Connect with us

News

Military bombards bandits in North-West, North-Central forests

Published

on

There were strong indications on Tuesday that the military had begun the bombardment of bandits’ hideouts in the North-West, North-Central and some parts of the North-East.

Top security officials, who confided in our correspondents, said the bombardment, which started in Katsina and Benue states would soon be extended to other states in the zones.

Recall that the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Mallam Garba Shehu, in an interview with the Hausa Service of the BBC in March, said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had ordered  crackdown on bandits terrorising farmers across the country.

Also, during his interview with Arise Television on Thursday, the President said he had ordered security agents to shoot bandits carrying AK47.

In Katsina State, The PUNCH gathered that the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force and the police had increased attacks on the hideouts of bandits in various parts of the state especially in Batsari, Jibia, Sabuwa, Danmusa, Safana, Matazu, Kankara, Dandume, Dutsin-ma, Kurfi and Faskari local government areas, where bandits had been kidnapping farmers and other residents.

A top security source in the state said, “We now carry out operations on identified bandits’ hideouts in the state virtually on a daily basis and at anytime.

“At times, when you see fighter jets flying, it is either we are launching an attack against bandits or we are carrying out mop up operations.”

The Special Adviser to the state Governor on Security, Mallam Ahmad Katsina,  had yet to respond to the SMS sent to him after futile efforts to get him on the phone.

But when contacted, the spokesman for the police in the state, Gambo Isah, said the command was “evolving strategies to ensure that all parts of the state are safe.”

The troops of Operation Whirl Stroke had started flushing out armed herders and militias from their hideouts in Taraba, Nasarawa and Benue states.

A security official, who confided in one of our correspondents,  said,  “We have carried out operations in the Sankera axis (of Benue State).  That is the reason farmers can return to their homes and begin farming activities.”

When asked if state government could direct the military to help in sending troops to protect farmers,  the source said, “We don’t take order from the state government. What we are doing is to send troops to flash points, like in Sankera axis, farmers are already going back to their farms.”

In Sokoto State,  the police have intensified patrols of villages that are prone to bandits’ attacks.

The areas include Sabon Birni, Isa, Rabah and Goronyo local government areas.

But unlike in Katsina, military has yet to begin operations aimed at flushing out bandits from the areas.

A police source stated, “What we do is a routine patrol of areas under the jurisdiction of each divisional police officer. We have sensitised the villagers to quickly send  distress calls in the face of attacks.”

On its part, , the Zamfara State Police Command said it had deployed more policemen in  areas that were prone to bandits’ attacks.

Speaking to one of our correspondents on the phone, the spokesperson for the command,  Mohammed Shehu, said, “The police, in collaboration with other security agencies,  have mapped out strategies to ensure the return of farmers to their  farms.”

He maintained that the command would engage the services of the repentant bandits as well as other locals who would assist in the fight against banditry.

In Kebbi State,  vigilantes who were assisting in providing security suffered heavy casualties when bandits attacked some communities a few weeks ago.

As Kebbi  State farmers battled problems of bandits, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria and the Benue State Government on Tuesday disagreed over a military operation at a boundary between the state and Nasarawa State.

There was a report on Tuesday that military aircraft killed over 1,000 cows during multiple attacks on Fulani settlements in Keana and Doma local government areas of Nasarawa State.

According to the report, victims said the military launched the attacks between June 10 and June 13.

But on Tuesday, while the Benue State Government said no human life or cow was lost in the attack, MACBAN said 500 cows were killed.

NAF bombs killed 500 cows, 200 missing 

The MACBAN Acting Chairman in Nasarawa State, Bala Dabo, in an interview with one of our correspondents, expressed concern about the military operation.

He said 500 cows were killed during the military operation in the Kuduku community of the Keana Local Government Area and some parts of the Doma Local Government Area.

He alleged that two military aircraft that were deployed in Fulani settlements threw bombs, causing the death of the cows.

The MACBAN leader said that there was a deliberate plan to send the Fulani into extinction following the anti-open grazing law passed by some states in the country.

He stated, “The anti-grazing law in Benue State is meant to force the Fulani into extinction. We appeal to the Federal Government to rise up to the challenge and salvage our people.

“There is no justification for gunships to come to Nasarawa territory and kill cows. We are peace-loving people and not troublemakers.”

  “The cows are our sources of livelihood. We are in pain at the moment and we are calling for help from Nigerians. We had just returned from grazing when the aircraft came and killed them around 6pm on Sunday.

“The cows killed were between 450 and 500. Some of them got injured. There are some of the cows that ran into the bush and up till now, we are still looking for them. About 200 cows are missing at the moment. I also got information that the herdsmen controlling the cows were also affected by the bombs thrown by the military.”

But the Nasarawa State Government said the incident had not been confirmed. It assured that an investigation would be carried out to ascertain the actual cause of the issue and possibly find a lasting solution to it.

The state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism,  Dogo Shammah, who stated these in an interview with one of our  correspondents on Tuesday in Lafia, said, “We heard something of that nature. We will investigate the issue to know what exactly transpired. I assure you that government will do everything possible to address the issue and restore normalcy in the affected area”

No  cow, human being killed in military operation, Benue insists

But the  Benue State Government denied allegations against the state Governor,  Samuel Ortom, on the anti-open grazing law.

The state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mrs Ngunan Addingi, in an interview with journalists in Makurdi on Tuesday, said the military was only carrying out operations at the boundary between  Benue and Nasarawa states where terrorists had sacked and taken over communities.

She stated, “No farming activity takes place in the affected communities any longer. The military was only performing its duty of flushing out terrorists who wield AK47 and occupy the forests from where they launch attacks on innocent people.

“In the aerial surveillance carried out in border communities of Benue and Nasarawa states by Operation Whirl Stroke, no human life or cow was lost,” Addingi said.

Recall that  Ortom had three weeks ago allayed the fears of people of the state. He said the aerial surveillance that would be carried out by the military in parts of the state was to flush out criminals and bandits.

Also, the spokesperson for the Nigerian Air Force, Edward Gabkwet, on Tuesday told one of our correspondents that NAF did not kill any cow. “It is a fake and unrealistic report,” Gabkwet simply said.

Continue Reading

News

JOHESU, AHPA issue fresh 15 days nationwide strike notice

Published

on

The Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations have issued a fresh 15 days strike notice.

This followed an unanimously resolution adopted by the two groups to step down the notice of strike due to expire midnight September 17 and issue a fresh notice of 15 days.

It would be recalled that the union had on September 2 issued the Federal Government a 15 days ultimatum to meet its demands or embark on nationwide strike at the expiry date.

The JOHESU Acting General Secretary, Chief Matthew Ajorutu, said this in a communique issued at the end of an Expanded National Executive Council emergency meeting of the union via Zoom and physical attendance on Friday in Abuja.

The expanded NEC had the Presidents and General Secretaries of affiliate unions and professional associations, NEC members of affiliate unions and JOHESU Chairmen and Secretaries at the state and branch levels.

Ajorutu said that NEC-in-session had critically appraised the reports of JOHESU negotiation and conciliation meetings with the Federal Government since the declaration of the trade dispute through the 15 days strike notice issued on September 2.

He said that NEC also noted the appeal from President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to show understanding with his administration and the President’s pledge to pay any debt owed health workers.

He said that NEC also received and examined reports of congresses held at various health facilities across the country on the mobilisation for the strike action due to commence at midnight on September 18.

According to Ajorutu, NEC, after long hours of exhaustive deliberations on issues surrounding the planned industrial action, resolved that the Federal Ministry of Health should ensure speedy circularisation of all establishment and welfare matters as agreed during negotiation meetings.

He said: “The Federal Government should ensure that the new data for the computation of the adjusted Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for JOHESU members be completed and submitted to the ‘High Level Body (HLB)’ of the FG not later than Wednesday, September 22, as agreed.

“NEC-in-session urges the Federal Government to ensure that the High Level Body (HLB) complete and submit the computation of the adjusted CONHESS for inclusion in the 2022 budget within the September 30th, submission window.

“NEC urges the Federal Government to reciprocate the patriotic humanitarian gesture of JOHESU in the interest of the larger Nigerian masses to expeditiously resolve all the demands within the fifteen days window.

“Finally, NEC-in-Session unanimously adopts a resolution to step down the notice of strike action due to expire mid-night September 17, and issue a fresh notice of fifteen days.”

The communique further said that NEC commended all members for their commitment and understanding towards the struggle for better working conditions, improved healthcare services and social justice for all.

Eagle Online

Continue Reading

News

Defection: Gumi knocks Fani-Kayode, calls him ‘Judas of Oduduwa’

Published

on

Popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has described Femi Fani-Kayode as the ‘Judas of Oduduwa’ following his defection from the opposition party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC).

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Gumi wrote:

“I have for long, neglected the rantings of the Judas of Oduduwa attacking me knowing fully well that he is fake and a traitor.

“Time has now caught up with him and thanks to Allah, all his vituperations are cast in the dustbin of merciless history.

“It is him now, one wonders which of the seven circles of hell this duper will settle if he doesn’t repent.”

Recall that the Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation under President Olusegun Obasanjo, berated those fronting for bandits and terrorists in the country. Though he never mentioned names but his rhetorics suggested he was referring to Sheikh Gumi.

On joining the APC, Fani-Kayode, however, said that he was moved by the Spirit to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC, pointing out that he was a founding member of the ruling party.

Arogbonlo Israel,Vanguard News Nigeria

Continue Reading

News

BDCs funding Boko Haram, kidnappings, says CBN governor

Published

on

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has accused operators of Bureaux de Change (BDC) of funding terrorism and kidnapping in the country.

Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, stated this in Abuja on Friday after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.

He also vowed that CBN would not rescind its decision to ban the sale of foreign exchange to the BDCs.

Emefiele said the CBN had resolved to stop funding the BDCs in the name of stabilising the forex market.

He said, “We have decided that this will stop and it has stopped for good. It beats my imagination that Nigeria carried on with this kind of practice that tended to support illegal activities of people who are involved in graft and involved in corrupt practices.”

He also said, “We have unwittingly supported activities of those who illegally buy foreign exchange from this illegal market, carry them in aircraft out of the country and go to buy arms and ammunition and bring them back into the country and conduct crime whether it is Boko Haram, kidnapping or all sorts of nefarious activities.

“We the CBN take our country’s dollar and sell to people to go and buy arms ammunition to come and hurt us. That is what we are saying that people want us to continue to do. We cannot do that any longer.”

He told bank customers with legitimate requests for forex exceeding the official limit that “your bank will speak to us and we will give you what is even more than the limit. We will continue to monitor the banks.

“We conducted a study, one of the banks sold in one day forex to 52 people who wanted to travel. After two weeks, they went to check, 40 out of the 52 had cancelled their tickets. They will have to return the forex or we will pursue you if you are involved in this nefarious activity. We are not going to go back there again.”

Continue Reading

Trending