The Chairman of the North-East Governors Forum (NEGF), Governor Babagana Umara Zulum has declared that for Nigeria to win the war against insurgency, banditry, kidnappings, particularly abduction of school children across the country, the Federal Government must as a matter of necessity seek the support of mercenaries.
This is as Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, said that public opinion at the moment is that government has failed, stressing that the over centralization of the security arrangement in the country is an obsolete school.
Zulum said that his recommendation is to enable the government win the terror war considering the fact that the country’s military might is not enough to fight the terrorists to submission.
This was just as he advised that as a matter of urgency, government should convert all boarding schools in the North to day schools in the face of incessant abductions of the students due to lack of adequate security in the schools as demonstrated in the Katsina, Niger and Zamfara mass abduction of students.
Zulum, who stated these at the opening ceremony of 4th meeting of the North-East Governors Forum in Bauchi, noted that it is clear that the country is fighting a war it cannot win alone and lamented the devastating effects of insurgency in Borno State which he noted is the theatre of the war.
He said, “It is regrettable that for seven weeks now, the entire Borno State has been cut off from the national grid of electricity power supply due to the damage done to the main line of supply to the area”.
He therefore called for action by the government at all levels, particularly the North-East sub-region which is mostly affected by terrorism, adding that the current escalation of deadly attacks by terrorists and the various causes of actions being pursued to fight insurgents has some limitations in terms of the expected impact, hence the need for a new set of pragmatic and result oriented initiative.
Zulum further said, “The government should also seek for support from neighbouring countries such as the Republic of Chad, Cameron and Niger with a view to providing a joint action that will look into the possibility of ending this crisis.
“Federal government has to look into the possibility of involving machineries with a view to ending this insurgency because it seems that the commitment is not there. Therefore, for us to end this insurgency we must be committed enough, we must bring in external support to ensure that machineries are hired to end this insurgency.
“On our part, in addition to the logistic and financial support we are rendering to the armed forces in their fight against general insecurity in the sub-region, we should also look into the possibility of forming a security outfit within the ambit of constitutional precedent and operational feasibility as has been done in other parts of the country,” he advised.
Zulum also advised the new service chiefs to device new strategies to counter the attacks of insurgency and forestall any future acts of terrorism in the North-East.
Earlier in his address of welcome, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State as the host, stressed the need to stand up and fight the insurgency war with all vigour.
Mohammed said that insurgents when defeated will not be able to regroup again which will ensure the return of peace to the sub-region”.
In his words, “Our fight against insurgency must be total because by the time Maiduguri is subdued, then we are not safe here too. Security infrastructure must be put in place to be able to fight this war considering the sophistication of the terrorists.
“We will not just sit down and watch terrorists overrun us. We must stand up to fight them, chase them away and ensure that our areas are well secured. We must do everything possible to protect our people from the terrorists.
“If we must be honest, the public opinion at the moment is that we have failed. Many of our people have resorted to self-help in order to get away from this despondency. We must accept the fact that the over centralization of the security arrangement is an obsolete school,” he stressed.
LG Boss Uncovers Bloodstained Army Uniform At ‘Cocaine Village’
The newly inaugurated Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, Obarilormate Ollor, has gone to ‘Cocaine village’ at Eleme Trailer Park to execute Governor Nyesom Wike’s quit order on residents of the illegal settlement when he made a shock discovery in one of the rooms.
Ollor had visited the area notorious for drugs and crimes, last Sunday, along with some security personnel to serve the quit notice on residents but met the area deserted—an indication that someone had alerted them about the visit.
Out of curiosity, the chairman opened one of the rooms in the ghetto-like settlement, and found the bloodstained uniform of a soldier, his knife and ATM card.
The chairman and his entourage had expressed suspicion that criminals in the area had killed the owner of the uniform and robbed him.
Ollor said, “Remember that a week ago, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, gave a directive that all illegal structures be removed. As the chief security officer of the local government, I am under that obligation.
“What we are doing here today is to inform them in advance and to remind them that the ultimatum still holds. So, on or before June 26, they should move out.
“What we have here is a mixed population of criminals, armed robbers, drug dealers, and even those who allegedly trade in human parts. Right now, we just found the uniform of an Army man who probably may have been killed. His blood all over the room and uniform, his knife and ATM card, which we have given to the police.”
The Rivers State Police Command has reportedly swung into action to unravel the perpetrators of the alleged crime.
Spokesman of the police, SP Nnamdi Omoni, said that the command had received reports about criminal activities in the area, including the alleged killing of a soldier.
Omoni said, “We have gotten complaints and reports of drug traffickers, criminal elements, human organ dealers, kidnappers and more from there.
“Though we have been carrying out investigation into all of the reports but thank God, we now have a good lead and evidence.
“We have been mandated by the state government to carry out massive arrest within the environs to ensure we arrest and prosecute all those persons involved.”
Residents said that the ‘Cocaine village’ is a haven for drug dealers and users, adding that security operatives also patronize the area.
An aide of the Eleme LG chairman, who spoke off-the-record said, “The governor received an intelligence report that the slum harbours criminals and drug addicts who carry out series of crimes, human organ trafficking, abductions and many other criminal acts in the LGA and state at large.
“We learnt also that some security men troop in there off and on to buy drugs and indulge in one crime or the other.
“The military uniform stained with blood, knife and motorcycle discovered were found in one of the rooms we opened.
“The badge of the military uniform was removed and there were heavy blood stains on the uniform.
“We went there with some police men as assigned to us by the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Eboka Friday”, he added.
Insecurity Hasn’t Hindered Projects’ Execution In Rivers, Wike Affirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says that his administration has fearlessly tackled insecurity headlong and created an enabling climate for smooth delivery of quality development projects.
Wike made the assertion at the inauguration of 16.2-kilometre long Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi Road project in Omuma Local Government Area of the state, yesterday.
The governor noted that while other states of the country were still struggling with issues of insecurity, Rivers State was witnessing harvest of development projects with the non-stop inauguration and flag-off ceremonies to their amazement.
“Don’t fight anybody that God has blessed. Don’t fight the state that God has blessed. People are talking about insecurity. We are talking about commissioning and flagging-off of projects. Is it easy? If it is easy, let them try it.”
Wike asserted that it is only states controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) like Rivers that has created a peaceful climate for the citizens while the government delivers democratic dividends.
“Those who say they don’t like what PDP is doing, they have no choice but to like it. You can see what the party (PDP) is doing. We are flagging-off and commissioning projects. Whether they like it or not, we are in charge.”
The governor said it is obvious that Rivers State is no longer on the same level with states that cannot provide dividend of democracy to their people.
Wike said the performance of his administration has restored confidence in Rivers people and they can walk with their heads raised high.
“Rivers people, are you not proud of your state? If you’re a Rivers man, anywhere you go, raise your shoulder high and say that you’re a Rivers man and woman. “They (other parties) can only jealous us, but they cannot do anything. We are of different class. We are not on the same level with them.”
Speaking further, Wike commended the member representing Omuma State Constituency, Hon. KelechiNwogufor his loyalty to PDP.
He also extolled him for his commitment to the welfare of Omuma people and being a trusted ally to him.
At the behest of Nwogu, Wike promised Omuma people that his administration would reconstruct the Umuakali-Eberi Road in appreciation of their support to the PDP.
Inaugurating the project, former President of the Senate, Senator Adolphus Wabara, noted how Wike has redefined governance and broken the jinx of non-performance associated with second tenure governors.
According to him, the approach to development that the governor has adopted stands him out as a much sought-after leader who should be consulted in solving critical national issues related to governance.
“With my experience in elective politics, second terms of most governors are dull; some governors will just go to sleep because they don’t have anything to offer. But you are still commissioning projects, as if you’re not even going to leave.
“Your developmental approach, your developmental plans, and formula should make you an international consultant to the failing government. Because, quite frankly, the magic, I mean, nobody knows except you. You do it with ease, you do it with happiness.”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, EllokaTasie-Amadi said the Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi link road in Omuma Local Government Area was another genuine efforts of the Wike administration to ease the transportation difficulties experienced by rural dwellers in the Omuma.
“Many of these rural projects go unsung probably because the residents are not social media savvy, as in the case of Omuma, who are predominantly farmers, or probably because SM activities are not a part of their past times as it is with city dwellers.
“It may shock you to know that for every kilometre of road we have built in the city we have built 12kms or more in the rural areas. This is a conservative estimate I would like you to ponder upon when you get home.”
He further stated, “This project is a 16.2km long, 10.3m wide road project which has 4.3km of drains. The roads are marked and have a total of 27 road signs to aid driving and enhance public safety.”
Wike Flags Off Abonnema/ Obonoma Sandfilling Project, Today
All is now set for the flag-off of the Abonnema/Obonoma Sandfilling project in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, said that, “the project will sandfill 42 hectares of land that will help expand Abonnema and Obonoma Towns.
“It is in fulfilment of the promise made by Governor Nyesom Wike during the commissioning of the Abonnema Ring Road”.
The statement further added that, “The rich culture and tradition of the Kalabaris will be fully on display at the event.
“Please, note that all Covid-19 protocols will be observed at the event”, it stressed.
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