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Military Chiefs Received N238bn For Weapons To Fight Insurgency, Banditry In 2 Years

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A report from the Budget Office of the Federation has revealed that the Military Chiefs got N238bn to fight insecurity as well as implement programmes and operations for the Army, Navy and Air force between 2018 and 2019.

According to information from the Budget Office website, the Defence ministry, the Defence headquarters and the three arms of the military budgeted N316bn for operations during the period. The Federal Government however released only N238bn during the period.

The 2018 budget implementation report stated that out of N157bn appropriated by the Federal Government for capital projects and operations of the military for the year, it only released N132bn. In 2019, only N106.84bn out of a total of N159bn was released.

These amounts are however different from the $1bn allocated to the military to fight Boko Haram in 2017. While reports on the disbursement of the funds are yet to be verified, reports from military sources say parts of the funds were used to pay for several Tucano fighter jets still being expected from the United States.

Excerpts from the 2018 budget implementation report which did not include that of the Army read;

“The mandate of the defence ministry is to provide administrative and support services, timely and effectively to enable the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to maintain the territorial integrity of the country.

In order to prepare the Nigeria Armed Forces for combat on Land, Sea and Air, the government allocated a total of N157.72bn in the 2018 Budget to implement its capital projects and programmes.

“Out of this amount, N132.77 bn was released and cash-backed while N126.17bn was utilised as at the end of the fourth quarter of the year. For the navy, the sum of N27.45bn was allocated in the 2018 budget to implement its capital projects and programmes. Out of this amount, N23.78bn was released, cash-backed and utilised as at the end of the fiscal year.

“The Nigeria Air Force is charged with the responsibility of providing air defence to the nation and ensuring the integrity of the airspace by gaining and maintaining control of the nation’s airspace. To achieve this objective, a total of N44.65bn was allocated to this arm of the military to implement its capital projects and programmes. Out of this amount, N27.83bn was released, cash backed and utilised in the 2018 fiscal year.”

The 2019 military budget implementation report also read;

“Under the 2019 budget, the defence sector was allocated a total of N159.13bn in the 2019 budget for the implementation of its capital projects and programmes.

Out of this amount, N106.84bn was released and cash-backed, while N103.11bn was utilised as at December 31, 2019. The following agencies and projects were monitored; one of them is the Defence Corporation of Nigeria which is operated by the Nigerian Armed forces. The DICON is responsible for the production of defence equipment and civilian products such as artillery, explosives, munitions, small arms, Armoured vehicles, etc.

“To achieve this mandate, a total of N3.23bn was allocated in the 2019 appropriation to implement its capital projects and programmes. Out of this amount, N1.29bn was released, cash-backed and utilised.”

During the same period, attacks by Boko Haram insurgents, armed bandits and rogue Fulani herdsmen increased exponentially. Thousands of Nigerians were displaced, while hundreds were also killed.

While officials sources list only 71 soldiers of the Nigerian Army as being killed in action between January and July, 2020 alone, unofficial estimates puts this figure at several hundreds, including scores captured by Boko Haram/ISWAP elements.

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Our Vigilante Already Present In All 36 States — Miyetti Allah

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The National President, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Abdullahi Bodejo, says that its vigilante members are already present in all 36 states of the country.

He said that Miyetti Allah, which plans to officially unveil its vigilante group on August 27, already has the members embedded with the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN).

According to Saturday Sun, Bodejo explained that the group decided to partner with VGN, a registered security outfit, whose Commander General, Captain Usman Jahun (Retd) is a Fulani.

He explained that the VGN is already operating in every state and draws members from across the nation, including some Fulani.

He reiterated that the Miyetti Allah Vigilante was formed to protect the Fulani that are being killed across the country.

He noted that there was no justification for opposing the security outfit since other ethnic groups have theirs.

Bodejo said, “If they kill Fulani, they will say, it is Fulani who did the killing; if they killed some people, they will say, it is Fulani, and if they burnt down Fulani settlement, and Fulani carried out reprisal, it is only the Fulani they would mention. Fulani will always be mentioned in these problems even when they were not involved.

“That is why we decided to approach the VGN commander to collaborate with him to train our vigilante outfit. Before now, there was no Miyetti Allah vigilante in the country, but now if you see the VGN all over the country; you will see the Fulani because they are already operating under that VGN.

“What we are doing now is to identify the Fulani in that VGN security outfit. In some places, they are 100 and more in some places.

“We can organise them and differentiate them between the VGN, and we can have them in all the 36 states including the FCT, Abuja.”

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BREAKING: NUPENG Orders Tanker Drivers To Withdraw From Lagos

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Petroleum tanker drivers may withdraw their services from Lagos from Monday based on a directive from national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).

NUPENG said on Friday the directive followed failure to address three major issues causing tanker drivers pains in the state for months.

Its National President Williams Akporeha and General Secretary, Olawale Afolabi, gave the directive in a statement titled “NUPENG leadership directs withdrawal of services by petroleum tanker drivers in Lagos State with effect from Monday, August 10, 2020.”

They said: “The entire rank and file members of the union are deeply pained, frustrated and agonised by the barrage of these challenges being consistently faced by petroleum tanker drivers in Lagos State and are left with no other option but to direct the withdrawal of their services in Lagos State until the Lagos State Government and other relevant stakeholders address these critical challenges.

“It is sad and disheartening to note here that we had made several appeals and reports to the Lagos State Government and the Presidential Task Force for the decongestion of Apapa on these challenges but all to no avail.

“We resolved to embark on an indefinite strike beginning from 12 am, Monday, August 10, 2020 if there are no decisive and convincing actions from the Lagos State Government to address these concerns and challenges.”

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BREAKING: AGF Orders IGP To Provide Security For 17 Anti-Obaseki Edo Lawmakers

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The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami has ordered the Inspector General of Police to provide security for the 17 anti-Obaseki members of the Edo Assembly.

In a letter dated August 5 based on a petition to his office by Idahosa-West Chambers, Malami said the security measure is necessary to prevent breakdown of law and order.

The 17 lawmakers backing All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, have been locked in a battle to access the Edo Assembly complex on Ring Road, Benin with seven lawmakers loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki.

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