An episode that is shaking the foundations of the relationship between the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army, the killing of three policemen as well as a civilian in Taraba State on Wednesday is still sending shock waves across the minds of many Nigerians. A jarring video in circulation shows the immediate aftermath of the mindless murders of the police officers, attached to the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) with one of them, in the throes of death, not spared despite begging, with incalculable desperation.
The video begins with one of the slain officers in a red attire and alone beside their bus apparently turned over through an accident that must have occurred from the hot chase that ensued after the team was ambushed by the soldiers. Seconds later, it moves to the other side as three bloodied people lay dead while one, in a striped white and green Polo shirt, is on the floor and writhing in agony. A man in yellow tee shirt hands the ignition key of the white Toyota bus with number plate: Lagos MUS 564 EU, to a man not visible in the video. “Here is the key of the vehicle,” he said in Hausa language.
The body of the vehicle, like the murdered policemen, was riddled with bullets as the mob continues cursing the fallen officers. “We will deal with you, you unlucky ones. They showed us ID cards that they were from the IG (Inspector General of Police). Till all of you die, another said, also in Hausa. As this goes on, a booming voice from the crowd of mostly soldiers, many of them not in uniforms, commended the mob and said: “Well done guys, you did well.” Lending further credence to reports that the killings were premeditated, another unidentified voice said: “Let’s set them ablaze with the vehicle,” a suggestion another, perhaps a personnel of a higher rank, responded to almost immediately with an order: “No!
Do not burn them.” As the officer battling to stay alive turns as he continues to wriggle in pain, another person in a white fez cap, as if alarmed, shouted: “He is not dead! He is not dead” as he moves and rains a number of slaps on him as the dying man fell back in a sleeping position. Calling on others’ attention, another asked: “Where is their service pistol?” as another swiftly responded: “They have been collected and taken away.” In the meantime, a bulky frame in a yellow top with white fez cap is seen recording a video of the slain policemen as they made to cross check whether the while few minutes earlier had died finally.
Upon certifying him dead, a member of the crowd, as if in victory, shouted: “He is dead! He is dead!” Thereafter the glare falls on two of the killed policemen, one in a red shirt covered in his pool of blood and the other with a white striped shirt lying face down as the people surrounding them start plucking and dropping leaves and shrubs on them, a typical practice for accident victims. Even more harrowing is a scene in which it becomes clear that one of the fallen policemen, the last to give up, had defecated on his body shortly before succumbing to death finally.
Lifted by two men by the hands and legs, his corpse is dumped along with the others as a soldier with a riffle walks past the bodies, shouting: “He is defecating. Do not touch the faeces.” As the voices rise even further, a voice is heard in the background saying: “They showed us ID cards that they were from the IG (Inspector General of Police).
They met us at the check point. If they had escaped here, they would definitely not have escaped the road block at Wukari.” Meanwhile, fresh information has emerged on what really went down between the police policemen and soldiers along Ibi-Jalingo Road, leading to the death of three policemen and a civilian. Security agents said the order to attack the policemen, who were on lawful duty to apprehend a suspected kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Wadume, was given by an army captain, who is a friend of Wadume.
The unnamed army captain, it was learnt, is not just a friend, but allegedly also on Wadume’s pay roll. According to sources, the operatives, while heading to Ibi village to make the arrest, encountered military men at three check-points. They introduced themselves, chatted with the soldiers and exchanged pleasantries. But when returning with the suspect, the same soldiers seen earlier at one of the check points pulled the triggers that ended the lives of three of the policemen. “The road to Ibi village is very narrow and only that road leads to the village. You have to pass through it to enter or leave the small village. That was why when the policemen encountered the soldiers at the three checkpoints, they introduced themselves and stated what they came for. They chatted, joked and exchanged pleasantries.
The arrest was made within 20 minutes and while they were returning, soldiers at the first and second check points asked them if they were already through. The soldiers and operatives know one another, but the phone call from a top military personnel changed everything,” a source disclosed.
One of our reporters gathered that the policemen were attacked at the second military check-point in the village. It was further learnt that the policemen were taken unawares as the soldiers allegedly opened fire on the bus conveying the operatives, with the shocked driver losing control of his wheel, leading the bus to somersault under the barrage of gun fire. Policemen, who were fast enough to crawl out of the damaged vehicle fled into the bush and the soldiers, upon getting to the scene and realising they were still alive, shot three operatives and a civilian among them at close range.
Two of the recovered corpses had bullet holes in their stomach, the other two, had bullet holes in their chests. Ibi is a small community and within a twinkle of an eye, the scene of the accident and attack swarmed with people and as the soldiers labelled the policemen kidnappers, the people went wild with jubilation. The arrival of the people to the scene actually saved the lives of two policemen, who had earlier crawled to hide. It was gathered that they would have been shot dead too, but for the crowd and they were taken to a part of the army base where deliberations were held regarding whether to kill them or not. One of the soldiers told his colleagues that killing them would be too risky because most of the villagers already captured them alive on their smart phones. Upon telling them the videos would give them away, the soldiers reluctantly took them to a hospital. A security source said: “The three IRT operatives were brutally murdered while on investigation duty in Taraba State by personnel of the Nigerian Army.
It is believed that these soldiers and their boss are working for the kidnapper, Wadume, who was later released. The operatives, who were on a follow-up in an ongoing kidnapping investigation, led by an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Felix Adolije, went to Taraba State with a letter detailing their inves- tigation and mission.
They were ambushed by the soldiers. Preliminary investigation showed that the kidnap kingpin, who is presently on the run, has many security personnel in Ibi, Taraba State on his pay roll. Operatives got to the police headquarters Jalingo, and perfected their papers as professionals. Then they proceeded to Ibi Town, Taraba State, in their operational Toyota Hummer Bus.” The agent further said: “When the operatives got to Ibi town, they booked their arrival at the police station and proceeded with assistance from a policeman attached to them in the state headquarters, Jalingo, to trace and arrest Alhaji Hamisu Wadume, who is wanted because he is linked to several kidnappings in Taraba State, including a recent kidnapping in which N100million was collected as ransom. After arresting Wadume, the operatives were heading to police headquarters at Jalingo, when gang members of Wadume, who are close to an army captain serving in Ibi town, called the army and told him that his friend had been kidnapped. “Without any verification or inquiries, the army captain ordered his men along the highway to ambush the policemen.
Thus, as the team was moving along Ibi-Jalingo Road, they came under the hail of bullets from soldiers. The soldiers came from behind with another vehicle, as a result the policemen’s bus summersaulted. Thereafter, two policemen and one civilian agent were shot to death by the soldiers at close range. The policemen were shot despite presenting their police identification cards. These policemen also wore police jackets. All the policemen were alive when their vehicles somersaulted. Two operatives, Inspector Mark Idiale and Inspector Abah Mathias, were seriously injured with bullets. They are now receiving treatment at the General Hospital Wukari in Taraba State. Policemen from Ibi Area Command responded to calls and took the injured and dead officers to the hospital. Wadume, who was rescued and released by the soldiers, is presently on the run.
”It is believed that Wadume and other members of his gang escaped with him to a location outside Ibi Town. One AK47 rifle and two pistols belonging to the late police officers were carted away by the gang members of Wadume who came to the scene with the soldiers while two of the police AK47 rifles are with the soldiers as admitted by one of their personnel at the scene. Following the killings of the policemen, the military high command issued a press release attempting to exonerate its men and this forced the Nigeria Police Force to issue a stiff counter statement, raising posers and demanding answers to several puzzles in the case, one of which was the demand for the military to present Wadume. Force Spokesman, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Frank Mba, mentioned the names of the murdered policemen as Inspector Mark Edaile from Edo State, Sergeant Usman Danzumi from Taraba State and Sergeant Dahiru Musa from Taraba State.
Mba said: “The gallant, outstanding IRT team attacked by soldiers in Taraba State consists of some of the most disciplined, proficient and hardworking police investigators in the service of the nation. Until their untimely death in the hands of soldiers of 93 Battalion Takum, Taraba State, these officers have participated in several high profile and high risk arrests, rescue missions and investigative operations.” Killed police operatives among the best in the land The FPRO listed some of the operations to include the arrest of Nigeria’s most notorious kidnap kingpin, Evans.
The arrest of 22 Boko Haram terrorists responsible for the 2014 kidnapping of the Chibok schoolgirls in Borno State; the arrest of Umar Abdulmalik, the overall Boko Haram Commander of North-Central and several of his group members; the arrest of the kidnappers of two American and two Canadian citizens in Kaduna State.
“And most recently, the rescue of Magajin Garin Daura in Kano State and arrest of 13 terrorists responsible for the kidnapping of the Magajin Garin Daura in his hometown, Daura, Katsina State on May 1, 2019, among many other outstanding feats,” Mba stressed. This is the first time in many years of the silent war between police and soldiers that the police appear ready to throw their weight behind its men and demand the truth and justice. Recent history of burning stations, killing of policemen by soldiers On October 4, 2005, soldiers and policemen had a confrontation at Area C Police Command, Ojuelegba, which led to the death of many policemen.
The attack was later described as a massacre as soldiers set the station on fire, freed detainees and allowed the police armoury to be looted. Policemen at the station, who survived, either had to hide in toilets or fled through windows and back ways. Till date, no soldier has been arrested over the burning of the station or death of the policemen. When the military responded, it stated that the act was carried out by unknown soldiers, with the police hierarchy claiming it was still investigating the matter when it finally reacted to the case.
Also, some years ago, three policemen, including the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Badagry, were shot dead by soldiers from nearby barracks and as was the norm, it was attributed to unknown soldiers. Nigerians in shock, activist reacts The murdered of the three operatives and their civilian friend, followed by viral videos of the scene of the attack, has generated a buzz in the social media and among members of the Civil Society Organisations. A human rights activist, Okechukwu Nwanguma, who is the Executive Director of Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RLAAC), while speaking on the matter said: “There are many reasons to doubt the Nigerian Army’s claims of ‘mistaken identity’ as excuse for the murder of the IRT operatives.
That plea does not explain why they shot at the officers at close range and continued to maltreat the ones battling for life after being shot even after they identified themselves as police officers. It does not also explain the immediate release of the arrested kidnap suspect.
There is something fishy. They probably have something to cover which only an independent and impartial inquiry, perhaps, a judicial panel of inquiry will unravel. There have been allegations of diversion of security funds, military and security agencies’ collusion/ involvement in crime and sabotage of efforts to combat kidnapping and insurgency. Nigerians should insist on this matter not being covered up like previous cases. There’s the need to unravel the motive, and other circumstances surrounding this tragedy and identify appropriate measures to end interagency rivalry and also identify, isolate and neutralise saboteurs of the fight against insecurity in Nigeria.”
Youths flee Taraba community for fear of police reprisals Hundreds of youths from Ibi Local Government Area of Taraba State have fled their homes in fear of possible invasion of the town by security operatives in search of Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume allegedly rescued by soldiers from the Inspector General of Police Response Team earlier in the week, with three operatives left dead by soldiers who claimed they were kidnappers. A combined team of soldiers and police detectives have intensified search in the community with the aim of arresting youths who allegedly took part in the killing of the three policemen and a civilian on Monday.
According to sources, the streets of Ibi have been deserted as most of the youth of the town have gone into hiding while some have temporarily relocated to nearby villages for safety. It was gathered that some of the youth and the soldiers facilitated the escape of the arrested suspected kidnapper Hamisu, arrested by the IRT policemen on a covert mission in Ibi and being taken to Jalingo. A source who pleaded anonymity told one of our correspondents: “As soon as the news of the escape of Hamisu got to town and knowing that special forces will be coming the town to track him down, many of the young men ran out of town for safety to avoid arrest.
The suspicion is that the young men took part in the killing of the policemen and and also aided the escape of Hamisu.” Our source disclosed that Hamisu has been a very generous person and has helped a lot of people in the area and so most of the youth will not want to betray him even if they know his whereabouts. Consequently, most of them have fled the town to safer places to hide pending the end of the tension before they will return homes.
Another source said: “The wanted kidnap suspect has been generous to the soldiers in Ibi. It was Hamisu who allegedly paid a ransom of N1.5 million when one of the soldiers was kidnapped few months ago.” Sources told our correspondent that between Tuesday and Friday, over 10 truck-load of soldiers have visited the community on fact-finding mission while over 20 senior police officers, some from Force Headquarters, Abuja, have continued to visit Ibi. Our correspondent recalls that Hamisu, who was arrested for complicity in several high-profile kidnappings in Taraba state, by the IRT policemen, was freed by men of the Nigerian Army. Efforts by our one of our correspondents to confirm the true position of things including likely arrests in Ibi from the police failed as the PRO, ASP David Misal, did not respond to several calls put across to him.
Osinbajo to Monarchs: Condemn drug abuse in your domains
Disturbed by the myriad of social vices in the country, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on royal fathers in Nigeria to use their royal stools and moral authority to condemn drug abuse and other social problems in the country.
According to the Vice President, if the traditional institution declares a particular practice as wrong and worthy of condemnation, or affirms it as right and laudable, such messages of prohibition or affirmation go a very long way.
Professor Osinbajo spoke at the 11th General Assembly of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria with the theme: “Imperative of Community Policing and Menace of Drug Abuse: The Role of Traditional Rulers”, saying that the traditional rulers must join hands in condemning bad habit which is gradually destroying the society.
He said: “Your Royal Majesties possess a moral authority that arguably transcends the legitimacy conferred on political leaders by electoral cycles. It is this moral authority that we respectfully urge your Royal Majesties to exercise against drug abuse in your domains. It is the combined effect of the corrective and coercive powers of state agencies and actors, and the moral authority of the throne that we believe can deal a death blow to this terrible scourge that today destroys the lives of thousands of our young people.
“We are, your majesties, faced with a major drug abuse and addiction problem. The 2018 National Drug Use Survey indicates that there are 14.3million drug users between the ages of 15 and 64. Drug use is most common among those between the ages of 25 and 29 years which are the years of peak productivity in anyone’s lifespan. In effect, young Nigerians that should be in the prime of their lives are being ravaged by the plague of substance addiction. In addition, Nigeria’s drug use prevalence rate is almost three times above the global prevalence rate.”
Kogi, Bayelsa polls disasters – NSA
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Mungono has scored the conduct of the November 16 governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states low, and said things “unthinkable happened” during the election.
The NSA, who spoke on Wednesday at an Inter-Agencies Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) meeting in Abuja, said despite the assurances of adequate security before the elections, the polls “were a fiasco where the unthinkable happened.”
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, however, disclosed that 49 persons have been arrested on election related violence in the two states, including six persons arrested in connection with the killing of the woman leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mrs. Salome Abuh.
Mungono, who was represented by Mr Sanusi Galadima, recalled that prior to the two elections, the ICCES was told of the level of the preparedness and assured of adequate security.
“They made promises and told the meeting of the level of their preparedness but unfortunately, the fiasco was the answer. What happened was quite unthinkable.
“Violence erupted in the two states of Bayelsa and Kogi, particularly, the violence that occurred in Kogi State which aftermath of that election led to the death of a woman leader in that state,” he regretted.
The NSA expressed the fear that if nothing is done to curtail such violence in future elections, voters might not come out to vote.
Ex-lawmaker to EFCC: Probe NASS over severance allowances, constituency projects
A Second Republic politician and former House of Representatives member, Chief Olumuyiwa Akinboro, on Wednesday, decried the huge sums accruing to National Assembly members from severance allowances and constituency projects.
Akinboro, a legal practitioner, who was called to Bar in 1968, asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to commence immediate probe of the money received by federal lawmakers.
The octogenarian, who is also the Convener, Advocate for Peace and Better Nigeria, spoke at a press conference held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
He bemoaned the level of corruption in the country, saying the situation requires urgent attention.
Akinboro accused the National Assembly, which is the second organ of government, of gross abuse in remuneration of members.
He said, “I was a member of the National Assembly during the Second Republic representing Abeokuta on two terms, 1979 and 1983 till December of that year during which the late indefatigable Senator Olusola Saraki, from Kwara State, was the Senate Leader.
“At that time, our wages, a mere peasant compared with what it is now, were fixed by all the party leaders. What the National Assembly pays its members at present is at the whims and caprice of the members of the National Assembly themselves which should not be so.
“Apart from the vast sums of money set aside for the so-called constituency projects which is often subject to gross abuse, they usually pay themselves the so-called severance package at the end of each term of four years.
“Is there any Act of the National Assembly that fixed and permitted that kind of payment? Do they pay the so-called severance package to all members or those who lost at the last election and would not be coming back like the last Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, or to all Senators even those who were reelected?
“In England, what parliamentarians earn is fixed and controlled by an Act of Parliament and is verifiable by all and sundry. Do other democracies in the world pay their legislators such so-called severance package? Do our legislators pay any corresponding income tax on their self-fixed earnings? How much do they pay?”
Buhari sends 2020 FCT budget to National Assembly
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has sent the 2020 statutory budget of the Federal Capital Territory Administration to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.
Buhari, in the letter dated December 10, 2019 and addressed to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, explained that his request to the Senate was in compliance with Sections 121 and 299 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The letter read: “Pursuant to Sections 121 and 299 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I forward herewith, the 2020 statutory budget proposal of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, for the kind consideration and passage by the Senate.
“While hoping that this submission will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the Senate, please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
Meanwhile, the red chamber also on Wednesday referred the retired general’s request for the confirmation of the Chairman and Members of the Federal Inland Revenue Service to the Senate Committee on Finance.
Lawan asked the Committee to start work on the screening and confirmation of the newly appointed Chairman of the FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami.
Lawan, who stated this at the plenary, also asked the finance panel to carry out the confirmation and that of 13 other members of the FIRS board and submit its report Wednesday.
The Senate President also referred the screening and confirmation of Mr. Edward Adamu, as the new Chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria to the Committee of Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions.
Nami will replace Mr. Tunde Fowler in the FIRS while Adamu will replace Muiz Banire at AMCON.
Lawan asked the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, to submit his report on December 18 before the National Assembly adjourns on Thursday for the Christmas break.
The upper chamber also, on Wednesday, approved the report of the Conference Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives on the Finance bill passed by the National Assembly recently.
Malami: FG has ordered probe of court invasion by DSS
The Federal Government has ordered an investigation into the Friday invasion of the Federal High Court, Abuja, by the operatives of the Department of State Service, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, has said.
The DSS, in their bid to rearrest the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress in the February 2019 general election, Omoyele Sowore, had invaded the court, during which the judge fled the scene.
Malami spoke to reporters on the premises of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday, after paying a courtesy visit to the Chief Judge of the court, Justice John Tsoho.
He evaded question on the reason for Sowore’s rearrest, which had drawn criticisms locally and internationally.
Fielding questions from reporters, he said did not visit the Chief Judge over Sowore’s case but to congratulate him on his confirmation by the Senate as the substantive Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
Asked if he was not appalled by the DSS’ conduct, Malami said, “Whatever affects the integrity of the court is a worrisome issue for us.
“I can never be preemptive of an incident over which I was not a live witness to.”
He added: “But one thing I am certain of is that the government has put in place mechanism for investigation of the reported incident.
“So, I would not like to be preemptive in terms of a conclusion, one way or the other, without allowing the consummation and conclusion of the investigation process.”
JUST IN: US seizes jet of Nigerian ‘involved in multi-million dollar fraud’
The US federal authorities have seized an aircraft belonging to a Nigerian facing multi-million dollar fraud charges in the country.
According to WSB-TV, the seizure was made on Tuesday at the Peachtree DeKalb Airport in Georgia.
Federal agents were said to have ransacked the aircraft for evidence, while another team searched for drugs and other contraband.
However, the authorities did not mention the name of the Nigerian whose aircraft was seized, reports TheCable.
“For the most part, people don’t even understand. They don’t know what’s happening in Atlanta, Georgia,” one of the special agents said.
“This is all day, every day. I mean, this is the fruits of our labor, and this is the successes of a great team effort by our state, local and federal partners coming together to hit the bad guys where it hurts, in their pocket.
“When we see a certain type of aircraft get sold, it raises our suspicions.”
In November, US authorities indicted Allen Onyema, Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, for allegedly moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through US bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of aircraft.
Onyema was said to have started travelling frequently to Atlanta, where he opened several personal and business bank accounts. Between 2010 and 2018, over $44.9 million was allegedly transferred into his Atlanta-based accounts from foreign sources.
Onyema was indicted alongside Ejiroghene Eghagha, the airline’s chief of administration and finance, who is said to have committed aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.
A US district court of the northern district of Georgia was also reported to have issued a warrant to arrest Onyema and authorised US Marshals Service to bring him into custody.
ASUU Strike, Naira Marley,Reginal Daniels, others top most searched on Google in 2019
Popular search engine, Google on Wednesday announced the results of its ‘2019 Year in Search’ with Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) strike topping this year’s trending news search.
Mr Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Google Communications Officer, said that ASUU strike was followed by `AFCON 2019’, ‘Naira Marley’ and the ‘Women’s World Cup 2019’.
Kola-Ogunlade said that the results of the ‘Year in Search’ offered a unique perspective on the year’s major moments and top trends based on searches conducted in Nigeria.
“This year’s top trending news search is `ASUU Strike’, which took the highest place over other trending news topics like ‘AFCON 2019’, ‘Naira Marley’ and the ‘Women’s World Cup 2019’.
“Naira Marley’, leads the list as the most searched person over ‘Atiku’ (Abubakar), Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party at the 2019 Nigerian general election.
“Neymar’, Brazilian professional footballer. ‘Neymar’ made the lists as the top trending sports person searched by Nigerians in 2019,’’ Kola-Ogunlade said in a statement.
According to him, Regina Daniels was the most searched actor, ranking over other actors like Genevieve Nnaji, Tonto Dikeh, Hadiza Gabon, among others, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
He said that Wizkid, “Joro” was the most searched song this year; ‘what is xenophobia?’ the most asked question; while Big Brother Naija and Mehek were the most searched movies and TV shows.
Uber, Bolt, others not banned at airports – FAAN
The Management of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said it did not ban Uber, Bolt and others at Lagos and other airports in the country.
Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, the General Manager, Corporate Affairs of FAAN, said in a statement in Lagos on Wednesday that the attention of FAAN was drawn to an online report, which she said was false.
Yakubu said: “We will like to state with all emphasis that passengers and the general public are free to use whatever means or mode convenient to transport themselves to the Lagos and other airports in Nigeria.
“We will, therefore, like to use this medium to inform the general public that the said signpost did not emanate from FAAN.
“Our security personnel have been instructed to remove the signpost and investigate the issue.”
Kogi, Bayelsa elections peaceful, IG insists
Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police (IGP), says the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states were peaceful.
Adamu said this while speaking at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) inter-agency consultative committee on election security (ICCES) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.
The elections, conducted on November 16, were marred by cases of violence, thuggery, ballot box snatching and intimidation of voters and electoral officials.
At least four persons were reported dead in separate attacks in the two states.
But speaking at the meeting which was held at the INEC headquarters, Adamu, who was represented by Bashir Makama, an Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), said the polls were “relatively peaceful”.
He, however, admitted that there is a need to improve election security.
“In the whole, despite the related infractions or some sort of thuggery observed and other challenges that were faced, the election could be said to be relatively peaceful,” he said, adding that “there is still room for improvements.”
He said the police arrested at least 43 suspects in connection with violence and violation of electoral laws during the elections in the two states.
In his remarks, Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, asked for proper identification of all police officers deployed in polling units “so that they will be held responsible for the conduct of elections in those locations”.
“The commission believes that the purpose of security deployment during elections is to protect the voters, election officials and materials, accredited observers, the media and to safeguard the integrity of the processes generally, including the polling units and collation centres,” he said.
“Therefore, the deployment of security personnel in all future elections should be tied to specific locations and activities.
“All security personnel deployed to polling units and collation centres should be identified by name as is the case with INEC officials.
“This will not only enhance transparency, but the commission and security agencies will know who to contact in specific locations during elections when the need arises.”
Greta Thunberg is TIME’s 2019 Person of the Year
Greta Thunberg, the soft-spoken Swedish teenager who became a global conscience for climate change and environmental activism, has been named Time’s Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019.
The magazine announced 16-year old Thunberg as its choice Wednesday exclusively on “TODAY.”
“She became the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet this year, coming from essentially nowhere to lead a worldwide movement,” Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal told “TODAY,” adding that Thunberg is the magazine’s youngest choice ever to be named Person of the Year, reports NBC News.
Thunberg quickly bloomed into one of the world’s most notable and youngest climate change activists, sparking a collective movement to fight climate change after protesting alone outside the Swedish parliament during school hours on Fridays when she was 15. The teen held up a now universally recognized hand-painted sign that read “skolstrejk för klimatet,” which translates to “School strike for the climate.”
Thunberg’s initiative to strike galvanized students to protest against climate change throughout Europe and that momentum quickly fanned across the globe, becoming the “Fridays For Future” movement.
Her solo protest, Fensenthal noted, eventually prompted millions of people in 150 countries “to act on behalf of the planet.”
He also said that Thunberg “represents a broader generational shift in the culture,” with youth standing up for what they believe in — from Hong Kong to Chile.
“Young people are demanding change, and urgently,” Felsenthal said. “She embodies youth activism.”
Thunberg’s signature no-nonsense blunt style of speaking made her a force that could not be ignored by world leaders and she was asked to speak in front of several high-profile entities, including the United Nations and the United States Congress.
Thunberg, who has Asperger’s syndrome, first learned about climate change at 8 years old and said she became instantly concerned to the point that she plunged into depression over it.
“I remember thinking that it was very strange that humans that are an animal species, among others, could be capable of changing the Earth’s climate,” she said during a 2018 Ted Talk.
She gave up eating meat and traveling via airplane, among other things, to reduce her carbon footprint.
In October, Thunberg was the recipient of another honor — an environmental award at a Stockholm ceremony held by the Nordic Council. But she declined it, explaining in an Instagram post, “The climate movement does not need any more awards.”
“What we need is for our politicians and the people in power start to listen to the current, best available science,” she wrote.
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