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Farmers, Herders Crisis Claims Soldier, 24 Others in Taraba

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Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku
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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.

JUDICIARY

Alia Signs Executive Order to Monitor Public Behaviour in Benue 

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Gov. Hyacinth Alia of Benue has signed an Executive Order establishing the Department of Public Order in the Ministry of Justice to coordinate government policies and matters relating to public order.

Performing the ceremony on Friday in Makurdi, Alia said the order was in pursuant of section 14 sub-section (2) of the 1999 constitution and section 10 of the Public Order Act, CAP 382 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He said he inherited a state characterised by widespread criminality and political violence such as kidnappings, murders, intimidation against targeted groups or individuals leading to emergence of local war lords and militia groups.

Represented by the Deputy Governor, Sam Ode, Alia said that those who breach the public rules would pay fines between N20,000 and N500,000 or be imprisoned, depending on the gravity of the offence.

He said the order prohibits all acts of violence, disobedience, lawlessness, and called for strict adherence to it.

“Apart from the grave state of insecurity highlighted above, my administration inherited indiscipline and disorderly public conducts which had been accepted by many citizens as norms, rather than aberrations.

“Incidences of disobedience to traffic light, wrong parking of cars, indiscriminate disposal of waste, loitering at late hour, will all attract penalties,” he said

Justifying the signing of the executive order, Alia said the act was to assist in maintaining law and order in the state.

He said the state was facing several security issues and needed to adopt her own measures in collaboration with security agencies and stakeholders to have a peaceful and harmonious home for all.

“Public order, as you know, is no doubt within the domain of the security agencies and law enforcement agencies which make up the criminal justice system in our country,” he pointed out.

Alia said the executive order reaffirms government’s stand against crime and against disorder.

”We are sending a clear message to those who seek to destroy the peace and harmony of our state.

“We will not tolerate violence, vandalismand any form criminal behaviour in the State,” he warned.

He announced the establishment of a Public Order Advisory Committee with the mandate to advise government on policies, restoration, attainment, preservation and maintenance of Public Order and safety in the state.

He said a Public Order Committee had been established to operate in all the local government areas by collaborating with the advisory committee and other stakeholders for the enforcement of the prescribed public order laws.

Earlier, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and Public Order, Mr Fidelis Mnyim, had said that all over the world, there is a law where there is order.

Mnyim explained that the observance of law always go together with public order which is the core responsibility of all governments.

“The duty and responsibility of government is for the protection of lives and property which manifests by way of observance of law and order.

“Section 10 of the public order act has permitted the governor to make such orders.

”Some of the issues that you may see in the public order are in the realm of morality, but, like I said, the section has permitted the governor to do that,” he said.

NAN reports that the order also prohibited extorting money from developers, building on water channels or structures, kiosks, shanties on the right of way, hawking or selling of goods of any kind by the road side.

NAN also reports that the order also prohibits farming on empty unfenced plots of land or in front of any premises or on the street, or by the road side within urban areas.

It also forbids farming on undeveloped areas of Government Offices, Quarters or reserved areas.

It said rallies, wakes and other forms of public gatherings should not hold beyond the hours of 10:pm.

It insisted that any person or group wishing to hold gathering beyond 10 p.m. must seek and obtain permit from the Department of Public Order at the Ministry of Justice.(NAN)

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Police Vow to Rescue Abducted Adamawa Speaker’s Aide

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The Police Command in Adamawa has confirmed the abduction of Usman Sahabi, the Chief of Staff to the Speaker, Adamawa House of Assembly.

Sahabi, a journalist with the Adamawa Broadcasting Cooperation, Yola, was on secondment to the house.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Suleiman Nguroje, confirmed the incident in Yola on Thursday.

Nguroje gave assurance that the command would leave no stone unturned to rescue the victim unhurt.

“Sahabi was kidnapped at gunpoint by unknown gunmen at about 1 am on Thursday in his resident at Wuro-chekke, Yola South Local Government Area,” he said.

Nguroje said that the command was doing everything possible to rescue him alive and also arrest the culprits.

“We have already deployed our personnel to swing into action immediately for his rescue.

“We are also soliciting collaboration with the public to provide us with useful information,’’ he said.

Nguroje promised financial reward for whoever that would provide the command with useful information that could lead to the victim’s rescue.

NAN reports that earlier, the state Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalist had condemned the incident and solicited prayers for the victim’s safe return.

The council’s Vice Chairman, Mohammed Ibrahim, said the union quickly reported the incident to the security agencies for their intervention.

Ibrahim sympathised with the victim’s family, loved ones and members of the union over the sad incident. (NAN)

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Police Arraign 12 Sex Workers in Ogun

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Twelve young ladies were on Tuesday arraigned at an Abeokuta Magistrate Court over alleged prostitution and indecent behaviour.

They were arraigned on a two-count charge of prostitution, behaving disorderly and in an indecent manner in public place, as well as constituting nuisance.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them.

The defendants are Abosede Adebowale, Olamide Balogun, Folashade Ogunleye, Opeyemi Akanni, Funmilayo Ishola, Ayomide Balogun, Tomisin Olakohun, Bukola Awonusi, Okiki Ogundimu, Jumoke Michael, Olamide Adebayo and Olamide Gbokiki.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Olaide Rawlings, told the court that the defendants committed the offence on Sunday at Iwe-Irohin along Oke-Ilewo road and the Skate Ground in Panseke area in Abeokuta.

Rawlings said the defendants were parading themselves in an unruly manner and constituting nuisance in public place to wit prostitution and other sex work.

She added that they were arrested by some police men.

The Prosecutor, however, noted that the offences contravene sections 225A(4) and 249(1)(a) of the Criminal Code Laws of Ogun, 2006.

The Magistrate, Mrs A. K. Araba, granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N200,000 each with one surety in like sum, who must be a registered Bondsman with the Ogun State Judiciary.

She then adjourned the case until Nov. 10 for hearing.(NAN)

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