Nigerians have reacted with shock and anger to the killing of three of the students of Greenfield University, Kaduna kidnapped by bandits on Tuesday from the school.
The Kaduna State’s commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, had in a statement yesterday morning, announced that the bandits shot dead three of the abducted students.
Former Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar; leader of the Yoruba pan socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo; the Peoples Democratic Party, two Senior Advocates of Nigeria – Mr Femi Falana and Mike Ozekhome, and the leadership of the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria expressed anger, sadness and disappointment in government’s failure to rescue the students before being killed by the criminal elements.
Atiku, who described the killing as heart-breaking, said it was time to allow governors to manage security in their states.
He said in his verified tweeter handle: “Heart-breaking to learn of the killing of three of the abducted students of Greenfield University, Kaduna. How long shall we continue to lose precious souls? May their families and friends be comforted. It is time states are granted constitutional roles in the management of security.”
Reacting to the murder of the students last night, the leader of Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo said it was regrettable that the security situation could break down so bad in a regime led by a retired army general.
He said, “It shows the extent to which security has broken down under General Muhammadu Buhari. It shows his incompetence and how far he is inefficient as a former commander.
“Each time we talk about him, Lai Mohammed will put up a propaganda saying everything is in order and Buhari is the best President that we have ever had.
“It is until they kill all of us that they will now know he should have left the place. Law and order have broken down in the country, there’s no doubt about that. The earlier people persuade Buhari to get out of the place the better for all of us.”
Adebanjo said the unhealthy security situation was a veritable reason for unending calls for restructuring of the country. “It all comes down to what I’ve been talking about -restructuring of the country. All the governors have no authority over the security of their states. They are all lame duck governors; I’ve been saying that all the time.”
He said the 1999 Constitution was forced on the nation by the military and that it must be replaced by a truly federal constitution, stating that with this new constitution, the governors could be held accountable.
“Right now, the governors have no control over the police in their area. Even right now, a man in his cabinet has been proven to be in collaboration and is one of the Imams of Boko Haram.”
PDP: Govt Must Do Everything to Apprehend Assailants
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday described as extremely wicked, the murder of the three students by gunmen.
The party asked the federal government to invoke every process permissible within the laws of the nation to apprehend the assailants, as well as secure the release of the remaining abducted students of Greenfield University.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said, “Our party also demands an intensified action for the rescue of the abducted students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna.”
The PDP lamented that the bleeding of the nation was approaching a Class IV haemorrhage and urged Buhari to allow for the rejigging of the security system to guarantee state and community policing in the country.
The PDP also charged Nigerians to remain at alert and provide useful information to security agencies at this critical moment.
Falana: No Sacrifice is too Much to Secure the Abducted Students
In his reaction, human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria Femi Falana said it was regretted that the government could not rescue the kidnapped students.
Speaking with one of our correspondents last night, Falana said government owes it a duty to protect the citizens. He also advised the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai to do everything possible to rescue the remaining students.
He said, “It was extremely painful and extremely sad to hear the tragic news of the brutal killing of three of the kidnapped students of Greenfield University Kaduna.
“Certainly, the government owes the responsibility to the parents and the society. This is not the time for the governor of the state to engage in grandstanding if school children and other people are kidnapped by criminal elements.
“The government owes it a duty to rescue them at whatever costs because the security of lives and property of everybody in Nigeria is guaranteed in the constitution.”
Falana said there was an urgent need for government at both the federal and state levels to invest heavily on modern security gadgets as a way of outsmarting the criminals, saying government should be able to learn from the way the United States government was able to rescue one of its citizens kidnapped in Nigeria, recently.
“A serious government would have liaised with the American government to ensure that kidnapping becomes a thing of the past,” the Senior Advocate stated.
Ozekhome: Nigerians Shouldn’t Be Surprised at The Turn Of Events
Another senior lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, (SAN) said he wasn’t disappointed at the floppy manner in which the federal government has been handling the issue of kidnappings in Nigeria, especially in the recent time.
In a short message to one of our correspondents last night, the fiery lawyer said Nigerians ought not to be surprised at the turn of things in the country, given the failure of the government to resolve previous kidnappings. He asked, “What were Nigerians expecting? Where is Leah Sharibu? Where are the Chibok girls abducted since April 2014?
“Has this government ever walked the talk in its vain glorious posturing against Boko Haram, armed banditry, herdsmen, kidnapping and other violent crimes across the board in Nigeria?
“Has Nigeria not been turned into a sprawling field of crimson and posing blood of innocent Nigerians?
“Can any Nigerian sleep with his two eyes closed? Are we not worse off security-wise today than we were in 2014?”
CAN: Kaduna Government Talks too Much
In his reaction, the Chairman of the Kaduna State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Joseph Hayab said that the way forward to ending banditry, killings and abductions is for government to live up to its responsibility.
Hayab lamented that almost on a daily basis, people were being killed or abducted in Kaduna State, without the government doing much to bring the criminals to justice.
According to him, “The way forward to stop these killings is for our government to wake up and stop making noise. Our government is adding salt to injury. Our government is talking too much. Our government is using poor governanace.
“Everywhere in Kaduna is not safe. So, our government must stop insulting people and act responsibly. In Kaduna state, life is no longer useful. If they killed you, you would hear one funny statement from state government telling us that the governor expressed his condolences.
“Kaduna State people are tired of the governor’s condolences. They want to see these criminals tormenting them being arrested and brought to justice.”
In announcing the killing of the three students, the Kaduna State government said, “In an act of mindless evil and sheer wickedness, the armed bandits who kidnapped students of Greenfield University have shot dead three of the abducted students.
“The armed bandits on Tuesday night kidnapped an unspecified number of students at the institution located at Kasarami village off Kaduna-Abuja Road in Chikun LGA
“The remains of three students were found today (Friday), in Kwanan Bature village, a location close to the university and have been evacuated to a mortuary by the Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affairs, and Force Commander, Operation Thunder Strike, Lt.Col. MH Abdullahi.
“Governor Nasir El-Rufai has condemned the killing of three students as sheer wickedness, inhumanity and an outright desecration of human lives by vile entities.”
The statement quoted the governor as saying that, “the armed bandits represent the worst of humankind and must be fought at all cost for the violent wickedness they represent”.
“Evil, the Governor further said, would not triumph over God-given humanity. He appealed to citizens to come together against the forces of darkness challenging national security and the very existence of the Nigerian State.
“The Governor, on behalf of the Government and people of Kaduna State sent deep condolences and empathy to the students’ families and the university community, as he prayed for the repose of their souls.
“The Government will keep citizens informed of further developments”, Aruwan said.
The statement was silent about the number of the students abducted.
Ijaw group warns against tampering with 13 percent derivation formula
A Niger-Delta group, Ijaw People Assembly (IPA) has condemned the proposal by 59 members of the House of Representatives seeking an amendment of Section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution.
It said the real motive was targeted at deleting the Principle of Derivation which stipulated 13% of the revenue accruing to the Federation Account from natural resources, describing the move “as an inglorious attempt and a misadventure.”
The group’s scribe, Dortimi Tawari, who spoke in a statement, yesterday, said the plan was an “invitation to chaos and eventual collapse of the Nigerian economy.”
Tawari warned the proposal was “another form of internal colonization, an attempt to strangulate and subjugate the Ijaw nation and other Niger-Delta nationalities.”
Part of the statement read: “The Ijaw nation being a host nation to oil and gas resources and assets, the IPA views this proposal as another form of internal colonization, an attempt to strangulate and subjugate the Ijaw nation in particular and the other Niger Delta nationalities.
“Need it be mentioned that it is an invitation to chaos and eventual collapse of the Nigerian economy. The ljaw People Assembly vehemently oppose a system that will drag the ljaw Nation and the other nationalities in the Niger Delta into undeserved subjugation and retrogression.”
Tawari reiterated the call for a restructured Nigeria that “guarantees resource ownership, control, management and freedom to appropriate a declared percentage of derived revenue to the central government or an arrangement of sovereign nations as the extreme option.”
He said a restructured Nigeria “will promote a productive economy and end the current monthly sharing (rentier) economy under some spurious formular which has encouraged laziness and unviability of states from which the said 59 members all hail from.”
Treat bandits as terrorists – Speakers tell President Buhari
The Conference of Speakers in Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits terrorists and enemies of the state.
The Chairman of the conference and Speaker, Bauchi House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abubakar Suleiman, made the pronouncement at the end of the third quarter general meeting of the Conference of Speakers in Katsina on Saturday.
He said the call was one of the outcomes of their 5-point communique reached at the end of their deliberations.
According to the Speakers’ Chairman, they have come to realise that the mode of operations employed by the bandits is not in anyway different from that of terrorists and as such should be treated as one.
Other resolutions reached in the course of the deliberations included working out a legislative framework to complement federal government efforts in the fight against insecurity in the country.
Also, the conference resolved to come up with appropriate laws that will address the fundamental issues responsible for the insecurity experienced in the country.
The communique also harped on the need to create employment opportunities for the teeming youths as a means to curb the insecurity situation bedeviling the country.
Everything is the opposite yet Nigeria not a complete disaster – Soyinka
Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has said Nigerians are still managing to eke out a living despite the bleak realities confronting the country.
Soyinka spoke during an interview with the Cable News Network monitored by our correspondent.
Commenting on the ironic title for his first novel in 48 years, Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth, he said things happened around one as one grew up, witnessing the degrading of dream and environment in one’s society and on the continent.
He explained that for him, the issue had been an arduous journey, adding, “It has reached such a stage, I found intuitively, that only prose fiction can handle things that have been bubbling up inside me.”
He said the title came after some people some years ago conducted a poll which placed Nigeria among the top four happiest nations in the world.
The playwright noted, “That thing has been with me, in my head. I asked, ‘Who are these people? What do they know? What have they seen? What have they experienced in Nigeria that they make such an attribution?’ That title really has been waiting to answer that claim in many ways. When you look at the surroundings, everything is the opposite and yet, Nigeria is not a complete disaster.
“People still manage to eke out a living not only a living but to some extent a dignified and satisfied living. I think it’s not surface appearance of contentment or making the best of a really bad job, insisting that no matter what life must go on… It’s that which needed to be, quote and unquote, celebrated in addition to the bleak actualities.”
The elder statesman further said he took the decision to change his former relationship if Donald Trump was elected president of the United States despite “being literally an enemy of decency and humanity’’ and his blatantly discontent for non-white humanity.
He stated, “I never really totally turned my back on the United States. I mean how could one? We have many Nigerians there, to start with. When I stroll through the streets of the United States, I sometimes think the United States is an extension of Nigeria, that it’s part of our diaspora.” That’s not an easy decision but it was inevitable.”
Commenting on the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature awarded to Tanzanian novelist, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Soyinka said his immediate statement after the announcement was “let the African tribe expand wherever situated.”
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