Olufemi Atoyebi, Friday Olokor, Chukwudi Akasike, Femi Makinde and Umar Muhammed
some gunmen on Tuesday invaded Kadarko in the Kiza development area of Nasarawa State, killing six people including an old woman. One of our correspondents, who visited the place, sighted a large number of displaced persons moving out of the area to where they could get shelter.
Our correspondent also observed that some pregnant women, who could not travel with their family members, went to the Internally Displaced Persons camp in Kadarko to take refuge.
However, at the Sarkin Noma area of Kadarko, our correspondent observed that the Tiv community had deserted their homes.
It was gathered that most of the houses in the Tiv community had been burnt down by suspected militia.
One of the survivors of the Tuesday attack, Mr. Raymond Emberga, said the gunmen came into the community shooting into the air.
He added that the gunshots made a dog in the area to start barking, causing the attackers to shoot at the dog which escaped narrowly.
“If not for the dog there would have been a lot of casualties because the barking attracted attention and some people managed to escape,” he added.
The state Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, who visited the scene of the incident, assured the Tiv community in Kadarko of safety, saying more military personnel and policemen would be deployed in the area.
The governor urged the residents not to go to their farms, but to remain in the IDP camp until security operatives bring security situation in the area under control.
He said, “Please don’t go to your farms yet. Don’t go to isolated areas. We don’t want any life to be lost.
“I am here on behalf of myself, government and the people of Nasarawa State to share in your griefs.
“It is a pity that this thing has happened. Nobody is happy about it. I am disturbed because this is coming barely 48 hours after the same kind of action took place not far from here during which people were abducted.”
Taraba elders warn of fresh herdsmen’s attacks
A group of elders in Taraba State under the aegis of Concerned Elders Forum on Tuesday raised the alarm over alleged fresh plan to attack communities in the state.
The CEF said some persons had sighted a weapon-laden helicopter, adding that the “Fulani herdsmen are with weapons they received from the chopper and are now ready to strike.”
The organisation said the Takum Local Government Area had become unsafe for citizens despite the presence of barracks in the place.”
The CEF in a statement by its spokesperson, Joshua Ande, alleged that daily stories of kidnappings and killings were now a routine, while the southern part of the state was under serious security threat.
The statement read in part, “We are worried that the security agencies do not seem perturbed by happenings in Taraba State, especially Takum LGA, where the security concern has reached the level of red alert. Stories of kidnapping and killings are now daily. The southern part of the state, which is near Benue State and shares border with some of the crisis areas of Logo and Guma LGAs, where Fulani herdsmen recently engaged in acts of pogrom, are clearly under serious security threat.
“Since then, our people have witnessed all sorts of brigandage and criminality around the area. Residents reported that they saw a helicopter carrying weapons. Nobody gave this any serious thought at the top.
“A member of the House of Assembly, Hosea Ibi, was kidnapped and killed. Late Ibi was picked up near the military barracks in Takum. This has raised fears that even around the military fortress, people are no longer safe. This is a barracks with soldiers; yet, gunmen are having a field day. A few days after the burial of the late legislator, gunmen attacked Takum LGA chairman and a lady was killed in the attack. The barracks and its soldiers looked on.
“The following day, an Igbo trader was kidnapped near the barracks. His fate is presently unknown. At Manya too, near the same barracks, another man was killed. Takum has become a killing field even with a barracks in place.”
The group called for a probe into the attacks, adding that the Federal Government’s claim that it had beefed up military presence must be investigated.
“This is because we learnt that Fulani herdsmen are ready with weapons they received from that helicopter and are prepared to strike. This is an SOS.”
NYSC to redeploy corps members from troubled states
The National Youth Service Corps has said the scheme will redeploy any corps member who feels unsafe in states where the activities of Fulani herdsmen have led to loss of lives.
The Director General of the NYSC, Brig. Gen. Suleiman Kazaure, said this on Tuesday during the inspection of the NYSC Orientation Camp in Ede, Osun State.
The DG, who was represented by the Director, General Service, Alhaji Abdulrasak Salawu, said this in an interview with journalists after the inspection.
He said the scheme would not post corps members into areas where they were not sure of their security.
Kazaure, who said he was impressed with the facility and the cleanliness of the NYSC camp in Osun State, said the scheme moved the orientation programme of Taraba and Benue states to Kogi State in order not to cause panic among corps members’ parents and relatives.
He said, “We cannot risk the lives of corps members in Benue and that is why the NYSC orientation camp was relocated from Benue to Kogi State.
“Ordinarily, Kogi and Taraba states corps members were supposed to camp in Benue State but because of this crisis they were moved to Kogi State.
“During the course of the orientation programme, any corps member that writes that he or she felt not secure; we will look into it and redeploy such corps members to another state. We may not redeploy them to the state they want, but we will relocate them.”
The NYSC director had earlier addressed the corps members of Ondo, Ekiti and Osun States who are undergoing their orientation programme in Ede, urging them to always strive to bring unity to the nation.
‘Herdsmen killing, a threat to security’
The Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has described killings by Fulani herdsmen as a threat to security in the country.
He said the killing of unarmed innocent people, who were not in any state of war, was unjustifiable and should not be tolerated in any civilised society.
The governor spoke at a conference titled, ‘African Knowledge and Alternative Futures,’ which was organised to honour Prof. Toyin Falola on his 65th birthday celebration.
Aregbesola called on security agencies in the country to stamp out the heinous crime and arrest the perpetrators.
He said, “As a people, we need to tread carefully here on the killings by the herdsmen across the country. As bad and reprehensible as they are, they are not as deadly as the Nigerian Civil War we fought between 1967 and 1970.
“So, I condemn the herdsmen atrocities. We must go beyond that to situate what will be our reaction and response as a people and a nation. However, I am joining other well-meaning people in calling on the security agencies to bring an end to this act.
“The cardinal duty of the government is the protection of lives and property. Every life is sacred and the government should keep it so. Those who are engaged in this barbarous act should be hunted, apprehended, tried and serve the full deed of the law. That should be our demand.”
Buhari’ll end herdsmen-farmers clashes – Osinbajo
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday assured traditional rulers that President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to ending herdsmen-farmers’ clashes in the country.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, the Vice-President spoke while receiving a delegation from Batta and Bachamma communities in Adamawa State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Osinbajo said, “President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to resolve the herdsmen-farmers clashes in Adamawa State.
“Much damage has been done, not just security-wise, but to the psyche of the people. Due to the attacks, people are afraid.
“We are also looking at repairing the damage that has been done to the infrastructure of the communities and rehabilitate the people.”
Osinbajo said a report prepared by the National Animal Production Research Institute Zaria, would be considered in government’s attempt to proffer a permanent solution to the crisis.
He urged the people of the affected communities to embrace peace and not to seek revenge.
In his remarks, the Hama Batta, Alhamadu Teneke, said, “We came to thank you for your visit (to Numan communities). You made promises of relief materials when you visited, and the relief materials were brought.
“Also, the Special Forces that you promised responded on time. There is now a police command with a Commissioner of Police.”
Also speaking, the Hama Bachamma, Honest Stephen, echoed the words of the Hama Batta, and thanked the Presidency for its efforts in the communities.
Buhari promises end to killings
Buhari on Tuesday said his government would no longer tolerate the wanton killings and kidnapping in the country.
Buhari also vowed that those involved in the murder of innocent persons would be made to face the wrath of the law.
He explained that the rise in the level of violent crime across Nigeria was having a negative impact on the development of the country.
The President, who spoke in Port Harcourt while declaring open the 9th General Assembly of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, said he was saddened by the killings across the country.
Represented by the Minister of Interior, Abduraham Dambazau, the President said, “I am very worried and saddened about the persistent killings and kidnappings in our country, especially the wastage of innocent lives, particularly in Benue State.
“I have therefore directed that no effort should be spared in bringing to justice all those that are carrying out the acts. I have directed the Chief of Army Staff to relocate to the North-East to ensure that the activities of Boko Haram are stopped.”
“Likewise, I have directed the Inspector General of Police to relocate to Benue State to ensure that the killings are not only contained, but that those involved are brought to justice.
“As a responsible government, we will never tolerate or condone all troublemakers, criminals and killers; they should be ready to face the consequences of their acts.
“While the Federal Government is doing everything possible to tackle violence and crime in Nigeria, we expect citizens to obey the laws governing our society.”
In his remarks, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, reiterated his call for the decentralisation and de-politicisation of security services as a way of resolving the security challenges facing the country.
He described Rivers as a peaceful state that had been working and brimming with ample economic opportunities for investors to take advantage.
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, expressed the need for a synergy between traditional rulers and security agencies; even as he stated that the monarchs knew their citizens and could help in making information available for the police to achieve its mandate.