Below are the headlines found on The Daily Sun Online Newspaper for today, Friday, 2nd February, 2018.

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, yesterday ordered state commissioners of police to as a matter of urgency disarm all militias, vigilantes and other security outfits set up by governors to protect their citizens.

The IGP equally reiterated his earlier position that the renewed killings in Benue State were communal clashes. He was speaking in Abuja when he met with officers with the rank of commissioner of police and above. 

He said the Nigerian Constitution made it clear that only the security agencies were empowered to carry arms and ammunition.

Idris did not, however, state whether or not the same law applied to Fulani herdsmen accused of carrying sophisticated weapons and killing innocent citizens.

He said: “We are entering a very tedious and serious situations in this country.

“The political issues are coming up to the fore and officers must gear up in our various locations, in our various responsibilities to ensure that we provide law and order all over Nigerian.

“We are now coming into a political arena. Commands should be very conversant about the arming of militiamen or vigilante.

“Before a vigilante is established by government, you must have a bi-law, which must be passed by the house of assembly.

“It is the responsibility of the commissioners of police of the commands to study these bi-laws and see how they conform with the constitution and other laws of this country.

“But whereby through the connivance of some police officers you have a command arming militiamen under several names. Our officers are to brace up to face these challenges.

“No country, no government in this country have the responsibility to approve some prohibited firearms to any Nigerian under any guise.

“It is the responsibilities of CPs of commands to put close watch on the activities of some of these governors arming individuals, which is against the laws of this country.

“All of us are aware about these prohibited firearms. You cannot give approval for any individual to own a pistol. You cannot give an approval for any individual to own an AK-47, riffle.

“These are prohibited weapons and only the government has that authority to give that approval.

“I want to call on our commissioners of police of various commands, you have to be on the watch out for these abuses at various levels.”

To justify his claim that the incidents were communal clashes, Idris said: “About two or three days back, we had an incident we are investigating in Gboko, where seven Fulani men in pubic transport traveling to Taraba State and stopped at Gboko. The youths there seeing they were Fulani just pounced on them, killed and roasted them.

“I dispatched our monitoring team to Benue and arrests were made in that area and we are going to investigate it thoroughly.

“These are clashes occurring between two members of the community. As Nigerians, we should learn to live together, we should learn to be tolerant of each other.

“When I had a briefing with the traditional rulers in Port-Harcourt, I told them they have a lot to do to bring peace and harmony within their community members.

“This country needs leaders who should unite the communities, not leaders who create divisions.”

On why he was still in Abuja, despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to him to relocate to Benue, the IGP said: 

“I was there for about eight days and when I was coming back, I left the DIG there.

“I came back from Port Harcourt yesterday (Wednesday). The situations in Benue and Nasarawa states have reduced drastically.”

Meanwhile, the National Economic Council meeting (NEC), headed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday set up another sub-committee headed by Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, to meet with Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, (MACBAN) and other groups to end the continued killings.

The committee could invite others who could assist in holding dialogue with the critical stakeholders to end the killings.

This was disclosed to State House correspondents by the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, at the end of a three-hour meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Others in attendance were Governors Simon Lalong (Plateau), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Jibrilla Bindow (Adamawa), Deputy Governors Benson Abonu (Benue), Moses Adeyemo (Oyo) as well as Ministers of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh and Interior, Lt Gen. (rtd) Abdulrahman Dambazau.

The NEC Working Group consisted of governors of Zamfara, Kaduna, Adamawa, Benue, Taraba, Edo, Plateau, Ebonyi and Oyo states.

The group was set up to end the impunity that marked the activities of Fulani herdsmen resulting in several deaths and maimings especially in Adamawa, Benue, Taraba, Plateau and Nasarawa states.

Daily Sun had reported on Monday that the Federal Government opted for full military force to deal with the bandits believed to be behind the killings in parts of the country especially regarding the crises often associated with herdsmen.

At its inaugural meeting, the group concluded that the crisis also required a political solution considering the religious and ethnic tones that could easily become exacerbated and possibly worsen the situation if proper and timely care was not taken.

When asked of the progress made to find lasting solution to the crisis, Yari said: “There is progress. One, this committee is a NEC committee established by the Vice President so that this issue of herdsmen/farmers clashes will be put to rest.

“It is a long standing problem since 2007 in some states particularly in my own state, we have been battling with it. The states and Federal Government agreed to have a small committee at NEC so that the situation will not get out of hand, so that it won’t be looked at as an ethnicity crisis or religious crisis.

“We have set up a committee headed by the governor of Ebonyi State, while Plateau and Adamawa governors are members. We are bringing some technocrats who will visit hotspot states, like Benue, Taraba, Adamawa and Zamfara, so that they can interface with the Meyitta Allah and other groups.

“Why we cannot say we can put this matter to rest is because some of them have taken this as a money making venture. Some are criminals who hide under this to perpetrate this act.

“As government, we have to take all the measures despite the fact that the Army, Police, all the security agents are on the field at the respective places, still we have to form this committee to interface with those actors to end the crisis.”

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Until he passed on in a London clinic on November 19, 2017, Dr. Alexander Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme demonstrated the basic decency and moral principles required of a statesman. A patriot through and through, he did not seek public office for self-enrichment but to render selfless service. Asked why he wanted to be President of Nigeria, Ekwueme answered: “I have always dreamed of achieving a Nigeria in which every ethnic nationality melts into one nation. Indeed, I wanted to make Nigeria a one-nation entity; instead of a mere country where each ethnic group would be fighting to pull it to its sole benefit.”

Indeed, patriotism flowed in his veins. An egalitarian, he desired a strong, united and more compassionate Nigeria, where the citizenry would have equal opportunities to pursue their dreams and aspirations. In those dark days, when the Gen. Sani Abacha junta was knocking off perceived enemies, he put his life on the line and made uncommon sacrifices to ensure that democracy was achieved and sustained in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, you cannot talk about democracy in Nigeria since the Second Republic without dressing Ekwueme in admirable robes.

Perhaps, it was because of personalities like Ekwueme that the late flambouyant politician, Dr. Kingsley Mbadiwe, coined such phrases as “political juggernauts” and “men of timber and calibre.”  As Ndigbo would say, he was nnukwu mmanwu (the big masquerade), yet he was a perfect gentleman. The icing on the cake was that he chaired the group that transformed into the biggest party in Africa, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). 

The portriat

It could be said that, but for Ekwueme’s selflessness and the need to ensure that the military quit the stage, he might have truncated former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s ambition to rule and, perhaps, scuttled the entire process. He could have played a spoiler’s game but he chose to sacrifice personal ambition for national interest. It was a historic departure from the rancorous and selfish ways of politicking. But how could he have done that?

In an interview with a newspaper, Ekwueme had disclosed that Obasanjo did not meet the requirements to contest the presidential election as stipulated by the PDP guidelines concerning candidates for various positions. 

Take this from Ekwueme: “Most people didn’t understand that I could have scuttled the whole thing in Jos. The government had said that it was the performance of parties at the December 1998 local government elections that would decide which parties would get final registration approval. So, it was crucial for every party to succeed in the local government elections of December 1998. Also, in November 1998, at a meeting of the National Executive Committee of the party, it was also stated in black and white that anybody who did not win his local government for the PDP would not be eligible to contest for presidency. Anybody who did not win his ward would not be eligible to contest for governorship.”

Disclosing that after the local government elections of December 5, 1998, the next NEC meeting of the party approved and confirmed the decisions of the NEC, Ekwueme added: “In my pocket in Jos, I had a copy of the decision and also the constitution of the party. The chairman of the party was like the chairman of a board and the secretary of the party was like the managing director. So, it was the secretary who had executive powers, not the chairman. When the result was announced in Jos and they said Obasanjo won, I had the option of saying I didn’t accept it or to say I accepted it; embrace it and work together to make sure the party wins. I could have said that, of all the candidates that contested, it was only six that were eligible and, of those six, I had the highest number of votes.

“So, I expected the party to send my name to INEC. Having said that and read the minutes of the NEC meeting, it was incontrovertible that a person who did not win his local government area, he didn’t win his ward, he didn’t even win the polling station in front of his house, so, with that PDP NEC decision, he couldn’t be the party’s candidate.

“And this decision was mentioned at the screening committee when we applied to contest. When the screening committee read the letter and its implications, Solomon Lar (may his soul rest in peace) wrote to them to plead that they should give Obasanjo provisional clearance to contest. That provision turned out to be solid but then I could have made a point that, out of six of us who won our local governments, I had the highest votes among those qualified to contest and I expected the party to nominate me. The next day, the secretary, who had executive powers, could have sent my name and letter to INEC as party candidate while Solomon Lar would have sent Obasanjo’s name and letter to the same INEC. So there would have been confusion in the house of PDP.”

The former Vice President argued that it could have defeated “all the efforts we made and the risk we took to place our lives on the line during Abacha. My own personal ambition was not worth putting Nigeria at risk and that was why I embraced Obasanjo and went on to campaign for him. A few days after, fund raising was done at the congress hall and I chaired that fund raising ceremony.”

In fact, Ekwueme played a pivotal role in the return of the country to civil rule after many years of military dictatorship. While Abacha’s junta was running riot, clamping people into detention and sending many to the great beyond, Ekwueme refused to be cowed. Particularly incensed by the disdain with which the junta treated civilians, Ekwueme mobilised patriots of like minds to find a way out of the cage, as it were.   

He said: “When Abacha came, what really triggered me was his modus operandi. He came and it was clear that he didn’t have any regard for the civilian population. He thought everything was to be accomplished by force of arms. We organised first as civil society, nine of us, to try and really appreciate that, if we didn’t extricate ourselves from the military, we would remain slaves to them forever. Then from the Institute for Civil Society, we decided to hold a summit, which was held at Eko Hotel. While that was holding, he sent thugs to disperse us. After that, we heard that he was planning to transit from a military to civilian head of state and we found that that was unconscionable. If he wanted to run as a civilian, he should retire from the Army and come into one of the parties and contest for nomination, not use his position to manipulate political parties into nominating him as a sole candidate that, in short, he would be returned unopposed. I guess all the decrees he passed said that no public servant should take part in partisan politics.

“So, after the summit, all of us in civil society met again and recognised the summit and felt it was widely assumed that they were all supporting Abacha because he was a northerner; so, we agreed that they would make the first move, telling Abacha that what he was doing was not acceptable. We met in Kaduna and drafted a memorandum, which Solomon Lar delivered to him by a group of 18. Then, after that, I called a full meeting at Glover Hotel in Yaba, where 34 of us met and I prepared a memorandum, which we gave to him, the G34 Memorandum.”

The G34 later metamorphosed into the PDP or, rather, it mid-wifed the PDP.

Ekwueme displayed uncommon vision and political sagacity during the 1994/1995 constitution conference, when he championed the restructuring of the country into six geo-political zones. It was a political masterstroke aimed at giving every section of the country a sense of belonging. And it was one of the most important decisions reached at the conference. Another radical idea of his was that there should be one Nigerian Army with six command structures. Interestingly, he was out of the country when election into the conference was held but his people elected him in absentia.

According to the former Vice President, in advocating for six zones, he took cognisance of the skewed structure as well as the content and character of the polity.

His words: “We had three regions, the North, the East and the West. The drawbacks of that structure was that the North was bigger than the other two regions put together, which meant that, in a parliamentary system, if all the other MPs vote together, they would always produce the Prime Minister, which meant that some parts of the country would consider themselves second class citizens, if they could not aspire to the highest office in the land. That was the first pitfall. The second was that we met the structure for each region such that in each region we had a majority ethnic group and then a group of minority ethnic groups. In the North, Hausa/Fulani, then the others like Kanuri, Gwari, Nupe and so on coming down to others like Angas and Tarok.

“In the West, we have Yoruba, Edo, Urhobo, Isoko, Itsekiri and Western Ijaw.  In the East, Igbo is majority and there are Ibibio, Efik the Eastern Ijaw, Ogoja area and Ogoni. So, all these minority groups felt that, by the structure of the regions, they were again second class citizens.  So, it was in their interest that they should be in opposition. The Mid-West was established as the first region.  The minorities in the East and North were not so lucky, so my thinking was, how do we cure these two defects? First is the overbearing size of land in the federating units and, second, the conflict between the majority and minority groups. Of course, if you cure these two then we have a stable country. So, we said that we should have in the North three zones, North West, mostly Hausa/Fulani, North East and North Central mostly minorities. South West is mostly Yoruba, the South East mostly Igbo and South-South mostly minorities again. Although we have some Igbo in Delta, you have some Yoruba in Edo and you have some Hausa in Auchi. So, with this arrangement, we now have three majority zones and three minority zones.  That is three zones in the North and three zones in the South, so we cured the first defect of the first structure. That was the logic that informed the proposal.”

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, has declared that Nigeria is a failed state under President Muhammadu Buhari.

Prof. Nwabueze also said Nigeria may become extinct if he is re-elected in 2019.

He said Nigeria, under the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government has failed to perform the major role expected of a state which is to ensure the security and welfare of the citizenry.

Nwabueze made the declaration in a paper entitled Nigeria under president Buhari is categorised as a failed state by an internationally-recognised agency, released on January 31.

“By all internationally relevant and accepted indices and indicators, and judged by the reality on the ground, Nigeria is justifiably categorised as a failed state, now ranked 15th among the “worst failed” states in the world.

“If president Buhari is given a second term in office, God forbid that he should ever get a second term, Nigeria will cease to exist, except in the sense in which Zaire, under (late) Mobutu (Sese Seko) existed. That is as an idea without an existential content, a state existing only in name or the map as a mere geographical expression,” he said.

Nwabueze, however, added that there is hope for Nigeria, if there is a change in leadership.

“I believe, however, that the country can be made to work again, as it was doing before, and to become a great nation it is destined to be, and a leading star in the affairs of the African continent and, indeed, the world. But, for that to happen, there has to be a change of leadership.”

He also decried the failure of the government to adequately address naggingsecurity issues.

“It is gratifying that the Boko Haram insurgents have been dislodged from the areas over which they took control, but, it is equally sad that they still continue to kill, maim and brutalise large numbers of people and to destroy properties, resulting in the displacement of thousands from their homes.

“Following on the heels of the Boko Haram atrocities is the Fulani herdsmen menace. It started in the form of farmers’ herdsmen clashes but has now developed into a scary dimension,” known to be as bloody and murderous and atrocious as Boko Haram insurgency.

“In Benue State,  in particular, it has been a long chain of killings, dating back to 2013. In that year alone, Benue recorded eight attacks in villages resulting in deaths. There were 16 attacks in 2014, eight in 2015, the same number in 2016, and five in 2017. The number of deaths is put at about 3,000 across the country. The method of attack, which is not any different from the one applied by Boko Haram insurgents, includes cutting open the stomach, beheading, slitting the throat, suicide bombing, surrounding villages and opening fire on them while asleep, etc.   The method of attack is so barbaric, so much so as to be unimaginable in 21st century Nigeria. What is shocking is the lethargic posture of the Federal Government, especially as the perpetrators of the dastardly acts are identifiable”, he said.

Nwabueze cited a Google Failed State Index 2009 report, which ranked Nigeria as a failed state and ranks it as the 15th, moving three steps up the index from its previous ranking of 18th.

The report defined a failed state as “a condition of ‘state collapse’, that is, a state that can no longer perform its basic security and development functions and that has no effective control over its territory.”

The report outlined 12 indicators of failed states categorised into social, economic and political indicators.  Under the social indicators, the report cited demographic pressures resulting from drought, crop failure, among others; incidence of massive movement of refugees and internally displaced persons; civil disorders caused by ethnic, racial or religious conflicts; and chronic and sustained human flight. 

The economic indicators listed uneven economic development along group lines as manifested in group-based inequality in opportunities for education, jobs, and economic advancement, and as measured by group-based poverty levels, infant mortality rates; sharp and/or severe economic decline as measured by a progressive economic decline of the society as a whole (using per capita income, GNP, debt, child mortality rate, poverty levels, business failures) among others.

The political indicators listed endemic corruption or profiteering by ruling elites and resistance to transparency, accountability and free election; widespread loss of popular confidence in state institutions and processes; progressive deterioration of public services particularly basic state functions that serve the people, including failure to protect citizens from terrorism and violence and to provide essential services, such as health, education, sanitation, public transportation etc; widespread violation of human rights, etc.

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
A spokesman for the Democratic Republic of Congo has said President Joseph Kabila intends to respect the constitution and relinquish power after elections scheduled for December. Speaking to VOA's French to Africa language service, Lambert Mende said despite delays the government is finishing voter registration in remote areas of the country and is on track... 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Eighty-one people accused of fighting for Boko Haram went on trial in Niger yesterday in a public court sitting, one of the first of its kind after closed-door trials of suspected insurgents were criticised by human rights groups. Those on trial in a special international court in the capital Niamey came from Niger, Nigeria and... 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Joe Effiong, Uyo Cross River South Senatorial District, yesterday at the Calabar Municipal Council adopted 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Fred Edoreh It seems the All Progressives Congress (APC) prepared for failure in the recently held Delta 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Plateau youths kick, reject Lalong's ranching Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo;Gyang Bere, Jos The National 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Holds inaugural meeting in Ondo ' You stole our name, idea, group accuses ex-president Laide Raheem, 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa Former President Goodluck Jonathan, Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson and 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Dalung commends Super Eagles Joe Apu Super Eagles goalkeeper and team Captain Ikechukwu Ezenwa has 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
National wrestler, Odunayo Adekuoroye, has showered praise on the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
The final of the African Nations Championship (CHAN), holding in Morocco, will be broadcast live on DStv 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
NAN | Organisers of this year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, have said the Games would 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Maduka Nweke, 08034207864, 08118879331 Building collapse has dealt great blows 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Omodele Adigun NOVA Merchant Bank Limited, a newly licensed merchant bank with a focus on wholesale banking, 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Auctions seized petroleum products Isaac Anumihe with agency report Comptroller General of the 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has ordered the immediate release of N100 million as first tranche 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Call for deportation of MD Bimbola Oyesola Workers in the aviation sector yesterday shut down 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Uche Usim, Abuja More revelations of gross financial impropriety and abuse of office allegedly perpetuated 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
The European Union has re-affirmed support for Nigeria's electoral process with a '26.5m Euros 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja Members of the House of Representatives were divided, yesterday, over a motion to 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
To sign agreement in days Adewale Sanyaolu The Federal Government has concluded plans to construct 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Fred Itua, Abuja Senate has mandated its committees of Health (Secondary and Tertiary) and Primary 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
This is the last of a 4-part series intended to help you navigate the murky waters of 2018 and emerge 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Police arrest 24, arraign 19 Agaju Madugba, Katsina Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Not a few citizens are dissatisfied with the current establishment order of politics and governance in 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Linus Oota, Lafia A member of the National Assembly, Sen. Sulieman Adokwe has described the recent 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Musa Simon Reef He is gradually becoming Nigeria's proverbial witch that cries in the night, and the 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
In a bid to ensure speedy dispensation of justice, Lagos State Government hasinaugurated four special 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
The records-breaking January transfer window has come and gone in Europe with various implications for 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Gbemiga Olakunle 'Jonathan should resign if he has no solution to the violence being unleashed on some 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
It was always predictable that, given his notoriety on that score, it was a matter of time for former 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Preparation for the 2019 General elections is in high gears. This fact is especially reflected in the 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Professor Dickson Ozokwelu, with more than 40 years of diversified chemical engineering and management 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Ever since former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in his letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, suggested 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
C. Don Adinuba Alex Ekwueme, Nigeria's venerable Vice President from 1979 to 1983, gave up the ghost 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Bola Ahmed Tinubu Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme was a man of destiny, who exemplified the best of Nigeria. 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
There is no doubt that Nigeria, with its multi ethnic groups, cultures and languages, is a dynamic society. 

Fri, 02 Feb 2018
The recent disclosure by the Department of State Services (DSS) that it has uncovered elements who appear 
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