Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has called on Nigerian to stop glorifying and giving undue publicity to criminals and terrorists through social media and propaganda.
Col. Sagir Musa, Acting Director, Army Public Relations, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said that Buratai made the plea at the Headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri while visiting troops in the Northeast on Friday.
Buratai said he had noted with great concern the increased propaganda and undue publicity given to the remnants of the erstwhile Boko Haram terrorists group by some people.
He said the development had further boosted the image of the criminal gang thus assuming larger than life status.
According to him, it is wrong for any person to eulogise or support murderers, bandits and armed robbers that the known Boko Haram terrorists group has turned into.
“Consequently, referring to such gang of criminals, bandits, insurgents such as Boko Haram Terrorists Group, JAS or ISWAP in Nigeria could amount to supporting or encouraging terrorism.
“It is also important to note that the mode of operation of these elements, is pure criminality for personal gains.
“It is common knowledge that the criminals no longer pretend to be championing any cause other than quest for materialism as manifested in murder and terror on hapless people.
“Peace loving Nigerians should not be glorifying these criminals by calling them by any name other than criminals, rapists, kidnappers, armed robbers and murderers,” he said.
Buratai lamented that many Nigerians were not aware that giving prominence to criminal activities of terrorist groups through sensational headlines and fake news in both electronic and print media could also amount to tacit support of terrorism which violated the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011.
He said that it was important that all Nigerians should rally round the gallant troops to fight the criminals.
“All should know that the support to the efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the counter terrorism efforts would boost their morale and it will be highly appreciated.
“The Nigerian army is asking for continued understanding and cooperation of all Nigerians and well meaning people.
“All troops have been enjoined to henceforth go all out to deal decisively with these criminals because they are nothing but bandits and armed robbers.
“Support our military to ensure a secured Nigeria,” Buratai said.
Edited Chioma Ugboma/Ismail Abdulaziz
Kudirat Abiola: Okei-Odumakin, Abiola-Costello urge FG to stop wanton killings
The Women Arise for Change Initiative (WA) and the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND) on Thursday called on the Federal Government to do more to end killing of innocent citizens.
The groups made the call in a statement jointly signed in Lagos by WA Founder, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, and KIND Founder, Hafsat Abiola-Costello, to commemorate the 24th anniversary of the death of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola.
“We demand an end to wanton killings in the land,” the groups said in the statement.
They also called for intensified efforts for freedom for Leah Sharibu and all others in the captivity of terrorists.
“We say to these heroes and heroines of the struggle for a better society: Thank you for your sacrifice.
“To those of you who paid with your lives, you did not die in vain; you died for our collective struggle, and we will always remember what you stood for.
“To Kudirat, whose date and fond memories vile dictators and their repressive measures could not obliterate, to Kudirat whose contributions and sacrifices no pandemic can override or overrule, we say: Continue to sleep well in the bosom of your maker.”
S. Korea urges civic groups to stop distributing anti-DPRK leaflets in border area
South Korea‘s unification ministry urged local civic groups on Thursday to stop distributing leaflets criticizing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) near the inter-Korean border area as it threatens the lives and property of people living near the border.
Unification Ministry spokesman Yoh Sang-key told a press briefing that the government has taken measures to stop the scattering of anti-DPRK leaflets that had led to an escalated tension in border areas.
Yoh said most of the floated leaflets were found in the South Korean territory, noting that the fallen leaflets caused environmental pollution in border area and imposed a burden on people living near the area who had to collect the wastes.
He noted that such acts endangering the lives and property of people residing near the border should be stopped, saying the government has reviewed the revision of relevant law to fundamentally stop the acts that escalate tensions in border area.
Under the Panmunjom Declaration, the leaders of South Korea and the DPRK agreed to stop all hostile acts in areas near the military demarcation line (MDL), including the distribution of anti-DPRK leaflets.
French gov’t launches contact-tracing smartphone app “StopCOVID”
Photo taken on June 3, 2020 shows the contact-tracing smartphone app “StopCOVID” on a mobile phone in Paris, France. French government launched on June 2 “StopCOVID,” a contact-tracing smartphone app that could warn people voluntarily using it if they come into contact with a COVID-19 carrier. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)
China urges Britain to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Wednesday urged Britain to stop meddling in affairs of Hong Kong which is a special administrative region of China.
Britain should recognize and respect the fact that Hong Kong has returned to China, and should not use the Sino-British Joint Declaration as an excuse to make irresponsible remarks, spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing.
Zhao made the comments in response to British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab‘s remarks that the “authoritarian” national security legislation in Hong Kong was in breach of the “one country, two systems” and “this is a moment for China to step back from the brink” and respect Hong Kong‘s autonomy and its own international obligations.
Britain’s historical link with Hong Kong arises from the period of invasion, colonialism and unequal treaties. Authoritarian is “precisely the word to describe its colonial rule in Hong Kong,” Zhao said, adding that it is after the return of Hong Kong that the residents came to enjoy unprecedented rights and freedoms.
“To quote its own words, we urge the UK to ‘step back’, reject the Cold-War mindset and the colonial mentality, recognize and respect the fact that Hong Kong has already returned to China as a special administrative region,” he said.
The National People’s Congress‘s decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to safeguard national security is part of China‘s internal affairs that allows no external interference, Zhao said.
National security is the very foundation for the existence and development of all countries, and the core and fundamental element of national sovereignty, he added.
The Sino-British Joint Declaration is all about China‘s resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong. The basic policies regarding Hong Kong declared by China in the Joint Declaration are China‘s statement of policies, not commitment to Britain or an international obligation as some claim, he said.
As China resumed exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, the Chinese government administers the SAR in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law, not the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Meanwhile, all rights and obligations of the British side under the Joint Declaration were completed.
“The UK has no sovereignty, no jurisdiction and no right to supervise Hong Kong. As such, on no ground can it cite the Joint Declaration to arbitrarily comment on Hong Kong affairs or interfere in China‘s domestic affairs,” he said.
The national security legislation for Hong Kong is an essential step to safeguard national sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and the foundation of “one country, two systems.” Only when national security is ensured can “one country, two systems” and Hong Kong‘s stability and prosperity be guaranteed.
Zhao said this legislation only targets a very narrow category of acts that seriously jeopardize national security and has no impact whatsoever on Hong Kong‘s high degree of autonomy, the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents or the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors in Hong Kong.
“What threatens Hong Kong‘s stability and prosperity is precisely some external forces colluding with local anti-China rioters in conducting activities in the SAR that jeopardize China‘s national security,” he said.
“It should abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China‘s domestic affairs,” Zhao said. “Otherwise, there will be consequences.”
Kuwait calls on Yemen parties to stop hostilities, focus on reaching political solution
Kuwait calls on all parties in Yemen to immediately stop hostilities, focus on reaching a political solution through negotiation, and make efforts to combat the novel coronavirus, a Kuwaiti official said on Tuesday.
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah made the remarks at an online pledge conference for Yemen, co-sponsored by the United Nations (UN) and Saudi Arabia.
The minister said that this conference came to reaffirm the importance of the joint efforts of Saudi Arabia and the international community to support Yemen to achieve the aspiration in restoring security and stability.
He stressed Kuwait‘s efforts in supporting Yemen, especially in the development and humanitarian aspects, adding that his country reaffirms its continued support to Yemeni people and for all efforts aimed at reaching a solution leading to a lasting peace in Yemen.
Reps urge AFDB Board to stop further harassment of Dr Adesina
The call was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion of Matter of Public Urgent Importance by the Minority Leader of the house, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta) at plenary on Tuesday.
Earlier, Elumelu recalled that at a conference of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Khartoum, Sudan, in August ,1963, an agreement was reached for the establishment of AfDB.
He said the agreement was co-signed by 23 African Governments, including Nigeria which birthed the bank.
Elumelu said that in 1964 the agreement came into force with a mission of fighting poverty and improving standard of living on the African continent.
He said the bank was also saddled with the responsibility of promoting the investment of public and private capital, through the implementation of projects and programmes that contributed to the economic and social development of Africa.
According to the lawmaker, on May 8, 2015, a distinguished Nigerian and one time Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, was elected the presumptive President of the bank, being the first Nigeria to hold the office.
Elumelu said that the AfDB under the leadership of Adesina had been very remarkable in steering the organisation as its presence was highly visible and that it impacted much in less than five years.
“Recently a group of whistleblowers petitioned Dr Adesina, accusing him of 16 breaches of the bank’s code of conduct, some of which include private gains, impediments to efficiency, preferential treatment and involvement in political activities, which he has continued to deny.
“On investigation by the ethics committee of the board of directors, the allegations were found to be frivolous, unsubstantiated, lacking merit and Dr Adesina was exonerated of all the 16 allegations.
“The chairman of board of governors being satisfied that the committee had done a thorough job, haven followed all known rules and procedures of the bank in handling such cases, declared Adesina exonerated,” he said.
Elumelu, however, expressed worry that though the ethics committee had cleared Adesina, the United States Treasury Secretary, Mr Steven Mnuchin, rejected the verdict.
The lawmaker said Mnuchin called for an independent investigation into the allegations against Adesina, whose tenure was due for renewal, given the fact that he was the only contender to the office.
According to Elumelu, the interference portends a grave danger to the independence and laws governing the establishment of the bank and if not addressed, will be tantamount to undermining its hard earned reputation.
Elumelu said the action may be an attempt to discredit Adesina and prevent him from seeking another term at the helm of Africa’s largest multilateral lender.
He said that 11 former African Heads of State led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in their wisdom, issued a statement showing the grave danger it portended to disregard the laws governing an institution such as the AFDB.
The lawmaker said that the African leaders stated in clear terms that no nation no matter how powerful had a veto power over the AfDB.
“If this sort of witch hunt and unnecessary harassment is not put to check and discouraged, it may become a recurring decimal thereby destabilising the stability the bank has enjoyed for decades and the intended results on a steady decrease,” he said.
The lawmaker said that Adesina had remained Afrocentric and had insisted on the independence of the bank.
He said that the bank’s president had repositioned the bank to move Africa to the next level as he had set the continent on the path of industrialisation.
According to him, soon, Africa will begin to produce locally most of all she imports and this is not going down well with many Western powers.
Rep. Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta) said that there was no true African that did not support how Adesina had run the bank in the last four years.
He, however, cautioned the house to get more facts before making recommendations so that its position would be fact-based.
Ossai described the ongoing call for investigation into the bank as “international politics,” saying that there was need for the house to be more careful.
The lawmaker said that he was part of the committee that cleared Adesina for the office of the Minister of Agriculture and that he had no doubt about the integrity of the AfDB president.
The house urged the Federal Government to call on all African leaders to intervene in the matter with a view to protecting the independence of the bank.
In his ruling, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the Committees on ECOWAS Parliament and Pan African Parliament to investigate, resolve the matter and report to the house within reasonable time.
Don seeks national re-orienation to stop incessant rape
Prof. Charles Ayo, a former Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Ota, on Tuesday, called on government at all levels to embark on national re-orienation in order to stop incessant incidents of rape in the country.
He spoke on the background of incessant rape cases and particularly the raping of an undergraduate student of the University of Benin on May 27.
According to him, the increasing rape cases in the country are really unfortunate and there is the need for caution to avoid damaging the image of the country.
“The National Re-Orienatation Agency should redouble its efforts in addressing this problem, as the menace is fast eroding the nation’s values,” the don said.
Ayo attributed the cause of rape in the country to moral decadence, lack of the fear of God, and respect for mankind.
“In the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, the nation has recorded a lot of rape cases due to moral decadence.
“Something must be done urgently to bring culprits to book to serve as a deterrant to others, who have the intention of committing similar crimes,” he said.
Ayo also called for effective community policing across the country to check the menace, as those engaged in such acts were evil minded.
He noted that kidnapping and other social vices could be better addressed through effective community policing in the country.
Stop abusing painkillers or risk infertility – Gynaecologist warns
A Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Abosede Lewu, on Monday urged young women to stop abuse or consistent use of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), also known as painkillers to prevent infertility.
Lewu, Convener, Keep All Mothers Alive (KAMA) Project, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka that the consistent use of NSAIDs had negative effects on women’s menstrual cycle and ovulation.
She described NSAIDs or painkillers, as members of a drug class that reduces pain, decreases fever, prevents blood clots and in higher doses, decreases inflammation.
“Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) have also been implicated in infertility. The consistent use or abuse of these drugs prevent ovulation and lower progesterone levels in young women.
“It prevents follicle from breaking to release egg, and when egg is not released, there is nothing to fertilise by the sperm.
“Painkillers work mostly by blocking a particular pathway. This pathway is needed to achieve ovulation if blocked, a ripe follicle may not ovulate leading to Luteinised Unruptured Follicle (LUF) or other mild dysfunction,’’ she said.
Lewu said consistent use of NSAIDs or painkillers should be discouraged among women trying to get pregnant.
She urged young women to consult a physician for proper prescription, timing and restrictions before using painkillers.
“For those using painkillers for few days for menstrual pain, you have already ovulated before the period, so except your cycle is very short. NSAIDs should not affect your menses, ovulation and fertility.
“For those using NSAIDs consistently for other medical conditions, they are more at risk treating underlying cause. They need to find an alternative drug or therapy.
The gynaecologist also urged women to visit a doctor when they experienced ovulation or menstrual disorders and fertility issues, saying that there are other causes aside painkillers.
“Pls note, if you have ovulation or menstrual disorders and fertility issues, you cannot assume it is only NSAIDs, consult a specialist,’’ she advised.
BSO says Executive Order 10 has stopped governors from acting as emperors
The Buhari Support Organisation (BSO), Southeast Zone, has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Executive Order 10 that has granted autonomy to the Legislature and Judiciary in the states.
The 0rder, signed by the President on May 20, 2020 expressly guaranteed financial autonomy of state legislature and judiciary.
The organisation, in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Chief Stanley Ohajuruka, and Secretary, Mr Godwin Onwusi, after its virtual meeting on Sunday, said that the Order had stopped governors “from acting as emperors”.
The statement said that the implementation of the Order would facilitate respect to the Doctrine of Separation of Power at the state level.
“The governors have always acted as emperors. That toga has always beclouded them from adherence to the fine tenets of separation of powers, making them detest financial autonomy for the other arms of government –
“To BSO, the Executive Order 10, 2020, has set the stage to repealing that emperorship status which most of the governors are wearing and which is unknown to our constitution.
“It is that arrogant status that has also beclouded them from optimal performance and adherence to the fine tenets of Separation of Powers.
“A cursory assessment of democracy at the state level will confirm that both arms are mere appendages and rubber stamp to the executive.
“This dampens development, creates insecurity, gross unemployment and dwarfs the local council. Is that what we want?
“The Order extends to the execution and maintenance of the constitution, laws made by the National Assembly (including, but not limited to, Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which guarantees financial autonomy of the state legislature and the state judiciary,” the BSO said.
The group dismissed the opposition of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) to the Order, especially Section 7(b), which mandated the Accountant General of the Federation to take appropriate action to enforce compliance with the provisions of the order.
“If Section 121(3) of the constitution was implemented by our governors before now, there will not be any need for the President to sign the Executive Order 10.
“Lets be real. There is no democracy at the state level. That is why they answer Executive Governors, when there are no two governors in a state. This is why democracy is more or less in recession in Nigeria,’’ it said.
The group called for tight supervision to ensure the implementation of the Order and the right sanctions imposed on recalcitrant governors who failed to implement the provision of Section 121 (3) of the Constitution which they swore to uphold.
It rejected suggestions that the Order would infringe on true federalism.
“True federalism is better served and indeed actualised when you have independent legislature and judiciary at the state level.
“Have you asked yourself why the governors are more preoccupied with political domination of their citizens with security votes than socio-economic development?
The group maintained that the governors, as “emperors’’, were averse to alternative view points, opting to embrace, and listen to, praise singers instead of focusing on projects.
It urged the governors to comply fully with first-line charge for funding of state legislature and judiciary as it would, in the long run, result in a win-win situation for the collective good.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)
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