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We’re overhauling Police to tackle security challenges -Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari says the Nigerian Police Force structure is being overhauled, re-positioned and primed with modern technological gadgets to meet rising security challenges across the nation.

The President stated this when he received traditional rulers from the North led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Friday.

He also disclosed that an intelligence loop among all security outfits had been created.

According to him, the ongoing reform of the police will include recruitment of more hands, cultivation of stronger local intelligence and networking with communities, traditional rulers and adequate training.

President Buhari noted that the return of the Ministry of Police Affairs was purposely to drive the new initiative of ensuring proper provision of security for lives and property, with proactive intelligence gathering to nip crimes in the bud.

“I have decided to meet with Your Highnesses to assure you that government is determined to tackle and deal decisively with all security challenges facing us as a nation.

“This consultation therefore is to engage you, our royal fathers, so that, collectively, we can arrive at solutions to any and all security problems in the country.

“We must all play our part to finally address these security challenges, particularly traditional rulers, in your respective communities, where you feel the pulse of the people, being the closest to the populace at the grassroots level,’’ he said.

President Buhari urged the traditional rulers to provide more support to security agencies with their versatile knowledge of communities and individuals.

He added that these policies and programmes included a robust revamping of police intelligence gathering capacity and the significant boosting of the numbers of security personnel in rural communities.

“This in specific terms will include recruiting more police officers and doing so whenever possible from their local government areas, where they would then be stationed in the best traditions of policing worldwide.

“Working with the State governments also, we intend to improve the equipping of the police force with advanced technology and equipment that can facilitate their work. To drive this, I recently created a full-fledged Ministry of Police Affairs.

“As I said during my meeting with the Traditional Rulers from the South-West, directives have been issued to the appropriate federal authorities to speedily approve licensing for states requesting the use of drones to monitor forests and other criminal hideouts.’’

The President said CCTVs would be installed on highways and other strategic locations so that activities in some hidden places could be exposed, more effectively monitored and open to actionable interventions.

In his remark, the Sultan of Sokoto assured the President of the full support of traditional rulers in the country.

“We have come to assure you of our total support, total commitment and undiluted dedication to moving the nation forward as one of the best countries of the world,’’ he noted.

He said the traditional thrones in various communities predated the amalgamation of the protectorates, and all the forefathers had always upheld the virtues of peace, unity and stability.

He, therefore, assured the President that royal fathers across the country had been in constant communication on the security challenges, promising to support the government to succeed.

The Sultan commended Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara for the relative peace in the state after he was sworn into office, and decided to open up all channels of communication.

He urged other governors to adopt same model.

He also called on the President to strengthen the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for more effective monitoring of drug-related situations in the country for correction and prosecutions.

Defence/Security

ICPC recommends suspension of public officers under investigation

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has recommended the suspension of public office holders under investigation.

The Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, made the recommendation at a National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service.

The two-day event is organised by ICPC in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary of the Federation in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said that the commission had discovered that some civil servants served conviction terms and return to work as if nothing has happened.

“Such persons should be flushed out of the system in accordance with extant laws. We have communicated a Iist of such persons to government.

“We also advised digital information sharing between anti-corruption agencies and financial services sector critical to preventing money laundering and other corruption prevention measures.

“All Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACAs) as a policy ought to have seamless access to existing databases of suspects and the profile, biometric of persons of interest.

“Inter agency collaboration is essential to avoid duplication and waste of resources in the investigation and prosecution of cases.

“This is also in line with Mr President’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) agenda for 2019 and Beyond.”

He also disclosed that by next week the ICPC would be launching nationwide a community enlightenment and advocacy initiative called “My Constituency, My Project”.

He said that using the programme the Commission would sensitize communities to own projects approved for them by government and to know the amount involved.

“We have disaggregated project allocation to each senatorial district and local government area in Nigeria.

“We have also created a toll tree line through which Nigerians can call to find out the projects allocated to their constituencies.

“We have uploaded this information on our website and we will also publish in leaflets. We hope to make this an annual initiative in order to remove the opacity and secrecy that currently dog’s constituency projects.”

The chairman pledged that the ICPC was available to cooperate with and support the efforts of the government and also the leadership of the other arms of government to fight corruption and improve fiscal transparency and governance.

“No less is expected of us, this is what our law says we should do and this is what we will strive to do within our capacity.”

Edited by Ismail

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Defence/Security

NSCDC arrests 5 suspected illegal miners in Oyo

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Oyo State command, has arrested five suspected illegal miners and a truck loaded with precious stones in Iseyin area of the state.

The suspects were paraded by the NSCDC State Commandant, Iskilu Akinsanya, on Tuesday, at the command headquarters in Ibadan.

Akinsanya said that the command discovered the operation of the illegal miners at about 4 pm. on Monday as a result of intelligence gathering.

The commandant said that five suspects were arrested with one truck loaded with precious stones.

He said that the suspects were also apprehended with an empty truck and a bicycle.

“We discovered that some of the companies were mining without licence and this is against the law of the land.

“Investigations still continue and they will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded,” Akinsanya said.

He advised Nigerians to always participate in legal businesses and obtain necessary documents and government permit before engaging in any venture.

Speaking with newsmen, one of the suspects admitted that he did not have a licence to mine, saying that he regretted his action.

Edited by Tayo Ikujuni and ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Defence/Security

Maj.-Gen. Yusuf takes over as MNJTF Commander

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Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Yusuf has taken over as the 6th Force Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in N’Djamena, Chad.

The Chief of Military Public Information, MNJTF, Col. Timothy Antigha, disclosed this in a statement made available to the Nigeria News Agency , on Tuesday in Abuja.

During the handing over ceremony, the Executive Secretary, Lake Chad Basin Commission and Head of Mission MNJTF, Amb. Mamman Nuhu congratulated the former Force Commander, Maj.-Gen. Chikezie Ude for successfully completing his tour of duty.

Nuhu said that the most significant achievement of MMJTF under Ude was the continuous mobile operation concept, which was approved by the Heads of State and Government of Troop Contributing Countries.

He added that the new Force Commander was not new to the mission, having distinguished himself as the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Nigerian Army.

Also, the Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson, Amb. Zaina Nyiramatama, commended Ude’s efforts in dealing with the military and security threats constituted by Boko Haram Terrorists and wished the former commander success in his future endeavours.

In his remarks, Maj.-Gen. Ude thanked the Head of Mission, Troop Contributing Countries, African Union and strategic partners for sustaining their support for the MNJTF throughout his tour of duty and urged same support for his successor.

He commended the discipline, dedication and steadfastness of MNJTF officers and soldiers and prayed for the repose of the souls of personnel who paid the supreme price.

While addressing the troops, the new commander, Yusuf stressed the need for teamwork and collaboration between Troop Contributing Countries and promised to work in close harmony with the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

He charged officers of the MNJTF to sustain cohesion of the force by building mutual trust.

He also assured all the stakeholders responsible for the restoration of peace and security in the Lake Chad Basin region that the MNJTF will sustain and enhance all existing collaborative frameworks. NAN

Edited by Felix Ajide

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Defence/Security

4 Brigade dissociates from banner, request for sponsorship of charity work

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The Nigerian Army 4 Brigade, Benin has dissociated itself from an illegal banner and request for sponsorship of a three-day 10 kilometres charity trek.

This was contained in a statement by Maj. Ojo Adenegan, Assistant Director Army Public Relations, and made available to Nigeria News Agency , Benin on Tuesday.

According to Adenegan, “The attention of the 4 Brigade Nigerian Army has been drawn to the circulation of the illegal banner and request for sponsorship of a three days 10 kilometres charity trek.

“This is therefore to inform the general public, private and public organisations as well as government parastatals that the illegal banner and letter which was signed by one AB Gofai who claims to be AFOBREF Commandant with telephone number 0812347002, did not originate from 4 Brigade Nigerian Army or its Officer Mess.

“It has become necessary to issue this rebuttal also to disassociate the Brigade from this false information and to inform the general public that there is no such event being organized by the Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association or 4 Brigade Nigerian Army.

“All are please therefore requested to ignore the banner and any request for sponsorship of the event as this is clearly a scam by persons who were yet to be identified”.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Defence/Security

Nigerian Army decorates 23 new generals

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Tuesday, decorated the newly promoted Major Generals and Brigadier Generals with their new ranks.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the decorated generals comprising one major general and 22 brigadier generals are among the recently promoted officers by the army authorities.

About 34 brigadier generals and 47 colonels were recently promoted to the next rank of major general and brigadier general respectively.

While congratulating the newly decorated generals, Buratai urged them to remain responsive in the discharge of the constitutional duties.

He said that the new ranks had placed the officers in position to take higher responsibilities, adding that they must be responsive to their troops as well as the training needs of their units.

Buratai also urged them to remain steadfast for the tasks ahead of them, advising them to see their promotion as call to more service.

“You must remain responsive to your duties, responsive to your troops, responsive to the training needs of your units,” he said.

The Chief of Defence Intelligence, AVM Mohammed Usman, told the newly promoted generals to see their new ranks as gift from God.

Usman urged them to continue to uphold the constitution in the discharge of their duties, adding that new ranks comes with additional responsibilities.

“I want you to know that God gives promotion and it comes with additional responsibilities. To whom much is given; much is expected,” he said.

Also, the Army Chief of Policy and Plans, Lt.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, enjoined the new generals to be prepared to face more tasking challenges.

“You are now a problem solver not just identifying problems and making suggestions but you must be ready to solve problems. As generals you must be dedicated to service,” he said.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Defence/Security

Nigeria enjoys relative peace, stability -IGP

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The Federal Government says the nation has continued to enjoy relative peace and stability in the ember months.

The Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, made this known after the meeting of the National Security Council, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, on Tuesday.

According to him, the meeting reviewed the nation’s security situation and noted that the situation across the country is stable.

He said: “The meeting reviewed the security situation all over the country and we realised that it’s stable, banditry has been reduced to the barest minimum, kidnapping had been reduced significantly.

“The epic center of this kidnapping as you know in the north western part of the country – Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, they are all very calm now.

“The insurgency in the northeast on daily basis they are being degraded and many of the insurgents are surrendering to the authority. They are giving up their arms and for that reason we have been encouraged to sustain the tempo.

“All the successes recorded was as a result of the cooperation received from members of the public, including the press because most of you have objectively assessed the actual security situation in the country, which your followers agreed to.

“So, we have been encouraged to continue with the tempo so that insurgency can be greatly eliminated from the country.

“Politicians and the hunters have been working with us and other stakeholders.

“As such we have been encouraged to work more closely with such groups of people so as to have the information that we require.

”We therefore have all the support that we need to defeat any form of criminality within the country.’’

On the pockets of unrest recorded during the Nov. 16 Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections, Adamu disclosed that some arrests have been made by the police in the two states.

According to him, the ‘policemen’ alleged to have disrupted the elections in some parts of the two States were “fake” and not the personnel officially deployed for election duties.

He said that all security personnel, who worked during the elections were given “special identification tags”, adding that anyone without the tags was on illegal duty.

“Before the elections, there was threats assessment of the two states and we realised that there was going to be violence in two states.

“Because, during the campaigns we saw how the opponents were fighting themselves, so we prepared so much for that. During one of the stakeholders meeting, I went to Kogi with the chairman of INEC and I also went to Bayelsa.

“Even at the point of signing the peace accord to conduct the election without any problems, after signing the peace accord in Kogi, within the hall there was problem by the parties.

“So we knew that it was not going to be easy and so we had to prepare heavily for the elections.

“During the elections, anybody you saw either in police uniform or military uniform that does not carry the tag that has been given for the election, that person is not genuine police officer or military officer or that he was not on official duty.

“We were aware of the fact that some politicians were going to sew police and military uniforms, so we devised some other means of identifying those that were on elections duty. We gave them tags,’’ he said.

On why the Police allowed violence during the elections even with security reports to the police before the exercise, he said: “You see, it depends on the way you choose to interpret.

“We did our assessment, we knew these things will happen but what we needed to do was plan to prevent it, or if it happens, to arrest. That explains why the number of policemen we sent to those states were so massive.

“Now, when you get the information and you did your assessment and you did your plan, the bad guys are also planning, and the people we are dealing with here are politicians. So, for us to be able to distinguish the bad from the good, one of the strategy was to create a situation that will enable us identify the good ones, genuine personnel.

“Then anyone without identification tag, is a bad guy and then we pick him. They came out as they planned but then, we made some arrests on the spot where we saw them, those that escaped through information and intelligence we also picked them.’’

Edited by Saidu Adamu/Ismail Abdulaziz

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