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Shiites: Pro-democracy group queries Iran over calls for release of El-Zakzakky



By Abu Duniya

The National Democratic Front (NDF) has warned Iranian Government against sponsoring  terrorism in Nigeria and interfering in the affairs of the country as a sovereign nation.

The group was reacting to the recent call  by Iranian government for the release of leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzakky for treatment in the middle east.

Recall that NDF had earlier raised raise the alarm that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the orgy of violence and killing in Nigeria by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) have now been proven.

Addressing newsmen on Friday on the development, NDF warned Iran to steer clear Nigerian territory.

Bolaji Abdulakdir, Secretary General of the group, said the offer to relocate El-Zakzaky to the custody of Iran is meant to be a soft-landing that will allow him evade justice.

He warned security agencies to be vigilant following this offer of a poisoned chalice.

Full text of his speech below.

In the past, Iran’s response to these assertions that it was sponsoring IMN terrorists consisted mostly of remaining silent. But the pressure that has been piled on Iran has forced it to expose itself as the larger chunk of the problem by being a state sponsor of terrorism.

Iran has also become frustrated that weeks of violent protest and the assassination of law enforcement officers have not derailed the due process that is in place for the trial of IMN leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who is before a court in Kaduna on charges of murder, treason and other crimes.

This frustration has forced Iran to confirm itself as IMN’s sponsor with a letter written by its prosecutor-general, Mohammed Montazeri, asking for El-Zakzaky  to be transferred into his country’s custody. It is curious that Iran’s offer came up only after IMN members crossed the line by attacking the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and assassinated a Deputy Commissioner of Police, executed a journalist and killed scores of other Nigerians.

The offer to relocate El-Zakzaky to the custody of Iran is meant to be a soft-landing that will allow him evade justice and his followers avoid the repercussions of the terrorist crimes they have committed on the streets of Nigeria. It is curious that Iran could not reference any extant instrument between it and Nigeria that makes its proposed transfer legally acceptable to Nigeria.

We see in this request a further Iranian plot to aggravate the violent street protests knowing that it is not possible for Nigeria to hand over an accused person who is on trial when there is no existing bilateral agreement that covers such.

At the risk of sounding insensitive, we think Iran should have first made this offer several years ago when it first became apparent that El-Zakzaky might have disconnected from reality by refusing to recognize the Nigerian state. Had Iran provided him with treatment for mental health at the time he needed it perhaps there would have been no basis for them to be making the intervention they are now making. Iran can however extend this Trojan horse offer to the thousands of brainwashed and radicalized IMN members in the hope of rehabilitating them in addition to addressing the manic disposition that makes them prone to killing others.

We urge the Federal Government to summon the Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria and express our country’s reservations at the misplaced request. The transfer request, beyond demonstrating the country’s crass ignorance of Nigeria’s Federal and judicial systems, also exposes the rudeness of Iran in thinking itself as a colonial power that can dictate to Nigeria under the pretext of mediating.

We therefore call  on the Nigerian authorities to severe all relationship with Iran  until that country learns to treat our country as a sovereign nation.

It is our humble opinion that security agencies should be vigilant following this offer of a poisoned chalice. Iran will weaponize this offer into propaganda and attempt to further use it to increase the violent protests it is financing for IMN members to carry out in order to terrorize  Nigerians. The situation calls for our dear country to approach the United Nations for the purpose of getting key Stakeholders to hold this Islamic Republic to account.

NDF warn the Government of the Islamic Republic Iran which is allegedly sponsoring the IMN terror in our country to respect the sovereignty of our country and stop dabbling into our internal affairs. The Iranian interference must stop   without any further waste of time.

In addition to whatever the Federal Government of Nigeria decides to do as a response to this insults from Iran, NDF is working on measures that will put that country in its place and teach it not to interfere with other countries.

Let us use this opportunity to warn IMN extremists that their time is up. They should leave Abuja and sneak back to whatever radicalization camps they came from.  We have had enough of their terror on our streets.

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Yaba Psychiatric Hospital doctors’ strike enters 4th week



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



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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Ambode speaks on EFCC search, says ‘no cause for alarm’



Former Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has urged his supporters to remain calm and law-abiding as there was no cause for alarm.

Ambode, in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Habib Aruna, spoke on the backdrop of a search by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on his Epe Country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence where the anti-graft agency conducted the exercise without any incident.

He said the Commission has not opened any direct communication with him on any issue, adding that he was ready and willing to respond if or when they do so.

The statement reads: “This morning, operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission visited the Epe Country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, former Governor of Lagos State, with warrants to conduct a search. These searches were carried out extensively and at the end of the exercise the operatives left without any incident.

“The former Governor reiterates that the EFCC has till date not had any direct communication with him on any subject matter whatsoever and if or when it occurs he is ready and willing to respond.

“The former governor wishes to assure his supporters and the generality of Lagosians to continue to remain calm and law-abiding as there is no cause for alarm.”

The former governor reiterated his belief in the rule of law and due process and remains grateful for the opportunity to have served Lagos State diligently and conscientiously.

It would be recalled that Ambode, in an earlier response to allegations by the EFCC that it had frozen certain accounts linked to him, insisted that no account of his contained N9.9bn let alone being frozen by the Commission as those accounts were opened and operated by the Lagos State Government.

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