One position, which fear of the contest has heightened as a result of the formation of the CUPP, is the presidential ticket of the opposition party. Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja Six weeks ago, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 38 other political parties to form a grand alliance ostensibly to…
Gunmen kill 2 policemen, abduct 2 Canadians in Kaduna
From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers on Tuesday night killed two policemen and abducted two Canadians in Kaduna.
The incident took place along Jere-Kagarko road in Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mukhtar Hussaini, confirmed the incident.
He said the Canadians were kidnapped around 7pm, Tuesday, adding that the anti-kidnapping squad has been drafted to the area to ensure the arrest of the gunmen.
The two policemen were said to be escorts to the Canadians, who went to Kafanchan to inspect a project being handled by their company.
A staff of the company, who did not want his name in print, said the Canadians, alongside the two police escorts, had left Kafanchan, heading for Abuja through Kagarko, when they were ambushed by the gunmen.
“They came to Kafanchan to inspect a project but, on their way back, they were ambushed by gunmen who opened fire on their vehicle. The two policemen were killed while the Canadians were abducted,” the source said in a telephone conversation with newsmen.
Herdsmen kill 6 in fresh Benue attack
•Senators allege foreign militias infiltrate Nigeria
From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi, FRED ITUA, Abuja & Louis Ubah, Lagos
Again, Fulani herdsmen reportedly hit Benue State yesterday, killing at least five persons. The affected three local government areas are Logo, Guma and Okpokwu.
This came against the background of a two-week ultimatum given to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, by the Senate on Tuesday, to fish out the masterminds of the previous attacks that claimed over 70 lives.
In the fresh attack, two women were found dead in Guma and two other persons killed in Logo, while another was killed in Okpokwu.
Governor Samuel Ortom disclosed this when he received leaders of South and Middle Belt Forum, led by a former military administrator of the state, Brigadier-General Dominic Oneya (retd), on a condolence visit, at the Government House, Makurdi.
He insisted that pockets of killings were still ongoing, saying two women were killed in Guma while another two persons were killed in Logo on Tuesday.
The governor confirmed that another set of killings by suspected herdsmen took place in Odidi and Ojokpailo in Okpokwu LG yesterday.
He reiterated his call on security agents to arrest the leaders of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore whom he said were still issuing threats of resisting implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law in the state.
He thanked Oneya for identifying with people in their trying moment, stressing that it was a demonstration of a true friend.
He noted that the crises between herdsmen and farmers had lingered for some years because nobody was brave enough to come up with steps on how to address the issues.
He said the open grazing law was targeted at finding a permanent solution to the problem.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Moses Yamu, confirmed that bodies of two women were recovered by the road side in Guma while one person was killed in Okpokwu and another person missing. He, however, said he was yet to be briefed about any killing in Logo.
Meanwhile, 24 hours after the leadership of the Senate, led by its President, Bukola Saraki, met with President Muhammadu Buhari, to submit its resolutions, lawmakers, said foreign militias were now in charge of many states in the country.
They also claimed that armed Fulani herdsmen are members of Boko Haram terrorist group, fleeing the North Eastern part of the country.
They alleged that while the National Assembly was on Christmas break, some unnamed individuals in the Presidency were working to remove Saraki as Senate President.
They expressed the views when Senator Shuiabu Lau representing Taraba North, raised a motion drawing the attention of the Federal Government to activities of militia groups in his area.
Senator Ben Bruce called on the Executive to perform its functions by protecting the life of every Nigerian.
He said: “It seems to me that Nigeria is becoming a lawless country. A country with no rules and regulation, a country where laws are not adhered to. A country where there is no consequence for bad behavior. It is either we have a government, security agents, or we do not.
“These are the fundamental issues at stake, because everyday since we got here, someone has gotten killed, raped, throat slit, killed at gun point and everyday we have resolutions and nothing is being done.
“The Minister of Defence should tell us what he is doing. If the cabinet is incompetent, then he should fire them. You do not understand this. Maybe cameras should go and see these dead bodies. Maybe NBC should change its laws and go and see these bodies as if we are in Liberia or Cameroun.
“We are becoming a barbaric nation with no respect for life. The executive should speak today and explain to Nigerians what is happening in this country.”
Senator Kabiru Marafa from Zamfara State said the state “is now under the control of foreign militias. They move around freely with their arms. I said it on Tuesday. I was home during the fuel crisis.
“In my own town, they (militia groups) are the ones that judge between people. The people no longer go to the local authorities. They do not go to police. If there is a problem, they go to the bush and tell these people that I have a problem with somebody. This is a national emergency. In all the local governments, this is the truth of the matter.”
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha from Taraba State and Deputy Minority Leader, called on the Federal Government to checkmate activities of armed Fulani herdsmen, who he claimed are members of Boko Haram.
Senator Isah Misau alleged that some unnamed persons in the Presidency were working hard to remove the Senate President.
“When we were on holiday, so many people were going behind that they should remove the Senate President. It was a minister that was spearheading that thing. What is the reason? They said that the Senate President would leave the All Progressives Congress (APC) and that they should create problems for him (Saraki). What kind of country is this? Everything is about religion and tribe.
“It is high time for us to do something. If it is about talking here or holding conference, it would not solve this problem. We should look at the security. Who and who are holding offices? Are they appointed based on merit?
“So many appointments in this government are not on merit. Some people have taken over the government as if they are even above the President. We say we are fighting corruption. Babachir Lawal was indicted by the Vice President’s committee.
“Meanwhile, they are pursuing other people. Why can’t they take Lawal to court? And all of us are here keeping quiet. People who have not done anything are always in court.”
At the end of the deliberations, the Senate resolved to hold a security summit next Wednesday and Thursday. It said the summit would look at the country’s security architecture and come up with recommendations.
In another development, Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojodu, described the repeated attacks on some Nigerian communities by Fulani herdsmen as tragic and unfortunate, saying the President was not happy about the loss of hundreds of human lives associated with the attacks.
He told Aviation Correspondents yesterday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, “it is very tragic and nobody including the President can be happy about what is happening. The President is troubled that all these crises are happening in a country that he so much loves.
“The way out cannot be a short term thing. Nigeria does not have a third of the cattle South Africa have, neither do we have a third of the cattle Brazil have. I think we need to sit down and plan on how we can adopt modern and sophisticated way of rearing cattle in Nigeria.”
Ojodu said he travelled to intimate indigenes of Ekiti State resident in the United States of his intention to contest in the next governorship election after the expiration of the tenure of Mr. Ayodele Fayose.
10 killed, 48 injured in Maiduguri bombings
•NAF aircraft destroys Boko Haram’s vehicle workshop
From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri, with agency report
The Nigeria Police Force have confirmed 10 people were killed and 48 others injured in twin suicide bombings in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, yesterday.
Commissioner of Police, Borno Command, Damian Chukwu, said two male bombers intermingled with traders at Alai Fadau Market, a local market near Muna Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp at the outskirts of the city at about 4:15pm on Wednesday.
“Two male bombers entered the market and detonated explosives. Ten people lost their lives. The two bombers also died. About 48 persons were injured and have been to two hospitals,” Chukwu told newsmen at the scene.
The police boss said Boko Haram has not given up and urged residents to be vigilant.
Recue workers, mostly from the Nigeria Red Cross, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) were seen evacuating those injured. Also, families and relations of the dead were picking their corpses, after clearance from the police, at the scene.
Yesterday’s suicide bombing was the first this year, in a city that has experienced nearly 30 suicide attacks in two years.
Boko Haram has claiimed responsibility of most of the bombings and attacks, including the Christmas Day offensive on the city when four people were killed.
Meanwhile a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Remotely-Piloted Aircraft (RPA), on January 15 successfully destroyed an emerging Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) vehicle workshop in Sambisa.
In a statement by NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal, Olatokunbo Adesanya, a NAF Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform had previously discovered that BHT vehicles were parked in the location. Consequently, a NAF RPA was detailed to conduct armed reconnaissance in search of BHT vehicles and terrorists around the location, which was apparently being used as a vehicle workshop.
“The RPA discovered that BHT motorcycles and vehicles, including a BHT Commander’s vehicle were parked in the targeted area. Additionally, several terrorists were seen moving intermittently within the targeted area.
The subsequent air strike by the NAF RPA resulted in the immediate destruction of the vehicles in the targeted location, killing all the BHTs inside it, as no survivors were seen scampering from the location after impact.”