About 20 persons yesterday lost their lives in a clash between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Gwamba village in Demsa Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
Reports from the affected area indicated that the herdsmen stormed Gwamba village at about 6:30p.m. on a reprisal attack following a previous attack lunched on them by the Bachama youths.
The report further explained that based on attacks lunched on some Bachama villages, their youths felt pained that no arrest was made.
This, it was gathered, made them to mobilise against Fulani settlements in Damsa Local Government Area.
In retaliation, the Fulani community yesterday launched another deadly attack on the Bachama villages.
Another report said there was a truce between the herdsmen and the farmers which ended in a deadlock.
The development made the herdsmen to attack four villages and killed 20 persons.
The spokesman of the police command in Adamawa State, Othman Abubakar, who confirmed the attack, however, did not give the casualty figure, adding he was yet to be briefed on the attack
Meanwhile, despite warnings by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State of imminent attacks on communities in his state, 5,000 residents of Chille Island, Mbatoho in Makurdi Local Government Area, were yesterday sacked by suspected herders of cattle.
Recounting the ordeal of the residents of the community who marched to the office of the deputy governor of the state, Mr. Benson Abouno, the leader of the community, Mr. John Terhemen alleged that the herdsmen stormed the area shooting sporadically into the air and ordered the residents to vacate their homes.
Terhemen said the herdsmen who were well armed with sophisticated weapons, ordered them to vacate their homes for them to occupy and graze their cattle.
“They did not harm anyone, nor did they burn down our homes. The herdsmen simply asked us to leave,” he said.
Responding, the deputy governor told the residents that the state government also got the report of the invasion of Chille Island by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
Abounu who said the government was trying to determine the veracity of the story, added that he had directed the new Special Adviser on Security Lt. Col. Paul Hemba (rtd.) to visit the area and determine the next line of action.
“The people said the Fulani herdsmen have sacked them, and it is just across the river in Makurdi town. But I have sent the Special Adviser on Security to go there and determine the authenticity of the story. Until that is done, then we will know the next action to take,” Abounu said.
When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police Taiwo Awoseni said he was informed of the attack but was yet to verify it.
“We have received a report on the attack,” Awoseni said to pressmen on the phone.
He added that the police swung into action to investigate the crisis.
In a related development, the Benue State Government has stated that an alleged member of the Benue Livestock Guards who was arrested in Ukum Local Government Area by the military for cattle rustling and gun running is not a member of the guards.
A statement issued yesterday by the Commander of the Benue Livestock Guards, Alhaji Aliyu Tershaku said the attention of the Benue State Livestock Guards had been drawn to a publication yesterday wherein the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 707 Special Forces Brigade, Major Olabisi Ayeni alleged that a member of the Benue State Livestock Guards had been arrested in Ukum Local Government Area by “Exercise Cat Race” for cattle rustling and gun running.
“We wish to state categorically that the Benue State Government established the Livestock Guards but does not arm them. The arrested suspect is not a member of the State Livestock Guards. It is therefore misleading to insinuate that a member of the organisation has been caught with arms.”
Tershaku said the guards of the state do not carry weapons and their role was to help conventional security agencies in the implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017.
“We, therefore, find the statement credited to Major Ayeni as a fabrication and deliberate attempt to find a reason to blame the Benue State Government for sponsoring militia.
“We also wish to make it clear that members of the Benue State Livestock Guards do not engage in any form of cattle rustling. Instead, the Livestock Guards, since the establishment of the organisation, have contributed greatly in preventing cases of cattle rustling in different parts of the state, in accordance with Section 20 of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue State,” he stated.
The commandant urged the public to disregard the allegation in its entirety, alleging that it was part of a conspiracy to “give a dog a bad name in order to hang it”.
Despite the pushback from the state government over the arrest of the alleged imposter of the Livestock Guards, the Nigerian Army said yesterday that it arrested suspected herdsmen destroying farmlands in Benue State.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Texas Chukwu stated that the efforts of the army to fish out criminals and protect farmlands in Benue State and its environs under the ongoing “Exercise Ayem Akpatuma” was yielding results.
He noted that troops of Sector 1 Sub-Sector A, deployed at Yelwata while on routine patrol, arrested 10 herdsmen destroying farmlands at Tse-Tigir and Tse-Ndugh villages on Monday.
“While in the act of destroying the farmlands, the herdsmen sighted the aggressive troops and fled into the bush. The determine troops pursued and arrested them.
“Items recovered included five motorcycles, two machetes, some assorted charms and the sum of N120,000. The suspects and items were handed over to the Nigerian Police for further necessary action.
“The Nigerian Army is determined to fish out criminals and recover weapons used in killing innocent citizens. Therefore the public is please requested to cooperate and support the Army in the ongoing exercise,” Chukwu said.
How Buhari Called For A Revolution In 2011 ― Falana
Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), counsel to convener of RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore, on Monday in an interview with TVC on its morning show “Your View: Let’s talk” revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2011 urged Nigerians to emulate and be prepared for a revolution like that of Egyptians which led to the death of over 800 people.
Mr Falana also stated that President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2003 after he lost election under the defunct ANPP decided to stage protest which was violently disrupted by the police.
Falana was addressing the issue of Sowore who was rearrested by the Department of State Services, DSS on Friday.
In his words “General Muhammadu Buhari and others had a protest in Kano in 2003, the police violently disrupted the rally, tear-gassed them,
“His deputy, late Dr. Chuba Williams Okadigbo passed on, on an account of the poisonous gas inhaled by him in a couple of days later.
“The ANPP leaders led by General Muhammadu Buhari contacted me and said please can you help us challenge this law that requires us to ask for police permission before we can express ourselves in our country.
“We went to the Federal High court, I didn’t charge them, today, that is the law, that Nigerians can protest, whether you call it the revolutionary protest, it is not a criminal offence.
“Unlike those who removed a democratically elected government in 1993, that coup was led by General Muhammadu Buhari.
“In 2011, following the revolution in Egypt, President Buhari urged Nigerians to emulate and be prepared to have a revolution like the Egyptian revolution, that revolution of Egypt killed over 800 lives, so who’s talking about destabilizing the country” he said.
Investors Are Going To Ghana, Other Countries, Lawan Tells Buhari
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare emergency on the nation’s power sector.
Lawan made the call on Monday at an ongoing one-day round-table discussion tagged ‘Addressing Nigeria’s Power Problems” being held at the NAF Conference Centre in Kado, Abuja.
The Senate President said investors in the country are relocating to Ghana and other neighboring countries to manufacture goods that they bring back to Nigeria to sell due to the challenge of power.
“If there is any single sector of our economy that is so important and so challenged, it is the power sector. This is a sector that needs a declaration of emergency. This is an opportunity for us to discuss the solutions and the way forward,” said Lawan.
“The truth is we all know what is wrong, what we really need to do is to have the political will to take on the challenges frontally. From the electricity power reform of 2005 and the privatization of Discos, with what is happening today, we know that everything is wrong. The time has come for us to have courage. We have signed into AFCTA and I believe what will give us an edge is to have a competitive environment.
“Our industries must be able to produce things that will compete favorably to other products in Africa but we are not in that position today.
“Even our citizens who have capital would rather relocate to Ghana and produce what they want to sell and bring it to Nigeria. If we went wrong with the privatization of Discos and Gencos, the time has come to look into it in the interest of our country.”
The Senate President noted that the round-table was an idea of the Senate that was born out of the need to for the legislators to come together and look at ways they could intervene in the power sector because “definitely something is not working right.”
He said, “Whatever that is required to support the executive to amend the power sector reform, we are prepared to do that. We owe this country obligation to provide employment opportunities for our teeming population.
“I think this round table at least is an opportunity to come up with measurable roadmaps to take the power sector to the next level. I believe that we have to declare a state of emergency on power and courageous decisions must be taken by government.
“I believe that this is one interaction that will not disappear. After this session we want to take appropriate actions. With this, it is my privilege and honour to declare this round table open,” said the Senate President.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who was represented at the event by Evelyn Amobi, said she “appreciates the commitment of the legislative to work with the executive to resolve the issues affecting the power sector.”
“All the decisions that will be made here will have our full support and be taken to the executive,” said Ahmed.
UPDATED: Buhari Given 14-Day Ultimatum To Release Sowore
Following the detention of Omoyele Sowore and other activists, a coalition of over 200 civil rights organizations have given President Muhammadu Buhari a 14-day ultimatum to show commitment to the rule of law or face mass action and civil disobedience.
According to the organizations on Monday, mass action was inevitable if the government failed to accede to their demands.
This was disclosed in a statement titled “Nigeria’s Troubling State of Affairs” issued on Monday, Dec 9, 2019 by the organizations.
Below is the full statement:
Tomorrow, December 10th, the world will celebrate Human Rights Day. It will also be marked in Nigeria as we review the crackdown on the freedom of the press; proposed bills to curb dissent and a general environment of shrinking civic space of which the recent actions of our security agencies are just an example.
We represent a cross-section of Nigerian civil society actors that have played various roles in Nigeria’s journey to civil rule.
Two key issues are of concern to us, namely:
1) Attack on Our Judiciary
2) Attack on Free Speech & Pattern of Silencing Dissent
In closing, we demand the following:
1) President Muhammadu Buhari to show accountability as President and Commander-in-Chief and address the nation on his commitment to the rule of law and human rights.
2) The release of all illegally detained persons by the DSS as revealed by Amnesty, Premium Times & Punch Newspapers in recent months.
3) That the government obey all outstanding court orders.
4) An investigation of the officers who violated protocol and the circumstances leading to Omoyele Sowore’s 2nd arrest.
5) The unconditional release of Omoyele Sowore per his bail terms.
If these four demands are not honored within 14 days – we call on patriots to join us as we occupy the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) offices across the country, as it is legally mandated to protect rights and it reports to the Presidency.
For more information, please reach out to ‘Yemi Adamolekun – [email protected]
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
“May I remind this government that disobedience calls to disobedience and that disobedience of the orders of the constitutional repository of the moral authority of arbitration – the judiciary – can only lead eventually to a people’s disregard of the authority of other arms of civil society, a state of desperation that is known, recognized and accepted as– civil disobedience.
It is so obvious – state disobedience leads eventually to civil disobedience, piecemeal or through a collective withdrawal of recognition of other structures of authority. That way leads to chaos but – who set it in motion? As is often the case, the state, unquestionably. Such a state bears full responsibility for the ensuing social condition known as anomie.”
– Wole Soyinka
Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International (Nigeria)
Idayat Hassan, Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD)
Auwal Musa, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Deji Adeyanju, Concerned Nigerians
‘Yemi Adamolekun, Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE Nigeria)
Lanre Suraj, (HEDA) & People’s Alternative Front
Kola Ogundare, Socio-Economic Right And Accountability Project (SERAP)
Jaye Gaskia, Take Back Nigeria (TBN)
Biola Akiode-Afolabi, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) & Transition Monitoring Group (TMG)