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Rule of Law, Nigeria’s Only Hope of Survival (1) By Hassan Gimba

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Rule of Law, Nigeria’s only hope of survival (1)

By Hassan Gimba

Our current situation of a glaring failure of the rule of law must disturb any Nigerian who has come of age. The average citizen today lives in fear. When you retire into your house, you pray to God to deliver you from evil marauders who have removed peace from the calmness of the night. When the sun rises, you again rely on God to protect you from those who have become the law unto themselves.

In Nigeria today, the rule of law has taken flight. Charlatans carrying guns that are daily becoming accessible to any riff-raff who wants to own any quantity can erect a checkpoint on any federal road and operate for hours, kidnapping, killing and maiming passengers. Sometimes they set cars on fire with commuters, comprising women, children, infants, and the elderly and sick, trapped inside.

They can walk for hours unhindered, despite our drones and Tucanos, with tens, sometimes hundreds, of their prisoners from the main road into the bushes. Many times, they videotape such operations up to the torturing of their captives and send them to all to see on social media. They rape their female victims – single or married – irrespective of their age or physical conditions. The unlucky men who tingle their fancies get sodomized, too. And nothing happens because the rule of law does not affect them.

Many of the women who make it out alive come out with pregnancy or, worst of all, with some diseases. Those “captured” with a heavy pregnancy that would not allow them to move quickly or far got shot dead. This scenario happened to Pharmacist Hannatu Mohammed in Zaria in August this year. Kidnappers killed her because she could not move fast enough because of her pregnancy. She left behind two children.

There was this story of a captive who gave birth to twins in the camp of these bandits. They threw the newborns to their dogs for breakfast. The woman went mad. Another case was that of a newborn who was fed with sleeping pills once it started crying.

In all these cases and many more, reported and unreported, that cannot be cataloged here because of their quantum, the living victims and their families cry alone; friends and family mourn the dead. They receive nothing – no justice and do not mention compensation or even condolence – because those who should protect and care for them are engrossed in feeding their fantasies. The rule of law can go to blazes!

In November this year, gunmen raided the staff quarters of the University of Abuja and made it a hell for two hours. They abducted six people, including two professors, a deputy registrar and three family members. The minister of the FCT, Muhammad Bello, however, told the university’s governing council that the crime was carried out to raise doubts about the security in place in the nation’s capital as well as attract publicity. How did he know that? Did he confer or confirm with the bandits – as per their motives? Another question: what are the other uncountable and routine crimes perpetrated daily in the country meant to achieve – like the raids on the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), police stations, prisons (I do not call them “Correctional” because I doubt if they have corrected anybody) and other government facilities?

What are the daily blockade of roads, killings, burning, maiming and kidnapping of passengers meant to achieve? What about the attack on the rail tracks, abduction of school children, raiding of airports and houses of individuals to kidnap – to achieve what?

It has now reached an unfortunate and unpardonable level that kidnappers negotiate terms of release with kidnapped victims’ loved ones. There are stories that even the military and paramilitary forces pay for their kidnapped members to be released. The forces of anarchy have cowed the enforcers of the rule of law.

Well, true or false, bandits who raid wherever they want and kidnap whoever they wish are now a government unto itself. They collect taxes from farmers before the locals may till their farms. They also pay before they can harvest from their farms.

Nigeria’s situation fills all reasonable humans with dread. Last week, just when we were shocked at the unprovoked incineration of passengers on a bus, another sad news hit the airwaves. The people of Maza-Kuka in Ba’are village of Mashegu Local Government Area in Niger State were made to cry when 16 worshippers were shot dead while observing the early morning prayers in a mosque.

Without the rule of law, no nation can survive as an entity. All failed states are so because non-state actors have overwhelmed constituted authority.

Many can swear by whatever they worship Nigeria is on the brink and that any moment the nation can tip over. The search now is for who will pull us back. I will, in this treatise, discuss this.

How did we find ourselves in this sorry pass? There is a school of thought that believes our security forces are way below the required number and, therefore, in most cases, overstretched. Others theorize they lack technological facilities coupled with low motivation because of poor welfare.

But is it? Nigeria, with a population of about 200 million, has a force strength of close to 400,000. That is one police officer per 500 or 0.2 per cent of the populace. The United Nations’ (UN) standard for the police-to-people ratio is one police officer for every 450 citizens. Perhaps ours should be one law enforcement officer for 45 people.

Togo, with a population of 8 million, has 4,000 police officers. That is one police per 2,000 or 0.05 per cent of the population, but God help you if you break any law in the country. Benin Republic, with a populace of 11.5 million, has 10,000 police. That is 0.08 per cent or one police officer for every 1,150 citizens. But try to break the law in that country and see. These are just two West African countries that have proved that the rule of law thrives, not because of the number of security forces watching eagle-eyed over the population.

Yes, our police lack the technological edge to deal with modern crimes and, worst of all, their welfare and training are not the best. Their salary is paltry and, even at that, they don’t always get paid when due.

But the failure of the rule of law here is not so much about the number of our security agents as with their low morale, their poor application of themselves to duty – very like all public service employees, disruption of morals in the citizenry, and the historical failure to punish offenders. Above all is the dearth of a responsive leadership to bind us into a nation of law-abiding, love-your-brother people.

Therefore, we can say moral decadence is at the root of our problems as a nation. However, that can be corrected with the right leadership. We shall look at this. We shall also look at how failing to punish criminals has affected our collective security and the way out in our next installments.

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Opinion

APC National Convention: it is irresponsible To Call For Sack Gov. Buni Led CECPC

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APC National Convention: It is irresponsible to call for sack Gov Buni led CECPC

Yusuf Ali

It is irresponsible to call for sack of the well constituted and highly celebrated action-packed Governor Buni led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, All Progressives Congress over the planned national convention of the party. Uptil now, the CECPC has not told anybody that it is not going to conduct the party’s national convention after it has successfully conducted Ward, Local and State Congresses as it said that it is only embarking on nationwide consultations with Party leaders and stakeholders to prepare the ground for a rancour-free National Convention.

It is very wrong for anybody to say that Governor Buni is holding on to the seat to score political goals. For the avoidance of doubt, Buni is a sitting governor that has his second term fully secured in 2023 if he decides to run. The people of Yobe state who overwhelmingly voted for him in 2019 are extremely happy and ready to return him to consolidate on the solid transformation of Yobe state as truly the pride of the Sahel.

Let me say that this call for the sack of the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee amounts to playing dirty politics, and it is cheap and irresponsible. In fact, Nothing can be more irresponsible and reckless, as such a statement. Nobody in his right senses will call for the sack of the focused and result-oriented Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee.

The Governor Buni led CECPC was legally constituted by the 8th resumed of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress APC which constituted the Caretaker Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee in place of the dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) of the party. It has performed tremendously well in rebuilding and repisitioning the party for greatness. No amount of hysterical calls for resignation will prevent it from carrying out its constitutional mandate. As a progressive governing party guided by its rules, the CECPC will continue to take the right steps and follow due process in carrying out its activities, in this case the planned national convention is sacrosanct. The APC as a party for all will continue to act on its words.

Let it be known that the Governor Buni led CECPC is not in anyway against the conduct of the all-important exercise as planned it only wanted a rancour-free national convention. If some of the pending issues related to fallout of the Congresses in some states are not amicably resolved it will further polarise the party during and even after the convention. The focus remains that achieving and sustaining the APC Caretaker Committee’s peace and reconciliation core mandate wrapping up with credible national convention is all the more gratifying.

Before the CECPC, the governing party is on the verge of collapse and disintegration. As the Chairman of the CECPC, Governor Buni has been a steady hand in troubled times, and that explains why leading the governing All Progressives Congress at a most turbulent period, he has managed the crisis to bring peace to the party and safe it from disintegration, and even set it on a trajectory of success for the coming national convention and ahead of the 2023 general elections.

For a large and governing party with so many crisis points and conflicting interests like the APC, Governor Mai Mala Buni has always toed the line of compromise, temperance and internal democracy as well as tackled internal squabbles when they have occured as a family affair. He is a stabilising factor and voice that is generally accepted and has successfully forged a common ground among all the interests in the governing party.

Governor Buni is well positioned to stabilize the party and ensure synergy between the party, members and the government. He has shown a capacity to steer the party to stability and remains a strategic political asset to the APC and government.

Buni is not a dictator. As the Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, because of his background, he has listened, engaged, accommodated and gave a sense of belonging to every member of our great party.

As a principled leader, Buni has always exercised persuasive powers and negotiating skills in the execution of his responsibilities. It is this power of persuation, tact and diplomacy that endeared him to his colleagues (Governors), and all the leaders of the party across the country.

He has brought his natural abilities as a gentleman, peacemaker and a stabilizing voice to resolve many disagreement and Internal conflict in the party.

Hon. Mai Mala Buni has ensured that meeting of party organs under the CECPC are held regularly. It is only when the party’s leadership meet constantly that it will agree and disagree on issues and resolve matters in the interest of the party.

Buni has used his position to ensure a strong and progressive party institution that will continue to make Nigeria great and will continue to bring the party together becsuse he is focused and knows the issues.

Hon Mai Mala Buni has written his name in gold as he takes on the bold steps in rebuilding and repositioning APC ahead of the national convention and the 2023 general elections.

He has designed a medium, and long term development of our strategies and internal organization to support our public standing as well as our chances of electoral successes in all future elections.

Yusuf Ali Media Officer APC Headquaters Abuja

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Gov. Buni Leading APC To Victory

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Gov. Buni leading APC to victory

Yusuf Ali

  1. Hon Mai Mala Buni is not a dictator. As the Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, because of his background, he has listened, engaged, accommodated and gave a sense of belonging to every member of our great party.
  2. Hon Mai Mala Buni has always exercised persuasive powers and negotiating skills in the execution of his responsibilities. It is this power of persuation, tact and diplomacy that endeared him to his colleagues (Governors) and all the leaders of the party across the country.
  3. Hon Mai Mala Buni has brought his natural abilities as a gentleman, peacemaker and a stabilizing voice to resolve many disagreement and Internal conflict in the party.
  4. Hon Mai Mala Buni has prominent people from the North, South, East and West. It means he is a rallying point at the center.
  5. Hon Mai Mala Buni, the support he has flows from knowledge of the understanding of his person because he has been fortunate to work with his colleagues (Governors) and all the stakeholders, members and teeming supporters of the APC.
  6. Hon Mai Mala Buni has ensured that meeting of party organs under the CECPC are held regularly. It is only when the party’s leadership meet constantly that it will agree and disagree on issues and resolve matters in the interest of the party.
  7. Hon Mai Mala Buni has used his position to ensure a strong and progressive party institution that will continue to make Nigeria great.
  8. Hon Mai Mala Buni will continue to bring the party together because he is focused and he knows the issues.
  9. Hon Mai Mala Buni has written his name in gold as he take on the bold steps in rebuilding and repositioning APC ahead of the national convention and the 2023 general elections.
  10. Hon Mai Mala Buni has designed a medium, and long term development of our strategies and internal organization to support our public standing as well as our chances of electoral successes in all future elections.

Yusuf Ali Media Officer APC Headquaters Abuja

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Opinion

Re: Buni, Malami Move To Block Convention, Governors Rise Against interim Party Chair

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RE: Buni, Malami Move To Block Convention, Governors Rise Against Interim Party Chair

By Yusuf Ali

These days, so many people are saying so many things; indulging mostly in sponsored attacks, and ficticious lies in the pages of Newspapers on the activities of Governor Buni led CECPC, and as spokepersons, we make the deliberate choice of staying out of the most part because it is not worth replying.

But it is hard to ignore the above publication in the Punch Newspaper of 12 January, 2022 which, according to the reports, a party leader who confided to their correspondents is making the false claims that Governor Buni and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami SAN are delaying the APC National Convention because he (Governor Buni) has a Vice Presidential ambition. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We are concious of the devilish plans being orchestrated by some mischievous elements to cause disaffection between our leaders and to distract the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee from it’s national assignments of putting the APC family house in order ahead of the national convention.

It is important to note that, at the level the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee is working, there should be no need to be doubtful about whether our great party, APC will be having it’s national convention after successfully completed the Ward, Local and State Congresses.

It will be recall that after the end of the year 2021 meeting of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) on Monday, December 20, 2021 and in the APC 2022 New Year Message, both signed by the Secretary, Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe, there was confirmation that planning for the National Convention has commenced. Members and the general public have been put on notice that relevant committees will be setup. The only problem hindering the Governor Buni led CECPC to move to the next level is the unresolved issues of reconciliation in some states. Although the Senator Abdullahi Adamu led National Reconciliation Committee is working round the clock to meet it’s dateline, the reality is that it’s not advisable for the governing APC, a party with so many crisis points and conflicting interests to go for national convention with a divided house.

This is the truth of the matter and not the ficticious lies some people are dishing to misled gullible Nigerians.

For the avoidance of doubts, Governor Mai Mala Buni has not told anybody that he has a presidential ambition. These are mere speculations in the Newspapers. Governor Buni has accepted to serve as the APC Chairman Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) because of his love and loyalty to the party that promised brighter days for Nigeria and all Nigerians. He is contributing in this capacity to help develop a strong progressive party institution that can be impactful in the local, state and the national level. He has devoted his life, energy and time to be able to do that. When he is working rebuilding and repositioning the party, first thing comes first. We have to have a structure first. If people start with rebuilding a party today and deciding to become a presidential candidate tomorrow, actually you are trying to destroy the basis of rebuilding the party, because everybody will have ambition.

There are time for everything and Governor Mai Mala Buni has no ambition. As a practicing Muslim and faith in God, he knows that leadership belongs to Almighty God, He gives it whom He wills and takes it from whom He wills none has power to out pass His verdicts. But let it be known that Governor Buni has no ambition. He has not told anyone that he wants to be President or Vice President.

At this juncture, it is important to point out that Governor Mai Mala Buni is not an ambitious politician but a leader with all the qualities of leadership. It is on record that leadership positions and responsibilities was always entrusted on him because of his judgement and respected for his expertise, integrity, etc and hence followed and not because he hold a certain position. He was APC Chairman Yobe State, National Secretary and today by the special grace of God he is serving Governor and Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, positions that he has never aspired but entrusted on him because of his leadership qualities.

At this level and time, what the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee needs is support from across party ranks to achieve maximum reconciliation for the governing party to go for the national convention as one united family ahead of the 2023 general elections.

We must also acknowledged the marvellous achievements of the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee, attracting three serving Governors to APC and reconciling many aggrieved members that added to the strength of the party. APC is growing in leaps and bounds.

As the Governor Buni led CECPC prepares for the national convention, we appeal to every party member and supporter to seek above everything else the unity and peace of this great party. The party must remain a strong political entity before, during and after the convention.

We should not forget the bigger challenge ahead of us in 2023, the presidential election without Buhari on the ballot. We cannot go into it divided nor can we win the trophy in such a state. We should all uphold the ideas of the party and give it unflinching support for it’s affairs as we journey into the national convention.

Yusuf Ali Media Officer All Progressives Congress APC Headquarters Abuja

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