Saturday, 15 September 2018

Ahmed Zainab, El-Rufais Nominee Replaces Kemi Adeosun As Finance Minister

Minister of State Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, will oversee the Ministry of Finance, henceforth.

The appointment was announced by President Muhammadu Buhari Friday, after accepting the resignation of the holder, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.

The President thanked the Minister for her services to the nation and wished her well in her future pursuits.

Ahmed was born in Kaduna State. She got her first degree in Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University in 1981, after-which she proceeded to Ogun State University for her MBA

Friday, 14 September 2018

IPOB SIT AT HOME ORDER RECORDS PARTIAL OBSERVANCE

IPOB sit –at-home witness’s partial SUCCESS ,

As IPOB claims 70% successBy Vincent

Awka- TODAY’s sit-at-home ordered by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to protest last year’s invasion of the home of its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, as well as the alleged killing of many pro-Biafra agitators and the recent detention of many women in Imo State, witnessed partial success.

This came as the IPOB leadership claimed that the order achieved 70% compliance in most states in the Eastern part of the country.

According to Vanguard Newspaper ,In Anambra, apart from Nkpor area and the commercial city of Onitsha where the sit-at-home was totally observed, apparently because the group injected fear on the residents, which made the people to stay indoors, the order failed in Awka and the rural areas as most businesses and offices were open.

While all the banks in Onitsha closed shop, those in Awka, Nnewi and other communities offered skeletal services.

All public schools and some missionary schools in Anambra State were open, although many parents did not take their children to school for fear of the unknown.

Security operatives were stationed at strategic places and people went about their businesses. Some filling stations did not open, but all NNPC stations and few other stations operated in all the major towns in the state.

The Anambra State police command, after observing the situation in the state, said the compliance was near total failure because the people had confidence in the ability of the police to protect them from harassment and intimidation

.A statement by the police public relations officer, Mr. Mohammed Haruna said the command deployed adequate security men to all parts of the state, including critical government installations, just as all major entries and exit routes in the state were well secured.

However, IPOB leadership, in a statement said it was happy with the outcome of the sit-at-home order.


The group’s media and publicity secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful said: “IPOB and its leadership commend the worldwide family of IPOB, all traders unions, market leaders, artisans, teachers, bankers, road transport workers, clergy, business men and women across the length and breadth of Biafraland, for observing a solemn day of remembrance in memory of those that died on 14 September 2017 at Isiama Afaraukwu Umuahia.

"Our collective defiance of the oppressors and their local agents has truly marked IPOB as the authentic mouthpiece of the people.

"The predictable biased report accompanied by unrelated photos did not conceal the fact that over 70 per cent compliance was recorded “IPOB has once again proved to the entire world that we are in charge of the whole Eastern Region.  The sit –at- home order issued by IPOB and observed by Biafrans is an indication that Biafra has come to stay.”

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

PHOTOS: We buried many people inside their rooms’ — untoldstories of Plateau attacks

The day began with high hope; bright morning; good weather – the perfect kind for farming. Irimya Moses left for her farm like some other villagers in Exland, Barkin Ladi local government area of Plateau state, with no slightest knowledge she won’t be returning alive.  She had spent barely two hours there when around 1pm, she was rounded up and killed.Unknown to the villagers, that single act was just a window for a more dastardly one; the kind that would later claim at least 100 lives with thousands displaced and living as ghost of themselves.“They (the herdsmen) were three in number,” Jacob Dadi, a villager told TheCable on a bright afternoon.“Two ran away but one was caught by the security men and the youth. He wanted to take them to others but other herdsmen struck again and he escaped.

“Before we knew it, almost all parts of the four villages were attacked. From the west, east and south … they were everywhere. The attack was so massive that even the security operatives who werethere could not stand it.”Jacob says they may never recover from the attack.While this was going on, other attacks were also being carried out in some other villages in Barkin Ladi as well as in Riyom. For instance, within the district – Gashis, mourners who had gone for a burial organised by the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) in Kakuruk village were also ambushed by suspected herders who “opened fire on them”In the end of it all, the police confirmed 100 dead but witnesses said “almost 200” were killed.

“We buried some inside their rooms and some others were buried in mass graves,” a youth leader who gave his name as Davou said.Although the reason for the attack is not yet confirmed, multiples sources said five herdsmen were killed days leading to the incident, with cows rustled.‘SECURITY OPERATIVES ALSO RAN’Villagers told TheCable that for at least four hours, beginning from around 2pm, the attackers operatednon-stop, “burning whatever they see”: houses, cars– including human beings.32 persons were reportedly buried in this grave“It was my village, Exland, that was first attacked,” Dadi said. “We noticed they were on the mountains,not also knowing some of them had advanced into the town. So when the shooting started, people started running. On opening the window, I just saw them shooting… shooting!”The attackers, the villagers said, had come with guns and machetes, splitting into groups.

 When TheCable visited some of the affected villages, onlya few houses and trees were remaining. In Exland, there were at least three graves counted, with one of them having 32 bodies inside. The villagers said most of those dead were hurriedly buried: no funeral rites not to talk of burial ceremonies.While Dadi was able to escape, he lost an in-law in the attack, as well as “some of my friends and many people I know.” He also said the security operatives who were on ground when the incident happened were overpowered by the attackers.“The security there couldn’t do anything. Some of them ran with us. They tried to cover us with the small arms they have. That operation lasted for four hours, till Saturday evening. There wasn’t any security, no JTF that came up. The ones with us when it started were trying to cover us till we left there. Even the security ran for their lives. They were just few and their arms were not as good as those people’s own.”Barkin Ladi police stationTheCable discovered there were two security outposts located within Exland, a police station andan outpost for soldiers.THE RACE FOR SURVIVALAlmost all the villages had been deserted. When TheCable visited Barkin Ladi, only some Fulani residents were seen. One of them who gave his name as Mohammad, said “nothing” when asked why they were still within the area despite the security situation and the tension.

Abigail, a villager from Heipang, told TheCable of how she was able to take her two nephews – aged 11 years and four years – to Jos after the attack: “That Monday, there were no much public transport. Along the road to Mangui and in some other areas, there were no cars. We suffered because we could get a car.Pa Davou lost a brother in the attack.“And the transport fare from Barkin Ladi to Jos which is usually N300 became N1,000. But we said okay, provided we could reach Jos. My mum and dad had to stay back to look after the house. So they were planning that if anything should happen again or the gunshots increase, they will all leave.”Along the roads leading to the villages were variouscheckpoints, while a few security patrol team patrolled the area.MILITARY SAYS ATTACK ‘COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE’While reacting to the claims from villagers that the security operatives did not respond on time, Umar Adam, spokesman of the special military task forcein the state code-named “Operation Save Haven”, said the soldiers in affected areas responded “almost immediately.”He, however, added that the situation worsened when the troops discovered the gunmen were shooting sporadically from other areas.“The villages were attacked simultaneously,” he said, adding: “If not for the reaction of the STF personnel, it would have been worse.”UNTOLD ‘REPRISAL ATTACKS’Of the three local government areas where deaths were recorded, it was discovered the suspected herdsmen attacked Riyom and Barkin Ladi while reprisal attacks were recorded in Jos south.TheCable learnt that while the attack in some of the villages were going on, angry youth took over major roads mainly in Jos south and began “hunt for Fulani”A soldier who witnessed the incident said: “From Maraban Jaman junction, the youth mounted a blockade on the road and any vehicle that comes along, they will search and attack the Fulani inside there. Cars carrying only Fulani will be set ablaze. Some of the victims were just travellers coming from Abuja.“And by then some of us had already left that area to those villages the attacks were occurring. We had received the alarm from inside not knowing theyouth were planning to revenge. I can confirm that 19 persons were killed in the reprisals, especially in Jos south.”HERDSMEN DENY CARRYING OUT THE ATTACKThe opinion in Plateau and other parts of the country is that the attack was carried out by herdsmen. 

But the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), an umbrella association of the herders, already distanced its members from the incident.Mohammadu Nura, MACBAN chairman in the state,told TheCable that herders were the ones killed in the incident.What does the future hold for this child seen in one of the IDP camps“We had privileged information before that Saturday that people will block roads and search for Fulani. So we informed our people that they should be alert and nobody should use those roads.Unfortunately, on that very day, at 6am, they startedblocking roads and were holding sophisticated weapons including riffles, machetes, and shouting that they must kill a Fulani man,” he said.“They were there till around 1pm (when) they went on rampaging, moving into the hinterland; looking for Fulanis in their villages and cows to kill.  

They went into the bush and started killing them and their cows. That is the genesis of the crisis.  And I said this thing before the vice-president and the community leaders. Nobody disputed the fact.”‘WE DON’T KNOW IF WE CAN RECOVER’Recovering from an attack that claimed at least 100 lives may take a long time, and the villagers are not finding the healing process easy, especially with humanitarian needs like lacking in the over 20 internally displaced persons (IDP) camps they are currently staying.Daliop Mechibi, the traditional ruler of Exland, told TheCable the people were helpless and had not fully recovered.Daliop Mechibi, the traditional ruler of Barkin Ladi, says the villagers needs protection from the attackers“We have a problem here and we need help,” he said, darting his eyes around like he has just sensed an imminent attack. “The people need to beprotected by the security operatives and the government. That is all we are asking.”

“The trauma in still in us, and the pain is still in us. It has not lasted up to a week, so how do you expect us to recover?”GRIEVOUS HUMANITARIAN SITUATIONA church — Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) — now being used as an IDP camp asa result of the attack.In the wake of the attacks, not more than 32,000 persons were displaced and currently staying in 20 IDP camps, including churches and schools, Juni Bala, director, search and rescue, at the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) told TheCable on Saturday.“We are still discovering more IDPs as we go round,” she added.When TheCable visited some of the camps on Thursday, it was discovered that necessary measures had not been fully put in place to addressthe humanitarian situation in the area.In Heipang village where a church – Korkin RCC Church – has been converted to an IDP camp, the villagers said food and other basic needs were in short supply. The main church building house their bags and clothing while they spent most part of theday outside the church premises.Adults at an IDP camp circle around a tray to get ‘breakfast’ at 1pm“We have not received any help from anybody sincewe came here,” one of the camp officials who did not want his name disclosed said. “This food you are seeing is from what we contributed among ourselves. No government official has even visited us here not to talk of bringing us food. Anything yousee here was from the villagers and also from organisations like Red Cross.

The situation was also similar in the other camps within the area where the villagers said no official either from the SEMA or from any other state government agency has come to visit or provide forthe villagers.Bala, however, told TheCable that the agency had started distributing relief materials to the IDPs.“The government is giving out relief materials right now. We are now at Jos south, Barkin Ladi and Riyom LGAs. We are distributing food and non-edibles – mats, bedding, and a few toiletries,” she told TheCableShe added that the relief materials would be distributed to the IDPs on a daily basis but in a small quantity. “SEMA officials are on ground and are currently attending to the villagers,” she said.Similarly, Emmanuel Lanre, spokesman to the Plateau governor, told TheCable of what the state government “has done” to alleviate the sufferings of the IDPs.A house burnt during the attackAccording to him, “relief materials have been distributed by NEMA and SEMA. The governor’s wife has also distributed relief materials to the affected communities. Further to this, the state government has directed and undertaken to pay thebills of all the injured receiving treatments in various hospital.”PEACE EFFORTS THAT HAVE BEEN IN PLACE BEFORE THE ATTACK AND WHY THEY COLLAPSEDThe Berom (locals) and the Fulani crisis dates backto over 10 years but the last major aggression between the two groups  was in 2010 when over 20 persons were killed in an attack and counter attacks in Fan, also in Barkin Ladi local government. 

The peace that has existed since then was as a result of efforts from various stakeholdersincluding non-governmental organisations (NGOs), one of such Youth Initiative Against Violence and Human Rights Abuse (YIAGA). YIAGA, TheCable learnt, has been organising peace meetings among other efforts between the herdsmen and the variouscommunities.But what went wrong this time?Houses empty of people. Villagers fled during the attackJacob Pwakim, YIAGA executive director, told TheCable that part of the organisation’s efforts towards ensuring peaceful coexistence between thetwo groups was establishing peace clubs. “These peace clubs was for us to catch them young, and they are in place in eight schools. In the eight schools, we have facilitators who teach them aboutthe issues of peace, reconciliation, pluralism and some other areas.“We also have dialogues with the communities – the Fulani and the Biroms – around the issues bothering them?”


"Some of these things are beyond our capability”, a volunteer with another organisation who didn’t want to disclose her identity said. “From what we have seen in the field, we discovered that in most cases, the issues are beyond what we hear of. And the state government has not been helping matters.There are supposed to be measures to sustain peace even in the coming years, on the side of the government.”LALONG SAID THE ATTACKS HAD BEEN A ‘WEEKLY AFFAIR’Nanle, however, denied that his principal has not been doing much to ensure lasting peace, describing the claim as “far from the truth.”He told TheCable of various security and community consultation that the state government initiated between the different ethnic groups in the local government areas.“The plateau peace building agency is a brainchild of this administration established to work out proactive measures for violence conflict prevention,” he also said.“The dynamics of the violent conflicts in the northern senatorial zone are complex. 

The Lalong administration was able to halt the attacks for almost three years which before the advent of this government have been a weekly affair.”

Credit: The able




Sunday, 1 July 2018

NIGERIA HAS RECORDED NEARLY 20,000 DEATHS UNDER BUHARI, SAYS US COUNCIL

Nigeria Has Recorded Nearly 20,000 Deaths under Buhari, Says US Body

The United States Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) says it has documented at least 19,890 deaths in Nigeria since June 2015, just after President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office on May 29, 2015. This is as the United Kingdom-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) disclosed that Fulani militias killed 1,061 people in about 106 attacks on communities in central Nigeria in the first quarter of 2018. CSW said 11 other attacks on communities in the southern parts of the country by the militia claimed a further 21 lives.

In a related development, the UK House of Lords on Thursday expressed worry about the inability of the Buhari government to end killings in Nigeria, warning that ethno-religious violence in the country may escalate to the Rwanda type genocide if the federal government remained complacent about it. The concern followed a debate on the recent killing of about 200 people in Plateau State by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

The CFR, an independent body of experts dedicated to providing advice on policy options facing countries, put the cumulative deaths in Nigeria from May 2011 to May 2018 at 53,595. This statistics was obtained by THISDAY from a section of the organisation’s website, Nigeria Security Tracker (NST). According to the think tank, the NST tracks violence that is both causal and symptomatic of weakness of Nigeria’s political institutions and citizen alienation. It said the data was based on weekly surveys of Nigerian and international media and that they included violent incidents related to political, economic, and social grievances directed at the state or other affiliated groups (or conversely the state employing violence to respond to those incidents.)

CFR added, “Different groups in Nigeria resort to violence. The militant Islamist movement Boko Haram is active in northern Nigeria. Violence among ethnic groups, farmers, and herdsmen sometimes acquires religious overtones. A new generation of Niger Delta militants threatens war against the state. Government soldiers kill civilians indiscriminately. Police are notorious for extrajudicial murder.”

In the CSW’s latest report, equally obtained by THISDAY, the organisation said, “During the first quarter of 2018 CSW documented 1,061 deaths in 106 attacks by the Fulani militia on communities in Adamawa, Benue, southern Kaduna, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau and Taraba states, with an additional 17 lives lost in attacks in the south of the country. CSW also documented seven instances of violence targeting Fulani herders or communities in which 61 people lost their lives; two of these attacks occurred in the south of the country. The recent deaths in Plateau State bring the number of casualties recorded so far in herder militia attacks in central Nigeria in the second quarter of 2018 to 440.”

The organisation said the figures were obtained by its offices in the United Kingdom and in Nigeria using organisational records, a timeline issued by the Office of the President of the Nigerian Senate, #MiddlebeltMassacres in Twitter, news sources, and the United States-based Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker. It further noted that there was more to the violence going on in Nigeria – often referred to as “farmer-herder clashes” – than meets the eye.

The report added, “However, attacks by herder militia are currently occurring with such frequency, organisation and asymmetry that the characterisation as ‘clashes’ no longer suffices. Armed with sophisticated weaponry, including AK-47s and on at least one occasion, rocket launchers, the herder militia is believed to have killed more men, women and children in 2015, 2016 and 2017 than Boko Haram, in what local observers increasingly describe as a campaign of ethno-religious cleansing.”

CSW also said it had documented over 400 deaths in 46 attacks during the second quarter of 2018. In one of the most recent, at least 200 people were reported to have died in coordinated attacks on around 50 communities in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area in Plateau State, which began on June 22 and lasted until June 24, the report said.

The majority of victims of the Barkin Ladi attacks were said to be women and children. The CSW report noted that 120 people were killed as they returned from the funeral of an elderly member of the Church of Christ In Nations (COCIN).

Speaking on the violence, CSW’s Chief Executive, Mervyn Thomas, accused the Nigerian government of refusing to fish out the perpetrators of the violence. Thomas called for the formulation of a holistic security strategy to address the violence and other threats to national security as a matter of urgency

HOW FULANI HERDSMEN GAVE VILLAGERS QUIT NOTICE BEFORE ATTACKING THEM IN ADAMAWA.

The Hama Batta, Alhamdu Teneke , has said killer herdsmen , who attacked the Bare and Dowaya communities in the Demsa Local Government Area of Adamawa State , told the farmers that they would not allow the farmers to farm on their land .
FULANI HERDER.

According to the first - class chief, the notice served by the herdsmen during their last attack on Dowaya and Bare is likely to cause famine because of the threat by the herdsmen not to allow any farming activities in the area .

Alhamdu, who said this during an advocacy visit by UNWOMEN Media Network on Saturday, stated that women and children were the most affected by the attacks.


The first -class chief called on the military and police to persevere and ensure an end to the killings .
SUNDAY PUNCH had reported that 21 persons were killed in the attacks on Dowaya , Demsa LGAs in the first attacks, while another attack in Bare on Tuesday resulted in the deaths of two more persons, which locals claimed were carried out by armed Fulani herdsmen .


He said , “The entire Numan people are living in fear of the unknown. In some areas , the herdsmen categorically stated that they would not allow the farmers to farm on their land . Especially in Numan , the herdsmen mentioned that they would not allow them to farm and that , even if they do, they were going to destroy their farmlands .


“But we have informed the government of this . Definitely , if the government does not come to our rescue this rainy season , our people will not be able to farm. These farmers depend on the land for their livelihoods . If they don’t farm , then , there will be famine because they will have nothing to eat .”
According to Alhamdu, most communities , under the Numan federation , require security presence for the farmers to go to their farmlands .

IMO DEVELOPMENT: REASON IMO LEGISLATORS ARE ON SAME PAGE WITH IHEDIOHA

Imo Development: Reason Imo Legislators are on the Same page with Ihedioha

One factor that has kept the governorship ambition of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, CON, alive is that the entire legislators of the PDP are on the same page with him. They are not on the same page just because they like his face. They are on the same page because they understood the capacity and the strength of the man Ihedioha. They are on the same page because they believe and know that Ihedioha is a man with sincerity of purpose. For all the house of assembly and House of reps members of the PDP to rally round Ihedioha, it shows a lot of acceptability because these individuals represent the PDP and the masses today in Imo State.

There is no gainsaying that Ihedioha enjoys a whole lot of acceptability from Imo PDP leaders, Imo Leaders and the people. This assertion can be confirmed by the level of support he receives while on his ward to Ward tour across the State. So far, He has toured more than 14 LGAs. He is not relenting in completing them within the shortest period.

One significant thing about Ihedioha’s visit is that He is not just meeting the delegates. He is consulting with the people. Identifying their problems and providing plausible solutions to them when elected. For those who knows his history, Ihedioha is addressed as “Talk and Do” because he is a man who does what ever he says. Ihedioha’s sincerity is one that can’t be disputed. Little wonder the Imo wonder Sons in Abuja have all decided to Liberate Imo together with him. By the time they will be on their second terms, those that deserves elevation will be elevated overwhelmingly by Ndi Imo, Imo people will begin to appreciate their State. They will begin to see the desired synergy and cohesion needed between federal legislators and the State Government. That’s what Imo needs. Imo will get it come 2019. Ihedioha is the answer.



Saturday, 30 June 2018

NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT ENCOURAGING KILLERS AND FULANI HERDSMEN ~ AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT ENCOURAGING KILLERS AND FULANI HERDSMEN ~ AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Rights group, Amnesty International, says the failure of Nigerian government to hold murderers to account is encouraging them and fueling rising insecurity across the country.

The group made the observation on Thursday through a statement signed by its media officer, Isa Sanusi.
It said independently verified estimated figures showed at least 1813 people have been murdered in 17 states in the country this year, double the 894 people killed in 2017.
According to the group, the death tolls reflect killings as a result of farmers-herders conflict, communal clashes, Boko Haram attacks and banditry.

“We are gravely concerned about the rising spate of killings across the country, especially the communal clashes between farmers and herders and attacks by bandits across at least 17 states,” the statement quoted Osai Ojigho, Director Amnesty International Nigeria
“The authorities have a responsibility to protect lives and properties, but they are clearly not doing enough going by what is happening,” Mr Ojigho said.

“The latest incidence in Plateau State, where armed gunmen attacked 11 villages on 23 June for at least seven hours and killed at least 200 villagers without intervention from security forces should be investigated.”

It said it shows unacceptable security lapses that the violence in Plateau started after an attack, which was followed by reprisal attacks from Thursday to Saturday last week.
“Despite the deployment of security forces, including the military in over 30 states, the escalation of these attacks shows that whatever is being done by authorities is not working.
“There is urgent need for people who are suspected of committing crimes to be held accountable.
We hope that President (Muhammadu) Buhari’s commitment to bring those suspected to be criminally responsible for the killings in Plateau State to justice will break the impunity that has spread through the country.

“In addition, government must answer these questions: who are these attackers, where do they come from, where do they go after attacks, who arms them, why is security forces’ response time very slow?”
Amnesty International said it is currently investigating the rising insecurity that has resulted in the increase in killings across Nigeria.

It said its investigations showed “worrying details of how frequently the security forces failed to protect villagers. In all cases Amnesty International investigated, the attackers, usually arriving in their hundreds spend hours killing people and setting houses on fire and then disappeared without a trace.
Impact on food security:

The group also expressed concern about the impact of the killings on farming, “especially with the affected villages and farmlands deserted because people fear going back to their homes.
“We are at the peak of farming season, and communities affected by this wave of violence are largely agrarian. But because of fear of attacks they have either been displaced or unable to cultivate their farms, therefore their major source of food and income threatened by the attacks,” Mr Ojigho said.
The organisation called on government to address “security lapses that make it easier for the killers to carry out attacks and disappear.


“Making arrests and bringing to justice those suspected to be responsible for these attacks is crucial in ending the killings that are gradually turning into almost a daily occurrence. In many instances these killings happen and no arrests take place,” Mr Ojigho said.