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Again, army explains role in general elections

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Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai

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Abuja, March 11, 2019 The Nigerian Army has again clarified that its role in the 2019 general elections is purely assisting the civil authority and the police in providing security for the conduct of the poll.

Col. Sagir Musa, the army spokesman stated this in a statement on Monday, while reacting to a report alleging that the United Kingdom has expressed concern over military involvement in Rivers state during the elections.

Musa said the accusation was ”totally baseless, untrue and therefore capable of misleading unsuspected members of the public’’.

He maintained that there was no credible record of the army’s involvement in election anywhere in the country before, during and after the exercise.

Rather, Musa noted that available records showed that the army has been globally applauded by foreign and local elections’ observers for its role in ensuring peaceful conduct of the elections.

“Foreign interests are, therefore, enjoined to be mindful of interfering in our national internal affairs, especially when there is no credible evidence,’’he said.

According to the army spokesman, any allegation against the army must be confirmed from appropriate quarters before jumping to conclusions.

Musa, however, re-assured Nigerians that the army would deal with any of its personnel found to have contravened the law.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Nigerian Army had on Sunday alleged that intelligence at its disposal indicated that some politicians kitted thugs with military uniform to impersonate its personnel during the poll.

It further alleged that the thugs perpetrated various electoral crimes in the interest of politicians.

The army lamented that the thugs have been “wrongly viewed and addressed as real military personnel on both social and mainstream media platforms, thereby bringing the army’s reputable to disrepute’’.

It posted pictures of fake soldiers arrested in Rivers, Imo and Abia states, involved in electoral crimes on its Whatsapp platform.

The army said the politicians used the recruited thugs dressed in military uniform to harass and intimidate opponents.

“In some cases, as reported, and as indicated in various intelligence reports, – hoodlums dressed in military fatigue snatched ballot boxes and other electoral materials.

“Some INEC staff were reportedly abducted (by the thugs),’’ it said.

Foreign

Iran urges Europe to stand against United States sanctions

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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday urged the European Union to stand against U.S. “illegal” sanctions against the Islamic republic, Press TV reported.

The United States has threatened the lives of 83 million Iranians by imposing “cruel sanctions and preventing the transfer of medicine and essentials to Iran” at the time of novel coronavirus pandemic, Rouhani said in a phone conversation with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto on Tuesday.

Washington has violated international regulations by increasing sanctions against Iran, he said.

“Under the ongoing circumstances, the European Union, particularly Finland, should carry out its duty by condemning the illegal measures of the United States,” Rouhani was quoted as saying.

Since its unilateral exit from the Iranian nuclear deal in 2018, Washington has been mounting pressure on Tehran through a series of sanctions. Iran has maintained a tough stance and scaled back its nuclear commitments in response.

(XINHUA)

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Science & Technology

ICT: MainOne, Group partner to support Cote d’Ivoire fight against COVID-19

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West Africa’s leading connectivity and data centre provider, MainOne, with headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, and AWALE, a neutral network operator are partnering to support the Crisis Cell of the Ivoirian Government against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

MainOne is a Mauritius Group holding company with subsidiaries in Nigeria, Ghana, Portugal and Cote D’Ivoire.

Mr Kazeem Oladepo, MainOne’s Regional Executive Director, West Africa, said in a statement on Tuesday that as an organisation committed to enabling the digital economy of West Africa, it was aware of the impact of the pandemic on public services, infrastructure and businesses.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that a neutral service provider gives high speed data transmission capacity via its fiber optic cables installed on the Ivorian national transport and electricity.

Oladepo said that the joint partnership intervention was also aware of the economic challenges faced by governments.

He said that as premier provider and responsible Ivorian business, the partnership would continue to support governments efforts at every level by providing world-class internet infrastructure.

According to him, value-added services that reduces cost, drive operational continuity and seamless communication for good governance in Côte d’Ivoire will also be provided.

‘’We are proud to partner with AWALE, a subsidiary of the Pan-African Group ERANOVE, who shares our commitment to support government efforts to manage the impact of the pandemic across the sub region.

‘’This measure of solidarity will reinforce the emergency deployment plan of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Postal Services of the country.

‘’The joint initiative includes the provision of free connectivity capacity and internet services to strategic state institutions for a period of three months,” he said.

The executive director said that MainOne and AWALE were jointly contributing their broadband connectivity infrastructure and ICT services for the delivery of critical online and real-time public services.

He said that with lockdown, social distancing and remote work patterns becoming the new-normal globally, it was determined to ensure the Ivorian crisis committee continued to dispense its socio-economic and public security responsibilities through virtual platforms.

Oladepo said that the enhanced connectivity offering provided the government’s crisis committee with robust access to real-time information management, whilst seamlessly connecting essential workers across the nation.

He said it was also helping to drive dynamic exchange of scientific findings and access to global knowledge related to control and management of the disease by researchers in Côte d’Ivore.

He said it would enable the researchers to collaborate with colleagues around the world and participate in the global fight against the pandemic.

Mr Daniel Sampah, Founder and Managing Director of AWALE said that the organisation appreciated the efforts of the Ivorian in deploying an effective response plan to COVID-19 disease.

Sampah said that it was an honour to support the Cote d’Ivoire actions by making available to operators and Internet Service Providers its carrier-neutral network entirely based on fiber optics.

He said that the partnership with MainOne would enable the provision of quality connectivity infrastructure to the committee and thus minimise the impact of COVID-19 in the country.


Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Mozambican police urge people to observe preventive measures against COVID-19

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The Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM) expressed on Tuesday their concerns about people’s reluctance to strictly observe the preventive measures against COVID-19, saying that the police will take all necessary measures to enforce the rules of a state of emergency.

There are still people that gather for consumption of alcohol and quite a few underage youths wander on streets unprotected, the spokesperson of PRM Orlando Madumane told Radio Mozambique.

“All of us should comply with these measures, they were imposed to prevent this pandemic and to safeguard our precious value, life,” said Madumane, adding that all violators will be held accountable.

The police spokesperson appealed for the parents and legal guardians to protect their children and keep them at home, as schools in the country have been closed since March 23.

In the southern province of Gaza, the police reportedly removed 50 children aged between 10 to 17 years old off the streets while they were selling products to make incomes for their families.

“Parents should not allow children out in the streets and adults should only go outside when necessary. We have been witnessing crowds in markets trying to earn their living, but it is necessary to observe the preventive measures when doing so,” said the spokesperson.

Health authorities said a few days ago that the country is on the verge of entering the phase of community transmission of COVID-19.

(XINHUA)

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France donates protective equipment to Lebanese civil defense for fight against COVID-19

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The French Embassy in Lebanon donated on Tuesday protective equipment to the Lebanese civil defense to help its members to properly carry out their tasks in emergency situations related to COVID-19 spread in the country, LBCI local TV channel reported.

The donation took place under an agreement signed between the Internal Security Department at the French embassy and the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Commission at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.

On April 25, France also donated to Lebanon biological protection gears and equipment to detect COVID-19 infection.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

China to continue supporting Indonesia in its fight against COVID-19: ambassador

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Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Xiao Qian said on Tuesday that China stands ready to continue supporting Indonesia in its fight against COVID-19.

Xiao made the remarks here at a video press conference. The Chinese ambassador said that China and Indonesia are good neighbors who can always rely on each other in difficult times.

Since the epidemic broke out, the two countries have provided medical supplies and support to each other at the earliest possible time, Xiao said.

The assistance and support from China were provided to various sectors of Indonesia via channels including political parties, regional governments and companies, Xiao said.

The Chinese ambassador noted that the joint efforts made by the two countries in their fight against COVID-19 have fully demonstrated the deep friendship between the two countries.

China is willing to promote relevant departments and enterprises of the two countries to discuss cooperation in vaccine research and development, anti-viral drugs, testing technology and production of medical equipment, Xiao said.

And China is also willing to further deepen communication and cooperation between the two countries within multilateral frameworks to support international cooperation against COVID-19 and maintain global public health security, Xiao added.

In the video press conference, the Chinese ambassador spoke highly of Indonesian government’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19, saying that China firmly believes Indonesia will overcome the epidemic at an early date.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Palestine says seeks UN resolution against Israel’s annexation plan

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A senior Palestinian official said on Tuesday that Palestine is seeking to approach the UN General Assembly for a resolution against the Israeli plan to annex occupied Palestinian territories.

Speaking to the official Voice of Palestine radio, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Maliki said the annexation plan is “dangerous” and “rejected by the international community.”

“Our attitude is to politically isolate the Israeli government and the United States … in order to exert a huge pressure on Israel not to implement the plan,” he noted.

The Palestinian leadership is explaining to the international community that the Israeli annexation plan will undermine the vision of the two-state solution along the 1967 borders,” Maliki added.

The Israeli government is planning to impose sovereignty on the Jordan Valley, an equivalent of 30 percent of the West Bank, as well as several Jewish settlements in the region starting July.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Police arrest suspect over threats against Israeli prime minister

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Israeli police on Tuesday said it arrested a suspect over alleged threats against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on social media.

The Police’s national cyber unit identified the suspect as a 21-year-old man from northern Israeli.

According to Israeli news outlet ynet, the suspect is an Israeli soldier, and was set to appear before a court in central Israel on Tuesday.

“A few days ago I filed a complaint with the police about a series of threats to kill me and my family,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter on Monday.

“Today, to my regret, I was forced to file another complaint against a despicable person who detailed how he plans to kill me and my family,” he added, attaching a screenshot of a threat against him.

The screenshot included a suggestion to behead the Netanyahu family and hang their bodies from the balcony of the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem.

In May, police said Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister’s son, had filed complaints over threats and incitement against him.

In recent weeks, Netanyahu has been the subject of protests both for and against him, as his corruption trial began last week, making him the first sitting prime minister in the country’s history to stand trial.

Israel’s longest-serving prime minister was officially indicted on bribery, fraud and breach of trust in January.

Following three general elections in less than a year, Netanyahu was sworn in last month as the head of an emergency unity government including his Likud party and the centrist Blue and White Alliance of his former main rival Benny Gantz.


Edited By: Halima Sheji/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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China focuses on poorest groups in decisive battle against poverty

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China aims to eradicate absolute poverty by 2020. Find out how local governments in some of the poorest regions in the country have helped villagers out of poverty. #BeatingPoverty

(XINHUA)

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Entertainment

Rapper M.I lends voice to Violence against women in society

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Nigerian rapper, Jude Abaga popularly known as M.I has lent his voice in condemning violence against women in the society.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that social media platforms had been raging with condemnation of violence against women following the death of one Miss Vera Uwaila Omozuwa.

Omozuwa, a 22-year-old 100-level student of the University of Benin, Edo was raped and killed while reading in a church in Benin city.

M.I has through his Twitter account, Yung [email protected]_Abaga joined in condemning the act, adding that every member of the society must commit to change in the ways women were treated in the society.

“And while we as men listen to truth in this period. Let us remember it is not only about the change toward violence. It’s about ensuring that there is equity in your work places and schools.

“It is about dismantling patriarchy by supporting women into positions of leadership.

“It’s about speaking truth to our brothers, fathers, sons when they transgress. We cannot change the world by just repainting it.

“We must tear down the systems that support a society where men can wreak such evil.

“If there is one thing I hope all men do in this period, it’s sit with the women around you and listen.

“Let them share their stories (if they want to) and their experiences on being a woman in our society. Listen and then commit to change,” he wrote.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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