Fear-stricken Taraba residents flee to Nasarawa after death of soldier

Darius Ishaku Taraba state gov

Saidu AdamuWukari

#TrackNigeria: Residents of Shinkai Village in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba have fled their homes following a threat to raze down the village over the alleged killing of a soldier.

According to Malam Labaran Abdu, the leader of the community, armed men in military uniform stormed the village onSunday, March 24, 2019, and alleged that one of their men was killed in the suburb of Shinkai and his rifle taken away.

“The community leaders in Shinkai told the armed men that they knew nothing about the incident, but they threatened that they will wipe off the village if the killers and the stolen rifle were not produced within three days,” Abdul told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday.

“As a result of the threat, residents of Shinkai and surrounding villages have crossed over to Awe, Tunga, Terkura and Lafiya in the neighbouring Nassarawa State to take refuge,” he said.

Labaran said that the incident the armed men claimed had led to the death of their member took place about 15 kilometre away from Shinkai, and wondered why the people of Shinkai should be made to bear the burden.

Reacting to the incident, Mr Simon Dogari, Taraba information commissioner, told NAN that he had received reports that there was tension in Shinkai village after a clash between herdsmen and some armed men believed to be soldiers from “Operation Whirl stroke”, who were on special patrol from neighboring Benue State.

He said that the report had claimed that there was a clash between the two groups which left ‘one man with uniform dead”.

Dogari, however, wondered why the suspected military personnel, whose operational area was Benue, had crossed into Taraba and clashed with herdsmen.

He said that a Special Adviser to Governor Darius Ishaku, and the Chairman of Wukari Local Government Area, have been asked to investigate the issue and report back.

The Commissioner appealed to the people of Shinkai and its environs to remain calm as the state government was working round the clock to nip the problem in the bud.Similarly, Mr Bala Dan-Abu, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Taraba on media, who described the death of the military man as unfortunate, urged the authorities to follow due process in redressing the issue.

“Two wrongs cannot make a right; instead of attacking the village,  thorough investigation should be carried out to identity the suspected killers.”He called for calm among all concerned, saying that all hands were on deck toward resolving the matter through dialogue.Efforts to speak with the Police authorities in Taraba proved abortive,  but a senior official of the command said that the matter was being investigated. (NAN)

Plateau Rerun: Barkin-Ladi LG boss debunks alleged security challenge in polling unit

By Martha Agas
Mr Dickson Chollom, the Chairman of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area in Plateau, has debunked the rumours that there are security challenges in Barkin Joji, the only polling unit participating in the Saturday rerun elections.

“The rumours were targeted at scaring youths from exercising their franchise. It is total falsehood,” Chollom told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He said that the election was being conducted in a peaceful and orderly manner devoid of any rancour.

“The turnout in this rerun is even larger that the March 9th elections because we engaged the community and religious leaders to sensitise their followers on the importance of exercising their franchise.

“There was voters apathy in the last elections because of rumours of threat to lives on social media. The situation has changed,” he said.

Chollom regretted that the area was being projected as hostile, and cautioned people against such misinformation.

He commended the early arrival of electoral materials, adding that no hitches were recorded from the card reader machines.

The Chairman called on political stakeholders to exhibit good sportsmanship by accepting the election results as the will of God.

Mrs Naomi Bassu, the presiding officer of the polling unit, also told NAN that voters were conducting themselves in an orderly manner.

She said that polling unit 07 at Kunte primary school, recorded no security threat, saying that elections commenced at 8.00am.

“We have 570 registered voters here and the turnout has been very impressive. All party stalwarts, security agencies and the voters have been very cooperative,” she said.

NAN reports that Barkin Joji is the only polling unit participating in the rerun elections in Barkin-Ladi local government area.

Forty polling units spread across nine local governments in Plateau are participating in the rerun elections to determine the state’s governor. (NAN)

Alleged Importation of thugs: Kano APC dismisses PDP’s allegation

By Tukur Muntari

#TrackNigeria: The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano State has dismissed the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s allegation on the importation of political thugs from neighbouring states.

The Acting State Chairman of the PDP, Rabiu Sulaiman-Bichi, had in a news conference alleged that the ruling APC in the state had imported thugs from some neighbouring states.

The APC state chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas, dismissed the allegation while addressing a news conference in Kano on Saturday.

He said the allegation against the ruling APC was not only untrue and unfounded, but a calculated attempt to dent the image of the party and the state government.

“How can we bring or invite people from other states to come to Kano, while we have people here, considering the population of Kano,’’ he said.

Abdullahi called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disregard the call for the cancellation of the re-run governorship election and ensure that the election is concluded.

“We are calling on INEC to ensure the successful completion of the exercise.

“It is unfortunate that the PDP chairman called for the cancellation of the election, while the election is still ongoing.

“This is a clear indication that they are afraid of losing the election, otherwise, why should he call for the cancellation of the election,” he said.

According to him, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had done its homework by mobilising its supporters to come out and vote.

The APC chairman, however, called on the residents to remain calm and await the announcement of the final results. (NAN)

PDP condemns attack on agents, members in Kano supplementary election

By Emmanuel OloniruhaAbuja, March 23, 2019(NAN) The  Peoples #TrackNigeria: Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned attacks on its agents and members by thugs at the ongoing supplementary governorship election in Kano State.

The party made the condemnation in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Saturday in Abuja.

It alleged that the hoodlums embarked on rampage, invading polling units where they were attackingPDP members and supporters with dangerous weapons, chasing them away from the polling units and preventing them from voting.

It alleged that in Gama ward, evidence abounds of how the thugs attacked and unleashed terror on PDP members during which four of PDP members where feared killed and many more injured.

The party called on PDP formation in the state to immediately activate legitimatedefence mechanism to protect its members and supporters in the state.

“Furthermore, the PDP has taken stock of all the aggression in Kano andwill use all legitimate means to ensure that all those who perpetuatedviolence against our members are lawfully tracked down and brought tobook,” the party said.(NAN)

Re-run election: Journalists escape lynching in Kano

By Tukur Muntari

#TrackNigeria: Some journalists covering the Supplementary Governorship election in Kano State on Saturday escaped lynching by some suspected thugs at Suntulma Primary School in Gama ward of Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state.

NAN reports that the journalists who were in the area to monitor the poll, were chased out of the place by the hoodlums.

Trouble began when some of the newsmen tried to interview some voters who were denied access into the classrooms where some of the polling units were stationed.

While trying to flee the troubled area, some of the journalists fell on ground and one of them (Name withheld), had to take refuge in a nearby Mosque in order to save his life.

NAN also reports that some of the reporters had their clothes torn by the thugs.

Speaking to newsmen, some voters alleged that they were not allowed to exercise their franchise as they were chased out of the area.

One of them, Comrade Aminu Tijjani, said he went to the primary school to cast his vote at his polling unit but had to return to escape the hoodlums’ attack.

“The situation is very bad and this is not how to conduct an election where people or voters are denied the opportunity to vote,” Tijjani said.

Another voter, Sani Abdullahi, said he came to vote as early as 8 a.m. but was scared away by the suspected thugs numbering about 10.

Meanwhile, voting has commenced in other affected polling units across the 28 local government areas of the state.

NAN reports that the re-run election is being conducted to decide the winner between two candidates – Abba Kabir-Yusuf of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 1,014,477 votes, and incumbent Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who got 987,810 votes in the first poll conducted on March 9.

The margin between the candidates stood at 26,655 votes in favour of Kabir-Yusuf. (NAN)