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Soldiers Escort Herdsmen To Ogun Villages, Flogged Obas, Others For Rejecting Herders

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Residents, Obas, and some monarchs of Ketu-speaking villages in Yewa North Local Government Area, Ogun State have lamented that they were brutalized by soldiers who escorted herdsmen to graze in their communities.

In separate interviews with The Nation, the residents narrated that the soldiers, numbering about 10, flogged them for daring to prevent the herders from grazing.

It was learnt that one of the residents, identified simply as Mulero, was beaten mercilessly, leaving him with serious injuries, for insisting that the herdsmen would not be allowed to graze.

It was also gathered that traditional rulers were beaten after they were forced to convoke a meeting.

According to them, the herdsmen, who had departed the village after their continued presence was rejected suddenly resurfaced about 2 pm on December 19, 2020, with the soldiers from the 35 Artillery Brigade, Alamala, Abeokuta.

The soldiers headed straight to the palace of the traditional ruler of the community, Chief Olaleye Adigun, calling out the villagers and warning them against preventing the evicted herdsmen from returning to the village.

It was in the middle of this strange encounter that the soldiers were told that the herders would not be allowed to remain in the community because of their brutal killing of residents and the destruction of their farmlands in recent times.

One of the residents, identified simply as Mulero, said, “Everyone was frightened by the action and utterances of the soldiers but I summoned the courage to tell them how a Geography teacher Mr. Yomi Akinola and two students of Community High School, Ibeku, among others, were killed by the herdsmen while our women were raped and killed on their ways to the farm.

“Before I knew it, the herdsmen had motioned to the soldiers who immediately pulled me out of the audience and flogged me mercilessly with a wire whip. It was as if I stole something valuable.

“As I speak, my body still aches because of the wounds, even after I had been treated in a hospital.

“Numerous other villagers were subjected to the brutal act as the soldiers escorted the herdsmen from one village to another all in a bid to intimidate us into allowing them to graze on our farms.”

Also, indigenes of Iselu, Ibeku, Agbon-Ojodu, Asa, and other villages were also harassed and assaulted by the soldiers at the instance of the herdsmen.

One of them, Mulero’s brother, Gabriel, was said to be given deafening slaps after he was identified as one of those who resisted the herdsmen’s attempt to graze.

Narrating their experience in a petition, the traditional rulers said the herdsmen confirmed that they invited the soldiers to intimidate, harass, and beat them.

The traditional rulers are the Oniggua of Iggualand, Oba Micheal Dosumu; the Eselu of Iseluland, Oba Akintunde Akinyemi; and the Alademeso of Igan Alade, Oba Gabriel Olalowo.

The monarchs in a petition addressed to the Brigade Commander, 35 Artillery Brigade, Nigerian Army, Alamala, Abeokuta, titled, ‘matter of urgency,’ dated January 7, 2020, said, “The Baale was asked to gather his subjects and people from nearby villages which he did. The suspected soldiers told the people that the purpose of their visit was to inform them that the Fulani herders would be coming into their communities to graze cows.

“After their address, they asked if anyone had a question or comment to make in reaction to the information. Expectedly, one Mr Seye Mulero responded by calling the attention of the soldiers to the inherent challenges of allowing the herders in their communities based on the sad previous experiences in the community.

“That the said Seye Mulero further cited past killings, maiming, and destruction of farms to buttress his point. Sadly, at this point, the soldiers seized him and mercilessly beat him up.

“In the same manner, the Fulani herders in the company of the suspected soldiers left Ibeku for Asa, the adjoining village to address the Baale of Asa and his subjects as they had earlier done at Ibeku, the people refused to respond, having heard what transpired at Ibeku.

“However, one of the Fulani herders sighted some of the people in the audience and picked on them as those that purportedly shouted on them at Ibeku while brutalizing their victim (Seye Mulero). The herders asked the soldiers to also deal with them.”

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Boko Haram Frees Abducted Pastor 24hrs Before Execution Deadline

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Pastor Bulus Yikura, who was kidnapped by Boko Haram, has regained freedom 24 hours before the deadline set for his execution of the abductors.

A security source informed The Nation the cleric was set free on Wednesday evening on the outskirts of Maiduguri metropolis.

He was sighted with a few family members and the Nigerian Secret police.

Yikura’s freedom is coming one day before the dateline for his execution in a widely circulated video to seek help.

He was sighted in the video kneeling and begging the Federal Government and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to intervene as his life was left hanging for a few days.

He was quoted in the video pleading: “I have been given only seven days to appeal for assistance that will help me out of this torture.

“If truly you want to rescue me from this untold suffering and threat to life, then you have to act fast.

“I am also calling on the EYN president to help mobilize help that will rescue me, and also pray for me so that God will make things easy for me here”.

It is not clear what transpired before the release of Pastor Yikura as details are still being kept under wraps.

Recall that Yikura was abducted on Christmas Eve last year when Boko Haram attacked Pemi village in the Chibok local government area of Borno State and has since been with the captors.

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Northern Traders Agree To Resume North To South Movement of Food Stuff

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After about six days, the Leadership of Cattle and Foodstuff dealers under the aegis of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, on Wednesday, agreed to resume the movement of food supplies from the northern part of the country to the southern region.

It was gathered that the agreement was reached when the leadership of the trade union met with Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in Abuja. Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode was also at the meeting.

About a week ago, northern traders had embarked on strike over the alleged killing of their members in the southern part of the country. Prices of food commodities like pepper, tomatoes, beef, yam, garri, amongst others, had gone over the roof with many southerners groaning and complaining about the increase.

The General Secretary, AUFCDN, Ahmed Alaramma, had said the President of the association, Mohammed Tahir, was with the Department of State Services over the blockade.

The northern traders had also called on the Federal Government to pay them billions in compensation while Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere; Activist Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, and others had threatened to launch a campaign against cows in protest against the development.

 

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Sanwo-Olu Threatens To Name Beneficiaries Of Apapa Rot

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has threatened to name those benefitting from the perennial traffic gridlock and disorderliness experienced along the Apapa corridor in the state.

Sanwo-Olu stated this on Wednesday in Lagos while commending the Nigerian Ports Authority for the new E-Call Up system for trucks going to the ports.

The Apapa area of the state is notorious for chaos over the haphazard operations of container-laden trucks around the seaports.

At an event in Lagos today, the governor said, “We will name and shame them. We will bring out their names, be it a corporate organization, be it a company, be it a Lagos State officer, be it a police officer, whoever it is, be it a union that will say that the solution that we have brought about will not work.

“They will go and answer to the citizen of Nigeria and the citizen of Lagos State and the citizen of Nigeria. We will bring them to the public courts for them to see that we are about seriousness; we cannot condone the recklessness and the carelessness that our citizens have gone through.

“And I want to use this opportunity to commend the Management of NPA because they have worked with us on this agenda. So, my challenge is to others who have not signed on to this wonderful column system.”

NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala-Usman, had assured port users that the e-call up system would address irresponsible parking of trucks on port access roads in Apapa.

The e-call up system was designed for the management of truck movement and access to and from the Lagos Ports Complex and the Tin Can Island Ports, Apapa.

The Apapa corridor had been a nightmare for road users and Sanwo-Olu had last year said the Lagos State Government had started the process of taking over the operations of the Presidential Task Force on Port Decongestion that had been managing the traffic gridlock in the area.

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