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Your Perception Of Terrorism Warped, Group Tells VP Shettima




Insists on frontal military firepower against bandits

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has faulted Vice President Kashim Shettima for saying that terrorism and banditry in Northern Nigeria is accentuated by poverty and social exclusion.

The civil rights advocacy group, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, described Shettima’s understanding of terrorism as warped, adding that terrorists are among the richest and organised networks in the world.

It said the VP was chasing shadows by blaming poverty for terrorism in the North West or North East, arguing that “a poor man cannot buy military grade weapons” to down Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets in Zamfara, Borno and other insurgent-riddled states.

Shettima had said: “Unless we want to engage in an endless war of attrition, there cannot be a military solution to the crisis in the North West. There has to be a kinetic and non-kinetic solution.”

The VP was said to have made the comment in a chat with newsmen while on a condolence visit to Kano over the weekend, adding that a “Pulaku Solution” would be unveiled to end the decade-long terror in the country.
‘Pulaku’ in Fulfulde language means brotherhood and helping the Fulani community.

HURIWA said: “It is so unfortunate that the ex-governor of Boko Haram-infested Borno State has limited understanding of the dimensions of terrorism, especially in Nigeria. Terrorists are among the richest and well-organised networks. The terrorists of Zamfara and Borno are not poor; they are members of international illegal mining network with probably links to some rogues in China and Middle East.
“These same ‘poor’ insurgents shot down a NAF jet on July 18, 2021, which led to its crash in Zamfara. In April 2021, the Abubakar Shekau-led faction of Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a crash involving an alpha jet operated by NAF.”

“In many videos released by the terrorists, they were seen engaging NAF jets flying at low altitude in a gunfight. The insurgents were usually armed with machine guns, ones that seem to be anti-aircraft weapons.” 

In March 2021, ex-presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said the Federal Government declared no-fly zone in Zamfara because private aircraft were being used to supply weapons to criminal gangs that kidnap for ransom. He also said the choppers were used to evacuate gold and illegally smuggle same out of the country.

HURIWA added: “Also, the talk about using a non-kinetic approach with the insurgents has expired and cannot work. All the de-radicalisation and amnesty that Shettima and other former and serving governors in Katsina, Zamfara and Borno gave to insurgents have not achieved any result, but worsened the situation.

“In July 2020, Senator Ali Ndume (Borno South) kicked against the re-integration of ex-Boko Haram fighters into the society, saying they would never repent. Just recently, Auwal Daudawa, a bandit leader in Zamfara, who masterminded the abduction of over 300 students in neighbouring Katsina State, went back to the trenches, about three months after his celebrated repentance. These are hardened terrorists extremely detrimental to the survival of Nigeria. The country must not negotiate with them or use a non-kinetic approach, but frontal military firepower.”

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BREAKING NEWS: PDP’s Diri Wins Bayelsa Gov Election



The incumbent Governor of Bayelsa State and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Douye Diri, has been declared the winner of the State governorship election held last Saturday.

The Returning Officer, Prof Faruq Kuta, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Of Technology, Minna, announced Diri winner of the poll at the collation centre of the election on Monday.

Diri polled 175,196 to defeat his closest rival, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress, who garnered 110,108 votes while the Labour Party polled 905 votes.

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Plateau: Protesters Storm S’ Court Over Sack Of Four PDP Members From NASS



Over 1000 protesters, on Monday, besieged the Supreme Court to register their displeasure over the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which sacked four members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Plateau State, from the National Assembly, based on a pre-election dispute.

The placard and banner-wielding groups, under the aegis of Coalition for Justice in Africa, CJA, submitted a protest letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.

According to the protesters, the appellate court, by its judgement, thwarted the wish of electorates in Plateau state, when it declared candidates that lost the National Assembly elections that held on February 25, as winners of the legislative seats.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after the protest letter was submitted to the CJN, the National President of the CJA, Dr. Daniel Okwa, maintained that the judgement of the appellate court was capable of causing a breakdown of law and order in the state.

He said the group was at the apex court to seek the intervention of the CJN, alleging that the verdicts that removed all the PDP federal lawmakers were influenced by some chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

The protest letter, which was obtained by Vanguard, read in part: “The Coalition for Truth and Justice believes that the judgment of the Appeal Court in Abuja is a case of injustice, else, how could one explain a situation where lawmakers of the All Progressive Congress (APC) would boast and predict the outcome of the Court of Appeal judgment even before the pronouncement.

“This is unacceptable and indicates that the justice regime in Nigeria has been thrown to the dogs. What happened in Plateau State is an aberration of immeasurable proportion. There is a distinction between a pre-election matter and a post-election matter.

“The Supreme Court has established this fact on several occasions. It is now a wonder why the Appeal Court would act otherwise and in a despicable manner that tends to truncate our nascent democracy.

“The Coalition for Truth and Justice entirely condemns the actions of the justices of the Appeal Court that sat in Abuja. They displayed insensitivity to the electoral choices of the people. This is a worrisome trend that the Chief Justice of Nigeria must address.

“This is on the heels that the Judiciary, the world over, is regarded as the last hope of the commoner. This presupposes that it is the only place the commoner can get justice. The function of the Judiciary is not to twist the truth or fabricate facts but to interpret the law. The consequence of the interpretation of the law is justice.

“However, what played out in Plateau state negates the Judiciary’s position as the common’s last hope. The Judiciary is for sale to the highest bidder in Nigeria, if such positions could be taken without recourse to the implication of such on the psychological state of the people.

“The Coalition for Truth and Justice is using this protest to drive the point that justice in Nigeria should not be reserved for a section of the country or any political party. What happened in Plateau should not be allowed to stand or repeat itself. The implication of such is that the reputation of the judicial arm of government would be eroded.”

It will be recalled that the appellate court had on November 7, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel led by Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, okayed the nullification of the election of a Senator and three members of the House of Representatives in the state that emerged on the platform of the PDP.

The panel based its decision on failure of the PDP to fully comply with a court that was made in 2022, which it said directed the party to conduct congress in the 17 Local Government Areas in the state.

It, therefore, held that though the lawmakers won their respective seats during the National Assembly election that held on February 25, all the scores that were credited them, amounted to wasted votes.

It ordered that candidates that got the second majority lawful votes at the election, should be sworn in as winners of the legislative seats.


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Canada’s Abuja, Lagos Visa Centres Open – High Commission



The Canadian High Commission in Nigeria has said its Abuja and Lagos visa application centres remain open for the processing of immigration, refugee and citizenship applications.

The Canadian High Commission had on Tuesday announced the suspension of operations in its Abuja office following a fire incident at its generator house, which claimed two lives on Monday.

Nigerians had expressed fear that the operations suspension would hamper visa application processes.

But  in a statement posted on its X handle on Thursday, the  Canadian High Commission clarified that its Abuja and Lagos visa application centres remain open and operational.

In the statement by its public affairs staff, Demilade Kosemani, the commission said, “As we continue to mourn the passing of our dear colleague from the High Commission of Canada in Abuja, please note the following information below:

“Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada clients: processing of applications continues. Regardless of the suspension of operations at the High Commission of Canada in Abuja, the Visa Application Centres in Abuja and Lagos remain open.”

Meanwhile, a travel agency, , TMT Travels and Tours Limited, has sympathised with the Canadian High Commission over the Monday tragic fire incident.

In a statement on Thursday the agency’s Chief Executive Officer, Collins Onukwubiri,  said, “We at TMT Travels and Tours Limited shares in the grief and sense of loss of the Canadian embassy in Abuja. The partial burning of the Canadian embassy in Abuja and the death of two workers there was most unfortunate.

“Canada, as a major player in the Nigeria’s travel and tours business, is an integral player in Nigeria’s economy. We know how devastating this unfortunate incident is to them but we want to say that we stand with them in this time and always. We specially condole with the families of the two persons who died in the process.”


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