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Reps Speaker Moves to Strengthen Security Agencies

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…..Reps Speaker Moves to Strengthen Security Agencies

Speaker of the House of Representatives has disclosed his resolve to strengthen security agencies to enable them tackle complex security challenges bedeviling the country. 

The Speaker said this at the opening of a two-day post inauguration retreat for members of the House Committee on Defence in Abuja 

He advocated the need for a comprehensive approach to national security, adding that there was need to strengthen the capacity of the Armed Forces and other security agencies.

This, he further said was to effectively respond to the complex and ever-evolving security challenges of the country.

Abbas said the 10th House of Reps would continue to support the efforts of security agencies and actors through adequate funding, provision of modern equipment, ramping up training, and improving the welfare packages for security personnel.

Abbas added that said such approach, would consider the interconnected nature of the underlying issues that fuel and sustain insecurity. 

Abbas said this would involve a coordinated effort between the executive, legislature, and judiciary and with other stakeholders such as civil society organizations, the private sector, and the international community.

According to the Speaker,  as legislators, we have a critical role in ensuring that the necessary legislative frameworks are in place to support the national security architecture.

This, he said, includes enacting robust legislations that address the root causes of the security challenges. 

Abbas said capacity strengthening for legislative committees on security and defense was crucial to maintaining robust oversight and governance within the security sector. 

He said committees played a vital role in conducting oversight and holding the security sector’s leadership accountable.

“As we all know, the security of our nation is a collective responsibility, and the legislative arm of government has a critical role to play in ensuring that our armed forces and the police are well-equipped and adequately funded.

This according to him is to tackle the multiple security challenges facing our country ranging from terrorism and insurgency, herder-farmer conflicts, oil theft and unrest in the Niger Delta and separatist agitations in the South East. 

“These challenges have brought to the fore the need for a robust national security architecture that can effectively address these challenges. 

He said, “addressing these challenges requires a combination of socioeconomic policies, effective governance, and community engagement.”

He urged the lawmakers to make the best use of the retreat to engage with experts, share ideas and ask critical questions that will improve their understanding of the defence sector for proper oversight. 

“I am confident that with the support of the National Defence College and the collective efforts of all stakeholders, we can create a functional understanding of Nigeria’s national security architecture and higher management of defence-related issues and build a more secure and prosperous future for our country.

Rep. Babajimi Benson, the Chairman of the House Committee on Defence while speaking said the retreat was designed to equip members with the necessary tools in the performance of their legislative duties in the defence sector.

He said it could not have come at a better time considering the security challenges facing the country. 

Benson said, “As representatives of the people, we are concerned about these challenges because we must always answer to our constituents.

He said committee had continued to interact with the defence establishment with a view to finding lasting solutions to the challenges and would leverage on knowledge garnered from here to improve our appropriation to the defence sector within the available resources.

“I want to reiterate my assurance to Nigerians that we are determined to carry out our legislative functions effectively, efficiently and in a manner that will ensure the safety of their lives and property. 

Bension said he had sponsored several bills aimed at revolutionising the Nigerians defence sector. 

These bills according to him include the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria Bill, Nigerian Armed Forces Support Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, Defence Research and Development Bureau Bill

Others include; Armed Forces Act (Amendment) Bill to establish a Space Force for the Armed Forces of Nigeria and many others. 

He said they would examine defence sector funding in the face of dwindling resources and proffer likely solutions that will ensure 

By Ubong Ukpong, Abuja

DEFENCE

Fire: FG Directs Agency to Create Awareness

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The Federal Government has directed the Federal Fire Service to embark on enlightenment  campaign on the causes of fire and the preventive measures.

The Controller-General (CG) of  the Federal Fire Service, Mr Abduganiyu Jaji, made the disclosure on Wednesday in Lagos  during the pulling out parade of the Assistant Controller-General of Federal Fire Service, Zone D, Lagos, Mr Chika Njoku, and 19 others.

Report says that some of the firemen were pulled out after serving for 35 years, while others attained 60 years of age.

The CG said that part of the awareness the was enlightenment of  landlords and company owners on the causes of fire outbreaks.

He said: “If there is a fire outbreak, instead of panicking, they should be able to know what to do.

” For example, in a building, they should be able to know where  fire extinguisher is placed.

“They should also be able to know where fire alert system is. They should be able to use them at the appropriate time.

“Many are not aware of the danger of fire, that is why they play with objects that could trigger explosion.”

Jaji advised parents to always keep away objects such as  match sticks, as well as explosive objects  from children.

He also warned people to be careful with  gas cylinders.

In his remarks, ACG Chika Njoku  urged the  Federal Government to equip the Federal Fire Service better to enable its personnel to do better.

Njoku also said that there was need to recruit  more workers into the service, noting that  old workers were retiring.

He added that  more fire stations should be built to take care of the increasing population of Nigeria.

He advised people to be patient and  committed to their legitimate duties.

“I want to urge them to do their works diligently.  There is no way you pass through a place without challenges.

“If you join the fire service and you don’t have the required equipment to work, that is a challenge.

“We are only putting our best to make the work done perfectly,” he said.

The General Manager of  Lagos State Fire Service, Mrs Margaret Adeseye, praised Njoku for professionalism, saying that his legacies would be remembered.

” I want to appreciate your dedication to the service of humanity.

“When we worked together, I could feel the zeal in you. I learnt somethings from you,” she said. (NAN)

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DEFENCE

NDLEA Seizes US, UK, Europe-bound Cocaine, Opioids in Lagos

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Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), have intercepted various quantities of cocaine and opioids such as tramadol, pentazocine injection, morphine sulphate and ketamine injection in Lagos.

A statement by the NDLEA spokesman, Mr Femi Babafemi on Sunday in Abuja said that the drugs were concealed in soles of shoes, clothes and other items being shipped to the United States, United Kingdom and Cyprus.

Babafemi said that no less than 250 grams of cocaine going to Cyprus was hidden in soles of custom-made shoes.

He said that over 5 kilogrammes (kgs) of opioids heading to the US and UK were discovered by  NDLEA officers of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigations, (DOGI).

“They were concealed in clothes and other household items meant to be shipped through some courier firms in Lagos,”he said.

In the same vein, a consignment of 440 grams of Loud, a synthetic strain of cannabis coming from Canada to Lagos was equally intercepted by operatives in one of the logistic companies.

Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives in Edo on Wednesday intercepted a vehicle marked Abuja GWA 273 DD at Ewu junction, Esan Central LGA following credible intelligence.

Babafemi said that the luggage of one of the occupants, Aminu Abdullahi, 32, was searched and found to contain custard containers, where 3,000 pills of tramadol 225mg were buried in the custard powder.

”He said that the suspect claimed the drugs were bought in Onitsha, Anambra and he was taking them to Mararaba area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to sell,”he said.

In another operation, operatives on Thursday raided the Ohen forest, Abudu area of Edo and destroyed 5,429.751kg of cannabis on 2.918 hectares of farmlands.

Babafemi said that four suspects: Godday Ariye, 37; Friday Okafor, 59; Obinna Nwosu, 48; and Yusuf Adamu, 27, were arrested.

Similarly, 300 kilogrammes of the same substance were recovered from Uzzeba Obi camp in Owan West LGA when NDLEA officers raided the location on Saturday .

Also, In Ogun, operatives on Tuesday recovered a total of 2,865 kilograms of cannabis at Afami Ibese while the suspected owner, Umar Ibese was currently at large.

He said that  not less than 2,455 kilograms of materials for the production of Akuskura, at New Psychoactive Substance (NPS), were recovered from a warehouse in Konduga town, Konduga LGA, Borno state on Tuesday July 9.

“NDLEA operatives in a joint operation with men of the Nigerian Army raided the area.

“The following  on Wednesday, operatives in Katsina State arrested a 54-year-old Sabo Sule with 47kg cannabis in Katsina town.

“In Lagos, operatives on Monday  raided a warehouse in VGC, Lekki where they recovered 148 cartons of non-medical nitrous oxide popularly called laughing gas.

“108 cartons of fast gas cylinder; 134 pieces of balloon and 109 cartons of infusion charger, among others were also recovered.

“A female suspect, Suliyat Abdulsalam was arrested in connection with the seizure,”he said.(NAN)

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DEFENCE

Army Deploys 177 Personnel to Guinea-Bissau for Peace Keeping

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The Nigeria Army on Wednesday announced the deployment of 177 personnel for a peace keeping mission in Guinea-Bissau.

The Chief of Operations, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Boniface Sinjen, made the announcement at the graduation ceremony of troops of Nigerian Company 3 ECOWAS Stabilization Support Mission in Guinea-Bissau, at Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILPKC) Jaji.

Sinjen said, “Guinea-Bissau is grappling with political instability and institutional crisis, which poses a significant threat to peace and sustainable development in the sub-region.

He, however, said the Nigerian Government, through ECOWAS, stood united with the Government and people of Guinea-Bissau.

Sinjen said the graduation reaffirmed their unwavering commitment in supporting the Government of the Republic of GuineaBissau to consolidate its authority.

This is in order to address the security challenges, strengthen democratic governance and foster stability in the country.

” This deployment is in line with the mandate of the mission which has been extended severally to consolidate the relative peace and stability in the country.

“You gallant men of the Nigerian Army have been trained by this renowned Centre of Excellence to play that critical role.

“This Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) has equipped you with the necessary tactical skills and knowledge to support the government of Guinea-Bissau in stabilizing the country.

” I therefore urge you to remain committed to upholding the principles of ECOWAS peacekeeping operations, “he said.

The chief of operations charged the troops to conduct themselves   professionally in accordance with these guidelines of the mission.

“You will be operating in a complex and diverse environment, where various ethnic groups coexist.

” I implore you to maintain the highest level of professionalism, discipline and respect for human rights and the sovereignty of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

 “As ambassadors of Nigeria, your behaviour will reflect on the nation’s image, so I urge you to uphold the highest standards of conduct and maintain the integrity of our esteemed profession,” he said.

Sinjen urged them to embody the core values of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and refrain from any actions that could compromise the mission’s objectives or undermine our nation’s reputation.

He emphasized that the Armed Forces of Nigeria have a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual exploitation and abuse.

“Any personnel found guilty of such offenses will face severe consequences,” he warned.

 Sinjen cautioned that drug trafficking and abuse were grave offences that would not be condoned in any form.

“The Nigerian Army’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of discipline and integrity remains unbroken,” he added.

Sinjen appreciated the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Taoreed  Lagbaja,  for his unwavering commitment towards enhancing the effectiveness of peacekeeping troops through realistic training which was one of the key pillars of his command philosophy.

“His leadership and vision have been instrumental in shaping the readiness and capabilities of our troops and I am deeply appreciative of his support, “he said.

Earlier, the Commandant, MLAILPKC, Maj.-Gen. Ademola Adedoja, said the PDT that began in May. 19 , was designed to prepare the contingent on contemporary peacekeeping operations for a successful tour of duty in Guinea-Bissau.

Adedoja said during the course of the PDT, the troops were exposed to a series of lectures on contemporary peacekeeping operations with emphasis on the peculiar nature of the security challenges facing Guinea-Bissau.

He said the training package also included comprehensive lectures on the background and current situations in the mission area as well as the mandate of the mission.

“Additionally, the troops were exposed to mentally and physically engaging exercises to equip them with the necessary knowledge and tactical skills required in peacekeeping operations in line with the United Nations Core PDT modules.

“As you stand ready to embark on this critical mission, I urge you to carry the spirit of excellence with you.

”Your contribution to the ECOWAS Stabilization Support Mission will be instrumental in shaping the future of Guinea-Bissau, thus promoting peace, stability and development in West Africa.

“You are not just representing the Armed Forces of Nigeria but also serving as ambassadors of our great nation, “Adedoja said.

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