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Of Kidnappers, Emir of Muri, Abba Kyari And The Doctrine of Self Help, By Hassan Gimba

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Of Kidnappers, Emir of Muri, Abba Kyari and The Doctrine of Self Help, By Hassan Gimba

This year’s Eid-el-Kabir came at a time Nigerians, especially those living in the North, were at their wits’ end over incessant kidnappings. Less than ten-year-old Islamiya pupils from Tegina in Niger State are still with their bandit abductors, College of Forestry Students from Kaduna, too. These are more known because they are students. Hundreds are in the hands of kidnappers all over the North minus a few states. It is amid this national malaise that Muslims celebrated Sallah.

Kidnappers negotiate openly with relations, and friends of victims, collecting ransoms before their release. Sometimes, couriers of ransom get detained and fresh negotiations open. In other instances, females abducted get married off to their abductors. Sometimes abductors request airtime, foodstuff, and motorcycles before releasing abductees. People are concerned as day after day it becomes glaring that the hoodlums are running rings around our police.

It is amid this that the Emir of Muri in Taraba State, Alhaji Abbas Tafida, took the bull by the horns and threw down the gauntlet. He threatened bandits, seen majorly as the foreign Fulani Bororo, with death if they did not leave his forests in 30 days. Immediately after the Sallah prayer, he took the microphone and said: “Our brothers, the nomadic herdsmen (Bororo) from neighbouring countries, you came to us to allow you to stay in our forest. We allowed you because you are our brothers. When you came, we welcomed you. We regarded you as fellow Muslims. But the question you must answer is, are you Muslims?

“This is a question we are waiting for you to answer. We deserve to know if you are Muslims. If you are one of us (Muslims) and you decide to stay in the forest, only to kidnap us one by one for ransom, stop it because your attitude is not acceptable to Allah. But if you are not Muslims, I want to tell you, like we fought the infidels before, we are ready to fight you with all our strength. So I have given you (Bororo) 30 days to leave my emirate. If we see any of you after the expiration of my ultimatum, we will kill him.

“I am calling on my subjects to know that and be ready to fight or else I will draw the line. We kill him without asking him what he came to do or ask his name or where he comes from. If we are going to be all killed, let it be. If we will all die, let it be. We will not allow bastards to come and kidnap our wives, take them to the forest and rape them or commit adultery with them. In one village, we have the report of a District Head who is conniving with these criminals. The police arrested and granted him bail and the people are watching him. I think such a leader is not supposed to be living among us. Are you crazy to allow such a person to continue to live among you? Listen to me, henceforth any person who is found to be conniving with these criminals, we will kill his mother, and other siblings.

“For the police, we expect you to do your duty. If you arrest any kidnapper and set him free, we will not accept that. We will direct our armed youths to go after the kidnappers. There is no way we cannot be free in our homes; and worse, we cannot sleep with our two eyes closed. I am calling on Ardos (leaders of Fulani) to stop these barbaric acts in my emirate because you all know who is carrying out these criminal activities. I want to reiterate that any kidnapper that is set free by the security will not be spared. All those responsible for maintaining peace in my domain should come together to end the menace or we know what to do. Peace be upon you.”

The emirate of Mubi is known for its gallantry, having been founded in 1817 as a Fulbe Jihad state. It was briefly a de facto French protectorate between 1892 and 1893, under Governor Louis Mizon. It wound up as a province of the British Protectorate in 1901. Muri has produced emirs that do not mince words; they spoke their minds without fear. This trait was a subject of national discourse when, on August 12, 1986, Alhaji Umaru Abba Tukur, its powerful emir, was dethroned by Colonel Yohanna Madaki, the military governor of Gongola State. He became too strong for the Colonel to handle.

Ultimately, this thought of the emir is what may inform the actions of Nigerians as more public influencers think of mobilising the people to take their fate into their hands.

Talking about security issues and the police makes me sad over the travails of Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari. The man has posted significant achievements, cracking high-profile cases and bringing notorious criminals to justice. It is a pity if such a personality crashes ignominiously at the zenith of his career. He was flying beyond the skies with a future twinkling brightly, like the stars far above the sky.

Looking deeply and beyond Kyari, is there a reason a police officer trained and paid to arrest criminals will hobnob with them instead of remaining their nemesis? One may say lack of motivation, lack of proper training or absence of the weaponry/equipment or a result of being overstretched because of inadequate numbers.

In an interview with the Weekly Trust of 16 October 2010, a former Inspector General of Police, the late Gambo Jimeta said: “I think I’m qualified to talk about the development of the police force since independence because these are the exact years I have been in the force. The police force I joined fifty years ago was a highly trained and motivated one. We were very proud of our profession and we had a lot of support from the public who felt that we were there for them, to help them.

“We were well equipped; we had vehicles, laboratory equipment and we had everything that it took to run a modern police force. Unfortunately, since independence, we have been put along the line of what they call competing demands from other services in Nigeria. This has downgraded us and has brought us to where we are today, almost at a standstill.”

While we expect the police to risk their lives for us, yet they lack enough weapons and many criminals are better armed than them. Most police officers are treated shabbily, earning peanut salaries and can barely afford to feed themselves, not to talk of taking care of their dependents. A good number are homeless, with many squatting in slums. In such situations, the faint-hearted will cheaply compromise.

Even though 10,000 constables are to be recruited, the population of the Nigeria Police is less than 400,000. The United Nations (UN) standard for the police-to-population ratio is one police officer for every four hundred and fifty citizens. With the ever-growing population of over two hundred million Nigerians, according to the worldometer and about three hundred and seventy-one thousand, eight hundred (371,800) police officers, according to the Nigeria Police Force, the present police-to-population ratio in Nigeria is one police officer to five hundred and forty (540) citizens. Perhaps that’s why in 2017, the former Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, said that Nigeria needs to recruit 30,000 police personnel annually for five years to meet UN recommendations.

Even at that, the Police Service Commission in a report published by The Guardian stated that as of 2018, over 150,000 police officers were attached to VIPs and unauthorised persons in the country. Translated differently, every police officer attached to one VIP is denying at least 450 Nigerians access to police security and, by extension, the safety of lives and property across the country. This may be a conservative figure as despite the alarming rate of robberies, kidnappings, insurgencies, a then Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Zone 5 in Benin, Rasheed Akintunde said that over 80% of police officers are attached to either private business owners, multinational companies, corporate organisations and government officials while the remaining 20% are attached to their actual civic duties.

However, the number may not be the issue as the late IGP Jimeta, in that interview, said that: “A more equipped and civilized environment will require fewer police officers than the sort of situation we have now. The vast unplanned country and poverty-stricken and ill-motivated police force we have cannot do much. A well-equipped police officer will do a job that ten cops would do. One police horse for crowd control will do the job of fifty police officers. You see what I mean. So, the strength of the force is irrelevant to its capacity to perform its duty. It is not about the number, it is about skills and equipment available.”

According to some sources, the average amount paid per police officer attached to a VIP monthly is N75,000 with an initial documentation fee paid to the commission ranging between N250,000 and N1,000,000.

That means N11.25 billion is potentially generated every month from attaching 150,000 police officers to VIPs. In a year, at least N135 billion would have accrued to the Nigeria Police Force, which is about thirty-seven percent of the total budget allocation to the Force in 2019.

This amount, according to some experts, could pay the annual salary of over 132,000 new police constables, at an average salary of N85,000 per month. It can buy for the police 885 Robinson R44 Raven II helicopters, meaning that each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory can own at least 24 helicopters each.

That money can buy over six thousand Toyota Hilux 2018, providing at least 165 police Hilux vehicles for each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. It can also buy over one million, four hundred and seventy-five thousand (1,475,409) police bulletproof vests at N91,500 each.

But where is this money?

Hassan Gimba

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Opinion

A well deserved leadership & The Sun Awards For Mai Mala Buni

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A WELL DESERVED LEADERSHIP & THE SUN AWARDS FOR MAI MALA BUNI

By Abba Dukawa

The hallmark of a great leader is not measured in Castle and materials, but in ability to groom and lead successful discipline. The caretaker committee under Gov. Buni had regained the party and made it stronger and able to put the party back on track by addressing all the grievances that, in the first place, brought it to its knees.

Preceding to June 2020,there was euphoria from other oppositions politicians camps and even some political analysts were writing off that governing All Progressives Congress (APC) party was on the brink of either serious leadership crisis or party might be in its last days. But like a miracle the parry found a lasting solutions by dissolution of then National Working Committee (NCW), led by Adams Oshiomhole.

The award Conferred on APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), chairman Governor Mai Mala Buni, as a Politician of the Year at the 2021 Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony of Leadership Media Group. Also It is for other reasons that the Board of Editors of The Sun Publishing Limited chose him as winner of The Sun Political Icon of the Year Award 2020. Both the awards are marks of recognition of his led committee in retooled the ruling governing party and also a convincible pointer and a well deserved award on this humble grassroot politician in addition a morale booster to serve Yobeans and the country at large.

Reassessing the emerging success recorded by National Chairman APC Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) in rebuilding the APC in line with the CECPC’s core mandate: to engender unity in the party, promote true reconciliation and give a sense of belong- ing to every party member. At the inception of the committee he had met Party national leaders like Chief Bisi Akande, John Oyegun and Tinubu and other aggrieved members toward restoring crisis-ridden ruling party back to life.

His uncommon dispute-resolution skills have paid off, with many formerly aggrieved members withdrawing and terminating many litigations involving the party. This efforts have put the party on the path of greatness again. Governor Buni’s CECPC led the party to unprecedented nationwide membership registration, revalidation and register update, to shore up the party’s membership and support- base nationwide.

HMB’s efforts have also resulted in three PDP governors comprising Ebonyi State (David Umahi), Cross River State (Ben Ayade) and Zamfara State Bello Matawalle) decamping to the ruling party, prominent politicians return the APC, including the former PDP national chairman, Barnabas Gemade; former speakers of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and Dimeji Bankole, former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, Senator Joy Emordi, Senator Stella Oduah and recently one most critical to the APC led administration Fani Kayode joint the party.

In Buni’s led committee, the ruling governing party found a peace Regaining it soul as and was able to made the party stronger through a successful drive of hard work, building through peace reconciliation trait. HMB reconciliation drive save the party from being a divided party. APC witnessed gale of defection to the party, from its closest rival, the Peoples Democratic Party governors, federal and states legislators and other influential political leaders across the country.

In fact, HMB proved himself as a huge asset to the ruling governing party and the country that his three decades experience in politics are giving the party a sense of directions as National Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Committee members acts together in ensuring party discipline, and cohesion are made sacrosanct and are imbibed by members by high and low.

This Piece Is To Celebrate With Strategist , Grassroot Politician And A Great Achiever Of Transforming Socioeconomic And Infrastructural Development Of Yobe And Also Leadership Newspapers Award Conferred On
Governor Buni’s As “politician Of The Year 2020 Of The 2021 Annual Conference And Awards Ceremony Of Leadership Media Group And Also Political Icon Of The Year Award 2020 Of The Sun Publishing Limited.

Dukawa write in from Kano and can be reached at abbahydukawa@gmail.com

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Opinion

Of Bigmen’s Children, Boko Haram And An Unholy War, By Hassan Gimba

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Of Bigmen’s Children, Boko Haram and An Unholy War, by Hassan Gimba

From the beginning, the quasi-Islamic jihadist movement with the high-sounding name, Jama’atu ahlus sunnah lidda’awati wal jihad, loosely translated to mean “People committed to the propagation of the Prophet’s teachings and jihad”, was anti-West. Many believe, albeit erroneously, that Boko Haram started in Maiduguri, Borno State, in 2002 and that the founder was Mohammed Yusuf.

The group, not with its latter-day and most known name, started in the mid-‘90s in Yusufari, Yobe State. Popularly called “Taliban” or “Sahaba”, a name derived from what the prophet’s companions are called, it comprised mostly the children of the well-to-do in the society. With white as their preferred choice of colour, they were always attired in white garments and used camels for their transportation.

They were mainly idealistic youths who opted to shun worldliness, sacrifice the flesh and nourish their souls in seeking the favour of Allah. They started romanticising a Utopian world where God does for them whatever they fancied. That was what governed their thoughts, and they concluded that the best way to achieve that was by divorcing themselves from a world filled with sin.

Most of them came from Borno and Yobe states, and being from the same social class and having met at the university, that of Maiduguri precisely, they all agreed to migrate (hijrah) to a virgin land where they would worship their God undistracted by temptations that feed the flesh and starve the soul. They chose the desert of Yusufari in Yobe, bordering the Niger Republic.

Alhaji Bukar Abba Ibrahim, a three-term governor and three-term senator, was the governor of Yobe State then. Those whose children got involved were top shots in the two states. Naturally, the Yobe State Government was concerned that ‘heirs’ were derailing and abandoning the path being paved for them. What to do? Disperse them as gently as possible, causing no harm to the prodigal children. And so the government, using the security agencies, tenderly dislodged them with each bigwig advised to rein in his ward so as not to lose his scion.

The kids sired by the elite got ferreted out of the country to Europe, America and Asia to study and, in the course, got drowned in the world. Better take the path of the world than the futureless life of asceticism they were so enamoured with, their bigshot parents in government thought.

They left those sired by the nobodies stranded with nobody to give them succour. They did not in reality do anything that may warrant the government giving them ‘amnesty’ then, but a serious society would have done something about those idealistic kids whose eyes were blazing with religious fervour. But no, society left them to their devices. And so they congregated in Maiduguri and paid allegiance to Mohammed Yusuf, who started his rise to infamy.

He, it was, that popularised the ‘Boko Haram’ (western education is sinful) mantra. ‘Boko’ stands for western education and ‘haram’ is sin in Arabic.

Most of the sect’s early adherents dropped out from western education-based schools, from primary schools to tertiary institutions. Some of those who had completed such schools tore their certificates. It became an obsession for the Boko Haramites to stop western education wherever they could.

Some measures they took included but were not limited to abducting school children, killing some of them, and burning their schools. In one such gruesome campaign, they slaughtered 59 young boys in their sleep at Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State, on February 25, 2014. They also razed twenty-four buildings in the school.

Similarly, later in the year, on November 10, one of their suicide bombers, disguised as a student, detonated an explosive device during a morning assembly session at Government Senior Secondary School, Potiskum, in Yobe, killing 47 students and maiming 79 others, some for life.

In between the two massacres, on April 14 they hit Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, and abducted 276 of the students, aged between 16 and 18 – a raid that forced the entire world to sit up and take note. Seven years have gone by and over a hundred of these girls are yet to be accounted for. Then, four years later, on February 19, 2018, there was another mass abduction of schoolgirls at Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, where about 110 schoolgirls were carried off in a strike reminiscent of Chibok. Weeks later they were released, but not before the death of five others, and returned to their town by their captors, except one Leah Sharibu, who would not accept being forcefully converted to their form of Islam. Authentic Islam frowns at forced conversion.

While the North East is daily getting free of the menace of Boko Haram, with life slowly but steadily returning to normal, it is not so for the North East and the North Central. Appendages of Boko Haram in the disguise of bandits, herdsmen and kidnappers are having a field day abducting people at will. Herdsmen’s nefarious activities, which started taking a turn for the worse in Zamfara State in 2011, are now more complementary to Boko Haram’s.

Mass abductions of pupils and students have become so commonplace in Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Niger over the last two years that it is no longer ‘unexpected news’.

These brigands go to houses in towns and schools to take whoever they fancy, and whenever they want. Apart from turning kidnapping into a lucrative vocation where they rake in hundreds of millions by squeezing family members, they have forced state governments to do their bidding by shutting down schools. Some states have ceded roads and sizable portions of territory to them. Sad, but that is the reality – a sort of victory for those who believe there should not be western education.

Those who were left to their own devices when the bigshots took their kids abroad have now forced all of us to sleep with eyes wide open. They have unleashed an unholy war on all of us, the haves and the have nots. In the process, they have recruited foot soldiers in almost all sectors of society. They have their sponsors, informants, associates, suppliers and apologists among politicians and the clergy. Those that minister to them can also be found in the security sector, among students, trade unions and the business class.

Insurgency and related criminal activities have taken their toll on the North. In every society, those between the ages of 15 and 40 build it up, being the most vibrant age bracket. But those in the region’s most active age group are daily joining the increasing groups of bad eggs or spending energy running away from them.

The North has long suffered this breakdown of law and order. It has crippled the economy of the people and the people’s mainstay, agriculture, has taken a back seat because of the nefarious activities of the criminals. People in many parts of the region cannot go to their farms, and where they could, they have to pay taxes to insurgents or bandits.

As a result, revenue generated by states has fallen to an all-time low. The revenue from agricultural produce, livestock production and personal income tax, except for those in government employment, has thinned out. Many businesses – big, medium and small – have closed shop, throwing more able-bodied youth into the unemployment market, further putting stress on society and fuelling more reasons for social discontent.

Things in the North East, as earlier stated, are getting better and the current successful onslaughts recorded by our security operatives in the other parts of the region are commendable. Hopefully, the government has woken up from its inertia and has taken the bull by the horns. Nigeria looks forward to having a peaceful and secure North.

To avoid regressing to the days (of course we are not yet out but hopefully soon) of fear, Northern states must aggressively pursue all means to improve their internally generated revenues. There should not be any hypocrisy in that. I truly believe Islam forbids the consumption of alcohol. Not only that, it prohibits its production, transportation, sale, or using the proceeds of the sales. Therefore, if you are a genuine believer who destroys alcohol in your town, refusing its sale and punishing those who take it, why should you gleefully accept any money, in whatever name, from the proceeds of its sale?

By the way, do bicycles and dogs have licences anymore like we used to see decades ago? There is an increase in using bicycles with the banning of motorcycles for security reasons across the states. Northern state governors must think out of the box for their states to survive. They need to build projects, not for fancy, but those that can bring more revenue to their states. They need to open up the hinterlands and invest in education and health. A healthy, educated person will feed himself and others and can generate revenue.

I believe when all states start generating reasonable amounts of revenue, the country’s unity will be cast in concrete and guaranteed. Come to think of it, each state will have what the others need and we will look at none as a parasite because each contributes a necessary portion to the general purse.

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Opinion

PMB Approves Reappointment of Prof Bashir Haruna As Exe Secretary NCNE

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PMB Approves Reappointment Of Prof Bashir Haruna As Exe Secretary NCNE

By Adamu Mohammed Dodo, Yola

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the renewal of appointment of Prof Bashir H Haruna as Executive Secretary, National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE)

The appointment letter signed by the Hon Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, dated September 1st, 2021, explained that the appointment was for a second tenure of five years with effect from August 30, 2021.

The appointment shall be under the same terms and conditions as that of the first tenure and as stipulated in the NCNE.

Some of the staff of the Commission seen jubilating said the reappointment of Prof Bashir was a worthy development.

The National Commission for Nomadic Education, the Implementation and the delivery of the Nomadic Education Programme (NEP) were commended by the commentators to have witnessed giant strides and made landmark achievements under Prof Bashir’s first tenure of five years; from August 2016 to July 2021, which ensured the strategic planning and systematic implementation of policies and programmes of NEP, making it more responsive for the 21st century generation boost,
thereby ensuring that there is a cardinal link between goals/objectives of
NEP and implementation of key projects and programmes.

Some of the achievements of the Commission credited to Prof Bashir include; acquiring a permanent and befitting head office complex with a view to getting the Commission out of the rented building.

Gaining ministerial approval for the allocation of the Office Complex at the Defunct National Educational Technology Centre, Kaduna, in addition to being allocated 21 units of houses at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Kaduna Study Centre.

Institutional strengthening and human capital developmen, establishment of a robust and expanded the Administrative Structure of the Commission to address emerging needs and repositioning of the Commission and improve its operational efficiency towards meeting its goals and objectives.

In response to the demand for the provision of Technical and Vocational Education and Training Skills for the nomads, new Departments of Extension Education and Skills Development and Social Mobilisation and Women Development were established, in addition to the establishment of Directorate of Special Duties under the Office of the Executive Secretary, to effectively coordinate activities of Sections and Units under the Executive Secretary’s office.

Partnership Peace and Conflict Resolution Unit was established for the promotion of peace-building and constructive engagement of the farmers and herders for improved relations and ensure effective management and amicable resolution of conflicts.

Establishment of Consultancy and Outreach Unit as part of measures to step up resource mobilisation and utilisation through the improvement of internally generated revenue base for the Commission, improvement and diversification of funding pattern for the Commission and provision of critical infrastructure and facilities under capital projects and Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) interventions.

Pioneered the conduct of Tracer Studies on the implementation of Nomadic Education Programme across the over 4,026 nomadic schools spread across the 36 states and FCT.

Revitalization of activities at Nomadic Education University Based Centres at University of Jos, University of Maiduguri, Usman Danfodio University and University of Port Harcourt.

The University of Jos centre is in-charge of Research and Evaluation for education of Nomadic Pastoralist, Usman Danfodio University Sokotocentre is responsible for Curricula and Textual Materials Development, while University of Maiduguri centre is specifically saddled with the task of Teacher Training and Outreach Services. The University of Port-Harcourt centre is in-charge of Research and Evaluation, Curricula and Textual Materials Development and Teacher Training and Outreach Services for the education of Migrant Fisher-folks and farmers.

Academic support services and quality assurance mechanism and securing approval from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for the establishment of an AM Radio Broadcasting License (Frequency Channel 720 KHz and a bandwidth of 9KHz) for an initial period of five years from October 2018 to October 2023.

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