Image

Nnamdi Kanu Arrest: Put Same Zeal In Arrest Of Killer Herdsmen, Miyetti-Allah Leaders —Ortom Tells FG |The Republican News

Benue State Governor: Samuel Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has urged the Federal Government to demonstrate the same zeal put into the arrest of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to the arrest of leaders of militia herdsmen and Miyetti Allah who have owned up to the killings in the state.

He insisted that it was by so doing that the government would be taken seriously in its acclaimed fight against insurgency and terrorism in the country.

The Governor who spoke Thursday while flagging off the sale of fertilizer in Makurdi urged the Federal Government to give Benue people justice by ensuring the arrest of leaders of militia herdsmen who were killing and sacking communities in the state thereby frustrating food production in the state.

He said, “if the federal government has demonstrated capacity to arrest Nnamdi Kanu, they should also exhibit the same zeal, will and decision to arrest the Fulani herdsmen that are terrorizing our state and country.

“Let that be done, they are living here with us. If Nnamdi Kanu can be arrested from a foreign land, I believe that if the federal government can exhibit the same will, they will arrest Fulani herdsmen, especially Miyetti Allah who have owned up to the killings in Benue state and have continued to terrorize our land.

“It is laughable and unfortunate when I heard that Miyetti Allah are calling Nnamdi Kanu a terrorist. Someone who is fighting for the liberation of his people is being called a terrorist by a terrorist organization called Miyetti Allah and Fulani herdsmen.

“So the federal government should rise up to its responsibilities and arrest the people.”

Continuing, the Governor said: “I have no problem with trying Nnamdi Kanu, but the due process should be followed and let there be justice. If he has committed any offense, let there be justice.

“But the federal government must also do justice by arresting Fulani herdsmen that have been terrorizing our land, who have created so much problems, pains and challenges to our economy, to our security and to our unity. If the federal government does not do that, it means that they are not serious.

“I must however commend the efforts of security personnel in checking the activities of the militia herdsmen in our communities. We call on the federal government to boost their efforts in creating and sustaining safer environment for our people to return back to their ancestral homes.”

The Governor lamented that with over one million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, Benue was carrying a huge burden saying that there was need for a committed intervention on the part of the federal government to enable them return to their ancestral homes.

Continue reading
Image

Let Fulani Bandits Guard Our Forests For Peace To Reign —Sheikh Gumi |The Republican News

Sheikh Abubakar Gumi

By Odita Sunday, Abuja

Islamic cleric Sheikh Gumi has declared that Nigeria is fighting a tribal war, calling for amnesty for bandits if they must quit their criminal acts.

He specifically urged farmers across the country to allow herdsmen to protect their forests.

According to Gumi, with the ongoing tribal war, the federal government is supposed to remain neutral.

The islamic scholar, while admitting that the bandits are committing all sorts of crimes, also said that atrocities have been committed against them by various tribes across Nigeria.

“What you call banditry, when you cross to the other side, you discover Nigeria is fighting a tribal war and government is supposed to be the mediator, it is supposed to be neutral, it’s not supposed to take sides,” Gumi said on Arise TV on Wednesday morning.

“But the moment government takes side, it becomes part of the conflict. And this is what I saw in Zamfara State, in Niger State and other states.

“This is tribal war going on and the government taking one side.

“When you said these bandits are committing atrocities, yes, agree they are committing crimes, they are killing people, they are kidnapping, they are raping, they are doing all sorts of atrocities.

“But, have you for once go to their own sides to see all sorts of atrocities that are also committed against them?

“Do you know that an ordinary herdsman is lynched in many towns in Nigeria? We have seen that in Oyo, we have seen that in Anambra, we have seen that in many regions of Nigeria.

“I think there should be well meaning Nigerians that should stay neutral in this tribal war.”

Insisting on his call for amnesty for the bandits, Gumi said they are ready to surrender if government will provide means of livelihood for them.

“The Niger Delta example, I think we can take example from that. When they were vandalising pipelines, they were given the pipelines to guard.

“Now, the herdsmen are controlling a big chunk of land whereby they are preventing farmers from farming. As the Niger Delta is important to the economy, these herdsmen now are becoming important to the Nigerian economy.

“They can be our guards, they can guard the forests. They have qualities that we can tap from,” Gumi said.

He dismissed the amnesty granted to bandits by Katsina State Governor Bello Masari, describing it “political amnesty” without any package.

“When you grant a political amnesty, I mean amnesty in the front of the press and the media but in the real sense there was no amnesty.

“Amnesty comes with a package. The package is you rehabilitate these criminals, you provide for them social amenities.

“You entice then to leave the forests by providing them with skills. But there is no any project put forward.

“But, have you for once go to their own sides to see all sorts of atrocities that are also committed against them?

“Do you know that an ordinary herdsman is lynched in many towns in Nigeria? We have seen that in Oyo, we have seen that in Anambra, we have seen that in many regions of Nigeria.

“I think there should be well meaning Nigerians that should stay neutral in this tribal war.”

Insisting on his call for amnesty for the bandits, Gumi said they are ready to surrender if government will provide means of livelihood for them.

“The Niger Delta example, I think we can take example from that. When they were vandalising pipelines, they were given the pipelines to guard.

“Now, the herdsmen are controlling a big chunk of land whereby they are preventing farmers from farming. As the Niger Delta is important to the economy, these herdsmen now are becoming important to the Nigerian economy.

“They can be our guards, they can guard the forests. They have qualities that we can tap from,” Gumi said.

He dismissed the amnesty granted to bandits by Katsina State Governor Bello Masari, describing it “political amnesty” without any package.

“When you grant a political amnesty, I mean amnesty in the front of the press and the media but in the real sense there was no amnesty.

“Amnesty comes with a package. The package is you rehabilitate these criminals, you provide for them social amenities.

“You entice then to leave the forests by providing them with skills. But there is no any project put forward.”

Continue reading
Image

Military Should Stop Killing Fulani Bandits, Kidnappers, They’re Victims Too —Sheik Gumi |The Republican News

Sheikh Abubakar Gumi

Gumi has warned against military engagement with armed bandits in the northern region of the country. Sheikh Ahmad Gumi is a popular Islamic scholar who has been an advocate for bandits and kidnappers in the north.

Gumi has cautioned Federation Government and the Nigerian military against violent engagement with the bandits and kidnappers. Even after abducting several schoolchildren and collecting millions as ransom from Government, Gumi has continued to advocate for a soft landing for the criminals.

Recently, according to Sahara Reporters, Sheikh Gumi has warned the Nigerian military and Federal Government to stop killing bandits and Kidnappers. He claimed that they are also victims.

During an interview with Punch newspaper, Gumi revealed that it is not a good idea to kill bad it’s and kidnappers in the North. He has continued to advocate for them even after collecting over 200 million naira from parents of abducted schoolchildren in Niger State.

He has revealed how he has engaged them in talks and plead with them to stop abducting innocent children and collecting dirty money from their parents. He disclosed that they are herdsmen using kidnapping as a means of making money.

Gumi has condemned in strong words the killings of bandits and kidnappers noting that attacking them may affect the abducted children. He claimed that many among them are illiterates and they use their weapons to guard against military invasion of their camps.

Gumi has revealed that they have our students and negotiating with them is a perfect way forward. (OperaNews)

Continue reading
Image

No School Is Safe Until Government Negotiateas With Fulani Bandits —Sheik Gumi |The Republican News

Sheik Abubakar Gumi

Sheik Abubakar Gumi, a well-known Islamic cleric, estimates that the North-West alone has 100,000 armed bandits.

According to Gumi, the bandits kidnapped pupils who were enraged because he negotiated with them without involving the Federal Government stressing that no school could be safe unless the government dealt with the herdsmen.

He provided these details during an interview with The PUNCH on the kidnapped pupils of Tegina Islamic School in Niger State.

The bandits demanded N200 million from the parents of the victims, which was ultimately reduced to N150 million. Despite efforts to free the students, Gumi said the bandits were resolute in their demand for money.

He said, “But we are trying to talk sense to them that these are just innocent schoolchildren. We don’t even have any idea of the condition of the children. We are just saying these are young children trying to study and they did nothing, so why are you trying to take dirty money from their families?

“This (kidnap of Islamic pupils) actually proves to the nation that the bandits are not really indoctrinated, they are just looking for money and I think that this is a good prognosis. They are not targeting a religion; they are not ideologues, which are difficult to deal with. We should not forget that they are not educated, formally or informally. They are just going about with cattle, and suddenly they found a lucrative way of finding money.

“But with good engagement, education and enticements like jobs and other things, they will leave this work. But we need a partner and we need the government to understand. Individuals like me alone cannot do it.

“All those we met (have stopped kidnapping), except for one of them who is kidnapping again, and he told us his reason, that he was neglected and he thought we had the mandate to negotiate. But when he realised that we did not have the mandate from anybody, he said he was going back to his business.

“So, the earlier we go into engaging them, the better. The ones who have agreed to lay down arms, you can engineer them to take care of the rest.”

Gumi stated that the Niger State Government had made steps to free the children, but that the state’s finances were limited.

He claimed that the government could not protect schools unless it first found a way to halt the country’s banditry.

“To secure schools, why not engage the bandits. Engage them; they are not many. You can count them with your fingers. How can you guard schools? It is not possible. In the whole North-West, they may not be more than 100,000 bandits. And that is just a drop in the ocean. That is talking about those with weapons; because not all of them have weapons. Ninety per cent of those who have weapons use them to protect themselves against cattle rustlers. They are victims too. Aerial bombardments will only worsen the situation because when you start killing their children, you remember they also have our children,” he added. (Punch)

Continue reading
Image

When Biafra Finally Comes —by Obiaruko C. Ndukwe |The Republican News

Chief Obiaruko Christie Ndukwe

The agitation for a separate country out of what is known as Nigeria, by two major ethnic groups – the Igbos and the Yourubas, both of Southern Nigeria routing for Biafra nation and Oduduwa Republic is traceable to the failure of successive governments to address Injustice and Inequality.

There is no gainsaying the fact that the concerns are germane, but the approaches of the two separatist groups are different. The agitators for the Yoruba nation are less provocative in their choice of words and non-violent, the Biafra group has become engrossed in using foul language and verbal abuse of those perceived to be opposed to their agenda, or its operational strategies. This has not only caused a rift in the leadership structure of the group known otherwise as the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB.

The creation of a more practical and militant wing tagged as the Eastern Security Network, ESN, to checkmate the influx of armed herdsmen into the territory of Igbo land has further pushed the agitation to the precincts and that has attracted an early resistance from the Federal Government of Nigeria and placed the two parties on a heavy collision course.

While the battle for control of security is fierce in the capital city of Owerri, the New stronghold of the Biafra group, leading to untold casualties on both sides of the divide, it is becoming highly worrisome the real essence of tof the Biafran forces the ESN. What was supposed to have been a bracket for any invaders under the guise of herdsmen has become the enemy of the Nigerian State. It is becoming suspicious the motive behind the attacks on public and private infrastructure, the Police and the Army and sometimes, fellow citizens of the proposed Biafran nation.

No sane mind would condone the mindless killing of innocent Nigerians either by the insurgents or by the agitators. Worse still, there is no justification for the setting ablaze of the homes of other Nigerians just because they do not align with the imaginations and quests of the separatist groups in Eastern Nigeria!

I have tried to figure out the reasons for such ignoble acts of terrorism by Nigerians against fellow Nigerians, as if we have become deluded after the killings during the Civil War, which is being reenacted again, sadly by the majority of those who were unborn then or were too young to appreciate the harsh realities that the country faced then.

Though the scars may be old or even absent, the devastation and effects of that crisis are still very high as the trust among the once Eastern bloc has been greatly eroded!

More worrisome is what would become of the Biafran nation if and when it comes when so much blood of those who ought to be liberated has been shed? Is it still fashionable for rebel leaders to rule their people with bloodstained hands? How does anyone sit in their comfort zones and watch the utter decimation of their people, all because of a warped idea of a nation coming soon, even when the indices are apparent that war is no longer the solution to issues of marginalization, deprivation and total neglect.

In a 21st century, there is absolutely nothing wrong with agitations and the push for the rights of every tribe to be respected. But the more acceptable mode of agitation is through dialogue, consultations and more. The concomitant effects of taking up arms against a Government are too grave to expose a people who are already choked by the bigger groups.

The bloodletting on the streets of Imo State must be stopped forthwith, and a new narrative engendered regarding the Biafra conflict.

The poor sufferers of this violent struggle also have the right to live. The youths who have been indoctrinated to believe in a cause that the original progenitors have condemned are victims of a conspiracy by those who are not willing to lead from the front but have hidden in safe and saner havens.

If the destruction and killings continue unabated, and worse still without a definite direction for the agitation, then the new nation called Biafra would have turned a tool of acquisition of wealth for the leaders who definitely would surrender and sue for peace when they have had their fill with stupendous wealth and undue fame!

By the time the new nation is birthed, those who would have belonged to her would have all been killed except for the virtual warlords whose only battleground is the social media with which they have used to send the foot soldiers to their early Graves.

If and when Biafra comes, will there ever even be any shouts of joy as families would count their losses?

In the end, it would be a nation against itself.

(Written by Chief Obiaruko Christie Ndukwe, a commentator, analyst and columnist based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State)

Disclaimer: the view expressed is solely that of the writer and not of The Republican News media.

Continue reading
Image

Northern Elders Responsible For Boko Haram, Bandits, Insecurity In S’East —Ohanaeze Respond To Wamako |The Republican News

Governor Aliyu Wamako

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has cautioned former Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko, that his recent comments were capable of inciting ethnic cleansing and turmoil in the country.

The group said it is laughable that the likes of Wamakko could not find solutions to the frightening insecurity challenges in the North for the last 7 years.

Ohanaeze said it was the same security issues the north incubated as a political instrument to force power from former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, in a statement signed by Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Secretary-General, accused the North of being responsible for all the disaster in the Southeast based on the earlier warning of the USA Embassy Abuja.

Ohanaeze recalled that the US embassy had warned that the bandits and killer herdsmen are changing positions to Southern Nigeria to wreak havoc.

“Northern Elders are behind the chaos in Nigeria as a ploy to retain the Presidency in the North beyond 2023 as they did to Jonathan in 2015,” the statement said.

“So they exported violence to the southeast to keep Igbo leaders busy with insecurity challenges and set traps for them (Igbo leaders) to fall in and get arrested.

“We are amazed at how someone who couldn’t remove a spark of dust in his eyelashes could see the remedy for the log of wood in the eyes of Ndigbo.

“Wamakko’s assertion that Igbo leaders are behind the scenes motivating the violence in the southeast, exposed the northern secrets of supporting bandits and Boko Haram for economic and political reasons.

“The silence of Igbo leaders is golden and will generate confusion in the camps of sponsors of terror in the Southeast.”

Continue reading
Image

Buhari Appealed To Herdsmen, Bandits, But He Threatens South East With War —Omokri |The Republican News


The former Spokesperson to former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Reno Omokri has reacted to the tweet made by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday.

According to Reno Omokri, President Muhammadu Buhari is pampering herdsmen, bandits while he is threatening the Southeast with civil war 2. Here is what he said,

“Exactly a month ago, General @MBuhari was “appealing” to herdsmen and bandits to stop their acts of terror. A month later, another Buhari is threatening the Southeast with Nigerian Civil War 2. How can one man have strikingly different reactions to similar events” he said.

Other Nigerians reacted to Buhari’s threat of war to Southeast in reply to his tweet

Continue reading
Image

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)

Continue reading
Image

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)

Continue reading
Image

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)


Continue reading