Bola Ahmed Tinubu former governor Lagos state the All Progressive Congress chieftain says the South-West Security Network codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun’ is a welcome development but needs some operational and conceptual modifications or else it will fail.
Tinubu said this in a statement on Wednesday, days after coming under intense criticism for failing to speak on the matter.
The former governor of Lagos State, who is rumoured to be nursing a Presidential ambition, refused to take sides on the matter.
He wrote, “As I understand it, Amotekun is to be another set of eyes and ears to assist the police. As such, it is but the second generation of Neighbourhood Watch expanded to a regional scale. Conceptually, there is nothing wrong with this. It does not appear to insult the constitution.
“However, my position regarding Amotekun is not blind or uncritical; there are several organisational and functional aspects of the proposal that could cause some problems if left unresolved.”
Tinubu said Amotekun should have been fashioned to the peculiarities of each state rather than having a regional structure.
He wrote, “Amotekun should have focused on grassroots local organisation at the state level without a regional command hierarchy. The regional approach may undermine efficiency.
There is no compelling logic why the same personnel providing security informational assistance in Ado-Ekiti should be under the same functional and operational leadership as those providing assistance in Lekki or Akure. This will not lead to optimal performance.
“The regional approach has only limited benefit with regard to the procurement and maintenance of vehicles and communications equipment because this wider approach allows for economies of scale.
“The regional approach also helps tackle the growing incidences of interstate criminal activity. Some things need to be corrected before Amotekun becomes operational.
If not, it will not live up to expectations. Thus, the current formulation of Amotekun is in need of repair before it takes to the road only to quickly slip into a ditch.”
He criticised the South-West governors and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), for the controversy over the initiative, which is heating the polity.
The APC leader said the governors should have consulted the AGF when the organisation was being formed.
Tinubu, however, criticised Malami for issuing a statement condemning the initiative when he could have simply reached out to them and handled it internally and more amicably.
He added, “The governors state that they consulted regularly with the police and security agencies. This was the right thing to do. However, their failure to include the office of the Attorney-General in these discussions is the fount of the current public uproar.
This was an unfortunate omission the governors should regret and seek to remedy. However, the conceptual merits and positive functional aspects of Amotekun should not be tainted by this procedural defect.
“While the Attorney-General is a conscientious public servant, he is also human. Not having been consulted, he was suddenly faced with an unexpected public announcement regarding a matter within his official ambit.
He likely feared the failure to consult him meant that federal prerogatives were being encroached. To blame him for this conclusion would be to blame human nature itself. Though his negative reaction was understandable it was also unhelpful.
“The Attorney-General acted hastily in rendering a public statement that was more inaccurate than it should have been. Amotekun was never proposed as a ‘defence’ agency; the Attorney-General erred in using this description.
The use of uniforms and brightly coloured vehicles may not be the best ideas but they do not render Amotekun a defence agency or paramilitary group any more than a designated school van carrying uniformed students constitutes a paramilitary deployment.”
Turkey halts flight to France, Germany and Spain
Turkey halts flight to France, Germany and Eight other European countries.
Turkey will suspend flights with nine European countries including France, Germany and Spain as part of Ankara’s effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging Europe the transport minister said Friday.
“From 8:00 am (0500 GMT) tomorrow, Saturday, flights will be stopped until April 17 to Germany, France, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands,” Transport and Infrastructure Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan told reporters in Ankara.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the number of COVID-19 infections increased to five, all connected to the first case confirmed Wednesday of a man who had returned from Europe.
Due to the widespread of the COVID-19 in most European countries, Turkish authorities have taken stringent measures to contain the spread the virus by ordering schools to close on Monday for two weeks, and colleges to take a three-week break.
Football matches and other sporting activites are to be played behind closed doors until further notice.
A military action is underway in the northern province of Limpopo in South Africa, planning to quarantine thousands of people evacuated from China’s Wuhan province, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic.
At least 120 South Africans working and studying in Wuhan have pleaded to be repatriated after spending nearly two months there in lockdown.
The government has issued guarantees that none of them are contaminated, and a precaution is quarantine at a nearby resort hotel. The host communities have since been in panic mode since the announcement.
Provincial citizens have blamed the government for endangering people’s lives by operating the Limpopo quarantine location.
“I’m worried,” said 25-year-old labourer Mavunda Benedicto in Limpopo city, the province’s capital. “Out of all (the) provinces, our province is the one that is much poorer.”
“You can call an ambulance now and it will come maybe after five hours.”
A hashtag had begun on twitter saying #LimpopoIsNotADumpingSite trended before the arrival of the aircraft from Wuhan, expected at the weekend.
Two weeks ago, President Cyril Ramaphosa requested South Africans to be repatriated and demanded to be evacuated from Wuhan, which has been in lockdown for almost two months.
The entire project-including passenger screening, airlifting, quarantining-will be conducted by the military.
FG reaches agreement with ASUU on IPPIS
FG reaches agreement with ASUU on IPPIS
The Federal Government reached a partial agreement with members of the Academic staff Union of Universities on issues bothering University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
ASUU rejects the use of IPPIS for lecturers saying that it does not recognize any of the Universities ‘ peculiar activities. The union of lecturers then established its own platform known as UTAS which the government decided to follow for the universities.
“Both sides realised we are working for our country. ASUU already has the University Transparency and Account System. We had a preliminary agreement to accommodate the two systems. ASUU will have to get back to its members and agree on how to couple the two systems. We will continue the discussion after ASUU consults with its members and decision making authority, we will meet on Monday or Tuesday,”
ASUU reacts to the recent development
President of the striking lecturers, Biodun Ogunyemi informed that the union’s executive committee would meet to review the conditions for the integration of UTAS into IPPIS.
“From the discussion we had, we have agreed that we will go and consult. We cannot pronounce on the proposals that came up until we consult with our members. We will leave it there for now.”
“At the earlier meeting in the House of Representatives, it appeared that it is a feature of Nigeria governance style that until there is a fire somewhere, nobody will make an effort to avert the fire”
“We recall that on February 7, 2019, we were here and we signed a Memorandum of Action, there were items that were outlined, rules were signed and time frame as attacked. We have written three letters in respect of those items while we acknowledged that some of them were activated even before we concluded the discussion then. But there were key areas over which we have been raising issues. We were thinking that we were going to trash those items that were outstanding until July 2019, when suddenly IPPIS was thrown at us,”
“Let me state clearly that IPPIS for us was a distraction when it came because in 2013, it was first introduced to us and we engaged officers in charge then. By 2014 when we were almost coming to the point of providing an alternative, government side withdrew and for five years, we did not hear anything from IPPIS office until July 2019. Suddenly, it appears IPPIS has been made the major subject of university governance and staff unionism,” he said.
Speaker of the House of reps, Femi Gbajabiamila has called on the striking lecturers call off its strike in the interest of students.
Gbajabiamila made the appeal yesterday during a tripartite meeting involving the legislative chamber, the union and the government in Abuja.
He stated: “We have tried to avert strikes and we have been successful at it: Medical and electric strikes. It does not speak well of the country. It has become almost perennial that at every point, somebody is holding somebody somewhere. There are basically two main issues here. Agreements and IPPIS. The law says you should give 15 days notice. The law is not there to be broken. The notice is to delay the inevitable. It does not in any way affect the strike.”
1000 dead from Coronavirus as senior officials get sacked
The number of casualties of the deadly coronavirus has been put at 1000 for the first time on Tuesday, according to figures released by the country’s health authorities.
China’s National Health Commission reported that 103 of the 108 new deaths occurred in the central province of Hubei, where the outbreak first began.
Within the same 24-hour period, 2,478 new infections were confirmed nationwide, bringing the total tally up to 37,626. In Hubei province alone the number of confirmed cases has reached over 30,000.
In the provincial capital Wuhan, the epicentre of the crisis, the mortality rate stands at over four percent, official statistics reported.
In Hong Kong housing complex, dozens of people have been quarantined after the virus spread through pipes. The number of total cases in China topped 42,000.
Hong Kong officials evacuated and quarantined dozens of residents of an apartment building after two people living on different floors were found to be infected with the coronavirus, the authorities said on Tuesday.
In addition to the infected residents, four other people living in three different units displayed symptoms of the coronavirus, according to Sophia Chan, Hong Kong’s health secretary.
In another development, senior chinese officials involved in handling the epidemic have been dismissed. The party secretary for the Hubei Health Commission, and the head of the commission, were among those who lost their jobs.
They are the most senior officials to be demoted so far. The deputy director of the local Red Cross was also removed for “dereliction of duty” over “handling of donations”.
The two Hubei party officials will be replaced by a national figure – the deputy director of China’s National Health Commission, Wang Hesheng.
On Monday, some 103 died in Hubei province alone, a daily record, and the national death toll is now 1,016.
But the number of new infections nationally was down almost 20% from the day before, from 3,062 to 2,478.
Hubei’s health commission confirmed 2,097 new cases in the province on Monday, down from 2,618 the previous day.
According to state media, there have been hundreds of sackings, investigations and warnings across Hubei and other provinces during the outbreak.
But removal from a certain role – while regarded as a censure – does not always mean the person will be sacked entirely, as it can also mean demotion.
As well as being removed from their posts, officials can also be punished by the ruling Communist Party.
For example, the deputy head of the Red Cross, Zhang Qin, was given “a serious intra-Party warning as well as a serious administrative demerit”, state media said.
Earlier this month, the deputy head of the Wuhan bureau of statistics was removed, also with a “serious intra-party warning as well as a serious administrative demerit for violating relevant regulations to distribute face masks”.
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