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Insecurity: CSOs Oppose Govt’s Alleged Payment Of Ransom To Bandits, Kidnappers - :::...The Tide News Online:::...
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Insecurity: CSOs Oppose Govt’s Alleged Payment Of Ransom To Bandits, Kidnappers



As Nigerians continue to grapple with high level of insecurity, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), yesterday, opposed alleged payment of ransom by government to bandits and kidnappers to free victims.

Speaking with newsmen, CSOs expressed disappointment, dissatisfaction and condemned negotiation and payment of alleged ransom by government to these elements under any guise.

Some of them expressed worry over the implication of this alleged payment of ransom for national security that could lead to anarchy as these groups use proceeds gotten to purchase weapons and continue to unleash terror on innocent citizens.

The Convener, Concerned Nigerians, Comrade Deju Adeyanju, said, “Government is not doing anything really about the abductions and government has become an enabler of all these things going on in the country because government negotiates with bandits, government pays them ransom that has been alleged by several people.

“So you cannot, therefore, say that normal and law abiding citizens will now be seeing the banditry industry as an attractive industry that they should also explore. I don’t think government is doing anything to curb it.

“The implication of the current insecurity condition in the country is that it will distract investors from coming into the country, it will affect food production it will lead to inflation and there’s a looming food crisis that we may soon be battling with in the country.

“On the issue of the new service chiefs, I don’t think they are bringing anything new to the table, they were part of the former regime of the former service chiefs. And all that we have witnessed so far I have not seen any new ideas from them.

“Lastly, whether there are solutions? The problem is from the top and this general belief that when the head is bad, the whole body is rotten, so basically the president has not gotten it right and I don’t think he will get it right because the body language of his government supports banditry, abductions, terrorism and this why we have a situation where Boko Haram members are been pardoned but protesters and critics of government are been handed left right and center, so it’s just unfortunate.

The National Coordinator, Grassroots Empowerment and Justice (GEJ) Initiative, said, “I am afraid national security has since been compromised, and all of these things happening almost every day across the country shows that our national security is in shambles, and the same people in authority are the ones profiting from it.

“It is most unfortunate, to hear that government is paying ransoms to rescue students. This has confirmed the whispers that some of this so-called kidnapping of students are being done with backing of government through their secret agents. And the alarming rate at which there happen unchecked leaves one in no doubt that the hand of government is in it.

“This clearly shows also that security in the north has been highly compromised to enrich those profiting from this evil the more. It is condemnable, unacceptable and it is time the government put a stop to it. There should stop giving ransoms and end the insecurity. They should stop what there created.

“We thought with the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari, the issue of insecurity would have been a forgotten issue, since this is one of the key issues his administration has outlined to tackle head-on. But now we have been proven wrong. Both governments at the federal and state levels have lost control despite the billions being allocated as budgetary provisions.

“It is time government stop playing hide and seek and come out clean and end this unfortunate development in our national life. Nigeria was safer than what it is today.

“Information gathering and all the rest that would stabilize and strength national security are collapsing by the day. It is the responsibility of government to end it now.

“The new service chiefs are part of the rot. It is now their time to also come and chop from the national cake. Even if some of them are ready to work, the already compromised system won’t let them.

“No wonder just after the President announced that the kidnapping of students in Zamfara or so would be the last, the kidnappers and bandits went on rampage in Kaduna, Niger, taking hostages and killings.

“Their hands are all stained with the revenues from the insecurity challenges, which are all man-made.

“So it is still the same old bitter stories, bitter tales and deliberate wrong moves. New wine in old bottles, so they are all beginning on a wrong footing like a curse is placed on the system from somewhere.

“The only option and best step to be taken is for government and the service chiefs to be patriotic and come out bold and hard on the insurgents, bandits and kidnappers. What they doing anywhere in or near Nigeria territorial forests.

“The government must be sincere and come all out to destroy such elements without mercy with the view to ending it ones and for all. No to ransom!”

The Founder, One Love Foundation, Chief Patrick Eholor, said, “It is sad and shameful that both the federal and state governments had always denied paying ransom, and yet they often do so.

“Remember, schoolboys and bandits involved in the Kankara abduction contradicted official denials that ransom was paid. Reports in some quarter suggest the Katsina State Government paid N30million to recover the schoolboys. Hence, the expectation should be that unless the Kagara victims are quickly recovered, which is unlikely, either the state or Federal Government will pay ransom to secure the release of those who have survived.

“It is totally wrong for the government at any level including individuals to pay ransom to criminals.

“Payment of ransom will only encourage the crime of kidnappings and banditry in the country and across the Sahel which is becoming an extraordinarily lucrative enterprise.

“Countries like the United States and Italy as a matter of policy never pay ransom. The U.S. Government had previously threatened to prosecute private individuals who seek to do so.

“The security chiefs met a highly bastardized and politicized architecture. They need to be given time to settle properly to restructuring and reviving the security sector thereby restoring the lost glory of the security sector.

“Finally, there can’t be security without properly funding the military and the police. It is all about funding and the welfare of the officers.

“We have heard of cases of misappropriation of funds meant for the purchase of weapons to secure the nation. No nation can be properly secured in a very corrupt environment.

“Therefore, we must fund the military and the police. Increase the salaries of our officers with better insurance and health care, purge corruption out of the system and deal with the issues of religious and tribal sentiments.”

The Programme Manager, Elections, Yiaga Africa, Paul James, said, “Payment of ransom is setting a bad precedent as it means government are rewarding criminals for their heinous activities.

“As we may all have seen in recent times, payment of ransom either by individual or by government has only empowered bandits and terrorists to lead more heinous activities.

“Ransom payment has never been a good strategy as kidnappers will only use these proceeds to procure more arms to continue to attack innocent Nigerians. Thus the country will continue to become unsafe especially for innocent citizens.

“The implication is an indication that the security agencies empowered to secure lives and properties may be indirectly telling Nigerians that they aren’t capable of protecting the citizens they swore to protect. This will breed even more criminals and even overwhelm the security agencies.

“Our security chiefs are not here for honeymoon. They have been in the system for decades so it is expected that they should hit the ground running. The incessant kidnapping especially in schools is not a good sign as Nigerians expected so much from the new service chiefs.

“We need start asking the right questions around accountability and budget for Nigerian security architecture. Nigerians must start setting targets for their security agencies and failure to hit such targets should come with consequences.

“Intensify citizens’ intelligence gathering and build a cordial relationship between security and law abiding citizens. We also need to deploy technological devices to track down terrorists and prosecute accordingly. Nigeria needs to start setting examples by prosecuting bandits and their sponsors to forestall incessant insecurity.”

The Founder, Peoples Movement for a New Nigeria (PMNN), Yahaya Ndu, said, “Government has already failed woefully in its primary duty as enshrined in the Constitution which is to protect lives and properties.

“If government refuses to pay ransom as demanded the innocent students may be injured or killed so Government should pay ransom and secure their freedom.

“The implication of this of course is grave as it betrays government ineffectiveness where it matters most.

“Luckily a serious is by the grace of God coming up next week in Abuja where I hope that ideas on solutions to security challenges of Nigeria will be harnessed.

“To start with it is never the responsibility of the service chiefs to ensure security of lives and properties within Nigeria. That is the function of the police.

“I am afraid that it is inevitably the time for zonal, state, and local government and community police to come on board and work in harmony with Federal police to secure lives and properties of Nigerians.

“I don’t support the idea of asking government not to pay ransom as that is simply to put the lives of the innocent on the line.

“Government should pay ransom but the ransom should be deducted from the salaries of the police, the service chiefs and all charged constitutionally with the protection of lives and properties.”

The former National President of Miners Association of Nigeria, Sani Shehu, said, “It is unfortunate, if the allegation is right because such heinous act will flourish as an industry where evil money bags and the heartless unemployed youths will highly be patronized.

“Kidnapping is a punishable offence anywhere in the world and should be treated as such. Punishing kidnappers will serve as deterrent and can minimise the occurrences of such act in our society.

“It weakens the security outfits and makes them less responsible and accountable. The ransom paid to bandits should have been used to acquire weapons and additional intelligence for our security operative, give them training and appropriate technology to deal with the security challenges. They should infiltrate into the bandits and get intelligent information to help Nigerian security to succeed.

“The new security chiefs are not Gods; they cannot change the situation automatically. They need to properly study  the issues and re strategize to be able to draw a road  map that will bring the end of the problem in the nearest future .It is too early to appraise their performance.

“The government should deploy more security to vulnerable schools and communities. The rumours that make the rounds said that some VIPs are involved in the kidnapping and banditry should be investigated .Those found wanting should be brought to book no matter how well placed they are.

“The government should use technology to identity and tract the flash points, and attack them as a preventive measure to stopping the kidnapping and banditry in Nigeria.”


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OYO SUBEB Monitors 2nd Term Unified Exams



Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr Nureni Aderemi, has announced the commencement of the board’s monitoring of the second term unified examination in all public primary schools across Oyo State.
Adeniran made this known while inspecting schools in Ibadan North-East Local Government area of the state, Wednesday.
He said the motive behind the examination exercise was to ensure simultaneous participation of all schools in the examination process.
The chairman appealed to school head teachers to ensure adherence to the time-table given to them by the State Government.
He expressed satisfaction with the level of preparedness of schools and students describing it as ‘quite impresive’.
Adeniran, who said the conduct was smooth, added that efforts and arrangements put in place by the State Government in printing unified question-papers for all schools in the state would ensure better performance of pupils.
According to him, the introduction of a unified examination time-table and questions was to give better credence to the exercise.
He further commended the schools and pupils for their adherence to the examination instructions.
The board’s monitoring team visited schools in Ibadan North; Ibarapa; Ibadan North-West, Ibadan South-West and Ibadan South-East Local Government areas.

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VC Advocates Grantsmanship As Condition For Promotion



Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin UNILORIN) Professor Wahab Egbewole, has advocated a restructure of the university system in Nigeria where grantsmanship will be recognised in promotion guidelines.
Egbewole made the suggestion when he received a team of facilitators of the Train The Trainers’ (TTT) workshop on ‘Research Proposal Writing and Grant Management’ in Ilorin, midweek.
Egbewole, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN)), identified fundable research grants as one of the problems that researchers in Nigeria are battling with.
The Vice Chancellor lamented that some professors in Nigeria did not know how to write research proposals that can attract so much funding.
According to him, this is where the universities have to focus their attention, while expressing optimism that the workshop initiated by TETFund would facilitate the required enablers.
He, therefore, urged the organisers to put up some measurable indices to evaluate the success or otherwise of what has been invested in the training.
He also encouraged researchers to redirect their energy to publications that are impactful to the society and address local challenges instead of publications that are left to decay on the shelf.
The vice chancellor said that UNILORIN would also organise a similar workshop that would accommodate more staff.
Earlier, TETFund TTT team facilitator, Mr Nuhu Ogirima, said the significance of the workshop was to conduct a stepping down of knowledge earlier acquired by the facilitators on fundable research.
Ogirima explained that Nigeria is struggling among the developing nations because most of the policies of the government are not based on research from academia, which makes them unacceptable by the people.
He observed that there is no difference between academic writing, writing for promotion, writing to impact policy and writing to galvanise the economy.
“TETFund has taken a giant stride towards getting cutting edge research sponsored towards advancing the nation”, he said.

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FG Begins Registration Of Medical Laboratories



The Federal Government has begun an online registration of medical laboratories in Nigeria to enhance service delivery.
The Registrar, Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, Dr Tosan Erhabor, made this known in Abuja, recently at a meeting with stakeholders and the agency’s consultants on automation led by Prof. Effiong Akpan of the University of Calabar.
He called on stakeholders to avail themselves of the great opportunities offered by the new framework to enhance service delivery.
Erhabor said the registration would scale up efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, speed of service delivery, and data collation and management.
According to him, the purpose of the meeting was to enable stakeholders to witness firsthand and possibly critique the ongoing digitalisation of the medical laboratory registration process.
“This is the latest in the series of council processes to be moved from the manual to the digital platform.
“In spite of our meagre resources, the council has successfully transformed other processes including Licensure, Examination, Indexing, Accreditation Service, and External Quality Assurance and now the registration of medical laboratories”, he said.
Erhabor urged medical laboratory proprietors to continue working with the council to enhance service delivery.
He said proprietors would henceforth be able to register their laboratories seamlessly and from their preferred locations without the need to visit the council’s headquarters in Abuja.
“I am pleased to note that automation has raised our profile among stakeholders, and we must commend the consultants for a job well done”, he said.
Responding, Akpan lauded the council management for scaling up hitherto manual processes into the digital environment to enhance service delivery despite the prevailing economic challenges.
“My team and I are proud to be associated with the council and we encourage other agencies should emulate you in this respect”, he said.
Akpan expressed confidence that the stakeholders would also be proud of the council’s efforts.
Recall that in September 2022, the Federal Government threatened to shut down unregistered medical laboratories in the country.
The council was warned not to relent or rest on its oars in the discharge of its statutory duties.

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