Tag Archives: buhari

President Buhari raises concern over threat of ‘growing’ cyber criminals.

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President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, lamented that increasing usage of the Internet has caused corresponding rise in threats posed by cyber criminals, online fraudsters and cyber terrorists, who he said, cause tension in the country.

He stated this at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while unveiling the National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy for 2021.

Noting that the country was currently at a turning point in its history, President Buhari said Nigeria’s young and vibrant population had the potential to exploit Internet revolution in developing the economy and improving national security.

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He said Nigeria was also witnessing upsurge in adoption of Internet and social media for almost all aspects of its daily life, and therefore, the Internet or cyberspace had become central and indispensable to national development.

“That is why, in the past couple of years, our administration has focused on several Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-driven initiatives.

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“Some of these include the National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2020–2025 launched in March 2020 to increase Internet broadband penetration across Nigeria, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020–2030, National Identity Programme, Treasury Single Account (TSA) and Bank Verification Number (BVN) schemes, among others,” he stated.

Buhari explained that the initiatives serve as enablers for tackling the economic and security challenges in the country, while also providing a platform to improve accountability and transparency in government’s resolve to fight corruption.

“However, like several other countries, significant challenges followed the growth and development of the Internet. We are witnessing increasing threats posed by cybercriminals, online financial fraudsters and cyber terrorists, who use the Internet to cause apprehension.

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“We are also witnessing an upsurge in the use of the Internet and social media to propagate hate speech, fake news and seditious messages, as well as risks of breaches to personal information and sensitive government data. It is almost impossible to overstate the challenges,” he said.

He pointed out that the emergence of new technologies, outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and 5G technology, have further widened the scope and diversification of the cyber threats.

“In October 2020, we witnessed escalation in use of social media for dissemination of subversive messages and incitement of violence, which heightened tensions, unrest, looting and destruction of property across the country.

“Therefore, in a bid to ensure that we effectively embrace and harness the benefits of digital revolution, while effectively combating rising cyber threats, the Federal Government has been proactive in ensuring progressive use of the Internet and cyberspace,” he added.

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He said the Federal Government developed it maiden National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy in 2014, to provide a roadmap for the realisation of national cyber security programme, adding that the effort paved way for Nigeria to reach some cyber security milestones in the last six years.

“Therefore, to build on this achievement and reposition the country for enhanced engagement in cyberspace, it became necessary to review the National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy 2014 and develop a comprehensive National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy 2021 in the interest of the country,” he stressed.

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#Newsworthy

Lots of Blood have been shed in Nigeria – Buhari.

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Gombe has enjoyed relative religious harmony for decades, and you shouldn’t allow hoodlums destroy this positive record.

President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, said Nigerians have regrettably shed enough blood over issues that could be peacefully resolved.

The President made this announcement in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

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Buhari made this remark in reaction to the uprising violence on-going in Gombe State arising from the Billiri chieftaincy dispute.

The statement titled, ‘Billiri chieftaincy tussle: President Buhari condemns violence, calls for maximum restraint to avoid escalation,’ calls for peace.

The President said, “I’m seriously disturbed by the outbreak of violence in Gombe State and call on the parties involved to exercise maximum restraint to avoid escalation.

“The easy resort to violence is uncalled for because there are enough avenues to resolve differences amicably without threatening law and order.

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“In a circle of violence, there are no winners, except losers. Muslims and Christians should avoid the temptation of resorting to violence in order to express their grievances.

“Nigerians have shed enough blood over issues that could have been peacefully resolved. I appeal to the two parties to sheathe their swords for the sake of peaceful coexistence. Gombe has enjoyed relative religious harmony for decades, and you shouldn’t allow hoodlums destroy this positive record.”

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#Newsworthy

Buhari Gov’t seeks Senate approval over 2021 NPTF budget.

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President Buhari said in the letter that his request was in Pursuant to Section 4 (5) and Section 21 of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund Establishment Act 2019.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday sought the consideration and approval of the Senate for the 2021 Police Trust Fund budget.

Buhari’s request is contained in a letter addressed to President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and read at the plenary session.

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President Buhari said in the letter that his request was in Pursuant to Section 4 (5) and Section 21 of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund Establishment Act 2019.

“I hereby forward the 2021 budget proposal of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund (NPTF) for the kind consideration and passage by the Senate.

“The estimate of revenue and expenditure in the 2021 proposal are consistent with statutory functions of the NPTF in terms of providing funding through a special intervention fund for training and re-training of personnel of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF)

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“This is to enhance their skills for moral improvement, performance and efficiency in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities,’’ the president wrote.

According to Buhari, the budget is to ensure procurement of state-of-the-art security equipment, operational vehicles and other related facilities.

This, he wrote, would ensure enhanced skills of personnel of the NPF in handling operational equipment.

He also said in the letter that the budget would help in the construction of police stations, barracks, and other facilities for personnel and their dependents and procurement of essential training materials.

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The president said that the budget would also aid payment for the participation of personnel in seminars, conferences and other skills acquisitions courses.

“While appreciating the usual expeditious consideration of this submission, please accept, distinguish Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration,’’ Buhari wrote.

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#Newsworthy

Wike tackles Buhari again, ‘over electoral act.’

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Governor Wike accused former Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai of political bias.

Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike has tackled President Muhammadu Buhari for not assenting to the amended electoral act before the 2019 general elections. – NoRM

Wike, who spoke during an interview on NoRM‘s known Media in Port Harcourt, said for the nation to move forward, elections needs to be transparent and all votes are counted.

“Why didn’t the President sign the last amendment Electoral Act, why? Because APC as a party had informed the president that if you sign this electoral amendment, you are likely to lose the election,” Wike said. “Therefore, don’t sign it. And of course, the president did not sign the electoral amendment act.

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“I am not carried away by the antics of the National Assembly. They all know what will make the country to move forward. One, make the election to be transparent by ensuring that all votes are counted. You can achieve that by allowing the card reader to function. So that the figures recorded on the card reader should tally with the transmitted figures.”

Wike said the National Assembly members are often preoccupied about the next election, so they tend to skew the electoral amendment act to benefit their interest and that of their political party.

The governor said an amendment of the electoral act by the National Assembly will be mere charade if card reader is not to be used to determine the validity of every vote cast.

The governor observed that several attempts to achieve a credible electoral reform had been mired by overriding personal ambition of persons with vested political interest within and outside the National Assembly.

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On security, the governor advised the new service chiefs to shun politics and concentrate on strategy that will enable them to end insurgency in the country .

Wike noted that lots of Nigerians had lost confidence in the former service chiefs, thus, the clamour for Buhari to sack them. He applauded Buhari for listening to citizens.

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“They must understand that challenges are enormous and so they have a lot of work to do. They should not concern themselves with politics,” Wike said.

He cited the arrest and detention of recruits of the Rivers State Neighbourhood Watch Safety Corps who were undergoing training at the National Youth Service Corp orientation camp at Norwan in Rivers State by the Nigerian Army on the directive of the then Chief of Army Staff.

The governor described Buhari’s claim that the security situation in the country has improved far beyond what the situation was when he assumed office in 2015 as erroneous.

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“Things have gone very bad,” Wike said. “Everybody knows that insecurity has reached the level where everybody was saying change the service chiefs. If it was good, nobody will call for their sack. Even in his party, the APC said the insecurity has gotten to a level we cannot bear again.”

Wike pointed out that despite the withdrawal of $1 Billion, estimated to be above N450 Billion from the excess crude account to procure armament to fight the insurgents, security has continued to deteriorate.

Speaking on the issue of community policing, the governor noted that both the federal government and the police high command are playing politics with the scheme.

“If you want this country to move forward, it is important that the States must take control of security apparatus of their state,” Wike said.

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“I know the local governments, I know the communities, I know the families. So I should be able to say this is what we should do in policing these areas. Therefore, the need for community policing is necessary, but what is the problem is that the federal government comes up to say, they will support community policing, but where have they supported it.”

“The police itself will say, oh we are interested in community policing. Let me tell you what happened in my State. They said they want to do community policing and they called traditional rulers to seek their cooperation.”

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#Newsworthy

‘We have a new Buhari from Sudan’ – Obasanjo’s revelation.

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He urged the president to wake up and fight banditry and other crimes especially in the northern part of the country.

Former Nigeria presient, Olusegun Obasanjo, has kicked against claims that there is “a new Buhari from Sudan” in Aso Rock.

Obasanjo, during a virtual interview with historian, Toyin Falola, on Sunday, however expressed his worry over insecurity in the North West of the country, where incidentally President Muhammadu Buhari is from.

Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo and Present Leader (2021), President Muhammadu Buhari

Obasanjo said, “I thought I knew President Buhari because he worked with me. But I used to ask people, is it that I have not read him well or read him adequately or is it that he has changed from the Buhari that I used to know? I am not subscribing to the people who say we have a new Buhari from Sudan and all that nonsense.

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“I know what I believed was his limitations and I have written about it – he wasn’t strong in economics, not all of us are strong in anything but you need to have sufficient knowledge of it for you to direct the affairs. He wasn’t particularly too strong in foreign affairs but I thought he was strong enough in the military.

“But with what I have seen now, I believe that maybe he will be thinking of a legacy. Maybe he will also learn from what has happened in recent times. If you are the commander-in-chief and banditry is taking place in your backyard, then you have to wake up.”

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#Newsworthy

Voice of Nigeria DG laud Buhari’s internal democracy promotion

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The VON boss praised the President for upholding the internal democracy and hence, bidding goodbye to imposition of candidates in APC.

Noble Reporters Media gathers that the Nationwide APC Membership Revalidation would kick-off simultaneously on Tuesday nationwide.

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He said: “One salutes President Buhari for promoting the doctrine of internal democracy, hence bidding goodbye to imposition of candidates in the APC during primary elections.

“I am glad that the President gave life oxygen to Section 7 (viii) of the APC constitution, which states interalia, ‘To promote and uphold the practice of internal democracy at all levels of the party’s organisation.

“Taking cognizance of upholding this core tenet of democracy and repositioning our great party, the President proclaimed that, `No more crowning from Abuja downward. Let the people know this and appreciate it that they are in charge of their constituencies and they are in charge of the party.

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“Without any incentive, they must come out and defend the party at any level so that we, you and the party will feel secure and comfortable because the old-time of putting hands in the pocket is over because the money is no longer available’’.

Okechukwu further said that Buhari, as the foremost leader of APC, has undoubtedly raised the Red-Flag to ubiquitous ‘Food is Ready Politicians (FRPs)’ in Abuja, and surreptitiously reap offices meant for hardworking party members.

According to him, to avoid the huge loss inflicted on our great party by the crass imposition of candidates in the 2018 primary elections, we must avoid the Red-Flag of undue endorsement of candidates.

The VON D-G said: “For the avoidance of doubt, if not for crass imposition of candidates in our party in 2018, the stocks of our sister political party, the PDP, could have crashed badly.

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“Imposition in APC elevated the fortunes of PDP, that today, they can afford to bandy fake news, make noise, fail to pay the bailout funds and subvert eloquent policies of the President like the Social Investment Programmes, and Executive Order 10’’.

Okechukwu called on APC leadership at all levels to strictly adhere to the President’s Red-Flag proclamation that the party style and structure should no longer operate from Abuja downwards but from the ward level upwards.

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#Newsworthy

Abubakar heads to Chile as Dodo emerges Buhari’s new ADC.

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Customarily, the ADC attends to the personal needs of the president and other matters regarding his functions as head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the nomination of Lt. Col. Yusuf Dodo as his Aide-De-Camp (ADC).

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Noble Reporters Media learnt that the appointment of Dodo followed the nomination of Buhari’s out-going ADC, Col. Mohammed Abubakar to attend a five-month course in Santiago, Chile from March 8 to July 30.

The course is a prerequisite for Abubakar’s next promotion to the rank of brigadier-general, expected to be carried out in the last quarter of this year.

Abubakar will by the end of February be the longest serving ADC to a civilian president, having served in that position for almost six years.

He is also the second longest serving ADC in the history of the Nigerian armed forces after late Col. Walbe, who served Gen. Yakubu Gowon for nine years.

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NoRM learnt that the 48-year-old ADC, who has served in various army units and formations within and outside Nigeria at different capacities recommended his successor by nominating three seasoned and trustworthy army officers to Buhari.

The president picked Dodo, an Academy Adjutant of Nigerian Defence Academy.

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Dodo is to under-study Abubakar for three weeks to learn the ropes of his new assignment, a presidential source told NoRM‘s known correspondent.

The office of ADC to the president statutorily provides security and protects the president and his family in conjunction with other security agencies.

Officers, who are nominated to be ADC to the president must be loyal, have high morale standard, impeccable character and have courage and be knowledgeable.

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The presidency source described Abubakar as a tested and experienced commander, instructor, security manager and a talented investigator.

The new ADC was born on March 28, 1973 at Wusasa in Zaria.

”His father is from Kano State and his mother is from Edo State. He has an impressive educational background,” the source added.

Abubakar attended the Nigerian Military School, Zaria from 1985 to 1990, where he developed early leadership skills.

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The new ADC, a fellow of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, is married to Hajiya Fatima Musa Daura. He is blessed with children.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, when contacted confirmed the appointment of the new ADC.

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#Newsworthy

We have nothing to hide – Buhari says after APC revalidation

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Buhari said the administration had given more attention to agriculture in order to diversify and strengthen the economy.

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians of full implementation of the 2021 budget, with all transparency and openness in meeting the targets, while appreciating the National Assembly for the effective and detailed attention before the passage.

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Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja, said the president gave the assurance in Daura, Katsina State, after participating in the registration and revalidation exercise of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said the budget aptly captured some of the visions of the administration, and all efforts would be poured in to ensure effective implementation.

“We have directed all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies to follow what is in the budget so that we can get the National Assembly to easily support the next budget.

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“We can tell them what we have received, and how it was spent.

“We are always ready to make the balance sheet available for all Nigerians and the National Assembly. We have nothing to hide.’’

“We are still grateful to Morocco for the support they gave us in producing fertiliser in the country.

”We have 42 companies producing fertiliser in six Geo-Political Zones.’’

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The President’s registration exercise in Daura was attended by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, former Senate President, Ken Nnamani and ten governors.

The affected governors included, Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, who is the Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee, and other party stalwarts.

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#Newsworthy

President Buhari revalidates APC membership.

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Buhari called on all those interested in the party to turn out in large numbers to revalidate and register, and be mindful of the COVID-19 regulations in carrying out the exercise.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday in Daura, Katsina State, called on leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to encourage more participation and ownership of the party at the grassroots.

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Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s spokesman in a statement, said the president made call when he hosted Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, some governors and party members of the APC at his country-home after his registration at Sarkin Yara Ward, Daura.

He said they could achieve this by adopting bottom-up processes of registration and revalidation at ward, local government, state and federal levels, including the FCT.

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According to him, a continuous sense of ownership by members will strengthen the party structure, guarantee better prospects in elections and insure its future.

“I want to thank you for coming all the way for the flag-off of our party’s registration exercise. Your coming is important to further boost the morale of party members and draw new members.

“Thank you for choosing a bottom-up process of registration at our ward, local government, state and national level, including the FCT.

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“Our party style and structure should no longer be Abuja downwards, but from the ward level upwards. So that people can defend the party and its policies even at every level.

”The question of putting hands in pocket to get people to participate is no longer there since we don’t have the money to share.’’

The president said elites in the country should be more reflective and fair in their assessment of the administration, noting that the strides recorded should be appreciated.

“I will like our elites to be more reflective and remember when we came in in 2015. Where we were then, the resources available and the infrastructure we met on the ground.

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“From 1999 to 2014, our country produced 2.1million barrels of oil and a barrel was over 100 dollars at some point.

”The economy was so much in a terrible state after we came in that we had to give bailout to states so that salaries and pensions can be paid. Now, we have a more stable polity.’’

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In his remarks, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, said the governing party had already set up two committees to ensure effectiveness in the registration and revalidation process.

According to him, Gov. Yahaya Bello is heading the mobilisation and sensitisation, while the Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger leads the registration process.

“We are very proud of you. You are a special human being that God uses when Nigeria is in trouble.

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”When you came to power in 1983, Nigeria was suffering from the attacks of Maitasine, and you dealt with them in Maiduguri, Gombe and all other places. I was in secondary school then.

“You also improved the economy. You instituted War Against Indiscipline to bring more focus. You inherited Boko Haram when you came in 2015, like the Maitasine.

”We are enjoying relative peace. In Yobe State, five local governments were in the hands of Boko Haram before you came in and no secretariat there was functioning. The situation is different now.

“You have successfully stopped the bomb blasts in various parts of the country and today people in the North East are getting resettled.’’

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The Chairman said the success of the ward level registration by the President would further encourage grassroots participation.

The President’s party registration in Daura was attended by ten governors, the Senate President and a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani and other party stalwarts.

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#Newsworthy

Gov Lalong meets with Buhari.

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The meetings are coming in the wake of tensions especially across the south-west states which many have attributed to criminal Fulani herdsmen.

The Governor of Plateau State, Mr Simon Lalong, has visited the President to discuss the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

According to him, the implementation of the project headed by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and originally designed to run from 2019 to 2028, will significantly address the farmers/herders crisis in the country.

“I am a member of the livestock committee under the vice president, Governor Lalong said.

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“I represent the north-central on that committee. You will recall that this issue came up before and that was the purpose of setting up that committee and we made far-reaching recommendations and funds were to be made available for pilot states and Plateau is a pilot state. About nine states were pilot states.

“The issue was to move away from the old ways of rearing cows and to find more modern ways of doing it.

“In some places they will do it that way but in a confined environment which was all agreed and that is part of what I was raising, to remind Mr President to hasten the implementation of the National Livestock Production.”

The meeting also came on the same day that the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammed Saad Abubakar, met with the leadership of the Miyetti Allah cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to discuss the security challenges involving criminals who operate under the guise of herdsmen.

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At the meeting held behind closed doors on Friday, the leadership of Miyetti Allah attributed the kidnapping and banditry that have continued to thrive in the country to the inability of the government to act decisively against the criminals.

According to the Aare Ona Kankanfo of Yoruba land and the National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress, Gani Adams, most of the lands belonging to the Yorubas have now been seriously invaded.

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He also raised concerns that if things are not handled properly, soon, there will be famine in Yorubaland.

“If you know what is happening in Akoko South West, its not funny at all. Most of the criminal Fulani herdsmen have occupied it,” Mr Gani said in an exclusive interview with Channels Television on Wednesday.

“So, I think all hands must be on deck to make sure this ugly incident is taken care of.

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“It is a serious invasion and we have been seriously infiltrated and we have traced the hand of conquest from some Fulani herdsmen because we have some Fulanis that have been living with us peacefully for the past 100 years (about two or three generations of Fulanis living with us peacefully) but for the past seven years, we have now noticed strange things from the Fulani tribe. They have discouraged the Yoruba people from farming and if care is not taken, within one year there will be a famine in Yorubaland”.

Quit Notices
His comments come days after tensions escalated in the Ibarapa axis of Oyo State where an indigene Sunday Igboho had given Fulanis in the area an ultimatum to leave following allegations of criminality.

Videos shared on social media showed Igboho holding a well-attended rally where he swore to drive out Fulani herdsmen from the entire Yorubaland for causing insecurity and banditry.

However, in reaction, Makinde said his government and security agencies need not wage war against any ethnic group but against criminal elements, irrespective of their tribes, religions, or creed.

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The governor added that his administration would not allow anyone to threaten the peace of the state by acting unlawfully and saying things that are alien to the Nigerian Constitution, noting that acts that can cause chaos in the state will not be accepted.

His Ondo State counterpart, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had also earlier issued a quit notice to the criminal herdsmen who he noted had infiltrated the forest reserves.

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#Newsworthy

Buhari to spend four days in hometown, Daura, Katsina.

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The President considers this exercise as a very important one for the nation’s democracy and its yearning for good leadership as a requirement of the process of nation building.

President Muhammadu Buhari has travelled to his hometown of Daura in Katsina state for a four-day official visit.

This was confirmed by his Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement on Friday.

Buhari was welcomed at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua International Airport, Katsina by the Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, the Deputy Governor, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly and the Chief Judge.

During his stay in Daura, he is expected to, among other engagements, participate in the All Progressives Party, APC membership registration and revalidation exercise.

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In a broadcast last week, President Buhari urged “all good people,” not only to speak but to rise up and “get involved in the task of improving their society,” adding that “for most citizens, their greatest weapon is their vote. Register now for your Party and register when the time comes for elections.”

The President is expected to return to Abuja on Tuesday.

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#Newsworthy

Fayose says Buhari ‘no longer man of integrity’

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This was faulted by the Federal Government through the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), who said TI has no evidence to back the report.

Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose has slammed President Muhammadu Buhari over the latest corruption perception index report by Transparency Index.

The report placed Nigeria at 146 out of the 180 countries listed, adding that in West Africa, Nigeria is second most corrupt country after Guinea-Bissau.

Reacting to the Federal Government’s stance on the report, Fayose recalled how the current regime attacked the administration of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan using TI report.

“When the President and his APC gang labelled the PDP government of President Jonathan as corrupt, they relied on reports by the Transparency International (TI). Then, the organization was right and its reports were credible,” Fayose said.

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“Now under Buhari, Mr “Integrity and Corruption Fighter”, the same Transparency International’s latest report placing Nigeria as the second most corrupt country in West Africa is no longer credible.”

He added, “Transparency International has now established that under Buhari, Nigeria has become the hq of corruption. At this point, it’s illegal and morally unacceptable to refer to Buhari as Mr Integrity. He has equally failed in securing Nigerians. Therefore, Buhari’s integrity my foot.”

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#Newsworthy

Buhari asks National Assembly to confirm new service chiefs.

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Consequently, he said the Service Chiefs have only been nominated but not appointed.

President Muhammadu Buhari has communicated the appointment of the Service Chiefs to the National Assembly and has sought the confirmation of the said appointment by the Senate.

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This communication was done through Buhari’s letter to the Senate President dated 27th January 2021.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare who made this disclosure on Friday stated that this is in furtherance of Section 18 (1) of the Armed Forces Act Cap. A.20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

According to Senator Omoworare, Buhari’s gesture goes contrary to fears expressed in some quarters that the president has “bypassed” the National Assembly in the process of the appointment of the Service Chiefs and that he has no intention of seeking consideration and confirmation of their appointment.

“Mr President, upon nomination for the appointments, sought confirmation of the Senate for the appointment of Major General Lucky Irabor, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao as Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff respectively, vide his aforementioned letter.

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“It is on record that this same procedure was adopted when the immediate past Service Chiefs were appointed. Upon announcement of the appointment of the then Service Chiefs – Major General Abayomi Olonisakin (Chief of Defence Staff), Major General Tukur Buratai (Chief of Army Staff), Rear Admiral Ibok-Efe Ibas (Chief of Naval Staff) and Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar (Chief of Air Staff), Mr. President had written the 8th Senate on 14th July 2015 for confirmation. Whilst the correspondence was read on the floor of the Senate on 28th July 2015, consideration and confirmation of the appointments was carried out at the Committee of the Whole on 4th August 2015,” Senator Omoworare stated.

The National Assembly is to resume plenary sessions on 9th February 2021, and Omoworare said he is hopeful that then the president’s communication for consideration and confirmation of the nominations for appointment of the Service Chiefs would be undertaken.

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The news about President Buhari writing to the National Assembly comes a few hours after human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) faulted the president’ appointment of the new Service Chiefs following the resignation of the former officers.

In a statement personally signed by him on Wednesday, Mr Falana quoted a 2013 judgment which described the appointments of Service Chiefs without the concurrence of the National Assembly as illegal and unconstitutional.

“Yesterday, President Buhari was reported to have appointed new service chiefs for the armed forces.

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“Upon a critical review of the law on the subject matter the members of the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAP) have found that the appointments remain inchoate as President Muhammadu Buhari has not forwarded the names of the proposed service chiefs to the National Assembly for approval in strict compliance with the relevant provisions of the Constitution and the Armed Forces Act.

“The appointments of service chiefs without the concurrence of the National Assembly which had been the practice since 1999 was challenged in the Federal High Court sometime in 2008 by Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN (the current Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity) in the case of Keyamo v President Goodluck Jonathan (unreported Suit No FHC/ABJ/ CS/611/2008).

“In his landmark judgment delivered on July 2, 2013, Adamu Bello J. (as he then was) held that it was illegal and unconstitutional, null and void for the President to single-handedly appoint Service Chiefs without the approval of the National Assembly having regards to the combined effect of Section 218 of the Constitution and section 18 (1) & (3) of the Armed Forces Act..,” the statement read.

“Because it was acknowledged that the judgment was sound and unimpeachable the Federal Government did not challenge any aspect of it at the Court of Appeal.

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“To that extent, the judgment is binding on all authorities and persons in Nigeria in accordance with the provisions of section 287of the Constitution”.

Falana and ASCAB, therefore, called on President Buhari to forward the names of the proposed Service Chiefs to both houses of the National Assembly for confirmation, stating that a failure to do so, means that the said appointments are liable to be set aside on the basis of the valid and subsisting judgment of the Federal High Court.

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#Newsworthy

NGF lauds Buhari on new security appointments

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Buhari had on Tuesday approved the immediate resignation of the then Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service.

The Northern Governors’ Forum has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to replace the country’s Service Chiefs.

Those involved were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

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The President announced the appointment replacement in the persons of Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

Fielding questions from newsmen after meeting President Buhari in the State House, Friday, Chairman of the Forum, Simon Lalong, who is the Governor of Plateau State, said the step taken by the President was a right step towards addressing the menace of insecurity in the country.

“I came into the Presidential Villa in two respects; on behalf of the Northern Governors’ Forum and also as State Governor from Plateau State. I extended our felicitations to the President on a new year and also congratulated and commended him for the steps he is taking in addressing insecurity in the country especially in Northern Nigeria.

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“The change of Service Chiefs is very commendable and also to remind him about some of the things left behind by their predecessors so that we can hasten and conclude them so as to make people safe.

“We had serious cases of banditry, kidnapping and so many issues of insecurity in the country, we will not expect that to continue. So, we are going to give maximum cooperation to the new Service Chiefs, while also commending the outgone ones for their roles in addressing issues of insecurity.”

The forum Chairman said he used the occasion of his visit to thank President Buhari for the intervention in the financial constraints besetting the Northern Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) by settling the outstanding retirement benefits of workers of New Nigeria Newspapers.

“For the Northern Governors, we had a protracted problem in NNDC especially about the New Nigeria Staff, who were laid off or retired, about their gratuity and pension.

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“The President intervened and that has taken a whole lot of weight from us as we address the issue of reviving the NNDC,” he said.

Governor Lalong said the Northern Governors are also happy with the President’s inauguration of a steering committee on the alternate education programme, which will help address the problem of out of school children.

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#Newsworthy

Presidency alleged plot against Buhari.

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Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement on Friday said the plot was allegedly being orchestrated by unnamed persons using online newspapers and blogs.

The Presidency on Friday said there is a plot to wage a smear campaign targeted at President Mohammadu Buhari.

According to him, “there is compelling reason to alert the nation of another orchestrated smear campaign against President Muhammadu Buhari, using some online newspapers and blogs.

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“The campaign, scheduled to be launched anytime soon through editorials and purported special investigative stories, is designed to further exacerbate tension in the land, by portraying the President as pandering to ethnic and other primordial tendencies, contrary to his pledge to belong to all Nigerians.

“Impeccable security findings indicate that those behind the plot have procured online blogs and newspapers, which are to launch coordinated publications, alleging subjugation and suppression of a particular religion and ethnic groups.

“A specific medium has so far contacted some opinion leaders, especially those very critical of President Buhari.

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“Part of the planned publication is to make unwary readers believe that the President has continually used the powers of his office to shield and protect an ethnic group against crimes of murder, kidnappings, rape and banditry in the southern, middle belt and some northern states.

“The publication will also refer Nigerians to a 58-page document, which chronicles purported atrocities of the ethnic group in the South since 2017, all of which it claims the Presidency has turned blind eyes to.

“Again, the hatchet job will allege that the President has continued to place members of his ethnic nationality in sensitive positions, so as to confer undue advantage on them. This allegation is by no means supported with reasonable facts and figures.

“Just on Thursday, President Buhari, while meeting with the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), led by Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, restated his even-handedness on the issues of ethnicity and religion. Said the President:

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“The Federal Government under my leadership does not, and will not, allow religious prejudice or partisanship to influence any of its decisions and policies. It is my solemn decision to be fair and just to all segments of society.”

Those who are bent on stoking ethnic and religious unrest in the country remain deaf to reason, and impervious to reality. They are hell-bent on distorting reality, and Nigerians are urged to be wary of them. It is all about quest for power, and filthy lucre,” the statement said.

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#Newsworthy

Nigeria remains second ‘most corrupt’ in West Africa.

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Critics believe Buhari’s campaign against corruption is selective and questionable. But the president has consistently said he allowed anti-graft agency to work without interference.

Despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption campaigns since winning his first term election about five years ago, Nigeria is still been perceived as one of Africa’s most corrupt countries.

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Not only did the country slipped two places below from 146th position in 2019 to 149th in 2020, the country also scored 25 out of 100 points, falling by one point compared to 2019, according to 2020 Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index.

The 149th position means Nigeria is just above 31 countries out of 180 countries surveyed worldwide, while Nigeria is ranked 25 out of 49 countries in the sub-region.

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Of the 180 countries measured, Nigeria is perceived as the second most corrupt country in West Africa.

TI measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 180 countries/territories around the world.

“This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) paints a grim picture of the state of corruption worldwide. While most countries have made little to no progress in tackling corruption in nearly a decade, more than two-thirds of countries score below 50,” the report reads.

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“Our analysis shows corruption not only undermines the global health response to COVID-19, but contributes to a continuing crisis of democracy,” it added.

According to the report, civil society organisations in Nigeria denounced reports of hoarding of COVID-19 palliatives by states and called on anti-corruption institutions to investigate the allegations.

The current low ranking is no surprise.

Nigeria has scored relatively low on the ranking. Between 2011 till date, Nigeria’s score has varied from 24 to 28 percent and its ranking from 136th to 149th.

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Since 2012 when the scale of 100 was first used, 2016 was Nigeria’s relatively best year. The country had a score of 28 and ranked 138 out of the 176 countries surveyed that year.

With a score of 25, 2013 was perceived as the country’s most corrupt year, when it ranked 144 out of 177 other countries.

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Until now, the Buhari administration believes it is making credible progress in its anti-corruption campaign, in that, in 2020 the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the anti-graft agency, EFCC, condemned the report, saying TI was oblivious of Buhari’s “achievements”.

Buhari has blocked perceived leakages in government, for example, faulty contract-bidding process and lack of financial documentation.

This has made it more difficult to indulge in brazen corrupt practices. The anti-corruption commission has had a busy time prosecuting alleged corrupt individuals and politicians.

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Some of them were given jail sentences, while others ended as mere media trial after suspects were acquitted.

Corruption charges against some public officials and politicians have been put on hold as some of the accused are now part of Buhari’s administration or political party, All Progressives Congress. Some notable members of the party, including a former governor and serving senator, were convicted by courts.

In 2020, Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency boss, appointed by Buhari, was removed from office over graft allegations.

Ibrahim Magu headed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for about five years without the confirmation of the Nigeria Senate.

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He served as “acting chairman” after the senate twice refused to confirm his appointment. Although there were political machinations behind the rejections, there were also allegations by the security services department of corruption and being too cozy with Umar Mohammed, a retired air commodore who authorities described as a “questionable businessman”.

Magu was accused of, among other things, re-looting recovered funds and “insubordination and misconduct.”

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#Newsworthy

Buhari signs bill to compulsory using of ‘face mask’ in Public.

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Part 1 of regulation, which deals with restrictions on gatherings, stipulates that at all gatherings, a physical distance of at least two metres shall be maintained at all times between persons.

The President signed the document in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010.

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has signed the Coronavirus Disease Health Protection Bill 2021 making the use of face masks in public places mandatory, among other measures to curtail the further spread of COVID-19.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, disclosed this while addressing journalists on Wednesday.

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He said the President signed the document in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010.

It added, “No gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50 per cent capacity of the space.

“All persons in public gatherings, whether in enclosed or open spaces, shall adhere to the provisions of Part 2 of these Regulations.

“The provisions of these regulations may be varied by Guidelines and Protocols as may be issued, from time to time, by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 on the recommendation of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.”

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In the same vein, Part 2 of the regulation stipulates that no person shall be allowed within the premises of a market, mall, supermarket, shop, restaurants, hotels, event centres, gardens, leisure parks, recreation centres, motor parks, fitness centre or any other similar establishment.

It, however, stated that an exemption is when the person “is wearing a face covering that covers the nose and mouth, he washes his hands or cleaned the hands using hand sanitiser approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, and his body temperature has been checked. Any person found to have a body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius shall be denied entry and advised to immediately seek medical attention.”

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#Newsworthy

US Inauguration: Buhari react as Biden becomes 46th President.

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He expressed the hope that the Presidency of Biden and Harris will further strengthen cooperation and support for Nigeria and Africa.

President Muhammadu Buhari has said his government is looking forward to the Presidency of Joe Biden, “with great hope.”

This was contained in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, titled “President Buhari: We look forward to working with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris”.

The President congratulated the leaders and the entire country on the successful transition, which he said marked an important historical point for democracy as a system of government and for the global community as a whole.

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He said, “We look forward to the Biden Presidency with great hope and optimism for the strengthening of existing cordial relationships, working together to tackle global terrorism, climate change, poverty, and improvement of economic ties, with the expansion of trade.

“We hope that this will be an era of great positivity between our two nations, as we jointly address issues of mutual interest.”

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#Newsworthy

Nigerians mock Buhari Gov’t after Pigeons released during Armed forces remembrance refuse to fly.

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The action as expected sparked a debate on social media on Friday.

Nigerians have taken to social media to mock President Buhari after the doves, otherwise known as white pigeons, released by him at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony, refused to fly despite multiple attempts.

The President had opened the birdcage at the National Arcade, picked up one of the doves, and thrown it into the air but the bird landed atop the cage and refused to fly.

Buhari, who was eager to let the white pigeons fly, opened the roof of the cage in a bid to send them all out but the birds remained adamant and decided to sit on top of the cage’s roof.

The President, who appeared tired of trying, soon left the birds and returned to his seat. Moments after the President had left, however, some of the birds flew.

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Reacting on twitter, one Odoemena sarcastically wrote “there must be sanctions, those birds were given sleeping drugs to embarrass the president”

One Oyindamola wrote “Nothing moves in this country, not economy, not even pigeons”

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One Wunmi wrote “Just like the Nigerian citizens, these pigeons are very hungry and do not have the strength to fly”

The ritual of releasing doves is to commemorate the life of a departed loved one and is common at significant events like funerals or memorials. It also signifies peace.

In 2014, the doves refused to fly when former President Goodluck Jonathan freed them. The Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry Enugu, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, described the incident at the time as a sign that God had abandoned Jonathan.

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The refusal of the birds to fly on Friday, however, sparked thousands of comments on social media.

A former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Adamu Garba, said the birds should be eaten if they cannot do what they were trained to do.

“The pigeons are tired and overtime became lazy, they don’t want to fly the spirit of The Nigerian Flag. We should roast them at Suya joint and deploy Crowwe for action,” he said.

Social media personality, Morris Monye, said the Department of State Services would have arrested the pigeons for embarrassing the President if they could.

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“I guarantee you… If it was possible, the DSS would arrest the pigeons for such an affront on the President. But really, is there peace, harmony, and security in the land?” he asked.

A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, who is a known critique of the President, also tweeted, “Hmmm. Even the pigeons in Nigeria.”

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#Newsworthy

COVID-19: Buhari, VP Osinbajo to take vaccine on TV as Nigeria reports 1,565 cases.

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He urged Nigerians not to be hesitant on the vaccines when they arrive as key government officials like president, VP and the SGF will take it on live TV.

The Federal Government has said President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and other prominent Nigerians will be among the first set of Nigerians to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on live television.

The Executive Director/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

According to him, “this is to help drive awareness on the virus and the vaccine administration in the country when it finally arrived.

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“So, we have to make provisions for them.

“Even in developed countries, what we have seen is that apart from the prioritisation of health workers, you have to also identify with critical leaders that you don’t want to be wiped off by the virus.

“For example, in warfare, if you want to destroy your enemies, you look for specific leaders, captains, the generals; once you decapitate them, then the soldiers will become weak.

“So, as much as possible, you do not want to also leave your leaders vulnerable to COVID-19, it doesn’t mean you want to prioritise politicians, that is not correct,” he said.

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Noble Reporters Media reports that Nigeria intends to get 42 million COVID-19 vaccines to cover one fifth of its population through the global COVAX scheme.

The initial vaccines would come as part of Nigeria’s plan to inoculate 40 per cent of the population in 2021 and another 30 per cent in 2022, with 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arriving by the end of January 2021.

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#Newsworthy

Budget’21: See the most important bill Buhari signed into law for 2021

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The signed budget comprises total Capital Supplementation of N1,060,751,051,650.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja signed the 2021 Appropriation Bill of N13,588,027,886,175 into law.

The president’s action followed the earlier passing of the bill by the National Assembly on Dec. 21 during an emergency session convened for the purpose of passing the budget.

The signing of the budget is also in line with the president’s promise to return the nation to the January to December Budget circle.

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The budget estimate was increased by the sum of N505, 607,317,942 from the estimate of N13, 082, 420, 568,233 presented to the joint sitting of National Assembly by President Buhari on Oct. 8, 2020.

Statutory Transfer stands at N496,528,471,273; recurrent Expenditure of N5,641,970,060,680 and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 3.00 Per cent.

It also provides N3,324,380,000 trillion for debt servicing while N5,641,970,060,680 is for Recurrent Expenditure; and N4,125,149,354,222 for Capital Expenditure.

The president also signed the 2020 Finance Bill into law.

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Those who witnessed the signing of the budget include the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Others at the Council Chamber were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, some cabinet ministers as well as few top government officials.

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#Newsworthy

Just in: President Buhari signs 2021 budget. [Nigeria]

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The National Assembly also provided the sum of N3,324,380,000 (trillion) for debt servicing.

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2021 Appropriation Act.

Buhari officially signed the document at a ceremony held in the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Noble Reporters Media reports

The National Assembly had on December 21, 2020, passed the 2021 Appropriation Bill with an aggregate expenditure of N13, 588, 027,886, 175 trillion.

It comprises total Capital Supplementation of N1,060,751,051,650 and total Capital Expenditure of N4,125,149,354,222, Statutory Transfer stands at N496,528,471,273; recurrent Expenditure of N5,641,970,060,680 and Gross Domestic Product, GDP growth rate of 3.00 Percent.

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The parliament increased the budget estimate by the sum of N505, 607,317,942 from the estimate of N13, 082, 420, 568,233 presented to the joint sitting of National Assembly by President Buhari on October 8, 2020.

Present to witness the ceremony were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed among other government officials.

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#Newsworthy

Deploy refurbished tractors to food farmers – Buhari directs NASENI

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The NASENI boss reiterated the commitment of the agency to build Nigeria and Nigerians’ confidence in providing capital goods, machines and equipment needed for industrialisation and transformation of the economy.

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) to deploy all refurbished tractors to farmers to boost agricultural activities in the country.

The Vice Chairman of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna, told State House correspondents that the president gave the order when he updated (Buhari) him on the activities of the agency at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.

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Haruna stated that the presidential directive was in line with the Buhari administration’s efforts to revamp the agricultural sector.

NoRM learnt reports that President Buhari had on Dec. 29 assured Nigerians that his administration would keep a keen eye on food inflation in the New Year by ensuring food security through mass agricultural activities across the country.

However, the NASENI boss, who said he updated the president on the achievements as well as challenges of the agency, quoted Buhari as saying that one of the most crucial modern implements required to till the ground to aid farmers to realise bountiful harvests are farming aids like tractors.

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“My briefing of Mr President today is a routine. Mr President is the Chairman, Governing Board of NASENI.

“So, we are here to update him on the activities of the agency – what we have achieved so far within this period and what we need his intervention on,’’ he said.

He said that the agency had successfully refurbished several of such tractors at its institute in Minna, Niger, through the Partnership arrangements.

He named the trio of Machine & Equipment Consortium Africa (MECA), the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Lending (NIRSAL) and NASENI as principal partners in the project.

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He stated that the president was eager to see that the tractors were deployed to farmers before the next farming season.

According to him, the president is concerned about the state of drudgery and suffering by farmers without modern farm implements.

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Haruna said the president, who is the Chairman of the Governing Board of NASENI, expressed satisfaction with the activities of the Agency most especially the efforts to fabricate agricultural tools and reverse-engineering of modern machines and equipment aimed at boosting agricultural activities.

He said the presidential marching order and the availability of the tractors already on ground in the Agency was a proof that the agency was fulfilling or alive with its mandate.

“All what we need is support by every Nigerians and governments so we can continue to fulfil our mandate to the nation,’’ he added.

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He listed the achievements of NASENI to include the production of First made-in-Nigeria Tricycle (KEKE NASENI), both Passenger and cargo types.

According to him, the technology has been handed over to Innoson Vehicle Nigeria LTD for commercialisation and mass production for the markets.

He further disclosed that NASENI had designed and produced First Made-in-Nigeria Motorcycle, First Made-In-Nigeria Solar Powered Electronic Voting device.

He added: “NASENI is the Agency of government currently manufacturing locally Solar panels and other solar products and accessories in the whole of West Africa.

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“NASENI has produced first made-in-Nigeria transformers which was designed and produced by Nigerian Engineers who were trained recently in China, all were engineers in NASENI.’’

Haruna stated that the agency had produced an unmmaned Aerial vehicle (UAV), used for the purpose of Agriculture (spraying of insecticides on farms) and surveillance purpose and many more.

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#Newsworthy