A Civil Society Organization, Save Nigerian Movement (SNM) has said the recent call for the sack of the Director General of the Department of State Security (DGSS) Mr. Yusuf Magagi Bichi was the handiwork of high profile criminal suspects, who were under prosecution various crimes of multiple dimensions.
In a statement by its Convener, Rev. Solomon Semaka, SNM noted that the call was a reckless ploy and afterthought deployed by powerful criminal suspects undergoing trial in line with the rule of law.
“These individuals have resorted to smear campaign against the federal government apparently in a bid to evade justice and stamp their feet and take control of the system “
“These high profile and very powerful criminal syndicates already in custody have deployed their enormous financial war chest in a battle of vendatta against the service at the detriment of national security and Nigerians.
“As a frontline Civil Society Organisation committed to promoting democracy and societal values, we deem it necessary to condemn the purported call for the sack of the leadership of the DSS and threats of a nationwide protests by those we consider as crisis entrepreneurs who always avail themselves to be bought by wealthy criminals at the detriment of Nigerians.
“It is troubling that some Nigerians have sold their conscience to the same corrupt elements that impoverished us while in public office, indulging in all forms of criminality instead of service to the nation. The allegations made by these crisis entrepreneurs against Bichi and the DSS are baseless to say the least and a clear case of corruption fighting back.
” We have no doubt that this is a sinister plan to blackmail the federal government and its security agencies especially the DSS from going on with some high profile corrupt cases it is currently handling including that of the former Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the suspended EFCC chair just to mention a few.
“We must emphasize and warn these criminal elements that using their criminal wealth ,influence and faceless groups to sponsor campaigns of calumny against the DSS is an old trick and Nigerians must not fall for it. It is shameful that some greedy Nigerians have teamed up with enemies of the country just because of selfish financial gain” . This is a clear case of corruption fighting back to overwhelm the state.
“The DSS must do its job and refrain from falling for cheap blackmail as they strive to ensure national security”.
The group maintained that the DSS under Yusuf Magagi Bichi has demonstrated commitment to maintaining internal security and should be commended rather than attacked by sponsored elements emphasizing that Nigerians have confidence in the ability of DSS to effectively prosecute all criminal elements who try to undermine Nigeria’s national security no matter how highly placed.
“We urge Nigerians to question the motives behind the faceless groups and lawyers who only seek justice for the wealthy regardless of their heinous crimes against humanity and the nation. Under normal circumstances, these groups should instead be fighting for the interests of the poor but the reverse is the case, this is curious and suspect”, the statement added.
The group passed a vote of confidence on the DSS and its leadership and urged Nigerians to disregard the so-called protests and remain focused on efforts aimed at stabilizing the country and building a secured and prosperous nation for all Nigerians.
My Administration ‘ll Consolidate on Predecessors’ Gains – Gov. Otu
From Patrick Abang, Calabar
Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has assured that his administration would consolidate on the gains of his predecessors to make the state a cynosure of infrastructural development and economic prosperity.
Otu made the assertion, weekend, at a thanksgiving service by the Senator representing the State’s Southern Senatorial District, Asuquo Ekpenyong, held at the Duke Town Cathedral of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Calabar.
“In Cross River State, we are laying solid foundations, building on the gains of our predecessors.We know what Governors Donald Duke, Liyel Imoke and Ben Ayade did. This time around, we are going to explode.
“It is in difficult times like this that things happen. I know people would be wondering about the subsidy removal and harsh economic realities, asking: how is he going to do it? But the answer has been provided in the Holy Writ that, “what God cannot do does not exist,” the governor confidently remarked.
He assured Cross Riverians of his leadership’s resolve to take the state to the next level, stressing that “in less than two years from now, we would not be singing this old tune again; Cross River must have changed.
“Already within a few months, we have added to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We would make sure that we succeed. Just a little patience and the future would be very bright.”
Otu said, “we are very proud of Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong and the support from his colleagues in the National Assembly, who are present at the event. To come like this in their numbers shows the acceptability and direction our nation is going.
“I have no doubt in the institution of the legislature. It is a happy day for the All Progressives Congress, APC, and all lovers of democracy.”
Coast Guards ‘ll Enhance Maritime Laws Enforcement in Nigeria’, Says Gov Diri’s Aide
By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
Bayelsa State Governor’s Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Tourism and Publisher of the Blue Economy magazine, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo has lauded the Federal Government’s plan to establish coast guards, saying that it will strengthen and enhance the enforcement of maritime laws and regulations as applicable in Nigeria’s territorial and inland waterways.
.Kiyaramo who stated this while exchanging views with newsmen Monday, maintained that maritime security remained the anchor that ensures the stability, safety, and prosperity in the maritime sector of the economy, reiterating that maritime security within the Blue Economy is one major source of economic development and growth within the country’s maritime domain.
Describing maritime security as one of the most dynamic sectors, he emphasised that security plays a vital role in driving national economic growth, with a view to fostering international trade and generating employment opportunities within the country.
The publisher further informed that the proposed Coast Guard Service would complement the services of other existing agencies to handle issues relating to maritime security, safety, fisheries protection, pollution control, sanitation, narcotic drugs, prohibited plants, psychotropic substances, illegal firearms and ammunition, and protection of maritime resources.
According to him, “maritime interests are critical to our nation’s security, economy, and prosperity because the nation’s waterways are very precious environmental resources used for both commerce and tourism. Coast Guards will compliment sister agencies to protect the sea as well as help mariners in distress as part of their core functions.”
He explained that while maritime security largely focuses on the protection of vessels and their cargo from external threats such as smuggling and piracy, the goal of maritime safety is to protect people, and in some cases the environment from naturally occurring or accidental hazards at sea.
“These hazards, however, can be just as or even more harmful than external threats. Maritime safety is the protection of crew and passengers aboard vessels, as well as those living or working near water bodies from hazards and the risk of injury or fatality in line with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, and the provision of Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs), which aid in the recovery of persons in water who are at risk of hypothermia ( a medical emergency that occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature) drowning, and even death.
“The blue economy gives us the opportunity to maximise economic resources related to the seas, oceans and waterways generally, while restoring damaged ecosystems as well as introducing innovative technology that helps us to efficiently and sustainably manage everything the seas can offer us as a maritime nation,” Dr. Kiyaramo said.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, recently disclosed plans by the Federal Government to establish a coast guard, as part of efforts to enhance security along coastlines in the country.
The former Osun State governor, who disclosed this at the 32nd edition of the annual Iragbiji Day celebrations, said there were conscious efforts to further secure the marine environment in the country, informing that “the existence of the Deep Blue Project deploys gunboats and other equipment for security on the coastline.
Abiodun Approves Constituency Projects for Ogun Councillors
From Kunle Idowu, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun has put smiles on the faces of councillors in the state as he approved constituency projects for them.
Although the government was silent on the cost of the projects, his magnanimity was in fulfilment of his pledge to ensure the councillors execute projects in their various constituencies as the closest to the people at the grassroots.
Abiodun gave the cheering news at his office, when he received the councillors who visited him to pass a vote of confidence on his administration.
The governor, who recently approved the full payment of furniture allowance to the 236 councillors, also promised to ensure the continuous empowerment of the councillors.
“You have reminded me of my promise to you of your constituency projects. Consider that done because you are the closest to the grassroots. You are the ones representing us at the grassroots. You will not be put to shame.
“I am a promise keeping governor. Whatever promise I make to you, I will definitely keep it. I want to thank you for your very kind remarks for appreciating that I promised you I was going to pay your furniture allowances, and I remain the first governor that will pay furniture allowances to councillors 100%.
“I also promised that I was going to ensure you are sufficiently empowered. You are politicians. You must be empowered to continue to empower your various constituencies and I think I am trying,” he said.
Governor Abiodun also thanked the judiciary for upholding the rule of law and called on opposition members to stop running around to buy judgments and join his administration in moving the state to the next level.
The governor stated that Ogun State is currently the fastest growing economy in the country, even as he ascribed the success to the team, which shares the same vision with him.
He promised that his administration would spend the next three and half years building on the solid foundation laid in the first term, noting that no stone would be left unturned.
Abiodun also urged the councillors to continue to be good ambassadors of the party at their various wards.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman, Ogun State Forum of Councillors, Hon. Olarenwaju Adeleye thanked the governor for approving and paying their full furniture allowance.
Adeleye also acknowledged the governor for executing at least a project in each of the 236 wards of the state and commended him for not abandoning projects left unfinished by the immediate past administrations in the state.
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