Since independence, Nigeria had passed through various facets of socio-economic and political trauma and equally survived up to the present dispensation. Historically, there had existed first, second, third and even the fourth Republican administrations, but none was as durable as the present Republican and democratic governance, which kicked off on 29 May, 1999.
In a Republican or Presidential system of government, the constitution provides for the positions of a President and Vice-President respectively. Similarly, in military regimes, there exist what is known as Head of State and other Lieutenants co-piloting the affairs of the Azikiwe in 1960. However, when the khaki guys came onboard, General Yakubu Gowon was the second in command to General Ironsi who invariably became the next Head of State.
During the Second Republic in 1979, Alhaji Shehu Shagari became the President with and Major-General Tunde ldiagbon emerged until August 1985 when the Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Bahangida also surfaced with his team of administrators. Of course, General Sani Abacha was behind IBB in case of any eventuality, which actually occurred as Abacha became Head of State with Oladipo Diya as his second in command.
Furthermore, on May 29, 1999, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo emerged the fifth Republican President of Nigeria with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as his Vice-President. In the same democratic administration continued Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as President and Vice-President respectively after the 2007 Presidential elections. Without twisting words, amongst the numerous leaders foretasted, a good number of them had on several occasions went for medical check-up one time or the other and there was no cause for alarm.
At this juncture, one is compelled to pose whether it is unnatural for a mortal being to be ill? If Mr. President is sick and has gone for appropriate treatment at Saudi Arabia, what is the much ado about it.
It is even ironical by close observation that there are feelers here and there that the vice-president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan should be stopped on Presidential Duties. If these feelers are something to rely upon, one wonders the type of presidential government Nigeria is running. Nevertheless, the paramount objective of Nigerians is to embark on a serious prayer network with the Owner of Life for the survival of our dear President Yar’Adua to his honourable office to continue the good foundation laid for efficient sustainability of the country, instead of clamoring for his resignation. The obvious fact is that the President did not abscond from his legitimate duties but on health ground. President Yar’Adua is a visionary and selfless leader with his seven point agenda.
Certainly, since his ascension as President of this nation Nigeria, Yar’Adua has injected some sensitivity and discipline in judicial arm of the government. Yar’Adua si a man of principal who enforced the Rule of Law to be applied to whoever irrespective of ego or fame.
In other words, nobody is above the law. It is not surprising that a lot of political instability in the country after the 2007 elections, has been genuinely addressed in the Law Court and justice prevailed without fear and favour. Moreover, a lot of prominent personalities who were in public services that had looted and defrauded the public are chatting seriously with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) now than ever before.
Conclusively, calls for the resignation of the President due to his ill-health may not be health improves. Let us move Nigeria forward in a more positive approach and not be chasing shadow in place of the reality! This should be our collective task.
Ominyanwa is the editor’s guest
G. N. Ominyanwa
GoG: Nigerian, Ghanaian Navies Meet On Joint Operations
Against the backdrop of renewed piracy and hostage-taking incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and his Ghanaian counterpart, Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, have commenced a security engagement aimed at joint security initiatives to tackle the situation.
Speaking during the meeting held at Naval headquarters, Abuja, Vice Admiral Gambo said, “The Gulf of Guinea is currently bedevilled by the activities of criminal elements who take advantage of limited capability of the navies in the region to adequately secure the area.
“The threat posed by the activities of these criminal elements constitute a major challenge not only to the littoral states but equally undermines regional development and global trade.
“Notably, the trans-boundary and trans-national nature of maritime crime makes the security of the maritime domain a task beyond the capacity of any country acting alone.
“It is against this backdrop that this bilateral engagement was convened at the instance of the Heads of Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Republic of Ghana towards addressing the maritime security challenges within the region”.
Vice Admiral Gambo expressed belief that “the engagement would foster greater collaboration and burden sharing that is hinged on cooperative maritime security framework as envisioned in the 2013 Yaoundé Protocol to arrive at strategies that would help address the maritime insecurity for enhanced economic prosperity in the region”.
Declaring the technical session open, the CNS said, “In deliberations, please consider amongst others: maritime area of interest covering Zone E and integration of the capabilities of the countries in Zone E, emplacing a robust intelligence sharing mechanism and collaboration with international partners”.
On relations between both countries, Gambo said, “This good relation is equally manifest in the several interactions between the Nigerian Navy and Ghana Navy. I must not fail to mention the remarkable contributions of the Ghana Navy-CNS to manpower development during his tour of duty at the prestigious AFCSC, Jaji as a member of the Directing Staff. I have no doubt that this engagement would further strengthen the existing cordial bilateral relations between Nigeria and Ghana navies.
In his address, Chief of Naval Staff of Ghana, Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, noted that he and his delegation were in Nigeria at the behest of President Nana Akufo Ado to engage the Nigerian Navy and come out with collective strategies to tackle insecurity which is in the ascendancy in recent times in the Gulf of Guinea.
“We hope our navies will buy into this engagement to improve security in the Gulf of Guinea. We know our big brother Nigeria has bigger capacity to chart the way forward”.
He disclosed that, “Since year 2020, the situation has bot been good in the Gulf of Guinea”, noting that “Last May, two Ghanian vessels were attacked and 10 persons were abducted with investigations still ongoing”.
Consequently, the Ghanian Navy Chief said, “We are proposing an ECOWAS naval task force and joint maritime security architecture to checkmate these threats, adding that this was done in the past successfully during ECOMOG operations without problems with inter-operability and doctrinal issues.
Furthermore, he proposed the setting up of a ‘transit corridors’ where ships from fellow West African countries can go to anchor for assistance and joint naval assets will conduct regular patrols especially for protection of commercial fishing vessels.
Wike Orders Destruction Of Criminal Hideouts In Rivers
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has ordered the destruction of all criminal hideouts in Ahoada, Elele, Eleme and Onne to prevent attempt to undermine security of the state.
The governor said criminals were already coming to terms with the reality that Rivers State was too hot for them to invade at will and detonate their foolish attacks on targeted security posts and personnel.
Wike, who made this assertion in a state broadcast, last Friday, disclosed that the state government has identified the hideouts, safe houses and secret places that provide both cover and comfort for the hoodlums to plan, execute and return to after operations.
“This was the reason we ordered the destruction of all the shanties and makeshift structures located along Elele to Ahoada expanse of the East–West Road to deny the criminals the opportunity to continue to undermine our security from these hideouts.
“We have equally decided to destroy all the shanties, illegal shops and mechanic sheds along the Eleme to Onne stretch of the East-West Road having discovered these places also as hideouts and operational bases for criminals and criminal activities in the state.
“Consequently, I hereby direct owners of such shanties and illegal structures along the Eleme – Onne axis of the East-West Road to vacate the area within two weeks from June 11, 2021, as the state government will go ahead to destroy these structures without any further notice.”
Wike said the government was not unmindful of the economic effect these measures would have or may have had on residents carrying out businesses in the affected areas.
He, however, stressed that government was merely discharging its constitutional responsibility to advance the collective security of all with no ethnic targets in mind or attachment to political sentiments.
He explained that the existing curfew in Rivers State will not last one day beyond necessary, and pleaded with all residents to endure the temporary inconveniences in the interest of the state and collective wellbeing of all.
“We will continue to take the war on criminality and insecurity to the den of the criminals and we will neither yield nor lower the tempo of our assault until they are comprehensively neutralized. As a matter of fact, they want us to prematurely terminate the state wide night time curfew in order for them to have the leeway to operate again and roll back the gains of the last few weeks.”
Wike said he has received reports about the excesses of the State Task Force on Illegal Trading and Parks, especially the alleged shooting of motorists, extortions and abuse of the human rights of citizens.
He assured that government would not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on any member of the task force who crosses the boundaries of the law and rational behaviour.
The governor, who appealed to motorists and residents to be responsible road users by complying with the clear regulations against illegal trading, indiscriminate parking and irresponsible driving, noted that the situation where some motorists would have the effrontery to compete for traffic space with or even attempt to block his official vehicular convoy leaves much to be desired.
He has meanwhile, directed the management of the Rivers State Waste Management Authority to clear the state of filthiness within one week or be disbanded without any further notice.
Army Begins Shooting Exercises In Rivers
The Nigerian Army, 6 Division, has announced that it would commence its annual range classification exercise from yesterday to Sunday, June 27.
The division’s spokesman, Lt.-Col. Charles Ekeocha, said in a statement in Port Harcourt, that the exercise aimed at ascertaining the professional competence of troops on the use of firearms.
He said troops from the division and its affiliated formations and units would conduct the exercise at the Army Shooting Range in Igwuruta and Elele Barracks, both in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
“The shooting exercise is a routine activity in the Nigerian Army which involves the firing of various calibre live ammunitions.
“Members of the public, especially residents of Igwuruta and Elele, as well as its environs, are advised to keep away from the general shooting area,” he stated.
The Army spokesman also advised the public not to panic over the movement of troops, military hardware and sound of gunshots.
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