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29,828 Killed, 15,404 Abducted In Three Years – Report

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No fewer than 29,828 people were killed while 15,430 were kidnapped across the country between January 2021 and December 2023.

Also, a total of 14,145 attacks occurred across 736 local government areas out of 774 LGs of the country.

This is according to the 2023 Nigeria Security Report by an Abuja-based security risk management and intelligence company, Beacon Consulting.

According to the report obtained by Saturday PUNCH, in 2021, 8,372 people killed and 5,031 were abducted.

Also, in 2022, 11,714 people were killed, and 6,319 abducted, while in 2023, 9,742 were killed, and 4,080 were abducted.

READ ALSO: Insecurity: Tinubu Mulls Deployment Of Forest Guards

Speaking with The PUNCH correspondent, the Chief Executive Officer, Beacon Consulting, Dr Kabir Adamu, faulted current Nigeria’s security architecture, saying the leadership had failed in implementing a crucial part of the architecture.

He also stated the security sector lacked operational, financial, and democratic accountability, a development he said, had made it difficult to attain the desired success.

He said, “The security architecture at the moment is not accountable. This is a carryover from the previous administration. Critical national consequences occur and nobody within the security architecture is held accountable.

“We look at accountability in two ways; operational accountability where failures lead to the loss of assets like lives and others. The other is financial accountability.

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“The security sector is the sector with the highest budgetary provisions and I think I won’t be wrong if I say that the sector is not giving us value for money.

“This year alone, according to my firm, over 8,000 people have been killed. So, there is no accountability within the sector. There is also the absence of democratic accountability.

“Outside what has happened in Plateau State, in Zamfara State, as of January 4, at least four local government areas have almost been completely taken over by these bandits.”

He maintained that the Federal Government must strength institutional capacity within the current architecture, saying, “We are not following the provision of the security architecture.”

READ ALSO: Man In Court For Allegedly Stealing Employer’s N3.5m

According to him, part of the architecture that the Federal Government has failed is the convening of the National Security Council meeting which the President Bola Tinubu-led government has not held since it resumed office on May 29, 2023.

“There are certain aspects of the architecture that are not been complied with. For instance, when was the last time that the Federal Government held the National Security Council meeting? In other countries, and by the provision of our law, after the recent incident, the Council should have been convened.

“How many of our citizens have been killed? That Council has not sat, likewise the National Defence Council, and National Police Council aside from after the present IGP was appointed. Another aspect of that architecture is the need for an ombudsman to monitor certain things within the security sector.

“The constitutional provision for the appointment of an ombudsman for example is the intelligence community. Till today, we don’t have an ombudsman in the intelligence community.”
PUNCH

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Terrorism: Court Frees Rivers APC Chieftain After Two Years

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A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has discharged and acquitted a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and Deputy Chairman of Youth Movement in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, Chief Fubara Ohaka, of charges filed against him by the Federal government.

Ohaka had been standing trial on six counts of alleged involvement in illegal oil bunkering, terrorism, dealing in illegal refining products without a licence, and conspiracy among other charges preferred against him since 2022 by the Federal government through the Department of State Services.

Delivering judgment in the matter, the trial judge, Justice Stephen Dalyop-Pam, held that the Federal Government failed to provide evidence to back its claims, hence failing to prove its allegations against the defendant.

READ ALSO: Rivers Eders Drag Tinubu, Others To Court Over Peace Agreement

Our correspondent reports that Justice Dalyop-Pam agreed on no-case submission by the counsel for the defendant and thereby discharged and acquitted him.

Speaking to newsmen outside the courtroom, Ohaka expressed happiness that he has been vindicated, saying the judgment has put shame on the faces of all those who conspired to tarnish his image.

He said, “I’m happy that the judiciary has vindicated me today. I told the world that I never had any idea of the allegations against me, I am not a bunker, I have never sponsored any person to do bunkering,

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“Thanks to the judiciary who in its wisdom have reached to the root of the matter and proven to be the last hope of the common man.

“I want to thank those who stood by me in the time of trial, I’m happy that I never disappeared from them when I was told I was innocent of the allegations against me.

“Let me also use this medium to advise government agencies to always carry out proper investigation before engaging in legal battles, because if they had I would not have spent the number of months I spent in detention before the legal action that turned out in my favour today.”

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NLC Insists On Planned Protest, Knocks DSS

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The Nigeria Labour Congress has insisted that the planned protests against the prevailing economic situation in the country will hold contrary to the warning issued by the Department of State Services to shelve its protests.

The organised labour, on Monday, began mobilising its members for a nationwide protest slated for February 27 and 28 over the cost of living crisis in the country.

The Federal Government’s failure to fulfil its promises after the 14-day ultimatum by Labour, according to sources, will be met with a two-day nationwide protest already slated for February 27 and 28.

Reacting to the planned protests in a statement on Wednesday, the DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, urged the union to shelve the plan in the interest of peace and public order.

READ ALSO: Economic Hardship: CSO Gives FG Ultimatum, Threatens Nationwide Protest

The Secret Service urged the union to pursue dialogue and negotiation rather than engage in conduct that could heighten tensions.

However, the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, in a statement he personally signed on Wednesday evening, noted that the protests will still hold and questioned why the DSS had yet to execute the arrest of those planning to disrupt the protests.

We are concerned by the unsolicited advice of the Department of State Security to shelve our planned protest against the unprecedented high cost of living despite the indescribable suffering in the land, spiralling inflation, deepening poverty and the Naira at an exchange rate of N1,900 to the US Dollar.

“According to the Service, the planned protest should be shelved ‘in the interest of peace and public order’, pre-supposing that the action is intended to be violent and disruptive even when we have a history of peaceful protests’.

“More worrying is the new role the Service has assigned to itself, the chief spokesperson of the government.

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“We are equally worried that although the “Service is aware that some elements are planning to use the opportunity of the protest to foment crisis and by extension, widespread violence and yet have not executed the arrest of these elements,” the NLC president said.

Ajaero noted that the NLC will not compromise the sovereignty or security of the country while assuring that the protests would be peaceful.

We are equally intrigued by the innuendos of the Service, their philosophy of “peace” and wild allegations and we want to reassure them that no one loves this country more than us and on our honour, we would never do anything that will compromise its sovereignty or security.

“Having said this, we would not have ourselves blackmailed or lied against by the Service. Our protest is a peaceful one against the unpardonable cost of living of which the unserviced personnel of the Service are also victims.

“We cannot fold our hands and pretend all is well. That will be a grievous conspiracy that history will not forgive,” he said.

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VIDEO: Give Tinubu Time To Get Things Done, Gowon Begs Nigerians

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A former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), has urged Nigerians to exercise patience with President Bola Tinubu’s administration, emphasizing that it’s premature to anticipate flawless outcomes at this stage.

Gowon spoke in an interview with State House correspondents after a meeting he had with Tinubu on Wednesday.

The former Head of State, who noted that he was visiting Tinubu for the first time after the latter’s inauguration, disclosed that discussions revolved around matters concerning peace and security within the West African sub-region.

Responding to inquiries about his advice to the President regarding the prevailing national circumstances, Gowon acknowledged the existing challenges but stressed that it’s too early to anticipate perfection.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Tinubu In Talks with Gowon At Aso Rock Villa

He said, “I was telling him that there’s no Nigerian leader that can get there, that will not get all of these, all that is being said about him. But certainly, there is no doubt about all that one has heard and seen from various media. I think the government is trying its best to deal with the various problems of the country.

“But with Nigerians, don’t worry, you will get criticised but people who get there know better than you know. I think all one can say to Nigerians is that they have to give the President time to get things done and it is too early to sort of say a perfect result will be achieved. That is my opinion.

“At least, if I remembered, I was told that I was too slow, fighting the war and that probably Nigeria would not make it and we should seek for discussion. Well, did we do it or not? They probably did not know the problem there on the ground there.”

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