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Insecurity: Government May Have Abandoned It’s Constitutional Duty–CSJ

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The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has bemoaned how the security situation in the nation has deteriorated to the point where it is clear that the government has failed, abandoned, or neglected to carry out its fundamental constitutional duty of ensuring the security of Nigerians and foreign nationals living in Nigeria.

The Centre said in a statement signed on Tuesday by Eze Onyekpere, its Lead Director, that, regrettably, there has been a recent spike in insecurity, as evidenced by the killings that occurred in Plateau State in late December 2023, the killings that continue to occur in Katsina State, the kidnapping of 45 passengers when gunmen attacked transporters along the Otukpo-Enugu Road, and the ongoing abduction and murder of innocent Nigerians in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

CSJ bemoaned the fact that, despite everything mentioned above, Nigerians have not yet heard the president, the head of state, or senior military officers provide them with specific and comforting advice about how to move forward. Rather than tackling the issue at hand, the minister in charge in the Federal Capital Territory appears more concerned with maintaining the political unrest in his home state of Rivers State.

To support the army of security agencies kept up at taxpayer expense, security has received the largest allocation in federal budgets over the past ten years, it was noted. Budgetary allocations have been proposed and spent on people, weapons and ammunition, aircraft and vessels, vehicles, and equipment, including intelligence gadgets. We are concerned about the security agencies’ apparent ignorance and incapacity to use intelligence to stop criminal elements’ callous acts that appear to have no regard for human lives. We are also concerned that the security services have not been able to look into, apprehend, and prosecute the offenders after these crimes have been committed.

Insisting that: “This raises the critical question on why the perpetrators of these high-level crimes where GSM phones have been used to make contact are not brought to justice,” the Centre noted that GSM SIM card numbers were linked to national identity numbers of Nigerians under Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The authorities indicated that this would provide a foolproof link and clue to any crimes committed using GSM phones as it would be easy to find the criminals since all identity information is already available with the state.

The Centre bemoaned that only a small percentage of Nigerians had been granted licenses to carry weapons, and there had been multiple mop-ups of light weapons in the hands of law-abiding citizens. “The critical question is; why take away the arms needed for self-defence if the state is not ready to defend citizens and residents of Nigeria? Nigerians are made vulnerable because they do not have access to arms to defend themselves, and the state that should legally and legitimately defend them has failed in the discharge of this duty.”

It expressed dismay over the fact that: “The insecurity is increased at a time when Nigeria has initiated a global campaign to attract foreign investors to the nation. News of crowdsourcing being used to pay kidnappers’ ransom demands is not a good way to draw in foreign investors.

The Centre did, however, offer some recommendations. These included that intelligence should be mainstreamed and given priority in policing and security operations and that the federal government move quickly to amend the 1999 Constitution and enact new laws for the establishment and activation of the State Police. It is well past time for the SIM GSM database and inventory to be regularly activated and deployed to track investigating criminal activity.

Additionally, it suggested that responsible law-abiding taxpayers be allowed to apply for gun licenses for self-defense; that diligent security and police personnel should be rewarded for their hard work; and that employees whose carelessness, inaction, or refusal to take action contribute to insecurity and general security lapses should face consequences. It was stressed that the funds needed to carry out these recommendations could come from more prudent management of already existing security resources.c

The Centre further stated that Nigerians must be reassured about the state’s capacity to protect people and property using tangible security measures. lives and property.

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Julius Berger, Nigerian Army Sign MoU On Training Of Personnel

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Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Nigeria’s leading engineering construction company, last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with Armed Forces Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Mechatronic School (AFEME), indicating a collaborative commitment to training its personnel and students.

Speaking at the MoU signing, Capt. Mohammed Idris, Head of AFEME Mechatronics School and the event’s host, described the day as’momentous’, as the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the School and Julius Berger Nigeria Plc represents another key milestone in the company’s consistency of purpose and proactive contribution to the country’s industrial and technological development and advancement.

Capt Mohammed stated that “this alliance is important because it will foster a skilled workforce in the field of Mechatronics, aligning with the ever-changing demands of the industry; and contribute significantly to the growth and advancement of the Mechatronics sector in Nigeria.” He emphasised that the emerging shared vision for the future will result in a competent, innovative, and adaptable workforce. That came as he congratulated the school and Julius Berger on their bold step towards shaping Nigeria’s educational and professional futures.

Francois Roos, Head of Julius Berger’s Plant and Equipment Department, who, in collaboration with the Human Resource Department, coordinates the Academy’s work, stated that Julius Berger seeks to further enhance the company’s and country’s productivity by taking proactive initiatives to develop the capacities of young minds. Taking that into account, he stated, “We have to train people for the future because if we don’t, we will not be able to contact the benefit of the future offices, and for us at Julius Berger, that is very important, and yes, it is the future of the young people, but we also have to train some more people so that they can help to give the experience of the past to the younger people.”

During the MOU signing, the Head of the German Technical Advisory Group stated that he would appreciate it if Julius Berger became the industry representative, as the national industry will support the development of the new plan, which is larger than what we can see in AFEME right now. The mechanics must know how to operate the machines; however, this is the foundation, and we will do an excellent job. It is going to be a big one because it will help develop cooperation in Nigeria, as well as industry experience.”

Roos agreed with Col Abel, who stated that progress is dependent on how people perceive the future.

In terms of the future, the PED Head compared today’s vehicles to those of the future, stating that today’s vehicles must still be manned or driven by someone who understands at least some of the maintenance so that if something goes wrong with the vehicle, he can repair it. While a modern vehicle may not require a driver, one will only need to tell it what to do without knowing even the most basic services. As a result, we will require people known as Technicians rather than Mechanics, he explained.

He went on to say that some people in his organisation had been heard saying that we do not need to train the employees because if we do, they will leave. However, Richard Bradson stated, “What if you do not train the workers and they stay? Imagine the standard and quality that you will have.

While stating that Himernuel, the Academy’s leader, is always available, he praised Cpt Idris, the Head of AFEME Mechatronics School, for deserving the commendation from Col Abel and thanked him for his cooperation, as well as Mr. Ojomo, Julius Berger’s HR Head, for his support of the Academy.

In his remarks, Ojomo thanked the organisers for believing in Julius Berger, saying, “I have no doubt that this is the beginning of greater things to come.” We are very passionate about the development of our employees, and we will have something for Nigerians in the coming weeks as part of our CSR.

Ojomo stated that Julius Berger will continue to support AFEME’s dream, and he thanked Captain Idris for his support.

The MoU was signed by the School’s Head of German Technical Advisory Group, Lt. Col. Frank Abel, and Julius Berger’s Head of Plant and Equipment Department, Francois Roos, on behalf of the company, in the presence of Julius Berger’s Human Resource Manager, Femi Ojomo, Head of Plant and Equipment Academy, Ajamah Himernuel, Adeyinka Adeniyi, and the Head of AFEME School, Capt. Idris Mohammed. Michael Ashofor, Talent Management Manager, was joined at the event by Uzoma Olivia and Moses Happiness, both from the Media Relations Office.

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Marwa Compliments Britian On The Marine Headquarters Project For NDLEA

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Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has praised the British Government for offering to provide headquarters and personnel accommodation for the anti-narcotics body’s Marine Unit at Eko Atlantic City Beach.

Marwa, who delivered the commendation during the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of the project facilitated by the UK Home Office International Operations (HOIO), promised that the agency would continue to meet the expectations of Nigerians and international partners.

He stated that President Bola Tinubu’s and the UK government’s confidence in the agency, as well as their overall support, will always serve as a morale booster for the officers and men who daily take huge risks to dismantle drug cartels with the sole goal of curbing the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria, while also significantly contributing to the global effort to address the drug problem.

He stated that the UK government’s office and accommodation facilities for the agency’s marine unit personnel will significantly improve their safety, efficiency, and confidence. “You have given us a place to stay, trainings, boats, repairs, and now accommodation. We can only say “thank you.” We want to reassure you that the NDLEA is a serious agency that does what it has to do without fear or favour, and that we will get the job done. I can give you this assurance as we continue to collaborate. Thank you very much,” the NDLEA boss said while addressing British government officials and contractors at the project’s site.

He also praised personnel from the Navy, Customs, Immigration, and other local services for their cooperation with NDLEA. “We must all stand together; while the NDLEA is the lead agency in this enterprise, the work is collaborative. To accomplish the task, we must work together. I have been informed that there is a lot of collaboration going on in the same way. I was at MMIA this morning and spoke with your senior colleagues, who are all working together while you are here. I encourage you to keep up this spirit, and I wish you continued success.”

Addressing Unit officers, Marwa stated that the agency’s leadership is restructuring the Marine Unit so that it “can become a lean and mean force under an able commander,” adding, “you should brace up, stand up on your two feet, and work very hard to ensure that drugs do not pass by water.”

Kris Hawksfield of the UK Home Office International Operations assured attendees at the ceremony that the project would be completed by July 2024.

Speaking earlier at a War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) advocacy meeting with the leadership of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Marwa stated that the organisation must collaborate with the Agency to combat substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking. He urged PMAN President Prettywise Okafor and other executives to rally their members to use their God-given talents for the betterment of society rather than using music to promote drug abuse, particularly among young people.

Okafor’s response expressed PMAN’s willingness to collaborate with the Agency. He also discussed their efforts to organise an advocacy campaign against drug abuse across the country, as well as their plans to build rehabilitation centres as part of ongoing projects in Abuja and Lagos.

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Nigerian Government, Stakeholders Brainstorm To Avoid Perennial Flooding In Abuja.

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The federal government and prominent stakeholders have devised strategies to raise awareness of the Federal Capital Territory’s (FCT) perennial erosion and flooding problems, particularly in the Trademore Estate in Lugbe.

At the Stakeholders Meeting on Annual Flooding at Lugbe Trademore Estate and Environs held in Abuja on Tuesday, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mahmud Kambari, tasked stakeholders to brainstorm and provide potential solutions to prevent annual erosion and flooding in the capital.

The Permanent Secretary, who was represented by the Director Special Duties in his office, Mrs, Adelopo Oluwatoyin, reiterated the importance of the meeting considering the incessant flooding along River Pyakasa during annual rainy season and its devastating impact on Trademore Estate and its Envrions.

Kambari noted that, “The annual flood event along this river has been occurring since 2019, which has cost the nation huge loss of lives and property of citizens. The event is attributed to, among other things, climate change through unusual downpour, urbanisation through population and infrastructure growth, undersized hydraulic structures, and siltation of hydraulic structures and the Pyakasa River.

The flooding, according the the Permanent Secretary, has affected the economy of Federal Capital Territory and Nigeria at large with devastating effect on livelihood and the ecosystem.

He decried the loss of market that was flooded in Goza community and farmlands at Kuje community, noting that the situation if not addressed could be worsen in different parts of FCT due to rate of population growth and its impact of water waves.

He said the ministry deem it fit to gather all relevant stakeholders together in the meeting in order to exchange ideas that will make FCT safe from flooding, and encourages sustainable development.

He asserted Government’s Commitment to safety of lives and properties in the estate and Nigeria at large. “I remind you of the commitment of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Renewed Hope Agenda towards ensuring a sustainable quality environment devoid of annual havocs occasion by flood, the administration recognises the need to urgently provide steps to assuage the problem and its attendance hardship in the FCT. It is this commitment that necessitated the organisation of the stakeholders meeting.”

Kambari however urged stakeholders to share ideas and show the New Zeal towards addressing the flood challenges along Pyakasa River.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the Director of the Ministry’s Erosion, Flood, and Coastal Zone Management Department, Mr Dilichukwu Etigbue, stated that the flooding in Trademore Estate has caused massive economic losses to the FCT and the nation.

He noted that the workshop with the stakehokders is at the instance of his department to take proactive steps to avert the reoccurrence through proper handling of waste and adhering to FG directives and advise on flood warning signals and flood management to help address some of the challenges.

Etigbue said flooding along Pyakasa River has become an annual event with Trademore Estate been its major flash point.

Speaking further he said, as you all are aware, the Department of Erosion, flood and Coastal Zone Management had it’s statutory responsibility of formulating environmental policies, measures that are relevant to solve erosion and flood control management through out the country and this meeting is to enable us have a robust deliberation on ways to avert this annual disaster.

He pointed out that the Ministry has documented the root causes of the erosion which would be shown during the technical session for inputs and way forward for a safer Trademore and other areas affected by flood.

In the same vein, the Deputy Director Environmental Services, Division of Safe the Town Development Department, FCDA, Mr. Lateef Olawuwo called on the general public to support the government policy as this will help in addressing erosion control.

Olawumo disclosed that supporting the FG policy is very crucial as most of the problems we are talking about can be tackled if we adhere to building plan, not tempering with green areas as well as living just and fair without building on flood plains and blocking the drainage.

“If you love our environments, you love yourself because your environment is you, if you treat the environment in a negative way the impacts are the consequences coming back to us. The message we have for everybody here that we should please support the policy that will help everybody so that at the end of the day, we will have the focus to glorify.” He added.

He also pointed out that there should be more enforcement of these policies if we have to enjoy the Environment we all crave for.

“The message we have majorly is support from all stakeholders, the developers, the residents, and all sorts of people so that at the end of the day everybody will be happy.” He concluded.

The representative of Trade More Estate, Mr Abdul Abubakar in his remark, appealed to the government to quickly swing into action to come up with solutions to address the menace.

Abubakar noted that if urgent measures are not taken the flooding issue will still occur.

“So now that we are expecting rain again, definitely all the residents in Trademore are already scared of the outcome, so this is an opportunity for us to really say our minds on this, Trademore itself is not where the problem lies, but because of where it is located,” he said.

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