Army condemns INEC’s over Rivers election
The Nigerian Army has faulted the position of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the role military personnel played during the governorship election in Rivers State.
INEC in a recent report had said that soldiers and armed gangs intimidated and unlawfully arrested the commission’s staff during the poll.
But in a statement yesterday, the deputy director of army public relations, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, said: “The army as a stakeholder in the 2019 general elections takes exception to the lopsided and unfair INEC report and (the report) is hereby strongly and totally rejected by the NA.”
He said the army is “equally disappointed with the attitude exhibited by the Nigerian Police in this regard and hereby requests the police leadership to commence full scale investigation of those security aides to Governor Wike that attacked troops at the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area headquarters collation centre and shot at Captain A.A. Salami, with a view to appropriately sanctioning those found responsible/culpable. Until that is done, Headquarters 6 Division NA will have to review all existing joint activities with the Rivers State Police Command.”
He said: “Headquarters 6 Division Nigerian Army (NA) has observed with dismay and sense of betrayal in the statement made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) signed by its National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, on March 15, 2019. The statement according to INEC was the outcome of its fact-finding committee that assessed the situation in Rivers State.
“It is pertinent to note that representatives of 6 Division met with the committee on Tuesday March 12, 2019 at the INEC headquarters in Port Harcourt and had honest discussions and made a written submission to aid the committee in its task.
“Regrettably, none of the Division’s inputs formed any of the findings of INEC as made public. This clearly indicates lack of trust by an institution that the NA sacrifices so much to assist in the course of performing its role.”
Declare State of Emergency on herder-farmer’s crisis – Stakeholders urge FG
By Friday Idachaba
Stakeholders at an Inclusive Forum for Accountable Society (IFAS) have called on the Federal Government to declare a State of Emergency on the Herder-Farmer clashes to avert imminent food crisis in the country.
The stakeholders who bared their minds at an IFAS meeting on Tuesday in Lokoja said the crisis had been allowed to linger for too long and affected almost every sector of the national economy.
The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the IFAS meeting was organised by ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change In Development (PIBCID) and local rights partner.
Speaking at the occasion, Ms Halima Sadiq, Executive Director, PIBCID said there was need for state of emergency to be declared on the farmer-herder crisis because the livelihood of community members was at stake.
Sadiq said, “You know we have been talking about Zero-Hunger in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we are also talking about boosting Agriculture sector by promoting women and youth participation in agricultural activities.
“How can we achieve this when after the farmers have channelled all their energies and resources into producing food crops on their farmlands, the herders would simply herd their cattle into the farms and eat up or destroy the crops.
“We all know that 75 per cent to 85 per cent of rural dwellers are farmers while the remaining 15 per cent engage in passive farming and when you destroy their crops and take their lands from them, it affects their livelihood”, she said
Mr Hamza Aliyu, Chairman of IFAS, in his opening remarks urged Nigerians to stop denigrating the Fulani ethnic nationality over farmer-herder’s clashes as “Not all herders were Fulanis and not all Fulanis are herders.”
He said that disparaging an entire race over negative activities of few was not a healthy approach to solving the problem adding, “The security problem is not between Fulani and farmers but herders and farmers.”
Aliyu however, held that the crisis had assumed a national dimension saying, “We we are proposing a State of Emergency to the government to bring in the needed resources to solve this problem at once.
“Not just the finances but the needed human resources, the critical thinking facility of the government, to bear on this problem so that we can solve it once and for all.
“State of Emergency is not to shut down the democratic system or the civic space. “It simply means we should be able to deploy resources to help the communities form structures that will address the issues squarely.
In his contribution Mr Onoja James, Chairman Igalamela-Odolu Local Government Council said traditional rulers and community leaders in whose domain Herder-Farmer clashes occur should be held responsible.
The Council Chairman said some traditional rulers indulged in collecting money from herders to allocate lands to them only for the herders to lay claim and assume absolute control of the area hindering farming and other productive activities.
NAN reports that stakeholders from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) at the meeting urged the Federal Government to wade into the crisis with a decisive step including declaration of a State of Emergency to solve it once and for all.
ENDSARS: NCP urges FG to implement proposal of Judicial Panel of Inquiry
The National Conscience Party (NCP) has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to implement the proposals of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up to investigate issues surrounding the #EndSARS Protests of 2020.
In a press statement signed by Omole Akande, for NCP, National Chairman Dr. Yunusa Tanko, he challenged the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal government to act on the outcome of the panel expeditiously.
“We welcome the submission to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, of the reports of the judicial panel on claims of brutality and shooting in the Lekki area of Lagos State, during the 2020 #EndSARS protests.”
The statement said the alleged brutality and shooting resulted in the killing of nine persons with several others injured while about four are still missing.
“We believe that the submission of the discoveries of the legal panel would speed up the course of equity and responsibility.
“President Buhari and his party should make sure justice is done without fear or favor.
A judicial panel set up by the Lagos State Government in the wake of the #EndSARS protest that grounded the state in October 2020 said in a report it submitted to the government on Monday that Nigerian troops massacred protesters.
Wuse General Hospital gives reason they didn’t inform Family about Tordue’s remains
***Ask Nigerians to hold police responsible
Wuse General Hospital has exonerated itself from the delay in notifying the family and the public about the death of Vanguard reporter, Tordue Henry Salem, whose body is in its morgue.
Rather, the hospital asked the public to hold the police responsible as, according to it, the police has the constitutional mandate to inform families of victims arising from accidents, dead or alive.
Secretary of Wuse General Hospital, Mrs Hanatu Sani, told Vanguard yesterday that the hospital had no place in law to inform families of dead bodies brought in, saying it was the place of the police.
Sani said the non-release of information on Tordue’s death was because of the inability of the policeman that brought the body to follow up.
According to her, the police officer failed to show up, even when the hospital’s mortician called to inform him a day after the body of Tordue Salem was brought in that ID cards and other items had been found.
While disclosing that there were many unclaimed dead bodies in the hospital’s morgue, Sani explained that the medical centre does not release bodies brought by the police to their families or relatives without authorisation from the police, she said in explaining the constraint of the hospital on the case of Tordue Salem
This, she explained, was to avoid trouble ‘’because you may release a dead body to relatives and another set of relatives would come up saying the one with the body is a faction.”
She said: “If the police did not come, there was nothing we could have done. We have a lot of unclaimed corpses here in the morgue. Most of them are victims of these hit-and-run drivers.
“The law says after three months we can bury unclaimed bodies but here,we keep them even up to two years. It’s when after that and we don’t see the relatives that we write to the commissioner of police, the judge and other relevant authorities to bury them.
“The challenge we had in this case was the policeman that refused to come back after he brought the body. The mortician said he called him the very next day after he found the deceased’s particulars but he refused to come. He was calling him to come and check and see how he can contact the relatives but the policeman never showed up.”
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