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Okorocha’s Imo Security Network: A Boko Haram In The Making

Several media platforms and discussion circles have been awash with  the accusation coming from the Imo State Chapter of the Peoples  Democratic Party (PDP) that our Governor, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha  is in the scary business of importing some boko haram fighters into the  State. We have read and heard about the denials from the Governor’s  image makers and the confirmation of these denials from the Imo State  Police command. This does not in any way, close the matter. While the  Governor’s men may be right in their assertions that those who were  imported and lodged at the premises of the nearly defunct Imo  Newspapers, which is presently housing the Imo State College of Advanced  Professional Studies (ICAPS) and the secretive K-9 security outfit of  the State government, the fact that some suspicious movements and  trainings have been going on in that premises cannot be denied.The Peoples Democratic Party and indeed all concerned Imolites should  be more concerned about the activities of the Imo Security Network  (ISN). This outfit which came to life sometime in November, 2012 is as  unnecessary as it is illegal. On their inauguration, the Governor gave  an interesting excuse that they were in place to complement the efforts  of the Police and other security agencies in their fight against crime.  Then, I wondered the instrument of Nigerian law that empowers this  outfit. Had the Governor being keen on improving community policing and  intelligence gathering, he should have invested resources towards  re-training and motivating the already existing vigilante outfits which  had got the confidence of most of the communities where they operate.  The State also had the Imo State Orientation Corps, The WAI Brigade and  some other unconventional security and information gathering outfits,  which only needed to be revived and retrained.Some of us refused to raise the alarm at that period, because we  wanted to give the outfit an opportunity to prove their usefulness and  otherwise. Within the last fourteen months of closely monitoring the  activities of this subterfuge State Police, I think I have gathered  enough information to come up with a verdict on their potentials.On the inauguration of this Imo Security Network (ISN), the Governor  made us understand that the operatives of the Network were to be  confined to specially constructed barracks within particular areas of  the State. This idea, according to the Governor was to ensure that they  do not get corrupted by the community. The Governor made it clear then,  that these operatives would cease to live in their houses, but operate  from the barracks, where their operations and activities were to be  closely monitored by the appropriate authorities to eschew any form of  abuse. According to Governor Okorocha “These gentlemen will no longer  live in their homes but in places that will be provided for them as  barracks in nine locations across the State. They will introduce  themselves to the people with phone numbers that will be dedicated for  their operations and in the case of suspicion, they will be called upon  for prompt response.” This idea would have been very wonderful if  implemented. But, getting to two years since this group was inaugurated,  I am yet to see a single barrack built for them. Instead, I see a group  of poorly trained and fund staffed over zealots wielding guns and  intimidating their fellow citizens.

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Northern Group Urges Jonathan to Dump Sambo

Coordinator of the Northern Emancipation Network, Malam Abdul-AzeezSuleiman has cautioned that President Goodluck Jonathan’s chances in 2015in the North could only be guaranteed if he drops his Vice, Namadi Samboand runs with a more valuable mate. In a press statement signed in Abuja, Suleiman pointed out that theJonathan/Sambo ticket is proving a hard sale considering how the VP hasfailed to carry the region along or save the Peoples Democratic Party thepresent humiliation. He said several efforts to shore up support for the embattled vicepresident who is struggling to reclaim the control he never had in theNorth are becoming worthless daily. “A ready example is when members of a powerful delegation from theNorth-West were visibly upset on perceiving that their mission which wasmeant to be a goodwill visit to the president was hijacked by the vicepresident’s camp as proof of his endorsement and clout. “Part of the antics of the VP’s handlers was that most of the delegates tothat meeting were not allowed to tell the President the home truth aboutthe state of the party in the north by revealing that Sambo has been aloofon matters relating to the zone since his emergence in the top post,”Suleiman said, adding that the North had not felt the impact of thenation’s number two man. He said it is wrong for the President to be deceived by the VP’s men intobelieving that Sambo is in-charge of the region and still enjoyswidespread support irrespective of the gale of defection from his PDP tothe opposition APC recently. “Lately, the VP’s camp, in a political miscalculation, has resorted to aclandestine war with Major Hamza Al-Mustapha who is visibly mobilizing forunity, peace and development of the region. “Reports that some youths were given individual sums ranging from N5,000to N10,000 to decampaign Al-Mustapha’s efforts in Kaduna while some groupswere said to have been given 10,000 pounds for the same purpose amount toan unfortunate political blunder by the VP’ men,’ Suleiman said. The NEN coordinator said, this recent blunder and previous loss ofelectoral value on the part of the VP are likely to rub on PresidentJonathan’s 2015 chances in the North unless he picks a more acceptablerunning mate.

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Sanusi embarked on N98b project without appropriation – Senator Eta Enang

As the debate on the 2014 budget continued in the Senate yesterday, Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business,Senator Eta Enang, on Wednesday accused the Governor of Central Bank of  Nigeria (CBN),  Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, of committing acts inimical  to fiscal prudence and development of the country.The Senate said that Sanusi had constituted a…

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Boko Haram terrorists attack death toll in Borno & Adamawa hits 138

Hours after Boko Haram struck in Borno and Adamawa states, grim details of the attacks emerged yesterday. The death toll rose from 74, which was reported yesterday, to 138. Eighty-five died in Kawuri village in Borno State, and 53 in Chakawa, Adamawa State. No fewer than 16 others are believed to be missing in Borno, it was learnt. Emerging details of the attacks indicated that the insurgents issued three warning letters to Kawuri community before they struck last Sunday, a survivor, Mallam Mohammed Tukur, said.

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Ohanaeze warns North’s elders over Ihejirika

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has warned the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) to stop threatening former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen- Azubuike Ihejirika. NEF threatened to sue Ihejirika at the International Criminal Court (ICC), The Hague, for alleged extra-judicial killings. The forum’s spokesman, Prof. Ango Abudullahi, issued a communiqué, accusing Ihejirika and six others of alleged extra-judicial killings in Bama and Giwa Barracks in Borno State. Reacting yesterday in Awka, Anambra State Chairman of Ohanaeze, Chief Chris Eluemunoh, described the threat as “an empty one, adding that attempt by anybody to embarrass Ihejirika would be resisted.

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Northern elders-Why Boko Haram insurgency persists

The Northern Elders’ Council yesterday attributed the continued Boko Haram insurgency to what it described as mutual distrust and provocative statements. The group said it is yet to take a position on who to support as the North agitates for power shift in next year’s presidential election. The body, however, promised to support all efforts aimed at ending violence in the country. Addressing journalists after a crucial meeting in Abuja, one of the group’s leaders, Alhaji Tanko Yakassi, listed poverty, unemployment and mutual suspicion as some of the critical factors that are promoting violence in some parts of the country. Yakasai said: “The security challenge of Boko Haram and other ethnoreligious crises in the North as well as violent crimes of kidnapping and armed robberies in

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OWERRI — police in Imo State have arrested a pastor for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl.

OWERRI — The Police in Imo State have arrested the General Overseer and head of a popular church in Ikeduru council area of the state, for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl.This followed a petition written to the Owerri Police Area Command by the lawyer to the father of the alleged rape victim, Mr Emperor Iwuala.The…