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Tight Security In Abuja Over Alleged Plot To Disrupt Buhari’s Second Term Inauguration

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To forestall an alleged plot to disrupt today’s inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term in office, the service chiefs and heads of other security agencies have notched up security around him.

The service chiefs met with the president yesterday where they assured him of adequate security for the event.

The Nigerian Army recently alerted the Federal Government and Nigerians to an alleged plan by some groups and foreign interests to disrupt the handover and scuttle the democratic process.

In a statement by its Acting Director of Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, the army said the “mischievous elements” had thought Nigeria would not have successful 2019 general elections but they were proved wrong.

After the meeting held at the Presidential Villa, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, told State House correspondents that the committee handling the inauguration of President Buhari had already been briefed on the readiness to deliver the programme safely.

“You will recall we met just about two weeks ago, but the president has to call for this meeting given that tomorrow (today) he will be sworn in. Of course basically the meeting was to further reappraise the actions taken after the last meeting.”

The naval chief stated that President Buhari, at the closed-door meeting, directed the heads of security agencies to strengthen efforts in checking inflow of illegal arms to the country.

“Another area of concern was the arms inflow into the nation. It is only God perhaps that can police such an expanse of border that we have. That is an area that Mr. President has directed that we do all that we can to ensure that we block the gaps and those security areas that we also need to address.”

Those present at the meeting included the outgoing Ministers of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali and Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazzau; Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

Besides, ahead of today’s inauguration of new administrations in most states, some outgoing chief executive officers have since handed over the reins of government to the newly elected governors, an action which some observers have described as unconstitutional.

Normally, the handover and the inauguration take place the same day, lasting for several hours and characterised by exciting activities and displays, unlike the quiet and short ceremonies witnessed these days.

A lot more apparently go into inaugurations and democratic change of baton than cameras often capture.

BIG STORY

High-Profile Nigerians Threaten To Kill Me, Says EFCC Boss Abdulrasheed Bawa

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Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, says corruption does fight back, adding that he has been receiving death threats since he came on board as the chairman of the anti-graft agency.

He spoke on Tuesday when he featured in Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ programme.

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had in November 2016 said, “Corruption is fighting back vigorously”.

When asked on Tuesday if indeed corruption is fighting back, Bawa said, “Last week, I was in New York, as all Nigerians are aware of. A very senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation. What he (the caller) said to him on phone is that; he is going to kill the EFCC chairman, the young man.

“He said, ‘I am going to kill him. I am going to kill him. This is to tell you how bad it is. It is actually real. Corruption can fight back.”

When further asked if he meant he has been receiving death threats, the EFCC chairman said, “Yes”.

The President had in February 2021 named 40-year-old Bawa as the new EFCC chairman to replace the embattled ex-acting chairman of the anti-graft commission, Ibrahim Magu.




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Twitter Founder, Jack Dorsey, Liable For EndSARS Losses —– FG

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The Federal Government says Twitter and its founder, Jack Dorsey, are vicariously liable for the losses the country suffered during the EndSARS protest.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this on Tuesday when he featured on “Politics Nationwide,’’ a Radio Nigeria call-in programme monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Mohammed alleged that Dorsey raised funds through Bitcoins to sponsor the EndSARS protest while his platform, Twitter, was used to fuel the crisis.

He said when he made the allegations earlier, Nigerians did not take him seriously until an online media outfit carried out an investigation and fact-checking.

The minister said the online publication confirmed that Dorsey retweeted some of the posts by some of the coalitions supporting the EndSARS protest.

He said it was also confirmed that the Twitter founder launched fundraising asking people to donate via Bitcoins.

The minister said Dorsey further launched Emoji to make the EndSARS protest visible on the microblogging site.

He said Dorsey also retweeted the tweets of some foreign and local supporters of EndSARS.

“If you ask people to donate money via bitcoins for EndSARS protesters then you are vicariously liable for whatever is the outcome of the protest.

“We have forgotten that EndSARS led to the loss of lives, including 37 policemen, six soldiers, 57 civilians while property worth billions of naira were destroyed.

“164 police vehicles and 134 police stations were razed to the ground, 265 private corporate organizations were looted while 243 public property were looted.

“81 warehouses were looted while over 200 brand new buses bought by Lagos State Government were burnt to ashes,’’ he said.

The minister said it was unfair to conclude that the operation of Twitter was suspended indefinitely because it deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s message.

He said the government was unambiguous that the action was taken because the platform was being used to promote the views of those who wanted to destabilize the country.

Mohammed added that Twitter consistently offered its platform to promote agendas that were inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria.

“Twitter has become a platform of choice for a particular separatist promoter.

“The promoter consistently used the platform to direct his loyalists to kill Nigerian soldiers and policemen, run-down INEC offices, and destroy all symbols of Nigeria’s sovereignty.

“Every attempt to persuade Twitter to deny its platform to this separatist leader was not taken seriously,’’ he said.

The minister said the Federal Government has no apology to offer to those unhappy over the suspension of Twitter’s operations in the country.

He said a country must exist in peace before people could exercise freedom of speech and fight for a source of livelihood.

(NAN)




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Outrage As FG Demolishes 12 Lagos Churches On Alleged Illegal Plots

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There has been outrage over the demolition of 12 churches on 2nd Avenue, FESTAC Town, Lagos State, by officials of the Federal Housing Authority.

It was learnt that the demolition started around 5 am and continued till around 3 pm.

The leader of the Gate of Righteousness Evangelical International Church, Pastor Joshua Obong, said he started his ministry in the community 18 years ago and wondered why his church was targeted for demolition.

He said, “The officials first came last week and started marking our buildings. After they were done, they left and returned two days later. That was when they gave us a seven-day notice, which expired last Wednesday.

“On Sunday morning, around 5 am, we suddenly saw bulldozers at the First Gate, FESTAC Town. They got to my church at exactly 11 am; they demolished all the churches along the road, except the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Communion Chapel and CPM, which they spared. All other churches were brought down.”

Obong said there was no other warning prior to the seven-day notice.

He claimed that the government took advantage of the strike action by judicial workers, adding that nobody could approach the court for injunctions to stop the demolition.

“We wrote to them, seeking extension of time, but the letter was not even acknowledged,” he added.

The Overseer of Christ Gospel Church International, Pastor William Ehiorenren, said a senior government official had advised them to send a lawyer to Abuja to sort out the matter.

He stated, “He promised that they would not touch any church till the lawyer returned. Our lawyer was still in Abuja when they came on Sunday, a day of service, and demolished our churches. The lawyer called all their staff members, but they switched off their phones.

“We heard that they want to re-allocate the land and sell to moneybags and make millions. I have not seen where seven days would be given for people to vacate their property.

“We have been in that area for years and we spent millions of naira in building our churches. They could not even give us time to move, because they had mapped out their evil plan to sell the land to people.”

Ehiorenren said his church usually paid tenancy rates to landlords, who he claimed had legal claims to the land.

The cleric accused the government of leaving certain churches because their leaders had political connections.

He explained that his church was not served any notice of demolition.

The Deputy Director, Social Security, and Intergovernmental Relations, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Lagos State, Pastor Barnabas Otoibhi, said 12 churches were demolished by the government.

He explained that the owners of the churches cleared a swamp and built their structures, adding that the affected worship centers had been in the community for between 13 and 20 years.

According to him, the government accused the pastors of “encroachment and erecting illegal structures.”

Otoibhi, however, queried why the demolition was carried out without adequate notice and while some of the occupants were asleep.

He said, “We are wondering why the government would do this on a Sunday. Are they now working on Sundays? Is it the government that is doing this or somebody that is powerful in government or a politician is behind this?

“The notice they sent to them, they called it final notice, without serving them any previous letter. We asked that they should be given time. We were discussing this when the bulldozers came in on Sunday morning. The first church was pulled down at exactly 5.45 am.

Aside from the churches, they also cleared those selling cars in that line. Only a few buildings were spared.”

The cleric said a protest was planned for today (Tuesday) to kick against the “shabby manner” in which the churches were treated.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, did not take his calls or respond to a text message from our correspondent over the matter.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FHA, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, did not take his calls, which rang out several times.

However, an official of the agency, who did not identify himself, said the government would address the matter during a press conference on Wednesday.

He explained that the government was in the process of restoring FESTAC Town to its original plan.

“Ask those people for their letters of allocation and approved building plans. They don’t have them. So, if you have been staying on somebody’s land illegally for over 15 years, how does the person owe you adequate notice? What notice are they talking about?” he queried.

 




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