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Herdsmen can take their cattle to any part of the country, just like Igbos with their business – Ango Abdullahi

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Herdsmen can take their cattle to any part of the country, just like Igbos with their business - Ango Abdullahi

A former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, and spokesperson of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Prof. Ango Abdullahi has vehemently defended the incessant killings by Fulani herdsmen across the country.

Abdullahi also said that the herdsmen menace is politically motivated by the South to disrupt the politically united North ahead of the 2019 general elections, adding that this was how Boko Haram was introduced during Goodluck Jonathan’s government which led to his failure in the 2015 polls.

Justifying the killings, the Professor said that the herdsmen are killing members of their host communities in order to defend themselves, adding that the herders were free to take the cattle to any part of the country the same way an Igbo man does his business.

In a strong worded interview with Vanguard, Abdullahi said, “I have been involved in debates against some respected people from the southern part of this country who believe that this country is not balanced because the North is too big; because the North is too politically united, so there must be a way of disrupting this unity, and this is what we are seeing on ground today, and the elements that are being used are the Fulani herdsmen.

“This matter would be looked at properly; political alliances and so on are welcome. You don’t need to lose blood, or property to engage in political alliance or whatever you want, or still, you don’t need to introduce excuses that will lead to loss of lives. We saw this when the Boko Haram was on ground; they said northerners created the sect to disrupt former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, which led to his failure in the last election, and so on.

“Now that Boko Haram is out of the way, the new excuse is the Fulani herdsmen. This is what is happening in other places except in areas that you are talking.

“We have seen what they called a new handshake across the Niger; it is political, and we have seen the mourning that has taken place in Benue and other places to show that the monolithic North is not in tandem with the Middle Belt; it is all politics. Our Middle Belters don’t need to take the agenda that appears to be a thing of distrust. We are not going to force anybody into a relationship politically or otherwise. We see this as a political agenda.

Asked if herdsmen are not the ones committing the murders, he added, “The truth is, if you want to kill me and I have a chance first, I will kill you, or you do want people to be killed and not defend themselves? By your reporting, you have denied them justice and government also has denied them justice by not going to arrest those that are killing them. So, they defend themselves.

On the herdsmen that kidnapped, raided and Chief Olu Falae’s farm ablaze, he said, “My uncle was kidnapped last week in Kaduna, my cousin’s children were also kidnapped and they had to go and find N2.5 million to pay. Why is Olu Falae case different?

“Because he was Secretary to the Federal Government? He is a Nigerian just like my uncle and my cousin whose children were kidnapped. The right of every citizen is important under the law. Why is he so special?

“What about the impunity of the people killing herdsmen? The herdsmen in Nigeria are reacting to the injustice meted out daily to them?

“You people, you Nigerians, including you who are biased, who are not prepared to protect the rights and interests of herdsmen. They are killed but not reported, that is not acceptable.

“Herdsmen operate in these places you mentioned because the country has denied them the traditional routes which the British created for them IN 1914 when they occupied this country because they realised that, like cars require tracks, herdsmen also require tracks they can use to graze and drink water.

“The British provided it for them and gazetted it but people have denied them these routes. So, where do you expect the animals to follow? They have to follow somewhere and the easy road is the one other people are using. We are all living in Nigeria.

Asked if he was trying to justify the menace of herdsmen, he maintained, “I am justifying it very strongly because herdsmen are being unjustly treated in this country.

“They are businessmen just like the farmers whose crops are being destroyed. They should invest in their business; buy ranches like the farmers bought their parcels of land.

They are businessmen. If an Igbo man could go to my state and set up a shop, why shouldn’t herdsmen operate elsewhere? Or are you the one who planted the grass the animals are feeding on? Are you the one who created the water they drink?

“The land belongs to Nigerians and herdsmen are Nigerians. If an Igbo man can go to the North and set up a business, why won’t herdsmen go to the South, including your village, to graze their cattle?

“Where we come from, you don’t pay for land, you only ask for permission to use it. That is why I said you people are biased against other people and that is why the peace of this country will be very difficult.”

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Cultists threaten Governor Ben Ayade over detained members

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Cultists threaten Governor Ben Ayade over detained members

The Special Adviser on Administration to Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade, Mark Obi, has confirmed that a cult group in the state has been sending threat messages to the governor and other top officials in government.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Hafiz Inuwa Mohammed, said he also confirmed receiving a similar threat.

Other government and security dignitaries listed for assassination by the two cult groups included the 13 Brigade commander of Nigerian Army Calabar, the state Attorney General/ Commissioner for Justice, the Chief judge, the Chief Registrar, and Dr Frank Ayade, younger brother of the governor.Cultists threaten Governor Ben Ayade over detained members

The cultists were said to have asked those threatened to produce their members who were detained during the aftermath of the last bye-election in the Obudu State Constituency election.

One of the threat letters from the cult groups to the government read:

“Just watch out and see what is going to happen to you shortly. We have mobilized our boys and ammunitions for this assignment. And you have no where to hide. It is just a matter of time”

President of Clans Club International, Fred Obeten, who addressed journalists in Calabar yesterday, cautioned the Virkings and Skilo groups which, he said, issued the threats, against taking the laws into their hands.

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Flood submerges five communities, rice mill in Benue State

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Flood submerges five communities, rice mill in Benue State

Flood submerges five communities, rice mill in Benue State

The Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency(BSEMA), Emmanuel Shior said on Wednesday that the rampaging flood has submerged five communities in Agatu and other parts of Makurdi, the state capital.

Shior disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Makurdi on the current flood situation in the state, adding that Rice Mill and other settlements on the banks of River Benue were also affected. He said that the state government had taken proactive measures, including setting up a committee to sensitise the people of the state on the dangers ahead.

He said that the committee consists of officials drawn from SEMA, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Information and other stakeholders in the state. Shior said that SEMA, in conjunction with NEMA and other stakeholders, had embarked on an awareness campaign in the media, churches and Mosques. He said that the campaign was intended to encourage residents of flood prone areas to relocate to safer areas.

The BSEMA boss said that the latest check with a guage showed that the water level at the River Benue had risen to 11 metres, barely one meter to its maximum level. According to him, the water has virtually reached the level that caused flooding in 2012, during which most parts of the state were submerged. He advised residents to steer clear from the river because of the high level, saying that 12 metres was the highest level that could cause disaster in any state.

He said that centres in the state, including the International Market, had been prepared to accommodate displaced persons. In his remark, Mr Lugard Slaku , the Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for North Central, said that 12 states, including Benue, had been listed as most threatened by flood in the country.

“So we have come with a team trained by NEMA to collaborate with SEMA to assess the situation, check the available facilities and gaps and report back to the head office for additional resources, where needed.” Slaku said.

Slaku said that while NEMA, SEMA and other stakeholders were working hard to ensure prompt response to distres calls, the people must cooperate with government to prevent avoidable disaster.

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Video of dancing senator, Ademola Adeleke, dishing hot steps at PDP rally in Osun state

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Video of dancing senator, Ademola Adeleke, dishing hot steps at PDP rally in Osun state

Video of dancing senator, Ademola Adeleke, dishing hot steps at PDP rally in Osun state

Senator Adeleke doing what he loves best..

Watch the video below.

 

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