DSS As Whistle-blower

The Directorate of State Services (DSS), has just alleged that the nation’s security and paramilitary agencies are recruiting unqualified persons, cultists and armed robbers into their fold. This, the DSS insisted, had been going on over a period of time and blamed its sustenance for the deteriorating security situation in the country. The Directorate also said that these bad eggs, illicitly recruited into the security agencies, are responsible for the illegal sale of arms to undesirable elements who use same to torment and harass the civil populace. Some of the agencies include Nigerian Custom Service (NCS), the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the Police and even the Military itself. We recall that on more than one occasion this year, the Customs had intercepted caches of small arms being imported into the country. On the surface, one may be tempted to exonerate them. But a middle level Customs Service operative in a...
The drums of war are, again, beginning to sound in the Niger Delta as one of the militant groups, the Niger Delta Avengers, threatens to resume attacks on oil installations in the region. On its part, the military is making it clear that they will meet with maximum force any effort to disrupt oil operations in that region that has continued to sustain the economy. To march words with action, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin, recently commissioned 20 gunboats in a move to boost security in the region. He said at the commissioning ceremony that the threat by the Avengers has dealt what he described as an unfortunate blow to the collective well-being of the oil-rich region. Before this recent square up between the military and the militants, a team of elders in the region under the auspices of the Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF),...
It is no longer news that 21,780 teachers in Kaduna State failed a competence test set by the government to evaluate their ability or lack of it to continue to remain in the state’s teaching service. It is also not news that the competence test was based on standards reserved for primary four pupils. What is news is that they are not ashamed of themselves. Worse is that they are celebrating their incompetence. The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in the state and the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) who, ordinarily ought to have been embarrassed, are making a case for the continued retention of these bunch of illiterates as teachers and for them to continue to mislead the children put in their care. They argue that the test was not professionally done and, to further expose the shallow interest they represent, the unions are issuing threats to the effect that...

NJC And The Burden Of Trust

A crisis of confidence may have come upon the Corruption and Financial Crimes Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (CFCCTMC) of the National Judicial Council following the resignation of its would have been chairman, Justice Ayo Salami (rtd) before its inauguration. The problem is not just that he turned down the appointment but the fact that he made it clear that some members of the committee have no business being part of it. If this is true, the committee can be presumed dead on arrival. The committee, considering the mood of the nation on this issue of anti-corruption and the place of the courts in it, ought to be made up of men and women with proven integrity. It is too early for an infighting, which is what Justice Salami’s resignation connotes, to be associated with it. We are assuming that the committee is not out to serve a predetermined purpose in...

40,000 Millionaires: Matters Arising

Nigeria is proud to welcome the newest set of 40,000 millionaires created in two years in Kebbi State through the ongoing agricultural revolution. The figure was released by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh. He is a man not given to frivolity. He talks straight and challenges anyone to take him on. If he said it, then, it is true. It is just that he should not have limited his assessment to only Kebbi State which, as the take-off point of the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele‘s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, is the face of the success recorded by the agri-business policy. The Minister should have taken the pains of doing a nationwide holistic assessment of the programme so as to give the Nigerians a comprehensive figure of the outcome of the policy thrust that is set to restore that sector’s lost glory. We know it is...

Stop Crimes Against Journalists

Every day, at home or in the work place, people are drawn to their newspapers, radio and television sets to get the latest information about what is happening around the world. This information comes in the form of news which, to the non-professional, simply means information about recent events or developments. Very few are interested in knowing how the journalists gather this information and present them as news to be read or listened to. Even in some cases, depending on the news item and how it affects the reader or listener, the journalists is called names. Some go on to write them off as mercenaries. In such a mood, the likelihood of evil plans against the writer is almost certain. The United Nations General Assembly, in acknowledging this situation, adopted a Resolution at its 68th session in 2013 and proclaimed November 2 as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for...
Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa belongs to that rare breed of Nigerian politicians who have consistently served as a beacon of hope and a source of inspiration to the younger generation. A left-wing who thrust himself into national limelight when he was elected Governor of Kaduna State, in the short-lived Second Republic on the platform of the Alhaji Aminu Kano- led Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) also went down in the history books as the first Nigerian state governor ever to be impeached. As a protégé of the iconoclastic Alhaji Aminu whose love for the Talakawas was legendary, it was not a surprise that he got into rough weather with Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s National Party of Nigeria (NPN)-controlled federal government that was far right of centre. Kaduna was and still is the political capital of the Northern establishment and it was not controlled then by the much fabled Kaduna mafia who dropped...
There is no doubt that Borno State and, indeed, the entire North-eastern part of Nigeria has been enjoying relative peace since the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was inaugurated on May 29, 2015. This followed the marching orders he gave to the military high command to move their operational headquarters to the zone so as to deal decisively with the scourge of insurgency that had bedevilled the country. The efficiency with which the order was carried and the sustained effectiveness of the operations are not only remarkable but also have ensured the successful degradation of the Boko Haram insurgents. It is not a surprise then that, in no time, the intensity of incidences of abduction, mass slaughter of unarmed populace and the seizure of parts of the Nigerian territory which were evident in the latter part of the immediate past administration were reduced drastically as the terrorists were thrown into...

EDITORIAL: Africa On UN Day

Though the United Nations Day is devoted to making known to people of the world the aims and achievements of the Organisation, it is also important to observe that beyond the celebratory side to it, the world has reasons to be grateful for the existence of the international body that came into being on this day in 1948. Like every such organisation that aims at bringing people of diverse cultures and background together, the United Nations may not be perfect in its application of basic rules. However, many experts are of the opinion that without the UN, the world would have had to deal with enormous levels of conflict and chaos that would have required the establishment of an international governmental body to maintain the world’s national and political equilibrium.  To that extent, therefore, it behoves every nation to work towards the realization of the dream behind the body–world unity. The...
Frightening statistics just released by the United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, in its latest report, reveals that Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five year olds and 145 women of child bearing age every single day. By this figure, the country occupies the unenviable position as the second largest contributor to under-five and maternal mortality rate in the world! The report also indicated that 15,000 children died globally before their fifth birthday in 2016, with 46 per cent of the deaths (7,000) occurring in the first 28 days of life mostly in two regions- Southern Asia (39 per cent) and sub-Saharan Africa (38 per cent). The study continued and said that although the number of children dying before the age of five is at a new low of 5.6 million in 2016 compared to nearly 9.9 million in 2000 – the proportion of under-five deaths in the new-born period has increased from 41...