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Scores Killed In Fresh Boko Haram Attack On Army Location |The Republican News

Olaleye Aluko, Abuja

Boko Haram terrorists, in what appears to be an unending onslaught on locations of the Nigerian Army, on Wednesday evening attacked the troops’ base in Damasak, Borno State, resulting in a heavy gunfire which lasted for several hours.

The army has confirmed the attack, saying troops of 145 Battalion in Damasak, withstood the insurgents and killed scores of them in the firefight.

The army was, however, silent on the number of casualties sustained on the side of the troops.

Damasak is a town in the Mobbar Local Government Area, some 146 Kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital.

It will be recalled that the Boko Haram insurgents only last week attacked troops’ location in Gudumbali in the Guzamala LGA and Baga in the Kukawa LGA, resulting in an undisclosed number of casualties on both sides.

The army’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Brig. Gen. Texas Chukwu, on Thursday confirmed that “many Boko Haram terrorists” were killed in the attack on troops’ location in Damasak.

He said, “Troops of 145 Battalion in Damasak engaged the Boko Haram terrorists who came to attack their location at about 6pm on Wednesday. This resulted into a fierce battle.

“The troops engaged and subdued the terrorists in Damasak following a superior firepower. The troops’ aggressive posture, tactics and marksmanship resulted in the neutralising of many Boko Haram terrorists.

“Consequently, the army wishes to state that the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East part of the country is yielding a positive result.

“We, therefore, advise members of the public, particularly residents of the affected areas, to go about their legitimate businesses as the army will continue to protect lives and property of citizens at all times.”   (Punch)

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Fulani Herdsmen Killings Worse Than Boko Haram, Says United Nations |RN

In this photo provided by the United Nations, members of the United Nations Security Council vote at the United Nations headquarters on Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, in favour of condemning Israel for its practice of establishing settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. In a striking rupture with past practice, the U.S. allowed the vote, not exercising its veto. (Manuel Elias/The United Nations via AP)

The Special Representative of UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has expressed concern over the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria.

According to him, the conflicts, which are more pronounced in the Middle Belt region, were becoming “more sophisticated and deadlier.”

Mr Chambas, who is Head, UN Office for West African and the Sahel (UNOWAS), in a report presented to the UN Security Council, said the violence was a major security threat in the region, warning that it risks changing into terrorist attacks.

“Violence between farmers and herders is increasingly a major security threat in the region and risks morphing into the terrorist attacks that have defined the security landscape.

“Farmer-herder conflicts are becoming more sophisticated and deadlier, especially in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.

“During four days in June, new spates of attacks and retribution killings between herders and farmers in this region resulted in scores of deaths,’’ the UN envoy said.

In the Lake Chad Basin, Mr Chambas said in spite of gains made by the Nigerian armed forces and the Multinational Joint Task Force, Boko Haram remained active.

According to the UN envoy for West Africa and the Sahel: “The trend of Boko Haram, using female suicide bombers continue, and reportedly almost one in five suicide bombers is a child. The most recent attacks on a Nigerian military garrison in Yobe and the ambush of a military convoy in Borno are the latest manifestations of the threats still posed by Boko Haram.

“There is a need for increased support to diplomatic, security and humanitarian responses to Boko Haram, in a holistic manner.

“To this end, UNOWAS is providing technical support for a joint summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), on July 30, as called for by Security Council resolution 2349 (2017).”

He explained that the severe depletion of Lake Chad had led to environmental degradation, socioeconomic marginalisation and insecurity for 45 million people.

According to him, an estimated 2.3 million people remain displaced by the aggregate effects of insecurity and climate change.

He appealed to member states to support the humanitarian response to the Lake Chad crisis, which remains critically underfunded and revitalisation of the Lake Chad Basin.

“Let me stress that any military response to security challenges in the region needs to be matched by the implementation of comprehensive strategies linking security and humanitarian interventions to development and human rights initiatives.

“There is also need to increase our collective efforts to address the challenges facing the Sahel region with actions that combine politics, security and development,’’ Chambas stressed.

He said the period under review saw an upsurge in popular discontent in the region manifested through often violent demonstrations calling for political and economic reforms.

“The sometimes violent conduct of security forces, notably in dealing with popular demonstrations, has also fuelled political tensions.

“Commitment by countries of the region and support from the international community will be key to ensuring the effectiveness and accountability of security sector institutions as part of broader security sector reform efforts. Several countries continue to struggle with justice, national reconciliation and human rights challenges. Among those is the concerning number of high-profile arrests, judicial prosecutions and convictions against political and civil society actors,’’ he said.  (The Sun)

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No President Would Want To See His Citizens Dying, Kalu Slams Buhari Accusers

 

Orji-kalu4

CEO Slok Group,  Orji Uzor Kalu

The former Governor of Abia State Orji Uzo Kalu has berated those accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of not doing enough to stop the killings in some parts of the country, saying no president would want to see his people dying, NAN reports.

“It is embarrassing when some people accuse the president of supporting one group to kill another. It is not possible for anyone directly elected by the people.

”Leaders should stop backbiting about the killings and all the rest of it. Killing is not a good process, no president would want to see his people dying.

”President Buhari has taken a new step, he was in Benue and Plateau the other time he is committed to making sure that this killing stop,” he said.

Kalu condemned the unwarranted killings when he spoke at a party in honour of the outgoing Czech Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Pavel Mikes, in Abuja.

The All Progressive Congress (APC) Chieftain described the killings as a big challenge for the country after the Federal Government defeated the Boko Haram.

”It is embarrassing to see human beings killing their fellow human beings. It is not acceptable by anyone created by God,” he said.

He told the Czech Ambassador that his friendship with Nigeria goes beyond his stay in the country. ”We will remain friends after your departure.”

He also thanked the envoy for his efforts, as Dean of European diplomatic corps, in ensuring that all levels of government in Nigeria maintain rule of law.

”When government fails to put rule of law as an instrument that can be of a great change, is a problem because rule of law is more important.

”It is a software of a democratic process. Once you have the software right, the hardware will also be right,” he said.

Kalu expressed appreciation to the European Union for ensuring that Nigeria’s democracy stands.

In his remarks, the outgoing Czech Ambassador described Nigeria as a ”great, complex county” and that he enjoyed every moment of his five-year duty tour in Nigeria.

Mikes extolled the virtues of the former Abia Governor, saying, ”he is passionate about the future of Nigeria, working hard to promote the country in the world.

”He is a man for whom Nigeria lies dearly in his heart and does everything possible to improve the lives of Nigerians”.

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Plateau Killings: PDP’s Declaring 7-Day Mourning Irresponsible Politics – Presidency

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Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Presidency has described as  ‘irresponsible politics’, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s declaration of seven days of mourning over what it called, sad and unfortunate killings in Plateau State, over the weekend.

The Presidency also said in the 16 years of PDP rule, over 22,000 citizens were killed in ethnic and communal clashes including those killed by Boko Haram but the former ruling party never declared national mournings.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement, said the nation was in a period of distress and sorrow which calls for deep introspection on how cheap human lives had become and not a time to dance on the graves of the dead, playing cheap and infantile politics.

The Presidential spokesman described PDP as a “comatose and prostrate party” which has also decided to fly its flag at half-mast nationwide, saying its flags had been forcefully lowered by Nigerians since 2015 when it was defeated at the polls. Adesina said PDP’s flag would remain lowered for a long time because Nigerians are politically discerning, and cannot be hoodwinked by cheap antics.

The statement read, “The sad and unfortunate killings in Plateau State over the weekend have been turned to the opportunity to once again play irresponsible politics, particularly by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which says it is declaring seven days of mourning.

“These are dolorous times that call for deep introspection on how cheap human lives have become, and the proffering of actionable ideas on how to get out of the bind. But the PDP would rather dance on the graves of the dead, playing cheap, infantile politics.

“The comatose and prostrate party is declaring seven days of mourning, during which flags in its offices would be flown at half-mast nationwide.

“But unknown to the party, those flags had been forcefully lowered since its 2015 loss at the polls and may remain so for a long time to come, because Nigerians are politically discerning, and cannot be hoodwinked by cheap antics.

“A quick checklist of some savage and brutal killings in Nigeria during PDP rule, between 1999 and 2015, for which no national mourning was declared:

–       November 20, 1999. Odi, in Bayelsa State, was invaded on orders of a PDP President. About 2,500 people killed. No national mourning.

–       Between February and May 2000, about 5,000 people were killed during riots over Sharia law in different parts of the North. No national mourning.

–       In 2001, hundreds of people, including the old, infirm, women and children were killed in Zaki Biam. No crocodile tears.

–       Between September 7-12, 2001, Jos, Plateau State, erupted in internecine killings. Between 500 and 1,000 people were killed. Flags were not flown at half mast.

–       In February, 2004, at least 975 people were killed in Yelwa-Shendam, Plateau State. No mourning by the then ruling PDP.

–      Between November 28 and 29, 2008, Jos was in flames again, with 381 deaths.

No mourning.

–    In 2010, 992 people killed in Jos. Mum was the word.

–       In 2014 alone, according to Global Terrorism Index, at least 1,229 people were killed in the Middle Belt. No mourning.

–       Boko Haram killings in PDP years were over 10,000. PDP flags were still fluttering proudly in the sky.

“Those who take pleasure in twisting statements from the Presidency may claim we are saying that many more people were killed under PDP than under President Muhammadu Buhari.

“It would be unconscionable to do so. The intendment of this statement is to show that wanton killings had been with us for awhile; this government is working towards enduring solutions and should be given the opportunity to do so.

“Even a single soul is precious, and no man should take a life, which he cannot create. But when tragic situations as had happened in Plateau State occur, such should never be used to play crude politics. Those who are wont to do so should have the change of hearts, or lose their very humanity,” the statement said.           (The Sun)

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

Fulani-Herdsmen3

Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mass Killings: There’s Nothing I Can Do, Fellow Nigerians, Let Us Pray – Buhari |RN

Buhari-Praying

 

Gyang Bere, Jos

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to pray fervently to God to bring the country out of the current prevailing security challenges.

He noted that the Federal Government will ensure absolute justice over those that were killed in Plateau and other parts of the country.

Buhari disclosed this on Tuesday when he visited Plateau State on the recent killing of over 150 persons by Fulani herdsmen in eleven communities of Barkin-Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau State.

The President was accompanied on the visit by the governors of Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu, and Niger Sani Bello state. Others were the ministers of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, Interior, Abdulrahman Danbazzau, Information, Lai Muhammed and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

“There is nothing I can do to help the situation except to pray to God to help us out of the security challenges. What has happened is a very bad thing, the bottom line is that justice must be allowed to take its course.

“Fulani herdsmen are used to carrying sticks during grazing but the herders of this days carry AK47, anybody caught with a weapon should be arrested.”

Buhari urged the leadership of various communities in the state to help in controlling the security problems, saying that the people must imbibe the spirit of tolerance to live together.

He insisted that his administration would continue with its campaign promises of tackling insecurity, corruption and economic recovery in the country to enthrone affordable living condition for the citizens.

Buhari extends condolence on behalf of the Federal Government to those who lost their loved ones and pray to God to grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.

The President reiterated the commitment of Federal Government to collaborates with the security agencies in tackling insecurity in the country.

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, said the visit of the President is apt as it provides the opportunity of the people to open up the grief in their hearts concerning the gory killings in the state.

Lalong said the current attack is disturbing and alarming as its leftover 200 person death while several communities have been displaced.

“This current attack, your Excellency Mr President, is very disturbing and alarming because it has left behind in its ugly trail the painful loss of over 200 people, besides the humanitarian challenges confronting thousands of displaced persons whose houses and crops have been burnt and completely destroyed.

“Mr President, our Government has made it clear and you have eloquently stated that you will continue to protect and preserve the sanctity of life. Agents of destabilisation are however he’ll be bent on making nonsense of the success you have achieved in dealing with internal security threats to our corporate existence as a nation.

“Mr President, given the number of villages that have been completely ravaged, I wish to re-echo the earlier request we made as a state for the Emergency Special Intervention Fund to help us reconstruct our ravaged communities”

He said that burning of places of worship during the attack was worrisome and called on every Nigerian to condemn such actions as it is capable of driving the country into religious war.  (The Sun)

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Deep Anger Over Plateau Mass Killings |The Republican News

Plateau-killings

 

•Politicians taking advantage of crisis –Buhari •PDP, Saraki, CAN, others condemn the attack

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye; Ndubuisi Orji; Okwe Obi; Bayo Oladeji, Abuja; Gyang Bere, Jos

Anger, tears and condemnations have continued to trail the weekend attack on Plateau State communities, in which death toll has reportedly risen to 150.

In spite of the deployment of Air Force, police fighter jets and special force, residents of the affected villages including Xlands, Gindin Akwati, Nghar, Kura falls and Kakuruk all in Gashish district of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, have continued to flee en masse to neighbouring communities and local councils in search of safety.

Meanwhile, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) said it carried out the attack in retaliation for the loss of about 300 cows to suspected rustlers.

A statement, yesterday, by Danladi Ciroma, chairman, North-central zone of the body accused the communities of hiding cattle rustlers among them as well as frustrating peace efforts of the state government.

“These attacks are retaliatory. As much as I don’t support the killing of a human being, the truth must be told that those who carried out the attacks must be on a revenge mission.

“There have been recent reports of cow rustling and destruction of farms between Berom farmers and Fulani herdsmen. The people carrying out these criminal activities are well known to the communities but the communities are hiding them.

“Fulani herdsmen have lost about 300 cows in the last few weeks – 94 cows were rustled by armed Berom youths in Fan village, another 36 cows were killed by Berom youths. In addition to that, 174 cattle were rustled and the criminals disappeared with them to Mangu.
“Since these cows were not found, no one should expect peace in the areas. Even soldiers that went after the criminals to recover the rustled cows were shot by the armed rustlers and eventually escaped with all the cows.

“The government of Governor Lalong has done a lot to restore peace, but the criminal elements hiding among their people are the ones frustrating these peace efforts,” he Ciroma said.

Notwithstanding MACBAN’s mea culpa plea, President Muhammadu Buhari has slammed politicians who he claimed were promoting instability and chaos to gain the advantage in the coming elections.

A statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Shehu Garba said: “We know that a number of geographical and economic factors are contributing to the longstanding herdsmen/farmers clashes. But we also know that politicians are taking advantage of the situation. This is incredibly unfortunate.”

Buhari was, however, silent on whether the culprits will be brought to book as he had done in the past. He also did not give an order to security agencies to move into the troubled spots.
However, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, cautioned those politicising and dragging farmers/herdsmen killings in the state into a religious violence.

In a statewide broadcast, he urged citizens to exercise restraint, observe the curfew currently in place, while traditional rulers, religious leaders, elders, political leaders, community leaders and their subjects should remain vigilant and cooperate with security agencies to end the violence.

“It is with a deep sense of sorrow that I address you, following the pockets of violent attacks on some communities in the state. This has unfortunately led to the loss of lives and properties.

“The resurgence of violence in the state is reprehensible, as much as condemnable. Yet, this is a stark reminder of the magnitude of peace and security challenges steering at us in the face.

“Government is conscious of it responsibilities of protection of lives and properties of its citizenry and we have always strived to meet that expectation. You will recall that I took an oath to protect and secure the lives and property of our citizens as governor of Plateau State.”

Saraki, Ekweremadu, Makarfi, CAN, others react

Senate President Bukola Saraki has charged President Buhari to order security chiefs to immediately produce quick response measures aimed at tackling the incessant killings.

“I am very sad to hear the news of the incident in Plateau State. This is very depressing and giving the impression that the country is not safe. The problem of Boko Haram in the North-east is well known to everybody but this killing by an unknown band of assailants in Benue, Taraba, Plateau and Kaduna states is now giving another dimension to the crisis. Coming at the time we are getting ready for elections, we need to respond fast,” Saraki said.
Also reacting, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu warned that unless government restructured the nation’s security architecture, more lives would be lost.

In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media, Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu said: “It is really unfortunate because our country is a nation where the leaders have refused to learn from the mistakes and missteps of the past.

“For many years now, some of us have been consistent about the need to decentralise our security architecture; and so long as we are not doing that, we are going to get exactly the same result.

“It pains me that innocent people, who voted us into power to protect their lives and property are losing their lives and their property because we have refused to take the correct steps.

“The sad news is not only that many people have died, but also that more people will die unless we take the right steps, putting the right security architecture in place. There is no way you will have a federation like Nigeria as big as it is, with all the diversities and continue to operate a centralised policing and expect it to work. It will never work and it is a major problem.

“So, it is sad that this is happening. But, as I said, the real tragedy is that this Plateau incident is not going to be last because we refuse to be corrected.”

Ekweremadu reasoned that the government of Plateau State would be in the best position to protect its citizens if it had its own police outfit.

Also, Senator Ahmed Makarfi flayed the attack and the huge death toll, saying it was unfortunate, unnecessary and condemnable.

While he believed disagreements are normal in any human setting, he said the civilised way of resolving them was by communicating with one another through constant and continuous constructive engagement.

The resort to violence has never been known to have led to the resolution of any dispute, he said in a statement by Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo.

“It is Senator Makarfi’s belief and conviction that since even after real war situations, peace and reconciliation terms are eventually discussed and agreed on a round table, violence shouldn’t be an option in the first place.

“The senator hereby appeals to all Nigerians to eschew violence, retrace their steps and return to the good old days when we all related with one another as brothers and sisters that we have always been. The artificial divisions that are threatening our fabric are alien to us as a people and it is in our enlightened collective interest to throw away the yoke, embrace one another and deploy that diversity with which God has endowed us for the overall development of all of us, so that we bequeath a legacy of unity in diversity for this and upcoming generations.”

But the National security Adviser, (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd), said herders and farmers would continue to clash unless Nigerians respect each other’s cultural diversities, giving the multiplicity of cultures.

He tasked religious leaders to propagate virtues capable of transforming the minds of their followers.

“Our diversities remain our most prized assets from where we draw strength and attract global respect. Nigerians by nature are highly religious people who are committed religious values.
“In consequences, we look up to our religious leaders, both for moral and spiritual guidance who are highly respected and people of great virtues to play in the spiritual rebirth of our beloved country,” he said at a conference organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in partnership with the National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN) in Abuja, where he was represented by AIG Peace Ibekwe.

That scores of people could be killed without any resistance by soldiers deployed to contain the security challenge, as far as the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is concerned is unimaginable.

“How could dare-devil criminals assault communities without resistance by security agencies to stop the killings. Are these herdsmen in bed with soldiers to unleash mayhem on these peaceful communities? Of what relevance is the intelligence gathering by the Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies? If communities can be attacked and hundreds slaughtered without security organisations providing rescue efforts, then, it becomes obvious that Nigeria’s security system has been compromised. From all indications, these attacks on the Plateau clearly showed that the Federal Government needs to review its security machinery in a bid to make it effective. Considering the level of the human carnage of these attacks, we once again call on the government not to rest on its oars until these criminals are brought to book as promised.”

Also, reacting, National Chairman of the  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, accused the Buhari administration of lack of sensitivity to the plight of Nigerians.
The PDP leader said it had been one calamity after the other since the ruling party assumed the reins of power in 2015.

“Otherwise how does one explain the genocides in Plateau that was carried out for over five hours and there was no interruption from any security body in a distance less than 20 kilometers from Jos, the state capital, headquarters of an Army and Airforce divisions with Police, Directorate of State Services DSS, Civil Defence and others.

“You can see what happened in Jos; over 100 people killed, where on earth or country can there be killing every day, and the government is doing nothing? All they have is propaganda. Don’t people in government have blood in their vein? It is a very painful experience. God will revenge on behalf of these people,” Secondus said.

The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said it was shocked that at a time Nigerians expected the Presidency to take immediate action to restore order and safeguard lives of Nigerians, it had chosen the path of divisiveness.

“It is unfortunate that rather than taking actions to get to the roots of killings and banditry in the land, President Muhammadu Buhari resorted to political colourations by engaging in his usual blame game of unnamed politicians.

“It is equally disgusting that the Buhari Presidency relegated the main issue of the murder of our citizens and how to track down the perpetrators and bring them to book, thus confirming the fears of most Nigerians that this administration does not care about the lives of the people,” the PDP stated.

Sen. Jonah David Jang is concerned, the killing is a careful plan to wipe out the people and inherit their land.

“These continuous killings are fast becoming a coordinated attempt at genocide aimed at annihilating our people and stealing our God-given heritage,” he said in a statement by his media consultant, Clinton Garuba.  (The Sun)

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