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War in Niger: How Ouattara of Cote D’Ivoire, seized initiative from Tinubu – ex-Nigerian envoy



Ibrahim Mai-Sule, former Nigerian ambassador to Indonesia, on Friday, gave further insight into the decision of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to go to war in Niger Republic saying contrary to what many believed, the decision was actually not from the group, but the idea of Alassane Ouattara of Cote D’Ivoire, sold to Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu.

“It was the decision and the idea of the Ivorian President that was sold to the ECOWAS,” he said while appearing as a guest of The Morning Show, a breakfast programme on Arise Television, adding that the decision had the watermarks of the western nations using sit-tight leaders in Africa to promote and protect their own illicit interests in the continent.

He said from the recent engagements by Tinubu, including the delegations he sent directly and those that went privately with his permission to try and broker truce, it was clear that he favoured diplomacy, but that he clearly succumbed to the belligerent ideas out of pressure from the likes of Ouattara, who could not say no to Europe, particularly France, because he needed them to remain in power.

“We shouldn’t allow these people to take us into a proxy war between the West and Russia, because if you look at what is happening in Ukraine, and look at what is happening in Sudan and quite a lot of places, including Libya, you can see it is this idea of pushing people to do certain biddings. And they use some of these sit-tight leaders to spread these their ideas around. If you look at the background of Ouattara, you’ll see it.

“Even when he was talking, you could see it. We shouldn’t allow these people to take us into a proxy war – proxy war in the sense that in Niger, the Wagner group, the mercenary group of Russia is already there, while the people who are from the East – Niger, Mali and others are saying we’re tired with the domination of France in the running of the affairs of their own countries and so they want to be really independent.

“They’ve been telling us that you’re more independent than us, because our own independence is only in name. Our currency is being printed somewhere and the central bank of another country is the one that takes care of our own money. You go back and take your own money and you pay interest. There are so many things that are going wrong. And I can’t see people like Ouattara telling people that this issue is not about Nigeria and Niger.

“As far back as the 18th century when the Sultanate was established, there has always been a cordial relationship between the two countries and a number of Nigerian leaders happens to belong to the two countries, Nigeria recognising dual citizenship. A number of Nigerian leaders are partly there and partly here. So, I can’t see anybody that will be telling us that there is going to be a war.

“Even if we’re not neighbours with Niger, when it will be said that it is not a war between us, it is Nigerien war with us because a number of Nigerians are going to be affected as a result of that war. I can see a contradiction in the position of ECOWAS itself, because I can see the lead, which happens to be our own leaders focusing on diplomacy based on missionaries that were sent around.

“The former President was there, together with the Sultan of Sokoto. Nobody seems to know what actually happened. And you see, you cannot really negotiate with a threat. The first thing that made it very difficult for people to start thinking about negotiation was that the total decision – cutting light, close the borders – you cannot negotiate with somebody on the basis of threat. It’s only when negotiation fails that you begin to think about what happens next.


Imo massacre: Armoured vehicles procured for police used to rig elections – LP



Labour Party, palpably in anguish at the slaughter of eight soldiers in Imo State on Tuesday by some rampaging gunmen, has raised questions over the whereabouts of the nine Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) Athan Achonu, it claimed its governorship candidate for the November 11 election, repaired and donated to the authorities in the state.

The party, all but called out the leadership of the Imo State Police Command, to whom they claimed the equipment were handed over, alleging that the last time they APCs were seen was during the last general elections, where they were used by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party in power in the state to snatch ballot boxes for candidates in the national and state assemblies.

The claim, was made when Nick Opara-Ndudu  and Nnaemeka Onyeka Obiareri , chieftains of the party appeared as guests on The Morning Show, a breakfast programme on Arise Television to sell the candidacy of Achonu, whom they said would never have allowed the type of insecurity in the state to endure under his watch.

Both men, who said that Achonu, whose highest political office so far, was his short stint in the Senate, where he served via the 2015 election before he was removed through the courts, remained the only solution not to the insecurity, in the state and even the South East,  but the one to rescue the people from years of underdevelopment from poor leadership.

Obiareri, spokesman of the LP in the state, argued that if the APCs had been in place, Tuesday’s incident in which the military men were killed alongside some policemen and officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), would probably not have happened, said a check on the social media would reveal how they were used by party men of the APC for rigging the 2023 general elections.

He said: “The military men that were killed if they had armoured vehicles patrolling, they wouldn’t have been shot by those criminals. Athan Achonu, go and confirm from Innoson, paid hundreds of millions of naira to Innoson, Innoson is still alive, you people can still go and interview him, to repair nine armoured vehicles for the police. Five were supposed to be in Okigwe zone. Till today, we don’t know where those nine armoured cars are.

“If you go to Youtube, you’ll see Youtube record of members of the House of Assembly in Imo State using those APCs to carry ballot boxes. It’s there on Youtube, you can search it out. What Athan Achonu will do is very simple. Every local government area will have one humvy vehicle for the police. Police stations had been totally burnt in Imo State and Athan repaired most of those police stations.

“Then, there will be community vigilante. We’ll train those 50 youths per community – train them, equip them and arm them. They should guard their communities. When you have over 50,000 hectres of land, reclaimed from the bandits, and you have youths who are not only just farming, but who are trained to protect their communities, they’ll do the job.

“Then, we have to set up a security trust fund. Ndi-Imo are not scared. As at today, there are some communities in Imo State, where bandits – unknown gunmen, are ransacking and collecting levies from the communities. Basically, Athan Achonu will provide training, recruitment for people donated by the communities. Communities know those who are the terrible ones in their midst. And I tell you, in six months, they will flush them out.”

Opara-Ndudu, who dismissed the claim by the state governor, Hope Uzodimma that the carnage and other killings in the state were politically-motivated, blamed the governor for misplacing his priorities and failing to provide jobs for the teeming youth population in the state, questioning why nobody had been arrested and prosecuted fully in the courts if the insecurity in the state was all about politics.

Hear him: “The security problem has to do with objective conditions in the state. The young people are frustrated. The government is not making any investments in the areas that are required. We’re busy pursuing projects that are designs in deception. Look at the roads that are being done in Imo State, you know for you to deal with the problem of poverty and other economic challenges, you have to deal with the problem of infrastructure.

“In Imo State, the government has dedicated all of its time and half of its time to reconstructing federal roads without any attention – little or no attention paid to the rural areas. If you go to length and breadth of Imo State – Ngor Okpala, Ezinifte Mbaise, even in the governor’s local government – everywhere in Imo State, you find that the rural areas are looking desolate and abandoned.”

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Police find body of missing female student dumped in the bush, vow to get killers



Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), command, have vowed to fish out the killers of a university student, Blessing Karami, whose body was said to have been picked up from the bush days after she was declared missing on September 11.

The FCT police, which released the painful news on Thursday, said in a statement by its spokesman, Josephine Adeh that the remains were found in the woods in the Karimu area of the city.

The police spokesman acknowledged that her disappearance was reported to the police authorities last,  Thursday, September 14 added that 26-year-old Blessing, a student of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), was declared missing after leaving her place of work in Garki, Abuja.

She said in the statement: “The body of Blessing Karami Moses, a 26-year-old woman who had been missing since September 11, 2023, was tragically discovered in a wooded area in Karimo. Her disappearance was reported to the authorities on September 14, 2023,” the statement read.

She said Commissioner of Police, FCT, Haruna Garba, had directed that command should conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, adding: “While we are working closely with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to facilitate the respectful retrieval of the decomposed remains acknowledging the sensitive nature of this task, we will continue to provide updates to the public as our investigation progresses.”

Adeh, a Superintendent of Police (SP), also commiserated with Blessing’s family and loved ones over the incident.

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Ogun cult massacre: DSS raid home, pick up PDP lawmaker, five others



Damilare Bello Mohammed, a serving member of the Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA), is currently telling operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) his side of the story, after he was picked up over his alleged involvement in the rival secret cult clashes that occurred in Sagamu town.

Mohammed, recently elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to represent Sagamu State Constituency 1, was picked up on Wednesday by the agency over the incident in which at least eight persons were killed last weekend during the violent clash in the town, alongside five other suspected cultists allegedly involved in the cult violence.

The five other suspects; Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya and Tobi Owoade, were arrested by the DSS operatives during a sting operation after a tip-off at the early hours of Thursday within the residence of the lawmaker.

Lekan Adeniran, spokesman to Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun State governor, announced the development in a statement on Wednesday, saying the secret police tracked the six suspected cultists to the official residence of the lawmaker.

Accusing the lawmaker of providing shelter to the cultists, Adeniran, said in the statement, that the suspects were presently undergoing interrogation in DSS custody after many dangerous weapons, including guns, were recovered from them.

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