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LAMENTATION IN KADUNA!

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……As Sokapu Blasts Kaduna Govt For Being Absent At Mass Burial,Non Provision of Relief Materials To IDPs

Says 105yr- old woman among those slain

By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) has lamented the lack of presence of Kaduna state government officials at the mass burial service of 39 people killed in Mallagun in Kagoro chiefdom by bandits in Kaura LGA of the state.

The Union said there was was appalled by the total absence of any representation by Kaduna State government, also adding that no message of any sort was sent and no relieve material has been sent to the displaced.

SOKAPU disclosed this in a statement issued and signed by its Spokesman Mr. Luka Binniyat and made available to newsmen in Kaduna state.

“The SOKAPU team which was led by its 1st Vice President, Comrade Elisha Rosi to Government Secondary School, Mallagun, venue of the burial service, was appalled by the total absence of any representation by Kaduna State government. “No message of any sort was sent. No relieve material has been sent to the displaced”, it stated.
“The SOKAPU attended the solemn and sad burial prayer for the 13th and 18th December 2022, 39 slain villagers of Mallagun and surrounding villages in Kaura Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna state and heard very disturbing allegations against the personnel of the Nigerian Army in the massacre.

“The affected villages that are closely knit with Mallagun are: Unguwan Mission, Uza-oetsivon, Stok owai and Matstukum. Others are: Sakong, Manyi oegbung and Dussai”, it stated.

It further stated that “In his condolence message, comrade Rosi told the crowd how SOKAPU has been shouting hoax against the genocide in Southern Kaduna, with both the state and Federal government not making enough efforts to stop the killings.

He said that he had visited each of the affected community and was horrified by the carnage, and called for vigilance all the times and prayed for God’s healing of the land.
“The number of coffins however brought to the prayer ground were 23. The reason was that some of the corpses had gone too bad and had to be buried in a hurry. Also, some families buried their slain relations privately”, Union stated.

“Among those killed was a centeranian, Monica Kunal Ajuwai, who was 105 years old. She was killed in Sakong village. Six families were wiped out. 102 houses were totally burnt.
“Homes were looted of grains and valuables before they were burnt down by the assailants identified by survivors as armed Fulani herdsmen in complicit with persons they alleged to be men of the Nigeria Army.

“After the burial service, scores of youths from the affected villages, including members of christian clergy from the affected communities rushed to meet us with stories of how the army may have been used in the killings.

“The Nigeria Army runs Operation Safe Heaven in Southern Kaduna under the Command of Maj. General Ibrahim Ali. General Ali is also the GOC 3 Army Division, Jos – curious positions to be occupied by one man.
“The villagers alleged that four Hilux vans painted in Army colour were patrolling Mallagun village, around 9pm on that night, giving the residents of the farming community some sense of security.

“They went on to say that around 10pm, the vehicles disappeared. Soon an armoured tank came into the village around 10:45 pm. According to their accounts, the attacks on the villages started at the same time the armoured tank rang out its first shot.

“A gun mounted truck” may be mistaken for an amoured tank, but they all said that it was an armoured tank
“The attacks were well planed and coordinated to take place at once.
For hours, there were screaming and calls for help, but no one showed up. Smoke engulfed the night sky as hapless villagers scamper in terror into the bushes.
Help came after three hours with the arrival of armed police.

“The survivors were very mad at the army saying they have explanations to give on their role.
They said that it was long after the police dispelled the attackers and it was already a clear bright morning that soldiers arrived in trucks and started mounting road blocks.

“They showed us long, army coloured painted empty shells of high calibre bullets whose sizes were surely larger in size than that of AK 49. They insisted that the shells came from the amoured tank. The shells had the tell tale sign of a higher amoury than that of hand held guns.
“It is actually very curious that Mallagun and affected villages bank the major Samaru-Kafanchan Highway could be attacked from 11pm to 1am without the arrival of any help, with all the military check points that are few kilometers from Mallagun. The farthest village among the destroyed communities is less than 700m from the highway.
“Why did it take that long for the military to respond, if the account of the communities are right?
The police force was single out for praise at the prayer ground, without whose intervention the massacre would have been worse.

“While SOKAPU acknowledges the gallant and sacrificial roles that men and officers have been playing in defending the country from both external and internal enemies, we nonetheless believe that there could be rogue elements of the army that could be used to collude with outlaws.
“We are calling on the Nigeria Army to carry out an in depth probe into the Mallagun killings. We also called on international community and relevant NGOs to assist us in carrying out a thorough investigation of these allegation”, it stated.
The Union recalled that Madamai village, which is about 2km from Mallagun, was attacked on 27th September, 2021 and 38 citizens killed.
As usual, all effort to clarify from relevant authority failed due to ignominy of the media officials, Ibrahim Musa, Muyiwa Adekeye, others.

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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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