A non- profit organization, the Greater Restoration Initiative (GRI), has condemned what it called the land grab initiative by the federal government in the name of building Ruga or Fulani settler communities in all the 36 states of Nigeria and the FCT with tax payers money.
The group wondered why the pilot phase which would be implemented in 12 states has “surreptitiously” commenced without consultation with the states or local communities concerned.
“We note the latent deceit laced in the policy, which is why the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development refused to brief the country before it commenced implementation of the so-called National Lifestock Transformation Plan being supervised by the Office of the Vice President.
“We note the Vice President’s disclaimer on the Ruga initiative. He however wasn’t enough to explain who is supervising it and why?” GRI said in a statement in Abuja signed by its leader, Mr James Mozeh.
The Ruga policy, it noted was criminal as it violated the Land Use Act which spelt out unambiguously where the control of land resource is vested. It also violates the foundamental human rights of the locals who traditionally own those lands, as the state governments only hold the land in trust for them as per the Land Use Act. It’s disheartening that the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, a Professor of Law, who recommended the Ruga has decided to protect his political career rather than speak for the truth and the rule of law.
“It’s also becoming increasingly worrisome that President Buhari who prides himself as Mr. intergrity will supervise and endorse illegality just because his kinsmen are the beneficiaries. Indeed posterity has an unkind place for nepotic and ethnic irredentist leaders.
“It is disheartening that in excess 500,000 Benue citizens and millions across the country, are displaced and living in unhabitable temporal shelters without any significant support from the federal government. Rather than resettle them, the president is more concerned about building homes for his kinsmen across the country.”
According to the group, the law – abiding sedentary farmers had suffered several attacks from Fulani herders who now occupy some of their ancestral lands.
GRI also recall that during the Vice President’s visit to Benue state at the wake of sustained Fulani herdsmen attacks on Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa and Kogi states villages, he promised the FG will provide N10bn in support to the affected communities to enable them rebuild their communities and return to their lives. Till date, nothing has been done about it and the federal government hasn’t helped any community rebuild. Yet the FG has set aside over N2.26 billion in tax payers money to forcefully build settlements for Fulani herders. Are the Fulanis more Nigerian than the rest over 400 tribes in Nigeria?
“We at GRI completely oppose the Ruga policy, we oppose the cattle colony, grazing route or grazing reserve initiatives. They are not only archaic but will further deepen the crisis that has already claimed thousands of lives across the country. Should the government forcefully choose to implement this anti-native settlers policies, the president should know he will be held responsible for any unrest associated with it,” the statement said.
Troops arrest 10 Robbers, rescue 3 Victims in Kaduna
By Gom Mirian, Abuja
The military high command, yesterday said its troops deployed on internal operations in Kaduna state has arrested ten armed robbery suspects at Kafanchan town in Jema’a local government area of the state.
A statement issued by the Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko stated the names of the arrested suspects as: Messrs Manga Ismail, a 22 – year-old, Idris Haruna (Ban Sambo), 20- year-old, Sani Bali, 19- year-old.
Others are Shamsudeen Ladan, 25 – year-old, Abdulmajid Yau (Sele), 22 – year – old , Abubakar Hassan, 23 – year-old, Abbas Aliyu, 15 – year-old, Mohammed Umar (Jazuli), 17 – year – old, Jonathan Vincent (Bamai), 19 – year-old and Stephen Joseph, 25 – year-old.
According to him, items recovered from the criminals include: TV, DVD, gas cookers, Mattresses, woofer, phones, scissors, among others.
Gen. Onyeuko also said on the same day, troops acting on intelligence reports, conducted a cordon search operation at Fanock Village, Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State and found a Toyota Corolla car with registration number ABUJA KUJ 452 AZ with no occupant.
Onyeuko explained that Troops conducted search operations in the surrounding bush and rescued 3 kidnaped civilians comprising two females and a male.
Speaking further, he said :”Troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN in a sustained effort to eliminate criminals elements in their Area of operation on 28 June 2022 based credible intelligence conducted clearance operation in conjunction with vigilantes at Kan Duniya Village, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, Plateau State, neutralized notorious bandit and kidnapper.
“Similarly, on the same day, troops on fighting patrol sighted 2 x suspected kidnappers around Sara High Ground Mangu Local Government Area Plateau State on a motor cycle, suspects abandoned their motor cycle on sighting troops and fled.
” Troop exploited area and recovered 2 AK47 rifles, 101 rounds of 7.62mm special, 5 magazines, 1 motor cycle, 1 iron digger and 2 black jackets amongst others”, he said.
Husband of Slain Kenyan Runner Tirop Seeks Plea Bargain
The husband of slain Kenyan distance runner Agnes Tirop is seeking a plea bargain after initially denying a charge of murder, his lawyer said yesterday.
Tirop, a rising star in the world of athletics, was killed last October in her home in Iten, a high-altitude training hub in western Kenya for top runners.
Emmanuel Ibrahim Rotich was arrested after a dramatic late-night chase the day after Tirop’s body was found with stab wounds, and has been in custody ever since.
The 41-year-old denied a charge of murder at a November court appearance.
But in the latest twist in the legal saga, his lawyer Ngigi Mbugua told the Eldoret High Court that Rotich was willing to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the hope of attracting a more lenient sentence.
The prosecution said it was not against the idea of a plea bargain but wanted Tirop’s family to be involved in the process.
A hearing on Rotich’s request will take place on 22 September.
HEDA Petitions ICPC over Allegations against Ex-CJN
The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over the allegations against the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Chairman, HEDA, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, yesterday in Lagos.
Suraju, in a letter to the Chairman of ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, urged the commission to stand tall over the allegations of corruption, maladministration and incompetence leveled against Muhammad.
“As a leading anti-corruption organisation in Nigeria and non-partisan human rights and development league, we call on the ICPC to commence investigation into the budgetary allocation, utilisation and development process of the judiciary with a view to sanitisation of that critical arm of government,” he said.
Suraju said it was widely reported that the immediate past CJN responded to the allegations brought against him by 14 Justices on the aforementioned allegations.
“It is unarguable that the judiciary is the last hope of the helpless and its judges are only meant to be heard and not seen.
“However, these allegations made by fellow Justices of the apex court against the CJN cannot be overlooked as it is weighty and must be diligently investigated by the commission in order to protect that vital institution.
“If the Supreme Court of Nigeria is infested with corrupt persons, then our democracy is doomed, ICPC and others relevant bodies should rise and act fast to redeem the temple of justice from possible collapse,” HEDA said. (NAN)
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