Apex Muslim organisation in Nigeria, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) led by the Sultan of Sokoto, has said that the most disturbing dimension of the security situation in parts of Nigeria was the apparent government’s inability to confront this monstrous trend head-on.
“Our position is reinforced by the government’s inaction to hold erring security officials responsible. In other words, there is a clear essence of lack of accountability, security chiefs and their subordinates appear not to be made to pay for their inaction or irresponsibility,” the JNI alleged.
According to the JNI, The Glorious Qur’an states unequivocally, “…that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors. Q5:32. Similarly, Allah, the Highest says ‘And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right’.
“This has He instructed you that you may use reason.” Q6:151. From these Qur’anic verses, it is forbidden for human life to be killed unjustly, talk-less of burning it. And in all climes, the government is essentially in place to protect and safeguard human life from being killed. Besides, Chapter 2 of the Nigerian Constitution unambiguously affirms that human life is sacrosanct. It is therefore utterly disgusting, heartrending and unprecedented the waylaying of unarmed innocent and defenceless passengers and their subsequent burning beyond recognition by the heartless and rampaging bandits at Gidan Bawa village in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
“Yet the government isn’t perturbed and no concrete action is seemed to have been taken. Even the media outcry is trifled, compared to similar incidences in other parts of Nigeria,” the JNI said.
The JNI said these in a statement signed by the Secretary-General, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, adding that from all indications, despite the establishment of combined security forces along known routes where bandits operate, they still carry out their dastardly acts freely.
“Isn’t it treacherous and heartless that plying major roads within North-West – Nigeria, defenceless citizens are allowed to be flocked into kidnappers’ den and thereafter negotiations for ransom payment are initiated? What is Nigeria turning into, a lawless entity? Amidst the Sabon Birni episode, just this morning (today, Thursday, December 9, 2021), 16 people were reportedly killed in a mosque at Mashegu Local Government Area of Niger State. What really is the matter is that the government has not been able to halt the operations of bandits against innocent citizens, particularly in North-Western Nigeria? We are compelled to assume that government seems oblivious to the sufferings and agonies of her citizens as a result of the relentless activities of these bandits.”
“Nevertheless, JNI condemns in the strongest terms this senseless and barbaric act, along with other equally disheartened bloodletting and carnage. Likewise, all other acts of arson attacks, attempted prison jailbreaks, bomb blasts in Oyo, Kogi, Plateau, Yobe and Borno states and many of such irrepressible acts stand condemned by the JNI. But for how long, shall we continue to condemn acts of extreme violence without any concerted efforts in ending them?
“For how long, would we continue to remain indifferent? And for how long would we continue to remain hopeless in this precarious situation? The most disturbing dimension of this situation is the apparent government’s inability to confront this monstrous trend head-on. Our position is reinforced by the government’s inaction to hold erring security officials responsible. In other words, there is a clear essence of lack of accountability, security chiefs and their subordinates appear not to be made to pay for their inaction or irresponsibility.
“We, however, send our heartfelt condolences to the families of the commuters, all officers and men that died in active service, as well as the people and government of Borno, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kogi, Oyo, Niger, Kaduna-Abuja Road, Kebbi, Plateau and Yobe states that have suffered in recent times various degrees of violence and Nigeria in general.
“We reiterate our calls to the Federal Government to rise up to its primary cum constitutional responsibility of protecting and securing citizens and do well beyond condemnation on security-related matters. Nigerians are desperately yearning for concrete actions against all forms of criminalities. Silence is not golden given the most unfortunate spate of the horrendous butchery of human lives in the Nigerian state.
“To further reiterate our principled positions, JNI condemns killings of innocent souls wherever they happen to be and whoever is involved. JNI also condemns the generalisation of criminals as representatives of the whole, thus leading to unjust stereotyping and scapegoating. We condemn all criminals, whoever they are and wherever they come from. A criminal should be treated as a criminal regardless of his/her ethnic or religious affinity.
“The Northern Governors’ Forum should rise above board and collectively end the new normal eroding the heritage of the north. They should learn from their colleagues of the southern extraction. Cases in point are the ongoing debate of the death of a student from Dowen College and the eight children that were reported dead in a Honda Pilot Jeep marked AAA 157 BD, at Adelayo Street, Jah-Michael Area of Olorunda, all in Lagos State. Similarly, the Ondo State Governor stood for its citizens that were murdered in Plateau state some months ago.”
“The government’s silence over the 1,000 Housing Estate bomb blast in Maiduguri, the Jos Prison Break and the burnt commuters along Sabon Birni Sokoto road, not to mention the multitude of carnages in Sokoto–Zamfara axis, calls for serious sober reflection. Therefore, the Federal Government should be seen to be proactive on security matters, as well as assure and assuage citizens’ fears at critical moments of grief.
“The recurrent security challenges such as kidnappings, armed robberies, rising bomb blasts and attack of Boko Haram cum ISWAP insurgents, in addition to ethnic violence here and there within Nigeria, is alarming. The government needs to wake up as citizens are becoming more and more agitated.
“Government should take the bull by the horn by prosecuting promoters of hate speech and tame the rising cases of banditry in Nigeria, otherwise it will become a norm that cannot be challenged. Government should act fast before we are consumed by these self-inflicted maladies.
“Finally, while we continue to express our sincere condolences to all the victims of these unfortunate killings, we are calling on both the politicians and non-governmental organisations to strengthen their cooperation and/or synergy aimed at finding a lasting solution to these spates of killings and destructions.”
Nigeria’s GDP Grew By 3.11% In Q1 2022, NBS Affirms
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.11per cent in the first quarter of 2022.
The NBS made this known via its Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report Q1 2022 released, last Monday.
According to the report, Nigeria’s GDP grew by 3.11per cent year-on-year in real terms in the first quarter of 2022.
The NBS noted that the development showed a sustained positive growth for six consecutive quarters since the recession witnessed in 2020 when negative growth rates were recorded in quarter two and three of 2020.
It added that the first quarter 2022 growth rate further represents an improvement in economic performance.
The NBS stated: “The observed trend since Q4 of 2020 is an indication of a gradual economic stability.
“The Q1 of 2022 growth rate was higher than the 0.51per cent growth rate recorded in Q1 of 2021 by 2.60per cent points and lower than 3.98per cent recorded in Q4 of 2021 by 0.88per cent points.
“Nevertheless, quarter-on-quarter, real GDP grew at -14.66per cent in Q1 of 2022, compared to Q4 of 2021, reflecting a lower economic activity than the preceding quarter.
“In the period under review, aggregate GDP stood at about N45.317million in nominal terms.
“This performance is higher when compared to the first quarter of 2021 which recorded aggregate GDP of about N40.014million, indicating a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 13.25per cent.
“The nominal GDP growth rate in Q1 2022 was higher relative to the 12.25per cent growth recorded in Q1 2021, and higher compared to the 13.11per cent growth recorded in the preceding quarter,” the report read.
RSG Launches RIV-CARES Programme …World Bank Rates Rivers High
The Rivers State Government has launched the state COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (RIV-CARES) Programme.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike performed the launching at the NBA Secretariat in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Speaking through his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the governor said the programme was to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the poor and vulnerable households and support micro and small-scale enterprises as a means of stimulating economic growth post-COVID.
According to the State Chief Executive, “the state government had signed in for the programme, made provisions in the 2022 Budget for Result Areas and signed Funds Release Policy, which is an assurance to the World Bank that funds shall be released for the implementation of the programme”.
Wike said the launching of the RIV-CARES Programme would create awareness for the people of the state and engender expression of interest by beneficiary households, communities and operators of micro and small businesses (SMEs).
The governor, who encouraged the Rivers people to take advantage of the opportunities provided by RIV-CARES to enhance their means of livelihood and reduce the spate of poverty in the communities, commended the World Bank and the Federal CARES for their support to the state.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Mrs. Titilola Kuna Cline, said in a bid to check the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on livelihoods, food security and micro and small businesses, the World Bank in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the state governments, introduced the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) Programme.
She said the state scaled through rigorous preparatory stages and qualified to participate in the programme whose objective was “to expand access to livelihood support and food security services, and grants for poor and vulnerable households and firms”.
According to her, the stages include, signing of subsidiary loan agreement and fund release policy by the government.
Others include the establishment of the RIV-CARES Steering Committee, establishment of State- CARES Coordination Unit domiciled in the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning and preparation of work plan.
“The NG-CARES, after domestication of programme implementation manual now known as RIV-CARES programme has the State Coordination Unit (SCU) saddled with coordinating implementation of RIV-CARES programme in the state and reporting to Federal-CARES supporting unit and the World Bank in Abuja.
“It is also a bridge between the delivery platforms and the State-CARES Steering Committee and for delivery platform under three Results Areas (RA1-3).
Cline listed the three areas to include cash transfer unit, labour intensive public works and community-driven development social (CDD-S) Plus.
The rest are, FADAMA and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Also speaking, the representative of the World Bank, Mr. Aso Vakporaye, said the programme must succeed in order to kick out poverty from the state in view of the fact that failure to kick out poverty would make life difficult for the entire citizenry.
He, therefore, thanked the governor for making it possible for Rivers State to participate in the programme.
Similarly, the World Bank and the Federal Government have rated Rivers State high in the implementation of the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus scheme by the state government.
Representative of the World Bank Task Team Leader, Mr.Aso Vakporaye said this, yesterday, in Port Harcourt at the official flag offand implementation of the Rivers State COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (RIV-CARES) Programme in the state.
Vakporaye, who is also the chairman of the Federal Government’sFederal-CARES Technician Committee,confirmed that Rivers State has met the requirements for the implementation of the programme.
He said alot still remains to be done,adding that the state needs to release more money for the implementation of the programme.
Also speaking, theTechnical Head of State CARESCoordinating Unitand Secretary,RIV-CARESSteering Committee,Mrs Imaonyeni Ephraim, said the programme would improve the livelihood of the poor and vulnerable people in the state.
She said the programme, which runs for two years,was open to many beneficiaries.
The flag off was performed by the state Deputy Governor,Dr.Ipalibo Harry Banigo, onbehalf of Governor Nyesom Wike.
By: John Bibor
PDP Elects Senatorial Candidates For 2023 Elections
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Rivers State, last Monday, held its primary election to elect candidates who will fly its flags for the Senatorial election in 2023.
The election, which took place at the three senatorial headquarters of the state, saw the emergence of the state Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, as the candidate for Rivers West Senatorial District, Chief Allwell Onyesoh won the primaries for Rivers East Senatorial District while Senator Barinaada Mpigi secured a return ticket to represent Rivers South East Senatorial District.
Speaking before the deployment of electoral officers and materials for the election, the state PDP Chairman, Amb Desmond Akawor, welcomed members of the electoral committee from the PDP National Headquarters, and briefed them on the successes so far recorded in the state House of Assembly and House of Representatives primaries.
Akawor said though some form of consensus had been reached concerning the senatorial aspirants, the party would still observe due diligence by ensuring that proper primary election was conducted at the three senatorial district headquarters, urging the electoral officers to be discrete in handling their assignment.
Chairman of the PDP Electoral Committee for the Senatorial Primary, Hon Donatus Etim, commended Governor Nyesom Wike for the enormous work done in strengthening the electoral process in the state, thereby making it possible for successful primaries to be held in the state.
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