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THE NATION

Presidency backs El-Rufa’i, says ‘he spoke in defence of national interest’

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KADUNA State Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has stirred the hornet’s nest, with his warning that foreigners  should not interfere in the conduct of the general elections.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday threatened to pull out of the peace accord it signed with other parties before the National Peace Committee (NPC) chaired by former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar.

The opposition party hinged its decision on the “death threats” issued by the governor, according to it, to officials of the United States (U.S.), United Kingdom (U.K.) and the European Union (E.U.).

But the Presidency dismissed it all as a storm in a tea cup. “There is nothing more to sneeze at”, it said.

Besides, the governor denied calling for violence.

Also yesterday, the EU Election Observer Mission (EOM) said its men were in Nigeria on the invitation of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and that they will remain in the country to monitor the elections billed for February 16 (presidential/National) and March 2 (governorship/state Assembly).

Speaking on an NTA live programme El-Rufai was reported to have threatened the foreign nationals who might interfere with Nigeria’s upcoming elections with violent attacks.

“Those that are calling for anyone to come and intervene in Nigeria, we are waiting for the person that would come and intervene, they would go back in body bags,” he was quoted as saying.

The governor, however, explained himself yesterday, insisting that his comments were not in any way calls for violence, but a defence of Nigeria’s sovereignty.

El-Rufai said he merely stood up for Nigeria’s dignity as against those who would traduce their country and reduce it to a colony in their vain quest for power.

In a statement last night, the Presidency said: “The Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari would cooperate with election observers and would not let the international community down in the conduct of the coming elections.

“The Presidency assures Nigerians and the international community that the President would do everything within his power to ensure free, fair and credible elections in the country.

“We have taken note of the clarification to a reported earlier statement by the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufa’i concerning opposition call for foreign interference in our domestic affairs and to say that latest statement by him should rest the issue for good. There is nothing more to sneeze at. The Governor spoke strongly in defense of of national interest. It is clear that El-Rufa’i, our party the APC and all its candidates have reposed their faith in democracy through general elections. They are all of the view that there is no place for violence against local people or foreign citizens in our midst.

“Opposition PDP ought to own up to the mistakes of their own policies for 16 years which have led the country to a sorry pass that has cost lives, jobs and growth instead of dwelling on diversionary issues.”

The PDP’s threat was issued at a news conference in Abuja. Its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan described El-Rufai’s comments as inimical to peaceful, free and fair elections.

He said: “The PDP is left with no option than to consider a review of its signatory in the National Peace Accord, if no action is immediately taken to curb this trend.”

But a pro-Buhari group, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), said neither the PDP nor its presidential candidate, was genuinely committed to any peace deal.

According to the BMO, PDP’s presidential candidate signed the peace accord reluctantly.

The main opposition party called on the international community to immediately impose a travel ban on El-Rufai for what it described as the inciting comments against peaceful elections.

Ologbodiyan also called on the Gen. Abdulsalami to summon El-Rufai on the threat.

He said: “The PDP holds that any situation that seeks to allow the APC to abuse the tenets of the accord will definitely force our party to review our signatory to the peace process.

“We therefore call on the NPC to immediately summon El-Rufai on his inflammatory remarks against peaceful election in our country.

“In that regard, we might have no option left than to allow our members to defend their votes with whatever that is available to them.

“This country belongs to all of us and no individual or group, no matter how highly placed, can subjugate other citizens, or seek to appropriate any sort of absolutism to himself.”

The PDP also kicked against what it described as an alleged plot by the police authority to redeploy Kayode Egbetokun as Commissioner of Police to the Kwara State Command.

The opposition party alleged closeness of Egbetokun to a section of the leadership of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).

This, according to the PDP, might lead to Egbetokun taking sides in the ongoing supremacy tussle between the PDP and the APC chapters in Kwara State.

Ologbondiyan said: “This is in line with plans by the Buhari Presidency and the APC to effect a mass deployment of top security officers, particularly the police, to intimidate, harass and manhandle Nigerians that will not support the self-succession bid of President Muhammadu Buhari as well as aiding APC thugs to snatch ballot boxes and orchestrate violence in the elections.

“Nigerians are aware of how CP Kayode Egbetokun was posted to Lagos State by the former Inspector-General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, to serve the same partisan interest and how that posting was stopped by the new IGP Adamu Mohammed. Now, he is being redeployed to Kwara State for the same ignoble plot.

“It is necessary to state that the PDP is a party of peace and we are committed to the peace accord. However, the deployment of Kayode Egbetokun as Kwara CP directly negates the principle of the Peace Accord and can only hurt the fragile peace that currently exists in Kwara state.

“We wish to remind the acting Inspector General, Adamu Mohammed, that his acceptability among Nigerians across party line was based on the pedigree, which was presented to Nigerians before his appointment.

“These pedigree and exposure place on his shoulders, the responsibility to be just, firm, equitable and professional in the discharge of his duties. We therefore urge him not to allow his reputation to be mired in controversial political activities.”

The party called on the National Peace Committee to note the alleged infractions by the APC and its leaders to the peace accord.

-THE NATION

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THE NATION

Firm hails Abdullahi’s appointment as NITDA DG

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An Information Communication Technology hub in sub-Saharan Africa, Global IT, has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi as the Director-General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Country Director of the Global IT Rasheed Bakare, in a commendation letter to the President, praised the appointment of 39-year-old Abdullahi, whom he described as a digital guru and an industry key player with passion to improve on his predecessors’ achievements in NITDA.

Bakare said: “Abdullahi, for a couple of years, has shown and proved to be a world-class professional who will use his wide network to take NITDA to the next level, in line with the vision of Mr. President and the agency’s role as the clearing house for IT projects and infrastructural development.”

Global IT advised Abdullahi to live above board and justify the confidence reposed in him by the president.

Abdullahi is a graduate of Computer Science from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT Sloan – trained strategist with 15 years of experience in IT operations, business transformation and solution architecture across the private and public sectors.

He attended Leadership and Management courses at Harvard University in the United States of America (USA), University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom (UK) and IMD Business School in Switzerland.

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THE NATION

Yaba Psychiatric Hospital doctors’ strike enters 4th week

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The strike action embarked on the 31st of July 2019 by the  Association of Resident Doctors, Federal  Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba has entered its fourth week.

The doctors are protesting what they have described as a “severe lack of doctors to provide seamless delivery of mental health service.”

The strike action was reviewed on Monday August 19th, 2019 when the doctors deliberated for over six hours to review their ongoing industrial action.

The review meeting was called due to timely interventions of key stakeholders.

After their deliberations, the resident doctors in a statement made available to the press “resolved to CONTINUE our industrial action to insist on standard mental health  care for our clients and quality work experience for our overworked doctors, until such a time the Hospital Management deems it fit to meet our singular demand!”

Find below their resolutions:

“1. The Hospital Management is insensitive to the plight of over 535 in-patients and 220 outpatients daily who now receive suboptimal, if not pernicious,  mental health service in the 20 days that this industrial action has been allowed to fester without goal-directed interventions

2. The Hospital Management has blatantly refused to replace the annual exit of resident doctors  for the past four years. Instead, they have let  patient load and clinical work increase significantly for hapless resident doctors  whose health and academic pursuits have suffered irreparably

3. In light of the above, the Hospital Management’s insistence on employing only FIVE locum doctors is highly provocative of our demands. It hardly improves the status quo which already puts overworked resident doctors at the brink of academic failure, health challenges and malpractice suits

Our Resolution

We have resolved to CONTINUE our industrial action to insist on standard mental health  care for our clients and quality work experience for our overworked doctors, until such a time the Hospital Management deems it fit to meet our singular demand!

To this end, we call on Nigerian citizens and the  Presidency under the able leadership of  President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the Hospital Management to do the needful in line with the Next Level Agenda of this administration.

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THE NATION

Meet Kashifu Abdullahi, new DG of NITDA and ‘architect’ of cashless banking in Nigeria

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President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi as the new Director-General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA.

The appointment was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Below is the profile of the new NITDA helmsman

Born on February 21, 1980, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi is a graduate of Computer Science from the prestigious Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.

Mr Abdullahi is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT Sloan – trained strategist with 15 years of experience in IT operations, business transformation and solution architecture, across both private and public sectors.

He attended Leadership and Management courses at Harvard University in the USA, University of Cambridge in the UK and IMD Business School in Switzerland.

As the 1st Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) in Nigeria’s Public Sector, he is also a certified project manager and solution architect. He also has many professional certifications in networking, telecommunications, service management and Solution design such as: Huawei telecommunications engineer, Cisco design professional, ITIL, Prince2, etc.

He has worked at Galaxy Backbone as Network Engineer, IP Network Field Engineer, Senior Network & Lead, IP Operations Team, and Senior Solution Architect & Lead, Technical Solution Design Team between 2004 to 2013.

In 2014, he joined Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a Technology Architect, where he dedicated his time to developing Technology Architecture Repository that gives 360 view of the Bank’s IT infrastructure and easy decision on new IT investment. He was part of the team that executed software license rationalization which has increased cost savings for the bank in license annual subscriptions.

Mr Abdullahi was a key resource in the development of IT standards for the apex bank, which has reduced mean time to deploy/integrate new system by over 20%. One of his major achievements as a Technology architect was the production of 7 Solution Architectures for critical IT initiatives that helped in achieving cashless society in Nigeria.

He joined NITDA in 2017 as Technical Assistant to the Director General/CEO. Being the IT regulatory body in Nigeria mandated to implement National ICT policy, he Managed execution of strategy which has increased ICT contribution to Nigerian GDP by over 13% in Q2 2018.

The new DG coordinated Local Content initiatives that has increased ICT local production by over 200% in 2017.

He also overhauled IT clearance process and encouraged shared services among agencies. This has helped Federal Government saved over 16Bn NGN from IT projects.

Mr Abdullahi also oversaw procurement process that has reduced cost of major projects by over 5% in two consecutive annual procurement cycles.

Additionally, he managed project execution that has implemented over 300 IT infrastructure intervention.

Mr Abdullahi is a member of both British Computer Society (BCS) and Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) in addition to many memberships to his credit.

He is a recipient of 100 Leading Telecom and ICT Personalities in Nigeria – By Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

Mr Abdullahi is from Hadejia, Jigawa State, and he is married with children.

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