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Don’t Flout Ban On Open Grazing ,Obaseki Warns, Assures More Support For Edo Vigilante

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The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his government will continue to support the State’s Vigilante Security Network to enhance security in the state and ensure the protection of lives and citizens.

Obaseki gave the assurance while addressing traditional rulers, security chiefs and other stakeholders in Edo North Senatorial District, at Etsako West Local Government Council Hall in Auchi, on Tuesday.

Present at the meeting are the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comr. Philip Shaibu; Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Monday Osaigbovo; Commissioner for Security and Public Safety, Hon. Omololu Ojehomon, as well as Heads of Administration of the Six Local Government Areas in Edo North, amongst others.

The governor, while assuring that the government will provide more logistics support to the vigilante network to improve patrol and surveillance in the grassroots, said his administration will be working with communities that have boundaries with other neighboring states, including Akoko-Edo and Etsako-East where security is porous so as to strengthen mechanisms and strategies to secure the borders and increase security in the areas.

Obaseki said, “We will continue to provide support for our vigilante but in the immediate, we will purchase a number of motorcycles for the vigilante for patrol and bush combing. The vigilante must be supported with some stipends and logistics. I will give you a Christmas bonus for the year as each local government will get N3 million for the work you have done for this year.

“From January 2023, we will make sure we support each local government with N1 million every month to support our vigilante and report must be rendered in every Security Council meeting.

“I thank the Afamai World Congress who contributed N10 million to support security in Edo North. We will double the money and use it to support our vigilante with logistics.”

“We encourage other associations and citizens to support the state security arrangement as the government alone can’t do it. These men need encouragement to combat crime and make the state peaceful,” he added.

The governor further noted: “To have effective security, one must know those he is securing. This has given rise to the ongoing citizens’ identification exercise. Edo State citizens’ identification is tied to the national identification as our officials will visit you soon to take your details. This will help us provide adequate security for our people. If you don’t have an identity as a citizen of Edo State, your children will not be able to attend our schools, hospitals and markets. It will get a lot of push in January 2023 and needs your support.

“We thank our vigilantes, PUWOV and hunters for your efforts and services which will never be taken for granted. Our role is to organize and provide some support. From January 2023, the six commands of the vigilante in Edo North will be the first to be trained.”

He added, “People must understand that there is now a law in Edo State which prohibits open grazing and to graze one must respect the stipulation of the law. We will make copies again to the local government security committee to study and give full effects to the law within one month.

“There is a law in Edo State which I have signed, the anti-open grazing law. It’s illegal for anybody to graze openly or in an area that has not been so earmarked and the provision is clear and must be given full effect.”

Head of Administration of Akoko Edo Local Government, Alemoghana Innocent thanked the Edo State Government for its support and prompt response with a tactical squad which helped in the rescue of 27 persons kidnapped in the local government.

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The Otaru of Igarra, His Royal Highness, Oba Adeche Saiki Il, appealed for more sophisticated weapons to enable the hunters, vigilante and locals secure themselves and their environment while the Olokpe of Okpe Kingdom, Oba Okhishimede Eshimokhai Idogu III, urged the government to provide logistics to support the system to ensure peace and unity in the 18 LGAs of the state.

On his part, the Otaru of Auchi, Alhaji Aliru Momoh, thanked the governor for his interest in securing the lives of the people.

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EDSG Trains Batch- 9 Vigilantes, Hunters.

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….. As Gov Obaseki Signs Edo Security Corps Bill into law

By Sim Omo- Benin City

As part of efforts to combat crimes, criminalities, cultism and other social vices bedeviling the state, the governor Obaseki led administration has commenced training of batch Nine hunters and operatives of Vigilantes, bringing a total of over ten thousand Vigilantes and hunters so far trained by the state to tighten security in every nook and cranny

Similarly Governor Godwin Obaseki has signed the State security Corps Bill into law

Speaking at the commencement of the batch- nine training exercise at the Police Training School in Ogida, the State Co-ordinator of the Edo security and Vigilantes network , Col. Kole Omomia( Rtd) commended Governor Obaseki and the state government for prioritizing security in the state and its continuous commitment to providing the necessary logistics for the state’s security apparatus to function

He noted that the training of the corps operatives which included the hunters, as in the instance of the batch- 9 who are currently here today, are concerted effort and determination of the state government to put her citizens at the fore front to enjoy peace, tranquility and have an enabling environment that would promote growth, development and investments.

Col. Omomia reiterated that the trainees would undergo series of exercises such as medical fitness, bio-data, teekwando, Judo, Drills, Parades and mental fitness and other activities ancillary to the job

According to the State Cord, the training would cut across the three senatorial districts in the state , with about One thousand, three hundred,(1300) Vigilantes and hunters expected to be trained in Batch- 9

He, however,urged the trainees to key into the program with keen interest and participate fully.

Recall that only recently, the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, singed the Bill establishing the State security Corps, formerly known as the Edo State Security Vigilante Network,ESSVN, into law

By the establishing Act, the Corps is now a statutory body recognised by law and would perform its roles as provided by the Act

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HAILING THE SUPREME COURT ON LG ALLOCATION JUDGMENT

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Prof Mike Ozekhome, SAN,CON, OFR

The supreme court judgement on

July 11, 2024, directing the Federal Government to pay allocations due to Local Government Areas directly to their account thereby abolishing the old practices of State-Local Government Joint Account,is timely and courageous.

What the judgement has done is more like interpreting section 162 of the Constitution, which provides for a joint State-Local Government Account. In which case, money is normally paid to state governors’ accounts and then for them to disburse to the local governments for them to share. But what has been happening is that, as I noted in 2020,over three years ago, the state governors, have been behaving like ”bandits”, waylaing local governments funds along the way and thus impoverishing them leaving them with nothing to work, just a little for salary. And nothing to actually work for the people whom they represent.
I agree totally with the judgement of the supreme court to grant full financial autonomy so that money is released and paid directly to the 774 local government councils which constitute the third-tier of government,to develop their places because the LGAs are grassrooted and nearest to the people. Rather than allow overbearing state governors throw their weight around and muzzle the local governments and seize their purse,they will now allow LGs breath some air of freedom.

If you take a look at our situation, Nigeria is operating a very lopsided federation,more like a unitary system of government. Where the federal government is supposed to be a small government,it is controlling 67 items on the exclusive legislative list. That is why the federal government gets the lion share of the federation account , the lion share of the money that comes to the federation account to the tune of 52.68%. The states get 26.72% while the entire 774 local government councils in Nigeria get just 20.60% of the monthly allocation by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RLASMC.

The question is, what is the federal government doing with almost 53% of the national income? That is because it is a government that is behemoth.That is elephantine. A government that intrudes and intervenes in areas that should not concern it at all. What is the federal government’s business with licensing cars and trucks for states? What is its business with the Marriage Act, dealing with how people marry and wed in Nigeria and how they live together as husband and wife and separate or divorce? What is the federal government’s business with unity schools? A whole FG operating secondary schools? What is their business? Why is the FG not allowing states generate their own power, operate their own railway stations, if they have the capacity? Why should the federal government not allow states have their own police force? Even for the local governments to have their own police force as we have in the United States and other advanced countries of the world where even tertiary institutions have their own police?

The truth is that the federal government is overbloated and overpampered. That is why it is using too much money and make the centre become too attractive,eating deep into funds that ought to be meant for the states and local government areas. The states take not only that which belongs to the states, but also waylays at source that which is meant for the local government areas. No Nation grows that way.

So, I see this judgment as epochal,having

far-reaching effect because money will now be made available directly to the local government areas who will no longer be subservient, like fawning slaves to state governors. In fact, the judgement even went further to say that no state government has the power henceforth to dissolve local government areas. This is because we have been seeing cases where inspite of the provisions of section 7 of the 1999 constitution that give autonomy to local government areas, states normally go ahead and dissolve local government areas ND appoint caretaker committees for them.This is whimsical and capricious.The Supreme Court has said this can no longer go on and that henceforth, no state government should ever be able to dissolve any local government area in Nigeria for any reason whatsoever and howsoever.

The judgement is salutary, timely and regenerative. It should be upheld by all governments and people in Nigeria for better democratic dividends.I see this as victory for our wobbling democracy, even if we are far removed from true fiscal federalism where the federating units control and utilize their God-given resources while paying royalty or tax to the central government. This case is one big plus for tested court room gladiator, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the Attorney General of the Federation, who initiated the case at the apex court, invoking its original jurisdiction.Surely,to jaw-jaw is better than to war-war. God bless Nigeria.

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Ex+Abia gov, Senator Kalu backs part-time legislature

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Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has backed calls for part-time legislature at both federal and state levels.

Senator Kalu (APC Abia North) said this would help the nation cut costs and enhance the citizenry’s trust in the polity.

The former Abia governor said this in an interview published on his verified Facebook page over the weekend.

On calls for part-time legislature, Senator Kalu said, “I think it will be a very good idea if my colleagues and other members of the Houses of Assembly will agree that we can sit for three months and do constitutional amendment first.

“So we can sit four times a year and if there’s any emergency, there will be emergency sitting. We can come to do a presidential bid on that basis and go back instead of sitting on a full-time basis.

“Not only the Senate and the House of Representatives, but all the legislative houses in Nigeria will be part-time.”

Senator Kalu maintained that this would be part of austerity measures to reduce cost of governance, arguing that regional government is another viable alternative.

“If we’re going for regional government, it also means that the ministers, the legislators, will be the same. I’ve been tinkering with the idea of how we can save money to run Nigeria because the country needs money.

“I will encourage the President, the National Assembly to make these kind of laws. This will help him, and this will help the system, and this will help everybody,” he said.

The ex-governor explained that contrary to misconceptions among Nigerians, senators are not paid enough.
U
“But I want Nigerians and my colleagues to do a quick constitutional amendment so we can go and be a part-time sitting Senate and part-time sitting House of Representatives, and other 36 state houses of assembly in Nigeria.

“That will bring trust and bring relief to the Nigerian people,” the ex-governor said.

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