The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has warned the Inspector General of Police Alhaji Usman Alkali Baba to avoid the danger of the Nigeria Police being seen as Fulani police over their alleged unwillingness to prosecute violators of anti-open grazing laws passed by state Houses of Assembly.
HURIWA said that the IGP should discharge the constitutional responsibilities of his office or else “he will be inducted into the National Hall of Shame and infamy as someone who used his office to serve the selfish, clandestine and parochial interest of the armed terrorists and Fulani herdsmen who have vowed to disobey the lawfully passed legislation in some states in Nigeria which outlaws open grazing of livestock of all genres.”
HURIWA condemned the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami for constituting himself into “a cog in the wheel of the progressive enforcement of the lawfully passed legislation against open grazing of cattle” and urged him to resign forthwith.
HURIWA in a statement by its national coordinator Emmanuel Onwubiko asked the states that enacted the legislation against open grazing of livestock to set up a statewide armed vigilantes to carry out the enforcement of the provisions of the law because the law is constitutionally guaranteed under section 4(7) which authorises State Houses of Assembly to make laws for the good governance and security of the good people of their states.
HURIWA said the states could actually take steps to enforce laws made in their states if Kano State could set up Islamic Police which contravenes sections 10 and 214 of the Nigerian constitution.
“Why are the states waiting for the unwilling IGP who is a willing tool of the oppressors in Abuja to ask their men to respect the law of Nigeria?” HURIWA queried.
Specifically, Section 4 subsection 7 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended) provides that: “Section 4(7) The House of Assembly of a State shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the state or any part thereof with respect to the following matters, that is to say:-
(a) any matter not included in the Exclusive Legislative List set out in Part I of the Second Schedule to this Constitution.
(b) any matter included in the Concurrent Legislative List set out in the first column of Part II of the Second Schedule to this Constitution to the extent prescribed in the second column opposite thereto; and
(c) any other matter with respect to which it is empowered to make laws in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
HURIWA submits that similarly, Section 214. (1) establishes the Police as the policing institution of all parts of Nigeria and not for Fulani herdsmen. Section 214(1) states thus: “There shall be a police force for Nigeria, which shall be known as the Nigeria Police Force, and subject to the provisions of this section no other police force shall be established for the Federation or any part thereof”.
HURIWA stated thus: “The findings made recently by a respected newspaper in Nigeria that the policemen are careful over these new state laws implies that the police operatives paid with tax payer’s money belonging to the good citizens of Nigerians have been brainwashed by some Fulani ethnic warlords embedded within the Abuja’s seat of power not to enforce the laws passed by the different States against public grazing of Livestock.”
HURIWA stated further: “This is a very dangerous threat to Nigeria’s national security and it is even worst because the persons being misused to undermine the security of some states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria are policemen who according to the clear provisions of the constitution are bound to implement lawfully passed laws in all states of the federation and the ethnic interest of the holder of the office of President should not matter in the enforcement’s of the laws of Nigeria”.
“It is disgraceful that t Nigeria Police Force is now an institution led by ethnic warlords who are affiliates of Fulani herders because investigation showed that herders still graze their animals openly in many states that have enacted the anti-open grazing law without being intercepted by law enforcement agents”, HURIWA affirms.
“Reports say in Abia State where Governor Okezie Ikpeazu signed the anti-open grazing law on June 29, 2018, open grazing of cattle, sheep and goats were still practiced following its poor implementation. The Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, however, stated that the enforcement of the law is vested in the hands of security agencies, particularly the police.”
READ ALSO: Anti-grazing Bill Becomes Law In Ondo
HURIWA said the decision made specifically on May 11, 2021, by the governors of the 17 southern states, after a meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, was constitutionally guaranteed and protected given that the governors resolved to ban open grazing and the movement of cattle by foot in order to curb clashes between farmers and herders in the region.
“The governors had observed that the incursion of armed herders, criminals and bandits in the southern part of the country has created a severe security challenge, such That citizens were no longer able to live their normal lives, including pursuing various productive activities, leading to threats to food supply, general security and sometimes death. Consequently, they resolved that open grazing of cattle should be banned across southern Nigeria via a law enacted by the state Houses of Assembly not later than September 1, this year,” HURIWA added.
The rights group citing media reports recalled that earlier before the Resolution was made by themselves Governors of Southern States of Nigeria, five southern states comprising Ekiti, Ebonyi, Abia, Oyo and Bayelsa had enacted anti-open grazing laws. The resolution prompted six more states in the region to follow suit. These include Rivers, Ondo, Enugu, Akwa-Ibom, Osun and Lagos states. This brings the total number of states in the South that has so far prohibited open grazing in their jurisdictions via legislation to
Additionally, Delta and Ogun states Houses of Assembly have passed the bill but their governors were yet to give their assent, while in Anambra State, the bill has scaled through the first reading.
HURIWA said the disobedience by the Inspector General of Police Alhaji Usman Alkali Baba to the laws passed by different states against open grazing of cattle amounts to sabotage and endangers the national security even as the rights group asked the concerned states to cut off all forms of partnership funding support with and to the current distorted structure of the police since it is now clear that the Nigerian Police Force has become the Fulani Police force and thereafter the states should set up armed vigilantes to carry out the enforcement of the anti-open grazing law just as the AMOTEKUN SECURITY NETWORK is doings lawfully in some States of the South West States of Nigeria.
“It is basic and constitutionally binding that the Nigerian Police Force is empowered by the Constitution to carry out the fundamental functions as observed by experts as follows: the Prevention And Detection Of Crimes.
This role of prevention and detection is one of the statutory functions of the Nigerian Police Force. The Nigerian police Force as part of the larger bodies of the law enforcement agencies in the country, do place its priority in the prevention and detection of crime.
Secondly, the Protection Of Lives And Properties. Another functions of the Nigerian Police Force is to protect lives and properties. As the law enforcement agency, the Nigerian Police is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that the lives and properties of Nigeriana citizens are protected within their individual domain; thirdly, the duty of Preservation Of Law And Order. Nigerian Police Force is empowered through the instructions from the directive of the appointing authority to ensure that, there is public order and safety in Nigeria. The Nigerian Police Force must of necessity be ready to carry out the Performance Of Such Military Responsibility Required Of Police Force.
Another function of the Nigerian Police is that, it undertakes some of the military responsibilities which may be required of the Police Force by law as part of its functions”.
HURIWA therefore appealed to the Southern Nigeria states to defend the Constitution by compelling the Nigerian Police Force to carry out “its duties and pressures can be mounted if the states cut off all funding components they give to the police, set up state vigilantes and institute a legal challenge to force the Council of State to sack the IGP” just as HURIWA asked the states to stop funding the Police Trust Fund for now.
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BREAKING: Fire Guts Supreme Court
A section of the Supreme Court complex in Abuja, was gutted by fire on Monday morning.
It was learnt that the fire, which started around 7am, caused panic among staff members of the court who scampered to safety.
Though no human casualty was recorded, however, it was not clear whether sensitive documents and files were destroyed by the early morning fire at the court situated at the Three-Arm-Zone, Abuja.
It was learnt that the fire might have been caused by electrical malfunction in one of the offices within the administrative wing of the court.
The source confirmed that three offices, including that of Justice Mohammed Saulawa, was touched by the fire before it was eventually put off.
Abiodun Pays Tribute To Alaperu’s Late Wife, Harps On Enduring Legacies
Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun has extolled the exemplary virtues of the late wife of the Alaperu of Iperu, Olori Kehinde Idowu Basibo-Odoru, describing her as a strong pillar for her husband and a unifying factor for the entire royal family while alive.
The late queen was born on April 23, 1962, and passed on at the age of 61 on 27th July 2023. Her funeral and thanksgiving service was held on Friday at the St. James Anglican Church, Iperu.
The governor, in his remarks, expressed his heartfelt condolences to the royal father, Alaiyeluwa, Oba Adeleke Idowu-Basibo, and the people of the town over the loss, as he prayed for necessary fortitude to carry on in her absence.
He recounted the enviable attributes of the late Olori while alive as bold, lovely and supportive; with passion to help those around her, adding that she would be sorely missed by her immediate family, the entire town of Iperu and Ogun State in general.
“On behalf of the government and the good people of Ogun State, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to my brother, the Alaperu of Iperu, Oba Adeleke Idowu-Basibo, on the passing of his adorable wife.
“The late Olori was a friend and reliable companion to her husband till death. She was also a doting mother to her children. We are going to sorely miss her; may the good Lord repose her soul,” Abiodun said.
The governor counselled the congregation on the need to be fair to all in all ways while alive, to leave worthy legacies after death as exemplified by the late Queen.
He continued: “Life is a journey; we all have our exit points. We have no power over that, it is inevitable. What is important is what we do while we are here, what type of tribute would be written about you when you are no more.”
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.”
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