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Herdsmen Attacks: Defend Yourselves Or You Die -Danjuma …Accuses Military Of Conniving With Killers …Remarks, Evidence Of APC Failure -PDP

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Disengaged General of the Nigeria Army and former Defence Minister, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, yesterday, spat fire by calling on Nigerians to rise and defend themselves against attacks by marauding herdsmen in some parts of the country, or continue to suffer casualties.
“You must rise to protect yourselves from these people; if you depend on the Armed Forces to protect you, you will all die. “I ask all of you to be on the alert and defend your country, defend your state,” he admonished.
He said the unnecessary killings, which are akin to an act of ethnic cleansing being perpetrated against the people of Taraba, specifically, and Nigeria, at large, must stop. An obviously and visibly angry Danjuma also lampooned the military authorities by slapping the institution with the accusation that it is complicit in the violent incidents by providing protection for the killers.
“This ethnic cleansing must stop in Taraba, and it must stop in Nigeria.
These killers have been protected by the military; they cover them and you must be watchful to guide and protect yourselves because you have no other place to go”. Speaking at the maiden convocation ceremony of Taraba State University in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital,
Danjuma, who received the award of honorary Doctor of Science from the University, lamented that in spite of the cultural diversity in the state, which was supposed to be used as a tool to bring unity among the people, there were armed bandits who come into the state to connive with the military to kill people and cause ethnic cleansing.
Danjuma said when he arrived at the arena of the convocation, he saw a diverse cultural display organised by Taraba State cultural groups.
This, he said, was proof-positive that the state represents Nigeria in all aspects, stressing that there was no need for the killings.
The former Chief of Army Staff then warned that “the ethnic cleansing must stop now otherwise Somalia will be a child’s play”. General Danjuma’s outburst is coming against the backdrop of recent violent attacks by killer herdsmen.
In the first 10weeks of 2018 alone, over 1351 people lost their lives , largely, as a result of violent killer herdsmen attacks. Some of these activities have been described as pure criminality.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari has been very consistent in his call for peaceful co-existence in the country, promising to resolve the crisis.
He made a pledge of N100 million to the appeal fund of the university. While speaking, the visitor, Taraba State University and governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku, appreciated the past governors of the state for initiating the state university.
He said his administration would continue to give priority to education and the university for a better Taraba.
“The institution has made it possible for many Taraba residents to access tertiary education,” he said, and pledged government’s support toward making it a model. Earlier, Prof. Vincent Tenebe, the Vice Chancellor, had commended the state government for its continued support which had ensured the growth of the university.
Tenebe said that 5,900 students from five sets were graduating, and urged them to be good ambassadors of the institution.
Meanwhile, former Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Theophilus Danjuma has urged Nigerians to defend themselves from killers across the country instead of depending on the armed forces.
He also made a grave accusation against the armed forces, accusing them of providing cover and defending the killers.
Danjuma, who was former Chief of Army Staff from 1976-1979, said this, last Saturday, in a live telecast programme of the 10th anniversary of the Taraba State University, Jalingo.
“You must rise to protect yourselves from these people. If you depend on the armed forces for protection, you will all die one by one”, said a visibly angry Danjuma.
“The ethnic cleansing must stop now. Otherwise, Somalia will be a child’s play. I ask everyone of you to be on the alert and defend your country, defend your territory, defend your state because you have nowhere else to go.
“The armed forces are not neutral. They are conniving with the armed bandits that are killing people,” he said.
Danjuma described Taraba as a miniature Nigeria with beautiful cultures which the bandits were doing everything to destroy.
Taraba, the home state of the retired general, had witnessed, like the Middle Belt states of Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, clashes between herdsmen and farmers, leading to many deaths.
Herdsmen alleged that about 800 of them were killed on the Mambilla Plateau, a charge the Taraba State Government has denied.
There have also been the problems of banditry and cattle rustling in some North Western states, especially Zamfara, which President Muhammadu Buhari visited, last Thursday.
There, Buhari ordered the armed forces to stop the killings all over the country.
It would be recalled that there have been reports of either banditry, herdsmen killing farmers or their hosts and kidnapping across the country.
Danjuma’s advice was that all Nigerians should protect themselves, rather than waiting for the armed forces alone to protect them.
Also speaking at the event, Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku expressed joy over the growth of the university within a short time, and commended its founding fathers for their foresight.
“The institution has made it possible for many Taraba residents to access tertiary education,” he said, andpledged government’s support toward making it a model.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Vincent Tenebe, commended the state government for its continued support which had ensured the growth of the university.
Tenebe said that 5,900 students from five sets were graduating, and urged them to be good ambassadors of the institution.
Honorary doctorate degrees were conferred on Danjuma, Sen Jeremiah Useni and Ishaku.
Also honoured with doctorate degrees were Chairman, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Dr. Tony Elumelu, and former Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro.
Danjuma had earlier inaugurated the 6.75-kilometre Magami link road constructed by the Taraba State Government.
Similary, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the call by former Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (retd), that Nigerians should defend themselves against killers, is yet another testimony of the tragic situation which the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have dragged the nation since their assumption of office.
The party said General Danjuma’s statement justifies its stand that the Buhari Presidency must be held responsible for the pain in the land, adding that, Nigerians are now daily paying the supreme price because of “The failures of a grossly incompetent leadership and a deceitful ruling party.”
The PDP, in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, said the pronouncement, coming from an former Chief of Army Staff and former Defence minister of is weighty and directly reflects the ugly situation in the country under the APC.
“It is instructive to recall that former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida, both former military leaders, army generals and patriots, had earlier raised the issue of unabating bloodletting and pogrom in our country under the APC and the Buhari Presidency.
“Painfully, the APC-controlled federal government has not only failed in finding solution but is also contending with allegations of conspiracy and acts that are believed to have emboldened attacks against innocent Nigerians.
“Nigerians are no longer feeling secured in their land. Our country has, in close to three years, assumed a status of killing field where defenceless citizens are despoiled, raped and mowed by insurgents and marauders in Benue, Taraba, Yobe, Gombe, Kaduna, Adamawa, Borno, Plateau, Nasarawa, Rivers, Enugu, Kogi among other states.
“Unfortunately, the Buhari-led APC federal government remains aloof and has failed to take decisive steps that will apprehend the masterminds of the carnage.
“Instead, what we are witnessing are complete government insensitivity, allegations of complicity and compromise of security around soft targets and dishing out of false information, as was the case in Benue, Yobe, Taraba and other states where Nigerians have come under heavy attacks from marauders,” the party stated in part.
The party also faulted government’s handling of the abduction of over 100 Dapchi girls saying the ruling party and President Buhari have “refused to come out clear on their roles in the alleged compromising of security in troubled areas, particularly the reported withdrawal of troops from Dapchi prior to the abduction of the schoolgirls.
“Nigerians are also yet to see the action taken by President Buhari against the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, for flouting the Presidential orders that he should relocate to troubled Benue in the heat of attacks on the state.”

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PDP Inaugurates 15 Convention Sub-Committees –

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Wike Chairs Special Duties Committee
6,000 Delegates Expected To Attend

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) National Convention Committee, yesterday, in Abuja inaugurated 15 sub-committees for its national convention scheduled for October 30.
The sub-committees as read by the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Duoye Diri, include the National Convention Organizing Committee, chaired by Adamawa State Governor, Hon Ahmadu Fintiri.
Others are Constitutional Amendment Committee, chaired by Akwa lbom Governor, Udom Emmanuel; Zoning Committee chaired by Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Screening Committee, chaired by former Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke.
Sub-committees and their chairmen also inaugurated were Screening Appeal Committee chaired by Senator Ike Ekweremadu; Special Duties Committee chaired by Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike; Accreditation Committee chaired by Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa; and Security Committee chaired by former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase.
The Electoral (Statutory) Committee, with Adamawa Governor, Hon Ahmadu Fintiri as the chairman; Publicity Committee chaired by Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; and Venue Committee, chaired by Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed are also among them.
Others include: Welfare and Entertainment Committee with Mariya Waziri as chairperson; Transportation Committee, with Ibrahim Dankwambo as chairman; and Contact and Mobilization Committee with Taraba Governor, Darius Ishaku as chairman.
The rest are, Protocol Committee with Sen. Biodun Olujimi as chairperson; Medical Committee — Nuhu Zagbayi; and Secretariat Committee — Umaru Ibrahim Tsauri.
Inaugurating the sub-committees, Fintiri expressed belief that the October convention would be successful and lead PDP to victory in 2023.
Fintiri said that the leaders and members of the sub-committees were carefully selected to organize a credible convention for the party.
The Adamawa governor urged them to make the necessary sacrifices to deliver the best convention to the party.
Fintiri, fielding questions from newsmen after the inauguration, said that by PDP’s new constitution, over 6,000 delegates were expected at the convention.
“We are fully prepared for that. We are expecting everybody in every ward that is a delegate to attend the convention.”
He said that the sub-committees had been given directions and they were expected to go back, adequately prepare and submit their report to the main committee for approval.
On which part of the party’s Constitution would be amended, Fintiri said he could not pre-empt the Constitution Sub-Committee, but allow them do their job.
On how far the zoning committee had gone after the one-week appeal he gave them, last week, Fintiri said the committee was in a meeting in Enugu carrying out its responsibilities.
“You can see the party is working, and it is a turning point for all of us,” Fintiri said.
According to him, the leadership tussle in the party has largely been addressed even as he came short of saying the PDP has moved on from the crisis.
He said, “We are moving on. I am the chairman of the convention committee and you can see that we are doing our work. Everybody is happy and participating. I don’t see any crisis in this party.”
The party’s national elective convention is slated for October 30 and 31 this year in Abuja.

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RSG Recommits To Building Agric Sector

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The Rivers State Government has said that it was committed to building the agricultural sector and utilise the huge potentials the state has for the benefit of Rivers people.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, stated this while speaking at a seminar of the Norwegian Seafood Council at Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Wike said, “In the face of dwindling oil prices, and the need to diversify the economy, we see a lot of potentials in the seafood industry especially post Covid-19. This is an important industry for creating employment opportunities, generate revenue and boost economic activities in our area”.
Wike, who said that Rivers State was one of the coastal states in the Niger Delta endowed with valuable seafood resources, revealed that Norway and Nigeria have had a long history of relationship and trade.
According to the governor, “Rivers State, known as the oil and gas hub of Nigeria, is open to do business in all sectors including maritime and welcome more partnerships and investments from stakeholders who wish to do business in the state”.
Wike further said, “In the effort to grow our economy, the Government of Rivers State supports making laws that work for us all, by putting laws in place to improve society’s efficiency. Hence, the assent and signing of the VAT law”.
The Rivers State chief executive, who commended the Norwegian Seafood Council for conducting the seminar in the state, stressed that stock fish was enjoyed across Rivers State by all groups, including low and high earners, while both men and women are involved in the sales in our markets.
“I believe this seminar will examine the many advantages and gains of seafood as well as anticipated support from the Norwegian Embassy in the areas of encouraging deep sea fishing, trawlers, good storage for sea products, training to grow and nurture fish production standard, fish ponds and open fish farms, use of technology and encouragement, support to artisan farmers.
“We believe that the gains for removing stock fish and stock fish heads from the list of items not valid for the FX windows far outweigh the losses if any.
“For all the reasons stated above and many more, we anticipate Federal Government and the CBN’s removal of stock fish and stock fish heads from the list of items not valid for the Central Bank of Nigeria FX window”, Wike further stressed.
In his remarks, the Ambassador Royal Norwegian Embassy, Knut Lein, who described the history of stock fish in Nigeria and Norway as fascinating, said it creates a bond between both countries, and expressed the desire to foster increased cooperation, build on bilateral relations and inform the government of Norway about the opportunities in the country.
He said, “together we could create lots of jobs”, insisting that “doing what we can to promote stock fish trade was a win-win for all of us”.
Highlights of the occasion were the presentation of papers by the Director Africa, Norwegian Seafood Council, Mr. Trond Kostveit, and other stakeholders.
The Norwegian Ambassador, Mr. Knut Lein, had earlier paid a courtesy call on Governor Nyesom Wike, at the Government House in Port Harcourt, where the state chief executive expressed the state government’s desire to continue to partner with the Norwegian Embassy to facilitate economy growth and development of both countries, and the state in particular.

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Encourage States To Harness Own Resources For Dev, Wike Tasks FG

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said Nigeria must encourage federating states to harness their resources and generate revenues, including Value Added Tax (VAT) to advance their development.
He also stressed that it was baffling to note that Rivers State was not included among states to benefit from any of the projects to be executed with the fresh loan that the Federal Government was seeking to obtain from the World Bank.
Wike made the observation when the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the SUN (Newspaper) Publishing Limited, Mr Onuoha Ukeh, led a delegation to present letter of nomination to him as the SUN Man of the Year 2020 Award at Government House, Port Harcourt, last Monday.
The Rivers State governor observed that there were mounted attempts to frustrate federating states like Rivers, to actualise the constitutional provisions that empower them to harness their resources and revenues, particularly VAT.
The governor decried the situation where the legality of states collecting VAT was not considered on the merit of the law by some public commentators, including state executives, rather, they were politicising it and looking at it from prism of ethnicity and religion.
According to Wike, what the FIRS was doing was illegal, and could be likened to robbing some states to pay others.
“You don’t even need to be a lawyer to know that VAT is not in Items 58 and 59 of the Second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended. Everybody knows that. It is not even in the Concurrent List. Therefore, it falls under the Residual List. It is not arguable. That yesterday, nothing happened, does not mean that today, nothing will happen or tomorrow, something will not happen.
“Nigeria should encourage states to be strong enough to have resources to develop themselves. We are in a federal system where we are practicing unitary system. Everybody at the end of the month will run to Abuja to share money. Nobody comes back to the state to think, how do I develop my state.”
He explained that the contest against the collection of Valued Added Tax (VAT) was started by Lagos State, which had sued the Federal Government at the Supreme Court.
According to him, Rivers State only avoided their pitfall by suing the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which is an agency of the Federal Government that was illegally collecting the tax in the state.
“The issue of VAT did not start from Rivers State. It started in Lagos State when Lagos State challenged it in Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court said you (Lagos) shouldn’t have sued the Federal Government. All you would have done was to sue the agency.”
The governor observed that rather than commend Rivers State Government for seeking to entrench fiscal federalism and constitutionalism, a particular state governor had threatened that the judgement of the court that declared that states, and not FIRS, are entitled to collect VAT within their jurisdiction, will not stand.
He urged those demanding for a brothers’ keeper consideration to first, appreciate the position of the law and situate it rightly.
“Some people say, ‘be your brother’s keeper’. I have no problem in being my brother’s keeper, but why not come out and say, let us tell ourselves the simple truth: as it is provided in the law, who is the person responsible to collect the VAT?
“When you agree to that, that it is the state, then, we can sit down to look at the different problems of states. And not to say ‘be your brother’s keeper’ while you’re doing an illegal thing, in disobeying what the law says you should not do.”
Wike stated that it was sheer act of discrimination for the Federal Government not to include Rivers State as one of the states that will benefit from projects for which it was seeking fresh foreign loans to execute.
“Look at the money that Federal Government has gone to borrow from the World Bank. Of all the projects, in all the states, Federal Government did not include Rivers State.
“Look at the list of projects that states will benefit from this money they’re borrowing from the World Bank that they have sent to National Assembly for approval, the only state that is not benefitting is Rivers State”.
He further noted, “It is the prerogative of Mr President; if he says he does not like Rivers State, if the ruling party says they don’t like Rivers State, I won’t kill myself. But leave the one that the law says I should be the one to collect so that I will be able to develop my own state.”
Speaking further, Wike explained that beyond the provision of infrastructure, his administration was seeking a law that would provide comfortable accommodation for judicial officers on retirement.
The reason, he said, was to ensure that, while in service, the judicial officers can concentrate on their jobs without cutting corners, and avoid corrupt practices.
In his remarks, the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the SUN (Newspaper) Publishing Limited, Mr Onuoha Ukeh, said the SUN Man of the Year 2020 Award was the flagship of award the company.
According to him, Wike was unanimously selected for his remarkable contributions to the socio-economic development of Nigeria and promotion of fiscal federalism with his position on VAT, which would help in the restructuring of Nigeria.
“Today, His Excellency has guided Nigeria to true federalism with the issue of VAT. Knowing what fiscal federalism should be, His Excellency went to court to challenge the collection of VAT, and the court stated that actually the states should collect VAT. And that is laying the foundation for true federalism and fiscal federalism”, he said.
Ukeh commended Wike for his sterling performance in office and infrastructural revolution taking place in Rivers State.

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