The former Intelligence Chief in the Nigerian Army said, the Army lacked modern equipment and training to fight insurgency and other forms of criminalities.
As the 2019 general elections draw close amid heightened insecurity, how do you intend to tackle insecurity differently from the way the current government is doing?
I am going to tackle insecurity from two major fronts which are going to be quite a departure from the style the present government is adopting. Like I always say, we are going to tackle insecurity of terrorism in the Northeast, Nigeria. I am going to have it from the domestic political economy and international political economy. We are going to be looking at our military approach. We are going to be strengthening our armed forces. We are looking at retooling and re-equipping our armed forces, changing our inventory to modern inventory that is required for the 21st century asymmetric kind of war fight. Of course, as it is today, most of the insurgents are trained in modern-day fighting techniques. Terrorists use very modern armaments and so never in our history should terrorists be better armed than our armed forces and we should not allow ragtag army while terrorists are better equipped than them. So when I become President, I am going to re-kit our army in tandem with the 21st-century requirements.
Terrorism anywhere in the world is not fought alone by the affected country, but it seems Nigeria is left alone fighting its own terrorists. Other nations of the world are not interested in assisting Nigeria. What do you think went wrong?
That is what I was talking about in terms of the domestic political economy and an international political economy. If you look at the world today in balance of power situation in international economy, you will find that Nigeria happens to be disadvantaged. Recall when President Barack Obama was in power and Nigerian leadership under Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan asked for arms to be purchased from the United States, we were denied. We went to the United Kingdom to purchase arms, United States prevailed on the UK to deny us and they did. We went to Israel, they denied, we went to South Africa they denied as a result of pressure mounted by the United States, so Nigeria went to the black market and the thing burst. So it is important for Nigeria leadership to understand the interplay of domestic political economy and international political economy when it comes to seeking cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
So if you eventually become the president, would you be doing this immediately in order for the country to enjoy cooperation of other nations in the fight against terrorism.
Your foreign policy has to be astute. Your degree and level of diplomacy have to be in a manner that attracts nations to your nation. We have what we call not only member of international communities, but international non-governmental organisations which go a long way to ensuring that you have relationship with other countries in the international arena. All of these are within the ambit of international political economy.
What legacy would you be remembered for in the next 20 years after you have left presidency for instance?
My legacy would be known for industrialization of the country. Industrialization and empowerment of the youth segment of the society. The entrenchment of the human capacity by a way of modernized educational system. We will put up structures to ensure every child is captured in our educational system and to ensure that never again would there be an illiterate Nigerian.
Has President MuhammaduBuhari led government done anything good that is approved of you?
Yes, if truth be told, this government is passionately fighting corruption and in my view, they are succeeding. They are fighting corruption in every sphere of the system and any right thinking Nigerian should agree to that.
Ahead of 2019 elections, how do you react to the trend of vote buying by some politicians and how can this menace be tackled?
It is important Nigerians should know that the phenomenon of vote buying is an insult to their humanity, an aberration to their humanity, and to their individuality. Why should politicians buy your vote when he needs to earn your vote? I must say that the political class is culpable in vote buying and vote selling phenomenon. A politician that comes to buy your vote is not interested in your welfare. Nigerians should know that kind of politician has made democracy and governance in Nigeria transactional. That is to say, buying and selling, the same way one buys tomatoes and pepper and it means voter has been reduced to a commodity. Nigerians should know that they have more value and worth than that. They should say no to vote buying and any contestant that comes to them for vote buying should be immediately given zero scorecard.
Is the Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria envisaging alliances with other political parties in order to deepen your base ahead of 2019 elections given the fact that GDPN is presenting you as presidential candidate for the first time?
The problem of some political parties in Nigeria is somewhat lack of ideologies. As a new entrant into the political space, we have come with a very strong political ideology; we believe in our ideology and for us, it is a new thing altogether. We have come into politics to play politics of 21st century; politics of development. Politics that would serve as a counter-culture to the existing political culture of underdevelopment. Ours is about bringing a revolution into the political space. We are an ideologically based party. We stand by our ideology and we can align with parties that share similar ideology with us.
What actually do you think went wrong with this country that arouses your deep concern?
You are a young man and you may not know what happened in the past. So many things happened. We have experienced a trajectory of awkward experience and a downward slide in our social life and the economy. The livelihood of an average Nigerian in an international arena has been on a downward spiral since the 80s to where we are now. If you go through your history very well, you discover that we are not where we used to be. Indeed, we are throttling towards an abyss. There is insecurity everywhere. There is the inability of an average Nigerian to push his life forward and the lack of affordable accommodation everywhere in the country. Massive unemployment with over 20 million people should give somebody like me sleepless nights. That is a huge percentage. With about 1.8million Internally Displace Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria as at today, that does not speak well of a country like ours.
If you ask me, ”when I become President, what will I like to do” it’s like rebuilding Nigeria all over again. We are haemorrhaging and bleeding in every area of societal life. Now, my administration will be looking at restoring security of lives and properties of Nigerians so that they can sleep with their eyes closed. Security is a primary responsibility of government as captured in the 1999 constitution as amended.
The other thing we are going to be looking at is education which is very key for me. For me as an individual, I weep and I consider as a denial of fundamental human right of any citizen that is deprived of education. When you talk about a country of 200 million people, we should be talking about 200 million highly developed minds and what I mean is with sound education. Unfortunately, the percentage of illiterate people is within a neighbourhood of 60% of the entire population and this is not good enough. The level of educated people is directly proportional to the development of that country. When we are talking of building infrastructure, minds must be developed to maintain that infrastructure, if not, you find out that all your investment in that infrastructure will not be sustainable. Education is key. Educate a man and you have started the building blocks of a nation, because he will know how to comport himself, even, the consequences of population explosion.
The history of governance in Nigeria has been the history of protecting the interest of cabals than delivering dividends of democracy. How would you strike a balance between these two as President?
They are cabals everywhere in the world. In any power system, cabals exist. But it takes the personality of any leader to break through any cabals. It takes the vision, the tenacity and temerity to break through cabals that stand in the way of interest of the nation. Who are those that stand in the way of a leader in the guise of cabals? You are voted in as a president and you must not allow cabals to stop you from discharging your responsibilities.
2019 UTME: JAMB speaks on release of result to candidates, gives reasons for delay
The board’s Head, Media and Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.
According to him, candidates should not be carried away by what he described as rumours and misleading information in some sections of the media, especially the social media.
“The board want to distance itself from such rumours about releasing the results of candidates of the just concluded UTME and steps to check these results as being speculated.
“Candidates should disregard this information as it is not true. It is not emanating from the board.
“No results have been released yet. Yes the results are all ready, but we are yet to release them because they are still being ratified.
“The board is carrying out all the checks and balances regarding these results by way of viewing the CCTV camera as well as attend to all findings brought before it while the examination lasted.
“The release of the result will be publicised as soon as we are through with all the board has set out to achieve. We will let the public know
“Candidates should not bother themselves going to any cyber cafe to check any result. Our result check has been standardised. We will forward the results to the respective telephone numbers of those candidates who are deserving of it,” he said.
He said that the board was intensifying efforts to ensure that results of deserving candidates were released by next week.
Benjamin further explained that it was not also true that the board was deducting some marks from candidates with proven cases of examination malpractice.
According to him, once the board establishes evidence of any form of examination malpractice, it will cancel outrightly, the result of such candidate rather than deduct marks.
“If we establish any case of infraction or examination malpractise being carried out in any centre too, such centre is shut down and the entire results of candidates who wrote in that centre from the commencement of the examination, which is Aprill 11 to the end will automatically be cancelled.
“Such affected candidates are rescheduled immediately for the examination in another centre as was the case in some centres in Abia,” he said.
He added that the board made several arrests of persons caught trying to undermine the integrity of the examination and process, while it lasted, just like it shut down centres that fell short of standard.
Benjamin said that Prof. Ishaq Oloyede led JAMB has a zero tolerance for any form of corruption, which included examination malpractice.
“Right now, we have just read from a major national daily that an ex-JAMB staff is about to be arraigned by the EFCC over an alleged diversion of about N100 million belonging to the board.
“Let me make it clear that this said case was not during the tenure of the current JAMB Registrar.
“Infact, one of the major guide lines of the current board is total transparency and accoubtability, coupled with its ooen door policy,”, Benjamin told NAN
Police arrest 5 traffic robbery suspects in Lagos
Elkana said in a statement that the suspects were arrested by the police patrol team on surveillance along Oshodi/Apapa express way.
“The policemen sighted some armed bandits at Toyota bus stop, under Daleko bridge, taking advantage of the traffic congestion, robbing motorists and other unsuspecting members of the public of their valuables such as laptops, cell phones and money.
“Three suspects namely; Daniel Ani, 19; Akinbode Muiz, 17, and Oluwasegun Emmanuel, 24, were arrested. They confessed to being responsible for traffic robbery along Mushin and its environs.
“They confessed to have stolen numerous phones and bags from different victims as well as a bag containing the sum of N25,000 belonging to one Oyebanji Ibukun of No 14, waheed Ologunju street, Okeafa Isolo before they were apprehended by the Police,” he said.
The statement added that two knives and cutlasses were recovered from the suspects and that investigation was ongoing after which the suspects would be charged to court.
The spokesman also said that two suspects namely Olalekan Taoreed, 20 of No.20, Sunday street, Ijora Badia and Adeniyi Okunloye of No. 25, Alaba Road, Suru Alaba were arrested by the police on April 19, and that one Samsung Duos cell phone stolen from one of the victims was recovered from them.
He said their arrest by the surveillance patrol team attached to Orile Police Station followed a distress call at 8 p.m.that some traffic robbers were operating at Alafia area along Lagos Badagry Express Way.
According to him, “One big sharp cutlass which was used in inflicting injuries on their victims was recovered from them. The suspects confessed to being responsible for traffic robberies along Orileand environs.
“Investigation is ongoing and suspects will be charged to Court, ” Elkana said.
He said the Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, had warned that with the deployment of surveillance teams across the state, tough times awaited traffic robbers.
“The command will continue to make Lagos State difficult for criminal elements to operate. The commissioner calls on Lagosians to be vigilant at all times,” he said.
Niger-Delta chiefs, elders warn military against invading home of monarchs
The body warned that the incident should be the last time the military would unwantonly invade the home of a traditional ruler in the region.
It also urged the military to seek a way of pacifying the region for the attack on one of its traditional rulers.
The Chairman of the Forum, High Chief Harry Omubo, made this call, weekend, at the palace of King Ateke, at Okochiri on Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Omobo said: “We were not happy when we got the news of the invasion of your palace by military men. We are standing against this kind of marginalization and intimidation.
“Your reign as a King is important to us, the South-South Chiefs and elders. And we have come to condemn this very act by the military in its entirety.
“We want to state that this should be the last time the military will under political guise denigrate our traditional stool. Let this kind of thing never happen again.
“They cannot invade the home of an emir or any other prominent person in the North. Because of your leadership qualities, we have decided that you become our patron.”
Responding, King Ateke, thanked the chiefs and elders for their solidarity, stressing that he would continue to work towards the development of the region.
Ateke said, “When this incident happened, The King thought Niger Deltans will not make any move. Now I know that I have people.
“This is a trial period. In the bible all kings were warlords and that is why God chose him at this time.”
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