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Reps Give Buhari 48hrs To End Insecurity …IGP Reads Riot Act To CPs, Others …Bandits, Kidnappers Have Taken Over Katsina -Masari …Expedite Action On Leah’s Release, Senate Tells Buhari

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The House of Representatives has asked President Muhammad Buhari to, as a matter of national emergency, address the nation on what his administration is doing to Nigerians across the country, and do so within the next 48 hours.
According to the resolutions reached during yesterday’s plenary, areas to be highlighted in the address should include the president’s inability and that of his administration since inception to declare the killer herdsmen as terrorists.
Other areas are the inability of the armed forces under his watch to stop the reoccurring deaths of scores of innocent Nigerians annually from systematic attacks by killer herdsmen and alleged bandits and the gradual occupation of affected communities by these herdsmen despite countless assurances and statements by him promising to stop the attacks; his selective and ineffective responses to the killing of Nigerians by herdsmen especially in Benue State and his immediate measure to dislodge the killers.
Also demanded for mentioning in the address are the inability of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) under his watch to immediately provide relief materials and rehabilitation of affected communities in line with their statutory mandate in spite of the N10 billion he announced had been provided; the inability of his administration through the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) and other relevant agencies or policy initiatives to enable proper communication network provision in affected communities and evidence of complicity of traditional rulers, political detractors and recently foreign miners in the perpetration of incessant killing of Nigerians.
The resolutions posited that failure to address the people within the stipulated period of 48 hours would leave it with an impression that the president and his “administration are incapable of permanently curtailing the incessant killing of innocent Nigerians by killer herdsmen.”
Similarly, the House averred that such a scenario would mean that the president and his administration have failed in their primary constitutional responsibility of ensuring the security and welfare of the citizens of Nigeria.
The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion titled: “Resurgence of the Incessant and Annual Massacre of Innocent Nigerians Across the Country by Alleged Bandits and Killer Herdsmen, the Gradual Occupation of Affected Communities by These Attackers And The Lack of Adequate Rehabilitation and Relief Materials”, sponsored by Hon. Mark Terser Gbillah (PDP, Benue).
Gbillah, in his presentation, told his colleagues that the country was disappointed that the government and the armed forces have failed to protect the people.
“The House is disturbed by the resurgence of attacks by killer herdsmen and alleged bandits in communities in Benue, Kaduna, Zamfara and other states of the federation from January 2019 till date which has resulted in the loss of hundreds of innocent lives and displacement of thousands of Nigerians who have fled their homes and means of livelihood for fear of losing their lives.
“The brazen nature of the attacks by the herdsmen and alleged bandits who attack these communities with impunity brazenly clad in military fatigues and audibly communicating with each other in Fulani as reported by eye witness accounts from the recent attacks in Kaduna calls for concern.
“Obviously emboldened by the inability of the Nigerian armed forces to curb their activities these killers have gradually progressed from attacking remote villages at night to sacking whole towns in broad daylight displacing residents and occupying affected communities
“Disappointed at the reactive responses of the Nigerian Armed Forces to these attacks under this administration and their inability to proactively attack the publicly known location of these herdsmen or establish a permanent base at restive locations in line with globally recognized rules of engagements. In instances like the one in Benue where army agrees to move personnel in closer proximity to the troubled spots the army requests for a location with proper communication coverages which is not the responsibility of a state government and requests for the state to cater for the welfare of her personnel.
“Worried about the inability of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, under this administration to fulfil their statutory mandate of providing relief materials and rehabilitation to hapless displaced Nigerian citizens and their affected communities especially when this administration claims to have allocated N10 billion for required intervention in affected states of the federation which till date, this administration has not provided details or verifiable evidence of the actual utilization of these funds. Even a formal petition to NEMA by an elected representative of the community requesting urgent relief materials and rehabilitation has not been responded to by NEMA over one year later.
“Refuses to further condone the continuous killing of innocent Nigerians with impunity despite the plethora of motions and resolutions passed on the floor of the House and the Senate in this regard and will have no other option than to directly engage the President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces who has the primary responsibility for the security and welfare of every Nigerian citizen”, Gbillah said.
His motion was adopted with an additional prayer to constitute an ad-hoc committee to interface with the presidency regarding the issues and also engage the Minister of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs, Chairman and Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, related state governments and relevant stakeholders in a public hearing to determine permanent solutions to the killings.
On a related matter, the House also mandated its committees on Army, Human Rights, Justice and Police Affairs to probe the killings of some ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in Rivers State during the last general elections.
The resolution followed the adoption of a motion moved by Hon. Kingsley Chinda from Rivers State, wherein he stated that during the elections, “there was palpable presence of heavily armed men of security agencies, including the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and the Nigerian army in several places across the country including Rivers State with clear cases of harassment and intimidation of voters and electoral officials, and sporadic gunshots by men of the security agencies”.
In Chinda’s own words: “Dr Ferry Gberegbe, a lecturer with the Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori, Rivers State was shot in his lower abdomen by men of FSARS led by ACP Akin Fakorede and he died a few days later from the gun wound.”
He added that “also at Degema, one Mrs Ibisaki Amachree was shot dead by the Nigerian army”.
Chinda described the killing as “callous and inhuman”, and called the House to immediately investigate the incidents.
Adopting the motion, the House gave the committees two weeks within which to do their assignments and report back to the House for further legislative action.
Meanwhile, the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu has threatened to sanction Commissioners of Police in charge of state commands over dereliction of duty.
Adamu gave the warning at a meeting with officers on the rank of commissioner and above, yesterday in Abuja.
“I charge you all as you return to your various commands to renew your sense of commitment to duty and demonstrate requisite professional leadership needed to roll back the trend of crimes in your commands,” he said.
He enjoined them to evolve new strategies and approaches to crime management.
“You must learn to harness the strength within to neutralize all forms of crimes and security threats.
“The only way we can stay ahead of criminals is to continually generate actionable criminal intelligence to support our ant-crime functions,” he said.
The police boss said that the only way to achieve this was to cultivate partnership and confidence by returning policing to the people.
He said that while some of the commissioners have done well in their commands, some have not.
Adamu said that the current security challenges in the country had made non-performance unacceptable to the force.
He said the leadership of the force would strive to support and motivate them to effectively discharge their duty.
The police boss said that with the current security challenges in the country, it was the duty of personnel of the force to rededicate themselves to their constitutional mandate.
“The threats appear challenging but I can assure you that they are surmountable and we shall provide the requisite leadership needed to address them,” he said.
“We, however, cannot do it alone. We seek the citizens’ supports and we trust that you shall all partner with us to present a common front in the war against criminals,” he said.
Adamu said that “Operation Puff Adder” was conceptualised to further complement the functions of the commissioners at the commands.
He said that the initiative, which was launched on April 5, was yielding results with the arrest of 46 suspects, rescuing of two victims and killing of 10 suspects.
Others are: 1,300 AK-47 live ammunition, 10 extra rifle magazines, 28 live cartridges, recovery of 18 AK-47 rifles and nine locally made fabricated weapons.
He alleged that some traditional rulers in Zamfara were also involved the mining business that had contributed to the security problems in the state.
He said that the meeting would review the progress so far made by the initiative in response to the resurgence of kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry and other heinous crimes.
Also, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State has lamented that bandits have taken over his state.
Masari spoke to the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) Muhammed Adamu, on Wednesday.
The Governor said his government has met with the eight Local Government chairmen to keep them informed, adding that he will do whatever possible to see to the final onslaught on the bandits.
He said the IGP was coming in a period of anxiety and apprehension.
Masari said that Katsina State has supported and will continue to support the ongoing ‘Operation Puff Adder’ with funds, logistics and accommodation.
He also announced a donation of 12 vans to the police.
The Deputy Governor, MannirYakubu, spoke on behalf of Governor Masari, said kidnappers and the bandits have taken parts of Katsina and destroyed properties at will.
He said, “These bandits strike at will, maim at will, destroy lives and property at will.
“In other parts of the state, we also have kidnappers who not only take people on the road but in the comfort of their homes.
“Unfortunate incidence of the governor’s in-law who was taken in the comfort of her home.”
The eight local government areas are: Jibia, Batsari, Safana, Dan-Musa, Faskari, Sabuwa, Dandume and Kankara.
In a related development, the Senate, yesterday, asked the Federal Government to expedite action on the freedom of Leah Sharibu, the student of Science Secondary School Dapchi, Yobe State, who has been in captivity of the Boko Haram insurgents since February last year.
A splinter group of Boko Haram insurgents had, on February 19, 2018, abducted 115 girls from the school but released 109 a month after, claiming that five out of the abducted girls died in captivity while Leah Sharibu was held back for refusing to renounce her faith.
Since then, both federal and state governments had promised Leah’s parents that she would be released from captivity but nothing was being done on the issue 13 months after.
The senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, drew the attention of his colleagues to Leah’s plight, through a point of order, yesterday, stressing the need to urge the Federal Government to expedite action on rescuing the girl.
Sani said, “Fourteen months of Leah Sharibu in the captivity of Boko Haram insurgents and five years of the yet to be released Chibok girls calls for national concern and urgent need by relevant authorities to do all within their powers in getting them released.
“What perhaps may be the most important strategy to be adopted in getting Leah and others out of captivity is the option of dialogue with the their abductors.
“It has worked in so many other places where similar abductions took place like Afghanistan, Pakistan and other nations being terrorised by the Talibans.
“Though government cannot be said not to have taken actions in getting Leah and others released, but there is need for it to redouble and expedite actions in that direction.
“This is because parents and relatives of the abductees should be freed from psychological trauma they must have been facing and for the abductees to know that they have a country that cares for them”.
Sani’s motion was not subjected to debate because it was raised under self explanation but the Senate President, Bukola Saraki in his remarks, said all efforts must be made by the Federal Government in getting Leah and others released.
However, the Senate, yesterday, confirmed three new ambassadorial nominees recommended to it by President Muhammadu Buhari early this year.

 

Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja

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Ateke’s Reign As King Has Brought Peace To Okrika, Wike Confirms

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has said that the recognition of King Ateke Michael Tom as the Amanyanabo of ancient Okochiri Kingdom by the Rivers State Government has brought peace, stability and security to Okochiri and entire Okrika communities.
The governor acknowledged that without the support of traditional rulers, it would be difficult for any government at whatever level to achieve peace.
Wike stated this after he was conferred with the traditional title, “Se Taribo 1st of Okochiri Kingdom (a man who has love for his people),” at Okochiri in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, last Saturday.


The governor said: “The recognition of Ateke Tom by government as the Amanyanabo of Okochiri has brought peace in this domain, and the people are happy with his leadership. And that is why, today, you can see that there is peace that reigns within the environment of Okochiri, and to greater extent, the entire Okrika Local Government.”
The governor noted that when a person is saddled with the responsibility of presiding over the affairs of the people, once his administration is predicated on justice, fairness and equity, it would yield peace and happiness for those governed.
“It is one thing to be traditional ruler, it is another thing to live up to the expectation of a traditional ruler. You have kept your kingdom as one, you have kept your kingdom in peace, you have kept your kingdom united, and that is what is expected of a traditional ruler.
“You’re not just a traditional ruler to confer chieftaincy title on us; you’re also a traditional ruler to help government to maintain peace in your domain; because without the traditional rulers, it will be difficult for any government at whatever level to achieve anything.
“Governance without peace, governance without security is no governance. Governance is predicated on protection of lives and property.”

Wike noted that the massive turn out of people from all walks of life to grace the fourth anniversary of the coronation of King Ateke Michael Tom as the Amanyanabo of Okochiri, and dedication of his new palace, was a demonstration of their appreciation of his leadership.
“Ateke Tom has brought peace. Don’t see him as Ateke Tom that fought for the Niger Delta, see him as Ateke Tom, the traditional ruler, the Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, whose traditional duty is to make sure peace reigns in his domain”, Wike told the people.
Wike, who commended the king for being supportive of the Government of Rivers State, promised to complete all ongoing infrastructural projects started by his administration in Okochiri and the entire Okrika Local Government Area.
The governor urged the people of Okrika and the rest of the country to rally round, and collectively ensure that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was ousted from power in 2023.
“It’s only God that is holding us today. Things are very difficult day by day. The government at the national level has failed us, and therefore, it’s time for Nigerians to rally round to make sure we have a government that will take care of our people.”
In his remarks, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo said the recognition of the ancient Okochiri Kingdom stool by the governor has brought peace, joy and development to the entire Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State.

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Subsidy Removal’ll Worsen Nigerians’ Suffering, PFN Tells FG

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The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has told the Federal Government that removing fuel subsidy would worsen the suffering of the majority of Nigerians who are already impoverished.
The President of PFN, Bishop Wale Oke, urged the government to shelve the proposed policy in order not to worsen the hardship and trigger crisis in the country.
Oke said this in a statement, yesterday, on the proposed subsidy removal.
He explained that the implementation of the policy would lead to hike in the price of fuel and this would have a ripple effect on prices of goods and services
Oke warned that the implementation of such policy would increase the hardship currently being experienced by the people of the country.
The cleric said prices of foodstuffs and other daily needs were increasingly going out of reach of the people, noting that if the proposed subsidy removal was effected, it would exacerbate the hardship of the people of the nation.
Oke further said the situation in the country was very bad because of the steady decline in the purchasing power of Nigerians as a result of the continuous fall in the value of the nation’s currency.
The statement read, “Everybody will feel it, particularly the less privileged. The negative effects will surely outweigh the positive.
“The cost of transportation for human and goods across the country will skyrocket and other things connected which will have a spiral effect on general living standard of the populace; the suffering will be multi-dimensional. Please let all stakeholders be sensitive to this avoidable path and do the needful.
“By whatever means, let the Federal Government put its heart into ensuring that our refineries are back to life. In addition, in order to stem the rising cost of living, farmers and others connected to them should be encouraged. This is what can help our economy.”
He said the PFN would always support policies that would enhance good governance, but charged the government to this effect to put in place tangible palliative measures that could ameliorate the hardship being experienced.
He said, “Without begging the issue, there should be well defined palliative measures in place that can cushion the effect of the hardship being experienced by Nigerians, especially the commoners. One is not talking about political palliatives that never last. We have seen enough of such.
“An increase in the price of petroleum from its present N165 to N340 per litre can trigger tension and crises in the country which in turn can paralyse our economy if not handled with utmost care.
“Again, the planned introduction of N5,000 for 40million poor Nigerians is to create a cesspool of corruption. How do you define the poor? They, mostly, don’t use telephones. They, mostly, don’t have bank accounts. How will the money get to them?”
Oke advised the government to be wary of policies that could jeopardize the conduct of the 2023 general elections, insisting that all hands must be geared towards steering the wheel of the country to safety.
As a panacea to the rising cost of food items, the PFN President advised that farmers and relevant stakeholders should be empowered with relevant tools and funds through loans with little interest.
Oke, who is also the presiding Bishop of The Sword of the Spirit Ministries, implored the government not to relent in its efforts at ensuring that security challenges in the country become a thing of the past.
Similarly, the Leader of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Primate Elijah Ayodele has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against the proposed fuel subsidy removal.
In a statement released by his media aide, Osho Oluwatosin, Ayodele warned the government to withhold plans to remove fuel subsidy in the interest of the poor masses because a lot of things would be affected by it.
He made it known that the Nigerian economy isn’t in good shape at the moment and removing subsidy at a critical economic situation would cause more damage than good for the Nigerian economy.
He noted that some banks, companies would be affected and that the debt profile of the country would keep on increasing unless the government swings into action.
Furthermore, he warned Buhari not to be carried away by wrong advice because it would lead his government to nowhere.
‘’The removal of fuel subsidies at a time like this is not advisable because the economy of Nigeria isn’t in good shape. Already, the people are faced with enough hardship and removal of fuel subsidy will only worsen the situation.
‘’When the report came up last week that the government will be replacing subsidy with N5,000 transportation grant for 40million poor Nigerians, I smiled because that plan is not sustainable, there is no provision for it in the 2022 budget, then what’s the plan?
‘’I have said it before that I foresee a massive protest against hunger which will involve everyone in the country, the government doesn’t have to wait till this happens, that’s why I warned them ahead, but the path they are toiling right now is moving towards the direction of the protest. They have gotten it wrong and a time will come when political leaders will regret their positions because there will be attacks against them from everywhere by those who elected them.
‘’I advise the Federal Government to hold on with the plans to remove subsidy for the sake of the masses and for peace to reign in the country. If not, there will be an uprising,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Archbishop of the Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma has asked the Federal Government to jettison the idea of paying N5,000 palliative to 40million Nigerians.
The government said the decision was to cushion the effect of the planned removal of fuel subsidy.
But Chukwuma, who rejected the removal of subsidy, described the proposed N5,000 palliative “as a huge disgrace.”
He said this during a press conference on the activities lined up for the 50th Anniversary of the Enugu Diocese, Anglican Communion.
While noting that the Enugu Diocese was concerned about the level of governance of Nigeria, he added that “we are also concerned about peace and the unity of Nigeria, as well as infrastructural development.”
He called on the government “to be sensitive about the situation of Nigeria; we frown against the killings, the banditry, the kidnappings, inequality, injustice and all the evils.
“Of late, we can see how ‘Mkpuru Mmiri’ is destroying our youths, it is highly condemnable. We are calling on our youths to please avoid this so that they don’t get their heads out of order. This is not how they will become future leaders.
“Right now, I want to say that the government of Nigeria has not treated the South-East fairly; particularly now that we are getting into the yuletide, Enugu-Onitsha Expressway is a total disaster, Enugu-Port Harcourt they are putting it to use but it is not yet complete.
“We are calling on the minister of works to stop playing pranks and politics with the roads in the South-East. Rail transport should also be extended to the South-East; we see no reason the minister of transport should neglect his own zone.
“It is important for our government to know that most youths are angry; they are angry because they are hungry. I just heard about giving N5,000 to 50million Nigerians, it is a disgrace. It will not bring any positives on our people. We are also frowning at galloping inflation.
“Our naira is becoming useless and something must be done about it. E-naira or whatever is not the solution at all.”
He also called on the residents of South-East not to toy with the on-going voter’s registration exercise, stressing that “these things count; South-East should stop shortchanging themselves; that’s the only way they will have a say in 2023.”
On the church’s anniversary, Chukwuma disclosed that, “It became a Diocese in August, 1970; exactly last year August, Enugu became 50 years of its inauguration with the first Bishop, Rt. Rev. Gideon Nweke Otubelu. By the grace of God, he championed the course of Enugu Diocese for 27 years.
“Last year, when it became 50 years of Enugu’s inauguration as a Diocese, we could not celebrate because of COVID; we had to shift it to this year.
“Right now, we have mapped out a one-week anniversary programme to celebrate the 50 years of Enugu Diocese. We started with a crusade which is going to last till Sunday and we have decided that from last week of this month, we will have activities from church to church, and rally, and then end it up with thanksgiving service on the 5th of December at the Cathedral Church of the Good Shepherd.
“More importantly, the two days out of it all are the 4th and the 5th of December. On the 4th, we shall be having a rally at the Christ Church field, where all the churches will assemble to have a rally for the 50th anniversary and they are going to march, church by church, archdeaconry by archdeaconry and so on.
“There, we will also have a dedication anniversary of the diagnostic centre of our hospital at the Good Shepherd Specialist Hospital, Uwani, Zik Avenue. The diagnostic centre is necessary to complement the hospital because we believe in health care, we believe in mission; on that same 12th, we are also going to dedicate a building built by the women at the Brethren Home Convent.
“Then on the 5th of December, which is Sunday, will be thanksgiving day, during which all the churches in the diocese and the dioceses created out of Enugu, 11 of them will also participate. Enugu has given birth to 11 Dioceses, with Enugu making it 12, forming what is now the ecclesiastical province of Enugu, for which I’m the Archbishop. We have the Nsukka Diocese, Abakaliki, Oji-River, Enugu North, Awgu-Aninri, Nike, Mgbo, Afikpo, Udi and Eha-Amufu Dioceses.
“Enugu Diocese is out to execute pragmatic evangelism; Enugu Diocese is out to make sure that we care for the poor, the less privileged, the widows, orphans and those who are displaced.”

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Qatar Airways Begins Flights To PH, Enugu, Kano Airports

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Qatar Airways has concluded plans to resume flying to Port Harcourt, Enugu, and Kano airports following bouts of bilateral trade agreements between Nigeria and the Qatari government.
The two governments are also considering a partnership that would lead to the development of gas in both countries.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb Gabriel Aduda, said collaboration in the areas of air travel and gas development between Nigeria and Qatar would enhance economic growth and development.
A statement by the Embassy of Nigeria in Doha, Qatar, quoted Aduda as saying this when he met with the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, Dr. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi, in Doha.
The envoys appreciated the cordial bilateral relations both countries enjoy since the establishment of diplomatic relations about a decade ago in 2013.
They agreed that the good service being offered by the Qatar Airways by launching direct flight to Abuja will be expanded to Kano, Enugu and Port Harcourt while acknowledging the contributions of the State of Qatar to the improvement of livelihood of many Nigerians in some states of the country through Qatar Charity and similar organisations.
Aduda was accompanied to the meeting by the Nigerian Ambassador to the State of Qatar, Yakubu Ahmed, and the Head of Chancery, Mr. Kimiebi Ebienfa.
According to the statement, the Federal Government was currently deepening natural gas utilisation to enable it to boost investment in power and gas-based industries.
Aduda called for investment in gas exploration and infrastructure, technology exchange, skills acquisition and knowledge sharing, manpower development in safety and environment.
He also listed other areas of potential partnership to include gas shipping and marine transportation, advocacy and collaboration in campaigning for gas as fuel of choice in the midst of climate change and global energy transition.
As a result, Aduda called for relaxation of visa restrictions on Nigerians who intend to visit Qatar as well as easing of work visa for Nigerian professionals.
In his response, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, Dr. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi, recalled the robust relations between Nigeria and Qatar, and lauded the proposal for cooperation between the two countries.
According to him, Qatar was ready to provide training for Nigerian diplomats.
To achieve this, he said the Head of the Diplomatic Institute would meet with the Nigerian side and agree on the terms and develop a framework to actualise set objectives.

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