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No clash between Southeast Summit on Security and economy and Igbo Day 2023



ORGANIZERS of the South East Governors’ Forum Summit on Security and Economy, which is scheduled to hold in Owerri, Imo State capital, on Thursday, September 28, and Friday September 29, have said the summit neither conflicts with nor clashes with the Igbo Day 2023 celebrations – Igbo Kunie – scheduled to hold the same period in Enugu, Enugu State capital.

To the contrary, Senator Chris Anyanwu, chairperson of the South East Governors’ Forum Summit on Security and Economy, said both events are mutually complementary and have the approval and support of all the South East governors and the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.

While the summit on security and economy, the first of its kind on a region-wide scale since 1999, is promoted by the five South East governors, the Igbo Day is championed by the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

Though both events are scheduled to hold the same dates, they have different time schedules and, therefore, do not necessarily clash.

The security and economic summit will open each day at 10am at the Landmark Event Centre, while the Igbo Day is scheduled to commence at 4pm on September 28, with a public lecture to be delivered by the Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, Most Rev. Prof. Godfrey Onah.

September 29, which is the day the highest number of Ndigbo were killed in the horrendous 1966 pogrom, will be commemorated with cultural match past by Ohanaeze states, display of local crafts, special delicacies native to various parts of Igbo land, display of Igbo indigenous technology and traditional chants.

In Owerri, on the same day, September 29, the summit will dissolve into breakout sessions where participants will have more detailed discussions in smaller groups to enrich the report of the summit.

One of the organisers who pleaded anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media on the upcoming events, said: “At the syndicate level, summit participants will be temporarily disaggregated to give meaning to all the issues raised at the summit. These breakout sessions will afford participants the opportunity to have more detailed discussions in smaller groups.

“The idea is that during these sessions, participants will complete sundry activities by listening to and dissecting presentations made the previous day in order to arrive at actionable agenda for the socio-economic and political renaissance of the region.”

Senator Anyanwu’s statement on Sunday affirmed that all arrangements have been concluded to host the Summit as scheduled and reassured that both events complement rather than antagonize each other.

“We refer to our letter inviting you to the above Summit and are pleased to confirm to you that arrangements have been concluded to host the Summit,” Senator Anyanwu wrote.

“The hosts of the Summit, Their Excellencies, the Governors of Imo, Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, and Enugu States are looking forward to your attendance and participation in the activities of the Summit on the 28th and 29th.

“For the avoidance of doubt, there is no conflict or clash between the South East Governors’ Forum Summit on Security and Economy and Igbo Day 2023.

“Both events are mutually complementary and have the approval and support of all the South East Governors and the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.

“The programmes of both events have been structured to accommodate the schedules of Their Excellencies the South East Governors, the Leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, and all individuals who have roles to play in both events.

“As we look forward to welcoming you in Owerri on the 28th, please accept our warm regards.”

The Summit is hosted by Barrister Peter Mbah, Enugu State Governor; Senator Hope Uzodimma, Imo State Governor; Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Anambra state Governor; Dr. Alex Otti, Abia State Governor; and Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru, Governor of Ebonyi State.


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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