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How Senate Endorsed Troops For Mali

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Senate
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria  last
Tuesday endorsed the deployment of One thousand, two hundred (1200) Nigerian
soldiers on Peace Keeping Mission to the Sahel region of Mali among the
African-led force(AFISMA) on limited combat duties.

The Nigerian troops are to
join other contingents across the continents to help the Malian Government
quell the insurgence of rebel Islamic extremists ; Al Queada.

The Senate during its Plenary
sitting, gave the approval following a request from the President and
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces , Goodluck Jonathan for the law makers’
consideration and approval for the deployment of the troops.

President Jonathan in a letter
to the Senate read by the Senate President David Mark at plenary drew the
Senate’s attention to the political and security crisis in Mali and the
attendant grave consequencies on both security of lives and property and
political stability of the Sahel region as well as the entire West African sub-
region

Mr. President notified the
Senate that the depoyment is also in line with the ECOWAS security council
resolutions 2071 and 2085 on the crisis in Mali

President Jonathan in the
letter to the Senate was clear on the reasoning that the activities of the
Islamic extremists are threats to not only Mali but all neighbouring countries
in the region

The letter read in parts “
Having satisfied myself that our national security is under imminent threat of
danger as a result of the crises in Northern Mali, I, in consultation with the
National Defence Council, approved the deployment of a contingent of 1,200
members of the Armed Forces to serve in the African-led force(AFISMA) in Mali
for limited combat duties.

“Nigeria is currently facing
daunting security challenges and given its proximity to the Sahel region, the
crisis in Mali, if not brought under control, may spill over to Nigeria and
other West African countries with negative consequences on our collective
security, political stability and development efforts.

“As responsible member of the
international community and given our recent experiences with insurgency and
terrorist activities especially in the northern parts of the country, I felt
compelled to urgently approve the deployment of Nigerian troops.

“The deployment of Nigerian
troops is in line with Security Council resolution 2085(2012) and is
necessitated by the need to combat armed and terrorist groups including
Al-Qaida in the Islamic Mageb(AQIM) and their activities, as well as
proliferation of weapons, from within and outside the region with grave
consequences on the security and stability in the northern parts of Mali and
beyond, including Nigeria.”

Just before the debate on the
request was concluded , President of the Senate, Senator David Mark said
because of the nature of the crises and considering Nigeria’s current security
situation , if Nigeria does not intervene on her own , the rest of the world
would be suprised.

According to him, Nigeria is
not only a big brother in ECOWAS but equally a big brother in African
continent.

He also maintained that if Nigeria fails to
intervene in curbing the crisis, if the situation continues, it may not be long
before the fire gets to Nigerian borders.

Senators who spoke on the
issue were very blunt on the height of terrorism consuming Mali at the moment
and the fact that Nigeria is already exposed to such.

However, many of them
considered the financial implications the deployment on Nigeria’s economy and
feel is time Nigeria started attaching economic policies to such military
assistance to other countries since many of them hardly reciprocate Nigeria’s
gesture in economic affiliations after their cloudy moments.

That not with standing, contributors
in Senator Magnus Abbe’s line of thought insisted that Nigeria’s assistance to
Mali or other African countries in need should not be linked with financial
gains but simply saving a brother in need even as we may need them some day
also.

He regretted that countries
like Nigeria waited for too long before deciding to move to Mali. According to
him, such delay had cost Africa lives, properties and even historical sites
like Timbuktu.

Abbe’s words “If we remember
the historical site of Timbuktu, just as the Asian has their own history we
also have our own history. I am shocked that we allowed them to go as far as
Timbuktu, the security if our country is being threatened by the activities of
these bandits I think we should help the Malian in their time of needs. I don’t
think when it comes to matter of security, we should start thinking of what we
are going to benefit. I think that we should stand by our soldiers and let them
know that in this journey Nigerians are behind them”.

The Leader of the Senate,
Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba in his lead debate fully supported President
Jonathan’ decision.

He said the lesson from the
Malian experience is that military regimes are out of fashion because the world
has come to know that they do not solve the problem of any nation.

According to Senator Ndoma
Egba this will send a very clear message to any ambitious military men that
their day is long gone.

However, he is of the opinion
that Nigeria must tie economic interests to her foreign policy stressing that
experiences in the past have shown that while Nigeria assist in achieving peace
in Liberia, Sierra Leone and other West African countries it must move up to
the next level of economic ties.

Deputy President of the
Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu said the rest of West Africa believed that
Nigeria should have acted long ago and like the Americans we need to take this
war to their homes.

“I think we need to commend
France for taking the lead in this effort. We must be our brother’s keeper we
need to save Mali from itself. I think what we are discussing today is germane
to us as a nation”.

Senator Chris Anyawu in
supporting President Jonathan’s decision reminded all stakeholders that Mali is
too close to Nigeria to ignore though there is every need to define the confine
of our engagement.

“Nigeria
is no longer in a position to play Father Christmas again. As we are going to
Mali we must know what we are going there for. As we are going we must carry
our business men along. That mindset of Nigerian foreign policy formulators
must change now. “ She said.

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Rivers Crisis: PDP Chairman Hails Jonathan’s Call For Truce

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The Lagos State chapter Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Philip Aivoji, has described former President Goodluck Jonathan’s call to end the political crisis in Rivers as commendable.
Mr Aivoji commended Jonathan  in an interview with The Tide‘s source on Monday in Lagos.
Recall that Jonathan had on Monday implored Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers  and his predecessor, (the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT) Chief Nyesom Wike, to sheathe their swords in order to douse the political temperature in the state.
The former president, who spoke at the inauguration of the N222.1 billion Trans-Kalabari Road construction, emphasised the necessity for Fubara and Wike to collaborate to promote the  progress and prosperity of Rivers State.
He noted that the political tension in the state was excessive and worrisome, and would not contribute to  development.
Jonathan said that destabilising Rivers State would adversely impact the Niger Delta region and could also trigger crises across the country.
Reacting to Jonathan’s admonition, Mr Aivoji described the former President as a man full of experience in mediation and conflict resolution, even at the international level.
“Jonathan is a leader in the party and a leader from South South; there is nothing wrong stepping in to broker peace. It is a good one,” the PDP boss said.
He, however, said that the former President should go further to speak the truth to the warring parties and point out  to each of them where they had erred.
“This is the way to settle issues. If we want to resolve it, we must tell the truth to them.
“The ex-President is an elder, he is an experienced person, who has been meditating in international affairs. Let us see how it goes,” he added.
According to him, the former President, being experienced mediator, must dig deep and probe the cause of the crisis.
“He (Jonathan) has seen it all. Peace of graveyard will not help the matter, they should resolve issues.
“We hope that the nitty-gritty will be looked into and the constitution of the party will be followed if they are true members of the party,” Aivoji said.

 

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Group Carpets Amaewhule Over Political Crisis In Rivers 

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A group, Coalition of Rivers State Leaders of Thought (CORSLOT) has blamed the former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Martins Amaewhule, for the escalation of the political crisis in the State.
The coalition, which stated this at a media briefing in Port Harcourt, said Rivers State would not have been in its current political situation had Rt Hon Amaewhule played the sacred role providence bestowed on him.
The text for the briefing which was read by the Convener, High Chief Sunnie Chukumele, and co-signed by Prof (Mrs) Reginah Azunwena, Odinaka Osundu, George Ijoma and Elder Anuage Menegbo, also commended Governor Siminalayi Fubara for his peaceful disposition despite the crisis, adding that this disposition has marked the governor as a man of peace.
“Pitiably under him, the world saw a legislative arm of government that was vehemently out to frustrate the executive arm with all sorts of negative actions against the governor and the government of Rivers State.
“Had Martins Amaewhule seen the state as sacred, he would have mediated in whatever were the issues between our former governor, His Excellency, Chief (Barrister) Nyesom Wike. Amaewhule failed woefully to play a stabilizing role which his exalted office gave him ample role to play”, they said.
The Coalition also called on former Governor Nyesom Wike to have a rethink on the political crisis in the state as he has a cardinal role to play in the resolution of the impasse.
“CORSLOT wishes to advise trouble entrepreneurs and eye service politicians of Rivers State origin to take note that power belongs to God Almighty and the people.
“Rivers people are taking note of these political actors.
“Rivers State is owned by Rivers people and not  self seeking politicians”, they said.
“We begin by appreciating the governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalaye Fubara, for working assiduously for peace by embracing and working with the Presidential Peace Accord of 2023 and to state that it is in recognition of this that the governor has won awards and honours within the state and Nigeria”
The Coalition also thanked the Governor for attending to the needs and welfare of citizens of the state, particularly the welfare of civil servants and the planned employment into the Civil Service.
“CORSLOT further recognizes the governor’s attention on infrastructural development in the state with his continuation of projects he inherited from previous administrations and indeed his bold initiatives of new ones.
These come with spiraling advantages”, they added.
They also urged the governor to take immediate steps to fill his cabinet with men and women who have the capacity to add value to the State.

By: John Bibor

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Council Boss Hails Fubara Over Successful Project Commissioning

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Following the successful commissioning of the  Andoni Section of the Ogoni-Andoni- Opobo Unity Road by Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, the Chairman of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area, Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam has commended the number one citizen of the state for his multiple  infrastructural development projects that have direct bearings on the lives and well -being of Rivers people, especially in NgoTown, headquarters of Andoni Local Government Area and its adjoining environs.
The Chairman maintained that the road, as commissioned, will provide connectivity between coastal communities, cities, and hinterlands, facilitating the movement of people, goods and services, which enhances trade, commerce and tourism, and also contributes to local economic development and the local government area’s internally generated revenue (IGR).
On the event, Hon. CookeyGam lauded the efforts of the initiator of the project, 24 years ago, Dr.Peter Odili, former governor of Rivers State, for his determination and love for the people that found expression in the initiation of the Unity Road project which has been able to connect the catchment local government areas of Khana, Andoni and Opobo/ Nkoro, including the neighbouring states.
He described both Dr. Odili and Governor Fubara as beacons of infrastructural development.
The Chairman of Council also urged Andoni people to guard against vandalization and theft of the facilities that have been put in place for their betterment.
He further admonished the people of Andoni in particular, and Rivers people in general, to support the good work the Governor has come to do despite distraction from some politicians in the state who do not mean well for the people.

By: Bethel Toby

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