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Benue State governor, yesterday, told senators that prior to the crisis that engulfed the state, which led to the killings by Fulani Herdsmen, President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, and Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, all ignored several warnings of the planned attack on Logo and Guma communities in the state.
73 persons were left dead in the attack.

Making the shocking revelations yesterday, during a meeting with the Senate Adhoc Committee on Security Infrastructure, led by the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, Governor Ortom also blamed security agencies for the continued killing of inhabitants of the state by Fulani herdsmen since 2008.
President Buhari meets Governor Ortom of Benue State.

The governor, while lamenting the brutal killing of his people, told the senators that when he got the information of the planned seige by Fulani herdsmen on targeted communities in Benue State, said he immediately wrote a letter to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who was acting on behalf of President Buhari, who was away for medical treatment in London.

He told the senators that all attempts to get the Vice President’s attention through the letter fell on deaf ears, as he got no reply whatsoever from him, just as he said thatPresident Buhari, upon returning to the country, was also written to, severally, but no reply was also received from the President on the matter.

According to him, additional efforts were made by the Benue State Government to draw the attention of the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, to the threat which was contained in a separate letter addressed to him, but still got no communication from him.

In the words of Governor Ortom: “We wrote to the Vice President on the planned attack on parts of Benue by Fulani herdsmen, because the word was everywhere on the street, but he refused to reply.
“And when there was no response, and when Mr. President came back, I personally went and intimated him, and also wrote. The documents are here, I will hand them over to you. I wrote to him on the planned attack by Fulani herdsmen because this threats were on the streets.

“I intimated Mr. President and it was put into writing. On the same October 7, 2017, I wrote to the Inspector General of Police. I told him of a planned attack on our people when there was no response. October 27, 2017, I reminded him that these people are planning to attack us, we are law abiding, we have disarmed our youths, and we are looking unto security agencies. And the way to do it is to arrest those people who were inciting the herdsmen to combat us, and we knew they were going to come.

“These people were all over the place; on television, in papers, doing various press conferences, and they eventually took us to court. But we felt that it is a crime for anyone to incite people against us with the purpose of killing or causing harm, destruction. So we expected them (security agencies) to act, but there was no action.”
“Of course I wrote to the Senate President for information, and the Speaker.

I also wrote on 7th of October, when I was writing to the Acting President and Inspector General of Police, to the National Security Adviser on this planned attack against Benue people. I also wrote to the Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS). And when there was no action, I followed it up with a reminder on 27th of October, 2017. So, that was it, and I also on the 17th of October, I wrote to the President, I copied the National Security Adviser. There was no response. Of course, the National Security Adviser invited us for a meeting two times but it was put off.”

“This is very sad. Those people who are responsible for these killings, I know. I accuse them and I have evidence against them. They are on newspaper publications, they are on video, they are on audio, and they are known.”
“If I had wanted to buy guns, I wouldn’t wait. But if I bought guns and gave to those people, would my people have been killed in the manner they were killed? I disarmed the people. I’ve not bought a single gun, I’m a Christian. If I bought, I would say yes.

On allegations by Plateau Governor, Solomon Lalong, that he was warned against introducing the anti-grazing law in Benue, the Benue governor said: “How can you warn me? Am I the governor of Plateau State, Or am I his staff? Do I work for him? I’m Governor of Benue State, and my responsibility is to do what my people want. That is what democracy is.
“So when you and castigate people about because you were induced by someone, and you come out to make those kind of statements, then it’s unfortunate. “Remember, this is the same man, a double standard person, who told me when I visited Jos three weeks ago, he told me that he is under pressure by his people to do the same law that I did in Benue State. He told me this, he never warned me anywhere. He’s just trying to use that to blackmail me, what crime have I committed.”

Ortom continued: “Is this how we want to continue as a country? Where some people are given privilege to be lawless?” Earlier, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Security Infrastructure, Senator Lawan, who noted that the intent behind the constitution of the panel was to ensure a review of security infrastructure in the country, said that the leadership of the upper chamber felt “this was necessary due to the current rise of insecurity in Nigeria”, adding that “the way our security apparatus is arranged, citizens are not properly and effectively protected.”

Blaming the spate of killings around the country on security agencies, Senator Lawan said, “I think something is amiss. It is either they have deficiencies or they are not cooperating between themselves. Members of the Senate Adhoc Committee on Security Infrastructure who visited Benue state to investigate the recent killings include: Senators Abu Ibrahim, Sam Egwu, Abba Kyari, Barnabas Gemade, Biodun Olujimi, Joshua Lidani, Emmanuel Paulker and Yahaya Abubakar.

BIG STORY

Ooni Of Ife’s New Wife, Yeyeluwa Silekunola, Enters The Palace With Grace, Elegance [PHOTOS]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has received his new Olori after the necessary rites have been performed, the Palace said.

“Her Majesty, Olori Moronke Naomi Silekunola Ogunwusi is the new Yeyeluwa Oodua. Necessary rites fully performed,” a terse message from the Palace said.

See the photographs, courtesy of the Ooni’s Palace:

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NEWS

Jim Ovia Takes Africa Rise And Shine Book Launch To New York [PHOTOS]

Peter Okunoren

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The Founder/Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia recently launched his book, Africa Rise and Shine in New York.

This prestigious event happened on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly and had foreign dignitaries and private sector captains of industry in attendance.

Earlier, Africa Rise and Shine was unveiled in Lagos at Eko Hotel and Suites on September 17, 2018. The event had Nigeria’s Vice President, His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, GCON(SAN), other government functionaries, traditional rulers and private sector stakeholders present.

Africa Rise and Shine is available for pre-order online at Amazon and in-store at Laterna Books and Roving Heights.

See photo excerpts from the book launch in New York below:

The Chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria, Mr. John D. Coumantarosduring a meet-and-greet with the Author of Africa Rise and Shine, Mr. Jim Ovia at the Book Launch in New York

The Author of Africa Rise and Shine, Mr. Jim Ovia with the moderator, Zeinab Badawi on the podium at the Africa Rise and Shine book launch in New York

Mr. Jim Ovia holding up his book, Africa Rise and Shine during its launch in New York

The GMD/CEO of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe; The Publisher of Guardian Newspapers, Lady Maiden Alex Ibru and Chairman of Coronation Capital, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede during a meet-and-greet with the Author of Africa Rise and Shine, Mr. Jim Ovia at the Book Launch in New York

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BIG STORY

We Can’t Pay New Minimum Wage — Governors

Peter Okunoren

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Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, Abdulaziz Yari, said yesterday that governors were not against upward review of the minimum wage, but lack capacity to pay it.

This is as indications emerged yesterday that organized labour might resume its suspended strike over the issue as early as November 6.

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the forum’s meeting with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Wednesday night, Yari said the issue was not just on the agreed figure to be paid by the governors but also the “ability or resources to take care of that agreed minimum wage.”

Noting that his colleagues made it known that they have no problem with a review of salaries but were being real, Yari, who is governor of Zamfara State, said: “The problem of the states is the capacity to pay what is agreed. As we are talking today, we are struggling with N18,000.

“Some of the states are paying 35 percent, some 50 percent and still some states have salary arrears. So, it is not about only reviewing it but how we are going to get the resources to cater for it.”

Yari’s statement caused a stir in the polity, yesterday. There was anxiety that labour leaders who met over the issue last night may call for industrial action. Some state chapters of the NLC, vowed to shut down the country if the minimum wage was not reviewed and implemented.

The NLC had demanded N30,000 as minimum wage, the governors proposed N20,000, while the Federal Government said it could afford N24,000.

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