PHOTO SPEAK: NIGERIAN ARMY CAPTURE BOKO HARAM ‘TOYOTA TECHNICAL’ CONFIGURED WITH QUAD-BARRELED ZSU-23-4 SHILKA GUNNERY
“I’m Ready To Face Any Panel In The World To Clear My Name”-Ex Bornu Governor Modu Sheriff Accused Of Sponsoring Bokoharam Cries Out
Ex-Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff today during a press conference in Abuja denied allegations him that he is one of the main sponsors of the Islamic fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram.
During the conference, he threatened to sue Stephen Davies, the Australian negotiator who recently claimed that the militants named him as one of their sponsors. He also expressed preparedness to face any panel in the world to clear his name.
Read what he said after the cut:
“My name has been mentioned for political reasons over the attacks of Boko Haram. I have been accused unfairly in connection with Boko Haram since I left office.
“The recent purported interview granted by Australian negotiator, Stephen Davies, could not avail the federal government of the information concerning the alleged sponsors of Boko Haram… but [he] sneaked out of the country to make false claims.
“For the records, let me state categorically that I do not share the same ideology with Boko Haram. By my nature, I am opposed to the philosophy of Boko Haram.
“It is instructive to point out that I have been one of the greatest victims of Borno. I was a target of Boko Haram during my time because I refused to abdicate my responsibility.
“Among those killed by Boko Haram was my younger brother, Alhaji Goni. Some of my friends and associates were killed in cold blood by Boko Haram.
“For the records, the late leader of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf, once named me, Umaru Yar’Adua and some other leaders as targets. He boasted he would deal with all of us.
“I banned Boko Haram. I was the one who made a law that outlawed the group. The sect later changed its name. And in spite of our efforts, the group continued to wreak havoc.”
Sheriff said it was “infantile” for chairman of APC, John Oyegun, to accuse him of being a PDP mole during his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“I caused the loss of election by the PDP in Borno when I was in the APC,” he said.
He also branded those linking him with Boko Haram as “either ignorant or completely out for mischief”.
“The sect has become captive of political forces and used for settling political scores,” he said. “I have no association with any terrorists anywhere. I have never met the group. I cannot be a sponsor of a group I have not met before.
“Today, there are ten thousand members of Boko Haram terrorising our people. All my actions as governor were to guide my people right.”
He argued that the naming of one of his commissioners, Buji Koi, as a member of the group did not make him a member as well. “It doesn’t make sense,” he said.
“I leave the rest for Nigerians to judge whether it is a crime to do good to all men.”
Sheriff threatened legal action against Davies, saying he had already instructed his lawyers to sue “the faceless Australian”. Denying the allegation that he had foot soldiers who coberted to Boko Haram, he said: “I don’t have foot soldiers as they alleged. “The allegation that some foot soldiers who turned against me became Boko Haram is not true. “My invitation by the SSS has nothing to do with Boko Haram. I am prepared to face any panel in the world to clear my name of Boko Haram.
A widow and three men who are members of a robbery gang that specialize in terrorizing and robbing motorists along the Mile2/Badagry Expressway, have been arrested by men of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS), Lagos State Police Command.
The robbers; Sera Emmanuel (31) the widow, Ismaila Morufu (30), Musaalobi Abdullahi (29) and Opeyemi Akinyemi (30), were arrested on August 27th along the Sango-Ifo road by Iyana-Iyesi in Ogun state.
The armed-robbers allegedly confessed to operating daily at some bad spots around Mile 2/Badagry Expressway, Mile 2/Apapa Expressway, Agege/Oshodi, Oworonsoki, Alapere, Bariga, Ikeja and Onipanu. Continue…
The Nation reports that while confessing to the crimes, the widow Sera Emmanuel, said she was the one responsible for supplying guns to the gang.
“I was born in 1983 and I am from Abeokuta. I buy guns for the gang and it was Ismaila that gave me money to buy guns for the gang. I went to Idiroko and bought two guns at N15, 000 each for the gang. They gave me only N25, 000 and N6, 000 for transport. I will not buy for them again’. she said One of the gang members, Morufu while confessing said: “I was arrested at Iyana Iyesi for snatching a handset at Mile 2, Lagos. It was Muri that led police to my house to arrest me”. She said
Abdulliah, another gang members, who claims to be a panel beater said:
“I participated in the Oyingbo Ebute Meta robbery operation. We collected phones, money from victims at go-slow. This is my 15th armed robbery operation. I used to get between N25,000 and N30,000 in each operation but prostitutes, smoking and drinking made it impossible for me to save”.
Akinyemi, an okada rider who was also arrested claimed that he was forced to become a member by one Apo he met in Mushin, where he had gone to eat
“I have operated five times but it was only once they gave me N30,000. They have been cheating me. I went to Cotonou with N300, 000 to buy Mazda but it had accident. It was because I needed to get money for the repair of my car that I followed them for the operation. I got N150,000. I have built house from armed robbery. It was Muri that brought police to arrest me” he said.
The Lagos state Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Lelma Kolle confirmed the arrest of the gang members.
Originally posted on Hollywood Life:
Kris is a mother-of-six but she opts to get high with her own mom, MJ, 78, on the upcoming, Aug. 10 episode of ‘KUWTK.’ HollywoodLifers, do you feel like she’s setting a bad example?
Kris Jennerisn’t always one to make the best decisions and she proves that with her shenanigans on Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Her latest ridiculous behavior is deciding to smoke pot with her 78-year-old mom, MJ. Bruce Jenner looks on in total disbelief and tells Kris that it’s totally inappropriate, especially since, Kendall Jenner, 18, and Kylie Jenner, 16, still live in the house.
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The younger brother of Bayelsa State House of Assembly Speaker, Konbowei Benson, Iniokpoemi Benson was abducted by unknown gunmen around 3am early this morning Monday August 4th at his residence in Korokorosei community in Southern Ijaw local government area.
Benson is the immediate past chairman of the community’s development committee. This is the third high profile kidnap in the space of two weeks in the state.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hit back at claims by Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard that striker Luis Suarez was “too good” to ever move to the north London outfit.
The Gunners tabled a £40,000,001 ($67.5 million, 50.4 million euros) bid for Suarez a year ago in the mistaken belief it would trigger a release clause in his contract at Anfield.
And the Uruguayan went on to score 31 goals as Liverpool narrowly missed out on the Premier League title before joining Barcelona this summer.
Gerrard claimed that he had advised Suarez, currently banned from all football for four months after biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup group game, against joining Arsenal last year.
“I said: ‘Don’t go to Arsenal’,” the Liverpool captain told several British newspapers on Thursday.
“With all due respect to them, I said to him that he was too good for Arsenal.”
But Wenger, who instead signed Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil for a club-record fee, insisted on Friday no player would deem themselves too good for his side.
“You’re never too good for Arsenal and Steven Gerrard knows that,” he said during a press conference ahead of this weekend’s Emirates Cup, in which Arsenal will host Portuguese champions Benfica and Monaco.
“But I can understand completely that he asked him to stay because he wanted him (Suarez) to play with him and have a chance to win the Premier League. But it didn’t happen, and anyway, Suarez left.”
Wenger has been busy in the market this summer with the addition of Chile forward Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona, England youth international Calum Chambers from Southampton and Newcastle United right-back Mathieu Debuchy.
However, Wenger hinted that he has not finished his summer spending just yet.
“I’m very happy because I did what I wanted, and I am still open to do more,” he said.
“Let’s not forget that we are at August 1 today, and the transfer window closes on the 31st.
“We are a bit ahead of what we usually do, because the availability on the market was bigger and earlier than before.”
There may yet be players moving away from the Emirates Stadium as Wenger admitted the future of defender Thomas Vermaelen remains unclear, with the club captain unhappy at his lack of first-team action last season.
“At the moment Thomas Vermaelen is here,” added Wenger.
“It (a move) could happen, yes it’s a possibility that he goes. If he goes we have to replace him because he’s an important player in our squad.
“I expect him to stay but he, of course, did not play enough games last year. For me he’s a very important player but I couldn’t guarantee him the games he wanted last year.”
THE peace accord brokered by the Federal Government in May between two warring Ugborodo factions in Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, came under threat during the week. Anarchy was let loose when members of the Ijaw and Itsekiri ethnic nationalities started beating war drums, notwithstanding the ceasefire efforts of governor Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Their actions further endangered the fragile peace in that part of the state. Saturday Vanguard spoke to an Ijaw leader and Benemowei of Gbaramatu Kingdom,Chief Godspower Gbenekama and Itsekiri youth leader/ Ugborodo Interface Committee on the Ogidigben Export Processing Zone, EPZ project, Mr. Alex Eyengho, both of whom are conversant with the matter, on the EPZ. They capture the unfolding developments in this special report.
COMMANDER, Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Delta, Navy Captain Musa Gemu, who is heading the security team put in place by the Federal Government to restore peace to the troubled Ugborodo community, Warri South-West Local Government Area, was livid during the week over the anarchy that was let loose by violent youths in the area.
Two warring factions had been at daggers-drawn in the community, killing and maiming themselves before the federal government managed to bring them to a roundtable to sign a peace accord at Abuja in May.
Leaders of the factions were asked to return home and facilitate the return of indigenes that fled the community on both divides, as well as surrender their weapons.
Captain Gemu’s attempt to recover the weapons was frustrated as the warring factions refused to surrender the arms and weapons in their possession.
Undeterred, Gemu continued preaching peace and forged ahead with the resettlement process, but last Saturday violence, spearheaded by Ugborodo youths, the third in the last few months, left him wondering if the community genuinely desired peace.
He told Saturday Vanguard: “I met with leaders of the two sides the other day. They assured on being on ground to lead all displaced persons back home in their respective strongholds. On the agreed Saturday, only Isaac Botosan and Ayiri Emami of the Thomas Ereyitomi bloc were on hand to lead the displaced persons to Ogidigben and Ajudaibo, where they are in control.”
”The other faction, which gave its word never showed up to talk to the boys at Aruton to resettle displaced persons there. These same youths at Madangho and Aruton, who refused to allow displaced persons return home also scared people from leaving to Ogidigben and Ajudaibo,” he said.
The navy commander said: “It is not like the Aruton youths can stop the navy. Applying force now is not the spirit of the peace process. So I asked my men to pull back. I went in with just two men and interacted with the community elders and youths. They gave conditions for reintegrating the displaced persons. This is not healthy and if it persists, the military would have to take appropriate action.”
For five successive months before federal government interface, Ugborodo community was on fire. However, the federal mediation provided the atmosphere for the state government’s inauguration of the UgborodoInterface Committee for the $16b EPZ project.
Youths resist Navy
Peace, nevertheless, snapped, last weekend, when youths at Ode-Ugborodo (Aruton) and Madanghon, repelled the Nigerian Navy’s move to resettle residents chased from home since January’s fight. The resettlement of displaced persons was a critical term in the final resolutions signed by warring factions at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja.
Two days after the Saturday/Sunday incident, hostilities spilled to Warri and environs, as factional youths moved against opposition leaders, resulting in the demolition of the home and vehicle of an Aruton youth leader resident at Egbokodo, a Warri South community, Ofe Pender, in what is believed to be a backlash of Sunday’s violence at Aruton.
Vice Chairman of the Thomas Ereyitomi-led Community Trust and member of the 21- man EPZ Committee, Isaac Botosan, was among immediate victims, as youths went wild following the failed resettlement of exiled residents.
Botosan told Saturday Vanguard after the destruction, “On Saturday, I was among leaders, who accompanied the Navy to return displaced persons home, and the youths had their way, resisting the Navy. I never had problems with anyone, I am at loss as to what happened on Saturday would provoke the destruction of the house I built for my mother in Aruton.
“These violent elements partially destroyed that house back in January. As they completed the destruction Sunday, they proceeded to wreck my grandfather’s house too and that belonging to national chair of Ugborodo Youths, Julius Atete.
Botosan whose mother and grandfather’s house were destroyed has already petitioned the Inspector General of Police, calling for the arrest and prosecution of perceived masterminds of the alleged arson.
“I also have complained to the Navy. But the way to achieve lasting peace is for Federal Government to stand firm at this point and stop this impunity of violence once and for all. If they do not come in now, they are encouraging the other side to take to self- help, which is not what we want as it will definitely escalate the tension,” he asserted.
Aruton, Madangho give conditions for peace
An executive member of the David Tonwe- led UgborodoCommunity Trust faction, Femi Uwawah, told Saturday Vanguard that the government’s move through the Navy to resettle displaced persons was an impossible wishful thinking if executed in isolation of perceived grievances in the affected communities.
Uwawah said, “Those who offended Ode-Ugborodo cannot hide behind the Navy to come back to the homes where they committed atrocities. They must atone for their actions before being allowed back. Then, all cases in court must be withdrawn while mercenaries being harboured to attack perceived enemies at Ajudaibo and Ogidigben must be evicted before lasting peace could prevail.”
They‘ve murdered sleep
A peeved Uwawah said, “The offenders have stepped on toes, people have been remanded in prison without just cause, some charged to court. There is no short cut to peace. Those arrested must be released, cases in court should be withdrawn and the offenders of the community disciplined in line with the custom of the land. Then, we can talk peace. We do not need Navy to enforce peace if only those offenders would respect the tradition.
Ojogor carpets factional leaders
But, Special assistant to the Eghare-Aja of Ugborodo community, Anderson Ojogor, blamed the drift towards another armed conflict on failure of some factional leaders to respect the peace accord and understanding with men of the NNS Delta to lead resettlement of displaced indigenes in community in their stronghold.
“The deliberate act of that faction’s leader switching off his mobile phone and not making himself available to the Navy at the appointed time aggravated the anger of the youths resulting in burning of cars and houses in Ugborodo and Warri”, Ojogor alleged.
Aggrieved victims call for EPZ c’ttee dissolution
Already some victims of the crisis, particularly displaced persons, have called for the dissolution of the EPZ Interface Committee, saying the essence of the committee, which was to unite the warring factions and usher peace has been defeated.
Oboroegbeyi dismisses allegation
Chair, Ogidigben EPZ Interface Committee, Barr Austin Oboroegbeyi, who decried the renewed violence and destruction of property in Ugborodo communities, which extended to Warri town, debunked the claim that the committee was responsible for the crisis.
“It is sad enough that there are inadequate houses in the area, one then wonders why the few ones people struggled to build are destroyed”, Oborogbeyi quipped.
The Ogidigben EPZ committee leader asserted that that whatever resentment over the patriotic attempt of the Commander, NNS, Delta, Navy Capt Musa Gemu on Saturday 26th July, 2014, to return displaced persons to their communities in Ugborodo, was not an excuse for the wanton destruction that took place few days after.
His words, “Ugborodo major challenge today is to be united to face external problems. I, therefore, plead that all parties should, without further delay, provide the genuine platform to put the crisis behind. It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.”
He pointed out that the factional crisis in Ugborodo started some years back, and not with, or because of the Ogidigben EPZ Interface Committee, made of representatives from both factions, adding that since its inauguration, the committee had been reaching out to ensure peace in Ugborodo.
Groundbreaking still chancy
From available indications, the road to the groundbreaking for the $16 b Gas Revolution Industrial City, which was postponed by President Goodluck Jonathan, some months ago, is still a long walk.