The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, on Tuesday said fresh intelligence had exposed the complicity of some “highly-placed traditional rulers” in the ongoing killings of Nigerians across the northern parts of the country.
Deadly attacks blamed on “bandits” have increased in north west states of Zamfara, Sokoto, and Katsina, with hundreds killed in recent months.
In the north east, attacks by the insurgent group Boko Haram have continued, affecting mostly Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
The widespread killings by rampaging armed bandits had prompted a surge in military and police deployment in those states, with President Muhammadu Buhari promising an escalation of security response if required.
The government on Sunday ordered the immediate stoppage of artisanal mining in Zamfara saying it had confirmed the attacks had links to illegal exploration of solid minerals in the area.
Mr Dan Ali in a Tuesday morning statement to PREMIUM TIMES said unnamed but high-profile traditional leaders had been identified as culpable in the violence, and vowed that they would not be sparred.
Mr Dan Ali said locals, especially in Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara and other parts of northern Nigeria ravaged by faceless gunmen, should “rise in unison to support all government’s efforts” aimed at addressing the crisis, especially because soldiers and other elements in the armed forces cannot combat it alone.
“It is instructive to mention here that insurgency and terrorism are global phenomena that cannot be addressed through military actions only,” Mr Dan Ali said.
“However, in spite of the concerted efforts of the Armed Forces and other security some unpatriotic persons including highly placed traditional rulers in the areas were identified as helping the bandits with intelligence to perpetuate their nefarious actions or to compromise military operations,” the minister said.
Mr Dan Ali did mention names of traditional leaders suspected to be fueling the violence, or whether any of them had been arrested.
A spokesperson for the ministry did not immediately answer requests seeking comments.
The minister also said the suspension of mining across Zamfara was amongst the key decisions the administration believed were key to returning normalcy to the region.
Nnamdi Kanu Still Our Leader, Not Replaced – IPOB
The Indigenous People of Biafra has said that it has not replaced the currently detained Nnamdi Kanu as its leader.
The Biafra group asked its followers to ignore the reports making the rounds that IPOB has replaced Kanu, describing it as “fabricated media propaganda”.
These were made known in a statement by the group’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, on Tuesday.
According to Powerful, Mazi Chika Edoziem is the head of the IPOB Directorate of State and not IPOB Acting Leader.
The statement read in part, “We, the global movement and family of IPOB under the command and leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, condemn the useless and fabricated media propaganda and blackmail from some media houses that IPOB has another or acting leader replacing our indefatigable liberator and prophet Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“Those peddling this kind of lies are those criminals who zoo gutter media are publishing this to confuse the weak-minded people.
“We want everybody to bear in mind that Mazi Chika Edoziem is the head of IPOB Directorate of State and not IPOB Acting Leader.
“It is unfortunate that some mischievous elements twisted an unambiguous statement by IPOB where we clarified that in the meantime that our Leader is in detention, the Head of DOS, Mazi Edoziem, will be providing direction on the day-to-day activities of IPOB. We never said that Edoziem had become the Acting Leader of IPOB.
“For the avoidance of doubts, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu remains the leader of IPOB. The entire IPOB family all over the world is loyal to him. IPOB has no Acting Leader. Chika Edoziem is only the Head of DOS of IPOB not the Leader.
“We, therefore, urge our family members, supporters, friends, and members of the public to ignore the misleading and mischievous media report.”
Terrorists Responsible for Owo Church Massacre in Our Custody – General Irabor
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has said that the military has arrested the terrorists behind the attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State.
General Lucky Irabor according to news monitored on SolaceBase, made the revelation on Tuesday, during a parley with media executives at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
Appreciating the collaboration with sister security agencies, which helped in the arrests of the criminals, Irabor recalled that about 40 person’s were brutally murdered when heavily armed men invaded their worship centre on June 5, 2022.
My Invitation to Rivers to Commission Projects Demonstration of Politics Without Bitterness – Sanwo-Olu
By Eric Elezuo
The Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that his invitation by the Rivers State governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, to commission a project in Rivers State, is a clear demonstration of politics without bitterness. This is noting that the Lagos State governor is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while Wike is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (APC).
On Monday, Sanwo-Olu was a guest of the Rives governor to commission the Orochiri-Worokwu (Waterlines) Flyover delivered by the state government.
In his remarks, Sanwo-Olu commended Governor Wike for his strong commitment to the delivery of physical infrastructure in Rivers State.
“I would like to specially commend my brother, Governor Wike, for his strong commitment to the delivery of physical infrastructure in Rivers State.
“A commitment that has been recognized by all and sundry, and which has earned him the appellation of “Mr. Projects” within and outside Rivers State,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said though himself and governor Wike belong to different political persuasions, the invitation extended to him sends a very strong message that politicians and political leaders, can come together across political and ideological divides, for the good of the people.
“There is also a strong message being made today about expanding our capacity to play politics without bitterness. This symbolic gesture by my friend and brother is one that should become standard practice across Nigeria.
“There is also a lot that we can learn from one another, and experience that we can translate from one part of the country to the other,” Sanwo-Olu stated.
It will recalled that Wike is in the habit of inviting notable politicians across parties as guests of honour during the unveiling of any of his projects. The likes of governor of Ekiti State, who is also an APC member and Sports Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare were once invited to commission projects in the state.
Governor Wike had explained that the invitation of the Lagos State governor was not the first time persons of other political parties were invited to inaugurate projects in Rivers State, pointing to the overall benefits such invitations have on governance because it served as peer review for them.