An ethnic militia, the Fulani Nationality Movement, FUNAM, has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State. Gunmen had on Saturday attacked Ortom’s convoy at Tyo Mu along Makurdi/Gboko road. The governor was on his way to Makurdi when the gunmen opened fire on his convoy but were repelled by his security men. Ortom said, “You know today is Saturday and is normal as a farmer, I usually go to my farm, so I went to my farm along Gboko road and on our way back, we started hearing some gunshots and we discovered people who were dressed in black and from experience, we now discovered that these are Fulani militias and I do not want to take things for granted because a few days ago the media were awash with a statement from [the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association] who met in Yola, the same place they met in 2016 where they decided that they will take Nigeria and that every other person is a slave that was when they started infiltrating the entire country.” He added, “My lawyer is going to make a petition against the leadership of MACBAN because they came out to target me and behind the scene, they are planning to eliminate me on my own land. If I can’t go to the farm as governor with entire security around me then who else can go to the farm? You can imagine the pains that we have here in Benue State. I appreciate the security personnel attached to me; they were able to repel them and they could not have access to me,” Ortom said.
There are plans by terrorist groups, al-Qaeda and ISIS to penetrate Southern Nigeria, the United States has warned the FG. The US says the terror groups are looking to make inroads into Southern Nigeria, this is just as it confirmed that al-Qaeda has started operating in the north-western part of the country. In a media briefing, Dagvin Anderson, Commander of the US Special Operations Command Africa, said al-Qaeda is also expanding to other parts of West Africa. According to media reports, Anderson said the US will continue to partner with Nigeria in sharing intelligence. “We have engaged with Nigeria and continue to engage with them in intel sharing and in understanding what these violent extremists are doing,” he said. “And that has been absolutely critical to their engagements up in the Borno state and into an emerging area of northwest Nigeria that we’re seeing al-Qaeda starting to make some inroads in. “So, this intelligence sharing is absolutely vital and we stay fully engaged with the government of Nigeria to provide them with an understanding of what these terrorists are doing, what Boko Haram is doing, what ISIS-West Africa is doing, and how ISIS and al-Qaeda are looking to expand further south into the littoral areas. Anderson regretted that despite successes recorded in previous years, there has been a setback, adding: “We as a community of international nations, keep thinking we have defeated them or we have put them on their back foot and that they’re just moments from disintegration.” Anderson said for international efforts to yield desired results in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria, the government must take the lead. “When it comes to Nigeria in general, Nigeria, obviously, is a critical nation to West Africa. It is a critical nation and we realise that Nigeria is a lynchpin,” he said.
Following the outbreak of violence in Ekiti when gunmen killed at least three persons participating in the Ekiti East 1 State Constituency bye-election on Saturday, the Independent National Electoral Commission has suspended the vote indefinitely. This was contained in a statement by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye. The statement partly read, “The commission made adequate arrangements for the election. Personnel and materials arrived on time in all the 39 polling units spread across five wards of the constituency for the 23,670 registered voters to exercise their franchise in a free and fair process. “However, no sooner had the voting commenced than unidentified gunmen unleashed mayhem at some polling units, thereby disrupting the process. “Unfortunately, some innocent voters were shot dead, while a policeman, some INEC regular and ad hoc staff who sustained gunshot injuries during the melee are receiving medical attention. “The situation is unacceptable. In its avowed commitment to electoral integrity, the commission has suspended the election indefinitely. To continue with the process will amount to rewarding bad behaviour. The security agencies are aware of this unfortunate situation and have commenced an investigation. “The commission commiserates with the innocent victims of this dastardly act and affront to our democracy.”
François Bozizé is the new rebel leader in the Central African Republic. The former president has officially taken over the leadership of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC). CPC spokesman Serge Bozanga said the former head of state had responded favourably to the “call” of the six armed groups that are members of the CPC, “asking him to take the lead” of the coalition as general coordinator”. Created in December 2020, in the run-up to the presidential election, the CPC brings together six of the main rebel groups that control two-thirds of the Central African Republic. Its objective is to march towards Bangui, the capital, in order to bring down the government of President Faustin Archange Touadéra. His various attempts have failed in the face of the response of UN soldiers and elements from Russia. Since the invalidation of his candidacy for the presidential elections of 27 December 2020, Bozizé has formalised links with the Coalition of Patriots for Change. Francois Bozizé has therefore left the head of his political party, the Kwa NA kwa, to devote himself to managing the rebellion.