Farmers, Herders Crisis Claims Soldier, 24 Others in Taraba
From Christiana Babayo, Jalingo
A soldier and 24 other residents of Ussa and Takum local government areas of Taraba States are said to have been killed so far in the unending feud between Kuteb farmers and herders in the state.
This is according to the Police Public Relations Officer in Taraba State, Abdullahi Usman.
He said the military officer was ambushed and killed while the other 24 persons are either Kuteb or Fulani extractions.
“The military officer who was from the checkpoint coming back to 93 Battalion Barrack was ambushed and killed, though nothing was taken from him, his motorcycle and luckily he has no rifle on him,” Usman stated.
“He was killed by unknown persons and an investigation has been launched to unravel those behind the killing. Statistically, 20 Kuteb indigenes were killed while three Fulani herdsmen also paid the supreme price as a result of the crisis.”
He insisted that at the moment, the major problem halting the return of peace is the claim by the Fulani herdsmen that their cattle are held hostage by the Kuteb farmers and the denial from the other end.
The problem we are now facing is that the Fulani are claiming that their cattle are rustled and are held hostage within the Kuteb farmers’ areas while the Kutebs fear going to the farm for fear of attack from the Fulani herdsmen.
“The commissioner of police has called on the leader of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Ussa and the claimants to discuss, agree and go to where they alleged that their cattle are held hostage for fact-finding as well as the release of same for peace to reign,” the police spokesman added.
All attempts to speak to the state chairman of MACBAN proved abortive.
However, the President of the Kuteb Yatgso Association of Nigeria, Emmanuel Ukwen – an umbrella body of the Kuteb-speaking tribe in the country – revealed that peace was brokered between them late last year in which a 14-point resolution was reached and signed.
Ukwen alleged that the state government failed to provide the needed funds to implement the agreements reached which gave rise to enemies of progress to renew the attacks.
“What baffles us was that peace was brokered with herdsmen, it then became an onslaught by bandits.
“Who invited or hired the bandits? We want the state government to investigate and tell the world. It should be noted that as we speak dozens of innocent citizens have been killed by the bandits in Takum, Ussa, and Yangtu Special Development Area, and equally thousands of people have been displaced from their ancestral homes.” he said.
He said as the leader of his people, he has not seen the state government either visit his people or sympathize with them or provided the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and relief materials, a situation the state government denied saying it provided the shelter they are staying as well as relief materials in quantum.
Police Arrest 25-year-old Man for Allegedly Nicking Tricycle
The Adamawa State Police Command says it has arrested a 25-year-old man, Suleiman Auwal, for allegedly stealing a tricycle.
Auwal, who hails from Yobe but resides at Asorok in Jambutu community in Yola metropolis, has since confessed to committing the crime.
The suspect made away with a tricycle belonging to one Abubakar Usman on Friday, June 2, 2023, at the Juma’at Mosque located at the Jimeta Ultra Modern Market in Yola metropolis.
Police investigation revealed that after the congregational prayers, the suspect rushed to where the tricycles were parked and made away with one.
The suspect allegedly confessed that he was using the stolen tricycle for commercial purposes around Wullere in Jambutu community until when he was arrested.
He explained that he was paying N100 to a local security man to guard the tricycle from being nicked by another thief.
Police Spokesman, SP Suleiman Nguroje, confirmed the incident said that the suspect was currently in police custody.
Nguroje said that the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Afolabi Babatola, had ordered for discreet investigation and the subsequent prosecution of the suspect in a competent court of law. (NAN)
Police Arrest 3,619 Suspects Over Terrorism, Other Criminal Offences
The Police have confirmed the arrest of 3,619 suspects over alleged offences of terrorism, secessionism, kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry and proliferation of firearms across the country.
The Inspector-eneral of Police (I-G), Mr Usman Baba said this in Abuja during a meeting with Strategic Police Manager, consisting of officers from the rank of Commissioners of Police and above.
He said 316 kidnap victims were rescued with 486 assorted firearms, consisting of AK-47 rifles and locally fabricated automatic weapons recovered during various police operations between January and May.
The I-G said 4,072 assorted calibers of live ammunition and other incriminating items linked to various major crimes were also recovered from the suspects.
He said available statistics had shown that the internal security situation of the country had relatively been calm in the last five months.
Baba said the security situation had continued to improve with a decline in incidences of major crimes recorded across the six geopolitical zones.
According to him, excluding the electoral offences during the last electioneering process in Nigeria, we recorded a total of 1,630 cases which cut across major offences.
He said in spite of the successes recording that, there were still projected security threats across the country, including the aftermath of the fuel subsidy removal with the emerging threat of industrial action.
Baba said the police would not rest on its oars, but must redouble its efforts to maintain the needed peace and stability of the country’s democracy, particularly, with preparations for June 12, Democracy Day.
“I charge you all to remain focused while monitoring the election tribunals and the proposed industrial actions across the country.
“You must develop proactive crime management mechanisms to forestall any untoward acts from political and non-political actors,” he said.
He said the Nigeria Police was duty bound to align with the security policy and initiatives of the new Federal Government administration that requires all security agencies to adopt contemporary security measures.
Baba said the security measures include effective synergy and collaboration with other sister security agencies and the intelligence community.
The I-G said the Federal Government had directed that there must be no form of discordance or cross-purpose activities that would engender inter-agency rivalry in the fight against crimes and criminality.
“I, therefore, implore you all to sustain your official engagements with other sister security agencies and stakeholders within your Areas of Responsibilities (AORs).
“The idea is to achieve a Whole of Society approach towards mitigating crimes in our beloved country,” he said.
Baba cautioned the senior officers against the menace of criminalising civil matters.
He said the police had maintained a stand and rolled out several directives and correspondences in this regard.
He said the directives had been to abreast officers on the need to streamline investigations and to caution officers and men against meddling with civil matters.
The I-G said such matters include land cases, debt collection, matrimonial case and matters already pending in court. (NAN)
Kidnapped Septuagenarian’s Family Frowns at Arraignment of Two Suspects
The Iweha family in Abia has frowned at the arraignment of two suspects in connection with the alleged kidnap of its patriarch, Prof. Uwadinachi Iweha.
The family spoke at a news briefing in its Umuajameze Umuopara home in Umuahia South Local Government Area on Monday, to mark the anniversary of the unfortunate incident.
It said that the arraignment of the suspects made no sense without any clues as to the whereabouts of the septuagenarian.
The Professor of Medicine and Provost, Gregory University’s Medical College, Amachara, near Umuahia, was reportedly kidnapped in front of his house by yet-to-be identified hoodlums on June 5, 2022.
It was learnt that the assailants ambushed him as he returned home from Church to prepare for a function, where he was billed to represent the university Chancellor, Prof.Greg Ibe.
He was reportedly pursued into a nearby bush, while trying to escape after he alighted from his car, and taken into captivity to date.
Giving an update on the incident, the victim’s first son, Chukwudi, said that the police arrested five suspects in connection with the kidnap.
He said that the arrest was made possible, following the recovery of his father’s cellphone in Port Harcourt.
According to him, three of the suspects were later released for reasons best known to the police, while two were arraigned in a magistrate’s court in Umuahia.
Chukwudi said the family was apprehensive that the police commenced prosecution after its investigations allegedly stalemated without informing them or obtaining any clues from the suspects regarding the whereabouts of their father.
“We got the information that the suspects would be arraigned on May 5 but the police did not consult us.
“However, the arraignment could not hold because of the strike by the judiciary workers in the state,” he said.
He, however, said that the family received the help of the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 9, through his brother-in-law; hence it could achieve some mileage in the matter.
“But we were alarmed that the police released three suspects and arraigned only two without consulting us and no clues were obtained concerning where the kidnappers kept our father.”
Chukwudi, who was flanked at the briefing by other members of the family, alleged that the two persons were “key suspects but not the main suspects”.
According to him, the security agencies have been working with us with some results.
“But 52 weeks have passed and they have still not been able to produce the real culprits behind the kidnap or return our father to us,” he said.
He further said that the family had remained traumatised by the incident and could not discern the motive behind the evil act or point accusing fingers at anybody.
“We have our trust in God that he would return and be reunited with us in good health,” Chukwudi said.
He regretted that their father, who returned home to serve the state and his community, could be so rewarded through vicious attack by hoodlums.
He, therefore, appealed to the assailants and their sponsors to release him, describing the rumours peddled in the area that he had returned as baseless.
He also appealed to Gov. Alex Otti and the National and State Assembly-elects from the area to help the family to spur security agencies to pursue their investigations to a logical conclusion.
The family thanked individuals and groups, including the Traditional Ruler of the community, Eze Godfrey Ibeakanma, the Umuopara women, Nigeria Medical Association, Abia chapter, the Methodist Church Nigeria and other religious leaders, amongst others, for their prayers and support.
The family had hinted that more than N5 million ransom was earlier paid to the assailants, yet they reneged on their promise to release the victim after collecting the money. (NAN)
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