By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday launched the rebranded Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps, with a pledge that the security of lives and property in the State is now non-negotiable.
A total of 177 salon cars and vehicles equipped with necessary communication gadgets, 377 motorcycles, 377 helmets, 4,000 bicycles, metal detectors for ensuring that illegal weapons are not smuggled into public places, among other operational equipment were handed over to the Corps by the Governor.
Speaking at the official launch held at Agege Stadium, Governor Ambode said the move was another giant step towards enhancing security all over the state and a vital part of the ongoing efforts of his administration to reform the security and justice sector.
The Governor, who on August 15, 2016 assented to the law that created the Neighbourhood Safety Corps, said the Corps had been designed to provide a second layer of policing in order to ensure that the State and communities are more secure.
He acknowledged the fact that the Nigerian Police had been very supportive to the State Government especially in fighting crime, but that the need for the Neighbourhood Corps arose from the identified security challenges confronting the State due to huge population, adding that the members of the Corps would complement police especially in areas of community policing.
“Let me, however, make it abundantly clear that the Neighbourhood Safety Corps is not in any way in competition with the regular Police Force.
“In actual fact, they are expected to assist and complement the Police by providing useful intelligence for crime prevention and to facilitate the arrest of perpetrators of criminal activities in our communities,” Governor Ambode said.
He added that in realization of the fact that nothing can be more important in law enforcement than educating the people in charge of enforcing the law, the rebranded Neighbourhood Corps have been trained and equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills to complement the good work of the Nigerian Police.
He said in addition to the induction on orthodox community policing techniques, the Corps were also trained on how to mediate disputes and the art of negotiating for peaceful resolution; balancing communal interest in resolving disputes and proactive policing engagement instead of reactive policing.
“Special hotlines have also been created direct to the Executive Secretary and senior management of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency for easy communication with our communities in the event of any crime.
“Any valuable information given to the Corps will attract handsome rewards from the State Government. I therefore call on all Lagosians to join hands with us to say a final NO to crime in our State.
“All these equipment have been made possible through the judicious use of tax payers’ money and funds from the State Lottery Fund for good causes. Please continue to pay your taxes for a better Lagos.
“I am very happy to state that through this Safety Corps initiative the State Government has created over 7,000 jobs for officers of the Corps, artisans and other support staff. Job creation is at the heart of economic prosperity and we remain fully committed to a more prosperous Lagos for our citizens,” the Governor said.
The Governor, however, charged the Corps not to indulge in brutalizing citizens, but that they should exercise lot of restraint, patience, understanding and maturity while carrying out their duties.
Supreme Court Affirms Ahmad Lawan as APC Yobe North Senatorial Candidate
By Dipo Olowookere
The president of the senate, Mr Ahmad Lawan, has been affirmed as the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Yobe North Senatorial District.
At a ruling delivered on Monday, February 6, 2023, the Supreme Court nullified the candidacy of Mr Bashir Machina.
Mr Machina and Mr Lawan had been at loggerhead over the party’s ticket for the slot.
The Senate President had contested the APC presidential primary along with the eventual winner of the exercise, Mr Bola Tinubu, and was said to have pushed forward Mr Machina as a placeholder.
However, after he lost in his bid to become the presidential candidate of the party, he turned to Mr Machina, who refused to back down, stressing that it was his turn to represent the senatorial district at the National Assembly and that the Senate President never participated in the party’s primary.
The number three citizen of the country had earlier accepted his fate, but his party took the matter up until today’s judgement, which has restored his hopes of remaining in the upper chamber of the parliament.
Justice Centus Nweze, in the lead judgement, faulted the approach of Mr Machina in commencing the suit at the Federal High Court Damaturu division by way of originating summons and without oral evidence to prove allegations of fraud.
Boss Mustapha Not Working Against Tinubu—APC Group
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A support group of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) known as the APC Mandate Defenders (AMD) has denied claims that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, was working against the presidential candidate of the party, Mr Bola Tinubu.
In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of APC Mandate Defenders, Mr Ifeanyi Emeka, the organisation said Mr Mustapha supports the candidacy of the former Governor of Lagos.
He stated that the allegations made against the SGF by another support group of the ruling party, Concerned APC Stakeholders (CAS), were false, describing Mr Mustapha as a well-respected party leader who has great respect and close relationship with Mr Tinubu right from when he was the Deputy National Chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for Northern Region and would not engage in any real or imaginary plot to sabotage the electoral chances of the APC and its candidate.
According to him, the SGF is preoccupied with the task of meeting the demands of the transitional period, which mostly rests on his office as a frontline secretariat for the presidency as the administration gradually winds down and does not have the time to work against Mr Tinubu.
AMD asked CAS to tell Nigerians how following due process in board appointments for federal government agencies amounts to sabotaging the electoral chances of the party and its candidate in the forthcoming presidential election.
Recall that the SGF had advised Nigerians to be wary of scammers who use his name and office to dupe people while promising them non-existing government appointments.
“Therefore, we urge Nigerians and party members across the federation to ignore the allegation against Boss Mustapha as he cannot be forced into providing appointments to people by threats of blackmails as such responsibility rests squarely on the desk of Mr President and Commander-in-Chief.
“Associating such frustration with the campaigns of the presidential candidate of our great party, Senator Bola Tinubu, by CAS is a diversionary tactic against the overall interest of our party and Nigeria as a nation,” a part of the statement said.
Violent Protest Erupts in Ibadan Over Naira Scarcity
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
There are reports of a violent protest in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, over the scarcity of old and new Naira notes, Business Post has gathered.
It was learned that residents of the ancient city are venting their anger over the hardship caused by the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the federal government.
The central bank redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes and asked citizens to return their old banknotes because they would cease to be legal tender.
However, since the introduction of the new currency notes in circulation on December 15, 2022, many Nigerians have not been able to withdraw their money from banks, fuelling anger in the land.
On Friday afternoon, some residents of Ibadan, especially in Iwo Road, took to the streets to express their frustration at the development, which is coming at a time consumers have to queue for petrol.
They had bonfires on the road and disrupted business activities in some areas of the city.
Recall that today, the Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, announced the suspension of his campaign activities over the scarcity of Naira and fuel.
Also on Friday, the Governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) met with President Muhammadu Buhari to appeal to him to change his mind on the Naira swap policy because of the effect on the people and the 2023 general elections starting later this month.
The President had earlier been asked not to show up in Kano State because of fears of a violent protest over the development. After the deadline was moved forward, the Governor of the state, Mr Abdullahi Ganduje, said he was safe to visit the ancient city.
However, during his visit to Kano, there were reports of a demonstration, with a chopped stoned by some residents of the state and convoys attacked by angry protesters.
The government claimed the protest was not directed at President Buhari, while the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said otherwise.
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