Connect with us

News

Bauchi gov under fire for supporting herders carrying AK-47

Published

on

Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State is facing harsh criticism from different parts of the country after defending the right of herders to go about with AK-47.

His fellow governor, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, challenged Mohammed to cite the law that allows herders to carry assault guns.

“They (herders) have no option than to carry AK-47 because the society and the government are not protecting them,” the Bauchi State governor had said on Thursday while reacting to recent comments and actions against suspected criminal herders in parts of the country.

Mohammed added, “It is not his (herder’s) fault, it is the fault of the government and the people; you don’t criminalise all of them, because in every tribe, there are criminals. You should be very sensitive. We have to be careful.”

He berated his colleagues in the South-West and South-East for the manner in which they are handling the herders’ crisis and claimed they are not accommodating people from other ethnic groups.

“You have seen what our colleagues in the South-West are doing and some of them in South-East. Some of us told them with all modesty and humility – you are wrong.”

Hitting back at Mohammed, Governor Ortom wondered how much the Bauchi governor knew about alleged atrocities perpetrated in parts of the country by herders.

Ortom in a statement said while he would not want to join issues with his counterpart, he found it shocking that a colleague who took the oath of office as he also did, to protect and preserve the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, now takes the lead in violating provisions of the same constitution by calling for lawlessness.

According to Ortom, the most shocking part of Governor Bala Mohammed’s statement was where he defended herdsmen for bearing arms saying ”they have no option than to carry AK-47 because the society and the government are not protecting them”.

The Benue governor questioned the section of the law the Bauchi governor cited to support herdsmen’s free movement around the country with sophisticated weapons.

He said, “It was the same Governor Mohammed who once said on national television that a Fulani man is a global citizen and therefore does not need a visa to come to Nigeria, and that the forests belong to herdsmen.”

In reference to Governor Bala Mohammed’s comment that there are Benue people who are freely doing business in Bauchi and elsewhere, Ortom stated that Benue indigenes in Bauchi have been law-abiding and do not carry arms to attack their hosts, noting that Fulani, as well as many other Nigerians residing in Benue who respect laws of the land, also live peacefully with their hosts.

Ortom insisted that his administration had not driven away any law-abiding Nigerian in Benue State.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Senator Shehu Sani.

Sani, in a short response, said Bala Mohammed’s comment was nothing short of baptising infamy.

“My Brother, Bauchi Governor’s justification for AK-47 amounts to baptizing infamy,” he tweeted.

The Pan Niger Delta Forum, (PANDEF), labeled Bala Muhammed’s statement reckless, careless and an invitation to anarchy.

“It is sad that the Bauchi State governor, Bala Muhammed, would make that kind of statement. Invariably, what he is saying is that every business person in Nigeria should carry AK-47. That is what he is saying and that is a call for anarchy,” National Publicity Secretary of the forum, Ken Robinson in a chat with our correspondent yesterday.

He added, “That is a call for total collapse of governance in the country. It is an irresponsible statement from a governor that some of us hold in high esteem. It is unfortunate that he is saying that.

“Instead of that kind of statement, what we of expect governor Bala is to caution the herdsmen to respect the law and the people on whose lands they do business instead of forcefully occupying lands, terrorising innocent citizens and molesting women.

“As long as those in authority in the North continue to make this kind of statements, the herders’ crisis will continue to aggravate and embolden these people to do the kind of criminal activities that they are doing.

“Why are they not doing that in Bauchi State? Why are they doing it in southern Nigeria? Those are the questions we should ask the governor. It is very unfortunate and it is a pity that Governor Bala Muhammed would make that kind of reckless and careless statement. It is sad and unfortunate.”

A security expert, Mr Jackson Lekan Ojo, said he was disturbed that a state governor could make that kind of statement.

“AK-47 is not a soft weapon, it is a sophisticated weapon and it cannot be registered for anybody for gaming or for personal protection.

“It is only the government security personnel alone that are allowed by law to use it.”

The Oluwo of Iwo, Osun State, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, said, “Anybody that is fueling war or crisis in Nigeria in any part of Nigeria should be taken by the DSS and arrested. We don’t want war; we want peace.

“Only security agents are allowed by law to carry guns.”

The Director of Legal Affairs, Yoruba Koya Leadership & Training Foundation (YKL&TF), Mr. Tayo Douglas, said the governor “never meant well with the statement credited to him.

“I believe the governor is aware that there’s a law in the country, that is, the Nigerian Firearms Act (1990) which provides that no person shall have in his possession or under his control any firearm or ammunition except such person has a licence from the President or from the Inspector General of Police.”

News

EFCC grills ex-Kwara gov, Ahmed, over N9n fraud

Published

on

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has quizzed a former governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, for allegedly diverting N9bn.
The former governor was grilled by an EFCC team of operatives from the commission’s headquarters at Jabi, Abuja.
Ahmed, on invitation of the anti-graft agency, was said to have arrived at the EFCC headquarters by 10am on Monday.
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that he was in their custody, but did not give further information on the development.
Ahmed had governed Kwara between 2011 and 2019.
Before then, he had served as commissioner for finance in the administration of Bukola Saraki, his predecessor.
Details of the allegations of fraud against him are still sketchy but TheCable understands the funds involved run into billions of naira.
This is the second time the former governor will be invited by the EFCC since he vacated office in 2019.
In December 2020, he was at the commission’s office after an invitation.

Continue Reading

News

Only 9% of miliraty budget spent on weapons – Gbajabiamila

Published

on

  • DHQ: Nigeria needs N826bn annually to fund armed forces

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, says only nine per cent of the total budget of the military is spent on weapons.
He stated this at a public hearing on the Armed Forces Support Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, organised by the House Committee on Defence on Monday in Abuja.

This came as the Defence Headquarters said Nigeria would need $2bn (about N826bn) annually to fund its armed forces to effectively combat the daunting challenges of insecurity facing the country.
This disclosure also came on Monday just it was revealed that some members of the Armed Forces currently engaged in the fight against insurgency and other criminal act are lobbying to be redeployed from the area where they are posted as a result of poor welfare.

Gbajabiamila said that appropriation records showed that about 91 per cent of the current funding of the Armed Forces was spent on recurrent overhead, salaries and welfare.
“This bill seeks to provide an injection of additional capital funding for the Armed Forces of Nigeria at a crucial time in our nation.

“I am sure many of you will wonder why the Armed Forces of Nigeria need an additional financial injection at this time.
“The fact based on appropriation records is that about 91 per cent of the current funding to the Armed Forces go on recurrent overhead, salaries and welfare, leaving only nine per cent for capital purchases.
“This reality has prompted this 9th House of Representatives to seek a way of providing funds that will be focused on the capital needs and training of our Armed Forces,’’ he said.
Gbajabiamila said that the importance of the bill is evidenced by the dwindling resources available to the Armed Forces to prosecute the various security operations it is involved in.
Gbajabiamila said that Nigeria’s expenditure on military hardware and training in the last five years was between nine per cent and 11 per cent of the budgetary allocation to the military.
He said that it was incapable of empowering the military to face the security challenges in the country especially the insurgency in the North-East.
Gbajabiamila said that to succeed in the fight against insecurity, the military would need more funding for modern weapons and training.
He said, “Nigeria is at war against insurgency, terrorism, kidnapping and all manner of insecurity; hence the need to uplift the resources available to our armed services to enable them procure the best tools to help win this war.
“So, what we seek to do in this bill is not new or unique to us as a nation; the solution to our security challenges requires asymmetric actions across many policy areas. This is what we have tried to do as the representatives of the people.
“The concept of a trust fund already exists for the Nigerian Police; it only makes sense to also bolster our military capability as well through this unique vehicle.”
Chairman, House, House Committee on Defence, Rep. Benson Babajimi (APC-Lagos) said that the bill sought to explore alternative sources of funding for the military.

Meanwhile, Director of Production, Defence Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal M. A. Yakubu, who spoke at the public hearing said even the sources of funding specified in the bill would be inadequate to tackle the problem.
He said the projection for funding in the Bill is estimated at about N100bn per year.
When established, the Support Trust Fund is expected to draw funds from one per cent of the total money accruing to the federation account; 0.5 per cent of the profit made from the investment of the National Sovereign Wealth Fund (NSWF) by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment, one percent of Value Added Tax (VAT) remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) as well as any take-off grant and special intervention fund as may be provided by the Federal Government, states and local governments of the Federation.
It will also draw funds from one percent of the air ticket contract, charter and cargo sales charge to be collected by the airlines and paid to the support fund; Aids, grant and all assistance from international agencies, nongovernmental organizations and the private sectors; and Money derived from investments made by the Support Fund.
But AVM Yakubu said this will still be inadequate, saying “I have been a defence attaché in the United States of America from 2014 to 2017. I have been a Director of Procurement at the headquarters of the Nigerian Airforce for another two years.
“I have been a chief of logistics also at the headquarters Nigerian Airforce for another two years. So I am fully conversant with what it takes to run the affairs of a fighting Airforce.
“I also understand the limitations we have in Nigeria and what it should have been. I want you to understand how large is this problem we are trying to address before I make my point.”

Continue Reading

News

Insecurity: FCTA demolishes taxi park shielding criminals

Published

on

In a bid to eliminate criminal activities in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Administration has demolished a taxi park reportedly turned into a drug addict’s colony and a haven for many other criminal activities.

FCTA said the place, located at NICON Junction in Maitama District, was supposed to be an interchange by the Abuja Master Plan, but temporarily made a taxi park to mitigate the hardship of commuters.

Director, FCTA Security Services Department, Adamu Gwari, said the taxi park had not only turned into an environmental nuisance but also a security threat that could not be allowed.

Gwari, who led other officials on the demolition exercise, also noted that in view of the persistent insecurity across the country, the administration is prepared to deal with all potential dangers to the residents.

His words: “In line with the city programme, this place is a taxi rank. But it has been highly abused and turned into nuisances. That is why we have to remove everything. This place has become a security threat and it breeds criminality. There are series of concerns from the residents regarding the rate of criminality which emanates from this place.”

Chairman,  FCT Ministerial Committee on City Sanitation,  Ikharo Attah said the FCT Minister  Malam Muhammad Bello was worried that the government’s efforts towards alleviating residents’ transportation difficulties were scuttled by miscreants.

Attah explained that the ministerial directive to immediately demolish the taxi park was meant to promptly address brewing insecurity within the highbrow Maitama District, saying the park was abused.

According to him, a place provided by the government to ease residents’ movement, unfortunately, had turned into a hiding place for drug addicts.

He vowed that the contravention won’t be allowed to remain an environmental nuisance that breeds insecurity within the neighbourhood and the territory in general.

Attah said: “This place is supposed to be an interchange according to the plans, but temporarily turned to a taxi park to manage transportation problems, but the place was abused. The place was turned into a home for drug addicts and has become dangerous for the neighbourhood.

“The Minister was clear when he gave a matching order that this nuisance is removed. The taxi park has become a contravention that can’t be allowed.

“All the concerned departments will ensure that the nuisance does not reappear because this place is the heart of Maitama District. The Minister has ordered that we should green the place, to add to the aesthetic of the city.”

Continue Reading

Trending