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Why It Has Been Difficult To End Terrorism In Nigeria – FG

Tension As Gunmen Kidnap Ekiti Monarch

The federal government has highlighted reasons why it seems the fight against insecurity and terrorism in Nigeria has lingered for so long.

Advancing reasons why Nigeria is still facing such levels of insecurity despite government efforts, the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume noted that there is a huge gap between policy formulation and implementation.

He added that the responses to emergency situations as well as management of poverty and insufficient inter-agency collaboration are all factors responsible for the current situation.

Akume, a former Benue State Governor made the submissions on Wednesday in Abuja at the formal launch of a book titled: “A Planner’s Perspective on Disaster and Conflict; Issues of Forced Displacement of Persons, Management in Nigeria”, authored by Bassey Ita Etim-Ikang.

In his words, drastic action must be taken to overcome the security challenges currently facing Nigeria as a country.

The Minister submitted that internally displaced persons (IDPs) should be catered for and rehabilitated in order not to push them into crime when they don’t have any other means of survival.

He said: “The challenges facing Nigeria include but not limited to inadequate emergency preparedness and response, the gap between relief materials management and durable development projects, and ad-hoc planning and policy intervention.

“There is also lack of institutional and legal framework for the management of internally displaced population in Nigeria, insufficient or absence of inter-agency collaboration which mostly results in agencies working at cross purposes with duplicative activities.

“The lack of a defined strategy and appropriate national framework of cooperation among relevant agencies and institutions to design sustainable action plan for medium-long terms projects have been a huge deficit for policy makers.

“Therefore, all efforts to minimize the vicious cycle of violent conflicts and crisis arising from abject poverty and deprivation including lack of inclusive management structure based on bottom-top approach to grassroots participation that recognizes peace and confidence-building mechanism have just been put in place by the ministry.”

The Author, Etim-Ikang, who is a Director of Human Resources, in the ministry, said he hopes relevant stakeholders including members of the academia, government, and security agencies will adopt recommendations of the book to address the growing cases of killings and insecurity ravaging the country.

Meanwhile, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Femi Fani-Kayode has stated that a generational shift of power to the young is needed if Nigeria wants to remain one.

The former Minister of Aviation made this known in a post on his Twitter page on Wednesday.

According to the PDP stalwart, 2023 will determine everything about Nigeria’s unity.

He stated that agitators for restructuring and self-determination are always tagged as dangerous extremists by the Nigerian government.

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I Foresaw Invasion Of Our Forests By Bandits – Olonisakin

I Foresaw Invasion Of Our Forests By Bandits - Olonisakin

Immediate Past Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, says while in office, he foresaw bandits invading forests in the country.

While dealing with Boko Haram insurgents in the north-east, the military, under his watch, had also been tasked with fighting bandits who operate from forests in the north-west.

Speaking at a thanksgiving service held in his honour in Ode Ekiti, his hometown in Gbonyin LGA, Ekiti state, the former defence chief said the military adopted futuristic intelligence to address insecurity.

He said they identified 14 security challenges and developed strategies that bordered heavily on intelligence gathering to tackle such attacks.

“We went through the storm and came up with those babies of necessities. The system did not have those structures to do what we were facing, so we had to come up with ad hoc arrangements like the platforms we created with the intelligence agencies,” NAN quoted him to have said.

“So, I encouraged the officers under me to add value wherever they found themselves. And we always think outside the box, because if you don’t do that, you might not add value and more importantly, to give the system their best.

“That was why we were coming up with strategies on a monthly basis to address the challenges we were facing on security threats, ranging from terrorism, insurgency, to theft.

“We were also futuristic in our approach to address some of the strategies. This invasion of our forests by bandits we are experiencing at the moment, I saw it years back. I did a kind of study and I knew that our next target was going to be the forests.

“We also made sure we encouraged a lot of research and development in the army formation. So, we did our best for this nation in terms of resolving this pathetic insecurity issue — that I can boldly say.”

Olonisakin, who was replaced by Lucky Irabor in January, had earlier said, under his leadership, the military reclaimed all territories controlled by Boko Haram.

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Hackers Attack Peoples Gazette Website Again After Expose On Isa Pantami

Online news platform, Peoples Gazette has been attacked by hackers after exposing the alleged plan by the Minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami and other Muslim leaders to assassinate the former Governor of Kaduna State nine years ago.

Peoples Gazette on Wednesday had released a document that the minister and some Muslim leaders in the country had plotted to assassinate the then governor who is of Christian faith.

Meanwhile, hours after releasing the documents, the news platform in a post on its Twitter account has raised alarm over a cyber attack.

It wrote, “We are currently under a massive cyberattack that has forced our website offline. Our web infrastructure managers are working to ward off the intrusion and get our servers back up again.”

“You may experience intermittent disruption during the restore process.”

This is coming months after the Federal Government allegedly shut down the platform of Peoples Gazette, denying its readers access to the website.

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What Nigerian Army Needs To Defeat Boko Haram, Others – COAS Attahiru

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru has identified what the Nigerian Army needs to fully overcome and defeat all forms of insurgency and terrorist activities in the country.

Attahiru on Wednesday told the Senate Committee on Army, led by its Chairman, Sen. Ali Ndume that to defeat the insurgency, the Army apart from adequate funding, “requires equipment, weapons, armour fighting vehicles, platforms and various combat enablers.”

The COAS said this when he hosted the Senators who were on an oversight visit to the Army Headquarters in Abuja.

He appreciated the opportunity to rub minds with the lawmakers on ways to tackle insecurity in Nigeria and told the Senators he would be looking out for their support.

Attahiru also promised the continued commitment of the troops to their constitutional role of protecting the territorial integrity of the country and eliminate all threats.

“To curb and finally defeat these threats, the Nigerian army requires equipment, weapons, armour fighting vehicles, platforms and various combat enablers.

“I urge you to as a matter of urgency, consider these critical needs as you legislate and appropriate funds.

“I will be counting on your support, so that we can efficiently perform our constitutional roles and defeat all our threats,” he said.

In his remarks, Senator Ndume promised that the legislators will provide all necessary support within their means to the military to ensure the troops are able to discharge their responsibilities.

He added that part of the reasons for their visit is to further understand challenges facing the Army and how to address them.

Ndume noted that the requests for equipment, weapons and personnel all translate into money.

“That is why we are calling on the government to give the Nigerian army the necessary support and tools to execute the mandate that is highly expected.

“Fortunately, we understand that the supplementary budget will be laid before the national assembly to take care of some of the loopholes and lapses that we saw in the 2021 budget.

“And, knowing the new security challenges that we are facing in various regions we are pledging that the national assembly will give all the necessary support to the Nigerian army.

“Especially, when it comes to the issue of budget or supplementary budget that is coming before us,’‘ he said according to NAN.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has attacked Nigeria’s Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, over comments praising terrorist groups.

In a post on his Twitter handle, the pro-Biafra activist stated that a terrorist sympathizer cannot repent.

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Isa Pantami: Nothing Like Repentant Terrorist – Nnamdi Kanu

Nnamdi Kanu Speaks On IPOB Clash With Soldiers In Orlu

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has attacked Nigeria’s Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, over comments praising terrorist groups.

In a post on his Twitter handle, the pro-Biafra activist stated that a terrorist sympathizer cannot repent.

Nnamdi Kanu claimed that terrorism is a form of Islamic ideology as well as a religious duty for every Muslim.

He wrote: “In case you forgot, TERRORISM is a form of #Islamic ideology, as well as a religious duty for every Muslim that believes in JIHAD.

“Therefore, there can never be anything like a repentant terrorist, not even some Minister named Isa Pantami (@DrIsaPantami).”

Naija News reports that Pantami had once revealed how joyful he used to feel with the killing of those he considered infidels.

The minister said this in three audio recordings of his teachings in the 2000s, when he condemned deadly operations of the then Al Qaeda and Taliban elements who were on a campaign to obliterate the West and conquer other parts of the world.

The minister said; “We are all happy whenever unbelievers are being killed,” Mr Pantami said. “But the Sharia does not allow us to kill them without a reason.”

“Our zeal (hamasa) should not take precedence over our obedience to the sacred law,” he added.

Pantami in his submission while responding to audience questions about his views on the then leader of the terrorist group, Osama Bin Laden, stated that he still considers the leader of the extremists a better Muslim faithful to himself.

But the minister recanted the comments on Saturday, saying that he has “changed several positions taken in the past based on new evidence and maturity.”

Isa Pantami blamed immaturity and limited knowledge for his views back then.

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2023 Will Determine Everything About Nigeria – Fani-Kayode

Fani-Kayode

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Femi Fani-Kayode has stated that a generational shift of power to the young is needed if Nigeria wants to remain one.

The former Minister of Aviation made this known in a post on his Twitter page on Wednesday.

According to the PDP stalwart, 2023 will determine everything about Nigeria’s unity.

He stated that agitators for restructuring and self-determination are always tagged as dangerous extremists by the Nigerian government.

Fani-Kayode wrote: “5 years ago those that called for the restructuring of our nation were called dangerous extremists.

“Now they are called men of vision. Today those that are calling for self-determination are being called dangerous extremists.

“5 years from now they will be called men of vision.

“I repeat this for all to hear. 2023 will determine everything.

“If u want Nigeria to remain together let there be a generational shift of power to a young, selfless & decisive leader that will be fair to ALL zones & tribes & will have the respect, support & confidence of everyone.”

In other news, gunmen who stormed Greenfield University, a privately-owned tertiary institution in Kaduna State, and kidnapped some students have demanded N800m as ransom before they can release their victims.

The kidnappers who are understood to have contacted the parents of the affected students also threatened to kill the students if their demands are not met.

Naija News recalls unknown gunmen on Tuesday night, abducted an unidentified number of students of Green Field University located along the Abuja-Kaduna highway during an attack on the school.

The armed men, who invaded the school around 10.30 pm also shot a staff of the school.

A cousin to one of the kidnapped students, Georgina Stephen has now revealed that the abductors have contacted their parents and made a collective demand of N800m for all the kidnapped students.

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Kidnappers Demand N800m Ransom For Abducted Kaduna Private Varsity Students

BREAKING: Gunmen Attack Police Station In Abia, Release Suspects

Gunmen who stormed Greenfield University, a privately-owned tertiary institution in Kaduna State, and kidnapped some students have demanded N800m as ransom before they can release their victims.

The kidnappers who are understood to have contacted the parents of the affected students also threatened to kill the students if their demands are not met.

Naija News recalls unknown gunmen on Tuesday night, abducted an unidentified number of students of Green Field University located along the Abuja-Kaduna highway during an attack on the school.

The armed men, who invaded the school around 10.30 pm also shot a staff of the school.

A cousin to one of the kidnapped students, Georgina Stephen has now revealed that the abductors have contacted their parents and made a collective demand of N800m for all the kidnapped students.

Stephen claimed 23 students, including 14 females and a staff of the university, were abducted.

She added that the kidnappers have been beating the abducted students, insisting if the ransom is not paid they will kill all of them.

Another parent, who spoke on condition of anonymity about the development also confirmed they have been contacted by the kidnappers who want them to pay the N800m ransom.

He however didn’t have information on the number of abducted students.

The Nation gathered negotiation of the ransom was already ongoing.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State government has confirmed gunmen’s attack on Greenfield University, a private institution of higher learning located in the state.

The statement by the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed that a staff of the school identified as Paul Ude Okafor was killed during the attack but the number of students kidnapped by the gunmen is yet to be established.

Mr. Aruwan in a statement on Wednesday about the incident disclosed that troops of Operation Thunder Strike, OPTS, and other security operatives were promptly dispatched to the school after a distress call was received.

He added that the security operatives have launched an investigation into the matter and are working to secure the safe return of the abducted persons.

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Pantami, Other Northern Leader's Allegedly Planned Assassination Of Late Kaduna Governor, Yakowa

Nine years after the death of former Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa in a helicopter crash, a document has emerged alleging how his assassination was plotted by some Muslim leaders.

Naija News recall that the Yakowa and former national security adviser, Owoeye Patrick Azazi died in the 2012 crash that birthed yet unanswered questions.

Peoples Gazette reports on Wednesday that Nigeria embattled Minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami and other prominent Muslim leaders in the country had plotted to assassinate the then governor who is of Christian faith.

The online news platform said it reached out to Pantami on the document at it disposal but  that the minister had not return a comment yet.

It was unclear whether the resolution of the Muslim leaders was responsible for the helicopter crash that killed Mr Yakowa and Azazi.

Naija News understands that Pantami chaired the July 13, 2010, meeting of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), a foremost Islamic body led by Sultan of Sokoto Sa’ad Abubakar, where it was agreed that the then Kaduna governor is taken down alongside his relatives and supporters.

Mr Yakowa happens to be the first Christian governor of the state which is dominated by Muslims. Though with a mix of Christians but dominantly Muslims, Naija News understands.

“We must either use the security or other means to eliminate the governor, his family and all those they perceive as supporting him,” Pantami and the Muslim leaders were quoted  saying in the communique adopted at the meeting held at Bauchi Central Mosque.

The meeting complained that Mr Yakowa was making moves to contest for governor in 2011 and he had the support of former President Goodluck Jonathan, a fellow Christian.

Naija News understands that Yakowa contested in 2011 and won a substantive four-year term. He was, however, killed in the helicopter crash barely a year in office.

Though there were suspicions that the event is more than just an accident, and investigation into what happened was never concluded or made public until recent controversy about the President Muhammadu Buhari is minster.

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Biafra/Oduduwa: FG Reveals Those Behind Calls For Disintegration

Schoolchildren Are Also Kidnapped in U.S, Others – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has blamed Nigerian elites for fanning the embers of disintegration in the country.

He stated this on Wednesday when he featured on a NAN flagship interview programme, NAN Forum.

According to the minister, Nigeria remaining united is in the best interest of the countries elites.

Lai Mohammed warned that they will bear the greater consequences if Nigeria ends up breaking apart.

He said: “Our challenge is more with the elites, not with the common people. Go to the remotest part of Nigeria today, you will see Nigerians from different tribes, culture and religion living together peacefully,” he said.

“Elites ought to take the lead in cementing the unity of the country. But when the elites start preaching tribal hatred, people believe them because they think they know better.

“Nigeria accounts for 70 percent of West Africa’s population, and if Nigeria should disintegrate today, we are going to overrun Benin Republic, Togo, Niger and other neighbouring countries.

“The elites will suffer more because some professors could be working in bakeries in Togo just to survive. We saw it happen when the Liberians came here during their civil war.

“It is in their own enlightened interest that they should work to fix Nigeria. Many of them have more than one passport — American, British, Irish — and at the first crack of trouble, they are gone.”

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Wike Asks PDP NWC To Suspend Babangida Aliyu

Buhari Govt Responsible For Worsening Insecurity - Wike

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has called on the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to immediately suspend former Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu.

The Rivers governor stated that Babangida should be suspended for working against re-election of former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.

Recall that Naija News reported that Aliyu while reacting to his suspension by the PDP in Chachanga Local Government Area of Niger, said the North would have lost out completely if Jonathan got reelected.

Aliyu who was the chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum said after northern governors supported Jonathan to complete the tenure of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the former president was still allowed to contest in 2011.

He said PDP governors in northern states opposed Jonathan’s bid for a second term because he reneged on their agreement not to seek another tenure.

“Since this was against the grain of our earlier agreement in the party, and which we the governors in the north felt the North would have been shortchanged if Jonathan had succeeded, we rose stoutly to insist on the agreement we all had,” he had said.

Reacting, Wike stated that, “If I was the leadership of the party I would have suspended Aliyu for that comment he made. But, you see, nothing will happen. The National Working Committee will not do anything. Why? They need Aliyu to support them.

“I cannot understand why you are a leader, so to speak, you come out and tell the world why you fought your party. I have never seen a thing like that in my life.

“If I was the leader of the party, I would have suspended Aliyu and heaven will not fall. What does he want to achieve? This was 2015, we have done the 2019 election. Jonathan had lost in 2015, why do you come out now to say how you fought him. Look at where we are today. So, you are telling us you made us be in this position where we are.

“You are telling Nigerians that you are one of those who kept Nigeria in this state? And then the National Working Committee will not do anything because Aliyu Babangida is one of the untouchables?”

Wike stated that as a leading opposition party in Nigeria, the PDP could not afford to accept acts of gross indiscipline and impunity, because it might undermine its chances to wrest power from the APC in 2023.

He said it was heart-breaking to hear that while himself and others were campaigning for the PDP to win the 2015 general elections, the likes of Aliyu who ran for the Senate in the same general election, had hatched and executed a scheme to undermine the party.

“I sat back here as State governor, I suffered, I struggled and campaigned for my State to produce the highest vote for PDP and somebody sat somewhere and he is boasting how they fought Jonathan and you want me to be happy? You have even insulted the people of the South-South,” he added.