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Details Of Obasanjo, Gumi Meeting Revealed

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Former President Olusegun and Sheikh Abubakar met in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on Sunday.

The meeting, which held at the residence of the former president in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, was part of efforts to find solutions to the menace of banditry, kidnapping, and payment of ransom, among other security threats in the land.

They both demanded that all persons bearing arms illegally must be punished and that special courts should be created to handle cases of banditry, kidnapping, among other crimes.

Gumi’s entourage were Prof. Usman Yusuf, Mallam Tukur Mamu, Dr. Umar Ardo, Dr. Ibrahim Abdullahi, Honourable Suleiman Gumi, Alhaji Suleiman Yakubu and Mallam Buba Mohammed,

Obasanjo received Gumi in the presence of Oba Babajide Bakre, Agura of Gbagura, Abeokuta; Bishop Tunde Akin-Akinsanya, Chairman of Ogun State Christian Association of Nigeria; Sheikh Sa’addallah Alade Bamigbola, Chief Imam of Egbaland; Chief Kenny Martins, Chief Ola Babajide Jaiyeoba; Rev. Tony Ojeshina, Chief Imams of Oke-Ona, Gbagura, Owu and Mr. Vitalis Ortese.

Gumi briefed Obasanjo on the measures and steps he had taken and spearheaded to stem the tide of insecurity and menace of banditry, kidnapping and ransom payment in many parts of the North.

The Islamic scholar, at the meeting, clarified some statements credited to him and insisted his intentions were genuine.

Obasanjo commended Sheikh Gumi for his initiative and encouraged him not to relent in his efforts, while Gumi thanked him for his past services emphasising the special unifying efforts

A statement on Sunday by Obasanjo’s spokesman, Kehinde Akinyemi, made public the details of the meeting.

The participants agreed that the menace of banditry, kidnapping, other crimes and atrocities leading to general insecurity is a nationwide phenomenon.

“We acknowledge that people from different parts of the country and outside the country are involved although some people are more predominantly

“We must not advertently or inadvertently, in words, action or inaction encourage or support criminality. We identified the crisis as micro ethnic conflict between the Fulani and many host communities mainly in the North West.

“We identified the remote causes as educational and economic disparities, and the negative use of religion and ethnicity by unscrupulous politicians.

“Solutions must be seen and provided on short, medium-, and long-term bases and must be composed of stick and carrot for the offender and the vulnerable.

“Nigerians should desist from blame game; desist from ethnicizing crimes; desist from religionizing crimes; desisting from regionalising crimes; respect one another individually, community-wise, locally, ethnically, religiously and socially;

“Show tolerance and accommodation where necessary; condemn criminal acts no matter where it is committed and by whom it is committed in Nigeria; encourage more of carrot solution as may be found necessary; share information at all levels; reject criminality as a way of life for any individual or group in our nation.

“Since the end of the civil war, the military is the strongest and most potent instrument and symbol of national unity that we have and we must keep them so.

“State governments must have adequate means of providing security for their people and as chief executives and chief security officers of their states, they must have the means at their disposal to ensure security for all within their states.

“Federal government must be proactive and secure necessary and updated intelligence to deal with organised crimes and have common policy for the nation. It is not solving the problem when one state goes for negotiation and molly-cuddling of criminals and another one goes for shooting them. Nor should one state go for ransom payment and another one going against.

“Education is one main key to solve the problem in the long run but it must start now. The 14 million children that should be in school and are out of school must be put in school with local authorities, state governments and the federal government working together.

“Wean those who are ready to be weaned out of the bushes and crime, settle and rehabilitate them, give them skills, empower them and let them have employment.

“The hardened criminals must be hard hit with sticks. Unlawful carrying of arms should be very seriously punished. Federal government should take the issue up seriously within ECOWAS to work for a regional solution.

“Every community must be encouraged and empowered to stand firm and strong against criminals. There should be protection and reward covertly for whistleblowers against criminals living in the community.”

“Special courts should be created to deal promptly with cases of banditry, kidnapping, ransom demanding and unlawful carrying of weapons.”

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Governance

Sagbama/Ekeremor Road: Gov Diri happy with contractor’s pace

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… as contractor completes bridges to Ekeremor main town

His Excellency, Senator Douye Diri, Governor of Bayelsa State is excited at the progress achieved so far on the ongoing construction work at the Sagbama/Ekeremor Road.

The contractor, Setraco, has completed five bridges between Toru-Orua and Isampou communities and at the moment working on the sixth bridge at the entrance of Ekeremor main town.

Governor Diri told newsmen that he was satisfied with the progress that will ensure vehicles drive into Ekeremor main town by next month.

“I’m satisfied with the level of work. The contractors, Setraco are doing a good job and, I think the value of money is commensurate. We are happy and we hope that they will deliver at the agreed time.

I have always said that, at the end of my first tenure, we will drive to Ekeremor town on a tarred road. For now, why we are here today, is for me to see things for myself on a new bridge that was proposed for Ekeremor main Town, and I have also approved the construction of another bridge. We are looking at our Two Years anniversary, and I have also given a task for the tarring to be up to Aleibiri, and let us also stabilise the road down to Ekeremor, so that we can take a drive on our Two Years anniversary to Ekeremor main Town.

We are trying our best in the face of the downturn in the economy. These Senatorial roads are very fundamental to our People. Government is all about the People and so, we have taken them as a priority. This is one, the second is also ongoing. It is the third one that we have challenges, but I believe, this year, we will equally start something. In the first place, it is our People that will use these roads, so, even on the Eastern Senatorial road, Bayelsans will hear from us very soon on the actions the State Government will take”, Gov. Diri stated.

The Governor was accompanied on the tour by member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency, Dr. Fred Agbedi, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abraham Ingobere, Hon. Tari Porri representing Ekeremor 1 in the State Assembly, Commissioners and other top government functionaries.

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Illegal Refineries: Gov Wike gives 48 hours ultimatum to Council Chairmen

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Offers two million Naira for each location listed.

In what he described as a war against the illegal refinery operators and their sponsors in Rivers State, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike at the Executive Chamber of the Rivers State Government House today met with Chairmen of all Local Government Councils and heads of security agencies in Rivers State.

Governor Wike who gave the Chairmen 48 hours to provide the location and owners of illegal refineries in their LGAs promising to pay N2,000,000 for each location that is named.

Saying leaders owe a duty to protect their people he said “I am not bothered if the Federal Government is supporting us we owe a duty to our people to protect their lives.” He went on to charge the Chairmen to be bold as leadership is a difficult responsibility that sometimes involves taking risks.

Addressing the service Chiefs he said it is unfortunate for the country that security personnel are involved in illegal bunkering .

He cautioned that he wouldn’t accept them sabotaging the health of Rivers people or the country’s economy as he called for the transfer from Rivers State of a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and NSCDC officer discovered to be complicit in the illegal refinery trade.

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