The Federal Government has been asked to reconsider the suggestions in some quarters for the setting up of state police across Nigeria.
A former Minister of Police Affairs, Dr. Ibrahim Lame, made the call at a forum on good governance in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
He said the Nigeria Police Force was grossly incapacitated to take care of the security needs of the people.
Dr. Lame added that only effective community policing could address the recent rise in communal clashes experienced in Nigeria.
He highlighted the security of lives and property as the primary objective of any sensitive administration and should be taking seriously at all times.
In their remarks, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onayekan and an aide to the Enugu State Governor, Dr. Malachy Ochie, focussed on how to ensure good governance and stability in the polity.
Some participants at the gathering also suggested how to provide the dividends of democracy to the people.
They noted that it must be backed with a strong political will by those in government.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Yobe State has summoned an extraordinary stakeholders meeting of the party ahead of the 2015 general elections.
The meeting, chaired by the State Caretaker Chairman of the party, Sule Abdulkadir Doguwa, was attended by over 200 party stakeholders drawn from across the state.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the meeting, the caretaker chairman said that the meeting discussed exhaustively on the progress of the party at whisking power from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said that the meeting also deliberated on party selection process in all elective positions ahead of the election and gave assurances that all the primaries would be peacefully resolved.
“We as a party have resolved all our issues ahead of the 2015 general election and I can confirm to you we don’t have any faction in the party again. We are working to win all the election positions during 2015 election,” Doguwa said.
The Chairman said that the party also resolved to embark on zonal rally to galvanize the party and its members as part of the repositioning process.
The meeting had in attendance the former Minister of Police Affairs, Adamu Maina Waziri, that of State for Finance, Dr. Yarima Ngama and the present Minister of State for Science and Technology, Dr. Abdul Bulama among others.
The All People’s Party (APP) which later changed to the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and now the All Progressives Congress (APC) has continued to dominate the governance of the state since the return of democracy in 1999.
Currently, all but one of the elective offices in the state are being manned by the APC, a situation the Yobe PDP has vowed to change come 2015.
Former Minister of Police Affairs, Adamu Waziri, has described as unfortunate the dwindling fortunes of the People’s Democratic Party in Yobe State and attributed it to lack of legitimate leadership of the party at the state level.
Speaking to Channels Television in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, the former Minister said that as a founding father of the party in the state, he would not just sit back and watch the dwindling fortunes of the party but would work hard to reposition the party ahead of the 2015 general elections.
The former minister said that he was consulting with relevant stakeholders across the state for the restoration of the party in the state with a view to clinching power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government in the state.
The Yobe PDP has since the return of democracy to Nigeria, failed to make the desired impact in the state as the three governors since then have been of the All Nigeria People’s Party, which has now merged with other parties to become the All Progressives Congress, APC.
At the moment, only one member of the National Assembly is of the PDP while all the state lawmakers are in the APC, a situation the former minister vowed to change come 2015.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lai Mohammed, on Thursday disclosed plans of the All Progressives Congress, which lost in the just concluded Ekiti governorship elections, to head to Court for various infractions against its members, during the elections.
“We are going to challenge all these infractions in court so that it would be clear we are not making anything up,” he said.
Appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Mr Mohammed listed various offences for which the party was going to seek redress for in Court, including the detainment of Governor Chibuike Amaechi and other APC governors on the day of Fayemi’s last rally.
He also mentioned the arrest of some APC leaders the night before the election, as one of the issues for which they seek redress, noting that they had no problems with the outcome of the election, but with the process.
“Two weeks before the election, a peaceful rally by the APC was forcibly dispersed which led to the death of an individual,” he said, adding that there was no investigation into the matter.
He also mentioned that “a vehicle was intercepted containing 200 boxes of electoral material which INEC discredited as waste material” and there was yet to be an explanation for a reported aircraft carrying suspicious material, which landed in Ekiti.
Mohammed explained that “what happens before, during elections determines if the nation’s democracy is being deepened.”
However, the APC spokesman said that the Party had no intention to contest the result of the election and it was standing by Fayemi’s decision, unless there was compelling evidence to necessitate such a move.
“We have gone beyond the issue of who lost or who won the election”, he said, but insisted that the over-militarisation of the process created fear in the electorate which may have caused many APC loyalists to stay clear of the election.
“We have absolutely no problem or issue with law enforcement agencies in keeping peace” he said, but noted that it was a “selective keeping of peace” which was against the opposition. He claimed that members of the APC, as well as some accredited journalists had been “deported” and “forcefully removed” on the day of the election.
He further insisted that certain incidents, if not corrected, would not give the desired type of democracy.
On the emergence of Ayo Fayose as governor-elect, Mohammed said that the concession of defeat by Fayemi and the APC was evidence of the opposition’s democratic nature.
“By this we have shown the world that we are true democrats and that election is not a do or die affair”, he said, maintaining that the Party had respected the wish of the people.
On his part, Chairman of the Lagos Chapter of the PDP, Tunji Shelle, described allegations of the APC spokesman as “strange”.
According to him, security personnel were professional in their conduct.
Shelle, a second guest on the programme, while speaking about the election, commended the outgoing governor, Kayode Fayemi, for sportsmanship but noted that the act was not first of its kind.
“Our own candidate in Lagos during the last election congratulated Fashola in the same vein as Fayemi did.”
He noted that Fayemi had prepared well but somebody else prepared better, adding that the last time governance was taken away from PDP, it was through “judicial rascality”, since Ekiti was a PDP state.
On reports of the ejection of certain people allegedly lodged in hotels to perpetuate electoral crime, Shelle said that the security personnel did a good job of evading any unwanted occurrence. They were there to disrupt the electoral process, he insisted.
He, however, defended the presence of the Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro and Minister of Police Affairs, Jelil Adesiyan in Ekiti despite the fact that security operatives did not permit APC governors.
According to him, they had been lodged in Akure, and had gone into Ado-Ekiti briefly, on private matters, as PDP members and were not on a mission to influence the election.
The expanded meeting convened by the Federal Government to look at security situation in Nigeria has kicked off in the Presidential Villa with President Goodluck Jonathan presiding.
The meeting which has a fuller house as against what happened a week before, has many of the governors from the opposition parties present.
The President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Nigeria and the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, as well as the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor are also attending the meeting.
Twenty-four governors are in attendance while the governors of Jigawa, Imo, Oyo, Rivers, Kano, Ogun, Plateau, Edo and Yobe are being represented by their deputies.
The security chiefs in attendance are; the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as the Inspector-General of Police, the Comptrollers-General of Customs and Immigration, Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp.
The Interior Minister, Mr. Abba Moro, Minister of Defence, General Aliyu Gusau, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Abduljelil Adesiyan, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Viola Onwuleri, Agriculture Minister, Akinwunmi Adeshina and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, are also present.
The expanded National Security Council meeting was summoned by President Jonathan following the bombing in Nyanya, Abuja and the abduction of over one hundred female students from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno.
The first Executive Governor of Osun State and one of the aspirants of the just concluded People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primaries in the state, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, has said that in spite of the result declared, he has no intention of crossing to any other party.
Addressing his delegates gathered from across the 30 Local Government Areas of the state in Ede, Osun State, Senator Adeleke stated that he would seek redress from the national secretariat of the party, saying that the ward congress preceding last Saturday’s governorship primary of the PDP was marred with “irregularities”.
According to him, a petition had been sent to the national leadership of the PDP on the irregularities noticed in the conduct of the ward congress across the state and ultimately the governorship primaries held in Osun State.
Senator Adeleke and other leaders of the party, however, were specific on not leaving the PDP, but urged the delegates to be united and work for the progress of the Party at the August 9, 2014 polls.
Senator Isiaka Adeleke was one of the four aspirants in the race for the PDP governorship ticket until the last day when he announced he would boycott the primary because of the threat to his life and his supporters
Former governor of Osun State and governorship aspirant in the Osun State governorship race has said that he would boycott the People’s Democratic Party’s primaries planned to hold in Osogbo the state capital on Saturday.
Mr Adeleke said that he was afraid of a possible violence that may occur in the course of the primaries.
The former governor also revealed that he was not confident of the credibility of Saturday’s exercise, as he said that he would only get back in the race when he gets the assurance that the party would conduct credible primaries.
Mr Adeleke added that he had it in good authority that there were threats of violence and he would not want to put his supporters’ lives in danger.
Mr Isiaka Adeleke had earlier in the week accused his co-aspirant, Senator Iyiola Omisore and the recently appointed Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan, of allegedly assaulting him on Tuesday night in Osogbo, the state capital.
Mr Oluwole Oke, and Senator Olasunkanmi Akinlabi, are also aspirants in the PDP governorship race.
The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has sworn in 11 new ministers recently screened by the Senate, urging them to bring in positive changes in the administration and work closely with others in the service of their fatherland.
In the list of the new ministers are, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, who is the Minister of State for Defence, Mohammed Wakil, Minister of State for Power, Abduljelili Adesiyan, Minister of Police Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Akon Eyakenyi, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and Lawrencia Laraba Mala, Minister of Environment.
Others are, Dr Tamuno Danagogo, Minister of Sports, Asabe Ahmed, Minister of State for Agriculture, General Aliyu Gusau, Minister of Defence, Mr Boni Haruna, Minister of Youth Development and Dr Khaliru Alhassan Minister of State for Health.
The new ministers filed out in batches of four to take the oath, while the president observed. One after the other they also signed the dotted lines.
President Jonathan said that another set of ministers would be sworn in before he would have a full discussion with the ministers.
He said: “Join us to see how we can serve our people. Public office is for service. See yourselves as servants and bring value to what you have been asked to do.
“I always tell my people to find out and detect errors and do adjustments that will bring positive changes. Work closely with others and relate with each other for the success of the administration”.
The President also advised the new ministers to ensure that they do not create problems, saying that the administration will review the schedule of duties to avoid friction among the ministers and minister of state.
He stressed that their responsibilities were mainly administrative and expressed hopes that they would bring their experiences to bear.
Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs, Mr Doyin Okupe, today defended the nomination and sack of ministers by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr Okupe, speaking from Channels Television’s Abuja studios, insisted that before the President makes his appointments, he certifies “that this person (nominee) is of a good quality, a good calibre and must possess a reasonable intellect, loyalty and patriotism to serve his country.”
Okupe explained that in a parliamentary system of government, members of parliament are mandated to supervise different ministries “that has nothing to do with their profession.” He added that “a man that is qualified, a graduate with good experience; that has distinguished himself in the society and has some sense of loyalty can run any ministry.”
Mr Okupe also vehemently stated that “anybody running a ministry, is not running it by himself, he is running it for and on behalf of the President who has appointed him…he carries on the programme of Mr President.” He emphasized that “each minister is a representative of the President in his ministry”.
Meanwhile, a legal practitioner, Mr Tokunbo Odutola, speaking from the Lagos studios of the multiple-award winning television station, agreed with Mr Okupe on the selection process but was quick to add that the appointment process was “a three pronged process”.
These processes according to Mr Odutola, are the taken from the “legal, political and moral” perspectives. He explained that the legal aspect, as enshrined in the constitution, is for the President to make sure he appoints ministers with each state represented amongst the nominees.
The political provision, he added, allows the President to assign whomever he so wishes to a ministry “because it is his team” and such “reflects on whom our President is”. On the moral aspect, he said that this has to do with the person being nominated, who must be screened to ensure that he or she had not been involved in any criminal activity.
On the newly nominated ministers, he expressed the view that 2015 being just around the corner, “the President would not want to pick anybody who cannot make sure that, if he intends contesting in 2015, he can help him or his party.”
Earlier in the week, one of the ministerial nominees, Mr. Oyewale Adesiyan, from Osun State, told the Senate that he had been wrongfully accused of having a hand in the murder of a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, who was assassinated in his Bodija home, in Ibadan, Oyo State on December 23, 2001, a case for which he was in jail for three and half years.
Although, Adesiyan claimed that his implication in the death was a ‘political blackmail’ by enemies, Mr Odutola said that “morally, the candidate should be dropped”.
Responding to questions from Channels Television viewers via Twitter on whether the President was making the decision to sack some ministers at the right time, Mr Okupe noted that this was “a preposterous question”. He wondered why “Nigerians would vote for a man, if he does not have the capacity to decide what he wants to do, and when he wants to do it.”
He further noted that “the President is the captain of the boat, he knows where he is leading the boat to, and he knows the kind of staff that he needs to assist him to get there.” He insisted that those ministers who were dropped were still useful and they have done nothing wrong.
As controversy continues to rage over the new Digital Biometric Central Motor Registration (BCMR) system, the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (Rtd) has thrown his weight behind the initiative, adding that it will reduce crime rate in the country.
According to the minister, “the BCMR is a vital tool to modern policing in Nigeria” and “it would help the country’s Police Force to effectively and efficiently fulfil its constitutional roles of saving lives and property, preventing crimes, apprehending and prosecuting offenders, amongst other duties.”
Speaking to journalists at a function in Kaduna, Olubolade emphasised the need to use effective technology to achieve a better policing of the country, and disclosed that the Police is already making plans to mount security cameras and other gadgets in all parts of Lagos, the Federal Capital Territory and other parts of the country.
He added that for effective policing of the country, intelligence and information sharing between the Police and the populace is required in order keep abreast of happenings around them, stressing that the effectiveness of a better Police Force lies on the quality of training of its personnel and equipment, and not based on the large number of men it has.