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Daily Archives: August 4, 2019

Buhari challenges RevolutionNow organisers to identify themselves

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged sponsors of Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria, which planned a “Revolution Now” protest for Monday, to identify themselves and lead the campaign or lose the right to call themselves leaders.

This is coming after Omoyele Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow Protests, was picked up at his apartment in the early hours of Saturday.

Reacting, Buhari in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), called on all those who seek to use and hide behind everyday citizens to attain power through undemocratic and violent means, which has been alluded, to come out clearly and be identified.

He said they should lead their march in person, stressing that only then will they begin to have the right to call themselves leaders before the people of Nigeria.

The statement reads, “the President and his administration respect and uphold the right of every Nigerian to peaceful protest and civil campaign – whether to raise awareness on issues, and even oppose the government, noting that it is the inalienable right of all citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to do so.
“There is, however, a difference between peaceful call to protest and incitement for a revolution.
“The organisation championing this planned action is not fronted by any serious public faces. We call on the sponsors and organisers to have the decency to come forward and make their identity known – out of respect to all Nigerians – so that Nigerians can be fully aware in whose name this “revolution” is being proposed and who the beneficiaries may be.

“Less than six months ago, Nigeria held simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections. Both contests were won resoundingly by President Muhammadu Buhari and his All-Progressives Congress party. The campaign was observed, and results were confirmed by international election monitoring groups and observers. The result was even contested by the losing presidential candidate and his party in Court.

“The ballot box is the only constitutional means of changing government and a president in Nigeria. The days of coups and revolutions are over.

“Those making the “revolution’’ call hide behind the veil of social media modernity. But without revealing the identity of their sponsors this shadowy campaign is no better, and no more democratic, than the days of old.”

Emir Sanusi welcomes fourth wife

The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II has received his fourth wife four years after the wedding took place.

HRH Sa’adatu Barkindo Mustapha was brought to the Emir’s palace on Saturday while the traditional Budar Kai ceremony takes place on Sunday.

The Emir’s bride has just graduated from a University in the United Kingdom where she went to study immediately after the marriage.

It could be recalled that emir Sanusi II married the daughter of the Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammadu Barkindo-Mustafa, in a low-key ceremony held in Yola on September 25, 2015

The 4th Mrs Sanusi II was an 18-yr-old secondary school leaver when the wedding was contracted.

Kano state Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, represented the emir at the event while then Adamawa state Governor, Jibrilla Bindow, played the role of the bride’s guardian, who gave her hand out in marriage.

The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II was at that time away in Saudi Arabia, as leader of Nigeria’s delegation to the Hajj.

The Emir has three other wives, which are the first wife Sadiya, daughter of the late emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, Maryam and Rakiya.

N2.2bn already budgeted for Ruga programme, says Enang

Ita Enang, aide of President Muhammadu Buhari on national assembly matters, says N2.2 billion has already been earmarked in the 2019 budget for the implementation of Ruga programme.

The federal government had announced a suspension of the programme for its lack of consistency with the approved national livestock transformation plan.

But speaking with students of the law school in Abuja from Akwa Ibom, Enang explained that Ruga is not a derivative of Hausa or Fulfude, but an acronym for rural grazing area (RUGA) which was initiated in 1956 during the colonial era, and that it is not intended to Islamise or colonise anybody.

Enang cited the 2019 federal budget, volume 1 under the ministry of agricultural and rural development item number ERGP 5208 where the sum of N2.258 billion was provided for the grazing programme.

He said members of the national assembly members were not against the programme because they aware of it and had approved funds for its implementation.

He said besides funds provided for the programme, the sum of N300 million was also budgeted for water sanitation; N400 million for development of sweet potatoes and N350 million for ginger farming.

Enang said the objective of the programme is to promote cattle breeding and meat production.

He also said there was another sum approved by the national economic council for states that would make land available.

”The idea of Ruga graduated in 1978 into the Land Use Act which states that a portion of land has to be reserved for grazing to avoid the destruction of farm produce by cattle,” he said.

”Over time cattle roamed and destroyed farms hence the introduction of the policy to address the issue.’’

He also said every year there have been monetary allocations for the continuous funding of grazing areas.

He added that the programme was a response to the herder-farmer crisis in the middle-belt and in some states in northeast and northwest.

Nigerians are victims of Buhari’s grand cluelessness – Atiku

Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, says he will keep speaking up for Nigerians who have become victims of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ‘grand cluelessness’.

In statement issued by Paul Ibe, his media aide, on Saturday, Abubakar said the Buhari administration had not responded to a report by the UNDP which stated that 98 million Nigerians were living in multidimensional poverty because he was yet to make a remark on it.

He said the administration was living in denial and relying on propaganda, and only becomes responsive when he comments on issues.

“On July 10, the United Nations reawakened Nigerians to the brutal reality of how poorly the Gen Muhammadu Buhari administration has managed the nation’s economy with a damning verdict that 98 million Nigerians live in multi-dimensional poverty,” he said.

“Like it is typical of General Buhari and his handlers, they didn’t make any comment about the scary statistics coming from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“Perhaps, one reason they didn’t want to comment on the report is because it is factual – Nigerians in the past four years indeed live in multi-dimensional poverty.”

“The other plausible reason they didn’t deem it fit to respond to the report is because Atiku Abubakar has yet to make a remark on the report. If the only reason why the Buhari administration will react to the affliction it has brought on Nigerians is for Atiku to call the nation’s attention to how bad things have gone in the country under the slumber of General Buhari, Atiku will more than always, be ready to stand and speak up for the millions of countrymen and women who have become victims of his (Buhari’s) misrule and grand cluelessness.”

Abubakar had called for an independent inquiry into the reported secret burial of soldiers who died in the Boko Haram war.

In response, the presidency accused of him of being desperate to be president through other means.

Nigeria back to Abacha days, says Soyinka on Sowore’s arrest

Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate, has described the arrest of Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), as a replay of the style deployed by Sani Abacha, late dictator and head of state.

Sowore, who has been spearheading calls for a “protest against bad governance”, was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) at his Lagos residence in the early hours of Saturday.

Mohammed Adamu, the inspector-general of police, also said the planned protest being organised under the ‘Revolution Now’ movement is an act of treason and terrorism whose sole aim is to “force a regime change in the country”.

But in a statement he issued on Sunday, Soyinka said Sowore did nothing to suggest he is “urging the public to engage in a forceful overthrow of government.”

He described the activist’s arrest as a “travesty” and violation of the fundamental rights of citizens to congregate and make public their concerns.

“Beyond the word ‘revolution, another much mis-used and misunderstood word, nothing that Sowore has uttered, written, or advocated suggests that he is embarking on, or urging the public to engage in a forceful overthrow of government,” the foremost playwright said in the statement sent to TheCable.

“I therefore find the reasons given by the Inspector-General, for the arrest and detention of this young ex-presidential candidate totally contrived and untenable, unsupported by any shred of evidence.

“​This is all so sadly déjà vu. How often must we go through this wearisome cycle? We underwent identical cynical contrivances under the late, unlamented Sani Abacha, when he sent storm-troopers to disrupt a planning session for a similar across-nation march at Tai Solarin School, Ikenne.

“The same pattern Pavlovian conduct manifested itself under yet another supposed democratic ruler who personally declared that the gathering of civilians to deliberate on, and propose a constitution for the nation was ‘high treason’. And yet again, even a faceless cabal under yet another civilian regime refused to be left out of the insensate play of power.”

Soyinka said protests are democratic ways of drawing government’s attention to ills and mobilising the public towards a proactive consciousness of their condition.

He said the arrests, incarceration and threats to civilians involved in such cause are “ultimately counter-productive.”

“​Freedom is not so glibly qualified. It cannot be doled out like slops of charity from soup kitchens,” he said, adding: “Let the Police stick to their task of protecting and managing protests, not attempt to place their own meaning and declaration of intent on bogey words like – revolution!”

DSS: Sowore crossed red-line with #RevolutionNow

The Department of State Services (DSS) says it arrested Omoyele Sowore, ex-presidential candidate, because he threatened the public peace and safety with his planned protest.

On Saturday, agents of the service invaded Sowore’s residence and took him into custody. Before his arrest, he was promoting a protest tagged ‘#RevolutionNow’.

Speaking with journalists on Sunday, Peter Afunaya, DSS spokesman, said Sowore crossed the red-line by calling for a revolution.

He said the secret police would not ‘’just sit idly and watch any individual, group and their cohorts rise and threaten the peace, unity, and constitutionalism of the country’’.

“Though there is apprehension and anxiety among citizens already, we wish to assure friends of Nigeria, and other law-abiding citizens, that there will be no revolution of any kind come Monday, August 5, 2019,’’ he said.

“A democratically elected government is in charge, and we cannot allow any person or group to foment chaos or fan the ember of revolution.’’

Some Nigerians have spoken against the arrest of Sowore. In a statement, Wole Soyinka described the action of the DSS as a breach of the fundamental rights of the ex-presidential candidate.

‘’Deployment of alarmist expressions such as ‘treason’, ‘anarchist’, ‘public incitement’, etc by security forces have become so predictable and banal that they have become meaningless. Beyond the word ‘revolution, another much mis-used and misunderstood word, nothing that Sowore has uttered, written, or advocated suggests that he is embarking on, or urging the public to engage in a forceful overthrow of government.

Nothing that he said to me in private engagement ever remotely approached an intent to destabilise governance or bypass the normal democratic means of changing a government,’’ he said.

Kidnapped ‘Pastors’ recount ordeal

Chiemela Iroha, one of the five persons abducted off the Lagos─Ore Expressway at Ogbere (Ogun State) has given insight into how the Fulani herdsmen kidnapped and herded them into the forest.

Iroha and four others – Chidioze Eluwa, Okoro Ohowukwe, Ndubuizi Owuabueze, and Ibeleji Chidinma ─ were abducted at the J3, Ogbere–Ijebu-Ode (Ogun State) stretch of the Lagos–Ore Expressway, on August 1 and taken to the forest by the abductors.

After three days of intensive search and pressure mounted, both from air and land, on the abductors by the Police, the suspected kidnappers fled their hideout and abandoned the captives in the forest until they were found and rescued by the Police.

Chiemela who is the son of late actor James Iroha (Gringory) of the New Masquerade fame, a popular television soap opera that is now rested, said they were kidnapped to pay for the cost of bullets expended on a high-profile target which the kidnappers were chasing, but eventually eluded them.

Narrating further, the young Iroha said the abductors “humiliated and tortured” them with any object they could lay their hands on, including marching them on a tortuous and drudgery 30km walk into forests.

The traumatised Iroha said, given the physical appearance and language spoken, he was doubly sure that their abductors were Fulani herdsmen.

He said they were given no food or water throughout their  three days in captivity.

He recalled that respite began to come their way when the Police surveillance helicopter hovered repeatedly across the area where they were kept, forcing the abductors to abandon them and “take to their heels.”

Iroha, however, lauded the Police, local vigilante group and hunters for the pressure mounted on the kidnapers, which eventually led to their rescue.

The Police Commissioner in Ogun State, Baahir Makama, said four suspects have been arrested in connection with the abduction.

Makama said contrary to the report that the victims were all pastors of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), only one, a deconness, is a member of RCCG.

Gunmen kill Miyetti Allah leader in Adamawa

Some unidentified gunmen have killed Saidu Kolaku, a leader of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Adamawa state.

The assailants were said to have invaded his home on Saturday at Sabon Pegi in Mayo Belwa local government area in the state and shot him dead.

Prior to his death, Kolaku was the zonal vice-chairman of the MACBAN (Adamawa south).

Sulaiman Nguroje, the state police spokesman, who confirmed the incident, said the victim died in the hospital.

‘’Unknown gunmen stormed the resident of the Fulani leader located at Sabon Pegi in Mayo Belwa local government, shot him and left him in the pool of his blood,” he said.

‘’Following the incident, a distress call was forwarded to the police who rushed to the scene and took the victim to the hospital where he was confirmed dead by the doctor on duty.”

The spokesman also revealed that the state commissioner of police has ordered personnel of the homicide department to investigate the circumstance that led to Kolaku’s death.

‘’Indeed, police received the death of the slain man with shock because of his invaluable contribution towards fighting crime and criminality especially his gallantry in the fight against kidnappers,” he said.

“The command has launched manhunt for the fleeing culprits and God’swilling, they will be tracked down and brought to justice.”

In his reaction, Muhammad Buba, public relations officer (PRO) of Miyetti Allah in the state, described Kolaku’s killing as a reprisal attack from persons who were provoked by his effort in fighting crime.

“Efforts of Kolaku in fighting crime had made the police command to honour him on 17th July 2019, for his gallantry and valiant exploits in fighting kidnappers and cattle rustlers rampaging the state,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate that the death of our zonal leader will seriously undermine the fight against crime and criminality in the state.’’

Adamawa is one of the states affected by insecurity, insurgency and periodic incidences of inter-communal killings.

BREAKING: DSS moves Sowore to Abuja

The Department of State Services (DSS) has moved Omoyele Sowore, human rights campaigner, from its facility in Lagos to Abuja.

Sources at the DSS said Sowore, who has been held incommunicado since Saturday, is currently in detention in Abuja.

Although the secret police is yet to make any comment on his arrest, it is believed to be in connection with the nationwide protest that he was organising.

Sowore is the convener of “#RevolutionNow: Days of Rage” protest to challenge bad governance in Nigeria.