The attack by Fulani herdsmen flood major headlines for several newspapers this morning. While THE GUARDIAN reports that 32 people were killed in the attack, NEW TELGRAPH and DAILY INDEPENDENT reports that 25 people were killed, VANGUARD reports that 52 lives were lost in Borno, Kogi and Plateau states. According to reports the assailants arrived by boat on Wednesday, opened fire on the people and burnt down homes. An eyewitness said they wore military fatigue and wielded AK 47 assault rifles. Many of the residents who fled for their lives remain unaccounted for. A source claimed the attackers, “about 500”, burnt down over 20 houses, killed anyone in sight and shot at those who tried to escape into the bushes. The Deputy Commissioner of Police Monday Bala confirmed the incident during a press conference yesterday but declined to give casualty figures. He said the Commissioner of Police Aliyu Janga has drafted policemen and other security operatives to the area to restore order.
Still on the issue of herdsmen attack, DAILY SUN and THE PUNCH reveal Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka’s annoyance over the issue. While Punch reveals that Soyinka flays Buhari for attending Ganduje daughter’s wedding, daily sun indicates that Soyinka demands herdsmen be declared as terrorists. He criticised President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of killings by herdsmen in the country, as well as his response to the abduction of over 73 schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe State, last month. The renowned writer also flayed the President for attending a wedding (Governor Abdullahi Ganduje daughter’s marriage to Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s son) in the North few days after the abduction of the schoolgirls, describing the President’s action as blasphemous. Soyinka said Buhari’s disposition to the killings and abduction of the schoolgirls reminded him of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s approach to the plight of victims of the 2002 bomb blast at the Ikeja Military Cantonment in Lagos. Soyinka, who spoke at the maiden edition of the Ripples Nigeria Dialogue in Lagos, yesterday, said he was disturbed that the president was treating the killer herdsmen with levity, while those who have committed far less crimes were severely punished.
“We expect the president to have the courage to declare such monsters as terrorists and enemies of humanity with the same dispatch in which he declared the far less violent, albeit, disruptive IPOB terrorists. We expect a culture of even-handedness.
“I have always refrained from labelling the herdsmen as Fulani but since they have publicly come out to admit they are responsible for the killings, we can say they are Fulani herdsmen.
“An organisation has been rampaging the nation armed to the teeth and descending on innocent people. Their spokesman appeared on TV, unrepentant, distorting history, calling on a state government to rescind their laws and proceeding to defy such laws. They went ahead and threatened continuation of the same acts of degradation. The nation has been placed on the defensive simply because of the failing of governance.
Electoral Act: NASS will override Buhari’s veto says Senate heads NIGERIAN TRIBUNE. According to reports this was declared by the Senate on Thursday in a bid to show its readiness to override the veto of President Muhammadu Buhari on the Electoral Act Amendment bill 2018 which was rejected on Tuesday. Meanwhile THE NATION reports that Buhari seeks peace over order of elections, budget. Last night President Buhari met at the Presidential Villa with the leadership of the National Assembly. The meeting, which started around 9p.m, was attended by Senate President Bukola Saraki, House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Lasun Yussuff, Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan and House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila, among others. After the meeting, Saraki told reporters that the frosty relationship between the Executive and the Legislature was discussed. The budget was also discussed, he said. Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha confirmed that the threat by the lawmakers to override the President’s veto on the Electoral Act amendment was discussed.
Finally on BUSINESS DAY, Amobode douses tension with cut in Lagos Land Use Charge rates. After the Akinwunmi Ambode-led Lagos state government, on Thursday announced a major reduction in the Land Use Charge (LUC) rates, as well as, waived the penalty for late payments across board, fresh concerns are now being raised over exorbitant valuations of commercial and residential properties. These LUC was subject of extensive deliberations at the meeting of the state executive council on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 chaired by A mbode which resolved as follows: Commercial property owners, who are undoubtedly the stakeholders most impacted by the amended law will be granted a 50 percent discount. This eans a commercial property valued at N20 million which was earlier billed N91,200 will now pay N45,600 per annum.