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6 Soldiers: Counter Nigerian Army with facts, not fake news, group replies Igbo intelligentsia

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The Coalition of Civil Rights Group (CCRG) has challenged IPOB-affiliated Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition (ENRIC) to back its claim that six soldiers of Igbo extraction were killed with facts.

According to the coalition, the ENRIC has continued to feed the unsuspecting public ‘fake news’ without substantial evidence to back its case, thus provoking widespread ethnic strife across the country

The CCRG noted that ENRIC has failed to give the names of the soldiers from another ethnicity that were reportedly exonerated neither has it given the names of the military tribunal that held the court-martial that condemned the said executed soldiers.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, Executive Director, Kunle Adeyemo, said the move is intended to spike a massive defection from the Army to the “criminal” Eastern Security Network.

Adeyemo added that the allegation is another IPOB propaganda to instigate Nigerians and the international community against the Nigerian Army as an institution.

The coalition, therefore, urged Nigerians and the International community to dismiss the fake news being purveyed by the Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition, describing the group as “terrorists masquerading as activists”.

It also called on the Nigerian Army to approach the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and other professional/legal body to report its head, Barrister E.R. Okoroafor for misconduct.

The Coalition of Civil Rights Group, however, advised the group to desist from its ill-conceived agenda of criminalizing and demonizing the Nigerian Army simply to cause defection to their terrorists Eastern Security Network.

Read the full statement below:

Gentlemen of the press, we have become aware of the ongoing criminal attempts by elements working for the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to provoke widespread ethnic strife across the country. They are doing this by giving ethnic colouration to terrorist activities and national issues to consolidate the separatist agenda of the proscribed IPOB.

The latest of this pro-terrorist campaign is the allegation by an IPOB-affiliated Igbo group called Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition that is spreading the fake news that six soldiers of Igbo extraction were executed on the eve of the retirement of former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.

This coalition, which has International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) in its lead, went ahead to make the harebrained claim that soldiers of other ethnicities were shielded and exonerated from the accusation of weapons theft for which the soldiers of Igbo extraction were allegedly executed.  Intersociety is incidentally the NGO wing of the proscribed IPOB terrorist group, which clearly indicates the direction this attack on the sensibilities of Nigerians is emanating from.

We find it disheartening that the coalition made up of people parading bogus credentials have not been able to counter the Nigerian Army with concrete proof after it dismissed their claim as FAKE NEWS. All they have done is to keep alleging that soldiers were executed on the eve of General Buratai’s departure from service. They failed to give the names of the soldiers from another ethnicity that were shielded or exonerated neither did they give the names of the military tribunal that held the court-martial that condemned the said executed soldiers.

In what can at best be described as self-indicting, the coalition quoted one Barrister E.R. Okoroafor, a supposed international human rights lawyer, who was allegedly denied the right to defend his client at the secret trial. Okoroafor was comically aware of the secret trial going on and never raised the alarm for several weeks but instead waited for the phantom soldiers to be executed before tepidly coming out to make his claims. This beggars belief and presents the lawyer as a collaborator assuming the executions took place. But he was able to assume this disposition only because there was no such thing.

We have since discovered that this spurious allegation was orchestrated to cause ethnic strife across the country in the long term while the short-term objective is to detract to the treasonable attack on the Nigerian Military by the element of Eastern Security Network, the militant wing of IPOB, which engaged troops in a gun battle in Imo state recently.

On the surface, dragging General Buratai’s name into this matter tends misleading the unwary observer to conclude that the false accusations are a continuation of IPOB’s tradition of personal attacks on the retired military chief. However, IPOB’s propaganda against General Buratai has never been about his person but rather a roundabout way of undermining the credibility of the Army.

Note that affiliates of this coalition had floated another story earlier that five retired Nigerian soldiers have joined the ranks of Eastern Security Network (ESN). This is part of the attempt to create a sense of disaffection against the military institution while encouraging defection of soldiers of Igbo extraction to defect to ESN and fight for IPOB.

To further stoke ethnic strife, IPOB members took the pain of filming themselves killing cattle and burning the homestead of herders of Fulani ancestry in the hope that there would be retaliation against Igbos in other parts of the country and consequently set off a violent chain reaction that will ground the country in violence. The video was well-publicized, especially on the pro-IPOB Sahara Reporters news site.

The farcical fake news about the execution of soldiers of Igbo ethnicity is therefore intended to spike a massive defection from the Nigerian Army to the criminal Eastern Security Network after the IPOB terrorists have learnt their lesson that they are no match for a sovereign state.

We conclude that the so-called coalition of Igbo lying that soldiers were killed because of their ethnicity is nothing but IPOB propaganda to instigate Nigerians and the international community against the Nigerian Army as an institution.

If they truly have proof, we advise them to empower their lawyers to seek appropriate channels to represent their clients instead of using the media to whip up unnecessary sentiments against a national institution like the Army. They should desist from this ill-conceived of criminalizing and demonizing the Nigerian Army simply to cause defection to their terrorists Eastern Security Network.

We, therefore, urge Nigerians and the international community to dismiss the fake news being purveyed by the Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition, a group that is nothing but a government-baiting terrorist sympathizing separatists cohort masquerading as activists.

On its part, the Nigerian Army should approach the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and any other professional/legal association to which Barrister E.R. Okoroafor is affiliated to formally report him for misconduct such that he would be struck off their registers and prevented from further running errands capable of jeopardizing the peace of the country. His ilk should not be allowed to run amok spreading fake news that threatens the stability of the country. The same treatment should be meted out to all the known lawyers in the coalition because they pervert justice.

Thanks for listening.

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Group Hails NPHCDA Over Arrival, Distribution And Administration Of Covid-19 Vaccines

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The National Vanguard for Vaccine Administration and Advocacy (NVVAA) has commended the management of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) for the seamless arrival, distribution and administration of coronavirus vaccines across the nation.

The group, in a statement by its Secretary-General, Akor Oche, on Monday, said the agency has displayed a high sense of transparency and accountability so much so that Nigerians should expect the safety of the vaccines upon administration.

Following the arrival of the first batch of Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in the country, the NPHCDA began the massive roll out on Friday with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo subsequently receiving their first jabs.

By setting up a website for Nigerians to register, the NVVAA noted that the health agency eradicated all forms of encumbrances that would have marred the successful rollout of the vaccines.

The National Vanguard for Vaccine Administration and Advocacy, however, called on members of the general public to extend their support to the NPHCDA by disregarding the narratives against the suitability of the vaccine for humans.

On its part, the group urged the NPHCDA not to relent in the task of ensuring that all Nigerians are vaccinated in the coming months.

Read the full statement below:

The National Vanguard for Vaccine Administration and Advocacy is issuing this press statement to commend the management of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) on the arrival and subsequent distribution and administration of the AstraZeneca COVID 19 Vaccine across the country.

It is indeed commendable that the NPHCDA put in motion mechanisms that ensure that all states of the federation receive their doses of the vaccine in a timely and orderly manner that remains a disconnect from the norm whereby exercises such as this are always marred by poor logistics arrangements.

The NPHCDA has by its actions in recent times displayed a high sense of transparency and accountability so much so that Nigerians should expect the safety of the vaccines upon administration.

It is thus the considered opinion of the National Vanguard for Vaccine Administration and Advocacy that meeting the various timelines from the arrival to the country and its subsequent rollout is indicative of the sustainable efforts of the NPHCDA towards ensuring that the vaccines are safe for humans, as well as ensuring that there is an equitable distribution across the country.

It is also commendable that the NPCHDA opened an online registration platform for Nigerians to register for vaccination. This is indeed an exemplary display of foresight by the management of the NPHCDA in the sense that it has successfully eradicated all forms of encumbrances that would have marred the successful rollout of the vaccines in Nigeria.

The National Vanguard for Vaccine Administration and Advocacy calls on members of the general public to extend their support to the NPHCDA by disregarding the narratives against the suitability of the vaccine for humans.

It also states that with the level of expertise displayed by the NPHCDA, Nigerians should be assured that there shall be equitable distribution of vaccines across the country and all Nigerians regardless of their status in the society shall be vaccinated in record time subject to availability.

Nigerians are also enjoined to continue to support the efforts of the government towards ensuring that all Nigerians are vaccinated in the race to put COVID 19 behind us as quickly as possible.

We also encourage the leadership of the NPHCDA not to relent in the task of ensuring that all Nigerians are vaccinated as the vaccines become available in large quantities in the coming months.

The National Vanguard for Vaccine Administration and Advocacy as a critical stakeholder in the country is pledging its continuous support to the NPHCDA in ensuring that the vaccination programme is successfully implemented across the country.

The NPHCDA has indeed displayed exemplary service to Nigeria and it behoves all mischief makers to desist from spreading negative information with regards to the safety of the COVID 19 vaccines been administered in Nigeria.

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BREAKING: Fire Breaks Out In Aso Rock

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A fire outbreak has been reported at the Presidential Villa in Aso Rock, Abuja, causing confusion among workers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s abode, SaharaReporters reports.

It was learnt that the fire started at 4 pm as the fire service officials tried desperately to put it out.

“The security men were chasing people not to capture the incident, but I tried my best to capture it. The fire is still on,” a source disclosed around 9 pm.

Although the cause of the fire is not yet known, fire service trucks have moved in and were seen in the villa.

More details soon….

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We Won’t Allow Hijab In Kwara Mission Schools, CAN Insists

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The Christian Association of Nigeria in Kwara State has insisted that it will not allow its pupils to wear hijab, despite the Kwara State Government’s directive that Muslim female pupils in Christian mission schools should wear hijab.

The state government, last week, said it had approved wearing of hijab by Muslim female pupils in Christian mission grant-aided schools in the state.

It also said the 10 Christian mission schools closed down in the wake of the hijab crisis would be reopened on Monday, March 8.

However, the state branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria said it would not agree to the use of hijab in schools established by Christian missions, alleging that they were surprised that the government was trying to make a decision on a matter that was still before the Supreme Court.

CAN said, “The body condemns the use of hijab in Christian missions grant-aided schools as this will cause discrimination in schools and allow terrorists to easily identify our children and wards.”

Two missions, Evangelical Church Winning All and the Kwara Baptist Conference, said they would not allow the wearing of hijab in their respective schools when the schools reopen on Monday.

The leadership of ECWA said it would not welcome the directive in all its schools in the state.

The Chairman, ECWA Ilorin District Church Council, Rev John Owoeye, who spoke at a press conference in Ilorin on Friday, said ECWA schools were established by Christian missionaries for purposes of reaching communities with the love of Christ and to meet educational needs of the indigenes irrespective of religious affiliations, among other reasons.

The ECWA church leaders, who demanded return of ECWA schools to them, said since 1974 when there was agreement on collaboration between the state government and the proprietor for the school to be grant-aided schools, “the policy has never been total takeover of our schools by the government.”

Owoeye, who said Christians are bona fide citizens of the state, added, “We have equal rights under the provisional constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

He argued that the government was aware that Christian Religious Knowledge teachers were not posted to Muslim grant-aided schools and that the gathering of Fellowship of Christian Students was not allowed in Muslim grant-aided schools.

“Similarly, we want the government to be informed that her decision and plan to provide hijab and enforce its use in our Christian mission grant-aided schools will not be tolerated as it is an infringement on our freedom of religion as enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria,” he said.

Also, the President of Kwara Baptist Conference, Rev Victor Dada, in a separate press conference, said the mission would not allow the use of hijab in its 38 schools across the state, adding that the government was wrongly advised in taking the decision.

Dada argued that the state government took a wrong decision by its blanket approval of wearing of hijab for female pupils in mission schools.

READ ALSO: I was overwhelmed by job emails from US, UK after I carried placard –Job-seeking Delta graduate

“The state government was wrongly advised to take that decision. The state even acted in contempt of court as the case is still pending before the Supreme Court.

“We want to warn the government that the step it wants to take by approving the use of hijab for all public schools and grant-aided schools in the state will lead to an avalanche of reactions, the end of which no one can predict.

“With this move, the state government is saying the Muslims’ purported rights are superior to those of the Christians.

“What we are saying is that no one, whether the Kwara State Government or even the Federal Government, can force hijab on our children or in our schools. We shall not hesitate to use all legitimate means to protect our heritage. We will defend our faith and protect our property.”

Meanwhile, Muslim stakeholders in the state have urged the state government to stand by the rule of law in taking a final decision on the hijab issue.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Alhaji Is-haq AbdulKarim; and Secretary, Professor Ibrahim Abikan, the Muslim Stakeholders said the state branch of CAN, which engaged the state government in a legal battle over the issue of ownership of the grant-aided schools since 2013 lost its two cases in Ilorin High Court in 2016 and the Court of Appeal in 2019.

In a related development, Chairman, Kwara State branch of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Olu Adewara, said the union was not part of the hijab crisis currently going on in the state.

The NUT Chairman, Adewara, told reporters, “The hijab matter is basically an issue between the government, the Muslim parents and the owners of these schools, regardless that such schools are grant-aided by the government. The NUT is not involved because this is not a matter bordering on teachers’ rights.”

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