Nigeria Faced With Security Threats – Defence Minister
Defence Minister Major General Salihi Magashi (rtd) on Monday warned of the critical security threats Nigeria was faced with .
The minister spoke at a National Defence and Security Summit organized by the Defence Headquarters with the theme “Promoting Kinetic Operations as a Major Plank for Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Insurgency in Nigeria.”
According to him, the security challenges require the support and collaboration of the civilian populace and critical stakeholders in the national task of securing the country.
“We are in a critical situation that requires the understanding, buy-in, support and collaboration of important stakeholders and key players in this strategic option and national task.
“This is important to minimize distractions and maximize civil support in order to facilitate operational success and mission outcomes.”
Magashi stated that the summit was timely as it was coming at a sobering time in the life of the nation.
“A time, when merchants of violence are threatening to tear the very foundations of our nation; a time when diverse manifestations of security threats dot the landscape and impact individuals, communities and almost all sub-national entities in disconcerting ways; a time when fear and uncertainty pervades the land; and a time when global indicators of national insecurity give room for serious concern
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“Physical insecurity in Nigeria expectedly has both forward and backward linkages to different shades and forms of national security. Indeed, it is linked to political instability, economic under-development and social inequalities. Others are food insecurity and cumulative environmental degradation. These indicate the multi-dimensional nature of national insecurity.”
He, however, said that to arrest the ugly development, the Federal Government had taken a series of measures that were already paying off.
He said : “In view of these realities, the Federal Government of Nigeria has over the years applied a multi-lateral approach with our contiguous neighbours and multi-dimensional efforts domestically. In Southern Nigeria, the security approach includes, but not limited to: the convening of various stakeholder dialogues in the Niger Delta; mounting of Single-Service, Joint and Special Task Forces; establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC); establishment of the Ministry of Niger Delta; declaration of the Presidential Amnesty Programme for repentant Niger Delta militants; proscription of the Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB); and the establishment of the Multinational Maritime Coordination Centre Zone E in the Gulf of Guinea.
“In Northern Nigeria, the security instruments applied include, but also not limited to: the mounting of different Single Service, Joint and Special Task Forces such as Operations Lafiya Dole, Safe Haven and Hadarin Daji; the mounting of the Multi-national Joint Task Force (MNJTF) with neighbouring nations and operational collaboration with Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF).
“Other areas of intervention are the establishment of the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative on humanitarian interventions, transformational and development efforts; the establishment of the North East Development Commission as well as strategic and operational collaboration with the Safe Schools Initiative; a global coalition to protect schools. These efforts have been backed by enormous resource provisions through budgetary appropriations and special interventions.
“I wish to state with a sense of responsibility and without any exaggeration that the results of these efforts have been mixed.
“Although the territories of the Niger Delta have recorded relative peace in recent times, there are manifest threats in the littorals and the prognosis shows potential threats of resurgent militancy. In all other areas, there are causes for serious national security concerns, ranging from terrorism, insurgency, farmers/herders conflicts, ethno/religious conflicts and lately kidnapping and banditry
“The Federal Government has inalienable responsibilities to provide security to the people and territories of Nigeria and would not shirk these responsibilities.
“The Federal Government is therefore single-mindedly committed to the sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and security of the nation. We will therefore leave no stone unturned to deliver on these national aspirations and values.
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“Admittedly, the presidential directive to the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies underscores the use of all the instruments of power to stabilize the security situation in the nation and provide good governance as well as promote peace, stability and development. The focuse and objective use of kinetic operations therefore becomes very obvious.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies in league with strategic Ministries Departments and Agencies are critical to this security initiative. It is in this light that I consider this National Defence and Security Summit organized by the DHQ as both apt and timely.”
Meanwhile, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, said that there was no cause for concern as the Armed Forces of Nigeria under his leadership was making efforts to restore sanity in all the nooks and crannies of the country as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, “it is no longer news that the nation experiences a wide range of national security threats including terrorism, insurgency, farmers/herders conflict, ethnoreligious conflicts, kidnapping and banditry, These threats pose immediate and present danger to the corporate existence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, stability and sustainable development of the nation.
“Consequently, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Force of Nigeria (AFN), President Muhammadu Buhari has given a clear mandate for action. I am sure not a few of our guests and participants at this summit will be wondering why the DHQ is organizing this summit rather than overseeing operations at the different theatres.
“First and foremost, let me state clearly that as a result of the presidential directive the Armed Forces of Nigeria is already seized with actions to immediately stabilize the situation.
“The specific objectives of the summit are to create functional awareness of the rationale for the kinetic efforts; promote buy-in and support of crucial stakeholders in the polity, promote viable Civil-Military Reasons (CMR) structures in support of the kinetic effort.”
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BREAKING: PDP Crisis Worsens As Chairman Ayu Steps Aside, Deputy Takes Over
As an indication of a worsening crisis in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) , its National Chairman Iyorchia Ayu on Tuesday stepped aside.
Ayu was replaced by the Deputy National Chairman, (North) Umar Iliya Damagum.
Damagum will assume office as the Acting National Chairman of the PDP, pending the determination of the case in court.
A High Court in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, had restrained embattled Ayu from parading himself as chairman of the party pending the determination of the substantive suit which has been adjourned to April 17, 2023 for hearing.
A member of the PDP from Benue, Terhide Utaan, who is the plaintiff before Justice W. I Kpochi, obtained the order restraining Ayu from parading himself as national chairman of the party.
Addressing journalists in Makurdi after obtaining the court order, the plaintiff said following the suspension of Ayu by his Igyorov Ward Exco on Sunday, it was wrong for him to keep up with the office of national chairman and further disunite the party.
Ayu was suspended late last week for anti-party activities in the wake of the party’s loss in the presidential election.
But in a Monday statement by his media aide Simon Imobo-Tswam, the former lawmaker argued that only the ward lacked the powers to suspend him.
Ayu’s political rival in the PDP and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Monday, said he was elated that a Benue State ward exco passed a vote of no confidence in him.
“I am not from Benue State, but I am happy, and now that Benue State has done it, we would now come out and say we are in support of it,” he said.
Prior to this development, there had been intense calls for Ayu to step aside for a Southerner to take over as the Chairman of the party.
BREAKING: Obi Speaks On Joining Tinubu’s Unity Government
Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has given insight into what his position will be if he is invited to join Bola Tinubu’s Government of National Unity.
Tinubu, the president-elect and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been taken to court by Obi over the outcome of the February 25 election.
The camp of the APC candidate had hinted that the former Lagos Governor would form an all-inclusive government to carry all his opponents along in his government.
While featuring on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday, Obi was asked what he would do if he was called upon to be a member of Tinubu’s Government of National Unity.
In his response, Obi said he was still challenging the process of the election and the declaration.
According to him, the process of the election should be put right first before anyone could talk of the Government of National Unity.
“The first thing I want to see is that the process is right. The process through which you achieve anything is far more fundamental than what you do thereafter. Let us go back first, I am challenging the process and the declaration.
“Until we get it right, then we can talk about a government of national unity. Otherwise, we would go and sit down and say that those who stopped a train and kidnapped people can call us to discuss peace when they have people in captivity. Until things are done rightly, we will be encouraging what we don’t need to encourage,” he said.
When he was asked whether or not he would accept the outcome if it is not in his favour, Obi said he would be shocked if the court upholds Tinubu’s election.
His words: “Issues about the election will be sorted out in court. I will be shocked if this country goes on with that situation. It will then stand that it is a corporate criminalised country. We can’t allow it. We need to start unbundling this criminality.
“When people were talking about structure, it is this fraud and criminality that we witnessed that they were talking about, and we want to unbundle it for the sake of our children.”
The former Anambra State governor said he believes the judiciary would do the right thing.
LP Chieftain Flays Return Of 1999 PDP as Ibori, Henchmen Seek Political Relevance In Delta APC
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State is gradually taking on the colouration of 1999 PDP with all of former Governor James Ibori’s ‘boys’ now leaving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in droves and finding a new home in APC to swell its ranks ahead of the guber elections on Saturday, March 18, 2023, according to a chieftain of Labour Party (LP), Chief Delly Ajufo.
Ajufo described the development as “a gathering of vultures to consume the soul of Delta State,” noting that Ibori, who has suffered a pariah status under Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s 8-year administration, now has a chance to reclaim his “godfather or grand commander” position over his godson, guber candidate of APC and Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
According to him, Ibori looks to resume his godfather position as Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Lagos State, a position that slipped out of his hands since his stint in the UK prison.
Ajufo said Deltans needed to be wary of Senator Omo-Agege’s governorship bid, and see it as a backdoor for Ibori to re-take control of the management of the state’s resources in a manner likely to be worse than the 1999 – 2007 era when he was governor. He warned that Deltans could not have forgotten how Ibori raped the fortunes of the state in his eight-year administration by corruptly enriching himself and his cronies (including Sen. Omo-Agege) that earned him a UK prison sentence. He described the APC as PDP-2 trying to upstage Okowa’s PDP-1 from power, saying Deltans should reward both of them with electoral defeat since both parties have run the country (APC – 8 years) and Delta State (PDP – 24 years) badly.
He argued that none of them deserves to occupy the seat of power in Asaba come May 29, 2023.
The Labour Party chieftain also said the gathering of Ibori’s political family under APC is dark and ominous for the state, and urged the electorate to reject both ‘PDAPC’ at the polls on Saturday, and vote for Labour Party (LP) as the only political breath of fresh air that Delta people need now.
“We must sever our links with the people from both parties that have collectively ruined the fortunes of this oil-rich state by running it aground since 1999,” he noted.
Ajulo added that Ibori trying to reclaim his faded godfather position, using APC as his new launch pad was tantamount to vultures gathering to feast on the carcass of a dying animal, a situation that Deltans should not wait to see but to halt it in its tracks outright.
“This is a gathering of vultures and it does not augur well for our beloved Delta State,” said Ajufo.
“Ibori wants to use the APC backdoor to reclaim his faded godfather status since all his allies are dumping PDP in droves and moving over to APC. The signs are not good for Deltans who have been pauperised for so many years in spite of the huge oil wealth that comes to the state monthly. I urge Deltans to see through the evil that’s about to befall them if they elect Ovie Omo-Agege. Of course, PDP is dead, going by February 25, 2023 election. There is no need to bother about it. Deltans will bury whatever remains of it in the guber elections.
“The nightmare we must all now resist is APC taking over. Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege was SSG and Commissioner under Ibori’s eight-year reign of wasted resources in Delta from 1999 – 2007. A vote for Omo-Agege is a vote for the return of Ibori into Delta’s mainstream, with his baggage of corruption and mismanagement of state resources. Delta is tired of another Tinubu returning to pillage the coffers of the state for his selfish interests. We cannot afford to ‘carry last’ on this matter.”
The chief urged Deltans to do for Labour Party what they did on February 25 when they massively voted for Labour Party and Peter Obi, saying they should do the same for the party’s governorship candidate, Deacon Ken Pela and all House of Assembly candidates. He called on all women to look the way of Labour Party’s candidate, Dcn Ken Pela for the governorship election, adding, “We also call on women to rally their own fellow woman, an educationist and erudite scholar, Prof. Nwabogo-Umukoro, to represent and champion women’s causes in government at the highest decision-making level.”
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