Africa’s leading think-tank and research institute, African Heritage Institution (AfriHeritage) in collaboration with the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs converged to deliberate on the way forward with the Nigeria’s national and human security challenges.
The plenary session, themed ‘Trends and dynamics of armed banditry: making sense of the problem,’ brought together industry captains, academicians, government representatives, and thought leaders in areas of security and peace keeping to deliberate and proffer innovative ideas for sustainable solutions to Nigeria’s incessant security challenges.
In his welcome address, Prof. Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, the Executive Director of African Heritage Institution stated that “after over six decades since independence, Nigeria is struggling to achieve basic human security needs of its people. Average Nigerians are consistently afraid of assorted security uncertainties. Nigerian parents and their children worry about personal safety at the markets, schools, churches and other places of worship. Even farmers worry about their personal safety because of reputed hoodlums or bandits as they attend to their farms or livestock.
“These challenges persist because Nigeria remains a country of culturally disparate and unintegrated people who are still finding it difficult to work together with the view to solve common problems. Sadly, effective national and human security usually require meaningful and inclusive participation and ownership by citizens. While Big Ideas Podium events convene stakeholders for effective collaboration on critical issues, it is with the view to proffer big and unbiased ideas that could help policy makers formulate impactful public policies”.
Also, the Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Dr. Bakut Tswah Bakut, Ministry of Foreign Affairs — represented by Mr. Andy Nkemneme (Deputy Director, Internal conflict Prevention and Resolution) — emphasized the need for all to work together in harmony to achieve and maintain peace.
“The Big Ideas Podium would not have taken place at a better time than now considering the devastating impact of the conflict that is closing in on the nation’s safety spaces. Armed banditry has become one of the biggest threats to peace and security in Nigeria. The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs exists to strengthen the adoption of peace and conflict resolution mechanisms in Nigeria and across Africa. The IPCR has played and will continue to play vital roles in peace and conflict resolution in Africa and we thank AfriHeritage for this impactful collaboration in entrenching peace and security in Nigeria”.
During his keynote address, Dr. Chukwumemeka B. Eze – Executive Director, African Network for Peace Building, Accra, Ghana stated categorically: “Moving forward, there is first of all the need to re-examine the existing strategies of mitigating the threat of armed banditry, identify the gaps and chart a new pathway towards sustainable peace. I want to state emphatically that armed banditry is not a problem that will be solved through the barrel of a gun. There is the need to revitalize activities that promote social inclusion and human security, which will provide prospects for transformative changes, peace and development in Nigeria”.
Dr Eze added that “We must all realise that every environment has its peculiarities. These myriads of social cleavages can only be effectively taken care of if we collectively fashion out an efficient strategy to meet them. This we believe strongly can only be actualisable through engagements like this. If you look around here we have women and men from all the six geo- political zones and who from their academia, CSO or hybrid has been a big player in the issues that confront us. I have no doubt therefore that we will be having stimulating discussions and the outcomes and conclusions would be contributory in designing and envisioning the future
we desire and deserve”.
Furthermore, the discussants reflected briefly on different dimensions of the subject matter and proffered ideas on relevant solutions for Nigeria. Anthony Odo Agbor of the Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State, highlighted the impact of armed banditry on families, livelihoods, and Human Security; Dr. Kingsley Udeh, Esq. — Special Adviser to the Governor of Enugu State on Education — outlined the impact of armed banditry on education and human capital development; and Eng. Umar Ibrahim of Kano Electricity Distribution Company explicitly highlighted the impact of armed banditry on communities, human life and socio- economic development.
Over the years, AfriHeritage has influenced transformative public policies in Nigeria by providing effective platforms like the Big Ideas Podium for objective discussions on salient issues that affect the public in Nigeria. The Institution remains deeply committed to bridging the ideas and data gaps in the formulation and implementation of transformative public policies in Nigeria and across the continent.
EFCC Chairman, Bawa Slumps in Abuja
The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, broke down while presenting his brief address and was rushed out of the banquet hall at the presidential villa on Thursday.
Bawa was offering his goodwill message at the National Identity Day celebration when he suddenly stopped speaking and asked to be excused.
“Please, excuse me, I can’t continue,” he said then walked off the stage before slumping on his chair and was eventually taken out.
Earlier, he mentioned that the EFCC was grieving the loss of a colleague.
He broke down while talking about a man the commission arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State, with 116 SIM cards.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, and other senior officials at the event accompanied the EFCC boss as he was taken out of the hall.
The Master of Ceremonies later announced that Bawa’s condition was stable.
“I am happy to announce to you that the EFCC Chairman is now stable,” he said.
The minister, during his speech, also said that Bawa was stable but should be put in prayers.
Osinbajo to Represent Nigeria at ECOWAS Meeting in Accra Concerning Situation in Guinea
President Muhammadu Buhari would be represented by his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, at the 2nd Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in the Republic of Guinea today.
Prof. Osinbajo had participated last week at the previous ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the political situation in Guinea and Mali. That meeting was held virtually on the 8th of September.
The Authority decided then that Guinea be immediately suspended from all ECOWAS governing bodies and statutory meetings. ECOWAS leaders had also called for the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Conde and other arrested persons; demanded the immediate return of Guinea to constitutional order; and decided to immediately dispatch a high-level ECOWAS mission to Guinea to assess the situation.
The physical meeting taking place today will review the situation in Guinea in light of the report of the ECOWAS high-level mission to Conakry.
The Vice President, who leaves Abuja this morning, would be accompanied by the Foreign Affairs Minister of State, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and is expected back in Abuja later today.
Senate Passes Bills To Establish Two Federal Universities in Ekiti, Nasarawa states
The Senate on Tuesday passed two bills seeking to establish two federal universities in Ekiti and Nasarawa States.
The bills are the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State (Establishment) Bill, 2021, and Federal University Lafia Teaching Hospital (Establishment) Bill, 2021.
Both bills are sponsored by Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), and Tanko Al-Makura (APC, Nasarawa South).
The passage of both bills followed the presentation and consideration of two separate reports by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), in his presentation, said the bill to establish the Federal University of Lafia Teaching Hospital was “necessitated as a result of the precarious health conditions faced by the resident.”
According to him, the bill to establish the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State, seeks to promote and emphasize teaching, research and extension of knowledge in the field of medicine and environmental sciences.
In a related development, the Senate on Wednesday passed a third bill to amend the University Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards) Act.
The bill’s passage by the upper chamber followed consideration of a report by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).
Senator Oloriegbe in his presentation explained that the amendment bill seeks to amend the First Schedule to the Principal Act to include the University Teaching Hospital, Lafia and Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital.
In a related development, a bill seeking to establish the Federal College of Education, Kaiama, Kwara State, scaled second reading during plenary.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar (APC, Kwara North).
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the bill was considered, referred it to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.
The Committee which is chaired by Senator Ahmad Baba Kaita was given four weeks to report back to the upper chamber.
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