The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has berated the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, for belatedly raising the alarm on the activities of terrorists in the State, in a leaked memo addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The group expressed dismay and disbelief over the governor’s alarm, saying the insecurity in the State occasioned by the activities of the terrorists was as result of “embarrassing leadership failures” on the part of Governor el-Rufai.
SOKAPU, therefore, said rather than raise alarm, el-Rufai should redirect his strong and oftentimes misguided political will to priotise security and welfare of the people of Kaduna State in order to stem the tide of insecurity.
The Tide source reported that Governor el-Rufai had recently written a memo to President Buhari on the security challenges bedevilling his state, stressing that terrorists were forming parrallel government in the State. But, according to SOKAPU in a statement issued and signed by its acting national president, Awemi Dio Maisamari, the group said the admission of the governor was a confirmation of the various alarms that the union had been raising since 2019.
SOKAPU averred that beside attrocities committed during attacks, other unspeakable crimes and acts of barbarism are daily being perpetrated in occupied communities which are better imagined than experienced.
“If only the terrorists had limited themselves to strictly enforcing their own brand of civil and criminal laws, that would have been a bit bearable. But we now have a situation whereby most rural communities are daily patrolled by well armed marauding terrorists to stamp and enforce their authority and embark on widespread abductions, forced labour, systematic extortion, outright enslavement, widespread sexual harassment, confiscation of food, other valuables, dehumanisation, merciless brutality, torture, killings of innocent locals who show any sign of lack of cooperation or resistance to the occupiers.
“Consequently, most affected rural communities are deserted. That is the lot of rural villages in Kaduna State, especially in Chikun, Kajuru, Kachia, Zangon Kataf, Kauru, Lere, Birnin Gwari and Giwa Local Governments. The area that has now become ungovernable space in Kaduna state is about the size of Abia State.
“With the benefit of other recent revelations or admissions made on how we have found ourselves where we are, we very much understand why el-Rufai is now crying foul. While using insecurity to grab and consolidate his power and authority, he rationalised it, defended and appeased the terrorists.
“Even now that his power, authority, leadership qualities and reputation are being rubished, he is still only paying lip service to the primary responsibility of government which is the security and welfare of peace loving citizens. Therefore, we regard the belated alarm he is raising as the shedding of crocodile tears. This is because in his administration, his priorities are totally different as he does not put his money where his mouth is.
“The ugly reality we have had to endure under el-Rufai’s reign is that protecting lives, jobs and securing livelihoods are treated as an obstacle to grandiose elitist projects and programmes. What else did Elrufai mean when he said the payment of salaries is not a priority of his government?”, the group concluded.
“Government and governance has lost credibility and legitimacy if it cannot protect lives and property of citizens. But el-Rufai’s is still managing to parade himself as a Governor in safe corridors created by multiple security cordons. Meanwhile, most people even in the state capital of Kaduna have been abandoned to play cat and mouse with terrorists.
“In view of the foregoing, SOKAPU wishes to express profound dismay and disbelief at the self righteous alarm of Governor el-Rufai over the embarrassing leadership failures that culminated in our present security, economic and political nightmares. We refuse to belief that Nigeria or Kaduna state has been overwhelmed.
“In conclusion, we call on the Governor to redirect his often strong but misguided political will to truly prioritize the security and welfare of Kaduna State citizens. Let him start thinking and acting out of the box like South Western Governors through Amotekun or Governor Ortom of Benue State through his Community Volunteer Guards. Enough of sensational rhetorics without appropriate actions,” SOKAPU stated.
Ahead 2027: Pro-Tinubu Group Sets Up Structures In APC
The Mandate Movement (TMM), a pro-President Bola Tinubu group in the All Progressives Congress (APC), has set up 37 structures in a bid to enlarge its membership base across the country.
The structures consist of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The national leader of the movement, Cardinal James Odunmbaku, made this known in a statement, explaining that the move became necessary for the ease of administration.
Cardinal Odunmbaku, in the statement, noted that this move was a precursor to the preparations for the 2027 general election.
He stressed that the move aims at ensuring that the APC has strong dominance across communities and towns in every part of the country.
He advised those to be appointed as state coordinators to be more effective in mobilising new people into the ruling APC.
The APC chieftain also used the opportunity to appeal to Nigerians to be patient with the President Bola Tinubu’s administration, assuring that the government was taking steps to address the harsh economic challenges.
Benue APC Crisis: Court Sacks Acting State Chairman
The recently suspended Benue State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Austin Agada, has been reinstated by a Makurdi High Court presided over by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Maurice Ikpambese.
Recall that Mr Agada was earlier in the month suspended from office by another Benue High Court in Aliade presided over by Justice Lilian Tsumba following an ex parte motion filed by Mr Moses Agaba against him and the APC after his Ihaje Ward I Executive in Ogbadibo Local Government Area had passed a no-confidence vote on him and also suspended him for alleged anti-party activity.
The suspension was immediately followed by the inauguration of Mr. Benjamin Omakolo from Igoro Ward, Apa LGA as the acting State Chairman during a State Executive Committee meeting of the party presided over by Governor Hyacinth Alia.
However the crisis in the party took a dramatic turn Monday when Justice Ikpambese reinstated Mr. Agada while ruling on a motion by the embattled chairman seeking to set aside the interim order restraining him from parading himself as Chairman.
After listening to the arguments of counsel to Moses Agaba, Mr. Johnson Usman, and that of Innocent Daagba, who appeared alongside Richard Ayilla, George Ushongo, Daniel Sorkaa and John Ifer who appeared for Mr. Agada, Justice Maurice Ikpambese vacated the order restraining him from parading self, function and acting as the Chairman of the APC in the State.
Justice Ikpambese ruled that “under Order 39, rule 3 of the Benue State High Court Procedure Rules, 2023, the lifespan of an interim order is seven days, and since the order was issued on February 2, 2024, it has elapsed by law.”
Justice Ikpambese nullified the appointment of Benjamin Omakolo as acting Chairman and any other appointment made from February 2, 2024.
He accordingly struck out the motion seeking to set aside the interim order of February 2, 2024, as “it has been overtaken by events.”
The matter would be assigned to another Judge by the Chief Judge who would hear it on its merit.
Reacting, the APC State acting Chairman, Mr. Omakolo dismissed the reinstatement of Mr. Agada saying “whether the order restraining him (Agada) from parading himself as the Chairman is vacated or not, the fact that he has been suspended by his Ward still places a ban on him to be able to function as APC Chairman in Benue State. “And it will interest you to know that in the court ruling today, no matter concerning my person or role as the acting Chairman was mentioned.
“So, I still remain the valid acting State chairman of the APC in Benue State. I remain the one who pilots the affairs of the APC in Benue State and the APC family takes instructions and directives from my office as the acting Chairman of APC in the State.
“And even that wrong vacation that was done in the High Court has already been appealed. The person that took him to court has appealed the judgement because it is not correct in law for a High Court to restrain another High Court, a court of coordinate jurisdiction. I have long assumed office as the acting Chairman of APC in Benue State.”
There’s No Changing Bayelsa Gov’ship Result – Diri
Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has said that the November 11, 2023, governorship election in the State has been won and lost and cannot be changed through subterranean moves of his main rival in the poll.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the incumbent governor winner of the election and presented certificates of return to him and the deputy governor-elect, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, on November 17, 2023.
Diri, who spoke on Monday during the first year memorial service of his late father, Pa Abraham Diri, at the St Peter’s Anglican Church, Sampou, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, said the subpoena to the police to testify as witness at the election petition tribunal by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, was diversionary, a waste of time and an exercise in futility.
He said the acceptable standard was the election result declared by INEC and not that of the police.
His words, “they are bringing a police report. They are bringing a police commissioner to come and testify in the election tribunal. We have crossed that bridge long ago. Just as we stopped them from rigging, we will stop them again.
“If you want to subpoena anybody, let it be INEC, which conducted the election and declared the results. The police are in charge of security.
“Let us be steadfast. Our second tenure will be better than the first.”
The governor eulogised his father for laying a solid foundation for him and his siblings.
According to him, his father was being celebrated a year after his death because he left good legacies that were speaking through him and his siblings.
He said: “His impact upon our lives, his children and relatives, is unspeakable. That is why I believe in giving the best education to children, so that whether you are alive or not, they can stand anywhere. I urge fellow Bayelsans to give their children good education.
“What we are doing today is to appreciate God and celebrate the life of our father for what he has done in our lives. Our father guided us very well. All his life was how to discipline and give what he had to society.
“Those of us in leadership as president, governors, Speakers and other positions, let us know that there is a legacy we should leave, which will speak for us when we leave this world.”
Speaking on the topic: “What will you be remembered for?” Rev. Funkuro Amgbare, Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Izon of the Anglican Communion, noted that Pa Diri was being remembered a year after his death because he impacted positively on his children and the society.
He admonished all to live a life worth remembering by maintaining their integrity.
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