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Boko Haram: Centre Accuses Red Cross of Peddling Falsehood to Discredit Nigerian Authorities, Local CSOs

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The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has accused the International Committee on Red Cross (ICRC) of a deliberately peddling falsehood to undermine the efforts of the Nigerian military in the North-East.

The Centre believes the international humanitarian organisation is misrepresenting facts in a bid to mislead unsuspecting members of the general public.

This trails a recent report where the Red Cross alleged that nearly 22,000 Nigerians are missing in the North-East.

This figure, according to the ICRC, represented the highest number of missing persons registered in any country.

At a world press conference on Monday in Abuja, CESJET revealed that there is a campaign of calumny by the ICRC against the Military’s counter-insurgency operations in North-East Nigeria.

Speaking on behalf of CESJET, Executive Director, Isaac Ikpa, said that there’s no element of truth in the piece, describing it as a propaganda to dampen the morale of the troops, especially at a time the military recorded massive gains in the fight against terrorism.

The Centre, therefore, advised Red Cross to desist from commenting on issues outside their operational purview and concentrate on providing humanitarian services that it is known for.

While urging Nigerians to always verify such reports, the Centre, however, called on the ICRC to tender an unreserved apology to the military authorities, as well as withdraw the statement credited to it.

Read full statement below:

I most warmly welcome you all to the World Press Conference put together by the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) in the light of the recently misrepresentation of facts by the International Committee on Red Cross on the counter-insurgency operations of the Nigerian Military in North-East Nigeria where either by omission or commission erroneously stated that over 22,000 Nigerians have been declared missing in North-East Nigeria.

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity, and Transparency, having been conversant with the counter-insurgency operations in North-East Nigeria, is alarmed by the fact the International Committee on Red Cross would condescend to the unenviable height of misrepresenting facts and attempting to mislead unsuspecting members of the general public.

The disposition of the ICRC is an affront to the efforts of various civil society organizations that have devoted time and resources in monitoring the counter-insurgency operations of the Nigerian Military in North-East Nigeria. It is as well an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians for such a false statement to be made public by the ICRC.

This is also cognisant of the fact that the parameters used in arriving at such postulation might either be defective or outdated, as there is no element of truth in the ICRC report on the number of missing persons in North-East Nigeria.

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency see the recent move by the ICRC as covert terrorist propaganda aimed at damping the morale of the Nigerian troops in operation in North-East Nigeria.

It is also somewhat curious that this is coming on the heels when the Nigerian Military has made considerable gains in the fight against terrorism in North-East Nigeria that has seen the remnants of Boko Haram flee to the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region.

It is also curious that the ICRC would feign ignorance to the fact that the Nigerian Military in operation in North-East Nigeria has been conducting search and rescue operations that have resulted in the rescue of thousands of women and children and reunited them with their families.

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency wishes to highlight the fact that on November 17, 2019, Nigerian troops deployed in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State rescued women and children, as well as an older woman in her 80s from Boko Haram captivity.

On May 19, 2019, The Nigerian army rescued 54 women and children held captive by the extremist group Boko Haram. On June 24, 2019, over 120 women and children were rescued by the Nigerian military from Boko Haram captivity. On March 7, 2018, over 1000 women and children were rescued by the Nigerian military from Boko Haram captivity. On June 5, 2018, the Nigerian Military rescued 54 women been used as sex slaves by the Boko Haram terrorist. And the list goes on and is verifiable.

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency, believes that the report by the ICRC is intended for mischief purposes as there is no iota of truth in the claims made therein. It consequently behoves on all well-meaning Nigerians to disregard whatever postulations the ICRC has canvassed with regards to missing persons in North-East Nigeria, as well as a probe of military operations in North East.

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity, and Transparency are worried about this trend that is capable of misleading unsuspecting members of the general public on the actual state of affairs in North-East Nigeria, as well as the efforts of the Nigerian Military in Search and Rescue operations.

The ICRC has, by their action, demonstrated that they are either not conversant with the happenings in North-East Nigeria, or they have so chosen to take the dishonourable path like others that do not want the war on terrorism in Nigeria to come to an end.

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity, and Transparency, therefore, states that the report by the ICRC is highly condemnable and must be retracted for lack of objectivity and an outright attempt at smearing the image of the Nigerian Military in operations in North-East Nigeria.

The ICRC must, as a matter of urgency, desist from commenting on issues outside their operational purview and concentrate on providing humanitarian services that it is recognized for. The ICRC must not allow itself to be used by agents of Boko Haram terrorist groups to spread propaganda that would mislead unsuspecting members of the general public.

The Centre of Social Justice, Equity and Transparency as a result of this calls on the ICRC to tender an unreserved apology to the military authorities, as well as withdraw the statement credited to it.

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency wishes to advise the ICRC to always verify the information before going to press, else it might lose its credibility before the relevant authorities in Nigeria, as well as the Nigerian people.

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Press Release

Sen. Bwacha is Not Silent on Tiv/Jukun Crisis-Moses Agbe

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Aide to the senate deputy minority leader, Moses Agbe has reacted to an article against his boss Senator Emmanuel Bwacha.

The article widely been circulated on social media by one Tiv Youths Forum accused the deputy minority leader of the 9th senate of keeping mute over the Tiv /jukun debacle of his senatorial district.

But reacting to the allegations his senior legislative Aide ,said it is just a campaign of propaganda against his boss.

In the press release the aide listed all his boss efforts in the senatorial district.

“My attention has been drawn to an inciting article widely circulated in the social media and other fora of recent, signed by an amorphous Tiv Youths Forum, accusing the Deputy Minority Leader of the 9th Senate, Sen.(Dr.) Emmanuel Bwacha, CON of keeping mute over the recurrent Tiv/Jukun debacle of Taraba South-the zone he represents.
Nothing could be ridiculous to say the least but we shall get to that later. The writers who addressed the write-up to the Senate President failed, in the first count by displaying lack of understanding of legislative procedures. You don’t address such a matter to the Senate and ask it to set-up a comnüssion of inquiry when the matter concerns a State.
It’s unfortunate that the group feigned ignorance; by-passing the Chief Security Officer of Taraba State (The Governor) and went to the Senate to seek relief in the matter that every patriotic and peace loving Tiv/Jukun in the State is concerned about”.

“WHAT IS SILENCE?

It is unfair for anyone to accuse Senator Bwacha of keeping silent when it is on record, he is the most consistent vocal voice on the issue. And this is not only because he is the Senator representing the Zone of the conflict but also because he is a believer in peace and mutual coexistent of all tribes in his Jurisdiction, which he has proven over the decades”.

“FIRST MOVES

In one of the initial cases the group referred to, that is the Mararraba/Donga issue, it was the Senator who made the first move for peace. He reached out to Tiv Leaders across the State to intimate them of the burrowing hostilities. Many of the leaders he reached out to can attest to this fact. The Senator reached them to prevail on the attackers who first pillage Gidan Adamu and Gankwe communities. They were initially repelled but to the communities’ shock, the attacker’s remobilized and came back. Suntai village was attacked too and people displaced in their thousands. The counter attack was said to be as a result of the initial provocation. In one of the attack a Pastor and his wife were hacked to death in the Farm by the alleged Tiv militia.
The attack on the Senators main place was bizarre because the place is NOT known for such clashes. For decades, while those crises raged, they never spilled into the area since it was mostly outside the place. So both the senator and many watchers of the area were shocked at the sudden attacks on the communities”.

“RELIEF MATERIALS

After the attacked on Suntai, Senator Bwacha sent N 1m (One Million Naira ) for relief materials to the displaced people. The senator sent more than that amount to the Tiv communities too. The Tiv Youth Forum’s accusation that he sent N3million Naira to any Divisional Police Officer (DPO) to release culprits in the crisis is a figment of their imagination”.

“THE EFFORTS AT PUBLIC AWARENESS

It is on record that the Senator is always bringing the issues of insecurity of the Zone generally, and Tiv/Jukun debacle particularly, to the front burner of the hallowed Red Chamber. Coming under order 43, the Senator has brought this matter severally on the floor of the Senate. He has had various media interviews on the issues. This is in addition to all the background efforts back home in various peace parleys he has been holding with Tiv/Jukun Leaders of thoughts”.

“PRESENCE OF ARMED FORCES

It’s common knowledge that the art of Military Command is not in the purview of Senator Bwacha. He doesn’t control or direct how armed forces and law enforcement agents chose to station their base(s). What we can say, is that the military is grappling with national insecurity and may thus deploy their men wisely around the country to the best of their professional abilities. This aspect is to the exclusive preserve of the Military hierarchy and the governor. To now accuse the Senator of Influencing posting of Soldiers to protect only Jukun communities is a Fallacy”.

“STOPPING TIV POLITICIANS FROM CONTESTING

It’s comical to accuse Senator Bwacha as a person, of stopping Tiv from contesting elections as the youths averred. After all, Senator Bwacha ran with Dr. Yakubu TorAgbidye, a Tiv Man in the last election. Dr. Agbidye, came a distant third, even with his boast of harnessing Tiv votes. Senator Bwacha enjoyed substantial Tiv votes in past elections. In this last election, most Tiv votes TcMAgbidye) but Senator also got some votes from Tiv especially in Chanchanji and a few from his Local government-Donga.

Those who know Senator Bwacha can attest that he has done a Jot to the Tiv nation in Taraba and the results are there for anybody who cares to know can verify.

It’s also factual that God has used Senator Bwacha to uplift many sons and daughters of Tiv nation in Taraba. Therefore, to accuse him of being part of some mysterious plans for genocide is totally uncharitable and unpatriotic”.

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Timi Frank Demands Immediate Release of Lance Corporal Martins

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Timi Frank, former deputy national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has called on the Nigerian Army to immediately released Lance Corporal Martins.

A Nigerian Army officer Lance Corporal Martins was arrested after making a video blasting the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, and other security chiefs in the country.

According to a reliable source, the soldier was picked by senior military officers, who said they were acting based on an “order from above.”

In the 12-minute video, the soldier expressed his anger at the security chiefs especially Buratai, and Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, for not being committed to end the incessant killings of Nigerians by terrorists and armed bandits.

He revealed how the military ordered the illegal detention of some soldiers, who demanded better weapons and ammunition to combat Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in the country.

He stated that though he might be arrested and probably killed for the video, he is ready to sacrifice himself for the country.

Reacting to the arrest of the Lance Corporal, Timi Frank via his verified twitter handle released a press statement where he expressed his disappointment with the Nigerian Service Chiefs. Frank called the Service Chiefs, Service Thieves

Frank further said this issues of security challenges has made Nigeria to remain the way she is up till date.

Frank acknowledged how strong Nigeria Militaries are but that they lack the needed all round supports because of the corruption prevalent in the characters of the Service Chiefs.

Comrade Timi Frank’s Full Statement

“After watching this video of a Nigerian Military Officer crying out, Nigeria is indeed in big trouble. I’m very disappointed with our service Chiefs. With this video, it is obvious we dont have Service Chiefs but Service Thieves. And that is why the country will continue to remain in a helpless state like this. May God save Nigeria!

With this video, it has clearly shown the reason why these Service Chiefs have refused to retire, even when they’re due for retirement.

Nigeria is suppose to be Giant of Africa, rather we are the Giant of Thieves. With all our military war chest we have, Nigeria still cannot defeat Boko Haram, rather a country like Chad were able to extinct Boko Haram around their region.

Nigeria has a very strong military force, but there has been no support for them to Carry out their duties, because of the corruption amongst the Service Chiefs.

From all indications, Boko Haram is more prepared than our military. Because the Service Thieves keep embezzling all the money that is meant for equipment.

After watching this video, Nigerians should stop seeing these criminals as Service Chiefs, but as Service Thieves.

I hereby call on the release of Lance Corporal. He should be celebrated, not arrested. He has Nigeria’s interests at heart.”

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Ondo APC Primary: Hold Akeredolu Responsible For Security Breach – Adelami Campaign Team

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Ahead of Ondo state governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Adelami Lamilaka Campaign organisation rooting for the ambition of Olaide Owolabi Adelami, has asked the security agencies to hold governor Akeredolu responsible if any life lost to the exercise.

The campaign team in a statement released in Abuja Tuesday, signed by Barrister Segun Ogodo, said governorAkeredolu, who is supposed to be the chief security officer of the state appears to be aiding and abetting gross insecurity in the state particularly in Owo, his hometown.

“For quite some times, Owo community has been living under palpable fears as guns and other dangerous weapons are being openly displayed with sporadic gunshots even in the day time without any challenge.

“The Police seems to be helpless as they complain of no operational vehicle for them to respond to emergencies. The questions people are asking is that could this be deliberate? Whose responsibility is it to provide essential working tools for security operatives in the state? Inspite of the huge security votes at the disposal of the Governor to be used in security the lives and property of the people, it is now being used to molest and harass perceived opponents.

“The authority and the general public are invited to note the challenging situation in Owo community and to further note that crimes related to killing and kidnapping of party stalwarts may not be far from the nefarious activities of this killer squad. The task, for them, became necessary as there are about six aspirants contesting against Mr Governor in his hometown, Owo.”

The campaign team asked the security agencies to “call on Nigeria Police Force, the DSS and Civil Defense to investigate and make proper arrest before July 20th primary election.

“Furthermore, it was gathered that these bad boys recruited into this heinous acts are given mandate to kill some popular APC aspirants and their supporters before the primary election. Some categories of APC strongholds loyal to these marked-for-death aspirants are to be bulldozed with cutlasses, pump-action guns and AK47 assault riffles bought for them.

“Just last week, one of the foremost aspirants and our principal, Chief Olayide Adelami, who hails from the same Owo town with Gov Akeredolu called for calm among his followers, as his campaign vehicle was seriously hit by bullets and machete from these cultists in Akeredolu’s camp. The vehicle driver, who happened to be one of the Adelami campaign frontrunners was targeted and seriously hit by bullets as occupants narrowly escaped death on that fateful day. Another woman, one of our loyalists from Owo, Mrs Esther Annunobi, whose house was ransacked and subjected to sporadic shooting was recently discharged from the hospital, after receiving treatment as a result of the shock received over the unpleasant incident.

“Mr Governor seems to have given the marching order to his aides that this election is a do or die affair for him, that it is either he wins or something else happens, they should do whatever they think would give him the victory regardless of the number of innocent lives that can be affected.

“In the meantime, several letters have been submitted to the Presidency and Inspector-General of Police office by one of the leading APC groups in the state, Ondo APC Mandate Group over the stock-pilling of arms by Akeredolu boys but up till now, neither investigation nor arrest has been made, this gives these bad boys an impression that nothing will happen to them, as promised by Gov. Akeredolu.

“For the last time, we hereby call on Nigeria Police Force, the DSS and Civil Defense to investigate and make proper arrest before July 20th primary election. Our fear is that, after the election the temple of their mobilization will not continue, and these boys will retire to armed robbery, kidnapping and terrorism, which are already happening along Owo-Akure and Owo-Akoko roads.

“A stitch in time saves nine. This is how Boko-Haram started and was treated with kid-gloves and the situation has become a National embarrassment with all the security services involved in fighting the insurgence.

“Gov. Akeredolu should be held responsible and be made to face the full wrath of the law, if any life is lost or threatened henceforth.”

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