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Bandits and Terrorists holding Nigeria to Ransom – PDP

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…Insists on state, community policing

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday decried Tuesday night’s massacre of no fewer than 30 Nigerians in simultaneous bandit attacks on four villages in two local government areas of Zamfara state.

The Party has also lamented the killing of a staff member as well as the abduction of an unknown number of students of Greenfield University in Kaduna state, the same Tuesday night, resulting in the death of three of them.

In a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP described as saddening the worsening security situation in the country which is attributed to the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to demonstrate leadership competence.

“It is saddening that bandit and terrorist elements are now holding our nation to ransom due to the manifest lack of commitment by the Buhari Presidency and the disoriented All Progressives Congress, APC, to decisively confront the situation and secure our country.

“Today, under President Muhammadu Buhari, our nation has become an expansive killing field where bandits, terrorist, kidnappers and invaders are having a field day despoiling our communities and killing our compatriots. This is completely unacceptable!

“Our party recalls that we had advised President Buhari to conduct a holistic re-jigging of our national security architecture but Mr President only replaced the faces of the service chiefs, without any attention to serious operational issues, as if the replacement of commanders were the exclusive magic wand for the security challenges facing our nation.

“In the same vein, our party had demanded the decentralization of the police structure in a manner that will allow for effective state and community policing in the country.

“Rather than implement such, the Buhari Presidency, as well as the APC, are toying with a constabulary system of policing even when it is clear that such cannot be a direct response to the level of banditry and insecurity pervading our nation today.

“The fact is that the situation in our nation today has become too critical and demanding a surgical approach, including an amendment to our constitution and other statutes that will allow for an effective community police system.

“It is clear to all that no matter the number of the Inspector Generals of Police that are replaced, the policing structure of our nation will remain ineffective if left under the prevailing statutory framework.

“For the umpteenth time, the PDP charges President Buhari to wake up from slumber, stop his unnecessary rhetoric, blame games and lame marching orders and take bold steps to re-jig our national security architecture to guarantee the protection of lives and property in our country.

“Our party holds that President Buhari, as the commander-in-chief, who promised to lead from the front, cannot be sleeping on duty or having a penchant for overseas trips when our nation is on the edge,” the statement read.

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Crime

Attack on Sen Ifeanyi Ubah unfortunate and condemnable — Peter Obi

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•Mourns the dead, says, ‘We cannot re-build Nigeria through crime and violence’

The Presidential Candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, has strongly condemned the shooting at Enugu-Ukwu, Anambra State, yesterday targeted at the convoy of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, describing it as “unfortunate and condemnable”.

Speaking to newsmen at the Abuja Airport, Obi said he was saddened when he heard about the news, especially when lives were lost. He called on the perpetrators of such crimes nationwide to have a re-think about their actions, which he described as “injurious to the growth and development Nigeria urgently needs now that suffering abounds in the land.”

Obi, who described most of the shootings going on in every part of the country as one of the cumulative effects of bad leadership over the years, said that the best way to tackle them was to go to the root causes of discontent in the land and nip them in the bud rather than pretending that Nigeria has been fair to Nigerians.

Obi

Part of his words: “I have continued to lay emphasis on the urgent need for enhanced security and protection of life and property in our society. I reiterate my unwavering commitment to put an end to all forms of violence in different parts of the country by seeking the root causes, under my watch, when elected the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Violence and killings of Nigerians under any guise whatsoever will not be accepted or tolerated under my watch as President.”

Commiserating with Governor Chukwuma Soludo, he encouraged him not to relent in his efforts to restore sanity to the state.

Obi also commiserated with the Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and the affected families over the painful incident and loss of lives. He said: “I deeply commiserate with my brother, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, and extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones in this ugly incidence.”

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Education

Security threats: Nasarawa govt. orders immediate closure of both public, private schools

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Nasarawa State Government has ordered for the immediate closure of both public and private schools, as a proactive step to safeguard the lives of students from across the state.

This follows on the heels of security threats across the country, particularly at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with government already in possession of reports suggesting likely security threats in communities within the state, bordering the FCT, such as Gitata and Umaisha.

The decision to order for the closure of schools across the state, was part of the resolution arrived at during an expanded state executive council meeting, which took place at the Government House, on Wednesday.

Briefing journalists shortly after the council meeting, state Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Fatu Jimaita Sabo, disclosed that, having considered and reviewed the current situation in the country, especially regarding the security threats in the FCT, the state government decided to close both public and private schools in the state with immediate effect.

Hajiya Sabo said this has become necessary considering the proximity of the state to the FCT, as well as the resolve of the government to ensure that schools in Nasarawa State, operate within a safe environment.

She however explained that the directives excludes the exit classes that are already writing their final examinations, especially in secondary schools.

While announcing that her ministry will, in due course, issue a circular to that effect, the education commissioner however appealed to parents not to panic, adding that Nasarawa State is safe but that the decision was taken as a proactive step to safeguard the lives of both pupils and students across the state.

Hajiya Sabo equally appealed to principals and heads of respective schools, to also ensure the schools are closed in an orderly manner, especially that there is no threat to any life or property presently in Nasarawa State.

“We are appealing to parents not to panic. We all know that Nasarawa State is safe but this decision was taken as a proactive measure to ensure that our children are safe and continue to remain safe. That is for those within the state and those that came from other states to study here.

“We want to also appeal to our principals and heads of respective schools, to also ensure that while we are closing these schools, we do it in an orderly manner. There’s no threat to any life or property as at now in Nasarawa State. And as I mentioned, it’s just part of government’s proactive measure. We are all aware, that His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has always prioritized security and safety of lives and property in Nasarawa State,” she stated.

The commissioner emphasized that, the decision is one of the measures that has been taken to ensure that the administration continue to maintain a safe environment within Nasarawa State.

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Security

Bagana Crisis: Attah Igala Orders Otutubatu and Ihankpe Chiefs Back to Respective Domains

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The Attah Igala and President, Kogi state traditional council, HRM Matthew Alaji Opaluwa has called on the displaced people of Bagana communities in Omala Local Government Area of the state to return home as necessary measures have been put in place to ensure their safety.

The Monarch, gave the assurance in a meeting held recently in his palace at Idah with some royal fathers from Kogi East in a bid to permanently resolve the crisis.

The royal father, expressed his unhappiness at the failure of Onu Otutubatu, Chief Salifu Anyebe to build his palace at the tomb of Abutu -Aje, the progenitor of Attah Igalas.

His Royal Majesty, Attah Igala, Matthew Alaji Opaluwa

He added that the absence of the palace at the shrine has made the gods/ ancestors to be angry with the land.

Meanwhile he had directed the relocation of Onu Otutubatu and Ihankpe Palaces from Bagana to their respective domains, the District Head of Bagana, Alih Haruna should return home to provide leadership for the people, even as chief Salifu Anyebe should mend fences with Onu Ife, HRH Boniface Musa, for peace to reign.

He promised to visit the shrine soonest as part of the ascendancy rites.

Those in the meeting with the Attah Igala were, HRH Onu Ibaji, Ajofe John Egwuemi, Ejeh Ofu, Akuh Obaje, Ogohi Anyigba, Alhaji Shaibu Okolo ; Onuh Ankpa, Abdulmalik Umar and Onuh Ife , Boniface Musa and all the traditional rulers in Omala LGA including Chief Salifu Anyebe.

He , however, sound note of warning to the Agatu Militias from Benue state who are allegedly terrorising the people of Bagana and its environs to desist, saying their continued attack on the people would amount to the declaration of war against Igala people.

While disclosing the commitment of His Royal Majesty to the peace process, the Ojogba of Ife , Hrh Boniface Musa assured that the latest intervention by Attah Igala is capable of returning lasting peace and security to the Communities.

His Royal Highness, Onu Ife (Ojogba)
Chief Boniface Musa

He said, Onu Otutubatu had informed him of his inability to meet up with the proceedings.

According to him” the vehicle he, Onu Otutubatu was traveling in broke down at Abaji in Abuja and all efforts to fix it on time failed.

He explained that Onu Otutubatu will not be able to send representatives to the meeting but pledge to abide by the resolution of the meeting.

Meanwhile, the stakeholders in attendance, agreed to adhere to the terms and conditions of the resolution.

Recall that the Bagana Crisis which started in 2012 as Fulani Herders and farmers clashes, snowballed into tribal and clannish cleansing that has reduced the communities to rubbles, with heavy humanitarian crisis.

Successive administrations from Gov. Ibrahim Idris, Idris Wada and the present administration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello have directed the Onu Otutubatu, Salifu Anyebe and Onu Ihankpe clan , to relocate their palaces from Bagana to their domains as part of measures to end the crisis.

However, the directives have not been met with concomitant sanctions.

Those in attendance in the meeting include; HRH Ogohi Akpacha, Paul Achor , 2nd class, Acting Ayidu of Ogodu, chief Adejoh Adams, 2nd class, Onu Abejukolo, Alhaji Suleiman Abimaje, 2nd class, Egena of Icheke , Alhaji Achegbulu Aku,3rd class, Oga Onuh Ife Bagana, Mr Alih Haruna 3rd class, other Beaded Chiefs ,Representatives of Hausa / Fulan/Nupe ; Igala, Ogba communities, Ihankpe Clan , women and youths, Security Operatives and interested persons in the crisis.

In his contribution , the Ogohi Akpacha, who is also a member of the Local Government 11 man Committee on the crisis noted that, Onu Otutubatu has not been consistent with the peace process.

He added that his failure to attend the meeting was affront to the constituted authority, alleging that his actions have constituted a clog in ending the violence.

Also, the acting Aidu of Ogodu, chief Adejoh Adams reminded the gathering of similar directives by Kogi state Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello through the ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs which he ignored without sanctions.

He urged the Attah Igala to take proactive measure to ensure that his directive is implemented forthwith.

He called on the warring parties to sheath their swords in the interest of people to enable the displaced to return home to pick up their ruined livelihoods.

In a remark, the Ega onu ife and District Head of Bagana, Chief Alih Haruna , whose palace was razed down in the wake of the crisis appealed to Attah Igala to invoke appropriate sanctions on those frustrating peace of the area.

In their seperate contributions, the representatives of Hausa/ Nupe /Fulani , Alhaji Ismaila Umar , Woman leader , Hajia Lami Audi , Pastor Peter Peace of Ihankpe Clan, Alhaji Yusufu Abuh commended HRH Onuh Ife, Boniface Musa and Attah Igala , HRM Matthew Alaji Opaluwa for their tireless efforts to resolve the communal and Chieftaincy crises.

They urged them not to stop at the mere dishing out directives but to enforce it no matter whose ox is gored to restored peace to the embattled Communities.

They assured the Royal Fathers of their unalloyed commitment to the peace process and are eager to return to their ancestral homes to rebuild their properties.

Reacting to the latest efforts to bring peace to the area, a prominent indigine of the area, Dr James Odaudu commended the Igala paramount ruler for taking the bull by the horns to ensure the return of peace to Bagana and its environs.

Odaudu said the latest directive by the Attah Igala for the two warring traditional rulers of Otutubatu and Ihankpe to relocate their palaces from Bagana to their domains will bring lasting solutions to the crisis, but however appealed to the authorities to ensure that the directive is implemented forthwith.

He also commended the Onu Ife, HRH Boniface Musa for his commitment to ensuring that lasting peace is entrenched in Ife land, while also urging the traditional rulers of Otutubatu and Ihankpe to re-commit themselves to the restoration of harmony amongst their people, as that is the only way to attract development to their domains.

(Additional reports by OperaNews)

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