The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA) Dr. Faisal Shuaib has hinted that President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will on Saturday be taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
President Muhammadu Buhari has called for an overhaul of the national strategy on cybersecurity.
The President on Tuesday asked Nigerians to explore the internet for economic growth opportunities, improve knowledge, and mitigation of crime.
“I urge the National Security Adviser to continue to coordinate the efforts of all stakeholders to ensure that our Internet and cyberspace are used for the enhancement of national security and economic progression,’’ the President said at the launch of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) 2021.
“I am confident that, together, we can pave the way for the creation of new opportunities to usher Nigeria into a bright future driven by a prosperous cyberspace and digital economy.’’
The President noted that the Federal Government had taken some major policy decisions to increase penetration of the internet in the daily lives of citizens, particularly for the utilitarian purpose, with the launch of the National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025 in March 2020; National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020 – 2030; National Identity Program, Treasury Single Account and Bank Verification Number schemes.
“All these initiatives serve as enablers for tackling many of the economic and security challenges facing our country while also providing us with the platform to improve accountability and transparency in our unwavering resolve to tackle corruption.
“However, like many other countries across the globe, the growth and development of the internet is accompanied by significant problems. We are witnessing a rise in threats posed by cybercriminals, online financial fraudsters, and cyber terrorists who use the internet to cause apprehension,’’ the President said.
He added that the internet and social media have witnessed a surge for the propagation of hate speech, fake news, seditious and treasonable messages, as well as the risks of breaches to personal information and government sensitive data.
“It is almost impossible to overstate the challenges. Some global events such as the rapid emergence of new technologies, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the advent of 5G technology, have further widened the scope and diversification of these cyber threats.
“In October 2020, we all witnessed an escalation in the use of the social media for dissemination of subversive messages and incitement of violence which played a part in heightening tensions, causing unrest and spurring widespread acts of looting and destruction across the country.’’
President Buhari said the Federal Government had been proactive, over the past couple of years, in taking steps to ensure progressive use of the internet and cyberspace.
“In 2014, the maiden National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy was developed to provide the necessary roadmap for the realisation of our national cybersecurity programme. This national effort paved way for Nigeria to reach numerous cybersecurity milestones over the past six years.
“Therefore, in order to build on this achievement and reposition ourselves for enhanced engagement in cyberspace, it became expedient to review the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2014 and develop a comprehensive National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021 for the common good of our country.’’
According to the President, the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021 will provide us with the necessary platform to effectively confront the dynamic nature of threats in our cyberspace.
“The document will also provide the framework that would enable us to harness the efforts of our private sector, academia, and industry towards progressive economic and national development.
“To this end, the document will provide the platform for technical education, digital skills acquisition, and indigenous technology production, thereby creating job opportunities for our youth and supporting our resolve to alleviate poverty and boost our economy.’’
In his remarks at the event, the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), said there had been a surge in the use of the internet, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown around the world, with increasing waves of crimes, irregular migration, and threats to border security.
The NSA noted that many platforms including banking, communication, and military had come under more threat, with personal information easily distorted and explored, necessitating a review of the 2014 National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS).
He said the reviewed document will work towards mitigating the “suffocating presence and unpredictable threats’’ of cybercrimes.
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed “great shock and deep concern” over the eruption of violence in Gombe State arising from the Billiri chieftaincy tussle.
Reacting to the development on Sunday, President Buhari 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.”
According to the President, “the easy resort to violence is uncalled for because there are enough avenues to resolve differences amicably without threatening law and order.”
He noted that “in a circle of violence, there are no winners, except losers,” advising Muslims and Christians to “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,” President Buhari appealed to the feuding parties”.
Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle has hinted at the location of the abducted students of Government Science Secondary School, Kagara in Niger State.
“The students of Kagara are located around Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State which I believe very soon they would be back home,” the governor said in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
Governor Matawalle also harped on cooperation from stakeholders and believes it is the key to unlock success in the country’s fight against criminality.
“As you are aware, the security issue needs more commitment from all stakeholders. We have two major problems of insecurity in the north with banditry and Boko Haram,” the governor elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) explained.
“The security operatives are doing their best but we must all put our hands on deck to succeed. Another issue is that all the leaders who are stakeholders must come to terms with the challenges at hand and speak with one voice.”
Gunmen had on Wednesday attacked the school in Kagara, killing one student and abducting others including teachers and their relatives.
In the attack which started from the staff quarters and ended in the students’ hostels, some students were also wounded by gunshots.
The gunmen gathered some staff and students at a place for hours before moving them out of the school premises to an unknown destination.
They wore military uniform and entered the school premises which has about 1000 students, overpowered the security guard, before whisking away the students and staff.
A Marching Order
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State had in the wake of the attack, ordered the closure of all boarding schools in the bandits-ravaged areas of the state. He explained that the move was to forestall a similar incident in the northcentral state.
And as efforts to rescue the abducted students intensify, President Muhammadu Buhari also directed Nigeria’s security agencies to ensure the safe return of the schoolboys.
“Following these reports, the President has directed the Armed Forces and Police, to ensure the immediate and safe return of all the captives,” a statement from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, noted.
“The President has also dispatched to Minna, Niger State a team of security chiefs to coordinate the rescue operation and meet with state officials, community leaders, as well as parents and staff of the College.”
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday thanked the Republic of Chad for what he described as the effective “security back-up” given to Nigeria in fighting against insurgency.
The President stated this at State House, Abuja, while receiving in the audience Mr. Ahmat Oumar Ahmat, a Special Envoy of President Idriss Deby Itno.
President Buhari said the need for security collaboration with neighbours was why his first trips on assuming office in 2015 were to Nigeria’s immediate neighbours.
“I went around because we needed to work together. The people are the same, cultures are similar, so it was important that we also worked together on security,” the President said.
President Buhari wished the Republic of Chad the best of luck in its general elections coming up in April.
In his response, the Special Envoy Mr. Ahmat Oumar Ahmat said he bore a solidarity message from President Itno on the security situation in Nigeria, as well as encouragement for Nigerian troops, who are working hard to end insurgency in the northern part of the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR has approved the appointment of Ahmed Abubakar Audi as the new Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) following the retirement from service of Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu.
Ahmed Audi emerged as the top best candidate out of those that went through the transparent selection process initiated by the Ministry of Interior through the Board to ensure that the most suitable among the top-ranking officers in the service was appointed to replace the out-going Commandant-General of the NSCDC.
Furthermore, President Muhammadu Buhari has also nominated Haliru Nababa as the new Controller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), subject to the confirmation of the Senate in line with the provision of the new Act establishing the Nigerian Correctional Service 2019.
The Minister of Interior and Chairman, Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Board (CDCFIB), Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola who congratulated the new appointees, called on them to ensure full implementation of the mandate of their services as well as to ensure synergy with other security agencies in the country with the view to providing efficient internal security services and citizenship integrity for Nigerians and foreigners alike in line with the policy thrust of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji as the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
Mr Orji’s appointment according to a statement by the Director of Information, Willie Bassey is for a single term of five (5) years in accordance with the provision of Section 12 (2) (a) and 6 (3) of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (Establishment) Act, 2007.
The statement adds that his appointment takes effect from February 19, 2021.
Mr President has urged the new appointee to serve the nation with all sense of responsibility, honesty, diligence and promote good governance in the discharge of his duties.
Prior to his appointment, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji was the Agency’s Director of Communications & Advocacy.
4He began his career at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and also worked with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) where Dr. Orji managed several donor-funded projects. He holds MSc degree and PhD in Political Economy and International Development from the University of Abuja.
NEITI was established in 2004 as the key Anti-Corruption Agency at the Presidency responsible for enthroning transparency, accountability, and governance of the country’s oil, gas and mining industries.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) says the abduction of the students and staff of Government Science College in Kangara, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, suggests that the Nigerian government has failed in providing a safe learning space for the people.
In reaction to the abduction which took place in the early hours of Wednesday, SERAP said it will hold the government to account if the students and others abducted are not urgently rescued.
“The abductors must be arrested and brought to justice. Victims must be granted access to justice. The incident, which started at about 2:00am on Wednesday, suggests that Nigerian authorities are failing to live up to their commitments to provide safe a learning environment,” SERAP stated.
The rights group said it will hold the Nigerian Government accountable if the students are not urgently rescued.
SERAP further asked the government to probe the reported spending of N3.2bn on the Safe School Initiative in 2014, and publish details of spending to date on the Initiative.
According to SERAP, public funds budgeted for the initiative have clearly not achieved a safe school environment for children in the country.
The advocacy group also stressed that attacking students and teachers is a crime against humanity, adding that such attacks inflict severe psychological distress on victims, and cause interruptions in education.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Nigerian authorities to ensure the safe return of the abducted students and staff of Government Science College in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.
Following their abduction in the early hours of Wednesday, SERAP asked the government to ensure that after the abductees have been secured, the kidnappers should be apprehended.
“Nigerian authorities must locate and ensure the safe release of many students and teachers reportedly abducted by armed men who attacked the Government Science College Kagara, Niger State. We’ll hold the Nigerian Government to account if the students are not urgently rescued.
“The abductors must be arrested and brought to justice. Victims must be granted access to justice,” SERAP stated.
According to the rights organization, the incident, which started at about 2:00am on Wednesday, suggests that Nigerian authorities are failing to live up to their commitments to provide safe a learning environment.
“The operations started from the staff quarters and ended in the students’ hostels, and in the process, one student was reportedly killed while others were wounded.
“The gunmen reportedly gathered some staff and students at a place for hours before moving them out of the school premises to an unknown destination. They wore military uniforms and entered the school premises, which has about 1000 students, and overpowered the security guard.
“Nigerian authorities must probe the reported spending of N3.2bn on Safe School Initiative in 2014, and publish details of spending to date on the Initiative. Public funds budgeted for the Initiative have clearly not achieved a safe school environment for children in the country,” a SERAP statement read in part.
The advocacy group further stressed that attacking students and teachers is a crime against humanity, adding that such attacks inflict severe psychological distress on victims, and cause interruptions in education.
SERAP asked the Nigerian authorities to ensure a safe school environment for students and teachers.
Gunmen at about 2:00 am on Wednesday attacked the school and shot sporadically, with one student feared killed and several others abducted.
Some teachers and their family members residing within the college staff quarters were also said to have been abducted by the gunmen.
A government source who pleaded anonymity disclosed this to Channels Television via telephone conversation in the early hours of Wednesday.
The operations started from the staff quarters and ended in the students’ hostels and in the process, other students were also wounded by gunshots.
The gunmen gathered some staff and students at a place for hours before moving them out of the school premises to an unknown destination.
They wore a military uniform and entered the school premises which has about 1000 students, overpowered the security guard, before whisking away the students and staff.
A staff by the name Batagi was among those who kidnapped, others still with the bandits are Mall. Lawal, Ali, Hannatu, and her husband, Dodo, Mohammed Abubakar(Akawu), among others.
The number of persons abducted and those injured is unclear as of the time of filing the report. A headcount is being conducted at the school to ascertain the actual number of missing students.
Channels Television also learnt that the security agencies were able to detect the nature of the area, and have started tracing the attackers’ movement while the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), aircraft have been seen hovering in the air to track the location of the students.