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NSCDC speaks on salary deduction [Details]

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has denied allegations that it tampered with the January salaries of its personnel.

The denial is contained in a statement released by the outfit’s spokesman, Mr Emmanuel Okeh, on Sunday in Abuja.

Some personnel of the paramilitary body had accused the NSCDC of pilfering with their salaries following observed shortfalls in the January salaries.

But Okeh, in the statement, stated that the deductions were made by the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, through the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPIS).

He explained that the affected employees were overpaid in December 2019 due to a “system error” hence the deductions to recover the over-payment.

He said: “The attention of the corps management has been drawn to diverse allegations of fraud and misappropriation of funds by a number of aggrieved personnel who felt shortchanged due to some deductions in their salary.

“This is coming barely one week after the payment of January salary by the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, through IPPIS.

“The corps wishes to set the records straight that the business of salary payment is that of the Accountant-General of the Federation, and not the management of the NSCDC.

“It is unfair to accuse the corps leadership of tampering with salary of personnel at a time management is making concerted effort to ensure better welfare packages for the personnel. That has consistently been his priority.

“The deductions were carried out exclusively by IPPIS to recover all funds overpaid by them to some staff in December due to system error.

“Now, IPPIS has deducted the over-payment in full and returned the same to government coffers in January,” he said.

The spokesman cautioned NSCDC personnel against rumor-mongering, urging them to always verify information from the right sources.

“The allegation of fraud and embezzlement of personnel salary is totally unfair, baseless and unfounded and therefore, should be disregarded.

“The deduction is not peculiar to the NSCDC and other paramilitary services. It also affected some core civil servants.

“IPPIS office is open for anyone who may require further clarification,” he said.


Operation Amotekun: Southwest AGs make conclusion on bills

The Attorneys-General and Justice Commissioners in the six states of the South West geo-political zone of Nigeria have concluded work on the draft bills for the region’s security outfit codenamed Amotekun.

Following the conclusion of the exercise, concerned states are expected to present the draft bill to their respective executive council for approval and then forward same to the house of assembly to be passed into law and subsequently signed by the six governors.

This disclosure was made after a meeting of the six Attorneys-General hosted by Prof Oyelowo Oyewo, a former Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG), at Davies Hotel, Old Bodija, Ibadan, which lasted for about three hours on Friday.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Oyewo, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said: “The meeting of the Attorneys-General of the six south west states just concluded and we deliberated on the plan to evolve a collaborative security network or agency in the South West.

“We have been able to come up with a legal framework to back up such establishment of security network in each of the states. So, each of the states will have its own legislation and its own security network corps that will bear the name Amotekun.

“There will be standard operational procedure that will also be in common and there will be an avenue for collaboration between the states to work together. It must be stated that the security network will be working in collaboration and as a complementary network with the police and the security agencies and armed forces.


Operation Amotekun: Don’t delay bill – S/West urge govs

The Houses of Assembly of states in the South-West, comprising Oyo, Osun, Lagos, Ekiti, Ondo and Ogun states, have said they will give accelerated hearing to the bill on the Western Nigeria Security Network, popularly known as Operation Amotekun, as soon as it is presented to them by the Executive.

They therefore urged the governors not to delay in sending the bill to them for consideration and passage into law.

The governors of the six states in the South-West had, in a response to the spate of killings and kidnapping in the region, launched Operation Amotekun on January 9, 2020 in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital to provide security for their people.

They had at a summit convened by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria in June 2019 agreed to set up the initiative, before it was eventually launched in January 2020.

Meanwhile, few days after the launch, which received commendations from many eminent persons in the region and beyond, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, described the initiative as illegal, adding that his office was not consulted before the governors went ahead to launch the initiative.

He had said, “The setting up of the paramilitary organisation called “Amotekun” is illegal and runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian law. The law will take its natural course in relation to excesses associated with organisation, administration and participation in “Amotekun” or continuous association with it as an association.

“It is important to put on record that the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice was not consulted on the matter. If it had, proper information and guidance would have been offered to ensure that Nigeria’s defence and corporate entity are preserved at all times.”

The AGF’s position had been greeted with severe criticisms, with many eminent lawyers faulting the AGF for describing it as illegal. They, however, advised the governors to send a bill on the initiative to their respective state’s Houses of Assembly to give it legal backing.

The governors had also threatened to approach the court if the Federal Government continued to oppose the initiative. But following a meeting the governors had with the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo; the AGF and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, they resolved to come up with a framework that would provide backing to the regional security outfit.

Sequel to this, Attorneys General and Commissioners for Justice of the six states on Friday confirmed they had concluded work on the draft bill for the smooth running of the regional security network.

Each of the Attorneys General is expected to present the draft bill to their respective state executive councils for approval, after which the documents would be sent to each of the six Houses of Assembly in the region for it to be passed and subsequently signed into law by each of the governors.

Speaking to one of our correspondents on Saturday, the Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye, said the Assembly would not mind cutting short their recess to attend to Amotekun bill to ensure its speedy passage.

Owoeye, who spoke through his Press Secretary, Kunle Alabi said that the bill would receive speedy attention once they receive it from the executive.

He said, “The Speaker has promised that the bill will be given speedy attention whenever it is ready for the lawmakers. Like other important matters of state, the lawmakers will be ready to attend to it.

“Recall that during the crises in some local government areas early in the year, the lawmakers cut short their recess to attend to the matter. The Amotekun bill will enjoy the same attention once it comes. The lawmakers will not mind cutting short their recess.”

Also, the Oyo State House of Assembly said the bill could be passed into law within two or three weeks if it’s presented to the House on Tuesday.

The Assembly’s Chairman of Media and Information Committee, Kazeem Olayanju, said, “When the bill on Amotekun will be passed into law in Oyo State depends on how soon the executive arm of government brings the bill to the House of Assembly. The House normally sits on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“If they bring it on time, it will be passed on time. Normally, a bill passes through four stages. The bill is expected to pass through the first three stages in the Assembly before being sent to the governor for his assent, and that is the fourth and final stage. If they bring it on Tuesday, for instance, it may scale through first reading on Thursday. It may be in the Assembly for two weeks before being sent to the governor.”

Olayanju added, “This will give the state the opportunity to enjoy the full value of the security outfit.”

On his part, the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Funminiyi Afuye, also said the bill would not be delayed by any of the legislative bodies in the region.

Afuye said, “When we receive it, definitely it’s going to be given expeditious treatment. This is a coordinated western states’ matter, we, the speakers are meeting and we are sensitising everybody, every legislator in the South-West to the need to make it a priority.

“If it gets to us, I can assure you that it will be treated.”

He explained that even through the bill would still pass through the normal legislative process, it will be given accelerated hearing.

He added, “We have to study it and it has to pass through first and second readings, then the passage of the bill. It has to go through the legislative process. I can assure you that it is not going to be delayed.”

Similarly, the Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, said the Assembly would also give speedy hearing to the bill once it is transmitted to them.

Oluomo said the speedy hearing would be aided by the fact that there had been a law related to the bill.

He added, “The state Assembly needs to amend a law that created ‘So safe Corps’ as a state security outfit for Amotekun.”

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, could not give timeline for the passage of the bill.

Obasa, who is also the Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures, said the bill would go through the public for their input before it could be passed into law.

He added, “So far, we have not seen anything. We are waiting for when the bill will be brought to the parliament so that we know what to do.”

Osun gov meets lawmakers, promises early presentation of bill

In a related development, the Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, has met with the members of the State House of Assembly where he promised to present a bill on Amotekun ‘‘soon.’’

At the meeting, which was held on January 29, Oyetola was said to have sought the cooperation of the lawmakers, vowing that the commissioner in charge of the ministry of justice was working with his colleagues in other five states in the region to draft the bill.

A member of the State House of Assembly, who spoke with one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, said the states were working with Development Agenda for Western Nigeria to draft the bill.

He said, “The bill is going to be uniform. Our governor met with us (the lawmakers) on January 29. Though we have had series of meetings on it at committee levels and groups, the governor had told us that the bill was being drafted.

‘‘The bill is being worked on by the Attorneys General and DAWN commission. Thank God the Federal Government is no longer against it. We will soon get it and I can assure you that we will get it passed as soon as it is ready.”

Asked how the operation would be funded, the source added that the governors would likely submit supplementary budget on it.


Update: FG should let us bury our parents in peace – Kanu’s family

The burial of the parents of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu comes up next week, precisely February 14. Already, tension is mounting in Afaraukwu, Umuahia, the country home of the Kanu’s. In this interview with OKEY SAMPSON in Umuahia, the spokesman of the family, Prince Emmanuel Kanu said they are not preparing for war as security agencies would want the world to know. He called on the Federal Government to allow them bury their parents in peace.

In Igbo land, many burials particularly of the elderly take place at month ends, why did you choose February 14 (Lovers Day) for your parents’ burial?

We call their death the glorious union exit, that’s why we chose February 14, it will be a day of remembrance for us; they both loved themselves so much while they were alive that no other date could have been better. So, that day is very significant to us in so many ways, you know it is Lovers Day and they were epitome of love while they lived here on planet earth.

What’s the family’s role that day going to be like?

It’s not our family’s burial but that of Afaraukwu community because my father was the monarch of the place, so, the burial is going to be handled by Afaraukwu people.

IPOB insists they must be part of the burial ceremonies while police is vehemently against that. What is the family doing to douse this tension?

I don’t know whether it is out of ignorance or what, why are they mixing up these two things together? We are trying to bury our parents who lost their lives as a direct result of Operation Python Dance, now, the best thing we can do for them is to lower them in peace, give them the last honour and that’s what we are trying to do.

We have nothing to do with IPOB or so to speak, this is our tradition and we have to observe it. Even bringing IPOB in the wider picture, what has IPOB got to do with this, they are not troublesome people, they are not violent people. How would they even identify an IPOB member in the first place? Is the Commissioner of Police not an IPOB member? He is an indigenous person as well.

They should know that this is not an IPOB thing, we are talking about burial here, and all we are trying to do is to lower our parents. I can’t understand this, whoever that is coming should be seen as someone who is mourning. When the police talk about people wearing Biafra uniform and putting on IPOB insignia, the question is, are we doing agitation? The answer is no. So, when you are coming for burial you wear Biafra uniform? Is that their thought? It’s not making any sense to us, they are creating tension for themselves. They should allow us do what we want to do and see if there will be problem in Abia State. I can’t be burying my parents and at the same time looking for trouble, it does not make any sense. If the Commissioner of Police likes, he can come for the burial after all I am his landlord. Yes, apart from him being an indigenous person, I’m the landlord of CP Ene Okon here in Umuahia, he lives about two minutes away from me, I’m his landlord. I’m even considering sending official invitation to him to come and witness the burial after all as a Biafran he is, he was supposed to have been in the palace long before now.

What type of burial are we expecting?

It’s going to be wonderful; a lot of people are going to come from far and near to see things for themselves. We are going to have our cultural dances; in fact, we will use the burial to showcase the culture of Afaraukwu people.

What word do you have for people coming for the burial?

I would like to assure all coming that the burial would be done in the most peaceful manner. We won’t allow any noise maker in this place, we will not allow miscreants around the venue of the burial and we will not allow anybody to use the burial to cause problem for us, we are going to checkmate all these things.

I have a word for the Federal Government, they should allow us bury our parents in peace. Why are soldiers parading our community intermittently, who are they looking for? A community that is mourning, what are you coming there to look for? The soldiers parading Afaraukwu should be drafted to the North East where their services are needed.


Kanu parent’s funeral: We will storm Abia – IPOB

Emma Powerful is the Media and Publicity secretary of IPOB. In this interview with OKEY SAMPSON, he warned police not to dare IPOB, insisting that despite police threat, the pro Biafra members would come to Umuahia in their numbers from across the globe to participate in the burial of parents of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

Parents of your leader, Nnamdi Kanu will be buried next week, what are we expecting from IPOB?

The burial will be done the way burials take place in Igbo land; IPOB is an organization that wants peace in Igbo land and when we talk of Igbo land, we are also talking about parts of Delta, Kogi and Benue States.

Is IPOB going to super head the burial?

No, the point is that the father of our leader was the traditional ruler of a community, you know how communities bury their traditional rulers, the community cannot be left out in the burial, they are the people that will direct us on what to do. But IPOB will participate fully.

When the parents of your leader were alive, they supported IPOB fully, now they are no more, are you missing their support?

We are missing their support terribly but we must forge ahead; wherever they are today, we are promising them that their death would not be in vain, we are going to achieve Biafra in the shortest possible time.

What are we expecting on the date of the burial?

The atmosphere will be calm, there will be no problem, nobody will quarrel with anybody. All the criminals should leave Afaraukwu on that day so that we will bury our daddy and mummy peacefully.

As the media and publicity secretary of IPOB, you are close to your leader, Nnamdi Kanu. Will he be coming home for the burial?

Well, we cannot expose our strategy again, whether our leader will come or not, will not be made public now. If he is coming back if the need be, the IPOB high command only knows. The arrangement for him to come is not for public consumption.

Are you aware police said he will be arrested if he comes home for the burial?

Police can say whatever they want to say because they are serving their masters, but we know what we are doing and we must get Biafra. IPOB does not fear any threat neither is our leader.

Police are emphatic that they will not allow IPOB participate in the burial, are you not foreseeing a clash between your members and security personnel?

How can police arrest people that came for burial? We are not coming there for war or to cause problem, rather we are coming there to pay our last respect to our parents. Police should not dare us, we are not posing any threat to anybody and we don’t fear anybody; we will conduct ourselves peacefully on that day, that’s all.


CP: IPOB should not come near Umuahia

Following the tension that is building up as the date for the burial of the parents of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu draws closer, the Abia State Commissioner of Police, Ene Okon in this interview with OKEY SAMPSON in Umuahia has warned members of the pro Biafra group not to come near Umuahia, the Abia State capital under the guise of coming for the burial or they would have themselves to blame.

The burial of the parents of IPOB leader, Nnmadi Kanu is coming up next week, the pro Biafra group said they would participate actively. Is the Police comfortable with that?

Do you think we will sit down here and allow IPOB to participate in the burial? Whoever thinks along that line is fooling himself. IPOB will dance during the burial and the police elephants will dance too.

IPOB said they are not coming for war or cause any trouble, but just to pay the parents of their leader their last respect. How would police react to that?

I have already reached out to the traditional prime minister of Afaraukwu (Nnamdi Kanu’s community) and told him that if they want the burial to go smoothly and for police to give them security, they should tell IPOB not to near the area not to talk of participating in the burial. If they fail to adhere to what we’ve told them, that means they do not want the burial to go on smoothly because we are going to scatter the place. IPOB is proscribed by the Federal Government. I, as the Commissioner of Police in Abia cannot sit here and allow any proscribed group to operate anywhere in this state. I am saying this again for emphasis that there is no way police will allow a proscribed group to participate in the burial of the King and Queen of Afaraukwu simply because they are the parents of their acclaimed leader, we will not allow that and we cannot take anything for granted in the face of abundant intelligence on threat by IPOB. If the burial committee writes to police to provide security during the burial, we will oblige them on the condition that they will guarantee us that IPOB will never, ever be part of the burial, IPOB will never get near there, in fact that IPOB will never, ever enter Umuahia. That police will not see any Biafra flag, IPOB insignia or IPOB member disguising as Jewish or Zionist Church members.

In a burial of this nature, how would one identify who is an IPOB member or not?

If they come for the burial as ordinary people, not as a group, without Biafra flag or insignia, we won’t know them. But if they come

as a group, with their Biafra flags and insignia and we identify them that is where the problem will come because as a group, the Federal Government has described them as a terrorist group and proscribed them. And it is within our mandate to maintain law and order and we have to make sure that law and order is maintained.

IPOB is emphatic that its members will participate in the burial, what are we expecting?

By saying they were coming for the burial, they are sending signal to us telling us to be ready for them and we will be ready for them. We’ve told the organizers of the burial, if IPOB members are allowed to participate, we will do everything within our powers to disperse and if in the process the burial is disrupted, police will not be blamed.

Abia State Commissioner of Police, Ene Okon

Would the police contemplate cancelling the burial if intelligence report has it that IPOB participation may cause a break down of law and order?

Police did not organize the burial and so cannot cancel their burial, but if IPOB insists on hijacking the burial and taking it up, I will do everything within my powers and within the ambit of the law to make sure that IPOB does not bring a breakdown of law and order in this place. So, they are seriously warned in their own interest.


Kanu’s parent burial unstoppable – IPOB dares

…funeral, February 14

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), yesterday, boasted that the army would not hinder it from conducting the burial ceremony of parents of Nnamdi Kanu, slated for February 14.

IPOB’s spokesman, Mr. Emma Powerful, in a statement in Owerri, berated the army for abandoning their core duty of fighting in the warfront and defending the nation to harassing, humiliating and intimidating indigenes of Kanu’s Afaraukwu community in Umuahia-Ibeku, Abia State.

“We wish to notify the world that preparations for the burial of our leader’s parents is going ahead as planned. The Army is wasting its time and valuable resources trying to stop something they know they are incapable of stopping. Burial of the dead is a right older than man itself. How can the government of Nigeria justify the deployment of soldiers to the venue of a funeral while terrorists are busy making the lives of law abiding citizens a misery. What Buratai and his soldiers are doing in Umuahia is no different from what terrorists are doing in the North East. They invade peaceful communities, killing, pillaging, destroying and kidnapping people at will. We continue to draw attention of the civilised world to the incessant harassment, humiliation, intimidation of Afaraukwu community in Umuahia-Ibeku by the very lazy and shameless Nigerian army, whose stock in trade is to terrorise innocent civilians.

“Nigerian government and her soldiers are shameless and downright disgraceful and their refusal to confront armed Fulani insurgency and Boko Haram menace in the north, but instead chose to focus their attention on a burial ceremony in Afaraukwu is indicative of the misplaced priorities at the heart of this APC regime which has directly led to the deterioration of security situation across Nigeria.

“Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, Miyetti Allah Bandits, ISIS in West Africa, Al-Qaeda in the Mhagreb are dutifully waiting for Buratai and his warriors to engage them in battle in the north. That is the real security problem facing Nigeria, not the burial of His Royal Majesty Eze Israel Okwu Kanu and his wife…

“One thing is certain, come 14 February, the parents of our leader will be laid to rest. APC regime, Nigerian Army and their badly informed supporters cannot stop IPOB from restoring the sovereign state of Biafra within the shortest possible time by the grace of God,” Powerful said.


Operation Amotekun: Southwest plans anti-graft team

There are strong indications that the South-West states are planning to set up anti-corruption units in their security outfit, Operation Amotekun, The PUNCH has learnt.

The unit, in each state, it was gathered, would handle cases of graft and abuse of power levelled against operatives of Amotekun.

It was learnt that the Amotekun bills, which were being drafted by the states, would make provisions for either an anti-graft unit or an ombudsman to check the excesses of the operatives.

A top official of one of the states, who confided in one of our correspondents, said, “Some of the operatives may want to take advantage of their powers to extort money from people or engage in other forms of corruption. The anti-corruption unit or an ombudsman will take care of this.”

It was gathered that the unit or the ombudsman, depending on the preference of each state, would receive complaints on cases such as bribery, extortion, misuse of power, human rights abuses and other complaints levelled against any member of Operation Amotekun.

The Ekiti State Attorney General, Wale Fapohunda, in an interview with one of our correspondents, confirmed there would be anti-corruption provisions in the proposed Amotekun law.

Explaining highlights of the proposed law, Fapohunda said, “There must be anti-corruption provisions in the law. The proposed law must have citizens’ complaints provisions, including a framework for an independent ombudsman with strong authority to receive complaints from the public on matters of corruption and abuse of power.”

Recall that the South-West governors had at a summit in Ibadan on January 9, agreed to set up Operation Amotekun to address killings and kidnapping in the zone.

But the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, on January 14 kicked against the security outfit, saying it was not only illegal, but also negated the principle of federalism.

Malami’s statement, however, attracted criticisms from eminent lawyers and groups including Chief Afe Babalola, SAN; Mr Femi Falana, SAN; the Nigerian Bar Association; the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Afenifere.

At a meeting in Abuja attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, South-West governors and Malami, the Federal Government and the governors of the zone resolved their differences over Amotekun and decided that a law should be made by each of the states to give the security outfit a legal backing.

A few days after the Abuja meeting, the attorneys-general of the South-West states met in Ibadan and began the process of drafting the Amotekun bill, which each state would submit to its house of assembly.

Providing more insights into the bill, Fapohunda on Saturday said Ekiti State was proposing the inclusion of citizens’ complaints provision in the proposed Amotekun law.

According to him, it is to ensure that the states can deal with potential cases of violations by operatives for the purpose of accountability.

He said, “The proposal is to have an independent person. Each state will appoint an independent person that will be like an ombudsman; with strong authority to receive complaints and deal with them immediately.”

The attorney general said the appointment of an ombudsman would afford citizens the opportunity to complain “when things go wrong.”

According to him, the function of the ombudsman will be “to receive complaints from aggrieved citizens, as well as investigate those complaints and also send findings when there is the need for follow up on those findings.

“If you have a case, for example, that a citizen was tortured or beaten or so, that ombudsman will be responsible for receiving such a complaint and when it is established as a credible complaint, the law will take its ordinary course”.

Ombudsman can recommend Amotekun operative’s dismissal

He said by the proposed law, the ombudsman could recommend prosecution or dismissal of an errant operative depending on the degree or nature of the violation.

Fapohunda said, “The way we structured it is that there would be an accountable structure like a board that will oversee the operatives; so corruption, abuse of human rights, and general abuse will definitely be subject of scrutiny by this ombudsman.

“For any person responsible, the ombudsman can now advise that such a person must be removed, prosecuted or dismissed. It depends on the nature of the violation. For us essentially, it is for accountability which is non-negotiable. Each state will have a call centre like what the police operate, the states had agreed on that before now. You can call and make reports.

“Because our people need additional confidence, the standard operating guidelines (for the operatives) will state clearly what the operatives can do and what they cannot do; where that does not now work, that is where the ombudsman now comes in to identify specifics,” Fapohunda said.

Although the AG said Ekiti State did not suggest the profession of the ombudsman, he stated, “It does not really matter that such a person will be a lawyer, but legal experience will be very useful.”

Explaining other highlights of the bill, he said, “Primary organisational goal of Amotekun must be to work with individual citizens, communities, public and private organisations, formal and informal security agencies to identify and resolve security issues which potentially affect the livability of communities.”

The AG, who said Amotekun must be a public service delivery organisation, stated, “The proposed law must have clear provisions on respect for human rights. The proposed law must have clear provisions on accountability and transparency.”

“The proposed law must include provisions on gender considerations in recruitment of personnel. There must be sustainable funding provisions in the law; and clear provisions on modalities for collaboration including sharing information, resources and expertise between the six states.”

Fapohunda, who said the proposed law would not stipulate how much would be paid to Amotekun operatives, said, “It will only state how the governments will fund them. It can’t say how much now.

Amotekun to be funded from Security Trust Fund

“All of us will still have to sit down to discuss how much will be paid them. The proposal only specifies how the government will fund them, where the money will come from. A lot of us have the Security Trust Fund – Lagos and Ekiti states – have the trust fund. I think Oyo State now has it. For Ekiti State, they will be funded from the Security Trust Fund.”

Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti AGs harmonise Amotekun bills on Thursday

He said the meeting of the AGs of Lagos, Ogun and Ekiti states for harmonisation of the bills from the states would be held on Thursday.

IG’s community policing: 50 year-old residents can apply, says Ekiti command

Fapohunda said this as the Ekiti State Police Commissioner, Asuquo Amba, on Sunday said the command had begun the process of recruiting special constables for the community policing policy of the Federal Government.

The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had in a wireless message to commissioners of police on January 23, directed them to liaise with traditional rulers with a view to recruiting constables for community policing.

The Police Public Relations Officer for Ekiti Command, Sunday Abutu, said Amba had directed that the recruitment of constables should start in 16 local government areas of the state.

Abutu said forms for the recruitment of the special constables had been distributed to all police stations across the state where interested applicants would obtain such as the first step.

The police spokesperson, in a statement in Ado Ekiti on Sunday, stated, “The Commissioner of Police has given a directive for the exercise to start across the 16 local government areas of Ekiti State.

“The recruitment forms are now available in all the divisional police stations across the state. All interested volunteers are to walk into any divisional police station closer to them within their local governments and pick the form at no cost.

“Applicants must be between the ages of 21 and 50 years, with willingness to serve the community. Applicants must be resident within their respective communities.

“Applicants must be willing to sacrificially serve their respective communities for the purpose and aims of community policing policy with or without remuneration.

“Interested applicants are to, as a matter of urgency, go to the nearest police station within their local governments and pick the form as the screening date will soon be announced.”

The statement, however, did not disclose the number of special constables to be recruited for the policy in the state, but an unconfirmed source in the police said no fewer than 50 persons would be recruited in each local government of the state.

We are starting recruitment in Ogun – Command

The Ogun State Police Command also said it would soon start the recruitment of special constables for the community policing.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi disclosed this to The PUNCH on Sunday.

Oyeyemi said the state commissioner of police would meeting stakeholders such as traditional rulers, executive members of Police Community Relations Committee in the state and some community leaders over the recruitment.

Oyeyemi said, “We are starting by tomorrow (Monday). The CP is meeting with executive members of the PCRC and other stakeholders to finetune the modalities on how we are going to go about the recruitment.

When contacted, Police Public Relations Officer for Osun Command, Folasade Odoro, said the exercise had yet to start in the state.

Odoro said that all the stakeholders would be informed whenever the recruitment would start.


Oluwo: Amotekun must fight ritual killings as well ..

The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, Telu I, has charged the southwest governors to ensure that the Southwest Security Network, otherwise known as Amotekun, is also made to fight ritual killings and “traditional corruptions.”

Describing traditional corruption, especially ritual killings, as rampant in the Southwest, Oba Akanbi expressed concern about the daily reported cases of killing of humans for rituals.

The first class traditional ruler advised that fighting ritual killings should be in the scope of operations of the security outfit.

In a statement by his press secretary, Ali Ibrahim, the paramount ruler said ritual killing is deadlier and more recurrent than herdsmen’s heinous activities. The Oluwo, who drew the attention of the Yoruba stakeholders to the menace of ritual killings, insisted that the politicians should be held responsible for trading their game with kidnapping.

He expressed disappointment that no one is talking about how to curtail ritual killings in the ongoing support for Amotekun.

“I am not condemning Amotekun but I am talking about better direction of job specification and scope of roles for the regional security outfit. Amotekun’s oversight functions should be streamlined to solve fundamental challenges facing us. It is disheartening that we misplace our priority.”

Oluwo added: “Just imagine, an innocent university final year student was killed in Ikoyi-Ile few weeks ago, out of ignorance that a spirit will bring money. It is poverty of the mind that could make someone be so gullible. Now, the child is gone. What a wicked act. What we are doing as a people to curtail such acts must be important to us. So, we need an institution that will allay fears against such an act.

The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, Telu I

“Additionally, to fight traditional corruption, we need agents of unquestionable characters and not accomplice of ritual killers. We need a transparent institution that will lead us out of daily killing of our children for money, promotion, popularity and so on.”

The Oluwo implored Nigerians, especially herbalists, pastors and alfas, to imbibe new approaches to offering sacrifices such as beautifying public places and economic empowerment programmes for the vulnerable in the society, among others, noting that “these are rewarding, promotional and more naturally acceptable than killing fellow humans for ritual.”


Operation Amotekun, Anti-Islam – MURIC alleges ..

Muslim Rights Concern has asked governors in Nigeria’s southwest to change the name of the new regional security outfit it recently set up to fight crimes because it is anti-Islam.

The outfit is officially known as South Security Network but nicknamed Amotekun, a Yoruba word for leopard.

MURIC’s director Professor Ishaq Akintola said in a statement that the nickname and employment of security staff of the outfit are skewed against Muslims.

He, however, insisted that MURIC is not opposed to the establishment of the regional security unit.

“You cannot blame Muslims for crying out when you ask them to bring birth certificates from churches before joining Amotekun,” Akintola said.

“Neither can you expect them to stand akimbo when you tell them to bring letters of recommendation from churches.

“Muslims in the Yoruba enclave are not opposing Amotekun per se. What they oppose is a situation where an ostensibly anti-Islam security outfit comes into operation in Yorubaland.

“Apart from the reference to birth certificates from churches and letters of reference from pastors, the choice of nomenclature is another controversial issue because it has a strong Christian identity. Why ‘Amotekun’ as a name for crying out loud? Research has revealed the biblical origin of this name and it makes Muslims suspicious. Why Amotekun of all brands?”

“Jeremiah 5:6 says, ‘A leopard shall guard over their city’. Amotekun is mentioned in this verse with particular reference to guarding a city. Now, we have a sub-region where Muslims have been under persecution for ages coming up with a security outfit under the name of the same leopard mentioned in the bible as a guard over the city.

“This is not a coincidence. The handlers of Amotekun picked the name deliberately from the bible in order to score a spiritual point. It is very critical. It calls for serious concern. So why give a security unit a religious name?”

Akintola advised that a new “nomenclature” should be used instead of Amotekun. He, however, said he got assurances from “certain quarters” that church-issued birth certificates are a prerequisite for being employed into the security network.

He also insisted that MURIC is in support of any security arrangement anywhere in Nigeria so long as such an arrangement is without “gymnastic religiousity and acrobatic ethnicity.”


Operation Amotekun: If S’west is safe, Nigeria is safe – Adams ..

Aare Ona Kankanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams, has said any one of a group who antagonizes the Western Nigeria Security Network, code-named ‘Amotekun’ is an agent of criminals.

The Federal Government and governors of the South-West region of Nigeria recently reached an agreement after the Justice Minister and Attorney-general of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, declared the security outfit illegal.

However, several people have continued to criticize the move of the south-west governors, saying that the creation of Amotekun is an action unknown to Nigerian Law.

In his reaction, Chief Adams said those antagonizing the operation may have some hidden agenda to destroy the southwest zone.

Speaking in Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State during a courtesy visit to Kayode Fayemi, the executive governor of the state, Adams said, “It is necessary for our governors to (let us) have our own security network, Amotekun. Life is precious. You don’t politicise the issue of security.”

“If the South-West is safe, the entire Nigeria is safe.”

“We don’t need to continue throwing missiles at ourselves in the media. Anybody who stands as an antagonist to Amotekun, I will perceive that person in two forms. One, he has some agenda to destroy our zone; or two, he is an agent of criminals,” he added.

The leader of Oodua People’s Congress, OPC also commended the Federal Government for finally reaching an agreement with the South-West governors on the issue.

“Definitely, the agreement between the Federal Government and the South-West governors is a welcome development. It is for the progress of the country,” he said.


Buhari has elevated Niger Delta region..

The Presidency yesterday presented a long list of the areas the Muhammadu Buhari administration has touched in the Niger Delta region.

It showed how the administration elevated the region and the progress it made in the Ogoni clean-up.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said the administration’s New Vision for the Niger Delta region had made progress in various areas of the region’s developmental programme.

These, it said, include reorganisation in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Eastern ports’ development and other areas.

The Presidency said the progress report on the Niger Delta New Vision indicated clearly that “since the Ogoni clean-up commenced in January 2019, with 16 contractors moving to site, 21 sites have so far been handed over to contractors by Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) under the Federal Ministry of Environment”.

It added: “This is besides the commencement of the Maritime University in Delta State, now on full steam with over 1,000 students spread across 13 undergraduate courses in three faculties and the progress made in the establishment of modular refineries, including the Niger Delta Resources Refinery (NDPR), which has now moved from 1,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 6,000 bpd a couple of weeks ago.

“There are altogether six modular refineries currently at different stages of completion in the six Niger Delta states of Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Imo.”

Giving details on the Ogoni clean-up, the statement said: “The 21 sites where remediation works are ongoing are located in four of the local government areas in Ogoni land, namely: Eleme, Tai, Khana and Gokana.”

The Presidency said the Buhari administration had received local and international commendations on the Ogoni clean-up.

The 2011 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoni land, devastated by decades of oil spills, was not implemented until June 2016, when the Buhari administration kick-started its implementation.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo kick-started the clean-up in the region.

The Presidency said: “The commitment of the Buhari administration to the Ogoni clean-up has received several local and international endorsements with visits to the sites by the Dutch Ambassador, British Deputy High Commissioner, U.S Ambassador, German Ambassador, Norwegian Ambassador, UNEP team, among others, all attesting to the progress being recorded in the clean-up.”

Giving an insight into the progress report, the statement quoted many of those who have attested to the good job on the clean-up.

“I can see that work is ongoing and hopefully it will produce results soon,” the Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Marion Kappeyne Van de Coppello, said in August 2019 when she visited one of the sites in Ebube community, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State.

“Also, during an inspection visit, the UNEP team leader, Mr. Mike Cowing, said the re-engagement of the UNEP team for the Ogoni clean-up shows the commitment of the Federal Government to effectively implement the UNEP Report.

“We see that very sincere plans are being put together. We are part of the planning and we would be part of the implementation,” Cowing said.

On modular refineries in the region, the Presidency said: “So far, six modular refineries are currently at different stages of completion in the Niger Delta region. The refineries are located in six states in the Niger Delta: Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Bayelsa and Cross River. This includes the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Refinery (NDPR), in Ogbele, Rivers State, which was refining at 1,000 bpd, and was recently upgraded to 6,000 bpd.

“The Federal Government’s Presidential Amnesty Presidential Amnesty Programme continues to engage ex-militants and youths in the Niger Delta region in formal education, vocational skills acquisition and empowerment schemes, while creating jobs for beneficiaries.

“The Niger Delta region is also benefitting for the Buhari administration’s efforts to improve the country’s infrastructure, including the Bonny-Bodo road and bridge project.

“This is an important road and bridge going across the Opobo channel, being undertaken as a collaboration between NLNG and the Federal Government.

“When completed, the 34-kilometre Bonny-Bodo road and bridge project, which was flagged off in October 2017, would connect several major communities and boost socio-economic development in the region.

“There is also the Itakpe-Warri rail line project, which is now complete and ready for inauguration. The rail line would handle passenger, commercial and freight services.

President Muhammadu Buhari

“The Federal Government is also in the process of developing sea ports in the region, including Warri, Ibaka deep see port, among other development projects, like the establishment of Export Processing Zones (EPZs) to boost economic activities.

“In the same vein, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is being repositioned for better delivery. It would be recalled that following the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, the NDDC has since begun the audit and verification of projects and contracts in the nine Niger Delta states to better serve the people of the region in terms of development,” the statement said.


Operation Amotekun, helpful to s’west, s’east, others – Tanko

Elder Statesman, Tanko Yakasai, has said that the Southwest security network, code-named, ‘Operation Amotekun’, is a private army in the making. The founding member of Arewa Consultative Forum, in this interview with VINCENT KALU, urged the Yoruba to drop the security outfit and embrace the federal government’s initiative on national security. He warned that the idea is capable of encouraging the secession agenda of some elements in the Southwest, Southeast and South- South geo-political areas of the country. He equally warned Amotekun operatives and those promoting them not to dare the nation’s security forces

Fifty years after the civil war, are you satisfied with the level of unity that has been achieved so far?

No, exactly, no. I believe we have made progress, but we are not there yet.

Then, how do we get there?

If the government is not performing; not this government alone, but all the governments, it becomes a serious problem. The money that is supposed to be used for development is siphoned, so very little is left for actual development. So, people are not seeing anything different. Secondly, people are not engaged, as they are suffering from unemployment. We neglected power sector that would help us industrialise thereby creating job opportunities. We are not even doing agriculture that can easily mobilise millions of Nigerians through employment and job creation simultaneously.

If everybody is busy, we would not be debating about trivial issues, and nobody will be thinking of activities that would be secession in nature, but you have them now, particularly, if you look at the IPOB, which is an attempt to revive secession in the Southeast, I know they cannot succeed, but we shouldn’t have that at all in our country.

There are some indications even in the Southwest and in the South-South, although promoters of those ideas are not the movers and shakers; they can’t win local government elections either as councillor or as chairman, talk less of as a member of state Assembly or National Assembly, or as governor or president.

However, anybody can start trouble, it doesn’t require a very important person or the man with a majority support to start trouble, that is why I said there are still manifestations of disunity in the country.

Like you said, there are still manifestations of disunity, some people also argue that the events that led to the civil war are still building up, how do we avert this?

The events are building up. In my observation, in this country, people see danger but they are afraid to speak out for one reason or the other, and they would not speak out until it is too late for anybody to intervene; I don’t see people rising up to their responsibility in this matter.

The media is not helping matters; a nonentity would be turned to a very important person by the media, when in actual sense, he is a paper tiger. Media overblows trivial issues, which gives the wrong impression in the country.

Everybody is in fear about this trend of disunity of this country, but those talking about it are the insignificant people in the society. Like I said, anybody can start trouble and nobody can know how to quell it; but the media has to be alive to its responsibility of promoting national unity in averting disaster in the country.

Still talking about the events that led to the civil war, some people insist that a section of the country as the rider and the others the horse. What do you say to this?

I know what you are talking about, it is unfortunate, and I’m having some concerns about that. People are talking about the ways the present government goes about making appointments in the country, and many people expressed concern.

I’m a Northerner, full-blooded Northerner – my parents; my grandparents were from the North. There are so many thousands and millions of Northerners who are also committed to national unity. There is an Hausa proverb, I don’t know its equivalent in English – one piece of beans can spoil entire pot of beans, I just translate literally; if the government or the presidency has vacancies for ten people and for whatever reason he filled nine with Hausa – Fulani Muslim Northerners and gave one to the entire Southern Nigeria, including Christian Northerners, there is no doubt that people would not be seeing things going the wrong way, I’m seeing it also.

But you should also see the other positive side. For instance, you have Nigerians, who are Northerners going about their business in the South, some trading, some working as night watchmen, some even going begging, yet they are free, nobody is disturbing them; nobody is killing them, and also you find a lot of Southerners going about their business across the entire country. Take the instance of the magnitude of the Igbo man that goes about his business all over without let or hindrance over the country. These are the important aspects that people tend to ignore. Life is about survival, if people are free to go all over the country in search of means of livelihood unmolested, it is very good side and we have had it before. We had people going from the south to the north and from north to the south, but not to the magnitude they are doing it now. It should be noted and taken into consideration.

What is you position on the Southwest security network, Amotekun?

There are security challenges all over the country; it is not a matter that concerns the Southwest alone. It is in the Southeast, South-South, North Central, Northwest and Northeast, all over, killings, kidnappings, armed robberies, etc. These are not limited to a particular area, they are all over the place, nobody would doubt or dispute this.

The way the Southwest is approaching the issue is wrong; many times a wrong approach can kill a very good project. The wrong approach was to give it ethnic dimension.

Southwest has something positive and something negative. Something positive in the sense that they have no problem in understanding because all of them are one people; they speak the same language, they are either Muslim or Christian, they know how to relate with one another without discrimination. This is not the case with all the other geo-political zones. No geo-political zone is like that, yes, I know, people would say southeast, yes, obviously, they are Igbo, they are almost the same like Southeast.

This Amotekun is a private army in the making. A country like Nigeria that has experienced secessionist movement, and an attempt at secession, there is no doubt that so many lives of people of Nigeria from both sides were lost in that process, then Nigerians will be jittery; any patriotic Nigerian will begin to open his eyes wider seeing this kind of thing happening.

Since the problem is nationwide, a nationwide approach should make everybody happy.

The president has set up a committee with the Inspector General of Police to look into the problem of insecurity in the country holistically and give a recommendation that would enable the federal government on its own or maybe either in collaboration with state or local government to deal with the issue based on the recommendation that it considers appropriate.

I will prefer that approach, but I don’t accept the approach by the Southwest for simple reason that if you allow the Southwest to set up a semi-military outfit, particularly a security outfit that allow its personnel to carry guns, it doesn’t matter whether you call it Dane guns; gun is gun and nobody can assure that these Dane guns will not one day turn into proper or sophisticated guns, and you are not sure that if you give somebody a Dane gun, he will not one day go somewhere and drop it and pick a proper gun.

To that extent, I think the approach from the Southwest was wrong; it didn’t take into consideration the sensitivity of the government and people of Nigeria.

So, you are in support of the position by the federal government?

I’m in support of the initiative by the federal government. Southwest, Southeast, South-South, Northwest, Northeast and North Central should await the outcome of that exercise and get themselves keyed into it so that there will be synergy in tackling the problem of insecurity in Nigeria. It is a very big issue that can be addressed through synergy.

That Amotekun can be ordinary word in Yoruba, but it can have so many meanings; why can’t they adopt a term that can be understood by everybody?

It seems only the core Northerners are opposed to Amotekun because the Southeast, the South-South and the Middle Belt are in support of it. Why?

I’m too old in this game to be bamboozled. Somebody cannot go and call a meeting of two or three persons from each zone and say, Southeast, South- South and Middle Belt said this or that. In any case, why would the meeting not include Northeast, Northwest?

Why adopting Gideon Orkar’s solution to Nigerian problem? Those people who are talking, I know them, for the past five years they have been calling meetings. This Middle Belt is non-constitutional, non-legal and can never be defined administratively, legally or constitutionally. It is slogan by politicians to win votes; it has no basis.

What do they mean by Middle Belt, they mean North Central, which is made up of six states. Out of these six states, only two are predominantly Christians, even one is 70/30 per cent of Christian/Muslim, the other is 90 per cent Christians and 10 per cent Muslims.

You cannot define a state or an area or administrative unit in a country along that line. In a multi cultural society like Nigeria, you cannot define administrative division in terms of ethnicity or religion.

The South-South has jumped into the fray of 2023 presidency. The leaders within the week said, it is the turn of the region to produce the president. What is your take on this?

Jonathan was elected president and he ran for four years. Under normal circumstances, I would have no quarrel with their aspiration; I would have liked also to see them have the presidency for eight years as the Yoruba did, so that the issue of rotation and zoning will be entrenched into our system; the Yoruba have done two terms, so that they can come and complete their two terms, and then it will go to the north and when it returns, the Southeast would have theirs.

I said it in 2015, that if the country elects Buhari, it would take about 20 years for Igbo in Southeast to produce the president, I said it, but nobody took it seriously. South-South is now talking, they should have said that they have started and have done one term and so should be allowed to complete it.

Now, they are talking about it, before then, Southeast has been talking about it. Whichever is the case, I would accept it.

Two things: Somebody can dash you money – Naira, kobo. Nobody will be a millionaire without working for it; nobody will give you power, you need to look for power, work for it; it cannot be gotten just on a platter of gold.

So, the Southeast should also begin to warm into the Nigerian nation to begin to look for people they can win to support their aspiration, so also is South-South. There is only one way of doing it by mobilising support from other parts of the country. As a matter of principle, I don’t quarrel with any of them.

The Southwest seems irrevocably committed to Amotekun, where will this lead?

Will that be a declaration of the intent to fight the authorities? You know that there is abject poverty in this country. People are looking for where to get money. Anybody can gather people to demonstrate on his behalf in Nigeria, so I’m not carried away about the demonstration in support of Amotekun. People can go to disturb peace if they want; people can distribute money to unemployed youths to begin to make trouble all over the country.

Even the political parties don’t have membership today, people who joined them and paid money to be registered as members, so people you see in the streets demonstrating for whatever reason, somebody must have mobilised them. It is not something people do out of their volition. Don’t be surprised if you see people demonstrating for Amotekun, but they should not dare the security forces.


Operation Amotekun: Musa shade Tinubu, others

Former governor of Old Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, has slammed Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, over the comment he made on his statement about the Western Nigeria Security Network code-named, Operation Amotekun.

He also took on the O’odua Peoples Congress (OPC) leader and Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams and described Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as belonging to a government that is showing lack of aptitude to govern Nigeria.

Operation Amotekun was Introduced by the six South West governors to curb kidnapping, banditry and ritual killings that has thrown the region into panic.

Musa had said in an interview with one of The Sun newspaper titles that Operation Amotekun was a ploy by the Yoruba preparatory to the declaration of Oduduwa Republic.

But Soyinka, Adams and Tinubu took exception to the statement. While Tinubu said Amotekun was not a threat to national unity and that “those claiming that this limited, inoffensive addition to security threatens the Republic have taken themselves upon a madcap excursion,” Soyinka noted that “raising the spectre of secessionist is a facile approach to the dangerous, self-evident lapses in governance which Balarabe himself acknowledges in his response to the Amotekun principle made flesh.

Adams, on his part, queried the former governor when he became the spokesman of the North, adding that it was on record that Musa is the only former governor in Nigeria who operated a one-man show, has no aide, and has no followers-hip just as he remarked that the Northern oligarchy as represented by Musa were afraid that the existence of Amotekun might jeopardise their conquest agenda.

However, Musa in an exclusive interview with Daily Sun yesterday rose in stout response to the attack on his person?

He said: “The statement of Soyinka and that of Tinubu do not amount to criticism. In fact, we agreed in some areas and we differed in others. The statement of Tinubu, for instance, is just calling attention to the insecurity as seen by Amotekun because Tinubu listed a number of steps that Amotekun should have taken and have not taken. Tinubu has not said anything different from what we have said in a different way.”

When reminded of Tinubu’s statement that Amotekun is not a threat to national unity contrary to his averment, Musa said: “But what do you expect Tinubu to do because Tinubu is part and parcel of this government which is responsible for this incompetence that makes Amotekun look necessary to others. So, what do you expect him to do. How can he say Amotekun is not a threat to national unity when he is part and parcel of the government and part and parcel of the South West elite that are responsible. So you can’t expect the same attitude with mine because he is directly involved.

“I am not surprised about his response but I am saying that people like him and us should work together because we think principally about national unity and I have no doubt about Tinubu’s commitment about national unity even though I have doubt about the commitment of people like Soyinka. I can even identify specific attempts that Tinubu took to bring about national unity since his intervention in real politics at NADECO.

“For Soyinka, all his announcements since he came into the scene particularly during his encounter with the late Bala Usman who was doubting whether he earned his professorship and he was reacting. When regional issues arise, Soyinka has never taken his bias towards, for instance, Yorubaland, Yoruba states and everything Yoruba and not Nigeria. I mean that has been clear.

“The best thing is that let all of us who differ on this Amotekun come together and do what appears to have been done by others. For instance, Tinubu is suggesting something that will make Amotekun a national aspiration. Now, the North Central governments are also thinking of doing the same thing.”

Asked if he was aware that the Arewa youths were in support of Amotekun, he retorted: ”I mean the thing is this: you can say the same thing about the governors of the North Central states but they are not saying they have accepted Amotekun per se. They are saying the regional security formation is essential but in conjunction with the relevant bodies. For instance, they talked about it in consultation with the Attorney General and coming together. They never talked about any tribe or whatever unlike Amotekun that is talking about Yoruba all the time.

When reminded of Adams conquest agenda allegation, Musa quipped: “Forget about Adams. We know his position right from the beginning. As far as he is concerned, it is Yoruba and Yoruba all the time. I don’t even want to comment about what Adams. He is talking about the North fixing a national problem. Why should he be talking about the North?

“He is talking about conquest agenda by the North. You see this nonsense. This is something that lacks intelligence and it shows the attitude of people with intellectual and social indiscipline and articulation. What does Adams know? When did he arrive into the scene to know all these? He arrived when the rot has already started and he started using the rot.”


Group plead Lagos govt to stop forceful eviction of Tarkwa Bay residents

Global rights group, Amnesty International, has called on the Lagos State Government to immediately halt the violent and unlawful evictions that rendered thousands of residents of Tarkwa Bay, a waterfront community in Lagos, homeless.

On January 21 at about 8:00am, personnel of the Nigerian Navy resorted to assault and shooting during the evictions at Tarkwa Bay.

The authorities continued with the forced evictions the next day, in what appears to be a brazen disregard for the safety and security of the affected people, as well as their rights to housing among others.

“What is happening at Tarkwa Bay, Lagos is a violation of human government rights.

“It is unacceptable that the Nigerian Government are evicting people in the most violent manner and destroying their homes without genuine consultations, adequate notice, alternative accommodation or access to remedies,” said Osai Ojigho, Director Amnesty International Nigeria.

“The attacks on poor communities of Lagos must end. Throwing many families into endless misery is not the best way of addressing allegations of crime and urban planning failures of the authorities. We call for a halt to ongoing forced evictions,” she added.

Spate of unlawful evictions in Lagos have surged since last.

For example, in November 2019, nearly 1500 residents of Second Badagry community in Lagos were forcibly evicted.

Similarly, on January 4, 2020, about 3000 residents of Okun Glass Village, Ilaase, were violently evicted by personnel of the Nigerian Navy.

Several other informal communities in Lagos live with perpetual threats of forced evictions.


Operation Amotekun: AGF, Malami insist illegal

The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) has insisted that the South-West Security Network code-named Amotekun is illegal.

Malami insisted on his earlier position that any security outfit not supported by extant laws remained illegal.

According to a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr Umar Gwandu on Thursday, January 23, 2020, the minister once again declared Operation Amotekun illegal during a Radio Nigeria programme “Nationwide Politics.”

Malami argued that the right thing to do is to ensure the constitutionality of the security outfit.

He said, “The planning, execution, consummation of whatever security arrangement must be naturally grounded in law, rooted in the constitution and tolerated by the law.

“For any arrangement to stand within the law, the bottom line is that constitutionality and legality must be factored.

“Provided that there is an aberration relating to constitutional compliance, I think the right thing to do is to ensure constitutionality and legality both in spirit, planning, concept, and consummation.

“If you are talking of regional arrangement, for example, at what point did the state assemblies come together as a region for the purpose of coming up with a statue or a law that can operate within the context of the Constitution taking into consideration the Federating arrangement that does not allow or tolerate a regional state House of Assembly arrangement.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Government and south-west governors have finally reached an agreement at a meeting in Abuja on Thursday, January 23, 2020, on Operation Amotekun.

At the end of the meeting, Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu told State House Correspondents that they have agreed to draw up a legal framework for Amotekun.


Operation Amotekun: FG, Southwest Governors in support

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, met today with South West Governors, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police.

According to a statement from the Office of the Vice President, the meeting was at the instance of the Governors who had asked to see President Muhammadu Buhari over the controversy surrounding the Amotekun Initiative.

However, due to the President’s foreign engagement, he asked the Vice President to host the meeting.

The statement signed by Mr. Laolu Akande a special aide to the Vice President, suggests that the meeting was very fruitful.

It (the statement) revealed that unanimous resolutions were made on the way forward.

“Having regard to the need for all hands to be on deck in addressing the security concerns across the country, it was agreed that the structure of Amotekun should also align with the Community Policing strategy of the Federal Government.

“It was also agreed that necessary legal instruments will be put in place by each of the States to give legal backing to the initiative and address all issues concerning the regulation of the security structure,” the statement read in part.


IPOB feud as Ijaw youths oppose Bayelsa meeting

The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, on Tuesday, faulted the Ijaw Youth Council’s position that IPOB should not hold its planned meeting in Bayelsa State.

The IYC, Central Zone, led by Olorogun Kennedy, had, on Monday, asked members of IPOB to steer clear of the state, and looked elsewhere for their planned national meeting or attract the wrath of the IYC.

But reacting on Tuesday, a statement from the Director of Media and Publicity of the secessionist group quoted the Bayelsa State coordinator of IPOB, Igrubia Gbalam, as saying that it was either that the chairman of the IYC, Central Zone, had forgotten his origin or was acting the scripts of his, “Fulani masters.’

The statement read, “Unknown to Mr Olorogun Kennedy, whose first name points to his true origin, Bayelsa State and Ijawland is the birth place of Biafra. Mr Olorogun Kennedy is a DSS informant craving the attention of his Fulani masters by making attention-grabbing comments on the pages of newspapers to attract more financial reward from those that have rendered Niger Delta desolate.

“This is so shameful because it is obvious that those leading IYC central zone knows nothing about Ijaw people, history, struggle, survival and enemies. Yes, it is obvious they don’t know the enemies of Ijaw people because if they had known, they wouldn’t have ignored the Ijaw community, Bilabiri, burnt down by the Nigerian military to come and be threatening IPOB, who are the only voice speaking against such evil in Ijawland. Mr Olorogun is pretending he was not aware of previous and ongoing dialogue between IPOB leadership and prominent Ijaw people in the Disapora.

“The whole world knows that IPOB is the only organisation bold enough to confront the excesses of the terrorist government of Nigeria and if the IYC central zone is standing against IPOB but mute against the evil meted to Ijaw people by the oppressive Nigerian military, then it means that their loyalty is no longer towards the Ijaw people but to those who oppress us.”


Operation Amotekun: Rally begin today, presidency meeting shifted

John Ameh, Success Nwogu, Leke Baiyewu, Oluwatosin Omojuyigbe, Peter Dada, Daud Olatunji, Abiodun Nejo, Bola Bamigbola and Wale Oyewale

A scheduled meeting between the Presidency and the South-West governors on the Western Nigeria Security Network, Operation Amotekun, was called off on Tuesday.

It is now rescheduled for Thursday (tomorrow).

While the South-West governors could not meet the Presidency on Tuesday, various groups in the zone held rallies in state capitals in support of Amotekun. In Lagos, the police barricaded the venue of a pro-Amotekun rally.

The South-West had launched the operation on January 9 in Ibadan to help address rising security challenges, particularly kidnapping and banditry, in Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Lagos, Ekiti and Ondo states.

The South-West governors, who made 120 patrol vehicles available to the security outfit, had said it would complement the police and the military in terms of intelligence gathering.

But on Tuesday last week, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, said Operation Amotekun was “illegal.”

He stated, “The setting up of the paramilitary organisation called Amotekun is illegal and runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian law.”

A few days later, the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, said the South-West would go ahead with the security outfit.

Akeredolu, who is also the Ondo State governor, said the South-West would first seek a political solution to the problem, then go to court if the first step failed.

But a legal luminary and founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Chief Afe Babalola, on Sunday, advised the South-West governors to proceed with the implementation of Amotekun and leave the Federal Government to challenge the matter in court.

NobleReporters had exclusively reported on Thursday that as part of efforts to find a solution to the problem, the governors would this week meet with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Predictable, unending power tussle between governors and their predecessors
But in the Presidential Villa schedule sighted by one of our correspondents on Tuesday, the meeting was timed to hold at 12noon and to be presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in the absence of the President.

However, by 12pm when none of the governors came to the Villa, NobleReporters learnt that the meeting was shifted to 2pm.

At 2pm, the meeting was eventually rescheduled to Thursday, though Osinbajo was in the office.

Two of the governors were out of the country to London to attend the United Kingdom-Africa Summit in company with Buhari.

They are those of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Ogun State, Mr Dapo Abiodun. They are not expected back home till Thursday.

The meeting was moved to Thursday when most of the 36 state governors would be in Abuja for the National Economic Council meeting. N.Rs culled

The source stated, “Thursday seems convenient for everyone; all the governors are coming for their monthly NEC meeting.

“The South-West governors’ meeting with the Presidency too can take place on Thursday. It’s more convenient that way. Besides, two of the South-West governors are not in the country now”, the source added.

However, it was further gathered that the meeting might have been rescheduled to coincide with Buhari’s return on Thursday so that the governors would meet with him directly.

“It’s a delicate issue, which the VP too may be trying to handle with caution because of possible political backlash at his home base”, another source claimed.

NobleReporters learnt that the Presidency was not exactly against Amotekun since Buhari had already given his backing to community policing.

One source announced that the Attorney General of the Federation’s declaration of Amotekun as being “illegal” might have been his own view as the AGF.

“I think what is happening is that the AGF gave his own opinion. It is not like it is Buhari that is against Amotekun, since he has already approved community policing.

“But the idea of the governors coming for a meeting is to try and discuss to resolve issues like the modu operandi, or to bring Amotekun to fall in line completely with the government’s community policing concept”, the source stated.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity (Office of the Vice-President), Mr Laolu Akande, said he had no information about any meeting on Amotekun earlier fixed for Tuesday.

Akande only said he was aware that there would be a NEC meeting on Thursday (tomorrow).

Police stop pro-Amotekun rally in Lagos

While the governors and the Presidency could not meet, policemen barricaded the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota, the venue of the pro-Amotekun rally in Lagos.

Over 20 vehicles with armed policemen prevented protesters from accessing the park. N.Rs learnt

The Lagos State Coordinator of the protest, George Akinola, in an interview with journalists, noted that the police prevented the group from entering the park despite paying for the venue.

He said, “We are Yoruba people that have come here on a peaceful rally to support the initiative of the governors of the South-Western states of Nigeria to set up a protective force called Amotekun which is supposed to work with the police and other security agencies to protect the Yoruba land. We paid for the venue but for reasons best known to the Nigeria Police, we were prevented from entering.

“Our message today is that Amotekun will stand because it is a protective force for Yoruba land and it must be allowed to stand. No going back on Amotekun.”

Another group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, condemned the presence of armed policemen at the venue.

SERAP, on its Twitter handle, noted that the invasion of the police at the rally was unlawful. The group tweeted, “It is unlawful and unconstitutional for @PoliceNG to stop Amotekun protesters or any protesters for that matter. Rather than stopping peaceful protesters from exercising their constitutional right, Nigerian authorities should be protecting protesters from violent attacks by others.”

In Akure, the Ondo State capital, groups, under the auspices of the Yoruba World Congress, started their pro-Amotekun rally at the MKO Abiola Democracy Park, moved to the palace of the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, and stopped at the Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, in the company with security agents.

The Coordinator of the group, Mr Oluyi Akintade, said Operation Amotekun had come to stay in the South-West states, stressing that no amount of threats would intimidate the Yoruba.

He said, “We will do everything to support these brave governors as they work tirelessly to see to a more secure South-West people and states.”

Also, the Chairman of the solidarity walk, Mr. Toyin Ogunlakaka, who explained that over 80 Yoruba groups made up the YWC, said that the support given to the initiative of the South-West governors should not be seen that the Yoruba were against the Federal Government but against Malami’s stand over the issue.

Receiving the group on behalf of the Ondo State governor, the Chief of Staff, Chief Gbenga Ale, who lauded the people for the support, said citizens would not be abandoned to their fate amidst the security challenges.

In Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, stakeholders from the 16 council areas of the state gathered for a peaceful rally in support of Amotekun.

Those who joined the rally comprised traditional hunters, members of the Oodua People’s Congress, Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Agbekoya, Oodua Union, Yoruba Koya, Man O’War, National Association of Nigerian Students and Ekiti Council of Elders.The police and operatives of the Department of State Services provided security for the stakeholders.

The coordinator of the rally, Praise Ayodele, said Amotekun had come to stay in the South-West. He stated, “We are not fighting anybody. The security of our people is very important. We are to do this to support our governors that we are happy with Amotekun.”

Also, no fewer than 14 groups held a solidarity rally on Amotekun in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital .

The groups held their programme at the Panseke Park, under a close watch of Police, the DSS and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps.

The Chairman of the coordinating committee of the Amotekun Solidarity Rally in the state, Jimoh Taofeek, described Amotekun as a security outfit meant to protect lives and property in the South-West.

When asked of the number of the groups that participated in the rally. Taofeek said, “ We have 14 groups here for the solidarity walk for Amotekun”.

“If Hisbah can be in the Northern states, if there can be Civilian Joint Task Force, if there can be vigilante groups, some of them even carry arms, arresting people, so, there is no reason why we should not consider Amotekun in the South-West.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Kenneth Ebrimson, who visited the venue of the rally said, he was there to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order.

Different groups under the aegis of the YWC stormed streets in Osogbo, Osun State, to support Amotekun.

The protesters marched from the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park at 10:30am and moved to Okefia before proceeding to Olaiya Junction.

Bearing a large banner with the inscription “On Amotekun We Stand,” the participants urged all stakeholders in the region to support the security initiative since it was designed to check rising insecurity.

The coordinator of the event, Dr Akin Adejuwon, said the participants were not protesting the seeming opposition to the initiative. He explained that the march was to sensitise the populace to the necessity of the Amotekun security initiative amidst rising insecurity in the region.

In Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the President, Federation of Yoruba Consciousness and Culture, Alajobi, Kunle Adeshokan, said Amotekun had come to stay.

Adeshokan, who spoke at a rally, said the entire Yoruba nation was determined to face the challenge of insecurity in the zone.

Adeshokan said, “We will never allow foreigners to take over our land and start killing us. We are tired of bloodletting. Nigeria is for us all and for us all; not for a certain section of the people.”

An activist, Laoye Sanda, who spoke on behalf of Egbe Ifokanbale Omo Yoruba, harped on the need to convene a national conference in the light of the failure being experienced in governance.

The President, Ifokanbale Hunters’ Association, Oba Nureni Ajijolaanabi, said the hunters were prepared to collaborate with the South-West governors on the new security outfit.

Reacting on behalf of Governor Seyi Makinde, Chief Bisi Ilaka, who addressed the rally, said there was no going back on the execution of the security arrangement across the South-West zone.

Amotekun: We mustn’t remain silent to please oppressors, says Atiku

Meanwhile, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday, said no human power had the authority to criminalize the protection of lives and property.

In a statement titled, ‘Self-Defence Is International Human Right, Guaranteed By Article 51 of the UN Charter,’ he stated, “No human power has the authority to criminalise the protection of human life, and no human ambition is worth the failure to speak in support of the people in order to remain in favour with the oppressors of the people.

“As a nation, our police, armed forces and paramilitary bodies have shown great gallantry, patriotism and dedication to duty. They are our first line of defence against enemies of our nation and saboteurs within our midst. I laud, value and acknowledge them, which is why I awarded scholarships and gave other support to the children of some of our fallen heroes.

“Having said that, I must add that the reality on the ground in Nigeria today is that our armed and paramilitary forces are overstretched. To deny this is to unpatriotically put their lives at risk. This we must not do. They deserve better from us.”

He said that to say that Nigerians did not need the services of those who were patriotic enough to voluntarily put their lives at risk to ensure the protection of the lives and property of Nigerians was denying the obvious.

He said, “I salute groups like the Civilian Joint Task Force in the North-East, who provided and continue to provide an invaluable service to Nigeria and her peoples, at great cost to themselves, both in human lives and in productive hours, for which they are not well remunerated. Without their altruistic services, where would the war on terror be?

“It is easy to think that all is well when you are in secure State Houses, but the reality is that the security situation is far from fine for the average Nigerian citizen.

“In such circumstances, people have an inalienable God-given right to self-defence. This divine right, as long as it is limited to self-defence, cannot be declared illegal by man. Not by any stretch.”

South-West Reps back govs

Members of the House of Representatives from the South-West, in separate interviews, urged the South-West governors to ignore the AGF.

The lawmaker representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency of Lagos State, Mr Babajimi Benson, said, “Nothing stops the governors from continuing with Amotekun until the Supreme Court says it is illegal.”

Also, the lawmaker representing Ede-North/South/Egbedero/Ejigbo Federal Constituency of Osun State, Bamidele Salam, dismissed the declaration by the AGF, asking the All Progressives Congress to implement its manifesto on decentralisation of the police.

The lawmaker representing Epe Federal Constituency of Lagos State, Mr Wale Raji, also backed the creation of Amotekun and advised the South-West governors to widen their consultations on the security outfit to include speakers of the state Houses of Assembly and members of the National Assembly from the zone.


Operation Amotekun: Opposition, Satanic! – Yoruba Leaders

A man of the cloth, hunters as well as men of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) on Tuesday led a solidarity rally in support of the South-West security outfit ‘Operation Amotekun’.

Members of Vigilance Group of Nigeria, Yoruba Koya, Man ‘O War, Oodua Union, Ekiti Council of Elders and Agbekoya also participated in the walk.

The police and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) provided security for the participants, who trekked from the popular Fajuyi park through Okesa junction, Ojumose to the Erekesan market and Ijigbo area of Ado Ekiti, the capital city.

It was the consensus of the stakeholders that the Amotekun regional security initiative had berthed permanently in the South-West and that it was not formed to fight Fulani herdsmen, except the unruly and destructive ones.

Speaking at the rally, the coordinator of the protest, Pastor Praise Ayodele, said: “Amotekun has come to stay in southwest Nigeria. We are not fighting anybody. The security of our people is very important. We are to do this to support our governors that we are happy with Amotekun.

“It is said that our people were being killed and kidnapped and many of these carnages were without arrests. We are daily in fear of being killed and these and many more are the reasons for the formation of Amotekun.

“On the comments on Amotekun by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, we are of the opinion that the Minister only expressed himself as a private citizen who is entitled to his own opinion.

“We charged our governors to remain focused; we advise our leaders to desist from politicising Amotekun and that our security should be of priority.”

The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Internal Security and former Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Dele Olugbemi, said: “Amotekun is for easy identification of all visitors to Ekiti and the South-West. It is sad that Malami made a pronouncement over an issue he knew nothing about. He spoke as if he didn’t know the level of insecurity in this zone.

“Some of these evildoers besieged even our towns, killed the people and destroyed everything on the farms. Amotekun will work in their localities and it is not about fighting anybody,” he insisted.

The Coordinator of Oodua Union, Hon Femi Robinson, on his part, lamented that the security cover in the country had collapsed, stating that local security had become imperative. “If Amotekun disarms armed robbers, are they not helping the police?” he asked.

The leaders of Agbekoya and Vigilance Group of Nigeria, Chief Sunday Omoyajowo and Mrs Suwebat Aliu, respectively, said Yorubas maintained a united front about Amotekun and that nothing would change this stand, adding that “Amotekun won’t render the police useless, because security is a function of everybody, so we appreciate our governors for this initiative.”

The leader of the delegation of Ekiti Council of Elders, Chief Niyi Ajubulu, regretted that people could no longer move around as a result of the rise in insecurity.

“We have to be vigilant in this zone. Amotekun has landed and we must cooperate with them. Whoever is averse to the formation of this outfit is satanic,” he declared.


Yawa as lunatics join Operation Amotekun’s solidarity rally

There was a mild drama on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti when two popular mentally-deranged persons fondly called ‘Ijoba’ and ‘Ayo kolokolo’ joined different groups under the auspices of Yoruba World Congress to stage a solidarity rally in support of the Western Nigeria Security Network code-named ‘Operation Amotekun’.

The scene played out at Okesa junction when ‘Ijoba’ and ‘Ayo kolokolo’ joined the solidarity march and were welcome by stakeholders amidst enthusiasm.

Participating in the solidarity rally were members of the Ekiti State Council of Elders, Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Agbekoya, Odua’s People Congress, Hunters Group of Nigeria and some civil.

Also in the rally were members of the National Association of Nigerian Students(NANS), Vigilance Group of Nigeria, Yoruba Koya, Man ‘O War, Oodua Union, and Ekiti Council of Elders.

The participants converged at the popular Fajuyi Park in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital around 7: 30am and took off for the rally around 10:45am.

They took a long walk from Fajuyi park through Okesa junction, Ojumose to the popular Erekesan market and Ijigbo junction all within Ado-Ekiti metropolis, with the participants chanting solidarity songs in support of ‘operation Amotekun’.

The participants were accompanied on the march by the police, operatives of Department of State Security and their counterparts from the State Security Services, and Nigeria security and Civil Defence Corps.

It was a general consensus among the stakeholders that the Amotekun initiative has berthed permanently in the southwest region and that it was not formed to fight Fulani herdsmen, except the unruly and destructive ones.

Speaking with newsmen at Fajuyi park before the march moved to other parts of the state capital, Coordinator of the rally, Pastor Praise Ayodele, said the joint security arrangements was a child of necessity to check the high incidences of kidnapping, banditry, and other security challenges facing the southwest zone.

“Amotekun has come to stay in the southwest Nigeria. We are not fighting anybody. The security of our people is very important. We are to do this to support our governors that we are happy with Amotekun.

“It is sad that our people were being killed and kidnapped and many of these carnages were without arrests. We are daily in fear of being killed and these and many more are the reasons for the formation of Amotekun.

“On the proscription of Amotekun by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, we are of the opinion that the Minister only expressed himself as a private citizen who is entitled to his own opinion.

“We charged our governors to remain focused, we advise our leaders to desist from politicising Amotekun and that our security should be of priority”, he said.

Ayodele urged all stakeholders in the region to support the security initiative since it was purposely fashioned to complement the conventional security architectures in ensuring safety of lives and property.

Also, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Internal Security and former Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Dele Olugbemi, said: “the Amotekun is for easy identification of all visitors to Ekiti and southwest . It is sad that Malami made pronouncement over issue he knew nothing about. He spoke as if he didn’t know the level of insecurity in this zone.

“Some of these evil doers besieged even our towns, killed the people and destroyed everything on the farm. Amotekun will work in their localities and it is not about fighting anybody”.

Similarly, the Coordinator of Oodua Union, Hon Femi Robinson and leader of Ekiti Hunter, Chief Taiwo Bamisile pointed out the need for a local security formation that respond to the security threats pervading the Yoruba’s nation since the conventional security agencies have failed to guarantee security of lives and property.

The leaders of Agbekoya and Vigillance Group of Nigeria, Chief Sunday Omoyajowo and Mrs Suwebat Aliu respectively, said the southwest leaders maintained a united posture about Amotekun and that nothing will change this stand, adding that “Amotekun won’t render the police useless, because security is a function of everybody, so we appreciate our governors for this initiative”.

The Secretary General of Ekiti Council of Elders, Chief Niyi Ajibulu, regretted that people can no longer move around as a result of increased insecurity, saying the current situation occasioned the need for the formation of Amotekun’ as a pramatic regional approach to tackle the menace.

“We have to be vigilant in this zone. Amotekun has landed and we must cooperate with them. Whoever that is averse to the formation of this outfit is satanic,” he said.

#Newsworthy ..

New ISIS leader after al-Baghdadi’s death

The new leader of the Islamic State has been confirmed as Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi.

He reportedly took over from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after the terrorist leader killed himself in October. The extremist cleric blew himself up by detonating a suicide belt after running into a dead-end and dragging two of his children with him to their deaths.

Al-Salbi, was made leader just hours after al-Baghdadi died, according to officials from two intelligence services.

 New ISIS leader unmasked months after Baghdadi died in a US military raid in Syria

The Mosul-born leader is one of the group’s founding members who brought in brutal Sharia Law in Iraq and Syria. He is considered to be one of the most influential ideologues among the now depleted ranks of ISIS.

Al-Salbi, who is also known by the nom de guerre Haji Abdullah, and in some circles as Abdullah Qardash, was born into an Iraqi Turkmen family in the town of Tal Afar.

As a chief legislator, al-Salbi, who is one of the few non-Arabs among the leadership thay ordered homosexuals be thrown off roofs and women accused of adultery be stoned.

Before Baghdadi’s death, the US state department put a $5m bounty on Salbi’s head and on two other senior members of the group.


Operation Amotekun, Constitutional; Afe Babalola

Senior Advocate of Nigeria Afe Babalola, said attempts by the Federal Government to scuttle the Western Nigeria Security Network, would fail because it is supported by the constitution.

Babalola, an elder statesman and founder of Afe Babalola university, said those kicking against Amotekun were ignorant of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the previous ones.

Babalola faulted Nigeria’s attorney-general and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami, saying sections 24, 40, 45of the 1999 Constitution impose clear responsibility on citizens to ensure security of their lives and property.

The SAN, at a news conference in Ado Ekiti said it was unfortunate that Malami relied on Article 45 second schedule of the Constitution (amended), that gives to the Federal Government the exclusive power to manage the police.

Babalola defended the Southwest governors, saying they only responded to the yearnings of the people of the geopolitical zone for improved security since the central police system had failed to safeguard them and their property.

He pointed out that kidnapping, armed robbery, herdsmen/farmers clashes and other security challenges prompted the formation of Amotekun as a regional response to stem the developments.

The legal giant argued further that the governors have the right to protect their people because that was the ultimate responsibility of responsive governments.

“Amotekun is a protective and supportive outfit established by the governors of the Southwest. It has its roots in the 1999 Constitution and the constitutions before it – 1960 and 1963.

”Section 24 of the constitution provides that ‘it shall be the duty of every citizen to make positive and useful contribution to the advancement, progress and well-being of the community where he resides’. Well-being means security of life and property, etcetera. How many Nigerians realise that they have a duty to assist and to protect the interest of their community and themselves.

”And Section 40 goes further that ‘every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular, he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests’.

”When you put these two together, it shows that all of us have the duty to associate whether as Yoruba or as state people to ensure that lives and properties are safe. The Amotekun outfit has its roots in the Constitution. It is constitutional, it is legal and proper.”

“If this outfit had been established about 10 years ago, we would not have these issues of kidnapping, killing and other security challenges. We won’t have those who go to the farms to kill people because they would be fished out. That is why the Constitution says that such outfit should report to the police.

”What I have just said is that it is to support the police and support the government in their duty to ensure that there is peace, safety of property and lives. It is a good idea. It is belated but it is lawful and constitutional.

”All that the AGF said is that Article 45 of the Constitution, second schedule gives to the Federal Government the exclusive power to manage the police, he did not say that sections 20, 40 and 45 are abrogated. They cannot abrogate it.

”The sections I have quoted are superior to the schedule he is talking about and in any event, the governors have not set up a parallel police outfit. What they have done is to set up a supportive and protective organ to assist the police and in their communiqué, they said it would report to the police.

”The law says you can join together in association to assist the police. How can the police or any government be angry about this.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria Afe Babalola

”In my opinion, the act has been done. Amotekun has been launched, let them go on. What the state governors have done is legal, so why should they bother? Let them (Federal Government) try to go to court. They will meet the governors there. All what they would have to do is to show them sections 24, 40, 45 of the 1999 Constitution.

”It is a case that must fail if they go to court. They have not set up a parallel police outfit. No. the Constitution says it is your duty to protect the interest of yourself and others and join together in doing so. So simple. The case will be so easy to win.”