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.
East-West road, 43 others to be completed without delay – Fashola
All 44 road projects in the approved phase two of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme including the East-West road will be completed without any delay or break.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), stated this, stressing that sustainability of funding for the critical infrastructure in Nigeria would be guaranteed.
Fashola, who spoke in Abuja, noted that unlike in the past, when there was inadequate funding of infrastructure, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had secured alternative sources of funding that could guarantee sustainability from the beginning of the projects to their completion.
He said the tax credit scheme remained a new model that encourages partnership with private companies where taxes are paid in advance to enable the government invest in notable projects that would be beneficial to its citizens.
The minister said the Federal Government had focused on nine major axes of Nigeria, adding that the A1 – A4 axis covered the Northern part of the country, while the A5-A9 axis covered the East and West of the country.
He said the successful completion of all the roads would lead to sustainable mobility for Nigerians.
“The roads like Akure – Ado –Ekiti and East-West which people have been complaining about would be adequately catered for with the approval of the second phase of the NNPC Tax Credit Scheme,” he said.
On payment of compensation, Fashola noted that it would not be paid to anyone occupying the government’s Right of Way (RoW) and appealed to members of the communities occupying the areas to vacate.
Permanent Secretary of the ministry, represented by the Director overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Folorunsho Esan, said in line with the Executive Order 7 (2019), phase one was approved on October 27, 2021.
He stated that with the completion of phase one, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has also approved phase II of the scheme to fund 44 critical road infrastructure to the tune of N1.96 trillion naira.
Esan said that as it was done with phase one, phase two would be governed by a set of guidelines to be issued to each contractor, adding that there would be a funding intervention agreement to be implemented in addition to the standard condition of the contract governing the execution of the projects.
He said that the availability of this new funding window will ensure steady cash flow and a timely completion of projects.
He also stated that the NNPC intervention which began in October 2021 with phase one has now occupied the top of the log with a portfolio well in excess of N2.6 trillion.
On the part of NNPC, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Mallam Mele Kyari, who was represented by the Chief Financial Officer, Umar Aliya, said that funding would not be an issue anymore as the company is committed to fully funding the next phase.
“We are committed to setting aside funds for phase II. Funding would not be a problem. What is important to us is that our consultant will need to validate the value for money and the quality of work. We will not compromise the quality and timely completion of work,“ he said.
“There is no need for excuses. As for us, on our part, we are committed and we implore the contractors to do quality work and do it on time so that the road projects can be open for use to Nigerians,” he added.
The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) Mohammed Nami, explained that most of the roads captured by Executive Order 7 to be executed by the NNPC were mostly road projects inherited by the administration of Muhammadu Buhari.
“So, we are appealing to Nigerians to trust Executive order 007 so that government will continue to provide the physical infrastructure that our people need,“he said.
Nigeria ranks 150 out of 180 countries in 2022 Transparency International Corruption Index
The Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC), Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, has announced that Nigeria ranked 150 out of 180 countries in the 2022 Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
This according to Rafsanjani is four places lower than the 154th position in the country’s 2021 CPI results.
Rafsanjani made the announcement on Tuesday at a press briefing held at CISLAC meeting hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
He however added that in terms of points, the country has retrained 24 points it had in 2021.
He also noted that the data index used for the CPI is not collected by CISLAC/TI- Nigeria but by Independent and reputable organisations with sound research methodologies.
“While Nigeria moved four places up on the country ranking, it has maintained it’s previous score of 24 which is it’s lowest score on the CPI since 2012, which suggests a slowdown in the steady decline observed in the previous three CPI’s, he said.”
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The CISLAC boss lamented the rate of corruption in the country and reserved some blames for the Judiciary.
“Nigeria as a country has reached a point where citizens should come out in their millions to protest against corruption, thus, with the expectations that this regime could address the issue of corruption, yet the world continues to face corruption with the help of high profile officials,” he lamented.
Among other recommendations, CISCLAC called on the executive arm of government to stop granting pardon to corrupt politicians recklessly.
As a means to curb and tackle the incessant corruption in Nigeria, CISLAC also recommended as follows:
1. The presidency, INEC, political parties, security actors and other relevant bodies should ensure that the 2023 general election are free, fair and credible.
2. The relevant anti-graft agencies should ensure that high profile corruption cases are pursued to their logical conclusion for the benefit of Nigeria and her citizens.
3. Agencies given the mandate to recover assets under the proceeds of Crime (and Management) Act 2022 should ensures that they establish a database where information about assets in their custody is easily accessed by citizens in line with the Act and the proactive provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.
4. The Federal government should address the lingering issue of oil theft in the country.
5. The relevant agencies should investigate those behind the important of toxic fuel to Nigeria in 2022.
6. The National assembly should ensure transparency in the implementation of the constituency projects. The relevant agencies should ensure that those found guilty are brought to book.
7. With the election fast approaching, the judiciary should ensure more than ever to deliver justice.
The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) developed by theTransparency International (TI) in 1995 is an annual ranking of countries on the prevalence of corruption within each country, based upon surveys by experts and business executives. It’s aims is to serve as a basis for critical reflection on tangible ways to strengthen the fight against corruption.
No single government can solve Nigeria’s problems – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said that no single government can solve Nigeria’s problems.
Buhari, at a state- of- nation dialogue on security, economy and administration of justice in Abuja, stated that efforts of successive governments were required to see the country through its challenges
The President hoped that the event, which was organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), would contribute to Nigeria’s development. Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, reminded lawyers that they owed the nation some responsibilities.
“I would say no one government in this country would be able to solve the problems of Nigeria. But as we build on the precedent set by successive governments, not discarding completely what has been put in place, we would in the course of our desire to build a Nigeria of our dreams, be able to pick one or two things, on which we can concentrate and move.
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“As a government, the outcome of this dialogue can be transmitted to us so that whatever resolutions are reached, that would become part of the documents would prepare us as we transit and hand over to an incoming government.”
Kebbi State Governo, Atiku Bagudu, who also attended the event, said one of the ways to tackle insecurity was to give priority to primary education in the country.
He said most of the causes of insecurity were a result of the breakdown of the social contract towards the people.
Bagudu, therefore, advocated more investment in primary education to turn the situation in the country around.
The governor pointed out that in developed countries, as much as $27,000 is spent on a child, while in Nigeria, a rich state like Lagos, spends far less.
He said: “They (children) have not been provided education. The challenges of inclusion are the most current. We need to include more people and so we have to mobilise more resources.”
Bagudu praised the NBA for the theme of the dialogue, which according to him, is holding ahead of the general election.
Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Amina Mohammed, condemned the attacks on facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
She also frowned at attacks on some candidates for the general election, as well as fake news and hate speeches focusing on religious and ethnic identities.
The UN chief said: “INEC has been making great strides in improving the transparency, accountability and credibility of Nigeria’s electoral process. The increase in the number of registered voters from 84m to 93m is encouraging and suggests Nigerians are enthusiastic about the electoral process.
“However, we continue to witness attacks against the institution. Fake news, hate speech, based on religious and ethnic identities, violence against candidates as well as INEC facilities and staff since the political campaigns began.”
Mohammed hoped that the elections would provide an opportunity for Nigerians to unite and shape the future of the nation.
She said as Africa’s largest economy with a youthful population, Nigeria cannot afford to fail.
The UN chief said Nigeria must be steeped in economic, social and environmental principles and must be guided by Agenda 2030 and its 17 goals.
“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an urgent to-do list, a blueprint for global and local action. We needed it to develop peace and prosperity and a thriving natural environment for current and future generations.”
NBA President Yakubu Maikyau (SAN) said there was a need to continuously engage government at all levels on issues affecting the country and the citizenry.
He urged members of the Bench and Bar to always ensure that justice was served without fear of favour.
The New Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Solomon Arase, encouraged the deployment of technology to secure the country.
Arase, who added that government cannot solve security problems alone, said the establishment of reform panels over insecurity was a waste of time.
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