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How we arrested Muhammad Khalid Khan in Nigeria — U.S.

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The U.S. Government on Thursday revealed how it had with assistance from Nigerian relevant agencies successfully extradited U.S. indicted defendant Muhammad Khalid Khan to the U.S.

The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos said that Khan was arrested at the request of the U.S. Justice Department in Nigeria pursuant to a federal arrest warrant issued in New York.

“The U.S. Department of Justice with the assistance of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Justice, the Central Authority Unit (CAU), and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has successfully extradited U.S. indicted defendant Muhammad Khalid Khan to the U.S.

“Khan was arrested at the request of the U.S. Justice Department in Nigeria pursuant to a federal arrest warrant issued in the Southern District of New York.

“The U.S. Department of Justice heavily depended and relied on the support and professionalism of Nigerian law enforcement in coordinating the successful arrest and extradition of khan,’’ it

said in a statement.

It added that Khan, who was extradited on April 28 this year, was being charged with attempted narcotics importation, conspiracy to import a controlled substance into the U.S., and international money laundering.

The consulate general said that Khan had been involved in drug trafficking and money laundering network responsible for trafficking drug narcotics to the U.S., Australia, Africa and Europe.

“Muhammad Khalid Khan controlled an international drug trafficking and money laundering network responsible for trafficking narcotics to the U.S., Australia, Africa and Europe.

“His money laundering network was widespread throughout the U.S. Australia, Canada, Africa, Europe and Asia.

“Muhammad Khalid KHAN has been the target of multiple DEA investigations, including those conducted by international DEA Offices in Lagos, Nigeria, Islamabad, Pakistan, and Sydney in Australia.

“He has been the target of domestic offices in New York and the DEA Special Operations Division, as well international partnerships with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,’’ it said.

According to the consulate general, if convicted, Khan would face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison on Count One.

It added that if convicted he would also face a maximum sentence of 20 years on each of Counts Two and Three.

The consulate general also said that the U.S. Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would continue to work with the Nigerian Ministry of Justice and law enforcement partners.

It said that more collaborative effort was needed in identifying and bringing to justice transnational criminal organisations determined to saturate communities with illegal and dangerous controlled substances around the world.

Peter Ejiofor: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

General news

Buhari mourns renowned scholar, Malama Halima Muhammad

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President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the family of a renowned Islamic scholar, Malama Halima Abdulsalm, wife of an equally famous scholar and preacher, Sheikh Abdulwahab Abdallah Muhammad.

In a condolence message by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday, the president noted that Halima, who died in Kano, had contributed immensely to creating religious awareness within and outside the country.

President Buhari, in the message addressed to Sheikh Abdulwahab, said he was shocked by her demise.

“Your late wife spent a major part of her life teaching and preaching Islam. Her death is a loss not only to your family but to the nation.

”She will be remembered for her versatile radio, TV and lately, digital media messaging creating Islamic awareness which were well received by her followers. She was a preacher par excellence,” he said.

He prayed to Allah to support the family, the government and people of Kano State as they mourn Mallama Halima.

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Economy

Gov. Ganduje appoints Muhammad as Chairman, Kano Revenue Service ‎

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Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has approved the appointment of Bala Muhammad, as acting chairman of the Kano Internal Revenue Service (KIRS).

Alhaji Usman Alhaji, Secretary to the Statement Government (SSG), made the disclosure in a statement on Thursday in Kano.

Alhaji said Muhammad would serve on acting capacity before the appointment of substantive head of the agency.

“I wish to formally inform you that Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje has granted approval for you to oversee the affairs of the Kano Internal Revenue Service on temporary basis pending the appointment of a Executive Chairman of the Agency.

“On this premise; you are to, inline with established procedure require to take over the affairs of the agency with immediate effect,” the statement said.

Until his appointment, Muhammad is the Managing Director of  the Kano State Agricultural Supply Company  (KASCO).

The development followed the resignation of Sani Dambo, the Executive Chairman of the KIRS, who was appointed in November 2015.

Dambo in a resignation letter addressed to the SSG, said his resignation takes effect from Thursday, April 9.

The chairman who did not gave reasons for his resignation, however, appreciated Gov. Ganduje for giving him the opportunity to serve the state. (NAN )

MNT /RSA

Edited By: Rabiu Sani Ali
(NAN)

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Politics

COVID-19: President Muhammadu Buhari to decide on lockdown extension, says Task Force

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The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 says only President Muhammadu Buhari can decide whether or not to extend the ongoing 14 days lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.

The Task Force Chairman, Boss Mustapha, made this known while briefing newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos, after inspection of some facilities put in place by the state government to contain the spread of Coronavirus.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said that part of the reason the committee visited Lagos was to assess to what extent the objective of the lockdown had been achieved.

He said that the committee would be making recommendations to the president based on its observations, after which the president would decide whether or not to extend the lockdown.

Mustapha said that the Federal Government would distribute 6,800 metric tons of grains in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, as part of the measures to cushion the effects of lockdown.

The task force chairman said that President Buhari had approved the release of 70,000 metric tons of grains from the strategic grains reserve for distribution.

According to him, approval for the release of the grains is in recognition of the impact of the lockdown order on the poor, physically challenged, the elderly and the vulnerable.

”Out of this, about 6,800 will be distributed in Lagos, Ogun and FCT, while the rest will be distributed to the 13 frontline states that have recorded cases of the COVID-19 disease.

”I assure you that the distribution of the Lagos State share will commence shortly.

”Let me state at this point that it is not the desire of government to punish its citizen by restricting their movement.

“But rather out of the abundance of caution, that difficult decision was taken to save lives by preventing spread of the virus.

”Reports have been received on the general level of satisfactory compliance in Lagos with the lockdown order and we have similarly received reports of violations.

”In this case, I commend the instant action taken by the Lagos State Government by prosecuting and convicting notable violators, which shows that nobody should be above the law,” he said.

According to him, COVID-19 pandemic is the most significant public health emergency of international concern, having recorded over a million cases, causing over 50,000 deaths worldwide.

He assured Nigerians of the unwavering commitment of President Buhari to the war against COVID-19 and his readiness to mobilise resources to achieve the national objectives.

“The nation is at war with an unseen, but very potent enemy, which all must collaborate to fight and defeat it.

”To successfully prosecute this war, we must own it, we must participate in it, we must create awareness, we must obey rules and regulations.

“We must stay at home when ordered, and we must not conceal any information from the medical personnel and disease control authorities.

”One person who is infected in a community can endanger the entire community, regardless of its size and status or position of the people living there. Coronavirus is real and dangerous.

”Let me appeal to Lagosians, indeed, all Nigerians to play our roles in defeating Coronavirus.

”To win the war, we must abide by instructions to stay-at-home, maintain social distancing, personal hygiene and report all suspected cases to the designated health authorities,” he said.

Speaking, Lagos State Governor Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, commended the Presidential Task Force for coming to the state to inspect the facilities.

Sanwo-Olu said that efforts were being made to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic was defeated.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Olagoke Olatoye
(NAN)

 

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General news

COVID-19: I am sound in good spirit – says Gov. Muhammad

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Gov. Bala Muhammad of Bauchi State has assured the people of the state and Nigerians that he is very sound and in good spirit, inspite of testing positive to Coronavirus.

This is contained in a good will message by Mr Mukhtar Gidado, Senior Special Assistant to the governor, on Friday in Bauchi.

In the message, the governor was quoted as regretting that his condition would not allow him to serve his dear people at this critical time of need, stressing that the challenges are surmountable by God’s grace.

Mohammad also thanked well wishers for their concern, care, prayers as well as their love, encouragement and good wishes.

He said: “By God’s grace; we shall have  the courage, strength and faith to overcome all the tribulations. 

“God is the Greatest! He is sufficient and merciful; may these tests be the utmost expiation of our sins, limitations and inadequacies.

“Insha Allah; we shall overcome with humility. I wish all the people of Bauchi and Nigeria, Allah’s bountiful blessings, prosperity and protection from the scourge of sickness, insecurity and poverty.

“Thank God; I am still leading the fight against our numerous challenges from isolation”.

Edited By: Rabiu Sani Ali
(NAN)

Edited By: Razak Owolabi
(NAN)

Gsm: (Phone/Email)

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APO

Coronavirus – Nigeria: Statement by His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (March 26, 2020)

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Over the last few days I have received extensive briefings on the state of the nation as it relates to the Covid-19 pandemic, from the relevant Federal Government agencies as well as the Lagos State Government.  
 

Accordingly, I approved the following:

The immediate release of a 10 billion Naira grant to Lagos State, which remains the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak in Nigeria. This grant will enable Lagos increase its capacity to control and contain the outbreak, while also supporting other States with capacity-building.

The immediate release of a 5 billion Naira special intervention fund to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to equip, expand and provide personnel to its facilities and laboratories across the country.

The Nigerian Air Force is already making its fleet available to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, to enable a better coordinated and more effective response across the country.

To protect our homeland from external exposure, I directed the immediate closure of our International Airports and Land Borders for four weeks in the first instance, to enable us put up the appropriate policies, processes and infrastructure to cope with suspected and confirmed cases at home, without risking a compounding of the situation with more imported cases.

The inconvenience caused by these flight and travel restrictions to our fellow citizens abroad who want to return home is regrettable, but it is necessary for the greater good, and I thank you all for your understanding and cooperation.

I have also directed that only cargo vessels that have been at sea for more than 14 days be allowed to dock in our ports, after the crew have been tested and confirmed disease-free by the Port Health Authorities.

This 14-day restriction however does not apply to vessels carrying oil and gas products as by their nature, there is minimal human contact.

We have also suspended the movement of commuter trains to limit the spread of the virus to other parts of the country.

I have directed the NCDC to draft all its recent retirees back into service to beef up our manpower as we respond to the pandemic.

Furthermore, all NCDC staff and experts who are away on training or international assignments are to return immediately.

Already the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) are conducting an evacuation mission to bring back some of our specialists in Central Africa, to enable them support the national response.

I commend the monetary policy authorities for their financial intervention to support our entrepreneurs and companies as we go through this difficult time.

We are also looking at fiscal measures to minimise the negative impact of this pandemic on the livelihood of millions of Nigerians.

As you are aware we have begun the process of reviewing the federal budget. We shall communicate our fiscal interventions once the budget review process is concluded.

In the meantime, I have directed the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, to work with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), to ensure that all production of essential items such as food, medical and pharmaceutical products continues unhindered.

We are engaging our international friends and partners to share knowledge and to seek their support in our response to the pandemic. We are grateful for the show of support thus far – we have already started receiving goods and supplies intended to help us scale up our efforts.

Let me specially thank and commend all of the hard and heroic work being done by our medical personnel, the NCDC, Port Health Authorities, Security Agencies, State Governments, and all ad-hoc staff and volunteers.

I urge all Nigerians to be mindful of those among us who seek to spread panic and misinformation, and sow confusion at this time.

We must all pay attention only to the relevant government agencies working day and night to make accurate and useful information available to the public.

I will also ask all of us to strictly obey all public health guidelines and instructions issued by the Federal and State health authorities, regarding personal hygiene and social distancing.

In the meantime, I want to assure all Nigerians, that the Federal Government remains committed to protecting all Nigerians. We seek your full support and cooperation as we go through this very difficult time. Together we will triumph over this pandemic.

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Defence/Security

Gunmen kidnap elder brother to Gov.Muhammad of Bauchi

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Gunmen on Wednesday night, kidnapped Mr Adamu Mohammad, elder brother to Bauchi state Governor, Bala Mohammad.

Nigeria News Agency gathered that the gunmen, after firing several warning shots, made away with their victim around 7.30pm at Anguwar Jaki Area of Bauchi metropolis.

Efforts to secure comments of the  State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Kamal Abubakar, proved abortive as he neither picked his call, nor responded to text message sent to him by NAN on the matter.

However,  Mr Muktar Gidado, Senior Special Assistant (SSA), Media  to Gov. Bala Muhammed , confirmed the occurrence of the incident.

Gidado, in response to a text message from NAN, confirmed that the victim was kidnapped on Wednesday at about 7.30 pm at Yan Jaki.

“Yes! It is confirmed at about 7:30pm and no further information yet,” he stated.

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General news

Breaking News: Kano State Govt, Ganduje dethrones Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi ll

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The Kano State Government has dethroned the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi ll. Announcing the dethronement after an emergency council meeting, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, in a press release read by the secretary of the state government, Mr. Usman Alhaji, said the removal of the emir is based on total disrespect to the provisions of the Kano emirate law.

Recalled that there were reports that Governor Umar Ganduje is offended by Emir of Kano.

— Details coming shortly

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Features

A new case for a Commonwealth based on trade  – By Muhammadu Buhari

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A new case for a Commonwealth based on trade

 

The United Kingdom’s exit of the European Union is now all but certain. Only the passage of time will reveal what their new relationship shall be. But with this new arrangement, I – like many other Commonwealth leaders – also seek a new settlement: not only of closer relations between the UK and my own nation, but of unleashing trade within the club in which we together shall remain.

Relations between Nigeria and the UK are close and longstanding, most recently reiterated in our 2018 bi-lateral security pact and our collaboration in anti-trafficking. But in recent years, our relationship – particularly economically – has become increasingly defined by Britain’s membership of the European Union.

A new free trade agreement would reconfigure this, presenting new opportunities for both. As the largest economy in Africa, my country of nearly 200 million people has a great deal to offer: Nigeria’s vast natural energy and mineral resources, unbarred through the ending of customs barriers, could help supply growth for companies in all corners of the UK. Greater access would also be forthcoming to one of the world’s fastest expanding groups of consumers – the Nigerian middle classes.

For my country, greater UK engagement in its economy would bring jobs to under-tapped sectors, such as agriculture and manufacturing. Millions of highly skilled, English-speaking but underemployed young people, are eager to work but without the opportunities that foreign investment can bring to create jobs and build businesses.

Yet there is also a case to be made that our two Commonwealth countries should try, with other members, to deliver more – collectively. In 2015, I became the first head of a new Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council tasked with boosting trade and investment within the wider organisation. Now with the United Kingdom – the Commonwealth’s largest economy – no longer obliged to ringfence its economy with tariffs, this mission will be given a jolt of vitality.

However, we must be realistic: the commonwealth will not suddenly become a multilateral-free trade zone. Today many members reside within regional free trade and customs zones of their own. Yet without any of us needing to relinquish these ties, we can work together to minimise – consistent with respective memberships – as far as possible many of the tariffs and barriers on commodities, products and services. Because member countries’ national laws are built on the principles of English jurisprudence, we might work together from this common platform to better align regulations on investment, certification and trade.

 

A renewed sense of Commonwealth solidarity would also be of enormous benefit to the large and vital diasporas – particularly from Africa and the Indian subcontinent – that live in Western Commonwealth countries such as Britain, Canada and Australia. These communities still maintain the strongest of cultural and family links with the countries from which they and their forebears emigrated.

Yet visa restrictions and customs barriers must be reduced to fulfill the potential these connections could bring to the nations where they today reside. As an African leader I have an obligation to speak of the fact that while many in the African Diaspora enjoy considerable benefits from life in the West, they do not always feel at the heart of the community. A renewed sense that there are ties that bind us through the Commonwealth, and a concerted effort to grow those links through trade, could act as a spur to encourage togetherness and the certainty of belonging.

This year provides two critical summits in which this new determination could take seed. In January, London shall play host to the UK-Africa Investment Summit. (The continent is the Commonwealth’s largest constituent, providing over a third of its membership.) And then back to Africa, where Rwanda will welcome countries to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. It is at this biennial summit that many of the organisation’s milestones have been achieved – particularly in democracy and human rights. The 2020 summit could be the wrench that begins to tighten our economic structures, drawing strength from our shared bonds of history, friendship and language.

Time will tell if Britain’s new ability to strike free trade deals directly with other countries once it departs the EU can be built into more than bilateral economic cooperation. But there is no reason why, collectively, we should not try.

Nor should we dismiss the potential for making the Commonwealth of Nations more than a voluntary organization of equals based on a shared history that it is today. Instead it is in all our people’s interests to labour, dispassionately, to increase our focus on lowering barriers to achieving what truly brings freedom, friendship and equality: prosperity through trade.

 .Muhammadu Buhari is President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

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Judiciary

Man docked over false allegation against Gov. Muhammad

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and ordered that the accused to be remanded in a correctional facility.

Edited by: Ali Baba-Inuwa
(NAN)
(NAN)

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Metro

Buhari meets UNGA President, Muhammad-Bande, at Aso Villa

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed doors with President of the UN General Assembly, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Muhammad-Bande, who emerged President of the 74th UN General Assembly in September,was on his first official visit to Nigeria since he was elected.

Muhammad-Bande, the sole candidate for the position, was elected through acclamation at the 87th plenary meeting of the Assembly in New York.

He is the second Nigerian to hold the office after Joseph Garba, a retired military officer and diplomat, who led the organ between 1989 and 1990.

The outcome of the meeting between Buhari and the UNGA President was being awaited as at the time of filing this report.

Edited & Vetted By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ali Baba-Inuwa
(NAN)

Details later

 

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Foreign

Africa’s quest for permanent membership of UN Security Council subject to `broad consensus’ – Muhammad-Bande 

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President of the UN General Assembly Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande says the quest by Africa to have a permanent representative in the UN Security Council is subject to a “broad consensus” in terms of the number of members and definition of veto power.

Muhammad-Bande made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja.

The UNGA president said that although “for Africa there has been no decision as to who would represent it on the council leadership on a permanent basis”, Nigeria had “good credentials to do so”.

“The discussion has been difficult over the last 20 or so years.

“Progress has been slow but it’s still an ongoing discussion as to how many numbers an expanded council would have and what the power of vetoship entails.

“If it should continue and when that is done who would represent Africa or how Africa would be represented are questions that are going to be discussed when they get to that point.

“For now the principle is that Africa is pushing to have these sorted out quickly.

“It’s not just Africa; some continents are also pushing some regions to have representation. Some regions are pushing to change the veto system.

“Some regions are pushing to modify veto-power in the UN Security Council but the difficulty of course is first there has to be broad consensus in terms of the number, in terms of the definition of veto-power if it should continue.

“I think for Africa, there has been no decision as to who would represent it on the council leadership on a permanent basis and obviously Nigeria has good credentials to do so but for now we have not gotten to that point yet,” he said.

When asked what he could do as the current president of the UN General Assembly to see that Africa got admitted into the UN Security Council, Muhammad-Bande said, “Well it is an African agenda but it is also an agenda of others and the negotiations are continuing.

“We are appointing facilitators to lead us in this process but it has been on for the past ten years in terms of having the intergovernmental negotiations process going forward.

“Before then there had been another effort to get the matter discussed among the members.”

Muhammad-Bande admits that the quest is a tall order which requires the blessings of each of the five members of the security council – members with veto power.

He, however, said that a lot of progress could still be achieved in that regard going forward especially “with better democratic arrangements .. because the pressure is clear – we need and we can do better democratic arrangements in a system that has brought a lot of sense of rights and duties around the world”.

The United Nations Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the (UN), charged with ensuring international peace and security, accepting new members to the UN and approving any changes to its charter.

Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations and international sanctions as well as the authorisation of military actions through resolutions – it is the only body of the United Nations with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.

The council held its first session on Jan. 17, 1946.

Like the UN as a whole, the Security Council was created following World War II to address the failings of a previous international organisation, the League of Nations, in maintaining world peace.

In its early decades, the Security Council was largely paralysed by the Cold War division between the U.S. and USSR and their respective allies, though it authorised interventions in the Korean War and the Congo Crisis and peacekeeping missions in several countries.

With the collapse of USSR, UN peacekeeping efforts increased dramatically in scale, and the Security Council authorized major military and peacekeeping missions in Kuwait, Namibia, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, and DR Congo.

The Security Council consists of 15 members.

The great powers that were the victors of World War II – the Soviet Union (now represented by Russia), the UK, France, Republic of China (now represented by the People’s Republic of China), and the U.S. – serve as the body’s five permanent members.

These five permanent members can  veto any substantive resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or nominees for the office of Secretary-General.

In addition, the council has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve a term of two years. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.

Proposals to reform the Security Council began with the conference that wrote the UN Charter and have continued to the present day.

British historian Paul Kennedy writes, “Everyone agrees that the present structure is flawed. But consensus on how to fix it remains out of reach.”

(Edited & Vetted By: Emmanuel Yashim)
(NAN)

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Foreign

UN committed to promoting welfare, inclusion older persons – Muhammad-Bande

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NNN: President of the UN General Assembly, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande says the global body is committed to promoting the welfare of the ordinary people, especially older people in the society.

Muhammad-Bande said this while speaking in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja, in response to a question on the legacy he hopes to leave after his one year tenure as the President of the UN General Asembly.

“I think for us it’s not an issue just of legacy. I think we will continue to the very last day to do what is right in relation to what we’ve said we are going to do whether they make the headlines or not.

“We want to make sure we do things that really affect ordinary people. This is what is important for us really. We just want to make sure we use the opportunity, the privilege given us. We will do everything in our power to promote that.

“We have gotten a lot of support I can tell you from Nigeria and from other countries.

“In fact all countries have supported us and we will do our best to push forward the agenda of  inclusion, climate change, quality education, and poverty eradication,” he said.

According to Muhammad-Bande, it is unfortunate that elderly people are often overlooked and as an intricate part of the United Nations goal on inclusion, the discourse is of necessity.

“I think it’s part of a broader conversation concerning categories of individuals that are usually excluded.

“The aged suffer a certain form of disconnection.

“With the UN pushing the idea of leaving no one behind, it’s important to look at those segments of society that are at times overlooked and they have challenges that are unique to them. The exclusion of the aged is an issue.

“Certainly in some states there are efforts even in Nigeria to give support to the elderly.

“It is an African conversation in which NGOs are also involved in West Africa and other parts of Africa also.

“It is an issue concerning inclusion of categories of individuals who have been overlooked and they have real needs for support,” he added.

According to the UN, On average, the poverty level for persons among the over-75 years of age, across countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is 14.7 per cent, which is 3.5 per cent higher than the poverty level among 66 to 75 year-olds.

The “oldest-old”, aged 80 years or over, are less able to work than younger older persons; are more likely to have spent their savings; and are most in need of age-appropriate health and long-term personal care services.

Globally, the number of the “oldest-old” is growing even faster than the numbers of older persons overall. As a result, the share of people aged 80 years or over is increasing virtually everywhere and is projected to more than triple to 434 million by 2050, when two out of three oldest-old persons will live in developing regions.

Access to social security in old age is closely associated with existing gender inequalities.

While this may partly be due to gender-biased design of pension schemes, it is more significantly a result of women’s lower labour force participation, the large number of women who are self-employed, and the fact that women often have shorter and interrupted careers due to child bearing and rearing.

This is evident where pension systems in many countries fail to meet the needs of men and women equitably; with contributory pension coverage often significantly lower for women.

As a result, research findings from sub-Saharan Africa show that households headed by older women, whether single, divorced or widowed, are more prone to poverty than households headed by older men, especially in parts of the region that are patriarchal.

Similarly, in developed countries, older women living alone/in one-person households are more likely than men to be living in

poverty.

In many countries, the survivor benefits paid through a husband’s contributory pension are the only source of income for older women.

The risk of increasing old-age poverty rates is serious unless policy changes are made. Over the next 35 years, the population aged 60 and over is forecasted to more than double its size reaching nearly 2.1 billion.

In 2015, there are 602 million people aged 60 years or over living in developing countries, and 298 million older persons residing in more developed regions. Their numbers are projected to grow reaching 1 billion and 375 million respectively in 2030 – the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

NAN reports that Muhammad-Bande is in Nigeria to attend a Regional Expert Conference on the Human Rights Situation of Older Persons in Africa as an Inter-sessional Event of the United Nations General Assembly Open-ended Working Group on Ageing.

The event which holds on Nov. 25, is for the purpose of strengthening the protection of the human rights of older persons.

(Edited & Vetted at NAN By: Emmanuel Yashim)
(NAN)

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Foreign

Racism, xenophobia, protectionism constitute threat to multilateral efforts at addressing global challenges – Muhammad-Bande

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Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President, United Nations General Assembly says racism, xenophobia, resurgent nationalism, as well as tendencies toward protectionism in Africa and other parts of the world are a threat multilateral efforts at addressing global challenges.

Muhammad-Bande made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja when he paid his first official visit to Nigeria since he was elected President of UNGA.

Multilateral efforts are processes of organising relations between groups of three or more states. Multilateral efforts comprise certain qualitative elements or principles such as indivisibility of interests among participants, a commitment to diffuse reciprocity, and a system of dispute settlement intended to enforce a particular mode of behaviour.

These elements and principles shape the character of the multilateral efforts or arrangement.

According to him, no country of community Is self-sufficient, hence the need to strife for peace and unity.

He said that the striving for meaningful development required countries in Africa to work closely to collectively address the challenges and concerns of the continent.

He added that it was for that reason no African country remained silent on racism and xenophobia.

“All African countries have condemned racism. No African country is silent on racism. After all, the struggle against apartheid was not a South African struggle, but a struggle of Africans and its friends and those who believe in humanity and that is one.

, entitled “New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants,” which decided to launch a process of intergovernmental negotiations leading to the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration.

He said that the Compact was to cover all dimensions of migration and to ensure migration was done in a safe and regular manner.

According to him, the document is very rich and it seeks to address the concerns of migration.

Muhammad-Bande added that the first positive development contained in the document was the recognition of migration as a positive thing.

The president of the General Assembly, however, explained that migration could be on the negative when carried out in an irregular manner and through dangerous and deadly routes.

Muhammad-Bande said that the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration was a hard negotiation for stakeholders “but there is an opportunity to see how well it will be implemented.”

He said that the document would be reviewed after four years to assess the successes recorded and the challenges still existing for further action to be taken.

He noted that the adoption of a compact is derived from the fact that “there is a problem and the way to deal with a problem is to see collectively whether there is a way to address that problem.”

(Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim)
(NAN)

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Foreign

Visions of 74th UNGA key to attaining global devt. — Prof. Muhammad-Bande

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The President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, says the visions of the 74th General Assembly of ensuring  peace, poverty eradication, education for all and climate action are key factors to attaining global development.

He made this known in a special interview with Nigeria News Agency in Abuja on Friday, during his first official visit to Nigeria as President of the General Assembly.

According to him, the 74th General Assembly choose these priority areas among others because they are the major drivers to achieving global development, which is what the world yearns for.

He said that the visions aligned with that of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, which when achieved, could spur global development.

He added that “it should be almost something predictable that a Nigerian or an African will focus on peace and security and climate action, among others.

“Peace is key, without which there can be no development and of course, climate action is important.

“At every General Assembly, the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, made the issue of climate change an important element of the country’s priority in terms of efforts to the global community to work together to address it.

“Poverty is a serious affliction because the poor find themselves at the receiving end of those who want to deny them their rights, the poor also have difficulties advancing in school.

“Poverty is key and if you are able to address poverty, half of the problems of society will be addressed.”

He said that for Nigeria and Africa, these were obvious things but they were also important because in 2015 when the Sustainable Development Goals were agreed to, it was also agreed that the basic targets should be achieved by the year 2030.

He added that “no country is fully there, but the gaps between countries in terms of achieving the goals are still huge.

“And for some countries, the issue is simply financing, for others, it is climate issues and others, it is conflict.

“Whatever the case, getting sustainable development is key. Achieving the goals is one means of bringing peace to the world because it addresses inequality issues, hunger, health issues, equal access to justice and partnership.

“The General Assembly provides space for countries to converge and to review and to discuss all issues.”

He emphasised that there was nothing of importance to humanity that is not under the purview of the UN as a body, “and it is involving us all and setting the norms.

“For example, right to education is key, right to healthcare is key, right to live in peace is also key.”

Muhammad-Bande said that his Presidency in the UN General Assembly would work toward  ensuring that every child had access to basic and quality education.

He commended Nigeria for leading global efforts in the past years to recognise education through the celebration of the negotiation of the resolution concerning International Day of Education.

The UNGA president said that climate action, which was also on the front burner required the collaboration of countries to adequately tackle, a platform which the UN had already provided.

He noted that climate action was an important call, not only for Nigeria and Africa but the entire world.

He explained that climate change although not the only factor, but was a major contributor and leading cause of conflict across the globe.

He said that a good example of climate change resulting to conflict was the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

“The shrinking of the Lake Chad is one element of that change and the implications of that is well known to Nigerians.

“It is not a theory that the nature of the place has changed from what it used to be 30 or 40 years ago; you see what is there now and the conflict it degenerated.

“Climate change is one major driver of that conflict in the North East.”  

Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
(NAN)

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Emir urges Muslims to emulate virtues of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

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The Emir of Lafia and Chairman,  Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs, retired Justice Sidi Bage, has called on Muslims to emulate the virtues of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in their quest to earn the blessings of Allah.

Bage made the call during the 19th Annual Maulud procession held at his palace in Lafia on Tuesday.

The emir, who spoke through the state Chairman, Tijjaniya Suffi Forum, Ustaz Yahaya Dahiru-Danyiya, said the call became necessary considering the fact that some Muslims practised the religion contrary to the teachings of Islam.

He expressed the need for Muslims to practise the religion in conformity with the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith.

He promised to synergise with stakeholders in the education sector to inculcate good virtues in students, as well as give premium to both Islamic and western education

The monarch commended the celebrators for the peaceful and successful conduct of the procession and admonished them to sustain the tempo.

Explaining the rationale behind the Maulud procession, some participants, Ibrahim Musa-Shettima and Malam Muhammad Maikifi, said the event was meant to show the extent of their love for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Edited by Joseph Edeh and Abdullahi Yusuf

 

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Maulud: Emulate Prophet Muhammad’s lifestyle, LG boss urges Nigerians

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Alhaji Abdulrahman-Sani Maigoro, Chairman, Keffi Local Government, Nasarawa State, has urged the Muslim faithful to emulate the lifestyle of Prophet Muhammad by promoting peace and peaceful coexistence in the county.

Maigoro made the call on Monday in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Keffi, against the backdrop of this year’s Eid-El Maulud celebrations.

He said if the Muslim faithful and other Nigerians should emulate Prophet Muhammad’s lifestyle, it would go a long way in not only promoting peace but also, bringing speedy development to the country.

“As Muslim faithful, we are expected to emulate the noble character of the Holy Prophet, who lived a peaceful life and preached peaceful co-existence among his followers.

“I will also like to call on Muslims to continue to follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad in order to solve most of our societal problems,” he said.

The chairman also called on Muslims and other Nigerians to use the occasion of Eid-El Maulud celebration to pray for the progress of the state and the country at large.

He urged the people of the council area to live in peace, respect constituted authorities and tolerate one another, irrespective of their ethnic or religious affiliations.

Maigoro solicited for the support and cooperation of all and sundry to ensure sustainable socio-economic development.

He said that his administration would not relent in its efforts at providing the needed developmental projects that would touch the lives of the people of the area positively.

The chairman also reiterated his administration’s commitment towards ensuring the safety of lives and property of the people of the locality.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

 

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Maulud: Niger governor urges Muslims to imbibe teachings of Prophet Muhammad

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Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger has urged Muslim faithful to uphold the principles of unity, peace and tolerance practiced by Prophet Muhammad as they celebrate his birth.

The governor, who said this in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs Mary Berje, to commemorate this year’s Eid-el Maulud, described these virtues as necessity for the growth and development.

Bello called on Nigerians to continue to pray for the wellbeing of the country and promote national integration in the conduct of their daily activities.

He said Prophet Muhammad and Islam preached virtues that were equally necessary for building a virile society.

On the forthcoming local government elections, Bello enjoined politicians to eschew bitterness and acts capable of breaching the peace of the state and the country at large.

Bello pledged to remain steadfast in pursuance of peace, unity and progress of the state.
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Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Maulud: Buhari urges Muslims to imbibe Prophet Muhammad’s virtues

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President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked Muslim faithful to follow ”shining examples of non-violence, peaceful disposition and remarkable virtues of patience” of Prophet Muhammad.

The President’s spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said the President stated this in his Eid-el-Maulud message on the commemoration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.

Buhari said: “Putting into practice the great virtues for which the Holy Prophet Muhammad is historically famous and revered would have a far greater impact on changing our attitudes and behaviours than the best sermons.

“The indiscriminate killing of innocent people, the kidnapping of female students and forcing them into marriage and conversion is contrary to teachings and personal examples of the Prophet Muhammad.

“Violent extremism is the single biggest challenge facing the image of Islam today which has been hijacked by a minority of misguided elements who are using religion to cover up their criminal agenda.

“There is the urgent need for increased vigilance by Muslims in order to frustrate and stop the spread of violent ideologies that are causing human havocs and tragedies around the world.

“Extremism is like a cancer that needs to be attacked in its early stages before it grows malignantly out of control and harm the society.”

The President also advised Muslims not to allow their children to be lured and recruited by extremists who would ultimately destroy their lives and future.

While wishing the Muslim community a peaceful celebration, the President urged them to renew their resolve in promoting tolerance, love, harmony and peaceful coexistence in the country.

Buhari also sent special goodwill messages to the Emirs of Daura, Alhaji Faruk Umar Faruk; Kazaure, Najib Adamu; Hadejia, Alhaji Adamu Haruna; and that of Gumel, Alhaji Ahmed Sani.

According to him, the people of these Emirate Councils celebrate this festival, named Sallar Gani, with greater fervour as well as prayers for the unity, progress, and prosperity of Muslims in Nigeria and around the world.
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Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Maulud: Etsu Nupe tasks Muslims on virtues of Prophet Muhammad

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The Etsu Nupe and Chairman, Niger State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, has urged Muslims to emulate the virtues of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for peace and progress of the nation.

Abubakar made the call on Sunday at his Wadata Palace, Bida, during the Maulud celebration marking the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

He said it was not just enough to be a Muslim, “but you must also have the fear of Allah and behaving in the most acceptable manner to your fellow human beings”.

“Let us revive the teachings of the prophet by preaching peace wherever we find ourselves,” he said.

The Etsu Nupe also urged Muslims to use the Maulud period to pray for the peace, unity and progress of the country.

According to the traditional ruler, “Maulud is not only for merry making, but also a time to emulate what Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sent by Almighty God to come and do”.

He said that as Muslims who are sincere in their faith, “we are supposed to follow all that the Prophet of Islam preaches and teaches”.

He said Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) preached peace, love and unity “and as true followers of Islam, we should emulate the same thing so that we can enjoy blessings of God Almighty here and in the hereafter”.

Abubakar urged Nigerians to continue to be tolerant and live in peace with one another, irrespective of religious, cultural and ethnic differences.

He said that “peace and unity are veritable tools for national development. So, Nigerians must strive to maintain them for the nation to move forward”.

He said sustained prayers would enable the nation to overcome the devilish acts threatening its peaceful coexistence.

The monarch said the two major religions in the country preached peace and unity, and as such, Nigerians should adhere and focus on how to go closer to God instead of fomenting trouble.

“Without peace and unity, socio economic development will continue to elude the country.”

He urged the Muslim faithful to learn how to forgive, stressing that “Allah Himself forgives”.

He called on Muslims to be prayerful, saying that prayer was key to overcoming  any situation in which they found themselves.

The royal father, then, urged Muslims to shun acts capable of tarnishing the image of Islam. ,

Edited by Buhari Bolaji and Abdullahi Yusuf

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Emulate Prophet Muhammad’s lifestyle in promoting peace – Gov. Mohammed urges

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 Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has urged Nigerians to emulate the lifestyle of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in promoting peace and peaceful coexistence.

The governor made the appeal in his goodwill message in Bauchi to mark this year’s Eid el-Maulud celebration (birthday of Prophet Muhammad) on Sunday.

“Fellow citizens of Bauchi State, let me emphasise the importance of this occasion, toward portraying the exemplary behaviour of our beloved Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH).

“It is expected of us to emulate the noble characteristics of the Prophet, who lived a peaceful life, preached peaceful co-existence between his followers and the adherents of other beliefs.

“I will also like to call on you to continue to follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad PBUH in order to solve most of our societal problems.

“I enjoin you all to use this period of the celebration of the Maulud of our beloved Prophet and pray for the progress of our state and the country at large,” Mohammed urged.

The governor also reiterated his administration’s commitment toward ensuring the safety of lives and property of the people of the state.

He warned that the government would not condone any act capable of causing disorder and confusion in the state.

He said “any person or group of persons found to be involved in such acts, under any guise will be dealt with according to the law”.

The governor solicited for the support and cooperation of all to ensure a sustainable economic and social development.

Mohammed said that his administration would not relent in its effort in providing the needed developmental projects that would touch the lives of the people. 

Edited by Abdullahi Mohammed/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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