The Buhari Presidency has dismissed its assessment by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), describing the forum as a quasi-organisation that boasts of no credible membership, and its leader, Ango Abdullahi was akin to a General without troops.
The forum had on Sunday scored the All Progressives Congress led Federal Government low, saying the Buhari -led government appeared helpless in finding solutions to nation’s security challenges as well as poverty in the country.
The forum addressed journalists at the end of the meeting convened by its chairman, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, where it alleged that ”poverty, particularly in the North and massive social security have worsened under Buhari’s administration.”
Presidential spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, expressed reservations over the NEF verdict on the Buhari administration, saying Abdullahi had again shown his antipathy against the president.
”Prof. Ango Abdullahi on Sunday signed a long-winding statement on many issues relating to the North, and purportedly to the country.
”The former vice chancellor signed the statement under the banner of Northern Elders Forum (NEF). Hearing that title, you would think the body was a conglomeration of true elders.
”But the truth is that NEF is just Ango Abdullahi, and Ango Abdullahi is NEF. It is a quasi-organisation that boasts of no credible membership, and its leader is akin to a General without troops.
”Before the 2019 presidential election, the one-man army called NEF had shown its antipathy against President Muhammadu Buhari, and its preference for another candidate. They all got beaten together.
”NEF is merely waving a flag that is at half-mast. Buhari steadily and steadfastly focuses on the task of retooling Nigeria, and discerning Nigerians know the true state of the nation.
”They don’t need a paper tiger to tell them anything,” he said.
NYSC solicits NITDA’s support, seeks more ICT centres for its state secretariats
By Lukman Oladokun
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has approached the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA to help in replicating the Information and Communication Technology Centre it established at the Federal Capital Territory Secretariat in other state secretariats in order to further strengthen the ICT platform of the Corps.
The NYSC Director-General, Shu’aibu Ibrahim, who was at the NITDA Corporate Headquarters in Abuja, pleaded with NITDA to avail more state secretariats with the opportunity given to the FCT secretariat.
Mr Ibrahim, a brigadier general, recalled that NITDA and NYSC have a long-standing relationship that dated back to when the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, was the Director-General of the agency.
He stated that he wants to strengthen the collaborations that exist between the two government agencies.
Mr Ibrahim noted that strengthening the partnership would assist the Corps to overcome some of the challenges it is facing, especially on checkmating the spread of fake news on social media.
Citing an example with the story of a JSS2 student alleged to have impregnated a Corp member, the NYSC DG described the abuse of social media as worrisome and appealed to NITDA to stem the tide.
“Something has to be done to checkmate the menace of social media to save us from various embarrassments. Things that have happened in the past are now being put forth on social media to look like recent events. People are using the platforms to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
“You can imagine people creating accounts to defraud Corps member that they can help them to be redeployed.”
He called for the arrest of such people to serve as a deterrent to others so as to reduce the menace.
While responding to the NYSC’s request, the NITDA Director-General, Kashifu Abdullahi, assured that NITDA would look into the requests and start the intervention this year.
He said NITDA has done a lot in building the capacity of Corps members serving in the agency but “we can expand it to cover the FCT as a pilot project”.
Mr Abdullahi stated that it is pertinent for the agencies of government to partner together in helping to build the skills of the Corps members because “what most Corps members have is the knowledge and we need to help them in transforming the knowledge to skills so it can be beneficial to them and make them self reliance.”
He added that “NYSC is a gateway organisation that can be used to harness the potential of the youths in the country which will aid the nation in his drive to transform the economy to digital economy.
Mr Abdullahi noted that the agency has built ICT hubs and Digital Job Capacity Centre across the country which he said can be used in transforming knowledge to skills.
He called on the youths not only to use their devices for social media alone as it is distracting and time wastage but to learn skills online and make money.
“Social media abuse is a burning issues that disturbs everyone; we have to work with other government agencies to collaborate on solving the issue. There is need to regulate it and people should be held responsible for whatever content they posted.”
Magu never said corruption caused Coronavirus, says EFCC
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has denied that its chairman, Ibrahim Magu, said coronavirus is caused by corruption.
The EFCC on Tuesday described as “false and misleading”, reports that Magu tied the cause of coronavirus to corruption while delivering his speech at the passing out parade of 281 cadets of the EFCC Detective Inspector Course-5 in Kaduna on Tuesday,
“This information is false and misleading,” the agency said via its Twitter, adding that its chairman only said, “Tackling corruption is a clarion call, given that corruption is a huge burden to the nation. It is worse than Cancer, Ebola Virus, Coronavirus and all other deadly diseases put together.”
But contrary to EFCC’s claim, Magu during the event attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, said: “Corruption is the biggest strategy to humankind. Your excellency, corruption is worse than all the diseases now running about.
“And I strongly believe, Your Excellency, that even the coronavirus is caused by corruption,” he said.
The video below captured the moment Magu made the statement during the passing out parade that was aired on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
“I strongly believe coronavirus is caused by corruption” – Magu, EFCC acting chairman.
Please where do we get these kind of people from? And how do they end up leading us?
Most importantly, how can we throw these set of people away pls? 🤦🤦 pic.twitter.com/HXnLQo4bdm
— Kelvin Odanz (@MrOdanz) February 18, 2020
Since its recent outbreak in Wuhan, China, coronavirus (COVID-19) has killed over 1,800 people across different countries and infected more than 70,000.
Sacking service chiefs will further destabilise Nigeria, says SGF
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha on Tuesday said that sacking service chiefs will further destabilise Nigeria.
Mustapha declared the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will not sack the Service Chiefs now.
He said there are processes that must be followed to effect their sack.
According to him: “We are in a very difficult time now. We need everybody to be on board. We need synergy within intelligent community, within the military formations that will help fight this war.
“We are in a very difficult situation and when we begin to create cracks and divisions, who will be the beneficiaries?
“The adversaries are the ones that are going to exploit those deficiencies and further the cause of destabilising the nation”.
He spoke with reporters in Abuja after a book presentation titled CAN, Religion, politics and power in Nigeria by former General Secretary of Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) Engr Samuel Salifu.
The SGF said what government needs is for: “At this moment, what we need is for everybody to be on the same page, fight the battle of securing the nation for protecting lives and property and ensuring that every Nigerian has the opportunity to live a prosperous live. I think that should be our main focus”.
He added: “You don’t sack people like that. There are processes and I believe that at the opportune time, those processes will be followed. You don’t just wake up and say sack people, it doesn’t happen like that”.
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