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Bauchi gov could be part of terrorist organisation, says Ortom

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  • Herdsmen have right to defend themselves – Ex-Bauchi gov, Yuguda

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has accused his Bauchi counterpart, Bala Mohammed, of supporting armed herdsmen.

Indeed, he said Mohammed’s open support for the armed herders wrecking havoc across the country suggested that he could be part of the terrorist group tormenting innocent people.

This came as a former Governor of Bauchi State, Malam Isa Yuguda, said that Fulani herdsmen had the right to defend themselves, but not with AK-47.

Ortom spoke on Monday at the Government House in Makurdi, the state capital, while reacting to Mohammed’s comments that herders could bear arms, including AK47, to protect themselves.

He also alleged that the Bauchi governor could be among the armed herdsmen that wanted him dead.

Ortom said, “Some herdsmen wrote me a letter that they will kill me. From the way and manner my brother and governor of Bauchi spoke in support of the herdsmen carrying arms, I suspect that he is among those who want to kill me.

“Should anything happen to me, they should not look far…I wouldn’t want to be joining issues with my brother, friend, and colleague Bauchi governor.

“But since he has continued to vilify, intimidate and blackmail me, it is said that silence is consent. I am compelled to respond to him.

“I am beginning to think that my brother, the governor of Bauchi State is part of the terrorist organisation that is terrorising this country.

“Why do I say this? This is the same governor who took the oath of office to protect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“This constitution does not leave room for allowing foreign herdsmen to come in without valid papers.

“It is quite disappointing to hear a governor who took the oath of office say this.

“Maybe, he should go back and check the oath of office he took, to check maybe the constitution gives room for foreign terrorist herdsmen to come into Nigeria.

“His recent outburst that herdsmen are justified for carrying AK-47 to protect themselves is quite unfortunate. I don’t know where the constitution of this country allows that.”

Ortom said Mohammed should learn from the governors of Kano and Kaduna as well as scholars who had supported calls to ban open grazing and the need not to pamper bandits.

He said that herdsmen who are not willing to obey the laws of the state should relocate to Bauchi where Mohammed had allowed them to carry AK47.

He noted that herders attacks had left hundreds of thousands in displaced persons’ camps and dealt a heavy blow on children.

The governor said his call for the declaration of a state of emergency on security was a patriotic one that has the backing of senators, expressing the hope that his letter to Mr President would receive the desired attention.

Meanwhile, a former Governor of Bauchi State, Yuguda, said the Fulani people in the country had been unfairly treated over the years, adding, “The Nigerian state has not been fair to these people (Fulani) over the years. When the white men came, they provided cattle grazing and routes from Maiduguri to Lokoja and Ilorin.”

He stated this while fielding questions from journalists shortly after the revalidation his membership of the All Peoples Congress (APC) at the ongoing registration/revalidation exercise in Bauchi State.

He said, “At the time when Lord Lugard set up the government in northern Nigeria, the Fulani provided revenue that kick-started development in the North in terms of infrastructure, including in Benue State where they were chased out.

“This is a very sensitive national issue and given that I am a Fulani man, when I make comments, people will think I am siding the Fulani; no, but I think the cattle rearers who have been herding for the past 200 years all over the country cannot just wake up in the morning and all of a sudden become AK-47 killers.”

Yuguda wondered why the comment by Governor Bala Mohammed was generating public outcry, arguing, “There has been clamour by senior citizens in this country that we should carry weapons to defend ourselves, but when our governor, Bala Mohammed, made a remark to that effect everyone is crying wolf – all the Nigerian press is saying Bala is this, Bala is that.”

The former governor added, “Let us stop being sentimental for goodness sake, otherwise this country will crumble.”

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FG demolishes illegal structures on Apapa-Oshodi expressway

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By Dada Jackson

The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has demolished illegal structures on the Right of Way, (RoW) around Toyota Bus Stop, near the popular Ladipo auto part market on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway, Lagos

Briefing journalists at the demolition site, the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Olukayode Popoola, said the demolition exercise became inevitable, considering the fact that the traders were given enough notice by the ministry to vacate the place but failed to do so.

He said, “The traders were given an initial two weeks’ notice to vacate the corridor but they ignored it. Afterwards, they were given another two weeks but still the illegal occupants turned a deaf ear. After the expiration of the final notice, the ministry had no option but to apply he full force of the law.”

According to him, only the Minister of Works and Housing has the statutory right to grant anybody to occupy the Right of Way, adding that none of the traders along the corridor was granted the ROW.

Popoola said that the items confiscated by the task force could only be retrieved by the traders after they must have signed an undertaking never to encroach on the Right of Way again.

The controller said that it would not be ‘business as usual’, adding the reclaimed RoW would be beautified to further make Lagos a place of pride.

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Ndume: Amnesty for bandits may produce another form of criminality

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Senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume, has said giving amnesty to bandits will encourage other criminal groups to take up arms.

He stated this when he featured on a Channels Television Programme on Sunday.

There has been controversy whether there should be negotiations with bandits, following a request by an Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, that the Federal Government should offer “blanket amnesty” to them.

But Ndume, in his reaction to the issue, said, “I don’t think blanket amnesty is the solution, because if you do that, another form of criminality may emerge, hoping that the government will bring them to the negotiation table.

“I think the carrot-and-stick approach should be used in dealing with this kind of situation. We have to find out the root of the causes of this banditry were witnessing in the north-west particularly — the army of herders and people that are involved in this.

“The government, I think as a matter of emergency, should form a committee of eminent people or those people that can reach out and get to the root causes of this issue.”

The senator also called for a speedy justice system for the prosecution of suspected bandits, adding that it will help to discourage other such persons.

“A holistic approach should be kick-started to address this problem, and I believe that it can be done with all manner of seriousness. Time isn’t on our side, and more are coming in,” Ndume said.

“The other thing is that the system must invoke a fast justice system, where justice will be dispensed. I’ve said it several times that you see people paraded, and that would be the end of it. It seems that it’s a big network that must be busted by the government. And the earlier that is done, the better.”

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Zamfara working with repentant bandits to get abducted girls released – Matawalle

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  • Says Nigerians will be shocked by those behind the abduction
  • Aviation minister leads FG delegation to state

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, on Sunday said revelations about those behind the attack on Government Girls’ Secondary School, Jangebe last Friday and abduction of over 300 students will shock Nigerians.

He stated this just he told a high powered Federal Government’s delegation led by o the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, that the state government was working with repentant bandits to secure the release of the abducted schoolgorls.

The governor, while speaking on Sunday when 17 Emirs in the state paid him a sympathy visit over the abduction of the schoolgirls, said Nigerians would be shocked to know people behind the abduction of the girls.

Also during the visit, the Emir of Anka and Chairman of Zamfara state Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Attahiru Anka, berated the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), over the upsurge in killings and kidnappings by bandits in the country.

Gunmen on Friday had attacked GGSS Jangede, and abducted over 300 girls, while seven of the girls escaped while they were being taken into the bush.

This happened about two weeks after bandits abducted 27 students and 15 workers of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State.

Before the attack in Kagara, bandits had struck in Kundu village, also in Niger State and abducted passengers of the state transport service bus.

Commenting on the rising insecurity in the country, the Emir of Anka blamed the Federal Government.

He said, “The Federal Government is in total control of the security operatives in the country and not the state governors, as such the President is the one who has failed to address the issue of insecurity.”

In his response, Matawalle thanked the Emirs for the solidarity visit and assured them that he would not abandon his peace accord with the bandits no matter what the people would say.

He said, “Many people will be surprised to hear those people behind the abduction of these innocent children.”

“They are not comfortable with the progress I am getting as a result of my peace initiative and they want to do all they can to sabotage my efforts”.

“I will insha Allah succeed at the end of the day and they will bury their faces in shame,” said the governor.

Delivering a speech on behalf of the President, Sirika said the Federal Government was deeply concerned with the abduction at the GSSS Jangebe.

He stated, “The President is deeply concerned and worried about the abduction of students in Zamfara State and other states where such incidents occurred.”

Responding, the governor said the abducted students would be released soon.

He said the state government was working with repentant bandits to facilitate the safe rescue of the schoolgirls.

“We are using the leaders of the repentant bandits to rescue the schoolgirls from the kidnappers. Very soon, we are going to witness the release of the abductees,” he said.

Matawalle added that his administration “is going to continue with peace process with bandits, considering its impact in addressing security challenges facing the state”.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for sending the delegation to symphathise with the state.

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