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PRESENTATION BY BENUE STATE GOVERNOR, SAMUEL ORTOM TO THE SENATE JOINT COMMITTEE ON POLICE AFFAIRS AND NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE

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Mr Chairman and Members of the Esteemed Senate Committee On behalf of the government and people of Benue State, I wish to thank the President of the Senate and all our dear distinguished Senators for giving me this opportunity to present our own side of the story as it affects the killing of innocent people in Benue by armed herdsmen. I wish to also commend the National Assembly for upholding justice by insisting that I be given fair hearing in this matter. The Senate and House of Representatives have indeed demonstrated that they are worthy representatives of the Nigerian people.

  1. Mr Chairman and Members, permit me to give you a background to the current attacks which have often been ignored and accusing fingers are now pointing at the enactment of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 in Benue State as the cause of the crisis.

  BACKGROUND OF THE ATTACKS

  1. It is necessary to draw the attention of this important committee to the summary of the Fulani herdsmen attacks. These led to the general outcry and yearning in the state for a law to introduce ranching as a global best practice. Open grazing has been responsible, to a large extent, for the said attacks. Sustained attacks started as far back as 2011. From 2011 to May 22 2017, when the law was signed there were a total of 46 attacks by Fulani Herdsmen across 15 out of  our 23 LGAs as listed below.

  MAP OF BENUE STATE SHOWING LGAS AFFECTED BY ARMED FULANI HERDSMEN TIMELINE OF ATTACKS ON BENUE STATE FROM 2011 – May 2017

  1. February 2013 Fulani Attacked Agatu burning Inoli, Ologba, olegeje, olegogboche, olegede, Adana, Inminy and Abugbe communities. Many lives lost.

 

  1. April 23 2013. 10 farmers killed in an attack on Mbasenge community in Guma LGA by suspected herdsmen.
  2. May 7, 2013. 47 mourners gunned down in Agatu while burying two policemen killed the Tuesday before in Nassarawa.

 

  1. May 14, 2013. Over 200 herdsmen surround Ekwo-Okpanchenyi, Agatu LGA killing 40 locals.
  2. July 5, 2013. 20 people were killed in a “conflict” between Tiv farmers & herdsmen at Nzorov,Guma LGA, Benue state.
  3. July 31 2013 herdsmen invade 2 villages in Agatu LGA killing 8 villagers allegedly in retaliation for the killing of 112 cows.
  4. November 7, 2013. Attackers strike at Ikpele & Okpopolo communities in Ogbadibo LGA killing 7 and displacing over 6000 inhabitants.
  5. Nov 9, 2013. 36 locals killed and 7 villages overrun in an attack by herdsmen on locals in Agatu LGA.
  6. Nov 20, 2013. Attack on communities in Guma LGA, killing 22 locals and destroying properties worth millions of naira.
  7. Jan 20 2014. Gunmen attack Agatu LGA, killing 5 soldiers and 7 civilians.
  8. Jan 20, 2014. Attack on Adeke village in Makurdi LGA. 3 dead.
  9. 20-21 Feb 2014. Herdsmen attack Gwer West LGA. 35 persons killed. 80,000 displaced. 6 Council Wards Sacked.

 

  1. Feb 24, 2014. Attack on a Tiv community along Naka road, Makurdi, killing 8 people.
  2. March 6, 2014. 30 killed in Kwande, Katsina/Ala and Logo LGAs by attackers dressed in military uniforms. 6 villages sacked.
  3. March 12, 2014. Raid on Ukpam village of Mbabaai in Guma LGA. 28 persons killed. Yam barns and farms burnt.
  4. March 10, 2014. Former Governor Suswam’s convoy attacked by herdsmen at Umenger. He and his convoy managed and escaped.
  5. March 12, 2014. Herdsmen attack Suswam’s village in Logo LGA, 22 slaughtered. Entire village sacked.
  6. March 23, 2014. 25 killed and over 50 injured by herdsmen said to be bearing sophisticated weapons in Gbajimba, Guma LGA.
  7. March 25, 2014. Police recovered 7 corpses following an attack on Agena village, Gwer East LGA by Herdsmen.
  8. March 29, 2014. Herdsmen attacked 4 villages in Agatu LGA. 19 people killed, 15 others abducted.
  9. March 29, 2014. Suspected use of chemical weapons on Sengev community in Gwer West LGA leaving 15 people dead.
  10. March 30, 2014. 19 locals killed and 15 abducted in Agatu LGA.
  11. April 10, 2014. Over 100 herdsmen attacked 4 villages in Ukemberagya/Tswarev ward of Logo LG, 6 killed, Properties destroyed.
  12. April 15, 2014. Attack on Obagaji, Headquarters of Agatu LGA, 12 youths killed.
  13. September 10, 2014. Herdsmen attacked five villages in Ogbadibo LGA leaving scores dead.
  14. January 27, 2015. 17 persons killed in attacks on Abugbe, Okoklo, Ogwule & Ocholoyan in Agatu LGA by herdsmen.
  15. January 30, 2015. Over 100 attackers stormed 5 villages in Logo LGA, killing 9 persons in the attack.
  16. March 15, 2015. Egba village in Agatu LGA sacked by herdsmen, over 90 locals, including women and children killed.
  17. April 27, 2015. 28 persons killed by herdsmen in attack on 3 villages at Mbadwem, Guma LGA; houses and farmlands razed.
  18. May 11, 2015. Ikyoawen community in Turan Kwande LGA invaded by herdsmen. 5 persons killed & 8 others wounded.
  19. May 24, 2015. 100 killed in an attack by herdsmen in villages &refugee camps at Ukura, Gafa, Per and Tse-Gusa, Logo LGA.
  20. July 7, 2015. 1 local killed and several others injured following an attack on mourners in Imande Bebeshi in Kwande LGA.
  21. November 5, 2015. 12 persons killed, 25 others injured in Buruku LGA following an attack by suspected herdsmen.
  22. Feb 8, 2016. 10 killed and over 300 displaced in clash between herdsmen and farmers at Tor-Anyiin and Tor-Ataan in Buruku LGA.

 

  1. Feb 21-24, 2016. Over 500 locals killed and 7000 displaced in an attack on Agatu LGA by Fulani herdsmen. Over 7 villages razed.
  2. March 9, 2016. 8 residents killed by herdsmen in attacks on Ngorukgan, Tse Chia, Deghkia and Nhumbe in Logo LGA.
  3. March 11, 2016. Attack on Convoy of Senator David Mark by suspected herdsmen in Agatu LGA. No casualty recorded.
  4. March 13, 2016. 6 people including an APC youth leader killed by herdsmen in an attack on Tarka LGA.
  5. February 29, 2016 11 killed in Edugbeho Agatu LG including a police inspector.
  6. March 10, 2016 Two killed in attack on Obagaji Agatu.
  7. March 5, 2016 Houses burnt in Agatu. Security forces prevented killings.
  8. January 24, 2017: 15 persons were killed by rampaging Fulani herdsmen, who attacked farmers in Ipiga village in Ohimini Local Government Area of Benue State.
  9. March 2, 2017: No fewer than 10 persons were killed in a renewed hostility between herdsmen and farmers in Mbahimin community, Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State.
  10. March 11, 2017: Seven people were killed when herdsmen attacked a Tiv community, Mkgovur village in Buruku local government area of Benue State.
  11. May 8: Three persons were confirmed killed by herdsmen in Tse-Akaa village, Ugondo Mbamar District of Logo Local Government Area of Benue State.
  12. May 13, 2017: Less than one week after many people were killed by herdsmen in three communities of Logo Local Government Area of Benue State, armed herders struck again on May 13 killing eight more people.

  ENACTMENT OF OPEN GRAZING PROHIBITION AND RANCHES ESTABLISHMENT LAW 2017

  1. The Law was passed by the Benue State House of Assembly in exercise of its powers as provided for by section 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). The bill followed due process with public hearings and the requisite opportunity for stakeholders, including herdsmen, farmers, the police and all other security agencies to make inputs. The Bill was passed into law by the Assembly and signed by me on May 22nd, 2017. Considering the fact that this was a new law, a grace period of six months was given for those interested in the establishment of ranches to obtain permits. The enforcement of the law started by November 1, 2017.

  The law is to regulate livestock and ensure win-win solution for herdsmen and farmers. The law is to promote justice, peace and development in Benue State. THREATS BY MIYETTI ALLAH KAUTAL HORE

  1. Shortly after the law was accented to on 22nd day of May 2017 for implementation, we received threats from Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a Fulani socio-cultural organisation. The group threatened to mobilize Fulani herdsmen from across West Africa to invade Benue and resist the ranching law.
  2. On Thursday, 1st June, 2017, I raised alarm over media reports particularly that which appeared on page 41 of The Nation Newspaper of 31st May, 2017. The report was credited to Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, which held a Press Conference in Abuja to reject the Ranches Law.  In the aforesaid report, the National Secretary of the Association Engr. Saleh Alhassan, sought to justify the reprehensible, irresponsible and criminal destruction of lives and property in Benue State on the ground that the Fulani herdsmen are the original inhabitants of the Benue Valley. He claimed that they are engaged in a lingering crisis with the current inhabitants in the state, particularly the Tiv, over Natural resources. President of the Association, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello Bodejo, described the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law as “wicked, obnoxious and repressive.”

LETTERS/APPEALS TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

  1. On the strength of these threats, I wrote to the then Acting President, His Excellency Professor Yemi Osinbajo on June 7, 2017. In the letter I drew his attention to the threats issued by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and requested the Federal Government to act fast to prevent the attacks. When President Muhammadu Buhari returned from his medical vacation, I also wrote to him on 27th October 2017 raising similar concerns and fears over the repeated threats from Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and appealed for his intervention.

I wrote similar letters in June to the Inspector General of Police, (IGP) the Director General of Department of State Services, (DSS) and the National Security Adviser, (NSA) requesting the intervention of security agencies to forestall the impending attacks.

  1. We called on all Nigerians to stand up and condemn the threat of this association and appreciate our legitimate contribution to the resolution of herdsmen and farmers crises because they remain one of the most protracted problems across our country. We considered the threat by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore as not only against Benue State but all other states that have or will have farmers and herdsmen crises.
  2. Not taking lightly the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore’s threat to rise against the law and invade the state, I as Governor, the Benue State House of Assembly, and leaders of all the socio-cultural organizations in the state made more petitions and calls on the Presidency and all the relevant security agencies in the country.

 

  1. The Benue State Government condemned the statements of leaders of the Miyetti Allah and their stand which amounted to open declaration of war on Benue State people. Benue State and its people were under threat and requested the Federal Government to call Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and its leaders to order before they plunged the country into a conflagration which will be difficult to contain.
  2. No action was taken by those saddled with the responsibility to protect lives and property at the national level.
  3. Between January 1 and 2, 2018, herdsmen invaded Benue communities in Logo and Guma Local Government Areas and killed more than 73 persons including seven members of the Benue State Livestock Guards. The communities attacked during the period were Mbabai, Mbadwem, Uvir, Nzorov, Saghev, Kaambe, Mbayer/Yandev and Nyiev in Guma Local Government Area. In Logo Local Government Area, the two major Districts of Tombo and Ukerberagya/Tswarev were attacked.
  4. We held a funeral and mass burial on Thursday, 11th January, 2018 in Makurdi for 73 victims.

 

  1. On 8th January, 2018, I wrote to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria drawing his attention to the attacks launched by armed Fulani herdsmen on several communities in Guma and Logo Local Government Areas of Benue State between 1st – 2nd January, 2018.
  2. We also drew the attention of Mr President to the inflammatory statements by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Herders Association that “Expect more bloodshed in Benue” if the Law was not repealed. We accordingly appealed to the President to order the arrest and prosecution of:

  Husaini Yusuf Bosso, National Vice President of Miyetti Allah Cattle Herders Association. Badu Salisu Ahmadu and Umar Amir Shehu, President and Secretary of Fulani Nationality Movement and: Alhaji Abdulahi Bello and Engr. Saleh Alhasan, President and Secretary of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore; for their utterances that appeared to be full declaration of war not only against Benue people but the country in general.   RENEWED ATTACKS ON BENUE AND KILLINGS

  1. A few days after the mass burial of 73 persons, Fulani herdsmen resumed their attacks on communities in the State. From the 11th January to now 61 more persons including Police officers have been killed; at least 48 in Logo and 13 in Guma LGAs. Killings are still going on.

 

  1. Despite their irresponsible and illegal behavior and our consistent call, armed Fulani herdsmen and their leaders have not been arrested or even questioned by security agencies.

  HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN BENUE  

  1. In addition to the 73 lives Benue lost, the development led to the displacement of over 106, 000 persons who are currently camped in seven Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs Camps at Abeda, Tse Ginde, Gbajimba, Daudu, Agan, Anyiin and Ugba (Logo LGA). Among those displaced 60% are children who are now out of school.

  RELIEF MATERIALS FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

  1. Following the intervention of Mr. President, Security Personnel were eventually deployed to the affected areas and for a few days, peace seemed to have returned. The President also directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to bring Relief Materials for the surviving victims of the attacks. For 106,000 IDPs spread in seven camps NEMA has so far provided the following items:

  150 Bags of parboiled rice, 200 Bags of maize 50 Cartons of peak milk 50 Kegs of Palm oil 50 Kegs of groundnut oil 30 Bags of salts 50 Cartons of tin tomatoes 30 Cartons of indomie noodles 1000 piece of blankets 500 sets women’s cloth 500 sets of men cloth 50 bags of OMO detergent 1000 pieces of mosquitoes net 300 pieces of nylon mats   OUR CONCERNS AND FEARS

  1. According to the Minister of Defense, Mansur Dan – Ali the blockage of grazing routes across the country is the remote cause of recent killings especially in Benue and Taraba states. The Minister also identified the implementation of Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law in Benue state as the immediate cause of the killings. He was speaking with State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of the National Security Council presided over by President Muhamamdu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja when he made the said comments. It has already been pointed out that the unrelenting attacks on the state predate the law.
  2. His position is very misleading as it represents the facts of the matter. In the 21st century, we should be considering better conditions for herdsmen and their families than insisting on grazing routes. What happens to the education and welfare of their children and families as they continue to move from one place to another.  To be sure the attacks and killings in Benue pre-date the law. To suggest that the killings in Benue are due to the Ranching Law is dishonest and mischievous, because even before the Bill was signed into Law in May 2017, over 46 attacks took place where thousands were killed and property worth millions destroyed

 

  1. Following the Benue killing, the President directed the IGP to relocate to Benue and stop the killings. However, the IGP spent a night in Lafia, Nasarawa State before moving to Benue. He spent only one night in Benue. While in Benue, he met with a cross section of Benue Stakeholders who confronted him and questioned his intentions. They also asked why the President directed him to Benue and he chose to spend a night in Lafia Nasarawa State? Benue Stakeholders also questioned his sincerity of purpose. In his response, he apologised for his earlier assertion that the Benue killings were mere ‘communal crisis.’

 

  1. Spending only one night in Benue, IGP returned to Nasarawa and gave notice to the people in Awe LGA Nasarawa State that he would be there in 3 days’ time to find if armed herdsmen militia were camped in Tunga as earlier alleged by Benue. In Tunga, Awe LGA of Nasarawa State, he was at the market square and asked any youth he met: “are you armed Fulani herdsman? Are you a militia? Do you have AK47?”  It is a clear irony that the IGP would claim that he went to Tunga in Awe local government area of Nasarawa State but found no militia. Notice of this trip was given well ahead of time and militias are not camped in the market place. The method adopted by the IGP shows he was not prepared to get any result. It is important to note that IGP never relocated to Benue State, and never picked my calls at the time he was supposed to be in Benue on the orders of the Commander –in-Chief.
  2. His aide, Police Public Relation Officer (The PPRO) insulted me on Public Television programme by asserting that ‘I am a drowning man.’  The views of the PPRO are implicitly those of his boss and the Police. It also shows that the police he represents are taking side on Benue killings. Note also that the IGP has not apologized, has not arrested or even questioned Miyetti Allah for their threat and execution of their threats. Miyetti Allah Herders Association boldly announced “Expect more blood to flow in Benue,” and more blood is flowing yet IGP has not arrested or even questioned them.

 

  1. In my view the IGP has shown that he is not on the side of justice and should resign.

 

  1. It should be noted that the attackers did not bring cattle to graze but guns to kill, displace and occupy the land. There could be no greater mischief than that from the Inspector General of Police stating that I am arming a militia and making every effort to justify the claim. Nigerians are aware of the amnesty programme I initiated. I deployed both the carrot and stick approaches to make youths turned in over 700 illegal weapons and ammunition. They were destroyed in full public glare in accordance with specifications of the United Nations which sent experts to carry out the exercise under the supervision of the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons.
  2. Our administration is not arming militia anywhere. The underworld kingpin, Terwase Akwaza, alias Ghana, who initially embraced the amnesty programme but later reneged, has been declared wanted by our administration and a reward of N50 million placed for information that can lead to his arrest. However, if the IGP is really sincere with disarming militia, the starting point should be with Fulani armed Herdmen militia rated the fourth most deadly on the global terrorism index.
  3. The Benue State Government hereby completely rejects that statement coming from the nation’s top police officer who should have available records to confirm that there have been more than 47 armed attacks by Fulani herdsmen on Benue State before the State’s Ranching law came into being and some of these attacks happened years before our administration . Please refer to https://Youtu.be/K0Lq4F_pve8for preparations for one of such attacks by herdsmen.
  4. The State Government remains grateful for the tremendous support it has received from within and outside the state for the law which everyone agrees is the win-win solution to the incessant attacks that have claimed many lives over the years with property worth billions of Naira destroyed.
  5. Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Senators, once more, I thank you  and distinguished Senators for availing me this opportunity to set the records straight in our collective efforts to end the invasion. The Open Grazing prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law is widely, indeed overwhelmingly supported by Benue people. The law has good and noble intentions for peace and stability.  It does not send any ethnic group away from Benue State. It only provides that anyone including foreigners engaged in livestock business must have the animals ranched. This is global best practice for modern agriculture and development of nations. The Law is devoid of ethnic and religious sentiments.

 

  1. Let me assure you all that Benue state Government will not arm any militia as alleged. We believe strongly in our conventional Security Agencies to defend us and also trust in God and His ability to protect us.  Nigerians only hope that the Federal Government has not taken side in the Benue killings as perception is as good as reality.

  CONCLUSION  

  1. Chairman, Very Distinguished Senators, I once more thank you for the opportunity and would like to conclude as follows:

May 22, 2017 the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Bill was signed into law. A six months grace period was given before the implementation of the law. Fulani Socio-Cultural Association, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, opposed the law and threatened to mobilize Fulani herdsmen from all over West Africa to occupy Benue. We reported to the Presidency, Security and other Agencies of the Federal Government to avert the imminent attacks. Benue was attacked on January 1, 2018 and over 73 people were killed in their sleep and property worth billions of naira destroyed. We now have over 106,000 IDPs in seven camps with all the related humanitarian challenges including disruption of farming, schools, health, markets and the entire economy of the state. We view the utterances of the IGP and the Defense Minister as those of Security Chiefs who are taking sides with armed herdsmen and of justifying the killings. The Ranching Law has good and noble intentions for peace and stability. And it is on this law we stand as it offers win-win solution to farmers and herders irrespective of religion and ethnicity. Ranching of Cattle remains global best practice for modern agriculture and economic development of nations. Benue State Government does not have and will not have militia, because we have confidence in conventional security. Above all we strongly believe in God and His ability to protect us.

  1. Finally, we express our confidence in the National Assembly to prevent the present genocide in Benue State. We have confidence in the Federal Government to address the current security and humanitarian challenges.

  Thank you Mr Chairman and very distinguished Members for this opportunity. Permit me to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for his intervention. He directed IGP to relocate to Benue, and NEMA provided relief materials Military commence Operation Ayem Akpatema (Cat Race), His efforts to restore peace and rule of law  in Benue.   I also appreciate very distinguished Senate President, Bukola Saraki, The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara Distinguished Senators Hon. Members for your patriotic roles in intervening on the side of justice regarding the Benue Massacre.   SAMUEL ORTOM Governor, Benue State.

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‎CITAD, NAFDAC, SON sensitize young women on entrepreneurial development in Bauchi

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An NGO, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) in collaboration with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) sensitizes young women on entrepreneurship development in Bauchi.

CITAD programme officer in Bauchi, Mr Muhammed Chiroma said at the sensitization and closing ceremony of the 6 weeks training of the young on friday in Bauchi thar the young women totalling 20 were trained on computer literacy and other entrepreneurship and skill acquisition programmes.
He said entrepreneurship is an antidote for youth employment and self reliance adding that CITAD is passionate about youth entrepreneurship which he said would help to reduce employment challenges facing the country.

“The youth need to be self reliance and as such needed to be trained as entrepreneurs.

“It is a known fact that entrepreneurship is the cornerstone of every economy and has the transformational power.
“That is why CITAD has been engaging this young people on how to become employers of labour,” Chiroma said.

The programme officer explained that the participants underwent six weeks courses in photography, film and video editing, graphic designs.

Others include web design and blogging, computer appreciation as well as baking.

Also speaking, NAFDAC representative, Mr Muhammed Muazu explained that the role of NAFDAC is to make sure that all drugs and food supplied to citizens are safe.

He however urged the graduands to follow and adhere to policies and regulations that guided business establishment.

In his own submission, SMEDAN representative, Mr AbdulRasheed Aliyu said their agency can train and help any potential entrepreneurs to the rudiment of managing and starting their businesses.

SON representative, Mr Muhammed Chinade urged the young women to make sure that what they give out to the general public is of good quality and standard, either consumable or services.

“I call on all of you to come to SON office for any advice or guidance on standard and quality products that would be circulated to the general public,” Chinade urged.

Speaking on behalf of the participants Miss Maryam Kabir expressed appreciation to CITAD for giving them the required skills on how to be self reliance, promising that they would make judiciously use of what they have learnt and become a successful employers of labour.

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Police nabs 11 vandals of security communication system in Bauchi

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Police Command Bauchi state has arrested 11 vandals suspected to vandalizing equipment at the National Public Security Communication System (NPSCS) in Alkaleri local government area of the state.

The command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) DSP Kamal Datti Abubakar while parading the suspects in Bauchi on Thursday, he explained that the culprits were nabbed by the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) of the Command on Tuesday following a tip off.

According to him, the suspects had allegedly stolen two GBW 10KVA power generators vandalised adding that their action was a sabotage to Federal Government’s effort of equipping the police and other security agencies with modern security gadgets to perform their duties of protection of lives and property of its citizens effeicienty.

Abubakar noted that the suspects were in the wanted list of the command in connection with vandalisation and theft in some telecommunications sites belonging to both government and private companies in the state and the neighboring states.

” Other exhibits recovered from the suspects include Crane loaded with exhibits with registration number XM-202-LSR, J5 Truck with registration number BAU-548-XA. The suspects confessed voluntarily to the crime and are giving useful information to the police in the investigation”. He said.

He stated that the case was under investigation after which the suspects would be charged to court as soon as possible.

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‎Bauchi Christians Pilgrims warned against drug, bad conduct in Israel

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Bauchi State Intending Christians pilgrims to this year’s pilgrimage have been warned against carrying illicit drugs or being of unruly character in Israel.

Just as 87 prospectives pilgrims from the state will be attending pilgrimage to Israel.

The Executive Secretary of the State Christian Pilgrimage Welfare Board (CPWB) Engineer Daniel Shawulu JP gave the advice during the orientation of prospective pilgrims to Israel in Bauchi on Saturday.

He said while many of the nation’s intending pilgrims may be conscious and not fall victims of dubious characters who may trick them to drug carriage.

“I urged you to shun any form of misconduct in the Holy Land that will give Bauchi and Nigeria a bad name,” he said

According to him, involves practical and this can only be achieved with patience and abiding by the rules, so as to gain the essence that took you to holy land.

Also Speaking the Commandant Bauchi state command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Mr. Segun Oke charged the intending pilgrims to avoid illicit drugs in the Holy Land.

He warned the prospectives pilgrims to shun going with drugs that law of the land does not allowed.

Oke advice the pilgrims to seek advice from medical team before travelling with any medication or drugs “so that you don’t violate the law of the their country,” he said.

Deputy superintendent of Immigration DIS Endabwedo Adamu of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) warns against multiple international passport and tampering the passport which will rendered it null and void.

“Stressing that it will affect travelling process to holy land, ” he said.

Earlier, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Bauchi Chapter chairman Reverend Ray Maina, represented by his deputy Reverend Masoyi Majida urged the Intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors of Nigeria by being of good conducts.

“Exhibit peace, practical and patience at all times. They should repent sincerely before the journey and go with good faith.

“While charging the pilgrims to pray for the development of Bauchi and Nigeria.

“Always remember that you are there for a purpose, so therefore, pray for successful conduct of general elections and return to the nation hence pray for the country you want to have.

At the end of the orientation exercise Most Reverend Hillary Na’anman Dachelem was announced as the leader of the pilgrimage to Israel to be assisted by honourable Markus Makama the member representing Bogoro Constituency in the state Assembly.

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