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‘Election not war’ – Stakeholders react as IGP deploys over 34,000 officers, 3 helicopters, others to Anambra

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Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba

Stakeholders have questioned the move by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba to deploy a total of 34,587 police personnel, three Police Helicopters, technical capabilities of the Police Airwing, the Force Marine and the Force Animal Branch, and other operational assets to Anambra State ahead of the forthcoming gubernatorial election.

DAILY POST had reported that the IGP, during the 2nd Strategic Police Managers Conference for Senior Police Officers from the rank of Commissioner of Police and above at the Force Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, said the move was to ensure a hitch-free election in Anambra State.

According to Baba, the 34,587 personnel comprising of conventional police officers, Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Special Forces personnel, Explosives Ordinance Unit (EOD), Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB), INTERPOL, Special Protection Unit (SPU) as well as Police Medical Teams, will be on ground to guarantee protection of lives and properties during the election.

The announcement has, however, triggered backlash from concerned stakeholders who picked holes in the IGP’s decision, describing it as preparation for ‘war’.

Some of the stakeholders who spoke with DAILY POST on Friday, also expressed fear that such move would intimidate the voters, saying apathy may mar the election which has been scheduled for November 6.

A top political official who spoke to our correspondent from Benue State on anonymity, alleged that the move was for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC to intimidate other parties and claim the state.

Anambra guber: Police committed to securing electoral processes, others – IGP Baba“We know their plans. It is now clear to Nigerians that this APC is out to gain power by all means, otherwise, how can the IGP be mobilizing about 34,587 police officers for just one state election? Are we preparing for war? It is obvious.

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“We are all aware of the security situation in Anambra State but that does not call for this kind of move. Who will hear this news and still come out to vote that day? Of course everybody would want to save his or her life first. I think their plan is to keep voters away from the polling unit so that they can do whatever they want”.

The National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko told DAILY POST that the 34,587 policemen the IGP claimed may not be true.

According to him, the Nigerian Police force has no accurate statistics of officers deployed to a particular area. He alleged that those in charge of the deployment only formulated the figures just to embezzle public fund.

He said, “Nigerian Police force has lost focus from a very long period of time. They always engage in fire brigade approaches particularly in national matters. The issue of Anambra election does not call for the IGP to deploy such number of policemen to the state.

If the Nigerian Government had listened to ideas and suggestions that so many people including the right group, HURIWA, NGOs and other stakeholders have been making over some years now, there wouldn’t be need for this.

“We have been calling on the government to reform the police but the government seems to be very comfortable with the dysfunctional police.

“Nigeria does not even have an accurate data of exact number of how many policemen are serving in a particular area. They are only using fathom statistics to siphon public fund. There is no statistics to say we have about 3,000 policemen in Benue State or 4,000 officers in Kaduna State so the number of personnel the IGP has declared that they are sending to Anambra may not even be accurate.

“They may just send like 5,000 policemen and tell Nigerians that they have mobilized over 34,000. The way the police service commission was set up, clearly shows that it was established not to work”.

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP who spoke to DAILY POST from Ozubulu Local Government Area of Anambra State, Chief Emeka backed the IGP, stating that the state has been enveloped with security crisis since the beginning of the year.

He, however, warned against alleged plans by some political party to take advantage of the security situation in the state to rig the November election, saying the entire world is watching.

“Since January this year, Anambra State has not been the same, there have been killings in many parts of the state. As I speak to you, many residents have vowed to remain indoors on the election day.

“So if there is anything the government is doing to remove fear from the voters, I think that should be a welcome development. But they should note that we are all set for the election, Nigerians are watching, the world is watching; no body can rig Anambra election so whoever is planning that should rescind,”Chief Emeka added.

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Hijab: Group petitions Education Minister over alleged harassment of female Muslim students in schools

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A Muslim organisation, Ta’awunu Human Rights Initiative, has petitioned the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu over alleged harassment of female Muslim students in schools for wearing hijab and Niqob.

The group alleged that female Muslim students in some government owned primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Southern Nigeria were being harassed for wearing hijab and Niqob and warned that the development is an invitation to anarchy.

The group in its petition which was signed by the Director General of the organization, Barr. Sulaymon A. Tadese, the group appealed to the Minister to address the issue before it would lead to breakdown of Law and order.

According to the petition “It is pertinent to inform you  that Muslim Students in Government owned Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Institutions in Southern Nigeria were on frequent basis harassed, embarrassed and circumscribed on the sole reason of putting on Hijab”.

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“Hijab is a decree of the Qur’an which is the holy scripture of the Muslims contained in chapter 33 verse 59 of Glorious Qur’an which provided that “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them” which is consistent and encapsulated in the flavour of the provision of Section 38 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended 2011 on freedom of Religion, Thought and expression and a furtherance of the Islamic personal law expressly permitted in Nigeria.”

“It is important to put you on notice that Hijab, whether below the Navel or above it is compulsory for every Female Muslims anywhere they found themselves as a decree of Almighty Allah quoted in the above verse. It is not an exaggeration to say removing Hijab from a Female Muslim head is akin to undressing her, it is considered as a nakedness.”

“It is on record however that, despite the express provision of Section 38 of the Constitution on Freedom of Religion, some Christian named Government owned Primary and Secondary schools had proscribed the wearing of Hijab, harassing students and stealing their inalienable rights.”

The group said between November and December, 6 different cases of harassment of Female Muslims in Hijab and Niqob were reported in Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Lagos and Akwa Ibom States.

The group said mentioned Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta as one of the institutions that banned hijab and Niqob.

It also frowned that a lecturer at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Ogbomoso Oyo State who is also the Dean of the College of Nursing threatened a Muslim student that used niqab with rustication.

The petitioner said “At Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, School of Nursing and Midwifery Ile Ife, Osun State, the principal  made some female Muslim Nursing Students to sign an undertaking under duress, that they will not wear Hijab to lecture rooms and that they should be rusticated if they do so”.

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“Similarly, in Community Grammar School Papa, Iwo Local Government of Osun State, a principal had instructed Muslim female students to always make sure their head covering garments (Hijab) are removed before proceeding to entire the School premises of which same had been confirmed and brought to the notice of the state Government of Osun.

“We have gotten a recent report as well from Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta that a lecturer, had given a veiled Muslim student the option of either removing her veil or leave his class. That is indeed a strangulating option to render Muslim citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Southwest irrelevant. The peaceful coexistence of Nigerian is sacrosanct at the expense of not-willing-to abide citizens of the country who are religious stooges and are well sunk in religious bigotry to render the Constitution useless and irrelevant to suit their elusive desires.

“Let it be known that the Security of Nigeria which the Government of the Federation had painstakingly maintained is under attack, as a total breakdown of law and order will add more salt to the injury caused by insecurity in the country which our Human Rights Group stood to avert.

“We believe in the functioning, Supremacy and relevancy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and the fact that its jurisdiction covers every person natural or artificial, Juridical or judicial in the nooks and crannies of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Constitution is supreme and its provision shall have binding force on all persons and authorities throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria; this is the oxygen which we believe gave life to the wordings of the pages of the Constitution. We demand the strict application of the Fundamental Rights of all Nigerians.

“To this effect and conclusively, it is important to state that no other law anywhere in Nigeria whether from the Ministry of Education, Council of  Nursing of Nigeria, the council of legal education; any code of conduct and ethical rules, inconsistent with the provision of the constitution should stand, it is by virtue of section 2 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria rendered null and void.

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“We are aware of a bill still on a reading entitled ‘Religious Discrimination (Prohibition, Prevention) Bill 2021, emanating from the House of Representative early this year and towards fasting the passing and before implementation of this Bill which we believe is in the interest of over 70% Nigerian Muslims in the South we demanded that all Board of Education and State Ministries of Education be enjoined to maintain and uphold the provision of section 38 of the constitution on Freedom of Thought, Conscience and religion to maintain peaceful inter-faith coexistence between and among Nigerians.

“As a concern Human Rights Group in Nigeria we considered disrespect for the extant law of the land on Freedom of Religion as a flash point that could crippled further the Security of lives and the wellbeing of all Nigerians which is the primary function of the Government which the Federal Government had tirelessly maintain in the country while we make a call to arrest this illegality before in escalates beyond expectation,

“We are looking forward to a quick response to our demands”, the group said.

Naijaonpoint

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[JUST IN] Sylvester Oromoni: Two Dowen students at large, three in police custody, says Lagos CP

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The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, says that three students of Dowen College in the Lekki area of the state are currently in police custody for allegedly assaulting 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni.

Odumosu, who spoke with The PUNCH on Tuesday morning, also said two other students of the school fingered in the assault, are now at large, adding that those in police custody are helping the Command with information on how to track them.

The Lagos CP added that the school principal, housemasters, and other officials of the Lekki-based school are also assisting the police with information as the Command launched a full-scale probe into the circumstances culminating in the death of Oromoni on November 30, 2021.

The father of the deceased boarding student had alleged that the Junior Secondary School 2 pupil died from the injuries sustained during an assault by five of his colleagues who wanted to initiate him into cultism but the school claimed he died after sustaining an injury during a football match.

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Reports of the detention of the three of the students allegedly involved in the bullying of the deceased student filtered in on Tuesday.

When asked on Tuesday whether three of the students are in police custody, the Lagos CP, in a phone interview with our correspondent, replied, “It is true.”

He further explained, “It is still an allegation until we conduct our investigation. We just started full investigation yesterday (Monday). Two out of those mentioned in the viral video are at large while three of the students are helping us to get others.”

“I am in contact with my counterpart in Delta State. I spoke with the parents yesterday, we are perfecting everything scientifically,” Odumosu added.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that the National Association of Nigerian Students alerted foreign missions to deny entry to the five students of Dowen College alleged to have bullied and beaten 12-year-old Oromoni to a point of coma which led to his eventual death.

Over 100,000 persons have also signed a petition domiciled on the Change.org platform seeking the arrest of those fingered in the incident and their swift prosecution.

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With the national outrage the case has attracted since Oromoni’s death on November 30, 2021, federal and state governments have taken a number of actions.

The Lagos State Government on Friday ordered the indefinite closure of the school and sealed it off pending the outcome of an investigation into the death of Oromoni.

Odumosu had also ordered the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, to take over the investigation of the case immediately.

Oromoni’s death is one of the disheartening deaths resulting from bullying and molestations in boarding secondary schools of late.

Karen-Happuch Akpagher of Premiere Academy, Lugbe, Abuja, had died of sexual molestation in June 2021 while Don Davies of Deeper Life High School, Uyo, had also narrowly escaped death in December 2020, when his mother raised the alarm of alleged sodomy of her emaciated son.

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8 children who died inside car: We opted to bury our children because officials demanded N.8m for autopsy — Bereaved parents

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…I put everything in the hands of God—Woman who lost 2 children

I suspect the children might have been poisoned— Bereaved father

Mr. Ibrahim Jubrilia, father of two boys, Toheb and Mamud, who were among the eight lifeless bodies recovered inside a Honda Pilot SUV, with number plate, AAA157BD, abandoned inside a fenced house in Jah-Michael community, Olorunda area of Lagos State, has said he decided not to go ahead with the autopsy because of its cost.

Jubrilia, whose younger brother also lost two daughters, Aisha, 3, and Farida, 9, in the incident said: “They said the autopsy will cost N100,000 for each child. That is N800,000 for the children.

“Unfortunately, I can’t spend N800,000 to investigate the death of our children. So, we requested for their corpses, which we took home and buried after collecting document from the police.”

Jubrilia said: “I don’t want any case because as Muslims, it is forbidden to spend money investigating someone that is dead. We took their corpses to General Hospital, Badagry on Saturday, after police gave us report. At the General Hospital, they said they would transfer their corpses to Ikeja to do autopsy to find out what killed the children. They said the autopsy will cost N100,000 for each child. That is N800,000 for the eight children.”

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Recounting the death of the children, Jubrilia said: “I can’t confirm if the children actually died inside the vehicle from suffocation or they were killed and placed inside the vehicle.

“I was called around 4:30p.m. by Mummy Zainab, the woman who lost three children in the incident that I should come and see my children. Before I got there, they have brought out the corpses from the vehicle. They were all lying down on the ground. I saw seven of the children, including my son’s lying on the ground, my heart sanked. I almost collapsed. The eighth child is one of the granddaughters of Saliat Kazeem, who died on the way to the hospital.

“I called the community chairman. They said they want to take them to hospital. When I saw them, I knew they were dead. So, we went to the police station to make statement.”

I put everything to God—Woman who lost 3 children

 When Vanguard visited the house, sympathisers filled the Isaka’s compound commiserating with the parents for their loss.

Narrating how the remains of the children were recovered, Hafsatu Isaka said: “I don’t know what happened, my neighbour was looking for her children who had gone to play with my kids. My eldest daughter called me saying my neighbour was searching for her children. It was while we were searching for the children that Saliat Kazeem from the other compound rushed in, saying I should come and see the children inside the vehicle.

“As I entered her compound, I noticed the vehicle had tinted glass, so, you have to look closely to see inside the vehicle. Her granddaughter was sitting inside the vehicle, while they laid one upon another, like they were placed there. My daughter Zainab was sitting with her head on her laps, while the other children laid one upon another. Immediately I saw them, I screamed lala hilala.

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“I ran out of the compound, I raised the alarm. I called out to other neighbours, I sent my daughter to go call my husband who was at the mosque. There was a young man that lives opposite Saliat Kazeem house where it happened, he was the one that rushed inside the house and brought out the car key and then we brought the children out of the vehicle. When my husband came, he started vomiting blood.

“My children don’t go to that compound to play. Their feet have never entered into that compound to play. The government should intervene. Will eight children’s death not be investigated? The police should investigate to find out what killed eight children. I want justice for the children and leave everything to God.”

I suspect they were poisoned –Father

Like his wife, Mr. Alidu Issaka, explained: “I wasn’t around when the incident happened, I was at Baba Bintu, close to Serki side. I stayed there for a while before entering the mosque to pray that was where I was when my daughter came to call me that something terrible had happened that her siblings, my children were dead.

“My children that died inside the vehicle are Zainab, 11; Abdulwahab, 5,  and Yakubua, 3.

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“I was surprised because they just returned from Ile-kewu, where they went to learn Arabic studies. I took bike straight to the house. People had gathered. When I got to the house where the incident happened, they had already brought the children out of the vehicle. They were brought out before police’s arrival.

“I really don’t know what to say, but I suspect that the children were poisoned because at 1:30p.m., when I left the house, my children were still in the Arabic class at Ile-kewu. While passing through their school, all the children were inside learning. I thought I would see them on the way back so I would buy biscuit for the small one and tell them that their mother had prepared lunch for them, little did I know I would never see them alive again.

“Before the incident that happened on Saturday, my children have never gone to that compound to play. My children don’t enter there. They play within my compound and Mr. Ibrahim’s compound. That place is bushy, the place is always locked, and children don’t go in there because they don’t have playmates there.”

Meanwhile, residents of the community are calling on the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, to keep his promise made on December 6, 2021, for a thorough and speedy investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the children, as they would not want the case swept under the carpet.

Vanguard

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