Mr Ayotunde Fatokun, the lawmaker representing Akinyele Constituency 1 in the Oyo State House of Assembly, yesterday met with community leaders, the police and local security outfits in the constituency over recent killings by unknown assailants in the area.
Recall that some suspected ritual killers had, in the last one month, killed six people in Akinyele Local Government Area at three different locations.
The killings, which had caused apprehension among residents, occurred at Abatakan, Fatokun and Olomowewe and Akingbile communities, all within the council area.
It was gathered that the incidents followed the same pattern as the assailants used cutlasses to massacre their victims and stones to smash their heads after which they wiped their blood with handkerchiefs before leaving the scenes.
Following these heinous crimes, the lawmaker said he had held series of meetings with heads of security agencies in the state on how to put a stop to the activities of the assailants.
Fatokun said that the town hall meeting was to deliberate on how to address insecurity in the constituency, adding that it was also an avenue for him to hear from his constituents about their expectations from him.
He said that the consensus reached was that a joint task force that would include local security operatives should be formed to tackle the insecurity in the council area.
Mr Okey Nwabufo, the Police Area Commander for Akinyele Local Government area, assured residents of adequate protection of their lives and property, saying that the police had intensified its security network in the area.
Nwabufo urged the people to assist the police with useful information that could assist in their efforts to nab the criminals.
He said that any information given would be treated with confidence, even as he enjoined the people to be more security conscious.
The traditional ruler of Iroko community, Oba Olasunkanmi Abioye, cautioned landlords in the area against accommodating unknown tenants.
He assured the residents that traditional rulers in the area would work closely with security agents to address the security challenges confronting the area.
The monarch warned the people of the constituency against bringing their individual domestic problems before the lawmaker representing them for solution.
He said what should be paramount in their minds should be how the lawmaker would bring development to the constituency for the benefit of all and sundry.
Mr Ajebode Isiaka, the representative of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) in the local government area, urged the people to cooperate with security operatives to enhance their efforts at flushing out criminals in the area.
Isiaka also called on the lawmaker who initiated the meeting to continue working on how his constituency would be more secure.
The meeting had in attendance community leaders, representatives of various wards, the police, heads of local security outfits such as the vigilantes, the ‘Agbekoyas’, hunters and Odua People’s Congress (OPC).
Huge Cost Of NASS Maintenance Worries TUC
Rivers State chapter of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has called on the Federal Government to reduce the costs of governance in the country, noting that it cost the country billions of Naira to maintain the National Assembly alone.
The State TUC, chairman, Austin Jonah who spoke when he appeared as guest on a live Radio programme in Port Harcourt monitored by The Tide stated that the cost of governance in Nigeria is very expensive and not attainable.
Jonah further said the federal government will have enough funds to pay the minimum wage when they reduce the salaries and allowances of political office holders.
“Look at the welcome pack of the National Assembly members. N4.6 plus billion for accommodation and furniture. A Senator is going home with about N10million, while the member of House of Representatives is taking N9million plus.
“If you calculate with 360 persons in the House of Reps, plus 109 in the Senate, that is about 469 people and they have severance gratuity. They have so many things they are going home with plus their salary. You see, if you look at governance and cut down expenditure in governance this money, they have already taken the money that are talking about.
“They have taken it in the sense that they want to increase communication tax, such as that every call you make you pay tax, sms you pay tax, data you pay tax and even cable Television,” Jonah lamented
The State TUC chairman said what the labour union negotiated with the Federal Government was not the minimum wage but consequential adjustment.
“What we were negotiating was the consequential adjustment. Now from N18, 000 to N30, 000, the difference is N12, 000, which is 66 per cent. That 66 per cent was what we negotiated. By right we are not supposed to negotiate.
“If you trace the history of minimum wage in Nigeria, it started in 1981 during the Alhaji Shehu Shagari Government. Whenever you finish with minimum wage, the consequential adjustment is based on the percentage of the difference.
“The first minimum wage presented by the NLC was N300, but at the end of the day N125 was agreed,” he said.
NASS Promises Better Funding For Nigerian Army
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume and his House of Representatives counterpart, Mr Abdulrazak Namdas, have promised to ensure adequate funding for the Nigerian Army in the 2020 budget.
They made the promise on Saturday in an interview with newsmen during the Passing Out Parade (POP) of 78 Regular Recruits Intake at the Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria, Kaduna State.
They said that the army needed to be adequately funded to be able to effectively tackle the prevailing security threats in the country.
Ndume, who agreed that the N100 billion proposed for the defence in 2020 budget was inadequate, said that the committee on army was looking at how to help to enhance the funding.
He said that the national assembly was aware of needs of the army that needed to be provided to enable its personnel to perform their duties effectively.
“We are going to do something despite the fact that the resources are scarce but security is first and everybody has agreed to that.
“We are looking at the budget critically to place our priorities right so that the right things will be done first.”
Namdas said that the joint committee had embark on fact finding tour to army formations across the country and realised that the army had challenges.
According to him, they are really on ground, they have done so much and now that the National Assembly is considering the budget we can appropriate for the army.
“We will see how we can be able to adjust and see how that can be able to cope with the challenges at hand,” he said.
Namdas also disclosed that a motion to provide for special funding for the armed forces was currently being considered on the floor of the House of Representatives.
He added that the armed forces could not be adequately funded only by the budget, adding that there was need to look beyond the budget to finance the operations of the armed forces.
“That motion has been taken and we are looking to it and by the special grace of God, even after the budget we will look for special funding for the armed forces generally,” he said.
The Depot Nigerian Army on Saturday graduated a total of 4832 regular recruits who would be deployed to various formations of the army.
Similarly, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, urged the graduating soldiers to always uphold the oath of allegiance they had taken to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
Olonisakin also tasked them to display total loyalty while pledging that the prevailing security challenges would soon be over through the commitment of the military.
APC, Party For Notorious Liars – Ayade
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has described the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a group of persons notorious for lies, especially in his state.
He said the assertions credited to the APC chairman in the state, John Ochala, over his return to school to pursue a Master’s degree in law at UNICAL were as laughable and pathetic as the party itself in the state, adding “the party in the state is notorious for lies.”
Ochala is reported to have said that Governor Ayade returned to school because of idleness and laziness and that he (Ayade) lacked ideas on how to govern the state.
But the Governor in a statement by Mr. Christian Ita, his chief media adviser, said it was “funny that a party like APC which prides itself as a major opposition cannot engage the Governor on governance issues but chooses to lie to score cheap political points.
“If they didn’t see anything wrong with Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai returning to school in 2017 in faraway Netherlands for his PhD, what,then is wrong if Governor Ayade returns to school to add to his numerous degrees within Calabar, the state capital?” he asked.
The statement reminded the APC that Chief Whip of the Senate and member of the APC, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu was an undergraduate student while serving as Abia State governor.
“The timing of Governor Ayade’s decision to return to school is unequivocally perfect. Unlike APC members, the governor, despite all the resources at his disposal didn’t choose any foreign university, he decided to do it locally thereby boosting the reputation of Nigerian universities at a time tertiary institutions in West Africa are under attack,” he said. Ayade said to attack his quest for more academic degrees shows that APC in the state was weak as opposition party and could not be able to distract him.
Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
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