Connect with us

EDITORIAL

NASS Security Breach by Shiite Sect

Published

on

daily asset editorial
Share

Protests by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), better known as Shiites, demanding the enforcement of a court ruling that ordered the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, assumed a dangerous dimension last Tuesday, when a clash between the police and the protesters at the National Assembly, turned bloody, leaving two policemen with gunshot wounds.

Members of the Islamic sect who had staged a protest to the parliament, the second time in one week, having earlier led a similar protest on July 4, allegedly overpowered one of the policemen providing security at the gate, snatched his gun, shot two officers, broke down the gate to forcefully gain entrance and also vandalised and burnt some vehicles.
The protesters returned on Thursday, this time to the Federal Secretariat, Abuja, where they engaged the police in another confrontation, throwing rocks, water sachets and other objects at the police who fired tear gas canisters and gunshots at them. There was pandemonium in the area as workers scampered for fear of being caught in the crossfire. 

Security breaches by the Shiite sect have become one too many, since the arrest and detention of El-Zakzaky. In April 2018, there were violent clashes between the sect members and the police on the streets of Wuse 11 and Maitama Districts of Abuja, following attempts by armed policemen to disperse them with tear gas canisters and water canons. Similarly, in October 2018, a clash between the Shiite members and an Army convoy led to the destruction of vehicles, including an attempt to overrun the escorts to cart away the ammunition and missiles the troops were escorting, according to the army. 

Trouble between the Nigerian state and the IMN began in December 2015, when members of the sect, in a routine religious trek, which the group had come to be associated with, blockedthe Kaduna-Zaria Road. The convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Gen Tukur Buratai, who was travelling on the road at the time was held  hostage and pleas by the army for the sect members to leave the road fell on deaf ears, leading to a violent clash in which a soldier reportedly lost his life. The irked soldiers consequently invaded the residence of El-Zakzaky, where they killed over 300 people including three sons of the sect leader and arrested several others, including himself and his wife, Zeenat. The army however denied the mass killings. One year after his incarceration, Justice Gabriel Kolawole had in a December 2016 ruling ordered the release of El-Zakzaky on the grounds that the government’s justification of “holding him for his own protection” was insufficient.

This newspaper condemns in no uncertain terms, the refusal of the federal government to release El-Zakzaky, a move in total defiance of the provisions of the rule of law. The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has gained notoriety for disobeying court orders and detaining citizens unlawfully. This is alien to the democratic system of governance which Nigeria subscribes to and must not be encouraged by all right thinking citizens. The defence of the government that El-Zakzaky and his wife are being held in protective custody defies logic as already held by the court. 

The state needs to learn from not too distant history. The handling of the Boko Haram sect and consequent extrajudicial killing of the sect leader, Mohammed Yusuf in 2010, by the police, is what has snowballed into a hydra headed monster the country has been battling with, which has come at great human, material and financial cost. The poor handling of the current situation by the government, in our view, has potential for worsening the precarious security situation the country is already challenged by, hence the need for an urgent resolution of the impasse, the first step which would be respecting the order of the court to release El-Zakzaky.

Be that as it may, the resort to self help by members of the sect is highly condemnable and must be treated by security agencies as the security breach that it is. While we note that every Nigerian has a right to lawful assembly and protest, as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended), members of IMN have, through their actions, abused this right and such actions must not be condoned.

It is in the light of this that we call for diligent prosecution of all those arrested in connection with the security breaches at the National Assembly and the Federal Secretariat, last week, to serve as a deterrent to others. The police has already charged 38 suspects before Magistrates Courts in Abuja for criminal conspiracy, mischief, unlawful assembly, obstructing a public official, disturbing public peace, rioting armed with deadly weapons and causing grievous hurt, under sections 97, 326,180, 149,107, 243, 113 and 267 of the Penal Code. This is a welcome development. 

EDITORIAL

Oloyede: Accolades to Unconventional Public Servant

Published

on

Share

Akin to an eagle-eyed combat pilot on a reconnaissance mission – making his flight preparations, loading the right ammunition and aiming at his target without missing, so was Prof. Is’haq Olarewaju Oloyede, when he arrived the headquarters of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), upon his appointment in 2016.

In the first few months of his assumption of office, activities pervaded to the lowest ebb at the JAMB headquarters.

Like a fighter pilot on a rescue mission, Oloyede embarked on a discreet but holistic audit of the board. He was simply planning how to navigate his flight in order to hit his target, without missing.

While in the closet planning, there was a shift in the timetable date of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UMTE) for that year and tongues went wagging, mostly from staffers of the board that the newly appointed Professor of Islamic Studies and “controversial” former Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin, was totally confused and clueless about the demands of the office and the direction to take the examination body.

After the audit, Oloyede gathered enough information and momentum. He then released his mission and vision for the examination body, chief of which was to reposition the board technologically to eliminate all forms of examination malpractices and timely release of results to candidates – three days of sitting for the examination.

Those pronouncements were followed with wide ranging reforms, including unraveling of mind blowing malfeasance of corruption involving several workers of the board. For instance, a staff of the board in Benue State was involved in massive fraud of stealing millions of naira from the sale of examination scratch cards which she claimed was swallowed by “a snake” from the office save.

In Nasarawa State, the staff of the board who was also caught in fraudulent financial malfeasance claimed his car was burnt along Abuja-Lafia road with all the examination scratch cards that were meant for sale to prospective candidates in the state.

 In Kogi State, the staff of the board with itchy fingers claimed he had borrowed money to the state civil servants who were being owed several months of salaries. The ugly stories of massive stealing of the board’s funds reverberated in many states including the headquarters where the former helmsman, Prof. Dibu Ojorinde is currently standing trial for allegedly stealing hundreds of millions of naira.

With those monumental financial malfeasances, candidates were hitherto ripped off of their hard earned money as the examination body was shrouded in fraudulent and chaotic scheming. Consequently, floods of complaints poured in from several quarters on pre-registration and post examination irregularities.

But Oloyede’s surgical knife had cleaned the process and restored sanity after one year in office. By the second year, the examination body had saved over N8 billion and remitted same to the Federal Government, a remarkable departure from about N300 million the examination body was hitherto remitting per year to the government.

Thus, in 2018, the Muhammadu Buhari administration had to review downward the cost of registration of the UTME to N4,500 per candidate from the over N7,000 hitherto charged.

Elated by these remarkable achievements, President Bola Tinubu applauded Prof. Oloyede’s innovative ideas and financial prudence at a recent public engagement organised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). .

“One person I always respect is Prof Is’haq Oloyede. Over the years, JAMB never made up to $1m for the Federal Government.

“However, when Prof Oloyede assumed office, JAMB made over N50bn for the Federal Government in one year.”

Another landmark achievement is the initiative in providing Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) the opportunity to register for the 2024/2025 UTME at no cost. This will ensure equal educational opportunities for all, irrespective of physical abilities,

Additionally, the board has acquired some basic tools required by PWDs, like braille machines, personal computers with enlarged features, et al, for persons with special needs.

At a time of verbal rhetoric about fighting corruption by most public servants who are short on practical implementation, at a time revenue generating departments and agencies carry out opaque operations with no tangible results, JAMB, under the captainship of Oloyede, unarguably stands as a referral government agency for transparency.

DAILY ASSET, while commending the management and staff of JAMB, for their commitment to hard work, is pleased to extend warm accolades to a nonconformist and unconventional public servant with passion for accountability and service to humanity.

Continue Reading

EDITORIAL

End Kidnapping and Banditry Now!

Published

on

Share

The alarm bells are ringing with irritating intensity.  There is no place for safety as non state actors are wreaking havoc here and there through violent kidnappings, banditry, terrorism and other forms of criminality across the country. 

The worsening spread of kidnappings and banditry is raging like a wild  fire, which the media had termed, “an epidemic.

” Many precious human lives and property are being lost on a daily basis.
So far, President Bola Tinubu has yet to get a cure.

Although Tinubu inherited the insecurity from the Buhari administration, no new idea has been put on the table to reverse the ugly situation. 

All we hear week in week out from the seat of power and the National Assembly is a pedestrian and lame talk of “we are on top of the situation” and routine invitation of the security chiefs to “come and brief us” of what they are doing to bring the situation to an end.

What is worrisome to some security analysts is the escalation of violent activities by non state actors after every circle of the general elections and the failure of the succeeding government to deal decisively with the situation. 

Judging from the performance of Tinubu as governor in Lagos State, when he tamed the “area boys,” Nigerians had expected that he would replicate same as President to  tackle non state actors who are daily unleashing violence and harm on helpless citizens by way of senseless killings, kidnappings, banditry, terrorism, et al, to usher in a peaceful Nigeria. .

Moreover, Tinubu assumed office at a time the security agencies had acquired (and have continued to take delivery of) military hard wares to combat worsening insecurity without significant success is rather unfortunate. I

It smacks of a joke when the security agencies flaunt those hard wares meant to fight insecurity in towns to harass innocent citizens in what they describe as the “show of force” when in reality non state actors continue to run riot to inflict pernicious injuries on unfortunate citizens in different parts of the country.

DAILY ASSET is of the view that a more coordinated and holistic approach be adopted to end the epidemic by strengthening these processes: 

First, deployment of robust technology and increased funding. The president should order the National Communications Commission (NCC), and all telecommunications companies to partner security agencies in providing accurate information where calls originate. 

This will enable security operatives to clearly identify the point of originating call for swift response. And where any network provider fails to provide a timely and accurate information to security agencies to track such calls, appropriate sanctions should be immediately applied against it even if it means the revocation of the operating license.

Additionally, drones should be acquired for early warning and monitoring of illegal movement of vehicles and persons, particularly in the forests.

Second, there should be strong and mutual inter agency cooperation on information sharing. The President should direct the Central Bank of Nigeria, all money deposit banks, Bureau de Change operators and National Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to reintroduce the cash light policy.

These agencies should synergize to ensure no huge amount in cash is withdrawn over the counter from any money deposit bank. Similarly, the movement of large funds should be tracked and a red flag raised where such funds are suspected of being moved for the funding of illegal activities.

Third. The autonomy of the Local Government Administration should be restored. The chairmen of local councils – as a tier of government closer to the people – must be empowered to deal with security issues. In particular, Divisional Police Stations in rural areas should be beefed up with adequate personnel and equipment, especially patrol vehicles for rapid responses during emergencies. 

We believe that if the above measures are holistically implemented and followed with a clinical reform of the administration of criminal justice for the speedy trial of suspected kidnappers, bandits and terrorists, those violent criminal actions from non state actors will soon be a thing of the past.

Continue Reading

EDITORIAL

Time to Make Public Office Less Attractive

Published

on

Share

Now that the Supreme Court has duly affirmed the election of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nigerians are eager to see the country move forward from its present state of uncertainty.

Democracy is about a social contract between the electorate and politicians, especially those entrusted to hold public offices.

And the failure of the latter to provide security and welfare for the people undermines the essence of the competitive spirit of democracy.

It is becoming a fact in Nigeria, nay Africa that governance is rapidly taking a much wider meaning and no longer restricted to the rule of law where administrative codes are strictly adhered to. Instead, Nigerian politicians place little or no premium on what constitutes governance, let alone good governance.

Since political power is ultimately exercised by politicians, elected into public offices, it is expected they will comply with the laid down principles and governing templates, through which they will gauge the feelings, aspirations and desires of the electorate. Those feelings and desires will ultimately make them formulate policies and programmes viz: participation of citizens, upholding the rule of law, transparency and accountability, responsiveness of the authority, consensus oriented policy, equity and inclusiveness, and strategic vision of the authority, as the case may be.

But it remains to be seen whether the present government has demonstrated enough political will to follow these principles, given its eagerness to borrow and fund consumption and ostentatious lifestyle.

Politicians take advantage of the vulnerability and gullibility of Nigerians, in terms of poverty and ethno-religious sentiments, to buy and bully their way into office without anything to offer outside the propaganda that brought them in. They spend the next four to eight years politicking rather than concentrating on good governance. This is anathema to democratic norms and ethos.

With our debt currently standing at about N80 trillion; about 133 million Nigerians gripped by multidimensional poverty; unemployment rate almost 37% among other negative indices, it is time for the government -at all levels – to hit the ground running by reviewing the social contract between it (government) and the citizenry, majority of whom are trying to eke out a living.

This brings to the fore the need to make Public office less attractive for the corrupt and power mongers among us. The zerosome way we play the game of politics is as a result of the overnight accumulation of wealth and aggregation of power that comes with winning elections. This is why, the goal for most of those contesting for elective office is not service to the people but access to the national cake and personal ego. It is high time Nigeria made governance and government less attractive by strengthening our laws and statutes.

DAILY ASSET is of the view that restructuring our judicial system, empowering the Code of Conduct Bureau and reviewing our legal status in a way and manner that people who once occupy public office and are known to be living far above their cumulative income while in office must be made to account for such wealth. In this case, the onus of proof shall rest on the accused and not the accuser. If this is not done, fraudulent public servants and politicians who occupy public office will continue to exploit the system to their advantage.

Continue Reading

Read Our ePaper

Top Stories

NEWS10 hours ago

Rivers Assembly Screens, Confirms Eight Commissioner Designates

Share The Victor Oko-Jumbo-led faction of the Rivers State House of Assembly, on Tuesday screened and confirmed eight nominees for...

NEWS10 hours ago

Police Arrest Suspect for Allegedly Defrauding Thai Citizen of $216,000, N30m

Share Police in Lagos State have arrested a suspect, Chimereze Chinedu, for allegedly defrauding a citizen of Thailand of $216,000...

NEWS10 hours ago

Death Penalty for Drug Traffickers not Proven Effective, Says UNODC

ShareThe United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has said that the move by the Nigerian Senate to impose...

NEWS10 hours ago

Dosunmu Market Inferno: Bode George Visits Scene, Assures Victims of Support

Share Chief Bode George, a former PDP National Deputy Chairman, on Tuesday led some leaders of the party in Lagos...

the 9th National Assembly the 9th National Assembly
NEWS10 hours ago

Benue Assembly Reads for the Second Time Civil Protection Guards Bill

ShareA bill for a law to establish Benue Civil Protection Guards has been read for the second time on the...

NEWS10 hours ago

CBN Raises Interest Rate by 150 Basis Points to 26.25% from 24.75%

ShareThe Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has raised the country’s baseline interest rate by...

JUDICIARY11 hours ago

Court Adjourns Alleged Forgery Suit Against Ex-NIRSAL MD

Share A Federal High Court, Abuja has adjourned a suit filed by the police against Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, former Managing...

NEWS11 hours ago

Bill to Establish Federal College of Fishery Scales 2nd Reading

Share Senate has passed for second reading, a bill seeking to establish the Federal College of Fishery and Aquatic Science...

NEWS11 hours ago

Breaking: CBN Continues Aggressive Tightening, Raises Lending Rate to 26.25%

Share The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has raised the country’s baseline lending rate...

NEWS11 hours ago

Reps Decry Deteriorating State of Power Supply in Minna

Share The House of Representatives has decried the deteriorating state of electricity supply in Minna, the Niger State capital and...

Copyright © 2021 Daily Asset Limited | Powered by ObajeSoft Inc