40 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2019 In the last two weeks I have identified areas requiring amendments to the law to strengthen the electoral process and aid the election of transformational leaders. Specifically last week, I advocated an adoption of electronic means of transmission of election results by INEC to forestall the growing incidents of attacks on electoral officials and also changes to the law to mandate the determination of pre-election matters well before the conduct of the elections themselves. Two events have since further brought home the need for these changes. The first was the admission of INEC itself during the week that it has increasingly come under attack by hoodlums desirous of snatching or destroying results sheets so as to stop collation, while the second relates to two judgements delivered by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory and the Court of Appeal regarding validity of the nomination of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party at the gubernatorial election in Osun State. That issues touching on the nomination of the candidate are yet to be fully resolved, months after the conduct of the election is indeed worrying. This week I will discuss further specific areas that require attention if Nigeria is to elect transformational leaders. Full restructuring: A necessity for the emergence of nation Nigeria The founding fathers agreed on a true federalism in Lacanster House in London between 1950 and 1960 having taken into consideration the differences in culture, religion, philosophy of life, attitude to work, languages and so on. One who believes that his father is a fool would sooner than later regret his own foolishness. There is urgent need for total devolution of powers to enable each state or geopolitical zone to effectively administer its resources and social political needs. The Federal Government should only be concerned with management of common political affairs like currency, foreign affairs, etc. There will be less crisis and quarrel or inordinate ambition to become President, Minister or Legislator. As a matter of fact, the late Sardauna found regional premiership more prestigious than being the Federal Prime Minister. Qualification and remuneration for Political Officer holders Political Offices in this country have been made too attractive, each state spends a huge percentage of government revenue on salaries and allowances. Yet there are 36 Houses of Assembly, two national Legislative Houses, array of Commissioners and Ministers. In addition, they maintain a large number of aides and assistants at public expense. There are also large number of Senior Special Assistants, Private Secretaries. There is also the First Lady and an array of assistants. At the local government level, we have the Chairmen and INEC under 1999 Constitution: Amend INEC law to permit electronic transmission of results (3) large number of officers. Politics in Nigeria today is viewed primarily as a business and not as a means of service to the nation. In the First Republic masterminded by Chief Awolowo, members of House of Assembly did not earn salaries but sitting allowances. More importantly, legislative business was parttime. Furthermore, there has to be a change to the qualifications for seeking political office. Rather than have a minimum educational qualification of Senior Secondary School or WAEC, it should be a first degree with a minimum of second class lower. Such person must also be selfemployed or have viable means of self sustenance prior to seeking political office. They must also have held positions of responsibilities. The position of local government councillors should be reserved for retired and much experienced people like teachers, professors, other professionals and clergymen, also on part-time, with payment of sitting allowances only. Events continue to show that there is a need for an urgent re-appraisal of the current two terms of four-year term for President and Governors of the states The desirability of single sixyear tenures for the office of the President and Governors The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended) limits the period which any individual can serve as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to two terms of four years each. It is not in dispute that the just concluded elections at the State and Federal levels generated immense interest and palpable tension in the country and consumed unimaginable amount of Naira and Dollar. Many governors right from the date of their swearing-in began planning for their re-election. As the period for selection of candidates by political parties as stipulated by the Electoral Act drew nearer activities in several states came to a halt as many state functionaries, including commissioners and ministers at the Federal level became engrossed with issues pertaining to the elections. Members of the National Assembly were at a point all busy in their respective constituencies scheming to retain the tickets of their parties forgetting their constitutional duties of law making. The result is that important matters which require attention are always left unattended to. Thus ministers who should daily supervise the implementation of important government policies were busy running campaigns. As a matter of fact, contractors and judgment debtors, including millions of dollars due to my clients, were not paid even though payment had been approved by the Senate. During his first media chat, former President Goodluck Jonathan proposed a single term of six years on the grounds that re-election activities cause a lot of unnecessary distraction. In his words: “Every four years you conduct elections, you create so much tension in the political environment. As we are talking, some people are busy holding meetings for the 2015 elections. It creates series of confusion in the political environment. I am not saying that single tenure, alone, will bring 100 per cent stability. There is no political system that is 100 per cent stable, you must have some tension. That was why I came up with that.” Whilst the comments of the former President attracted a lot of debate with some attributing it to a desire for tenure elongation, events continue to show that there is a need for an urgent re-appraisal of the current two terms of four-year term for President and Governors of the states. I therefore believe that the two-term limits provided in the Constitution need urgent reappraisal. According to French political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville: “The desire to be re-elected is the chief aim of the President; that the whole policy of his administration, and even his most indifferent measures, tend to this object.” A single six-year term will certainly pave way for the emergence of transformational leadership. In Nigeria, the preparation for second term has made our election campaign a do-or-die affair with tragic consequence, including assaults and killings, burning of electoral materials, thuggery, malpractices, bribery and corruption etc. To be continued. INEC fixes Nov 2 for gov elections in Kogi, Bayelsa By Omeiza Ajayi ABUJA—THE Independ ent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has fixed November 2, for the conduct of governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states. The announcement was contained in a statement yesterday, in Abuja by INEC National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye. He said, “The Commission at its meeting held on Tuesday approved the timetable and schedule of activities for the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states which will hold in both states on November 2, 2019.” He added that the official notice for both elections would be issued on August 1, 2019, while political parties that intend to sponsor candidates are to hold their primaries for the nomination of such candidates from August 2 to 29, 2019. Campaigns by the political parties in public shall commence on August 2, 2019 and end October 31, 2019. The parties sponsoring candidates are required to submit the list of their agents not later than October 2, 2019. “The stated timelines are in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). All stakeholders are urged to take cognizance of and adhere strictly to them,” said INEC. The Commission also approved a proposal to conduct an extensive review and debriefing on the 2019 general election, in line with its existing practice. Okoye said this was intended to evaluate the Commission’s performance of the key activities of the general election, with a view to addressing identified challenges and strengthening operational and institutional capacities to conduct free, fair, credible and peaceful elections. Auditor-General’s Office lacks manpower to audit — Senate By Henry Umoru National Assembly since 1999. But Senator Urhoghide said, ABUJA—THE Senate, yesterday, took a swipe at the office of the Auditor- General of the Federation, AuGF, saying that it lacked manpower to carry out its statutory function of auditing ministries, departments and agencies of government. Responding to AuGF, Anthony Ayine, who accused the National Assembly of not concluding work on audit reports submitted by his office to the parliament since 1999, Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide ,PDP Edo South, also accused the AuGF of using reports of external auditors to write reports. Fielding questions from Journalists yesterday, in Abuja, at the ongoing orientation programme for Senators-elect/ members-elect of the 9th National Assembly, Senator Urhoghide also accused Atine of failing to query the use of one particular external Auditor by the agency for more than 10 years. Ayine, had last week during his presentation to the lawmakers-elect, urged them to as a matter of urgency, take steps to clear the mounting backlog of audit reports that were submitted them, nothing that to the best of his knowledge, there was no Auditor- General’s report that had been fully considered by the “The much I know since I became the Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, about a year and half ago, is what I can say. When the Auditor General came for his budget defence, I told him that the fact that we have not conducted hearing on his queries does not mean that he should not bring audit reports. We have not received audited report for 2016. The Auditor General resumed office in 2017. “Since he came, he has not submitted any audit report to the National Assembly. He is even supposed to be concluding works on 2018, because the law says that it must be submitted, six months into the new financial year. This is the fourth month. By the time we get to June end, he is expected to submit audited report for 2018. He doesn’t have the competent manpower to conduct audit. “Our committee was not set up to consider audit report alone. We have a lot of motions that we moved, we have submitted reports on status enquiries of those whose audited accounts have been submitted. We investigated and submitted reports on the subsidy issue, the $1bn eurobond issue, withdrawals made from the Service Wide Vote from 2012 till date. If we have audit reports from 2015 till date, we would be able to establish a pattern."
Continues from Page 5 the police in Nigeria have failed, we have to decentralise the Police. The states must have their own police. The governor of Zamfara State recently said that he was no longer the Chief Security Officer of the state owing to the continuous killings in the state. We must also address the issue of poverty and human misery. “It is not about going to the market, like the Vice President, to distribute N5000 in the markets. That is not how to address poverty. There is so much poverty and misery in the land. We must address the economy clearly; there is no one in government today that is talking about fixing the economy. We must address all those things.” PANDEF expresses alarm Also, National Secretary of PANDEF, Dr Alfred Mulade, who spoke to Vanguard on the security situation in the country, said: “The primary essence of any government anywhere in the world is to provide security and welfare for its citizens. A situation where the citizens are not sure of what befalls them the next moment, in terms of security of their lives and property, is completely unthinkable in any decent society. “The security situation in most parts of the country, as we have it today, has become extremely worrisome. Rising cases of killings, adoption of innocent persons and general insecurity in the country is totally condemnable. “Never has it been so bad than now. Perhaps, if the determination, dexterity, enthusiasm and military Naira up to N360.55/$ as CBN injects $210m By Elizabeth Adegbesan The naira yesterday appreciated to N360.55 per dollar in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window even as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) injected N210 million into the interbank foreign exchange market. Figures obtained from the CBN yesterday showed that authorized dealers in the wholesale segment of the market received $100 million, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment and customers requiring foreign exchange for invisibles were allocated $55 million each. A statement by the apex bank’s spokesman, Mr. Isaac Okorafor reiterated the CBN’s commitment to continue to boost interbank foreign exchange market to ensure liquidity and stability in the market Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for the I&E window dropped to N360.55 per dollar from N360.68 per dollar on Monday, translating to 13 kobo appreciation for the naira. The volume of dollars (turnover) traded yesterday dropped by 50 percent to $132.88 million from $88.79million sold on Monday. The naira, however, was stable at N358.7 in the parallel market. vanguardnews @vanguardnews @vanguardnews Politicians, traditionalrulersaidingbandits—DEFENCEMINISTER precision with which the soldiers and other security forces deployed by the Federal Government for mere election duties, particularly, in the just concluded 2019 general election was rather applied to tackling the dangerously worrisome security situation confronting the country, the situation could have some respite. “One can hardly say which part of the country is considered safe at the moment. All these point to one fact- failure of government. Government should therefore, rededicate itself and be alive to its primary responsible of providing security for the citizenry. All these further give credence to the fact that there is the urgent need for security architecture of the country to be reconfigured, so that, states should be given powers to exercise in the security system. “This is a critical aspect of restructuring being advocated by PANDEF. This will confer functional responsibility on every state governor to provide security within his domain, instead of merely being referred to elegantly as ‘security officer’ of his State, whereas, he does not have even an ordinary catapult, in real terms. The killings in Zamfara, Kaduna South and other parts of the country in recent times are incidences that are unmentionable,” he said. Ohanaeze warns killer herdsmen The apex Igbo sociocultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on the killings by herdsmen in the South East, through its National Deputy Publicity Secretary, Chuck Ibegbu said: “We cannot tolerate the killings of our people in our land, as we notice the chopping off of the hand of a business woman in Ogbhor Hill, Aba, Abia State and the butchering of some people in Anam in Anambra State by herdsmen. “Herdsmen rearing their cattle in towns, government houses and along highways is something that is not seen an where in the world except in Nigeria. “The states from where these herdsmen hail and the Federal Government should also provide lands for fishermen, farmers and tradesmen from the South and Middle Belt to carry out their occupation.” Be alive to your responsibility, ASUP tells FG Also, ASUP, in the communiqué by its National Publicity Secretary, Chris Nkoro said: “The NEC (National Executive Council) equally observed the rising cases of armed banditry and kidnapping in the country, a situation that has made people prisoners in their homes. “The NEC therefore, calls on government at all levels to be more alive to their responsibility of safeguarding the lives and properties of Nigerians irrespective of social strata or creed. “We condemn the pockets of violence in various parts of the country during the elections,” it added. Royal fathers aiding insecurity in North West — Defence Minister On his part, Minister of Defence, Major General Muhammad Ali blamed traditionalrulers, highly placed politicians and warned other sponsors of armed banditry in the North-West for fanning the killings and other insecurity in the area to retrace their steps as security agencies are now out to visit the full wrath of the law on them. A statement by Col Tukur Gusau, Public Relations Officer to the Defence Minister, noted that the Ministry was concerned about the security challenges in the North West particularly, in states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Birnin Gwari axis of Kaduna State. He said: “Due to the recent prevailing security situation in the states, the Ministry through the Nigerian Army is now conducting Exercise Harbin Kunama IV simultaneously in Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto states. “The purpose of the exercise is to effectively flush out the activities of criminal elements in the North West. The Nigerian Air Force has also intensified air strikes against the bandits in Zamfara. “So far, the combined efforts have yielded lots of successes leading to the killing of many bandits, rescue of many innocent persons, including the Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2019 —41 NEWS HOTLINES 018773962, 08052867058 BUHARI MEETS ABU DHABI CROWN PRINCE—President Muhammad Buhari meets with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, H.H. Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, UAE, yesterday. renowned Islamic scholar, Sheik Ahmad Suleiman. The government is also addressing the remote and immediate causes that gave room to high spate of armed banditry in the states. “Recently, the government acted on the advice of the Ministry of Defence to suspend all mining activities in Zamfara State and environs, following intelligence report that suggests close collaboration between the activities of the bandits and illegal miners. “It is instructive to mention here that insurgency and terrorism are global phenomena that cannot be addressed through military actions only. The whole society has to rise in unison to support the government’s efforts to address the problem. “However, despite the concerted efforts of the Armed Forces and other security (agencies), some unpatriotic persons including highly placed traditionalrulers in the areas were identified as helping the bandits with intelligence to perpetuate their nefarious actions or to compromise military operations. “The Ministry of Defence therefore, wish to warn any person or group of persons who choose to connive or sympathies with the bandits to perpetuate crime against the law abiding citizens to henceforth, retrace their steps or face the full wrath of the law. “The Armed Forces of Nigeria have been directed to deal decisively with anybody identified helping the bandits under whatever guise no matter how highly placed the person or persons may be.” Accusing fingers point at politicians The resurgence of killings in different parts of the country, just few weeks after the general election, has been widely attributed to criminals who worked with politicians. Investigations carried by Vanguard revealed that most of the criminals who served as thugs and guards to politicians especially at more intense areas of the country have converted their ‘tools of trade’ into personal use. Police sources hinted that the authorities are very much aware of this ugly development and have been making great efforts to match them in their trade. According to sources, “it is just like those using vehicles to do ‘kabukabu’, the only way they can benefit is to quickly settle their masters and convert same to personal use. That is just the summation of what is at play in many parts of the country now.” The source said: “This thing happens everywhere. Politicians use them to achieve their selfish ambitions. They equip them with all sorts of dangerous weapons and after the elections, they fail to recover those weapons. This is what the criminals use to terrorise the people. The police are very much aware of this and have been making efforts on how to curtail the development. The worst will still come because the development is more intense where politics was bloody in contest. Check out states where these killings are taking place and you will discover that they were those hotly contested ones where politicians acted in a do-ordie manner. “In a place like Rivers State, we are yet to see more killings because those thugs politicians armed are still having their weapons and they are now going to unleash terror on the citizenry. The biggest question is how prepared is our security agencies to face the challenges ahead? If not, more killings will be carried out.” A top police source told Vanguard that the identifiable factors underpinning insecurity in Nigerian are: Illicit weapons illegally procured by desperate political actors now in the hands of their thugs, Inter and intra communal conflicts around the country, rise in poverty and hunger, unemployment and its attendant effects on the youth, lack of adequate manpower in the police, poor funding of the police with its adverse effects on logistics and operational capability and increasing globalization of criminality in the form of transnational organized crimes. However, police sources at the Force headquarters intimated Vanguard that the authorities are not resting on their oars. According to the sources, the acting Inspector- General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, in realisation of the huge challenges ahead, set up ‘Operation Puff Adder’ and has been at the frontline with the Deputy Inspector General in -charge of Operations, Abdulmajid Ali in the execution of the operation. “He has embarked in onthe-spot assessment of identified troubled areas in the country by visiting Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State, Sokoto and Zamfara. He has also engaged in police community partnership through mobilization of relevant stakeholders – traditionalrulers, religious leaders, youth organisations, NGOs and other civil groups. Thirdly, he has intensified inter agency collaboration and synergy towards the fight against insecurity by deploying operational and intelligence assets of the Force nationwide. Special Forces have also been deployed with Tactical Squads to North West and North Central and other troubled areas across the country.” A security chief interviewed by Vanguard, Mr. Daniel Ibuzor said: “Better working tools should be provided to improve the operational capability of the Police; there should be improved working conditions and enhanced welfare of the Police personnel while the legislation on police reforms and Trust fund which are aimed at providing alternative funding for the police force should be passed.” When contacted, Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Frank Mba, who said he was on duty with the IGP and other top officers in Zamfara State and other troubled areas, told Vanguard: “The NPF is committed to solving the security problem in Kaduna. Currently, we have massively deployed our special forces to the affected parts of the state. We have also deployed special intelligence operatives to the affected areas. We are deepening our synergy with local communities, building confidence and increasing collaboration with sister security agencies. However, to achieve a lasting solution to the crisis, we will require investigations in multiple security and law enforcement level, political, communal, economic and socio-cultural levels,” he stated.