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Northern leaders back control of social media

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  • Allege #EndSARS protest was hijacked to topple Buhari administration

Northern leaders made up of influential people such as state governors, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, top traditional rulers and senior political officers, among others rose from a crucial meeting Monday on the state of the nation with a resolution backing the plan by the Federal Government to censor the social media use.

The Ministers of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has been championing the campaign for the control of the social media by the Federal Government, insisting that its platforms are being used to spread fake news and subversive information.

His counterpart at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, also said on Monday that the FG contemplated shutting down the social media space during the recent nationwide EndSARS protest, saying the protest brought home the dangers of fake news.

The northern leaders, who also reaffirmed their commitment to the indivisibility, indissolubility and oneness of Nigeria, alleged that those pushing for superlative agitations and other change-regime actions outside the ballot box hijacked the peaceful #EndSARS protests to further their separatist agenda.

Members of the Northern States Traditional Rulers Council led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, attended the meeting.

Their meeting presided over by the northern governors forum’s Chairman and Plateau State Governor, Mr Simon Lalong, was attended by governors of Kaduna, Kebbi, Kwara and Zamfara States.

The governors of Kogi and Kano states were represented by their deputies.

The leaders, in a communiqué issued after the meeting, decried “the devastating effect of the social media in spreading fake news,” and called for a “control mechanism and censorship of the social media practice in Nigeria.”

The communiqué read by Lalong frowned on “the subversive actions of the #EndSARS change protest” and declared support for a united and indivisible Nigeria.

“The meeting rejects and condemns the subversive actions of the #EndSARS change protest,” it said, adding, “The superlative agitations and other change-regime actions outside the ballot box soon take advantage of the peaceful protests to push for their separatist agenda.”

They applauded the major reforms going on in the police force even as they pledged to support President Muhammadu Buhari to succeed.

It also drew attention to the need to protect the FCT against unwarranted and destructive protests.

“The meeting raises attention on the need to keep a strict watch on the Federal Capital Territory to guide against unwarranted and destructive protests to safeguard critical assets of the nation,” it said.

The leaders said they had resolved to support the police to serve the country better and called for the building of trust between the people and the police.

They commended the National Assembly and the presidency for being proactive in addressing the issues raised by the #EndSARS protesters across the country.

They also expressed concern over the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and called for an amicable resolution of the issues to enable students to resume their studies.

The northern leaders called for engagement with other critical stakeholders such as religious leaders, the business community, and youth leaders, resolving to set up two major engagement committees – namely Committee on Roles of Traditional Rulers Membership, headed by the Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Sidi Muhammad, and Committee on Youth and Civil Societies headed by the Emir of Zazzau (Zaria), Alhaji Nuhu Bamalli, which are to commence work immediately.

They commended the role of religious leaders, such as the Ulamas, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), for their positive interventions in resolving the #EndSARS conflicts.

The leaders called for collective efforts in addressing the lingering challenges of the North, especially the Almajiri system, insecurity, illiteracy, poverty, and others.”

The Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Idris Wase; and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, attended the meeting.

Others were the Minister of Information and Culture; Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Mallam Mohammad Bello.

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Ijaw group warns against tampering with 13 percent derivation formula

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A Niger-Delta group, Ijaw People Assembly (IPA) has condemned the proposal by 59 members of the House of Representatives seeking an amendment of Section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution.

It said the real motive was targeted at deleting the Principle of Derivation which stipulated 13% of the revenue accruing to the Federation Account from natural resources, describing the move “as an inglorious attempt and a misadventure.”

The group’s scribe, Dortimi Tawari, who spoke in a statement, yesterday, said the plan was an “invitation to chaos and eventual collapse of the Nigerian economy.”

Tawari warned the proposal was “another form of internal colonization, an attempt to strangulate and subjugate the Ijaw nation and other Niger-Delta nationalities.”

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Part of the statement read: “The Ijaw nation being a host nation to oil and gas resources and assets, the IPA views this proposal as another form of internal colonization, an attempt to strangulate and subjugate the Ijaw nation in particular and the other Niger Delta nationalities.

“Need it be mentioned that it is an invitation to chaos and eventual collapse of the Nigerian economy. The ljaw People Assembly vehemently oppose a system that will drag the ljaw Nation and the other nationalities in the Niger Delta into undeserved subjugation and retrogression.”

Tawari reiterated the call for a restructured Nigeria that “guarantees resource ownership, control, management and freedom to appropriate a declared percentage of derived revenue to the central government or an arrangement of sovereign nations as the extreme option.”

He said a restructured Nigeria “will promote a productive economy and end the current monthly sharing (rentier) economy under some spurious formular which has encouraged laziness and unviability of states from which the said 59 members all hail from.”

The Nation

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Treat bandits as terrorists – Speakers tell President Buhari

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Chairman of the conference and Speaker, Bauchi House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abubakar Suleiman

The Conference of Speakers in Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits terrorists and enemies of the state.

The Chairman of the conference and Speaker, Bauchi House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abubakar Suleiman, made the pronouncement at the end of the third quarter general meeting of the Conference of Speakers in Katsina on Saturday.

He said the call was one of the outcomes of their 5-point communique reached at the end of their deliberations.

According to the Speakers’ Chairman, they have come to realise that the mode of operations employed by the bandits is not in anyway different from that of terrorists and as such should be treated as one.

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Other resolutions reached in the course of the deliberations included working out a legislative framework to complement federal government efforts in the fight against insecurity in the country.

Also, the conference resolved to come up with appropriate laws that will address the fundamental issues responsible for the insecurity experienced in the country.

The communique also harped on the need to create employment opportunities for the teeming youths as a means to curb the insecurity situation bedeviling the country.

Daily Post

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Everything is the opposite yet Nigeria not a complete disaster – Soyinka

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Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has said Nigerians are still managing to eke out a living despite the bleak realities confronting the country.

Soyinka spoke during an interview with the Cable News Network monitored by our correspondent.

Commenting on the ironic title for his first novel in 48 years, Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth, he said things happened around one as one grew up, witnessing the degrading of dream and environment in one’s society and on the continent.

He explained that for him, the issue had been an arduous journey, adding, “It has reached such a stage, I found intuitively, that only prose fiction can handle things that have been bubbling up inside me.”

He said the title came after some people some years ago conducted a poll which placed Nigeria among the top four happiest nations in the world.

The playwright noted, “That thing has been with me, in my head. I asked, ‘Who are these people? What do they know? What have they seen? What have they experienced in Nigeria that they make such an attribution?’ That title really has been waiting to answer that claim in many ways. When you look at the surroundings, everything is the opposite and yet, Nigeria is not a complete disaster.

“People still manage to eke out a living not only a living but to some extent a dignified and satisfied living. I think it’s not surface appearance of contentment or making the best of a really bad job, insisting that no matter what life must go on… It’s that which needed to be, quote and unquote, celebrated in addition to the bleak actualities.”

The elder statesman further said he took the decision to change his former relationship if Donald Trump was elected president of the United States despite “being literally an enemy of decency and humanity’’ and his blatantly discontent for non-white humanity.

He stated, “I never really totally turned my back on the United States. I mean how could one? We have many Nigerians there, to start with. When I stroll through the streets of the United States, I sometimes think the United States is an extension of Nigeria, that it’s part of our diaspora.” That’s not an easy decision but it was inevitable.”

Commenting on the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature awarded to Tanzanian novelist, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Soyinka said his immediate statement after the announcement was “let the African tribe expand wherever situated.”

Punch

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