Blood flowed freely in the early hours of Wednesday when some suspected Fulani herdsmen invaded Oganeinugu community in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State and killed no fewer than 32 people.
Two people were also reported dead in the adjoining town of Iyale, where the people of Oganeinugu ran to take refuge. Similarly, it was gathered that another group of Fulani herdsmen simultaneously launched attacks on five other communities, Obakume, Idrisu, Ogo, Ayojeju and Ikboba, all in Omala Local Government Area, killing several people and setting their houses ablaze.
Earlier, Joshua Angulu was said to have been killed by some herdsmen while working on his farm at Abejukolo. According to reports, the man was hacked down for raising the alarm when the herders raided his farm.
The killings in Oganeinugu were said to have taken place after the herdsmen stormed the community with guns and other weapons and slaughtered residents, mostly women and children.
According to a witness, the bandits killed four people in a particular house belonging to a serving policeman, wiping out the whole family.
As at the time of filing in this report, the killings were said to be ongoing as members of the community were still running helter-skelter, making the actual casualty figures uncertain.
Investigations showed that the killings by herdsmen in Kogi increased to a frightening dimension following the blanket invitation Governor Yahaya Bello gave to all Fulani herdsmen late last year.
The governor, who was the first to embrace the proposed establishment cattle colonies, even threatened to depose any traditional ruler who failed to cooperate with the herdsmen.
Many are reportedly missing after fleeing into bushes, which makes it difficult to have a clear figure of those dead or wounded.
Meanwhile, there are reports that a new set of Fulani herdsmen/terrorists has crossed into Omala Local Government Area across the River Benue from Nasarawa State. They are said to be camped in the Obakume forest, preparing for attacks on Abejukolo, the local government headquarters, and adjoining villages.
National president of the Ife (Omala) Development Association, Dr. James Odaudu, has appealed to both the federal and Kogi State governments to take urgent steps to forestall the planned attacks.
According to him, the people are yet to recover from last year’s attacks on Bagana and other villages in the local government, which led to a number of deaths. Odaudu also appealed to the people to refrain from actions capable of breaching the peace.
The acting Commissioner of Police in Kogi State, Kuryas Monday Bala, confirmed the attacks and said his men have been drafted to the areas to forestall further killings. He declined to give the casualty figures but promised to brief the press later.
Orji Kalu: Abia Groups Ask FG, EFCC To Return Loots To State Govt
Two socio-political Organizations, Abia Good Governance Initiative and Ndi-Abia United, have insisted that the loots recovered from ex-governor Orji Uzor Kalu be returned back to the state’s coffers.
Recall that a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday found Kalu guilty of 39 counts of N7.2 billion fraud and money laundering.
Kalu was charged alongside Jones Udeogo, the state Commissioner for Finance during his tenure as the governor.
Addressing newsmen on behalf of the groups on Monday in Aba, Emeka Kanu and Chidi Nkume asserted that it would be a gross injustice if the Federal Government diverted the money to the centre, noting that such action would also be another form of corruption.
They said, “The money belongs to Abians and should be returned to Abia. We want the anti-corruption agency (EFCC) to look deeper into the activities of other past and even present political office holders in the state, as a lot of money belonging to the state was looted by her political rulers.
“They bought houses, estates, factories, cars, shops, malls all over Nigeria and outside. Some are even building Universities in Ghana and other places.”
Meanwhile, a group, a Coalition of Civil Society Organizations of Nigeria, (COSCON),has commended the EFCC and the Judiciary for the jailing of Kalu after twelve years of trial.
Reacting to the 12-year jail term slammed on Senator Kalu, who represents Abia North district in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, the Director of Programme of the Coalition, Nelson Ndukwe on Monday, opined that the anti-graft commission, and the judiciary had further proved they were not rubber stamp to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government of Nigeria.
It commended the President for being neutral in the matter despite Orji Kalu being a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Sowore’s Re-arrest, DSS Court Invasion Reason I Rejected Soyinka Centre Award — Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has frowned at the re-arrest of Omoyele Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow and for this reason has rejected an award from the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism.
The Vice President who was a keynote speaker in the United Arab Emirates explained why he refused to accept the award for his achievements in the justice system of Nigeria.
In statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, the Vice President said in view of the developments on Friday in the Sowore case, “I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony.”
Osinbajo then went on to thanks the organizers of the event for considering him for an award.
“I am extremely grateful for the recognition and award of the “Integrity Specialty of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism’s Anti-corruption Defender Award of 2019” to me.
“The award, I note, is for our Justice reform efforts in Lagos State. I had accepted the award with pride on behalf of the excellent Justice Sector team we had.
“However, two reasons explain my absence. First is that I am currently in Abu Dhabi for an international meeting under the auspices of the government of the UAE where I am the keynote speaker.
“Second, in view of the developments on Friday in the Sowore case, I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony.
“Please accept my heartfelt apologies and extend the same to the other members of the organizing team. God bless you,” the statement read.
The Rights Of Every Nigerian Is Guaranteed Under My Watch, Says Buhari
Amidst repression of press and alleged victimisation by secret police, President Muhammadu Buhari has reinstated the commitment of his administration to guarantee promotion and protection of human rights of every Nigerian, respect for rule of law and sanctity of human lives.
This was contained in a speech delivered by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice Mr. Dayo Akpata who represented the President at the 2019 National Human Rights awards ceremony held in Abuja.
Akpata disclosed that President Buhari has demonstrated that he is committed to protecting the rights of every Nigerian by being part of all important international human rights instruments.
The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Development Programme, Edward Kellon urged the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to come up with policies that would protect and secure lives of Nigerians.