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Buhari’s Northernization Of The Nigeria Police Force

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Chief Mike A.A. Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, Ph.D
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Buhari’s Northernization Of The Nigeria Police Force

Chief Mike A.A. Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, Ph.D

By Chief Mike A.A. Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, Ph.D

I had, on 4th February, in a widely reported press release, coupled with an outing on Channels TV (Politics Today), kicked against the extension of Ex IGP Mohammed Adamu’s tenure. I had termed it as not only “patently glaringly illegal, unconstitutional” , but also  “because he was denying other members of the Nigeria Police Force who are also aspiring the opportunity to go up to become Inspector General of Police “.

I had cited sections 7(6) and 18(8) of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, in addition to the clear provisions of sections 214 ,215 and 216 and paragraph 7 to the 3rd Schedule of the 1999 Constitution. I had argued that in the eye of the law, we no longer had an IGP, but a pretender to the throne; because Adamu’s tenure had expired by effluxion of time on the 2nd of February,2021, having fully served for 35 years.

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But, as usual, the motley coterie of corridors-of-power-bootlickers, fawners, and a clueless government’s ready band of apologists scrambled for his defence. I had laughed then. I knew they were wrong. I knew I was right and that I always speak truth to power, patriotically, non -partisanly, and with the best intentions for Nigeria and her citizens in all my public outings.

By the aforesaid paragraph 7 to the 3rd Schedule, the president cannot single-handedly appoint an IGP, as he has again unconstitutionally and illegally done. He can only do so in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Council comprising of Mr. President as chairman, all the 36 state Governors, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, and the IGP.

Such an appointment as just happened before the new Acting IGP is capricious, arbitrary, whimsical, unconscionable, illegal, unlawful, wrongful, and unconstitutional. It eulogises strong men rather than strong institutions. Today, Buhari has again appointed DIG Usman Alkali Baba, a Northern Muslim, as Acting Inspector General of Police, to replace Adamu Mohammad, another NorthernMuslim.

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With Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi , another Northern Muslim as the Minister of Police Affairs, the circle of policing in Nigeria is complete. Of course, Buhari controls the Police by virtues of sections 214, 215 and 216 of the 1999 Constitution. It is the same situation with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and NNPC, the entire security architecture of Nigeria and other key sectors and commanding heights of the economy. The illogical and puerile argument is always that the president only appoints people he can trust and that such persons are qualified in any event.That argument is insulting and insensitive to the intelligence,  sensibilities and plurality of Nigeria.

By the way, can’t President Muhammadu Buhari for once, just for once, in his opaque appointments look beyond his religion and immediate and forsake sectionalism, cronyism, prebendalism, tribalism, favoritism, and act as a true statesman? Is he truly saying he cannot trust any of the other over 15 million Nigerians who voted for him, or that he cannot find any of them that is qualified to be made an IGP?

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I thought gleefully told Nigerians on 29th May, 2015, while taking his first oath of office,  that he was for “everybody and for nobody”? So, Buhari had actually deceived Nigerians and is desecrating his solemn oath of office? So, he just wanted power for the sake of it, after three serial failures in 2003,2007 and 2011, leading to him even weeping publicly, swearing never to contest again?  Is that why he has failed abysmally in deliverables in ALL his self-appointed campaign PROMISES of a buoyant economy, anti-corruption war and a secured Nigeria?

Is Buhari telling Nigerians that under his governance, Nigerians are indeed living in the Federal Republic of the North,or Northern Republic of Nigeria, or the Republic of Northern Nigeria, or Northern Nigeria Republic, Republic of Northern Nigeria and the Other Vassal States? I can’t decode Buhari’s defiant refusal to respect the Federal Character principle enshrined in section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution. Or, can you?

 

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Re: I stand with Barrister Sa’ida Bugaje

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Re: I stand with Barrister Sa’ida Bugaje

By Muhammad Garba, Kano.

Our attention has been drawn to a malevolent write-up which appeared on Wednesday back page Column of Leadership newspaper of March 17, 2021 titled: “I stand with Barrister Sa’ida Bugaje” and authored by Hannatu Musawa, a lawyer by profession and women’s rights activist.

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The piece, which in its totality, a misrepresentation of facts, is apparently in defense of what the author called ‘her dear friend and sister’, Sa’ida Sa’ad Bugaje, also a lawyer.

Bugaje has been dragged to court over alleged defamation of character of the person Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state and his family. She is also accused of spreading falsehood to incite the public against his administration.

We shouldn’t have worried ourselves to respond to the piece if at all the author has lived up to her professional callings. First of all, the matter is before a competent court of law, which discussion can amount to contempt of court and secondly, the writer is only trying to draw sympathy for ‘her dear friend’ by trying to make case in a way that may look factual to the good people of Kano state especially those that may have come through the piece which is only suitable for the trashcan as well as to set the record straight.

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Apart from its conspicuous elements of allusions, the highly opinionated article shamelessly left footprints of underbelly motives that are contradictory to good conscience. While the triteness of her intention is laid plain, the writer made her position clear which portrays her as nursing an aversion against the government of Kano state by attributing to it disapproval in the subject under discussion.

Out of desperation and in show of solidarity with her ‘dear friend’ whom she claimed is “being ruthlessly and brutally harassed and persecuted by the authorities,” the author consciously refused to mention the allegation her friend levelled against the governor as if he (the governor and his family) as a person has no right to protect, forgetting that “her rights end where the rights of the governor begin.”

The complaints stemmed from a video clip by Bugaje that has become viral on the social media platforms, maligning Governor Ganduje and his family on alleged mismanagement of COVID-19 funds with intent to create mistrust in public over the handling of the pandemic and incite disturbance in the state.

The governor, who felt personally touched by her act intimated the Office of the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone I to investigate the matter and also his lawyers filed a case for legal redress at a Magistrate Court in Kano. The court issued a warrant for her arrest which she has so far evaded. Instead, she went to a High Court in Zaria, Kaduna state and got an ex parte order.

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The prosecution, having got a vacating order from a Chief Magistrate Court I, Abuja, got a fresh warrant and went to her Abuja residence to invite her to come to Kano and tell her side of the story. It was while the team was in Abuja on that assignment that a High Court ordered for the maintenance of the status quo which the prosecution obliged.

Bugaje has the right to make comment on matters that affect public interest including, of course, public spending. But when it involves allegations or infringing on the rights of individuals, there has to be facts to defend it. If she really believes in what she says, she should have come forward to make her case.

While the prosecution and Ganduje’s team of lawyers are following due process in seeking redress in the court over the wild allegation levelled against him and his family, as a lawyer and activist, Bugaje is also in a better position to do same. Nobody is harassing her. If she is evading arrest, one will understand that she made the allegation without fully knowing its consequences.

As a legal practitioner and wife of a “renowned politician of esteemed pedigree and national treasure,” if similar allegation is levelled against her husband and his family would she be indifferent to this kind of situation?

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We agree that she is very much aware of her rights, but that does not also give her the privilege to trample on other people’s right. Refusing to tell her readers the content of the allegedly aspersing audio clip indicates that the author is deliberately outwitting the fact of the matter, while at the same time trying to draw undue attention to her friend she claimed is being harassed.

It is unfortunate that in Nigeria differences in political beliefs or personal hatred are often expressed in false representation of facts. The writer, while trying to further justify the action of her ‘dear friend’ in order to whip up sentiments, also went on personal vendetta against the person of the governor.

It is up to Bugaje as a legal practitioner to respect the court order and make herself available so as to defend her assertion in the video clip in which she allegedly maligned Governor Ganduje. Only the court decides her innocence.

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While we all have the right to criticize or express our personal opinion but with facts and without overstepping the bounds of the law, I believe the Ganduje administration welcomes fair and constructive criticism that will help in shaping and making Kano great.

Garba is the commissioner, information, Kano state

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Tribute to quintessential (late Hajiya Hawawu Oziohu Bello) Mother Of Kogi State Governor – Hon. Danga

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late Hajiya Hauwawu Oziohu Bello, Mother of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello
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Tribute to quintessential (late Hajiya Hawawu Oziohu Bello) Mother Of Kogi State Governor – Hon. Danga

Today marked exactly a year Mama Haj. Hawawu Oziohu Bello the mother of His Excellency GYB left us in this world

It’s no doubt that mama will be greatly missed by all especially because of her Virtues attitude.

During mama stint on earth, she was humble, humane, loving, kind to the downtrodden, the affected poor and the less privileged in the hinterlands.

The mark mama left with us is indelible, posterity shall Continue to remember her for good, this generation and the generations yet unborn shall hear of her deeds especially her words of fervent Prayers upon her children and the general public.

late Hajiya Hauwawu Oziohu Bello, Mother of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello

late Hajiya Hauwawu Oziohu Bello, Mother of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello

Mama was a real mother and sage, a gem and role model to many women, may God Almighty continue to shower His blessings upon the people she left behind and once again forgive all her Shortcomings and grant her aljanah firdaus. Ameen.

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Hon.(Dr.) Abdulmumin Danga
Commissioner, Ministry of Water Resources, Kogi State.

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Tinubu Enlist Solution To End Farmer/Herder Crisis In Nigeria

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The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has reacted to the recent crisis between crop farmers and herders in Nigeria.

Mr Tinubu, in a statement Saturday, said the destruction of crops or seizure of property of an innocent farmer or herder is an act of criminality.

Alhaji Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

Alhaji Asiwaju Bola Tinubu 

PREMIUM TIMES in the past has reported how the crisis between herders and farmers have led to the destruction of farms and eviction of several herders in some Southwest states.

Mr Tinubu recommended that the Federal Government should convene a meeting of State Governors, Senior Security officials, herder and farmer representatives, along with traditional rulers and religious leaders to hammer out a set of working principles to resolve the crisis among others

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Read full statement below:

STATEMENT ON THE HERDER CRISIS

The herder-farmer dispute has taken on acute and violent dimensions. It has cost too many innocent lives while destroying the property and livelihoods of many others. It has also aggravated ethnic sentiment and political tension. Despite the efforts of some of those in positions of high responsibility and public trust, the crisis has not significantly abated. Sadly, others who should know better have incited matters by tossing about hate-tainted statements that fall dangerously short of the leadership these people claim to provide. We all must get hold of our better selves to treat this matter with the sobriety it requires.

Because of the violence that has ensued and the fretful consequences of such violence if left unabated, we must move in unison but decisively to end the spiral of death and destruction. Only when the violence and the illogic of it are halted can logic and reason prevail. Until the violence is rolled back, we cannot resolve the deep problems that underlie this conflict. We will neither be able to uplift the farmer from his impoverished toil nor move the herder toward the historic transformation which he must make.

Yet, as vital as security is to the resolution of this matter, we must realize security measures alone will not suffice. Enhanced security may be the necessary first step, but it cannot be the only step. Nor do we resolve this by hitching ourselves to emotional, one-dimensional answers. More to the point, those who cast this as exclusively a matter of ethnic confrontation are mistaken. This is no time for reckless chauvinism of any kind, on either side of this dispute. This matter is not ethnic in factual origin or actual causation although in the minds and hearts of too many it has become ethnic in recrimination and impulsive action.

There have been sporadic disputes in the past but this one is more severe. The reasons for the greater violence of this current dispute are myriad. Economic hardship and its resultant dislocation, proliferation of weapons, generalized increase in criminality, and weakening of social institutions all play a role. Desertification, increased severity and length of the dry season, diminution of water resources, impairment of land fertility and population growth also contribute in no small measure. Thus, any durable solution must get at most, if not all, of these issues.

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Farmers have a right to farm their land unmolested. Herders have a right to raise their livestock without undue interference. However, when conflict between these groups arises to such an extent, we must set forth clear principles and policies to remove the tension, in order to allow both to proceed toward their stated goals and to live in harmony and according to their respective rights. Just as I cannot go into your house and take your shirt because I do not have one of like colour, no one can destroy the crops of a farmer or seize the cattle of a herder simply because such destruction sates their anger or their selfish, short-term interests. If such a condition were to hold, then all would turn into chaos; all would be in jeopardy of being lost. To destroy the crops or seize the property of the innocent farmer or herder is nothing if not an act of criminality.

Here, I must state two fundamental realities. One has been previously mentioned by me and others as part of the solution. The other reality is hardly discussed.

First, the situation of the herder is becoming untenable. Their nomadic ways fall increasingly in conflict with the dictates of modern society. This way of life is centuries old and steeped in tradition. We can never condone or accept violence as a valid response to any hardship. However, we all must recognize and understand the sense of dislocation caused by the sudden passing of such a longstanding social institution.

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I mention their dislocation not to excuse violence and other excesses. I raise it to underscore that we must realize the true complexity of this crisis. What is happening has been terrible, but it is not due to any intrinsic evil in either the herder or the farmer. The calamity now being faced is borne of situational exigencies. It is but the tragic outcome when often desperate, alienated people are left too long unattended and when their understanding of the modern socio-economic and environmental forces affecting the very terms of their existence is incomplete. An ethnically fuelled response will be to vociferously defend the nomadic way believing this tack will somehow protect the herder and cast the speaker as an ethnic champion. However, careless words cannot shield the herder from relentless reality. Such talk will only delude him into believing that he can somehow escape the inevitable. We do both herder and farmer grave injustice by allowing the herder to continue as he is – fighting a losing battle against modernity and climate change. In that fight, desperation causes him to flail and fight the farmer, who too is a victim of these impersonal forces.

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Second, to help the herder and leave the farmer unattended is unfair and will only trigger a resentment that tracks already heated ethnic fault lines. The times have also been perilous for the hardscrabble farmer. He needs help to survive and to be more productive in ways that increases national food security. Farm productivity and incomes must be enhanced. Soil enrichment, better irrigation and water retention as well as provision of better rural roads, equipment and access to modern machinery are required to lift him above bare subsistence.

Both innocent and law-abiding farmer and herder need to be recompensed for the losses they have suffered. Both need further assistance to break the current cycle of violence and poverty. In short, the continued progressive reform of many of our rural socio-economic relationships is called for.

Based on these strategic observations, I recommend the federal government convene a meeting of state governors, senior security officials, herder and farmer representatives, along with traditional rulers and religious leaders. The purpose of this meeting would be to hammer out a set of working principles to resolve the crisis.

After this meeting, governors of each state should convene follow-up meetings in their states to refine and add flesh to the universal principles by adjusting them to the particular circumstances of their states. In addition to religious and traditional leaders and local farmer and herder representatives, these meetings shall include the state’s best security minds along with experts in agriculture (livestock and farming), land use and water management to draw specific plans for their states.

To accomplish this goal, wise policy must include the following elements:

1. Maintain reasonable and effective law enforcement presence in affected areas. The proposed reform of the Nigerian law enforcement apparatus towards state and community policing can help in this regard. The legislative and administrative measures required to make this a reality should be expedited. In addition to alleviating the present farmer-herder crisis, this reform will also bolster efforts against the banditry, kidnapping and robbery plaguing communities across the country. Governments need to employ new technology and equipment to enhance the information gathering/surveillance and response capabilities of law enforcement.

2. Help the herders’ transition to more sedentary but more profitable methods of cattle-rearing. Unoccupied public land can be fenced into grazing areas or ranches and leased to herders on a very low-cost, nominal basis. The leasing is not intended to penalize herders. Rather, the nominal fee is intended to ensure the herders are invested in the project and incentivized (by reason of their investment) to use the land provided. This aspect will also mitigate any resentment over herders being given land for free. Government, in turn, being a responsible lessor, must help with supplemental feed and water in these areas. This will enable herders to better maintain and care for their livestock thus enhancing their incomes. Herders can augment income by becoming suppliers to the leather goods industry. Additionally, herders can also develop a more symbiotic relationship with farmers by, for example, trading animal compost to the farmer in exchange for animal feed.

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3. Assist farmers increase productivity by supporting or providing subvention for their acquisition of fertilizer, equipment and machinery and, also, by establishing commodity boards to guarantee minimum prices for important crops. In the medium to long term, resources must be dedicated to establishing better irrigation and water catchment systems to further improve farm productivity and mitigate the dire impact of flood and drought cycles brought about by extreme climatic conditions.

4. Establish a permanent panel in each state as a forum for farmers, herders, security officials and senior state officials to discuss their concerns, mitigate contention and identify trouble and douse it before it erupts.

 

We are a populous nation of diverse ethnic groups. We are a people of potential richness, yet to escape present poverty. We have resources but not wealth. Often, our words speak of hope and fear in the same breath. While we all hope and strive for the best, many fear that there is not enough of what is needed to go around and that they will be left out. In such a situation, harsh competition and contest are fated to occur. In the unfolding of this social dynamic, one group of actors has been pitted against another over dwindling water and fertile ground. The confrontation has resulted in the needless loss of life and destruction of property. If left to itself, this situation may spread and threaten the progress of the nation. It could call into proximate question the utility of the social compact that holds government and governed in positive bond, one to the other. We have a decision to make. Do we attempt the hard things that decency requires of us to right the situation? Or do we allow ourselves to be slave to short term motives that appeal to base instinct that run afoul of the democratic principles upon which this republic is founded and for which so many have already sacrificed so much? In the question itself, lies the answer.

SIGNED

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

March 13, 2021.

 

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