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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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Yueltide: FMWH reopens closed section of Murtala Muhammed Bridge in Kogi

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Yueltide: FMWH reopens closed section of Murtala Muhammed Bridge in Kogi

By Friday Idachaba

The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has reopened the closed section of the Murtala Muhammad Bridge, Jamata on Abuja-Lokoja highway to ease movement of traffic movement during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

Engr. Kajogbola Jimoh, Federal Controller of Works in Kogi State disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lokoja.

Kajogbola said that though the rehabilitation work on the dual carriage bridge was yet to be completed, a substantial part of it on Lokoja-bound portion had been done and could be reopened to traffic to address heavy vehicular movement during the festivities.

According to him, what remains for the Lokoja bound bridge to be completed is to change the damaged expansion joints which have to be ordered from abroad adding that the contractor has some constraints in this area.

“Presently, all other works are completed and we have asked him to cover the edges of the old expansion joints so that when the new ones arrive, he will simply remove the old ones and replace them with new ones.

“If the closed section is not opened, Nigerians will suffer during this festive period and that is why we are insisting that they should open it for now till when the contractor is able to get the new expansion joints”, he said.

Kajogbola said he collaborated with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Corridors Commander, Sector Commander and other officials to remove the barricades and redirect the traffic all in the presence of the contractor’s representative.

He pointed out that the reopening was an interim arrangement saying, “This is just temporary reopening, the work is for two years and the contractor has not spent up to a year.

“So, it’s just to let Nigerians know that the Federal Government cares for them and that we are working and to tell them what stage we are on the project.

NAN reports that the bridge which is currently under rehabilitatinon/ maintenance work, being handled by Hallekem Ltd., had only one functional 2-lane carriageway in use before this reopening.

The Controller appealed to motorists to be patient, resist temptation to drive against traffic and to keep their vehicles in good condition to avoid break down. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Senator Opeyemi lampoons Buhari over refusal to sack service chiefs

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Senator Opeyemi lampoons Buhari over refusal to sack service chief

The senator representing Ekiti Central Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele has asked President Muhamadu Buhari to respect the resolution of the National Assembly that he should sack the service chiefs without further delay.
The senator while contributing to the motion on the beheading of 67 farmers in Borno, by Bokoharam insurgents: Need for Urgent, Decisive action pleaded with the service chiefs to voluntarily resign based on national interest.
He said they can then wait to be appointed as Presidential Advisory Panel on security.
“For me the number one resolution that I will like to reemphasize on this floor of the senate is for the President to allow the service chiefs to go, they have done their best, they have worked so hard, the best anybody can give is his best.
“You cannot give what you do not have and if the President believes so much in these service chiefs he should remove them as service chiefs and constitute them as Presidential advisory committee on security matters and they will still be there to be advising him and let the younger ones take over as service chiefs to move the country forward.
He said, “It is yet another moment when we run the risk of Nigerians looking at us as a group of elected representatives who sit in the red chamber to shed crocodile tears but we know that is not what we do.
“We are victims of certain circumstances that make it look like that. There is probably nothing any of us could say here today that has not been said, the only thing that is new is that more people have been killed in most barbaric manner. Yet we have to say something as representatives of the people.
“We are unhappy about what happened in Borno, Katsina and Niger States and some Northern parts of the country. Even in the South South, south East and south west where people are being kidnapped, there are some forms of insurgency.
“In Ondo State just last week a paramount ruler was killed. My own contribution is this, let us stand on existing resolution, in addition of course to the prayers that the mover of this motion made clear to us.
“Fighting Bokoharam cannot be something we do by habit, it cannot become part of our national life, it cannot become what we budget for year in year out as a routine.”
He lamented that the war was becoming a routine adding that there is a need to bring it to an end as lives are being lost on a daily bases.
He also made refrence to a constitutional provision in section 14(1)b which defines the primary purpose of Government to be the welfare and security of the people.
“We all agree that this is not being fulfilled and where a Government is deemed to be in breach of section 14(1)b the Government is also automatically seen to have breached section 32 and 34 of our constitution which provides for the right to life, right for personal liberty, and life against torture.
“These are things that goes together once you fail to fulfill the provision of section 14(1)b so what are we talking about let these service chiefs go.
“If the President would not remove them we call on these service chiefs in the interests of the public to resign and look forward to being appointed as members of Presidential committee on security. So this is one contribution that I really want to make.”
He also made reference to the budget of over N800b set aside for all of the armed forces, whereby more than 60% of it is specifically tailored towards prosecuting the war against insurgency.
“I believe before this budget is passed it is either the president come to address this parliament on the way forward on how to address the security matter or we hold a joint session and do a public hearing and allow Nigerians an opportunity to also speak to this issue.
“I dont think it should be a question of us sitting down to pass this budget it should not be business unusual.”

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Buhari tells mothers to admonish their wards on need for dialogue over #EndSARS

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Buhari tells mothers to admonish their wards on need for dialogue over #EndSARS

 
Apparently piqued by the growing youth restiveness which engulfed parts of the country in the last few weeks,
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged women to engage with children and youths on the need for dialogue that would yield better understanding.

The President spoke on Thursday while hosting the representatives of women at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said Nigeria remained committed to ending violence against women and girls in Nigeria and the rest of the world.

According to him, although the country had not achieved the 35 percent affirmation on the participation of women in governance, the current administration intended to exceed the benchmark.

“I want to assure you that this administration remains resolute to not only meet the 35 percent National Gender Policy, but to exceed it across key decision-making role in government,” he said.

He restated his commitment to end child marriage and boost girl child education in all parts of the country.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, earlier appealed to President Buhari to ensure that the issues responsible for the ongoing strike by university lecturers were resolved amicably, to enable universities reopen and students go back to school

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