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Islam Watch
Reno Omokri: What Is Happening In Nigeria Today First Happened In Afghanistan
Reno Omokri has warned against the rehabilitation of Boko Haram fighters and bandits in Nigeria while pointing out that the same thing happened with the Taliban in Afghanistan, IgbereTV reports.

Reno stated that the rehabilitation of "so called repentant Taliban" by the Afghanistan government allowed them to act as spies and enemies from within and this allowed the Taliban fighters to take over the government.
Reno claimed that the same thing is happening in Nigeria and he added: "May Nigeria learn her lessons before it is too late."
He also wrote: "May Boko Haram not achieve same in Nigeria. May what befell Afghanistan not befall Nigeria."

Read his Instagram posts below.

"The first people to be evacuated from Afghanistan were not the poor. It was the President and his cronies. So, keep on supporting Buhari and APC because of tribe and religion. If they destroy Nigeria, they will be evacuated to London and leave you here to suffer.

Already, Tinubu is in London, while Buhari just returned from the UK. Their children all schooled abroad. Their wives shop abroad. The only thing they do in Nigeria is suck her dry in the guise of leading her. Look at how they killed unarmed peaceful youths to protect Tinubu’s economic interests during the #LekkiMassacre of #EndSARS protesters.
Already, that hypocrite, Lamido Sanusi, has admitted that Nigeria made her best economic improvement in 2014, under Jonathan, but all that economic growth has been wiped out in the last 6 years of Buhari.

Although he failed to say how he contributed to Buhari’s rise with his lies that $49 billion was missing from the Federation Account. All of that was a deliberate lie to undermine Jonathan. I just hope Sanusi is fulfilled now.

75000 Taliban soldiers defeated 300000 Afghan government troops. A 4 to 1 disadvantage. How did it happen? Many lessons for Nigeria. Soldiers who believe they fight for God eventually defeat soldiers that fight for salary. Yet, we continue to spend billions rehabilitating so called repentant Boko Haram. There is absolutely no discernible difference between the ideology Taliban and Boko Haram.

May Boko Haram not achieve same in Nigeria. May what befell Afghanistan not befall Nigeria

"Nigeria bought 12 Super Tucano jets from the US for $593 million. The Taliban got them for free by defeating the US and the Afghan government. With the way Buhari romances Boko Haram, I just pray Nigeria’s 12 Super Tucano jets will not become their property one day! Because what is happening in Nigeria today first happened in Afghanistan. The rehabilitation of so called repentant Taliban by the US and Afghan government allowed them to act first as spies, then as enemies within, which was a chief causative factor in the rapid victory of the Taliban. May Nigeria learn her lessons before it is too late!
People Killed By Fulani Herdsmen In Southern Kaduna (Graphic Pictures)
See earlier thread

Here are pictures
Military Onslaught In Zamfara: Dislodged Bandits Flee Towards Southern States
Military onslaught in Zamfara: Dislodged bandits flee southwards, gunmen strike in Kogi, Kaduna, Ekiti
There were strong indications on Monday that bandits fleeing the military onslaught in Zamfara State were moving to states in the South.

Top security sources, who confided in our correspondents, said security agents in other states had been alerted to be on the lookout for the fleeing bandits.

It was also gathered that the South-West states had put the regional security outfit, Amotekun, on the alert following intelligence reports that bandits being dislodged from Zamfara State were fleeing southwards.

The Amotekun Corps commanders in Ekiti, Ondo, Osun and Oyo states, in separate interviews with our correspondents, stated that residents of the states had been told to be vigilant and guard against infiltration by the fleeing hoodlums.

They said this as gunmen invaded the Kabba Correctional Centre in Kogi State, where they freed 240 inmates and killed two soldiers.

In Kaduna State, suspected herdsmen attacked Peigyim village in the Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of the state and killed 12 persons.

No fewer than four travellers were also abducted in Ekiti State on Monday.
The Federal Government had last week ordered telecommunications companies to shut down their base stations in Zamfara State as part of the onslaught against bandits, who were engaged in ceaseless kidnapping and killings in the state and other parts of the North-West.
The bandits had also been hit by hunger following the decision of the state government and neighbouring states to close regular markets, where they were getting foodstuffs.

There were reports that many bandits had been killed during military raids, while others were said to be fleeing Zamfara State.

A senior police officer, who confided in The PUNCH, said, “A few days ago, some of the bandits fled to Niger State and they were dealt with by the military. Some of them are moving southwards and security agents have been alerted.”
We envisaged that bandits would take refuge in other states – Ekiti Amotekun commander

The Corps Commander, Amotekun Corps, Ekiti State, Brig Gen Joe Komolafe (retd.), said in an interview with The PUNCH that the agency had always envisaged that the dislodged bandits would want to take refuge in other states and was proactive about guarding against their incursion into Ekiti.

Komolafe said, “We have always envisaged that when dislodged, they will want to move to other states; that is why each time we come out, we talk to the citizens to report strange faces to us.

“We try as much as possible to monitor the routes and entry points; we know that the criminals may not come by road or through the main routes to enter the state; it is in view of that that we always tell our people to report strange faces to us.

“We patrol the forests; we have people on the farms, who will tell us when they see strange faces on the farms or bushes. We try to plead with the people to give us necessary information about strange faces and unusual movements.
“Also, we have perfect working relationships with Amotekun in the neighbouring states as well all security agencies in the state.”

‘We got intelligence that bandits were trying to relocate to Ondo forests’
On his part, the Ondo State Amotekun Corps Commander, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, stated that the security outfit had received a security report on the fleeing bandits.

He said Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had given an order for the corps to put in place necessary security measures in the 18 local government areas of the state to prevent the bandits from striking in the state.

Adeleye stated, “We have got information from a reliable intelligence report that the fleeing bandits are coming, that they intend to stay in the forest to cause mayhem and that they are closing in seriously. The source told us that the bandits want to start with Ondo State as a frontline state.

“So, with that, we have put serious intelligence on the ground across the state and our primary aim is to prevent any infiltration and attack. We don’t even want them to strike before we get them. So, we are at every local government area, every major town and inside the forest.

“On the other side too, we are deploying all means to ensure that if they come to this state, they will meet their waterloo. Right now, our intelligence is on the ground at every nook and cranny of the state. And we are monitoring keenly. That is what Mr Governor has directed me to do and I will do it diligently.”
Oyo Amotekun beefs up security at boundary with Kwara

The Director-General, Amotekun Corps, Oyo State, Col Olayinka Olayanju ( retd), said the outfit’s personnel were patrolling boundaries of the state aggresively to prevent hoodlums from relocating to the state.

The DG said, “We knew that and our men are already on the lookout for the bandits, other criminals and strange faces, especially at our boundaries.

“We are at alert and our men are carrying out operations regarding this at Irepo, which is the boundary of Oyo and Kwara states, to make sure that the bandits do not relocate to our state.

“They will be stopped. Our men will pick them up. We won’t allow criminals to relocate here.”

‘Osun does not have ungoverned areas’
On his part, the Corps Commander, Amotekun Corps, Osun State, Brig Gen Bashir Adewinbi (retd.), stated, “They (bandits) can’t come to Osun, because the state does not have ungoverned areas.

“Everywhere is being monitored in Osun State in collaboration with the police and with additional 750 vigilantes recently recruited by the state government to support Amotekun.”

Tactics won’t be divulged at the moment – Defence Headquarters

When contacted to comment on reports that the bandits being dislodged from Zamfara State were fleeing to other states, especially southern states, the Director of Defence Information, Major General Benjamin Sawyerr, neither confirmed nor denied the reports.

He said, “Operations are ongoing. Tactics and strategies are not to be divulged at this moment.

“The operations are being conducted in line with the operational directives as well as contingencies.

“The North-Central, North-East and the North-West will soon have reasons to thank the Armed Forces of Nigeria for a job well done.”

He, however, declined to answer further questions put to him on the matter.
Gunmen abduct four travellers in Ekiti
As the Amotekun Corps beefed up security in the South-West, gunmen on Monday waylaid travellers on the Ayetoro Ekiti-Otun Ekiti Road and whisked no fewer than four persons into the forest.
Sources said two buses conveying passengers from the Otun Ekiti end of the road were attacked by the gunmen, who abducted four passengers, while the others escaped.

A source said one of those, who escaped, told him that the gunmen took away four passengers from the two buses.
Another source, who said he got information about the attack from hunters, said, “The hunters were called that some kidnappers were operating on the Ayetoro Ekiti-Otun Ekiti Road.

“But before they got there, the gunmen had commandeered the two buses into the bush. At that point, we could not tell the number of people taken into the forest, but the buses were abandoned there.

“I advised the hunters and the security agents, who arrived at the scene later, that the kidnappers would have gone towards Otun and that they could not have gone very far by then.

“Definitely, they were the ones, who operated on the Ayetoro-Ewu Road on Sunday. The Sunday operation was not successful and that was why they waited around to carry out this one.”

According to him, the kidnappers, on realising that they had missed their targets on Sunday, might have resorted to attacking commercial motorcycle riders and shot indiscriminately in the air to scare people off.

“An Okada rider was stopped at gunpoint and the hoodlums took all his valuables, while another Okada operator escaped into the bush. The kidnappers fled when they noticed that the other Okada rider had escaped,” the source added.

The Police Public Relations Officer in Ekiti State, Sunday Abutu, who confirmed the incident, said, “We heard the information and we have deployed our men there.

“There was a kidnap incident this morning (Monday). I cannot yet confirm the number of people abducted. It began on Sunday evening when some suspected robbers attacked a man, whom the police thereafter rescued. But this morning, we learnt that the suspects were the ones who abducted some road users. The police are on their trail.”
S’West PDP asks Buhari to resign over killings

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-West, on Monday, called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to resign from office following his alleged inability to stem the tide of killings across the country.

The Publicity Secretary, South-West PDP, Chief Sanya Atofarati, who lamented that the killers were now turning the heat on the military and other security agencies, thus leaving the citizens helpless and hopeless, advised the Federal Government to seek foreign help in the interest of peace and development of the country.

“It is gross incompetence on the part of the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress Federal Government that Nigeria has become a graveyard,” he stated.

Atofarati said this in a statement titled, ‘Killing spree: Why Buhari must resign now’, made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti in reaction to recent attacks by bandits and gunmen on military formations as well as police stations and personnel.

He stated, “Between 2015 and now, more than 20,000 Nigerians have lost their lives due to the inability of the government to protect the lives and property of the citizens, ranging from jihadist Fulani herdsmen to Boko Haram to bandits/highway kidnappers.

“It is safe to say that the APC government remains insensitive to the welfare of Nigerians, otherwise, by now, Buhari should have voluntarily resigned or cry for help.

“Nigeria is now a country, where the agencies saddled with the responsibility of securing the citizens have suddenly become weaklings and incapacitated; a country where governors’ convoys are attacked at will, monarchs are kidnapped even under the President’s nose in his home state; a country where there is no war but mass burial weekly!

“It is high time Nigeria sought foreign help to curb insecurity, lest we are all captured.” ,
Boko Haram Leaders Have Relocated To Southern Kaduna From Sambisa: SSS
The terrorists are said to have relocated to Rijana forest in Chikun local government area of Kaduna state.

The State Security Service (SSS) has asked security agencies in Kaduna to “step up surveillance and intelligence gathering” in the state as Boko Haram leaders and their foot soldiers have relocated to Southern Kaduna from Sambisa.

In a memo seen by Peoples Gazette, the terrorists are said to have relocated from Sambisa forest in Borno state to Rijana forest in Chikun local government area of Kaduna.

The memo stated that a “senior Boko Haram fighter, Ibrahim (FNU) alongside his foot soldiers” were relocating to join their counterpart “under the leadership of one Adamu Yunusu (aka Saddiqu)”

The SSS ordered the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) to increase security measures in the “aforementioned areas and envions,” and that operatives of the corps “should be placed on alert and report accordingly.”

According to the memo, the NSCDC has been “directed to step up surveillance and intelligence gathering on the aforementioned areas and environs.”
Abdulrasheed Bawa: I Cannot Expose Boko Haram Financiers - EFCC Boss
I can’t expose Boko Haram financiers: Bawa
The anti-graft agency boss said issue of terrorism financing is of national security concern that cannot be divulged in public.
Abdulrasheed Bawa, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, said he cannot publicly mention those financing Boko Haram and other terrorism acts in Nigeria.

Earlier in the week, authorities of the United Arab Emirates listed six Nigerians among those funding terrorism. Asked about those funding terrorism in Nigeria on Channels TV, Mr Bawa said he cannot discuss a sensitive national security issue on national television.

“If you are my adviser will you advise me to come on national television to tell the whole world regarding matters of sensitive national security issue?,” Mr Bawa asked. “Certainly, not. But what I want to assure you we are working tirelessly with other sister agencies to ensure that this country is free of terrorism.”
The Nigerian government had promised to publish names of those financing terrorism in the country. But has not kept its promise.

The Boko Haram insurgency has continued to ravage the country’s northeast corridor for more than a decade. While bandits have been deploying military-grade hardware to counter military offensive across the northwest.
Malami: Naming Boko Haram Sponsors Now Can Affect Investigations
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has defended the decision of the government not to name terror sponsors at the moment.

He said this had become imperative in order not to jeopardise investigations.

The AGF said this while addressing journalists in New York, according to a statement by his Spokesman, Umar Gwandu, on Wednesday.
The Federal Government has come under fire in recent days for failing to name terror sponsors despite the assistance given to Nigeria by the United Arab Emirates and other countries.

The President’s Spokesman, Femi Adesina, had also said the government was not interested in naming and shaming suspects but would rather prosecute them.

Reacting to the raging controversy, Malami said the Federal Government of Nigeria had been vigorously and intensively working to leave no stone unturned in the prosecution of Boko Haram financiers and the fight against terrorism in the country.

According to the statement, the position, as it stands, is that investigation has reached an advanced stage and the government would make a statement in that direction in due course.

He said, “Time is not ripe for holistic disclosures so as not to pre-empt the investigation process.

“The prime object remains the attainment of peace and security of our dear nation.
“As per as terrorism funding and financing is concerned, we have succeeded in identifying those that are allegedly responsible for funding same and we are blocking the leakages associated with funding while embarking on aggressive investigation that is indeed impacting positively in terms of the fight against terrorism.

“The truth of the matter is that investigation is ongoing and advancing. For the purpose of investigation, I would not like to be pre-emptive in terms of making disclosures that will have effect of undermining the successes we are recording,”

Malami said whatever the government does in terms of detention and arrest is indeed backed up by judicial processes.

He added that the COVID-19 pandemic and the two-month strike embarked on by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria earlier in the year affected the proposed prosecution of Boko Haram sponsors.

Malami stated that the Federal Government through the Complex Case Group of the Department of Public Prosecution of the Federation in the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice reviewed over 1,000 Boko Haram case files out of which 285 have been filed before the Federal High Court based on prima facie cases of terrorism against them.
Ortom Blasts Buhari: These Fulanis Are From Mali & Niger; Not Even Nigerians
Ortom identifies armed herdsmen’s country of origin, says presidency happy with security situation

Governor Samuel Ortom has alleged that some of the armed Fulani herders unleashing terror on unsuspecting residents of the State and other parts of Nigeria are from Mali and Niger Republic.

In an interview with DAILY POST, the Governor revealed that most of the Fulani herders arrested in the state “cannot speak Hausa or Fulfide”, saying that they are from French speaking countries.

Governor Ortom accused the current presidency of finding pleasure in the unfortunate security situation of the country, stating that the armed Fulani men are more dangerous than the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, which President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration proscribed and tagged as a terrorist group.
Cleaning Services

He said:

“My point is why is it that these Fulanis that are coming here can’t be stopped? They are not even Nigerians, yet there are Nigerians Fulanis. They are coming from Mali and Niger and they are not hiding it. They say it.

“Most of them that are arrested here speak French, they cannot speak Hausa or Fulfide and so it is a matter of the government deciding that ‘look, we must stop this.’
“But it is clear to me now and that is why I said that the body language of the current presidency is that they are happy with what is happening. They stopped IPOB in the Southeast, and branded them terrorists.

“If I were to evaluate what was happening in the Southeast and the Southwest, what the Fulanis are doing here is worse. The weapons they have are more than what they have in the southeast and southwest. I don’t support all those secessionist agitations by those individuals. I don’t support it, but the truth is that we should ensure equity and fairness.

“We should ensure justice for all. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. So why are we separating other people as if they are slaves? And then you bring Fulani from outside to come and terrorize your country and you allow them? The president himself accepted that these ones that are terrorizing us are not Nigerians.

“So why are you allowing them? Why have they refused to brand them as terrorists? Why have they refused to ban them? Why have they encouraged Miyetti Allah to be killing our people?”

Zamfara Banditry: 2 Ex-Governors Indicted, 15 Emirs To Be Removed
Zamfara report on banditry: Two ex-Govs indicted, another for trial, 15 Emirs to be removed
...10 ‘reckless’ military officers for court martial
It isn’t a list anyone would be proud of. In plain terms, it is a frightening list. But here it is in black and white: 6,319 persons arbitrarily and willfully killed; 3,672 kidnapped; N2, 805,049,748 paid as ransom; 6,483 widows and 25,050 orphans left behind by slain victims; 215,241 cows, 141,404 sheep, 20,600 of other animals (such as camels and donkeys) rustled; and 3,587 houses, 1,487 motor vehicles and motor cycles burnt.
Then a foot note to the list: Bandits operated 105 camps from which they launched deadly attacks on Zamfara, kill and steal the people’s properties at will; their leaders identified.
Grim figures, no doubt.
But this is just a small segment of the chilling report of the high wire banditry raging in Zamfara, but has now spilled into several states across the country, and consequently putting national security in jeopardy.
Other segments of the report include the
indictment of several members of the traditional institution, top government officials and security forces.
As of the time Sunday Vanguard exclusively obtained the report last week, some of the men who engaged in the bloodletting Zamfara banditry had moved further North-West and North-Central, wreaking unprecedented havoc in Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna and Niger states.
No white paper on the far reaching recommendations of the committee that wrote the report has been issued two years after the report was submitted to Zamfara State government.
The slightest hint yet that something was being done on the implementation of the recommendations was made during the celebration of Democracy Day on June 12, 2021, about one and a half years after the 279 page report had been submitted, when Governor Mohammed Bello Matawalle said, in a broadcast, that he had demonstrated commitment to the implementation of the report with the suspension of the emirs of Maru, Dansadau and Zurmi, who, among several others, had been indicted in the report of the panel for allegedly colluding with bandits to kidnap, collect ransom or even kill their people.
The report was submitted in October 2019 but the recommendations have largely not been implemented.
Had it been implemented, at least one former governor should be facing trial for alleged murder while several emirs, not just three who have been suspended, would have been deposed.
10 army officers would also have faced court martial.
A source close to the Government House, Gusau, however, said a panel was raised to review the recommendations and report back to government.
The committee, tagged Zamfara Committee for Finding Solution to Armed Banditry in the State, had been raised by Matawalle on his assumption of office in May 2019 to investigate the banditry that had blown into full scale war between indigenous Hausa farmers and Fulani herders in the state.
Specifically, the terms of reference included investigation of willful killings, kidnappings, destruction of properties and other related matters in Zamfara and to make recommendations to the state government on the appropriate actions to take, and investigation of the remote and immediate factors responsible for the unprecedented and wide-spread killings, maiming, kidnappings, rape, cattle rustlings, destruction of crops/grains and displacement in the state.
The investigation covered the period between June 1, 2011 and May 29, 2019.
The panel was headed by a former inspector general of police, MD Abubakar, and had diverse membership which included Senator Saidu Muhammed Dansadau, Hon. Justice Nasiru Umar Gummi (rtd), Alh. (Dr.) Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi (Wamban Shinkafi), CP Mamman Anka (rtd), Mamuda Aliyu Maradun (ex-Permanent Secretary), Alh. Ibrahim Bawa (Fulani representative), Alh. Mohammed Adamu, Perm. Sec. Home Affairs, Committee Secretary, and Barr. Aliyu Abdullahi Gusau, Director Public Prosecution, Assistant Secretary.
Co-opted members were DIG Mamman Ibrahim Tsafe (rtd), DSP Hardo Abubakar Abdulkadir, Alh. Imrana Ibrahim Aliyu and Usman Saidu Dansadau.
When the committee was submitting its report in October 2019, Matawalle had promised to implement the recommendations, assuring that he would not be diverted by any sentiment.
The governor was said to be in the entourage of President Muhammadu Buhari who was visiting the United States to attend the United Nations General Assembly last week, and his spokespersons could not be reached to speak on the status of the report.
To be sure, the Zamfara banditry, according to the report, started in a village called Dansadau.
Although there are conflicting accounts of how banditry turned deadly in the state, everyone quoted by the report seemed to agree it all began in the Dansadau village where the Hausa who, in their quest for farmlands, reportedly indiscriminately encroached into cattle routes and grazing reserves and that triggered friction between them and Fulani residents.
A member of the committee, quoted by the report, narrated that about 19 years ago, a former District Head of Dansadau, Alh. Shafiu Salihu, ignited the problem after he authorized a self-defense outfit called ‘Yan Sakai’ to kill any thief even if it was a goat he stole.
The report went on: “He (committee member) cited an example where a person was discharged and acquitted by a law of court but on getting back to Dansadau, this freed man was killed together with his father.
“This member further informed the committee that, out of brutality and inhumanity of man-to-man, he (victim) was asked to dig the grave where he was eventually killed and buried.
“The Emir of Birnin Gwari was also high handed and further fuelled friction and disharmony when he directed his subjects and other vigilante groups or ‘Yan Sakai’ to kill anybody that was found to have stolen anything.
“According to this member, that ugly scenario where people were allowed to take the law into their hands compounded the problems of mistrust and rivalry among Hausa and Fulani. In the same development, he stated that one Alh. Ishe, a Fulani man who championed the cause of Fulani, made the Fulani in Dansadau Emirate to rally behind him.
“This member added that about five or six years after Alh. Ishe took a seemingly leadership of Fulani in the area made ‘Yan Sakai’ aggrieved.
“The rivalry between ‘Yan Sakai’ and Fulani in the area under the leadership of Alhaji Ishe became so intensified and eventually Alh. Ishe was killed and his corpse was put on his car and burnt to ashes.
“Thereafter, the Fulani started launching reprisal attacks around Sangeku and Kabaro villages.
“According to the member, close relations of Alh. Ishe emphatically stated that the life of Alh. Ishe is equivalent to 1, 000 souls of Hausa men.
“Therefore, from that time, Fulani in the area started attacking Hausa communities especially in the rural areas and ‘Yan Sakai’ killing Fulani indiscriminately”.
This narration corroborated the committee finding that the first armed banditry took place late in 2009 in Anka/Maru Local Government along Anka/Dansadau Emirates’ border.
Multiple causes
The report found several causes as responsible for the Zamfara banditry.
The remote causes include institutional failure and blatant betrayal of trust by unscrupulous political leaders, traditional rulers, security officers and judicial officers; poverty, unemployment, indolence and frustration that led many youths to drug abuse and involvement in crime; influx into and settlement of illegal alien Fulani from neighboring countries in Zamfara who initially behaved and related with both indigenous Fulani and Hausa harmoniously and peacefully but later exhibited their true criminal tendencies by starting small scale armed robbery, followed by rustling of non-Fulani and indigenous Fulani cattle, and when herds of the locals were grossly depleted, they had no option but to join the gang of criminals to make a living and a means of replenishing their lost herds of cattle; proliferation of traditional rulers at all levels by successive governors with no regard to rules and regulations/due process; proliferation and widespread consumption of dangerous drugs; and high level corruption on the part of bad eggs in the security, judicial and law enforcement services.
On immediate causes, the report found indiscriminate allocation of virgin forest, forest reserves, game reserves, Fulani grazing areas, home settlement as farmlands to farmers by successive Zamfara governments from May 29, 1999, a situation which pushed the Fulani in the state to the wall and left with no option but to take the law into their hands for survival; attacks and counter attacks, reprisal and counter reprisal between Fulani and farmers on one hand and Fulani v. ‘YAN SAKAI’ on the other; injustice by some traditional rulers in land dispute management; and indiscriminate release of suspects by security agencies played varying degree of roles.
The report is unsparing of some former governors over the roles they allegedly played during their tenures which escalated banditry in Zamfara
On the alleged role of former Governor Ahmed Sani Yariman Bakura (May 1999 – May 2007), the report said: “When small scale armed robbery began to rear its ugly head in different parts of the state, he directed allocation of farmlands in government forest reserves along the major highways in order to create clear view for motorists and make it difficult for armed robbers to escape easily from the thick forest reserves.
“This policy sparked off agitation by farmers across the state for allocation of farmlands in forest reserves nearest to their respective areas.
“The governor bowed to the pressure, thus indiscriminate allocation of farmlands with no regard to Fulani interest began.
“Unscrupulous civil servants in the ministry of environment abused the policy, connived with some fraudulent traditional rulers and allocated almost as much as what was allocated officially by the state government”.
On former Governor Mamuda Aliyu Shinkafi (May 2007 – May 2011), the report has this to say: “During his four-year tenure, fraudulent civil servants enjoyed a field day.
“They allocated farmlands in government forest reserves at will without the knowledge of government.
“He too allocated some farmlands especially to some high profile individuals both within and outside the state of between 100 to 700 hectares per person.
“191 beneficiaries include legislators, political appointees and party officials”.
In the case of former Governor Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar (May 2011 – May 2019), the committee wrote: “The seed of security crisis planted during Governor Ahmed Sani Yariman Bakura’s tenure watered and nursed all through germinated fully three months into the tenure of Gov. Abdul’Aziz Yari Abubakar.
“Gov. Abdul’Aziz Yari’s failure or refusal to address the security crisis in the state at a very early stage, however, provided a fertile ground and enabling environment for the influx of bandits from other parts of the country and neighboring countries.
“This situation complicated and up scaled the armed banditry in the state to the extent of covering the entire 14 local governments of the state and spilling over to neighboring states of Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger and Sokoto.
“The governor’s nonchalant attitude and unflinching absence from the state provided golden opportunity to fraudulent security agencies, judicial officers and department of public prosecution in the ministry of justice to compromise the call of their statutory duties in favor of extraneous personal benefits. “Management of security is time bound and expensive.
“The constant absence of former Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari rendered security agencies orphans with no master to report to on urgent security intelligence issues and with no source of funding to avert impending attacks.
“Failure to attend to urgent and important memos on security matters from relevant ministries and departments of government was one of the factors responsible for the inability of government to tackle the security challenges.
“His administration, like those of his predecessors, allocated farmlands to big time politicians in government forest reserves which worsened the predicament of the Fulani access to grazing areas.
“His deliberate refusal to receive report from a committee he personally set up that worked for two years on ways of finding solution to the unprecedented security challenges in the state is the peak of lack of concern for lives and property in the state.
“The preponderance opinion of witnesses, complainants, traditional rulers, security agencies and civil servants showed lack of attention to security issues brought before the former governor including formal and informal intelligence.
“In spite of the human and material losses, it could literarily be said that no aid was provided to the surviving victims (IDPs) or families of the deceased.
“In spite of his ardent opposition to the Yan-Sakai group (self defense outfit) from the beginning of the security challenges up to October 2018, when 2019 elections were fast approaching, the state government formally registered and employed 8,500 of them as informal security outfit in the name of assisting the military in their fight against bandits but with the alleged motive of using them as political army to rig the 2019 elections in the state.
“This notorious group used their new status as a license to kill and extort people especially Fulani and political opponents in broad day light on market days throughout the state. “There is in fact literarily no witness or complainant that appeared before the committee that did not lament the atrocities of the self defense group.
“They were mainly responsible for the escalation of killings, kidnappings and extortions in Zamfara State from November 2018 (when they were registered and employed) to May 2019.
“One of them was alleged to have killed not less than 30 innocent people within the period under review”.
According to the report, while all the abracadabra of illegal land allocation was going on at the state level from 1999 to 2019, local government council chairmen connived with some traditional rulers to allocate as farmlands all available forest reserves, grazing areas, and Fulani settlements under their jurisdictions to few farmers, largely to politicians and high profile personalities in the affected localities.
“This is the last stroke that broke the camel’s back which pushed the Fulani to the wall with no option but fight the battle of their lives for survival”.
Arising from the alleged roles of the former governors in fuelling banditry in Zamfara, the report said: “The committee recommends that the immediate past Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari Abubakar and his aides (immediate past Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Bello Dankande Gamji, and Alhaji Sani Gwamna Mayanchi) be arrested and prosecuted for alleged multiple culpable homicide due to his acts of commission and omission”.
The committee established that whereas some traditional rulers were complicit in the escalation of banditry in Zamfara, many were negligent in their responsibility of ensuring security in their respective domains.
In fact, were the recommendations of the committee to be implemented to the letter, no less than 15 of the 17 emirs in the state would be deposed.
The story of the alleged collaboration of the Emir of Maru and a District Head with bandits was told by the Zamfara SSG, Alhaji Bala Bello Maru, in his testimony before the committee.
Startling revelations
Zamfara State Commissioner of Police, CP Usman Nagogo, also indicted the Emir of Karu in his testimony to the panel, according to the report.
The report quoted him as saying that in 2016 when CP Shettima Istifanus was the Zamfara State Commissioner of Police while he (Nagogo) was the Zamfara State Deputy Commissioner of Police (Finance and Inspection), then government appointed him as the Peace Ambassador and Chairman to head Amnesty Committee.
“According to him, he visited Dokani forest where he saw arms and ammunitions with over 1, 000 bandits. Buhari Daji surrendered 13 AK47 assault rifles and a rocket launcher as a sign of his confidence in the amnesty programme”, the report said.
“He stated that his concern was not to wage war against the bandits but to enter into dialogue and reconciliation because even if government should deploy one million soldiers, they would not be able to defeat the bandits as they were so many with sufficient and sophisticated weapons to counter any attack on them.
“The bandits had informants everywhere and could pay as much as N500, 000 to an informant.
“He then advised then Executive Governor of Zamfara State that the government should direct the release of Buhari’s wife.
“According to him, then State Director, State Service truncated all efforts put in place by the Amnesty Committee.
“In his view, the main cause of the crisis was the Yan Sakai, Civilian JTF and vigilante groups in that whenever a Fulani man was killed, Fulani would attack the whole village killing several people and leaving scores injured.
“Finally, when he met with the Ardos and other Fulani leaders, their complaints were that they were deprived of attending markets, mosques etc. and whenever Fulani were killed, government did not visit and console them.
“However, whenever the Hausas were killed, the government visited and consoled them”.
FG's Refusal To Publish Terrorism Sponsors - Vanguard Editorial
THE Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to baffle Nigerians and the world out there with its policies in the handling of jihadist terrorism, the main insecurity challenge facing the country.

The use of Operation Safe Corridor, OSC, to give the so-called repentant Boko Haram terrorists a safe and comfortable landing after their heinous crimes against humanity has allowed thousands of jihadist fighters to escape justice.

People who have killed innocent citizens, burnt down communities and schools, abducted thousands of students and women (who they “married off” to terrorist fighters and forcibly converted to Islam) and experts in improvised explosive devices who led hundreds of drugged adherents to conduct suicide bombings are returned to the lawful and vulnerable population.

A government that was quick to publish the names of mainly opposition politicians for their alleged involvement in corruption during the past regimes of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is now shy in making the names of suspected terrorists public.

Most of these “corrupt” politicians have joined the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, where they were accepted with open arms. Senator Ali Ndume, whose name was once bruited as a terrorism sponsor, was able to clear his name in court and thus removed the stigma that such a tag put on his name.

Even though government refuses to officially name people whose alleged activities have damaged lives and property more than any other security challenge since the Civil War, several names are being bandied in the social media. Why is government refusing to officially name them and put them on open trial to also enable the innocent ones clear their names?

Is it because the vast majority of these people are part of a special breed of people- the untouchables? We ask this question because we saw the gusto with which Biafra agitator, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, was arrested, put on trial and brought back from Kenya through an extraordinary rendition to continue his trial for “terrorism”.

We also saw how Yoruba Nation agitators led by Chief Sunday Adeyemo, aka Igboho, are being dragged around by government. But the people who have actually committed real and naked acts of terrorism are being shielded.
The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, recently complained of the trouble she was having in convincing the Federal Government of the need to expose the terror sponsors, adding that she was ready to assist in that regard.

The Federal Government’s suspicious handling of terrorists, be they Boko Haram, North West “Bandits” or herdsmen militias contributes in demoralising our troops in the war fronts. It also falls into the hands of critics who allege that key figures in the administration are “sponsors” or “enablers” of the terrorism. The terrorism sponsors must be named and given open trial.
Benue: Herdsmen Targeting Us For Elimination – Tiv Traditional Rulers Raise
Second class traditional rulers from the 14 local government areas of Tiv extraction in Benue State have raised the alarm over alleged plans by Fulani herdsmen to eliminate the Tiv people from both Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States.

The traditional rulers made the allegations on Tuesday during a courtesy visit on Governor Samuel Ortom at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi, the state capital.

They also called on the Federal Government to immediately take necessary actions to ensure that displaced Tiv people who are currently at different IDP camps in the state, return to their ancestral homes.

Chief Daniel Abomtse, a spokesman for the group, alleged that the Tiv people are constantly being “chased away from their ancestral homes in those states”, stressing that their homes and farmlands are been controlled by “herdsmen of Fulani nationality with the approval of authorities in those states.”

The traditional leaders appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to put in place the necessary measures that would ensure the return of displaced Tiv people and the recovery of their land from invaders.

Governor Ortom while appreciating them for the visit, lamented the incessant killings in Benue by militia herdsmen, stressing that the injustice perpetrated by the “Federal Government to some parts of the country is uncalled for”.

The governor noted that already, the continued stay of over 1.5 million people in IDP camps had led to a food crisis in Benue, pointing out that he has no reason to be quiet as some people expect him to be.
How Boko Haram Jihadist Snatched 25 Communities From Niger State Govt - FIJ
In April 2021, an insurgent named Mallam Sadiqu set up an empire in the local sprawl of Shiroro, Niger State. As a Boko Haram jihadist, he took control of political and social life in about 25 communities.

Sadiqu started his infiltration of the communities like a ‘gentle man of God’ before professing himself as a Boko Haram commander spreading Islamic extremism, which coincides with the Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād’s school of thought.

He would later declare himself a “constituted authority” and threaten to ‘waste’ anyone who refused to swallow his decisions or tried to expose him to the government.

He set up a cabinet for his Islamic government and read publicly the rules and regulations, rewards and penalties for certain acts, emphasising his mission to fight the government and take over the state.

“He told them that he was not harmful to the general public because he was a Boko Haram [insurgent],” a source familiar with Sadiqu’s system of government told FIJ. “He said he was not fighting the masses but the government. He said everybody should settle down to live their normal lives. But they would have protocols.”

After declaring himself an authority, he recruited ruthless young people who had taken part in rural banditry and cattle theft, overpowering Dogo Gide, a feared bandit leader in Shiroro. He empowered his recruits with swords, powerbikes, AK47s and Rocket-Propelled Grenades (RPGs).

He then ruled communities like Kaure, Kusasu, Pai, Chukuba, Kwaki, Kurebe, Iburo, Kushaka, Kushaku, Biko, Alaita, Dnasepa, Kokokki, Nakundna, Afapi, Kampani, Kudumidna, Sakko, Ajatayi, Lukupe, Badna, Alai Kwaki, Bududna and Maimalufa.

“If you have a female child of 12 years, you have to marry her out,” Sadiqu was quoted to have ordered residents of these communities.
How did a ‘gentle man of God’ turn out to be the most dreaded terrorist and rebel threatening the Government of Niger State?

Stories of murders, abductions and human rights violations dominate the communities controlled by Sadiqu and his loyalists. On April 27, Abubakar Bello, the Niger State Governor, confirmed the hoisting of the Boko Haram flag in Kaure, Sadiqu’s headquarters in Shiroro.
The governor revealed how the terrorist took the women of some residents and gave them to his boys.

“I am confirming that there are Boko Haram elements here in Niger State,” he said. “Here in Kaure, I am confirming that they have hoisted their flags. Their wives have been seized from them and forcefully attached to Boko Haram members.

“I just heard that they have placed their flags at Kaure, meaning they have taken over the territory. This is what I have been engaging the Federal Government on. Unfortunately, it has now got to this level. If care is not taken, even Abuja is not safe.”

Following the governor’s public outcry, a contingent of soldiers stormed Kaure community to dislodge Sadiqu and his fighters.

“Unfortunately, it was just a military operation to dislodge the terrorists. A military base was not established in the community,” a source told FIJ. “So, after everything, the terrorists reconvened in Kurebe, a nearby village, and established another Boko Haram headquarters in Shiroro.”

According to multiple accounts of locals in the communities, Sadiqu started by preaching to residents in the Lakma axis, especially in the Kaure area. He enjoined them to embrace Islamic jurisprudence and “fear Allah”.
“At a point, he was going around as a missionary and people were even getting to believe him,” said a youth leader in one of the communities. “It was later that he started using force. So, his boys started carrying guns.”

Almost everybody in the 25 communities controlled by Sadiqu knows him but “nobody dares obtain his picture or describe how he looks to an alien in the area”.

Residents who confided in FIJ said Sadiqu is considered a sacred human whose face or physical appearance must not be in the public domain. Moreover, taking or displaying pictures is forbidden in the terrorist’s territories.

“He has made himself the constituted authority so much that if you have a case to settle, you go to him instead of going to the court or the police,” one of the locals said. “Even if you’re coming to his vicinity, you cannot come with a phone or a camera because his boys will search you from checkpoint to checkpoint. Nobody has any image of Mallam Sadiqu at the moment.”
“Anyone seen taking pictures in his territory could be killed,” another local added. “It is seen as a dangerous offence here.”


Residents under Sadiqu’s control are grieving but they dare not shed tears. An attempt to report Sadiqu’s atrocities attracts severe punishment. Anyone who tries it could be stoned to death, according to multiple accounts of locals.

“You can imagine telling uneducated people how the government has abandoned them and how they (the terrorists) are there to fight the government for them. They are brainwashing the people and that is a danger,” a concerned Shiroro youth told FIJ.

“We only hope the government can take back these communities from this dangerous man.”
The Niger State Government is aware of the presence of Sadiqu and his men. But the governor said he is helpless.

Suleiman Chukuba, Chairman of Shiroro Local Government, confirmed the influx of Boko Haram elements, saying, “Only four wards have been affected.”

He said the residents know from their mode of preaching that they are Boko Haram elements.
“They told villagers that they had money to help them and that they had guns to give them to fight the government. And that is the same doctrine we know Boko Haram elements promote,” he said.
‘They’ve Killed The Man Who Spoke Truth To Power On Boko Haram, Fulani Herdsmen’—Reactions Trail Death Of Ex-Central Bank Boss, Mailafia
The former deputy governor, who was the Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the 2019 election, was a known government critic and had advocated for public sector and exchange rate reforms.
Some Nigerians have expressed shock over the death of former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Obadiah Mailafia.

The 64-year-old development economist died at the National Hospital Abuja on Sunday morning.

Luka Binniyat, spokesman for the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) had said Mailafia, who took refuge in Makurdi, Benue state, following alleged persistent harassment by the Department of State Services (DSS), fell sick on Saturday and was rushed to an Abuja hospital where he was pronounced dead on Sunday.

The former deputy governor, who was the Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the 2019 election, was a known government critic and had advocated for public sector and exchange rate reforms.
Mailafia was born on December 24, 1956, in the Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

He later graduated top of his class at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1978 with a BSc.

Mailafia was appointed deputy governor of CBN in 2005 from the African Development Bank (AfDB) where he served as the chief economist responsible for Strategic Planning and Corporate Reporting.

A known critic of the Muhammadu Buhari-led government, the deceased was detained for several hours by the DSS over some allegations he made on the security situation in the country in 2020.

Mailafia had during a radio programme alleged that repentant Boko Haram members had revealed to him that a serving Northern governor was a commander of the terrorist group.

Early in the month of September, he described the alleged fulanisation of Nigeria as real, just as he disclosed that there was an ongoing plot by Buhari’s administration to foist an alleged Fulani and Islamic agenda on Nigerians.

Speaking in Akure during a special session organised by Forum for Good Governance Towards Revival for All Nations (TRANS 21) with the theme “The Role of the Church in Nation Building”, Mailafia alleged that the present administration in Nigeria was pushing for the Islamisation and Fulanisation of the country.

Mailafia had said, “The kind of Islam that is coming from Sahara is dangerous. They want to take over your land and enslave you. Christians must rise to protect it. They want to take over your land and enslave you.
“In the North East alone, more than 3,000 churches have been destroyed, more than 400 priests and pastors have been killed. Last year, the CAN chairman of Adamawa was beheaded, even after a ransom was paid. We have been told that the so call bandits, who should not be called bandits because bandits do not bring down military aircraft.

“No bandit has the capacity to bring down military aircraft. No bandit has the power to attack Nigeria Defence Academy which is the premier institution for the training of armed forces. No bandit has the capacity to do that, only terrorists have the capacity to do that.
“We are being told that this terrorists are part of the insurgency because they did these kidnappings to raise money in order to fund the insurgency.”

Reacting, some Nigerian on Twitter alleged that he was killed for being vocal against the current administration.
How Obadiah Mailafia died — MBF
Alleges conspiracy as hospital demands N.6m to admit him, denies him oxygen

• Ohanaeze, associates, others mourn

By Clifford Ndujihe, Peter Duru, Marie-Therese Nanlong, Dirisu Yakubu & Chris Ochayi

Former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, frontline Vanguard Columnist, a former presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, in the 2019 general elections, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, 64, is dead, with the Middle Belt Forum, MBF, alleging foul play in the manner he died.

How he died
Giving a vivid account of how Dr. Obadiah Mailafia lost the battle to a yet-to-be disclosed ailment, the MBF through its National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Isuwa Dogo, alleged conspiracy and lackadaisical attitude of medical personnel as responsible for the untimely death of the presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC.
According to statement issued in this regard: ‘’The death of the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada, Abuja, this morning(Sunday) came to us as a great shock.

‘’Arising from various enquiries from Nigerians over the circumstances of his death, the Forum wishes to state as follows: That Dr Mailafia arrived Abuja last Sunday September 12, 2021 from Akure and was received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by his wife.
‘’On arrival at home, the wife noticed he was not in the best of health conditions and seemed to be suffering from malaria. After three days of treatment without signs of improvement, he went to the CBN Hospital on Friday September 17, 2021 where he was shabbily treated. It took the intervention of a senior medic who immediately placed him on oxygen and admitted him.

‘’Dr Mailafia’s was later given the option of choosing three hospitals: Gwagwalada Hospital, National Hospital and EHA Clinics. The wife opted for the third choice. On arrival at the EHA Clinics, the wife was subjected to yet another moment of anxiety as it took a direct order from the top management of the hospital to accept him.

‘’After few hours of treatment, the EHA Clinics told the wife that it was expedient to transfer the former CBN Deputy Governor to Gwagwalada as the clinic was not fully equipped to handle the case.

‘’The wife opposed the decision and insisted that she was opposed to the idea of taking her husband to Gwagwalada. Mailafia’s wife only succumbed when the consultant assured her that nothing bad will happen to her husband.

‘’Yesterday, Saturday September 18, 2021, Dr Obadiah was transfered to Gwagwalada. on arrival, the name of the doctor that was billed to attend to Dr Mailafia was not on duty. Even when an attempt was made by foreign health consultants to save the situation, the doctor on duty got angry and said he was not obligated to listen to any foreign consultants that had been brought into the matter with the sole purpose of ensuring nothing goes wrong.

‘’Wife of the former CBN Deputy Governor was asked to pay the sum of N600,000 as deposit even when it was a referral case, with accruing medical bill to be settled by the CBN. At a point, Dr Mailafia complained over his breathing problems and pleaded with the doctors to place him in a ventilator. The doctors flatly refused.
‘’Even after the doctors declared Dr. Mailafia dead, foreign consultants who were brought into the matter through Dr Mailafia’s son that is living abroad, had directed a family member who is a medical professional, with the wife of the CBN Deputy Governor, to mount pressure on the chest of Dr. Mailafia for resuscitation and thereafter place him on a life support.

‘’The doctors in Gwagwalada refused all entreaties by the family members of Dr Mailafia to follow the advice of the foreign consultants, insisting that they have already pronounced him dead. Even when the wife could feel the pulse of her husband, the doctor flatly declared there was nothing they could do since they had already pronounced him dead.

‘’While the above narration sums up the circumstances under which Dr Mailafia died, we still await the result of the actual cause of his death. As a nationalist and patriot that he was, Dr. Mailafia was completely dedicated to the emancipation of ethnic nationalities from the clutches of oppression.”

A renowned development economist and social critic, Obadiah died yesterday morning after a brief illness at the National Hospital Abuja.

Spokesman of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, Luka Binniyat, who confirmed Mailafia’s death, said: “Following his harassment by the Department of State Security Services, DSS, he had been taking refuge from place to place. The last place he went to take refuge is Markudi. Yesterday (Saturday), he took ill and he was rushed to the hospital that he normally attended in Abuja. This morning (Sunday), he was pronounced dead.”

He was born on December 24, 1956, in the Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State, graduated top of his class at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1978 with a B.Sc. Honours Social Sciences degree (Politics, Economics, and Sociology) and had an M.Sc. from the same institution.

He joined partisan politics in 2018 and has consistently criticized the political and economic policies of government, seeking a reformation that would bring succor to the populace.

READ ALSO: How Mailafia died at Specialist hospital, Gwagwalada
Mailafia was appointed deputy governor of CBN in 2005 from the African Development Bank, AfDB, where he served as the chief economist responsible for Strategic Planning and Corporate Reporting.

We’ve lost a great voice – MBF
Reacting, the Middle Belt Forum, MBF, said his sudden demise was great loss of voice in the struggle to emancipate Nigeria.

The National President of MBF, Dr. Bitrus Pogu, among others, said: “The death of Dr. Mailafia is a great loss to the Middle Belt and the whole of the country particularly at a time when we need voices like his; he is one of the people who could talk or fearlessly tell truth to power, we lost a patriot.

“His death has created a great vacuum that will be difficult to fill. Painfully while we were struggling along with our brothers in other parts of the country to ensure that Nigeria is restructured, we, some few months back also lost Yinka Odumakin and now it is Mailafia; it hurts.
“It’s a great loss to all of us and we are just praying that in spite of all odds that God will comfort the country and the family he left behind because we have lost a great voice not just in the Middle Belt but the entire country in the struggle for the emancipation of Nigeria.”

Similarly, the apex Igbo Socio-cultural Organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, described as shocking and devastating, his death.

Describing Mailafia as a patriot whose views were tailored towards a better Nigeria, Ohanaeze Publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, said: ‘’We, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, are shocked at the death of Dr Mailafia. We are shocked by the death of a man who had shown a detribalised disposition towards the affairs of Nigeria. He was a rare patriot, his views were bent towards bringing a better Nigeria.

‘’We feel bad that we are losing that voice at a time it mattered most. As Nigeria approaches the 2023 general elections, such a strong voice is needed to shape and put things right.

‘’Ohanaeze condoles the immediate family of Mailafia and the people of Kaduna State for this colossal loss. It is very unfortunate. Ohanaeze will participate in his burial. He showed great concern for the oppressed. He was an ally.’’

On his part, a family friend, Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam said: “I can’t believe it; it is sad. We have lost a voice, we have lost a man of courage, and we have lost a brilliant intellectual; someone who had passion for this country. someone who was ready to lay down his life for this country; we have lost a man of integrity; we have lost a voice in the nation; the Church has lost a voice but we are comforted because God is in control of every situation. My friend, my brother, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, you will not die in vain. May God comfort his family and comfort all of us Nigerians.”

His lawyer, Yakubu Bawa who was with him during his trying moment with the Department of State Security, DSS, added: “This is very shocking, a devastating news, very catastrophic because we never thought this will happen at this time, but we submit to God’s will. It is hurting, only God will give us the grace to bear this great loss.

“It was a brief illness, what caused his death was brief, he was not diabetic.”
Also, a mentee, Ralph Madugu, described his demise as “a terrible blow difficult to endure”. His words: “You were my role model and a mentor going by your intellectual endowments that God deposited in you. You were indeed a patriot and a nationalist to the core. You stood for the downtrodden; you stood as a voice for the voiceless even when saying the truth hurts.

“You spoke truth to power… You were a messenger who was not celebrated but now that you are gone, your messages of truth will continue to remain with those of us who cared to listen. You wrote your name in gold and imprinted them on the sands of time.

“A reservoir of knowledge is gone… a loudest voice of the masses is no more. Though your voice is mute, but not forever, Adieu OBM.”

Also reacting, a frontline politician and international businessman, Gbenga Olawepo Hashim, described his death as a “great loss to Nigeria and his beloved family that he loved dearly”.

Olawepo-Hashim in a condolence message, said: “I just got off the phone with Dr. Bitrous Porgu, President of the Middle Belt Forum to confirm the distressing news popping up on my phone. It is true we have lost Obadiah Malafia,”

Olawepo-Hashim recalled that they were screened together by the elders of the Middle Belt in 2019 presidential run, stating that “he did remarkably well; his voice on national issues which kept on ringing until the last few days will be missed”.
Government Pays $50,000 Ransom To Bandits To Retrieve Antiaircraft Gun - WSJ
Nigeria’s Gangs Raised Millions by Kidnapping Children. Now the Government Can’t Stop Them.

Criminal gangs, flush with ransom money, are growing more brazen, stealing heavy munitions and extorting the government.
GUSAU, Nigeria—The masked men emerged from the forest on motorbikes, surrounding a young intelligence officer clutching a cash-filled bag. The ransom, nearly $50,000 in crisp Nigerian bank notes, wasn’t for a person, but to retrieve a weapon that directly threatened the country’s president.

A kidnapping gang encamped in Nigeria’s Rugu forest had seized an antiaircraft gun in a clash with a military unit. That posed a threat to President Muhammadu Buhari, who had been planning to fly to his hometown about 80 miles away, and the government needed to buy it back.

An hour later, the officer, who declined to be identified, was clasping hands with a leader of a diffuse network of criminals whose campaign of kidnapping civilians—including hundreds of schoolchildren—has raised millions of dollars to build an arsenal of heavy weaponry they are using to wrest control of swaths of the north, including the president’s home state.

Over tea, the militant leader agreed to part with the truck-mounted 12.7 caliber antiaircraft gun in exchange for the ransom: His men had plenty more munitions, he said.
“I don’t need the army’s weapons,” he said, according to the officer, whose account was corroborated by another senior Nigerian official involved in the previously undisclosed mission.

In the forests of northwest Nigeria, loosely organized criminal gangs that raised funds kidnapping schoolchildren are now flush with arms and operating beyond the reach of an increasingly fragile state.

In some instances, government officials in Africa’s most populous nation have been paying the gangs to return stolen weapons and kidnapped personnel, according to confidential documents and interviews with senior military officials, soldiers and independent mediators, and one of the gang leaders.

“If they don’t pay, we kill them,” said Shehu Rekeb, a militant leader in Zamfara state, in a phone interview. His men were herdsmen, he said, who had been mistreated by the state and subjected to arbitrary arrests. Once armed with machetes, they now have weapons on par with the military and collaborators inside the army, he claimed.

Nigeria’s government—still battling Islamic State militants in the northeast—refers to the lesser-known criminal groups in its northwest as “bandits.” But soldiers, intelligence officers and mediators who have visited their camps describe a surfeit of munitions. Those include more antiaircraft guns acquired since the mission to buy one back.

“Criminal factions appear to be better equipped with larger-capacity advanced weaponry than national security agencies,” said a confidential internal report presented to the president in July.

Nigeria’s government didn’t respond to requests for comment. Several senior security officials described mass kidnapping for ransom as Nigeria’s primary new security crisis. One official who had reviewed intercepts of bandit leaders’ communications described how the militants speak of accumulating weapons to defend themselves from rival gangs and from government-backed vigilantes, and to conduct increasingly brazen operations against schools, villages, state officials and each other.

“They’re settling scores…Government cannot do anything,” one senior government security said.

The bandits have seized more than 1,000 children from their schools this year. Thousands of schools have closed in a country where half the population is under 18 and which has become home to the world’s largest population of out-of-class children.
Farmers have abandoned their land or sold it to purchase their children’s freedom, sending the price of corn, rice and beans to new highs. Hundreds of villages have been deserted , after fighting that has left a quarter of a million people homeless.

“My son has been captive in the forest for months,” said Bulus Kwoi, whose firstborn was one of 140 students abducted from Bethel Baptist School in Kaduna in July. “Please. Will you give us the money to free them?”

Most of the bandits are from the Fulani ethnic group , a traditionally cattle-rearing society, whose herdsmen have been fighting for years with farmers over access to dwindling grazing lands.

More recently, some herdsmen have reorganized into kidnapping gangs, seizing everyone from villagers to prominent politicians. Last month, bandits raided a military training college in Kaduna state north of the capital, killing two soldiers, grabbing more weaponry and kidnapping a ranking military officer, a major at the country’s national defense academy.

Confident that they hold the upper hand, the bandits have called in to talk radio stations to boast of their weaponry and have invited journalists to photograph their stockpiles.
“They wanted to show us that they had general purpose machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and all these things,” said Mannir Dan Ali, an editor of the country’s Daily Trust newspaper, which sent a reporter into the camps.
In the past three months, bandits have been blamed for abducting political leaders and Catholic priests, and for regular killings of policemen.

The bandits are a distant priority for U.S. policy makers focused on Nigeria’s jihadist threat, though American officials say they have intercepted calls from suspected Islamist militants in the northeast who are advising bandits in the northwest on kidnapping operations and negotiations.
The Nigerian military opened a new offensive last month, bombarding forest encampments with airstrikes from U.S.-delivered jet fighters. The government ordered cellphone reception suspended across four states, cutting off tens of millions of residents, as part of a military offensive that some officials say is succeeding.

Villagers have paid bandits to not kidnap their children, intensifying a protection racket.
Unable to defend communities, the governors of three northern states have told citizens to pick up weapons, fueling a local business of fashioning muskets from scrap metal.
“Hardly a day passes by without a person being killed or kidnapped. No single day,” Aminu Bello Masari, the governor of Katsina state, told local Nagarta radio last month. “It’s very important for the people to rise up.”
The mission to buy back the antiaircraft gun began with a handoff from a high-ranking air force intelligence officer in the capital Abuja: a black zip-up bag he said was full of 20 million Nigerian naira.

It was given to the young intelligence officer tapped to exchange it for the antiaircraft gun the bandits had seized in an area where Mr. Buhari frequently flew to visit his hometown of Daura.

The officer flew to the town of Jibia on the border with Niger, where a dozen armed men emerged from the forest to meet him. They escorted him on motorbikes into thickening forest for hours, arriving at the home of their leader, a wiry man in his 30s, who collected the sack.

While the bandits began disassembling the antiaircraft gun and attempting to strap it to a wobbling motorbike, their leader aired a series of grievances against the state: Vigilantes had kidnapped his father, young men could no longer earn a livelihood rearing cattle, and airstrikes were killing civilians in his camps. “You are bombing us from the air,” he said. “You are killing our children.”

His fighters were conducting reprisal operations against vigilantes and the army, which had helped them accrue a huge weapons stockpile, he said. Eventually, the bandits strapped the antiaircraft gun across two motorbikes and began to wheel it out of the camp. “They made it look so simple,” the air force officer said. “They made it feel casual.”



Airforce Denies Payment To Bandits For Return Of Anti-Aircraft Weapon

1.​ The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to news reports circulating on some media platforms alleging that the NAF, through one of its personnel, paid the sum of N20 Million to armed bandits operating in Jibia Local Government Area (LGA) of Katsina State in exchange for an anti-aircraft gun allegedly seized. The report went on to state that the reason behind the payment was to retrieve the anti-aircraft gun which, it alleged, the NAF feared could be used against aircraft operating within Katsina State.

2.​ The NAF wishes to categorically state that there is absolutely no iota of truth in the spurious allegation that was undoubtedly designed to cast aspersions on the good image of the Service. The said report is totally false. It should therefore be taken as fake news and disregarded. Indeed, we ordinarily would not have responded to such baseless and utterly illogical allegation but for the need to set the record straight as well as reaffirm the NAF’s unflinching commitment to decisively dealing with the armed bandits and all other criminal elements *in the Country in partnership with other services of the Armed Forces and other security Agencies.*

3.​ For the avoidance of doubt, it must be stated that there is no basis for the NAF to pay bandits or any criminal elements that it has continued to attack and decimate in Katsina State, other parts of *the North-West as well as other Theatres of Operation in the Country.* Indeed, as recent as *12 October 2021* , NAF aircraft conducted 5 missions in the Jibia general area and engaged targets with rockets and cannons at Bala Wuta bandits’ locations in Kadaoji. Similar successes were recorded at Fakai Dutsin Anfare, an area in Jibia LGA known for its high incidences of bandits’ activities. The false reportage therefore, begs the question as to why the NAF would negotiate for a weapon allegedly seized and still carry out air interdiction missions on the same bandits and their strongholds. *The NAF is of the view that, this latest false report could be a part of a campaign to further the cause of insecurity in Nigeria by elements who see the NAF as a threat following series of successful exploits in operations against criminal gangs.*

4.​ Perhaps, this provides an avenue for the NAF to yet again appeal to members of the media, both local and international, as well as social media, to be circumspect in their reportage and endeavour to always verify their facts before going public. The public is enjoined to disregard the falsehood emanating from some sections of the social and mainstream media. The NAF also uses this opportunity to call on citizens to continue to cooperate with security agencies as efforts are ongoing to rid the entire Nation of criminals and their activities.

5.​ On our part, the NAF, as a professional and disciplined force, will not in any way be discouraged from carrying out its mandate to rid the entire North-West Nigeria of banditry and other forms of criminality. We remain resolute in performing our function and will continue to work in synergy with other sister Services and security agencies to rid the Country of all criminal elements.

6.​ Kindly bring this information to the awareness of the general public.

Edward Gabkwet
Air Commodore
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force

17 October 2021
Daniel Saror: Insecurity Is A Deliberate Plan To Islamize Nigeria
Insecurity Didn't Come By Accident, It Was Planned To Islamise Nigeria— Ex—VC, Ahmadu Bello University

Aformer Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Professor Daniel Saror has alleged that the insecurity Nigeria currently experiences did not come by accident.
Also according to him, Boko Haram does not consist of miscreants.

He stressed that Boko Haram terrorists are intelligent people who are highly connected to stakeholders in Nigeria and other countries in the world.

The professor made the revelation on Sunday at the thanksgiving service organised to celebrate his 80th birthday in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, Daily Post reports.

Professor Saror explained that the insecurity in Benue and other parts of the country was brought by deliberate actions, describing it as a well-coordinated agenda to spread Islam across the country.

He said, “The insecurity we are experiencing in Benue and Nigeria today is not an accident. It is a planned programme. Boko Haram does not consist of miscreants. They are intelligent people; they are highly connected in Nigeria and other countries in the world.

“Their mission is simple: they want to conquer and Islamise the nation. The Jihadists that you hear about in the North West are also not miscreants. They are highly connected, highly motivated, and highly experienced in their own ideas and what they want. They want to spread the caliphate throughout Nigeria.

"The armed Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents have contacts that extend to the Middle East, Asia, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia among others."

He alleged that they are funded with billions of naira to execute the conquest agenda of the caliphate in the country.
Insurgency and Buhari’s call for full Sharia
By Babatunde Oyewole
IN 2001 at an Islamic seminar in Kaduna, Buhari was given an opportunity to choose between Nigeria’s secularism and fundamentalist Islam, this is what he said; “I will continue to show openly and inside me the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria”, he then added that; “God willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country”.Buhari an advocate of sharia was chosen to address that seminar in Kaduna because of his advocacy and he did not disappoint because he is one of the boardroom voices of Sharia.

The boardroom advocates emboldened the weak minded and impressionable youths and female suicide bombers. Those who prepare such extremist point to such “moral exemplars” that dying for Sharia is a worthy cause. It does not matter if one is campaigning by selling democracy to unsuspecting non-Muslims like a salesman selling snake-oil, they all have a common goal but different modus operandi. The boardroom voices, the elite prepare breeding ground for the field-soldiers, they prepare the ideological diet upon which the adherents feed.

Today many Nigerians are concerned that our society has degenerated to a point where people wake up on a particular day and go to public places like a market to kill their neighbours with bombs. But these bombers did not just wake up one day to take such a fatalistic decision. The suicide bomber dies for a cause after a lengthy ideological and psychological diet . A cause he or she has been made to believe to be a worthy cause, It is immaterial that the suicide bomber has chosen a course of action different from the other advocates of the cause, but they have similar objectives, to spread Sharia to every corner of Nigeria, and in that goal, Boko Haram and other fundamentalists have many elite who have created a breeding ground for their actions in Nigeria.

Other elite voice who have helped to ensure the social and political mobilization against Nigeria’s secular status, and who create a breeding ground for groups like Boko Haram include, former governor Kure of Kaduna state who was also in the same Kaduna seminar with Buhari. At the aforementioned seminar, the then Governor Kure urged all council members to ensure that the Nigerian constitution was “upgraded” in all states to ensure that the basic objectives of the Sharia legal code was achieved all over Nigeria. He gained the support of other elite such as former minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sani Zango Daura, as well as emir of Suleja, Alhaji Awwal Ibrahim, who refused to pay a condolence visit to the Suleja church that was bombed by Boko Haram on a Christmas day until political pressure was put on him.

These boardroom voices of sharia have not concealed their position. It is only other Nigerians who have tried to polish their position to make it an acceptable perception for political convenience, but the advocates for the spread of sharia to every facet of Nigerian life have never disguise their goal. For instance, a very notable advocate of Sharia, Senator Sani Yerima, former governor of Zamfara state, robustly defended his advocacy and had the support of several other elite with similar conviction in the Senate when the status of women was being debated. To make his sharia values clear, Yerima who had earlier defended his marriage to a 13 year old in contradiction of Section 21 of the Child Welfare Act told the Senate that, when a woman is married at whatever age even at 11years, she instantaneously reaches the full age of adulthood. This is not very different from recent laws purveyed by ISIL which justified enslavement of girls, including their defilement if they are non-Muslim captives.

This is the type of ideological commitment that Buhari will bring to the presidency if voted in. It is quite easy to state on television and radio interviews that he is bound by Nigerian laws as if its only when he occupies the office of the presidency that he will be bound by the law of the land. When he becomes head of state who will be there at those quite moments when this values influence his decisions on official matters? He has made his ideological position quite clear when he stated in the Kaduna seminar that the spread of Sharia is ‘’a legal responsibility which God has given us, within the context of one Nigeria to continue to uphold the practice of Sharia wholeheartedly and to educate non-Muslims, what remains for muslims in Nigeria is for them to redouble their efforts,educate muslims on the need to promote the full implementation of sharia law”Buhari has made his advocacy for sharia clear, those who wish to vote him to power can either accept it or pretend that it does not matter, just as those who said naively that Yerima was harmless later expresed shock when he eventually stopped the Senate from reviewing our laws on the legal age of a woman and we are today stuck with his sharia version.

As Boko Haram has demonstrated viciousness, so shall we will come to find that Buhari, a promoter and advocate of Sharia as president of the federal government of Nigeria would direct the thinking of his adherents and their attitude to governance. This would spell doom for all non muslims in Nigeria that Gen.Buhari said should be educated to accept and embrace sharia now being enforced by Boko Haram through violence and killings.

*Mr. Oyewolw, a political analyst, wrote from Abuja.
Tayyip Erdogan: Terrorists Who Tried To Oust Me Are In Nigeria
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has expressed concern that the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO), which he blamed for the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt against his government, is still active in Nigeria.
Erdogan spoke Wednesday at a joint press conference with President Muhammadu Buhari on the occasion of his official visit to Nigeria.

In the speech delivered in his native Turkish and interpreted by one of the officials on his entourage, Erdogan asked Nigeria to join his country to forge a solidarity in the fight against terrorism in the two countries as one of the oldest allies of Turkey in Africa, having seen 60 years of diplomatic ties.

He said: “Distinguished members of the press, as Turkey, we have been closely monitoring the developments unfolding in Nigeria, our brotherly and friendly nation.
“The terrorist organisations, the armed gangs and the marine bandits are continuously active in Nigeria and the Nigerian authorities are continuously fighting against them. So, in order to cooperate further in the fields of military, defense, and security, we are doing everything that will be available…
“As we’re probably aware of the fact that Turkey has been fighting against terrorist organisations for many decades, such as the PKK, PYD, FETO, DASH and other terrorist organisations.

“The perpetrator of the heinous failed coup of July the 15th, FETO, is still illegally active in Nigeria, and we are continuously sharing our intelligence with the Nigerian interlocutors and authorities.
I hope and pray that our Nigerian brothers will forge a closer solidarity in this field with us, the Republic of Turkey. I hope and pray that our visit will yield the most auspicious results and I would like to thank my distinguished brother, President Buhari, for being such a gracious host for me and for my delegation”,
he said.
DHQ Seeks To Crush Bandits With Tucano Jets, Laments US Condition
More facts have emerged on why the Armed Forces have yet to deploy their full arsenal against bandits who have dominated the North-West and parts of the North-Central geopolitical zones.

The PUNCH reliably learnt on Monday that the Armed Forces told the National Assembly, through its committees, that the agreement signed with the Government of the United States was that the A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets procured from the country would be deployed against terrorists and insurgents, and not bandits.

Several sources in the National Assembly, who are in the know of the development, said the complaints by the service chiefs led to the recent demand by the Senate and the House of Representatives that bandits should be designated as terrorists.

The PUNCH had reported that the Federal Government in February 2018 placed an order for 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft at a cost of $496m.
The Nigerian Air Force had on July 22, 2021, taken delivery of the first batch of six aircraft from the United States. The second batch of the planes arrived in Nigeria in September.

A total of 64 pilots and maintainers from the Nigerian Air Force were trained to the US standards with the US Air Force’s 81st Fighter Squadron at Moody Air Base in Georgia, United States.

The training also emphasised the Law of Armed Conflict and civilian casualty mitigation, which are fundamental principles of the Nigerian military’s professional education and training.
Speaking to one of our correspondents on the telephone on Monday, a top source in one of the security committees in the National Assembly said the Armed Forces, especially the Nigerian Air Force, had not been able to decimate the bandits due to the conditions attached to deployment of the fighter jets.
The lawmaker said, “Let me tell you the truth. We once asked the Armed Forces why they had not deployed the Tucano in the fight the bandits and one of the service chiefs (name withheld) told us that their hands are tied due to the human rights regulations regarding to the aircraft. He told us that the equipment is meant for the war against terrorists and insurgents and since these are bandits, they cannot be deployed.

Bandits not different from B’Haram, Buhari should implement N’Assembly resolutions – Lawmaker
“He actually told us that once the bandits have been designated as terrorists, they would be wiped out. Don’t forget that the bandits today are not different from Boko Haram, looking at their activities and the gravity of attacks by them. Now that both chambers of the National Assembly have called for the declaration, we urge the President to implement our resolutions.”

Another reliable source in the security committees, who was asked to confirm the information from the first source, said it was true. “We have done what we ought to do, so the ball is no longer in our court,” he stated.

The House of Representatives had on September 30, 2021, asked the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to designate bandits and their sponsors as terrorists.

The Senate had made the demand the previous day.
Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, who moved a motion of urgent public importance, urged the chamber to back the Senate.
The motion was titled, ‘Declaration of Bandits and their Sponsors as Terrorists.’
Moving the motion, Benson said, “The Senate, on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, adopted a motion asking President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits ravaging the northern part of the country terrorists and wage a total war on them. They also asked that the president declare all known leaders of bandits wanted and arrest them wherever they were found for speedy prosecution. Such declaration to be done through a Proscription Order can be done pursuant to Section 2 of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 (As Amended).

“I will like to echo the same sentiment and ask honourable colleagues to join the Senate in urging Mr President to declare bandits and their sponsors as terrorists. This will underline the determination of government to combat the wave of criminality and murders conducted by bandits all over the country.”

He noted that declaring bandits as terrorists could be done through a proscription order.

Benson listed more benefits of declaring the bandits terrorists, noting that such an order will officially bring the activities of bandits and their sponsors within the purview of the Terrorism Prevention Act, while any persons associated with such groups can then be legally prosecuted and sentenced to penalties specified in the Act.

He said, “Declaration of all bandits as terrorist may also encourage other countries to do same and help create a global consensus around dealing with transnational factors that feeds the domestic activities of such proscribed organisations and individuals.”

Chairman of the House Committee on Army, Abdulrazak Namdas, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Monday, stated that the bandits had ticked all the boxes on the indices of terrorism. He, however, denied knowledge of any complaints relating to deployment of the Tucano jets.

Namdas said, “Now that the government has started getting the Tucanos and we have another batch coming, and the morale of the troops at the moment is high; though we had one or two casualties but this is part of a war and there is nowhere in the world that when there is a war, you expect no casualties – it should only be seriously minimised; when you strengthen the security forces and we agree that these bandits are terrorists, then it would give us the opportunity to deal with them, with all the full force.”

Also speaking The PUNCH, Benson said the resolutions by the Senate and the House should have been transmitted to Buhari for consideration and sanction.

He said, “The truth of the matter is that I don’t know if it has been transmitted but I am sure that when the two sides of the National Assembly pass a resolution, it should be given a thorough consideration. And I doubt if the bureaucracy people (National Assembly management) have transmitted it, to reach the attention of Mr President.”
The US had said the A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets would assist Nigeria’s anti-terrorism fight, especially in the north-eastern part of the West African country.
The US Department of Defence leaders had attended the induction ceremony of the Super Tucano jets on August 31.

An inquiry sent to the United States Embassy in Nigeria on whether the Super Tucano should be used only in fighting terrorists had yet to be responded to on Tuesday.
However, in an earlier chat with The PUNCH, acting Public Affairs Counselor, Jeanne Clark, explained that the use of the weapons would be subject to the Leahy vetting, a law which is an American rights law that prohibit the US government from providing military assistance to foreign security force units that violate human rights with impunity.

Clark stated Nigeria is a strategic partner of the US. She added that the US would ensure monitoring to ensure that the weapons are used for their intended purpose.

She said, “We have direct and open communication with the Government of Nigeria regarding our expectation that all security forces be held accountable for protecting civilians and respecting human rights. All Nigerian military personnel trained by the United States are subject to Leahy vetting.

“All potential US defence sales are carefully assessed under the US government’s Conventional Arms Transfer Policy to examine issues, including human rights, regional security, and non-proliferation concerns, to determine whether a sale is in the best foreign policy and national security interests of the United States.

“Review and monitoring are integral components of the process for any US-origin defence articles delivered to any recipient nation. This helps ensure that those articles are used by the intended recipient in the manner intended and consistent with the provisions of the agreement for the foreign military sale.”

When contacted on Tuesday to confirm transmission of the resolution to Buhari, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Reps), Mr Umar el-Yakub, noted that the Clerk to the National Assembly transmits resolutions by the lawmakers directly to the President.
El-Yakub also noted that the liaison officers only convey communications from the President to the National Assembly and are only copied documents transmitted by the parliament on special occasions.

When contacted, the Director of Information, National Assembly’s management, Mr Rawlings Agada, advised The PUNCH correspondent to cross check with him on Wednesday as he did not have any information on the issue yet.

He said, “I don’t have any information yet on what you are asking me but you can crosscheck again tomorrow so that I can make some enquiries for you.”

A Spokesman for the President, Garba Shehu, told The PUNCH to direct inquiries to the Ministry of Defence when he was asked if the refusal of the President to designate bandits as terrorists was preventing the full deployment of the Super Tucano weapons in the North-West.

“Please contact the ministry of defence. They will be the best to answer this. Thank you,” Shehu stated.

In his reaction, the Special Assistant to the Minister of Defence on Media and Publicity, Mohammed Abdulkadri, directed one of our correspondents to the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor.

Also, calls put across to the Spokesman for the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, didn’t connect while a response to a text message sent to him was being awaited as of the time of filing this report.
Bandits Kidnap 90 Passengers In Edo, Intercept GUO Luxurious Bus
A fully loaded luxurious (Volvo marcopolo) bus with an inscription “GUO OKEKE MOTORS” was early on Wednesday intercepted by armed bandits with about 90 passengers kidnapped.
A source who witnessed the incident told that, “the bus which was travelling from Owerri in Imo state and heading to Abuja with about 90- passengers including another 35 additional passengers on attachment on board unfortunately ran into the waiting hands of dare-devils armed bandits just after the Ena- river before Okhuessan community along Ewatto to Ubiaza express road at about 1:20am this morning and 123-passengers including driver on board have been kidnapped into the forest while the remaining 2- escaped through the windows of the commercial bus into the bush before one of them was later rescued by a hunter at Okhuessan forest and brought to the popular Angle-90 junction in Ubiaza at about 5am this morning for possible assistance.”

According to the source, "at the moment, there is no clue as to the whereabouts of the kidnapped victims and there is also no rescue team whatsoever from any quarters though my personal interaction with the passenger who was fortunate to have escaped and rescued revealed the armed bandits were all armed with Ak-47 assault multipurpose rifles and a sharp matchet each and they are suspected to be fulanis by tribe."
Bandits Bomb Abuja-Kaduna Train
Armed bandits on Wednesday reportedly bombed a train travelling between Abuja and Kaduna, inflicting technical damages on the country’s major rail infrastructure.

Former Senator Shehu Sani said a train he rode between Kaduna and Abuja on Thursday morning nearly derailed because of an explosive that damaged a section of the tracks.

Mr Sani, in a telephone exchange with Peoples Gazette over the incident, said the bandits were targeting the trains in order to dispose of passengers of their cash and other valuable possessions. He also said the attackers opened fire on the train driver.

A spokesman for the Nigerian Railway in Abuja did not immediately return a request seeking comments on Thursday morning.

Bandits have repeatedly targeted the railway between the nation’s capital and the key northern city, which has become the preferred route for passengers seeking to avoid the perilous three-hour journey by road.

The deadly gangs have raided military bases and shot down at least one reconnaissance jet of the Nigerian Air Force. Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the military paid a ransom to the bandits to prevent President Muhammadu Buhari’s plane from being shot down.

The president has repeatedly vowed to be ruthless against the attackers largely responsible for widespread abduction and plunder of communities across Nigeria’s northwestern region.

But security agencies are warning that the gangs are becoming more armed with sophisticated combat equipment that would make it more difficult to defeat them.

Peoples Gazette

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