Reps To Summon Buhari Over Security Situation In The Country

 

The House of Representatives has passed a resolution to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to brief the house on the true state of the security situation in the country.

The decision to summon President Buhari was taken at Tuesday’s plenary when the House considered a motion moved by members from Borno State on the recent massacre of 43 rice farmers in the state by Boko Haram insurgents.

The debate had earlier turned rowdy after the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila appealed that it would be inappropriate to invite the president to disclose the actions being taken towards handling the security situation in the country. The Speaker described it as counter-productive.

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Some members of the House were opposed to the speaker’s position and this turned into a rowdy debate.

The House then went into an executive session to resolve the matter.

After the executive session which was held closed doors, the House resumed and Representative Ahmed Jaha who is one of the sponsors moved an amendment to invite the President to brief on the security situation in the country.

His amendment was seconded and unanimously adopted.

No date was however announced for the invitation.

 

Zabarmari Massacre

43 farmers were killed on Saturday morning around Marrabati and Hammayya villages, near Zabarmari in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State by Boko Haram terrorists while on their way to their farms.

The farmers were waylaid on their way to their rice farms which they were harvesting before the surprise attack happened.

Some other farmers were also taken away by the insurgents.

The State Governor Babagana Zulum during the burial of the farmers on Sunday morning lamented that “it is disheartening that more than 40 citizens were slaughtered while they were working in their farmlands,” and also expressed condolence.

The governor later on Monday gave recommendations to the Federal Government on how to win the war against the terrorists. He noted that engaging mercenaries, as well as the immediate recruitment of youths into the military to boost its strength, will go a long way to defeat the insurgents.

President Muhammadu Buhari condoled with the victims and their families.

In a tweet, on Monday, President Buhari said he has given a ‘marching order’ to the Nigerian Military to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis until “we root out the terrorists.”

Rivers Security Situation Is Totally Exaggerated – Tam-George

Rivers Security Situation Is Exaggerated – Tam-GeorgeRivers State Commissioner for Information, Dr. Austin Tam-George, believes that the security situation in the state is not as bad as being reported and believed.

While admitting that the state has been in the news for the wrong reasons in recent times, he argued that incidents of violence are not peculiar to the state as other states across the country have had notable cases of violence.

Dr. Tam-George was the guest of Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday. He said: “There is this mythology that Rivers state is not safe, that is not correct.

“If you look at the pattern of violence that has characterized the political dispensation we are in, you will see that the situation is worse in many places.

“In the whole of the Northeast for instance, as you know, we have over 70,000 people that have been killed over the past seven years with more than six million people displaced.

“In Kaduna we have what looks like a low level of insurgency already underway. The whole of Southern Kaduna is under siege by so-called Fulani herdsmen.

“In Lagos we have seen inter-communal clashes between Hausas and Ibos in Mile-12 area where about 12 people were killed and over 40 cars burnt in just one incident.

“We have had pockets of audacious criminal activities in Ogun state and elsewhere. Se we’ve seen a pattern of insecurity and violence characterizing the kind of political system that we run.

“In Rivers state, we have had episodes of violence; sometimes criminality in some sections of the state and we have taken unprecedented steps (to curb it).”

The Commissioner reeled out a number of steps taken by Governor Wike, particularly the provision of financial and logistical support for the Police, adding that the state has a “very efficient security architecture” and the cases of violence are “not out of control”.

“Are we denying that that there are episodes of security challenges? No, but the situation is totally exaggerated,” he affirmed.

Leaked Audio

Dr. Tam-George also commented on the controversial audio recording released by Sahara Reporters alleged to be that of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

In the recording, a voice purportedly of Governor Wike is heard in a telephone conversation arranging payment to some persons who are supposedly officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in exchange for their help in rigging the recently concluded legislative elections in the state.

The Commissioner reaffirmed the position of the state government not to be part of the panel set up by the Inspector General of Police to investigate this allegation and the crisis that trailed the rerun legislative election in the state.

“We will not be part of this, it’s just childish…We have no confidence in that panel and we will not participate in it.

“The Governor was not elected to get involved in this kind of nonsense. Our own focus is to deliver service to our people. So we will not be distracted by this kind of antics by the APC and their media supporters.”

Healthy Environment

Port Harcourt residents have expressed worry over the emergence of black soot across the city in recent days and the interview also was an opportunity for the Commissioner to address the matter and allay residents’ fears.

He explained that there are a range of factors that experts have suspected as causes of the black soot.

“The hypothesis is that they probably have A-level refining activities around the state. There is also the likelihood of the black soot originating from gas flares by major oil companies and the burning of tyres in some areas as well.

“What they have decided to do is that, rather than pin it down to one cause, why don’t we do test that we determine the actual origin of the black soot.

“The findings are still being awaited,” he said.

Mr Tam-George reiterated an appeal he made in his earlier statement that residents should stop the burning of tyres and major oil companies should “look at ways of using alternative strategies rather than flaring gas”.

He emphasized that the rest of the world is focusing on healthy and sustainable livelihood and the Rivers state government is working with several relevant agencies to ensure that it aligns with the vision to make the state an healthy environment.

Analyst Urges FG To Implement National Conference Recommendations

Mr. OthmanA Public Affairs Analyst, Mahmud Othman, says he is satisfied with the outcome of the just concluded National Conference but criticized the recommendation of some delegates suggesting the creation of additional states.

He advised President Goodluck Jonathan to implement some of the recommendations given it would help the country move forward.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr. Othman noted that the country is in a critical state in terms of security, noting that security recommendations were also made during the conference.

He urged the federal government to look into these recommendations and implement them to reduce the state of terrorist attacks in the country.

He further blamed those in authority for the restlessness in the country, insisting that some people in position believe that they are above the law. Citing an example, Mr. Othman stated that a while ago some soldiers were ambushed and killed in Nasarawa “they were not taken to court and one of the security operatives said the murders are forgiven, what happens to their wives and family”?

Mr. Othman questioned the law and order in the country and advised that the government should to take up the challenge to ensure no culprit goes free.

Comparing the current situation in Iraq and Nigeria, Mr. Othman stated that it is a different case in Iraq and Nigeria has not gotten to that level.

Nigerian Politicians Asked To Stop Politicising Insurgency

AKIN OSUNTOKUNA member of the People’s Democratic Party, Mr Akin Osuntokun has advised politicians not to play politics with the security situation in Nigeria. 

Mr Osuntokun, who was a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, on Friday,  said the problem of insurgency in Nigeria should now be looked at from the perspective of ideology, as the incessant bombing in Nigeria was as a result of some persons propagating anarchy, imputing instability to the system and making wide claims about the situation.

“I don’t like to say this as I sympathise with what happened to General Buhari; However, when you look at the statement he made two days before the bomb attack on him.

“They are the kind of things that create volatile situation as many of the things he said are things that can incite anyone who has cause to be angry with the nation and he shouldn’t have said them,” Mr Osuntokun pointed out.

In his opinion, all Nigerians should have a say on the security situation in the land but things shouldn’t be said that will build a crisis of malice amongst people.

“Every Nigerian should have an opinion on the incessant bomb blast, as it is something we now live with. We should pray as we are at a dead end on the situation.

“However, utterances should be guided, as they give room for all these kind of things to fester.”

According to Mr Osuntokun, people should not go around to make allegations that are not true which may turn out to be self-fulfilled prophesies.

On the wave of impeachment in the nation, Mr Osuntokun alienated the Presidency from it, stressing that “the decision lies in the hands of the people of the affected state and the PDP do not have any reason to salvage the APC in their states”.

“If you really know what was happening in Adamawa State – referring the the impeachment of Governor Murtala Nyako – there was nothing the Presidency could have done about the situation there, as it was almost an unanimous decision of the people and it followed due process’’.

On whether the government of the day is reaching out to everyone across board especially other political parties in the fight against terrorism, Mr Osuntokun said the various inter-party meetings and the council of state meeting were a testament of the seriousness of the government in telling everyone, especially the opposition that they were on the same page when it comes to fighting insurgency.

He advised politicians to play a role towards fighting insurgency devoid of party affiliation and polarisation but as statesmen.

“That is why those who should know better should not say things that will deepen and perpetuate the atmosphere of crisis with wide and scurrilous allegations,” he emphasised.

Asked if the statements made by politicians will reduce if people are brought to justice as a result of the investigative process been hastened,  Mr Osuntokun said there was a difference between constructive criticism of the security situation of the country and allegations made  by some persons, reiterating that the best role a politician can play is not to politicise the issue of security as insurgency affects everyone.

“The general security situation does not discriminate whether you are PDP or APC and often times is the ordinary people that bear the consequences,” the ruling party member said.

 

Law Weekly: Femi Falana Speaks On Nigeria’s Democracy, Security

Femi_FalanaOn this edition of Law Weekly, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana spoke on Nigeria’s 15 years of uninterrupted democracy, the security situation as well as Akwa Ibom’s controversial pension law.

Mr Falana is very well known for his activism. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1982 and has practised law for over 30 years.

In 2012, he was conferred with the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN.

GEJ Is Fighting Hard To Secure Peace For Nigeria – Chukwueke

Jerry ChukwuekeA Public Affairs Analyst, Jerry Chukwueke, on Friday commended the efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan in bringing an end to the Boko Haram insurgency and making Nigeria a better place, despite the politically motivated challenges and pressure he has been subjected to.

Speaking about the security situation and the missing Chibok girls on Sunrise Daily, Chukwueke said “no parent can afford to go through what the parents of these young girls in Chibok are going through… and for a fact including our President”.

He noted that President Jonathan had not attended the second inauguration of Jacob Zuma as South Africa’s President because he is “focused on the business of how to bring our girls home.”

Addressing the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, the analyst warned that it’s either “Shekau and his political thugs and criminals” returned the abducted schoolgirls or “this government with the support of the international community will get them.”

He stressed that “we in Nigeria are not going to be blackmailed by a group of political thugs. We are not going to be taken back a 100 years. We are not going to deny our young children (girls) education. Nigeria is not going to be Islamised. We are not going to have Islam across Nigeria. We have strength in diversity.

He also maintained that Boko Haram was exploiting the nation’s diversity; Hence “Nigerians all over the world must stand up to this great challenge, at this time.”

He further stated that President Jonathan was being put under “very severe pressure” but urged Nigerians to consider the facts only.

According to him, President Jonathan’s administration had faced several challenges in the past 3 and a half years, including poverty, agriculture, economy, employment, housing and corruption but “all through this 3 and a half years, it’s been a focus on how to make Nigeria better.”

Chukwueke further corroborated his claim that the group was politically motivated, saying that the intensity of the attacks “falls closely to the political timetable.”

“We know now that there is no evidence that this group is associated with al-Qaeda or any major international terrorist organisation.”

He noted the disconnect between players in the political circle, citing an example of the absence of Governor Kashim Shettima as at the time President Jonathan was reported to visit Chibok.

However, the President is “fighting like mad” to make the country better as well as secure the lives and properties of the citizens.

Suspected Boko Haram Members Strike In Adamawa

Suspected members of the Boko Haram sect, on Wednesday night, attacked some communities in Adamawa State, including Kirchinga district, Michika, Shuwari and Shuwa.

The attack was the second in the week, following an attack on a Federal Government College in Yobe State, which led to the death of over 20 students and the destruction of the school.

In Adamawa, witnesses disclosed that the suspected terrorists gained access to Kirchinga district through the Sambisa forest and killed several settlers in Shuwari and Shuwa communities of Madagali Local Government Areas before attacking shops, residential houses and the First bank in Michika town.

Three catholic churches were set ablaze as well as a primary school in Shuwari town.

Apart from the three catholic churches burnt by the insurgents, the Saint Joseph Minor Seminary, Shuwa was also set ablaze as the catholic priest and students of the school ran for their safety.

The insurgents also destroyed the maternity health centre in Shuwa after taking away medical equipment of the hospital.

“Several cars and motor cycles were seized from people as innocent ones were killed while houses and shops were destroyed as well as confiscation of food items during the attack on the communities,” witnesses said.

Security officials are yet to confirm the incident but witnesses said military aircraft is presently hovering around the areas attacked by the hoodlums as several inhabitants are scattered in the bush.

President Goodluck Jonathan had on Wednesday night addressed issues of security during a national broadcast focusing on the Centenary celebrations.

He commiserated with families of the slain students in Yobe and assured the nation that Government “will continue to do everything possible to eradicate the scourge of terrorism” from the country.

Boko Haram: Let The President Resign; He Has Failed – Rotimi Fashakin

The Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress in Ondo State, Rotimi Fashakin, on Wednesday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to vacate his office for not being able to bring an end to the Boko Haram insurgency, which has claimed the lives of thousands of Nigerians.

“The security of this nation falls squarely on the laps of Mr President and if he’s not able to do it he should resign like Melvin Chamberlain, a prime minister of Great Britain in 1940, when he found out that he didn’t have the wherewithal to solve Britain’s problems during the Second World War.”

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Fashakin said: “Let the president resign; he has failed.”

There had been a renewed public outcry against the killing of over several students in a government school in Yobe State. Addressing this, Fashakin said: “It’s a sober moment for us as Nigerians that we are facing a very dire situation as this.”

He further commented that “we have never faced anything that threatened the security of Nigeria as much as this, even when we were under that 30 month old civil war.”

“It makes one’s heart to bleed indeed when you look at the innocent lives, including those of the soldiers that are unnecessarily wasted.

“You need to understand clearly that this is very unfortunate indeed.

The security situation in the country, he said, “calls for the entire management of our security to be looked at in a very wholistic manner.”

Fashakin expressed doubt that President Jonathan had shown “enough capacity at handling the humongous security challenge that we have in this country.” “He seems to have tried everything in the books and they don’t seem to be working from him.”

He stressed that there is lid above the president’s capacity to solve the problem. “If you don’t have it, you don’t have it.”

Asked what his suggestion was he said “Let the president resign; he has failed.”

He buttressed his position, saying that, “one key thing that we must not lose sight of is the fact that, for a war like this, intelligence and intelligence gathering is key to winning the war. When you have the security apparatus gathering intelligence used for mundane things as harassing citizens all over the place, rather than going after the people that are real threats to the nation; it shows you that we have gotten everything muddled up.”

He hinted that the SSS, which is supposed to be at the fore-front of gathering intelligence, is not doing its job. “If they are, we shouldn’t be where we are.”

While calling on the government and political parties to keep politics out of the security issue, he spoke on Borno Governor’s comments on the fight against the insurgency and lauded the governor’s courage to “tell it all.”

Fashakin further lashed out at “spin doctors in Aso Rock” including Doyin Okupe for their caustic reply to the governor.

Asked if the Governor of Borno State should also resign, Fashakin argued that “security is on the exclusive list. It’s strictly the problem of the Federal Government.”

“The security of this nation falls squarely on the laps of Mr President and if he’s not able to do it he should resign

On the call that sole military administrators should take control in the troubled states, Fashakin stressed that a State of Emergency was already in effect in said states.

“There is basically no sacrifice that is too much to ensure that Nigerians everywhere can sleep with two eyes closed,” he said.

 

Nigeria’s War Against Terrorism Better Than Pakistan, Afghanistan – Maku

The Minister of Information and supervising Minister of Defence, Labaran Maku, on Monday lauded the Federal Government’s efforts at curbing insecurity in the country, adding that the war against terrorism has been more successful in Nigeria than in other countries including Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Maku said “in the last one year, we have faced insecurity head-on, particularly the insurgency in the North East of Nigeria” and added that the declaration of State Of Emergency in three north-eastern states made it possible to contain the insurgency within the north east of Nigeria.

“Government’s investment in security has been a success,” he said.

“In the last year, there were less attacks in the north east and even in the north east today, you would notice that a lot of the activities of the insurgents are now contained within Borno and Yobe states,” he said.

Although there have been recent attacks on government installations, Mr Maku explained that surprise attacks are expected but that nation is winning the war overall.

“The success we have recorded in the last one year should not be overshadowed by recent hit-back at the Maiduguri airport and at Bama. The reality of the situation is that the success of the security measures will not be without interruptions (will not be without occasional hit-back by the insurgents).”

He highlighted the situation in Kano, where insecurity has been “largely controlled,” which he credited to increase in intelligence agents and co-operation between citizens and security forces.

He admitted that there are challenges because the war against insecurity is urban guerilla warfare.  “We are not fighting a standing army. We are fighting people that wear civilian uniform, live in congested cities; that strike and run back.

“So long as this is a guerilla war, there would be occasional attacks and surprise attacks by the insurgents, but (for) the overall war; I believe that the federal government and Nigerians are winning.”

“We have succeeded in containing insurgents in Kano, he said and went further to state that Nigeria’s efforts in curbing terrorism have been more successful than that in Pakistan and several other countries. They have had more widespread attacks than we are having in Nigeria today.”

He called on Nigerians to consider the overall development of how the government has performed in containing the insurgents.

Performance of Multinational JTF

Speaking on the performance of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF), Mr Maku who said the agency is not failing in its own responsibilities told Channels Television that troops from Chad, Niger Republic and from Nigeria are not “necessarily large enough to contain the entire boundary of Niger, Chad and Cameroon.” “There are weak spots,” he said.

“There is weakness at the Cameroon border and Niger has been unstable. He went further to describe these areas as “a vortex of all sorts of criminals,” where there is a flow of arms. He added that terrorism will not end in the coming year as insurgents will continue to attack and run until the atmosphere becomes completely inhospitable.

He called on government and community leaders in the north east to co-operate with the security agents to divulge more information on the insurgents living amongst them.

Also, he warned politicians in the troubled states to desist from using violence as a means of politics. “These politicians must stop it because it is now costing the nation trillions of Naira which we would have been using for the development of the country.”

State of Emergency: Umar Advocates Anti-terrorism Agency

Retired Captain Aliyu Umar has called on the federal government to prepare an anti-terrorism agency which will take over from the military when the State of Emergency is over in the three Northern States of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

Speaking about the security situation in the country as well as President Goodluck Jonathan’s call for a 6 month extension of the State of Emergency, on Sunrise Daily, Captain Umar said it would not be surprising if there are “some contrary views from the National Assembly.”

The reason, he said, is because “a state of emergency is not a card we play every day. It’s actually the Commander in Chief’s absolute reserve, so we will not trivialise it.”

Although the three affected states “are in very dire situations,” there have been considerable improvements as the Army has been able to stabilize the situation and are now managing it, he said.

“If we extend the State of Emergency, we are actually extending the counter terrorist strategy of normalizing things.”

He opined that “if Mr. President decides to seek an extension, we should be looking at an extension to standing-down the troops” which will herald “a graduation from counter-terrorism to anti-terrorism.”

He stated that “beyond a state of emergency, what next? he asked. “We must be building that capability now that the State of Emergency is running.”

He advised that an anti-terrorism agency should be prepared to take over from the military as an ‘anti-terrorism approach’ is civil in nature.

“Anti-terrorism is more sociological. It’s more democratic. It’s about the root causes of terrorism and addressing them.”

It’s about creating awareness, lobbying our legislators to make legislations that would favour the prevention of those things that bring about violence. Prosecuting terrorists promptly and making people understand that terrorism doesn’t pay.

Police Officers Must Be IT Savvy For PBCMR To Succeed- Security Consultant

A retired military captain, Umar Aliyu on Monday called on the Nigeria Police hierarchy to ensure that the average policeman on the street is Information Technology (IT) savvy to ensure that the newly introduced Police Biometric Central Motor Registry (PBCMR) is successful.

While speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, he commended the security agency for introducing the Police Biometric Central Motor Registry but was quick to add that “it is also fraught with a lot of concerns”.

The security consultant berated the decision to “exclusify central data facility “adding that “exclusivity in the sense that each agency has its own”.

He called for the use of a “big cloud and everyone latches on to it. It becomes seamless “noting that “central means it will not be under the custody of anybody” insisting that all agencies can put into it and can draw from it”.

He accused Nigerian security agencies of being “painfully antagonistic” because they “find it difficult to for one reason or the other to work with one another” blaming them for misconstruing what their job roles are.

He said that the level of sophistication that the police want to take on overnight, may not sit properly on their people’s (officers) sophistication level, wondering if the “police could probably draw a road map and make the ordinary policeman (IT) savvy”.

“From the indicators on ground, I am not confident to say that our police force is IT savvy”  adding that “from the police command upwards, you could see some level of IT presence when you walk in there” he said.

“When you have an IT culture and then you bring a level of sophistication that is IT dependent and you foist it on a system, it works”

He further expressed worry over the propensity of the security agents to keep the personal information of Nigerians in a confidential state.