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Taraba Killings: Leaked Memo Deepens Rift Between Army, Police

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A leaked memo from the Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai directing soldiers to henceforth be circumspect in their dealings with the Police over the Taraba incident might have deepened disaffection within the military and security forces, The Nation has reports.

Buratai, in a memo signed on his behalf by Brig.-Gen. Felix Omoigui, directed all troops on IS (Internal Security) duty as well as personnel travelling in and out of uniform to be circumspect in their conduct to avoid escalation of the problem.

“Consequently, formations and unit commanders are to educate troops to be cautious in their dealings with members of the NP in view of this development. Troops traveling on the pass are to endeavor to do so in mufti,” the memo dated 9th August which was reportedly dispatched to different army formations across the country stated.

But a source confirmed the said memo was leaked to the media by the Police to create tension within the security circles and continue to put the Army on the defensive over the matter.

The source said unless the Presidency steps up efforts to douse tension and acrimony created by the Taraba incident, the two security institutions would henceforth be working at cross purposes, a development that would render the works of the investigative panels “as dead on arrival”.

Already the Defence Headquarters has set up a joint investigative panel headed by Rear Admiral I. T. Olaiya and has a representative each from the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, the Nigerian Police, the Department of State Security (DSS) and Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA).

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu also set up a probe panel headed by an Assistant Inspector General of Police to unravel the circumstances surrounding the killings of the three police detectives by troops of 93 Battalion, Takum.

Even though the Nigerian Army, through its spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, said the killings were in error, a response from the police spokesman, Frank Mba raising fresh posers for the Army on circumstances surrounding the incident and the escape of a suspected kidnapper, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume, immediately put the Army on the defensive.

The impression was thus created that the killings of the police undercover agents were deliberate.

The Army authorities have since refused to answer inquiries on the matter, insisting that there was no need to give further clarifications on the issues raised by the Police Force Public Relations Officer, DSP Frank Mba.

However, fearing that the heightened tensions between the two security agencies may degenerate further, the army said in the leaked memo that its officer must be careful in their encounters with men and officers of the Nigerian police.

However, a security source maintained that the damage has already being done considering the way and manner the Police have been taking the matter.

The source expressed worry that the development would not only create a gap in joint operations but would deepen disaffection and suspicion within the ranks and file of the security institutions notwithstanding the outcome of the investigative panels from both sides.

The source advised that the Presidency could yet prevent further damage and acrimony by setting up a judicial panel of inquiry to investigate the matter and enjoin the leadership of the Army and the Police to view the issues from a more matured perspective order than the panic measures being adopted in the military and security circles.

(The Nation)

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BREAKING: Sigh Of Relief As Electricity Workers Suspend Nationwide Strike

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The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has suspended its strike embarked upon on Wednesday to draw the federal government’s attention to the plight of its members.

Following a meeting with officials of the federal government, the union accepted to discontinue the one-day-old strike.

According to the National President of NUEE, Comrade Joe Ajaero, who confirmed the outcome of the meeting to THISDAY, the workers’ grievances were conclusively addressed.

He said that all the concerns of the union and its members were addressed at the talks which lasted till the wee hours of today.

“We have concluded deliberations and all issues were addressed, but we are awaiting implementation. Meanwhile, our strike action is suspended,” Ajaero said.

Following the expiration of the 21 days ultimatum issued by NUEE to the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, to implement their demands, and the failure of the minister to dialogue with the union before the ultimatum which lapsed midnight Tuesday, a nationwide blackout was imminent as electricity workers began indefinite strike Wednesday morning.

The strike led to the shutting down of most of the offices of Distribution Companies (Discos) across the country.

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Trouble Brews In FIRS As Workers Rejects Fowler’s Handover To Aina, Demand Handover To Senior Director

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Twenty-four hours after the change of guard at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), members of staff of the Service have given the authorities till Friday for the most senior director to take over as acting chairman.

Mr. Babatunde Fowler handed over to Abiodun Aina, Coordinating Director, Domestic Taxes Group after President Muhammadu Buhari named Muhammad M. Nami to replace him as chairman and sent his name to the Senate for confirmation.

According to a communique sent to the Acting Executive Chairman, the workers, under the aegis of the Joint Union Council of FIRS, threatened that they cannot guarantee industrial harmony after Friday if Aina continues to act as chairman.

The FIRS claimed that Aina, “does not have the basic qualification/requirement (HND or BSc) to be employed into the Service.”

Besides, the union said Aina’s appointment to the position of Coordinating Director “was against the provision of Section 2.19 of FIRS Human Resource Policies and Processes which states as follows: Appointment to the post of Coordinating Director shall be made by the Board on the recommendation of the Executive Chairman.”

Aina’s appointment they claim should “be open to all confirmed Directors of the Service and it shall be competitive based on experience, competence, and seniority, as he was never a director in the Service rather a Senior Special Assistant to the erstwhile Chairman of FIRS.”

They also claimed that “his name is not on the seniority list of confirmed FIRS staff and FIRS directors on the staff nominal roll rather on the list of Contract Staff of FIRS.”

At the end of the emergency meeting, union members resolved that “in accordance with the Presidential Directive, the seniority list should be followed and the appropriate person be directed to act, pending assumption of duty of the New FIRS executive chairman.

“That if by close of work on Friday, 13th December 2019, no action is taken to this effect, Union will no longer guaranty further industrial harmony in the system.”

The communique was signed by Okere Samson (JUC Chairman); Idris Hassan Abdulrahaman (JUC Vice-Chairman); Lekwot Friday Thomas (JUC Secretary); Jimoh Idowu; Kenechukwu Oliver; Shehu M.D; Esther Acheme; Jane Akinbami; Abba Dalhatu; Akpabio N.M; Ajoge J.Y; Akorga Lucy; Ohiwere Ahmed A; Abubakar Abeni; Hussaini Moses; Nwoha Godwin and Habiba Adekunle.

The union leaders sent copies of the communique to Finance Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nígeria President and his Nigeria Civil Service Union counterpart.

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FG Has Commercialized Christian Marriage —- PFN Cries Out Over New Law That Mandates Couples To Pay N51,000 Before Getting Married In Church

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has expressed fury over the new law by the Rauf Aregbesola led Ministry of Interior that mandates the payment of N30,000 by Churches to conduct statutory marriages and N21,000 for each marriages certificate.

PFN has alleged that churches are being targeted by the Federal Government following the new marriage certificate law introduced by the Ministry of Interior.

PFN’s National President of the fellowship, Rev.(Dr.) Felix Omobude who lashed out at the Ministry of Interior over the imposition of a compulsory N30,000 charge license for Christian worship centers for the conduct of statutory marriages in churches and N21,000 for each marriage certificate alleged that it is an attempt to commercialize Christian marriages in the country.

Omobude called on the Federal Government to shelve the unpopular policy which he said is exploitative and targeted against Christian marriages in the country. He added that they will use every legal means to stop the new marriage certificate law.

He said;

“This is very unfair and to the best of our understanding, the new law is targeted against the Church because the Traditional and Islamic weddings are exempted from paying the new marriage certificate fees.

“PFN is at a loss as to why Church Marriages should be in the exclusive list of the nation’s constitution. The PFN, therefore calls on the Federal Government to immediately shelve the unpopular policy targeted against Christian marriages in the country.

“If the Ministry of Interior is in dire need of funds, it should look elsewhere and resist the temptation of placing an extra financial burden on the Christians and their churches.”

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