The Fulani socio-cultural organization, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, has provided reasons for its plan to establish vigilance groups in the Southeast and other regions of the country.
National Secretary of MACBAN, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, told The Sun that the move was a sure way of bringing to an end the present spate of killings, kidnappings, banditry and other forms of insecurity across the country.
He also said MACBAN’s proposition was misinterpreted in Enugu last week because of lack of proper understanding of it.
Ngelzarma added that the organisation’s desire was not only to deploy vigilantes to the Southeast but to all states of the federation.
According to him, “The whole thing was misunderstood or some people deliberately failed to make people to understand us.
“What we meant is that Miyetti Allah will establish a vigilante group, and it was a mere suggestion to the governors of the zone because we feel that security should be everybody’s concern, and we have our members across each and every forest in the southern part of the country.
“So, in order to also help the government and the security agencies to do their work that is why we want to assist in anywhere we can to bring about peace in the Southeast, Southwest and South-South.
“We just proffered that one as a solution because it is only a Fulani man that can identify a Fulani criminal. When a Fulani man commits a crime, it is always easier for a fellow Fulani to go and fish him out and bring him to justice.
“Where there is farm destruction, in order to avoid a confrontation, which leads to loss of lives on either side, it is the Fulani that will help the security to go and bring the culprit to face justice.
“That was what we meant, when we said let some of our members work with either the security, neighbourhood watch or vigilante group as the case may be, so that they will be working together if there is any problem or any sort of crime, farm destruction as the case may be, then our members within the group of vigilantes will go and apprehend the culprit so that he faces justice and pay for the farm he has destroyed.
“It was a mere suggestion to the state governors. MACBAN is not going to appoint a vigilante. Who are we to go and appoint a vigilante in a state, as the state governors are the chief security officers of the states, the police and other security operatives are there. We can only assist or offer to assist when our offer is accepted.
“The last time we had a meeting with our members, we agreed to work closely with the government, work with the security and do all they could to try to fish out criminal elements within the fold of the herdsmen because Miyetti Allah is not a criminal organisation; it doesn’t represent any crime or criminal because those criminals are not our members, and we don’t see them to be our members because we don’t condone crime and we condemn crime wherever it takes place, and we sympathise with victims of crimes whether they are Fulani, Igbo, Yoruba, etc. We don’t tolerate criminals in our fold.
“It was a mere suggestion to the governors, if they accept, we work together, but if they don’t, whatever approach they want to adopt, we are always ready to be part of the security initiative in every state to do our best in assisting government, security agencies to fish out criminals because we have had enough, where some few criminals are smearing the name of the entire Fulani people in the country.
“We don’t like it and that is why we offer ourselves to security agencies and to state governments, where they require our assistance, and we have instructed our members whether at local government level to work closely with traditional rulers, vigilante groups and the government in fishing out criminals, and working to ensure security in their community.
“This is all what we meant, but somehow, some people gave it a wrong interpretation. It was a mere suggestion, but with or without it, our doors are open; we are ready to assist security; we are ready to work with government, we are ready to work with community, work with neighbourhood watch or vigilante groups, whatever you have that is taking care of security in those areas. Our members are ready to work with security in fishing out criminals.
We didn’t disobey Makinde’s shutdown order- Oyo Revenue boss reacts
The Oyo State Internal Revenue Service (OYSIRS) on Tuesday said its attention has been drawn to reports criticising its decision that its top management staff offer skeletal services to the public during the period of government shutdown.
A statement by the Executive Chairman of the Oyo State Bureau of Internal Revenue, Aremo John Adeleke revealed that the offer of service by the senior management is voluntary and without any coercion.
According to Aremo Adeleke, the decision was meant to ease public agony and inconveniences; especially in areas such as filing of tax returns by companies; registration of new vehicles; renewal of expired vehicle documents; remittances of monthly PAYE and other due taxes as well as any emergency requests for tax clearance certificates.
“These are essential services which must be provided, remembering that unlike Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, Oyo State is not on total lockdown yet,’’ the statement read.
The statement read in part: ‘’To enable our management staff discharge this skeletal duty adequate healthcare provisions have been made in our offices and the few staff involved in the skeletal services are under strict COVID-19 health guidelines. Which means at all times the management of the Service is mindful of keeping our staff save.
“We are aware we are in a time of a ruinous pandemic which necessitated the government shutdown in the first place.
“Contrary to the viewpoint of detractors and mischief makers, the attempt and sacrifices by the senior management of the OYSIRS to do its bit to enhance the resource capacity of OYSG to cope with its gargantuan responsibilities connected to handling the COVID-19 emergency.
“It is obvious that the good intention of the BIR, which is aimed at helping the state cushion the effects of the COVID 19 emergency was being misinterpreted by a few
“Let it be said that important organs of government, such as OYSIRS, cannot completely shut down even in times of crisis.
We are not unaware of the antecedent of the opposition in the state who would prefer to grind the entire machinery of a caring government such as GSM’s to a complete halt, just to paint a picture of inaction, but our people are wiser than such petty antics.
“It is also true that with the support of the Ministry of Finance, we have made progress and made a difference in our attempt to re-engineer the process of revenue collection at OYSIRS. Still digital machines, IT solutions and robust applications don’t operate themselves, hence we need that vital few among our management staff for difficult times like we are. And we are sure this difficult time will not last.
“We want to assure the entire citizenry of Oyo State, especially the families of our senior staff at OYSIRS, that the health and well-being of our staff is paramount to us and we will not execute any policy that will put them in harms way now or in the future.
“We will continue to observe closely all developments regarding the present pandemic and religiously adhere to all directives of His Excellency the Governor and the COVID-19 management team in Oyo State.
“We, however reassure all our management staff who have diligently been participating in offering the skeletal services to remain assured that their sweat will not go unnoticed.”
Lock down order takes effect, Lagos-Ibadan expressway blocked
The police have blocked the inbound and outbound sections of the Lagos-Ibadan express way as part of plans to effectively lock down the Lagos metropolis.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in line with local and global best practices for curbing the spread of COVID-19 had earlier gave this directive .
The President, in his nationwide broadcast on Sunday, ordered that a total lock down be observed in two states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in a bid to combat the virus.
The President directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, the President also extended the restriction to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.
In line with the President’s order, security operatives have taken to the streets to ensure that the curfew is obeyed.
It is expected that the containment period would be used to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases.
Nigeria: Undisrupted financial services during COVID-19 lockdown
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had issued a directive restricting the movement of people – excluding those on essential service – with effect from 11pm on Monday, March 30, 2020, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun States, as a response to the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Subsequently, the Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria obtained Presidential approval to permit critical financial services to function during this period.
Consequently, relevant security agencies have been requested to grant passage to critical staff of these institutions to enable essential and strategic financial transactions to go undisrupted during the period of the lockdown. These institutions include:
i. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN);
ii. Deposit Money Banks (DMBs);
iii. The Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) Plc;
iv. Switching companies,
v. Mobile money operators,
vi. Payment solution service providers.
In view of the ongoing restrictions and in order to check further spread of the corona virus disease, the CBN hereby urges the general public to limit their use of cash and avail themselves of the use of alternative payment channels such as mobile banking, Internet banking, Mobile money, Point of Sale, and USSD. The public is therefore assured that financial institutions will remain operational during this period and therefore should guard against panic withdrawals from their banks.
We also urge all Nigerians to adhere strictly to the movement restrictions and follow stipulated guidelines by the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other relevant health agencies of government to curb possible spread of the virus in Nigeria.
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