The Senate has received two executive bills transmitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to control the proliferation of arms and regulate the importation and exportation of explosives in the country.
They are: the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons Bill 2021; and Explosives Bill 2021.
The transmission of both bills were accompanied by two separate letters dated the 26th and 27th August, 2021, respectively.
The letters were read during the commencement of plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
President Buhari, in the letter which accompanied the Explosives Bill 2021, explained that request for the consideration and eventual passage of the bill was made pursuant to Section 58(2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
According to him, “the Explosives Bill 2021 seeks to repeal the Explosives Act 1964 and enact the Explosives Act, to regulate the manufacture, storage, possession, use, distribution, purchase, sale, transportation, importation, and exportation of explosives and for related matters.”
In the second letter dated 26th August, 2021, President Buhari requested the upper chamber to consider the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons Bill 2021, as means to curb the spate of insecurity across the country.
The letter reads in part: “Pursuant to Section 58(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I forward herewith, the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons Bill 2021 for the kind consideration of the Senate.
“The Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons Bill 2021 seeks to transform the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons into a National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons under the office of the National Security Adviser.
“National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, when fully operational used, would go a long way at expressing Nigeria’s optimism and practical commitment to the global fight against the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons, including the mopping up of existing Small Arms and Light Weapons which have become a significant driver of insecurity across the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
New Defence Spokesman Assumes Office, Seeks Support From Media
The new Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Tukur Gusau, on Tuesday took over the Directorate of Defence Information from the erstwhile director, Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akpor was moved to Army Headquarters as Director Personnel Services.
Gusau commended his predecessor for forging better relationship with the media which helped to positively project the operations of the armed forces.
He also appreciated the media for the continuous support of the armed forces, and called for stronger relationship between the military and the media on matters of national security.
“I urge you to provide the enabling environment for members of the armed forces of Nigeria to perform their constitutional roles without distractions.
“As the nation gradually approach the coming general elections starting from next month, I urge you to avoid reports capable of affecting the morale of our gallant troops and the credibility of our armed forces,” he said.
Gusau assured that the armed forces would assist media practitioners to discharge their duties where necessary.
He added that the military would also support other government agencies to achieve peaceful and credible elections across the country.
The director described the military and the media as partners in progress, saying the two should strive to promote the interest of the country at all times.
“I urge you to offer me the same support, cooperation and understanding which you have rendered to Maj.-Gen. Akpor as Director of Defence Information,” he said.
In his remarks, Akpor said the media and the military now have deep understanding of their responsibilities.
He said the Chief of Defence Staff had done so much in forging enduring relationship with the media.
Akpor said this was necessary because the media, like the military, has crucial role to play in creating peaceful and orderly environment for all citizens.
He commended the CDS for holding two media parleys with editors and media chief executives where fruitful discussions led to better understanding of the responsibilities of each profession in furtherance of national security.
Akpor, who tagged his speech the “Truth About the Armed Forces of Nigeria”, said the Nigerian military has rich history of great exploits.
He cited the North East where life has been returning to normal due to the efforts of the military after over a decade of insurgency.
According to him, there was bumper agricultural harvest in 2022, and for the first time in 13 years, Independence Day parade was held in Maiduguri on Oct. 1, 2022.
“Irrespective of the security challenges confronting the nation and the way they mutate, the armed forces will continue to build requisite capabilities through the support of the Federal Government.
“Whilst there were 48 piracy/armed robbery related incidents in Nigeria’s territorial waters in 2018, 35 in 2019, 35 in 2020 and six in 2021, there was none in 2022.
“This was not due to wishful thinking, but due to dogged efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and availability of the critical assets provided.
“The truth about the armed forces is therefore a professional one rooted in its desire to meet its constitutional imperatives,” he said.
Akpor, therefore, urged the media to extend the same support given him to his successor, for him to discharge his responsibilities effectively.
NAN reports that the new spokesperson, Brig.-Gen. Gusau, is a thorough bred public relations professional who has served in different units, formations and military operations both at home and abroad.
Police Disperse Suspected Kidnappers In Nasarawa, Rescue 30 Victims
The Nasarawa State Command of the Nigerian Police said it has dispersed suspected kidnappers at Saraduana forest in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State and rescued thirty victims.
The police said it carried out a joint operation with operatives of Miyetti Allah Vigilante Group after receiving information about the unwholesome practice of the kidnappers in the area.
According to a statement by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Ramhan Nansel, the kidnappers who were trailed to their enclave dispersed in disarray deep into the forest on sighting the operatives.
DSP Nansel said the Commissioner of Police has ordered continuous combing of the Forest and applauded the courageous effort of the police operatives and Miyetti Allah Vigilante Group for a job well done.
He added that the Commissioner further assured members of the public that the operation will be sustained in order to rid the general area of suspected Criminals.
Bandits kill 7 NSCDC personnel, five others in Kaduna
Seven personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were ambushed and killed by bandits in Kaduna State on Monday, the Corps announced on Tuesday.
It added that they were killed alongside five others from a sister security agency and local security service.
The personnel, who were attached to the Kaduna State Ministry of Mines, were on official duty at a mining site in Birnin Gwari Local Government of Kaduna State, The Nation gathered in Abuja.
According to the Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC, Olusola Odumosu, the incident occurred on Monday at about 10.00hrs at the Kuriga mining site in Birnin Gwari LGA.
Odumosu said in a statement: “After the attack, the bandits carted away riffles of the slain operatives.
“The remains of the slain officers and men have been recovered and deposited at the Barau Diko Hospital Kaduna.
“The Commandant General, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, described the unfortunate incident as a big loss to the Corps, families of the slain victims and the nation.”
He commiserated with the families and friends of the deceased and prayed that God grants them the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.
“In honour of the slain personnel, the CG has directed that the Corps’ flag be hoisted at half-mast and that a national prayer involving both Christians and muslims be organised at the Corps National headquarters, Abuja, to pray for Gods protection for all officers and men of the Corps in the new year and avert a recurrence of such awful incident,” he stated.
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