By Maj. Hashim Abdullahi
STOP GIVING PUBLICITY TO TERRORISTS, NIGERIAN ARMY APPEALS TO JOURNALISTS
The Nigerian Army has appealed to journalists to always cooperate with security agencies, to protect the national interest in their reporting “and avoid giving any form of publicity to terrorists”. Penpushing reports that, the Commander, Sector 2 Operation Lafiya Dole, Adamu Nura, made the appeal while hosting members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), who paid him a courtesy visit in Damaturu, Yobe State Capital. The Commander emphasised need for journalists to prioritise Nigeria’s national interest in their reporting,and enjoined them to cooperate with security agencies to protect the national interest of the country. Penpushing further reports that, the army boss assured that the sector was ready to build the capacity of journalists within its jurisdiction, in order to have a harmonious relationship and effective coverage, adding that his doors were open for journalist to report to him any issue that would assist the command in its effort to end insurgency. The Chairman Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Yobe State Council, Rajab Muhammed, in his remarks commended the Nigeria Army for its relentless efforts at restoring peace in the state, emphasised the need for the army and journalists to strengthen the synergy between them for effective and smooth operation.
ABDUCTED AFAKA STUDENTS: ANYONE CAUGHT NEGOTIATING WITH BANDITS WILL BE PROSECUTED – KADUNA GOVT
The Kaduna State Government says it never appointed any group or individual to negotiate on its behalf with bandits over the abduction of the 39 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Mando in Igabi Local Government Area of the state. The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, who stated this on Sunday, added that anyone caught negotiating with bandits, on government’s behalf, would be prosecuted. This followed the expiration of a 48-hour-ultimatum handed down to both the State and Federal Government to effect the release of the abducted students by the parents who protested over their children. The Commissioner in a statement titled, ‘No intermediaries appointed by Governor El-Rufai to negotiate with bandits,’ said, “The attention of the Kaduna State Government under the leadership of Governor Nasir El-Rufai has been drawn to reports in the media that it has appointed representatives to interface with bandits on its behalf.
SANITY RETURNS TO KADUNA-ABUJA HIGHWAY AS FEMALE SOLDIERS PATROL DEADLY SPOTS
Many have seen them patrolling the Kaduna-Abuja Highway but dare not approach them. In their military camouflage uniform, armed with AK47 rifles, the 100 female soldiers of the 1Women Special Operations Battalion deployed to the deadly Kaduna-Abuja Highway may have done the magic in securing one of northern Nigeria’s most deadly highways. Whether by charm or sheer coincidence, motorists agree that the coming of the female soldiers almost three months ago has brought sanity to the route, making attacks and abductions an almost non-existent issue. In January, the Nigerian Army stationed 100 female soldiers on the highway as part of measures to boost security on the route. They were part of a larger deployment of 300 all-female soldiers, expected to compliment Operation Thunder Strike and other existing operations along the highway and environs. While receiving the first batch of 100 female soldiers at Kakau village, along the highway in January, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State had assured that their deployment would make the highway safe for commuters. Incidentally, since their deployment, motorists have attested to the fact that normalcy has gradually returned to the highway. Daily Trust reports that until their deployment, reports of incessant kidnapping, killings and other criminality had made the Kaduna-Abuja route a death-trap. Motorists told sordid tales of killings by bandits, who open fire on moving vehicles and abduct passengers for ransom, almost on a daily basis. Our correspondents gathered from motorists that there used to be four major spots on the highway where bandits launched attacks. Saidu Hamza, a driver plying the Kaduna-Abuja Highway, said the first dangerous spot for motorists travelling from Kaduna to Abuja used to be about 30 kilometers from Kaduna city, which is around Olam Farms. He said the next spot used to be around Rijana, adding that any driver who scales through Rijana would now face the fear of safely cruising through another dangerous spot after Akilubu, just before Gidan Busa. “The fourth dangerous spot is about five kilometers after Gidan Busa,” he had said.
NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER ALLEGEDLY DIRECTS ARREST, DETENTION OF GOLD BUYERS-GROUP
Gold Buyers and Jewelry Shop Owners Association has accused the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Mungonu, of ordering the arrest and detention of some of its members. They further accused the NSA that the aim was to intimidate and coerce them into implicating the Zamfara State Governor Bello Mattawalle, of buying gold from them in exchange for arms for bandits. The group stated that three of their members in Zaria and Minna have been arrested and are being tortured on the orders of the NSA to get them to admit that the Zamfara State Governor Mattawalle was buying gold from them which he allegedly exchanged for arms with bandits. The Association in a Statement by its Chairman Anwalu Musa said that their members Musa Mustapha, Ibrahim Sani were arrested in Zaria while Abdullahi Mohammed was arrested in Minna on the orders of the NSA who is trying to frame them up to maliciously implicate Governor Bello Mattawalle of buying gold from them for exchange in for arms to armed Bandits in his desperate bid to blackmail and mischievously pull him down.
INSECURITY: CIVIL DEFENCE TO DEPLOY PERSONNEL TO SCHOOLS NATIONWIDE
The spate of abductions of school children by suspected bandits may soon be a thing of the past, as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has concluded plans to deploy armed personnel in schools across the country. The deployment, which is intended to stem the tide of abduction of school children, is being conceived within the framework of the safe school initiative. Commandant-General (CG) of the NSCDC, Dr. Ahmed Audi, handed down the order shortly after assuming duties at the Corps’ headquarters in Abuja. To achieve the desired result, state commandants have been directed to collaborate with governors of the 36 states of the Federation, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). This is as the commandants are also expected to work in synergy with state commissioners of education, as well as principals of secondary schools across the country.
EXPOSED: BOKO HARAM VIDEO ON CRASHED NAF JET IS FROM A ‘2012 INCIDENT IN SYRIA’
Hugo Kaaman, a Sweden-based security analyst, has accused the Boko Haram sect of taking a clip from a 2012 incident in Syria to claim responsibility for the missing jet of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF). The NAF 475 jet deployed against the insurgents lost contact with radar in Borno State on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, the Air Force named the pilots on bard the ill-fated aircraft which it said may have crashed. However, on Friday, Boko Haram released a video showing what appeared to be the downing of the military aircraft by its fighters. The group also showed a militant standing on what it claimed was the wreckage of the jet. “Nigeria Air Force jet fighter… was sent to Sambisa to fight the Mujahideen,” the militant said. The insurgents were also seen moving towards the debris of the aircraft to remove components of the aircraft and personal effects of the pilots. Commenting on the video, Kaaman said the explosion was that of an incident involving SyAAF helicopter in 2012. “Boko Haram just released a video claiming it shows a NAF jet shot down by the group. Looking at the video, it appears as if the jet explodes mid-air. However, this is not true. BH took a 2012 video showing a SyAAF helicopter exploding mid-air over Idlib and superimposed it.
SUNDAY IGBOHO TO IG: INVITE BANDITS, BOKO HARAM MEMBERS INSTEAD OF ME
Self-acclaimed Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho has rebuffed an invitation for questioning by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Thursday. The letter was sent to the activist through a foremost courier firm, DHL. However, it was rejected by the aides of Igboho. The invitation came a few weeks after Igboho declared and launched the ‘Yoruba Nation’ campaign, claiming that Southwest states are independent of Nigeria. Giving reasons for rejecting the invitation letter and the police team that visited his residence, Igboho, who spoke through his media aide, Olayomi Koiki, cited safety reasons.
BUHARI ORDERS SECURITY OPERATIVES TO FISH OUT THOSE BEHIND EBONYI, ANAMBRA KILLINGS
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the dastardly attack on Monday night in three communities in Íshíelu Local Government Area of Ebonyi state. The affected communities are Egedegede, Obegu and Amuzu communities. A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said Buhari has directed law enforcement agencies to fish out the attackers and make them face justice. The statement further quoted the President as saying that the perpetrators of the “heinous attack” should not be spared. He sympathized with families and friends of those that lost loved ones, and to every member of the communities in Ebonyi State traumatised by “these despicable acts of wickedness.” The statement also said that the President has sent a message of sympathy to the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and a member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council, Professor Chukwuma Soludo who survived an attack by gunmen in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State as he consulted with people on his political aspiration.
EBONYI MASSACRE: ATTACK CAPABLE OF CAUSING CIVIL WAR – UMAHI
Last Monday, March 29, residents of Amaezu, Nkalaha, Obegu and Umuhuali communities in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State were preparing to have their dinner. Some had even finished theirs and were about to retire to bed. All of a sudden, sounds of gun shots rented the air and everybody started running helter-skelter. The attackers were armed with cutlasses and AK-47 rifles. They were herdsmen on a mission to kill the entire members of the four communities. By the time the dust settled the following morning, more than 15 corpses were picked up. Members of the communities now live in fear as a shocked Governor David Umahi declared that such attack was capable of degenerating into another civil war if nothing urgent was done of stem the tide of criminality by the rampaging herdsmen. One of the survivours claimed that apart from the 15 corpses that were counted immediately after the incident, more victims of the affected communities were still discovered within and around the area.
GOV UMAHI BEGINS TO BACK DOWN AND STARTS SETTING UP LOCAL SECURITY AS IPOB THREATENS TO RETALIATE KILLINGS
Following the deadly attack by herdsmen that left more than 10 persons dead in Egedege, Nkalaha, Obegu, Amazu, and Eheamufu communities of Ebonyi state on Monday, the Governor of the state, David Umahi, has urged the LGA Chairmen to deploy 100 neighborhood watch per LGA and also form a local vigilante in the state in an attempt to fish out and apprehend the perpetrators who are still at large. Governor Umahi said this in a statement on Tuesday, when he visited the affected communities in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi state. The Governor while condemning the attack, wondered why the herders would strike the communities even after the people of the state have provided them with an enabling environment to do their business.
7 FAKE ARMY OFFICERS NABBED IN DELTA
Troops of the 63 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Asaba, Delta State, have arrested five persons including three suspected impersonators of the military along the Kwale-Ogwashi road in the state. The other two suspects include a shabbily dressed serving mobile policeman and one accomplice dressed in mufti. They were inside a black tinted, ash and blue coloured Peugeot 608 saloon car with registration number LND 436 EX (Lagos). Assistant Director, Army Public Relations of 63 Brigade Headquarters, Asaba, Captain George Okupe who confirmed the arrest on Saturday in a statement, said the suspects were harassing commuters and disturbing public peace with the intention of kidnapping or robbing their victims. Okupe gave the names of the suspects as “Sergeant Stanley Okolukw Agwuchi (F/NO: 505161) serving in Ogwashi Police Division age 32 years; Mr. Augustine Emmanuel age 28 years from Ejeme Aniogor in Aniocha South of Delta State who claimed to be a photographer; Mr. Nwaka Onyeachonen from Ejeme Aniogor parading himself as a Sergeant age 36 years; Mr. Uzamaka Julius impersonating as a Major with a fake Army identity card age 29 years from Obowu in Imo State; and Mr. James Benefit from Abia State parading himself as a private soldier age 28 years.”
BANDITS KILL MIYETTI ALLAH LEADERS IN NASARAWA STATE
Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Nasarawa State, Alhaji Mohammed Hussain and his counterpart in Toto local government area, Mohammed Umar have been killed by suspected bandits. They were murdered in Garaku, Kokona LGA on Friday night during an attack. Nasarawa Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Ramham Nansel, said: “On 2/4/2021 at about 7pm, information was received that unknown gunmen suspected to be Fulani bandits attacked and killed one Mohammed Hussaini, the Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Nasarawa State and Mohammed Umar, the Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Toto LGA at Garaku market. “Upon receipt of the information, the Commissioner of Police, CP Bola Longe, swiftly deployed Operation Puff Adder II personnel to the scene where the two corpses were recovered and taken to the hospital”
GOV. SULE WARNS AGAINST REPRISAL OVER KILLING OF MIYETTI ALLAH LEADERS
Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule has cautioned against reprisal attack over the killing of two Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) leaders in the state by gunmen. The state Chairman of MACBAN, Alhaji Mohammed Hussaini, and the MACBAN Chairman of Toto Local Governent Area, Alhaji Mohammed Umar, were killed by suspected bandits on Friday at Garaku market, Kokona Local Governent Area of the state. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Ibrahim Addra, on Saturday in Lafia, quoted Sule as calling for calm during the funeral of the late MACBAN chairman in Kokona. According to the statement, the governor expressed sadness over the incidence and cautioned against reprisal attack capable of worsening the situation.
HERDERS/FARMERS CRISIS: ROCHAS CARE NIG LTD GIVES SCHOLARSHIP TO 500 FULANIS OUT OF SCHOOL CHILDREN
No fewer than 500 fulani out of school children across Nigeria, are to benefit from the education scholarship scheme of a former Governor of Imo state, Senator Rochas Okorocha under Rochas Fulani Special School. The Director General, Rochas Care Foundation, Hon. Salisu Sabo disclosed this at the one-day conference organized by the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Socio-Cultural Association on peaceful coexistence, held Jolly Nyame Stadium in Jalingo, Taraba state capital. He said, the Rochas Care Foundation decided to established the fulani special school with the view to accord them a special consideration as well as a sense of belonging in the society. Sabo informed that the program, which will kick-start with the enrollment of 500 fulani out of school children at the end of April, 2021, was also part of the foundation’s vision to make education accessible to every African child regardless of tribe and religion. According to him, the. Foundation would be awarding scholarship for 500 fulani students every year in collaboration with Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Socio-Cultural Association who will be responsible for the selection and ensuring that genuine fulani children are enrolled into secondary to tertiary institution.
ELITES PLOTTING TO DIVIDE NIGERIA, SEN LAWAN ALLEGES
Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Saturday accused elites of being behind secession agitations in parts of Nigeria. Lawan made the allegation while speaking to journalists in his home town Gashua, according to a statement by his Special Assistant (Press), Ezrel Tabiowo, in Abuja. He further disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari would later this month present a supplementary budget to the National Assembly to request for more funds to tackle insecurity. According to him, those behind the minority agitations were disgruntled elites bent on satisfying their self-serving interest to the detriment of majority of Nigerians. “I believe that majority of Nigerians believe that they should stay together – and I mean the ordinary Nigerians. These are people who believe in the unity of this country. “But the elites is where the problem is, the elites will tell you, no, we have to secede. I believe that we should be fair to the multitude of Nigerians – those ordinary people of Nigeria. What they require is leadership.
55 ARRESTED WARLORDS ESCAPE FROM POLICE CUSTODY
At least 55 suspects arrested on Saturday afternoon in Effium community, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State by a combined team of security services following renewed communal clashes in the area, have reportedly escaped from custody hours after their arrest. The suspected warlords were arrested at Okpuduma village of the community with arms, dangerous weapons and charms, during a raid of the area ordered by the General Officer Commanding, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Taoreen Lagbaja, witnessed by the State deputy governor, Barr. Kelechi Igwe Gen. Lagbaja, who was on an operational visit to the area, was also accompanied by the state Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Garba, and Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha. It was also revealed that immediately the team left the community, 55 out the 66 suspects escaped from custody and their whereabouts was unknown at press time. In an interview with the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, Chief Stanley Emegha, he described the escape of the suspects as total sabotage on the part of the security agencies. Emegha, who accused the security agents of conspiracy and aiding the escape of the suspects, said that the state government would be forced to use the state vigilante group to end the persistent hostilities in the area.
THE ONLY CONDITION FOR PEACE, PROGRESS IN NIGERIA — EX-GOVERNOR JANG
Former governor of Plateau State and retired Air Commodore, Senator Jonah David Jang has weighed in on the future of Nigeria and advised that for peace and progress, constituent nationalities in the country must be given an opportunity to dialogue on the structure and ways to coexist as a nation. He also insisted that the military lacked the capacity and fairness to gift the country a constitution, as what they did was too lopsided for fairness and equity, particularly in the creation of states and local governments, which placed decisions in the hands of the north that has more federal constituencies and representation in the National Assembly. Jang, who was the military governor of Benue and that of the defunct Gongola State and currently a member of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees, insisted that there was no way the military could draw up a constitution that would serve a democratic set up, pointing out that some things were deliberately influenced to favour the north which other sections have found uncomfortable as they were lacking in equity and fairness.
BANDITS RECRUITING YOUTHS IN KEBBI, UNION LEADER LAMENTS
The Chairman Hire Trucks Association, Bena Branch in Danko Wasagu Council of Kebbi State, Alhaji Salihu Mohammed Bena, has expressed worry over the recruitment of youths by the bandits in the area. While appealing to the state government to urgently tackle insecurity in the area, especially with bandits now recruiting youths and training them on how to handle weapon and ammunition, Bena disclosed that bandits now occupy over 25 communities in the council. He explained that the bandits have now become an authority and now imposes levies on drivers going through communities they occupy and force them to give them food and recharge cards or they would kill the driver, saying: “The people of the area are predominantly farmers, but cannot afford to go to farms due to the current security situation. Most people have migrated to Bena town.”
POLICE ARREST SUSPECTED ARMED ROBBERS, RECOVER EXHIBITS IN ABUJA
The Federal Capital Territory Police Command has arrested three suspects for armed robbery along Utako and Lugbe axis. This was revealed by the spokesperson of the Command, Mariam Yusuf, in a statement on Sunday. Yusuf said amongst the all male suspects are: Rabiu Mohammed, 33; Justin Tondo, 32; and Matthew John, 30. They were arrested by Police Operatives from the Command’s Anti-Violent Crimes Unit and Anti-Car Theft Unit during routine patrols between March 30 and April 1, 2021. The suspects confessed to terrorising Lugbe and Utako axis. Exhibits recovered were: one locally made pistol, one silver coloured Honda Accord snatched from their victim at gunpoint and one Honda motorcycle. All the suspects will be arraigned in court upon conclusion of investigation, Yusuf said. The Command enjoined residents to remain law-abiding while reaffirming its unflinching commitment towards the protection of lives and property.
GOV EL-RUFAI DENIES APPOINTING INTERMEDIARIES TO NEGOTIATE WITH BANDITS
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has debunked el-Rufai denies appointing intermediaries to negotiate with bandits reports of appointment of representatives to interface with bandits on behalf of the state government. In a statement, the State Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan said no such intermediaries had ever been appointed. He said the position of the State Government remained the same, adding that the Government would not negotiate with or pay ransoms to bandits. Aruwan said any person who claimed to do so in any capacity, if found, would be prosecuted accordingly. He urged citizens to report the details of any persons posing as official government negotiators to the Kaduna State Security Operations Room on 09034000060 and 08170189999, or email email@example.com.
LAGOS POLICE NAB KILLER-CULTIST, ARMED ROBBERS
The Police detectives attached to Sagamu Road Division, led by the Divisional Police Officer, Sagamu Road, Ikorodu, on Sunday, 4th April, 2021, at about 10am, apprehended one wanted serial killer cultist, Segun Agodo, m, in Odongunyan area of Ikoodu, Lagos State. Segun, a senior member of Eye Confraternity, had been on the run for a while since he got the wind that he had been declared wanted by the police for his atrocities in Ikorodu area of Lagos State. But he was sighted in Ikorodu today 4th April, 2021, while the DPO Sagamu Road Division and his men were on Surveillance patrol around Ikorodu. The suspect, who has been fingered in many murder cases, including alleged killing of a policeman, in Ikorodu, was arrested in possession of two (2) locally-made revolver pistols, each loaded with seven (7) and fourteen (14) rounds of cartridges, one axe, some cutlasses and assorted charms.