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Bandits on the rampage in Plateau, Niger, kill 52, abduct hunters, others

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Fifty-two persons have been killed in separate attacks on communities in Plateau and Niger states.

While 18 persons were confirmed killed after gunmen attacked the Ncha community in the Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, gunmen on Wednesday attacked two communities in Niger State and killed 34 persons.

The Niger State incident appeared to be reprisal as a few weeks ago some special hunters and local vigilantes killed scores of gunmen who were terrorising the communities.

The gunmen launched Wednesday’s attack on Nakuna and Wurukuchi communities when the villagers were on their farms harvesting produce.

All the houses in Nakuna, with a population of about 200, were burnt down by the gunmen, who invaded the community in search of vigilantes.

According to Yahaya Mota, who lost 10 members of his family to the attack, 20 other bodies were discovered in the bush.

Mota stated, “After the attack on Nakuna, we discovered that 10 persons from one family were killed and we later found the bodies of 20 others in the bush.

“Also in Wurukuchi, four members of the same family were killed on their farm.”

Apart from the razed houses, he said the gunmen also burnt food barns in the communities before leaving.

“These people didn’t only kill our people and burn down our houses, they also burnt down all the food barns before leaving,” Mota stated.

He added that during the search for members of the vigilance group and local hunters, the gunmen abducted three of the special hunters.

The 75-year-old Mota said six children and four others, who came to assist in the harvesting of farm produce, were killed in a terrible manner, adding that their hands were tied to their backs before they were shot.

When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Monday Kuryas, confirmed the incident but said the command had yet to ascertain the actual number of people killed during the attack.

He added that security personnel had been deployed in the affected communities to restore normalcy.

In Plateau State, a youth leader in the Ncha community, Nuhu Bitrus, confirmed the killing of 17 persons on Wednesday.

Bitrus said that the gunmen, who carried out the attack, also burnt several houses belonging to the residents, while several persons sustained injuries.

According to the youth leader, the attack on the community took place in the early hours of Wednesday and lasted for several hours

He said, “We have a disaster currently in one of our communities in Ncha. Some gunmen, whom we know to be Fulani, last night invaded the community and started shooting everywhere and killing anyone they saw in sight, while setting people’s houses on fire. Right now, we have counted 17 dead bodies and six persons that were injured during the invasion, which started around 2.30am.

“The Ancha community is the same place that one person was killed just a few days ago by the same people. We don’t know what to do before the government and security agents will see the need to protect our people from extermination, which obviously is the intent of the attackers.”

But later on Wednesday evening, the Irigwe ethnic nationality of Plateau state under the aegis of Irigwe Development Association said 18 people were killed.

It released the names of the deceased.

A statement issued on Wednesday night by the National Publicity Secretary of the association, Davidson Malison noted that among those killed by the gummen was a three-month-old baby identified as Monday Bitrus which he said “justified an act of inhumanity to man”

Malison listed other deceased persons as Gideon Goh, 30 years; Danladi James, 26 years; Yohanna Musa, 17 years; Achi Alhaji, 16 years; Monday Abba,52 years; Musa Tegwi,80 years; Christiana Sunday, 45; Laraba Bitrus, 38; Andrew Bitrus, 7; Wiki Bitrus, 5 ; Danjuma Rimbe, 10; Monday B Bitrus, 19 ; Moses Weyi, 21; Mbe Weyi, 21; Azumi Wreh; Danladi David Musa, 28 and Garius Gado Sunday.

The military task force in charge of maintaining peace in the state, Operation Safe Haven, also confirmed the attack on the community on Wednesday.

A statement signed by the Military Information Officer, Major Takwa Ishaku, said, “In the late hours of Tuesday, January 11, 2022, troops of Operation Safe Haven received a  distress call of an attack on the Acha community in the Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.

“The troops responded swiftly and mobilised to the village. On reaching the community, the attackers had fled the village. Houses were destroyed and some villagers lost their lives during the attack.

“Troops of Operation Safe Haven are on the trail of the assailants and details of the pursuit will be made available later.

“The Commander, Operation Safe Haven, Maj Gen I. S. Ali, while commiserating with the families of those who lost their lives during the attack, reiterated his resolve to ensure that the perpetrators of evil on the Plateau face the consequences of their dastard acts.”

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Osinbajo to represent Buhari at 61st ordinary session of ECOWAS heads of state in Ghana

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will on Saturday depart Lagos for Accra, Ghana to represent Nigeria at the 61st Ordinary Session of the Authority of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government holding tomorrow.

Prof. Osinbajo, standing in for President Muhammadu Buhari at the summit, will join other leaders to deliberate and take decisions on the political, security and humanitarian issues among others regarding the sub-region at the regular ECOWAS summit.

The meeting will also review the situations in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso, particularly towards restoring democratic rule. West African leaders have since 2020 held several sessions, including emergency meetings, dedicated to finding lasting solutions to the resurgence of coups in some of the countries in the sub-region.

At the summit tomorrow, the Mediation and Security Council of ECOWAS will update leaders on political developments in the region and in the sahel region.

The Council will also provide updates on the issues of insecurity, challenges relating to youth unemployment and the impact of diseases and pandemics on social tensions in the region.

Only recently on 4th June, 2022 in Accra, Ghana, President Buhari joined other ECOWAS leaders to deliberate on the situation in the sub-region, urging more attention to be paid to the victims of unconstitutional change of government

On the sidelines of the summit, the VP will also attend a meeting of the five West African countries involved with “The Abidjan – Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project,” a flagship project of the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). It connects the capitals of five West African states (Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria) and stretches for approximately 1,028 km.

A release from ECOWAS Commission says the objective of this $42million project is “to promote cross-border trade, integrate economies within the ECOWAS area, reduce transport costs, stimulate inter-regional trade and strengthen regional integration in West Africa.”

The Vice President who will be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Zubairu Dada and some other members of the Federal Executive Council is expected back in Abuja later on Sunday.

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Candlelight vigil held at Nigeria House, London to mark 1-year anniversary of July 1 attack on Sunday Igboho’s house

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Scores of Yoruba Nation agitators on Friday held a vigil in London to mark the one-year anniversary of the July 1, 2021 attack on the Ibadan residence of the embattled Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho. 

Dozens of candles shined on the Nigeria House, London on Friday evening as the agitators, gathered for a candlelight vigil to reflect on the attack of July 1, 2021 and demanded self determination for the Yorubas.

Recall that the Department of State Services (DSS) had on July 1, 2021 raided the residence of the activist in Ibadan, Oyo state.

The DSS raided the residence, killing two people and arresting 12 aides but Igboho escaped.

The agency alleged that Igboho was stockpiling weapons, and subsequently declared him wanted.

Igboho was, however, arrested by the Benin Republic police on July 19 at Cardinal Bernardin International Airport in Cotonou while trying to fly from the country to Germany.

See photos from the vigil

Candlelight & Memorial Service to mark 1-year anniversary of July 1 attack on Sunday Igboho’s house
Candlelight & Memorial Service to mark 1-year anniversary of July 1 attack on Sunday Igboho’s house
Candlelight & Memorial Service to mark 1-year anniversary of July 1 attack on Sunday Igboho’s house

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‘Be ready to face God’s wrath if you blaspheme against Jesus’- Adeboye 

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The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor E.A. Adeboye, has warned that any individual that blasphemes Jesus will taste the wrath of God.

Adeboye, who spoke to his congregation at the RCCG monthly Holy Ghost Service for the month of July, which was held late Friday/early Saturday, made the comment as he reacted to the recent attacks and killings targeting churches and worshippers in some parts of the country.

Religion Nigeria reported that no fewer than 40 Catholics were killed by unknown gunmen in June at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State.

Two weeks after the Owo attack. bandits killed three persons during separate attacks on the Baptist Church and the St. Moses Catholic Church, all in the Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

He also took time to respond to a comment allegedly made by controversial On-Air Personality, Daddy Freeze, who alleged that some women turned to Ogun (god of thunder) to rain curses on the terrorists who massacred worshippers in Owo because “Bros J” (a nickname for Jesus which is common amongst Nigerians) did not answer them.

Freeze had written last month, “When dem call bros J and he nor answer dem nko? We abandoned African paganism to adopt European pagan ideologies. Until we start telling ourselves the truth and take our security issues more seriously this won’t end. Christ’s message is love and that’s the first thing so glaringly missing in Nigeria.”

Reacting, Adeboye said, “I understand that one funny fellow said that some people were calling on Ogun because Jesus didn’t answer them.

“Well, the one who said that there’s a Yoruba proverb, it said, the mouth that the snail uses to blasphemy God, that mouth would kiss the ground. From now on, anybody who dares blaspheme Jesus Christ, they will taste the fire of the Almighty God.”

Speaking further, the revered clergyman stated that, “Safety is of the Lord and nobody dies until their time comes.

“I don’t want to say much, because I know whatever I say, some people may want to twist it. But I’ve searched the Bible from cover to cover and there is nowhere in the Bible where God said a child of God cannot defend himself.

“If you find the place, let me know. He said, if they slap you on the right cheek, turn the left. If they now slap the left, what did he say? When God is silent, do you know the meaning of that, it simply means, over to you.

“Every enemy of the church, as long as my Father is still on the throne, as long as Jesus lives, as long as His name is the consuming fire, if they don’t repent, the fire of God will consume them. I’m not talking to everybody o, I’m only talking to my children.”

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