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Wike: Opposition plans to float illegal vigilance groups



Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday alleged that some politicians in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the opposition, were planning to float illegal vigilance groups so that the police would ban the proposed Neighbourhood Watch his administration was set to establish in the state.


This was as he pointed out that such illegal vigilance groups, if allowed, would clash with the authentic Neighbourhood Watch to be set up by his administration, and hence pave the way for the police to ban such security outfit.


However, Wike, who said that such political plots would fail as the State Neighbourhood Watch had come to stay, stressed that only a court of competent jurisdiction would stop it.


The governor, who spoke yesterday when an Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 6 Calabar, Usman Abubakar, visited him at the Government House, Port Harcourt, described the Neighbourhood Watch as a security organisation that to a large extent support security agencies with intelligence reports towards promoting security of the state.


He, however, warned against politicisation of security operations in the interest of the country’s stability, as the Neighbourhood Watch was fashioned in line with the operations of a similar agency set up in Lagos State to support security agencies.


He said: “In setting up the State Neighbourhood Watch, we adopted the template established in Lagos State. This is a replica of what is already in existence in Lagos State. We are setting up the State Neighbourhood Watch for intelligence gathering. Policemen and other security agencies cannot be everywhere and to this end, they require relevant support to maintain security across the state.”


Wike, who announced that the state government had already acquired six gunboats for the state Police Command for fighting criminals along the waterways across the state, also advised the INEC and the police to work towards a successful conduct of the 2019 general election in the country.

In this regard, the governor hinted that the police should not compromise or be used to indiscriminately arrest opponents of the ruling party ahead of the elections.

Meanwhile, in his response, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 6 Calabar, informed the governor that the Command was fashioning out ways to reduce cultism, kidnapping and violent crimes and activities in the area.

Abubakar, therefore, appealed to stakeholders and people of the state to work with the police towards reducing crime rates ahead of the 2019 general elections, even as he called on all groups in the state to come to a round-table to work for peace, warning that the police will not tolerate lawlessness under any disguise.

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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.

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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.

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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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