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FLASHBACK: “If I Were Jonathan, I Would Negotiate To Secure Chibok Girls’ Release” —El-Rufai |RN

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

■ Nasir El-Rufai explains why he now says negotiating with criminals is objectionable.

By Alfred Olufemi 

Six years ago, before his election as Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai said he would explore all means, including negotiations with Boko Haram terrorists, to rescue the kidnapped Chibok girls if he were the president, a statement that contradicts his present stance.

After a video clip of his 2015 statement went viral this week, Mr El-Rufai has explained why he as governor has moved in the opposite direction.

No fewer than 270 schoolgirls were abducted when Boko Haram terrorists attacked their school in Chibok, a community in Borno State, in 2014.

While some of the girls managed to escape, others spent over two years with their abductors before the Nigerian government negotiated their release.

Seven years after the kidnap, about a hundred of the girls are still in the captivity of the insurgents.

Reacting to the federal government’s handling of the kidnap of the Chibok girls in 2015, Mr El-Rufai blamed former President Goodluck Jonathan for not exploring all possible means.

in an  interview with Sahara TV, Mr El-Rufai, whose All Progressives Congress was in the opposition then, said: “We have no apologies for pointing out to Nigeria’s that this government is incompetent and has failed to provide security. If you say we are politicizing it, fix the problem so that we cannot politicize it, okay?

Asked for the way forward, Mr El-Rufai said: “The government has the solution to this problem. Several committees have given them recommendations. They should just implement the recommendations in their drawer, okay?

“As for rescuing the girls, we have seen examples of what countries do when this situation happens, you should have military action, on the one hand; the negotiation on the other. You should not foreclose anything because the lives of your citizens are at risk and you don’t want to lose one life. You don’t want to lose the life of one person.”

Asked if he was in support of negotiation, he said:

“I’m in support of every option. When you have the lives of your citizens at risk, you should not take any option off the table. You should be flexible. You should listen. You should negotiate and look at the price. You have to be and get those girls out,” he told the interviewer.

In crisis
But today, Mr El-Rufai is faced with a similar situation in Kaduna but has said he will never negotiate with kidnappers or pay their ransom demands to free their victims.

In what seems like a test of Mr El-Rufai’s previous statements, several attacks have been launched in Kaduna with many kidnapped persons still with their abductors.

Last month, 39 students were kidnapped at Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka. While a few of them have been rescued nearly 30 students are still with the abductors.

Last week, bandits attacked Greenfield University, a private university in Kaduna State, and kidnapped an undisclosed number of students. Five of the University students have been found dead, suspected to have been killed by their assailants.

Others are still in captivity with promises to secure their release by the state and federal authorities.

Meanwhile, Mr El-Rufai has repeatedly emphasised his stance not to negotiate with the bandits.

“Our position on Kaduna State has been clear and consistent: bandits, cattle wrestlers and armed militia must be degraded and decimated to a state of unconditional submission to constituted authority.”

While speaking at the presentation of the state 2020 security report last month, Mr El-Rufai said the government would never negotiate with bandits of any kind or support any grant of amnesty to them.

This “no ransom, no negotiation” was reiterated in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Muyiwa Adekeye, on Tuesday.

In the statement sent to this newspaper, Mr Adeyeye said those sharing the video clip of the previous interview took Mr El-Rufai out of context.

“The years since 2014 may have led some people to forget the denial and doubt that defined the FG’s response to the Chibok abductions, especially the initial refusal to acknowledge that it happened. That was the context under which civic pressures were brought on the government.

“Nigeria’s journey since the 2014 Chibok tragedy has proven that the solution to violent crimes, including terrorism and banditry, is a robust response from the state and its coercive agencies. The quantum of money paid as ransom following many negotiations with bandits have not stopped kidnappings, reduced their frequency or deterred the criminals.”

He said negotiating with the criminals does not conform to the current realities.

“Mass abduction was like a novelty in 2014. But the facts have changed since then. Negotiations and ransoms have been undertaken, but these have not stopped the criminals. It has only encouraged them.”

Mr Adekeye further stated that the fact that criminals seek to hold the state government by the ‘jugular’ does not mean it should surrender and create an incentive for more crime. (Premium Times)

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BREAKING: Bandits Release New Video Of Pregnant Woman, Students Abducted In Kaduna [Video] |The Republican News


Bandits with their victims

■ In the video, the pregnant woman the bandits identified as Hajiya pleaded with their parents to rescue them.

The remaining 29 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State, who were abducted by bandits appear to be having it rough at the hands of their captors, according to a video released by the gunmen on Tuesday.

The gunmen had on March 12, 2021 invaded the institution and abducted 39 students, including a pregnant woman.

A day after the abduction, a video surfaced online, where the students were seen sitting on the ground in an unknown location and guarded by armed men whose identities were concealed.

The victims, who were seen being tortured by the armed men, appealed to the government to rescue them.

Between April 5 and April 8, the bandits released 10 of the abducted students, leaving 29 of them in captivity.

In another video released on Tuesday in an unknown location, a bandit was heard speaking in Hausa and later Fulfulde.

In the video that is four minutes and 56 seconds long, which was shot at night, the gunmen asked some of the students to come forward and speak to the camera.

In the video, the pregnant woman the bandits identified as Hajiya pleaded with their parents to rescue them.

“We are appealing to our parents to help us, we are tired and there is no food. They should do their best to get us out of this place. We have spent 47 days, almost all of us are ill and there is no food. We sleep in the open even when it rains,” she said.

Kaduna is one of the states in Nigeria facing the worst cases of kidnapping by bandits.

On April 20, an unknown number of students were kidnapped from Greenfield University, a private institution in the Chukun Local Government Area. A security guard was also shot in the attack.

There is no official confirmation of the number of students kidnapped from the school but five of them have already been killed by their abductors.

On April 22, two nurses were kidnapped from Idon Hospital in Kajuru LGA of the state after an attack by gunmen.

The armed men were said to have gained access to the hospital through the fence, opened fire before abducting the nurses who worked the night shift. (SaharaReporters)

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EXCLUSIVE: ESN Release Photo Of Fulani Terrorist Killed In Ebonyi Mass Murder, Blames Northerners |RN

Killed Fulani Terrorist

The suspected Fulani terrorist was one of the several militants who invaded the community to allegedly carry out a reprisal but were gunned down by the ESN operatives.

The Eastern Security Network operatives have released a photograph of a suspected Fulani terrorist killed during the violence which has engulfed Umuogudu Akpu-Ngbo Community in the Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State since Monday.

Sources in the community told SaharaReporters that the suspected Fulani terrorist was one of the several militants who invaded the community to allegedly carry out a reprisal but were gunned down by the ESN operatives.

A top source revealed that the Fulani herdsmen were among those fuelling the crisis in the Ebonyi communities.

“This is one of the Fulani terrorists that came to attack the Ngbo community in Ebonyi province on Monday. Despite the charm tied around his waist, the gallant ESN operatives still sent him to face proper judgment.

“God bless ESN operatives forever. The ESN is our last hope, since Governor Dave Umahi’s best effort after several months of bloodshed is to come up with a toothless outfit called Ebube Agu,” the source stated.

Suspected Fulani herdsmen had in March killed at least 25 persons in Egedegede community in the Ishielu Local Government Area of the state.

The governor later said despite protecting Fulani herdsmen in the state and South-East region, they still killed people of Ebonyi.

Umahi, during a visit to the community, confirmed that AK-47-wielding herdsmen killed at least “15 persons” from the information he got.

He said, “We are in Ishielu where the AK-47 herdsmen came yesterday (Monday) and killed 15 of the members of this community. I remember a year ago that we had an incident of the killing of two herdsmen within this same location. And immediately, the security agencies and local government chairman and community leaders all came together to condemn the attack and killing and we immediately asked the security agencies to fish out the people who did.

“We fished them out and as we talk, they are standing trial in Ebonyi State. The community, government and security agencies appeased the herdsmen and made peace with them. And so, it is very shocking that overnight, all the herdsmen in Ishielu LGA vacated which means that the local herdsmen are part of the conspiracy of the killing of our people.”. (Sahara Reporters)


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We’ve Uncovered The Bureau De Change Operators Helping To Sponsor Boko Haram —Presidency |The Republican News

Garba Shehu

The Presidency says it has uncovered the Nigerians who are transferring money to Boko Haram terrorists from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant To The President On Media and Publicity, disclosed this when he featured on a Channels Television programme.

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The Presidential spokesman, who said some Bureau De Change operators were facilitating transfer of money to terrorists, added that Nigerians will be shocked when details of the investigation are revealed.

He said some persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.

“Bureaus de change are facilitating money to terrorists. We have already worked with the UAE,” he said.

“Convictions have been achieved of Nigerians who are transferring money to Boko Haram terrorists and this also happens domestically. And I tell you that by the time we finish this investigation, the shocking details will surprise many Nigerians.”

Earlier in the week, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, who is the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, had said there is a link between kidnapping, banditry and terrorism.

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Corruption: 13 Security Chiefs, Public Officials Connected To 800 Properties In UAE Worth $400m |The Republican News

Dubai


By Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

About 800 assets worth $400 million stolen from Nigeria and domiciled in various cities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been traced to 13 Nigerian security chiefs and public officials.

Of the 800 assets said to have been uncovered by investigators, the 13 security chiefs are discovered to own 216, while the remaining 584 have been traced to Nigerian public officials.

Investigators further revealed that about N17 billion, being stolen assets from Nigeria annually, are laundered in the UAE and the United Kingdom (UK).

These were some of the revelations made at an international conference in Abuja on Tuesday, with the theme; Fixing Financial Flows: A critical Review of UK and UAE Policies, Laws and Practices in Financial and No- Financial Institutions.

The event, organised by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) and other foreign and local development partners, was held at the Sheraton Hotels, Abuja.

The chairman of HEDA, Olanrewaju Suraju, said the illicit financial outflows from Nigeria have continued to hurt the vulnerable poor, fuel violence and constitute threats to moral authority of the Nigerian state.

Suraju said that the UAE and the U.K. have been facing attacks for failing to live up to international obligations in curbing illicit financial flow, mainly perpetrated by politically exposed persons. (The Nation)

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Leave Within 48hrs Igbo Forests or Be Treated Like ‘Bush Meat’ —Ohanaeze Youth Warns Fulani With AK-47

By Chukwuemeka Chimerue

■Accuses Buhari of fast-tracking Nigeria’s disintegration

■Says any tribe plotting to attack Igbo’ll have to prepare well

The youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural body, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo has given a 48-hour ultimatum to every Fulani with AK-47 in any part of South East or be treated like “bush meat”.

The ultimatum is coming on the heels of the revelation that over 332 Fulani camps across South East are occupied with AK-47 carrying Fulani militia.

Former Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG Celestine Okoye, had in a media interview, said that “there are 332 Fulani herdsmen settlers heavily armed with AK47 rifles across the five states of the South East zone waiting to unleash terror on Ndigbo.”

National President of Ohanaeze Youths Council, Igboayaka. O Igboayaka, who said the revelation had corroborated an earlier similar report by a civil society organisation, said Igbo youths would not sit idly to watch terrorists circle and invade Igbo land.

He therefore, warned “all Fulani herdsmen with AK47 rifles to immediately vacate their hidden locations in Igbo land within 48 hours or risk being treated like bush animals wherever they are sighted with weapons.”

OYC accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies of maintaining criminal silence over the disturbing revelation, saying they should be held accountable for any security breach or genocidal attack in Igbo land.

According to OYC Ndigbo will be left with no option than to resort to self defense which may eventually lead to fragmentation of the country.

“President Buhari and his security agencies who are aiding and abetting the crimes of criminal Fulani herdsmen should understand that they have done everything necessary to ensure Nigeria’s disintegration”, Igboayaka fumed.

Igboayaka in a press statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Chukwuemeka Chimerue, said any tribe plotting to attack Ndigbo now might need to prepare well.

The statement read in part: This revelation is in line with a recent research made by International Society For Civil Liberties & The Rule Of Law(Intersociety), one of the leading civil society groups in Nigeria wherein they published that 433 locations in Igbo land are domiciled by these dreaded Fulani herdsmen waiting to attack the entire old Eastern region.

“Buhari and his kinsmen have divided Nigeria, leading the country into anarchy, tribal hate and crisis.”

He cautioned the President and his kinsmen to have a rethink “on their covert Fulanization agenda and ethnic cleansing of other nationalities in Nigeria”, reminding them that “the Fulani who are not more than seven million in population cannot successfully conquer over eighty million Igbo”.

“The 1967-1970 genocide against Ndigbo where all tribes in the West, Middle-West and Hausa tribe fought against Ndigbo would not repeat again.

“Fulanis should get ready to contend with the forces of all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria if they go ahead to embark on this impending attack against Ndigbo,” Igboayaka stated.

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Miyetti Allah Condemns Killing Of Fulani Bandit Leader, Mohammed Isa By ESN |The Republican News

The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has condemned the alleged killing of suspected leader of a Fulani bandits, Mohammed Isa, by the Eastern Security Network (ESN) after he was apprehended in Benue State.

The Secretary-General of the group, Saleh Al-Hassan, questioned the authority of IPOB to carry out such an act, denying that the said ‘Bandit’ is a member of the association.

Hear him…

“To even think that IPOB or ESN has killed somebody, either bandits or no bandits, are they lawful security agents? Who are they? Can’t they go and kill ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ (internet fraudsters) boys? Can’t they go and kill drug pushers that are destroying our image? You see, we must not be encouraging lawlessness because if we encourage lawlessness, I’m telling you this country is gone.”

“See, every tribe is trying to raise a militia like that but is that what we want. There is a way we should help this country to get over its problems by giving stories that create unity and progress. If they killed him, are they keeping the corpse? They should give the corpse, at least, to the police now. Do they carry tags on their heads that I am a bandit?”

“You see, all these things – lawlessness – that is given credibility is sad. It is not good for the country. I’m telling you; you see, I pity those people promoting that kind of statement because at the end of the day if there is a crisis, do you think anybody will benefit? We have Igbos in every nook and cranny of this country. So, it’s not good. We are trying to promote peace. You see, they keep on lumping things together. I think this is political, you people should investigate this.”

“If the crude people are killing themselves in the villages, we the elite should help them because it is our responsibility to give them leadership.”

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Bandits Must Be Wiped Out, They Have Challenged Nigeria’s Sovereignty —El-Rufai |The Republican News

Kaduna state governor, Alhaji Nasir El-Rufai

by TheCable

Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna state governor, says bandits have challenged the sovereignty of Nigeria and must be wiped out.

He said government at all levels must “immediately and without hesitation” put an end to the activities of bandits.

El-Rufai made the remark on Wednesday at the presentation of the 2020 Annual Security Report in Kaduna.

“Banditry has severely impacted the rural economy and shaken the confidence of citizens,” he said.

“It has driven farmers from their land, putting food security at risk, displaced communities, stolen property and deprived people of their right to life.

“We must put a stop to these criminal acts and enable our people to live their lives in peace and safety. This is a most urgent task.”

El-Rufai said Kaduna will not engage bandits in dialogue or offer them any form of amnesty.


He said: “We will neither negotiate with criminals of any description nor support any grant of amnesty.

“Criminal gangs, bandits, insurgents and ethno-religious militias made a conscious choice to challenge Nigeria’s sovereignty and menace our citizens.

“These criminals must be wiped out immediately and without hesitation.

“I am assured by the recent directive given to the federal security agencies to wipe out such gun-wielding criminals by the president.”


SIMULTANEOUS AND SUSTAINED BOMBARDMENT

The governor said the failure to mount a “sustained and simultaneous” operation against bandits in the north-west “has emboldened them”.

He said Kaduna and neighbouring states have been supporting the efforts of security agencies with funding and resources since 2015.

“Together with Niger state and our neighbours in the north-west, we put together resources to fund military operations against bandits in the Kamuku-Kuyambana forest range that straddles the region,” he said.


The governor said it is regrettable that the collaboration “was not sustained or expanded into a campaign of continuous, simultaneous operations against the bandits across our vast region”.

“Failure to contain and defeat them in one place has emboldened them to develop a national footprint and endanger national cohesion,” he added.

The governor said the security agencies need more “numbers”, modern technology and equipment to adequately overcome the bandits.

“The security of our communities depend on the robust projection of state power, and that can only be done with sufficient security numbers to overawe and deter criminals,” he said.


FRESH CASE FOR STATE POLICE

El-Rufai also reiterated his call for the decentralisation of policing, noting that the police officers in Nigeria are insufficient.

He said the police setup, as is presently obtainable, is inadequate and “not pragmatic”.

He added: “The prerogatives of the state need to be asserted, not merely proclaimed. The people we put in uniform must never be placed in avoidable danger, outgunned or outnumbered by non-state actors.

“In our view, critical to multiplying and reinforcing state power is a decentralisation of policing. “There are simply are not enough police officers in Nigeria and the idea of policing such a vast, federal republic of nearly a million square kilometres in a unitary manner is not pragmatic.

“This arrangement has already proven inadequate and we should promptly replace it with state police and other levels of policing.”

He added that his government has invested in a CCTV network that is being deployed in Kaduna metropolis “while options for consistent operations of its drones are being explored”.

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Police Detain Three Of My Men For Arresting Fulani Kidnap Kingpin, Iskilu Wakili —OPC Leader |The Republican News

Fulani bandits and kidnap kingpin, Iskilu Wakili


By Kayode Oyero

The Oodua Peoples Congress, on Sunday, said the men of Nigeria Police Force in the Oyo State detained three OPC operatives for arresting notorious Fulani warlord Iskilu Wakili, who has been accused of sundry crimes in the Ayete area of Ibarapaland in the state.

The PUNCH had reported that farmers and residents of Ayete lived in perpetual fear of Wakili who was accused of displacing them from their farms.

It was also gathered that Wakili, who is said to be the leader of the herdsmen in Ayete worked with dozens of herders who are his disciples. Together with his battalion, they allegedly seized hectares of farmlands at Ayete, raped the women in the rustic town, and kidnapped their rich men for ransom.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH on Sunday, Adedeji Oluwole, the OPC sector coordinator who led his operatives and other vigilante groups to arrest Wakili, said the suspect was nabbed on Sunday morning.

Oluwole, the Federal Capital Territory OPC coordinator, who is also an indigene of Igboora, said he relocated four months ago to Ayete to bring Wakili to book after security agencies failed to arrest him.

The OPC leader said it took over four days of continued operations and surveillance to nab Wakili and three of his accomplices.

According to Oluwole, more than 10 OPC operatives went on the mission. He said Wakili’s men shot fiercely at the OPC operatives before they were eventually nabbed.

He, however, expressed shock that the police detained three of his men after they handed over Wakili.

“We took Wakili and the three others from Igangan to Igboora and handed them over to the DPO at Igboora. The name of the DPO is Ajayi Mark. As I am talking to you, they have taken them to Iyaganku at the State CID in Ibadan with three of my boys,” Oluwole told The PUNCH on Sunday afternoon.

Continuing, he said, “When we took Wakili to the police this morning, the police said we should take Wakili to the hospital first which we refused because we are not in a position to do that. We told the police that they have been complaining all these days that they wanted to arrest Wakili and now we have brought Wakili to their doorstep, they should take over.

“Nobody touched Wakili, nobody hurt him, there are no traces of any hurt on him. He is an old man and we had promised the whole world that we won’t hurt them but we would arrest them for the whole world to see who is Wakili because all these while, he has been a faceless person, nobody knows him. We didn’t beat him or harm him. When we nabbed him, we put him inside a vehicle and handed him over to the police.

“The DPO then said he got a signal from the CP (Commissioner of Police) in Iyaganku. They have taken three of my men to Iyaganku now.”

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Oyo State, Olugbenga Fadeyi, did not respond to calls put to his line. A text message sent to his phone was also not replied to as of the time of filing this report.

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Coup Plotters That Caused Civil War That Took Millions Of Lives Were Pardoned, Why Not Bandits —Sheikh Gumi

Sheikh Ahmad Gumi

Renowned northern Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, said if government could pardon coup plotters that committed treasonable felony, there was nothing wrong extending the same gesture to bandits.

The Islamic cleric, while responding to the Christian Association of Nigeria in Kaduna on Thursday, said there was need to forgive bandits for the country to have peace.

Gumi added, “Even those that instigated civil war, the civil war that millions of people died, were pardoned. I see no reason why we cannot accept their (bandits) repentance and give them amnesty.”

Gumi added that he never betrayed soldiers of Christian faith before the bandits when he visited them.

He noted that he was misunderstood by CAN because the video that went viral about his discussion with the bandits was distorted and the actual message was manipulated.

Gumi said, “You ask why do we give them amnesty but they told us specifically that they are ready to drop their arms and they don’t want to be pursued with legal actions after they repented.

“If the country could pardon coup plotters who committed treasonable offences in the era of military administration, the bandits can as well enjoy similar forgiveness even better under democratic rule.

“These people in the bush, who have taken arms; they are criminals. I wonder who is not a criminal. Since Nigeria forgave coup plotters, forgave those that killed. Even those that instigated civil war; civil war that millions of people died, I see no reason why we cannot accept their repentance.

Since that is the bottleneck and it is only the Federal Government that can give them that leverage. Strangely, we found out that they are victims too. They were victims of profiling. So many of them were arrested and punished just for looking like herdsmen.”

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