Category Archives: North

Eidul-Fitr: FG declares Wednesday, Thursday public holidays

The Federal Government has declared Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th May, 2021 as Public Holidays to mark this year’s Eidul-Fitr celebration.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government in Abuja on Monday.

He congratulated the Muslim faithful on this occasion and called on all Nigerians, at home and abroad to use the period of this year’s Eidul-Fitr celebration to pray for peace, stability and economic transformation in the land.

Aregbesola in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore urged all Nigerians to be law-abiding and embrace the spirit of love, self-discipline, kindness and tolerance, as taught by the Holy Prophet Mohammed.

He also called on all security agencies in the country to be more courageous and patriotic to surmount the ongoing battle against resurging insecurity and activities of criminal elements in Nigeria.

He assured that the resolve of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to end the scourge of crime and criminality in the country and restore peace to every nook and cranny of Nigeria was sacrosanct.

“This administration will not be deterred in its efforts, until every Nigerian and resident of the country, is free to move around without fear of any threat to his/her life and property. We are therefore putting necessary measures and strategies in place to strengthen the stability of the country as well as ensuring economic prosperity of our dear nation,” he emphasised.

JUST IN: Gunmen abduct Benue University students

Gunmen have abducted an unconfirmed number of students from the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi on Monday.

The university confirmed the abduction of the students.

“The University has reported the incident to the police and all relevant security agencies,” the university’s spokesperson Rosemary Waku said in a statement.

“The University has not heard anything from the students or their captors since the unfortunate incidence took place.”

The Benue abduction comes barely a week after about 20 students were abducted from Greenfield University in Kaduna.

Three of the Greenfield University students were found dead on Friday, Kaduna State Government confirmed.

Fire Isa Pantami Now!

‘In an era of terror, the nation cannot accept a serving minister spewing, at a mature age, rhetoric of religious hate’

The allegations against him are incredible, damning and incurably damaging. It is simply incredulous that a man who is not just a member of the country’s highest decision making organ, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), but also heads one of the country’s most critical and sensitive ministries could allegedly have sympathies for notorious terrorist groups and their nefarious agenda.

Trouble began for Dr. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, when a local news outlet reported that the minister had been placed on a United States watchlist for his alleged links to terrorism. The minister’s first reaction was to deny the allegation and threaten to sue the newspaper and any other medium that published the story, while also demanding a retraction and apology.

However, both audio and video recordings began to circulate widely on social media, indeed documenting how the minister, at various stages of his career as an Islamic cleric, actually expressed views that not only bordered on religious extremism but also espoused an endorsement of the murderous activities of terrorist groups. For instance, in one of the allegations against him, Dr. Pantami was found praising the late Osama Bin Laden, founder of Al Qaeda, and saying that even though the latter was liable to make mistakes as a human being, “I still consider him a better Muslim than myself”. So, a terrorist leader like Bin Laden, who had the blood of thousands on his hands, once enjoyed the admiration of a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Another audio and video recording emerged in which, during an Islamic sermon, Dr. Pantami volunteered to lead a force of the Sharia police, Hisbah, to Shendam in Plateau State, where there had been bloody religious clashes, to fight in defence of Muslims. Another document revealed that in 2010, at a meeting of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) chaired by Pantami, it was agreed that Christians should be prohibited from building churches in city centres across northern Nigeria. Surely, a person with this mindset cannot see himself as representing all Nigerians, irrespective of faith, in government. It is noteworthy that even though majority of the people in the north are Muslims, millions of Christians also live in the region.

In a 2006 speech, Pantami publicly offered his condolences after the death of al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqaw. In another audio clip, Pantami was emotion laden as he described the insurgent terrorists as “our Muslim brothers” who did not deserve to be “killed like pigs”. In another recording, Pantami said he was happy when infidels were massacred. With the mounting and apparently irrefutable evidence against him, Pantami got off his high horse and opted for a different course of action from his earlier denials and threats of legal action.

While admitting that he actually expressed the views attributed to him, the minister, in a seemingly remorseful tone, said, “Some of the comments I made some years ago that are generating controversies now were based on my understanding of religious issues at the time, and I have changed several positions taken in the past based on new evidence and maturity. I was young when I made some of the comments. I was in university; some of the comments were made when I was a teenager”.

But how genuine is Dr. Pantami’s purported repentance? If he was truly penitent, why did he initially seek to bluff his way through by issuing threats of court action against mediums that published the allegations against him? Should he not have come clean right away, admit his guilt and seek forgiveness and another chance, especially now that he blames immaturity for his past indiscretions? The reality is that no one can have access into the inner recesses of Dr. Pantami’s mind. When he claims that his views have since evolved and he is now a more mature and different person, we can only take him at his word. But then, there is also the strong possibility that the minister, confronted with undeniable evidence of his indefensible past utterances, is now sounding apologetic to keep his job in the face of mounting public pressure that he be removed from office because he constitutes a serious threat to national security.

This is why we are dismayed that the presidency, through a statement by presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, peremptorily gave Pantami a clean bill of health, saying that it stands by Pantami on the issue. According to the presidency, “The Minister has rightly apologised for what he said in the early 2000s…Today, there is an unfortunate fashion in public discourse that makes leaders in politics, religion and civil society liable in the present for every statement they have ever made in the past – no matter how long ago and even after they have rejected them”. The presidency may indeed have cause to believe that Pantami’s remorse is real and that he is a changed person. But there is also the obverse that he is only now effecting change to keep his high profile job. If that is so, the security of the entire polity is put under severe threat and the blame for any untoward repercussion must lie solely on the presidency.

Pantami’s claim that he made the offensive statements in question when he was a teenager and less immature falls flat in the face of scrutiny. He made some of the utterances in his 20s and 30s. So, he was in a position to know the implications of what he was saying. The exposure of Pantami’s past extremist sentiments and bigoted mindset has so damaged his credibility that it is an embarrassment that he still continues to sit on the FEC. Other members of the council have a duty to press for his immediate removal from office as they will be guilty by association if he is allowed to continue as a member of that august body.

As a member of FEC, Pantami has unfettered access to information critical to our national security. Even more, as Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, he oversees agencies that are responsible for data bases, both of Nigerians and expatriates in the country. Can a man with a record of sympathy for terrorist groups, as well as expressing extreme religious views in the past be trusted with overseeing the databases of the armed forces, intelligence offices and Nigeria’s satellite infrastructure, among other critical agencies that Pantami supervises?

Given the revelations as regards the minister’s past, it is difficult to comprehend how he successfully scaled through the background security checks that must precede any person’s appointment to high office. This is an indication that either the security agencies are not diligent in carrying out this task of screening candidates for appointment to high offices, or that they bury information likely to threaten the chances of potential appointees for whatever considerations. Another indication is that the National Assembly is not thorough enough in screening those selected for appointment into key offices in line with its constitutional responsibility. The screening processes tend, in most cases, to be cavalier and perfunctory. This is surely why we have a Pantami sitting on the highest decision making body in the land.

Again, the citizenry who have the kind of information being circulated now against Pantami should have made such available to the security agencies and members of the National Assembly right from when his name was announced as a nominee for appointment as minister. There is no doubt that the Pantami case also exposes a serious shortcoming on the part of the media, which also has a responsibility to thoroughly investigate the background of nominees to high office and duly publish their findings. Perhaps if he were a private citizen, Pantami’s apology would have been appropriate and sufficient. But he is a public officer who holds a ministerial portfolio critical to Nigeria’s security. Thus, an apology is clearly inadequate here. Pantami’s blaming critics of the ongoing National Identification Number (NIN) being undertaken by his ministry as being responsible for his current travails is childish and diversionary. He must take the path of honour and resign now. President Muhammadu Buhari ought to give him that option or fire him forthwith in the national interest.

The Nation (Editorial)

Nigerian army inflicts heavy casualty on Boko Haram/ISWAP, recover gun truck and assorted weapons

Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) currently conducting Operation Tura Takaibango inflicted heavy casualty on Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) Terrorists in Geidam the Headquarters of Geidam LGA of Yobe State.

The terrorist attacked the strategic border town 23 April 2021 destroying three communications masts and looting some shops in the process. However, troops stationed at the town supported by the Air Component of OPLD mounted a hot pursuit and closed up with the terrorists killing 21 of them in the process.

According to a Press Release signed by Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, Army Director of Media and Publicity, the gallant troops successfully recovered a gun truck with an anti aircraft gun mounted on it, eight AK 47 rifles with ten magazines as well as two Rocket Propelled Grenade Bombs and five chargers.

Other items recovered are; over a thousand rounds of different calibres of ammunition, one Commando Mortar Tube, 3 IED blasting devices, tool boxes, communication radios and cell phones among several other items of value. The troops are still combing the area for possible discoveries as most of the terrorists escaped with various degrees of injuries from the resultant encounter. The only setbacks on the side of the troops were the injuries sustained by 3 soldiers who were in stable conditions and receiving medical attention in a military facility.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru congratulated the Theatre Commander and troops of OPLD including the Air Component for this great achievement. The COAS restated the commitment of the Nigerian Army under his leadership to ending terrorism and all violent crimes in the North East and other parts of the country. He further enjoined the troops to sustain the ongoing offensive under Operation Tura Takaibango until this noble goal is attained.

How Gallant Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole Killed Scores of Boko Haram/Iswap Terrorists and Recaptured New Marte

Gallant troops of Sector1 and 402 Special Forces Brigade of Operation Lafiya Dole, Tuesday afternoon re-captured New Marte from the Boko Haram/ISWAP Terrorists.

The operations to free the town from the grip of terrorist was clinical even though it met a lot of resistance from the criminals who implanted several Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) along the troops’ axis of advance, especially on the fringes of New Marte. The troops moved in professionally and safely detonated all IEDs implanted by the terrorists.

At the fringes of New Marte, troops encountered very stiff resistance from the terrorists who took vantage positions including on tree-tops. However with superior fire power, acting professionally and decisively, the gallant troops destroyed the terrorists’ resistance and dealt a decisive blow on their positions and inflicted heavy casualty on the criminals.

Consequently, 14 of the terrorists were neutralized while two gun trucks and Vehicle-Born Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) were destroyed and several high calibres of arms, ammunition and other equipment were captured.

Recall that the Chief of Army Staff, Maj Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, had on Sunday 21 February 2021 visited Dikwa and gave the troops marching orders to re-capture New Marte within 48 hours.

The gallant troops immediately mobilized and commenced advance to the objective culminating in the successful recapture of New Marte today.

The Chief of Army Staff has commended and congratulated the troops and urged them to keep up the momentum, pursue the terrorists and smoke them out of their hideouts and enclaves.

You are please requested to disseminate this information to the general public through your medium.

Mohammed Yerima
Brigadier General
Director Army Public Relations

23 February 2021

Junaid Mohammed is dead

Dr Junaid Mohammed, a member of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic is dead.

A family member confirmed his death in Kano last night.

He said the politician, now in his 70s, died in his home after a short illness.

His junior brother, Dr Ahmed Salik, was also quoted by several news outlets on Thursday night, confirming the death.

Junaid was a Soviet trained medical doctor.

He was elected into the House of Representatives in 1979.

Hisbah commander arrested in hotel with married woman

A commander of Hisbah, a religious police dominant in Kano State, has been arrested after he was allegedly caught with a married woman in one of the hotels in the State.

The operatives of the Hisbah Corps are responsible for the enforcement of Sharia.

In most cases they arrest unmarried people caught in hotels and people breaking Sharia laws and even destroy truck loads of alcoholic drinks.

They have been seen on many occassions punishing those who are indecently dressed and young people on haircuts considered immoral in Islam.

However, Freedom FM, Kano reported on Tuesday that a senior official of the religious police was seen in a hotel in Sabon Gari with a married woman

Although his name was not immediately mentioned, he was described only as police chief when the matter came up on Freedom FM’s popular magazine programme “Inda Ranka”.

He is said to be in charge of arresting beggars and prostitutes in the State capital.

The arrested commander was taken into custody after the husband of the woman with whom he allegedly had affairs filed complaints.

Kano Hisbah Commander, Muhammed Haruna, while describing the incident as unfortunate, said a two-man committee has been established to investigate the matter, according to Freedom FM.


President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja said that the stability of the country is of paramount interest to him and Federal Government will continue to work towards it despite the actions of a few people.

Receiving a delegation of Borno/Yobe Elders Forum on a courtesy call, President Buhari said: “We need this country. We will continue to work for its stability. I feel that whatever happens, we will continue to make it, and will keep on praying to God so that for those who feel that they don’t need Nigeria, we will succeed over their intentions and actions.”
The President attributed the upheavals in some parts of the country to a few people with resources and influence, assuring that they will be identified and dealt with in due course.

“I am confident that we will eventually convince the small number of people with resource and influence that are a nuisance to this great country. God willing, we will identify them, and deal with them. I am extremely concerned about your constituency like the rest of the country.”

President Buhari noted the request for the upgrade and development of infrastructure in the states and assured that while he would do his best in acceding to the requests, he would however, prioritise development in education.

“We are aware of the infrastructure deficit. Our priorities will be education because all our citizens know that children within a certain age must receive it otherwise if they miss it, the future is destroyed.”

He expressed appreciation to the leaders for coming to terms with the positive improvement that has occurred in the states since the inception of the administration.

In his remarks, Professor Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno State, said the leaders were in Abuja to thank the President for the tremendous improvement in their states and to intimate him with some of the prevailing socio-economic conditions.

Also speaking at the event, Architect Ibrahim Bunu and Gambo Gubio expressed appreciation to the President as well as the armed forces for their commitment and sacrifices in bringing a new lease of life to the Northeast. They requested for completion of long-standing infrastructure and on-going projects in the states, especially roads.

They also called on the President to continue oil exploration in the Chad Basin initiated when he was the Minister of Petroleum in the 70s and the recharging of the Lake Chad which the President is passionate about.

Also on the delegation were Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, former Governor Kashmir Shettima of Borno State, as well as senators, traditional rulers and elders in the two states.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
February 16, 2021.

Arewa Youths Reply Miyetti Allah: Fulani Own No Land In Nigeria

Following the statement made by the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore that Fulani herdsmen own all the lands in Nigeria, the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, AYCF has reacted.

AYCF National President, Yerima Shettima insisted that nobody owns any land in Nigeria.

Speaking with newsmen, Shettima said the government owns all the lands in the country, contrary to the group’s remark.

Bello Abdullahi Bodejo, the group leader, had made the remark while insisting that no power can remove Fulani herdsmen from any forests in any state.

Bedejo was reacting to the seven-day ultimatum given to Fulani herdsmen in Ondo forests by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

Following the ultimatum which expired yesterday, Southwest governors had banned all forms of open grazing in the region.

Reacting, Shettima said: “That is a stupid talk, nobody own lands, the government owns them.

To Kwara Govt: Alleged Killing of 5 Drivers By Soldiers In Kwara And The Need For Justice

By Busy Brain

My heart bleeds profusely as I could not hold back the tears rolling down from my eyes when I read the news of five (5) drivers allegedly killed by Soldiers at Ilesa Baruba, Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State.

On what condition should innocent souls whose daily food revolve around their daily income be murdered cheaply, leaving their family and beloved ones into deep agony and somberness.

News Agency of Nigeria reported earlier that five commercial drivers were shot dead by soldiers in a dispute over N200 bribe.

NAN, quoting sources in the area said the incident was triggered off by a driver who refused to pay the usual N200 “booking” bribe to soldiers at a checkpoint they mounted Ilesha-Baruba/Chikanda highway.

The driver reportedly told the soldiers that he had already ‘booked’ earlier in the morning.

But the claim was said to have infuriated the soldiers who subsequently slapped and ordered the driver to do frog jumps.

According to the sources, the vehicle was also seized.

The driver later left the spot and complained to officials of the transport union in the area.

NAN learned that members of the union subsequently followed the driver to talk to the soldiers on his behalf.

This however allegedly degenerated into unpleasant arguments, leading to the alleged shooting of some drivers with three allegedly dying on the spot and two dying later from gunshot wounds.

The peak of brutality and wickedness displayed from the above reports have portrayed the Kwara State Government as one who cares less about justice for the civilians. The gong to demand justice should have started clanging since the day of that gory incident by Kwara State Government. This reminds me of Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum. The man that would never watch his people killed extrajudicially. Had the incident happened in Borno, Prof. Zulum would have dragged the killer soldiers and called them out for justice to reign. It is a message to the Kwara State Govt to act beyond condolence messages to the deceased families and the paramount ruler of Ilesha Baruba Kingdom and press for justice.

Although, many things have gone wrong in Nigeria and the personnel charged with the sole responsibility of protecting lives have been killing innocent like fowls without concrete justice for the victims.

Like many other extrajudicial killings that had happened in the past, here is another version in Kwara State, and the justices in our court have journey traveled to exile in Nigeria. As I pray for the soul of the deceased to rest in peace, I equally pray for our justices to come back and rescue us. Justice must be served.

Don’t only read it, share it as well for Justice.

Busy Brain Writes From Maiduguri


National Assembly
Kwara State Government
Nigerian Army