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QuickRead: Military bombing of Kaduna village. Four other stories we tracked and why they matter



Troops carrying out air interdictions on suspected bandits last week mistakenly dropped bombs on civilians celebrating the Eid-el-Maulud at the Tudun Biri village in Igabi local government area of Kaduna State.

Reports emerged the same week that President Bola Tinubu had approved a blueprint for the “political emancipation” of the South-East.

These and three other stories we tracked were among the major national issues in the country last week.

1. Military bombing of Kaduna village

On December 4, the Kaduna State government said the Nigerian Army had claimed responsibility for the drone attack that killed over 90 people and injured 60 others in the state.

The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who confirmed the news in a statement, said the General Officer Commanding,1 Division Nigerian Army, Major Gen. VU Okoro, admitted that the troops were on a routine mission against terrorists when the incident happened.

The statement read: “The General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major Gen. VU Okoro, explained that the Nigerian Army was on a routine mission against terrorists but inadvertently affected members of the community.
“The Kaduna State Government has received briefings on Sunday night’s attack which left several citizens dead and others injured.”

Why it matters

The unfortunate incident calls for effective monitoring of the security agents’ operations to prevent similar killings in the future.

To regain the trust of Nigerians who are still groaning under the weight of some of its policies, the Federal Government should undertake a thorough and impartial investigation into the latest in the series of erroneous killings of harmless civilians by the military in the North where the bandits and other non-state agents have turned to a killing field in the last few years.

2.Tinubu approves blueprint for South-East emancipation

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, said on December 7 President Bola Tinubu had approved the blueprint for the emancipation of the South-East, starting with Anambra State.

Ganduje stated this at a meeting with the APC stakeholders from Anambra State.
The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma and Senator Ifeanyi Ubah were also at the meeting.

He said: “President Tinubu has approved the blueprint for political emancipation of the South-East and we are starting with Anambra State. All you need to do is to speak with one voice for it to be louder, deeper and to be heard all over.
“You need a platform for negotiations at the national level. For now, you have been known and you have to be united. The libration has started and the liberal revolution is starting from Anambra State.”

Why it matters

The move if it eventually sails through will surely bode well for all, especially the people of the restive South-East who are the biggest victims of the current face-off between the Nigerian government and groups in the region.

However, it remains to be seen if the plan will include the resolution of the impasse surrounding the detention and extraordinary rendition from Kenya of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu, as well as the group’s secessionist agitation.

3. LP, SDP’s position on coalition arrangement

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Labour Party distanced themselves from the coalition arrangement spearheaded by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Seven political parties came together last week to form the Coalition of Concerned Political Parties (CCPP) in Abuja.

Other parties in the arrangement are the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), African Democratic Congress (ADC), the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Young Progressives Party (YPP) and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).

READ ALSO:QuickRead: Appeal Court sacks Kano governor. Four other stories we tracked and why they matter

In a statement issued on December 9 by its National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, the LP dismissed reports on its involvement in the arrangement.

The statement read: There was news in the media that a group of seven opposition political parties formed a new coalition tagged the Coalition of Concerned Political Parties.

“As was noticed, the Labour Party was not represented at the meeting in question and therefore couldn’t have been part of the coalition as suggested by the publication.”
On its part, the SDP described the arrangement as an undemocratic political tactic designed to unseat the current administration through the back door.

Why it matters

The development points to division in the camp of the opposition over differences in ideology, motive for the arrangement and approach.

Although the emergence of a formidable opposition to a ruling party in a democracy is not entirely a bad idea, the differences stated earlier, especially among the promoters, many of whom would be reluctant to put these aside for a collective goal, means the idea may be dead on arrival.

4. Attack on Kogi election tribunal official

The Kogi State police command on December 6 confirmed an attack on the Secretary of the state governorship election petition tribunal, Mr. David Mike, by gunmen.

The spokesman for the state police command, Williams Ovye-Aya, said in a statement in Lokoja that the secretary was attacked along with two other persons in the state capital.

He warned the people of the state from making inflammatory statements on the incident which was under investigation.

The statement read: “On Monday, December 4, at about 1820hrs, one Mr. David Mike (M) Secretary to Kogi governorship election petition tribunal, along with Labode Apreala (F) Confidential Secretary and Hassimu Adamu Assistant Secretary, came to State Criminal Investigation Department, Kogi State Police Headquarters and reported that they were attacked by gunmen.”

Why it matters

The violence in Kogi State a few weeks after the conclusion of the November 11 election shows a sickening culture among political actors to resolve issues through the gun rather than the ballot.

The attack on the election tribunal secretary was another sign the state may continue to convulse for some time to come unless actors in the Kogi political space weaned themselves of the win-at-all-cost syndrome that has become the main feature of the electoral process and work towards the improvement of the system where votes will begin to count.

5. Speaker Abbas decries ‘embarrassing’
N450k pay for varsity professors

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, on December 7 described as embarrassing the N450,000 monthly salary for university professors in the country.

Abbas stated this at the 3rd International Conference of the Gender Policy Unit held at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.

He said: “We determined to ensure that universities, polytechnics and colleges of education are removed from IPPIS.
“It is also our determination to make sure that education receives a substantial portion in the national budget, at least to meet up with the United Nations requirement of 26 percent of the National budget.”

Why it matters

The speaker’s remark points to the little importance the government attaches to learning in the country.

The poor working conditions, including remuneration in the university system, are partly held partly responsible for the drop in the quality of learning and products churned out by the ivory towers.

Beyond his rhetoric, the speaker and his colleagues in the National Assembly should work with other stakeholders to improve the working conditions in the country’s institutions of higher learning to check the brain drain in the country.

By Hamed Shobiye

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