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There’ll be war if Fulani body forms vigilantes in Benue — SOKAPU warns



… Condemns moves, hails Zamfara gov

… Urges M/Belt govs to copy Ortom

By Idibia Gabriel, Kaduna

A socio-cultural organization in Kaduna, the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) has warned against planned formation of vigilantes force by a Fulani body, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hope.

The Union warned that any attempt to allowed the body to form their own parallel vigilantes in Benue state and arm them with weapon would spark up civil war in Nigeria.

A statement issued on Thursday and signed by the spokesman of the Union, Mr Luka Binniyat, stated that allowing them to form armed wing would amount to given approval to all ethnic groups to do same.

“Any attempt therefore, to allow the Fulani to form, arm, kit and operate an armed wing so brazenly, is to also approve other ethnic groups to do same. In other words, SOKAPU is saying that a civil war may spark off if Fulani and other ethnic groups obtain arms for the exclusive reason of protecting themselves as groups under various independent commands”, it stated.

SOKAPU in the release described the planned formation as “unwelcome news that Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a powerful socio-cultural Fulani group, is forming its own vigilante group, should alarm all Nigerians who care about the existence of Nigeria as a corporate entity.

It stated that “The Secretary General of the fulani group, Saleh Hassan, made the grim disclosure Four days ago in an interview he granted the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

“Hassan made unsavory and disrespectful remarks on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and disparaged him for forming the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards.

“He vowed that his group was floating its own vigilante group to “protect” it’s members, boasting that they have the funds for such a curious project.

“Hassan ought to have been called for questioning to find the real motive behind such an unwarranted plan and to ascertain how far his group has gone into the scheme. In fact, the group ought to have been banned. That is what a serious country will do.

“The Fulani, even as a large ethnic group, do not have an exclusive state in almost all the states of Nigeria, and are certainly not natives of Benue State or anywhere in the Middle Belt.

“Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore is not a government and therefore cannot make laws that rivals that of a government that hosts its members”, it noted.

I”t is therefore absurd as it is preposterous for Hassan to assume that his group can stay on Benue lands and indeed in other states and form parallel security outfits with that of their host’s governments. Such arrogance is rare to come by.

“With over 200 Southern Kaduna Communities sacked and displaced by armed herdsmen and allied criminals after hundreds were killed and more wounded, the sight of an armed Fulani vigilante force on our soil will be a very provocative act that will push other tribes to form same.

“This group apparently cares less of the sensitivity of other tribal groups. For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Samuel Ortom is the elected Executive Governor of Benue State. By the constitution of Nigeria, he is the Chief Security Officer of Benue State.

“He is saddled with the most important reason why a government exists: Protection of lives and property of all residents.

SOKAPU believes that all the laws enacted by Benue State House of Assembly and assented by the governor, protects all residents of Benue State, irrespective of tribe, religion or vocation. We also believe that Benue state laws do not discriminate tribes or religion. Only breakers of the law have reasons to fear.

“President Mohammadu Buhari must not take this lightly, even though he is fond of glossing over serious matters of security concerns.

“For the avoidance of doubt, SOKAPU condemns the formation of Fulani Vigilante force. n fact the Fulani have been accused of horrific crimes in many communities in Nigeria, given the truth that not all Fulani are outlaws.

“It is for the pervasive bloody crimes that criminal elements of Fulani have been accused of that spurred some state governments to create their own Vigilante outfits.

No state government must allow any tribal group to form its own Vigilante group. It is a direct line to insurgency and separatism.

“At this point, SOKAPU wishes to hail the governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle for forming a volunteer vigilante service which he will train and arm under the supervision of the Nigeria Police.

“SOKAPU believes that all residents of Zamfara State, especially herders and farmers in rural communities of the state will soon enjoy robust security and pursue their livelihood without worry. This is what is expected of a responsive and responsible leader.

“Unfortunately, Governor Nasir el-Rufai continues to be only vocal against the armed herdsmen and bandits ravaging his state and has refused to do the needy like his counterparts mentioned in the Statement”, it stated.

The union therefore encouraged other governors of the Middle Belt and the North to copy Governors Ortom and Matawalle in their drive to secure their states.


Ogun Govt sympathises with victims of Ado Odo/Ota over rainstorm destruction



…’We’re in touch with IBEDC for prompt action’

Ogun State  Government said it  is in touch with the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) to ensure the immediate fixing of poles damaged as a result of rainstorm occasioned by Sunday’s downpour in some parts of Sango in Ado Odo/Ota Local Government Area of the state.

The government, in a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media, Hon. Kayode Akinmade said a team from the state government was in the area on Monday to physically ascertain the extent of damage and to know how to engage with IBEDC, as well as sympathising with victims.

Akinmade noted the cables had not been energised before the destruction, which saved lots of lives.

“Our team went on physical site inspection of the affected area on Monday to ascertain the extent of the damage and to know how to engage with the IBEDC team.

“We are currently working with the IBEDC team led by the Regional Manager and the Technical Head for the Ogun Region. Some of the less affected feeders have been restored and energised while the clean-up of the most affected areas has already started.

“Most of the poles on the roads have been removed while the remaining will be taken out today (Wednesday). We are working with IBEDC to ensure there will be full restoration of power in Sango Ota before the week runs out.

“The government is not relenting in its effort to make sure that we restore power to Sango Ota and its environs and we can assure the citizens that we are on top on the matter.

“We, therefore, commiserate with those whose properties were destroyed by the fallen poles, as the government urged those living in the area to remain calm.”

Residents of lyana lyesi, Osuke Town, Egan Road, lyana Ilogbo, Ijaba, Ijagba, Itele, Lafenwa, Singer, Joju, Alishiba, Oju Ore, Tollgate, Eledi, Akeja, Abebi, Osi Roundabout, Ota Town, Ota Industrial Estate, Igberen, lju, Atan, Onipanu, Obasanjo, Lusada, Arigba, Odugbe, Ado-Odo, Igbesa, Owode. Olokuta, Hanushi, Bamtish Camp Lufiwape, Eltees Farm, August Engineering, Spark Cear Soap Ayetoro, Amazing Grace Oil, Christopher University, Royal Garden Estate were affected by the disaster.

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Ortom urges Alia to work with SGF for more democracy dividends in Benue



By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

The former Governor of Benue State, Chief Samuel Ortom, has called on his successor, Governor Hyacinth Alia to work in synergy  with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Sen George Akume for sustainable democracy dividends to the state.

 Ortom made the call in Makurdi  while speaking at the public lecture organised by his former aides on the occasion of his 63rd birthday.

Ortom described Sen George Akume as a true father, his leader and mentor and attributed all his achievements in life to the SGF.

He  also thanked Governor Hyacinth Alia for his good will message on his birthday and warned that Benue state has not had the position of SGF in the past and called on Governor Alia to embrace and work with him to enable the state to benefit from the position.

“Benue is our state, we have no other state and no one will come from anywhere to bring peace to Benue.

“Alia must sheathe his sword and find ways to work with the SGF so that all of us can enjoy the dividends of that position,” Ortom maintained.

He noted that elections were conducted and won, litigation were entered and God gave him victory saying, “It is his responsibility to do the needful so that Benue state will be at peace.”

Ortom expressed worry  that Benue is under siege and the governor alone or the SGF and himself cannot fight it alone without working collectively. He therefore noted that, “We are available if we are called upon to support or add value to the peace efforts of the government so that our people can live and enjoy the dividends of democracy.”

He  enjoined Benue people to pray for their leaders, Ortom said, “If I had my way, I would have given everyone the opportunity to be the Governor even in a few days.

“The challenges are enormous. You would not understand the challenges we go through but when you are there, you will understand the issues better.

“Nigeria is passing through very difficult times and that was what I was fighting against and I’m happy that people appreciated what we were doing,” he explained.

He appreciated his former appointees for organising the celebration of his 63 birthday anniversary in his honour.

“I’m very humbled by this special lecture on my 63 birthday celebration. This is not my first but this is the first time I’m witnessing a lecture and I must say that I’m pleased and enriched with all that was said here.

“I was taken unawares. You have made me know that I am appreciated. I thought I was used and dumped. I’m grateful to God for the eight years in office. I did everything with the fear of God, with equity, justice and fairness.

“I must have stepped on toes and those I know and those I didn’t know, I ask for forgiveness. I am humbled by this programme and further encouraged by your presence, kind words and prayers,” Ortom testified.

Guest Lecturer, Prof Samuel Aghalino, in the department of History and International Studies, University of Ilorin who is also the President Historical Society of Nigeria said, “Ortom was that Governor with a face cap. Anyone with a face cap is a revolutionary.

“Ortom played a significant role in extending politics beyond the borders of the state.

“He is one of the few politicians that stood in defense of his people, and was passionate in standing for human value while also demonstrating uncommon leadership.

“He was committed to the wellbeing of his people and stood vehemently, against the then government for murdering justice, fairness, equity and accountability, adding that Ortom expressed a rare readiness to cooperate with the investigations.

“He was a servant leader at a great cost to himself. At a time, during the Buhari administration, the doors of Aso Rock, the seat of power was shut against him for speaking the truth to power and holding the powerful accountable. I wonder how he survived.

“Ortom believes that politicians do not have to strive to be perfect to provide good governance to the people because only God is perfect. In his mind, you only have to love the people, therefore when it comes to democratic considerations, Ortom represents the school of thought that existence must take precedence over essence in governance.”

He said Ortom will be remembered by his people for the numerous things he has done and still doing.

Nigerian NewsDirect reports that the lecture was graced by prominent personalities like the former Attorney General of the federation and minister of Justice, Mike Aondakaa, Speaker, Plateau State House of Assembly, Gabriel Dewan, Member representing Apa-Agatu Federal Constituency, Pastor, Ojotu Ojema, Former Deputy Governor, Engr Benson Abounu, representatives of the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse, Ter Gwer Dominic Akpete, the Ochidoma, Ogabaidu John Elaigwu represented by Dr Chris Ijale among others

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Katsina Gov. tasks corps members on nation building, cultism



By Matthew Denis

The Governor of Katsina State, Mallam Dikko Umaru Radda has tasked National Youth Service Corps members deployed to the State for the one year national service to strive towards nation building.

This is contained in a statement signed by Director, Press and Public Relations, Eddy Megwa, to the governor and made available to journalists on Wednesday.

He also lauded the immense contributions of successive batches of corps members to the socio-economic development of Katsina State over the years, especially through corps members community development service projects and also increasing the manpower needs in schools and in the industrial sector across the State.

Governor Raddah disclosed this at the NYSC Katsina State Orientation Camp, while speaking through his Deputy, Alhaji Farouk Lawal Jobe during the swearing-in ceremony of the prospective corps members deployed to the State.

The Governor urged the corps members to embrace the opportunities of the orientation course to prepare themselves for leadership responsibilities.

“I challenge you to live up to the standard already set by your predecessors. It is my belief that the orientation lectures will stimulate you to strive for the socio-economic development of our country.

“I urge you to see the opportunity of your call to service as a rare opportunity and your commitment to the Oath of Allegiance to your fatherland”, he said.

He also advised the corps members to shun cultism, political and religious intolerance with other forms of anti-social behaviour.

The NYSC Katsina State Coordinator, Hajiya Aisha Muhammad in her address stated that the orientation course is the first among the cardinal programmes of the NYSC, which was designed to prepare corps members for the challenges of the service year and beyond.

She added that the orientation course, which is a regimented environment has over the years been able to inculcate in the youth, the spirit of positive citizenship, leadership values including the ideals of commitment to national assignment, patriotism, integrity, diligence and loyalty to the fatherland.

“I enjoin you to obey all camp rules and regulations as any erring corps member will be referred to the Camp court for appropriate sanctions in line with the provision of the NYSC by-laws,” She added.

The Coordinator also said a total of 1,410 prospective corps members comprising 715 males and 695 females were deployed to the State.

The Director General of National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier General YD Ahmed who was among the dignitaries that witnessed the swearing-in ceremony earlier in the day implored the corps members to take full advantage of the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme and acquire at least a skill while in camp.

The DG added that skills acquisition is the remedy to the increasing youth unemployment in the country.

General Ahmed who urged the corps members to be security conscious at all times also advised them to obey the cultural beliefs of their host communities.

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