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Buhari cautions Atiku, Ezekwesili, others against violence ahead 2019 election

By News desk

President Muhammadu Buhari has implored all stakeholders to work towards successful and peaceful conduct of the 2019 elections as the world is focused on Nigeria.

Buhari made the call in Abuja on Tuesday at the signing of peace accord by the presidential candidates of all the political parties ahead of the 2019 elections under the aegis of National Peace Committee (NPC).

According to him, the world is watching to see how Nigeria would uphold and strengthen its democracy by the conduct of the 2019 polls.

He said that the conduct of elections had been consistently marred by violence caused by the behaviour of the most sections of the political class and their supporters.

The president however said there were encouraging signs that the political class would embrace the responsibilities expected of it.

“We are here to commit ourselves as key actors in the political process, party leaders and presidential candidates to a peaceful and credible conduct of the election.

“Today, we witness the formal and official signing of the peace accord by the presidential candidates of the parties contesting the next elections.

“We the candidates pledge to accord the highest tenets of conduct and encourage our teeming supporters to do the same.

“I wish to call on the INEC and all the security agencies to put the nation first in their conduct; the world is watching us and the task of building our country, institutionalizing trust in our political system and institutions is fundamental to the growth and development of our country.’’

He said the essence of the gathering was to perform a very important part of the quest for a peaceful political process and to instill trust to various contestants.

According to him, given the central role good governance plays in the nation state, no society can develop without trust.

He said without the trust of the citizens on their government, there could not be a peaceful and progressive society.

“To gather this trust, there must be norms, rules those whose role is to offer guidance; some of them might cultural, moral or religious.

“However, for our society to function well, culture of rules and regulations must be enshrined and accepted by both the government and the people.

This is why there are constitutions, legislations and courts to mediate and regulate the conduct of citizens; the building of trust in our society is a collective duty and responsibility of all citizens.

“Today, our primary concern is to sign into norms, laws, guidelines that will guide the conduct of our national elections at all levels.

“It is generally acceptable that democracy is the best form of government for any society; it is nonetheless, not a perfect system. In spite of its imperfections, democracy has come to stay in the world.’’

The president reminded that since 1999, Nigerians had enjoyed almost 20years of interrupted democracy.

He said that since the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, democracy had spread to all over the world, including most unlikely places.

Buhari said that with all its shortcoming, democracy was still the best form government for most developing nations.

The President explained that elections were a large part of the process of democracy; methods of choosing leaders had become the most difficult for the people to manage for many reasons.

“We have not had a long tradition of democracy and so many changes in the system have made it difficult for us to imbibe the principles of democracy such as tolerance, sacrifice and commitment to processes,’’ he said.

He thanked NPC under the leadership of former Head of State, Retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar for the sacrifices and good work it had done for the peace and progress of Nigeria.

Abubakar, in his address, explained that accord was crucial to ensuring peace during campaigns and elections, saying, election would not hold unless there was peace and harmony in the country.

Earlier, former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (retd), said that the number of political parties in Nigeria had grown to 91, adding that it was healthy for the country’s democracy.

Gowon said democracy could only thrive through persuasion and not by the use of force.

Senate steps down Buhari’s request on EFCC, ICPC nominees

By Newsdesk

The Senate has stepped down till further notice President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to confirm nominees for appointment as members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Senate decision on Tuesday followed a complaint by some lawmakers that the nominees were not spread across the six geopolitical zones – a situation they described as a violation of the Federal Character Principle.

Lawmakers from the South-South and South East were particularly upset that no nominee for the EFCC is from the region.

The argument for and against the confirmation of the nominees deteriorated to a rowdy session causing the Senate to go into an emergency closed-door meeting.

Following the argument that ensued, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, announced that the confirmation of the nominees for both agencies be stepped down till further notice.

My identity has been cloned-Soyinka

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
Barely a week after President Muhammadu Buhari cleared doubt over his identity, Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has raised alarm over cloning of Nigerians with credible identity by some of its citizens abroad, engaging in several business activities with the identity.
Meanwhile, Committee for Defence of Human Rights, CDHR, has condemned the arrest of six members of African Action Congress, AAC,  by Nigerian Police, Lagos command over alleged vandalism of campaign posters in the state.
The Nobel laureate spoke yesterday at the 70th anniversary of Human Rights and worldwide reading for freedom of the press in memory of Jamal Khashoggi at the Freedom Park in Lagos.
Soyinka, who lamented that he was presently a victim of stolen identity, stressed that case of stolen identity must not be treated as fake new, saying, this is beyond fake news.
He noted that it became concern for him as many now believed that the businesses operated by those who stole his identity were truly operated by him.
Soyinka stated that the visit of Buhari to Poland was coincidence because the country appeared to be the home of Nigerians who engaged in stealing personalities identity and engage in business online with it.
“Recently, we have a situation in Nigeria. And that is issue of cloning President Muhammadu Buhari. We have people who have taken that issue seriously. These were people that one can never believe to accept such considering their level of intelligence.
“And when Buhari went to Poland, I said what a coincidence because I hope while he was there, he will be able to sort-out his identity and there will be a report on the return of his identity.
“Poland appears to be the centre for Nigerians settlers with stolen identity,” he added.
The Nobel laureate hinted that his discovery of Poland as the location of his stolen identity prompted him to visit the country and demanded that the businesses operated online including facebook, with his identity be pulled down.
“But he (operator of the business) refused, claiming that he has authority to do that. And in my name, this fellow sells and buys things which I don’t even use.”
Soyinka argued that even facebook appeared powerless to take down the page because it was already verified.
While issuing a one-week ultimatum to the operators to bring down the page and other activities operated in his name, he argued that freedom of expression must not be fought without adequate consideration for identity.
“If we must fight for freedom of expression, we must fight for the correct attribution of expression.
“If the doctrine of freedom of expression was to be reversed, there will be certainly a number of issues to be addressed because expression on social media has taken a quantum leave in the last few years that cannot be imagined.
“The principle are there but one item isn’t clear and that is the issue of identity. I will have to suggest that everyone should not have his identity stolen. And it is real issue for humanity and integrity of communication.”
.CDHR on six arrested AAC members
Speaking on behalf of CDHR at their Human Rights day in Ijaiye axis, the State coordinator, Alex Omotehinse, argued that the six suspects were arrested unjustly.
Omotehinse argued that the arrest was aimed at silencing the opposition in Lagos by the law enforcement agency, saying, it’d they were found pasting President Muhammadu Buhari or any All Progressives Congress, APC posters, the police will have looked the other way.

Great news IGers: Select who can view your stories

 

Yes! Now you can get really personal on your Instagram social media, with the Close friend feature introduced by the application.

You can handpick people from your followers who will view your stories by using this feature, and it will be hidden room your other followers and the public. Awesome right!

Instagram is helping you achieve your privacy need as the social media world keeps expanding every second. For someone that has the mom or dad, or that nosy aunt or a stalker on your list, you can successfully keep your activities awa from him/her.

Here’s all you have to do;

Make sure your app is the most recent version,

  • Go to your Profile page by tapping the profile icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.
  • Tap the three lines icon in the top right corner of your screen.
  • Tap Close Friends and then tap Add next to the names of people who you want to add to your Close Friends list. You can also tap Search to search for a friend.
  • Once you’ve finished adding people to your list, tap Done.

You can easily add more or remove from this list using similar process.

 

And just like regular Instagram Stories posts, your story will be available to view for only 24 hours for your Close Friends list.

 

 

Here’s how to share a story to your close friends:

  • Tap the camera icon on the top left corner.
  • Choose an image or video you intend to share.
  • Once you do that, you will see two icons at the down left side of your screen with “your story” and “close friends” text underneath.
  • Tap close friends and voila done

Once you’ve posted an Instagram story to your Close Friends list, your profile image will appear with a green circle around it, both on your Profile page (which only you can see) and in your Close Friends’ feed.

The green circle helps it stand out from the other pink circles that usually highlight an account has live Instagram Stories posts you haven’t seen yet. Others that are not on your list can’t see it.

 

 

By Mariam Haruna

haroonmaream3@gmail.com

African youths must lead fight against corruption-Buhari

By Newsdesk

President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged youths in Africa to lead and win the fight against corruption in order to reverse the negative trends in the continent.

Buhari, who tasked African youths on Sunday in Abuja during African Youth Congress Against Corruption, added that success can be achieved in the war against corruption in Africa if the youths harness their energy towards the fight.

“The young people of Africa this fight against corruption is for you to lead and to win. This is to reverse the negative trends of corruption and its implication for Africa.

“The youths of Africa must use their energy to effectively ensure that our natural and mineral resources remain on the continent for value addition, job and wealth creation as well as to create affordable healthcare and quality education for our people. Winning the fight against corruption is very much in your hands,” he added.

Buhari also charged the youths not to compromise but implement the declaration of African leaders on the imperatives of investing in the continent to develop anti-corruption curricula for campaigns in schools, businesses and public space.

Senators, lawyers disagree over Buhari’s decision on amended electoral bill

By Newsdesk

Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sign 2018 electoral amendment bill, lawmakers and legal practitioners have disagreed over the President’s decision.

While some of the lawmakers backed Buhari’s refusal, other kicked against his decision to withhold his assent to the bill.

Supporting the President’s refusal, a senator representing Delta State Central, Ovie Omo-Agege, has said that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance forbids the President from signing bill.

The lawmaker in an interview with newsmen in Abuja yesterday, argued that Article 2 of the protocol forbids member countries from making “substantial modification” to their electoral laws less than six months to elections “except with the consent of a majority of political actors”

Omo-Agege, who is a staunch supporter of the President, noted that with the elections less than three months away, signing the bill would violate the ECOWAS instrument.

Omo-Agege said, “I have yet to see the president’s letter to the Senate, but this bill means so much to Mr President. On a good day he would want to sign it.

“However, without even seeing the reasons he has advanced so far, I am aware of the challenges posed by the ECOWAS protocol.

“I don’t know if that is part of the reasons he has advanced, but with the bill coming two months or thereabout before the election, assenting to it will breach the protocol.”

The president’s latest decision came in a letter dated Dec. 6, 2018 and addressed to both chambers of the National Assembly.

He said signing the amendment bill with elections close by could “create some uncertainty about the legislation to govern the process”.

“Any real or apparent change to the rules this close to the elections may provide an opportunity for disruption and confusion in respect of which law governs the electoral process,” he stated.

Buhari, therefore, asked the National Assembly to specifically state in the bill that the amended Electoral Act would come into effect after the 2019 general elections.

Reacting to the development, another lawmaker, Peter Nwaoboshi, who represents Delta North on the platform of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said the reasons given by the president were “untenable”.

“It is not a good reason for him not to sign the bill because the Senate worked with INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) in preparing that bill.

“If INEC felt otherwise, they would have advised us when we were working on it.

“You are aware of the controversy that this issue of amendment of the act has generated, with people accusing the Senate of not wanting to amend the act.

“We amended it, but he declined assent the first, second and third time; he made certain observations, which we agreed with.

“We sent it again, and the reason he is giving now is that it will disrupt the election. It is really unfortunate,” he said.

An Abuja-based lawyer and civil rights campaigner, Mr Frank Tietie, said the credibility of the 2019 elections was at stake without the compulsory use of card readers as proposed in the bill.

Although, INEC has been using the card reader for elections since 2015, there is no provision for the technology in the extant electoral law, making its use optional.

Tietie said, “Without the card reader and electronic transmission of results, our elections have been subjected to might, brute force and the power of money.

“Card readers and electronic transmission of results have totally eliminated that, and there is need for a legal force to that.

“This is what the amendment seeks. Buhari’s refusal to allow the card reader and electronic transmission of results will only lead to electoral compromise,” he said

Buhari withholds assent to amended Electoral bill, approves 2019 budget proposal 

By Maryam Haruna

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday declined signing the 2018 Electoral amendment act bill, raising concerns over content of the amended bill.

Buhari’s fourth refusal came days after the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, urged him to append his signature to the bill, considering its importance to development of electoral system in the country.

Addressing state house correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, Special adviser to the president on legislative matters, Ita Enang, hinted that the President has written to the Senate expressing his stance on the bill.

The accent to the bill has continued to raise concern ahead of next year’s election with 40 Presidential candidates filling a suit to stop Buhari from signing the bill into law.

It would be recalled that the Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan, had earlier warned the President against giving his accent to the bill without adequate review of the bill content.

Meanwhile,  the president has accented to the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) amendment act which gives the university equal administrative structure like other conventional universities in the country.

According to the bill, NOUN has been empowered to decide the establishment of NOUN study centres  across the country.

Meanwhile, the federal executive council has  approved the 2019 budget proposal, to fast-track it’s approval and implementation.

Enang hinted that the budget details would be presented to a joint session of the national assembly on a date to be fixed by the lawmakers

Disclosing the proposed budget size, Minister Of Budget and Planning, Udoma Udoma, disclosed that N8.73 trillion budget estimates has been approved by the President.

Nigerians in Diaspora can’t participate in 2019 election-FG

By Newsdesk

The Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa has ruled out the possibility of voting for Nigerians in Diaspora in 2019 general elections.

Dabiri-Erewa made the assertion while playing host to the Rwanda High Commissioner to Nigeria, Stanislas Kamazi, in Abuja.

She however said that the  Federal Government was making necessary efforts to ensure that Nigerians in the Diaspora exercise their voting rights.

“Nigerians abroad have the touch of the government, Nigerians in the Diaspora have remitted about 22 billion dollars annually.

“But, beyond the remittance, they also want to vote and efforts are being made to achieving that; though, not in 2019.

“It is one of what we hope that will happen in subsequent elections,” Dabiri-Erewa said.

Dabiri-Erewa said that those in the Diaspora were also interested in investing in the country and government was making environment conducive for that investment.

“They want to invest in their own country; so, we are providing the structures to make that possible by working with other government agencies to make that possible.

“Government is also working on data of those that have returned; lots of them are going into farming and they are not regretting investing in their country.

“So, government is making sure that the Diasporas invest in their country to bring in their wealth of their experiences and resources to develop the country.

“We want to ensure that Nigerians in the Diaspora be the best as they always be,” she said.

Dabiri-Erewa said that there were a lot of lessons to learn from Rwanda Diaspora operation.

In his remarks, the high commissioner said that there were a lot of lessons to learn from Rwanda Diaspora policy which has been in operation for some years.

Kamazi said that Rwanda’s new administration had created a platform for the Diaspora to be part of the country and enjoy the same right as the citizens in the country

“Apart from this, there is the personal contact. As a matter of fact, every year in Rwanda we hold constitutional meeting for strategy to develop the sub-sector.

“The President of Rwanda has always been part of Rwanda Day in any part of the world bringing all Rwandans together and to interact with the dynamics of the country.

“This forum formation led to the emergence of strategic investment that wants to be implemented in Rwanda and which triggers members of the Diaspora and also investors or economic operators in their host country.

“They are mobilised to embrace Rwanda economic dynamics and the opportunities that are there,” he said.

According to him, the diplomatic mission and embassy also have a clear directive to attend to members of the Diaspora.

“When they come to us we have a lot of programmes to ensure that all their needs are met and ensure that they invest in their host countries.

“The most important is to ensure that any Rwandan living outside the country enjoy the same right as those in the country, they gradually felt to be part of the nation not as it used to be in the past,” he said.

Nigerian Army redeploys new commanders to end Boko Haram insurgency

By Newsdesk

Following several attacks on Nigerian Army barracks by Boko Haram insurgents, the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, on Thursday, deployed new commanders to the North East of the country.

Director, Army Public Relations, Sani Usman, announced the redeployment barely hours after they were decorated with their new ranks in Abuja.

According to Usman, the newly promoted Maj.-Gen. O.T. Akinjobi, Head of the Operations Monitoring Team at the Office of the Chief of Army Staff, has been appointed Commander, Sector 3, Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

He said that Maj.-Gen. M.G. Ali, Commander, 9 Brigade, had been appointed Commander of the newly created Nigerian Army Special Forces Command.

He said that Brig.-Gen. B.R. Sinjen would command Integrated Fire Support, while Brig.-Gen. F.O. Omoigui, had been moved from 2 Division, Nigerian Army to Army Headquarters’ Department of Training and Operations as Director of Operations.

Usman stated that the deployment moved Brig.-Gen. T.A. Lagbaja to 9 Brigade, Nigerian Army as commander.

Also affected, he said, was Brig.-Gen. O.R. Aiyenigba, Director, Land Warfare, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, who had been assigned to Office of the Chief of Army Staff as Head of Operations Monitoring Team.

According to Usman, Brig.-Gen. A.U. Kuliya is to take over as Director, Land Warfare at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College.

“Similarly, new Brigade Commanders have been appointed for some of the Brigades at Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

“These include Brig.-Gen. E.F. Oyinlola, 22 Brigade; Brig.-Gen. V.U. Okoro, 25 Task Force Brigade; Brig.-Gen. A.B. Mohammed, 26 Task Force Brigade and Brig.-Gen. A.O. Oyelade, 27 Task Force Brigade. Also, Brig.-Gen. M.T. Usman, 28 Task Force Brigade and Brig.-Gen. M.G. Kangye, 37 Brigade.’’

The army spokesman added that Brig.-Gen. A.S. Ishaq had been appointed as Coordinator, Nigeria Police Force for Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

He also announced that new commanders had been appointed for the various Army Headquarters Logistics Commands at the theatre.

“These include Brig.-Gen. A.G. Ibrahim, Brig.-Gen. P.N. Okeson and Brig.-Gen. O.A. Aminu, for Logistics Base I, II and III, respectively.”

Usman said the posting affected several Commanding Officers of the various units in Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

He said Buratai had directed that all those affected by the posting must remain committed and fully in charge until they were properly relieved in line with standard operating procedures and military professional ethics.

I will spend first six months on restructuring-Atiku

By Newsdesk

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has assured Nigerians that if elected, will commence restructuring of the country with the first six months of his administration.

Atiku, meanwhile, lamented that the current debt profile of the country was alarming, saying President Muhammadu Buhari has borrowed excessively.

He disclosed these on Thursday at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) southwest presidential campaign flag off in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

While addressing the crowd that trooped to the rally, the PDP presidential candidate, said: “What is important is the restructuring. Within six months, I shall start the process of leading us to the restructuring of this country.

“I will ensure that the southwest is returned to the PDP. If you give me your support, you will never regret it,” the former vice president added.

Atiku accused the Muhammadu Buhari administration of putting the country in debt, saying it has borrowed so much money in the last three years.

He stated that the PDP administration was providing the best educational advancement and job opportunities for the people before the All Progressives Congress (APC) came to allegedly deceive them.

According to him, we believed in them; they told us they would give us jobs, prosperity, but instead they gave us menial jobs.

“I stand before you today to say that we shall return the prosperity of this nation. I want to say that the southwest will be known again for its educational advancement.”

Earlier, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who is also the Director General of the PDP Campaign Council accused the present administration of failing to secure the people and their properties.

He urged the electorate to consider Atiku as a better alternative while former Governor Obi noted that the PDP was the only party that can provide good jobs for the masses.

At the campaign which enjoyed the presence of the party’s bigwigs, including its National Chairman, Uche Secondus, who lamented that the nation was in crisis and only the party’s candidate can rescue it from its challenges.

He described Atiku as strong, fit and articulate to lead Nigeria and asked the people to cast their votes in favour of the PDP in the coming elections.

The PDP chairman insisted that the party was on a rescue mission and called for a minute’s silence for all those who lost their lives, including the late OPC leader Fredrick Fasheun.