1. COUP SCARE: NO EVIDENCE DOCUMENT REFERENCED BY NIGERIAN MILITARY, SSS EXISTS
The circulation of a document which allegedly called for a coup to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari appeared to have been exaggerated by the Nigerian government and security agencies, PREMIUM TIMES can report after efforts to obtain it fell through. Over the past two weeks, security chiefs and political appointees of the president have inundated the public with claims that disgruntled opposition elements were plotting to sabotage Mr Buhari’s administration and implement a coup. Top amongst those being castigated as setting off the “desperate tactics” were Nigeria’s former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). After security chiefs spent days sidestepping disclosure of those responsible for the alleged anti-democratic plots, the first unambiguous allegation came from the Defence Headquarters on May 14, claiming that a document seeking Mr Buhari’s removal via a coup was in circulation. The statement blamed ‘Nigerian Continuity and Progress’ for the viral document, describing the authors as “faceless” and “demonic.” Three days later, on May 17, the State Security Service (SSS), which is responsible for the country’s internal intelligence, also released a statement that essentially repeated the Defence Headquarters’ claim. The SSS said the so-called Nigerian Continuity and Progress was being sponsored by “aggrieved politicians” with an end-game of instigating widespread violence to force Mr Buhari out of office.
2. TERRORISM: ARMY RECEIVES NEW CONSIGNMENT OF AMMUNITION
The Nigeria Army on Monday took delivery of some consignment of arms and ammunition to boost its weapon inventory in the fight against the insurgents. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the weapons were conveyed through a chartered cargo plane, which landed at 3:00 p.m. at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The arms and ammunition the Army received include light, medium and heavy weapons. Brig.-Gen. Robert Aiyenigba, Head, Nigeria Army Monitoring Operation Team told newsmen that the consignment aimed to boost the counterinsurgency and banditry operations in the Country. He said, “This is the first in the series of aircraft to come. “This is part of efforts aimed at countering insurgency, kidnapping and banditry across the country,” Aiyenigba added.
3. OKOROCHA HANDS OVER HOSPITALS TO SECURITY AGENCIES, CHURCHES UNDER PPP
The Imo State Government on Monday handed over state-owned general hospitals to some security agencies, the Anglican and The Lord’s Chosen churches to be operated under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative of the state government. The event took place at the Imo Government House, Owerri with the signing of the Memoranda of Understanding with the beneficiaries. Mr Okorocha said that history had shown that the private sector was better equipped to run establishments than the government. He urged the beneficiaries to respect the terms of the MOU and hand the facilities back to the government at the expiration of the lease period. The governor said that the hospitals had not been sold to them. He directed that the beneficiaries of the facilities should pay N100,000 every month to the state government, while the government would be entitled to 10 per cent stake. NAN reports that benefiting security agencies include the Nigerian Army (Owerri West General Hospital), Nigerian Navy (Ngor Okpala Hospital), Nigerian Airforce (Owerri North General Hospital) and Police (Ideator South General Hospital).
4. ABIA GOV. IKPEAZU COMMENDS ARMY’S ROLE IN 2019 ELECTIONS
The Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu says the Nigerian Army contributed immensely to the success of the 2019 general elections. Governor Ikpeazu was speaking during the Nigerian Army, West African Social Activities, WASA, at the 14 brigade barracks, in Ohafia Local Government Area. Represented by his deputy, Ude Oko Chukwu, the governor observed that the role of the military in securing and defending the territorial integrity of the country, cannot be overemphasized. The Commander 14 brigades Nigerian Army, Babatunde Kumpayi, while stating that the event is to promote Nigeria’s Cultural Heritage, assured that the brigade will not relent in its current fight against crime in the state.
5. FALANA WRITES BUHARI, SEEKS RELEASE OF 40 NIGERIANS DETAINED BY NAVY
A human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to order the release of 40 Nigerians in the detention of the Nigerian Navy. In a letter addressed to Buhari, the senior lawyer alleged that the detainees have been held incommunicado in dehumanising conditions for periods ranging from six to eight months without trial, adding that he had received complaints from their families over their continued detention. Falana’s letter, which was addressed to the president and dated May 19, was titled: “Request for Release of 40 Nigerian Citizens from Illegal Custody of Nigerian Navy”. Falana urged President Buhari to direct the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, to either release the detainees from unlawful custody or arraign them in court without any further delay.
6. 20 FEARED DEAD AS CULTISTS ATTACK IN RIVERS STATE
Residents Flee As Cultist Unleash ‘Reprisal Attack’ On Rival Group. Yet another cultist activity at Kono-Boue settlement in Khana Local Council of Rivers State has led to the killing of at least 20 persons yesterday, The Guardian reports. It was gathered that an unspecified number of armed cultists, suspected to be members of Iceland group, invaded the community believed to be a stronghold of their Deybam rivals, shooting sporadically. As the gunshots rented the airs in the wee hours of yesterday, the attackers reportedly picked select targets as they broke into homes. This is coming about two weeks after Naija News reported that scores were killed and others injured after a clash between the same duo cult groups (Iceland and Deybam)cult groups. A source said: “ Some persons invaded Kono Boue in the early hours of Sunday (yesterday). The community was peaceful until they came and started shooting. At least 20 persons were murdered in cold blood.” It was further learned that the fresh killings were a reprisal to last weekend’s assassination in Bori of a relation of the leader of the group in the council.
7. GUNMEN STORM ECWA, BAPTIST CHURCHES IN KADUNA, ABDUCT 10 FEMALE CHORISTERS, OTHERS
Unknown gunmen have, reportedly, stormed two churches in Kaduna state, abducting 10 female choristers including others. The gunmen stormed the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) situated in Dankade Village, in Birnin Gwari local government area of Kaduna State during fellowship, shot sporadically in the air and abducted 10 of the female choristers, confirmed Chairman of the LGA’s Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Emmanuel Ibrahim. According to him, the gunmen attacked the church on Saturday evening when the choir members were having a prayer session. According to him, “the gunmen stormed the church when they were holding a combine Choir Fellowship. They asked everyone in the church to surrender his or her phones and demanded the whereabouts of the pastor.” “After threatening the choristers on the whereabouts of the Church Pastor, the choristers then became afraid and showed them the pastor’s home.
8. MILITANTS THREATEN TO DECLARE NIGER DELTA REPUBLIC JUNE 1st
A militant group, Network of Niger Delta Republic Fighters, has threatened to declare a Niger Delta Republic on June 1, 2019. In a statement on Monday, the group said they were not happy with the situation in Nigeria. The statement by the Director of Information of the group Maxwell Dan alleged selective maltreatment of the people of the region by the Muhammadu Buhari administration. It listed police invasion of the residence of a Niger Delta leader, Chief Edwin Clark, last year and current ordeal of the ex-Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Walter Onnoghen as part of the selective maltreatment of Niger Delta people.
9. GUNMEN KILL COP, TWO OTHERS IN FRESH TARABA ATTACK
Gunmen on Monday killed a police officer and two others in separate attacks in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State. The Caretaker Chairman of Wukari LGA, Dr Daniel Adi, confirmed this development in a telephone interview with our correspondent in Jalingo. Adi said a man and his son were killed on their farm near the General Hospital, Wukari, while a police officer was killed in an ambush near Vaasealong, a community in Taraba/Benue border. The Taraba State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP David Misal, confirmed the killing of the two persons on the farm, but said he had not received the report of the ambush on police officers in the area.
10. PROTEST ROCKS KADUNA, AS POLICE STRAY BULLET KILLS RESIDENT
There was pandemonium in the popular Kawo area of Kaduna metropolis, as stray bullet from men of the Nigeria Police killed an innocent resident. Residents of the area however took to the Kaduna-Zaria and Kaduna-Lagos highways, blocking roads and burning tyres in protest to the killing. The Nation gathered that, trouble started when residents of Kawo area in the early hours of Monday received information that, there are some kidnappers numbering about three, attempting to abduct some members of the community. The residents according to an eye witness immediately blocked roads leading in and out of the community and chased down the kidnappers and along the line, one of the kidnappers was caught and burnt instantly. However, men of the Nigeria Police upon receiving information that there is chaos in the area immediately came to disperse the mob, shooting into the air and along the line hit some people in the crowd, where one person was killed and several others sustained various degrees of injury.