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Ex-Benue Commissioner, Tondus blame insecurity on Govs stance against LG autonomy



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An aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue state, Surveyor John Tondus, has accused Nigerian governors of being responsible for insecurity in the nation for deliberately standing against Local Government Autonomy.
Hon Tondus, who is also a former Commissioner for Local Government in Benue state, said the state governors were making huge money from the insecurity in their respective states, hence they don’t want it to end.
Tondus made the allegations, Tuesday in Abuja, after he received an award of recognition from the National Association of Northern Nigerian Students as an Icon of Societal Development.
The PDP chieftain said local government areas across the country are moribund because the governors have done everything to stifle their autonomy, stressing that the National Assembly should do everything possible to sustain the third tier of government because it is a government that is closer to the people and their autonomy should be quaranteed by all means possible

He said the Local Government Councils are not fairing better because governors have decided to force the chairmen to sign an agreement for operation of joint account such that once allocation comes the money goes straight to the account and whatever the governors decide to give them is what they will operate with despite being below the wage bill of the Councils.
According to him: “It is state governors that are responsible for the insecurity in this country today, if the local Government system is functional to an extent the third tier of government would be in a position to recruit local vigilante that know every nook and corner of the LGA and be able to identify where criminals are hiding.
“But they are not empowered to do that. So, even if they are willing they won’t be able to achieve that because the state governors are taking the resources meant for the local government.

“They forced the local government chairmen to sign for the joint account despite the president’s determination to make sure that money meant for the LGAs goes to them directly.
“The state governors make the local government chairmen to sign these monies into a joint account that are used for the purposes it was not meant for.”

He challenge anybody to go into the local government and find out exactly the wage bill. “Take 2 to 3 LGAs as a case study. What exactly is the wage bill of such local government?
“And how much is the monthly allocation for that local government? If you are able to established how much is the monthly wage bill of the local government, then ask the chairmen the surplus of the money. “How do they utilize it for the period that they were in charge? There is no single capital project that you can point to and this money is also not there. How will you explain?
“You will come back and tell me the governors are responsible for the 85-95% of the insecurity that we are facing as a nation today”, he said.

He, however maintained that even if the LGAs are fixed, the insecurity will still not be addressed because it is a deliberate policy of the governors to ensure the local councils are not working for the interest of the people.

He said it is sad that despite the presence of police, DSS and Civil defense in the local government councils, little is known about them because hardly will the governors share from their security votes with the Local Government chairman.
“In fact the challenge we have as it concern insecurity today is because the third tier of government is not working. Some of us were born and brought up in the village. And we know how and when the local government system was effective.
“The local government chairmen were elected by the people and not selected by the governors. I will take you back to the insecurity, we are talking about today.
“For instance in each local government headquarters, you have the police and the DSS. You have the NSCDC.

“But I will tell you that because I have the privilege of working in government, I will tell you for free that the local government chairmen don’t have access to 2 million naira as security votes in that LGA. “Where a local government chairman will need to spend 2 million on issues of security in the state, he will have to get across to the governor if such an approval will be given for him to be able to access the 2 million naira.

“Now, we are talking about insecurity which is an emergency situation, even the process and procedures the local government chairman will use to reach the governor, of course there are some that can only reach the governor once in a month.
“So, how will you be able to address the issues as chairman after being referred to as the Chief security officer of the local government on paper.
“That is the reality that you are not the chief security officer of the local government. So, lack of autonomy of the LGA contributes 75-80% of insecurity we are facing in our country today”, he stated.

On some of his experience on this salient issue of security challenge that he has faced, he noted that since 2018, no single person lives in his local government council as people have deserted the place due to fear of attacks.

“My own personal home has been deserted since 1st of January, 2018. As I speak with you since that time till date, there is no Police in my community, Goma local government in Benue state. There is nobody in my community since on the 1st January, 2018. Nobody and the place has been deserted. And there is no conscious efforts to return my people back to their places.”

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Kogi East senator builds New police headquarters in Anyigba to enhance security




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The senator representing Kogi East in the senate, Jibrin Isah Echcho has unveiled a new police Area Command Headquarters he funded in Anyigba.
The senator who had embarked on the constituency project to ensure adequate protection of the lives and property of his constituents, decided to make the police headquarters a state-of-the-art facility.

The project which he sponsored was commissioned at a well attended innauguration ceremony by persons from all walks of life including the Ogohi of Anyigba HRH Alhaji Shauibu Okolo, party chieftains, and other eminent personalities from the senatorial district, which underscored the importance of the milestone in the town’s development.

The senator who is known for his uncomon representation constructed the imposing edifice, as another testament to his commitment to the security and wellbeing of his people.
The newly commissioned Area Command Headquarters is poised to providing the Nigerian Police with a modern and well-equipped base of operations, ensuring they have the tools and facilities necessary to maintain law and order effectively.
The facility is projected to boost the police force’s ability to respond swiftly and decisively to security challenges within the Anyigba area.

The commissioning ceremony which was a display of pump and pageantry, was marked by speeches underscoring the significance of the development in the community’s history.
All and sundry who witnessed the cmmisdioning commended Senator Jibrin Isah’s commitment to improving security and public safety in Anyigba.

The new headquarters is projected to serve as a vital hub for coordinating law enforcement activities, fostering community engagement, and ultimately making Anyigba a safer place for its residents.

Senator Isah’s commitment to investing in security infrastructure has drawn accolades for him, which has prompted the people in to praising and recognizing him as a leader dedicated to the wellbeing of his constituents.
The newly commissioned Anyigba Area Command Headquarters stands as a visible legacy of the senator’s vision for a safer and more secure future for the town and its residents.

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Kogi Guber: Court orders DG DSS, IGP to give full protection to ADC candidate




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The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Director General, Department of State Service (DSS) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to give full protection to the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Hon Leke Abejide from any arrest or detention by the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the court barred the DSS, Police and Bello in separate orders, from inviting, arresting, detaining, or threatening the life and properties of the governorship candidate pending the hearing and determination of a suit instituted against them by the politician.

The judge issued the restraining orders on Wednesday in Abuja while ruling in an ex-parte application argued by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Sammie Somiari on behalf of the governorship candidate.

In the order signed by Justice Mohammed, the DSS, Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps were ordered to protect the properties of the politician in Abuja, Kogi State and in any parts of the country while the orders last.

The governorship candidate in the ex-parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1248/2023 had sought for enforcement of his fundermental rights to life, dignity of person, personal liberty, fair hearing, peaceful assembly and association.

He also sought for his rights to freedom of movement and freedom from discrimination as enshrined in sections 33, 34,35,36,37, 38,40,41,42 and 43 of the 1999 Constitution and other relevant laws on human rights.

He complained that since he emerged governorship candidate and his campaign booming, governor Yahaya Bello had allegedly become jittery and threatened and opted to get him arrested and caged to keep him out of circulation.

Abejide who was recently in the House of Representatives from Kogi West side of Kogi State alleged that the ultimate aim of the Governor is to harass, intimidate, threaten and get him out of the November 11, 2023 governorship election at all cost to pave way for his anointed candidate in the All Progressive Congress (APC).

After listening to arguments of the senior lawyer along with tendered exhibits, Justice Mohammed issued the restraining orders against the respondents to the effect that the applicant must not be arrested, detained or harassed pending the resolution of his substantive suit.

“An Order is hereby made restraining the respondents, their agents, servants and anybody acting through or under them from arresting, inviting, detaining or threatening the applicant’s life and properties pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

“An Order is hereby made compelling the 2nd – 8th respondents to immediately provide maximum security to the applicant in Abuja FCT, Kogi State and elsewhere in Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit”, the judge held.

The Judge ordered the applicant to serve all processes in respect of the suit on the respondents.

The respondents in the suit are the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, Nigeria Police Force, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Commissioner of Police (Kogi State), DSS, Director General of DSS, Director DSS (Kogi State) and the Commandant-General, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

The Judge thereafter, fixed September 20 for hearing of the substantive suit.

It will be recalled that the same Court had on July 13 ordered security agencies in the country to provide maximum protection for another governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the November governorship election in Kogi State, Murtala Ajaka following similar complaints of threat to life.

In the substantive suit filed on his behalf by Ogwu James Onoja SAN, the ADC governorship candidate prayed the Court for declaration that hounding, harassment, intimidation, threat to arrest, kill, detain by Kogi Governor, using armed officers, militias and thugs to stop him from participating in the November 11 election is a violation of his rights to life and dignity of his human person.

He also wants the Court to declare that the threat by Governor Yahaya Bello to attack, invade and destroy his motor vehicles, houses and offices so as to kill, arrest and detain him is a violation of his rights to peaceful assembly and association, freedom to life, dignity and personal liberty.

Abejide applied for an order of the Court restraining the respondents whether by themselves, their agents or privies from arresting, abducting, detaining, or further harassing, intimidating, shooting, threatening him and his properties.

The ADC governorship candidate also sought another order on Governor Yahaya Bello to pay him N2Bn for the alleged gross violation of his fundermental human rights in addition to tendering public apology.

In a 27-paragraph affidavit he personally deposed to in support of the originating summons, the plaintiff averred that the agents of the Kogi State Governor have allegedly laid siege on his house in Abuja since he became a front runner in the Kogi State Governorship election.

He claimed that his protest and complaints to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) did not yield fruitful results, hence, his decision toapproach the court for protection for his life and properties.

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Oil theft: FG commends Tantita Security Services for pipeline protection




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The Federal Government on Saturday expressed gratitude to the management of Tantita Security Services Limited for their efforts in pipeline protection in the Niger Delta region.

The Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, gave this commendation while answering questions from reporters during his tour of oil facilities in the Niger Delta.

Lokpobiri who was accompanied on the tour by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, among other Government officials, said the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration is determined to stop all forms of pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the country.

Lokpobiri said: “We’re here because of the problem of pipeline vandalization and illegal bunkering that is going on in the Niger Delta.

“I believe that, it has become an existential problem and we need to fight them. We need to fight these criminals to submission.

“What is happening here is so bad that we cannot even know the implications unless maybe when people start dying in their numbers that is when people will know that a few persons were profiting from this crime are here to wipe all of them out.

“So as a responsible government we have decided that we are going to put a stop to it.

“We are going to work with stakeholders to ensure that we stop all this nonsense in our society. We are not going to allow them.

“I want to also use the opportunity to express our gratitude to Tantita that has been commissioned by the NNPCL to be able to do some work but we are going to do a lot more.”

On his part, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu said the Federal Governor will sustain its partnership with Tantita Security Services Limited, to curb the crime of pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the Niger Delta.

He added that the Federal Government will soon take additional measures to ensure that things change for the better in pipeline security.

Ribadu said: “We have done very well to get to where we are now. We are certainly going to take more measures. So far, things are beginning to change. Give us little time and you will see things change for the better.”

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