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Lagos Assembly summons commissioner for failure to honour previous invitations

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure, Arch. Kabiru Abdullahi, was on Tuesday saved by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, from being sanctioned by lawmakers during plenary.

The lawmakers had complained that Arch. Abdullahi disrespected the House of Assembly by refusing to honour an invitation of a committee of the House which has oversight functions over the Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development.

They also prayed that the Committee on Waterfront Infrastructure of the House be mandated to carry out a holistic investigation of the Ministry since Abdullahi’s appointment while the House places the confirmation of commissioner’s appointment on hold.

However, Obasa appealed to the committee and members of the House to reconsider their prayer just as he urged them to give the commissioner another opportunity to appear before the House.

In this regard, the Speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Barrister Olalekan Onafeko, to write to the commissioner to appear with all necessary documents on Thursday, September 15, 2022.

“I have listened to your submissions and I want to appeal to the chairman and the committee and members to sheathe their swords while we give the Commissioner another opportunity to appear before you on Thursday unfailingly. He should also appear with all necessary documents,” the Speaker appealed.

Moving the motion earlier, Hon. Muyiwa Jimoh complained that the Commissioner had incessantly refused to honour invitations of the committee.

“It would be noted that it is this House that approved his appointment,” Jimoh said adding that the commissioner had refused to submit the mid-year budget report for review and appraisal.

“Currently, the Ministry has been invited but as I am talking, the commissioner has refused to honour the invitation.

“The House Committee on Waterfront Infrastructure be made to carry out a comprehensive investigation. The House should also place on hold the confirmation of his appointment pending when the investigation is concluded,” he moved.

Supporting him, another lawmaker, Hon. Bisi Yusuff, noted that the legislature is the most important arm of government in a democracy and, as such, must be respected.

In their contributions, Hon. Abiodun Tobun and Gbolahan Yishawu urged the House to allow a full-scale investigation into the Commissioner’s activities in office for treating the House with levity. Their positions were supported by Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu, Sa’ad Olumo and Victor Akande.

Another lawmaker, Hon. Adewale Temitope, noted that the primary responsibility of the House, beyond representation, is oversight. He suggested that the Commissioner be made to appear to defend why he would not honour previous invitations.

In a related development, the lawmakers read the Lagos State Electric Bill and the Office of the Public Defenders Amendment Bill for the first time. They also took the presentation of a report of the Victim Assistance and Witness Protection Bill.

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Ebonyi: FRSC confirms abduction of two personnel by gunmen

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), in Ebonyi, has confirmed the abduction of two of its personnel by gunmen along the Abakaliki-Enugu federal highway.

The road has recently become nightmarish for commuters due to incessant abductions by gunmen.

The most affected axis is the Nkalagu (Ebonyi) and Idodo (Enugu) axis of the road as the cases of the abductions keep increasing daily.

The Sector Commander of the FRSC in Ebonyi, Henry Igwe, told newsmen on Tuesday in Abakaliki that both personnel were abducted on March 8.

Igwe remarked that both personnel concluded their duties at the corps’ Nkalagu office and were abducted as they returned to Enugu.

“Contacts were made and it was established by their families that they never got home.

“The families said that some people contacted them that they were kidnappers and were demanding ransom.

“The negotiations are between the families and kidnappers and as an organisation, we have been doing the much we can,” he said.

The sector commander said his office has informed its headquarters of the development and also formally reported to relevant security agencies.

“This is the much I know of the situation and we are optimistic that they would be released by whoever is holding them.

“The situation is very unfortunate and the insecurity in the country has made everyone vulnerable.

“Our vulnerability is higher because we find ourselves on the road always, exposed to these sort of dangers,” he said.

He noted that it has not been established that the personnel were either alive or dead but the fact remained that they have not been seen.

“The core security agencies said that efforts to find the personnel are still being made and they were not among those that were released.

“Not much has been heard positively from their families and though the situation is still scary, we pray that luck will shine on us and them.”

Mrs Chinwe Oli, a Commuter who plies the road regularly, described the situation as worrisome and chided the governments of both states for being nonchalant over the development.

“What will it take both governments to moblise relevant security outfits to flush the hoodlums from the little space they occupy as their operational base?” she queried.

Mr Jude Okpor, Ebonyi Commissioner for Information and Orientation, dismissed the insinuation that the state government was nonchalant on the situation.

“The state government has surmounted several security challenges in the state and is resolutely protecting the lives and properties of its citizens.

“The matter has inter-state connectivity and the government has initiated measures with its affected sister-state, to nip it in the bud,” he said.

DSP Joshua Ukandu, the Police Public Relations Officer in Ebonyi, urged families of victims to report such incidents to the command to enable it establish whether the incident happened at the Ebonyi axis of the road.

“The situation is more of an Enugu issue and information on it should be sought from the Enugu command of the force.

“I believe some steps are being taken to combat it but our safer highway teams stationed at the affected axis always assist commuters to cross safely from the area,” he said.

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10 northern govs to attend security symposium in U.S

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The Africa Centre at the United States Institute of Peace, has invited Gov. Dikko Radda of Katsina State and 9 other governors to a symposium on peace and security in Northern Nigeria.

The governors are from the Northwest and North Central zones of the county,  a statement on Tuesday by Ibrahim Kaula, Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Radda, said.

The governors are Dikko Radda (Katsina), Uba Sani (Kaduna), Abba Yusuf (Kano), Nasir Idris (Kebbi), and Umar Namadi (Jigawa).

Others are Ahmad Aliyu (Sokoto), Dauda Lawal (Zamfara), Hyacinth Alia (Benue), Mohammed Bago (Niger) and Caleb Mutfwang (Plateau).

According to him, the symposium, scheduled for April 23 to 25, 2024, in Washington, will explore the pressing security challenges in the region.

He said that the invitation was in recognition of the crucial role of state governors in mitigating security threats and fostering peace.

Kaula said the symposium aims to enhance the capacity of the governors in conflict prevention and peacebuilding across Nigeria through dialogue and collaboration.

“The Africa Center seeks to empower governors to address the underlying causes of instability and strengthen peacebuilding initiatives at local and state levels.”

He added that the Northern governors and other participants will engage in panel discussions focusing on the drivers of insecurity and opportunities for stabilisation.

This, he said, is to deepen understanding of the complex security landscape, identify strategies to address the challenges, and explore opportunities for sustainable peace and development in the region.

Kaula also said a special panel discussion will be held focusing on ‘Strengthening Commercial Business and Two-Way Trade Between Nigeria and the U.S’.

This is to explore collaborative efforts between the governors, Nigerian civic groups, private businesses, and the international community to attract investments, generate employment, and foster economic development.

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Corruption biggest threat to security in Nigeria – Interior minister

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The Minister of Interior, Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, says corruption and corrupt practices fuel insecurity in the country, calling for all hands to be on deck to fight the menace.

The minister said this, when he paid a courtesy visit to Dr Musa Aliyu, SAN, the Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), on Tuesday in Abuja.

Tunji-Ojo said the purpose of his visit was to strike a synergy between his ministry and the ICPC.

He expressed the belief that collaborating with anti- corruption agencies could help to tighten the belt and block loopholes even within the administrative processes.

“We know the Ministry of Interior is responsible for the enhancement of internal security and, of course, corruption is one of the biggest threats to security in Nigeria.

“So, we don’t need to move too far before we get to the point of intersection, where our interests remain.

“We believe that in leveraging and collaborating with ICPC, we might just be saving our country from a lot of effort that is needed in righting the wrongs.

“We believe that all over the world the language is pro-activeness, the language is prevention, the language is no more detection or correction,” he said.

According to him, the world is moving and is moving so fast.

He noted that as product of the 20th and 21st century, there was the need to learn the language of the 22nd century.

“And, the language of the next generation, which we must learn as a country is to build strong institutions.

“One believes that the strategic relationship between these two agencies can of course block a lot of reports, can prevent and, of course, can deter even the imagination of ill doings.

“If we do not do that, we will continue to run after the criminals. And, once we are running after the criminals, it becomes a game of fun to the criminals,” he said.

He explained that all over the world the criminals would be running after the state to meet up with the state, not the state running after the criminal.

“It means we have to up our pace.

“And we believe that the management of ICPC is well poised towards ensuring that a new Nigeria, not just built on hope, but on renewed hope comes to life.

“I realise that a lot of errors that people or mistakes that people make in government are actually very avoidable. That’s the truth.

“And, I believe that the lack of knowledge transfer has created a lot of lacuna and has reduced the level of performance of government officials.

“So, we are looking at the area of capacity building, strongly collaborate with you in areas of capacity building.

“As the saying goes, you will always be a slave to what you don’t know. So, we need to collaborate, we need to build capacity or run capacity,” he said.

He stressed the need on collaboration with the agency to tighten the belt and block loopholes within the administrative processes.

“How do I mean by that? I’ll tell you, I sincerely believe that if we have a functional unit of ICPC officers saddled with certain responsibility of going through certain decisions before they are activated, we might save ourselves a lot of stress in detection.

“I sincerely believe, and I say this with all utter insincerity, that I think the Ministry of Interior will be where we can use to test this particular idea,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the minister was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Dr Aishetu Ndayako, and heads of paramilitary agencies in the ministry.

The ICPC chairman in his remarks said that the commission had been trying as much as possible to discharge its mandate within the confines of the law.

“This is to ensure that we have Nigeria, which is less corrupt and a country whereby people have confidence within and outside the country.

“This is because I keep on saying that we need investments.

“And two major key issues that you need to have on ground to have investment in the country, is one secure environment, which the Minister of Interior has responsibility in ensuring that Nigeria is secure.

“Also, there is less corruption because no investor will come to a country whereby you will feel insecure. And there is also challenge of bribery and corruption,” he said.

Musa said that he had always tried to see how ICPC could achieve its mandate of prevention, enforcement, education and enlightenment to combat the serious challenge facing the country.

“I have been in discussion with the minister; we have discussed a lot about how we can partner to ensure that ICPC, Ministry of Interior and its agencies work closely to ensure that we help this country in fighting this challenge of corruption.

“The only way we can do that is by coming together like the gathering we are having today and also to sit down and carefully look at how we can work closely,” he said.

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