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How Boko Haram Terrorists Are Sponsored In Nigeria By Criminal Cartel |The Republican News

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Boko Haram Terrorists

By Olusegun Adeniyi

Following a tip-off in July 2016, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) arrested an obscure fruit seller under a bridge in Zaria, Kaduna State. Investigations revealed the man to be a high-ranking Boko Haram operative who coordinated the finance cell of the group with others in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to disburse funds to various terror camps in North East Nigeria as well as Diffa, Nigér Republic. From what I gather, the Zaria arrest proved to be a major breakthrough that eventually revealed a pattern of financial flows and transactions not only to Boko Haram field operatives but to other criminal cartels, particularly those engaged in kidnappings for ransom.

The ONSA investigations further revealed that between 2015 and 2016, the sum of $782,000 was transferred from Dubai to Nigeria through Bureau De Change (BDC) operators to aid Boko Haram. As reported in the media, this was what led to the conviction in April 2019 of six Nigerians, including a man identified as a government official. Later that same year (December 2019), an Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment of the lower court and upheld the imprisonment sentence imposed on the six Nigerian citizens. Aside laundering money for the terror group, these men were also found guilty of running a Boko Haram cell in the UAE to raise funds and material assistance for the insurgents in Nigeria. Although the convicts claim innocence, follow-up investigations have helped the security agencies to better understand the movement of money by criminal cartels in Nigeria. The investigations also led to the arrest of accomplices in Kaduna, Kano and Zamfara States

Meanwhile, the Dubai security breakthrough helped to expose how some of the criminal networks operating in Nigeria had perfected a seamless method of laundering money through BDC operators. Once the money has been given to a BDC operator in Dubai, he contacts an associate in Nigeria who gives the same amount in cash to the coordinator. On the instruction of the Boko Haram leadership, the coordinator goes ahead to distribute the funds to members who incidentally have no direct contact with one another, in an elaborate scheme to cover their tracks. The same pattern was discovered for disbursement of ransom monies from kidnappings, especially those traced to illegal mining in Zamfara State.

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Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed negotiating with Fulani terrorists

What the foregoing suggests quite clearly is that we are dealing with a serious national security threat that is not only well organized but well-funded. For instance, the thriving Nigerian gold market in the UAE has been traced to activities of illegal miners in Zamfara with Aminu Kano International Airport as a gateway. “It is the most notorious airport in the country”, a security source told me last week. But the real challenge is in Zamfara where the proliferation of arms and hundreds of muscle men working as miners, (licensed as well as illegal) engage in kidnappings. A combination of porous borders, weak signal and technical intelligence, lack of proper data of licensed miners and the influx of illicit drugs such as Tramadol have combined to make banditry the most lucrative enterprise in the state

According to security sources, there is a nexus between kidnappings for ransom and terrorism as well as between gold prospecting in Zamfara State and the general wave of criminality by herdsmen that has spread to the southern part of the country with dire implications for national peace and security. For instance, a clear pattern has emerged between ISWAP and kidnappings with many of the herders implicated as foot soldiers. “Most of the herdsmen you see all over the place, whether in the north or south, kidnapping, raping and maiming people are employees of a larger terror network. They kidnap but the ransom does not go to them”, a senior security officer told me.

Most of the people identified with illegal mining in Zamfara State are herders who realize that more money can be made from kidnappings. They are not only ‘diversifying’ their business, many of them are also moving southward. “A lot of these Fulani marauders are from Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso” said a security source. Sadly, rather than tackle the problem, the presidency indulges in making excuses that lead to accusations of complicity and most often in a manner that threatens the unity of the country as an inclusive polity founded on diversity. And with that, kidnappings for ransom has become the most lucrative enterprise in the country.

In October 2019, a former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar disclosed that over N3 billion was collected by bandits as ransom from relatives of victims in Zamfara alone within a period of eight years. Abubakar who chaired a committee set up by the current governor, Bello Matawalle to find solutions to banditry in the state, said the report covered the period from June 2011 to May, 2019. The money, according to Abubakar, was collected from 3,672 victims whose relatives paid to secure their freedom. Abubakar said that a total of 4,983 women were widowed, 25,050 children orphaned and 190,340 persons displaced by banditry over the period in the state.

While that level of threat should worry the authorities, there is also an international dimension to the criminality that is just as intriguing to security agencies. I understand that there are more than a thousand Chinese and Indians in the mining business in Zamfara State. “Yet, not a single one of their nationals has been kidnapped.” Meanwhile, some of the people who serve as security personnel to these miners have been discovered to be engaged in kidnappings for ransom, raising questions about who they work for.

The threat coming from this criminal enterprise is now political given what the senate yesterday described as “issuance and counter issuance of eviction notice by some ethnic entrepreneurs and groups posing as ethnic nationalists and champions”, while kidnappers continue to operate mostly on the roads, outskirts of towns and farms where they ambush innocent rural people. That these kidnappers kill, maim and rape is bad enough. That they are identified as belonging to a certain ethnic colouration is the problem. They particularly enjoy brutalizing their victims which perhaps explains why in most instances, they force their captives to walk long distances on thorns and sharp stones in the bush.

Quoting the global risk consultancy, ‘Control Risks’, the Financial Times of London, recently reported that Nigeria has the highest rate of kidnaps for ransom of both locals and foreigners in all of Africa. “For most businesses, the greatest risk to their employees is while they are travelling,” Tom Griffin, senior partner for Africa and the Middle East at Control Risks was quoted to have said. “Almost half of all kidnaps in Nigeria recorded by Control Risks occur during road travel, with kidnappers often selecting targets based on perceived wealth during roadside ambushes, roadblocks or attacks in traffic congestion.”

We must admit that we have a crisis on our hands that is not restricted to any section of the country. It is national. In the clip of the interview he granted a television station that has gone viral, Alhaji Bashir Kurfi, National Chairman, Network for Justice narrated an incident that happened in Kurfi, Katsina State where he hails from. “One lady came to share her story. She went to see her daughter who gave birth and then the bandits came—they asked her to hold the baby and they raped the daughter. And then after, they asked the daughter to hold the baby and they raped the mother. This is what is going on everyday…it is the reality on the ground and it is a shame on us.”

It should worry President Muhammadu Buhari that whether on land or in water, the Nigeria territorial space is now one of the least safe spaces in the world. The latest report by the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reveals that over 95 per cent of the 135 shipping crew members kidnapped last year were recorded in the Gulf of Guinea and mostly on Nigerian waters. “Incidents in the Gulf of Guinea are particularly dangerous, as over 80 per cent of attackers were armed with guns,” according to the IMB.

That there is no coherent strategy to deal with the challenge can be glimpsed from the interview granted the BBC Hausa Service by the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir elRufai. While he advocates that you do not appease criminals, his Zamfara State counterpart believes in offering ‘amnesty’ and money to bandits and kidnappers to make them change their ways. El-Rufai has therefore cited lack of unity and cooperation among the governors of the North West as one of the reasons the security challenges persist. The governors, according to El-Rufai, have different approaches to ending banditry and kidnapping.

This is where the moral authority of the president can help. He should be able to impress upon the governor of Zamfara State that you do not make deals with criminals. Bandits and kidnappers being offered government largesse will never keep to deals as we see with the experience of Katsina State. And while there is a place for the personal efforts such as the one being undertaken by Sheikh Gumi, the state must muster the capacity to restore law and order without bowing to criminals.

At a time we are facing apprehension over impending national crisis, it is the responsibility of leadership to identify solutions to difficult problems, ensure stability of the polity, and guide the society to prosperity. The fear of a national crisis, this time, is fueled by criminal activities traced to herdsmen who now roam the country with impunity. The rising profile and complexities of conflict disorders in the country therefore requires a hands-on approach from the president. Sadly, that is precisely where the problem lies.

That sundry criminal cartels have overpowered the capacity of the state to restore law and order is no longer in doubt. But more worrisome is the fact that our national security challenge is being framed around identity politics which can only exacerbate the situation. The tone of debate yesterday in the Senate reflected this unfortunate national divide. According to a senator from Adamawa State, Binos Yaroe, whenever kidnappers are arrested anywhere within the country, the majority of them always turn out to be Fulani. That is the kind of rhetoric you also get from the street. “Right now, we are an endangered species. People are going into homes to abduct, to rape, herdsmen are everywhere. We have spoken several times and nothing has been done. Posterity beckons”, said Senator Biodun Olujimi from Ekiti State in a note of resignation

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Kankara school kids released after kidnap by Boko Haram terrorists

The connecting thread for the variants of violence that we witness across the country today, as I have argued several times on this page, is that the Nigerian state has lost what Max Weber described as the monopoly of “the legitimate use of physical force” to criminal cartels. Until we muster the capacity to effectively confront them, we will continue to be at their mercy. But whichever way one looks at the current challenge of insecurity across Nigeria, it all leads to the doorstep of President Buhari. It is therefore my hope that he will address that challenge most decisively. Before the amber light turns red!

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US Knocks Nigeria Over Poor Security, Decaying Infrastructure, Ask Citizens To Reconsider Visiting |The Republican News

President Joe Biden and President Muhammadu Buhari

By Godsgift Onyedinefu

The United States of America says Nigeria’s performance on security and provision of the most basic infrastructure is horrendously low and urged it’s citizens and other intending visitors to reconsider visiting Nigeria.

The US Embassy, on its website recently, described Nigeria in very unflattering terms. It harps on two major albatrosses, namely crude infrastructure and poor security.

“Anyone familiar with the Nigerian terrain knows full well that its performance in these two areas is horrendously low”, the Embassy wrote.

For instance, on health, the embassy said Nigeria has well-trained health professionals but lacks good health facilities. It particularly notes that many medicines are unavailable, including medications for diabetes and hypertension.

It says that medicine should be purchased with utmost caution because counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a common problem and distinguishing them from genuine medications may prove difficult.

The expose’ also says that Nigerian hospitals often expect immediate cash payments for the health services rendered. It thumbs down the emergency health services in the country, saying that they are practically non-existent, and circumscribed by unreliable and unsafe blood supply for transfusion.

It then counsels intending visitors to Nigeria to consider Europe, South Africa or the United States itself for  treatments that require such services. It notes, quite sadly, that “ambulance services are not present throughout the country or are unreliable in most areas.”

The embassy, further speaking on water supply in Nigeria, noted that “no areas (in Nigeria) have safe tap water.”

It added that roads are generally in poor condition, causing damage to vehicles and contributing to hazardous traffic conditions.

“By the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, the approved lifespan of water pipes is five years. Sadly, these pipes have hardly ever been replaced since they were laid decades ago, so it is proper to consider pipe-borne water wherever it exists in the country as unsafe. It is clear that even ice blocks brewed from such unsafe sources are not to be trusted for human consumption. In the areas of roads and safe traffic”, it wrote.

It also berates the public transport system, describing it as unsafe throughout the country. According to it, “public transportation vehicles such as buses and motorbikes are unsafe due to poor maintenance, high speed and overcrowding.” Sadly, it is not certain that governments across the country have ever considered the import of this damning description on the US website, otherwise  they would have taken concrete steps to make the country a truly modern society.

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President Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs, As He Accepts Resignation Of Old Ones |The Republican News

Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari appoints new Service Chiefs and this was contained in the state House press release.

Buhari also accepted the resignation and retirement of the former Service Chiefs and thanked them for what he called their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country”

The full press release is below:

STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

PRESIDENT BUHARI APPOINTS NEW SERVICE CHIEFS

President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service.

Those involved are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

President Buhari thanks the outgoing Service Chiefs for what he calls their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country,” wishing them well in their future endeavours.

The new Service Chiefs are: Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

The President congratulates the new Service Chiefs, and urges them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
January 26, 2021

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Nnamdi Kanu Releases Names Of 62 Prominent Nigerians “Responsible For Nigeria’s Current Woes’ |The Republican News

IPOB Supreme Leader, Maazi Nnamdi Kanu

Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has released a list of 62 prominent Nigerians to be blamed for the current state of the nation.

He made the claim in a post on his Facebook page.

“Let us not forget former US President Barrack Obama and former UK Prime Minister David Cameron and all members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God,” Kanu’s Facebook post read.

According to him, those people take the full responsibility of what Nigeria has turned into today, owing to the roles they played in kicking out former President Goodluck Jonathan and installing President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.

Top on Kanu’s 62-man list are: Former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili; former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; Publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore; Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka of the Adoration Ministries, Enugu, and former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The IPOB leader said that those whose villages, cities, or town are currently under siege by Fulani herdsmen should hold these people responsible.

His list also has the likes of Fela Durotoye, Donald Duke, Professor Charles Soludo, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Pastor Sunday Adelaja, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, Professor Tam David West, Professor Wole Soyinka, Rev. Chris Okotie, Professor Pat Utomi and Nasir El-Rufai.

Others in his list include, Dino Melaye, former Senator, Lai Mohammed, Rochas Okorocha, Rotimi Amaechi, Adams Oshiomhole, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Aminu Tambuwal, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Raji Fashola, Dr. Chris Ngige, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Ibikunle Amosun, Rauf Aregbesola, Kayode Fayemi, Sanusi Lamido, Deacon Femi Adesina, Pastor E.A Adeboye, Pastor W.F Kumuyi, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Kenny Ogungbe, Dato Adeneye, Magnus Abbey, and former Rivers State governorship aspirant, Dakuku Peterside.

Also in the list are Nigerian musician, 9ice, Kenny St. Ogungbe Brown, Tunde Disu, John Momoh, Maupe Ogun, Chamberlain Usoh, Suleiman Aleide, Monday Onyekachi Ubani, Iffy Ubani, Labourous Osuoma, Citizen Useni Jones (Radio continental 102.3FM), Joe Igbokwe, Dele Momodu, Abike Dabiri,
Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, Muazu, Emeka Ojukwu Jnr., Timpre Silva etc., Victor Umeh, Wasiu Ayinde (Kwam 1), T.Y Danjuma, Lauretta Onochie and actor, Jide Kosoko.

Continuing, Kanu said, “These people went to school [they claim they are educated], many if them are professors. Some claimed to have direct access to God. Some are gifted with ‘prophesies.’

“They read history. They understood international relations. They understood how societies work or so we thought.

“They were more than 20 years old in 1983 when Buhari shot himself to power. They saw Buhari destroy the economy in 1983. They saw the role Buhari played in Abacha’s government.

“They read all the threats of violence by Buhari against the nation. They saw Buhari harass Lam Adesina the Oyo State Governor due to Fulani herdsmen conflicts with locals in Oyo State.

“They saw Buhari lead the sharia protest that claimed the lives of innocent Nigerians in 2001.

“They saw Buhari and his minions open the gate of hell on innocent Nigerians when he lost the presidential election in 2011.

“If Buhari was not speaking and defending his Fulani heritage he would be fighting to defend his religious heritage.

“Never for once did he defend Nigeria or gave interview on how to rebuild the economy, education, power, health, etc.

“They saw everything this man did. They knew him too well to miss the little details of his violent life.

“But they were united in hatred.

“Hatred for Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. One among the few Nigeria leaders that actually wanted Nigeria to work.

“Hatred became a unifying force to push forward a false narrative. They exploited his humility. They exploited his kindness.They exploited his humanity

“They danced and made merry in Ojota. They ate, drank and danced away the destiny of a nation.

“Saints Tinubu, Amaechi, Fashola etc led the chorus against ‘corrupt’ Goodluck Jonathan.

“Tinubu a private jet owner and owner of Lagos, Amaechi a private jet owner and funder of Buhari campaign, Atiku a University owner paid with his civil service allowance etc wanted ‘corrupt’ Goodluck Jonathan out.

“But the people did not see the moral paradox because you see – hate is a unifying factor.

“They mobilised thugs to stone a sitting President.They harassed his family wherever they went. Because they are from the hated minority who must NOT be king.

“For Kings must come from the Fulani lineage. Jonathan is Ijaw. Ijaws should not be Kings. Jonathan must not loot also. For looters must come from enablers of evil.

“These are intellectuals. Amongst whom are Pastors and Prophets. Wisdom failed. Prophesies failed.

“WAEC issued a fake WAEC attestation to Buhari. It is possible many Nigerian ‘intellectuals’ are working with fake certificates.”

Fulani herdsmen have on many occasions been accused of causing crisis in their host communities in the country.

For instance, following the high rate of criminalities which come in form of kidnappings, raping of women and killings allegedly committed by the herdsmen hiding in forests across Ondo State, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had recently given herdsmen a seven-day ultimatum to vacate the areas.

Also a Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho had issued ultimatum to Fulani in Igangan, a town in Ibarapa North Local Government of Oyo State.

He vowed that Fulani herdsmen must be chased out of Yoruba land.

And a week later, he made good his threat when he and his supporters stormed the area, insisting that the Fulani must leave the town.

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Attack On Bishop Kukah, Calculated Avoidance And Diversionary —Wole Soyinka |The Republican News

Prof. Wole Soyinka

By Wole Soyinka

The timing of Bishop Kukah’s Christmas message, and the ensuing offensives could not be more fortuitous, seeing that it comes at a time when a world powerful nation, still reeling from an unprecedented assault on her corporate definition, is now poised to set, at the very least, a symbolic seal on her commitment to the democratic ideal. Let no one be in any doubt that some of the most extreme of the violent forces that recently assaulted her governance citadel are sprung from religious and quasi-religious affirmations, a condition that still enables many of them to be brainwashed into accepting literally, and uncritically, indeed as gospel truth, any pronouncement, however outrageous and improbable, that emerges from their leadership. As usual, we have not lacked, within our own distanced environment, advocates who, even till recently, claimed to have seen in their vision, the triumph of God’s own anointed in the electoral contest of that same United States. They have been specific in their prophesy that what was denied at the ballot box would be restored in the law courts. And to set a divine seal on the matter, were not our streets in a part of this nation actually inundated by religious processions in support of the candidacy of their supposed Messiah, named Donald Trump? They had conferred on him the mantle of upholder of Christian values, endangered by satanic practices in, of all places, a nation designated as – God’s own Country!

Of course, not all such tendencies represent the true face of any professed religion, we need only remark that all religions are plagued by a lunatic fringe. In this nation we have learnt the painful way what such inbred loonies are capable of. Thus, extreme care, and historic awareness, should be taken in imputing any act or pronouncement as an attack on faith. At base, competitors for recognition as first line defenders of the ramparts of religiosity are often motivated by non-religious agenda, which is yet another reason for the exercise of restraint and collective responsibility.

It should not come as a surprise that a section of our Islamic community, not only claims to have found offence in Father Kukah’s New Year address, what is bothersome, even unwholesome, is the embedded threat to storm his ‘Capitol’ and eject him, simply for ‘speaking in tongues’. Any pluralistic society must emphatically declare such a response unacceptable. On a personal note, I have studied the transcript as reported in the media and found nothing in it that denigrates islam but then, I must confess, I am not among the most religion besotted inhabitants of the globe. That, I have been told, disqualifies me from even commenting on the subject and, quite frankly, I wish that were indeed the case. Life would be far less complicated. However, the reverse position does not seem to be adopted by such religionists in a spirit of equity. They do not hesitate to intervene; indeed some consider themselves divinely empowered to intervene, even dictate in secular life.

With the foregoing out of the way, we are compelled to remind ourselves that religion is upheld, and practised, not by robots, not by creatures from outer space, not by abstract precepts, but by human beings, full of quirks, frailties and conceits, filled with their own individual and collective worth, and operate in the here and now of this very earth. That makes religion the business of everyone, especially when it is manipulated to instill fear, discord and separatism in social consciousness. The furore over Bishop Kukay’s statement offers us another instance of that domineering tendency, one whose consequences are guaranteed to spill over into the world of both believers and non-believers, unless checked and firmly contained. In this nation of religious opportunism of the most destructive kind especially, fuelled again and again by failure to learn from past experience, we must at least learn to nip extremist instigations in the bud.

One of the ironic features of religionists is, one is forced to conclude, a need to be offended. It is as if religion cannot exist unless it is nourished with the broth of offence. This may be due to an inbuilt insecurity, a fear that even the ascribed absolutes of faith may be founded on nothing more than idealistic human projections, not grounded in anything durable or immutable. Hence the over prickliness, aggressiveness, sometimes even bullying tendencies and imperious posturing. This leads to finding enemies where there are none. In certain social climates, it degenerates into inventing enmities in order to entrench theocratic power. In its own peculiar way, this is actually a rational proceeding. A perceived threat to a collectivity tends to rally even waverers round the flag. The core mission of faith custodians then becomes presenting religion as being constantly under siege. It all contributes to interpreting even utterances of no hostile intent as “enemy action”.

Was it all that long ago when el Rufai – now governor of Kaduna state – came under blistering attack by the christian community for allegedly insulting the divine persona of Jesus Christ? What did el Rufai say exactly? Nothing new or startling. All he did was deploy a common, everyday figure of speech to describe an overwhelming challenge. Both the circumstances and his exact phrasing elude me right now, but all it amounted to was that even Jesus Christ would find a particular problem intractable. Or perhaps it was simply that even Jesus Christ, were to return to earth,would be subjected to the Nigerian national culture of calumny? One or the other but, it hardly matters. What does matter was that instantly, there were demands from the ever-ready Onward Christian Soldiers – led by CAN leadership – for a withdrawal and apology. To my intense disappointment – as I declared at the time – el Rufai obliged. A huge mistake. Again and again we have warned against succumbing to irrational demands of religionists, yet even the brutal lessons of past surrenders appear to exercise no traction on society’s faculty of cause and effect, especially in that religious propensity for incremental demands. Surrender one inch, they demand a mile!

And how near impossible it is to come to grips with an even more recent and egregious bill of offence that took place over this very last Christmas of the year 2020! The now universal sales pitch of BLACK FRIDAY to lure seasonal shopping addicts to sale bonanzas drew solemn, sanctimonious flak from some religionists from the other side, this time the Islamic. A formal statement was issued, declaring this common placesale tactics an assault on the Islamic religion, since Friday happens to be its day of worship. These are the depths of absurdity into which society is dragged by the coils of spurious purism. Until now, we have yet to learn of Boko Haram, ISWAP, al-Shabbab and other rabid islamists declaring a cessation from killings in honour of Holy Friday. Again, one station that carried the broadcasts tamely withdrew its promotional campaign. Another piece of secular – that is, neutral- territory ignominiously surrendered. The tail continues to wag the dog.

Lest the point be missed or watered down, the escalation of such irrationality is very simply outlined. Christians, not to be outdone, will seize the next opportunity to remind the rest of the world how their own Holy Day, Sunday, must and must not be used in mundane transactions in the future. Next, the Seventh-Day Adventists will demand no-go areas for Saturdays. After that, the Hindus, the Sikhs, plus the thousand and one religions of the world cornering their own Holy Day, then week, then month until we are moved to reconstruct the present calendar entirely, abandon solar principles and rebuild temporal notation around some newly discovered power planet. Did that broadcasting station consider, for a moment, the preposterous dimensions of that sectarian demand before yielding ground to a ridiculous minority of extremists?

Of far weightier substance than any vaporous religiosity however, is the early mentioned civic condition of all occupiers of the same demarcated slab of earth, called nation, and their material and non-material entitlement as guaranteed by their enabling constitution. When any individual or group, however lofty and privileged in its own self-regard, orders a citizen to quit his or her chosen place of habitation, then the very concept of nation being is nullified. This is not the first time this fundamental principle of co-existence has been challenged. Still fresh in one’s mind was the mode of response by the Inspector-General of Police to a similar violation by a northern Youth organizationa few years ago when that group pronounced a deadline for the Igbo to quit their abode throughout the northern territory of Nigeria. It was a dangerous, provocative act, incendiary under any condition. That worthy maintainer of law and order was asked – and I recall this distinctly –why he failed to take action against this incitement to mayhem, such as even inviting the self-acknowledged leaders “for a chat”. That question was of course posed in the context of the starkly contrasting ‘rapid response’ agility by state security agencies, when a similar inciting proclamation was made by an Igbo group ‘expelling’ northern citizens from their territory. His answer was: such action would have security implications. By contrast, the Igbo group was proscribed as a terrorist organization. It should be chastening to any government that its proclamation remains ignored internationally.

What is Father Kukah saying? Simply what observant and concerned citizens of United States society recently remarked. The conduct of the US security forces, when confronted by peaceful protesters during the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement, was vastly different from that of the same security agencies when a predominantly white mob invaded its seat of government, thrashed it and hunted down a people’s elected representatives, rampaging for hours before they were finally “escorted out”. Such a contrast goes to the heart of nation being, and poses a real and urgent danger. That accusation has been voiced by both sides of the colour divide and across class divisions. Again and again, the warning was loudly voiced, it was unheeded. We remain fools if we fail to learn from the costly complacencies of others.

The obvious issue, to summarize, is – double standards. Lack of equitable dealing. Agreement or disagreement with Father Kukah’s position is demonstration of a nation’s badge of maturity, and should be read, quite obviously, as a continuation of that nagging, provocative discourse. One fails to understand why religion is being sprung centre stage as a legitimate extract from that New Year address. There is a deliberate, emotive displacement of a central concern. It is calculated avoidance, diversionary, and thus, nationally unhealthy. Humans should not attempt to play ostrich.

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Crimes Against Humanity: British Lawmakers Seek UN Security Council Resolution Against Nigeria |RN

UN Security Council in session

Two ranking members of the House of Lords, the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, want a UN Security Council Resolution against Nigeria for alleged “mounting crimes against humanity”. In a letter dated 21 December 2020 and addressed to British Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, Lord Alton of Liverpool (David Patrick Paul Alton) and Baroness Cox (Caroline Annex Cox) expressed surprise that Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) has yet to show serious interest in the widely reported persecution of Christians in Nigeria and the seeming indifference of the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in tackling the problem.

The letter, a copy of which was sighted by News Express, cited several credible reports on the issue, among them “the publication of a new report by Nigerian human rights group Intersociety (14 December), which raises serious concerns about the scale of human rights abuses in Nigeria and the need for an urgent response.”

“Attacks led by Islamist militia continue in northern states and the Middle Belt, with almost-daily  reports  of  killings,  mayhem,  rape  and  sexual  abuse,  abductions  and enslavement, mass forced displacement and land-grabs. According to Intersociety, an estimated 34,400 Christians have been killed in Nigeria since 2009 – including 17,000 by Boko Haram (and its splinter groups) and 15,500 by Fulani militia,” the letter said. It went on to highlight the following: 

Targeted attacks against Christians 

In  July  2018,  the  Nigerian  House  of  Representatives  declared  killings  in predominantly-Christian villages in Plateau State to be a ‘genocide’ and called on the Government of Nigeria to establish  orphanages in areas affected by violence. Nigeria’s Minister of  Information and  Culture, Alhaji  Lai Mohammed,  has since acknowledged that Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa “have started targeting Christians and Christian villages for a specific reason, which is to trigger a religious war and throw the nation into chaos… they seem to now have a deliberate policy of attacking Christians.” 

According  to  the  Bishop of  Truro’s review,  whose recommendations  HMG  have agreed to implement in full: “Some of the most egregious persecution of Christians has  taken  place  in  Sub-Saharan  Africa…  the  most  widespread  and violent  threat came  from  societal  groups,  including  many  with  a  militant  Islamist  agenda… Reports  consistently  showed  that  in Nigeria,  month  after  month,  on  average hundreds of Christians were being killed for reasons connected with their faith… Those worst affected included Christian women and girls abducted, and forced to convert, enter forced marriages, sexual abuse and torture.” 

The same concerns were raised in  two  other  recent  reports:  ‘Nigeria:  Unfolding Genocide?’  by  the  APPG  for  International  Freedom  of  Religion  or  Belief;  and ‘Nigeria’s  Silent  Slaughter:  Genocide  in  Nigeria  and  the  Implications  for  the International  Community’,  by  the  International  Committee  on  Nigeria  and  the International Organisation on Peace-building & Social Justice.  

Nigerian Government response  

There are now widespread concerns that some attacks take place with a degree of official complicity and that the Nigerian Government only occasionally investigate or prosecute those responsible for such crimes.  

The ICC’s decade-long preliminary investigation (which concluded on 11 December 2020) found that Nigerian security forces have committed crimes against humanity and  war  crimes,  including:  murder,  rape,  torture,  and  cruel  treatment;  enforced disappearance;  forcible  transfer  of  population;  outrages  upon  personal  dignity; intentionally  directing  attacks  against  the  civilian  population  as  such  and  against individual  civilians  not  taking  direct  part  in  hostilities;  unlawful  imprisonment; conscripting and enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into armed forces and  using  them  to  participate  actively  in  hostilities;  persecution  on  gender  and political grounds; and other inhumane acts.  The ICC confirmed that domestic courts have not responded to atrocities adequately or at all and that the Nigerian Government has failed in its obligations to hold those responsible to account. However, the Office of the Prosecutor faces serious resource constraints to investigating and prosecuting new situations and cases. We therefore urge HMG, as a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, to ensure any investigation is adequately resourced. 

Intersociety  reports  that  1,400  Christians  have  been  killed  by  the  Nigerian  army, police and air force. The Nigerian army’s former Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Theophilus Danjuma, says the armed forces are “not neutral; they collude” in the “ethnic cleansing in…  riverine states”  by  Fulani  herders. He insists that villagers must defend themselves because “depending on the armed forces” will result in them dying “one by one. The ethnic cleansing must stop”.  

US Government response  

We commend the decision by the US State Department to designate Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern because of FoRB violations and its recognition of escalating “religious-tinged violence”.  

During a special briefing on 8 December, US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious  Freedom  Sam  Brownback  said:  “The  world  has  great  concern  about

what’s  taking  place  in  Nigeria  at  this  time,  and  a  number  of  terrorist  groups  are organizing  and  pushing  into  the  country. We’re  seeing  a  lot  of  religious-tinged violence  taking  place  in  that  country  and  indeed  in  West  Africa.   It’s  an  area  of growing  concern  about  what’s  happening,  in  particular  the  tension  that’s  taking place there between religious groups.  And it’s often the religious affiliation is used to try to recruit and inspire violent acts.” 

The lack of comparable response by the UK is both stark and alarming. If HMG continue to ignore or downplay the strong religious factor fuelling the conflict, as identified  by  the  US  State  Department,  resources  will  be  wasted  on  the  implementation of solutions based on a premise that has little-to-no impact on the violence. 

UK Government response 

Over £2 billion of UK bilateral aid was given to Nigeria between 2011 and 2018, an equivalent of £800,000 every day. However, we share growing concerns over how the funds are spent; and how it could be better spent – especially in relation to the protection of those most at risk of attack and the need to bring perpetrators to justice. The UK is also one of the largest donors to the World Food Programme’s emergency operation  in  north-east  Nigeria,  but  it  does  not  currently  provide  humanitarian assistance  in  the  middle  belt  states,  despite  this  being  one  of  the  worst-affected regions.  For  the  UK  merely  to  “emphasise  the  importance  of  mediation  and  inter-faith dialogue” trivialises the scale of persecution of Christians. It is too simplistic for the UK  Government  to  label  atrocities  committed  by  Fulani  militia  as  driven  by desertification, climate change or competition for resources. Protracted attempts to address these (albeit important) longer-term factors will not stop the current rate of killings.  

Tabling their demand, Lord Alton of Liverpool and Baroness Cox wrote toward the end of the letter: “We  therefore  urge  you  to  consider  urgently  how  you  can  shine  a  light  on  these mounting crimes against humanity, undoubtedly predicated by a hatred of people who refuse to renounce their religious beliefs. We would also ask you to use your seat at  the  UN  Security  Council  to prioritise  these  concerns,  to  seek  a  resolution which significantly enhances the security given to communities at risk of attack, and for signatories of the 1948 Genocide Convention – including the UK – to fulfil their obligations to prevent and protect. We would be happy to provide draft wording for such a resolution as we have been looking into the different options available.”   (News Express)

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Boko Haram: UAE Indicts 2 FG Officials, Sentences 2 To Life, 4 Get 10 Years In Jail For Wiring $782,000 |The Republican News

Boko Haram terrorists

By Wale Odunsi

An Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has convicted six Nigerians over alleged funding of Boko Haram.

The conviction was upheld by the appellate court after they lost an earlier appeal at a lower court.

Daily Trust reported on Monday that Surajo Abubakar Muhammad and Saleh Yusuf Adamu were sentenced to life imprisonment.

The rest, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan, AbdurRahman Ado Musa, Bashir Ali Yusuf and Muhammad Ibrahim Isa, got ten-year imprisonment each.

Court documents show that between 2015 and 2016, the convicts were allegedly involved in cash transfers totalling $782,000.00 to Boko Haram.

The act was contrary to Article 29, Clause 3 of UAE’s Federal Anti-Terrorism Law No 7 of 2017.

National Security Bureau said investigation of the Nigerians “confirmed their involvement and membership of the Boko Haram”.

They were arrested between April 16 and 17, 2017, and their homes searched according to the search warrant issued by the National Security Prosecution office dated April 16, 2017.

Abubakar and Adamu were charged for joining Boko Haram knowingly.

This negates Article 22/2 of UAE’s Federal Anti-Terrorism Law No 7 of 2017 punishable by death or life imprisonment.

Alhassan, Musa, Yusuf and Isa were charged with assisting the sect knowingly.

The crime, under Article 31, Clause 1 of the same law, is punishable by life imprisonment or at least five years in jail.

Most of the transactions were facilitated by two undercover Boko Haram agents based in Nigeria. One of them is “Alhaji Sa’idu”.

The other “Alhaji Ashiru” was described as “a Nigerian government official”.

He also reportedly funnelled misappropriated public funds to terrorists.

Sa’idu’s modus operandi is using unidentified Arab persons on a visit to Dubai from Turkey to hand over US Dollars to one of the convicts, who then remit Naira equivalent to the agent.

Families of the convicts say they were “framed up”, insisting their bureau de change business in the UAE was legitimate.

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#EndInsecurityNow Protests Erupt In Kaduna, Gombe, Kano, Bauchi, Other Northern States |The Republican News


    

#EndInsecurityNow protesters in northern Nigeria


Godwin Isenyo, Armstrong Bakam, Enyioha Opara, Tukur Muntari, Chima Azubuike

Several hundreds of youths, on Thursday, stormed the streets of major cities in the North, including Kaduna, Gombe, Kano and Bauchi, in protest against the spate of kidnapping, armed robbery and banditry in the region.

With the hashtag, #EndInsecurrityNow, the protesters asked the Federal Government to redeployed personnel of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad to the North to combat insecurity in the region.

The protest was organised by the Coalition of Northern Groups, which said it was against the harassment, intimidation and killing of Nigerians by the disbanded SARS.

The coalition, however, argued that the region’s challenges were not that of SARS but insecurity in the form of banditry, insurgency and other related crimes.

The protesters hit the streets of Kaduna around 9.30am and marched through the Muhammadu Buhari Way, Ali Akilu Road and Luggard Hall to the state House of Assembly Complex.

They carried placards with inscriptions such as, ‘The North is Bleeding’, ‘Stop the Killings in the North’, ‘End Boko Haram Now’, ‘End Banditry Now’, ‘Empower SWAT to End Insecurity’, ‘All Lives Matter’, and ‘Stop Rape Now’,  among others.

The Speaker, state House of Assembly, Yusuf Zailani, sent the House Committee Chairman on Information, Ahmed Tanimu, to address the protesters.

The leader of the protesters and Kaduna State Coordinator of the CNG, Sa’ad Bako, said the youth were merely protesting the unending killing, kidnapping, cattle rustling, banditry and terrorism in the region.

He said the group respect the rights of those protesting against SARS.

However, in Bauchi, the CNG accused the #EndSARS campaigners of having selfish motives in their continued protest against police brutality.

They wondered why the #EndSARS protesters were still on the streets when the government and the police authority had granted their request by disbanding the special police unit.

The protesters disrupted free flow of traffic in and out of the Government House.

Members of the group expressed displeasure that no government official was on ground to address them after standing at the gate for close to an hour.

The Secretary of the CNG, Abdulkadir Alkassim, described the #EndSARS protests going on in parts of the country as “regional protests.”

Another leader of the group, Bello Aminu, said that the CNG was different from the #EndSARS because they were demanding an end to insecurity rather than scraping of any police unit.

In Niger State, the group said the government should find ways curtailing insecurity in the northern part of the country.

Addressing journalists in Minna, the group said in spite of the abundant mineral resources in the North-Central region, vices like kidnapping, banditry and other forms of criminality were thriving there.

The Coordinator of the group, Abubakar Mohammed, urged the state government to wake up to its responsibility and put adequate security in place in the troubled areas to save the inhabitants.

Hoodlums attack #EndInSecurityNow protesters in Kano

Suspected hoodlums, on Thursday, in Kano attacked members of the CNG, who came out to protest against the prevailing insecurity in the northern part of the country.

The protesters were attacked along Bayero University Kano old campus road by Kofar Famfo in the Kano metropolis.

The campaigners, who planned to start the protest at Gidan Dan Asabe along the Zoo Road, later changed the venue to the BUK Road.

Speaking to journalists after the disruption of the protest, the Convener, Dr Muhammad Bello-Nawaila, alleged that no fewer than 40 of the members sustained injuries from the attack carried out some 500 metres from take off point of the protest in the Kabuga area.

He said what surprised them most was that the protesters got security backing with two police patrol vehicles in front and two at the back.

Bello-Nawaila added that the group would continue with the protest until the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) listens to their call.

Gombe youths want end to banditry

The Chairman of the CNG in Gombe State, Ibrahim Mohammed, urged the Federal Government and security agencies to tackle security challenges in the northern region.

He stated, “Banditry, kidnapping, Boko Haram terrorism, rape and major security threats should be ended in the region.

“People at the villages can’t go to the farm as a result of the activities of bandits. We know that the security personnel are doing their best, but we are not satisfied with the current security situation in the northern region.”

Mohammed stated these during a protest at the Pantami Stadium, Minna, where he stated that the group was not for or against the SARS disbandment currently trending in the southern region. (Punch)

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Obasanjo Writes Another Open Letter To Buhari, Warns About Imminent War That Could Break Nigeria |The Republican News

Olusegun Obasanjo and President Muhammadu Buhari

Dear President and General Buhari,

OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT, GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI

I am constrained to write to you this open letter. I decided to make it an open letter because the issue is very weighty and must be greatly worrisome to all concerned Nigerians and that means all right-thinking Nigerians and those resident in Nigeria.

Since the issue is of momentous concern to all well-meaning and all right-thinking Nigerians, it must be of great concern to you, and collective thinking and dialoguing is the best way of finding an appropriate and adequate solution to the problem.

The contents of this letter, therefore, should be available to all those who can help in proffering effective solutions for the problem of insecurity in the land.
One of the spinoffs and accelerants is the misinformation and disinformation through the use of fake news.

A number of articles, in recent days, have been attributed to me by some people who I believe may be seeking added credence and an attentive audience for their opinions and view-points. As you know very well, I will always boldly own what I say and disown what is put into my mouth. But the issue I am addressing here is very serious; it is the issue of life and death for all of us and for our dear country, Nigeria.

This issue can no longer be ignored, treated with nonchalance, swept under the carpet or treated with cuddling glove. The issue is hitting at the foundation of our existence as Nigerians and fast eroding the root of our Nigerian community. I am very much worried and afraid that we are on the precipice and dangerously reaching a tipping point where it may no longer be possible to hold danger at bay.

Without being immodest, as a Nigerian who still bears the scar of the Nigerian civil war on my body and with a son who bears the scar of fighting Boko Haram on his body, you can understand, I hope, why I am so concerned. When people are desperate and feel that they cannot have confidence in the ability of government to provide security for their lives and properties, they will take recourse to anything and everything that can guarantee their security individually and collectively.

For over ten years, for four of which you have been the captain of the ship, Boko Haram has menacingly ravaged the land and in spite of government’s claim of victory over Boko Haram, the potency and the activities of Boko Haram, where they are active, remain undiminished, putting lie to government’s claim. The recent explanation of the Chief of Army Staff for non-victory due to lack of commitment and lack of motivation on the part of troops bordering on sabotage speaks for itself.

Say what you will, Boko Haram is still a daily issue of insecurity for those who are victimised, killed, maimed, kidnapped, raped, sold into slavery and forced into marriage and for children forcibly recruited into carrying bombs on them to detonate among crowds of people to cause maximum destructions and damage. And Boko Haram will not go away on the basis of sticks alone, carrots must overweigh sticks.

How else do you deal with issues such as only about 50% literacy in North-East with over 70% unemployment?
Herdsmen/farmers crises and menace started with government treating the issue with cuddling glove instead of hammer. It has festered and spread. Today, it has developed into banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and killings all over the country.

The unfortunate situation is that the criminality is being perceived as a ‘Fulani’ menace unleashed by Fulani elite in the different parts of the country for a number of reasons but even more unfortunately, many Nigerians and non-Nigerians who are friends of Nigeria attach vicarious responsibility to you as a Fulani elite and the current captain of the Nigeria ship.

Perception may be as potent as reality at times. Whatever may be the grievances of Fulanis, if any, they need to be put out in the open and their grievances, if legitimate, be addressed; and if other ethnic groups have grievances, let them also be brought out in the open and addressed through debate and dialogue.

The main issue, if I may dare say, is poor management or mismanagement of diversity which, on the other hand, is one of our greatest and most important assets. As a result, very onerous cloud is gathering. And rain of destruction, violence, disaster and disunity can only be the outcome. Nothing should be taken for granted, the clock is ticking with the cacophony of dissatisfaction and disaffection everywhere in and outside the country.

The Presidency and the Congress in the US have signalled to us to put our house in order. The House of Lords in the UK had debated the Nigerian security situation. We must understand and appreciate the significance, implication and likely consequences of such concerns and deliberations.

No one can stop hate speech, violent agitation and smouldering violent agitation if he fans the embers of hatred, disaffection and violence. It will continue to snowball until it is out of control. A stich in time saves nine, goes the old wise saying.

With the death of Funke, Chief Fasoranti’s daughter, some sympathetic Nigerian groups are saying “enough is enough”. Prof. Anya, a distinguished Nigerian merit Laureate, has this to say “We can no longer say with certainty that we have a nation”. Niger-Delta leaders, South-Eastern leaders, Middle-Belt leaders and Northern Elders Forum have not remained quiet.

Different ordinary Nigerians at home and abroad are calling for different measures to address or ameliorate the situation. All the calls and cries can only continue to be ignored at the expense of Nigerian unity, if not its continued existence.
To be explicit and without equivocation, Mr. President and General, I am deeply worried about four avoidable calamities:

  1. abandoning Nigeria into the hands of criminals who are all being suspected, rightly or wrongly, as Fulanis and terrorists of Boko Haram type;
  2. spontaneous or planned reprisal attacks against Fulanis which may inadvertently or advertently mushroom into pogrom or Rwanda-type genocide that we did not believe could happen and yet it happened.
  3. similar attacks against any other tribe or ethnic group anywhere in the country initiated by rumours, fears, intimidation and revenge capable of leading to pogrom;
  4. violent uprising beginning from one section of the country and spreading quickly to other areas and leading to dismemberment of the country.

It happened to Yugoslavia not too long ago. If we do not act now, one or all of these scenarios may happen. We must pray and take effective actions at the same time. The initiative is in the hands of the President of the nation, but he cannot do it alone.

In my part of the world, if you are sharpening your cutlass and a mad man comes from behind to take the cutlass from you, you need other people’s assistance to have your cutlass back without being harmed.

The mad men with serious criminal intent and terrorism as core value have taken cutlass of security. The need for assistance to regain control is obviously compelling and must be embraced now.

A couple of weeks ago at a public lecture, I had said, among other things, that:
“In all these issues of mobilisation for national unity, stability, security, cooperation, development, growth and progress, there is no consensus.

Like in the issue of security, government should open up discussion, debate and dialogue as part of consultation at different levels and the outcome of such deliberations should be collated to form inputs into a national conference to come up with the solution that will effectively deal with the issues and lead to rapid development, growth and progress which will give us a wholesome society and enhanced living standard and livelihood in an inclusive and shared society.

It will be a national programme. We need unity of purpose and nationally accepted strategic roadmap that will not change with whims and caprices of any government. It must be owned by the citizens, people’s policy and strategy implemented by the government no matter its colour and leaning.

Some of the groups that I will suggest to be contacted are: traditional rulers, past heads of service (no matter how competent or incompetent they have been and how much they have contributed to the mess we are in), past heads of para-military organisations, private sector, civil society, community leaders particularly in the most affected areas, present and past governors, present and past local government leaders, religious leaders, past Heads of State, past intelligence chiefs, past Heads of Civil Service and relevant current and retired diplomats, members of opposition and any groups that may be deemed relevant.”

The President must be seen to be addressing this issue with utmost seriousness and with maximum dispatch and getting all hands on deck to help. If there is failure, the principal responsibility will be that of the President and no one else. We need cohesion and concentration of effort and maximum force – political, economic, social, psychological and military – to deal successfully with the menace of criminality and terrorism separately and together.

Blame game among own forces must be avoided. It is debilitating and only helpful to our adversary. We cannot dither anymore. It is time to confront this threat headlong and in a manner that is holistic, inclusive and purposeful.
For the sake of Nigeria and Nigerians, I pray that God may grant you, as our President, the wisdom, the understanding, the political will and the courage to do what is right when it is right and without fear or favour.

May God save, secure, protect and bless Nigeria. May He open to us a window of opportunity that we can still use to prevent the worst happening. As we say in my village, “May God forbid bad thing.

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Fulani Herdsmen Will Not Accept Injustice From South West’s Amotekun —Miyetti Allah |The Republican News

South West’s Amotekun vehicles unveiled during launch in Ibadan, Oyo state

Herdsmen under the umbrella of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore have expressed scepticism over the inauguration of Operation Amotekun.

Miyetti Allah, however, warned that it would not condone acts of injustice meted out to any of its members by the officials of the outfit or any other vigilance group.

The National Secretary of the group, Alhassan Saleh, said this on Friday during an interview with Saturday PUNCH.

Saleh said, “We have no problem with them as long as they will not target our herders. We have our own defence mechanisms. We fight injustice anywhere, not only in Nigeria. So, if they end up meting out injustice to us, we will fight back. That is the truth but we are law-abiding.

“And as herders, we must herd our cows until there is an alternative provided for us. If they give us alternative, we will go there and if they say they don’t want us, those that want to leave, will leave but what we will not sanction is anybody taking the law into their own hands because we have a history of fighting injustice anywhere there is oppression.”

He stated that Miyetti Allah was not in support of cows straying into people’s farms but movement, as guaranteed by the constitution, must be respected.

Saleh recalled that herdsmen suffered acts of injustice when the Benue State Government set up the livestock guard which ended up extorting money from innocent herders.

The secretary said Operation Amotekun could be used by politicians to perpetuate themselves in power by election rigging.

Saleh argued that South-West governors should have remained true to their call for state police rather than opt for the Operation Amotekun option.

He stated, “When you empower groups and give them arms, the possibility is that others will follow suit and the central government will begin losing its power. Definitely, our politicians will begin to abuse these outfits.

“When it is election time, sitting governors will use the outfits to their advantage. The first casualties of such malfeasance will be the people of that state, because when they want to impose themselves, they use these people because they are already trained and armed just like in Benue State.

“At the end, the livestock guards ended up killing people. It is on record because people have been tried and jailed. So, it is not the way forward. If they cannot push the debate for state police, they should not do such half measures.” (Punch)

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