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Boko Haram Terrorists May Put Their Flag In Aso Rock Some Day— Pat Utomi

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A renowned economist, Prof Pat Utomi has said the current security challenges will bring multiple problems to the country unless they are tackled head-on.

He predicted a gloomy future for Nigeria in the face of the current insecurity affecting the country, stressing it could have adverse effects on employment, food security and other socio-economic aspects.

Utomi said this in an interview with the Sun News Online.

“It is very sad in many dimensions. There is the immediate dimension of the loss of life, the grave mental stress that it causes citizens, because the aspect of not knowing what will happen the next minute is probably a fate as bad as dying, but it has manifested in the form of challenge to food security in the country.”

“Many people cannot freely go to their farms and it means that food inflation which has gone over 20 per cent is not a surprise. It means that raw material input into manufacturing would be affected, that means that more people could be laid off from their jobs. Where we already have 43 per cent rate of unemployment, and youth unemployment in excess of 45 per cent,” Utomi lamented.

The Economics expert also said that the insecurity in Nigeria can be completely prevented, but lamented that our crop of politicians are too self-centered to the plight of the masses.

He said the nation’s capital, Abuja might be hijacked by the Boko Haram terrorists as the security challenges growing unchecked in the country.

“So, these are really troubling signals, but it’s even sadder that the security issues are totally preventable, but we allowed ourselves to travel this path. Our politics has been unfortunately not one of deep thinking, one of very short-term orientation, by a majority of political apparatus driven by narcissism, rather than service to Nigerians.”

“We allowed these issues to continue to grow, pretending and deceiving ourselves that they were going to get better, but today these issues have grown to threaten our lives and safety. With the way it is going, we can wake up tomorrow to see that the insurgents have mounted the Boko Haram flag in Aso Rock.”

“All of these things were predicted, but because of corruption, our eyes are blindfolded to these things. We have also unwittingly collaborated in bringing the situation to where we are today,” he added.

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Politics

Young Nigerians Must Join Politics To Make Difference, Osinbajo Advises

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has told young Nigerians to participate in politics to help make a difference.

Speaking on Wednesday at a virtual forum where he interacted with Nigerian Fellows of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, he observed that the way to transform society is largely dependent on the actions and decisions of those who occupy public offices.

According to him, this is why young people in Nigeria must get involved in politics.

Osinbajo stated: “You need to go the extra length if you are not already involved, get involved in politics—while a lot can be achieved in civil society, the government still holds the ace in terms of capacity and resources to bring social goods to the largest numbers.

“Besides, being deciders instead of pressure groups at the table in policy formulation are hugely different positions. The consummation of our great ideas to transform our societies ultimately will depend on ‘those politicians’ as we sometimes derisively describe them.”

A statement issued by his spokesman, Laolu Akande further quoted the Vice President as saying: “African nations and especially our country, cannot afford to have its best minds and most committed social activists remain only in the civil space. No, we simply can’t afford it, you have to get involved in politics. You have to be in the position to make the difference on the scale that is required.”

“Of course, there are many who will not be involved in politics but those that are inclined should, and there will be many challenges even in the winning or getting heard in politics. But I want to say to you that it should be an objective that you should set for yourselves, to get involved at whatever level of politics so that you can make the difference on the scale that is required.”

Speaking further about the potentials of young Nigerians to effect the desired change in their communities, the Vice President described the efforts of young African innovators as “Africa’s most exciting story – the story of a present and future that could be steered by our continent’s incredibly talented and optimistic young men and women.”

Commending the innovation and creativity of the fellows, Prof. Osinbajo said “within any generation, only a few wholeheartedly take on that challenge – the challenge of building a society. Most believe that the task is for someone else and that such endeavors cannot pay the bills.”

Recalling his days in civil society engagements and later in politics as Lagos State Attorney-General, the Vice President noted that “it took public office for me to be able to get the scale of change that is required to make a difference.”

Osinbajo further said: “Without public office, I would have remained a pressure group activist, I would have done some nice things, but I wouldn’t have been able to make the changes that my country required.

“I was once where you were. I was part of several civil society groups at the time. I joined the first civil society group when I was 24, I was teaching at the time. I also co-founded the anti-corruption group, Integrity, and then Convention on Business Integrity (which is still existing today and they function out of Abuja and Lagos).

“I was chair of the Legal Research and Development Centre, where we worked on civil rights issues and legal defense for the poor. We did a couple of legal defence initiatives, we got funding from donors and tried to do the best we could.”

He added: “If I count the numbers that we did all the years it will be around maybe a hundred or so. We achieved some good, but compared to the scale of the problem, it was really a little.

“But in 1999 came politics, and I was appointed Attorney General of Lagos. With that platform, we took on corruption in the Lagos judiciary and set a model. We reviewed the issues of corruption in the Lagos Judiciary and how to address it. From remuneration to discipline and we were able to put in place an anti-corruption framework that has lasted several years.

“The reason why I make this point is that other States after what we did in Lagos copied that very example. So, many States improved remuneration and a wide variety of things.”

Osinbajo stated further that “the second thing we did in Lagos at the time is that we established the Citizens Rights Department. For the first time in the history of our country, a department was established in the Ministry of Justice for the rights of citizens.

“That was important because the Ministry of Justice is not just a ministry of law and order, it is a Ministry of Justice for the people. And that department had what was called the Office of the Public Defender, and that was a concept we borrowed from some US States and we were able to do legal defence, the government provided the funding, for thousands of Lagosians.

“But the more interesting part of that story is that almost every state in Nigeria adopted the Citizens’ Rights Department, adopted the Office of the Public Defender. Now, go back to when I was an activist working in the Legal Research and Development Centre, where we tried to do some work on legal defence. We did a few but certainly couldn’t achieve the scale that we achieved when we were in public service.”

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Declare Bandits Terrorists, El-Rufai Tells FG

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has called on the Federal Government to proscribe bandits as terrorists.

El-Eufai said declaring bandits terrorists would help the Nigerian military “kill” them within the confines of international laws.

He made the call at the presentation of the Kaduna State Security Incidents Report for the Third Quarter of 2021 in Kaduna on Wednesday.

According to the governor, “We in the Kaduna State Government, have always aligned with the declaration of bandits as insurgents and terrorists.

“We have written letters to the Federal Government since 2017, asking for this declaration because it is the declaration that will allow the Nigerian military to attack and kill these bandits without any major consequences in international law.

“So, we support the resolution by the National Assembly and we are going to follow up with a letter of support, for the Federal Government to declare these bandits and insurgents as terrorists so that they will be fair game for our military. This is the view of the Kaduna State Government.”

Kaduna State has been one of those affected by the activities of banditry.

Students, religious leaders have been abducted and killed by bandits in the state.

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Ortom Asks Fulanis To Speak Out Against Foreign Invasion

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has asked Fulanis, indigenous in Nigeria to speak out against the invasion of communities in Nigeria by their kinsmen from foreign countries.

Governor Ortom spoke on Wednesday at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi when he received a delegation of Nasarawa State Traditional Rulers on behalf of the State Government on a condolence visit.

The delegation was led by the Emir of Keffi, Dr Shehu Chindo.

The Nasarawa State Traditional council visited the state to condole Governor Ortom and the Benue State traditional council over the yet-to-be announced death of the Ochi’Doma, Elias Ikoyi Obekpa.

Governor Ortom explained that the Tiv people, Fulanis and other Nigerians had lived together peacefully until foreign Fulanis were allowed to move into the country unchecked to cause the current violence being witnessed in the country.

On the ranching law, Governor Ortom explained that the law is a win-win for herders and farmers as it prohibits open grazing and cattle rustling, stressing that the law does not spare any offender from prosecution, including natives.

The Governor expressed appreciation for the visit, stressing that as brothers, it was incumbent on them to sympathize or rejoice with one another when the time permits, the reason he attended the coronation of the Emir of Keffi, Dr Chindo.

Governor Ortom acknowledged his Nasarawa State counterpart, Engineer Abdullahi Sule for his efforts to ensure peace between people of the two states, saying the traditional institution also have a great role to play in that regard.

Leader of the delegation and Emir of Keffi, Dr Chindo, who also recalled his early days in Makurdi where he attended his primary education, presented a condolence letter to Governor Ortom from the Governor of Nasarawa State, saying the news of Och’Idoma was an unfortunate incident for Benue, Nasarawa and the entire country.

He expressed hope that the “conflict entrepreneurs who are benefitting from the farmer-herder crises will one day regret,” stressing that the Tiv and Fulanis were made by God and cannot separate.

The Emir also expressed appreciation to Governor Ortom for personally attending his coronation and the support he gave for the occasion, even as he prayed God to guide him through his administration.

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