Local Sokoto news, Nigeria
Lance Corporal Martins vs. Broken Presidency, Broken National Assembly, And Broken Country By Bayo Oluwasanmi
Lance Corporal Martins Idakpein of the Eighth Division, Sokoto, Nigerian Army, criticized the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, and Chief of Defense Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, for not doing enough to end Boko Haram terrorism. Martins lamented the needless and senseless killings of citizens.
Shortly after the video went viral, Martins was arrested on the orders of Buratai. Days later, his wife Victoria was arrested “leaving her three children in the care of no one.”
Nigeria, a country ruled by brigands, is a place where anyone, who exposes a crime becomes a criminal. Our abundance of cliches for describing and discussing our broken presidency, our broken National Assembly, and our broken country are inexhaustible. Nigerians’ appetite for diagnosis of all that’s wrong with Nigeria and prescriptions to fix it is bottomless. The truth is, there’s no one in charge of Nigeria. Nigeria is a lawless country. Nigeria is a failed country. How to cure Nigeria’s metastasizing maladies is up to Nigerians.
The arrest of Martins for exposing the rut in the military clearly shows the presidency, the National Assembly, and the country are all broken. The broken presidency is adrift in the midst of competing disasters facing the country. It thrives in deceit and dishonesty. General Muhammadu Buhari is either AWOL or MIA. He has become redundant, irrelevant, and out of touch. Buhari’s regime has turned Nigeria into a politically, socially, morally, and spiritually chaotic country.
The National Assembly is composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Briefly summarized, the functions of the National Assembly are: (1) Through debate make laws that influence our daily lives. (2) Hold hearings to inform the legislative process. (3) Conducts investigations to oversee the executive and the judiciary. (4) Serves as the voice of the people and states in the federal government.
To say the National Assembly is broken is to be economical with the truth. Despite its vast authority, the legislature seems paralyzed in the face of the country’s toughest problems. The corrupt legislature has willingly surrendered its authority to the executive branch.
Nigeria as a broken country, is like a virgin whose life had been ended in the bloom of youth. Nigeria is so hopeless and irredeemable. Her desolation is like a deserted land with no one to lift her up. Nigerians are chased from pillar to post. They flee from a lion only to meet a bear. They run into their homes believed to be their places of security, but they are bitten by snakes. They have no hope. No one ray of light!
The service chiefs have over stayed their 35 years. Their capacity and capability have diminished. They have no clue how to prosecute a modern warfare. They are as good as dead. They must go! They must make room for young, brilliant, agile, educated, committed young officers. Instead of listening and fixing the problems Martin complained of, they arrested him and his wife.
How can a handful ragged, war-weary, no weapons army fight terrorists? How can hungry, low esteemed, battered, and frustrated soldiers fight unrelenting Boko Haram insurgents? How can unhappy, low paid, non-paid and low spirited soldiers whose expressions of sorrow are classic go after die-hard terrorists?
The National Assembly should enact a law similar to the US Military Whistleblower Protection Act. The Act covers all members of the US Armed Forces who make “protected communications” about violation of a regulation or law. The superiors of whistleblowers can’t retaliate in any way, shape, or form against the whistleblower. The Act has been vital to many cases of unethical and illegal conduct in the US military. Without the Act, some of the cases that were brought before the courts would never have been possible.
The real enemies of Nigeria are Buhari, Buratai, and Olonisakin not Martins. These three war commanders should be court-martialed for prolonging the war on Boko Haram, for failure to equip soldiers to fight the war, and for making Nigeria a terrorist haven. They are guilty as charged Lance Corporal Martins should be released immediately with generous compensation for wrongful detention. This country ruled by lunatics must be redirected to the path of sanity and civilization.
Ex-APC NWC Member, Inuwa Abdulkadir, Is Dead
Atop member of the All Progressives Congress from the North-West region, Inuwa Abdulkadir, is dead.
A member of the party's National Working Committee that was dissolved recently, the 54-year-old Abdulkadir is said to have died at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, on Monday to suspected Coronavirus complications.
He is expected to be buried at his Gawon Nama residence around 2pm on Monday.
Reps Move To Rescue Buratai’s Critic, Lance Corporal Martins, In Military Detention
The House of Representatives has begun the process to rescue a soldier, Lance Corporal Martins Idakpein, who was detained for criticising the service chiefs over the rising spate of insecurity in Nigeria.
At the plenary on Thursday, the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, moved a motion to call for Idakpein’s rescue, Punch reports.
It was titled, ‘A call on the Nigerian Army to release Lance Corporal Martins Idakpein from arrest based on His expressed opinion.’
ldakpein, from the 8 Division, Sokoto, of the Nigerian Army, had criticised the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, and other service chiefs in a viral video over the handling of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Subsequently, ldakpein was arrested and moved from Sokoto to Abuja. His wife, Victoria, was also arrested after she granted a media interview, calling for the release of her husband.
Elumelu said, “The House is disturbed that though Section 122 of the Armed Forces Act forbids the military from perpetually detaining any officer, Lance Corporal Martins ldakpein, has been held in detention till date and his wife who tried to secure his release has also been detained.
“This is an affront to the letters of Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, which guarantees the fundamental human rights of citizens.”
The House mandated the Committees on Defence and Army to “investigate the alleged detention of Lance Corporal Martin’s ldakpein and his wife.”
Also, the House asked that “ldakpein should be brought before the relevant House committees and the leadership, to brief them of the happening in the northern part of the country.”
Governor Tambuwal Kicks As NBS Lists Sokoto Among Poorest States In Nigeria
Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, has faulted the current report by the National Bureau of Statistics that the state is one of the poorest in the nation.
Tambuwal made the observation Monday when he received a report titled, "Sokoto Development Plan: 2020-2025 at Government House, Sokoto.
According to the April 2020 Nigerian Living Standards Survey (NLSS) report released by the NBS covering the year 2019, 9 of top 10 poorest states in Nigeria are from the northern region with Sokoto, Taraba and Jigawa being the poorest.
"I do not intend to join issues with the NBS, but I appeal to them to come clear on their variable(s) and how they do their assessments of poor states in Nigeria; and then how they arrived at Sokoto being the poorest," the governor stated.
He added: "We know that something must be fundamentally defective and wrong with their processes and the outcome of those processes.
"When you look at the programs we are implementing in Sokoto State, they are people-friendly. They are promoting and supporting the vulnerable, the poorest of the poor.
"Even what we are doing through Zakkat and Waqf Commission (SOZECOM) alone, I am not aware that there is any state that is doing as much."
He further added that the state government would monitor the NBS and see what it would come up with in its next report, "whether they will reflect the true position of Sokoto state in Nigeria in terms of rating of poor states."
"We believe that we are not (poor) and in due course, it would unfold," the governor said.
ICPC uncovers N250 million alleged fraud at UDUTH, reveals loopholes in IPPIS
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has uncovered a N250 million alleged fraud at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH) in Sokoto State.
Spokesperson of the commission, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, announced this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
She alleged that the money was diverted from the institution’s personnel cost account into the private accounts of an “individual and a company”.
The spokesperson, however, did not mention the names of the suspects who own the accounts.
According to her, the anti-graft agency had already taken into custody a staff of UDUTH Accounts department described as the kingpin in the alleged fraud.
“He is being questioned to unravel all those behind this fraudulent act.
“ICPC has also commenced efforts to recover the proceeds of this fraud through the seizure of exotic cars and real estate properties from the main culprit,” she disclosed.
Citing findings from ICPC investigation, Okoduwa said the suspect exploited loopholes in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) to perpetrate the fraud.
“The fraud was carried out when deductions meant for third parties such as the state board of internal revenue and over-payment deductions were diverted from the IPPIS and channelled into the private accounts of an individual and a company.
“Checks by the commission on how a critical national infrastructure such as the IPPIS could be compromised indicated likely negligence on the part of the management of the teaching hospital and other loopholes.
“For instance, failure to cross-check and reconcile the execution of its budget and allowing officers from the Finance and Accounts Department to access another officer’s password on the platform, present real threats and vulnerabilities,” she explained.
She added that further probe revealed that the suspect exploited “a window of opportunity on the IPPIS platform” to substitute the genuine destination account numbers with those of his co-conspirators before payment.
She said that the window allowed Ministries, Department and Agencies to edit salaries that had been processed by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation before they were finalised or paid.
“Again, the commission’s findings indicate that the platform does not match account names with account numbers. This loophole created the opportunity for the fraudster to divert the funds successfully for the while that the fraud lasted.
“Investigation into the fraud is ongoing and appropriate actions will be taken by the commission upon conclusion,” she said.
Nigerians Commend Soldier Arrested For Criticising Service Chiefs, Call For His Immediate Release
Nigerians have condemned the arrest of Lance Corporal Martins, a soldier in the Nigerian Army who was arrested on the order of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
The soldier made a video condemning the security chiefs of the country, especially Buratai and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, for the incessant killings of Nigerians by Boko Haram and another armed group.
He was arrested in Sokoto a few hours after releasing the video and moved to the Federal Capital Territory where he is currently being detained.
Following his arrest, Nigerians have asked the military leadership to immediately release the soldier while they address the issues he raised in the video.
They also condemned the security chiefs for not making strong moves to stop the incessant killings of Nigerians by the Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in the country.
A Nigerian, identified as Comrade Andrea, tweeted, "Please, the said soldier needs to be vindicated in respect of his action. It takes courage for someone to embark on such. This country is in a critical state and needs to be delivered."
Constance Justice said, "Nigerians should unite and fight for the freedom of this prisoner of conscience, whose offence is that he called a spade a spade."
Gamson Gwamna prayed for Lance Corporal Martins. He wrote, "My prayer for this soldier is that God the creator of heaven and earth will surely deliver you from the evil people of this country for saying the truth. Your true destiny in this life will surely come to pass. Amen.”
Ibrahim Baba Ibrahim said: "The truth can't be taken away from the public after being exposed. Arresting this guy isn't anything but (a call for) the service chiefs and all the concerned body to sit up and do the needful. The killings are on a daily basis."
Ese Adagbra Aminu kolere said, "I guess you listen to what the soldier said? Like any Nigerian with conscience and love for his country and concern for the life of his people, that motivated him to speak out! He did it out of frustration as well. The officer should be commended rather than be condemned!"
Kcprain Odanwu said, "Any country where exposing a crime is like committing a crime is been ruled by criminals."
Mazi Ifeanyi Nweze said, "Our military should take any criticism in good faith because they have really failed in their responsibility. Arresting Lance Corporal Martins is not the best option for the military chiefs. They should sit down and fix all that is wrong in their strategies to be able to regain their strength and values."
Yusuf Dabo said, "Freedom is not always given freely by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed. You can kill the messenger but you cannot kill the message. If the right thing is not done, we would see the worst in the near future."
Isioma Chigbolu said, "The soldier is absolutely right, unfortunately, he is in the military, they will call it insubordination and will court-martial him, but he is crying for all Nigerians. Yes, the so-called service chiefs have failed Nigerians."
@leo_akpomemike called for the resignation of Nigeria's security chiefs. He tweeted: "….we need to change all these useless and incompetent leaders that only know how to arrest people saying the truth. Why did they arrest him now?"
@OnyiFelix tweeted, "These service chiefs have overstayed their 35 years of service - all they are doing now is taking money for their retirement - they don't care about anyone right now. They've run out of ideas and should honourably resign and let others do the job."