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Nigeria Is On Auto-pilot And Drifting To The Precipe, PDP Tells Lai Mohammed |RN

 

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Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted to a statement credited to the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed. The minister had said that Nigeria is in “very safe and competent hands,” with President Muhammadu Buhari piloting the affairs of the country.

Mr Mohammed, who addressed a mini town hall meeting with the staff of the Nigerian Embassy in Madrid, Spain over the weekend, had also assured the gathering that “there is no cause for alarm.”

The PDP, however, criticised the Federal Government over the statement, saying the reality on the ground shows that the nation was on auto-pilot and drifting to the precipice.

In a statement issued on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party claimed that Nigerians have suffered untold hardship due to the incompetence and corrupt proclivities of the All Progressives Congress (led) government.

They further noted that it was either the minister had lost touch with the reality or was trying to play with words to defend the government.

The statement read in part: “If a minister of information who ought to give the correct state of affairs can announce that a government which collapsed the nation’s once robust economy and plagued it with political tension, is indeed a safe hand, then our nation is in much more trouble under the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“How can anybody say that the same Presidency whose incompetence and bad policies are directly responsible for the massive unemployment and job losses, the collapse of businesses and even the lingering fuel crisis which has brought untold hardship in the land, is indeed a safe hand?

“This is a government, under whose watch, the nation has become heavily polarised along dangerous fault lines and where citizens now live in fear and mutual suspicion; where citizens are slaughtered by the day by marauders; where hunger and strange diseases ravage the people.

“The reasonable takeaway from the statement of the information minister is that this government has come to its wit’s end and has no solution for the troubles it caused the nation.

“More so, the minister’s statement has further exposed the fact that this failed administration is not the least remorseful for the pain it has caused the people, which underpins its arrogance and disdain towards Nigerians.

“We, however, urge Nigerians not to despair as the repositioned PDP stands with them in the collective quest to end the misrule of the APC in 2019.”           (DailyTimes)

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Cattle Colonies Designed To Plant Fulani Communities All Over Nigeria – Fani-Kayode

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Femi Fani-Kayode

Femi Fani-Kayode, a former aviation minister and a leading opposition figure in Nigeria, granted an explosive interview to a national daily. Below is the full transcript of the interview which took place against the backdrop of the killings by Fulani herdsmen militia.

The People’s Democratic Party chieftain blamed the Muhammadu Buhari-led government for its complacency and indifference in the face of the genocide and warned the Middle Belt and the Southern States of accepting the “cattle colony” policy of the Buhari regime. He called it a cover for colonisation of Nigeria by the Fulani and says that they are deliberate about “enslaving” the rest of Nigeria.

How is your health now?

We give thanks to God. It was tough and I was out of circulation for about three weeks but I am much better now and I am getting stronger by the day.

I praise God for healing me, for preserving me and for protecting my life. The counsel of the ungodly shall not stand.

 How would you rate the handling of suspected Fulani herdsmen attacks in the country by the government and security agencies?

Shameful and unacceptable. I believe that the fact that the security agencies have not been able to apprehend and bring to justice even one terrorist herdsman means that they are complicit in it. Buhari has no interest in protecting the Nigerian people from the Fulani herdsmen.

Thousands of innocent people have been butchered and slaughtered under his watch and under his very nose genocide and ethnic cleansing is waxing strong.

I don’t know how he can possibly sleep well at night. History and God will judge him harshly for his indifference to and complicity in this great evil.

Q: The Defence Minister, Mansur Dan-Ali, recently blamed the killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen on anti-open grazing laws and the blockage of grazing routes. Do you agree? What do you think about his comments?

He is a Fulani man himself and he has spoken up and stated a case for his Fulani herdsmen brothers. His comments simply confirm the view that many have that the Buhari administration are supporting the terrorists and they don’t care.
I think that his comments are reprehensible.

Trying to justify genocide and ethnic cleansing and blame it on the victims rather than the perpetrators is unacceptable. The Minister of Defence should bow his head in shame, apologise to the people of Benue state and ask God for forgiveness.

Do you the killings going on in places like Benue and Taraba are resulting from clashes as the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, once said?

No, I do not agree with him. What is going on there are not clashes but carefully orchestrated mass murder, ethnic cleansing and genocide of the indigenous Christian population by well-armed and well-supplied Muslim Fulani militias which are being supported and funded by very powerful people.

 A number of states have passed anti-open grazing laws and some others are in the process of passing such a law. Do you think that will solve the problem of attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen or not?

It is a good step in the right direction and it will certainly go a long way in returning sanity to the situation. However, given the determination of the terrorists, the herdsmen and those behind them far more needs to be done.

For example, Miyetti Allah should be proscribed and declared a terrorist organisation and its leaders ought to be arrested and charged for murder.

The Federal Government, through the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, talked about the need to have cattle colonies in states. Some states have said they are not interested and some have shown interest. Do you think the states that are opposed to it have good reasons to do so?

Yes, they have a very good reason to oppose it and I am glad they have done so. The whole idea of cattle colonies is unacceptable and there is far more to it than meets the eye.

It is a subterranean and covert attempt to establish not just cattle colonies but Fulani colonies all over the south and the Middle Belt.
10 years from now any state in the south or Middle Belt that accepts cattle colonies will wish they had never done so.

Find out what the root cause of the problem in Jos and Plateau State is between the indigenous Berom people and the Fulani settlers.

They will not just come with their cows but also with all their people. They will multiply like rabbits and after some time they will not only outnumber you but they will also claim the land as theirs.

Next, they will insist on having an Emir then they will impose their faith, their ways and their culture on you and try to dominate and control your everyday life.

They will arm themselves very well and after some time they will insist on political control of your entire community, act as if they are no longer guests and settlers but rather the original owners of the land and everyone else will be treated like second-class citizens and filth.  And if you attempt to resist them they will threaten you and kill you.

That is where this cattle colony thing will all end and that is what it is designed to achieve.  It is simply a handy and subtle vehicle for Fulani expansion, assimilation and conquest and it is being promoted and encouraged by Buhari’s Fulani Government.

I say shame on this government and particularly on Audu Ogbeh for trying to introduce such a repugnant idea even when those that asked him to do so are slaughtering his own people in Benue state.

The proposed introduction of cattle colonies is a rubbish suggestion, of a rubbish idea, from a rubbish Minister, who serves a rubbish Government.

Audu Ogbeh was a federal minister in 1983. He is clearly too old for the job now, he has lost touch with reality and he no longer knows what he is doing. He needs to resign.

Saturday PUNCH recently had an interview with Professor Umar Labdo of Maitama Sule University, Kano in which he described the Fulani people as being destined to rule Nigeria. What are your views on that? Do you think the Fulani were destined to lead?

May God guide and lead me by His Spirit and may He cause me to courageously speak nothing but the truth no matter how hard, painful or bitter that truth may be.

Not only is what Professor Labdo said false but it also an insulting view and a deeply offensive assertion. I say this because what he is in essence suggesting is that the rest of us are nothing but slaves that must bow at the feet of the Fulani and serve them in perpetuity. Such views are unacceptable. They have no place in a civilised society and they must be condemned by all men of goodwill.

If, as Labdo has suggested, the Fulani are “destined to lead” or are “born to rule” the logical deduction and clear implication is that every other ethnic nationality in the geographical space called Nigeria including the Yoruba, the Ijaw, the Igbo, the Tiv, the Hausa, the Kanuri, the Berom, the Idoma, the Urobo, the Isetkiri, the Isoko, the Efik, the Ibibio, the Kalabari, the Nupe, the Gwari, the Bachama and everyone else were “destined to slavery” and “born to serve” and that they were “born to BE ruled” by others.

I reject that notion and I find it deeply repugnant, obnoxious and offensive. I do not believe that that is God’s plan or purpose for any Nigerian or any of out numerous nationalities and such views are the closest things to the Nazi philosophy and way of thinking that I have ever heard.

The Nazis believed that God gave the white ‘Aryans’ of Germany the earth and all of humanity to dominate and rule over in perpetuity and Adolf Hitler enunciated those dangerous views very well in his famous book titled ‘Mein Kampf’ (meaning ‘My Struggle’).

In a similar way, Labdo believes that God gave the Fulani the nation and the people of Nigeria to lead, rule and dominate in perpetuity and he has enunciated those views in his famous interview with the Saturday Punch Newspaper.

Both Hitler and Labdo and indeed all those that think like them are deluded and dangerous and they must be confronted and exposed for what they are: self-serving racists and ethnic supremacists of the highest order.

The white Afrikaans-speaking Boer settlers and farmers of apartheid South Africa, who were originally from Holland, also had those views and a few of them still do.

They believed that God had given them South Africa to rule over and dominate in perpetuity and that the black Africans that they met there when they arrived in the Cape in 1604 were, in Van Riebeek’s famous words, nothing but “stinking black dogs” who were destined to be treated as the biblical “carriers of water and hewers of the wood”.

In other words, they were nothing but slaves and even close to being sub-human. That is how people like Labdo see the rest of us that are not Fulani in Nigeria.

No matter how well-educated or prosperous we are and no matter what we may have achieved in life they see us as underlings, serfs and slaves that were ordained by God to live, serve and die for them.

They believe that we live for their leisure and at their pleasure. I believe this is unacceptable and that such thinking has no place in a civilised society. It is wrong, it is false and it is ungodly.

My full response to Professor Labdo was articulated and documented in great detail in my official rejoinder to him which is titled ‘The Dangerous Delusions Of Umar Muhammed Labdo”.

It was published in the Punch Newspaper itself and in numerous other mediums. I would urge all those that are interested in to google it and read it so that when other Fulanis make such bogus claims they know exactly what to say to counter them and shoot down the reckless rhetoric and dangerous propaganda.

We must not allow Labdo’s lies and delusions to go unanswered and we must not make the grave error of assuming that he speaks only for himself or that his view is a minority view.

The truth is that he speaks for many of his people and his views are widely held even if not voiced out publicly by many Fulani leaders. That is the bitter truth and we must accept it.

We must also expose it, confront it, discredit it, overwhelm it, overcome it and finally bury it. We refuse to confront it or shy away from doing so at our own peril and at great risk to our collective future and the future of our children and generations unborn.

Unlike Labdo I believe that all men and women, regardless of their tribe, ethnicity, race, faith, colour, gender or nationality were created equal before God and I believe that anything outside of that is evil.

He said that Fulani people are saddled with the burden of leadership and that they have to shoulder that responsibility because they are more educated and qualified for it than anyone else. He also said that the Fulani were reading books and ancient transcripts 500 years ago before any other nationality in Nigeria could read or write. What do you think about these assertions?

Again this is false. Qualified how? As a matter of fact, some would argue that in terms of history they are the least qualified and the least deserving to lead and rule. If it was simply about qualifications and not a brutal show of power and the force of arms they would be nowhere because there are many nationalities in Nigeria that are far more qualified to take the lead than they were or are.

The Fulani are not amongst the most educated in Nigeria and if the truth be told education came to them very late.

They were so uneducated and unenlightened that they were terrified of Nigeria gaining her independence from the British in 1953 when the first motion for Nigeria’s independence was moved because they knew that they could not compete with ANY of the southern ethnic nationalities in a newly independent Nigeria.

That is why they said 1953 was too early for our nation to have independence. Imagine someone saying it was too early to be free and to break the yoke of bondage and colonialism.

That is what the north, led by the Fulani, said in 1953. They walked out of Parliament when the motion was moved because they knew that they were not qualified or capable of leading and managing the affairs of a newly independent nation and they made it clear that they did not want southern leadership or domination and that they would rather have British rule than a southern rule.

That is why the British loved them so much and favoured them. Because of their fawning and servile attitude towards the British, because of their resentment for and aggression and hostility towards the better educated, more successful and more qualified south and because of their morbid fear of southerners, southern rule and southern domination they held up our independence for 8 years.

And even then the understanding and deal between them and the British were that the system would be rigged, the census figures would be cooked and the Armed Forces would be skewered all in their favour so that an independent Nigeria would be led by them and not by the far more qualified and far better educated south.

What the British did to us by giving them power and leadership and protecting and favouring them for all these years just to keep the south in bondage and to spite us was cruel and unprecedented and we have been paying the price and suffering the consequences of that cruel act ever since.

Labdo talks about education and I wonder what he and his people know about it?  If not for Federal Character and the quota system where would he and they be today?

Would he even be a professor? What were his father, his grandfather and his great-grandfather in life? Were they educated or were they qualified in any way to lead?

I doubt it very much and I don’t want to say the sort of things they may well have been doing. Compare that to the southern experience and their southern counterparts.

The Yoruba, for example,  had people in the best universities in the world like Oxford and Cambridge as far back as the early 1800’s when Usman Dan Fodia was still learning to ride a horse and planning his jihad.

The Igbo also had many educated and enlightened people then. Do you know how many southern Nigerians were at the great Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone which was part of Durham University in the late 1800’s?

What do people like Labdo and his progenitors and forefathers know about that? Do you know how many people in the south were educated by the great Christian missionaries and the Anglican Church, including my great grandfather Rev. Emmanuel Adebiyi Kayode who was one of those that first brought Christianity to Ile-Ife after finishing at Durham University?

Do you know that his son, my grandfather, Justice Victor Adedapo Kayode was at Cambridge University just as his son, my father, Chief Remilekun Adetokunbo Fani-Kayode was many years later?

Where were their forefathers that were so qualified to lead educated and what was the nature of that education?

Does he know of places like CMS Grammar School in the late 1800’s and the great Kings College when it was really King’s College in 1901?

Does he know of great educated men in our history like Bishop Ajayi Crowther, Herbert Macaulay, Sir Adeyemo Alakija, Justice Coker, Justice Adetokunboh Ademola, Justice Fatayi-Williams, Chief Rotimi Frederick Alade Williams, Chief Bode Thomas, Chief Sobo Sowemimo, Chief Ayo Rosiji, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe and countless others who went to Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, London and many other great universities all over the world?

What about Wole Soyinka, the Ransome-Kuti brothers, Chinua Achebe, Christopher Okigbo, Bola Ige, Abraham Adesanya, Ayo Adebanjo and so many others that came in the later generation of great educated minds and that went to the top Nigerian Universities when they were amongst the best in Africa?

How many of such people do the Fulani have? Not one. They knew nothing about western education till many years later. The first northern lawyer was called to the bar in 1955 which was over 100 years after the first Yoruba lawyer, Sapara Williams, was called to the bar.

And even that northerner was a northerner of Yoruba extraction by the name of Ganiyu Abdul-Rasaq from Ilorin. Where was the Fulani throughout these years in terms of education?  Even the Hausas who they conquered, the Kanuri and much of the north were far ahead of them.

The earliest and most educated family in the north were the Atta’s and they were Ibiras from Okene and not Fulani. The earliest and best-educated family in the far core north were the Wali’s of Kano but even they were well behind the Attas and the Abdul Rasaq’s.

Most of the northern tribes, like their southern counterparts, had thousands of years of rich history, empire and kingdoms in their present locations long before the Fulani came and when they were still plying the trade routes with their camels to north Africa from Futa Jalon in Guinea and herding cattle.

The Fulani did not even appear in northern Nigeria until 1797 and the jihad was launched in 1804. They met us all here. They came from elsewhere and they came with the sword.

What they got in northern Nigeria they got by the power of the sword and through violence, bloodshed and conquest and not as a consequence of any qualification or education that they never had.

They conquered parts of the north, toppled old dynasties, destroyed ancient empires and imposed their Emirs by force on their new-found slaves and vassals. It was by force and not by qualification or superior knowledge and education as Labdo would have us believe.

And when they talk about education and you point these facts out they will say “oh we are talking about Islamic education and not western education”. But yet again they are wrong there because even in that they were very far behind most others.

I say this because Islam came to the Yoruba tribes primarily through the Turkish traders 400 years before Usman Dan Fodio put his foot in northern Nigeria and attacked the Hausa Habe Kingdom and fought King Yunfa of Gobir.

The Hausa had already accepted Islam as their faith then just as the Kanuris had done too.  However, in the whole of Nigeria, no tribe knew Islam or was better educated in Islamic literature, the Koran and the hadith than the Yoruba Muslims.

So when Labdo talks about the Fulani being better qualified or better educated than anyone else it is simply a manifestation of his ignorance, his delusion and his arrogance of power.

He said that other tribes did not know how to read and write when the Fulani were reading transcripts 500 years before.

The truth is that the opposite is the case. They are the ones that knew nothing whilst others were far ahead of them and well advanced in matters of civilisation and governance.

He is wrong and we must set the record straight so that those in the younger generation are not misled. The Caliphate has only existed for about 220 years and before then the Fulani were barely educated, they were nothing and they knew nothing.

In terms of qualifications and education, they are very far down the line when compared to the numerous ethnic nationalities that make up Nigeria. As painful as it may be this is the bitter truth.

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The ‘Fulanisation’ Of Nigeria And The Perfidy Of The British (Part 2) – Femi Fani-Kayode

Femi-Fani-Kayode

Perhaps the most insightful and concise contribution that I have read about the history of the Fulani and their inordinate ambition and insatiable thirst for domination and conquest was provided by Mr Gbonkas Ebiri.

His research and analysis of this topic are as historically accurate as it is outstanding. Permit me to share his words.

“Kingdoms that accommodated Fulani herdsmen in the past were eventually overthrown by the Fulani. In all situations, these herdsmen took up arms and fought for a Fulani leader to overthrow the kingdoms that accommodated them and their cattle. Examples in history:

The first Fulani Jihad was at Futa Jallon. Fulani pastoralists migrated here in large numbers from North Africa in the 1600’s (they migrated in smaller factions earlier).

Futa Jallon was a mountainous rich agricultural land. Shortly after the Pastoralist migrations, Fulani clerics migrated as well. they were called Ulamas.

In 1726, the Fulani community elected one of their own by the name Ibrahim Musa as their leader and gave him the title of Al-Imam (Leader of the Muslim community). Shortly after his election he proclaimed a jihad against the local rulers of the region and enlisted the herdsmen as soldiers in his Jihad.

His successor after his death and new Al- Iman, Ibrahim Sori completed the Jihad in 1776. The new Fulani aristocracy drove out many of the natives. Those they did not drive out, they enslaved.

Slave trade thrived in the region after the Jihad, this was when the slave castle at Goree Island (Point of no return) was built. They captured mostly the people of the Mandinka tribe (this was the tribe of Kunta Kinte).

Another region not far from Futa Jallon was Futa Toro. It was rich in Agriculture and the stretch of the Senegal river passed through it. By the banks of this river was fertile farmlands.

This region was of great importance to the Fulani pastoralists who migrated to the region around the same time they migrated to Futa Jallon. They could have the cattle feed and drink by the banks of the river. Shortly after the herdsmen arrived, clerics migrated as well.

They formed the majority of the Torobde clerics. A Fulani cleric called Sulayman Bal was nominated by the clerics as the spiritual leader. In the year 1776, Sulayman Bal launched a Jihad against the Denyanke dynasty and enlisted herdsmen into his army of the faithful.

They were overthrown and replaced with a new aristocracy of Fulani leaders. He died while trying to expand the empire to the regions of Trarzas. His successor, Abd al- Qadir completed the expansion and expanded the empire Southeast.

In our own Nigeria, the Fulani migrated as herdsmen and lived in communities. As at the time Dan Fodio arrived, they had Fulani leaders in almost all the Hausa City states with a large concentration in Katsina and Kano.

These leaders included Moyijo at Kebbi, Mohammadu Namoda at Zamfara, Salihu and Mohamadu Dabo of Kano. Very much like the previous Jihads, Dan Fodio was recognized as the leading cleric and given the title of ‘Sarkin Musulmi.’ (Leader of the Faithful).

He formed a community after his confrontation with the authorities at Gobir and called on the faithful to join him, from the community he launched his Jihad.

Majority of his soldiers were herdsmen and another faction natives that fell for his charismatic leadership. Dan Fodio would eventually give flags of leadership to the Fulani leaders of the various Hausa cities.

By far, the Dan Fodio’s Jihad was the most successful and all Fulani Jihads in West Africa. He would also replace the Hausa kings with Fulani aristocrats, and like the previous Fulbe leaders, the new empire was hostile to the natives.

Their lands were taken from them and they were relegated to second-class citizens in their ancestral homeland. Many of them were forced into slavery under an oppressive feudal system and others sold to Arab slave traders.

At Ilorin, the shortsighted rebel Afonja made it so easy for the Fulani to get rid of him. Unlike the other kingdoms where they migrated on their free will and chose their spiritual leader, Afonja personally wooed the Fulani to his kingdom and appointed Alimi as the cleric of the province.

Both vital foundations for a Fulani takeover were given on a platter of gold by the warlord. Very much as in all cases, the Fulani got rid of him and ensured the throne of Ilorin for their kinsman.

So far they have not been able to invade beyond Ilorin. The warriors at Ibadan fought them back as well as Benin warriors. To conquer the south, it is important to have Fulani herdsmen and clerics stationed in the land.

It is important to indoctrinate natives who profess same religion with them to trade their ancestry for a religious theocracy of a divine cleric.

Among the Yoruba people, they will succeed as they did in the old Ilorin emirates when many natives of old Oyo empire enlisted in the army of Alimi’s descendants to invade villages under Oyo and capture their fellow kinsmen as slaves to be sold to the Portuguese.

All observations of history prove beyond doubt that giving colonies and settlements to Fulani people under the guise of land for grazing is very dangerous.

The Fulani is obsessed to conquer the South and take it from the ancestral owners like they did to the Hausas. The South owns the Ports and oil. It owns the best companies and rainforests. That is what they secretly want and not grazing land for cows.

With scattered Fulani settlements in the south, they will bring their clerics and launch a new phase of Jihads from our base…. Cattle colonies is a plan to conquer the South.

Herdsmen are foot soldiers of the Fulani empire and the demand for lands in the South is the first step in future to take over the ancestral lands of the Southern people”. (CONCLUDED).

I commend Mr Ebiri for his courageous submission and I wholeheartedly concur with his conclusions and findings. He has said it all and there is very little left to say.

It is left for the Nigerian people to either resist the attempt to ‘Fulanise’ their entire nation by learning from the lessons of history, increasing their depth of knowledge, creating awareness about the formidable challenges with which they are faced and rise to the occasion or they can sit back, act as if there is no danger or threat and be indoctrinated, stripped of all they have and all they are, conquered, dehumanised, enslaved and overwhelmed. The choice is ours.

And if anyone still doubts the assertion that we are in mortal danger I would urge them to read the words of Professor Ango Abdullahi, the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum and a leading member of the Fulani cabal, in a recent interview with the Sunday Vanguard Newspaper where he told us “why herdsmen must kill”, where he sought to defend, justify and rationalise the bestial and barbaric acts of mass murder, genocide and ethnic cleansing that the Fulani herdsmen and terrorists have unleashed on the people of the south and the Middle Belt and where he claimed that the British had “granted” what he described as “grazing routes” in the Middle Belt and the south to the Fulani terrorists and herdsmen as far back as 1914!

Never in the history of our country, other than during the civil war, has a mass murder, genocide, ethnic cleansing, the slaughter of infants and babies, rape, destruction and the burning and pillaging and violent occupation of other people’s lands and homes been justified and defended in this way.

Professor Abdullahi has proved to the world that we are a nation of bloodthirsty barbarians and sociopaths where human life has no meaning and has no value.

His views reveal nothing but madness in its most brazen form and the truth is that this reckless and irresponsible elderly man is playing with fire and is courting nothing but disaster for his Fulani people. Simply put he is begging for war.

I am disgusted and appalled by his cold-blooded, blood-thirsty and blood-lusting mindset but I cannot say that I am surprised. That is their way and these are their thoughts!

In addition to Abdullahi’s absurd and provocative submissions, the sceptics should also read Professor Umar Muhammed Labdo’s insulting assertions about Fulani supremacy and the Fulani being “born and destined to rule” over the whole of Nigeria.

If, after reading the contributions of these two supposedly “learned” Fulani men, some still do not understand what is going on or that we have a major challenge in this country, then such persons are indeed part of the problem and are in dire need of help.

Permit me to end the concluding part of this essay with the following.

To those who say that my words are too blunt, plain and harsh and that suggest that I should be more circumspect and temperate when discussing the powers that be in our country, the state of our nation, the Fulani invasion and our ruling Caliph, I say the following: I am the Servant of Truth and the Voice of the Voiceless.

If I do not speak up and say what others know but dare not say who will speak for the downtrodden, the enslaved, the weak, the oppressed, the slaughtered and the silent majority?

It is a calling and I cannot but do as I do and say as I say. I cannot but speak bluntly and plainly, calling a spade a spade.

In any case bullies, tyrants, conquering foreign hordes and alien invaders neither understand subtlety and restraint nor do they appreciate its nuances.

Worse still they misconstrue gentle words and a kind and generous disposition for weakness and this fuels and feeds their appetite for bestial acts and tyranny and encourages their naked aggression.

Unlike most, I fear not the heathen hordes that seek to conquer and enslave our people nor the bloody sword or the mighty roar of the uncircumcised Philistines.

I fear not the armies of Rome nor the occultic Egyptians with their satanic covenants, ancient spells and powerful invocations.

And neither will I bow, quiver or tremble before the Chaldeans or the Amalekites that rule our land with their unrelenting display of violence, barbarity and cruelty.

I am led by the Holy Spirit of the Living God and I trust in Him for all. He is my strength, my shield, my glory and the lifter of my head.

I am in the Lord’s power and hands and not in that of my adversaries or the enemies of my people. Most importantly I am persuaded that He will never leave me or forsake me.

I am also guided by the wise counsel of our very own Nobel Laureate and celebrated bard, Professor Wole Soyinka, who wrote the following historic and powerful words in his famous book titled, ‘The Man Died’ many years ago.

He wrote, “the man died in him who remained silent in the face of tyranny”.

Today I proclaim, may the man never die in any of us.

Again I am inspired by the compelling, beautiful and eternal words written by the great 19th-century author and English sage, Thomas Babington Macaulay, in his famous poem titled ‘Lays Of Ancient Rome’. He wrote,

“Then out spake brave Horatius, the Captain of the Gate: to every man upon this earth death cometh soon or late.

And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and the temples of his gods?

And for the tender mother who dandled him to rest, And for the wife who nurses his baby at her breast.

And for the holy maidens who feed the eternal flame, to save them from false Sextus that wrought the deed of shame?

Haul down the bridge, Sir Consul, with all the speed ye may; I, with two more to help me, will hold the foe in play”.

Today I pray that we be like brave Horatius and hold the foe in play.

Finally, I am strengthened and encouraged by the words of King David in Psalm 27 when he said,

“The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me uttering slanders against me, my adversaries and foes, they shall stumble and fall”.

They say courage is a virtue and the word of the Lord says “perfect love casts out fear”.

I, therefore, urge each and every one of us to cast out any and every fear of the enemy and of our collective adversaries, no matter what lies ahead or comes our way and, instead, stand firm and strong with heads held up high, giving thanks to God.

Finally, we must always remember that it is not how long we live that matters but what we stood for during our sojourn on the earthly plain, no matter how short or brief that sojourn may be.

I would rather speak truth to power, live a short life and die as a free man on my feet than remain silent in the face of slavery, tyranny and evil, and live a long life on my knees.

To Mahdi Buhari and his Fulani terrorists and herdsmen, I say this: southern Nigeria will never be ‘Fulanised’ or conquered and neither will we be Islamised.

We are and shall remain a nation of freeborn men and women, who are proud of our history and heritage and who are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice in defence of our freedom, our faith, our values, our plurality, our land, our resources and our people.

Any attempt to enslave or subjugate us by guile, deceit, subterfuge or insincere and false notions of integration and assimilation and the force of arms shall be resisted and shall ultimately fail. Of this, I have no doubt.

May the Living God guide and defend us and may He grant us peace and justice.

(Femi Fani-Kayode is a lawyer, a Nigerian politician, an evangelical Christian, an essayist, a poet and he was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was the minister of culture and tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from June 22nd to Nov 7th, 2006 and as the minister of Aviation from Nov 7th, 2006 to May 29th, 2007. He runs a syndicated column on The Trent. He tweets from@realFFK.)

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If Buhari Seeks For Re-election, Nigeria Will Sink – Primate Ayodele |RN

By Vanessa Okwara

 

babatunde-elijahayodele

Founder and Spiritual Leader of INRI, Primate Elijah Babatunde Ayodele

Founder and spiritual leader of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Primate Elijah Ayodele, has warned that the much anticipated second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari in next year’s general election will not be favourable to the country, especially should he win.

Primate Elijah Ayodele subsequently appealed to him to do away with such an ambition and rather urged Buhari to step down for the Senate President, Bukola Saraki to contest the presidential election under All Progressives Congress (APC).

According to the Primate: “President Muhammadu Buhari’s time is over in 2019. If Buhari re-contests, Nigeria will sink and there will be problems which may even result in bloodshed. In order to avoid such, we have three options: we either operate a regional system of government; we separate, or Buhari steps down for Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for peace and security in the country.

“A lot of things have gone wrong under Buhari in the present administration. If the All Progressives Congress (APC) presents Buhari as its presidential candidate, he will fail. He is no longer Nigeria’s ‘Messiah.’ There is trouble ahead of 2019 if clerics and Nigerians do not seek divine intervention. We need prayers to sustain Nigeria beyond 2019.”

Primate Ayodele made these prophecies during the church’s Annual Yearly Appreciation Week which ended with a big celebration on Valentine’s Day where gift items of various kinds, ranging from food items to cash gifts to start businesses, were shared out to the less privileged in the society – both Christians and Muslims.

He also spoke on the expectations of the recently launched Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), as well as issues affecting the polity, economy, forthcoming elections in Ekiti and Osun States and state police among others.

“Yes, it is true that Nigeria needs state police but the country is not matured yet for such else there will be serious cracks in the system of our government.

“I also believe Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s coalition force is just going to be an ordinary discussion of the day. This is because Obasanjo is playing his last politics and he has to be very careful with the kind of politics he is trying to play or else people will no longer take him serious. For the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), it will be tough. I see a kind of amalgamation of some parties coming together.

“There will be trouble in Buhari’s cabinet. Unemployment will be a tough issue for the present administration, despite attempts to improve the situation. The government should also guard against the outbreak of cholera in some states, I see that coming soon. Only if the APC picks the right person, can they win in Ekiti State. APC in Osun State must embrace unity,” he prophesised.

While stating that he had nothing personal against President Buhari, he noted that: “Buhari will take various steps to balance all the accusations against him, but the point is that his government is weak and a ‘cabal’ has held his government to ransom.”                  (New Telegraph)

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Buhari, Ganduje Unable To Stop Kwankwaso – Johnson |The Republican News

By TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE

Mr. Ladipo Johnson, a lawyer and politician is the Lagos State Coordinator of Kwankwasiyya Movement. In this interview with TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE, he speaks on the political tussle between Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, and his predecessor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, among other issues. Excerpts…

 

What is your take on the political face-off between former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso and his successor, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje?
The problem in Kano State is basically the fact that a serving senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Kano Central, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, had not been able to go into his senatorial district for almost two years now base on the fact that he keep been told that it is not safe for him to go back to Kano and that the mammoth crowd that normally support him whenever he is in Kano will turn to bloodshed and riot. That some people might hijack his visit and use it for breakdown of law and order. He was scheduled to visit Kano on January 30 but the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Yusuf, wrote to him, advising him not to come.

The presidency later intervened and he had to postpone his going back to Kano.
The question begging for answer is; why would a Nigerian not be allowed to go to his home? Why would a serving senator not be allowed to go into his senatorial district? If in truth the police has an intelligence, which they claim to have that certain miscreants wanted to hijack his going back and cause trouble, why will police not apprehended those people? That should have been the normal thing.

They should have put necessary things in place to make sure that thing was peaceful in the state. They keep telling the man not to come. So, when will it be alright for him to go to his senatorial district? Surely as we move nearer to election time, the atmosphere will be more tensed and the problem is that incumbent Governor Ganduje and Senator Kwankwaso are not on the same page politically at the moment.

Why are they no longer in good term politically, considering that they were political allies for many years?
It is best known to the governor. Ganduje was the only deputy governor that got the support of his principal; who supported him, campaigned for him and ensured that he became governor. He was deputy governor to his principal for eight years. He was special assistant to Senator Kwankwaso when he was Minister of Defence. But within three months of getting into government, Governor Ganduje turned against his benefactor. But that is neither here nor there; people can disagree and be on different platforms but democracy has to be practised in civilise way. People has right to make their own choices as to who to support and what to do as whether you want to contest or not.

Don’t you think the tussle between the two political gladiators is about 2019?
I keep saying that if going to Kano by Kwankwaso has nothing to do with 2019; his being stopped definitely has to do with 2019. It is disturbing that a sitting governor will use the Commissioner of Police in that state to come up with spurious excuses as to why a state is not safe for one citizen to go to his senatorial district. It just doesn’t make sense. What he should have done if he has that intelligence report is to arrest those he feels want to hijack or cause trouble in the state. These are the issues that must be look at and you cannot blame people for feeling that it must be political.

Do you agree that the political drama in Kano State is a ploy to frustrate Kwankwaso’s presidential ambition?
The first question is; why is Ganduje afraid of Kwankwaso? The second question is; who else is afraid of Kwankwaso on a national level? It is clear that 2019 is around the corner and politicians have begun to jostle and I am one of the staunch supporters and believers in Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso. I believe he is dynamic and he has the capacity to move us forward as a country. So, stopping him from going to Kano is only temporary. He has to be allowed back into his house and back to his senatorial district. And if he chooses to move from being a senator to contesting for the office of President of Nigeria, they will find out that Kano State or incumbent governor of Kano will not be in a position to stop what would be a natural flow of support.

Don’t you think the disagreement between Kwankwaso and Ganduje will affect the chances of the APC in Kano State?
I bet to disagree. Two elephants are not fighting. Ganduje is by no means politically comparable to Kwankwaso. The grass may suffer if there is a breakdown of law and order and that is why Senator Kwankwaso agreed to postponed his visit to Kano. But it is frightening that in this present day, a senator is being prevented from going back to his senatorial district. It is unbelievable when people heard that Kwankwaso has not been to his senatorial district for over two years. Anytime he wants to go, they will tell him that it is not safe because of the crowd. It is not his fault that mammoth crowd do troop out to welcome him anytime he visited Kano having served the people of Kano.

Kwankwaso is believed to be among those interested in running for presidency in 2019…
Naturally for a man who campaigned for only 40 days in 2014 and came second in the APC presidential primaries to the current president; it would be assume that even if he doesn’t have the interest, quite a lot of people would want to ask him to consider throwing his hat in the ring for the presidential election. If you go through his profile, he has always been a man who has served his country in various offices from being Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives to Minister of Defence, representative to Sudan and Darfur, member of the board of the NDDC, governor for eight years and now a serving senator. It is reasonable to believe that he may be interested and like I said earlier even if not interested, people would tell him to throw his hat into the ring to move this country forward.
Personally, myself and millions of Kwankwasiyya Movement members across the country believe that this is a man that can push and move Nigeria forward. He has the capacity and passion for this country. The beauty about him is that those who like Kwankwaso and those who detest him have one thing in common; they will tell you he is a performer. And for me as a young person thinking about my family and future generations, we need someone that can move us forward drastically as a country. So, for me, I don’t know when he is going to throw his hat into the ring but I am personally one of those who will keep pushing him and tell him to come and serve Nigeria.

There is probability that President Muhammadu Buhari will seek for re-election in 2019? Don’t you see him as stumbling block to Kwankwaso’s aspiration in APC?
No, I have never seen Buhari as a stumbling block to Kwankwaso. What happened the last time as far as I am concerned is the fact that we possibly made our move from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to APC slightly late. And by the time we got there, the party structures had gone and we didn’t have access to the delegates.

I don’t see Buhari as a stumbling block, I am confident that if Kwankwaso and Buhari are presented to the people of Nigeria, I don’t think the choice would be difficult.
It will be left to Senator Kwankwaso and his advisers to determine how they will pursue the primaries of the APC. A lot of things may still happen.

What I know is that the two men whether presented within the party or outside the party from different parties; if presented to the people of this country, I am very confidence that the generation of younger Nigerians will cast their votes for a more virile, passionate, reliable and renowned performer who has a passion for the masses of this country.

There is speculation that Kwankwaso is being lured by the PDP and that he may soon defect to the opposition party to realise his presidential aspiration if the coast is not clear for him in APC…
I wouldn’t know whether he will be going to the PDP or why he should consider the PDP. I understand that the PDP is looking and shopping for presidential candidates that they believe can defeat or match the president in the North. I know for certain that with the work that has been done and the support base that Senator Kwankwaso have, especially in the North, the PDP may want to tap into that or may decide not to.

That is left to them. All I know at the moment is that we in the Kwankwasiyya Movement have been talking to people and working with people at the grassroots level because there are millions of Nigerians who are not happy with the state of the economy and who are not happy at the pace that of lack of development in the country. We hope and realise that 2019 is the time when we can make our votes count and bring about what we want in this country.  (New Telegraph)

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Election 2019: Jonathan Supports National Assembly On Re-ordering Timetable |RN

By Onwuka Nzeshi

Jonathan-press-briefing

Former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has thrown his weight behind the National Assembly on the new order of elections as contained in the recent amendment to the Electoral Act. Jonathan made his position known when he received the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) on a courtesy visit to the headquarters of the Jonathan Foundation in Yenogoa, the Bayelsa State.

Jonathan said what the National Assembly did would help in the election of quality persons into various positions. According to him, holding the presidential election first will affect the quality of persons that will emerge in other levels of the polls because of the bandwagon effect it could trigger in the polity. He counselled the ruling party (APC) to see the new sequence of election from a patriotic point of view and overall national interests since laws are not meant for persons in power at any particular time. Jonathan said he even envisaged that a time would come in Nigeria when the presidential election would be conducted at an entirely differently period from the other elections. He commended Secondus and the NWC of PDP for renewing the confidence of the electorate in the party, pointing out that those who left the party will soon return.

“I believe that PDP will return to power in 2019 if we continue to build confidence especially as the ruling party (APC) has failed to meet up their promises and give hope to the people. “Propaganda may help you win election but can’t help you govern and that is what APC has seen in the last 32 months,” Jonathan said. Earlier, Secondus had briefed the former President on the activities of the NWC since December when they were elected into office, just as he solicited his support and that of other leaders of his status. (New Telegraph)

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Ekweremadu: Seven Years After, Nigerian Elite Heed His Lone Voice On State Police

Ismail Omipidan

Hwas not the one who began the campaign for the establishment of a state police in Nigeria. But since 2011, Deputy President of the senate, Ike Ekweremadu has been consistent in his campaign for what he now refers to as decentralised policing system in Nigeria.

Since then, he kept the debate in the front burner. He seizes every occasion offered him to canvass strongly for the enthronement of a decentralised policing system in Nigeria, insisting that Nigeria was the only country claiming to be running a federal system, but maintaining a unitary policing system.

As recent as last month while speaking at the Parliament of the United Kingdom (UK), where he was a keynote speaker of a lecture “African Politics: The Dynamics and Lessons,” hosted by Keith Vaz, member of Parliament and National Executive Committee of the Labour Party of the UK, as well as the Enugu State Diaspora, UK and Ireland, Ekweremadu, did not fail to impress it on his audience that Africa “must enthrone modern policing that is swift, active, and reliable. This will not only secure lives and property, but also will secure the confidence of investors and our nascent democracies.”

But it was at a gathering in 2013, that he had the opportunity to for the first time lay bare his own idea of a decentralised policing system.

On the occasion, Nigerians and other foreigners, drawn largely from the academic and diplomatic communities, gathered at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, auditorium, for the annual lecture of the university.

He spoke to the topic “Policing and National Security in Nigeria: The Choices before Us.” Ironically, apart from the police orderlies and other plain clothes security operatives, the police authority was not represented at the gathering.

And just barely 24 hours after the lecture, where Ekweremadu, brought to the fore the challenges of unresolved murder cases in Nigeria, listing at least 56 of such cases at the time, the Kwara State Police Commissioner and a native of Enugu State, Mr. Felix Asadu, was murdered in Enugu State.

And unless the police is ready to employ the services of native doctors, babalawos and marabouts to unravel the identities of the killers, as suggested by one of the discussants at the lecture, instead of employing the services of the Scotland Yard Police, Asadu’s death, may no doubt join the long list of unresolved murder/assassination cases in Nigeria.

According to Ekweremadu, one of the reasons it has increasingly become difficult to resolve some of these murder/assassination cases was because most times, the policemen sent to some of these states, have little or no knowledge about the environment and the people, as against a state/community policing system, where those who make up the police team are drawn from the immediate locality, as such, they not only know the criminals in their midst, but are better placed to checkmate the activities of the criminals in their midst.

At the gathering, he made it clear that his presentation and comments are his personal views and not that of the senate or its committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution, which he heads, till date.

Like an academic, he began his presentation with an overview of what role a state (country) need to play in the lives of its citizens. According to him, it was the Greek Philosopher, Aristotle, who said that “the state exists for the sake of life, and continues for the sake of the best life.”

He went further to say that even the constitution of the United States of America “succinctly captures the essence of government, when it says: ‘we the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.’ From this preamble, certain fundamental goals for the existence of government can be deciphered,” he added.

He listed some of the goals to include the facilitation of a more perfect union, establishment of justice, ensuring domestic tranquillity, provision of common defence, promotion of the general welfare and securing the blessings of liberty, adding however that “without prejudice to the rest of the goals, it appears clearly that security of lives and property is not only intrinsic in all goals, but all of them are indeed dependent on it.

“The 1999 constitution of Nigeria underscores this when it declares that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.’ However, whereas it is the primary responsibility of government to ensure the security of lives and property of its citizens, let me clarify that, I do not think that security is like a good which the State (Country) delivers to its citizens without the citizens’ inputs. A security system therefore entails all that the state (country) and citizens do from individual to institutional level to ensure the security of lives and property.”

Tracing the evolution of the Nigerian Police, from the 19th century to date, Ekweremadu submitted that until the fall of the First Republic, Nigeria operated a decentralised policing system.

He was however quick to add that, though it was the General Yakubu Gowon’s administration that first abolished the decentralised policing system in Nigeria, it was first “entrenched in a democratic system of government by Section 194 (1) of the 1979 constitution and sustained by the 1999 constitution.”

He went further to say that in spite of the general feelings among Nigerians that the country seemed to have enjoyed some respite in violent crimes, in the last half of 2012, than in previous years, the picture was still “very worrisome,” adding that the concern forced him to carry out a content analysis of three national newspapers: The Sun, The Nation and Daily Trust, of violent crimes in Nigeria, from July 1, to December 31, 2012.

“In the period under review, there were about 486 violent crimes, ranging from terrorism to violent robberies as reported by The Nation, Daily Trust and The Sun newspapers. Given a marginal error of between five and ten percent, the figure includes robbery, rape, kidnapping and assassinations that took place within the same period. These figures were carefully selected from the three newspapers, while effort was made to ensure that follow-up activities that did not involve any form of violence were omitted. Care was also taken to ensure that in making the selections, similar stories reported by more than one of the three newspaper was not included to avoid duplication. These activities, especially bombings and other terror activities appeared higher between October and November. In all, cases of rape and assassinations were the lowest crimes in number within the period under review. The figures show that Nigeria continues to live in the throes of violent crimes, especially, terrorism, robbery, and kidnapping,” Ekweremadu said.

He was however quick to add that “since its incursion into our national life, terrorism as championed by the Boko Haram in particular remains Nigeria’s Public Enemy No 1. It is a multi-headed monster that has exposed our security failings. This is demonstrated by the table below highlighting some terrorist acts as it affect various sections of the society.”

While listing at least 23 of such terrorist attacks, from 2009 to 2013 at the time, the deputy president of the senate said that the worrisome aspect of the trend is that “the police and other security agencies who are supposed to protect the citizens have been the target and at the receiving end of these merciless attacks. As the preceding table shows, not only have so many police stations been attacked and police personnel killed by the nefarious activities of the sect, even the headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force have been brutally attacked in a brazen display of defiance.”

He said further that although the national assembly has appropriated unprecedented amount of money to the security sector, which led to some successes that were recorded in the fight against terrorism, such as the arrest of some high profile members of the sect, Nigerians, he noted appear not convinced that the federal government at the time, especially the police have lived up to its many promises of being “on top of the situation,” adding that “when the hunter becomes the hunted, then there is obviously fire on the mountain.”

To this end, he further argued that the current centralised policing system being operated in Nigeria is one of the major factors that have been blamed for the insecurity in Nigeria.

While highlighting some of the factors for and against decentralised policing system in Nigeria, with examples drawn from other foreign countries to buttress his points, Ekweremadu said “I think the strongest arguments or fear among the opponents of a decentralised police system is the likelihood of abuse by interests, notably the state governors. The problem with this paranoid disposition, however, is that it looks at the state police as the property of the elites, especially the governors rather than as an institution of state. As such, it still sees Nigeria from the prisms of the colonial era and early years of independence, thus failing to take cognisance of the transformations that have taken place in terms of awareness and laws over the years.”

He further noted that the other pertinent question to ask was whether the solely federal police have not also been grossly abused by the high and mighty. He said “I do not think Nigerians, especially Anambra people will forget in a hurry the attempted coup here in Awka in 2003. A top brass of the police physically supervised the abduction of an incumbent state governor and purported chief security officer of a federating unit from office. This, to me is the height of abuse of the police force. My answer to this would therefore be that if the governors are likely to abuse the state police, then make provisions in law that will make it impossible for them to do so. Make stringent provisions in law that can mete out sanctions where such abuses occur.”

On the argument that states in Nigeria would not be able to fund decentralised policing system, Ekweremadu again said “Whereas some states are financially constrained due to our highly entrenched culture of ‘feeding bottle federalism,’ this argument is perceived to be incongruent with the constitutional provision that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. So, a state government that allocates security votes running into hundreds of millions to a governor on a monthly basis, but claims to lack the financial capacity to fund the primary purpose of government must be a strange one.

“Instructively, our states spend heavily on funding the Nigeria police through logistical supports like patrol vans, etc. So, many states are already funding various types of state police under various guises. They include vigilantes which are very popular here in Anambra. We have the Hisbah in Kano and in many other states, just as we have various forms of state-funded security/vigilante outfits across the nation. We have also had the Bakassi Boys in most states of the south-east which were not regulated by law. Importantly, a state that is too poor to fund the protection of the lives and property of its residents cannot be compelled to own a state police force.”

What to do about the constitution?

If and when Nigeria’s government decides to buy into his dream and vision of a decentralised policing system, especially because according to him, state police has not only been justified, it has become imperative, Ekweremadu suggested laws and policies provisions that would allay the fears of the antagonists of a decentralised policing system.

Some of these laws and policies provisions include but not limited to: amending the Section 214 and 215 of the constitution that empowers the federal to exclusively control the police force, removing of police from item 45 of part 1 of the second schedule to allow states to establish state police Service under approved guidelines, giving the national assembly power to provide the framework for the establishment, structure and powers of the state police, the powers of state governors should be limited to making policing policies and should not extend to the operational use and control of the police-just like the National Judicial Council-NJC, and that the Federal Police Service should exercise a level of oversight over the activities of state police among others.

He concluded his presentation by saying “the choices before us are clear. One is to continue doing things the old way and continue to get the old result. The other is to embrace a change by facing the realities on ground and by borrowing a leaf from other vast and pluralistic federal states that have nevertheless been able to secure their territories. While the choice is ours, let us never forget that the choice we make today will shape our future.”

The discussants

Among the distinguished personalities that discussed Ekweremadu’s paper were Mr. Brian Browne, former Consular, US Embassy, Nigeria; Professor Cyprian Okonkwo, Commissioner, Nigeria Law Reforms Commission, Abuja; Prof. Nuhu Yakubu, former Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja and at the time vice chancellor, Sokoto State University, Sokoto, Professor OBC Nwoliseh, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ibadan and Mr. Simon Kolawole, former Editor, Thisday Newspapers.

Instructively, the host governor at the time, Mr. Peter Obi who was physically present at the event, also made his own contributions to the discourse, where he said among other things that once the country’s kind of federalism undergoes restructuring, and is made to conform with values and attributes of federalism, the world over, funding a decentralised policing system in Nigeria, would not be a problem.

Interestingly, only Professor Okonkwo was opposed to the establishment of a state police. But even at that he canvassed support for community policing, while making his intervention, a thing that forced Professor Nwoliseh, to conclude that were it to be a debate, he would have said that Okonkwo argued on the side of those of them canvassing support for the establishment of a state police.

Nwoliseh, also suggested that native doctors, Babalawos and Marabout should be co-opted into the country’s security intelligence, code-named Strategic Spiritual Intelligence (SSI), to help resolve the numerous unresolved murder cases in Nigeria. This is even as he called on the federal government, to restructure the National Planning Commission, and give it the mandate to create 2,000 jobs annually for the army of unemployed youths in the Nigeria, insisting that that was the only way any investment in the security sector could be meaningful, adding that provision of infrastructure like roads, must form major components of security in the country.

The new song on state police

The unwieldy nature of Nigeria’s brand of federalism has always been a subject of debate. But Ekweremadu, since becoming a senator in 2003 has left no one in doubt as to where he stands on Fiscal federalism, just as his views on decentralised policing system, which some want to refer to as state police, is unmistaken. He had apart from calling for the diversification of the country’s economy in the past, also canvassed strongly that the current 36 states system the country runs, was not viable.

 However, each time he made the call, he was usually condemned or ignored, only for those condemning him to later return to his prescription of problem solving, at a later date. For instance, virtually all those who condemned him in the past, including a former Kano State governor, for calling for a decentralised policing system are today making case for it. The Neighbourhood Watch, launched in March 2017 by the Lagos State government, is a major component of decentralised policing system, as espoused in the past by Ekweremadu at several public fora, including in his latest book, “Who Will Love My Country.”

 It was therefore not surprising when last week the federal government threw its back behind the agitation for the establishment of a state place, saying it was clearly the way to go in the face of multifaceted security challenges confronting the country.

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, gave the hint at a summit on national security organised by the senate in Abuja.

According to him the nature of the country’s security challenges are complex and known, adding that “securing Nigeria’s over 900,000sq km and its 180 million people requires far more men and material than we have at the moment. It also requires a continuous reengineering of our security architecture and strategy. This has to be a dynamic process.

“For a country of our size to meet the one policeman to 400 persons prescribed by the United Nations would require triple our current police force; far more funding of the police force and far more funding of our military and other security agencies.

“We cannot realistically police a country the size of Nigeria centrally from Abuja. State police and other community policing methods are clearly the way to go.”  (The Sun)

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