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Keep away, Northern leaders tell military

By Emma  Ujah,  Abuja Bureau Chief, Sam Eyeboka and Daniel Donor

As the political impasse created by President Umaru Yar’Adua’s  58-day absence from office over his ailing health continues, the Northern Union, NU,  has said there was no vacuum in the Presidency to warrant military takeover and that Nigerians should pray more for his  quick recovery and return.

NU’s leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki, who briefed journalists, after its meeting in Abuja, yesterday, said, however, that NU was still consulting with other leaders in the region and other parts of the country before a decision on the Yar’Adua question could be taken.

Riot: FG’s team in Jos to assess situation

President Goodluck Jonathan has dispatched a high-powered Federal Government security team to Jos, for an immediate assessment of the situation.

The Vice-President’s decision, it was learnt, was informed by the rather “conflicting report” of the situation in Jos, as noticed by a security meeting which was convened by him yesterday afternoon in his office.

The National Security Adviser, NSA, General Sarki Mulktar (rtd), who said this while fielding questions from State House Correspondents, added that the Vice-President had directed the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mr Ogbonna Onovo; the Director of Operations of the State Security Service, SSS and other officers to go to Jos, assess the situation and report  back to government.

According to him, “as at yesterday, the situation seems to have normalised, but for reasons we can’t explain yet, but which we are going to find out now. The VP has directed the IGP, the director of operation of SSS, and other officers connected with the situation to immediately move to Jos, assess the situation and return back…

“There has been very conflicting reports from different media and different sources and to have a clear picture, we have to send the team, so any statement I am going to make now, will be presumptuous.

“Let them come back and we will have a fair assessment of the situation that will form the basis of the statement we are going to make. At the moment, the military had moved in concert with the police to normalise the situation,” he added.

Others at the meeting presided over by Jonathan were Alhaji Shettima Mustapha, Minister of Interior, Mr. Yakubu Lame, Minister of Police Affairs; Air Vice-Marshal Paul Dike, Chief of Defence Staff, CDS; Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, IGP and Mohammed Moguno, Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI).

…PFN urges NASS to empower govs on rioters

FOLLOWING the escalation of violence in Jos, which has necessitated the imposition of a 24-hour curfew on the town, the National Assembly has been urged to rise up to its legislative challenge by enacting laws that will empower governors to prosecute perpetrators of religious crises in any part of the country.

In a reaction to the sectarian crisis, the National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, who flew in from the US, proposed a three-point solution to perennial religious crises in parts of the country, reiterating his call on Christians to always defend themselves whenever they were attacked.

Addressing newsmen at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, yesterday, Oritsejafor enumerated his three-point proposal to include an appeal to the Christian community in the North to always defend themselves in the event of any unwarranted violent attack by opponents of the religion.


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