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Breaking: Military men arrest Catholic priest in Cross River

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*** Gov Ayade fingered

It has just been confirmed that Rev. Fr. Titus Armon, Assistant Parish Priest of Holy Spirit Parish, Abuochiche, Bekwarra LGA was arrested yesterday evening at about 6pm by military men who didn’t identify themselves.

Eye witness accounts by parishioners who attended Evening Mass said Father Armon was picked up right in the Church Premises just as he finished the evening mass and was greeting parishioners.

More information coming in has it that he was “arrested” by men In military uniform dispatched from Calabar! He was arrested in place of his twin brother, also a priest who serves in Anambra. His twin brother has recently been highly critical of the governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade.

Father Armon, the one at Anambra had written a very critical fact check on the tenure of Gov Ayade!

Efforts however are under way by the Catholic Heirachy lawyers from Joe Agi SAN Chambers to trace him and effect his release.

“We look forward to his release and more details on why he was arrested and who instigated his arrest as the day goes by,” the eye witness say.

Parishioners at SS Peter and Paul are said to be restive and are wondering why a priest will be arrested and from within the premises of the church too.

Reports reaching us indicate that community leaders are working hard to placate worshippers so as to prevent a breakdown of law and order.

Fact Check on Ayade by Father Armon which probably led to the arrest:

“Governor Ayade warns Cross River State Youths.*
(Copied)
Great Cross Riverians, I want to salute the courage of our young people who joined their compatriots across the nation to protest against police brutality and bad government in Nigeria.
*♤ _Where were you hiding when #EndSARS started in Cross River State?_*

As you are aware, my administration has over the years made the well-being of our young people a key priority.
*FACT Check: _Most of them belong to the same Cult fraternity as your brother Frank!_*

Indeed, not only do we have the youngest political appointee in the country, who is just over 16 years old, our state executive council is the youngest in the country.
*♤ FACT Check: _That IS NOT TRUTH. The youngest person was 19yrs when appointed._*

I value the life of every Cross Riverian. I am therefore, appealing to our young people to avoid any act that could bring them on the way of harm now that the Federal Government has deployed anti-riot policemen in our cities.
*♤ FACT Check: _It’s your responsibility! DON’T PASS THE BLAME to the Federal Government of Nigeria._*

You have through your sustained protests, made your points. We have heard you loud and clear.
All the issues you have raised are noted and I hereby, make the following commitments:

1. We will proceed with the process of asphalt overlay and fixing of potholes within Calabar metropolis. We must however, allow the rains to subside to give us a dry sub-surface to make for a better and more lasting job.
*♤ FACT Check: _You recently said on record that you were not elected the Governor of Cross River State to be repairing potholes. Has_ #EndSARS _now changed your mind?_*

2. We will find additional means to create more jobs for our young people.
*♤ FACT Check: _You keep on making this same promise every year, during the COVID-19 pandemic you made the same promise yet again._*

I would like you to note that in spite of being the least federal allocation earning state, we do not owe salaries. We also do not owe pensions
*_😳🙄🤔Prof. Ben rapture is real! Our lean resources not withstanding, we will strive to commence the payment of gratuity as soon as possible. What happened to your Intellectual Money and Green Money?_*

Do not forget also that our administration granted tax exemption to low income earners in the state.
*♤ FACT Check: _Your guys are still beating up citizens and collecting Tax from them._*

3. The focus of our administration has been on industrializing the state with a view to creating job opportunities for our people. We have established several industries including the ultra-modern rice mill, Ogoja, Cocoa Processing Factory, Ikom, Calabar Pharmaceutical Factory, Calabar Noodles Factory, Frozen Chicken Factory, Calabar Garment Factory, Rice Seedling Factory, Toothpick Factory, Piles and Pylon Factory, all of which have been completed. The factories will soon commence operations, thus providing more job opportunities for our people, including our young people.
*♤ FACT Check: _All these bogus factories mainly located in warehouses are privately registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC; Barrister Alphonsus Oga Eba, Due Process DG and your candidate for the PDP-CRS Chairmanship is a major shareholder in most of them._*

4. We are doing more than it is in public domain to confront the security challenges in Calabar. We have deployed a special security team from Abuja and so far, the team is doing a good job, arresting between 15 to 20 suspected kidnappers on daily basis.
*♤ “Benedict! Benedict!! Benedict!!!… _how many times did I call you? I am not saying that you are lying;_ I AM SAYING YOU ARE NOT TELLING THE TRUTH. Kidnappers are having a field day in Calabar and Akpabuyo on a daily basis_*

99.9 percent of suspects are non-indigenes of the state. So I commend our people for their non-involvement in this crime of stealing human beings.
*♤ FACT Check: _That Is Simply NOT TRUE more of the captured suspects paraded were indigenes of the state._*

5. The dualisation of the Tinapa-Odukpani Highway with the spaghetti flyover and an interchange bridge will be completed this coming dry season.
*♤ FACT Check: _Are you prepared to take native Oath “Mbiam” that the Spaghetti Flyover will be completed this coming dry season? Have you now found a sponsor as a result of #EndSARS? My friend “mbòk, biko, ejòr, dòn allah,” fear GOD…_*

6. Asphalting of the dual carriage road in northern part of the state will get to the Bekwarra axis of the road by the end of the month. The Okpoma, Mfom part of the road will be completed by the first quarter of 2021.
*♤ NO COMMENT!*

7. Boki East-West road and the North Ukelle road which the World Bank reckoned was beyond the capacity of the State, will be completed by the first quarter of 2021.
*♤ NO COMMENT!*

8. The construction of the 275km superhighway and the Bakassi Deep Seaport was set back by three years when the Federal Government took our State to court. It took a spec

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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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Security

Military deploys ‘Special Force’ to Tackle Insurgency Hotspots in FCT, Neighboring States

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File photo

By Elizabeth Okwe

The Military High Command, on Thursday, says it has deployed special forces to key hotspots in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and neighboring Niger State to tackle the activities of the terrorists and kidnappers.

This deployment comes in response to a concerning surge in insecurity in these areas, including kidnappings and clashes between warring factions in Plateau states.

Major General Edward Buba, Director of Defence Media Operations, while briefing newsmen on the operation of the military, in Abuja.

Maj Gen Buba disclosed that the targeted locations within the FCT include Cashew Forest, Kwaku, and Gadoro in Kuje Area Council, as well as Kawu, Igu, Tokulo, and Gaba in Bwari Area Council.

He said in Niger State, the special forces will focus on Gauraka, Apo Forest, Gyedna/Sabon Wusa, and Garam in Tafa Local Government Area while in Nasarawa state, troops covered Numan and Basa in Akwanga and Nasarawa LGAs respectively.

Buba said this deployment is part of a broader strategy by the military to address the security challenges across the country.

He said the military is redoubling it efforts to ensure citizens live in a peaceful environment and have prosperous life.

“The armed forces would destroy the cancer of terrorism that is ravaging our country thereby creating situations such as is ongoing in the Plateau State. The situation of insecurity that we are confronted with is self inflicted by own citizens upon one another. Nevertheless, It is our duty to protect citizens and create a safe environment for them to have a prosperous future.

“We do not take lightly of the privilege and enormous responsibility of safeguarding our citizens. It is for this reason that,we constantly rejig our operational strategies in order to adopt a the best course of action that would make these ugly experiences a thing of the past.

“Accordingly , we have deployed special forces to some of the hotspots in order to conduct targeted operations. We have also deployed several battlefield enablers to enhance intelligence and strike capability on these terrorists. We are encouraging the warring fractions to shield their swords.

Giving account on the North Central region, Buba said, the tension broke out in MANGU in the early hours of 23 Jan 24. The situation escalated and resulted in break down of law and order in MANGU Town and adjoining communities.

“The crisis which started from GANGARAN KWATA escalated to other parts of MANGU LGA despite concerted efforts by troops deployed to the general area to restore normalcy.

Buba however disclosed that in the week under review, Nigerian troops neutralized 94 criminals, arrested 214 (including 43 oil thieves), and rescued 29 hostages. They also prevented oil theft worth 485.9 million naira.

“Furthermore, troops recovered 168 assorted weapons and 2,757 assorted ammunition. The breakdown as follows: one GPMG, 85 AK47 rifles, one Vektor R4 rifle, one G3 rifle, 10 pump action guns, 12 locally fabricated guns, 6 locally made pistols, 21 dane gun, one double barrel gun, one fabricated revolver rifle, 2 x 36 hand grenades and one fabricated dane gun.

“Others are: 290 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 2,132 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 115 rounds of 5.66mm ammo, 29 rounds of PKT ammo, 10 rounds of 9mm ammo, 297 cartridges, 21 magazines, 14 vehicles, 35 motorcycles, 27 mobile phones, 2 baofeng radios and the sum of N2,594,000.00 amongst other items.

Speaking further, he revealed that troops in the Niger Delta raided illegal oil refineries, destroying 16 pits, 51 boats, 49 tanks, and 3 vehicles. They also seized equipment such as cooking ovens, pumps machines and confiscated stolen oil (363,875 litres of stolen crude oil, 198,315 litres of illegally refined AGO and 5,200 liters of PMS.

He, however, urged the public to play their part in the fight against insecurity by providing information about suspicious activities and individuals.

“Everyone should understand that the terrorist and their cohorts exist for the sake of war, therefore, for the sake of peace, they must be eliminated”, he said.

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Politics

Exclusive: Tension as Fulani militia camps in Omala community to disrupt governorship election in Kogi East

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Working in synergy with the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN in Kogi State, Fulani militia are daily flooding Bagana, a riverine area in Omala Local Government Council in Kogi East Senatorial District, CAPITAL POST, reports.

Bagana, a community situated by the lower River Benue part of Kogi East once have a robust and thriving trade by barter transactions which has lasted for centuries, but got embroiled in communal clashes with Patanyi and Omagede communities claiming ownership of Bagana in few years ago.

Before the crises snowballed into uncontrollable level in barely eight years ago, it has all been animosity among residents of Bagana, Patanyi and Omagede, but in Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration, the communal clashes became deepened due to political interest introduced into it.
The cause of crises were due to revenue generated on market days as traders came from all parts of Kogi East, Enugu and Anambra due to its trade by barter and cheap food items including fresh and dried fishes which were majorly supplied by the Agatu speaking people.

When our correspondent visited Bagana in the guise of buying dried fishes, to the consternation of all imaginations, Fulani people have taken over the entire community and could be seen collecting revenue and issuing receipts to motorists.

It was also discovered that motorists plying Abejukolo, headquarters of Omala and Bagana road including those coming to the market from outside the LGA have surrendered their fate to Fulani impostors and were willingly paying levies to them.

Read Also: Insecurity: Address reasons armed Fulani herders keep killing Nigerians, Ortom’s CPS tackles Buhari’s media aide
Apart from the fact that they look alien, and hardly speak ‘pidgin’ English, their Hausa accent is that of Nigeriens. Fully armed, each Fulani sighted has an AK47 including some on guards in readiness to pull trigger in case of any eventualities.

As at the time of CAPITAL POST’s visit to Bagana, no single residential building was standing on its own, no thanks to the last crises which the Patanyi and Omagede people unleashed Fulani hirelings on them.

The Bagana which was home to Agatu and Igala speaking tribe has completely been deserted after gun battle with hired Fulani mercenaries by the Patanyi and Omagede communities, thus, every houses are either reduced to rubles or set ablaze by the invaders. Currently, the residents have been turned into Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Abejukolo-Ife.

Political Interest/Crowding of Fulani militia ahead of Governorship election

Presently, the Fulani militia are flooding Bagana on the invitation of those earlier hired for gun battle by the Patanyi and Omagede communities for purposes of dislodging Bagana residents.

Speaking with one of Bagana’s youth leader who pleaded anonymity, he told CAPITAL POST that Fulani militia has gone beyond the communal crisis and has metamorphosed into Kogi State Governorship Election now. He revealed that the militias are crossing River Benue down to Bagana from the neighbouring Nasarawa axis. A development he said, was on the involvement of the leadership of Kogi MACBAN who chose to assist Yahaya Bello’s administration in the forthcoming governorship election in the Eastern Senatorial district.

Read Also: Senator Adeyemi commends Bello for appointing Okun people into government
He said, Bagana has become a camping ground for the militias preparatory to invade Omala in connivance with thugs loyal to the All Congress, APC who are familiar with the forest in order to make the affected LGAs inaccessible for election.

“I was in Bagana market and it’s fearful, the sophisticated guns being brandished by the militias. I can confirm to you that on Wednesday last week I sighted some militias coming into Bagana and currently their number has gone up to 300.or thereabout.

“The authority has interest in using them to distabilise Kogi East so that election will not hold”, the youth leader said.

In the similar vein, the President of Ife Development Association, IDA, Dr. Aaron Omale confirmed the camping of Fulani militias in Bagana for election purposes. He lamented how political leaders in the State and at the LG are feigning ignorance of strange faces in Bagana because of political interest.

According to him, the leadership of the socio-cultural group has scheduled a meeting with the traditional rulers in Omala LG in order to discuss the challenge and push it up to the appropriate quarters.

A local vigilante leader in Abejukolo, speaking on the development, admitted that there is tension over the presence of militia with the high calibre of weapons they are brandishing.

He said, they will remain law abiding, pray and calm, believing that government would take action at the right time.

Read Also: Greenfield incident: Bagudu, Badaru visits El-Rufai
Meanwhile, calls and Watsapp messages sent to the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Williams Ovye Ayah to react if the Police was aware of the presence of Fulani militias was not responded to before filing this report.

CAPITAL POST recalled that the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Kogi State Chapter on Saturday, September 16, paid a courtesy call on governor Yahaya Bello at the Lugard House, Lokoja.

The Chairman of the Fulani group in Kogi State, Umar Yusuf Damina assured the governor of their support for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Ododo Ahmed Usman.

The MACBAN leader in his address claimed that Bello has numerous achievements to his credit, saying that the governor has secured the State in past years.

In his welcoming address, Bello lauded MACBAN’s endorsement of APC’s Ododo ahead of November 11, governorship election, adding that he was “deeply moved by this display of unity,” while he reiterated his administration’s stance against any form of discrimination against the Fulanis in Kogi State.

He lauded MACBAN for its valuable contributions in sharing information and gathering intelligence, which had aided conventional security forces in identifying and eliminating criminal elements among the Fulani community in the state.

Governor Bello expressed his conviction that the Fulanis, known for their unwavering commitment to their word, would undoubtedly throw their support behind the APC during the November 11 polls.
(Source: CapitalPost)

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