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Bandits War: We ‘Ve Been Used And Dumped!

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…… Kaduna Vigilantes Cry Out, Demand Dead Members Benefits

…..No, Vigilante Services, Voluntary- Commandant

…..We ‘ve Notified Authorities -KADVS

By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

In what appeared a cold war between the personnel of Kaduna State Vigilantes Service (KADVS), its commandant and the state government, is the nonpayment of benefits of members killed during field operation by bandits.

According to checks, the entitlements of survivors who also personnel are also in contention.

However, some of the personnel of KADVS who are seriously at loggerhead with the Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs on what they described as being ‘Used and Dumped Tactics’ of the state government have been given suspension letters.

According to two of the aggrieved vigilantes personnel currently on suspension, explained that till date nothing like dead benefits have been paid to three of their colleagues who lost their lives during operations

The personnel, Jameel Abdulrahaman and Umar Ahmed Tijani , narrated that they were brought back from the field operation locations and dropped on the road about seven months ago without any promise or appreciation or compensation.

Voicing their anger, Abdulrahaman and Tijani said they’ve written several complaint letters to relevant authorities , including the commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, and copied the Police Commissioner and others, but the letters only earned them suspension.

“My name is Jemeell Abdulrahaman. We’re here to tell you about our issues with Kaduna state vigilantes Service (KAGVS), the Kaduna state government and the commissioner Internal Security and Home Affairs Mr Samuel Aruwan. We’ve copies of letters we wrote to him.
“We stayed for about 8 months and 2weeks in operations field.

“Before we went for the field operations, they gave us training for two weeks in police college and another training in Kachia Base Camp military training.

“They teach us how to fight armed bandits under training title: Combat Graft techniques. For us to protect Kaduna state and Nigeria in general. We spent the 8 months in operation field without any entitlement.

“Some of our colleagues died in the operation field and no dead benefits was given to them. So we’re doing this for the dead colleagues to have their own entitlement and their death benefits including our own entitlement.

“Kaduna state should give us recommendation letter for what we’re doing to protect the nation and the state”. We got nothing from them when back from the operation field 7 months ago” he added

Continuing, : “They just left us behind in our places without any concern. We drop out for lack of concern and any allowance. Now we ask of entitlement they start fighting us”

According to him “We have not been paid anything aside the N10,000 they give each of us then, when they open account for us in Zenith bank and N5, 000 they give us when going to Kachia. Apart from that N15,000 , no money join us with them again”, they lamented.

“Over 1000 of the volunteers joined the training. “The number of those taken to operation field was 202 people. They keep us at Sabon Birinin defensive location and Buruku military defense locations, where we were later despatched to practical operations, that’s the flash spots.
‘When the operations ended, they brought us and dropped us by the road side instead of police college.

“They also lied to media, BBC, VOA that they trained 10,000 people to end the insurgency in Kaduna”, adding that the 10,000 was training allowance given them.

“They send the N10,000 to us after the break. Then we came back 2 weeks time preparing to go to kachia, before going to kachia they promised to give us something, and that we should come with someone who is going to collect the message for us.
“We did that but no message for us, so we now said we’re not going, they now gave N5000 each and ask us to go, that all our allowances will be paid after we come back.
“So, we went to Kachia for 2weeks, after our training they brought us back to police collage, that was all. We stayed at home for two weeks break, brought us back, selected 202, and asked the rest to go, took us to locations. That was last year August 2021 and came back this year around April 2022. Dropped us at Rigasa railway station. Since then, we’ve been writing them letters even to commissioner Aruwan before we started this struggle.
“The problem is that they refused to give us allowances, not because insecurity is over. We were even promised that the state will employ us as personnel at the end of the operations.

“Three of us were killed. We wasted our time and lives and came with nothing. We were used and dumped, instead of appreciating us, they gave us letter of suspension because of the struggling to be paid our entitlement and dead benefits. Even the KAGVS leaders they connected us to, are also fighting us”, they said.

All effort made to contact the commissioner internal security through his phone, failed as he neither responded to chats, messages, nor called back.

However, the zonal Commander , Ali Usman and the state Commandant of KADVS Brigd Gen. Umar Ibrahim (rtd), in their response to all the allegations, said that there was not formal agreement or arrangements between them and government, on any form of payment of entitlement for personnel for the services.

He, however, said they’ve communicated to the government officially on the dead personnels and expected something would be done for those killed, but declined to make the letter available when requested.

Gen. Ibrahim rtd, emphasized that the personnel were invited to offer the services voluntarily from their various areas which constituted flash pont of bandits attacks , especially Chikun, Igabi, B/Gwari , among others, without anything attached.

“We’re doing this in anticipation that one day government will give us recognition same way it happened to NSCDC. So, it is voluntary for now.

The zomal commander and his Boss also faulted the aggrieved personnel for not following the protocols for writing letters of complaints directly to internal security commissioner, instead of the KADVS command, saying the action to mobilise the personnel for bandits war was based on verbal arrangement between the command and government officials , beginning with Ward, LG and state Command level , to come and render voluntary service to their communities, state and nation at large.

While the commandant agreed that N9 million given him by the army was shared to the personnel completely, he also said that they gave befitting burial to the dead personnel and reached out to their families, even as the KAGVS denied knowledge of 3 dead, saying the third person was attacked and killed in his house area by bandits not on location.

As at the last count, the Human Rights body involved in the matter is said to have arranged a meeting between the affected personnel and the command with a view to finding an amicable solution.

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Food Security: Coalition of CSOs Extol Agric Minister for revolutionizing sector

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The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, COCSON, Friday, hailed the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, over policies driven to boost food security and crash high food prices.

The commendation was made during a press conference held in Abuja, where the spokesman, COCSON, Adebayo Oluwaseun, on behalf of the Coalition acknowledged and appreciated the Minister while noting that the leadership he has demonstrated since his appointment had impacted positively on the agricultural sector as he is currently revolutionizing the industry and ensuring Nigeria and Nigerians are food secure.

According to Oluwaseun, the Minister has been committed to the implementation of the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Plan, NATIP, which has been instrumental in modernizing the agricultural space, whereby there have been technological advancements and empowerment of smallholder farmers across the country.

He said: “It is with great pride and a profound sense of optimism that we, the members of COCSON, gather here today to applaud the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar, for his exceptional leadership and the transformative impact he has had on the agricultural landscape of our beloved country, Nigeria.

“Since his appointment, Minister Abubakar has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to driving positive change, implementing bold initiatives, and positioning the agricultural sector as a key driver of economic growth and sustainable development in Nigeria.”

According to COCSON, the Minister has empowered women and youth in the agricultural sector, including initiatives to provide specialized capacity building and access to financing, and giving opportunities to underrepresented groups, enabling them to become active contributors to the sector’s growth and development.

“The Minister’s unwavering support for women and youth in agriculture has been truly transformative. By investing in their skills, knowledge, and entrepreneurial spirit, he has not only empowered these crucial demographics but also paved the way for a more inclusive and sustainable agricultural ecosystem in Nigeria.

“The coalition is confident that under your stewardship, the sector will continue to thrive, contributing to the country’s food security, economic prosperity, and sustainable development.

“Kyari’s dedication, innovation, and tireless efforts have truly set a new standard for agricultural leadership in Nigeria. We, the members of COCSON, pledge our unwavering support and commitment to working alongside the Minister to further strengthen the agricultural sector and realize our collective vision of a prosperous, food-secure, and environmentally sustainable Nigeria”, he added.

Meanwhile, the Secretary, COCSON, Fatima Usman, “Under Minister Abubakar’s leadership, the NATIP has been a game-changer, revolutionizing the way we approach agriculture in Nigeria.

“Through this innovative plan, we have witnessed a remarkable increase in crop yields, improved access to cutting-edge farming techniques, and the creation of numerous job opportunities for our youth in the agricultural value chain.”

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EFCC’s ‘Slouchy Utterances’ Against Bello: MPPR Condemns Agency’s Bias, Calls for Fair Play

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….Says chairman should tell Nigerians why he wants Bello to follow the back door to see him?

Leadership of the Movement for the Protection of People’s Rights MPPR on Friday, disclosed that slouchy statements from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Boss, Mr. Ola Olukoyede on the person of Yahaya Bello has continued to show that the chances of justice for the latter are very slim.

In a statement jointly signed by Comrade Musa Abdullahi, the Secretary General and Comrade Abiola Adegbite, Dir, Media & Publicity, the group warned the anti-graft agency boss to quit looking for ways to bring in Yahaya Bello via backdoor.

It read: “Since the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) in 2002, its activities have elicited both support and suspicion in the fight to tackle graft cases in Nigeria. Patriotic citizens from all walks of life have consistently stood by the EFCC in the difficult mandate given to it through an Act of the National Assembly.

“Going through the recent press statement issued by the EFCC in which it has accused an imaginary named former Governor and two ex- ministers of spearheading a planned protest against the Commission is not only baseless, absurd but also cowardly. The story credited to the EFCC giving credence to some faceless 259 civil society organisations under the aegis of nonexistent Coalition for Transparency is a disgrace carried too far in the anti- graft war in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

“With the story credited to the EFCC, one would think that the Commission was deliberately fashioned for lies, gross mischief, and drain pipe purpose – a channel of deception and castration of Nigeria’s puberty. From all indications, the groups being celebrated by the EFCC are either the creation of the Commission or the agency cash and carry, non existent nor unregistered NGOs/ CSOs arrangement and hatchet jobbers with them on retainership basis. Not long ago, one of such beneficiaries wrote a petition to the National Judicial Council,( NJC) against a Judge handling the case between the EFCC and a former Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. Sadly, the author of the said petition to the NJC was once arrested and charged to court by the Nigeria Police for mischief, falsehood, and frivolous claims against a former Attorney-General of the Federation. What a shame and a coincidence for the EFCC- to be hobnobbing with such a disgruntled and malicious character parading himself as an activist.Has the EFCC forgotten the ethos of crime101 of profiling and carrying out due diligence of any of its friends before association?

“Rather than remain a vile witness of dishonour, false alarms, arbitrariness and politicization of the anti- graft war, we must posit that the era of fighting the anti-corruption war with disobedience to court orders, selective prosecution, intimidation, gestapo like arrests, defamation of character and blackmail are gone forever with the wind. The Commission should rather concentrate its energy on the investigation of N23 billion Kano- Maiduguri abandoned rail line contract, the CCTV contract scam awarded for Lagos and Abuja worth over USD100 million, monies in billions spent by NDDC, the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry’s mind boggling “N729 billion” fraud, among others and also during the COVID-19 lock down.

“Consequently, they also have an obligation to identify the Nigerian government officials who have been collecting bribes and perpetuating money laundering through Bitcoins platforms since 2016. But they all left these serious state matters in the coolers to go after a politically assumed enemy and a juggernaut who has become a rallying point for the youths in Nigeria and a formidable ally of Mr President. These are all in a bid, to please their monstrous paymasters and retain the office of the Chairman of the EFCC. How long will Olukayode be using unethical methods and gestapo like arrests and movements to persecute and hound Yahaya Bello in order to please his self-serving ambition and cohorts

“Nigeria is a country founded on constitutional democracy, anchored on the rule of law and due process. Therefore, we challenge the EFCC to disclose the identity of the ex-Governor and two former ministers spearheading the concocted protest against the EFCC, including the venue and time where the meeting took place. They must furnish Nigerians with details of the attendance list of the meeting and the money earmarked for the imaginary and phantom protest as alleged! How can the Commission stoop so low to embark on the dissemination of such hearsay, falsehood, orchestrated plots, red imaginary shadows, misrepresentation and innuendos without due process and the rule of law? The EFCC has become the accuser, prosecutor, and judge in its own case. What a misnomer?

“We must state categorically, to those who are either ignorant of the law establishing the agency or trying to display some affinity with the arrogance of the EFCC to note the motive behind the creation of the Commission wasn’t meant for the abuse of prosecutorial powers or usurp political authority. This presupposes that the Commission and its agents must act in accordance with the constitution and civil conduct in the discharge of their duties in consonance with the rule of law and civility in all its obligations to the citizenry, but the reverse is now the case under the present leadership.

“We wish to ask the EFCC some salient questions relevant to the handling of their case against Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello. Why are they shopping for a pliable judge to handle their persecution of Bello? Contrary to the standing operational procedure? Why did the Chairman place a call directly to Bello and want him to follow the back door if there is no hidden agenda? What was the motive behind the Chairman’s placement of direct call to Bello? Why was he interested in ushering him via the Chairman’s special entrance gate and exclusive door? A back door arrangement that Bello rejected outright till date has become his being hounded regrettably!

“This brings us to the shadow boxing placement of Bello on the watch list of Interpol. The apt description of the action of the EFCC in this regard can be described as ultravires, premeditated, teleguided, and an agenda for settling scores, having an axe to grind

“It is a big shame, ridiculous and embarrassing for obvious reasons, the EFCC is granting interviews and issuing statements in a clearer attempt to ambush and preempt judicial officers handling their case against Bello who are already in various courts of competent jurisdiction. What a shameless act by the agency!

“The EFCC must desist from further overheating the polity, from undemocratic and unconstitutional practices in the handling of this case and others. The era of plotting shenanigans and suffocating excuses in the fight against graft is over. Therefore, all cases before the courts must be allowed to be exhausted in full and the outcome decided. The anti-graft body must not be seen to probate and reprobate in a desperate bid to crucify any accused persons under investigation or prosecution under its watch. Actions of resorting to self-help, amounts to prejudicial and subjudicial, that are entrenchently intolerable in terms of both legal and moral compliance.

“Only an institution that has abandoned its core mandate would embark on a proxy war, name calling, and grandstanding. Blaming white witches and village people for their incompetence, lack of due diligence, and unprofessional conduct. Wasting taxpayers’ monies on wild goose chase that would lead Nigerians to no where, except the land of voodoo warriors insinuating about planned and sponsored protests against the EFCC

“For the umpteenth time, let us state that the placement of Bello on the watch list, which is already before the court, is mischievous, self-serving, arbitrarily obnoxious and devoid of fairness.
It is on this ground that we are urging the Chairman of the EFCC to resign from office forthwith due to his inability to discharge his mandate without fear, favour, and biases.

“Let us make it abundantly clear that natural justice is anchored in the will of Almighty God taught to mankind. The EFCC should always act with fear of God devoid of sentiments and preferential treatment of requesting suspects to see the Chief Prosecutor through his special backdoor. Nigerians are still waiting for explanation on other high suspects granted such merited or unmerited favours. The criteria used for the selection process and the fate of those who accepted and others who rejected such private gestures! The Nigerian people are interested in the overall outcome of what transpired during both day and night visits through the Chairman’s exclusive door!

“Finally, the desperate agenda to crucify Bello amounts to giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it. The constant review of human regulations and laws is evidence of civility, as Edmund Burke aptly captures it plainly when he said, “Bad laws are worst sort of tyranny.”

“The EFCC has goofed once again and should explain to Nigerians the extant rule of the exclusive backdoor passage, which Yahaya Bello declined and rejected.

“We therefore call on the International Community, Donor Agencies and Partners to dispassionately read in between the lines in terms of the backdoor arrangement/exclusivity offered by the Chairman of EFCC to Bello and the glaring double – standards and inconsistencies in the handling of the anti-graft war as it relates to politically exposed persons in Nigeria!

“With the above, the Chairman of EFCC has no moral right to stay a day longer in office as the Chairman of the agency!”

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Lawmakers’/Stakeholders Support Creation of Anioma State , Senator Nwoko Reveals

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Senator representing Delta North, Ned Nwoko has revealed massive support from Delta, South East Senators and other stakeholders for the creation of Anioma state

 

He said the creation of the long sought Anioma State will correct perceived marginalisation of south east geo-political zone.

It will be recalled that a bill to create Anioma state had passed first reading in the Senate on July 2.

Speaking in an interview in Abuja on Wednesday, the sponsor of the bill, Nwoko said the bill seeks to alter provisions of 1999 Constitution (as amended) to create Anioma state.

Senator Nwoko said the south-east geopolitical zone currently has five states, unlike its counterparts, which have six each, except for the North- West, which has seven states.

Revealing that the creation of Anioma state has received wide support from major stakeholders, Nwoko said the two other senators from Delta state, Ede Dafinone (Delta Central and Joel-Onowakpo Thomas (Delta South) support the creation of the state. For me, that is a big support.

“I have gotten support from most of the senators from the south east as well and I know that I will get support from across the country.

“The Izu Anioma, which is the umbrella group of all Aniomas are saying we want it, the Ikpe Anioma says we want it.”

Nwoko dismissed report by a group alleging that he did not consult wildly before presenting the bill for creation of Anioma state for first reading.

He said the call for creation of Anioma state was timely and has to happen for various reasons, adding that the eventual creation will address years of concerns, challenges of Ndigbo in Nigeria.

“The most important one is that there is the urgent need to address the injustice, the years of crying of marginalisation by Ndigbo generally.

“It is a huge population in Nigeria, but they only have five states, and so, it will make six states of Ndigbo.

“It is a very long fight, for the quest for Anioma has taken 50 years from the time of Dennis Osadebe.

“There may not be many states created in Nigeria under this dispensation, but certainly, there is an urgent need to create one to address the imbalance.

“It is hoped that when it is done it will assuage the cries of the Igbos because since after the war there has been so many cries of been marginalised of injustice.

“So it is only equitable that it is done because it will deal with the crisis, the killings the violence, the seat at home issues among other issues.”

He said there was the need to bring a lasting solution to issues in the region. “We are looking at finding the solution to crisis, you don’t create a state for the fun of it, no, you create a state to address a particular issue of concern”.

He said Nigeria now has a president who is determined to right wrongs of the past, because it is important to do so and “the government want to solve the problem of the south east”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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