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Insecurity: Reps furious with security agencies over spate of killings

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From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

Members of the House of Representatives are furious with security agencies over their inability to halt the spate of attacks and killings of defenceless citizens in various parts of the country by terrorists.

The lawmakers expressed the angst while contributing to a debate on a motion by Shehu Balarabe on continuous attacks and killings in Birnin Gwari Federal Constituency of Kaduna State, yesterday, saying security agencies have not justified budgetary allocations to the sector.

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They condemned the country’s security agencies for failing to justify the huge budgetary allocations to the sector to fight banditry and terrorism.

Balarabe, in his lead debate, informed the House that “the entire communities in Giwa Local government area and the entire communities of Birnin Gwari local government area of Kaduna State have been ravaged with series of attacks by armed bandits who indulge in killings, kidnapping, raping, robbery and destruction of properties” without commensurate response from the security agencies.

Another lawmaker, Ahmed Jaha described the prevailing insecurity as serving as a “cash out business” to some interests, recalling that in the last few years, billions of naira had been voted to various security agencies, especially the Army, without results.

‘”In 2021, we budgeted N460 billion for Nigerian army alone, only N29 billion was for capital expenditure, the remaining were for recurrent expenditure.

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In 2022, we budgeted N571 billion for Nigerian army alone, only N37 billion is for capital expenditure, the remaining were recurrent expenditure. Mr speaker, it is a cash out business, they don’t want it to finish,” he said. 

House Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, said it was time Nigerians are allowed to bear arms to protect themselves. He said security agencies had no excuses to offer for the worsening security situation given the funding provided for them.

Nasiru  Ahmed called for the resignation of the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, over worsening security situation in the country.

“The Army, Navy, Police, DSS all of these agencies are accountable to the National Security Adviser. From what I heard, most of these criminals were 16, 18 years old boys. Are we saying that the Nigerian Army , police, DSS, Airforce with all the training that they have had, all the international training, they have gone for peacekeeping. Are they now saying these eighteen year old boys are more powerful than them? You travel by road you are kidnapped, you go by train you are kidnapped, you sit at home you’re kidnapped so where are we going to stay. You can be kidnapped right in this chamber.”

Deputy Speaker, Idris  Wase, who presided said: “In few days,  we have lost over 150 people in one location. We should observe a minute silence. It is my utmost opinion that a lot needs to be done to improve  security to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”

He said the House would have to adjourn plenary to Tuesday next week because of the mood of the country following recent killings by terrorists.

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Nigeria Newspapers

Insecurity: Advocacy group condemns renewed attack in Kaduna

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From Okwe Obi, Abuja

An advocacy group, Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioners Network (SOKIPEP) has deplored a renewed attack in Gora Gan Community of Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State, by bandits.

The group noted that the inhumane act was carried out disrupt the level of peace achieved by internal military outfit, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) in the area.

SOKIPEP National President, Dauda Fadia, in a statement, yesterday sympathized with families of the deceased, the people of Southern Kaduna, and Kaduna State Government over the development.

Fadia charged security agencies to remain resolute and go all out in fishing out the culprits and their sponsors with a view to facing the law.

Aside calling on the people to remain calm with the assurance that security agencies were capable of unraveling the culprits, he appealed for immediate deployment of relief materials to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

“As a peace advocacy group working with both security agencies and stakeholders in Southern Kaduna to bring lasting peace to our area, we note with concern the latest attack on Gora Gan Community of Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

“We condemn in the strongest terms yet another attack by some mindless and senseless criminals in Gora Gan village which claimed the lives of six persons.

“This attack by some suspected cattle rustlers whose mission was to steal some bulls being used by the locals for farming is unfortunate and must be condemned by all.

We condole with the government and people of Southern Kaduna over the lost of six in the attack, our heart is with them,” he said.

The cleric, however, commended the leadership of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), for the prompt and effective intervention of the situation from escalating.

“We wish to acknowledge the prompt response of OPSH in quelling the Gora Gan village attack.

“Worthy of commendation is the timely and quick response of the men of Operation Safe Haven who gave the attackers hot chase  and as a result killed  four of the attackers who invaded the community.

“We are full of thanks to God Almighty and officers and men of Operation Safe Haven for their responsive actions not only in the Gora Gan village attack but also the various others in the entire Southern Kaduna in the past in general.

“But for the prompt response of the gallant security men, our community would have been completely brought down considering the intimidating number of the attackers and sophistication.

“This gallantry of the security men has given us more grounds to continue to support the special military outfit and other security agencies working in Southern Kaduna to restore peace.

In addition, he called for support from both authorities and the stakeholders for the military outfit.

“All that is needed for them (OPSH) to succeed and return Southern kaduna to part of peace and progress is for all stakeholders to come together and speak truth to ourselves by calling a spade a spade, criminals for criminals rather than unjustly acting the script of some desperate people working against the efforts of OPSH and its Commander to restore peace in our area,just all for their selfish gain,” he added.

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Nigeria Newspapers

Nigeria’s next president deserves our pity

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By Fredrick Nwabufo

Expectations are high. Rightly so. 2023 has been roundly described as a make-or-mar year for Nigeria. Citizens seek change. Things have to change. The current socio-economic tailspin must be arrested. But we have to be pragmatic with our expectations. Good things do not come easy. No single individual can magic Nigeria into an El dorado in four years. Nigeria’s problems, which are functionally in situ, are age-long. But one ‘’Alexander the Great’’ can actuate the process to cutting the systemic Gordian knots.

According to legend, Gordius, king of Gordium, tied an intricate knot and prophesied that whoever untied it would become the ruler of Asia. It was cut through with a sword by Alexander the Great in 333 B.C. Alexander went on to conquer most of Asia. So, the term ‘’Gordian knot’’, which means difficulty, snag, setback, problem or obstacle, came from the artful tapestry of the king of Gordium.

What are Nigeria’s Gordian knots? Pervasive insecurity, omnipotent corruption, nepotism, prostrate economy, acutely divided citizenry, decrepit health infrastructure, wobbly education, ubiquitous poverty, unchecked killings, indiscipline, persistent workers’ strikes, capricious and avaricious petrol subsidy regime, and general societal malaise.

Nigeria’s next president will be coming at a time the country is agonisingly sundered along ethnic and religious contours; at a time of unseething anger and great uncertainty; when the economy is in shreds; corruption at the apogee; at such a perilous a time when Nigerians cannot commute from one part of the country to another for fear of being killed and kidnapped; at such a vulnerable time when a dollar is N600 at the parallel market, and when over 13 million children are out of school. Nigeria’s next president will be coming at a time of anomie.

In the column, ‘Why are ethnicity, zoning dominant issues of 2023 elections’, I said while we fixate on primordial concerns, we lose sight of the most important matters. We dispense too much energy on trivialities, and leaving little to interrogate those who have come forward to represent us. Even if ethnicity, region and religion are to be criteria for selecting Nigeria’s next president for the sake of ‘’justice, equity and fairness’’ as propounded by those calling for an orbiting in the geography of power, this should not take precedence over the principal issues of leadership.

The task ahead is humongous and Nigeria desperately needs the right people in government to get the right fixes.

A critical concern today is insecurity. How would the next president tackle the hydra of insurgency, banditry, terrorism and kidnapping? What measures will the next president take to address the galloping debts, oil revenue shrinkage and freewheeling inflation? How will the next president provide elixir for our health sector and get our wobbly education kicking again?

A critical concern today is insecurity. How would the next president tackle the hydra of insurgency, banditry, terrorism and kidnapping? What measures will the next president take to address the galloping debts, oil revenue shrinkage and freewheeling inflation?

What are the plans to take the edge off youth unemployment? What will be the policy on petrol subsidy, considering that N4 trillion will be spent on this Venus flytrap in 2022? What is the plan to oxygenate Nigeria’s power sector and make it less of an embarrassment? How will ASUU demands be addressed for good? How will sectional agitations and omnipresent corruption be tackled?

These are some of the issues that the next president will have to contend with. The task ahead is immense. If we are serious about getting out of the doldrums, then we must make this election about real issues – with gravitas.

Who will begin the process of cutting Nigeria’s many Gordian knots? As a matter of fact, people with the capacity for governance are not in short supply here. But if we are seeking some flawless individuals or celestial beings to turn Nigeria around, we will only be chasing a will-o-the-wisp. Again, we have to be realistic and measure our expectations.

No single government can fix all of Nigeria’s problems. What we need is successive corrective leadership. One government addresses some critical challenges, and the next comes to build on the successes of the other. Governance should be a progressive continuum.

If 2023 is really a make-or-mar year for Nigeria, then we must begin to make every bit of the process to electing a new leadership count. We must prioritise the real issues and interrogate those who have come forward for elective office. It is facile to assume that because delegates, who are often bribed, will nominate the candidates for elections, the choice of the uninitiated population is already compromised. It is not a fait accompli. Delegates do not exist in isolation. They are everyday Nigerians encumbered by the same quotidian problems.

I believe the zeitgeist; the mood of the time, (among other factors), will govern the nomination of presidential candidates by the parties.

And if I am reading the mood of the country correctly, Nigerians are tired.

My sympathies in advance to anyone who takes up the job of leading Nigeria under this reign of babel.

By Fredrick Nwabufo; Nwabufo aka Mr OneNigeria is a writer and journalist.

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