Benue buries the dead
Thousands of residents trooped into
IBB Square in Makurdi, Benue state
yesterday to attend the memorial
service for victims of recent herdsmen
attacks in some communities of the
middle belt state..
Herdsmen had earlier killed no
fewer than 50 people in the state on
New Year day.
Many of those attending the event
wore black attires in solidarity with
the families of the victims.
. Senate suspends recess over
Benue, Rivers killings
Disturbed by the recent killings in
Benue and Rivers States, the Senate
President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, late
yesterday directed members of the
Senate Adhoc Committee on Security
to immediately resume sitting and
work through the weekend to ensure
they have an interim report ready for
the consideration of members by next
week.
Saraki, while responding to the
situation in Benue State, especially, reemphasized
his belief that the killings are clear indications that the Security
architecture in the country has inherent
faults and needs to be refurbished.
The senate president, in a statement
issued by his Special Adviser on Media
and Publicity, Alhaji Yusuf Olaniyonu,
said: “I believe the sad situation in
Benue State shows some fundamental
faults in our security system. There is
clear failure of intelligence gathering,
analysis and response time”.
“Our security agencies must be totally
overhauled in terms of equipment,
specialization, funding, training and
staffing.
“This is the reason why in November,
the Senate set up a special committee
led by Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed
Lawan to work with security agencies
and review the entire system with a
view to identifying what is required
in terms of laws, process, procedure,
funding and other necessities for us to
have a solid security system which can
be pro-active in identifying potential
threats, responding to them on time and
preventing any breach.
“We are quite aware of the fact
that security is the first and prime
responsibility of any government.
That is why since early last week I
have directed the Lawan committee
to take into consideration the sad
developments in Benue and Rivers in
their deliberations. Now, we cannot wait
for the time they planned to conclude
their recommendations. They must fast
track their schedule .
“They must sit through the weekend
and get an interim report ready for the
Senate when we resume plenary on
Tuesday. We must immediately support
the executive in solving this problem. We
cannot afford shedding of blood and we
are already moving into the election year
with the potential for the aggravation
or escalation of these problems. We
must decisively resolve the problem of
needless blood letting”, Saraki stated.
. Herdsmen have declared war against
Nigeria – Soyinka
Wole Soyinka, Africa’s first Noble
laureate, says herdsmen have declared a
war against Nigeria.
In a statement on Wednesday,
the professor warned President
Muhammadu Buhari against treating
the situation in a way former President
Goodluck Jonathan did at the early stage
of the Boko Haram crisis.
He wondered why the federal
government had not considered some
of the suggestions which stakeholders
recommended as solution.
He recalled that after “a hideous
massacre” perpetrated by the herdsmen
in 2016, a security meeting was called and
the cattle rearers “attended the meeting
— according to reports — with AK47s
and other weapons of mass intimidation
visible under their garments”.
“They were neither disarmed nor
turned back. They freely admitted the
killings but justified them by claims
that they had lost their cattle to the
host community,” he said.
“Such are the monstrous beginnings
of the culture of impunity. We are
reaping, yet again, the consequences
of such tolerance of the intolerable.
Yes, there indeed the government is
culpable, definitely guilty of ‘looking
the other way’. Indeed, it must be held
complicit.”
“I am not aware that IPOB came
anywhere close to this homicidal
propensity and will to dominance
before it was declared a terrorist
organization.
“The international community
rightly refused to go along with such
an absurdity. The conduct of that
movement, even at its most extreme,
could by no means be reckoned as
terrorism. By contrast, how do we
categorize Myeti?”
Reacting to the comments credited
to the herdsmen that the killings were
in defence of their stolen cows, the
nobel laureate, wondered: “How do
we assess a mental state that cannot
distinguish between a stolen cow –
which is always recoverable – and
human life, which is not.
“Villages have been depopulated
far wider than those outside their
operational zones can conceive. They
swoop on sleeping settlements, kill
and strut. They glory in their seeming
supremacy.”
. Gunshots in Abuja as police
forcefully disperse protesting Shiites
The police fired shots on Wednesday
morning in Abuja as they forcefully
dispersed protesting members of the
Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN.
Hundreds of IMN members started
their protest from Garki Area 10
heading towards Area 1 shortly
before they were barricaded by armed
security operatives at Moshood
Abiola Road on Area 2 junction of the
Nigerian capital.
The Shiites insisted on continuing
with their peaceful march. The
police eventually used tear gas and
gunshots to disperse them. That led
to confusion among traders, motorists
and residents.
The Shiites are demanding the
release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been held without
trial by the government for almost
two years.
. Police smashes deadly 5-man
robbery gang in Lokoja
Kogi state police command has
arrested members of a deadly robbery
gang terrorising the capital city,
lokoja recently.
Parading the leader of the gang,
Musa Mohammed and four other
members at the police command
headquarters, lokoja on Wednesday,
the Police Public Relation Officer,
Williams Aya(ASP) said the hoodlums
were nabbed shortly after they robbed
one Engineer Christ Edime of Naval
Quarters Area Lokongoma Phase 11
lokoja.
Explaining, Aya stated that the
hoodlums invaded the victim’s house
on December 28, 2017 and made
away with his infinity G35 saloon car
with registration number GWA 672JS,
his ATM card and other household
appliances.
He said acting on a tip off and on the
strength of the information, the DSS
Lokoja synthesized with operatives
of the command and the perpetrators
were tracked down,including their
ring leader.
According to him, those nabbed
includes, Musa Mohammed,
Mohammed Kabiru,Emmanuel Audu,
Jale Yunusa and their Lagos member,
Mohammed Ibrahim; adding that
items such as LG Plasma Tv, home
theatre electronic, bag of rice, charms,
handsets and one single barrel gun
were recovered from the suspects.
The victim, Engineer Edime who
stated the robbers operated for two
hours said the suspects came to their
house in the night around 0200hrs on
28-12-2017, tied him and his family
under gun threat, and in the process
made away with his car, ATM card
(which they later use and withdrew
his money) and other house hold
items ,also carried away a pot of soup
and others.
The gang leader, Musa Mohammed
who confessed to the crime stated
that he and his members actually
robbed the victim of his belonging on
gunpoint, saying that it was because
he has no job at hand that he took to
crime.
Musa, a jail bird who jumped bail
recently from Kotonkafei prison said
he is a footballer that had carried his
trade to Italy and other countries,
but returned home when his contract
expired.
While the PPRO implored members
of the public to assist men of the
command by giving a timely and
useful information to rid off the state
of criminal elements, he sressed that
the suspects will be charged to court
as soon as the investigation to their
case is concluded.

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