The Chairman, South-South caucus in the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Francis Uduyok has made a case for the employment of more youths from the South-South region of Nigeria into the employ of the Federal Government.
According to the Caucus leader, they seized the occasion of the courtesy visit to request, amongst other things, for more employment opportunities in the Federal Civil Service for people of the South-South region, reiterating that as the layers of the golden egg that feeds Nigeria’s treasury, the Southern states and indeed people of Niger Delta region needs more opportunities at the centre.
The two time Reps member who represents Ikot Abasi, Mkpat Enin and Eastern Obolo Federal Constituency in the Green Chambers of the National Assembly made the demand when he led members of the caucus to pay a Courtesy visit on the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Barr. Festus Keyamo in his office.
In his words “we were on a Courtesy but strategic visit to the Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo, and amongst other discussions we asked for more employment opportunities for our youths. Of course, he assured us that he will be more conscious of our concerns, going forward”.
GENEVA (21 October 2020) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday strongly condemned the use of excessive and disproportionate force by Nigerian armed forces in Lagos on Tuesday evening. She called on the Nigerian authorities to take urgent steps to deal decisively with the underlying problem of persistent violations committed by the security forces, and make a far stronger effort to bring police and army personnel guilty of crimes against civilians to justice. “While the number of casualties of yesterday’s shooting at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos is still not clear, there is little doubt that this was a case of excessive use of force, resulting in unlawful killings with live ammunition, by Nigerian armed forces,” Bachelet said. “Reports that CCTV cameras and lighting were deliberately disabled prior to the shooting are even more disturbing as, if confirmed, they suggest this deplorable attack on peaceful protestors was premeditated, planned and coordinated.” “Nigeria was already at boiling point before this shooting because of the revelations about years of unchecked violence, including alleged killings, rape, extortion and other violations, by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS),” the UN Human Rights Chief continued. “While the authorities have now dissolved SARS and announced a series of inquiries at both Federal and State levels, there have still been few if any charges levelled against its members despite abundant evidence against various members of the squad, as well as members of other security forces and the army.” Many Nigerians appear not to trust the inquiries and other measures that have been announced by the authorities, and have continued to take to the streets in several cities to protest. “I appreciate that the Government has taken a number of measures to address the protestors’ demands,” Bachelet said. “However, the immediate creation of another elite police SWAT team to replace the SARS — without first addressing some of the root causes of police violence and putting in place sufficient safeguards to prevent future violations — has eroded the public’s trust even further. This latest terrible event in Lagos is like wantonly adding fuel to a fire that was already starting to rage out of control.” Bachelet said the way to restore trust and bring back peace to the streets of Nigeria is for the authorities to take immediate concrete steps to show they are genuinely committed to tackling impunity, after years of inaction.
There need to be immediate, independent, transparent and thorough investigations, not just into last night’s killings, but also into all the previous violations committed by security forces,” Bachelet said. “Those appointed to carry out such investigations must not only be independent and impartial but must be widely perceived as such. And, where sufficient evidence already exists to warrant charges, immediate suspension of officers – including senior officers — suspected of committing serious crimes, should take place long before the conclusion of such investigations.” “After so many years of reported violations that have not been adequately dealt with, there also needs to be a root and branch re-examination of the entire security sector, and of its civilian oversight,” the High Commissioner added. “This should include a fullscale review of rules of engagement and training systems and methods.” Bachelet also called for immediate investigations into reports of violent and provocative attacks on peaceful protestors by unidentified groups armed with cudgels, cutlasses, sticks or guns, in some cases apparently with the overt backing of police or other security forces. “Nigerians, like everyone else, have a fundamental right to peaceful assembly and protest,” Bachelet said. “The Government has a responsibility to take positive measures to ensure the realization of this right, including deterring others who intend to prevent them from protesting peacefully. The world’s attention is now focused sharply on how Nigeria’s Government and security forces react over the coming days and weeks.” The High Commissioner urged the authorities to grant reparations to the victims and to open extensive dialogue with youth leaders, students and other groups who have been prominent among the protestors. “In a population with such a young median age, it is important to listen to the grievances of the younger generation and make an effort to address the multiple problems they face, which include — but are far from confined to — police brutality and violations.”
The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Adamu Mohamed has ordered the immediate withdrawal of all policemen protecting VIPs of all kinds.
The IGP gave the command this Evening through the special wireless communications channel of the force.
the directive issued to police zonal commands and which is to take immediate effect, only those attached to government houses, the senate president and the speaker of the house of representatives are exempted.
“Inspector-general of police directs you to withdraw all protect personnel attached to all VIPs, except those attached to government houses, senate president, speaker, house of representatives with immediate effect,” the message read.
“Any commander who violates this order will bear the consequences. Any protect personnel found escorting or guarding any VIP with or without firearm is deemed to be deployed by the commander and the commander will be sanctioned.”
The police authority further asks that all the withdrawn policemen should report at their commands for further directives .
An American resident has showcased food items given to him at the church last Sunday as gift from the White House.
The gift according to the video shared by the black American was given to all church members after a church service as welfare package from President Donald Trump.
The man who was however excited for the package said that he will still vote against President Donald Trump at the polls, as the food gift was not enough to change his mind from voting against the President.
Information reaching us from a reliable source has it that some hoodlums have hijacked the ENDSARS protest in Edo state capital.
Apart from th spate of violence reported across Benin city since weekend, we are informed that there is a prison break this morning as hoodlums under the pretence of protest are said to have stormed the Central Proson in Benin, freeing prisoners and prison staff scamper for safety from the huge number of the thugs.
Tweets from Edo state has shown photographs and videos of prisoners climbing the prison fence to escape. Prisoners are also seen in videos jubilating in the streets of Benin city.
Organisers and leaders of the ENDSARS protest have dissociated themselves from the protests in Edo State, as the protesters have become totally uncontrollable.
See tweets from Edo people:
Channels TV in their tweet has also reported that the Edo state Government has declared 24hours curfew to beginning by 4pm to end protests. According to Channels TV tweet, anyone seen outside after 4pm will be dealt with by security men.
“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” – Nelson Mandela
Today, is to celebrate a man of God, a firm believer in Jesus Christ, who rose from obscurity to prominence, not through opulence, but by winning many battles for humanity.
He is not a conventional preacher, but a Minister on the side of the people, who stands on his God inspired convictions even when it means standing alone.
Let us celebrate the Founder and President of Solid Rock Kingdom Church, Apostle John Okoriko as he clocks 72years today.
Apostle John Okoriko was born on 18th October 1948 in Ibekwe Akpanya, Mkpat Enin Local Government Area. He is Publisher of Best Seller, “Every Satan Has a Human Face”, a tele-evangelist, famed by his uncommon usage of a special kind of Ibibio dialect to preach the gospel, despite his American accent English speaking capabilities.
In 2016, Apostle Okoriko was given an award by Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio for being the first man to preach on DSTV channels with Ibibio dialect and for consistently interpreting and reading the Efik bible in Ibibio dialect. Recently he was honoured to unveil the first Ibibio bible, published last month and unveiled at Ibom Hall ground.
Apostle Okoriko has fought many battles for humanity. He was the first preacher to preach against abuse of children and branding them as witches. Few months after he called out the then state Governor Godswill Akpabio to end child abuse, the Akwa Ibom State Government submitted a bill to Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and the Child Rights Act was subsequently passed to law barring ‘evil prophets ‘ from declaring innocent children as witches.
Apostle Okoriko also fought against using culture, especially ‘ekpo nyoho’ to intimidate and victimize women. This battle he fought for three decades beginning from the 70s, until civilization neutralized such practices.
Apostle teaches his followers hardwork and godliness, he believes that every fortune or misfortune in life is caused by man or God himself and that God has no opposition.
For humanity again, Apostle Okoriko is currently fighting the battle of ending the impoverishment of bereaved families through expensive burial rites and ceremonies, unnecessary demands by Churches and communities etc before approving interment. For example, the doctrine of Solid Rock Kingdom Church makes it illegal for a Pastor or Elders to get a dime nor even eat at a burial venue of their Church member. The Church officials are rather expected to finance part of such events.
At 72, he is still healthy and hearty, Apostle (Dr) John Okoriko is still bouncing, jumping on the pulpit, flying around the world to preach the gospel and sacrificing more than 50% of his wealth for humanity, especially orphans and sick people whom he is very passionate about.
As Solid Rock Kingdom Church rolls out drums to celebrate this charismatic leader, let all his fans, admirers and those affected and impacted by his messages give him flower while he is alive.
When in 1992, CP Simeon Danladi Midenda created the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the intention was that of creating a tactical unit of the NPF to confront and combat the rising spate of armed robbery and kidnapping at the time.
Members of the unit, were taken through rigorous drills and given intelligence orientation to properly equip them for the nature of their assignment. As a result, SARS officials came out tougher and fiercer than regular policemen and were famed to be no-nonsense cops.
Enter Nigerians! The Nigerian society is built around intimidation. With or without any provocations, we love to arm ourselves with a “combat level” attack prowess, just to “show” fellow citizens that we are not their mates. It didn’t take long before Nigerians discovered the “no-nonsense” nature of SARS. Stories of their exploits and triumphs made the rounds and in no time, We Nigerians began to invite SARS into civil matters. Landlords used SARS to evict tenants from their houses, girlfriends who had squabbles with their boyfriends invited SARS to “teach them a lesson”. Politicians used the Anti-Robbery squad to settle political scores, intimidate opponents and even cause mayhem.
My first encounter with the infamous SARS was at a private compound in Ikot Ekpene road. The landlord had created single rooms to serve as hostels for university of Uyo Students, and about five of them stayed in the premises: one of them was a beautiful female student whose financier was a rich politician. The girl however had a campus boyfriend who sneaked in once in a while to spend some “quality time” with the sister. The lover boy however ran out of luck one Friday evening when the politician who had earlier told the girl that he had traveled out of town strolled into the compound with two SARS operatives. The drama that ensued was enough to keep residents of the compound traumatized for a lifetime. The forcemen shot sporadically in the air, threatened tenants in the compound as the broke into the room of the “culprit” in a gestapo style! The lover boy was brought out wearing just briefs, beaten up and humiliated publicly before he was whisked away.
Many other stories of how a force unit specially trained to handle complex criminal and armed robbery operations was gradually shown the way into our everyday lives abound. The fringe benefits of these extra operations were of course too numerous to mention. Tactical operations are by their very nature risky and has little or no financial benefits. Civil cases on the contrary are zero risk cases as the highly trained men are usually pitched against relatively unarmed civilian targets, in addition, the report maker will usually “drop something” to facilitate the case, and the victims will of course spend heavily to clear themselves.
Other agencies of government also found SARS to be a useful tool of operation. It is not out of place to find the EFCC, ICPC and other anti graft bodies requiring the full complement of SARS officials when going for an operation.
These and many other factors such as the endemic internal corruption among the ranks of the NPF contributed to making a monster of the specialized force unit. The special unit gradually became general purpose and imposed itself on the society.
In addition to all these, the Nigerian security architecture merges roles and responsibilities into one. Everyone in uniform or armed with firearms carry out the similar tasks. An FRSC officer once asked to see police clearance for my car and I know it sounds ridiculous, but I’ve had to explain to a police in the anticultism unit why my spare tire was missing! Men of the SARS have not been left out in this roles mixup and rascality. They gradually pulled out of tactical operations and found themselves more useful in civil matters. They constituted themselves into Vehicle Inspection Units, Economic Crimes investigation Units, civil unrest quelling forces, narcotics investigation officers, election monitors and every other thing in between.
The result ofcourse was absolute lawlessness and cold-blooded murders. Pitching a force unit trained to combat armed criminals against unarmed civilians was never going to have a happy ending. It became regular to see men of the SARS doing routine checks on our roads, going after young persons perceived to be internet fraudsters and even arresting tenants at the behest of landlords! Gradually, things began to degenerate. Stories of intimidation, torture, murder, extortion and outright robbery have been told of our men of the SARS.
The intention of creating SARS may have been pure, but right now, they have morphed into something monstrous. Their evil clearly outweighs whatever good deeds they have to their credits. There is an urgent need to bring down the entire SARS formation and indeed overhaul the Nigerian police department. It might be a herculean task, and would definitely cost lots of money, but nothing is too much to sacrifice for the lives and safety of Nigerians.
We created this monster. If we don’t destroy it, we will be destroyed by our own creation!
HON. EKANEM BROWN FLAGS-OFF FG’s CONDITIONAL CASH TRANSFER PROG IN MKPAT ENIN, APPLAUDS BUHARI
…As Over 3000 Households Benefit
The Executive Chairman of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State, Hon. Ekanem Brown, today, flagged off the conditional cash transfer programme of the Federal Government in Mkpat Enin LGA.
The exercise took place simultaneously at five locations across the LGA, namely Mkpat Enin Council Secretariat, townhall Nkikara village, Civic Centre Ikot Akpaden, Palace of the Village Head Ikot Akata and St. Christopher Primary School, Ikot Abasi Akpan.
Addressing the crowd of beneficiaries in the Council Hall, Hon. Ekanem Brown cautioned them against wastage and urged them to spend the monies judiciously.
He further advised them to form cooperative societies to enable them engage in small and medium scale businesses.
In his words, “I have put everything in place to ensure Akwa Ibom State.
“Please, my people, do not spend this monies carelessly. You will be given forty thousand naira each. As you collect it, invest it in business so that it will multiply. I will stand here until the last person is paid”. He said.
According to data retrieved from the adhoc staffs working in the programme, on behalf of the the Federal Ministry of Himanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, not less than three thousand (3000) households in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State are benefitting from the exercise, which they said was just the first batch.
This reporter also gathered that the beneficiaries were paid forty thousand naira each (40,000 naira) being accumulated arrears of the cash transfer programme.
Aged people, fellows with disabilities, the poorest of the poor including pregnant women were seen standing in lines to collect the cash.
To ensure the success and smooth running of the exercise, the Council Chairman and men of the Department of State Security, DSS, worked assiduously to ensure that the thousands of beneficiaries queued properly to get the cash.
The Chairman, Board of Trustees of Ati Annang Foundation, Sir Emem Akpabio has told the Nigeria National Assembly that all the National Assembly Members from Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District have endorsed the creation of Itai State.
The Annang speaking people of Akwa Ibom State on Wednesday, 23/09/2020 had presented a memorandum to the Senate ad-hoc Committee on Constitutional Review demanding the creation of ITAI State from the present Akwa Ibom State.
Leader of the delegation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ati Annang Foundation, Emem Akpabio, made the presentation through Senator representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District in the National assembly, Senator Chris Ekpenyong.
According to him, the people of the old Annang province led by representatives from Ati Annang, Afe Annang, Afe Nkuku Annang and Annang leaders of thought decided to submit a proposal and memorandum for the creation of a state to be called and addressed as ITAI STATE from the present Akwa Ibom state with its capital at Ikot Ekpene.
They explained that the Annang nation remains one of the oldest nation or nationality having homogeneous aborigines with a population of 1.1 million (projected from the provisional figures of the 1991 National census) covering the eight local government Areas of Abak, Etim Ekpo, Ika, Ikot Ekpene, Essien Udim, Obot Akara, Ukanafun and Oruk Anam.
Emem Akpabio said they have confidence in the 9th National Assembly for the realization of the proposed State, noting that the proposed State would be economically viable in the areas of agriculture, solid minerals, livestock and human resources.
The memorandum for the creation of ITAI state became necessary because, over the years, the administration of Nigeria has been accomplished through the creation of units that make for political and socio-economic development.”
“It will be fair, just and equitable for the people of the old Annang province that had been overlooked during the various state creation exercises to be granted their wishes just like other old provinces.”
Asked if the memorandum has the backing of the three Senators from Akwa Ibom State, he explained that it has been endorsed by all members of the National Assembly from the zone.
The presentation from the Annang people follows a recent presentation by Obolo people for the creation of Obolo State, still from the present day Akwa Ibom State.
In the spirit of Akwa Ibom at 33 celebrations, the immediate past Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources, Rt. Hon. Ekong Sampson has cautioned that ‘a weak economy mounts pressure on the survival of democracy’.
Sampson, a former Commissioner, and former lawmaker in the state made the remark last weekend at Watbridge Hotel, Uyo, where he joined members of Uyo Book Club in their September reading session to pay tributes to Akwa Ibom State at 33.
In his message to the people and government of Akwa Ibom state, Sampson paid tributes to the founding fathers of the State and others who have saddled various leadership positions for maintaining the unity of the people. He also seized the occasion to call for selfless contributions to the development of the state irrespective of the political and cultural divide, with particular attention to diversification of the economy and strengthening of the private sector in order to spread the wealth and reduce dependency on government or crude oil.
According to him, “we can diversify the various flanks of the economy because a weak economy put pressure on democracy, but a buoyant economy puts a safety belt against rebellion, against tension that forms distraction, so we need to put in place a vibrant economy to serve as a safety belt for democracy. And the way to do it is to diversify”.
Applauding Governor Udom Emmanuel for his effort at improving the economy of the state he said “the government of Udom Emmanuel is working very hard to diversify. Ibom Air is one strong statement that we have taken bold steps to diversify. And through Ibom Air, Akwa Ibom has won the respect of not just Nigeria but the world. Ibom Air is a very bold step at diversification”.
“Agriculture is also key. In times like this, we must also explore the opportunities in agriculture and that will not be left for government alone, everybody must now become a farmer in this state if we must feed ourselves. Udom Emmanuel’s commitment to industrialize the state and strengthen the private sector is also well recognized because we need a vibrant private sector to help drive growth”. He added.
Earlier, the convener of Uyo Book Club and ace communicator, Dr. Udeme Nana in his opening remarks called for stock-taking on the journey to statehood and experiences so far in Akwa Ibom’s 33 years of existence.
Nana opened the floor by reading a poem he titled, ‘A song for Akwa Ibom’, narrating the history, odyssey of the Akwa Ibom people, and eulogizing the state and her past leaders for their effort at rapidly developing the state. He read, “… at 33, Akwa Ibom, Christened to celebrate the vastness of the Almighty Stands safe and majestic Rearing, roaring like a hungry lion. Her potentials offer immense possibilities for land, air, and sea. At 33, Akwa Ibom is safe like an oasis of peace Promising like youth full of vigour Poised to fulfill his mission”, Nana road
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of a birthday cake to Ekong Sampson who recently marked his birthday.