Tag Archives: Security

Amotekun, Shege Ka Fasa Will Not Work – Ekweremadu Allege

A former deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, has said that with so many ethnic diversities in Nigeria, community policing will not work.

Claiming that many Nigerians are living in denial, Ekweremadu said that the security condition in the country is not only bad but unbearable, NobleReporters learnt

He said that as a federal system, what should be done is a decentralisation of the police, not community security outfit like Amotekun and Shege Ka Fasa because they will operate in ways completely different from what is prescribed in the constitution.

Ekweremadu said that the security condition in the country is not only bad but unbearable.
The former deputy Senate president said: “Amotekun is different from what the federal government is saying about community policing.

“They have personnel who are going to deal with issues unlike what the federal government is proposing.”

Moreover, he said that the creation of regional security initiatives is proof that people have lost trust in the ability of the government to ensure their security.


Breaking: Senate indicts security agencies

Senators, yesterday, accused security agencies of offering weapons to criminals. They also indicted the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) and Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS) for conniving with criminals who smuggle arms and ammunition illegally into the country.

They also linked the spate of killings, kidnappings, banditry and other violent crimes in the country to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

The senators stated this during a debate on “A Bill for an act to provide for the establishment of the Nigeria National Commission Against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons and for related matters,” sponsored by Smart Adeyemi.

The bill, having passed the second reading, was referred to the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, with a mandate to report back in two weeks for further legislative action.

Adeyemi said the bill sought to establish a commission to coordinate and implement activities that combat the challenge of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria, in line with ECOWAS stance on small arms and light weapons.

The lawmaker listed the objectives of the bill to include “identifying sources and main routes of small arms, ammunition and light weapons; identifying why this illicit trade thrives in Nigeria; liaise with relevant authorities, agencies and organisations, with the aim of tackling the menace.”

“The UN estimated a substantial percentage of illegal arms in circulation in West Africa are in Nigeria. This has fuelled violent conflicts as witnessed in the Niger Delta, kidnapping in the South-East, armed robbery pandemic in the South-West, ethnic and religious violence on the Plateau, and Boko Haram in the North-East, a situation which has plunged the nation into a serious state of insecurity. Uncontrolled arms have also impacted on the country’s democracy and development negatively. Electoral violence by gun-wielding thugs and assassinations of several political leaders since 1999 have jeopardised free and fair elections in many states of the federation,” Adeyemi said.

Senators took turns to stress the necessity of the bill in their debates. Adamu Aliero, lending his voice in support of its passage, accused the Nigerian Customs Service of conniving with dealers to smuggle small arms into the country through the land borders. Aliero said “violence would continue” if the bill was not passed into law.

Emmanuel Bwacha cited the United States as a country operating without strong gun control laws, lamenting “they are paying dearly for it today. It is better to have a control of arms than allow every Dick and Harry to possess arms. In doing this, we must do it with genuine intention,” Bwacha said.

Abdullahi Adamu, lamented that the proliferation of small arms had become a thriving business because those involved were not apprehended and prosecuted by relevant security agencies.

Francis Fadahunsi lamented a situation where weapons kept under the care of the military and police would be stolen from armouries.

Ibrahim Gobir alleged that Immigration and Customs connived with criminals to proliferate illegal firearms and ammunition while Amos Bulus lamented that government lacked the will to prosecute those involved in gunrunning.

Meanwhile, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the National Assembly has devised a strategy that would see to the creation of institutions dedicated to providing enduring solutions to Nigeria’s security travails.

Lawan made the disclosure in his concluding remarks on three critical pieces of legislation presently before the National Assembly which seek to establish the Nigeria Civil Defence Academy; a bill to give legal backing to the Nigeria Police Academy; and another to establish a commission against the proliferation of small arms and weapons.

According to Lawan, the National Assembly remains committed to ensuring that the security situation in the country improves.

“For the last two weeks or so, or even more, the Senate has been discussing and debating on security related motions for days. This is our commitment to our country. We want to see the security situation improve, and that is why we are doing this. We are dealing with this by trying to institutionalise certain situations that will provide enduring arrangements and solutions to the situation we face today.”


Amaechi, others narrowly escaped kidnap – Aisha Yesufu

A Co-Convener of Bring Back Our Girls group, Aisha Yesufu, says the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and other passengers escaped being kidnapped by hoodlums at Rigasa Train Station on Sunday evening.

Yesufu said on Twitter that her brother and her sister-in-law were on the train when the incident occurred.

An online medium, Daily Nigerian, had in a report stated that kidnappers laid in ambush around Mando area and attempted to waylay the passengers including Amaechi, who arrived at Rigasa train station around 8:15 pm on Sunday.

The newspaper quoted sources as saying that no sooner had the kidnappers opened fire on the vehicles than policemen and soldiers arrived at the scene in armoured vehicles to disperse the hoodlums.

Amaechi, in a tweet, described the report as fake news and asked Nigerians to ignore it.

In her response, however, Yesufu described Amaechi as a liar, insisting that there were eyewitnesses.

She tweeted, “Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi you should be ashamed of yourself. My sister, my brother and my sister-in-law were on that train. When your convoy scattered and you fled like a newborn mouse whom water have been poured on, it was witnessed! Governance is not by lies and propaganda!”

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi

“So Amaechi thought he had security and he was immune to the insecurity that affects the rest of us.

“Even the President is not secure. What he has is illusion of security. The more these attacks happen, the more likely we are going to be victims.”


Insecurities: Senator Uba calls for new strategy

Sen. Uba Sani, (APC Kaduna Central), on Saturday called for new strategies to tackle recurring security challenges in Kaduna State.

Sani, who also Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, made the call this in a statement in Kaduna.

The Senator was reacting to a series of attacks by bandits and kidnappers in his constituency.

Sani warned that the attacks had become more frequent and advised security agencies to urgently take the fight to the bandits.

“Our security agencies must reassess their strategies and come up with measures to checkmate these murderous elements.”

He lamented over the attacks on Bakali community in Giwa LG on Feb. 11, where 22 persons, with 16 victims from one family were killed by the attackers.

“22 persons were killed and several persons injured in Bakali village, while seven people lost their lives in Maro village, with yet to be ascertained number of persons inflicted with various forms of injuries.

“Three persons injured in the Maro village attack are presently in St. Gerard Hospital, Kakuri, Kaduna. Two of them have undergone surgery.

“Hundreds of locals have been displaced from the two villages. The bandits burnt their houses and foodstuffs,” he said.

“I feel your pains,” the Senator added and assured the victims that he was working with national and state emergency agencies to provide them with relief materials.

He said there is a humanitarian crisis that needs to be addressed immediately in those areas.

“The displaced persons need foodstuffs, clothes, blankets, water, toiletries and other items that would help lessen the pain of their displacement,” he said.

Sen. Uba Sani, (APC Kaduna Central)

“My heart goes out to the people of Bakali and Maro villages on these most unfortunate incidents. We share in your pains.

“May God receive the souls of the departed and comfort your families in this trying times,” Sani added.


Operation Amotekun: Ekiti passed bill into law. Val’20

Ekiti State House of Assembly, on Friday, passed the bill for the establishment of Ekiti State Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps into law.

The Speaker, Funminiyi Afuye, said, “Having passed through the third reading, the bill has become a law.”

Afuye, who lauded the lawmakers for their “leadership and commitment to the bill,” said the Assembly did not short-circuit any process that was required in law-making, NobleRepoters report

The Speaker said the bill would be transmitted to the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, for his assent.

The law passed through the first and second readings in the Assembly on Thursday and committed to the House Committee on Security for proper legislative scrutiny before the House adjourned sitting till Friday.

The lawmakers, who debated the bill exhaustively in the chambers on Thursday, spoke on the appropriateness of the proposed law in view of the security challenges facing the state, region and Ekiti State.

A public hearing was also conducted on the Bill later on Thursday.

At the resumed sitting on Friday, the House Committee of Security presented the committee’s report.

The report was adopted by the Committee of the House, then the Bill went into the third reading, which it passed through.


Insecurities: FG to deploy integrated maritime security infrastructure soon – Amaechi

Determined to tackle insecurity on Nigeria’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone, the Federal Government says it is set to deploy its integrated maritime security infrastructure. The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, stated this recently in Lagos while briefing the media ahead of the launch of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also called the Deep Blue Project.

Amaechi, who addressed the press conference alongside all the heads of agencies under the ministry, also explained the government’s decision to end the secure anchorage project, a private security initiative run outside the country’s port system. He insisted that all ships coming into the country must anchor at the national ports under the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), while expatiating on the Deep Blue Project, said 80 per cent of the assets required for the takeoff of the total spectrum maritime security architecture would be deployed by June.

Amaechi, who briefed the media after a high level security meeting with maritime stakeholders, restated the President Muhammadu Buhari government’s determination to tackle maritime insecurity head-on. He assured that the Deep Blue Project, when fully operational, would drastically reduce piracy and other crimes within Nigeria’s maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea.

He said: “Recall that we secured an approval from the Federal Executive Council to introduce a maritime security architecture, which is coming to fruition. We engaged the Homeland Security International (HLSI), who are only to provide training and equipment, while the Nigerian Navy would lead the Police, Nigerian Army and Department of State Services, among others that would run the equipment.”

He stated that the security of the maritime sector needs a more holistic approach; hence the need to involve other arms of the country’s security services to support the Nigerian Navy working with NIMASA.

Giving a breakdown of the assets being installed under the Deep Blue Project, Dakuku revealed that a good number of the assets had arrived the country, including six interceptor boats and a special mission vessel, saying a second one will come in before the end of February.

The Director-General also disclosed that the first special mission aircraft will be in the country before the end of the first quarter of the year, while six armoured aircraft were already in the country, and the first unmanned aerial vehicle would come in before the end of February.

Dakuku said: “We expect the first helicopter in the first quarter of this year. Almost all the communication gadgets are in the country as well as the Personal Protective Gear (PPG). The C4i centre is fully operational in Kirikiri, the NIMASA Research Centre. Those are the assets we have on ground.

“However, between now and June this year, over 80 per cent of the assets would be in the country and they would be manned by the Nigerian military.”

The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi

Dakuku stated that the training aspect of the project had since commenced in phases. He said the first set of training for C4i operators and intelligence officers had been concluded. Basic infantry training for soldiers who would fight on land around the littoral areas has also been concluded and the soldiers awaiting deployment, according to him.

“These trainings would continue over time as we try to integrate the intelligence officers with the C4i and those operating the special mission vessels and aircraft,” Dakuku said.


Insecurities: Buhari has failed – IYC

The Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, IYC, has advised Nigerians to take up other measures of protecting themselves, adding that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has failed.

This was contained in a statement signed by Pereotubo Oweilaemi, Esq., President, IYC worldwide, and made available to us on Saturday.

The youth group commended the Governors of the Southwest for coming up with the Operation Amotekun security outfit and called on Governors and leaders of the other zone to replicate the same in their regions.

IYC declared that Nigeria will know no peace until President Buhari rules this Country in accordance with the unity of diversity.

The statement added, “The growing insecurities across the Country are a clear indication of system failure. The central government has failed in its primary responsibility of securing lives and property in the Country. The people in power at the center has lost control of the system.

“Nigerians in the circumstance need to look for alternative measures to secure their lives.

President Muhammadu Buhari

“No place is safe in the Country because the center is no longer holding the ace. All-State Governors should, therefore, device a means to provide alternative security measures to save lives and property.

“IYC commends the southwest governors for taking that bold step to establish a regional security outfit called Amotekun.


Insecurities: CAN President warn Nigerians, say ‘Enough is Enough’

The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, has warned that insecurity has pushed Nigeria to the tipping point even as he said CAN would no longer take further attacks on its members. Ayokunle who spoke exclusively with Saturday Sun in Abuja, declared that despite all the suggestions that CAN had given to the government, it appeared that the government was not taking any of them.

He concluded that having been given everything to curtail the insecurity in the country, excuses were no longer permissible within the prevailing circumstances, saying that enough is enough.

Asked what he will tell President Buhari and security chiefs over the development, Ayokunle said: “I will tell them that they should sit up and drive away all the insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, Boko Haram and all those that are troubling the nation. They have been given everything to do it. They have the military, all our common wealth, our resources; they are with them, to use to give us peace in this nation. No excuse any longer for failure.”

Amongst other issues, Ayokunle opened up on the 2023 presidency, disclosing the candidate that CAN will throw its weight behind. He spoke with AIDOGHIE PAULINUS.

In what ways can CAN team up with the Federal Government to fight the spate of insecurity across the county?

Well, we do not have the military with which CAN can team up. But CAN, number one, can be praying for the nation for God to guide the military chiefs and the commander-in-chief himself to take right decisions on how to overcome the insurgency.

Number two, CAN can give advice due to what we hear from people and the people affected by the insurgency, what they say. But the government must be ready to listen. We can work together if the government does not see objective criticism as antagonistic or opposition.

In your previous meetings with the president, is it that you have not been suggesting ways to tackle insecurity to him?

We have been, but you know those in power know what they will take from what you say. We have told them, number one, to investigate the sources of the ammunitions of the insurgents. I don’t think any step has been taken over the years since we have been emphasising this.

Number two, we have advised the government to investigate and find out the people who are financing this terrorism, especially within our nation. Number three, we have told the government to rejig the security chiefs. If illegal immigrants are entering the country with ammunitions, what is Immigration doing? What was the Customs doing that allow these people to come in and with ammunitions that they are not permitted to bring into the country? Don’t we have law enforcement agents that would have prevented this from happening right from the beginning? We have given lots of pieces of advice, but it depends on what you want to take.

Why do you think the President is not taking to the advice and put them into action?

I don’t know. I think that question should be better put to him.

Considering what has been happening recently, people have been saying that there may be a religious war. Is CAN praying against this?

Religious war? You better pray that you don’t have religious war in the nation because the religious war will not spare anyone. So, it is not about CAN being afraid. It is about everybody working against anything that comes near a religious war. It spares no one. Go and tell them in Northern Ireland. Go and ask them in Sri Lanka and other places where religious war happened. It is a total devastation because you see brothers killing brothers, parents killing children; religious war is very brutal.

So, where do you think the insecurity and what is happening in the polity is leading the nation to?

If care is not taken, if the government does not address it squarely, if they will be telling us that they are no longer bombing, they are beheading, then it is going to lead to total annihilation of the entire country if care is not taken.

The recent spat between the government and CAN after–

There was no spat. We only told them to do what they were supposed to do. If they call it spat, it means that they were not ready to listen to Godly admonition. There is nothing like spat.

Is CAN considering supporting a Christian for the presidency in 2023?

We are going to support a righteous person, somebody with the fear of God.

If that is so, is CAN looking towards the Vice President whom CAN obviously have a soft spot for?

CAN is not God. CAN is praying for the right man to emerge, the right man at the center of God’s heart.

So, it is not Osinbajo?

The right man; it can be Osinbajo, it can be any other person.

And if it is Osinbajo, don’t you think that will pitch him against his godfather, Tinubu, who is also interested in the race?

I am not God, I have told you. I don’t know who that will be, alright? I don’t know about godfather, I only know about Heavenly Father. I know about Heavenly Father, not godfather.

What is CAN’s view about the North agitating for the presidency in 2023?

That is left to Nigerians to decide.

As the father of all Christians in the country, at this all-important moment, what advice do you have for Christians who are troubled day and night, from north to south and across the country?

The Bible says “A time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a service for God.” Jesus told his followers in John Chapter 16. He said they should not be moved. In the world, you will face persecution and tribulation, but He says in me, you will have peace. Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world for you – John 16:33. So, I will tell them to be of good cheer. Even if they suffer, they suffer for Christ and great is their reward in heaven. However, they should be steadfast. They should be unmovable. They should continue to abound in the work of the Lord.

President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle

If you see the president and the security chiefs today, what will you tell them?

I will tell them that they should sit up and drive away all the insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, Boko Haram and all those that are troubling the nation. They have been given everything to do it. They have the military, all our commonwealth, our resources; they are with them, to use to give us peace in this nation. No excuse any longer for failure.


NSCIA to FG – Declare state of emergency

National Supreme Council on Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has joined some other Nigerians in calling for a state of emergency to be declared on security in Nigeria.

The NSCIA said the state of security has deteriorated to the point that human life has significantly lost value, hence the urgent action by the Federal Government to salvage the situation.

NSCIA director of administration, Alhaji Yusuf Chinedozie Nwoha, who addressed a press conference in Abuja, on Wednesday, said the nation has lost confidence in the capacity of security agents to guarantee the security of lives and property of Nigerians.

He condemned the protest march taken by some Christian leaders some days back against the rise in insecurity in Nigeria, stating that it was politicised.


Suicide bomber nabbed at Oyedepo’s church in Kaduna

The Kaduna state police command have arrested a 30-year-old suspected suicide bomber at the Sabon Tasha branch of the Living Faith Church aka Winners chapel owned by popular clergyman, Bishop David Oyedepo.

The spokesperson of the state police command, DSP Yakubu Sabo, who confirmed this, said he would be releasing an official press statement soon.

According to reports, the suspected suicide bomber was caught on the church’s CCTV camera entering the church auditorium with a bag. The security officers who became suspicious, accosted him after he had sat down. They searched his bag and found the explosive.

The police was alerted and he was arrested and whisked away.


Sack security chiefs; Arrest and investigate them – More Nigerians demand ..

Following renewed calls for the sacking of the security chiefs by Nigerians, including some senators and regional groups amid unabated state of insecurity in the country, Saturday PUNCH conducted online polls to gauge the feelings of ordinary Nigerians.

The polls conducted on Twitter and Facebook on Friday indicate that more Nigerians want the President, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to sack the service chiefs, describing them as “failures”.

In the Twitter poll involving 3,137 persons, 82.6 per cent of the voters (2,591 respondents) called on Buhari to sack the service chiefs while 5.3 per cent of the respondents (166) did not support the call. The third option – I don’t care – was the view of 12.1 per cent of the voters (380).

The Twitter poll opened at 11.49am and closed at 5.59pm.

On Facebook, as of the time of filing this report at 8.30pm, the poll which opened at 1.30pm had 2,916 respondents. According to the poll, 91.7 per cent of the voters (that is, 2,674 respondents) called for the sacking of the service chiefs while the remaining 8.3 per cent (242 respondents) voted that they should not be sacked.

Some senators on Wednesday called on Buhari to sack the service chiefs and appoint new ones as they deliberated on a motion on the security challenges and the need to restructure the security architecture.

The service chiefs are Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

Similarly, regional groups including Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere and Pan Niger Delta Forum, recently backed the call by the lawmakers to sack the service chiefs.

Many comments on the pages of Punch newspaper on Facebook and Twitter are also largely in support of the sacking of the service chiefs.

For instance, Nwafor Obiorah in a Facebook post, said, “They have overstayed, a lack of new ideas, they are not supposed to stay for more than three years.”

“They should be sacked because they have failed in their responsibility,” Kenoye Tolukorimi also said on Facebook.

Ezinne Okoro, who expressed surprise at the question posed by Saturday PUNCH in the poll on Facebook, said, “Which kind question be this naa? You don’t need to ask biko (please). They should have all resigned since (Buhari inclusive) if they had shame. But unfortunately, they don’t have.”

Most of the comments on the platform toed the line of Okoro, saying sacking the service chiefs would not be enough. They said Buhari should resign after sacking them.

Om’Oghene Dennis Orido, in his post on the platform, said, “In addition to their sacking, Buhari should as well resign as a matter of urgency.”

Also according to David Omochi, who described killings under the Buhari regime as too much, “after sacking them, Mr President should sack himself for disappointing in five years”.

“PMB should sack them with himself included, they are all failure (sic),” Casmier Anthony Chinonso said on the social media platform.

On Twitter, @Zismark1 noted that sacking the service chiefs was important to discourage complacency and mediocrity.

“Whoever comes next will know that they can be sacked if change isn’t implemented, and that lack of security in unacceptable in such a nation as Nigeria. We have come forward too much to be dragged back by little things as insecurity (sic),” @Zismark1 said.

@FashanuFemi, who also commented on Twitter said, “Sack them and appoint new service chiefs that have modern security experience.”

According to @OnwubikoUche1, new ideas are needed as “you can’t still be doing something in the same way and expect different result”.

However, @fabulouskelechi, who noted that the options provided by Saturday PUNCH in its poll were not enough, said, “Sack them and resign, this list is incomplete. Add resign to it…”

According to @sf_adebayo, beyond sacking the service chiefs, the government should order their probe.

“Sack them all. Arrest and investigate them,” the Twitter user said.

Recently, the Federal Government raised the alarm that Boko Haram’s alliance with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria increased the possibility of it (Boko Haram) deploying chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive attacks in the future.

On January 8, the convoy of the theatre commander in charge of the military taskforce in the North-East, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, was attacked by the insurgents. A driver attached to the commander was said to have been killed while two other soldiers were injured.

Also, between January 17 and 18, no fewer than 17 soldiers were said to have been killed while many others were abducted by the insurgents in two confrontations with troops on the Bama-Gwoza Highway.

Even though the Nigerian Army dismissed the report as false, the insurgents were also said to have carted away some arms, ammunition and vehicles belonging to the Nigerian Army.

More soldiers were said to have been killed in recent times by the insurgents.

Also, on Christmas Day, the terrorists killed 11 Christian hostages, saying their action was to avenge the killing of their leaders, Abu bakr al-Baghdadi and Abul-Hasan Al-Muhajir, in Iraq and Syria.

On Monday, January 20, as well, the insurgents beheaded the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev Lawan Andimi, whom they had earlier abducted.

The CAN Chairman in Adamawa State, Rev Fr Dami Mamza, told journalists that the insurgents had demanded €2m before they could release Andimi, but that they were offered N50m, which they rejected before they killed the cleric. He noted that negotiations were ongoing when they got information that he had been killed.

On January 26, the insurgents also bombed a mosque in Gwoza, Borno State, killing a 12-year-old and leaving many injured.

No fewer than 13 persons were killed on Monday in a fresh attack by gunmen in the Bokos Local Government Area of Plateau State. This came barely two weeks after suspected Fulani herdsmen killed 12 people in the Mangu Local Government Area of the state.

Last week, a renowned alternative therapist, Alhaji Fatai Yusuf, aka Okooloyun, was shot dead on the Eruwa-Igboora Road in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State.

Yusuf was said to be on his way from an outing around 4.30pm when gunmen shot at his vehicle.

Also, bandits on January 16 killed 31 people in two separate attacks.

While 29 people were killed at the Babban Rafi village in the Gummi Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Tuesday, two health workers were also killed at Makosa village in the Zurmi Local Government Area of the state.

The attacks occurred the day before Governor Bello Matawalle, at the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day in Gusua, the state capital, on Wednesday, warned unrepentant bandits to surrender their arms.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Usman Nagoggo, on January 8, said no fewer than 6,319 people were killed by bandits in the state in 2019.

Also, the village head of Rumache in Kukoki Ward, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, Ahmad Yakubu, was killed by gunmen last week while 17 others were abducted in four other communities of the state.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has repeatedly claimed that Boko Haram has been “technically” defeated as the President corroborated this at the Armed Forces emblem launching in Abuja on October 16 when he said “the Boko Haram terrorists have been substantially defeated and degraded to the extent that they are only daring soft targets.”

Apparently shocked by a spate of killings by the insurgents in recent times, Buhari said on Tuesday when he received a delegation of Eminent and Respected Citizens of Niger State led by Governor Abubakar Bello, in the State House, Abuja, that the recent activities of the terrorist group were surprising.

He had said, “During our campaigns, we knew about the Boko Haram. What is coming now is surprising. It is not ethnicity or religion, rather it is one evil plan against the country. We have to be harder on them. One of the responsibilities of government is to provide security.”

Also, the European Parliament in its resolution of January 16 said there had not been progress made in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.

And following renewed attacks that have led to the killing of more soldiers and civilians, including women and children, the National Assembly had asked the President to sack the service chiefs or they should resign from office.

At the upper chamber, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, led the discourse by seeking the restructuring of the security architecture while some other senators asked the President to sack the service chiefs. And in a rather different twist, the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, called on the President to resign, a call that angered some senators loyal to Buhari.

Insecurity: PDP reports Buhari, S’ Court to US, UK

Meanwhile, leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party and members in the National Assembly on Friday stormed the United States Embassy and United Kingdom High Commission in Abuja to protest against the security challenges facing the country as well as the January 14 judgment of the Supreme Court sacking Emeka Ihedioha as Imo State governor.

The Supreme Court declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress for last year’s governorship poll, Hope Uzodinma, as the rightful winner of the election.

The PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, submitted their petitions to the two embassies.

Secondus told reporters after submitting the petitions that Buhari must resign because of his government’s inability to protect the citizens, alleging that his regime had lost control of the country’s security.

He claimed Nigeria had the highest number of internally displaced persons in Africa.

Secondus said, “There is a need for the international community to come to the assistance of our dear country because Nigeria is a member of the comity of nations. Nigeria is not an island. It is a member of the United Nations. When things go wrong, the international community can come to advise; that is why we are here.

“The contents of our petition are for the international community to come to the aid of Nigeria and to advise our government to obey the rule of law, especially as it relates to the National Assembly and the judiciary.

“Over the past few weeks, we have passed through very difficult and challenging times. The case in question is Imo State. We have submitted our petition. We have addressed a press conference

“As we speak, Mr President has lost control of security. Our nation is in danger. We are in pain and we are in trouble. As a party, we cannot keep our hands crossed and be waiting for the propaganda of the Presidency. This country belongs to all Nigerians. Today, we backed our Senate Minority Leader (Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe) asking and demanding that Buhari should resign because he has lost control absolutely. It is not the time for propaganda and it is not time for the Presidency to respond to issues that are very sensitive and germane to the foundation of our country.

“The issue is that our people are dying and are in hunger. You cannot travel from Abuja to Kaduna, you cannot go to Minna, you cannot go on the road.

The PDP in their letters of protest titled, ‘Perversion of justice: Deliberate efforts at truncating democracy in Nigeria’, to the US Ambassador, Mary Leonard, and the UK High Commissioner, alleged that there was a miscarriage of justice in the Supreme Court judgment.

The party also alleged that the executive arm and the ruling APC had been influencing the outcomes of election petitions in various courts.

The party said, “On January 14, 2020, the Supreme Court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Muhammad Tanko, in a most bizarre judgment and against the dictates of all laws and judicial practice, overturned the Imo State governorship election clearly won by Emeka Ihedioha/PDP, who had been sworn in, and handed the state over to the APC and its candidate, Hope Uzodinma.

“It is instructive to inform you that this perversion of justice has already sparked protests in various parts of our country and has become a clear threat to peace, unity and stability of our nation and the survival of our democracy.”

The PDP called on the US and UK to take more than a passing glance to this serious issue in order to avoid an imminent breakdown of law and order.

Ex-security chiefs back call for service chiefs’ sacking

Retired military and police officers, as well as other security experts advised the Federal Government to overhaul the counter-insurgency operation and acquire high-grade weapons for the military.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an ex-general noted that the retention of the service chiefs by Buhari had affected the morale of service personnel.

He said the counter-insurgency war was not recording progress because “there are no new ideas.”

The general added, “The call for the sacking of the service chiefs is very justified. If a service chief stays in office for three years, and if an officer is presented for promotion, he cannot be promoted for those three years.

“The situation has affected a lot of us and it led to our retirement from service; many others were also stagnated on their ranks.”

He added, “I advise the President to review the war and replace the service chiefs with new hands. We are having problems in the North-East because there are no new ideas. How can a man from the North-East as the Chief of Staff be there and there is no progress?”

A retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Austin Iwar, said the service chiefs could be replaced if they had exhausted their capacity, adding that replacing them with new hands was in order if the new hands could bring new inspiration into the war.

He stated, “I think it is good to try new hands. If these people have stayed for too long and there is a lot of noise about their capacity. I believe they are very committed, but whether they have exhausted their capacity is the issue. And if they have exhausted it, we should look for new hands that can bring new inspiration into the war.”

A retired Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Ojukwu, advised the government to consider the demands of the lawmakers and act accordingly.

He said, “The service chiefs were appointed in line with the rules of engagement, the Armed Forces Act and the constitution. If Nigerians are asking for a change of service chiefs, the government should look into it and find out whether the call is legitimate and backed by facts and act as necessary.”

He said it would be unnerving if the terrorists could produce rockets, adding that the security forces must increase their intelligence capability and stop such ‘strange development.’

Also, a security expert and senior researcher at the Transnational Threats and International Crime Programme, Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria, South Africa, Dr Akinola Ejodame Olojo, said to counter the threat posed by Boko Haram and ISWAP’s capacity and capability to build rockets, the FG must urgently supply the military with high-grade weapons.


Insecurity solution in Nigeria, Unpredictable – NSA ..

The National Security Adviser, Gen, Babagana Munguno, yesterday said that the security situation in the country now was unpredictable.

Muguno, who briefed journalists after a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and members of the National Security Council (NSC) in Abuja, said that there was need for a collaborative effort from all Nigerians to stem the tide of insecurity in the country.

He said that the security situation in Nigeria had become very unpredictable in recent times.

“The security situation is like a graph; sometimes it goes up, sometimes it comes down and that is why we have to assess it periodically. It will never remain level till we bring the whole situation to an end. Sometimes it could escalate, sometimes, it would go down. So, there is no perfect answer to it. If I tell you that it has improved, as we walk out of this place, something might happen. There might be an explosion somewhere. These are things that are not predictable; these are things that you cannot actually determine. That is the nature of this type of conflict we are facing.”

Monguno further said that after the assessment of the security situation in the country, the National Security Council resolved to promote collaboration between government agencies and the larger society on security issues.

He, however, declined to comment further on the nature of the collaboration that the meeting resolved to adopt.

“The issue of collaboration is not something that I can disclose right now. We just concluded the meeting and we have to look at the issues before coming out with whatever decision. For collaboration, I want to think that everybody understands the need for a whole government approach in collaborating with the whole of society approach to achieve a lot. This situation requires everybody in the country to work together to deal with these challenges. So, where there are gaps, we need to close these gaps. That is what I mean by collaboration.”

Monguno said that given the multiplicity and complexity of the insecurity facing Nigeria, the Council has decided to take a closer look at issues that would help government at all levels in tackling the insecurity.

On whether the Council discussed the resolution passed by the House of Representatives mandating the service chiefs to either resign or be sacked, the NSA said the resolution passed by members of the National Assembly did not come up at the meeting.

The meeting, which held at the Presidential Villa, was to brainstorm on the possible solutions to the fresh wave of insurgency and banditry in Nigeria.

It was the first meeting of the NSC for this year and came on the heels of public outcry against the worsening level of insecurity across the country.

Those at the meeting, chaired by the President, included Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magashi; Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Monguno.

Others were the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar; Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rafa’i Abubakar and Mr. Yusuph Bichi, the Director-General , Department of State Services.

The meeting held behind closed doors, apparently due to the sensitivity of the issues on the agenda and the need to manage intelligence and other classified information properly.

Also yesterday, former President, Goodluck Jonathan, met behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. It was Jonathan’s second visit to the seat of power in the last three months.

The former president was sighted being ushered into the president’s office at about 1.45pm.

The reason for yesterday’s meeting between the two was not made public and whether the meeting was at the behest of President Buhari, was also a subject of speculation. The parley lasted barely ten minutes as Jonathan was again sighted being chauffeured out from the forecourt of the State House at 2:01pm.

The outcome of the parley was not disclosed to newsmen as efforts to get access to Jonathan for interview were thwarted by security operatives manning the gate leading to the President’s office.

Unofficial sources within the Villa, however, disclosed that the meeting may be for solidarity purpose amidst the current security challenges facing the country.

Jonathan had, on October 10, 2019, paid a similar visit to the Presidential Villa, the first since Buhari’s re-election for a second term. During that first visit, he arrived at the State House around 2.58 pm and met with the President behind closed doors in his office. The meeting lasted for 10 minutes.

As in the latest case, the presidency did not give an official explanation for the visit, neither did Jonathan speak with State House Correspondents, who were on hand to engage him in a chat.


FG seeks help from LGs to fight insecurity ..

The Federal Government, yesterday, resolved to seek the cooperation of states and local government areas in a bid to find a solution to insecurity in the country.

National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno, made the disclosure when he briefed State House correspondents at the end of the National Security Council in Abuja.

The meeting of the highest security body in the country chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari came a day after the Senate and the House of Representatives, at separate plenaries, decried the parlous situation amid calls for the removal of the service chiefs due to the ongoing security challenges across Nigeria.

Asked to give a general assessment of security situation and judge whether it was stable or critical, the NSA replied: “The security situation is like a graph, sometimes it goes up, sometimes it comes down, and that is why we have to assess it periodically. It will never remain on the same level till we bring the whole situation to an end.

“Sometimes, it could escalate, sometimes, it would go down. So, there is no perfect answer to that. If I tell you that it has improved, as we walk out of this place, something might happen, there might be an explosion somewhere. These are things that are not predictable; these are things that you cannot actually determine. That is the nature of this type of conflict we are facing.”

On whether the call for service chiefs’ resignation featured on the agenda of the meeting, the NSA said: “The meeting basically made an appraisal of the current security situation in the country and took a look at the possibilities, the opportunities available to government in addressing most of the recent challenges.

“There were discussions and, at the end of the day, the most important thing that we came up with was the need to for collaboration both between governmental agencies and the larger Nigerian society, because of the type of the insurgencies we are faced with, the complexities, the multiplicity of all kinds of issues.

“There is a need for both parties, governmental agencies on one hand and the larger society, to collaborate more vigorously.

“There is a need for us to deal with these problems in a comprehensive manner.

“Therefore, council has decided to take a closer look at issues that will help us, not just at the federal level or at the state level, but right down to the local government level. But this is going to be done after due consultations with the relevant stakeholders.”

Asked to give the specifics of the collaboration, he said: “The issue of collaboration, it’s not something that I can disclose right now.

“We just concluded the meeting and we have to look at the issues before coming out with whatever decision.

“For collaboration, I want to think that everybody understands the need for a whole government approach in collaborating with the whole of society approach to achieve a lot.

“This situation requires everybody in the country to work together to deal with these challenges. So, where there are gaps we need to close these gaps. That is what I mean by collaboration.”

He said the resolution passed by the House of Representatives asking Mr. President to relieve the service chiefs of their appointments was not discussed at the meeting.

‘Buhari aware of security challenge’

Meanhile, the Presidency condemned when it described as “mischievous twisting of President Buhari’s comments on insecurity’’ by some traditional and social media outfits in the country.

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, made the condemnation in a statement in Abuja, yesterday.

He said it was wrong for anyone to postulate that the Nigerian leader was unaware of the security challenges facing the country.

The statement read in part: “It has become compelling to react to a mischievous slant being given by both the traditional and social media to the comments of President Muhammadu Buhari on the security challenges in some parts of the country.

“On Monday, while hosting Eminent and Respected Citizens of Niger State at State House, Abuja, the President had said: ‘I was taken aback by what is happening in the North-West and other parts of the country. During our campaigns, we knew about the Boko Haram. What is coming now is surprising. It is not ethnicity or religion, rather it is one evil plan against the country. We have to be harder on them. One of the responsibilities of government is to provide security. If we don’t secure the country, we will not be able to manage the economy properly.’”

Adesina observed that the reportage of the statement above was slanted to mean that President Buhari said he was unaware of the security challenges in some parts of the country.

“Far from it, except to the mischievous mind. The President is fully aware and fully in charge of all that is going on.”


FG shun protest to fire security Chief over insecurity ..

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and other members of the National Security Council on Thursday met 24 hours after Senators and members of the House of Representatives called for the sack of service chiefs.

The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.), who briefed journalists on behalf of the council after the meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the NSC did not discuss the call by the lawmakers.

Both chambers of the National Assembly had on Wednesday lamented the rising insecurity in the country and called on the President to sack the service chiefs on the grounds that the security heads, who were appointed in 2015, had outlived their usefulness.

Besides calls for the sack of the service chiefs, the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, on Wednesday had demanded the President’s resignation.

Abaribe had condemned Buhari who, on Tuesday, said he was surprised by heightened banditry in the North-West and other forms of insecurity in other parts of the country.

The service chiefs – the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar – attended the quarterly security meeting, but hurriedly left the venue after the meeting ended, leaving Monguno to speak with reporters on the outcome.

When asked whether the call by the lawmakers was tabled at the meeting,Monguno replied, “The issue of the National Assembly resolution did not come up at the meeting.”

Supreme Court verdicts and defectors’ hunger for comfort zones
He, however, said the council was aware of the enormous security challenges facing the country. He said security agencies needed the collaboration of Nigerians to address complex insurgency the country was facing.

Monguno said the meeting called for “wider collaborations” among security agencies on the one hand and the larger Nigerian society to tackle insurgency, banditry and rising cases of kidnapping in the country, on the other hand.

But the NSA failed to speak on the specifics of the collaboration and how it would be carried out. He merely said the collaboration would involve states, local governments and communities.

We need Nigerians’ collaboration – Security council

The NSA stated, “There were discussions and at the end of the day, the most important thing that we came up with is the need for collaboration both between governmental agencies and the larger Nigerian society, because of the type of insurgency we are faced with, the complexities, the multiplicity of all kinds of issues.

“There is a need for both parties, governmental agencies on one hand and the larger society, to collaborate more vigorously. There is a need for us to deal with these problems in a comprehensive manner.”

The meeting was held amid strident calls across Nigeria on the Buhari regime to restructure the security architecture of the country.

Only on Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a resolution asking Buhari to sack the service chiefs in order to inject fresh hands into the security management system. They also called for emergency to be declared in insecurity.

Monguno further said the Buhari regime was aware that Nigeria faced enormous security challenges, a reason it was seeking collaboration across Nigeria.

He said, “The challenges, all of us are aware of them; that is why in a nutshell, I said, there is a need for this government and the larger society to work together to find a solution to this problem.

“No one is oblivious of the enormity of the problem at hand. Government is aware and that is why we held this meeting at the highest level.”

The security council’s call for collaboration with Nigerians came on the heels of the South-West states’ move to set up a security outfit, Operation Amotekun, to address killings and other crimes in the zone.

The Federal Government, initially opposed the security outfit, but decided to approve it after a meeting on Thursday attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, South-West governors and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN,

Apart from the service chiefs, others at the security council meeting were the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rafa’i-Abubakar; and the Director-General, Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi.

Presidency keeps mum over Reps’ call for sacking of service chiefs

Apart from the security council’s failure to discuss the call for the service chiefs’ removal, the Presidency ignored enquiries by The PUNCH on Thursday, seeking the position of the President on the resolution by the House of Representatives calling on him to fire the service chiefs.

The PUNCH had made several failed attempts to get the two most senior media aides to the President, Mr Femi Adesina and Mr Garba Shehu, to speak on the National Assembly’s decisions. None of them responded to enquiries by the newspaper.

The PUNCH still called Shehu and Adesina at 6.16pm and 6.18pm respectively on Thursday, but none of them picked their calls. Text messages sent to the two earlier were also not replied to as of 6.54pm.

Buhari surprised by banditry in homogeneous Hausa-Fulani N’West – Presidency

But the Presidency rose in defence of Buhari (on Thursday, denying that Buhari said he was not aware of the security challenges faced in parts of the country.

Clarifying Buhari’s statement, it said Buhari expressed surprise over banditry in the homogeneous Hausa-Fulani North-West.

It said Buhari’s comments while meeting with ‘eminent citizens” from Niger State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday, were “twisted” by some publications (not NobleReporters) to suggest that he was not aware of the security challenges of the country.

His media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement, repeated what he said were the President’s comments.

The statement quoted Buhari, “I was taken aback by what is happening in the North-West and other parts of the country. During our campaigns, we knew about the Boko Haram. What is coming now is surprising. It is not ethnicity or religion, rather it is one evil plan against the country.

“We have to be harder on them. One of the responsibilities of government is to provide security. If we don’t secure the country, we will not be able to manage the economy properly.”

However, the Presidency said Buhari’s comments were slanted the next day by both traditional and online media.

“The reportage of the statement above was slanted to mean that President Buhari said he was unaware of the security challenges in some parts of the country. Far from it, except to the mischievous mind. The President is fully aware and fully in charge of all that is going on”, it said.

The Presidency stated further, “The statement by the President was clear enough, and these are the salient points, in 2015, we knew there was Boko Haram insurgency, particularly in the North-East, and we mentioned it in our campaigns. There are clear economic and cultural factors behind the clashes that sadly rocked many of our communities, be they the Fulani-Tiv or Fulani-Berom conflict, the Tiv versus Jukun and so on. By now, these conflicts are fairly under control.

“By 2019, banditry had surfaced in the North-West. It was surprising, as the area is almost homogeneous, made up of Hausa-Fulani. The combatants are largely Muslim. This is what the President said he was surprised about.

“The point he made was that what is happening in the country is not about ethnicity or religion, it is plainly an evil plan against the nation.

“It is disingenuous that the earlier and latter parts of the statement were downplayed, and the middle part misinterpreted to mean that President Buhari was unaware or surprised by the security situation in the country.

“The traditional media, and commentators on social media, are encouraged to keep fidelity to the truth, and not concoct narratives to suit some sinister motives.

Match words with action, Reps tell Buhari

In the House of Representatives, lawmakers again on Thursday called on the President to show sincerity of purpose on the rising spate of insecurity in country.

The lawmakers decried the insurgency, killings, banditry and kidnapping in various parts of the country. The issues were raised when the lawmakers debated a motion moved by the lawmaker representing Mangu/Bokkos Federal Constituency of Plateau State, Mr Solomon Maren.

The motion, which was unanimously adopted, was titled, ‘The Need to Stop Further Killings in Mangu/Bokkos Communities – Death Toll Has Risen to 32 and Increasing Daily Unabated.’

Adopting the motion, the lawmakers resolved to condemn “these killings and observe a minute silence in honour of those killed.”

The lawmakers urged “the President to show sincerity and commitment in dealing with the matter, match words with actions and save the country from deepening into anarchy.”

Moving the motion, Maren said, “The House notes the deteriorating security situation in my constituency in Plateau State, which has claimed several lives and property worth millions of naira.

“The House further notes that Kulben, Kwatas, Ruboi, Marish, Murish, Lokudung, Sabon Barki, Pil, Mania and Mbiri-Ishala villages were attacked; 32 killed, three churches burnt down, 10 shops looted and over 200 houses burnt down, with foodstuffs and seedlings destroyed worth over hundreds of millions.

“The House is aware that these attacks which occurred within two weeks were unprovoked and went on unabated without any intervention to stop them. The House is concerned that if such continues, it will push citizens to start seeking for self-help, which will compound the security situation in the country.”

Bad governance, cause of insecurity in Nigeria – Secondus

On its part, the Peoples Democratic Party said bad governance was the cause of the rising insecurity in the country.

The PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, also said it was imperative for the President to declare a state of emergency in insecurity.

He said, “In the last four years of the current regime, we can see that good governance has been a terrible challenge for this country. What we have experienced now is direct dictatorship by the APC government.The lack of good governance in our country is the cause of the insecurity. It is the cause of the underdevelopment and the suffering of the masses.

Insecurity: I am worried, says Jonathan

Secondus spoke just as former President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday said he was worried by rising insecurity in the country.

According to a statement by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan, however, expressed hope that Nigeria would overcome the security challenges.

Jonathan, while receiving officials of the National Association of Nigerian Students in Abuja, said he was traumatized by killing of a soldier during an attack on a military outpost near his house on December 24, 2019.

He stated, “I am worried that so many people are becoming victims of sporadic shootings, kidnappings and so on. I believe that the country will get over the kind of insecurity it currently faces.”

Senate leadership to meet Buhari on security after panel report

Also, on Thursday, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the leadership of the upper chamber would meet with the President on the security challenges confronting the country after its ad hoc committee had submitted its report.

The 17-member ad hoc panel, led by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, was constituted by Lawan on Wednesday to interface with military and security agencies in the country on their challenges.

The panel, which is also expected to come up with realistic and practicable solutions to the issue of insecurity, was given two weeks to submit its report.

Speaking further on the issue, Lawan said upon the receipt of the panel report, the Senate leadership would have a robust engagement with the executive.

He said, “We have passed resolutions now. The second step is for the ad hoc committee members to work assiduously to ensure that they finish their work within two weeks. That will be the second step.

“The third step will be the implementation; in that case we have to work even much more closely with the executive arm of government on those things that we resolved to do.

“It is not everything we resolved on that is going to be operated. We pray that whatever we resolve on is a resolution that will bring solution.

“The executive may have their own opinion on the way forward. So, there will be a need for us to marry the two positions between us and them, to ensure that the lives of Nigerians are well protected.

“As we represent people here, we must not shy away from what affects their lives. The reality is that today, the security of our people is the issue that concerns almost every single Nigerian.

“There is nothing we can do better than to discuss it and find solutions to the issues at stake.

“This is not something we can do alone; we have to work with the executive arm of government. Mr President himself has been working very hard to ensure that the security is there to protect the lives of our people.”


If we don’t perform, stone us – What Buhari govt said in 2015 – Abaribe emphasize ..

…Perform or resign, sack service chiefs, lawmakers tell President

There was uproar on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday when the Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, called for the immediate resignation of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Abaribe made the call at the plenary, where he was reacting to a statement by the President, who on Tuesday said he was taken aback by the increasing insecurity in the country.

The Senate minority leader said the resignation became imperative in view of the Buhari regime inability to curtail the alarming security challenges confronting the country.

Abaribe spoke after the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, presented his motion on rising security challenges in the country.

Although the Senate was divided on Abaribe’s demand for President’s resignation, senators, who commented on the insecurity in the country, were unanimous in berating Buhari for failing to sack the service chiefs despite their dwindling performances.

Also, there was outrage in the country over the President’s statement as groups including the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, backed the call on the President to sack the service chiefs.

But the calls by Abaribe and other prominent Nigerians elicited an angry reaction from the Presidency, which described the Senate minority leader as an arm chair critic.

A President and his ‘tired’ service chiefs
Buhari, while addressing eminent indigenes of Niger State at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, had said he was taken aback by banditry and other forms of insecurity in the North-West and other parts of the country.

The President’s position was in sharp contrast with that of his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who, on Sunday, said insecurity was not as bad as it was being reported by the media.

In the last three months, bandits and insurgents have been attacking residents and troops in Zamfara, Niger, Katsina, Borno and many other states.

At the Senate plenary on Wednesday, Abaribe said the attitude of the President to insecurity in the country surprised him.

Abaribe said, “When I was coming this morning, I saw the newspaper headlines; ‘Mr president, Commander- in- Chief expresses shock at the level of violent crime.’

“In other words, Mr President was expressing surprise. But in accordance to our Rule 53(13), I will not go into that, but I will only say, Mr President (of the Senate), in pidgin English, this surprise, surprised me.

“You have told us that on this solemn day that we are discussing this matter; that we may not at any point be partisan and I want to tell you Mr President, if you didn’t insist that we should not be partisan, I would have called out the presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina.

“Adesina, who, when the Christian Association of Nigeria leaders complained about the killing of a priest, turned around and said CAN was acting like a political party.

“Now that we are talking about it here, let me hear him say that all of us are acting like a political party; when somebody is complaining about these incessant deaths in this country.

“We have to get to the root of this matter. I can only say one thing, those who live on propaganda will die by propaganda. It is a matter of life and death.

“Everything was being done to make sure that the hard work that was supposed to be done in securing Nigeria was not done because certain people did not do their work and preferred to cover the eyes of Nigerians with propaganda.

“All the time that we wasted in Nigeria trying to find all these excuses for non- performance has now come to stare us in the face.

“Reality is no respecter of persons. It is that reality we are facing now. Senator Sani Musa is shouting every day his people are being killed in Niger. We just took one (a motion) from Jos; a student who was murdered in the full view of everybody with a pistol. Yet, we are being told that they (Boko Haram terrorists) have been defeated.

“Nigerians did not elect the Inspector General of Police. We did not elect the Chief of Staff. We did not elect the service chiefs. We did not elect the National Security Adviser.

“We elected the government of the APC in 2015 and reelected them in 2019. The reason we reelected them was that they continued to tell us they had a key to security.

“When you want to deal with a matter, you go with the head, so we will go with the government and ask this government to resign because they can no longer do anything.

“Yes, the Nigerians voted a government into power and that government even said, ‘if we don’t perform, stone us, we are going with the stones to stone them now because they are no longer performing.”

There was an instant noise in the camps of the majority and minority caucuses of the red chamber which lasted for a while before the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, brought the rowdy session under control.

Some senators hailed the submission of Abaribe while others described it as unnecessary.

However, when the uproar subsided, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, said Abaribe’s submission was unnecessary.

He wondered why Lawan had not stopped Abaribe earlier because senators should be seen as statesmen. He urged the Senate President to demand an apology from the minority leader.

Adamu, an APC member from Nasarawa West, however admitted that Abaribe had legislative immunity to express his views.

He said, “There is no doubting the fact that we do face security challenges in the country, anybody who says otherwise is only pretending.”

The President of the Senate appealed to his colleagues to approach the security issue with caution. He, however, did not ask Abaribe to apologise.

Senators divided over state police creation

The chamber was, however, thrown into another rowdy session when the senators protested the rejection of the state police creation by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege.

Omo-Agege’s predecessor, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and many lawmakers are currently championing the reintroduction of the State Police Bill in the 9th National Assembly.

The bill suffered a setback in the 8th Senate, but the federal lawmakers alarmed by the rising crime rate across the country believe that it is the right way to go.

Omo-Agege, in his contribution, vehemently opposed the creation of state police on accounts of paucity of funds crippling the states and possible abuse by the state governors.

A former governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, supported the creation of state police and attempts by regions to set up security outfits.

He said releasing adequate equipment to the regional and state security personnel would solve the insecurity challenges.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu also expressed support for the creation of state police. She described the fears being expressed in some quarters, as unnecessary.

Senator Adamu Bukachuwa from Bauchi State sought the recognition of the traditional institution in crime prevention.

He said they were supposed to be given the task of monitoring their people and organisng local security men to protect them.

Senator Opeyemi Bamidele noted that the unity of Nigeria was threatened. He supported the idea of restructuring the security architecture. He also said state police should be established to tackle all forms of insecurity.

Senator Emmanuel Bwacha from Taraba State supported the creation of the South-West security outfit, Operation Amotekun, because the police had failed to protect Nigerians.

Senator Sam Egwu, who also supported state police, said governors should be empowered to protect their people, saying no foreigner would come in if states were in charge.

Senator Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano) also threw his weight behind the creation of state police.

He said, “When I was the governor of Kano State, Hisbah guards were established. He called for the recruitment of more police personnel and adequate funding.

He said the Federal Government was recruiting 10, 000 policemen every year but that 6, 000 policemen were retiring every year.

Others who supported state police were Abubakar Yusuf and Olubunmi Adetunmbi and Sunday Omor.

However, Senator Gabriel Suswan said the creation of state police would solve no problem.

He demanded the restructuring of the police with a view to empowering them for effective performance.

Senator Danjuma Goje from Gombe State disagreed with the proponents of state police, claiming that governors would take advantage of it to perpetuate themselves in power.

He said, “The creation of jobs and setting up empowerment strategies would solve the problem of insecurity in the country.”

Senators ask Buhari to sack service chiefs

Meanwhile, Senator Betty Apiafi from Rivers State, led the call for the sack of the security chiefs, saying that they had outlived their usefulness. The service chiefs were appointed by Buhari in 2015.

Senator Rochas Okorocha from Imo State also called for the immediate sacking of the service chiefs, claiming that they had outlived their usefulness.

Senator Matthew Urhoghide said findings by the 8th Senate indicated that there was no inter-agency cooperation among the security agencies in the country. He said approving huge sums of money for them would continue to be wasteful.

Senators Opeyemi Bamidele, Elisha Abbo, Adeola Olamilekan, Urhoghide, Sani Musa, Gabriel Suswan and Emmanuel Bwacha also said the service chiefs should go.

Senator Tolu Odebiyi called for the mopping up of arms and checking of the nation’s borders.

He said proper identification of most Nigerians and foreigners would also check activities of the criminals.

Senator Aisha Dahiru-Ahmed (Adamawa) said poor leadership and unemployment contributed to insecurity.

Senate sets up ad hoc panel, summons IGP

The red chamber which extended its sitting hours to 4:25pm to enable members to engage in robust debate, resolved to set up a 17-member panel to collate the views and come up with a report within two weeks.

Lawan asked the panel headed by the Senate Leader to hold talks with heads of military and other security agencies and come up with realistic and effective solutions to the worsening security situation in the country.

The Senate also asked the Inspector-General of Police, Abdullahi Adamu, to appear before it at plenary on Wednesday next week.

Meanwhile, Abaribe’s call for Buhari’s resignation attracted diverse reactions on Wednesday.

Resign or be sacked, Reps tell service chiefs

The House of Representatives debated the killings by Boko Haram in the North-East based on a motion moved by the Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno.

The lawmaker representing Chibok/Damboa/Gwoza Federal Constituency of Borno State, Ahmadu Jaha, called for the sacking of the service chiefs, saying their efforts had failed to stop insurgency in the North-East.

Jaha said, “I know what I am saying; I know that tomorrow people can come for me. I am calling for the immediate removal of all the service chiefs and their immediate replacement with competent ones. The truth of the matter is that they have overstayed and the officers under them are not stimulated (motivated) to work, perform and to end this war. This is my position.”

The lawmakers, who were initially divided over whether the service chiefs should resign or be sacked, later resolved to “call on all the service chiefs to resign immediately, failing which the President should remove them.”

Buhari’s comment distressing – PDP

The main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, described the statement by Buhari that he was surprised by the heightened insecurity across the country as defeatist and demoralising.

The PDP, in a statement its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said by the comment, the President displayed a disheartening dereliction of duty.

He said, “Such a statement from a Commander-in-Chief, who promised to lead from the front, is distressing as it further exposes an abdication of duty and shows that Mr President is not even abreast of his major task in governance which is the security of lives and property.

“The PDP is particularly worried about this apparent display of leadership failure as Mr President ought to be receiving a daily brief from his service chiefs on the actual situation on the ground.

“His comment therefore speaks volumes about the manner with which the security of our nation is being handled at the highest level despite the huge resources reportedly committed to security issues by the Buhari administration.”

He also said the party would want Buhari to resign. Ologbondiyan said, “The party (PDP) therefore backs the call by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, asking President Buhari to resign.”

Buhari was expressing an honest opinion, says ACF secretary

But the Secretary General of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Mr. Anthony Sani, said it was not enough for the President to resign simply because he shared his honest view on the security situation in the country.

Sani, in an interview learnt by NobleReporters, said, “While I appreciate the concerns about the recent surge of attacks leading to the killing of some innocent people – thereby hyping insecurity – I do not share the views of those who call for the resignation of President Buhari for expressing his honest view of surprise at the recent surge.

Buhari’s statement deceptive – Afenifere

The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, dismissed Buhari’s claims that he was surprised by the murderous activities of bandits in parts of the country, saying he was playing games with the sensibilities of Nigerians.

Afenifere’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, accused the President of duplicity, adding that his statement showed that he was engaging in Taqqiya (deception).

He catalogued the various attacks by terrorists and bandits across the country, noting that the Presidency had always acknowledged the bloodshed and rising insecurity in the country without providing any solution.

He stated, “We see his statement as playing games with our sensibilities. When Fulani herdsmen killed over 21 people in Benue State on January 1, 2018, did he not invite Governor Samuel Ortom to the Presidential Villa, where they advised him to tell his people to learn how to live with their killers? We want to say that Taqqiya (deception) should have a limit.”

On its part, the Ohanaeze Youth Council said it supported the call for Buhari’s resignation.

OYC National President, Igboayaka O. Igboayaka, explained that Ndigbo had lost confidence in the security architecture and the leaders of the country.

Igboayaka pointed out that Buhari’s body language indicated that he lacked the political will and capacity to tackle the security challenges affecting Nigeria.

Admission of insecurity shows failure of security chiefs – Ohanaeze

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, said that the President’s admission showed that his security chiefs had failed and he should do the needful, adding that their retirement was overdue.

President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who spoke to one of our correspondents in Enugu, said, “His admission implies his commanding officers have failed. He should do the needful and should stop promoting people on the basis of where they come from but on the bases of their performances. He should stop retiring people on the basis of where they come from but on the bases of their inefficiency.”

The Deputy Executive Director, Civil Empowerment and Rule of Law Support Initiative, Majirioghene Etemiku, in an interview, condemned the President’s statement. NobleReporters culled

He said, “This is not what anyone would expect from a Commander-in-Chief; a man getting daily or monthly briefings from the Army, Navy, Air force, the Police, and the Department of State Services.”

Abaribe, an arm chair critic – Presidency

But the Presidency hit back at Buhari’s critics, particularly Abaribe, saying the Senate Minority leader should resign.

It said the lawmaker should resign for failing to honour the bail bond he secured for the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

In a statement by Buhari’s media aide, Mr Garba Shehu, the Presidency called Abaribe an arm chair critic.

It said, “President Buhari to resign on what basis? Just because some characters think that President Buhari should resign, then they expect him to quit? That call does not represent the opinion of the country. This is the opinion of an armchair critic, known for making strange comments.

“If a leader like President Buhari needs to resign, there are millions of other Nigerians who need to resign, including Senator Abaribe, who unlocked the door to enable the escape of traitorous and treasonable suspects.

“He signed the bond for the court to release Nnamdi Kanu on bail, from which moment the suspect disappeared into the thin air.”

Reacting, the Buhari Media Organisation accused the PDP of taking the president’s statement out of context.

The Chairman of BMO, Niyi Akinsiju, said Abaribe’s statement was typical of a desperate opposition lacking morality and with “ennobling precedent, to take issues out of context.”

“The truth is in black and white as reported by the media. President Muhammadu Buhari while hosting a delegation of eminent people from Niger State explained the variant of violence that had recently erupted in northwest Nigeria and other parts of the country, describing it as an evil plan against the country because, unlike the BokoHaram insurgency which he confronted in 2015, this new threat to the peace of the country has no ethnic or religious underpinnings, even as he observed the likely consequences of banditry on the nation’s agricultural sector.”


Concerns over insecurity ..

…loss of lives, unacceptable

Both chambers of the National Assembly, yesterday, expressed outrage and concern over what they termed deteriorating and unacceptable security in the country.

For the second time in 24 hours, Senate President Ahmad Lawan drew attention to the challenge, while the House of Representatives described it as alarming, even as opposition House members accused the Federal Government of complacency in tackling the menace of terrorists and bandits across the country.

While lamenting the continuous loss of lives, Lawan said the Senate would summon the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to brief the upper chamber on efforts to address the escalating wave of insecurity.

He said there was a need for the Senate “to speedily seek for solutions to fix the security problem bedevilling our dear country.”

Lawan, in a speech delivered to welcome lawmakers back from a six-week recess, said, as part of measures to reform the country’s security architecture, the National Assembly would engage the executive on the need for the immediate implementation of the recently launched National Security Strategy (NSS).

“The security situation in our country requires serious attention and due consideration by the Senate and indeed the National Assembly.

“Recently, the security in the country had deteriorated and the attendant loss of lives is not acceptable. We need to secure the lives and property of our citizens, as enshrined in our Constitution.

“We all are witnesses to how our economy is also affected by the inclement security situation. Therefore, we need to speedily seek for solutions to fix the security problem bedevilling our dear country.

“There is urgent need for paradigm shift and reform of the architecture and structure of our security systems. Equally important is the citizen participation, and collaboration in providing security.

“In this regard, the Senate will engage the Executive arm of government to discuss the implementation of the recently launched National Security Strategy 2019.

“For a long time, major stakeholders in the security of our nation and police authorities appear to achieve consensus on the necessity of introduction of community policing in the country.

“The Senate is going to pursue the implementation of community policing vigorously. To this end, the police authorities will be invited to brief and update the Senate on the progress made so far.”

We’re having sleepless nights – Reps

Similarly, the House of Representatives expressed concern over the security situation.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, House spokesperson, Benjamin Kalu (Abia, APC), said the situation was alarming. He said the ninth Assembly would look at various legislative interventions with regard to insecurity in the country, to ensure Nigerians are safe, because it was the major duty of government to safeguard life and property.

“We will look at what pains you and pains us, which is insecurity in the land; the situation is alarming. We can no longer discuss it in low tones. The cries of those that have lost their lives are giving us sleepless nights and something needs to be done about it.

“This ninth Assembly is going to look at various legislative interventions with regard to insecurity in the country to ensure Nigerians are safe. It is a core mandate of every government to protect lives and property.”

In reaction, members of the House elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) accused the Federal Government of being complacent in tackling security challenges across the country.

The lawmakers, who spoke at a press conference in Abuja, condemned the recent killings in Plateau, Kaduna and other parts of the country and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to show commitment in combating insecurity.

They stated that the “mindless” killings of Nigerians by insurgents and other armed gangs have reached an alarming stage, noting that to contain it required drastic actions.

Solomon Karen, member representing Mangu/Bokkos Federal Constituency of Plateau State, who spoke on behalf of the lawmakers, alleged that insurgents and other criminals wreaking havoc across the country have been emboldened because of the inability of government to take decisive action against them.

The lawmakers lamented that though killer herdsmen have been designated as terrorists in other parts of the world, Nigeria’s government was still treating them with kid gloves.

“We have drifted from the ideas of the founding fathers. Government seems not only complacent but to be condoning these hoodlums and probably protecting them by dealing with the issues with kid gloves because there has been no single prosecution of those arrested over the years, no categorical statement and policy to fight this menace to finish.

“Even when killer herdsmen were designated and referred to as most dangerous terrorist gang in the world, our government didn’t classify them as such; one can easily conclude that genocide has been declared on my people as indeed Plateau State.

“Consequently, we call on Mr. President to show sincerity and commitment, match words with actions to secure all Nigerians wherever they are. As Commander-in-Chief, he should provide security agencies with modern equipment, resources and the political will to make them succeed.”


I have been having sleepless night – Bauchi governor..

…over poor security

Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed has said that security is one area that has given him sleepless nights since he assumed office. In this interview with a select group of journalists, he also spoke on his recent victory at the Supreme Court among other issues.

After the Supreme Court verdict, you invited ex-governor Mohammed Abubakar to come and move Bauchi State forward. But has he congratulated you after the Supreme Court judgment? If no, it means he may turn down your invitation.

You saw what happened even during the court process, we greeted each other. We always have respect for each other and because I am younger, the onus is on me to go and greet him. I greeted him when we were seated in the Supreme Court and after the verdict, I went and greeted him and said well this is over, and he said yes. So, to me, we are still good compatriots. We are still good friends and there is nothing to show that he will not welcome the opportunity of working together unless he chooses because sometimes we politicians, our own lieutenants are the ones putting things into our ears because if there is peaceful co-existence, they won’t be able to get what they are getting. But I will advise him to take the olive leaf so that we can be our own brothers’ keepers and we can be co-compatriots.

How would you describe the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment in Imo State that sacked Emeka Ihedioha of your party?

The Supreme Court judgment is a manifestation of the judicial process. I know it was a very painful outcome for me as a PDP member and for me as a friend of the former governor who was affected; also for me who knows what Emeka stands for democracy and the roadmap he has established in terms of trying to rescue Imo from the vagaries of that state. So, it was very painful and it was something very unexpected and definitely my state of mind was such that I was even out of the country and I felt very bad because I knew what happened to him could happen to anybody. The Hausa say the outcome of any judgment is normally diametrically opposed to rational thinking. So, it is not about rationality. It is about the outcome that affected us which was diametrically opposed to what we expected or what we want. When the Supreme Court gave us Zamfara, we were very happy but when it went against us, we were very unhappy and that’s why you saw us demonstrating. That is democracy. But certainly, it has given me some hiccups, some fears for the first time thinking that the confidence expressed by my competitor has something to do with some assurance in some quarters and somewhere but I still had faith in God. The court processes are definitely big distractions. To me, they were uncalled for because I was coming from the opposition and nobody gave me a chance of winning and Mohammed Abubakar knew that I didn’t rig that election and I know he knew I won the election. I would not have manufactured any resources to come and dislodge him if not because of the will of God and the mandate given to me by the people.

I didn’t even have the wherewithal to do that. That is why I considered it very painful. But painful as it was, I am ready to forgive because that is the expression of democracy. He has the right to go further and make sure he exercises his universal suffrage, his right as a human being to go to court and we have gone the whole hog.

We wasted so much time and we were not able to plan very well. We would not be able to plan like Emeka planned in Imo and at the end of the day, all this has come to naught. Definitely, it was a big distraction.

You started with former Governor Isa Yuguda against all odds and became a success; you defeated a sitting governor to become a senator, moved the doctrine of necessity and became FCT minister for six years. What makes you thick?

We started with Yuguda during the ANPP and we did so much for Bauchi and no sooner the same kind of political situation emerged. I was a senator so I decided to do my senatorial work and that was what brought us to the Doctrine of Necessity before I became a minister. I didn’t go to Abuja to become a minister and that is why I am telling people that they should believe in God. They should have the courage to say things that are difficult to say when it is their responsibility to say it. It doesn’t matter who that person is. I have never had anything in common with Jonathan. We were not even in the same party and he gave me a state and structure, that is the Federal capital city to run. That is why today, I am completely detribalised. I don’t have any feeling of differences in terms of human relations because to me, it depends on what anybody can do for you. Even at the moment, I have some SAs that are from the South because they can do a lot to add value. What I believe in is opening new frontiers in doing things that are difficult to do, in making sure that we bring to active thinking, inventing, creativity. That is why I invoked the Doctrine of Necessity; that is why I got the Land Swap where we were to do things to centralise the private sector to bring in one point two trillion and at the end of the day, the EFCC said that one trillion was in my account. It’s because they didn’t understand the scientifically based template that we came up with in terms of doing it with the Dangotes and the rest. So, we will do it but we will be careful with the GDP and the economic level of Bauchi so that we don’t exercise our discretion and put the common man in jeopardy. Bauchi is a place where there is no development control. You will see so many developments on the road corridor but we are exercising patience.

Somebody like me from Abuja, we don’t tolerate that but today I have to tolerate it because I must provide alternative before I remove those shanties on the road. If you just do it, you will make so many people jobless and already, there is joblessness. Already all the Suya spots, they are all on the road corridors but if you remove them, many people will lose their jobs so you have to do something to make sure you don’t cause pain and loss to the people in trying to make the city neat. So, I am a person who believes in doing things and a person who takes everybody along. I want to give everybody opportunity especially those brilliant people, more brilliant than me to be able to work and do things for the people, and leave legacies and landmarks the way we built the Airport road, the Outer Express way Kubwa; people were thinking it was done by the Federal Ministry of Works. It was I who did it. We built the World Trade Centre, so we want to do something in Bauchi. One thing I must say, out of our former leaders, my former boss Yuguda has left legacies and landmarks. He built an airport, a hospital and he built a university. Nobody has done that. So, whatever you call him, he has done something and that is what leadership is all about and I will leave legacies and landmarks.

Considering the mammoth crowd of supporters that welcomed you to Bauchi after the Supreme Court verdict, how will you manage the high expectations of the people against the backdrop of the lean resources of the state and the promises made to them?

You can only manage expectations by being transparent and telling people the truth. I know people have highest expectations especially my mammoth supporters Everybody is looking up to me. I know almost everybody. I grew up in the neighborhood where everybody knows me.

Everybody knows my parent. I am from a very large family, a royal family. I have so many constituencies, a politician who knows almost all the political operators, a journalist who knew almost all the reporters, a civil servant who knows almost all the civil servants in the federal civil service. So, you can see even the expectations of my three constituencies is enough to coerce me and most especially as somebody who has gone to the nook and crannies, calling people to vote for him without giving them money; they sweated, they cried, they delivered and so their expectations are high. But I believe in my fidelity, in my sincerity and fear of God. Don’t live anything anymore. I have achieved so much. There is nothing people have not done to bring me down; they have not brought me down. What I need to do is to leave legacies and landmarks and to do something that will benefit people collectively, not necessarily individuals. Where they will benefit individually, I will be very happy to do it. You have seen what we are doing on water. We took a World Bank loan for four years but they only started when I came on board. Six months ago and we are exiting in June this year. We are fighting with WB because their resources must be freed and taken to another state. We’re doing it. We will make sure we finish all the connections, the reticulation and the metering by the grace of God. If we are not able to do it, then we look for resources because WB will not wait for us.

Are you going to investigate your predecessor?

It is not what I have come to do. I have always drawn a line but in the course of governance if I find out that there is anywhere the= government of the people of Bauchi State are shortchanged, I am not going to let it go because nobody spared me when I left FCT. I was the most investigated person in Nigeria and I dare anybody to tell me any account where I kept money which warranted that investigation. But I took it as an expression of accountability. I don’t think MA should be afraid of being investigated if he has no skeleton in his cupboard. It is not a priority to investigate him only that if in the course of what my ministries and departments are doing, you have cause to do that, then definitely we are not going to spare him because doing that will shortchanged the people of Bauchi and will make them unhappy.

You expressed a hand of fellowship to the former governor to join your administration to move the state forward. How do you intend to do this collaboration?

It is about the issue of continuity. I am continuing with his programmes which he might have taken over from others. Dynamism in governance is what is called collaboration. I am not going to set aside my own and give him to operate as a governor but definitely, if he gives me opinion, because he has been there as a governor, we are going to take it and use it . The only thing is that I have expressed that I am ready to work with him. It is now left to him to accept.

Definitely, we are not dependent on him but certainly we recognise his position as a former governor and because, me too one day I hope I live long, one day I will become a former governor and somebody will look for my opinion.

In your quest to take Bauchi to the New Level, how do you plan to involve indigenes of the state residing outside the state?

I have always told journalists that my success or failure is your own because you don’t have many journalists as governors and I own whatever I become to your constituency because I was a reporter for many years. Journalists have helped me and I have the burden of making sure I reciprocate what you did to me. I am the most vilified person, most misunderstood person. Maybe because of my background and attitude because I can make some leaders hate me by virtue of my pronouncement or what have you. My astronomical rise is a source of discomfort to so many people and so I am someone that is put on the spot. I must confess that since I left office in 2015 and I faced challenges you have been with me. They wanted me in prison but you stood by me.

You have frequently talked about saboteurs in your government… when are you planning to tackle the issues?

It is not about the beggar. It is a double edge sword. Yes we are peaceful, we are tolerant, we are accommodating, we are forgiving butn we should not be dared. Nobody should dare us. If you see our accommodating attitude as an expression of weakness, then you are mistaken. We are just doing it because that is leadership. Leadership is about accommodating all the differences. Not all the things will be palatable to you but you must accommodate them. At the same time, if somebody is going to throw the carpet under your feet, you will not just look and look until you fall and at the end of the day, you take the blame. There are areas that you can be sabotaged in governance. I have been an administrative officer from Grade Level 8 to 17 at the federal level and I know administration that you don’t want to be sincere on your opinions on this and that. That even goes to the bureaucracy. If you think your loyalty is to the last administration we are not going to tolerate it. Or you are leaking our secrets and so on and so forth, we are not going to tolerate it. We will punish you. If you sabotage us or do things that are inimical to the progress and peace of the state, we are not going to tolerate that.

What is your take on youth restiveness which has become a hydra-headed monster in the state? Because most of these restive youth are your supporters.

Youth restiveness was not caused by me. We inherited it from the administrations of the past and we will tackle it. We will open so many windows, show many ways and means. As you said, they are our supporters and we are not doing it on party lines. We will do it as a government. Whether they are APC youth, they are PDP youth, we are going to make sure that we give them something to do and definitely by the next two or three months, you will see us visiting all the 20 local governments, doing things that will provide some palliatives before we do something on a permanent basis.


Bank Director faces 4-count loan granting offense with no withness

A criminal charge of reckless granting of loan without adequate security has been filed against the Managing Director of Mortgages PHB Ltd, Bayo Adewakun

In a four count amended charge number FhC/422C/2019 filed before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria by senior state counsel from Department of Public Prosecution of the Federation, Midi Gladys Ezinwa-Ukoha, the accused bank manager was alleged to have granted N32,632,667.91 to a company B. Waks Consultant which is more than 20% of the shareholders fund unimpaired by losses without approval from the bank.

The court has adjourned for the arraignment of the accused bank manager.

The charges against him are:

That you Bayo Adewakun ‘M’ of B. Waks Consultant 72 Queen’ Street) Yaba near Alagomèji Bus Stop, between 29thApril, 2004 and 28 June 2019 while being the Managing Director of Mortgages PHB LTD at 8 Amodu Ojukutu Street Off Saka Tinubu Street, Victoria Island, Lagos within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, recklessly granted credit facility in the Sum of N10,000,000 to B.Waks Consultants Ltd, Without Adequate Security, contrary to the accepted practice and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(1)(a)(i) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts and Financial Malpractices in Bank Act) CAP F2, Laws bf the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Punishable under Section 16(1 (a) of the same Act


That you Bayo Adewakun ‘M’ of B.Waks Consultant 72 Queen Street, Yaba near Alagomeji Bus Stop, Lagos between 2 April, 2004 and 28 June 2019 while being the Managing Director of Mortgage P.HB. LTD at 8 Amodu Ojukutu Street Off Saka Tinubu Street, Victoria island, Lagos within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, recklessly granted a credit facility in the Sum of N5, 000,000.00 to B.Waks Consultants Ltd without adequate Security, contrary to the accepted practice; you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(1)(a)(i) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts and Financial Malpractices in Bank Act) F2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Punishable under Section 16(1) (a) of the same Act.

That you Bayo Adewakun ‘M’ of B.Waks Consultant 72 Queens Street, Yaba, near Alagomeji Bus Stop, Lagos on or about February 2005 while being the Managing Director of Mortgages PHB LTD 8 Amodu Ojukutu Street Off Saka Tinubu Street,Victoria Island, Lagos within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, approved the grant of a credit facility in the sum of N17,632,667.91to B. Waks Consultants Ltd to partly finance the completion of a Housing Development at Victoria Garden City (VGC) for outright sale without adequate security, contrary to the accepted practice and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 20(7) Of the Failed Banks and Other Financial Institution Act (BOFIA) CAP F2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2002 as Amended, and punishable under the same Act.

That you Bayo Adewakun M of B,Waks Consultant 72 Queen Street, Yaba near Alagomeji Bus Stop, between 29 April, 2004 and 28 June 2019 while being the Managing Director of Mortgages PHB LTD 8 Amodu Ojukutu Street Off Saka Tinubu Street, Victoria Island, Lagos within the, Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, recklessly granted facility to B. Waks Consultants Ltd, which is more than Twenty Percent of the Shareholders Fund Unimpaired by losses without having approval from the Bank and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 20 (2) (a) of the Banks
and Other Financial Institution Act (BOFIA) CAP F2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2002, and Punishable under Section 18(2) of the same Act.


Border closure curb economy, security problems – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday in London said that the partial closure of Nigeria’s borders is not meant to punish the neighbours, but to strengthen the country’s security and economy.

At a meeting with a select group of the Nigerian Community in the United Kingdom, the President explained that the period of closure will be used for stock-taking on threats to the nation’s security and economy.

He noted that Nigerian farmers have been celebrating the closure which has drastically reduced smuggling of agricultural produce as well as arms and ammunition.

President Buhari attributed the country’s virtual food security position to the “very good last three rainy seasons;” the federal government’s reduction in the price of fertilizers by 50 per cent and the presidential directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria not to give foreign exchange for food imports thereby saving the nations billions of naira.

Commending Nigerians in the Diaspora for their huge home remittances – more than $25 billion in 2018 – the President also lauded their individual performances in their various fields of expertise.

Explaining the achievements of his administration in implementing its three-point campaign agenda by focusing on fixing the economy, providing security and tackling corruption, the President said Nigeria’s “huge, vibrant youth population” have been encouraged to go back to the farms and are “living decent and respectable lifestyles.”

On security, he said “it is common sense that you can only run the country if it is secured,” adding that the country “has not done badly in the North East.”

Describing the havoc done by corruption to the image and economy of Nigeria as “terrible,” President Buhari said that his administration has now focused on retrieving stolen fixed assets and returning the proceeds of the sale “to the treasury through the Treasury Single Account (TSA),” so that nobody can return them back to the convicts even after his tenure.

The President congratulated the current World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Anthony Joshua, who was the cynosure of all eyes during the meeting, on regaining his world championship belt, as well as putting Nigeria “on the world map again like Hogan Bassey.”

On his part, Joshua, who later presented his belts to the President, pledged to “stand up for Nigeria anytime you need me.”

Various speakers lauded the President’s commitment to bequeathing a lasting legacy.

A renowned research biochemist, Adebayo Olamideji, went down memory lane to recall President Buhari’s nationalistic disposition by his decision to save 1,250 Nigerian students from Oyo State studying abroad from indebtedness and shame when he was military Head of State by agreeing to pay over $6.2 million.

Comparing him to former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, Oladimeji said the President has started “turning Nigeria around for good,” urging him not to allow detractors to “grind him down.”

The meeting with the Nigerian Community was coordinated by the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who described President Buhari as “diaspora-friendly,” while the President commended her for efforts in coordinating the affairs of diaspora Nigerians in different parts of the world.


Fayemi – South West security outfit takes off January 9.

…Flags off 4 major roads construction

Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, yesterday disclosed the joint security outfit, ‘Amotekun’, initiated by the six governors in the zone will commence work on January 9.

Fayemi, who disclosed this in his New Year message to the people of the state, said the outfit would complement the efforts of the regular security agencies.

“On January 9, the Western Nigeria Security Network known as ‘Amotekun’ shall commence operations in all the six states in our zone

“Ekiti is very active in this initiative which will go a long way in securing the people and protecting the state. The fact remains, however, that criminality cannot be totally eradicated even as we are working meticulously at reducing it to the barest minimum in Ekiti State, and the evidence is there for all to see and acknowledge that we are making steady progress.

“Since we are not an Island, we are working with neighbouring states to strengthen our security architecture,” he said.

Fayemi also urged community leaders and groups not to allow themselves to be used to cause unnecessary tension that could trigger crisis in the state.

“I have personally kept a close watch on the security situation within and around Ekiti State, and I can assure you that as a government, we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure safety of lives and property in our state.

“Ekiti remains one of the safest places to live, work and conduct business in Nigeria. Henceforth, I urge our community leaders or groups not to allow themselves to be used to spread fake or unsubstantiated news with a view to setting the residents against themselves or destabilising the peace of the state

“We must encourage our people to report any strange signal or incident, but we must resist the temptation to resort to self-help at any time,” he said.

The governor also stated that the 2020 budget bears eloquent testimonies to his deliberate and honest quest at providing good road network and improving the enabling environment for business concerns.

Fayemi added that residents of the state would continually enjoy affordable education at all levels, good and motorable roads, improved agriculture, social security benefit and development at the grassroots.

Meanwhile, Governor Fayemi has assured Ekiti people that the state will witness rapid improvement on its infrastructure in the new year with a view to accelerating the economic recovery.

Fayemi, who stated this in his new year address also disclosed his administration is making steady, visible and sustainable progress in all areas as the state is now moving “from potentials to actualisation.”

The governor, who reiterated the resolve of his government to make life more meaningful and comfortable for Ekiti people, disclosed he would flag off the construction of four major roads that are critical to the industrial and agricultural development of the state by mid January.

Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayose

The roads according to him are Oye-Ikun-Otun, Aramoko-Erinjiyan-Ikogosi, Agbado-Isinbode-Omuo and Ilupeju-Ire-Igbemo roads.

The new road projects are in addition to the ongong work on the 7.2km new Ado-Iyin road, repairs in Ado township and commencement of the Ado Ekiti ring road, the Ado Ekiti Agro-Airport and repairs of other critical arteries in the State.


UN Sec Gen., Antonio Guterres cried insecurities, uncertainty.

…Wishes world peace and happiness in New Year message

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has lamented that the world is entering the year 2020 with uncertainty and insecurity.

Guterres, in his New Year message issued in New York however said that in spite of the ugly happenings across the world, there was hope.

The United Nations scribe added that young people were at the heart of his New Year message, referring to the youths as the greatest source of hope for the world.

“From here at the United Nations, I join you in welcoming the New Year.

His statement reads in part:

“We enter 2020 with uncertainty and insecurity all around.

“Persistent inequality and rising hatred.

“A warring world and a warming planet.

“Climate change is not only a long-term problem, but a clear and present danger.

“We cannot afford to be the generation that fiddled while the planet burned.

“But there is also hope.”

In spite of the sad happenings he enumerated, Guterres maintained that his New Year message was to the greatest source of the hope, the youths.

“This year, my New Year’s message is to the greatest source of that hope: the world’s young people.

“From climate action to gender equality to social justice and human rights, your generation is on the frontlines and in the headlines.

“I am inspired by your passion and determination.

“You are rightly demanding a role in shaping the future.

“I am with you,” Guterres assured.

While saying that the United Nations stood with the youths and belonged to the youths, Guterres further said in the year 2020, which marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the world body would be launching a Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations’ blueprint for a fair globalisation.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres

“This year, the world needs young people to keep speaking out. Keep thinking big. Keep pushing boundaries. And keep up the pressure.

“I wish you peace and happiness in 2020,” Guterres concluded.


PMB met with security chiefs, buratai absent.

…Security chiefs brief

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday received security briefing from the nation’s Service Chiefs in Abuja.

The President met with the top military men in the country at the Presidential Villa in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The services chiefs were led to the meeting by the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd).

Those present include the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; and the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas.

Others are the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu; and Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi, among others.

However, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, was absent but a senior officer of the Nigerian Army sat in his place.

Government officials also present were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha; and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno.

Before the meeting started, the service chiefs exchanged pleasantries.

See photos from the meeting below:


Presidency and other executives in ‘security meeting’

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over a security council meeting in the State House.

The council is made up of heads of security agencies in the country, including the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok Ekwe-Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique.

Others are the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu; Director-General of Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi; and Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai.

Details later…


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