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Diaspora Group accuses Amnesty International of plot to instigate crisis in Nigeria

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By Abu Duniya

Concerned Diasporas, a group of Nigerian intellectuals in the United States and Canada has accused Amnesty International (AI) for the rising cases of violence in most countries across the globe.

The group came to this conclusion having thoroughly reviewed the activities of the UK-based humanitarian organisation in recent times.

To avert impending occurrence in Nigeria, however, these intellectuals have alerted the Federal Government and Nigerians about AI’s systematic plot to disintegrate the nation by whipping up ethnic and religious sentiments.

In the report jointly signed by Esther Ede and Olajuwon Olagunju, President and Secretary General respectively, the group reckons AI carries out psychological terrorism through the issuance of reports not often a reflection of the reality on ground.

While advising fellow Nigerians to disregard Amnesty’s misleading reports, the Concerned Diasporas urged the FG to systematically flush the supposed humanitarian group out of its borders.

According to these distinguished Nigerians “the difficulties experienced towards procuring military hardware for the fight against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists are as a result of the activities of Amnesty International that has continually churned out false reports of the human rights compliance of the relevant authorities in Nigeria.

“Amnesty International has become a propaganda tool for Boko Haram/ISWAP and other militant groups to continue to perpetrate acts of violence against innocent women and children.

“Amnesty International deliberately feign ignorance to the dehumanizing acts carried out by terrorist groups in Nigeria, and tactically avoids presenting such violent acts in any of its reports on Nigeria since 2015.”

The Concerned Diasporas Group further asserted that “Amnesty International has taken this dishonourable path of causing the Nigerian authorities significant discomfort in the international community, and therefore is indeed an interested party on the side of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists.

“ That the continuous existence of Amnesty International in Nigeria is more than a necessary evil that cannot be tolerated if Nigeria is indeed serious about winning the war against terrorism and other related militant groups in the country.

“ The Nigerian government must activate all necessary machinery to see that the nefarious activities of Amnesty International in Nigeria are curtailed in the overall interest of peace and tranquillity.”

Among others, the Concerned Diasporas recommended the following:

“That the Nigerian government must encourage its citizens to disregard the reports of Amnesty International and also refuse to avail themselves to be used as a willing tool by Amnesty International in the disintegration plot of Nigeria. That the Nigerian authorities must scrutinize the work permit of the expatriates in the organization to ascertain their conformity to Nigerian immigration policies.

That the Nigerian people must join hands with the government to ensure that Amnesty International does not in any way undermine the sovereignty of Nigeria as it is has done in other countries where it operates. That the Nigerian Labour Congress should investigate the compliance of Amnesty International to the Nigerian Labour laws.

That the Federal Inland Revenue Service should audit the financial dealings of Amnesty International to ensure its compliance with Nigerian financial and tax laws. That the Nigerian Authorities must as a matter of urgency launch international advocacy to draw the attention of the world to the activities of Amnesty International in Nigeria and how it has continually endangered our relative peace and tranquillity.”

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THE NATION

Lagos: Ex-aides indict Ambode as ex-gov fails to appear before House committee

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Immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday shunned the 16-man House of Assembly Committee set up to investigate alleged shady activities of his administration, even as some commissioners who served under his administration indicted him.

The Lagos State House of Assembly is investigating the former governor in the purchase of 820 mass transit buses at about N7 billion which was not approved by the House and other issues.

The Assembly had last week threatened to issue a warrant of arrest on the governor if he refused to appear before the committee to defend himself.

The committee is chaired by Hon. Fatai Mojeed.

Apart from Ambode, his former Commissioners for Finance, Akinyemi Ashade and Special Duties, Seye Oladejo were also absence.

However, Ashade and Oladejo wrote to the House explaining that they would not be available.

Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa said the Assembly would have to send Ambode invitation publicly through newspaper publication and that if he did not still appear, the next option was to issue a warrant of arrest on him.

Submissions by Ambode’s aides who appeared before the committee indicated that they were not carried along in the awards of contract with due process allegedly breached.

Olusegun Banjo, former Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, during Ambode’s administration said the purchase of the 820 buses by the former governor was not rooted through his ministry.

According to him, he became commissioner in February 2018, and that he did follow the system he met on ground, which was responsible for shady transactions on the buses that were procured.

He explained that “The way the ministry is structured, it did not allow us to function well. The N24 billion did not come to my ministry. We didn’t have a running system. As a commissioner, I could not approve one naira. All the MDAs approached the Governor directly.”

Banjo added that lots of things were done under Ambode’s administration without the knowledge of commissioners, which showed lack of transparency.

He said there was no provision for the purchase of the 820 buses in the 2018 and 2019 budgets and that no Vote Of Charge (VOC) was issued from his office for the purchase.  “I never approved any VOC for it,” he said.

On unbudgeted funds, he said, “I don’t know what happens to unbudgeted funds when it comes because the ministry of finance does not inform my ministry, we don’t have a running system”.

However, Banjo said that he would make available to the House his handing over notes where he identified the lapses in the system and ways to address the them.

Accountant-General of the State, Mrs Shukrat Umar, when asked if the budget for the purchase of the buses was approved by the State Executive Council.

“The State Treasury Office acted on Exco’s approval. The buses were in line with Exco’s approval. I would not know whether the Paris Refund Club was discussed or not,” she said.

The Imota rice mill, light-up Lagos project and procurement of LASEMA Rapid Response equipment and engagement of the consultants were all done under shady circumstances as revealed by the heads of the MDA’s who were questioned by the committee members.

Former Commissioners for Agriculture and Energy, Toyin Suarau and Wale Oluwo said many the projects, including the Oshodi interchange and others were never captured in the state budget.

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THE NATION

PHOTO NEWS: Pantami attends dinner reception in honour of the newly appointed DG of NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi

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The Honourable Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM on Friday attended the dinner reception organized in honour of the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi by Hadejia Emirate Indigenes, taking place in Abuja.

The gathering is to facilitate with Mr Abdullahi on his appointment as the fifth Director General, NITDA.

PHOTO AND TEXT BY: The Federal Ministry of Communications.

 

 

 

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THE NATION

GITEX 2019: Pantami congratulates Bashir, Nigerian overall winner, laud NITDA

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The Honourable Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS and leader of the Nigerian delegation to the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) 2019, has congratulated the winner of the startup innovation competition, Abdulkarim Bashir. The young Nigerian defeated 750 other contestants from 73 countries at the biggest technology and innovation show in the Middle East, Africa and Asia with his Artificial Intelligence security solution Chiniki Guard, aimed at detecting and alerting business owners of security breaches in their shops.

In a press statement on Wednesday, spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications, Uwa Suleiman (Mrs) said the Minister also commended the efforts of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for its relentless support, encouragement and motivation by providing sponsorship for the country’s young innovators to the event. An ecstatic Pantami further praised the immense contributions of the Office for ICT Innovation and Entreprenuership (OIIE), a subsidiary arm of NITDA, towards the development of indigenous technology innovation in Nigeria.

“NITDA as regulator of the IT Sector has continued to empower, promote and invest in young talent in the industry through the Office for ICT Innovation and Entreprenuership (OIIE) in a bid to drive the President’s vision for technological advancement in Nigeria. This is a national success worthy of celebration as our efforts have begun yielding the desired results. The success is a clear testimony of the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in promoting our youths and other Nigerians as prioritised by the Executive Orders 003 and 005.” Dr Pantami further stated that “We will continue to support and encourage Local Content Development and Promotion in our determination to transform our economy from a resource – based to a knowledge – based society”

The Minister has directed NITDA and OIIE to continue to monitor and support the winner and other tech startups and ensure the deployment of their solutions in Nigeria.

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