…As World Bank, IMF, Oxfam urge Nigeria to invest in human capital***
Lethal weapons, including petrol bombs and one double-barrel gun, were recovered during Sunday’s raid of the Afaraukwu, Umuahia’s home of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu, the police claimed yesterday. IPOB is banned.
Abia State Commissioner of Police Anthony Ogbizi said the items were recovered during a joint operation by security personnel.
He said the petrol bombs were found in buckets.
Also found, according to the police chief, were incriminating documents and letters concerning IPOB’s activities.
He said the raid was carried out after an intelligence report regarding the continued activities of some members of the group.
Ogbizi said: “We recovered many of Biafra’s insignia, staff of office and some of those items are being analysed.”
The police boss said a suspected member of IPOB was being held.
He said the team also discovered the telephone numbers of the group’s zonal coordinators, adding that all the communications between the leadership of the group and their collaborators would be thoroughly analysed.
Ogbizi said a Biafran flag was also found hanging on a telecommunications mast in the area.
According to him, the police will ask the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) to sanction any telecommunication company that allowed its mast to be used to hoist Biafran flags.
He said the activities of IPOB in the Southeast were “stirring insurrection” and that security agencies would not fold their arms and watch the group foment violence.
He said members of the group allegedly set ablaze a police station and a van in Aba. A military patrol team attacked in Umuahia.
Ogbizi said similar joint operations would be carried out intermittently in Kanu’s residence, anytime the police received intelligence reports that offensive weapons were brought to the place.
He said that it was wrong to say that the military was taking over the duties of the police. The action, in his view, should be seen as a synergy between the two organisations to check security challenges.
Ogbizi said that he would not hesitate to invite the army anytime the security situation in the state grew beyond the capacity of the police.
In the meantime, the World Bank has urged Nigeria to faithfully build and invest in critical infrastructure that would wholly support its growth aspirations.
The bank’s Group President, Jim Yong Kim, in his opening remarks at the 2017 yearly meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank Group, said Nigeria needed to build resilience, like others, against the overlapping challenges it faced today, including climate change, conflict, forced displacements, famine and disease.
According to him, most of these challenges could be tackled with deliberate efforts to raise human capacity, which calls for key investment in education.“Nigeria should think ahead. It should invest in what will grow the economy, shifting its priority. In fact, this is true of the rest of African economies,” he said.
Kim said Nigeria could also be creative in agriculture and manufacturing initiatives, which are also at the centre of human capital development issues.In a similar vein, Managing Director, IMF, Christine Lagarde, said the paradox of stronger growth and uncertainties being experienced now is a lesson for policy-makers to remove barriers against free-flow businesses, sustain corruption fight and consolidate financial regulatory system.
Lagarde, who expressed her distrust over the faltering growth in the sub-Saharan African economy, which Nigeria is leading, said it is unfortunate the sub-region emerged one of the most sub-optimal, given its demographic potential.
According to her, reduction of gender gap, which would be achieved by consistent strategy on equal opportunity and development of women, remains a potent tool for economic growth, and that is applicable to Nigeria.
Also, the Executive Director of Oxfam International, Winnie Byanyima, said like many other countries, the problem of political capture is in Nigeria, as laws do not favour the disadvantaged in most times.
Byanyima, who compared Nigeria with Vietnam, said commitment towards reducing the inequality index left Nigeria at the bottom, while Vietnam recorded improvements that placed it ahead.
She said: “In Nigeria, up to 10 million children are not going to school but in Vietnam, every child gets good education. Both countries are almost middle-income countries. Vietnam spends three times more than Nigeria on education in terms of budget allocation.”
“In Nigeria, one in every 10 children do not reach their 5th birthday, but in Vietnam, it’s one in 50. Vietnam spends twice as much as Nigeria on health. Yet, Vietnam struggles with inequality, but you can see the difference in the outcomes. This is shameful and does not contribute the much-sought growth.”
Nation with additional report from Guardian NG