President Muhammadu Buhari has said that three priorities of his administration, security, economy and corruption, have received significant attention with measurable results, following his vision of making Nigeria more peaceful, prosperous and reliable, among nations.
Buhari said this at the Passing Out Parade of the Regular Course 4/2016 Cadets of the Nigeria Police Academy in Wudil, Kano State, yesterday.
The President said the policies and actions of his administration made impact on the tripod vision in spite of challenges, assuring that more would be done to safeguard lives and property, enhance livelihood, and ensure probity.
He said: “As you are all aware, this administration came to office determined to make impact in three main areas: security, building a sustainable economy and fight against corruption.
“We can say that recent positive developments in these areas have shown that despite the challenges on ground, we can see general improvement in all three areas.
“In the area of corruption, as you are all aware, I am determined to ensure that we do not have a repeat of what has gone on in previous administrations and we have taken a strong stand against pervasive corruption.
“This administration has also focused on security by repositioning our national security to perform their duties effectively. We have equally embarked on some crucial changes in their funding, structure, and modes of operation.
“With the launching/empowerment of the Police Trust Fund, this administration swung into action after taking the assessment of needs for possible interventions in the provision of logistics and infrastructural needs of the Force,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement issued and made available to newsmen, yesterday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
Buhari said the Nigeria Police Force, in a fast changing world driven by digital technology, must continually evolve on its structure and operations to make greater impact in checking crime, particularly in the virtual space.
“In a world where insecurity is constantly evolving; law enforcement responses have to equally evolve not just to keep up but to stay ahead.
“Also, as part of efforts to modernize the Nigeria Police Force, this administration has intensified both international and local training and retraining of our officers and men in addition to providing new platforms and other resources.
“These approaches have yielded positive results as it is glaring that Nigeria’s ranking has improved on the world Counter-Terrorism Global Index from 4th to 6th position on the list of the most terrorised nations.
“This administration has signed into law the new Police Act to ensure an improvement in the welfare of service delivery to meet best international practices.
“As I said earlier, with the take-off of The Police Trust Fund, there has been an upgrade of infrastructure such as the construction of new barracks across the country, renovation of existing ones, construction of medical facilities, as well as procurement of modern operational vehicles,” the President added.
According to Buhari, the Boko Haram insurgency, the Indigenous People of Biafra, Eastern Security Network, and banditry in some parts of the country, which posed a potent threat to the country, had been significantly degraded and relative normalcy had returned to most towns and villages.
He stated that more efforts would go into ensuring that normalcy returns to all the areas suffering banditry.
Buhari said: “I must specially commend the efforts and resilience of members of the Nigeria Police Force and sister agencies for the giant strides recorded so far in the fight against the prevailing security challenges.
“Across the North-Central and North-West of the country, we have made progress with regards to stemming the tide of communal violence, farmer-herdsmen clashes, cattle rustling, and kidnapping.
“We will continue to demonstrate zero tolerance for crime and criminality. Those who take laws into their hands, who bear arms illegally and who seek to profit from a climate of fear and insecurity will be decisively dealt with.
“That remains our promise to the people of Nigeria, who elected us to keep them safe and secured. The peace and stability of our dear country will continue to be of utmost importance. You, the police are our point men and you must rise to the occasion.”
Buhari further stated that security transcends law enforcement to include building the right relationships that underpin the development of secured societies.
He added: “This is why the present administration has been fully committed from the start to strengthening existing relations between Nigeria and her neighbouring countries. It has always been clear to us that there is no way we can achieve the security we seek without the cooperation and support of our neighbours.
“And we have implemented at home the most far reaching social support programme ever in the country to tackle poverty at the roots: one of the drivers of insecurity.
“The graduating cadets will be taking their place in Nigeria Police Force that is destined and determined to take its place amongst the most efficient security organizations in the world. This is apparent in the excellent and fruitful contributions of the Nigeria Police force in foreign peacekeeping missions.”
Buhari noted that today’s landscape extends well beyond the land, sea, and air, into the vast territories of cyberspace, noting that the internet and new digital technologies have provided a platform for the emerging offences to reach unprecedented levels.
“Many of the enemies you will confront will be permanently faceless or concealed, leveraging technology to wage warfare that has the potential to be even more destructive than anything the world has ever known.
“We must develop a policy on cyber warfare that has as its strategic focus on the prevention of cyber-attacks against critical national infrastructure, minimizing national vulnerability to cyber-attacks and minimizing damage and recovery time from cyber-attacks,” he said.
Buhari further assured that the government would do everything possible to address the challenges facing the academy by calling on the interventions of the relevant agencies to facilitate the developmental plans.
While congratulating the cadets for successful completion of their training, the president directed them to maintain the spirit of accomplishment, as they prepare to face the tasks ahead.
He further commended the commandant and the entire academy community, for the excellent work, raising new generations of police officers who will tirelessly secure the country.
In his remarks, the Commandant of Nigeria Police Academy, AIG Ahmad AbdurRahama, thanked Buhari for honouring the invitation, saying the institution was upgraded from professional training to degree awarding in 2012.
The commandant said the institution had graduated 1,748 cadets, Assistant Superintendent of Police, over the years, including the 205 who just graduated.
AbdurRahaman said all the Assistant Superintendents of Police will be immediately deployed as “pervasive actors in securing the country, most especially as the country is confronted with multifarious challenges.”
Buhari later presented awards to the best graduating cadet, Rachel Oluwatosin Babarinde, and the stunner-up, Isa Abdulatif.
NADCEL 2022: Army Embarks On Tree Planting In Barracks
In commemoration of this year’s Army Day celebration, the Nigerian Army has embarked on tree planting exercise within barracks.
The Commander, Army Headquarters (AHQ) Garrison, Major-General Kabir Garba, who conducted the exercise alongside other officers within Mogadishu Cantonment and barracks in the AHQ Garrison’s Area of Responsibility (AOR) such as Yar’aduwa Barracks and CBA extension, at the weekend, said the exercise was a stand against deforestation in the county.
According to him, the aim is to create awareness against deforestation and to support units under his command and the barracks community to take a stand against deforestation and participate in greening of the environment.
Garba added that the tree planting exercise was also in line with the Chief of Army Staff’s position on tree planting, adding that the Army Chief has always demonstrated it by planting a tree in all the building projects he inaugurated in recent times.
“It is also worthy to note that the exercise is in line with tree planting campaign of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Buhari has pledged to plant 25 million trees in Nigeria to enhance the country’s carbon sink as part of the country’s efforts to implement the Paris Climate change agreement”, he said.
The Nigerian Army Day is celebrated across army formations and units on every July 1 to July 6.
The 2022 edition, which was billed to take place in Owerri, Imo State, commenced with a news conference last Wednesday, followed by Juma’at prayer on Friday while the interdenominational church services were held yesterday in all formations across the country.
Other activities lined up include humanitarian outreaches while grand finale would take place on July 6 in Owerri.
PDP Crisis: Wike’s Our Jagaban, Man Of Revolution –Atiku
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has described Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, as the Jagaban of the party.
Atiku said he holds Wike in high esteem, stressing that he was a man of revolution.
He disclosed this through the spokesperson of his presidential campaign, Segun Sowunmi, on Arise Television, last Friday.
He stressed that the Rivers State governor was a straightforward person who says things as they are.
“Wike is our own Jagaban; how do you explain a governor being able to keep other governors in line? One thing you can’t deny him is that he has the ability to say it as it is. He will not bend or colour things.
“Atiku holds Wike in high esteem, time and space may not bring them together, but he does. Wike is a man of revolution; he is one of the totems of PDP,” he said.
There are claims of crisis within the PDP following Atiku’s selection of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as his running mate.
Strike: Redirect Presidency, NASS Budgets, Others To Meet ASUU’s Demands, SERAP Tells Buhari
The strike which has lasted more than 130 days jeopardising the future of Nigerian students also caught the attention of the organised labour threatening protest.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), had last Thursday, said it would embark on a one-day protest to force the Federal Government respond to ASUU demands.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “urgently recover missing N105.7billion of public funds from ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to fund the country’s public tertiary institutions, improve the welfare of staff members, and ensure that the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) return to class without further delay.”
SERAP said, “Pending the recovery of the missing public funds, we urge you to redirect some of the presidency’s budget of N3.6billion on feeding and travels, and the N134billion allocated to the National Assembly in the 2022 budget to meet the demands by ASUU.”
SERAP also urged him to “send to the National Assembly a fresh supplementary appropriation bill, which reflects the proposed redirected budget, for its approval.
In the letter dated July 2, 2022, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Meeting the demands by ASUU would confront the persistent and widening inequality in educational opportunity, and promote equal protection for poor Nigerian children.”
According to SERAP, “The apparent failure by your government to agree with the reasonable demands by ASUU, implement the good faith agreement with the union and to satisfactorily resolve the issues has kept poor Nigerian children at home while the children of the country’s politicians attend private schools.”
The ASUU accused the government of poor commitment to the payment of academic earned allowance (EAA); poor funding, the continued use of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) and refusal to adopt the Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), among others.
SERAP said, “Meeting ASUU demands would also ensure protection against the harms of discrimination and educational deprivation.”
The letter, read in part: “The poor treatment of Nigerian children in the country’s public tertiary institutions is inconsistent and incompatible with the Nigerian Constitution and the country’s international human rights obligations.
“Widening inequalities in the area of education bear all the more dramatic consequences given the importance of education, as an empowering right, in giving the possibility to all to explore and realise their potential.
“Inequalities in education have a rolling effect, leading to even more and continued inequalities in the future.
“Apart from being a right in itself, the right to education is also an enabling right. Education creates the ‘voice’ through which rights can be claimed and protected, and without education people lack the capacity to achieve valuable functioning as part of the living.
“If people have access to education they can develop the skills, capacity and confidence to secure other rights. Education gives people the ability to access information detailing the range of rights that they hold, and government’s obligations.
“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.
“Recovering the missing N105.7billion of public funds and redirecting the funds, as well as some parts of the presidency and National Assembly budgets to meet the demands by ASUU would end the protracted negotiations between ASUU and the Federal Government and improve access of poor children to education.
“Recovering the missing N105.7billion of public funds and redirecting the funds, as well as some parts of the presidency and National Assembly budgets to meet the demands by ASUU would also be in the public interest.
“The proposed spending of taxpayers’ and public funds would also be consistent with constitutional responsibilities and oath of office by public officers, as well as comply with Chapter 2 of the Nigerian Constitution relating to fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy.
“Recovering the missing N105.7billion of public funds and redirecting the funds, as well as some parts of the presidency and National Assembly would be entirely consistent with your constitutional oath of office, and with the letter and spirit of the Nigerian Constitution, as it would promote equal opportunities for poor children who rely on public schools and have no opportunity for university education elsewhere.
“SERAP is concerned that Nigeria’s public tertiary institutions have continued to experience a steady decline. The quality of public education offered is low and standards have continued to drop. The learning environment does not promote effective learning.
“Public school facilities are in a state of extreme disrepair, requiring major rehabilitation. Basic teaching and learning resources are generally not available, leaving many lecturers and other staff members profoundly demoralised.
“The failure to end the ASUU strike has hugely contributed to denying poor Nigerian children access to quality education, opportunities and development. The enjoyment of the right to education for millions of poor children remains a distant goal.
“Under international law, states are required to progressively implement socio-economic rights, including the right to quality education commensurate with the level of resources available. Gross misallocation of resources to the detriment of the enjoyment of the right to quality education can constitute a human rights violation.
“A violation of the right to education will occur when there is insufficient expenditure or misallocation of public resources which results in the non-enjoyment of access to education by poor Nigerian children.
“The failure to meet the reasonable demands by ASUU cannot be justified especially given the failure and/or refusal by the Federal Government to recover trillions of Naira reportedly missing in ministries, departments and agencies, and the huge funds allocated to the presidency and the National Assembly in the 2022 budget.
“According to our information, N105.7billion of public funds are missing, as documented by the Auditor-General of the Federation in his annual audited report for 2018. Also, while the presidency has budgeted N3.6billion for feeding and travels, N134billion has been allocated to the National Assembly in the 2022 budget.
“Furthermore, ASUU and other university workers’ unions have been on strike for several months. The unions’ demands, among other things, include better funding for the nation’s public tertiary institutions and improved welfare for their members.
“While your government has reportedly released N34billion for the payment of minimum wage consequential adjustments from 2019, ASUU has maintained that until its core demands are met, it will not suspend the strike.
“In protest of the continuous use of IPPIS and refusal by the Federal Government to implement the renegotiated 2009 agreement that was completed in May, 2021, ASUU resumed nationwide strike on February 14.”
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