The security situation in Benin, Edo state capital, has taken a turn for the worse following an increase in cases of cult-related killings, kidnapping, and armed robbery.
No fewer than 30 people are said to have been killed in cult-related killings within the past week.
The cult-related killings, mostly linked to clashes between rival Vikings and Aye confraternities, have heightened the fears of the residents in different parts of Benin.
Three more persons were reportedly killed on Sunday by suspected cultists with dead bodies littering different parts of the city.
Violence had broken out during the #EndSARS protest in the state. There was also a jailbreak at two correctional centres in the state and about 1,993 inmates were reportedly released by hoodlums.
Some persons also lost their lives during the protests. Properties were vandalized and carted away while about eight police stations were razed and their armories reportedly looted.
Owing to the chaos, the state government declared a 24-hour curfew on October 19 but it was later reviewed from 10 pm till 6 am on November 3.
Nightlife in the capital city has since ground to a halt as incidents of kidnappings and armed robbery have escalated.
Some of these hotspots include the Upper Sakponba axis in Ikpoba-Okha Council; Ogida Quarters in Egor Council; New Benin by Constain junction; Erediauwa axis; Satana market on Benin-Ore-Sapele road; Y-junction, Nomayo; Ogida Barrack and Isihor quarter.
An assistant commissioner of police (ACP) in charge of the area command and two other senior police officers were also reportedly shot last Wednesday at Murtala Muhammed Way, close to Third East Circular road junction.
The state police have called for information from the public that will help recover arms and ammunition looted from police stations.
Babatunde Kokumo, the state commissioner of police, said the attack on police facilities, burning of police stations and patrol vehicles during the #EndSARS protests have affected their operations.
But Kokumo assured residents that the police will gradually resume work at their duty posts to check the escalating crime in the state.
According to him, in Upper Sokponba, three police facilities were burnt down displacing the DPOs and other police officers in these divisions.
“These officers now report at the state command headquarters, we now send them on patrol from there so you should expect some hitches, but we will continue to work and get things right,” he said.
“The EndSARS protests, which were hijacked by hoodlums, have actually impacted negatively on police operations and unleashed attacks on police facilities.
“How do you expect, where 200o inmates escaped, for things to be normal? We were doing our best to arrest the criminals in Edo before the jailbreak and we are equally trying our best now to see that the escapees are re-arrested and brought to book.
“All these arms and ammunition were carted away under the eyes of some people, some people are having information about these and they are not giving us the information, let those who have such information give us so that we can go after them.”
‘I Spent Five Years In Kirikiri Prison Because I Couldn’t Pay N10,000 Bribe, I Hate The Nigeria Police’ —- Man Shares Horrible Tale
A 39-year-old man, Marc Nwadi, says he has developed hatred for the Nigeria Police Force after he was framed for armed robbery and sent to the Kirikiri Prison for five years.
Recounting his ordeal to the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing allegations of human rights abuses against the disbanded police Special Anti-Robbery Squad on Saturday, Nwadi said he was 18 years old when he was picked by policemen at a bus stop in the Egbeda area of Lagos State in May 1999.
The petitioner said he had just finished his secondary school education at the time and had the ambition of studying journalism.
He said he came from Abia State to Lagos State to look for his brother who was living then in Egbeda, but on getting to the address given to him at about 9.30 pm, one man told him that his brother no longer lived there.
He said the neighbours did not know where his brother had relocated to and because it was already late, he begged a barber operating in the building to let him pass the night in his shop.
Nwadi said he got up the following morning around 5.30 am and headed for the bus stop with a plan to look for his uncle living in Surulere.
He said he was standing at the bus stop with his traveling bag and a polythene bag alongside other persons waiting for a bus when a police vehicle suddenly appeared and stopped and policemen began to arrest people.
Nwadi said on being picked up, he tried to ask questions but was beaten each time he tried to speak.
He said he and five other persons, including some females, were eventually taken to the Idimu Police Station, where one Mr Friday, a policeman, demanded N100,000 from each of them.
He said soon, others were freed but because he had no money, he was kept in the cell and Friday came every day to beat him.
“It has been 20 years, you can still see those marks on my body. The marks have been a horror. Anytime I pull my clothes, my wife and children will be crying,” Nwadi said.
He said after weeks at Idimu Police Station, Monday called him one day and said he would be transferred to the SARS office in Ikeja, except he could pay N10,000.
He said since he had no money, he was transferred to SARS where the torture was worse.
He said he was eventually paired with someone, tagged an armed robber, arraigned in court, and sent to Kirikiri Prison where he spent five years.
“I can’t see clearly now; I am partially blind. I can also not hear properly because of many slaps,” Nwadi said.
He added that a youth corps member, Eric Ugwuoke, serving in the Nigerian Prison Service, who listened to his story, eventually facilitated his release in October 2004.
“It has been a long time but I cannot forget. They killed my ambition. After my O’ Level, my ambition was to study journalism. Since then, I have hated the Nigeria police,” Nwadi told the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel.
The panel adjourned the matter till December 11.
25 Million Nigerians To Pay N4,000 Monthly For Solar System —- Presidency
The estimated 25 million Nigerians that will benefit from the Federal Government’s Solar Home Systems that commences this week will be expected to pay about N4,000 monthly, the Presidency has said.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday titled “25m Nigerians to own five million solar systems at N4,000 monthly.”
Akande was giving further insight into earlier reports that the Federal Government would commence the process of installation of five million solar home systems in underserved and off-grid communities across the country.
The installation is in continuation of the implementation of the government’s Economic Sustainability Plan.
The earlier report however elicited questions from Nigerians who wanted to know the cost of owning the solar system.
Akande explained that beneficiaries would be expected to pay about N4,000 monthly over a period of three years.
He said the solar programme nicknamed ‘Solar Power Naija’, for which installations start in December, is being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency.
“An important aspect of the scheme is the option of outright ownership by beneficiaries at a cost ranging from N1,500 per week to N4,000 monthly depending on the capacities, for a period of three years,” Akande said.
He noted that that the arrangement allowed as many as 25 million Nigerians to own personal solar systems in their homes.
PHOTOS: Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum, Leads Funeral Prayer Of 43 Farmers Killed By Boko Haram
Borno state governor, Babagana Umara Zulum on Sunday led the funeral prayer of the 43 farmers that were slaughtered by Boko Haram Insurgents in Zabarmari on Saturday.
The slain farmers who live in Zabarmari, a farming community in Jere Local Government Area, famous for rice cultivation and local processing, were attacked on Saturday, at Koshebe village, a place in Mafa Local Government Area.
The governor during his visit was told that the death toll was yet to be fully ascertained.
“Your Excellency, as you have seen here, 43 corpses were buried, but others have not been retrieved from the scene of the incident. Nobody can tell you the exact number of people killed. Some of the victims are still missing” a resident (name concealed, told the Governor).
Zulum empathized with the bereaved community and hoped for the release of the remaining victims who have been held captive.
“First of all, accept my deepest sympathy over this carnage, once again, that affects all of us and every human with a conscience. I am told some persons are still missing. We have been discussing with the military since yesterday, Insha Allah the remaining people will be traced soon.”
“It is disheartening that more than 40 citizens were slaughtered while they were working in their farmlands.
“Our people are in very difficult situations, they are in two different extreme conditions, on one side they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents.
Governor Zulum says Borno is still appealing to the Federal Government to ensure that safety returns to Borno.
“We are still appealing to the Federal Government to ensure recruitment of more our youths in the CJTF and hunters into the Nigerian military and the Civil Defence so that they can form part of the agro rangers that will protect farmers.
“We need many boots to protect farmlands and our youths understand the terrain. We will not lose hope because we have to remain optimistic about ending the insurgency” Zulum said.
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