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Gov. Sule urges Nigerians to desist from playing politics with insecurity

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Gov. Sule urges Nigerians to desist from playing politics with insecurity

From Umar Egbunu Muhammed, Lafia

Nasarawa State governor, Abdullahi Sule, has warned Nigerians against the danger in playing politics with the security challenges presently confronting the nation, emphasizing that as a retired major General, President Muhammadu Buhari is in better position to tackle insecurity across the country.

Governor Sule spoke when he appeared as a guest on Channels
Television which was monitored in Lafia.

Reacting to suggestions for the federal government to hire mercenaries to help fight banditry and insurgency in the Northwest and Northeast, he said, he is willing to accept any idea that will restore peace in his state.

The governor, however, affirmed that when he earlier said the country needed foreign support, he was specifically referring to the developed countries of the US and Britain supporting Nigeria with technology to prosecute the war against banditry and insurgency.

He pointed out the the type of security challenges confronting the
country, particularly banditry and insurgency, are not conventional
wars, with other countries like Agfanistan, which took over 40 years to battle the Taliban.

He recalled that during the immediate past administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan, mercenaries were recruited to fight the insurgency in the Northeast, without much impact as Boko Haram continued with their onslaught.

His words: “I think if there is anybody who knows about all these,
it’s Muhammadu Buhari, who rose to the rank of a Major General, who
was been in the military. I don’t play politics with that.”

While expressing reservations about employing the services of
mercenaries to help in addressing the security challenges in the
country, Sule was emphatic in soliciting for foreign backing in the
area of technology, equipment and training of the country’s military
personnel.

“This is the time for the US and Britain to support us, with
technology, equipment and training of our military personnel,” Sule
affirmed.

He debunked claims by Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) suggesting that state governors are not doing enough to support President Buhari in fighting insecurity, affirming that
governors are doing everything possible to partner and support
security agencies in tackling insecurity.

He maintained that state governors are up to the task, supporting
security agencies with logistics, equipment and ensuring that they
discharge their responsibilities.

On the call for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), to zone
its national chairmanship to the North Central, the governor
reaffirmed his agitation for the party to zone the position to the
North Central and to Nasarawa State in particular.

“The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), remains the only legacy party yet to produce the national chairman of the party. If the CPC is to be considered, then it’s only natural that North Central Zone and
Nasarawa State in particular, is also considered,” he stated.

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Major crisis looms in the health sector as Nigerian doctors down tools

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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.”

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Senator Degi tackles Dickson over alleged inflammatory comments on 3% equity for Host Communities

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Senator representing Bayelsa East, Biobarakuma Wangagha Degi-Eremienyo has cautioned his colleague Senetor Henry Seriake Dickson not to instigate violence in the Niger Delta region by making inflamatory comments that could lead to civil unrest in the area.
Senator Degi was reacting to recent media briefing held by Sen Dickson where he accused the Minister of State Petroleum resources,  Chief Timipre Sylva of reducing the host communities Development funds in the PIB to 3% as against 5% proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Senator Seriaki Dickson had warned of possible consequences if the 3% equity share holding for the Host Communities in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is not reviewed upward to the 5% that was initially proposed by the senate joint committee on Petroleum resources.
He said the Host Communities were not happy, just as they as leaders were not happy about what played out.

Speaking with the Senate press Corps on Thursday he said the Federal Government cannot afford to contend with another level of unrest and insecurity from the region going by the overwhelming insecurity pervading the northeast for the past 10 years and the North West in the last four years without any workable solution to contain them.

But Senatir Degi said the comments by his counterpart was highly regrettable  considering the tireless efforts put in by the Hon Minister in actualising this long awaited law.
The true story was that the PIB as an executive bill was represented to the National Assembly proposing 2.5% of the total operational cost as host communities development trust funds.
“The lead debate was hot and protracted in both chambers. Lawmakers from the Niger Delta region including myself spoke, argued for upward increase commensurate to our contributions and sacrifices. During the public hearing at various centres, host communities canvassed same postion.
“After rigorous and painstaking process from plenary to conference committee the National Assembly put the host comm funds at 3%.
This was National Assembly decision and not that of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva.
He expressed dismay how and why Sen Dickson would drag Sylva into the matter.
“Observers would be tempted to ask what efforts he Sen Dickson made to achieve the utmost desired as the bill was presented to NASS when he was still Governor.
“Other Governors  from the region rallied round their people and even  lobbied lawmakers from other regions to support increase in the host com Dev fund. Ex Gov Dickson did nothing as he was contented with spending 13% derivation on aggressive development of his own villages which are not host communities leaving the oil and gas producing, host communities to suffer their fate.
“It’s ridiculous to see him fighting pretentiously for host communities. Dickson lacks moral grounds to criticise or attack Sylva’s innocence.
I can see that Sen Dickson is just being envious, mischievous and intimidated by the astronomically rising profile of Sylva.”

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Nigeria now a failed state with insecurity, dwindling economy, Catholic bishops tell Buhari

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Selective administration of justice by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, has greatly affected the country’s image in the international community, the Catholic Bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province have lashed out at President Muhammadu Buhari
The Bishop did not stop there but also lamented over the socio-politico-economic situation adding that the country has lost its soul as it has ceased from being a healthy entity, thus, necessitating the need for recovery.
A healthy nation they observed should the capacity to offer its citizens a territory, where they can feel at home, secure and enjoy the basic necessities of life which they said was no longer the situation in Nigeria.
The bishops, in a communiqué issued on Wednesday at the end of their meeting, which was held at the Domus Pacis Pastoral Institute, Igoba, Akure, the Ondo State capital, from July 19 and 20, expressed sadness that the order of the day in Nigeria was “armed conflicts, armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom, insurgency, banditry, and extrajudicial killings.”

The bishops noted that the current waves of insecurity in the country are an indication that the government has failed to address the criminal elements causing havoc but rather dissipating energy on silencing lawful citizens.
The communiqué, which was made available to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital by the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti, Most Rev Felix Ajakaye, was signed by the province chairman, Most Rev Gabriel Abegunrin, and the secretary, Most Rev Akin Oyejola.
In the communique they expressed sympathy for citizens “who bear the brunt of Nigeria’s debilitating situation because of economic depression and hunger, armed robbery, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, unemployment and injustice.”
The bishops lamented that the nation under the present administration has lost its soul and that the insecurity pervading the land, dwindling economy, and others are all indices of a failed country needing an urgent revival.
They took a swipe at the Presidency for attacking the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, for his revelations to the United States Congress on the state of things in the country, insisting that Kukah made patriotic and commendable points with verifiable data on the unlawful persecution of Nigerians.
The communiqué reads: “Nigeria, our country, seems to have lost its very soul because it is no longer a healthy entity. The good health of any nation consists in its capacity to offer its citizens a territory where they can feel at home, feel secure and enjoy the basic necessities of life.
“This, unfortunately, is no longer the case in our dear country, Nigeria, where armed conflicts, armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom, insurgency, banditry, and extrajudicial killings have become the order of the day. When a nation loses its soul, its people lose the cohesive elements of human relationships. A nation that has lost its soul is characterised by inept and uncaring leadership, which functions by selective allocation of posts, privileges, and resources and by selective application of justice. It is characterised by leaders who, rather than care for the citizens of the country, simply exploit and denigrate them.”

On the Presidency’s response to Bishop Kukah, the bishops said: “Bishop Kukah, in his patriotic and frank presentation, called attention to some verifiable data and statistics about the Nigerian situation on that privileged international platform. He spoke for authentic Christians and Muslims who are under persecution. No doubt, he intended to solicit the support of that forum which many Nigerians believe holds the promise of some assistance and relief from our current national crises.
“The Federal Government, however, has characteristically gone up in arms against the person of Bishop Kukah and his purpose. It is commonly said that when there is a problem in a democracy, more democracy is needed to solve it. Sadly enough, our current Federal Government does not seem to subscribe to this.”
Reiterating the right of freedom of expression as stipulated in the constitution, the bishops said for the sake of the nation’s democracy, the right must be protected while the attempt by the National Assembly to amend the press council bill is aimed at gagging the media and the citizens should reject it.
“We declare again, as we have done often in the past, that only the truth can set us free. Nigeria must not allow this to happen! The attempt of the Nigerian National Assembly to silence the press and penalize journalists for merely doing their job is to be completely rejected. We hold that the freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, guaranteed by the Constitution, and cannot be alienated by any government, least of all in a democracy.

“For the sake of our democracy, that right, exercised with responsibility, must be protected. We support Bishop Kukah in his effort to unveil the truth about the Nigerian situation in order to ameliorate things. We call on the Nigerian government to learn not to see criticism as an attack or a crime,” they said.
The clerics expressed displeasure at the lawmakers for prioritising the interest of their political parties above the interest of Nigerians on the passage of the amended Electoral Act and the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), urging the citizens to challenge the decisions of the National Assembly with all available means.
The Bishops said: “With the National Assembly at various occasions prioritising party and privileges over people’s rights and interest, relief and progress continue to elude Nigerians. Simply put, those who claim to represent the people seem to have perfected the art of sabotaging the progress of their same people.
“Indeed, the time may have come for Nigerians to no longer simply roll over and accept non-representative decisions of the assembly but to challenge them by all legitimate means.”

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