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I Hope God Hears Our Prayers On Insecurity – Buhari

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd. ), has expressed hope that God will listen to Nigeria’s prayers for security, insisting that his regime has done its best in terms of security and will continue to do so by pursuing counter-terrorism policies.

This came as he urged Nigerians to be fair to his government in assessing the country’s insecurity by looking back at what happened when he took over in 2015. He predicted that the North-West, which had caused the nation “consternation,” would improve.

Buhari made the remarks during a visit to the State House in Abuja by Tidjani Ali Bin Arabi, Grand Khalifa of the Tijjaniyya Islamic Movement World-Wide.

The President urged citizens to show interest in their safety and complement what the government was doing.

He added, “We have done our best, and we will continue to do more by pursuing coherent and consistent policies to deal with terrorism. I hope God will listen to our prayers.”

Buhari thanked Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State for inviting the Grand Khalifa to come and pray for the peace and stability of Nigeria.

Ganduje, accompanied by the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado-Bayero, and the leader of the Tijjaniyya Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, said the state government invited the Tijjaniyya World Leader to the country to lead faithfully in prayer considering the complexities around the insecurity in the country.

He said the visit of the Grand Khalifa rekindled the old ties between the Tijjaniya and many cultural and educational institutions in Nigeria.

Arabi and Bauchi extolled the cordial relations between Nigeria and Algeria as they prayed for guidance and blessings for the country and its leaders.

Ganduje later told State House Correspondents, “We invited him and his team to pray for the peace, stability and prosperity of Kano State and Nigeria. We are all aware of the security challenges we are having, the federal and state governments, we are all doing our best.

“To round it up, we decided to visit Mr President. They prayed for him and indicated the importance of the relationship between Algeria and Nigeria and their continued cooperation in prayers for peace and stability.”

The governor added that the delegation constituted a committee to consider education, commerce, and agriculture issues.

Asked about any sustainable structure to resolve the Almajiri issue in his state, he noted that Kano had the highest number of Almajiri in Nigeria but noted that there were regulations to prosecute the parents of Almajiri and out-of-school children.

“We have taken statistics; most of these Almajiri are not indigenes of Kano State, and as Nigerians, they are free to live anywhere they want in this country. We have introduced free and compulsory primary and secondary education in Kano State. We have built many Islamiya schools. We have reformed the Almajiri system of education.”

He said that the state maintained a department that repatriated Almajiris to their home countries, with some going to the Niger Republic and Cameroon. Only a federal law, he claimed, could prevent school-aged children from moving from one state to another indefinitely.

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Terrorism: Nnamdi Kanu in Fresh 15-Count Charges

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On Monday, the Federal Government (FG) filed a new 15-count terrorism charge against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the self-proclaimed leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The Federal Government upped the counts in the initial accusation it filed against Kanu from seven to fifteen in an amended charge filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

With the fresh charges, Kanu who has been facing a seven-count charge bordering on treasonable felony will now take a fresh plea to a 15-count amended charge marked FHC/ABJ/ CR/383/2015, signed by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) M. B. Abubakar.
The IPOB leader was scheduled to appear in court on January 18 (today) to argue his case in two separate applications contesting the competence of the earlier accusation leveled against him as well as the court’s authority.

Count one of the charges alleged that Kanu, sometimes in 2021, being member and leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra did commit an act in furtherance of an act of terrorism against the Federation Republic of Nigeria and the people of Nigeria by making a broadcast received and heard in the country with the intent to intimidate the population, and also threatened that people will die, the whole world will stand still, thereby committing an offense punishable under Section 1(2)(b) of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2013.

Count 15 of the charge reads, “That you, Nnamdi Kanu, male, adult of Afaranukwu Ibeku, Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia state on diverse dates between the month of March and April 2015 imported into Nigeria and kept in Ubulisiuzor in Ihiala LGA of Anambra state, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court a radio transmitter known as Tram 50L concealed in a container of used household items and you thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 47(2)(a) of Criminal Code Act. Cap C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004”.

It would be recalled that the IPOB leader breached the bail conditions granted him by Justice Binta Nyako, before whom he was standing trial. He was however rearrested and brought back to Nigeria to continue with his trial.

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National Assembly To Resume Debate On Electoral Bill Rejected By Buhari

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As the National Assembly returns from its Christmas and New Year break, there are new discussions about the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, which President Muhammadu Buhari rejected over direct primaries.

Buhari did not assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill in a letter to the National Assembly dated December 13, 2021, titled “Withholding of assent to Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021,” citing economic, security, and legal concerns.

The Federal lawmakers had proceeded on their recess after the president communicated to them the rejection of the amendments made to the 2010 Electoral Act.

While the Senate debated overriding the president’s veto before the recess, members of the House of Representatives stated that action on the draft law will be taken after the recess.

During a nationally televised interview, the president stated that he would sign the electoral act bill if lawmakers provided options for the holding of political party primaries. He listed the alternatives, which included indirect, direct, and consensus.

Stakeholders in the country’s political environment, including governors and civil society groups, have proposed solutions ahead of the National Assembly members’ resumption.

In their reactions, rising from their meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the Peoples Democratic Party governors yesterday appealed to the lawmakers to immediately act on the electoral bill.

There are concerns that any further delay on the Electoral Amendment Bill 2021 being signed into law could constitute a big drawback for the 2023 general elections as the electoral law is expected to be in place at least a year before the election to direct the activities of INEC.

Stakeholders comprising members of the civil society, the organized labor, and media, among others, at a citizens’ town hall on “Electoral Bill 2021” held in Abuja on Sunday by Yiaga Africa and partners, were unanimous in urging members of the National Assembly to expeditiously conclude actions on the bill to ensure it becomes law.

In their various deliberations, they urged the lawmakers to remove the disputed provision on compulsory direct primaries by all political parties and resend the bill to the president for his assent.

A former Chairman of INEC, Prof Attahiru Jega, advised the lawmakers not to dissipate energies on trying to override the president, but should instead, remove the clause on direct primaries to allow the bill receive presidential assent without further delay.

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Insecurity: Police, Amotekun After Criminals On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

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In response to public outcry and fears about kidnappings on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the Ogun State Police Command has told the public that it has devised ways to outpace the kidnappers and chase them out of their axis of operation.

Three victims were kidnapped on Sunday morning in Ogunmakin, Onigaari, and Ishara, according to the axes.

DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, the state Police Public Relations Officer, responded to the command’s move to stop the fresh kidnapping incidents by saying that the command was not merely initiating operations along the Lagos-Ibadan Highway.

“We have been everywhere along the road. We have our Operation Safer Highway, Federal Highway Patrol, and teams of anti-kidnapping units there. What just happened was just an opportunistic drive by the hoodlums who saw an opportunity to strike when they saw a broken down vehicle being fixed,” he said.

Oyeyemi recalled the killing of two of the kidnappers at the same axis two months ago, with the recovery of two AK-47 rifles, saying: “We are not resting on our oars because we are not oblivious of the fact that Lagos-Ibadan Highway is one of the busiest roads in the country, and it is our duty to protect the lives of commuters on the road.

“We are making every effort to make sure that the hoodlums are fished for and flushed out.”

The PPRO also disclosed that the state Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, was at the place being used by the kidnappers to assess its security architecture, “and he has given the necessary directive to ensure that those hoodlums have no place to hibernate.

Oyeyemi added that operatives from the command also embarked on operations of combing the bush, saying “the forest is a very vast one linking Ogun and Oyo. We try as much as possible to involve border boundary security stakeholders such as vigilantes, local hunters, and others who know the terrains very well. And they have been assisting us. It was even through their efforts that we were able to locate their hideouts two months ago.’

“We are still carrying them along in this operation as well. And I’m very sure that very soon, our people will hear good news about our breakthrough in that axis. We are determined to flush the hoodlums out and we are going to achieve that.”

But in his response to the return of the kidnappers to the highway, the convener of Southwest Security Stakeholders Group and the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams said the attacks will go into oblivion if the police commands in Oyo, Ogun, and Lagos states, as well as Directors of Department of State Services (DSS) and security advisers to the governors in the states, approve a collaboration with group members to join police operatives in patrolling the axes and the vast forests surrounding them.

Adams, who spoke in a telephone conversation, made it known that nine groups, including OPC, Agbekoya, hunters, vigilantes among others, formed a unit of all relevant security groups in the Southwest.

“They were working with the Police. We started coordinating them and wrote a letter to all monarchs in the South West at the local government levels. We discovered that kidnappers have shifted their attention to the Lagos-Ibadan highway. And it is the busiest road in Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, the Director-General of DAWN Commission, Mr. Seye Oyeleye, has said that there is an ongoing joint operation involving the police and Amotekun in Ogun and Oyo states at identified criminal hotspots on the Lagos-Ibadan highway.

Mr. Oyeleye stated this during a conversation with the Nigerian Tribune on Monday evening. He said in particular, security agencies had identified the group of people terrorizing people plying the end of Isara to the Onigaari axis and were already closing in on them.

He said that with several high-level meetings and joint operations of security agencies, there would be no further attacks on motorists and passengers plying the Lagos-Ibadan highway.

Oyeleye said: “Yes, we have had two or three incidents, but our security agencies are on top of the situation. The security agencies have met and as I am speaking, there is a joint operation going on among the Amotekun in Ogun and Oyo states and the police.

“Yes, it is already one or two incidents too many because the Lagos-Ibadan road is a critical artery for the South-West and indeed, Nigeria, and, if we don’t move in quickly, God forbid, we may have the situation on the Abuja-Kaduna road on the Lagos-Ibadan road. There have been high-level meetings and the security agencies are working jointly.

“Largely, the entire stretch of the road has been secured. You find police presence, but there is that particular notorious point between the end of Isara approaching Onigaari.

“The security men have identified that this is a hotspot and there is a joint operation going on. ‘We cannot afford to have insecurity on that road; it will be a major disaster for the South-West. That is why the authorities are not folding their hands.

“From my office, I have personally spoken with the commandants of Amotekun and I know joint operations are ongoing to ensure that people can drive and travel safely on that road.”

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