Alhaji Yerima Shettima is the president of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF). In this interview with ANAYO EZUGWU, he speaks on the state of insecurity, community policing and 2023 presidency, among others
As a stakeholder in the Nigerian project, what is your take on the level of insecurity across the country?
It is disturbing, very disturbing and very alarming.
The insecurity has become so serious that you can’t even imagine how things happen in that manner. And you begin to ask yourself whether we are in a country or we are in a banana republic. Because it is only in a banana republic that things happen in this form as if there is no law enforcement agency.
Things happen to an extent as if the law enforcement agencies themselves admit that this is a critical challenge before them. And it all appears even when they don’t say it openly, they are being overstretched.
There is no part of this country you can say today is crime-free. Free in the sense that we don’t have these major security crisis. There are some minor crimes happening in other places but in the case of Nigeria, nothing is impossible as it is today. It is disturbing and very alarming.
The situation seems to have graduated from school abduction to assassinated attempts on some politicians like Governor Ortom and Soludo, do you think that it is time for the federal government to declare a state of emergency on insecurity?
How many times would they declare a state of emergency in the country because they always declare it? President Buhari that I know has declared a state of emergency on two occasions to the best of my knowledge.
The service chiefs have done the same in the same manner but the question is how far and how effective is those issues. A time has come that we cannot continue with just only verbal talk without supporting it with action.
So for me, whether declare or not declare the fact of the matter is that we are in a big trouble and the earlier we realize that the better for the country.
And to that extent, I’m of the view that beyond just saying the rhetoric, we must be seen to work to ensure that those things as regard to what they plan is being worked out so that at the end of the day we can now begin to have hope.
But under these circumstances, it would be so impossible for the country to make any meaningful impact.
What do you think should be the way forward out of this insecurity situation?
The way forward is that I’m of the view because I have always been an advocate of restructuring. I’m of the view that we cannot continue to allow the centre to be this strong that the centre has been overstretched. I’m of the view that as part of the strategy to overcome this issue of insecurity, we must devise other means like is done in other developed nations.
We cannot continue to manage one centre police without having a way to decentralize it in such a way to have state police, community policing or whatever so that all these things would be all-inclusive where every Nigerian will partake because today the situation has become so bad and not because I’m happy with what I’m seeing but the fact of the matter is that at the beginning the elite saw the whole thing as if it is the problem of the poor.
But today, unfortunately, the elites have become the soft target of those bandits, criminals, terrorists and so on and so forth. So we must all rise up to the occasion and stand firm irrespective of where we come from, let us fight our common enemy which is this crime going on.
The earlier we do so the better for us otherwise we will wake up one day and there will be no country and we will fall into anarchy in such a way that nobody would have envisaged that. Some of the damages we never envisage are likely going to happen because you can only talk about a country when there is peace.
And when there is no peace, of course, all man would take responsibility for himself.
You just said something important which is state police there is a model in Kano which have worked in that society and again the Amotekun established by southwest governors and the criticisms that faced it. Which model do you think is the best when it comes to state police?
I’m not saying it should be independent in do way it is done like this madness all over the country. What I think is that we should enact law through the National Assembly that would allow for the state police or community policing so that everybody will partake in it.
The states would have the power to make their own police or the communities’ power to do their own in the same matter so that at the end of the day they would complement the effort of the central police and other security agencies.
At the end of the day, Nigerians can for once say thank God we can sleep with our two eyes closed. But as it is today, how many Nigerians sleep comfortably even the common people do sleep with their two eyes close. For how long do we continue doing this
A lot of Nigerians are blaming the president because APC as a party has a document by Governor El-Rufai committee and the 2014 Confab report and the president is not ready to implement any of the reports, do you think that all the blames stops at President Buhari’s desk?
Of course, it stops at the president’s desk that is the truth.
But even the man who actually organized the Confab himself, if he was serious to implement the report, he would in the first place adopt it and send it to the National Assembly for them to ratify it and adapt and make use of it.
Why was it impossible for President Jonathan to do that, he did it. So if President Buhari at the end of the day refuses to adopt it, I have not seen anything wrong not because I even believe in it in the first instance because I’m one of those that felt strongly that there are more to it.
The President Obasanjo Confab report of 2004 was a third-term agenda, it failed. The one that Jonathan did to an extent some of the issues raised became pro-Jonathan at the end of the day.
Only God knows what happened. Some of us were of the view that at the beginning of the Confab, we felt they have not actually gone down to the people because they sat down in Abuja and select their friends and those they feel are their well-wishers.
They come together and sat down and had some deliberations, then after doing that some of us had reservations and of course we kicked against it at the beginning not because we feel what came out of it was not right but because we felt due processes were not followed and we became very disturbed about it because it is about legitimacy. It is not just constitutional making or the constitutional drafting process, some of us felt strongly that the legitimacy in the first place, we lost it.
There is a difference between a legal process and what we call legitimacy. Though I’m not a lawyer but to an extent I know little about the law. So we challenged the legitimacy of that Confab at that time and this was the result of it.
So if the Buhari government today refuse to adopt that Confab report, it won’t be a story to me as far as I’ concerned. For me there are to it, let have a government that is all-inclusive where everybody will partake and be part of and find a lasting solution to the problem.
What then happens to the El-Rufai committee report on restructuring of Nigeria, should Buhari government pursue that or should we organize a new Confab?
Even the El-Rufai committee report came out with the resolution that there is a need to have a community policing or state police. So why are we foot-dragging the whole issue? Even though it was organized by APC but for whatever reason, they have spoken, I don’t know why it is impossible for the government to adopt the resolution.
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, do you support the idea of zoning the presidency to the south?
I don’t support the idea of zoning. The way to go about it is that we should respect the constitution and do it according to the constitution.
The zoning formula was just an arrangement of few individuals or in an elitist manner and they do it the way they want it. Nigeria has come of age and we cannot continue to do things over and over and expect a different result.
This idea of zoning has not in any way favour any place. When Obasanjo was president what did he do for the southwest? When Jonathan came to power, what did he do, though Jonathan came as a child of circumstances?
But what about Buhari, today the north suffers more under the Buhari regime. With the insecurity, bandits and all sort of crimes today, no part of the north is even safe. It is as if we are in a war. Some of you in the southern part of the country or you stay in Abuja you think Abuja is in the north. Abuja is not. Go to the north and see what insecurity is all about. Go to the north and see what poverty is all about.
Go to the north and see the level of unemployed youths in the streets and look at those from the onset who were never privileged to go to school and they are just there. You imagine what kind of society we are going to have in the nearest future, may God forbid, I just can’t imagine what is likely to happen in the nearest future.
So however you look at it, for me we have come of age that we can no longer respect any zoning formula. It is about democracy and we run constitutional democracy and if it is about constitutional democracy, why don’t we do exactly what democracy is all about. Democracy is a game of number, come up with your best eleven from the south, let the north bring their best eleven lets us try it and see.
But one thing you can rest assured of is that we have made our position very clear that never again we will have any support for any older person for any political office. We will ensure that we occupy the political space with our generation and that is exactly what we are doing.
We have gone round and we have reached out to our people in the southern part of the country and we have been talking, never again we would support anybody above 60 years to become a president of this country.
Anybody that is above 60 years should forget becoming president of this country. Never again we would allow this older generation to continue to bastardize the system under whatever guise.
But the concern is that those in the older generation are those with the financial power to contest for the presidency, how are you going to go about it?
Before we get to this conclusion, we have had a lot of consultations. We have decided to task ourselves. We have decided that we will contribute money on our own and work with like-minds. If it was done for Buhari where people organized themselves and funded his campaign even at that level and today it becomes a different story. And because I’m sure this is not what Nigerians bargain for that we are seeing today, you can rest assured that we would task ourselves. At least some of us are well to do, we are not political thugs that wait for anybody to bring money and give us. We are self-made and we have what it takes to also make our contributions to society. We will bring the little we have. Imagine the number if we can constitute over 65 per cent of the voting population, certainly, you can be rest assured that if we can have 40 per cent to contribute N1000 it would go a long way.
Credit to Newstelegraph
Information Ministry Recalls CCT’s Media Officer Who Wrote ‘Blunder’ Statement Defending Umar Danladi
An official of the Ministry of Information and Culture posted to the Code of Conduct Tribunal has been recalled.
Head, Press and Public Relations of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Ibraheem Al-Hassan was recalled over the blundering statement he recently issued in the aftermath of the assault incident involving the tribunal’s chairman, Danladi Umar.
According to Premium Times, Mr Al-Hassan, who was deployed to the CCT as his place of primary assignment in 2013, had his last day at the tribunal at Jabi, Abuja, on Friday, following the ministry’s directive recalling him.
He handed over to the Chief Registrar of the CCT, Abdumalik Shaibu, while departing on Friday.
”He was recalled as the head of media unit of the CCT on Friday and asked to hand over to the Chief Registrar of the tribunal.
The CCT’s Chief Registrar, Mr Shaibu, on Tuesday, confirmed to our reporter that Mr Al-Hassan had been recalled by the Ministry of Information.
“He was posted to us to the CCT by the Ministry of Information and he has been with us (CCT) for a very long time.
“He is not our member of staff, he was posted here, but they recalled him on Friday and, they have posted somebody else here,” Mr Shaibu said.
Asked if the new person has resumed duties, the official said, “the new person has not resumed because of some personal reasons. The person would likely resume this week.”
Mr Al-Hassan had drawn public outrage not only for the numerous errors contained in his March 30 statement, but also for the ethnic slur that was inferred from his claim in the statement that Mr Umar, who was captured in a video clip assaulting a security guard at an Abuja plaza, was the one that was mobbed by ‘Biafran boys’.
Mr Al-Hassan had issued the controversial statement in defence of Mr Umar who was seen in the viral video footage kicking and slapping Clement Sagwak, a security guard at Banex Plaza, Wuse 2, Abuja, on March 29.
In an attempt to justify Mr Umar’s act, the statement issued on March 30, accused Mr Sargwak of being rude during his encounter with the public official on the premises of the plaza.
The statement which was filled with grammatical blunders also alleged that the CCT chairman was mobbed by ‘Biafran boys’, a characterisation that was widely condemned as a slur on an ethnic group.
Mr Al-Hassan’s statement, which has since gone viral, was filled with grammatical blunders such as, “video cliff” instead of “video clip”; “packing lot” instead of “parking lot”; “rode” instead of “rude”; “fixe” instead of “fix.” He also wrote “had went’ instead of ‘‘had gone”.
Nigerians took to the social media to express their dismay at what they described as “offensive” about the content of the release.
Mr Al-Hassan later said he issued the statement under pressure.
Tendering a public apology in a later statement, he said he was under pressure while issuing the statement, adding that the statement was an “unedited draft” that slipped into the public space through a “colleague”.
However, Mr Umar, in whose defence, Mr Al-Hassan had issued the statement, appeared to have doubled down on his earlier claim by insisting that he was mobbed at the scene of assault by people chanting “secessionist, sectional slogans”.
This newspaper had reported how Mr Umar was caught on camera assaulting the security guard, Mr Sargwak an employee of Jul Reliable Guards Services Limited.
In the five minutes video footage that went viral, the tribunal chairman was seen slapping and kicking the 22-year-old, on March 29.
According to witnesses who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES, the altercation was over the space where the CCT chairman parked his car on the premises of the mall.
Despite video evidence, the CCT chairman denied the assault allegation.
Mr Umar’s denial was faulted by witnesses who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES.
The CCT chairman, who accused Mr Sargwak of being rude, also reportedly ordered the arrest of a phone repairer, Peter Onyiuke, with an outlet at the plaza.
Mr Onyiuke was detained without charge for one week allegedly on Mr Umar’s instruction.
He was arrested on March 29 and was only released from the custody of a police station in Wuse Zone 2, Abuja, April 6.
You Can’t be Our Leader, A’Ibom APC stakeholder reject Akpabio as leader
Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in have again rejected Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio as party leader in the state.
A group within the party led by a former military administrator of Rivers and Ogun states, Group Captain Sam Ewang (retd), had last month endorsed Akpabio as APC leader in the state.
But in an enlarged second stakeholders meeting of the party on Sunday at SheerGrace Arena, the party kicked against the unilateral decision of the Ewang group to appoint Akpabio as the party’s leader.
The meeting was attended by National Caretaker Secretary of the APC, Senator John Akpanuodehe and Managing Director of the Oli and Gas Free Trade Zone Authority and Obong Umana Okon Umana.
Others were Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs Senator Ita Enang; Sole administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr.
Akpabio was absent at the meeting but sent his apologies.
In a communiqué at end of the meeting, the stakeholder said: ” That the stakeholders endorse the decision of the State Executive Committee (SEC) to declare as a nullity the unilateral proclamation and announcement of Sen. Godswill Akpabio as the State Party Leader of APC in gross violation of the Party’s Constitution in the unauthorised and illegal Stakeholders meeting of Sunday, March 28, 2021.
That the Party hereby reminds every member and the general public that the State Chairman (or Caretaker Chairman as applicable here) is the Chairman of the State Caucus as provided for in Article 12.9 Sub (i) of the party Constitution (October 2014 As Amended) and remains the Party Leader in the State until further notice”.
They dismissed the insinuation there were factions in the party and urged all leaders from the holding appointive positions to work for the interest and unity of the APC.
NPC advocates adoption of green productivity
There is an urgent need for Nigeria to adopt a green productivity approach to boost the production sector of the economy, the Director-General of the National Productivity Centre, Dr.
Presenting a paper titled ‘Post-COVID-19 Nigerian Economy: The Productivity Imperatives’ at the inauguration of the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) in Owerri, the Imo State capital, Akor explained that coronavirus had inflicted monumental economic and social challenges on the world, and requires innovativeness and craftiness of economic managers to avert economic implosion of countries.
The NPC helmsman said a green productivity approach is an idea that is suitable for economic growth and sustainable development for Nigeria given the desire to grow her non-oil sector as a matter of necessity.
Green Productivity was launched in 1994 in line with the 1992 Earth Summit recommendations that both economic development and environmental protection would be key strategies for sustainable development.
Green Productivity is a new paradigm in sustainable manufacturing where resource conservation and waste minimization constitute the strategy in simultaneously enhancing environmental performance and productivity.
His explanation: “The knowledge and practice of green productivity are therefore very crucial to the diversification drive of the Nigerian government. The basic characteristics of green productivity include environmental compliance by the production system, application of environment-friendly production management system, use of total quality management and continuous improvement techniques as well.”
Akor stressed that the need for productivity movement and economic diversification should be a top government agenda, saying, “productivity imperatives provide a promising future for Nigeria with a knowledge-based economy. As bad as the COVID-19 has been, it is a wake-up call that has challenged us as a people to look closely at agriculture and the manufacturing industry to reduce the total dependence on other countries for all our needs, technology inclusive. The new world order is fast emerging. The way we see the world, work, and interact has changed and Nigeria must not be left behind in the new scheme of things. The current reality and challenges are consequently redefining the way things are done across the globe thereby ushering in the new world order.”
Though the concept of productivity has evolved through time and remains the same irrespective of the type of production, economic or political systems, Akor maintained that the basic concept remains the relationship between output and inputs.
He added: “As a social concept, productivity is seen as an attitude of mind that seeks to continuously improve what already exists. It is based on the conviction that one can do things better today than yesterday and better tomorrow than today. It is a mindset that seeks to continually improve what already exists. It is the will to improve on the present situation, no matter how good it may seem. It aims for a better quality of life for everyone, hence, it is everybody’s business.
As a management concept, productivity improvement is a managed process. It does not happen by accident. A productive organization is efficient in converting the inputs to outputs (products/services) and effective in fulfilling its mission of satisfying expectations of customers and other stakeholders.”
He further stated that as an integrated concept, productivity is the efficiency and effectiveness with which input resources are combined and utilized in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner to produce quality goods and services for the satisfaction of human needs. This is a definition that holistically looks at productivity with keen attention to green productivity and quality in appreciating total productivity.
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