Elder statesman Edwin Clark has cautioned against calls for cessation in some parts of the country.
Clark told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that calls for cessation in some quarters were not the solution to the country’s problems.
He said he did not believe in Nigeria’s breakup in spite of rising insecurity and economic challenges in the country.
According to him, rather than fan the embers of war by making cessation calls, workable strategies should be evolved to solve the problem of insecurity and other challenges making life unbearable for Nigerians.
“Nigeria will remain one. Some of us do not believe in the call for cessation. Where do we go to, who are we leaving the country for, who owns it.
“We cannot flee, where do we go. Though I am seeing this danger but I do not believe that Nigeria will split.
“Recently 17 Southern governors met and they also agreed that Nigeria will remain one. They are not just PDP but also APC governors.
“Even during the civil war in 1967, we never believed Nigeria would break up and the war eventually ended in 1970.
“That was the nearest we got to breaking up but Nigeria did not break up,” he said.
The elder statesman called for restructuring rather than call for break up.
He referred to reports of the 2014 National Conference and the committee headed by Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, saying the recommendations would go a long way.
He said, “all we are saying is that we should restructure the country. Let us devolve power to the states. They should be the federating units.
“We should refer to the 2014 National Conference report of over 600 recommendations. We do not need to convoke another confab.
“The confab report in addition to what APC produced under Gov. Nasir El-rufai’s committee are enough to create a true federal system of government in Nigeria.”
Clark stressed that unless Nigeria returned to a federal system of government, as obtained in 1963, the restructuring process would not be complete.
“Let us have a federal system of government as we had in 1963. Once that is done, there will be peace in Nigeria. With that, every region will have a State Police.
“So, the only cure to the problem of insecurity in Nigeria is to return to the 1963 Constitution with a few amendments.”
He further said, “I have been in politics for about 70 years in this country and I have seen it all.
“In 1960, there was the Independent Constitution, drawn up in Britain by the Whites and Nigerians.
“They agreed that this country has more than 250 ethnic nationalities, therefore a unitary form of government will not work and that there should be a federation which we had.
“The 1960 constitution made it that every region had its own constitution and develop at their own pace and keep half of what is developed in their area.
“That was why Obafemi Awolowo was able to develop the West because we had the cocoa boom at the time. The price of cocoa was very high in the international market.
“So he was able to introduce free primary education which other regions could not do at the time.”
He blamed the military for the present economic and security challenges faced by Nigerians, saying the military changed into a unitary form of government.
“Aguiyi Ironsi changed this country into a unitary government.
“It continued until the Army handed over in 1999 and they left behind a unitary form of constitution.
“That is why we are facing so much problem as a nation and that is why we are calling for restructuring,” he said.
On attacks on schools, Clark called for provision of security in and around schools through the building of fences and adequate surveillance.
He said that it might not be possible to guard all schools with the few number of security men in the country.
He advised that vigilantes could be employed to provide the Police with necessary information in the case of attempted attacks.
He, however, kicked against mounting surveillance cameras in schools, saying, “it will not work unless the people are ready to prevent kidnapping and other forms of attacks in schools.
“Even if we mount CCTVs they will be compromised as has happened on different occasions in some parts of the country.(NAN
ARMY’S DEDICATION HAS RAISED CITIZENS’ CONFIDENCE’ — SANWO-OLU TELLS CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF
•COAS in Lagos to launch new security operations
•Governor seeks military cooperation on traffic, environmental enforcements
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has hailed the Nigerian Army for committing to the rules of engagement and professionalism in its peace mission across the country.
The Governor said the Army had continued to live up to the expectations of their roles as provided by the constitution, stressing that the sacrifice paid by soldiers to keep the territorial integrity and peace of the country would not go unappreciated.
Sanwo-Olu spoke when he received the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, at Lagos House in Marina, on Monday, in a courtesy visit.
Lagbaja was in Lagos for the clearance of Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) at the 9 Brigade Military Cantonment, Ikeja.
The Army, the Governor said, has earned the citizens’ confidence and respect as a member of the nation’s armed forces, given its sense of commitment, dedication and patriotism.
Sanwo-Olu said: “We are grateful to the Army and its men for their dedication to the country at this difficult time in different parts of the country. You have continued to uphold the constitution, maintain high integrity and stick to the best rules of engagement to protect the sovereignty of our country.
The Army is well respected by the citizens, given the commitment, dedication and sense of patriotism in discharging its statutory roles.
“The 2002 Ikeja bomb explosion was a trying moment for the Army, given the magnitude of the damage. But the event never weakened the resolve of the military. The Army has continued to live up to their responsibilities provided by the constitution and the sacrifice paid by soldiers to keep the territorial integrity and peace of our country would not go unappreciated. Lagos State Government is committed to ensuring that the Army gets all the necessary support for your security operations.”
The Governor assured the Army boss that the State Government would rebuild a military primary school in Orile demolished for the construction of Lagos-Badagry Expressway. He sought for the cooperation of the military personnel in restoring sanity back to the Lagos-Badagry corridor, where the State Government has been clearing illegal shanties built along the expressway.
Sanwo-Olu also appealed for cooperation among military personnel in the ongoing enforcement across Lagos, including Okada ban enforcement. He noted that the ongoing enforcements were geared towards bringing sanity back to the State and preserving public assets.
The Governor said: “We have collective responsibility to keep Lagos safe for commercial activities. It is important to acknowledge the complementary effort of the 9 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in supporting our security architecture in Lagos, with OP Mesa operatives working with the police to ensure our safety.
That synergy among all security agencies is all that is required to maintain security.”
Lagbaja used the occasion to express his appreciation for the “tremendous support” the people and State Government accorded to the Army units and formations.
The Army boss acknowledged the infrastructure renewal programme of the Lagos Government, stressing that improved infrastructure would go a long way in helping the military respond rapidly to security situations requiring quick interventions.
He said military personnel will be major beneficiaries of the Lagos’ Blue and Red Line rail projects, as the trains would aid personnel’s commuting.
Lagbaja said his visit was to inform the Governor about the Army’s activities to be conducted in Lagos, noting that the exercises were designed to further entrench the peace and stability we have enjoyed in Lagos.
He said: “The Nigerian Army has put together a ceremony to remove unexploded ordnances at the site of the 2002 Bomb Explosion in Ikeja cantonment. The objective is to make the area safe and securely remove unexploded ordnances to a safe location in Ajilete area of Ogun State.
“We are ushering in the last three months of the year where citizens travel across the country for festivities. We need to provide safe and secure passage for the people travelling. We have put together three security exercises to prevent any form of breaches and these will be flagged off on Tuesday in Lagos.”
NAF Airstrike Kills 8 Terrorists In Borno
Airstrike undertaken by the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai has killed eight terrorists in Borno State, North-East Nigeria.
The Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Cdre Edward Gabkwet, said the aircraft was on armed reconnaissance mission on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 when it took out a guntruck with about eight terrorists at Baranga village in Marte local government area of the State.
He said the strike was carried out when two armed terrorists on a motorcycle along an active track were sighted and trailed to the location.
He said the terrorists after sighting the aircraft, took cover under a thick vegetation.
“Upon engaging the vegetation cover, a gun truck with eight terrorists suddenly appeared, speeding off to evade the attack.
“Subsequently, the gun truck was engaged and destroyed, thus eliminating the terrorists,” he said.
The statement reiterated that remnants of terrorists in the North-East have continued to seek the covers of thick forests and vegetation to evade being detected by the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) and other security agencies.
He said the strike was yet again a clear indication of the commitment of the AFN towards ensuring terrorists find it difficult to randomly roam about freely attacking law-abiding Nigerians.
Police kill 3 IPOB Members, Recover Arms In Enugu
The operatives of the Enugu State Police Command have neutralised three members of the Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network (IPOB/ESN) in their hideouts in Ezioha Mgbowo, Awgu Local Government Area of the state.
The police officers also recovered three pump-action guns, 10 machetes, and other incriminating exhibits.
The command’s spokesperson, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, who made the disclosure via a statement, said the gunmen were killed at about 2:15 a.m. on Monday, September 18, 2023.
Ndukwe stated: “A joint security team, comprising police operatives of the Enugu State Command, NPF Special Forces, and Troops of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Enugu, acting on credible intelligence, busted the criminal hideout of IPOB/ESN subversive criminal elements.
“The criminal elements were already perfecting plans to enforce the illegal sit-at-home order in the state.
“Three of the hoodlums, who opened fire on the joint team upon sighting them, were neutralised, while several others escaped with severe degrees of gunshot wounds in the ensuing gunfight.
“There has been an intense manhunt for those on the run.”
He quoted the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Kanayo Uzuegbu, as commending the joint team, assuring the security and safety of citizens and urging them to go about their lawful businesses in the state.
The commissioner reiterated the commitment of the police and other security forces to sustain the onslaught against unrepentant violent criminals operating under any guise, urging the people of Enugu State to report individuals sighted with gunshot wounds to the nearest police station.
“The good people of Enugu State should remain law-abiding and continue to provide the police with actionable security information and intelligence,” Uzuegbu said.
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