“Stop Playing Politics with Coronavirus Directives”, Lai Mohammed Appeals to Governors
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed appeals to Governors in Nigeria to stop playing politics with Coronavirus directives when he featured on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) programme “Good Morning Nigeria” on Friday, April, 10th.
According to Mohammed, the counter directives between some states and the federal government in a bid to stop the spread of Coronavirus were unnecessary.
Also Read: “We May Extend Lockdown …” Says Sanwo-Olu
Commenting on the arrest and prosecution of Caverton pilots by Governor Nyesom Wike, He told Governors to stop politicizing the fight against Coronavirus.
“The federal government has responsibility to all Nigerians irrespective of the state they reside.
“A situation where the federal government needs exemption for certain category of people but the state government will not cooperate is not helpful.
“We will not succeed if there is no cooperation with the state governments.”
On relaxation of lockdown directives by some Governors for Jumat and Easter festivities, the Minister said;
“We have a very little window, and as of today, there is no known cure or vaccine for this disease all we have is Non-Medicinal Intervention basically on prevention and management.
“We need the cooperation of the populace as a whole and they need to listen to what the federal government is saying.
“The whole essence of the lockdown is that by the time we lockdown for 14 days it is a presumption that whoever is incubating the virus must have manifested.
“However, people can contact the disease by not staying at home or not adhering to the hygiene instructions like washing of hands regularly, using hand sanitizer and social distancing.”
Dr. Isa Pantami: A Terrorist Sympathizer or Victim of his NIN policy, The Presidency’s Statement (Highlights)
The calls for resignation and pressure on the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, over his alleged links to extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram in addition to his pro-Taliban views has continued unabated.
The campaign which started with unconfirmed media reports that the United States Government had allegedly placed him on a security watchlist over alleged links with the late founder and leader of the dreaded Boko Haram group, Mohammed Yusuf, later snowballed into a series of other allegations which border on his extreme Islamic views and activities in the past.
Pantami, an Islamic cleric, in his initial reaction to the allegation of being on US security watchlist due to his extremist views, denied the allegations, saying that he had always preached against the Boko Haram sect for over 15 years over its condemnable doctrines and practices at the expense of his life.
He alleged that those behind these allegations are those who are not happy with his implementation of the good policies of President Muhammadu Buhari on security especially the government policy on National Identification Number (NIN) and threatened legal action against the publishers.
The Minister in his statement said, ‘’News Wire Nigeria your retraction through your independent investigation has been noted. However, investigative journalism requires the investigation before publishing, not after. Further, major publishers will meet my lawyers in court on this defamation of character.
My lectures against the doctrines and all other evil people have been available for over 15 years, including debates that endangered my life against many criminals in Nigeria. If you can’t understand Hausa, get an objective Hausa speaker to translate for you objectively.
For your information, by the Almighty, no amount of intimation will stop Isa Pantami from implementing the good policies of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on security.”
Nigerians Demands Dr. Isa Pantami’s Resignation- (See their reactions)
As the calls from Nigerians for the resignation of the 48-year-old Minister continued, over his religious views, Pantami, for the first time on Saturday, April 17, 2021, according to some media reports, acknowledged his past religious views but said that he has since renounced those radical comments.
He blamed his past radical leanings on age, immaturity and limited knowledge as well as based on his understanding of religious issues at the time, adding that he has changed several positions taken in the past based on new evidence and maturity,
However, despite renouncing his past radical views, more people on social media and even public figures, have joined the agitation for his resignation, saying that his views as a student cannot be blamed on age.
Some Nigerians have expressed their views on the matter with a good number of them insisting that the Minister has to resign. A Twitter user, Chris Chukwu, said Nigerians are not going to sleep on this issue because he is a threat to National security.
@Festus Ogun said that if the President refuses to sack Pantami, he should be prepared for #EndSARS part 2.
Effiong John, while stating why President Buhari would not sack the Communications Minister said that a terrorist apologist will not sack another terrorist apologist.
A human rights activist Comrade Deji Adeyanju said that a terrorist sympathizer is a terrorist.
Ayemojubar lamented that Nigeria has been taken over by terrorists.
Another Twitter user, Abiodun Sanusi said that sympathizing with Isa Pantami is the same as showing sympathy for Osama Bin Laden.
However, while responding to Governor Wike’s reaction to the issue, a former presidential aspirant, Omoyele Sowore said that the Rivers State Governor was only grandstanding as he was some time ago, caught on tape threatening to kill an INEC official.
Some Nigerians have, however, expressed their support and sympathy for the Minister as they believed that he is being victimized for some of the government’s policies that he is driving.
A Twitter user Khaleel Kumo said that #Pantami must go is purely hypocritical and directed at anything good that comes out from Islam.
A Twitter user Faarees asked that the #PantamiMustGo must stop trending and Nigerians should go and link their SIM with their NIN.
Musbey in his defence for Pantami said that as long as you are a practising Muslim and successful, they will hate you.
NYCN Urges President Buhari to ignore the extremism charges on Dr. Ali Isa Pantami
The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore religious extremism charges being made against the minister of communications and digital economy, Dr Ali Pantami.
The group said the attacks were aimed at getting rid of the “best brains’” in the government. In a letter addressed to Buhari on Tuesday, NYCN said the recent media report, which emanated from audio and video sermons delivered by the minister, has made some Nigerians to call for his resignation or removal by the Nigerian leader.
The letter with reference number PRES/GCFR/FGN/NYCN/01/21 drew the president’s attention to what it described as a wider plot by people with sinister motives to discredit other top federal government’s functionaries.
In the letter signed by NYCN president, Solomon Adodo, the group said, “The programme of building a digital economy for Nigeria to join the league of advanced countries of the world is a task the indefatigable Sheikh Pantami is pursuing to the delight of young people of this country.”
NYCN said the current furor emanated from the views expressed by Pantami in the distant past, lamenting that the minister’s statements had become a sinister political tool for those who are bent on looking for ways to get rid of the best brains in the current administration.
It said Pantami had unfortunately been “singled out as a major target in this subtle and sinister campaign against your government and the Nigerian State.”
The group said, “It will be very regrettable to pay any serious attention to the machinations of the enemies of the ‘Change and Next Level Agenda’ in the light of the fact that the grand plot is to fan the embers of divisions and disintegration, designed to destabilize and make mockery of your government.”
The Presidency’s Statement
In defense of the Communications Minister, the Presidency through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity said that Pantami, made those extremist remarks when he was in his 20s and has since then retracted them and changed his views.
The Presidency pointed out that this currently manufactured dispute has nothing to do with the Minister’s prior words but rather concerns over his actions in the present which include leading the charge against illegal data deductions and pricing, deregistering 9.2 million SIMs thereby ending the ability for criminals and terrorists to use mobile networks undetected.
Also reacting to alleged links of Pantami to the death of the late former Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa, the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State chapter, Rev. John Hayab, warned against linking the death of Yakowa to Dr Isa Pantami.
He called on Nigerians to ignore such insinuations and release of some documents with doubtful authenticity, which endangers national peace.
Read the Statement below;
Today, there is an unfortunate fashion in public discourse that makes leaders in politics, religion, and civil society liable in the present for every statement they have ever made in the past – no matter how long ago, and even after they have later rejected them.
This insidious phenomenon seeks to cancel the careers of others on the basis of a thing they have said, regardless of when they said it.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami is, currently, subject to a “cancel campaign” instigated by those who seek his removal. They do not really care what he may or may not have said some 20 years ago: that is merely the instrument they are using to attempt to “cancel” him. But they will profit should he be stopped from making decisions that improve the lives of everyday Nigerians.
The Minister has, rightly, apologized for what he said in the early 2000s. The views were absolutely unacceptable then, and would be equally unacceptable today, were he to repeat them. But he will not repeat them – for he has publicly and permanently condemned his earlier utterances as wrong.
In the 2000s, the Minister was a man in his twenties; next year he will be 50. Time has passed, and people and their opinions – often rightly – change.
But all discerning Nigerians know this manufactured dispute is nothing to do with the Minister’s prior words, but solely concern his actions in the present.
This Administration is committed to improving the lives of all Nigerians – and that includes ensuring they are not over-charged or under-protected for those services on which modern life depends.
The Minister has been leading the charge against illegal data deductions and pricing; he has revolutionized the government’s virtual public engagement to respond to COVID-19 and save taxpayers’ money; he has established ICT start-up centres to boost youth entrepreneurship and create jobs; he has changed policy to ensure locally produced ICT content is used by ministries, starting with his own; and he has deregistered some 9.2 million SIMs – ending the ability for criminals and terrorists to flagrantly use mobile networks undetected. In two short years, Minister Pantami has driven the contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP to more than 18 percent, making it one of the top two playing a critical role in the emergence of the economy from the COVID 19-induced recession.
In putting people first, the Minister and this administration have made enemies. There are those in the opposition who see success and want it halted by any means. And there is now well-reported information that alleges newspaper editors rebuffed an attempt to financially induce them to run a smear campaign against the minister by some ICT companies, many of which do indeed stand to lose financially through lower prices and greater consumer protections. The government is now investigating the veracity behind these claims of attempted inducement, and – should they be found to hold credence – police and judicial action must be expected.
The Administration stands behind Minister Pantami and all Nigerian citizens to ensure they receive fair treatment, fair prices, and fair protection in ICT services.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 22, 2021
The very critical question is why are these allegations are coming up now after almost 2 years in office as a Minister. Is he a terrorist sympathizer, an allegation he has denied or is he a victim of some of the government policies whose execution he is spearheading?
These are questions that are still begging for answers.
man arrested for allegedly killing his side chick
Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Kenya, have arrested a 38-year-old married man over the brutal murder of his girlfriend.
The suspect, Evans Karani is accused of murdering 25-year-old Catherine Nyokabi in Witeithie area, Juja in Kiambu County.
Juja Sub-County Directorate of Criminal Investigations Officer (DCIO), Richard Mwaura, who confirmed the incident on Friday, April 16, said the suspect attempted to discard Nyokabi’s body on Wednesday but his efforts were thwarted by mud.
While transporting Nyokabi’s body in his car, Karani’s vehicle got stuck in mud on Bob Harris road in Juja, forcing him to flee, leaving the body and car behind, the DCI said.
Police, who arrived at the scene following a report by locals, verified the car ownership from the National Transport and Safety Authority’s Registrar of Motor Vehicles.
A hunt for Karani was, consequently, launched by a multi-agency team comprising police, DCI officers and the agency’s Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau (CRIB) officer
On Friday morning, April 16, detectives, via phone signal, tracked down Karani to his rented house in Githurai Kimbo area, where they arrested the suspect.
The authorities said Nyokabi’s body had been burnt using a corrosive chemical.
“She was badly disfigured. Besides the burn injuries, she had bruises on the face and head. It appears she was tortured before being killed,” a detective told The Standard.
Authorities said the suspect confessed to killing Nyokabi, a hotel worker in Kahawa Wendani, following a bitter conflict, which they had been embroiled in for the past two weeks.
Karani, who is married, reportedly told police Nyokabi was his secret lover.
The deceased’s father, Gitonga Njogu, told The Standard that initial reports suggested his daughter, the first born in a family of four children, died in a road accident.
“On Facebook, certain people were claiming my child was killed in a car crash in Juja. However, when we got to see her body at the City Mortuary, we were shocked. The visible injuries clearly indicated Nyokabi’s cause of death was not a road accident as had been alleged,” said Njogu.
“My girl (Nyokabi) was hard-working, cheerful and very loving. Her future was promising,” said Njogu while attempting to balance a tear in his eyes.
The old man said Nyokabi had, in the past, introduced Karani to him as her suitor.
“I knew them to be lovers. Just like in any other relationship, they had differences, which I would help them iron out. Two weeks ago, my daughter said she and Karani had broken up. I told her, it was okay; she shouldn’t cling onto a relationship in which she was unhappy. That was the last time I heard of the suspect.”
Karani will be arraigned on Monday, April 19, when detectives would seek to detain him longer to allow for investigations to be completed.
Arms Procurement Investigation: “Issues of arms procurement were done by specific individuals, call these individuals to explain to you ” – COAS Ibrahim Attahiru tells House of Reps members
A dramatic scene was recorded today April 13 after the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru appeared before House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on arms and ammunition as part of the investigation into arms purchase by the military.
Attahiru refused to speak on arms procurement after presenting a document to the committee.
According to the COAS, he just resumed office and the issues surrounding the procurement of arms should be answered by the “specific individuals” who initiated the purchase.
“The submission before you speaks to the report before you. It is an executive summary. It is very self-explanatory to the extent that it has been pluralised. When you demanded this report, you stated a specific period for which you wanted it.
“You may wish to recall that the Chief of Army Staff took over the mantle of leadership barely two months ago.
“The period for which you want this report having been summarised in the executive summary explained whatever details you require.
“Issues of arms procurement that you so demand to know were done by specific individuals, I will rather you call these individuals to explain to you very specific issues the general explanation is contained in this report.”
A member of the committee, Ejiro Ogene had also faulted the COAS explanation for not appearing before the committee earlier.
“When we ask you to come, the people are the ones speaking, sovereignty lies in the people; if we see it like this, things will be different.
“I expect that the COAS tenders an apology, not an explanation; you are serving the people and they are as your employer.”
Firing back at him, Attahiru insisted that his explanation serves as an apology. He said;
“When you say I offered an explanation, it is as good as an apology. It only tells you the reasons why I wasn’t here and the reasons are pungent enough.”
Following the rising tension at the proceeding, Chairman of the Committee Olaide Akinremi ruled that the hearing goes into a closed-door meeting and the media were asked to leave the hearing.
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