President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja met with representatives of the victims of the Kaduna Train abduction, assuring them that the Federal Government is doing everything within its powers to ensure the safe return of the remaining captives.
Condoling the families of the victims and those who lost their loved ones, the President said since the “terrible and cowardly attack by the criminal elements” on March 28, 2022, the nation had joined them to endure a period of difficulty and emotional pains.
The President spoke through his media aide, Femi Adesina, where he told representatives of the families that in the immediate aftermath of the incident several actions have been taken by the government to bring succour to the affected families and to prevent a recurrence in the country.
He also explained his reason for discarding the use of lethal military force in extracting the remaining abductees.
‘‘I have been informed that at last count, there remain about 31 people in the hands of the kidnappers, and our determination is to work towards returning these 31 people to their families.
‘‘It is understandable that emotions typically run high, we have received several suggestions about the deployment of lethal military force in extracting those still being held in captivity.
‘‘This option has indeed been considered and evaluated.
‘‘However, the condition to guarantee a successful outcome and minimize potential collateral damage could not be assured and therefore that course of action had to be reluctantly discarded.
”My primary concern is to get everyone released safe and unhurt,’’ he said.
On his recent instruction to security and law enforcement agencies to bring an end to inhumane action against innocent Nigerians, the President expressed delight, saying, ‘‘Judging by the available reports to me and news that have begun emerging in the last few days, I will say they have heard this instruction and are responding appropriately.
‘‘In the past couple of days, you must have heard about the number of terrorists neutralized by the military, and a number of hostages freed. These efforts will not stop or reduce.
‘‘We must take the fight to the terrorists and demonstrate that there is no hiding place for them within the borders of our country.
‘‘Each one of them will be hunted, and pursued and spoken to in the language that they understand.’’
The President also used the occasion to commend the bravery and gallant actions taken by members of the Police Force who were onboard the train on that fateful day.
According to the President, ‘‘It is clear that their actions saved many lives and by making the ultimate sacrifice, they must be recognized for their bravery.’’
President Buhari added that he had never doubted the ability or confidence of those who have presented themselves to defend the country and the Kaduna train incident had reinforced the belief and faith of the nation in this special group of Nigerians.
‘‘I also would like to use this opportunity to say that we are cognizant of events that have unsettled our citizens in various parts of our nation and in the Capital.
‘‘I would like to comfort those who were traumatized by these tragic events and pledge that our response is to protect all Nigerians wherever they are.
‘‘My dear country men and women, we thank God that none of the released prisoners died due to the severe trauma they passed through in the hands of the terrorists, showing that the efforts of the government in securing their release were not in vain as Government continues to do its best to secure the release of the remaining abductees and ensure the overall security of all citizens in the country.’’
In his remarks, the Minister of Transportation, Jaji Sambo, said in the first week of his resumption in the ministry, he met with the relatives of the victims of the Kaduna train attack, updating them on all the efforts the government is making sure of the safe return of their loved ones.
He described the audience with the President as a manifestation of the efforts by this administration to secure the release of all captives and proof that the ‘‘government is not resting on its oars.’’
A representative of the victims of the train abduction, Alhaji Sabiu Mohammed, appealed to the Federal Government to assist the families in the release of their remaining loved ones still in captivity.
‘‘Please we want to see our loved ones and many have found themselves in very critical situations. We do not have the money that they (kidnappers) are demanding. Please, Mr President, we know you are doing your best…please, please we want to see our loved ones,’’ Mohammed said.
2023: Don’t Vote For Killers, Jonathan Warns Nigerians
Former president, Goodluck Jonathan, has warned Nigerians not to vote for those he described as “killers” during the 2023 election.
Jonathan stated this on Sunday in Uyo during a special interdenominational service to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the creation of Akwa Ibom State.
READ ALSO: 2023: Jonathan Campaigns Against Violence
“In 2023, you must not make the mistake to vote killers.
“Those who will carry knives, guns, and all kinds of gadgets to go and kill people because of politics, are the enemies of society.
“If you kill to become a leader, you will continue to kill to remain a leader.
“The people will continue to suffer. Make sure that from the House of Assembly to the House of Representatives to Senate to governor, you vote for the right people in Akwa Ibom State,” Jonathan said.
$23m Abacha Loot: Group Drags Buhari, Malami To Court Over Nigeria’s Agreement With US
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued President Muhammadu Buhari over the agreement between Nigeria and the United States for the repatriated $23 million stolen by Sani Abacha.
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) is a respondent in the suit.
The agreement signed in August followed the $311 million Abacha loot returned by America in 2020.
In suit FHC/ABJ/CS/1700/2022 filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, SERAP is asking the court to direct the President and Malami to make the details public.
The body wants to know the mechanisms put in place to ensure that the repatriated funds are not mismanaged, diverted or re-stolen.
SERAP noted that the repatriated $23 million is vulnerable to mismanagement as a substantial part of the estimated $5 billion returned Abacha loot since 1999 remains unaccounted for.
The suit filed by Kolawole Oluwadare and Atinuke Adejuyigbe relies on the Nigerian Constitution, the Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations.
The lawyers said Nigerians look forward to the court’s favourable judgement as they are entitled to information about the use of public funds.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit which was instituted on Friday.
Delta Community Presents Akanigboro III To Chief Priests Of Ijaw Kingdoms’ Gods
Heir to the traditional stool of Akanigboro, King John Falabu Court, Akanigboro III, a priestly stool of ancient Mein Dynasty, has presented himself to the chief priests of the gods in Mein kingdoms.
Akanigboro III, addressing the chief priests at Ezebiri in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State, who came from the various Mein kingdoms, including from Mein ancestral home of Ogobiri in Bayelsa State and various Mein Kingdoms in Delta State, said he sought to present himself to them to inform them of his ascension to the ancient stool after much hesitations and refusal to the wish of his ancestors.
The meeting, which started with prayers to God in recognition of His supremacy over all creatures, featured questions, answers and advice.
Responding to questions of scrutiny from the chief priests, Akanigboro III, who went into historical lane, said: “The Akanigboro stool is a priestly stool and original kingship stool of Mein, progenitor of Mein clan, who was the first on the stool, being Akanigboro I.
“When Mein passed on, his son, Akan, ascended the stool and was Akanigboro II.
“When Akan passed on, there was a development that stalled the ascension process of a new ruler on the stool, which situation lingered for centuries with the kingdom in disarray without a ruler.
“It was this situation that led the children of Mein to leave our ancestral home, Ogobiri, in the present-day Bayelsa State, and migrated down to the present location called Western Ijaw, where they founded communities and kingdoms. More so, it was that same development that led the heir to the stool to migrate to the present location, Kpakiama and which history is known by all Mein descendants.
“Now, when I was growing up, I began to receive messages from the ancestors in my dreams that I’m the chosen one to ascend the Akanigboro stool, being a descendant of Ogubo, but I did not heed to the dreams.
“But, as time went on, seers from various places started telling me that I’m the chosen one to ascend the stool.
“With all these signs, I was hesitant until it got to a point I was disturbed by the ancestors which forced me to present issues, first to my family members, then to the people of Ogubo-ebede quarters who, in turn, presented me to Kpakiama urban community that I’m the chosen one and that I’m ready to ascend the stool of Akanigboro.
“However, the leadership and people of Kpakiama urban community received the news with joy and prayers to bring alive the ancient stool of their progenitor with the assurance that they’re ready to do the needful to ensure the Akanigboro stool takes its rightful place once again.
“The essence of calling you to converge here is to formally inform you that a chosen heir has ascended the ancient stool of Akanigboro. I was supposed to visit all communities in various Mein Kingdoms to inform you, but to make it easier, I opted to call all of you to Ezebiri. More so, I have earlier visited our ancestral home, Ogobiri, before this gathering here”.
In their response, the priests of the gods in Mein kingdoms, speaking through the chief priest, Mirror of the gods, Ezebiri, Chief Godwin Oroupade, thanked him for informing them and said that the Akanigboro stool rules over only three communities in Mein Clan, stressing they had no roles to play in his priestly stool since he’s not ruling over Mein Kingdoms.
Oroupade, who is the Eseduo of Kerebiri-Mein kingdom and Chairman, Priests of the gods in Mein kingdoms, said: “We have heard you. The Akanigboro stool is well-known but it’s not ruling over all Mein Kingdoms. “Therefore, we’ve no part to play in either confirming or accepting you.
“We, after our deliberations, have resolved to inform you that your stool is not ruling over Mein Kingdoms but it’s ruling over the children of Akan who found three communities, including Kpakiama, Bomadi and Bilabiri.
“So, we advise you to go and consult with your people, and if they accept you and your coronation is made ready, we, chief priests of the gods of Mein Kingdoms will come and celebrate with you.
“Again, I want to emphatically state here that no chief priest is having dominion or rulership over another in Mein Kingdoms.
“We’ve just formed an association where I’m the Chairman and I’m never a superior to any other chief priest, nobody is superior to anybody. We’re all chief priests in our various areas of abode and never a subject to anyone.
“We threw so many questions at you because of the misinformation about this gathering, as some people alleged that we’re preparing to install you in this gathering, which is unfounded because we’re no part of the Akanigboro stool, hence, we don’t have the powers to do so.
“So, go and consult with the people of Kpakiama, Bomadi and Bilabiri on the way forward for your stool”.
However, Akanigboro III thanked them for the warm reception and advice and promised to speak with his people for the successful resuscitation of the ancient stool.
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