Why Remaining Chibok Girls Are In Captivity – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said the remaining girls abducted by terrorists from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, four years ago were still in captivity because of some setbacks in the negotiation between the Federal Government and the Boko Haram sect.

He attributed the setbacks to what he described as internal disagreement among the abductors.

Buhari said this in a statement made available to journalists by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

The President said, “We are concerned and aware that it is taking longer to bring the rest of our daughters back home, but be assured that this administration is doing its very best to free the girls from their captors.

“Unfortunately, the negotiations between the government and Boko Haram suffered some unexpected setbacks, owing mainly to a lack of agreement among their abductors, whose internal differences have led to a divergence of voices regarding the outcome of the talks.

“We know that this is not the news parents want to hear after four whole years of waiting, but we want to be as honest as possible with you.

“However, this government is not relenting. We will continue to persist, and the parents should please not give up. Don’t give up hope of seeing our daughters back home again. Don’t lose faith in this government’s ability to fulfil our promise of reuniting you with your daughters.

“Don’t imagine for a moment that we have forgotten about our daughters or that we consider their freedom a lost cause.”

Buhari gave the assurance Nigerians that as long as he remained the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the Chibok girls would never be forgotten and everything would be done to reunite them with their families.

He also assured the parents of the schoolgirls that “their daughters will never be forgotten or abandoned to their fate, despite four long years since they were taken away by terrorists.’’

Meanwhile, the United Nations Children’s Fund has disclosed that more than 1,000 children have been abducted by Boko Haram in the North-East since 2013, including 276 Chibok schoolgirls taken from their school on April 14, 2014.

The UN agency noted that four years on, more than 100 of the Chibok girls had yet to be returned to their families. It restated its calls for the release of all hostages in Boko Haram custody.

The UNICEF in a statement on Thursday by its representative in Nigeria, Mohammed Fall, disclosed that 2,295 teachers had been killed and more than 1,400 schools destroyed in nine years by the insurgents, noting that most of the schools had not been re-opened.

“The fourth anniversary of the Chibok abduction reminds us that children in northeastern Nigeria continue to come under attack on a shocking scale. They are consistently targeted and exposed to brutal violence in their homes, schools and public places,” it said.

In a similar vein, ActionAid Nigeria has expressed solidarity with the families, friends and the Chibok community over the remaining Chibok schoolgirls in Boko Haram captivity.

The Country Director of AAN, Ene Obi, said in a statement, “The FG and the military should adopt intelligence, power and negotiation as deployed for the release of the Dapchi girls, to bring back the remaining 113 missing Chibok girls and the remaining Dapchi girl, Leah Shuaibu.”

FG Asks Court Not To Entertain Ekweremadu’s Suit

The Federal Government has urged the Federal High Court in Abuja not to hear the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, in respect of the ex parte motion seeking an order for the interim forfeiture of his 22 houses.

The 22 houses are said to be subject of an ongoing investigation by the Okoi Obono-Obla-led Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property.

The panel had said it was investigating Ekweremadu for breach of code of conduct for public officers by failing to declare the houses to the Code of Conduct Bureau as part of his assets.

The SPIPRPP had on March 21, 2018 filed, on behalf of the Federal Government, an ex parte motion seeking an interim forfeiture of the 22 houses located in Nigeria and three other foreign countries pending the conclusion of the investigation of the Deputy Senate President.

But Ekweremadu, through his lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), had on March 26, 2018 filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the Federal Government’s motion and praying for an order declaring the SPIPRPP which initiated it as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

Since the motion filed by the Federal Government was “ex parte” and not “on notice”, Ekweremadu was not entitled to respond to it as of right.

He had to file a separate motion seeking the leave of the court to be allowed to air his objection to the motion.

The case was mentioned before Justice Binta Nyako for the first time on Tuesday.
During the proceedings, Mr. Bala Dakum, who represented Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), the Federal Government’s lead counsel, said he had filed an objection to Ekweremadu’s motion seeking leave to be heard.

While Ekweremadu’s lawyer, Awomolo, argued that their motion challenging the court’s jurisdiction should be heard and determined ahead of other applications pending before the court, Dakum maintained that the court ought to first resolve whether or not to grant leave to be heard to the Deputy Senate President.

Offa Bank Robbery Perpetrators Will Not Go Unpunished – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, on Sunday, in Kwara State vowed that the perpetrators of the armed robbery in Offa Local Government area of the state will be brought to book.

Several people were killed with many others injured last week Thursday when armed robbers raided five commercial banks along the Owode Market Area of the town. The armed robbers broke bank vaults and made away with several millions of naira but seven suspects linked to the robbery were later arrested by the police on Saturday.

The Minister, during his visit, condoled with families of the victims of the attack and the Nigeria Police force which lost some of its officers.

“What happened was quite unfortunate, but I can assure you that none of them will go unpunished. The team sent by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) is already in town and they are going to ensure that they trace all the criminals.

“We condole with them (the victims) on the very unfortunate incident. We give them assurance that the Federal Government will continue to do its best to ensure the sanctity, security of lives and property.

“We sympathise and condole not just with the people of Offa but also the police who lost about nine gallant officers,” he said.

Mohammed, however, asked members of the public to be prompt in helping security agents with information about people suspected to be criminals. He said the bank robbery is a wakeup call.

“It is a very sad occasion, but it is also a wakeup call. We are all going to learn from the incident, both the public and government. These criminals are not ghosts, they live among us, it will help the police if timely information is given about criminals and people whose movement are suspicious.”

The traditional ruler in the state, Oloffa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi, while receiving the Minister asked for more armoured personnel carriers and increased effort in community policing.

The monarch said the increased presence of mobile policemen will curb crime, noting that the number of policemen in the state is inadequate.

FG Aims 570,000 Jobs Through ERGP Labs

The Federal Government is looking towards the creation of  570,000 jobs through the implementation of the focused labs under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, stated this In Abuja during the ERGP Mid-Lab syndication meeting.

A statement from the minister’s Media Adviser, Akpandem James, quoted Udoma as saying that the government was positive that given the number of projects that were likely to be ready for approval by the end of the lab process, the aim of resolving inter-agency bottlenecks, which is one of the cardinal objectives of the labs, would have been actuallised.

He said the purpose of setting up the labs was to identify and unlock investments from the private sector by resolving complex inter-agency problems that acted as barriers to private sector investments.

The minister stated, “By bringing you, the investors and heads of critical agencies of government, into a confined environment, the government is offering you a platform to finalise your business decisions in the fastest possible manner.

“Data from the three labs show that in the past three weeks, we are on course to meeting our target of $25bn investment commitment.

“So far, we have identified 59 projects that are four- and five-star. There are several other projects rated one- to three-star. We will continue to work with these categories of investors to improve the ratings of their projects to five-star projects.”

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who also spoke at the event, said he was particularly impressed by the level of commitment, enthusiasm and interest shown by the participants to fast-track the growth and development of the country.

He noted that even though regulatory processes were necessary in order to protect institutions and streamline activities, the government appreciated the fact that it was necessary to limit bureaucratic tendencies so that they would not get in the way of progress.

This, he added, was why the government decided to embark on the labs to address challenges that could stand in the way of investments.

Osinbajo said he was encouraged by the fact that Nigeria had what it takes to realise set goals.

“We have made remarkable progress and working together, we can achieve so much,” he added.

FG Receives N263.28bn From FAAC Allocation In Feb – NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics ( NBS ), says the Federal Government received a total of N263. 28 billion from the N635.55 billion Federation Account Allocation Committee ( FAAC ) disbursed to three tiers of government in February.

The NBS made this known in FAAC for February 2018 Disbursement data posted on the bureau’s website.

The states received a total of N172.87 billion and Local governments received N129.99 billion.

The bureau, however, stated that the amount disbursed to three tiers of government was from the revenue generated in January.

According to NBS, the amount disbursed comprised of N538.91 billion from the Statutory Account and N96.65 billion from Valued Added Tax ( VAT ).

“The sum of N52.04 billion was shared among the oil producing states as 13 per cent derivation fund.

“The revenue generating agencies such as Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Inland Revenue Service and Department of Petroleum Resources received N4.08 billion, N6.29 billion and N4.47 billion respectively as cost of revenue collections.”

Meanwhile, the breakdown of revenue allocation distribution to the Federal Government of Nigeria ( FGN ) revealed that N223.42 billion was disbursed to the FGN consolidated revenue account in the month.

It showed N4.73 billion as share of derivation and ecology, and N2.37 billon as stabilisation fund.

The breakdown further showed that N7.95 billion was shared for the development of natural resources and N5.62 billion to the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT ), Abuja.

NAN

2018 Budget: FG Summons Heads Of Agencies On Procurement

The Federal Government has summoned the Accounting officers and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) from all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to brainstorm on effective implementation of 2018 budget.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who conveyed this directive in a statement on Monday in Abuja, warned that there would be no proxy representation.

The statement signed by Lawrence Ojabo, Director Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of Federation, said Mustapha, has directed that “the retreat is for all Chief Executive Officers and Accounting Officers, without exemption or proxy representation”.

He said: “Officers are to attend a mandatory retreat on Saturday, April 7th, 2018, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja, on the application of the Public Procurement Act 2017.

The SGF said the retreat was to ensure effective implementation of the 2018 budget as well as address all identified inadequacies or deficiencies in 2017, with a view to enhancing 2018 budget implementation.

Ekiti 2018: PDP aspirants, supporters move to SDP
“The retreat, organised in conjunction with the Bureau of Public Procurement(BPP) will hold at 8.00 am, with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita as Guest of Honour, and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Alhaji Muhammad Musa Bello as Chief Host.

“Registration and collection of retreat materials will take place on Friday,6th April 2018 at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja from 2.00 pm.

“The directives of the SGF are contained in a circular letter reference number SGF/OP/1/S.3/XII titled“PROCUREMENT RETREAT FOR CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF FEDERAL PARASTATALS,” the statement said.

CNM Accuses Buhari’s Govt of Security Corruption

The Coalition for Nigeria Movement led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo has asked Nigerians to be wary of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government as it has corrupted security agencies ahead of the 2019 general elections.

It said the statement by a former Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), that the military was colluding with unscrupulous individuals should not be dismissed.

The spokesman for the CNM, Mr. Akin Osuntokun, said this while responding to allegations by heads of security agencies that there was a plot by some groups to disrupt the 2019 general elections.

The Directors-General of the Department of State Services, Mr. Lawal Daura; and National Intelligence Agency, Mr. Ahmed Rufa’I as well as the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, had raised the alarm over the plans by some groups to disrupt the processes leading to the 2019 elections.

The evil plan, according to them, was for the groups to create a stalemate during the elections.

However, Osuntokun told one of our correspondents that the security heads were acting out the script of the All Progressives Congress.

He said, “It all sounds funny to me. I don’t know any group that meets that description but why would anyone want to disrupt the 2019 elections? The only people that would want to disrupt the elections are the APC which has sensed its imminent defeat.

“If what Gen. Danjuma said is true whereby our protectors have become murderers, then it means they are the ones that should be feared. They are the ones that should be suspected.

“If you can extrapolate from what Gen. Danjuma said, that means Nigerians are at the mercy of the government or the army that is colluding. The people we should fear are (those in ) the government.”

Osuntokun said it was unfortunate that the heads of security agencies were serving a ‘conspiratorial parochial agenda’ as they were protecting the President’s ethnic base.

He added, “Where is the need to reserve the command of the Nigerian military and security services exclusively for the ethno-religious base of the President if it is not to serve a conspiratorial parochial agenda?

“The only group that fits this description of a fictitious fifth columnist agenda is the government itself.”

Security services shouldn’t cause panic –NCP

The National Conscience Party asked Nigeria’s security services to wake up to their responsibilities and should not try to cause panic to achieve pre-arranged objectives.

The National Chairman of the party, Dr. Yunusa Tanko, said this in a telephone interview with Saturday PUNCH, in Abuja, on Friday.

He was reacting to the news that the nation’s security chiefs had raised the alarm over threats by unnamed groups to scuttle the 2019 general elections.

Tanko said, “That is very unfortunate. I wouldn’t want to say unprofessional; I only hope they are not raising a false alarm as part of a gimmick to short-change Nigerians.

“Security people do a lot of things; I don’t think it is fair for them to send panic or create fear among Nigerians. They are in the government; they are trained and paid to protect us.

“They have the capacity to deal with threats if they know these individuals or groups and they have evidence. What is stopping them from apprehending them?

“It is completely unnecessary for our security officials to try to create a situation of panic. As ordinary citizens, we don’t have the information and capacity they have. If they are now throwing it back to us, what do they expect us to do?

“Who do we move to for protection? It is their duty to ensure that the election is free and fair and not to send fear into the hearts of Nigerians.”

Speaking in a similar vein, the National Chairman of the Labour Party, Alhaji Abdukadir Abdulsalam, urged Nigerians to remain vigilant and ensure that nothing untoward was done by any individual or group to scuttle the 2019 elections.

Abdulsalam who also spoke in a telephone interview noted that Nigerians owed it a duty to themselves and the nation to remain vigilant while the institutions of the state live up to their responsibility.

“We expect our security officials to do their jobs by ensuring a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after elections.

“We should not become a nation that each time an election is coming we begin to raise security concerns. It does not portray us as a serious country.”

FG must act fast –CACOL, CD

Two civil societies, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership and the Campaign for Democracy have said that the Federal Government must not treat the alarm raised by the security chiefs on the 2019 elections with kid gloves.

The civil societies said the government must reshuffle the military and other security agencies to bring in fresh and efficient hands, devoid of political and economic interests.

The CACOL Director, Debo Adeniran, said, “That alarm by security chiefs is a manifestation of the ominous sign of distrust between the serving and retired military officers.

“These are ominous times and the government must not fold its arms. It is a warning that should be taken seriously and everyone who is investigated to have such plans against the 2019 elections must be arrested and prosecuted, no matter whose ox is gored.

“They should be rounded up and made to sign an undertaking for the 2019 elections.”

Meanwhile, the CD President, Usman Abdul, said, “We will not condone any act of sabotaging our democracy. We call on the President to allow those security chiefs who are due for retirement to go. The President must bring in those who are capable of steering the course of the 2019 elections.

“Given these security alerts, the government must not let the 2019 elections go awry. There must be an action immediately and one of such actions is the removal of whoever is deemed inefficient.”

News Source: PUNCH

FG Ready To Rehabilitate Repentant Boko Haram Members – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday expressed the readiness to offer amnesty to members of the Boko Haram sect that are willing to drop their arms.

President Buhari said this at a meeting with freed schoolgirls who were previously abducted from their school in Dapchi, Yobe State by Boko Haram terrorists.

“Federal Government is ready to rehabilitate Boko Haram militants who are ready to lay down their arms,” he said.

He also warned security chiefs over any lapse and directed security beef up in schools that are vulnerable to attacks.

President Buhari said further that the negotiation strategy with the terrorists was effective as it aided release of the abducted schoolgirls unhurt.

In a tweet by his Special Adviser Assistant on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, Buhari said the negotiation paid off.

“We entered into negotiations solely to make sure that no single girl was hurt. This strategy paid off as the girls have been released without any incidents,” he said.

: “We entered into negotiations solely to make sure that no single girl was hurt. This strategy paid off as the girls have been released without any incidents.” – President @MBuhari

Electricity Thieves May Go To Jail Soon

The Federal Government, through the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Etsu Mohammed, has inaugurated the Enugu Zone of the Special Investigation and Prosecution Task Force on Electricity Offences.

According to the DPP, the task force is to deal with “the menace of electricity theft and vandalism of electricity distribution assets in the South-East zone,” which is the coverage area of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company.

While inaugurating the 18-man task force on Wednesday, Umar said the growing menace of electricity theft in the area of coverage of the EEDC “has contributed immensely to the economic challenges that the power sector has faced over time in the South-East zone.”

On the mandate of the task-force, the DPP said, “Although SIPTECO is charged with the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting all electricity theft cases, you are also enjoined to make other recommendations to me and the management of the EEDC and make use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in appropriate cases.

“Bear in mind that the overall objective of your mandate is to prevent electricity theft, prosecute cases and recover lost revenue.”

He noted that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), had earlier approved the setting up of a similar task force for the catchment area of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company.

He said the said task force was inaugurated on May 2, 2017.

Speaking at the event on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, Emeka Offor, and the acting Managing Director of the company, Paul Okeke, noted that the major electricity crimes in the South-East included illegal connections, meter cloning and meter bypassing.

FG Blasts PDP For Doubting Abduction, Release Of Dapchi Schoolgirls

The Federal Government has taken a swipe at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), following the release of the Dapchi schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram terrorists.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, faulted the party’s reaction to the girls’ release on Thursday in a statement by his media aide, Segun Adeyemi.

The abducted girls regained freedom on Wednesday, more than four weeks after the insurgents invaded the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, in Yobe State.

Of the 110 girls snatched by Boko Haram on February 19, the government said 104 were returned by the terrorists with six unaccounted for.

In its reaction, the PDP accused the Federal Government and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of ‘scripting’ the abduction of the schoolgirls.

The party had also called on the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the incident, which it said was a scripted drama by the APC in the bid to seek re-election in 2019.

Mr Mohammed, however, condemned the claim by the opposition, saying such postulation portrays the PDP as an “inhuman, insensitive, unpatriotic and unworthy party”.

He said since the release of the Dapchi girls were negotiated by friendly countries and reputable international organisations, it would have taken a conspiracy of global proportion to have stage-managed the adoption and release of the girls.

The minister noted that the PDP’s reaction amounts to an expression of sour grapes, alleging that the party failed – when it was in power – to quickly resolve a similar abduction of schoolgirls.

“As we have said many times since the abduction of the Dapchi schoolgirls, no government is exempted from its own share of tragedies,” he said. “What makes the difference is the way such tragedies are managed.”

“Whereas it took the PDP all of 18 days to even acknowledge the abduction of the Chibok girls in 2014, the APC Federal Government acted promptly and responsively when the Dapchi schoolgirls were abducted on February 19, 2018, hence their quick release,” Mohammed added.

He further claimed that the party that failed when it was in power has also failed as an opposition, going by its response to the release of the Dapchi schoolgirls – a development he said calls for a non-partisan celebration.

According to the minister, “In its 16 years in power, the PDP redefined governance as cluelessness, massive looting of the public treasury and crude exhibition of power. In its over three years in opposition, the PDP has again shown it does not understand the role of the opposition in a democracy.”

“How then can the PDP convince Nigerians that it has learnt its lessons and that it is ready to rule the country again? he questioned.

Mohammed explained that the Federal Government has ignored statements from the PDP because the party has failed to learn the ropes of being an opposition party.

He, however, said the government broke its own rules because “the PDP over-reached itself and scored an own goal at a time it could simply have congratulated the government and people of Nigeria on the release of the girls or just keep quiet.”

The Minister assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would intensify the ongoing efforts to secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls and return them safely to their families.

 

76 Not 105 Dapchi Girls Released – Lai Mohammed

The Nigerian government has confirmed the released of some of the girls abducted by Boko Haram militants from a secondary school in Dapchi, Yobe State.

The government said only 76 girls were released Wednesday, meaning the militants have not freed 34 of the girls.

The confirmation was made in a statement by the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed.

Mr. Mohammed said President Muhammadu Buhari directives to all security agencies to do everything possible to secure the release of the girls, who were abducted February 19, had “yielded fruits”.

He said the release of the remaining abducted students was “ongoing”.

He said the girls were released around 3 a.m. through “back-channel efforts” and with the help of some friends of the country, and that it was unconditional.

”For the release to work, the government had a clear understanding that violence and confrontation would not be the way out as it could endanger the lives of the girls, hence a non-violent approach was the preferred option.

”Within the period when the girls were being brought back, operational pause was observed in certain areas to ensure free passage and also that lives were not lost,” Mr. Mohammed said.

He said the number of the freed girls would be updated after the remaining ones have been documented, “especially because the girls were not handed over to anyone but dropped off in Dapchi.