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NASS REPUBLIC: Goodbye to illegal checkpoints? Two other stories, and a quote to remember

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2020 budget to be passed on November 28

Last week, the House of Representatives called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to dismantle all illegal, and needless checkpoints set up by Police personnel across highways in the country.

This move was sequel to Hon. Ifeanyi Momah’s motion against harassment and deaths at the Onitsha-Owerri highway within Ihiala Federal Constituency – which he represents.

We also tracked two other stories from the legislative chamber for your reading pleasure.

1. Goodbye to illegal checkpoints?

On December 1, during plenary, Hon. Momah said, among others: “Road users have since been subjected to devastating, degrading and inhumane treatment occasioned by the operation of the military and police checkpoints in that area (Onitsha-Owerri highway). Being a major express road, the negative impact of this military checkpoint has been grave on the community as well as all the road users.”

Momah’s motion has been a source of lamentation against the Nigerian government over the years. Hence, his outcry only acts to accentuate the rumbling noises which citizens have gotten accustomed to while commuting the highways.

Indeed, the menace of security operatives on the highways raises strong posers over whether the Police, and military personnel, have learnt any lessons from the #EndSARS protests in 2020 which brought the country to its knees.

After all the noise-making in the chambers, it is doubtful if real action would follow suit. Therefore, if the house must be taken seriously it is important to go beyond the shouts to holding the police and military leaderships accountable.

One way to do this would be to set necessary deadlines and insist that the executive act responsibly or force the hands of lawmakers to demand sack of erring officers. Anything short of this amounts to a charade.


NASS MEMORY LANE

Who said;

“During my visit to Nnamdi (Kanu), I did not even take my mobile phone along and no photograph was taken. The photograph people are circulating was the one I took with him when I visited him at the Nigerian Correctional Service Medical Security Custodial Centre, Kuje, in 2016… I don’t also know if Barrister Ejiofor is aware that Nnamdi is not under compulsion to see anyone…Ejiofor’s anger seems to be borne out of vexation of not being around to listen to our conversation.”

Answer: See end of post


Two other stories

2. Gbajabiamila’s call for unity

On December 3, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, charged Nigerians to unite and work together to solve the numerous problems confronting the country.

Gbajabiamila gave the charge in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, while speaking at the 2021 public service lecture of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association Worldwide.

Represented by Hakeem Adeyemi, the Speaker, among others, said: “We need a plan that addresses the economy national security, infrastructure development and healthcare, job creation and social welfare.”

Gbajabiamila’s call is one that deserves to be appraised for its import in national development.

While unanimity of purpose is acknowledged, it is arguable if the ruling class are not themselves guilty of what they are preaching.

Read also: NASS REPUBLIC: Tackling sale of govt jobs. Two other stories and a quote to remember

Indeed, many have argued that this country has never been more divisive than under the Muhammadu Buhari administration. Gbajabiamila must, therefore, admit the bitter truth, which is that he and his company of fellow political elites have woefully failed to unite Nigeria for a common purpose.

It is no-brainer to suggest that what the country needs now to get back on a good footing is the enthronement of justice, equity and fairness. Anything short of this amounts to playing the ostrich.

3. Strengthening LGA leadership

Why Saraki must go, Sen Omo-Ogege insists

Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, on December 1, stated that improving the leadership at the Local Government level will help address the worsening security challenges in the country.

The Deputy Senate President, represented by Chuba Okafor, at a national dialogue on Local Government and grassroots development in Abuja, said: “It is commonplace that high crime rates, especially violent crime, insurgency, terror, banditry and brigandage are all traceable to a faulty grassroots governance structure.”

Omo-Agege, in no small measure, is right. Over the years, concerns, and calls have been raised on how loose leadership at different LGAs makes for the flourishing of insecurity in the country.

Indeed, traditional rulers, bereft of Constitutional powers, are helpless in dealing with the activities of criminal elements who operate more in communities. Reports of massive takeover of leadership in the communities by bandits, and Boko Haram insurgents bears palpable evidence to this.

While Omo-Agege has the moral obligation to point out administrative loopholes where detected, he must work towards ensuring that he deploys the power, and influence of his office, working with his fellow Federal lawmakers, in seeing that they are fixed.

What becomes a thing to ponder is if Omo-Agege would be a willing tool to ensure that the faulty leadership is addressed to help restore peace in the country.


Answer: Orji Uzor Kalu

Kalu made the statement, on December 2, 2021, to clarify that he did not violate any law by visiting Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody. Kalu represents Abia North Senatorial District.

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