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Wike Advised to Ensure Adherence to Guiding Rule of VIO

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Wike Advised to Ensure Adherence to Guiding Rule of VIO

By: Michael Mike

The Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike has been advised to ensure that the guiding rule of appointment and career progression of Vehicle Inspection Officer are adhered to under his watch.

A letter addressed to the Minister by one Ismaila Abdullahi and made available to journalists read: “The National Council on Establishment (NCE) at its 40th meeting held from 12th -16th March 2018, approved the creation of Vehicle Inspection Officer, Cadre Graded on SGL 08-17 for candidates possessing relevant university degree, vehicle officer/ vehicle inspection Superintendent Cadres Structured on SGL 6th – 14th the National Diploma / Higher National Diploma holders and vehicle Inspection Assistant Cadre SGL 03-07 for secondary school certificate holders and technical certificate such as electrical mechanical and Auto mechanics. “

The letter added that: “In the Federal Capital Territory Administration, the Road Traffic Services Directorate has failed to adhere strictly to the approved Scheme of service both in the areas of appointments, career progression and assigning of responsibilities in terms of assigning of professional duties as stated in the
public service scheme of service.

“This is seriously observed and becomes a
matter of concern to the entire vehicle inspection officers in the FCT,
Directorate of Road Traffic Services as the level of disservice is gradually set
in as they are made to be taking professional instructions from the
Administrative Officers who did not possess the required skills and knowledge even at the Various Zonal offices in the Federal Capital Territory.”

The letter further read that: “The Hon Minister is hereby invited to note that the non-adherence to the schemes of service is a great violation of the Public Service Rules and it has serious implications on both the Road Traffic Services and Professional Vehicle Inspection Officers as they are not allowed to exercise the skills and knowledge acquired from the school and training. Most of these major
implications are stressed further for proper understanding.

“The appointment of non-professionals as Heads of Directorate and Units in the various Operational Units will give room for disorderliness and confusion as the Professional Vehicle Inspection Officers are not expected to be taking
directives from the administrative officers who talk the skills and knowledge, yet they are assigned to oversee the inspection of the vehicle even at the zonal
levels.

“The Directorate of Road Traffic Services in FCT and throughout the country is
a professional organisation which is expected to be guided by its own
professionals’ rules for uniformity and effective operations, contrarily the FCT Directorate has been manned by the Administrative Officers who have not undergone any requisite training apart from the Administrative procedures training and general rules such as Public Service Rules. “

It however lamented that: “The recent effort by the FCT Management for repositioning of the Directorates to achieve its core mandate is far from the truth as the practice on ground cannot improve Service delivery as the necessary rules and guiding actions of Road Traffic services has been abandoned or eroded.

“The major focus of the
FCT Management, which is generation of revenue has been placed higher on
the other Road Traffic matters like safety on FCT roads which is the core
mandate of the Service.

“The Professional Vehicle Inspection Officers are being demoralized and
subjected to disrespect as the Administrative Officers who are made to oversee the Professional Units are not ready to yield to the Professional advice from the Vehicle Inspection Officer who process the required skills and knowledge.”

“It is therefore pertinent to remind the FCTA that the public service is structured
in such a manner that no “CADRE” should be put at disadvantage in order to
favour another Cadre. In the real sense and going by current operations of
Directorates of FCT Road Traffic Services, the vehicle Inspection Officers
Cadre had been put at disadvantage over Administrative officers cadre as they are no longer allowed to progress to the position of the Director in the Directorate of FCT Road Traffic Services as such vacancies had been filled by
the Administrative Officer’s contrary to the approved scheme of service,” the letter further revealed.

It stated that: “Finally, there is urgent need to bring to the notice of the FCTA that the recent lunch of the “SELF SERVICE PORTAL” that the motive had been defeated as it has failed to accomplish the purpose. Instead, the plate numbers are allocated to the highest bidder and the excess money are not remitted to the revenue account as earlier proposed.

“In the light of the afore-mentioned obstacles and challenges militating against the effective operations of the FCT Road Traffic Services, the management is
requested to note and review the needed activities of FCT, Road Traffic
Services, Department to be in line with the operation of other States in the
country and enhance the effective service delivery in the Federal Capital
Territory.

“The operation should be structured to fall in line with one public Service in which cadres of all professionals are followed strictly from the bottom to the top.”

The Minister is advised to take immediate action to ensure that the approved scheme of service for vehicle inspections officers is being followed., stating that: “This is vital to ensuring the safety of motorists and pedestrians in the FCT.”

Wike Advised to Ensure Adherence to Guiding Rule of VIO

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Four Zamfara Bandit Groups’ Peace Deal Goes Sour

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Four Zamfara Bandit Groups’ Peace Deal Goes Sour

By: Zagazola Makama

The fierce rivalry among some of the bandit groups operating in Zamfara State has intensified with four of the most-dreaded groups issuing serious warning of deadly reprisals against each other.

Intelligence sources told Zagazola Makama, that some of the groups also dismiss the possibility of striking peace deals against the others, as they announce their maintenance of confrontational stance against the others.

Last Saturday, April 14, 2024, representatives of three of the four groups – Dan Karami Gwaska and Alhaji Shingi groups, reportedly converged at Usu village in Birnin-Magaji Local Government Area to discuss a peace deal among them. Bello Turji group did not attend the meeting.

Ado Aleru represented the Alhaji Shingi group; Bello Tagoje represented the Kachalla Halilu group; while Ardo Na-shawari, Alhaji Ali, Alhaji Shamago and the youngest son of Dan Karami Gwaska represented the Gwaska group.

The Shingi group, represented by Ado Aleru, gave a serious warning to the Gwaska group never again to set feet on any community other than Tsanu and Rukudawa of Zurmi Local Government Area. They warned further that if Gwaska flouts their warning, they would kill him and some of his men.

To further buttress their stand the three bandits Leaders, Ado Allero, Dan Yusufa and Mali already stationed their men in the North of Tsafe, in preparation for any confrontation.

As another condition for peace, they the Shingi group demanded that Dan Karami Gwaska returned the cattle he rustled believe bging to one Hassan at Bafashi of Safana LGA of Katsina State.

They also demanded that Dan Karami Gwaska returned the weapons belonging to Sani Dangote, who he killed the previous week; and he should also purchase new motorcycles as compensation for the ones he burnt belonging to Dangote’s men.

The Dan Karami Gwaska group agreed to all the conditions.

However, Bello Turji, who neither attended the meeting nor sent representatives, dismissed the possibility of any peace deal between him and Gwaska, assuring that he would continue hunting for Gwaska to kill him.

Four Zamfara Bandit Groups’ Peace Deal Goes Sour

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Chibok Schoolgirls Abduction’s Commemoration: UNICEF Calls for Intensified Protection of Nigerian Children

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Chibok Schoolgirls Abduction’s Commemoration: UNICEF Calls for Intensified Protection of Nigerian Children

By: Michael Mike

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called for intensified efforts to protect the country’s most vulnerable population—its children.

The call was made in a statement marking the 10 year commemoration of the abduction of schoolgirls by terrorist group Boko Haram from Chibok, Borno State, Northeast Nigeria.

The statement read that: “As Nigeria marks 10 years since the mass Chibok abductions in the Northeast, 90 girls remain in captivity, and the country is recovering from another abduction of schoolchildren in Kaduna state in March of this year. UNICEF is calling for intensified efforts to protect the country’s most vulnerable population—its children.

A report, Minimum Standards for Safe Schools (MSSS) Monitoring Report released by UNICEF on Monday revealed a stark reality that the journey toward ensuring every Nigerian child can learn in a safe environment is far from over.

The report showed that just 37 per cent of schools across 10 states have early warning systems in place to identify threats, such as school attacks.

UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Cristian Munduate said: “The kidnapping of the Chibok girls was a wake-up call to the severe risks our children face in their pursuit of education,” adding that: “Today, reflecting on this tragedy and other recent abductions, it is evident that our efforts to safeguard our children’s futures must be amplified. Given these alarming statistics, we must address not only the symptoms but also the root causes of this crisis. Education is a fundamental right and a crucial pathway out of poverty. Yet, for too many Nigerian children, it remains an unattainable dream.”

The analysis looked at six result areas – strong school system, violence against children, natural hazards, conflict, everyday hazards, and safe school infrastructure – and uncovered significant disparities in the implementation of safe school standards across Nigerian states.

It shows Borno State, with a 70 per cent fulfilment of the standards, exemplifies a strong commitment to child safety amidst adversity. Yobe State also demonstrates promising progress. In contrast, Kaduna and Sokoto states lag significantly, with fulfilment rates at just 25 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively. In addition to the finding on early warning systems and conflict, the report shows that while schools perform relatively well in terms of training school-based management committees on safety and responding to children’s well-being concerns, only 14 per cent of the participating schools across the 10 assessed states have functioning, safe, accessible infrastructure and just 36 per cent have school staff trained on natural hazards.

According to the statement, “the analysis comes on the heels of disturbing reports of violence affecting schools with brazen abductions of students on the rise. In the last 10 years, conflict-related violence has led to more than 1,680 children abducted while at school and elsewhere; 180 children killed due to attacks on schools; an estimated 60 school staff kidnapped and 14 killed; and more than 70 attacks on schools, according verified reports by the United Nations.

“The threat of abduction of students is severely affecting children’s learning. As of 2021, over one million children were afraid to return to school, and in 2020, around 11,500 schools were closed due to attacks, according to Policy Weekly by Nextier.”

UNICEF Nigeria therefore called for the government, partners, and the international community to take decisive action to: Ensure all schools across all states have the resources and tools to fully implement the Minimum Standards for Safe Schools, focusing on the most vulnerable regions; Address critical gaps in safe school infrastructure, preparedness for natural disasters, conflicts, and comprehensive approaches to violence against children; Strengthen law enforcement and security measures to protect educational institutions and communities from attacks and abductions.

“Prioritize education and child protection in national policies and budget allocations to create a safer, more inclusive environment for all Nigerian children; Ensure the continuity of education and learning when schools are shut through multiple learning pathways such as radio and TV programmes and through digital platforms like the Nigeria Learning Passport.”

UNICEF said it is working with the government to ensure that every child can access safe learning environments, adding that it has supported the inauguration of state safe school steering committees and the drafting of state costed implementation plans for safe schools in 13 states, as well as provide school grants, safety kits, training and awareness raising to accelerate the implementation of the Minimum Standards for Safe Schools.

NigerianMunduate said: “As we remember the Chibok girls and all children whose right to education has been compromised, let this somber anniversary serve as a catalyst for change. However, we must acknowledge the recent abductions, which underscore the persistent vulnerability of our schools. To ensure that schools are safe havens, strong political will and proper implementation of safe school standards are essential. Together, we can restore trust between educational institutions and the communities they serve, ensuring schools are sanctuaries for learning and growth.”

Chibok Schoolgirls Abduction’s Commemoration: UNICEF Calls for Intensified Protection of Nigerian Children

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Marwa: With 50,901 Arrests, 9,034 Convictions We Have Sent a Message to Drug Cartels

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Marwa: With 50,901 Arrests, 9,034 Convictions We Have Sent a Message to Drug Cartels

By: Michael Mike

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has said that the arrest of 50,901 drug offenders including 46 barons and the successful prosecution and conviction of 9,034 of them as well as the seizure of over 7,561 tonnes of illicit substances in the past 38 months has sent the right message to drug cartels and their kingpins that Nigeria won’t tolerate their criminal activities.

Marwa stated this in Lagos on Monday in his remarks at the commissioning and handing over ceremony of an operational facility built and donated to NDLEA by the British government.

He commended the British government for its generous support, noting that it would further boost the capability of the anti-narcotic agency in tackling the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.

He said: “We gather here not just to commission a new building complex but to celebrate a significant milestone in our ongoing fight against the scourge of licit and illicit drug trafficking. Today, we commission the newly acquired building, a project made possible through the generous support of the British Government.

“I must begin by expressing our deepest gratitude to the British Government, for their unwavering commitment and invaluable contributions to our cause. From the onset of our collaboration, the UK has been a steadfast ally in our relentless pursuit to neutralise transnational organised criminal activities, particularly in the realm of illicit drug production and trafficking.

“This building complex stands not only as a physical structure but as a symbol of the enduring partnership between our two nations in the global fight against drug trafficking. It represents the culmination of years of cooperation, mutual trust, and shared determination to combat one of the most pressing threats to our societies.

“The significance of this project cannot be overstated. It will serve as a vital hub for data analysis and strategic planning in our efforts to disrupt drug trafficking networks and apprehend those responsible. With state-of-the-art facilities and technology at our disposal, we are better equipped than ever before to tackle this complex and ever-evolving challenge head-on.

“But beyond the bricks and mortar, this building complex embodies the spirit of collaboration and solidarity that defines our partnership with the British Government. It is a testament to what can be achieved when nations come together with a shared purpose and a shared commitment to making our world a safer place for all.

“As an agency, NDLEA has undergone a tremendous reformation, with its metamorphosis catalysed by partners like the UK. Our operations have undergone substantial reforms, resulting in remarkable achievements within the last three years.

“During this period, the NDLEA achieved significant milestones in its mission to combat drug trafficking and abuse. With a total of 50,901 arrests, including the apprehension of 46 drug barons, our agency has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to bringing those involved in illicit drug activities to justice.

“Furthermore, the conviction of 9,034 offenders underscores our relentless pursuit of accountability and deterrence in the fight against drug-related crimes.

“Our seizure of 7,560,748.5 kilograms (7,561 tonnes) not only disrupts the flow of illegal drugs but also serves as a significant blow to the criminal networks responsible for their distribution. We have taken decisive action against illicit drug crop cultivation with our search-and-destroy campaign against cannabis plantations which have led to the destruction of 1,057.33348 hectares of cannabis farms in the past three years.”

Marwa, while acknowledging officials of the British government that facilitated the realisation of the project especially Mr. Dave Carter, he called for the strengthening of the partnership between Nigeria and the UK. “As we stand on the threshold of a new chapter in our partnership, let us reaffirm our shared commitment to intensifying the fight against drug trafficking and organised crime. Let us continue to work hand in hand, across borders and boundaries, to disrupt criminal networks, intercept illegal drugs, and bring to justice those who seek to profit from the illicit drug trade.”

He stated that though so much has been achieved under his leadership of the agency, the battle against illicit drugs is far from over. “Let us redouble our efforts, with renewed vigour and determination, as we strive to build a safer, more secure future for generations to come”, he charged.

Speaking at the ceremony, British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Jonny Baxter assured of continued support to NDLEA and Nigeria. According to him, “We, the UK government are delighted to have this long-standing relationship with the NDLEA and I’m in particular delighted to have been personally in a number of activities especially your maritime. This building makes a whole set of different actors and capabilities to address any criminal activity.

“We’re delighted to continue our support for the NDLEA and the Nigerian government to tackle what is sadly a global industry, which needs a global response. I’ll like to join the chairman in affirming our continued support, our continued cooperation and indeed our continued pride in working together with ladies and gentlemen of this agency, the NDLEA.”

Marwa: With 50,901 Arrests, 9,034 Convictions We Have Sent a Message to Drug Cartels

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