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Kukah Warns Against ‘anti-Fulani’ Campaign

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The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, has warned against blanket demonisation of herdsmen, especially of the Fulani stock, warning that such actions could be preamble to a breakout of violent confrontation.

The bishop said hate speech often precedes any genocide experienced in history.

Speaking yesterday at a colloquium on fake news and hate speech organised by the Olusegun Obasanjo Centre for African Studies, an arm of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), he said Nigerians “have to be very careful” before the situation degenerates beyond control.

He likened the uproar and profiling of the Fulani to what happened to the Igbo leading up to the Nigerian civil war between 1967 and 1970.

“If it is Fulani today, yesterday it was the Igbos,” he said.

Reacting to the recent controversy on the use of picture of a herdsman on the Nigerian passport booklet, Kukah said he was almost swayed by the fake news, before he got a copy of the passport himself.

The cleric displayed his passport to illustrate the content and debunk the insinuations that it carried only a picture of a herdsman.

“When I look at my passport, it has the coat of arm and map of Nigeria. Then right in front of the data page where all my information is, I have the Bini. I am not a Bini man, but I am eminently proud of this. I didn’t even know it was here, because I had to go through the passport page by page.

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“When I opened the passport the first thing I saw was Zuma Rock, then I see Tiv dancers. Who gave them permission to put Tiv dancers? Then I got to next page, before I came to this poor Fulani man who is standing with his cows. Suddenly, this is the only thing we have chosen.

“Why is it exciting? It is exciting because this is the time for us to ‘hate’, literally tag every Fulani as a herdsman. We are on a very dangerous precipice,” he said.

Kukah said it was time for those in the position of leadership to tame the situation.

“Those who lead us should better stand up and tell us where we are going,” he said.

In his opening remarks, NOUN’s vice chancellor, Abdalla Adamu, said liberalisation of the media space by technology provided opportunity for easy spread of fake news and hate speech.

He lamented increase in hate speech in the polity which, he said, will not augur well for the society.

“What we see are labels over crimes. The moment you start talking about labels, you are breeding hate speech,” Adamu said.

In her contribution, former journalist and politician, Chris Anyanwu, also bemoaned “too much of this hate and bile stuff” warning that it could consume the country if not properly tackled.

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“We have to be careful not to use our own hands to set our own house on fire and someone will sit there in Russia laughing,” she said.

CRIME

Troops arrest 10 Robbers, rescue 3 Victims in Kaduna 

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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. 

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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. 

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Foreign News

Husband of Slain Kenyan Runner Tirop Seeks Plea Bargain

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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.

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NEWS

HEDA Petitions ICPC over Allegations against Ex-CJN

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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.

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“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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