President Muhammadu Buhari has set up a committee to periodically review the security situation in the country.
The president also said that the government has put in motion strategies to increase funding for the security services, especially the police, their welfare and of their families in order to boost their commitment to crime-fighting.
The committee members are to be drawn from the executive, legislature and the ruling party.
This development follows the call by Senate and House of Representatives last week for the sack of the service chiefs as well as other drastic measures to tackle the deteriorating security situation in the country.
Fielding questions from State House correspondents, after a meeting with President Buhari and Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, although he did not disclose the names of the committee members, however, said it would include members of the executive, legislature and the ruling party.
He said the committee would help proffer lasting solutions to the entire security structure in the country.
The speaker said the National Assembly leadership believes that something drastic needed to be done under the present circumstance but added that the removal of the service chiefs may not entirely address the crippling security situation in the country.
When asked if changing the service chiefs will impact positively on the fight against insecurity, Gbajabiamila responded: “Is the president as concerned as we are? Answer: probably more. Is the president looking to do something about it? Answer: yes. The question of security is uppermost in his mind and he opened up to us and you must understand that some communications are privileged, but suffice to say that the president is concerned and he intends to do something about our challenges.
“Opinions are divided; the generality of the opinion is that the service chiefs should go, that was evident in our debates in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, but sometimes you don’t want a knee-jack reaction.
“Many of us identify that something drastic has to be done; there’s also the school of thought that says since we are talking about banditry, kidnapping, and murders, what have the armed forces got to do with that, anywhere in the world? So, the question then arises that if he changes the service chiefs, does that address the issues of kidnapping and banditry? The Army, Navy and Air Force are outfits set up to tackle external aggression. It is the police that is set up for internal security, such as we are all witnessing.
“That’s talking about service chiefs; has the Inspector-General of Police met up with his responsibilities? The question is if we now narrow it to the Inspector General to Police, many will argue that he has done a very good job and many will argue with you that he’s arm strung, straight-jacketed, there’s very little he can do in the face of no equipment, no funding and we explained to Mr President that we have to increase funding; we have to recruit more.
“We are talking, even just right now, we have gone on to set up a committee that will periodically review the issue of security, maybe once a month or once in six weeks, which will involve the two arms of government and the party.
“Major progress was made in this discussion, which is a meeting that lasted over an hour and I believe Nigerians will begin to see traction, they’ll begin to see changes. You can be sure that concrete steps were taken in that direction.”
The Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, who was part of the meeting, said President Buhari was also very worried about the deteriorating security situation in the country.
He said: “We met with Mr. President over the security issues in the country and other matters of governance. The recent security challenges this country is facing require that we work very closely.
“We had the debates in the two chambers of the National Assembly, last week, and resolutions were taken and we have come to discuss with Mr. President on the way forward, what we feel about some of these security challenges and also to ask him what he thinks we should do.
“Even though in the Senate we have our ad-hoc committee (members) who are to work and fashion out the specific measures we believe should be taken, but in the interim, there is a need for us as a government to ensure that we provide a way out to tackle the security challenges. In the intermediate and the long term, we should be able to come up with some strategies, the road map to ensure that we secure the lives and properties of Nigeria.”
Asked if the sack of the service chiefs as part of the discussion, Lawan said, “We discussed everything that matters as far as the issue of security in this country is concerned. We believe that it is imperative that we are able to provide those necessary equipment and welfare for the armed forces of this country and the police, to ensure that they are able to operate and performed efficiently and effectively.”
Asked what Buhari’s response was, the Senate president said, “Mr. President was forthcoming; of course, as the leader of this country, he is more worried than anybody else about the situation. So, we are on the same page that we should be able to do whatever it takes to ensure that the security agencies are able to perform better than they are doing now.”
On the security chiefs, he said, “You see, in matters of security of course as leaders, we are supposed to lead but when it concerns security every single citizen matters in this. So, it is for all of us, citizens and leaders to ensure that we are playing our part as it is necessary.
“But I believe that now the time has come; we have reached a tipping point that everybody in Nigeria is concern about the security situation and therefore, we are all prepared and that is why we have come to meet with Mr. President as leaders of National Assembly on behalf of our colleagues, to discuss the way forward. And, of course, I believe that citizens’ participation is critical and crucial.”
Asked if the issue of using technology to fight insurgency was also looked into, Lawan said, “Definitely we are looking into technology but don’t want to divulge everything discussed about security. But I believe that the issue of technology is important. We need to minimize the casualties (on the side) of our armed forces and therefore we need to apply technology and become more efficient.
“It is also critical that because we are dealing with human beings, you are asking the military, the police to go and fight insurgents, kidnappers and bandits, you also need to do something about their welfare. How do they live? Where do they live? What is the condition of the schools for their children? And so on and so forth. So, these are issues that are very important and could have very important outcomes when we are able to do the right thing and we will do them.”
Rivers’ll Ensure Safe, Secure Environment For Economic Growth -Wike .
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that his administration would continue to support security agencies in the state to ensure a safe and secure environment for the economic prosperity of citizens.
He said the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps, the Operation Sting and the revitalised C4i security outfits were set up to help provide security to stimulate growth and prosperity of all in Rivers State.
The governor spoke through the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, at the 2021 Conference/Annual General meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Rivers State chapter, in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
“This administration has embarked on aggressive infrastructural development and a very deliberate urban renewal efforts around the capital to attract local and foreign investors to stimulate our economy.
“We have also opened up local governments through quality road networks. Upgrade of various social and recreational facilities in various local government areas,” he said.
He commended the state chapter of the NIPR for the choice of the theme of the conference: “Nigeria’s Security Situation: A Factor in Reputation and National Development”, adding that stakeholders must begin to act in a very different, drastic and positive strategy to remedy the already battered reputation of Nigeria.
He urged the NIPR to use its expertise and experience to thrive to galvanise and stimulate the populace and government at various levels for the resuscitation of citizens sense of pride and responsibility of whatever was left of the nation’s image and reputation.
“All hands must be on deck, especially reputation managers to call on government at all levels to begin to act in ways and manner that will help to revive the battered image of this country,” he added.
Welcoming guests and participants to the conference, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, who is also the state chairman of NIPR, commended the cordial relationship existing between the institute and the state government under the leadership of Governor Wike who is a honorary fellow of the institute.
“Governor Wike has been very supportive of all the activities of the Institute. That is what you also get from a visionary leader who has changed the landscape of Rivers State with infrastructure, with various developmental projects that touch the lives of the ordinary man,” he said.
Nsirim said the state chapter of NIPR was proud to associate with Governor Wike for the giant strides he has recorded and would continue to record until the end of his tenure in 2023.
“As a chapter that is responsive to the development of Nigeria, we have chosen the theme for this year’s conference as our own way of contributing to the national discourse,” he said.
He said the conference would produce a blueprint that would guide national discourse and urged participants to contribute robustly to the conversation.
“It is expected that the fallout of the conference will re-engineer national security and national development with the aim to put our country on the path of rapid growth,” he said.
In his speech, the President and Chairman of Governing Council of NIPR, Malam Mukhtar Sirajo, emphasised on the need for all Nigerians to collaborate to fight insecurity currently confronting the country’s economic and political stability.
He welcomed the theme of the conference, saying that it was coming at the time the institute had gotten sufficient worry about national security, peace and economic development.
In his keynote address, Dr. Ike Neliaku, chronicled the increasing violent crimes that had claimed thousands of lives in the various parts of Nigeria, and submitted that the rising insecurity situation in the country had impacted and would continue to impact negatively on corporate and national reputation.
He said the worrisome development would have concomitant consequence on individual and national development.
Chairman of the conference, Chief Felix Otuwarikpo, said the conference was put together to dissect the current carnage affecting the Nigerian nation.
“As an institute, we will leverage on the conference to proffer solutions to the security challenges affecting the nation,” he said.
The conference also featured the presentation of awards for good public relations and community development to some distinguished members and organisations.
Church Of Nigeria Honours Wike, Sanwo-Olu, Akeredolu, Others
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has bestowed awards for exemplary leadership qualities in a challenging economy and dedication in the service of God and humanity on the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and Ogun State Governor, Adedapo Abiodun.
Also honoured is the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Emmanuel Abayomi, with an award for quality and equitable healthcare delivery.
The awardees were honoured at the standing committee meeting of the Church of Nigeria, at the Diocese of Lagos, Archbishop Adebola and Oluranti Ademowo Resource Centre, Faith Plaza, Bariga, Lagos State.
The Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, who conferred the awards on the recipients, said the political leaders were considered for the award for their outstanding role, courageous leadership, and standing firm in defense of Nigerians against insecurity, provision of basic infrastructure to the citizenry and the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing the congregation on the state of the nation and the role of the church, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, admonished the leadership of the church to encourage its members to be part of the governance process in the country.
The governor noted that a situation whereby Christians leave governance for politicians alone is no longer obtainable.
According to Wike, the effect of bad leadership will also affect the church if they remain passive to the issue of governance.
“You must be part of choosing leadership. Don’t say you have no role, you have a role. When you don’t participate, bad leaders will emerge and when bad leadership emerges, you are part of it.
“You must encourage your people to be part of leadership. I didn’t go to any school to study leadership.
“So, nobody should say that as a Christian you cannot be a governor, no. The head of SUBEB in my state is a priest and you can see the leadership he has given to that agency today. You will feel proud about it. That used to be the most corrupt agency, but today it is headed by a priest and you can see the difference.”
Wike decried the inherent injustice that has characterised the Nigerian State, and urged the church to speak against socio-political issues adversely affecting the progress of the country.
“We say we are all one Nigeria. We went to World Bank to borrow money to do specific projects. One of the states that make up Nigeria I hear is Rivers State. And I also know in paying this money back to World Bank, money that comes from the resources of my state will be used in paying back this money. But my state was denied to have projects from that loan.”
The Rivers State governor said a situation where states depend on the Federal Government to survive can no longer be tenable, and insisted that states must be allowed to collect revenues such as Value Added Tax (VAT) to enable them improve the welfare of their people.
“You have gone to take loan and I am one of those states that will pay back those loan and you deny me to benefit from the projects that that money will be used for. I have no problem with that.
“Allow me the one (VAT) the Constitution says I am entitled to, let me collect that one and develop my state.”
He regretted that some governors in Nigeria have refused to think out of the box on how to boost economic activities in their states.
“There is flood in my state, it requires N200millon, I will go to Abuja to beg. Even as a governor, I will knee down before a DG of an agency of government. You will knee down for a director just because of N300million. That is the status of some of the governors of some states.”
In his remarks, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, commended the church for its support, and announced the waiver of N2billion for land acquired by the Church of Nigeria in Lagos State.
The governor stated that Nigeria and the rest of the world are going through difficult times amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, and used the occasion to canvass for mass vaccination of the citizens.
The Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, while speaking on the theme of the conference: “Abiding in Christ: God’s Panacea in an Unstable World”, lamented that Nigeria was fast becoming a land flowing with tears and blood because of the impact of terror, banditry, herdsman attacks on communities and kidnapping.
He said a situation in which communities that are predominantly Christians are targeted one after another in some parts of Kaduna State and North-Central of Nigeria was unacceptable.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to brand the bandits and herders attackers as terrorists and let them be treated as such.”
The Primate urged Nigerians to avail themselves the opportunity 2023 general election offer to exercise their right to choose new leaders.
He appealed to the Federal Government to urgently address the free fall in the value of the country’s currency because of the attendant impact on the store of value and confidence of investors.
Rivers Begins Process To Check Flooding
The Rivers State Government has said that it was working with relevant agencies to roll out the process that would check perennial flooding in the state.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed this at a media briefing in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
Nsirim, therefore, called on those living and doing business in the state to play their part in line with the programme that would be executed by government to address the problem of flooding.
He frowned at the situation where residents of Port Harcourt had turned the drainage systems into refuse bins, and warned that “that is not what it should be.
“The present administration under Governor Nyesom Wike is desirous to make Rivers State a destination of choice and that is why the government has embarked on massive infrastructural development in line with its urban renewal programme.
“So, what is expected of those living and doing business in Rivers State now, is to co-operate with government to ensure that the urban renewal programme and the plan by government to make this state a destination of choice is realised,” he said.
He noted that the state government could not do it alone as it required the support of corporate organisations, civil society groups, religious organisations and the media to enlighten their publics on the need to behave as responsible citizens.
He called on the media to embark on massive enlightenment programmes along the line of the roles of citizens in checking flooding in the state.
“We believe that if the citizens cooperate with government, as government is out to ensure that everyone living and doing business in the state does so in a healthy environment, we believe that in the next few days or weeks we will find a solution to this (flooding),” he said.
Nsirim also announced the names of entrants selected for the essay competition on the title, “Our State Our Responsibility” introduced under the second phase of the #OurStateOurResponsibility advocacy campaign of the ministry launched at the beginning of this month.
He said those shortlisted were expected to be at the conference room of the ministry by 11am on Monday, September 27, 2021, for a physical test to ascertain their original ownership.
Those shortlisted are: Jessica Hart, Samuel William, Amarachi Chimezie, Jasper Dorcas, Jaja Tamunoimiegba Christian, Sophia Oyibo, Blessing Pepple, Anyiam kelechukwu, Deborah Adegbami, Gift Samuel, Okiche Golden, Okiche Miracle, Orovwigwo Deborah, Otuka Goodluck and Ziga Paago.
By: Beemene Taneh
- Rivers3 days ago
Group Wants Ekpeye People To Pursue Common Goal
- Politics3 days ago
Reps Query Presidential Committee Over Assets Seized From Past Leaders
- Politics3 days ago
Chieftain Urges Kanu, Ighoho To Join APC
- Politics3 days ago
Sanwo-Olu Signs Anti-Open Grazing Bill Into Law
- Editorial3 days ago
For A Greater Rivers Utd FC
- Opinion3 days ago
OurStateOurResponsibility: An Insight
- News3 days ago
North Can Live Without VAT Accruals, NEF Boasts …Backs Wike, Southern Govs On Fiscal Federalism, Restructuring
- Politics3 days ago
Okowa Tasks NASS On True Federalism