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Security: PDP, Masari differ on state of emergency call

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The Peoples Democratic Party has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently declare a state of emergency on security to end the spate of killings across the country.

It stated this on Thursday in a communique issued at the end of its emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee in Abuja on the state of the nation.

It also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to convene a national conference on security.

But Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari has said declaring a state of emergency will not address the current security challenges but only outstretch the security forces.

The PDP communiqué read in part, “NEC lamented the heightened insecurity pervading all parts of our nation due primarily to the misrule of President Muhammed Buhari and All Progressives Congress as well as their failure to decisively tackle the menace of terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, bloodletting and acts of violence in our country.

“NEC urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately declare a national state of emergency on security.

“NEC also urged President Buhari to, without delay, convoke a national conference on security so as to galvanize ideas and options to tackle insecurity in our country.

“NEC further commended the efforts of governors, senators, House of Representatives members and other officials elected on the platform of the PDP in forcefully seeking solutions to the spate of insecurity in our country.”

The party also hinted about its programmes preparatory to the 2023 general election.

It stated, “With regard to the programmes of our party, NEC expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the NWC in preparation for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State and asserted its readiness to do everything possible, within the confines of the law, to win the election.”

Speaking on the development on Thursday after meeting with the President’s Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, at the presidential villa, the governor said that declaring a state of emergency would only overstretch the efforts of security agencies.

The governor urged Nigerians to view the security challenges beyond partisan politics, adding that it is a national concern.

He said, “How can state of emergency solve the problem? You have a situation where the military are in all the states of the federation; then you ask yourself: How many do we have? Are we not overstretching them?

“So, the reality is that the responsibility of securing this country is ours — all of us. We have a role to play, and we must play it for the sake of the country and for the sake of our children and grandchildren, not for the sake of the persons that are in office.

“I think we have to understand that whatever we do to restore security today, we are not doing it for one particular person or group of persons, but we are doing it for all of us, for the country and in fact, for Africa. A stable Nigeria means a stable sub-Saharan Africa.”

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Just in: No bail for Nnamdi Kanu, says court

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A federal high in Abuja has refused to grant bail to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Kanu was re-arraigned on an amended 15-count charge bordering on treasonable felony.

However, on April 8, Binta Nyako, the judge, struck out eight out of the 15-count charge.

While counts 6,7,9,10,11,12,13 and 14 were struck out, the defendant is to stand trial on counts 1,2,3,4,5,8 and 15.

Kanu’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome, moved an application for bail.

Ozekhome said, “Until a person is tried and convicted, he should be allowed to walk free.”

He reminded the court that a defendant ought to enjoy the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

He begged the court to consider the deteriorating health condition of the defendant.

Ruling on the bail application on Wednesday, the judge held that “the application is premature and refused with liberty to refile and reapply.”

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Fed Govt puts Facebook under watch over IPOB

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Information, Culture & Tourism Minister Lai Mohammed

FACEBOOK and other social media platforms have been cautioned against yielding their platforms to the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to incite violence and instigate ethnic hatred in Nigeria.

The Federal Government gave the instruction through Information, Culture & Tourism Minister Lai Mohammed at a meeting with a team from Facebook.

In a statement signed by his media aide, Mr. Segun Adeyemi, the minister said since IPOB had been proscribed and classified as a terrorist organisation, Facebook has no justification to continue allowing its platform to be used by the organisation to further its campaign of hate and destabilisation of the country.

Mohammed was quoted as saying: “I have called this meeting to enable us to discuss the increasing use of Facebook by separatists and anarchists, especially those of them based outside the country, to instigate violence and ethnic hatred in Nigeria.

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“For whatever reason, they seem to have now chosen Facebook as their platform of choice. And their tools include disinformation, incendiary statements and hate speech.

“They use Facebook broadcasts to reach their followers, who are in thousands. They tag those opposed to their violent ways as ‘saboteurs’ who must be attacked, maimed and killed. They use both English and their local language as it suits them.”

He said the actions of the outlawed group have real-life implications, adding: “By purveying hate and inciting violence, people are getting killed while private and public property are being attacked and destroyed. Security agencies and other symbols of government are their choice targets.”

The minister said that despite the numerous complaints to Facebook on the activities of IPOB, nothing has been done by the company to curtail the group’s excesses on the social media platform.

He said: “Our social media people have been monitoring these separatists, anarchists and purveyors of hate, and have been reporting their atrocious actions to Facebook, but all they get are default responses that their complaints have been received and are being looked into.

“Most often than not, nothing has been done about such complaints… The truth is that whatever Facebook is doing to check these people is mere tokenism and is totally ineffective.”

Mohammed said the government would be monitoring Facebook and other platforms closely in the days ahead to ensure compliance with the demand, as it steps up the campaign for the responsible use of social media.

He said: “We have always advocated a responsible use of social media, and consistently called on all stakeholders to join us in achieving this. Some have tagged our efforts as an attempt to stifle social media.

“They are wrong, because we have no intention of preventing Nigerians from using social media responsibly. All we have been advocating is a responsible use of social media,” the minister said.

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Ex-EFCC chair Magu promoted to AIG before retirement

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The Police Service Commission has confirmed the promotion of a former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, to the position of assistant inspector-general of police (AIG).

Spokesperson for the PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, announced this in a statement issued on Monday.

“The eight Commissioners of Police promoted to AIGs were; CP Mustafa Magu Ibrahim who is the most senior in the CP cadre and who missed the last two promotions after returning to the Police; Abraham Egong Ayim; Okunlola Kola Kamaldeen; Andrew Amieengheme; Akeera Mohammed Younous; Celestine Amechi Elumelu; Ngozi Vivian Onadeko and Danladi Bitrus Lalas (Airwing),” the statement reads.

The development comes amid Magu’s expected retirement from the Nigeria Police Force, having clocked the mandatory retirement age of 60 on May 5.

In July 2020, when Magu was still at the helm of affairs in the EFCC, he was arrested, detained, and suspended as the acting chairman of the anti-graft agency — after he appeared before a panel probing allegations of gross misconduct

The panel, led by Justice Ayo Salami, subsequently recommended Magu’s removal as EFCC boss “for failing to properly account for N431,000,000.00 security votes/information fund released to the office of the Executive Chairman of EFCC between November 2015 and May 2020”.

The panel further recommended that Magu should be referred to the inspector-general of police (IGP) for “necessary disciplinary action”, and that he should be prosecuted over the alleged offences.

Despite the recommendation of the panel, Magu resumed duties at the police headquarters as commissioner of police — his rank before he was appointed acting EFCC chairman.

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