Elections: FG Declares Friday Public Holiday, Excludes Bankers, Others |RN

                   Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.)

Adelani Adepegba, Abuja


The Federal Government has declared Friday, February 22, 2019, as a public holiday, in preparation for the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Bello Dambazau (retd), made the declaration in Abuja on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Interior in a statement on Wednesday night by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah, however, excluded bankers and those offering essential services across the nation.

It said, “The Federal Government declares Friday, February 22, 2019, as work-free day. Those providing essential duties and bankers are excluded.

“The work-free day is to enable citizens return to their polling units for the reschedule Presidential and National Assembly elections.”

“Security agencies have been directed to ensure safety of lives and property before, during and after the general election,” the statement added.    (Punch)


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Atiku Not Buhari’s Match, Will Suffer Bloodied Nose – Dambazau |The Republican News

                                            Atiku and Buhari

Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja


The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, has said former Vice-President Abubakar Atiku is no match for President Muhammadu Buhari and will suffer a bloodied nose in the 2019 presidential election.

Atiku is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party while the incumbent President, Buhari is of the All Progressives Congress.

Addressing journalists at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja, Dambazau said while the President had used his position in and out of office to better the lives of people, Atiku had not impacted lives outside his immediate circle.

He spoke through his Senior Special Assistant and former Chairman, House Committee on Security, Aliyu Gebi.

He said, “In this race (2019), there is only one gladiator and that gladiator is the current President. So, there is no contender.  (Atiku) by saying this is the toughest election in the history of Nigeria, yes toughest for him, certainly not for the President.

“As far as I’m concerned, this will be the easiest election in the history of Nigeria as far as President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC are concerned; he (Atiku) will not even win Adamawa much less Taraba or Gombe and then come to Bauchi. We will ensure we do whatever we can, this will be the last Atiku’s outing and he will suffer a bloodied nose by the grace of God.”

Dambazau said the country had decimated Boko Haram, adding that the insurgency was in his last days despite the recent attack on Melete where soldiers were killed.

The former Chief of Army Staff said with the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gbenga Olonisakin, taking a centre stage and promoting cohesion among the service chiefs, it was a matter of time for the insurgency to be completely wiped off.   (Punch)

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BREAKING: Senate Demands Removal Of Malami, Dambazau Over Maina Scandal |RN


From: FRED ITUA, Abuja

The Senate has mandated President Muhammadu Buhari to act swiftly and punish the government officials involved in the reinstatement of the former chairman of Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.

The Senate mentioned the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami and the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, demanding for their immediate removal.

Senators who took their turns to condemn the recall of Maina, said President Buhari’s government has been hijacked by powerful forces who do not want the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government to succeed.  (The Sun)

Details later…

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Memo Details How Minister Of Interior, Dambazau, AGF, Malami Were Behind Reinstatement Of Maina

By Ike A. Offor

A memo detailing how Minister of Interior, Abdulraham Danbazau and AGF Abubakar Malami reinstated Abdulrasheed Maina has emerged revealing every details of their actions in the controversy.

There has been denials and confusion on how the man alleged to be involved in pension fund fraud and wanted by EFCC before he absconded could be reinstated into the service and promoted, without prior knowledge of his crime.

The details here reveals how such clandestine reinstatement was carried out by the minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami in such secretive job offer without regard for the law.

Nigerians have been outraged by the acitivities surrounding this scandal and many have questioned the seriousness of Buhari-led administration in the fight against corruption.

Though in a kneejerk reaction, President Buhari yesterday fired Abdulrasheed Maina and ordered for investigation into who were behind such act.

But many folks still think that the President has not done enough by mere sacking of Alhaji Maina but should get him arrested and prosectued for the fraud he is accused of.

The Republican News reported this morning in its Facebook page, that mobile police officers attached to EFCC stormed the estimated $2m mansion belonging to Abdulrasheed Maina but he is nowhere to be found.

The memo clearly stated that Alhaji Maina was dismissed from the service on 21st February 2013, this being the period the past aminstration of Goodluck Jonathan dsicovered that he was involved in a fraud and was dismissed and asked EFCC to investigate him.

Alhaji Maina, then absconded and vanished into thin air until he returned and was resinstated into the same service where he was dismissed from.

Abdulrasheed Maina

The Republican News

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Federal Head Of Service Says Maina Was Never Sacked |The Republican News

Abdulrasheed Maina

Abdulrasheed Maina

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation has said it is an error for the public to assume that because a director in the civil service was recommended for sack, it is automatic.

The Assistant Director (Press), Office of Head of Service of the Federation, Mohammed Manga, said this in reaction to a report that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has secretly reinstated former chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, into the civil service.

Maina was in 2013 recommended for dismissal by the Federal Civil Service Commission following a recommendation by the Office of the Head of Service.

In 2012, Maina was accused of leading a massive pension fraud scheme amounting to more than N100 billion. He was drafted by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2010 to sanitize a corrupt pension system.

Based on the allegation of corruption, Mr. Maina was invited by the Senate Joint Committee on Public Service and Establishment and State and Local Government Administration.

According to Manga in a telephone interview with Daily Sun, “You journalists should start reading civil servant rules and be properly informed so as not to misinform the public. Nobody will dismiss a director from service just by recommendations. A civil service director is not a political appointment, every one of them wrote exams and got promoted to that position, so sacking a director even an assistant is not easy. The Civil Service Commission are the ones constitutional backed to engage, discipline and promote a civil servant.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Interior, Gen (retd) Abdulrahman Dambazau, has denied having a hand in the recall of Maina in his ministry.

The Press Secretary to the Minister of Interior, Ehisienmen Osaigbovo, in a statement said, Maina was posted few days ago to the Ministry of Interior by the Office of the Head of Service on an Acting capacity to fill a vacancy created following the retirement of the Director heading the Human Resources Department in the Ministry.

The statement titled “Re-Buhari Administration Recalls Wanted Ex-Pension Boss Sacked for Alleged Corruption” read:

“The publication which queries the re-instatement of former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms reportedly claimed that the Interior Minister was one of those behind the said re-instatement. It is observed that some insinuations as it concerns the Interior Minister were presented as facts, hence the compelling need to proffer some clarifications for reference purposes.    (The Sun)

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Hate Speech: FG To Sponsor Executive Bill To Punish Perpetrators |RN


From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The Federal Government has revealed that an Executive Bill will be sent to the National Assembly which, if passed into law, will spell out harsh punishment for perpetrators of hate speeches in the country.

Minister of Interior, Lt. General Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd) made the disclosure after appearing before the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, to update the committee on the performance of his ministry.

Reacting to the effects of hate speeches, currently trending on the social media, the minister said the draft bill is already with the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami for onward transmission to both chambers of the National Assembly.

Asked why it has become difficult for his ministry to hunt down the perpetrators of hate speeches, he said: “What we have done now is to submit a draft bill to the Ministry of Justice on hate speech, which will go as an Executive Bill after passing through the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.

“The draft contains the laws and punishment for hate speeches. This should not be allowed in this country. Everybody is entitled to belong to his religion and no one chose the tribe he wants to be born.

“That is how God wants the person to be and there is absolutely no reason for hate speech. If the National Assembly passes the bill, certainly, anybody who engages in hate speech will be prosecuted in accordance with the law of the country,” he said.

He equally spoke on the church killing in Ozubulu in Anambra State, insisting that the Federal Government is still awaiting comprehensive report on the issue. The minister, however, denied speculation that the killing was as a result of a war between drug barons.

“I have spoken with the governor of Anambra State and he told me that it was an issue bordering on a relationship between two persons from the same village resident somewhere in South Africa. As a result, one of them arranged the violent attack.

“I have not received the detailed report of that incident. But, whether there is speculation that those two persons are involved in drug peddling and trafficking, I am still awaiting the detailed report. However, as I said, I have spoken to the governor who confirmed that it was a rift between two persons from the same village, resident in South Africa,”  he emphasised.

On his biggest achievement in the two years he has served as a minister, he said: “As you know, I have five agencies under my ministry, including the Nigeria Police, Immigration, Prisons, Civil Defence and Federal Fire Services. Each of these services has a unique stand and I can tell you that we have recorded far-reaching achievements in terms of their reforms.”

“We have drawn out policies that would enable them to meet their contemporary challenges. Again, we have ensured that these policies are adequately implemented. While some have been completed, others are ongoing. Therefore, I can tell you that we have done much more than what we met.”  (The Sun)

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