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The military needs to start bombing forests — El-Rufai

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, has recommended bombing forests by the Nigerian military as an effective way to end banditry in the country once and for all.

El-Rufai made the recommendation at a dialogue: “Financing Safe Schools: Creating Safe Learning Communities” in Abuja, yesterday, where he claimed his other colleagues were in agreement that bandits must be completely wiped out.

“Our position as governors and we are unanimous in this because we, the northern states’ governors, met with the president on this subject…our unanimous position is to wipe out the bandits. We must go into these forests, nobody living in that forest is innocent, and just kill them all. It is the only way to end this.

“We need the combination of air power, and we need troops on the ground augmented by local expertise and knowledge. We need just one, two, three months operation to just try to kill all the bandits. It’s the only way to stop this. So long as these bandits are being paid, it’ll remain a business. So the only option that we have is to ensure that we kill them all.”

While many may disagree, the Kaduna governor claimed there has been a decline in the operation of bandits across the northern part of the country.

“I’m very happy that the chief of air staff has been bombing them. So, you’ll see there’s a decline in banditry. What you see is the coordinated action with air power, use of drones.”

He advised that more advanced weapons must be acquired to make their operations more efficient.

“I think the security agencies also need more advanced technology. The Air force needs more drones. Drones are much cheaper than planes and there are drones now that can carry missiles. Because they (bandits) know when they hear the sound of the aircraft and hide in the bushes. But drones can be more targeted, more selective and quiet. And drones can also fly in circumstances that airplanes cannot due to bad weather.”

He added that banditry can also be stopped if people stopped negotiating with and paying them ransoms.

“People ask if my child was kidnapped and I say that I won’t pay, it is a personal decision, which we do not all support. So, the only way to stop banditry is to kill them all,” he said.

JUST IN: ASYLUM: Stop threatening UK over IPOB, deal with the terrorist minister in your govt first — Nigerians tells Buhari

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Reactions trailed federal government’s outburst over the decision of the United Kingdom to grant asylum to “persecuted” members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), describing it as disrespectful of Nigeria as a nation.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had said that the decision amounted to sabotaging the fight against terrorism and generally undermining Nigeria’s security.

He said, “Against the background of the fact that IPOB is not only proscribed but also designated as a terrorist organisation here in Nigeria, the UK’s decision is disrespectful of Nigeria as a nation. The decision amounts to sabotaging the fight against terrorism and generally undermining Nigeria’s security. It is not only unconscionable, it is inexplicable,” Mohammed stated.

Reacting, Nigerians on social media call on the federal government to first of all deal with Pantami who is alleged to have links with deadly terrorists instead of threatening the United Kingdom for granting asylum for freedom fighters. 

Below are some of their reactions: 

Samuel Kikiowo, "Whenever this old man talks, I wonder if his family members do not give him good picture of how he is being viewed by the people.

Boko haram is being embraced and encouraged by releasing their members arrested, rehabilitating them with the money/revenue from the South and even paying them ren some after negotiation when them kidnapped innocent citizens.

Boko haram has over time, killed, maimed and destroy many families and government facilities, yet the present government refused to declare them terrorist but has the gut to declare IPOB terrorist.

Chibok girls are still with Boko Haram and many more others in the den of BH, yet all these Babas cannot do anything to bring them back home till date and more towns are being taken over and military personnel are being chased out of barracks by BH.

This government and the cabinet entirely are senseless, idealess and clueless for saying that IPOB is a terrorist movement.

Liar the propangadaist's mouth is loose.

Michael Femi, "Illiterate set of leaders don't even know the difference between freedom fighter and terrorist.

Tit Ideology, "U guys caused the disrespect. Stop going to the UK to seek for medical help...develop ur country's infrastructure and pls don't 4get the health sector...It is time to have dignity as leaders of our great country. U guys just keep embarrassing us everyday.

Michael Oladunjoye Ajayi, "Who is disrespecting who? Minister, mind your language. They have seen insincerity in your government. They are only echoing our silent cry for liberation. Is your government not mindful of the lots of diplomatic engagements going on in Europe and North America by Biafrans and Oduduwas in diaspora? Or you think government is by your noise making and mouth twisting?

Chinaza Joseph, "When your Government were killing innocent civilians protesting with ordinary flags you think the rest of the world are not seeing you.

Ayo Johnson Obalisa, "If you're angry with the UK, just sanction them! Oh... I remember, their health care system is important to Oga.

Kezie Okeke, "You have a terrorist as a minister. Have you said anything? Shouldn't that be your point of focus now? God has revealed one sponsor of Boko Haram and the likes. Force him to link all his Co conspirators and recover all our data base from him with immediate effect. Useless government!

Zumtong Festus, "What could be more sabotaging than appointed a terrorist as a minister?

Mbaobasi Promise Ogadimma, "Your charm is no longer working. People can see through your smokescreen. The rest of the world are not as naive. You rejected your hardworking tribe and Britain took them now who lose?

Osholake Lakeboy Amos, "who are the sympartisers? senator bukonla saraki raise alarm on formal efcc boss magu pmb and his men ignor it, now clear that the man pantami who have all information about all nigerians has some link with terrorist but pmb and apc keep mum on it our government are the sponsors of terrorism. 

Just In: Nobody is interested in a hopeless country — Hayab tells Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari

Vice Chairman of Northern Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. John Joseph Hayab, has replied the Buhari administration over insistence that the President cannot be forced to yield to the demands of agitators across the country.

Rev. Hayab who is also the Kaduna State CAN chairman, said President Muhammadu Buhari should be worried by the current pathetic state of the country which he said is responsible for the agitations, instead of trying to talk tough his way out of reality.

He said everyone wants a united Nigeria, but not a country without hope or future.

“It is not cheering news that many groups in Nigeria now are clamouring for secession," Hayab said, according to the LEADERSHIP.

"Everyone will desire to see Nigeria growing as a united, big, strong and dependable nation but the current realities have further given room for more people and interests to seek secession from what they see as a nation without hope or future," he added.

“As our president, you cannot expect him not to talk tough. History will not be kind on him if this nation breaks up during his reign as president.

“The challenge now is whether all that is happening now across every state and region is just to intimidate or bully the president.”

"Time will tell, but the truth is that things are not going well everywhere in Nigeria and our president should come up with measures to convince Nigerians that he means well and he is truly in charge,” he concluded.

The Presidency had said no amount of pressure or intimidation will force Buhari into yielding to the demands of agitators. 

This was disclosed by the Senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, at the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during a media interface organised by the APC Professional Group.

He said: “The presidency has been talking and our position is clear: that this country is one, is united and, by the grace of God, will continue to be united.

“Look, one thing with this president is that you can’t intimidate Buhari; you can’t bully him. A lot of these people who are calling for secessions are the problem of this country. 

"This thing about secession is, they had used it in the past – you create secession talk to break up Nigeria and then you intimidate the sitting leader and then he opens the booth and he brings money to settle people.

“President Buhari will pay no one. He is not going to pay and now it is clear that having ignored all of that, reasonable opinions are coming from those states and from those regions. The governors in the South-west, we have all heard them; they have denounced all of these things.”

“So it’s a sham, Nigerians want to be one, they want to continue. Yes, there are problems and we are hoping that, as people united and loving of one another, we will come together and solve our problems,” he said.

He said the President will not convene another national conference to discuss the unity of Nigeria, saying, “What can national conference do more than a parliament?"

“We have an elected parliament, whose mandate is to be the custodian of the sovereignty of the Nigerian people.

“Look, a lot of these people crying for this secession, they are unelectable. If you think you are electable, go and contest for a parliamentary seat whether House of Representatives or Senate and come and table an amendment to the constitution.

“The (constitution review) process is ongoing as we speak now under the deputy Senate president. They are calling for memoranda, why can’t you present what you want?" he questioned.

Granting asylum to members of terrorists group unacceptable to Nigeria — FG warns UK

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The Federal Government has said the reported decision of the United Kingdom to grant asylum to “persecuted” members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is disrespectful of Nigeria as a nation. 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who made this disclosure also said that the decision amounted to sabotaging the fight against terrorism and generally undermining Nigeria’s security. 

Fielding questions at a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) flagship interview programme, NAN Forum, on Tuesday in Abuja, Mohammed said the decision is unacceptable to Nigeria. 

According to him, “Let me say straightaway that this issue is within the purview of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs and I am sure he will handle it appropriately. But as the spokesman for the Federal Government of Nigeria, I will say that if indeed the report that the UK will grant asylum to supposedly persecuted IPOB and MASSOB members is true, then something is wrong somewhere. 

“Against the background of the fact that IPOB is not only proscribed but also designated as a terrorist organisation here in Nigeria, the UK’s decision is disrespectful of Nigeria as a nation. The decision amounts to sabotaging the fight against terrorism and generally undermining Nigeria’s security. It is not only unconscionable, it is inexplicable,” Mohammed stated.

Just In: Stay away from Ebonyi State — Umahi tells herdsmen

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Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, has asked herdsmen to stay away from the state, as insecurity continues to escalate both in the State and the country at large. 

Umahi who warned that no State Governor is in control of insecurity in their respective states, said the Buhari administration seem to run short of ideas on how to address the problem. 

The governor while briefing journalists at the end of the state executive council meeting, on Tuesday, therefore asks herdsmen to stay away from the State until things get under control. gave the directive 

He said at the moment, there is no herdsman in the state as a result of the tension in Ebonyi.

“We are killing policemen, we are burning police station which means that South East leaders should know that our problem is not just herdsmen. We want to put it on record that no herdsman is in Ebonyi state now.

“We didn’t ask them to leave. They left on their own, which means they were privy to the attacks on Ebonyi state.

“I have been begging the National leadership that with what is going on, no State Governor is in control of bandits and because of the killings of the defenceless Ebonyi people, for the safety of them, they should not return now.

“There is high tension. We have sent text messages to Myetti Allah that Ebonyi state is under tension and we would not want them to still stay until such a time that the State is safe.”

JUST IN: Chad President shot dead

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Chadian President, Idriss Deby is shot dead while leading his army on battle field. 

Details of his death are still sketchy but the army authorities said he died from injuries sustained on the war front.

The Chadian army is currently combating rebel forces who have launched an assault on the capital, N’Djamena.

He was reelected for a sixth term on April 11 and was expected to be sworn in.

We are in big trouble — Shettima

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National President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, has said the recent statement by the Nigerian senate, saying the survival of the country is in danger due to rise in crimes and proliferation of illegal arms and ammunition in the country, clearly shows that leaders in the country are taking the people for granted. 

Shettima said Nigerians have been suffering for many years, but the Senate is just realizing that the country is in danger.

“It is an insult and abuse on the sensibility of Nigerians for the Senate to sit down and just say that Nigeria is under siege when we have been suffering all these while in the hands of bandits,” the AYCF president said in reaction to moves by the Senate to curtail arms proliferation.

Shettima described the security situation in the country as frightening, even as he charged the senators to realise that the issue is degenerating by the day.

“And I am afraid if anybody will escape it at the end of the day. All of us will be victims if they don’t take measures immediately. They have to wake up to the realities of the day that we are in big trouble," he added.

The Senate had yesterday, raised the alarm that the existence of the country is under threat as millions of illegal weapons are reportedly in circulation in the country.

In a submissions during a public hearing, organised by the Senate Joint Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Navy and Marine Transport on Firearms Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2021 and Exclusive Economic Zones Act 2010 (Repeal and Re-Enactment ) Bill 2021, Sen. Uba Sani said the country needs to urgently address the worrisome situation.

Sani, who is sponsor of the Firearms (Amendment) Bill, lamented that proliferation of illegal arms and ammunition with little or no control by relevant authorities has profound implications for collective survival of Nigerians and Nigeria.

“We are gathered here to deal with a matter that has profound implications for our collective survival. We are under siege from murderous non-state actors. They have been acquiring arms illegally, maiming our people and threatening the continued existence of our dear nation. 

“We either take measures to deny them of the oxygen that sustains their nefarious activities or we watch helplessly as they overrun us and our country.”

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