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Plateau killings: Ohanaeze attacks Buhari over insensitive death toll comparisons

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…As Presidency said: Killings under Buhari less than in previous govts despite herdsmen rampage***

The apex socio-political body of the Igbo, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s comparison of the killings in Plateau State to those in Zamfara State as “most unfortunate.”
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Media and Publicity, Chief Emeka Attamah, on Thursday, Ohanaeze said “it believes that no human life is greater than the other and that two wrongs do not make a right.”
“Rather than compare the number of casualties, the Federal Government should rejig its security apparatus, stop further killings and appease the families and communities affected by the senseless killings,” the pan-Igbo body said.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo expressed fears that “from the trend of events, it appeared as if General T.Y. Danjuma’s outcry that there was a grand design by some people to carry out ethnic cleansing in the country and that government was colluding with them was justified.”
Ohanaeze called on Buhari to allay the fears of the people, “especially with the double standard being exhibited by the Federal Government in the handling of the issues of IPOB and the suspected Fulani herdsmen.”
The association restated its call on the Federal Government to declare the Miyetti Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, the umbrella body of the herdsmen, as a terrorist organisation, as was done to the Indigenous People of Biafra.
“While the Federal Government proscribed IPOB, a harmless organisation, Miyetti Allah which has openly claimed responsibility for most of the attacks for just the killing or rustling of their cattle has gone around unscathed.
“If government could label IPOB a terrorist organisation, there was no reason the Miyetti Allah, the umbrella body of cattle herders, should not be proscribed and their leaders prosecuted.
“If the Federal Government was not being partisan, why the silence on the utterances of Miyetti Allah who also attributed the killing of their cattle in the Benue massacres to their attacks there?
“How many suspected herdsmen have been taken to court for either the killings in the country or for carrying Ak-47 rifles about in the full glare of security operatives, contrary to the provisions of the law,” the statement said.

In the meantime, the Presidency on Thursday took a swipe at the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), accusing it of playing irresponsible politics with the latest attacks in Plateau State that left scores of people dead.
It said the decision of the PDP to declare seven days of mourning for the killings amounted to dancing on the graves of the dead and playing cheap, infantile politics.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, stated this in a statement in Abuja.
Adesina said while the PDP which he described as a “comatose and prostrate party” asked that its flag be flown at half -mast nationwide during the period, the party did not know that those flags had been forcefully lowered since its 2015 loss at the polls, and might remain so for a long time to come.
The statement read, “The sad and unfortunate killings in Plateau State over the weekend have been turned to opportunity to once again play irresponsible politics, particularly by the Peoples Democratic Party which says it is declaring seven days of mourning.
“These are dolorous times that call for deep introspection on how cheap human lives have become, and the proffering of actionable ideas on how to get out of the bind, but the PDP would rather dance on the graves of the dead, playing cheap, infantile politics.
“The comatose and prostrate party is declaring seven days of mourning, during which flags in its offices would be flown at half mast nationwide.
“But unknown to the party, those flags had been forcefully lowered since its 2015 loss at the polls, and may remain so for a long time to come, because Nigerians are politically discerning, and cannot be hoodwinked by cheap antics.”
The presidential spokesman then listed some killings which he described as savage and brutal that took place during the PDP rule between 1999 and 2015 for which no national mourning was declared.
“November 20, 1999. Odi, in Bayelsa State which was invaded on the orders of a PDP President, about 2,500 people killed. No national mourning.
“Between February and May 2000, about 5,000 people were killed during riots over Sharia law in different parts of the North. No national mourning.
“In 2001, hundreds of people, including the old, infirm, women and children were killed in Zaki Biam. No crocodile tears.
“Between September 7 and 12, 2001, Jos, Plateau State, erupted in internecine killings. Between 500 and 1,000 people were killed. Flags were not flown at half mast.
“In February, 2004, at least 975 people were killed in Yelwa-Shendam, Plateau State. No mourning by the then ruling PDP.
“Between November 28 and 29, 2008, Jos was in flames again, with 381 deaths. No mourning. In 2010, 992 people killed in Jos. Mum was the word.
“In 2014 alone, according to Global Terrorism Index, at least 1,229 people were killed in the Middle Belt. No mourning.
“Boko Haram killings in PDP years were over 10,000. PDP flags were still fluttering proudly in the sky,” Adesina added.
The presidential spokesman said the list showed that wanton killings had been with the country for some time.
He said while the present administration was working towards proffering lasting solutions, it should be given the opportunity to do so.
He said those playing politics with tragedies should have a change of heart or lose their humanity.
“Those who take pleasure in twisting statements from the Presidency may claim we are saying that many more people were killed under the PDP than under President Muhammadu Buhari. It would be unconscionable to do so.
“The intendment of this statement is to show that wanton killings have been with us for awhile (sic); this government is working towards enduring solutions; and should be given the opportunity to do so.
“Even a single soul is precious, and no man should take a life, which he cannot create. But when tragic situations as had happened in Plateau State occur, such should never be used to play crude politics.
“Those who are wont to do so should have a change of heart, or lose their very humanity,” he concluded.
Show respect for the dead, PDP counsels Buhari
But the PDP, in its reaction, expressed shock by the statement credited to the Presidency. The opposition party said the statement justified the Presidency’s alleged failure to stop killings in Plateau, Zamfara, Benue, Yobe, Adamawa, Borno, Kogi, Taraba and other troubled states.
The PDP said it was indeed reprehensible that the Presidency in its “usual arrogance and insensitivity to the mood of the nation chose to condemn the PDP for declaring a seven-day mourning and flying our flags at half-mast in honour of the dead and solidarity with the bereaved.”
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, who stated this while reacting to the statement by Adesina, said it was disturbing that even in death, the Buhari Presidency still wanted to deny these victims of callous murder the honour of being mourned.
He said, “The PDP urges the Buhari Presidency to confront the challenge of fulfilling the basic responsibility of governance by providing security for the lives and property of all Nigerians irrespective of their creed, tribe and political affiliations.”

The Citizen

 

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Onslaught: Troops Eliminate 105 Terrorists, Arrest 140 Others In 1 Week – DHQ

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Exercise Enduring Peace recording successes in FCT – Army

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria operating in different theatres of operation eliminated 105 terrorists and apprehended 140 others in the last one week.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba said this at a bi-weekly news briefing on the operations of the armed forces on Thursday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops also arrested 26 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 86 kidnapped hostages in the South-South region.

He added that the troops recovered 208 assorted weapons and 5,332 assorted ammunition comprising 95 AK47 rifles, one assault rifle, 39 locally fabricated guns, 34 Dane guns, 14 pump action guns, among others.

In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised seven terrorists and arrested four terrorists as well as recovered 20 AK47 rifles, two fabricated guns and 12 dane guns.

He added that 353 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 209 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 34 live cartridges, 62 mobile phones and the sum of N100,000, among others, were also recovered.

According to him, 224 ISWAP/JAS terrorists fighters and their families comprising 23 adult males, 126 adult females and 87 children surrendered to troops in the Bama and Konduga areas of Borno within the week.

Army raid kidnappers, rescue C/River commissioner; Police neutralise 3 suspected gunmen, recover 50 arms

In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirl Stroke neutralised 35 insurgents, arrested 65 violent extremists and 15 rescued kidnapped hostages.

He added that troops also recovered various caches of arms and ammunition within different theatres of operation.

In the North Central, the defence spokesman said the troops of Operations Hadarin Daji and Whirl Punch, neutralised 57 insurgents, arrested five and rescued 66 kidnapped hostages during the week.

In the South-South, Buba said the troops of Operation Delta Safe destroyed 18 illegal refining sites and recovered 657,300 litres of stolen crude oil, 23,750 litres of illegally refined AGO and 1,050 litres of DPK.

He added that the troops discovered and destroyed nine dugout pits, 19 boats and 21 storage tanks, 35 cooking ovens, nine vehicles, nine mobile phones, and three pump machines.

According to him, troops rescued three kidnapped hostages and apprehended 50 people suspected of oil theft and other violent extremists/insurgents as well as recovered 20 weapons and 243 ammunition, amongst other items.

In the South East, Buba said the troops of Operation UDO KA neutralised six insurgents, arrested five and recovered various types of arms and ammunition.

“All recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authorities for further action,” he said.

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Food Prices: Tinubu Directs Immediate Release Of Grains, To Foreclose Crisis

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A little respite in the nation’s food crisis is expected as President Bola Tinubu has directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to release about 42,000 metric tonnes of grain including maize, millet, and garri. The gesture is to douse hunger and prevent looming protests.

Some Nigerians however told the Maritime First that the directive was a lot coming late; and the metric tonnes being expected, too little, for over a hundred million people. Some cynics bluntly blame the President for his inability to tame insurgency and terrorism, which apriori, prevented the farmers from going to work.

ALSO READ:… Nigerians Now Eat Junks as High Food Prices Put Balanced Diet Out Of Reach- Survey

Some states have begun dress rehearsal for the real crisis protests, over galloping food prices. A bag of rice which sold for N62,000 Tuesday, last week in Bodija Market in Ibadan, emerged N69,000 Wednesday morning. less than 24 hours later, throwing calculation to the winds.

The Maritime First can freely indicate that widows, single mothers, and those from polygamous-induced large families are presently, not finding it too easy to cope.

In the meantime,, the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria has also committed to immediately release over 60,000 metric tonnes of rice to the public. The body however failed to indicate why they waited till the Presidential directive, before making their commitment.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this after the meeting of the Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention on Thursday in Abuja.

The Minister also failed to indicate measures to be adopted, to ensure that middlemen do not hijack and mess up Tinubu’s honest effort.

He said that these were immediate measures taken by the Federal Government to reduce the hardships faced by Nigerians who are made to bear the brunt of high prices of food in the market.

“These will be made available and we know that that is enough to take Nigeria in the next couple of weeks. One month, six weeks, perhaps up to two months.

“Now the whole idea of this is to crush the cost of these food items. And these are measures that will happen immediately.

“Now, the third item is that government is also looking at the possibility of, if it becomes absolutely necessary and as an interim measure, to also import some of these commodities immediately so that these commodities can be made available to Nigerians,” he said.

Idris also said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security would further invest massively in the farming process to boost production and ensure the country’s food potential is fully exploited.

He said that government would appeal to persons or groups to stop hoarding these products in order to maximise profit at the detriment of ordinary Nigerians.

“Government of course is also looking at all those who are hoarding these commodities because actually, these commodities are available in the stores of many traders.

“Government is appealing to them that they should open up these doors and make these commodities available in the interest of our nation.

“There is no point when the whole country is looking for this food you are locking up these products where you make more money and then Nigerians suffer. Of course, the government will not fold its arms.

“If they don’t respond by bringing these commodities to the market, the government will take appropriate measures to ensure that these products are made available to Nigerians.”

The Minister said that the government would also take measures to ensure that food continues to be accessible and affordable to Nigerians.

“We ask that Nigerians need to be more patriotic; be our brother’s keepers. Sell this thing, of course at a margin but at a margin that is not also killing to Nigerians.

“This is an emergency. Every nation faces emergency situations. This is our own time to face these challenges.

“The President has directed that whatever it will take, food will be available to Nigerians at a cost that is also very reasonable,” he said.

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President Tinubu Returns After Private Visit To France

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President Bola Tinubu has returned to the country after a two-week private visit to France.

The President arrived in Abuja aboard the presidential flight at about 9:0 pm on Tuesday.

He was received by top government officials led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume.

The president left Abuja on Jan. 24 for his first break since assumption of office on May 29, 2023

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