Some Nigerians on Thursday, expressed divergent views on the ban of motorcycles in seven states in northern part of the country by the Army.
While some who spoke with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja said it was a step to ensure security of lives and property, others said that the military had no business with in such matters.
It predicated the action on its “observation’’ that bandits, kidnappers, other criminal elements and their collaborators used motorcycles to perpetrate crimes in those states.
Mr Ralph Momoh, an engineer, told NAN that the action by the military was an aberration.
“The police are the ones meant to secure the populace.
“The military have now been brought into civil affairs.
“Ideally, the military has no business doing all these,” he said.
Momoh, however, attributed the kidnappings to socio-economic factors, saying “people are hungry, though this is not a justification to engage in crimes; some others are lured into the criminal act”.
He also said that crime was unabated because the police force was over-stretched.
“With the limited number of policemen in the country, they cannot really police the nation. This is with regards to the ratio of policemen when compared to the population.”
He, therefore, called for massive infrastructural development in the country “to create jobs’’.
Mr Meshach Ikwe, a businessman, said that the army was established secure the nation against external aggressions, while the police was to handle internal security and civil issues.
“So, with banning the use of motorcycles, I think it is within the purview of the Nigeria Police Force, since it is an internal security challenge.”
Ikwe suggested that a multi-dimensional approach was needed to tackle kidnappings in the country, adding that one of the approaches was for government to provide jobs for the teeming unemployed and exuberant youth.
“Most of them graduate with all the technical know-how, so with the needed support from government, the issue of kidnapping will be reduced,” he said.
Ikwe appealed to government at all levels and the political class to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and ensure the ease of doing business in the country.
He called for more funding and training of security operatives to be at par with their counterparts globally, saying that if this was done, they would be more professional in their operations.
“The reward system should be reasonable and in tandem with the economic realities of the day.
“These submissions are based on the fact that, when the economic well-being of a people is better, the rate of crime and criminality is reduced to a barest minimum.”
A teacher, Mr Offiah Uti, said that announcing the ban amounted to usurping the powers of governments of the affected states.
According to him, if the army had any intelligence report on crimes in any state, all it needed to do was to avail the governor of state, who is the chief security officer, of the information.
“It is in the governor’s place to take some steps which may include banning certain things, imposing curfew and making laws through bills to the house of assembly,’’ Uti said.
On her part, Mrs Odinaka Lagi, Senior Programme Director, Network of University Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI), said “there is the need for the army to be more proactive rather than getting involved in civil matters.
“They are currently using insecurity to line their pockets.
“Insecurity has economic benefits. So if we check those profiting from it, then we will tackle the problem.
“In addition, we need to hold those funding the fulani militants accountable.
“When our security is ready to work, the problem will be tackled,” she said.
Mr Bisi Kazeem, Public Education Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), said that anything that was done to ensure that the country was secured “is right”.
“The army must have done that for security purposes,” Kazeem said.
Mr Dan Kagaru, a lecturer at the University of Jos, said that security outfits “must up their game” with respect to all the intelligence reports they were gathering.
“The police should be the ones to control civil public life, but if there is security emergency like joint security task force, soldiers can get involved”.
Kagaru called for the equipping of vigilante groups with arms to serve as “neighbourhood watch’’.
PWDs call on LASG to implement special people’s law
People With Disabilities (PWDs) in Lagos State have called for adequate enforcement of the law enacted for their welfare, to save them from suffering.
They made the call on Wednesday at a training for leaders of PWDs, claiming that they did not receive special attention they needed especially in public buildings, hospitals and transport stations.
The weeklong training was organised by the Rule of law and Anti-corruption (RoLAC) Programme, a British Council project, funded by the European Union.
A representative of the Spinal Cord Injury Association, Mr Obok Akome, advocated easy access to public buildings, offices and bus stops, and requested for assistants to PWDs into public buildings.
Akome also called for special care for PWDs by health workers in hospitals.
Mr Akujor Israel advocated on behalf of the Dwarf Association for jobs and good health care facilities, while the physically challenged persons called for building of bungalow as schools for them.
He claimed that the one per cent employment quota reserved for the physically challenged was being taken over by able bodied persons, calling on the government to intervene.
Miss Opeyemi Adewale, who spoke for the visually impaired, called for more schools for the blind, employment for them and increased announcements of bus stops in public buses.
Miss Grace Adeosun said on behalf of people with albinism, that the government should check discrimination and harmful treatment against them.
She called for free and special health care for them due to the nature of their skin.
She also advocated more employment for them, saying that many of them were educated but discriminated against in job offers due to their colour.
The Coordinator of RoLAC in Lagos State, Mrs Ajibola Ajimakiwa, said that the training was for seven disability cluster groups in the state.
She said the groups include the physically challenged, Spinal Cord Injuries Association, People with Albinism, Deaf Association, Blind Association, Intellectual Disability Group and the Dwarf Association.
“The training is to enhance capacities for enforcement of the Protection Against Domestic Violence Law, Child’s Rights’ Law and Special Persons Law of Lagos State.
“The purpose of the training is to ensure a greater level of awareness among persons with disabilities about relevant laws and protection offered, and support advocacy to legislators and relevant stakeholders for effective implementation of these laws.
“Persons with disabilities face staggering rights violation issues including sexual violence.
“Persons who are blind, deaf, autistic or living with physical or intellectual disability are most vulnerable to all forms of violence.
“Many PWDs are not aware of the Special Persons Law, Protection Against Domestic Violence Law and the Child’s Rights’ Law, and they are more vulnerable to violence than those without disabilities,” she said.
One of the facilitators, Mr David Anyanle, said the training availed the participants the opportunity of knowing the importance of Lagos State special laws.
Anyanle said that 80 per cent of the participants, including leaders, did not understand the contents of the law.
“It will be difficult for the leaders to assist members when they don’t know their rights.
“The training is for them to understand the law and use it to promote the welfare of their members. This is the first time the leaders are attending such a training.
“At the end of the training, the participants should understand key advocacy issues that concern their groups.
“They should also identify key government agencies that deals with their Issues and time frame to get whatever their needs may be,” he said.
A Deputy Director in Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), Mr Oguntoye Oyewole, thanked the British Council for the training.
Oyewole said that the training would help the participants to secure justice, as the state government was committed to enforcing the laws.
“LASODA is working to enforce all the provisions of the laws concerning the PWDs,” he said.
Edited by Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)
Plateau youths decry silent killings in Gindiri
Plateau Youths on Wednesday decried the silent killing of innocent people within Gindiri District of Mangu Local Government Area of the state.
Mr Henry Nadoma, National President, Pyen Youths Movement (PYM), stated this during a courtesy call on the Chairman, Mangu Local Government, Mr Lawrence Danat, on Wednesday.
Nadoma, who was represented by the Vice President of the movement, Zakari Abbas, said: “we, the people of Gindiri as a district are under siege by unseen and unknown enemies”.
“The frequent killings of innocent citizens in Gindiri axis are alarming and disturbing to us as citizens and we are in dire need of assistance from the Federal, state and local governments.
“In fact, what we need is speedy intervention, especially the security agencies to take more drastic actions at giving us the desired protection and cover from the killers.
“It could be recalled that we have two recent attacks that left a traditional ruler and a famous illustrious son dead with no trace of the perpetrators of such heinous acts,” he said.
Responding, Danat condemned the killings of innocent people by criminal elements in the Gindiri axis.
He called for caution among residents of the area in accommodating visitors “whose identities are not truly ascertained to serve as a check on such heinous acts in our communities.”
The chairman urged the people of area to “be more vigilante at all times so as stem the tide of such disturbing trend.”
He was quick to add that people must be willing to give useful information to security operatives in spite of all odds toward restoring peace in the area as a whole.
Danat, however, assured the visiting youths of the Council’s readiness to provide more mobility to security personnel to aid effective patrol in the area.
Edited by Saidu Adamu/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
DHQ decorates 5 brigadier generals, 2 commodores, one Navy commander
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, on Wednesday, decorated five newly promoted brigadier generals, two Navy commodores and one commander serving in Defence Headquarters.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the decorated officers are parts of the recently promoted officers by the various services of the armed forces of Nigeria.
Among the decorated generals is the Acting Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu.
Others are Brig.-Gen. Yakubu Sakaba, Audi Mbafung, Ochoge Attah and Magaji Inuwa as well as Commodore Innocent Ngatuwa, Chukwuma Anakwe and Navy Commander Bolanle Sunday.
While congratulating the newly decorated officers, Olonisakin, represented by the Chief Defence Administration, Rear Adm. Apochi Suleiman, urged the new generals to justify their promotion by deploying their expertise.
He said that the current security challenges in the country required strategic thinking, urging them to undertake their new assignments with vigour.
Olonisakin challenged the newly promoted officers to bring to the table new ideas towards addressing the nation’s security challenges.
According to him, it is expected that with this new rank, you are going to add more vigour to the operational activities currently going on around the country.
“We expect that your thinking, your approaches will change from what it used to be to that of strategic thinking. Any of you in the generals’ rank today can command the armed forces of Nigeria,” he said.
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
NDLEA confiscates 126kg of cocaine, 189kg of cannabis sativa in Ebonyi
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Ebonyi has confiscated 126 kilogrammes (kg) of cocaine and 189 kg of cannabis sativa during a raid in notorious hideouts in the state.
The State Commander of the Agency, Mr Isa Adoro, made the disclosure to Nigeria News Agency while displaying the illegal drugs at its headquarters in Ntezi, adding that it also confiscated 26.7kg of psychotropic substances (tramadol).
Adoro said that the cocaine substances were confiscated in pinches from two suspects: Emmanuel Ikwuagwu and Olisah Abuah.
“The substances recovered from Ikwuagwu had 59 big pinches and 115 small pinches, totaling 174 pinches and measuring 80kg.
“The ones recovered from Abuah had 37 big pinches and 39 small pinches, totaling 76 pinches and measuring 46kg.
The NDLEA state commander said that the cannabis sativa were wrapped in four industrial, big bags measuring 189kg.
“We confiscated 600 ampules of tramadol injections weighing 3.3kg and 1,200 ampules of taramajen injections measuring 8.4kg.
“We also confiscated 20,000 tablets of phenobabitan tablets measuring 15kg and all these total 26.7kg,” he said.
He noted that four suspects were arrested in connection with the confiscated substances and would be prosecuted after forensic and related investigations were concluded.
“We will wait untill investigations are concluded to ascertain whether the female suspect is innocent after claiming that she did not know when the cocaine substances were thrown into her shop.
“We will send samples of the packages for expert-forensic analysis because that is what we will tender in court and rely on for the suspects’ prosecution,” he said.
He said that the agency would continue enlightening the Ebonyi populace on the dangers of hard drugs and intensify efforts to arrest and prosecute offenders.
“We arrested over 70 suspects in connection with illegal drugs since January 2019 and have secured several convictions in that regard.
“Relevant stakeholders in Ebonyi should assist us in enlightening the citizens to shun illegal drugs because out of the 11 convictions we had in October for instance, 10 are from Ebonyi while one came from Abia,” he said.
One of the suspects, Emmanuel Ikwuagwu admitted ownership of the cocaine substances, attributing his indulgence in the crime to hardship and the zeal to survive in life.
Another suspect, Olisah Abuah, told NAN that although he was caught with the substances, he actually picked them from where they were hidden during the raid and decided to sell them to earn a living.
Edited by Donald Ugwu (NAN)
New C’River CP pledges to prioritise community policing
The newly appointed Commissioner of Police for Cross River, Mr Nkereuwem Akpan, has pledged to prioritise Community Policing towards tackling crimes in the State.
He said this on Wednesday in Calabar during his maiden interaction with newsmen at the command’s headquarter.
Akpan said communal policing employed by the Inspector General of Police has helped in checking crimes in many crime prone states in the country.
“We will engage stakeholders from community to Local Government Areas and then to the state,” Akpan said.
The commissioner appealed to the media to help the command by reporting the truth and giving information to the police.
He described the media as critical partners in crime fighting and urged them to help the command in their quest for a crime-free state.
The commissioner took over from Mr Austin Agbonlahor, who has been promoted to the rank of an Assistant Inspector General (AIG).
Edited by Joseph Edeh/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
Senate to release new strategies on corruption fight
Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday said that the Senate would release new strategies on corruption fight to the public in the next few weeks.
Lawan disclosed this at the two-day National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector in Abuja.
The event is organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) in collaboration with the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
Lawan, who was represented by Sen. Suleiman Kwari, said that the senate just discovered that the anti graft war was far from over, hence the need for the action.
“The next few weeks, new surveys on corruption will be released to the public.
“We also find out that there is undeniable linkage between corruption, insecurity, lost developmental opportunity and poverty.
“For us in Parliament, one of the four challenges of this senate is how to forge a strong collaborating linkage with at least six standing committees of the Senate with overlapping oversight jurisdictions.
“Today, I am pleased to inform you of the senate leadership approval of a legislative forum to fight corruption and financial crime within the Senate vault,” he said.
He added that the senate would continue to reach out to all the stakeholders in the fight against corruption.
“Graft is a borderless and global problem that must be handled in all ramifications and we therefore require a concerted effort of all to eradicate it.
“In Nigeria today, there are at least 20 different legislations that have direct bearing on the fight against corruption and financial crime.
“As a direct result, we are exploring all available options to strengthen specific institutions like the Code of Conduct Bureau.
“If they have to succeed they have to be well funded so that they can be well empowered to carry out their mandate,” he added.
The Senate President said “over the next budget circle, we will be systematically increasing the funding of law enforcement and other anti-corruption agencies.
“We will also be benchmarking their performance to ensure value for tax payers’ money are met.”
Mr Boss Mustapha, SGF, in an address of welcome said that the summit was organised for top government officials drawn from the three arms of government as part of new strategies against corruption.
He said that the present administration has recorded some success in the area of fight against corruption.
The SGF said President Muhammadu Buhari was honoured as Africa Champion in the fight against corruption in recognition of his effort in the region.
He said that at domestic level, several policies were being implemented to address corrupt practices in the public sector, which was now yielding positive results.
“This summit therefore present the opportunity to reevaluate the effectiveness of these measures put in place and where necessary develop new strategies to strengthen our common resolve to rid the public sector of corrupt practices.
“The brainstorming session is to seek ways of blocking identified gaps in the fight against corruption crusade in the present administration and as a further guide in the implementation of ways to cup corrupt practices in the public sector.
“Today’s event is epochal as it stands to evaluate the successes recorded so far and find solutions to where there are weaknesses and the need to recognise and reward anti-corruption ambassadors,” he said.
On his part, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammad Tanko, appealed to Nigerians to stop seeing corruption as a way of life but embraced modesty to erase any trace of corruption in the country.
He said that the ongoing war against corruption by the ICPC has gained good result and the international community have changed their negative perspective about the country.
He noted that the Commission has secured several prosecutions with some sentences through the court.
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz
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