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JUST IN: Wanted Port Harcourt Serial Killer Arrested, Confesses His Actions |The Republican News

The suspect, Gracious David West

** blames curses from his community

The Rivers State Police Command has arrested an ex-militant, Gracious David West, 26, alleged to be responsible for the killing of about 13 women.

The police had declared him wanted on Wednesday after a Close Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) footage showed he had booked into a hotel with a young woman who was found dead on Tuesday.

The suspect reportedly confessed to have killed five women in similar manner in Imo State and seven in Port Harcourt City.

He was said to have been arrested on Wednesday along East-West Road while he was fleeing to Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State Capital.A native of Buguma LGA of Rivers State, West was alleged to be a renowned armed robber who was rehabilitated by a church and was assisted to secure a job at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri.

But the suspect was said to have continued his criminal lifestyle and was declared wanted by the Police in June last year. He was said to have been on the run until the CCTV footage exposed him as a member of the syndicate that had been killing women in cold blood, the Nation reports.

Narrating how he strangled his victims, he said: “We were inside the club then we discussed on how much I will pay her. After that we left the club to the hotel at Osas Road. When we got there, they took her up and I said let me look for a way to arrange for food that we will both eat.

“After eating, we slept till the next morning around 5:30am. I brought out a knife. She was unaware there was a knife. So, I told her not to shout that if she does I will use the knife on her.

“Out of fear she kept quite. During that time the television volume was loud. Then I used the wrapper to tie her hands her legs from the back and strangled her with pillow case.”

Confirming his arrest through their official Twitter handle, the police said the suspect was a member of the Degbam cult group, adding that he had made useful statements.

“Investigation is on with a view to ascertaining his motives and possible accomplices. The Commissioner of Police Rivers State, Mustapha Dandaura will be briefing the media on this significant police breakthrough on September 20,” the police said.

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Two Men, Ismaila Adefila, Busari Kabiru Jailed 7 years For Defrauding US Consulate |The Republican News

United States Embassy in Nigeria

Oluwatosin Omojuyigbe

The Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, Ikoyi, Lagos State, has secured the conviction of two fake visa agents, Ismaila Adefila and Busari Kabiru, who defrauded the United States consulate in Lagos of N50m.

The convicts were sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment each by Magistrate Folashade Botoku of the Igbosere Magistrates’ Court after they were found guilty of three counts bordering on conspiracy, forgery and stealing.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the convicts, who make payment for visa applicants, manipulated the visa receipt of one applicant through CorelDraw software to generate receipt for other applicants, depriving the US consulate of N50m.

It was gathered that the convicts filled their personal phone numbers and email addresses on the visa application forms of the applicants.

They were said to have doctored visa payment receipts of the United States of America B1 and B2 visa categories for over 350 applicants.

Our correspondent learnt that the convicts were arrested after the consulate petitioned the Commissioner of Police in charge of the SFU, Ikoyi.

During the trial, the lead investigator for the prosecution, DSP Lawal Audu, told the court that Adefila applied for one Abdulafiz Ijale and one Bankole Salau, using one visa receipt for both applicants, adding that over 350 application forms had the phone numbers of the convict.

Audu noted that after a detailed investigation, the convicts could not be linked to any institution, adding that they were also not visa procurement officers of the consulate.

He explained that they edited visa receipts issued by Guaranty Trust Bank so same could be used for other applicants who had booked appointments.

The police officer added that Kabiru, who admitted to defrauding one applicant, was arrested on the premises of the Nigerian Army Post Exchange (NAPEX).

Delivering her judgement, Magistrate Botoku held that the convicts had tarnished the image of the country through their actions.

“I am constrained to say that the defendants, by their acts have exhibited greed. They are part of a group that wants to reap where it has not sown and thus constantly bring the country’s reputation to disrepute. I have taken that into consideration in passing sentence.

“The first defendant is hereby sentenced to three years’ imprisonment each on count one and two, while he is sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment on count three, and the second defendant is sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on count one and two each and seven years’ imprisonment on count three. The sentences are to run concurrently,” she said.

Audu, who commended the judgment, said the conviction of the men would bring sanity to the NAPEX premises, where he said visa fraud had been prevalent.

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Xenophobia: Fresh Wave Of Attack Looms As Armed South African Youths Hit Streets, Ask Foreigners To Leave

Armed South African youths protesters

A fresh round of violence is currently building up in the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa, as armed protesters are out again, demanding that foreigners should return to where they came from.

According to Sowetan Live, a South African newspaper, the protesters, who carried weapons such as knobkerries, are waiting to be addressed by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, a notable politician and Zulu tribe leader.

This is coming one week after attacks on foreigners sparked reactions across the continent.

Nigeria, Rwanda and Malawi had pulled out of the World Economic Forum which held in South Africa while Zambia cancelled an international friendly match with South Africa over the violence against foreigners.

In reprisal attacks in Nigeria, South African-owned businesses were targetted. An MTN office was burnt down in Ibadan, Oyo state, while another office of the telecoms giant was vandalised in Abuja.

MTN had to shut its offices nationwide. Shoprite outlets were also targetted in Lagos, forcing the company to halt its operations across the country.

The South Africa High Commission in Nigeria also suspended operations.

During an assessment tour of some of the affected places, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos state, said 5,000 people were currently out of jobs as a result of the reprisal.

The police announced that 125 persons were arrested in connection with the violence while South African authorities said over 400 persons were arrested.

But amid the rift between Nigeria and South Africa, Naledi Pandor, South African minister of foreign affairs, said many Nigerians in her country are involved in drug trafficking. A comment which irked Geoffrey Onyeama, her Nigerian counterpart, who accused her of fuelling xenophobia.

In its report on Sunday, Sowetan Live said the leadership of hostel dwellers in Johannesburg has asked the government to engage the citizens about finding solutions to the clashes with foreign nationals.

Siphiwe Mhlongo, chairman of hostel headmen (izinduna) in Gauteng, was quoted as saying: “We are not happy with how government has tried to resolve the problems that the country is facing. The government must come speak to the people and explain what it is going to do with the foreign nationals who are here illegally.”

He said the residents were angry at jobs being take by foreign nationals, unhappy about drugs and RDP houses being owned by foreigners.

“Everyone who is in South Africa has that feeling that foreign nationals must go back home. But we don’t say foreign nationals must be beaten up; we are the leaders,” he said.

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FBI Crime List: Adedeji Emmanuel Oluwatosin Arrested, N1.4bn Found In His Account — EFCC |RN

EFCC personnel and FBI with Nigerian online scammers arrested in the United States

Two cars – Mercedes Benz E550 and Mercedes Benz C450 -, an iPhone, laptops, a modem and SIM cards were seized from his residence.


The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in collaboration with the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation has Emmanuel Adedeji Oluwatosin, one of the 77 Nigerians indicted by the US government over a large-scale scam.

Two cars – Mercedes Benz E550 and Mercedes Benz C450 -, an iPhone, laptops, a modem and SIM cards were seized from his residence.

He was paraded in Sokoto State on Thursday, following his arrest in Kaduna State.

According to the Zonal Head, Abdullahi Lawal, Oluwatosin and his accomplices acquired retirement account information (RAI) and personally identifiable information (PII) of multiple persons which they used to wire funds into newly-created business bank accounts.

The proceeds were then converted to cryptocurrency.

Preliminary investigations, EFCC noted, showed that about N1,437,889,157.15 passed through the suspect’s accounts.

Seventy million naira from that money had been traced, said Lawal as he said efforts were on to recover the money.

Meanwhile, the anti-corruption agency has arrested a wanted suspect, Muzakkir Muhammad, in connection with a case of obtaining money under false pretenses and production of fake currencies.

He said the suspect was reported by one of his victims, Abdullahi Ibrahim, after he had defrauded another victim, Samaila Sani, a bureau de change operator to the tune of $33,850.

(Sahara Reporters)

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25 Police, Soldiers Arrested In Taraba As Probe Shows They Are On Payroll Of Notorious Kidnapper, Wadume

SECURITY operatives have arrested 25 people in connection with the recent murder of three policemen in Taraba State who were shot by soldiers while they were taking notorious kidnapper Hamisu Wadume into custody.

In one of the biggest breaches of security ever known, the three policemen were shot dead by troops of the Nigerian Army who are suspected of being on the payroll of the kidnapper. After shooting the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) policemen in cold blood, the soldiers then set Mr Wadume free and he remains at large up until now.

Enraged by the incident, the Nigeria Police Force claim that the soldiers were in cahoots with the kidnappers and it has emerged that the army captains who ordered the shooting spoke with Mr Wadume on the phone 191 times. According to one source, Mr Wadume maintained and oiled a machinery of security operatives, including police and military personnel from across Taraba State, who fed him with information on movements and location of victims for kidnapping.

They were also said to have fed the kidnap kingpin with dossiers of those capable of paying good ransom fees as well as possible hideouts and escape routes. Through tracking and interception facilities, investigators were able to discover conversations which unravelled the roles of both the police and military personnel who were on the kidnappers’ payroll.

One source said: “I can tell you that over 20 military and police personnel have been arrested since this investigation started. They gave the kingpin coverage all these years the police have been looking for him, which is the reason it has taken this long to get him.”

The killing of the IRT members, including Assistant Superintendent of Police Felix Adolije, Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeants Usman Danzumi and Dahiru Musa as well as civilian Olajide Owolabi, sparked off national outrage, with family members, individuals and groups calling on the federal government to ensure justice was done on the matter.

The joint investigation panel is headed by Rear Admiral Olaiya and has a representative each from the army, navy, air force, police, Department of State Service and the Defence Intelligence Agency.

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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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Insecurity: Stop Labelling Fulani Criminals, Says Bodejo, Miyetti Allah President

Alhaji Bello Abdullahi Bodejo

PAUL OMOKUVIE, Bauchi

The President of Fulani socio-cultural association, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Alhaji Bello Abdullahi Bodejo, has said that allegations of Fulani being behind some violent criminal activities in the country were not true.

Bodejo said, rather most crimes such as kidnapping, armed robbery and farmers-herders’ clashes among others were instigated by some politicians and enemies of Fulani to blackmail the ethnic group and to cause unnecessary confusion and disaffection.

He said this in Bauchi over the weekend  while interacting with reporters, saying  acts of kidnapping and armed robbery shown in videos via social media were all drama to portray Fulani in bad light.

He said:  “You as journalists, have you ever investigated those they arraign in court after the drama; if any, did the court convict them? Did I challenge you the press to tell me any ethnic group that does not have people with questionable character?  Were they not being arrested by security agencies, did you ever hear security agencies describing their ethnic group? Why are they doing this to Fulani? Even in the drama, do you see the picture of the actor asking them questions? It’s only blackmail.”

He said even the farmers and herders fracas had been politicised, recalling that the misunderstandings between the two groups was age-longed, and have traditional ways of resolving them.

Bodejo said: “But unlike before, when these feuds happened, they and were resolved immediately. But politicians now use them as ways of causing disaffection between Fulani and other tribes.”

He said as part of the blackmail, on many occasions, “you will see someone taking pictures from accident scenes and before you know, they post it on social media claiming Fulani herdsmen were responsible for the killings; it’s unfortunate.”

Bodejo said that his kinsmen herders do not bear arms of any form except the traditional sticks they are known for.

On the controversial plan by Federal  government to establish ranches across the country known as RUGA, the Miyetti leader faulted northern governments at all levels for being insensitive to the plights of Fulani herdsmen in the country.

He said: “The Nigerian government has been insensitive to the plights of Fulani herdsmen across the country even when they are contributing immensely to the nation’s economy through their herd business.

“Let the Federal government bring back the grazing reserves across the country. We have national and international cattle routes across the country; they have been taken over by modern roads, These are the rights of Fulani as citizens. I agreed that cattle-rearing is a personal business, but governments must look for ways of easing business for these herders. If the government can disburse billions of Naira as loans to petty traders across the country which are personal business, then they (governments) should also look at what they can do to ease Fulani herders in their cattle-rearing business, it is a business that governments at all levels must support them to do at ease.”

 Bodejo said Fulani are educated and are leaders in Nigeria, saying the majority of the northern governors, ministers and emirs are sons and daughters of Fulani and they need to protect the group and provide them with  the essential social services in their settlements and that will help to ease their sufferings and make them live happily.

He commended the Jigawa State government for doing more to assist the Fulani and challenged all northern states governors to implement the grazing reserve policy in their states.

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Insecurity: OPC Will Not Allow Yoruba Land Turns To Den Of Criminals – Osibote |The Republican News

OPC President, Aare Prince Osibote

Tunde Thomas

Kidnappers and herdsmen abducting  people  have been warned to keep away from the South West or risk incurring the wrath of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC).

Giving the warning in an interview is the president of OPC, Aare Prince Osibote, who said the group will resist any attempt not only to make Yoruba land unsafe but also to turn it into den of criminals. Osibote, who succeeded late Dr. Fredrick Faseun as OPC leader also spoke on other national issues.

What is your reaction to the present state of insecurity in the country, especially the South West where suspected herdsmen and bandits have been kidnapping people?

As an organisation, OPC is worried about this security challenge, and our hope is that the various security agencies will be able to quickly nip in the bud the nefarious activities of bad elements behind these vices. As the leader of OPC, I’m calling on Yoruba and other people living in the South West not to panic. OPC is up to the task and we are fully prepared to defend the Yoruba land from any external aggressors. I’m giving the people of the South West the assurance that they should not panic. We are already doing our home work. We are ready to bare our fangs if provoked.

Don’t forget that the primary objective of setting up the OPC as an organisation is to defend and promote Yoruba interests, and we are ready at all times to do that. Enough is enough! These criminals should keep off Yoruba land or risk incurring the wrath of OPC.

Our warning to all these criminal elements is that they should stay away from Yoruba land. OPC under my watch will not allow Yoruba land to be turned into a den of criminals. Never! It will never happen. They should not play with fire. OPC can’t only bark but can also bite. We will not trigger or provoke any crisis, but any group or individual that attempt to disrupt peace in Yoruba land will have himself to blame. Everybody know what OPC can do, but we are for peace and unity of Nigeria, we don’t want to  be provoked and this is why I’m using this medium to appeal to the Federal Government to take urgent steps to put adequate security measures in place to secure lives and properties of all Nigerians.

Why has your voice not been heard all this while on some of these burning national issues?

I have not been speaking out since I took over leadership of OPC after the death of our founder, Dr Frederick Fasheun because I have been undertaking reforms in OPC with a view of sanitising the organisation because on assuming leadership of the organisation, I discovered that some unscrupulous elements have mingled with the organisation and we needed to flush them out. Those are the bad elements that are giving OPC bad name. OPC as an organisation has good ideals and vision with the primary objective of promoting Yoruba interests, values and culture.

OPC was set up during the military era to fight injustice against the Yoruba race especially after the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election. At the time OPC was set up, former President, General Olusegun Obasanjo was being held in jail by the Abacha military junta. Part of the reasons OPC was set up was to fight the military junta that annulled the June 12 election, and also to ensure a return to democracy, and luckily we were able to achieve those objectives as democracy was restored to the country in 1999.

I’m determined to reform OPC because the impression some people have is that OPC is all about hooliganism and thuggery. But this is a wrong view of the group. Our objective as I said earlier is to promote Yoruba culture and practices. OPC members are not to be used as thugs or to unleash violence on people. I’m rebranding OPC, and this I’m doing quietly and this is why I have not been too loud in what I have been doing since assuming office as OPC leader. Moreover, I don’t believe in speaking too much. I believe in taking action rather than talking every time. Then, again we must try to find out, whether those talking every time have genuine intention or not, or whether they are doing so to attract attention with a view of getting something in return or not.

To tackle insecurity in the South West, some Nigerians are suggesting the idea of collaboration between the Police and OPC like it was done before. What’s your take on that?

It is a good idea, when Alhaji Musiliu Smith was the Inspector-General of Police, he initially expressed reservations about OPC activities but I later got an appointment with him, and I used the opportunity to explain to him in detail what OPC stands for. I told him that what people are telling him about OPC is not true. Then a lot of people were saying negative things about OPC. I took time to explain to Smith about the vision of OPC, and what the group stands for. My interactions with Smith led to collaboration between OPC and the Police, especially in the area of combating and tackling crime.  His successor, Alhaji Tafa Adebayo Balogun sustained that relationship and during his time there was also collaboration between the Police and OPC to enhance security of lives and properties especially in the South West.

Balogun is a man that should be appreciated. During his tenure, not only Nigeria was effectively policed and secured but the South West in particular enjoyed peace and security. Tafa Balogun had zero tolerance for crime and criminals and it was during his time that ‘Operation Fire-For-Fire’ was introduced. He is a man that should be appreciated. In the history of OPC, Tafa Balogun can’t be forgotten for how he ensured that the Police and OPC worked in harmony to protect lives and properties of Nigerians especially in the South West. It is a pity and very unfortunate that Tafa Balogun is not being appreciated the way Nigerians ought to appreciate him over his achievements in the area of security. Like it was done during Smith, and Balogun’s era, we can also do it now. OPC is ready to collaborate, and work with the Police and other security agencies to tackle the problem of insecurity in the country if we are invited.

How would you assess President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration?

There is no individual that is 100 percent perfect. As a leader, the president I believe has been trying his best to move the nation forward. He has been trying to sanitise the country through his fight against corruption. Corruption has caused a lot of havoc in the country. It has become a hydra-headed monster that we need to tame. We should all join hands to fight corruption if we want Nigeria to attain greatness.

Some Nigerians recently canvassed death penalty as punishment for corruption, what’s your take on that?

I’m in support of it. Death penalty is okay for corruption. Through corruption and corrupt practices, looters are destroying the nation. They are also killing Nigerians. By the time a few corrupt people are hanged or executed other would-be looters will beat a retreat. I don’t see anything wrong with execution of looters. Their execution will serve as a deterrent. If looters are executed, there will be sanity. Nigeria will not be the first country to execute looters. In China, looters are executed. There are also other countries that do so.

As a way of fighting corruption some have suggested that the newly elected public office holders should be made to swear by traditional gods like Ogun, Esu etc, that doing so will help to stem or tackle corruption as many public office holders don’t respect the Bible and the Quran which are currently being used for swearing-in ceremonies. What’s your reaction?

I fully support it. It is another effective way to tackle corruption. These traditional gods are agents of the supreme deity Yoruba called Olodumare. When you swear falsely on any of these gods, you are playing with fire because if you swear on them, and when you get to public office and start stealing, you will incur the wrath of these traditional gods as calamities in various forms will start afflicting anybody that swears falsely with them and this is why our public office holders are afraid of them. But if these public office holders have genuine intention to serve and not to loot, they should not be afraid or develop cold feet if they ask them to swear by traditional gods.

What is your reaction to the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day?

It is a welcome development. OPC as an organisation was part of the June 12 struggle. OPC came into being as part of other movements that emerged to fight the injustice of June 12 annulment. President Buhari should be commended for making the declaration.

What are your expectations from President Buhari in this second term in office?

It is only in Nigeria that I see citizens abuse their leaders. Even though you may disagree with his policies and programme, you don’t need to abuse Buhari as a leader. There are polite ways to express your disagreement with him without resorting to abuse.

As for my expectations from him, he should fix the power sector. He promised to do this during his first term but up till today the problems besetting the sector are still there and we all know that power is the key to so many economic challenges facing the nation. If the power sector is fixed, there will be a boom in the economy. Then small scale enterprises will also thrive, and employment will be generated for many unemployed Nigerians.

Buhari also promised to tackle the problem of unresolved murders and assassinations. There are so many unresolved murders and assassinations. We need to unravel these, so Buhari should keep to his promise  to let Nigerians know what happened in all these cases.

During his second term, Buhari should also ensure that he put in place, people-oriented programmes that will make life meaningful for Nigerians. He should also find ways to squarely address the problem of poverty.

To the South West governors, what’s your advice to them?

My advice is not only for the South West governors but all the newly elected leaders. They should know that they were elected to serve. They should therefore not be self-serving. They should not betray the electorate. They should know that public office is an avenue to serve and not platforms to loot. (The Sun)

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Eastern Region Assembly Condemns SE Governors Meeting With Miyetti Allah |The Republican News

The Eastern Region Assembly, ERA has responded in strongest terms the demand from the Miyetti Allah from South East governors for the Fulani herdsmen to be part of the vigilante group which are to be formed in the Eastern region. The idea of the vigilante is to form a security outfit to check against the menance of the murderous and marauding killer Fulani herdsmen, and the fact that the same group wants to be part of the vigilante security outfit raised eyebrows.

ERA, in their press release had this to say:

THE POSITION OF EASTERN REGION ASSEMBLY ON MIYETTI ALLAH RECENT REQUEST FOR VIGILANTE IN THE EAST

ERA (Eastern Region Assembly) is putting it to the entire governors in Alaigbo and the coastal parts of the region that a successful formation of alien vigilante translates to a successful invasion, occupancy, and outright takeover of our region.

The governors manning the state houses in the region should not forget that they are the custodians of our social pact – common will – and as such will be the ones to be held responsible for whatever social, political, and economic quagmire the region is faced with.

ERA, most especially, frowns at the persistent disunity of the state actors that dot the region, considering the fact that their contemporaries in the West work n-sync with their people. ERA wonders why the needed regional consciousness still remains a spook in the minds of both state actors and traditional leaders in our dear region.

It is the terse submission of ERA’s that as long as the led and leaders in the region cannot sit together and discuss the future of the region the way the West did and was able to anoint Gani Adams, our region will continue to float without any projected destination. Of course, the real reason behind our travails before and after the Civil War is our inability to talk as one people.

ERA was formed with the evasive consciousness of one people, related regional culture, diverse dialects from one language etc. We urge the entire people in the region to borrow a leaf from the West and start doing the needful. We must begin to think of our region first, since it is only in doing so that our tribes will fare better; for no tribe can stand alone: there is so much strength in unity.

ERA will not fail to blame the governors, legislators, and judicial activists in our region should any part of the region fall under indirect administration of aliens whose real goal is to conquer us – religiously, politically, and economically. But we cannot complain without proffering solution. ERA recommends as follows:

1) that the entire people, traditional actors, and state actors fashion out a way to come together vide a regional summit

2) that the regional summit be used to produce a generally acceptable leader who will be supported by the leaders and led in the region

3) that all wrongs in the past be discussed and forgiven in the interest of the region

4) that local vigilante groups in various parts of the region (Egbesu in Ijaw, Bakassi in Alaigbo etc) be reawaken by the state actors and traditional rulers for effective defense of the region

5) that regular meetings be held on rotational basis across the entire states that constitute the region, where issues affecting the tribes and region will be discussed.

Finally, ERA wishes to state that the recommendations put out is not exhaustive per se, since there are numerous others; however, we are sanguine that a successful implementation of these will be a good takeoff. Our governors, legislators, traditional rulers, ohanaeze, PANDEF, IYC, Akwa-Cross Council etc must arise and shield our entire region from this impending disaster. We are one people. We must reinvent our regional consciousness now. A united people are always invincible. God bless us all.

Comr. Russell Idatoru Sunju Bluejack
P.R.O.

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FRESH ATTACKS [Photos]: Bandits Kill 25 In Sokoto |The Republican News

At least 25 people have been killed in fresh bandits’ attack in four villages of Ghandi District in Rabah Local Government Area of Sokoto State at the weekend.

The bandits stormed villages of Tsage, Rakonni, Kalhu and Gee’re villages on Sunday, killing 25 people and wounding many. The state governor, Aminu Tambuwal was among dignitaries who attended the funeral prayer for the deceased on Sunday. Condoling the families, people of Rabah Local government and the state as a whole at the palace of district head of Ghandi, Mr Tambuwal appealed to the security agencies to redouble efforts towards containing the menace.

Tambuwal praised Ghandi community for being their brothers’ keepers and urged them to continue with the good job of providing accomodation to the internally displaced persons. He, therefore, directed the state Zakkat and endowment commission, Isa and Sabon Birni Local governments to come to the aid of the internally displaced persons.Briefing newsmen on the incident in Ghandi town, the state commissioner of police, Ibrahim Kaoje, said four suspects including a woman have been arrested.

The police commissioner however assured that they are on top of the situation.The Governor also attended the funeral ceremony of the deceased.

(politicsnigeria)

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