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Presidency cautions Akeredolu over quit notice to herders

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The Presidency has cautioned Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), over his seven-day ultimatum to herders to vacate the forests in the state following growing insecurity allegedly traced to the herdsmen.

It said the governor could not could unilaterally issue the quit order without taking cognizance of the constitution that guarantees the rights of citizens to movement and to live in any part of the country.

A statement by President Muhammadu Buhari’s media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the governor ought not to have taken the unilateral step without consulting widely.

Akeredolu, on Monday, had ordered the herdsmen to vacate all government forest reserves in the state within seven days.

The governor gave the order during an interactive meeting in Akure with the leadership of the Hausa/Fulani and Ebira communities.

Besides issuing the quit order, the governor had also banned night grazing in the state and the movement of cattle within cities and highways, while also outlawing under-aged grazing of cattle.

But the presidency asked the state government and the herders to dialogue with a view to addressing the security challenges facing the state.

The statement, entitled: ‘In tackling crime, Ondo State will not act outside the constitution’, noted that although Akeredolu with his pedigree in the first four years as governor fought crime with passion, he could not have asked the herders to leave the state in a jiffy.

It said, “Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, a seasoned lawyer, Senior Advocate of Nigeria and indeed, a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has fought crime in his state with passion and commitment, greater sensitivity and compassion for the four years he has run its affairs and, in our view, will be the least expected to unilaterally oust thousands of herders who have lived all their lives in the state on account of the infiltration of the forests by criminals.

“If this were to be the case, rights groups will be right in expressing worries that the action could set off a chain of events which the makers of our constitution foresaw and tried to guard against.”

The presidency called for restraint on both sides and urged the state government and the leadership of the Fulani communities to continue their dialogue for a good understanding.

It said, “We want to make it clear that kidnapping, banditry and rustling are crimes, no matter the motive or who is involved.

“But to define crime from the nameplates, as a number of commentators have erroneously done- which group they belong to, the language they speak, their geographical location or their faith is atavistic and cruel.

“We need to delink terrorism and crimes from ethnicity, geographical origins and religion—to isolate the criminals who use this interchange of arguments to hinder law enforcement efforts as the only way to deal effectively with them.”

The statement said the President, who swore to defend the constitution, had spoken against the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in asking citizens of northern origin to leave.

It added that the President did not spare the group based in Sokoto, ‘Muslim Solidarity Forum,’ which asked the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, to leave, adding that the President was prepared to do all that the law permits to protect citizens all over the country.

“The government of Ondo and all the 35 others across the federation must draw clear lines between the criminals and the law-abiding citizens who must equally be saved from the infiltrators,” it stated.

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Kanu not in court, case adjourned till Oct 21

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Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, will remain in detention till October 21, 2021.
He was due to be in court on Monday but the Federal Government did not arraign him.
Kanu, who was reportedly arrested in Kenya last month, has been in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday adjourned the case till October 21, 2021, over the failure of the Federal Government to arraign him.

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Insecurity made FG to retain DIGs, AIGs, says minister

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The Federal Government on Monday explained why it retained some Deputy Inspectors-General of Police and Assistant Inspectors-General of Police after the appointment of Usman Baba Alkali as Inspector-General of Police.
Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, said the high level of insecurity made the government to retain the senior police officers.
He stated this during the decoration of 24 newly promoted Commissioners of Police to AIGs.
No senior police officer with the rank of AIG or DIG went on compulsory leave when Baba was appointed IGP.
Dingyadi stressed that was the first time of such development in recent history of the Nigerian Police Force.
He said, “The government deliberately took this position to have many hands in the force. With this action, the Police Force has retained experienced professionals that would contribute towards sustaining the relative peace of the country.”
The minister added that the criteria for the appointment of the new AIGs were purely on merit, professional conduct, and individual performance, urging the newly appointed AIGs to redouble their efforts to curb insecurity.
He reiterated that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Salaries and Wages Commission to come out with new salary structure.
He said, “To whom much is given, much is expected. Officers should re-double their effort in the fight against insecurity which had bedeviled the country today. A lot is expected of you in contributing your quota towards the sustainability of peace and unity in the country.”

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Four more Kaduna school students escape from bandits captivity

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Three students of Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna, have escaped from their captors.
They escaped from the camp on Monday where they were kept since July 19, 2021.
An aunt to one of the students, who craved anonymity confirmed this on Monday.
According to her, the teenagers had spent five days roaming inside the forest before they finally met another herder who directed them out of the forest.
It was also gathered that one of the escaped students who could recall his father’s phone number borrowed a phone to call home before his father went to pick them up.
“The children were found around Kasuwar Magani on Sunday evening hours after 28 students of the school were released by the bandits. It was the school management that called my in-law to inform us,” she said.
Two other students had escaped from the camps before they were recovered by the police.

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