As Northern Govs’ Forum commiserates with state over killings
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the daily bloodshed in the country has proved that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled Federal Government lacks the capacity to guarantee the security of lives and property of Nigerians.
The party said it is heartbreaking that while Nigerians are daily being slaughtered by marauders, those elected to protect them were only concerned with their selfish re-election bid in 2019 and meaningless photo opportunities in the media.
In a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the main opposition party noted that in the last two months, hundreds of helpless citizens have been murdered by bandits in various parts of the country but nothing concrete has been done by the Federal Government to end the butchery and bring the perpetrators to book.
”Hardly have tears dried over the gruesome killings in Benue, Taraba, Kaduna, Nasarawa and other states when marauders hit Zamfara, a state known for peace, killing 41 citizens in cold blood, yet all we get is mere lip service from the APC-controlled Federal Government.
“Nigerians now live defenceless and in perpetual fear; our people are fast losing confidence in our institutions. “As we speak, citizens are now sourcing their own security as APC-controlled Federal Government daily manifest crass indifference to the protection of our people,” the party stated. It called on Nigerians, irrespective of religion, ethnicity and political affiliations, to join forces in praying for the nation as well as supporting one another at this critical time in our national life.
“PDP stands with all our people across the nation and share in their pains at this critical time. “We call on the APC-controlled Federal Government to admit its failures and seek help from Nigerians who can assist in our current situation.
“Our people have witnessed enough bloodletting and we must collectively find an end to the carnage. “The PDP commiserates with the families of those killed in Zamfara and other states and pray God to grant us peace and all round protection in our country,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, a delegation of Northern Governors’ Forum on Saturday paid a condolence visit to Zamfara to commiserate with people, especially Zurmi Emirate Council, over the recent massacre in the area. Some unidentified persons on Thursday shot and killed 40 persons in an attack on Birane village in Zurmi Local Government Area and injured many others.
The forum’s Chairman, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno, led the delegation, comprising the governors of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, Kebbi, Abubakar Bagudu, and Nasarawa State, Tanko Almakura. At the palace of the emir of Zurmi, Shettima said they came on behalf of the people of Northern Nigeria to commiserate with Zamfara people over the attack.
He described the attack as unfortunate and worrisome, adding: “It is very disheartening that some criminals decide to kill innocent people.” Shettima prayed to Almighty Allah to reward the dead and give their families and relatives fortitude to bear their losses.
He called on the people of the state to remain calm and continue to pray for Allah’s intervention to end the security challenges in the country. Shettima expressed the hope that with the efforts of the present administration, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, the country would overcome its security challenges. “We are, therefore, hoping that with these efforts, the current security challenges in the country, such as cattle rustling, kidnapping and all other forms of criminal activities affecting Zamfara, will become history,” he said.
Responding, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, thanked the governors for the visit and said his administration was making efforts in collaboration with the Federal Government to end the killing of innocent people in the state. He urged security agencies to increase their efforts and review measures toward addressing security challenges in the state.
“I reported this case to the Presidency and I am going to continue to collaborate with security agencies to address the security challenges facing the state,” Yari said. The Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, commended the state and federal governments in the fight against criminal activities in Zamfara. Atiku, however, urged the Federal Government to increase efforts toward addressing security challenges facing the state.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned massacre of innocent persons in Zamfara. The President, in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday, commiserated with families of the victims of the ”heinous and inhuman attacks on defenceless citizens”.
President Buhari also directed the Minister of Defence, Brig-Gen. Mansur Dan Ali (rtd) to proceed immediately to the state to undertake an on-the-spot assessment of the situation and report back. He also directed security agencies to immediately mobilise and deploy their members to the vulnerable areas of the state, and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to face the full wrath of the law.
Kogi Massacre: Gov Bello to set up commission of enquiry
Muhammad BashirLokojaGovernor Bello of Kogi State, yesterday, said he would set judicial commission of enquiry to unravel the killing at Oganenigu in Dekina local government area, by those he described as armed bandits. Suspected Fulani herdsmen had on Wednesday, attacked communities at Dekina, Omala and Bassa local governments where about 50 people, including children were killed and several houses set ablaze. The governor, who was addressing the detachment of Nigeria Army camp, at the neighbouring community said his administration is passionate about human lives. “I want to assure the people of Igalaland and people of the entire state that the state under my watch will not shy away from is responsibility. The primary responsibility of every government is to protect the lives and properties of it citizens,” the governor added.
He equally promised to provide basic amenities to the people of the area. Meanwhile, some of the survivors, who spoke with Sunday Telegraph said the assailants invaded them in the early hours of last week Wednesday. Smaila Maji, while narrating his ordeal, said the herdsmen came into the village and began to shoot on site.
”The attack took us by surprise around 8am on Wednesday. As they entered the city they started shooting at the natives sporadically. Our people tried to repel the attackers but were overwhelmed as they were over 500 in number,” he said. He said the people had no option but to run for their livesas the herders continued to shoot at them with their AK47. According to him, the attackers killed about 25 people instantly, while many of people are missing; they also killed about six people at Ogbakaka. “In fact, we are searching for more bodies,” he said. Maji furthered that the attacker carted away foodstuffs, physical cash and about 45 motorcycles belonging to the natives.
“There is virtually no young man, who is not having a motorcycle. Our people have moved out in droves to neighboring villages. The village has no police station andno health facility,” he added. Mr. Aaron Baba who lost his father during the attack, toldSunday Telegraph that the attackers came in wearing military Camouflage.”They came in took us by surprise. They came in military camouflage with AK47, AK45 and AK49 you can see the empty bullet shells scattered all over.”I am appealing to Government for assistance. We have been friendly with Fulani to the extent of engaging in trade by Bata until recently when they started acting like Boko Haram.” Another survivor, Ibrahim Shaibu said the attackers did not only shoot and slaughter his people, they also set houses ablaze while the occupants were still sleeping.
PDP links importation of military gadgets to Kogi massacre
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said there appeared a link between the attack in Kogi State that led to death of 50 people and the illegal importation of military gadgets by persons allegedly linked to the state government.
The party said the people should hold Kogi State government and the All Progressives Congress (APC) responsible for the massacre.
PDP said in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan that after a thorough analysis of the circumstances and events preceding the attack, “there are crucial pointers that the APC and the Kogi State government have very serious questions to answer.”
The party noted that the attack was preceded by revelations of importation of military gadgets by persons allegedly linked to the APC and the Kogi State Government.
According to the statement, APC and Kogi State government must respond to the question troubling the minds of Nigerians on the perceived clandestine involvement in activities that must have encouraged or aided those behind the attack.
“From every indication, there is no how one can exonerate the APC and its administration at the federal and Kogi State levels from this evil against the people,” the party said.
It noted that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration did not take any definite steps to ensure adequate security in the ravaged communities despite series of alarms of security threats, including the exposed illegal smuggling of military gadgets into the state.
“In spite the allegations by the people of Kogi State that the military equipment were being delivered to suspected marauders, the Buhari-led Federal Government did not take an decisive steps to arrest and investigate those fingered in the illegal trafficking, particularly the already indicted aides of Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello.
“This raises questions of conspiracy against the people by the APC government both at the federal and Kogi State levels,” PDP stated.
It wondered why did the Federal Government failed to deploy adequate security to the communities in the face of obvious threats and why has the presidency refused to take any firm step to investigate the illegal importation of military equipment into Kogi State, even when such gives a clue as to how marauders gain access to weapons?
“Furthermore, why did the APC, as a ruling party, fail to condemn the illegal importation of security gadgets or even caution its government in Kogi State, if it is not also involved in the illicit act that is now being linked to this massacre?
“Now that the deed has been done, all we get are apathetic statements and crocodile tears from the Federal and Kogi State governments while those behind the act are still walking free and probably targeting their next victims.
“The PDP resolutely condemn this obvious betrayal of the people by the APC-controlled government. We insist that life is sacred and must not be used as a pawn by any person to achieve any aim under any guise whatsoever.
“While we commiserate with the victims of the attack, we insist that the presidency and the Kogi state government must be put to task on these killings. The truth must be exposed,” the statement added.
Buhari cancels trip to Rwanda
President Muhammadu Buhari has cancelled a trip to Rwanda for the extraordinary meeting of African Union heads of state and government.
Presidential sources told TheCable that Buhari suddenly cancelled the meeting scheduled to hold in Kigali, capital of the country, on Wednesday.
The president would have departed for Kigali on Monday. He was supposed to sign the framework agreement for establishing the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).
On Wednesday, the federal executive council consented to Nigeria signing the framework agreement for the CFTA.
The council had also approved that Nigeria expresses its interest to host the secretariat of the CFTA.
CFTA is the first step in the implementation of “AU Agenda 2063: the vision for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa”.
A team, comprising protocol staff, security officers and journalists, who were preparing to take off, were asked to return from Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
No reason was given for the development.
Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, spokesmen of the president, are yet to speak on the issue.
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