Herdsmen-farmers clash: Buhari scheduled for Nasarawa, Taraba, Zamfara, Benue; Police declare IBB’s spokesman wanted; Shekau relocates to Borno villages with hostages; Olisa Metuh brought to court on stretcher; Police chief deploys 15 police units, special forces to Benue; Herdsmen-farmers crisis caused by scarcity of land & resources – Kebbi gov; 2019 polls: IBB’s aide maintains innocence . . .
President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to visit Nasarawa State on Tuesday February 6, 2017 as part of efforts to ensure peace in some trouble spots. After Nasarawa, Buhari is slated to visit Taraba, Zamfara and Benue states but the dates of the visits are yet to be decided, a Presidency source said last night.
The President is expected to console victims of herdsmens’ killings and douse tensions in the trouble spots.
The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris on Monday Feb 5 declared Kazeem Afegbua wanted over the statement he issued on behalf of former military president, Ibrahim Babangida on Sunday. He ordered the arrest of Afegbua for “making false statements, defamation of character, and for an act capable of instigating public disturbance,” the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood said in a statement on Monday night.
It read, “The IGP has ordered the arrest of Kashim Afegbua for making false statements,defamation of character and for an act capable of instigating public disturbance throughout the country. “He is therefore declared wanted by the Nigeria Police Force and should report at the nearest police station anywhere he is in the country.”
Boko Haram factional leader, Abubakar Shekau, fled his Sambisa Forest sanctuary shortly before the military stormed and captured the area, Daily Trust has learnt.
Shekau and his fighters have now relocated into remote villages in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State, villagers and local hunters told the Daily Trust yesterday.
They said hundreds of the insurgents as well as unspecified number of captives, including some of the remaining Chibok girls abducted in April 2014 as well as police women taken away last year, had occupied new abodes at Gambale axis in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State.
They said Shekau shuttles between Dumur and Duhuwa villages while his fighters and many hostages live in Falturam, Darfada, Uye, Barkin, Lukshe, Luksheab-amarwa, Mulgwailawanti and Gwarimari.
Sources said residents in those villages are terrified that they will fall victims to the terrorists’ raid for food and recruits.
A former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh, on Monday appeared in Abuja court on a stretcher. The politician was stretchered into the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, following the threat by Justice Okon Abang to revoke his bail if he fails to appear in court Monday.
Metuh was wheeled into the courtroom presided by Justice Okon Abang elicited a lot of sympathy from lawyers and the judge who adjourned his rial till March 15. Justice Okon Abang on January 22 asked Metuh, to be present at his trial on Feb. 5 or face jail. Metuh was admitted at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi. Metuh is standing trial for alleged money laundering of N400million. The money is part of the funds linked with former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
The Inspector-General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, has deployed 15 additional police units, special forces, technical and intelligence teams to contain further attacks in Benue State.
This came as the state gvernment yesterday said it was no longer confident in the ability of the police led by Idris to provide protection for the people of the state.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, while addressing journalists yesterday in Makurdi, said: ”The inspector-general is seriously committed to bringing to an end the killings in the state and the country.
“It is that commitment that informed the reinforcement of our command continuously on daily basis to nip in the bud the act of criminality and killings in the state.
“The IG has continued to support us. As of today 15 units squadrons from 15 states have been deployed to support the existing officers on ground.
“We also received the deployment of Police Special Forces, Intelligence and Technical teams in the state,” Owoseni said.
Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has stated that incessant clashes between the herdsmen and farmers in some parts of the country were caused by climate change rather than tribal sentiment. The governor also blamed the crisis on the scarcity of land and resources.
He spoke at the weekend during the “National Students and Youths Agro-Based Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Programme” in Birnin-Kebbi. He said:
“Today, we have seen the consequences of that scarcity. The fishermen are not having enough water to fish; farmers are not having enough land to farm as they used to have, the pastoralists are not having enough grass in their vicinity and had to wander around and now we are witnessing hostilities and animosities for what is essentially a climate problem.
If you go to any of the prisons in Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara predominantly you will find young Fulani that are there because of farmers /herdsmen clash. The crisis is not religious, it is not tribal it is about climate change.”
Kassim Afegbua, the media adviser to former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, who was declared wanted by the police has absolved himself of any wrongdoing. The wanted man said he will turn himself in on Wednesday and was prepared to go to court over the issue.
Afegbua released the Sunday statement stating that the former head of state complained about President Muhammadu Buhari’s shortcomings and advised Nigerians on the path to the future. Hours after the statement was released, a counter press release emerged that purportedly denounced his statement.
The development immediately threw the public into confusion, and reports surfaced Sunday night that police had declared Afegbua a wanted man. Reports indicated that the news that the police wanted to arrest Afegbua came from the presidency, according to media reports.
Afegbua had on Monday afternoon told PREMIUM TIMES he didn’t receive any invitation from the police after reports emerged Sunday night that he was wanted. IBB told THISDAY that he had no complaints about Afegbua because the statement he circulated was authorised by him. “The original statement still stands”, IBB reportedly said to THISDAY Sunday night.