We Have Firepower To End Insurgency Without Mercenaries - FG - IReporteronline
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We Have Firepower To End Insurgency Without Mercenaries – FG

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The federal government yesterday ruled out hiring mercenaries to fight the insurgency war, saying the country has enough personnel and resources to fight insecurity, especially with the reform of the armed forces by President Muhammadu Buhari.

It also foreclosed negotiations with bandits and terrorists, 2,403 of who have been killed by security forces since 2015, contending that doing so could suggest weakness and incapacity on the part of the government.

Buhari, who met behind closed doors with some traditional rulers, said he had given security chiefs marching orders to hunt down criminals, including shooting anyone found illegally bearing AK-47.
However, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, said the armed forces were working together to tackle insecurity.

Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), stated that the services of mercenaries would no longer be required as the military has the firepower and expertise to defeat insurgents.

Monguno spoke following clamour that the federal government should enlist military contractors to bring a quick end to the anti-terror war.
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, rekindled the debate on the necessity of employing mercenaries to assist troops in combating the insurgency.

Zulum had also called on the federal government to seek the support of neighbouring countries in the fight against insurgency.
The governor in November 2020 had made a case for the employment of mercenaries as done by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Jonathan administration had used Specialised Tasks, Training, Equipment and Protection (STTEP), a South African company, to degrade the insurgents in the North-east, making it possible for the reclaiming of some towns and villages from the insurgents, which eventually paved the way for the conduct of elections in many areas in Borno State in 2015.
The governor, at the North-east Governors’ Forum meeting in Bauchi last week, restated his advocacy for the recruitment of foreign fighters in the fight against insurgency.

The House of Representatives, a week later, joined Zulum in demanding the recruitment of foreign mercenaries to assist in the fight against insurgency.
The House passed a resolution on Wednesday for the recruitment of foreign fighters following a motion moved by Hon. Abdulkadir Rahis, representing Maiduguri Metropolitan Federal Constituency.

But Hon. Manu Masur, representing Darazo/Ganjuwa Federal Constituency, moved for an amendment of the motion and asked the federal government to consider foreign-paid fighters.
The motion was adopted after it was put to a voice vote.
However, Monguno ruled out the federal government seeking the help of mercenaries in the renewed onslaught against Boko Haram, revealing that troops have killed no fewer than 2,403 insurgents since the current administration took off in May 2015.

According to him, it is pointless re-engaging the mercenaries in the fight against Boko Haram since Nigeria has enough resources to deal with the situation.
He said: “The president’s view and the directive are that we will not engage mercenaries when we have our own people to deal with these problems. We have the personnel and resources, and the president has given a new lease of life to the armed forces.”

He stated that the federal government will also deploy all necessary force to eliminate insurgents and bandits rather than opening talks with them.
“We can’t be singing the same song every day, and these people are unreliable. They are ignoble; they are ready to undermine whatever agreement we have had. So, because of that, if the opportunity avails itself, of course, we will talk with responsible people from the side of those people. I don’t even know how to categorise them because it’s not as if they are looking for something you can point a finger at; it’s not some kind of nationalistic situation – something you can actually identify and relate to,” he said.
Monguno described bandits and insurgents as a murderous group of individuals who are keyed up on drugs, adding that there is nothing to negotiate with them.

According to him, “While the government is not averse to talking to these entities, these human beings, I have to be very honest, the government has to apply its weight, that force that is required because you can’t even talk with people who are unreliable, who will turn out to do a different thing and people who will continue to hurt society.
“So, basically, what the government wants to rely upon is to deal with this issue by using all the assets – military assets, intelligence assets to eliminate these people.

“If along the line, some of them are ready to come out and talk and negotiate, when the time comes, we will do that but for now, we can’t keep on dwelling on let’s dialogue.”
Monguno emphasised that negotiating with the criminals will suggest weakness and incapacity on the part of the government.

“Psychologically, it is not even good for us. It paints the picture of weakness; it paints the picture of incapacity, and I, just like what the governor of Kaduna State said, do not see any reason why we cannot, with what we have, deal with these elements.
“These are people, who are not looking for anything that is genuine or legitimate; these are people who are just out to perform atrocities, to take calculated measures to inflict pain, violence on people,” he said.

He stated that the new direction of government “is to come out with full force,” adding that the government will not allow itself to be blackmailed by any group or any individual “who thinks he can hide under the surface and use proxies to deal a fatal blow on innocent people. I want to assure you categorically and unequivocally, government is going to apply full weight to deal with these criminals until such a time that they vacate the shores of this country.”

The NSA explained that is difficult to quantify achievements in the security sector, as most successes are operational in nature “which can only be satisfactorily narrated to the people in the complete absence of panic, etc.”
On the achievements of Buhari’s administration in the security sector since it assumed office on May 29, 2015, Monguno said the security forces have killed 2,403 insurgents, sea pirates and freed 864 kidnapped persons.
He stressed the need for cooperation among the different arms of government to fashion out and apply new laws to deal with insecurity in the country.

He added that it makes no sense using 1958 laws to punish today’s offences.
He listed major issues impeding efforts at battling insecurity as personnel shortage and lack of equipment, adding that Buhari has now given the go-ahead to address the problems.
He also called on people to assist security agencies with Intelligence to overcome the asymmetric war as only locals can provide information to apprehend criminals among them.

Armed Forces Working in Synergy, Says Irabor

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Leo Irabor, has said the armed forces are working together to tackle the security challenges confronting the nation.
He dismissed insinuations of lack of synergy among them.
Irabor, during a visit with other service chiefs to the 2 Division Headquarters of the Nigerian Army in Ibadan said the visit was to demonstrate leadership by example.

“The armed forces of today demand that every of the services work together given that the threat that we face required partnership and collaboration. The misconceived ideas or opinions in the town by those who are uninformed to the effect that the armed forces are working in disparity group are not true.

“What we have been doing today is to let you know that disparity does not exist, we have come today to be an encouragement team to work together and let you know the directive of the president,” he stated.
He said Buhari had directed them to ensure they restore peace and security to the country within a few weeks in conjunction with other security agencies.

He lauded the officers for what they have been doing so far and charged them not to rest on their oars.
He also urged them to ensure that they overcome the security challenges facing the country within the shortest time possible.
He assured the officers that much is being done on their welfare while charging them to be disciplined in order to end terrorism.
The service chiefs also visited the Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde, where they promised to redouble efforts at ending insecurity.

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Court Reinstates Edo Commission Sacked By Oshiomhole 13 Years Ago

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The Court of Appeal, Benin Division, on Tuesday, set aside the dissolution of the Edo State Law Review Commission for the past 13 years over failure to follow due process.

The commission was dissolved in 2008 by the administration of Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

In a unanimous‎ judgment, the court ordered that the commission’s members be reinstated and be allowed to complete their tenure, which should now run from March 25, 2021, to August 25, 2025.

In the judgment delivered by a three-person panel and read by Justice Biobele Abraham Georgewill, with justices Oyebisi Omoleye and Fredrick Oho as members, the appellate court held that Mr Oshiomhole’s government did not follow the laid-down procedure in dissolving the commission.

In the suit (No B/375/OS/2009), the appellants were Jonathan Aghimien (SAN), T. E. Ogbeide-Ihama, and Edward Aigbanbe, while the Edo governor, the attorney general, and the House of Assembly were the respondents.

The appellants challenged the ruling of Justice Nogi Aifuwa Imoukhuede of the state’s high court, which dismissed the appellants’ claims for being statute-barred.

In his ruling, Mr Georgewill declared that “the dissolution of the Edo State Law Review Commission and consequent termination of the appointments of the Appellants on 24/11/2008, without due compliance with the provisions of the Revised Edition Law of Edo state 2001, by the 1st Respondent, the then Executive Governor of Edo state is null, void and of no effect whatsoever.”

The court set aside the letter issued by the then-Secretary to State Government on behalf of the governor, saying it was issued without compliance with the Revised Edition Law of Edo State 2001.

He said, “An order is hereby given reinstating the appellants to their aforesaid position as Chairman and members of the Edo State Law Review Commission to serve out the remainder of their five-year tenure.”

He added, “Thereafter from the date of this judgment being 25/3/2021 to 25/8/2025 totalling five years in line with Section 7 (1) of the Revised Edition Law 2001 of Edo state, excluding the period from 24/11/2008 to 25/3/2021, unless the appellants are removed in line with the provision of the Revised Edition law of Edo State of Nigeria 2001.”

(NAN)

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Some Of IPOB’s Grievances Are Valid. They Should Be Addressed Squarely – Gov Ikpeazu

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The governor of Abia state, Okezie Ikpeazu, says some of the grievances of the proscribed Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) are valid and need to be addressed squarely.

Some of IPOB?s grievances are valid. They should be addressed squarely - Gov Ikpeazu

The group has over the years accused successive Nigerian governments of marginalizing the South East region and have called for the creation of the Biafran nation.

 

Speaking on Arise TV on Tuesday, April 12, Ikpeazu said some of the “issues raised” by IPOB should be addressed as they are valid.

 

In his words

 

“I have taken my time to listen to some of these issues raised by IPOB: issues about injustice, issues of marginalisation, issues of trust deficits within the polity called Nigeria as it concerns people from south-eastern Nigeria. And I think some of those are valid issues and they should be addressed and spoken to. They should be addressed squarely. So that everybody and those of us that are in government today can have a foothold within the southeast region to continue to promote the unity of Nigeria.

I do not subscribe to the strategy of IPOB in pursuing their goals. And the reason is because I’m yet to see the end of the tunnel from where I’m standing and I do not like to take a plunge in the dark. We must engage and discuss the issue which is bothering them and everybody and we can’t continue to pretend as if these issues are not valid.

Equal rights and justice is an indelible right of all citizens and if through impunity and carelessness we allow a group of people to begin to feel like they’re not rightly represented within the polity, it creates a lacuna where people are no longer confident in the government to protect them and take care of their interest within the polity. There’s bound to be agitation one way or another. Some of these reactions may extrapolate to levels that may undermine national convention and unity.”

 

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EFCC Arrests Former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha

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Former Imo state governor cum Senator, Rochas Okorocha, has reportedly been arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC.

 

Officials of the Commission laid siege to the former Governor’s private office at Nkwerre Street in the Garki area of Abuja and picked him up shortly after he returned from a trip today April 13.

 

EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, who confirmed the arrest to the Nation but did not give reasons for the action.

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