The Save Humanity Advocacy Center (SHAC) has accused France of repeatedly providing funds for Boko Haram and arming them with sophisticated weapons to keep up the insurgency momentum in the country.
The Centre made this known at a press conference by Executive Secretary, Comrade Ibrahim Abubakar, in Abuja, on Wednesday, in reaction to reports that the radical Islamic fighters had obtained ultra-modern drones.
The group fingered France and its allies in this latest scheme, owing to previous history and by doing so the European nation is undermining Nigeria’s sovereignty.
Having continually remained mute, the SHAC, therefore challenged France to “ tell the world who was responsible for arming Boko Haram in the past”.
The Centre, however, urged the Nigerian military to maintain its onslaught on the terrorist while calling on member states committed to the new funds to break free of colonial loyalties.
Read full press statement below:
Gentlemen of the press, you must have noticed the report that said Boko Haram insurgents have acquired sophisticated drones. The reported hardware are presently capable of reconnaissance, intelligence gathering and spying missions. It is a matter of time before they escalate to using drones that are capable of carrying out attacks.
We find expedient to believe the report because it was widely syndicated by western owned media, which are known to run propaganda for Boko Haram in the past. Their report of the drones acquisition came about the same time that there were reports from locals that the terrorists have started sporting new weapons in recent weeks.
In the past, the source of the weapons air-dropped to Boko Haram terrorists in Northeast of Nigeria has been established as patently French. It is something that has attracted outcry from the Save Humanity Advocacy Group in the past with the concern echoed by other individuals and organizations that became aware of the French treachery.
Let it be noted that in spite of the overwhelming evidence that indicted France it has not done anything meaningful to address its complicity in the distribution of instrument of death to terrorists for use against Nigerians. Even the arrest of French trainers among the terrorists has not moved French to own up to its negative role in the axis neither has it taught it to halt it subversive activities against Nigeria.
When this French involvement in arming Boko Haram was raised in the past France will sidestep the issues by sponsoring international NGOs and some media circuits to demonized the Nigerian authorities, especially the military and particularly the Nigerian Army. It is this practice that has again surfaced as the running commentary about the military being incapable of fighting the terrorists or that Boko Haram members have the upper hand over the Nigerian state.
The timing of the report about Boko Haram now possessing drones and even newer firearms curiously coincides with the announcement of a $1 billion regional effort aimed at combating terrorism in the West African Sub-region. These kind of reports coinciding with announcement of regional efforts have been pivotal to the demise of such efforts at fighting Boko Haram in the past. The stories we are now reading means we will be seeing a repeat of previous patterns – Boko Haram will attempt hitting soft targets and occasional military targets that will not dare try now that there are Super Camps. These will then be followed by lopsided media campaigns that will first cast Boko Haram as the superior force and later present insurgents as victims of human rights abuses.
We are challenging France to tell the world who is responsible for arming Boko Haram in the past. The answer to this question of who supplied past weapons will signpost who to hold responsible now that the terrorists are getting drones that could strike any city of the world.
For this reason, we are imploring the world to ask France the pertinent questions before it becomes too late. Whether by default or by accident, it is a matter of time before Boko Haram tests the weapons France is arming them with on other nations, possibly in the west. Hopefully, by that time the world would not be in a quandary over who to hold accountable for such disaster should it unfold.
We use this opportunity to warn France and any country it may be using as proxy to prop up Boko Haram by using them as conduit to deliver arms and military gear to the terrorists. There are international instruments at the disposal of Nigeria to address the rascality being put up by those undermining Nigeria’s war against terrorism.
On its part, the Nigerian military must repeat the device blows it had dealt terrorists in the Northeast in the past. Eliminating the new threat posed by Boko Haram is crucial to the safety of citizens in Borno and other places. It must punish the terrorists with the same intensity that had made it impossible for them to overrun the country as planned by the countries secretly supporting them. It must continue with its strategy of Super Camps since this appears to be what has rattled the sponsors of Boko Haram to both increase weapons supply to the terrorists and to re-open the media front in the war.
The member states that have committed to the new funds to combat Boko Haram must break free of colonial loyalties, after all, no nation should continue tying itself to the apron strings of a nation that once postured as their conqueror. They should stand firm to the terms of the fund and make sure that all countries in the region make the place unconducive for terrorists and terrorist activities.
International Youth Day: Centre for Citizens with Disabilities Salute Nigeria Youths with Disabilities
Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) heartily congratulate and salute Nigerian Youths with disabilities on this year’s International Youth Day.
This year’s theme: ”Youth Engagement for Global Action” intents to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.
The day was first commemorated in the year 1999 after resolution 54/120 of Council of Ministers was adopted. The day which is annually commemorated on 12th August has its central objective to create awareness around issues of youth development, mainstreaming and participation of the youth in Political, economic and social activities.
CCD is concerned that Federal and States governments development programs and activities are conceptualized, planned and implemented at the exclusion of more than 12 million Nigeria youths with disabilities
We are worried that access to participation and inclusion in political, economic and social activities remains very limited due to institutional, environmental and attitudinal barriers that have held young people with disabilities hostage from maximizing their potentials.
We are more worried that access to education, healthcare and rehabilitation have been very slim because of non – consideration of the needs of young persons with disabilities in Federal and State governments budgets. Even the little that is budgeted no release of funds, misappropriation and corruption continue to hinder support to young people with disabilities.
Recognizing how the disability agenda is been handle by both State and non-State actors in Nigeria through application of charity based approach which is not sustainable, one wonder how the fate of the next generation of youth with disabilities in Nigeria will be.
CCD is concerned that the present scourge of unemployment, the growing level of poverty, the humanitarian crisis in Nigeria and the global health pandemic of Covid-19 which adversely effected the lives and livelihood of persons with disabilities in Nigeria.
More worrisome is the continue delay for the implementation of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 and the National Youth Policy 2019. These documents have robust provisions for Youths with disabilities in the areas of employment, sport, entertainment, empowerment, and other social and political engagements.
CCD calls on President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Youth and Sport Development Mr. Sunday Dare to take appropriate measure to implement Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 and both the National Youth Policy 2019 for youth with disabilities to survive, live independently and contribute to the socio economic development of the country.
While we commend the resilient, doggedness and productive nature of Youths with disabilities despite glairing challenges hampering their success, we urge Youths with disabilities to take advantage of this day to create awareness, engage relevant authorities of the government and non-State actors for adequate representation and participation in all political, economic and societal activities.
On our part, CCD shall continue to offer a better and inclusive platform for youths with disabilities to showcase their potentials and realized their dreams. We reaffirm our commitment to continue to give the needed leadership and support to ensure that youths with disabilities are gainfully engaged in all strata of human endeavor.
Once again, we congratulate Nigeria Youths with Disabilities on the International Youth Day.
The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) is the premier organization of, and for persons with disabilities that works to promote disability rights, independent living, inclusion, and participation of persons with disabilities in development agenda. CCD coordinated CSOs campaign for the passage of the National Disability Bill, now an Act. For more about CCD, please visit: www.ccdnigeria.org.
Timi Frank Urges Buhari To Probe Osinbajo, AuGF Over Alleged N10bn Withdrawal From TSA
A political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, on Sunday, urged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, to urgently constitute a panel of inquiry to investigate the illegal withdrawal of N10billion from the Treasury Single Account.
Frank in a statement in Abuja, said that such a panel must of necessity be given a clear mandate to unravel the involvement of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF), Anthony Ayine, in the brazen illegality.
He noted that for Osinbajo, it appears to be a season of one month one corruption scandal.
The political activist said has become extremely worrisome that the nation is sinking deeper into corruption, with multiple fraud scandals, at a time Nigerians expected to see tangible dividends of the anti-corruption war, which is the foremost object of this regime.
He also called on Osinbajo to explain his role in the various corruption allegations that have been trailing him since 2017 rather than always running to court to divert attention.
He called on the National Assembly not only to probe the N10bn TSA heist, but to act on their report by initiating impeachment proceedings against Osinbajo, if found wanting.
“Since after the 2019 general elections, Osinbajo has been enmeshed in one corruption allegation or the other, and it is high time an official probe is ordered to unravel the truth.
Frank said: “First, Osinbajo was linked to N90bn said to have been funneled to him by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to prosecute the 2019 general elections in the Southwest.
“The Vice President was also said to have received the sum of N4bn from the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which is still questionable.
“Besides, the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness had indicted Osinbajo for approving the sum of N5.8 billion for emergency intervention of food security to the northeast in June 2017, when he was acting president.
“This is why the present allegation of illegal withdrawal of N10billion from the TSA made against the VP has become one scam too many.
“It is only a thorough and unbiased investigative panel that can either confirm or disprove these allegations and the time to order such a probe by Buhari is now.
“Osinbajo as an elected public official, and he owes Nigerians an inalienable obligation to explain his part in all these corruption allegations against him.
“Going to court and seeking to use legal gymnastics to intimidate and harass whistle blowers is at best diversionary.
“On his part, the AuGF should be suspended from office to allow for unhindered investigation of this illegality and gross abuse of office.
“The ongoing probe of the suspended acting chairman of the EFCC should serve as a template for the unraveling of this mind-boggling looting of the nation’s treasury.
“Nigerians expect the National Assembly to rise up and defend democracy and ensure that the nation’s resources are not being brazenly plundered in this sordid manner.
“It is high time the lawmakers jettison their rubber stamp attitude, conduct diligent investigation and ensure that those found to have abused their offices are booted out, through impeachment or otherwise, and equally prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.”
Activist Accuses NASS Minority Caucus Of Silence Over Corruption Allegations Against Malami, Magu, Others
A political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has accused the leadership of the Minority Caucus of the National Assembly of unnecessary silence and indifference amid allegations of corruption against top government officials and some heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Government.
Frank specifically said that the recent allegations of corruption against the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, the suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu and stolen crude worth $2.5billion from the nation’s oil giant ought to have caught the attention of the minority caucus if nothing was fishing.
He noted that Magu now suspended and being investigated, had levelled multiple accusations of alleged corruption against the AGF, Malami, over recovered assets and called on the presidential panel and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate the AGF.
One of Magu’s lawyers, Tosin Ojaomo, had reportedly referred to a media report linking Malami to the alleged illegal sale of recovered assets, the sale of vessels, among others for which he (Malami) had threatened legal action against the news medium that reported his alleged complicity.
In a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, Fank revealed that a motion expected to be read before the Eid-el-Kabir festivities was submitted to the minority caucus of the National Assembly but no action was taken by the members.
Frank said he is in possession of reliable intelligence that the AGF had prevailed on the leadership of the National Assembly minority caucus, especially in the House of Representatives, to drop a motion ought to have been moved on the need to probe his (Malami) activities since 2015.
The Bayelsa-born political activist, however demanded that the minority caucus under Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, should break its silence and quickly act like a vibrant opposition voice in the National Assembly.
Frank said: “We have watched keenly the performances of the opposition caucus in the National Assembly and it has been nothing to write home about.
“Opposition lawmakers are the voice of the voiceless but the supposed voices in the National Assembly appear to have lost their voice to intimidation, fear and personal gains.
“I hereby call on the Hon. Elumelu not to compromise the trust reposed in him as the leader of opposition in the House of Representatives.
“Now that Ndudi’s party (PDP) has pardoned him and recognized his minority leadership of the House, it is a responsibility he must justify.
“Opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly should know that Nigerians are watching them on how they will distinguish themselves among the rubber stamp members of the hallowed chamber.
“The emerging corruption allegations especially as they affect the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, must be brought to the limelight by the opposition lawmakers, the stolen fund in the NNPC should not also be swept under the carpet, among other allegations of corruption rocking the APC’s administration.”
The outspoken activist asked the Elumelu minority caucus’ leadership to immediately call for a Public Hearing and propel the National Assembly to embark on thorough investigation of all the allegations against some top members of the President, General Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He also called on reputable Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), known human rights activists, Labour unions and student bodies not to keep quiet any longer on the malfeasance of the present administration.
He added that posterity will not forgive those who are deliberately keeping quiet and refuse to speak out for the betterment of Nigeria at this critical juncture in the nation’s history.
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