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SECURITY

FG declares Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) a Terrorist group – Enemies of state

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The Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, yesterday declared the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) belonging to the Shiite Islamic sect, a terrorist group, and enemies of the state. The Federal High Court in Abuja, ruling in an ex-parte motion filed by the federal government, had on July 26 ordered the proscription of the sect.

Adamu said following the proscription of the group by the government, the police would treat its members as terrorists and enemies of the state.
He added that members of the group who engage in further advancement of the cause of the proscribed group would be prosecuted.

He spoke at a meeting in Abuja with senior police officers on the same day the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, asked the federal government to respect the order of the court granting the leader of the Shi’ite Islamic group, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife bail.

Adamu said following the subversive activities of the sect over the years, including the recent violence unleashed by the group, which claimed the lives of a senior police officer, Umar Usman, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and a reporter with Channels TV, Precious Owolabi, the el-Zakzaky group would be treated as a terrorist organisation.

He listed the unlawful activities of the sect to include the setting up of a paramilitary guard known as Hurras through which the group had terrorized local residents, engaging in provocative preaching and hate speeches aimed at inciting members and non-members, working towards its agenda of creating an Islamic state in Nigeria and challenging the legitimacy of the federal government.

Others include the non-recognition of the 1999 Constitution, non-recognition of state authority, non-recognition of democratic values and disrespect for judicial processes.

“It is obvious from the foregoing that the activities of the IMN constitute glaring defiance and/or rebellion against the Nigerian state, calculated efforts to plunge the nation into ethnoreligious war, intimidation of citizens and security agencies, disrespect for Nigerian laws and the authority of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
“Their activities also clearly and consistently negate Section 1(20(A) & (B) of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act of 2013 and hence, justify their proscription in overriding national security interest.

“In consequence, henceforth, any person engaged or associating in any manner that could advance the activities of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria shall be treated as a terrorist, enemy of the state and a subversive element and shall be brought to justice within the context of the Terrorism Act. The import of this is that all forms of procession or protest by IMN are now illegal and thus banned,” he said.

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SECURITY

Ortom raises alarm over illegal entry of herdsmen

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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has again appealed to the federal government to check the illegal entry of foreign herdsmen into Nigeria.

Governor Ortom

He claimed that the illegal herdsmen attacked Nigerians, especially farmers. Ortom made the appeal when he visited one Mrs Wanhena Cheku, a victim of herders attack, now recuperating at the Federal Medical Centre in Makurdi.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Cheku’s left hand was cut off in an attack on her farm at Mbagwem community in the Guma Local Government Area of the state.

Benue, described as Nigeria’s food basket, has witnessed repeated bloody attacks on villagers in recent years by herdsmen.

Ortom said it was wrong for foreign herders to gain free entry into the country and perpetrate atrocities at will.

He said the federal government needed to close the country’s borders to all foreign herders to mitigate growing cases of attacks on citizens.

“It is wrong to allow herdsmen from Mali, Niger, Chad, others, to find their way into Nigeria to commit atrocities and go back to their countries. “Most countries in the world will not accept this,” he stated.

Ortom, who was accompanied to the hospital by his wife, Eunice, regretted that Cheku was passing through pains for no crime of hers.

He, however, said that security operatives were on the trail of the herders, who attacked the woman.

“You can imagine the pains the attackers have put this woman into.

“There have been cases of missing persons in the state. If she had died in that jungle where she was attacked, nobody will be talking about her now,” Ortom said.

On the possible closure of IDPs camps in Benue State, Ortom said that most IDPs had returned to farming because they would not continue to remain in the camps forever.

“This is an isolated case, most of our people have gone back to farming and it is also an eye-opener. We will meet the security chiefs to encourage the officers to be more responsive,” he said.

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SECURITY

Army chief says war can’t end insurgency

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, Monday said that Boko Haram and other terror groups operating in the country cannot be defeated by warfare alone.

Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai

He said that finding appropriate narratives that will counter the ideologies of the terror groups will greatly enhance the efforts of the Nigerian Army against terrorism and terrorist groups.

Buratai, who observed that terrorism cannot be totally eliminated, noted that the insurgents’ belief in their ideologies remains their strongest driving force, adding that it is easier to kill members of a terrorist group than to eliminate their ideologies.

The COAS stated this at the opening ceremony of a Spiritual Warfare Seminar organized by the Nigerian Army for religious leaders and clerics at the Army Resource Centre in Abuja.
Buratai, who was represented at the event by Major General Sani Yusuf, said that the seminar was aimed at evolving narratives to defeat the ideologies of religious-based terrorist groups operating in the country.

He challenged the religious leaders to produce appropriate narratives that can effectively counter the ideologies of the insurgents, urging them to leverage on their daily interface with the society to protect the vulnerable people from succumbing to wrong ideologies.

According to him, “the Nigerian Army has attained great feats in the fight against the insurgents, breaking their ranks and degrading their will to fight, however the insurgents’ belief in their ideologies remain the driving force, as such ideological battle can in many ways be more important than the kinetic battle. It just that it is easier to kill members of a terrorist group than to eliminate their ideologies.

“It is a well-known fact that terrorism and terrorist groups cannot be totally eliminated by mainly Military actions, this means focusing our efforts on the underlying narratives through ideologies that employed by these terrorists to lure innocent citizens to their fold.

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SECURITY

FG to drag judge before NJC for granting Sowore bail

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There were indications last night that the federal government was contemplating reporting Justice Taiwo Taiwo, to the National Judicial Council (NJC) on account of his decision to grant bail to the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore.

Justice Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja admitted Sowore to bail on Tuesday and dismissed the objection raised by the Department of State Security (DSS) to the bail.

Shocked Nigerian security and intelligence community met on the matter yesterday and resolved to appeal the judgement.

It also decided to petition the NJC on the issue.
A top government source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that anyone standing trial for a treasonable felony is not entitled to bail.

He said:” Sowore’s bail is likely to bring trouble for that judge. A report has been prepared to report him to NJC in view of the fact that, as far as this country, it is known that a person charged treasonable felony has no bail option.

“So, the security and intelligence community in the country is shocked by the judgement.

“And there is a consensus that the judgement should not only be appealed but that the NJC should be petitioned about the conduct and abuse of power by the judge.”

Sowore was arrested and kept in the custody of the DSS since 3rd of August, 2019, for allegedly calling for “revolution” through the group’s protest fixed for 5th of September 2019.
Sowore on Thursday commenced a contempt suit against the Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi, for allegedly disobeying the order granting him bail.

On Wednesday his lawyers submitted his passport to a Deputy Chief Registrar of the court.

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SECURITY

Red Cross: 22,000 Nigerians missing in North-east

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Nearly 22,000 Nigerians have been reported missing in the North-east region due to a decade of conflict in the area, according to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer.

Maurer told reporters Thursday in Lagos that the figure is the highest number of missing persons registered with the ICRC in any country.
He also said millions of people had also been displaced due to the conflict.

In 2018, the Global Terrorism Index ranked Nigeria as the third most terrorized country in the world, for the fourth consecutive year.

ICRC, in a statement, said nearly 60 percent of the missing Nigerians were minors at the time they went missing.

“Every parent’s worst nightmare is not knowing where their child is. This is the tragic reality for thousands of Nigerian parents, leaving them with the anguish of a constant search.

“People have the right to know the fate of their loved ones, and more needs to be done to prevent families from being separated in the first place.

“Families in North-east Nigeria are often separated while fleeing attacks. Others have had loved ones abducted or detained and do not know their whereabouts. The ICRC works with the Nigerian Red Cross and other Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in the region to trace missing people by showing photographs, calling out names, and going door-to-door in camps and communities,” Maurer said.

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