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Senate President wants procurement process for security agencies reviewed

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The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has called for a review of the procurement process for the security agencies.

Lawan made the call on Wednesday at a Special Summit on National Security organised by the House of Representatives.

The Senate President said it was a very worthwhile Summit adding that the essence of the summit was to look for ways of improving the performance of the Armed forces and other security agencies in the country.

“While the National Assembly should work hard as it has always done to provide more resources, I also want to say we must review procurement processes by the security agencies.

“While we are not going to open up how they do these things to the public, but as parliamentarians who approve the funding, we must understand how these procurement processes are undertaken.

“If the processes require that we change the way we do that, because of inefficiencies, we should go ahead and do so, because it is not enough to just put in more resources, but how the resources are deployed within the economy, with prudence and efficiency.

“I want to once again appeal to us in the National Assembly. The security agencies, we know are doing their best, but I think it is high time we work with the executive arm of government to look at the architecture of our security system for better performance.

“When I mention architecture, I also want to mention that all levels of government are responsible for securing the lives and property of Nigerians. The federal, states and local governments. And of course it is a well-known fact that the local government does not function,” Lawan said.

Commenting on the security situation in the country, the Senate President said “what started as insurgency in 2009 or so in the North Western part of Yobe has now snowballed into full scale insurgency in the entire north east.

“What was not known to us in the North West is now today the home of banditry and kidnapping. The North Central, as we all know is not safe. It suffers clashes between the herders and our farmers.

“And the recent introduction in the south east is another serious threat to the existence of this country where government institutions are targetted, our police and security agencies are being killed on a daily basis. Our institutions and buildings are burnt.

“I believe that these are threats, not only to those areas, but the entire nation. Our armed forces are doing their best. I must commend our armed forces and other security agencies for doing so much with the little we are able to give them.

“The National Assembly has always been on the side of giving the kind of support, either legislative, or the kind of financial support that our armed forces and indeed all other security agencies require, even though we have our limits.”

Lawan said both the Legislature and the Executive should collaborate more to address the security challenges.

“This is the time for the legislature and executive arm of government to come even closer in finding solutions. I want to take this opportunity to appeal and ask the executive arm of government to implement whatever would be the outcome of this summit.

“A criminal has only one name and that is criminal. No criminal should have comfort in his ethnic enclave. Whoever, or where ever that person is, once he is a criminal, he is simply a criminal and must be dealt with in the appropriate manner regardless of where he or she is coming from.

“It is also important that we provide resources, more resources for our security agencies to enable them better tackle the criminal activities across the country and our armed forces can do that. But the fact remains that we have not enabled them enough.

“Today in this country, there is no better investment than investing in the security of our people. We must ensure that we protect the lives and property of our people. This is the essence of government.

“The local government system does not function and that takes away a lot from our efforts at providing security for lives and property of people. And when I mention the local government system not functioning, our traditional rulers, who had played major roles in protecting us today have no function more or less.

“It is only when there are problems, we look for them. In the northern part of the country and I daresay all parts of Nigeria, our traditional rulers play key roles in ensuring security in their domains. Why can’t we look at the possibility of providing and official function for them, even if it is in advisory capacity in the constitution?” Lawan said.

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I made mistake in picking Atiku as my Running Mate in 1999 – Obasanjo laments

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo
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Ex-President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has disclosed that when he served as a head of state in 1999 as a civilian, he had made a mistake picking his vice.

Obasanjo made this statement while fielding questions from secondary school students at a program at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Obasanjo admitted to making many “genuine mistakes” in his life while interacting with the students, but claimed that God helped him overcome them.

“Choosing my number two when I wanted to be president was one of the errors I made. But God saved me because it was an honest mistake, said Obasanjo.

Obasanjo while interacting with the students revealed that he had made many “genuine mistakes” in his life; saying, however, that God made him overcome them.

“One of the mistakes I made was picking my number two when I wanted to become the president. But because it was a genuine mistake, God saved me,” Obasanjo said.
According to reports, Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential contender, served as Obasanjo’s second-in-command from 1999 to 2007.

Obasanjo and Atiku clashed with one and other for years while in government over matters they couldn’t agree on.

When discussing his second error, Obasanjo claimed that it occurred when General Sani Abacha, a late military ruler, was going to arrest him and the American Embassy offered him asylum which he refused.

Obasanjo claimed that had God not intervened, he would have perished during his time in prison.

“When Abacha wanted to arrest me, I was told by the American ambassador that they will arrest me and that America has asked that I should be given an asylum. I said no. It could have been a mistake because I could have lost my life.”

The Balogun Owu stated that God had saved him from many things that could have been a mistake.

When asked whether the youths could be allowed to rule the nation, Obasanjo expressed worries, stating that youths may never come into power should the current trend in Nigeria continues.

The former president regretted that in spite of the “Not Too Young to Run” campaign, people contesting to rule the nation are between 70 and 80 years old.

“How can the youths run,” he asked, adding that the amount of money involved in going into politics would not allow youths to get to leadership positions.

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5000 LAGOSIANS GET FREE HEALTH INSURANCE ON SANWO-OLU’S BIRTHDAY

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu
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No fewer than 5000 Lagosians are to be enrolled in the Ilera Eko Social Health Plan – courtesy of the Lagos State Executive Council.

The gesture is to celebrate Governor Sanwo-Olu’s 57th birthday on June 25 and in the spirit of his compassion for the indigent and vulnerable.

Beneficiaries will have access to quality health care services and drugs under the ILERA EKO Standard Plan at no cost to them.

Nominees will be selected from the Lagos State Social Protection Register. An equal number of the 5000 eligible beneficiaries are to be selected from the five IBILE divisions of the State and will enjoy Universal Health Coverage.

These beneficiaries have been identified using a multi-dimensional poverty index tool, which includes the poverty means-testing to ensure accuracy, reliability and validity of the data generated.

ILERA EKO is the State Social Health Insurance Plan managed by Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), which offers the basic minimum health plan that provides quality and affordable healthcare for all Lagos residents, especially the middle and low-income earners as well as the vulnerable.

Services on the Plan include: General consultations; Specialist Consultations; Management of uncomplicated chronic diseases (Diabetes, Hypertension, Asthma); Maternal and Newborn Care; Normal Delivery and Caesarean Section; Dental Care (with Composite filling) and Eye Care, including glasses.

There are also minor and major surgeries; laboratory tests and scans; HIV/TB Testing services; Emergency Health Services; Cancer Care and the provision of prescribed drugs.

A policy cycle under the ILERA EKO Health Insurance Plan runs for 12 calendar months in which an enrolee’s policy is due for renewal before the 25th day of the 12th month to enable such subscribers have access to care the next month (Start of renewed policy cycle).

The selected beneficiaries will commence access to care from July 1, 2022.

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Wife remanded as UK Court denies them bail

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife
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An Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in the United Kingdom did not grant bail to Ike Ekweremadu, former Deputy Senate President, and Beatrice, his wife, who were apprehended over attempted harvesting of organs.

It was gathered that the Nigerian couple was detained by the Metropolitan Police when they tried harvesting an unnamed child’s organs.

When the Senator was arraigned on Thursday, the court refused to grant him bail but ordered that he should be remanded till July 7

The Metropolitan Police while confirming the arrest said in a statement that the pair were charged to court on Thursday following an investigation by the police’ specialist crime team.

“Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55 (10.9.66) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting,” the statement read.

“Ike Ekweremadu, 60 (12.05.62) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.

They have both been remanded in custody and will appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court later today.

“A child has been safeguarded and we are working closely with partners on continued support.”

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