The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has ordered travelling officers and men to wear plain clothes [mufti] while travelling across Nigeria.
This is as Buratai accused the Force Headquarters of making “inciting and inflammatory comments” following soldiers’ killing of three policemen and a civilian in Taraba after they had effected the arrest of a notorious kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume, who is now on the run.
Buratai’s order which leaked to the media on Monday was contained in a circular with reference number: AHQDAIOPS/G3/240/232, and copied to Army formations nationwide.
The letter signed by Brig. Gen. F. Omoigui, on behalf of the COAS, was entitled: “Need for troops to be circumspect in dealing with members of the Nigeria Police.”
Buratai directed soldiers on internal security (IS) operations across the country to be circumspect, alerting of the likelihood of aggression towards troops by police personnel.
He said Police statements and reactions had the potential of forcing the rank and file of its personnel to “exhibit aggressive tendencies against NA (Nigerian Army) personnel.”.
Buratai, in the circular, told soldiers to travel in mufti to avoid possible attacks by policemen, which he argued, may be occasioned by the Police’s comments on both social and traditional media.
Soldiers of the 93 Battalion had shot dead the IRT operatives – Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeant Usman Danzumi, and Sergeant Dahiru Musa.
The Army claimed they were shot after being mistaken for “suspected kidnappers”.
Firing back, Force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, in a strongly-worded statement, said: “The most important question arising from the Nigerian Army Press Release is: Where is Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume? Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume is a millionaire kidnapper arrested by the Police but paradoxically treated as a ‘‘kidnap victim’’ by the Soldiers and subsequently ‘rescued’ by them. Where is he? Where is the rescued kidnapper?
“Secondly, the Press Release was silent on the source of the alleged distress report or identity of the complainant, on the strength of whose report, the Army claimed had informed their decision to engage in the purported chase and rescue operation. Needless to state that in the true spirit of transparency and accountability, the Nigerian Army ought to have arrested the purported distress caller – if any – for obviously and deliberately furnishing them with false and misleading information. Besides, such arrest should in fact be made public!
“Thirdly, it is not true that the Policemen failed to identify themselves as alleged in the Press Release. The video on the incident, now viral, wherein the voice of one of the soldiers was heard loudly proclaiming that the Policemen were from the Force Headquarters, Abuja speaks volume. Besides, the presence of the IRT personnel was well known to the Taraba Police Command as the Operatives officially and properly documented not only at the State Command Headquarters but also at the Wukari Area Command and the Ibi Divisional Headquarters. As a matter of fact, some of the Detectives from the Taraba State Command’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) were part of the operation.
“The Force also considers it insensitive, disrespectful and unpatriotic for the Press Release by the Army to continue to describe Policemen on lawful National Assignment as ‘suspected kidnappers’ long after it had become crystal clear to the Army that these are Law Enforcement Officers who unfortunately were gruesomely murdered in the line of duty by Nigerian soldiers attached to 93 Battalion, Takum.
“In the final analysis, we leave the Nigerian Army authorities to provide Nigerians with answers on the following questions emanating from their Press Release:
- Where is the notorious kidnapper, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume ‘rescued’ by the soldiers?
- How and why was Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume released by the soldiers?
- How could a kidnap suspect properly restrained with handcuffs by the Police escape from the hands of his military rescuers?
- If Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume is a ‘‘victim of kidnap’’ as claimed, and properly rescued by soldiers, why was he not taken to the Army Base for documentation purposes and debriefing in line with the Standard Operating Procedure in the Nigerian Army?
- Why were the Police Operatives shot at close range even after they had identified themselves as Police Officers on legitimate duty as evident in the video now in circulation?”
How Buhari Called For A Revolution In 2011 ― Falana
Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), counsel to convener of RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore, on Monday in an interview with TVC on its morning show “Your View: Let’s talk” revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2011 urged Nigerians to emulate and be prepared for a revolution like that of Egyptians which led to the death of over 800 people.
Mr Falana also stated that President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2003 after he lost election under the defunct ANPP decided to stage protest which was violently disrupted by the police.
Falana was addressing the issue of Sowore who was rearrested by the Department of State Services, DSS on Friday.
In his words “General Muhammadu Buhari and others had a protest in Kano in 2003, the police violently disrupted the rally, tear-gassed them,
“His deputy, late Dr. Chuba Williams Okadigbo passed on, on an account of the poisonous gas inhaled by him in a couple of days later.
“The ANPP leaders led by General Muhammadu Buhari contacted me and said please can you help us challenge this law that requires us to ask for police permission before we can express ourselves in our country.
“We went to the Federal High court, I didn’t charge them, today, that is the law, that Nigerians can protest, whether you call it the revolutionary protest, it is not a criminal offence.
“Unlike those who removed a democratically elected government in 1993, that coup was led by General Muhammadu Buhari.
“In 2011, following the revolution in Egypt, President Buhari urged Nigerians to emulate and be prepared to have a revolution like the Egyptian revolution, that revolution of Egypt killed over 800 lives, so who’s talking about destabilizing the country” he said.
Investors Are Going To Ghana, Other Countries, Lawan Tells Buhari
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare emergency on the nation’s power sector.
Lawan made the call on Monday at an ongoing one-day round-table discussion tagged ‘Addressing Nigeria’s Power Problems” being held at the NAF Conference Centre in Kado, Abuja.
The Senate President said investors in the country are relocating to Ghana and other neighboring countries to manufacture goods that they bring back to Nigeria to sell due to the challenge of power.
“If there is any single sector of our economy that is so important and so challenged, it is the power sector. This is a sector that needs a declaration of emergency. This is an opportunity for us to discuss the solutions and the way forward,” said Lawan.
“The truth is we all know what is wrong, what we really need to do is to have the political will to take on the challenges frontally. From the electricity power reform of 2005 and the privatization of Discos, with what is happening today, we know that everything is wrong. The time has come for us to have courage. We have signed into AFCTA and I believe what will give us an edge is to have a competitive environment.
“Our industries must be able to produce things that will compete favorably to other products in Africa but we are not in that position today.
“Even our citizens who have capital would rather relocate to Ghana and produce what they want to sell and bring it to Nigeria. If we went wrong with the privatization of Discos and Gencos, the time has come to look into it in the interest of our country.”
The Senate President noted that the round-table was an idea of the Senate that was born out of the need to for the legislators to come together and look at ways they could intervene in the power sector because “definitely something is not working right.”
He said, “Whatever that is required to support the executive to amend the power sector reform, we are prepared to do that. We owe this country obligation to provide employment opportunities for our teeming population.
“I think this round table at least is an opportunity to come up with measurable roadmaps to take the power sector to the next level. I believe that we have to declare a state of emergency on power and courageous decisions must be taken by government.
“I believe that this is one interaction that will not disappear. After this session we want to take appropriate actions. With this, it is my privilege and honour to declare this round table open,” said the Senate President.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who was represented at the event by Evelyn Amobi, said she “appreciates the commitment of the legislative to work with the executive to resolve the issues affecting the power sector.”
“All the decisions that will be made here will have our full support and be taken to the executive,” said Ahmed.
UPDATED: Buhari Given 14-Day Ultimatum To Release Sowore
Following the detention of Omoyele Sowore and other activists, a coalition of over 200 civil rights organizations have given President Muhammadu Buhari a 14-day ultimatum to show commitment to the rule of law or face mass action and civil disobedience.
According to the organizations on Monday, mass action was inevitable if the government failed to accede to their demands.
This was disclosed in a statement titled “Nigeria’s Troubling State of Affairs” issued on Monday, Dec 9, 2019 by the organizations.
Below is the full statement:
Tomorrow, December 10th, the world will celebrate Human Rights Day. It will also be marked in Nigeria as we review the crackdown on the freedom of the press; proposed bills to curb dissent and a general environment of shrinking civic space of which the recent actions of our security agencies are just an example.
We represent a cross-section of Nigerian civil society actors that have played various roles in Nigeria’s journey to civil rule.
Two key issues are of concern to us, namely:
1) Attack on Our Judiciary
2) Attack on Free Speech & Pattern of Silencing Dissent
In closing, we demand the following:
1) President Muhammadu Buhari to show accountability as President and Commander-in-Chief and address the nation on his commitment to the rule of law and human rights.
2) The release of all illegally detained persons by the DSS as revealed by Amnesty, Premium Times & Punch Newspapers in recent months.
3) That the government obey all outstanding court orders.
4) An investigation of the officers who violated protocol and the circumstances leading to Omoyele Sowore’s 2nd arrest.
5) The unconditional release of Omoyele Sowore per his bail terms.
If these four demands are not honored within 14 days – we call on patriots to join us as we occupy the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) offices across the country, as it is legally mandated to protect rights and it reports to the Presidency.
For more information, please reach out to ‘Yemi Adamolekun – [email protected]
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
“May I remind this government that disobedience calls to disobedience and that disobedience of the orders of the constitutional repository of the moral authority of arbitration – the judiciary – can only lead eventually to a people’s disregard of the authority of other arms of civil society, a state of desperation that is known, recognized and accepted as– civil disobedience.
It is so obvious – state disobedience leads eventually to civil disobedience, piecemeal or through a collective withdrawal of recognition of other structures of authority. That way leads to chaos but – who set it in motion? As is often the case, the state, unquestionably. Such a state bears full responsibility for the ensuing social condition known as anomie.”
– Wole Soyinka
Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International (Nigeria)
Idayat Hassan, Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD)
Auwal Musa, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Deji Adeyanju, Concerned Nigerians
‘Yemi Adamolekun, Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE Nigeria)
Lanre Suraj, (HEDA) & People’s Alternative Front
Kola Ogundare, Socio-Economic Right And Accountability Project (SERAP)
Jaye Gaskia, Take Back Nigeria (TBN)
Biola Akiode-Afolabi, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) & Transition Monitoring Group (TMG)