The Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, and the apex Igbo Youth body Ohanaeze Youth Council yesterday called for the immediate sack of all the nation’s Service Chiefs, following the recent killing of over 100 soldiers by the dreaded terrorist group, Boko Haram insurgents in Melete, Borno state.
The Pan-Yoruba group which stated this at the end of its monthly meeting in Akure, Ondo state capital, lashed out at the Federal government for being indifferent and insensitive to the killings by the Boko Haram insurgents.
The group said “First, it kept quiet for six days after the incident and when it found its voice there were no soothing words for the bereaved families
“We were more pained at this tragic and monumental loss by the high insensitivity the Federal Government displayed on this matter.”
Afenifere also expressed concerns over the massacre of the ill-equipped Nigerian troops despite the injection of $1billion by the Federal government some few months ago, to equip the military to fight the Boko Haram.
Reading the group communique after it meeting, the Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr Yinka Odumakin said “the massacre of our ill-equipped troops by the evil sect raises serious concerns about the state of our armed forces to combat readiness in spite of the unappropriated $1b the government claimed it disbursed months back to equip our military against insurgency.”
The communique read “Meeting was devastated by the killings of over 100 Nigerian soldiers in Melete a week ago by the dreaded Boko Haram terror group.
“It had hardly made the bland statements before descending into the gutter of political quarrelling over the killings at a time a more sensitive leadership should have declared national mourning for the high casualties recorded which many countries never matched in wars that lasted for several years.
“Afenifere demands as a first step the immediate removal of the Service Chiefs who are already in their retirement years but are still kept in service by the President in what many have interpreted as partisan needs as we move towards the next elections.
“Their illegal stay, in spite of not being effective, it has equally killed morale in the armed forces as three sets of officers have now had their careers stagnated.
“The sack of the Service Chiefs should be followed with a probe of what has happened to defence allocations as we as a people cannot reconcile our extremely vulnerable troops and wailing soldiers in the forest with the heavy spendings the government claimed it has committed to security.”
The group however sympathised with the families of the officers and men of the armed forces who lost their lives while defending the country and said “it is our prayer that God will comfort them and intervene in the affairs of our country and give us a leadership that is more than equal to the challenges we face.
The group also lamented over the continued rate of kidnap in South west region, especially Ondo state and said “meeting was briefed about the continuous criminal activities of armed herdsmen in the South West as evident in the kidnapping of six Ondo indigenes on November 14 as they were returning from Akure to Ikare Akoko.
“The people who were kidnapped at Ago Ajayi, a farm settlement between Ose and Ikare in Akokoland included five men a woman snatched in two cars.
“They were released after three days in captivity after being subjected to live threatening experiences and ransom paid.
“Their abductors made them view the horror of decapitated bodies of their previously Killed victims as they wielded AK 47 rifles.
“These unhinged security challenges continue to daily show that the country’s security architecture has collapsed under the crushing weight of unitary arrangement that concentrates the country’s Security apparatus only in the hands of the Federal Govt.
“We cannot continue without decentralising the police for proper security at state levels.”
The Afenifere group also condemned some elements for using the name of Senator Ayo Fasanmi and Afenifere to prosecute divisive agenda.
Odumakin said “We ordinarily would have ignored the antics of some APC politicians who are using the name of Senator Ayo Fasanmi to prosecute divisive agenda as they normally do at elections seasons in recent time without regards to what they are doing with old age.
“We are constrained to make this once and for all clarification that Senator Ayo Fasanmi has not been active in Afenifere for some years and could therefore not be the Leader of the Afenifere group as being wrongly disseminated by a section of the media.
The group called on Fasanmi “ to make it difficult for people without noble intention to continue to use his name for unedifying purposes.”
Also, the apex Igbo youth body, Ohanaeze Youth Council, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rise up to his constitutional responsibility and eliminate the continued killing and kidnapping of innocent citizens in Nigeria.
The group urged Buhari to send the current security chiefs on compulsory retirement over alleged misappropriation of one billion dollars security funds approved to them by the presidency.
It said the alleged corruption in the nation’s security agencies had hindered the war against insurgency, advising the federal government to properly equip the security agencies to enable them tackle insurgents’ activities in the country.
The Ohanaeze’s position was made known, in a statement signed by the National President of OYC, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, OYC National President and forwarded to newsmen yesterday afternoon.
The apex Igbo youth organization, however condoled the families of the victims of Boko Haram attack which occurred in Maiduguri, Borno state, which also led to the killing of Nigeria soldiers.
Adeboye Slams FG Over Border Closure, VAT Increase, Others
The General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has kicked against the closure of Nigerian borders with neighbouring countries and also condemned the proposed increase of VAT from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent by the Federal Government.
The proposal, he said, would further increase the burdens on Nigerians.
Adeboye also said the proposed reintroduction of toll gates on Federal Government roads was insensitive.
The plan, he said, shouldn’t be considered at a time most federal roads were in pitiable condition.
The Federal Government, as far as Adeboye is concerned, should refocus its plans and programmes toward initiatives that would lessen the suffering and burdens of Nigerians.
He spoke, yesterday, at the special church service at the RCCG headquarters, Throne of Grace, Ebute-Metta, Lagos.
The programme tagged, ‘Arise’ attracted worshippers and traditional rulers led by the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.
He further pointed out the closure of borders to importation of rice was ill-conceived because it has made the stable unavailable to most Nigerians.
Adeboye said that the Federal Government should henceforth focus on initiating policies that would lessen the sufferings and burdens of Nigerians, because according to him, a nation at 59 is no longer young.
Such policies, he said, should have the capability to move the country out of doldrums, make her arise and pitch her tent with comity of nations.
Speaking through the Assistant General Overseer, Administration and Personnel, Pastor Johnson Odesola, Adeboye emphasised a lot of policies of government are not helping Nigerians.
He lamented many Nigerians were suffering when the wealth of their nation are just in few hands who have refused to let go.
The respected preacher also criticised how banks are fixing interest rate, which he described as one of the highest in the world, saying the development was making business environment unfavourable for Nigerians.
He bemoaned the condition of commoners, saying it was insensitive for the Federal Government to consider bringing back toll gates when the roads were in bad conditions.
Oba Gbadebo appreciated God for the 59th Independence celebration, saying that God has helped us a lot as Nigeria has remained one the federation that has remain strong and indivisible since independence in 1960.
He appealed to Nigeria leaders to consolidate on the success and achievements made so far in Nigeria by working for the interest of the people rather than their personal interest and gain.
He restated that leaders in position of authority are put there by God and will one day give account of their stewardship to him.
Wike Hails Most Beautiful Girl In Nigeria …As Miss Rivers Emerges Winner Of 2019 Pageant
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has congratulated Miss Nyekachi Douglas for winning the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Contest (MBGN) 2019.
Wike described the feat as a reflection of the beautiful endowment of the people of Rivers State.
According to him, the news is quite symbolic because it is in line with the NEW Vision of the present administration in the state.
A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, last Saturday, quoted the governor as saying, “Miss Nyekachi Douglas is a true Rivers daughter who has gone to show the world that Rivers youths are not only beautiful but also talented.
“The state government will honour this great ambassador for bringing the prestigious MBGN crown to Rivers State. It is our hope that the reigning MBGN Queen will follow the footsteps of Agbani Darego who was crowned Miss World in 2001,” he stated.
The governor urged all Rivers youths to shun criminality and showcase the resilience and resourcefulness of the Rivers man in all their endeavours.
It would be recalled that Miss Nyekachi Douglas beat 36 other contestants to become the most beautiful girl in Nigeria at the just-concluded MBGN contest held at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The MBGN pageant, which began in 1983, was originally called Miss Universe Nigeria.
It gained attention after it changed its name to Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria in 1986.
Earlier, Miss Rivers, Nyekachi Douglas had emerged the winner of the 2019 edition of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) pageant held last Saturday, at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The 21-year old queen defeated 36 other contestants to clinch the highly-coveted crown.
Miss Bayelsa, Becky Ogene emerged the first runner up, while Miss Abuja, Pamela Ifejoka won second runner up position at the glamorous event that was witnessed by a constellation of stars from the entertainment enclave, show business and the fashion industry.
Speaking with The Tide shortly after being crowned by the outgoing MBGN queen, Anita Ukah, in the presence of the Special Adviser to the Bayelsa State Governor on Entertainment and Tourism, Mr. Guy Murray-Bruce, and Mr. Nigeria, Mr. Nelson Enwerem, the Emohua-born beauty queen, who also won the Miss Amity Award, gave gratitude to God for her victory, and promised to use her position to better the lots of the less-privileged in the society and promote the welfare of the girl-child.
Other awardees were Miss Kwara, Folakemi Yunusa, who won the Miss Photogenic award, MBGN Model was won by Miss Delta, Joy Ossai, Miss Ogun, Temitope Are clinched the Best Talent award, Miss Adamawa, Afury Cynthia emerged the Face of Lush with N500,000.00, Best Swim Wear went to Miss Taraba, Olutosin Araromi, while the Best National Costume award went to Miss Abia, Michelle Nwagbara.
The event was hosted by actress and media personality, Layole Oyetogan, and ace comedian, Bovi Ugboma, popularly known as Bovi.
The guests were thrilled by popular performing musicians including Timi Dakolo, Seyi Shey, and saxophonist, Kwittee.
Troops, Bandits’ Clash Claims Four Soldiers, 60 Others
The Nigerian troops have killed 60 bandits, including their leader, popularly known as ‘Emir’ in Zamfara State and recovered 400 cows.
The success was recorded by troops of Operation Hadarin Daji (OPHD), in a bid to clear Zamfara of criminal elements and unrepentant bandits.
In a statement, the Acting Force Information Officer, Captain Ayobami Oni-Orisan, recalled that on October 3, 2019, troops deployed at Sunke in Anka Local Government Area, came under unprovoked attack by armed bandits despite the ongoing peace process in the state, adding, however, that gallant troops successfully repelled the attack, killed 19 bandits in the process while, unfortunately, four soldiers lost their lives during the encounter.
“As a result of the encounter, troops further commenced aggressive clearance operations nicknamed Operation Mushare on October 6, 2019, with a view to apprehending the recalcitrant bandits. Consequently, between 6th and 7th of October, 2019, within Bawa Daji general area, three heavily fortified camps at Gubarawa, Bawa Daji and Bawa Daji Forest were destroyed when the troops overpowered the bandits, overrun the three camps and neutralized 39 bandits, (including the notorious bandits’ leader known as “Emir”) and many bandits were obviously wounded,” he said.
The following items were recovered from the bandits/camps: Three AK-47 rifles, 421 7.62mm (special) ammunition, 30 PKT rifle rounds, 10 magazines, five motorcycles, 177 cows, seven handsets, two handset batteries, substance suspected to be Cannabis Sativa and charms while four soldiers were wounded during the operation.
Oni-Orisan added that in continuation with the offensive against the bandits, clearance operations were also extended to the general area of Kuruwa, Kawara, Kalahe and Zango villages in Bakura Local Government Area where troops encountered a large number of marauders at their camp in Zango village on October 8, 2019, saying that the determined troops overwhelmed the armed bandits with a high volume of fire, neutralized 19 of the criminals and recovered one motorcycle.
“Additionally, troops also arrested a suspected bandit, Abubakar Umar along road Lamba– Damri axis with the sum of N400,000 presumably for purchase of bandits logistics supplies. The suspect will be handed over to the civil police for further investigation/necessary action.
“Additionally, on October 8, 2019, troops on fighting patrol in Bukkuyum general area, intercepted some logistics items enroute to bandits’ camps. The items include: 13 Jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), eight litres of engine oil and four motorcycle tyre tubes.
“Furthermore, on October 9, 2019, troops deployed in Anka general area, based on intelligence intercepted and arrested suspected bandits’ logistics suppliers named Lawali Umar and Jamilu Liman around Kuturu village in Anka Local Government Area of the state purchasing some logistics items for onward movement to the bandits’ camps. Consequently, the troops recovered the under listed items: Four jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 1 carton of Malt, three packets of soft drinks and1 packet of Nutri milk.
“In a related development, based on intelligence indicating that armed bandits were seen crossing with some rustled cows at Daki Takwas in Anka Local Government Area, OPHD troops deployed in the general area immediately ambushed the criminals along road Anka-Daki Takwas. The criminals fled and abandoned the rustled cows in the area. Troops pursued the fleeing criminals and successfully neutralized 20 of them,” he disclosed.
Oni-Orisan said presently, troops had dominated the general area with aggressive patrols, snap checkpoints and ambushes among other line of operations to deny the criminals freedom of action.
“This onslaught against armed banditry and all other criminal activities will continue until banditry is effectively combated. Troops will continue to remain highly committed and professional in carrying out assigned tasks in line with the extant Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct.
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