A former director of the British Safety Council, Mrs Ibironke Adeagbo, has told the British Government to deploy advanced technology to assist Nigeria to overcome `horrific’ school abductions, taking place in northern Nigeria.
Adeagbo made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday, while reacting to the latest kidnapping of students at Government Secondary School, Kaya in Zamfara in north-western Nigeria, where up to 73 students were kidnapped on Sept. 1.
She said that Britain should not watch helplessly as the country it brought to existence “passes through a depressing phase with incessant kidnappings and snapping of innocent school kids from classrooms.
“I call on British Prime Minister Borris Johnson to come to the rescue by deploying advanced British technology to tackle and end these shameful events in Northern Nigeria.
“The latest kidnapping in Zamfara State is deeply disturbing and Britain should not watch while these tragedies unfold endlessly and leave our kids ruined and parents devastated,’’ Adeagbo stated.
Imperial Britain colonised Nigeria and nurtured the country to amalgamation in 1914, making the country Africa’s most populous nation but the arrangement has faced serious problems after 107 years of existence.
“This is the time for the British Government to rise to the challenge and help one of the key nations of the Commonwealth of Nations that has been in deep trouble over the years.
“Kidnapping of innocent school children is totally unacceptable. Humanity must rise to the challenge and crush this problem which is destroying the future of young people.
“Nigeria needs help and the current tragic events in the country should not be allowed to fester because future generations of the country will be worse for it,’’ Adeagbo, Chief Executive Officer of UK charity, IA-Foundation, said.
She re-stated her appeal that government should close schools in ungoverned communities in Nigeria, especially in the north, where jihadist groups, Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa are active.
Adeagbo, who is also the Chairperson of the Education Committee of the Nigeria-British Business Forum, argued that there was nothing wrong with the Nigerian Government reaching out to other countries for assistance in its moment of distress.
“The Nigerian situation has been going on for over a decade and thousands of innocent lives, especially women and children have been lost needlessly. Humanity is worse for it.’’
Adeagbo, a member of various UK charities also pleaded with Nigerians in the diaspora to prevail on their host countries to assist Nigeria in any way they could, to pull the “Giant of Africa’’ out of the woods.
She said that her group had been engaging with the Nigerian government over the years to find common ground for development, especially in the education sector.
Records show that no fewer than 1,000 children have been kidnapped in Nigeria since December, 2020, forcing many kids to stay out of school in the West African country.
Oil-rich Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in Africa, according to the country’s Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba. (NAN)
Bauchi Blasphemy: We ‘ll not accept this brutal way of murder – CAN
Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN) in Kaduna State, Rev.Joseph John Hayab has raised concern over the allegation of blasphemy in Bauchi, saying the challenge now is for Government authorities and security agencies to act fast to address abuse of the constitution before it leads to a more serious conflict that can not be handled.
He said in a statement on Saturday, that allegations of blasphemy have now become the new excuse by fundamentalists in Northern Nigeria to kill the remnant that bandits and terrorists have not yet killed.
“How can you justify the period of what happened in Sokoto, the allegation in Borno, the fake allegation on Babachir Lawal by one northern actor who we have on record how he made blasphemous remarks about
Jesus Christ but quickly went and brought it down on the internet to cover himself before coming out to falsely accused Babachir Lawal the former SGF and today we are seeing another carnage in Bauchi under the excuse of blasphemy, “He said.
“We know and have evidence of how some of these allegations of blasphemy are false and just for blackmail or settling scores with perceived enemies or well-mannered young girls who have refused sexual advances by the opposite sex from another religion.”
“We are also aware of how fanatics have in the past raised lies in the name of blasphemy.”
“CAN wonder if the recent sermons we are getting from some Islamic clerics on what the Holy Quran says about what should be done if anyone is accused of blasphemy is unpopular amongst followers?”
“The challenge now is for Government authorities and security agencies to act fast to address this abuse of our constitution before it leads to a more serious conflict that can not be handled.”
“Nigeria Christians most especially those of Northern extraction have for ages exhibited tolerance despite many provocations and lack of reciprocation of our love and friendship but these new tactics for killing our people from any and every accusation of blasphemy are unacceptable to CAN and all Christian faithful.
We will not accept this brutal way of murder and inhuman treatment of our followers to continue.”
“Government and security agencies should come out to enforce the law on every murderer hiding under religion.
We will also wish to appeal to Christian leaders and parents to guide their children to resist any ungodly provocation that will make them says things that blood-thisty fundamentalist can easily use to kill them.”
“CAN is appealing to religious leaders from both religious divides to intensify teachings about the evil of taking the laws into one hand and killing another person for whatever reason.
Allege offenders should be reported to security agencies or taken to any competent court of law for judiciary pronouncement.
Nigeria is not a banana republic but a nation we believe should be governed by the rule of law,” he said.
Oyetola bags Vanguard 2021 ‘Governor of The Year Award’ for Good Governance
LAGOS EXPLAINS OKADA CLAMPDOWN
Lagos State Government has described the ongoing enforcement of restrictions on the operations of commercial motorcycles, popularly called okada, in certain parts of the State as a necessary step to curb their indiscipline, save lives and improve security.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, spoke on Channels TV Sunrise Daily about the new enforcement order given by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the backlash recorded in a part of the State.
According to Omotoso, the resurgence of Okada operations and acts of indiscipline being exhibited by riders have become a serious source of concern as many people have lost their limbs and lives through Okada accidents.
His words: “Our doctors are complaining that more and more people are coming with Okada-related emergency. About 1,712 accidents have been recorded in Lagos in the first quarter of this year. Out of this figure, about 45 percent; to be precise, 767 of the accidents were caused by Okada. And it is shocking to know that about 54 percent of the victims are between the ages of 30 and 39. These are our able-bodied young people who are getting cut down like that all because they mounted okada.”
Attributing the high fatality rate of riders and passengers to plying about 500 highways, major roads and bridges, which the Road Traffic Law prohibited, Omotoso affirmed that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s order was to reinforce the law and give the riders an opportunity to move out and find some other things to do.
He said: “There is a Law that lists all the routes commercial motorcycles are restricted from plying. The Law is still there; it has not been repealed. So, the enforcement is not new and it is going to continue as the June 1st deadline stands.”
Describing as unfortunate the insecurity in some parts of the country that has forced many people to migrate to Lagos to make ends meet by riding Okada, the Commissioner explained that the development led to complaints from residents who have expressed their rejection of okada.
“Lagosians are worried about the mystery of Okada; they don’t know where they come from; the riders are unknown; they don’t even have number plates. They don’t come for LASRRA registration, so we can’t account for them,” he said.
Speaking further, the Commissioner described the approach to the renewed enforcement as well planned and strategic because the State expected the kind of backlash the exercise has generated, but assured all that it was an experience the law enforcement agents were used to.
On possible increase in crime rate, following the enforcement, Omotoso said “everything the law enforcement agencies need in terms of equipment, welfare and encouragement would be provided for them to step up enforcement and security of lives and property.”
The Commissioner expressed the determination of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ensure full enforcement and allayed fears that the government would want to go back because of politics.
He said: “Mr. Governor is a man of integrity; he is a man of his words. He is going to ensure that whatever it takes to enforce the law will be done. We have been encouraged by Lagosians who have seen the danger and who feel that moving with Okada from one place to another because it is very fast cannot be compared to the security threat they pose. The goal is to have a Lagos without motorcycles because there is no megacity in the world that you go to and find this kind of mode of transportation.
“It is also preposterous for anybody to say for our votes come and mess up Lagos. No, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor, is not going to do that. This is the last time we are going to have this as the bikes are being crushed to show people that we are very serious, and communicate to those bringing them in, that enough is enough.”
Omotoso advised okada riders to look for something else to do as there are so many opportunities in Lagos for anyone who wants to stay in Lagos and wants to be law-abiding.
“You should go and collect your LASRRA card and be an official resident of Lagos and find something to do. Artisans who left their jobs to ride Okada should find a reason now to go back to their jobs,” he said.
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