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Herdsmen Murderous Activities Serious Threat To Nigeria’s Unity – PPN Chair |RN

Fulani-Herdsmen-Attack-Benue

By Ojieva Ehiosun 

Chairperson of the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), Edo State chapter, Pastor Tracy Ebun Agol, has warned Nigerians not to fall to the antics of the cabal, who are calling the shots in the country, using the Fulani herdsmen to cause trouble in the country.

Agol, who stressed that God would soon convert their craftiness into foolishness, said: “Presently, there is mopping up of firearms and also seizure of arms license across the country, this is sort of buttressing the fear that the government wants to disarm the generality of Nigerians so that when you’re attacked you cannot defend yourself. “We say no to this and we know that God will arise on behalf of Nigerians and frustrate all the plots of these people who call themselves cabal.

They’re so crafty but God will convert their craftiness to foolishness.”Agol, who was the governorship candidate of the party in 2016 governorship, said the menace of Fulani herdsmen should not be handled with kids’ gloves.

She added: “The issue of herdsmen should be taken seriously. The herdsmen we are talking about are not Nigerians. They are from neighbouring countries. “Some of them got into the country through jihad while others came into the country when a governor of one of the northern states employed their services for election purposes. Somehow, they became disgruntled and they started unleashing mayhem which spread to other parts of the country.

“Also, we should know that President Muhammadu Buhari is a life patron of the Fulani herdsmen and that’s why the issue of grazing has come up in Nigeria. They’re proposing a grazing bill and cattle colonies.  (New Telegraph)

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13 Killed In Fresh Clashes In Zamfara Community

Fulaniherdsman

AFP

About 13 people were reportedly killed in prolonged clashes between cattle thieves and local civilian militia in Zamfara State, police said on Thursday.

The militia and cattle thieves fought a gun battle, on Tuesday through Wednesday, in the remote village of Fankashi in the Maru district of the state, police spokesman Mohammed Shehu told AFP.

“Our men recovered 13 dead bodies from the criminal gang and the vigilantes from the village after the fight,” he added.

The village was attacked by the bandits, resulting in the fight with the militia, who were armed with locally made, single-shot muskets.

Police reinforcements were later sent to the area, said Shehu.

Rural communities in Zamfara have been under siege for several years from cattle rustlers and kidnapping gangs, who have raided herding communities, killing, looting and burning homes.

Villages formed self-defence forces in response but they, too, are often accused of killing suspected cattle thieves, prompting reprisal attacks.

It was not clear if the latest incident was a reprisal or a raid to steal cattle.

Last month, 27 people were killed in raids by armed bandits on Kabaro and Danmami villages in the Maru district.

The Nigerian Air Force sent special forces to Zamfara last month to help drive out the marauding gangs.

The state governor ordered troops to shoot on sight anyone seen with a gun in the area.

On Wednesday, national police chief Ibrahim Idris ordered the deployment of 200 combat policemen to Zamfara and neighbouring Kaduna state, which is suffering similar problems.

Idris was reported to have given the order during a visit to Birnin Gwari district in Kaduna state, where armed bandits killed 10 gold miners last weekend.     (AFP)

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

wolesoyinka

 

Gbenga Adeniji

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fulani Herdsmen Killings: IPOB Read Riot Act To South-East Governors, Ohanaeze |RN

south-east-govs-forum

**Demands reverse of proscription to get ready for herders

Jeff Amechi AgbodoOnitsha


Following
 incessant attacks by herdsmen in some parts of the country, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has called on South-east governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo to reverse their public proscription of the group or get ready to be held responsible for any major herdsmen attack anywhere in the South-east and other parts of the Biafra land. 

The Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful, who read this riot act in a statement issued yesterday alleged that the South-east governors and Ohanaeze were under heavy pressure from the Fulani caliphate in mid-2017, which made them conspire to leave Igbo land defenceless by their treacherous proscription of IPOB. 

His words: “Going by unfolding events and the imminent danger of attacks by Fulani terror herdsmen in the South-east and South-south, it has become imperative for concerned citizens to compel Igbo governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo to reverse their public proscription of IPOB or else they will be held responsible for any major herdsmen attack anywhere in the South-east or other parts of Biafraland.”

“We are hereby placing all Biafran ethnic nationalities on record, especially the Igbos, that the criminal conspiracy to proscribe IPOB by South-east governors in collaboration with Ohanaeze Ndigbo was hatched to aid the Fulani invasion and conquest of Igboland. Under heavy pressure from the Fulani caliphate in mid-2017, Igbo governors along with Nnia Nwodo and Ohanaeze Ndigbo executives conspired to leave Ala-Igbo defenceless by their treacherous proscription of IPOB.

“By proscribing IPOB and aiding the indiscriminate arrest, torture, murder and detention of IPOB family members at the hands of Fulani law enforcement officers, these Igbo governors working alongside Ohanaeze Ndigbo literally sacrificed Igbo land and the lives of thousands of Igbo people to the marauding herdsmen. 

“They not only opened the door for the invaders to come in, they knowingly aided the slaughter of hundreds if not thousands of innocent people in their quest to please their Fulani masters. Interestingly enough, the same Arewa leaders that prevailed upon Igbo governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo to proscribe IPOB have so far refused to proscribe their own Fulani terror herdsmen that are doing the killings in the South-east, Middle Belt and other parts of Southern Nigeria. How perverse is that?

“How is it possible that seemingly reasonable and apparently educated Igbo leaders could be persuaded by their northern counterparts to proscribe, ban and fight IPOB that are the only people capable of defeating Fulani herdsmen when the same northern leaders have repeatedly failed to offer mere verbal condemnation of the atrocities of their all-conquering herdsmen? One is forced to ask, where are the brains of these Igbo leaders.

“Definitely, these are not the type of people that will defend Igbo land in times of crisis such as now. They are too cowardly, compromised, materialistic and will not hesitate to hand over Igbo land to Fulani jihadists as long as they retain their political power, patronage and wealth. They are infinitely incapable of confronting this common threat to our existence.

“Before the murderous invasion of the home of our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in Isiama Afaraukwu on the 14th of September 2017 by Nigerian soldiers acting on the instructions of South-east governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo, it was common knowledge that the menace of Fulani terrorists was a distant memory.

“IPOB quietly and effectively checkmated their activities across the length and breadth of Biafra land. We repelled the terrorists and stopped them in their tracks in Delta and Enugu State on six separate occasions without fanfare.

“That there weren’t any Fulani terror herdsmen attacks throughout the period our leader was touring Biafra land was down to the excellent work IPOB did in our communities to keep it safe from herdsmen attacks. Since the invasion of our leader’s home and his abduction by Nigerian soldiers, followed by the hasty and illegal proscription of IPOB by Igbo governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Fulani herdsmen have been emboldened to attack outlying villages with impunity. The most distressing aspect of it is that these governors have no solution to curb the menace.

“There has been more than four reported attacks in Ebonyi State alone in recent times to which Governor Dave Umahi has appeared impotent to do anything about. Instead, he is advocating for the establishment of Fulani cattle colonies in Ebonyi State all because he wants to be a vice presidential candidate to a northerner.

“The blame for any Fulani invasion of any part of Biafra land must be laid squarely at the doorstep of South East Governors Forum and Ohanaeze Ndigbo.”  (The Sun)

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Mass Killings: Catholic Bishops Ask President Buhari To Resign |RN

Rev. Augustine-Akubueze
                     Rev. Augustine Akubeze

Alexander Okere and Justin Tyopuusu

Amidst growing concerns about the recent killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen in the country, including two Catholic priests and 15 other worshippers in Benue State, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign.

The CBCN urged President Buhari to stop presiding “over the killing fields and mass graveyard” that the country had allegedly become and choose the part of honour by considering “stepping aside to save the nation from total collapse.”

The CBCN made the call in a communique signed by its President, Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze, and Secretary, Most Rev. Camillus Umoh, and made available to The PUNCH on Thursday evening.

The bishops, in the communique, titled, “When will this barbarism end?” condemned the increasing attacks by the suspected herdsmen, whom they said had turned the country into a massive graveyard.

They also described the killing of the priests and 15 parishioners in the Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State on Tuesday as a dastardly act that was “carefully planned.”

The communique read in part, “That our two priests, Fr. Joseph Gor and Fr. Felix Tyolaha, along with their parishioners were waylaid in the course of the celebration of the Holy Mass early in the morning, suggests very clearly that their murder was carefully planned. This wicked act cannot be said to be a revenge attack (as is often claimed).

“Whom have these priests attacked? Indeed, we have just discovered that on January 3, this year, Fr. Gor tweeted, ‘We are living in fear. The Fulani are still around here in Mbalom (where they (priests) were killed). They refuse to go. They still go grazing around. No weapons to defend ourselves.’

“Their desperate cries for security and help went unheeded by those who should have heard them. They could have fled but, true to their vocation, they remained to continue to serve their God unto death.”

The communique continued, “We are sad. We are angry. We feel totally exposed and most vulnerable. Faced with these dark clouds of fear and anxiety, our people are daily being told by some to defend themselves.

“But defend themselves with what? The Federal Government, whose primary responsibility it is to protect lives, for its part alleges that those who ask the people to defend themselves are inciting them to take the laws into their own hands. But how can the Federal Government stand back while its security agencies deliberately turn a blind eye to the cries and wailings of helpless and harmless citizens who remain sitting ducks in their homes, farms, highway and now, even in sacred places of worship?”

The Catholic bishops lamented that in spite of several calls on the President in the last two years to reconfigure his security apparatus and strategy, “which the President has deliberately placed in the hands of the adherents of only one religion,” and the lack of confidence expressed by the CBCN in the security agencies, the bloodletting and destruction of homes and farmlands had increased “with intensity and brutality.”

They also noted that the rate of insecurity in Nigeria had become an embarrassment in the international community, as the Catholic body found it difficult to continue to give excuses about the continuous killings in the country, where “a nation’s landscape is littered with the bodies of its own citizens.

“We are sad and fear that the clock is ticking. The bomb must be defused quickly before it explodes,” the statement added.

It continued, “Since the President, who appointed the heads of the nation ’s security agencies has refused to caution them even in the face of the chaos and barbarity into which our country has been plunged, we are left with no choice but to conclude that they are acting a script that he approves of. If the President cannot keep our country safe, then he automatically loses the trust of the citizens.

“He should no longer continue to preside over the killing fields and mass graveyard that our country has become. Repeated calls from us and many other Nigerians on the President to take very drastic and urgent steps to reverse this ugly tragedy that threatens the foundation of our collective existence and unity as a nation have fallen on deaf ears.

“It is clear to the nation that he has failed in his primary duty of protecting the lives of the Nigerian citizens. Whether this failure is due to inability to perform or lack of political will, it is time for him to choose the part of honour and consider stepping aside to save the nation from total collapse.”

The bishops further advised Nigerians to be courageous and stand for their fundamental rights to life and security, even as it faulted the recent mop-up exercise by the Nigeria Police, “since those we pay to protect us have failed to do their duty.”

The statement added, “Government should encourage and empower citizens to secure themselves and their environments. This is not the time to disarm people with legally procured weapons of self-defence.

“These are not normal times since those we pay to protect us have failed to do their duty. Nigeria can return to normal times if we put our heads together with sincerity.” (Punch)

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Benue Mass Killings: Killer Fulani Herdsmen Are Sponsored, Says Military

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                          FILE PHOTO

Olusola Fabiyi, Olaleye Aluko  and John Charles

The Defence Headquarters, Abuja, said on Thursday that the fresh rounds of killings in Benue State were being sponsored.

It added that the military would, however, soon apprehend both the killer herdsmen and their sponsors.

The Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. John Agim, stated this in an interview with one of our correspondents on Thursday, insisting that the military would not support any side in the violence that had been going on in Benue State.

Recalled that herdsmen, who blocked Gbeji-Anyinn Road in the Logo Local Government Area of Benue State, killed a soldier and a passerby on Monday.

On Tuesday, suspected herdsmen invaded a church in Mbalon in Gwer-East Local Area of the state and killed two Catholic priests and 17 other worshippers.

On Wednesday, there was a report that 22 people were killed when herdsmen attacked Daudu, in the Guma area of the state.

Also, on Thursday, herdsmen invaded Africa Church in Mbamondo clan of Ukemberagya Gaambe-Tiev, in the Logo Local Government Area, and killed seven internally displaced persons.

Since the killings had become a daily affair, The PUNCH asked the Defence spokesman if troops in Benue State were overwhelmed and whether the military would deploy additional troops in the state.

Agim said, “The military is strategising on how to go after the herdsmen and their sponsors. We will get both the herdsmen and their sponsors.

“We want to say this to the killers and their sponsors that the military is coming for them. We are going to get both the killers and their sponsors very soon.

“The military is continuing with all its operations in the areas. Nigerians will soon see a change of approach in our operations.”

The Defence’s spokesman said the military had been recovering guns and other weapons from herdsmen and locals in several areas of Benue and Taraba states, adding that the military would not take sides.

Agim said, “Some of the weapons we recovered were seized from the herdsmen. Others are not from the herdsmen. The Dane guns we seized were not from the herdsmen. The military cannot go into an environment to support any side.

“We seized weapons from everyone who had weapons. Some of the weapons were also obtained during engagements with these criminals.

The PUNCH gathered that the IDPs, who were killed on Thursday morning, took refuge in the African Church in Mbamondo clan of Ukemberagya Gaambe-Tiev.

One of our correspondents gathered that some herdsmen invaded the area and attacked those who slept inside the church.

Seven people were reportedly killed, while several others were injured in the attack.

A community leader and a former Special Assistant to a former governor of the state, Joseph Anawah, said, “The terrorists arrived at the area about 12.22am and started shooting continuously at refugees, who were sleeping in the church and primary school buildings.

“By the time they left, many buildings had been  burnt down while scores sustained gunshot and machete injuries.”

“The marauders after they killed the people, proceeded to Zaki Biam-Wukari Road, mounted roadblocks and began to collect motorcycles and other valuables from travellers,” Anawah said.

The Chairman of the Logo Local Government Area, Richard Nyajor, confirmed the attack by the herdsmen on the Mbamondo clan.

He said, “The casualties may be high, but we have recovered about seven corpses so far and we are searching for more. These killers have taken over our areas and now we are now living at the mercy of God.

“The Federal Government should intensify efforts and bring these mindless killings to an end.”

Efforts to get the Benue State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, on the telephone, proved abortive as the calls rang out.

Secondus faults President’s Bauchi visit

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Uche Secondus, on Thursday, condemned President Muhammadu Buhari for not visiting Benue State to commiserate with the people and the Catholic Church that lost two priests and 17 other worshippers to an attack by herdsmen.

He described the President’s decision to embark on a two-day visit to Bauchi State instead as the height of insensitivity.

Secondus said while the nation and the Christian community globally mourned the death of the two priests, the President decided to jump into an aircraft to Bauchi State on a two-day visit without going to the venue of the murder in Benue State to see things for himself as the Commander-in-Chief.

Secondus said the action portrayed the Presidents as lacking emotion.

The PDP boss said in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Mr Ike Abonyi, on Thursday that the President’s action was a  clear show of arrogance, wondering why the needless bloodletting in Benue State should not attract any feeling from him.

He said, “There is no time the people need a show of empathy and concern more than when they are in mourning mood as is the case with the people of Benue State.

“It is this show of insensitivity by the President that, perhaps, influenced the behaviour of military operatives and other security agencies, who have not made any appreciable impact to stem the ugly situation in Benue State. They may have been interpreting the President’s indifference as lack of interest in the callous bloodletting in the state.

“This lack of concern perhaps explains why there has been no arrest and prosecution of these hoodlums since January 2018, when the latest onslaught on the people of Benue began.”

Secondus reminded the President that as a leader, he should see himself as the father of all by giving equal treatment to all matters affecting the people irrespective of their ethnic, religious and political inclinations.

The PDP leader urged the President to eschew nepotism. (Punch)

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I Might’ve Been Part Of Herders, Farmers Crisis If I Didn’t Go To School – Buhari

Muhammadu-Buhari4
                       President Muhammadu Buhari

Armstrong Bakam, Bauchi

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he may have been one of those involved in the herdsmen/farmers’ clashes had he not gone to school.

He stated this in a speech he delivered during his two-day state visit to Bauchi State on Thursday at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, where he inaugurated the 261 Nigerian Air Force Referral Hospital, some roads and five tractors and some farm implements.

Buhari, while addressing the thousands of Bauchi residents in Hausa who thronged the stadium to welcome him on his first visit to the state since 2015, encouraged them to allow their children to go to school.

He said, “Make every effort to put your children in school, plead with them to be patient and read hard. In this generation, you cannot make it except you are educated.

“Now, look at the farmers/herdsmen’s clashes in the northern part of this country. I have been telling people that if I had not gone to school, I would not have gone into the military and where I come from since my cows are finished; maybe, I would have been involved in this fight.

“But because I went to school, I got a job to do and because of that, desertification is everywhere, there is no bush we will go to and cut down trees and destroy farms and the rainy season is not promising. Because of that, education is the guarantee.

“You should strive hard and be educated, get the education that will benefit you and the society, it is not compulsory that government will give you what to do.”

The President restated his resolve to seek re-election in the 2019 general elections, declaring that he would emerge victoriously.

He said he would ensure that corrupt government officials and looters were brought to book and the looted funds returned to the country’s treasury.

In his remarks, the Bauchi State Governor,  Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, said the main objective of distributing the tractors to farmers was to boost rice and maize production in the state.

He said Nigerians hitherto went outside the country to buy rice, but with these farm implements, farmers in the state would no longer suffer any setback

Abubakar said that all the farm implements which included, ox plough, power tillers, tractors, grinding machines, water pump machines, mini pick-up vans, fertilizer, plastic fish pond motorcycles and tricycles would be sold to farmers at subsidised rates. (Punch)

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