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Local production of arms: A mission long overdue

By Ogundana Michael Rotimi

It is impossible to imagine a world without needs. The history of mankind is shows his efforts to satisfy his needs. All the discoveries and inventions of science are a proof of man’s urge to solve his problems.

Hence, when man feels the pinching need of anything, he begins to think of how he can satisfy them. He then sets his mind to the task of invention. Necessity gives the first impulse and the rest is the work of the intellect. The world is changing everyday and we must adapt to our changing needs and keep pace with them.

We may not have seen the need to revive the dead, but as the terror of the deadliest terrorist sect, Boko Haram, continues and the refusal of the United States of America to sell weapons to us, there are many reasons why we should locally produce our weapons.

In 1964, an Act of Parliament established the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) to operate the ordnance factories for the manufacture and supply of arms and ammunition, as well as inspecting, testing and recommending ordnance materiel intended for use by the armed forces and other security organisations. The first Technical Partner of DICON was Fritz Werner (FW). FW designed and built the Kaduna Ordnance Factory with a production capacity of, 5,000 units of BM 59 rifles per annum, 18,000 units of SMG 12 per annum, 12,000,000 rounds of 7.62mm x 51 per annum and 4,000,000 rounds of 9mm x 19 per annum.

The Nigerian civil war, which occurred between 1967 -1970, necessitated the tripling of the production rates and the factory was able to make a significant contribution to the war effort. After the war in 1970, the lucrative arms market for DICON ended. Therefore, in order to remain in business, it decided to use its equipment to produce civilian items like rural water supply equipment, industrial spare parts and furniture for sale to the public.

That was how we forgot and abandoned our own production of weapons since 1970 till date. However, as the security challenges facing our country continue, it has become imperative to revive DICON and make it functional again.

Read more: Local production of arms: A mission long overdue

Bungudu: Empowering youths and women in Zamfara

By Chris Alu

Abdulmalik Zubairu Bungudu (APC) represents Bungudu/Maru federal constituency of Zamfara State. A very simple and fearless politician, during electioneering campaigns he explicitly told his people what he will do for them if he is elected. A former local government staff  with Bungudu council, he  was elected the president  of the  Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees, Zamfara State chapter, before joining partisan politics. He used that period to showcase himself by ensuring that he fought for the interest of the workers.

Apart from that, Bungudu also made series of efforts to reform the local government system in order to provide purposeful governance to the people at the grassroots.

According to him, if local governments are reformed they would be able to bridge the governance gap between the people at the grassroots and those at the federal and state level, adding that a functional local government system will bring development and speed up dividends of democracy to the people. 

Read more: Bungudu: Empowering youths and women in Zamfara

Fayose and Ekiti: Buhari’s first test

Adeshina Oyetayo.

Ask anyone who is well informed about the most controversial governor in Nigeria, and he will certainly tell you: Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State. Without doubt, Fayose, through his recent utterances and actions, has earned himself the most popular and controversial Nigerian governor of the moment.

Fayose was re-elected as the governor of Ekiti State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on June 21, 2014 and was sworn into office on October 16, 2014. Prior to this, it would be recalled that he had been governor of the same state from May 29, 2003 to October 16, 2006 when he was impeached.

One of the recent activities that made him popular and controversial was his unrelenting attacks on the person of General Muhammad Buhari, who has just been elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). While some people, especially his lovers, saw nothing new or abnormal in the firm decision of Fayose in attacking Buhari, some believe he was too harsh. To the former, it is not new in Nigerian politics for politicians to attack one another for the purpose of gaining political advantage. So to these people, he should even be commended for playing his political card very well.

However, the latter believe that Fayose is becoming too aggressive and unreasonable in the manner he plays his politics. The most popular and widely criticised of those attacks on Buhari was an advertisement he (Gov. Fayose) placed in the Punch newspaper of January 19, 2015 and Daily Sun of the same date. In that advertisement, he was indirectly asking Nigerians not to waste their votes by voting Buhari who, according to him, is too old to govern the country. The governor had, in that advertisement, indirectly predicted the death of the General in office if eventually elected. So these people see everything wrong in that advertisement.

Read more: Fayose and Ekiti: Buhari’s first test

Buhari’s first speech as Nigeria’s Military Head of State in December 1983

 

  • Spot the difference with his May 29 2015 inauguration speech

In pursuance of the primary objective of saving our great nation from total collapse, I, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari of the Nigerian army have, after due consultation amongst the services of the armed forces, been formally invested with the authority of the Head of the Federal Military Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is with humility and a deep sense of responsibility that I accept this challenge and call to national duty.

Read more: Buhari’s first speech as Nigeria’s Military Head of State in December 1983

Let’s shun political, election violence

By Niyi Rufai.

The presidential election is finally here and I have no doubt that many die-hard Nigerians who are disappointed in the present administration are willing and ready to do whatever it may take to ensure that President Goodluck Jonathan is not returned to Aso rock. But before you embark on such move, I will like to advise every reasonable and enlightened citizen to kindly rethink their choice before taking any action that may cause mayhem which may eventually lead to wanton destruction of lives and property.

Let us wait a second and ask ourselves this simple question; do we need an angel from heaven or jupiter to preach to us that political and election violence do us no favour, but destruction before we counsel ourselves to shun violence before, during and after this election? How many of us have ever reasoned that there are no permanent enemies in politics likewise life. Life is a game and we are all players. If you understand this then ask yourself what kind of player are you?

Remember, in politics, you can be enemies today and allies tomorrow. It is just a simple game.

Few years ago in the State of Osun, there was serious rivalry and great political war between a former governor of the state, Prince Ologunsoye Oyinlola and the incumbent governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. During the political feud between the duo, many lives were wasted amongst their supporters and followers. Today, what are they? Friends and players in the same game, while you and I keep our malice against each other due to unwise reasons.

I will like to implore all Nigerians, especially people from the same community to shun violence and embrace unity and harmony as we vote peacefully and orderly today.

Read more: Let’s shun political, election violence

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