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Fulani Herdsmen Testing Waters In The South Prior To Predetermined Attack – Prof. Adebooye

Cartoon: Fulani herdsman with his radio

Prof. Clement Adebooye, who is the immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Osun State University and Secretary-General, Governing Board of African-German Network of Science, tells FEMI MAKINDE that the present government lacks the political will to tackle insecurity

Killer herdsmen are on the rampage in many parts of the country and there is Boko Haram in the North-East while banditry is ravaging the North-West. What do you think are the implications of these crises?

Definitely, these problems will lead to food crisis. The attacks on farmers and destruction of their farms as well as attacks on their households are dangerous. If you sack farmers from their production zones and they are not able to produce, then there will be nobody to contribute the little proportion they contribute to food production capacity of the country. As things are now, many farmers in the North are at the mercy of donors. They are living at the Internally Displaced Persons camps. Producers have been reduced to beggars and when producers are reduced to beggars, then shortage is looming. So, it is implied that there will be food crisis soon if things do not change.

How do you think the herdsmen crisis can be tackled since it will have a negative effect on food security?

Nomadic life is not new in this country and cattle rustling is not a new phenomenon within Nigeria. The question is why have these two suddenly become big issues? Why do the herdsmen now need to carry sophisticated weapons around instead of rods they used to goad their animals? We should ask questions from those that are older and learn from history. We grew up to know herdsmen and the kind of crisis we are witnessing now was not there then. Are we saying the number of the cattle has increased so much that herders now have to carry AK-47 to protect their animals?  The answer to these questions is no. The issue is that Nigeria is facing a serious and fundamental problem now. This problem is caused by people who have political motives.

What kind of political motives do the herdsmen have?

The political motives are two-pronged. The first is this Boko Haram issue which, in a way, is saying that western education is useless and that people should shun it. It is a political objective and there are some people behind it. The other one may be extreme politics about who governs the nation and who rules where. It appears as if there is a scheme to annihilate the whole of Nigeria and convert it to a particular dynasty that I don’t want to mention. What is happening now is not new to Nigeria. Anybody that has read history will remember that there was a war similar to this before. Between 1840 and 1860, there was a similar war which was launched from the northern Nigeria and the war raged down the South until they were defeated around Osogbo. They were fighting down the South all in the name of Jihad. So, what is going on now can be something like that. The current attacks are not targeted at farmers only; they are killing students, teachers, doctors, chiefs, kings, their subjects and anybody they see. This is not a war against farmers only; it is a war against the generality of Nigerians. Those who launch such wars like the ones we are seeing always have a date that they will launch the major one. They may launch the final war soon. What they are doing now is just to do a trial run and see the level of resistance.

Are you saying they are planning to unleash terror on the nation and overrun it?

They are just ‘test-running’ now to see the level of resistance of the people but unfortunately, there is no resistance anywhere.

But why has it been difficult to arrest those behind this?

The reason is because there is no political will to tackle the problem. We all know that when armed robbers strike in a place and the police want to work, they get those robbers arrested within two weeks. But how many of these herdsmen have been arrested and prosecuted since they have been killing? They have been killing for about four years now; unfortunately, none of them has been caught. This points to the fact they are enjoying a kind of socio-political backing and it is sending a signal that what we are witnessing is a kind of trial run with the hope that in no distant future, they will launch the bigger attack and it will be total.

Is it possible for outsiders to perpetrate these criminal acts without the support of the locals?

It seems to me that the killer herdsmen are not acting and working alone. They have collaborators within the other ethnic groups in Nigeria.  For example, I’m still wondering how brave the herdsmen could be to operate around Asejire along Ife-Ibadan Expressway without the support of the locals. This is the worrisome part of the whole saga. It means that the nation has been held hostage. Everybody is just looking for a way to make money at the expense of the masses. That is why some of those at the lowest rung of the ladder are engaged in criminal activities.

Those in the political as well as ruling class have also held the nation hostage by creating disharmony among the people through politics, religion and ethnicity. We have been disorganised to such an extent that all social structures have been destroyed. Pressure groups are no longer there and we are all praying on the mountain in order to solve social problems that could be solved by one day protest. The psyche of our people is damaged by the political class and that is why our youths have lost the necessary societal values and therefore, cannot think correctly.

As an agriculturist, what will you suggest as the solution to the problem of open grazing?

This problem is political and that is why ranching may never solve it. Ranching and cattle colonies as they are proposing are a way of handling the land of some people over to other people. That is the reason it will not solve the problem. It is a tactical way of grabbing land and giving the same to some people. Israel is in the desert and they practise agriculture on a large scale including raising livestock but there is no problem with herdsmen there.  About 75 per cent of the land in Australia is desert and Australia has much more cattle than human beings; yet this problem does not exist there. Israel is in the desert and the number of cattle there is much more than the cattle we have here in this country. Despite that the landmass is very small compared to Nigeria’s. Have you heard of herdsmen destroying farms there?  They are raising cattle in many countries much more than we have here and they don’t have the kind of crisis that we have.

How are they handling it?

What the government here should do is to create an enabling environment in the areas where people raise cattle. They should set up irrigated pasture in the North. If they establish that, those who carry AK-47 will have no excuse for killing, raping and destroying people’s property all over the country in the name of looking for greener pasture for their animals. Irrigated pasture is a practice in agriculture and it will solve this problem coupled with a strong political will. I am sure you are aware that they grow tomatoes in Kano State, Borno and other states and they grow onions and other things as well. They raise these crops during the dry season with the help of irrigation. Why can’t government use similar irrigation method for pasture instead of coming to seize land from the South-West, South-East and South-South in the name of ranches?  Israel produces enormous citrus and many other crops through irrigation. Why is our government running away from doing that?

Are you saying the government should assist pastoralists by setting up irrigated pasture in areas where cattle raising is their major business?

Yes, this should be done in the North where cattle raising is their business. It makes sense. Why are the people of the South-West not asking government to give them land in the North to grow kola nuts, cocoa and palm trees? Why is the government not providing the enabling environment for the people in the South to go and plant these crops in the North? Why is the government not allowing farmers to go to Kano and other states in the core North to raise pigs? Why can’t government set aside 50 hectares of land to raise pigs in Kano or Sokoto State? Government should create the enabling environment in the North for those raising cattle, not seizing the land of some people under the guise of cattle colonies or ranches.

Insurgency can’t thrive except it is supported by government. Look at what happened in Kano State during the Maitasine riot in 1983. It was put at bay by the troops of the nation. The government troops drove those militants outside the country. What is the difference between the war by the killer herders and the Maitasine rioters? It is the will of the government that is lacking to address the problem. This government in Nigeria has no political will to stop the carnage going on around the country. There is no where people are kidnapped in Nigeria and such is not traced to killer Fulani herdsmen. Most kidnappings in the country are done by these herdsmen. Chief Olu Falae was kidnapped by the herdsmen; the Obafemi Awolowo University professor recently abducted was kidnapped by the Fulani people. Some Methodist priests were kidnapped in Osun State as well as in Ekiti State. This shows that the government has tacitly legalised all these criminal activities and that is why they thrive. Those behind this crime are not arrested or prosecuted; and this has emboldened them to do more.  You can’t see this happening in any sane society.

Let us put things in perspective. How many armed robbers have been arrested in the last four years? They are many. How many robbers have the police attacked and killed in the last four years? I am sure many of them have been arrested and some killed. So, why have the security agencies not been able to arrest any of the herdsmen killing people all over the country? Why is it very difficult to arrest these people? The situation is becoming worse in the South-West.

Are you also saying the South-West is under the siege of herdsmen as alleged by the Yoruba Council of Elders?

The South-West is under the siege of these people. I said something earlier that these people are engaged in trial run of their weapons and strategies and that the day of final onslaught is coming.

How do you think this can be prevented?

It is the government that has the security forces that can do that. The ordinary people are incapacitated. The people that have the instrument of authority should act now before it is too late. I doubt if anybody in the South-West or the South-East is ready to go to war now. These attackers will just overrun us if they strike because the government is not interested in protecting the people.

What do you think is the motive behind the alleged plan to overrun the people?

Do you know that these people have a veiled mission? We have heard that the ISIS has joined the fight and you can never tell their strategy. It appears like they are trying to convert the whole of West Africa to come under a political dynasty that will have one identity. Some people are trying to convert our region to a political entity known to them. It is a conversion process that is going on. From what we have read, people who do this kind of things, all over the world, first carry out trial runs just like the ones we are witnessing now. And after that, they will strike. They will first test the strength of their opponents and the quality of their resistance after which they will strike. Let me make it clear that this has nothing to do with Islam. I say this because we have Muslims in the South-West but have you heard that they slaughter people of other religions because of Islam? Also, In Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries where Islam is the dominant religion, such killings do not happen. Why are those ones killing here? You will know that it is part of their culture.

If the executive is not willing to act to prevent the looming disaster, why are the lawmakers at the National Assembly not putting pressure on the executive?

Cheap money impairs thinking. There are no people that will collect the amount of money they collect and will be able to think about the people. They are only representing themselves and not the people. People who get such huge amount of money with little or no work won’t put the people first. Also, the political parties we have do not have ideologies and that is one of the reasons those elected on their platforms do not consider the people in what they do. Nigeria was programmed by God to succeed but some Nigerians have held the country hostage and there can’t be development until the nation is liberated.

You have won many grants for your universities from Germany and Canada. What will you say is making it difficult for many Nigerian scholars to achieve this feat?

The number one thing before you can win grants from these foreign countries is the quality of your research work. Your work must be of good quality before they will agree to fund it. Also, you must have built good reputation for yourself. Those who have given you money before must be able to vouch for your reputation. You must have previous records of ground-breaking research work. Your reputation as a researcher builds the reputation of your university. Those people won’t give you their money because your university has a big name but if somebody from a small university has done a quality research and such has good reputation, it will be easier for others from the same university to receive grants provided they also have good research work they want to do.

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Herdsmen: We’ve Had Enough Killings, Destruction In South East, Ohanaeze Youths Warn |RN

By Godwin Aliuna

The leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, OYC, on Thursday declared that the South-East region would no longer fold its hands and allow herdsmen to continue to kill, terrorise and destroy properties worth millions of naira of the Igbo in the zone.

The group made this known through a press statement signed by the OYC President-General, Mr. Okechukwu isiguzoro, and made available to DAILY POST in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi state.

The statement reads in part: “Ohanaeze has Studied the recent threat of genocidal ethnic cleansing by Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria against the people of the South East for ” their alleged stubbornness “and subsequently the denial of Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, Zonal Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria Southeast zone, for his apologies and explanations to the people of South East are dead on arrival, as it’s a diversionary tactics to get back to the people of South East unawares, unprepared and to douse the already soaked tension emanating from the leak press release of their planned atrocities because of the resistance of the people of South East against the establishment of cattle colonies in Igbo land.

“We have not forgotten the continuous rape of women (their farms) in Igbagu in izzi and isu in Onicha LGAs in Ebonyi, the continuous invasion and killings by herdsmen In Uzo Uwani and Nsukka environs in Enugu, the recent atrocities in Aba, where herdsmen chopped off a lady’s hand in Abia, and other detailed nefarious activities of
Fulani herdsmen in Anambra and Imo States respectively. We will not fold our arms and allow evil to thrive by these notorious herdsmen. Never again should we allow them to strike unchallenged.

“We will not take laws into our hands to fight back, but rather as a matter of urgency, We call for the establishment of state vigilant groups or the return of the dreaded famous ” Bakassi Boys” with special mandate to engage the armed herdsmen.

“We call on the incoming leadership of State House of Assemblies in Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States and existing leadership in Anambra to proceed without delay to enact laws to establish Local vigilant groups with special mandate to protect our boundaries and fish out armed herdsmen from peaceful cattle rearers, who operate in unholy hours of day.

“We are amazed that over the years that these armed herdsmen had created routes in our bushes and forests where they either have temporary settlement or hideouts as a base for them to prepare to launch attack to their target local communities.

“We call on our Town Unions and Community based groups to be vigilant about the purported rumour of attack by armed herdsmen, never allow them to caught us unawares and unprepared, for any blood of any igbo man killed by these herdsmen will not be tolerated and will be resisted, Ndigbo ” Hausa abatago na Awka” Ndigbo “Agwo nno na akirika”. Stop sleeping at nights, be vigilant Southeast residents,” the council warned.

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Fulani Herdsmen Killing Us Like Chicken, Delta Community Cries Out |The Republican News

Republican News file Photo: Armed Fulani herdsmen


…Says indigenes now captives in their land


Christopher Oji

The people of Ubulu-Uku, a predominantly farming community in Aniocha South Local Government Area (LGA) of Delta State, have raised the alarm over herdsmen’s siege on the area and other neighbouring communities, including Onicha-Ugbo and Isele-Uku, in Aniocha North LGA.

The people of Ubulu-Uku and its environs under attack from gunmen alleged to be Fulani herdsmen have cried out for urgent intervention, saying they need the protection of the police, other security agencies and government attention in general.

In the past two weeks alone, suspected herdsmen have shot dead an illustrious son of Ubulu-Uku, Mr. Chikwe Ojinji, while the medical director of Goodnews Hospital, Isele-Uku, Dr. Andrew Odozi, a native of Onicha-Ugbo, was also murdered by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.
Dr. Odozi was killed in the line of duty while rushing to the hospital to save the life of Mr. Meme, who was shot in the neck by herdsmen along the Isele-Uku/Ubulu-Uku Road.


The doctor received a distress call from his staff that Meme was rushed to the hospital in Isele-Uku for gunshot injuries. He was on his way to rescue the injured man when he ran into a roadblock mounted by herdsmen, who were robbing commuters unchallenged. The doctor was subsequently robbed and shot.

Dr. Odozi died on the spot and his body has since been deposited at the mortuary. Meme was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, where he is now recuperating. Also in the hospital was a legal practitioner who declined to be named for personal reasons. He was abducted on Isele-Uku/Ubulu-Uku road and paid a N1 million ransom before the herdsmen released him. The lawyer was visiting his hometown from Lagos when he fell into the hands of the gunmen.

He said: “I saw hell. I had brief worth millions on Monday and I was abducted at the weekend. I was released on Wednesday after my wife paid a N1 million ransom. This is a shame. I have lived in the North and I understand a little Fulani. My abductors were Fulani people. How can people from far North come to be abducting people in our land and we are keeping quiet?

“Can people from the South and East go to the northern part of the country and be abducting people, demanding ransom and killing them? This is a shame, and we must address it and rise up against this affront or else we have been captured.”

Under the current scenario, one-time peaceful and serene communities are now under the siege of herdsmen.

Speaking on the plight of Ubulu-Uku people, a member of the local vigilance group, Emeka Chukwudi, described Ubulu-Uku as a conquered community at the mercy of herdsmen: “That is the truth. We have been conquered by strangers who have taken over our farmlands. This is because we are incapacitated by the police who have disarmed us and allowed the herdsmen to move freely with sophisticated firearms. The herdsmen are doing well in their agenda to take over our place. Today, I am so sad that one-time strong Ubulu-Uku is suffering from attacks by Fulani herdsmen.
“Herdsmen abducted our king about three years ago and butchered him like a common criminal. We are still suffering from the abominable act on our king, His Royal Highness, Obi Akaeze Christopher Ofulue. As if that was not enough, the hoodlums, who masquerade as herdsmen, want to render us jobless. You know that we are predominantly farmers, that is our pride, but we are scared to go to the farms for fear of being killed. We are surrounded by other communities such as Abu-Ugba, Ogwashi-Uku, Obior and Isele-Uku. The herdsmen have virtually taken over the borderland between Ubulu-Uku and other towns and are callously unleashing terror on us on a daily basis.

“Recently, a woman was killed between Ubulu-Uku and Obior. She was going to Umunede Market when she was waylaid by herdsmen, who butchered her and stole her motorcycle. We saw her corpse but we don’t know what they did to her before they finally killed her. A few days after, some indigenes coming home for Christmas were robbed. The two incidents forced people to abandon the Ubulu-Uku/Obior road for Isele-Uku/Ubulu-Uku road in order to access other communities.

“As it is, we are in deep trouble. The hoodlums have taken over all the bushes surrounding Ubulu-Uku, through Isele-Uku, Ogwashi-Uku, Obior, Ubulu-Unor, Onitcha-Ugbo and Abu-Ugba.

“There are no longer safe access roads in and out of Ubulu-Uku and there is no help in sight, as people are scared to go to the farm for fear of being killed. Even if one is courageous enough to go to the farm, how will the person transport the farm produce to neighbouring markets, when the access roads have been taken over by killer herdsmen who unleash terror on road users? These brigands are doing their nefarious business unchallenged and this is a slap on our faces. But there is no way we can challenge gunmen with machetes and stones. Our children who live outside the town are scared to visit home because of the killer herdsmen that have taken over our surroundings.

“Recently, Monday Ike, who was working on his farm along the Ubulu-Uku/Onticha Ugbo road, was accosted by Fulani herdsmen who had kidnapped some victims and kept them in the thick forest. The herdsmen were running out of food and water, so they boldly approached him and ordered Ike to go to the village and bring them water and food, at his own expense, warning that they would kidnap him from his farm if he spilt the beans. Ike pledged not to report what he saw to anybody.

“He eventually reported the development to the vigilance group, who called in the police. The police and the vigilance group stormed the forest, rescued the victims and arrested a herder. But a few days later, the suspect was freed by the police.

“Recently, herdsmen blocked the Isele-Uku/Ubulu-Uku road and abducted two occupants of a car. They released the victims after collecting N600,000. Again, an indigene of Isele-Azagba living in Ubulu-Uku, Mr. Sunday, his wife and son were accosted along the road. Their attackers, suspected to be herdsmen, shot the man in the neck and abducted his wife and son. After two days in captivity, the victims were released after N1 million was paid. The man is still battling for his life in the hospital.

“In fact, we are like the bank Automated Teller Machine (ATM) to herdsmen. They are dealing with us unchallenged and it so sad. Right now, we are living in fear and abject poverty, because our farmers are afraid to go to the farm. Commercial motorcycle operation is the only lucrative business in our town now, as farmers have abandoned their farms. And we can’t blame any farmer who has abandoned his or her farmland. Of what use is it, after investing in your farm and working for almost one year, and herdsmen start grazing their cattle with your labour in just one day? That is the problem. Can you imagine what would happen when over 200 cows enter a farm, and when the owner of the farm challenges the herders, they shoot him or her?

“The worst of it all is that they rape women in the presence of their husbands and children and rape daughters in front of their parents and siblings. I don’t want to mention names because of the despicable nature of the act. Abomination is being witnessed in our land.

“We, members of the vigilance group, are handicapped as it is today. We used to patrol our roads, but our vehicle has been grounded and the police have disarmed us, while the herdsmen are fully armed with Ak47 rifles and other sophisticated weapons. We are only left with machetes, knives and axes. How do we use ordinary cutlasses to confront herdsmen armed with AK47 and other assault rifles? The only solution is to fall back to the police, but the police post in our community is manned by a man and a woman. There is no other policeman there. Let the government give us adequate police manpower and leave intelligence gathering for us. We have all it takes in intelligence and we will assist the police in fishing out the herdsmen because we know where they are, but we have been disarmed by the government.”

Younger brother to slain Ojinji, Mr. Charles Ojinji, who narrated how his brother was killed, said: “We are still in shock over our elder brother’s sudden and unnatural death. He was a warrior who has the interest of the community at heart. I have envisaged his murder because we all were farming on the land before Fulani herdsmen, who followed the high tension wire to a forest reserve, near a stream in Aniagbala, a suburb of Ubulu-Uku, took over our farmlands. When we saw that they were fully armed, we left our farms for them. What attracted the herdsmen there was the beautiful stream that is now a curse to us. Their cows would eat our farm produce, eat the yam tubers in our barns, cassava, vegetables, drink our water and mess up our stream. The stream is the only source of water in our community.

“One day, we challenged the herders and they beat some of us up. They held them hostage at gunpoint. Since that time, some people stopped going to the farm to avoid the wrath of herdsmen who have taken over our land. We did nothing and we owe them nothing, yet we have been subjected to all manner of inhuman treatment. Our women are not spared.

“I was shocked last year when my brother went back to the same captured farmland to start farming again. Well, other people were still farming there but, one day, over 200 cows entered the farm and ate up everything. My brother was enraged. I don’t know what transpired between him and the herders. Anyway, a witness told me that my brother was attacked with machetes and shot with a gun. My brother’s wife travelled to Lagos and there was nobody at home. When his neighbours noticed that he did not return from the farm, they called me and we went to the farm and saw him in a pool of blood. We rushed him to the hospital but the doctor confirmed him dead on arrival.

“They have killed my brother, what else can they do? Today it is my brother, who knows the next person tomorrow? Well, herdsmen are everywhere in the bush surrounding our community, we are under siege. The police deposited his body in the mortuary. We want the body of our brother so that we can bury him to allow him to rest in peace.”

On his part, the palace secretary, Joseph Obaze, the mouthpiece of His Royal Majesty, Obi Ofulue, described the siege on Ubulu-Uku community as worrisome: “We are really under serious attack by herdsmen. We are really going through excruciating pains. We have just finished the meeting and we are planning for a massive peaceful protest over the attacks on our people by Fulani herdsmen. We have met heads of farm roads in the town and they all narrated their ordeals in the hands of herdsmen and their cattle. They told how their farms are being ravaged by cattle. Apart from the fruits and vegetables, the herders would go to our barns and feed their cattle with the yams. We have written to the police and they said they were going to discuss the issue in the security meeting.

“There is another keg of gunpowder ready to explode. A native has just opened a cattle ranch and tomatoes market in the town. We are not against him, but he has started employing Fulani to take care of the ranch. Our fear is that, wherever these herders settle, they start bringing their people to the place. We have given the businessman an ultimatum to leave the place because we are not comfortable with killer Fulani people.

“What surprises me is that we rear native cows in this area, yet they don’t stray into people’s farms. Our cows don’t feed on yam and cassava but only grass. They should leave us alone, we don’t need their meat. They should not use their business to disturb ours. As they love their cows, so also do we love our farms.

“Many people are scared to go to the farms for fear of being attacked by the herdsmen. Women are being abused and the men are being killed. That is why we are crying to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adegoke Adeleke, to come to our rescue and save us from being exterminated by killer herdsmen. The governor and the CP should expedite action as we are living in fear. There is tension in the town, things have really fallen apart.

“It is not as if we are cowardly but we want to explore all avenues for peace. We love peace but our peacefulness should not be taken as weakness. Let the government intervene and save us from a war situation.”
Obaze has, however, appealed to Ubulu-Uku indigenes and residents to be law-abiding and conscious of the development: “Let us not abandon farm work that we are known for. People should go to the farm in groups while those travelling should avoid night journey until the government is able to solve the riddle,” he said.

Meanwhile, CP Adegoke said he was aware of the killing of the doctor, even though the case was not reported to any police station: “I am also aware of the attack on a lawyer and the killing in Ubulu-Uku. I personally led an operation to the bush and some suspects were arrested and are with me. I want to assure you that the police are not keeping quiet. For me to lead an operation to the bush, you must agree that we are doing something about it,” he said.

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South East Will Boil Any Time From Now Due To Their Refusal To Give Us Land —Miyetti Allah

Miyetti Allah Leader, Gidado Siddiki

Early this morning according to the leader of cattle breeders in Nigeria. He expressed his shock on how serious the governors of South East has been in their refusal to give them their lands for cattle rearing.

Leader of the group, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, in a statement issued in Abuja , said the decision was surprising to them considering the cordial relationship that had existed in the zone between the group and the five state government.

He said that, since they are claiming to be stubborn, and had refused to give us their lands in peace, it will be taken by force and entire south east will be raided and taken over by herdsmen.

He said Miyetti Allah had never failed to appreciate the commitment of the host governors in ensuring their safety, even in their rational insistence that their people must not infringe on the rights of indigenous farmers to cultivate and harvest their crops without any hindrance. He also mentioned that it’s an insult that the Igbos do not value anything that has to do with cow only their business and money and yet they eat cow meats.

Siddiki said: “It is evident that our organization’s advocacy for peaceful coexistence among indigenous farmers and herdsmen is increasingly making successes in the South East.

“This explains our surprise at the latest stand of the governors, which, if implemented, will not only frustrate our people from carrying out our legitimate livestock rearing business in this part of the country, but might be suggestive of a kind of suspicion that might undermine the mutuality of the claim of brotherhood.

“We are mindful if the various negotiations and consultations still going on in respect of the contentious issues of ranching, colonies and grazing areas across the country, we are hopeful that these issues are considered dispassionately in the interest of Nigeria and the generality of it’s citizens.

“We of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders of Nigeria, south east zone, consequent upon the existing understanding we enjoy with our hosts, and in response to the latest stand by the south east Governors forum, wish to reaffirm our confidence in the capacity of our host governors to encourage the growth of our legitimate trade in their geo political zone.

“It is a very trying period in the history of Nigeria and it is our candid view that the south east whose citizens are the major bonding elements among the people of Nigeria, would provide exemplary leadership in accommodating other Nigerians in their midst, in so far such persons are legitimately engaged in their economic pursuits.”

The South East governors had at the weekend in Enugu, during their meeting, agreed that open grazing by the cattle breeders would not be tolerated in the zone by any reason. (Akelicious)

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Wife Impregnated By Houseboy, Who Is Her Husband’s Secret Son, Who She Poinsoned

The couple

***My friend who has 3 kids for her hubby through outside help led me into it, she says


By Linus Oota, Lafia

It was a marriage doomed from the beginning, and after 13 years, it culminated in a tragedy. Presently, the couple, who live in Lafia, capital of Nasarawa State, are gradually coming to terms with the fact that they have opened a Pandora’s box.

It started with the husband’s deceit hiding his impotency from the woman he intended to marry; it got messier with the woman’s effort to break her 12-year barrenness by sleeping with the houseboy and she committed worse sin by murdering the 21-year-old househelp in order to keep her secret. Then a final twist: it turned out the houseboy was actually her husband’s son, born out of wedlock while he was a randy youth. This family calamity with the accompanying incest and murder was spawned by too many secrets between husband and wife.

Strange and improbable it may sound, this is actually a true-life story, a revelation that came straight from the horse’s mouth from the main protagonist herself the nine-month pregnant wife, Rebecca Bako, who prodded by guilty conscience on her own volition knocked on the door of a minister on May 20, 2019, to narrate the travails of her matrimony.
Rebecca Bako, arriving at the minister’s house by 8 am at first sat quietly on the bench outside. Few minutes later, she was sharing her story with the pastor in the presence of Saturday Sun correspondent.
It was a bizarre, complex, mind-numbing story of 12 years of fruitless marriage, with what would have been the climax the birth of the nine-month pregnancy becoming an anticlimax.

What was Rebecca’s purpose for involving the pastor?

To make a confession, seek God’s forgiveness and plead with the pastor to talk to her husband to forgive her, she clarified.

In an emotion-laden voice, the beleaguered housewife recounted how a perfect marriage gradually turned sour due to barrenness. Her narrative highlighted the aggravating factors, such as a toxic mother-in-law who harangued her endlessly, her husband’s lackadaisical attitude to their childlessness, her own fear of impending menopause and the bad advice of Rose, her childhood friend.

A marriage doomed by childlessness

Before she began her story proper, Rebecca Bako spent two minutes wiping her tears.
She started with a recollection of the sunny days. “He was my best friend before we got married. We had a beautiful wedding. Our honeymoon was fun. We were ready to have children as quickly as possible so we could move on.”

As with most marriage, barrenness begets misery.

“After 12 years, I didn’t conceive, I became apprehensive because I was not young any longer and I was nearing menopause. My mother-in-law was even more desperate. She pressured her son to take another wife. I understood her position. My childhood friend, Rose, who is married in Makurdi, advised us to adopt a child, but my husband wouldn’t buy the idea.

“My mother-in-law later came to live with us in the house and she became my nightmare. She made life a living hell for me, to the extent that I contemplated suicide countless times because she insulted me and claimed that I charmed her son who is the only son in the family.”
A friend’s sinful counsel
At her wit’s end, she turned to friends for advice.

“At a point, I had to share my experience with my friend, Rose, who confessed to me that she once faced a similar problem. She suggested that perhaps my husband might have been the source of the problem all these years. Her advice to me was to find a younger lover and try having sex with him to see whether it would work. According to her, that was how she gave birth to her three children. When she discovered that her husband was finding it difficult to impregnate her after more than two years of marriage, she devised a means of bearing children for him by having an affair outside, and it had worked perfectly for her, that had been the secret to her 10 years of a successful marriage.”

Rebecca recounted her friend’s advice to her: “Go for a guy who is not yet married, who is strong enough to give you the best of sexual satisfaction any time an opportunity presents itself, whether in the night or daytime. An unmarried man can easily walk away without accepting responsibility since he will equally get married someday to raise his own family, so there won’t be complications of laying claims to the child, but do not let the guy know that he is responsible.”

She at first found such advice impracticable. “I had never cheated on my husband before,” Rebecca said. “But I was equally considering my age too just a year away from menopause. For several weeks, I thought over it. I didn’t understand how I would submit my private part to a man other than my own husband; I didn’t know how to find a man who would sleep with me, get me pregnant, and then just walk away.”

Unfortunately, she had, at the time, reached the limit of her endurance, and the circumstance around her was not in her favour. “I’d prayed to God for a way out, but I didn’t get any immediate solution; worse still, I was conscious of my fast-approaching menopause. I concluded that if I did not act fast, I risked losing my marriage once I reach menopause the following year because my mother-in-law was not ready to take chances. She had taken the matter seriously that I must give way for her son to marry another wife who can bear her grandchildren.”


Seducing the houseboy

Bako decided to take her chances after giving the issue a lengthy contemplation.
“I concluded that it is better I sleep with our houseboy, Kenneth, who is 21 years old. I had seen his crotch whenever he wore his boxer to keep the house clean. I realised that his manhood was long and sizeable enough to perform such functions. My husband had brought Kenneth from his village to live with us. He had just finished his secondary school and was preparing to go to university. I started admiring him anytime my husband went to work.
I summoned the courage and made advances, wooing him with gifts like new trousers and shirts, takeaway food and other attractive items. In no time, he succumbed to me and we started having sex. I warned him never to reveal it and threatened to kill him if tries it. He was not too perfect in bed because of his age, but he was strong enough to give me sexual satisfaction because it takes him longer to release. We progressed in that direction and it became regular.

“After two months of this, I missed my period and the result was pregnancy. I was very happy and informed my friend, Rose that her advice has worked; what my husband could not do for 12 years, Kenneth has done it in less than three months.”

Another diabolical advice

After about four months, Rebecca’s friend, Rose sold her another terrible suggestion. She asked her to eliminate the houseboy who impregnated her. Her reason: He might one day reveal the secret and try to claim the child, thereby bringing shame and embarrassment to the couple.
“Something held me back because he was innocent and did not offend me,” she claimed. “After all, I lured him into having an affair with me against his wish.”

She continued: “But Rose continued to pester me, pointing out the dangers to me. Eventually, I had mixed Sniper (a deadly insecticide), otapiapa and rat killer with his food. I kept the meal for him and went to the hospital for medical checkup. Before my return, he had eaten the poisoned food and later died of stomach pain after four hours in the hospital.”
She cleverly managed the aftermath by convincing her husband the houseboy’s death could be due to spiritual attacks from the village. One week after his death, the body of the 21-year-old was buried, in December 2018.

“I was sad after his death. I regretted taking such action. I prayed to God to forgive all my sins and I distanced myself from Rose––I stopped picking her calls.”
While the death of the houseboy has eliminated the possible risk of future embarrassment, all she got was cold comfort.

“I notice that my husband was sad and affected by Kenneth’s untimely death. He was affected psychologically so much so it almost cost him his job at the bank. He ceased to be a happy man, even with my pregnancy. I tried severally to discuss with him about the future of my unborn baby, but it never interests him, at the time, I was in the fifth month of my pregnancy. Even though the test shows that we are expecting a baby boy, the man was still not happy at all.”

Then comes the dark secret

Three months later, early in the morning of April 30, 2019, her husband had abruptly woken her. She came awake to find him in a disturbed and depressed state. The man broke down, crying uncontrollably, unable to tell his wife the cause of his misery.
After a 30-minute cry jag, he was calm enough to tell her why he was crying. He narrated a terrible and shocking story.

Rebecca recalled: “He started by apologising to me for not being fair to me by hiding from me what he ought to have told me from the first day of our marriage 13 years ago. I was confused. What fairness is he talking about? I became curious. Could it be that I am not the only one hiding secrets in this marriage?”

She recalled verbatim what her husband told her.

“He said: “While growing up many years ago, I lived a very rough life. I contracted a Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and was too ashamed to go to the hospital to treat it, but opted for a local treatment, which was not working. Later I had some medical complications, the untreated virus damaged my testicles and rendered me impotent forever. I didn’t know how to tell you all these years, but earlier before the infection, my girlfriend then in my diploma programme years back got pregnant for me, and refused to abort it, and that cost our relationship. But after three years, she brought a boy to my father. I wanted to reject it but my father accepted the boy and took responsibility while I proceeded to the university. It was the same girl that gave me the disease. She died a few years later as a result of the complications too.”

At this point, his wife had asked about the whereabouts of the boy and how he was faring. Her husband’s reply confirmed her worst fear: “The boy is the late Kenneth who had lived with us as a houseboy. I didn’t want you to know his true identity. I was afraid you might maltreat him or even kill him as most women do to children who are born into their matrimonial homes from another woman. I wanted to protect him since I wasn’t going to be able to get a woman pregnant in my lifetime again.”

The embattled husband once again burst into tears. The couple then came to the knotty part of their matrimonial misfortune when the husband dropped the next bombshell: “ I knew all these while that the baby in your womb is not my own, but I was too ashamed to confront you; now that everything has come to the open, please tell me, who is the father of our unborn child?”

This was how Rebecca found herself in a classic catch-22 situation. At that point, it was clear lies would further complicate the situation.
She decided to come clean, she claimed.

“I burst into tears and cried uncontrollably. I found it difficult to explain to him. Since he had been plain with me, I knelt before him in tears and confessed to him that the late Kenneth was the father of my unborn baby boy and that I was also responsible for his death. I pleaded with him to forgive me of all my sins, that I took that course of action to protect the marriage, and the consolation is that the new baby boy will replace his late son.”
According to Rebecca, her husband’s mien had briefly reflected anger when he learnt about the circumstances surrounding his son-houseboy death. He, however, appeared conciliatory, advising his wife to let go of the past.

Uncertain future

Since their mutual confessions three weeks ago, life has not been the same between the Bako couple. Deteriorating relation between them has put Rebecca on tenterhooks.

“My husband has become a changed person completely,” she said. “He has emaciated, looking sorrowful nowadays. He hardly eats at home. He keeps late nights. As a banker, he gets home around 7 pm. Yet, he still goes out, which is very unusual of him. We hardly talk now. He hardly responds to my conversations. I am worried and even afraid to stay with him under the same roof. I suspect that he might also kill my son too when I delivered. His aloofness really worries me.”

On that note she concluded her story, bursting into tears again.
Pastor Joshua promised to meet with the husband by the weekend to hear his own side of the story before taking any decision.
Saturday Sun correspondent who was privy to the confession subsequently contacted Rebecca’s husband, who was hardly available due to the tight schedule of his job.

Daniel Bako was forthright in his response. “My brother, I am not myself. I am confused. I don’t deserve to be alive again. I am contemplating suicide. I wanted to give Kenneth the best education because he was my own blood, my only child in my entire life. I am yet to decide whether to be alive or not.”

On his wife, he is “confused about what to do with her.” He said: “It is not enough to kill my son in the name that she wants to protect the marriage. What marriage? What she did is an unforgiving crime, even if he (Kenneth) was not my son, it is wrong anywhere.” (The Sun)

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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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I Feel Like A Newborn Baby: Man Jailed For 27 Years For Crime He Didn’t Commit

Clinton Kanu

By Chukwudi Akasike

As Clinton Kalu, a native of Ndinwafor in Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State, walked out from the Port Harcourt Maximum Prison, his smile and openness betrayed the pain he had been through these past 27 years. Right within that facility, he had waited for the hangman’s noose for almost three decades for a crime he knew nothing about. The 56-year-old consultant criminologist was roped into a murder case in April 1992 by some undisclosed persons while trying to resolve a dispute involving his in-laws. That marked the beginning of his journey in ‘hell’.

His trial at the tribunal and later at a High Court and his eventual detention happened so fast that when he found himself in prison over an offence he did not commit, he was livid with anger but later accepted his fate. As time passed by, the then 29-year-old man, who was full of life, fought hard to prove to the court that he was framed up by those, who felt threatened by his rise in life.

Recalling how he was sentenced to death by hanging or firing squad, Kalu said, “Twenty-seven years ago, some people were accused of stealing generating plant and fluorescent tubes.

“They are my in-laws. After the court decided the case, we heard that somebody was murdered in the compound where my sister married. But I was arrested because the thought by those behind my ordeal was that I was trying to resolve a land dispute in favour of one person.

“I was taken to Okigwe Police Station; from there I was taken to Owerri in Imo State and from there we were charged to court in April 1992.

“I was detained in Owerri Prison. I was at the tribunal for seven years because those behind my ordeal added armed robbery to the case. They believed I was a strong man and wanted to destroy me.

“They brought false witnesses to testify against me at the tribunal. I was later taken to a regular court where I was condemned to death.

“So, from Owerri, I was transferred to Port Harcourt prison. At the Port Harcourt prisons, I waited for many years for the hangman’s noose.

“Nevertheless, I went to the Appeal Court to appeal the case but my lawyer messed up the case. Then I decided to proceed to the Supreme Court, where after 27 years in prison, I got victory.

“I was imprisoned for 27 years for committing no offence. On April 5 this year, I was discharged and acquitted.”

He cautioned that with the Supreme Court declaring him innocent, it would be wrong for anybody to tag him an ex-convict.

“If you describe me as an ex-convict, I won’t be happy with you. After 27 years, they found out that I committed no crime. Do you know that they would have killed me and after many years, they would have found out that I did not commit the crime?

“Something like that happened somewhere in Europe. In my own case, the Supreme Court found out that I was innocent and freed me.

“Any person that refers to me as an ex-convict, I will look at the person as a fool. I will just ask God to forgive him,” he said.

While in incarceration, Kalu lost his mother; and coupled with the fact that he was not married and had no immediate family (children), he struggled to fight loneliness even though his relatives, who also believed he was incapable of hurting anybody, let alone killing a person, visited him in prison from time to time.

On whether he would avenge the injustice done to him, Kalu explained that he had been a changed man after gaining knowledge about the ways of Christ, adding that vengeance was not in his thoughts. He pointed out that though he felt insulted and humiliated by the court verdict, which sentenced him to death, he later realised while in prison that his tribulation was to serve a purpose.

“God has dealt with those behind my ordeal the way he wants to deal with them; I don’t have any business with them.

“God has already dealt with the man, who stood as a complainant in my case.

“On whether I will seek compensation from the police for falsely accusing me, I don’t know about that for now.

“I have imbibed Christ and I have nothing against those behind my ordeal. While I was in the prison, I read more. I had Diploma in Theology, I had Bachelor’s Degree in Guidance and Counselling, Master’s in Education Management, Master’s in Guidance and Counselling and I also got PhD in Guidance and Counselling.

“I am a child of God and have nothing against them. The police and others behind my ordeal knew that I did not commit the crime.

“One Sergeant Eze and one other person were aware that I did not commit the crime; it was a gang-up and conspiracy at the highest level.

“First of all, when I was taken to prison, I was not happy; I felt insulted and humiliated. I began to write petitions, but petitions cannot get you anywhere if you don’t have any person to follow it up,” he stated.

On what the future holds for him, Kalu, who said he was diabetic and fed himself throughout the 27 years he stayed in prison, stated that he could take to politics or continue with his guidance and counselling job, which he was doing while behind bars. To cater for himself due to his failing health, the 56-year-old said he had to sell some of his personal belongings, adding that when funds were no longer there, the church took over his feeding.

He pointed out that his experience in prison had taught him that anybody could find themselves in jail due to circumstances beyond their control. According to him, life in a Nigerian prison will not reform most inmates because of the hardship inside there.

On what his being in prison for almost three decades had denied him, Kalu lamented that he may not be able to know the whereabouts of most of his properties and maintained that he would have built more houses and acquired more properties if he were not in prison.

“I would have built more houses; I would have bought more land and currently, I don’t know the position of my properties,” he said.

He, however, noted that he was not thinking about marriage immediately, adding that the first thing was for him to get established.

Dissatisfied with the poor living condition in Nigerian prisons, the Okigwe-born man disclosed that a lot of inmates were restive in prison, adding that the facilities there were not encouraging.

“In the prison, a lot of the youths are restive and they want to make it by any other way, even when they lack academic exposure.

“I went into an academic venture that will benefit the inmates and even the wardens; something like seminars.

“Government should provide enough facilities in prisons to help reform the inmates. Anybody can be in the prison, unless your enemies do not remember you. The moment they remember you, there is nothing you can do. The entire place is tough.

“Most people who are inside there come out without being reformed. You can imagine 200 people sleeping in a room. There, each man is planning to outwit the other. Once an inmate dies, the next man around will carry the dead person’s food and eat.

“I was diabetic and fed myself for those 27 years. Many people are not privileged to do that.

“I had to sell some of my land, cars and other properties to be able to do that (feed myself in prison). At a point, when I had no money, the church took over my feeding,” he stated.

He said he was filled with joy when on April 5, 2019, the Supreme Court pronounced him not guilty of the charge against him, insisting that the judgement had vindicated him.

“I was overwhelmed with joy on the day I was released from prison having spent 27 years there without committing a crime. Up till this moment, I feel like a newly born baby. God gave me another chance to experience His greatness again,” he said.

“I was happy doing that for free; nobody paid me for it. The church helped me to sponsor seminars that were organised in the prison. I read law before I went to the prison,” he said.

Describing the 56-year-old as a kind-hearted man, Felix Nwankwo, his cousin, said he was in secondary school when Kalu was jailed for committing no crime.

“I was in secondary school when he was taken to prison but I already knew him then because he was so dear to many of us.

“Whenever he came back from Enugu, all of us would be happy. You would always see children clustering around him.

“I never stopped going to visit him while he was in prison. He once told me that he believed that the hand of God was in his struggle.

“The best he has achieved in life is for him to have known God. He has been called from death to life. We are happy that he has come back. He is a blessed person,” he said. (Punch)

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