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Ebonyi: Group demands probe, end to political killings in Edda community

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A group, Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) has called on the Inspector General of Police and the Director-General of the Department of State Security Services (DSS) to intervene and quickly bring to an end cases of political violence and killings ongoing in Asaga Owutu Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi state.

The association also demanded that the state government should be made to “institute an independent Judicial Panel of Inquiry to probe the causes of the killings in Edda, if the government is sincere about finding a lasting solution to the problem.”

Recall that the Ebonyi State Police Command confirmed the arrest of the council chairman of Afikpo North Local Government Area, Eni Uduma and the lawmaker representing Afikpo South East Constituency, Chidi Agemu, over alleged involvement in cult clashes recently.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday and signed by the Chairman of the Association and a political activist, Ambassador Pascal Oluchukwu, condemned what he described as “the acts of banditry, terrorism and killings which have been imposed on Edda clan since the current democratic/political dispensation in the state.”

Oluchukwu lamented that “the denigration of Edda politics to this level of outright and shameless political criminality dates back to sometime around the year 2007 when people of doubtful character entered into Edda/Ebonyi political horizon as political adventurers and merchants of death. Now, we can look back and note that their outing in the field of politics has destroyed Edda and relegated her into a state of mournful and regrettable degradation with their own political careers relapsing into shameful monumental tragedy.”

While giving background to what he called political terror in the Edda area, the association chairman said findings by his group revealed that there is a group in the area allegedly working with the current Chairman of Afikpo South Local Government “terrorising and specialising in torture of innocent citizens, beating of people with Koboko horse whips imported from foreign countries, among others.”

On the recent killings in the area, the association said: “On the 27th March, 2020, a 19- year old boy, Chidi Oji Arua was killed at Nguzu Edda. It was alleged that some officials of the Afikpo South Local Government COVID-19 Task Force went to Nguzu to enforce the Government policy banning burial of corpses as part of the COVID-19 lockdown. Some villagers resisted and the Personal Assistant to the Council Chairman, Keneth Agha Okoro (aka Mukoro) was rough-handled. He was said to have gone back to base to alert his group who went to Nguzu Edda to unleash mahem and Chidi was found lying dead after sporadic gunshots.

“From Sunday, 3rd May, 2020 to Wednesday, 6th May, 2020, three young men from Owutu Edda were murdered in cold blood. The first boy, Onu Chima Ukpai, was shot dead by an alleged member of a rival cult group. Then on Tuesday, 5th May, 2020, one of the boys, Chinedu Offor Ufere, who was wounded during the Sunday attack and was hospitalized, died. Then again, on Wednesday, 6th May, 2020, one Jarun, the elder brother of the boy who was killed on Sunday, went on a revenge mission and killed one Raphael Okereke.

“The recent killings in Edda reflect the brutal and crude political culture of violence and blood-bath which has been used as an instrument of political domination of the area. It is an extension of the regime of terror, thuggery, intimidation and gangsterism. It is aimed at conquering the people by instilling fear into them for political imposition and exclusion,” the association said.

The association noted that the immediate causes of the bloody confrontations can be traced to three recent events which heightened tension in the major flash-points of the LGA. The events are the sharing of political offices in the LGA in 2019, conduct of the 2020 Chairmanship and Councillorship primaries and the composition of the COVID-19 Implementation/Enforcement Task Force in the LGA.

The Ebonyi state indigenes, however said governor Dave Umahi’s statement recently blaming the Police and SSS for their inability to have predicted the killings and to have stopped it is neither here nor there.

“The Governor should immediately institute an independent Judicial Panel of Inquiry to probe the causes of the killings in Edda, if he is sincere about finding a lasting solution to the problem.

“We will also wish to call on the Federal Government and the Human Rights Organizations in Nigeria to wade into Ebonyi state and engage the government of Umahi to forestall further bloodshed in the area.”

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Security

Channels Interview: We Didn’t Declare Commodore Olawunmi Wanted- DHQ

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Islamization Interview: Commodore Kunle Olawunmi is Not Declared Wanted – DIA, DHQ React

A senior intelligence officer with the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) has said that retired Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi was never declared wanted for an interview he granted on alleged Islamization and Boko Haram sponsors in government.

The spokesperson of the Defence headquarters also said that Olawunmi was only invited to shed more light on information he provided on Channel television on tackling terrorism.

The senior DIA officer who pleaded anonymity told PRNigeria that since the television interview, some senior retired and serving military officers have raised concern over the comment of Olawunmi.

“The DIA had no intention was so ever to invite him until when other retired senior and serving officers, especially of the intelligence corps advised that he could assist the security service with vital information for counter-terrorism.

“The invitation was not even formal. It was a phone call by an officer that he knows. We have no reason whatsoever to declare him wanted when he knows how the system operates.”

Speaking with PRNigeria in the same vein, the Director Defence Information (DDI), Major General Benjamin Sawyerr confirmed that the informal invitation was harmless.

Sawyerr said: “As a result of the information coming from intelligence circle, an officer in DIA invited retired Commodore Olawunmi to come over so that he can help with information that can assist in the fight against insurgency and terrorism. The DIA officer asked him to come on Tuesday so that he can even meet with the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Major General Samuel Adebayo. That was all.

“There was no letter or any formal invitation. It was an informal phone call. He just switched off his phone and started calling some media houses that he had been declared wanted.

“You are aware that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor has been going on tours of geopolitical zones to meet with retired military officers to come up with information and ideas on how to tackle the myriad of security challenges in the country

“While we can not blame Commodore Olawunmi for not attending the South-west zone of the interactive sessions with the retired officer, he went on air in the public domain through a television channel with what he himself portrayed as sensitive classified information.

“If the military wanted to arrest somebody, it is the military police that do that. They wont even send any signal before one could be picked up…. He could have been arrested the day or days after he made the broadcast since the system have what it takes to arrest anyone on its radar. He was not declared wanted and there isn’t any reason for his arrest as it is now,” General Swayer concluded.

Many Nigerians have expressed worries and concerns over comments and outbursts of Commodore Olakunle Olawunmi Rtd) on Channels TV.

Olawunmi who described himself as Professor of Global Security Studies in the interview monitored by PRNigeria said that he was among the people that helped bring Buhari to power.

“I was among the people that brought Buhari to government because I believed in him… I worked with him after we bring him to power in 2015. We have a lot of hope in him and we were ready to do anything for him… What he has turned out to over the years is shocking”

In the interview, Olawunmi said that some Governors, ministers and Senators are sponsors of Boko Haram and added that Bureau De Change operators are also sponsors of Boko Haram which is also known to the government.

He insisted that the government is encouraging Islamization when he said that every Friday NDA and all government institutions opened their premises for Jumat prayers. He said Muslims come on Friday for worship in military formations and later they become members of the mess who would later spy on the institution and plan their attacks.

He added that most of the sponsors of terrorism are known within the intelligence community and that the DHQ, DMI, DSS and Police intelligence knows the sponsors very well.

He said Buhari’s administration wants the government to be Islamised as the end game is to turn Nigeria into a Taliban type of country.

He said: “We are currently in the worst security situation in Nigeria today. CIA actually didn’t trust Buhari before 2015. It took the intelligence community and Tinubu to convince Obama and CIA to accept him. They said he was a bigot and will plunge the country.”

He also claimed that the government directed that all media houses should be calling criminal gunmen Bandits and unknown gunmen so that the international community would be misled that they are not terrorists. Tagging them Terrorists will invite the international community.

He added that the government don’t want journalists to report the true picture of what is happening in the country.

By PRNigeria

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Education

88 days after, kidnapped Tegina Islamiya Pupils finally released

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Over 70 pupils of Islamiyya school in Tegina town who were kidnapped by armed bandits in Niger State have been released by their abductors.

The pupils, PRNigeria reported, were abducted from their school premises in June.

A security source told PRNigeria that the students are on their way to Minna en route Kagara from Birnin Gwari.

The Islamiya pupils were held for 88 days and 11 hours according to the timeline of the days and time they have spent in the bandits’ captivity.

PRNigeria has been publishing counts-up since the abductions of some pupils and students in Northern Nigeria. The Abducted students of Yauri Federal Government College (FGC) have been in captivity for 70 days while the remaining abducted students of a Baptist School in Kaduna will be spending their 52nd days in captivity.

▪︎ By PRNigeria

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Security

Two officers killed as bandits attack NDA in Kaduna

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Two officers killed as bandits attack NDA in Kaduna

Bandits have attacked the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna.

The bandits were said to have broken into the academy around 1 am on Tuesday.

Military sources who spoke with TheCable said two officers were killed and while two others were abducted in the attack.

”On 24 August 21, at about 0125hrs, bandits in their large numbers attacked NDA Afaka and kidnapped 1 Offr; Maj Datong while Lt Cdr Wulah and Flt Lt CM Okoronwo were shot dead. 2Lt Onah sustained gun shot injury and currently receiving treatment at own hospital in NDA,” a source said.

Another source said: “They came in, silently, through the part of the academy where we have barbed wire and not properly fenced. Unfortunately, there were no soldiers on guard duty at that end. So, the bandits sneaked in, through to where the officers were and got three of them.

“It was when they shot one of the officers that everybody woke up, and before we knew it they had made their way outside and fled.”

“The attack is a big slap on our face. How could we have allowed that? They already knew there was no guard on duty and came in through that axis.”

TheCable understands that the academy authorities will subject some soldiers to court martial for failing to secure the area.

Onyema Nwachukwu, army spokesperson, did not immediately respond to a message seeking his comment on the incident.

In the recent months, communities in Kaduna and other parts of the north-west have been attacked by bandits.

The bandits had also attacked some schools in the region, and abducted many students.

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