President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the payment of benefits due for about 100 widows and the next of kins of the deceased staff of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) who have been waiting for sometime without any hope.
Chairman and CEO of the Agency Brig. Gen(rtd) Mohammed Buba Marwa made the disclosure on Monday at a press briefing to unveil the week-long program of activities in commemoration of the UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking.
He said the widows have been waiting in the wings for sometime for the benefits for which the agency made the recommendation and the presidency graciously approved the payments.
“We have about 100 widows and next of kins, over the years whose benefit have not been paid and I am happy to disclose that the President and commander in chief has approved these payments now.”
He said the Presidency also approved resources for the agency to grapple with the liabilities and the equipment of the Agency.
“So very soon you are going to see heightened activities from well motivated personal that are well poised to face the illicit drug traffickers and all those involved in this nefarious activity”
This he said is part of the agency’s effort at boosting the morale and confidence of officers and men of the NDLEA through practical steps taken to address welfare and career stagnation issues.
To this end, he said he has instituted, among other measures, a bi-monthly assessment and cash-backed award for Best Performing Commands to motivate officers and men on the field.
“Recently, the agency promoted 3, 506 officers who have stagnated in the past years, some for upward of 10, 15 and even 20 years on one rank. One person actually stayed 21 years on one rank.
“Major administrative steps were taken to restore the visibility of the Agency for local and international partnerships. And in five months, we have made appreciable progress.
He disclosed that the agency has been able to apprehend not less than 2, 180 drug traffickers in the country in the last five months, while it has also seized over 2 million kilograms of assorted illicit drugs during the period under review.
The CEO of NDLEA said that since he took over the leadership of the agency, “Our painstaking and strategic operational efforts have translated into encouraging results.
“he Agency’s offensive action against drug cartels across the country launched some five months ago, has yielded over 2,180 arrests of drug traffickers and the seizure of over 2 million kilograms of assorted illicit drugs. We have filed at least 2,100 drug cases in court, recording over 500 convictions with 1,549 cases pending in court.”
According to him, fighting war against drug abuse and trafficking in a country like Nigeria is a big problem which the NDLEA cannot do alone.
“These results have given us big insights into the magnitude of the drug problem, the work ahead is enormous. NDLEA cannot win the drug war without the help of citizens. We need the cooperation of all and sundry.
“We all owe Nigeria the duty of ensuring that drug abuse and trafficking do not thrive in this country. For us all, it is an urgent assignment, because if we must end youth radicalization, violent extremism, cultism, banditry, wanton kidnapping, insurgency and the like, drug abuse and trafficking must be dealt a decisive blow.
“To win the drug war, NDLEA must synergize with other law enforcement and sister agencies and stakeholders for maximum impact. The simplest contribution that we ask of every patriotic citizen is what is captured by the theme of this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking: “Share Facts On Drugs, Save Lives.
“We must avail ourselves of every opportunity to drive the message home to Nigerians about the importance of having a drug-free country. At the same time, it is equally important to make our message unmistakably clear to those involved in the trafficking of illicit substances; the cartels, barons and traffickers, that it is time for them quit or face a tough consequence.”
PSC suspends DCP Abba Kyari, asks IGP to keep Commission updated on findings
Following the recommendation of the Inspector General of police, the Police Service Commission has suspended Abba Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head, Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force from the exercise of the Powers and functions of his office.
Abba Kyari’s suspension took effect from Saturday, July 31st 2021 and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect of his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States .
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, had written a letter to the Police Service Commission recommending for the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari.
The Commission thereafter, also directed the Inspector General of Police to furnish it with information on further development on the matter for necessary further action.
The Commission’s decision which was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the Inspector General of Police today, Sunday, August 1st, 2021, was signed by Hon. Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and Honourable Commissioner 1 in the Commission for the Commission’s Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police who is currently on leave.
Major crisis looms in the health sector as Nigerian doctors down tools
A major crises in the health sector is about to happen as the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, (NARD), have concluded plans to embark on an indefinite strike starting from Monday.
This is happening at a very critical period when the nation is currently experiencing a rise in COVID-19 infections amid the third wave of the pandemic.
The doctors after their National Executive Council (NEC) meeting attended by over 50 members across the country announced the decision
They explained that the Federal Government have reneged on the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed with them after over 100 days.
President of the NARD, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, who gave the indication in a statement at the weekend, demanded immediate withdrawal of the circular removing House Officers from the scheme of service, which was not implemented.
The statement reads in part, “We are embarking on a total and indefinite strike on August 2, 2021 [Monday]. You can recall we had a memorandum of action on March 31, 2021, and had an addendum to it on April 9, and since then, we still have had irregularities in the payment of salaries to the house officers.
“We had issues with them being non-regular payment and as part of the memorandum of action, it was said that they should be captured back into the IPPS platform.”
Kaigama says high cost of foodstuff also taking its toll on his home
**Advises Nigerians not to abandon grandparents, elderly cos of COVID – 19
***Condemns lavish funerals by Nigerians
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Ignatius Kaigama has said that the escalation in the prices of foodstuff was also biting hard in his home.
He also called on Nigerians not to distance themselves from grandparents and the elderly due to social distancing over COVID – 19 because they are a source of wisdom.
The cleric also described as sad the fact that Nigerians throw “lavish funerals organised for departed ones after they were allowed to live a life of loneliness, misery and neglect.”
Kaigama stated these in his Homily delivered at St. Luke’s Parish, Kubwa in honour of grandparents and the elderly with readings taken from the Old Testament including 2 Kings 4:42-44 and John 6:1-15.
According to him, the N12.3 billion agricultural subsidy from the Federal Government meant form2.2 million farmers should not be diverted like other interventions or palliative measures.
He said, “The escalation in the prices of foodstuff today has made it difficult for the poor among us to feed. My cook, Sunday Emola, showed me some current food prices from Garki market in Abuja: one measure each of garri costs N500, beans – N1,000, rice – N1,000, 1 bag (10kg) of semovita – N5,500, one bottle of groundnut oil – N1,600, one bottle of palm oil – N1,300, one tuber of yam – N1,300, a medium basket of tomatoes – N3,500, 1 gallon of kerosene – N2,000, Alebo – N500, etc.
“The problem in Nigeria is not whether we have resources to share, but the willingness to share them fairly, honestly and charitably. Both first reading and the gospel emphasised the fact that the power to end the hunger and suffering of other people lies in our ability to share the little we have.
“We often forget how far-reaching the little we each possess shared generously can satisfy the needs of other people. Often, we assume that it is the task for the government or the United Nations or NGOs.
“But a lot can be done with our little if we focus on the person in need and the intention rather than the quantity of what is available. I understand that 2.2 million farmers will soon receive N12.3 billion as agricultural subsidy from the Federal Government.
“We hope that the money of this laudable initiative will get directly into the hands of the farmers and not to be diverted like other interventions or palliative measures.
“The elderly are assured of the abiding presence of God who continues to accompany them on the journey of life, despite the difficulties and challenges associated with old age. They are reminded to tenaciously hold on to the faith and to pass it on to the young.
“Grandparents and the elderly are a source of wisdom. By passing on their knowledge, morals and values, they play a great role in the formation of a decent society. They are a strong link between the past, the present and the future.
“We must respect them and pray always for those of them who are sick and weak or suffering conditions associated with aging. Our practice of social distancing due to COVID – 19 should not distance us from them. It is sad today to see lavish funerals organized for departed ones after they were allowed to live a life of loneliness, misery and neglect.
“In these times of moral and social decay, grandparents and the elderly can teach us how to heal our wounded humanity; the spirit of sharing, in a nation where selfishness, corruption and the spate of crime and insecurity deprive many of the basic necessities of life; a nation that continues to take mind boggling financial loans without any corresponding impact on our quality of life; only to leave a fragile and perilous future for generations of our youths.
“As grandparents and the elderly continue their earthly pilgrimage, we expect the government to provide good social security for them even as we entrust them to the intercession of Saints Joachim and Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and grandparents of Jesus.”
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