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Plateau Attack: Natives Dump Corpses at Govt House

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From Jude Dangwam, Jos and Vincent Nyinongu, Makurdi

Aggrieved residents of Zangam and Kunga community of Naraguta village, yesterday resisted the urge to put their beloved ones killed by bandits in mortuary.

Rather, the natives deposited the corpses at entrances of Government House and the State Assembly.

The reaction came as a result of the  tragedy, which struck in the community of Naraguta village behind the University of Jos permanent site in Jos-North local government area Plateau state, leaving over 35 persons dead.

The incident occurred Tuesday night when the people had slept as the attackers struck killing and burning many to death without recognition.

The killing spree also affected a family of five as well as three others in Yelewata, a border satellite town along Makurdi -Lafia expressway.

The latest attack on Plateau occurred hours after the State Governor, Simon Lalong, had briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the state of insecurity in the state.

Lalong had also requested the President to beef up security in the state as he put it “we have tried our best”.

The attackers also set houses and other properties worth millions of naira ablaze.

Corpses of the victims were deposited yesterday  at the Plateau Specialist Hospital in Jos.

This is coming after security operatives had an encounter with some kidnappers who attacked Kwoi Village, in Mangu LGA of the state this week Monday night.

Six of the kidnapers were killed during exchange of gun battle, which the Commander of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) Unit, Insp. Abdulrahaman Isah lost his live in the encounter.

“Exhibits recovered from them include Three AK 47 Rifles with Breach Nos 868, 106076 and 123487.

“Regrettably, one Insp. Abdulrahaman Isah, who is the Commander IGP’s Intelligence Response Team based in Mangu and one Hassan Mohammed a local vigilante gallantly paid the supreme price,”  the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Gabriel Ubah, said.

Recall that Joint operation of security operatives along Akwanga Jos road recently arrested one Likita Abubakar, a Fulani man in Akwanga, on Saturday August 21, 2021 by the Join Task Force of Police and Federal Road Safety Commission in Nasarawa state while transporting ammunitions to Jos.

The suspect, according to report, confessed that six of the gangs had, so far, navigated their way to Jos with similar load of ammunitions.

Herders Kill Five Family Members, Three Others in Benue

Herders in the dusk hours of yesterday attacked and killed eight people, five of which were members of the same family at Yelewata, a border satellite town along Makurdi -Lafia expressway.

A member of the community and Principal Special Assistant to Benue State Governor, Comrade Frank Utoo, who spoke with DAILY ASSET said the herders launched attack on Yelewata between the hours of 7-8pm yesterday and conveniently sacked and murdered eight people in cold blood.

During the invasion, five members, wife with four children of the family of one Mr. Peter Akera, who was away from home were murdered leaving him as the only surviving member of the family.

“This is Peter Akera, the young man facing me bare-chested. He is a friend and a brother, and more importantly, a very determined young Nigerian.

“Last night, Fulani herdsmen invaded Yelewata, my village, a border town with Nasarawa State, and killed his wife and his entire four children. The wife was preparing supper for the little kids who were playing around.

“The murdered woman experienced birth difficulties. She had two miscarriages before God finally blessed her womb and she was able to birth 4 children, among whom was a set of twins.

“Unfortunately, last night (Tuesday, 24 August, 2021) armed Herdsmen sneaked into her compound shortly after dusk, around 7:30 PM and shot and butchered her with the kids, while the husband was still in the market place.

“Three other people were also killed, this is the Nigeria we have today,” he lamented

It was learnt that there was no provocation warrant such blood on the people who were comfortably holding their peace.

When contacted, the Benue State Police Command through her Public Relations Officer, DSP Sewuese Catherine Anene confirmed the incident but said the situation has been brought under control as the police has deployed more personnel to cover all the loopholes and assured people of the area of safety moving forward.

Anene added that the commissioner of police had visited the scene of the incident to console with members of the affected family as well as the community even she said no arrest has been made so far.

Natives Dump Corpses at State Assembly, Govt House

Pandemonium rocked Jos the Plateau State capital yesterday when the Anaguta speaking natives of Jos North LGA amongst others  resisted the deposition of the bodies of their love ones at the Specialist Hospital, but took them to the State House of Assembly before dumping the corpses at the gate of the new Government House, Little Rayfield.

The State Assembly complex was under lock and keys as members and workers in the complex took to their hills for sfety.

DAILY ASSET gathered that 16 persons were burnt beyond recognition by the attackers and were buried late Wednesday.

Ealier in the day, youths in the state proceeded to the new Government House with the corpses loaded in a van insisting that the Governor should take them.

The protesting youths were carrying leafs, wearing blacks and furious be could not be intimidated by the heavy presence of security personnel stationed at the Government House gate.

The National President of Anaguta Development Association (ADA) Hon. Sunday Bunu in an interview with DAILY ASSET yesterday expressed shocked over the killings of his people whom he said has always been accomodetive and peace loving.

Bunu gave some build-up to the devastating killings which he said they have never envisaged any conflict that would even led to lost o lives.

“As a community leader I am shocked, when I received the news this morning. For killing people just like chicken without any provocation is unacceptable.

“In fact we started this thing on Thursday the 3rd of this month, issue came up about grave yard and the Ujah now called the two parties (Muslim and natives) after intensive discussions he directed them to go and iron things and bring back the report to him.

“If not for the unfortunate happening along Rukuba road, the report of the resolutions reached could have been given to the Ujah last week, so, we were surprised.” 

He further explained the lingering burial ground issue thus; “the issue of the burial ground where the Muslims normally buried their corpses there is that, there has been a road that passes by the burial ground and that road has eroded seriously by erosion.

“So, the road has been diverted close to the burial ground and they (Muslims) when a dug a pit on the diverted road. When asked why will they dig the road and they told the community to go and repair the eroded one and that was just it”, he narrated.

The Military Information Officer Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) Major Ishaku Gaji Takwa had earlier on said security intervention on the attacked community was slow by the vandalisation of the only bridge leading to the village by the attackers.

In his words, “Troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN mobilisation to save the community was slowed down by the destruction of the bridge by the marauders. 

“Troops eventually got to the scene of the attack by navigating through other villages and met some houses  already burnt and casualties recorded.”

Lalong Briefs Buhari, Wants Culprits to Face Justice

President Muhammadu Buhari met behind closed doors with Plateau state Governor, Simon Lalong at the Presidential Villa, Abuja,

The meeting was not unconnected with the recent killings of innocent indigenes of the state by bandits.

Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, the governor said he updated the president on the security situation in Plateau state.

He said President Buhari pledged that support would be given to victims of the violent clashes in the state.

“I also made a request to the President about relief materials and also still re-echoed the issue of resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

“We have a lot of IDPs in my state, we have a lot on our hands already and when such happens, you expect the state to seek support for relief materials.

“We are doing our best, but the President said he will talk to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, so that attention would be given to those who are displaced as a result of this crisis.

“For over six years now, we have been enjoying peace in Plateau state so, anybody that wants to take Plateau back to those old days of crisis, it is not only me as governor, but all Plateau people will resist that.

They have said ‘‘we don’t want to go back to the crisis again, we are enjoying peace, and we want to continue to enjoy our peace,’’ Lalong said.

On recent killing of travellers at Rukuba, near Jos, and other violent clashes in the state, the governor vowed that all those implicated would be prosecuted irrespective of their background or “connections” in the society.

According to him, the security situation in the State has greatly improved and very soon, the curfew imposed on troubled areas will be further relaxed.

 “What we are doing is to ensure that there is proper investigation and prosecution.

“You know, both the Soldiers and Police are controlled by the Presidency and right now they are diligently working in my state on a daily basis”, he added.

Re-imposes 24-hour Curfew on Jos North LGA

The Plateau Government has re-imposed the 24-hour curfew on Jos North Local Government Area, following growing tensions arising from fresh attacks in Yelwa Zangam community in the area.

Lalong in a statement issued by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham,yesterday  in Jos, said the 24-hour curfew would take effect from 4 p.m. on Aug. 25 until further notice.

He said the proactive decision became necessary following imminent threat to lives and property within the Local Government Area and the need to forestall the breakdown of law and order.

Lalong said the decision was also to enable security agencies to appropriately control the situation, as the search for the attackers of the villagers continued.

He appealed to the residents of Jos North to cooperate with the Government by complying with the 24-hour curfew, as defaulters would be arrested.

The governor said that the 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew on Jos South and Bassa local government areas remained in force, until further notice saying, only people on essential duties were exempted from the curfew.

He called for calm, saying he is seriously grieved by the attacks.

He sympathised with the victims of the attacks, while appealing to them to show restraint and allow Government to handle the matter.

Lalong said the action was also to prevent hoodlums from taking advantage of the unfortunate situation to cause mayhem and destruction in the state.

NAN recalls that the State Government had on Aug.15 imposed a 24-hour curfew on the Jos North Local Government Area, following the killing of at least 22 travelers passing through the area by hoodlums, but relaxed it to 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Aug.18

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COVER

Insecurity: State Police Bill Passes Second Reading in Reps

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By Ubong Ukpong, Abuja

A bill seeking to alter the provision of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to provide for the establishment of state police passed through second reading in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Entitled “A Bill for an Act to Alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Provide for Establishment of State Police and for Related Matters (HB.

617),” the proposed legislation was sponsored by the Deputy Speaker Benjamin Okezie Kalu and 14 other lawmakers.

Leading the debate on its general principles, one of the co-sponsors, Hon.

Tolani Shagaya noted that the primary purpose of government as enshrined in Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Altered) is the security and welfare of the citizens.

He noted that in recent times, the nation’s collective security has been greatly challenged and state policing is not only inevitable, but urgently desired to tackle the mounting challenges of insecurity.

The lawmaker explained that the establishment of State Police is a clarion call for a tailored, community-centric policing system; and an acknowledgment that our states are uniquely positioned to address the security challenges within their borders.

Listing some of the key innovations of the proposed alteration, he said, “the transfer of “Police” from the “Exclusive Legislative List” to the “Concurrent Legislative List”, a move that effectively empowers States to have State controlled policing; the introduction of a comprehensive framework to ensure cohesion as well as accountability and uniform standards between the Federal Police and State Police; the provision of prescribed rigorous safeguards preventing unwarranted interference by the Federal Police in State Police affairs, emphasising collaboration and intervention only under well-defined circumstances.

Others included: “the establishment of State Police Service Commissions as distinct from the Federal Police Service Commission with clearly defined roles and jurisdictions; a re-calibration of the National Police Council to include the Chairmen of the State Police Service Commissions, emphasising the collaborative and consultative nature of policing in our federal system, a recognition of the possible financial challenges which may be faced by States Police, by empowering the Federal Government to provide grants or aids subject to the approval of the National Assembly, thus ensuring adequate resources for effective policing, etc.”

Shagaya added that the alterations proposed in the Bill are not just alterations to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but also the building blocks of a more secure, accountable and resilient Nigeria.

Contributing in support of the bill, Hon. Ahmed Jaha stated that the bill is timely as security is the responsibility of all and everybody’s business.

He noted that with community policing and Nigerian police working in tandem, they will rid our communities of all forms of crime.

Also, Hon. Babajimi Benson supported the bill, commending the Deputy Speaker for initiating it.

On his part, Hon. Awaji-Inombek Abiante in supporting the bill noted that Nigeria has had enough of insecurity and establishing state police is a way to improve the situation.

The bill when put to vote got the support of the majority of the members.

It was later referred to the Committee on Constitution Review by the Deputy Speaker who presided over the session.

He urged members who have further inputs on the bill to channel such concerns to the committee.

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MOFI Launches N100bn Fund to Stimulate Investments

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) has launched a N100bn project preparation fund to stimulate investments in Nigeria.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive of MOFI, Mr Armstrong Takang disclosed this at the Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

The conference which was declared open by Vice President Kashim Shettima had in attendance the Minister of Finance Wale Edun, the Chairman of the MOFI Board Dr Shamsudeen Usman, a former Finance Minister Dr Olusegun Aganga, Chairman of Heirs Holdings Tony Elumelu and other top officials in the public and private sectors of the economy.

As part of a broader strategy to deal with these challenges, Takang said MOFI, as the trusted custodian and the shareholder for the Federal Government of Nigeria’s investment assets is executing a number of initiatives aimed at contributing towards building a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

According to him, the conference would foster collaboration among stakeholders, facilitating the exchange of insights, experiences, and best practices in managing public assets.

He said by working together, stakeholders can find innovative solutions to the challenges the economy is currently facing.

He explained that efficiency and transparency and accountability are at the heart of effective public wealth management, pointing out that the conference will be used as an avenue to optimize the performance and returns from federal government’s assets under MOFI’S management, ensuring that they deliver maximum value for the Nigerian people.

He stated that given the importance of public wealth in rebuilding the economy, especially at a time when there is a need for more focus on domestic resource mobilisation, now is the time to encourage the exploration of innovative mechanisms such as public-private partnerships and alternative financing models.

By unlocking hidden value in public assets, Takang said the country can attract investments and drive economic growth for Nigerians.

He also disclosed that the conference would provide potential investors with data-driven insights on federal government assets, noting that by presenting compelling investment opportunities, MOFI can attract the capital needed to fuel economic development and create jobs for Nigerians.

Speaking also at the event, Usman said MOFI will leverage and explore innovative strategies that will unlock the full potential of the government’s public assets.

He said, “We are starting a journey that other nations such as Singapore or Sweden, or more recently Saudi Arabia have undertaken before.

“We will blend the lessons learnt from such country’s experiences with the unique circumstances of Nigeria. We are committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to achieve our project.

“From the 10 year plan, we have in line with Mr. President’s emphasis on delivering results, identifying a number of key deliverables, and setting specific key performance indicators to track and report our performance.

“We aim to maximise returns, attract investment, and guarantee sustainable economic growth.”

Foreign Investment Drops by 80 Percent

Meanwhile, foreign investment into Nigeria dropped by 80 percent to $3.9bn in 2023 from the $5.3bn that was invested in the country in 2022, analysis of a report of Capital Importation into Nigeria has shown.

The report which was released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that Nigeria attracted $1.1bn in Q1 2023, $1.03bn in Q2, $654.6m in Q3 and $1,08bn in Q4.

In 2022, $1.57bn was imported into the country in Q1, which reduced to $1.53in Q2. It further went down to $1.15bn and $1.06bn in Q3 and Q4 respectively.

However, the report said the S$1.08bn that was imported into the country in Q4 2023 was slightly higher than the $1.06bn recorded in Q4 2022, indicating an increase of 2.62 per cent.

“In comparison to the preceding quarter, capital importation rose by 66.27 per cent from the $654.6m in Q3 2023,” the report added.

It said other investments ranked top accounting for 54.64 per cent ($594.7m) of total capital importation in Q4 2023, followed by portfolio investment with 28.46 per cent ($309.76m) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) with 16.90 per cent ($183.9m).

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Wike Gives Ultimatum to Illegal Land Owners in FCT Communities

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

Minister Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Nyesom Wike on Monday gave ultimatum to illegal settlers in Chika Aleita Abuja Science and Technological Village to leave.

Wike stated this during an inspection tour of the technology village in company of his counterpart in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Uche Godfrey Nnaji, in Abuja.

Issuing the order, Wike said the fast encroachment was aided by inability of the past administration to take action and stop individuals from building illegally despite the payment of compensation.

He noted that the money expended in providing infrastructure to the village will not be a waste.

“I will give Development Control a go ahead to demolish because I heard they have been compensated since 2018.

“We want to take over the place so that infrastructure can come in. It will even attract investors. I can tell you that they have been compensated.

“No amount of propaganda can stop us from doing the right thing,” The FCT Minister said. .

Earlier, the Minister of Science and Technology, informed Wike that leaving illegal settlers that have encroached the buffer of the village constitutes a big risk and loss to the country’s investment drive to the village that is a the replica of London technology village.

He said the government of Great Britain was able to generate 6 billion pounds in six years.

Nnaji noted that the country stands the chance of making more if right environment is put in place.

The Abuja technology village was the creation of Federal Government during the return of democracy to the country.It is a Free Trade Zone expected to incubate science and technology but subsequent administrations failed to execute the project.

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