A 28-year-old businessman, Tayo Olatunbosun, has been allegedly killed by two members of Vigilante Service of Nigeria (VSN) at Adiyan, a community in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The vigilantes, identified as Ismaila Jimoh and Hassan Olatunde, have been arrested by the police. The suspects were said to have nabbed Olatunbosun, who was selling phones and laptops, in the Adiyan area on Saturday for allegedly stealing a hair dryer.
The vigilantes reportedly beat Olatunbosun with charms and later took him to the Agbado Police Station about 10 p.m. Police later released Olatunbosun on bail and was subsequently admitted in a hospital in the community, where he gave up the ghost on Sunday.
In the wake of his death, angry youths, who claimed Olatunbosun was returning from a party when he was arrested, took to the street and vandalised the VSO office at Bakare Bus Stop on Adiyan-Orudu Road.
The mob also set four motorcycles ablaze. It was also learnt that a combined team of policemen from Agbado Division and Area Command, Sango-Ota, was deployed in the area to restore peace.
A resident of Adiyan, Bashiru Irewole, described Olatunbosun’s death as painful. He said: “Contrary to the stealing allegation, Olatunbosun was returning from a party when the vigilantes stopped him. They tortured him severely.
He eventually died in the afternoon yesterday (Sunday). “He was selling phones, laptops and their accessories. He was not a thief. They just wasted his life.” Irewole added that Olatunbosun’s friends mobilised and attacked the VSO office. “They burnt a motorcycle in front of the office and moved to Olomowewe area and burnt three motorcycles parked by the roadside,” he said.
Police were able to bring the situation under control later in the evening. As at yesterday, police were still patrolling the community. The vigilantes, Jimoh and Olatunde, were later arrested by the Agbado Division.
A police source said the dryer purportedly recovered from Olatunbosun was brought to the station. The source said: “By the time the vigilantes brought him to the station with the dryer, he had being beaten up. He was released to go and treat himself, but later died in the hospital.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the incident. Oyeyemi said the suspects were being investigated for murder and would be charged to court later. He said: “The vigilantes said they arrested him for stealing. In the process, they beat him up. He eventually died.
The two vigilantes in question are in custody. The Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, has ordered that they should be transferred to the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) for proper investigation. Even if he was caught for stealing, that does not mean he should be killed.”
Father recounts ordeal: How herdsmen killed my three children, including twin boys
The killings that took place in Bassa and Bokkos Local Government Areas, of Plateau State last week and this week in which no fewer than 100 people were reportedly attacked and killed by suspected herdsmen have left many displaced while survivors said that they have been abandoned by the Federal Government, even when the attacks coincided with the two days official visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state. There have been more killings after the visit of Mr President; just on Wednesday at Dong and Rafiki villages in Bassa, over 30 persons were killed including security personnel all within the last one week.
A 48-year-old man, Mr Joseph Gah Izeh, a father of three including twins that were attacked with machetes and gunned down by suspected herdsmen on March 8, 2018, in Nzhauvo village of Miango district, Bassa LGC of Plateau State. Izeh a farmer gave a vivid account of the bloody assault on his family and how his three sons were killed and his house burnt down by the attackers. Izeh recounted his ordeal: “The attackers, the herdsmen, came with sophisticated weapons around 2am, we suddenly heard gunshots, they were shooting everywhere and there was nowhere we could escape to.
My three children who were my pride, two of them are twins, Emmanuel and Christopher 16 years of age while the last born Peace was 6 years, were the first casualties of the herdsmen who attacked them with machete and shot them. I had gun out after hearing the shooting close to my house; as the father I needed to go out and protect them, but not knowing they came from behind into my room and killed my children, my wife was able to escape, our entire village was surrounded.” “I heard them screaming, the attackers had heavy weapons and we couldn’t face them; there was no security to protect us.
The last time they attacked a neighbouring village close to the checkpoint many were killed; look at us close to the Rukubu Barracks but they still shot dead my children. I don’t know what to do, God knows everything. How can the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come to Plateau State and that will be the time that they killed my children? My hope and pride in life gone. “Children, my relations and other villagers were killed by people we gave our land to settle and graze their cattle, we have never attacked the Fulani but they always attack us. We now have mass graves everywhere in the village.
Are we not human beings? God will punish those who have taken my Joy and happiness away.” Izeh lamented. Saturday Telegraph gathered that at least 100 persons, including women and children, had been killed in several attacks this month by suspected Fulani herdsmen in over 10 communities in Bassa and Bokkos Local Government Areas of Plateau State. National President of the Irigwe Youth Movement Chinye Dodo Ayuba said the Irigwe people of Bassa LGC of the state since last September had suffered a series of attacks and killings. “All we know is that Fulani herdsmen have been attacking and killing our people, burning our houses, burning our food in bans, including places of worship, destroying our farmlands through illegal grazing. Unfortunately, the security apparatus on ground is not doing enough. We call on the international community to assist us, because as its now we are running into humanitarian crisis,” Ayuba said.
“The period of the visit of President Buhari to Plateau State was the time when Fulani herdsmen visited our villages with a series of attacks; we have suffered more than 30 casualties in Bassa LGC from the day Mr President came till date.” Saturday Telegraph gathered that the attacks intensified on March 8 and 9, when President Buhari came to Jos on a two-day working visit. It would be recalled that a 17-year-old student of Government Secondary School, Jebbu, Bassa, was recently attacked and killed by suspected herdsmen while returning from a Tin mining site near Gero village in Jos South LGA of the State.
The Student, Lumumbah Chayi, who was preparing for his Junior Secondary School Examination had gone for mining but while returning with one other person in the evening was attacked. He died on the way to the hospital. Meanwhile the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Plateau State Chapter in a swift press statement issued in Jos and signed by the chairman Muhammadu Nuru Abdullah has accused the Irigwe of killing five Innocent Fulani, burning houses, killing and taking away cows.
“A fresh, systematic and sporadic attack was launched by the armed Irigwe militia of Miango chiefdom in Bassa Local Government Area on Wednesday, March 14, about 5:45am; they crossed into Rukuba Chiefdom of same Bassa Local Government Area and attacked Fulani herdsmen at their residences. They killed five innocent Fulani, burned down over 150 houses, set properties worth millions of naira ablaze, fired 46 cows to death and carted away with about 400 cows.
However, for the avoidance of doubt, Baddikko Rogo, Adamu Musa, Salisu Ibrahim, Usman Alh Wada, Babangida Bajjhe and Damina Kiri were brutally killed and their villages of Rafiki, Dutsen kura, Maraban Dere and Rafin Bauna all Fulani villages were affected and set ablaze. The Fulani group said in view of the unfortunate and painful situation, over 2,764 persons mostly women and children were displaced with others fleeing for refuge in other neighbouring Fulani villages.
They however called on the National Emergency and Management Agency (NEMA) to directly come to the aid of displaced Fulani communities. Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has also taken immediate steps to condemn the killings in the state, vowing that his administration is determined to bring the perpetrators to book. Lalong made this known in a television broadcast to citizens of the state following the renewed attacks and killing of people including security personnel in Dong village of Jos North and Rafiki village of Bassa LGC on Wednesday morning. He said: “My fellow citizens of Plateau State, it is with a heavy heart that I address you at this very critical moment when the peace and stability of our state is being threatened by evil forces determined to take us back to the gory moments of the past. “Many of you must have heard of the recent attacks in Miango District of Bassa and Bokkos Local Government Areas within the past one week.
These series of systematic attacks orchestrated by armed men have led to the destruction of innocent lives and property in these affected communities.” He said his administration as a responsible government that shares in the plight of its citizens, condemn in the strongest possible terms the resurgence of violent attacks in some of the communities in Bokkos and Bassa Local Government Areas. Lalong commiserated with the families of those who lost dear ones in these series of attacks.
“To those who sustained varying degrees of injuries, we assure you that government will give you the necessary support to overcome your loss and your hurts.” “I pray for the repose of the souls that were lost as a result of this renewed violence and also pray God to assuage the anguish of their bereavement.”
“Let me also assure you of the unwavering commitment of our administration to deliver on the promise of peace and security.” “Although this emerging conflict trend has affected our collective efforts to further consolidate the gains of our post conflict peace-building process, our commitment to ensure the security of lives and property remains unshakable. “As part of measures to in the interim arrest the vicious cycle of violent attacks, we are poised to immediately review our state security architecture while working closely with security agencies to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. “Let me assure our citizens that some arrests had already been made and the suspects will be arraigned before the relevant authorities in no distant future.”
“Meanwhile, beyond these interim measures, we have developed a sustainable policy response to the protracted conflict in the state as contained in the Road Map to Peace document which was recently launched by Mr. President. “This document contains sustainable solutions to the challenges of peace and security in Plateau State.”
“The Rescue Administration is determined to implement the details of this plan considering the potential it holds for the future of our state in terms of peace and security.” The Governor however called on all citizens to remain calm and to volunteer useful information to security agencies about any suspicious movement or persons around their neighbourhood.
The troops of 3 Division Garrison Jos had arrested seven suspects and recovered weapons in the clash between Miango community and herdsmen at Rafiki Village on March 14. Director Army Public Relations Brigadier General Texas Chukwu in press statement said the troops responded to distress calls to the clash reported by locals.
“As troops moved in to settle the dispute, the herdsmen opened fire on troops’ convoy. Two soldiers paid the supreme prize. Seven suspects were arrested in connection with the clashes. “While conducting search, troops discovered 23 dead bodies at Mararaba Dare shortly before Rafiki village and many civilians were wounded. Two other soldiers wounded are receiving medical attention at 3 Division Military Hospital and Medical Services.
They are stable. “Weapons recovered include one Ak 47 assault rifle with 26 rounds of 7.62mm special and one locally made single barrel loaded with 15 rounds. “Troops have intensified patrol within the general area to forestall further breakdown of law and other. It would be recalled also that the Plateau State Police Command had arrested one Muhammadu Musa Bimini a Fulani herdsman with an AK47 Riffle in connection with the recent killings of over 25 persons in Daffo village of Bokkos LGC. Police Public Relation officer of the Plateau State Command DSP Matthias Terna in a press statement issued to journalists and made available to Saturday Telegraph in Jos said: “There are incidents of attacks on villages in Daffo District of Bokkos LGA. Sixteen people lost their lives and many have been displaced. “One Muhammadu Musa Bimini a Fulani herdsman was arrested by mobile policemen on the 08/03/2018 at Daffo with military AK47 riffle number HC2614. He has since been transferred from Bokkos to the State CIID and is assisting police with investigation.”
How I escaped from Evans’ den –Kidnap victim
Donatus Duru, a witness in the ongoing trial of suspected kidnapper,Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike alias Evans yesterday recounted how he miraculously escaped from the den where he was chained after his kidnap. Duru, while led in evidence before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Court, Lagos, stated that he was saved by God a day before he was scheduled to be killed by Evans and his gang.
Narrating his ordeal before the court, Duru said: ‘I overheard one of the kidnappers tell others that the best option was to kill me since my brothers were not acting fast in paying their One million Euro ransom. “But after I prayed in the midnight of Thursday, before the Friday they scheduled to kill me, I wrapped the bedspread in the room where they kept me, round the shackles on my legs, like the one used to chain mad people, the padlocks opened up; Ifound the kidnapper guarding me deep in sleep on a three-seater in the parlour.
“I walked to the kitchen; found the doors open, then to the protector, eased my way through the loose locks, and surprisingly found a ladder in the compound that aided my escape into the next compound.” Duru further told the court presided over by Hon. Justice Hakeem Oshodi that he spent 88 days in the kidnappers den situated at somewhere in Igando, Lagos. While giving an account of how he was kidnapped, Duru said: “I closed from work around 7:30p.m. when an SUV double-crossed me and a man came down from the car and pointed a long gun at me. He dragged me down and pushed me into the booth of their car and covered the car.
“I found myself in their den and during an interaction on the phone with their chairman, Evans, he threatened me that it was only God that could save me from their hands and that no man would ever find me even if they kill me. “On the day I jumped into the next compound which was also a bungalow like the one I was kept, I sustained injuries and I was looking very unkempt and haggard.
The couple I jumped into their compound were scared. They threatened to call security in the street or the police. “I told them to call the police. When they were about to do that, electricity went off and they abandoned me and went back to sleep. At that time, I realized that the kidnappers had started looking for me. So I hid somewhere till morning. “The couple woke up to see me and decided to call the street chairman. But before they could do that, a young man of about 24 years old, flogged and chased me out of the compound.”
My son drowned, Boko Haram fighter raped, impregnated me –Bitrus
In a chilling account reminiscence of what is obtainable in a thriller film, a mother of two, Rebecca Bitrus, who is believed to be an indigene of Borno State, has recalled how she watched her three-year-old son, Jonathan, drown in a river before she was raped and impregnated by one of the fighters of the outlawed Boko Haram sect. Recounting how she was forced to carry the child of a Boko Haram fighter, Bitrus shared her traumatic story with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Rome, Italy, recently, where she said she suffered a lot of trauma and shock in the hands of the sect. The devastated mother of two, according to an online news portal, Per Second News, said: “My husband alerted me they were coming and then ran for his dear life.” She noted that while her husband managed to escape in August 2014 when Boko Haram, attacked her town, she and her two young children were captured.
Narrating how she was taken into captive, Bitrus said she was taken with her children to a forest encampment, where the terrorists attempted to force her to convert to Islam, but she refused. She said: “They told me, ‘You’re not going back to your brothers and sisters who are infidels. “One of the Boko Haram said, ‘You’re not ready to convert to Islam, so I’m going to teach you a lesson’.” Speaking further, she recalled how her three-year-old son, Jonathan, was tossed into a nearby river, where she was forced to watch him drown. Fearing for the life of her fiveyear- old son, Zachary, Bitrus, who is a staunch Catholic, said she agreed to, “go through the motions of Islamic devotion.
“They would come on us with their guns and force us to pray. Each time I bent down to pray, I was reciting the ‘Hail Mary’ and the ‘Our Father’. “I am convinced that’s what saved me.” Bitrus was then married off to one of the Boko Haram militants, who raped her on numerous occasions over several months, eventually leading her to give birth to a male child, who she called Christopher. After two years of captivity, she managed to escape when Nigerian troops engaged the Boko Haram radicals in a battle, but pondered leaving behind Christopher, who was a heavy reminder of what she had suffered.
She even laid him down on the forest floor and began to walk away, but her eldest son changed her mind. “Zachary told me, ‘Jonathan isn’t here anymore, I don’t have a little brother, so why don’t you take Christopher?’” she recalled. Moved by emotions, the embattled mother decided to pick up the baby and take him with them.
She said: “As soon as I left the camp and we got away, I knew God was going to protect me. I put my trust in God.” On her escape, Bitrus said they stumbled across a community which pointed them in the direction of nearby Nigerian troops. “They were very skeptical of me and said: ‘You must be Boko Haram.’ I told them I wasn’t, that I was one of the women they abducted and now I have escaped.”
She told the soldiers her name was Rebecca – even though she explained, was a small act of liberation, since her captors had forced her to take the name “Miriam.” “One of the soldiers who was a Muslim told me, ‘If you’re a Catholic, prove it,’ and asked me to recite some Christian prayers. I prayed some ‘Hail Mary’s’ on my fingers, and when I came to the tenth one, I said the ‘Glory Be’ and made the Sign of the Cross,” she said. With that, the troops were convinced, and after having her treated in a nearby hospital, they transported her to her hometown of Maiduguri in northern Nigeria.
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