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New MEND Replies ‘Jihadists’, Over Threat To Okowa

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A group under the aegis of the Movement for the Emancipation and Defence of the Niger Delta (MEND) has vowed to launch a reprisal attack if the faceless “Fulanis Jihadists” carries out its threat to unleash mayhem on Delta State.
Reacting to the threat in a widely circulated statement, yesterday, the new MEND warned that it will unleash 10 times worse, any attack on the state by the alleged Fulani group.
Media reports indicated that yet-to-be-identified Fulani group, which claimed responsibility for the fire outbreak at the Federal Secretariat Complex, Asaba, had, last Sunday, threatened to attack the state capital and Agbor, if Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, fails to withdraw his support for the ban on open grazing within 72 hours.
The police had swiftly countered the statement.
They urged residents across the state to go about their lawful duties.
Responding to the unsigned letter, MEND said, “The attention of ‘The Movement for the Emancipation and the Defence of the Niger Delta’ has been brought to the threat of some Fulani terrorists who have given a three-day warning to the governor of Delta State because of his support for the ban on open grazing across the southern states.
“We also saw your taking responsibility for an explosion at the secretariat in Asaba.
“We are warning that if your threat is made to come to fulfilment, no Fulani will ever exist across the Niger Delta and all oil facilities linked to a Fulani will be brought down. If one soul is lost, 10 Fulani souls will pay for it. If one facility is destroyed, 10 Fulani facilities will be destroyed.
“We will respond proportionately 10 times whatever you give, the corresponding response will not be limited to the Delta. It may be with your politicians or with your rulers.
“We will launch three rocket launchers and ballistic missiles at any facility of our choice as a warning in seven days if you make bold your threats.
“We don’t make cheap our threats. We have shut down the country and we can, at any time, shut you down. We are the Niger Delta. We stand for the interest of the Niger Delta and we will not allow any coward to threaten us. We fight without running.”
In a related development, Ndigbo in Delta State have said the threat on Okowa and Asaba can cause anarchy.
The Igbo community in Delta State, therefore, warned that the threat by unidentified Jihadists’ to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa over his stance on the open grazing ban may lead to anarchy.
The Eze Ndigbo of Delta Central and Southern Districts, Sir Peter Chukwu, disclosed this at the Olu of Warri Palace, yesterday, shortly after paying a condolence visit to the kingdom over the passing of King Ogiame Ikenwoli.
Assuring of their unwavering support for the southern governors’ position on the ban on open grazing, he called on the ‘Fulani Jihadists’ to retrace their steps and allow peace to reign.
Positing that, “all the southern governors did as related to the ban on open grazing were constitutional,” he further advised whoever felt irked to “approach the court of law and seek redress rather than engaging in self-help or anarchy.”
The Eze Ndigbo also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to be more statesman in his utterances in the face of the raging insecurity in Nigeria in order “not to aggravate tension” in the country.
“The time we are in calls for open reflection, peace and dialogue rather than beating war drums” Chukwu said.
While condoling with the Itsekiri Nation, he described the immediate past Olu of Warri as a peace-loving royal father who fostered a good relationship with the various ethnic groups, including the Igbos in Delta State.
The Princes and Princesses from the Donokoromo Royal Family of the Isaba Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of the state, led by their President-General, Prince Emmanuel Sekoindi, paid a similar visit to the Warri Kingdom, calling for the sustenance of peace and security in the land.
Receiving the visiting groups, the Regent of Warri Kingdom, Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh, expressed gratitude to them for their solidarity with the Itsekiri people at this painful period.
The regent enjoined them to keep up the good relationship as they prepare for the coronation of the Olu-designate on August 21.

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N1.8bn Discovery: Recall Buratai For Investigation, PDP Tasks Buhari

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to recall the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Ambassador to Benin Republic, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd), to face investigations over an alleged connection with the N1.8billion recovered in a property in Abuja.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) recently recovered N1.8billion worth of property owned by a military contractor in Abuja.
The opposition party, in a statement by its National Organising Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, yesterday, demanded the recall and investigation of Buratai.
PDP said its demand was predicated on the alleged missing $1billion meant to purchase arms to fight terrorism.
It added that corruption under President Muhammadu Buhari’s APC-led administration has led to the upsurge in unhindered terrorism attacks, mass killing of citizens, and loss of many of our gallant fighters.
The statement partly read, “It is therefore of serious interest to Nigerians when reports that the ICPC discovered the sum of N1.8billion in various currencies, expensive cars, and jewellery secreted in a property in Abuja allegedly linked to the former COAS broke out.
“There are already apprehensions that the discovered money is part of the security fund that was criminally diverted. This is especially against the backdrop of the frenzy and spirited efforts by certain quarters linked to the APC to suppress investigation and free flow of information, politicise the matter and sweep it under the carpet.
“Nigerians will recall that our Party has on several occasions alerted that the looting of our treasury is officially sanctioned and enabled by the APC administration with its refusal to prosecute those who were alleged and found to have been involved in massive corruption.
“It would also be recalled that the PDP drew attention to plans of the APC to create a slush fund account from monies fraudulently drawn from the national treasury to finance their plot to rig the 2023 general election.”
According to the PDP, the APC test runs their 2023 rigging plot in the Ekiti State governorship election with massive use of money to prosecute a vote-buying scheme.
The opposition party insisted that the reports of alleged massive looting under Buhari’s watch further confirm the APC administration as a haven for treasury looters.
“Moreover, the recently exposed looting of N80billion by the suspended Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, which investigation has now gone cold is suspected to have been engineered by the cabal at the very high level of the APC administration,” it added.
The PDP maintained that Buratai should return to the country and be made to face investigation.
According to the party, this is important because any allegation bordering on the looting of funds meant for the fight against terrorism is of grave national concern and consequence.
PDP requested that Buratai be thoroughly investigated and if found wanting must be made to face the full weight of the law.

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King Jaja, Alapu-In-Council Receive Rivers PDP Guber Candidate In Opobo …Say Fubara’s Emergence Represents Riverine Communities’ Yearnings

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The Chairman of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers and Amanyanabo of Opobo Kingdom, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, alongside the Alapu-In-Council, last Saturday, received the Rivers State gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 general election, Sir Siminialayi Fubara in Opobo, the headquarters of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State.
While receiving the candidate, King Jaja said Fubara’s emergence represents the long yearnings of the riverine communities to produce the governor of the state since creation, and prayed that God perfects his victory at the elections.
The Amanyanabo noted that the kingdom would not take the opportunity of his emergence for granted as he expressed the undying gratitude of his kingdom to Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, who supported the emergence of their son as the candidate of the ruling party.
He urged his people to leave no stone unturned in supporting Fubara to victory in 2023.
Speaking earlier, the PDP flag bearer, Sir Siminialayi Fubara,had told the Amanyanabo and the Council of Chiefs that his visit was to intimate them of his emergence as the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the 2023 elections, and to seek their blessings as their son.
He said he considered it proper to do this before party campaigns commence, especially in seeking their prayers and blessings.
Fubara noted that his victory at the primary was not by his effort but grace of God at work, and enjoined the kingdom to join him in applauding Governor Nyesom Wike for supporting his emergence.
He further commended the governor for his developmental strides in Opobo and across the state.
The standard bearer visited the Amanyanabo and Alapu-In-Council along with party stalwarts and elders of Opobo/Nkoro extraction.

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Insecurity: Northern Group Backs Matawalle On Self-Defence Order

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A northern group, Arewa Development Forum for Peace and Justice (ADFPJ), has said the directive by the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, that residents in the state should bear arms to defend themselves was in order.
This, the group, while rising from an emergency meeting held in Kaduna, yesterday, said was because the people of the North-West part of the country had suffered so much from banditry activities over the years.
They, therefore, noted that any lawful measure taken by the state to stop the rampaging terrorists that had consistently invaded the state, was in order.
Consequently, a statement released by the Executive Chairman of the group, Alhaji Zubairu Mustafa, also urged governors from the North-West to emulate the Zamfara State’s helmsman by issuing similar directives to their citizens.
The North-West comprises Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara states.
The group also knocked the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, and other elites for hastily rebuking and condemning the governor’s order, adding that they were just being economical with the truth over the spate of insecurity in Zamfara State and other parts of the country.
According to them, the insecurity has festered across the country because there was no serious strategy in place by security agencies to end the challenge.
They added that with Matawalle’s order, the insecurity in his state would cease because if citizens were armed, bandits or terrorists or other criminal elements, would rethink before striking.
The statement read in part, “The Northern Elements Group, known as AREWA Development Forum for Peace and Justice, has risen from an urgent meeting of general concern in Kaduna with the resolution to support the idea of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mohammed Mutawall, on giving permission to citizens to acquire and use weapons for protection against invading bandits in their communities.
“The group pleads with the state governors in the North-West region to set up machinery and measures for the Joint Task Force of able youths as community-based vigilante volunteers in order to complement the efforts of security operatives in the fight against criminal activities in the region like that of the Community Protection Guard (CPG) launched in Zamfara on Saturday.
“The group faulted negative reactions over the suggestion of Zamfara State Governor and bemoans at hurried comments of discouragement by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, and other elites who are economical with the truth of happening on the recent kidnapping, killings and attacks of the communities in North-West region and environs by suspected bandits.
“From Zurmi to Tsafe, from Bakura to Maru to Shinkafi, these bandits have continued with their deadly and dastardly attacks against innocent people because security agencies are overwhelmed with inadequate manpower, precision equipment and logistics facilities to nip the nefarious activities of these blood-thirsty terrorists, insurgents and bandits in the bud.
“In this case, Governor Matawalle is the man wearing the shoe and knows where it hurts, hence, our call on all meaning Nigerians to support his call on locals to legally acquire arms to protect and defend their communities against any form of criminal invasion.
“Therefore, we are supporting any leader that seems to have agreed and made a clear and acceptable decision within the ambit of law to bring lasting peace and security to the lives and properties of citizens.
“Nothing is more important than a leader in playing his role of saving lives and properties of his people than attending funerals or making a sympathy visit and lamentations after attacks.
“Proactive measures that include supporting military & Police operations, provision of logistics and giving communities’ rights of self-defence, are more important and best options for bringing a lasting and assured peace, cohesion and security to people in dire situations like now.”

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