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OPINION

Red alert on Kogi 2019 elections, By Omahi Umar

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2019 Kogi elections may end up being the bloodiest and the most rigged election in the history of Nigeria. This is not a question of being an alarmist. It is rather because the incumbent governor, having failed woefully in governance has principally resorted to the use of security agents to rig and manipulate the outcome of the elections in favour of the ruling government.

A taste of what to expect in the elections in Kogi has started manifesting. In the Kogi Central Senatorial District where the governor hails from, members of the opposition are now harassed, harangued, maimed, killed and kidnapped on regular basis. The latest victim is one Enesi who was recently killed by armed men while several others went missing in recent night raids and hunts for men of the opposition parties in the Kogi Central.

In the same central, it is an open secret that the houses of Commissioner for Water Resources, the Commissioner for  Local Government and many of the local government administrators have now turned armouries where a huge number of sophisticated guns and ammunitions are off-loaded at nights purportedly by “men in uniform” unchallenged. It was being speculated that over 3000 assorted automatic weapons have been acquired by the governor and hidden in different locations across the state. The state local tabloids and social media have the news of the governor vowing that he was ready to kill anyone who stands on his way in the coming elections.

The Kogi East will definitely be a battleground of sorts too. It is the home of the all powerful Chief of Staff who has vowed to deliver his constituency to the governor at all costs. Recently in Idah, many vehicles belonging to Atai Idoko were destroyed by APC members while on campaign rallies. Pockets of violence from Kogi East are reported on daily basis and will be on the increase as we approach elections. The most troubling aspects of this violence is that they are often committed in the glaring eyes of security agents who choose to look the other way while these crimes are being perpetrated.

It has been rumoured that the Ogohi of Anyigba’s palace is the armoury for Eastern Kogi with brother, the administrator of Dekina Local Government, Alhaji Isiaka and Alhaji Ahmed, the Kogi East Zonal chairman of the APC as field commanders.

The Western Senatorial District appears calm as of today but we believe it is an uneasy and heavily pregnant calm.  This Senatorial District is the home place of Dino. The governor is betting it everywhere with his life that he would rather die than allow free and fair elections  that would produce Dino. Since Dino enjoys cult followership in these areas, the modus operandi here will be to scare away many people from voting units so as to allow for heavily falsified results against Dino and Atiku.

The number of militants in training in Kogi is becoming very scary, worrisome, alarming and really frightening. The men of the Vigilante Service are now being secretly trained on the use of sophisticated weapons. The first batch of about 1000 men and women have passed out. Currently at the Lokoja Stadium, there are over 700 vigilante men/women in camp undergoing military training for the elections. Police and military uniforms are smuggled into the state for use in the elections.

Apart from this number being trained in the state, reliable information is that over 1000 militants are currently undergoing training in Yobe State for Kogi elections. The whole stories are really very worrisome.

The intention is to kill and harass opposition members as much as possible. It is also intended that many strong opposition members would be kidnapped prior to the elections. Information is that many should be scared away from voting, especially in the opposition strongholds.

By and large, the elections in Kogi may witness tales of anguish and failures except urgent steps are taken to counter the devilish plans of the state governor. The goings on in Kogi State must be exposed to the whole world by all means possible. This is a situation where a stitch in time will save nine.

 

  • Umar wrote in from Lokoja, Kogi State
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OPINION

Reflections on the Nigeria data protection regulation 2019, By Dr. Isa Pantami

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When I left the comfort and security of an academic environment to become a public servant in a sector that the President is so passionate about, I was never under the illusion that it would be smooth sail.

Indeed, Nigeria’s success in Information Technology development and regulation holds the key to her sustainable development, it can be no other way.

This is because the nation is blessed with a young and vibrant population of digital natives. So, on my appointment, I went into deep and intensive study of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)’s mandate, stakeholders and vision. My study made me realise that to assume we could execute all the mandate, is absolutely impossible in one lifetime. This made the crafting of an actionable plan a priority on my assumption of office, these plan, we believe, is germane for our national development. We agreed to focus on: IT Regulation; Local Content Development; Digital Jobs Creation; Digital Inclusion; Cybersecurity; Government Digital Services Promotion and Development and Capacity building.

Initial steps on IT regulation was met with resistance by internal and external stakeholders. People assumed regulation always meant obstruction and restriction on innovation.

It took a while for people to realise our regulatory paradigm was developmental regulation. I would share a story to illustrate this concept. Our Local Content in ICT Guidelines was issued in 2013 with the aim of growing local content in ICT products and services provision.

A multinational which had sold software in the country for over 20 years and made millions of dollars in licensing fees, suddenly had an issue with its local support partner and therefore appointed a foreign support partner for its Nigerian clients. NITDA moved in, investigated and ensured other Nigerian companies were evaluated and one was eventually picked to continue the service.

This move made the Nigerian clients happy and retained over 200 jobs for Nigeria. This was regulatory enforcement leading to more jobs and keeping more Nigerians happy.

I am happy to report that our modest efforts at NITDA have started yielding bounteous dividends for the nation. Through the active support of Nigerians, NITDA has catalyzed the purchase of indigenous brand of ICT devices, there has been a sales increase by over 400%.

While local hosting of data has doubled in value and local software consumption has significantly improved.

The cumulative effect of these, is that ICT contribution to GDP in nominal terms reached an unprecedented mark of 13.63% in Q4 of 2018. This, for us is a tip of the iceberg considering the initiatives which are still in the works.

One such initiative I am so proud of, is the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019.
The coming into force of the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) in May 2018 threw the global community into a frenzy of sorts.

The GDPR mandates controllers of European citizens data to comply with certain detailed rules and principles or risk incurring a fine of up to 4% of the defaulter’s global turn-over. This situation made many small and medium scale service providers to lose their share of the European market. More importantly, the rate of wanton abuse of the privacy of Nigerian citizens data needed an urgent national response. I therefore constituted a team of young professionals in the Agency, I challenged them to proffer a solution to this problem.

This team worked hard and eventually came up with a unique Regulation that has become the cynosure of discerning minds.

Here is a quick glance at the core principles of the NDPR.
a) Lawfulness and Legitimacy: Article 2.1(1a) provides that Personal Data shall be collected and processed in accordance with specific, legitimate and lawful purpose consented to by the Data Subject.

b) Specific Purpose: In addition to Article 2.1(1a) cited above, Article 3.1(7c) mandates the Data Controller to expressly inform the Data Subject of the purpose(s) of the processing for which the Personal Data are intended as well as the legal basis for the processing. This has hitherto been observed in the breach. This, we believe would change as government is poised to stem the tide of brazen breach of people’s right to privacy.

c) Data Minimization: Data Controllers are expected to collect the minimum required data and avoid unnecessary surplusage. Data that is not useful for the Controller ought not to be collected. No data shall be obtained except the specific purpose of collection is made known to the Data Subject. This principle relates also to the principle on purpose of collection. By insisting that the purpose for collecting or further processing of a data set must be communicated to the Data Subject, the regulation has closed the door to a multitude of potential abuses.

d) Accuracy: The NDPR provides that collected and processed Personal Data shall be adequate, accurate and without prejudice to the dignity of human person (Art. 2.1(b)). The NDPR prohibits the abuse or inaccurate representation of personally identifiable data, even if such data where given with due consent. Data Controllers and processors are required to ensure regular update of personal data in their custody to achieve this.

e) Storage and Security: Data Controllers are required to store data only for the period they are reasonably required to so do. The Regulation does not explicitly provide for a time period because that detail, we believe should be left to contract agreement. However, where such is not specified, the dispute redress mechanisms can specify what would constitute sufficient storage period. The Regulation also places the onus of security on the Data Controller and Processor. Art. 2.1(d) provides- personal data shall be secured against all foreseeable hazards and breaches such as theft, cyberattack, viral attack, dissemination, manipulations of any kind, damage by rain, fire or exposure to other natural elements.

f) Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability: Article 3 generally enumerates the rights of the data subject. One of the underpinning principles of the NDPR is that data control must comply with basic minimum standards of information security management. The Regulation specifies the role of the Controller and the Data subject in such case.

g) Compliance and Enforcement: One of the novelties of the NDPR is its compliance structure. The Regulation creates a nouveau class of professionals- Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO). A DPCO is any entity duly licensed by NITDA for the purpose of training, auditing, consulting and rendering services and products for the purpose of compliance with this Regulation or any foreign Data Protection Law or Regulation having effect in Nigeria (See Article 1.3 (xiii)). These professional firms would provide requisite training, services and other support to Data Controllers to aid their compliance with the NDPR. I hope to come back to the immense potentials of this arrangement shortly.

On enforcement the NDPR classified Controllers into large and small categories. Those who process data of more than 10,000 data subjects are liable to forfeit 2% of their Annual Gross Revenue (AGR) while those handling less than 10,000, would lose up to 1% of their AGR. The NDPR would both bark and it would bite errant data controllers.
One of my greatest sources of joy on the Regulation is the job creation potential.

Over 1.5 million businesses and non-governmental organizations would need to file Data Audit Report on or before 15th March of every year. Each of these reports must bear a Verification Statement, sign and seal of a Licensed DPCO. If each DPCO provides service for an average of 50 Data Controllers, we would need over 300,000 professionals to meet this need.

Imagine the jobs our young people can generate and sustain through this service alone. Because this is not public procurement, we have made the entry barrier high enough to admit only serious-minded people and low enough to allow Start-ups to engage without undue intimidation.

This, for us is the beginning of a new era and we crave the support of all Nigerians to support and sustain this effort. We also look forward to receiving constructive comments, opinions and technical observation to ensure that this Regulation is optimally implemented for the betterment of our dear nation and people.

 

– Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, FIIM is the Director General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)

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OPINION

Ekiti: Fake news or echoing his master’s voice? By Muyiwa Adebayo

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Chief Olusegun Adebayo Oni and Dr. John Kayode Fayemi

The eligibility case between Chief Olusegun Adebayo Oni and Dr. John Kayode Fayemi at the Supreme Court, Abuja, has entered another dimension. This is following a letter Segun Oni’s lawyer, Chief Ademuyiwa Adeniyi wrote to Dr. Kayode Fayemi’s lawyer about the same case.

The crux of the letter, widely published in the news media is a warning to Fayemi and his followers to stop publishing fake news, rumors and innuendos about the case which was adjourned on April 2nd 2019 for ruling on April 18th, 2019 but which was later ‘decided’ by the Fayemi boys on April 3rd 2019 in favor of Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

Chief Adeniyi warned “Fayemi and his followers to stop peddling rumors that could foist a fait accompli on the decision of the Apex Court,” otherwise he would report the “demeanor to the Supreme Court.” The complaint of Chief Adeniyi was precipitated by unwarranted, crude and reckless publications in many social media platforms of so-called breaking news report, claiming that the Supreme Court has “dismissed Engr. Segun Oni Case and affirmed the Court of Appeal Judgement in favour of Dr. Kayode Fayemi.”

These are examples.

A good look at their so called “Breaking News,” will reveal a coordinated effort of sort amateurishly executed by some poorly educated, half-baked writers acting as errand boys, specifically recruited for doing such dirty jobs. Their wrong and bad news have been spread worldwide. And this is a world, where “bad news travel faster than good.”

Chief Adeniyi further complained that this was not the first time this kind of atrocious, despicable and desperate stealth activity would be carried out in the cause of this case. He said: “Ordinarily, I would have counseled my client and his advisers to ignore and or discountenance this but for the fact that prior to the pronouncement of the judgement of the Court of Appeal in CA/EK/94/2018 (the judgement appealed from), the same scenario occurred and indeed, excerpts of the judgement yet to be delivered were posted on social media- only to be taken down shortly before my clients could capture and print”.

This is a Mafia type operation, well organized and definitely not spontaneous. There can’t but be a sponsor and a financer who would be a beneficiary of the outcome of the surreptitious operation. The publishers are mere errand boys doing ‘bad jobs’ for their big boss. Most bad boys have no visible means of livelihood.

Purposely, they don’t hold political or cabinet positions for effective cover-up. They are key to getting what the boss wants, which he cannot get in an open rule of law atmosphere. In fact, they are paid in cash, which is non-traceable. The Boss and the operatives are sellers of dummies of the real thing they want for the Boss. They work tactically, strategically and surreptitiously and the bad boys can easily be denied by the sponsor like a caught spy. Why has Dr. Kayode Fayemi not denied this atrocious news about him and the bad boys, if his hands are clean? But if he is the paymaster of the pipers dictating the tune, the characteristic taciturnity from him is not surprising.

They are expecting the public opinion and reaction to see if their idea of “ideal judgment” will be acceptable to the generality of the people no matter how unlawful, illegal or illegitimate its procurement may be. They are flying a kite to pre-empt the judgement of the Supreme Court scheduled for April 18, 2019. Governor Kayode Fayemi, wittingly and unwittingly shown reaction to this false publication.

For instance, appointments like those of Commissioners, Special Advisers and Statutory Board members that he could not make for six months of coming to power, have now been made within twenty-hours of the publication of their presumed judgement. Is somebody somewhere really assuring him of this judgement that has so much emboldened him? The Yorubas would say: “Oro ti ologbon ba ti so, enu omugo lati ngbo.” The words spoken by the wise are heard from the fool.

Is this fake news fake? After all it could be but a settled expectation of what Kayode Fayemi is expecting as the judgement of the Supreme Court on April 18. Here are Seven Points to Ponder about:

Before the Ekiti State APC primary election, Fayemi projected himself as the candidate of the President. He describes himself “Proudly Buhari Boy.”

While the party banned camping he was the only aspirant that camped delegates in and outside of Ekiti state and nothing happened. In spite of the fact that he breached party requirements for participating in the primary elections, the Screening Committee of the party cleared him.

Fayemi confirmed he didn’t resign 30 days before election as expected by party Guidelines in a live Channel TV interview. In a sworn affidavit in an INEC form, already tendered in Courts, he affirmed that he’s a Public Servant under occupation column. In his voter’s card, under occupation he wrote “Public Servant.” He was a serving Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, when he contested the APC Governorship primary election of Ekiti State.

Fayemi has been in court, for the same reason why the party, APC, should have screened him out for breaching the Party’s Guidelines for the nominations of candidates for public office. It is said that Fayemi has boasted that he cannot lose any court case as long as President Buhari remains the President of Nigeria. He is arrogantly dropping and soiling the name of our dear president anyhow and anywhere. Yes, he has won at the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal, against every legal tide and the preponderance of very strong legal arguments, facts and decided cases in Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

As the Yoruba word of elders say: “Aje ke lano, omo ku leni, tani ko mo wipe aje ana lo pa omo je.” A witch cried yesterday, a child died today, who will not know that it was the witch of yesterday that killed the child today.  Like the soothsayer told Julius Caesar, we must all beware of the Ides of March or is it the Ides of April now? Unlike Caesar, I hope we will all listen and beware.

 

No true son or ‘boy’ of Ekiti can have the audacity to cause to be published a judgement of the Supreme Court in the social media, more than two weeks before the date of the judgement. We are better than that. He should be called to explain.

It’s an opportunity to expose this wicked and atrocious plans to mar and malign the reputations of our incorruptible President and the Supreme Court, the highest and most respected court in the land. We cannot and must not allow this judgement, which is the final without appeal turned to Turkey and Chicken with price tags for this year Easter celebrations. Ekiti people, Nigerians and the world as a whole must not allow our rule of law becomes the rule of man.

 

Muyiwa Adebayo, a Public Affairs Commentator, writes from Ado Ekiti

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OPINION

Hammed Olamijuwon to youths: Vote wisely, shun violence and don’t sell your vote

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Young and dynamic, Hammed Solomon Olamijuwon has urged youths across the country to vote massively for young and vibrant candidates into respective position that would represent their interest in different level of government in the forthcoming general elections.

Olamijuwon in a statement issued at the weekend, implored Nigerian youths to be an active participants in the February 16 and March 2 elections.

His words: “In few days to this time, we shall be taking a major decision concerning our nation by electing leaders that will steer the affairs of this country. Our decision in the next few days will determine our next four years. The people we decide to elect to the position of power will determine a lot concerning you and I.

“I argue youths to go out and vote during the general election. If we all sit in our homes claiming that our votes won’t count, remember that some persons go out on that day and vote. If they vote-in the wrong people; we will have no choice than to be bound by their decisions over this nation for the next few years to come.

“If you have your PVC, kindly makes sure you go out to vote. Vote wisely. Vote credible and responsible candidates. Do not sell your vote. We must ensure that the right people are elected this time.”

Olamijuwon, a Real Estate developer and Managing Director of HSO Global Limited, while stressing the need for Nigerian youths to play active roles in the forthcoming elections, said the youth votes has the potential to be extremely influential in Nigeria.

“I believe the youth vote has the potential to be extremely influential in this country. Young voters notoriously neglect the importance of voting, but their voice is an important one on both sides of the aisle. Key issues in every election increasingly relate to the concerns of students and professionals between the ages of 18 and 35, making it essential for members within that age group to educate themselves on political issues and take to the polls,” he said.

On his political ambition; the Ijesha man who hail from Ilesa East Local Government Area of Osun State and founder of a Non-Governmental Organisation, HSO Foundation whose youthful political pedigree has endeared him to young and old in the town especially those in the grassroots, disclosed that: “I am taking my time and consulting political stakeholders across the country and my state to know the next step regarding my ambition of serving my people. By 2023 I believe the youth is taken over full time and I can assure my people I am ready to serve them.”

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