A survivor of the massacre by Boko Haram terrorists of 81 villagers of Faduma Kolomdi, Gubio in Borno State, has narrated how it happened.
Modu Gana said that the attackers stormed the village on Tuesday in three Hilux vans and motorcycles, telling them that they came to preach the word of God to the people.
“They asked us to remove all our charms, cutlasses, bows and arrows, as well as other spiritual protection for special prayers.
“Immediately we did that, they began shooting at us from different directions.
Some of the victims of Boko Haram massacre in Gubio village
“Many people escaped with bullet wounds, while seven others, including our village head, were abducted by the terrorists,” he said.
Gana said that more than 2,400 livestock had been rustled by the terrorists.
He also told Governor Babagana Zulum that the community was attacked three times by the terrorists within the last one month.
Zulum visited the village on Wednesday and confirmed the killing of 81 people.
He said that 13 persons were injured while fleeing the attack, while seven others sustained various degrees of injury.
The governor further explained that 49 of the deceased had already been buried before his arrival, while 32 bodies of the victims had been taken away by their families.
Zulum recalled that the terrorists, who attacked Gajiram LGA some months ago, were the same ones who carried out the attack; describing it as “very unfortunate”.
The Governor said that the only positive option to end the massacre on the vulnerable communities was to dislodge the terrorists in their strong hold, in the shores of Lake Chad.
“We have been advocating for this for a very long time. The Tumbus and other shores of Lake Chad must be cleared completely, then people will get rest of mind. Anything less than this is a temporary measure.
“That requires a lot of support from the Federal Government such as blocking of the leakage from our neighbouring countries by the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF),” he said.
Zulum said that the state government on its part, would adopt measures to protect the people from further attacks, including merging smaller communities with larger ones, where they could be provided with effective security.
“This village from Gubio town is over 35 kilometers. Due to the nature of the vast land, the insurgents can easily sneak into the community to cause havoc. The military can come here and relocate them, but at the end, they may come back,” he said.
A mass burial was conducted for the deceased.
Five of the victims, who were severely injured, were taken to the Maiduguri Specialist Hospital for treatment by the state government.
The rape and murder of Miss Vera Omozuwa, 100-Level Microbiology student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), who went to read in a Redeemed Christian Church parish in Benin City, has sparked an outrage from the university community, students and the country at large, reports IFUNANYA OSAKWE (UNIBEN).
Her ambition was to graduate from the University of Benin (UNIBEN) as a microbiologist and looked forward to a life of bliss thereafter. This was not to be. Last week, Miss Vera Uwaila Omozuwa’s young life was cut short by some rapists. This has thrown the university into mourning.
Omozuwa, a 100-level student of UNIBEN, was attacked at the Ikpoba Hill branch of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), in Benin City, the Edo State capital, on May 27, where she had reportedly gone to study at night. The 22-year-old Vera’s head was allegedly smashed with a fire extinguisher by her assailants.
CAMPUSLIFE gathered that when the church security officer went to collect keys from the keeper, he was told someone had done so. In the church, he met the victim in a pool of blood as well as saw the blood-stained fire extinguisher. After informing the keeper, Vera was immediately rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), where she revealed that some men had come into the church to rape her and subsequently hit her head with a fire extinguisher. She died on Saturday, May 30, after efforts to save her failed.
Outrage from students
Though UNIBEN is not in session due to the Covid-19 pandemic, its students have condemned the killing of Omozuwa.
A 100 level student of Physics Department, who gave her name as Queen Osagie, described the murder of Miss Vera as an act of wickedness and extreme evil.
She said the incident had made her realise that no place was safe.
“I was shocked and sad when I saw the news on WhatsApp. I couldn’t imagine such an act happening in a church. The perpetrators must be evil and without hearts to have taken the life of a fellow human being.
“No place is really safe. I pray that the culprits will be caught and punished severely so that they will understand that human life is not something to be destroyed at will,” she said.
Meanwhile, another student from Ekenwan Campus of the university, Bolaji Jokanola, condemned the rape and killing of Vera. He described the act as evil, which should not be condoned in a decent human society.
“For me, rape is not something to be excused or accepted as part of those things that happen in our society. But the most gruesome part is killing the victim after such an act.
“It shows the callous heart of the culprits. The society and necessary agencies should take this incident seriously and ensure that the suspects are apprehended and dealt with for such crime against humanity,“ said Bolaji.
Another student from the Ekenwan campus, who gave her name as Rukky, equally decried the dastardly act against the victim.
She called on the various agencies involved to ensure that the culprits were apprehended and punished. She advised parents to avoid religious bigotry.
“This act is pure evil. No matter what might have led to Miss Vera’s murder, it can never be justified. We all must try to be careful with whom we associate with as bad friends lead people into evil ways.
“I pray Miss Vera’s perpetrators will be caught and justice applied so that those out there with such evil intentions will eschew such misdeed.
“Parents, however, should be mindful of where their children go to, especially at night. Parents should also enlighten their children on issues like this,” she said.
Wisdom Obuetor from the Department of Political Science also condemned the killing of Vera.
“If I say that I was not shocked when I saw the news on WhatsApp, then, I will be lying.
“It is very surprising that such act was committed in a church of all places. This made me wonder if a church is just like any other building.
“I am so saddened and I pray for strength for the family at this trying time. I also implore everyone to avoid places that are lonely, especially at night, because evil doers work in the dark,” he said.
Physical and virtual protests from students
In a show of solidarity, students in Edo State organised a peaceful protest on Monday to decry the crime with placards bearing messages like: “Stop Raping Us”, “Stop Killing Us”, “No Means No,” as they marched to the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to register their grouse and make sure justice is done. There were protests online too with the hashtag #justiceforuwa as people expressed their angst.
Sister accuses police of demanding money
Sadly, a sister of the deceased, Judith Omozuwa, in an online video, lamented that the police had requested money before they could do anything about the matter.
“They (the police) told us to bring money before they could act. It is very bad. And that would not be possible at all,” she disagreed.
Uniben VC, Adeboye react
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Lilian Imuetinyan Salami, in a statement, described the news as shocking and condemnable, noting that such a heinous crime should not be condoned in the society. She commiserated with the family of the bereaved and prayed that God grants the victim a peaceful repose. She, however, urged students of the institution and the youth to be careful of the company they keep and the places they visit.
It was also gathered that a delegation was sent by the university management to commiserate with the family of the late undergraduate.
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, condemned the mindless crime and urged everyone to be calm as the church was already looking into the issue. He went on to pray for the family of the deceased.
“All I can do at this time is to pray for the family of Omozuwa and do everything possible working with relevant authorities to bring the perpetrators to book. I and my family members condemn this act strongly and urge everyone to stay calm as we are already looking into the matter,” he wrote on his Twitter page.
Governor Obaseki orders investigation
Meanwhile, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has ordered the police to investigate the death of Vera.
In a statement, the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said Obaseki had mandated the police and other security agencies to fish out the culprits, who perpetrated the act and bring them to justice.
“The governor is deeply saddened by the news of the death of Miss Vera Uwaila Omozuwa. We have been in consultation with the Edo State Command of the Nigeria Police and have ordered a thorough investigation of the matter to ensure that those who are responsible for this heinous crime are brought to book,” Osagie said.
He added that the government would ensure that the culprits were fished out and dealt with.
The governor expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased.
Three PDP states of Bayelsa, Rivers and Cross River were the greatest beneficiaries of the refund of N148billion approved by President Muhammamdu Buhari on Wednesday.
The money was previously spent by the states and two APC states to repair Federal roads in their domains.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Buhari approved the refund.
Rivers state got the lion share of N78.9 billion. Bayelsa got N38 billion, while Cross River got N18billion.
Ondo received N7.8 billion and Osun N2.5 billion.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, revealed the refunds in a briefing on the outcome of the third virtual meeting of the FEC, held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mohammed said the approval of the refund followed a memo presented by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
“You will recall that in 2016, 36 states of the federation sent a very huge bill to the federal government, asking for compensation for money that they have expended on federal roads.
“This prompted Mr President to set up a committee to go and verify the claims of these 36 states, whether indeed these projects were actually constructed, were they completed, in line with the federal government standards.
“At the end of that exercise by an inter-ministerial committee, chaired by the minister of works and housing, but also had Ministers of Education, Transportation, Finance, Minister of State for Works, DG BPP and Permanent Secretary Cabinet Office as members.
“At the end of that exercise, the committee recommended that the federal government should refund N550,364,297.31 billion to 31 of the 36 states, after they were convinced that, yes indeed, the projects were completed and they were federal government roads.
“But the claims of five other states Cross River, Rivers, Ondo, Bayelsa and Osun failed on the grounds that they did not do proper documentation and the committee felt they needed proper documentation.
“So, the committee went back with new terms of reference to ensure that the claims of the five states were in order, that is why the BPP is on the committee.
“So, at the end of the exercise, the committee now reported that the five states – Cross River with 20 roads and one bridge will get a refund of N18,394,737,608.85, Ondo with six roads to get a refund of N7,822,147,577.08, and Osun with two roads and one bridge to get a refund of N2,468,938,876.78.
“Others are Bayelsa with five roads and one bridge is to get a refund of N38,040,564,783.40 and Rivers with three roads and three flyovers bridges is to get a refund of N78,953,067,518.29.”
Mohammed said the committees confirmed the roads and the bridges, that not only were they completed, they were in substantial good form, adding that some of the bridges and roads were built about 10 years ago.
He, however, disclosed that “there is a caveat, as the federal government will pay the states but however, henceforth, if any state takes on federal government road, it will not be paid, they will not get any refund.
“Even if you want to pay from your own pocket, you will still need the permission of the federal government and it will be supervised by the federal ministry of works and housing.”
According to him, the modalities of refund are being worked out and payment will be made over a period of time.
Mohammed said 31 states were earlier paid the sum of over N550 billion as refund for the reconstruction of federal roads in their respective states.
Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Abia State was on Wednesday night released from the Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja.
The former governor, now a serving senator, was reportedly set free from prison around 7:30pm.
The Federal High Court in Lagos, had on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of Kalu from Kuje prison.
The court also ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to immediately put machinery in motion for the retrial of the former governor.
The court further ordered that his trial should start afresh along side the former Director of Finance in Abia State Government House, Ude Jones Udeogu in line with the judgement of the Supreme Court that declared Udeogu’s trial, conviction and sentence a nullity.
Orji is serving a 12-year jail term at the Correctional Service Centre in Kuje, Abuja for looting N7.65 billion belonging to the Abia State Government.
The former Governor now a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria hired a 12-man team of lawyers, to file application for his release.
The application pending before Justice Mohammed Liman was filed on May 12 asking the court to nullify his conviction sentence and release him.
Justice Mohammed Idris who was elevated to Court of Appeal, on December 5, 2019, convicted Kalu and a former Director of Finance in the Abia State Government House, Ude Jones Udeogu of the offence of fraud.
Udeogu was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
However, following Udeogu’s appeal, the Supreme Court on May 8, 2020 declared that the fiat issued to Justice Idris to conclude the case after he had been elevated to the Court of Appeal was “a nullity”.
The apex court set aside Idris’ verdict “as it relates to the appellant (Udeogu)’s conviction.
Consequently, the court ordered that Udeogu should be released and the retrial of his case.
However, Kalu who was not part of this appeal contended that no legal basis existed for his continued incarceration following the Supreme Court’s judgment which declared the whole trial a nullity and freed Udeogu.
Legendary Nigerian reggae singer-songwriter Majek Fashek has died. The news was announced on his Instagram official handle by his manager Omenka Uzoma.
His statement reads:
Today been having pressure calls,well it is true that the African No 1 Legendary ICON has gone to be with the LORD his Maker, Let celebrate him ,his achievements and his family,what ever decisions made by his immediate family will be notify.
From his Manager:OMENKA Uzoma Day.
The cause of death is yet to be disclosed as at the time of this report.
Majekodunmi Fasheke, pronounced Ma-je-ko-dun-mi Ifa-kii-she-eke and known on stage as Majek Fashek was a Nigerian musician and guitarist best known for the 1988 album Prisoner of Conscience, which housed his multi award-winning record “Send Down the Rain”.
Majek in the early eighties went by the stage name Rajesh Kanal, and was part of a group Jastix with McRoy Gregg, and Drummer Black ‘Rice. The group was known as the in-house band on the show Music Panorama on NTA Benin, and toured with fellow reggae group The Mandators.
1988–1990: Prisoner of Conscience and I&I Experience
Fashek started to use the name Majek Fashek in 1988 after Jastix disbanded. He signed with Tabansi Records and began a solo career by releasing the album Prisoner of Conscience and became Nigeria’s top reggae artist after the song “Send Down The Rain” became the most popular song of the year, making him win six PMAN awards for “Song of the Year”, “Album of the Year”, and “Reggae Artist of the Year” among others in 1989. Majek’s next album was I&I Experience, released in the same year under the Tabansi imprint.
After his exit from Tabansi Records, Fashek signed to CBS Nigeria in the early 1990s and released So Long Too Long. The record was included on Putumayo World Music’s first album.
Majek Fashek in 1990 signed to Inter scope Records and released his album Spirit Of Love, produced by “Little Steven” Van Zandt. In 1992, he appeared on Late Night with David Letterman in support of his new 1991 album, and performed the song “So Long Too Long” for the television audience.
The 71 year old was later dropped by Interscope before moving to Mango, a division of Island Records, as it was more accustomed to marketing reggae internationally, while Flame Tree released The Best of Majek Fashek in 1994.
Majek has recorded several albums for various labels including Rainmaker for Tuff Gong (1997) and Little Patience for Coral (2004). His first album for Flame Tree included a cover version of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”.
Also referred to as The Rainmaker, Fashek has worked with artists worldwide, including Tracy Chapman, Jimmy Cliff, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg, and Beyoncé, with musical influences from Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, and Fela Kuti.
Majek Fashek played a supporting role in the 2000 Nollywood movie Mark of the Beast, and starred in a commercial for non-alcoholic beverage Diamalt. In 2016, he performed in a comedy show to more than ten thousand audience in Lagos, Nigeria, with a power-filled and soul-lifting performance.
In December 2016 Fashek contributed the song “We Are Not Afraid” to a video featuring 200 celebrities to raise funds for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Fashek was married to Rita Fashek with four children but have since divorced. Fashek was revealed to be bankrupt and battling drug addiction in 2015. After admitting he needed help, he was admitted into a drug rehabilitation center in Abuja, where he recovered, and returned to music.
The singer struggled with drug addiction and other health conditions which required his hospitalization on several occasions. He was rumored dead in September 2019 but his manager quelled the rumors, confirming that Majek had been ill, hospitalized at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, England, and in dire need of financial assistance.
Billionaire businessman Femi Otedola pledged to cover all the singer’s medical expenses. He died in the early hours of June 2nd, 2020 at 71. His death was confirmed by his manager Omenka Uzoma, on Majek’s official Instagram handle.
From Jide Orintusin, Eric Ikhilae, Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja/ The Nation
There is no agreement between the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki on the mode of shadow poll for the choice of standard bearer for the September election.
Obaseki acknowledged that his relationship with Oshiomhole was still frosty.
He however said he was prepared to make sacrifice for peace and prevent what he described as bloodbath in the state.
National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, who reiterated the NWC’s position in Abuja, maintained that there was no going back on the direct primary guidelines issued last week.
But, Obaseki, whose camp had suggested indirect primary, was at Aso Villa to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on his second term bid, after obtaining the nomination form from the APC national secretariat.
There was a fence-mending meeting between the APC governors rooting for Obaseki’s re-election bid and Oshiomhole but the national chairman maintained that he could not go against the NWC’s directive on the Edo primary.
APC governors’ fence mending meeting with Oshiomhole, followed a similar meeting held with the National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in Lagos on Sunday night.
The governors at the meeting include Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum and Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Mohammed Inuwa (Gombe), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano) and AbdulRaham Abdulrasaki (Kwara).
After the three-hour meeting Oshiomole insisted that the Edo primary would be based on direct primary.
He told reporters: “The issues of primaries are well spelt out in our constitution and we are following it as strictly as possible. So nothing to worry about at all”.
He described as mere rumour the disagreement on the format of the primary, saying: “You are speculating, I don’t have any letter or document to that effect. These are very formal matters. So, stop spreading rumours.
“We have since published our time table because under the law we are required to give INEC at least 21 days notice to monitor our primaries and to state the mode of our primaries and of course the NWC had approved direct primaries for Edo.
“We have commenced the sale of forms. I think as of last Friday to my knowledge, three people had picked the forms. I think by today more people have picked the forms. So, we’re selling forms to all those who wish to buy based on the guidelines and, of course, as the Chairman of the Progressives Governors rightly said, we have ensured in our letter to INEC and even this morning, we had a virtual meeting with INEC leadership. We will conduct primaries taking into account the protocols on Covid-19 by the PTF and NCDC. I think everything has been going fine.
On the Ondo State governorship primary, the chairman said: “That of Ondo has not been discussed because that will come much later, because Edo will come about three weeks before Ondo.”
However, Oshiomhole said Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had done well.
Bagudu said the meeting with NWC was to discuss some sundry issues with the party leadership.
“This meeting was not a continuation of yesterday’s (Lagos) meeting. The meeting was with the national leadership of our party to discuss issues between the Governor’s Forum and party leadership that will lead to the progress of our party.”
With Oshiomhole at the meeting were the Acting National Secretary Waziri Bulama, National Vice Chairman, North East Mustapha Salihu, National Vice Chairman, South West, Pastor Bankole Oluwalana National Organising Secretary, Emma Ibediro and National Woman Leader Salamatu Baiwa.
Obaseki at Villa
President Buhari met behind closed door with Obaseki at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he sought for his blessing for his re-election bid.
Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Obaseki said he came to formally intimate the president of his intention to seek re-election on the platform of the APC.
The governor, who presented his Expression of Interest form to the president for blessing, said:
“I came to see Mr President to formally inform him of my desire and intention to seek re-election as governor of Edo State on the platform of the APC in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
“As a father of the country, as our president I should not just assume or take things for granted – I have to come to inform him and solicit his support in my gubernatorial bid, and the president was quiet warm and quiet welcoming.
“When I showed him my Expression of Interest form, he looked through it and teased me that he would not have to go through this again and wished me good luck and assured me of his support.’’
On the political crisis in Edo, the governor said it was being instigated from outside the state.
Obaseki also described the political misunderstanding between him and Oshiohmole as very unfortunate, saying however, that he was ready to reach a truce with aggrieved members of the APC.
He said: “It is unfortunate that he (Oshiohmole) is taking the position he has taken. I believe that he was not properly guided.
“I am his governor and it is my responsibility to seek peace for my State and with all my citizens.
“I will continue to strive for peace, I will continue to pursue peace, seek the interest of our people and I am open, that we should talk about how to move things forward.
“The relationship is still frosty but I am doing all I can to try and make it warm just for the sake of Edo people. I am committed to whatever it will take to have peace and not to lose lives in Edo, within the law, whatever I can do that is constitutional, I will do.’’
According to the governor, he has the full support of his counterparts, all the governors elected
on the platform of the APC, in line with the principles of the party, which encourages continuity.
Obaseki said the party chairman had stuck to his guns because he had been wrongly guided.
He said: “The problem in Edo is not from within Edo, it is from outside. So, the person I am competing or contesting against is not in Edo, he is Abuja.
Asked how far he was willing to go to find peace with Oshiomhole, the governor said: “Whatever I can do that is within the law, whatever I can do that is constitutional, I will do”.
Obaseki said his achievements across sectors would speak for him at the poll, adding that the people wanted him to conclude the programmes and policies initiated for their benefit.
“Well, I believe having been governor of the state for three years, you can check with Edo people whether as Governor, I have served creditably, I have served the people of Edo.
“The general consensus is that we have done well as a government and that people would like us to continue with the laudable programs and policies which we have been taking over in the last three years.
“If you recall when I got into power as governor one thing Edo was noted for was human trafficking. We had over 30,000 of Edo citizens, who were at Libya waiting to cross into Europe. Today, in less than three years we have stopped it.
“We’re celebrated globally, across the continent in terms of the reforms we’ve undertaken in basic education in this country.
“Those children, I can’t abandon them. We can’t stop what we have achieved to date. So based on that, we believe that because of a connection which we have created with our people, we have no doubt in our minds that we’ll win any elections, direct/indirect, general elections in Edo state”, he said.
A teenage Boko Haram terrorist Muhammadu Abubakar a.k.a Babagana has surrendered to the Nigerian troops.
And he has urged his comrades-in-arms to follow his example.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche said the 19 year-old terrorist surrendered on 29 May.
The terrorist gave up himself to troops of 242 Battalion at Charlie Six Check Point, Mongonu in Borno.
According to Enenche, preliminary interrogation revealed that the 19-year-old Boko Haram renegade joined the group about a year ago at Shaharam and participated in the attack on Tumbun Shaje.
Babagana has called on his colleagues in the forests to surrender to the troops of the Nigerian Army.
On May 24 another Boko Haram fighter Malam Adamu Yahaya AKA Saad Karami surrendered to troops of 242 Battalion in Mongonu.
“On the same day, another Boko Haram/ISWAP fighter, a 35-year-old Muhammadu Kabudumi AKA Amir Sabat also surrendered to the troops 242 Battalion in Monguno.
“Kabudumi confessed to joining the Boko Haram sect in 2015 but denied participating in any of the sect’s operations.
“He, however, revealed that he has done duties at Boko Haram criminals’ camps at Abadam, Malam Fatori and Duguri under the leadership of Muhammadu Lawan, a notorious Boko Haram Commander,” he said
Enenche said Boko Haram fighters are giving up because of the sustained offensive against them by the troops.
He also said more Boko Haram/ISWAP elements had either being arrested or neutralised as the military moves towards the final defeat of the insurgents in the region.
The coordinator further disclosed that troops of Army Super Camp 11 Gamboru in Ngala Local Government Area arrested three terrorists at Isari village on May 8.
He added that the troops recovered one AK47 Rifle loaded with a magazine containing two rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, two swords, one cutlass, one axe, a set of arrows and charms.
He said a number of terrorists’ equipment had been captured or destroyed while others continue to surrender amid sustained artillery bombardments and offensive onslaught against their enclaves/hideouts by air and land forces of OPLD.