I’ll Win Re-election in 2019, Buhari Assures; 6 killed, 9 others wounded in Maiduguri attack—Police; Senate probes Buhari over constitutional breach; NEC bans open grazing as herdsmen attacks persist; Detained Shiite Leader El-Zakzaky Charged With Murder; Navy intercepts vessel with 406 illegal immigrants; Boko Haram engage in fierce gun battle with security in Maiduguri; Killings: Fed Govt stops movement of herdsmen; Benue killings: Catholic Bishops call for Buhari’s resignation; Reps summon Buhari over killings . . .
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured his supporters that he is confident of winning the 2019 presidential poll. Buhari who made the statement in Bauchi thursday while inaugurating 500 tractors and other farm implements procured by the Bauchi State government at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium (ATBS), said he would seek re-election for a second term and win again because he “is a clean man and not corrupt like other past Nigerian leaders.”
“Most Nigerian treasury looters have more than 20 to 30 houses yet some people in the country cannot afford even a single room to sleep in because poverty has eaten them up.”
According to the president, “I don’t have this type of mind to loot the treasury of Nigeria while people are suffering,” he said. He vowed that he “will fish out looters and cheaters of the country, while all the funds recovered from them will be remitted into the national coffers.”
President Buhari further encouraged parents to send their children to school to acquire western education, saying life would not be good without education. He said: “Assuming I did not go to school, I will not be the President of Nigeria today. You should go to school, not because you want to work but to acquire knowledge for the future.”
The Police in Borno said six persons were killed in an attack coordinated by Boko Haram insurgents at Jidari Polo area of Maiduguri on Thursday.
Mr Edet Okon, the Public Relations Officer (PPRO), said in a statement on Friday that the victims included three civilians, a member of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) and two female suicide bombers.
Okon disclosed that two men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) and seven other persons sustained injuries from gunshots and explosions in the attack. He added that a Police Personnel Carrier (APC) vehicle was damaged in the attack.
Okon said: “on Thursday April 26; at about 17: 00 pm, Boko Haram Terrorists launched a surprise attack at Jidari Polo area of Maiduguri near the Federal High court. “The terrorists fired sporadically and detonated Improvise Explosive Devices (IEDs). The Borno State Police Command promptly deployed combat teams of SARS, PMF and EOD to support the Military and the Divisional Police Officer of GRA division who were already at the scene. “The insurgents were successfully repelled by the security forces after fierce gun battle with profuse tear smoke application.
“There was no casualty on the side of the police apart from two SARS personnel that were injured in the battle. A police Amoured Personnel Carrier (APC) was also damaged by IED explosions. Seven other persons were severely injured.
“Four persons including a member of the CJTF and two female suicide bombers were killed in crossfire and IED explosions. “The victims and corpses were evacuated to the Specialist Hospital, Maiduguri. Normalcy has been restored in the area”. Okon added that preemptive deployments were being put in place to forestall further surprise attack.
The Senate, yesterday, directed its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to investigate alleged breach of the constitution by President Muhammadu Buhari. The decision followed condemnation of the president’s withdrawal of $496 million for the purchase of fighter jets without parliamentary approval.
The committee is expected to determine the extent to which the constitution was violated, the circumstances of the infraction, and advise the Senate on steps to take. The resolution came in response to a motion sponsored by Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South) asking the Senate to invoke Section 143 of the constitution in commencement of impeachment proceedings against the president.
The lawmaker said it was procedurally wrong for the president to have withdrawn the money without permission from the National Assembly, submitting that by the action, Section 80 of the constitution has been violated. Seconding the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu North) said it was time the Senate invoked the impeachment clause to curb serial abuse of financial regulations.
But Senator Shehu Sani cautioned: “When you set a dangerous precedent, you are simply laying the foundation for the desecration of the institution of democracy. You cannot appropriate what has been spent. You cannot deposit the money that you have spent in the bank. What has happened today is a gross violation of the constitution of Nigeria. But we must understand, that in as much as we are very sensitive, the credibility and usefulness of this government are being constantly tested.” Senate President Bukola Saraki admitted: “There is a breach of constitution.” He, however, noted: “The question is, what are the circumstances surrounding the breach of the constitution?”
In a statement by his spokesman, Idowu Adelusi, Fayose described the current administration as a “killer government,” stressing: “The Buhari administration has lost all moral right to continue in office.”
He added: “The situation is getting so bad; we don’t know whether the constitution of the country has been unofficially suspended. Nigerians have been unlucky with Buhari as president. He is too old, too analogue, too incompetent, too clueless, and is not ready to admit and yield for a competent leader. This country has never had it this bad.”
The National Executive Council (NEC) yesterday approved the recommendation of its sub-committee that open grazing of cattle be banned across the country.
The three-man sub-committee on herdsmen/farmers clashes constituted by the government in February 2018 was headed by the governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi.
It was specifically mandated to unravel the causes of herdsmen/farmers clashes and dialogue with relevant stakeholders to end the killings of innocent citizens.
Other members of the sub-committee included Governors Simon Lalong (Plateau), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), and Bindo Jubrilla (Adamawa). The panel was mandated to visit Benue, Taraba, Zamfara and Adamawa states.
• Moves against influx of foreign herders
• Attackers kill seven in Benue ‘IDP camp’
• Tiv, Fulani sign ceasefire in Nasarawa
• ‘Governors working to assist FG’
• Okoh tasks Nigerians on insecurity
Detained leader of Nigeria’s Shiite group, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has been charged with murder amid growing street protests demanding his release from prolonged detention. Mr El-Zakzaky and his wife have been held by the Nigerian government since December 2015 despite court rulings authorising his release.
The government claims he is held in a “protective custody”, but his supporters have in the last two weeks intensified protests demanding his freedom.
In what appears to be a response to the protests, the Kaduna state government slammed a fresh eight-count charge on the Shiite leader, his lawyer, Femi Falana, said Thursday.
The charges include homicide which is punishable by death. Court papers indicate that the charges were filed on April 18. According to the charge, the alleged offences took place during the December 2015 clash between the IMN and a convoy of Nigeria’s army chief, Tukur Buratai.
Operatives of the Nigerian Navy (NN) have intercepted a foreign vessel carrying 406 West Africans deported by Gabon. The vessel, MV CHIMBA EXPRESS, was intercepted on Wednesday evening within Lagos waters, without clearance.
According to the Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT, Commodore Okon Eyo, the vessel was billed to arrive in Benin Republic, disembark passengers from that country, Togo, Mali and Niger before sailing to Calabar in Cross River to drop off Nigerians on board.
Eyo said: “MV CHIMBA EXPRESS is a cargo/passenger vessel that regularly traverses parts of West and Central Africa through countries such as Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sao Tome and Principe among others . . . However, in a twist of event, the vessel arrived in Lagos bar on April 25. The vessel had about 406 persons on-board from Togo, Benin, Niger, Mali and Nigeria . . .
. . . The total number of Nigerians on-board and whether or not the vessel did berth in Benin is yet to be confirmed, but will be determined shortly. Among the Nigerians are 18 deported returnees . . . ”
Boko Haram Terrorist has launched a daring attack to enter Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. Residents said the insurgents are in a heavy exchange of fire from Molai village along Damboa Biu road. Aliyu a staff of NTA Maiduguri informed that they have been stocked in the office as all access roads have been blocked by security.
Another resident who spoke from a heavy hold up in town said they have been locked down by traffic as many residents are hurriedly going home. So far, details of the attack are still sketchy. The army in Maiduguri has however called on the residents of Maiduguri to remain indoors and not panic.
Colonel Kingsley Samuel, Deputy Director Army Public Relations in a statement made available to newsmen in Maiduguri assured that the situation s under control, while calling on the public to be vigilant. The statement reads; “The general public is please requested not to panic and discountenance rumours of Boko Haram presence.
“You are further enjoined to please remain at home and be vigilant. The security situation in Maiduguri is under control”.
- Ranching to take off in five states
- Nigeria to end ECOWAS free movement
- ADVOCATES of ranching have won their battle.
The National Economic Council (NEC) yesterday agreed to stop herdsmen’s movement, starting with five states – Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Kaduna and Plateau. They are the states mostly affected by the bloodletting sparked by herdsmen-farmers clashes.
The Council supported the immediate creation of ranches across the country, Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi told State House correspondents at the end of the NEC meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. According to him, the five states are expected to provide land for ranches.
He said that through ranching, the nomadic herdsmen and their families would have access to medical facilities and schools. Staying in a ranch, he said, would also improve the well-being of the cattle. Umahi said foreign herdsmen would have to show some travel documents, even though visa is not allowed for movement of West Africans.
His words: “Today, NEC took briefing from the NEC technical committee on the farmers and herdsmen conflicts in the various states of the federation. NEC sometime this year came up with a committee following the constant conflicts between herdsmen and farmers. They came up with the committee of nine governors with the VP as the chairman, and the committee went into deliberations.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has demanded the resignation of President Muhammadu over rampant killings across the country. In a reaction to the recent killings in Benue state where suspected herdsmen attacked Saint Ignatius Catholic Church, and killed 19 people, including two priests, the CBCN said Mr. Buhari’s handling of the killings appears to show his connivance with the suspected killers.
According to the statement signed by the president of the CBCN and Catholic Arch Bishop of Benin, Augustine Akubeze, the CBCN wants President Buhari to “stop presiding over the killing field that Nigeria has become”.
“We have received with deep shock, sorrow and utter horror, the gruesome, grisly and dastardly murder of two Catholic priests along with fifteen of their parishioners in the early hours of the morning of Tuesday 24 April 2018. These innocent souls met their untimely death in the hands of a wicked and inhuman gang of the rampaging and murderous terrorists, who have turned the vast lands of the Middle belt and other parts of Nigeria into a massive graveyard. Their unrestrained mayhem has become a metaphor for the untimely death that is now the fate of many of our fellow citizens today.
“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), for 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 Fulanis are still around here in Mbalom (where they 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 people right unto death.
“Since the President who appointed the Heads of the nation’s Security Agencies has refused to call them to order, 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.”
The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, summoned President Muhammadu Buhari to speak to lawmakers on the rising state of insecurity and the killings in parts of the country and what his administration is doing to stem the senseless killings by killer herdsmen. The House also passed a vote of no confidence on all the service chiefs and heads of the various security agencies over their inability to halt the spate of killings. Based on the no confidence vote, the House asked the President to sack the service and security chiefs and replace them with competent people who can tackle the unacceptable insecurity level in the country.
It further resolved to stop plenary for three days in solidarity with those killed in various unwarranted attacks throughout the country and in protest against the unending shedding of innocent blood by the heartless killers. The House passed these resolutions following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Mark Gbillah on the alleged reprisal attack by soldiers on Naka Village in Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State and the inability of the army and other security agencies to end the killings perpetuated in Benue State by armed herdsmen. Gbillah in his lead debate, condemned the attack on Naka Town on April 19 by rampaging soldiers who allegedly torched hundreds of houses, destroyed property and killed helpless villagers.
He expressed worry over allegations that soldiers deployed from the 72 Army Battalion in Makurdi to stop the incessant killings by armed herdsmen in Gwer-East, Gwer-West and several other local governments in the state took the law into their hands in a blatant display of brigandage and criminality and attacked residents of Naka Town in retaliation for the murder of a soldier by yet-to-be identified persons. The House member from Benue State lamented that the herdsmen attacks assumed a new dimension on April 23, when two Catholic Priests, Fr. Joseph Gor and Fr. Felix Tyolaha, the church catechist, 16 worshippers and several others were murdered in cold blood while attending early morning mass at St. Ignatius Catholic Mission, Ukpo Ayar, Mbalom.
Apart from persons killed by the attackers, Gbillah added that several other villagers attending a funeral service near the church are unaccounted for. He said, “Am aware that the Benue State government has raised the alarm severally to the army, police and other security and intelligence agencies about the alleged location of these bandits near Adaka in Makurdi Local Government and Gbaji in Gwer-West Local Government from where recent attacks were launched against neighbouring communities. “But it’s very worrying that the army and the police curiously do not employ a proactive strategy to preemptively attack these locations and carry out continuous surveillance of identified flash points, but usually only respond after the fact when scores of innocent citizens have lost their lives and property.”
Contributing to debate on the motion, Hon Tarkighir Dickson accused the army of colluding and collaborating with the armed herdsmen, even after the army had acknowledged losing 27 men to the killers. “This same army found it necessary to burn down Naka Town over the alleged killing of one of their men,” he said, insisting that the people of Benue State have lost faith in the country. Similarly, Hon Edward Pwajok, warned that the repeated attacks on innocent citizens point to the fact that Nigeria is heading in the direction of a failed state.