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HURIWA sets agenda for new service chiefs, harps on harmony in counter-terror operations

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CIVIL rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Wednesday, tasked the newly appointed service chiefs to rebuild the failing intelligence gathering capacities of the Armed Forces and ensure unprecedented harmony and synergy in the nation’s counter-terror operations on land, air and water.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, tasked the new top echelons in the military to embrace teamwork and cooperation as they go all out against the enemies of Nigeria and those threatening the territorial integrity of the country.

The group said collaborations, especially between the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force, and the Nigerian Navy will avert so many avoidable military airstrike casualties at the Boko Haram theatre of war in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, amongst other places where insurgents and bandits are operating unchallenged.

HURIWA also urged the new Chief of Defence Staff, Maj. Gen. C.G Musa; the new Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen T. A Lagbaja; the new Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral E. A Ogall; and the new Chief of Air Staff, AVM H.B Abubakar to work collaboratively and stamp out unprofessional conduct and indiscipline as well as weed out saboteurs within the Armed Forces.

The group said there is a need for comprehensive reforms with the military, stressing that fighters who have lost touch with their constitutional obligations must be re-conscientised even as the Nigerian Army celebrates the 2023 Army Day.

HURIWA also challenged the new service chiefs to take back the original responsibility of the Armed Forces from the mercenaries of an ex-Niger Delta militant, Mujaheed Asari Dokubo who boasted weeks ago at the Presidential Villa that his men were contracted to secure the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway from murderous bandits and terrorists.

HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “Congratulations are in order to the new service chiefs and we have written letters to them individually on this. However, it is important for them to sit up quick and act as Nigerians are tired of non-fruitful security meetings with the President at Aso Rock whilst thousands are being killed annually by terrorists, bandits and deadly herders all over the country.

“The new service chiefs must rebuild the failing intelligence gathering capacities of the Armed Forces, restore harmony in counter-terror operations, restore professional conduct and discipline. The military is definitely in need of comprehensive reforms and the operatives who have lost touch with their constitutional obligations must be conscientised.

“As the Army celebrates this year’s Army Day, the Army chief should be worried that an individual in the person of Asari Dokubo openly castigared the Army as being incapable of combating terrorists and armed bandits all over Nigeria thus necessitating the contracting of his armed mercenaries to carry out the lawful duties of operatives and officers of The Armed Forces of Nigeria. This is a big shame and it is a bigger shame that the new service chiefs have not contradicted this claim by a former militant in the person of Asari Dokubo.

“So, instead of celebrating Army Day, the Armed Forces should roll out their valid, constructive and credible response to the challenge thrown at them by Asari Dokubo and his armed group. The Army should not be celebrating gross incompetence.”

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Emirate crisis: FG will be held responsible for violence in Kano – Atiku

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Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said that the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government would be held responsible if violence breaks out in Kano State over the emirate crisis.

Atiku said Tinubu’s government was inviting anarchy to Kano State by providing security for the deposed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado-Bayero.

On Friday, Governor Abba Yusuf had deposed Bayero while reinstating Lamido Sanusi as the 15th Emir of Kano.

Posting on X, Atiku cautioned the federal government against destabilising Kano State.

According to Atiku: “The action of the Federal Government in deploying soldiers in Kano in the tussle over the throne of the ancient city is an upset to the peace and security of the state, and also in breach of the 1999 Constitution as Amended.

“The foregoing circumstances happened within the confines of the law and in compliance with the powers conferred on the governor as provided by Section 5(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended; and also in consultation with the kingmakers of Kano, reappointed Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (also known as Muhammadu Sanusi II) as the 16th Emir of Kano State and accordingly handed him a letter of appointment.

“It is surprising that in the early hours of today, exactly at about 5:30 am the former Emir of Kano, His Majesty Aminu Ado Bayero, backed by Federal might made their way into the Nasarawa Palace of the Kano Emirate while the reappointed Emir, Muhammadu Sanusi II was at the Gidan Dabo, which is the main residence of the Emir of Kano.

“In this wise, the former Emir could not have made his way into the Nasarawa Palace without the support of the Federal Government having done so with the support of the army and other security personnel in his company. The deployment of soldiers in extra constitutional matters such as this undermines the integrity of the Nigerian military.

“We need to remind the Tinubu administration that Kano State is known for peace and harmony spanning thousands of years and any attempt to destablise the peace of the Land of Commerce shall be resisted. Recall that Muhammadu Sanusi II was dethroned on 9th March, 2020: dethroned, Kano forged on in peace without any fracas.

“We wish to state unequivocally that if for any reason, law and order breaks down in Kano State, particularly Kano Municipal, the Federal Government should be held responsible as the act of providing security cover to the former Emir, Aminu Ado Bayero to come back to Kano is an invitation to anarchy.”

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Justice’ll prevail – Deposed Kano Emir Bayero breaks silence

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The deposed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado-Bayero, has said justice will prevail over the issue surrounding the emirates in the state.

Bayero urged relevant authorities to ensure justice because nobody is above the law.

Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State had dethroned Bayero as the 15th Emir of the state.

Speaking on Saturday, the deposed Emir urged residents to maintain law and order. He spoke at the mini-palace where he has since returned to after his dethronement.

According to Ado-Bayero: “I call on the people to remain law-abiding while awaiting the outcome of the legal process in this tussle.

“We call on the authority to do justice in this matter. Kano is a very influential state in Nigeria. Whatever affects Kano affects Nigeria. May peace reign in Kano. We pray for Allah to bless Kano with responsible and just leaders.

“Justice is the way to go on every issue. There will be justice. Nobody is above the law. We will accept whatever the law says. I appreciate all the people who have shown concern. As I said, justice will take its course. We will keep on praying for peace in Kano State. May Allah the Almighty protect us.”

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Nigerian airports most expensive globally – NAHCO

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Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc has set an N100 billion revenue target within the next five years.

The projection was made known by the Group chairman of the company, Dr Seinde Fadeni, at the sideline of its Annual General Meeting held in Lagos on Saturday.

In achieving this, the company noted that it had concluded plans to diversify its investment portfolio to create new jobs and contribute significantly to resolving the country’s foreign exchange crisis.

NAHCO which was established in 1979, provides aviation cargo, aircraft handling, passenger facilitation, crew transportation, refuelling and aviation training services from its base at Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

According to Fadeni, the company is convinced that the food export holds significant potential for foreign exchange earnings because of its impact on the livelihoods and prosperity of Nigerians.

He said though the company is navigating safely around the myriad of challenges confronting the air transport space, he urged the government to look at ways to improve airport infrastructure and reduce the financial burden for airlines and passengers to keep pace with the future growth plan.

He said ” NAHCO believes that the government at the centre should work towards reducing the financial burden for airlines and passengers by reviewing applicable taxes. This way, more payees would be brought into the tax net. Not too long ago, the International Air Transport Association declared that Nigerian airports charge foreign airlines about 27 levies.

“This makes Nigerian airports the most expensive in the world, discouraging airlines from flying into the country. This is not the kind of laurel Nigeria should be proud of. It is a disincentive to investment for both active and prospective investors. The government should address this situation. Government should also heed the industry’s calls for the harmonisation of the regulatory environment, particularly at the ports in a way that aligns with global best practices. The nation’s Ease of Doing Business mantra should be in practice and not in theory only.”

He further said that though multiple cost-related challenges characterised 2023, the increased cost of handling an aircraft cannot be easily passed on to the airline by ground handling companies because any proposed rate hike would require the approval of the industry regulator – Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

He said, “The very act of getting new rates approved has its challenges as well. It is therefore not uncommon to see ticket prices rising geometrically while ground handling rates charged by service providers to airlines remain solidly stagnant.

“Our push towards birthing a global integrated logistic giant is taking good shape with the coming into operations of new subsidiaries.”

Also speaking, its Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Indranil Gupta said the company intends to diversify investment into other sectors of the economy to grow.

“We will continue to leverage our strength and market insights to pursue organic and strategic growth initiatives to expand our market presence and revenue streams

“We plan to comprehensively refresh our fleet of ground support equipment to replace ageing equipment and increase the numbers in our fleet to meet the ever-increasing customer needs and expectations.

“We are already embracing digitalisation and innovation, investing in cutting-edge technologies and solutions to enhance our service offerings, operational efficiency and competitiveness. By harnessing the power of data analytics, automation and predictive maintenance, we aim to stay ahead of the industry trends and deliver superior value to our clients ”

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