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Former President Good luck Johnathan sends Independence message

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has told Nigerians not to lose hope in their nation even as he charged them to be purposeful in playing their own role towards making the country great.

The former President stated this in a goodwill message to Nigerians as the nation marks 60th Independence Day on Thursday.

He noted that the journey of Nigeria has been that of mixed fortunes, adding that it requires the commitment of all citizens to build a strong and prosperous nation.

He said: “Like many other great nations, our journey has been that of mixed fortunes. Our nation has been through periods of progress and times of setbacks. We have experienced eras of strength, unity and faith as well as seasons of weakness, trials and despair. Despite these challenges, we have remained as one, and nurtured our democracy to 21 unbroken years.

“I therefore urge us to make investments that will shore up the democratic gains and work towards building strong and virile institutions. We need to harness the greatness that lies within our diversity and the strength of our population, to recreate and build the Nigeria we desire. We must de-emphasize our fault lines and concentrate on the silver lining within our lands.

“Every great nation is built on the patriotic sacrifices of its citizens. We should show love, unity and understanding in times of trials and never lose hope in the presence of despair. This is the spirit that is required to build our nation, to enable us live in the land of our collective dreams.”

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Dr. Jonathan also paid tribute to those patriots who had paid the supreme price towards advancing the course of our nationhood, stressing that they will continue to be Nigeria’s heroes.

Below is full text of the Goodwill Message:

NIGERIA AT 60: WE SHOULD NOT DESPAIR
I congratulate all Nigerians as we celebrate our 60th Independence Anniversary. Today is another unique day in our nation’s history. It marks six decades of the anniversary of our self-rule. It is an occasion that commemorates our political freedom.

Sixty years ago, we made a procession of victory, as we bade farewell to colonialism and emancipated our lands from the clutches of servitude. It was a day of hope, promises and great expectations amplified by the reality of freedom and the vista of vast opportunities.

We may not have met all the expectations and fulfilled all the promises that came with our independence. It may seem that we are punching below our weight in terms of the rate of development and economic growth but we have recorded some progress, triumphed over challenges and excelled in many spheres. In sports, entertainment, arts, education and even in politics; The Green – White – Green has flown with pride, honour and dignity in the comity of nations, in the last 60 years.

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Like many other great nations, our journey has been that of mixed fortunes. Our nation has been through periods of progress and times of setbacks. We have experienced eras of strength, unity and faith as well as seasons of weakness, trials and despair. Despite these challenges, we have remained as one, and nurtured our democracy to 21 unbroken years.

Nation building is a journey and everyone has a role to play for us to arrive safely in our desired destination. Today, we are confronted with numerous challenges and we require the commitment of all citizens to stabilize this nation. As a democrat, I believe that democracy remains the best platform for nation building, as it affords every citizen the opportunity to have a say on how our country should be governed.

I therefore urge us to make investments that will shore up the democratic gains and work towards building strong and virile institutions. We need to harness the greatness that lies within our diversity and the strength of our population, to recreate and build the Nigeria we desire. We must de-emphasize our fault lines and concentrate on the silver lining within our lands.

Every great nation is built on the patriotic sacrifices of its citizens. We should show love, unity and understanding in times of trials and never lose hope in the presence of despair. This is the spirit that is required to build our nation, to enable us live in the land of our collective dreams.

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Today Nigeria and the rest of the world are going through a major health crisis, that has continued to threaten the stability of states and their institutions as well as the lives and livelihoods of citizens. We must never give up, no matter the challenges we face today. We should not live in despair of opportunities lost or dreams deferred.

Let us seize the opportunities that this pandemic presents to recreate and build a stronger nation. Our success as a nation lies in the fervency of our faith, the strength of our unity and commitment to our national creed: unity and faith, peace and progress. Let us work in solidarity to ensure that this national creed does not become a mere slogan but a lived experience for all.

Dear Compatriots, as we celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of our independence, we should recognize that not many are privileged to witness this moment as some have paid the supreme price defending and upholding our nation’s unity and advancing the course of our nationhood. I wish to pay a special tribute to these patriots who will continue to be our heroes.

And to all other Nigerians, this is not a time to lose faith in our nation. We should be steadfast in service; promoting peace, unity and hope. Let us sustain the national conversations in search of equity, justice and unity and progress.

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US Special military forces rescues an American citizen in Nigeria

Benjamin Ukpabi

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US military forces rescued an American citizen in Nigeria, the Pentagon said on Saturday, days after he was kidnapped by gunmen in the south of neighbouring Niger and apparently taken across the border.

The hostage, Philip Walton, was abducted Monday night on the outskirts of Massalata, a village about 10 kilometres (six miles) from the border with Nigeria.

Walton is safe and in the care of the US State Department, the Pentagon said in a statement. US forces did not suffer any casualties in the rescue operation, it added.

“The United States is committed to the safe return of all US citizens taken captive,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a separate statement.

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“We delivered on that commitment late last night in Nigeria, where some of our bravest and most skilled warriors rescued a US citizen,” he said.

President Donald Trump hailed the rescue operation.

“Big win for our very elite U.S. Special Forces today. Details to follow!,” he tweeted.

Niger’s Defence Minister Issoufou Katambe had earlier confirmed the hostage release to AFP without giving details about how he had been freed.

Local officials had said this week that the kidnappers had called the man’s father to demand a ransom, though the family did not confirm this.

Walton had been living in Massalata with his wife and child for two years, according to his father, who himself has been in Niger for nearly 30 years.

Niger lies in the heart of the vast Sahel region, which is struggling with a jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes.

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US forces have two drone bases in Agadez and Dirkou, in northern Niger. Their aircraft provide significant support to the French anti-jihadist Barkhane force.

In October 2017, four American Special Forces soldiers and five Nigerien soldiers were killed in an ambush in Tongo Tongo, near Mali, in southwestern Niger.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

Several Westerners are currently being held hostage in the region, including American aid worker Jeffery Woodke, who was kidnapped in the central town of Abalak in 2016 and is believed to be in neighbouring Mali now.

Three Europeans, including 75-year-old French charity worker Sophie Petronin, were released by their captors in Mali earlier this month under a prisoner swap arranged by the Malian government.

In August, six French aid workers and two Niger citizens were killed in the Koure wildlife reserve west of Niamey, in an attack claimed by the so-called Islamic State group.ci

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FG threatens to make migration difficult for doctors

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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Dr Osagie Ehanire, The Minister for Health, made it clear that the federal government will do everything within her power to discourage doctors from travelling outside Nigeria.

The Minister said that the government will provide adequate medical facilities and also provide incentives that will discourage the Doctors from traveling outside the country, he said this on Friday in Abuja after inspecting the Cancer Centre in the National Hospital Abuja.

He said “I have heard the challenge of doctors leaving the country. We have plans to provide better funding for our hospitals in Nigeria and make such migration unattractive,”

Dr Osagie Ehanire praised the hospital staffs and administration, and encouraged them to better, he urged the hospital to be ready incase the global corona virus resurface again as seen in other countries. He advised the hospital to make judicious use of the funds made available to them.

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He added “Schools are resuming, people are travelling in and out the country so we must be prepared for any emergency”.

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Banks commence emergency system update due to threats from Anonymous

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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A global hacktivist network known as Anonymous stirred an aggressive campaign in Nigeria two weeks ago, Nigerian banks as part of the precautionary measure has decided embark on an immediate emergency upgrade.

Mohammed Abdullahi Minister of State for Science and Technology confirmed the threat from Anonymous, he clearly stated there was a well planned attacks on important government Databases.

Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami, also  admitted that some government websites were tampered with. He said: ‘‘On my instruction, the NITDA and NCC worked almost round the clock last week to rectify the situation and ensure no vital data was compromised. I am happy the websites are back and running now.”

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He also assured Nigerians that stringent measures have been take taken to avoid further attacks,  emphasized  for all the relevant organization to upgrade their system.

 

 

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