Assistant Inspector-General of Police Abraham Ayim on Tuesday in Yenagoa assumed duty as the new AIG, Zone 16, comprising Rivers and Bayelsa.
Ayim’s appointment followed the death of the former AIG, Don Awunah, who died in an Abuja hospital in May after a brief illness.
Speaking shortly after resuming duty, Ayim expressed his willingness to work with the officers and men of the zone to tackle crime.
“I am a man of few words; I believe in actions. Henceforth, we shall work together to deprive criminals the freedom to operate in this zone,” he said.
He promised to work with other security agencies to tackle all forms of criminal activities in the zone.
”We shall also strengthen synergy with traditional and community leaders in the zone. Every stakeholder has to play their roles in the new order.
”We are fully aware that effective policing requires the cooperation of all critical stakeholders,” he said.
Ayim said that the zonal command would build public confidence and create good working relationship with members of the public.
”Synergy with the public and confidence building are critical to a fruitful working relationship.
”We need reliable intelligence to fight crime; this is only possible if confidence is built,” he said.
The AIG said Bayelsa is relatively peaceful irrespective of pockets of armed robbery and kidnap cases.
Until his appointment, Ayim was the Commissioner of Police, Administration, Department of Finance and Administration, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
Ayim, the third AIG to serve in the zone, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and Regional Planning from the University of Jos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a minute of silence was observed in honour of the late AIG Awunah.
Perhaps it sounds slightly sarcastic: but in the future it can be said that the greatest achievement of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain was to have reigned for more than 70 years. Research is needed to tell us if any of Nigeria's traditional rulers, dead or alive, have reached that record. In Europe, among the rulers of the major states, only King Louis XIV of France (1643-1715) has succeeded.
To have reigned for so long means to have met or had dealings with a remarkable number of other holders of high political office: during the current reign there have been 14 different British prime ministers, 12 Nigerian heads of state and 13 US presidents.
With 10 instances of 'great-grandfather' preceding 'grandfather', but with the simpler 'ancestor' replacing the resulting cumbersome expression, an ancestor of the queen is King James VI of Scotland, who in 1603 also became James I from England. He commissioned the 'Authorized' or 'King James' translation of the Bible, and some printings include a preface addressed to James by the translators. They address him in vulgar language: 'Most fearsome sovereign', 'your holiest majesty', whose appearance was 'like the sun in its strength'.
Due to constitutional changes and the rise of democracy, the use of such language would be unthinkable today. However, when Elizabeth was crowned queen on June 2, 1953, the ceremony, dating back 1,000 years, included anointing with holy oil; and although an increasing proportion of her British subjects today declare that they have no religion, it is quite probable that some of those who still do, including some Christians, believe that its authority comes from God.
Without a doubt, the political power of the British monarch has continued to decline during the current reign. The fact of the almost non-existence of it puzzles many people. Some years ago, one of my oldest friends in Nigeria expressed his surprise that the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, managed to get a controversial bill through the Houses of Parliament and the Queen signed it into law. 'Couldn't she stop him?' my friend asked. After all, he added, she was a Christian and the head ('Supreme Governor') of the Church of England. But no, I said, she doesn't have that power. Or she only has it 'on paper': when it comes to legislation, and much more, her role is purely formal.
Some critics in Britain want to do away with the monarchy altogether. Some would like to replace the monarch with a ceremonial president, as in Germany or the Republic of Ireland. But a hereditary monarchy has a special value because of its symbolic power: as that apex of the political system isolated from the system, as that Family that is the idea of all the families that make up the social system Critics are quick to say that the current Family , which has gone through many vicissitudes, is far from being an ideal Family; but that is to misunderstand the meaning of 'idea' and 'ideal'.
Many critics of the monarchy are also silent when contemplating the current Head of the Family. During the current Platinum Jubilee celebrations (which actually commemorate his accession to the throne on February 6, 1952) his personal qualities stand out more than ever. They have also become more visible.
At the beginning of her reign, the then 'Establishment' probably wanted the monarch to continue to be seen as a remote, aloof and mysterious figure, different from ordinary mortals. At the time of his coronation, when television was just beginning to be a feature of the homes of ordinary people in Britain, there was a debate in high circles as to whether television cameras should be allowed in Westminster Abbey. where the ceremony took place.
Fears were expressed that this intrusion would dissipate the "magic" of the monarchy. But the Queen herself ruled that the cameras be allowed to pass. Since then, over the decades, she has allowed the institution she embodies to become more relaxed and close, maintaining her dignity and a certain reserve. This is not an easy balance to strike; but she has brought to the task qualities that she surely has had all along, such as kindness, serenity, humor, and a strong Christian faith, which she often refers to in her Christmas broadcasts.
Biographers increasingly refer to the Queen's sense of humour, which can be dry and subtle, as well as gentle and kind. One of them, Andrew Marr, relates that when Tony Blair became his Prime Minister in 1997, one of his ministers, the fierce leftist Clare Short, had an audience with the Queen. Unfortunately, during their conversation, Clare Short's mobile phone kept ringing. Clare Short was probably too embarrassed to reply; but finally the Queen said: 'I should answer, my dear. It could be someone important. It is possible that the story is apocryphal: in a suspiciously large number of anecdotes told about her, the Queen addresses someone as 'dear'.
Biographers also say that the Queen likes people to make her laugh. I will always be disappointed in myself because when she came to Nigeria for the second and probably last time in 2003 and I was among the guests at a reception in Abuja to meet her, I didn't say anything to make her laugh. In our conversation I remained serious, as she did. I remember well that when I returned to Kano after the event, the first thing Vincent, my domestic helper at the time, said as he opened the front door was, "Have you met?" Elizabeth?' That, uniquely, was an indication of the affection and respect with which she has long been held around the world. After a reign of so far 70 years, and with more than 96 years, the prayer is that he reaches 100 years. It is a tradition in Britain for someone who reaches that age to receive a congratulatory message from the monarch. We assume that in 2026 Queen Elizabeth will not be sending that message to herself. Professor Jowitt, FNAL, is a Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Jos.
Prof. Isuwa Jurmang, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Education, University of Jos, has called on Nigerians to always use clear and positive terminologies in describing persons with disabilities.
Jurmang made the call at the third National Conference and Stakeholders Forum organised by the National Resource Centre for the Disabled (NRCD), Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo,Oyo State.
He said that the social interaction with persons with disabilities in the environment was critical to liberating them from discrimination in the society.
“For instance, some people described persons with virtual impairment as blind people.
“This description usually seem as if the world will fall, whereas some conditions are worst than loss of sight,” Jurmang said.
He said the association that catered for the welfare of virtually impaired persons throughout the world could sue anyone who considered his members as disabled.
While decrying the inappropriate use of terminologies to qualify persons living with disabilities, Jurmang said the terminologies had done a great damage to them.
The lecturer said that medical experts and special education trainers were equally guilty of the misapplication of some terminologies.
According to him, everyone has an area of capability and there is nobody that does not lack some forms of abilities, hence, no one is disabled and everyone is disabled.
“Disability is not an illness, but a condition,” he said.
Jurmang said that appropriate use of terminologies in describing persons with disabilities would prevent them from being descriminated against in the society.
Also, another lecturer, Dr Rafiat Kehinde, on theme of the conference, “Issues in Inclusion of Vulnerable and Marginalised Persons with Disabilities in Pandemic Era”, said that disabled people were relegated to the background during pandemic period.
Kehinde, a lecturer at the Department of Special Education for Learners with Learning Disabilities, Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, expressed sadness that little or no effort was made in respect of providing palliatives for persons living with disabilities during the pandemic in Nigeria.
“Both the World Helath Oraganisation (WHO) and UNICEF stated that disabled people are at greater risk of severe disease, if they become infected with COVID-19 due to health conditions that underly their disabilities.
“They further justified their assumption that difficulty with communication, inability to transport, among others, contribute to probems for disabled persons,” Kehinde said.
The special education expert gave examples of a vulnerable group in the society to include: the homeless, problematic youths and the mentally ill persons.
She said that persons living with disability were more likely to suffer more than the above listed groups during pandemic era.
Earlier, the Director of NRCD, Dr Rasheed Abilu, said the intention of the founding fathers of the centre was to turn it to a college service for persons with disabilities.
Abilu said that the centre was established in 2002 to rehabilitate and empower disabled persons.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that highlights of the occasion was the presentation of awards to some members of the society that have impacted positively on the lives of people with disabilities.
Among the awardees were Mrs Mutiat Ladoja; Prince Ajibola Afanja; Shina Peller and Chief Oyebisi Ilaka.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, on Thursday in Abuja reiterated the call for the active involvement of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and citizens in the on-going war against insecurity.
His representative, the Chief of Civil Military Affairs (Army), Maj.-Gen. Marcus Kangye, read Yahaya’s message at an interagency seminar for participants of Course 62022 of the Army War College.
He said operational measures so far undertaken to counter existing and emerging security threats must be combined with additional efforts from other actors and stakeholders.
Kangye noted that cooperation and coordination between government actors and dialogue and cooperation between government and non-government actors were required to prevent and counter terrorism and violence.
He said the armed forces needed to be sure that the broader public, local communities and private sector were partners and stakeholders in their collective efforts at countering the threats.
According to him, the entire society approach to countering threats to security is without gainsaying the need for effective partnerships between all actors.
“The civil society is a very important stakeholder in this regard as it helps to create the space for constructive engagement between the state and the citizens.
“The cooperation also fosters trust and understanding as all stakeholders take ownership of strategies put in place to counter the collective threat.
“The partnership between these stakeholders will help to eliminate mistrust, conceptual misunderstandings, and differences in understanding of national security issues.
“Indeed, the time for the full involvement of civil society in efforts to counter our internal security challenges is overdue,” Kangye said.
He commended the college for the seminar and enjoined resource persons and participants to take advantage of the forum to contribute to the national security discourse.
He gave assurance that the Nigerian Army would continue to court the civil society as collaborative partners in its quest to enhance national security.
In his remarks, the Commandant of the collage, Maj.-Gen. Bamidele Alabi, said that successes in the new warfare paradigm required joint efforts.
The efforts, he explained entailed seamless inter-agency cooperation and coordination across multiple agencies and stakeholders.
Alabi said the seminar was part of a training module on inter-agency cooperation and coordination which sought to enhance participants’ competences to function effectively in a joint environment.
The seminar, according to him, is in line with the Chief of Army Staff’s vision of “A Professional Nigerian Army Ready to Accomplish Assigned Missions within a Joint Environment in Defence of Nigeria.’’
He added that the course symbolised cooperation as the 74 participants comprised 53 from the Army, two each from the Navy and the Air Force and one from the police.
The Nigerian Customs Service, the Nigerian Immigration Service, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Federal Road Safety Corps and the EFCC also have a participant each.
Also on the course are six participants from allied friendly nations comprising of two officers from Rwanda and one each from Gambia, Liberia, Congo Brazzaville and Cameroun.
Alabi said the seminar aimed at consolidating the knowledge participants had acquired during series of lectures delivered to them in the last two weeks.
“It is noteworthy therefore, that the lectures were carefully designed to equip participants with requisite knowledge and enablement to operate effectively with other governmental and non-governmental agencies,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that Prof. Victor Adetula, a professor of International Relations and Development Studies, University of Jos, delivered a paper entitled “Coordinating civil society towards integrated internal security operations in Nigeria’’ at the seminar.
Adetula said the involvement of the military in internal security operations across the country required good understanding between the military and the civil society.
He described civil society as critical agents for development, but decried the misrepresentation and mistrust between it and the security community.
According to him, it is time to seek to understand the military in terms of its role and its readiness to collaborate with the civil society.
The theme of the seminar is: “Appraising the roles of civil society towards engendering effective internal security in Nigeria.’’
The Deputy Governor of Plateau, Prof. Sonni Tyoden, has urged the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to remain resolute and allow a level-playing ground for all the contestants in forthcoming primary elections. Tyoden, a governorship aspirant in the APC, made the call while addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Jos. ”The leadership of our party must provide a level playing field for all aspirants. This, will provide an opportunity for all party members to be on the same page and move together. ”Democracy is all about fairness, justice and equity, and so our party must been seen promoting such ideals of democracy for the interest of all,” he said. Tyoden also advised delegates to vote credible aspirants that would lead the party to victory at the general polls. ”I advice delegates to do the needful by voting objectively and decisively. ”They should not be carried away by material things but vote aspirants who will take the party to victory at the general elections,” he advised. Tyoden, a one-time Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, said he has all it takes to become the governor of the Plateau. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the APC reviewed its timetable for primary elections into various elective positions.
Malam Suleiman Argungu, the National Organising Secretary of the party, released the new timetable on May 10 with few adjustments to the original one.
In the previous timetable, the primaries for governorship was fixed for May 18, the state House of Assembly for May 20, while the primaries for House of Representatives and Senate were scheduled for May 22 and 24 respectively.
With the new timetable, the primary for governorship is now May 20, while House of Assembly is May 22.
The primaries for Senate and House of Representatives are now May 24 and 25 respectively.
NAN reports that screening for presidential, governorship, Senate and House of Representatives aspirants will take place on May 14, while the screening of the House of Assembly will take place on May 13.
These changes may be connected to the ongoing amendment to section 84(8) of the Electoral Act.
The current Electoral Act excludes statutory delegates from indirect primaries. If the parties should proceed without the amendment passed, statutory delegates will be exempted from participating in the primaries.
Although the Senate has passed the amendment, the House of Representatives is yet to concur.
The lower chamber will consider the bill on Wednesday before it will now be transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.
These adjustments are coming amidst call for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the deadline for the conclusion of all primaries.
The country’s 18 registered political parties, through the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), on Tuesday, asked the commission to review its timetable and schedule of activities to afford member parties enough time to put their houses in order.
Some international relations experts have blamed failing democracies in some African countries on the inability of leaders to make democratic governance work for the people and also produce dividends.
The experts made this known at a one-day conference organised by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) on Tuesday, in Lagos.
The conference, themed “Democratic Consolidation and the Resurgence of Military Coups in Africa” sought to set agenda and analyse the nature and causes of coups in Africa.
The Director General of NIIA, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, said democracy had come to Africa as both an option and a choice, and it was the people’s participation that made such system of governance possible.
According to him, African leaders ought to remember that democracy is about the citizens and must work for the people.
He said they must do so by reducing poverty, improving the healthcare and doing what would make societies reach greater heights.
Quoting a political power, Eghosa said if democracy failed to bring dividends, then the government involved stood the chance of being overthrown by the people’s power.
“We have African countries that have continued to score highly and have good democratic indicators.
“This does not mean there are no problems, but these problems are those that democracy has the capacity to address.
“We must ask ourselves very pertinent questions such as why military coups are reemerging in Africa, because if we are not careful, we may be going in the trajectory of the terrible things that happened in the 60s and 70s.
“In a country where democracy fails, the people become frustrated and military interventions occur.
“But we can not always resort to this because the world has reached a consensus that democracy is what we need,” he said.
Prof. Warisu Alli, a professor of Political Science and Dean, School of Post-Graduate Studies, University of Jos, said the debate on democracy could not be limited to happenings in Africa.
He said there were circumstances in other countries that dictated the dynamics and directions which their democratic agenda had taken.
According to him, citizens of a democratic nation should have freedom to participate in the affairs concerning them and be governed in ways that will help them achieve personal growth.
Alli stressed that the three key principles on which democracy stood were separation of powers, independence of the judiciary and a system of checks and balances, among several other values.
“Democracy is a work in progress and our problem in Africa is that we have not been able to deliver public good which is an essential outcome of a successful democratic practice.
“Many leaders on the continent appropriate the powers of democracy to advance personal agenda and this leads to problems including poverty, lack of economic development, inadequacies of resources and failure to promote transparency and harmony in the society.
“Because of this failure of the leadership and democratic governance, we see the military coming back,” he said.
The expert noted that the return of the military was a response to the failure of democratic governance because the attributes and benefits expected to accrue had not been seen.
Alli said that the presidential system had given enormous powers to leaders which allowed them to easily descend into authoritarianism and dictatorship.
He recommended that Africa should find a way to reduce presidential powers or explore a parliamentary system of governance.
“With a parliamentary system, there will be more control on the executive and more delivery of public good,” Alli said.
Also, Paul Andrew Gwaza, a scholar at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, said that for democracy not to fail in Africa, it must be reformed.
According to him, there is a need for democracy to be indigenous and consider what is important to the people.
“Democracy should respond to the yearnings of the people, and we must ensure that the youth participate fully and actively because they constitute the larger number in Africa.
“When we open up the democratic space for younger people to participate and make them the face of democracy, only then will we be able to curtail military intervention in Africa,” Gwaza said.
By Peter Amine
The Plateau State House of Assembly has given Gov. Simon Lalong two weeks to address the security challenges bedviling the state.
Mr Philip Dasun, Chairman, House Committee on Information conveyed the position of the legislators when he briefed newsmen in Jos.
Dasun said that the assembly would know the next line of action after the two-week ultimatum.
“As an assembly with people at heart, we call on Plateau citizens to have confidence in us with renewed commitment
“We have given two weeks to the governor to take action on the resolutions the House has forwarded on security matters and how to restore peace.
“We call on the Gov. Simon Bako Lalong to come up with a statement defending us as a people and to bring back renewed commitment to the cause of Plateau.
“We strongly call on Plateau people to practically stand up and defend themselves and their communities, as the conventional security design is no longer guaranteeing our safety as a people,” he said.
The committee chairman also called on traditional rulers to look inward and release the local security design to protect Plateau people as well as reinforce the vigilance, hunters and local wise men to defend the people.
He said that as a sign of commitment to the urgent need for the people to protect themselves, the Plateau State House of Assembly had directed all local government Chairmen to suspend their planned recruitment of Adhoc teachers, and instead, recruit 200 vigilante personnel in each local government area to boost and augment local intelligence gathering.
The legislator called on security operatives to fish out the perpetrators of the mayhem and be punished according to the Law.
“On behalf of the assembly, I wish to sympathize with the government and Plateau people on the barbaric and dastardly killings that have been taking place in different communities in the state.
“I sympathize with communities in Bassa, Barkin Ladi, Bokkos, Jos North, Jos South, Mangu, Riyom, University of Jos community and recently that of Yelwa Zangam.
“The House condemns all these killings in totality, all these killings are unacceptable and condemnable.
“We commiserate with the families of all those who lost their loved ones during these attacks,” he said.
Mr bol Daniel, Chairman, House Committee on Health in his contribution urged the people to protect themselves but should not go against the law.
Daniel said that the assembly had resolved that Plateau Government should compensate victims of the attacks.
The health committee chairman said that legislators would continue to update the people on their efforts to restore peace in the state.
By Lizzy Okoji
Following the recent attacks and unrest in Plateau, the Kogi state government has successfully evacuated its indigenes studying at the University of Jos and other institutions in the State.
Mr Muhammed Onogwu, Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Yahaya Bello disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.
According to Onogwu, the students were evacuated from Plateau State following the immediate directives from Bello and were escorted with security personnel.
The state evacuated students from other states like Ebonyi, Benue, Nasarawa, FCT among others.
The statement reads: “Following the recent attacks in Plateau State, particularly in Jos North Local Government Area of the state and the closing down of the University of Jos by the school management.
“Kogi State Students studying in the University and other higher institutions in Plateau State have been successfully evacuated by the state government.
“The students returned in buses with heavy security escorts provided by the State Government on Friday.
“This was as a result of the directive of Governor Yahaya Bello mandating that everything necessary must be done to return the students safely back home.
“While describing the event on the Plateau as unfortunate, the governor assured the students of their quick return to school, noting that the authority in Plateau State was on top of the situation to restore law and order in the state.
“The Governor praised the students for their orderly conduct and patience during the unfortunate incident.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that chaos started in Plateau State after some travellers were killed in the Rukuba axis of the State while on transit from Bauchi to Ondo State on Aug. 14.
By Funmilayo Adeyemi
The Board of Directors of the National Board of Exams (NECO) approved the appointment of Mr. Ebikibina Ogborodi as Acting Registrar / CEO of the Board.
The approval is contained in a statement signed by Mr. Azeez Sani, head of the council's information and public relations division, in Abuja on Thursday.
Ogborodi's appointment follows the death on Monday of Professor Godswill Obioma, Registrar of NECO, after a brief illness.
Until his appointment, Ogborodi was the director of special duties of the council.
Sani said the board approved the appointment of the acting registrar at its emergency meeting on Wednesday.
He added that Ogborodi had been appointed because he was the highest director of the council, adding that all council activities would continue as planned.
Ogborodi is from the Sagbama local government area in Bayelsa.
He obtained his first degree from the University of Jos in 1986 and a Masters in Learning Disabilities from the same university in 1999.
The Acting Registrar joined the NECO service in 1999 and has held various positions.
He has also served as Acting Director, Exam Development Department, Acting Director, Office of the Registrar, Director, General Services and Director, Human Resource Management, among others. (NAA)(NAN)
By Monday Ijeh
Police said as many as 84 suspects were arrested for the illegal manufacture and distribution of vehicle registration plates, kidnapping, banditry, theft and homicide.
Force public relations officer Frank Mba announced this during a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said some of the suspects had been arrested for suspected arms trafficking, illicit possession of weapons, illegal possession of firearms and other offenses.
Mba said the suspects, including three women, were arrested in different parts of the country in April and May.
He said the arrests were major achievements recorded by the main operational and investigative units of the police, the intelligence response team and the special tactical squad.
He also said the achievements had nothing to do with other historic investigative and operational breakthroughs in the various zones and state commands across the country.
He said 45 assorted firearms, including one GPMG rifle, 17 AK-47 rifles, 20 locally made AK-47 rifles, two pumps and three single barreled rifles were recovered from the suspects.
Mba noted that the other exhibits recovered from the suspects were 9,899 live ammunition, largely composed of AK-47 and GPMG live ammunition.
He said kidnapping unions operating between the borders of Sokoto state and the Republic of Niger were among the suspects.
Mba said the suspects carried out several operations on both sides of the border.
He said that this verification revealed that the chief was also a convict from the Republic of Niger.
Mba said two suspects, including a student from the University of Jos, were arrested for culpable homicide.
He said three suspects were arrested for making and distributing illegal vehicle registration plates.
Mba said all suspects will be charged in court when the investigation is completed. (NAA)(NAN)