Kogi CAN chairman, ex-minister escape assassination

CAN Chairman, Bishop John Ibenu

• Gunmen kill pregnant Tiv woman, injure one in Ekiti
•Osinbajo heads committee to end attacks

The Chairman, Kogi State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop John Ibenu, has escaped assassination.

Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen reportedly shot at his Land Cruiser Toyota Jeep at Ojodu, in Ofu Local Council of the State.

Narrating his ordeal, he said he was on his way from his village in Kogi East around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, when seven suspected Fulani herdsmen rushed out of the bush and opened fire on his vehicle.

He explained that four gunmen started the firing, before another three rushed out from the opposite end of the road, as he made a detour to escape.

He said the incident happened at a road bend near Achigili village.

According to him, an oncoming trailer had flagged down his car, when the gunmen emerged from the bush.

Ibenu stressed that the men, who did not wear any mask, were armed with AK47 rifles.

He said it was the grace of God that made it possible for him to escape unscathed.

He further narrated that four persons in a vehicle that was ahead of him, were not as lucky, as the gunmen abducted them.

He lamented: “Each time these things happen, the security agents are not anywhere on the road. This has increased the suspicion that they are aiding and abetting the ugly trend on the highways.”

Also, a former Minister of State for Health, Gabriel Aduku, escaped death when six gunmen invaded his house in Anyigba.

A statement by the Secretary to the Kogi East Elders Council (KEEC), Alphonsus Alhassan, in Lokoja said Aduku, who is the council’s deputy chairman, was accosted at his residence.

He said Aduku’s attackers, who were in their twenties, wore security outfits

According to him: “One of them carried a pump action rifle, while the other two held pistols which they pointed at his head.

“They informed him they were sent from Abuja to pick him up for questioning.
But, he refused to follow and insisted he would rather be killed in his compound, if need be.”

On cattle colony, he said he had he asked the governor during a visit to his office, to call a stakeholders meeting before deciding to critically examine the proposal.

He solicited that the views of the stakeholders should be respected on the matter.

Meanwhile, suspected Fulani herdsmen yesterday killed a pregnant Tiv woman in Orin-Ekiti, in Ido/Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

The woman was allegedly killed in the early hours of yesterday by those the residents called ‘Bororo Fulani.’

A former Chairman of Ido/Osi Local Government, Sanmi Olubummo, confirmed the incident in a telephone interview.

While the deceased woman was shot in the head, another victim is receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.

Olubummo said policemen from Ido-Ekiti Divisional Headquarters had visited the farm settlement where the killing took place.

He said: “The incident happened inside the Orin Farm Settlement. Nobody knows what led to the crisis, but the people said the Bororo herdsmen killed the pregnant woman.”

At a meeting on Wednesday, Governor Ayo Fayose warned Fulani herdsmen and Tiv farmers against turning Ekiti into a war zone.

Efforts made to get the reaction of the state police command was not successful, as the Commissioner, Abdullahi Chafe, said he was out of town.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has constituted a 10-member committee to address the killings by Fulani herdsmen.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo heads the committee.

Governors of the 36 States of the Federation are to feature prominently in the task to end the killings.

Osinbajo presided over the meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC), where the decision was taken.

Governors of the 36 states also attended the meeting.

Others who attended include the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Attorney General of the Federation, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and the Minister of Finance.

The Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje addressed the State House Correspondents after the meeeting.

The Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, joined him at the briefing.

The committee also has the governors of Kaduna, Zamfara, Taraba, Benue, Adamawa, Edo, Plateau, Oyo and Ebonyi States as members.

Ganduje explained that the committee would work with the Federal Government to promptly address the killings.

He added that it would also work to ensure that all the perpetrators of the violence are made to face justice.

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