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Benue govt. behind my ordeal – Tershaku  





Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

Coordinator of the recently disbanded Benue State Livestock Guards, Alhaji Aliyu Tershaku, has accused the Benue State Government of being behind his arrest, stressing that he knew nothing about the allegations against him.

Recall that in April, this year, Tershaku, a Senior Special Assistant to Governor Samuel Ortom on Special Security, was arrested following allegation that he is a Boko Haram member and his alleged involvement in the killing of Benue people by suspected Fulani herdsmen since January this year.

Tershaku on his release, however said his release from detention after seven months of incarceration without evidence is a proof of his innocence of the allegation proffered against him.

But reacting swiftly, the state government has taken a swipe at Tershaku, insisting that it had nothing to do with his arrest neither did it know why he was arrested or released by security agencies.

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While noting that all his life, he had always tried to build peace, Tershaku who spoke with our correspondent in company of his Lawyer, Barr. Attah Adokwu of Ai-Attah Chambers called on anyone in Nigeria or outside the country who had any evidence of criminality against him to come out with such evidence.

Tershaku who disclosed that he had been released on administrative bail after seven months of incarceration by a joint security team said all through the period of investigation by the various security agencies, no evidence was found to nail him of the offenses.

He added that since his arrest, he had not visited any part of Benue based on the advice of his counsel, and Governor Ortom and wondered why the Security Adviser would say his release was posing a threat to the state.

“I was really surprised to hear the allegation leveled against me that I masterminded the killings of my Benue people. I was surprised because when I was arrested, I thought it was as a result of allegations leveled against me by Fulani that I was helping to arm Benue people to kill their people.

“But when I was taken to Abuja where I was detained and interrogated, I started hearing that I was arrested in connection with fulani herdsmen killings of my people, the Tiv indigenes and other Benue indigenes. So, it’s a very surprising thing to me to hear that.

“On the day I was arrested at the office of the Security Adviser, he called me to come that governor gave us an assignment. When I got to his office, I asked where we were going and he said I should wait. Within 15 minutes, security men drawn from all the security agencies in the state surrounded the office and I was arrested.

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“If the Army and Fulani are saying that I am giving arms to Tiv militias to attack Fulani, why would the Benue people now make another allegation against me that I am also collaborating with Fulani to attack the Tiv people. Which of these allegations are we going to believe?

“But luckily on my arrest, all the investigation has been made by the Nigerian Army Intelligence where I was for four months and then transferred me to the DSS and after all the investigations, no evidence was found against me”, Tarshaku posited.

He urged Benue people not to see his release from the DSS detention as threat but as a proof of his innocence stressing that there is no way he could turn round to hurt the people he had been trying his best to protect.

Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase wondered why Tershaku would blame the state government for his predicament saying all it did was to follow due process and the rule of law by allowing the security agencies investigate him.

“The state government had no hand in his arrest. Governor Ortom is not the commissioner of police, he is not the director of DSS, not the commander of the military. He is not the commander of the civil defence but only supported the security agencies to do their job.

“And as we said at the beginning when Tarshaku was arrested, we said that governor Ortom believe in the rule of law. He believes that if anyone suspected to be culpable, or suspected to have a hand in any crime or any offence, such a person has a right to go and defend himself.

“Tarshaku was taken in by the security agencies and we maintained that stance that the law should take it course.

Remember that when he was arrested, they were accusing the state government of using him to cause problems in the state.

“So, if he is saying that the state government masterminded his arrest, or picked him, can you see the contradiction? But in all of these, Governor Ortom has been exonerated because one, they have not told us why they have arrested him or why he has been released without being charged to court.

“You arrested somebody, the person stayed with you for many months and you don’t try him. Up untill now the governor has not been told why Tershaku was arrested and why he was released without being taken to court,” the governor said.

The post Benue govt. behind my ordeal – Tershaku   appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.


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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes



Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers



CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike



Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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