Security top brass on Thursday told senators the challenges confronting them as they battle to halt the worsening insecurity.
They briefed the Senate during an Executive Session on how they are grappling with lack of adequate equipment and low capacity, sources said.
The closed session which lasted for about four hours, enabled the military and security chiefs to exchange ideas with senators.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Alkali Baba Usman attended the session.
Others are the Directors-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) Maj-Gen S.A. Adebayo, and Directorate of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi.
It was learnt that the CDS briefed the Senate on behalf of the Service chiefs, while the IGP and heads of intelligence agencies elaborated on the internal security crises.
Sources said the capacity problem of the Air Force, which lacked fighting assets until the Buhari government started buying equipment was listed.
The senators were also told that the Air Force lacked trained pilots until the recent acquisition of fighter jets. Training of pilots also recently resumed.
The Air Force is expecting the delivery of Tucano fighter jets ordered by the government in July to boost its operational capacity.
The senators also learnt of the capacity problem the army suffered after former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on assumption of office in 1999, retired all officers who had served in political positions.
It took the army a long time to get out of the effect of this action, because some of the brightest officers who were retired could not transfer their knowledge before exiting service.
The financing of the multi-faceted battles the military is fighting and the lack of funding for the police were also discussed, it was learnt.
Senate spokesman Ajibola Basiru spoke on what transpired when he briefed reporters after the meeting.
Basiru said: “Today (yesterday) the Senate played host to the key leadership of the Nigerian security apparatus.
“The Chief of Defence Staff who led the Service Chiefs, that is, the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Air Staff and the Director of Defence Intelligence, the DG of National Intelligence Agency, the Director General of SSS and, of course, the Inspector-General of Police.
“At an executive session, they briefed the Senate comprehensively on the state of security in the country, analysis of the various operations and theatre of activities that they are engaged in, the topography across the six geopolitical zones, the complexities and the challenges that are being faced and ways by which they believe the parliament can work together with the Executive and the heads of security agencies to ensure we rein in the atmosphere of insecurity and ensure a long-lasting peace and security for our country.
“The Senate leadership expressed our gratitude for their forthrightness, for their being very open to us and we are committed to ensuring that all necessary legislative and appropriation support is given to all the relevant agencies as may be subsequently requested. I think that is what transpired in summary at the closed session.”
Basiru added: “We did not talk about money. We did not talk about figure. We had a high-level discussion on general challenges and requirements for us to have an efficient and effective security.
“The details of whatever will go into supplementary appropriation can only be worked upon by the ministry of finance, which is an Executive arm together with our relevant Committee and such are not matters that we will go into details.
“Of course, everybody know that security is a serious matter for which you cannot take with levity when it comes to ensuring appropriate appropriation for that. We are ready to receive supplementary budget.
“We don’t have any doubt that there is synergy among the various security agencies. In fact, from the nature of the briefing that we received, it reassured us as elected representatives of the people that there is indeed a synergy.
“In any event, even the success that has been made which we were apprised of is like security is something you only feel the impact when there are breaches.
“Nobody will give you credit for security situations you have been able to address and attended to. For instance, we have a tremendous status quo report that a lot had gone into stemming the tide of insecurity in Nigeria.
“Perhaps, if not for that synergy and the efforts that have gone in terms of operationalising and putting the Nigerian security organisation, particularly the Air Force in proper shape, perhaps we would have being in a more terrible situation.
“So, the story is about how far we have gone but then there is room for improvement and we are committed to that improvement.
On whether the Senate is satisfied with the plan of the security agencies to ensure security in the country going forward, Basiru said: “After listening to the briefings, I personally became upbeat that a lot of work had gone into addressing the problem of insecurity and from the various perspectives that were brought into the discussion which is very frank, clear and without any form of duplicity, it became very clear that Nigerian security agencies are not only looking at the internal dimension of the challenge we have, we look at all ramifications both in terms of the political context, economic context and international context to the development. There were even perspectives as to what happened recently in Chad.
“So it was a very thorough discussion and I also believe that the forthrightness of the leadership of the security agencies showed the seriousness that they attached to that duties.
“So, I believe that going forward, the confidence has been built between the security chiefs on one hand and the Nigerian parliament on the other hand and that would be a good signal of what we expect in the future.”
– The Nation
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.
Angry youths protest in Kano, stone Buhari’s helicopter
There was a protest in some parts of Kano on Monday by some angry youths during President Muhammadu Buhari’s working visit to the state.
In an area, the youths were seen throwing stones at Buhari’s helicopter.
They were however dispersed by security agents who fired shots in the air to scare them away.
The protesting youths were chanting “Ba mu so” (We don’t want) as they set a bonfire of tyres along Hotoro Road where the President went to commission the Muhammadu Buhari Interchange.
The development came hours after Abdullahi Ganduje, Kano governor, made a U-turn over the president’s visit to the state.
Ganduje had asked the president to postpone the visit over security concerns and difficulty in accessing the new naira notes.
There were also videos that went viral on Monday showing stones littering a road said to be the area where the president’s convoy was expected to pass through.
In one of the videos, a voice in the background said the people were angry at the president and decided to attack him with stones.
Reacting to the incident in a statement, Debo Ologunagba, PDP spokesperson, described the alleged incident as treason and sacrilege.
“This organised attack on the person of the President is outrightly treasonable and a sacrilegious assault on our national sovereignty which must be condemned by all,” the PDP said.
“Our Party is alarmed that this attack is part of APC Presidential Candidate’s alleged plot to undermine the Presidency, cause confusion, trigger violence in the country, disrupt the conduct of the 2023 general elections and derail our democracy; having realised that he cannot win in a peaceful, free and fair electoral process.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note how Governor Abdullahi Ganduje attempted to abridge President Buhari’s movement and even tried to stop him from visiting Kano State. More disquieting is the fact that the APC Presidential Campaign sought to humiliate and harm President Buhari, while performing his official duties in Kano.
“It should be noted that the APC Presidential Candidate has been displaying open aversion and making inciting statements against President Buhari since Mr. President’s declaration, in line with democratic best practice all over the world, that Nigerians should freely vote for any candidate and Party of their choice in the 2023 general elections.
“The apparent frustration of Asiwaju Tinubu to resort to encourage or condone violence is fueled by his entitlement mentality, that it is his turn to be President, despite his numerous ineligibility and disability baggage.
“Nigerians are reminded about Asiwaju Tinubu’s infamous statement in London where he declared to his supporters that ‘political power is not going to be served in a restaurant, it is not served a la carte. It is what we are doing; It is being determined; you do it at all cost; fight for it, grab it, snatch it and run with it’.”
However, Bayo Onanuga, spokesperson for the APC presidential campaign council, dismissed the claim of the attack and criticised the PDP for reacting to something “imaginary”.
“We were not surprised to read of the imaginary attack on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria being peddled by the Peoples Democratic Party since the party has nothing tangible to tell Nigerians from its crumbling Presidential Campaign,” Onanuga said.
He also said,“This invented attack on President Muhammadu Buhari must have happened only in the fertile imagination of PDP National Publicity Secretary, one Debo Ologunagba.
“Nigerians should disregard this fake news from a party that has lost touch with reality and suffering the agony of violating its own rules on power rotation.
“Just as it has been masterminding fake news against the APC presidential candidate and trying vainly to cause disharmony in the APC family, we believe the party may have planned to embarrass President Buhari in Kano and then put the blame on host Governor Ganduje and Tinubu.
“This is because PDP has of recent morphed from being a Buhari virulent critic to strangely becoming a Buhari spokesperson! The last time it issued a self-serving misinterpretation of Asíwájú’s statement in Abeokuta as an attack on President Buhari.
“It should be quite obvious to Nigerians that the knowledge of impending defeat of PDP at the coming presidential poll has pushed the party and its candidate into frenzied hallucinatory mode of mindless, ridiculous, ludicrous litany of lies and fabrications against APC and its candidate.
“The PDP is a drowning party feverishly clawing at any straw of lies and lashing out in all delusional directions to keep afloat – but sink it will. We believe Nigerians are not taken in by the jejune antics.”
Onanuga also asked security agencies to “arrest” Ologunagba over his comments regarding the alleged attack.
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