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Ambassador Buratai, A Certified Peace Expert, Offers Anecdotes To End Global Crises {Full Speech}

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General Buratai: Of Sahara Reporters’ Deal With The ‘Evil Spirit'.

Ambassador Buratai, A Certified Peace Expert, Offers Anecdotes To End Global Crises {Full Speech}

By Olorunfemi Adejuyigbe

Buratai

Decades of incongruous beliefs amongst humanity have birthed different shades of subversive and counter militant forces across the globe. In some important respects, these anti human forces have formed lives of their own.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations’s Global Conflict Tracker, the world was groping with at Least 27 Live Conflicts as of the last count, precisely in April, 2022.

 

 

 

 

 

In each case, nuclear arsenals are swelling. Millions are displaced. International law is disregarded with impunity, as criminal and terrorist networks profit from the division and violence.

In Nigeria, for instance, a terrorist group, Boko Haram, spearheaded by Mohammed Yusuf began the group in the year 2002, with a view of opposing western education with his followers. Though Yusuf is dead, Boko Haram, one of the largest Islamist militant groups in Africa has, since 2011, conducted terrorist attacks on religious and political groups, local police, and the military, as well as indiscriminately attacking civilians in busy markets and villages.

 

Buratai

In the process, when things appeared to be getting out of control, a Kanuri born Army General, Tukur Yusuf Buratai, with shy mien, mounted the Nigeria’s defence soap box as Chief of Army Staff in 2015 with unmistakable message to the terrorists to quit or get destroyed.

Within a short period, Buratai reclaimed all the territories hitherto occupied by the insurgents. Peace unfolded and investors’ confidence restored.

 

 

 

However, it is not yet Uhuru. Security challenges across the world are unprecedented. Fierce armed gangs of sundry identities have besieged the world from nearly every corner The Nigerian state has a fair share of this tottering institutional embrace of the dark hour.
Against this back drop, the former Army boss now Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, last week, offered anecdotes on how to achieve peace.

His speech, which he personally delivered at a World Peace Symposium in Lagos, where he was honoured as the first title holder of Bearer of Security Torch, is reproduced below:

 

 

 

 

 

I want to sincerely appreciate the World Institute for Peace and the organizers of this symposium for identifying me to be its torch bearer. It is humbling on one hand, and gratifying on the other; truly it is an evidence that the efforts of our dear nation and it’s various actors to achieve peace in these tumultuous times have not gone unnoticed, and are appreciated by your esteemed organization. Particularly, being the past Chief of the Army Staff, Nigerian Army which has been at the vanguard of almost all physical efforts at ensuring peace, I am grateful to the institute for this recognition, it is by extension a recognition of the role of the officers and soldiers of our esteemed military in the development of our nation.

From the day the Institute contacted me, I have gone through a moment of reflection on my early days as a young military officer up until my time at the helm of the Army, this has led to several mixed emotions. On one hand, I feel nostalgic for the moments in our history uncharacterized by terrorism and insecurity; on the other, sadness for the victims of insecurity, comrades in arms lost in the battle against insecurity, and their dependents left bereft of their loved ones. However, I am not deterred as I believe peace will be achieved, and we will keep striving. We must always strive to contribute to peace in our societies in whatever capacity we find ourselves. You must contribute either as a medical doctor, a nurse, an engineer, a trader, a barber, a farmer, or a labourer etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following the evergreen words of Robert McNamara which says; “Development means security and without security, there is no development”. This, means that peace is at the heart of national development and advancement, thus highlighting the importance of the core values of the World Institute for Peace and by extension, the relevance of this symposium. The efforts of this organization, and all other organizations that promote peace, are germane to global peace and security.

Peace is not a notion that can be defined in a single sentence. It signifies many things to different people and may be perceived through different lenses; yet, there is a common acceptance that peace denotes the absence of violent conflict. In my years of service as a military officer up until my position as the Chief of Army staff, I have had the privilege of being an genuine participant in the quest for peace in Africa and Nigeria- from insurgency, terrorism, farmer-herder clashes, militancy, riots, Angola civil war, and the Bakasi War… to mention but a few. The Nigerian constitution recognises the Police Force as the primary institution tasked with the responsibility of handling internal security.

 

 

 

However, the rise of Boko Haram in 2009 signaled a shift in the nature of internal strife in Nigeria, necessitating a shift in strategy. As a result, the military, particularly the Army, was thrown into the spotlight, and this has progressively become the norm, with the military increasingly playing a role in internal security management. My contributions to the peace initiative stand as proof on their own, as an officer and in the many roles I performed in the Army. As a young Captain I was opportuned to participate in UN Peacekeeping/Observer Mission under the auspices of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission II (UNAVEM II) from 1993 – 1994. It was my first contribution to the global UN Peace initiative. As the commander of the newly reconstituted MNJTF, I worked hard to strategise and planned the fight against the Boko Haram Terrorists group that almost engulfed the Lake Chad Basin countries. The roles played by Nigeria, AU and Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) were so strategic in bringing about the relative peace being enjoyed now. But during my tenure as Chief of Army Staff, one of my main objectives was to strengthen the interplay between the government’s kinetic and non-kinetic strategies in bringing about security and peace for our nation Nigeria.

 

 

 

 

 

The past years have also illuminated the importance of diplomacy, discourse, and the role of the community in achieving security. Religious leaders, traditional leaders, security personnel, political leaders, and the general citizenry have a part to play in achieving security in Nigeria and by extension the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have also encountered another variable that is equally as important as the others highlighted above: ‘ Justice”. Justice according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity. It is the conformity and the administration of what is right based on the law.

 

 

I believe that we can go a step further as a society. Our approach to handling these issues needs to be improved. Leaving it firmly in the hands of security agents is not completely working, we need to apply a structural functionalist approach to insecurity in Nigeria. All of us need to identify our parts in ensuring peace. Divisive elements have to be struck out, it is us against insecurity, therefore insecurity is the enemy. It is not a matter of Hausa, Igbo, or Yoruba. It is not a matter of Christian or Muslim, it is Nigeria against insecurity. Therefore, we have to be tolerant and alert. Irregularities in our neighborhoods have to be reported. The religious and traditional leaders have to preach tolerance and respect for others, and the political leaders need to make informed decisions. In this way, we can push down insecurity and achieve actual justice and eventual peace for our fallen heroes, brothers, sisters, fathers, uncles and husbands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following my exit from active service, I am fortunate, the leadership of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari was gracious to appoint me as an Ambassador to positively portray the country’s image globally. This task I have set to carry it out judiciously since my appointment. I thank President Muhammad Buhari for giving me the privilege to serve as an ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Now a look at the global peace and security situations. According to UNICEF, from Ukraine to Yemen, conflict is taking a devastating toll. Nuclear arsenals are swelling. Conflict is on the rise. Millions are displaced. International law is disregarded with impunity, as criminal and terrorist networks profit from the division and violence. This is the situation the world finds itself in today.
10. The reasons for the outbreak of conflicts range from territorial disputes and regional tensions, to corruption and dwindling resources due to climate change. Conflicts disrupt access to basic services like food and water, and force people into extreme poverty, with the poorest and the most vulnerable paying the highest price. In addition to taking lives and devastating infrastructure in the short term, conflict and its consequences are profound and enduring, reversing progress towards achieving the Global Goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The current humanitarian crisis in Ukraine may be in the spotlight right now, but there are many conflicts occurring globally that deserve equal support and compassion. According to the Council on Foreign Relations’s Global Conflict Tracker, there are currently 27 ongoing conflicts worldwide. The tracker categorizes conflict into three groups: “worsening,” “unchanging,” and “improving.” Right now, there’s not a single conflict described as “improving.” Of those worsening are the conflict in Ukraine, the war in Afghanistan, political instability in Lebanon, the war in Yemen, the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, and the conflict in Ethiopia. Other conflict areas and their impact include Sudan—Political tensions amid regional drought and conflict. Syria—Economic crisis compounds a decade of war. Somalia—Humanitarian access worsens as needs rise. Myanmar—Violent deadlock leaves millions in need. Democratic Republic of Congo—Conflict and disease compound crisis. South Sudan—Regional tensions raise risks. Nigeria—Growing insecurity across the country. Yemen—Cumulative impact of protracted conflict.

The UN has warned that peace is more under threat around the world than it has been since World War II. A quarter of the entire global population lives in conflict-affected areas. Some of the worst affected places are Ethiopia’s Tigray region, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan. According to the UN, last year, 84 million people were forcibly displaced because of conflict, violence, and human rights violations. This year, it is estimated that at least 274 million people will need humanitarian assistance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nearly 11 years after it started, the Syrian refugee crisis remains the largest displacement crisis worldwide (13.2 million, including 6.6 million refugees and more than 6 million internally displaced people). At least 2 million people are living in tented camps with limited access to basic services. The beginning of the war in Syria dates back to the Arab Spring — a series of anti-authoritarian protests, uprisings, and rebellions that spread across several Middle Eastern countries in the early 2010s.

Lasting more than 60 years, the conflict in Myanmar (previously called Burma) remains the longest ongoing civil war in the world. The country has been plagued by decades of repressive military rule and civil war with ethnic minority groups since 1948, the year the country gained independence from the UK. Nearly 880,000 Rohingya refugees have fled the country. The most vulnerable, including pregnant women, babies, children, and the elderly have been forced to travel for days to reach safety in Bangladesh. Today, they live in the world’s largest and most densely populated refugee camp, Kutupalong. Around half of those refugees are children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the Institute for Economics & Peace the 10 most conflict-affected countries lose, on average, 41% of their GDP. The cost of war is almost unfathomable. In addition to the human suffering, social unrest and damage to infrastructure, the burden of war also impacts conflict-affected countries’ economies.

According to Franck Bousquet, the senior director of Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV) Group at the World Bank, wrote in an article for the New Humanitarian, that conflict drives 80% of humanitarian needs and in 2016, the cost of conflict globally stood at an astonishing $14 trillion. That’s enough to end world hunger 42 times over. Just imagine what the world could do with that money if conflicts were to end worldwide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With all the above negative consequences of conflicts and crises around the world, peace is the ultimate solution. I shall use this opportunity to call on the members of the global community especially the UN and the Super Powers to end all conflicts around the world and bring lasting peace to humanity. Let there be peace, security and development in our world. Enough of the deaths, human sufferings and underdevelopment around the world.

In conclusion, I understand that with this Torch comes great responsibility. As a career soldier, I dedicated my life to the defense of my nation and its people and by extension the entrenchment of peace within Nigeria, West Africa, and of course Africa and the world. The responsibility with this conferment is not just to continue what has been my lifelong duty to restore peace, but also now ensure that I am a forerunner in championing causes and initiatives geared toward achieving national, regional and global peace.

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, I express my profound gratitude to the World Institute for Peace and the program’s organizers for choosing me to be a torch bearer. Even though I am a retired general, my active commitment to bringing about peace in Nigeria and the world does nothing but solidify my determination. I thank Ambassador Lamina, the Chairman CEO of the World Institute for Peace in putting this programme together in my honour. I appreciate all the special speakers who spoke via Zoom. I also thank and appreciate all our international and local participants who are physically here and those who join us via Zoom.

Lastly, in our collective pursuit of world peace, we must be conscious of the fact that “victory comes from God alone”.
I thank you all.

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Corruption: The Paradox of George Orwell’s Animal Farm in Nigeria

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Confusion as EFCC names ex-Kogi Gov in amended corruption allegations perpetrated before he became Governor

 

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”

 

 

A proclamation by the pigs that control the government in the novel Animal Farm, by George Orwell has reared its ugly head. The sentence is a comment on the hypocrisy of governments that proclaim the absolute equality of their citizens, but give power and privileges to a small elite. This nauseating development has come to fruition in one of the most discussed issues in our dear nation Nigeria where the Kano State High Court has ruled that the trial of the Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, and others accused of bribery and misappropriation will continue even in their absence.

The Kano State Government, on Thursday, arraigned immediate-past governor Abdullahi Ganduje, his wife, Hafsat, son, Umar and six others for alleged $413,000 and N1.38bn bribery. The defendants, who were absent from court, were arraigned in absentia.

The Governor Abba Yusuf-led government had since April filed the charges against Ganduje and others, but efforts to serve them the charges had proved abortive. At the previous hearing on June 5, the prosecution obtained an order to serve the charges on them by substituted means, through newspaper publication.

The Kano State Government assembled 15 witnesses to testify against the defendants, immediate-past governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, his wife Hafsat Umar; Abubakar Bawuro; Umar Abdullahi Umar; Jibrilla Muhammad, Lamash Properties Limited, Safari Textiles Limited, and Lasage General Enterprises Limited to face eight counts of alleged bribery, diversion, and misappropriation of funds amounting to billions of naira. During the last hearing on April 29, 2024, the court was set to rule on a motion for substituted service, but the defendants had not yet been served.

The charges span a series of alleged corrupt activities. Ganduje was accused of receiving $200,000 from a contractor in exchange for government contracts between January 2016 and February 2017. The second charge claims he collected an additional $213,000 as a kickback from the Kantin Kwari textile market-remodelling project.

Ruling days back, Justice Amina Adamu-Aliyu dismissed the state government’s application for a bench warrant against the defendants.

“The trial of the defendants continues even in their absence,” she stated.

It is imperative to provide jurisprudential insights herein, as the court had previously, on June 5, granted an order to serve Ganduje and the other defendants through substituted service.

The prosecution counsel, Adeola Adedipe (SAN) informed the court that the defendants had been served, and an affidavit of service was filed on June 6.

He noted, “My lord, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th respondents are not in court nor represented, only the 6th respondent”.

Adedipe requested the court to enter a plea of not guilty on behalf of the absent defendants, citing section 278(1)(2) of the Kano State Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) 2019.

“The court should enter a plea of not guilty on behalf of the defendants who refused to answer the complaint in the charge,” Adedipe argued.

He also urged the court to issue a bench warrant of arrest pursuant to Section 388 of the Kano State ACJL, stressing, “The essence of an arrest warrant is for the sanctity and urgency of the court because an order has been made for the defendants to appear before it and they refused”.

However, counsel for the 6th respondent, Nureini Jimoh (SAN) contended that service had not been properly affected on his client.

“We filed a notice of preliminary objection on the competency of the entire charge. The court does not have constitutional power on any of the count charges,” Jimoh stated.

He also mentioned that an application for a stay of execution had been filed before the Court of Appeal, “restraining the prosecution from publishing any charges against the 6th respondent”.

Jimoh urged the court to dismiss the prosecution’s application for a warrant of arrest and to refrain from entering a plea of not guilty on behalf of the 6th respondent.

Justice Adamu-Aliyu has adjourned the case until October 23 and 24 for the hearing of the preliminary objection and the main charge.

This development portends grave danger in the scheme of affairs with questions begging for an answer that is the ruling party helmsman immune to scrutiny and forensic investigations by the anti-corruption body, EFCC? In hindsight, Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf pontificated in public domain that his predecessor, Ganduje has a case to answer as his government will stop at nothing to bring him and his co-travellers to book over his eight-year’s tenure characterized by corruption.

It’s beyond beggar’s belief that such an infringement has been swept under the carpet, as a similar case that involves the immediate-past Kogi State governor; Yahaya Bello is hugging the headlines indefinitely. The confluence sub national entity stated earlier in public domain that GYB has no case to answer, but the EFCC states that reverse is the case.

The Governor in his reaction regretted that Ganduje who was supposed to cover his face in shame over cases of corruption and political violence hanging around his neck shamelessly spoke about non-existent failure in the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) led government in the state.

According to the statement, “Governor Yusuf insisted that Ganduje presided over two unproductive tenures characterised with, inability to cater for the needs of Kano’s population and nepotism.

“Our eight months in office has remarkably outweighed Ganduje’s eight wasted years of political caricature and maladministration by all standards,” Governor Yusuf stated.

He advised the acting National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) and the immediate-past Governor of the state, Abdullah Umar Ganduje to rather buckle up in defence of his battered image at the court, instead of further exposing his impunity on the media space.

Furthermore, to gain helicopter oversight on this thorny issue that’s a sore thumb that constitutes leprous fingers was highlighted by Muhuyi Magaji, chairman of the Kano state Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCCAC), where he stated inter alia that the agency has traced N51.3 billion allegedly diverted by Abdullahi Ganduje, former governor of the state.

Magaji spoke during an interview on Arise TV. He said the funds traced by the anti-corruption commission were half of the over N100 billion meant for LGs in the state.

“The monies were channeled to different local government accounts. They then met with local government staff to create false expenditure with a payment voucher and then diverted the money through a third party,” he said.

“We traced a lot of the diverted funds to various individual accounts at the single market and subsequently took the money in cash to the state government house with someone stationed with a counting machine.”

The trajectory where ignominious allegations that involve perceived associates of the ruling party and levers of power are overlooked, while entities in the bad books of the system are subjected to vice like grip treatment leaves a sour taste in the mouth that could be equated to dystopian locomotion in a democracy.

Ayoola Ajanaku is a Communications and Advocacy Specialist based in Lagos, Nigeria….

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OGUN ORDERS ILLEGAL OCCUPANTS OUT OF FOREST RESERVES

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OGUN ORDERS ILLEGAL OCCUPANTS OUT OF FOREST RESERVES

OGUN ORDERS ILLEGAL OCCUPANTS OUT OF FOREST RESERVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That Ogun state government has asked illegal occupants in its Forest Reserves at Area J3 in Ijebu-East Local Government Area, to vacate and desist from habit of selling government lands.

 

 

 

 

OGUN ORDERS ILLEGAL OCCUPANTS OUT OF FOREST RESERVES

 

 

 

 

Commissioner for Forestry, Engr. Taiwo Oludotun made this known during a fact-finding visit to the reserved, saying individual or group that has no legitimate business in the forest would not be allowed to stay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engr. Oludotun, who emphasised the need to protect all government forest reserves against criminality perpetrated by unscrupulous elements, noted that the present administration would continue to ensure safety and proper management of the reserves.

 

 

 

 

 

OGUN ORDERS ILLEGAL OCCUPANTS OUT OF FOREST RESERVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘’Ogun State government will not fold its arms and allow people who do not have business in this reserve to stay. Those harbouring criminals should desist as government is ready to take drastic action against any culprit’’, he warned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Commissioner, said identity cards and other means of identification would henceforth be made compulsory for legitimate occupants, directing Forestry officials to take data of people living in the area including gender, occupation, state origin, among others, and forward it to the headquarters, within a shortest possible time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier in his remarks, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Timothy Olatunji urged Baales in the area to protect the reserves by sustaining tree planting all through the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He said farmers in the reserve were permitted to plant cassava, maize and other food crops, noting that such agricultural practices should not be done at the detriment of trees that were planted, promising government’s assistance in seedlings provision to achieve the goal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Responding, representative of Baales in the area, Chief Adewale Aderinwale, appreciated the Commissioner and the management team for the visit, assuring them of their cooperation at all times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highpoint of the visit was symbolic tree planting exercise carried out by the Commissioner, Permanent Secretary and the management staff at Aba Ekiti in the area.

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Leadership of Students’ Unions Across University,Poly, Colleges Begin Protest July 29th

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Leadership of Students’ Unions Across University,Poly, Colleges Begin Protest July 29th

 

*MEMO TO ALL STUDENTS, STUDENTS’ UNIONS, STUDENT ASSOCIATIONS AND AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS COVERING NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES, POLYTECHNICS AND COLLEGES OF EDUCATION*
 The leadership of the National Association of University Students (NAUS), with the leadership of the National Association of Polytechnic Students(NAPS), and the National Association Nigerian of College of Education Students (NANCES), extends sincere greetings to Nigerian Students covering the aforementioned bodies, as well as, its affiliated associations across the country.
The purpose of this Memo is to prepare the minds of Nigerian students across tertiary institutions in the country, on the collective decision made by the leadership of the aforementioned associations, after due and painstaking consultations on the way forward for Nigerian Students.
The present economic quagmire occasioned by the rising cost of living, hike in cost of commodities , hike in petroleum price, hike in electricity tarriff, insecurity, poor funding of our institutions which presently affects more than 80% of the population in the country, is felt most by young Nigerians studying for various academic qualifications across tertiary institutions.
This development has led to poor socioeconomic welfare for students, a loss of interest in academic activities and a fall in grades, an increase in crimes and criminality, and an increase in violence on campuses and their environs.
Furthermore, the inability of federal, state and local governments to provide adequate immediate and long-term palliatives, especially for Nigerian Students, to cushion the effect of the high cost of living, is rather disappointing and also raises the alarm of the student movement in the country, of a seeming lack of initiatives and ideas on the most effective approach to sustainable economic recovery and growth.
Hence, the trio of NAUS, NAPS and NANCES, representing the voices of millions of Nigerian students emphatically condemns the lackadaisical attitude of the Government and declares a National Day Of Protest For Nigerian Students starting from Monday, July 29th, 2024 till further notice having communicated the government through various means including media but nothing has been done.
This protest is to serve a way of exercising our right and driving home our demands to the Federal and state governments, to influence innovation, conceptualization and implementation of plans for the alleviation of the hardship suffered by Nigerian students.
More directly, the trio of NAUS, NAPS AND NANCES frowns at the I don’t care attitude or the government towards reducing the current hardship been undergone by all of us especially the students which  contributes to the impoverishment of Nigerian Students.
The Leadership of NAUS, NAPS AND NANCES therefore urges all Nigerian students to prepare for the National Day of Protest coming up from the 29th of July, 2024.
With this notice, Student union officials are enjoined to be in touch with their respective associations for updates on the Protest, as security agencies will also been put on notice.
Leadership of Students' Unions Across University,Poly, Colleges Begin Protest July 29th
Aluta Continua, Justa Costa,  Victoria Ascerta.
Signed :
Comr. Obaji U. Marshal
National President, NAUS
Amb. Shuaib Ishaka Yahaya.
Senate President, NAUS
Comrade Ridwan Opeyemi Munirudeen,
National President, NAPS
Comrade Adeniji Boluwaji Temitope
 Senate President, NAPS
Amb. Comr. Eegunjobi Samuel Oluwaseun
National President, NANCES
SEN. KUR ISAAC USHAHEMBA
Senate President, NANCES

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