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Killings: Lawmakers knock Buhari, President meets security chiefs

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Killings: Lawmakers knock Buhari, President meets security chiefs

Killings: Lawmakers knock Buhari, President meets security chiefs

The opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly on Thursday said there was no going back on their plan to impeach the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, if he failed to resolve the insecurity in the country within six weeks.

The lawmakers, consisting of the Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Grand Alliance members, contended that insecurity had reached the peak under Buhari’s regime.

They spoke about the same time that the President was meeting the nation’s security chiefs under the auspices of the National Security Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

This happened as bandits again raided Pinau village in the Wase Local Government of Plateau state and killed six persons.

But restating their six-week ultimatum to the President at a press briefing in Abuja, the opposition lawmakers said they were tired of the worsening insecurity in the country and could no longer keep quiet over the state of the nation.

Addressing journalists after a closed-door session, the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu said they were ready to fight the President ‘tooth and nail until the insecurity issues had been resolved.’

Elumelu said, “They (Senators) have given six to eight weeks for Mr. President to address the insecurity that is, of course, affecting this nation, and I want to also join on behalf of my colleagues, also to say that upon the expiration, we will proffer ways of ensuring that we will gather all the signatures.”

Buttressing his Senate colleagues, Elumelu said that the ultimatum was beyond the issue of the opposition party but a unanimous agreement between the lawmakers.

He said, “And let me make it clear. Those who are thinking that it is only the issue of the PDP or the minority caucus, no. Many of our colleagues under the bipartisanship are affected. Many of them are affected. So, they may not be speaking but we may be speaking for them. And when the time comes, everyone will come out.”

Elumelu also responded to the comment by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu on Wednesday night where he described the impeachment threat as “performative and babyish antics”, stating that time would show the President the reality.

Elumelu said, “I heard somebody this morning saying it is a laughable attempt. Perhaps, when the action starts, the person will find out that it’s not a laughable action. It’s real and we will not stand to allow this nation to collapse. We think that it is high time the insecurity of this nation is addressed.

“The nation has been awash with what happened yesterday (Wednesday) in the Senate where our colleagues had to walk out in protest as to the state of the nation as regards to the issue of insecurity in the nation. Concurrently, even though we did not do it exactly the way they did it, we also drew the House attention as to what is happening in Nigeria, most importantly in FCT.’’

Elumelu further lamented that the problems of the country were too enormous and if they didn’t rise to the occasion, the nation was on the verge of collapsing.

He said, “ And of course, we also have the issue of oil theft which has risen, now making it difficult for us to earn income from oil revenue.

“And these and many others are the reasons we are joining our colleagues in the Senate to ask Mr. President to address the insecurity of this nation within six and eight weeks. Otherwise, we will find the constitutional means to ensure that we serve him an impeachment notice.’’

Senate Minority leader

Earlier, the Senate Minority leader, Philip Aduda also noted that they were not rescinding their decision to impeach the president if he failed to meet their demands.

He said, “Our actions yesterday (Wednesday) were spontaneous from the issues that were raised on the floor of the Senate. I am sure that members of the press must have interacted with our various colleagues to know that this issue is not just about the PDP caucus but it is a bipartisan issue.

“We all agreed that the security architecture is failing and there is a need to salvage it immediately and we also agreed that we must issue; for some who do not know, the issue is to issue an impeachment notice to the President because the primary responsibility of the government is the protection of lives of the citizens. Once that is not done, then, there is a problem.”

The senator further said that they had invited their colleagues at the house to further explain things to them and know where they stand on the issue.

Also, the Senator representing Cross River South Senatorial District, Gershom Bassey, said that they were committed to ending the security issues in the country, and if the President didn’t solve the challenges, they wouldn’t have a choice but to use the constitution.

“This six-week (ultimatum) is just the last straw; we have been giving this recommendation, motions, and budgetary support since 2018. We have been talking about insecurity since 2017,’’ he noted.

Also, the lawmaker representing Osun East Senatorial district, Senator Francis Fadahunsi said that the senators including some from the ruling party, had agreed on serving the impeachment notice but some people were still trying to serve their personal interest and were resisting the decision of the Senate.

The PUNCH on Wednesday reported that Senator Smart Adeyemi of Kogi West, Senator Bulkachuwa Muhammed of Bauchi North and Senators are the APC senators who have openly declared their support for the President’s impeachment.

Plateau attack

Confirming the latest bandit attack, residents of Pinau community said the hoodlums arrived in the area around 3:pm on Wednesday, shooting sporadically, which led to the death of the six persons while many others were injured.

Garba Kasuwa, who escaped the attack, said the bandits came in large numbers on motorcycles carrying heavy guns.

He said “Before the arrival of the bandits, hundreds of residents of the community had already fled because of the fear of being attacked and that is why the casualty figure is not much. The few ones that remained, some were killed; about six of them. The bandits on arrival asked people to lock themselves in their rooms.

“They broke our shops and stole food items and other properties. They also kidnapped some people. The situation is pathetic.”

The Spokesman for the Military Taskforce, Operation Safe Haven in charge of maintaining peace in the state, Major Ishaku Takwa, however, said that troops of the taskforce had been deployed in the community to restore calm.

Before the attack , the residents of the community had raised the alarm over their safety following the withdrawal of soldiers from the area, a development that forced hundreds of residents to flee their homes to neighbouring villages.

“I will call you later on the incident because I’m right now in a meeting with the Force PPRO”, the police public relations officer of the Plateau state command ,Alabo Alfred told The PUNCH in Jos, when contacted.

In a related development, the Defence Headquarters has urged residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, not to panic on account of the terrorist attack on the Presidential Brigade Guards on Sunday in which eight personnel were killed.

The incident led to the hasty closure of schools by the Federal Government and the Federal Capital Territory Administration, sparking apprehension among residents.

But speaking at the bi-weekly briefing on troops’ activities on Thursday, the Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. Bernard Onyeuko claimed 30 terrorists were killed during the attack on the troops.

He added, ”Troops of 7 Guards Battalion and 167 Special Force Battalion in conjunction with the air component of ‘Operation Whirl Punch’ conducted a clearance patrol around Bwari general area between 24 – 26 July 2022. Troops successfully cleared Kawu and Ido villages.

“Consequently, about 30 terrorists were neutralized and their enclave and hideout destroyed. Ground troops also recovered six motorcycles, two AK47 rifles, one fully loaded LMG magazine, amongst others, during the mop up.”

Reacting to allegations that troops were benefiting from the ransoms paid by abducted victims, the Director, Defence Information Major General Jimmy Akpor said the military high command was unaware of the development.

Meanwhile, the commander of the Vigilance Group of Nigeria in Bwari area council, Titus Awyebemye, killed during the attack on the presidential Guards Brigade has been buried on Thursday.

CAN warns

Also, the outgoing President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, has admonished the President to holistically address the security challenges in the country.

Ayokunle, who stated this during a valedictory church service held in his honour in Abuja on Thursday, stressed that the insecurity in the country was no longer a child’s play.

Commenting on the security situation, the presidential candidate of the PDP and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has assured the people of Zamfara State that rescue is on the way.

The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd), while speaking with journalists after the National Security Council meeting, said the President and the security agents were aware of the dire security challenges facing the country.

Monguno said, “We are in a very difficult situation and the Council understands. Mr President understands people’s concerns about the growing insecurity. But I can assure you that there’s no straight cut and dried method of dealing with this thing unless all of us embrace each other.

“I know people are weary, people are tired, people are beginning to gravitate to other places for self-help. The truth is that help is rooted in everyone working for the other person.”

According to him, the Security Council has agreed on new strategies to curtail the menace, assuring Nigerians that there will be a renewed momentum against terrorism.

He explained: “Again, the members of the armed forces have made a commitment that in the coming weeks, they have already started working on a new strategy to deal with these snippets of violence.

“And they’ve given their word, their commitment to the President that there will be a change in momentum, regardless of the fact that there might be certain institutional limitations which they face. But they understood the enormity of the responsibilities.”

The NSA also revealed that Council will soon conclude its special investigation on the July 5 Kuje Correctional Center attack and would punish those who, by neglect of duty, allowed the massive escape.

“Council is in the process of winding up the Special Investigative Panel on the Kuje incident. And the idea is to come up with recommendations, hold those who are supposed to be held accountable for their deeds and to ensure that this type of thing never ever, ever happens again in this country,” Monguno stated.

Citing last Friday night’s attack on the 7 Guards Battalion of the Nigerian Army Presidential Guards Brigade, the NSA argued that no country can win an asymmetric warfare without the help of its citizens.

Monguno argued that the casualties could have been avoided if citizens were more generous with information.

PUNCH

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Military

Marwa Commends British Govt Over Marine Headquarters Project for NDLEA

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Marwa Commends British Govt Over Marine Headquarters Project for NDLEA

By: Michael Mike

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (Retd) has commended the British Government for offering to undertake the provision of headquarters house and personnel accommodation for the Marine Unit of the anti-narcotics body at the Eko Atlantic city beach.

Marwa, who gave the commendation while performing the groundbreaking ceremony to signify the commencement of the project facilitated by the UK Home Office International Operations (HOIO), assured that the agency will continue to live up to the expectations of Nigerians and its international partners.

He said the confidence reposed in the agency by President Bola Tinubu and the UK government as well as their all-round support will always be a morale booster for the officers and men who daily take huge risks to dismantle drug cartels with the sole aim of curbing the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria, while significantly contributing to the global effort to address the drug problem.

He noted that the office and accommodation facilities being provided by the UK government for personnel of the marine unit of the agency will in no small measure enhance their safety, efficiency and confidence. “You have provided us a place here, you’ve given us the trainings, you’ve supported with the boats and the repairs and now the accommodation. We can only say thank you. We wish to give the assurances on what you already know that the NDLEA is a serious Agency, we do what we have to do without fear or favour, we will get the job done, that I can give you the assurance as we continue to partner. Thank you very much”, the NDLEA boss said while addressing the British government officials and their contractors at the site of the project.

He also commended personnel of the Navy, Customs, Immigration and other services in the area for their collaboration with NDLEA. “We all must stand up together, though the NDLEA is the lead agency in this enterprise, the work is collaborative. We must partner to get the job done. I’ve been briefed that there’s lot of collaboration going on the same way I was at MMIA this morning and spoke to your senior colleagues there and they are all working together as you are here. I urge you to keep it up in this spirit and I wish you more success.”

Addressing officers of the Unit, Marwa said the leadership of the agency is restructuring the Marine Unit so that it “can become a lean and mean force under an able commander”, adding “you should brace up, stand up on your two feet and work very hard to make sure that drugs do not pass by water.”

In his brief remarks at the ceremony, Kris Hawksfield of the UK Home Office International Operations assured that the project will be completed latest by July 2024.

Speaking earlier at a War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy meeting with the leadership of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Marwa said there is need for the organization to partner with the Agency in the fight against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking. He urged the PMAN President, Prettywise Okafor and other executives to mobilise their members to use their God-given talents for the good of the society rather than using their music to promote drug abuse especially among the youths.

Okafor in his response expressed the preparedness of PMAN to partner with the Agency. He also gave details of their effort to organise advocacy campaign against drug abuse across the country and their plan to build rehabilitation centres as part of their ongoing projects in Abuja and Lagos.

Marwa Commends British Govt Over Marine Headquarters Project for NDLEA

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Oronsaye Report: Don’t Merge Nigerian Army University With NDA, Olowu Urges President Tinubu

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Oronsaye Report: Don’t Merge Nigerian Army University With NDA, Olowu Urges President Tinubu

By: Michael Mike

President Bola Tinubu has been advised not to merge the Nigerian Army University with the Nigerian Defence Academy as part of the implementation of Steve Oronsaye report.

The advice was given by the Olowu of Kuta, HRM Oba Hameed Adekunle Makama, Tegbosun III, in a statement on Tuesday.

The monarch in a statement issued by his media office, said Nigerian Army University, Biu, unlike the Nigerian Defence Academy, Is a full fledged federal university like other federal universities in the country, and offers various courses, and not specialised university which the NDA is.

He added that the Nigerian Army University was established by the Act of Parliament and cannot be reversed without going back to the National Assembly to repeal the act that set it up, noting that merging NAUB with NDA means the federal government is ready to merge every federal university created by the act of parliament.

Oba Makama also reminded President Tinubu that Nigerian Army University Biu was set up to cater for the multitude of students in search of university education in the north east axis, adding that merging it with the NDA will reduce it to an institution where military personnel are trained.

Oba Makama, however, commended President Tinubu for the political will to implement a far-reaching civil service reform that was initiated twelve years ago so as to cut the over bloated costs of governance

He said: “I believe the mixed up should not have arisen if proper wide consultation is made before advising Mr. President on inclusion of NUAB because Army University is not even in existence during the Orosanye panel.”

Oronsaye Report: Don’t Merge Nigerian Army University With NDA, Olowu Urges President Tinubu

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CALLING ON THE FGN TO RETHINK THE DOWNGRADING OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY UNIVERSITY BIU

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CALLING ON THE FGN TO RETHINK THE DOWNGRADING OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY UNIVERSITY BIU

“.The Nigerian Army University Biu, (NAUB) in Borno State was established as a means to explore a non-kenetic approach in the service operations against insurgency”…Lagbaja, Lt-Gen.

By: A. G. Abubakar,*

The philosophy that guided the establishment of the NAUB was aptly captured by the above statement made by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Ge T. Lagbaja during the maiden graduation of about 417 students of the University in 2023. The assertion by the COAS underscores the difference between a formal military academy like the NDA and a conventional University with a military bend.

It recognises the fact that a “military” exists in a larger society that calls for a “strategic” relationship as a bulwark towards sustainable peace and stability. Thus, while the Academy produces combatants along with requisite hardware, the associate University deals with critical non-kenetic matters of “interdisciplinary academic field, centered on the study of peace and conflict strategies and often devoting special attention to the relationship between military history, international politics, geostrategy, international diplomacy, international economics and military power”, among others. That’s why in the USA all the major arms of military have both specialised academies and Universities in tow.

The famous ones being the US Military Academy at West Point and The US Army University (online), West Virginia. China has more than half a dozen of them under a “policy of leveraging the civilian sector to maximise Military power (known as ‘Military-civilian fusion’)”. India established one in Haryana in 2013. Pakistan and indeed many nations concerned with sustainable national security, operate the two systems concurrently. It’s therefore strange the the current Administration would consider diminishing this global best practice.
The strategic location of NAUB, provides government the ample opportunities to even undertake studies as regards the often prenial frosty relationship between Nigeria as an English speaking country with its three French speaking neighbours of Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republics.

The trio share boarders with Borno State, the host state of NAUB. Cross border crimes and illicit weapons have largely fuelled the insurgency in the North East, compounded by dearth of empirical and/or actionable intelligence information from communities in the region.

An Army University could play a decisive role in such cases. The swash of land from Biu, Southern Borno to Cameroon via Garkida, Gombi and Mubi to the East and also through Askira/Uba, Chibok, Gwoza into far north Cameroon enroute Chad had no specialised security-biased tertiary institution like the NAUB. Furthermore, at the time the institution was established, it filled a geopolitical void in Borno State.

Despite the existence of many tertiary institutions in the state such as the Unimaid, the Teaching Hospital, a Polytechnic, College of Agriculture, College of Health Technology, for political reasons the state government didn’t deem it fit to site the Borno State University in the South, where citizens have been yearning for more educational opportunities.
The people’s frustration with this inequitable development was addressed by the arrival of the NAUB. The University has thus, since been seen as a balancing act. The NAUB which is now underway threat has a fundamental role to play in terms of stability in the state, the region and even internationally as a Central Africa security study center.

While calling on Government to consider the NAUB strategic context and save the institution on its own merit, the Borno State Governor Zulum, his Deputy Kadafur, Senator Ndume, Hon. Betara, Haske, Jaha, Balami should impress upon the Federal Government to let NAUB be. They should deem it Honourable to lay the bare facts once more before the government.

The nation stands to gain more in the long run more than the short term resources they want to save. There is no bad education but there could be bad decisions. Let the latter be avoided.
By A. G. Abubakar,
agbarewa@gmail.com

CALLING ON THE FGN TO RETHINK THE DOWNGRADING OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY UNIVERSITY BIU

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