Soyinka Calls For ‘Holistic Approach’ To Nigeria’s Security Challenges

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, speaks during a visit to the Government House in Makurdi, the Benue State capital on November 5, 2019.

 

 

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has asked the Federal Government to take decisive action against Boko Haram, armed herdsmen, and the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP).

He stated this at a meeting with Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Tuesday at the Government House in Makurdi, the state capital.

Professor Soyinka, who visited some displaced persons at their camp in the Abagana area of the state, noted that the insurgents and others were terrorising Nigerians.

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According to him, the security situation in the country requires the immediate attention of the government, especially at the federal level with an all-inclusive approach.

“It’s a pity that this area of the country is really besieged. First it was Boko Haram, then it is these herdsmen, and then recently there is ISWAP; it strikes me that a holistic approach has to be taken,” said the Nobel laureate.

He added, “It’s not the responsibility of Benue alone, it’s not the responsibility of the affected states alone; it’s a national responsibility.

“And I hope that this government has seen the result of taking things easy when they should be taken by the throat and tackled very decisively; now that they’ve seen how violence calls to violent, how impunity calls to impunity, and arrogance calls to arrogance.”

 

Philosophy Of Disorder

Professor Soyinka also condemned the herdsmen attacks which claimed several lives and left hundreds displaced in Benue.

He decried the situation where a group of persons would threaten the peace of a state in a civilised society when the government takes decisions in the interest of its people.

The Nobel laureate said, “When you have any kind of unit in an overall community which says, ‘either you do this or we’ll show you’, this is the mentality which led to the virtual takeover of an order by a philosophy of disorder.

“The possibility that any section of society can call the shut for the totality, and I’m referring to when Benue State passed the law about open grazing and the criminals, the homicidal maniacs had inhaled to say ‘you take the law out or else’ … that means we don’t live in a civilised society.”

Gowon Seeks Support For Security Agencies To Tackle Challenges

A file photo of former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd).

 

 

Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has called for the support of all Nigerians for the security agencies to tackle contemporary and emerging challenges facing the nation.

He made the call on Saturday during a courtesy call on the acting Governor of Kaduna State, Hadiza Balarabe, at Government House in the state capital.

The elder statesman believes the task of ensuring peace, security, and development of the society should not be left for security agencies alone.

He noted that individuals and communities have a role to play by availing security agencies with intelligence information about criminals within their domain.

READ ALSOMilitary Action Alone Won’t Tackle Insurgency, UN Tells Nigerian Govt

General Gowon also reiterated that the peace and unity of the country were non-negotiable and urged the citizenry to support the government.

On her part, Mrs Balarabe aligned herself with the position of the elder statesman and thanked him for the visit.

She described General Gowon as a patriotic Nigerian, a role model, and source of inspiration to all Nigerians, especially for his passion in mobilising for prayers for the nation’s unity, security, and progress.

Taraba Assembly, Agencies Decry Inadequate Security Personnel, Equipment

Taraba Assembly Holds Last Plenary, Remembers Departed Members

 

Members of Taraba State House of Assembly and heads of security agencies in the state have decried the inadequacy of security personnel to tackle the challenges in the state.

This formed part of the recommendations made at the end of a closed-door meeting between the lawmakers and security chiefs in the state.

The interactive session held on Wednesday at the State House of Assembly complex in Jalingo, the state capital.

In the communique issued at the end of the meeting, the lawmakers and security chiefs urged the state government to consider procuring trackers to aid security activities.

They also called for the procurement of other necessary surveillance equipment needed to enable security agencies in the state to effectively combat kidnappings and other challenges.

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A member of Assembly representing Nguroje Constituency and House Committee Chairman on Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Mohammed Bashir, read the communique to reporters.

The communique was jointly signed by members of the State Assembly and the security chiefs.

Part of it read, “The meeting lamented the inadequacy of security personnel in the state who will more effectively tackle security challenges generally.

“That despite the fact that Taraba State is the most peaceful state in the north-east sub-region, the rate of kidnapping in the state calls for more effective surveillance by the security organisations to completely reduce the menace.

“The meeting particularly emphasised the need for the state to procure trackers and other necessary machinery and equipment needed to combat criminality in the state.

“The meeting further noted that the security outfits need logistics (vehicles) to enable them to patrol the entire state to check security breaches in the state.

“The meeting called upon the state government to install street lights within Jalingo and other major urban areas in the state, so as to prevent criminals from hiding in the dark to perpetrate their heinous crimes.”

National Security: Nigerian Army Recruits 5,000 Soldiers

 

As part of its efforts to improve national security, the Nigerian Army has recruited 5,000 soldiers.

Speaking at the passing out ceremony of the new soldiers, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, assured Nigerians that the military will not rest on its oars until the country is safe from the threats of Boko Haram terrorists, armed bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements.

He also gave an assurance that the security challenges the country is currently facing will soon be a thing of the past as the military is working hard to finally defeat the insurgents.

“Nigeria is currently facing numerous security challenges occasioned by activities of Boko Haram terrorists, armed bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements… but I wish to state that these security challenges will soon come to an end as we will not rest on our oars,” he said.

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“Today marks yet another chapter in the history of this great institution and the country in general.

“I am glad that depot Nigerian Army has continued to evolve innovative ways of improving the standard in the training of personnel for the Nigerian Army.

“These realistic and result oriented trainings that are being impacted in young recruits here have been yielding positive results and this has been evident by the robust fighting spirit displayed by our soldiers in various theatres of operations,” he added.

While congratulating the soldiers on the successful completion of the training, General Olonisakin urged them to uphold the values of loyalty, discipline and selfless service, adding that a lot is expected from them.

The event which took place at the Nigerian Army depot, Zaria in Kaduna State, saw a display of silent drills, unarmed combat and a special combat March by the recruits to prove their operational proficiency.

We Are Very Concerned About The Security Challenges In The FCT – Lawan

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, speaks during plenary in the Senate Chamber in Abuja on September 27, 2019.

 

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday held a crucial security meeting with top officials who are directly charged with the security of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The meeting, which held at the Senate President’s office, was also attended by key officers of the Senate.

“We are very concerned, like all of you are, about the level of security challenges in the FCT,” Lawan said in his remarks before the meeting went into a closed door session

The Senate President said the meeting was to address the current security challenges in the FCT and chart the way forward.

READ ALSO: Boko Haram Insurgency: We Lost Over 847 Soldiers From 2013 To Date, Says Ndume

Lawan said the meeting was a follow-up to an earlier meeting held last week, adding that the idea was to engage those who are directly dealing with the security issues within the FCT

In attendance at the meeting were the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno; FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, and Director General of Department of State Service, Yusuf Magaji Bichi.

Others are the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Peter Ogunyanwo, who represented the Inspector General of Police; FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma and Permanent Secretary in the FCT Administration, Chinyeaka Ohaa.

Senators in attendance: Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi; Dep. Senate Leader, Senator Robert Boroffice; Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu; Dep. Chief Whip, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi; Dep. Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, and Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda

Others are: the Chairman of Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Abdullahi Gobir; Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Abubakar Kyari; Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs,

Senator Haliru Jika; Chairman, Senate Committee on Airforce, Bala Ibn Na’allah, and Vice chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.

FG Does Not Play Politics With Security – Lai Mohammed

A file photo of Mr Lai Mohammed.

 

 

The Federal Government affirmed the commitment of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to tackling security challenges in the country without bias.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, stated this on Tuesday at a special town hall meeting on security in Katsina State.

According to him, the event is unique because it is the first time governors from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will be panellists at such meeting since its commencement in 2016.

“This is first, a testimony to the fact that this Federal Government does not play politics with the security and welfare of citizens,” the minister said.

He added, “Secondly, (it is) a reflection of the patriotism, commitment, and nationalism of the governors, irrespective of their party affiliations. I congratulate all of us for being part of this historic outing.”

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No Peace, No Development

Mr Mohammed noted that the government was not unaware of the recent criminal attacks on communities in the North-West.

According to him, cases of banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling seem to have worsened in the region until recently.

He reminded the meeting that one of the cardinal programmes of the present administration was to tackle insecurity across the country.

The minister said, “Whether it is Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling or armed robbery, the administration has faced the challenges posed by insecurity with grit and determination.

“The Federal Government is unrelenting in tackling these challenges because without peace and security, there can be no development.”

“Here in the North-West, the security challenges – banditry, cattle rustling, and kidnapping – have been unique and daunting.

“The deadly attacks that claimed lives and destroyed property were daily making headline news all over the country,” he lamented.

Mr Mohammed decried that the situation became so bad in some of the states in the region that many felt they were intractable.

He was, however, thankful that the efforts of the Federal Government, as well as the determination and innovative efforts of the governments of the affected states,  have been a remarkable improvement.

The minister said peace and security were gradually returning to the worst-hit states while progress that has been made in combating banditry, cattle rustling, and kidnapping.

He explained that it has become imperative for the government at the federal and state levels to provide a platform for the governors of the front-line states to highlight the successes they have achieved in their various states in tackling cases of insecurity.

Mr Mohammed was hopeful that at the end of the meeting, the efforts of the governors of the affected states of Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara, as well as the contributions of the Federal Government would be well-documented.

Those present included Governors Aminu Masari (Katsina), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), as well as the Ministers of Defence and Interior, Major General Bashir Magashi and Mr Rauf Aregbesola, respectively.

Armed Forces Deploy 57 Officers, Soldiers To Mali

 

The Nigerian Armed Forces has deployed 57 officers and soldiers to Mali on a peacekeeping mission.

Drawn from the Army, Air Force and Navy, the troops are expected to depart Nigeria for Mali in a couple of days.

Addressing them on Friday during their passing out ceremony from the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre, Jaji, Kaduna State, the Commander of the Army Infantry Corps, Major General Stevenson Olabanji who represented the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, warned that the Nigerian Army will not tolerate any act of cowardice or professional negligence while carrying out their operations in the West African country.

He also advised the contingent to abide by the rules of engagement, exhibit braveness as professionals and to also respect the cultural sensitivity of the people of Mali.

Beyond that, he reminded them of the United Nations’ zero tolerance on drug trafficking and human rights abuse.

Nasarawa Security: Government To Introduce Monthly Meeting In Respective LGAs

Gunmen Kill 15, Injure 11 In Nasarawa Village Attack

 

The Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule says a monthly security meeting will be introduced in the respective local government areas of the state under the watch of traditional rulers and security personnel to review challenges peculiar to each of them as to come up with a way forward.

Governor Sule revealed this at an expanded Security Council meeting held Thursday at the council chambers of the governor’s house with all security heads and the chairman of the Nasarawa State Traditional Council , HRH Sidi Bage.

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“One of the items that we have that is coming up is a situation where there will be some kind of monthly meeting between traditional rulers and the security agencies in every local government. The essence of having that type of meeting is for them to be able to assist us with information,” the governor said.

He assured systems will be put in place to ensure that the security situation of the state is improved.

Law Abiding Citizens Should Not Be Harassed By A Regime That Negotiates With Bandits, Terrorists – Falana

Withdraw Charges Against CJN, Falana Tells FG
Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana (file)

 

 

Human Rights Lawyer, Mr Femi Falana has warned that law abiding Nigerians  should not be harrassed by security operatives and law enforcement agents. 

Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) made the call in reaction to the invasion of the secretariat of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and also the Civic Media Lab.

The legal practitioner in a communique on Wednesday said, the Nigeria Police Force invaded the secretariat of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and sealed off the place in Lagos.

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He stressed that in spite of the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, the police had wanted to ‘disrupt and stop’ the peaceful meeting of law-abiding citizens to discuss the illegal detention of Omoyele Sowore, Agba Jalingo, Abayomi Olawale and scores of others being incarcerated in various detention facilities in the country.

Stating his case further, Falana said that contrary to the order of the Federal High Court that Sowore should be detained for 45 days, the Department of State Services has incarcerated him for 47 days.

“Last week, the Federal High Court turned down the application for the renewal of its order for the detention of Agba Jalingo and Ekanem Ekpo for 14 days.

“In spite of the expiration of the detention order of the two journalists, they are being held by the police in Cross River State.

“Mr Abayomi Olawale, who was arrested on August 5, 2019, has been detained for 45 days by the DSS without any court order whatsoever.

“These detainees and scores of others languishing in illegal custody ought to be released forthwith,” Falana demanded.

While congratulating the organizers of the symposium for successfully holding the programme at another venue, Falana said that the harassment of law-abiding citizens cannot be tolerated under a regime which he claims is busy negotiating with bandits and terrorists, “bribing them with public funds and granting them amnesty”.

Awosika Blames Nigeria’s Security Challenges On Rural-Urban Migration

The Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika has blamed the nation’s security challenges on the rising cases of rural-urban migration with limited opportunities.

Awosika who delivered a lecture at the induction of Course 28 participants of the National Defence College in Abuja, emphasised on the need for the Federal Government to ensure inclusive and widespread development of the country.

“Most of the challenges you can have with security emanates from young people. 65 percent of our population is under 35.

“That is a national asset because it is abled-bodied working-class people, but it is also a national problem if we don’t engage them,” she said.

She noted that for the country to effectively tackle the menace of insecurity, the Federal Government should work hard in educating many youths and also engaging them upon graduation.

The Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika has blamed the nation’s security challenges on the rising cases of rural-urban migration with limited opportunities.

Noting that Nigeria has “an effective national education plan that ensures that every single child that is born in this country has access to education,” the First Bank chief stated the importance of education, stressing that “an educated, enlightened mind is an asset in nation-building.”

While praising the Armed Forces for their role to national development, the First Bank boss stated that securing Nigeria or any country is “beyond the guns and the battles.”

Explaining further, she said: “It is more strategic, it is clearly proactive. And in being proactive in handling the issues that can lead to war, you need to have taken care of many factors from the onset.”

Awosika who believes that the nation’s economy has a great impact on the state of security stressed that people will avoid conflict and war when they are well fed.

On the issue of inclusiveness in the military, the seasoned businessman called for more enrolment of women in the nation’s Armed Forces.

Abuja Is Not Under Any Form Of Siege – IGP

A file photo of IGP Mohammed Adamu. PHOTO: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM,mni has stated unequivocally that the Federal Capital Territory is safe, secure and not under any form of siege.

This assertion comes against the backdrop of recent speculations in some sections of the media, particularly the Social Media, of an upsurge in crime rate within and around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

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While observing that, like other climes across the World, the country has its security challenges, the IGP noted that a comprehensive analysis of crime statistics on major cities across the world would reveal that Abuja has one of the lowest crime rates and remains indisputably one of the safest capital cities in the world.

The IGP further observes that the Federal Capital Territory Police Command has a robust anti-crime architecture which is continually rejigged to effectively tackle prevailing and emerging crimes.

He however enjoined all law-abiding citizens and visitors alike to go about their lawful endeavors without any fear or apprehension.

Security Threats: US Pledges More Support For Nigerian Air Force

 

 

The United States of America (USA) Government has again assured the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) of its continued support in combating emerging security threats in the Country.

This assurance was given on Wednesday by the Adjutant General California National Guard, Major General David Baldwin, when he paid a courtesy call on the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, at Headquarters NAF Abuja.

The Adjutant General reiterated the commitment of the US Military towards strengthening the existing Military-to-Military partnership as well as in ensuring the efficient execution of the contract between the Governments of Nigeria and the USA for the delivery of 12 Super Tucano aircraft to the NAF.

He added that the US Military would also be willing to further collaborate with the NAF in the areas of Air-Ground Integration, intelligence gathering, sharing and pilot training as well as capacity development for cyber warfare, amongst others.

READ ALSO: Three Killed As Troops Rid Borno Village Of Terrorists

He also noted that the story of the successes recorded in the counter insurgency (COIN) operations in the Northeast of Nigeria would not be complete without due mention of the support and contributions of the US Military and Government to Nigeria.

In his view, he said it was in the interest of the International Community to have a secure and stable Nigeria, given the devastating effects a destabilized Nigeria would have on West Africa and Africa as a whole.

Air Marshal Abubakar, who further solicited for the support of the US Military to achieve the establishment of an Air-Ground Integration School in Kaduna, also lauded the magnanimity of the US Military for training several NAF pilots, including the first Nigerian female fighter pilot, Flying Officer Kafayat Sanni, who, he said, would be winged sometime in the month of October.

The CAS also solicited assistance for the provision of spares and technical support in maintenance of C-130 Hercules aircraft, noting that the NAF had conducted in-country Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM) on 2 aircraft and would soon commence work on the third one.

He also stated that the US could still support with additional capability to enhance the process and CAS equally intimated the Adjutant General on the NAF’s preparedness to receive the Super Tucano aircraft.

However, as partners, Nigeria and the California National Guard have had over 100 Military-to-Military bilateral engagements including: Military Intelligence, Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Training, Combat Medic, Military Aviation as well as Military Law and Disaster Response/Emergency Management.