Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, on Friday welcomed the release from prison of numerous detainees, including key opposition figures in Ethiopia.
Guterres, in a statement, called on the parties involved to embrace dialogue and reconciliation to bring lasting peace to the country.
Ethiopia on Friday freed several opposition leaders from prison and said it would begin dialogue with political opponents after 14 months of war when thousands of people have been arrested.
The move to free leaders from several ethnic groups was the most significant breakthrough since war broke out in the northern Tigray region, threatening the unity of Africa’s second-most populous state.
Some leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the party fighting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s central government, are among those freed.
Guterres called upon the parties to build on this significant confidence-building step by agreeing a cessation of hostilities and a lasting ceasefire, as well as launching a credible and inclusive national dialogue and reconciliation process.
He said, “I will remain actively engaged with all stakeholders in assisting Ethiopia to bring an end to the fighting and to restore peace and stability.
“Following my last contact with Prime Minister Ahmed, I also look forward to a meaningful improvement in humanitarian access to all areas affected by the year-long conflict,’’ he said.
He also extended his warm wishes to all Ethiopians celebrating Orthodox Christmas, praying that the celebration contributes to a peaceful and prosperous Ethiopia.
ECOWAS condemns coup d’état in Burkina Faso
From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has condemned the coup d’état which took place in Burkina Faso on Monday.
ECOWAS however assured that it will hold an extraordinary summit in the coming days to review the situation in Burkina Faso.
The ECOWAS Commission, in a statement issued in Abuja, said ECOWAS noted that despite calls by the regional and international community for calm and respect for constitutional legality, the situation in Burkina Faso was characterised by a military coup d’état that occurred on Monday, 24 January 2022, leading to the resignation of President Roch Marc Christian Kabore under threat, intimidation and pressure from the military after two days of mutiny.
“ECOWAS strongly condemns this military coup d’état which is a major setback for democracy in Burkina Faso. An ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit will be held in the coming days to review the situation,” the ECOWAS Commission said.
Jigawa: Hisbah arrests 92 prostitutes, seizes 1,906 bottles of alcohol
The Jigawa State Hisbah Command had seized 1,906 bottles of alcohol and arrested 92 persons, including prostitutes, in the state
Commander of the board, Mallam Ibrahim Dahiru, disclosed this to DAILY POST in Dutse, the state capital.
He said the board had seized 1,906 bottles of alcohol in raids carried out by the personnel of the command last year, 2021.
Dahiru said during the operation, the command had also arrested 92 persons on suspicion of various offenses within the last year.
The offenses include gambling, drug abuse, prostitution and other social vices.
He also said that during the period, the Hisbah board had also closed beer parlours and brothels across the state.
Mallam Ibrahim added that the seized bottles of alcohol and suspects were handed over to the police for further investigation.
Hanifa and Asmau: They killed the parents as well – Peju Akande
Hanifa Abubakar’s photo is one of a child well cared for.
Her skin is fresh, her cheeks full, her face a picture of good health and being an only child, one can imagine the love and attention lavished on her by her parents and the rest of the extended family.
What’s not to love about this child?
That is why the Proprietor of Nobel Kids Academy and North West Preparatory School, Abdulmalik Tanko decided to poke her parents in the eye by abducting her. He saw her as his ticket to wealth, like most criminals, however, he didn’t think it through.
He didn’t calculate the what ifs?
He only saw himself swimming in money he didn’t work for.
What’s a few millions to parents of a child who will move mountains to have their child back?
They won’t even feel the pinch of N3million…N6 million won’t even create a dent in their finances…they have rich friends.
These were all he saw…
He didn’t see that Hanifa was just a baby who must have innocently blurted that she would tell her parents he held away from them and gave her food she didn’t like. Like most 5 year olds, there would be no guile, no hidden agenda to her words.
He must have promised to take her to her parents if she stopped crying and she must have obeyed him, hoping he would, not sensing the danger she was in…she was five years old, a baby, in fact.
She must have said things that made Tanko begin to understand the gravity of his actions.
She morphed from a baby girl to a dangerous weapon against Tanko. So he began to think.
This baby girl would tell anyone that asked her how she was taken away; she had seen Tanko’s accomplices, even if she was unable to name them; she would give information that would eventually lead to the arrest and imprisonment of anyone linked in any way to her abduction.
Which is why Tanko, after keeping her for a while; decided to kill her by feeding her rat poison even after collecting N3 million ransom!
In killing her, Tanko “killed” three people in the process, Hanifa and her parents.
ALSO READ: Christian Ehima: Death of unfortunate kidnap victim feels like double jeopardy – Peju Akande
When he murdered Hanifa and cut her up, scattering her remains in a compound she had once learned from, Tanko becaome every parents’s worsts fear because you see, only a depraved mind can do this to a child!
The image of their pretty little girl, cut up into pieces will forever be imprinted in the minds of her parents!
Speaking of images, did you see Asmau’photo?
Then imagine her in pain, tears, her fear as she spent days away in the kidnappers den. crying, begging, refusing to eat, scared out of her life and wondering when her parents would come get her.
That’s the image Asmau’s parents will be tortured with for years to come.
8 year old Asma’u Wa’alamu, kidnapped on the 9th of December, 2021, her abductors, like Hanifa’s, demanded ransom, they were paid and yet, the child was killed. Asmau was sent to buy a recharge card and she never came back home.
Her abductors informed her father she’d been killed. The only reason being that she identified her abductors, who have turned out to be their neighbors. One can only hope that these girls weren’t raped before they were killed. Let’s hope they were in no way in pain before death came.
I have no idea what the parents of these children are going through but I can guess and it is hell!
My son was missing for a few hours and I became a mad woman, I mean, raving mad with horrible pictures of what could possibly have happened or be happening to my kid while I was living and breathing!
So I can hazard a guess that, their parents will hear their daughters’ cries for help.(In their heads)
Their daughters’ tears and anguish at being left in the dark will fill their ears, live.
They will “talk” to their daughters’ and have no answers to their queries:
“Why didn’t daddy come get me?”
“Where is mummy?”
“I’m hungry, I want my mummy…”
Not having the right answers will drive them up the wall!
I have no idea what will happen to Tanko and his accomplices.
I do know, though, that the bulk of the ransom they collected will never be spent; the comfort they hoped for and the life they thought they would enjoy has forever been taken away from them.
Though these will never bring any form of comfort to the parents of the girls nor the families of hundreds of children being kidnapped nationwide. I hope someday, some year, they will find closure…
May the souls of these little ones find peace.
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