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Elections may not hold in Nigeria if security threats persists, CAN, Vision Africa, Warn



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The president, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Dr. Samson Ayokunle and the president, Vision Africa (VA), Bishop Sunday Onuoha have warned that elections may not hold in Nigeria come 2023 if insecurity is not addressed.

Both religious leaders stated this at the Inclusive Security Dialogue (ISD), organised by Global Peace Foundation and Vision Africa with a focus on “steps to violence-free elections” ahead of 2023.

According to the CAN president, security chiefs must educate those under them to prioritise the future of Nigeria over the selfish interests of politicians who want to use them as tools against peaceful elections.

He warned politicians to shelve their desperation to win elections and therefore advised Nigerians to take note of the money bags whose statements are that of desperation and desist from voting for such individuals.

He said, “This is the right time to do whatever we need to do to make sure that elections in 2023 are not a threat. The election that is to be won is not about any political party, it is about the future of Nigerians so if you put a mischief there because of your excessive love for your party, then you put Nigerians in great harm.

“Let us reject the money bags whose hands are soiled in corruption, who have wealth in excess that they cannot explain how they got it.

“We have the power of our votes to reject them this time around. Let us shine our eyes and not follow the crowd, let us be very deliberate when we are going to vote, don’t just follow political party; I am looking forward to the total emancipation of Nigerians to the point that we will look beyond political party when we want to vote, but the quality of the individual that each political party is presenting.
“It will go beyond ethnicity, religion, but zero in on the quality of that individual. We should look at their antecedence before committing our future into their hands with our votes.

“Insecurity, if it is not taken care of, there will be no election in 2023. In the present state we are, I see politicians more concerned about declaring interest. Which nation are you going to rule in 2023? Are you sure that the bandits and terrorists will not overwhelm us before 2023 the way things are going?

“Care must be taken to ensure that security agencies do not bamboozle anyone during the election and let us also plead with security chiefs to educate those under them not to destroy Nigeria by being used by any politician to carry out their personal interests.”

He stated that INEC must be seen to be transparent, unbiased and fair and adhere to the electoral laws strictly and not use them to manipulate or suit any individual, adding that background checks must be done for the ad-hoc staff that would be used for the elections.

He commended the government and the National Assembly for the passing of the electoral act into law which is a step in the right direction towards ensuring a free and fair election, but said that it is not enough in ensuring free and fair elections. “The party in power must be sincere in ensuring level playing ground for all contestants for the forthcoming 2023 general elections, ” he further said

The President, Vision Africa and Facilitator of the ISD, Bishop Sunday Onuoha on his part, emphasised the need to expand the list of stakeholders – leaders and influencers of the polity, in brainstorming solutions to a violence and crisis-free election.

He stressed the need to invest time in promoting a culture of peace in this time when the fortified walls and mechanism gates do not protect the elite.
He said that Nigeria under this insecurity stands the risk of not holding a fair election come 2023.

“The circulation of small arms and light weapons is contributing to the security challenge we have today. We must de-escalate tension and invest our time in promoting a culture of peace and not that of violence.

“It has become difficult to travel around the country due to insecurity. Fortified walls and highly mechanized gates do not protect the elite anymore.
“Faith leaders and traditional rulers are being kidnapped, and some are even killed. How can anyone conduct any meaningful election under this kind of insecurity?
“Poverty and unemployment could mar our elections because many have seen politics as a time to collect from the candidates.

“Our farmlands are not safe, our railways are not safe, our highways are not safe, and now, our airports are not safe either. We must be careful not to wake up one day to hear that non-state actors have blocked Mr. President from coming out of the villa.
“As of today, most of our national leaders no longer go back to their villages. Many are now Abuja-based, but even Abuja is no more a safe haven. Our fortified walls and mechanized gates will do little to ward off a well-calculated and organized band of marauders.
“We do not need a 4-year degree course of study to end the wanton destruction that threatens to destroy our heritage!

“Our children are at home and away from learning and catching up with their peers around the world, and we are politicizing their future over very petty and flimsy arguments.
“We may never be able to fully assess the psychological impact of these recurrent and counter-productive ASUU strikes, as it continues to endanger the future of our young and truncate their ambitions and life goals.

“To tackle these problems, first and foremost, we must deliberately choose to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. “Men of good conscience and consciousness must rise above ethnic sentiments and religious fanaticism to address these bedeviling challenges as our common enemy. Regardless of which region we were born in (a factor none of us could control), we all have the same basic needs, and we all feel pain and hurt the same way.

“In dealing with the security situation in Nigeria, we must stop ethnicising it. Criminals and extremists are found in every ethnic group and there are also men of good character in every ethnic group.
“Let men of goodwill from every part of our country come together for the sake of our shared humanity, because without one, the other suffers, ” the cleric said.

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Okiro insists, State Police is not feasible under Nigeria’s current setting




Mike Okiro
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***State govt can hardly pay workers salary

**may work only with the Canadian Model

The much talked about decentralisation of the Nigeria Police Force can not achieve its desired objective as the inherent factors that led to its failure in the past have not been addressed, Retired Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mike Okiro has indicated

Okiro spoke with journalists on the sideline of the 2023 Convention of the Old Seminarians Association of Nigeria (OSAN), hosted by the Clerk to the Senate, Mr. Chinedu Akubueze, in Abuja.

The former IGP explained that at the inception of the Nigerian police, authorities of the sub regional institutions had their own police separate from the ones being controlled by the central government.

According to him, the state police idea can not work due to paucity of funds at both the state and local government areas.

He wondered how the states and local government areas that cannot effectively pay the salaries of their workers would be able to fund their own police.

Okiro, however said the only way the state police could work was for Nigeria to adopt the Canadian model.

The Canadian model, according to him, would involved the states recruiting the police personnel who would be funded by the Federal Government.

He said, “The only way we can have state police in Nigeria is to adopt the Canadian model, where every region has its own police employed by the region and paid by the federal.

“For example, in Nigeria every governor wouldl employ their own police, equip them while they would be paid by the Federal Government.

“Before the advent of what we have now, we had ‘dandoka’,  we had police in the West, we also had police in the East.

“Local governments had their Police, but because of the behaviour of the local police officers, during the time of former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon in 1971 or thereabout, he turned it to the Nigeria Police Force.

“I am opposed to the state police because of the benefit of hindsight, how they behaved in those days, unless you want to throw away the benefits of history”, he said.

The former IGP lamented that the police is going down the drain, confronted with so many problems.

He said, “There is no equipment, no manpower, no welfare. They are demoralized, and  frustrated.

“We need to ginger the police to do something, by encouraging them”.

“I have equally said time without number, everything has advantages and disadvantages, merits and demerits.

“If you adopt state police, the state government that cannot pay teachers, nurses and doctors, can they pay the police?

“You cannot afford to owe police one month salary, insecurity will be at the highest level in that state. If the state governments can’t  pay the civil servants, I wonder how they can pay the police.”

He appealed to the Federal Government to invest heavily on equipping and training of the police in order to tackle the current insecurity in the country.

Okiro said, “There is gross insecurity in the country. You know Nigeria is part of the world. Insecurity is a global issue, but every country sits down to plan and to devise methods to check   insecurity.

“In Nigeria, the government is equally trying to check insecurity. You cannot get 100 per cent but you can be sure you have done your best and leave the rest to God.

“The government should ensure that security agencies are well equipped and trained. Police is short of manpower, they should recruit more people and give them equipment to solve the problem.

“You cannot solve the problem of insecurity with bare hand. We are in a modern, digitalised world.

“So, you fight insecurity with technology. The government should do something to ensure that security agencies are well equipped to confront these criminals, because the criminals go to the internet, they read. So, they are ahead of the security agencies.

“For you to succeed, the security agencies should be ahead of them and tackle them before they do what they want to do.”

The Clerk to the Senate in his welcome address, identified lack of patriotism among Nigerians as a major ill bedeviling the country.

Akubueze said, “The Nigerian society is bedeviled by self-imposed ills. occasioned by our lack of collective sense of patriotism which, ordinarily should emphasize love for the nation rather than undue recourse to ethno-religious cleavages and clannish leanings.

“Here in OSAN, we are set to chart a new course of national consciousness aimed at cementing the bonds that hold us together as Nigerians rather than the dissimilarities that tend to tear us apart.

“Our sense of fraternity is one that recognizes the fact that we are of diverse ethnic extractions, yet bonded together by a common heritage, a scenario that has helped in fostering love, camaraderie and collective sense of responsibility and purposefulness within our rank and file.

“Of course,we have no doubts whatsoever that OSAN is an Association whose future prosperity is guaranteed, a brotherhood of likeminded individuals whose members would, within the next few years, seize the opportunities open to them to advance their wellbeing as well as that of the larger Nigerian society.

“To actualize our dreams within a record time, all hands must be on deck. We must pull resources together, both human and material in order to create a prosperous and glorious future.”

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Nabena asks Security agents to arrest Sheik Gumi over attack on Wike




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***Says Niger Deltans are not inferior to Northerners in Nigeria

.Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Yekini Nabena, has charged security agencies to swing into and arrest a Kaduna based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, inciting the public against the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Nyesom Wike.

The APC chieftain condemned what he called sense of entitlement by some ‘ethnic and religious bigots’ in the Northern part of Nigeria.

Nabena warned that no evil must befall the minister throughout his tenure, adding that Sheik Gumi and others like him will be held responsible by the Niger Delta people if anything goes wrong.

On Thursday, the Cleric had in a video sermon of over 14 minutes posted on his official Facebook page, labelled Wike as “Satan” for receiving the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria in his office. The cleric in the sermon also asserted that President Tinubu would be stopped from serving for eight years.

Reacting to the development through a statement released to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, the Bayelsa born APC chieftain said some Northerners’ sense of entitlement is not only dividing the Nation but making them to see Southerners as inferior to them in a country where everyone supposed to have equal rights.

Nabena said the people of Niger Delta and Southerners in general will no longer fold their arms while the likes of Sheik Gumi spit on their faces irrespective of political or religion beliefs.

According to the APC chieftain, No Nigerian is more a Nigerian than anybody in Nigeria.

He said: “My intervention in the recent controversial statement is not about the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike alone, it is about the right of the Niger Delta people and the Southerners in general. At this stage, we expect all the voices of reasoning to speak out because the sense of entitlement of the likes of Sheik Gumi is becoming more satanic.

“How can you justify the rationale behind some Northerners heading some positions that are naturally meant for the people of Niger Delta and the South? Up till date a Northerner is still the GMD of NNPCL.

“If religious and ethnic bigots like Gumi and others are saying a Southern Christian, especially from the oil rich Niger Delta, can not hold the positions of FCT Ministry and the Senate President, we demand explanations on what qualifies a North Muslim in the leadership of agencies like NIMASA, NNPCL, NPDC, NLNG, NPA, and so on”

While cautioning against “reckless public comments” that could lead to a more divided country, Nabena called on the presidency to urgently make a bold statement and reaffirm the right of any Nigerian to hold public office anywhere in Nigeria.

“I will call on the presidency to deliberately caution Sheik Gumi and his co-travellers against statement that is capable of causing disunity and encourage sense of entitlement.

“I will also call on the security agencies to take Gumi’s reckless but deliberate statement serious. Sheik Gumi should be arrested, questioned and prosecuted.

“Let it also be on record that we the Niger Delta sons and daughters will hold Sheik Gumi responsible if any evil befall Nyesom Wike throughout his days in office as FCT Minister,” Nabena wa

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Gov Radda gives reasons why citizens should be allowed to bear arms




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Governor Dikko Umaru Radda of Katsina State has urged the federal government to allow citizens to allow citizens to buy arms to protect themselves since bandits freely buy weapons such as AK-47 and RPG in the market illegally

He said governors should not be blamed for the security challenges bedevilling their states because they are chief security officers without the authority to command the military forces, the police and other security agencies to deal with security issues in their states.

Governor Radda asked the federal government to play a more critical role in the security of lives and property in the country adding that his administration had legally established a ‘community watch corps’ to deal with banditry in conjunction with the military.

The governor, at a media parley on Thursday in Abuja, said bandits are hardened criminals who must be eliminated in Katsina, stressing that his administration would not leave any stone unturned in ensuring they are exterminated.

He said some traditional rulers in the state are under investigation over their alleged “romance” with bandits, stressing that whoever is found to be a sponsor or ally of bandits would not be spared no matter how highly placed.

He said, “We governors are so-called chief security officers of our states, but we don’t have the authority to command the military, police or civil defense. They receive orders from above.

“In our efforts, we have come up with the intelligence unit within the Katsina Community Watch Corps. This intelligence unit, even the corps members don’t know them. The reason for setting it up is to check the excesses of the Watch Corps and also to gather information.

“There are some traditional rulers who have been identified, adding that they are already under scrutiny. So, we are not sparing anybody even commissioners in my regime, we are not going to spare anybody found to be involved in one criminal activity or the other.

“We are talking about the lives of over 10 million people not one single individual. No single individual is more important than 10 million people or the lives of an innocent person in the village. We are trying as much as possible to gather a lot of information together with the intelligence we are getting from the DSS so that we can build a network that we can arrest and prosecute any person found wanting.

“It is a double-edged sword. We cannot fold our arms and say we will not protect ourselves because we don’t have the sophisticated arms that these bandits have. We have the numbers, we have the zeal and the determination, and you should remember, if they are going for any outing, it is just like the way it was done in Borno through the Civilian JTF.

“They will be covered by the police and the military who are heavily armed. So, I think it is a concerted and joint effort. And I think gradually, we are working within what the law allows us to possess.

“We are driving towards that, and we are seeking reforms within the federal government in that regard. If a bandit can go to the market and buy AK-47, RPG, and all of those weapons, what of the people that want to protect themselves? They, too, should equally be allowed to do so. These people are holding it illegally, we are trying to hold it legally. Why can’t the government allow the people to hold this thing and equally confront the challenges?

“Negotiations with bandits is a no go area in my perspective but I said if I am at the point of advantage, if the bandits come out and say look, ‘we are dropping arms, let us sit down and talk’, we could reintegrate them back into the society.

“But I will not go begging bandits to come for negotiations. Let us deal with the situation. If they are weak, let them come out, let us negotiate, and we will reintegrate them back into society. They are our people, our brothers, but we cannot protect a criminal.”

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