I visited Obafemi Awolowo on a certain Sunday afternoon in the early 1960s, and he told me that he wanted to have a private discussion with me in the evening of the same day.
When I got to his house about 4 pm, I saw Anthony Enahoro also waiting to see Awolowo and he also said that Awolowo told him that he wanted to see him personally. Not long after, we were led to Awolowo’s private conference room.
Awolowo told us that he invited the two of us because he trusted us the most among his political lieutenants. He thereafter told us that he was working on *a plan to overthrow Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa through a “revolution” According to Awolowo,
1. He had imported some submachine guns into Nigeria through Ghana
2. He was training some boys in secret training camps to carry out the revolution
3. On the day of the revolution, the trained boys will take over ECN (Electricity Corporation of Nigeria, which was the name of NEPA then), take over Ikeja Airport (now called MMA), and take over some other important buildings, and proceed to arrest and detain top government officials including Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa
4. Awolowo further assured Enahoro and me that the revolution will take place in a single night and will be over in a few hours and he, Obafemi Awolowo, will be declared the Nigerian prime minister.
Enahoro seemed to know about this Awolowo’s plan due to the manner in which he smiled knowingly at Awolowo’s explanation of the plan to take over government.
When Awolowo told me to say something about the planned revolution, I politely told Awolowo that
1. He (Awolowo) was mixing up the terms “revolution” and “coup d’etat” as if they were.
synonymous and interchangeable 2. Coups d’etat take only few hours to happen but a revolution can take several years before it can succeed or even still fail. I asked Awolowo if he could provide enough weapons and provisions for the boys he was training to fight government for years
3. Coups d’etat are carried by the military, not by armed civilians. Any uprising by armed civilians will be promptly crushed by the military
4. A revolution will only succeed if the whole populace is against the government. I told Awolowo that regardless of what he thought, the Nigerian populace was happy with Balewa Government
5. Revolution is based on ideology unlike coup d’etat that are political in nature. I gave Awolowo.
examples of revolutionaries that were caught in South America and were about to be hanged yet they refused to confess about their other co-revolutionaries. I told Awolowo that no Nigerian will want to be hanged so that he, Awolowo, can be prime minister When I finished speaking, Awolowo exchanged glances with Enaohoro, and thereafter asked me where I got all these information from.
I replied Awolowo that I have a book detailing the differences between a coup d’etat and a revolution.
He replied that I should immediately go home and bring him the book. I did exactly that but when I got back to Awolowo’s house to give him the book, I was told he was not around and that I should drop the book for his stewards for onward delivery to Awolowo. I did exactly that and went back to my house.
It was not long after that Awolowo was arrested for planning to overthrow Balewa Government, and I was arrested for planning the overthrow with Awolowo
Dr Sanya Onabamiro, defending himself in front of Justice Shodeinde Showemimo against the allegation of joining Awolowo to plan the overthrow of Balewa Government in the early 1960s, as recorded in the autobiographical book titled _Adventures in Power.
The National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Sokoto on Thursday adjourned to an undisclosed date for Judgemnt in the Petitions filed by the defeated Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), Senator Ahmed Mohammed Maccido, against the winner of the February 23, 2019, Sokoto North Senatorial District Polls , Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko .
The Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Peter Akhimie Akhihiero, said while adjourning the matter , ” the matter has been adjourned for Judgment. The date will be communictated in due course .”
The Counsels for the Petitioners and the Respondents had earlier adopted all their final written addresses .
The Lead Counsel of the 1st Respondent, Dr Hassan Liman, SAN, said ,” in accordance with the Rules of the Court and the Electoral Act, the 1st Respondent has filed his written addresses dated 17/7/2019 and filed on the same date .
” We have also filed a reply to the Petitioners’ written address on 1/8/2019 . We hereby adopt the said two addresses as our final argument in this Petition .
” We are urging the Court to dismiss and strike out the Petition for being Statute -Barred as it was filed out of time, as well as lacking in merit. “
Lead Counsel for the 2nd Respondent, Chief Jacob Ochidi , also stated that , the 2nd Respondent has filed his final written address on 2/7/2019.
Ochidi explained, ” I herebey adopt the written address as the argument of the 2nd Respondent in this Petition.
” I am also urging the Tribunal to strike out the petition for being Statute – Barred , resolving all the issues of the 2nd Respondent.
” To dismiss same petition for lacking in merit and award substantial cost in favour of the 2nd Respondent, against the Petitioners. “
Similarly, Lead Counsel for the 3rd Respondent, Barrister Henry Eni-Otu, told the Court that,his Client has filed his final written address on 18/7/2019.
He averred ,” I want to adopt it as the argument of the 3rd and urge the Court to strike out the petition for being Statute-Barred .
” I am also praying the Court to dismiss the Petition in its entirety for being unmeritorious and speculative ..”
The Lead Counsel of the Petitioners, Dr Ibrahim Abdullahi said the Petitioners have filed their written address on 25/7/2019.
” We respectively adopt the same written address, making particular reliance on legal arguments.
” I am also urging the Court to resolve all the issues against the Respondents, to hold that , the Petition is not Statute-Barred and to grant the reliefs of the Petitioners. “
Responding, Dr Hassan Liman , SAN, commended the Chairman and menbers of the Tribunal for being diligent and working assiduously to ensure smooth proceedings.
With armed bandits continually attacking villages in several frontline local government areas in Katsina State six days after the amnesty granted suspected criminals by almost all northern states governors, Second Republic deputy senate president, Mamman Abubakar Danmusa said, the situation portends danger for Nigeria.
Addressing a press conference at his Katsina country home yesterday, the 77-year-old legal practitioner lamented that state governments were helpless in the face of the current happenings.
“This situation which we are now in, if it’s not checked in time, it will snowball into terrible situation for Nigeria,” warned Danmusa as he appealed for prompt action from the President.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to contact the Emir of Katsina to give him the reports which district heads are giving him about their subjects, who are driven from their homes and losing their property to hoodlums that are molesting their wives and daughters.
“Even in my house in Danmusa, there are about 150 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) there. I am not government. You can see the situation,” the erstwhile fiery politician stated, when he called on National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to get victims of the banditry food and shelter.
He also expressed concern that when the young men driven from their communities this rainy season would return later with nothing to fall back on, they may turn to armed banditry and become criminals too.
Hear him: “It is better to act now to forestall that happening. For me, I am appealing because this not a matter for Katsina State government. It’s a matter for the President. The President knows Mamman, he knows I don’t speak nonsense; when I speak I certainly have my facts to back up what I said.”
He regretted that the situation in Batsari, Safana, Danmusa, Kankara and Jibiya local government areas had deteriorated to the extent that he could not be silent any longer.
“I continue to ask myself, was it not Mamman who in March, 1960, at Katsina Teachers College, who led a demonstration against injustice when he was in class one which led to his expulsion from the college? Is he the same person who will now keep quiet when injustice and inhumanity are being committed?
“I think I will not do justice to myself and my family if I keep silent. Therefore I decided to address the press on the true situation in Katsina State” he added.
It’s worst in the frontline local government areas than anybody can imagine,” he declared.
By NewNigerianNewsPapers – August 8, 2019027 ￼ Governor Masari By; SULAIMAN AHMED MISAU, Katsina
Katsina State Government has ordered the outright ban of the sales of Boxer/Kasier motorcycles across the 34 local government areas in the state.
The newly deployed Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to Katsina State, Mr Ali Tanimu disclosed this during his familiarization visit to members of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Katsina.
Mr Tanimu said the directives came from the state Governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari based on the ground that, Bandits and Criminals are using the Boxer Motorcycles for their criminal activities.
He also disclosed that, as from the end of this month (August) all Tricycles in the state would not be allowed to be using black curtains.
“An enforcement to that effect will start at the end of the month and failure to obey the rules will be arrests and prosecution,” Mr Ali Tanimu has said.
The Katsina state Sector Commander therefore, charged Tricycles owners to talk to their operators on that.
Mr Ali Tanimu however, appealed to Public to be extra careful during the forthcoming Ed-el- kabir (Sallah) period by regulating their speeds and make their Waivers working due to rainfall.
Sector Commander Ali Tanimu said he was at the Correspondents Chapel of the NUJ to solicit support from the Members in order to have mutual respect and understanding.
Chairman of the Correspondents Chapel, Alhaji Abdulhamid Sabo of the Blue Print Newspaper assured of cordial relationship.
“We will continue to partner with the FRSC in the state and your visit is the first in the history of this Chapel and it has added more glad between the chapel and the Corps,” Alhaji Abdulhamid Sabo emphasized.
A human rights activist and lawyer, Femi Falana, on Wednesday, criticised the Kaduna State government over the stringent conditions it issued with regards to the permission granted by the court to Sheikh Ibrahim El-zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, to embark on medical trip abroad.
The Kaduna State government had expressed concern that El-zakzakay and his wife may seek asylum in India.
Upon this, the Governor Nasir El-Rufai-led administration prayed the court to make El-Zakzaky, his wife and each of the other defendants produce two prominent sureties, including a first-class chief or emir to qualify for the foreign medical trip.
The government, which expressed its displeasure at the terms of the medical leave, added, that “While the Kaduna State government respects the court’s ruling on medical leave, it disagrees with the premises on which it is based.
“Therefore, an appeal will be lodged on the matter, but a stay of execution will not be sought as the state government believes that a person may choose to travel abroad for any medical condition at his own cost.”
But responding on Wednesday, rights activist and lawyer to the IMN leader, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) said in a statement: “I thought that the Kaduna State government had planned to appeal against the order of the Honourable Darius Khobo granting leave to the El-Zakzakys to travel to India for urgent medical treatment under the supervision of the government.
“I hope that the plan to pursue an appeal in the case has been shelved as the Court of Appeal has ruled that you cannot stay the execution of orders of this nature. That remains the position of the law as espoused in the case of Mowarin v Nigerian Army, which was decided under a military dictatorship in the country.
“The so-called agreement is totally alien to the penal code and the administration of criminal justice law of Kaduna State. Hence, the agreement is not brought under any substantive or adjectival law.”
“My colleagues in the Ministry of Justice are not unaware of the position of the law that an agreement cannot vary or modify the order of a competent court. It is unfortunate that some highly placed public officers are so hell bent on abrogating the fundamental rights which have been fought for and won by Nigerians, even under the British colonial regime.
“For instance, the Prison Ordinance was amended in 1917 to allow the family members or friends of prison inmates to remove them from prison and take them out for medical treatment, if the prison facilities could not cater for any terminal illness. That provision has been incorporated in Regulation 12 made pursuant to the Prisons Act.
“In this instant case, the court did not release the El-Zakzakys to their family members but that they should be treated in a foreign hospital under the supervision of the government.
“Since the Department of Service Services (DSS), which has the custody of the El-Zakzakys, has announced on behalf of the Federal Government that the court order would be obeyed, the so-called terms of “agreements” of the Kaduna State government should be ignored because it is the height of provocative contempt.
“It takes two to tango. A party in a case cannot dream of some weird ideas, parade them as an agreement and impose same on a court and the other parties.”
It came as a shock coming across a sponsored post on Twitter from an account ‘Excellent Service Providers,’ advertising its services for students. The services included coursework, thesis, and dissertation writing, for pegged prices starting from N50,000. A thesis, or as it is more commonly known, a final-year ‘project’, is a researched essay in the area of a students’ course of study for their degrees. For most higher institutions in the world, Nigeria included, one of the main criteria of a degree being awarded is by writing a dissertation or thesis. But it has now become common for students to ‘outsource’ by paying individuals – sometimes referred to as ‘mercenaries’ – or even businesses specializing in writing these works. This has cast a long shadow of doubt on the credibility of the degrees, since the projects contribute a lot to the final Grade Point Average (GPA) of any potential graduate.
I saved the number on the profile of ‘Excellent Service Providers,’ sent a message on WhatsApp and introduced myself as Hassana Yahya, a Business Administration student of Nasawara State University.
“I need help with my final year project. How do I go about?” I enquired. “Lucky, lucky you,” Ohireime Princeton Eboreime quickly replied. “My first degree and MBA are business-related,” he told me. “Send your course outline, and preferred area of concentration. We can get a topic.” I explained to him my concerns of him running away with my money without getting the job done, to which he gave me the assurance that he wasn’t fraudulent. “I paid $400 for my sponsored post on Twitter. If I wanted to be shady, I wouldn’t use something so brain-tasking,” he said. Eboreime was not new in the business, as he revealed to me that he had been writing theses and dissertations for the past eight years, starting when he was still at the university in the United Kingdom, for a price range of about 500 to 800 pounds sterling. After asking me about his deadline, he told me the price for his service would cost N80,000 in two installments. 70 per cent now, and 30 per cent after the work had been completed. After bargaining for price of N50,000. We gradually settled at a price of N70,000. “No word of this outside. Anyone asks, you did it for 80k,” he warned me. John Ogar, on the other hand, was very skeptical when I first introduced myself, dogging me with questions on how I got his number, and the exact person that put me in touch with him. I made up a name, and he let his guard down a little for a proper conversation, during which we discussed what I wanted, and decided seeing face-to-face would be better. We agreed to meet in the city on a Friday, a week after our phone call. He directed me to the Area 3 junction, where he would lead me to our meeting point from there. The man who made his way towards me was well-dressed, of average height, and had an aura of overconfidence. He also seemed cautious, almost suspicious. “John?” I asked. “Yes. Good afternoon,” he answered. “Just go straight. I’ll direct you,” giving no room for chitchat and sitting into the passenger’s seat of the car. “Where exactly are we going? I thought you would take us to your shop?” I asked cautiously, as he led us deeper into unfamiliar territory. “It’s more of a stall where I run my business as a contractor. You don’t know Commerce Plaza? It’s inside,” he answered. When we got there, we both made our way to his “stall” in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the plaza, where printers were busy at work. He motioned for me to take a seat, after which he also took to his, and we began to talk business. “I’ve been writing projects for over five years,” he revealed to me confidently. “It started with mine, and a friend’s own, back in school. I’m doing really great off the money I make from my business. I’m quite comfortable,” he further revealed. “So how much am I going to pay?” I asked him. “Just give me N100,000,” he said matter-of-factly. “That’s too much,” I protested. “The person that put me in touch with you said that you did his for N40,000.” John said times have changed, and what he was charging in 2015 is not comparable to now. “It’s not like I just write the project and that’s it. I effect all the corrections made by the supervisor myself,” he added, as he further tried to justify his price. After drawing on about walking me through the defence and also, being available even after the project is done, John agreed to a reduced price, but with a condition: “I’ll give you a price of N70,000 if you refer your coursemates to me as well.” And with that settled, I handed him N35,000, and promised the other half of his payment after completion. I got to meet Eboreime during our follow-up meeting. An albino, dressed in a simple orange shirt, jeans and sandals, he was on the heavier and taller side and looked quite daunting in size compared to myself. He spoke eloquently, which was attributed to his studies in the UK. He settled in the chair beside me in the reception, looking quite at home as if we had met previously several times before. He revealed to me that over the past eight years of providing his services, he has lost count of the students he has written coursework, thesis and dissertations for. “About 40% of my customers are Nigerian students studying for first degrees and masters degrees online, 35% are from federal and state universities, and the remaining 25% are from private universities all over Nigeria,” he boasted. But two questions nagged: What about the institutions? Are they aware that their students engage in such acts, and still go ahead to award their degrees? I was given an answer by Amina (not real name), a student of one of the private universities in Abuja, gaining her confidence by asking her to confirm the rumours I had been hearing on the hiring of ‘mercenary’ project writers. Amina said: “I got someone who wrote my project for N60,000 for me. But after tutoring me on how to answer the questions during defence, and also studying the project myself, two days before our projects were due for submission, when I passed my work through the plagiarism checker, it showed that the project he wrote for me was 99% plagiarized. The only thing changed was the name of the original writer, to mine.” She continued: “I ended up having to confess to my supervisor, as I only had two days before submission. He (my supervisor) gave me three extra days to submit. I ended up getting someone else to do the project for me. My supervisor also helped me out too, not knowing that I already had someone else helping me so that I could meet the deadline. Though I told him I didn’t do the first one myself, it didn’t affect the marks he gave me.” Asked how many students in her class also paid mercenaries, Amina answered: “Almost all of us. Very few, actually, wrote the projects themselves.” An assessment of the projects Dr. Theophilus Abbah, a forensic linguist, said the works are replete with outright plagiarism and careless stylistics flaws that cannot be ignored by any assessor or project supervisor worth his name. “A check on Google, not even with the use of a sophisticated plagiarism software, revealed the topic, ‘The Effect of Small Scale Businesses on the Growth of the Nigerian Economy’ was copied from a 2015 publication of the International Journal of Business and Management.” Also, the material from where the plagiarism was committed specifies the period covered in the research – 1975 to 2012. However, the project done by the hired writer does not delimit by timeframe. Apparently, the lack of delineation is an evidence that the writer is inexperienced, as research into expected growth, or otherwise, from small and medium scale enterprises, should have a timeframe. Incidentally, apart from the topic which was copied from the journal, there is a larger intellectual property offence committed by the hired project writer. He has copied verbatim – word for word – the contents of the journal article with all the references. He did not, in any way, make any original input. Dr. Abbah said: “It’s not only about stealing another person’s idea, or being engaged in direct or indirect textual allusion. Rather, it is a wholesale stealing of another person’s work.” He added that a forensic stylistic examination of the work provides an instant insight into the fact that the work may never have been written by a typical undergraduate of a Nigerian university. The sentence length and the expertly control of syntax shows that the author of the original work is an expert economist. The second research project, with the topic ‘The Effects of Small Scale Businesses/Industries in Growing the Nigerian Economy’ looks smartly produced, but replete with problems, Dr. observed. “First, it is clear that the writer is not at home with the requirements of such projects. For instance, the font for a project is Times New Roman, and it should be 12 points. But this project has different fronts from one page to another. It gives the impression that the work was lifted from several other intellectual works produced by experts.” “It’s like the author of the second work just lifted references from various works and slammed them onto the page, thinking no one would detect the shoddy job,” Dr. Abbah explained. The implication on the educational system In recent times, the quality of projects and its effects on the present generation of graduates has come under scrutiny. In a November 2018 report published by Daily Trust, a former executive secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola, stated that over 60 per cent of projects done by Nigerian university students are plagiarized. Earlier in 2018, a specialist in Development Economics, Dr. Bongo Adi, also stated that 70% of Nigerian graduates were “unemployable,” despite the increase in the number of graduates who were awarded first class degrees in 2017. Also, according to a report on the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities website, the umbrella organization of vice chancellors in Nigerian federal, state and private universities, the country’s academics and stakeholders have continued to point fingers at academic dishonesty in universities being one of the main causes of plagiarized research. Dr. Abiodun Adeniyi, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication at Baze University Abuja, described the actions of the students and the contracted individuals as intellectual corruption, defeating the very essence of learning. “A project is supposed to be an original work, a contribution to knowledge, and should fill a gap in knowledge. It should be stretching an idea, breaking new grounds or providing further analysis to an existing work. But if aspects of it are contracted out, then it becomes self-deceit, falsehood and a fallacy of knowledge production,” he said. But there have also been cases in which lecturers and supervisors have been complicit in the racket, with instances of students paying them off to write the projects for them, or facilitating plagiarism. “Some lecturers are aiding and abetting this practice as most of them give the students the option of having the project written for them by said lecturer,” according to Ebute Michael, a final-year student of Benue State University, Makurdi. They’re given the option to accept whatever they are presented without questioning or crosschecking,” he added. Malam Ibrahim Yakasai, the Director of Communications of the NUC, reiterated the complicity of the lectures, citing the fact that it’s ludicrous that a lecturer can teach a student and then claim to be unable to identify the type of the work the said student can produce. The way forward Although Yakasai made it clear the NUC does not micromanage universities, and does not deny hearing of such happening in institutions across the country, he said that if such a case should see the light of day, with substantial evidence, then the Commission would take action accordingly. “At the level of the commission, there’s not much we can do without someone being caught red-handed. In that case, if the university doesn’t take action, we will.” Yakasai said: “We will not let any university or individual go scot-free. They will be sanctioned according to the level of their connivance. If we have proof that somebody had their thesis written for them and graduates, of course we will take action. It is cheating and it is also fraud. First of all, the student will not be awarded that degree, and if they already have, it will be withdrawn, and they will be expelled.” “Maybe some have been caught but I believe the universities will not make noise about it because it’s a stain on their institution. No university would want to cheapen their degree. So, we have not found any of them guilty in this respect and as far as we’re concerned, all universities are doing their best to protect the integrity of their certificates,” Yakasai said. Dr. Adeniyi suggested encouraging originality in all academic works, and putting more emphasis on the ills of passing off works of others as their own. “They are awarded certificates not just in learning, but also in character. Stealing or borrowing ideas without giving due credit is surely the beginning of dishonesty, of deceit and amounts to intellectual fraud. It should be highly discouraged,” he said. This investigation was funded by the Tiger Eye Foundation with support from MacArthur Foundation.
It is a great honour to be here on this most significant day for our graduates, and indeed for all of us who gather here today. We are here to celebrate and affirm what you – our graduates – have achieved through your studies, and to encourage you to take forward what you have learned so that each and everyone of you might play a role in bringing about positive transformational change for our beloved state of Kaduna, other Northern states, and our country. Not that I wish to place too much pressure on you on a day that is meant for celebration! My theme today is ‘the role of education in peace building and peaceful coexistence in the Northern states of Nigeria’. Indeed, that is not only the theme of my remarks, but actually the theme and the purpose of this centre. Since its founding, this centre has been a house of peace (bayt -al-salaam) – perhaps we might even call it an oasis of peace (wahat-al-salaam) – in the midst of the many challenges that we face in this part of our country.
We see many weapons used here in this region – there is conflict, and the weapons that are used cause great harm, not only to individuals, but to families, to communities and to our society as a whole. But we have the tools and weapons of our own to push back against this violence, which is very often set up as a conflict between Christians and Muslims. Nelson Mandela famously said, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” And he was right.
Education is the weapon that we must all be willing to use in our efforts to live in peaceful coexistence with one another. And that is why this institution is important, and why those of you who are graduating today have taken such an important decision in choosing to undertake your education in this place. We are honoured to have the Executive Governor of our state and esteemed representatives here with us today. I would like to take this opportunity to address you directly. You can see here the value of investing in high-quality education and the positive impact that it can have on communities. What we have done here is recognise that there was a gap in high-quality religious education and that is one of the root causes of the issues we face in this part of our country. I would encourage you wholeheartedly to see how increasing government investment in religious education can be one pillar of a response to violence and to conflict. The key purpose of education is to open our minds to new thinking – to understanding the views of others. It is not simply to affirm what we already believe and think we know. This can be especially damaging when it comes to religious education – or a lack of religious education. When we think we know all we need to about the religion of the ‘other’, – whether you are a Christian or Muslim – and are unwilling to expand your knowledge, there is a very real risk that you are yourself part of the problem, rather than being part of the solution. How can we ensure that our youth are continuously learning about the beliefs of those who are different from them? Through good religious education. This is something that can be championed by government, and supported by religious leaders and through institutions like Kaduna Centre for the Study of Christian-Muslim Relations. As I speak of religious leaders, and speak as a religious leader, I also acknowledge that we have a significant and weighty responsibility to practice what we preach when it comes to our understanding of our own religion and a good, working knowledge of the ‘other’ religion. In my travels around the Anglican Communion as its Secretary-General, I am sometimes concerned to discover that religious leaders do not have an in-depth knowledge of what it means to be an Anglican. We are getting our own house in order through supporting our bishops in accompanying them in their role, and through more emphasis in theological education, which is something that we have invested in at our offices in London and in our colleges, seminaries and other institutions around the world. We must take a similar approach here in Nigeria and particularly in the Northern States. Religious leaders need to be accountable to one another. We must be willing to challenge one another when we hear things that are false. This is particularly important when we speak about the ‘other’. Our congregations and our followers trust us. We have an obligation to them to speak the truth – and to actively ensure that we are speaking truth, by educating ourselves to a high enough standard. To be educated in this way does not mean that we must agree with everything that we learn. Not at all. There are many differences within and between religions that express a diversity of beliefs. But we must be willing to hear what others believe, and to be able to grapple with these issues in a peaceful manner. And we must proactively find the opportunities to grapple and discuss. Ignorance and all that comes with it – fear, hatred, and conflict – happens because we separate ourselves from those that we disagree with and from the ‘other’. We might do this out of concern for ourselves – that if we are seen to be speaking with someone who is the ‘other’ that it will damage our reputation with our own communities. But this also happens because of fear and sometimes hatred. These are things that we must also work against. And we must resist this temptation to separate ourselves from those who are different and with whom we disagree. Therefore, we must engage in activities together. It is not enough to simply have knowledge and understanding in your head. You must also practice what you learn. Religious leaders can set a good example in engaging in activities with leaders from the ‘other’ religion – perhaps sharing a platform on issues of mutual concern, or taking part in activities that build trust and relationships. And these examples must be encouraged at all levels of our society, from the very top right down to activities for children in schools. I come back to the quote that I began with from Nelson Mandela: “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I strongly agree with this statement. But we also know that education is a lengthy and ongoing process. It does not happen overnight. It requires commitment. Investment. Sustainability. Cooperation. Another wise man said this about education: “Knowledge is power. Information is liberation. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” Those are the words of Kofi Annan. I am struck by the phrase ‘education is the premise of progress’. That is what we need to focus on – progress. There is much to do, and education alone cannot solve our problems. But where we see progress, we find encouragement. We have seen progress here in this centre. We have made much progress since it was founded 15 years ago. Many people have left this place transformed, committed to making progress and to being peace builders (bunat al-salaam) for our communities. Let us hope and pray that in another 15 years, the work of places of education like this centre is not unusual – that what is taught here is common in our schools, colleges and universities. That we all know much more about the ‘other’ and that we engage together much more. This graduation is a powerful image of progress and one that we can all be inspired by.
The Most Reverened Idowu-Fearon (PhD) is the Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion. He presented this paper at a graduation ceremony of the Kaduna Centre for the Study of Christian-Muslim Relations in Kaduna on Saturday.
The police on Thursday arraigned two friends in a Makurdi Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing 700 tubers of yam, worth N70,000. The police charged Emberga Tyokyaa and Boniface Yahemba with four counts of criminal conspiracy, trespass, mischief and theft.
The Prosecution Counsel, Sgt. Godwin Ato, told the court Mr Terseer Adue, who resides in Gwer East L.G.A, Benue, reported the matter.
Ato further told the court that the complainant reported that the Tyokyaa and Yahemba and two others, Aondowase Debam, Gbaakough Ityokaa, at large, conspired and trespassed in to his farm. He alleged that the defendants also destroyed his farmland where he planted water yam worth over N70,000. He said that investigation into the matter was still on-going and prayed the court for an adjournment. The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of sections 97, 349, 329 and 288 of the Penal Code Law of Benue 2004. The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Magistrate, Mrs Ajuma Igama, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N100, 000 each with one surety each in like sum, who must be a civil servant on GL07 in the Benue Civil Service. Igama adjourned the case until Aug. 20 for further mention. (NAN)
Reacting in a statement, Sagir Musa, army spokesman, said the refusal of the policemen to stop at the checkpoints prompted the action of the soldiers.
“The attention of the army headquarters has been drawn to the press release by DCP Frank Mba, force public relations officer, force headquarters, Abuja Ref No. CZ.5300/FPRD/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.2/68 Date: August 7, 2019 on the unfortunate incident that occurred on the 6th of August 2019 in which troops of 93 Battalion Nigerian Army Takum pursued and exchanged fire with some suspected kidnappers who indeed turned out to be an Intelligence Response Team from the Police Force Headquarters Abuja on a covert assignment from Abuja resulting in the death and injury of some members of the Team,” the statement read.
“On the 6th of August 2019, the said Nigerian Army troops, while responding to a distressed call to rescue a kidnapped victim exchanged fire with the suspected kidnappers along Ibi-Wukari Road in Taraba State.
“The suspected kidnappers numbering about ten (10) and driving in a white bus with Reg No LAGOS MUS 564 EU refused to stop when they were halted by troops at three consecutive check points.
“The flagrant refusal of the suspected kidnappers to stop at the three checkpoints prompted a hot pursuit of the fleeing suspects by the troops. It was in this process that the suspected kidnappers who were obviously armed opened fire at the troops sporadically thus prompting them to return fire.
“In the resultant fire fight, four (4) suspects were shot and died on the spot while four (4) others sustained various degrees of gunshot wounds and 2 others reportedly missing. It was only after this avoidable outcome that one of the wounded suspects disclosed the fact that they were indeed Policemen dispatched from Nigerian Police, Force Headquarters, Abuja for a covert assignment.”
He said the commander of the troops asked at the police station in the area whether they were aware of any police team being dispatched to operate, but the divisional police officer responded that he was not informed about any operation.
According to him “this lent credence to the distressed call from members of the community that the policemen, on a covert mission, were rather suspected kidnappers.”
The army spokesperson said the incident is unfortunate and could have been avoided through proper coordination and liaison as the police are partners in the fight against crimes such as kidnapping amongst myriads of other internal security threats confronting the country.
“In order to avert future occurrences of this nature, the Army Headquarters and the Force Headquarters of the Nigerian Police have agreed to constitute a Joint lnvestigation Panel to be headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Criminal Investigation Department, DIG Mike Ogbizi, to jointly investigate and report on the true circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incident,” he said.
“Therefore, until the Joint Investigation Panel concludes and submits its report, it will be premature to officially conclude and speak on the real circumstances that caused this unfortunate but very avoidable unfortunate incident.”
………By Abba kyari The Galant, Outstanding and Innocent IRT team Attacked by the Soldiers in Taraba State is One of the Best and Most Highly Trained IRT teams in the Country.
They are part of the teams responsible for the Arrest Of Nigeria’s Most Notorious Kidnap Kingpin Evans,
Arrest Of 22 Boko Haram Terrorist Responsible for the 2014 Kidnapping of the Chibok School Girls in Borno State,
Arrest Of the UMAR Abdulmalik Overall Boko Haram Commander Of North Central Nigeria and Several Of his Group Members.
Arrest Of the Kidnappers Of the 2 American and 2 Canadian Citizens in Kaduna State.
And most Recently, The Rescue Of Magajin Garin Daura in Kano State and Arrest Of the 13 Terrorist Responsible for Kidnapping the Magajin Garin Daura in his Home Town Daura Town Katsina State on the 1/5/19, among many other outstanding records of the Team.
It’s Very Sad that, The Notorious Leader Of Kidnappers IRT arrested in Taraba State, With Handcuffs and leg chain on him have been released by the Army to Escape.
THIS IS SO SAD Very Painful, ASP Vincent Maxwell Nigeria Police Force.