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Obasanjo Faults Ransom Payment, Asks FG To Develop Means To Tackle Banditry

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…Condemns Call For Nigeria’s Disintegration

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday described calls for the disintegration of Nigeria as unmindful and insensitive to the plight of the minority groups in the country.

Obasanjo made the observation when he received the Tiv Professional Group (TPG) from Benue State, who paid him a courtesy visit in Abeokuta.The former president recalled a discussion between him and “a military friend” who, according to him, has described major tribes in the country as selfish and not sufficiently caring for the minority groups.

Obasanjo, who alligned with his friend’s opinion, expressed worry over what would become of the minority groups if the major tribes decided to secede and begin to operate as separate countries.“If the Yoruba can stand as a country, if the Igbos and the Hausa/Fulani can stand as separate countries, where do we want the minority groups to be?“Now, by virtue of the present situation, they are a little bit protected, but if Nigeria breaks up, they will be oppressed and exterminated,” he said.

He recalled the meetings he had with a number of socio-cultural organisations in September 2020 and noted that nobody at such meeting talked about disintegration or breakup, saying that “all they clamoured for was a change for good” .The elder statesman stressed the need for Nigerian leaders to be mindful of the ethnic diversity of the Nigerian nation, adding that the country would not make any meaningful progress without such consideration.

Obasanjo, who expressed hope that the rough times that Nigeria was going through would not last forever, urged Nigerians to be patient while the country gathered her goodwill and moved in the right direction.

The leader of the group, Prof. Zacharys Gundv, in a paper he presented to Obasanjo, highlighted the challenges of the nation, including insecurity, poverty religious intolerance, kidnappings and banditry, among others.He explained that the Tivs were worried about the skewed narrative of insecurity in Nigeria Proffering solution to Nigeria’s challenges, Gundv called on well meaning Nigerians to be united in serving the country.

He called for intensified advocacy against nomadic pastoralism and an “All Nationalities Summit” to discuss and proffer solutions to Nigeria’s challenges.

In the same vein, Obasanjo on Wednesday described calls for the disintegration of Nigeria as unmindful and insensitive to the plight of the minority groups in the country.

Obasanjo made the observation when he received the Tiv Professional Group (TPG) from Benue State, who paid him a courtesy visit in Abeokuta.The former president recalled a discussion between him and “a military friend” who, according to him, has described major tribes in the country as selfish and not sufficiently caring for the minority groups.

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Kebbi Abduction: One Student Feared Dead As Soldiers Rescue Five

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One of the students abducted by bandits who attacked the Federal Government College, Birnin-Yauri in Kebbi state, has been killed.

Abubakar AbdulKadir, deputy force commander of the joint taskforce in the northwest, disclosed this to reporters on Friday.

He, however, added that five others including four students and a teacher were rescued during a gun battle by the bandits.

The number of students abducted by the gunmen during the attack on Thursday afternoon is yet to be confirmed.

 

Details Later…

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Be Mindful Of Your Language, Thoughts -Adesina Warns Obasanjo

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Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari has asked former President Olusegun Obasanjo to ‘mind his language’.

Obasanjo had recently said he does not believe in one Nigeria at any cost, even though he wants the country to remain united and peaceful.

“It is better that Nigeria stays together and find solutions to its challenges than for each tribe to go its separate way.

“I am a strong believer of one Nigeria, but not one Nigeria at any cost. But one Nigeria where every Nigerian can feel proud that he or she has a stake in this country,” he had said.

Responding in his latest Facebook article on Thursday, Adesina said, “And what of Olusegun Obasanjo, a civil war hero. Despite all that he has contributed to the current upheavals by his actions and inactions, words, and bile, he says it is idiotic to wish Nigeria disintegration now. Good. But let us put our money where our mouth is. Let Baba mind his thoughts and his language.”

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How Bandits Fulfilled Their Promise To Attack Kebbi School – Lawmaker, Tanko Sununu

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A member of the House of Representatives, Tanko Sununu, has described the attack on the Federal Government College, Birnin-Yauri in Kebbi State, as a promise fulfilled by bandits.

The lawmaker who represents Ngaski/ Shanga/ Yauri Federal Constituency noted that Thursday’s incident was the latest in the chains of attacks on communities in the area.

While featuring as a guest on Sunrise Daily on Friday, he narrated what transpired in the build-up to the attack that left a yet-to-be-ascertained number of students of the school missing.

“What really happened is that about two weeks ago, we had an episode when bandits residing within parts of the areas bordering Zamfara, Niger, and Kebbi came up through one of the villages in my constituency.

“They killed a policeman and found their way until they reached Ibeto area where we have a quarry, killed some security men and kidnapped some of the foreign workers in the quarry and left,” the lawmaker said during the Channels Television breakfast show.

He added, “10 days later, they came back to the same area and entered into my constituency bordering some villages, and they had more than a seven-hour field operation going from house to house, room to room, collecting money, phones, cows, and any machine they deemed useful for their operations, and they left a message behind that they would soon be back.

“To fulfill their promise yesterday, we had intelligence that they were on their way coming. Around 10:30 in the morning, they reached their final destination – the Federal Government College, Birnin-Yauri.”

Sununu noted that as soon as the bandits got to the school, they were faced with a tough task as they were initially resisted and engaged in a gunfight by operatives of the Mobile Police and Police Counter-Terrorism Unit stationed at the school.

He disclosed that the fire exchange lasted for a long period before the bandits overpowered the security operatives due to their large number.

The bandits, the lawmaker stated, succeeded in killing a policeman and gained access into the school and abducted an unspecified number of students and five teachers.

He explained that it was difficult to ascertain the exact number of students abducted as parents from nearby villages and towns raced to the school to take their children away immediately after the incident.

Sununu, however, gave an assurance that the military has swung into action, noting that progress has been made.

He said, “As at last night, I had a discussion with the Field Commander of Operation Hadarin Daji who said that they have succeeded in entering into the den of the kidnappers and I think this is a major success because the security agencies are now taking the fight to the base of the kidnappers.

“I was also told that over 800 cattle that were rustled some days back have been recovered and as of now, the military has combed the area where we are expecting that the students are with the bandits. They have also succeeded in creating many casualties on the part of the bandits.”

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