The Federal Government has given approval for the police to acquire 2,564 vehicles to enhance security operations during the forthcoming general elections in the country.
Vice President Namadi Sambo, who spoke while launching 263 patrol vehicles for the police at the Eagle Square, Abuja, yesterday, appealed to party supporters to shun violence during the polls.
Sambo, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan, said the procurement of the vehicles was aimed at boosting the capacity of the Nigerian Police Force to deliver on its mandate effectively.
He said, “A well equipped and adequately motivated police force, will assist in no small measure in ensuring the security needed in the drive to economic growth and development of Nigeria.
“This is in view of the strong commitment of government to provide for the NPF within available resources, and it is my hope that the gesture by government will be reciprocated by assisting INEC in ensuring they conduct free and fair elections this month.
“It is also expected that the deployment of these operational vehicles will translate to enhanced surveillance of our communities in order to improve security.”
While further highlighting the efforts of government in enhancing peace and security of all Nigerians, Sambo emphasised the need for all citizens to see themselves as Nigerians and work for the unity of the country, despite their political leanings.
“I call on the politicians, the aspirants, their supporters and their sympathisers, to eschew all forms of violence and unlawful practices, both in words and conduct, before and after elections, let us eschew any form of violence, we should condemn any form of violence before, during and after elections. we should know that elections will come and go but Nigeria will remain as one nation and one people,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, said approval for 2,564 operational vehicles was given by the President, but the first batch of the patrol cars comprising 170 Nissan NP300 hard body patrol pick-up vans, 129 Nissan Frontier Double Cabin Patrol Vehicles, 50 Nissan Patrol 4WD Jeeps, 10 Toyota double cabin Armoured Patrol Vans and four Ford 550 model 4X4 state of the art Armoured Personnel Carriers were ready for commissioning.
When asked if the remaining bulk would be available before the elections, Abba said he did not know, but noted that “the important thing is that the contract has been signed and the supply is coming from an indigenous company.”
“We are certain that the multiplier effect of the contract would affect the countrymen very well; This is an addition to the vehicles we have in our stock,” he added.
Abba also made references to other utility projects embarked upon by government to enhance the performance of the Force in providing security to citizens.
Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity
Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.
The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.
It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.
Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.
Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.
Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments
President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.
The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.
According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.
He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.
Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.
The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.
He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.
On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.
He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.
“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.
“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.
“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.
”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.
“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.
“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.
On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.
On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.
According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.
The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”
Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari
Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.
The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.
Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.
He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.
He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.
“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.
“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.
“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”
He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.
This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.
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