Segun AdebowaleJune 14, 2017

Senator Dino Melaye has called for the declaration of a state-of-emergency in Kogi State, saying there was insecurity and anarchy in the state.

Melaye’s call at the Senate plenary on Tuesday was against the backdrop of two alleged assassination attempts on his life.

The Senator represents Kogi West Senatorial District.

Melaye, who came under Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rule, prayed the Senate to order the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to immediately undertake an audit of the police armoury in Kogi State Police Command.

He said he would move a motion for the upper chamber to prevail on the Federal Government to impose emergency rule in the state.

He claimed that before Governor Yahaya Bello assumed office, Kogi State never experienced the high number of kidnappings, killings and anarchy as being recorded currently.

Melaye and Bello are both members of the All Progressives Congress.

Melaye said: “On Monday l left my village and arrived at Lokoja in the company of Department of State Services operatives and Policemen.

“When I arrived at Lokoja, I phoned the state Director of DSS that I had an intelligence report that the governor brought in assassins to kill me and the DSS director provided a truckload of DSS men to accompany me.

“I also called the Commissioner of Police and we were halfway talking and the line went off and I put a call to the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Criminal Department.

“I told him that I was in town and that I had few places to go and I wanted to also go to the Federal Medical Centre to pay the bills of indigent civil servants.”

Melaye alleged that the patients could not pay the medical bills because the state government had not paid their salaries for 15 months, adding that some of them needed surgery.

Melaye said that the Constitution empowered the President of Nigeria to issue proclamation of state of emergency in any state, adding that there was breakdown of law and order and public safety in Kogi State.

In his remark, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided at the plenary, said: “Speaking on behalf of this Senate, I must condemn what happened in Kogi.

“Section 14 (2) of the Constitution is very clear on the primary purpose of government, which is the security and welfare of the people, and government must not be seen abdicating that responsibility.

“So, I want to appeal to both State and Federal Governments to ensure that the citizens are protected and also their property.

“We cannot have a situation where this government will sit by and watch people taking laws into their hands and behaving as if there is no law and order in this land.

“We need to be serious; we need to be firm.

“Government needs to ensure that people are not allowed to take laws into their hands and of course, the reckless statement that we are hearing from here and there.

“Government needs to do something about it.

“The unity of this country cannot be compromised and the security of individuals must be assured.

“This is condemnable and we will never allow this to continue in a democratic society.”

Dotun OladipoJune 13, 2017

Ralph Uwazurike, the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, has appealed for peace as he held consultation with Northern groups in Kaduna.
Uwazurike, who led a delegation of Igbo leaders from the South East, told some youth groups in Kaduna on Monday that MASSOB had pursued the path of peace since its creation in 1999.
He said: “MASSOB had existed for 18 years without violence, but 2009, I went to London and opened Radio Biafra and handed it over to Nnamdi Kanu as the director.
“Soon afterwards, politicians hijacked him, and he started working for them.
“The radio that was meant to educate our people and advise our people was turned into the source of hate messages, blackmail, intimidation and others.
“ The resultant effect was that, the northern youths came up to challenge us, to say that they are not happy with the hate messages and the insults they receive from the same radio.
“I am here today to say that the main purpose of floating the organisation called MASSOB was not to cause crisis in Nigeria.
“I assured the late Odumegu Ojukwu when he was alive that there would be no other civil war in Nigeria.
“ Because he, Ojukwu was so concerned and wanted some measure of assurance from me that MASSOB would not cause problems in Nigeria and I gave him that assurance.
“And I am today disappointed, that the assurances I gave, may not see the light of the day, if certain measures were not taken, and that is why I am here in Arewa House today.”
He assured of the safety of the northerners resident in the South East and urged them to continue with their businesses in the area.
Uwazurike said: “I am here to assure you northerners that all your people in the South East are safe and nobody will harass them.
“And, I am happy to hear my friend, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, who assured of the safety of lives and property of Nd’Igbo in Northern region.”
Uwazurike averred that the crisis in the country was being manipulated by politicians and urged the youth not allow themselves to be used.
He, however, stressed the need to address perceived marginalization, adding that though it was right for any part of the country to seek self-determination, it was wrong to pursue same through violent means.
He said: “Self-determination without violence is a fundamental right; we must strive against sowing the seed of discord ‎but do all that will promote peace and justice.
“There is a gap of communication from our leaders which needs to be bridged, hence we are meeting with notable leaders in the north to persuade them that there is no cause for alarm.”
Meanwhile, Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, who convened the meeting, said it was in response to recent quit notice issued by some northern groups to Igbos.
He said that the meeting was to intervene in the impasse threatening the unity and oneness of the country.
According to Al-Mustapha‎, the youths need to wear their thinking caps, use their brains and refuse to be used in fomenting any form of crisis in the country.
He said current events may not be unconnected with external forces wanting to see Nigeria disintegrate.
Al-Mustapha also cautioned the youth against making statements that would further cause tension in the country, in spite of the unpleasant comments from IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
He appealed to the Kaduna State Government and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to withdraw the arrest threat on the youth leaders who issued the Kaduna Declaration.

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