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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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Security

Agojeju-odo Massacre: Ugane Club Challenges FG, Kogi Govt, Traditional Council to Act

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The  people of Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State have challenged the Federal and Kogi state governments, as well as the Igala Traditional Council to wake up to their responsibilities of providing security for communities that have come under sustained vicious attacks by heavily armed Fulani herdsmen in recent times.

A statement signed by the National Coordinator of Ugane Club, a socio-cultural organisation of Igala people of Omala Local Government extraction, Dr James Odaudu, frowned at what it called an abdication of government responsibility of safeguarding the lives and property of the people.

The full Statement;

In the wake of the human carnage that was visited on the Agojeju-odo Community in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State on Thursday by Fulani herdsmen, it has become necessary to remind the Federal Government, the government of Kogi State and the Igala Traditional Council of their responsibilities for the security of lives of the people.

It is worrisome that 48 hours after the dastardly and gruesome murder of over thirty innocent and law-abiding citizens in the sleepy farming community, even with gory pictures of the vicious and callous human tragedy in the public space, there have been no official reactions from the Federal and Kogi state governments, including the Igala Traditional Council.

As a socio-cultural organisation committed to the welfare of Igala people of Omala extraction, Ugane Club views the silence of government and the Traditional Council as not only nonchalant but a betrayal of the people’s trust for safety and security.

Ugane Club notes that Thursday’s attack on Agojeju-odo was not the first time communities in Omala Local Government have been brought under the heavy gunpowder of the marauding herdsmen. There are cases of commercial centres of Bagana and Iyade which have been completely taken over by these aliens. The case of Agbenema also comes to mind .

Ugane Club condemns the unconscionable and callous murder of defenceless inhabitants, including women and children in Agojeju-odo and other communities before it, in the strongest possible terms, and calls on governments at all levels to rise up to their responsibilities of protecting law-abiding citizens, especially in Omala Local Government Area in order to avoid a loss of confidence and resort to sself-help.

We also wish to remind the authorities of an earlier request for the establishment of security outposts at the boundaries of Kogi State with the Benue and Nasarawa States through which the herdsmen terrorists come in to carry out their attacks on Omala Local Government Area and other parts of Igala Kingdom.

Ugane Club further urges the Igala Traditional Council led by His Majesty, the Attah Igala, to take all possible measures to protect his Kingdom from being overrun by these alien herdsmen who bear no sociocultural similarities with the peaceful nomadic Fulanis that have co-habited with the Igala people for decades.

Ugane Club commiserates with the people of Omala Local Government Area, especially the traumatised Agojeju-odo Community over the loss of their loved ones and displacement from their ancestral lands and hopes that those whose responsibility it is to bring succur to them will rise up to the challenge.

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Education

BREAKING! 287 Abducted Kuriga School Children Released

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About 287 Schoolchildren abducted by terrorists in Kaduna State on March 7, have regained their freedom.

This was revealed in the early hours of Sunday, March 24, by the Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Uba Sani.

Terrorists had early on Thursday morning March 7, stormed LGEA Primary School, Kuriga, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State and kidnapped scores of pupils and teachers at about 8:20 am immediately after the morning assembly.

However, in a statement obtained  by SunriseNigeria, Sani specially thanked President Bola Tinubu, NSA Nuhu Ribadu and the Nigeria Army for the release of the Kuriga pupils and students.

 

The statement reads:

“In the name of Allah the Beneficient, the Most Merciful, I wish to announce that our Kuriga school children have been released.

“Our special appreciation goes to our dear President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR for prioritizing the safety and security of Nigerians and particularly ensuring that the abducted Kuriga school children are released unharmed.

“While the school children were in captivity, I spoke with Mr. President several times. He shared our pains, comforted us and worked round the clock with us to ensure the safe return of the children.

“Special mention must also be made of our dear brother, the National Security Adviser, Mal. Nuhu Ribadu for his exemplary leadership. I spent sleepless nights with Mal. Ribadu finetuning strategies and coordinating the operations of the security agencies, which eventually resulted in this successful outcome.

“The Nigerian Army also deserves special commendation for showing that with courage, determination and commitment, criminal elements can be degraded and security restored in our communities.

“We also thank all Nigerians who prayed fervently for the safe return of the school children. This is indeed a day of joy. We give Almighty Allah all the glory.”

Governor Sani is expected to receive the students shortly in Kaduna.

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Security

Boko Haram Sponsors Have Links With Nigerian Military, Army General Forcibly Retired After 64 Days’ Detention Reveals In Letter To President Tinubu

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Former General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj Gen Danjuma Ali-Keffi, has revealed that terrorism financing, procurement, and movement of arms and ammunition for Boko Haram and other criminal elements have links to the military.

General Ali-Keffi, who was forced out of the army for exposing his colleagues’ involvement with terror financing, disclosed this in a letter to President Bola Tinubu, which also detailed his arrest, detention, and compulsory retirement.

“The most worrisome aspect was that some of the individuals involved in the financing of Boko Haram terrorists and who were also involved in the procurement and movement of arms and ammunition for Boko Haram and other criminal organisations had links with the military,” he stated.

Ali-Keffi, who headed Operation Service Wide (OPS), set up by former President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate those involved in terrorism financing, said his arrest, detention, and compulsory retirement followed the report of his team, which exposed the involvement of senior government officials, a top banker, and top military brass in terrorism financing.

Ali-Keffi revealed in the letter published by ThisDay that he headed a presidential investigative taskforce, the Board of Inquiry (BOI), convened by Major General BM Monguno (rtd), the former National Security Adviser (NSA), which sat in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) for five weeks from early January to late February 2020.

“I was the President of the BOI, with members and secretaries drawn from the NCS, NIS, DSS, NIA, ONSA, and NFIU, as well as from the Board of Inquiry, which largely conducted its work as an investigative body tasked with investigating circumstances surrounding the illegal smuggling of petroleum products contained in 168 oil tankers into the Benin Republic through a single smuggling route in Ilesa Barbara, Kwara State,” he said.

He said the BoI went further “to uncover 295 oil tankers that conveyed Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and the major smugglers identified.”.

He lamented that the most painful part of his experience was that President Buhari, who approved his headship of the task force, did not come to his rescue.

Begging President Tinubu for his intervention on the matter, he said, “Please cause an investigation into the circumstances surrounding my arrest, detention, maltreatment, and compulsory retirement from the Nigerian Army.”

He also sought a review of his compulsory retirement from the army and that it should be commuted to voluntary retirement as well as approved compensation for the expenditure incurred by the task force in hiring vehicles and quarters. This should include compensation for the pains and injuries suffered while incarcerated and approval of personal security, he said.

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