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Fulani Herdsmen Collect N2.2m Ransom From Kidnapped Customs, NDLEA Officers, Others’ Families

Samson Folarin

Suspected Fulani herdsmen last week abducted six Abuja-bound passengers in Akunnu, in the Akoko North Local Government Area of Ondo State.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the victims had boarded a Sienna SUV at Jibowu, Yaba, Lagos State, around 9am last Tuesday.

The vehicle was said to have been intercepted by the gun-wielding hoodlums around 1pm.

Our correspondent learnt that the herdsmen led the passengers and driver into a forest, where they held them captive for five days.

Among the victims were officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

A retiree and a female student were also said to have been taken captive by the gunmen, who reportedly threatened to kill anyone who refused to cooperate with them.

After rounds of beating with cutlasses and sticks, the hoodlums were said to have converted the phone lines of two of their victims to their operational lines through which they demanded N5m ransom from the families of the victims.

Our correspondent learnt that after they were paid N2.2m, the gunmen freed the captives on Saturday.

One of the victims, Segun Obisanya, who retired from the Federal Civil Service in June this year, said the hoodlums took advantage of the bad road to abduct them.

He said during the five days that they were in captivity, the herdsmen fed them with half-cooked yam stolen from other people’s farms.

Obisanya stated, “When we got to Akunnu, Ondo State, there were potholes on the road and the driver had to slow down. It was at that point that the herdsmen came out of the bush. They were 11 in number and were heavily armed. Two of them had cutlasses, while the others had guns. They blocked our vehicle from the front and the back and began shooting into the air.

“They led us into the bush. We were six in number, including a lady, who should be about 24 years old.

“We walked in the bush for over four hours, after which they asked us to wait. They said they were not armed robbers, but kidnappers and that each of our families must pay N5m. They said if our families did not pay, they would slaughter us.”

Obisanya said the group was always on the move, adding that they slept whenever the sun set.

He noted that the bandits asked them to decide on whose relative would bring the ransom.

He narrated, “They beat us with cutlasses and sticks and said we should call our relatives for money. The lady among us suffered the most in their hands. Later, they asked us to decide and appoint somebody who had a trustworthy relative. They said the relative’s bank account would be used to collect all the ransom and the relative would bring the money to them.

“One person raised his hand and said he had an uncle in Edo State. So, our family members transferred money into the man’s uncle account. The person brought the money on Saturday morning. When the man brought the money, they asked him to stop at a particular junction. About three of them then went to collect the money.”

The captives were later released.

Obisanya insisted that the men were Fulani herdsmen because of the language they were conversing in.

He noted that throughout the time the captives were in the kidnappers’ den, the men stole tubers of yam from nearby farms to feed them.

The female victim, identified only as Temilade, could not speak to our correspondent when contacted because she was said to still be traumatised by her ordeal.

However, her uncle, who did not want to be identified, said Temilade had sent him a message to request money for the kidnappers.

“Uncle, please I am in the hands of kidnappers. They asked each of us to pay N5m, but anything you can raise will go a long way with what I have asked from other people. Sir, I will be dead by this time tomorrow because today is the second day,” the text  message sent by Temilade to the relative obtained by our correspondent read.

Temilade’s uncle said some money had been sent by other relatives before she was released with the other victims on Saturday.

He stated, “They left the park at 9am and the incident happened around noon; it was in broad daylight. We initially thought the telephone number the kidnappers were using to negotiate with us belonged to them, not knowing that they converted two of the victims’ lines to their operational lines.

“They released them after getting a total of N2.2m. My niece was the only female in the group, which consisted of a customs officer and an NDLEA officer,” Temilade’s uncle added.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Femi Joseph, confirmed the incident.

“They (victims) have all been released. But we are still investigating the matter. That is all we can say for now. We don’t know those who did it, because none of them has been arrested,” Joseph told our correspondent.  (Punch)

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Fulani Herdsmen Kill Six Children, 19 Others In Benue |The Republican News

By Cephas Iorhemen

Fulani-Herdsmen3

  …kidnap pregnant woman

  • Six murdered in cult war
  • 50 houses razed, scores injured

 

It was another black Sunday in Benue State yesterday as at least 31 people were killed in separate attacks in different communities. First, herdsmen, believed to be of Fulani extraction, armed with sophisticated weapons invaded Tse-Adough, a village at Mbachom in Yaav ward of Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State and killed six children and 13 others.

The children were mostly of school age who were burnt inside their house. Also, a pregnant woman and a man were reportedly taken into captivity. The herders, who invaded the now deserted communities in the early hours of Sunday, also burnt down over 50 houses and injured scores of others. Similarly, six persons were also killed when rival cult groups clashed in Otukpo, headquarters of Otukpo Local Government Area.

But witnesses from Kwande said at the time of filing the report that people within the area were still searching the bush to recover more bodies, while those who sustained varying degrees of injury, including the deceased, were taken to the hospital in Jato- Aka, the traditional homestead of second Republic Minister of Steel, Chief Paul Unongo.

The Chairman of Kwande Local Government Area, Mr Terdoo Nyor Kenti, who confirmed the gruesome attack, said the armed men stormed the village about midnight while the people were asleep and were shooting sporadically in all directions. According to him, seven people were murdered on the spot, many others injured, six children burnt while a pregnant woman was taken into captivity.

He said: “We gathered that the attack, which occurred early hours of Sunday, has left several villagers moving out of the area and surrounding villages in droves for fear of another invasion by the attackers.

“There was no prior problem between the villagers and the Fulani herdsmen, but I wondered why the attackers would just come and swoop on the people without any provocation.”

Efforts to get the reaction of the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, failed as he did not pick his calls at the time of filing this report. It was learnt that two of the cult victims were killed at a popular drug (marijuana) joint known as “Banana Island” while another victim who owned a barbershop at Akpa Street was shot outside his shop.

The fourth victim was killed along Uloko lane and others at several other locations as the killers went on their killing spree. The development, it was learnt, sent jitters down the spines of Otukpo residents who were running helter-skelter.

The local government Chairman, Mr George Alli, who confirmed the development on the phone, said efforts were on to apprehend the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

He said: “We have confirmed the death of six persons this afternoon (yesterday). I’m still expecting a clearer picture about this because they are going to come with a special squad to go after them.”

Alli said the killers immediately went into hiding after the dastardly act. He, however, declined to comment further on the matter as he said it bordered on the security of the local government area.  (New Telegraph)

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Benue Mass Murder: Doyin Okupe Provides Scary And Shocking Revelations

fulani-herdsmen1
A former aide to the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan, has spoken concerning the incessant attacks and killing of Nigerians by Fulani herdsmen.
Posting sterling revelations by Professor Charles Adisa of the Chinua Achebe Center for Leadership and Development, about the continued killing, kidnapping and maiming of their host communities by the herders, Okupe lamented that over 1000 people had been murdered across the country.
He blamed the Federal Government for its lukewarm attitude in handling the situation and protecting lives of innocent Nigerians. The article reads, “For a long time, the Nigerian state has been under siege by Fulani herdsmen terrorists operating under a predictable pattern of reconnaissance, attack and withdrawal, leading to many deaths and social dislocations. Since January 2016, there has been documented deaths
of approximately 1000 Nigerians from across the middle belt, the South-south, and Southeastern parts of the country from these coordinated Fulani herdsmen attacks. The Fulani herdsmen are credited with destabilizing the city of Jos, a once
tourist destination.
“The failure to protect the citizens is the liability of the Federal Government of Nigeria and its armed forces. Most Nigerians and international bodies do not understand the Fulani herdsmen problem and we at CACLD did not initially. We therefore dispatched a fact finding team to the Southeastern part of the country to unravel the intricacies and complexities of the Fulani terrorist group; a group rated as the fourth most dangerous by respected international conflict organizations (According to the Global Terrorism
Index 2015 report).
“Our fact finding team visited interviewed neighbors from the local communities living
within and around the Hausa communities. Both the Northerners and the local community were very open and volunteered valuable information to
our team. There seems to be a willingness and eagerness for the violence to end. Below are our findings:
“The Fulani Herdsmen terrorists do not own: This is another revelation that may come
as a surprise to many. Fulani herdsmen killers’ major job description is just to kill. They do not own any cattle. Most of them are employed by the cattle owners as “security men” whose job is strictly to protect the cattle. They do not however follow the cattle around, but move in separate vehicles along a defined route within the states
where cattle are being reared.
“The cattle are owned by more prominent Fulani leaders in the country. Most Nigerian Fulanis are no longer migratory herdsmen, but are either Emirs, Sultans, heads of parastatals, oil barons, Imams, Governors, Federal Reps, and Senators.
However, they still maintain their cultural ownership of cattle.“These wealthy Nigerians  increase their wealth astronomically through cattle rearing by using their not-well-off brothers from outside Nigeria to rear these cattle. Instead of investing in ranches and buying of grasses from the South, they chose the cheaper alternative of having their kinsmen, imported from outside the country, take these cattle from the north to south seasonally; using the entire Nigerian space as their ‘grass kingdom’. These cattle, in turn, destroy farms in their path, rendering farmers economically bankrupt to further enrich the wealthy Fulani “remote herders. “For clarity sake, let us present the breakdown of
Fulani people in Nigeria as we deduced from our investigation. “There are about 5 million Fulani people in Nigeria making them one of the smallest ethnic groups in the country.

“Out of the 5 million Fulani people, only about 3 million of them are Nigerians. The remaining 2million come from outside the country and are first generation immigrants.
“About 60 percent of the Fulanis in Nigeria are governors, Imams, Emirs, Sultan, House of Rep members, Importers, Exporters, Ministers, Oil well owners, lecturers, Vice Chancellors, Ministers, and Senators etc. In a nutshell, the Fulani control all sectors of the northern economy. These rich Fulani’s own all the cattle being reared in Nigeria.
“The remaining 40 percent of Fulanis come from outside the country. These are the poor and peasant Fulanis. These immigrant Fulani’s are mostly in charge of the cattle owned by the Bourgeois Fulani. Because the Fulanis have the highest income per capita in the Nigerian state (Fulani’s who are Nigerians), they constantly need to import their poor brothers and sisters from outside the country to increase their population and to help with menial jobs. The Fulanis always either marry into rich families or they would marry only Fulani to maintain their pure race. “Lastly, there is a group of Fulani herdsmen who rear the cattle from the north to the south. These are at the bottom of the Fulani Herdsmen ladder.

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Yoruba, Igbo, N’Delta, Middle Belt Leaders Unite Against Fulani Herdsmen

Fulaniherdsman

Herdsman

 

…meet to address restructuring, economy, others
…say herdsmen like B’Haram        

•Move bad for us –Cattle rearers

Adelani Adepegba, ARUKAINO UMUKORO and TOBI AWORINDE

South-West, South-East, South-South and Middle Belt leaders on Saturday, united against the threat of Fulani herdsmen and called for a new fiscal formula that would move Nigeria from its current dependence on oil and gas revenues to a fully diversified economy.

The leaders admonished the Federal Government to immediately disarm all herdsmen in the country and bring an end to the terror unleashed on farmers by the nomads.

Related: Fulani Herdsmen Killed 1,878 People In Three Years, Says Ortom |RN

During the consultative meeting held in Abuja, Chief Edwin Clark led the South-South delegation; Chief Ayo Adebanjo led the South-West delegation; Gen. Ike Nwachukwu led the South-East delegation while Prof. Jerry Gana, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman, former Governor Idris Wada and Gen. David Jemibewon (retd.) led the Middle Belt delegation.

Also at the summit were Chief Olu Falae, Prof. Banji Akintoye, Chief Albert Horsfall, Chief Guy Ikoku, Basil Paul and Bala Kakaya, among others.

The high-powered delegation from the Middle Belt and the South unanimously agreed that “there was a little difference between Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram.”

According to them, the only difference is that Boko Haram is wreaking havoc in the North-East and North West, while the Fulani herdsmen are unleashing terror in the South and Middle Belt regions.

Rising from the summit, the group in a communique read by an Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, said, “We have resolved to put an end to these herdsmen immediately and bring an end to this organised terror being unleashed on the South and Middle Belt states.”

They also expressed support for Nigeria “as one nation under God.”

Related: EL-Rufai Should Produce Herdsmen He Paid Money, Says Apostle Suleman

The leaders restated their calls for the restructuring of the nation in line with the recommendation of the 2014 National Conference and called for the placement of the report before the National Assembly.

The summit also demanded the devolution of powers and functions to the federating units to enable each unit to effectively serve the development interests of the people.

The communique read in part, “As a logical derivative, we must work out a new fiscal formula that will move Nigeria away from the current overdependence on oil and gas revenue to a diversified economy where all federating units are encouraged to develop their abundant natural and human resources for regional and national development.

“The federating units shall remit an agreed percentage of their revenue to the federation account.”

The Summit drew the attention of the Federal Government to the fact that Nigeria was a secular state in which the government could not adopt any religion as a state religion.

“Therefore, we ask the Federal Government to immediately review the discriminatory appointments into key offices of government and public service and comply with Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution,” the group stated.

In addition, the regional leaders said the recent plans to adopt a combined syllabus of religious and moral education should be scrapped immediately and a return to status quo maintained.

“State governments are also called upon to outlaw open grazing in favour of organised ranching,” the group said, just as it condemned the Arewa youths’ quit order to the Igbo living in the North.

It is not in good faith – MACBAN

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, however, said the decision by the Southern and Middle Belt leaders to stop herdsmen from open grazing was not done in good faith.

Speaking to one of our correspondents on the telephone, the National Secretary, MACBAN, Baba Usman Ngelzarma, said the move was ill-advised.

Related: Probe The Sources Of Weapons For Fulani Herdsmen, CAN Tells Buhari

“I don’t honestly think this move is (made in good faith). The herdsmen are equal citizens of this country and by going round with their cows, they are looking for grass and water, which is pushing them out of the North to other parts. But these people used to open grazing; that is what they know. That was what they saw their forefathers do.

“These herdsmen are mostly uneducated and don’t know what ranching is all about, even though ranching is not a bad idea at all. We are talking about a population of about 30 million herdsmen in the country, and they contribute to the overall wealth of the country.

“Even in developed societies where cows are used for economic purposes and kept in ranches, they still have some grazing areas for cows to feed.”

Similarly, the Secretary  General of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Mr Anthony  Sani, suggested that government did not have money to build ranches, and called on the Southern and Middle Belt leaders to give government  information on criminal herdsmen.

“If they think that Boko Haram is using Fulani herdsmen and they have the information, they should help the government.

“Does government have money to build ranches? They are talking about ranches as if it is one naira. Our agriculture is too agrarian. Is it possible to single out the Fulani and modernise their occupation through ranches?  We think it is very easy to take only livestock and modernise it.” (Punchng.com)

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Fulani Herdsmen Getting Weapons From Neighbouring Countries, Says Saraki

Bukola-Saraki

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki

Eniola Akinkuotu, Alexander Okere and Olaleye Aluko

Senate President Bukola Saraki says the clashes between herdsmen and farmers have continued to intensify because the herdsmen are acquiring illegal arms from neighbouring countries.

Also, the United States of America has said the north-eastern Nigeria is facing a food crisis caused by the Boko Haram insurgency and its offshoot, ISIS West Africa.

The Deputy Director, Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State, Nathan Holt, said this on Tuesday during a special briefing on Nigeria at the Washington DC.

The Global Terrorism Index had named Fulani herdsmen as the fourth deadliest terror group in the world.

Saraki, therefore, said there was a need for the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States to find ways to deal with the growing insecurity in the region, especially with the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

He said this while delivering a speech at the opening session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said, “Nigeria is currently faced with the problems of herdsmen and farmers clashing with most of the weapons used coming from illicit acquisitions at the borders. The circulation of illegal arms within and across the states has increased the proclivity of conflicts within the sub-region.”

The Senate President said there was a need for ECOWAS to take the issue of terrorism more seriously, adding that the existence of such a terrorist organisation was a threat to democracy in West Africa.

While praising the Federal Government for the recent rescue of 82 Chibok schoolgirls, he said the government must not rest on its oars.

Saraki added, “The problem of Boko Haram and terrorism remains a clear and present threat to the security of the sub-region. There is no doubt that we have made remarkable achievements in this area especially with the recent release of 82 Chibok schoolgirls.

“While we celebrate this achievement, we must not lose sight of the continuous threat Boko Haram and all the terrorist groups in the region pose as a destabilising factor for democracy across the length and breadth of the sub-region.”

In his remarks, the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr Moustapha Lo, said there was a need for West African nations to do more in the area of insecurity.

Holt added that the US had announced a support of $30m for the people of North-East under the World Food Programme to alleviate the crisis.

The US director noted that the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin, which has Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, had been supported with $500m assistance in the last two years.  (Punchng.com)

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Herdsmen Menace Could Lead To Civil War, CAN Warns Federal Government

Image result for samson ayokunle

CAN President, Dr. Samson Ayokunle 

Kamarudeen Ogundele and Godwin Isenyo

The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Reverend Olasupo Ayokunle, has called on the Federal Government to prosecute some herdsmen arrested in connection with the recent killings in Kaduna and Benue states.

He said it was only when the suspects were prosecuted that tension that had risen in the two states would reduce.

He spoke in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, during a special service held at the First Baptist Church (Miracle Cathedral).

The Centenary Estate built by the Ekiti Conference of the Nigerian Baptist Convention was also inaugurated by the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe.

Ayokunle, who is also the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, warned that failure to stop the unprovoked killings by suspected herdsmen in some parts of the country could spark off war in the country.

In a sermon entitled, “Moving Forward, Exhibiting the Features of a Prevailing Church,” Ayokunle said the church had a duty to pray for Nigeria to overcome all its social, economic and political problems.

He said, “There is a need to pray more for Nigeria because it is only prayers that can save us. Let us continue to pray for the leadership of this country. But I want to urge the government to check the menace of the herdsmen in some parts of the country.

“We are calling on the Federal Government to prosecute the herdsmen arrested in connection with the recent killings in Benue and Southern Kaduna because this will ease tension in the two states.

“We also want the Federal Government to investigate, through intelligence gathering, those unpatriotic Nigerians supplying the herdsmen with weapons being used to perpetrate evil.

“If the government fails to stop the provocation by the Fulani (herdsmen), they should be prepared for war. No ethnic group has a monopoly of violence and no ethnic group should be a monster to others.”

Meanwhile, security operatives on Monday arrested 18 suspects in connection with the unrest in Kabala-West and Ungwan-Mu’azu in Kaduna-South Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, said this in a statement on Monday.

There was commotion in Kabala-West and Kaduna-South Local Government Area on Monday as an angry mob stabbed to death a suspected thief in the area.

It was gathered that the suspect had burgled a house on Kaje Street located along the Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway of the state.          (Punchng.com)

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Probe The Sources Of Weapons For Fulani Herdsmen, CAN Tells Buhari

CAN to FG: Probe sources of weapons for Fulani herdsmen

CAN President, Rev. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle

The President, Chris­tian Association of Nigeria (CAN), his eminence, Rev Samson Olasupo Ayokunle has asked the Federal Govern­ment to probe the sources of the ammuntion being used by the murderous Fulani herdsmen with a view to stop their criminal activities.
A statement by the press secretary to the CAN presi­dent, Bayo Oyedeji stated that Ayokunle asked the security agencies to stop treating the criminals among the herdsmen with kid gloves urged the gov­ernment to rise up to the challenges if the nation must have peace and unity.
“The issues of the ram­paging and murderous Fu­lani herdsmen in different parts of our nation must be stopped. They block high­ways to kidnap and rob, inflicting injuries on inno­cent Nigerians and killing them like fowls.
“No stone should be left unturned in bringing the perpetrators of such crimes to book. Security agencies should stop telling us that they are ‘unknown gun­men.’
“Those arrested should be conclusively prosecuted to serve as deterrent to oth­ers. Their sources of am­munition must be unveiled and those behind the sup­ply should be proscuted. Victims of such senseless violent acts deserve com­pensation especially the people of Southern Ka­duna, Agatu community of Benue state, several com­munties in the Eastern part of the country and South-South.”
Ayokunle who decried the menace of unem­ployment in the country warned those in the posi­tion of authorities to cre­ate enabling environment before it is too late.
“Unemployment of the able bodied youths in our nation, especially gradu­ates of various tertiary in­stitutions is another wor­risome issue; such requires enabling environment for their employment. All the harsh economic measures must be dropped for busi­nesses to flourish. A stitch in time saves nine.”   (Authority)

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