A coalition of 50 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) at the weekend said that arms bearing by citizens for protection as suggested by a legislator was not the best option.
The CSOs, at a news conference in Abuja, said that such acts might jeopardise the security architecture of the country as they expressed concern over the security situation .
One of the conveners of the group, Ms Abiodun Baiyewu, who is also the Executive Director, Global Rights, said in the alternative, the CSOs made some recommendations to the government.
Baiyewu said that the group also urged the government to live up to its constitutional duty of ensuring the security and welfare of all Nigerians.
“The government should review the nation’s security architecture and be more proactive in building the capacity of intelligence agencies.
“To be humane in its actions as mandated by Section 17 (2)(c) of our constitution and account for the abducted, the missing and the dead in the Abuja-Kaduna train bombing.
“Take immediate action to rescue all abducted persons.
“Conduct an independent inquiry into the immediate and remote circumstances that led to the successful bombing of the train.”
Baiyewu urged the government to also take deliberate action through responsible leadership at addressing the immediate and remote circumstances forstering terrorism and other forms of mass atrocities across the country.
She also called on all Nigerians to remain vigilant, adding that there was no better time than now for all to unite in demanding accountability from the government.
Mr Auwal Rafsanjani, another Convener and Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), said the demands are necessary in the face of escalating attacks and killings in different parts of the country, including “The brazen attack on the Kaduna Airport, the take-over of the Kaduna-Abuja expressway by terrorist groups.
“The siege on nine communities in Giwa local government area of Kaduna state which resulted in the loss of over 100 lives with an unspecified number of persons abducted from their homes during that invasion.
“The increased attacks in South-East, Imo in particular, the attack on Nnewi South LGA of Anambra and the burning of the LGA secretariat, the escalation of gang wars in Lagos and Ogun states.
“The killing of over 65 persons in Kebbi state, the attack on Kwali area council of the FCT and the abduction of a traditional ruler, the list is endless.”
Rafsanjani said that these challenges were caused by corruption and called for the need to tackle it.
Also speaking, Mr Monday Osasah, the Executive Director of the African Centre for Leadership,Strategy and Development, said that in spite of all the security challenges, citizens holding arms was not the best option.
Osasah said that with the situation of the country the issue of state police could not be over emphasised.
“Where we are currently, state police is necessary and everyone should support the call for it.
“That was why the National Assembly called on citizens to start bearing arms.
“State policing is a necessity now in Nigeria, because there is information that our boarder is porous and people enter the country at will,” he said.
Protest Rocks Kano Over Appeal Court Judgment
Protests erupted in Kano city and its environs on Monday afternoon with the demonstrators denouncing the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal that sacked the state Governor, Abba Yusuf.
The Tide’s source reports that uneasy calm pervaded the state capital following a contradictory Certified True Copy of the Appeal Court that affirmed the prayers of both the appellant and the respondent in the contentious Kano governorship, though the judiciary had since cleared the air.
In what appeared like a coordinated action on Monday, huge crowd of protesters had stormed strategic positions in the city as it visited temporary hiccups on commercial activities.
Kano- Zaria Road, Maiduguri Road by Muhammadu Buhari’s interchange, and Kantin Kwari (Kano textile market) were taken over by hundreds of youths who called for justice for Abba Yusuf.
Some of the placard read: “Kano my city my state”, “Justice for Kano”, “ Justice for Abba”, “Abba’s mandate was stolen in 2019, we will not allow it happen in 2023″.
The protest came on the heels of discovery by the Police that “some faceless group are bent on unleashing violence in Kano”, stressing that the police were on top of the situation.
Cp Hussaini Gumel told newsmen in Kano on Monday that already 7 suspects had been arrested and would be arraigned soon.
Gumel revealed that “we have the understanding with the leadership of the contending political parties, and they have signed a peace pact. In view of that, therefore, any one found outside this arrangement will be treated as common criminal”.
However, normalcy had since returned to the ancient city following the peaceful protest that lasted several hours.
NASS To Receive Tinubu’s 2024 Appropriation Bill, Today
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will today, present the 2024 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly.
Secretary, Research and Information of the National Assembly, Dr Ali Barde Umoru, confirmed this on Monday to journalists while requesting the list of those to be allowed into the chamber during the budget presentation.
This will be the first budget estimate President Tinubu will present to the National Assembly in person.
He had earlier transmitted two supplementary budgets, 2022 and 2023, to the National Assembly, which the parliament speedily approved.
President Tinubu had, weeks ago, also forwarded to both chambers of the National Assembly, the 20224-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) where the sum of N26.1 trillion was proposed as the total expenditure for the 2024 fiscal year.
The Senate, following the recommendation of its joint committee, which scrutinised the document, approved the MTEF/FSP.
It approved the N26.1trn proposed as the 2024 budget and other parameters as proposed by President Tinubu.
It approved the new borrowings of N7.8 trillion, pegged the benchmark of oil price for 2024 at $73.96, and oil production volume per day at 1.78 million barrels.
Other parameters approved are a GDP growth rate of 3.76%, an inflation rate of 21.40%, an exchange rate of N700 to $1 dollar, and a projected budget deficit of N9.04 trillion.
Muslim Clerics Offer Prayers For Tinubu, Kwankwaso In Kano
Over 1,000 Islamic clerics have offered special prayers for President Bola Tinubu and the NNPP national leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for peace, progress and political stability in Nigeria.
Abdulmumin Kofa (NNPP-Kiru/Bebeji) hosted the ulamas at Kiru for the success of Governor Kabir Yusuf of Kano State at the Supreme Court, according to a statement by the lawmaker’s media aide, Sani Paki, on Monday.
During the prayer session, the clerics recited the Qur’an 1,101 times and prayed for peace, progress and political stability in the country.
Mr Kofa said his relationship with the president was no secret, noting that Mr Kwankwaso is his mentor. He said he would continue to support and promote a harmonious relationship between Messrs Tinubu and Kwankwaso.
Mr Kofa described NNPP as a promising party open to collaboration, alliance and merger with the APC and even with the People’s Democratic Party, Labour Party or any other party that showed interest, so long as it is for the good of Nigerians.
He also promised to deploy his modest political network to reach out to gladiators in Kano politics towards resolving all resolvable issues and to de-escalate the current tension in the state due to the Kano governorship seat.
Also, after the prayer session, the legislator hosted 5,000 primary school kids across his constituency, as he often does, and provided them with school kits.
According to the statement, Mr Kofa assured the pupils of the good plans of the federal and state governments, especially on free education and free school feeding programmes.