News Corner: Just The News... Picture It In Reading!
1. IPOB: Jonathan Condemns Deployment Of Soldiers, Slams Lai Mohammed.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has criticised his successor, President Muhammadu Buhari, for planning to extend the military show of force to the South-South and the South-West.
Jonathan said this in a Facebook post on Tuesday which was signed on his behalf by his aide, Reno Omokri.
The former President was emboldened by the statement by Senate President Bukola Saraki who had said the military had no right to declare the Indigenous People of Biafra as a terror group.
He said, “However, we want to advise the Buhari administration, which has announced plans to extend the military show of force to the South-South and the South-West through Operation Crocodile Smile, to tread with caution.
“Nigeria is no longer under military rule. In a democracy, you separate the military from the police. The military is not meant to fight criminality within a nation because they are trained to fight a nation’s external enemies.
“It is the police that are trained to fight crime internally. When the military starts doing the job of the police and starts fighting or doing what they call a ‘show of force’, the effect will not be to reduce crime. The effect will be to intimidate people.”
Jonathan also lambasted the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, for saying the activities of IPOB started because he lost the 2015 election.
Mohammed had said looters and disgruntled elements in the opposition were the chief sponsors of IPOB.
The former President said, “The insinuations in the press conference given by Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Sunday, accusing the opposition of sponsoring the IPOB and the fact that he mentioned that Nnamdi Kanu preached Nigerian unity during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan is another clear indication that the present administration has not left propaganda mode for proper agenda mode two and a half year into their tenure.
“If the government, in which Lai Mohammed serves, knows which opposition members are sponsoring IPOB, then they should identify them, arrest them and then prosecute them.”
Jonathan wondered if Saraki, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress, could be said to be a sponsor of IPOB since he had come out to say the proscription of the group was illegal.
While commending the South-East governors for their efforts in restoring peace, Jonathan said Mohammed had no moral right to cast aspersions as the minister had once criticised him for declaring Boko Haram a terrorist group.
He added, “It is our suspicion that Lai Mohammed is talking from history seeing as he criticized the Jonathan government for banning Boko Haram in a statement he released on June 10, 2013, even though the Jonathan government had gone through due process before proscribing that murderous sect. Perhaps Lai Mohammed thinks everybody is like him and those he represents.”
He asked the minister to concentrate more on serving the nation than on propaganda.
2. INEC Issues Fresh Timetable For Melaye’s Recall.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has issued an amended timetable and schedule of activities regarding the recall of Dino Melaye, an All Progressives Congress senator representing Kogi West at the National Assembly.
The commission disclosed this in a statement by its secretary, Augusta Ogakwu.
In fixing the new timetable, the INEC said enough time had been given for the senator to study the petitions and other attachments to enable him to prepare for the exercise.
The table showed the notice of verification will begin on October 3, while the last day of submission of application by observers will be October 5.
The publication of the list of accredited observers will be on October 9, following which there will be a stakeholders meeting at both the senatorial district headquarters and the local government headquarters on October 10.
The last day for submission of names of polling agents for verification by the lawmaker to be recalled and representatives of the petitioners will be on October 12.
The final verification will hold on October 14, according to the INEC timetable.
Man Arrested For Turning BOYS Into Sex Slaves
An ex-convict, Ibrahim, 43, has been arrested by officers of Katsina State Police Command for allegedly luring two 15-year-old-boys with N200 and turning them to sex slaves.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Gambo Isah, who confirmed the development yesterday, said Ibrahim played phonographic video for the teens before sodomising them.
Isah, who revealed that Ibrahim was once arrested for a similar offence, added that one of the boys reported the suspect to his mother, who later reported the case at the Central Police Station, leading to his arrest.
DSP Isah said investigation into the matter was ongoing and that he would be charged to court upon completion of investigation.
According to him, “Ibrahim had been convicted of a similar offence before. The mother of one of the victims reported the incident to his father after the victim told her.
“The father consequently reported the incident at the Central Police Station. Ibrahim will be arraigned soon after our investigation.”
In another development, a 30-year-old man, Mohammed of Barhim Estate Quarters, Katsina, is to be arraigned in court soon for allegedly having anal sex with an under-aged boy.
DSP Isah said the victim’s mother (name withheld) reported the incident to the Police. The Police spokesman said the victim’s anus was badly torn during the sexual encounter, adding that the development had forced the victim’s mother to take him to various hospitals, including Mallam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, for treatment in the past one and half years.
3. 4 Killed As Explosion Rocks NNPC Lagos Depot
Tragedy struck on Monday at the Petroleum Wharf, Apapa, Lagos State, after an explosion at the jetty killed four people.
Punch Metro learnt that a vessel, identified as Histria Ivory, was discharging Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) around 3am when some hoodlums besieged it to scoop fuel spilling from the vessel.
The activities of the hoodlums were to have caused an explosion, which resulted in the death of four people.
Officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, men of the Lagos State Fire Service, Federal Fire Service, Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Navy were said to have been called when the jetty’s in-house fire unit could not handle the inferno.
4. Ijaw People Are The Most Marginalized - Gov Dickson.
The Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has described Ijaw people of the Niger Delta as the most unfairly treated in the entire country.
Dickson in a statement signed Monday by his new Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Francis Agbo, spoke when the Roland Oweilaemi-led Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) visited him in his office in Yenagoa.
He asked the youths to continue projecting issues of economic marginalization and environmental pollution affecting the region.
Dickson urged them to collaborate with the government in addressing the age-long problems of underdevelopment of the Ijaw nation by successive administrations at the federal level.
“The Ijaw nation is oppressed in Nigeria, and those of us in positions should fight and protect the Ijaw interest. The weapons and strategy for the struggle must change," he said.
“For 60 years, there is no road to Bonny and Brass, where crude oil is lifted daily. No airport in the Ijaw nation, no oil company operating in the state pays taxes to contribute to the economy."
“The IYC must continue to raise the legitimate issues without fear of intimidation. I expect you to mobilize and raise the consciousness of the people about the precarious situation we are in”, said the governor.
He lamented the state of the region despite its huge contributions to the economic growth of the nation.
He called on political leaders and persons in positions of trust to protect the collective interest of the Ijaw people.
But Dickson said that the struggle to emancipate the Ijaw nation was no longer about carrying weapons, “but through intellectual and persuasive means”.
5. Police Arrest 59 IPOB Members, To Be Tried As Terrorists.
The Abia State Police Commissioner, Anthony Ogbizi, has said that with the proscription of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, by governors in the South-East and its declaration as a terrorist group by Defence Headquarters, arrested IPOB members would be tried as terrorists and anybody found with Biafra materials would be arrested and prosecuted.
Mr. Ogbizi disclosed this at a media briefing where he paraded seven of the suspected members of IPOB at Ariaria police station in Aba.
The police said they have arrested 59 suspected members of IPOB, in Abia State. They also confirmed the death of an officer after an attack by members of the now outlawed group.
He said the suspects would be prosecuted under the Anti-Terrorism act to ensure they were properly dealt with.
While restating what the army had earlier said, Ogbizi said. IPOB had shown itself to be a “terrorist group,” which must be dealt with as such.
Mr. Ogbizi said the army recovered several exhibits, including the coat of arms of Biafra from the suspects, adding: “As I am talking to you now, information reaching me said they have started gathering at Nnamdi Kanu’s house.”
Mr. Ogbizi called on citizens to volunteer information on the whereabouts of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB and denied the rumors circulating in the state that security agents arrested Kanu’s father.
6. MURIC Condemns Alleged IPOB Attacks On Muslims, Asks Yoruba Leaders To Speak Up.
The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has condemned reported attacks on Muslims in some parts of the South East and at the popular Abraka Market in Asaba, Delta State.
MURIC, in a statement issued by its President, Ishaq Akintola, described the attacks as wicked, cowardly, and unjustifiable.
The Delta Police Command had last week arrested two persons in connection with the attack at the popular Abraka market in Asaba in which four persons were allegedly killed.
The command had in a statement in Asaba by its spokesperson, Andrew Anamika, given the names of the suspects as Abraham Ndudi from Kwale, Delta State, and Okereke Ifeanyi from Ogbaru in Anambra State.
“The suspects were nabbed for their alleged involvement in the dastardly shooting and killing of four persons at the popular Abraka Market in Asaba on Friday, September 15th, 2017 at about 10:45 pm,” the police spokesperson said.
He added that the command has intensified efforts to arrest the third suspect, known simply by his alias, “Last Burial.” Mr. Aniamaka said the armed suspects, who are suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) or secret cults, had at about 10:45 p.m. on Friday night fired indiscriminately into the market.
MURIC in its statement, Sunday, said that an irate IPOB mob also attacked a Yoruba Mosque in Umuahia, Abia State, and “destroyed the mosque, tore copies of the Glorious Qur’an and defecated inside the mosque."
Some Yoruba Muslims caught up in the mayhem were manhandled and robbed of their laptops and handsets, the group said.
“It is well known that most Northerners who live in the South East and South West are poor citizens who engage in menial works like shoe-mending, shoe-shining, gate-keepers, etc. What crime has this poor and innocent class committed to warrant such a deadly attack? They are neither politicians nor civil servants,” MURIC said.
The group said that the attacks are a direct product of hate speeches delivered by Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed separatist group, IPOB.
“It is not surprising, therefore, that IPOB terrorists have started killing innocent Hausa people and attacking Yoruba mosques. Objective and pragmatic leaders of thought in the South East should prevail on Kanu and IPOB members to stop their terrorist activities henceforth,” Mr. Akintola said.
“We are irked by the silence of Yoruba leaders on IPOB’s attack on the Yoruba mosque. Are Yoruba Muslims no longer part of the Yoruba nation? Are they not the majority group in the South West? Are the elitist Yoruba leaders still bent on marginalizing the majority Yorubas in their midst just because the Muslims are not vocal?"
“MURIC demands proper prosecution of the two IPOB members arrested in connection with the terrorist act. We implore the Delta Police Command to fish out their accomplices. The law must take its due course.”
“We appeal to Muslims in and outside the South East sub-region not to take the law into their hands. Two wrongs do not make a right. We advise disgruntled groups to channel their grievances through their state governors. The federal government should, as a matter of urgency, set up a commission to dialogue with such groups."
“However, we reject the idea of a meeting between President Buhari and the IPOB leader as this will bestow a false illusion of officialdom and encourage lawlessness among other groups. Idolisation of criminality in itself is a crime,” it said.