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#EndSARS: NDF Hails UK Parliament’s Intervention, Says It Is Testament Of Nigerian Army’s Progress

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The National Democratic Front (NDF) has welcomed the United Kingdom’s parliament’s intervention on the EndSARS protests in Nigeria, describing it as confirmation of the Nigerian Army’s progress under Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai.

According to the NDF, the keen interest shown by the UK indicates that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is on the right track.

The group, in a statement signed by its National Secretary, Dr Bolaji Abdulkadir, on Friday, noted that this may not be disconnected from the improved human rights record of the troops under the COAS as well as a sustained partnership with his counterparts in the UK.

While urging the troops to continue to make itself accessible to the world and genuine partners like the United Kingdom, the NDF also implored on allies never to give in to the antics of fake news being used by external forces to destabilize Nigeria.

The group, however, called on the authorities in the United Kingdom to sanction those who engage in frivolous discussions with ulterior motives meant to mislead and cause disaffection amongst nations.

Read the full statement below:

The National Democratic Front is issuing this press statement in light of the recent debate by parliamentarians in the United Kingdom Parliament with regards to the state of affairs in Nigeria and concerning the EndSARS protests.

The National Democratic Front appreciates the concerns and interventions of the United Kingdom been an ally of Nigeria in the global scheme of things. This fact is indeed buttressed by the close affinity between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

We are also appreciative of the fact that events in Nigeria have elicited the interest of the United Kingdom Parliament that eventually culminated in the debate to put issues in proper perspectives with regards to the EndSARS protests and the events surrounding the violence that erupted afterwards.

It is the considered opinion of the NDF that such critical engagements should be sustained given that specific parameters are met, and the sovereignty of countries are not eroded for whatever reason and under any guise. We also believe that such engagement should be based on facts and the highest level of diplomacy.

The UK government has demonstrated that it has much confidence in the democratic ethos and norms of our dear country as being practised under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and cannot be swayed by the enemies of Nigeria.

The NDF wishes to put it on record that indeed some vested interests are out to undermine the efforts of the Nigerian government in addressing the security challenges in the country through the propagation of unsubstantiated information in the public domain, especially with regards to the violation of human rights by the security agencies in Nigeria.

The NDF wishes to inform members of the general public that the recent partnership between the Nigerian Army and the military of the United Kingdom are clear testimonies that the authorities in the United Kingdom have taken reasonable notice of the improved human rights record of our military under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari which has translated to the numerous visits to the United Kingdom by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai to engage other world leaders on the war against insurgency.

The Nigerian Army has been exemplary in the regard with the establishment of a human rights desk at all Nigerian Army units and formations across the country to address cases of human rights abuses by officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army.

It is also on record that the Chief of Army Staff in Nigeria has on numerous occasions been rewarded with awards in the United Kingdom for the success recorded in the prosecution of the war against terrorism in Nigeria. A few of such awards are by the Anti-terrorism Accreditation Board (ATAB) and Global Risk International United Kingdom, where the Chief of Army Staff was awarded the Pave The Way Award for exceptional bravery and peacebuilding in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region under Multinational Joint Task Force which are focal points of DAESH/ISIS.

The second award is – The Certified Master of Anti-terrorism Specialist Award. According to the organizers “Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai is the first African to get this award”. The National Democratic Front sees these awards as notable and in recognition of the selfless services of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.

Whilst we salute and call our military leadership to continue to make itself accessible to the world and genuine partners like the United Kingdom, we also implore Nigeria’s partners never to give in to the antics of fake news being used by external forces to destabilize Nigeria.

We are by this medium calling on the authorities in the United Kingdom to place a financial tag on those who engage her in frivolous discussions with ulterior motives meant to mislead and cause disaffection amongst nations.

We also call for sanctions were not necessary and equally discipline those that intend to take undue advantage of her democratic culture. It is our considered opinion that this would go a long way in serving as a deterrent to individuals and groups with mischievous intents.

The NDF consequently views the recent report by the Cable News Network as one of such instances where the Nigerian Army has been targeted for public ridicule and condemnation.

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Group Backs Call For EFCC, ICPC’s Probe Of Kogi Gov

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A socio-political group in Kogi State under the auspices of Progressives Mandate Movement (PMM) has expressed support for the call by the Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), for the investigation of allegations of financial mismanagement and corruption against Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello.

It would be recalled that a former Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye, had earlier in the week on behalf of the ACN petitioned the EFCC, ICPC, Transparency International, US Ambassador to Nigeria and the British High Commissioner to Nigeria over “financial recklessness, corruption, money laundering and fraudulent application of Kogi State’s resources” by Governor Bello and his cronies.

The group, however, alleged that Governor Bello had received over of N300 billion from the Federation Account in the last five years without reasonable or tangible achievement to show for it.

In a statement issued by the PMM chairman, Comrade Musa Enejo Stephens, in Lokoja on Thursday, the group urged the EFCC to expedite action on the investigation into the alleged financial management in Kogi State government under Governor Bello administration even as he said Bello has committed financial crimes against the people of the State.

According to him, “Yahaya Bello’s government has blindfolded the people of the State with series of lies since all this while on the allocation accrued to the State from Federation Account and as well mismanaged the huge resources accrued to the State which is against the spirit of openness, fairness, justice and accountability promised the people by All Progressives Congress APC led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari government.

“Governor Bello has plunged Kogi State into debt regime which the State may not recover from, in the next 10 years and Mr. Governor failed to give tangible explanations on how funds from federation account like; State allocation, Local Government, Allocation, Paris Refund, Bailouts Funds and Internally Generated Revenue accrued to the State and other,” he added.

Stephens, therefore, charged the newly appointed EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, to prove himself to Nigerians by commencing and expediting action by prosecuting those involved in the crimes detailed by the ACN petition.

He threatened that if the anti-graft agencies failed in their duty to act and do justice on behalf of Kogi people, the group will have no other option than to mobilise the people from the 21 local government areas of the State to the headquarters of the commission in Abuja and stage a protest.

He said Kogi State is now the new ATM for political jobbers of all sorts, saying all manner of characters troop to the state in number to declare support for governor Bello’s delusional ambition to become president in 2023.

He pointed out that presently, the state meagre resources were now being spent on Governor Bello’s presidential ambition on media advertorial including print media, electronics, outdoor billboards across the country even though it’s illegal to do such now as it contravenes the Electoral Act.

The PMM chairman commended the Minister of FCT Abuja and Kano State governor for ordering the removal of such billboards in their domains.

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Group Berates Ayeni Over Calumny Campaign Against Okunbo

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A group, National Youth Alliance of Nigeria (NYAN), has berated businessman, Dr. Olatunde Ayeni, over what it called his “campaign of calumny” against the chairman of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMS), Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo.

NYAN said Ayeni, a former director and shareholder of OMS, contacted the group for a hatchet job against the person and business interests of Capt. Okunbo, especially the OMS.

National President of NYAN, Lucky Igbamodi, told journalists at a press conference that the group was hired to launch scathing campaigns against Capt. Okunbo in order to malign him through fictitious petitions and peddling of outright falsehoods.

Igbamodi said NYAN subsequently carried out its own investigation and found out that all allegations against Capt. Okunbo and OMS were untrue as they were fabricated for sinister motives by Ayeni.

“Making our stand public becomes necessary now lest the unsuspecting members of the public be misled about the real issues. Dr. Olatunde Ayeni mistook our group for agents of destruction for hire and we listened to him and carried our own investigations to ascertain the truth.

“We found out several things which point to a documented fact and established truth – that Dr. Olatunde Ayeni has since 2018 left the Board of OMS and as well sold his shares to Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo but only returns to launch a campaign of calumny against the latter just because Capt. Okunbo has a health challenge.

“Nigerians and non-governmental organisations should be wary of Dr. Olatunde Ayeni’s antics, which are all in bad faith and unbecoming of a businessman he claims to be,” Igbamodi added.

While wishing Capt. Okunbo quick recovery, the group admonished the Board of OMS to continue to support Okunbo and always stand by the truth as it has demonstrated so far.

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Apologise To Abia Gov Or Face Recall, Kogi West Youths Tell Adeyemi

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A group called Concerned Kogi West Youths has called on the Senator representing Kogi West, Smart Adeyemi, to immediately apologise to Abia State governor, Victor Ikpeazu, over his uncomplimentary comment on the latter or face recall from the Senate.

A statement issued by the group and signed Mr Michael Oluwaseun Bolorunduro on Monday said Senator Adeyemi must apologise to the Abia governor and the people of Abia State within seven days or be ready for the consequence.

The youths, however, apologised on behalf of the Kogi West people to Governor Ikpeazu for the “behaviour” of Senator Adeyemi on the floor of the Senate during a debate on the Safe School Initiative agaisnt the backdrop of incessant attacks on schools by bandits in the North last week.

“We the concerned Kogi West Youth are writing to apologise for the behaviour of the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Smart Adeyemi, recently on the floor of the Hallowed Chamber.

“It took us this long to react or respond to his ungentlemanly attitude because the character trait that he displayed is alien to our culture in Kogi West. We tried to know reasons for such reactions and alas, we couldn’t find any justifiable and sensible reason for such.

“We, too, were personally shocked and offended by his actions and utterances which were a direct contravention of the values of dignity and good mannerism that we teach in our locality.

“We all know that emotions can get heated, but it does not excuse the language and behavior of our representative,” the group said.

They added that they as “wise constituents” have decided “to right the wrong of the malady and public show of shame as displayed by Senator Smart Adeyemi” to apologise and as well demand apology from Adeyemi.

“It is on this note that we demand that Senator Smart Adeyemi within seven days apologise at the same Hallowed Chamber of the Senate for his uncontrollable utterances against the governor and people of Abia State or face recal,” Bolorunduro declared.

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