The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has called on the Federal Government to intensify efforts to curb the general and pervasive insecurity across the country as well as the rampant intake of drugs and dangerous substances in order to have a successful 2023 general election.
This is even as the Katsina State chapter of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has described Governor Aminu Bello Masari’s call for citizens to bear arms for protection as a clear indication that the government has failed.
In a statement, yesterday, the CNG spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said that Nigerians expect the government to bring a conclusive end to the daunting security challenges that characterised the country last year.
According to the statement, “In the North, especially, government, should, with the entire national resolve behind its efforts, work to achieve final disengagement, disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration and reconstruction within the next few months. Unless this is done as quickly as possible, the 2023 elections would be greatly threatened and that would, in turn, affect the nation’s democratic progress and set the country back several decades.”
It explained that it expected the Federal Government to review and improve the current structure of the national security assets, increase the number of boots on the ground, improve quality of equipment and greater synergy with the communities.
The CNG advised state governments in the north to listen to advice, design a uniform approach to the insecurity situation with the full involvement of the communities.
CNG opined that the drug situation in the North is one of the most serious social and security challenges facing the region and the country today.
It stated that no nation can aspire to greatness or seek to remain secure and safe when its youth and the productive segments of society were left to indulge in self-destructive practices like drug and substance abuse.
It said the serious challenges the region is faced with ought not to be treated with the level of levity and condescension shown by the governors of the affected northern states with a view of finding a way out to the problem.
Suleiman suggested that the security problem must be confronted collectively with the entire will and resolve of the people behind the effort if it was to build on the current successes by the gallant troops in the North-East in order to ensure a peaceful society.
The statement explained that failure to take necessary steps would indubitably mean that every effort made in isolation would defeat all the endeavours, and render the task of ending the crisis more difficult and futile.
It called on all to become stakeholders and be committed actors in the struggle to free the society and the country of the debilitating problem.
Similarly, the Katsina State chapter of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has described Governor Aminu Masari’s call on citizens to bear arms for protection as a clear indication that the government has failed.
The CNG North-West Coordinator, Jamilu Charanchi, while briefing newsmen in the state, yesterday, said “without a doubt, citizens acquiring weapons in the name of self-defence will increase bandit cells, lead to greater instability and deepen insecurity.”
He added, “Your Excellency Sir, you should perish your thought of self-defence and admit to the great people of Katsina that you are no longer in control and cannot foster solutions to their societal problems, then, seek for a genuine help or kindly resign. The state and the good people of the state need and deserve better governance.”
According to the CNG, the Masari-led government “is currently displaying its incapacity or unwillingness to tame the monster of insecurity, thereby exposing Nigerian security forces to danger and sending civilians to early graves.”
On the way out of the insecurity bedevilling the state, “CNG implores the government to fight unemployment, poverty, and illiteracy, holistically and with all sincerity of purpose which is the tripod upon which banditry has been nurtured to its current monstrous stage.”
The CNG further said aside from the challenges of border porosity, “Katsina State is leading in two of the most influential variables, triggering criminality and other social vices in the country, unemployment and poverty.”
While using data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for the last quarter of 2020, showing that “Katsina has 25.5per cent unemployment rate with about 438,808 people unemployed, CNG described the predicament as a sign of danger resulting from the failure of effective leadership.”
In this regard, Charanchi said, “it is ridiculous to think of arming hungry and angry people of a state like Katsina with a poverty rate of close to 80per cent, making it second poorest state in Nigeria and expect to achieve positive results. How will you expect an already vulnerable civilian who has been subjected to bad governance presented with an opportunity to possess arm end banditry?”
The CNG challenged the government to wake up to their responsibilities, saying that “Governance is not just about enjoying the perks of office and shifting responsibilities to the vulnerable but rather a selfless service that requires commitment, dedication and the willingness to systemically guide once followers in the right direction. There is therefore the need for leaders to rise up and address the root cause of banditry. Weapon proliferation is already a problem and we should not add to it.”
While wishing Masari a happy New Year, the CNG urged him to pay more attention to the fight to alleviate poverty, reduce unemployment, economic hardship and most importantly, prioritize the lives of people most of which sacrificed a lot to see him in office.
PSC Appoints Three DIGs, Suspends Promotion Of Eight CPs, 11 DCPs
The Police Service Commission has approved the appointment of three Assistant Inspectors General of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, Aji Janga, and Adeleke Bode, to the rank of Deputy Inspectors General of Police.
The new DIGs are expected to fill the vacant duty posts created due to the retirements of three DIGs representing the North-Central, North-East and the North-West geopolitical zones.
The Spokesperson for the PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, revealed this in a statement, yesterday.
The PSC noted that the approval of the appointments of the new DIGs had also ensured that the defined succession policy in the Nigerian police is sustained.
The Force Secretary, Hafiz Inuwa, will be replacing retired DIG Mustapha Dan-Daura for the North-West slot. Dan- Daura retired on January 15 this year.
Aji Janga from the North-East will replace DIG Zanna Ibrahim who retired on November 26, 2022, while Adeleke Bode of North-Central will replace DIG Sanusi Lemu who retired on January 31 this year.
The new appointments were part of the decisions of the reconvened 18th plenary of the commission which held in Abuja, last week and chaired by the acting chairperson of the PSC, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi.
Meanwhile, the commission has suspended the promotion of eight Commissioners of Police to the rank of Assistant Inspectors General and 11 Deputy Commissioners of Police to the next rank of Commissioners due to their failure to appear before it for the mandatory promotion interview.
Ani said, “The PSC had sent invitations to the officers to appear before it for the usual interaction to ascertain their suitability and capability for the new offices.
“The commission expressed surprise on their failure to honour the invitation especially as the 2023 general election is just days away.”
The commission also approved the promotion of 10 Assistant Commissioners of Police to the next rank of Deputy Commissioners; 17 Chief Superintendents of Police to Assistant Commissioners and 301 Superintendents of Police to Chief Superintendents.
Meanwhile, 47 skipped Deputy Superintendents of Police from previous recommendations to the commission were also promoted to Superintendents of Police while 665 Assistant Superintendents of Police were promoted to Deputy Superintendents of Police.
The recommendations for ACP Nwamanna Nelson, SP Iliyas Casmir and SP Alheri Mamman were also endorsed and the officers promoted to their next ranks after they were absolved of any pending disciplinary matter.
Justice Ogunbiyi congratulated and wished the officers success, while charging the newly-promoted officers to give their best to the service of the nation especially now that Nigeria will be going to the polls to elect new leaders.
RSU Commences Academic Activities In Satellite Campuses
The Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, has commenced academic activities for the 2022/2023 session in her satellite campuses at Emohua, Etche, Ahoada and Sakpenwa.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Nlerum Okogbule, DSSRS, disclosed this when he led other Principal Officers of the University, Head of Etche Campus and Dean, Faculty of Agriculture on a courtesy visit to the Paramount Ruler of Abara, Etche, last Wednesday, as part of assessment tour of the various campuses.
Speaking at the palace of the Paramount Ruler, the Vice-Chancellor expressed appreciation to the Ochimba and his Council of Chiefs and the entire community for the support given to the university which, according to him, contributed to the speedy completion of the various structures at the Etche campus.
He said that the satellite campuses had commenced studies with the year one students for the 2022/2023 session, expressing optimism that more accommodation for staff and students will be provided by the university within the year.
He appealed for more support from the community, stating that the Etche campus is a replica of a full fledgef university, which all over the world, is a centre of development.
He explained that the presence of the campus would stimulate economic activities and assist in the development of the host community and neigbouring communities.
He assured the leaders of the community that the iniversity would continue to maintain its corporate social responsibility with her host community.
Responding, the Paramount Ruler and Ochimba of Abara Etche, Eze Jonah Nwala, thanked the Rivers State Government for completing the project and the take-off of academic activities at the Etche Campus of the university.
The paramount ruler said that what the State Government has done for the people of Abara Etche is beyond providing a school, explaining that the campus is an industry which has started impacting on all sectors of the economy within the community.
While appreciating the management of the university for ensuring the take-off of studies, he assured the university of the community’s continuous support for the sustenance of the Etche campus.
2023: Wike Enjoins Military To Be Apolitical
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has advised officers and men of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt to be apolitical throughout the 2023 general election.
The governor stressed that in the interest of the country’s democratisation process, the military must adhere to President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army’s commitment not to interfere in the 2023 general election.
He stated this during the 6 Division West African Social Activities (WASA) 2022, that held in Port Harcourt over the weekend.
Governor Wike, who was the special guest of honour at the occasion, was represented by the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Emeka Woke.
The governor, who commended the military for its active role in fighting crime in the State, urged officers and men of the 6 Division to work assiduously with personnel of other security to provide level playing for all political parties and politicians in the State.
“We want to thank you for the relationship we have enjoyed. You have also contributed a lot in terms of crime fighting. But as you are aware, we are now in election season. It is on public notice that Mr President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces (Muhammadu Buhari) has said at different forums that he will not interfere in the forthcoming election.
“And that he will ensure a free and fair election. The Chief of Defence staff has also said at different forums that the military will be apolitical and they will not interfere in the general election. I want to believe that men and officers of this 6 division will follow suit.
“I want to believe they will follow the position of Mr President, Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff not to interfere in politics. I am saying this because of the ugly experience the people who live and do business in Rivers State had during the last election.”
Governor Wike, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, recalled how the Nigerian Army Bori Camp barracks, which is the headquarters of the 6 Division in Port Harcourt, was practically converted to a collation centre during the 2019 governorship election.
He expressed dismay that the military allowed itself to be used to interfere in what ordinarily ought to be a civil exercise.
The governor, however, said that with the level of discipline and focus that the present officers of the 6 Division have shown and exhibited, he is hopeful there would not be a re-enactment of the despicable incidences of 2019 general election.
“Allow the citizens of Rivers state to exercise their civil responsibility in an atmosphere of free and fair election. Work with other security agencies to provide level playing field for politicians”, he said.
He congratulated the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruq Yahaya; the General Officer Commanding, Major General O.O Oluyede, and the personnel of the 6 Division for a successful completion of the training year 2022 and the beginning of a new year, 2023.
Governor Wike extolled the GOC 6 for efforts put in place since his assumption of office to fight all forms of criminality especially in areas of crude oil theft and kidnapping in his area of responsibility.
He said, “Your effort has brought about maintenance of peace in the region. I want to congratulate you and the entire personnel of 6 Division for a job well done and also urge you not to relent in your efforts.
“Let me use this opportunity to solicit for support of all stakeholders to join hands with the 6 Division to eradicate criminalities in our society.”
In his remarks, the GOC 6 Division, Major General O.O Oluyede, who was represented by Brig. General A.A Idris, explained that West African Social Activities (WASA) is customary in the Nigerian Army to mark the end of each training year as well as ushering Nigerian Army into the new year.
Highlight of the event was presentation of awards to some personnel of the Nigerian Army who distinguished themselves in the previous year.
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