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Fresh Attack: Suspected Bandits Kill 29 In Kwari, Zamfara |The Republican News

Olaseni Durojaiye

 

The police in Zamfara State disclosed yesterday, that 29 people were killed by suspected armed bandits in Shinkafi Local Government Area of the state.

According to the police spokesperson, Muhammad Shehu, the victims, in a convoy of vehicles conveying traders from Shinkafi market on their way back to Kwari village in Shinkafi Local Government Area on February 28, were ambushed by the armed bandits.

“On 28 February, 2019 at about 23.45hrs, a divisional police officer (DPO) in charge of Shinkafi received a distress call that on the same date that vehicles conveying traders from Shinkafi to Kwari village were ambushed by suspected armed bandits while coming back from Shinkafi Market.

“The police quickly responded by leading a joint team of PMF/CTU and military to the scene of the incident with a view to ascertaining the authenticity of the report and take action that will restore normalcy in the area and its environs and further arrest the perpetrators of the dastardly act.”

He stated further that, on getting to the scene, 13 corpses were found, while 16 other corpses, mostly members of civilian JTF were later discovered littered as the surrounding bush was combed by the joint security operatives.
He however assured normalcy had been restored in the area, following an improved deployment of Joint police and military personnel to the area, to complement the existing security emplacement.

“The state Commissioner of Police, Celestine Okoye, while condoling the government and people of the state over the unfortunate incident assures all residents of the state that, the police will continue to collaborate and partner with other security agencies and all relevant stakeholder to ensure security, safety and peace of Zamfara State at all times.
“Members of the public are enjoined to continue to support the security agencies in their efforts to rid the state of criminal elements,” Shehu said.    (ThisDay)

 

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JUST IN: Service Chiefs, Kyari In Closed Doors Meeting |The Republican News

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

 

Service Chiefs Thursday met with the chief of staff to the president, Abba Kyari, at the presidential villa, Abuja.

Those in attendance are; the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Abubakar Sadique.

The services were had earlier went to President Muhammadu Buhari’s office for the meeting, were said to have been directed to Kyari’s office for the meeting by Aide-De-Camp (ADC) to the president.

The meeting did not last long and the agenda was not made public as at the time of filing this report.

The service chiefs have since left the presidential villa.   (The Sun)

 

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2019: Don’t Succumb To Plot To Derail Nigeria, Adamu Warns Electorate |RN

Linus Oota, Lafia

 

North Central presidential director of Buhari/Osinbajo campaign organisation, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has appealed to Nigerians not to succumb to plots by enemies of Nigeria to derail the country through the ballot as the 2019 general election draws near.

Senator Adamu who represents Nasarawa West senatorial district at the National Assembly, made the call on Thursday in Toto, headquarters of Toto local government, during the flag off of the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial campaign in the state.

He said the gang up against the government of President Muhammadu Buhari was a plot against the collective prosperity enjoyed under the leadership of the current administration.

He urged Nasarawa voters to vote for the APC governorship candidate, Mr Abdullahi Sule, having seen what Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura had accomplished in the past eight years in the state.

In his remarks, the APC governorship candidate, Mr. Abdullahi Sule, lamented that despite being christened “Home of Solid Minerals,” Nasarawa State was yet to harness and enjoy the benefits of its rich mineral endowment.

Sule, the immediate past Managing Director of Dangote Sugar refineries, promised to deploy his experience in the private sector to take Nasarawa State to its next level of development.

Also speaking, Governor Al-Makura appealed to the people to vote for all APC candidates from the presidential to the House of Assembly.   (The Sun)

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BREAKING NEWS: Acting President, Osinbajo Sacks DSS Chief, Lawal Daura |RN

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Director General, DSS Lawal Daura

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has sacked the Director-General of the Department of State Service, Lawal Daura.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, disclosed this on his Twitter handle, @akandeoj.

He wrote, “AgP Yemi Osinbajo has directed the termination of the appointment of the DG of the DSS, Mr Lawal Musa Daura.”  (Punch)

Details later…

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FG Playing ‘Double Standard’ With Killings – Catholic Bishops |RN

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Catholic Bishops of Nigeria

Fred Ezeh, Abuja

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has accused the Federal Government of being biased in the management of farmers/herders’ crisis.

The clergymen alleged the systems and laws of Nigeria protect herdsmen, making farmers more vulnerable to endless attacks.

They expressed fear that peace and unity of Nigeria might collapse if the federal government fails to take urgent action that would give justice to all Nigerians irrespective of ethnic and religious differences.

Its President, Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze, in a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday, specifically accused the Nigerian Police Force and other supporting security agencies of being “accomplices” in the recent attacks in Plateau State communities which claimed over 200 lives.

He vehemently condemned the bloodshed and asked the police to speedily arrest perpetrators of the crime; for prosecution.

“We are extremely worried about the ‘double standards’ being applied by the police and other security agencies anytime the herdsmen are attacked and killed.

“In the latter cases, the police reacted swiftly and the law promptly implemented while otherwise is the case with the earlier.

“Howbeit, it is in the best interest of Nigeria’s peace and unity that the same swiftness and treatment be applied to all cases.

“If the president cannot keep Nigeria safe, then, he automatically loses the trust of the citizens.

“He should no longer continue to preside over the killing field and mass graveyard that Nigeria has become.”

The Catholic bishops condoled with families who have lost loved ones and the destroyed communities in Plateau state.

They encouraged the bereaved to be steadfast and law-abiding and allow the authorities the opportunity to carry out investigations. (The Sun)

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Killings: Nigeria Experiencing Ethnic Cleansing, Says Soyinka |The Republican News

wolesoyinka

 

Gbenga Adeniji

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said Nigeria is on a terminal nose-dive and that its pilot, who he noted is missing, must cry for international help as many had advised.

Soyinka, who stated this in a statement he issued on Sunday titled, “May Day! May Day!! May Day!!!,” in commemoration of the 2018 Workers’ Day described the ongoing killings in the country as “ethnic cleansing.”

The critic, who said May Day,  that he uttered thrice, signified a distress call, adding that long before its adoption for that function, however, and more traditionally, there did exist Labour (or Workers’) Day, dedicated to the entitlement of workers to the value and dignity of their labour.

He noted that the Nigerian constituency was left to determine which attribution – or both, or none – was deafeningly clamorous on May 1, 2018.

Soyinka stated, “No matter, one feels it a duty to call the attention to the painful convergence of both appropriations. Could such a co-option serve equally as a summons for a last-chance, eleventh-hour reprieve?”

The celebrated playwright also drew what he termed ‘eerie parallels’ in the country’s current situation to a “certain May Day disorder, one in which that distress call was never heard.”

He further likened the present state of things in Nigeria to the Aeroflot Flight 593 of September 28, 1994, in which all passengers died because the captain unprofessionally left the pilot’s seat for his family members while he went to salute the passengers.

Soyinka said, “After preliminary official denials, the undeniable – and a tragically inappropriate factor of the crash was formally acknowledged – a laissez-faire, unprofessional conduct with human lapses, among which nepotism – by that, or any other name-loomed large. The captain was not even in the pilot’s seat – others were! They were the pilot’s family – mostly his children. The family member who actually begun the spiral of disaster by pulling the wrong control leaver was – the Captain’s son, to whom his even younger daughter, some moments earlier, had yielded the controls. The pilot’s seat had been turned into a family game of musical chairs.

“Where was the Captain? Somewhere along the aisle, saluting the passengers – all quite proper, and indeed encouraged by regulations. He had placed the plane on auto-pilot – just as this nation has been for some time – so he walked between the seats, dispensing and acknowledging greetings – it was a long flight to Hong Kong, after all.

“The plane went into a sharp turn after the wrong lever was pulled, and the autopilot disengaged. The original flight pattern was annulled -does that echo a campaign manifesto? – and the plane was now in unqualified hands. It took ages for the pilot to regain his control seat as some passengers were already tumbling from their seats into the aisle and he had to fight his way through bodily obstacles. All that, from a reconstruction of events.

The ‘black box’ – or flight recorder – indicates that the pilot never even got round to shouting ‘May Day’ over the radio – he was too busy struggling to restore the plane’s technical functions, shout  instructions, pull the plane out of a nose-dive, and attempt to right the craft – too late!

“Now flash forwards one decade to our present, and recall the number of desperate organisations calling on the Nigerian captain to bury his pride and cry ‘May Day” across all airwaves. Call out for international help to rescue a nation on its terminal nose-dive!

“There has been no sign of willing, while the screwed-up plane is now in its corkscrew dive. Even if this captain regains his seat before the crash, it is open season whether or not, like SUV Flight 593, it will not stall, and head straight for Zuma rockface. Strangers are in control in the cockpit. Put simply, the captain is missing. The rock face is in right in our faces.”

He further called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order all land usurpers in the affected towns and villages across the country to vacate the forcefully occupied lands within 48 hours.

Soyinka urged him to order the military and the police to treat illegal land occupiers as terrorists wherever they were found.

He said, “Give a nationwide order to all land-usurpers in the affected towns and villages across the nation to quit those forcefully occupied lands within a forty-eight hours deadline.

“Issue orders to the military and police that, wherever illegal occupiers are found, they should be meted the same treatment as are accorded terrorists. Instruct all agencies that, once cleared of usurpers, the rightful occupants should be escorted back to their farmsteads and villages and provided maximum protection.”

Saying that the government must go beyond arresting a token handful of herders caught with arms, he added that there were still hundreds of them in the forests.

He added, “It is not enough to back the anti-open grazing laws, so late in the day, but we shall leave that for later. Right now, the violated and dispossessed demand restitution, and with no further delay or subterfuge. All available forces should be deployed to right a hideous, unprecedented wrong that has left the nation drowning in blood – we simply cannot continue one day longer to endure this forceful feeding off human blood.

“The plain expression is “ethnic cleansing” and we must not beat around the bush. The shade of Rwanda hangs over the nation. Afterwards, we can move into the reckoning. This spells meticulous investigation, identifying the high-placed sponsors within this nation, some of whom have launched mercenary units to intensify carnage and chaos in order to stem the stride of Nemesis closing in on them for past criminalities, and the cascade of corrupt revelations.”

The celebrated playwright queried what the minister of defence, who allegedly openly justified the homicidal rampage of nomadic herdsmen, was still doing in the Buhari government.

Soyinka noted that there were still other pressing and disturbing questions which would be held back for now in order not “to impede the pressing imperatives and humane priorities of the current crisis.”

“Right now, however, the agenda has to be restitution. Restitution to the displaced, the maimed, the traumatised survivors and the nation’s suppurating psyche. The torrent of internally displaced persons is a national shame, and the growing number of the kidnapped an embarrassment.

“The plane cannot remain on auto-pilot as hitherto, while the pilot strolls up and down the aisle, assuring passengers that all is well. A Happy May Day – hopefully in the not too distant future – to all who labour for humanity.” (Punch)

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My Heart Bleeds Over Insecurity In Nigeria, Says Gowon |The Republican News

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Ex-military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon with Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha

  • As Okorocha warns against politicizing national challenges

Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri

Former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon has expressed dismay over the incessant insecurity challenges in Nigeria, saying that his heart bleeds over the activities of Boko Haram, herdsmen, and other armed militants, whose actions he described as man’s inhumanity to man.

General Gowon spoke when he paid a courtesy call on Governor Rochas Okorocha at the Government House Owerri over the weekend, as part of his tour for a prayer rally in the country.

Gowon stated that Nigeria needs peace so that all its people can live and work together in the interest of one another and in the overall interest of the country.

According to the former Head of State, with prayers God can touch the hearts of all those involved in the terror killings like he touched that of the biblical Saul, who he changed to become an instrument of transformation instead of destruction, adding that no situation is too difficult for God to change for the better.

“After the Civil War, from this town Owerri, I visited Nsukka, Enugu, Abakeliki, Umuahia, and Onitsha. We were impressed with the way the children turned out to welcome us. They were saying, you are our parents, our leaders, please do not allow any Nigerian child to suffer what we suffered,” Gowon said, recalling the experience of the Nigerian Civil War.

“God can touch one’s heart and change the person into becoming a vessel of peace. My prayer for every Nigerian man is to live in harmony. We would wish every man and woman and religious leaders to rally round and assist in any way possible. Every one of us has a role to play, not only the leaders. That is why we seek for God’s intervention,” Gowon said.

He further added that “without peace, we cannot go further. Let us continue to pray and do whatever we can to achieve the peace we all desire. Your role and our collective role is important.”

Explaining his reason for the visit, Gowon said: “We are in Imo for the Nigeria Prayer Rally. A prayer rally we have been doing throughout the geopolitical zones or States. This time around, it is for the South-East Zone to host the prayer rally, and Imo is hosting us. Your Excellency, we are grateful for the arrangements and support. We are impressed with your zeal and passion for Christ, suing for peace, which is what the country needs now,” the former military ruler said.

Governor Okorocha in his speech advised Nigerians to see the activities of groups like Boko Haram and others as national problems or challenges that require all hands to be on deck for solutions, but that the crises should not be politicized. He added that those who have lost their lives in the current troubles are people of all ethnic backgrounds, religions and political affiliations.

The Governor called on Nigerians, regardless of their religious and political persuasions, to come up with ideas on how best to come out from the country’s challenges, and should stop talking in a manner that would aggravate the problems.

“The acronym Gowon means “Go On with One Nigeria,” Okorocha quipped. “If this leader (Gowon) seated with us here today had not ended the war the way it ended, giving room for no victor, no vanquished postulations, today we would not be having a nation called Nigeria. His name is synonymous with peace. A man who ended the Civil War without bad feelings.”

He further remarked about Gowon that “this gentleman is 84 years old. We will honour him in our state. We are happy that he is still looking strong and young. In the face of the crisis that we have today, he has continued to pray. I do not know what would have happened to the Nigerian situation if prayers like this are not going on all over Nigeria. Thank God, in the face of these challenges, we have men who are busy praying for the nation and her people,” Okorocha said.