In a press release signed by spokesman Garba Shehu, the Presidency said the Buhari administration’s tolerance for divergent views has opened it up to “puerile” attacks.
The release was addressed to ‘The Coalition of Northern Groups” which had reportedly disassociated itself from the nation’s “Democracy Day”.
“Nigeria recognises Democracy Day because for many decades since independence, the fight for the right for Nigerians to choose their own government in their own name was not complete,” the statement read in part. “A prominent citizen of the country, Chief MKO Abiola died trying to do just this.
The statement continued: “Yet when groups such as the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) put out statements claiming that Democracy Day holds no purpose and the government somehow wishes for the northern states to be struggling it is embarrassing not for the government but for the group, its members and their sponsors.
“For a start, if the group dared to issue such a comment under non-democratic method they would have met a swift and harsh retribution from a dictatorial government. They should thank their stars that we are operating a truly democratic government where the rights of free speech are guaranteed and protected.”
See full statement below:
STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
THE COALITION OF NORTHERN GROUPS SHOULD EMBRACE DEMOCRACY
The future, it is often said, belongs to the youth.
For as many times as he met youth leaders, President Buhari has said to them again and again that we are fixing the ailing state to hand it over to you.
It then amounts to a grave mistake, for this group of otherwise promising northern stars to dissociate themselves from Democracy Day and, in effect de-cognizing democracy as a chosen system of government.
Nigeria recognises Democracy Day because for many decades since independence, the fight for the right for Nigerians to choose their own government in their own name was not complete. A prominent citizen of the country, Chief MKO Abiola died trying to do just this.
When independence was won, and then swiftly replaced by unelected government, it was not much of a change.
For the challenges Nigeria faces today, lack of universal suffrage or lack of elected politicians is not one of them.
We are facing severe hardships because of the coronavirus pandemic. And we continue to face the challenges posed by the terrorists Boko Haram.
Yet when groups such as the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) put out statements claiming that Democracy Day holds no purpose and the government somehow wishes for the northern states to be struggling it is embarrassing not for the government but for the group, its members and their sponsors.
For a start, if the group dared to issue such a comment under non-democratic method they would have met a swift and harsh retribution from a dictatorial government. They should thank their stars that we are operating a truly democratic government where the rights of free speech are guaranteed and protected.
This government has done more than any other – elected or not elected – to curtail and beat back the terrorists.
Similarly, no government has done more to foster democracy and freedom of speech in Nigeria than the current administration.
The fact that CNG is freely able to transmit garbage to the media in the hope they will be widely reported is a testament the freedom of expression and media liberty that exists in our country today.
Equally, the fact that the government is issuing this statement, in response to the puerile message is a testament that today Nigeria is a country where disagreements can be aired publicly through the press, not through less gentlemanly methods used in the past.
We hope that CNG will consider the facts and reconsider the unhelpful and inaccurate message their statements contain when issuing them in the future.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
June 16, 2020
signed by spokesman Garba Shehu,
Honoree and celebrant,CGI Muhammad Babandede MFR (Rtd), His Excellency, Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria,Marcelino Cabanas Ansorena and Country Representative of Guild of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Equity,Justice and Transparency in Nigeria(GOCMEJ),Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele,during the Grand Red Carpet Reception and Special Conferment of Lifetime Achievement Award on the former CGI recently at Abuja.
Defence Intelligence Agency Conducts Defence Advisers /Attaches Annual Conference
The Defence Intelligence Agency(DIA) is conducting Defence Advisers/Attachés Annual Conference and Maiden Retreat for the 2021 with the theme” Advancing Counter Terrorism Efforts Through Enhanced Inter-Agency Cooperation: A Whole of Government Approach”. The event is scheduled to hold from 8-13 November 2021 at Headquarters Defence Intelligence Agency and Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC), Asokoro Abuja respectively.
This is According to a press statement signed by Major Joseph Afolashade, Acting Assistant Director Defence Intelligence Agency and made available to the press.
Joseph said the event is one of the veritable platforms designed by the Agency to examine and re-appraise Nigeria’s Defence Advisers/Attachés and foreign defence relations. It will also assist in articulating new strategies in intelligence gathering.
“The event will no doubt be the first in the annals of the Agency since it’s establishment. This is owing to the fact that no platform was created for institutional reflections on its activities with a view to measuring the attainment of its core mandate.
It is against this background that Agency is holding this conference to effectively galvanize inputs in view of the myriads of security challenges facing the nation.
It will also provide an avenue for self-examination mechanism for optimal performance.
This is in line with the policy directive of the President, Commander- in -Chief of the Armed Forces Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on the need to look inward for workable solutions to the myriads of challenges facing the nation”.
“It is in pursuant of this objective, that the Agency is organising it’s maiden Retreat to provide a forum to appraise the activities of the various Defence Sections as well as brainstorm to proffer new strategies in attaining the core mandate of the Agency.
The Conference and Retreat are therefore considered as milestone events in the activities of the Agency that would engender interactions with past Directors of the Agency, former Chiefs of Defence Intelligence and senior intelligence practitioners in the Country”. he said
CCD Executive Director Bags Patriotic Leadership Award
The Executive Director of Centre for Citizens with Disabilities; Mr David Obinna Anyaele on the 5th of November , 2021 bagged the patriotic leadership award presented to him by the African Voice magazine in recognition of his contribution to humanity and his course to promote inclusion for over 31 million persons with disabilities in Nigeria.
The entourage was led by Mr. Ebenezer Ogunleye, CEO of African Voice Magazine. Others on the entourage are; Diana Omueza, Olawale Oladipupo and Gami Tadanyigbe.
The Award was presented by Mr. Ebenezer Ogunleye who praised the Executive Director for his passion, zeal and commitment to issues and plights that concerns humanity, particularly in his push to make sure that the disability bill was passed into law in 2019. He went further to allude, to the fact that the Executive Director is a worthy recipient and was selected and nominated by worthy Nigerians for the Award.
The Executive Director, talked about the historical journey of the creation of CCD in 2002, he maintained that he remains committed to disability issues, and that he receives the award, on behalf of CCD Board of trustees, staff and volunteers nationwide. He thanked the African Voice Magazine for finding it worthy to give an award to a genuine course.
In attendance also were CCD Staff; Mrs Peace Ezekiel, Ubong Daniel and Humphrey Ukeaja.
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