Ex-DIG, perm sec accused of fuelling communal clashes in Adamawa

A retired deputy inspector general of police, Philemon Leha and a retired permanent secretary in Adamawa State civil service, Kennedy Dauda have been accused of fuelling communal strife in Bidoma development area of Demsa Local government of Adamawa State.

The revelation was made during a press briefing by Dingle Ubeoh clan of Mayah community, Demsa Local Government of Adamawa State at the state council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Thursday.

Spokesman of the aggrieved community, Chindo Hebron accused Wanela Wagowang clan of launching incessant attacks on their communities in order to take over their farmlands.

“We want to make it categorically clear that it is no longer secret that a former permanent secretary ministry of local government and Chieftaincy affairs in Adamawa State, Mr. Kennedy Dauda supported by his brother retired DIG Philemon Leha are the conflict entrepreneurs behind the raging conflict whose embers they inflame using their resources and connections.

“From our investigations, we have sufficient evidences to believe that Mr. Kennedy Dauda and DIG Philemon Leha (rtd) of Wanela Wagowang clan are the forces behind the vile attacks of rampaging youths headed by one Nehemiah Da’adas who has on several occasions used guns to threaten our youths. We are equally aware of how Mr. Kennedy often bail him from police custody and also blocks any plan to take him to court to face justice.

“The Dingle Ubeoh clan is not just making an empty accusation, the facts are there for you journalist to also verify through investigation.

“As peace-loving people, we are compelled to seek the intervention of the Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, who is the chief security officer of this state to constitute an investigative panel to investigate the root cause of the crisis and penalize anyone found guilty irrespective of position or wealth,” the group noted.

They noted that during the latest invasion of their land by the aggressors, no fewer than eight people were severely injured.

“Aggrieved by the recent unrest in our community of Dingle, Bidoma Development Area where eight people were severely injured by bullets and machetes, we decided to come to the members of the pen profession with the hope that our fervent cries for justice will be amplified.

“The whole crisis has to do with the land ownership that is now the subject of contention between our people, the Dingle Ubeon clan, and the WANELA WAGOWANG CLAN.

“However, to put the records straight for the sake of clarity, let me briefly take you down memory lane on the cause of the incessant conflict that is claiming lives and property worth millions of naira.

“It is a documented fact that a large farmland situated in the Dingle community has been under the control of our family for decades before the WANELA WAGOWANG CLAN arrived in the community after escaping from the crisis in their native land to settle in Dingle.

“But as the years go by and following what appears to be a permanent residency by these people in Dingle and their willing incorporation into the community which granted them rights and privileges to some farmlands, they surreptitiously and illegally claimed ownership of many farmlands including the land that is at the center of the conflict.

“Surprisingly, the annexation of our ancestral land which started like play in 2019 snowballed into a huge crisis leading to the destruction of property worth millions of naira. The unrest continued unabated in stages, leading to the recent one where our young promising stars of Dingle Ubeon clan were beaten to pulp while some were gruesomely shot with guns leading to life threatening injuries and are currently undergoing treatment at the Numan General Hospital. This happen just last week.

“As I am speaking to you, hundreds of our women, children, and the aged are homeless in their fatherland because they do not have someone to fight for as they neither had the connection nor the resources to stage reprisal attacks.

“Before the recent conflict, we have made concerted efforts through the law courts and the paramount ruler of Bata Chiefdom, Humon Gladstone Alhamdu Teneke to seek justice and promote peaceful coexistence to no avail.

But refuting the allegations through their counsel, Ehimikhuai Godwin, Kennedy Dauda and Philemon Leha said the accusations against them were unfounded and mischievous.

They gave their accusers a 14 day ultimatum allegation or face the wrath of the law.

“I wish to categorically state here that my clients have no single hand in the conflict because as prominent sons from that area, they have nothing to benefit if their community is destroyed due to unnecessary conflict. If at all, they have contributed immensely to the development of that area.

“Mr. Kennedy Dauda mni for the records, retired as Permanent Secretary having served the Adamawa State Government meritoriously for Nine (9) years in that capacity. DIG Philemon Ibrahim Leha Rtd. on his part retired from the Nigeria
Police Force as Deputy Inspector General of Police (operations), the first person to have attained such position in Demsa Local Government Area.

“The services rendered by these two gentlemen point to the fact that they
contributed their own quota to their father land, Nigeria. The allegations leveled against the two gentlemen is totally false. unfounded, spurious and cannot be substantiated with any credible

“It is also false to accuse Mr. Kennedy Dauda of often bailing one Nehemiah Garba from Police Station and also blocking any plan to take him to Court to face justice. For your information, Mr. Kennedy has never been to any Police Station to solicit for bail of Nehemiah.

“They are peace loving people, who have used their positions and connections for the development of their area, rather than engaged in inciting violence in their land.

“We are aware of the outstanding land dispute between the two clans which led them to come to come before the District Head on 10 of May, 2018, for settlement. That visit resulted in a minor scuffle at the Palace. To avoid escalation of the crisis and also to maintain peace in that area the Mayah Elders Forum Chaired by Engr. Peter Bokido spent over N500,000.00 both in cash and food items for the affected victims. The two aforementioned persons contributed financially to this project.

“On the assertion that they have sufficient evidences to link the duo to the crisis we demand that these evidences be made available or we shall be compelled to demand, same through legal means.The following persons, Baka Dafa Dingle, Hebron Chindo, Bamanga
Chindo and one other are therefore, given 14days ultimatum to withdraw
or retract the malicious allegations and apologize using the same medium as failure and/or refusal will compel us to seek legal redress,” Godwin said.



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