The oil search in the North has, again, suffered a major setback as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), whose staff have deserted the exploration site at Chad basin, declared yesterday that there would not be a return to the site until it receives security clearance.
The position validates investigation published by New Telegraph on May 27, detailing how investment of over $2 billion has been trapped at the site due to evacuation of geologists over insecurity.
Restating the corporation’s commitment to resume oil search in the Chad Basin, Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, disclosed that this would be done as soon as he receives the green light from the state’s security apparatus.
“We will go back there as soon as we receive security clearance. There seem to be some prospects there because Niger Republic drilled over 600 wells and now they are producing while we have only drilled 23,” Baru said when the Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed, paid him a business visit in Abuja
Oil search in the Chad Basin was suspended after a team from NNPC Frontier Exploration Services and their consultants from the University of Maiduguri were attacked and some of them abducted on July 25, 2017.
The team of explorationists and geologists from the NNPC, investigation by our correspondent showed, had deserted the site since the 2017 abduction of their colleagues from the University of Maiduguri.
The corporation, further checks showed, has effected a management change at the Chad Basin, with a mandate to get staff back on site.
The history of attacks at site has created panic among NNPC staff. One of them told this newspaper that no official would return to site until the security agencies, particularly the Nigerian Army, give green light on security.
NNPC had invested approximately $1.3 billion up to the end of 1998, while over $700 million had been invested afterward, according to this newspaper’s investigation.
Before an order was given by President Muhammadu Buhari, the prospects of oil in the North were still mere potential and remained in the realm of possibilities despite the huge investment made.
Aside the $1.3 billion invested before 1998, additional investments of about N27 billion and $340 million had also been made for seismic data acquisition and equipment for advanced search respectively.
Troops had, early last year, lost eight soldiers and killed scores of Boko Haram insurgents in an operation which led to the rescue of 10 top officials, including senior geologists on contracts with NNPC on the oil search mission in the North East.
This incident, which sent jitters down the spine of geologists and other supporting staff on the exploration mission, has again constituted a major setback to the North’s oil search, on which over N600 billion had been invested.
Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, who validated the investigation by this newspaper, told our correspondent then that exploration could not commence as promised.
“We still await the clearance,” he said, adding that although “there are indications that it would be issued pretty soon.”
Checks by this newspaper, however, showed that the military could not give the corporation a go ahead based on security risks of mobilising personnel and equipment to site.
Meanwhile, Baru has commended the people of Bauchi and Gombe states, especially communities in the exploration area, for their support and hospitality, while assuring them of NNPC’s support in the provision of infrastructure and amenities.
On the proposed Institute of Petroleum Studies to be established in Bauchi State University, Baru pledged the support of NNPC and assured the governor of synergy between the institution and the Petroleum Training Institute, Warri, for exchange programmes and manpower development.
Speaking earlier, the Bauchi State governor said his visit was to seek collaboration with the corporation on how to move the state forward.
FG will fix all roads in Niger – Lawan
…Senate wants railways back
Daniel Atori, Minna
President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan has assured that the National Assembly will work closely with the Executive arm of government in ensuring that all deplorable federal roads in Niger State are fixed soonest.
He made this disclosure on Sunday when the Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, Mohammed Musa (313) unveiled his ‘Action Plan’ for the zone in Minna.
According to him: “We will work together with the Executive arm of government for the benefit of the people of Niger State and indeed the country to ensure that we achieve our common goal of taking Nigeria to the next level.”
While assuring that, he will be fully involved in the fixing of roads in Niger, the Senate President aded: “I think it is time to make our railways work again, because the movement of heavy haulage on the roads have really spoilt all our roads.
“I do not have to drive through the roads to know it’s bad, I have heard alot about it. Niger State does not need to lobby for Chairman, Senate Committee on Works while I am particularly involved.”
The Senate President while commending Senator Musa said the three Senators from the state are loyal and are very good representives of the state.
Oyegun to Oshiomhole: Stop disgracing APC, Edo State
Johnchuks Onuanyim, Abuja
Former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has pitched his tent with the governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, while blaming his successor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, over the ignoble role he is playing in fuelling the crisis in the state.
Oyegun, reacting to the recent outburst and indictment by Governor Godwin Obaseki and the House of Representatives ad-hoc Committee, said he is yet to come to terms on why Oshiomhole has easily forgotten that he never interfered in Edo State affairs as the National chairman of the ruling party while he held forth as the then governor.
In a statement issued in Abuja Sunday, by his Public Affairs Adviser, Chief Ray Morphy, the immediate past National Chairman of the ruling party wondered why Oshiomhole has failed to realised that Governor Obaseki should be supported as the only APC governor in the South-South geopolitical zone rather than vilifying and destabilising his administration.
The statement also portrayed Oyegun as wondering why a man who claimed to have buried godfatherism in Edo State politics could play God and become an agent of disruption in the smooth running of the state government.
He specifically urged the Progressive Governors not to stand aside and watch their fellow governor being hampered by a party chairman whose actions may lead to political misfortune of the party.
“The recent outburst by Governor Obaseki and the report by the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, indicting the current National Chairman of the APC, have confirmed my earlier claim that Oshiomhole is not only the architect but also responsible for fuelling the crisis in Edo State.
“In the face of these confirmations, I want to urge Oshiomhole to stop disgracing the ruling party and the good people of Edo state. I wonder how he could easily forget that I never interfered or bothered about how he ran the government as the then governor of Edo state all the while I occupied the position of the party’s National Chairman.”
Use TSA to strength anti-corruption fight, Africa Media Initiative tells FG
…Defends SystemSpecs against spurious allegations
The Africa Media Roundtable Initiative (AMRI) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to fortify the anti-corruption campaign which worked to great effect in his first term as president.
AMRI also implore the president to reinforce the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy in the constitution of the country given its reputation as the most efficient fiscal policy enacted in the history of Nigeria till date.
In a statement signed by Mr Adeyemi Omoluabi, AMRI’s Executive Director, the group said, it is indubitable that the brazen corruption which plagued the country in times past was curbed to a large extent during the first term of President Buhari owing to his audacious anti-corruption stance. Much of the success recorded so far under this administration stems from the overwhelming success of TSA.
TSA is one of the most significant achievements of the current Federal Government and the most potent and effective anti-corruption tool under the current administration of Buhari.
The group added: “With a gross saving of N10 trillion, no public financial management policy has yielded as much reward as TSA. These achievements are of huge strategic significance in our national economic recovery efforts especially in these challenging times.
“Recall that Nigeria was only able to survive the last recession due to the intervention of SystemSpecs Remita as funds that could otherwise have been frittered away are now made available for infrastructural and developmental endeavours towards national progress. In recognition of its promotion of excellence, best practices and innovation, Remita won several awards locally and internationally.
But like with all revolutions, TSA has not escaped the talons of corrupt individuals who are bent on crippling the progress of the country by sabotaging its efficacy and plunging the nation back to dark yesteryears.”
Omoluabi further said: “Recently, a so-called non-governmental organisation, sponsored by those who wish to continue to perpetrate their notoriety and jeopardise the economic prosperity and sustainability of this country, is suggesting that the TSA contract was awarded to SystemSpecs without recourse to due process. This grand scheme would not be lost to anyone who has carefully followed the history of the TSA, as this is the third antic of this group in their inglorious quest.
“In light of the foregoing background, it is indeed a traumatic irony to see orchestrations of events poised to dissipate goodwill, downplaying the gains created by the Remita technology for Nigeria.
“We find this position as untenable as it is absurd due to the rigorous selection process SystemSpecs was subjected to before emerging the preferred provider of the technology behind the super-successful policy. Initially, as public records have it, CMA, a Swedish company was saddled with the task of powering the policy but after repeated delays and failures, the government turned to Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS). NIBSS performed the task but not without difficulties. The platform was limited in its functionality, hence the need to contact SystemSpecs to power the policy through its innovative Remita platform. If this does not constitute due process, then we would go further to jog the memories of both URGFP and its corrupt financiers.
“It could be recalled that as far back as 2015, we have commended the government for the implementing the TSA policy through Remita and have proffered, measures to solidify this. Our position emanates from the outcome of the enquiry from the Senate.
“In 2017, the House of Representatives set up a panel headed by Honourable Nuhu Danburam to investigate the entire TSA in Nigeria. Hon. Danburam and his colleagues applauded SystemSpecs for its efforts in implementing the TSA policy whilst enjoining the federal government to settle its debt to the company.
“These recommendations and acclaim only raise the question as to why the National Assembly gave a clean bill of health to the TSA selection process and SystemSpecs but a recently-established NGO disagrees. If not for being on the payroll of the corruption advocates, why will an NGO be involved in the selection process of a company that has driven the implantation of Nigeria’s most successful public financial management policy? Nigerians must take caution that this ready-for-hire group should not be allowed to plunge the nation into unprecedent economic calamity that attempting to reinvent the wheel of progress will result into.
“SystemSpecs emerged from various injustices unperturbed due to its patriotism, uprightness and pride in its ingenious technology which saved the economy from a collapse according to the former Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.”
Continuing the AMRI director added: “Moreover, the Director of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Salawu Zubair, explained in detail how Remita was selected to power the policy. According to Mr. Zubair, CBN, CMA and NIBSS attempted to power the policy but all fell short at some point hence the contract with SystemSpecs. Cynics and corruption advocates can easily glean this information online rather than subject themselves and their diminishing cash to bodies lacking the wherewithal to further their nefarious campaign.”
Africa Media Roundtable Initiative is an international media and civil society organization with the objective to promote, defend and advocate policy formulation and leadership development.
APC crisis: NWC splits
he National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is said to be in disarray, as members are said to have split into different camps.
The factionalisation of members stemmed from the fallouts of the last general elections and the leadership style of the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Some members were said to have benefitted immensely from the primaries of the party, while others lost out.
Those who didn’t benefitt are the ones revolting in their states against the national leadership of the party, a source said.
Such revolts have led to the Sokoto and Zamfara states’ organs of APC alleging anti-party activities against the National Vice Chairman (North West), Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir and Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Lawal Shuaibu.
The Sokoto State organs of APC recently expelled Abdulkadir and the National Leadership on Thursday upheld the expulsion. The APC Disciplinary Committee had sent an invitation to Abdulkadir to appear before it, but he had refused to honour the invitation of the Committee, led by the Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Niyi Adebayo.
Abdulkadir is in court in Sokoto State against APC, challenging his expulsion by the Sokoto State organs of APC when the NWC upheld his expulsion.
Also, the Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Lawal Shuaibu, is against the leadership style of the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and some other National Working Committee members.
In fact, Shuiabu was the first person that brought the crisis in the NWC to the fore with his letter to Oshiomhole, asking him to resign as National Chairman for the poor performance of APC in the last general elections.
Oshiomhole is said to be working with the Deputy National Chairman (South), National Auditor, Chief George Moghalu; National Treasurer, Hon. Panda and National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu.
However, other NWC members are forming alliance with others or they are staying on their own.
One of such NWC member working alone is the APC National Legal Adviser, Mr. Babatunde Ogala. He had also written a letter to the National Chairman, accusing him of usurping his functions.
According to a party source, the division in the party might lead to its losing the governorship election in Kogi, Edo and Ondo states slated for this year and 2020.
Already, there is a face-off between the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and the governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.
Both Oshiomhole and his supporters and the governor of Edo State are at each other’s throats ahead of the party’s governorship ticket in the next year’s election.
The fight between the APC National Chairman and the governor of Edo State naturally has divided the APC members from the state and at the national level.
This also has triggered state assembly crisis, with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila asking the Inspector General of Police and Director General of DSS to seal Edo State House of Assembly complex.
The same could be said about Kogi and Ondo states as party members are said to be divided along the line of loyalty.
The division in the state party ahead of governorship election is capable of making the APC to lose those elections, said a party member.
Speaking on the crisis in the Edo State APC, former governor of Cross River State, Chief Clement Ebri, said this is the time President Muhammadu Buhari should intervene.
In his view, it would be shameful and disgraceful if the infighting in Edo State should cause APC to lose the state to opposition.
According to Ebri, Edo State is the only state APC has in the whole of South East and South South and should be well-guided.
Speaking on the crisis between the APC National Chairman and the governor of Edo State, Ebri said: “l call on Mr. President to intervene and arrest the situation. For us from the South South and South East, this is very important as the state is the only state governed by APC in the two zones.
“We should be talking about how to increase the number of states in these zones rather than indulging in the things that would make us lose the one we have.
“l want to sincerely call on all well-meaning members of the APC to intervene on the crisis in Edo State and save the party in the two zones. “
The Kogi State APC crisis is also between the governor and other party members from the state including the National Women’s Leader, Hajiya Salamatu Baiwa.
According to a party source, the governor is working against the Women’s Leader being appointed as minister, while Hajiya Baiwa is also working against the governor securing his second term APC governorship ticket.
The effect of the APC crisis in Kogi State is to the extent that some stakeholders have gone to court to challenge the decision of the APC NWC to adopt indirect mode of primaries for the party’s governorship ticket.
Some APC governorship aspirants in Kogi State had said if the national leadership did not rescind its decision to adopt indirect primaries, the party might experience what happened in Zamfara State in the state.
It would be recall that because of internal crisis in Zamfara State APC during the primaries, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the election petition.
In Ondo State, the chieftains of the party in the state and outside the state are ganging up against the governor, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu.
They are moving to replace the governor with the Deputy Whip of the Senate, Senator Ajayi Borrofice or with the candidate of the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Dr. Segun Abraham.
Abraham came second in the last APC governorship primaries that brought Akeredolu as governor of Ondo State.
It would be recalled that New Telegraph had reported that the national leadership of APC was planning to rebuild the party and restore confidence of members by injecting about 50 members into the Working Committee.
The APC state chairmen had after their meeting in Abuja told newsmen that the state Chairmen were passionate about ensuring that the party gained more grounds ahead of the 2023 elections.
Insecurity: Osinbajo confers with S’West monarchs
ice President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday held consultations with the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, as well as other monarchs in Ogun.
The consultations were on the way out of the security challenges currently confronting Nigeria.
Osinbajo was accompanied to the palace of Ajayi by Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun.
The Vice President, who fielded questions from newsmen after the meeting, said the meeting was on the instruction of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“As you know, there are many significant security concerns all over the country, and there are concerns also in the Southwest.
“So, I am here on the instruction of the President to consult with the traditional ruler, the governor and others on what to do to beef up security and to generally improve the security architecture.
“Of course, you know that Kabiyesi is not just a traditional ruler, but a very important part of the government.
“That is why we are here; to talk to him and agree on few modalities for beefing up security; and ensuring that we are fully conscious of all that is going on, just to be sure that peace and security reigns here and across the country.
“I think for all of us, the most important thing to realise is that we are one Nigeria; we are one country; we need to work together to ensure that it is peaceful, secured and happy for all of us,” he said.
He noted that Nigeria had the potential to give its citizens all they desired.
Osinbajo, however, said that some people were working against the interest of the country by trying to cause instability.
He expressed optimism that by God’s grace, Nigeria would overcome all its problems and set itself on the path of peace and prosperity.
The Vice President, in company of Abiodun, then proceeded to Ijebu Ode, where he also held a private meeting with the Awujale of Ijebu Kingdom, Oba Sikiru Adetona.
Speaking with newsmen after, Osinbajo said that Awujale was one of the most important voices in the Southwest.
He said they had discussed on the very important steps to take in order to improve the security architecture generally.
According to him, the monarch has given a lot of insight; his own views, on what needs to be done, how to go about it; and what has been done already.
“But very importantly, it is his commitment to ensuring that there is peace and security, and that everybody lives in peace with one another and maintains the highest level of security.
“We are consulting with many of the traditional rulers across the country, but there are concerns in the Southwest now.
“I will be in Osun on Tuesday; we are going to go round to see the Alake, the Ooni and other traditional rulers, and primarily, they themselves want to participate in improving the security architecture.
“The President has spoken about the role of traditional rulers in maintaining peace and security in their own localities.
“As we know, they are the closest to the grassroots; the closest to their communities.
“One of the critical things we expect with our community policing efforts is some integration between the traditional rulers, the community and police; and efforts they are making to improve intelligence; and we need to understand what is going on.
“We need to know who is where and what exactly is happening all around so they can be transmitted to the more formal security agencies such as the police and the army, depending on where and what the situation is,” he said.
The Vice President had earlier attended the installation of 90-year-old Chief Emmanuel Osibona as the Father of the Church, ‘Baba Ijo’, of Our Saviour’s Anglican Church, Ikenne, Ogun, his hometown.
Cabinet delay may send Nigeria back into recession –Experts
•NASS set to embark on recess without cabinet list
•Implementation of 2019 budget remains on hold
•Perm Secs can’t approve beyond N5m
here are strong indications that the economy may slide back into another round of recession, given the apparent stagnation of government activities and the uncertainties surrounding its policy direction and priorities.
It could be recalled that the 2019 presidential election was held on February 23 and the incumbent, President, Muhammadu Buhari, was declared the winner within a couple of days after the election. On May 29, he was formally sworn in as President for his second four-year tenure.
However, there are apprehensions that the economy is currently at a standstill following the prolonged absence of ministers to drive government’s policies and programmes.
In 2015 when President Buhari was first elected into office, he spent six months before appointing a cabinet, a situation that was largely responsible for plunging Nigeria into a recession the following year.
Experts fear that the nation may be headed on a similar path as the President does not seem to be in a hurry to appoint ministers that would assist him in running the governance process.
The National Assembly, which was inaugurated on June 11, 2019 has been waiting for the list of ministerial nominees in the last five weeks but to no avail.
Sunday Telegraph reliably learnt that the parliamentarians are due to embark on recess this week and there are no assurances that the list of ministers would be submitted before then.
Even if the list gets to the lawmakers this week, it will be impossible for them to consider the screening and confirmation of these ministerial nominees before they commence on their recess, which usually lasts about two months. The only alternative is for them to shelve their vacation and attend to the ministerial list with utmost despatch.
Due to the absence of the ministers, the implementation of the 2019 Appropriation Act has remained in limbo, while the preparation of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FST), which ought to be the basis of the 2020 Budget estimates, is yet to commence.
One of the experts who spoke to the Sunday Telegraph, Professor of Economics, from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ichoku Owumere, warned that the economy will suffer if the ministers are not named without further delay because it implies that in some cases, contractors will not be paid while high profile decisions can hardly be taken by the Permanent Secretaries mandated by the President to supervise the ministries.
“There are decisions the civil servants lack the statutory powers to take and the presidential directive cannot alter that fact.
“The highest decision making points of ministries and departments need to be activated by the President immediately as further delay will delay implementation of capital budgets which have multiplier effect on the economy,” he said.
Speaking, Founder and the first National Coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, said the delay is already impacting negatively on the Nigerian capital market.
“You can see that the big boost and interest the stock exchange is supposed to receive from the listing of MTN and Airtel is not yet there because investors are on ‘wait and see game”.
He said the delay is confirming the belief by foreign investors that the government would continue in the old policies that have kept the economy growing at a very slow pace.
He warned that if President Buhari does not submit the list of the Ministers to the Senate for their approval before they proceed on their annual vacation this week, it will send a very negative signal to foreign investors.
Also speaking, the Director-General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf, said delaying the appointment of ministers would hamper the implementation of government policies.
He said the nomination of ministers should be seamless if Buhari was desirous of achieving progress in the second tenure of his administration.
Yusuf stated: “Delaying appointment of ministers has implication for the implementation of government policies because transiting from one regime to the other is like running a relay race. When you are running a relay, the faster you are able to hand over the baton, the better for the eventual outcome of the race. But if there is a brake in the handover, it distorts a whole lot of things. That same analogy will also fit into this. The earlier we have people to take over from where the immediate past cabinet stopped the better for the economy and the continuity that this new dispensation is all about.”
Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Mr Eze Onyekpere said it has been five months since the President was declared winner of the presidential poll and almost two months since he was sworn in for the second term, yet the cabinet which is the engine room of governance is not yet in place.
Onyekpere, a lawyer and public affairs analyst, said that the failure to appoint ministers all this while has grave implications including that Nigeria may sink deeper into economic, social, political and security challenges.
Similarly, a developmental economist, Mr. Odilim Enwegbara told Sunday Telegraph that the absence of ministers meant that key decisions which the government ought to had taken to encourage investments, generate employment, create wealth and enhance economic growth have been placed on hold in the last three months.
Enwegbara said that for an economy that recently exited recession, the laissez faire attitude of the Buhari administration was dangerous as the economy could experience another convulsion.
“Of course when an economy is struggling and is in need of public sector push in the form of government fiscal stimulus and the fiscal authority is non-existent, then it’s natural that the obvious is inevitable, which is fiscal contraction. The implication is another recession,” he said.
He accused President Buhari of deliberately shutting down governance and putting economic activities on the pause mode in order to achieve some ulterior motives.
“Buhari wanted to create this gap so that he can go ahead to operate a one man government. This will undermine the badly needed transparency and accountability as is part of economic democratization,” Enwegbara said.
The last Federal Executive Council (FEC) was dissolved on May 28, the eve of Buhari’s inauguration for a second term. Since then, the Permanent Secretaries have been in charge of their respective ministries.
According to a Permanent Secretary in one of the ministries, leaving the bureaucrats to run the ministries has its own challenges and limitations; especially in terms of funding of government programmes and projects.
Sunday Telegraph learnt that the Permanent Secretaries have a financial approval limit of N5 million, an amount that is a far cry from what is required to run an average capital project.
A senior bureaucrat, who spoke to Sunday Telegraph in confidence, said there is a standard procedure when finance is involved.
“In the Civil Service, there is standard on how finances are undertaken. Whether there is a minister or not, the Permanent Secretary has approval limit of N5 million. Any amount above that goes to a tender’s board. A tender’s board of a ministry comprises of the directors in that ministry. Then, if the amount is above the tender’s board limit, it goes to the Federal Executive Council (FEC). Whether a minister is in place or not, this is the rule,” he explained.
In defence of its slow pace in setting up the governance structure, President Muhammadu Buhari had pleaded with Nigerians to give him more time pick those who will work with him.. Buhari claimed that in spite of the six months delay before he formed the last cabinet, he ended up with persons he barely knew because they were nominees of his political associates and party bigwigs.
This time around, he said, he would want to take his time so as to be able to choose those personally known to him.
But as things stand, even if the President finally transmits the list to the Upper Chamber, unless the Senate agrees to call short its annual two-month vacation and reconvene to consider the ministerial list, the nation will have no cabinet members till at least October.
Fulani shouldn’t be asked to leave south, says ex-security adviser
former Security Adviser in Cross River, Mr Jude Ngaji, yesterday said it is not right to ask the Fulani residing in the south to relocate to the north because of the activities of killer herdsmen.
He said Fulani herdsmen had lived peacefully with communities in the south over the years, alleging that those responsible for banditry and other forms of crimes were from Niger.
Ngaji, who spoke in an interview, also said that the fight against Boko Haram and banditry is not being overcome because the insurgents seem to have more intelligence report at their disposal than the military.
According to the former State Security Adviser,it is not right to ask the Fulani people to leave the south.
He said: “By the time we begin to encourage such movements from north to south and south to north, it will not augur well. These Fulani people we are talking about, we have lived together with them in the south for a very long time.
“I believe they are not the same people that we knew when growing up that are committing these criminalities. Most of the Fulani people you find in the south now are from Niger and they have come in their numbers due to our porous borders.”
Speaking on the information gathering, Ngaji advised all the arms of the Nigeria military to synergise with the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Police in order to gather the much needed intelligence that would help tackle the rising wave of insecurity across the country.
Ngaji said the increasing spate of insecurity was as a result of the collapse in intelligence gathering, while on the other hand the insurgents have become more savvy in gathering intelligence gathering.
“The security situations in the six geo-political zones are different and one major factor responsible for the increasing spate of insecurity is the collapse of intelligence gathering. There is no real collaboration among all the security agencies, whereas the insurgents, Boko Haram and armed herdsmen, have become more savvy in intelligence gathering than the military.
“That is why they are succeeding. There should be a serious engagement amongst the segments of the Nigerian military, the Department of State Services and the Nigeria Police for us to effectively tackle the security challenges.
“Intelligence is strictly lacking. The military and other security agencies will need to inject a lot of surveillance team to be among the people in order to get to the root of the matter. Once that intelligence gathering channel is established, I am convinced that we would be able to address this challenge,” he said.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to consider having security advisers in all the six geo-political zones for effective monitoring.
“I also think that the President should have security advisers in the geo-political zones because of the peculiarity of the zones in order to effectively monitor the security situation in the country. These zonal security advisers will be answerable to the National Security Adviser. This is because the NSA cannot get details of what happens in the six geo-political zones and 36 states every day.
“I want to commend the president so far, but segmenting the office of security adviser into different zones will help by reporting to the national security action. The whole attention has been on Fulani herdsmen but that is far from other criminal activities that must be eradicated,” he added.
COZA: Police invite Timi Dakolo, wife to Abuja for ‘criminal conspiracy’
- ’We can’t be intimidated’
There has been a twist in the tale of rape accusation by Busola Dakolo against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), as the police sent separate invitations to Busola and her husband, Timi Dakolo on Saturday.
The invitation letters, which were delivered at the Lekki residence of the Dakolos around 6pm, may not be unconnected with rape allegation by Busola against founder of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.
The invitations which
were delivered at the couple’s home in Lagos yesterday came from police headquarters in Abuja. The officers came in a van with number plate BR932KSF.
They were signed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kolo Yusuf, Special Tactical Squad Force Headquarters, Abuja and asked the couple to report for interrogation on Tuesday by 10 a.m. to face questioning over a case of “criminal conspiracy, falsehood, mischief and threat to life”.
The letter reads: “This office is investigating a case of criminal conspiracy, falsehood, mischief and threat to life in which your name was mentioned. You are kindly requested to interview the undersigned officer on 23/07/2019 by 1000hr for fact finding through DSP, Ibrahim Agu.”
Sources at the Dakolo residence said the policemen, numbering three, were trying to force the Dakolo’s to go to Abuja against their will.
In a swift reaction, Timi via his instagram said that he would never allow Police officers to intimidate his wife, children or any member of his family.
His words, “Our lawyers had told us to get ready for this letter. We have long been ready for this type of institutionalized intimidation and dirtiness. Investigating officials have frustrated as a result of underhand delay? Dirty bloggers are fabricating things that cover the truth, going to the IG’s people under dark to force this case to be posted to Abuja?
Suicide: Public Health experts call for increased mental health education
Public Health experts have called for increased mental awareness and education to help reduce rising cases of depression and suicide in Nigeria. They made the call while speaking across various platforms on recent suicide cases in Nigeria, suggesting actions to reduce the occurrences.
Speaking on a radio programme, Dr. Chinomso Egemba, a global health advocate who works with Avon medical practice, identified depression as a major cause of suicide.
Egemba described depression as a medical condition, a psychological state of unhappiness or low morale, which lasts longer than several weeks. It may include ideation of self-inflicted injury or in extreme case, suicide.
According to Egemba, depression is usually caused by a decrease in the level of serotonin, a chemical in the brain, which serves as a contributor to feelings of well-being, and happiness in human. She therefore advocated for an increased awareness and education from the government and the private sector.
“We have to call on the bodies responsible which includes the government to increase the level of mental health awareness in Nigeria and set up toll free lines and counseling centers across the nation so that people battling depression can call or visit for help” Egemba advised.
In her remarks on another health programme, another expert, Dr. Chioma Nwakanma, a public health advocate and digital media strategist, said common health problems such as depression and anxiety affect one in four people and it may not be easy to notice.
Meanwhile, Dr. Tajudeen Abiola, a neuro-psychiatrist with the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Kaduna, advocated for deliberate education and awareness programme to increase the awareness and level of understanding around what constitutes mental health issues. By this, friends and families may quickly identify the indicators and take the necessary steps.
APGA intact, different from Abia First
The Abia State Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance( APGA),Rev Augustine Ehiemere has said that there is no faction in the party both at the state and national level, adding that there is a difference between the party and ‘Abia First’, the political vanguard of the governorship candidate of APGA in the 2019 governorship election in the state, Dr Alex Otti.
Fielding questions from reporters in Umuahia over the existence of a parallel faction led by Hon Nkem Okoro, Ehiemere said the clarification became necessary to clear the confusion that may arise from the misconception people have over the party’s leadership structure.
He explained that there is no faction in APGA either in Abia or Nigeria, saying the purported “Okoro’s faction is Dr Alex Otti political structure for 2015 and 2019 governorship elections and therefore cannot be equated to the leadership of the party in the state.”
Rev Ehiemere pointed out that ‘Abia First’ which he described as the campaign organisation of Dr Alex Otti, can never be said to be the same thing with Abia APGA.
He stated that he is the authentic chairman of state chapter of APGA with his State Working Committee (SWC); whose members emerged in a transparent congress supervised by INEC. “Therefore, any other group parading itself as APGA in Abia State is fake and should be discountenanced.”
Rev Ehiemere however called on Nigerians to be wary of the antics of Dr Alex Otti’ group, who he said were deceiving the public with a non existent faction, noting that they were operating ‘Abia First’ which cannot be the same thing with the party in the state under his leadership.
Also, the Abia State secretary of APGA, Elder Sunday Onukwubiri has said that there is no leadership tussle in the party in the state, adding that the party is united under Rev Ehiemere at the state level while Ozomkpu Victor Ike Oye is the undisputed National Chairman of the party to whom they are well pleased.
Elder Onukwubiri insisted that the Governorship candidate of the party in the 2015 and 2019 elections Dr Alex Otti remained “ suspended by the party because of his anti-party activities, and if he feels otherwise, let him go to the national leadership of APGA and complain. The Otti’s faction is made up of ‘Abia First’, while the leadership of APGA in the state is under Ehiemere, the public should not take the disgruntled group serious,” he said.
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