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BREAKING: Miyetti Allah wants me dead, Benue state governor says



The Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom has hinted that there is a plot by the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the state led by one Gaurus Gololo to allegedly eliminate him.

He stated this when he spoke with journalists in the state after a meeting with his predecessor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam and paramount ruler of the Tiv nation, the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse.

“There are threats on my life and I have reported that to the security agencies that one Gaurus Gololo and his team who are members of MACBAN was planning to attack me,” Ortom said.
He added; “But I always said life belongs to God, it is God that gives and takes away life so my life is not in the hands of any Fulani man who is not happy with the promulgation of the anti-open grazing law in the state”.

Meanwhile, Governor Ortom has agreed to sheathe his swords and work harmoniously with his predecessor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam for the common good and development of the state.

This followed a reconciliatory meeting convened at the instance of paramount ruler of the Tiv nation, the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse to mediate in the protracted face-off between the two politicians of the Tiv extraction.

The peace meeting which took place at the palace of the Tor Tiv, started at about 5 pm on Sunday and spilled over to the early hours of yesterday attracting traditional rulers from both Sankera and Minda geopolitical axis from where the ex-governor and his successor hail from.

The meeting excluded journalists but according to sources, the Tiv monarch was said to have expressed deep sadness over the continued disagreement between the two illustrious Tiv sons whom he said are supposed to be attracting development to their people instead of been at loggerheads hence the need to call them together for reconciliation and to hear both sides.

Suswam, it was learnt had told the Tor Tiv that when he handed over to Ortom in 2015, he told him to feel free to approach him on any issue concerning his government, but what followed that was the setting up of a panel to probe him, and noted that the panel came out with frivolous allegations against him and that the governor went ahead and report him to the EFCC and ICPC while all his appointees were sacked.

But Ortom in a reaction was said to have denied ever petitioning Suswam to the two anti-graft agencies. He also said he did not detail the EFCC and ICPC to seize Suswam’s property, stressing that “they are doing that as part of their operational duty”

Speaking with journalists on the outcome of the meeting in his office yesterday, Governor Ortom said he personally agreed to put behind his animosity against his predecessor and work together for peace and development of the state.

Governor Ortom quoted the Tor Tiv as attributing some of the challenges confronting his administration to their inability to synergise and work together as a team, and stressed the need for them to bury their hatchets and contribute their quota for the development of the state and Tiv nation in particular.

“The meeting was convened at the instance of the Tor Tiv and I was there, former governor Gabriel Suswam was also there and principally the meeting was a peace meeting. The Tor Tiv told us that he noticed that for awhile, the relationship between myself and that of the former governor is not good and he needed us as his Tiv prominent sons to work together, that whatever is our differences we should sheathe our swords and work together for the common good of the people of Benue State”.

“He also attributed some of the challenges we are having today in Benue as a result our inability to synergise and work together as a team, and we agreed to work together to see how we can make Benue better than where we are”.

Ortom debunked claims that the reconciliation was because of 2019 political calculations, saying for now he has suspended all political activities pending when the killings by Fulani herdsmen is put to rest and thousands of internally displaced persons return to their ancestral homes.


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13,000 Trafficked Nigerians Rescued, 8,000 Rehabilitated – NAPTIP DG



Dame Julie Okah-Donli, Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), said no fewer than 13,000 trafficked persons have been rescued by the agency.

Okah-Donli disclosed this in an interview with the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York at the premiere of a movie about human trafficking in Nigeria.

The movie, ‘Mrs Adams’, which premiered at the Nigeria House, came at a time Nigerians and Africans were taking the perilous Mediterranean Sea route to Europe, and was produced by QueenBlessing Itua.

“So far, we’ve rescued over 13,000 victims, we’ve prosecuted about 339 traffickers and we’ve rehabilitated about 8,000 victims as well,” she said.

According to her, the prostitution trade, which draws its recruits mainly from human trafficking, is estimated at roughly 150 billion dollars business.

She, however, cautioned Nigerians against referring to trafficked persons as prostitutes, saying they are victims, not criminals adding “a prostitute works for herself and cuts the shots”.

“But somebody who is sexually exploited does not work for herself, she work for someone else; she does not even have the freedom or access to the money”.


She said many victims were scared to talk because most traffickers were known to them – family friends, boyfriends, brothers, fear of reprisals or death because of sworn oath.

“Some of them came back with all sorts of conditions – some treatable, some untreatable, some with hepatitis, HIV, some with full-blown AIDS,” she said, adding many of the victims has psychological problems.

“A lot of them come back mentally sick and so we have to refer them to the mental hospitals because they were traumatised, they’ve been beaten, raped and used.”

Okah-Donli regretted that while NAPTIP tried to arrest the perpetrators, they sometimes connived with some law enforcement officers, who were supposed to protect the victims, and allowed them to escape.


According to her, NAPTIP is making a case to ensure that NAPTIP officials are at the airports and borders to check such abuses.

She said human trafficking involved recruitment, transporting and harbouring of human beings to exploit them sexually, for forced labour or for the purpose of organ harvesting through force, deceit, abduction, or fraud.

She accused destination countries of irregular migrants of corruption at the detention centres, saying that is where people go to buy them for organ harvesting, sexual exploitation and forced labour.

The NAPTIP chief, in an emotion-laden narrative, decried the rampant cases of organ harvesting, whereby people waiting for transplant went to the ‘black markets’ to buy the organs.

“People buy men, women, boys and girls, and use them for sexual purposes or for taking their organs off them and using them for whatever purpose or sell them outrightly.”

She said the Federal Government was responding to trafficking in persons through the domestication of the UN Convention on Transnational Organised Crimes and establishment of NAPTIP, among others.

Okah-Donli added that trafficked persons, when rescued by NAPTIP, were counselled, treated, some went back to school while some were trained in skills acquisition programmes.

“For us, ‘prevention is better than cure’. We try to prevent by sensitising everyone and of course we are trying to change the mindset of our youth who think that anything outside Nigeria is the best.

“They think when they go abroad, there’s work waiting for them, there’s money everywhere. So we’re trying to make them believe, first of all, in their country and in themselves.”

The NAPTIP chief said the Federal Government was signing bilateral agreements with the various countries of destination adding, it planned to sign mutual legal assistance with all the endemic countries.

NAN reports that another book, authored by Itua, ‘We are the Blessings of Africa’, which stressed the urgent need to change the perception about Africa adding, was also launched at the event.

It was attended by Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Bande, his Deputy, Amb. Samson Itegboje, and Senior Special Assistant to the Wife of the President, Dr Hajo Sani.

Others were Nigeria’s Consul-General in New York Tanko Suleiman, representative of the Minister of Women Affairs, governors’ wives, commissioners for women affairs, and the civil society organisations. (NAN)

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2019: PDP has no candidate to match Buhari – Oyegun



… says Atiku, Lamido, Dankwambo, Makarfi seeking relevance

  • PDP asks Northern leaders for two ‘acceptable’ aspirants
  • Yar’Adua’sassociates revive structure
  • Presidency: Why Buhari can’t declare now


National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has declared that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has no presidential candidate to match President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 general elections. He described the leadership of the PDP as a bunch of dreamers, insisting that the opposition party poses no threat to his party in the 2019 presidential election. Oyegun, who made the declaration in an exclusive interview with New Telegraph yesterday, declared that Buhari and the ruling APC are not losing any sleep over PDP ahead of the 2019 polls.

The APC national chairman maintained that Buhari remains the most credible uniting force in Nigeria at the moment, as well as the best choice, not only for the APC in 2019, but the nation in general. He said PDP presidential aspirants like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; former Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido; ex-governor of Kaduna State and immediate past national caretaker chairman of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, pose no threats to Buhari in 2019. Oyegun said the PDP presidential aspirants are just struggling for relevance within the PDP.

His words: “As at today, Buhari remains the most credible uniting force in the Nigerian nation. We are not saying that there are no difficulties, there are, but tell me somebody else who has the kind of status, the kind of presence and the kind of symbolism that Buhari has? If you tell me, maybe, we can start comparing them.

“I am not talking about the party alone, but the entire nation. Tell me, who you can compare electorally and in terms of what he reflects and represents for the nation? Go to my village and mention Dankwambo; they will ask you from which planet is he from. Let me not treat him special from any of the above you mentioned. Atiku has been with us, he is a significant political force in this nation, no question about that.

Let me not say anything more than that because he is somebody I like as a person, but we are talking about uniting the country So, we need somebody who stands for what the people want to see the nation become. That is the beauty of President Buhari. “Everybody is saying that they have the capacity to defeat President Buhari, when it is clear that they are enjoying their dreams.

What else do you expect people, who are hopeful to say? They shouldn’t bother to compare themselves to President Buhari. They should just say that they command the loyalty of the vast majority of Nigerian people. These are people who are not known, probably outside their local governments or their states. They are just struggling for relevance within the PDP.”

He, therefore, dismissed the boast by the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, that his party will sack the President in the next elections. His words: “They are entitled to live in fool’s paradise; they are entitled to be dreaming dreams, but they are still far from being a serious contender in 2019. They are not together yet; they don’t have a product to sell yet; their past is still much recent. “So, talking about even being a force and a really credible contender is out of the question, not to talk of displacing the APC. We have the product and we have rebuilt and solidified the base of the Nigerian economy.

“The country is picking up both politically and economically and results, of course, are gradually manifesting and finally, we trust the people of this country, we trust their memory and we believe that they are much wiser than the PDP elite seems to think. “Yes, we have not provided everything they want, but they still know and appreciate the tremendous job the President has done in rebuilding the base of the Nigerian economy and in fact, basically salvaging the polity.” When reminded of the PDP’s claim that Buhari has failed Nigerians, Oyegun told New Telegraph that: “What do you expect them to say? You see, they are underestimating the Nigerian voters, very badly underestimating the Nigerian voters. Yes, there is dif-ficulty in the land, but the Nigerian voters know that the President has applied himself to rebuilding a totally fractured polity – economically and politically.

“In the process, there is a bit of anguish, there is no question about that, but repairing a badly damaged house involves a lot of painful process and that is what we have gone through, but we are coming out of it. “Agriculture is now the backbone of the Nigerian economy, infrastructure is coming to a situation where it can carry development, both power and rail transportation and whatever it is. The path to greatness for this greatness of this country is already in place and the results are going to be unfolding in the subsequent months.” Further insisting that the PDP will not be a contender in 2019, the APC national chairman said while the main opposition party is still battling to come out of crisis, the ruling party is building a base for a new Nigeria.

He said: “They are not a factor yet, there are still factions in the party and they are still busy putting themselves together. Meanwhile, we are busy working for the people; we are busy putting the economy back together; we are busy consolidating agriculture; we are busy stabilizing electricity generation and distribution; we are busy creating a totally new developmental oriented infrastructure, both rail and roads. We are at work; President Buhari is at work, building the base for a new Nigeria.

“Even the PDP is already split into two. So, which PDP are you talking about; the PDP/SDP (Social Democratic Party) or the ancient and crumbling PDP?” Oyegun added that there is no way his party will lose sleep over the boast by Secondus that PDP will unseat President Buhari in 2019. According to him, the name of the opposition party’s national chairman shows that his party (PDP) will continue to play second fiddle to the APC. “Look at his name; they chose a man, who as admitted that he is second to us. Secondus means ‘second to us.’ So, they are permanently second to APC. His name admits to that, so leave him (Secondus) because his confidence is like the joy of a dreamer,” he said.

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Kukah: Northern Nigeria remains poorest region



…15m youths on the streets begging in the North


Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah, has lambasted northern Muslim elite for using religion to hold on to power at the detriment of the region and the country as a whole. He said despite political power being in the hands of northern leaders for long, the region remained one of the poorest in the country with 15 million youths on the streets begging without any hope for the future.

The Catholic Bishop spoke in Kafanchan at the weekend during the burial of Joseph Bagobiri, the late Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan Diocese. Kukah said: “Our country is in very serious crisis, the type of which we have never seen before. Death, destruction and destitution have become our lot and nowhere is this more expressed than in northern Nigeria.

Today, Boko Haram and the herdsmen and farmers’ clashes are phenomena that are peculiar to the North and Islam. We cannot run away from this. “It is sad that the northern Muslim elite has used religion to hold on to power to the detriment of even their own people and the larger society. For despite holding power for all these years, the North is still the poorest part of the country. Nearly 15 million Muslim children are on the streets with no future in sight, we are, as the Governor of Borno would say, the poster child of poverty.

“The world is changing and we have a country to build. Even Usman Dan Fodio said that a society can live with unbelief, but no nation can survive with injustice.” Kukah declared that no religious leader worth his salt could stand by in the face of visible injustice, stressing that “it will be a mortal sin” to be aloof to glaring injustice. He lamented the killings in Southern Kaduna. According to him; “For the better part of the last three years, Southern Kaduna was, at best, an inferno of pain, suffering and death. Death and destruction by mysterious killers became the daily menu of Southern Kaduna. “In village after village, innocent men, women, children, the lame and the invalids were put to the sword. Farm after farm was destroyed with a vengeance that was unprecedented and with no clear provocations. Community life of harmony collapsed with accusations and counter accusations.

Entire villages became ruins overnight and the landscape of graves dotted everywhere. “Amidst this, life was gradually becoming nasty, brutish and short.” The bishop said his people of Southern Kaduna had suffered the injustice of deliberate exclusion from all the rungs of local and national politics.

“They have got to where they are now by the sweat of their brow. We do not ask for pity or sympathy from anyone. We have come so far, not through the state, but in spite of the state in northern Nigeria. “That is why, as you leave this stadium (in Kafanchan), whether you are going to Abuja, Jos, or Kaduna, please look left and right and note if you will see one single federal or major state government structure on the highway. “All the structures you see as you drive along are the result of the sweat from the brow of our people.

“The federal and state governments are absent; Bishop Bagobiri was in the middle of all this.” He described the late clergyman as “a great pastor, a builder of human capital.” Kukah said Bagobiri made his contribution to the development of Southern Kaduna by trying to close the gap left by the neglect of the state and federal governments. On the killings in Southern Kaduna, Kukah said he reached out to the National Peace Commission (NPC) led by Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar, and a meeting was held with Governor Nasir el-Rufai, after which the committee undertook a visit to Southern Kaduna.

“I had already got Gen. Abubakar to agree that after seeing the governor, we would go into Southern Kaduna and he agreed. “Next, we went on to Kafanchan same day and met with a cross section of leaders from civil society groups, CAN, JNI, etc. Everyone was quite delighted and offered very useful suggestions,” he said. According to Kukah, over one year after the NPC submitted its report, there has been no official response from the state government.

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