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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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Nigeria Needs Effective Leadership To Be Great -Wike

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that Nigeria needs effective leadership for the country to achieve the dreams and aspirations of its founding fathers.
He stated this during the Juma’at service in commemoration of the 62nd Independence Anniversary of Nigeria, held at the JIBWIS Directorate Headquarters, Central Mosque, Bonny Street, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The governor, who was represented by the Special Adviser on School Sports, Dr Okiri Mohammed, said despite the numerous challenges bedevilling the country, Nigerians must collectively resolve to make the nation great.
“Remember we have one country Nigeria, and we must make it great. For us to make it great, we must see it as our duty.”
The Rivers State governor said the task of nation building was the responsibility of every citizen of the country, and the 62nd Independence anniversary celebration should be seen as a time for stocktaking.
He emphasised that Nigerians must collectively continue to demand for probity and accountability from the leadership in order to move the country forward.
“Let us continue to ensure that there is probity and accountability in this country. We need effective leadership in this country before it will go forward.”
The governor charged Muslims to continue to preach the message of peace and join hands with other Nigerians to reduce crime and poverty in Nigeria.
”As Muslim you are charged to preach peace in your various homes. We have to make sure we collectively reduce poverty and crime. We have to make sure that this country is better.”
The governor pointed out that the country is at a critical juncture, and charged Nigerians to participate effectively in the 2023 general election.
“We don’t have another country apart from Nigeria and so, all of us collectively and individually have a duty to make this country better.”
Delivering his sermon, the Imam of Bonny Island, Yusuf Lamis, charged Nigerians to be patriotic and contribute to the development of the nation.
He said the earnest prayer of every Muslims in the country is for God’s intervention in the emergence of credible political leaders in the 2023 general election.

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Wike Intervenes In Ula-Ehuda, Julius Berger Dispute

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Hope for the speedy completion of the dualisation of Ahoada-Omoku highway has been rekindled, following the intervention of Rivers State Governor, Chief NyesomWike, in the face-off between Ula-Ehuda community and the Julius Berger, the construction company handling the project.
Wike, who visited Ula-Ehuda, yesterday, to assess the progress of the ongoing construction work and to settle the disagreement between the community and Julius Berger, advised youths in the community to learn how to channel their problem appropriately to the government.
The governor, who was accompanied by the Rivers State Commissioner of Works, Dr. Dakorinama George-Kelly; former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Chibudum Nwuche; Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ehie Ogerenye Edison; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) standard bearer in Rivers State, Sir Siminialayi Fubara; and others, said his administration takes exception to disruption of construction work in any part of state.
He admonished community leaders in the state, irrespective of their political leanings, never to politicise the issue of development, as this could be detrimental to the progress of their people.
“I tell people: don’t be a curse to yourself. And I’ve always told people too: don’t bring politics in the development of a place. If you bring politics, you’ll suffer it. None of you put pressure on us to say we must dualise this road.”
The governor explained that his administration took the decision to dualise the road in recognition of the fact that it would promote access to economic and social services, generate increased agricultural incomes and productive employment opportunities and reduce poverty in the state.
Wike, who urged the community to support the state government’s effort to improve infrastructure in the area, cautioned that government would, henceforth, not tolerate any disruption of the ongoing dualisation work.
“If you have problem, channel your problem appropriately. But don’t come and begin to use your young boys and young girls to stop the road construction.”
The governor assured the community that the concerns raised would be adequately addressed, adding that the government would not allow anyone or group of individuals to derail the progress of the area.
“We have come to open up your community to be like a city, and you want to send your community backwards, it will not work. Support us to do what we are doing.”
Earlier, the Chairman,Ula-Ehuda Community Development Committee, Monday Princewill Evergreen, thanked Wike for the project, and appealed for the inclusion of drainage in the Ula-Ehuda section of the Ahoada-Omoku highway.
“We are grateful that you brought this project to our community, not just our community, Ahoada East. For long, we had envisaged that this road will be dualised and constructed. It was until you came that that dream was realised, and the community and the entire people of Ekpeye are eternally grateful to you.”
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Dr. George-Kelly D. Alabo, had advised some protesting youths at the Ula-Ehuda axis of Ahoada-Omoku Dual Carriageway to shun obstructive means of demonstration at the project site, because if the project,was not completed as a result of their actions, the people of the area would be the ones to lose and not Julius Berger.
George-Kelly advised them to allow the construction giant to continue with their work while he makes an arrangement for a round-table talk between all parties involved to find an amicable solution to the contentious issue on drainage before the end of the week.
Residents of Ula-Ehuda in Ahoada East Local Government Area were addressed by the commissioner, who was accompanied by the Chairman of Ahoada East Local Government Council, Hon. Ben Eke, to inspect the Ahoada-Omoku Dual Carriageway project, last Tuesday.
“I am not here to blame anybody but to solve a problem. I am here to provide a solution that will be good for the community, the government, and the contractor. If we must tell ourselves the truth, stopping them from working will not solve the problem, it would even put you at the disadvantaged end because if this project is not completed, it is the people of this area that will lose, not Julius Berger.
“Please, do not make the mistake some youths of a particular local government area made. They stopped two projects of the state government in their area over frivolous demands, the state government made several attempts to persuade them to allow the construction of the projects to continue, like I am doing now, but they refused. Contractors left sites, and the projects were abandoned. Two years after, the contactors are yet to resume work for excuses of community disturbances. When the contractors eventually go back to sites, the projects may become more expensive for government, given the current fluctuations.
“The best thing to do now is to allow the contractor to finish the initial scope of the project first.Maybe, before the commissioning, you can make this other demand, and we will forward same to the governor. Please, realise that even in your demands, due process has to be followed.
“I am appealing to you to allow them complete this work on schedule so that it can be commissioned by or before December. By Friday this week (yesterday), I’ll be having a meeting between the ministry, the council chairman, representatives of Julius Berger, the project CLOs, and Ula-Ehuda community leaders. I will like the community to include, at least, two indigenous civil engineers in their delegation so that they can understand and interprete to you some technical details that would be discussed in the meeting,” the commissioner added.
Also, the commissioner inspected the 8.020km Akpabu-Itu-Omudioga Road project, phase 1 in Emohua Local Government Area.
Checks show that asphaltic binder course had been completed for the entire road length and 700m asphalt wearing course had been done so far.
The project is 75percent completed and in progress.

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Catholic Bishops Vow To Work For Credible Polls In 2023

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Bishops of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja have pledged to work with relevant stakeholders to ensure free, credible and transparent general elections in 2023.
The commitment is contained in a communiqué jointly signed by Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, the Archbishop of Abuja and Very Rev. Fr. Sam Tumba, after the 3rd General assembly of the Archdiocese.
In the communique issued on Saturday in Abuja, the bishops enjoined Parishes, families, Church societies and groups to dedicate special moments to pray for a hitch-free election.
“We call on Catholics and indeed all Nigerian citizens to be consciously and actively involved in the electoral processes at all levels.
“Voter registration, collection of Permanent Voters Card, casting votes on election days with a firm and clear conscience to elect credible leaders who will bring about the true dividends of democracy”, they said.
The bishops commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Electoral Act into law to enhance the sanctity of the electoral process.
“We task the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure political fairness and transparency, to consolidate the trust reposed in them by Nigerians.
“Parishes and Catholic institutions within our Archdiocese are encouraged to arrange and organize voter awareness programmes, seminars and workshops guided by the Justice, Development and Peace Commission, to better equip our people for greater political responsibility.
“We remain open and willing to collaborate with relevant government agencies, electoral bodies and security operatives to ensure peaceful and credible election processes in the coming year,” the communique added.
The bishops cautioned politicians not to regard the election as a ‘do or die’ affair, adding that they must also refrain from money politics, manipulative and divisive practices along ethnic, social and religious lines to win elections.
“Even though we decry the hard economic situations in the nation, we strongly discourage all Catholics and especially our youths from lending themselves as easy recruits for political thuggery and other criminal activities to enthrone selfish and incompetent aspirants into electoral offices.
“We discourage and condemn any form of vote buying or selling and other electoral malpractices during the elections,” the bishops said.
The bishops advised catholic politicians from all political parties within the Archdiocese to participate in Church activities, so as to be better known by the faithful.
They called on all people of goodwill to cooperate with security agencies to root out criminal elements within communities.
The bishops, however, urged security agents to remain professional in discharging their duties and resist any attempt to be used to intimidate the people by corrupt politicians.
The communique called on Catholics across the country to match work with prayer, for peaceful electioneering process.
They called for sustained prayers for the country, adding: “Nigerians should take courage and be of ardent hope, for the storms will soon be over.”

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