As the presidential elections edge closer, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) desperation for power is becoming even more glaring.
It is this utter desperation that triggered the PDP and its candidate Atiku Abubakar into hiring Russian hackers to compromise the polls.
With the reported alliance gaining grounds last week, the Coalition for Nigeria (CN) has echoed that it is no mere idle talk neither is it some sort of conspiracy theory.
The group made this known in a press statement on Tuesday in Lagos.
According to Mr Dipo Samuel, its Secretary General, Mr Atiku has already released funds to facilitate his secret mission.
“When the then PDP aspirant, Atiku Abubakar, hired the United States firm and lobbyist, Brian Ballard to work for his emergence, we expressed concerns as to why the same man that helped US President Donald Trump to engage Russians in meddling with US elections has been brought into Nigeria. It is now glaring that Brain Ballard is not here to consult and deliver transparent strategy. Ballard was engaged purely to secure the services of Russian hackers to meddle in the electoral process, hack INEC, rig the elections in favour of the PDP and ply citizens with dangerous propaganda.
“As part of Ballard’s strategies being implemented, we further gathered that certain internal changes have been made at INEC to strategically position certain officials in posts that will enable them compromise that organization’s cyber security. These officials are known to be PDP sympathizers. Their brief is to make sure that the security upgrades that will ward off attempts to hack the Commission’s servers are not implemented. The plan is for them to feign administrative lapses and inefficiency that will ensure such patches are not addressed.
“We understand that Ballard’s contract is for a period of one year when the elections were a mere months away at the time he was engaged. The reason is that he is meant to stay on to coordinate a hate campaign against the government after the PDP has lost the election. This is really worrisome because such damaging campaign played a critical role in depressing Nigeria’s economy by discouraging investors’ interest in Nigeria. The PDP is again geared to repeat the same attack on the viability of the country.
“Coalition for Nigeria is therefore drawing the world’s attention to the rat infested firewood that the PDP with its Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has brought home by way of commissioning Russian agents to collapse democracy in Nigeria. We believe the whole world should be worried and seriously so:
“When the possibility of Russia’s meddling in the US Elections was first raised it was dismissed as mere suspicion by many while others placed such allegation in the realm of fiction. The picture is clearer today and there has been conclusive proofs that Russia did meddle in the process to make Donald Trump win to emerge president. What is still unfolding is the extent of damage done to the US electoral and political process as the fallouts from the interference still reverberate in that country. It has produced outcomes that are directly threatening confidence in the process while questions are seriously being asked about how to get out of the bind the incident has plunged the country into.
CAN, however, urged INEC to take some measures.
“ INEC must immediately take steps to guarantee the integrity of its servers and protect them from intrusions and cyber-attacks. The electoral body must also vet afresh all those that occupy sensitive positions and senior officials with decision making capacity. Once it has done the needful, INEC must then brief Nigerians to reassure citizens that it will not allow Russia repeat the stunt it pulled in the United States here in Nigeria.
“The federal government must immediately step up diplomatic efforts to get assurances from Russia that it will not, as a nation, interfere in the conduct of Nigeria’s elections while also warning its nationals against taking briefs that could jeopardize relations with Nigeria. Government must also work with other countries to put the pressure on Russia.
“The Nigerian Immigration Service in conjunction with the Department of State Service (DSS) should intensify the screening of aliens arriving the country to ensure that free passage is not given to potential hackers to come and do damage here. The screening should take into account aliens that might have already set up in the country before this discovery was made and those from countries that are proxies from Russia.
“The PDP should call off its brief to sabotage the elections and apologise to Nigerians. Where the party continues to work on rigging the elections, INEC should wake up to its responsibility and invoke the necessary clauses in the Electoral Act and INEC Act.
“ We urge Nigerians to unite across party lines and condemn this evil plot. They should tell PDP and Atiku in clear terms that they have crossed the line in the matter of hiring foreigners to destroy Nigeria. It beats logic that a party can be desperate enough about winning elections that it is prepared to govern a graveyard nation. “
Bandits Lay Siege To Armed Forces Command And Staff College, Jaji
Some criminals, suspected to be bandits, are currently laying siege around the premises of Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) located in Jaji, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Their mission, according to some locals in the community who spoke to our correspondent during a telephone conversation, was to abduct some staff of the college and the communities around the area.
This is coming in less than two months after bandits stormed the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Mando, also in Kaduna and kidnapped no fewer than 39 students.
AFCSC is a training facility for the Nigerian Armed Forces, including the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force and Nigerian Navy.
A resident of the area, who simply identified himself as Adamu, told Daily Trust via telephone that the bandits have always surrounded the institution while terrorising the communities around the college.
“It is only Allah that has been saving us. They (bandits) have always rustled cows in our communities. Military operatives do engage them in gun battle anytime they come around, that is why we don’t have major casualties yet,” Adamu said.
The Commandant of the college, Air Marshal Olayinka Alade, confirmed this on Wednesday in Abuja when he visited the Army Headquarters to brief Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Attahiru Ibrahim, on the development and other issues in the institution.
Alade said the institution has decided to launch impromptu searching and clearance operations in some communities where the bandits are operating around the college having informed General Officer Commanding 1 Division.
“There are some communities around the school that have developed and because it is like part of the college, maybe they are hiding under that cover, so some bandits are there. Because of that, there is collaboration with other institution’s heads in the college. Constantly, we try to conduct an impromptu searching. We conduct search and patrol from time to time.
“What we discovered now is that, not too far ahead, some communities… it is like all these bandits have made all that place their aim, so I discussed with GOC 1 Div. From time to time, we need to carry out clearance operations,” the AFCSC Commandant said.
The Commandant further disclosed that the bandits rustled some cows behind the college on Tuesday, April 13 – a development that led to gun duel between them and the military operatives.
He, however, did not disclose whether there was any casualty, noting that he came to brief the COAS so as not to be surprised if he hears anything subsequently.
According to him, “In fact, yesterday (Tuesday), I was told that some bandits came to come and rustle some cows just behind us. There was an exercise that was carried out by the NACI. They actually encountered these bandits, they had to exchange fire during the exercise.
“Those are the things we’re trying to ensure that we are not surprised if they have come that close, then, we need to sit tight and ensure we clear that place.”
Deputy Nigeria Ambassador to Jordan, Ibrahim Mohammed,(1st left) the Managing Director Ministry of Tourism and Antiquiies, Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, (middle) Executive Secretary NCPC, Yakubu Pam (right) during a courtesy visit paid to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Jordan recently
Coalition Warns Anti-Vaxxers, Urges Nigerians To Disregard Fake News Of COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects
The National Vanguard on Covid-19 Administration and Advocacy has urged Nigerians to treat reports of side effects from the AstraZeneca jab as fake news, noting that some elements are out to frustrate the ongoing vaccination exercise.
This follows the claim of blood vomit by a woman in Kaduna after allegedly being administered the vaccine.
While the state government has vowed to investigate the report, the National Vanguard on Covid-19 Administration and Advocacy said the assertion is the handiwork of anti-vaxxers.
In a statement signed by its Director of Public Enlightenment, Samson Abu, on Saturday, the group, though, admitted potential side effects from the jab, added that some persons are out to sow fear in the minds of Nigerians.
Abu, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to disregard all fake news pertaining to the safety, efficacy and effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to him, the supposed victim is an isolated case yet to be proven by any expert.
The group, however, urged Nigerians to continue to take the vaccine for their good and the safety of their loved ones around them
Read the full statement below:
The National Vanguard on Covid-19 Administration and Advocacy is appalled by the deployment of fake news by anti-vaccine elements in Nigeria in their bid to scare and discourage people from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine that is meant to protect against the Corona Virus and save lives.
The fake news, published with the headline “Woman vomits blood after taking COVID-19 vaccine” is a disingenuous attempt at creating a deepfake given the effort that was made to create the impression that one Hannatu Tanko was rushed to Gwamna Awan General Hospital in Kaduna State because she started vomiting blood after receiving the vaccine.
Interestingly, the same script was published by several blogs and a few undiscerning news sites without the publishers carrying out the necessary checks and without speaking with experts on what could have led to the woman’s condition.
The fake news also created the impression that there is coercion in the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine whereas people are voluntarily accepting the jab owing to their knowledge of how it protects one from catching the deadly virus. Such a desperate act could have only resulted from people that are keen on seeing the pandemic decimate humanity.
With more than half a million so far vaccinated, even if the account of the woman experiencing reactions to the vaccine were correct, the case would be an isolated one and the fact that sources claimed the woman is recovering confirms that the vaccine is safe while any unintended effect would be at worst temporary. We, therefore, find it unacceptable that the isolated and unproven instance is now being used by purveyors of fake news and anti-Vaxxers to discourage Nigerians from taking the vaccine. This is a huge disservice and unacceptable.
For the avoidance of doubts, experts’ views are required to confirm that what a person experiences after taking the jab is related to the vaccine. To do this, the experts would have ruled out that the symptoms exhibited by such are not caused by other underlying factors that coincidentally flared up at about the same time the person took their vaccine.
The National Vanguard on Covid-19 Vaccine Administration and Advocacy consequently warn detractors and anti-vaxxers in Nigeria that they have a responsibility to society to desist from sowing fear in the mind of the people especially when it is apparent that the fake news they are spreading has all the potential to hurt more people than save them.
We appeal to Nigerians to disregard all fake news about the safety, efficacy and effects of the COVID-19 vaccine and only based their decision to accept the jab or not on sound science, which would make them appreciate the benefits it offers. Nigerians, who truly value their wellbeing as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the world, should make it a personal responsibility to take the vaccine for their good and the safety of their loved ones around them.
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