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GROUP CHARGES FG OVER MILITARY INVASION OF BENUE VILLAGES

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Following the Friday’s military invasion of some villages in Shangeiv-Tiev area of Konshisha Local Government of Benue State where over 100 lives were reportedly lost, resulting from a militia attack on the army convoy in which some soldiers were killed and others missing within the area, a group, Shangev-Tiev Assembly (STA) has charged the Federal Government of Nigeria and other concerned bodies to intervene in the situation, withdraw military presence, bring offenders to book and bring a lasting solution to the communal crisis that led to the upheaval.

In a press statement titled PRESS RELEASE ON THE ON-GOING MILITARY INVASION AND GRUESOME KILLING OF THE UNARMED PEOPLE OF SHANGEV-TIEV, KONSHISHA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, HELD ON THE 9th APRIL, 2021 IN MAKURDI, BENUE STATE, the group writes:

It is common knowledge that the communal crisis between the people of Mbator in ShangevTiev of Konshisha Local government and the Okpute of Oju local government of Benue state has endured several decades. Several attempts by stakeholders from both sides to bring it to an end have not yielded the desired results. When the crisis resurfaced, a peace meeting was initiated and a committee inaugurated by the Benue State government on the 22nd June 2020. Certain positive recommendations were made by committee to the government of Benue but unfortunately, the state government did not show any serious commitment towards its implementation.

Unfortunately also, the Okpute, people under the financier of one Major General, continued to use the Nigerian army and the Igede militia to carry out series of unprovoked attacks on our people. Following these wanton destruction and continued attacks, raping of our wives and daughters on our soil, the Shangev Tiev Assembly utterly condemn the unprofessional conduct of men of the Nigerian Armed Forces in a crisis situation like ours. It is rather disheartening to note that the trained senior officers are allegedly responsible for some of these security challenges in the area.

A Wounded Youth From The Invasion

In as much as we wail our dead, we unequivocally condemn in strongest terms, the alleged killing of the military officers. We also express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Nigeria, and equally express our heartfelt condolences to the families of our beloved unarmed and defenceless people who have been killed by the Nigerian Army.

Related: ZAKI BIAM: The Untold Story of Military Killings in Benue

As a peace loving people of Shangev-Tiev, Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State- Nigeria, we wish to draw the attention of the general public and request the timely intervention to the on-going senseless killings of unarmed and peaceful people of Shangev-Tiev.

Property Demolished During the Invasion

The general public may wish to know that the Nigerian Army has consistently deployed fighter-helicopters that operate on daily basis and scores of armoured vehicles that continually shelled sophisticated firepower to kill and destroy property of our people. The army has so far razed and demolished farms, schools, hospitals and residences of Bonta, Tse-Jembe, Tse-Anyom, Gbinde, Mbaakpur, Aku, Agidi, Gungul, Adoka, Guleya, Awajir, Shiliki, Achoho and Ullam in Gwer Local Government Area, and are still planning to do same to other neighbouring towns within Konshisha Local Government Areas of Benue state.

According to Section 33 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution, ‘Persons living in Nigeria, shall have a right to life and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life unless in execution of the sentence of a court of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty’. We are confused on what the Right to Life mean in this context. Our unarmed people are being killed intentionally in large numbers by armed personnel of the Nigerian Army. Presently, over 70 persons are reported dead and more than 100 people are missing, mostly women, children and the elderly and hundreds of thousands displaced with its attendant humanitarian consequences.

The members of the Shangev-Tiev Assembly reaffirm that insecurity in all its forms and manifestations constitute one of the most serious threats to national unity and peace. We reiterate that any act of banditry is criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of any aclaimed motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever. We reaffirm the need for government at all levels to combat criminality within the provisions of the extant laws of the land. We wish to further state here that the Nigerian military is recruited, trained and remunerated by tax-payers money and is vested with the constitutional duty to defend the territorial integrity of the country against internal insurrection and external aggression. We make bold to question the the rules of miliatry engagement in quelling communal crises. Does the communal conflict between (Mbator) Shangev-Tiev of Konshisha LGA and the (Okpute) Igede of Oju LGA constitute an insurrection or external aggression? THE ANSWER IS A CAPITAL NO! Suffice to add that there are always rules of engagement in any internal security operations by the military. For what reason, whatsoever, would a military turn its arms and ammunition on a defenseless, pauperized, neglected and already traumatized civilian population? Who ordered the operation? Was the conflict beyond the capacity of the Mobile Police Force?. Nigeria has an avalanche of violent criminality, including terrorism, insurrectionism, banditry, kidnapping etc, none these is found in our community. Yet, the military is hugely found wanting in contending the various forms of violence that threaten the corporate existence of the Nigerian State. This level of lawlessness and impunity in Nigeria is at variance with democratic principles and conflict management styles. Curiously, the Defence Headquarters claimed that the Operation Whirl Stroke was ambushed while on a routine patrol. Granted that they were; however, the questions begging for answers are: Has the area ever being under siege by bandits at any point in time? Why are the government officers inconsistent in their statements on who invited the army officers where no single police officer was on ground? These and many more questions need to be answered. It should be noted that upon the inauguration of the President and Commander in-Chief of The Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President swore to defend the lives and property of all Nigerians. Can we be right to state that the on-going military pogrom on our people is at variance with the oath he took? We therefore, pray that authorities concerned should save us from the on-going military invasion and onslaught on unarmed people of Shangev-Tiev. Actions sought:  The on-going killing of our unarmed and defenceless people and destructions of property by Nigeria Army should henceforth be stopped.

 The government should order the withdrawal of armed personnel from a Major General’s home town (Okpute) to show fairness to all parties

 The Benue State government should ensure that the land under dispute is amicably demarcated.

 A panel of enquiry to include civil society organizations should be setup to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the crises and the roles of the military. Anyone found wanting should be punished in accordance with the laws of them land.

 Compensations should be given to all victims in Shangev Tiev community.

Oche Onu Reports

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Osinbajo Declares to Run For 2023 Presidency. Makes Promises.

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The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has formally declared to join the race for the 2023 presidential race.

Osinbajo made his intentions known in a short broadcast aired on Channels Tv after months of speculation.

“I’m announcing that I’ll be running for Presidency under the All Progressives Congress, APC” he said.

“If I’m given the opportunity, I’ll provide an opportunity for businesses to fly.

“I’ll make sure the government agencies serve the businesses and also enhance our social investment and complete the task of lifting 100m Nigerians out of poverty.

“I seek the support of every Nigerian to work together by the grace of God to achieve a greater Nigeria.”

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OSINACHI: We Have Nobody to Speak For Us -Sister

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“He feels that we have nobody because our first son is late, he died before my father died in 2017. So he believes that the only brother I have cannot do anything. He feels we have nobody to speak for us.”

Mrs Osinachi’s elder sister speaks to Vanguard news paper.. Guess what? her murderer husband is chilling in his house in Abuja.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH VANGUARD!

The sister of the late gospel music artiste who died last week of alleged Cancer of the throat, Sister Osinachi Nwachukwu, today, revealed to Vanguard Metro that, her sister died as a result of a cluster of blood in the chest from the kicking she got from her husband, Mr Peter Nwachukwu.

Speaking with one of the family members, Ms Favour Made, who is the elder sister of the late Osinachi, she exposed all the inhumane treatments her sister got from her husband, before her untimely death.


We heard it was cancer that killed Osinachi.

She did not die of cancer. The husband, Mr Peter Nwachukwu hit her with his leg on the chest. All this while, he has been beating her but my sister hides all that she was passing through from us.

Before now, we have told her to come out of the marriage, we told her that they are not divorcing and that it’s just a separation. But she felt that God is against divorce.

We told her that separation is not a sin but just for her to stay alive and take care of her children. She will always tell us to relax and that the man will change.

So when the man kicked her in the chest, she fell down and he took her to the hospital but he did not even tell us.

It was her friend who lives in Ebonyi state that called her twin sister because Osinachi has a twin sister, to ask, ‘did your Sister tell you that Peter hit her on the chest? the sister then told her no.

It was the hitting on the chest that killed her.

My brother had to ask the doctor what killed her and the doctor said that there were clusters of blood on her chest.

Unfortunately, they did not tell the doctor that she was kicked in the chest because the doctor could have known what to do if he had an idea of what happened.

Each time we talked to her, she will be pleading for peace and if we move to act, she will tell us no, that we should calm down.

Where was your sister residing and how many children did she have? Also, where is her husband now?
My late sister Osinachi was living in Abuja with her husband and four children, three boys and one girl.

My younger brother who has gone to see the children said Nwachukwu is not arrested, he is in his house in Abuja. When my brother got there, the children were so happy to see him and they told him that they want to come and see their grandmother who is my mother.

Where are her children presently?

The children are with their father. My brother has gone to Abuja to see the children. But I told him not to go alone because the man is a beast that he should go with somebody.

So what is the husband saying now?

The husband is just boasting. Before now, he told the twin sister that he is going to separate her and her sister who was his wife. He doesn’t allow us to come near Osinachi. Since Osinachi got married to him, she has never visited our village, Isuochi in Abia state.

She only visited our village when our father died in 2017.

Even the day they were coming for my father’s burial, as he was speeding, Osinachi told him to please take it easy the was he was driving, the next thing he did was to slap her. It was my little sister, the second to our last born who was with her in the car that told me this. When my little sister wanted to act, Osinachi started begging again and told her to calm down. If I were in that vehicle, I would just have given him his own slap without saying a word.

Osinachi has a very soft heart. Even her twin sister is more courageous than herself.

Now on her sickbed in the hospital, when the twin sister visited, Nwachukwu didn’t allow her to stay with Osinachi. Then Osinachi started begging the husband to allow her sister to stay because she was passing from heart pain, but the man refused.

There, Nwachukwu ordered her out of the hospital. Osinachi then begged the sister to leave hence her husband refused.

What position are you in the family and how many are you?

I am the first daughter of the family and we are six girls and one boy which made us seven.

The boy is the fourth born and he is 30 years old.

Where is Peter from and what does he do?

He is from Nnewi in Anambra State. He doesn’t have any known job to me.

In fact, he ordered my sister to release to him the password of her YouTube music channel and when my sister said no, he spat on her and also told her that the money in his account was finished.

I learnt he is your sister’s manager?

Yes, he acts like one. If my sister is booked for a program, the money charged for the program is paid into his account. He is the one that will negotiate the price.

All monies were paid into his account and my sister will be left with little or nothing. This was somebody that God had lifted up.

He feels that we have nobody because our first son is late, he died before my father died in 2017. So he believes that the only brother I have cannot do anything.

He feels we have nobody to speak for us.

He told us that if Osinachi did not come back alive, she will come back dead.

How did you get the information about your sister’s death?

When my sister died, he didn’t tell us

It was other people that told us about her death. It was one of her friends she contacted to cook jollof rice that called Osinachi’s twin sister to ask if she had heard anything. She said that the time she got to that hospital, she didn’t see Osinachi on her bed. The man did not tell us.

Mr. Petet Nwachukwu

Then, when we put a call across to him, he didn’t pick it up until around 8 pm when he started calling my brother. Meanwhile, we were told that she died in the afternoon but we got the news from other people around 5 pm.

So around 8 pm, Nwachukwu then called my brother that he has never been allowed to come near them. He casually told him that his wife is dead, that he should come.

My brother then asked him, Is it now that he wants him to come to his house.

Nwachukwu also called my mother and said that his wife is late.

My mother now asked him that, so he has fulfilled his promise of killing her? He then switched off his phone.

What’s your mother saying right now?

She only wants to see her grandchildren since her daughter is already gone.

The children have been longing to come but Nwachukwu had never allowed them.

Osinachi’s children

The children do not know their mother’s village except when my father died.

Even when my sister visits Enugu where we live for the program, her flight is always booked back to Abuja on the same day. He doesn’t allow her to come to our house in Enugu.

My mother did not do Omugwo, that is to take care of any of those four children when they were born.
In fact, when Osinachi had her second child, shei called me to tell me that this man wants to kill her. I went there to bring her home. After some time, Nwachukwu came with some people to plead and he was forgiven.

So, after that incident, I don’t know what he did to my sister that whatever he does to her, my sister will not talk. Even if she wants to talk, she will tell outsiders.

How did Osinachi meet Nwachukwu?

It was where they went for a program. Nwachukwu saw how my sister was ministering, he then fell in love with her

Source: Vanguard News Nigeria

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THOMAS SANKARA: The Role France Played in His Assassination?

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On Wednesday, Burka Faso’s former President Blaise Compaoré was found guilty and received a life sentence in absentia for his role in the assassination of his charismatic predecessor, Thomas Sankara. But was Compaoré’s action inspired, orchastrated and backed by France?

Sankara, 37, was gunned down along with 12 others during the 1987 coup d’état that brought Compaoré to power.

The pair had been close friends and had jointly seized power in 1983.

Sankara remains a hero for many across Africa because of his anti-imperialist stance and austere lifestyle.

After seizing power at the age of just 33, the Marxist revolutionary known by some as “Africa’s Che Guevara”, campaigned against corruption and oversaw huge increases in education and health spending

The prosecution said Sankara was lured to his death at a meeting of the ruling National Revolutionary Council.

He was shot in the chest at least seven times, according to ballistics experts who testified during the trial.

Blaise Compaoré

Sankara’s widow, Mariam Sankara, who attended the trial throughout, said the verdict represented “justice and truth” after a 35-year wait.

“Our goal was for the political violence we have in Burkina Faso to come to end. This verdict will give many people cause for thought.”

However, there is little prospect that Compaoré will serve his sentence any time soon. He has lived in exile in Ivory Coast since he was removed from office following mass protests in 2014, and has taken up Ivorian nationality.

He previously denounced the trial by a military court as a political sham.

Compaoré with Sankara. Your enemy is not far from you.

Ten others were also found guilty, including Compaoré’s security chief Haycinthe Kafando, who was accused of leading the hit squad that killed Sankara.

He has been on the run for several years and was also tried in absentia. He too received a life sentence.

They had both denied the charges.

Gilbert Diendéré, one of the commanders of the army during the 1987 coup and the main defendant who was actually present at the trial, was also sentenced to life. He is already serving a 20-year sentence for a coup attempt in 2015.

Mariam Sankara, widow of leader Thomas Sankara, sits in the Ougadougou courtroom in October, 2021

Meanwhile, in February, 2013, Emile Schepers, a veteran civil and immigrants rights activist wrote the following article he titled “People’s World Demand for inquiry into France’s role in assassination of African leader” published in People’s World:

On February 13, a member of the French Chamber of Deputies tabled a motion to begin a parliamentary investigation of the assassination of Captain Thomas Sankara, President of Burkina Faso, in 1987.Sankara, who himself took power in a coup d’état in 1983, was a progressive and charismatic leader who is sometimes referred to as Africa’s Che Guevara. Succeeding a regime seen as subservient to France, Sankara changed the name of his country from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, which means land of men of integrity. He was considered incorruptible, and gained the love and support of poor Burkinabés (as the people of Burkina Faso are called) because of his programs of land reform, agricultural development, improved health care and schools and other similar things. Two very popular emphases of Sankara’s policies were the improvement in the situation of women and the curtailment of the traditional powers of tribal chiefs, who were seen by many as corrupt. He nationalized all land and subsoil wealth of Burkina Faso. But in 1987, he was overthrown and killed in a military coup organized by Blaise Compoaré, at that time a military officer also, and now president of Burkina Faso. The reason given for the coup was that Sankara’s nationalizations and anti-imperialist rhetoric were angering the French and neighboring African countries aligned with France. With Sankara out of the way, many of his progressive policies were reversed, including the nationalizations.

Jacques René Chiracis was Prime Minister of France in 1987

But Sankara’s supporters have not forgotten him in the ensuing 26 years, and have kept up a campaign to achieve justice for Sankara, and a return to his progressive socialist policies.The belief that France and perhaps the United States were involved in the overthrow and killing of Sankara did not come from nowhere. Besides the flat statement by the Compoaré group that they overthrew Sankara because he was annoying the French, many of the individuals who have carried out coups in Africa have been former French or French colonial army officers, and the involvement of French security services and business interests in such actions is well known. The CIA has also been involved in several coups, most notably in the overthrow of Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in 1960 and of Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah in 1966. In each case, the leader overthrown and/or killed was seen as a threat to French, U.S. or other western business interests because of his progressive policies.Earlier this year, the French newspaper Liberacion published a story which strongly suggests some sort of French security involvement in the incident in 1994 in which an airplane carrying the presidents of Burundi and Rwanda was shot down over the Rwandan capital of Kigali, an incident which helped trigger the Rwandan genocide and some other current conflicts in Central Africa.People in Burkina Faso cannot get at the necessary French government records under normal circumstances.So in 2011, a group of Burkinabé parliamentarians wrote to the French National Assembly calling for it to begin an inquiry into the Sankara assassination. A motion to that effect has now been tabled in the lower house of the National Assembly by Andre Chassaigne, a deputy from the French Communist Party. A guest from Burkina Faso’s left-wing Union pour la Renaissance/Parti Sankariste, Me Benewende Stanislas Sankara, attended the 36th Congress of the French Communist Party this month. On returning to Burkina Faso, he participated in a press conference in the Burkinabé capital, Ouagadougou, to advance the same demands.Mr. Chassaigne’s motion coincides with an increasing level of U.S., French and NATO involvement in African affairs, including an exponential expansion of U.S. military missions under the AFRICOM command. The latest is that the Republic of Niger is now allowing the U.S. to set up drone bases in the Southern part if its territory, near the border with Mali.It’s necessary that we in the United States also be ready to demand answers from our own government.

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