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Mass Killings: Buhari Sends Defence Minister To Zamfara |The Republican News

President-Buhari                                                          Buhari

*Direct security agencies to arrest perpetrators

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday dispatched the Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (retd.), to Zamfara State for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation in Birane village, Zurmi Local Government Area of the state where some innocent persons were killed on Thursday.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists.

Shehu said the minister was expected to assess the situation and immediately report back to the President who he said condemned the massacre.

The presidential spokesman added that Buhari had directed the nation’s security agencies to deploy operatives in the affected area and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.

He restated the President’s commitment to ensuring that the spate of killings currently being experienced in parts of the country is brought to an end.

The statement read, “The President commiserates with families of victims of the heinous and inhuman attacks on defenceless citizens which left many injured.

“President Buhari directs the Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (retd.), to proceed immediately to the state to undertake an on-the-spot assessment of the situation and report back.

“In addition, he directs security agencies to immediately mobilise and deploy their members to the vulnerable areas of the state, and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to face the full wrath of the law.

“The President assures the Zamfara State government, victims of the mayhem and residents in the state, that the Federal Government will continue do all it takes to support security agencies to secure lives and property, not only in the affected state but all parts of the country.

“President Buhari restates his administration’s determination to put an end to the spate of senseless spilling of innocent blood in parts of the country, and calls for restraint to allow the nation’s security apparatus to stem the undesirable trend.

“The President prays that almighty God will receive the souls of the departed, and comfort their families.” (Punch)

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Concentrate On Affairs In Your State, Ortom Tells Lalong |The Republican News

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                       Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom

John Charles, Makurdi

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has told his counterpart in Plateau State, Mr. Simon Lalong, to ‘mind his own business’ and not to interfere with the issue of Benue.

Ortom handed this warning to the representative of Lalong at the stakeholders’ meeting with the National Economic Council Technical Committee on Herdsmen/Farmers’ Crises Resolution.

The stakeholders were led by the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi.

Ortom said his deputy, Benson Abounu, informed him about the discussion between him and Lalong, where the Plateau State Governor reiterated his warning to Ortom not to go ahead with the Benue State anti-open grazing law.

Ortom said, “My deputy told me that he had a discussion with Lalong recently at a function, where he (Lalong) said that he had to apologise to me over his statement because of pressure on him, saying, he stands by his earlier statement.

“He also told the people that he introduced this woman (pointing at the woman on the high table) in this committee to me, whereas, this woman was introduced to me by Nasir el-Rufai, not him.

“Thank God he has a representative here; please tell him to stop interfering with the affairs of my state; let him mind his business in Plateau and I will mind my own business here.

Related: I’m Determined To Implement Solutions For National Security Problems – Buhari

“I am the governor here (Benue); how can he say that he warned me? Who is he to warn me? He can only advise me.”

Lalong had at the peak of the herdsmen’s attacks on Benue State told newsmen in Abuja that he warned Ortom against the new law.

The stakeholders’ meeting held at the new banquet hall of the state government house on Sunday night.

The meeting, which dragged into the early hours of Monday, had in attendance some National Assembly members, religious leaders, traditional rulers and opinion moulders.

Speaking at the meeting, the Chairman of the Benue State Traditional Council, HRM Prof. James Ayatse, questioned the credibility of the committee since some of its members had at one time or the other taken position on the Benue crisis.

According to him, the governors of Plateau and Kaduna State – Lalong and El-Rufai, respectively – had made cynical statements concerning the crisis and asked, ‘how do we get justice?’

Related: Benue Killings: Missing Policeman Found Dead, Corpse Mutilated |The Republican News

“While in pains, a Benue delegation visited President Buhari and the only consolation he could give us was to say, ‘In the name of God, accommodate your fellow countrymen.’ With this statement, how will my people get justice?”

The paramount ruler charged the committee members to be neutral and discharge their responsibility with the fear of God.

Other who spoke at the meeting included the Catholic Bishop, Makurdi Diocese, Wilfred Anagbe; a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mike Aondoaka, (SAN); and a former commissioner in the state, Mrs. Rebecca Akpedzan.

Others were the President General, Mdzough U Tiv, Chief Edward Ujege; a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Benard Hon; the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Benue State, Rev. Akpen Negua, and a second-class traditional ruler, Chief A. Abomtse.

All the speakers condemned what they termed the lacklustre attitude of the Federal Government to the crisis and insisted that there was no going back on the new law. (Punch)

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Anti-Open Grazing Law: We Were Not Consulted, Says Miyetti Allah |RN

Miyetti-Allah-Yusuf-Ardo

…Says Gov. Ortom paid N6m for fake Fulani support

From: Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Fulani socio-cultural organisation, the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has said they were never consulted or their opinions included in the Anti-Open Grazing law that became operational in Benue State since November 1st, 2017.

That, according to observers, might be the justification for the recent attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen on local communities in three local governments in Benue State, an allegations which the spokesman of the organisation, Alhaji Yusuf Ardo, denied.

But the Secretary General of the organisation, Engr. Saleh Alhassan, who appeared on Channels TV morning programme, Sunrise Daily, insisted that the Fulani were not responsible for the attacks that led to the death of over 70 people in the state.

Spokesman for the organisation, Alhaji Yusuf Ardo,  in a statement, few days ago, indicated that the killings were carried out by “irresponsible elements” and not Fulani herdsmen as being projected in the media.

According to Alhassan, “We are peace loving people and that informed our choice of court of law to seek justice and pronouncement that will halt the implementation of anti-open grazing law in the state.

“While the litigation was ongoing, we wrote and called the attention of all state and non state actors, to prevail on the governor to stop the implementation of the law, but nothing happened.”

Alhassan said it was unfortunate that some people pretending to be Fulani have misled the Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, with fake promise to secure the support of Fulani pastoralists for the anti-open grazing law which, obviously, is in total violation of their culture.

He continued,  “For instance, the governor kept mentioning Garus Gololo. He belongs to Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeder Association, which is an organization that is open to all that rare cattle and not Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore which is the socio-cultural organization of the Fulani people.

“We equally have it in good authority that the cattle breeders collected N6 million from the governor and assured him of the full support and collaboration of the Fulani people to the success of the law.”

He, however, suggested a strategic national policy that would address herdsmen related issues. “It is unfair that government at all levels tried as much they could to subsidized agriculture and they forgot that cattle rearing is part of agriculture.”

He also suggested a composition of judicial panel of inquiry that would consist of credible, apolitical and impartial members who would thoroughly investigate and unravel the people behind the “senseless” killings.   (The Sun)

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Fulani Herdsmen Have Declared War On Nigeria – Prof. Soyinka |The Republican News

Wole-Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka

The Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has said that the Fulani herdsmen have declared war against Nigeria.

In a statement on Wednesday, Soyinka warned President Muhammadu Buhari not to treat the Fulani Herdsmen’s hostility against Nigerians the way former President Goodluck Jonathan treated Boko Haram at the early stage of its insurgency.

He also wondered in the release why the Federal Government had not given consideration to some of the stakeholders’ recommendations on how to resolve the problem.

Recalling that after “a hideous massacre” perpetrated by the herdsmen in 2016, a security meeting was called and the cattle rearers “attended the meeting, according to reports, with AK47s and other weapons of mass intimidation visible under their garments.”

Soyinka said, “They were neither disarmed nor turned back. They freely admitted the killings but justified them by claims that they had lost their cattle to the host community.”
On the comments that the herdsmen killings were in defence of their stolen cows, Soyinka wondered: “How do we assess a mental state that cannot distinguish between a stolen cow – which is always recoverable – and human life, which is not.

According to Soyinka, “Such are the monstrous beginnings of the culture of impunity. We are reaping, yet again, the consequences of such tolerance of the intolerable. Yes, there indeed the government is culpable, definitely guilty of ‘looking the other way’. Indeed, it must be held complicit.”

He said, “I am not aware that IPOB came anywhere close to this homicidal propensity and will to dominance before it was declared a terrorist organization.

“The international community rightly refused to go along with such an absurdity. The conduct of that movement, even at its most extreme, could by no means be reckoned as terrorism. By contrast, how do we categorise Myeti?”

Soyinka lamented that with the herdsmen’s defiance, “Villages have been depopulated far wider than those outside their operational zones can conceive. They swoop on sleeping settlements, kill and strut. They glory in their seeming supremacy.” (Tribune)

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Fulani Herdsmen: MASSOB Warns Southern States, M’Belt To Be On Alert For Major Attacks

massob

From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha

Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), under the leadership of Mr. Uchenna Madu, has called on southern states and the Middle Belt, to be vigilant over alleged herdsmen plans to attack major cities and communities in their areas.

The group condemned the killing of Benue people by herdsmen and added that the Federal Government should take charge by arresting and prosecuting the herdsmen.

Madu, who spoke through MASSOB’s National Director of Information, Mr. Edeson Samuel, commiserated with the people of Benue

“The Idoma, Tiv, Igala and all ethnic nationalities in Benue must understand that their destiny is in their hands.

“MASSOB is also calling on other states in the Middle Belt and the southern states to be vigilant because this group has perfected plans to attack major cities in these areas.

“Until the Middle Belt understands and solidly stand for their inalienable rights of political, cultural, religious and economicalcemancipation from Hausa/Fulani domination, their future generation will experience more devastation than this present onslaught,” Madu alleged.   (The Sun)

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