Osun Governorship Election: Time To Build On Democratic Gains – NPC

General Abdulsalami Abubakar, a former Head of State, is the Chairman of the National Peace Council.
General Abdulsalami Abubakar, a former Head of State, is the Chairman of the National Peace Council.

 

Ahead of the July 16, 2022, Osun State off-cycle governorship election, the National Peace Committee (NPC) has urged the people of Osun State to once again come out en-masse, exercising their civic rights to vote, without fear of violence and with the understanding that the structures for growth are dependent on peace.

Chairman of the NPC, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, in a statement on Monday, asserted that at the heart of the nation’s democratic society is the opportunity for the citizens to choose those who will lead them.

According to him, the Osun State governorship election offers yet another opportunity to consolidate the gains recorded during the Ekiti State governorship election of June 2022, as well as to further assess our preparedness for the 2023 general elections.


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Consequently, he said the National Peace Committee made the following observations:

“We applaud the commitment and tenacity of the people of Osun State who support our democracy by engaging in the electoral process, obtaining their permanent voters’ cards (PVCs) to be eligible to vote on election day, while participating in rallies and campaigns for the various candidates.

“In particular, we call on our youths to make and present themselves as ambassadors of peace, and not as pawns used for thuggery and violence. As youths, you retain the hope and future of Osun State and Nigeria at large when you support the democratic process.

“Your willingness to vote even during times of heightened insecurity, reflects the acceptance of democracy as the most appropriate form of governance for Nigeria.

“We are aware that the contestants in the elections are running robust campaigns. These pre-election activities have at several times been characterised by vile comments, politics of blame, heated debates, and allegations of political thuggery.

“Elections should and must be devoid of utterances which stir up hate and instigate violent acts, monetisation of the process but rather follow the rudiments of democracy, which is the rule of law and acknowledging the rights of every citizen.

“As such, we have continued in our engagements with the candidates and political parties, to reiterate and call on them to ensure they conduct themselves with civility and patriotism, adhering to due process and not self-help. We urge that contestants approach the elections in a true spirit of sportsmanship.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)–the elections ombudsman, security agencies and other government agencies that facilitate the conduct of the electoral process should do so with transparency, particularly because the entire nation and the world is watching.

“All contestants – irrespective of their political platform, should be treated with fairness and equity. We call on INEC and the security agencies to ensure inclusivity, facilitating an electoral exercise where the electorate are not disenfranchised because of gender, religious beliefs, ethnic affiliation, or disability.

“It is important that public trust in the process is continually built and reinforced through free, credible and transparent elections in the state. We particularly urge that appropriate procedures are implemented to ensure the unhealthy and seemingly pervasive practise of voter inducement, commonly called “vote-buying”.

“The law in all its capacity and requirements should be applied to those involved in such a criminal act, both the buyer and seller.

“Finally, we call on all other stakeholders in the traditional institutions, media, and civil society to be alert to their responsibilities as envoys of our democratic values which are the means to attaining good governance, resulting in our collective growth and development.

“We believe that at the end of the contest, when the results are announced, all stakeholders will participate in the responsibility of governance, because the values and goals of democratic governance are not a zero-sum game. By such actions, Osun State will witness peace and harmony, and the dividends of democracy,” the communique partly read.

General Abubakar on behalf of the NPC, announced that a peace accord will be signed by the various political parties and stakeholders on 13th July 2022, in Osogbo, Osun State.

 

Overcoming Nigeria’s Security Threats Require Long Term Planning, Says IBB

 

Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida says the security threats faced by Nigeria at this time, can be dealt with but requires long-term planning. 

In an interview on Tuesday, General Babangida stated that the nation can overcome its security issues if those in the position of authority plan appropriately.

He said quashing the threats posed by kidnappers, bandits, and the insurgents require a lot of planning, adding that it is not a short-term plan.

General IBB said he has obtained information suggesting that security agencies are working together to map out new strategies on how to deal with the situation.

The former president while stating that he is concerned about the situation in the country, urged the government and the citizenry to join forces to overcome the problem.

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Similarly, former Head of State, Retired General Abdulsalami Abubakar says all hands must be on deck to ensure that the insecurity menace in the country is tackled appropriately.

Speaking on Tuesday after a meeting with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum in Minna, the former president said he urged the governors to stop all squabbles within themselves.

According to him, the nation’s security architecture is overstretched and the Police Force is underpopulated, hence the need for support from the citizens and an increase in manpower.

General Abubakar said it is sad that citizens are now being seen as strangers and are looked at with suspicion when they leave their states of origin and visit other parts of the country.

The Elder Statesman was of the opinion that the nation must go back to the time when brotherly love existed, saying “Let us go back to when we were our brothers’ keeper”.

Insecurity: Negotiating With Bandits Is Not The Best – Abdulsalami Abubakar

 

Former Head of State, Retired General Abdusalami Abubakar says negotiating with terrorists and bandits is not the best way to tackle the menace. 

Speaking on Tuesday after a meeting with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum in Minna, the former president stated that the best way to solve Nigeria’s banditry and kidnapping issues is to first make sure that the crimes are not committed.

While admitting that sometimes negotiations might be used to save the lives of kidnap victims, General Abdulsalami said the nation needs tight security that can checkmate the miscreants before they strike.

Making a reference to the Kagara abduction, Abdulsalami noted that “even if anyone knows where the students are, it will be foolhardy to storm the place in a bid to fight and bring them back”, arguing that in the process some innocent lives will be lost.

He, however, urged the authorities to ensure that security is beefed up to forestall further occurrences.

According to him, the nation’s security architecture is overstretched and the Police Force is underpopulated, hence the need for support from the citizens and an increase in manpower.

General Abdulsalami appealed that all hands must be on deck to ensure that insecurity in the country is tackled appropriately. He was of the opinion that the nation must go back to the time when brotherly love existed.

“Let us go back to when we were our brothers’ keeper,” Abdulsalami pleaded.

The elder statesman said it is sad that citizens are now being seen as strangers and are looked at with suspicion when they leave their states of origin and visit other parts of the country.

READ ALSO: 10 Killed, 47 Injured In Maiduguri Explosions

In a similar vein, former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida says the security threats faced by Nigeria at this time, can be dealt with.

In an interview on Tuesday, General Babangida stated that the nation can overcome its security issues if those in the position of authority plan appropriately.

He said quashing the threats posed by kidnappers, bandits, and the insurgents require a lot of planning, adding that it is not a short-term plan.

General IBB said he has obtained information suggesting that security agencies are working together to map out new strategies on how to deal with the situation.

The former president while stating that he is concerned about the situation in the country, urged the government and the citizenry to join forces to overcome the problem.

IBB, Abdulsalami Throw Weight Behind Formation of North Central Forum

A photo combination of former military presidents General Ibrahim Babangida and General Abdulsalami Abubakar.
A photo combination of former military presidents General Ibrahim Babangida and General Abdulsalami Abubakar.

 

Former military president General Ibrahim Babangida and former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar on Tuesday threw their weight around the formation of the North-central People’s Forum.

General Babangida commended the founding members of the forum for the initiative saying his day was fulfilled, while General Abubakar believed the formation of the forum was long overdue.

The two military leaders made their position known on the forum when its leadership led by the Chairman Board of Trustees, General Jeremiah Useni paid separate visits to them at their hill-top residence in Minna.

General Abdulsalami who was the first to receive the forum charged them to pursue after the development of the north-central region which according to him has witnessed a lot of setbacks due to insecurity and poor road infrastructure.

“Let me congratulate you on the thought of the forum, and forming the forum. Like one of the things you said, the purpose of the forum is to seek for peace and development of the central region of Nigeria. Indeed, this forum has been overdue, and I am glad the founding fathers and mothers have got themselves together to form this forum. The caliber of people and personnel that are in this forum, such forum will benefit from their experiences and it will galvanize you into action to achieve your aim.

“It will go a long way to minimize the disharmony between human beings first and between the amalgamation of all the tribes we have, not only in the north central but in Nigeria as a whole,” Gen. Abubakar said.

He assured them of his support and understanding in delivering the purpose of the forum. “Certainly, you have our support and understanding. We will continue to advise, to watch and steer where necessary how the forum goes,” he said.

On his part, General Babangida said the north central region occupies a strategic position in the polity of Nigeria, and should be accorded the due recognition by the central government.

“To me you have made my day. I was always complaining when I hear north-west, north-east, south-south, south-east and south-west. I kept on asking, where do we belong to? God has so blessed us with the quality and caliber of people that we have.

“Politically, in terms of votes, I found out that the North-Central zone has more votes than the whole of South-west put together. But, South-west makes more noise than north-central. We have what it takes to be recognized as a very important part of this country,” he said.

He also assured of his support to the forum.

Chairman Board of Trustees of the North-Central Forum and former Plateau South Senator, General Jeremiah Useni had earlier intimated the duo of General Babangida and Abubakar of the objective of the forum, saying it would primarily focus on uniting the people in north central and also push for the establishment of a North-Central Development Commission that would help address the challenges in the region.

Fielding questions from journalists at the end of the visit, General Useni said the support from Generals IBB and Abdulsalami had further boosted the morale of forum’s leadership.

He however explained that contrary to the misconception that the North-Central Forum was established for the purpose of breaking the north-central region away from the Arewa Consultative Forum, the region still recognized the leadership of ACF.

He also cleared the air surrounding the support by governors of north central, saying they are fully backing the initiative.

“We have the support of all the governors of the north central. I will be meeting with Chairmen of the Northern Governors’ Forum and North-Central Governors’ forum soon,” General Useni said.

General Abubakar Commends Obiano For Anambra Security

General Abdusalami Abubakar, Anambra, Willie ObianoFormer Head of State, General Abdusalami Abubakar (rtd), has commended the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, for his commitment to the peace and security of the state.

General Abuabakar made the commendation on Friday during a courtesy visit on the Governor at the Governor’s Lodge in Amawbia in southeast Nigeria.

He observed that Anambra State, under the present administration had been rapidly transformed in terms of infrastructural development and security.

The former military President lauded the security agencies for their contribution in maintaining peace and order.

He also urged the citizens of the state to support Governor Obiano’s initiatives and rest assured of continued benefits.

The Governor, in his response expressed joy at the visit, describing his guest as a great man.

General Abuabakar was accompanied by former Governor of old Kaduna State, Abba Musa and former Governor of Enugu State, Okwesilieze Nwodo among others.

Council Of State Partners With Jonathan To End Insurgency By December

National Council of State

The National Council of State, on Thursday, took a unanimous decision to support President Goodluck Jonathan in the fight against insurgency and ultimately bring it to an end by December 2014.

At the meeting in the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, members of the Council noted that the insurgency could lead to Nigeria’s disintegration if not resolved, noting that the unity of Nigeria cannot be compromised.

They condemned in strong terms, the attempt by some state governments to register non-indigenes residing in their states.

To demonstrate their resolve to stop any attempt to cause disharmony in the country, the council set up a committee to identify all discriminatory practices across Nigeria.

This is with a view to asking the National Assembly to enact a law to end all such practices wherever they exist in the country.

Present at the meeting, which was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, were five former Nigerian leaders: General Yakubu Gowon, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Abdusalami Abubakar and Chief Ernest Shonekan among others.