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Fulani Herdsmen Terror on Benue People: Is Enugu The Next Target?

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Mbe Nwaniga” is a popular voice among ‘Facebookers’, for his subtle way of passing information; digesting critical issues and brings the discourse to the level everybody will understand.
Following the recent massacre of Benue citizens by supposed Fulani Herdsmen, Mbe Nwaniga has this to tell people of Enugu State.
GrassRoots.ng views this piece as should be an eye opener for the Government, security agencies and concerned communities to prepare for the “battles” ahead.
Mbe Nwaniga writes:
This is for the scaremongering, petrified population in Enugu state!
 
You already know that Enugu is the biggest state in the SE but may not know that Benue state is almost 5 times bigger than Enugu state.Benue is bigger than all 5 states in the SE combined.
 
Kogi is another neighbouring state being invaded by herdsmen.It is also more than the entire SE and over 4 times bigger than Enugu.
 
Both Benue and Kogi states are sparsely populated.Anambra alone has almost equal population with Benue and a bigger population than Kogi even though it is six times smaller than Kogi or Benue in size.
This would help you understand a few things.
 
Once you cross over to Enugu from any of this states,the topography changes instantly.The population become dense.The milage between communities narrows.It becomes harder to find uninhabited stretch of land.
 
The only place you can find a mile or more of uninhabited land on the Enugu side is around Nimbo-Abbi-Nkpologwu in Uzo Uwani LGA.That stretch of Nimbo land adjoining the Southern Odoru forest reserve in Kogi state.
 
The herdsmen knew this terrain and they knew there was no coordination between communities in Uzo Uwani so they struck successfully on 25 April 2016 and fled through this border.
 
The herdsmen also knew that Nimbo was a soft target.It was disorganised and embroiled in internal disputes.They initially attacked neighbouring Abbi community in February 2016 killing a middle aged man and his sister and burning a few houses before they were repelled.
 
They fled into the Kogi forest and returned 2 months later to attack Nimbo.They couldn’t go back to attack the fortified and vigilant Abbi again or even the more fortified Mkpologwu so they chose Nimbo which was a softer target.
 
Anyway,a lot of things changed after the Nimbo killings.Precautionary measures have been taken to the best of my knowledge.
 
All community based Neighborhood Watch groups are now linked.Many have patrol vehicles and some other important equipment. Some are grouped under larger vigilantes like the Uzo Uwani Vigilante.All groups report to their coordinator who in turn report to Rtd Brig Gen Fred Eze. 
 
The gentleman doubles as security adviser to the governor.
It will be impossible for herdsmen to strike anywhere around this axis successfully.
 
In Nsukka, Isiuzo,Igboeze South and Igboeze North, communities are so close to each other and there is no mile of escape route as there is in Uzo Uwani.Suivellance and proactive monitoring of this route is now highly profiled. Most communities are also proactively monitoring their terrain in coordination with neighbouring communities.
 
You can support your community by donating money to the community Neighborhood Watch. 50k naira can buy a single barrel rifle while 250k can buy a pump action rifle.They are all licenced and legal as long as the bearer is registered with the community Neighborhood Watch.
 
Like Cyprian Ekwensi would admonish over Radio Biafra,Enugu in mid 1967; “onye ndi iro gbara gburugburu na-eche ndu ya nche,mgbe dum”.
 
Vigilance and early warning remain key to community survival from herdsmen invasion but chances of successful attacks or a spill over from Benue,Kogi is still remote.
 
This is my opinion!

GrassRoots.ng is on a critical mission; to objectively and honestly represent the voice of ‘grassrooters’ in International, Federal, State and Local Government fora; heralding the achievements of political and other leaders and investors alike, without discrimination. This daily, digital news publication platform serves as the leading source of up-to-date information on how people and events reflect on the global community. The pragmatic articles reflect on the life of the community people, covering news/current affairs, business, technology, culture and fashion, entertainment, sports, State, National and International issues that directly impact the locals.

GROpinion

[OPINION] Who Really Is ‘Professor’ Yusuf Usman?

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He comes across as a no nonsense critic of President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration, at least that is the impression he is keen to present to Nigerians more than three years after his eventful but totally disastrous stint as the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme NHIS.

From relative obscurity, the President announced him alongside Dr Sani Aliyu of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA),Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and two others as heads of 5 strategic health institutions on July 6 2016.

In his official curriculum vitae with which he got the job, Usman Yusuf claimed that his role and affiliation at the time, was Professor of Paediatrics in the division of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation at the Saint Jude Research Hospital Memphis Tennessee.

But it is believed that he had been out of job since 2012 that he returned to Nigeria. Those who knew him back then are now saying that he used to depend on the magnanimity of a friend who owned Abuja clinic for his livelihood.

This new revelation is at variance with claims in his CV that he was an Associate Professor of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation at St Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis Tennessee from October 2002 till when his appointment was announced in 2016.

A thorough check showed that the hospital exists in reality and according to information on its website, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was founded in 1962 and is a pediatric treatment and research facility focused on children’s catastrophic diseases, particularly leukemia and other cancers.

And whereas ‘Professor’ Yusuf listed his workplace address as 332 North Lauderdale street Memphis, TN 38205-2791, the officially listed location off the hospital is 262 Danny Thomas Place Memphis, TN, 38105-3678 USA.

While listing his educational qualifications, he mentioned professional bodies including the American Academy of Paediatrics from 1995 to 1997 and a non existent American Academy of Paediatric Hematology & Oncology between 1995 and 1997.

But In reality, there is an American Society of Paediatric Hematology & Oncology which prides itself as the “only organization uniquely dedicated to the professional development and interests of subspecialists in pediatric hematology/oncology.”

It is a membership body for specialists in the field ‘Professor’ Yusuf is supposedly an expert in, but there are no indications that he is a member and the one he listed in his CV as part of his educational qualifications does not appear to exist.

And in case any one is tempted to dismiss those revelations with a wave of the hand, how about the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Division of the St Jude Children’s Hospital where Yusuf claimed to have worked from October 2002 till 2016 which was neither listed as a department nor a division of the children hospital?

The closest departments to this are the Department of Hematology which is one of 22 in the hospital, and Oncology which has 7 divisions but none is Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation where Yusuf claimed he worked as a Professor of Paediatrics.

Judging from his CV, it seems like ‘Professor’ Yusuf is the only Professor there because the top staff at St Jude either have MD attached to their names or PhD and there is no sign that he even had a PhD or was even at a university where he could have have risen or attain the level of a Professor.

So with these glaring gaps, it would not be out of place to could question whether he is really who he claims to be in the CV he used to get the NHIS appointment in 2016.

That could also be part of the reason he demonstrated what many stakeholders in the Health care sector have described as gross incompetence in his barely one year stint at NHIS during which he left the agency worse than he met it.

There may be doubts about his capacity for the job but what was not in doubt in his time at the helm of affairs at the agency was his capacity to have run-ins with virtually everyone he had contact with aside from the allegations that dogged his one-year stay in an office with a five-year tenure.

Yusuf was first suspended by the then Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, on July 6, 2017, for alleged corruption, maladministration and mismanagement of resources. He was later recalled by President Buhari, exactly seven months later, on February 6, 2018.

Before then he had taken the unprecedented step of lambasting the minister as not competent to suspend him.

In his response to the minister, Yusuf said, “By virtue of the NHIS Act particularly section 4 and 8 thereof, my appointment and removal from office whether by way of suspension or otherwise is at the instance of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Except removed from office by the president under circumstances specified in the NHIS Act, my appointment is for a period of five years subject to further term of the same period at the discretion of the president.

Indeed the President allowed his return to the job to allow due process to prevail especially as the petitions that paved way for his suspension were with the anti graft agencies

So it was not a surprise that the NHIS Governing Council led by Professor Ifenne Enyanatu, later slammed an indefinite suspension on Yusuf on Oct. 18 over similar allegations of fraud.

Not quite long after, the Presidency asked him to proceed on an administrative leave to allow for investigations into the allegations and subsequently set up a 7-man panel led to carry out the probe.

At the end of the investigation, the panel led by Hassan Bukar, found Yusuf guilty of breaching provisions of the Public Procurement Act and recommended that his appointment be terminated in the report presented to the President on December 24, 2018.

The report reads: “Relieve the executive secretary of his appointment. Justification: Inability to work in harmony with all the relevant stakeholders in the scheme for the attainment of the scheme’s mandate.

“Established cases of infractions of the Public Service Rules, i.e. insubordination and refusal to carry out lawful instructions from superior authorities (governing council and the Federal Ministry of Health) contrary to PSR Rule 030301 (0), unauthorised public utterances contrary to Rule 030421 (id), and relevant service-wide circulars.

“Established cases of infraction of the following provisions of the Public Procurement Act: Sections 16(6) and 32(7).

“Infraction of Rule 3125(i) (a) and (b) of the Financial Regulations.

“Embarrassed government through unguarded social media comments.”

The panel also recommended the dissolution of the NHIS governing council.

“Dissolve the governing council. Justification: The panel observed the role of the governing council in the present imbroglio and noted from the interactions that the council has become factionalised and is incapable of providing the required leadership for the scheme.

“The governing council embarrassed the government by exceeding its mandate when it suspended the executive secretary.”

It is also on record that Yusuf directed expletives at the then Health minister in an interview with Punch newspapers even while on suspension.He specific said “F**k the minister”

He made similar comments when another journalist contacted him by phone to react to 2017 audit report, which indicted him

His words: “Fk PREMIUM TIMES. Fk the Auditor General, go ahead and write that.”

It is however stunning that newspapers that reported all his excesses as well as his indictment are among same media propping him up as a Buhari critic even when his record of service is not something any self-effacing individual should be proud of.

Dapo Okubanjo was a member of the media committee of the 2019 presidential campaign council (PCC).

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[OPINION] Governor Sanwo-Olu: Naturally Naive, Clumsy, or Both?

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Sanwo-Olu;
“Can you call your superiors in Abuja and tell them that the governor is here and as the Chief Security Officer, you don’t have any business being in my state right now and that I want you to disengage right now?”

CSP;
“I am here on the instruction of the Inspector General of Police through the AGF. I am too small or too low to call them. Your Excellency sir, you can call them sir.”

Firstly, what was Sanwo-Olu doing in Magodo Estate with his Cabinet members to exchange words with a police CSP leading a security detail detached to the estate when he can sit down in his office, send his Chief of Staff, SSG or Commissioner for Housing to find out what the issues are with the residents of the estate & the police; address the residents of the estate through any of his principal officers he sent to remain calm while the government works with the authorities & other parties to the dispute to resolve the matter; then call the Lagos state commissioner of police, the IGP or AGF, Malami to ask for the withdrawal of the policemen; arrange for a meeting with the help of the AGF between the Lagos state government & the beneficiaries of the Supreme Court judgement on the land to reach an acceptable settlement since the land in dispute has been developed already.

Secondly, what was Samwo-Olu doing in the estate? To stop the police from enforcing the judgement of the Supreme Court after a 37 year dispute that went all the way from High Court, Appeal Court to Supreme Court & in which the plaintiffs won all but the Lagos state government has repeatedly refused to obey the court orders on each occasion; to blackmail the police & the AGF doing their jobs or the Supreme Court that gave the judgement against the Lagos state government; when the governor should be sitting in his office & arrange for a meeting with the families that the courts declared rightful owners of the land to find an acceptable settlement or compensation?

For those making a case for the governors having the power to control or order the police, the question is, under the Nigerian constitution, is the police under the command & control of the governors & should the police, for whatever reason be under the control of the governors or even the president?
There is a reason why the constitution put the police under the office of the AGF. The Attorney General is not only the chief legal adviser to the government but also the representative of the public in all legal proceedings for the enforcement of law & the assertion or protection of public rights.

The law is & should be no respecter of any person & the police which is the chief instrument of law enforcement is & should be under the control of a law officer who is a constitutional representative of both the government & the public which in the case of Nigeria is the AGF & not the governors or president.

However, I like the development. The governors, political leaders & rich elites in Nigeria have been trying for decades to turn the Nigerian police into their handbags & houseboys. So, it’s good for a change to see a police CSP on an enforcement duty defy a governor.

Again, the courts in Nigeria have been purchased wholesale by the governors & the Supreme Court lately has in a dubious judgement practically handed over the entire resources of states in Nigeria to the governors to do whatever they like by ordering the EFCC to stay away from the governors. It’s interesting therefore to see a governor defy the judgement of the Supreme Court & ordering police officers on duty to enforce the judgement to leave his state.

Sanwo-Olu should quit this avoidable disgraceful drama, invite the beneficiaries of the Supreme Court judgement & find an acceptable settlement with them.

Lagos is too big, too complex, politically & economically strategic to be governed by a political neophyte learning on the job. Sanwo should grow up & he doesn’t have much time to do that.

By Michael Ogueke

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[OPINION] Is Pantami’s Frequent Crying A Neurological Disorder?

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Dr. Isa Pantami

By Farooq Kperogi

A video clip of Communication Minister Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami weeping during a sermon on Monday because poor people stole goods from a burning Next Cash and Carry supermarket in Abuja (which turned out to be largely inaccurate because most of the people alleged to be stealing were actually helping to salvage the goods in the shopping center) is going viral on social media and inviting ridicule to him, particularly from northern Muslims who wonder why his lacrimal glands were dry when people were burned alive by terrorists in Sokoto a few days ago.

But have we thought about the possibility that Sheikh Pantami might actually need medical help? The ease with which he sheds tears is leading me to think that he probably suffers from a medical condition called Pseudobulbar affect (or PBA for short), which is a condition that causes people to uncontrollably, frequently, and inappropriately burst into tears–or laughter.

Even if it were true that poor people stole from the burning supermarket that was probably built from the proceeds of stolen money, no normal person who is not affiliated with the owner of the shop would cry over that.

If Pantami had cried over video clips of hoodlums stealing the possessions of dead of Shia Muslims that the Nigerian military murdered in Kaduna in 2016, that would be appropriate. Or the burning alive of travelers in Sokoto by terrorist bandits. Or the countless mass massacres of innocent men, women, children by terrorists all over Nigeria.

You see, men in Nigeria, nay Africa, are socialized to not cry openly, to not betray emotions easily and casually even when they’re gripped by emotional trauma, which explains why the sight of a grown man crying often suggests enormously incalculable tragedy.

But Pantami not only cries frequently and often inappropriately, he also often keeps a box of tissue paper by his side when he preaches, which suggests that he expects to cry periodically in the course of preaching.

It is wholly possible that he isn’t a “cry machine” merely for dramatic effects; he could be suffering from pseudobulbar affect. According to Mayo Clinic, “If you have pseudobulbar affect you’ll experience emotions normally, but you’ll sometimes express them in an exaggerated or inappropriate way.”

It adds: “The primary sign of pseudobulbar affect (PBA) is frequent, involuntary and uncontrollable outbursts of crying or laughing that are exaggerated or not connected to your emotional state. Laughter often turns to tears. Your mood will appear normal between episodes, which can occur at any time. Crying appears to be a more common sign of PBA than laughing.”

I am not a medical doctor. I just read widely on psychopathology. So, I could be entirely wrong. But the incidence of a man who is socialized to be stoic and restrained crying frequently for the most banal reasons seems to me more a neurological disorder than an emotional choreography.

If my dilettante diagnosis is true, Pantami needs more help than ridicule and more sorrow than anger. Perhaps, doctors in the house like Abdulaziz Tijjani and others can help.

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