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Defence and Security

‘You Don’t Rule Out Anything,’ Garba Shehu Assesses Intention Of NDA Attackers

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President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari
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Barely 24 hours after gunmen attacked the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna State, Mr Garba Shehu has assessed the intention of the attackers, saying nothing should be ruled out.

Shehu, who is the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said the bandits’ attack might be politically motivated to embarrass President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Is it political, did somebody want to embarrass the government by doing this?” he questioned during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday.

“So many scenarios are being created though, could this be a criminal act to violate the sanctity of that military institution? Was it an opportunistic crime?”

“So, in a climate — political climate — in which people seek to make political capital out of this unfortunate incident, you don’t rule in anything, you don’t rule out anything”

Bandits had in the early hours of Wednesday stormed NDA’s permanent site,  killing two officers and abducting one other officer.

They came in a vehicle and passed through the security gate into the academy, disguising in military uniforms, after which they proceeded to the officers’ quarters.

When asked how his principal reacted to the incident, Shehu said the President who was obviously sad, denounced the attack.

While describing the attack as unfortunate, the presidential spokesman noted that it could have been avoided.

He also commiserated with the families of the slain military officers that lost their lives, regretting that the attack is coming at a time when the military is recording tremendous success in the ongoing fight against terrorism and banditry.

Shehu added, “We are coming from major successes. Look at how Boko Haram is unravelling in the north; they surrendered. All of the victories that have been recorded even in the northwest — these bandits are being taken out in large numbers.”

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Defence and Security

Army Has No Desire To Truncate Nigeria’s Democracy — COAS

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Chief of Army Staff
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja
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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, on Tuesday, restated the commitment of the Nigerian Army to defend the nation’s choice of government, democracy.

Addressing participants at a seminar on career planning and management organised by the Army headquarters, the COAS said the Army has no plans to truncate democracy in the country.

He charged officers of the Nigerian Army to remain above board in the discharge of their professional duties.

“Permit me to seize this opportunity to reiterate that the Armed Forces of Nigeria, particularly the Nigerian Army has come to terms with the country’s choice of democracy as the preferred system of governance,” he said during his address to officers.

“We are therefore agents of democracy and have no desire to truncate it. The Nigerian Army will continue to defend our constitution and not suspend it for whatever reason.

“It is the duty of our elected leaders to lead while the military does its job as enshrined in our constitution. Nigerian Army personnel must therefore remain professional and be above board as they discharge their constitutional duties.”

The commitment by the COAS followed the series of putsches in West and Central Africa which have experienced at least seven military takeovers in the last four years.

Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and most recently, Niger Republic — all members of the Economic Community of Western African States ( ECOWAS) — have pulled out from the regional bloc in last four years. Outside of West Africa, Chad and Sudan also experienced military coups in 2021.

 

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Defence and Security

Economic: Defence Chief Warns Coup Advocates

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Defence HQ Logo
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The Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, has warned against advocating for a coup due to economic hardship, emphasizing patience and the superiority of democracy.

He made this known on Thursday while speaking with journalists at the Nigerian Army 6 Division Headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, after commissioning some building projects.

General Musa urged individuals promoting military takeover to cease such statements.

The Chief of Defence Staff had earlier commissioned the newly constructed Entrance Gate and Officers Transit Accommodation at the 6 Division Headquarters.

Protests have occurred in Ogun, Oyo, Kano, Niger and some parts of the country in the last few weeks over the hardship experienced in the country as Nigerians lament food inflation, high cost of living, amongst other harsh living conditions occasioned by the removal of petrol subsidy, forex crisis, amongst others.

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Defence and Security

Security: Bill To Introduce State Police Scales Second Reading

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Federal House of Representatives
Federal House of Representatives
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A Constitution Amendment Bill to introduce state police has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives.

The bill, which was sponsored by 13 members of the House, enjoyed support from majority of the lawmakers in the green chamber who believed that concerns of political victimisation by state governors, should take the backseat to the current state of insecurity across the country.

Last week, President Bola Tinubu and 36 state governors considered the creation of state police as solution to the menacing security challenges like kidnapping and banditry ubiquitous in the country.

State police has been a subject of controversy since the Seventh National Assembly and has failed to make it through the amendment phase.

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had recently restated their position on state policing, as the solution to the country’s worsening security situation, lamenting that Nigeria is “almost on the road to Venezuela”.

Also, regional socio-political groups such as Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Middle Belt Forum, and the Northern Elders’ Forum, have repeatedly called for state police as solution the myriad of increasing security challenges confronting the nation.

Already, states in the South-West geopolitical zone have formed the Amotekun while their counterparts in the South-East also created state-owned security outfit Ebube Agu. The Benue Guards has also been operational in Benue State in the North Central while states like Katsina, Zamfara and other bandit-prone sub-nationals have also come up with similar state-established outfits.

However, these outfits have not been effective as anticipated as they don’t have the backing of the Federal Government or the Presidency while states continue to demand that Amotekun, Ebube Agu and others are granted license to bear assault rifles like AK-47 to confront lethal gun-toting marauders.

 

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