The Nigerian Army on Friday arrested the head of Benue Livestock Guards, Alhaji Aliyu Teshaku for allegedly masterminding recent killings in Benue State. Teshaku was arrested on Friday by the Army’s 707 Special Forces Brigade in Makurdi on suspicion of his involvement in some of the deadly attacks recorded across the state since January 1.
The Army said Teshaku was a Boko Haram suspect and his arrest had input from the police and the State Security Service (SSS). Some of the allegations include his alleged involvement in the attack on a Catholic Church on Tuesday in which at least 15 worshipers were killed, including two Catholic priests.
But some Benue activists are seeing his arrest as a persecution for his fierce opposition to herdsmen activities in the state.
Recall that leaders of the Miyetti Allah have repeatedly called for Teshaku’s arrest, accusing him of enforcing the anti-open grazing law and leading a militia allegedly raised by the governor.
While announcing the arrest, Olabisi Ayeni, spokesperson for the Nigerian Army in Makurdi, said security agents moved in time to prevent attacks that were being hatched by Teshaku and his cohorts in Bauchi, Borno and Yobe and Nasarawa States.
The Army described him as Aminu Yaminu (a.k.a.: Tashaku), but findings revealed that the suspect’s name is Aliyu Teshaku.
He was once detained at the Force Headquarters in June 2011 when he turned himself in after being declared wanted as a Boko Haram suspect. But he was later released by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), then headed by Babagana Monguno, now the National Security Adviser, in September 2011.
The police said they released him to the DIA in the spirit of inter-agency cooperation after the agency requested for him.
Teshaku, however, denied the allegations in an interview in March, saying the DIA released him because there was no evidence to establish his connection to Boko Haram. The arrest is seen by some Benue officials as a setback for Governor Samuel Ortom administration’s efforts against the activities of herdsmen in the state.
Teshaku became the head of Civilian Joint Task Force tasked with checking herdsmen attacks in Benue and Nasarawa States in 2013. But his group later changed its name to Benue Livestock Guards following the introduction of anti-open grazing law in Benue State last year.
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Benue State has long accused Teshaku of terrorising herdsmen and other Benue residents of Hausa or Fulani origin. Following the January 1 killings of over 100 people in Logo and Guma Local Government Areas of Benue, Teshaku was accused of being the head of a militia allegedly raised by Governor Ortom.
In January, Nigerian soldiers arrested nine suspected killer herdsmen on the Benue border with Taraba State. They accused Mr Teshaku of providing arms to the suspects.
But in an interview shortly after the allegations, Teshaku accused the military of trying to frame him. He also said the military was carrying out the agenda of Miyetti Allah which remained vehemently opposed to the anti-open grazing law.
He added that Benue Livestock Guards had about 2,500 members and eight of them were killed in the January 1 attack in Guma because they were not armed.
The governor also denied the allegations of raising any militia, saying the Nigerian security agencies should rise to their duty and end killings of his people. He inherited Teshaku’s group from former Governor Gabriel Suswam and kept it in place because of continued attacks by suspected herdsmen.
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom has said the Benue State Government will not interfere in the investigations and will allow the law to take its full course.
The special adviser to the governor, Paul Hembah confirmed that no ulterior motive was suspected on the part of federal government, even though he acknowledged the longstanding opposition of Miyetti Allah to Teshaku. “The governor has said he will not support any criminality from anyone, no matter who the person may be,” Mr Hembah, a retired colonel, told newsmen by telephone Saturday morning. “The governor will not interfere in his arrest or his release.”
“The governor is working to end the killings so if anyone is caught, the law should take its cause,” he added. “We don’t suspect any foul play. We don’t think the federal government or the army is doing this to persecute him. But he would be arraigned in court and I am sure the security agency will bring out any evidence they have against him,” he said.
He indicated that the Benue Livestock Guards would not be disbanded as a result of the arrest. “Naturally, someone else would be appointed to replace him because the Benue Livestock Guards would not be disbanded,” he said.
NASCON Launches New Dangote Classic Seasoning Cubes
Management of the NASCON Allied Industries Plc, a subsidiary of the Dangote Industries Limited has pledged its commitment towards a healthy living by the people by producing products that meet the physical and mental needs of the people.
Executive Director, Commercial NASCON Allied Plc, Fatima Aliko Dangote gave this pledge in Kano during the unveiling of new Classic Seasoning Cube in addition to its array of food seasonings already in the market.
The new product which the NASCON boss described as a product of thorough and painstaking research into the preference of the people in the seasoning sub sector of the food industry came in the wake of a similar launch recently, of new Curry Powder and Stew Mix from the stable of NASCON.
Fatima Aliko Dangote said she had no doubt in her mind that the new product would be an instant hit given its unique taste, flavor and aroma noting that the new classic seasoning cubes and stew mix were created with a special blend of herbs and spices to give meals that unique taste and great aroma.
She described the new classic seasoning as a new innovation birthed after years of consumer led research and development, and urged distributors, marketers, eateries and consumers to immediately key into it.
Lacing her remarks with the Hausa local dialet, while explaining the strengths of the product, she described the seasoning as Karshen Magana meaning the real deal and that it is second to none in the market throughout the country.
According to her, the management of NASCON decided to go into the research for the new product bearing in mind that wellbeing is reduced by poor diet yet it is expensive to be unhealthy.
Good nutrition, she stated maintained immune system and delays the effect of aging because it reduces the risk of chronic disease while poor diet reduces physical and mental health. She therefore urged women to try the new seasoning cubes, stew mix and curry powder, as they would ensure meal moments are great moments.
Fatima Aliko Dangote assured that the products would be launched in other parts of the country very soon, adding that despite the high innovative quality, they are affordable and available with various promotional items to be given out to the distributors and consumers.
In his remark, the Group Managing Director of NASCON Allied Plc Mr. Paul Farrer assured that the new product is a high margin product that would help ensure distributors and customers remain profitable, describing the new product as premium but affordable to the consumers.
The Company used the occasion to introduce its Brand Ambassador to the customers, in the person of renowned Kannywood multi-talented actress Hadiza Gabon, who described the Dangote Seasoning cubes as a seasoning with great flavor, and good taste while recommending it to all women in Nigeria.
Speaking to media men in an interview at the event, NASCON key distributor, Alhaji Hamisu Rabiu of Hamis Investment in Kano described NASCON products as fast moving and of good quality. He urged other distributors and retailers across the country to immediately key into the new classic cube, Dangote stew mix and Dangote curry powder.
At the launch Wednesday about 300 distributors, wholesalers and retailers were excited and most express optimism that it will up the market of NASCON.
Head of Marketing of NASCON Allied Industries Plc, Mr. Olusegun Ajala expressed optimism that the “innovative brand will up the company’s market share exponentially because of its unique taste and aroma.
Jimi Agbaje’s Campaign Lacks Ingenuity, Slave Story Angle Is Senseless — Victor Ganzallo
Top media personality and cryptocurrency expert, Mr. Victor Ganzallo has thrown jibes at PDP Lagos Governorship candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, over his campaign strategy.
Ganzallo faults Agbaje’s claim that Lagosians are in bondage and needs freedom, the digital currency trader describes the campaign strategy as weak and senseless.
Recall that Mr Agbaje had kickstart a #FreeLagos campaign where he declared readiness to set Lagosians free from bondage.
Below is Victor Ganzallo’s opinion:
Mr. Jimi Agbaje’s choice of campaign thrust is not just lacking in ingenuity and direction but also very unfortunate for a man who is a Lagosian and who should embody what we Lagosians stands for.
You are calling Lagos a slave enclave and all known indices used in determining such points directly to the opposite.
JK is in the pharmaceutical business and today his business can not compare to those of our brothers from the other side of the Niger, who now run some of the biggest pharmaceutical businesses in Lagos, are they all in this slave business with the man he has termed the slave master? It’s December again and many of them will travel to the east and return with one relative or the other, new apprentice and even wives, to the city called the center of excellence, the land of opportunities. Where people from diverse race and ethnicity daily throng to turn their fortunes around.
Jimi Agbaje wouldn’t mind giving his state of birth a bad name, that can be stamped on it forever just so he can achieve his perennial governorship ambition.
Lagos is the pride of Nigeria, whether JK and his band of co-travelers like it or not and will continue to be so, for a very long time to come. It is in Lagos that we have an Igbo man in the state House of assembly, if there is a Yoruba man in any of the state assembly in any other region of Nigeria, I honestly would like to know.
JK as now fallen from being perceived as a gentleman who wasn’t after power by all means to a desperate politician, who wouldn’t mind to sow a seed of discord and divisiveness in his state of birth, as long as it serves his political purpose. He took on this particular trend during the last general elections, in line with what was the narrow minded approach of the PDP back then, which fell flat on their faces and now he has returned to that inglorious path.
The facts ain’t so difficult to discern, it will take more than a campaign of divisiveness for the PDP to win Lagos, it will take a proper, well articulated and outlined plan and a candidate that is well above board, I cannot see that happening anytime soon.
Ex-Skye Banker, Tunde Ayeni Not Detained By EFCC, Only Invited For Questioning Over Alleged Fraud
Following recent reports published by a national daily, The Punch Newspapers that the anti-graft body, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has detained a former Chairman of Skye Bank Plc., (now Polaris Bank,) Mr. Tunde Ayeni, for alleged fraud, it has been reliably discovered that Tunde Ayeni was only invited for questioning at the Abuja office of the commission hours ago.
Confirming the development, the acting spokesman for the EFCC, Mr.Tony Orilade, said Ayeni was only being grilled by detectives over some issues related to fraud and embezzlement allegedly committed by Ayeni when he was Chairman of the bank
It would be recalled that the anti-graft agency had entered into an agreement with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, to check out some banks and its officials, who facilitated the huge non-performing loans in AMCON’s portfolio.