Monday, 14 December 2015

You can’t be more Biafran than Ojukwu who abandoned struggle

Chief Ben Apugo was a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the former ruling party at the centre.
In this interview, Apugo speaks on why he, alongside Senate President Bukola Saraki, former Governor Nyako of Adamawa State, and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, quit the PDP. He also speaks on the fate of the APC in the South-East and the pro-Biafra quest by some Igbo elements, among other issues.
Pro-Biafra agitators have been protesting across the South-East and some parts of the South-South.  Are you in support of their agitation?
The civil war ended a  long ago  time and we are all Nigerians. No reasonable human being should  come out today to talk about Biafra. Our people have to speak up and make our children understand the situation of things. Those things they should be protesting for are employment, roads, water, airports and other amenities that are lacking in the zone. If they are agitating for these things, they should not block roads; they should talk to the government of the states in the South-East, not the Federal Government.
These people you are talking about are small boys whose mothers were not even born during the civil war. So, what I am saying is that the governors of the South-East    should enlighten the youths and make them know that there is nothing like Biafra today. People should not be using Biafra as a tool for causing confusion and defrauding uninformed people.
The Federal Government should not be looking at the South-East, especially Umuahia, since they said their leader,Nnamdi Kanu, is from here, as not supporting Buhari. Buhari did not create any problem in the South-East. All the while, (former President Goodluck) Jonathan was there, they should have gone to demonstrate about  Biafra. Buhari will tackle all the problems we are facing now, our former governors did not perform, and they did not create avenues for employment, no empowerment. My advice to our children is that they should forget about hoping against hope. We have cancelled Biafra.
Let them look for the betterment of this country and themselves. They should avoid this protest because it will not yield any fruit. Their leaders will not fight more than Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and Joe Effiong, who despite their efforts,    Biafra failed at the end.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Change would come only when leaders lead by example – Lai Mohammed

Abuja – The Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed says the Federal Government has done “very” well in the fight against corruption and terrorism in the country.
Mohammed said this in Abuja at the weekend.
The minister stated that one major achievement of the Federal Government’s fight against corruption is that for the first time in a long time, people have begun to appreciate the fact that corruption is an ill.
He said that in its anti-corruption war, the present administration would go beyond prosecuting people, to changing the way Nigerians did things.
Mohammed, therefore, said that the government would soon launch its change initiative tagged: “Change begins with me”.
“We did campaign majorly on creating jobs for our youth, building the economy, fighting corruption, and addressing insecurity.
“I think so far we have done very well in the area of fighting insecurity and terrorism; we have done very well in fighting corruption.
“All Nigerians agree that corruption is one of the major ills of this society and one major achievement of this fight against corruption is for the first time in a long time people have begun to appreciate the fact that corruption is really an ill.
“But beyond prosecuting people, this administration is bent on changing the way Nigerians do things.
“And this is why this administration is going to start very soon a massive campaign to re-orientate Nigerians to let them know that they cannot continue to do things the same way and expect different results.
“It is not all about criminalising people, who have been corrupt; of course if you have been corrupt we are going to follow due process; but it is more about a total change, total sanitising of our society.
“We are working very hard to break our campaign, which is `Change begins with me’.
“ Every Nigerian wants change, but they do not know that that change is embedded in them.”
He urged Nigerians to embrace the change initiative in order to promote development at all levels of the society.
The minister said that corruption and indiscipline were worse at the lower level of the society because the people at that level “have no good example to look up to’’.
“Corruption, indiscipline is even worse at the lower level of the stratum and you cannot blamed them, because they have no good example to look up to.
“I think Nigeria is fortunate today that we have a leadership, the President himself, who has shown by his examples that this change is possible.
“But we are not going to leave it to the president alone, we are going to involve everybody; when we show good example it is easier for people to follow.
“And that change would come only when leaders lead by example. When leaders lead by example, it will inspire those who are governed to do the right thing.”
Mohammed also urged Nigerians to always strive to promote the image of the country, saying that marketing the positive aspects of the country would change the way the country was perceived by the international community.
“The challenges Nigeria is facing today are small compared to challenges being faced in other parts of the world.
“Yet this perception in other parts of the world is being managed and nobody really notices them.
“We on our part have to market Nigeria vigorously; we have to look at those areas that are positive and market them while we are addressing and tackling the issues of insurgency here and there.

Breaking News: INEC declares Yahaya Bello Kogi Governor-Elect

The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Alh. Yahaya Bello as the winner of the Kogi governorship poll.
APC polled 247,752 votes to defeat PDP who came a strong second with 204,877 votes. In today’s supplementary poll, APC polled 6885 votes to beat PDP which polled 5363 votes.ININEC declares Yahaya Bello Kogi Governor-Elect
Declaring the results in Lokoja, the Chief Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Emmanuel Kucha, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, said having fulfilled all legal requirements, Alh. Yahaya Bello is declared winner of the election and Kogi Governor-Elect.
Kucha declared: “That Yahaya Bello, having polled the highest number of votes and satisfied the law is hereby returned elected”.
The collation of results was temporarily paused when an unidentified agent of the PDP asked about the status of APC running mate. But the Resident Electoral Commissioner said Faleke remains the running mate to Alh. Yahaya Bello. The supplementary poll took place in 18 of the 21 Local Government Areas in the state.
Immediately the results were announced, the streets of Lokoja, Kotonkarfe and Okene erupted in jubilation as people poured into the streets in hundreds to celebrate the victory.
At Isanlu, Bello Support Organization said it is victory for democracy.
Speaking exclusively to Vanguard at Isanlu, Chief Strategist of the organization, Abdulrasaq Ashiru said Yahaya Bello is God-sent for Kogi redemption.
In his words: “This is the moment we have been waiting for; the moment of history. This is the time we have worked for; the hour of renaissance. Generations after us will be told the history of this day.
“You can see the state-wide jubilation. That is the level of acceptance of the man, Yahaya Bello. He is the symbol of a new direction for our dear state. It is high time we placed emphasis on the factors that unite us. We are one people.
“To the people’s governor, the time for ethnic equality is now. We must be united by the actions of government so that we can move forward as a state”.
Also, a former Chairman of Okene Local Government Area, Hon. Saliu Ohize told Vanguard that Yahaya Bello’s victory os a product of the works of the late political leader of Ebiraland, Sen. A.T. Ahmed.
“Today, I am shedding tears of joy and regret. Joy in the sense that a great governor has emerged. Regret in the sense that our leader, Sen. A.T. Ahmed is not here today to savour the fruits of his labour”.
When our reporters contacted the governor-elect, Alh. Yahaya Bello, he said the victory belongs to all Kogites, asking everybody to rally round him to translate the victory to a success. He is expected to address the press soon.
Final Results
Ibaji: PDP 220 APC 369
Adavi: PDP 12 APC 878
Ankpa PDP 629 APC 562
Ajaokuta: PDP 12 APC 538
Omala: PDP 323 APC 317
Igalamela/Odolu PDP 434 APC 92
Ofu: PDP 484 APC 105
Dekina: PDP 1999 APC 2178
Kabba/Bunu: PDP 131 APC 201
Ijumu: PDP 102 APC 86
Lokoja: PDP 145 APC 301
Kogi/Koto: PDP 281 APC 406
Yagba West: PDP 73 APC 86
Okene: PDP 02 APC 208
Okehi: PDP 0 APC 108
Idah: PDP 70 APC 62
Bassa: PDP 114 APC 221
Olamaboro PDP 332 APC 167
Total: PDP 5363 APC 6885
Grand Total: PDP 204,877
APC 247,752

Nigerian government reacts to Biafra, says protest “completely legitimate

Nigerian government reacts to Biafra, says protest “completely legitimate”

Photo: TodayNG
Photo: TodayNG
The federal government has described the agitations by some Nigerians, largely in the South-East, as “completely legitimate.”
There have been mass protests by Igbos in South-East Nigeria for an independent country of Biafra. The protests have sometimes gone violent with reported deaths of about six people, allegedly at the hands of security officials
The protests got worse following the arrest and prosecution of Nnamdi Kanu, the promoter of Radio Biafra, a pirate radio the Nigerian government accuses of spreading hate and violence.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, who spoke on the agitations, however said the basic cause of it was “economic” which would have gotten worse but for the efforts of the current administration.
Speaking at a News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja at the weekend, Mr. Mohammed appealed to leaders in the country not to exploit the economic situation to further destabilise Nigerians.
He also urged Nigerian leaders to be courageous enough to come out and defend the unity of the country even though “in the short term it might be politically fashionable for them to be on the side of some agitators.”
The minister, who noted that current agitations by citizens were “completely legitimate,” assured of the Federal Government’s commitment to strengthening the economy.
“There are many political frontlines in Nigeria, religious, ethnic and the like but these things do not come to the fore until when there are serious economic problems like we are having today.
“I have listened to the complaints of many of these agitators and right down it is economic.
“They must understand too that but for this furtiveness of this administration, this country would have been by far much worse.
“There is need for Nigerians to understand also that these are not ordinary times and that the government is not just making excuses.
“I appeal to our leaders not to exploit this situation to further destabilise Nigerians; our leaders should be courageous enough to come out and defend our unity.
“In the short term, it might be politically fashionable for them to be on the side of some agitators but in the long term, it is in the overall interest of Nigeria that we all understand our differences, respect them forge a united Nigeria.
“There will be no alternative to one united Nigeria.”
The minister emphasised the need for government to have accurate and timely information on complaints presented by citizens.
“The most important thing is that the government must do a lot of self-assessment itself.
“The government has the responsibility to listen to all; it also has the responsibility to analyse issues to see which complaints are genuine and those that are not and look into them.”
He also stressed the need for the government to take advantage of different media platforms to make accurate information on its policies and plans available to citizens at all times.
He said that the availability of timely information would curtail agitations, rebuff rumours, and enhance citizens’ understanding of government’s plans and policies.
The minster urged the media to take advantage of available opportunities to “dominate” the social media platforms with positive and accurate information about the country.
He further said that such dominance would pre-empt negative information and activities on such platforms.
“At times some of the agitations might be because the government is not adequately publicising what it is doing.
“Some of the agitations could also arise from lack of understanding of government policies.
“Unfortunately, we have allowed the social media to dictate the agenda for us; that must stop immediately.
“If, for instance, we dedicate platforms that churn out positive stories, very soon other negative platforms become irrelevant.
“It is only the absence of an alternative narrative with the correct information that makes such other platforms relevant.”
He stated that churning out accurate information will present a positive image of Nigeria to the international community

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Risk of huge IS influx into Libya, France warns

There is an increasing risk of Libya becoming a haven for combatants from Islamic State, even as western nations target the extremist jihadist group in Iraq and Syria, the French defence minister warned in comments published Saturday.
“We see foreign jihadists arriving in the region of Syrte (northern Libya) who, if our operations in Syria and Iraq succeed in reducing the territorial reach of Daesh (Islamic State, IS) could tomorrow be more numerous,” defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the Jeune Afrique weekly.
Le Drian ruled out military intervention in Libya but warned the West had to try to foster Libyan unity in the face of such a threat.
“It is a major risk and that’s why there absolutely must be understanding between the Libyans,” said Le Drian.
Analysts believe Libya would present a less hospitable environment for IS than Syria and Iraq.
But Tripoli is hampered in presenting a united front as rival governments vie for power — a militia alliance including Islamists that overran Tripoli in August 2014, and the internationally recognised administration that fled to eastern Libya.
The current chaos in Libya with groups of competing militias since the overthrow and death of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011 has allowed IS to build influence, notably in Kadhafi’s coastal home town of Sirte, east of Tripoli.
And there are widespread fears the group could exploit tribal conflicts further into Africa.
Recognising Islamic State’s increasing Libyan reach, Le Drian said he feared that ultimately the group could form one half of a double-edged jihadist challenge in conjunction with Boko Haram, which pledged allegiance to their fellow Islamic extremists in March and which has been bringing terror to Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
“There is a major risk of a link being forged with Boko Haram,” said Le Drian, urging Libya’s rival administrations to make common cause while urging neighbours Algeria and Egypt to work diplomatic channels to that effect.
But Le Drian insisted that France would not countenance military action at least while the Libyans are divided among themselves.
“That’s not on the agenda. One cannot release the Libyans from their responsibilities by suggesting there might one day be an intervention. They must find solutions themselves.”

OPEC against cutting oil output to lift prices

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has decided against cutting its oil output to lift prices, its president and Nigerian oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said following a meeting here Friday.
OPEC, whose members together pump out more than one third of world oil, is currently producing above its official target of 30 million barrels per day.
“Given the present position of the economy of countries that are purchasing (oil) and the worldwide economy, we will retain production at current levels,” said Kachikwu, who is minister of state for petroleum resources in Nigeria.
OPEC is currently pumping out around 32 million barrels of oil per day.
The cartel on Friday published no figures on output in its communique, as it awaits increased output from Iran after sanctions were lifted on the Islamic republic.
“We cannot put a number now because Iran is coming, we don’t know when Iran will come, and we will have to accommodate Iran one way or the other,” said OPEC Secretary General Abdullah el-Badri.
“We decided to postpone this decision to the next OPEC meeting (in June) until the picture will be more clearer for us to decide on a number,” he added.
Despite oil prices plunging by more than 60 percent in 18 months, OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and the cartel’s other Gulf state members are defying calls to reduce output — in a year-long strategy of attempting to preserve market share and fend off competition from non-OPEC and world leading producers Russia and the United States.
Saudi Arabia on Friday repeated the kingdom’s stance that it would be willing to cut as long as non-OPEC also reduces its output.
“We have said on more than one occasion that we are willing to cooperate with anyone that will help balance the market… with us,” Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi told reporters gathered at OPEC headquarters in Vienna.
OPEC’s poorer nations — notably Venezuela, Ecuador and Algeria — had led the calls for a cut to help boost prices and in turn their badly-hit revenues.
“Everyone is concerned about… the prices, no one is happy,” said Iraq’s oil minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi.
OPEC on Friday confirmed that Indonesia had returned to the cartel after a near seven-year absence, bringing the number of member countries to 13.

IS hails California attackers as ‘soldiers of caliphate

The Islamic State group on Saturday hailed the perpetrators of a mass shooting in the US state of California as “soldiers” of its caliphate, without explicitly claiming the deadly attack.
In its English-language radio broadcast, the group praised the Wednesday shooting that killed 14 people and wounded 21 others.
“Two soldiers of the Khilafah (caliphate) executed an attack on the Inland Regional Centre in San Bernardino, California,” the IS radio broadcast said in English.
IS refers to the swathe of territory it controls in Syria and Iraq as an Islamic caliphate.
The group’s Arabic-language radio broadcast earlier in the day had referred to the attackers as “supporters of the Islamic State.”
The English-language broadcast said the attackers, Syed Farook, 28, and his 29-year-old Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik, were “killed in the path of Allah.”
But the group stopped short of issuing an official claim of responsibility for the shooting in the format it has used in the past for attacks in Paris and elsewhere.
The FBI said late Friday it was probing the attack as “an act of terrorism” after reports that Malik had pledged allegiance to IS on Facebook.

Uti’s confession: I have broken hearts and my heart has been broken too

Uti Nwachukwu is a multi talented dude who burst into the limelight when he won Big Brother Africa       Season 5, The All Stars edition in 2010.Ever since, the debonair entertainer has continued to up his game and remains a force to reckon with in the Nigerian entertainment scene.
Uti Nwachukwu
Uti Nwachukwu
Handsome, stylish and rich too, many would think this guy has women falling over him as easily as a piece of candy but it is not so. Uti has had his share of heartbreaks just as he has broken a few of others too. He owned up to Ayo Onikoyi in a recent chat.
“Of course who hasn’t?” He retorted when I asked him if his heart has ever been broken. “And I have had my heart broken too. We all break people’s hearts please.
Let’s leave that one. They have broken my heart, they have crushed it. I have broken heart and my heart has been broken. especially     when I was young   in my late 20’s.Right now, I am trying to allow myself to be loved. The last girl that was on my case said something to me:’Uti allow somebody to love you’ and I guess I did”

Friday, 4 December 2015

IPOB blames APC for death of 9, names victims

Markets, schools, banks remain shut in Onitsha
Soldiers, mobile policemen take over streets, conduct stop-and-search on motorists
MASSOB dissociates self, factions trade blames
By  Anayo Okoli, Vincent Ujumadu, Festus Ahon, Nwabueze Okonkwo,  Ugochukwu Alaribe, Chimaobi Nwaiwu & Omeiza Ajayi
ONITSHA—Following the three-week long protests embarked upon by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, over continued incarceration of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu which led to the alleged killing of its members by  members of Joint Military Task Force,  markets, banks and schools in Onitsha and its environs remained closed, yesterday, in apparent solidarity with the protesters.
The Building Materials International Market at Ogidi, near Onitsha, New Auto Spare Parts market at Nkpor and other major markets remained closed, just as banks and schools remained under lock and key.
A detachment of stern-looking soldiers and mobile policemen were seen in their numbers  standing on the roads and stopping all vehicles, a situation which led to a traffic gridlock from the former toll gate at Ogbunike to Bridge-head end of the Enugu/Awka/Onitsha express way.
Meanwhile, a coalition of civil society groups had called for immediate resignation of the  Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr. Solomon Arase for his alleged  shoot-at-sight order and roles in the Onitsha killings of protesting IPOB members.
Extra judicial killings
Scene of Onitsha protest
Scene of Onitsha protest
In a press statement released, yesterday, and signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, the coordinating principal of the  coalition said it was equally important to inform that the Nigeria Police Force under Arase was already under the jurisdictional watch of the International Criminal Court as compilation and computation of cases of all police and military related extra judicial killings in the country were steadily in progress, adding, “for failing to heed our warning of 13th November 2015, we will be glad to ensure that IGP Arase and his named sub-commanders are handcuffed and flown to The Hague for the purpose of making them face international trial for crimes against humanity.”
According to the coalition: “We call on the IPOB and its teeming followers to remain peaceful, non- violent and law-abiding at all times, not minding the violence recently visited and unleashed on them.
“They must also watch their back and be extremely vigilant so as to ward off sustained efforts of some commissioned elements within the Federal Government, particularly its security establishments and stooges within the South East Governors Forum to implant elements of violence into their fold so as to destroy their globally -approved method of non- violence and peaceful means  of agitation.
IPOB blames APC
Still wallowing in the confusion that followed the killing of nine of its members, Wednesday, in Onitsha, the IPOB,  also yesterday alleged that the All Progressives Congress, APC, was behind the crisis that led to shooting to death of nine people and injuring of over 18 people that sustained various degrees of injuries at the Niger Bridge Head Onitsha and other parts of Onitsha and its environs.
Spokesman of IPOB in Anambra State, Mr. Emma Powerful disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Onitsha, saying that it was a calculated plan by the APC government in the country which became unsettled with their peaceful and non- violent protests in South East, and had been looking for a way to provoke violence in their protests to justify the continued detention and incarceration of their leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
The victims
The IPOB spokesman gave the names of  some of the  IPOB members that were shot dead,  Wednesday,  morning as Chima Onoh, from Enugu state, Kenneth Ogadinma from Abia State,  Angus Chikwado and Felicia Egwuatu from Anambra State, including another, he said they got information was killed in Idemili  side of Anambra State late Wednesday evening.
He also said that the JTF killed a young lady that was later identified as Nkiruka and tried to take her corpse away.
An eye witness, who took some photographs told Vanguard that he was in his office watching as JTF men were shooting sporadically at Obodoukwu Road by Nigerian Customs Service Onitsha.
He said Nkiruka is from Adazi Nnukwu in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State,  a 200 level student of Federal College of Education Technical, Umunze and the only daughter of the family.
“Nkiruka was coming from Nigerian Customs  Service  by Asaba Onitsha Enugu expressway towards Obodoukwu Road and on hearing gun-shots, she ran into a restaurant and one of the JTF members  shot her dead and was about taking her corpse away when her family  came with an ambulance and spoke with the JTF men who later released the corpse to them.”
However, the police from Anambra State had denied any killing by the JTF through the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Ali Okechukwu.
MASSOB disassociates self
Meanwhile, the  Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, yesterday, dissociated itself from the violence being perpetrated by IPOB,  which had resulted in the killings and destruction of property.
Speaking to newsmen  in Asaba, zonal leader of MASSOB in Delta North, Mr. Chinedu Amaifeobu, said MASSOB was not a violent group and condemned the acts of violence being perpetrated by the IPOB.
Amaifeobu said: “MASSOB  is not in support of the killings and destruction of  property. We are not against any group in Igbo land but would not support killing of  innocent people and destruction of property. “
Disclosing that there was no faction in MASSOB as allegedly being speculated by one Uchenna Madu, he said Mr. Raph Uwazuruike  remained the founder and leader of the group worldwide, alleging that the said Uchenna Madu was sacked from MASSOB since last year for misconduct and his group was  the one terrorizing Onitsha.
Amaifeobu expressed confidence that they would actualize Biafra without violence and urged the media to reach out to them in any of their offices  for verification of information concerning MASSOB before going to press.
Insisting the group had offices in all parts of the Biafra zone, he held that MASSOB under the leadership of Uwazuruike was committed to the Biafra struggle.
Meeting of North, S/E monarchs
However, at the  IPOB’s media briefing, Mr. Powerful dismissed the meeting said to have been held on the directive of the Sultan of Sokoto with Governor Rochas Okorocha as host and some South East traditional rulers in attendance as meeting of APC members, adding that some South East traditional rulers must have been disappointed  with the outcome of the meeting.
“How can anybody be holding a meeting concerning IPOB, MASSOB and issue of Biafra in Imo State instead of Enugu State or Anambra State, the home of our spiritual leader Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu without any IPOB and MASSOB member, even one person from the groups being present.
“We therefore maintain that it was an APC meeting and its outcome does not have any binding on IPOB or MASSOB,” he said.
Call for dialogue
Biafra protesters
Biafra protesters
Speaking further, the IPOB spokesman berated the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, for reading a riot act to armless, defenseless and non-violent IPOB and MASSOB members when he should be apologizing and sympathizing with the families of the people his men and their JTF counterpart killed during their indiscriminate shooting of protesting people.
“We are demanding that IGP Arase should resign voluntarily or be removed by Buhari if he is not using him to do a hatchet job. He is not a competent and intelligent police officer, let alone being IGP, or he should have  consoled  the bereaved families whether it was his men that did it or not.
“Every killing that  happened, Wednesday, constitutionally falls on the Police, because they invited the Army and the Navy to help them because of their incompetence.“
The APC government through their youths had been looking for a way to destroy our peaceful protests, but they could not see. They bribed market  leaders to accuse us of shutting the markets and breaking into stores and shops and that did not work. They now decided to send their youths to start making bonfire on the roads in Onitsha and other parts of the state to disrupt economic, social and commercial activities in the state and give an impression that we are violent.
“This was after they had ordered the Joint Military Task Force to shoot five of our members, who were observing our three days ‘Sit  at  the Niger Head Bridge’ protest as directed by our leaders to press home our demand for the release of Mr. Kanu. Yet, we did not react.
“We are demanding for the release of our leader and the actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra. We are determined to have Biafra and detention of Mr. Kanu and other members of IPOB and MASSOB will not deter us. Since the end of the civil war, we have not been treated as part of Nigeria  and now, we want to go and nobody will stop us because we have exhausted our patience in Nigeria,” he said.
Appeal for peace
Calling for calm, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, the Ogirishi Igbo has appealed to IPOB and MASSOB to maintain the peace that they had been known for even in the face of the killing of their members and the attack by the APC-sponsored youths in the state.
Ezeonwuka urged the youths  to keep calm  as  their anger had been established.
“ I want them to know that IPOB, known for peaceful protest is being infiltrated by criminals sponsored by politicians from inside and outside the state to involve in violent activities to destroy their name.”

How police arrested alleged cross-border robbery gang

Bendossou Celestine, a 57 year old man from Benin Republic who was alleged to be a notorious cross-border armed robber has been arrested by the Oyo State Police Command  after several robbery attacks. Before his arrest, he and other members of his gang had thought they were invincible. To him and members of his gang, the proverb which says all days are the thief but one day is for the owner was nothing but mere wishful thinking that would never come to play in their own case.
•One the robbery suspects nabbed by the Police
•One the robbery suspects nabbed by the Police
But, their   oracle seemed to have fallen into a deep sleep when the long arms of the law caught up with them. While parading the suspect along with other suspected criminals at the state police headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan, the Oyo State  Commissioner of Police, Mr Leye Oyebade said the arrest of the suspects was as a result of their renewed effort to dislodge criminal elements and dismantle their operational bases in the state.
He told Vanguard how the suspects were arrested through effective intelligence. He said, “a criminal gang of cross  border hoodlums domiciled in the neighbouring Benin Republic stretched their luck too far when they clandestinely entered the state and unleashed mayhem on innocent citizens.
They did this by snatching at gun point a Toyota Corolla with registration number BDG 238 DR from one Kafo Musiliu at Odo Ona area of Ibadan”.
The same gang, according to him, also snatched from one Dr. Alonge Funto , a Toyota Hilux vehicle marked LSR 261 SB at Elebu area of Ibadan. “Our response time was put to test when a report of the robbery was made to us. In a jiffy, our combat-ready  operatives were mobilised. In a determined and unrelenting spirit, the policemen engaged the fleeing robbers in a fierce battle at various points.
During the exchange of fire, one of the armed robbers was hit by a bullet on the left hand and was subsequently arrested while trying to escape to Benin Republic. Others escaped with bullet wounds. The undying spirit of the command coupled with operational dexterity of our detectives led to the recovery of the two stolen vehicles in Cotonou, Benin Republic”.
Items allegedly recovered from the gang include two vehicles without number plates, a pair of female shoes, some mechanical tools, an identity card and a black bag. The suspect, Celestine,  who looked menacing with his grey beard confessed to the crime saying his condition led him into robbery.
Also cooling their heels in the police custody were suspected kidnappers who are believed to be Fulani men. They were said to have been arrested with the support of the intelligence network put in place by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase. About a fortnight ago, the IGP told Governor Abiola Ajimobi that his men from Abuja had succeeded in arresting the notorious kidnappers who had been terrorising the South West states especially Oyo State.
Narrating how the suspects were rounded up, CP Oyebade said the six-man gang was   rounded up at Okeho in Oke Ogun area of the state. He quoted the suspects as saying they were responsible for a series of kidnapping activities in several places in the state.
The suspects were identified as Muhammed Sanni, Abubakar Abubakar, Damahayah Gambo, Usman Saidu and Hassan Saidu. Mr. Pelumi Ariyibi who claimed to be a 400-level student of Bowen University, Iwo in Osun State was also arrested for alleged internet fraud.
The innocent looking young man allegedly opened a fake Facebook account purportedly belonging to Mrs. Florence Ajimobi,   wife of the state governor , Senator Abiola Ajimobi. The CP alleged that the suspect had the intention to defraud innocent and unsuspecting members of the public on the wall and time line of the fake Face-book account  by requesting them to pay certain amounts into his bank account-2020524644.
He was said to have lied to many people informing them of non-existent women empowe-rment programme and car loan schemes of the first lady. Pelumi confessed to the crime and told Vanguard how she opened the fake Facebook to defraud people.
Internet fraud
He said, “ I opened a new Face-book account in the name of Mrs Ajimobi by searching for her pictures on Google which I later uploaded on the account. I then posted on the wall and time line of the account two schemes – Women Empowerment Programme and Car Loan Scheme.”
When asked how many people he had defrauded, he said four persons had contacted him but were yet to make any payment.
“Initially, I contacted a woman about a woman empowerment programme going on in Oyo State and she promised to get back to me. She was the only one I contacted concerning the empowerment programme.
I then made it public on the time line that there is a car loan scheme going on with which the governor and his wife intend to compensate the people of Oyo State for their loyalty and faithfulness towards his administration. “A woman contacted me first and asked about the details. I told her that the kind of car she wants would determine how much she would pay as deposit.

How Ekiti under-aged girls are turning into comfort women

Ever heard of the Chinese World War 11 comfort women? Well, comfort women were a group of Chinese women in the occupied territories, forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers during  World War 11, just for the singular purpose of providing emotional support for soldiers.
•Under-aged girls
•Under-aged girls
Though Ekiti is not at war with anyone, neither is it an occupied territory, but a group of criminally minded street urchins, popularly known as area boys have created a colony in Atikankan area of Ado-Ekiti, where they have been luring teenage girls, just for the purpose of sexual pleasure after a heavy   bout of cannabis sativa smoking.
Strange crime
This type of criminality, where under-aged girls are recruited to give sexual pleasures to drug addicts is so novel in Ekiti, that it almost escaped the radar of the law enforcement agencies, but thanks to the vigilance of the Vigilante Group, what was hidden has been exposed.
Atikankan, a City’s dark spot
Atikankan in Ado-Ekiti, could easily be described as the most notorious area in the state capital, it housed most of the criminal dens and hideouts, where   drug peddlers trade their wares openly with reckless abandon, it is also an abode for commercial sex workers, most of the brothels in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, are situated in that particular area.
Once, it is dusk, Atikankan comes alive and trading of all sorts begins. The population of these run-away teenage girls is swelling by the day, and it is instructive to note that most of these girls are from broken homes. They have found homes in the abode of drug addicts, who use them as sex slaves in exchange for drugs and little cash.
Victims of abuse and stories: Tobi Gbadamosi is just 15-years-old, but the young girl’s ordeal in her short span of existence far outweighs her age, she has experienced what many ladies in their twenties, or thirties and forties have never seen in their lives: she smokes marijuana, engage in wild sex and aborts pregnancies at will.
In her words, “ I have only aborted once, then I was fourteen. I had gone to stay with a relative in a neighbouring town when I met a man who eventually impregnated but bolted away thereafter. I returned home to find out that the only option available to save my face was to abort the baby and my mum helped me after she had found out the truth about it,” Tobi said.
How the girls were apprehended
A member of the Vigilante group who had led a vigilante operation to the places where the girls were picked up, Mr. Babatunde Owoeye told Vanguard that “we picked two of them in Atikankan area and the others in Okeila. The parents of one of the girls named Tolu have been looking for her for about two weeks.
‘’When we eventually got a tip-off about her whereabouts from her friends around their house. We stormed the place in a notorious dark spot in Ado-Ekiti, popularly known as Atikankan and we were able to apprehend her. “ She had raised the alarm to alert some tough looking young men in the place who rushed out carrying cutlasses to attack us. But when they found out that we out-numbered them, they took to their heels.
“We discovered that the girls are being camped in the hideouts, made to have marathon sex with the wild young men there who also smoke marijuana and initiate the girls into occult activities.
Occult activities
“Many of the girls had absconded home three weeks ago. A parent of one of them had come to report that her daughter had ran away from home to practice prostitution with street boys, and pleaded that we help look for her,’’ the father said.
Confession: None of the girls who were scantily dressed, deny any of the allegations levelled against them. In fact, they not only corroborated the accusations but also added details.
The 16-year old told Vanguard that she had actually left home for about 9 days before she was caught. Suliya said she had been asked to hawk her mother’s wares when she absconded and teamed up with two other  friends to visit their boyfriends’ places.
“I had dropped the palm oil my mother asked me to hawk at my grand mum’s place and followed my friends to visit the boys. I have a boyfriend among the boys. We had stayed with the boys till around 7pm that day and I reasoned that it was already too late so we passed the night with the boys and had sex with them.
“ Since that first day, I was afraid to go back home, thinking that my mother would beat me, so we began to stay with my friends’ in their grandmother’s place. We would sleep there and in the morning, eat and go to the boys’ place and be with them till late in the night and return to the grand mother’s place.”
Tolulope, while relating her own story said, “We all have boyfriends among the boys whose cult name is seven stars in Atikankan. Tolulope , 16, stayed in Ogbando street before she abandoned home for the street boys’ abode. Her mother had sent her on an errand which she was supposed to return to in a couple of hours but which she never came home until two days after.
Unhappy at her daughter’s attitude, the angry mother in a fit of anger, sent her back to where she was coming from. To avoid her mother’s rage, Tolu said she ran off to her grand mother’s place where she has since been staying. “I also have a boy friend among the boys from where the Vigilante group apprehended us. We would leave my grandmother’s place every morning and resume at the boys place and be there, catching fun till late in the night when we return to my grand mum’s place.”
What was their reward for the amorous service rendered to their drug-addict boyfriends. While two of them said they don’t receive a dime for giving emotional comfort to the boys, Tobi, one of the girls, confessed that “ My boy friend buy clothes for me and other belongings such as shoes and bras. He also feed me and sometimes give me about N2500 to take care of myself.