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Northern elders beg Buhari, governors to stop harassment of Fulanis, cows

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Northern Elders, Forum, NEF, has asked the federal and state governments to escalate measures to halt what it described as the harassment of the Fulani and their cattle.

It also urged them to de-escalate inciting rhetorics regarding the now-suspended Ruga Project designed for the settlement of herders across the country.

NEF made the call in a statement yesterday by its Deputy Convener, Amb. Yahaya Kwande.

The Forum asked the country to remain sensitive to its rising deficits in security of lives and economic assets.

The statement read, “Federal and State governments must adopt policies and positions which address the harassment of Fulani and their cattle, de-escalation of inciting rhetorics and actions and short and long-term solutions to the problems which could damage the livestock industry, worsen community relations and threaten national security.

“The nation should remain sensitive to its rising deficits insecurity of lives and economic assets, and must do everything possible not to escalate tensions and distrust among Nigerians.”

The Forum also said it had taken note of the diverse positions adduced by groups and interests from the South and those from Northern Nigeria.

In particular, NEF said it had taken note of the representations made at a Press Conference held by the Coalition of Northern Groups on the latest developments related to the failure to find solutions to the problems related to management of the livestock assets of Nigerians, particularly cattle of the Fulani.

While the Forum said it had also taken due notice of the intense reactions which the statement by the Coalition generated across the country, it added that it has been contacted by a broad spectrum of interests and opinions to use its position to calm nerves and assist in the search for a practical and fair resolution of the situation.

NEF also acknowledged that the Northern Governors’ Forum Chairman, Simon Lalong, has also made similar overture to its leadership and a meeting has been fixed for next week.

“In consideration of the appeals of many well-meaning leaders and Nigerians including the Forum of Northern Governors, and in the exercise of its responsibility as the platform of Northern Elders, the NEF advises the Coalition of Northern Groups to exercise responsible restraint and take no further action in view of the potentially productive involvement of Northern governors and other respected Nigerians.

“Most Nigerians recognize the genuine grounds for raising serious grievances in the light of provocations and apparent lack of sensitivity to a matter that affects the North and indeed the rest of Nigeria in a most critical manner.

“Northern Governors’ concerns and commitment to finding solutions to a problem which is not being adequately addressed and one which has the potential to create additional security and economic problems for the nation is welcome. NEF will engage with the Forum and the Coalition and any Nigerian who seeks genuine solutions to the problems being faced by Northern Communities and the livestock industry.

“Finally, as we urge the northerners to heed the call for restraint made by the Coalition earlier pending the outcome of the meetings with the Northern Governors when NEF shall come out with a definite position on the matter,” NEF added.

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Arewa

Boko Haram Kills Aid Worker In Borno, Three Others Missing

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Boko Haram militants have killed a member of the Action Against Hunger, Grace Taku, as well as a driver while three health workers are missing.

The incident happened when a convoy of the aid agency was heading to Damasak in Borno State.

The attack is coming a day after an army commander, colonel and some soldiers were ambushed in Yobe State by Boko Haram terrorists.

A statement by Action Against Hunger reads, “One of the drivers was killed, while one Action Against Hunger staff member, two of the drivers and three health workers are missing.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident as these are colleagues dedicated to providing life-saving assistance to individuals and families affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the northeast of Nigeria. We are very concerned and want to ensure that they are safe and can be reunited with their families.

“Action Against Hunger strives to ensure that millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance in northeast Nigeria receive the essential services required for their survival, especially women and children.”

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Arewa

Nigerian Passport Scam: EFCC Arrests Immigration Officer, 14 Others

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Lagos Zonal office, has arrested a Nigeria Immigration Service officer, Mr Adebimpe Kehinde, for his alleged involvement in passport racketeering.

Mr Tony Orilade, EFCC acting spokesperson, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday. Orilade said that Mr Kehinde is an immigration assistant.

According to Orilade, Kehinde was arrested alongside 14 other suspected passport racketeers following intelligence reports received by the commission.

The suspects are Nnadika Timothy, Oyeyiga Samuel, Sunday Adekunle, Lola Kadoso, Adebayo Damilola, Adeola Oluwafikayomi Ajiboshin, Abubakri Adebayo.


Others are Uka Ifeanyi, Raph Emeka Ibuaku, Henry Onyebuchi, Christy Odey, Aba-Peter Blessing, Ogunmefun Oluwanishola and Busayo Balogun.

Orilade stated that the suspects conspired to extort money from unsuspecting members of the public applying for international passports.

According to him, items recovered from the suspects at the point of arrest include five laptops, mobile telephones and “official documents”.

“They will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded,” he stated.

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Atiku Gets 55 Cartons Of Documents From INEC As He Closes His Case Today

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Ahead of Friday’s sitting, the Independent National Electoral Commission has produced the documents which the presidential election petitions tribunal, in Abuja called for on Wednesday at the instance of the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

The documents which were packed in 55 cartons would be the last to be presented to the tribunal as the petitioners are expected to close their case on Friday.

However, only 58 out of its proposed 400 witnesses had been called as of Wednesday which happened to be the ninth of the ten days given to the petitioners by the tribunal to present their case.

The petitioners are, by their petition, challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress at the February 23 poll.

The tribunal of five judges led by Justice Mohammed Garba had on Wednesday ordered INEC to produce the documents by noon on Thursday.

This followed the complaints by the petitioners that the subpoenas issued and served on INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, and the commission’s resident electoral commissioner in Zamfara State to produce the documents had not been complied with.

The tribunal had on Wednesday adjourned the case until Friday, but the counsel to the PDP and Atiku, Chris Uche (SAN), attended the Thursday’s proceedings scheduled for hearing in respect of other petitions filed by the Hope Democratic Party and the Peoples Democratic Movement.

Uche said his presence in court was to ensure INEC’s compliance with the Wednesday’s order of the tribunal.

At about the time the five-man panel was to recede to chambers to write a ruling in respect of PDM’s petition, Uche informed the bench of his intention in court on Thursday.

In reaction, Justice Garba asked for update from INEC’s lawyer, Yunus Usman (SAN).

Replying, Usman informed the tribunal that the “documents had been substantially produced.

“It is a very tedious task, but we have to obey the court’s order,” he stated.

Within the period of the one-hour break observed by the members of the tribunal, INEC officials had brought in a total of 55 boxes of documents into the court room.

When the tribunal resumed sitting, INEC’s lawyer informed the panel that the order of the court had been complied with.

Pointing to the cartons of documents lined up in the courtroom, Usman said since the order of court was not for INEC officials on whom the subpoenas were earlier served to testify, the Director of Legal Services, Mrs Oluwatoyin Babalola, was present to represent the commission.

He also said there was a cover letter signed by the secretary to INEC, Mrs. Rose Orianran-Anthony, accompanying the documents.

He noted that the request by the petitioners for result sheets for the national assembly rerun election in Zamfara State were not available as no such election was conducted.

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