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Miyetti Allah: Politicians blackmailing Fulani

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Miyetti Allah: Politicians blackmailing Fulani

…says herdsmen are not criminals

 

The President of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Alhaji Bello Abdullahi Bodejo, has strongly kicked against allegations levelled against the Fulani over the general insecurity in the country.

 

Rather, he said that such allegations were being instigated by some politicians and enemies of the Fulani to blackmail the tribe and cause unnecessary confusion and disaffection among the people in Nigeria.

 

Bodejo stated this in Bauchi over the weekend while interacting with reporters.

 

He insisted that the Fulani were not criminals, saying that such allegations were baseless and not true.

 

He said the act of kidnapping and armed robberies shown in videos via social media were all drama to portray the Fulani in bad light.

 

“You as journalist, have you ever investigated who and who they arraigned in court after the drama if any? Did the court convict them? I challenge you, the pressmen, to tell me any tribe that doesn’t have people with questionable character. Are they not arrested by security agencies? Did you ever hear security describing them as so, so, so tribe? Why are they doing it to the Fulani?

 

 

“Even in the drama, you didn’t see the picture of the actor asking them questions? It’s only a blackmail.”

 

He said even the farmers and herders’ fracas was politicised and recalled that the misunderstandings between the two groups were age-long, which has traditional ways of resolving them.

 

Bodejo said: “But unlike before that these feuds happen and resolved immediately, politicians now use it as ways of causing disaffection between Fulani race and other tribes.

 

“You will see someone taking pictures from accident scenes and before you know it, they post it on social media, claiming Fulani herdsmen are responsible for the killings. It’s unfortunate.”

 

 

Bodejo said that his kinsmen, herders, did not bear any arms of any form except the traditional sticks they were known for.

 

On the issue of Ruga, the Miyetti Allah leader also faulted northern governments at all levels for being insensitive to the plights of Fulani herdsmen in the country.

 

He said: “The Nigerian government has been insensitive to the plights of Fulani herdsmen across the country in spite of contributing greatly to the nation’s economy through their herd business.

 

“Let the Federal Government bring back the grazing reserves across the country. We have national and international cattle routes across the country that have been taken away by modern roads. These are the rights of Fulani as citizens.

 

I agree that cattle rearing is personal business, but governments must look for ways of easing business for these herders. If government can disburse billions of naira as loans to petty traders across the country, which are personal businesses, then they (governments) should also look at what they can do to ease Fulani herders in their cattle rearing business. It is a business that governments at all levels must support them to do at ease.”

 

 

Bodejo said Fulani are educated and are leaders in Nigeria. “Majority of the northern governors, ministers and Emirs are sons and daughters of Fulani and they need to protect them and provide them with required essential social services to their settlements that will aid them to ease their sufferings and live happily,” he said.

 

He commended the Jigawa State Government for doing more to assist the Fulani and challenged all northern governors to implement grazing reserves.

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Benue: Ortom closes case at governorship election tribunal

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Benue: Ortom closes case at governorship election tribunal

*Expresses confidence in Judiciary

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State yesterday closed his case in the suit instituted against him by Emmanuel Jime and the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging his re-election.

At the resumption of the case, counsel to the Governor, Sebastine Hon (SAN), told the court that Governor Ortom had decided to close his case after taking a look at the evidence of the petitioners.

“After taking a critical look at the evidence provided by the petitioners, we have come to the inevitable conclusion that we will not be calling any further witnesses”.

Counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Oba Maduabuchi, (SAN), who was next in line to open his case asked the court to grant him Monday, August 19, 2029 to open his defense, adding that he will call only five witnesses.

There was no objection from any counsels to the parties in the suit. The tribunal chairman, Justice Henry Olusiyi thereafter adjourned the matter to Monday, August 19, 2019.

Speaking to journalists after the sitting, Governor Ortom who was at the tribunal in person, expressed confidence in the court to uphold justice as the 2019 governorship election in Benue State was free, fair and credible.

“I want to say that as far as I am concerned, the election was free and fair and I am here today (yesterday) out of respect for the court and I am very optimistic that the court will give me justice because I won the election”.

 

Also speaking to journalists on why he decided to call only one witness, Counsel to Governor Ortom, Sebastine Hon said the statement on oath of the petitioner himself and his star witness for the whole state, Joe Abaagu were not signed, and substantial justice was done during cross examination of the petitioners’ witnesses.

He added that under Nigerian laws, the burden of proof rests on the petitioners.

 

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IPOB: We attacked Ike Ekweremadu in Germany

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IPOB: We attacked Ike Ekweremadu in Germany

·       Ohanaeze condemns assault

 

The fight for the actualisation of Biafra took a dramatic twist yesterday when Senator Ike Ekweremadu, was attacked by some members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Germany.

 

The former Deputy Senate President had been invited to attend a New Yam festival in Nuremberg when he was assaulted by IPOB members.

 

 

The video of the incident, which has gone viral on the Internet, shows Ekweremadu being protected and then bundled into a car and rapidly driven out of the venue ostensibly to save him from further being attacked.

 

 

IPOB subsequently confessed to being behind the attack accusing the Senator of being a “supporter” of Operation Python Dance, the security operation currently taking place in the Eastern part of the country.

 

In a statement, signed by the group’s media and publicity secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, IPOB also warned that what happened to the Senator now also awaits other Igbo leaders including Governors, Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Willie Obiano (Anambra) and President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo should they venture outside the shores of Nigeria.

 

 

 

“Today being the 17th day of August 2019 the Nuremberg IPOB family in Germany in keeping with the long standing directive from our leader to hound all instigators of Operation Python Dance, is glad to report that Ike Ekweremadu was confronted and duly hounded out of a so-called New Yam Festival event in Germany,” Emma Powerful said.

 

 

He then concluded the short statement by warning: “This should serve as a warning to Nnia Nwodo, Dave Umahi, Okezie Ikpeazu, Willie Obiano and co that any day we find them in a public event abroad, they will be humiliated. IPOB is strategically located in over 100 countries around the world. Anywhere we find them, they will be dealt with.”

 

 

However, in swift response, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo condemned the assault on the former Deputy Senate President in Germany.

 

 

In a statement made available to journalists in Enugu at the weekend, Nwodo said: “The assault on Ekweremadu by Igbos in Germany, described as IPOB members, is disappointing, grotesque and dangerous for Igbo solidarity.

 

 

“This violent, rude, impertinent, divisive and discourteous style of IPOB or IPOB instigated miscreants is damaging to our cause. It strengthens the case of those who describe them as terrorists and weaken our case against the infringement of our fundamental human rights.”

 

 

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Flood claims 3 lives, submerges over 20 houses in Niger

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Flood claims 3 lives, submerges over 20 houses in Niger
  • Over 500 persons displaced

 

Daniel Atori, Minna

 

An early hour heavy downpour has claimed three lives and left over 50 people displaced following the flooding it brought to Bosso and Chanchaga local government areas of Niger State.

The deluge, which submerged over 20 houses, destroyed other buildings, including shops and farms, started at about 4am on Saturday while residents where still asleep.

Some residents while narrating their ordeal said the early morning rain was responsible for the flooding which overflew thereby collapsing the MYPA Bridge in Bosso and washing away the Mola Bridge in Dutsen Kura Hausa.

In the meantime, Niger State’s Acting Governor, Muhammad Ahmed Ketso, who paid a sympathy visit to the people, disclosed that the government has directed the State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) to immediately take inventory of losses and provide relief materials comprising of food and non-food items to cushion victims’ hardship.

He further called on the Federal Government and relevant bodies to come and assist the state in addressing the unending disaster caused by flood annually.

Speaking on behalf of the Dutsen Kura Hausa victims, Sanusi Mohammed, a businessman, said: “Three persons have been carried away by the flood and must have died by now.”

Another victim, who also counted his losses, Zubairu Abdullahi, disclosed that his animals and fish pond had been swept away and his entire house destroyed by the water.

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Kaduna: Council of Imams berates CAN Chair over alleged politicisation of security issues

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Kaduna: Council of Imams berates CAN Chair over alleged politicisation of security issues

Kaduna State Council of Imams and Ulama, on Saturday, reacted to recent comments by the state Chairman of CAN, Rev. Joseph Hayab on the security challenges in the state.

The Council’s Secretary General, Malam Yusuf Arrigasiyyu,  said at press conference in Kaduna that Hayab’s comments  were unfortunate and an attempt to politicise the issues to achieve a hidden agenda.

The state Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had on August 9, in a press statement claimed that over 500 Christians were kidnapped in the last two years in the state and N300 million paid in ransom to Fulani kidnappers.

He was also reported to have claimed that there is a grand design to exterminate Christians and pastors in Kaduna State.

“The politicization of the security challenge in Kaduna State by the CAN chairman, for only God-knows why, is worrisome and he should be called to order before it’s too late.

“Failure to do this, the consequences of his unbridled verbiage will no doubt lead to breakdown of law and order in the state, if urgent steps are not taken.”

The council said it would not sit by and watch the divisive rhetoric of the Chairman endanger lives of innocent citizens and pitch the people against one another.

The Imams accused Hayab, who is a politician, of hiding under CAN to execute a hidden agenda.

“As followers of the religion of peace, the Council of Ulama finds it pertinent to sound this alarm in order to forestall breakdown of law and order.”

It noted that Hayab’s statement “is as divisive as it is patently false, especially the claim that kidnappers only abduct Christians in Kaduna State.”

The clerics noted that kidnapping has become a nationwide security challenge and the criminals as well as their victims cut across ethno-religious divides.

“For instance, along Birnin Gwari-Kaduna Road alone, between 22nd June and 30th July 2019, over 55 persons have been kidnapped and over 20 persons were killed, including five Nigerian Air Force and Army personnel, according to news reports.

“Specifically, majority of the citizens killed and kidnapped along Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi and Abuja-Kaduna roads and the border towns with Niger, Katsina and Zamfara States have been Muslims.

“However, we never viewed the unfortunate situation from a religious angle.

“In fact, we have always condemned the act of criminality and have called on the State and Federal Governments to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians, irrespective of where they are or how they worship.”

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Army begins 2019 Annual Shooting Exercise

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Army begins 2019 Annual Shooting Exercise

The Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria, Kaduna State says it will begin its 2019 Annual Range Classification from August 20 to 28 and advised residents to keep-off the range area.

This is contained in a statement by the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Depot Nigerian Army, Maj. Sydney Nbaneme and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Zaria on Saturday.

It said: “The Depot Nigerian Army Annual Range Classification is scheduled to take place at the Depot NA range Dogarawa from Thursday, 20 August to Wednesday 28 August 2019.

“The exercise which is directed at assessing troops’ proficiency in weapon handling will include firing of ammunitions using small arms.

“The authority has put in place safety measures and precautions to ensure safe and hitch-free exercise.

“However, residents of the affected communities are advised to stay away from the range general area within the period of the exercise.”

The statement also enjoined residents of the area not to panic seeing movement of troops and hearing the sound of small arms.

It assured them that it was a routine exercise for the troops of the Depot Nigerian Army.

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Former Niger gov extols IBB at 78

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Former Niger gov extols IBB at 78

The immediate past governor of Niger, Dr Babangida Aliyu, on Saturday extolled the virtues of former military leader, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida of contributing positively to nation building.

Aliyu made the remark in Minna, while congratulating IBB who turned 78 years on August 17.

“Many people will be interested to know about IBB’s birthday because he is an elder statesman who has contributed positively to the development of our country.

“I am happy that he is still alive and healthy, I wish him well at 78.

“We hope he will still live longer because we need him around to continue to contribute to national development,” he said.

He assured he would continue to encourage and support Babangida towards contributing to the development of Nigeria.

“I think IBB is a statesman that we will continue to pray for,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that IBB, who was born August 17, 1941, was the military President of Nigeria between August 27, 1985 and August 26, 1993.

He previously served as the Chief of Army Staff from January 1984 to August 1985.

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US issues warrant to seize Iranian oil tanker, Grace 1

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US issues warrant to seize Iranian oil tanker, Grace 1

The United States has issued a warrant for the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker captured by British Royal Marines in Gibraltar last month for allegedly violating international sanctions.

The Grace 1 vessel, which was ordered to be released by the Gibraltar Supreme Court after 43 days in detention, shifted position but remained anchored in the British Mediterranean territory late on Friday.

The tanker was seized by British Royal Marines at the western mouth of the Mediterranean on July 4 on suspicion of violating European Union sanctions by taking oil to Syria, a close ally of Iran.

Washington had attempted to detain the Grace 1 on the grounds that it had links to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which it has designated a “terrorist” organisation.

According to the warrant issued on Friday, the US Department of Justice alleged that the ship was part of a scheme “to unlawfully access the US financial system to support illicit shipments to Syria from Iran by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”

The court document said the vessel and the 2.1 million barrels of oil aboard are subject to forfeiture based on violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as well as bank fraud, money laundering, and “terrorism” statutes.

It also ordered the seizure of $995,000 in an account at an unnamed US bank associated with Paradise Global Trading LLC, which it called a shell company associated with businesses which act for the Revolutionary Guards.

There was no immediate word from Britain or Gibraltar over whether they would act on the warrant, as Iran said it was sending a new crew to pilot the tanker.

“This US complaint alleges that Iran has violated US sanctions after the US pulled out the 2015 nuclear deal last year,” said Al Jazeera’s John Hendren, reporting from Washington, DC.

“The big question is will the British government help the US by seizing this ship, will Interpol be involved or will the US government try to seize that ship,” he added.

Need for repairs

On Thursday, a Gibraltar judge ordered the release of the Grace 1, six weeks after it was detained, rejecting a last-minute legal move by Washington demanding that the ship remain detained.

The release came after Gibraltar’s government said it had received written assurances from Iran that the ship would not be headed for countries “subject to European Union sanctions.”

“We have deprived the Assad regime in Syria of more than $140 million worth of crude oil,” Gibraltar chief minister Fabian Picardo said.

According to radio transmission exchanges overheard by Al Jazeera, the ship is expected to set sail on Sunday evening.

The Gibraltar Chronicle newspaper also reported that the vessel was unlikely to sail before Sunday, citing an unnamed source who added that it was waiting for six new crew members including a captain to arrive that day.

A lawyer for the Grace 1’s current captain, an Indian national, said that his client had asked to be replaced.

“He doesn’t want to stay in command of the ship, he wants to go home, because he wasn’t happy to go back and pick up the broken pieces,” his lawyer Richard Wilkinson told The Associated Press news agency. “But he’s a professional skipper and needs to wait for a new crew to do a proper handover.”

The lawyer said the tanker had been due for repairs in Gibraltar even before it was seized and its detention impeded the replacement of parts, making the tanker unfit for an immediate long voyage.

Renamed for voyage

Earlier on Friday, Iranian officials said the tanker was preparing to set sail under an Iranian flag after its registration was switched from Panama and would be renamed the Adrian Darya for the voyage.

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from Gibraltar, said the Grace 1 signage had been removed as well as the Panamanian flag.

“The navigation sytems, all of them, indicate that it’s still Grace 1, but in terms of maritime law, this vessel really has no visible identity,” he said.

The Grace 1 vessel and its July 4 seizure came amid surging tensions in the Gulf after several alleged Iranian attacks on smaller tankers.

The US – citing Tehran’s threat to American allies – expanded its military presence in the region with a new aircraft carrier task force, missile batteries and strategic bombers

Iran called the detention of the Grace 1 an “illegal interception” staged by the United States, while Washington cheered it as “excellent news.”

Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since US President Donald Trump withdrew last year from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between major powers and Iran, reimposing crippling unilateral sanctions.

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Ekiti begins public naming, shaming of sex offenders

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Ekiti begins public naming, shaming of sex offenders

In a bid to fulfill its promise of tackling rape and child abuse in the state, the Ekiti State Government has started public naming/ shaming of convicted sex offenders in the state.

 

The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Olawale Fapohunda, had earlier this year issued a statement on practical measures aimed at curbing sexual violence in the state.

 

Fapohunda had said: “The state government is concerned about the frequency of reported cases of sexual violence. It has therefore become necessary to put in place proactive measures to halt this trend. One of these measures include public notification of the status of convicted sex offenders by showing their photographs on Ekiti State Broadcasting Service and announcing their names on radio stations in the state.”

 

According to a statement issued yesterday, the state noted that: “The Ministry of Justice has today began the publication of the names and photographs of convicted sex offenders in the state. “We are commencing with a public notice on the status of Reverend Asateru Gabriel, a former Anglican priest who was convicted for sexually abusing a seven – year – old girl. Reverend Gabriel is currently serving a five – year prison sentence in Federal Prisons, Ado Ekiti.

 

“This publication is in furtherance of the Fayemi administration’s zero tolerance policy for all forms of violence against Women and Children.” Other additional measures to curb sexual violence in the state as announced by Fapohunda include: “Pasting the photographs of convicted sex offenders in prominent public spaces in their communities and their Local Government Headquarters; issuing an advisory to the traditional ruler of the sex offender’s community on the status of the offender.

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Why soldiers are on the rampage, by experts

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Why soldiers are on the rampage, by experts

That the killing of three policemen and a civilian in Taraba State last week, precisely on August 6, sent shock waves down the spine of Nigerians and especially, policemen across the country, is stating the obvious. Officers in the Police are concerned that a civilian and three policemen attached to the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), whose names were given by Force Spokesman, policemen DCP Frank Mba, as Inspector Mark Edaile from Edo State and Sergeants Usman Danzumi and Dahiru Musa who were both from Taraba State, could be killed in such a manner. They wonder what fate awaits those who are regular policemen and who often come in contact with soldiers almost on a daily basis.

 

But as other Nigerians were still grappling with the death of the policemen in the hands of soldiers along Ibi- Jalingo Road in Taraba State and the alleged setting free of a suspected kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Balla (aka Wadume), who had been arrested by the police team, other unnerving issues linked to soldiers have since been recorded in different parts of the nation. As if that did not constitute enough reputation damage for the military, news filtered in on August 8 that a soldier had shot and killed a commercial motorcyclist in Ohanze Isiahia, a community in Obingwa council area near Aba. The deceased, whose name was given as Chimaobi Uzoukwa, was reportedly killed for allegedly refusing to part with a N100 bribe at a military checkpoint in the town.

 

It was alleged that one of the soldiers at the checkpoint ordered another motorcyclist to chase after Uzoukwa and reportedly shot him to death on the spot at a close range. A press release by Onyebuchi Ememanka, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, announced the arrest of the suspect later when the governor paid a condolence visit to the deceased’s family at Umuokereke Ngwa community in Obingwa Local Government Area of the state. Giving the name of the alleged killer-soldier as Cpl. Ajayi, Ikpeazu said the fleeing soldier had been arrested while describing the killing of the 30-year-old motorcycle rider as “wicked, malicious, unprofessional and cowardly” as he vowed to exhaust all avenues possible to ensure that the deceased, who left behind a pregnant wife, two sons and an aged mother, got justice.

 

Just within the week, on August 14, the Ogun State Police Command alleged that soldiers attached to the 81 Division in Lagos were involved in the killing of     some residents of Isheri Olofin, a boundary community between Lagos and Ogun states, during an annual festival known as Isheri Day. The command further alleged that one of those killed was a patient, who was receiving treatment at a hospital following injuries sustained during the clash, was stabbed to death with a bayonet according to the police spokesperson, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, who was quoting statements from eyewitnesses. “The Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama, has ordered a full-scale investigation into the “Isheri Day” shooting incident in Ogun State on August 13, 2019, by suspected soldiers believed to be from Ikeja Cantonment, with a view to bringing the suspects to justice.

 

“Credible Information at the disposal of the command has it that on the said date, four men of the Nigerian Army believed to be from Ikeja Cantonment and posted to Kara Market, left their beats and went to Isheri Olofin, a border town between Lagos and Ogun State, where the indigenes of the town were celebrating their annual “Isheri Day”. “The soldiers, on getting there, had a minor disagreement with some youths, which made the soldiers start shooting sporadically into the air,” Oyeyemi stated.

 

Further, he said: “Consequently, one Damilare Adelani was hit by bullets and he died on the spot. The ugly incident infuriated the people at the scene who in turn reacted violently against the soldiers leaving one of the soldiers and three other civilians injured. “The soldiers quickly took their injured colleague to a hospital where they met one of the injured civilians being attended to by a medical doctor on duty. “The statement from the officials of the hospital reveals that the soldiers ordered the doctor at gunpoint to leave the injured man and attend to their colleague. “They then dragged the patient out of the bed and subsequently stabbed him to death with a Bayonet attached to the muzzle of his rifle.”

 

Before all these, reports had indicated that some soldiers attached to the 32 Artillery Brigade in Akure allegedly raped a 300 Level female student of the Adekunke Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA) in Ondo State. The incident reportedly occurred on a Wednesday evening in July at a military checkpoint in Ikare-Akoko in Akoko North-East Local Government. According to sources, soldiers stationed at the checkpoint allegedly raped the 300-level student of the Department of Religious and African Studies while she was returning home from the campus. A student of the institution, who witnessed the incident and alleged that soldiers were fond of molesting female students, said: “We were coming from Akungba in a mini-bus on Wednesday evening. On getting to the checkpoint, a soldier looked inside our vehicle, pointed to the victim and ordered her to get down. We didn’t know why he did that.

 

When the lady alighted, he took her to their mini-barracks and asked us to leave the scene. “Out of fear we left the place, hoping that she would be released immediately, but she was not released until one hour later.

 

We discovered that she had been raped by the soldiers at the checkpoint. “Immediately, we went to Ikare Police Station to report the incident and took the victim to Ondo State Specialist Hospital, Ikare-Akoko for examination and treatment.

 

Doctors have confirmed that she was raped.” Following the decision of the university’s management to step into the matter, the soldier, identified as Sunday Adelola, a Lance Corporal, was handed over to the Police after his dismissal by the Nigerian Army. Although the student was said to have been gangraped, with fingers pointing to at least five soldiers at the check point, the other soldiers appear to have been cleared, with only Adetola, remanded in prison custody on Friday, left to face the consequences. As the Nigerian Army continues to be in the news for the wrong reasons, experts have offered their views on the likely causes of the reign  of   misconduct besetting the service as they have gone on the rampage in recent times.

 

According to a security expert, Richard Amuwa, the best solution to the recent issues of serial misbehavior in the army is due to the erosion of professionalism in the military. He said: “I just feel the professionalism of the military is being eroded and they need to get back to their core duty. “The military men are beginning to see themselves as civilians. Remember the 400 million they took from their boss. I think we are losing it in terms of the military set up we have; the military is not supposed to be involved in the internal security of any nation.

 

“Unfortunately, today look at the 36 states of the country and even Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, and tell me where you won’t find soldiers on the streets,” he stated in a chat with one of our correspondents. Amuwa stated further that the military cannot be divorced from the lack of discipline and order pervading the Nigerian society. “So, they are beginning to see themselves like the Police and most of these acts of misdemeanours that we hear the military engage in today are things the Police used to do. That is why we keep saying the agents are a reflection of the society itself. “If the society is disciplined, the Army would be disciplined but unfortunately we are in a society where there is no discipline and there are hardly a course of consequences for actions in the country,” he submitted. Another security expert, Dr Davidson Akhimien, agrees with Amuwa, adding, however that the increased interaction of soldiers with civilians is always going to cause friction. “Talking about several incidences of military misdemeanors in the society, this is mainly as a result of the exposure of the Nigerian Army to various internal security areas in the land, and the exposure of the army to internal security situations is one too many.

 

So what you find is that this clash between the military and civilians is inevitable. “Two, there is a Department of Civil Military Relations in any army anywhere in the world because there will of necessity be this clash. Now, there is also the threat to the existing structure of command within the national security architecture, for example we have known overtime there is this lack of cooperation between and public security agencies. “This (manner of) brining soldiers into almost every security situation in the country further exacerbates it so soldiers should be in the barracks and when they are involved in internal security situations, it should be very critical,” he said.

 

The solution, as far as he is concerned, is restricting soldiers to the barracks and letting the Police do its avowed job of protecting lives and property internally. “So when you bring soldiers into town for every little internal security matter, then there is bound to be such cases so that means you need to enhance the capacity of the police and that is just to say the Police are understaffed, ill-equipped and under-motivated. “I think what the Federal Government needs to do now is to see how they can staff the Police Force, equip and train them properly and let soldiers take care of the protection of our territorial integrity.”

 

“In the first place, if the soldiers had been deployed in that manner, this incursion of our different borders would not have occurred in which they are now having to fight them on the inside rather keeping them away from the perimeter,” Akhimien stated further.

 

However, a retired army general has blamed the acts of misconduct on alleged ‘dissatisfaction’ of troops with the authorities, stating that the reported cases of extra- judicial killings and other misconducts are signs that all may not be well within the system. The army general, who insisted on remaining anonymous, hinged his argument on the fact that the training and disciplined nature of soldiers would ordinarily not allow them act in such manners as Nigerians have seen in recent times. “The position is that there is total dissatisfaction in the Force (Army). Our soldiers are not known to behave like that.

 

If at all they, (soldiers) are doing that (engaging in alleged misconduct), then the system should check itself from the command. “It is something nearing mutiny, when soldiers begin to behave like that they are not happy. In fact, they are ready to die. There is dissatisfaction, they are showing it through those (acts of) misconducts,” he said. On his part, a retired state’s Director of the Department of State Service (DSS), Mike Ejiofor, said the development is an indication that some criminal elements have found their way into the military.

 

While blaming the situation on economic hardship, Ejiofor, nonetheless, called for thorough cleansing with a view to flushing out bad eggs in the military. According to some observers who don’t want their names in print, the recent issues might not be unconnected with the alleged consideration for recruitment into the Nigeria Police and Nigerian Army former Boko Haram members believed to have become repentant not so long ago. Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant on Media to CAN President, Rev Dr Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, was one of those who raised the alarm in a statement in June 2018. According to him, “CAN is visibly disturbed at reports that the Federal Government has allegedly directed the Nigerian Army and Police to recruit some former members of Boko Haram terrorists who recently underwent deradicalisation programme.

 

“If it is true, CAN condemns such a policy in strong terms and ask the Federal Government, especially security agencies, to withdraw that directive which is capable of compromising the nation’s security system.” Although Ejiofor didn’t make any reference to this, he said the mindset of soldiers is crucial in looking at the issues. “What is responsible is that we have some criminal elements in the military.

 

Don’t also forget that the military is peopled by Nigerians. There is economic hardship everywhere. “So, people are going into crime to make money. That is why you can see that soldiers will deliberately go out and (allegedly) kill a fellow law enforcement agent for no justifiable reason. They are not representing the Army, they are not representing the institutions; they are representing their personal interests. And, it is part of the decay in the society. “So, what the Army should do now or all the agencies, is to do some inhouse searching to fish out the bad eggs giving them a bad name,” he stated further.

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Oyo Anti-grazing Bill: Fulani group seeks alternative grazing space

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Oyo Anti-grazing Bill: Fulani group seeks alternative grazing space

National President, Gan Allah Fulani Development Association (GAFDA), Alhaji Sale Bayari, yesterday said that Nigeria needed to review her position and pull out of the ECOWAS free movement protocol which is affecting her national security.

 

Bayari stated this while briefing journalists at the Oyo State Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), on the proposed anti-grazing bill which has passed second reading by the state House of Assembly.

 

The group called for human face and alternative grazing space before the law is passed, noting that small and light weapons were not only in the hands of herdsmen but all Nigerians suffering insecurity. Bayari, however, stated that there has been a drop in kidnapping in the zone since the group met with former president Olusegun Obasanjo, adding that there are over 300 clans of Fulani extraction of which Bororo is just one of them.

 

The Gan Allah leader said generalising the crime of a few on the majority would be tantamount to injustice.

 

He added: “We pledge today that we shall ensure that our members are law abiding, obedient and respectful to constituted authorities while promising to go all out to ensure that criminal elements are flushed out of our communities and ethnic group which may even make the enactment of the anti-open grazing law no longer necessary or absolute.

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