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.
Aisha: I Wish My Husband’s Cabinet Will Have 41.6% Women
Aisha Buhari, the wife of the president, says she wishes her husband cabinet will have as many women — in percentage — as the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) has in 2019.
Speaking at the unveiling event for the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) entrepreneurs for 2019, the wife of the president said she appreciates the drive of the foundation to ensure more female participation.
“The strategy vision behind the engagement of the office of the wife of the president is to contribute to the acceleration of efforts to end preventable maternal, newborn and child death through advocacy and strengthening of accountability mechanism in order to maintain the peace and development of Nigeria,” Aisha Buhari said.
“The steady advancement of women in contributing to the country’s social-economic development and their progressive prominence in the national scheme of affairs have in a large extent impacted on the federal government and the government has responded positively in many ways.
“In a bid to continue to advocate for the well-being of women, children and adolescent in Nigeria.”
Speaking about the advancement of women in the national scheme of things has helped the nation, wishing her husband will get more women into the cabinet.
“The Future Assured Programme of the Aisha Buhari Foundation, share the same vision with the Tony Elumelu Foundation to emphasise true intervention in health, education and economic development,” she added.
“It is worthy to note that there has been a progressive increase in female participation in the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme over the years, with a 41.6 percent female representation in 2019. I wish the cabinet will have the same percentage.
“Women have continued to prove their strength and competence in our society in all spheres, even in male-dominated — not in politics.”
Aisha said she “will like to take this opportunity to encourage Nigerian women, especially from the north to apply for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme”.
She said leadership matters, and the leadership Elumelu has provided has affected his businesses and the nation, adding that “the soul of the leader always determines the political health of the state”.
UBA’s Dupe Olusola, Among Nigeria’s 100 Most Inspiring Women In 2019
Dupe Olushola, Group Head Marketing for United Bank for Africa was recently listed among 100 most inspiring women in Nigeria, 2019. For the 5th consecutive time, the list features 100 Nigerian women drawn from a diverse range of background and sectors who are standing out and most importantly deliberately impacting their world and local communities through the power and strength of their ideas and achievements.
They, according to Leading Ladies Africa are making great strides in the world of business, politics, advocacy, governance, and enterprise. “It’s perhaps our most diverse list yet, notes Francesca Uriri, Founder Leading Ladies Africa.
One of the Leading lights among the exceptional 100 hundred women who have made huge impact in theirs is Dupe Olushola, the Group Head Marketing for UBA groups where she provides visionary leadership with the aim development and delivery of integrated strategy for all UBA Group Bank and non-Bank subsidiaries.
She is passionate about Women Affairs and Empowerment, Economic Development of under-developed countries and Financial Inclusion for the disadvantaged in the society. Prior to her appointment at UBA Group, Dupe was CEO of Teragro.
There, she spearheaded a partnership with Coca-Cola to produce Five Alive Pulpy Orange Juice making Teragro the sole local material source for the juice. The list also includes Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin – is the Founder of Pearls Africa Youth Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization aimed at educating young girls in under-served areas in Nigeria with technology skills.
On November 1, 2018, Abisoye was named one of the 10 CNN Heroes of The Year. She was also recently listed as one of BBC’s 100 Women. A Nigerian women’s rights activist, Abisoye was recognized by ONE as Woman of the Year 2018. Abosede George-Ogan– Founder of Women in Politics- a platform that engages, encourages, equips and empowers women in Nigeria to get involved and participate in Politics.
She’s also the author of Building a Conscious Career- a book that equips career enthusiasts with necessary knowledge and resources to build a career that not only excites and rewards, but also positively affects the lives of others.
She is a tri-sector leader with over 14 years’ experience working across the non-profit, private and public sectors as a development professional. She began a career in development over a decade ago with Actionaid International Nigeria.
She has led Corporate Citizenship for Samsung Electronics West Africa and now sits as Director of Strategy, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund. Adaku Ufere-Awoonor: Award-winning energy professional with over a decade’s experience leading multicultural and multilingual teams across Africa in the structuring, negotiation and implementation of natural resource projects in Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, South Sudan, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa, Sao Tome & Principe, Cameroon, and other Sub-Saharan countries. Her primary capacity is in the field of oil & gas, power, mining, energy policy and gender; she is particularly committed to working towards finding solutions that address and lead to the eradication of energy poverty experienced by women in rural and low-income urban areas, in developing countries.
GTBank Builds Nigeria’s First Digital Play Centre for Children
Banks only build branches, or so the story goes. Except for Guaranty Trust Bank Plc; the foremost African financial institution, which has been at the forefront of several innovative products and services, recently completed and opened the first digital playground for children in Nigeria.
Located in Lekki, Lagos State, the GTBank Play Centre is equipped with a wide range of interactive games that will give kids a fun and immersive digital experience whilst aiding their mental and intellectual development. Open from 10am to 3pm on Weekdays, and 10am to 1pm on Saturdays, some of the features of the Play Centre include the Sketch Town, where kids can design cars, launch rockets, and bring all their sketches to life. At the playground, children can also use the wide range of bricks available to build whatever excites their curiosity and also express themselves creatively by scribbling, writing and drawing on a digital chalkboard.
GTBank is renowned for designing innovative and personalized products and services that are tailored to customers’ unique needs and which fit seamlessly with their lifestyles. Recently, the Bank launched Habari, a digital platform that gives customers unlimited access to local and international music, and at the same time, allows them to shop online, split bills with friends and take care of their everyday needs, in one place. Habari, like the GTBank Play Centre, is the first of its kind in Nigeria, reflecting the Bank’s digital drive as well as its focus on creating unique experiences for all segments of its customer base.
Commenting on the launch of the Play Centre, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr Segun Agbaje said; “How and where children play contributes significantly to their cognitive and intellectual development, helping them build better communication and problem-solving skills. Our new Play Centre will give children a tension-free space to build these critical developmental skills, expose them to new and emerging digital technologies, and, most importantly, give them a wonderful time out.”
He further stated that “At GTBank we are passionate about building the bank of the future, and for us, this means constantly leveraging the best of technology to create amazing digital experiences for all of our customers, in a way that adds real value to their lives.”
Guaranty Trust Bank is one of the best run African financial institutions and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation. The Bank is also renowned for driving youth empowerment initiatives alongside its business, as seen with the GTCrea8 Account package, which doubles up as a platform for empowering young undergraduates with the resources and networking that they need to develop their skills and talents and build capacity in their careers of choice.
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