Group Outraged Over Dasuki’s Call For Postponement Of Elections

DasukiThe Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has expressed outrage over the statement made by the National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki at the London think-tank, Chatham House, calling for the postponement of the February 2015 scheduled election.

“We are outraged because the reason he adduced is puerile, bare face lie and a dummy meant to deceive the international community, portray Nigeria in bad light and scuttle regime change,” a statement by the group reads.

CNPP further challenged Dasuki to tell the world where the 30 million Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) he bandied is located; for without holding brief for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), it is common knowledge that over 60% PVCs have been collected nationwide.

CNPP said that it was “worried that the NSA had joined some anti-democrats and less than patriotic groups, calling out the Christian Association of Nigeria, Ijaw Youth Council, Federation of Middle People, and Ohaneze Youth Council to plant land mines to scuttle our fledgling democracy.

“Dasuki’s statement clearly exposed his gross incompetence on his primary mandate to secure the country; hence the Boko Haram insurgents escalated since his appointment on 22nd June, 2012”, the group said.

“The NSA should tell the world what happened to the billions budgeted for defence in the past three years under his watch, since he has turned the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) into procurement agency of the Ministry of Defence.

“Our understanding is that elongation of President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure, automatically elongates that of Dasuki’s less than successful tenure” CNNP added.

It also alleged that Dasuki “deliberately abandoned the late General Andrew Azazi’s concept, his predecessor that Boko Haram insurgents are located in the forest and should be fought with Isreali Satellite Images, Drones and modern equipment”.

“Had Dasuki adopted the Azazi concept it could have been very easy to use satellite images to recapture the Chibok girls few days after their unfortunate abduction,” the group opined.

They went ahead to demand an apology from the NSA, “We call on Dasuki to apologise to Nigerians for his anti-democratic tenure elongation canvas and for calling our soldiers he under equipped cowards.”

APC Rejects Call For Postponement Of Elections

APCThe All Progressives Congress (APC) has rejected the call by the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd), for the postponement of the February general elections warning that under no circumstance must the elections be scuttled.

Sambo had given the advice during an event at the Chatham House in London on Thursday, citing the need to give INEC more time to distribute all Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the APC said that the call by Col. Dasuki, had exposed the hitherto clandestine plot by the Jonathan Administration to push for the postponement of the polls, using all sorts of “cheap tricks”.

”Now that we have found the smoking gun, we are urging the international community, in particular, to urgently extract a commitment from President Goodluck Jonathan that the elections will hold as scheduled next month, and that he would respect the outcome, just as we have said,” it said.

The party also called on Nigerians to reject what it termed an ongoing orchestrated plot by President Jonathan’s administration to postpone the elections, saying the constitutional crisis that would be triggered by such postponement could undermine the nation’s democracy.

APC said that the importance of elections cannot be over-emphasized, “Election is the lifeblood of democracy, the mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates.

“It is the only way for the citizenry to renew and refresh the governing process so they can get the most benefits out of democracy. Therefore, anyone that tries to sabotage this mechanism is aiming a dagger straight to the heart of democracy.

“We ask them to look at the State Governor placing a newspaper advert wishing our presidential candidate dead. The possible repercussions of this kind of provocative act are better imagined, had our party not been a peaceful party.

”In view of the above, we have decided to take our case to Nigerians and indeed the global community so they can prevail on President Jonathan to allow the elections to hold as scheduled and to make a commitment to respect the outcome.”

NSA, Dasuki, Advises INEC To Postpone 2015 Elections

DasukiThe National Security Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Sambo Dasuki, has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delay the elections scheduled for February in order to allow for proper preparations and distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

He gave this advice on Thursday during a discourse at London think-tank, Chatham House, where he stated that it would be advantageous if the upcoming elections were postponed.

He said that so far, INEC had distributed 30 million cards and would need to distribute more, noting that it would be the first time Nigerian voters would use a bio-metric card to prevent rigging of the elections.

According to him, since there were still another 30 million people yet to collect their PVCs, it would cost INEC nothing to change the dates of the elections.

Dasuki stated further that although INEC has assured the nation of success in the forthcoming election despite time constraint, it was reasonable to postpone the elections based on these factors.

According to tweets by the Chatham House Africa Programme in London, monitored by Channels TV, the NSA also gave assurances that the missing Chibok girls would soon be located with the help of the international community, particularly the French, British, Americans and Chadians.

The tweets also quoted him debunking allegations that the Nigerian Army were under-equipped.

Baga Casualty Figure

Dasuki also maintained the official casualty figure from the Baga attack released by the Nigerian Army, stating that only an independent verified copy of the satellite images can prove otherwise.

Suspected members of the Boko Haram had attacked the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) base in Baga, Borno State on Saturday, January 5, with Defence Spokesperson, Major-General Chris Olukolade, pegging the casualty figure around the borders of 250 people, comprising mainly of members of the sect.

However, satellite images released on Thursday, January 15 by human rights organisation, Amnesty International, suggested that there was wide scale destruction by Boko Haram insurgents in the town.

Amnesty International said that the images provided “indisputable and shocking evidence” of the scale of the attack on the towns of Baga and Doron Baga by Boko Haram militants.

According to the organisation, “Before and after images of two neighbouring towns, Baga (160 kilometres from Maiduguri) and Doron Baga (also known as Doro Gowon, 2.5 km from Baga), taken on 2nd and 7th of  January show the devastating effect of the attacks which left over 3,700 structures damaged or completely destroyed. Other nearby towns and villages were also attacked over this period.

“These detailed images show devastation of catastrophic proportions in two towns, one of which was almost wiped off the map in the space of four days.”

Meanwhile, the leader of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, in a new video, has claimed responsibility for the Baga massacre.

The man claiming to be Abubakar Shekau said that people were killed “as our Lord instructed us”, threatening more raids.

 

$5.7 Mln Arms Deal, Case Of Money Laundering – Jiti Ogunye

Jiti OgunyeA lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, on Wednesday ruled out the argument that the Federal Government’s failed second attempt to purchase arms was a legitimate effort, insisting that an official seal on the deal did not rule out a case of money laundering.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, Ogunye noted that the “South African authorities have every right and power to carry out investigations and they are doing so. When they conclude the investigations, we’ll have the benefit of the outcome”.

He argued that the two cases of botched arms deal involving Nigeria and South Africa would be investigated, noting that”“there’s a sequence”.

Although the first $9.3 million, which was seized aboard a private jet, was alleged to be a black operation, and the $5.7 million transferred legally via a bank, Ogunje insisted that both transactions were illegal.

“When you’re committing money laundering, what do you do it through? You do it through the banks,” he said, adding that “the fact that this money was paid through the bank allegedly, and that the NSA signed off on it, do not mean it doesn’t have the taint of money laundering.

“Doesn’t a governor sign-off a budget before stealing the money?” he asked, implying that the official signature was a means to launder state funds.

“The fact that you sign-off on something does not mean that you’re not committing a crime,” he argued, adding that the country’s seal had been used severally to commit monstrosities.

He countered arguments that the South African government did not wish Nigeria, recalling the incarceration on Henry Okah, a case he said Nigeria was the chief beneficiary. “Nigeria did not complain at the time,” he said.

“It’s shameful enough for this kind of thing to be happening but it’s doubly shameful for us to be rationalising by offering implausibilities,” he concluded.

Snowden Persuaded Other NSA Workers To Give Up Passwords

Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden used login credentials and passwords provided unwittingly by colleagues at a spy base in Hawaii to access some of the classified material he leaked to the media, sources said.

A handful of agency employees who gave their login details to Snowden were identified, questioned and removed from their assignments, said a source close to several U.S. government investigations into the damage caused by the leaks.

Snowden may have persuaded between 20 and 25 fellow workers at the NSA regional operations center in Hawaii to give him their logins and passwords by telling them they were needed for him to do his job as a computer systems administrator, a second source said.

The revelation is the latest to indicate that inadequate security measures at the NSA played a significant role in the worst breach of classified data in the super-secret eavesdropping agency’s 61-year history.

Reuters reported last month that the NSA failed to install the most up-to-date, anti-leak software at the Hawaii site before Snowden went to work there and downloaded highly classified documents belonging to the agency and its British counterpart, Government Communication Headquarters.

It is not clear what rules the employees broke by giving Snowden their passwords, which allowed the contractor access to data that he was not authorized to see.

Snowden worked at the Hawaii site for about a month last spring, during which he got access to and downloaded tens of thousands of secret NSA documents.

COVERING TRACKS

“In the classified world, there is a sharp distinction between insiders and outsiders. If you’ve been cleared and especially if you’ve been polygraphed, you’re an insider and you are presumed to be trustworthy,” said Steven Aftergood, a secrecy expert with the Federation of American Scientists.

“What agencies are having a hard time grappling with is the insider threat, the idea that the guy in the next cubicle may not be reliable,” he added.

Officials with the NSA and the Office of Director of National Intelligence declined to comment due to a criminal investigation related to Snowden, who disclosed previously secret U.S. government mass surveillance programs while in Hong Kong in June and then fled to Russia where he was granted temporary asylum.

People familiar with efforts to assess the damage to U.S. intelligence caused by Snowden’s leaks have said assessments are proceeding slowly because Snowden succeeded in obscuring some electronic traces of how he accessed NSA records.

The sources did not know if the NSA employees who were removed from their assignments were given other duties or fired.

While the U.S. government now believes it has a good idea of all the data to which Snowden could have accessed, investigators are not positive which and how much of that data Snowden actually downloaded, the sources said.

Snowden and some of his interlocutors, such as former Guardian writer Glenn Greenwald, have said that Snowden provided NSA secrets only to media representatives such as Greenwald, filmmaker Laura Poitras, and a reporter with the British newspaper.

They have emphatically denied that he provided any classified material to countries such as China or Russia.

The revelation that Snowden got access to some of the material he leaked by using colleagues’ passwords surfaced as the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee approved a bill intended in part to tighten security over U.S. intelligence data.

One provision of the bill would earmark a classified sum of money – estimated as less than $100 million – to help fund efforts by intelligence agencies to install new software designed to spot and track attempts to access or download secret materials without proper authorization.

The bill also requires that the Director of National Intelligence set up a system requiring intelligence contractors to quickly report to spy agencies on incidents in which data networks have been penetrated by unauthorized persons.

Analyst Explains Costing Method Of Armoured Vehicles

Following the public outcry against two armoured BMW cars allegedly purchased by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), for the Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, at the price of N255 million, the Chairman, Automobile and Allied Trade Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Osesme Oigiagbe, has said there are no fixed prices for such vehicles.

Although, Oigiagbe chose not to express personal opinion on the allegedly inflated price of the cars which is the source of the Aviation’s industry latest controversy, he explained the methods by which such vehicles are priced.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, via a telephone interview, Oigiagbe said that there are levels of protection for cars ranging from level B1 to B7. The protection levels are incorporated depending on the kind of attack one anticipates from an intruder, hence it is possible for all parts of the vehicle to be armoured, including the car batteries.

“Protection level will determine the cost,” Oigiagbe added.

Furthermore, Oigiagbe who said that the location of the armour retrofitting factory may also determine the cost, went ahead to explain the various factors to be considered in determining the final price of a car that has been re-worked for the purposes of protection.

The cost of the actual car must be considered as a vehicle of choice has to be purchased before it is taken to the armour plant where body parts are taken off and then refitted. This leads to added cost of armouring.

The cost of protection is included which is determined by the level of protection the client desires.

Communication equipment which would be fixed in the vehicle also affects the pricing of the vehicle.

Talking about a general price range for the minimum protection armoured car, Oigiagbe said the price is between N40 million  to over N100 million but the high end vehicles are more expensive in countries like Germany where they have high quality and finishing costs.

“You can have the retrofitting portion of that armour running from over £150,000 (N32,690,328.44) in addition to the cost of the vehicle.”

On the mode of importation of such vehicles, Oigiagbe disclosed that such cannot be done in Nigeria without the approval of National Security Adviser.

Application for such approvals must contain the vehicle’s vitals numbers and codes as well as a statement on the purpose for which the vehicle will be used.

FEC Holds Valedictory Session For Yakowa,Azazi

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) suspended all memos to hold a valedictory session in honour of the late governor of Kaduna state, Mr Patrick Yakowa and former National Security Adviser (NSA) General Andrew Owoye Azazi.

One after the other, Ministers took their turns to pay tribute to the departed souls.

In their tribute President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo described them, their personal assistants and the helicopter crew as fine gentlemen who served the country to the best of their ability.

President Jonathan traced the history of his relationship with the late NSA and how they formed an alliance that blossomed to his being appointed as the NSA.

He consoled members of their families and prayed God to give them and the entire nation, the fortitude to bear the loss.