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Nigeria Heading For A Breakup, There’s Urgent Need To Prevent It —Lai Mohammed |RN

Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed

•Meets opinion leaders tomorrow


•Abdulsalami peace committee convenes today

With growing insecurity across the country, secessionist agitations and ethno-religious crisis, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has warned that Nigeria is heading for the brink, urging that there is an urgent need to pull it back.

“Despite huge human and material resources the country is heading for the brinks and there is an urgent need to pull it back from this catastrophe,” he said in a letter inviting leaders of opinion to a town hall meeting scheduled for tomorrow in Kaduna.

Also concerned by the raging strife across the land, the Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar (rtd)-led National Peace Committee (NPC) is also convening a meeting today in Abuja to discuss the way forward.
Nigeria has recently witnessed increasing insecurity, leading to the killing of security agents and innocent citizens by bandits.

The security crisis has made many Nigerians and members of the international community to express concerns about the state of the nation.
Mohammed, in a letter, inviting prominent Nigerians for a town hall meeting in Kaduna tomorrow said the manifestations of the general state of insecurity in the country, especially with secessionist narrative, crass politicisation of ethnic and religious differences need to be addressed urgently.
He said with the situation, the country is heading for the brink.

He said: “As you may observe, Nigeria has failed to manage its diversity. Despite huge human and material resources the country is heading for the brink and there is an urgent need to pull it back from this catastrophe.

“Increasingly, we are seeing this lack of capacity to manage our diversity manifesting in a general state of insecurity as witnessed in the heightened incidences of farmers/herders clashes, Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, ethno-religious clashes and intolerance, cultism, drug addiction and kidnapping.

“Closely tied to all these are the dangerous threat to the unity of the country and its continued existence as one indivisible nation. But the story of Nigeria has not always been this negative. How did we get here and what can we do to change the narrative to present our country in the best of light? This requires teamwork, reflecting all diversities, leveraging on all our collective creativity to pursue with diligence the project of rescuing Nigeria.’’

Mohammed added that the correct starting point towards addressing the problems is building an elite consensus on the security, unity, indissolubility and peaceful existence of Nigeria.
He said such elite consensus had worked in the past and there is a need to find out why it is not working again as well as to proffer solutions because Nigeria is truly at a tipping point.

In the invitation letters sent to many opinion moulders nationwide, the minister said a broad-based and inclusive town hall meeting has been fixed for Kaduna tomorrow to discuss some of the manifestations of the general state of insecurity in the country, especially with secessionist narrative, crass politicisation of ethnic and religious differences.

“The proposed town hall meeting will aim at developing concrete implementable resolutions because a lot of theoretical talks and postulation had taken place with little or no requisite outcome.
“The event will be declared open by President Muhammadu Buhari. Reputable scholar, Prof. Jibril Ibrahim, will be the lead presenter and will set the tone for discussion with Prof. Saka Nuru, Prof. Chudi Uwazurike and Prof Kokunre Eghafonaas as guest discussants,’’ the letter stated.

The meeting is expected to be attended by the leadership of the legislature, governors, ministers, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, service chiefs, Inspector-General of Police, heads of security agencies, religious and traditional leaders and members of the international community amongst others.

Similarly, the Abdulsalami-led peace committee has also scheduled a meeting of prominent leaders for today in Abuja to address what it described as the “escalating spate of insecurity, banditry, kidnapping, regional agitations, the killing of innocent citizens and other forms of violence.’’
It added that the vexed issues have continued to cause deep concern to well-meaning citizens at home and abroad.
NPC said it had been receiving requests from Nigerians, urging it to intervene. (ThisDay)

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We Will Not Obey Ban On Open Grazing In South West, Miyetti Allah Tells Governors |The Republican News

Miyetti Allah

The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a factional umbrella body for herdsmen in the country, has said it is opposed to the ban imposed on open grazing of cattle by South-West governors. It said the enforcement of the ban was tantamount to an eviction notice.

This is however against the position of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, which at a meeting with some governors in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on January 25, said it agreed with the position of the governors.

The meeting in Akure was attended by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Governors Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa State, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State. MACBAN was led to the meeting by its chairman, Alhaji Muhammadu Kiruwa, among other attendees.

Apart from South-West governors, governors in the South-East had previously banned open grazing and movement of cows on foot into the South-East.

The Secretary General of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Saleh Alhassan, said on Friday, “They can’t put an end to open grazing by fiat because grazing is not motorcycle business; there must be an alternative. Secondly, if they say they are going to end open grazing, what is the timeline for it?

“They want to displace herders from where they earn their livelihood. It is not different from an eviction notice – it is just putting the eviction notice into effect. This is very unfortunate because they cannot come out to say they are embracing peaceful herders and then say they are ending open grazing. What do they mean by that? Is there closed grazing?

“From history, right from the time of Moses, grazing is open. By now, they should realise that they will not get the result they are looking for. We are in total support of the National Livestock Transformation Plan. I was part of the committee that reviewed the final document. The programme has a lot of components, and if implemented, it will address a lot of challenges.

“Look at Benue State and how the approach has created a militia. You can’t end open grazing by fiat as if someone is looking for a crisis, and these crises have a way of reverberating.”

Alhassan argued that asking herdsmen to stop open grazing and begin ranching was tantamount to asking farmers to begin mechanisation, without which they wouldn’t be able to do their farming activities.

He added, “If they say herders must begin ranching today, where is the ranch? For someone to develop a ranch, they need at least three to five years for it to mature. The facts are there. Ranches cannot be created overnight but they are just playing politics.”

On the issue of insecurity, he said herders had been victims of rustling and kidnapping and that if insecurity was to be addressed, it was not by making it an ethnic issue, because according to him, there are criminals in every ethnic group.

“It’s sad, because at the end of the day, we end up radicalising the herders,” he said. “When they are radicalised, who will benefit? The country will suffer worse insecurity. That’s why we are against this issue of eviction or ultimatum because it doesn’t work like that. There have not been proper laws at the national level to address these challenges and the National Assembly is just playing to the gallery. Let there be proper laws.”

He said if there had been an increase in the herders moving from the North to the South, it could be due to climate change, insecurity in the North-East, drought caused by environmental factors or Boko Haram.

“All these need to be properly addressed via articulated policies. Politicians should address their differences; they should leave the herders alone, they are in the bush dealing with all kinds of challenges,” he added.

When reminded that Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, who is also a northerner, had canvassed the restriction of the movement of herders from the North to the South, Alhassan said, “That is where I disagree totally with the Kano State governor. Are they going to stay inside his house in Kano? You must create space for them and not to just talk.”

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“Jangebe Abduction Will Be The Last” —Buhari Assures Nigerians |The Republican News

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President Muhammadu Buhari

By Honest Micah

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that last Friday’ abduction of female students from Government Girls Science Secondary School, Jangebe, will be the last to happen.

The president’s statement was relayed today, through Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, who led a high-powered federal government delegation to sympathise with the people and government of Zamfara.

He said new measures had been developed by the federal government which would bring complete end to all forms of criminality in the nation.

“The President is saddened by the abduction of the students from Jangebe and reassures you that the government has all the resources and wherewithal to contain these criminals.

“Buhari also commended Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara’s efforts against armed banditry and promised a continued support to bringing lasting peace.

“The federal government will continue its partnership with Zamfara government and its citizens in resolving the security challenges facing the state,” Buhari said.

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Why Should We Give Bandits Amnesty? Is It Because They’re Fulani or Muslim? —Omokri Asks Gumi |The Republican News


Dear Sheikh Gumi,

Why should we give bandits amnesty? Is it because they are Fulani or Muslim? What injustice are they fighting against? I read the Quran in Arabic. There is nothing in the Quran that supports your plea. General Buhari has been killing your fellow Muslim Shiite. Why have you not called for amnesty for Shiites who don’t kill, yet you want amnesty for bandits who kill?

Speak the truth, for you will one day die and face God, who is neither a Christian or a Muslim, or a Northerner or Southerner, or a Fulani or Ogoni.

You recently visited Zamfara and openly took a photo with hordes of bandits. These are killer terrorists. They have broken the Hudud of both God and man as outlined in Quran chapter 5.

They have committed the sin of Ḥirābah by waging war on society.

What exactly has the ESN done that makes them terrorists or criminals that the Nigerian military has turned Orlu into a war zone? Is it because they withstood killer herdsmen? Did Buhari’s defence minister not ask Nigerians to stop being cowards and face bandits and herdsmen? Is that not what ESN is doing?

Has Buhari sent helicopter gunships and artillery to the forests of Zamfara, Katsina or Niger to flush out your beloved bandits? So, what other amnesty do you want?

How is Kano’s Hisbah better than ESN? Have you ever heard that an ESN operative was caught in a hotel with a married woman, like the Kano Hisbah commander?

As long as some of our Northern brothers continue to be sentimental, there is the danger that Nigeria will divide, because it is hard to keep a country united with this level of hypocrisy and distrust that exists in Nigeria of today.

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Fulani Herdsmen Were Forced Into Banditry, Ethnic War Against Nigerians —Sheikh Gumi |The Republican News

■Says ‘They are peaceful people’

By Jude Johnson

The controversial Islamic Cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has reiterated that Fulani herdsmen involved in banditry are victims of circumstance.

Sheikh Gumi restated his position during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, while explaining how the once peaceful Fulani herdsmen were allegedly forced into banditry and ethnic war against Nigerians.

The cleric has previously advocated for the bandits to be granted amnesty after meeting them in the bush.

“When I listened to them, I found out that it is a simple case of criminality which turned into banditry, which turned into ethnic war, and some genocide too behind the scene; people don’t know,” Sheikh Gumi said.

The cleric said that while “there is no excuse for any crime; nothing can justify crime, and they are committing crime,” the bandits were forced into criminality.

“I think it is a population that is pushed by circumstances into criminality,” he said. “And this is what we should look, let’s remove the pressure, let’s remove the things that made them into criminals because we have lived thousands of years without any problems with the nomadic herdsmen. They are peaceful people. But something happened that led them to this.”

An Ethnic War
According to Gumi, the herdsmen-bandits are engaged in an ethnic war against other peoples, including sedentary Fulanis.

The solution, he added, was dialogue.

“It is a complex issue that Nigerians need to understand,” Sheikh Gumi said. “The solution is very simple, but it’s not military hardware. The solution is dialogue and teaching.

“These people are acting with natural instincts, not special knowledge. And they don’t have any ambition or anything. They don’t have a vision of the future. They are talking about existence; their livelihood is destroyed; because the cattle rustling that was going on for a long time, they are the first victims of it.

“So we need to investigate how cattle rustling became a big business in Nigeria and how it affected the socio-cultural behaviour of the nomadic Fulani. They were pushed into criminality.”

‘Evil resides in Everyone’
Bandit attacks have heightened across Nigeria in the past year.

Last December, over 300 pupils were kidnapped from a boy’s secondary boarding school in Kankara, Katsina State.

Earlier this month, bandits stormed a science secondary school in Kagara, Niger State and kidnapped 41 pupils and staff. They are yet to regain their freedom.

Numerous killings have also been recorded during these bandit attacks.

But for every victim of kidnapping, these herdsmen-bandits have ten victims, Gumi said on the Monday program.

“They are killed by the military, lynched in town,” he added. “Do you know that there are situations where any man with this Fulani physique – slim, light-complexioned, even dark ones – on a motorbike is automatically arrested and incarcerated? They are being profiled.

“The Fulani herdsmen is seeing evil all around him. You can imagine when he sees his children, women, everything killed, his animals slaughtered.

“You see what happened in Oyo, his hut burnt down. Who is burning down his hut? It is somebody coming from a building, somebody coming from a car. He doesn’t own a car, he doesn’t own a building, he doesn’t enjoy anything of the Nigerian cake.

“Then you are coming, again, the little thing he has, to kill his animals. So he is seeing the evil from the other side. So each side is seeing the other’s side as evil.

“So it is the clergy that now has to come in the middle, Muslims and Christians. We have to listen to them. Demonising anybody is not appropriate. And evil is there in everybody.”

Sheikh Gumi restated his call for amnesty for victims of banditry and the herdsmen-bandits.

“Amnesty comes with a package – all victims should be looked at and the government should compensate because actually, it’s the responsibility of the government to protect people, their lives and livelihood; and they were not able to do,” he said. “So since it’s a negligence from the government, then the government should come from both sides.”

Credits |CTV

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Kagara Abduction: Sheik Gumi Storms Niger Forest Camps, Meets With ‘Bandits’, Leaders, Commanders |The Republican News

■Met with the Dreaded Bandits Leader, Dogo Gide, Other Top Commanders At Dutsen Magaji Forest

■As Niger Govt Embraces Dialogue Option, Sends Strong Delegation

■Abducted Passengers, Kagara School Children Will Be Release Soon- Gumi

■Bandits Took Gumi To Where a Whole Community Was Razed by Military Bombardments, Corpses Dumped In Wells

■Bandits leader Berates Gov El-Rufai

By Tukur Mamu (Desert Herald)

In continuation of his efforts to take the message of Islam to armed Fulani bandits and to explore dialogue as the only means of addressing the uprising associated with killings and kidnappings, Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi has accepted the invitation of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State.

The invitation coincidentally came at a time when double tragedy has befallen the state; first with the abduction of over 30 passengers in a bus belonging to the state transport service and the latest kidnapping of school children and their teachers in Kagara. Niger State has suffered most worst bandits attacks in the last three years.

On arrival at the state capital, Sheikh Gumi had gone into a close-door meeting with his host, Governor Bello. During the brief meeting on Wednesday, Sheikh Gumi had emphasized to the Governor the importance of dialogue especially in a society where government did not have the capacity to fully protect lives and properties from incessant attacks. He advised Governor Bello to use part of the money his government is spending on security to address some of the major concerns and grievances of the Fulani herdsmen. Governor Bello had thank Sheikh Gumi for the visit and for his endless sacrifices across the country. He said having tried the military option alone without commensurate success, he is now convinced more than ever before that dialogue and teaching the armed Fulanis about their religion and integrating them into the society as the Sheikh always admonishes government is the only way to address rampant cases of insecurity particularly in his state. Governor Bello told Gumi that his administration is ready for constructive engagement and dialogue with the armed Fulanis and acknowledged that over the years Fulani herdsmen were forgotten by governments at all levels and that there has never been any provision in previous budgets for their welfare in the past. Both Gumi and Governor Governor Bello are in total agreement that given out ransom to the rampaging herdsmen is not the option and that government will resist it and that instead provision of basic amenities like schools, water for human and animal consumption, clinics and job creation will be prioritised for them.

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno, IGP Mohammed Adamu, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and that of Information, Lai Mohammed also joined the meeting with Sheikh Gumi at the Government House Minna on Wednesday. The federal cabinet members were at Minna to coordinate efforts in rescuing the kidnapped victims on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari. Also in the entourage of Sheikh Gumi that attended the meeting includes Prof. Usman Yusuf, Desert Herald Publisher, Mallam Tukur Mamu, Chief Imam of Sultan Bello Mosque, Sheikh Muhammad Suleiman Adam and one of the leaders of Meyetti Allah, Shehu Buba.

Gumi’s team had on Wednesday proceeded to Kontagora where they spent the night and proceeded to Kotonkoro on Thursday morning. Because of the bad road, the journey to Kotonkoro took Sheikh Gumi about 5 hours. The purpose of the difficult journey to Kotonkoro is to visit the dreaded Dutsen Magaji forest where the Sheikh has work tirelessly to secure a scheduled appointment with top commanders of the Fulani bandits that are terrorising Niger State and some parts of Kaduna precisely the notorious Birnin Gwari area. Before his departure to Kontagora, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has instructed his Secretary to the State Government, SSG, whose office is also in-charge of security in the state to follow Sheikh Gumi wherever he will go. The Governor who has demonstrated determination to end kidnappings and armed banditry in his state assured Sheikh Gumi that whatever recommendation that comes out of his engagement with the bandits as long as it is for their welfare and full integration back to the society his government will support and mobilize resources towards actualising it.

The journey from Kotonkoro to Dutsen Magaji forest is about 50 kilometers and without any provision for road network. It took Sheikh Gumi, the SSG and members of the entourage another two hours before reaching the deadly forest. The highly armed bandits under the leadership of Dogo Gide have strategically positioned themselves at the forest in case of any eventuality. Their faces and appearance demonstrate no mercy and easily sends fear.

Gumi’s peace and preaching mission at Dutsen Magaji forest is so far the most successful considering how volatile the area is and consistency of attacks. During the preaching session, each of the bandits commanders were given the chance by Gumi to address the crowd. They separately narrated their ordeal, their frustrations and why they resorted to banditry. They said they only accepted the invitation because they were told it was Sheikh Gumi. Their overall leader, Dogo Gide and other top commanders (Kachallas) were captured by Desert  Herald through video and audio during separate briefings at the forest. Desert Herald is the only news medium that covers the difficult and risky journey to Dutsen Magaji forest. The coverage was done undercover as the top commanders have warned against taking pictures or video.

The top bandits commander, Dogo Gide during his speech had lambasted Governor Nasir El-Rufai for his stand against dialogue and threatened the people of Kaduna state but Sheikh Gumi was quick to interrupt and assured him that all the governors of the North West are now in agreement that the Fulani herdsmen have been forgotten by governments for many years and that they will henceforth work towards giving the herdsmen special attention.

The SSG of Niger State had also delivered the message of Governor Bello to them and assured them about his government’s sincerity and commitment to address their concerns and grievances. He took note of their demands and grievances and promised to convey same to Governor Bello as soon as he arrives Minna for immediate consideration while Sheikh Gumi on his part will monitor progress of implementation before the federal government steps in.

On his part, Sheikh Gumi took time to preach to them about forgiveness, peace and dialogue in Islam. He told them that in Islam there is no justification at all for reprisal attacks, killings, kidnappings and rape. He admonished them about alcohol and drug consumption or taking the laws into their own hands. He assured them that he will not deceive them and urged them not to disappoint him. Sheikh Gumi specifically pleaded with the armed Fulani bandits to immediately release all those they abducted particularly the recent kidnappings that made newspaper headlines across the country. He assured them he will do whatever it takes to convince the president and the National Assembly to create a Commission for the herdsmen that will work towards addressing imbalances and injustice done to the Fulanis. He encourages them to always seek for Islamic knowledge and to be consistent in their 5 daily prayers. Gumi had distributed Islamic books them and hundreds of wrappers for their wives. The items were contributed by the foundation under him.

Apparently satisfied with the sincerity of Sheikh Gumi, leader of the bandits, Dogo Gide has assured him that he will not be disappointed and that on their part they will do everything possible to maintain the peace and give reasonable time pending when they are convinced about what government will do. They complained of what they called excesses of local vigilantes popularly called Yan Sa Kai and how according to them they have been killing innocent Fulanis and warned that if Fulanis are not allowed to move freely without threat and molestation there won’t be end to banditry and kidnappings in the entire north. They took Sheikh Gumi to a settlement of about 1500 people and lamented how military bombardments destroyed the entire community, razed all the houses, killed and dumped bodies of the inhabitants in about three wells. The exclusive pictures and images of the those that were killed and dumped in the wells were taken by Desert Herald. They said the military are just targeting women, children and their animals during bombardments and that as a result of that many innocent lives were lost.

The bandits can be seen much more relaxed and very willing for engagement before the end of the preaching session. From interactions with them, it is understood that most of them are tired living in a jungle life, a life of exclusivity and lack of freedom. What most of them said they are missing much is the freedom to freely move around towns, market and to attend to their traditional and social events. One of them said on the condition of anonymity that he has spent three years in the bush without seeing his mother and that he is willing to go back to his family but is afraid due to uncertainty and how some of them were slaughtered by Yan Sa Kai and soldiers.

The most interesting and fulfilling part of Sheikh Gumi’s engagement and preaching session with the bandits is when the top commander, Dogo Gide promised Gumi that all those that were kidnapped either directly by his people or those he has influenced to talk to will soon be released. It is expected that the Kagara school boys, their teachers and other passengers that were abducted in the state owned passenger bus will be release any moment from now.

Exclusive pictures and videos of Thursday’s visit has been attached to this report. Sheikh Gumi and his entourage had arrived Minna from Dutsen Magaji forest, a journey of more than 7 hours around 3am on Friday.

Credits |Desert Herald

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Nude Pictures: Be Prepared To Face Your Charges In Court, Lawyer Tells Ohakim |The Republican News

Former Governor of Imo state, Chief Ikedi Ohakim

By Kunle Olasanmi Abuja

Ahead of the arraignment of the former governor of Imo state, Chief Ikedi Ohakim and one Chinedu Okpareke, over threat to circulate nude pictures of a lady, the Centre for Equity and Justice for Violence against Women has called on the former governor and his accomplice to be prepared to face trial.

The Convener of the centre, Barrister Ngozi C. Njoku, said the former governor should be prepared to face the full weight of the law for the consequence of his action.

The police had in November 2020 filed charges of cybercrime against Ohakim and Okpareke over threat to circulate the nude picture of Mrs Chinyere Amuchienwa, if she fails to drop charges of kidnapping against them.

Amuchienwa, in her response to the threat reported the incident to the police and told them to go to the extent of circulating the pictures on CNN

They are expected to be arraigned before Justice Taiwo Taiwo of a Federal High Court on Feb. 15, 2020.

In his response to the charges, counsel to Ohakim, Mr Aloy Ejimakor, called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to withdraw the multiple criminal charges filed against his client by the police.

In a letter addressed to the Inspector General of Police dated January 8, 2021, Ohakim called for a comprehensive investigation of all the issues that gave rise to the multiple charges against him.

In a statement titled, ”THE NAKED TRUTH”, Barrister Njoku described the allegation of trump up charges against him by the police as laughable.

She said, ”I read with dismay the writers purported trump up charges which made it convenient to state the true position of facts without any juxtaposition.

”We state emphatically that a matter pending in court is subjudice and parties do not have the right or impetus to discuss on such matters, therefore, it is against the rules of professional conduct for the said counsel to comment on matters that are lis pendis and he needs not be taught on this.

”Also, the police powers to investigate a matters reported to them are statutory powers which are executive in its legal sense and no court can stop such powers. Ihus, the writers views cast much volumes of suspicion on himself. He cannot write to same police he accused of trump up charges to reinvestigate a matter already concluded and pending in court.

”The Naked truth is that no one is above the law and no crime or criminal liability is compoundable. It is pertinent for the writer to advise his client to appear before the courts to answer charges against him.”

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Bandits Are Nigerian Fulanis, No Military Solution To Farmer-Herder Conflict —Usman Yusuf |The Republican News

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Former executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf

■ Explains his peace mission with Sheik Gumi

■ Calls for Amnesty to the armed bandits

By Jude Johnson

A former Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Usman Yusuf, has said there is no military solution to the current spate of insecurity in the North and other parts of the country.

He said security challenges such as banditry and herders crisis in the North and other parts of the country cannot be solved by military action alone.

While owning up that those behind the security challenges in the North are actually Fulanis, Yusuf called for more dialogue than Military actions in achieving peace across the states.

The Professor said this on Arise News Morning Show on Monday, where he narrated his experience with groups of Fulani herdsmen in Zamfara State alongside renowned Islamic Scholar Sheikh Ahmad Gumi.

He said, “We have to accept and not deny that these bandits are our Fulanis, not foreign Fulanis. They are our flesh and blood. Once we accept that then we forget all these conspiracies and face realities.

“What we will also not do, we will not deny them, but we are not proud of them.”

Yusuf who accompanied Gumi to the camps of these bandits in Zamfara to negotiate for peace, said strategies adopted by the Federal Government to stop their operation far outweighed the demands of the bandits.

He added, “Anyone that tells you he does not dialogue with non-state actors is not a student of history. And for anyone to tell you, there is a military option to this, is not true.

“Now we have been there, and there is no foot of any security there. They are just throwing bombs to who, on whom? On birds? On cattle? No. You do all the killings and bombings and at the end, you come and sit on the table.

“Now is the time to have dialogues, there is no military solution to this conflict. They are small, they are mobile, they are fearless, they are in the forest.

Yusuf and Sheik Gumi recently visited the bandits in their enclaves in Zamfara State
“We need to draw them close and talk to them, and to be honest, their grievances are not much. Their grievances are not anywhere close to that of the Niger Delta people and it would cause less than a bomb to sort out the problem.

“So, listening to people in any conflict is the first thing to do, Military option is not a solution, and there is nowhere in the world that Military alone takes care of security, No.”

Describing that the bandits he saw were from the ages of between 13 and 17 years with heavy machine guns, he pleaded for dialogue rather than throwing of bombs.

He also called on the Federal Government to provide basic needs such as education, employment, school, and clinic among others.

“They were smoking marijuana when they started reciting the Quran and I could see them; they were dropping the marijuana and extinguishing it.

“So we need to reach out to their hearts and bring them close, these are kids for goodness sake, 13, 15, 17 doing all this.

“There is a window if they are willing to listen and this would not be the last time. We need to be talking to them, discussing with them, these are the issues of the place. They need borehole. They need clinics, they need school, then you get them gainfully employed.

“Then speak with vigilantes, they are killing them in town. See what’s happening in Zulu, Kantagora, anarchy, lawlessness everywhere,” he said.

The former NHIS boss further pleaded for self-responsibility, saying, “it is not the preserve of the government or the security agencies. It is ours and it affects us”.

The country has recounted huge losses in the last 43 days in 2021. Just in February alone, the country has recorded over 45 cases of killings and abduction in some parts of the country.

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IGP Adamu Has Ordered Arrest Of Sunday Igboho —Presidency |The Republican News

Sunday Igboho
Sunday Igboho at Igangan, Ibarapa Local Government Area of Oyo State on Friday


By Eniola Akinkuotu and John Alechenu, Abuja

The Presidency says the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the arrest of Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, for giving Fulani in Oyo State an ultimatum to exit the state.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, was quoted as saying this during an interview with BBC Hausa.

According to the BBC report, Shehu said he had just got off the phone with the IGP who told him that an order had been given to the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Ngozi Onadeko, to arrest Igboho immediately and transfer him to Abuja.

Part of the report read, “Garba said he just got off the telephone with the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police, who confirmed to him that he had ordered the arrest of Igboho, who is to be brought to Abuja.

“Igboho is among topics that have generated public discuss on social media in Nigeria on Friday since he visited Igangan in Ibarapa Local Government (of Oyo State) where he insisted that all Fulani residents in Oyo State, must leave as long as kidnapping continues.

“Mallam Garba Shehu said government was having a hard time punishing (such) offenders because of the activities of human rights organisations.

“Garba Shehu said the order given by the Inspector General of Police, for now, is that Igboho should be arrested and brought to Abuja to be taken to court to face prosecution.”

Igboho, who is the Akoni Oodua of Yoruba land and a grassroots politician, had asked herdsmen in Ibarapa Local Government Area of Oyo State to leave within seven days, blaming the leadership of the Fulani of being behind the rising insecurity in the state.

Last week, the Presidency had criticised Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State for asking Fulani herders to vacate forest reserves because the place was being used by bandits and kidnappers.

The PUNCH had reported that violence erupted in Igangan in the Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State on Friday when  Sunday Igboho and his supporters reportedly stormed the Fulani settlement in the town to eject the Seriki Fulani, Salihu Abdukadir, and some other herdsmen accused of fuelling security problems in the area.

Unconfirmed reports claimed that some persons were killed while properties worth several millions of naira were set ablaze during the clash which occurred in the evening.

Although Igboho could not be reached as calls to his telephone line indicated that he was out of reach, residents of Igangan however said that at least one youth from Igboora was killed by Fulani fighters while two others sustained injuries from gunshots.

The Seriki also told our correspondent that one Fulani woman was killed. He said he had fled the town before Igboho returned on Friday.

The claims from both sides could not be independently verified as of press time on Friday.

Igboho had last week issued a seven-day quit notice to the Seriki and his associates.

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State had in a broadcast warned people fuelling ethic crisis in the state to desist from such act.

Despite this, Igboho and his supporters stormed Igangan on Friday afternoon.

Addressing the youths, Igboho said, “They started deploying soldiers here since yesterday (Thursday). When our people were being kidnapped and killed, there was no soldier to be deployed to secure them.

Reacting, the Oyo State PPRO, Mr. Olugbenga Fadeyi, said, “Tactical police teams with Operation Burst are on ground to give maximum security protection while efforts are on to ascertain the situation there.”

Makinde vows to resist ethnic crisis

Meanwhile, Makinde said on Friday that his government would not allow anyone hiding under the guise of ethnic interest to perpetrate a crisis in the state.

Makinde said the war to be waged by the state and the security agencies was against criminal elements, irrespective of their tribes, religions or creed.

He added that his administration would not allow anyone to threaten the peace of the state by acting unlawfully as such was against the nation’s Constitution.

The governor, who spoke while receiving the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Mrs Ngozi Onadeko, said the state government would not relent in placing priority on the welfare of security agencies in the state.

The governor said, “For people stoking ethnic tension, they are criminals and once you get them, they should be arrested and treated like common criminals. For this administration, the major pillar for us is security, because we know that all the good economic plans we have won’t be possible in an atmosphere of chaos and insecurity.”

“So, when people say things that are neither lawful nor within the spirit of Nigeria’s Constitution, it is not acceptable here. And they cannot hide under the guise of protecting Yoruba interest to perpetuate chaos in the state.”

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Police Arrest Kidnap Suspects Of Auxiliary Bishop Of Owerri Archdiocese, Bishop Chikwe |The Republican News

Bishop Moses Chikwe

By Chinonso Alozie – Owerri

The Imo State police command, yesterday, said that it has arrested few persons connected to the kidnap of the auxiliary Bishop of Owerri Archdiocese, Moses Chikwe.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed this to journalists in Owerri.

He mentioned that among the victims rescued was Bishop Chikwe’s driver and a 33-year-old, one Chioma Stephanie Ekwedike, female, who was kidnapped in front of her residence, at Imo Housing Estate Umuguma, Owerri West local government.

The police further said that the Bishop and others were rescued from a thick forest, between Awara in Ohaji/Egbema local government area of Imo state and Omuku creeks in Rivers state, led by the anti-kidnapping unit.

They noted that during the rescue operation that some of the kidnap gang members fled and efforts have been intensified by the command to arrest them.

The police narrated: “The Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, Bishop Moses Chikwe has been rescued unhurt as a result of a sting operation embarked upon by the tactical squad of the Command led by the Anti Kidnapping Unit.

“Recall that on 27/12/2020, the Auxiliary Bishop was kidnapped together with his driver, and the hoodlums went ahead to kidnap one Chioma Stephenie Ekwedike ‘f’ aged 33yrs at Imo Housing Estate Umuguma, Owerri West LGA in front of her residence.

“Pursuant to the above, the Head and the Officer in Charge of the state Police Command, newly promoted AIG ISAAC O. AKINMOYEDE, activated all the tactical teams in the Command, and charged them to rescue the Bishop and others, and arrest the hoodlums responsible for the act.

“Acting on the said directive a combined unit of all the tactical teams on the 31st December 2020 stormed Awara, Ohaji/Egbema LGA and Omuku creeks. Few persons positively linked to the crime/criminals were arrested, and some incriminating items recovered.

“The arrest of the suspects and other coordinated operations by the Command led to the kidnappers abandoning victims, leading to rescue of the bishop and two other victims unhurt and without payment of any ransom. Efforts are ongoing to arrest the fleeing members of the notorious kidnapping syndicate.”

The Imo police command further warned that, “It is noteworthy to mention that an online media platform last week came up with the news of the death of the Bishop. In the online report, it was claimed that the Auxiliary Bishop was beheaded and his head and decapitated body recovered somewhere in Anambra State. The Command, therefore, wishes to warn against such speculative and junk reportings especially in social media as such is capable of causing breach of peace.

“The Command also wishes to commend the public and the Christian community for the calmness during the period of this travail and the confidence reposed in the Nigeria Police to resolve the crime. We, however, wish to assure everyone that the Command remains capable of protecting all law-abiding citizens of the state.

“Members of the public are reminded that all incidents within their area must be promptly reported to the Police especially incidents of grievous nature or heinous crimes. The Command also calls for information from the members of the public concerning crime and criminalities in their area to enable the police take prompt and decisive actions. (Vanguard News)

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