No fewer than 26 people are now feared killed and several others critically injured following a Boko Haram attack on a village in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
It was gathered, yesterday, that the insurgents, riding motorcycles, stormed the Kudakaya village in large numbers around 7pm on Monday.
A local vigilante member said, “Many victims fell to the attack. I saw corpses of 26 people and there are several others that were critically injured and taken to hospital.”
A former Chairman of the Madagali LGA, Abawu Ularamu, supported the anonymous vigilante member’s account, and added, “They (Boko Haram) burnt several shops and many homes. They also stole food items.
“As I am talking to you now, we are living in an atmosphere of despair and agony for this attack. Over 20 people were killed while many were injured and rushed to hospital.”
He said the insurgents must have arrived the community from Sambisa, a forest in neighbouring Borno State dreaded for being a hideout for Boko Haram despite it supposedly having been cleared of the insurgents by soldiers.
‘’There is no doubt the attackers came from Sambisa. We experience such periodic attacks from Boko Haram, who usually look for food. They are not far from us. Any slight opportunity, they may strike again,” he said.
Villagers fled the attack but returned, yesterday, to bury the dead left amid the charred wreckage of their homes.
“They opened fire on residents, killing 26 people,” the community leader, Maina Ularamu, said, adding, “They burnt several homes.”
Ularamu disclosed that he lost three brothers-in-law in the attack.
Another resident, Paul Waramulu, said, “Two-thirds of the village has been burnt”, giving the same toll of those killed.
Waramulu said the fighters had looted food supplies before setting fire to buildings.
Many villagers were terrified and were still hiding in surrounding bush, and those who came back did so to give funerals to those killed, he added.
The Adamawa State Police Public Relations Officer, Othman Abubakar, confirmed the attack.
Abubakar said, “Yes, I was briefed that members of the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents have attacked the village.”
He, however, could not confirm the casualty figure.
Abubakar merely said, “I am yet to get the casualty figure but security operatives were deployed and are on the top of the situation.’’
Madagali has since just before the March/April elections been frequently attacked by Boko Haram.
It lies some 285 kilometres (177 miles) north of the state capital, Yola.
The community shares the bad luck of being haunted by the insurgents with nearby Michika LGA.
Together, they are the two LGAs in Adamawa State that have been attacked by Boko Haram a number of times in the last couple of months.
The decade-long jihadist conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and forced millions from their homes.
The violence has spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition against the jihadists.
Meanwhile, the Wukari Local Government branch of the Tiv Cultural and Social Association, Taraba State, yesterday, rejected what they described as a one-sided peace committee in resolving the Jukun/Tiv crisis in the area.
This is contained in a press statement issued in Jalingo and signed by the association’s Chairman, Elder Paul Igo, and Secretary, Mr. Anthony Shembee.
The association, in the statement, condemned the senseless killings and destructions occasioned by the Jukun/Tiv crisis which largely affected the Tiv people of Taraba, and faulted the non-inclusion of Tiv people of Taraba State in the peace committee.
“We commend the move by the government of Taraba and Benue in constituting a peace and reconciliation committee that would bring lasting solutions to this lingering crisis.
“In as much as we commend the initiative to constitute a peace committee, we reject in its entirety the non-inclusion of a Tiv person from Wukari LGA of Taraba State in the committee.
“We want to place it on record that Kente, where the crisis started, is in Taraba State and the public should note that Ikyaior, Gbor-Gbor, Iorlumun Nege, Ioryina Tor-Musa and Tar-Orshi, among other communities that were burnt down in the crisis by Jukun youths are all in Taraba State.”
They noted that the non-inclusion of the Tiv people of Taraba State in the committee was a deliberate move by some actors to sell a wrong narrative to the public that the crisis is between the Jukun of Taraba and the Tiv of Benue.
The association, which said they viewed the non-inclusion of the Tiv people from Wukari LGA into the committee as an oversight on the side of the government of Taraba State, called for a review of the committee.
Again, RSG Begins Unveiling, Flag-Off Of Nine Key Projects, ’Morrow
The Rivers State Government has rolled out the drums to herald another phase of official commissioning of key projects embarked upon by the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration in the state.
A statement by the state government said that the process is in continuation of the commissioning and flag-off of projects by Governor Nyesom Wike.
It indicated that Rumuola flyover would be commissioned tomorrow, while the GRA flyover would be commissioned on Saturday.
The also stated that the government would commission the Ezimgbu Road on Monday, December 13, 2021; with another commissioning of Tombia Road Extension scheduled for Tuesday, December 14, 2021.
The statement said that the governor would commission the Safe Home, Borikiri, Port Harcourt on Wednesday, December 15; while on Thursday, December 16, 2021, the governor would commission the Odokwu internal roads.
Also, the governor would continue the flag-off of key infrastructure projects with Chokocho-Igbodo Road slated for Monday, December 20, 2021; Oyigbo-Okoloma Road on Wednesday, December 22, 2021; and Magistrates’ Court Complex, Port Harcourt on Thursday, December 23, 2021.
Group Urges Buhari To Inaugurate NDDC Board
Following the delay in the inauguration of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) substantive board, the Ijaw Interest Advocates (IIA) has again asked President Muhammadu Buhari to take charge, absolve himself from the minister’s delay tactics and inaugurate the NDDC Governing Board.
In a statement, President of IIA, also known as Izanzan Intellectual Camp, Amb. Salaco Yerinmene, told Buhari to immediately inaugurate the NDDC substantive board to avert the looming crisis in the region.
According to him, “for long, we have observed that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godwin Akpabio’s tactics to perpetrate illegality in NDDC is for personal financial gains.”
The president of the group, Salaco, who said Akpabio has done more harm to NDDC than ever, accused Akpabio of toying with the commission, adding that Buhari should distance himself from his activities if he was not selective in the fight against corruption in the country.
The Ijaw advocates added: “Akpabio is only a supervisory minister and that does not mean he alone owns the commission. Major stakeholders, well-meaning leaders and people of the Niger Delta are supposed to be part of the NDDC but today Akpabio has sidelined them.”
The group queried what the minister is doing with the money that comes to NDDC because contractors are not paid as contractors have pulled out of site.
It would be recalled that the Association of Contractors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (ACNDDC), had last Thursday, embarked on a protest march at the premises of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Abuja, and decried the ongoing mismanagement of monthly funds accruing to the commission, and appealed to the Federal Government to pay outstanding debts it owes NDDC contractors.
Salaco regretted that “the commission has been largely engaged with internal matters and has been redundant since Akpabio took over two years ago and one will expect that so many saving would have been made but empty treasury is the reality.”
The group, however, warned that “some key stakeholders who have been involved selflessly and silently in making efforts for peace in the region are almost giving up gradually on their peaceful roles mainly because of lack of sincerity from the Presidency. Well-meaning Niger Delta persons, groups, traditional and government authorities have made inputs by advising the President to ignore Akpabio and do the right thing.”
Salaco regretted that “the multi-national companies are now suffering silently, they have been exposed to confront host communities on their own. Nigeria as a major oil producing nation cannot meet up their OPEC production quota just because of some selfish individuals who want to line up their pockets with funds meant to sustain peace and development of a sensitive region like the Niger Delta.”
Izanzan Intellectual Camp, therefore, advised that “President Buhari should not take the role of stakeholders, mostly the various ethnic nationality representatives who are silently maintaining peace in the Niger Delta region for granted. It is in the best interest of the government led by President Buhari to Ignore Akpabio, and do the bidding of the people for peace, development and progress of the region especially now that the unrest deliberately fuelled by Akpabio is yet to explode.”
It would be recalled that Buhari had promised the nation on June 24, 2021, while receiving the Ijaw National Congress (INC) at the State House in Abuja, that the NDDC Board would be inaugurated as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted.
The president said: ‘‘Based on the mismanagement that had previously bedevilled the NDDC, a forensic audit was set up and the result is expected by the end of July, 2021. I want to assure you that as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted, the NDDC Board will be inaugurated.”
However, the forensic audit report has been submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari since September 2, 2021, prompting the Ijaw National Congress (INC) to caution that “any further delay in the inauguration of the NDDC Board is a clear betrayal of trust and display of state insensitivity on Ijaw nation and Niger Delta region.”
Police Nab Three Dowen College Students Over Sylvester’s Death
The Lagos State Police Command, yesterday, arrested three students of Dowen College in connection to the death of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.
Lagos Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, also confirmed that three out of the five students were already in custody, while two were currently at large.
This is as one week after the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni Junior; the Parents’ Forum of the school has demanded justice and also a change in the school management.
It would be recalled that late Sylvester Oromoni had mentioned five senior students allegedly responsible for the injuries he sustained when he was attacked at the Dowen College.
Sylvester was allegedly attacked by senior students of Dowen College, where he reportedly sustained internal injuries that resulted in his demise.
Over 100,000 had signed petitions to prosecute the perpetrators of the sad incident.
The Lagos State Government has since shut down the school, while the police have also commenced investigation into the matter.
However, one week after the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni Junior, the Parents’ Forum of the school has demanded justice and also a change in the school management.
The parents also demanded a change in hostel teachers and the installation of CCT cameras in the school.
The decisions were reached at an online meeting. In strong words against the death of the 12- year -old student, the parents said justice for Sylvester is justice for all and insisted that those involved should be brought to book.
A statement, yesterday, signed on behalf of the parents’ forum by Aituaz Kola-Oladejo, Waheed Adeoye, Oluwaseun Bolanle Ajila and Kingsley Kema Agu, reads: “This will not only bring this unfortunate incident to a closure for the family but will also serve as a deterrent to other juvenile delinquents in all schools in Nigeria.”
The parents demanded a change of school management team, hostel teachers, installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in all strategic places and overhaul of the school security system.
They decried the incident, and urged the school management team and other stakeholders to cooperate with the authority in the ongoing investigation into the death of Sylvester.
The parents’ forum agreed to organise candlelight on today, at Dowen College, adding “the lighting of candles is to pay tribute to a life ‘passed’, and keeping the light burning signifies that the memory still lives on and burns bright.
“Dowen College parents are startled and deeply saddened by the unfortunate incident that led to the death of Sylvester Oromoni. Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased and pray to God to give them the strength to bear the irreparable loss.
“As parents of Dowen College students, we are still in shock and could not come to terms with this incident and the accounts so far provided by the school management, students and the media.
“We are, however, temporarily relieved by the swiftness with which the authorities intervened and commenced investigation towards unravelling the cause of Sylvester Oromoni’s death.
“We urge the school management team and other stakeholders to fully cooperate with the authority in the ongoing investigation. While we would have loved to bring Sylvester back, if humanly possible, unravelling the cause of his death and bringing whoever was responsible or might have contributed in whatever way to book, will not only bring this unfortunate incident to closure for the family but will also serve as a deterrent to other juvenile delinquents in all schools in Nigeria.
“On our part as parents, we will work more closely with the school (management/board) to ensure that necessary measures are put in place to prevent recurrence of this unfortunate incident and stamp out bullying in any form from the school.
“We will also continue to appeal to parents, through all available means, to show more interest in what their children do and who they associate with in school and at home.
“We appeal to the public to see this incident as an inflexion point, not only for Dowen College but also other schools in Nigeria, as recent events have shown that bullying, molestation and other vices among students are common in our schools.
“Therefore, we rely on the authorities for justice regardless of the social status of whoever is involved.
“What happened to Sylvester could have happened to any other child in the school. To many of the traumatised students, Sylvester was a classmate, a roommate, a schoolmate or a friend.
“We, therefore, earnestly ask for a resolution that will bring some relief to the bereaved family, other parents, students of Dowen College and the public. These should include a change of the school management and hostel teachers, installation of Closed Circuit Television cameras in all strategic places and overhauling of the school security system.
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