Connect with us

     

Features

Court decides housewife’s fate for allegedly killing husband May 30

Published

on

Court decides housewife’s fate for allegedly killing husband May 30

A housewife, Amina Dauda, who was accused of killing her husband, Mohammed Matazu, a former reporter with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Kaduna State, by setting him ablaze, will know her fate on May 30.
Dauda, 28, was arraigned before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, on May 22, 2013, on three counts bordering on culpable homicide, punishable with death.
Justice Baba-Yusuf , fixed the date after adoption of written addresses by Mr Abubakar Musa, prosecuting counsel and defendant counsel, Mr Charles Yoila.
Musa had urged the court to go ahead and convict the defendant, adding that the five witnesses brought by the prosecution produced evidence that pointed at the defendant’s commission of the offence.
“The act of fighting which the defendant engaged in that led to the commission of the offence was unlawful,” he said.
Responding, Yoila urged the court to discharge the defendant of the allegation against her.
NAN reports that the prosecutor alleged that Dauda, set sprayed Matazu with petrol in their residence at Gwarinpa, Abuja, on February 7, 2013.
NAN reports that on April 8, 2014 during trial, a prosecution witness, Usman Idoko, the court that the late journalist, was taken to three hospitals before he died from injuries sustained from fire set to him by his wife.
Idoko said the deceased, also a legislative aide to Sen. Mohammed Ibrahim (PDP-Kaduna), was taken to the hospitals by neighbours who were at the crime scene.
Idoko said Matazu was also moved to the National Hospital Abuja, where he was referred to the ABU Teaching Hospital Zaria, Kaduna State.
“My lord, on February 21, 2013, I received news that Matazu had passed on through a letter signed by Sen. Ibrahim. The senator also sent us the death certificate of the late Matazu,” he said.
After the death of the victim, Idoko said the accused was arrested and kept at the State Criminal Investigation Department headquarters, Abuja, for further investigation, where he took her statement and read her rights.
After his testimony, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Sunday Adewumi, prayed the court for an adjournment for other witnesses to appear in court.
He said the offence violated the provisions of Section 221 of the Penal Code.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Features

Madona Varsity crisis deepens, as litigant blames management for mother’s death

Published

on

 

 

T

he lingering crisis in Madonna University Okija, Anambra State, has deepened following the refusal of the management of the institution to accept the peace overtures extended to it by the seven accused students and lecturer for the matter to be resolved.

 

It would be recalled that six students of the university were arrested and detained for seven months for allegedly criticizing the management of the university on social media.

 

 

They were later granted bail by a court but their results and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) mobilization letters are still in the custody of the institution.

 

According to the letter signed by Prince Ezeimo, Blackson Nwokoma and Nnamdi Harmelson, it said

 

“Sequel to the meeting we had with Very Rev. Dr. Ralph Madu, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Madonna University and Rector of Saviour House of Formation Fr. (Dr.) Oliver Udaya on the 24th Day of September, 2019 at Assumpta Cathedral Owerri, we the accused persons of a case before the Federal High Court, Awka with suit number FHC/C/03/2019, have earnestly decided to give peace a chance.

 

“We hereby agree with the management of the University to consider withdrawing this matter from court for us to settle on the round table of dialogue which must first of all include the provision of the seized results and the mobilization of our brothers to NYSC.”

But the university management did not accept the peace offer which it claimed should be unconditional. This led the matter to continue in court.

 

When contacted the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the institution Rev. (Dr.) Ralph Madu, said that he was not permitted to speak to press on the matter as according to him it is still in court.

 

But one of the accused,  Prince Tony Ezeimo told Sunday Telegraph that the management refused to accept the peace offer adding that it has refused to comply with the agreement reached in Owerri recently.

 

 

“They do not want peace even when we all agreed to resolve the matter and one wonders the type of Christianity we are practicing even when the students were unlawfully arrested and detained.

 

 

However, the matter was stalled last week with the absence of the Presiding judge, Justice Babatunde Quadir, when it came up for hearing.

 

According to Ezeimo, “We were here at exactly 8:00  this morning but they told us that the judge did not come to court today.”

 

Ezeimo noted that they had come to prove their innocence before the court adding that since the management has refused to comply with the peace agreement it is left for the court to discharge its duties.

 

 

Speaking with journalists, the counsel to the defendants (students) said the court officials gave them December 3, 2019 as the next adjourned date.

 

Reacting, one of the parents, Christopher Onyejekwe said the situation was frustrating.

 

He urged the Catholic Church to prevail on the founder of the university, Rev Fr. Emmanuel Ede to stop punishing the students unnecessarily.

 

One of the students, Blackson Owhouda, said his pain was that his mother died of heart attack when she heard he was in prison because of the case.

 

He added: “I was told she was buried in June while I was still in prison. It was really not easy for me, especially when my father was blaming me for my mother’s death.  I’m going through a lot of trauma. I didn’t commit any offence.

 

“It was in the prison that I came to know the students detained with me on this matter because I was not relating with them much while we were in school.”

 

It would be recalled that parents and relatives who have their children at the University had earlier handed down a warning that they will not take kindly to the manner students are being treated by the management of the school adding that they will not fail to withdraw the children from the school.

 

 

Currently uneasy calm still pervades the institution as a section of the affected parents have reiterated their  resolve to take action if the management refuses to comply with the peace agreement.

Continue Reading

Features

I’ve enjoyed my 45 years in Nigeria, says 71-year-old Jamaican

Published

on

I’ve enjoyed my 45 years in Nigeria, says 71-year-old Jamaican

At 71, one would have expected her to retire or taking care of her grandchildren. That is not case with the septuagenarian, who has decided to serve her fellow compatriots providing leadership for the Niger Wives Association, Lagos Chapter. Welcome to the world of Lorna Opanubi, a trained and registered nurse.

 

 

Niger Wives Association is the umbrella body under which citizens of other countries who are married to Nigerians are living with their spouses in Nigeria.

 

 

For the Jamaican-born Opanubi, the journey to becoming the president of the 120-member association began in 1979, when she arrived her adopted country with her heartthrob and since then she has been not only an active member but an ambassador spreading the gospel of the body to others.

 

 

The mantle of leadership fell on her in February 2018. She will complete her duties in February next year.

 

 

Opanubi, who qualified as a nurse in 1970 in England, came to Nigeria with high expectations to practice what she had passion for. However, she had a culture shock as the system did not allow her to put into practice what she was used to doing.

 

 

“Over there you administer injections with disposable syringes and needles. I came here and discovered that people were still sterilizing needles by boiling them in hot water and the water was often not clean.”

 

 

She was not done in her frank assessment of what she met on ground: “The standard of nursing was very very low, not very hygienic and that discouraged me; that was the main reason I left the government health work. Because, I wasn’t happy doing what I was trained to do.

 

 

“If the health system here were of same standard in England where I got my training, I would have spent more years practicing nursing. When you are not happy doing what you are doing, deriving no pleasure from it, why are you doing something that at the end of the day you are not happy with it.”

 

 

This was all she needed to change her job after a spell in government facility in Apapa. She went to practice with a private clinic, where she had some level of control.

 

 

“When I arrived Nigeria in 1973 with my husband, Oladipo, it was not difficult for me to get a job with the Lagos State Health Centre, Apapa. But I spent just two years, before I left to work in a private clinic. What I did was to treat injuries and minor injuries; it was a little better, because I was in control. I made some changes and I was able to practice the way I liked.

 

 

“But when I was in government you make do with whatever they gave you. You had no say, when you meet them to complain they would tell you that is what they supplied to us, we don’t have any more.”

Rather than staying too long for the career that she seems to have passion, she opted for another hobby, cooking.

 

 

“I decided to quit the profession to set up my hobby, catering business and catering school,” she said.

 

 

According to her: “The purpose of establishing Niger Wives, was not only to foster better relationships among us by holding meetings monthly, so that we could be there for one another, but we also we try to support the less privileged in various communities.”

 

 

When asked of the challenges of securing the required residents’ permit, she said: “That was a big challenge; we had great challenges before with residents’ permits. One of the foreign wives, whose husband is late now, Lawyer Achimo, he was the one writing on our behalf, on how the government will help us, so that all the challenges of travelling out and coming back, we are not being delayed at the airport.

 

 

“What the Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS), told us at the Airport was that we have not gotten a re-entry visa.

 

 

“We were treated like people coming to Nigeria on contract work, and yet we were married to Nigerians. Eventually, a group of us went ahead and met the then president, Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo and we explained our challenges to him.”

 

 

The Minister of Interior was aware of their travails

 

 

“But when you are not getting result you have to go ahead, that is Nigeria for you, sometimes you have to start from the top. It is who you know that matters and he (Obasanjo) granted us our request. We thank God for that.

 

 

“Things have improved now, many of us have now gotten Nigerian passports, and that is a big help, so when you are coming in, you can present your Nigerian passport to the Immigration and it becomes easy.”

 

 

According to her, ironically, the presence of their Nigerian husbands did not help the situation.

 

“Our husbands too have challenges, as I said before, it was one of them (the late lawyer), who decided to take it upon himself and it was not easy for our husbands either; even though, they are Nigerians and that is why, they decided to challenge the government and stayed in Nigeria in order to make things easy for us, but things are much better now.”

 

 

Opanubi could not give statistics of the number of foreign wives registered at state level; it still posed big challenge that some of the members are not registered.

“The new foreign wives just coming to Nigeria may not know that Niger Wives exists as a body.

“Sometimes, we might know of a friend, her husband family member or some friends who are married to Niger Wives. When we are not aware, the only thing we can do is to encourage other Niger Wives that as soon as they hear of other Niger Wives, they should invite them to the meeting, so that they can be enlightened on the things they should do or not to do as Niger Wives,” she explained.

So how does a foreign wife locate the association?

She answers: “We have so many Niger Wives across the country, for example, If I attend a party and I see a beautiful woman sitting down and I know that she is a foreigner, not that she is fair or dark, but when you say Niger wives, it could be African as well, not only European or American. Once you see one, you introduce yourself, you will ask, are you a member of Niger Wives, do you attend a meeting? We have a Niger Wives Association. This is the time we meet and we would like you to attend the meeting and we invite them. That is how we spread the news.

 

 

“We meet monthly, and at the meeting, we discuss issues, we have the opportunity to discuss and share difficulties that we might be experiencing. When you share, it helps one another, we discuss immigration and that is helpful to every one of us.”

 

 

Niger Wives execute their projects for the communities by raising funds through membership dues and other levies.

 

 

“We do pay an annual membership fees, though, the fee changes, we don’t rely on that because that is for the running of the association, but we do other fund raising events for these various charity projects to support.

 

 

“Also, we belong to a group, Small World. They do have an annual event for women societies in all over the world by which we put on shows to all the various countries that were in attendance.

 

 

“We relied on gate fees and advertisement at the end of it, the money is shared amongst the countries that participated. Whatever was given to us from that project, we donate it to whichever community we want to support.

 

 

“For example, we run a Braille Centre for the blind; we print books and donate to other schools for the blind across the country, and other equipment. We also give mathematics’ kits, we import kits from other countries and present to the blind kids.”

 

 

When asked on their members who are widows if the love of their demised husbands were sustained by the families, she said: “Oh yes, we’ve heard cases like that. You know in any part of the world, such things exist. You could marry a man from the same country with you and it might happen, it is not because you are married to a foreigner.

 

 

“What we do, when we hear such things we step in, we try and sometimes it does work and sometimes it does not. Sometimes, some of them decide to leave the marriage and go back to their countries. We also have foreign widows group too, that support one another.

 

“We have several cases where families will come and take away all the properties their husbands left behind. We’ve tried our best, you know it is not easy to get involved with family matters too much, we have to be careful as well.

 

 

“But we try our best to see if we can talk to the family to see how they could help them a bit more rather than just abandoning them. But whereby they have made up their minds, there is nothing we can do.

 

 

“Sometimes the reason for the action is that their wives were not good to them, when their husbands were alive. The wives were not nice to them, probably, she did not show love to the rest of the family members. She might just love the husband and did not care about the rest of the members of the family. When we pressed further, they will say, she did not know us, when our brother was alive.”

 

 

However, Lorna remains grateful to God for the situation in her own husband’s family.

 

 

“My husband’s family, we get along easily. They are lovely. Oh my mother-in-law, she is late, she was a beautiful woman and so were my sister and brother in-laws.”

 

 

On what gave her boldness to want to marry a foreigner, she said: “I think it was love; that I want to be with this man. And I will go with him anywhere and I came back with him in 1973. Well, I saw this very handsome man.

 

 

“He was in Birmingham (UK), his appearances, his dressing, and his looks, were irresistible. In addition, he is very nice, very handsome and loving. I just saw him and our eyes met and we said, ‘oh yes, I would like to associate with you’.

 

 

“One thing led to the other and the rest is history, as they say.”

 

 

How about the terrible things you heard about Nigeria “Yes I did hear terrible things about Nigeria, but some were true and some false, my husband promised that if what I heard about happened, well, it will not happen to us.”

 

 

However, it was not all smooth sailing, as her Jamaican parents almost discouraged her.

 

 

“Some of us our parents would not have agreed towards marrying Nigerians because they had heard bad news about their children going abroad and once they did, they did not hear from them due to the poor nature of telecommunications then.

 

 

“I remembered when I first came, I couldn’t call my family at home because the network was so bad, that was in 1972, you know there was no mobile phones then. If you go to NITEL, you will spend a lot of money and in the end, you will just manage to say ‘hello’ before the connection will break. Those were the fears of our families that how they would communicate with us once we get to Nigeria.

 

 

“But now, I visit my home even my children. That is the mistake some of the Niger Wives make that is when they find themselves comfortable they forget their families. They get carried away with wealth and forget their families.”

 

Lorna said that she can speak Yoruba.

 

 

“I can speak Yoruba language that is good enough to take me out of a difficult situations, the only major difference is marriage. I had a first-hand experience when my husband was getting married to me. He is from Ikenne in Ogun State. There were so many steps – there is the introduction, engagement and the wedding day.

 

 

But this not the way back in my country, if you meet your husband, he proposes to you and you accept or not you take your wife to the family and introduce her to the family and you go ahead and plan the wedding day.”

On what she misses about Jamaica

 

 

“I miss the sea mainly because when we talk about the food, we have more of the same food, and how you prepare it that makes a difference. For example, garri, we have cassava but we use it to make bread so the processing of the food produce here differs.”

 

 

She was asked that the Jamaicans were one of the countries that their ancestors were taken away from Africa as a result of the slave trade, she said: “You are an African no matter where you come from. We are back in Africa, we the black ones we are back in Africa, there is a resemblance of what my forefather did is what is practiced here.

 

 

“I am enjoying Nigeria; I have been here for over 45 years. I have mixed parentage, my grandmother is mixed, so we have a big melting pot, we speak English but we have a pidgin language called Patua.”

 

 

Continue Reading

Features

Police accuse man, sister-in-law of defrauding Chinese of N30.6m

Published

on

Police accuse man, sister-in-law of defrauding Chinese of N30.6m

Operatives of the Inspector- General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT) have arrested Mr. Adamu Garuba, aka Honourable Ibrahim, for allegedly defrauding a Chinese national of the sum of N30.6million. The IRT Unit, headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, alleged that Garuba, working with his sister-in-law Rita Waziri and others still at large, specialised in defrauding contractors, interested in road construction contracts from the Kaduna State Government.

The suspects were arrested after they defrauded a Chinese Engineer, identified simply as Su of the sum of N30.6million under the guise of assisting him to land a road construction contract from the Kaduna State Government. Su, residing at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, was approached in July 2018 by one Mayowa, a member of the syndicate, now in jail over a separate fraud case.

Mayowa intimated Su that the Kaduna State Government was searching for contractors to rehabilitate a 14 Kilometre Road at the Kagoro area of the state. Mayowa, in his bid to convince Su that the contract was genuine, brought in Garuba, who he presented as Honourable Ibrahim, a serving member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, who is also the Chairman of Budget and Planning Committee of the House. Playing his part smartly, Garuba informed Su that he would have to register his company with the Kaduna State Public Procurement Authority. He told him that the process of the registration was N1.6m.

The Police said: “After Su paid the N1.6million, Mayowa and Garuba invited him to the Kaduna State Government Secretariat, Kaduna State. They took him to a makeshift office, which proudly displayed pictures of members of the syndicate.

The pictures identified them as representatives of the Kaduna State Government. Rita Waziri, whose picture was also on the wall, played the role of the Commissioner of Works and Housing. Another member, identified as Captain, currently at large, presented himself as Commissioner of Finance.

The sum of N28million was taken from Su after negotiation of the contract. A fake contract awarding letter was issued to Su, but a few months after the letter was issue, he became suspicious of the deal. He contacted Garuba, complaining and demanding a refund of his money. Garuba lured Su to Kaduna State, where he was kidnapped and a ransom of N2million collected from him before he was released.”

Su reported his kidnap and the fraudulent activities of Garuba and his syndicate to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu. The IG instructed Kyari and his Unit to investigate the case. After weeks of investigations, the Unit smashed the syndicate. In the course of investigation, it was discovered that Rita is the sister-in-law of Garuba.

Rita was first arrested and then led IRT operatives to arrest Garuba. After the downfall of the syndicate, Garuba confessed to have received the sum of N15million as his share from the deal. According to him, he used the money to build a house around a choice area in Kaduna State. He also admitted to have given Rita N200, 000. Garuba 51, married with four children, said: “I went into fraud seven years ago.

It was late Otunba Obanla from Lagos State, who introduced me to the business. I met Otunba in a hotel at Kaduna State, where he was drinking. We became friends. He taught me how to defraud people looking for contracts. My first job was in 2013. I defrauded Alhaji Sani of the sum of N200, 000. I took the money from Sani under the guise of helping him to process the registration of his company at the Kaduna State Tenders Board, where he intended to procure road contracts.” Garuba further said: “I also defrauded Alhaji Tijani of the sum of N400, 000 in 2015.

Tijani also wanted to procure contract from the Kaduna State Government. I defrauded a Lebanese of the sum of N7million. However, I was not the only person that executed the job. I got N1.5million as my share from the deal.

I was arrested later by policemen from the Kaduna State Police Command. After my release, policemen from the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad Adeniji Adele, in Lagos State, came to re-arrest me. They made me to repay the money I got from the deal to the Lebanese man. “In July 2018, Mayowa brought the Chinese man’s job. Mayowa told us that the Chinese man needed a road construction contract. We collected N1.5million from the man for the registration of his company, and then we took him to Kaduna State Government House.

We used the reception of an office to execute the job. We were four that did the job. Rita, who is my elder brother’s wife acted as the Commissioner of Works and Mayowa enlarged Rita’s picture, which he hung beside that of the Kaduna State Governor and President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. This made the venue of the operation to look like an office of the Kaduna State Government. There was one Captain that Mayowa brought into the game.

The Captain played the role of the Commissioner of Finance, Kaduna State. I acted as the Honourable member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly.” Garuba said that he and other members of the syndicate told the Chinese man that the governor wanted him to rehabilitate a 14 kilometre road at Kagoro area of Southern Kaduna. The Chinese was also told that he would first have to construct a seven kilometre road, which will gulp N2billion.

“We told him that we would get five per cent of the total cost as our share immediately he is mobilised for the contract. We also showed him contracts’ agreements between his company and the Kaduna State Government.

The man paid us the sum of N28million. He stopped paying when he realised that he has been defrauded,” recalled Garuba. He added: “I got N15million as my share because I was the person that organised the office that was used for the job. Mayowa got N13million because he had other people, including the Captain to settle. I was the person that settled Rita. I gave her N200, 000. I used the rest of my money to develop some of my landed property in GRA Kaduna State. I also built a three bedroom flat in the same GRA. I want to quit this business and I am ready to sell all my houses so that I will raise money to refund the Chinese man. I feel very ashamed of myself, especially now that I have a grandson. I don’t want him to know that his grandfather is a fraudster.”

Rita claimed that she was tricked into the crime. She insisted that her brother-in-law didn’t tell her that what they were doing was a criminal act. Rita, a trader, said: “I have never done this before. It was my brother in-law that got me involved in this business. My brother in-law is the younger brother to my husband. He was the person that took me to where I snapped the picture at Banawa Shopping Complex in Kaduna State. That was also where they enlarged the photo that was used at the office.

I introduced myself as the Commissioner of Works. After we exchanged pleasantries, I told them that I wouldn’t be staying, that I was leaving for another meeting. I left in Garuba’s car and headed straight to my house. Later that day, Garuba came and gave me N200, 000. He didn’t tell me that the money was for the assistance I rendered to him that day. I thought the money was just a gift. I didn’t know that the Chinese man was defrauded of the sum of N30.6million.”

Continue Reading

Features

Victims of Kaduna institution tell stories of terror

Published

on

Victims of Kaduna institution tell stories of terror

When Jibril had tried to escape as a boy from an institution in Nigeria that called itself a place of Islamic teachings, he said he was hung up by his arms until bones in his shoulders broke.

Another teenager, one of about 400 men and boys freed in Thursday’s police raid, said boys were often kept in chains and those caught stealing food were whipped until they bled.

“They used car engine belts and electrical cables to flog us,” 15-year-old Suleiman told Reuters, staring at the floor. “Teachers used to sexually harass us … They tried to loosen my pants once but I fought them off and was beaten.”

Horror stories are emerging about life in a two-storey house in Nigeria’s northern city of Kaduna as the authorities try to find families of the victims who often spent years at the site.

Police arrested seven adults in the raid on the building, which had a sign in Arabic at the entrance declaring itself “House of Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal for the Application of Islamic Teachings”.

Some parents paid fees, believing it was an Islamic school. Some described it as a good institution and dismissed talk of abuse. Others saw it as a correctional facility. Police and regional officials said it was not registered as either.

Despite mixed accounts about its role, the abuse reported by victims has thrown a spotlight on Nigeria’s struggle to provide enough school places for its rapidly expanding population, leaving a gap for unregulated institutions that poor parents sometimes turn to.

The West African nation’s population will swell from 190 million to 400 million by 2050, according to U.N. figures. Primary education is officially free but about 10.5 million Nigerian children aged five to 14 are not in school.

“Nigeria is facing a demographic tidal wave,” said Matthew Page, an associate fellow with the Africa Programme at Britain’s Royal Institute of International Affairs.

“The long-term viability of the Nigerian economy – and the state itself – hinges on the government, religious, and traditional institutions developing a plan to address this challenge before it becomes impossible to remedy,” he said.

Prior to Thursday’s police raid, those who made it out of the Kaduna institution were sometimes returned by families. Some parents said they needed to discipline wayward children and others said they were too poor to look after all their kids.

Kaduna state government said there were at least 77 boys under 18 years old held there. The youngest was five.

Reuters spoke with seven victims and five parents of those who had been inside, withholding their full names to protect their privacy.

SHACKLED

All the victims said beatings were regular and said children and men were frequently shackled. Days were dark, long and hungry: food was only served at 10 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Suleiman’s elder brother sent him to the institution five months ago for skipping school. He was signed up to board while he studied Arabic and Islam’s holy book, the Quran.

“They beat us everywhere in the house, even in the mosque. If you asked to speak with your family, they would shackle you,” said the 15-year-old, who showed sores, scabs and scars on back.

When Suleiman and three friends were caught trying to steal some garri – a staple food made from cassava shavings – they were stripped and whipped, he said.

“When the police raided the school the whole place was in pandemonium, we were so happy,” he said. “What I want now is to return home. I’ll be a good boy.”Jibril, now 17 and who was hung up for trying to escape when he was 10, said boys faced a stark choice: submit to regular sexual assault or be beaten. Jibril chose beatings.

“The teachers and prefects raped boys. Those who were sexually molested were enticed with canned fish. Those of us who refused were caned,” he said, blaming a scar beside his left eye on a caning. “They used planks of wood to beat us.”

He now struggles to raise his arms since his punishment for trying to escape. He was sent home for six months after that incident. His family returned him when he had healed.

Jibril and Suleiman are now in a safehouse on the edge of Kaduna while the authorities try to find their relatives. Their temporary home is filled with laughter as boys and teenagers, up to 17 years old, play together. Those adults who were freed are staying in a neighboring building.

At the Kaduna institution, relatives were not allowed to see boys for three months after admission and had limited visiting rights after that, parents and children said. Punishment was swift for those who talked of any abuse, boys said.

“If anyone tried to tell their family, they would be hung up from a wall or put in chains,” said 14-year-old Umar, whose grandfather sent him to the facility two years ago for skipping school.

SEXUAL ABUSE

About 40 police officers finally raided the building, acting on a complaint by an uncle who was denied access to his nephews.

Police said they found several boys and men in chains. Reuters filmed victims in chains on Thursday after the raid. Some boys said they were shackled to broken power generators, which they dragged around, including to bed or the bathroom.

Police said they expected to charge seven people, who they said ran the institution, over physical and sexual abuse allegations. Those arrested could not be reached for comment.

The building lies in Rigasa, a rundown Muslim district of Kaduna, a city that, like Nigeria, is evenly split between Muslims and Christians.

Reuters journalists who visited the labyrinthine building saw wheels and generators attached to metal chains. Floors were strewn with litter and stained sponge mattresses. Flies swarmed.

Children begged in the traffic on the streets outside.

Islamic schools, known as Almajiris, are common across the mostly Muslim north of Nigeria. Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a local organization, estimates about 10 million children attend Islamic schools in the north.

President Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim, has sought to encourage school attendance, with programs that include one offering free school meals that the government says reaches 9.8 million children in 32 of Nigeria’s 36 states.

But Nigeria, an oil producing state whose finances by the government’s admission have been drained by corruption, only spends 0.5% of gross domestic product on health and 1.7% on education, among the lowest worldwide, the International Monetary Fund said.

With few options, some parents defended the Kaduna institution, which charged fees of N35,000 ($114) a term.

“There is no problem in this school,” said a woman who only gave her name as Zainab, wearing a Muslim veil and speaking outside the locked gates. She said she had seven children at the institution where she cooked meals and had not seen any abuse.

Ahmed Balrabe, a tailor who lives next to the site, said two of his children attended the school and he had never encountered any abuse. “It was good for them, they became calm,” he said. “They showed them how to read the Quran. I liked it.”

*Courtesy: Reuters

Continue Reading

Features

Victims of Kaduna institution tell stories of terror

Published

on

Victims of Kaduna institution tell stories of terror

When Jibril had tried to escape as a boy from an institution in Nigeria that called itself a place of Islamic teachings, he said he was hung up by his arms until bones in his shoulders broke.

Another teenager, one of about 400 men and boys freed in Thursday’s police raid, said boys were often kept in chains and those caught stealing food were whipped until they bled.

“They used car engine belts and electrical cables to flog us,” 15-year-old Suleiman told Reuters, staring at the floor. “Teachers used to sexually harass us … They tried to loosen my pants once but I fought them off and was beaten.”

Horror stories are emerging about life in a two-storey house in Nigeria’s northern city of Kaduna as the authorities try to find families of the victims who often spent years at the site.

Police arrested seven adults in the raid on the building, which had a sign in Arabic at the entrance declaring itself “House of Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal for the Application of Islamic Teachings”.

Some parents paid fees, believing it was an Islamic school. Some described it as a good institution and dismissed talk of abuse. Others saw it as a correctional facility. Police and regional officials said it was not registered as either.

Despite mixed accounts about its role, the abuse reported by victims has thrown a spotlight on Nigeria’s struggle to provide enough school places for its rapidly expanding population, leaving a gap for unregulated institutions that poor parents sometimes turn to.

The West African nation’s population will swell from 190 million to 400 million by 2050, according to U.N. figures. Primary education is officially free but about 10.5 million Nigerian children aged five to 14 are not in school.

“Nigeria is facing a demographic tidal wave,” said Matthew Page, an associate fellow with the Africa Programme at Britain’s Royal Institute of International Affairs.

“The long-term viability of the Nigerian economy – and the state itself – hinges on the government, religious, and traditional institutions developing a plan to address this challenge before it becomes impossible to remedy,” he said.

Prior to Thursday’s police raid, those who made it out of the Kaduna institution were sometimes returned by families. Some parents said they needed to discipline wayward children and others said they were too poor to look after all their kids.

Kaduna state government said there were at least 77 boys under 18 years old held there. The youngest was five.

Reuters spoke with seven victims and five parents of those who had been inside, withholding their full names to protect their privacy.

SHACKLED

All the victims said beatings were regular and said children and men were frequently shackled. Days were dark, long and hungry: food was only served at 10 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Suleiman’s elder brother sent him to the institution five months ago for skipping school. He was signed up to board while he studied Arabic and Islam’s holy book, the Quran.

“They beat us everywhere in the house, even in the mosque. If you asked to speak with your family, they would shackle you,” said the 15-year-old, who showed sores, scabs and scars on back.

When Suleiman and three friends were caught trying to steal some garri – a staple food made from cassava shavings – they were stripped and whipped, he said.

“When the police raided the school the whole place was in pandemonium, we were so happy,” he said. “What I want now is to return home. I’ll be a good boy.”Jibril, now 17 and who was hung up for trying to escape when he was 10, said boys faced a stark choice: submit to regular sexual assault or be beaten. Jibril chose beatings.

“The teachers and prefects raped boys. Those who were sexually molested were enticed with canned fish. Those of us who refused were caned,” he said, blaming a scar beside his left eye on a caning. “They used planks of wood to beat us.”

He now struggles to raise his arms since his punishment for trying to escape. He was sent home for six months after that incident. His family returned him when he had healed.

Jibril and Suleiman are now in a safehouse on the edge of Kaduna while the authorities try to find their relatives. Their temporary home is filled with laughter as boys and teenagers, up to 17 years old, play together. Those adults who were freed are staying in a neighboring building.

At the Kaduna institution, relatives were not allowed to see boys for three months after admission and had limited visiting rights after that, parents and children said. Punishment was swift for those who talked of any abuse, boys said.

“If anyone tried to tell their family, they would be hung up from a wall or put in chains,” said 14-year-old Umar, whose grandfather sent him to the facility two years ago for skipping school.

SEXUAL ABUSE

About 40 police officers finally raided the building, acting on a complaint by an uncle who was denied access to his nephews.

Police said they found several boys and men in chains. Reuters filmed victims in chains on Thursday after the raid. Some boys said they were shackled to broken power generators, which they dragged around, including to bed or the bathroom.

Police said they expected to charge seven people, who they said ran the institution, over physical and sexual abuse allegations. Those arrested could not be reached for comment.

The building lies in Rigasa, a rundown Muslim district of Kaduna, a city that, like Nigeria, is evenly split between Muslims and Christians.

Reuters journalists who visited the labyrinthine building saw wheels and generators attached to metal chains. Floors were strewn with litter and stained sponge mattresses. Flies swarmed.

Children begged in the traffic on the streets outside.

Islamic schools, known as Almajiris, are common across the mostly Muslim north of Nigeria. Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a local organization, estimates about 10 million children attend Islamic schools in the north.

President Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim, has sought to encourage school attendance, with programs that include one offering free school meals that the government says reaches 9.8 million children in 32 of Nigeria’s 36 states.

But Nigeria, an oil producing state whose finances by the government’s admission have been drained by corruption, only spends 0.5% of gross domestic product on health and 1.7% on education, among the lowest worldwide, the International Monetary Fund said.

With few options, some parents defended the Kaduna institution, which charged fees of N35,000 ($114) a term.

“There is no problem in this school,” said a woman who only gave her name as Zainab, wearing a Muslim veil and speaking outside the locked gates. She said she had seven children at the institution where she cooked meals and had not seen any abuse.

Ahmed Balrabe, a tailor who lives next to the site, said two of his children attended the school and he had never encountered any abuse. “It was good for them, they became calm,” he said. “They showed them how to read the Quran. I liked it.”

*Courtesy: Reuters

Continue Reading

Features

Traders flee deadly highways

Published

on

Traders flee deadly highways
  • Now send, receive goods by courier
  • Transport firms making brisk business
  • Normalcy, order ‘ll return to the roads –Police

 

Nigerian highways are increasingly becoming a nightmare for travellers to ply on; no thanks to the rising menace of kidnappings for money, banditry and other deadly crimes, which take place along the routes. Although the highways are not the only places of fear for Nigerians as the deteriorating security situation across the land occasioned by the activities of terror groups including Boko Haram, armed bandits and dreaded Fulani herdsmen killings on a daily basis, is sending casualty figures mounting.

This was brought home recently when the Permanent Secretary, Special Services Office of the Secretary Government of the Federation, Amina Shamaki, said that Nigeria recorded a total of 1,460 deaths and 330 attacks between January and July this year. She said this at a security meeting by the federal and states security administrators in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, recently.

These harrowing figures have led to many travellers opting to boycott the highways when they can. Sunday Telegraph findings showed that those, who usually travel to major cities like Lagos, Abuja, Onitsha, Aba, Kano and Kaduna for businesses, are currently discouraged from travelling by road – instead they have found courier services a good replacement for physically travelling by road. A director in a federal government research facility in Yaba, who hails from Kaduna State, until the last Eid el Kabir, had a tradition of going to his roots to celebrate the festival with members of his extended family.

But this year, he did not. He opted to stay in Lagos. “I can’t risk my life travelling along the Kaduna – Zaria road,” he said in a chat with Sunday Telegraph. The director, who spoke with the weekly on condition of anonymity, said he did the needful before Sallah. “I paid them a pre-Sallah visit.

The road is too dangerous for one to ply it anyhow. I do not have money to pay for ransom.” It is not only the roads in the North Western axis that travellers are fleeing from. The Benin-Asaba highway is not left out. It was on this route that a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) was abducted months back. He paid N3 million to regain his freedom. “It is those who know him that probably kidnapped him in order to collect their own share of a ‘deal’, a group of Police officers confided in Sunday Telegraph.

An Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and other co – travelers in a Sharon vehicle going to Abuja from Port Harcourt were not that lucky. Suspected kidnappers waylaid them, short at their vehicle when the Driver sighted them. In his bid to escape from the marauders, he engaged the vehicle in a reverse.

They short at it which made it to somersault, killing all the occupants. Also, another group of travelers from Ibadan in a Toyota Camry sighted some young men ahead in a military camouflage, in black mask, stooping vehicles. One of the survivors of the incident, said that the driver who suspected that they were kidnappers engaged the car in a reverse and in the attempt to escape, they short at them and the bullet hit the driver on the shoulder and came out at the other side and hit another man on the back seat in the head.

They reported to the nearest Police Station from where the police men race to the scene. They were taken to the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja. Unfortunate incidents like these, have sent shivers down the spine of the aged mother of an official of the Abuja Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). “My mama, asked me not to bother coming home. She specifically called me not to go to the Delta if I am not travelling by air,” he said in a telephone chat with our correspondent. In the South West, the Akure-Ilesa highway has since been largely abandoned.

Many of the commuters, who ply the Trunk A highway to connect Ekiti and Ondo states and the North Central part of the country now do so through the Benin-Ore road, in order to get to their destinations. “Although it is longer, but it is safer,” said the driver of a Lagosbased transport company. “There are security personnel manning the highway,” said one of the drivers on Friday. This has led to more traffic and occasional traffic gridlock, especially in construction zones. In addition, more time is spent on the road.

A journey of 7 hours now takes 14 hours by road. “We left Lagos at 6:45am and got to Utako a little after 9:00pm,” volunteered a traveller, on Friday. Our source said: “It will also cost me more money. I am going to Kaduna, I will have to pass the night in Abuja and complete my journey by train on Saturday morning,” said the traveller, who identified himself simply as Tolu.

“There was a reduction in the number of kidnapped cases on the Taraba axis since August 6, 2019, when the lid on alleged kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu Wadume was blown open,” a retired director, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Bayo Atoyebi said on a television program. According to him: “There had been a lull in the activities of the marauders even on the Abuja-Kaduna highway since his arrest until the recent incident in which three A.B.U. final year law students were abducted.” But for those who it has become inevitable to travel, they have devised means to beat the insecurity.

For many of them, it’s now safer to travel by night. This is based on the notion that most prominent men and women do not travel by night. It was so bad that even the police even advised some government officials and certain expatriates to travel to Port Harcourt by night. More so, a frequent traveller, Mr. Nelson Jideofor, told Sunday Telegraph of a very wealthy man, a co-traveller, a Nnewi-based businessman from Anambra State, who in the fear of highway marauders, totally changed his disguise before entering a public bus in Onitsha. The Nnewi-born businessman (name withheld) dressed in simple attire, three quarter jeans shorts and branded singlet.

He furthered disguised himself by wearing simple palm slippers. According to Jideofor, “You would never expect to meet such a man in the vehicle. In fact he totally blended in chatting with his co-travellers. No one, except a person who really knows him well would recognize him. “Many didn’t know why he was there but the truth of the matter is that he was scared of driving along Benin-Ore road due to the nightmare kidnapping along the corridor has become.” Travellers shun Abuja-Okene, other routes During Sunday Telegraph’s tour of major motor parks at Maza- Maza along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, where virtually all the transport companies are located, many travellers and motorists who responded averred that fear of kidnapping and killings along Benin-Ore route stopped them from traveling along the road. They also held that the same reason prevented many travellers from going to Abuja and other parts of northern Nigeria through Abuja-Okene route, the reason they preferred courier services to physical travelling. According to Miss Ijeoma Obi, who was going to Onitsha that morning, she has not been traveling to the South East since the cases of the kidnap and robberies along Benin-Ore Road increased.

“After hearing about the kidnappings, the killings, robberies, I became so scared to travel on that road. I have been sending things home by courier; I have stopped going in person. Even this one, I would not have made the trip but it has become inevitable that I go,” she said. For Martins Asika, a passenger on G.U.O Motors headed for Asaba, spoke in the same vein, adding that the worse part of the route is Abuja- Agbor stretch of the journey. According to him, the route has one of the worse roads coupled with the herdsmen activities, saying that he stopped traveling to Abuja by road instead he would send money to his brother to buy things for him and courier it back to him in Lagos.

“My friend was among the people attacked by the herdsmen on the route sometime in the past. After that, there was a broadcast that the route was unsafe, so I shunned the route. I don’t have money to travel by air but I try to book ticket weeks ahead of my trip to get it cheaper. I can’t travel to Abuja by road again,” he averred. An Alaba trader, who came to send his goods through courier services provided by the transport companies instead of traveling in person, said he does not have business traveling by the roads due to the level of insecurity in the country.

“What I do these days, is to collect money and orders from my customers in different parts of the country, get what they want and send back to them. I don’t have business traveling to anywhere. This is what some of us do now,” he said. More so, in a bid to confirm how the insecurity has affected transport companies and increased the volume of courier services, Miss Faith Chude, a ticketer at Genesis Motors, said the company has been receiving parcels on daily basis but loads only one mini-bus per night. At the Young Shall Grow Park, people were trooping in and out of the park with goods and parcels to freight to one part of the country to the other. Cartons of goods, including, motor parts, refrigerators, clothes, bags of rice and other consumables among others, were seen stacked at the company’s premises. A driver with Libra Motors, Paul Ovie, who plies the Lagos-Onitsha route, said for fear of attacks, he doesn’t ply Benin By-pass again, instead he enters Benin City metropolis and faces the minor traffic therein. “It is better I got to my destination late than to be attacked and injured by herdsmen if I’m left alive. I have devoted that day for travelling, so there is no need rushing. We are not in the season yet,” he said. Sunday Telegraph’s interaction with some of the passengers and drivers among area boys generated group discussions where travellers and others condemned the nonchalant attitude of the Federal Government which is yet to take decisive actions to arrest the situation on the roads apart from having pockets of police and military checkpoints here and there along the routes. But Force Public Relations officer, Frank Mba does not agree that things are that bad, insisting that the security infractions are not enough to send people away from the highways. “If you go to our motor parks, Nigerians are travelling every day. The transport companies are not complaining of lull in business. As a matter of fact, if you do not book ahead, you may not get a seat. The roads are heavy of traffic. “Another way of confirming this, once there is a little issue on the road, there is traffic snarl. It is not to say there is no challenge. However, I disagree that it is an overwhelming perennial issue. Most of the challenges are occasional security breach that happens on the road. “We are engaging the public, deploying more man power and logistics and more technology. I want to assure Nigerians that what is happening is a phase and it will pass away. In those areas where there are challenges, order will be restored, very soon,” he told Sunday Telegraph.

Continue Reading

Features

Ijare, community where lightning struck 36 cows dead on ‘Sacred Hill’

Published

on

Ijare, community where lightning struck 36 cows dead on ‘Sacred Hill’

For residents of Ijare community, where thunderbolt killed 36 cows, they are still ruminating on potency of the sacred grove of Oke-Owa where the incident happened. ADEWALE MOMOH writes about the community and its scared hill

 

 

Until last week, most Nigerians have never heard much about Ijare, an agrarian community in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State. The relatively obscure community emerged on the national scene following the death of 36 cows which were struck by thunderbolt in the community’s sacred grove.

 

Since the incident, which occurred on a rainy Saturday night, September 21, the sleepy community with about 20 km drive from Akure, the Ondo State capital, has been playing host to numerous individuals from various parts of the state as well as outside the ‘Sunshine state’ to witness what has been described as the ‘anger of gods’ on the dead cows. Ijare known for large cultivation and selling of kola nuts is surrounded by four different hills strategically located on the outskirts of the rustic town with various deities being worshiped by locals attached to each of the hills.

 

One of the hills, Oke-Owa (Owa mountain) where the 36 cows and calves were struck to death by thunderbolt sits majestically at the entrance point of the community when entering from Akure part of the state. According to findings, the cosmology of Oke-Owa dates back to when the community migrated from the Ilare Quarters in Ile-Ife, Osun State, some hundreds of years ago to the present day Ijare. A trip by our correspondent to the peak of the hill in the town, which took almost one hour to climb was seen littered with the bodies of the 36 cows and calves as well the newly constructed tents by the herders to provide shelter during rainfall and sunny day.

 

According to the locals who had trooped to the site of the incident, they described it as a mystery as they ponder on the potency of the mystical powers of the deity of Oke-Owa. Narrating how the herdsmen marched the herd of cattle to the hill, a resident of the community who lives some hundred metres from the hill disclosed that she saw them two days to the incident while grazing up the hill. The resident who gave her name simply as Roseline recalled that the herders were warned not to go through the route where they headed, stressing that it was forbidden for anyone but they ignored the warnings.

 

“I saw them when they were grazing up the hill. Someone here quickly call others’ attention to the route they were taking. They were told not to go up there but they didn’t listen. “It was on Sunday morning that we heard that the thunderstorm that struck on Saturday’s night when it rained had killed all the cows.

 

“The kabiyesi (traditional ruler) was immediately notified after which the chiefs went to the hill to confirm what had happened. “It was after the chiefs had gone there that everyone was allowed to go and witness the incident. That was when I joined others to climb the hill.” Another resident, Bayo Akingbade, expressed disbelief at the numbers of the cows which were lying dead on the mountain, as he stressed that the potency of Oke-Owa which his grandmother used to tell him has been confirmed. According to him, he maintained that he is aware of the prowess of the traditional lining of Ijare but stated he has never witnessed it to such extent.

 

“I know that Ijare is rich traditionally but what happened on Saturday night in this community has made me to accept all that my grandmother told me about Ijare and Oke-Owa in particular. “If you were to be in this town that night you will know that those thunderstorms and lightning were not just ordinary. In my compound, everyone was just asking the same question that what’s happening? ”One thing that I know for sure is that no armed robber can operate   successfully in Ijare without being caught. That I’m certain about. Giving more insight about the incident and Oke-Owa, High Chief Wemimo Olaniran, the Sapetu of Ijare kingdom, who described the incident as an act of God stressed that the development was not the first time such will be happening to those who desecrated the grove. “We were there and we saw about 36 cows dead apart from the one inside the bush.

 

It has happened and there is nothing we can do, we regard it as the act of God, which nobody can be queried. “There have been occasions like that but not as massive as we are having it now. Some individuals who desecrated the land in the past did witness a thunderbolt attack. When you desecrate any part of Ijare particularly the sacrifice places, the grove, the person will see the repercussion. “The place where the cows died is being called ‘Owa’ and it is normally visited once in a year by the Olujare, where he will stay for a day.

 

He will be there for seclusion to perform some traditional rites and no individuals are allowed to go to that place. “Five days before this time, we learnt that Fulani men were there and they were carrying wood to build their tent and we said that are they taking over the land from us, and we pray to God to save us, to intervene because we don’t want anything to desecrate the place it is a very special place as far as Ijare community is concerned. “No implication, it is a sign that the gods that are there don’t want whosoever to move to that place and settle down there. It is not meant for any ordinary person even Kabiesi himself goes there once in a year and there is a way he will compose himself when he is there.

 

“One unforgettable incident that happened there was that one Olujare went there and he couldn’t return, so we don’t encourage people to mount that hill and nobody can touch the dead cows, even Fulani people that we met there said it was thunderbolt attack, they even told us that if we see    anybody that has interest should go there and take away the cows and we said no, that it is a taboo for anybody to touch anything there.

 

While stating that it is forbidden for anyone to touch the dead cows, the Sapetu who is the second-in-command to Olujare disclosed that one of the deceased monarchs of the community never made it back alive when he went on the mountain in seclusion.

 

“The dead cows will be there forever. It is part of the history in our land for people to see as testimony in the future that such things happened. A whole Oba was buried there live and heaven did not fall talk less of ordinary cows.

 

“No casualty, when it happens I and some chiefs went to the police station to make an official report, police are aware of it even DPO came to the palace and we explained to him and he confirmed that it was thunderbolt attack that it wasn’t human being handwork.” Also, Mrs. Ibisanmi Oja-Anogbe who is in her 80s corroborated the claims of the Sapetu of Ijare, emphasized that Oke-Owa is one of the powerful deities in the community.

 

According to her, only the traditional ruler of the town is allowed to go into the innermost part of the grove adding that anyone who desecrates any of the hills just as she said the herdsmen had done with their cattle at the zenith of the mountain.

 

“Oke-Owa diety has been our protector from time immemorial in Ijare. If you are not an initiate, you dare not move close to the grove. If anyone dares it, that person will no doubt pay the supreme price. “In some time past, if it’s time to worship Oke-Owa, a stranger is being used as a human sacrifice. But later when civilization crept in the human sacrifice was alternated for a cow. And that is the reason that up the now, rearing of cows is forbidden in Ijare.

 

“Aside from the Olujare (Ijare Monarch), it is only virgins that can go near the grove while it is located on the uppermost part of the hill. Our oba goes there once in a year and he stays there for a whole day. The following day when it is time for him to descend from the mountain everyone in the village will gather at the foot of the   mountain to welcome him back. We dance from there to the palace. “What the Fulanis did is highly sacrilegious. There is a limit to everything in life particularly when you are in a strange territory.

 

“Since my youthful days, I have never experienced that type of thunder and lightning that struck that night. It sounded heavily four times with a kind of blazing light that accompanied it.” Meanwhile, Comrade Olayemi Egbeola, who is a traditionalist and the Deputy Governor of Odua Peoples Congress, Ondo State, stated that “Yoruba has its own culture and tradition that cannot be trampled upon anyhow without knowing what is going on in a given place.

 

Just like what happened in Ijare, it is the reality of Yoruba tradition. It shows that there are gods in that area. Why it happened that way that the lightning struck of the cows and did not affect the herders is to teach the herdsmen a lesson that you can’t just enter someone’s territory the way you feel like. “Even in actual fact, they use their cows to destroy people’s farm and as well desecrate the sacred grove. You can’t expect the gods to not protect their territory when they see such. “Yorubas will always be Yorubas. Whoever that is still in doubt that there’s nothing like tradition, the Ijare incident is an attestation. We have Ogun, Sango and other deities that are still existing.

 

Forget about civilisation, they’re people that still know the root and how to properly invoke the Yoruba deities. “Yorubas are different people entirely. Wherever you go in any of their territories as strangers, it always advisable to follow the instructions.

 

However, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Ondo State branch, has described the death of the 36 cows as “an act of God”. The state chairman of the association, Bello Garba, said members of the association had visited the area to ascertain what was responsible for the death of the cows. He noted that their findings showed that the cows were not poisoned as being insinuated in some quarters. Garba said members of the association in the state would continue to live in peace with the host communities, adding that the association would continue to sensitise its members in the state on the need to avoid sacred areas to prevent recurrence.

Continue Reading

Features

Travellers flee deadly highways

Published

on

Travellers flee deadly highways
  • Now send, receive goods by courier

 

  • Transport firms making brisk business

 

 

Nigerian highways are increasingly becoming a nightmare for travellers to ply on; no thanks to the rising menace of kidnappings for for money, banditry and other deadly crimes, which take place along the routes.

 

 

Although the highways are not the only places of fear for Nigerians as the deteriorating security situation across the land occasioned by the activities of terror groups including Boko Haram, armed bandits and dreaded Fulani herdsmen killings on a daily basis, is sending casualty figures mounting.

This was brought home recently when the Permanent Secretary, Special Services Office of the Secretary Government of the Federation, Amina Shamaki, said that Nigeria recorded a total of 1,460 deaths and 330 attacks in the last seven months.

 

 

She said this at a security meeting by the federal and states security administrators in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, recently. These harrowing figures have led to many travellers opting to boycott the highways when they can.

 

 

Sunday Telegraph findings showed that those, who usually travel to major cities like Lagos, Abuja, Onitsha, Aba, Kano and Kaduna for businesses, are currently discouraged from travelling by road – instead they have found courier services a good replacement for physically travelling by road.

 

 

A director in a federal government research facility in Yaba, who hails from Kaduna State, until the last Eid el Kabir, had a tradition of going to his roots to celebrate the festival with members of his extended family members.

But this year, he did not. He opted to stay in Lagos. “I can’t risk my life travelling along the Kaduna – Zaria road,” he said in a chat with Sunday Telegraph.

 

 

The director, who spoke with the weekly on condition of anonymity, said he did the needful before Sallah.

 

“I paid them a pre-Sallah visit. The road is too dangerous for one to ply it anyhow. I do not have money to pay for ransom.”

 

 

It is not only the roads in the North Western axis that travellers are fleeing from. The Benin-Asaba highway is not left out. It was on this route that a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) was abducted months back.

He paid N3 million to regain his freedom.

“It is those who know him that probably kidnapped him in order to collect their own share of a ‘deal’, a group of Police officers confided in Sunday Telegraph.

 

 

This has sent shivers down the spine of the aged mother of an official of the Abuja Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

 

 

“My mama, asked me not to bother coming home. She specifically called me not to go the Delta if I am not travelling by air,” he said in a telephone chat with our correspondent, when asked whether he would attend the annual convention of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), which held last month.

In the South West, the Akure-Ilesa highway has since been largely abandoned.

 

 

Many of the commuters, who ply the Trunk A highway to connect Ekiti and Ondo states and the North Central part of the country now do so through the Benin-Ore road, in order to get to their destinations.

“Although it is longer, but it is safer,” said the driver of a Lagos-based transport company. “There are security personnel manning the highway,” said one of the drivers on Friday.

 

 

This has led to more traffic and occasional traffic gridlock, especially in construction zones.

In addition, more time is spent on the road. A journey of 7 hours now takes 14 hours by road. “We left Lagos at 6:45am and got to Utako a little after 9:00pm,” volunteered a traveller, on Friday.

 

 

Our source said: “It will also cost me more money. I am going to Kaduna, I will to pass the night in Abuja and complete my journey by train on Saturday morning,” said a traveller, who identified himself simply as Tolu.

 

 

“There was a reduction in the number of kidnapped cases on the Taraba axis since August 6, 2019, since the lid on alleged kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu Assume was blown open,” a retired director, Federal Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Bayo Atoyebi said on a television program.

 

 

According to him: “There had been a lull in the activities of the marauders even on the Abuja-Kaduna highway since his arrest until the recent incident in which the three A.B.U. final year law students were abducted.”

 

But for those who it has become inevitable to travel, they have devised means to beat the insecurity. For many of them, it’s now safer to travel by night. This is based on the notion that most prominent men and women do not travel by night.

It was so bad that even the police even advised some government officials and certain expatriates to travel to Port Harcourt by night.

 

 

More so, a frequent traveller, Mr. Nelson Jideofor, told Sunday Telegraph of a very wealthy man, a co-traveller, a Nnewi-based businessman from Anambra State, who in the fear of highway marauders, totally changed his disguise before entering a public bus in Onitsha.

 

 

The Nnewi-born businessman (name withheld) dressed in simple attire, three quarter jeans shorts and branded singlet. He furthered disguised himself by wearing simple palm slippers on.

 

 

According to Jideofor: “You would never expect to meet such a man in the vehicle. In fact he totally blended in chatting easily with his co-travellers. No one, except a person who really knows him well would believe he was someone else.

“Many didn’t know why he was there but the truth of the matter is that he was scared of driving along Benin-Ore road due to the nightmare kidnapping along the corridor has become.”

 

 

Travellers shun Abuja-Okene, other routes

During Sunday Telegraph’s tour of major motor parks at Maza-Maza along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, where virtually all the transport companies are located, many travellers and motorists who responded averred that fear of kidnapping and killings along Benin-Ore route stopped them from traveling along the road.

They also held that the same reason prevented many travellers from going to Abuja and other parts of northern Nigeria through Abuja-Okene route, the reason they preferred courier services to physical travelling.

 

 

According to a traveller, Miss Ijeoma Obi, who was going to Onitsha that morning, she has not been traveling to the South East since the cases of the kidnap and robberies along Benin-Ore Road increased.

 

 

“After hearing about the kidnappings, the killings, robberies, I became so scared to travel on that road. I have been sending things home by courier; I have stopped going in person. Even this one, I would not have made the trip but it has become very important that I’m going,” she said.

For Martins Asika, a passenger on G.U.O Motors headed for Asaba, responded in the same way, adding that the worse part of the route is Abuja-Agbor stretch of the journey.

 

 

According to him, the route has one of the worse roads coupled with the herdsmen activities, saying that he stopped traveling to Abuja by road instead he would send money to his brother to buy things for him and courier it back to him in Lagos.

“My friend was among the people attacked by the herdsmen on the route sometime in the past. After that, there was a broadcast that the route was unsafe, so I shunned the route. I don’t have money to travel by air but I try to book ticket weeks ahead of my trip to get it cheaper. I can’t travel to Abuja by road again,” he averred.

An Alaba trader, who came to send his goods through courier services provided by the transport companies instead of traveling in person, said he does not have business traveling by the roads due to the level of insecurity in the country.

 

 

“What I do these days, is to collect money and orders from my customers in different parts of the country, get what they want and send back to them. I don’t have business traveling to anywhere. This is what some of us do today,” he said.

 

 

More so, in a bid to confirm how the insecurity has affected transport companies and increased the volume of courier services, Miss Faith Chude, a ticketer at Genesis Motors, said the company has been receiving parcels on daily basis but loads only one mini-bus per night.

At the Young Shall Grow Park, people were trooping in and out of the park with goods and parcels to freight to one part of the country to the other. Cartons of goods, including, motor parts, refrigerators, clothes, bags of rice and other consumables among others, were seen stacked at the company’s premises.

A driver with Libra Motors, Paul Ovie, who plies the Lagos-Onitsha route, said for fear of attacks, he doesn’t ply Benin By-pass again, instead he enters Benin City metropolis and faces the minor traffic therein.

 

 

“It is better I got to my destination late than to be attacked and injured by herdsmen if I’m left alive. I have devoted that day for travelling, so there is no need rushing. We are not in the season yet,” he said.

 

 

Sunday Telegraph’s interaction with some of the passengers and drivers among area boys generated group discussions where travellers and others condemned the nonchalant attitude of the Federal Government which is yet to take decisive actions to arrest the situation on the roads apart from having pockets of police and military checkpoints here and there along the routes.

 

But Force Public Relations officer, Frank Mba does not agree that things are that bad, insisting that the security infractions are not enough to send people away from the highways.

 

 

“If you go to our motor parks, Nigerians are travelling every day. The transport companies are not complaining of lull in business. As a matter of fact, if you do not book ahead, you may not get a seat. The roads are heavy of traffic.

 

 

“Another way of confirming this, once there is a little issue on the road, there is traffic snarl. It is not to say there is no challenge. However, I disagree that it is an overwhelming perennial issue. Most of the challenges are occasional security breach that happens on the road.

 

 

“We are engaging the public, deploying more man power and logistics and more technology. I want to assure Nigerians that what is happening is a phase and it will pass away. In those areas where there are challenges, order will be restored, very soon,” he told Sunday Telegraph.

 

 

Continue Reading

Features

Mad man takes centre stage in Eke-Oha Market face-off

Published

on

Mad man takes centre stage in Eke-Oha Market face-off

 

 

The last has not been heard about the madness going on Abia State, following the blunt attack on the state government by a ‘mad man’, at the Eke-Oha Market (Shopping Centre).

 

The video of the mad man’s verbal attack on Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Chinedum Orji, which has gone viral was obtained by Sunday Telegraph with his words in exact.

 

 

In the video, the mad man, to the cheering of crowd at the market, accused the Abia Speaker of lording over Ikpeazu and controlling him with serious political pressure.

 

The mad man went ahead to accuse Ikpeazu of mismanagement of state funds that could have been used to mitigate the infrastructural decay in the state.

In the words of the mad man: “Okezie Ikpeazu, what have we done to you? Whenever it rains, we have hypertension. In Ariaria the so called International Market whenever there’s rainfall, Ariaria overflows with flood.

 

 

“Okezie Ikpeazu come and explain the money you spent on Faulks Road which is still flooding and killing people whenever it rains.

 

“Okezie Ikpeazu, why are you frustrating us? Did we offend you by electing you as our governor? Okezie Ikpeazu, you were once a Chairman of the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA), but Aba is the dirtiest city in Nigeria.

 

 

“Okezie Ikpeazu, your cup is overflowing. Leave Government House for us. You and Ikuku (Hon. Chinedum Orji, Speaker Abia State House of Assembly) will soon meet your Waterloo.

“Ikuku is carrying Ikpeazu on his back pressurizing him seriously.

 

“I’m interested in Aba because Aba is our commercial nerve centre. Okezie Ikpeazu, we’re going to impeach you. I’m standing at Shopping Centre and speaking so that the whole world will hear me.”

 

Just two days after the video of the mad man’s verbal attack went viral in the state and beyond, a new video emerged where the same mad man was said to have been arrested and had started making confessional statements.

 

In this particular video, the mad man was being interrogated by some unseen faces alleged to be police officers in an office also alleged to be the office of the Chairman of Eke-Oha Market, Mr. Friday Dimiri.

 

The mad man went ahead to mention some names of notable traders in the market and linked them to the 2019 governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr. Alex Otti.

 

 

The mad man mentioned the following names: Jude Osuagwu, Innocent Anosike, Ugochukwu Oriaku, Chima Onuoha and one Augusta, stressing that they were all agents of Otti who offered him N10,000 to come into the market and carry out the verbal attack on the state government.

Those whose names were mentioned by the mad man in his second video called a press conference where they denied all the allegations against them as published by New Telegraph some days ago.

 

 

The accused traders, who came under the name: “Concerned Traders of Eke-Oha Market” went further to accuse the Eke-Oha Market Chairman, Mr. Friday Dimiri of inviting the man to insult the government and link them to it just to turn the government against them for standing against his excesses as market leader.

Ugochukwu Oriaku, the leader of the concerned traders said: “The whole problems got hotter not quite long ago. There’s a road inside the market which we call ‘Flower Pot’. It’s no longer than two poles.

 

 

“Friday Dimiri poured asphalt on it with our money and now turned around to order that every shop along that road will pay a lot of money.

 

 

“There are up to 400 shops downstairs he said they’ll pay N200, 000, while the ones upstairs will pay N100, 000 to him each. He gave instructions that come on or before August 20 that the money must be paid to him.

 

 

“But on August 8, our good governor Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu through his Chief Press Secretary, Onyebuchi Ememanka issued a statement that nobody should pay that money and even went ahead to tell him to refund the money of those who must have paid, but Dimiri defiled the governor’s order and kept insisting we must pay.

“On the 27th, we answered to the invite of the Aba Area Command that there’s a petition against us by Friday Dimiri who said that we want to kidnap and kill him.

 

 

“We went to the Area Command after listening to us released us. On the same day, the governor visited some markets in commemoration of the 28th anniversary of the creation of Abia State and made another pronouncement that nobody should pay a kobo.

 

 

“On the same day we were granted bail at Area Command, Dimiri transferred the petition to Zone-9 Umuahia. On August 28, I was in Zone-9 as well to answer questions on the petition of attempted killing and kidnapping.

 

 

“They granted me bail the same day and asked me to bring other persons mentioned in the petition which is the same name he wrote to the Area Command. We all went there on the second and stayed there till late because they said they were coming to our various houses for search which they did and we were later bailed.

 

 

“All of a sudden, I was told that a mad man mentioned my name in a video. That was when the whole plan became clearer to us. His Excellency Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu came on August 27 to make that announcement which favoured all the traders and everyone was happy.

 

 

“Then two days later, he (Dimiri) and his cohorts brought a mad man to come and speak against the governor so that he could deceive the government to think that it was the traders that brought the mad man to castigate the same government that saved us from his impunity so that he could provoke the governor to reverse the decision to enable him force us to pay the N200, 000 levy per shop as he desired.

 

 

“Now, tell me how we the traders who were very grateful for what the governor did by saving us from our extortionist Chairman now turn around to work against him? It was Friday Dimiri that concocted all the lies.

 

 

“To show you the funniest part of all these madness, the place the mad man stood to insult the governor is two poles away from Friday Dimiri’s office. All his Bakassi boys were around they did nothing. We even got a report that he was around monitoring what the mad man was doing without stopping him because it was all his plans.

 

 

“When the mad man finished insulting the governor and the video went viral, Friday Dimiri, Chibuike Ugochukwu, Chris Urakpa and his Bakassi boys took the same person they called a mad man to the comfort of Dimiri’s office in the name of arrest and cook up what the public is consuming now.”

 

 

The traders went further to accuse Dimiri of other offenses including embezzlement, erection of illegal shops in his name, using Abia State Vigilante Group aka Bakassi to intimidate traders and using market funds to do charity works in his village, Ohanze in Obingwa without their approval.

But reacting to the traders’ allegations levelled against him, Dimiri denied the accusations stressing that there is no way he could have turned against the governor who made him what he is today.

 

 

“There’s this adage that says that a man that bites the fingers that feeds him must definitely feel hungry again. Somebody that appointed me and gave me the honour to be Chairman of this market, somebody that called me when I had nothing and lifted me up, what reason do I have to call a mad man to castigate him?

 

 

“APGA people nearly killed me here during the election because of this same man. How then will I castigate the same man I placed my life for? I didn’t write any list for the mad man to mention. I was not even away that a mad man came into this market.

 

 

“It was the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi-Kalu and Hon. Kelechi Nwamkpa, (a former Commissioner in Ikpeazu’s first tenure), who called me on Sunday after the day the mad man came. I was surprised to hear it from them. They gave me a mandate to verify it that it is not good for my leadership.

 

 

“The mad man even wrote a statement with the police that a group of people invited him to do what he did against the state government. I never invited any mad man.

 

 

“It was the same mad man that castigated President Muhammadu Buhari and former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha. The names I included in my petition about attempted kidnap were not the same names the mad man mentioned,” he said.

 

 

On using market funds for charity work and erecting 35 illegal shops in his name, the Chairman said he is a successful business man and can afford to do charity works for anyone without using market funds. He also denied erecting any illegal shops.

 

 

On the Flower Pot Road asphalting, the Chairman said that he only came in to implement and reduce the N550,000 that was agreed by the traders there as levy among themselves to tar the road to prevent further construction of illegal shops there.

 

 

Dimiri added that no trader paid the much talked about N250,000 to him before the governor issued a statement to stop it. He challenged the traders to provide one person that paid and was not refunded as instructed.

 

 

Speaking on the issue of using Bakassi boys to intimidate traders, Dimiri said: “I was Vice Chairman when this market was often looted by hoodlums.

 

 

“We applied to government to give us Bakassi boys and since then, not one shop has been looted since they came in here. The Bakassi boys only come out by 6pm after traders must have left.”

Continue Reading

Features

Idiroko border town on tenterhooks over Oro festival

Published

on

Idiroko border town on tenterhooks over Oro festival

There is growing tension at the Idiroko border town in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State as traditionalists and some religious groups battle over Oro festival, reports KUNLE OLAYENI

 

 

 

 

An uneasy calm is pervading Idiroko town in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State in the wake of the fight among traditionalists, Muslims and Christians over the celebration of Oro festival.

Still grappling with the socio-economic effects of ongoing border closure, the community in the Nigeria-Benin Republic border is now tottering on religious conflict which, many feared may snowball to a major crisis if not well managed.

 

 

Already, no fewer than 13 persons have been arraigned by the police following reported clashes between proponents and opponents of the Oro festival in the town. Those charged to court have been subsequently remanded in prison custody.

 

 

In many towns and settlements of Yoruba origin, Oro festival is held annually. This antiquated festival is patriarchal in nature as it is only celebrated by male descendants who are paternal natives to the specific locations where the particular event is taking place.

It is the age-long tradition that during this festival, females and non-natives are confined indoors as they must not see the Oro cult. The uninitiated, who are caught violating the ritual often die mysteriously, according to the Yoruba beliefs.

 

 

Although the ceremonies surrounding Oro festival vary from town to town, the conduct in Idiroko has sparked crisis and pitted traditional worshippers against Muslim and Christian faithful in the border area. The indigenous people of the town are mostly Yoruba, Anago and Egun, while languages spoken by the residents include Yoruba, English and French.

 

 

Sometime in August, this year, irate traditional worshippers allegedly stormed a mosque in the town and dispersed Muslim faithful observing their prayers. The Umar bin Khatab Mosque, Odan-Aje, which was attacked, is behind the General Hospital, Idiroko.

 

The traditionalists allegedly pelted worshippers in the mosque, shattered its window louvers and vandalized the worship centre. They reportedly accused the Muslims of calling people to prayer in flagrant breach of the warning not to do so when Orisa Oba ritual was being carried out.

 

Our correspondent learnt that Orisa Oba is a ritual which has been held in the town from time immemorial. Its spirit is usually invoked to cleanse the town in the wake of calamities. The Orisa Oba forbids noise, music and light whether during the day or at night.

 

During the rites, everybody is expected to stay indoors for two to three days. Residents are warned to abide by this restriction anytime the ritual is observed. The penultimate edition was said to have been held over ten years ago.

Apart from the mosque attacked, some vehicles were also reportedly vandalized by the traditional worshippers at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church located at Old Baggage Road, Idiroko.

 

But barely a month after the incident, another attack took place in the town last a fortnight ago. Apparently to forestall a breakdown of law and order, the police swiftly arrested nine Oro adherents.

The arrested suspects included Idowu Desu, Monday Akinlolu, Dele Dada, Raimi Jacob, Dondo Sunday, Abiola Azeez, Olarewaju Akerele, Nurudeen Lawal and Tetede Jamiu.

 

Sunday Telegraph learnt that Oro adherents had allegedly imposed a curfew on the town on Saturday during their traditional festival but this was defied by Muslims in the area who went out to observe their prayers.

 

It was learnt that some Muslims and Christians who are residents, were assaulted and beaten severely for violating the curfew imposed by the Oro adherents. Some property was also allegedly vandalized during the attack.

 

One of the affected residents, Tolahat Yahya, while narrating his ordeal, claimed that the traditionalists destroyed his car during their festival.

 

Yahya said: “We were coming back from a programme held at our mosque when the Oro adherents attacked us. They beat us and said we did not obey the curfew order.

 

“We stood our ground and we ensured we grabbed three of them who we later handed over to the police. The intimidation is too much; they refused to allow us practice our religion. Despite the agreement that the Oro ritual will not be performed in daybreak, they did not obey that.”

 

 

Our correspondent learnt that prior to the renewed violence, a peace meeting was held on Thursday, last week, between Muslims who were led by the Wakeel Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta States, Sheikh Iskeel Lawal Sugar, and the traditionalists, represented by the Oniko of Ikoland, Idiroko, Oba John Olakunle. However, the meeting ended in a deadlock.

 

 

The monarch allegedly refused to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) proposed by the Muslims, insisting that the community had been performing daybreak rituals for long and would not stop.

 

 

He was said to have asked the Muslim community to be ready to either accept the traditions or leave the community.

 

Sunday Telegraph gathered that a High Court in Ipokia had about two years ago delivered a judgement which restrained Oro adherents from observing their ritual in daytime in any part of the area. The traditional worshippers, on the other hand, have gone to the appellate court to appeal the judgement.

 

 

The Muslim community wants the court judgement obeyed while the traditionalists insist that even though appeal was pending, traditions are still sacred and sacrosanct.

 

 

Speaking with Sunday Telegraph, Imam Abdulazeez Omoakin of Umar bin Khatab Mosque, which was invaded in August, said unlike the previous attack, the traditional worshippers laid ambush for their latest victims and beat them to a pulp.

Omoakin appealed to the authorities to ensure strict compliance of the ban against Oro adherents whom he accused of being hell bent on carrying out their festival in the day time at the expense of other residents.

 

 

On Tuesday, September 10, no fewer than 13 persons were arrested for allegedly perpetrating the attack on Muslim and Christian faithful in Idiroko. They were arraigned before a Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government Area of the state.

The accused persons were arraigned on charges bordering on conspiracy, contempt, and conduct likely to cause breach of public peace, malicious damage and assault occasioning harm in two separate suits filed before the court.

 

 

The prosecutor, Dada Olushola, said the 13 accused persons were arrested by the police while committing the offence during the last Oro festival. He added that the accused persons observed the Oro festival during day time contrary to an order of the High Court in Ipokia.

According to the prosecutor, the offences were contrary to and punishable under Sections 516 (a), 133 (9) and 249 (d) of the Criminal Code Vol. 1 Laws of Ogun State 2006.

 

 

The presiding Magistrate, S O Banwo, while ruling on the bail application of the accused, granted them bail of N2.5million each and two sureties in like sum.

 

 

One of the sureties must be a traditional ruler who must deposit his original Certificate of Title until the final determination of the matter while the other surety must possess a landed property that is registered at the Lands Registry and has a Certificate of Occupancy.

However, the accused persons could not perfect the bail conditions and were ordered to be remanded in prison custody in Ilaro.

 

 

The case was adjourned till October 8, 2019 for the hearing of the two suits.

 

 

When our correspondent visited Idiroko on Wednesday, the town was relatively calm as residents went about their businesses. Efforts to get the reaction of monarch of the town were not successful as he was said to be out of the palace.

But sources at the palace, who preferred anonymity, confirmed to our correspondent that the peace meeting convened over the Oro festival was deadlocked.

 

 

The Muslim community was said to have raised some demands before the traditional ruler and requested him to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The demands included apology to the Muslim community; respect of the court judgement restraining the performance of rituals during the day except in the midnight between 12am and 4am and stoppage of threat to lives.

 

 

However, the alleged refusal of the monarch to sign the MoU annoyed the Muslim delegation and they reportedly left the palace.

 

 

Speaking on the conflict, a traditional chief in the town, who craved anonymity, said what led to the attack was the insistence of the Muslims not to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. He described the Muslims agitating against Oro festival as extremists who are bent on changing the age-long tradition of the town.

 

 

The chief explained that the Orisa Oba ritual is not done periodically but based on necessity to appease the gods of the land in the wake of calamities. According to him, the Orisa Oba was last observed in 2004.

 

 

While claiming that the gods that often struck opponents of the Oro rites, the chief argued that most of those arrested in connection with the attack on worship centres in the town were innocent.

 

 

When contacted, the state police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the matter was already before the court.

Continue Reading

 

 

 

 

 

ABUJA MAN REVEALS (FREE) SECRET FRUITS THAT INCREASED MANHOOD AND LASTING POWER IN 7DAYS

 

… CLICK HERE TO GET IT!

 

 

 

Categories

Facebook

BUA Adverts

Trending

Take advantage of our impressive online traffic; advertise your brands and products on this site. For Advert Placement and Enquiries, Call: Mobile Phone:+234 805 0498 544. Online Editor: Tunde Sulaiman Mobile Phone: 0805 0498 544; Email: tunsul2@gmail.com. Copyright © 2018 NewTelegraph Newspaper.

%d bloggers like this: