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City Crime

On Throes Of Revolution

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One major challenge that stares the All Progressive Congress (APC)-led Federal Government of Nigeria in the face is the gargantuan security problem.
Nigeria is besieged by an army of blood tasty demons that do all in their powers to wreak havoc and unleash carnage. Kaduna, Kano, Zamfara and Bornu state have had a disproportionate share of carnage.
The states of the middle belt like Benue and Plateau are victims of rampaging herders who prefer cow to human beings.
Unfortunately, the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east has left hundreds of thousands of people dead in the unending feud purportedly targeted at western civilization. In more than a decade of crisis in the north- east, Bornu State residents have been butchered, decapitated and rendered homeless. Internally displaced persons (IDP) have grown like a swarm of bees. Mendicants have also invaded city centre’s to eke out a living in spite of the social problems resulting from enormous displacements.
The hues and cries of the vagabonds, the putrid smell of rotten corpses, and the menace of hunger in the IDP camps paint a picture of a nation in disarray. One Nigeria, unity in diversity and sundry other cohesive slogans are best written as epitaph on the graves of victims of the carnage. But most victims cannot boast of occupying their own graves as they are often buried en mass.
Sadly, those who swore to protect lives and property of citizens, end up protecting themselves and their families. Regrettably, the iniquitous inequality widens by the day fueled by rapacious greed of our leaders. While the led are slaughtered daily in their numbers, there is a terrible complacency on the part of the leaders. The iniquitous prejudice of ethnicity has become the bane of mutual patriotism. Federal character is slaughtered on the altar of sadistic fidelity to tribal cleavages.
Although, loyalty to the dictates of federal character in representation diminishes and sacrifices excellence but the beauty of excellence doesn’t reside in a particular region or location.
Unfortunately, in a government peopled by the mediocre, excellence is abhorred and dreaded, while mediocrity is often fetched in the recycling bin: after all, rust is ripeness.
Interesting, the National Assembly wants to make law on equitable distribution of service chiefs in compliance with federal character representation. But how far has the character representation been complied with in other areas? Iniquity has been naturalised in Nigeria.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State was recently attacked by hoodlums, who are believed to be herders acting on malice over the anti-open grazing laws. The herders have owned up to having attacked the governor and vowed to eliminate him.
Ortom, the Governor of Benue State is in charge of affairs not herders. Also, the truculent herders traversing the whole nation with malice do not come from Benue state. Many herders wreaking havoc in the country today are suspected to have come from neighboring countries like Niger and Chad.
However, FG’s reluctance to decisively deal with both the herders and Boko Haram insurgency is suspected to be mired in ethnic and religious biases.
The attack on Governor Ortom is the climax of nationwide insecurity. It is a clarion call to the federal government that the herders cannot be treated with kid gloves anymore.
If the Governor of Benue State can be attacked by herders, no one is safe anymore.
This attack must be seen as a lesson to modernize the country’s security apparati. Small arms and ammunition are getting into the wrong hands except for the security agencies and the military, others that carry arms mostly do so illegally and the society has acquiesced the unwholesome illegality. Government inaction has conferred a level of legality on the hitherto unlawful acts.
Indeed, communities have learnt how to solve their own problems heuristically in spite of government’s negligence. Federal Government’s inability to establish community police has led to all manner of self-help. The abandonment of the rule of law and resort to self-help has reached its apogee in the present administration.
The states are craving for state police to shore up law enforcement while communities demand community police more than ever. The hand writing on the wall is legible and pointedly reminds us of the state of our nation; a decrepit one indeed.
While regions and ethnic nations are singing discordant tunes, apologists and beneficiaries of the skewed Nigerian federation are at peace with the system. They law lay emphasis on section 2(1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) which states thus;
“Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state to be known by the name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Everybody is coerced to accept the indissolubility of the Nigerian state but no effort is made to engender unity and patriotism.
The right to life protected by section 3 of the aforesaid constitution has become rather bogus in the façade of wanton carnage in the both rural and urban centres.
Kidnapping of school children in the north east has become fashionable in the face of government’s willingness to pay ransom to criminals. That is exactly where we are. The bludgeoning corruption is fostered by weak institutions and strong individuals who are laws unto themselves, while the youths whose future is plundered applaud their neocolonialist. The captivity of the psyche has worsened the plunder.
Sagacity is murdered and foolishness is enthroned. It is because the good people have refused to call a spade a spade that corruption sits on high places.
Insecurity is heighted by the exploitation of the poor by few affluent ones in the midst of pervading poverty.
The recycling of politicians with jaded sensibilities has been the bane of Nigerian democracy. Those who ruled some decades ago are still on the saddle today even when they are benefit of the knowledge to lead a large and multi-ethnic nation like ours in the 21st century.
The widening inequality between the haves and the have-nots is evidenced in the tragic violence that has become the country’s lot.
The embers of insecurity are fanned by those who desire to maintain ethnic chauvinism of a select few who are born to rule forever.
With the blatant failure to reprimand a reprehensive act exhibited the herders as well as bring the culprits to book, our country finds itself on the throes of a revolution as ethnic nations are victimized by ubiquitous marauders.
Before the attempt to kill the governor of Benue state, farmers, families and tribes had been victims of genocide yet still after inconsolable rhetoric’s, the government continued in business as usual. The idiotic ineptitude of the Federal Government is playing out despite the ranting of leaders on their ability to protect the territorial integrity of the nation.

 

By: Chidi Enyie

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City Crime

Checking Insecurity Menace And Poverty

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Nigeria is one country in the present world order that can be likened to the Biblical “land that devours its inhabitants.” Every day, inhabitants of the country are killed in their numbers, yet, nothing is done to either bring the murderers to book or prevent a recurrence.
It is no longer news that no day passes by in Nigeria without killing of human persons. What is news is that despite the plenitude of the deaths, the government in power is clueless about how it can be prevented.
Amazingly, murderers have assumed larger than life status and can perpetrate evil so brazenly without encumbrance from security agents.
Kidnappers and abductors now negotiate with the Federal Government on the   ransom to be paid. Security has been compromised such that the middlemen between the Federal Government and abductors also get a handsome chunk from the arrangement.
On several occasions the Federal Government had paid ransom to abductors and kidnappers. The capitulation by FG to pay ransom to abductors and kidnappers has increased the number of criminals in the country. If nothing is done to check the menace, the country will be overrun by criminals.
One illegal business that thrives greatly under the present circumstances is kidnapping. Criminals are paying scant attention to armed robbery because of the nation’s cashless policy. 
Regrettably, now security agents flee to safety whenever they hear gunshots of perceived criminals. Many policemen no longer wear their uniforms because of the fear of harm. When security agents go into hiding what will civilians do? In Rivers State, most communities have taken steps to secure lives and property in their own way as result of the inability of the Nigeria Police to maintain law and order.
Nearly all communities in Ikwerre, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Ahoada and Etche local government areas of the state have their own security arrangements. 
The formation of Security Planning Advisory Committees of the various communities in the aforesaid local government areas underscores the failure of the Federal Government to secure the lives and property of its citizens.
On very many occasions OSPAC had rescued policemen and police stations from the hands of attackers.
Boko Haram, herders, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), unknown gunmen and a plethora of other unidentifiable killer groups scattered across the country have become the undoing of the country. 
Kidnappers, abductors and body-part sellers are all over the country, have gained high level of notoriety and turned same as bargaining chips with the government in power.
Unfortunately, a large chunk of the country’s resources is spent on security yet it is the most ailing sector of the economy. While a whopping 14 per- cent of the country’s budget amounting to trillions of naira, goes to security, there is nothing to show for it.
Again, state governors take billions of Naira monthly as security vote while insecurity has continued to kick us in the face. This is largely because the so called security vote is unaccounted for, so the state chief executive can afford to use same to solve their personal needs.
Yet still government’s inability to protect the security of lives and property of its citizens has become more worrisome especially because the most fundamental function of government is the maintenance of law and order. The biblical question,” if the foundation be broken what will the righteous do”, becomes more succinct and apt in the present circumstances.
Experts believe that the open admission by President Muhammadu Buhari that government has lost control of the security situation is indicative of the hopelessness that has become the lot of Nigerians.
Only recently a report originating from the United States of America indicated that Nigeria had reached a point of no return.
The aloofness of the Federal Government and the component states in the face of festering security situation leaves much to be desired. The preponderance of separatist agitations in the wake of insecurity and lack of cohesion may further worsen the state of the nation.
As it stands now, this nation has failed as all indices of a failed state are manifest. According the research carried out by US-based Council for Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Harvard Kennedy School’s programme on interstate conflict, Nigeria is on the final stage of collapse.
The finding of the research enables the Federal Government to seek solution to the twin problem of insecurity and poverty.
Today it is no longer news that many families in the country cannot have three square meals, yet Nigeria is blessed with abundant natural resources.
The truth of the matter is that the leadership of the country has failed both at federal and state levels. The claim by the Federal Government that it is fighting corruption in the face of primitive accumulation of wealth by state governors and political office holders nationwide is only a figment of imagination. 
The large scale external borrowing is a serious indictment of the Federal Government’s ineptitude and blatant testimonial of lack of vision. Today some families cannot have two meals a day.
On the one hand, the Federal Government’s ban on importation of certain commodities is either sabotaged or has not been able to make the expected impact as one still finds balance of payment deficit.
The export promotion of the Federal Government has been abysmal as oil continues to be the main foreign exchange earner in the country, in spite of dwindling fortunes of the sector. There is no deliberate plan by the Federal Government to diversify the economy.
Poverty will continue to be a menace so long as the entire country continues to depend on crude oil revenue. Insecurity and poverty are good bedfellows; where there is one, there is the other.
Consequently, the better way to fight insecurity is to fight those things that make room for criminal disposition.

By: Chidi Enyie

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City Crime

Next-Of-Kin

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Next-of-kin is a title that can be given, by you, to anyone from your partner to blood relatives and even friends. It can also be defined as someone who is chosen by a person to provide the necessary information about the person when the person who chooses him or her becomes readily unavailable or when the person is in the situation that deprives the person the opportunity of providing vital information for him or herself.
In the case of Joseph V. Fajemilehin O. O. & Anor (12012) LPEL 9849 (CA) the court said thus, “let it be placed on record that the term Next-of-Kin can be used in three senses. Firstly, it can be used to simply refer to the nearest blood relative or secondly, the person who is to be notified in the case of any eventualities of life such as accident, emergency or death, secondly, he may be required to make medical decisions, such as providing information or consent for a person who is in capacitated, or thirdly the term can be used to refer to an heir.”
It must be noted clearly that appointing a next-of-kin is not a substitute to making a valid will. This is so, because when a person dies testate (i.e the person made a valid Will), the matter of next-of-kin is of no relevance. The estate of the deceased is distributed strictly according to the Will. In a situation where the deceased dies intestate (i.e. without making a valid Will), the question of the distribution of his estate is governed by the law.
The Customary Law/Islamic Law or the Administration of Estate Law will apply depending on the kind of marriage contracted by the deceased. In other words, if the deceased contracted a statutory marriage, the distribution of his estate shall be governed by either the English Law or the Administration of Estate Law. See Obuzez V. Obuzez (2007) 10 NWLR (PT 1043) 430. It must be noted that the Administration of Estate Law provides for the order of inheritance, which must be complied with strictly and a next-of-kin is not among the categories of those entitled to inheritance in this instance.
There is nothing special about next-of-kin as far as succession is concerned. Because next-of-kin does not confer the right of inheritance on the person so named. Under the Nigerian law of intestate succession, one cannot choose his heir under the pretext of next-of-kin, since the act of naming a next-of-kin does not amount to testamentary disposition. Succession is regulated by law. It is only those entitled by law to inherit a deceased person’s estate that can do so. A next-of-kin is not one of such persons. However, this is without prejudice to his right to inherit on a personal ground. Thus, if the person so named as a next-in-kin is the son or daughter of the deceased, he/she is entitled to inherit, not as a next-of-kin, but because he is the legitimate child of the deceased. Also, if the person so named as a next-of-kin, is also named in a valid Will made by the deceased, he/she is entitled to an inheritance not because he/she is a next-of-kin, rather because, he/she is named in the Will.

By: Nkechi Bright-Ewere

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City Crime

Porous Security:  Rivers Community Demands Perimeter Fence For School

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To aid the fight against in security, some residents of Rukpokwu in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area have called on the state government to take urgent steps, and provide its Community Secondary School with perimeter fence.
They said the thick bush around the school premises was enough security threat and needed to be checked with immediate alacrity.
A resident, who only gave her name as Mama Ejima, said that the provision of a perimeter fence in the school will discourage a social vices in the area.
The lady told The Tide yesterday in Port Harcourt, that the thick bush was now providing a cover for some students.
According to her, some of the students leave home in the pretext of going to school only to be seen elsewhere by some vigilante youths from the community.
Another resident, Mrs Amara Chukwumeka, said it has become a kind of normalcy for the students to hide themselves in the bush even during school hours.
Chukwumeka noted that unless the bush was cleared, the students will continue to utilise it.
She expressed regrets that such thick bush could be seen in the centre of the community which was saturared with numerous modern day structures.
Some staff of the school who pleaded anonymity, said that they had approached the community over the issue, but did not receive a favourable reply.
They recalled that the bush was part of the challenge the school had ever faced since its inception.
On the allegation of providing cover for some students, they declined comments, but said such a place can nest anyone with criminal tendencies irrespective of the person’s occupation.
The Tide was informed that the bush was left in the area due to prolonged litigation between two claimants to the parcel of land. 
The said school is sited off SARS Road by Obio/Akpor International Market, Rukpokwu Community.

By: King Onunwor

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