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MUST READ: How Boko Haram Was Formed, Transformed Into Deadly Group, By Ahmed Salkida

As the only journalist who dispatched the first ever report on late Muhammad Yusuf’s activities in Maiduguri, on the 23rd of July 2006, at a time when the sect was relatively unknown to many Nigerians, I should be able to give an insight into the Boko Haram saga.

I have closely followed the activities of the Boko Haram sect. In fact, I was invited by the late Yusuf at that period to establish and head an Al-mizzan styled newspaper for him. However, in the course of our deliberations, I tabled the following issues that set us apart: I wanted to be partner in the project, I wanted editorial freedom to edit out anything I may find to incite the public in the publication and I wanted to introduce a regular column that totally disagrees with his ideology.

I think, my conditions, at a time when I hadn’t any gainful employment, shocked the prospective investor who thought any budding journalist would rush at the opportunity to become an editor-in-chief especially of a promising paper, on account of the large followership and the group’s loyalty to their Imam.

However, my relationship with late Mohammed Yusuf continued as he visited me when I lost my 8 months old son that died of malaria. Perhaps, he saw me partially as one of his students and partially as a dissenter due to my independent disposition. But, to be fair to him, I admire his depth of knowledge, oratorical prowess and apparent willingness to emulate Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

In early 2002, Yusuf was seen by many as a likely heir to the renowned late Sheik Ja’afar Mahmud Adam in Maiduguri on account of his brilliance and closeness to the late renowned scholar. But all that changed shortly when one late Mohammed Alli approached late Yusuf with reasons to boycott democracy, civil service and western oriented schools. Late Yusuf then disengaged his service with the Yobe state government.

Then, in a 2006 press release signed by the sect’s Shura (Consultative) Council, they stated that, Islam permits them to subsist under a modern government like Nigeria but has explicitly prohibited them from joining or supporting such governments in so far as their systems, structures and institutions contain elements contradictory to core Islamic principles and beliefs.

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau and his mother

However, the late Alli argued that the sect must embark on Hijra (migration), but late Yusuf declined and Alli proceeded to Kanamma in Yobe with his faction, and one thing led to another, the group launched an insurgent attack on the Police that resulted in the loss of many lives and property in Kanamma and later in Gwoza in Borno state. Although the insurgents, a renegade group that called itself “Taliban,” led by Alli, fiercely disagreed with late Yusuf and many of the escapees later returned to Yusuf.

Unlike Alli, Yusuf went on undeterred, though he was prevented from preaching in several mosques and was denied TV/Radio appearances in the state. But he setup a preaching outlet in the front of his house at the railway quarters and at Angwan Doki, millionaires’ quarters among others. The demand for his tapes increased by the day all over the north and the proceeds there from increased tremendously. He, then asked his landlord and in-law, late Baba Fugu Mohammed to allow him to build a mosque whom he named Ibn Taimiyya Masjid.

It was in Ibn Taimiyya Masjid that late Yusuf together with his hard-line top lieutenant Abubakar Shekau alias `Darul Tauhid,’ began to build an imaginary state within a state. Together they setup Laginas (departments), they had a cabinet, the Shura, the Hisbah, the brigade of guards, a military wing, a large farm, an effective micro finance scheme, and late Yusuf played the role of a judge in settling disputes, each State had an Amir (leader) including amirs in Chad and Niger that gave accounts of their stewardship to Yusuf directly.

The sect, led by Yusuf took advantage of the poor quality of our educational system, the incessant strikes, cult activities, widespread malpractices and prostitutions that is made worse with no offer of jobs after graduation to wheedle many youth to abandon school and embrace Yusuf’s new and emerging state that promises to offer them a better alternative.

Late Yusuf also took advantage of the irresponsible leadership at all levels of governmentas unemployment, poverty, corruption and insecurity become the order of the day. And, as he points out such failures, citing verses of the Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet, the youth see him as the leader that will indeed deliver them from malevolence to the promised land.

In my write-up of February 28, 2009 in the Sunday Trust I wrote about the sect, where I alerted the general public about the sect’s total disregard for civil obedience. The report in question warned that to disregard the simmering cauldron “smells like rebellion…and it will be irresponsible of any authority to wait for the occurrence of violence before it acts in the face of impending threat to law and order,” in subsequent reports and during my interactions with senior security agents, I did not only predict the crisis but hinted on the strategy of the sect. But, typical of investigative journalism, instead of these revelations to catch the attention of the relevant agencies, their attention was shifted on how to frame me. Apparently, the plan was never to prevent a crisis but to allow it to occur.

However, in fairness to the government of Borno state that is living witnesses to the unruly behaviour of the sect and its extreme dislike for government institutions, the state government like other governments in northern Nigeria saw the need to halt this nuisance in their states; they were alarmed that the sect that started with a handful of people is hitting the 7-digit mark and one day (if not very soon) the likelihood that the sect may determine the politics of the land cannot be dismissed.

According to Isa Yuguda, the Governor of Bauch state in a recent interview with a weekly newspaper, “When the Boko Haram issue came, I sat down and scientifically organised a Commando raid on their stronghold. We identified them over a period of time and made sure the Ulamas came and preached against them for two weeks and they in return issued fatwa against the Imams that are preaching against them. We had to attach policemen to the Imams because the Boko Haram people threatened to slaughter them. We planned for them.

“We cordoned off their area around 3a.m. in the morning and phoned my neighbours in Borno and Yobe states about the operation I was going to carry out because their leader was there at that time. After exchanging gunshots for some time, we smoked them out of their houses. They were fully armed with grenades, machine guns and rocket launchers,” said Yuguda.

Having kept track of political activities in the state, I knew very well that Ali Sheriff, unlike Yuguda, could not afford to strike first, Borno could take anything from him but not an attack on Muslims. However, the government in Borno setup a joint security patrol nicknamed, `operation flush’ in order to serve as a constant check on the sect.

As the crisis started in Maiduguri, reporters did the obvious; live and tell the story' and they stayed mostly in the Government House (GH) and most of them contacted me directly or indirectly to get briefed because I chose to do theunexpected’, which is to `risk my life to tell the story.’ Indeed, I took undue risk which exposed me to the unimaginable that would form the subject of a book I am now writing.

On Tuesday 29th July 2009 when I made a stop at the Borno state Government House, a staff of the GH, one Yusuf dragged me into the office of the Chief Security Officer to the Governor, insisting that the governor’s aide wanted to see my face for the first time. The aide wanted to know from me why I did not shave my beards and lower my trousers below the ankle to avoid the wrath (Alas! bullets) of the security agents.

I, then, told him that it is wrong for security agents to brand innocent people that wear beards as Boko Haram and even killed them based on that. In fact, to keep beards, to wear turbans and nisfusaak (trousers above the ankle) are part of the prophet’s Sirah, which is recommended to every Muslim over 1400 years ago, and it is seen as a deeply spiritual task by many Muslims all over the world.

He, also, asked me whether or not I was abducted by the sect members for a while and released. I put the record straight that, I only ran into a mob and thereafter I was left off the hook when they were convinced that the brown apron I was wearing carried an inscription of Daily Trust had nothing to show that I was a government official.

Sadly for me, the CSO did not like my guts and the fact that I reported the two sides that clearly exposed the Achilles’ heel of his boss, he ordered for my arrest, calling my crime `counter intelligence.’ At the GH I was assaulted by the mobile police (at the quarter guard post). There, a Police Constable Sani Abubakar, held my beards and pulled me to the ground, he kicked my legs to forcefully remove my loafers.

I was made to lie down with my face down instantly I urinated in my pants when two mobile police men contemplated who was going to pull the trigger, whether that was a joke or an attempt to scare me. Thank God I am alive as yet, maybe the powers that be are aware of the event that would follow the execution of a media man within the GH or as the government claimed, I was held in protective custody for my safety.

I was then driven to the police headquarters in the state where I was kept in a cell with 58 others. After spending 30 hours in the cell and about 48 hours without food or water (because, I couldn’t break the fast I was observing upon my arrest), I was then allowed to wash up the urine that had dried up on my pants and relieved myself of the running stomach that became the audible music in our cell as everyone witnessed how cell mates were being called out and executed, everyone was waiting for his turn.

Surprisingly, none of my colleagues investigated and reported the assault meted against me, even when some of them searched for me in the crowded cell as I sat without shoes on the floor. Instead, speculations were rife amongst them that indeed I was a Boko Haram member, on account of the following baseless talk: That I wear beards and trousers above my ankle and yet I came from a Christian background and this to many of them makes me an extremist.

That I was doing fairly well as a journalist in the last ten years with a mere primary school certificate and that makes me a Boko Haram too. That, my fair complexioned spouse was a Shuwa Arab and given out to me in marriage by late Yusuf and finally, they said late Yusuf had contacted some members of the media on two occasions through me in the past.

Now that I no longer carry my youthful goatee and halfway trousers to avoid being branded a terrorist meets your requirements however I want to state here that I am proud of my Christian background as a Muslim because it has afforded me a unique sense of tolerance and impartial view for the need for dialogue that many born Christians and Muslims lack, leading to the kind of mistrusts we see today.

My wife is a very proud Tarok, from Langtang LGA in Plateau state, I met and married her in Abuja in 2002 and never saw Yusuf in her life. Yes, I was perhaps the only journalist known to late Yusuf on account of what I mentioned earlier on. But, when has it become illegal to know a public figure who later became a criminal?

The late founder of the Islamic sect that transformed into Boko haram, Mohaammad Yusuf and the current leader of the deadly terror group, Abubakar Shekau

I started a career in journalism as a staff reporter with Insider Weekly Magazine, from 2001 to 2002. Thereafter, I had a stint with Crystal Magazine as a Special Projects Editor and later a founding staff with New Sentinel and freelanced for several mediums. Currently, I work as a reporter with the Media Trust Limited. I do not posses any formal educational qualification beyond primary school; however I was self educated through years of extensive reading of books.

As a primary school pupil in the early 80’s, when late Yusuf was a little kid himself, I would choose to climb a tree and read a story book while my mates were in school. Somehow I managed to complete my primary school but my disdain to learn under the four square walls of a classroom continued during my Secondary School and my father decided to discontinue funding my education. Although, I was visible in the University of Maiduguri, not as a student but sadly, as a commercial final year project writer to nearly a hundred undergraduates and a handful of master’s degree thesis as well, anyway this is a story for another day.

Although there was a extraordinary effort by the correspondents chapel and the Nigerian Union of Journalist in the area to secure my release but as my wife who is yet to recover from the trauma of that crisis argued, the NUJ should have demanded for my release and out rightly condemn my arrest but instead, they pleaded and pleaded until I was released; this is an admittance that indeed one of their own is guilty as alleged and as my wife always said, this allegation will hang over my head for the rest of my life.

Recently, when Al-jazeera showed video footage of extra-judicial killings the world became aware of some of our experiences in Maiduguri, and typical of Nigerians, we heard calls for probe. The most disturbing call for probe is the one by the very government that ordered the summary executions in the first place. Can a military or police officer go to town and harvest corpses without an order from above? If this is possible, then it should not be a probe of extra-judicial killings instead, government should probe insubordination and total breakdown of law and order amongst security agents leading to numerous deaths. And, let us not forget, what happened to the previous probes setup by the federal government? I have a disturbing video that confirmed what security agents told me during my arrest. “No prison for Boko Haram members, we want them all death.” Is it the governor of Borno state that gave such an order or Mr President that has absolute control over the police and military under the constitution? Oh, ours is a country where the constitution is always disregarded.

Why did they execute Yusuf together with Baba Fugu Mohammed and Bugi Foi before any trial? Was it to cover the dirty tracks of under cover agents that worked for years with late Yusuf, leaving the impression that these two (that are the richest people close to late Yusuf) funded the uprising? Why are the sophisticated guns of Boko Haram that was used to keep Nigeria’s defence forces away from their enclave for three days not displayed to the public along side corpses? What we saw was mostly bow and arrows.

Where is Abubakar Shekau? The police said he died from injuries he sustained during the crisis. Can we believe them after all? They said late Yusuf died in a shootout when in fact over 50 mobile police men shot him behind my detention room, at the armoury right inside the police headquarters. In my opinion, Abubakar Shekau, the second in command of late Yusuf may be alive.

The founder of the group that transformed into Boko Haram, Yusuf Mohammad

Over the years, the failure of security agents to prevent crisis that often times leads to loss of lives and property worth billions of naira goes unpunished. We never hear any apology or resignation from political leaders or heads of security agents. The only punishment is, erring commissioners of Police are transferred to an obscure department of special duties at the Force Headquarters’ in Abuja, as was the case with the commissioners during Boko Haram and the recent Jos crisis.

Were it not for a country like Nigeria, where government have failed to provide basic life support for its citizens, late Yusuf may have never thrived. A functional environment with opportunities for all, equal justice for all, fairness to all and governed by leaders that are responsible for their people, the rude and retrogressive teachings of late Yusuf would have not received the attention of about a million followers all over the north. Indeed, late Yusuf’s teaching was an abuse to Algebra, reproductive health and the science of astronomy that has its roots in Islam, if indeed it is true that he said boko is haram.

From my interaction with him, he never said boko is haram plainly; in fact the name Boko Haram came to being during the crisis. What he always said was, as long as anything that contradicts the teachings of Islam (in his own view) exists in the educational system then it is haram to go to that school unless such things ceased to exist. As members of the sect realised, they cannot ensure such change, especially in a secular state like ours; they withdrew from schools completely. But I am aware that late Yusuf had plans to set up a school, a hospital and a market in the future to complement the sect’s micro finance scheme and other Laginas.

Unfortunately, late Yusuf’s teachings that caused crisis and death of hundreds of our gallant security agents and made it inhuman for people like Yusuf to survive, contradicts not only Islam which he claims to be preaching to his followers but his very existence. I saw when members of the sect slaughtered a police sergeant, L. Adamu. He pleaded with them that he was never against them and said he was a fellow Muslim but yet they slaughtered him like a goat. Was this the reason why the police and military summarily executed the suspected sect members in the same manner the sect did to their colleagues?

Suffice it to say here that government should investigate why the sect took up arms against it. What were the issues that led to the armed struggle? And what are the chances of recurrence of violence. Government must as a matter of urgency police our porous border because Shekau may be living close by. Government through religious and traditional leaders must dialogue with the displaced family members of Boko Haram and ensure that their children all go back to school.

Government must begin to locate them and assure them of a fair trial at home in order not for them to easily fall as fodders to any al-Qaeda advances. Religious institutions like the one headed by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III should be empowered to independent and be able to effectively regulate and censor religious activities in the country.

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2019 Election: US Impose Visa Restrictions On Nigerians Responsible For Undermining Democratic Process

•El-Rufai, Amaechi, Burata, MC Oluomo may be affected

•Says Nigerians not targeted

Senator Iroegbu

The United States Department of State has imposed visa restrictions on Nigerians responsible for undermining the democratic processes in the country, especially before, during and after the 2019 general elections.

Some of those suspected to have been affected by the new travel ban include the Governor of Kaduna State, who threatened to send foreigners or foreign observers “back in body bags”, and the former Minister of Transport, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi who was widely reported to have been denied Visa recently by the US Embassy in Nigeria as well as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai over the role of the Army during the elections, especially in Rivers State.

Sources also told Global Sentinel that the new rule affected many individuals who served in the government and some elected officials too.

“The visa restrictions may affect people like Amaechi, Akpabio, Buratai, El Rufai, Ganduje, Oluomo, likely but it says not directed at Nigerian people or new government,” the source clarified.

This was contained in a statement on Tuesday, signed by the Department of State Spokesperson, Ms. Morgan Ortagus, condemning those whose acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption harmed Nigerians or undermined the democratic process.

Ortagus who also announced this in her Twitter account, reminded that in January 24, 2019, the US government had warned that it would “consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organizing election-related violence”.

To that end, she said, the Secretary of State is imposing visa restrictions on Nigerians believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria.

According to her, “these individuals have operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights”.

The Department of State Spokesperson, however stressed that the actions announced on Tuesday were “specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people or the newly elected government.

“This decision reflects the Department of State’s commitment to working with the Nigerian government to realize its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability, and respect for human rights.”

Read full statement

Imposing Visa Restrictions on Nigerians Responsible for Undermining the Democratic Process

PRESS STATEMENT

MORGAN ORTAGUS, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON

The United States is a steadfast supporter of Nigerian democracy. We commend all those Nigerians who participated peacefully in the February and March 2019 elections and have worked to strengthen Nigerian democratic institutions and processes. As Nigeria marks the twentieth anniversary of a return to democratic rule this year, we remain committed to working together to continue to advance democracy and respect for human rights and achieve greater peace and prosperity for both our nations. We condemn those whose acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption harmed Nigerians or undermined the democratic process.

In a January 24 statement, the U.S. government said that we would consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organizing election-related violence. To that end, the Secretary of State is imposing visa restrictions on Nigerians believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria. These individuals have operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights.

The Department of State emphasizes that the actions announced today are specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people or the newly elected government. This decision reflects the Department of State’s commitment to working with the Nigerian government to realize its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability, and respect for human rights.

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BREAKING: Nnamdi Kanu Responds To Asari Dokubo, Clears The Air Over Allegations |The Republican News

This is one of the most matured responses from any leader of a group seeking for freedom to his fellow citizen in a struggle.

Recently, there has been a lot brouhaha on the social media about videos and words emanating from the ex-Niger Delta Militant leader, Alhaji Asari Dokubo.

In this direct response, IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu addresses Asari Dokubo, citing that leaving some if his allegations are allowed to linger may go haywire.

Below is the response from him:

Fellow Biafrans!

Greetings to you all!!

My appreciation to all those who are still in the struggle to restore the lost sovereignty of the Biafran people as a result of British imperial ambition of which Nigeria is one of her disastrous creations.

Let me start by asking everyone to observe a minute silence for all those who died to protect and restore the sovereignty of the Biafran people from the British & Fulani colonial ambition.

Although silence is golden but there are times it is necessary to talk before things go haywire.

Of recent, our dear compatriot Alhaji Asari Dokunbo whom we know had made his own contributions to the restoration of the sovereignty of the Biafran people had raised issues worth addressing and in order to avoid an unnecessary distraction and to keep the struggle focused on the goals we set out to accomplish, I thought it wise to address the issues raised .

The issues raised by our dear compatriot are

1) I ordered the murder of a cleric.

2) I collected money from Atiku.

3) Master – Slave relationship between diverse Biafran ethnic groups.

4) That I am a scam and fraud in the Biafran struggle.

I will take my time to address each point one after the other and later, indulge our dear comrade to reveal to fellow Biafrans what he thinks should be done differently in order to achieve Biafra’s restoration.

1) I never ordered the killing of any cleric and if anyone thinks I did, he or she should provide evidence that, I wasted Biafran resources to kill a fellow Biafran whose death can not help IPOB to restore Biafra.

2) I never collected money from Atiku and if anyone is in doubt, let him or her approach Atiku for answers. Both PDP and APC agents approached me and told me to give up the struggle for Biafra and I told them that, IPOB will only do so if the following things will be fulfilled:

a) Full Resource Control and not mere 13% derivation.

b) Opening of at least 2 deep seaports in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States starting with the construction of Ibaka, Ibeno and Bakassi deep seaports.

c) The establishment of international airports and inland ports in all states of the defunct Eastern and Mid West regions in order to emancipate Biafra land from economic strangulation.

d) Full implementation of PIB (Petroleum Industry Bill).

e) Full autonomy to all Biafran states in the areas of security, taxes, royalties, legislations etc

f) Lots more.

We lifted the boycott of election because, both parties agreed to our terms & conditions.

If we are wrong to give the Nigerian elites the opportunity to fail themselves, let the Biafrans voice out.

3) It is very disheartening that such a great compatriot like Alhaji Asari Dokunbo will descend so low to call one of the Ethnic groups of Biafra land slaves and another masters.

Throughout the history of the Biafran people, never was it recorded that any ethnic group invaded others and enslaved them.

The Igbos being the largest of them, were neither subjugated nor subjugated other people.

Yes it is true that, lots of Igbos were sold as slaves but it was done by fellow Igbos notably the Arochukwu slave traders through the coastal nations who acted as middle men of which Ijaws were one of them.

Alhaji Asari Dokunbo can enlighten the Igbos which Ijaw King or War Canoe Chief left the creeks in order to conquer and enslave the Igbos in the hinterlands of Biafra land.

The Biafra we seek to restore is still the same that encouraged the peaceful coexistence of all ethnic nations which led to the creations of multi-ethnic-cultural communities notably Arochukwu, Abiriba, Igbanke,etc.

If Alhaji Asari Dokunbo wants a Biafra of Master – Slave relationship, then he is free to create one but we won’t be partners in such a project.

The Biafra we seek, is one based on equal rights & privileges and not on Master – Slave relationships.

4) Alhaji Asari Dokunbo, you said I am a scam and fraud. I will be grateful if you can provide evidence of me diverting the contributions of fellow Biafrans for my personal use.

Remember that, only a stupid fraudster will dare confront Jubril.

May Elohim be the judge if I am a fraudster and should expose & replace me if I am guilty in His sight.

Alhaji Asari Dokunbo, we have come so far and we should not allow our oppressors to continue to divide and conquer our oppressed people.

If You Think My Style Of Struggle & Leadership Will Not Get Us Biafra, Kindly Tell Fellow Biafrans The Way Forward So That, They Can Join Your Rank and File With My Full Support & Blessings.

Mazi Nnamdi Kanu

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$1bn Security Fund: Reasons We Are Angry With Buhari – Saraki |RN

By Onwuka Nzeshi and Chukwu David

 

**Says parliament was not consulted on proposed spending

 

President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki yesterday, blamed lack of consultation with the legislature for the controversy trailing the $1billion the Federal Government recently approved for the purchase of equipment to combat insecurity in the country.

Saraki, who disclosed this at the 2018 retreat of the Senate Press Corps held in Jos, Plateau State, said many Senators were angry not because they do not support the counter-terrorism war but for the fact that the National Assembly was not consulted on the issue.

President Muhammadu Buhari last week, approved the expenditure after a crucial meeting he had with the Minister of Defence, Col. Mansur Dan Ali (rtd) and the service chiefs during which they reviewed the security situation in the North East as well as rising wave of insecurity in other parts of Nigeria.

In the wake of that announcement, a number of lawmakers from both chambers of the National Assembly expressed outrage at the attempt to expend such a huge amount of money without consultation and prior approval of the parliament.

The Senate President, whose remarks centred on “Strengthening Executive/Legislature Relations,” said that though the presidential system of government is built on the principle of separation of powers and occasional envisaged conflicts, it also reserved a room for consultation among the three arms of government.

He acknowledged the resurgence of violent attacks on communities and abduction of Nigerians by Boko Haram terrorists and other armed groups and admitted that there was the need to equip the security forces to enhance their capacity to do their jobs. He, however, added that such a remedial action involving expending public fund cannot be undertaken by the executive alone but in consultation with the parliament.

He warned that the security architecture of the country cannot perform optimally unless there were a strong synergy and cooperation between the executive and legislature, stressing that anything outside this cooperation would be counter-productive.

Saraki argued that the relationship between the two arms of government goes beyond party affiliations as the mere fact that the party in power is the same as the party with majority seats in the National Assembly was not a guarantee that the executive will not take the parliament into confidence in taking crucial decisions and ensure mutual respect.

“Even during the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, when PDP was in charge of both the executive and legislature, there were some frictions.

It means it is not about the party. It is not about any individual. It is about the system. “In a situation where a particular arm of government stands up and calls people from another arm of government thieves, looters and other names, how can we work together?
How? It is not possible. It is not realistic. If we collaborate, the country will be better for it,” he said.   (New Telegraph)

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Soldiers Kill Vigilante, Release Arrested Herdsmen In Edo |The Republican News

OBASEKI-SOLDIERS

Alexander Okere,  Benin

Tragedy struck in Obadolovbiyeyi community in the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State when a vigilante, Efe Igbnovia, was shot dead by some soldiers.

It was gathered that a local vigilance group had in the early hours of Wednesday arrested some suspected herdsmen for alleged armed robbery on the Benin-Abraka Expressway.

Igbinovia was said to have been asked to watch over the suspects while his colleagues conducted a search for the fleeing members of the gang.

It was learnt that a group of soldiers stormed the area and fired continuously.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the military men, who were said to have arrived in the community in a Honda with the number plate, AP 641 KTN, shot Igbinovia dead and freed the suspects.

Some angry youths reportedly blocked the path of a commercial bus conveying two of the herdsmen earlier arrested to the Benin Central Hospital for medical treatment before the intervention of personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

One of the youths, Henry Osemwengie, said the vigilance group had earlier arrested six herdsmen for robbery and taken them to the Ogbekun Police Station.

Osemwengie said, “Two other herdsmen, suspected to be members of the gang, were later caught. Igbinovia was asked to stay with them. Before then, the police had been called to come to pick them (herdsmen) because that is what we usually do. Suddenly, a red Honda car with about four men in military uniforms and armed with AK-47 rifles came and started shooting.

“Igbinovia shouted that he had been hit. By the time the other vigilantes returned, he was already down. The soldiers killed him and went away with the two robbers. Robbers, most of whom are Hausas, usually operate there. They keep their cows by the roadside, block the road and start robbing.”

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, confirmed the incident.

Kokumo said, “The herdsmen were alleged to have blocked the expressway. Two of them (suspects) are with the police undergoing interrogation.”

On the alleged killing of the vigilante by the military men, Kokumo said, “It is an allegation we are investigating. Actually, one of the vigilance members died in the course of duty.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the 4 Brigade Command of the Nigerian Army, Capt. Mohammed Maidawa, said Igbinovia was shot after he was mistaken for a robber by military troops deployed in the area.

Maidawa said, “Troops deployed in Ologbo for pipeline protection received information of a suspected armed robbery close to their location. They were mobilised to the scene and engaged armed men at the scene.

“Unfortunately, one person, who was later identified as a vigilante, was killed. Preliminary investigation revealed that the vigilance group also responded to a distress call on the robbery. It was a case of mistaken identity. We are going to get in touch with the bereaved family.”

He said he was not aware that the herdsmen were robbers.  (Punch)

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Biafra: Buhari Government Using Police, DSS To Persecute Christians – IPOB |RN

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), on Wednesday alleged that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is persecuting people of the South East.

IPOB made the allegation in reaction to the arrest of its members from the Shalom Synagogue Church of Israel in Aba, Abia State.

The statement reads, “It is on record that IPOB activities are firmly anchored on the finest Judeo-Christian traditions, which has made Biafrans and IPOB in particular the target of these state sponsored indiscriminate and arbitrary arrests of innocent civilians by agents of Nigerian government in pursuit of an Islamist agenda. There has been repeated raids of synagogues and places of worship in Aba and Igweocha (Port Harcourt) respectively.

The pro-Biafra group stated that it was unfortunate that the Nigerian government through the instrumentality of the police and the Department of State Services, DSS, have reduced themselves to playing the role of religious police.
“Security operatives whose constitutional role is to protect the lives and property of citizens, have now turned to instruments of oppression against innocent civilian populations.

In a statement by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, the group stressed that the police and DSS have effectively constituted themselves into instruments with which enemies of Israel in the Nigerian government are now using to suppress those practicing Judaism.
“Arresting members of Shalom Christian Church because they are connected to the Jews in Israel is religious discrimination of the worst kind. Every religion has a root and in as much as nobody can deny that Saudi Arabia is the root of Islam, nobody can deny that Israel is the foundation of both Judaism and later Christianity.

Discrimination based of religious affiliation to Israel is misplaced and a crime against the very principles of freedom of worship and association.

“Since President Trump announced US recognition of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel, the wave of arbitrary arrests and persecution of Biafrans that practice Judaism in Aba and Igweocha (Port Harcourt) have dramatically increased.

“We want to bring it to the notice of the entire world what IPOB in particular and Biafrans are suffering in general at the hands of this Buhari administration. The world must therefore prevail upon Nigeria to desist from this blatant religious persecution and release those in their custody.

“Nigerian Government, by towing this path, is setting a very ugly and dangerous precedent. Those arrested for their faith must be released immediately including all those illegally detained for expressing their legitimately held views that they are better off in Biafra than Nigeria.
“Members of the Shalom Synagogue of Israel in Aba did not commit any crime known to law. They are a spiritual congregation merely being persecuted for their spiritual connection to the holy land of Israel.

“It is the responsibility of the government and people of Israel as custodians of the Judaic faith to rise to this challenge the same way Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries defend Muslim faithful all over the world”.  (Daily Biafra)

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Where Is Nnamdi Kanu, The Leader Of The Indigenous People Of Biafra? |RN

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I have taken much of my ample time to recall on what happened at elder Kanu’s residence leading to the total disappearance of the royal monarch and his wife coupled with their immediate son who also doubles as the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, a legitimate body representing and fighting for all oppressed persons living within the area and territory known as Biafra.

The missing IPOB leader is a man of honor and probity that all hands should and must be on deck to demand for his whereabout from the Nigerian army that invaded his father’s house at Afra-Ukwu Ibeku in Umuahia the state capital of Abia State; Nnamdi Kanu before his forceful disappearance caused by the savages in Nigerian army uniform was always available for public features and scenes though he was placed on trial by the ever biased Nigeria government and her Judiciary whose under the mantle tyrant-ship of Mohammadu Buhari for demanding for a United Nations supervised referendum for his people that are forcefully under Nigerian government occupation and maltreatment.

It is discourteous on the part of Nigerian government and her kangaroo Judiciary under the effective rule and control of Mohammadu Buhari to quickly tagged the Indigenous People of Biafra a terrorist organization immediately after Dictator Mohammadu Buhari and his rampaging Nigerian army bathed every living and non-living things sighted at elder Kanu’s residence with bullets; kidnapped Nnamdi Kanu and his parents and later on denied their inhumanity acts against the peace loving leader of the Biafran people.

The Nigerian government of shame when further placed on notice by the Indigenous people of Biafra with substantive evidences that abounds could no longer deny their involvement in harassing, mowing down the peace loving people of Umuahia and Biafra at large as this was accepted by Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff on Channel TV as this also corroborated with their early claims that her leader was kidnapped by the Nigerian government; the Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff accepted this claims not under duress or tension that actually the Nigerian government attacked the people of Umuahia and likewise invaded Nnamdi Kanu’s home on tyrant Mohammadu Buhari’s order to clamp down on Biafra agitators.

Then what is Justice Binta Nyako of the –Abuja Federal High Court of Nigeria doing all this while since the forceful disappearance of Nnamdi Kanu occurred and took place, a man accused in the open by the Nigerian government was clearly not been seen in the public domain while on bail stipulated conditions that violate his every human rights as a free man born freely likewise every other human by the virtue of a woman who served as the vehicle of life?.

It is clearly seen that Justice Binta Nyako is trampling and sitting upon Justice; Justice Binta Nyako till this day forgot so suddenly every rational that has to do with the “Doctrine of the Last Scene” in law. From the angle of reasoning and wisdom Nigeria is on auto-pilot heading to hit the rock which will definitely cause her to wreck; this heavy cloudy filled with rain over us will send down rains of tears and sorrows if we continue to live in pretense and denial of the fact that Nnamdi Kanu and his Indigenous People of Biafra have not being appeased by the Nigerian government that caused their pains; are we also living in denial of the fact that Nigerian government had wronged this young man and his people on different fronts.

How about the Hausa-Fulani herdsmen menace in the country that has cost the lost of lives and properties within the confines of Nigeria? Who are the sole individuals serving as grand patrons to this herders association in Nigeria? From the world global terrorism index designated this herders association in Nigeria as a terrorist organization yet Dictator Mohammadu Buhari treat them with a kid’s glove based on ethnicity stock and sentiments while these heartless individuals go about killing innocent and unsuspecting Nigerian citizens.

From all indications Nigeria may not survive another civil war uprising this time around; the middle beltans are calling on their people to disassociate themselves with anything that has to do with the North [Arewa] as they posited in most of their public statements and communiques that was spelt out; just some weeks back Ayodele Fayose the incumbent Governor of Ekiti State of South-West of Nigeria inaugurated a group of hunters that will aid his government curb the menace of these Fulani savages in his State; Kogi State Assembly also enacted a law prohibiting the movement of cows destroying people’s farm which later result to lost of lives and properties.

Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo is not left out of this quagmire bedeviling Nigeria when her ever-corrupt leadership called for a jamboree meeting themed “Handshake Across the Niger” Ohaneze leadership of shame opinionated that Nigeria should tow the line of restructuring and this move was vehemently rejected by they Biafran women who graced the occasion as they rained curses on Ohaneze leadership and demanded from Ohaneze leadership and Nigerian government to tell them about Nnamdi Kanu’s whereabouts. Bokoharam are on the other hand fighting for an Islamic State of Arewa while the Fulanis’ wants “Cattle Colony” across the length and breadth of the geographical area named Nigeria by the British government.

We can’t continue to pretend for so long with respect to these National issues at hand now; all the regions in Nigeria are calling for one thing or another yet the cabals in Aso-Rock are smoke screening these issues that calls for National urgent attention from all aggrieved people in Nigeria so as to know if they wish to remain as being part of Nigeria or walk out their way through a United Nations supervised referendum for peace to reign within this Nigeria enclave.

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