A federal high Court in Abuja on Friday has finally declared the activities of bandits’ groups as acts of terrorism.
Mohammed Abubakar — the Director of Public Prosecution — DPP, of the Federation, had filed an ex-parte application seeking to proscribe the grisly activities of ‘bandits’ who have been vicious in kidnapping and killing their captives across Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Benue and Sokoto states.
Abubakar accused bandits of waging a relentless war against ordinary Nigerians in the North-west and North-central States.
Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning has said the federal government will remove fuel subsidies by 2022. According to her, fuel subsidies will be replaced with N5000-a-month transport grant to the poorest Nigerians. Ahmed stated this on Tuesday, while speaking at the launch of the World Bank Nigeria Development Update (NDU). The minister noted the grant will go to about 30 to 40 million Nigerians, who make up the poorest population of the country.
Another Strike looms as ASUU gives FG three weeks to meet demands. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has given the Federal Government a three-week ultimatum to meet its demands contained in the Memorandum of Action (MoA), signed by both parties on December 23, 2020. Failure to comply, it said, ASUU could resort to industrial action. The Union also set up an independent committee to probe what it described as questionable appointment of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, as a Professor of Cyber Security at the Federal University of Technology Owerri.
This is significant because the trainees will be introduced to Life-Skills and attitude re-orientation, work ethics while rules of engagement are also exposed to them. Federal government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has commenced the N-Knowledge Programme in the six geo-political and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja with 20,000 beneficiaries. The minister of humanitarian affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq, made this public through a statement signed by the ministry’s permanent secretary Bashir Nura Alkali. N-Knowledge is a component of the N-Power Programme focused on equipping young Nigerians with relevant skills and certification to become competent workers, innovators and entrepreneurs for both the domestic and global digital job markets. N-Power (N-Knowledge) is designed to upskill 20,000 young Nigerians on the global radar as exporters of world-class services and content in the creative and information technology sectors. She said the training component is targeted at developing competencies of the youth in software development and hardware training which will be catalysed to make Nigeria compete in the outsourcing market for software development. Farouq said, “It will develop the skills and capacities along the skills set in the value chain of mobile apps and website development while boosting the talent development effort for the growth of information technology industry in Nigeria.” “The programme consists of centralized in-camp training for 3 months with a 6-month apprenticeship across the 6 geo-political zones. A total of 20,000 beneficiaries will participate in the programme,” she stated. The minister said at the end of the programme, qualified trainees would be awarded their certificates and attestations. The trainees will be introduced to different schedules that will definitely make them more informed and ready for the global competitions in the global market. This is significant because the trainees will be introduced to Life-Skills and attitude re-orientation, work ethics while rules of engagement are also exposed to them.
Addressing a press conference along with Rivers State Leaders of Thought at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Governor Wike said series of events had shown that the Odili family is being targeted, just as he alleged that Friday’s invasion of the residence of Justice Odili by security agents was an assassination attempt.
Gov Wike, on Sunday gave the Federal Government 48 hours to unveil the invaders of Justice Mary Odili’s house.
Since the person who made a complaint against her residence and the personnel who went there are known, government had no reason not to take action against them”, he said
“So, if the Federal Government is saying that they are not involved, then the onus is on the Federal Government to come out not just merely denying but we must see the steps you are taking to prove that you are not involved. “And having known that a magistrate was the one who gave that order and having known it was the police that applied for such search warrant, you cannot now say that they are people you don’t know. The names of the policemen are there.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Sunday, alleged that Friday’s invasion of the residence of Justice Mary Odili by security agents was an assassination attempt. Addressing a press conference along with Rivers State Leaders of Thought at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, he said a series of events have shown that the Odili family is being targeted. While noting that it’s not enough for government agencies to claim ignorance of the invasion, he issued a 48-hour ultimatum within which the Federal Government must take action against all those involved in the invasion.
Wike said it is not a mere coincidence that after participating in the Bayelsa State election panel, some people entered Justice Odili’s house but the government kept quiet; her husband and former Rivers governor Chief Peter Odili’s passport was seized on his return from abroad, followed by Friday’s invasion of her Abuja residence. He said if the Federal Government says it is not involved in the invasion, it must take steps to convince the people that it has no hand in it. Wike said if anything happens to any member of the Odili’s family, the people of Rivers State will hold the Federal Government responsible.
Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has warned that foreign jihadists would come into the country should bandits be declared terrorists, saying the development would come at a price.
He also called on clergymen to talk to Sunday Igboho, and Nnamdi Kanu just as he does to bandits.
Gumi said there would be severe consequences, if the government declared bandits as terrorists.
Read what he said below…
“Yet, innocence these days is relative. We agreed if their children and women are also killed, they are guilty by association or collateral damage, so also the bandits may think the same way. It’s right for vigilantes to lynch Fulanis herdsmen or anyone that looks like them by profiling but wrong for the herdsmen to ransack villages in retribution. They are pushed to believe it is an existential war and in war, ethics are thrown to the winds.
“Yet again, the only helpful part that is against Bandits is that no other than them are attracted to join them in the NW because of its ethnic tinge and coloration. However, the moment they are termed Terrorist – Islamic for that matter, the direct foreign Jihadist movements will set in in force. And many teaming unemployed youths may find it palatable and attractive.
“Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ plus AK47 against a ‘secular’ immoral society where impunity reigns are the magnet for extremists and downtrodden – the majority of our youth. Already these terrorist groups are fighting for the soul of these bandits.
The family of Nnamdi Kanu, has declared that the resolution of the growing agitation for Biafra can only come through negotiations and not by the use of force against the agitators. The family spoke as Anglican Bishops in the Church of Nigeria, Province of the Niger, have condemned the amended charges against the IPOB leader.
This is even as the Anambra State government has adopted Saturdays for normal school days following the weekly sit –at-home on Mondays declared by the IPOB. Prince Emmanuel Kanu who spoke in a media interview urged the federal government to release the IPOB leader and engage him in dialogue, arguing that the issues he raised are germane.
His words:” Nnamdi Kanu is only asking for three things – justice, equity and fairness. You can’t achieve peace with guns and bullets. It’s impossible! “ Dialogue is the only way out. We are Biafrans. You can’t take that away from us. Nnamdi Kanu is the face of the agitation because the issues he is raising are genuine.
This was part of the resolutions reached at the end of the conference, put together by the Nigerian Guild of Editors last Thursday and Friday, with the theme ‘Media in Times of Crises: Resolving Conflict, Achieving Consensus’, was attended by 350 editors, security chiefs and other stakeholders.
President Mustapha Isah and the General Secretary Iyobosa Uwugiaren, advised the government to deal with the different sections of the country on the basis of fairness, equity and justice. “There’s need for government to ensure that its policies and actions are sensitive to the multi ethnic and religious makeup of the country.”
A civic group committed to government financial transparency, in its report, ‘State of States 2019’, said only three Nigerian state governments (Lagos, Rivers and Akwa Ibom) can finance their recurrent expenditure without allocation from the federal government.
There had been pressure from the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and the general public to stop the suspicious payments to the consultants. However, in a dramatic twist, less than a month after a directive by President Muhammadu Buhari,, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has commenced deductions to pay the claimants.
The permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, told the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting on Friday that it has commenced the deductions to pay the consultants. In 2006, the federal government paid $12 billion to get an $18 billion debt write-off by the Paris Club of international creditors.