Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, Monday, asked the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to engage mercenaries to complement the military’s fight against terrorists’ onslaught.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, described as worrisome and unprecedented the rate at which terrorists of the Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province kill soldiers in the last two years.
The group said the killing of over 750 soldiers in the last two years by insurgents is alarming and signals that fatigue has invaded the military which has been responsible for the high rate of casualties suffered by the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force, and the Nigerian Navy in recent times.
A report in August 2022 said terrorists on the rampage across the country have attacked about 16 military bases in the last 18 months and killed about 750 soldiers in different parts of the country.
In 2022, there were six major attacks on military bases, witnessed in Borno, Katsina, Kaduna, Taraba, and Niger states. These were independent of other attacks on the military, including ambushes, and attacks on their convoys, and the most recent attack on soldiers was at the Zuma Rock checkpoint on July 28. A soldier was killed in the attack.
Terrorists attacked a military base in Sarkin Pawa Town in the Munya Local Government Area of Niger State on July 18, 2022. On May 10, suspected ISWAP members attacked the perimeter of the 6th Brigade military base in Jalingo, Taraba State.
Also, on April 4, suspected Ansaru terrorists attacked a military base at Polewire on the Kaduna-Birnin Road in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, during which about 11 soldiers were feared killed, while 19 soldiers were reportedly injured by the terrorists.
ISWAP fighters attacked the multinational military base in Doron Baga, Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State on March 19.
Also, reports on January 21 noted that terrorists stormed the military base located within Government Day Secondary School, Shinfada, in the Jibia Local Government of Katsina State.
In 2021, reports said there were attacks on at least 11 military bases in the North. Some of the attacks were foiled by soldiers.
The President on Friday, in Abuja at the graduation of Course 30 of the National Defence College, where he was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said, “Government is deeply concerned about the activities of bandits and criminals who have reared their ugly heads in some parts of the country. This is because the number of violent unprovoked attacks on citizens appears to be on the increase. This is unacceptable.”
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said beyond condemning terrorists’ onslaught against the military, the President must be decisive and take quick solutions.
Onwubiko said, “The President as the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces must strategise the anti-terrorism war because apparently, the troops are losing with hundreds having had to pay the supreme price in the last two years.
“A compilation by SUNDAY PUNCH of August 7, 2022, is alarming. The report put the figure of soldiers fell by terrorists at 750 soldiers between the third quarter of 2020 and July 2022. This is unacceptable.
“The President must with immediate effect reshuffle the security architecture and sack the service chiefs whose lack of effective leadership have cost over 750 families their beloved brothers, sisters, and breadwinners.
“The President must ensure that the morale of the soldiers still alive are boosted through the timely payment of salaries, acquisition of modern-day superior weapons as soldiers in leaked videos have decried the absence of superior firepower to their adversaries, payment of entitlement to families of fallen heroes, amongst others.
“Also, the engagement of foreign mercenaries cannot be overstressed. As buttressed by the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, the Armed Forces are overstretched as they are now engaged in internal security operations which should have been led by the Nigeria Police Force. The deployment of foreign mercenaries is exigent to avoid the further loss of military personnel. Any resistance to this is suicidal.
“Similarly, the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, had on December 15, 2021, said that the Federal Government approved a 20 per cent increase in salaries for personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, effective January 2022 but police officers have been crying out that the raise had yet to take effect even eight months after. The President must ensure policemen get the necessary morale booster to fight internal security for soldiers to face Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters.
“Also, the Federal Government must with immediate effect give licence to regional security outfits in the South-East, the South-West and Benue State for these vigilante men to bear arms to consolidate the operations of the military and the police as the Army and the police are overstretched with many attached to Very Important Personalities and politicians instead of security the country against internal and external threats.”
2023: Don’t Vote For Killers, Jonathan Warns Nigerians
Former president, Goodluck Jonathan, has warned Nigerians not to vote for those he described as “killers” during the 2023 election.
Jonathan stated this on Sunday in Uyo during a special interdenominational service to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the creation of Akwa Ibom State.
READ ALSO: 2023: Jonathan Campaigns Against Violence
“In 2023, you must not make the mistake to vote killers.
“Those who will carry knives, guns, and all kinds of gadgets to go and kill people because of politics, are the enemies of society.
“If you kill to become a leader, you will continue to kill to remain a leader.
“The people will continue to suffer. Make sure that from the House of Assembly to the House of Representatives to Senate to governor, you vote for the right people in Akwa Ibom State,” Jonathan said.
$23m Abacha Loot: Group Drags Buhari, Malami To Court Over Nigeria’s Agreement With US
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued President Muhammadu Buhari over the agreement between Nigeria and the United States for the repatriated $23 million stolen by Sani Abacha.
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) is a respondent in the suit.
The agreement signed in August followed the $311 million Abacha loot returned by America in 2020.
In suit FHC/ABJ/CS/1700/2022 filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, SERAP is asking the court to direct the President and Malami to make the details public.
The body wants to know the mechanisms put in place to ensure that the repatriated funds are not mismanaged, diverted or re-stolen.
SERAP noted that the repatriated $23 million is vulnerable to mismanagement as a substantial part of the estimated $5 billion returned Abacha loot since 1999 remains unaccounted for.
The suit filed by Kolawole Oluwadare and Atinuke Adejuyigbe relies on the Nigerian Constitution, the Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations.
The lawyers said Nigerians look forward to the court’s favourable judgement as they are entitled to information about the use of public funds.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit which was instituted on Friday.
Delta Community Presents Akanigboro III To Chief Priests Of Ijaw Kingdoms’ Gods
Heir to the traditional stool of Akanigboro, King John Falabu Court, Akanigboro III, a priestly stool of ancient Mein Dynasty, has presented himself to the chief priests of the gods in Mein kingdoms.
Akanigboro III, addressing the chief priests at Ezebiri in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State, who came from the various Mein kingdoms, including from Mein ancestral home of Ogobiri in Bayelsa State and various Mein Kingdoms in Delta State, said he sought to present himself to them to inform them of his ascension to the ancient stool after much hesitations and refusal to the wish of his ancestors.
The meeting, which started with prayers to God in recognition of His supremacy over all creatures, featured questions, answers and advice.
Responding to questions of scrutiny from the chief priests, Akanigboro III, who went into historical lane, said: “The Akanigboro stool is a priestly stool and original kingship stool of Mein, progenitor of Mein clan, who was the first on the stool, being Akanigboro I.
“When Mein passed on, his son, Akan, ascended the stool and was Akanigboro II.
“When Akan passed on, there was a development that stalled the ascension process of a new ruler on the stool, which situation lingered for centuries with the kingdom in disarray without a ruler.
“It was this situation that led the children of Mein to leave our ancestral home, Ogobiri, in the present-day Bayelsa State, and migrated down to the present location called Western Ijaw, where they founded communities and kingdoms. More so, it was that same development that led the heir to the stool to migrate to the present location, Kpakiama and which history is known by all Mein descendants.
“Now, when I was growing up, I began to receive messages from the ancestors in my dreams that I’m the chosen one to ascend the Akanigboro stool, being a descendant of Ogubo, but I did not heed to the dreams.
“But, as time went on, seers from various places started telling me that I’m the chosen one to ascend the stool.
“With all these signs, I was hesitant until it got to a point I was disturbed by the ancestors which forced me to present issues, first to my family members, then to the people of Ogubo-ebede quarters who, in turn, presented me to Kpakiama urban community that I’m the chosen one and that I’m ready to ascend the stool of Akanigboro.
“However, the leadership and people of Kpakiama urban community received the news with joy and prayers to bring alive the ancient stool of their progenitor with the assurance that they’re ready to do the needful to ensure the Akanigboro stool takes its rightful place once again.
“The essence of calling you to converge here is to formally inform you that a chosen heir has ascended the ancient stool of Akanigboro. I was supposed to visit all communities in various Mein Kingdoms to inform you, but to make it easier, I opted to call all of you to Ezebiri. More so, I have earlier visited our ancestral home, Ogobiri, before this gathering here”.
In their response, the priests of the gods in Mein kingdoms, speaking through the chief priest, Mirror of the gods, Ezebiri, Chief Godwin Oroupade, thanked him for informing them and said that the Akanigboro stool rules over only three communities in Mein Clan, stressing they had no roles to play in his priestly stool since he’s not ruling over Mein Kingdoms.
Oroupade, who is the Eseduo of Kerebiri-Mein kingdom and Chairman, Priests of the gods in Mein kingdoms, said: “We have heard you. The Akanigboro stool is well-known but it’s not ruling over all Mein Kingdoms. “Therefore, we’ve no part to play in either confirming or accepting you.
“We, after our deliberations, have resolved to inform you that your stool is not ruling over Mein Kingdoms but it’s ruling over the children of Akan who found three communities, including Kpakiama, Bomadi and Bilabiri.
“So, we advise you to go and consult with your people, and if they accept you and your coronation is made ready, we, chief priests of the gods of Mein Kingdoms will come and celebrate with you.
“Again, I want to emphatically state here that no chief priest is having dominion or rulership over another in Mein Kingdoms.
“We’ve just formed an association where I’m the Chairman and I’m never a superior to any other chief priest, nobody is superior to anybody. We’re all chief priests in our various areas of abode and never a subject to anyone.
“We threw so many questions at you because of the misinformation about this gathering, as some people alleged that we’re preparing to install you in this gathering, which is unfounded because we’re no part of the Akanigboro stool, hence, we don’t have the powers to do so.
“So, go and consult with the people of Kpakiama, Bomadi and Bilabiri on the way forward for your stool”.
However, Akanigboro III thanked them for the warm reception and advice and promised to speak with his people for the successful resuscitation of the ancient stool.
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