Buhari charges Cadets to remain committed to the Nation

President Muhammadu Buhari has today charged Passing Out Cadets of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), to remain committed to the nation and take their rightful place among their peers in the country’s Armed Forces who remain steadfast in tackling insecurity in the Nigeria.
President made this call at the Combined Passing Parade and Commissioning Ceremony 67 Regular Course and Short Service Course 46 (Army) which held today at NDA, Afaka.

The event culminated into commissioning of 287 cadets of Regular Course 67 and 492 cadets of Short Service Course 46 (Army) into the Nigerian Armed Forces. The President reiterated his administration’s resolve in solving the current security challenges bedevilling the nation.

“We remain committed to ending the security challenges bedevilling the country. I am confident that the training recieved by the passing out cadets has adequately equipped them to face any challenges in their line of duty”.

He also expressed his confidence in the enrichment of the training curriculum by the Academy to improve the quality of officers in the Armed Forces.

“I have been made to understand that the Academy in furtherance to enriching its training curriculum recently took cadets on a tour of frontline communities in the North East Theatre of operations. The tour was to keep the cadets informed of the challenges of real battle scenarios and boost their combat readiness”.

“As a retired General, I can say with a sense of responsibility that, I am am encouraged by the excellent work invested in training these officer cadets for service to this great nation and humanity in general. I commend the Commandant, officers, men and academic staff of the Nigerian Defence Academy”, he added.

President Buhari further used the event to commend the commitment and professionalism of the Nigerian military, said “I must commend the resilience and steadfastness of our personnel in the Armed Forces for their professionalism and bravery in tackling the menace of terrorism, insurgency and armed banditry in the North East and North West zones, as well as herders/farmers conflict, kidnapping, piracy and communal clashes in other parts if our country”.

FG budgets N336m to fight hate speech, others

The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture has budgeted N336 million to campaign against hate speech and fake news .

This is contained in the 2021 budget proposal presented to the National Assembly by the President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari ( retd .) , on Thursday .

It reads in part, “ERGP 9124023 Special enlightenment campaign on government policies and programmes ; testimonial series to gauge the impact of government policies on the citizenry, advocacy against fake news , hate speech , farmers -herder clashes , banditry , rape etc. ongoing – N 336 ,015 ,959 . ”

The Federal Government has in recent times put in place several strict measures to tackle hate speech and fake news amid criticisms from rights groups that it is a ruse to stifle free speech .

The National Broadcasting Commission had recently amended the Broadcast Code , hiking the fine for hate speech from N 500 ,000 to N 5 million , a move which has been challenged in court.

A bill that imposes the death penalty on “any person found guilty of any form of hate speech that results in the death of another person” is currently before the Senate .

Tagged “ National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches ”, the bill is sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate , Abdullahi Aliu Sabi ( APC , Niger State ) .

It states in part, “Any person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable to life imprisonment and where the act causes any loss of life , the person shall be punished with death by hanging .”

On offences like harassment on the basis of ethnicity, racial contempt , the bill proposes not less than a five -year jail term or a fine of not less than N 10 million or both .

Ondo election: Akeredolu, Jegede, Ajayi win polling units

The three major candidates in today ’s governorship election in Ondo State won their individual polling units , The PUNCH can confirm.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu , who is seeking reelection on the platform of the All Progressives Congress , won the election held in his Polling Unit 6 , Ward 5 , Isokun , Ijebu Owo . He scored 413 votes to defeat Peoples Democratic Party ’s Eyitayo Jegede , who polled 12 votes; and the candidate of the Zenith Labour Party , Agboola Ajayi , who scored zero.

Also , Jegede won his Igbogin/ Isikan Ward 2, unit 9, polling 220 votes against 60 recorded by Akeredolu while Ajayi got seven votes .

At home , Ajayi , the deputy governor of the state , also won in his polling unit in Kiribo in the Ese Odo Local Government Area of the state .

According to the result pasted at the unit by the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission , titled ‘Publication of Reault of Poll ’, Agboola won the Apoi Ward II , Unit 004 , Idumado Quarters, Kiribo with a wide margin having garnered 395 votes.

Bauchi govt releases white paper on farmers/herders clash, accuses Emir of Misau of dereliction of duty

The Bauchi state government has released a white paper on the communal clashes that erupted between farmers and herders in Misau Local Government Area (LGA) few months ago which led to the loss of lives and properties.

In the white paper report of the administrative committee of inquiry which Governor Bala Mohammed set up to look into the land dispute between farmers and herders in Zadawa ward of Misau LGA, the Bauchi state government indicted the Emir of Misau Alh. Ahmed Suleiman with dereliction of duty.

According to the white paper shared with Vanguard at the weekend by the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the governor, Muktar Gidado, the committee recommended sanctions for the Zadawa village head while also requesting a handwritten apology to the government of Bauchi state.

“It will be recalled that on the 25th September 2020 government received the Report of the Administrative Committee of Inquiry which looked into the land dispute between Farmers and Herders in Zadawa Ward of Hardawa District, Misau Local Government Area.

Government has accepted the report of the Committee and the whitepaper states as follows:

“The committee’s investigation revealed that Malumje grazing reserve is a community grazing reserve and the allocation of parts of the forest reserve to farmers or self-acquisitions of the forest as farmlands, are in contravention of the forestry law and laws of Bauchi State 2007. Government has accepted the committee’s recommendation for the total revocation of all the allocations including Farmlands that are self-acquired and Government has consequently directed the re-establishment of cattle routes in the reserve.

“The committee observed that there are illegal allocations of farmlands to individuals on the gazetted Forest reserves of Maladumba, Danfisa/Bokki, Gambara/Tofu and Umala/Jarkasa forests, in clear violation of the laws establishing forest reserves. In line with the recommendation of the committee these allocations are here-by revoked by the Government.

“Government notes with regret, the violation of the terms of allocation of farmlands in the reserve and the sharp practices in the exercise which deprives Herders of their rights of grazing. Government hereby revokes all previous allocations in order for peace to reign in the area. Government has consequently directed the Ministries of Land and Survey, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Agriculture and Rural Development to constitute a committee to review the entire allocation of Kalala community grazing reserve so as to address farmers/herders conflicts during the dry and rainy seasons,” the statement reads in part.

The government, in addition to warning the Emir of Misau, also indicted and sanctioned a few other people suspected to have played a part in the crisis that rocked the area some months ago.

The statement further reads, “Various administrative sanctions have been taken against some Traditional institutions found to be culpable or complicit in the crisis. Government has accepted the recommendation of the committee to warn the Emir of Misau, Alh. Ahmed Suleiman, mni, for dereliction of duty which fuelled and escalated the fatal crisis in his domain. The Emir is to equally apologize to the Government in writing.

“Government has also accepted the recommendation of the committee on the District Head of Chiroma Alhaji Ahmadun Amadu. The District Head remains suspended pending another investigation. Should he be found wanting he will be removed and prosecuted.

“The Misau Emirate Council is to ensure that Ibrahim Yusuf Atiku is immediately relieved of his appointment from the post of Wakili of Zadawa Village Head. Government also accepts the recommendation of the committee for the Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice to liaise with the Commissioner of Police Bauchi State to arrest and prosecute Ibrahim Yusuf Atiku for fraudulent allocation of the forest and extortion of money from the allottees. The Emirate Council is to equally ensure that Ibrahim Yusuf Atiku is barred from aspiring to the office of Sarkin Zadawa in the event the position becomes vacant.

“The Director Admin and General Services Mal. Sule Abba, The Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mal. Baba Waziri, and Director of Works Aminu Abdullahi Disina all of Misau Local Government Council are retired from the Civil Service.

“Government has equally accepted the recommendation of the committee for further investigation of the 16 identified persons who were alleged to have vigorously participated in masterminding and fuelling the crisis. The Secretary to the State Government is directed to ensure that the Police and Local Government Service Commission are involved in the investigation.”

On palliative measures, the government said, “The committee recommends some various degrees of financial Assistance to 10 people who lost their lives in the clash as well as 8 persons who sustained injuries and whose properties were lost as a result of the crisis. The Government has accepted the recommendation of monetary assistance in that regard and has directed the Secretary to the State Government to ensure the payment of such relief or assistance to all the affected persons.”

Gombe Gov begs Buhari to begin oil exploration in North

Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya, yesterday, at a closed-door with President Muhammadu Buhari, appealed to him to prevail on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, to begin oil and gas exploration in the Gongola basin.

The Governor also urged the President to come to the aid of the state in order to resettle the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, as a result of the Boko Haram onslaught and the ravaging flood that has affected two local government areas in the state, displacing people and creating gully erosion.

Speaking with State House correspondents after the meeting, Governor Yahaya said that oil and gas exploration in the area would trigger economic activities and create jobs for the states in the region.

According to him, “With the discovery of oil and gas in Gombe and Bauchi states, and specifically, in the whole of Gongola Basin, we seek to get the support or the federal government, so the pressure will be mounted on the Nigerian National Petroleum cooperation NNPC and the DPR for them to see to the fact that the exploitation oil and gas deposit that is available in Gombe and in fact the wider Gongola Bsin is encouraged so that economic activities will be triggered, our people will have jobs and the Gombe will join the league of oil producing states.”

The Governor said that one of the reasons for the meeting with the president was to show his solidarity over the way he (Buhari) has handed the COVID-19 pandemic, which he assured, would soon be a thing of the past.

He said, “My mission to Mr. President is to show solidarity and compliments from the people of Gombe, especially from the way and manner he has been able to shoulder the big responsibility of managing this country, especially during the pandemic. We are even going out of the pandemic very soon.

Budget 2021: Buhari, Osinbajo to spend N3.2 b on travels

President Muhammadu Buhari is to spend N2.426 billion on local and international travels in 2021, according to the details of the 2021 federal government budget which he presented to the National Assembly on Thursday.

This is out of the N4. 135 billion budgeted for State House Operations under the Office of the President.

While the sum of N1. 651 billion was budgeted for his foreign travels, N775. 602 million was provisioned for local trips.

A total of N1. 079 billion was budgeted for State House Operations under the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo’s office, out of which N 801.035 million would be spent on local and international travels.

According to the budget proposal, N517.060 million was provided for the VP’s international travels, while local trips would take N283.974 million.

The State House Headquarters was allocated N 12.306 billion total budget, with N7. 728 billion earmarked for capital expenditure in which N 5.244 billion would be utilized for the rehabilitation and repair of office buildings, while N436. 264 million would be used for the purchase of motor vehicles.

Under recurrent expenditure, honourarium and sitting allowance would take N478. 313 million, while the welfare packages expenditure item received N 240.730 million.

Uniforms and clothing got N 11.793 million; wildlife conservation, N 51.465 million; fuel and lubricants N 132.199 million (motor vehicle fuel cost, N67.950 million; Plant/generator fuel cost N 45.678 million); and sporting activities, N 30.187 million.

Under the Service wide vote, the federal government budgeted the sum of N100 billion for Operation Lafiya Dole and other operations of the Armed Forces, across the country.

Another N100 billion was provisioned for public service wage adjustment for MDAs (including arrears of promotion and salary increases & payment of severance benefits and minimum wage related adjustments).

N350 billion was budgeted for Special intervention programmes (recurrent); while contributions to international organizations received N30 billion.

N2. 3 billion was earmarked for the payment of entitlements of former presidents/heads of states and vice presidents/chief of general staff.

Those affected are former Presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, and retired Generals Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalam Abubakar and Chief Ernest Shonekan.

Benefits of retired Heads of Service, Permanent Secretaries and Professors would gulp N 4.502 billion.

Presidential Amnesty Programme reintegration of transformed ex-militants would take N65 billion in 2021.

The sum of N31.292 billion was budgeted for the Nigeria Electricity Liabilities Management Company Ltd (NELMCO) Pension /arrears, while the payment of outstanding terminal benefits of Nigeria Airways ex-workers would take N5.750 billion, as part.