The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute an independent investigative commission to probe into the allegations of collusion between security forces and terrorists as made by the Kaduna-based Islamic teacher Sheikh Ahmed Gumi.
In a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Press Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA dismissed as illogical and cowardly the official responses of the army and the police to the allegations made by Gumi .
Gumi accused the army and the police of supporting terrorists in the north who have been kidnapping, maiming , killing and taking ransoms.
HURIWA which claimed that there would be no smoke without fire said : “Whereas Sheikh Gumi has consistently accused the security forces of working with the terrorists, neither the Federal Government nor the security forces have instituted legal action against the prominent Kaduna-based Islamic cleric who is credited by even the National Security Adviser of having unfettered access to the terrorists in the North West of Nigeria.
With his acclaimed access to the terrorists, is it not conceivably possible that he has some intelligence alluding to a possible unholy alliances between security forces and the terrorists? This clear display of unprofessionalism and cowardice by both the army and police shows that after all, these allegations that the security forces work with terrorists deserve the most forensic and independent investigations.
“Dismissing these allegations with a mere wave of hands as have been done by the police and army is totally unacceptable.”
The rights group compared the tepid reactions of the army and the police to Gumi’s very elaborate accusations to the childish cries of the ‘CHIHUAHUA PET DOG‘.
” It does not make any sense that a person with considerable knowledge about the workings of terrorists in the North West otherwise called armed bandits by the government has made such a major damaging claim of criminal collusion between security forces that ought to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria and terrorists threatening national security, and the best response we can get are the childish cries from the army spokesman and the police. This is a crying shame,” HURIWA said.
HURIWA recalled that the Nigerian Police Force on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, said it would not comment on the allegation of Gumi that security operatives were working with bandits.
Gumi made the allegation when he appeared on ARISE TV on Wednesday morning
While describing banditry as a business, the cleric said : “These bandits, if you don’t know, are cooperating with a lot of bad elements in our security system. This is a business. So many people are involved, you’ll be so surprised.
“They were caught in Zamfara; they were caught everywhere, how do these big weapons cross our borders? How can these big weapons cross our borders and get into the forest without the cooperation of some bad elements of the security operatives assisting them? It’s not possible.”
When contacted, the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, a Commissioner of Police, said he would not speak on Gumi’s allegation till he got the right context.
“I don’t have anything to say. I have been very busy. I can’t speak on that matter. I have not studied what exactly the man said, the context in which he said it. When I see the words ‘security agents’, I don’t know whether he’s referring to the police. I can’t say anything for now.”
“These reactions by the police are humiliating and cowardly,” HURIWA said.
HURIWA recalled that on its own part, the Nigeria Army sounded like cowards by warning Gumi against comments that embolden bandits.
HURIWA cited media report as stating that Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu said in a statement as follows: “The Nigerian Army has just been alerted to a submission by Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi when he featured on Arise TV Morning Show on Wednesday alleging that the Nigerian military is colluding with marauding bandits who have been responsible for various crimes and atrocities against Nigerians and the Nigerian state.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to state that contrary to Sheik Gumi’s claims, the NA remains a bonafide symbol of national unity that has conducted its constitutional responsibilities in the most professional manner in line with global best practices of adherence to the rules of engagement and protection of the fundamental human rights of the citizenry.
“The sweeping allegation peddled by the scholar is not only sad and unfortunate, but a calculated attempt to denigrate the Nigerian military and undermine the sacrifices of our patriotic troops, who are working tirelessly to restore peace and stability across the country”, the army stated.
HURIWA which expressed dissatisfaction with the response of the army called for the investigation of the allegations made by Gumi.
” It is incomprehensible that Ahmed Gumi has continued to contravene the nation’s anti-terrorism laws, but the security forces seem to be afraid to arrest and prosecute him but prefer to exchange verbal words like petty traders in a village market square”, HURIWA added.
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BREAKING: Govt Increases Salaries Of University Lecturers, Others
In a bid to improve the lot of tertiary education, the Federal Government has increased the salaries of the lecturers and non-academic staff in the nation’s public universities.
The increase was approved by the National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission.
This includes payment of a newly approved percentage increment in salaries for academic and non-academic staff of all Federal Government’s tertiary institutions in the country.
This is as the percentage increment for junior staff of tertiary institutions was raised from 23.5% which was reviewed last year to 25%. Our correspondent gathered that the arrears of the increment from January 2023 will also be paid.
Though nothing was said about the withheld salaries of the academics and non-academics who embarked on strike in 2022, it was learnt that the Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, earlier wrote the Chairman of the NSIWC, Ekpo Nta, to demand the status of the collective.
According to sources within the Ministry of Education, the decision of the minister to write the NSIWC might not be unconnected from visitations by some of the academic unions and intervention by some pressure groups.
When asked if polytechnic lecturers were aware of the new development, the National President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Dr. Anderson Ezeibe, said that the union heard of the news and were looking forward to the implementation.
“Definitely, we heard of it and we are looking forward to it. There will be 25% increment for junior lecturers while chief lecturers and professors will benefit from 35% increment,” he said.
The National Vice-President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Chris Piwuna, disclosed that such a letter would be addressed to the management of universities and not ASUU.
A letter by the Chief Executive Officer/Chairman of the NSIWC, Eyo Nta, which was addressed to the Minister of Education on September 14,2023 shortly before his departure to the United Nations General Assembly in New York
tagged ‘RE: Implementation of the 35% and 23.5% salary increment for staff of tertiary institutions,’ reads: “I refer to your letter No. FME/IS/UNI/ASUU/C.I/IT?/90 dated 8th September 2023 in respect of the above-subject. Find attached the circulars pertaining to the four salary structures in the Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education for your information (attached).
“The 23.5% earlier reflected in our letter SWC/S/04/S.149/I/59 of 28 July 2022 and stated in paragraph 2 of your letter, has been increased to 25% which accounted for the increased cost implications. This Commission is really pleased with the success your informal discussions have achieved. We shall endeavour to support all your efforts aimed at repositioning the Education Sector. Please accept the assurances of my warm regards.”
Consequently, the commission proceeded to issue a circular also dated September 14, 2023 and addressed to the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation among others informing them of the implementation of the newly reviewed salaries.
The circular reads: “ The Presidential Committee on Salaries at its 13th meeting having taken into consideration the various stages of collective bargaining in various sectors, and specifically engagements between the Federal Ministry of Education and Tertiary Institutions-based Unions, and consequent upon the Federal Government’s approval, as well as 2023 budgetary provisions, approval is hereby conveyed for the revision of the Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Salary Structure for academic staff of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, with effect from 1st January 2023.”
Also, a letter from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation dated September 21, 2023 which was made available to our correspondent on Friday in Abuja confirmed the increment.
The letter which was signed on behalf of the Director, Human Resource of the office, Ajanaku F.O reads, “I am directed to inform you that the Presidential Committee on Salaries at it’s 13th meeting having taken into consideration the different stages of collective bargaining in various sectors and specifically engagements between the Federal Ministry of Education and Tertiary Institutions-based Unions and consequently the Federal Government’s approval, is hereby conveyed as revised for the following:-
“Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Salary Structure for Academic Staff of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education with effect from 1st January, 2023.
“Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure II for non-Academic Staff of Federal Universities, with effect from 1st January, 2023.
“Consolidated Tertiary Education Institutions Salary Structure for non – Academic Staff of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, with effect from 1st January, 2023.
“Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure II (CONUASS II) for Academic Staff of Federal University with effect from 1st January, 2023.”
Canada’s Dallaire Institute Invites Nigerian Security Personnel For Elite Child Protection Training
The Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security, a global leader in preventing the recruitment and use of children in armed violence, has invited two members of Nigeria’s security forces to participate in its first regional lead trainers course on child protection. The course will run from September 25 to 29, 2023.
Maj. Edwin Okpala (rtd), a chartered mediator, and a disarmament, demobilization and reintegration expert at the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre, and Capt. Grace Watirahyel Samuel, will join other members of the armed forces, police, and civil society groups from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, South Sudan, and Uganda for five days of theoretical training and scenario – based simulation in Rwanda.
Organized through the Dallaire Institute’s Africa Centre of Excellence, the course, which is specifically for previously trained facilitators, will be delivered by lead facilitator Maj. Musa Donald Gbow, the first-ever child protection advisor in an African Union peacekeeping mission and a master trainer for the Dallaire Institute.
In a statement, the Executive Director of the Dallaire Institute, Dr Shelly Whitman disclosed that the course will bring participants up to speed on best practices in preventing the recruitment and use of children, while enhancing their ability to independently lead Dallaire Institute courses across the continent.
“The Dallaire Institute believes in the importance of collaboration that leads to long-term systemic change to place children at the heart of peace and security. The lead trainers’ course will bring together our champions for change from military and police institutions across the African continent, so they can support and learn from each other on how to prevent the recruitment and use of children and we as the Dallaire Institute can continue to learn from their lived experiences to ensure our approaches are effective”, Whitman noted.
The Dallaire Institute has worked with the Nigerian military, police, and civil society groups since 2017. In 2021, as part of collaborative efforts, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Martin Luther Agwai Leadership and International Peacekeeping Centre (MLALIPKC) and the African Peace Support Training Association (APSTA) to support capacity building activities.
Founded by renowned humanitarian and former Canadian Forces Lieutenant General, Roméo Dallaire, the Dallaire Institute was created with the unique premise that preventing violence against children requires a dual lens that is focused on prioritizing the protection of children, as well as understanding the significant operational impacts upon security sector actors.
As co-developers and custodians of The Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers, the institute’s stakeholders advise governments and multilateral partners on integrating the principles into security sector governance.
The Institute also hosts a prestigious Tier 1 Canada Research Chair on International Peace, Security and Children and offers undergraduate and graduate courses that will lead to the creation of a certificate program on children, peace and security. Through academic and practitioner training, and community engagement, the Dallaire Institute’s interdisciplinary and applied research advances innovative strategies for preventing the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts and violence. The Dallaire Institute is supported through private, public, and international contributions.
Security Operatives Crack Down On Sagamu Cultists, House of Assembly Member, Six Others In DSS Net
Security operatives in Ogun State on Wednesday tracked six suspected cultists, allegedly involved in the violence that erupted in Sagamu at the weekend to the official residence of a member of the state House of Assembly.
The member, representing Sagamu State Constituency (1), Hon. Damilare Bello Mohammed, was alleged to have provided shelter to the fleeing cultists.
A team of security operatives, in a sting operation after a tip-off, arrested the suspects on the premises of the lawmaker.
Those arrested, according to sources, include Damilare Bello Mohammed aka DRE, Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya and Tobi Owoade.
They are currently undergoing interrogation at the Department of State Service (DSS).
Sources revealed that many dangerous weapons, including guns, were recovered from the suspects.
It would be recalled that Hon. Bello was arrested by the DSS for masterminding the violent protest that took place in February this year in Sagamu over the naira redesign policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
During the protest, irate youths vandalised about 10 banks and other public infrastructures.
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