FG To Engage Corps Members In Implementation of SDGs 2030

Corps Members: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun (A File Photo)

 

Nigeria will engage the services of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members across the country and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Ambassadors to champion the implementation of SDGs 2030 at the grassroots.

President Muhammadu Buhari said this on Friday at the virtual inaugural SDGs Moment, convened by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, during the high-level week of the 75th UN General Assembly.

According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President, Media & Publicity, Femi Adesina, the president in his video message to the meeting, provided an update on the progress of the SDGs in the country, setting out Nigeria’s vision for the next decade in fighting poverty, combating illicit financial flows and ensuring economic recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our National Assembly has established Committees on Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

“The National Youth Service Corps Scheme is also ensuring that Nigerian graduates actively participate in SDG implementation processes by serving as SDG champions at the grassroots.

“Going forward, we will invigorate the goal achievement process at the grassroots by engaging the services of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals Ambassadors we appointed to support our efforts at the national level.

“We will also encourage more sub-national authorities to appoint and train SDGs Champions,” he said.

Re-affirming Nigeria’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other Internationally Agreed Development Goals, President Buhari told the meeting that anti-corruption institutions have been strengthened to enable the administration effectively combat illicit financial flows and recover proceeds.

Acknowledging that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic had threatened to derail the progress in achieving SDGs, the President said Nigeria is addressing the threat by re-dedicating efforts towards economic diversification, focusing on agriculture and the mining sectors.

According to him: “Nigeria has made good strides in SDGs domestication processes, as we have commenced the re-alignment of the National Statistical System with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs.

”We have developed a novel home-grown ‘Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Model, as an analytical framework for assessing how policy-making can better address the indivisible nature of the Sustainable Development Goals.

”Nigeria has also set up a Model Private Sector Advisory Group and an SDGs Donors’ Forum with a view to engaging critical stakeholders towards the attainment of the SDGs”.

The President recalled that Nigeria presented its second Voluntary National Review on SDGs to the UN High-Level Political Forum in July 2020.

According to the President, ”the second Voluntary National Review highlighted our efforts to meet SDGs targets on the critical issues of poverty and an inclusive economy; health and well-being; education and gender equality; enabling environment of peace and security; and partnerships.”

He noted that these targets were based on current development priorities, as captured in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020), as well as the Medium Term National Development Plan (2020-2025).

President Buahri also used the occasion of his address to pledge Nigeria’s commitment to mainstreaming the SDGs into subsequent development plans.

Setting out Nigeria’s vision for the Decade of Action, the President pledged that the country will implement unique initiatives such as the re-aligned National Statistical System to effectively track and monitor the implementation of the SDGs on annual basis.

”The Nigeria Integrated SDG simulation Model to support the domestication of the Planning Model across the 36 states; the Integrated National Financing Frameworks for SDGs; the scaled-up National Social Investment Programme to reach more poor and vulnerable Nigerians in line with our commitment to lift 100 Million people out of Poverty within a 10-year period; and the engaging of all segments of the society for the achievement of the SDGs,” the Nigerian leader said.

COVID-19 Vaccines Will Not Be Available Until Next Year – FG

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, gives an update on COVID-19 in the country during a press conference in Abuja on July 6, 2020.

 

The Federal Government has cautioned Nigerians to be careful during this COVID-19 pandemic era, adding that vaccines will not be available until 2021.

Speaking during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Thursday in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, asked the citizens to adhere to the non-pharmaceutical interventions.

“Vaccines will not be available until next year at best. No reliable therapeutics has been confirmed but our country must restart businesses, including travel to allow citizens to earn their livelihood,” he said.

He also appealed to Nigerians to adhere to the protocols aimed at reducing the spread of the virus in the country.

“Compliance with all the recommended measures like wearing your masks, social distancing, avoiding gatherings etc will go a long way to help.”

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Speaking further, the Minister again appealed to the striking health workers to call off their industrial actions.

According to him, the best way to settle industrial disputes is to come to the negotiation table with the Federal Government.

“I also use this opportunity to renew my calls to members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to put the plight, safety and well-being of their patients into consideration and to call off the ongoing strike while the differences are being addressed by negotiations.

“It is important to remind ourselves that COVID-19 is real and spreading gradually in some parts of the world as we speak.

“It is risky to believe that it is going away even though it looks as if the figures are reducing here. Some countries are experiencing the so-called second waves with all the complications that go along with this easily spreading disease,” he said.

FG Inaugurates Ministerial Committee On COVID-19 Herbal Cure

Ogbonnaya Onu

 

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu on Monday,  inaugurated the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) ministerial committee on COVID-19 herbal remedies and natural compounds.

This is in a bid to find a home-grown solution for COVID-19.

Dr. Onu stated that COVID-19 remains a threat to the health and well-being of Nigerians and the national economy and reiterated an urgent need to develop a home-grown remedy and vaccine to tackle it.

Inaugurating the Committee, Dr. Onu said the Committee, made up of eminent scientists and fellows of the Nigerian Academy of Science is to authenticate claims by researchers, scientists, and traditional medical practitioners of cure and herbal remedy for Covid-19.

The Minister urged members of the committee to vigorously scrutinize and evaluate all claims brought before it, adding that it should identify the remedies with the brightest prospects for providing protection and healing to affected persons or those at the risk of contracting the dreaded disease.

Said he: “I have no doubt that the discovery of a cure for Covid-19 in Nigeria would enhance the standing of our dear nation in the comity of nations”.

“It will also accord Nigerian scientists deserved recognition and help regenerate foreign exchange earnings for the nation as well as enable a knowledge economy that will facilitate economic growth and sustainable national development”, he added.

Dr. Onu further said that the quest for a home-grown remedy for COVID-19 by the Ministry is in tandem with President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire to diversify the economy.

Dr. Onu also said that the Ministry is tirelessly working with all relevant stakeholders, particularly the Federal Ministry of Health, to find a solution to Covid-19.

Nigeria, he added, with 172 other countries has been making frantic efforts for enhanced access to Covid-19 vaccines by participating in COVAX, a global initiative to provide worldwide access to safe and effective vaccines.

Dr. Onu added that COVAX currently has the world’s largest and most diverse Covid-19 vaccine portfolio, including nine candidate vaccines; seven of which are currently in clinical trials, with a further nine under evaluation and conversations underway with major producers.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Ministerial Committee and President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Emeritus Prof. Motso Onuoha said Nigerians have the capacity to find solutions to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

He also said the committee will work closely with all relevant stakeholders to scrutinize and verify claims on the cure for COVID-19.

He further appreciated the vigorous efforts of the Ministers and the Ministry to create a viable solution to the pandemic. He assured that the committee will work faithfully in discharging its duties, adding that the trust reposed on members of the committee would be justified.

Ngige Threatens To Sanction JOHESU Over Planned Strike

A file photo of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige.

 

The Federal Government has threatened to sanction members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) over its planned strike.

The union had threatened to embark on a nationwide seven-day warning strike if the government fails to meet their demands which include payment of hazard and inducement allowance by mid-night of Sunday, September 13.

In a statement signed by its national chairman, Joy Josiah, JOHESU said the warning strike will only involve federal institutions while the states and local government health institutions will be placed “on red alert for possible entry into the fray if the federal government foot-drags in attending to our demands”.

But speaking on Friday in Abuja, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, asked the union to shelve its planned industrial action.

Ngige argued that the Federal Government has the powers to sanction union over behaviour he described as “off the line.”

“As part of the government, we have our own powers to sanction unions. We told them yesterday we have our powers. It is here, the powers of the President and the Minister of Labour to sanction unions,” Ngige said while displaying the Labour Laws.

“When the existence is no longer beneficial on the interest of the nation, especially those on essential services, we don’t need to all flex our muscles and say this is our power.

“We don’t want to use it. We don’t want to come close to even using it. The way the government has been made a punching bag, everybody punches and says this government is deceitful, this government has not done this even when we have done them.”

On his part, JOHESU president vowed that the union will go ahead with its plans to down tools should the government fail to address their concerns.

“Laws of the International Labour Organisation on no work no pay and all that have been selectively used on us.

“I want to state it clearly that the JOHESU leadership here, we are ready to even pay the sacrifice of going to prison because that is the last of the threat. It was said before and today it is also being quoted,” Josiah said adding that their demands are legitimate.

COVID-19: Nationwide Curfew Now From Midnight To 4am – FG

 

The Federal Government has adjusted the curfew from 12 midnight through 4am, as it continues the gradual easing of lockdown measures imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, disclosed this on Thursday during a briefing in Abuja.

In June, the PTF adjusted the initial nationwide curfew of 8:00 pm – 6:00 am to 10:00 pm – 4:00 am in a bid to limit social interactions and, reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.

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The PTF boss, however, explained that people on essential service and travellers returning from abroad are exempted from the curfew.

“We are modifying the curfew to commence from 12 midnight to 4am nationwide, effective from 12:00 tonight.

“This does not apply to people on essential services and international travellers that might be returning from abroad.”

He also stated that all limitations to land travels have been lifted and markets across the country can now open and operate all day.

Similarly, the PTF national coordinated also stated that cinemas and amusement parks can also operate, with the exception of bars and night clubs, which he said, will remain closed.

Meanwhile, Mr Mustapha urged States considering reopening their schools to conduct risks assessment before doing so, to enable the safety of all vulnerable groups.

Int’l Flight: Non-Compliant Travellers Risk Six-Month Ban As FG Releases Protocol

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force, Dr Sani Aliyu speaks to reporters during a briefing on August 31, 2020.

 

Ahead of the resumption of international flights in the country, the Federal Government has vowed to sanction air passengers who fail to comply with the guidelines put in place to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

Speaking during a briefing in Abuja on Monday, the Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu said the government is committed to the safety and security of Nigerians.

Aliyu said the PTF is working with relevant stakeholders in the aviation sector to ensure that Nigeria does not witness a fresh spike of infections.

“It is very likely we will put in place measures to enforce this by suspending travel up to six months or deny foreign travels altogether.

“But beyond the sanctions, because as responsible citizens, we all want our country to continue to be COVID-19-free once we get on top of the pandemic, so, we expect the vast number of travellers to continue to comply with these simple, straightforward measures we are putting in place for the benefit of our country and for the health of our citizens,” he said.

He however warned that passengers entering the country must undergo the mandatory test to ascertain their COVID-19 status.

READ ALSO: ‘COVID-19 Is Still Potent’, PTF Calls For Caution Amid Declining Cases

According to him, any passenger who possesses the symptoms of the coronavirus disease will not be granted entry into the aircraft even after getting a medical report that indicates they are free from the virus.

“There will definitely be sanctions if they do not comply. Sanctions to the airlines if they allow passengers without a COVID-19 PCR result to board, they will be sanctioned on arrival in Nigeria, that is the airline.

“For passengers that decline to do the test, at Day 7, we will still allow them after Day 14 to have a test done after which their details will be forwarded to Port Health, Immigration, and part of the security services.”

Aliyu’s remarks come three days after the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said the resumption of international flights has now been shifted to September 5.

NCAA The earlier date had been August 29.

The Director-General of the NCAA, Musa Shuaibu Nuhu, revealed the news during a Presidential Task Force COVID-19 briefing in Abuja.

He said while airlines and airports were ready to operate, other non-aviation logistics prompted the one-week extension.

“We have other non-aviation logistics we are still working on, mostly the COVID-19 protocol tests and online platform,” he said. “We need to get this ready.”

Mr Nuhu described September 5 as a “sacrosanct date”, noting that “the initial announcement was anytime from the 29th.”

Nigeria Will No Longer Tolerate Harassment Of Citizens In Ghana – FG

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

 

The Federal Government on Friday reacted to the harassment of Nigerians residing and doing businesses in Ghana.

In a statement by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the Federal Government said it is deeply concerned by the incessant harassment and the progressive acts of hostility towards the country by Ghanaian authorities and will no longer tolerate it.

As part of measures to contain the situation, the government is urgently considering a number of options, Mohammed said.

READ ALSO: ‘I Disappointed Myself’: Fani-Kayode Apologises For Harassing Journalist In Calabar

The Minister revealed that the government “has been documenting the acts of hostility towards Nigeria and Nigerians by the Ghanaian authorities.”

 

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

PRESS RELEASE

Nigeria Will No Longer Tolerate Harassment of Its Citizens in Ghana – FG

The Nigerian Government is deeply concerned by the incessant harassment of its citizens in Ghana and the progressive acts of hostility towards the country by Ghanaian authorities and will no longer tolerate such.

In this regard, the Federal Government is urgently considering a number of options aimed at ameliorating the situation.

The Federal Government has been documenting the acts of hostility towards Nigeria and Nigerians by the Ghanaian authorities. These include:

– Seizure of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 10, Barnes Road, Accra, which the Nigerian Government has used as diplomatic premises for almost 50 years. This action is a serious breach of the Vienna Convention.

– Demolition of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 19/21 Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge, Accra, another serious breach of the Vienna Convention.

– Aggressive and incessant deportation of Nigerians from Ghana. Between Jan. 2018 and Feb. 2019, 825 Nigerians were deported from Ghana.

– Closure of shops belonging to Nigerians. Over 300 Nigerians shops were locked for four months in Kumasi in 2018; over 600 Nigerian shops were locked in 2019 and, currently, over 250 Nigerians shops have been locked.

– Residency Permit requirements, for which the Ghana Immigration Service has placed huge fees, far higher than the fees charged by the Nigerian Immigration Service. These include the compulsory Non-citizen ID card (US$120, and US$60 for yearly renewal); Medical examinations, including for Covid-19 which is newly-introduced (about US$120), and payment for residency permit (US$400 compared to the N7,000 being paid by Ghanaians for residency card in Nigeria)

– Outrageous stipulations in the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act. When the Act was initially promulgated in 1994, a foreigner is required to invest at least US$300,000 by way of equity capital and also employ 10 Ghanaians. This Act has now been amended twice, with the 2018 GIPC Act raising the minimum capital base for foreign-owned businesses to US$1m. Though targeted at foreigners, it seems GIPC’s definition of foreigners is Nigerians. The GIPC Act also negates the ECOWAS Protocol.

– Media war against Nigerians in Ghana. The negative reportage of issues concerning Nigerians resident in Ghana by the Ghanaian media is fuelling an emerging xenophobic attitude towards Nigerian traders and Nigerians in general. The immediate fallout is the incessant harassment and arrest of Nigerian traders and closure of their shops.

– Harsh and openly biased judicial trial and pronouncement of indiscriminately long jail terms for convicted Nigerians. There are currently over 200 Nigerians in the Nsawam Maximum prison in Ghana alone.

The Federal Government would like to put on record the fact that even though over 1 million Ghanaians are resident in Nigeria, they are not being subjected to the kind of hostility being meted out to Nigerians in Ghana.

Also, even though the main reason given for the seizure of Federal Government property at No. 10, Barnes Road in Accra is the non-renewal of lease after expiration, the Ghanaian authorities did not give Nigeria the right of first refusal or the notice to renew the lease.

By contrast, the lease on some of the properties occupied by the Ghanaian Mission in Nigeria has long expired, yet such properties have not been seized.

Nigeria has time after time demonstrated its fidelity to the long cordial relations with Ghana. But indications, especially in recent times, are that Nigeria’s stance is now being taken for granted and its citizens being made targets of harassment and objects of ridicule.

This will no longer be tolerated under any guise.

In the meantime, the Federal Government wishes to appeal to its citizens resident in Ghana to remain law abiding and avoid engaging in self-help, despite their ordeal.

 

Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Honourable Minister of Information and Culture

Abuja

28 Aug. 2020

 

Nigerian Government Condemns Mali Coup

A combination of photos of Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and the country’s Prime Minister, Boubou Cisse.

 

 

The Federal Government has condemned the coup d’état in Mali, calling for the restoration of constitutional order. 

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, made the call via Twitter on his official handle on Wednesday.

“The Nigerian Government unequivocally condemns the coup d’état that took place in Mali yesterday and demands the immediate and unconditional restoration of constitutional order,” he said.

“We welcome the urgent activation of the ECOWAS Standby force.”

 

Troops Seize Power

Rebel troops seized Malian President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime, Minister Boubou Cisse in a dramatic escalation.

Neighbouring states in West Africa, along with France, the European Union and the African Union, condemned the sudden mutiny and warned against any unconstitutional change of power in the fragile country.

The UN Security Council will hold emergency talks on the crisis on Wednesday, diplomats in New York said.

“We can tell you that the president and the prime minister are under our control” after they were “arrested” at Keita’s residence in the capital Bamako, a rebel leader, who requested anonymity, told AFP.

Boubou Doucoure, who works as Cisse’s director of communications, confirmed that the pair had been detained and had been driven in armoured vehicles to an army base in the town of Kati, about 15 kilometres (nine miles) away.

‘Great Concern’

 

File photo: President Buhari with President of Togo H.E. Faure Gnassingbe, President of Burkina Faso H.E. Roch Marc Kabore, President of Guinea Conakry H.E. Alpha Conde and President of Gambia H.E. Adama Barrow during the 55th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS in Abuja on 21st Dec 2019

 

In a statement, the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) said that its members would close land and air borders to Mali and pledged to demand sanctions against “all the putschists and their partners and collaborators”.

The 15-nation bloc — which includes Mali — also said that it would suspend the country from its internal decision-making bodies.

A screengrab of the ECOWAS Secretariat, Abuja. Google Maps, accessed August 19th, 2020.

 

“ECOWAS has noted with great concern the seizure of power by Malian military putschists,” said the statement, which was originally published in French

Cyber Security: FG Upgrades Digital Centre To Counter Threat

The Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Isa Pantami commissions the NITDA Head Office Digital Centre in Abuja on August 18, 2020.

 

As precautionary measures to improve cybersecurity, the Federal Government has upgraded the Digital Centre to counter threats in the country.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Centre, Isa Pantami, who spoke during the commissioning of the facility on Tuesday centre in Abuja, reiterated the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle insecurity.

He said the Federal Government is making an effort to reduce the incident of cyber-attacks on Nigeria following the upgrade of the computer emergency response and readiness team, built by the National Information Technology Development Agency.

Pantami explained that the upgrade is in alignment with the three priority areas of President Buhari, which is to promote security.

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“Today, there are many challenges with regards to security based on what is happening online. So with the Computer Emergency Response and Readiness Team, we would be able to be the watchdog of the Federal Government of Nigeria, monitor potential cybercrime attacks on our country, come up with policies and strategies to see how we can prevent our country from attacks or at least reduce it to the minimum we can.

“Secondly is Digital Media Studio which is another project which is also in alignment with the three key priorities areas of President Muhammadu Buhari and also the virtual conference.

“Part of the programme and projects of this administration that we plan to achieve through digitisation is to ensure that these three key priority areas are well established to the best of our ability,” he said.

The Minister said the project would go a long way in complimenting the efforts of the administration in tackling the high wave of insecurity in the country and put the economy on a better footing.

No Repentant Boko Haram Has Been Absorbed In Nigerian Military – Presidency

File photo of repentant Boko Haram terrorists.

 

The presidency has debunked reports suggesting that repentant Boko Haram terrorists are being recruited into the Nigerian military.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, says no ex-terrorist is absorbed into the military.

This comes amid an allegation made by Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum that his convoy was attacked by soldiers and not Boko Haram terrorists.

Following this development, many Nigerians had suggested on social media that the attack was carried out by the repentant insurgents who had allegedly joined the army.

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But Shehu said such rumours being peddled were fake.

“It is important for the public to know that nobody has ever been absorbed into the military from the de-radicalized Boko Haram and there is no such plan for their absorption,” the statement partly read.

The presidential spokesman explained that the Federal Government’s Operation Safe Corridor programme aimed at rehabilitating the ex-terrorists were being monitored by the International Organisation for Migration.

He insisted that none of the recent 601 former insurgents who have undergone the radicalisation and rehabilitation programme is admitted into the military.

“None of the 601 former Boko Haram members who voluntarily laid down their arms, and have recently graduated from the Federal Government’s de-radicalization and rehabilitation programme, is going into the military.

“This is the fourth such graduation of repentant Boko Haram fighters and not one of such graduates has been absorbed into the military.

“The public needs to be reassured that the de-radicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremists of the Buhari administration code-named “Operation Safe Corridor,” follows an established example from countries with similar experiences, and is supported academically and materially by the European Union and the United Nations,” he said.

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

SERIOUS LEADERS MUST NOT FALL FOR FAKE NEWS ON REPENTANT TERRORISTS – PRESIDENCY

“Now that groups with hitherto proven bona fides, some religious leaders and a few in the legislature have joined the supply chain of fake news, it important that we step in to clear the false reports that the administration is absorbing repentant Boko Haram terrorists into the military.

“It is important for the public to know that nobody has ever been absorbed into the military from the de-radicalized Boko Haram and there is no such plan for their absorption.

“None of the 601 former Boko Haram members who voluntarily laid down their arms, and have recently graduated from the Federal Government’s de-radicalization and rehabilitation programme, is going into the military. This is the fourth such graduation of repentant Boko Haram fighters and not one of such graduates has been absorbed into the military.

“The public needs to be reassured that the de-radicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremists of the Buhari administration code-named “Operation Safe Corridor,” follows an established example from countries with similar experiences, and is supported academically and materially by the European Union and the United Nations.

“The lead agency for the implementation of the programme in Gombe is the International Organization for Migration, a leading inter-government organization which is represented in Nigeria.

“It is also important to note that this programme does not have a place for hard-boiled, ideologically hardened terrorists. It only admits, after careful scrutiny, repentant fighters that were captured and forced to bear arms in the first instance, and there are many who have been drafted by force.

“At the point of their graduation, a determination is made that the former combatants have repented and are better citizens, imbued with genuine nationalism. They must no longer represent a danger to society or to themselves.

“Where they are certified as such, communities have the duty of accepting them. Unless they want them to take up arms and resume terrorism from which they have repented, community leaders must work with the relevant agencies to end their rejection.

“The Buhari administration is a responsible one and is conscious of its duty to the state and society, and to the victims of terror as well as to those who inflicted these pains and losses on our people.”

 Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

August 5, 2020

Deradicalising Ex-Boko Haram Members, A Misplacement Of Priority – Ndume

 

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume has reacted to the deradicalisation of ex-Boko Haram members by the Nigerian Army.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Ndume said the action by the military authorities is a misplaced priority.

“This is a misplaced priority that is not supposed to happen now. It is okay to deradicalise but the timing is completely wrong.

“This is a situation where we still have over one million displaced persons in various camps and communities, they are still dealing with the trauma of the insurgency,” he said.

Speaking further, the lawmaker wondered why the Federal Government will come up with the Operation Safe Corridor programme when many residents have been affected by terrorism in the northeast.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on July 29, 2020 asked the Federal Government to rehabilitate victims of the Boko Haram insurgency and not the ex-terrorists. 

 

Rather than rehabilitating the repentant terrorists, Ndume who represents Borno South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, wants the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to rehabilitate the people that have been worst-hit by the insurgency in the region.

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In doing this, he asked the Federal Government to give the Internally Displaced Persons scattered across the country start-up packs to begin a new life.

“If the government is serious about a programme like this, it should start with the victims first and not the perpetrators.

“I am in Maiduguri. The worst part of it is that those that have been so-called deradicalised are released into society. There is no monitoring device. One of them that came back killed his father and took away his two cows.”

Operation Safe Corridor is an initiative of the Federal Government aimed at rehabilitating low-risk, “repentant” Boko Haram fighters.

Sallah: FG Declares July 30, 31 As Public Holidays

A file photo of the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola.

 

 

The Federal Government has declared Thursday, July 30 and Friday, July 31 as public holidays to mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir Celebration.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah.

According to the statement, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, congratulated Muslim faithful and all Nigerians both at home and abroad on the occasion.

“He called on the Muslims to continue to imbibe the spirit of love, peace, kindness and sacrifice, as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) and to also use the period to pray for peace, unity, prosperity and the stability of the country especially as the world is witnessing global health challenges caused by Covid-19 pandemic,” the statement partly read.

While reiterating President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment to battling the scourge of COVID-19 pandemic, Aregbesola asked for the cooperation of all Nigerians.

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The Minister stressed that the Federal Government will continue to foster peaceful coexistence, national cohesion and stability in its march towards actualizing the nation’s full potentials.

He, therefore, called on the masses to support the government “in its avowed determination to build a peaceful, harmonious and prosperous country, where the rights of every citizen, are protected and guaranteed, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The Minister also advised Nigerians to take responsibility against the spread of the COVID-19 virus, urging the citizens to stay safe by observing physical and social distancing, personal and respiratory hygiene, as well as other regulations issued by relevant authorities.