The presidency has alleged that the federal government had evidence that most of the killings from herdsmen-farmers attacks in Nigeria are sponsored by politicians.
Vanguard reports that presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement said the recent arrests by the army in Taraba state were clear evidence that the killings had political undertone.
“Today, government has irrefutable evidence that much as most of these killings are arising from herdsmen-farmers attacks, some of it is driven by politicians. The recent arrests by the army in Taraba State point to a clear political sponsorship, and the kingpins, some of whom have been arrested have been handed over to the DSS for further investigation,” Shehu said.
“Others who are being sought have either gone into hiding or are pulling strings of blackmail to force the hands of government to abandon the search for them.
“It is clear by now that the Middle Belt killings even if they are not caused by the opposition are no doubt seen as a political opportunity to set the tone for the 2019 elections.
Meanwhile, Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka and activist lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) on Sunday, April 22, blasted former president Olusegun Obasanjo, for what they termed his posturing on national issues.
The Nation reports that Obasanjo came under attack from the duo when they spoke at the 80th posthumous birthday for Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN).
Though Soyinka and Falana did not name Obasanjo, the newspaper stated that it was clear they were referring to him in their speeches.
Soyinka said: “All I want to say in connection with the title of today is just one word: vigilance….There is no question whatsoever that democracy is in danger.
“And so I find it ironic that those who’ve proved themselves the enemies of democracy who’ve really taken, they’ve really committed acts, not just negligence, but actually inaugurated certain policies which contributed to our being at this point again are once again coming out and positioning themselves as saviours, as messiahs, as the sole possible rescue mission that this nation can even dream of, a nation of nearly 200 million people.
“I find it very strange, and I find it even stranger because at the beginning of this movement towards ‘rescue mission’, there were one or two organisations that came out under different names and they had people in them whom I considered worth following, worth encouraging, worth encouraging others to study closely and even consider following."
In other news, some senators have threatened to expose their colleagues who belong to the proscribed Parliamentary Support Group.
The Punch reports that some senators on Sunday, April 22, accused PSG members of working against the amendment to the electoral act.
The newspaper reports that the chairman of the Senator committee on petroleum (upstream), Senator Kabiru Marafa, stated that activities of the pro-Buhari group had been counter-productive to the success of the president.
Marafa also threatened to expose the anti-Buhari activities of the group if they challenge the ban on their activities.
“Let them come. We will confront them and tell them the truth to their faces. Let them call themselves anything but for God’s sake, they should not call themselves lovers or supporters of Muhammadu Buhari. They don’t support him; they don’t like him. That is the truth.
“The President never came out to say he needed anybody’s support. If you are talking about the elections sequence, he did not say he wanted somebody to support him; he only said he did not support certain clauses in the Electoral Act 2010 Amendment Bill,” he said.
To other news, a top US government official has told the Guardian that the United States government will deliver 12 Tucano A-29 ground attack aircraft to Nigeria in 2020 after the federal government concluded payment of about N153 billion ($500 million) in January this year.
Military spokesman, Olatokunbo Adesanya, also confirmed that it might take about a year for the warplanes to be delivered.
“It could take more than a year for the jets to be delivered to Nigeria. Fighter jets and aircraft are not picked off the shelf; normally, it is after a contract would have been signed and money released that they start manufacturing the aircraft,”
“It is unlikely that we would even have them in one year,” he said.
This Day reports that a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari to the leadership of the National Assembly has explained that the president had already given anticipatory approval for the withdrawal of the sum of $469m from the ECA for the purchase of 12 Tucano aircraft from the U.S. and was seeking the inclusion of same in the 2018 Appropriation Bill that the National Assembly is currently finalising.
The newspaper also stated that in the letter, Buhari explained that the U.S. government had given a payment deadline for the aircraft purchase, otherwise, the contract would lapse.
Nigerian herdsmen vs Nigerian farmers on NAIJ.com TV