Stop the killings, Army tells Ogbe-ijoh, Aladja communities Denies soldiers’ involvement in crisis
Obaseki inaugurates eight-man governing council to reposition AAU Biafra agitators threaten suicide over leader’s whereabouts
THE General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division of the Nigeria Army, Maj. Gen. Jamil Sarhman, has urged warring Ogbe-ijoh and Aladja communities to stop the bloodshed over perennial land dispute.
He made the appeal at the weekend when he toured the areas located in WarriSouth West and Udu local councils in Delta State. Sarhman disclosed that the reason fro the visit was to solicit peace in the area and inform the people about the deployment of troops of 'Operation Crocodile Smile 3.'
The GOC urged them to end the dispute and work for peace so that the place could be developed.
He stressed that the method of the Nigerian Army is to keep the peace by fishing out criminal elements that work against peace in the communities.
He said: “The whole purpose of the operation is to keep the peace and engender development. Soldiers will be on land and in the creeks to ensure that the lives and properties of Nigerians are safe, and also deal with criminals in line with the extant laws of the constitution.
“We can only achieve the aim of the operation with the support of the leaders of the kingdoms, youths, women and the cooperation of the general community.”
At the palace of Ovie of Udu Kingdom, His Majesty, Bethel Delekpe in Aladja, the GOC denied that soldiers killed some persons during the recent communal crisis involving both communities.
He explained that the army was for peace, adding that he had ordered investigation into the incident and found that no soldier fired a single shot, let alone killing people.
He advised journalists to do proper investigation before reporting sensitive issues, as such was fueling the crisis. While urging the youths to eschew violence, he said, but for the intervention of the military, the clash could have escalated.
He said soldiers were not only deployed in the area, they also established camps in the boundary between the two communities.
The Ovie of Udu told the GOC that he was happy that the army was in the community to maintain peace and order, especially as the people were also peace loving.
EDO State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has inaugurated eight-member Governing Council for the state-owned Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma. He urged the council members to work towards repositioning the university into a world-class institution.
He expressed concern at the falling standard in the university, which was the second state-owned university that was established in Nigeria.
Obaseki said the high-quality standard set by the institution 34 years ago had waned over the years, which showed that urgent action is needed to address the situation.
He said: “The mandate of the institution is to teach, carry out research and provide services to the commu- nity. After 34 years of its establishment, these expectations have not been met. We have reduced the university to one that is driven by political agents of whoever is in government.”
The governor assured members of the council of his administration’s support in ensuring that they succeed in the task of repositioning the institution.
He explained: “We spend over N300 million monthly on the university and we are ready to put more money on infrastructure. But we will not do so until we are convinced that government arrangement in the university is the right one that can properly manage the resources.”
He urged the council to work with the government to ensure the setting up of a visitation panel to review and understand what went wrong in the university.
The governor explained that the state government was working on developing an education policy, which would be unveiled in the coming weeks.
“This policy will emphasise basic education which is the foundation to prepare our children for the challenges of life. The move is a fundamental shift from what obtained in the last 30 years,” he said.
Chairman of the governing council, Mr. Lawson Omokhodion, lauded the governor for the confidence ireposed in the members, and promised that the members will put in their best to make it one of the best universities in the world.
MEMBERS of the Biafra Zionists Federation (BZF) have threatened to commit suicide over the whereabouts of their leader, Benjamin Onwuka.
In a statement by the National Coordinator of the BZF, Ogbu Gilbert, he said they had waited in vain for the Department of State Services, (DSS) to either release their leader, or charge him to court.
He said Onwuka has remained incommunicado two months after the group's encounter with security operatives in Enugu.
He said: “We want to further inform Nigerians and the International community about the unlawful detention of our leader, Benjamin Onwuka by men of the DSS. “It is now over two months and they have refused to charge him to court, contrary to the provisions of Nigeria's Constitution, which says nobody should be detained beyond 24 hours.”
They expressed concern that southeast governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo have remained silent on the issue, alleging their collaboration in the matter.
He declared: “We are issuing a seven-day ultimatum, after which we have no option than to commit suicide. We shall occupy all the roads in the southeast and make vehicles to crush them, or killed by security forces.
“By this statement, we are drawing the attention of the international community, especially the United Nations, the Amnesty International, the United States and Israel to the oppressive tendencies of the present Federal Government of Nigeria.”
Chairman, Governing Council, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Lawson Omokhodion (left); Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, and Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, at the inauguration of eight-man Governing Council for the university, at Government House, Benin City