WHAT’S NEWS? October 30, 2023
● Gunmen kidnap Catholic priest in Taraba
Fr. Thaddeus Tarhembe, a Catholic priest, is the recent victim of an all-too-familiar attack on clerics in Taraba State. Rev. Fr Tarhembe of the diocese of Wukari was kidnapped by bandits in the early hours of Sunday from his rectory.
The abducted priest served at St. Ann’s Parish in Sarkin Kudu village, located in the Ibi County of Taraba State. The communications director of the Wukari diocese Rev. Fr John Laikei confirmed the abduction in a statement. Fr Laikei solicited prayers for Fr Tarhembe’s release.
The incident adds to the growing concerns surrounding the safety of Christian clerics in Taraba State. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) of the northeast State recently raised alarm over the growing abductions which, they say, are targeted at clerics and their families.
● State legislature complex engulfed in flames amidst lawmakers’ move to impeach Governor
An unexpected fire engulfed the State legislature complex in Rivers State, south-south Nigeria on Sunday night, raising concerns over the move of the lawmakers to impeach the State governor, Siminalayi Fubara.
The thugs reportedly broke into the building and set it on fire using Improvised Explosive Devices [IED] at about 10:00 p.m. local time on Sunday. The swift intervention of the emergency response team stopped the inferno from razing the entire building. Only the chamber of the assembly was affected but much property destroyed.
The Sunday night explosion ignited speculation that the fire was an attack on Rivers State legislators hell bent to unseat the sitting governor, Fubara rift between the immediate past governor Nyesom Wike and his successor.
● Nigeria seeks speedy delivery of military choppers from Turkey
Two of Nigeria’s military chiefs are in Turkey to speed up the dispatch of T-129 ATAK aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force [NAF].
The Nigerian government in July 2022 acquired six T-129 ATAK helicopters from the Turkish Aerospace Industry to intensify the war against terrorism and insurgency in the West African country. Defence boss Mohammed Badaru Abubakar and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar are engaging critical stakeholders in Turkey over a partnership to transfer defence technology to Nigeria.
In a statement on Sunday, Edward Gabkwet, NAF director of public relations and information, said NAF will take delivery of two of the fighter helicopters in the coming weeks while the remaining four choppers will be sent down to Nigeria before the end of the second quarter of 2024.
● Bandits strike in Zamfara village, kidnap district head
A gang of bandits causing havoc in Zamfara State attacked the Ruwan Rana community in Bukkuyum County of the Northwest state on Saturday night and kidnapped the district of the community, Alhaji Magaji Makau.
The criminal gang entered the village on motorcycles, shooting indiscriminately. Locals were forced to flee for safety. The bandits reportedly embarked on a door-to-door operation, attacking locals, and abducting some residents including the district head. A resident who resisted abduction was shot and killed.
● Shiite Muslims in Nigeria demand that government cut ties with Israel over continued invasion of Gaza
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has called on the Nigerian government to sever relations with Israel amidst the escalating conflict between the country and Palestine.
Abdullahi Danladi, chairman of the IMN’s resource forum, at a press briefing in Abuja on Saturday [Oct. 28] accused Israel of oppressing Palestinian territories. “We join our voices in calling the Nigerian government to immediately cut off all relations and ties with the illegal state of bloodmongers,” Danladi stated.
The group also denounced the “wave of support being shown to the weak and oppressed people of Palestine globally by people of different faiths and nationalities.” Earlier in October, the Islamic sect staged a protest walk in the nation’s capital Abuja in solidarity with Palestine.
● Herders kill police officer’s relatives in Benue
An unprovoked invasion of Tse Gamber village in Sengev council ward in Gwer-West County of Benue State by herdsmen speaking the Fulani language on Sunday led to the death of three cousins of the police public relations officer in the State, Catherine Anene.
Properties were raided and destroyed during the attack. Many residents were also injured by gunshots.
Attacks by nomadic Fulani herdsmen, who are mostly Muslims, and farmers, who are predominantly Christians, have rocked Nigeria’s Middle Belt since 2013 and are becoming more common. The herders carry out attacks in many remote communities, often taking advantage of the inadequate security presence in those areas.
Ezinwanne Onwuka reports for TruthNigeria from Abuja.