Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara says his administration will continue to prioritise the engagement and empowerment of youths to enhance their growth and ensure the realisation of their potentials.
AbdulRazaq said this in Ilorin on Wednesday when he received Pastor William Kumuyi, the Founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Christian Ministry, during a courtesy visit to Government House.
He said the #ENDSARS protest of 2020 was another signal for governments worldwide to listen to and properly engage young people to channel their energy to positive things.
The governor said that his government was young people oriented, adding that many of its programmes are targeted at empowering them.
“Indeed, the focus of this government is youth engagement. This is why we are investing heavily in the education sector to be able to capture them young.
“Although we have challenges in funding because of dwindling resources, we still believe in human capital development, which includes catering for young people and their future.
“After paying salaries, which is our first line charge, there is really not much left but we are managing ourselves very well.
“We have been pushing the youth agenda and inclusion even in the coming elections in the state. Our primaries have just been concluded.”
The governor noted that a 26-year-old man vied for the State House of Assembly seat.
He said that the state government was also pushing the gender parity agenda by passing a bill that guaranteed the 35 per cent employment and appointment of women.
According to him, the employment beneficiaries are mostly youths.
He added that many youths were seeking public office, as seen by the surge in the number of women and young people coming out for elective offices.
“We are indeed happy to receive you this morning in Government House. The YES programme you’ve talked about is a welcome development.
“It is a programme that will ignite the interest of the youths in political participation, business, community service and all spheres of life.
“We have great youth engagement here in Kwara, including at cabinet level. Just last week, also, we held a youth fair where youths showcased their talents in marketing and business.
“It was a successful event, which was the second one under us. And some of those who participated in the first event were able to get NAFDAC registration for their products, and they are doing well,” he said.
The governor said there was need to direct youths and make them confident in themselves to be able to achieve and know that the space is there for them to fulfil their destinies.
He appreciated the clergyman and his entourage on the visit to the state and assured them of the government’s hospitality throughout their stay, saying the government is fully in support of the YES programme.
Speaking earlier, Kumuyi said that he visited the state to seek the support of the government for the ministry’s YES programme that was coming up in Kwara.
He said that the initiative was inspired by some of his recent engagements with young people outside Nigeria.
“My mission is to engage the youth, not just the Christian youths or Muslim youths.
”I want to open the eyes of the young people and show them who they can be and what they can be, and refocus them.
“If Your Excellency could come to address people as the governor of the state, it would be appreciated. I want to carry your voice to the rest of the world.
“Talk to them, redirect their minds positively and give them vision so that in our own time the young people we are handing over to will have something concrete from us and will be confident when we hand over to them.
“So, I invite the government to come and take part in it and encourage them. We’ve subtitled it ‘Youth Ego Swallow – YES’. We want to tell them we say yes to them, and if they say yes to us there is no limit to where they can get to,” the cleric said.
Kumuyi lauded the governor for always reaching out to the youth and engaging them in his administration.
He appreciated the governor’s policy and ways of handling things, describing AbdulRazaq as a leader for the grassroots and for everyone.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the visit was part of activities heralding the Deeper Life Ministry’s “Youth Ego Swallow (YES)” programme in Ilorin.
The programme is aimed at engaging and mentoring young people towards making them realise their huge potentials for development.
Minister of Police Affairs Maigari Dingyadi says the newly promoted former acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, will be prosecuted if eventually indicted by the probe panel chaired by retd. Justice Ayo Salami.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Magu had appeared before the Salami panel in July 2020 to answer allegations against him by the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.
The investigative panel, upon conclusion of its assignment, submitted its findings to the President in Nov. 2020.
However, Dingyadi , was fielding questions from State House correspondents on why the Police authorities were yet to act on the recommendations of the panel but chose to promote Magu to the position of Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) of Police before his eventual retirement.
“This is an issue that should have been addressed by the Police Service Commission, who have the responsibility to conduct promotions of the police.
”They are not here. And I am aware that the Police Service Commission is directly under the presidency.
”So, I cannot speak for them. But what I know is that Mr. Magu has already retired and that is what I can tell you now.
”The fact that he was promoted is a matter for the Police Commission to, maybe, throw more light on.
”I’m not aware of the position of government on the report you are talking about and I think it is still being under consideration.
”It doesn’t mean that when he retires, the laws will not catch up with him whenever he is found guilty.
”So, I think it’s not completely finished business.”
On the ongoing fight against criminals across the country, the minister disclosed that the Police had begun to deploy technology in dealing with crimes and criminalities in the country.
According to him, the Police authorities are striving hard to be civil in their operations but will deploy firearms where necessary in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Dingyadi also disclosed that the Ministry would soon commence the recruitment of additional 10,000 police constables in the next one month or two in line with the President’s directive to employ 40,000 men within his second tenure.
On the request in some quarters for psychiatric test for policemen to ascertain their psychological stability, the minister said the men were undergoing rigorous and extensive screening.
He said such screening included medical tests on prospective recruits, assuring that the best available were those engaged in the system.
While noting that the demands of the ENDSARS protesters boiled down to police welfare, which the government had since begun to implement, the minister disclosed that 25,000 constabularies had been trained for community policing.
He, however, urged the community leaders to cooperate with the constabularies posted to them by gathering and sharing intelligence as well as reporting cases that needed to be reported.
The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Police Affairs, has sensitized stakeholders in the North Center about the activities of the inaugurated Police Public Complaints Committee (PPCC).
In his opening speech on Thursday in Lokoja, the Minister of Police Affairs, Dr. Muhammad Dingyadi, said that the campaign aimed to make the good people of Kogi and other states in the areas aware of the existence and mandates of PPCC.
According to him, PPCC is a direct response from the government to prevent a recurrence of violent anti-police protests, like the ENDSARS protests that recently swept the nation.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the minister, Director of Legal Services at the ministry, was represented.
The minister explained that the PPCC, according to Buhari's instructions, was inaugurated on April 7, 2021, among other things, to bridge the gap between the police and the population to build sustainable trust and mutual cooperation.
He noted that the first and second editions of the awareness campaign were held in Lagos and Sokoto states for the Southwest and Northwest geopolitical zones, respectively.
He thanked stakeholders for their commitment to the success of the ongoing police reform program in the area of service delivery, respect for the rule of law and human rights, as well as deepening relations between the police and the public.
”This initiative furthers President Mohammadu Buhari's quest for people-centered policing arrangements that prioritize respect for citizens' rights.
“He addresses genuine cases of violations to promote inclusiveness in police engagement with the public and promote peace and security for national development.
”Our meeting here is to sensitize Nigerians about the actions they should take when their rights are trampled on in the performance of their constitutional responsibilities.
”The idea is to establish a permanent structure as a proactive mechanism that will help nip civil unrest in the bud with its undesirable effects and disturbing tendencies.
"Provide the public with an opportunity to channel their complaints about perceived unethical conduct by police personnel to the appropriate venues for necessary action," it said.
According to him, the PPCC is made up of the Ministry of Police Affairs (Chairman), the Police Service Commission, the National Human Rights Commission and an NGO, the CLEEN Foundation.
Others are the Nigerian Police Force, the Police Community Relations Committee, the Public Complaints Commission and the Police Inspection Department (Secretariat).
The minister emphasized that the primary objective of the PPCC was to serve as a platform for monitoring the activities of police personnel, that is, their interaction with the public.
He assured the public that the PPCC had been duly briefed and prepared to discharge its duties dispassionately.
In his speech, the Inspector General of the Police (IGP), Alkali Usman Baba, who was represented 8, Ede Ayuba, thanked the minister for the cordial relationship between the police and his supervisory ministry.
In addition, he praised the minister for creating the PPCC platform through which the population could use to denounce human rights abuses.
The IGP urged people to express their opinion without fear, saying that the police are there to serve the people since they are financing themselves with money.
In your messages of goodwill; the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Kogi chapter, Apostle Olaniyan Adebayo; and His Royal Highness Dr. Muhammadu Maikarfi, the Maigari of Lokoja, urged the Federal Government to improve the welfare of police officers.
The royal father urged police officers not to feel bad every time a petition was written against him, and admonished the public to convey their complaints politely.
Also speaking, the president of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Kogi chapter, Usman Samuel, said that the establishment and full start of operations of PPCC was certainly the answer that many Nigerians have been longing for.
“We believe that this committee is here to give the Nigerian Police Force a completely new look and further improve the operations of its officers.
“In the wake of the recent outcry over the Nigerian Police Force strike, I wish to ask for your leniency, sir, to give due consideration to the welfare of the police,” he said.
Samuel urged the federal government to continue to do more and urgently for the welfare of the police.
inform that the general public can submit their requests through https://ppcc.policeaffairs.gov.ng
The Department of State Services (DSS) has uncovered a plot to cause violence in parts of the country, particularly in the north central.
Dr. Peter Afuya, DSS Public Relations Officer, revealed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
However, he said that measures had been taken to prevent elements of the plot in society.
“While the Service considers the plot to be unpatriotic, it is on the trail of disruptive agents who wish to use violence to achieve ulterior goals.
"While he has taken steps to disrupt these trends, he warns the network's leaders and their minions to desist from acts capable of bringing about the collapse of law and order," it said.
Afuya said the plot was to cause an ethno-religious crisis, provoke retaliation and heat up politics.
According to him, in an attempt to achieve this, the sponsors have mobilized foot soldiers and held various meetings inside and outside the target areas.
He said the Service was also aware of a plot to use students, striking university teachers, unions, disgruntled individuals and strategic groups to cause the violence.
According to Afuya, the goal is also to exploit the global energy situation to carry out a massive protest like #ENDSARS, despite government efforts to address the issues.
He pledged the Service's commitment, in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies, to go after the sponsors of this scheme and ensure the law takes its course.
The DSS spokesperson urged citizens to participate according to the rules and resist the persuasions that will be used to destroy the country.
The ‘ENDSARS’ nationwide protest warranted by the ruthless and extrajudicial killings of security agencies particularly the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit in the Nigerian Police then, which is endemic in Nigeria has continued to take different dimensions. During the protest, monumental losses were recorded by the governments, public and private sectors. Several policemen were killed. Police stations, government vehicles including eighty (80) newly acquired BRT buses provided for mass transit by Lagos state government valued at a whopping N3.9 billion were asininely set ablaze. Two major Correctional centres were attacked and inmates freed. Acts of sexual violence were also reported. NPA headquarters in Lagos, banks, courts and others also got their share from hoodlums’ attacks.In the private sector, part of the Oriental Hotels at Lekki which was then rumoured to belong to the APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and his Television Continental (TVC) were openly, irrationally damaged which changed the narrative as settling political scores. Invasion of the palace of Oba of Lagos, others’ houses and looting of many shopping malls were also encountered in the mobs’ actions. What remains baffling is the connection between these individuals being ‘bloody-civilians’ like the protesters and the police brutality. These incidents suggest the protest was hijacked to settle scores.At the initial stage, President Muhammadu Buhari backed the protesters to freely express their grievances albeit in a peaceful manner as a conventional best practice over incessant police excesses, and in solidarity, instantly scrapped SARS. That done, but rather than the protest subsided as expected, it advanced and rapidly transformed to ‘End-Buhari’ revolution with politicians funding and reinforcing the mobs which attracted the security operatives to arrest the situation. Conversely, scrapping the SARS was ill-advised. Disciplining the bad eggs in SARS should have practically achieved a better result instead of complete scrapping of the unit as insecurity in the country has overtly worsened following the action.Then, following claims and counter-claims of massacres at Lekki tollgate in Lagos during the protest particularly by the Cable News Network (CNN), Buhari through the National Economic Council directed state governments to set up independent panels to investigate, report findings alongside make recommendations. Consequently, the ‘Lagos State Panel of Inquiry on Restitution of Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Related Matters’ was birthed to independently handle the tasks efficiently. On November 15, 2021, the panel submitted its report, but by mission or omission, it was leaked. Next, an alleged death threat of a member of the panel spread intensely all over the media space. Many believe the leakage was shadily planned to overshadow the anticipated White Paper.From the panel’s report, it submitted that at least 46 unarmed protesters were either shot dead, injured with bullets or assaulted by security forces at Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020 and penciled names of nine dead persons but without details including circumstances that led to their deaths. Logically, the term ‘either’ in the panel’s report after a one-year intensive investigation makes it neither here nor there. On account of the inconsistencies, the White Paper released by the LASG endorsed only 11 out of the 32 recommendations and separated those statutorily under federal government’s control. It also rejected the list of nine dead persons purportedly killed at Lekki tollgate except one which was witnessed during the uproar as no details supported others. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos governor however leaves the door open for proof to contenders, and plans a peace walk. Though a good idea, however, the rally should be critically reconsidered against further civil disorder particularly in December.The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed had earlier described the report as ‘fake and tales by moonlight’. It was also rumoured that one of the deceased among the purported murdered persons in the report died a year prior to the ENDSARS protest. Now, looking at the intention of the government for considering an investigative panel, perceptively, it was targeted to a redress where necessary provided it reflects the true positions of what transpired during the protest. However, the government argues that no family showed up when corpses could be traced, identified, examined or autopsy conducted and those allegedly injured with gunshots be verified at the hospitals. It further argues that death certificates of the alleged slain protesters are necessary to ascertain the date, location and cause of death. These are strong arguments any day.Suffice to say that the panel failed to credibly determine the claims of alleged massacres and police brutality during the protest at Lekki tollgate. Possibly, the panel enthroned emotions above objectivity leading it to rest on speculations and assumptions. The panel’s conclusions without proof are debatably prejudiced. The first task should have been to visit the alleged bereaved families and injured persons in the hospitals for verification as everybody living or dead is traceable to a family. Essentially, the panel ought to adduce death certificates and medical reports from hospitals that treated injured persons as it is a standard practice that hospitals do not treat persons with gunshots without a police report prior to or while undergoing treatment.The way forward is; as Babajide Sanwo-Olu astutely leaves the door open demonstrating his neutrality, the allegations of extrajudicial killing of nine persons and brutality of the unarmed protesters will rest on nothing, lacking strong argument to challenge the White Paper if without proof. And sensibly, no accountable government will do otherwise. The alleged massacres and brutality must be substantiated by the victims’ families as well as those treated in hospitals of injuries linkable to the military and police brutality during the protests in October 2020. Thus, the onus rests squarely on CNN and those that adduced the panel with claims of massacres and brutality during the Lekki tollgate protests to substantiate them. If there are no proofs, on a serious note, CNN owes the country unreserved apologies for misrepresentation. The truth matters more than propaganda.Umegboro is a public affairs analyst and social advocate.