SECURITY operatives have arrested 25 people in connection with the recent murder of three policemen in Taraba State who were shot by soldiers while they were taking notorious kidnapper Hamisu Wadume into custody.
In one of the biggest breaches of security ever known, the three policemen were shot dead by troops of the Nigerian Army who are suspected of being on the payroll of the kidnapper. After shooting the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) policemen in cold blood, the soldiers then set Mr Wadume free and he remains at large up until now.
Enraged by the incident, the Nigeria Police Force claim that the soldiers were in cahoots with the kidnappers and it has emerged that the army captains who ordered the shooting spoke with Mr Wadume on the phone 191 times. According to one source, Mr Wadume maintained and oiled a machinery of security operatives, including police and military personnel from across Taraba State, who fed him with information on movements and location of victims for kidnapping.
They were also said to have fed the kidnap kingpin with dossiers of those capable of paying good ransom fees as well as possible hideouts and escape routes. Through tracking and interception facilities, investigators were able to discover conversations which unravelled the roles of both the police and military personnel who were on the kidnappers’ payroll.
One source said: “I can tell you that over 20 military and police personnel have been arrested since this investigation started. They gave the kingpin coverage all these years the police have been looking for him, which is the reason it has taken this long to get him.”
The killing of the IRT members, including Assistant Superintendent of Police Felix Adolije, Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeants Usman Danzumi and Dahiru Musa as well as civilian Olajide Owolabi, sparked off national outrage, with family members, individuals and groups calling on the federal government to ensure justice was done on the matter.
The joint investigation panel is headed by Rear Admiral Olaiya and has a representative each from the army, navy, air force, police, Department of State Service and the Defence Intelligence Agency.
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By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor, Evelyn Usman & Ifeanyi Okolie
ABUJA—The Nigerian Army Captain who allegedly ordered soldiers on security check-point along the Ibi-Jalingo Expressway in Taraba State, to attack and kill police operatives attached to the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, has been identified. Vanguard gathered, yesterday, that police investigation carried out so far has revealed that telephone conversations between the kidnap kingpin, Wadume and the Captain, were about 191 within the space of one month between July 9, 2019, and August 6, 2019. The source explained that the police authorities believed that the army captain might have been providing cover for the kidnapper, who is said to have received hundreds of millions as ransom from his victims.
Vanguard gathered that the Army Captain , who is currently undergoing interrogation at the Defence Headquarters Abuja, was arrested alongside five other Army personnel, who were alleged to have taken part in the horrific killing of the three policemen and their two civilian agents in an operation to arrest a notorious kidnapper, Alhaji Hamisu Balla, alias Wudume, in Ibi area of Taraba State.
Vanguard learned yesterday that the arrested solders confessed that they received orders to attack the policemen from the captain, whom they said informed them that Wadume had been kidnapped and was being transported in a silver-coloured Toyota Hiace Bus.
A source at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, told Vanguard that the soldiers claimed that they acted squarely on the orders of the captain, being their superior officer, but Police sources at Force Headquarters Abuja, disclosed that the police authorities have established strong links between the army captain and the notorious kidnapper, alleging that the army captain was on the kidnapper’s payroll.
The source added further that its investigations have also revealed that the army captain, who was not present in Ibi Town at the time the IRT operatives arrested Wadume, might have ordered his men to attack and kill the IRT operatives as well as rescue his friend, the kidnapper. Petition against Wadume received
Meanwhile, Vanguard also gathered, yesterday, that the IRT’s manhunt to arrest and bring down Wadume’s kidnapping empire began in March 2019, when it received a petition from one Sheriff Umar of Kirikinua South Local Government Area of Kaduna State. It was gathered further that the petitioner reported that his cousin, Usman Mayo was kidnapped on the 15th of February, 2019 at Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State and his kidnapper demanded the sum of N200 million as ransom for his release. The source explained that the family of the kidnapped victim negotiated and paid the sum of N85 million first, on March 11, 2019, but the abductee was not released. He said they paid an additional N15 million, on March 16, 2019, making a total sum paid to the kidnappers N100 million and the kidnappers refused to release their victim insisting that the family must pay the N200million they demanded.
The source explained that the family reported to the police and the IRT was drafted to investigate and track down the suspects behind the kidnapping and rescue the victim.
It was learned that while investigations into the matter commenced, members of the kidnapped victim’s family paid an additional N20m to the kidnappers and the victim was released, but the police discovered during investigations that Wadume had strong links to the kidnappers, who got N120 million as ransom from their victim.
I sold 6 AK-47 rifles to Wadume — Ajomo
The police source, further disclosed that it investigations also revealed that Wadume, had bought several AK-47 rifles from a notorious trans-border arms dealer, Ojomo Adebowale Gbenga, who was arrested in May 2019, by operatives of the IRT for supplying heavy arms and ammunition to kidnappers and armed robbers.
45-year-old Ojomo, said to be a major arms dealer in the South-Western part of the country, made startling revelations about the fleeing Wadume during an interview.
Ojomo, who was earlier in the year paraded by police authorities over his criminal activities and later detained in Lagos, told Vanguard that he met Alhaji Wadume four years ago in Benue State and had been selling arms to him under the guise of using them to fight terrorist Fulanis.
Speaking with Vanguard, Ojomo said that he got to know Wadume through his business partner, Moses in Benue State, and he told him that he needed rifles to fight herdsmen who were killing farmers in his community. The gun runner explained that he got all the rifles, which he sold to Wadume and his friends from Burkina Faso, Mali and Libya and he said he sold the arms to them because they told him that they were having community clashes.
He further disclosed: “I started selling fire arms since 1993 after my secondary school. I worked with a company that deals on licensed arms in 1993 and I left in 1996 and went to school but, I linked up with arms dealers in Ibadan, which is the headquarters of arms dealing in the south western part of the country. I started selling automatic firearms which is prohibited, then one of my friends who is now late, Moses led me to the north. He took me to Benue State and I sold arms to several people, including Alhaji Hamisu (Wadume). He came to me through Moses’ contacts and they identified him as a don. You know arms dealing is a cartel business. I knew very little about him and I sold eight rifles to him in 2015 and in January 2019, he called again and told me that he needed 10 rifles, but I had only six and because he was in hurry, I sold them to him at N800,000 each, and the bullets for N350,000 per can. But after my arrest, I gave information about him to the police. It was while in detention I heard he has been arrested. Police inspector arrested, recants
Also, a Police Inspector who was accused of informing the Army that operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team that visited Ibi community in Taraba state, last week to effect the arrest of the suspected kidnap kingpin did not report to Police authorities, has been arrested.
Preliminary investigation, as reliably gathered, revealed that the policeman was cajoled to say so in order to cement pieces of evidence by troops of the 93 Battalion that the operatives were not only kidnappers but were there on an illegal duty.
It was also learned that one of the villagers who allegedly collected the firearms from the dead policemen revealed during interrogation that the weapons belonging to the slain police officers were collected from him by some soldiers.
Vanguard learned that the Police inspector attached to Ibi Police Station confirmed that the operatives visited the station to inform the senior officer there that they had concluded their operations and were leaving with the arrested suspect.
Unconfirmed reports said the policeman was given an undisclosed amount of money to maintain his stand that he told the troops that the policemen did not report at the station.
However, sources said the Inspector denied during interrogation at Force Headquarters, Abuja, that he did not collect any money from the Army. It was further learned that about three villagers collected the firearms that were flung in different places into the bush after the police team was shot when their vehicle somersaulted. One of them was said to have taken the arms to his home from where it was collected by the soldiers. A villager who spoke on the condition of anonymity revealed that the suspected kidnap kingpin who is still on the run, is a popular person in Ibi community.
He was said to have contested for the House of Assembly, Ibi constituency in the last election, under the Young Democratic Party, but lost. The 35-year-old man, said to be a petty trader, was revered in the community, due to his philanthropic nature.
He was said to have bought motorcycles for some youths, some of who thronged the scene where the operatives were killed, jubilating that their benefactor’s enemies had been overpowered.
At the moment, villagers in Ibi community are said to be keeping sealed lips on what transpired during the arrest of the suspected kidnapper, last week, for fear of being attacked by loyalists to the suspect.
Some of those close to the kidnap suspects have taken to their heels, apparently to avoid being arrested over his whereabouts.
Widow to address press today
Meanwhile, widow of the slain Inspector Mark Ediale, who is yet to come to terms with the rude shock of her husband’s demise, has left Lagos for the Force headquarters, Abuja, where she was received by senior police officers who condoled her and other widows over the tragic incident. But her late husband’s family, it was reliably gathered, will be briefing journalists in Abuja today, where some salient questions would be posed to killers of their son.
The family, Vanguard learned, is requesting an explanation on how Inspector Ediale died when he was seen alive in a video clip that went viral. (Vanguard)
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Early this morning according to the leader of cattle breeders in Nigeria. He expressed his shock on how serious the governors of South East has been in their refusal to give them their lands for cattle rearing.
Leader of the group, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, in a statement issued in Abuja , said the decision was surprising to them considering the cordial relationship that had existed in the zone between the group and the five state government.
He said that, since they are claiming to be stubborn, and had refused to give us their lands in peace, it will be taken by force and entire south east will be raided and taken over by herdsmen.
He said Miyetti Allah had never failed to appreciate the commitment of the host governors in ensuring their safety, even in their rational insistence that their people must not infringe on the rights of indigenous farmers to cultivate and harvest their crops without any hindrance. He also mentioned that it’s an insult that the Igbos do not value anything that has to do with cow only their business and money and yet they eat cow meats.
Siddiki said: “It is evident that our organization’s advocacy for peaceful coexistence among indigenous farmers and herdsmen is increasingly making successes in the South East.
“This explains our surprise at the latest stand of the governors, which, if implemented, will not only frustrate our people from carrying out our legitimate livestock rearing business in this part of the country, but might be suggestive of a kind of suspicion that might undermine the mutuality of the claim of brotherhood.
“We are mindful if the various negotiations and consultations still going on in respect of the contentious issues of ranching, colonies and grazing areas across the country, we are hopeful that these issues are considered dispassionately in the interest of Nigeria and the generality of it’s citizens.
“We of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders of Nigeria, south east zone, consequent upon the existing understanding we enjoy with our hosts, and in response to the latest stand by the south east Governors forum, wish to reaffirm our confidence in the capacity of our host governors to encourage the growth of our legitimate trade in their geo political zone.
“It is a very trying period in the history of Nigeria and it is our candid view that the south east whose citizens are the major bonding elements among the people of Nigeria, would provide exemplary leadership in accommodating other Nigerians in their midst, in so far such persons are legitimately engaged in their economic pursuits.”
The South East governors had at the weekend in Enugu, during their meeting, agreed that open grazing by the cattle breeders would not be tolerated in the zone by any reason. (Akelicious)
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A group known as Yoruba Youth Council Worldwide in collaboration with list of other groups of youths from South West have handed down a strong-worded quit notice to the Fulani herdsmen in the region. The group and others gave 7-day ultmatum for the marauding Fulani herdsmen, who have been known for their murderous, raping and kidnapping and other criminal nature, to leave the region. This, they said that, if it does not happen will attract serious consquences in an operation they called ‘Operation Clean Sweep’.
Below is the press statement by the group:
Press Release 23rd May 2019.
7 Days Final Quit Notice To All Fulani Herdsmen in South West tagged: “Operation Sweep Clean- (Folumo)”.
The leadership of the Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide (YCYW) alongside other leading Yoruba youth organizations in Yoruba Land: a coalition of all Yoruba indigenous youth and student organizations in Nigeria and in Diaspora, with the sole aim of enthroning rule of law, security of lives and properties, good governance and succinct democratic ethos predicated on Awoism credos and peaceful coexistence of Nigeria.
Based on this premise, rising from her National Executive Council meeting in ile ife on 23rd May, 2019, in view of the recurrent decimal of flagrant brutal killings by the gun-wielding terrorist Fulani Herdsmen/Boko Haram, aggressive invasion and violent attacks and alleged kidnapping of innocent Yorubas and Nigerians domiciled in Yoruba Land, gross violation of fundamental rights to human dignity leading to serial and merciless killings of innocent youths, rising wave of insecurity across the nation in Lagos around Ojokoro, Ibadan to ife road, Ibadan to Ijebu Ode/Benin Ore road, Ekiti to Akure and other highways kidnappings and robberies, incessant records of brutal ritual killings to mention a few, precipitating our unanimous resolution via final 7 days quite notice to all Fulani herdsmen/Boko Haram to stay off all our territories, towns, villages and highways in all southwest states predicated on the launched mass movement tagged: “Operation Sweep Clean(Folumo)” forthwith.
Failure to comply with this final warning shall leave us with no other option than to forcefully clean up and root out all Fulani herdsmen/Boko Haram terrorists in all hiding creeks and forests in the south-west geopolitical zone of Nigeria after 7 days final quit notice to lapse on the night of Thursday 30th May, 2019 accordingly.
Henceforth, we are laconically positing that all residents persons domiciled in the southwest shall be part of this mass movement launch of 20 million man match against the herdsmen terrorists in all southwestern states, wherein a date will be announced upon violation of these warning notice, wherein all our members across all the local governments and communities within southwestern states shall by jointly and simultaneously mobilized to frontally comb and move into all forests, creeks and flashpoints, wherein all cattle breedings and animal husbandry marauding shall be stopped forthwith.
Furthermore, after 21 days of persistence of these heinous threats against our people, we shall not hesitate to move against all investments and businesses; ranging from real estate, transportation haulage, oil and gas owned by any Hausa/Fulani extractions within southwest, if this evil persist irreversibly without verifiable interventions from their leaders and heads, we shall summarily shut down all palaces of Hausa/ Fulani communities within southwest.
Nigeria, seems to be faced with multifaceted challenges daily, consequently, we have gotten lots of colossal loss of lives and properties from the killer herdsmen terrorist groups, unfortunately, they are yet to be classified as a prohibited terrorist organization by the federal government of Nigeria.
Perhaps, it is highly regrettable to note the Federal Government ill-motivated act of comparing the Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria to Afenifere and other socio-cultural groups; what a profused insulting, irresponsible and reckless statement from a government under democratic rule, to make matters worse President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government assured and promised N100Billion to support the herdsmen, when they have not shown any sign of remorse or repentant demeanour.
We have it on record, that the FG has proven to protect these Fulani herdsmen with additional approval of radio station licencing to Fulani radio station network across the nation.
Consequently, this is a direct nexus for provoked aggression, anarchy and authoritarianism.
We are suspicious of some elements who are using the veil of government to launch a massive genocidal war against innocent Nigerians, particularly Yoruba people, i.e recently our doctors and professionals are gruesomely killed and brutally maimed.
Based on the live report, we learnt the Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen are feasting around us daily, in over 2,000 creeks forests spread across southwestern states, particularly in the most vulnerable states: Ogun, Ekiti, Oyo, Osun and the Ondo States respectively.
For power corrupts and absolute powers corrupt absolutely.
We believe, this is the best time to review our unworkable system of government towards the realization of the restructuring agenda, with a prepared vision and hope for a new people’s constitution that guarantees good governance, devolves power and economic resources rights to the Regions/ States and Local government units, unfortunately this has not only contributed immensely to our precarious and nebulous status as the poverty capital of the world, but tainted accolades as the worst place to live in on earth.
What else gives citizens the confidence to thrive, if this stumbling pyramid of daily struggles and resultant double jeopardy remains unabated.
Based on this premise, we believe charity begins at home, precipitating our clarion call for ‘A Southwest Economic Revitalization and Security Summit’ slated for Thursday, June 27th, 2019 at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, Oyo State by 11a.m.
We passionately appeal to all our political leaders, stakeholders, elders, youth organizations, all Yoruba socio-cultural self determination groups and Royal fathers to urgently shun all divisive tendencies and embrace one another, for it is high time we crave with the greatest respect and seek His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Dr. Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi 111, The Alaafin of Oyo and other Royal Fathers of great reputes.
Also, we equally call for a closer ranks between Aare Dr Gani Adams, The Aare Onakankafo of Yoruba Land alongside the Agbekoya, Afenifere, ARG, all OPC, OLM, YCWY, YYC, Yoruba Koya, Yoruba Assembly, YSG, VOR, all youth and student leaders to mention a few, while we equally call on all our esteemed captains of industries, philanthropists, professionals, scholars, political gladiators and leaders of thoughts to collectively reason together on the way forward and proffer immediate panaceas to this stalemate. For we can no longer guarantee our further safety and economic survival as a nation, due to the aforementioned tribulations and double jeopardy thickly fastly like an evolving time bomb, earnestly waiting for ignition.
We believe that these similar gestures be transmitted to other regions too, in order to simultaneously and effectively ventilate our age long grudges dispassionately as commons and compatriots.
This will then culminate to the eventual convocation of ‘A National Peace and Security Summit’ to be hosted by President Mohammadu Buhari in Abuja by Thursday 25th July 2019.
However, firstly we demand for a special Yoruba youth dialogue with President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR being a father and president of the nation, this shall serve as a means of intimating him on all the aforementioned, in order to cross-fertilize ideas on the current state of the national affairs and other issues of mutual interests, as the nation’s present and future heirs, as well as YCYW, being the umbrella body for the Yoruba youths.
We hope this clarion call would constructively summon our dying consciousness of building and salvaging our nation from imminent total collapse, for canons of war or attrition cannot solve our dreaded ailments, but exploring dialogue as the alternative first aid of getting out of this evil hoods.
We believe that no human life is worth to be shed on the altar of mediocrity and quests for power.
For we must ensure to protect all inhabitants within our territories and by extension all Nigerians nationally.
Long live Yoruba Land.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Signed: Aremo (Barr)Oladotun.Hassan,Founder and President,Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide(YCYW).
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It is wisdom to think before acting and one of the ladies who humiliated the victim in the viral video, wishes she did just that.
The Nigerian lady, who allegedly helped her sister to strip naked, humiliate the lady in the viral video, who also flogged the lady they lured to their house, is begging Nigerians to speak up on her behalf to prevent her from going to jail.
In her own words:
“Nigerians please, arise and speak for me; I don’t want to go to jail; I am deeply sorry for my action. This is not my character, I acted based on my emotions for my child of which my ex -husband took away from me. I don’t want to go to jail help me Nigerians protest for my sake”.
The problem is that she cannot take back the pains and humiliation she and her sister caused the other lady, who is also a widow.
Obviously, a long jail term is beckoning on her and her accomplice. She will learn her lessons in prison.
This video has generated a lot of euphoria, anger, discussions and a lot of attention on the social media. And many have shown disgust, anger than acceptance for the actions of these two ladies on their fellow woman.
Their plans was evil and criminal and a punishment is something they well deserve.
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The lady who did the flogging waiting for her time in court
One of the women who flogged the lady in the viral video in Anambra state has been arraigned in court alongside other suspects linked to the assault incident.
Nigerian humanitarian, Paulcy Iwuala who confirmed that the woman who flogged the lady in the viral nude video has been arraigned in court alongside other suspects, said she had no atom of remorse in her, as one minute she’s sober the other minute she’s shouting at anyone that probed further her about her personality. It was further gathered that the lady who was spotted in the video flogging the victim, Ogo, was expelled from school in the Philippines.
Ogo (the victim) who has a son lost her husband two years ago to a car accident, since then life has been hell. She said, ‘my intention was not to break any home, he has been my friend even before we got married’, she ended it with these words “ ‘It is going to get tougher now, can I live with this’? .. (Unclesuru)
Some account by an eyewitness in court
Here are photos from the court proceedings below;
Outside the court premises
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As the 2019 general elections approach, Secretary General of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr. Anthony Sani, has said kidnappings, killings and economic hardship in the land are not enough reasons to vote out President Muhammadu Buhari at the coming polls.
Sani noted that even in advanced countries where democracy is being practised, bombings and killings cannot be ruled out, and citizens of such countries never called for dethronement of their Presidents. The ACF scribe therefore called on Nigerians to be patient with Buhari and give him a second chance to take the country to the promisedland. He spoke to NOAH EBIJEin Kaduna.
Sir, how has our country, Nigeria fared in the past year 2018, considering the fact that it witnessed a lot of challenges like kidnappings, bombings and killings by Boko Haram and herdsmen?
Nigeria has been going through challenges just like any other growing nation. And the government is trying its best to overcome the challenges. Such challenges should bring about purposeful leadership and the best in every one rather than frustrations. This is noteworthy considering that order, justice, liberty, peace, common decency and prosperity for all, are never natural order of things but attained through ceaseless hardwork by both leaders and the led.
This government inherited many of these challenges and there was even prediction by some group in America that the country would reach a tipping point by 2015, and the government promised to tame some of the challenges. The government is now three and half years old, it is therefore left for fair minded and public spirited Nigerians to do the fact-check and know whether the fight against Boko Haram has yielded positive results by way of reduction of spread and frequency of attacks or not, whether killing of high profile Nigerians has reduced or not compared to the past or not, as well as noting whether there are consciously directed efforts to tame kidnapping and killings by gunmen compared to the past or not. The records should inform judgement of Nigerian voters during elections.
I say so because challenges are natural concomitant of mechanism of community living. And that explains why there are still reports of killings by gunmen in developed democracies, including America that is 241 years old, and the fact that people rate their leaders on the basis of effectiveness of consciously directed efforts at overcoming the challenges. Nigerians should use the records for informed judgement during elections.
How worried are you that Nigeria is rated as the 3rd world most terrorised country?
Whatever level of worries does not result in wiping away terrorism in Nigeria but what is required has to do with consciously directed efforts to reduce the challenges substantially. I have stated that these challenges predate this regime, which promised to tame them. Whether Nigeria is number one, number two or number three among terrorist nations is beside the point. It is the efforts by the government at taming the menace that should concern most Nigerians as to whether there are notable improvements or not.
There is no doubt that there is economic hardship in the land, and people are blaming it on bad leadership. What do you think is the way out because some people have already concluded to vote out President Buhari in 2019 as the only way to solve the problem of hardship?
The complaints by Nigerians of failure of leadership is not new. Even developed countries complain of failure of leadership. This is precisely because however developed a country is, there would still be people who would suffer from poverty, since no nation can wipe out poverty completely. Recall the import of what Jesus Christ told Judas that “the poor would always be with you”. And that is why multi party democracies provide for people to retain performing leadership and vote out feckless leaders at specified periods.
This government inherited an economy that was in shambles that made the president to admit he almost considered abdication. The recession was foretold by the trio of Soludo, Sanusi and Ngozi Iweala which explained the setting in of the recession in the third quarter of 2015.
The government has exited the recession and trying to diversify the economy starting from agriculture and solid minerals. These cannot be a day’s job. But it is left to Nigerians to decide whether the efforts have yielded enough improvement over those of the past or not.
Leader of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Professor Ango Abdullahi and Chairman, Northern Elders Council (NEC), Ahaji Tanko Yakassai have reportedly and respectively kicked against the re-election of President Buhari. These are founding members of ACF and elder statesmen who are supposed to stand firmly with ACF. Do you think ACF membership will ever be the same again?
I hope you are aware of the fact that the two groups of Northern Elders Forum and Northern Elders Council were formed because they thought ACF was not politically partisan enough. ACF has been political on issues most northerners share but not partisan. This is because membership of ACF cuts across partisan lines, and any partisan disposition on the part of ACF would be counter productive. More so that the North is hardly one when it comes to partisan politics right from first republic through second republic to the current dispensation. And given the nature of partisan politics, you may wish to note that NEF is in factions where the one led by Alhaji Sani Zango Daura, Paul Talfa and co have endorsed President Buhari while Ango’s faction has passed vote of no confidence on the present regime.
What is more, most members of other fora and platforms in the North belong to ACF which serves as umbrella body. For example, Prof Ango has been a member of ACF and contested Chairman of NEC with Coomasie and was later made the chairman of the ACF’s political committee. It is not long ago that we started hearing him declaring ACF a rival of his Northern Elders Forum. Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has not resigned his membership of BoT of ACF. He has even resigned from partisan politics. I am therefore sanguine that after the topsy-turvy of the electioneering campaigns and temper comes down, most of them will be active members of ACF again. There is no cause for alarm. What has happened is a result of nature of partisan politics.
There are reports that a bill for change from presidential system of government is being considered in the National Assembly. What is your take on it?
I am not sure if the problems of this country have something to do with structure of the country or form of government. This is because we have tried the parliamentary system during the first republic and jettisoned it as feckless. We tried military dictatorship and said it was aberration, and now we are trying the presidential system, which we say is expensive. But when we consider the fact that all these models have worked in some other climes, then it is hard to avoid the conclusion that our problems are inability to manage our national resources prudently and not structure or form of government. See how Lagos state is performing creditably under the same structure and form of government, which some groups believe are not workable. I am therefore more in favour of effective and efficient management of our national resources which come with integrity and credibility devoid of corrupt practices that have collapsed our national ideals, moral values and of our sense of what is right and what is evil.
What is your view about the effect of the president’s refusal to sign the amended electoral bill on the coming elections?
The President has his own reasons for withholding his assent to the bill, one of which is the time factor that does not allow for proficiencies in exclusive use of electronic voting that include electronic transmission of results amid prevalent hacking. He would prefer there is enough time for INEC to master exclusive electronic voting before it is put to use, which cannot happen now. He seems to have a case there. The President also does not want fusion of votes of political parties that have not merged. He may want political parties to merge and promote true multiparty democracies based on distinct manifestos as against the current practice that are devoid of ideology that inspire defections.
Other areas of concern is ECOWAS protocol which does not make for any amendment less than 90 days to the day of the elections.
And so, given those observations and the fact that the current electoral act sired by opposition PDP which claims credible elections in 2015, I think there should be no qualm for its use in 2019. But if wishes were horses, I would have preferred a situation where the two arms of government should come together and single out the card reader for inclusion in the electoral act. This is because INEC has already mastered the use of card reader and the only draw back is its lack of legalization.
What was your reaction to Gov El-Rufai’s committee’s recommendations to the ruling party on restructuring?
Though Governor El-Rufai is a member of Northern States Governors Forum, a member of the ruling party and may have the ears of the President, I do not think the committee consulted the North on this serious issues of far reaching reforms of the polity that include recommendations for resource control, scrapping of local government, merger of some states and introduction of state police. That report cannot be outcome of consultations across the North. This is because the term restructuring means different things to different people, and those who want restructuring that will allow different sections to develop at different pace are those who want unbridled inequality to push the country to a tipping point. (The Sun)
Boko Haram terrorists, in what appears to be an unending onslaught on locations of the Nigerian Army, on Wednesday evening attacked the troops’ base in Damasak, Borno State, resulting in a heavy gunfire which lasted for several hours.
The army has confirmed the attack, saying troops of 145 Battalion in Damasak, withstood the insurgents and killed scores of them in the firefight.
The army was, however, silent on the number of casualties sustained on the side of the troops.
Damasak is a town in the Mobbar Local Government Area, some 146 Kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital.
It will be recalled that the Boko Haram insurgents only last week attacked troops’ location in Gudumbali in the Guzamala LGA and Baga in the Kukawa LGA, resulting in an undisclosed number of casualties on both sides.
The army’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Brig. Gen. Texas Chukwu, on Thursday confirmed that “many Boko Haram terrorists” were killed in the attack on troops’ location in Damasak.
He said, “Troops of 145 Battalion in Damasak engaged the Boko Haram terrorists who came to attack their location at about 6pm on Wednesday. This resulted into a fierce battle.
“The troops engaged and subdued the terrorists in Damasak following a superior firepower. The troops’ aggressive posture, tactics and marksmanship resulted in the neutralising of many Boko Haram terrorists.
“Consequently, the army wishes to state that the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East part of the country is yielding a positive result.
“We, therefore, advise members of the public, particularly residents of the affected areas, to go about their legitimate businesses as the army will continue to protect lives and property of citizens at all times.” (Punch)
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina
Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, says only God can say when abducted Dapchi girl, Leah Sharibu, will be released by Boko Haram.
Adesina said this on Tuesday during a live programme on Channels Television.
He said, “For how much longer? I think that question can only be answered by God but I believe God is interested in that young girl and will ensure that she is preserved and at least by the time that clip is verified, one will be sure that it is her actually and once that is determined, we should all be glad that she is alive. When will she return? By the grace of God, the government is working on it and we believe she will be back.”
The President’s spokesman said Buhari saw nothing wrong in paying terrorists ransom.
He said if need be, he would pay ransom to secure the release of persons in captivity.
Adesina, however, faulted a report by the United Nations that some money was paid for the release of some Dapchi girls, insisting that the organisation got its facts wrong.
He added, “One thing we should always remember as Nigerians is that early in the life of the administration, the President had said on the Chibok girls before the Dapchi incident happened that whatever it took to rescue them, he would do, including paying. He is on record to have said that.
“It baffles me each time that controversy comes up. I remember the President said in 2015 that we would get these girls back even if it meant paying. So, if a President of the country has made that declaration, what then is the fuss?
“Payments are made all over the world even though countries may never admit.”
When asked how long it would take for security agencies to verify the authenticity of the audio clip released on Monday in which Sharibu was heard pleading for her rescue, Adesina said he could not say but it should not take long.
“It is within the purview of the Department of State Services to do that but it should not take long Left to the President, he wants her back today,” he added.
On whether the Presidency was keeping in touch with the family of the abducted girl, Adesina argued that it was not the responsibility of the President.
He maintained that it ought to be the job of the local government chairman or the state government under whose jurisdiction the abduction took place.
The President’s spokesman also said it was the duty of Non-Governmental Organisations to provide succour to the families of abducted persons but sadly many of them preferred to politicise matters and engage in protests.
Adesina added, “I expect the Yobe State Government to be in touch with the family to grant her some succour. It is not purely a Presidency matter. In Nigeria, people expect the Presidency to do everything. The local government and state government should be in touch with the family.
“That is why you have NGOs. They should do this instead of engaging in agitations and politicising the matter. Those NGOs and agencies and organisations can also do something for the families.”
Asked to speak on the alleged forgery of a National Youth Service Corps exemption certificate by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, the President’s spokesman said the NYSC should be given ample time to conduct a proper investigation.
“It is not how long but how well,” he said when asked why the investigation was taking long.
Asked if the Presidency shared the view of the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), that Adeosun could hold a government position without undergoing the mandatory NYSC exercise, Adesina responded in the negative.
He said Sagay expressed a personal opinion.
The President’s spokesman, however, said Sagay’s input was not needed in this case as the matter did not border on corruption.
Adesina added, “It is his personal opinion. It was a personal comment. It is not the position of the government and Prof. Sagay has a right to his opinion.
“It will not be Prof. Sagay’s position to advise on that matter because it is not a corruption matter so to speak.”
In her reaction, however, a former Minister of Education, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, berated Adesina for smiling while speaking on the abduction of Sharibu and for also failing to give precise answers.
Ezekwesili, who is the Co-Convener of the Bring Back Our Girls group, said this in a series of tweets on her official Twitter handle.
“Who else listened to the President’s media aide Femi Adesina, find anything worthy to laugh about while speaking about abducted children and their parents?
“A spokesperson that never has facts on hot-button issues — ‘I believe’, “I expect’, ‘some agency not presidency’. Na REAL wa (sic).” (Punch)