A little known Fulani group that calls itself the Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) may have stoked ethnic nationalism in Nigeria with its claims of Fulani ownership of the country and its giving notice of planned conquest of the entire territory.
FUNAM, which made a similar provocative statement in 2018, following the Benue massacre by herdsmen, returned to its familiar territory in a statement that further sharpened the ethnic cleavages in Nigeria.
While the statement was a reaction to recent killings in Plateau state by armed Fulani herdsmen, its claim of the existence of a Fulani Strike Force that coordinated what it called a retaliatory attack against Birom people in Barkin Ladi, in Plateau state may ignite an arms race by Nigeria’s various ethnic groups.
President of the group Badu Salisu Ahmadu was unapologetic about the killings, in which 14 people died. He said the killings were justifiable as the Fulani had been attacked before the counter-attack. And he laid an operating philosophy of the ethnic nationality: “For the avoidance of doubt, our heritage is that ANY ATTACK ON A SINGLE FULANI IS AN ATTACK ON ALL. ANY OF SUCH ATTACKS MUST BE COUNTERED WITH TRIPLE MEASURE”
Ahmadu claimed that Plateau-Benue and the rest of Nigeria is an indigenous territory of the FULANI people. But his claim is a pure distortion of history as the Fulani migrated into Nigeria around the 18th century and set off the Jihad in the 19th century.
“We are the first to settle in Plateau-Benue axis thousands of years ago. We shall take and possess every inch of this land; A conscious attempt to rewrite history and distort, manipulate or destroy our past will be resisted with all the might at our disposal”.
We have said it over and over, that Nigeria is the only inheritance we have in Africa and anywhere in the world. This land belongs to us, from Sokoto to the banks of the Atlantic Ocean. This was the destiny bestowed on Uthman Dan Fodio which would have been fulfilled since 1816 if not for the obstruction of this great assignment by the British. It is no longer time to play the ostrish(sic). Our men are waiting. We are eager to fight. We are boiling with the zeal to actualize our dream; enough of double dealing and ambivalence by FULANI political leaders who unfortunately think the FULANI can only take back what belongs to us through appeasement and elections destined to reflect cultural values antithetical to the preachings of Uthman Dan Fodio.
Read FUNAM’s threats:
That there is a clear agenda to divide Nigeria and exterminate the FULANI people. We are long aware of this plot. We call on FULANI all over Africa to prepare for this inevitable war and set our people on an offensive path rather than being weaklings that choose a defensive strategy in warfare.
We have said it over and over, that Nigeria is the only inheritance we have in Africa and anywhere in the world. This land belongs to us, from Sokoto to the banks of the Atlantic Ocean. This was the destiny bestowed on Uthman Dan Fodio which would have been fulfilled since 1816 if not for the obstruction of this great assignment by the British. It is no longer time to play the ostrish(Sic). Our men are waiting. We are eager to fight. We are boiling with the zeal to actualize our dream; enough of double-dealing and ambivalence by FULANI political leaders who unfortunately think the FULANI can only take back what belongs to us through appeasement and elections destined to reflect cultural values antithetical to the preachings of Uthman Dan Fodio.
We warn that nothing will be able to save those raising their voices against us and Allah. Nothing will be left behind, from the East, West and Middle Belt except those who accept the creation of Allah and the leadership place of Fulani in fulfilling this destiny. Since this irresponsible Western notion of democracy was imposed, the Fulani have been shortchanged and maligned. The Middle-Belt, the West and the East should be prepared. We are already here.
Let the Birom and the ethnic minority invaders in the entire Middle Belt leave our territory or be prepared to accept our ways of live. It is time for them to savour their wounds. It is just the beginning. Many more will come and nothing can stop us.
Insha Allah, we shall take this battle across the sea, on the land, in the air, on the mountains, in every territory currently occupied by the Kafirs. This is our position. This is our destiny. For those who think they can stop or continue to conspire against us, we wish them good luck.
Covid-19: Edo death toll hits 50
The death toll from COVID-19 in Edo State has climbed to 50, with 1,435 people testing positive for the disease.
The state, however, said 840 persons have been discharged from its isolation facilities.
Commissioner for Health Dr Patrick Okundia, who stated these to reporters in Benin City, noted that over 50 per cent of the deaths recorded in the state are within the age category of 60 years and above.
He urged residents to be cautious in protecting themselves and their loved ones.
Expressing worry over the alarming rate of community spread of the virus, Okundia said there was a need for residents to take responsibility and support the government’s efforts at containing the pandemic across communities.
According to him,
“Physical distancing, compulsory use of face masks, hand hygiene and other epidemiological safety rules must be strictly followed to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and protect the people, especially the elderly, who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.”
The commissioner explained that the state recorded 52 new confirmed cases with 32 tested at the Irrua Specialist Hospital (ISTH) laboratory, while the remaining 20 cases were confirmed at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) laboratory.
Okundia, however, reiterated the need for citizens to present or report themselves through the state COVID-19 toll-free response lines, following any recent travel from high incidence states or contact with confirmed cases.
NCAA suspends firms’ aircraft
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended some aircraft in the fleet of private charter carriers for non-compliance with Operations Specifications Part G, covering aircraft leasing operations.
They include aircraft marked CL604-N605JA (Jedidiah Air), CL604-N880ET (OmniBlu), CL604-N604WL (West Link Airlines), G.IV-N990EA (NestOil), CL601-N253LA (West Link Airlines), G1159A-N313MS (Izy Air) and CL604-G-FABO (Jet Support Services).
NCAA Director-General, Captain Musa Nuhu, directed the carriers to undergo a full audit in line with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCAR).
Boko Haram: Shekau’s hideout allegedly discovered
A counter-terrorism expert, David Otto has revealed that the command and control location where Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau conducts jihadists operations has been discovered.
Writing on his Twitter handle @ottotgs, he said the alleged location – deep in the Sambisa Forest – was given as “Sabil-Huda”, though sources said that the place is known within the jihadists circle only as “Farisu.”
It is understood that the insurgents led by Shekau, other senior commanders and members of the Shura council usually converge in the highly fortified ‘Farisu’ camp to observe Friday Jummat prayers at an approximate local time of 12:30 pm and 1:00 pm.
Other nearby active camps in ‘Farisu’ which host thousands of jihadist fighters, abducted women and children include Garin Kago, Garin Maluma, Daurul Tauhid and Tokombare, etc.
Many of the active Boko Haram camps in ‘Farisu’ have been bombarded by the Nigerian Army artillery and Nigerian Air Force bombs several times but because of the strategic position, the insurgents always find a safe haven in ‘Farisu’ to conduct their activities. Sabil-Huda or ‘Farisu’ also serves as a jihadists market for the sales of basic items such as telephone cards, charging of phones and provision stores.
The bloodthirsty jihadist leader is known to command and control about 25 Boko Haram jihadist camps headed by unit commanders within remote locations in the deep and marshy Sambisa Forest.
Sources with knowledge of these camps say each Boko Haram camp is likely to contain approximately 1000 fighters. But the number is said to have been significantly diminished by ongoing precision aerial strikes from the Nigerian Air Force, Nigerian Army under the auspices of Operation LAFIYA DOLE and the Multi- National Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
Sources further revealed that the permanent hiding place of Abubakar Shekau is a protected location within the thick and rocky forest of Firgi after a previous hideout was overrun in December 2016 and again as recently as March 2020.
The erratic and bloodthirsty leader is protected by 10 loyal special fighters. He retains possession of about 40 Toyota Hilux mounted with Anti-Aircraft guns, 2 Armoured tanks and 2 APCs, all carefully concealed under the thickness of the Firgi forest.
His selected location provides absolute camouflage from the aerial radar of the Nigerian Air Force reconnaissance.
Shekau sleeps in refurbished deep natural tunnels protected by heavy rocks with mines planted at vulnerable locations.
His final location is only accessible by foot and only a selected handful of his bodyguards are allowed to enter his last dungeon.
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