FG, Boko Haram Hold Talks …As Presidential Committee Recommends Police Ministry’s Scrap

  • Wed, 15 Aug 2012 01:15:58 -0600 - Nigerian Tide
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A man, who claims to be the Deputy Leader of the Boko Haram,
says the sect is in negotiation with the Federal Government.

The continuous violence in the Northern part of Nigeria,
carried out by the Jama’atu ahlis sunnah lil da’awati wal wal jihad, otherwise
known as Boko Haram, may cease, according to reports by the Voice of America
(VOA), Hausa.

The VOA, in a report yesterday, quoted one Abu Mohammed, who
claims to be the second in command of the sect, saying that negotiations have
already commenced with the government, with a view to restoring peace in the
northern part of the country.

Mr Mohammed contacted a VOA reporter in Mecca, via the
telephone, where he said the sect is ready to stop all attacks during the
period of negotiations, as long as the Federal government is “serious and

The self proclaimed Boko Haram Deputy Leader said the sect
decided to enter into the negotiations with government, based on calls by
prominent Northern leaders on the need to restore peace to the nation.

Sources close to the Federal Government also told the news
agency that talks had begun with the sect.

Mr Mohammed also warned those he referred to as “politicians
and armed robbers,” who hide under the name of the sect to perpetrate various

He said the group would focus its attention on “those
persons who are giving them bad image.”

Mr. Mohammed’s statement on impersonators appears a
confirmation of what the Presidency believes.

The Presidency, through the Senior Special Assistant on
Public Affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan, had Monday, confirmed that there
were three categories of the Boko Haram sect: the religious (official Boko
Haram), the criminal one, and the political group.

Though, The Tide could not independently confirm Mr
Mohammed’s membership of the group, or whether negotiations are in existence,
sources close to the group said that the leadership of the sect usually goes to
Mecca for the Umrah (lesser hajj) and Hajj activities.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Committee on the Re-organisation
of the Nigeria Police has recommended the scrapping of the Ministry of Police
Affairs and merging of parallel organisations carved out of the Force.

The Chairman of the Committee, retired DIG Parry Osayande,
disclosed this on yesterday after submitting the committee’s report to
President Goodlcuk Jonathan at the State House.

In his speech at the presentation of the report, Osayande
said the committee observed that the ministry had no particular role assigned
to it in the 1999 Constitution.

He said the ministry was neither in charge of operations and
appointments nor discipline and promotion of Police personnel, “yet, the budgeted
funds are unjustly domiciled with it’’.

“The Ministry determines Police projects and awards its
contracts, including organising and running training programmes involving
billions of naira with no input from the Police who are the end users.

“The result is that some of the projects being executed are
not of priority to the Police.

“This is an aberration, which has led to abuse,
misapplication and hemorrhage of the limited resources made available to the
Police,’’ Osayande said.

“The Committee recommended that the Police be empowered to
determine its priorities, draw its budget based on its needs and be held
accountable for the use of funds disbursed to it.

“It faulted the ‘envelop system’ of budgeting for the Police
whereby the Ministry of Finance provided a budget template rather than vesting
the fiscal and financial responsibility of the Force on the Inspector-General
of Police.’’

Osayande said the Committee also noted that the carving out
of integral units of the Police as autonomous entities was an aberration and a
violation of Section 214 of the 1999 Constitution, which provides that there
should be only one Police Force for the country.

He noted that successive governments had been decimating the
Police by tinkering with its structure in the guise of responding to its
failures and inadequacies.

He said that the intelligence arm of the Police was carved
out to create the State Security Services (SSS), while the Highway Patrol of
the Force was also carved out to create the Federal Road Safety Commission

Other agencies identified in the category are ICPC and EFCC
carved out from the Criminal Investigation Departments (CID) of the Police and
the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

“The committee, therefore, recommends that some of the
duties taken away from the Police be returned as they are an integral part and
still remain the constitutional duties of the Nigeria Police Force.

“Consequently, the ICPC, FRSC and NSCDC should be
immediately merged with the Nigeria Police Force,’’ he said

“The Committee also recommended the revision of the salaries
and overall welfare and condition of service of the Police.

“It noted that the poverty of the Police coupled with weak
institutional governance, predisposed it to engaging in criminal and anti-social
schemes for self help and survival.’’

Osayande said the committee noted that the staff members of
the parallel organisations carved out of the Police were better remunerated and
motivated than their Police counterparts.

“While the IGP earns N711,498 per month, the DG, SSS earns
N1.336 million per month and the Executive Chairman of EFCC earns N1.5 million
per month.

“This disparity in salary does not reflect the higher
responsibility attached to the Office of the IGP,’’ he said.

Osayande said the committee was opposed to the creation of
State Police but recommended that the Nigeria Police Council, to which all
State Governors are members, should be made fully operational.

He said it recommended that the council extends its function
beyond mere appointment of the IGP and have in place, all the mechanisms to
support the effective governance of the Police.

Osayande urged government to establish an implementation
framework for accepted recommendations of the report to ensure that “they are
not swept under the carpet’’

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