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Foundation urges Gov. Bello to intervene in solving North’s challenges



Members of the Northern Women and Youths Leadership Foundation on Sunday in Abuja called on Kogi’s Gov. Yahaya Bello to intervene in the many challenges confronting Nigeria’s north.

They made the call when they visited the governor at the Kogi Government Lodge in the federal capital.

The women said the governor’s intervention was necessary so that other parts of the north would prosper as Kogi did under his watch.

Hajiya Aisha Ismail, Former Minister Of Women Affairs And Youth Development, and leader of the delegation, said insurgency and banditry had robbed the north of its economical potentialities.

Ismail noted that insecurity in the region had thrown many children out of school, just as farmers could no longer go to farms, and the livelihood of many others affected.

She explained that contrary to the thoughts of many in the south, the north is rich, blessed with arable land, human resources, and once fed the West-African sub-region, including Nigeria.

“The north is in a war but the nation is calling it insurgency, banditry; but we are in a war.

“This is a region that was feeding West Africa, apart from Nigeria, I know of that, but now we cannot farm anymore.

“The most devastating thing is that our children cannot go to school anymore.

“If this continues, give us 20 years, we will be in no place at all, simply because we have not brought up people to take over from us.

“Moreover, our economy has been so devastated that it is threatened.

“We are rich; we are not a poor region; we supported before, we are supporting now and we will continue to support Nigeria and West Africa.

“We realise that without us solving our problems, nobody will solve them for us and that is why we formed this association – Northern Women and Youths Leadership Foundation.

“It is an NGO to partner with all agencies so that we can intervene in crisis as they come,” she said.

Ismail added that as a group of former political and government office holders, the solution to the challenges in the north and Nigeria can only be tackled with a young and intelligent president.

She said that the group came to meet with Bello after seeing how he had effectively handled Kogi and confronted the challenges it was once plagued with.

“We want the young brains to take the leadership of this country because no matter how much you think, only the generation of a time fits that time.

“The generation of sixties and seventies cannot deal with the realities of today; it doesn’t work.

“That is why I say if you take a journey for 50 years and you have not arrived at your destination, you must change direction.

“We appreciate all you have done in terms of security in Kogi. Kogi was insecure, but we watched the model you took to make sure you secured your state.

“We feel that most northern state governors should take that model, adopt it and we can solve this problem.

“We know that if we make you president of Nigeria, you can secure Nigeria,” Ismail said.

Responding, Gov. Bello thanked the group for the accolades, and said that the solution to the problems of the northern part of the country and that of Nigeria remain in good leadership.

Bello said that he would continue to do all in his power to push for not just a safe, secure and prosperous north but for Nigeria as a whole.

“The topic of your discussion quickly struck the sensitive part of me because it has to do with the future of the north and indeed, the future of Nigeria.

“Talking of education, security and the economy, when you take care of all these, there is nothing more, everything flows.

“I inherited all these problems in Kogi; insecurity, division, decay in infrastructure, and five years down the line, everything has become a thing of the past, simply because I said no to all the nonsense.

“The problem is in leadership at all levels.

“The earlier we call our leaders to order, the better, and until the north is secured, until the north is prosperous, until the north develops, Nigeria will not be in peace.

“As our mothers, I encourage you to use every opportunity you have to speak out; to advocate; let the most powerful and the weak ones get the message.

“I have seen this group as a sincere group. The support we will give to you is not because of the presidency of Yahaya Bello, but for all hands to be on deck.

“I will encourage some of my colleagues and all other kind-spirited Nigerians to advance your cause because I know that there are many southerners who want the north to be stable,” Bello said.


Nigeria committed to ensure security, peace in West Africa – Akpabio



The President of the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has restated Nigeria’s commitment to ensuring peace and security in West Africa.

Akpabio said this on Thursday in Abuja at the opening of the international roundtable on Parliamentary Security Sector Governance.

The roundtable was organised by National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).

The roundtable drew lawmakers from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana.

Represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Sen. Daniel Gbenga, Akpabio recommend synergy among countries in the sub-region to address insecurity.

“Nigeria is a country that is willing and determined to ensure that the West Africa sub- region enjoys peace, security, shared prosperity in our developmental goals.

“In order to mitigate the challenges already identified, it is important to properly address insecurity in the West African sub region.

“This can be done through deep cooperation and deliberate policies and laws by our parliament, as well as empower the parliament to assume full legislative powers,” he said.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas, said the security sector plays a pivotal role in ensuring peace, stability, and development within any nation.

Represented by the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, Abbas said effective governance and reform of the security sector were essential for upholding the rule of law, protecting human rights, and safeguarding democratic principles.

“In this regard, the role of parliament is indispensable as it serves as a key institution for oversight, legislation, and budgetary control over the security sector.

“I urge all stakeholders present to consider practical strategies for enhancing parliamentary engagement in security sector governance.

“This may involve developing specialised training programs for parliamentarians on security related matters, establishing robust mechanisms for information sharing between security agencies and parliamentary committees.

“Also for fostering a culture of dialogue and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches on security policy formulation,” he said.

The Director-General, NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman said that in recent times, West Africa faced a scourge of terrorism, insurgency, and transnational crime.

He said that the menace presented formidable threats to the collective peace and stability of the region.

According to him, security issues, including illicit trafficking and the movement of armed groups, further compound the complexities.

“We must confront these urgently; internal conflicts, driven by various factors, pose additional challenges that require our immediate attention.

“More recently, the series of military coups that have taken place in and around our region which remains a threat to peace, the rule of law and democratic stability within the region.

“As legislators, you stand at the forefront of crafting responses to these challenges.

“The laws and policies you shape must not only address the immediate threats but also lay the foundation for sustainable security sector governance and reform,” he said.

Sulaiman said the roundtable provided an opportunity to pool insights, share best practices, and develop legislative frameworks that are responsive to the unique security dynamics of West Africa.

Peran said that there has been a spread of terrorism and violent extremism with terrorist groups becoming more and more sophisticated.

“Wave to try to understand better why the security situation is so complex and what can be done to improve it in a sustainable fashion said the Resident Rep of KAS, Ms Marija Peran.

According to her, security sector reforms and governance plays a vital role in stabilising the region.

She said they had also been recognised as an essential precondition not only for conflict prevention, post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building but in general for good governance.

“Security sector reforms, repurposing of security institutions and agencies, improved interagency cooperation and effective oversight of the security sector are critical enablers to create the peaceful and secure Africa,” she said.

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Senate threatens to step down NCoS budget over insufficient information



The Senate has threatened to step down consideration on the 2024 budget of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) over insufficient information

Sen. Adams Oshiomhole, the Chairman,Senate Committee on Interior, Sen.Adams Oshiomole, said this said this at the 2024 budget defence of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Interior on Thursday in Abuja.

Oshiomole said he was unhappy with the services being rendered to inmates by the NCoS.

“Your organisation has transformed from Nigeria Prison Service to Nigerian Correctional Service but you have yet to change in your attitudes toward inmates.

“It’s not just your fault because the government appropriates little money for you, it is either you don’t feed the inmates or you feed them only once and even at that, very miserable food.

“This is why they have completely emaciated and some can never live a decent life again even when they did not commit an offence.

“You all know the price of food items in the market, so how can you look us eye to eye and tell us that you feed a man in Nigeria with N750 a day, how much is a bottle of water,” he said.

He said that the committee would not be in a haste to approve any budget for the service until it received satisfactory answers.

He requested for a breakdown of the number of inmates and security dogs at the correctional centers and how they were fed daily.

“I would like to see a breakdown of how you feed the inmates. If you say you feed inmates three times a day with N250 each.

“How many dogs do you have and how much does it cost to feed them daily,” he said.

Responding, the NCS Comptroller General, Alhaji Haliru Nababa, said the service had a total of 81,358 inmates nationwide, saying that 53,362 of the inmates were awaiting trial.

“We feed each inmate with N750 daily and they are fed three times daily (N250 for each square meal).

“We have 900 security dogs and to feed a dog each day we spend N800,” he said.

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Army Chief tasks NASS on funding



Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff, has appealed to the National Assembly to review the current envelope budgeting system of the Federal Government to ensure adequate funding for the Nigerian Army.

Lagbaja said this when he appeared before the National Assembly Joint Committee on Nigerian Army on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that the envelope system had led to inadequate funding for the Nigerian Army, especially its anti terrorism operation and other operations across the country.
Lagbaja also called on the national assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Armed Forces Support Trust Fund Bill, saying that the passage would enhance the operations of the Armed Forces, through improved funding.
The Chairman, of the Joint Committee, Sen. Abdulaziz Yar’ adua assured of transparency in the handling of the Nigerian Army 2024 budget.

He comended Lagbaja for taking responsibility for the bombing of Kaduna villagers and taking steps to investigate the matter.

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