Oyo State Governor ‘Seyi Makinde on Thursday urged the deployment of more troops in the state by the military to help the fight against insecurity.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Engineer Rauf Olaniyan, stated this while receiving the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor and other Service Chiefs at the Executive Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Agodi, Ibadan.
He said the government would continually support and give necessary logistics to enhance the security of life and property in the state, adding, however, that the need for continuous synergy between the military and other security agencies could not be overemphasized.
He added that to surmount the insecurity challenges in the state and parts of the country, there was the need to deploy more troops to help with the internal security assignment.
Besides General Irabor, other Service Chiefs in attendance included the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Isiaka Oladayo Amao; the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo; Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major General SA Adebayo; and the General officer Commanding Second Mechanised Division, Ibadan, Major General Anthony B. Omozoje among other senior officers.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Gov Makinde as saying that the state had been receiving cooperation from the Nigerian Army through the General Officer Commanding the 2nd Division in the state.
He equally commended the professionalism of the Army, saying: “We have been receiving cooperation from the Nigerian Army based in
Ibadan under the General Officer Commanding. So, I must tell you that the state government is appreciative of this because they answer our call anytime we call them.
“I also want to state that the insecurity in Oyo State is not peculiar to this state alone but Nigeria as a whole. Many people are hiding under different canopies, but we know that insecurity is the handiwork of criminals. It does not have religious coloration, no ethnic coloration. A criminal is a criminal but whatever will suit the purpose of the narrator is what we hear in town.
“The main thing is that insecurity is here, but it is not being unattended to and I can tell you that among the Armed Forces, Police, Operation Burst, Amotekun, there is synergy.
“Though you may be hearing different stories outside, there is synergy and continuous engagement. Every one of us has one target and the central target is the maintenance of peace and security of life and property across the state.”
Makinde also explained that the present administration in the state is accommodating and “does not give room for tribalism,” insisting that all Nigerians living in the state must be protected and safe.
“We don’t discriminate here. This is the pacesetter state in Nigeria and our people are very accommodating. So, I can assure you that any Nigerian national here is in a safe place,” he stated.
The governor, however, demanded more troops to launch surveillance on porous borders in Oke-Ogun zone of the state, saying: “Also, we want the Nigerian Army to do more. The criminals come in through Oke-Ogun, the boundary between Oyo and Kwara States, extending to Baruten in Kwara and extending to the Benin Republic. So, we need more troops for surveillance, more than what is on the ground.
“We will appreciate it if the Chief of Air Staff can equally come in to assist us through air surveillance. I am sure it is going to be a continuous process. We have to be proactive and the state government will be ready to render logistic support.”
Earlier, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Irabor had told the gathering that the Service Chiefs were in Oyo State on regional security visit, adding that the purpose was to familiarise with the troops, officers and men of the Nigeria Army in the state and to equally let the government know that the military forces were working assiduously to address issues of insecurity in partnership with other security agencies in the state.
“I will like to thank you for the honour of receiving us even at a very short notice. The leadership hierarchy of the Armed Forces changed very recently and it became expedient for us after assuming command to go round to see our troops and officers and men in the field to familiarise ourselves with them.
“So, we are here and we have had extensive interactions with our troops and we also thought it is necessary for us to be here and to let you know that we are working assiduously to address all issues that have to do with insecurity; of course, in partnership with other security agencies.
“Beyond that, we equally bring the expectations and the charge of Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief to them. Having been charged to take all measures necessary to address the varying security challenges across the country in partnership with other security agencies, we found it very expedient for us to make this visit.
“We have equally recognised the centrality of the state government in this regard. So, we felt it is necessary for us to pay this courtesy call for you to know that the entourage is here in the state for good, for the greater good of Oyo State indigenes and citizens as well as every Nigerian and inhabitants of the geographical space in South-Western Nigeria,” Irabor said.
Similarly, Irabor, while commiserating with the state government over the recent unfortunate incident which took the lives of some citizens and residents of the state also lamented the loss of property.
He said: “We know that the military stands ready to give support to the civil authority and ensure that cases of insecurity are addressed holistically. And we also know that the police remain the first tier of internal security provision.
“Of course, where the police require the intervention of the military, we stand very well to provide that, and we have been doing that. More so, Mr. President has told us to do this.”
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NUPENG Ex-chief Frank Kokori Is Dead
A former General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Chief Frank Ovie Kokori has died at the age of 80 years.
Chief Frank Kokori breathed his last at a kidney treatment hospital in Warri, Delta State, in the early hours of today, Thursday.
One of his aides, who confirmed the painful development said he would want the family to formally break the news to the media.
“He passed on this night. I would want the family to break the news formally to the media.
“I am his aide but at this moment I am not to speak on this until the family issues a statement,” he said.
Kokori’s health relapsed on Monday, and the veteran labour leader was placed on life support.
Kokori made a distress call over his failing health status last month.
He lamented that in spite of his key role in the growth of the nation’s democracy, he had been abandoned.
At the hospital last month, he said: “I came to this hospital when I was told there is a place like this in Warri.
“They have been doing their best. In the midnight, they put their generator off. But I begged them to run it that I will pay their bills.
“I came on Tuesday. After the dialysis, I have been here. I could have just died because of lack of diesel. So I had to beg them to run their generator so the air conditioner, AC, in the ward can function. I need it to be alive.
“It got to a stage that I could not take a flight, I could not walk . If it was when I was in NUPENG, I would have been flown out with air ambulance immediately.”
When the Military junta of General Ibrahim Babangida annulled the June 13, 1993 presidential election, Kokori was involved in mobilising the masses against the government.
He led NUPENG and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, in organising nationwide strikes that crippled the oil industry.
Also, Frank Kokori was actively involved in pro-democracy activities, organising and participating in rallies and demonstrations.
“If I wanted to compromise, the military (junta of late General Sani Abacha) was ready to give me anything but I stood for democracy, believing that democracy would usher in a better Nigeria.
“The refineries were working before I retired from NUPENG.
“I became the tribune of the country, heading the freedom fighters. Some of us were underground, disguised for 10 weeks fighting the military.
“The military sent presidential jet to pick me to compromise, but I refused.”
Ogun To Provide Shelter For Victims Of Gender Based Violence -Abiodun
The Ogun State Government on Wednesday said it would provide a befitting accommodation for victims of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the state.
Governor Dapo Abiodun made this known in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, when he received his wife and other women, who were on a road show as part of activities for the 16 days’ Activism Against Gender Based Violence in the state.
The governor, who acknowledged that gender violence has become pronounced among males and females in the country, assured that the state government would provide a befitting building to serve as a shelter for people that have been sexually harassed or subjected to other forms of molestation in the state.
The shelter, he said, will save them from the stigma usually associated with the problem.
He added that the government would also work towards instituting a Gender Based Violence Trust Funds to finance the welfare of the victims.
“You want us to ensure that we have a befitting shelter and you made a case for that, and you emphasized the fact that people abused in the house or at home can not go back home. There are those who do not have anywhere else to go back to. There is a lot of stigma associated with those who are abused.
“I believe that we have identified somewhere previously, but I am told that it may not be befitting.
“By this, I am now instructing the Secretary to the State Government to work with the Ministry of Housing to identify a building; if they can’t find one, we identify a parcel of land and we will construct a befitting building to serve as the needed shelter for those persons who have been subjected to all kinds of sexual harassment,” he said.
On the call for a specialized court to try cases of gender based violence in the state, Governor Abiodun said: “Fortunately, our head of court in Ogun State is a woman. In fact, the two courts we have, the state High ourt and the Customary Court of Appeal, are both headed by women. I am sure that the Chief Judge will be more than happy to see what she can do to expedite the request.”
The state helmsman also assured stakeholders that his administration would support women at the executive level and at the judiciary to ensure that all that is required to reduce gender violence to the barest minimum in the state, is implemented.
Governor Abiodun also brought to the fore the need to look into violence against men.
He said: “I also want to bring to the fore that violence against persons is not only violence against women . Men also are being abused. But often times, nobody talks about that, and I want to be the advocate for men who are being abused.
“On the Gender Based Violence Trust Fund, I will do everything that I can to ensure that we sit down and plan on how to mobilize resources towards this noble cause.
“Once again, I want to assure you that I do identify with you and as your Governor, I will do everything within my power to ensure that we reduce this incidence of gender based violence to an absolute minimum in Ogun State.”
In her remarks, wife of the governor, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun noted that there was an increase in cases of rape and incest in the society, calling for the provision of a safe space for those who have been abused or harassed.
Earlier, an expert on gender based violence, Dr. Mojisola Akinsanya noted that there was an urgent need to relocate women who have experienced violence at home for them to have a peaceful place to stay.
Dr. Akinsanya, who advocated for a Gender Based Violence Trust Fund in the state, acknowledged poverty as the driving force for GBV, noting that once women are well empowered, they would adequately cater for themselves.
Mike Ozekhome Fined For ‘Demonising’ Supreme Court
For ‘demomising’ the Supreme Court, rights activist and Constitutional lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome has incurred a fine of N40 million .
This development occurred in a ruling by Justice Tijani Abubakar, who ordered the Senior lawyer to personally pay the N40 million fine to the four respondents he took to court in respect of the Imo governorship tussle decided since 2019.
Abubakar held in the ruling that the request was strange, frivolous, baseless, unwarranted, vexatious and irritating.
He further held that the motion was a calculated design to demonise the Supreme Court.
Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN called to the Nigerian Bar over 42 years ago was fined the huge amount for bringing a motion before the Apex Court seeking to revalidate the suit that removed Emeka Ihedioha as Governor of Imo State in 2019.
Those to be paid are the Action People’s Party, APP, Uche Nnadi, Uche Nwosu and the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.
In the motion considered to be frivolous by the court, Ozekhome had asked the Court for a consequential order to compel INEC to issue a fresh Certificate of Return to Ihedioha to enable him to spend a four- year tenure as Imo Governor.
His grouse was that the incumbent governor, Hope Uzodinma unlawfully spent the four years which Ihedioha ought to spend.
Among others, Ozekhome in the motion claimed that the All Progressives Congress APC had no candidate in the 2019 Imo governorship election, hence, Uzodinmma ought not to have been made governor on the platform of APC.
However, the apex court dismissed the motion on the ground that it had no jurisdiction to entertain such a motion.
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