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10 killed, many injured in Kogi crises, as police claims situation is under control

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10 killed, many injured in Kogi crises, as police claims situation is under control

The hostility between Ebirra and Bassa-Komu ethnic tribes in Bassa Local government areas of kogi state came to a head yesterday as over ten people were feared killed.
The crises also left many with various degrees of injuries, following the return of the Ebirra people who were displaced from their various communities earlier by the crisis which started last year April.

The Kogi state police command Public Relation Officer (PPRO), William Aya confirmed the incidence on Thursday in Lokoja , saying there is no cause for alarm as the situation is under control.

He confirmed that two people lost their lives in the renewed crises between the two warring ethnic groups who have been at dagger drawn in the eastern part of the state for months.

CP Aya, however added that the state police command has drafted a team of Mobile Policemen, conventional Police and Army, in company of the Assistant commissioner of police incharge of Operation, including Police Area commanders to the affected areas to restore normalcy as quickly as possible.

“Two people were killed. One yesterday, and the second, today. Calm has returned to the affected areas.
The CP incharge of operation, mobile police, conventional police, Area commanders and Army are already there to restore law and order as soon as possible”, he said

It was gathered that following the intervention of elders from the area, the Ebirra speaking people who fled their homes in many communities as a result of the crisis were asked to go back home by the state government in order to pave way for a lasting peace among the two ethnic groups.

In the spirit of reconciliation, the Ebira refugees/displaced who were accompanied by the security operatives and political appointees, including the Bassa local government administrator, Sam Alumka and others returned to Oguma, the headquarters of Bassa local government on Wednesday, from where they were expected go to their various villages and communities.

It was alleged that an uncomplimenty remarks from the paramount ruler of Bassa-Komu ethnic group, the Aguma of Bassa, William Keke sparked off the latest crisis.
He commented that the returning Ebirra people should go back to Lokoja or where they have been staying all this while.

A source also indicated that the Ohiogba of Mozum, Alhaji Halidu Bukar Ali and other Ebira leaders who were at Aguma of Bassa’s palace to receive their people back home were nearly ambushed by hooligans/militia of a warring group, only the intervention of the security operatives brought the situation under control.

It was gathered that the escape from an ambush by the Ohiogba of Mozum and the Ebira leaders from Aguma palace and the said “unguarded statement” from the Royal father spread out quickly to various communities of the council, leaving in its trail anger and violence.

In the process, over ten persons were said to have hacked down in some of the affected communities in the areas, due to the ensued imbriglio.

It was reported that two residents of Mozum, kagiwa Hussain and Aminu Usman who were returning from Oguma to Mozum were killed by hooligans in millitary uniforms believed to be importwd by one of the warring factions.

As at the time of this report, hostility is said to have relapsed in Ibiroko, Oguma, Sheria, Auta and Ojugbe towns that were deserted for months, (but ignited yesterday as the displaced were returning home) while that at Ikede is said to be ranging on with heavy casualty at both sides.

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17 persons die in seperate accidents on same route in Kogi

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17 persons die in seperate accidents on same route in Kogi


17 persons including five children, two policemen and their driver lost their lives in seperate autocrashes Thursday on Itobe-Anyigba road in Kogi State.

First was that involving a mercedez-Benz truck and an ambulance conveying an empty casket with two police inspectors and a civilian driver travelling to Anyigba to take the body of a dead police sergeant.

The trio died when their ambulance van had a headon collision with a Mercedes-Benz truck coming from the opposite direction.

On the same day 14 persons also perished in a multiple accident involving three vehicles; two trucks and a passenger bus along the same route.
The State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Solomon Aghure, who confirmed the incident to newsmen in Lokoja on Friday, indicated that three vehicles; two trucks and a passenger bus, were involved in the accident.
He said that the three vehicles were travelling on the same lane enroute Anyingba when a truck suddenly hit the bus from behind and as a result of the impact, the Bus skidded and hit the truck in its front.
Aghure said that the bus was trapped in between the two trucks with all the passengers before his men arrived the scene to carry out rescue operation which lasted for hours.
He disclosed that 14 out of the 23 persons involved in the accident died on the spot, adding that nine others sustained various degrees of injury.
Aghure said that three men, one woman and five children (two males and three females) survived the accident with some injuries.
He said that the injured were taken to Holley Memorial Hospital, Ochadamu for treatment while corpses of the dead were deposited at the morgue of Grimard Hospital, Anyingba.
Aghure,who attributed the accident to possible break failure,said further investigation would be carried out to determine its actual cause.

 

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Presidency tells Muslim group to exercise restrain even though Kukah actually injured Islamic faith

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Presidency tells Muslim group to exercise restrain even though Kukah actually injured Islamic faith


The Presidency has indicated that, though it agrees with Muslim Solidarity Forum that Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto actually injured the Muslims in his Christmas day homily it’s unconstitutional for them to issue him quit notice.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu spoke in reaction to the threats for the Bishop to quietly pack and leave Sokoto should he fail to apologise over the controversial sermon.
The Muslim Solidarity Forum had issued what seem like a subtle threat to Bishop Hassan Kukah to tender an unreserved appology or quietly leave the seat of Caliphate.

The spokesman for the President in a statement said, Kukah has truly injured the Muslims, but he should be guided in his utterances and take into cognisance, Sokoto’s heartbeat of Islam in Nigeria.
Shehu said, it’s unconstitutional for an individual or group to issue quit notice to a citizen under whatever circumstances, saying, father Mathew Hassan Kukah must be allowed to practice his religion.
Nationalupdate reports on Tuesday indicated that the Sokoto based Islamic group, “Muslim Solidarity Forum”, at a press briefing said the Bishop is known for his perchance to speak in parables and innuendos against Islam in a provocative manner.

The spokesman for the President in a statement said,
“Father Kukah has greatly offended many with his controversial remarks against the government and the person of the President, with some even accusing him of voicing anti-Islamic rhetoric.
“On matters such as these, responsible leadership in any society must exercise restraint. Knee-jerk reactions will not only cause the fraying of enduring relationships, but also the evisceration of peaceful communities such as Sokoto, the headquarters of the Muslim community as beacon of pluralism and tolerance.
“The reported ultimatum by a group based in Sokoto, “Muslim Solidarity Forum,” calling on the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev Matthew Hassan Kukah to tender an unreserved apology to the entire Muslim Ummah over his recent “malicious comments” against Islam, or quietly and quickly leave the state, is wrong because it is not in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Under our Constitution, every citizen has the right to, among others, freedom of speech and expression, the right to own property and reside in any part of the country, and the right to move freely without any inhibitions.
“Nigeria’s strength lies in its diversity. The right for all religions to co-exist is enshrined in this country’s Constitution.
“The duty of the government, more so, this democratic government, is to ensure that the Constitution is respected. But all must respect the rights and sensitivities of their fellow Nigerians.
“The Sultanate has historically had good relations with followers of all faiths. That is why Father Kukah was received on his arrival in Sokoto with friendship and tolerance.
“Under our laws, groups or factions must not give quit notices, neither should they unilaterally sanction any perceived breaches. Where they occur, it is the courts of law that should adjudicate. Unilateral action is not the way to go.
“Groups such as the Muslim Solidarity Forum must be seen to share and uphold the country’s multi-religious principles. And individuals like Father Kukah must respect the feelings of his fellow Nigerians in his private and public utterances.”

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Group tackles Bishop Kukah, demands immediate arrest

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Group tackles Bishop Kukah, demands immediate arrest

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has described Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah’s recent controversial statement as unguarded and open incitement to military coup and insurrection against the democratically elected government of Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement signed by its National President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima on Monday, the group
condemned “Kukah’s use of nepotism as weapon of calumny against government and people of Nigeria.”

The AYCF demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution of Bishop Kukah for what it described as treasonable felony against the Nigerian state.

In the alternative, the group called on Federal Government to place Kukah on special watchlist for this open attempt to “set the South against the North in order to destabilize our country and further complicate matters.”

Shettima, in the statement, took exception to what his group described as “Kukah’s latest role in devil’s advocacy, as the North struggles to restore peace and enduring security in the region and indeed Nigeria.”

The statement noted that “such a reckless statement by Kukah betrays something much more sinister against both the North and the nation as a whole because Nigeria is at a stage that it requires responsible advice for attaining peace and stability, not deliberate attempt to mischievously compound our problems.

“If Kukah wants to play politics, he should not do so in the pulpit and he should keep the Bishop’s office aside and chose any Nigerian political party platform to contest President in 2023 and stop all the pretences,” the statement said.

It reminded Kukah of the rough road tread by democracy heroes to rid the nation of military dictatorship at a time when he was nowhere in sight.
“We will not allow opportunists who did make any contribution to scuttle the democracy achieved through the our sweat and toil and the sacrifice of our liberty,” Shettima said in the statement.

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