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Insecurity: Northern Elders, PDP Blast Buhari, Governors

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Northern Elders and opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) on Sunday came hard on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government over rising insecurity in many parts of the country, especially the North.

While the elders, under the aegis of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), said their region had been pushed to the wall, the PDP said the inability of the Buhari government to contain the killings across the nation was unacceptable.

The Prof Ango Abdullahi-led group lamented that the people were now at the mercy of armed gangs who roam their towns and villages at will wreaking havoc.

It said in a statement the Buhari administration and governors of the region had woefully failed in the provision of security and welfare for the people.

The group enjoined the Federal Government and Northern governors to note that “it is now time to say, enough is enough.”

The statement which was signed by Abdullahi reads: “Northern Elders Forum (NEF) is alarmed at the rising insecurity of communities and their properties in the North. Recent escalation of attacks by bandits, rustlers and insurgents leave the only conclusion that the people of the North are now completely at the mercy of armed gangs who roam their towns and villages at will, wreaking havoc.

“It would appear that the administration of President Buhari and governors have lost control over the imperatives of protecting people of the North, a Constitutional duty they swore to uphold.

“The situation is getting worse literally by the day. Bandits and insurgents appear to sense a huge vacuum in political will and capacity which they exploit with disastrous consequences on communities and individuals.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the people of the North have never experienced this level of exposure to criminals who attack, kill, maim, rape, kidnap, burn villages and rustle cattle, while President Buhari issues threats and promises that have no effect.

“The situation under which our communities from Kogi to Borno States, from Sokoto to Taraba States live is no longer tolerable.”

NEF however said that as a “responsible body, it had joined millions of others in prayers and in giving advice and encouragement to all authorities that have responsibility to protect our communities.”

”It is now time to say, enough is enough. Our people are known for their patience and respect for constituted authorities, but all governments must be aware by now that all Northerners have been pushed to the wall.

“The forum is aware that some citizens are contemplating peaceful protests, which are their constitutional rights, to draw attention of President Buhari and all levels of authority to the plight of people of the North.

“The forum urges all citizens to conduct themselves in peaceful and responsible manner. It also urges governments to respect the rights of citizens to express their opinions peacefully.

“The forum is also consulting other groups and organizations which share its goals and concerns to lend our voices to the demands for action and relief from the unremitting assaults on our lives and livelihood as Northerners.

“We remind President Buhari that provision of security and pursuit of economic welfare of citizens are the only two constitutional responsibilities of the state which all leaders must achieve.

“Our current circumstances in the North clearly demonstrate that the Buhari administration has woefully failed to achieve either. This is unacceptable.

“We demand an immediate and comprehensive improvement of our security in the North. We are tired of excuses and verbal threats which criminals laugh at, and our fellow citizens see as a clear failure of leadership which they see as part of them. Enough is enough.”

The PDP, in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Borno, Kaduna, Kogi and Taraba states were the worst hit by the deplorable security situation in the country.

The party said it was greatly hurt by the horror, anguish, agony, torture and cruelty Nigerians were facing in the hands of bandits, insurgents and kidnappers.

It therefore challenged the Federal Government to rise to the occasion by tightening the security architecture and securing the nation.

The statement said, “Our party holds that the situation where marauders and insurgents, who had been pushed to the fringes by the PDP administration, had resurged under the APC(All Progressives Congrss} to the extent of occupying territories, ravaging communities and killing our citizens with reckless abandon, raises a lot of questions.

“It is even more lamentable that the bandits had become so emboldened by the failure of the APC administration to the extent of holding Mr. President’s home state, Katsina, to ransom.

“Some APC governors are reported to have had contacts, discussions and even negotiations with the bandits: a situation which also demands that the APC and such governors come clean on links with marauders.

“Furthermore, Nigerians have observed the failure of the APC, as a party, to raise a strong voice in giving its government, marching orders against banditry. “The APC had not taken any decisive action or proffered any significant suggestion in the effort to secure our nation, beyond lame condolence messages to victims of the attacks”.

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CGI Babandede Bows Out With Glorious Light, Global Acclaim

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The 11th Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, MFR, was pulled out from Service Monday in grand style, razzmatazz and pageantry, after a transparent and diligent service to his country – Nigeria.

The occasion took place at the NIS Parade Ground, Sauka, Abuja, and was graced by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who was Special Guest of Honour; Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Muhammad Badaru Abubakar, MON, mni; Service Chiefs, Inspector-General of Police, IGP Alkali Usman Baba and other heads of sister security agencies. Also at the occasion were top traditional rulers, Captains of industry, community leaders, youth groups, women groups and members of the diplomatic corps.

Speaking during the ceremony, the Minister of Interior, Aregbesola, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, paid glowing tributes to CGI Babandede for rebranding and repositioning the Nigeria Immigration Service as a top class migration management agency globally.

Continuing, Ogbeni Aregbesola, enjoined Babandede’s successor and NIS management to effectively harness and utilize the ultra-modern technological infrastructure established by Babandede for continued policing and surveillance of Nigeria’s borders, adding that the innovation is world-class and must be properly maintained at all times.

The Minister of Interior poured encomiums on the out-going CGI, applauded the gigantic transformational milestones and legacies left behind by the outgoing CGI

In the same vein, the Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar Badaru lauded the sterling leadership qualities of CGI Babandede, patriotism and monumental achievements of the outgoing CGI, noting that he is a shining ambassador of Jigawa State, whose footprints are written on the sands of time in building a harmonious relationship with sister agencies; was unparalleled and must be exploited to the fullest for enhanced productivity and service delivery.
He enjoined other chief executive officers to borrow a leaf from the mercurial service record of CGI Babandede who has made Jigawa State proud.

Meanwhile, other stakeholders are also unanimous that CGI Babandede will continue to be a reference point, in the annals of efficient service delivery, transparency and patriotism in Nigeria, alluding that he has changed the narrative and paradigm shift of the NIS in compliance with best international practices.

Also, a prominent civil society group, Guild of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Equity, Justice & Transparency (GOCMEJ), was full of praises for CGI Babandede for redefining service delivery, accountability, transparency and patriotism in Nigeria’s public service. The organization, which is an amalgamation of over 350 CSOs, NGOs and media executives, recommended the outgoing CGI for higher national office, stating that his invaluable service record must not be sacrificed on the altar of officialdom. Emphasizing that CGI Babandede is brimming with resourcefulness, youthful energy and zeal for service to humanity and his fatherland.

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NDDC: GPMI Hails Sen. Akpabio , Says Detractors Should Leave Him Alone

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The Global Peace Movement International UK has described the Niger Delta Minister, Sen. Godswill Akpabio as a man who claimed fifteen story building without a steer case.

The group also said Senator Godswill Akpabio is a proven performer. Since he became the Minister of Niger Delta, he has been working diligently to develop the region. It is on record that massive work is going on in the region in different sectors.

In a press statement signed by the media officer, Augustine Aminu (KSM) on behalf the President General of Global Peace Movement International UK, Dr. Mike Uyi who currently lost his sister, Pastor Rose Uyi.

He said, prior to the minister’s assumption of office at the Niger Delta Affairs ministry, activities at the ministry were in dire need for reformation. Therefore, it took the frugality in his resource management and political determination to turn around the entire gamut of the Niger Delta community for the better within his short stay in office.

According to Uyi, the mandate of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is to formulate and execute plans, programmes, and other initiatives as well as coordinate the intervention activities of agencies, communities, donors, and other relevant stakeholders involved in the development of the region. Akpabio has promised never to deviate from the mandate.

“NDDC was meant to address the development challenges in the Niger Delta region but the commission has only enriched a few people in the past leaving the mission and vision not actualized. Faceless contractors have pocketed funds for projects and were never executed”.

“Akpabio is tested and trusted. As commissioner, senator and governor, he performed excellently. Unarguably, Akpabio is among the ministers that would perform very well in this administration and should be allowed to concentrate on transforming NDDC. GPMI believes that he will do greater things if given a higher national assignments”.

Under the supervision of Senator Akpabio, a forensic audit was carried out to unravel corruption and bad corporate governance in the commission.

“The Minister as we know him has been a detribalised and generous individual. His personal aides and workers hail from different states in the Niger Delta region and the country. Besides, the minister is known for presenting opportunities to people based only on their competencies”.

“He has carried all stakeholders in the Niger Delta along and that is why the region has remained peaceful since his emergence as a minister”.

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Less Than 3 Percent Of Kaduna Residents Have Health Insurance – KADCHMA

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Less than 3 percent of people out of about 9 million are covered by medical insurance under the Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Agency (KADCHMA) it has been revealed.

The revelation was made during a stakeholders meeting organized by the Kaduna Maternal Accountability Mechanism (KADMAM) with Partnership to Engage and Learn (PERL-EC) and Lafiya Programme.

Speaking on the matter, the representative of KADCHMA and Director of Operations, Dr Juliana Bungon said that apart from the state government employees only about 2000 individuals from the informal sector are registered with the scheme.

She added that  getting the informal sector to participate in the scheme had been difficult because they are not organized as the organized informal sector who are part and parcel of the trade unions.

She however added that the state government is making arrangement with farmers in the rural area to batter harvested food items with relevant agency so that they can be captured in the scheme.

” we are also going to vigorously involve cooperatives, desk officers in local governments as well as embark on massive sensitization with media to drive home the matter, ” she said.

Speaking earlier,  Mal Mustapha Juma’are  said that people must be part and parcel of the scheme so that the issue of out of pocket expenditure which hitherto had been a stumbling block to Nigerians resident in Kaduna state can be minimized.

Mal Juma’are who frowned at the paltry percentage of residents who have embraced the scheme called on participants to help in galvanizing the populace so that they can embrace it and make it their own.

Also speaking, the Co-Chair of Open Government Partnership (OGP) Hadiza Umar said that action in the area of sensitizing and enrolling the people of Kaduna state is necessary in order to curb or reduce the number of people dying daily from treatable diseases.

She said that Kaduna State will remain open in all its activities as she urged participants and stakeholders to share the information especially in the informal sector.

Mr Abel Adejor, on behalf of PERL-EC and Lafiya programme said that the aim of the meeting is for associations and organizations that are in the informal sector to be properly mobilized with adequate information for them to key into the scheme.

He further said that the civil societies and Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) will continue to give support to program for it to succeed in the state.

The meeting was made possible by the KADMAM in collaboration with KADCHMA and support from PERL-EC and Lafiya programme in partnership with UKAID.

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