- Riot in Jos As Unknown Gunmen Kill 11
Jos, Plateau State, was engulfed in bloody protest yesterday morning, following the news of the killing of 11 persons in their homes on Rukuba Road by unknown gunmen late on Thursday.
The assailants reportedly attacked the home of a popular woman in Rukuba area called Mama-Kogi at about 9 pm, killing her and members of her family identified as Blessing, Ruth, Jonathan, Cynthia and Majesty. Others in the neighbourhood including a pregnant were also reportedly killed in the attack.
The violent protests against the killings engulfed Rukuba and spread to Gada-biu, where two persons died and a Police station burnt. Also, one person was said to have been killed in Akpata.
Other areas affected by the mayhem included Ola Hospital Junction, Katako, and Polo Roundabouts, where a military Hilux van was burnt.
In a swift reaction, the Plateau State Government imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the entire city.
The protesters lamented that security personnel did not show up during the four hours the attackers unleashed mayhem in the area.
Security personnel were, however, seen in the affected areas battling to quell the violence, but the atmosphere was tense, signaling possible resurgence of violence after the Juma’at prayers.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Tyopev Terna said in a statement that the combined security forces in the state were on top of the situation.
He explained: “On the 27/09/2018 being Thursday, at about 2205hrs, the Plateau State Police Command Control Room in Jos received a distress call to the effect that there were sporadic gunshots at Rukuba Road opposite Kowa Hotel, Jos.
“The Command, after receiving the report, mobilised Patrol Teams immediately to the scene of crime. The unknown gunmen who took advantage of the on-going rain in the area to attack residents were forced to run from the scene following the combined superior gun fire of the Police and the Operation Safe Haven (STF).
“Some people who reside close to the hills were rescued while some persons lost their lives as a result of the attack and some others sustained gunshot injuries and were rushed to Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos and are currently receiving treatment.
“The combined security team is out to contain the situation in Jos. As such, members of the public are to remain calm and law abiding. Meanwhile, patrol of the area is being intensified and investigation into the crime has commenced.”
Meanwhile, the military Special Task Force (STF) in Jos, while confirming the killings of 11 persons before it arrived the scene of the attack at Rukuba Road, lamented that some elements in the society were bent on scuttling the efforts of the STF to restore peace in Plateau. “Peace on the Plateau is the most sought after essential commodity that all well-meaning people are striving to attain.”
In a statement by its spokesman, Major Adam Umar, the STF warned that, “Any attempt, under whatever guise, to disrupt this effort will not be tolerated henceforth. The situation whereby youths will block roads to carryout preconceived dastard acts will not be tolerated on the Plateau.”
Umar stated that the STF and the other security agents were fully on ground in Jos metropolis and environs and would ensure that the situation was brought under control, even as investigations have commenced.
The state Commissioner of Information, Mr. Yakubu Dati, in a statement, expressed Governor Lalong’s condolences to the families of the bereaved and assured them that security had been mobilised to apprehend the perpetrators.
On his part, the Senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District, Jonah David Jang, described the recent attacks and killing as mindless, adding that the persistent killings in the state were a “damning appraisal of the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of Plateau State.”
In a press statement signed by his Media Consultant, Mr. Clinton Garuba, Jang observed: “Under the present administration, there is hardly a day without news of people getting killed by herdsmen or unknown gunmen with ancestral lands forcefully occupied and people rendered homeless and internally displaced on their own land.
“The unprovoked attack, which targeted innocent unarmed natives in their homes once again, reveals the very short life expectation of our people who are no longer safe wherever they are in our towns, villages, and city.
“Before we are all wiped out from the face of the earth by gunmen whose familiarisation with murder and violence seem to confound our Armed Forces and the overall structure of government. The Senator without equivocation hereby calls on President Muhammdu Buhari and Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State to resign with immediate effect having displayed unfathomable insensitivity and cluelessness in the aspects of security and value for human life.”
He declared that: “Nigerians no longer feel safe with General Muhammdu Buhari as President. Therefore, he wishes to call on the United Nations to intervene in Nigeria and act on behalf of the poor, innocent, and abandoned people of Plateau State and their endangered kinds in the Middle-belt, to protect and guarantee them a future of longevity, pride, and prosperity. A situation where security officials are mobilised to militarise the conduct of elections in a ratio of one policeman to one citizen at the expense of communities prone to attacks is unacceptable.”
He called on the youths and people of Plateau State to be law abiding, and admonished them to rise up to defend themselves within the perimeters of the law, as it was now dangerous to trust the Commander-in-Chief with their security.
Meanwhile, as at last night, the entire streets of Jos were deserted, even as security personnel embarked on Show-of-Force around the city.
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Nigeria Eyes BRICS Membership within Two Years as Foreign Minister Emphasizes Strategic Alignment
In a strategic move towards global economic collaboration, Nigeria is aspiring to join the BRICS group of nations within the next two years.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, affirmed that Nigeria is open to aligning itself with groups that demonstrate good intentions, well-meaning goals, and clearly defined objectives.
Tuggar stated, “Nigeria has come of age to decide for itself who her partners should be and where they should be; being multiple aligned is in our best interest.”
He emphasized the need for Nigeria to be part of influential groups like BRICS and the G-20, citing criteria such as population and economy size that position Nigeria as a natural candidate.
BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, stands as a formidable bloc of emerging market powers.
In a recent move to expand its influence, BRICS invited six additional nations, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates, to join the group.
Nigeria, as Africa’s largest economy, has been absent from the BRICS alliance, prompting discussions on the potential economic and political advantages the bloc could offer the country.
Analysts have noted that BRICS membership could provide Nigeria with significant leverage on the global stage.
Vice President Kashim Shettima clarified that Nigeria did not apply for BRICS membership after the bloc’s announcement of new members in August.
Shettima emphasized the principled approach of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, highlighting a commitment to consensus building in decisions related to international partnerships.
As Nigeria eyes BRICS membership, the move is seen as a strategic step towards enhancing its global economic and diplomatic influence.
Nigeria Spends N231.27 Billion on Arms Procurement in Four Years Amidst Rising Security Challenges
The Federal Government of Nigeria has disbursed a total of N231.27 billion for arms and ammunition procurement over the past four years.
Despite this significant investment, security agencies argue that the allocated funds are insufficient to effectively tackle the myriad security challenges afflicting the nation.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, defended the substantial budget for arms purchases during a session with the House of Representatives.
He emphasized that Nigeria’s dependence on foreign countries for military hardware, which are priced in dollars, diminishes the impact of the substantial budget when converted to the local currency.
General Musa explained, “We don’t produce what we need in Nigeria, and if you do not produce what you need, that means you are at the beck and call of the people that produce these items. All the items we procured were bought with hard currency, none in naira.”
He further illustrated the challenges faced, citing that a precision missile for drones costs $5,000, underscoring the magnitude of the expenses associated with arms procurement.
An analysis of the annual budgets for the Ministry of Defence and eight other armed forces from 2020 to 2022 reveals allocations of N11.72 billion, N10.78 billion, and N9.64 billion, respectively.
In 2023, N47.02 billion was disbursed for arms procurement, supplemented by a recently passed budget of N184.25 billion, resulting in a total of N231.27 billion.
Security expert Chidi Omeje raised concerns about the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), which is tasked with manufacturing arms locally. Omeje criticized DICON’s underperformance, urging the government to revamp the agency to reduce reliance on foreign nations for arms and ammunition.
Omeje stressed, “The new government must make sure that DICON lives up to its responsibilities,” highlighting the urgency of fostering self-sufficiency in arms production to address the country’s security challenges effectively.
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