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Banditry, kidnapping: Don’t revenge, Buhari tells victims

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Education will continue to be priority in my government ― Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

…Your claim on herdsmen killings is filled with lies, Delta Community blast CP

…Omo-Agege condemns attacks on Delta communities

…Why insecurity persist in Nigeria – Atiku, Adeniran

By Henry Umoru, Vincent Ujumadu, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Dirisu Yakubu, Brisibe Perez & Bashir Bello

ABUJA—AS residents of Katsina communities mourn the killing of scores of their kith and kin by bandits, President Muhammadu Buhari has urged them and others who have suffered one form of attack or the other in the country not to embark on revenge.

Reason: Meting out capital punishment on the bandits could lead to cycle of revenge and counter revenge which will not augur well for the polity.

Rather than  meting out capital punishment on any suspected bandit they catch, President Buhari, yesterday, asked local communities in Katsina State to hand  them over to law enforcement authorities.

The President was reacting to claims by Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari, that the killing of two Fulanis who were on a visit to the area stoked the latest killings.

The warning came as two community leaders were detained over alleged killing of three herdsmen in Anambra, as mixed reactions trailed alleged herdsmen killing of eight persons in Uwheru Kingdom in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.

Meanwhile, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and former Minister of Education and acting National Chairman of Social Democratic Party, SDP, Professor Tunde Adeniran, lamented the frequency of killings across the land and proffered solutions.

Also, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, expressed worries over the state of insecurity, assuring that the National Assembly was committed to finding lasting solutions.

While condemning the latest round of attacks on farmers by bandits in Damkal and Tsanwa villages in Batsari local government area of Katsina State, in which many homesteads were razed, 30 people killed at the weekend, President Buhari in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said killing people in the name of revenge was not acceptable.

The President warned: “No one in the country has a right to take laws into his hands by way of self-help or revenge. Local communities that catch bandits should hand over the suspects to law enforcement authorities instead of meting out capital punishment, leading to a cycle of revenge and counter revenge.”

He urged community leaders and the local authorities to continue their efforts in partnership with law enforcement agencies to bring peace between farmers and herders.

“The authorities must be allowed to investigate and deal with any breach that occurs. There is no place for violence in a decent society,” said the President.

Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State said, yesterday, that the report he got indicated that killing of two visiting Fulanis by residents of Batsari Local Government Area was responsible for the fresh attack that led to the killing of over 30 persons in the state.

The governor, who stated this  during the disbursement of empowerment packages by Senator representing Katsina South in the Senate, Alhaji Bello Mandiya at Malumfashi, warned the residents  at the grassroots against attacking visiting Fulani herdsmen to avert further reprisal attacks.

Masari condemned the attacks which he described as devastating, adding that it had thrown the state into mourning.

Your claims on herdsmen killings filled with lies, Delta Community blast CP

The Delta State Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, has been accused of being economical with the truth in the reported killing of farmers by persons suspected to be herdsmen in Uwheru community, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.

The CP, while speaking to Vanguard yesterday, described media reports citing the killing of eight persons in the community as moves by some individuals to cause apprehension in the state.

According to the police boss, a search party made up of the police and representatives of the community combed the bush and rescued one person who was rushed to the hospital for treatment for gunshot wounds sustained after he was shot by the hoodlums.

Angered by the claims of the CP who also demanded for the whereabouts of those killed if any of such incidents occurred, President General of the community, Cassidy Akpedafe, insisted that no fewer than 10 persons have been killed in renewed attacks by the hoodlums in the past five days.

He said: “Four of those killed were shot and placed by the riverbank inside the bush, while two others were held hostage by the herdsmen.

“We have in the past few days buried six persons. Three were buried on Thursday, while two others were buried on Saturday. The person rescued by the search team is one of the two persons held hostage by the herdsmen.

“At this point, we can’t help but wonder why the Commissioner of Police will be faulting media reports on the number of casualties when information on ground proves otherwise.”

READ ALSO: Again, herdsmen attack Delta community, kill eight, injure several others

A security source at the Ughelli Police Area Command said four persons had been confirmed to have been shot by the hoodlums and were currently receiving medical attention for gunshot wounds, while those hurriedly buried were being exhumed for proper identification.

Omo-Agege condemns attacks on Delta communities

Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, yesterday, condemned  the killing of eight persons in Uwheru Kingdom in Ughelli North and called on the Nigeria Police to immediately bring the suspected herdsmen who carried out the unprovoked attacks to justice. He also charged the Nigerian Army to fish out its personnel alleged to have accompanied the killers to perpetuate the heinous crime.

In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga, the Deputy President of the Senate called on security agencies to restore normalcy to the affected communities.

On Thursday, suspected herdsmen allegedly aided by soldiers, were said to have attacked Avwon, Agadama, Ohoror, and other communities of Uwheru Kingdom, and reportedly killed over eight persons with several others sustaining serious injuries and property, including farms, destroyed.

Omo-Agege said: “I condemn the unprovoked attacks and killing of my constituents and the destruction of their property by suspected herdsmen. The attacks on Avwon, Agadama, Ohoror and other communities of Uwheru Kingdom, is one too many.

“I call on security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book by ensuring that they face the wrath of the law.  I assure the people of Uwheru Kingdom that this matter will not swept under the carpet and that the full weight of the law will be brought on those found culpable.”

Two community leaders detained over killing of 3 herdsmen in Anambra

In Anambra, the Deputy President General of Ifite Ogwari Community in Ayamelum Local Government Area, Chief Nwaora Ikeoala and the town’s chief security officer, Chief Michael Akamala have been detained at the Anambra State Police headquarters in Awka over alleged killing of three herdsmen and some cows after the destruction of cultivated large farmlands in the area by herdsmen.

However, the two community leaders, who spoke from their detention at the Special Investigation Bureau, SIB, Awka, yesterday, insisted that they never killed anybody.

They admitted meeting after an attack on their farms to assess the level of damage to crops by the herdsmen in line with the directive of the state government’s special security task force on farmers- herdsmen relationship in the state.

The state Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Baba Maiyaki, who also spoke with reporters, said three herdsmen lost their lives, but added only one body was recovered.

He said it was the reason the community leaders were being detained, while investigation into the matter continues.

Vanguard gathered that the community leaders were arrested shortly after they held a meeting with Governor Willie Obiano, who was said to be worried about the increasing level of insecurity in the area.

Narrating their ordeal, the Deputy President-General for Ifite Ogwari said: “We were in a meeting to access the damage done on our farms by the herdsmen when the Divisional Police Officer for our area called me and demanded to see us. When we went, he took us to many places and ended up at a mortuary at Adani but we did not see any dead body. Since then, we have been in detention without knowing what our offence was.”

He said his community was living peacefully with the herdsmen until the recent incident, following  alleged invasion of the area by another set of herdsmen.

A non-governmental organisation, the Igbo Mandate Congress, which had intervened in the matter, claimed that it was the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria MACBAN, in the South East that alleged that youths of Ifite-Ogwari killed some herders and 108 cows between December 20, 2019 and January 27, 2020.

Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress, Reverend Obinna Akukwe, said the organisation had been following up on the issue since Miyetti Allah leaders raised the alarm last week, adding that a preliminary report had been sent to Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and members of the diplomatic community on the situation at Ifite-Ogwari, which, according to him, was capable of turning Anambra State into a theatre of war.

He said: “The community leaders of Ifite-Ogwari are being detained at the insistence of leaders of Miyetti Allah in the South East. The police justified their incarceration on the mantra that they are still investigating and looking for the killers of the herdsmen and the 108 cows.

“The Legal Adviser to the community, Mr. Michael Chukwuemeka, has been denied proper access to the detained elders and the Deputy President General is in bad state of health.

“Top officials of Anambra State government told IMC that Governor Obiano recently asked the Commissioner of Police to release the elders, but the Police declined, insisting that only order from Abuja can guarantee their release.

“The elders and youths of Ifite-Ogwari had made repeated efforts to get the attention of the state government to the tension, and they were repeatedly told to forgive their enemies for the sake of national unity. They claimed that at no point between December and January did the youth mobilize against the herdsmen.

“If anybody ever died, as claimed by Miyetti Allah, it could be as a result of a private clash between an infuriated farmer and herdsman, and the community was not involved in it.

“Igbo Mandate Congress advises Governor Obiano to stop taxing the Ifite Ogwari community, and pay from state coffers the N38 million the Miyetti Allah demanded for the allegedly killed 108 cows. The governor should also pay N18 million for the destroyed farmlands and N18 million for rehabilitation of families whose daughters and mothers have been senselessly raped since the state failed to protect the community after repeated alarms.”

It also urged the police to order the release of the community leaders and pay them compensation for what the groups described as illegal detention, even as it advised the youths of Ifite Ogwari to suspend any planned reaction and allow a solution to be worked out by concerned Igbo leaders.

 

Why insecurity persists — Atiku, Adeniran

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said lack of job opportunities, made worse by the government of President Buhari, are largely to blame for the rising wave of killings, kidnappings and sundry security challenges in the country.

The Wazirin Adamawa in an exclusive chat with Vanguard, maintained that until the education of the vulnerable crop of Nigerians was prioritized, the security of lives and properties would continue to pose a serious challenge to any government in power.

Speaking through his spokesman, Segun Sowunmi, Atiku painted a picture of what Nigeria would have been were he to be the man steering the wheel of governance today.

He said: “One of the critical issues we hoped he (Atiku) would have been given a chance to manage is the issue of insecurity. Aside from the fact that it affects the North-East zone which is where he comes from, it also has some unfortunate underpinnings of tribal-cum-religious coloration, let alone the broader related movement of persons and illegal arms.

“Atiku is very clear in his mind that a multifaceted approach will thaw the ice. We proposed economic emancipation of the country, we proposed complete overhaul of our security architecture, we proposed a multi-layer policing and intelligence framework.

‘’We proposed dialogue with the grouping and stakeholders, we proposed improved surveillance of our boarders using technology, we proposed a motivated armed forces, and above all, we proposed a serious-minded take no-nonsense leadership attitude that sees a crime for what it is.

“Surely, more cannot be given because of the nature of security, but I can assure you that Atiku would handle the situation much better. Under-development and illiteracy are at the heart of these unending and mindless killings, which in our opinion has gone on for too long at great expense and embarrassment to our country.”

Atiku for the umpteenth time, spoke of the imperative of restructuring the Nigerian state to unleash its self-sustaining powers.

He continued: “Any leader who fails to see the need for some form of restructuring is not ready to give our country a good chance at sustainable development.’’

Also speaking, Professor Tunde Adeniran, lamented the frequency of killings across the land and called for a change in the leadership of the security top hierarchy.

“There is need for policy review, renewed commitment and change of strategies. These can only come at this point in time through a change in the leadership and total overhaul of the Armed Forces of Nigeria,” he said.

 

NASS remains resolute in finding solutions to insecurity  — Senate President

Going forward, Senate President Lawan said the National Assembly would continue to work with President Buhari to find lasting solutions to the current insecurity in the country.

Lawan stated this at Malumfashi in Katsina State, during a Constituency Empowerment programme sponsored by Senator Bello Mandiya representing Funtua Senatorial District.

READ ALSO: I’m being persecuted because of 2023 ― Omo-Agege

Commiserating with the people of Katsina over the recent deadly attacks in the state by bandits, he said: “I want to assure you that we are going to continue to work with President Muhammadu Buhari till we are able to find lasting solutions to this problem of insecurity in our country.

“We will also ensure that government provides infrastructure across the country that makes life meaningful for Nigerians.”

The occasion which drew a large crowd of party faithful and supporters was also attended by Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State.

Lawan applauded Senator Mandiya for his initiative in empowering his constituents and assured him of his support.

The Senate President said the constituency project is so badly misconstrued by many. “This (constituency project) is what we call the empowerment of the most ordinary Nigerians that otherwise wouldn’t have been remembered when you’re talking about the national budget.

“But because members of the National Assembly are so close to the ordinary man, we try to look for those issues that make a difference in their individual and collective lives.’’

Vanguard

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