Former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has lamented on the the security state of the nation, saying insecurity now affects every part of Nigeria irrespective of geographical location, tribe, language and religion.
Obasanjo speaking at this year’s edition of the Sobo Sowemimo Annual Lecture organised by Abeokuta Club titled, “COVID-19 and the Nigeria security issues: The way forward.”, noted that insecurity was now the order of the day in the Buhari-led administration.
He said; “Let me lay more emphasis on the issue of security, which in itself is serious enough to make restructuring imperative. The South-West governors cried out and devised Amotekun as a solution or part-solution. We have yet to see how successfully that will be operated. Other zones are clamouring for a solution because in no state and in no geopolitical zone is life and property safe and secure.
“Criminality is the order of the day. And it cuts across the entire nation. Insecurity is one issue of commonality among Nigerians, no matter their tribe, language, religion, geographical location, gender, age or social position.’’
“I leave out economy which is in the doldrums and fighting corruption where you see more heat than light and which is festering like a bad sore. That, to me, is what reform of federating units and restructuring is all about and not about break-up or disintegration. Insecurity brought about by widespread criminality of Boko Haram, insurgents, herdsmen/farmers conflict, terrorists, bandits, armed robbers, militants, kidnappers, abductors and human traffickers is a new phenomenon that is ravaging the entire country.’’
According to Obasanjo, no ethnic group and even the Fulanis in Nigeria are collectively satisfied with the present security situation in spite of the President Muhammadu Buhari being a Fulani man.
He said “I am, of course, discounting invidious and irredeemable Fulani fundamentalists and hegemonists. Federal security architecture, as organised and operated by the present government, cannot give any individual or group hope, let alone assurance of security within Nigeria,’’
“Not that I am afraid of revolution, no, not at all, but I love and cherish peace and, of course, not peace of the graveyard. If I am concerned about security issues in Mali because of possibility of flow-over to other parts of West Africa, I should be more concerned about security in any part of Nigeria. I have not lived for the demise of Nigeria nor for its destruction or incapacitation in any form. Rather, I have lived to make and see a great and united country.’’
“Now, no part of the country can claim to be safe from the menace and insecurity caused by terrorists, armed robbers, human traffickers, kidnappers of all sorts, cattle rustlers, insurgents, bandits and herders/farmers conflicts.
“We are all challenged to put our thinking caps on, join hands and seek solutions together, otherwise, we will be destroyed piecemeal.’’
Senate Urges FG To Raise Age Limit For Job Seekers
The Senate on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to urgently raise the age limit usually attached to job vacancies in the country.
The call by the Senate followed its consideration of a motion titled: “Urgent need to review age barrier during recruitment and employment” sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto East).
Citing order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, Gobir noted that recruitment requirements of Federal Government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) and other private bodies which set age barriers “inadvertently excludes and marginalizes skillful and competent prospective applicants from participating in such exercises.
“Due to the high unemployment rate in the country, many graduates spend up to 10 years seeking employment and this puts them in a disadvantaged position by no fault of theirs.
“Many individuals resort to falsifying their age all in a bid to fall within the required age limit for them to be gainfully employed.
“This development, where a person believes he is unemployable can lead them to embracing criminal activities and further increase the growing crime rate and
insecurity in the country.”
Gobir called on the Senate to “urge the Federal Government to direct the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity to set up a committee to review the age limit for employment or recruitment with a view to get this problem of age barrier sorted out to allow the teeming skilled and competent Nigerians to be employed by Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs).”
In his contribution, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (Kebbi South), said the Senate can only progress on the call for review of age limit by first calling for the lifting of the embargo placed employment over thirteen years ago by the Federal Government.
According to him, the embargo period must be factored into the review of age limit for job recruitment by the Ministry of Labour and Productivity for prospective job seekers in the country.
Na’Allah said: “I think the motion is apt and timely. The major basis for the Senate to proceed on that request lies in the fact that, as an institution, we must take notice that the federal government on its own placed embargo on employment for over 13 years now.
“The period that there have been embargo by the Federal Government in itself should be considered in the review of age limit.
“For example, if the age limit is 23, we must now add the 13 or 14 years of embargo on employment to the age already earmarked for employment, so that the age will be plus 13, because it is the government on its own that placed the embargo on employment.
“There cannot be justification for you to place embargo on employment, then at the same time expect graduates to remain at the age they were during the period of the embargo.
“I think in the review, that has to be taken into account, and therefore, the age limit can now be raised in addition to the established age. That should be the legal verdict for the review.”
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks lamented the discrimination against job seekers as a result of the barrier imposed by often prescribed age limit.
“It is not through a fault of theirs that people are discriminated against. They’ll tell you only 30 years limit, meanwhile someone graduated 10 years ago.
“This is a very good motion urging the Ministry of Labour and Productivity to swing into action immediately,” Lawan said.
Senators unanimously approved the only prayer of the motion when it was put to voice vote by the Senate President.
Maj Gen Adeniyi To Face Court Martial After Lamenting Inadequate Equipment, Wrong intelligence In Boko Haram Fight
Maj.-Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, the erstwhile Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, will face a court-martial few months after a video circulated of him complaining bitterly about inferior ammunition and wrong intelligence given to troops prosecuting the war on terror in the North-East.
Adeniyi was among 886 officers the Army redeployed on Tuesday.
In the video in March, he was shown among forlorn troops after a battle with insurgents, stating that many soldiers and equipment were lost as the insurgents attacked from “every flank with not less than 15 gun trucks.”
However, he stressed that the troops remained committed to the fight in spite of the challenges.
The video sparked outrage, especially on social media, with many commentators accusing the Buhari presidency and military authorities of lying to Nigerians about the true state of the counterinsurgency operations.
On April 1, Adeniyi was redeployed as Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole to the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) as a Senior Research Fellow, a move touted as a form of punishment for the incident.
In Tuesday’s postings, Adeniyi was moved again from the NARC to the Army Headquarters, both in Abuja.
The Army said he was moved “for jurisdiction”, which Premium Times reported Wednesday, quoting unnamed military sources, means to face a court-martial.
According to insiders quoted by the reputable online newspaper, the Army deliberately allowed the controversy to die down before hauling the major general before the court-martial.
Yorubaland Is The Glue Holding Nigeria Together — Olu Falae
Former Secretary to the Federal Government (SFG), Chief Olu Falae says Yorubaland is the glue holding Nigeria together.
Falae, who spoke in a Vanguard interview, added that the South-West has invested so much into Nigeria’s unity to pursue secession.
He said this explains why the South-West geopolitical zone is frequented the most by people of other zones whenever their zones are in crisis.
The elder statesman said, “We have invested, perhaps, more than most groups in Nigeria. To prove my point, if there is a crisis in the East today, where do people rush to? The South-West. If there is a crisis in the North, where will they run to? The South-West.
“This is the refugee camp of Nigeria. This is where everybody is welcome, accepted and looked after. That is the investment of peace we have been making from time immemorial.
“Yorubaland has been the glue that holds Nigeria. If the South-West says it wants to secede, the Middle-Belt will fight us because they see Yoruba as the cement that holds Nigeria.
“During the Civil War, when the Igbo went home, Governor Mobolaji Johnson looked after their property for them. Rents were in the banks. When they returned, their money was given to them to start life all over again.
“That is a fact. But the property they left in Port Harcourt was taken over by their neighbours. It took several years before some of them were returned to the owners.
“We have demonstrated that we are the most accommodating; we are the cementing culture in Nigeria. So, there is no way we can secede. This is our home.”
Meanwhile, Falae emphasised the importance of restructuring the nation, saying it would address many of Nigeria’s current challenges.
He flayed those accusing Yorubaland of plotting secession with the establishment of Amotekun, the regional security network in the South-West zone.
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