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CAMA, Others: Be Patient and Seek Reforms, Buhari Tells Aggrieved Nigerians

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President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Nigerians that are aggrieved with some laws of the land which they have certain misgivings about, to be patient and seek reforms in line with democratic practices.

The president made the appeal at the two-day joint executive-legislative retreat designed to promote harmonious working relationship between the two arms of government, held in Abuja on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new Company and Allied Matters Act 2020 (CAMA) signed into law by President Buhari on Aug. 7, had been generating negative comments from various quarters including religious leaders.

The contentious part of the law in section 839 (1) and (2) which empowers the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to suspend trustees of an association (including places of worship) and appoint the interim managers to manage the affairs of the association for some given reasons.

Many stakeholders, including church leaders, have expressed reservation over some sections of the new Company and Allied Matters Act 2020 and called for its urgent review.

However, Buhari had on Sept. 24, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, explained that the recently passed Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 (CAMA), would entrench transparency and corporate accountability and enhance the fight against corruption.

The president, who reminded the citizens that the process of law-making and governance are dynamic, said his administration would continue to promote and ensure justice, peace, and progress in the country.

“Let me also remind our fellow patriots, countrymen, and women that the process of law-making and governance are dynamic and ever-evolving.

“I will seek their indulgence to be patient with any legislation or law which they have certain misgivings about and engage the process for reviewing such law in line with democratic practices.

“Our interest is the sincere promotion of our collective will and aspirations to build a nation where justice, peace, and progress are the norms,’’ he said.

On executive/legislative partnership, Buhari stressed the need for more effective collaboration between the two arms of government to share ideas and build consensus on critical governance and policy issues.

He noted that the retreat offered an opportunity for the two arms to reflect and engage as one government, for the benefit of all Nigerians.

“I believe that the principle of separation of powers as enshrined in our constitution is designed to enable all arms of government to work together in a cooperative and collaborative manner, through executive and legislative engagements.

“Let me thank the leadership and members of the ninth National Assembly for the cordial and warm relationship we have enjoyed in the last year.”

“The quick passage of the 2020 budget and its review in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and the timely confirmation of my nominees and passage of critical legislations by the National Assembly are all testament to your willingness and commitment to play your part towards delivering effective services to Nigerians

“There is compelling need to sustain and strengthen on this partnership by creating platforms for regular dialogue, consultation, and interaction between the Executive and the Legislature to share ideas and build consensus on critical governance and policy issues.

“This approach will enhance coordination within government and strengthen our capacity to effectively address the challenges of governance, service delivery and development,’’ he said.

The president noted with delight that the country had since started reaping the benefits of the cordial relationship of the two arms government.

He said: “By virtue of our effective partnership and your support, this government has initiated critical reforms targeted at reforming and strengthening our economy, increasing efficiency in governance, consolidating on the repairs carried out in the last four years, and putting the country on a steady path of growth and development.

“The accelerated of the passage of the 2020 budget and its review in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the timely passage of my nominees and passage of critical legislation by the National Assembly are all testaments to your willingness and commitment to playing your part towards delivering effective services to Nigerians.’’

He thanked the leadership of the NASS for adopting a new legislative agenda and called for the inauguration of a committee to help sieve the outcome of the retreat and make appropriate recommendations to him and the NASS for implementation.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, lauded the cordial relationship between the executive and legislative arms of the government.

He also commended President Buhari’s commitment towards sustaining and strengthening the partnership between the two arms.

Lawan, however, frowned at those describing the national assembly as the rubber stamp of the executive.

“In fact, this relationship is misunderstood by many. Some out of mischief describe the National Assembly as rubber-stamped, some out of misunderstanding.

“For us, what is utmost in our minds in the ninth Assembly is how do we work with the executive to make Nigeria better.

“If the price to pay is the names that we get, then let it be. Because, we believe that Nigerians deserve better service, better infrastructure and it is difficult if not impossible to achieve meaningful development in this country or any democracy without understanding and harmony in the way and manner the two arms of government work.

“So far, we have been doing this for over 12 months. So, it’s time to review this partnership and see the weaknesses in the relationship and the areas we have achieved so much and say this relationship has worked and have achieved some level of improved service delivery.’’

According to him, the retreat will present opportunities to review and strengthen areas of weaknesses.

He, therefore, expressed the hope that the next two days both arms would talk to each other in “a frank and truthful manner because what we do here will impact significantly on the polity, governance, and Nigerians deserve to have what we promised them.’’

In the same vein, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who also spoke at the event, said both arms needed to work symbiotically to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.

“This two-day engagement will do nothing but to strengthen the relationship between these two critical arms of government and enhance it so that the people will be the better for it.

“I believe it will be frank, truthful, we will speak truth to each other and I believe the outcome will be to the benefit of all Nigerians,’’ he added.

(NAN)

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Coalition Appraises Buhari, Military On Fight Against Insecurity ,Warns Nigerians Against Falsehood To Undermine Security Agencies

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Following an extensive appraisal of the security situation across the 19 northern states, the Coalition of Northern Patriots (CNP) says President Muhammadu and the Nigerian military have successfully quelled the threats posed by criminal elements.

According to the coalition, this feat is particularly impressive considering the concerted effort by some interest groups to undermine troops’ progress.

The CNP made this disclosure in its special report on the security situation in Northern Nigeria.

Speaking on Friday at a press conference to unveil the report to the public in Abuja, Alex Samuel, on behalf of the group, said the appraisal was necessary to put things in proper perspective.

Among others, Samuel noted that assessment tours, interviews with critical stakeholders, religious bodies, community leaders, security agencies as well as civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations were deployed to ascertain the true state of things.

At the end of the exercise, the group concluded that there has been tremendous improvement in the security situation in the 19 states thanks to the military and other security agencies.

The report also highlighted that some elements behind the EndSARS protests may be responsible for the violence in the north in a bid to discredit President Buhari-led government.

The coalition, however, warned Nigerians against falsehood capable of undermining the security agencies.

It recommended that troops review their operational strategies in the light of the evolving nature of the security threats and must be wary of agents of destabilisation.

Introduction:

The Coalition of Northern Patriots an organization dedicated to the socio-economic wellbeing of Northern Nigeria as part of its mandate of assessing the state of affairs in the country with emphasis on the security situation undertook an appraisal of the security situation across the 19 northern states in Nigeria.

The emphasis on the 19 Northern states in Nigeria was hinged on the need to cross-examine the security situation with regards to the efforts of the relevant security agencies in addressing the various security challenges in these states. Consequently, for an in-depth assessment and appraisal, efforts were made towards segmenting states under various subheadings.

Methodology:

Primary sources of data were employed during the appraisal that included but not limited to on the spot assessment tours, interviews with critical stakeholders, religious bodies, community leaders, security agencies as well as civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations involved in humanitarian services in the states in Northern Nigeria.

Questionnaires were also distributed across a cross-section of residents in these states to gather first-hand feedback with regards to the security situation in their various domains and the efforts of the relevant security agencies.

The Findings:

The feedback gathered from the assessment of the security situation in the 19 Northern states in Nigeria is segmented into regions and elucidated below:

North Central:

The North Central comprises Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Pleatua, Kwara and Kogi states. A team of dedicated researchers were dispatched to these states to gather information on the security situation in these states, and the following were identified:

It was gathered that the prominent security issues in North Central were that of kidnappings and farmers-herders conflict. However, there has been a rapid decline in the activities of kidnappers in these states as a result of the introduction of Operation Sahel Sanity by the Nigerian Army in September 2020.

Critical stakeholders corroborated this fact. They heaped praises on the various efforts of the security agencies, especially the Nigerian Army, through its various operations that included routine patrols and intelligence gathering.

It was also observed that the various state governments have been proactive and supportive of the efforts of the security agencies in these states. There has also been a significant synergy between the various security agencies that indeed translated to effective coordination of the security strategies deployed to address the various security threats in the region.

According to feedback gathered, the various security agencies have been alive to their responsibilities and have carried on with such professionalism that has seen the overall improvement in the security situation in the region.

North East:

The main security challenge in North-East Nigeria is the threat posed by the Boko Haram terrorist group, as well as the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP). The Nigerian Army has been at the forefront of leading the charge against the Boko Haram insurgency.

The team of researchers was able to identify that in the six states in North-East Nigeria (Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Adamawa, Gombe and Taraba) the Boko Haram threat has been effectively contained in all but Borno State still experiencing some pockets of Boko Haram attacks on the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region.

It was observed that there had been a renewed onslaught by the Nigerian Military towards addressing the Boko Haram threat in Borno state through the doubling of efforts and cooperation of the political authorities in the states towards bringing an end to the Boko Haram menace in the state.

The various stakeholders in the region indeed confirmed that the Boko Haram group has been decimated and that the Nigerian Military is currently engaged in clearance operations in Borno states and other states in the region. This much was seen in the strong presence on military operatives in these states and perceived hotspots.

It was also observed that the morale of the security operatives in the region is at a high given the commitment of the military hierarchy towards bringing to an end the Boko Haram insurgency in the region.

North West:

The North West region in Nigeria has been under the siege of Armed Banditry and other criminal gangs operating in the region. It was observed that the introduction of Operation Sahel Sanity by the Nigerian Army had been the game-changer in addressing the security threats in the region.

According to reliable facts gathered, Operation Sahel Sanity was a huge success, and it effectively addressed the threats posed by armed bandits and other criminal gangs in the North West region.

The issue of cattle rustling has also been reduced to the barest minimum in these states. It was also identified that most of the criminal gangs in operation in the North West region had been decimated by the combined efforts of the Nigerian Military and other critical stakeholders.

The state governments, it was observed also played critical roles by supporting the operations of the security agencies in the region. This much has consequently resulted in an improved security situation in the region and the return of normalcy.

Socio-economic life has also effectively resumed in the North West region as citizens now go about their normal businesses without fear.

Abuja-Kaduna Road:

The Abuja-Kaduna expressway, which serves as the gateway to Northern Nigeria, has been identified as the den of kidnappers forcing travellers to take alternative routes. The activities of kidnappers have been daring, and this has resulted in massive kidnappings. The team of researchers consequently undertook a critical assessment of the security situation on the Abuja-Kaduna road.

It was observed that contrary to the media reports about the activities of kidnappers on the Abuja-Kaduna expressway, there has been a constant security presence on the stretch and this has seen to a reduction in the activities of kidnappers.

It was also observed that, but for the recent attack on the road, there hasn’t been any attack for an extended period due to the various mechanisms put in place by the security agencies and the Kaduna State government.

According to reliable information gathered from stakeholders, the activities of kidnappers on the Abuja-Kaduna expressway has been evolving, and the security agencies have been continuously on the trail of the kidnappers ransacking their hideouts and as well as effecting arrest of informants.

It was also observed that the kidnappings on the Abuja-Kaduna expressway are an organized crime with some locals aiding and abetting criminal gangs that terrorize travellers on the stretch. Nonetheless, the efforts of the security agencies have been outstanding and have been commendable.

Conclusion:

The Coalition of Northern Patriots as a result of the appraisal of the security situation in the 19 states in Northern Nigeria wishes to state that the operations of the Nigerian Military have been very successful in addressing the security challenges posed by criminal elements. This is also on the heels that there has been a concerted effort by some interest groups to undermine the efforts of the security agencies.

This much was traced to the fact that there is a grand conspiracy to undermine the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari through a well-crafted campaign of calumny to discredit the Military, the police force and every organ of the federal government in an attempt to coopt northern youths across the region into participating in their orgy of violence against security agencies, arson and looting as was seen in Lagos, Ibadan and other parts of southern Nigeria.

There is also every indication that the very elements behind the EndSARS protests that intended to cause a violent overthrow of power are out to discredit the Muhammadu Buhari administration in the North by churning out highly misleading information on the security situation in the North.

It is thus the position of the Coalition of Northern Patriots that indeed there have been concerted efforts by the security agencies towards addressing the security threats in Northern Nigeria most proactively and efficiently.

It is also a statement of the fact that there has been a tremendous improvement in the security situation across the 19 Northern states.

Recommendations:

The Coalition of Northern Patriots as a result of the appraisal of the security situation in the 19 Northern States in Nigeria as a result of this makes the following Recommendations:

That the security agencies in Nigeria must continuously review their operational strategies in the light of the evolving nature of the security threats in the country.

That the security agencies must be wary of agents of destabilization that dot the nook and crannies of  Nigeria with an overarching plot to cause a violent overthrow of the government by instigating the populace against the constituted authorities in the country.

That the media should also be wary of some unscrupulous elements that have identified the media as that potent avenue for the propagation of fake news.

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Breaking: CNN Retracts Initial Report Soldiers Killed 38 at Lekki Tollgate During #EndSARS Protest

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The Cable News Network has retracted its initial report, which said operatives of the Nigerian Army killed 38 persons at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos State on October 20, 2020.

The international broadcaster did this a double retraction on its Twitter handle it titled: “Clarification.”

In the “Clarification,” CNN said it did not attribute the death toll to Amnesty International and also failed to say in the report that the 38 persons killed were not just at the Lekki tollgate but across the country during the #EndSARS protest.

It tweeted: “Clarification: This tweet from October 23 did not attribute the death toll from protests in Nigeria to Amnesty International. The tweet also did not make it clear that the death toll was for protests across the country.”

But it did both in its tweets and reports anchored by Stephanie Busari on the incident as attached to this report.

Though the first paragraph of the amended story on the incident on October 22, 2020 said the reported 38 deaths on October 20, 2020 was nationwide, what it tweeted on October 23, 2020 was that the military did the killing that day.

In that same first paragraph of the story, the international broadcaster attributed its source of death of 56 persons to Amnesty International, a position it then retreated in the early hours of Friday.

It wrote in the story, which video link is also attached: “At least 56 people have died across Nigeria since the #EndSARS protests began on October 8, with 38 killed across the country on Tuesday alone, according to human rights group Amnesty International.”

The Nigerian Government had through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, written a protest letter to the Management of CNN complaining about the authenticity of a report that put together various videos of the Lekki Tollgate shooting.

However, CNN followed it up with a Part 2 of the report.

The Nigerian Army had also disputed both the initial report on the October 20, 2020 shooting and the two parts report on the video evidences CNN claimed justified its position on the shooting incident.

Reactions to the “Clarification” by CNN had been pouring in since it was done at about 10:05pm Nigerian time on Thursday.

However, the broadcaster has not said anything on the two parts report that followed in the last one week.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/22/africa/nigeria-protests-56-dead-jail-fire-intl/index.html

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Lekki Shooting: CNN Carried Out A Hatchet Job On The Army – International Journalists

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The report by Cable News Network (CNN) on the shooting at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos was a “poor” hatchet job targeted at the Nigerian Army, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism (IIIJ) has said.

In an electronic statement signed by special rapporteur, Francois Deburoiche, on Wednesday, the IIIJ said it came to this conclusion following a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the toll gate.

After forensic analysis of CNN’s report, the International Institute for Investigative Journalism noted that there were some missing details in the American television channel’s piece.

According to the institute, the report was carried out in poor taste, lacking professionalism and objectivity. It added that the claim of use of live bullets and testimonies of victims were all tales.

The institute, however, advised the television channel to retract and admit error in the documentary.

Read the full statement below:

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is issuing this press statement with the best of intents after a careful investigation on the events that led to the escalation of violence at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria during the EndSARS protest.

A team of investigative journalists with extensive experience in conflict situation interrogated the various claims made by the American Cable News Network in its report on the Lekki Shootings and came up with a comprehensive analysis that found gaps that were not filled in the CNN documentation of the events at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.

Our statement:

The CNN documentary on the EndSARS protest in Nigeria was released to the general public with lots of inaccuracies. These accuracies were detected after an extensive forensic investigation by the International Institute for Investigative Journalism.

It is thus our opinion that the report was carried out in the poor taste, lacking in professionalism and objectivity. This is a great betrayal on journalism by the CNN, which indeed violated the known tenets of journalism.

The videos and images used in the CNN report were not subjected to adequate scrutiny. Consequently, it lacked credibility for use by an organization of repute such as the CNN. This fact was also buttressed by the fact that the CNN report was very hasty in its conclusion by indicting the Nigerian Army of culpability in the events at the Lekki Tollgate.

Our position remains that the CNN erred substantially in its report that was highly misleading to the general public in Nigeria and other parts of the world. The documentary also failed woefully to highlight the events that led to the reign of violence in parts of Lagos state but instead rehashed the issues under different subheadings with minimal evidence that indicts the Nigerian Army of wrongdoing at the Lekki Tollgate.

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism concludes that the CNN documentary was prejudiced in its analysis as well as presentation which fall nothing short of a poor hatchet job with the undeniable intent to discredit the Nigerian Army operation at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.

The analysis by CNN in the documentary was hasty in its categorization with regards to the use of live bullets by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate. The report attempted to portray the use of excessive force by soldiers, while the accompanying videos and images did not depict such.

The credibility of those interviewed in the documentary was also suspect with the choice of words and the facial and body expressions of the victims as well as their relatives. Thus much was revealed by forensic analysis as the emotions portrayed didn’t match their words.

Conclusion:

The International Institute for Investigative Journalism is of the considered opinion that the CNN carried out a hatchet job that is targeted at the Nigerian Army institution. We as a result of this classify the CNN documentary as highly misleading and with the capacity to cause disquiet in Nigeria.

The CNN must retract and admit error in submission in its documentary on the Lekki Tollgate shootings. The International Institute for Investigative Journalism faults the CNN documentary in all ramifications.

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