Connect with us

News

Adopt national confab recommendations on security, others, S’West leaders tell FG

Published

on

South-West leaders including state governors, traditional rulers and ministers have demanded a review of the nation’s architecture and reports of the 2014 and previous national conferences and adopt relevant recommendations on security and other troubling national issues.

The meeting hosted by Lagos State Government hosted was at the instance of all the six governors of the region, to forge a common front with traditional institutions in addressing the issues that led to the recent nationwide youth protest, which ended in violence.

President Muhammadu Buhari was represented at the event by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.

Current members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) from the region and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu, attended the event.

This obviously is the fallout of the threat resulting from the recent destruction of key public and private assets in Lagos and other states in the unrest that followed the #endSARS protests and sought to find the way forward.

The leaders, in a communique issued after the meeting stated and signed on behalf of the participants by Chairman of the South-West governors, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and Ooni of Ife Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, stated, called for a “review of reports of constitutional conferences including 2014 National Conference and implement some of the recommendations, especially with reference to security, economy and equal treatment for citizens all over the country.”

They stated, “The security architecture of the country requires adjustment to adequately address the threats and realities of insecurity in the country. There should be more police presence in communities in the South west states.

“While there are legitimate concerns contained in the initial ENDSARS movement, these have been hijacked by criminal and other elements with ulterior and negative forces and degenerated into anarchy.

“There is a need to undertake preventive actions aimed at prevention of repeat of what happened in the country following the ENDSARS demonstrators. Security needs to be strengthened in all states.

“We wish to encourage the Nigeria Police by responding to their needs and appeal to them to do more to protect lives and properties and enhance security all over the country.”

They noted that the prolonged closure of the border had caused economic difficulties and sought its review with a view to permitting the resumption of economic and trading activities.

The need to address youth unemployment and empowerment was also raised and demanded a comprehensive programme on this.

“We recognize the damaging and negative impact of fake/false news and worry about its destructive and dangerous potency of fake news. We call on Federal Government to use the instrumentality of existing laws and those regulations bench-marked from other countries to provide safeguards against the spread of fake news. 2015 Cyber Act will also be fully used.

“The Federal Government should ensure that technology is used effectively for the advancement of the Nigerian security and not its destruction by working with the technology cum social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. The regime of checks and gate keeping should be fully employed,” the communiqué stated.

On the prolonged faceoff between the FG and university lecturers, the leaders called for urgent resolution of the crisis so that students could return to school in earnest.

They also “endorse the call by traditional rulers call for regular consultations with state governors and federal authorities on challenges facing the state and for appropriate recognition of their role in the constitution.”

Earlier at the meeting, President Buhari, who spoke through Professor Gambari, had said the political class must go beyond the lip service and equip the young people with skills that would make them competitive in market.

He said, “Our government’s efforts are emerging from multiple levels. The vice president and governors are designing an engagement framework through the National Economic Council that will be rolled out across states of the federation.

“Chief among them is police reform across all its dimensions; community policing as an additional layer that can resolve some of our security issues.”

Ministers who attended were Lai Mohammed (Information and Culture), Babatunde Fashola (Works and Housing), Olurunnimbe Mamora (Health – State), Rauf Aregbesola (interior), Olamilekan Adegbite (Mines and Steel Development), Niyi Adebayo (Industry, Trade and Investment) and Sunday Dare (Youth and Sports).

Royal fathers in attendance are The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Akinruntan Obateru, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi and Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle.

Also at the forum are the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji; the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Kabiru Sotobi; the Olowo of Owo, Oba Olateru Olagbegi; the Orangun of Oke-Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin, among others.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

EFCC detains, grills ex-Gov Al-Makura over corruption allegations

Published

on

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has detained a former Governor of Nasarawa State and serving senator, Tanko Al-Makura, and his wife, Mairo Al-Makura.
Sources ae the EFCC Abuja head office said thecouple honoured the invitation extended to them by the commission.
One of the sources said they were detained when the operatives of the anti-graft agency demanded some explanations from them about the finances of the state but were unable to answer.
They were said to have been detained and grilled over misappropriation of funds.
Al-Makura governed Nasarawa between 2011 and 2019 before he was elected as the Senator representing Nasarawa South Senatorial District.
It was learnt that the duo were still at the headquarters of the commission in Abuja at about 10:30pm.
Spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, could however not confirm the development, saying he was yet to be briefed.

When contacted, the spokesman of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren said he was yet to be briefed on the development.

When contacted for his comment, the ex-governor’s spokesperson, Danjuma Joseph, said he was not aware of the arrest.

“His Excellency left Lafia (Nasarawa State capital) for Abuja this morning. I am not aware of such arrest,” Mr Joseph said.

The former governor, until Wednesday, has never been known to be facing EFCC probe.

Continue Reading

News

US lawmakers halt $875m military equipment sale to Nigeria

Published

on

United States lawmakers have stalled a proposed sale of attack helicopters to Nigeria based on President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s perceived human rights abuse, the Endsars protests of 2020 that ended in crisis and banditry.
According to Saharareporters, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have delayed clearing a proposed sale of 12 AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters and accompanying defence systems to the Nigerian military, pausing a deal worth some $875 million, according to US officials and congressional aides familiar with the matter.
Former US President, Donald Trump’s administration had agreed to sell the Nigerian government 12 A-29 Super Tucano warplanes, resurrecting a proposed sale the Obama administration froze after the Nigerian Air Force bombed a refugee camp that January. The first batch of those planes arrived in Nigeria earlier this month.
The report notes that the behind-the-scenes controversy over the proposed arms sale illustrates a broader debate among Washington policymakers over how to balance national security with human rights objectives.
This is also an indication that the US lawmakers want to push the Biden administration to rethink US relations with Nigeria amid overarching concerns that President Muhammadu Buhari is drifting toward dictatorship as his government is besieged by multiple security challenges, including jihadist insurgency.
Nigeria is on the front lines in the battle against Boko Haram, one of the world’s deadliest terrorist groups, and plays a role in the US and international efforts to roll back extremist groups in the Sahel region of West Africa.
But Western governments and international human rights organizations have ramped up their criticisms of the Nigerian government, particularly in the wake of its ban on Twitter, systemic corruption issues, and the Nigerian military’s role in deadly crackdowns on protesters after widespread demonstrations against police brutality last year.
Sen. Bob Menendez, the chairperson of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for a “fundamental rethink of the framework of our overall engagement” with Nigeria during a Senate hearing with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June.
Both Menendez and Sen. Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have placed a hold on the proposed arms sale, according to multiple U.S. officials and congressional aides familiar with the matter, who spoke to Foreign Policy on condition of anonymity.
The details on the proposed sale were first sent by the U.S. State Department to Congress in January before then-former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was inaugurated as president, according to officials familiar with the matter.
In addition to the helicopters, the proposed sale included 28 helicopter engines produced by GE Aviation, 14 military-grade aircraft navigation systems made by Honeywell, and 2,000 advanced precision kill weapon systems—laser-guided rocket munitions, according to information sent by the State Department to Congress and reviewed by Foreign Policy.
Nigeria has relied on U.S. arms sales in the past to help address multiple security challenges: the 12-year insurgency by Boko Haram militants in the country’s northeast, a spate of high-profile kidnapping-for-ransom campaigns targeting schoolchildren in the country’s northwest, and deadly clashes between the country’s semi-nomadic herders and farmers fueled by climate change and environmental degradation of the country’s arable land.
The State Department describes the U.S.-Nigeria relationship as “among the most important in sub-Saharan Africa” and has provided limited funding for various military training and education programs.
Some experts said the United States should hit the pause button on major defense sales until it makes a broader assessment of the extent to which corruption and mismanagement hobble the Nigerian military and whether the military is doing enough to minimize civilian casualties in its campaign against Boko Haram and other violent insurrectionists.
“There doesn’t have to be a reason why we don’t provide weapons or equipment to the Nigerian military,” said Judd Devermont, director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank.
“But it has to be done with an assessment of how it will, one, change the direction of conflict in Nigeria, and, two, that they will use it consistent with our laws. In both cases, it’s either a question mark or a fail.”
“There is a culture of impunity that exists around abuses by the military,” said Anietie Ewang, the Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch.
Ewang cited the Nigerian military’s killing of unarmed protesters at Lekki toll gate in Lagos during the country’s massive #EndSARS demonstrations against police corruption and brutality last year as well as cases documented by human rights organizations of abuses in the military’s campaign against Boko Haram.
“I’m sure it’s a difficult situation. There are so many conflicts springing up across the country now,” Ewang said.
“The authorities, I presume, are trying to do the best they can to save lives and property. But this must be done in accordance with human rights standards. You can’t throw one out just to be able to achieve the other.”

 

Continue Reading

News

Court frees El-Zakzaky, wife of culpable homicide, other charges

Published

on

Justice Gideon Kurada of Kaduna High Court has discharged and acquitted leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria otherwise known as Shi’ites, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat.
The IMN leader and his wife had been standing trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, among other criminal charges since December 2015, following a clash between his followers and convoy of the then Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The court had fixed July 28 for ruling in the no-case submission filed by Zakzaky.

Justice Kurada fixed the date after the prosecution and counsel to the defendants addressed the court on the no-case submission prayer
Briefing journalists after the secret trial, counsel to Zakzaky, Marshal Abubakar, said the court upheld their no-case submission and agreed that the case lacked merit.

Continue Reading

Trending