The Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Resolution of Security Challenges in the North on Friday released a video clip of what it described as a meeting with some leaders of the Boko Haram sect. The committee also said the men were close associates of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau.
The 30-minute video was played to State House correspondents inside the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The committee holds its meetings in the hall.
In the clip, some men identified by the committee as members of the highest decision-making body of Boko Haram, the Shura, were heard speaking in Arabic and Hausa.
In the video clip, a man described as the spokesman of the sect, Muhammd Lawan Dn Suliaman, was seen with three other men identified as Abdul-Auza’i, Al-Darnawo and Al-Maliki.
Although Suliaman read his remarks in Arabic, his words were subtitled in English. He said it was permissible to reach a peace accord and lay down arms according to Allah’s injunction in Quran Chapter 8:61.
The men explained that the decision to take part in the negotiation was based on three things: the tenets of Islam, the teachings of Prophet Muhammed and the writings of eminent Islamic scholars and jurists.
However, the authenticity of the video clip could not be independently confirmed by Saturday PUNCH and a copy was not released to our correspondent. The committee did not also tell newsmen where the meeting held and when.
But a statement issued by government and said to be the full transcription of the remarks made by Suliaman revealed that the meeting might have taking place in a prison where the men were held.
The statement reads, “We are indeed surprised with the visit paid to us by a dialogue committee set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
More surprised, the committee met us in prison custody and explained to us reason for their visit and also asked four fundamental questions.
“Firstly, is it possible to dialogue and reach a peaceful resolution of the conflict between our brothers and the Federal Government who are engaged in fighting? Secondly, which way is the dialogue going to follow? Thirdly, which assistance those of us in detention would give in realisation of that? Fourthly, what assistance do the detainees need to facilitate the dialogue?”
However, the Chairman of the Committee, Kabiru Turaki, told journalists that his committee decided to make the two-week-old video clip public in order to prove to Nigerians that indeed the government team had established contact with the sect. He added that the committee had succeeded in gaining the confidence of the sect’s leaders.
The Minister of Special Duties said government hoped that the members of the sect, whom he described as “field officers”, would see the need to embrace dialogue after “watching and listening to their leaders.”
He said, “It is incumbent on all true Muslims to accept dialogue. They (Shura members) have called on their members and Muslims to give peace a chance.
“We need to build confidence to open a line of communication. When we build on dialogue, we will get to the next stage of total ceasefire. We have not got to that level yet. No conditions have been finalised.”
Turaki, however, disclosed that the committee was still making efforts towards meeting another set of senior leaders of the group, and a splinter group, Ansaru.
He also said he could not get the military operatives in Borno State to confirm the death of the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.
Turaki admitted that there was no clear connection between the Shura committee and the second-in-command with whom government reportedly secured an earlier peace deal, or with Shekau who is yet to be personally reached.
He further explained that his committee had no mandate to pay compensation to the victims of Boko Haram, but would advise government on how to bring “succour” to them.
Responding on Friday, the pan-northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum, lauded the amnesty committee’s efforts. But the Christian Association of Nigeria in a swift reaction on Friday, expressed doubts over the video clips.
The National Publicity Secretary, ACF, Mr. Anthony Sani, commended what he described as the “carrot-and-stick approach” of the Federal Government.
Source: Punch Newspaper
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NIgeria Records 87 New Cases Of COVID-19, Total Infections Now 1,182
By Abujah Racheal
Nigeria has recorded 87 new cases of the COVID-19, bringing the total infections to 1,182 , according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The NCDC, in a tweet via its official handle, said 33 of the new infections were recorded in Lagos, 18 in Borno, 12 in Osun, nine in Katsina, four each in Kano and Ekiti, three each in Edo and Bauchi and one in Imo.
“As at 11:55 pm April 25, there are 1,182 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Nigeria. The country’s total deaths from the virus now stand at 35, while 222 have been treated and discharged,” it said.
The centre said as at 11:55 pm, April 25, Lagos has 689, FCT-138, Kano-77, Ogun-35, Osun-32, Gombe-30, Katsina-30, Borno-30, Edo-22, Oyo-18, Kwara-11, Akwa Ibom-11, Bauchi-11, Kaduna-10, Ekiti-8 and Ondo-4.
Others are Delta-six, Rivers-three, Jigawa-two, Enugu-two, Niger-two, Abia-two, Zamfara-two, Sokoto-two, Benue-one, Anambra-one, Adamawa-one, Plateau-one and Imo-one.
87 new cases of #COVID19 have been reported;
33 in Lagos
18 in Borno
12 in Osun
9 in Katsina
4 in Kano
4 in Ekiti
3 in Edo
3 in Bauchi
1 in Imo
As at 11:55 pm 25th April there are 1182 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria.
Deaths: 35 pic.twitter.com/La5xzZZe2z
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) April 25, 2020
Sourced From: News Agency of Nigeria
2 Women Crushed To Death On Lagos – Ibadan Expressway
Two women were crushed to death in a road crash involving a Mack truck and a motorcycle around Lotto, beside NNPC filling station on the Lagos – Ibadan expressway.
The accident occurred around 8:02am on Saturday when the truck marked FST 984 XX lost its brakes and hit the moving motorcycle, killing the women.
The spokesperson of Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, Babatunde Akinbiyi, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Abeokuta.
”The truck and the motorcycle were both on the outbound lane from Lagos when the crash happened due to break failure on the part of the truck driver.
“The vehicle and the motorcycle are with the police at the Redeemed Police Station, along with the driver of the truck,” he said. Akinbiyi explained that the rider of the motorcycle was nowhere to be found after the accident.
He disclosed that the remains of the deceased had been deposited at the morgue of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu.
Sourced From: Daily Trust
Mentally-Challenged Man Axes 70-Year-Old Father To Death
A 37-year-old man said to be mentally-challenged has used an axe to kill his father, aged 70 in Unuchiana Village, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Tribune Online learnt that the suspect allegedly axed his father to death in their compound.
Confirming the incident in a statement, the Anambra State police command’s public relations officer, SP Haruna Mohammed, said one Timothy Ezeofor reported that his elder brother, 70-year-old Godwin Ezeofor, was allegedly murdered by his son, Chigorom Ezeofor using an axe.
According to Mohammed, at about 9:45am on Friday, one Mr Timothy Ezeofor of Umuezegoro Kindred, Unuchiana Village, reported at Aguata Police Station that at about 8:00am of same day, his elder brother, Godwin Ezeofor of the same address was murdered by his son, one Chigorom Ezeofor, of the same address using an axe.
He said the complainant alleged that the suspect had been mentally ill for the past eight years.
The police spokesman said following the report, police operatives attached to Aguata Division led by the DPO, CSP Ayeni Oluwadare, mobilised to scene and rushed the victim to the hospital where he was pronounced dead by a medical doctor and the corpse has been deposited at a hospital mortuary for autopsy.
He also said the suspect who “looks insane” had been arrested and taken to the station for investigation to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident.
Sourced From: Tribune Online
COVID-19: Police Arrest Bishop For Defying Lockdown To Protest At Chinese Embassy In Lagos
By Chiemelie Ezeobi.
The Lagos State Police Command has arrested the General Overseer of Resurrection Praise Ministries for Africa alias Jehovah Sharp Sharp, Archbishop Samson Benjamin, for defying the lockdown order to protest at the Chinese Embassy in Lagos.
Benjamin, the police alleged, led about 100 persons to the Chinese Embassy in Victoria Island to protest the maltreatment of Nigerians in China.
According to the cleric, the Chinese were operating freely in Nigeria despite that COVID-19 started in their country but have chosen to maltreat Nigerians and other blacks in China.
It was gathered that officials of the embassy sent a video clip of the alleged invasion to the police which prompted operatives from Victoria Island Division to move to the scene to effect the arrest.
A police source who spoke on anonymity said the cleric was being detained at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, (SCIID), Yaba and may be arraigned in court on Wednesday.
In the video, the bishop denied going to the embassy with 100 persons, insisting that he was there by himself to register his displeasure over the ill-treatment of Nigerians in China.
Efforts to reach the spokesman for the state police command, DSP Bala Elkana, proved abortive as he didn’t return the message sent to him as at press time.
Sourced From: THISDAYLIVE
NIgeria Records 87 New Cases Of COVID-19, Total Infections Now 1,182
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