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Current Affairs of Nigeria Today in December

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Current Affairs of Nigeria Today in December

Insecurity: Even Buhari not safe in Aso Rock – Nigerian Pastor asks President to resign.

 

Senior pastor of Awaiting The Second Coming Of Christ Ministry, Adewale Giwa has said that even President Muhammadu Buhari is not safe at the Presidential Villa going by the breakdown of security in the country.

He also said that Buhari’s high-handedness has caused a major setback to national advancement.

Giwa, in a statement  on Tuesday said Nigerians had chosen their destiny by allowing president Buhari to rule the country for another four years.

(Current Affairs)

The cleric, however, urged Nigerians to stay strong.

He declared: “It’s unfortunate that we have a president who doesn’t listen to the yearnings of his people.

“President Buhari’s high-handedness has brought setbacks to Nigeria in all ramifications. If they could kill a first-class monarch in Ondo state, who is now safe in this country?

“If the wife of Ondo state Chief of staff could be kidnapped easily, who knows who is next? As of now, God is our security.

“Even Buhari is not safe in Aso rock because the citizens are not happy.”

State governors helpless, frustrated over insecurity – El-Rufai laments.

 

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has expressed worry over the spate of insecurity in Nigeria.

El-Rufai lamented that state governors are frustrated, helpless and dissatisfied with their roles, amid the challenges of insecurity in the country.

The governor spoke during an interview with Channels Television’s politics Today, on Monday.

El-Rufai also pointed out that the recent End SARS protest has exposed the helplessness of state governors in the face of insecurity.

The governor further lamented that state governors are not in control of security outfits in their domains. (Current Affairs)

According to El-Rufai: “We are all frustrated. I am frustrated in my state, many governors are frustrated in their states; we are called chief security officers only in name, we have no control over cohesive instruments of the state.

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“We are almost helpless. The #EndSARS protest clearly showed the limit to the control of governors over the police and the military.

“Some of us have more influence than others, but to a large extent, you ask the commissioner of police to do something and he has to clear with the Inspector-General of Police; this is the reality.

“We are not in control of the police, I don’t determine who gets posted to my state as CP and if I give him directives, he can decide to flout the directives. So, we are all frustrated.”

Borno massacre: UN makes U-turn on number of farmers killed by Boko Haram –

 

The United Nations has made a U-turn on its earlier claim that 110 farmers were beheaded by Boko Haram members in Zabarmari community, Borno State.

It was  reported on Saturday that 43 farmers were killed in an attack by insurgents on Koshobe rice field.

During a mass burial of the deceased farmers, the Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, confirmed to journalists that 43 farmers were killed.

But a UN statement, signed by Eve Sabbagh, UN’s Head of Public Information at the OCHA in Nigeria, quoted Head of the UN System in Nigeria, Edward Kallon saying that he was “outraged and horrified by the gruesome attack against civilians carried out by non-state armed groups in villages near Borno State capital Maiduguri. (Current Affairs)

“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack.”

The organisation made a U-turn on this in a new statement on Monday, saying that its initial statement was inaccurate.

Ms Sabbagh in the statement asked journalists to disregard the earlier statement.

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“Please note the number of 110 civilians killed on Saturday’s attack is an unconfirmed number and the correct version of the statement by the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator is the one published yesterday on Reliefweb and used on OCHA Nigeria’s Twitter account,” the statement said, replacing the “110 deaths” with “unspecified figure”.

Kallon now added that “tens of civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack.”

Nigerian traders in Ghana raise alarm over fresh clampdown on businesses.

The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to take urgent action as Ghanaian authorities commenced another round of closure of shops belonging to Nigerian traders on Monday.

Dr Ken Ukaoha, the National President of NANTS, who made the call in an interview with NAN in Abuja, condemned the maltreatment of Nigerian traders in Ghana.

Ukaoha explained that the entire process showed Ghana’s decision to undermine trade and economic integration process in ECOWAS.

Recall that 270 shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Ghana have been under lock and key since September 2019.

“As at today, November 30, the Ghanaian Authorities led by Security Agencies have started another round of closure of shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Ghana. (Current Affairs)

“The notice placed above the padlocks on each of the locked shops informs owners to come to their Ministry of Trade and Industry with evidence of payment of one million dollars.

“It’s indeed a complete dent on the face of ECOWAS and a bold question, perhaps asking the Nigerian Government “what would you do”? OR “do your worst,” Ukaoha said.

He added: “It’s indeed senseless that you asked a community to leave your space and while they’re preparing with their government on how to act on your demand, another round of closure is being effected.

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“Ghana would definitely regret these war songs, knowing clearly that the rebound would hit strongly on her people and her economy, especially when Nigerians move out of the country with their business investments.

“Nigeria should, therefore, take immediate actions and urgently present this and the maltreatment of Nigerians in Ghana to the Council of Ministers and the Authority of Heads of State.”

Presidency gives update on MSMEs Survival Fund.

 

The Presidency has said that small business operators aren’t required to undergo any form of training before accessing the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund.

The Special Assistant to the President on MSMEs, Office of the Vice President, Mr Tola Johnson, made the clarification at the inauguration of the Transport Track of the fund in Abuja on Monday. (Current Affairs)

Johnson said the programme was being run in a direct and transparent manner, adding that the beneficiaries could be reached for confirmation.

He said, “To state very clearly, for the MSMEs Survival Fund, we’re not training anybody; we believe you’re the owners of your businesses; you’ve been running them for years.

“What we’re doing is just to support you; you’re not required to do any training to qualify; what you need to do is to apply; it’s on a first come, first serve.

“There’s no element of audio money in the scheme; the contacts of the beneficiaries are available to be contacted for confirmation.

“The Federal Government has started getting it right with schemes like this; what we need is more schemes that are straight forward. (Current Affairs)

“People are calling that this is replicated in every other government programme; let the money go straight to the users.”

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Breaking: Gunmen raze police station in Abia

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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While details of the attack were still sketchy at the time of filing the report, it was gathered the gunmen overpowered the policemen on duty and released suspects in custody.

It was however not clear if they invaded the police armoury.

Gunmen have reportedly attacked and razed down a police station in Uzoakoli, Bende local government area of Abia State.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday.

details shortly…

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Before I Fled Boko Haram’s Den, Many Chibok Schoolgirls Were Pregnant

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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A student of the College of Business and Management Studies in Konduga, Juliana Christopher, who was kidnapped by Boko Haram, has said she saw many Chibok girls in the insurgents’ camp.

He added that many small girls were either pregnant or nursing children belonging to the insurgents.

Christopher, in an interview with The PUNCH, said he spent three weeks in Boko Haram camp after the insurgents, who were dressed in military uniforms, stormed her school in Borno State and abducted her.

She explained that after she and her colleagues were kidnapped by the insurgents, they took them into the forest, where she saw other victims who were pregnant and nursing babies of the Boko Haram insurgents.

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She said, “On reaching their camp, we met many young girls there and the whole place was in disarray. It was in 2014 and I was in the Boko Haram camp for three weeks. We met Chibok girls in the camp. While in the camp, I saw so many small girls, who were kidnapped. Some were being molested.

“Some were carrying children, while others were pregnant for the Boko Haram insurgents. It was a disgusting thing. Fortunately for me and some other girls, we escaped from the forest and found our way back to Chibok.”

My abduction led to my father’s death, now I can’t continue education –Konduga student, who escaped from Boko Haram captivity
She explained that her father took ill shortly after she was kidnapped, adding that efforts to rescue him proved abortive.

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She said, “On getting to Chibok, I found the whole community in a state of confusion; so, I asked after my parents and was told that my father took ill when he heard about my abduction and my mother took him to the hospital in Maiduguri. I set out to go and look for them in Maiduguri, but I could not go far because the road was blocked and no movement was allowed, except for military vehicles; in that process, my father died.

“When I heard about my father’s condition, I became worried and tried to locate my parents in the hospital, not knowing that he was already dead. When I eventually got to the hospital in Maiduguri, my mother had conveyed my father’s corpse to Chibok for burial, so my mother said I should stay back to avoid another kidnap.
“That was how I got to this camp. I couldn’t continue with my education, because my mother alone could not take care of my schooling and that of my other siblings.”

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Boko Haram terrorists are our Muslim brothers, shouldn’t be killed like pigs: Minister Pantami

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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President Muhammadu Buhari’s communications minister Isa Pantami once condemned Nigerian Army’s incursion into Boko Haram strongholds, describing the insurgents as “our Muslim” brothers who did not deserve to be killed like pigs.

“See what our fellow Muslim brothers’ blood has turned to? Even pig blood has more value than that of a fellow Muslim brother,” Mr Pantami lamented in a sermon issued a few years ago when former President Goodluck Jonathan ramped up military operations against the rampaging terror sect.

Peoples Gazette obtained the audio through an anonymous contact on Thursday night. The location of Mr Pantami’s sermon and those who attended could not be immediately obtained, but the words, nonetheless, contradicted his recent claims that he had long maintained a hardline posture against Boko Haram.

Mr Pantami’s media allies have also been on an image laundering blitz to cast him as a moderate preacher who has been widely celebrated for his longstanding contempt for Boko Haram. Mr Pantami also joined his supporters to amplify a threat issued against him by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, evoking it to dismiss insinuations of his sympathy towards terrorists as counter-intuitive.

But in the February 2020 video, Mr Shekau appeared more frustrated by what he saw as Mr Pantami’s betrayal in becoming a top government official after spending years preaching Salafi doctrine than he was about the minister’s purported condemnation of Boko Haram’s deadly exploits.

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Mr Pantami has long been famous across northern parts of Nigeria as a respected Islamic cleric. He used most of his preachings to rail against the government’s high-handedness, and Peoples Gazette published a video on Thursday that showed him promising never to go into public service. The sermon was delivered in the mid-2000s, years before Mr Buhari appointed him in 2016 as the head of NITDA and later in 2019 as a cabinet minister in charge of communications.

“We are praying to God to answer all our prayers. It’s our right and obligation before all Muslim leaders, politicians, government appointees, academics,” Mr Pantami said in his prayers. “All of us should not fold their arms and watch helplessly how they shed our Muslim brothers’ blood and cheat them in vain.”

Mr Pantami said Boko Haram elements should have been treated with dignity as against the deadly military campaign, saying extermination of insurgents amounted to extrajudicial killing.

 

“Even if the Boko Haram fighters commit a crime, but can we justify the way and manner they are being killed?”

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“Just look at how they are killing people as if they are shooting pigs even though they commit a crime, why the extrajudicial killing? Take them before the law for a fair trial.

“You caught someone sleeping and you killed him. If it’s not Muslims that undergo such treatments who else?” Mr Pantami said.

The minister also said the previous administration should have pampered Boko Haram insurgents in the same manner as the Niger-Delta militants. Unlike Boko Haram that has been on senseless bloodshed against Nigerians of every faith and creed, the militants were fighting for a better share of oil wealth explored and extracted from their parts of the country.

After about three years of their violent campaign, which largely involved frequent abduction of expatriate oil workers and exchange of fire with security forces, the militants acquiesced to economic solutions and relinquished their arms in a deal brokered by former President Umar Yar’Adua.

But Mr Pantami disregarded the context of both groups and instead took a parallel position on how the government should respond to them.

“The Niger Delta people did something similar to this. They massacre people, steal weapons, killed expatriates and kidnap some of them,” Mr Pantami said. “Yet, you still accept them back, open a ministry for them, gave them a minister and put them on a monthly salary pay without work.”

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“The militants did more harm compared to what Boko Haram boys did,” the minister said. “But why will they do something like this? Why selective justice?”

 

The audio was part of a series of controversial sermons which Mr Pantami delivered at several worship centres and learning institutions across the northern parts of the country between the mid and late 2000s. The Gazette obtained the audio this week, most of which had already been transcribed and contextualized by an academic journal published online since March 2019.

Calls have now intensified for Mr Pantami to either publicly renounce his statements or step down from office, with some activists arguing that his position as a federal minister in charge of citizens’ data and the country’s telecoms infrastructure had become untenable.

As part of our series, The Gazette reached out to Mr Pantami repeatedly to learn whether or not he had renounced his controversial views but he declined all requests.

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