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Insecurity: Bandits in North-west, North-central are terrorists – PGF boss

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Insecurity: Bandits in North-west, North-central are terrorists - PGF boss
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Insecurity: Bandits in North-west, North-central are terrorists – PGF boss

…Blasts Sheikh Gumi for opposing terrorists’ tag

… Says The Economist magazine operating on old ideological mindsets.

A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) Salihu Moh Lukman, has declared that bandits operating in the North-west and North-central parts of the country all have the characteristics of terrorist groups.

The APC chieftain however condemned opposition by some persons such as Sheikh Ahmed Gumi to declare the bandits terrorists.

In a statement released to newsmen Thursday in Abuja, Lukman described as ‘old ideological mindsets’ the recent editorial opinion published by The Economist magazine on the capacity of the Nigerian Army forces.

To facilitate better engagement between government officials and citizens working in the field of enquiry about critical challenges facing the country, Lukman suggested that at least NTA and FRCN with all their national coverage should have a weekly or daily programes at prime times to undertake public reviews of challenges and progress being made to fight insecurity in the country.

“Interestingly, apologists and self-appointed counsels to the Bandits, such as Sheikh Ahmed Gumi are becoming more confident, and are irresponsibly mobilising opposition against declaring bandits’ terrorists. All the studies about insecurity and banditry in Nigeria only confirmed that the bandits operating in the North-West and North-Central have all the characteristics of terrorist groups.

“For instance, a study by Dr. Murtala Ahmed Rufa’i, presented at the 15th Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto Seminar Series, on Thursday, September 9, 2021, titled, I am a Bandit – A Decade of Research in Zamfara State Bandit’s Den, reported that bandits are armed groups with ‘contacts across the Sahel, particularly Libya and Mali’, having ‘huge capital’, ‘in possession of more that 500 AK 47 guns’, and ‘own sophisticated weapons like RPGS and Anti-Aircraft.’ The report indicated that ‘there are over 60,000 weapons in circulation’ in the North-West alone.”

On the way forward, the APC chieftain said so long as public debates in the country are not guided by knowledge, citizens engagement with public policy will continue to be reduced to sentiment, and every challenge facing the country, including security problems, such as banditry would be politicised, and as such public conversation in the country will remain toxic.

“How APC can facilitate the reform of information management structures in the country to successfully mobilise Nigerians to support government initiatives will largely determine the electoral viability of the party.

“Once APC continue to allow speculative and false national debates such as the issue of unfounded agreement between Nigeria and US government on the use of the A-29 newly acquired Super Tucano jets, it is indicative of a weak communication management framework, which may only worsen the challenges facing the country.

“Inability to use knowledge to guide public debate is what confer legitimacy to so-called editorial opinion by arrogant news medium such as The Economist based on old ideological mindsets. Resolving the security challenge facing the country is about winning the ‘hearts and minds’ of Nigerians!”

The PGF boss also called for mainstreaming of some policies and initiatives of government agencies.

He said: “The campaign by National Orientation Agency, for instance, of change begins with me is one of such initiatives. Perhaps, it needs to be further strengthened and improved such that it highlights the new secure Nigeria being envisioned. How can the change begin with me campaign, also for instance, fit into the strategy of mobilising Nigerians to support the fight to end insecurity in the country, in all its ramification? To achieve that will require some radical reforms of many of the structures of government facilitating the process of information management, including the National Orientation Agency.”

Lukman noted that the current problems of insecurity and banditry in Nigeria is partly a direct consequence of the collapse of the country’s educational system, which is why there is estimated over 12 million Nigerian children out of school.

“Any debate about the challenges of insecurity and banditry in Nigeria, which misses this reality is simply uninformed and therefore unhelpful. The arrogance of The Economist, which made them to imagine that they can condemn Nigerian Armed Forces and Government based on some uninformed sentiments reflects the old ideological mindset that was used in the 1980s to impose Structural Adjustment Programmes, leading to the destruction of education and health sectors in most African countries, including Nigeria.”

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High Court Affirms Appointment Of 75 Obas Sacked By Abiodun

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High Court Affirms Appointment Of 75 Obas Sacked By Abiodun
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High Court Affirms Appointment Of 75 Obas Sacked By Abiodun

An Ogun State High Court sitting in Abeokuta on Tuesday affirmed the appointment of the 75 coronet Obas installed by the former Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

Amosun had upgraded the 75 village heads to Coronet Obas nine days to the expiration of his administration .

But on assumption of duty, Governor Dapo Abiodun set up a committee, which reviewed and recommended that the promotion of the traditional rulers from Baale to Oba be reversed.

In February, Abiodun announced the demotion of the Obas, as recommended by the committee chaired by the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle.

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Miffed by the development, the 75 Obas dragged the governor and other officials of the state government to court, asking for their reinstatement and payment of their entitlements.

The coronet Obas also got a interlocutory injunction that maintained their appointment as coronet Obas till the Court said otherwise.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi, in his judgement declared the removal of the Obas, null and void.

Akinyemi also granted the Obas a perpetual injunction, barring the defendants, the Ogun State Governor, State Commissioner for Local government and Cheiftancy Affairs, the Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Local government and Cheiftaincy Affairs or its agents from removing them from office except in fulfilment of the law.

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High Court Affirms Appointment Of 75 Obas Sacked By Abiodun

He also ordered that the claimants (the coronet Obas) be paid all renumeration attached to their offices from the date of their installation up till the moment of the judgement.

The Judge also ruled that the Obas were not given a fair hearing by the review committee set up by the State Governor, faulting the process.

On the argument raised by the defending counsel that the then Executive Council was misled before the appointment of the Oba, Justice Akinyemi ruled that there is know evidence of misleading in the evidence presented by the defence counsel and that if there was ever a misleading evidence ,it didn’t come from the claimants.

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He said the misleading evidence came from the State Ministry of local government and Chieftaincy affairs represented by the then Commissioner in the Ministry as a member of the then State Executive Council.

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Malami Begins Probe Into Reported Fraudulent Sale Of FG’s Recovered Assets

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Malami Begins Probe Into Reported Fraudulent Sale Of FG's Recovered Assets
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Malami Begins Probe Into Reported Fraudulent Sale Of FG’s Recovered Assets

Mr Malami says a syndicate reportedly from the ministry reportedly sold federal government’s recovered assets “without his knowledge”.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has set up a panel to probe alleged fraudulent sale of recovered assets of the federal government.

Mr Malami said the federal government was yet to commence sale of its recovered looted assets.

In a press statement on Tuesday, Mr Malami’s spokesperson, Umar Gwandu, acknowledged a media report, claiming that a “syndicate allegedly from the ministry sells federal government’s recovered properties without the knowledge of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.”

“It is important to set the record straight that the office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has not officially started the sale of Federal Government’s property,” the statement read in part.

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Mr Gwandu also said the AGF neither approved nor ordered the sale of any property.

“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN has set up a 5-member Committee to investigate and verify the authenticity of the media report which allegedly claims that syndicate from the Federal Ministry of Justice sells Federal Government’s recovered properties without the knowledge of the office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.”

Mr Gwandu made reference to a circular signed by the Solicitor General of the Federation Umar Mohammed, dated November 29, 2021.

Malami Begins Probe Into Reported Fraudulent Sale Of FG’s Recovered Assets

The circular was titled, ‘The Constitution of a Committee to investigate the alleged sale of Federal Government of Nigeria’s Property by syndicate in the Ministry’.

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“A committee is hereby constituted to investigate the allegation with the view to unravelling the veracity or otherwise of the publication” the circular partly read.

According to the statement, the committee chaired by the Director Public Prosecution of the Federation, was inaugurated on Tuesday.

It is saddled with the responsibility of unveiling the accuracy of the publication and recommend ways of handling the matter in accordance with the provisions of the extant laws.

It is expected to complete the assignment within one week and submit its report of their investigation to the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

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“Individuals, groups, companies, institutions or organisations that claimed to have associated with the alleged syndicate from the Federal Ministry of Justice in relation to purchase of houses, landed property, vehicles, vessels, plants and machineries belonging to the Federal Government are encouraged to come out with any information, evidence or document regarding the alleged sales,” Mr Malami was quoted to have urged Nigerians.

Mr Gwandu said the “Secretariat of the Investigation Committee can be contacted at the Office of the Director Public Prosecution of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Justice and be reached within one week from 1st December, 2021 or via email: investigation.committee@justice.gov.ng.”

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Just in: Members of National Assembly fight over Army recruitment

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Just in: Members of National Assembly fight over Army recruitment
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Just in: Members of National Assembly fight over Army recruitment

Uneasy calm on Tuesday evening pervaded the Senate wing of the National Assembly as members of the Senate Committee on Army clashed over alleged lopsidedness in recent recruitments carried out by the Nigerian Army, NA.

The development happened during an interactive session between members of the committee and the Commander, Training and Doctrine Command of the Nigerian Army, Major General S.O Olabanji.

Trouble started when a member of the committee who doubles as the Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate, Senator Abdullahi Ibrahim Danbaba (PDP Sokoto South) took up General Olabanji on alleged lopsided nature of recruitment carried out by the Army recently.

But the acting chairman of the committee, Senator Abba Moro (PDP Benue South) who presided over the session, ruled Danbaba out of order, saying “this meeting is not for such enquiry.”

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Apparently irked by the development, another member of the committee, Senator Barinada Mpigi (PDP Rivers South East), raised the issue again, saying “lopsidedness in recruitment is not an issue to be put aside or rule against.”

Senator Moro again ruled against the enquiry, insisting that the session was not for review of recruitment made by the Army, but on Tactical Training and Doctrine men and officers.

“The questions being raised by my colleagues on alleged lopsided recruitments are being thrown to the wrong person. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt – Gen. Farouk Yahaya is the one who can do justice to such allegation or enquiry,” he said.

Angered by the insistence of Senator Moro that questions on recruitment should be entertained at the session, Senators Danbaba and Mpigi stormed out of the meeting.

Expressing his anger to journalists on what transpired at the session, Senator Danbaba said he walked out from the meeting with Senator Mpigi based on dictatorial action of Senator Moro.

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“He shouldn’t have ruled us out of order since the military man whom the question was directed to, did not complain.

Just in: Members of National Assembly fight over Army recruitment

“The issue of marginalization in recruitment has never been responded to, it is part of the oversight process of the committee to ensure that whatever is to be done should be done to ensure justice, the Nigerian Army like any institution of government in Nigeria is supposed to comply with provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and that constitution has made it very clear that the issue of federal character and representation is paramount as a constitutional issue.

“I’m not blaming the Army, the Army has been performing very well, but at the same time, the issue of recruitment is very very important.

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“I left the meeting, I stormed out with Mpigi because we were angry,” he said.

Defending his action, Senator Moro in a counter interview with journalists, said he had no any regret for ruling Danbaba out of order as far as the issue of alleged lopsided recruitment was concerned.

“Danbaba and Mpigi’s questions were directed to a wrong person. What explanation were they expecting from Commander, Training and Doctrine Command on recruitment.

“Besides, the committee had tabled the issue before the Chief of Army Staff few months ago with response bothering on physical and medical reasons for those recruited and those who failed in the exercise,” he stressed.

It was, however, gathered that Senator Danbaba vowed to take the matter to the Leader of the Senate, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC Kebbi North) for formal complaint.

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