The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai on Wednesday accused some defeated politicians in the just concluded general elections of being responsible for the current heighten situation in parts of the country.
Buratai leveled the accusation in Maiduguri when he received the House Committee on Army led by its Chairman, Rep. Remande Shawulu, at the Theatre Command.
“The myriad of security challenges we are facing now in the North West, North Central and other parts of the country, I want to believe and rightly so, is the fall out of the just concluded general elections.
“There are several political interests, politicians in particular not happy with their defeat and therefore, trying to take revenge, sponsoring some these criminal activities.
“There are strong political undertone, strong political influence.
“So, I will use this opportunity to call on the honourable members here to prevail on some of these politicians to look at national interest first before any other political or sectional interest.
“We have some strong evidences but we are still being cautious so that we don’t get it wrong,’’ Buratai said.
The army chief advised those politicians against doing anything to aggravate the security challenges.
Earlier, Shawulu said that the committee was at the theatre for its usual oversight function.
He paid tribute to officers and soldiers, who had died in course of the counter insurgency operation, saying they sacrificed their lives for the security and peace of the North East and country at large.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee visited the Maimalary Military Cemetery, where three personnel killed by IED on Monday were buried and 7 Division Military hospital to empathise with wounded soldiers.
World needs same “global solidarity” that defeated smallpox 40 years ago: WHO chief
As the world confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, humanity’s victory over smallpox is a reminder of what is possible when nations come together to fight a common health threat, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.
Speaking at an online press conference on COVID-19 from Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed that the decisive factor in the victory over smallpox was “global solidarity.”
“At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States of America joined forces to conquer a common enemy. They recognized that viruses do not respect nations or ideologies,” he said.
That same solidarity, built on national unity, is needed now more than ever to defeat COVID-19, Tedros added.
On May 8, 1980, the World Health Assembly officially declared that “the world and all its peoples have won freedom from smallpox,” which was considered as the first and to date the only human disease that has been eradicated globally.
“As we reflect today on the eradication of smallpox, we’re reminded of what is possible when nations come together to confront a common foe, to confront a common enemy,” Tedros noted.
According to the WHO chief, the legacy of smallpox was not only the eradication of one disease, but it was also “the demonstration that when the world unites, anything is possible.”
At the press conference, Tedros also announced that to commemorate the 40th anniversary of smallpox eradication, the United Nations Postal Administration and WHO will release a commemorative postage stamp to recognize human victory.
UK PM Johnson defeated on Brexit legislation for first time since election
London, Jan. 20, 2020 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government was defeated in parliament on Monday after December election, with the upper chamber voting in favour of a move to protect the rights of EU citizens in Britain after Brexit.
Johnson’s Conservatives won a large majority in the lower chamber, the House of Commons, at the Dec. 12 vote and lawmakers there quickly approved the legislation needed to ratify his exit deal with Brussels earlier this month.
The legislation is now passing through the House of Lords, where the government does not have a majority. While the upper chamber is not expected to block passage of the bill, it is seeking to make changes.
Members of the Lords voted by 270 to 229 in favour of a change put forward by the pro-EU Liberal Democrats which would give eligible EU citizens in Britain an automatic right to stay after Brexit, rather than having to apply to the government to do so.
It would also ensure they are given physical proof of their right to remain.
The government has said only that people will be given a “secure digital status” which links to their passport.
Last week, European Parliament Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt said Britain had told him it was looking into the possibility of providing a physical document to EU citizens but Johnson’s spokesman said he was not aware of any plans.
The government is facing a second defeat in the Lords later on Monday, when members vote on an amendment which would ensure protections for child refugees, a promise made by Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, but absent from his legislation.
Any changes to the legislation made by the House of Lords have to go back to the House of Commons to be approved and could still be overturned.
This is the first time Johnson’s government was defeated in parliament since a December election.
Edited by: Fatima Sule/Emmanuel Yashim
United were better than us, says defeated Mourinho
Jose Mourinho conceded his former club Manchester United had deserved their 2-1 Premier League victory over his new team Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday and hailed the performance of Marcus Rashford.
Mourinho took over as Spurs manager last month, nearly a year after he was fired by United.
“I think they deserved the victory by their first half. We didn’t start well at all,” said Mourinho, whose side fell behind to a seventh-minute goal from Rashford.
“I think for the first 30 minutes they were the best team, and I think because of that, for this strong 30 minutes where we were not there, and also because of the way we conceded the second goal, I think they deserved to win,” he added.
Mourinho noted that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, held by Aston Villa and Sheffield United in their last two league games, had delivered their best displays against the top-rated teams.
“United results against the best teams this season have been good. Chelsea, Liverpool, Leicester,” he said.
“For the way they play it is easier for them. They are not afraid to have a defensive approach. It is easier for them against better teams, against teams who want more of the ball,” he added.
The Portuguese, sacked by United after two and a half seasons in charge, had plenty of praise for his former forward Rashford.
“When he plays from the left he is really dangerous and I knew that and gave the players the best information about it.
“His first goal is a typical Rashford goal coming on the inside. Our boys knew that clearly,” he said.
Solskjaer was unsurprisingly even more fulsome in his praise of the 22-year-old England international, who delivered a performance of real quality.
“It’s the best he’s had under me. He was mature, strong against good Premier League players,” the Norwegian said.
“It’s like he was back on the playground or in the back garden. We want them to have fun, there’s nothing dangerous out there – just 75,00 people, wanting to see the best,” he said.
With some questioning Solskjaer after the club’s worst start to a season since 1988-1989, the win which moved United up to sixth, was a major boost.
“The three points are massive for us. We’ve had too many draws this season and given too many points away from winning positions,” Solskjaer said.
“We’ve made decisions that we had to and we’re looking to build this club to be better again and I can’t think short-term when I’m trying to do that,” he said.
“When we turn the corner and win three or four games on the run, they will get that Man United feeling again.”
Edited & Vetted By: Sadiya Hamza
“Boko Haram is technically defeated”, I stand by my words – Lai Mohammed
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says he stands by what he said in 2015, that the Boko Haram terrorists have been technically defeated.
The minister stated this on Monday when he paid a working visit to the new corporate headquarters of “The Sun” Newspaper in Lagos.
Fielding questions from the editorial board of the newspaper led by the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, Mr Onuoha Ukeh the minister said Nigeria is currently facing global terrorism that has no boundary, no frontier.
“I stand by what I said that Boko Haram is technically defeated.
“What we are having today is global terrorism where you have the ISIS, ISWAP Al-qaeda all working together.
“Terrorism is a global issue. Between 2009 and 2015 we were fighting Boko Haram, but today we are fighting global terrorism where the remnants of the Army in Syria are now joining hands with the ISWAP and others,” he said.
Mohammed said his position in 2015 that Boko Haram had been technically defeated was based on what he saw on ground when he led a team of local and international journalists to the epicentre of insurgency in 2015.
“I was on ground in Bama, Konduga and Maiduguri and I know what I saw before I made that claim.
“We are fighting global terrorism and that is why we are appealing to our foreign partners, especially the UN and our neighbours.
“By the time we get more platforms and the new helicopters that are being expected there will be tremendous improvement.
The minister, who said he was at the newspaper’s headquarter as part of his continuous engagement with the media, enjoined “the Sun” to continue to support the government in fighting fake news and hate speech.
“Fake news and hate speech pose imminent threat to the survival of the nation’s existence.
“The purveyors of siamese twins of evil must be checkmated and government will continue to engage to end the menace.
” We expect you to remain in the vanguard of the efforts to tackle fake news and hate speech.
“We expect you to educate our people on the efforts being made, especially by the government, in this regard.
“This Administration has no intention of muzzling the media or stifling free speech.
The minister said that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has delivered on the three mantra of fighting corruption, fighting insurgency and improving on the economy.
He assured Nigerians that the government will continue to work the more to deliver on the mandate and lift Nigerians from poverty.
Speaking on the reform in the broadcast industry, Mohammed reiterated that no amount of attacks, will stop the implementation of approved
recommendations on reform of broadcasting code.
He, however, assured that in implementing the recommendations, the government will not tamper with the freedom of the press or stifle the rights of people to air their opinions.
Edited by Felix Ajide
Defeated Hunt congratulates ‘great PM’ Boris Johnson
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has congratulated rival Boris Johnson on winning a leadership run off to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May as head of the ruling Conservatives.
Hunt who is not expected to remain in his ministerial post when Johnson announces his new cabinet from late Wednesday congratulated Johnson on Twitter.
“Congratulations @BorisJohnson 4 a campaign well fought.”
“You’ll be a great PM for our country at this critical moment!” Hunt added.
Venezuela defence minister says ‘act of violence partly defeated’
Venezuela defence minister says ‘act of violence partly defeated’
Padrino’s comments in an address on state television came after some members of the National Guard heeded opposition leader Juan Guaido’s call to rise up against President Nicolas Maduro.
This is leading to clashes with forces loyal to Maduro outside an air base in Caracas. Russia accuses Venezuelan opposition of resorting to violence
Similarly, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday accused the opposition in Venezuela of resorting to violence in what it said was a brazen attempt to draw the country’s armed forces into clashes.
The ministry made the allegation after Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido called for a military uprising to oust President Nicolas Maduro.
And also armed factions exchanged gunfire outside a Caracas air base as the country hit a new crisis point after years of political and economic chaos.
Russia, which has supplied weapons to Venezuela and acted as a lender of last resort, has accused the U.S. of trying to undermine Maduro, someone Moscow counts as one of its closest allies in Latin America.
“The opposition in Venezuela has once again returned to violent methods of confrontation,” the foreign ministry said.
“Instead of peacefully settling political differences, they have taken a course designed to whip up conflict, and provoke breaches of public order and clashes involving the armed forces.”
The ministry called on the opposition to renounce violence and embrace negotiations instead, saying it was vital to avoid bloodshed.
President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation in Venezuela at a meeting of his Security Council earlier on Tuesday.
Russia has sent nearly 100 military personnel to Caracas, a contingent the Kremlin has described as military specialists.
Russian news agencies cited the Russian embassy in Venezuela on Tuesday as saying the Russian personnel were not involved in the clashes between the opposition and the authorities.
Meanwhile, Turkey also criticised Venezuelan opposition calls on Tuesday for a military uprising to oust President Maduro, saying they amounted to a challenge to the country’s constitutional order.
“We are worried about reports that there are certain attempts against the constitutional order in Venezuela.
Defeated ADP candidate promises to develop Edo South
Dr Ese Owie, the defeated Edo South Senatorial candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP) says he remains committed to the development of the senatorial district.
According to him, the conduct of different stakeholders in my senatorial district during the elections was peaceful.
Owie said that in spite of losing out in the election, he was encouraged by the fact that what commenced on Nov. 18, 2018, had germinated and blossomed into an enduring movement for change.
According to him, 2019 National Assembly Elections has come and gone.
“ I am thankful to the Almighty God for the essentially peaceful conduct of different stakeholders in Edo South and for the relative tranquility that followed.
“It has been a long, winding and exhausting road but we are thankful to all our supporters, party members, the media and diverse institutional actors for their commitment to our vision for a better and more prosperous Edo South.
“Yes, I know we will all have wished the outcome of the elections to have been different.
“Nevertheless, we are collectively victorious as veritable agents of change and foot soldiers in the fight for democracy in our beloved Father land,’’ Owie said.
He decried the obfuscation of the ADP party logo on the ballot paper as a result of the array of political parties on the ballot paper.
Owie urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take necessary actions in subsequent elections against voter’s suppression, buying of votes and intimidation of voters. (NNN)
Edited by Emmanuel Nwoye/Adeleye Ajayi
U.S. senator urges Trump to slow Syria pullout until IS is defeated
U.S. President Donald Trump should slow down the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria until Islamic State militants there can be defeated, Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Saturday.
An ill-planned withdrawal “will not end the war against the Islamic State, it will start a new war,” Graham told a press conference in Ankara, a day after he met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss Syria.
Trump announced in Dec. 2018 that Islamic State had been defeated in Syria and U.S. troops would withdraw.
The details of the U.S. pullout remain unclear, and Ankara and the Syrian government have not ruled out intervention in northern Syria.
Referring to the People’s Protection Units, a U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militia, Graham said he believes U.S. and Turkish military officials are working on “a plan that will move the YPG elements away from Turkey.”
Turkey considers the YPG to be an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) waging an insurgency within the country.
Ankara threatened to enter the YPG-held northern Syrian town of Manbij in Dec. 2018.
Graham said that the YPG’s political arm was connected with the PKK, according to Anadolu.
On Wednesday, a suicide attack claimed by the Islamic State killed 19 people, including U.S. troops, in Manbij.
The deadly attack came a day after Erdogan said Turkey planned to establish a “buffer zone” in northern Syria near the Turkish border after discussing the issue with Trump by phone.
Turkey halted its operation into Manbij following the U.S. withdrawal decision but has since been reinforcing its military posts along the Syrian border.
Defeated Congo presidential candidate to challenge results in high court
Defeated Democratic Republic of Congo presidential candidate Martin Fayulu said on Friday he would challenge the election results in the country’s highest court on Saturday at 9 a.m. (0800 GMT).
The national electoral commission on Thursday declared another opposition leader, Felix Tshisekedi, the winner of the Dec. 30 election.
However, Fayulu’s campaign said its tallies showed that Fayulu won a landslide victory.
Fayulu supporters said out-going President Joseph Kabila made a deal with Tshisekedi after Kabila’s own hand-picked candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, failed to gain enough support to be a credible winner.
Shadary conceded, following the announcement of the results.
Kabila has ruled since the 2001 assassination of his father Laurent Kabila, whose victory in a 1996-1997 civil war ended more than three decades of rule by dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.
Kabila has said he wants to stay in politics and may run again in 2023, when he will no longer be barred by term limits.
Tshisekedi inherited the leadership of his UDPS party when his father Etienne Tshisekedi died in 2017.
But he lacks the experience, political clout and firebrand reputation his father earned as a leading opposition figure since the Mobutu era.
An official from the from UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations said Tshisekedi’s win might buy some temporary calm but that “the exiled and cheated will rebel,” referring to ex-militia and political leaders who are backing Fayulu.
“Tshisekedi has no capacity to rule, no way of controlling the army or ministerial appointments. He will do as told, gun to his head,” the official said.
In the run-up to the results, Tshisekedi said Kabila had nothing to fear should he come to power. Fayulu, by contrast, is backed by ex-rebel Jean-Pierre Bemba and former governor Moise Katumbi, two of Kabila’s fiercest rivals.
Any escalation from the Fayulu camp risks igniting Congo’s cycle of unrest, particularly in the eastern borderlands where he enjoys strong support and where dozens of militia groups operate.
Edited by: David Onilede/Silas Nwoha
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