Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka Soyinka, has called for declaration of state of emergency due to the security challenges in the South West Zone.
Soyinka made the call on Thursday in Akure on the sidelines of the D.O Fagunwa Study Group International Conference held to celebrate his 85th birthday.
The conference had as theme: ” Wole Soyinka,DO Fagunwa and the Yoruba Artistic Heritage.”
The literary giant said that the most appropriate measure to take in view of the insecurity that had pervaded the whole of the South West was to declare a state of emergency across the region.
“As regards the insecurity in the South West, there is an emergency. There should be a declaration of security emergency through out the land and measures taken accordingly.
“There are many directions of security lapses, you know it here, especially in Ondo State, it is a calamity through out the whole nation. There is an emergency,” he said.
The first African Nobel Laureate said the governors, especially those in the South West geo-political zone, must work assiduously toward tackling the menace of insecurity.
Soyinka, however, expressed gratitude to Ondo State Government for celebrating his 85th birthday and the completion of the ‘Dome’ which was meant to celebrate art and culture.
Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said the nation had allowed unreasonable competition, ethnicism, tribalism, corruption, political and economic ownership of the nation to slow down the pace of self-realisation.
According to Akeredolu, in Africa, the challenge has moved largely from the legitimacy of governance institutions to its responsiveness to the need for a coordinated plan for cultural integration, economic development and general human capital development.
The governor was, however, excited at the 85th birthday celebration of Soyinka, whom he described as his mentor and supporter.
Akeredolu described Soyinka as a first class academic, playwright, poet, novelist, and great human condition activist.
He said that Soyinka’s life was a lesson for public office holders because he had elevated the art of partisan living as the biggest ideal of social reclamation.
“I join other well meaning Nigerians and the world at large to wish you, our great emblem of decency and justice, a happy 85th birthday!
“I am fully convinced that your gathering here is another of those creative moments of rethinking our journey as a nation and our health as a society in search of its own civilisation.
“I have read a bit of the book of proceeding of your last conference and I am convinced of the vigour, depth and clear headedness with which your Study Group addresses the myriad of challenges that the human mind faces in its quest for self reinvention and reclamation.
“For all that we know, humanity is passing through some of its trying periods. Globally, definition of peace, progress, liberty and prosperity is interrogating the best of our civilisation today.
“From leadership crisis which torments the sanest of public organisations to the fearful response of a traumatised followership, the narrative is clear: we must check and recheck the path on which we tread,” Akeredolu said.
Army begins 2019 Annual Shooting Exercise
The Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria, Kaduna State says it will begin its 2019 Annual Range Classification from Aug. 20 to Aug. 28 and advised residents to keep-off the range area.
This is contained in a statement by the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Depot Nigerian Army, Maj. Sydney Nbaneme and made available to the Nigeria News Agency in Zaria on Saturday.
It said: “The Depot Nigerian Army Annual Range Classification is scheduled to take place at the Depot NA range Dogarawa from Thursday, 20 August to Wednesday 28 August 2019.
“The exercise which is directed at assessing troops’ proficiency in weapon handling will include firing of ammunitions using small arms.
“The authority has put in place safety measures and precautions to ensure safe and hitch-free exercise.
“However, residents of the affected communities are advised to stay away from the range general area within the period of the exercise.”
The statement also enjoined residents of the area not to panic seeing movement of troops and hearing the sound of small arms.
It assured them that it was a routine exercise for the troops of the Depot Nigerian Army.
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz
Army urges calm in South-East, Cross River over troops movement
The Nigerian Army has urged South-East and Cross River state residents not to panic over massive movement of troops, military vehicles and weapons as it holds a week-long military exercise.
Yusuf said that “the exercise is the 2019 Combat Proficiency Competition for Formations under the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army.
“The 82 Division Garrison will host 2019 Combat Proficiency Competition for formations under the 82 Division from Monday, Aug. 19 to Friday, Aug. 23 between 8 a.m. and 5p.m. daily.
“The exercise, which is a routine military activity in line with Army Headquarters 2019 Training Directive, aimed at fostering esprit-de-corps, improve physical fitness and cultivate healthy rivalry among the competing formations within the Division.
“Participants for the exercise will be drawn from the Division’s Headquarters and all formations under its command,’’ he said.
The Deputy Director said that all activities for the exercise would take place within Enugu except the shooting competition to be held at 34 Artillery Brigade Range in Owerri.
He noted that the exercise would necessitate movement of military vehicles, weapons and contingents for the exercise from the different Brigades to Headquarters 82 Division in Enugu and subsequently, to and fro 34 Artillery Brigade Shooting Range in Owerri.
“In view of this, residents of Enugu, Ebonyi, Cross River and Imo States including states where other formations under the Division’s are located, should please go about their daily activities without panic,’’ he added.
Enugu police arrest alleged killers of 2 Catholic priests
The police command in Enugu has arrested no fewer than 30 criminal suspects, including the alleged killers of two Catholic priests, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Sulaiman Balarabe, has said.
Balarabe said this on Friday at the command’s headquarters, while briefing newsmen on the activities of the command in the past one month.
He said that the command also recovered 15 assorted arms and ammunition as well as other dangerous weapons from the suspects.
He said: “They have made useful confessionary statements about their involvement in the murder of the Catholic priest.
“Also, another four suspects involved in the recent murder of Rev.-Fr. Paul Offu and the kidnap of a monarch and his wife in Awgu Local Government Area on Aug. 1 and Aug. 2, are currently in police custody.
He said that the command had intensified its investigation and manhunt for the remaining four suspects mentioned to be involved in the recent criminal activities in Awgu.
Balarabe described the suspects, who were arrested in connection with the murder and kidnap cases as notorious bandits allegedly terrorising the state.
He expressed joy that the suspects were finally in police net.
He said that the command had provided more security to Catholic priests in order to forestall a recurrence.
“We have asked them to inform the police whenever they have a function or suspect that some criminals are lurking around their domain,’’ he said.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the commissioner also paraded scores of other suspects, in connection with armed robbery, burglary and cult activities.
Also in police net was an alleged local gun manufacturer in Udi Local Government Area of the state.
“I can assure the people of Enugu state that the command is working tirelessly to rid the state of criminal elements to ensure that the state remains safe and secured,” he said.
Police in Kano parades 216 suspected criminals
Kano State Police Command has arrested 216 suspected criminals, allegedly involved in robbery, kidnapping, car snatching, currency counterfeiting and drug dealings.
The Police Commissioner in Kano, Alhaji Iliyasu Ahmed who paraded the suspects on Friday, said the suspects were arrested within the Sallah period.
The commissioner said the arrest was made mostly by personnel of Operation Puff Adder.
Ahmed said nine of the suspects were arrested over armed robbery and 16 for kidnapping.
He said that two kidnapped victims were rescued by the police.
The commissioner added that 34 thugs locally known as ‘Yandaba’, were also arrested in various locations with dangerous weapons during the Sallah period.
According to him, 51 other suspects were arrested at different criminal hideouts where large quantity of dried leaves suspected to be Indian Hemp and other intoxicating substances were recovered.
“This is in addition to tracking one suspect at his hideout in Warawa Local Government Area after allegedly stabbing one other person to death,” he said.
He added that the command had also swooped on five suspected fraudsters and high profile scammers on land matters and that N400,000 and four motor vehicles were recovered from them.
According to Ahmed, another five suspects were also arrested for counterfeiting local and foreign currencies.
He however stated that operation Puff Adder which was recording tremendous success would be sustained throughout the state, until all non repentant criminals were arrested and brought to justice.
The commissioner commended law abiding members of the general public for their cooperation during the just concluded Sallah festivities which ended peacefully.
NGO lauds FG’s prison reforms
A Lagos-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Anchor Heritage, has lauded the Federal Government over the ongoing reforms at the Nigerian Prisons Service, now Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS).
NAN recalls that Buhari had on Wednesday assented the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) bill, repealing the Nigeria Prisons Service Act.
The “Act repeals the Prisons Acts and changes the name from Nigeria Prisons Service to Nigerian Correctional Service, otherwise known as “the Correctional Service.”
There are, according to the Act, two main faculties of the Correctional Service, namely; Custodial Service and Non-custodial Service.
“Our organisation with great pleasure welcome the news of the long awaited imminent reform of the Nigerian Prison System as the Federal Government signed the Nigerian Correctional Service bill into law.
“This new bill repealed the Nigerian Prisons Act and proclaimed the treatment of our prisons as correctional centres,” he said.
He said that the ongoing reforms at the defunct Nigeria Prison Service (NPS) aligned with the vision and plans of the organisation.
Oladipupo said that their organisation has embarked on massive empowerment programmes across the prisons in the South-West and North-Central parts of Nigeria.
He said that the organisation has empowered over 400 inmates as part of its contributions to the prison reform process.
Oladipupo called on the Federal Government to partner with the private sector in the provision of services for the congested correctional centres in line with best practices.
He expressed optimism that empowering inmates at correctional centres would re-integrate them easily into the society to become productive citizens.
Edited by Felix Ajide