for security agents to brand innocent people that wear beards as Boko Haram and even killed them based on that. In fact, to keep beards, to wear turbans and nisfusaak (trousers above the ankle) are part of the prophet’s Sirah, which is recommended to every Muslim over 1400 years ago, and it is seen as a deeply spiritual task by many Muslims all over the world.

He, also, asked me whether or not I was abducted by the sect members for a while and released. I put the record straight that, I only ran into a mob and thereafter I was left off the hook when they were convinced that the brown apron I was wearing carried an inscription of Daily Trust had nothing to show that I was a government official.

Sadly for me, the CSO did not like my guts and the fact that I reported the two sides that clearly exposed the Achilles’ heel of his boss, he ordered for my arrest, calling my crime `counter intelligence.’ At the GH I was assaulted by the mobile police (at the quarter guard post). There, a Police Constable Sani Abubakar, held my beards and pulled me to the ground, he kicked my legs to forcefully remove my loafers.

I was made to lie down with my face down instantly I urinated in my pants when two mobile police men contemplated who was going to pull the trigger, whether that was a joke or an attempt to scare me. Thank God I am alive as yet, maybe the powers that be are aware of the event that would follow the execution of a media man within the GH or as the government claimed, I was held in protective custody for my safety.

I was then driven to the police headquarters in the state where I was kept in a cell with 58 others. After spending 30 hours in the cell and about 48 hours without food or water (because, I couldn’t break the fast I was observing upon my arrest), I was then allowed to wash up the urine that had dried up on my pants and relieved myself of the running stomach that became the audible music in our cell as everyone witnessed how cell mates were being called out and executed, everyone was waiting for his turn.

Surprisingly, none of my colleagues investigated and reported the assault meted against me, even when some of them searched for me in the crowded cell as I sat without shoes on the floor. Instead, speculations were rife amongst them that indeed I was a Boko Haram member, on account of the following baseless talk: That I wear beards and trousers above my ankle and yet I came from a Christian background and this to many of them makes me an extremist.

That I was doing fairly well as a journalist in the last ten years with a mere primary school certificate and that makes me a Boko Haram too. That, my fair complexioned spouse was a Shuwa Arab and given out to me in marriage by late Yusuf and finally, they said late Yusuf had contacted some members of the media on two occasions through me in the past.

Now that I no longer carry my youthful goatee and halfway trousers to avoid being branded a terrorist meets your requirements however I want to state here that I am proud of my Christian background as a Muslim because it has afforded me a unique sense of tolerance and impartial view for the need for dialogue that many born Christians and Muslims lack, leading to the kind of mistrusts we see today.

My wife is a very proud Tarok, from Langtang LGA in Plateau state, I met and married her in Abuja in 2002 and never saw Yusuf in her life. Yes, I was perhaps the only journalist known to late Yusuf on account of what I mentioned earlier on. But, when has it become illegal to know a public figure who later became a criminal?

The late founder of the Islamic sect that transformed into Boko haram, Mohaammad Yusuf and the current leader of the deadly terror group, Abubakar Shekau

I started a career in journalism as a staff reporter with Insider Weekly Magazine, from 2001 to 2002. Thereafter, I had a stint with Crystal Magazine as a Special Projects Editor and later a founding staff with New Sentinel and freelanced for several mediums. Currently, I work as a reporter with the Media Trust Limited. I do not posses any formal educational qualification beyond primary school; however I was self educated through years of extensive reading of books.

As a primary school pupil in the early 80’s, when late Yusuf was a little kid himself, I would choose to climb a tree and read a story book while my mates were in school. Somehow I managed to complete my primary school but my disdain to learn under the four square walls of a classroom continued during my Secondary School and my father decided to discontinue funding my education. Although, I was visible in the University of Maiduguri, not as a student but sadly, as a commercial final year project writer to nearly a hundred undergraduates and a handful of master’s degree thesis as well, anyway this is a story for another day.

Although there was a extraordinary effort by the correspondents chapel and the Nigerian Union of Journalist in the area to secure my release but as my wife who is yet to recover from the trauma of that crisis argued, the NUJ should have demanded for my release and out rightly condemn my arrest but instead, they pleaded and pleaded until I was released; this is an admittance that indeed one of their own is guilty as alleged and as my wife always said, this allegation will hang over my head for the rest of my life.

Recently, when Al-jazeera showed video footage of extra-judicial killings the world became aware of some of our experiences in Maiduguri, and typical of Nigerians, we heard calls for probe. The most disturbing call for probe is the one by the very government that ordered the summary executions in the first place. Can a military or police officer go to town and harvest corpses without an order from above? If this is possible, then it should not be a probe of extra-judicial killings instead, government should probe insubordination and total breakdown of law and order amongst security agents leading to numerous deaths. And, let us not forget, what happened to the previous probes setup by the federal government? I have a disturbing video that confirmed what security agents told me during my arrest. “No prison for Boko Haram members, we want them all death.” Is it the governor of Borno state that gave such an order or Mr President that has absolute control over the police and military under the constitution? Oh, ours is a country where the constitution is always disregarded.

Why did they execute Yusuf together with Baba Fugu Mohammed and Bugi Foi before any trial? Was it to cover the dirty tracks of under cover agents that worked for years with late Yusuf, leaving the impression that these two (that are the richest people close to late Yusuf) funded the uprising? Why are the sophisticated guns of Boko Haram that was used to keep Nigeria’s defence forces away from their enclave for three days not displayed to the public along side corpses? What we saw was mostly bow and arrows.

Where is Abubakar Shekau? The police said he died from injuries he sustained during the crisis. Can we believe them after all? They said late Yusuf died in a shootout when in fact over 50 mobile police men shot him behind my detention room, at the armoury right inside the police headquarters. In my opinion, Abubakar Shekau, the second in command of late Yusuf may be alive.

The founder of the group that transformed into Boko Haram, Yusuf Mohammad

Over the years, the failure of security agents to prevent crisis that often times leads to loss of lives and property worth billions of naira goes unpunished. We never hear any apology or resignation from political leaders or heads of security agents. The only punishment is, erring commissioners of Police are transferred to an obscure department of special duties at the Force Headquarters’ in Abuja, as was the case with the commissioners during Boko Haram and the recent Jos crisis.

Were it not for a country like Nigeria, where government have failed to provide basic life support for its citizens, late Yusuf may have never thrived. A functional environment with opportunities for all, equal justice for all, fairness to all and governed by leaders that are responsible for their people, the rude and retrogressive teachings of late Yusuf would have not received the attention of about a million followers all over the north. Indeed, late Yusuf’s teaching was an abuse to Algebra, reproductive health and the science of astronomy that has its roots in Islam, if indeed it is true that he said boko is haram.

From my interaction with him, he never said boko is haram plainly; in fact the name Boko Haram came to being during the crisis. What he always said was, as long as anything that contradicts the teachings of Islam (in his own view) exists in the educational system then it is haram to go to that school unless such things ceased to exist. As members of the sect realised, they cannot ensure such change, especially in a secular state like ours; they withdrew from schools completely. But I am aware that late Yusuf had plans to set up a school, a hospital and a market in the future to complement the sect’s micro finance scheme and other Laginas.

Unfortunately, late Yusuf’s teachings that caused crisis and death of hundreds of our gallant security agents and made it inhuman for people like Yusuf to survive, contradicts not only Islam which he claims to be preaching to his followers but his very existence. I saw when members of the sect slaughtered a police sergeant, L. Adamu. He pleaded with them that he was never against them and said he was a fellow Muslim but yet they slaughtered him like a goat. Was this the reason why the police and military summarily executed the suspected sect members in the same manner the sect did to their colleagues?

Suffice it to say here that government should investigate why the sect took up arms against it. What were the issues that led to the armed struggle? And what are the chances of recurrence of violence. Government must as a matter of urgency police our porous border because Shekau may be living close by. Government through religious and traditional leaders must dialogue with the displaced family members of Boko Haram and ensure that their children all go back to school.

Government must begin to locate them and assure them of a fair trial at home in order not for them to easily fall as fodders to any al-Qaeda advances. Religious institutions like the one headed by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III should be empowered to independent and be able to effectively regulate and censor religious activities in the country.

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[Videos] Boko Haram Takes Over Nigerian Navy Base On Lake Chad|The Republican News

Boko Haram members’ convoy

Four of the naval officers captured alive were made to introduce themselves while being recorded before they were eventually executed by the terrorist group.

The video showed some members of the terrorist group jubilating in one of the ships belonging to the Nigerian Navy in Lake Chad.

They shot into the air as a sign of victory, chanting “Allah Akbar” (God is the greatest).

Four of the naval officers captured alive were made to introduce themselves while being recorded before they were eventually executed by the terrorist group.

Three of the naval officers introduced themselves as Ebirek Adewale with official number X12907, Muhammed Muhammed, and Aliyu Adamu, an excavator operator.

The fourth naval officers in the video released by the terrorist group said, “I was drafted from naval Air Wing, Port Harcourt, under the command of Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder to Naval Base, Lake Chad, Baga, Borno State.

“Our base was attacked on the 26th to 27th. We are on our way to escape. I was captured by the Army Kalaifa (sic) and now we are under their detention as prisoners of war.”

The insurgent group in the new video documentary released footage of the victories it has recorded in a series of attacks against the Nigerian military.

The video showed different gun battles between the insurgent group and the military with the Boko Haram group having the upper hand. 

The Boko Haram sects also showed some armoured personnel carrier, guns and other battle arms taken from the military.

Another part of the video showed the insurgent group setting ablaze a Nigerian flag and that of the Nigerian Army in a camp of the Brigade Multinational Joint Task Force, Baga, Borno State.

The insurgent group also showed its members overrunning the base, killing all military personnel around and taking over all cars and arsenal belonging to the Nigerian Army.

The Nigerian government has on different occasions claimed victory against the terrorist group saying the terrorist group had been confined to the outskirt of Borno.

This claim is, however, contradictory to the daily killings by the insurgent group in different parts of Borno with the latest being the overrunning of a military base in Yobe State. (Sahara Reporters)

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25,794 Killed In Violent Crisis During Buhari’s First Term, Benue Tops The List – Report |The Republican News

President Muhammadu Buhari; his wife, Aisha Buhari and acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed, during the swearing-in of Buhari in Abuja…on Wednesday

Samson Folarin

No fewer than 25, 794 Nigerians may have died in violent crises in the first four years of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The figure was released by the Nigeria Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonprofit think tank specialising in United States foreign policy and international affairs.

The number represents those killed by different insurgent groups and Boko Haram in the North, herdsmen, and people who died in extrajudicial activities of the military.

From June 2015 to May 2019, our correspondent observed that Borno suffered the highest casualties, recording 9,303 deaths. The state was followed by Zamfara (1,963) and Adamawa (1,529).

Others captured in the map are Kaduna (1,488), Plateau (771), Taraba (649), Benue (1,642), Niger (252) Rivers (730), Cross River (467), Ogun (301), among others.

Graphical illustration revealed that the highest casualties were recorded in July 2015 (1,299) and January 2019 (1,077).

Within the four years timeline, Boko Haram  was  responsible for 5,598 deaths, while sectarian violence, including the herdsmen-farmers crisis led to 4,917 deaths.

State actors alone, including the military, were said to have killed 4,068 people.

During the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan (June 2011 to May 2015), a total of 34,884 people were reportedly killed across the country.

The highest record of casualties was in March 2014, when 3,456 Nigerians were killed.

Boko Haram and the military were together responsible for 12,765 deaths.

The Council on Foreign Relations, while explaining the methodology behind the data, said it relied on media reports.

The report said, “The Nigeria Security Tracker tracks violence that is both causal and symptomatic of Nigeria’s political instability and citizen alienation. The data are based on weekly surveys of Nigerian and international media.

“The data start with May 29, 2011, the date of Goodluck Jonathan’s inauguration as president. It was an event that highlighted the increasing bifurcation of the country on regional and religious lines. The NST is updated weekly.

“Relying on press reports of violence presents methodological limitations. There is a dearth of accurate reporting across certain regions, death tolls are imprecise, and accounts of incidents vary. There is the potential for political manipulation of media. Given these limitations, the NST makes every effort to collect information from multiple sources. Nevertheless, NST statistics should be viewed as indicative rather than definitive.”

The Presidency did not react when contacted.

 Calls made to Presidential spokesmen, Mr Femi Adesina, and Mr Garba Shehu, were not returned.

Text messages forwarded to  them were  also not responded to as of 9.03pm.

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BREAKING: Boko Haram Lays Siege On Military Base In Maiduguri |The Republican News

The Republican News file photo: Boko Haram members

Suspected Bok Haram terrorists are currently laying siege on a military base near Maiduguri, a military source has confirmed to The Republican News via our North-east reporter.

The Republican News source confirmed that the Islamic terrorist group stormed Delwa military base in an effort to overrun the military base formation.

“The terror group members began by attacking and engaging troops in a very deadly gun duel at 6pm local time”, our source added.

This is a developing story.

Details later……..

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We Can’t Say If Boko Haram Will Ever Be Eradicated — Garba Shehu |The Republican News

RN file photo: Boko Haram

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, says it’s difficult to say exactly if Boko Haram will ever be eradicated in Nigeria. He, however, said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration should be praised for reducing the insurgents’ attacks against the country considerably.

It may be recalled that the Federal Government had, in 2016, claimed to have defeated Boko Haram.

Shehu, who was a guest on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily programme, said this in Abuja on Monday.

The President’s spokesman made the point when he was reminded that thousands of Internally Displaced Persons had yet to return to their homes, while periodic attacks by insurgents still take place in some parts of the North-East.

In response, Shehu said, “Well, I can’t promise you that Boko Haram will or will not be eradicated. But it is an ongoing challenge, globally.
“Even in more advanced countries, more ‘weaponised’ nations, it is still a challenge.

“The point we are making is that the attacks you just cited are still a far cry from the enormity of those attacks we have seen in the past.

“They have been greatly minimised and they are being pushed farther away from the national population.”

Shehu also lamented the proliferation of small arms in the country, which he said has worsened the issue of banditry in the country.
He, however, said the Police, through its operation Puff Adder outfit, had been able to arrest over 160 bandits across the country.

The President’s spokesman added, “Our security services are coming to terms with the fact that this (weapons proliferation) is one area they have to tackle.

“The source of weapons – whether locally manufactured or imported – must be tackled; otherwise, it will continue, because it is oxygen to crime.”
He expressed fear that even weapons that had been seized by the Police from bandits would be replaced by the criminals because weapons are easily available.

Shehu added, “So, we are looking into the source of the weapons. As I said, the government has identified the manufacturers and many people have been arrested along with weapons.”

The President’s aide said neighbouring countries were also assisting Nigeria in the area of curbing weapons’ smuggling. (Punch)

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Extreme Hunger Imminent As Farmers Abandon Farms In Northern Nigeria Due To Banditry |RN

Famine, banditry, northern Nigeria

■13, 000 hectares of farmland, thousands tons of grains in silos destroyed in Zamfara, others …Due to kidnappers, bandits, herdsmen attacks in North

Tunde Omolehin (Sokoto), Linus Oota (Lafia), Mohammed Munirat Nasir (Gusau), Noah Ebije (Kaduna), and Gyang Bere (Jos)

As states in the Northwest and North-central geopolitical zones of the country grapple with the rising challenge of armed banditry, kidnapping and herdsmen attacks, farmers in the states have alerted of imminent famine.

The armed criminal elements are known to rustle cattle, rape women and kill unarmed men seen in the farms. Those that are not killed outright are abducted for ransom.

This action has instilled great fears in farmers, causing them to abandon their farms.

Sunday Sun investigations in the affected states showed that scarcity of food would be the end product of what is happening in them now.

In this report, we present the situation in the states that are at the epicenter of banditry, kidnapping and herdsmen attacks, which have unsettled their people mostly in the farming communities.

SOKOTO

It is said that every time the United States economy sneezes, the global economy catches cold. In some sense, this has been the lot of Sokoto State ever since banditry in Zamfara State began to increase in scope. This produced spill-over effects in Sokoto, which is a neighbour to the epicenter of the trouble.

The result is that the criminal activities of bandits and kidnappers in Zamfara have caused a geometric rise in insecurity in Sokoto, which used to be one of the crime-free states in the federation owing to its age-long serene nature. In the heat of the Boko Haram insurgency that convulsed some states in the core North, Sokoto, proudly known as the Seat of the Caliphate, remained one of the few states in the Northwest that could not be infiltrated.

But all that changed with the rise of banditry and cattle rustling in Katsina and Zamfara. Created in 1975, Sokoto shares borders with Niger Republic to the North, Zamfara State to the East, Kebbi State to the Southeast and Benin Republic to the West.

The latest attack on Sokoto State was carried out on May 7, when gunmen stormed Balle community in Gudu Local Government Area of the state and shot the traditional ruler, Aliyu Ibrahim, dead and also burnt down the police station in the community. Balle, which is the headquarters of Gudu LGA was in 1804 the capital of the caliphate. It is located on the border with Niger Republic.

Many residents attributed the killing to vengeance as the traditional leader was said to have reported the activities of the bandits to security agencies. Before the Balle attack, similar attack was recorded at Bafarawa town in Isa LGA, a border community close to Niger Republic. A security guard of the former governor was killed in the attack while one person was abducted. No less affected are the people of Kamarawa village in the LGA, who have been experiencing killing, kidnapping and burning of their property.

Early this year, there were series of attacks carried out in towns and villages across the state, mainly those that share borders with Zamfara State. It could be recalled that 17 persons were killed at Daliga, Rakkoni and Kalhu communities, another 26 people killed in three communities of Warwanna, Kursa and Dutse of Gandi district, all in Rabah LGA of the state. The council has continued to be under bandit attacks, which have so far claimed many lives and property.

One the survivors of the attacks, Isah Nasiru, a farmer and member of the vigilance group from Warwanna village said that the lack of security personnel in the community made them vulnerable to banditry.

Nasiru who lost a child and some other relatives in the series of attacks launched on the community explained: “They started the attack from Dutsi and then moved to Kursa. They came through three different sides of our village and surrounded us; if you tried to escape they would shoot you while those that did not run were left alone.

“Those they met on their farms working were either shot dead or killed with cutlasses. Most of the bandits have often been seen coming into the village to buy foodstuff, petrol and recharge cards before they were barred from the village.

“We noticed their evil antecedents and we stopped them from buying anything in our village. Maybe that is the only problem we have with them. We equally reported them to the government and they sent some policemen, but the police never acted on the intelligence report we gave to them, which prompted us to form a vigilante group.”

He, however, appealed to the government to reinforce security personnel in the area, insisting that the bandits usually come through three areas that lead to Maradun in Zamfara State, Goronyo and Isa LGAs of Sokoto State.

NASARAWA

There is apprehension in farming communities in Nasarawa State as suspected armed Fulani herdsmen are having a field day attacking and abducting farmers who venture out to their farms.

Often, family members of victims go through traumatic experience while some even lose their lives in the process of meeting the tough demands of the kidnappers. The psychological effect of the experience is enormous on the victims, who most times live in fear, anxiety and above all loss of trust in people which might likely lead to depression.

The upsurge in kidnapping, especially in most parts of Nasarawa State is threatening agricultural activities and other commercial transactions, which have forced farmers to abandon their farms for fear of being kidnapped.

Between January and May this year, scores of innocent farmers have been kidnapped, while others were killed on their way to their farms. The nefarious activities of the armed Fulani herdsmen marauding in the area is stoking the fire of unprecedented food crisis in the state particularly and the nation in general if not promptly nipped in the bud.

From every indication, kidnapping has become a booming venture in the state and other parts of the country.

Keen observers have been quick to lay the blame on security lapses, lack of basic amenities, unemployment, corruption, flagrant flaunting of wealth by the rich and most importantly, lack of transparency and accountability of stewardship by public office holders.

A legal practitioner in the state, Mohammed Hamisu, said that lack of political will on the part of the government to implement capital punishment as enshrined in the constitution is also a strong contributing factor to the upsurge of kidnapping, noting that legally; kidnapping attracts life sentence or jail term of between 10 and 30 years for the convicted person.

Recently in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, gunmen abducted two young men, Nasiru and Bashir, as well as a driver who were heading for their farms. Also, on May 14, 2019, a staff of Toto LGA, Mr Mohammed Shuaibu, was gruesomely murdered and his wife, Mallama Zainab Salihu, kidnapped. The abductors demanded N2 million. Again, on May 18, five farmers Basaru Rukaiya, Aishat Zakari, Chinedu Ide, Reuben Ibrahim and Vivian Ibrahim were kidnapped in Yelwa area of the state at gunpoint while going to their farms. Their whereabouts are still not known till date.

Expectedly, concerns over the implication of the situation continue to grow in the state. A commercial farmer in Nasarawa Local Government Area, Ibrahim Mustapha, while noting that agriculture is the mainstay of the state economy, given the absence of industries, said that the citizenry rely on the cultivation of grains, vegetable and other agricultural produce from the state to meet their needs. He said that even as the rains set in, he had to shut down his entire farm because of fear of being kidnapped. He added that farming in most parts of the state has become big risk business.

He explained that most of his friends who run irrigated farms in the size of 200 to 300 hectares of land have equally shut down. The unfortunate outcome is that there would be scarcity of food by next year.

He said that 65 per cent of farmers in the western and northern parts of the state today cannot go to their farms for fear of being kidnapped as armed Fulani herdsmen and other bandits rampage through the state.

His words: “Many farmers cannot access their farms, so there will be scarcity of food in Nasarawa State. If the security agencies do not step in, there will not be much farming activities in major parts of the state and the result is imminent food shortage by the end of the year. Many farmers are afraid to go to their farms, some cannot even travel on the Toto-Nasarawa road now, the activities of kidnappers and other armed bandits have left them scared.”

In a chat with Sunday Sun, the Commissioner of Police, Nasarawa State Command, CP Bola Longe, expressed concern over the rising incidence of armed banditry and kidnapping in the state.

In compliance with the directive of the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu who is an indigene of the state, the command launched “Operation Puff Adder,” a special security initiative to confront and root out kidnapping and armed banditry in the state.

Operation Puff Adder is aimed at re-dominating and reclaiming the public space from heinous criminal elements that are bent on threatening the nation’s internal security order.

Longe noted that the Nasarawa Police Command is committed to vigorously conducting an unstoppable onslaught against the criminal elements in the state.

Already, men of the command have arrested 14 suspected kidnappers that had been terrorizing people in the Mararaba-Udege axis of the state.

The incoming governor of the state, Abdullahi Sule, an engineer, told Sunday Sun in an exclusive interview that he is equally having sleepless nights over the insecurity caused by armed banditry and kidnapping in the state, adding that he has already developed a template on how to tackle it as soon as he is sworn-in on May 29.

He said that Nasarawa, Akwanga, Obi, Keana, Toto, Doma and Awe LGAs are major areas dealing with security challenges.

Sule assured that he would deploy robust industrialization programme that would create employment for the youths.

His words: “One of the biggest challenges is the situation of the youths. So, I intend to provide employment for the youths through my industrialization policy, which will take most of the youths off the streets. By the time you provide industrialization in the state and also engage the local communities into commercial farming, by the time you develop the out-growers system because the state is an agro-allied one, and apart from working very close with the security agencies in partnership with the local communities, the preventive measures restore the security of the citizens.”

ZAMFARA

The slogan of Zamfara State is “Farming is Our Pride,” but in the last few years, farming which is the main occupation of the people is rapidly turning into a risky venture as bandits who are terrorising the state are making farmers to dislike going to the farms for the fear of their lives.

The bandits have changed the scenario of farms in the state from being the biggest contributor to the economic lifeline of the people to death traps.

The government records show that over 13,000 hectares of arable farmlands and several thousand tons of food items in local silos have been destroyed in the last six years. Without doubt, the rising wave of banditry and kidnappings have put the state at the precipice of food scarcity as many farmers, both large scale, medium scale and peasant farmers, may likely not take part in farming activities in this rainy season as many farmers have been killed while working on their farmlands across the state, leaving many hectares of farmlands uncultivated.

Alhaji Yau Muhammad Dansadau, a large-scale farmer in Dansadau emirate in Maru LGA of the state, said that between 2010 and 2013, he used to harvest over 10,000 bags of maize, sorghum, rice, soya beans and cowpea, but unfortunately when the banditry got worse from 2014 his farm production began to decline.

“Between 2014 and 2018, my production dropped to 2,000 bags from over 10,000 bags. Honesty speaking most large and medium scale farmers will not farm this year even the majority of small scale and peasant farmers will not farm this year as some have even migrated to other states because of this lingering banditry and kidnappings in the state,” he said.

Yau who is the Chairman, Dansadau Farmers Association, warned that the activities of the bandits are pointing to food disaster in the state.

“Write it down, there is red signal for hunger coming in 2020 as there will not be enough food production in the state this year,” he said.

KADUNA

Long before the bloody activities of kidnappers and armed robbers in major neighbouring villages and towns of Kaduna State gained notoriety, Alhaji Lawal Maikudi was a contented and proud farmer of various kinds of crops, such as rice, maize, soya beans, millet and guinea-corn, which earned him good money.

But now he has abandoned his farm for fear of being kidnapped. The area where he used to farm in Igabi LGA is now the den of kidnappers.

“I have a farm which is about 20 kilometers away from Kaduna city centre. I used to grow rice, millet, maize, groundnut and guinea-corn. But as I speak to you I can no longer go to the farm for fear of being kidnapped on the farm. In time past I had a one-room apartment on the farm so that if I worked till late hours and got tired, I would pass the night on the farm.

“Now, I have abandoned both the apartment and the farm. I cannot take the risk of going to the farm any longer because apart from kidnapping, there are cases of banditry and armed robbery. The implication for a farmer like me, and other farmers, not to be able to go to the farm throughout one or two years is that there will be serious shortage of food in the Land.

“I am not the only farmer in that area, so you can imagine how many hectares that have not been cultivated with food crops. We are indeed in a mess. Government and security agencies should show more commitment and put up adequate security measures to tackle the situation,” he said.

In the same vein, Isaac Aga, who resides in Agwa area of Kudenda, Kaduna, said most farmers in the area have abandoned their farms for fear of kidnappers and other notorious criminals.

Aga noted that the worst hit farmers are those whose farms are located along the Abuja-Kaduna highway since it is the den of kidnappers.

Director of the College of Agriculture, Animal Science and Vocational Study, Faruk Ahmad, said that the youths need to be given entrepreneurship training and empowerment, as a way to dissuade them from engaging in criminality.

PLATEAU

After 18 years of the reign of terror by Fulani herdsmen, which caused the death of hundreds of Plateau men and women, the state is gradually being overwhelmed by kidnapping and banditry.

At the moment, most people are living in fear and at the mercy of kidnappers at the state capital and in the rural villages. The trend is that the kidnappers would disguise themselves as neighbours and casually knock on the door and once the door is opened, the person would be abducted at gunpoint.

In an event where the door is not open, they would force themselves into the house and abduct a teenager, terrorise the victim and inflict pains on the parents until ransom is paid.

This banditry and other criminal activities have compounded security challenges in the state and put perpetual fear in the residents. The kidnappers incidentally live among the people without anybody being aware of their activities.

In February 2019, the 12-year-old son of the chaplain of Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin-Ladi, Kim Dido was kidnapped, leaving the father, Pastor Andrew Dido, in psychological agony.

The boy was held in captivity for two days until the family raised the ransom before he was released. The kidnappers broke into his quarters in the institution and abducted the teenage boy.

Two months later, kidnappers abducted 24-year-old Abigail Rangs, a student of the same institution who was living with her elder brother, Mr Exeziel Rangs.

The gunmen broke into the staff quarters on that fateful day about midnight, and demanded for money, but they were not satisfied with what they were offered.

The gunmen ordered Mr Rangs to lead them to the children’s room, where they woke up the young woman and left with her. She was released one day after payment of ransom.

Mr Rangs, who narrated the sad incident, said that three of the kidnappers wore black and mask on their faces. They broke into his compound with a heavy stone.

These are few cases apart from silent kidnapping in Rayfield, Kwang and Angwan Rimi, all in Jos South and Jos North Local Government Areas of the state.

In the wake of these abductions, farmers in the rural villages have abandoned their farms for fear of kidnappers and bandits. Naturally, farming activities have drastically gone down with the result that food scarcity may ensue, if urgent steps are not taken by the government to arrest the downward spiral. (The Sun)

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Be Proud You’re Part Of A Government That Ended Boko Haram, Buhari Tells Outgoing Ministers

Federal Executive council meeting

President Muhammadu Buhari has told the outgoing members of his executive council to be proud for being part of the administration that ‘liberated’ Nigeria from Boko Haram insurgency. He made the comments when he spoke at the valedictory meeting of the Federal Executive Council, on Wednesday. 

Read full remarks.
CLOSING REMARKS BY H.E. PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI AT THE VALEDICTORY SESSION FOR MEMBERS OF THE FEDERAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (2015 – 2019) AT THE STATE HOUSE COUNCIL CHAMBER ON 22ND MAY, 2019.

Today’s Federal Executive Council meeting is the last time we will meet as a cabinet before the commencement of the second and final term of this Administration.


2. Our first meeting in this chamber was in November 2015. Over the past three and a half years, we worked together to deliver our campaign promises. I strongly believe that it is this team work that led to the successes recorded during our first term.

3. Some of our colleagues, with whom we started this journey, unfortunately are not here to join us in celebrating our successes.

4. Specifically, I must recognise our late brother, James Ocholi, SAN who passed away in a fearful motor accident with his wife, Blessing, and son, Joshua, only four months after being sworn in as a minister.

5. I want us to all put him, and, indeed, his family, in our memory. He was a true patriot committed to our change agenda.

6. I also acknowledge the contributions of other council members who resigned before the completion of our tenure to pursue other opportunities.

7. You will recall that when we started this journey, our country was facing numerous challenges.

8. We inherited a broken economy which eventually went into recession in the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2016. The situation was further compounded by insecurity and massive corruption.

9. Many would have given up. Indeed, many outside commentators said our situation was well nigh hopeless. However, we all came together and pushed forward to deliver our campaign promise to rescue our country from its parlous state.

10. Although we all had a common vision, we frequently had heated debates in this room on the best way to achieve our goals. These differing views are what made the decisions we took all the more rational.

11. It is this quality that made me retain my cabinet for the full term. Each of you in this room has a unique skill and strength. We are a reflection of the Nigeria we aspire to achieve. A diverse but tolerant nation where no one is silenced and where every opinion should be heard and considered.

12. I want you all to leave this meeting proud to have served your nation to the best of your ability.

13. You should be proud to have been part of the Government that liberated the local governments previously under Boko Haram rule.

14. You should be proud to have contributed to our food security and economic diversification agenda which led to the revival of our rural agrarian economy

15. You should be proud to have been part of the team that developed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which led Nigeria exiting its worst recession in decades.

16. You should be proud to have introduced the social investment program that enhanced livelihoods of millions of Nigerians.

17. You should be proud to have participated in settling outstanding pensions of many senior citizens abandoned by previous governments while supporting state governments to meet their salary arrears.

18. And, of course, you should all be proud to have overseen the most ambitious road, rail and airport rehabilitation programs in the history of our country.

19. I want to put on record, that your achievements in the last three and a half hears has guaranteed your position in the history books of this nation. You have certainly built the foundations for an improved economy and a more purposeful government.

20. Although today is our last council meeting, I expect all of you to continue working until Tuesday, 28th May 2019 when you will officially hand over your schedules to your respective Permanent Secretaries. Your handing over letters should be submitted to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

21. I want to conclude by thanking all of you for agreeing to serve our nation during these difficult times. I want to use this opportunity to recognise the silent partners to this cabinet, your spouses, families and friends, who supported you through these years.

22. I wish you the very best of luck and pray for your successes, for dear families and our for country in the years ahead.

Thank you and God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

(NAN)

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PDP Slams Presidency For Saying Killings Under Buhari Lower Than Other Governments |RN

Buhari-returns-from-London

Olusola Fabiyi, Olalekan Adetayo, Eniola Akinkuotu, Friday Olokor, Adelani Adepegba, Olaleye Aluko and Olaide Oyelude

The Peoples Democratic Party, the Campaign for Democracy and the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership on Monday attacked President Muhammadu Buhari following the Presidency’s rating of killings under the current regime as lower than those of the past PDP governments.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had said the abduction of the District Head of Daura, Alhaji Musa Uba, who is also the husband to President Buhari’s niece, Hajiya Bilki, showed that security agencies were not giving any town preferential treatment.

The abducted district head is also the father-in-law to Buhari’s Aide-de-camp, Col. Mohammed Abubakar.

Umar was kidnapped by yet-to-be identified gunmen at his residence in Daura, Katsina State last week Wednesday.

The President’s spokesman, who said this during an interview on Kakaaki, a breakfast television programme on the Africa Independent Television, argued that the number of people killed under Buhari’s watch was lower when compared with Nigerians that lost their lives under the past governments.

But the PDP urged Buhari to stop comparing the number of Nigerians killed under his administration with those of the party. Rather, the opposition party asked him to see the abduction of his town’s district head as an insult to the nation and a wake-up call for him to fight insecurity in the country.

Shehu had while responding to a question on the rising cases of banditry as evidenced by the abduction of the President’s in-law said, “Well, that has happened but I think that brings the message home that it is a national problem and that because the President comes from Daura, that is not to say there cannot be crime in Daura or Daura will be specially treated.

“The army said two days ago that there were clear pointers that these problems were beyond criminality.”

Shehu, however, scored the Buhari administration 98 per cent in the fight against insurgency.

He said, “If you ask me about the biggest security (challenge) we met on the ground, it is Boko Haram terrorism and I will score this administration 98 per cent coming this far because Boko Haram is now confined to the fringes of the Lake Chad. As a matter of fact, they jump in and out and mainly occupy communities that have not been re-occupied by their owners.”

Responding to a report by the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu’s, claim that 1,071 persons lost their lives in crime-related cases across the country in the first quarter of 2019, Shehu said despite the recent rising killings, banditry and kidnapping, the figure was still better than that of the previous administrations.

The President said although he would not want to compare figures, the facts remained sacred.

Shehu said, “Yes, there has been a recent rise (in attacks) but this is not to suggest that this has never happened in the country and they are beginning just now because President Buhari is out of the country.

“You mentioned the numbers but I want to say from our own point of view in the Presidency, we have avoided comparing numbers because it will lead to the same criticisms that some people have made of being insensitive because even if it is one life of a Nigerian that is lost, it is important, it cannot be justified, it cannot be defended.

“But anybody who takes the trouble to check the Presidential website; at some point Femi (Adesina) had done the numbers and the staggering numbers put on display coming from the past are nothing comparable to these numbers but we will not take it likely.”

He also defended Buhari’s decision to travel to the United Kingdom for 10 days during the height of insecurity.

Shehu said the President was entitled to rest even as he claimed that Buhari was in firm control of the nation while in the UK.

The President’s spokesman said security agencies were doing their best but noted that things would not change overnight but would take some time.

Let kidnapping of Daura district head drive you to action, PDP tells Buhari

But reacting to the Presidency’s claim, the PDP called on President Buhari to “wake up and realise that he is leading a country of about 200 million people.”

The party also asked the President to consider the kidnapping of the district head of Daura, as an insult to himself and the nation.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbodiyan, who spoke with The PUNCH, said the daring manner with which kidnappers had been operating in the country made the party to ask Buhari to return to Nigeria from London where he went for a “private visit” for 10 days.

Ologbodiyan said, “It is an insult that kidnappers could be that daring to the extent of going a few metres to his (Buhari’s) house and take away his district head.

“That is a worse form of insult to the President of a country like Nigeria. To us, nothing compares to that insult.

“This was one of the many reasons we asked him to abandon whatever he was doing in London and return home. If he had been asked how Nigeria was while he was there, what would have been his response?

“Now is the time for him to show that he still has energy, if he actually has, to work.

“We know that there were no bandits in this country, especially in the North-West before the elections. But they were the ones that brought mercenaries from other countries to this country for the elections.

“The President should therefore wake up and act as a leader, who is leading a nation of more than 200 millon people.”

Ologbondiyan also said it was sad that the Presidency could be comparing the number of deaths in particular administration with what was happening now.

While saying the PDP was not interested in the number of deaths before now, he said the President could quit if he felt the job was too much for him.

He said, “We are not interested in the number of deaths then and now because we are not morticians; we do not work at mortuaries. What we want is peace and a stop to the senseless killings in the country.

“The President came with a promise to change things positively. He did not promise that he would be taking the number of people killed in his administration and then compare the figure with other administrations when he is done.

“However, one thing is sure: we were not witnessing these daily killings, kidnappings, weeping, gnashing of teeth and sorrow during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the late Umaru Yar’Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan. They were never gang of failures.

‘If the President is tired as we could see now, he is free to throw in the towel.”

Buhari at risk of bandits’ attacks, say CD, CACOL

Also, two civil society organisations, CD and CACOL said if the Federal Government allowed the insecurity in the North-West to fester, the President might soon be attacked or abducted by the bandits.

The two organisations spoke in different interviews with one of our correspondents.

The CD National President, Usman Abdul, said, “Let me be emphatic. If President Buhari happened to be in Daura on that day when the bandits struck, the President might have been kidnapped also.

“Some of the pledges that the President made during the recent elections were things that bordered on security. Today, it is very unfortunate that the President’s in-law was abducted and the Senior Special Assistant, Garba Shehu, was lamenting.

“It is a shame that this government has not done enough to secure its citizens, which is its primary responsibility. On our part as a civil society organisation, we are not alarmed by Shehu’s statement because they have not met their primary responsibility to safeguard us and our property.

“It is laughable that this is the next level we are preparing for. Nigeria is at a crossroads. If Buhari was in Daura on that day, he might have been taken hostage too.”

Also the CACOL Director, Debo Adeniran, said, “What has happened in Daura and in that geopolitical zone may be due to intelligence gathering failure. If the intelligence system had been working, attacks would have been nipped in the bud.

“What I believe that the bandits want to prove is that if they wanted to get to our President, they could get him. Sometimes, the President goes to Daura to attend Muslim prayers and others. What the bandits are saying is that nobody is completely safe in this country. Also the security agencies must review their operational system.”

Presidency adding insult to Nigerians’ injury – ADC

On its part, the African Democratic Congress said it amounted to adding insult to Nigerians’ injury for the presidential spokesman to claim that the kidnap of the district head of the President’s town showed that security agencies were not giving any town preferential treatment.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Yemi Kolapo, said this in an interview with The PUNCH.

She said, “We are not talking about where these killings and abductions are taking place or who the targets are. What we are talking about is the increasing rate of insecurity in all parts of the country.

“By saying that what happened in Daura showed that no town is given preferential treatment, one will even think they stage-managed the kidnap so that they can say so.”

On the claim that the rate of killings under the present administration was lower than what was obtainable during the last administrations, Kolapo asked the Presidency to end the killings and stop comparing figures.

Sad, Buhari rationalising crimes, says MBYC

However, the Middle Belt Youth Council said it was sad that the Presidency could be rationalising crimes, saying Buhari was never serious about fighting crime.

Its President, Emma Zopmal, said, “At the outset of this menace, the Presidency was playing politics and pranks over insecurity, partly because it was not yet in their immediate domain. They were seeing it from afar so it did not really matter to them until now.”   (Punch)

 

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