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Insecurity: Senate says Nigeria Army is overwhelmed, overstretched

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Insecurity: Senate says Nigeria Army is overwhelmed, overstretched


The senate has acknowledged the reality concerning insecurity in the country and have come to the conclusion that the Nigerian Army is incapacitated, unfortunately, “overwhelmed and overstretched.”
This was coming as security situation across the country is attaining an alarming dimension.
The Senate’s committee on Army spoke during its visit to various Army formations in Kaduna State, as part of its annual oversight obligations.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Muhammed Ali Ndume, deplored the challenges created by additional responsibilities for the army from internal security.
Ndume who led the visit, bemoaned the stark reality of the Army having to operate in about 33 to 34 states across the country without having the required personnel to effectively man operations.

“The Army we used to know is very different from the Army of today. But we are hoping that things will get better,” Ndume lamented.

The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Usman Mohammed, had, in a meeting with the committee, disclosed that the Army was currently operating in at least 33, out of 36 States of the Federation.

Mohammed noted that by constitutional design, the Army shouldn’t be involved in internal security arrangements.

Reacting, Ndume, said the Army must be supported to enable it to succeed.

“We insisted on this oversight visit for some reason. The Army is facing its own challenges. By our constitution, the Army isn’t supposed to be involved in civil security. But we have security challenges across every part of the country. The Army had to be drafted to provide internal security. Right now, the Army provides internal security in about 33 states in the country. We can’t sit in Abuja and talk.

“We need to see for ourselves. We are hoping that the Army will get back to its feet. As a country, we are known to have a formidable Army. But these days, we are worried.”

Speaking on the recent kidnappings along Kaduna-Abuja road, Ndume, however, urged the Army to go after bandits and kidnappers in their various hideouts.

Ndume, who noted that there had been peace along the Kaduna-Abuja road in the last few months, expressed sadness that the peace was punctured with the worrisome development that occurred on Sunday. “Along the Birni Gwari road, the security situation is alarming. Unfortunately, the Army doesn’t have the number needed to provide security,” he noted.

In his response to the kidnap, Mohammed, however, told the senators that contrary to media reports, only two persons were killed along the Kaduna-Abuja road on Sunday and not 15. He said the two victims were a driver and a woman.

He also revealed that the nine persons who were kidnapped by the bandits were rescued and set free on Sunday by soldiers, who immediately swung into action soon as the attack happened.

Mohammed disclosed that the army had concluded plans to go after bandits during the Christmas period, adding that more camps belonging to bandits will be located and destroyed in the coming days.

He said: “We want to appreciate the support of your committee. We are succeeding because of your support. We need your support to keep succeeding. We are not unmindful of the security challenges. Right now, we have three operations going on. There is one along the Kaduna-Abuja road. We are going after bandits during this Christmas period. We will flush them out. We have been seeing their recent hand along that road. We will keep doing our best.

“We always go after the bandits in their camps. On Sunday, only two persons were killed. Nine persons were kidnapped. We went after them and the kidnappers left their victims and ran away. It is false to say that 15 people were killed. That’s not true. We will keep dislodging them. We will redouble our efforts and ensure that they don’t have their way.”

A member of the Senate committee, who is also a retired Army Colonel, Bulus Amos, said many villagers and peasants in areas where bandits operate often serve as informants. He urged the Division to be more tactical in its operations.

“Most people who are farmers, bike riders, and villagers are informants. These bandits have informants everywhere. Soldiers need to go after them. If they meet them face to face, soldiers will finish them.

“Soldiers need to disguise and find a way to get the people to cooperate with them. These bandits live with us. They’re part of us, and they live in communities. We need to do more,” he said.


















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Legislature

Senate okays establishment of Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigative Professionals of Nigeria

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Senate okays establishment of Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigative Professionals of Nigeria

The Senate on Tuesday approved the establishment of the Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigative Professionals of Nigeria.
This was coming after the consideration and approval of the report of the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service by the senators at plenary.
Presenting the report, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau said that the Senate at its sitting on Tuesday Feb.16, considered for second reading the bill.
The Bill is for an Act to establish the Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill 2021. 
According to Shekarau, the objectives of the bill include for effective regulation, registration of members to acquire skills and knowledge in order to qualify to practice as a forensic and investigative professionals and for related practice.
“You will recall that the bill was exhaustively discussed in both chambers of the National Assembly that was not assented by the President due to late passage before the expiration of the 8th National Assembly.”
In his contribution, Sen. Adeola Olamilekan (APC-Lagos) said “I want to raise one important issue and I want a clarification from the chairman. 
“Because in this report, they referred to the 8th Senate that exhaustively we had discussed this bill.
“I want to ask, during the 8th Senate there were fundamental observations that were raised on this bill. And I strongly believe that that was what led to the President refusing to assent his signature on the bill.”
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said that the new institute should provide the kind of services that would ensure that corruption in public and private sectors were identified and nipped in the bud.

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Senate prohibits pedophiles, rapists from working with minors

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Senate prohibits pedophiles, rapists from working with minors

The Senate on has  approved an amendment to the Child Right Act of 2003, prohibiting persons convicted of sexual offence from working with minors. This followed the presentation of the report by the Chairperson, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Sen. Betty Apiafi during Tuesday’s plenary.
The lawmaker noted that the amendment would further protect the Nigerian child against any form of sexual violence and abuse in the hands of caregivers and others.
The Senate on also passed the Older Persons (Rights and Privileges) Bill 2020 aimed at addressing the social and economic challenges triggered by aging and the need for government to formulate policies that would incorporate the elderly and cater for their well-being.
The bill also provided for a fine of N2 million or N200, 000 from organisations or individuals who discriminated against older persons in the country.

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RAM panelists insist, Nigeria will collapse without restructuring

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RAM panelists insist, Nigeria will collapse without restructuring 

***only the living can vote – Afenifere warns**


Nigeria is heading for the rocks in view of the various security threats and refusal of the authorities to heed to the clamour for restructuring by majority of the population, panelists at the Restructure Actualization Movement (RAM) have said

They indicated that the only escape route for the country would be a national conversation by Nigerians on how to forge ahead.
He added that such conversation would be at the be called by ordinary Nigerians and not by political elite who would do so with  their agenda that would undermine the interest of equity being promoted by ordinary Nigerians.

This consensus view was expressed by Dr. Akin Fapounda, Dr. Obiageli Ezekweseli, Senator Usman Bugaje and Chief Edwin Clark who was represented by Oni Winge.

All the speakers maintained that, there is already a consensus among Nigerians for restructuring saying that what is left is how the people would evolve the conversation to convoke their sovereignty, discuss national cohesion and unity under agreed terms.

Representative of the Southwest at the RAM conversation, Dr. Akin Fapohunda said there was no need for any future election without restructuring, to provide for national consensus on the way to continue to exist as one country in peace and unity.
He said the term ‘Afenifere’ means living in love and unity, thus the Southwest position on the way forward for first to note that Nigeria a failed state with 36 states running as silos of expenditure that are not viable.

According to him, the Yoruba nation is desirous of living other with all other tribes and ethnic representation in Nigeria, however,  the critical question of ‘how’ to live together is one that must be deliberated and agreed upon.

He said it is because the extant constitution is not working and should be replaced.

According to him, the profligacy and inequalities in the system must be addressed for an all inclusive governance structure that provides equal opportunities to all Nigerians.

He pointed out that part of the structural deficiency in the system is lumping of over 1000 state assembly lawmakers, 109 senators, 360 members of House of Representatives 42 ministers and administrative staff of the federal government on level 16 and 17 in each of the 36 states of the federation leads the national coffers to unnecessarily bleeding economically.

He pointed out that these silos of expenditure includes the 36 states governors and their paraphanelia of office drains the public purse without any tangible public expenditure that benefits the people.

He proposed that Nigeria Lawmakers should be made to draw their earnings for their service from their respective region and communities based on their earnings.

He maintained that the Yoruba nation was not disposed to 2023 elections as “regardless of the subtle quest, by some elements, to network for political trophies in anticipation of 2023, the overwhelming desire of Yoruba people is to refrain from an further participation in the process of elections unless and until a new constitutional order in is negotiated and enacted.

“Recent events of insecurity across our lands affirms to correctness of this posture, as only the living can exercise voting rights not the dead” he warned.

In her submission on the conversation, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili restated that Nigeria suffers constitutional failure which is the foundation of the country’s trajectory and this failure manifests in the fact that Nigeria was  bequeathed British and Military Constitutions which did not take into cognisance the interest of the people, all of whom have failed.

Ezekwesili said, added to this, was the privatization of the public space and elite class thus undermining the rights of Nigerians to engage.

She said the conversation must be made and its outcome from the views of Nigerians would form the basis of going forward as an indivisible nation.

Former Cabinet minister and leader of the Niger Delta region, Chief Edwin Clerk who was represented by Oni Winge told the participant that Nigeria will not exist further without restructuring.

He said the South South region which is the bread winner of the country wants true Federalism and be able able to control its resources.
He pointed out that while the nation has focused on living on the black gold from the Niger Delta region, the Gold of Zamfara state has been the exclusive resource of the state with the State having full control.
On his part as a panelist at the RAM town hall meeting in Abuja, Senator Usman Bugaje said Nigeria is in a very dangerous trajectory and would required informed discussions on the conversation.

Bugaje who identified three major issues as the bane of advancing the nation to include: power sharing, wealth sharing and identity of a Nigerian said effective management of these factors would birth a United Nigeria.

According to him, the inability of the political class to equitably distribute political power, wealth and ensure the identity of a Nigerian without ethinic or religious biases was a problem to be solved.

He said any part of the country is free to go it’s own way however, it should be done constitutionally stressing that sovereignty belongs to the people.

He said attempts to reduce allotment of presidential slots to ethnic basis like Hausa or Igbo Presidency was a stupid idea.

Proposing a 44 state federating unit with 12 regions, former Minister of information, Prof. Jerry Gana said restructuring Nigeria is an inevitable change whose time has come and Nigeria must actualize to negotiate a peaceful co-existence among all parties.

He said the theory of the majority tribes rotating the Presidency among themselves remains an issue to be discussed so that all minority ethnic nationalities would see a possibility of emerging President of the Country too

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