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LG administrator, Lawmaker, accused of partisanship in Kogi communal crisis

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LG administrator, Lawmaker, accused of partisanship in Kogi communal crisis

There is a new twist in the communual crises which has claimed some lives in Bassa Local Government as the Egbura speaking communities in the local government area of Kogi State have alleged ethnic cleansing against their tribe.
They accused the local government administrator and the state house of Member representing the area of taking side, thereby heightening tension and fear among the people.
It would be recalled that the fight that broke out last week was an escalation of a reoccurring development in the last few years.
The latest onslaught it was gathered led to serious attack with casualties on both sides and wanton destruction of properties in the community.
Dangerous weapons like guns, daggers, knife and cub were said to have been freely used in the clash that lasted for Many hours. Many houses were said to have been set ablaze during the attack that was said to have lasted for several hours, leading to pandemonium among the native community with residents scampering for safety.
It was learnt that the crisis and the destruction were aided by the peculiar terrain of the community which can only be easily accessed by water. Sources also stated that some of the security operatives deployed to quell the crisis were involved in accident at Odenyi and sustained various degree of injuries
Unconfirmed reports however said that two of the security agents lost their lives to the accident.
But Addressing newsmen in Lokoja yesterday, the President of Mozum Development and Cultural Association, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed also alleged that the security personnel drafted to maintain law and order, following the incident were in the area to protect only the Bassa Kwomu ethnic group.

He explained that security agents were only drafted to Bassa Kwomu dominated communitiies thereby making areas dominated by the Egburas vulnerable to attacks, stressing the need for more security agencies to be drafted to major villages in the area to avoid the escalation of the crisis.

He further alleged that innocent Egbura youths were being subjected to harassment and intimidation, on the orders of the LG administrator and the house member, while those who ochestrated the crises have been left untouched.

He disclosed that one of their sons, Idris Ahmed who was arrested by the security agents had died on Friday afternoon while in detention in Lokoja.

The association wondered why one Solomon and two others arrested wth AK 47 rifles are being shielded from prosecuton while the Egburas being arrested for trump up charges are being held in military facilities, insisting that the soldiers have, from their actions so far, taken side on the matter.

He therefore appealed to military high command to halt the on-going human rights violations in Bassa local government by ensuring that their personnel strictly abide by rules of engagement in the overall interest of peace, justice and fairness.

Speaking with our correspondent, the Administrator of Bassa local government, area Samuel Zakari Alumka, said he was disappointed in anyone accusing him or the security agents of taking side.

According to him, those arrested were found with highly sophisticated weapons, saying that no responsible government will condone any act of lawlessness.

In his word “I am not from any of the waring ethnic group, so I could not have taken side in the matter. My duty as the chief security officer of the LG is to ensure that the crisis is brought to an end”

“All of them are my people I expect them to join hands with me to bring the crisis tons halt as quickly as possible instead of accusing people. We have lost lives house have razed down, so it is not a time to trade blame”

He called on the people of the area to work with the state government to bring the crisis to an end

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Buhari returns to Nigeria after weeks of medical trip to the UK

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Buhari returns to Nigeria after weeks of medical trip to the UK

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buharihas returned to Abuja after weeks on medical trip in London.
This was according to a statement from the presidency on Thursday.
The president had been heavily criticized for his perchance for medical expedition inspite huge budgetary allocation to the Presdential Villa clinic.
His critics also blamed him for embarking on such trip even when resident doctors in his country were on industrial action.
The presidential aircraft that brought Buhari and some of his aides touched down at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at about 4.45 p.m.
Dignitaries at the airport to welcome the president included the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammed Bello, and the National Security Adviser to the President, Babagana Monguno.
Others were the service chiefs, acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali, the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufa’i, the Director General of the State Securitt Services, Yusuf Bichi and other presidential aides.
President Buhari, after a brief welcoming ceremony at the airport, boarded a presidentrtial helicopter that conveyed him to the Presidential Villa.

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Participants urge Kogi to key into Open Government Partnership

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Participants urge Kogi to key into Open Government Partnership

By Friday Idachaba

Participants at a one-day stakeholders strategic meeting on Open Governance Partnership have called on Kogi government to urgently key into the global concept to promote transparency, accountability and good governance.

The participants made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting organised by Conscience For Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) in partnership with African Centre For Leadership Strategies And Development (Centre LSD) on Tuesday in Lokoja.

The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the Communiqué was signed by Mr Idris Miliki, Executive Director of Kogi-based CHRCR and made available to newsmen in Lokoja.

The Communiqué said that in view of the importance of the global OGP concept with potentials to check corruption and enhance good governance, 16 states in Nigeria had presently signed up.

It however revealed that Kogi State was yet to key into the global concept and urged the state to, as a matter of urgency, sign up for the state to derive inherent benefits of the partnership.

Objective of the meeting in line with the OGP concept, according to the Communiqué, is to encourage accountability, transparency and reduce corruption in Kogi State.

It is also to build on the existing Networks on Anti-Corruption, Transparency and Accountability (NATA), to mobilize Media institutions and professionals in reporting activities on OGP in Kogi State.

The participants however, urged multi-lateral financial institutions particular the World Bank to begin to hold State Governments accountable by verifying the situations of implementations on ground before rating them on financed projects.

The Communiqué reiterated that there should be no rivalry but rather, a broad based relationship and partnerships between the state government and the Civil Society Organizations as both work for and in the interest of the citizens.

The Communiqué said there was need for the current House of Assembly members to live up to their constitutional responsibilities by performing their oversight functions on all institutions of the state, “particularly the local government councils.”

It also called on Media Professionals to take more interest in OGP issues and partner more with the Civil Society Organisations in particular and other relevant institutions to drive the OGP Concept.

“The Civil Society Organizations needs to do more in raising awareness and sensitization of the general public on the OGP and with the Government to get the OGP.

“There is need for the development partners to continue to work with the Civil Society Organizations in the state to promote the OGP process”, the Communiqué added. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Again Presidecy tackles Bishop Kukah over damning sermon

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Again Presidecy tackles Bishop Kukah over damning sermon

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, of Sokoto Catholic diocese, has come under attack again from the Presidency for describing Nigeria as a killing field under the Buhari administration.
Kukah in his Easter homily on Sunday, said both the government and the citizens have become helpless as criminals continue to cause havoc in parts of the country.
The battle over insecurity in Nigeria has continued unabated especially in the northern parts of the country where bandits and insurgents have turned to a killing field.
Kukah said the security situation has frustrated many citizens making them to believe the government has gone AWOL (absent without official leave).

“Taunted by Boko Haram, ravaged by bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, and other merchants of death across the nation, there is collective fear as to whether Nigeria’s glory is about to depart” the bishop said.
“Retired military and intelligence officers lament over what has become of their glorious profession, as they watch the humiliation of our military personnel. Traumatised citizens are tortured daily by bandits.
“The nation has since become a massive killing field, as both government and the governed look on helplessly. A thick and suffocating cloud of desperation, despondency, desolation, gloom, and misery hangs in the hot air. We have no message and have no idea how long this will last.”

However in a statement issued in Abuja Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman said Kukah’s “bashing” of President Muhammadu Buhari is “ungodly.”
“All citizens have their individual ideologies, even their own versions of truth. But if you profess to being a man of God, as Father Mathew Hassan Kukah does, ideology should not stand in the way of facts and fairness,” he said.
“Father Kukah has said some things that are inexplicable in his Easter message. But, in saying that the Boko Haram terrorism is worse than it was in 2015, he did not speak like a man of God. 

“Kukah should go to Borno or Adamawa to ask the citizens there the difference between 2014 and 2021.”
Shehu also faulted the bishop for saying Buhari is not concerned about those displaced because of the security crisis, citing the creation of the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development as part of the president’s efforts in that regard.
“Some of the comments are no more than a sample of the unrestrained rhetoric Fr. Kukah trades in, which he often does in the guise of a homily,” the presidential spokesman said.
“We urge well-meaning citizens to continue to support the ongoing efforts by the administration to secure the country and move it forward.”

With additional reports from Cable

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