The Lagos State Government on has said adequate preparations had been put in place toward ensuring hitch-free celebration of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir, disclosing that security personnel had been mobilised to be at strategic places such as praying grounds, amusement parks, malls, among others.
Rising from the monthly Security Council Meeting chaired by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and attended by heads of all security agencies in the State, the government said security agencies had been alerted to be in strategic places before, during and after the celebration to nip any potential security situation in the bud.
While briefing Government House Correspondents at the end of the meeting, the State’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni said the Council appraised the security strategies already put in place for the celebration and members were satisfied with the solid arrangement towards a successful celebration.
“We looked at all the strategies that have been put in place by all the security agencies and the support that the State Government is giving us and we are satisfied that we are well prepared to ensure that residents of Lagos have hitch-free holiday period and that the Muslim brothers and sisters also have a successful and hitch-free Eid-el-Kabir holiday.
“Security agencies will be at all the strategic places including the Eid-el-Kabir praying ground, amusement parks and the malls so that by the time we are ending the holiday and the Sallah is finished, everybody will be happy to say that it is another successful holiday and it is another successful Eid-el-Kabir celebration”, he assured.
Besides, Owoseni debunked conflicting media reports on the casualties at the mayhem between House and Fulani communities in Agege Abattoir area of the State, saying that only one person was unfortunately killed during the crisis.
He said security agencies responded swiftly to douse the tension, adding that the mayhem was purely an issue of miscreants and criminal elements wanting to make life more difficult for the people.
He said the police also adopted Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism by talking to the leaders of the communities on the need to embrace peace and curb the excesses of those miscreants, while more security personnel had been deployed to the area to forestall a repeat.
Nigeria Eyes BRICS Membership within Two Years as Foreign Minister Emphasizes Strategic Alignment
In a strategic move towards global economic collaboration, Nigeria is aspiring to join the BRICS group of nations within the next two years.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, affirmed that Nigeria is open to aligning itself with groups that demonstrate good intentions, well-meaning goals, and clearly defined objectives.
Tuggar stated, “Nigeria has come of age to decide for itself who her partners should be and where they should be; being multiple aligned is in our best interest.”
He emphasized the need for Nigeria to be part of influential groups like BRICS and the G-20, citing criteria such as population and economy size that position Nigeria as a natural candidate.
BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, stands as a formidable bloc of emerging market powers.
In a recent move to expand its influence, BRICS invited six additional nations, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates, to join the group.
Nigeria, as Africa’s largest economy, has been absent from the BRICS alliance, prompting discussions on the potential economic and political advantages the bloc could offer the country.
Analysts have noted that BRICS membership could provide Nigeria with significant leverage on the global stage.
Vice President Kashim Shettima clarified that Nigeria did not apply for BRICS membership after the bloc’s announcement of new members in August.
Shettima emphasized the principled approach of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, highlighting a commitment to consensus building in decisions related to international partnerships.
As Nigeria eyes BRICS membership, the move is seen as a strategic step towards enhancing its global economic and diplomatic influence.
Nigeria Spends N231.27 Billion on Arms Procurement in Four Years Amidst Rising Security Challenges
The Federal Government of Nigeria has disbursed a total of N231.27 billion for arms and ammunition procurement over the past four years.
Despite this significant investment, security agencies argue that the allocated funds are insufficient to effectively tackle the myriad security challenges afflicting the nation.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, defended the substantial budget for arms purchases during a session with the House of Representatives.
He emphasized that Nigeria’s dependence on foreign countries for military hardware, which are priced in dollars, diminishes the impact of the substantial budget when converted to the local currency.
General Musa explained, “We don’t produce what we need in Nigeria, and if you do not produce what you need, that means you are at the beck and call of the people that produce these items. All the items we procured were bought with hard currency, none in naira.”
He further illustrated the challenges faced, citing that a precision missile for drones costs $5,000, underscoring the magnitude of the expenses associated with arms procurement.
An analysis of the annual budgets for the Ministry of Defence and eight other armed forces from 2020 to 2022 reveals allocations of N11.72 billion, N10.78 billion, and N9.64 billion, respectively.
In 2023, N47.02 billion was disbursed for arms procurement, supplemented by a recently passed budget of N184.25 billion, resulting in a total of N231.27 billion.
Security expert Chidi Omeje raised concerns about the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), which is tasked with manufacturing arms locally. Omeje criticized DICON’s underperformance, urging the government to revamp the agency to reduce reliance on foreign nations for arms and ammunition.
Omeje stressed, “The new government must make sure that DICON lives up to its responsibilities,” highlighting the urgency of fostering self-sufficiency in arms production to address the country’s security challenges effectively.
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