President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has given an assurance that the ninth National Assembly will continue to work with President Muhammadu Buhari to find lasting solutions to the current insecurity in the country.
Lawan in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Press, Ezrel Tabiowo, stated that the Federal Government will also provide infrastructure across the country for Nigerians.
The Director-General of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Professor Yima Sen, has called for the creation of Local Government policing.
Sen disclosed this during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily. He noted that for the nation’s security challenges to be addressed, local policing will be preferable to state policing.
“My position on state police is that I do not support state policing. I support Local Government policing which we had before in the first republic.
“I remember in my community we had something called the Tiv Native Authority Police. If you are talking about community policing, the local government police system is closer to the people than the state police system which is subject to abuse,” he stated.
Sen added that the northern region support calls for restructuring especially as it concerns the devolution of powers.
According to him, the local government should be given more powers to exercise its functions efficiently rather than being controlled by the state governments.
His remarks come a day after the Forum accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration of failing to secure the citizens from incessant attacks by bandits and other terrorist groups.
NEF Convener, Professor Ango Abdullahi, lamented that poverty, particularly in the north, and massive social security have worsened under this administration.
“With this type of mindset, it is difficult to see how President Buhari can accept the challenge to radically improve his handling of our security situation.
“Nonetheless, we believe that Nigerians must continue to raise our voices and organise through all legitimate means to demand that the administration addresses major failings in his perception of our situation and his response to our demands for our rights to security,” he said.
Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, on Friday, claimed Kano is the most peaceful state in the country.
The Governor made the comment when he led a Kano delegate to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
“Kano state, as of today, is the most peaceful state in the country,” Ganduje said. “No armed robbery, no banditry, no tribal conflict, no religious conflict, even the few cases of kidnapping, the kingpins have been arrested.”
His comments come amid increasing reports of insecurity across the country.
The Governor credited his claims of peace to the introduction of information communication technologies into the state’s security administration. “That’s why we are succeeding,” he said.
He also noted that inter-agency cooperation is high among security officials in the state.
“There is full cooperation among the security agencies and Kano state is providing an enabling environment for the security agencies, especially in terms of community policing,” he said.
“Also we have succeeded in establishing a very powerful command and control centre where all security agencies, their representatives, do communicate with each other. And from that centre, the security agencies are being able to communicate with all the DPOs across the 44 local governments of the state.”
The Governor announced the construction of an army training centre in Falgore forest – one of the largest game reserves in the country – to deter bandits from occupying the space.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) on Monday said it is in support of the House of Representatives’ demand for the immediate resignation of the nation’s service chiefs.
The oil union, in a statement signed by its General Secretary, Comrade Lumumba Okugbawa, said the service chiefs have failed in their duty to “tackle the rising wave of criminality and alarming increase of insecurity” in the country.
The union said it was reiterating its call for a state of emergency to be declared on the country’s security situation.
“We cannot continue to guarantee the current industrial peace in our sector should there be no improvement on the part of the federal government in arresting this trend as recorded in 2019,” the statement said.
President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Samson Ayokunle, has called on the Federal Government to put an end to insecurity and bloodshed in the country.
Reverend Ayokunle who spoke to journalists at the end of the three-day special fasting and prayer for Nigeria on Sunday, asked the government to up their game because their best is not enough.
“My message to Nigerians and the government is to urge the administration to up their game on the issues of insecurity.
“They said they are trying but their best is not the best; daily bloodshed is happening and we cannot be playing politics with the lives of men and women, they have the right to live and when they are dying, we cannot keep quiet.
“We don’t want bloodshed in Nigeria again,” he stressed.
The CAN President also called on the security heads to adopt a more modern approach in fighting crime, insisting that there is no reason why a victim will stay for days in the hands of kidnappers.
“We want to urge the security chiefs, in this day of technology; there is no reason why anybody will be with kidnappers for more than three days because through technology that God has given us in the world today, we can monitor anyone anywhere by satellite and through other means.
“What is the Nigerian security and defence doing that people will be kept against their will, be in incarceration and allowed to die or their relatives paying ransom in other to deliver their people.”
He called on politicians to stop using the lives of people to play politics and when there is an eventual stop to the bloodshed in the country, the government will get a commendation.
“The essence of government is to rise up to such nonsense and bring an end to it; Nigerians are very tired, if anybody is telling the government that they are doing their best, that person is not telling the truth.
“He is playing politics with human life and if politicians are playing politics, we in the church cannot play politics, the moment we don’t see bloodshed again, we will begin to commend you,” he said.
According to an Assistant General Overseer of the church, Funso Odesola, about 25,000 Parishes of the church are expected to carry out the same exercise nationwide.
CAN President, Samson Ayokunle, earlier announced series of activities aimed at asking for divine intervention in stopping the killing of innocent Nigerians and giving the government the capacity to overcome terror in the country.
Mr Segun Sowunmi, a spokesman for the Presidential Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, on Thursday supported the Senate Minority Leader, Eyinanya Abaribe, over his call for President Muhammadu Buhari to resign.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Sowunmi explained that Senator Abaribe was speaking on behalf of slain Nigerians, their families, and others who were victims of the security challenges in the country.
He said, “I think Senator Abaribe’s comments must be situated properly.
“He is speaking on behalf of the people of the North-west; he is speaking on behalf of the North-central, he is speaking on behalf of the families of slain Nigerians, the dead and their loved ones.”
The PDP member added, “He (Abaribe) is speaking on behalf of apolitical Nigerians, he is speaking on behalf of friends of Nigerians, he is speaking on behalf of the Minority Leader in the House (of Representatives) and he is making a very frank call that there is no reason for human lives to be lost under the All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration.”
Reiterating the call, Sowunmi also asked President Buhari to resign, stressing that his government has failed to address the security challenges plaguing the nation since he assumed office in 2015.
According to him, it has gotten out of the President’s capacity to manage the problem of security.
“There is nothing wrong in honourably resigning and allowing competent hands to take over,” the PDP member stated.
He said, “That is the reaction from all of those that are friends of this government. They are reacting as it were, spitting on the graves of the dead. We are not talking about the loss of income which is also a problem for them, we are not talking about the loss of jobs, we are not talking about lack of harmony in the country, we are talking about the loss of human lives,” he said.
Senator Ababribe had while addressing lawmakers during a motion on national security challenges on Wednesday, asked the President to quit over the security situation in the country.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the National Assembly and the Executive are collaborating on the best ways to tackle the issue of kidnapping and insecurity in the country.
Lawan was quoted to have said this in a statement by the Special Assistant (Press) to President of the Senate, Ezrel Tabiowo on Wednesday, while giving his remarks on a motion titled: “Urgent need for Security Agencies to intervene in the increased rate of kidnapping in the riverine areas of Ogun East Senatorial District and Securing the Waterways.”
According to the statement, the motion was sponsored by Senator Lekan Mustapha (APC, Ogun East).
The Senate President explained that there is an ongoing collaboration between the National Assembly and security agencies to seek alternative ways of finding a permanent solution to the lingering situation of kidnapping and insecurity across the country.
Identifying funding as a major setback in the fight against insecurity, Lawan said the legislature with the support of the executive arm of government would explore the possibility of sourcing for funds separately from what was budgeted for security agencies in the 2020 budget.
He warned that relying solely on budgetary provisions for security agencies would make it impossible for the Federal Government to tackle the challenge of insecurity across parts of the country.
Lawan further disclosed that the National Assembly had requested the National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, to come up with a proposal for the acquisition of drones that would be deployed across the country to facilitate the arrest of kidnappers.
He said the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, had also received the nod to devise a means of tracking kidnappers through active mobile numbers used in the course of negotiations.
The Senate President, who disclosed plans by the Federal Government to launch a National Emergency Call Centre, said an emergency phone number was already activated for the purpose of contacting the various security agencies in times of distress.
“In the last one month, I’ve been holding regular meetings with security agencies, including the Ministers of Communications and the Federal Capital Territory. “What we are trying to do is to get a better and result-oriented approach to fighting kidnapping and insecurity.
“We have insisted that no amount of resources will be too much because we need to protect our people and secure the country.
“It will remain a pipe dream if we continue to ask investors to come to Nigeria; even those in Nigeria will not invest properly if the security situation remains very dicey.
“This is something that the National Assembly will have to do together with the executive arm of government. We have to look for something out of the ordinary for funding.
“We have to go out of our way to look for resources outside the national budget. If we can release seven billion naira to Distribution Companies (Discos) or Generation Companies (Gencos), nothing stops us from looking for such money to address the security situation of the country.
“We have already given a request for the NSA to come up with the different designs and models of drones. We hope there should be drones properly deployed to ensure kidnappers are arrested.
“We have to find a way to be able to track kidnappers through phones. We should have launched the National Emergency Call Centre with a specific number about two weeks ago.
“We have tried to reconcile all security agencies to have one specific number instead of separate and different ones. We want the emergency call centres to be established across the country. At the moment we have only two major ones”.
Earlier, the sponsor of the motion, Senator Mustapha bemoaned the recent increase in the activities of criminal syndicates who specialize in kidnapping and militant activities in and around riverine communities in Ogun East Senatorial District, particularly Ode-omi, Makun and Iwopin in Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of Ogun state.
He said that the activities of these criminals have forced law-abiding residents of coastal and riverine communities of the affected communities to flee their communities and livelihood out of fear.
Accordingly, the Senate in its resolutions urged the Federal Government to direct the Inspector-General of Police to immediately instruct the Commissioner of Police, Ogun State, to beef-up the strength of his men to effectively secure all the affected creeks and communities.
The upper chamber also urged the Federal Government to direct the Inspector-General of Police to immediately make available sufficient helicopters for aerial surveillance and gunboat to the Marine Police departments to enable the state command tackle the activities of militants.
The Senate also urged the Nigerian Navy to establish a Naval Base in Makun-omi because of its strategic location between Ondo and Lagos State and its accessibility to both road and water.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Jibrin Okutepa, has faulted the planned introduction of Operation Positive Identification across the country.
Okutepa who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday noted that the act is a breach of the nation’s constitution.
The legal practitioner argued that the move which security operatives explained will address the numerous challenges in the country is creating an impression that the Federal Government does not seem to know what it’s doing.
“It does appear to me that government doesn’t seem to know what to do when it comes to doing what is supposed to be done.
“It is difficult to understand and amounts to a breach of our constitution to ask a Nigerian within a Nigerian territory to identify his or herself,” he said.
Speaking further, the lawyer explained that the Federal Government has not properly given all Nigerians a proper means of national identification since not all citizens possess either an identity, voter card or driver’s licence.
While admitting that the country faces numerous security challenges, he however insisted that the new policy will rather subject the citizens into further pains.
The ‘Operation Positive Identification’ is to be launched on November 1 by the military in collaboration with other security agencies.
The exercise will see soldiers accosting citizens on the streets or highways and asking them to produce means of identification on the spot. Soldiers had been taking similar measures to separate citizens from terrorists in the Boko Haram-ravaged northeastern part of Nigeria.
Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has drawn the attention of the Technical Committee on security for the 19 Northern states to focus attention on finding solutions to the four critical and lingering problems rocking the region.
These include banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and Boko Haram insurgency.
The governor was speaking at the opening of the maiden meeting of the technical committee on security for the 19 northern states held at the General Muhammadu Buhari Government House, Katsina state.
The governor while asking the committee to make suggestions on how to control the land borders as most of the problems rocking the country are being imported daily from the neighboring countries believes that traditionally since the creation of Nigeria, there were some tribal and religious tensions, boundary disputes as well as communal clashes in some parts of the country.
He enjoined the committee to also look at the overall picture of why the committee was set up and come up with broad solutions vis-à-vis the peculiarities of each state.
The Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, has reiterated his administration’s commitment to securing lives and property in the State.
While receiving the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division, Enugu, Brig. General Lasisi Adeboye and his entourage at the Government House, Owerri, Governor Ihedioha explained that although security had been a challenge in the state especially after the elections, there has been an improvement.
“It was challenging tackling insecurity in the state after the elections, but we have now found our rhythm in corroboration with the security agencies to deal with crime in the State.
“The Army has been working with us in tackling security challenges in the State” he said.
The governor further commended the Force for deploying General Adeboye to the 83 Division.
He said he was optimistic that with his wealth of experience, he would live up to expectation.
“We want to assure you of the commitment and readiness of the government and the good people of Imo State to corroborate with the Nigerian Army in general, the 82 Division and 32 Artillery Brigade, Obinze in particular”.
In his remarks, General Adeboye also commended the Governor for what he described as his unwavering commitment to ensuring the security of the people of the state.
A retired Army officer, Major General Cecil Esekhaigbe, has said that negotiations with criminals will not solve the numerous security challenges confronting the nation.
Esekhaigbe stated this on Monday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, barely 48 hours after 15 victims were released by bandits in Katsina state, following negotiations with the state governor, Aminu Masari.
“I do not support somebody waking up somewhere and say let me negotiate with a criminal and you think that will solve the problem, no.
“It must be done with a correct intervention by the people that matter and the people in charge of security in those areas,” he said.
Speaking further, he called for robust cooperation and collaboration among security agencies in the country.
The retired army officer believes that intelligence if shared and utilized, can help to nip in the bud, criminal activities ranging from kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery, terrorism among several others.
When asked if the governor’s dialogue with criminals to release kidnapped citizens can yield positive results, he replied saying: “I do not know the involvement of security agencies in the adventure. The police must be involved in that operation so that they will tell you the fundamentals of criminality.
“If you (as a governor) just do it on your own and showcase that you are doing something in your case, it’s a vicious cycle. You get these guys released, they get money from you and that money they use it to equip themselves more and the crime continues.
“It’s a good idea if it follows a good procedure by getting the security and intelligence agencies to provide a template for it,” he said.
Speaking on effective policing of the nation, he called for proper funding and training of the Nigeria Police.
Governor Aminu Masari in August had a dialogue with suspected bandits at their hideouts, in a bid to ensure peace returned in the state.
According to Masari’s Director-General on Media and Publicity, Mr. Abdu Labaran, the decision was taken at an extraordinary security meeting.
The dialogue led to the release of 30 kidnapped persons by bandits in September, after an initial 15 regained freedom in similar circumstances summing up to 45.
The recent 15 victims released on Sunday mostly women and children, increased the figures to 60 that gained freedom through the state government intervention.
Meanwhile, Masari has assured that the next level of the dialogue with the bandits would be disarmament of the repentant bandits.