1. Bishop of Kaduna Speaks Out on Violence



The bishop of Kafanchan, Kaduna State, Rt Rev Julius Yakubu Kundi, has deplored the state of Nigeria at the moment, highlighting the fact that people are not safe in the country. He made these remarks in an interview published by The Pillar Newspaper. “No one is safe in Nigeria as the government of the day cannot even protect itself-to say nothing of protecting the rest of us the masses. An honest assessment of the security situation in Kaduna, therefore, is that life for us has suddenly become short, brutish, and difficult. Our joy is stolen; our esteem wounded. We are facing a situation that could best be described as a state of near-anarchy. What we see and experience here is an evil onslaught unleashed upon the Church. I feel enough is enough… The people can change the situation by becoming more politically aware of their rights, and the category of persons they vote into power. I have called on all our people to ‘speak’ to their votes with all seriousness before casting them. By this I mean to pray and express a wish over the vote so that their exercise will not be in futility like before.” the bishop is making these comments in light of the fact that Kaduna seems to be one of the epicentres of sectarian, religious violence in the country, with at least six Catholic priests already kidnapped just this year. adding his voice to those of his fellow brother bishops at the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Bishop Kundi has continuously spoke out about the killings, kidnappings and violence terrorising his region. however, the bishop says, the Church “continues to preach peace to all peace-loving citizens of this country and keep strengthening our parishioners to remain strong and shun any attempt to get involved in anything evil and contrary to gospel values.” 


2. Governor of Benue State Accuses Government of Being Behind Violence



In an affront on the Federal Government, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has pointed the finger at the central government, saying that the reason the Fulani herdsmen who are ravaging the state in violent attacks cannot be arrested and punished is because of a Federal Government order prohibiting security agents from apprehending and arraigning them. A herdsmen group, known as Miyetti Allah, claims responsibility repeatedly for attacks. He claims not only that the Federal Government is protecting them, but that Miyetti Allah is in fact collecting money from the government. “I have spoken to some security men who told me the Federal Government gave them directive that they do not have to move against these Fulani men. That is why I keep saying that the Federal Government’s action and inaction clearly show that they are complicit in the criminality that is going on in Nigeria. They call them bandit because they do not want people to call them Fulani herdsmen

Remember what the Sultan of Sokoto said some time ago: anywhere you arrest ten bandits, most of them are Fulanis. That is a Fulani man himself, and that is why when I am talking, I try to differentiate it by saying that those people who are coming against us here because we have lived with Fulani before. These are from Mali, Niger, Senegal, and other parts of the world who had chosen to relocate here and take over. We have not sent any Fulani man away from Benue State. Some are still here, and some are even in my government.

“These people called Miyetti Allah have no job other than collecting huge sums of money from the government. The Federal Government is protecting them, which is why they have been talking in the manner they do because even when they do, nothing will happen to them. Even when we do, nothing has taken place. Nobody has called them to question why you are doing this and taking responsibility for attacks.” in its own aspersions, Miyetti Allah has accused Governor Ortom of not being a fit governor, and of neglecting his responsibilities to the people of Benue State, while fraternising with the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike. To this, Governor Ortom has: “I am the governor of Benue State, and I am not lacking in any area of my responsibility. Despite all the challenges I have we have been able to provide basic infrastructure. Go round despite all the challenges I have, we have been able to provide basic infrastructure, go around Makurdi. You will see the road, the urban renewal we have done, and the road construction we have taken key responsibility for. Go to the teaching hospitals to see our work; go to lands and surveys, see what we are doing; go to the Ministry of Housing and see what we are doing. We have provided roads in Zone A, Zone B and Zone C. We have provided clinics, and everything is functional. We have been able to establish primary health care, some of the states, up till today they have not been able to do that, and it is functional. We have been able to provide facilities that serve the people. We are not lacking in any area in sports.” on his relationship with Governor Wike, he says, “My relationship with Wike pains them. You know your true friend when you are in distress. When the same Miyetti Allah came with their people and attacked and killed our people, Wike came here with stakeholders from Rivers State. I was not close to Wike before. We disagreed on a number of things. I looked at it and said this is somebody that can be a friend, and we are working together. Nobody will stop me from being friends with Governor Wike. We speak to ourselves frankly. He is not happy with what is happening in the country today, and nobody is happy about this, so we are on the same page. Birds of the same feather flock together. He has spoken to condemn this administration and what Miyetti Allah is doing. He followed us in Benue and established the law prohibiting open grazing in Rivers State. They are annoyed because I have taken the lead in guiding people. I know that some states are already asking me about the process of establishing the Community Volunteers Guard, which they will adopt. Very soon, you will see it. If the Federal Government had listened to us, because you see the security men are doing their best, but they lack capacity, manpower, equipment, training and funding, they do not have it. We have been talking about restructuring and trying to have state police for a long time. The Federal Government does not want it. They want to control the security at the centre so they will do what they want.” 


3. Kidnapping Victims Freed in Kaduna




Three kidnap victims were rescued, in an operation led by the new General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, who was accompanying a team of operational commanders and operatives on 25 August 2022. In a statement released by Army Headquarters, it said, “The GOC and his team rescued the victims from a group of armed kidnappers in Manini village, along Pole Wire – Birnin Gwari road, Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna state. The Kidnappers had abducted the victims and were taking off, when they were confronted by the GOC’s team. The hot exchange of fire that followed subdued the kidnappers, compelling them to scamper in disarray with gunshot wounds into nearby forest, abandoning their abductees. The rescued victims, comprising two adult males and an elderly woman have been conveyed to Kaduna, where they are currently receiving medical attention.”


4. More Attacks in Benue State


The afternoon of Thursday 1 September 2022, Fulani herdsmen attacked the Tse Umela Nanev Mbawa council ward in the Guma Local Government Area of Benue State. The attacked village is next to a camp for internally displaced people (IDP’s), creating panic amongst the IDP’s. Five deaths were confirmed, and several were injured. The staff of the Diocese of Makurdi were on the scene, taking the injured to the hospital.


See the pictures below:


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