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Fresh Attack: Fulani Herdsmen Raid Benue Communities, Kill 10 |RN

Herdsmen-fulani

 

John Charles

Some suspected Fulani herdsmen invaded six communities in Saghev council ward of the Guma Local Government Area of Benue State where 10 persons were reportedly killed.

The residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the attacks started in the late hours of Friday till the early hours of Saturday.

SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that the communities attacked included Tse Abi, Tse Ginde, Tse Peviv, Tse Ikyo, Agenke and Gbenke.

The suspected Fulani herdsmen were said to have stormed the villages in military uniform, shooting sporadically and setting houses ablaze.

One of the residents said, “This is the second time since yesterday (Friday) these herdsmen would attack these villages. As I speak with you, 10 dead bodies have been recovered. As of 2.04pm; gunshots could still be heard, while several houses were burnt down.”

The attacks occurred barely two days after the state Acting Governor, Benson Abounu, raised the alarm of planned attacks on five communities in the state.

The state government, however, urged the authorities concerned to live up to their responsibilities to avert the planned attacks on Benue.

The state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Lawrence Onoja, during an interview with our correspondent, said after the state security council received the report of the planned attacks, the officials immediately swung into action by taking a critical look at the report and came to the conclusion that there was a need for the reinforcement of all the security apparatus in the state.

He said, “The security reports further revealed that some of the mercenaries were camped in Rukubi in Nasarawa State, close to Benue, where they have earmarked five different locations in Benue State to launch possible attacks simultaneously.

“We have written to the Inspector-General of Police, Force Headquarters, Abuja. We have also informed the Chiefs of Army Staff, Air Staff and the Director-General, Department of State Services and other relevant security agencies.

“We believe that they will act fast to chase these mercenaries out of our state and also help to end the herdsmen killings in the state.”

The commissioner urged the communities to protect themselves by cooperating and collaborating with all the relevant security agencies in information sharing and local intelligence gathering.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Moses Yamu, said he had yet to be briefed on the attacks.  He promised to respond after consulting with the necessary local authorities.  (Punch)

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Gambari, Ali Proffer Solutions To Herdsmen-Farmers Conflict |RN

Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin

Nigeria’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, has suggested the revival of the 1965 Grazing Reserve Law as a solution to the herdsmen-farmers conflict unsettling many communities across the country.

Gambari said the Law can be revived based on section 315 of the 1999 Constitution in the 19 northern states.

This is just as a legal icon, Mallam Yusuf Ali asked Nigerians to stop classifying the rampaging herdsmen as Fulani.

He said unless Nigerians stop classifying the killer herdsmen as Fulani, the herdsmen-farmers clashes and the attendant wanton destruction of lives and property will continue unabated.

Gambari and Ali spoke at a symposium titled ‘Pastoralists and crop farmers’ crisis: A discourse on proactive measures to prevent conflict in Nigeria’, organised by the College of Agriculture, Kwara State University, Malete (KWASU) yesterday.

The former UN ambassador noted that out of the estimated 40 million hectares of grazing land in the country, only three million hectares are specifically tagged as grazing reserves.

“The Nigerian livestock industry is largely dependent on natural vegetation. Although there are vast hectares of natural vegetation in the country, they are not maximally utilized due to poor planning and conflicting government policies,” Gambari said.

He called for harmonization of relevant laws and policies that govern grazing reserves and a national review and protection of traditional stock routes.

He added, “Regional instruments governing pastoralism should be protected and above all domesticated. In addition to the laws, a consultative process between farming and pastoral communities are required to review the effect of statutes and regulations on routine practices of animal husbandry.”

The diplomat, who lamented that the idea to encourage nomads to settle was first made in 1942 but was never implemented, recommended that “a clear policy of land grant to pastoralists should be developed and implemented by the state governments.”

In his paper titled ‘Constitutional provisions guiding the use of land, water, forest resources by pastoralists and crop farmers in Nigeria’, Mallam Yusuf Ali recommended ranching as one of the possible models in areas with low population density in the northeast (Sambisa game reserve in Bornu state) and northwest (Gidan Jaja grazing reserve in Zamfara state), amongst others.

“It’s my humble view that pastoralism is not sustainable in Nigeria over the long term due to high population growth rate, expansion of farming and loss of pasture and cattle routes. At the same time, pastoralism cannot be prohibited in the short term as there are strong cultural and political economy reasons for its existence.

“It is important, therefore, to develop both legal and policy frameworks for a transitional period during which new systems would be put in place,” Ali said.  (The Sun)

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Fulani Herdsmen Killings: Middle Belt Youths Support Danjuma |The Republican News

TYDanjuma2

Gen. Theophilus Y. Danjuma

Gyang Bere, Jos

President of Middle Belt Youth Council, Emma Zopmal, has thrown his weight behind former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), who was credited to have called on Nigerians to defend themselves in the face of unabated killings by Fulani herdsmen in parts of the country.

Zopmal, in a press statement issued, in Jos, on Monday, said the statement of Gen. Danjuma over the weekend brought relief on trouble communities whom the Fulani herdsmen have robbed them of peace.

According to Zopmal, “It is very unfortunate that in Nigeria today maiming, killing, raping of helpless women, and destruction of property in the Middle Belt and other parts of Nigeria has become the chosen sport of Fulani herdsmen without any repercussive action by the Nigerian government.

“We are very much happy that Gen Theophilus Y. Danjuma has made a landmark statement unfolding the key actors behind the genocide against innocent Nigerians by Fulani herdsmen terrorists. The revelation came at the right time when President Muhammadu Buhari is playing lips service to this dastardly situation under his watch.

“He is presiding over a nation of people who live beside their graveyards as a result of the activities of this Fourth Dreaded World Terrorist Group but it does not so much matter to him because there’s no report of any Fulani herdsman being killed anywhere in Nigeria.

“The statement of Gen TY Danjuma is a welcome development that will save this country called Nigeria from total collapse. As a reputable national and international personality, Gen TY Danjuma has given a sterling warning to Nigerians and the military to rise up to their responsibilities. We strongly stand behind our father, leader and the leading light in the Middle Belt.”

Zopmal also urged President Buhari to dissolve with the immediate effect his pro-Arewa security chiefs to reflect Federal Character where competent service Chiefs from across the country will be involved in the management of security in the country.

He commended Gen. Danjuma for telling the brutal truth and called on Nigerians to disregard any statement in the name of any Middle Belt group who are faceless cowards that are paid to disparage Middle Belt leaders through their reckless Press Comments.

He continued, “Middle Belt is united under the current leadership of our amiable President of Middle Belt Forum, Dr Bala Takaya. We have realized that some groups of people have been issuing uncouth statements in the name of Middle Belt whereas we do not know where they come from, who they are and whose interest they are representing.

“We salute the courage of General, Theophilus Y. Danjuma, who has been a precious gift to the nation and the world at large. Self-defence is a right of every citizen of the world not only Nigerians. There is no law that stops anybody from self-defence in any part of the world.”

He called on Nigerians to stand up and defend themselves when faced with attack occasion by Fulani herdsmen, saying there is no government security that will give life after death.

Zopmal explained that Gen. Danjuma did not ask Nigerians to take up arms and kill innocent people like the Fulani herdsmen, rather they should defend themselves in times of attacks.

“If President Buhari is really serious about security issues, he should not waste time to probe his Service Chiefs and make the report open to Nigerians so as to save our dear country from this daunting predicaments and whoever is found wanting, should be dismissed and prosecuted immediately. Nigerians did not vote you to preside over their deaths but to provide for their welfare, protect them, and be a father to all.”  (The Sun)

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Belgian Student Association Protest Against Farm Murders In South Africa (Video) |RN

by Denis Bolosky

Farm-murders-in-South-Africa

Members of the Belgian Nationalist Student Association have organized a rally in Ghent against what they call the genocide of white farmers in South Africa. Over the past few years, there’s been an increase in murders and attacks on farmers, although neither the authorities nor mainstream media have viewed these attacks as being racially-motivated.

The march was attended by South African students and politicians, who arrived in Belgium to share the problems of their community with Belgians – citizens of the country, which many members of the South African Boer minority consider the land of their forefathers. Sputnik sat down with Pieter Groenewald – the leader of South Africa’s conservative Freedom Front Plus to talk about these issues.

Sputnik: As a representative of the Boer minority in South Africa, do you feel support from Belgians?

Pieter Groenewald: The people in South Africa, they feel in a certain sense that they sometimes stand alone. And events like this – especially when it comes to farm murders, is really big moral support for the people of South Africa, specifically for the farmers, who know that there are other people, specifically in Belgium, that also support them in trying to get the government to realize that farm murders in South Africa, and the brutality is totally unacceptable – not only in South Africa, but also all over the world, and specifically in Belgium.

 

Sputnik: Is there any reaction to farm murders from the government and mass media in South Africa?

Pieter Groenewald: They are quite aware of the problem. But the government of today, they only see it as normal criminality. They don’t want to see it as a specific crime, as far as the farmers are concerned, and I say it is not normal criminality, because, I mean, it cannot be just normal criminality if the perpetrators come at 9 o’clock in the morning, the farmer and his wife went to church, they, visit their friends, and when they return at 3 o’clock – they kill them. It is not just normal criminality, if they torture the victims, using electric drills, drilling through women’s legs and feet, and also if they rape the women. So, it is not normal criminality. We say that there is a political element, and it is also linked to the land, because the land issue in South Africa is becoming more prominent, and it is central for our general election next year – 2019.

Sputnik: What are the ways to deal with this problem? Is there a political solution?

Pieter Groenewald: Well, first, what has to be done is, political leaders in South Africa must stop saying that the land in South Africa has been stolen by white people. By that, they are creating a specific climate, where the masses and the majority of black people think that we are a group of thieves just because we’re white. Even president Zuma in 2016 said at the anniversary of the governing party that “you, you – masses are poor because you don’t have land, and you are unemployed because you don’t have land, and there is inequality in South Africa because you don’t have land, and we know who has stolen the land.” – I mean, you’re creating an atmosphere. So, political leaders must lead in a responsible way, to say that “we cannot allow them to say that white people are actually criminals,” because if you say that they have stolen the land, you’re actually calling them criminals. Secondly, the government must realize that these crimes against the farmers are not a normal crime, it’s not normal criminality, as I said. And we say that they should come forward with specialized units to combat these specific crimes in the rural areas because you need special units who understand what’s happening as far as the farmer is concerned, and if you do these three things – it will improve the situation.

 

Sputnik: South Africa is hosting the BRICS summit this summer. Do you see such events as a chance to attract international attention to the problems of the country’s minorities? 

Pieter Groenewald: I appeal to the world: please, also raise your voice against this atrocity which is actually taking place in South Africa regarding farm murders. By doing that you’re putting pressure on the South African government. And even the government hears from all over the world “listen, we’re not going to invest in South Africa because you don’t intend to do anything as far as farm murders are concerned.” By doing that they would start forcing the South African government to, for instance, understand that it’s not a normal crime, and to stop all the hate speech, because, that’s nothing else but hate speech by political leaders.   (Sputnik)

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Atiku To Buhari: Be Open To Solutions To National Security |The Republican News

By Onyekachi Eze, ABUJA

 

Atiku-abubakar1

Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar ‎has called on President Muhammadu Buhari administration to be open to solutions from well-meaning Nigerians on how to solve the nation’s security challenges.

In a statement by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, Atiku said he welcomed the decision by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to withdraw security personnel guarding important personalities in the country.

The former vice president noted that Nigeria has security emergency while the nation’s security forces were overstretched‎.

“We do not have enough military and paramilitary forces to provide security for the peace-loving people of Nigeria which is why the recent Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State kidnapping occurred. Their school was left unguarded,” Atiku observed.

He recalled that he had counselled for the reassigning of the 150,000 policemen guarding private citizens to core police duties.

Atiku further recalled that he had noted about a week ago:‎ “If I had my way, I would have recalled all of those 150,000 policemen who are not performing core police duties and send them to provide security for every school in the North-East region. That to me would be a better use of their time and services.

“We already know that Boko Haram has an agenda to cripple Western education in Nigeria. So how could we have left those schools unguarded? Why should the police be guarding VIPs who can afford personal guards and leave vulnerable girls unguarded? We are spending billions of naira trying to encourage girls to go to school only to allow them to be abducted by terrorists.”

He, therefore, welcomed the reported new policy of reassigning these 150,000 policemen from guarding VIPs to regular police duties especially as it relates to the much-needed protection of schools in the Northeast and other troubled zones.  (New Telegraph)

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Buhari Vows To Tackle Herdsmen, Farmers Killings |The Republican News

 

• Commissions abandoned flyover  bridge in Jos

Gyang Bere, Jos

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that he will address the perennial violence between farmers and herdsmen which has claimed several lives in the country.

He described as gory and inhuman,  the killing of innocent people in Benue, Taraba and Zamfara States where many people were displaced and communities destroyed.

Buhari disclosed this yesterday,  during a town hall meeting and the launch of the Plateau State Road Map to Peace, which held at the New Government House, Rayfield,  Jos. It was part of his two-day working visit to the state.

He said: “I’m concerned about the insecurity in the country which was why when I came on board in 2015, I visited Chad, Niger and other neighbouring countries to ensure mutual working relationship. What happened in Benue is quite regrettable; we are working towards addressing insecurity in the country.”

“The damage which has been done in this country, only God will judge. I will continue to follow due process and observe human rights in the recovery of looted funds.”

He said he would look into public outcry on the marginalisation of women in the country as well as tackle unemployment which has constituted a set back among youths.

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, on his part appealed to the president to tackle the conflict between farmers and herdsmen,  which has consumed several lives in the country, with seriousness.

He lamented that scores of innocent lives were lost recently in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa and Plateau States, where several families were rendered homeless and communities destroyed.

“I want to appeal that the increasing cases of violence between Fulani and farmers in the country need to be taken with all sense of seriousness, because of the number of lives that have perished. We are happy that you made the vice president to head the committee on the conflict between farmers and herdsmen and we are seeing positive results.”

As a result of the clash in Benue State, Quanpan Local Government Area, Lalong disclosed that the state is hosting over 4,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

He described the condition of the IDPs, made up of children, women and the aged,  as pathetic and sought the intervention of the Federal Government in settling the displaced families to their respective communities.

Lalong, while commending  President Buhari’s concept of fighting corruption, which has attracted international recognition, said Plateau is following his footstep in this regard.

He revealed that the state was working in collaboration with EFCC to prosecute past government officials who have been indicted for corruption.

The governor said the state had committed N20 billion to the construction of federal roads in the state, saying only N2 billion has been released as reimbursement.

He appealed to the president to order for the quick release of such funds for adequate intervention on most roads that have turned death traps.

Lalong urged the president to award the contract for the dualisation of Abuja/Jos road. He said many souls have perished as a result of the incessant crash due to the dilapidated nature of the road.

He said his administration inherited a debt profile of N250 billion from the past administration, six months salary arrears of civil servants and 13 months pension arrears which have been cleared and the state is up-to-date in payment of salaries.

Meanwhile, the president had commissioned a flyover bridge at the Secretariat Roundabout in Jos South Local Government Area amid tight security.

Daily Sun observed that there was a combined security operative at Mararaban Jama’a and at the flyover bridge. He expressed delight over the project and encouraged the governor to continue with infrastructure development.

Lalong, while welcoming the president to the ceremony, recalled that the bridge was abandoned at 30 percent completion and was inherited by the rescue administration and completed to ease movement of people into the state capital.

He expressed joy that the project was being commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he said had encouraged governors to continue with abandoned projects as enshrined in the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress.  (The Sun)

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Another Mass Burial By Benue Gov’t For Fulani Herdsmen Attack Victims |RN

Mass-burial-in-Benue-attacks

File photo: Mass burial of victims of Fulani herdsmen attacks in Benue

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has issued a directive for necessary arrangements to be made for another mass burial to hold next week Friday, March 16th. The mass burial is for victims of a fresh herdsmen/farmers clash in Omusu village in Okpokwu Local Government Area of the state which has left 24 people dead.

14 of the victims were women, two children while the search for more bodies has continued.

During his visit to the community yesterday, Governor Ortom appealed to the community not to embark on any reprisal attacks. Security agents have since been mobilised to forestall further attacks while the governor also called on the State Emergency Management Agency to immediately provide relief materials to persons displaced in the attack.

He reiterated his call for the arrest of the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore whom he alleged were sponsoring the suspected herdsmen militia.

The governor also visited Saint Mary’s Hospital Okpoga, where the injured persons were treated and proceeded to the General Hospital in the town where remains of the dead victims were deposited.

Recall that on January 11th, a mass burial for 76 victims of the January 1st massacre in the state was held. The 76 deceased victims were killed during an attack by some herdsmen on Jany 1st and 6th.  (Nigerian Hive)

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