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Presidency Condemns What It Calls “Cancel Campaign” Against Isa Pantami |The Republican News

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENCY ON RECENT CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL ECONOMY

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.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 22, 2021

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You Can’t Order Fulani Herdsmen Out Of Ondo —Presidency Responds To Gov. Akeredolu |The Republican News

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu gives Fulani herdsmen 7-day ultimatum to vacate forests

The presidency has reacted to the directive of Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo state, who gave herders a seven-day ultimatum to vacate forests in the state.

The governor, who said the decision was taken as a result of rising insecurity in the state, added that “bad elements” have turned the forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating for ransom and carrying out other criminal activities.

Akeredolu also banned the movement of cattle within cities and highways, as well as night grazing.

But reacting in a statement on Tuesday, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said the action could set off a chain of events “which the makers of our constitution foresaw and tried to guard against”.

He called for restraint on both sides and urged the state government and the leadership of the Fulani communities to continue their dialogue for a “good understanding that will bring to an urgent end, the nightmarish security challenges facing the state”.

Shehu said while the presidency would not condone any form of criminality, governors must not fan the embers of discord.

“The Presidency has been keenly monitoring events occurring in Ondo State and the “orders” by the government of the state, “asking herders to vacate the forests in seven days,” the statement read.

“What is clearly emerging, is a lack of consistency in messaging which in turn leads to various contradictions regarding accuracy and the intent behind the message.

“Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, a seasoned lawyer, Senior Advocate of Nigeria and indeed, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has fought crime in his state with passion and commitment, greater sensitivity and compassion for the four years he has run its affairs and, in our view, will be the least expected to unilaterally oust thousands of herders who have lived all their lives in the state on account of the infiltration of the forests by criminals.

“If this were to be the case, rights groups will be right in expressing worries that the action could set off a chain of events which the makers of our constitution foresaw and tried to guard against.

“We want to make it clear that kidnapping, banditry and rustling are crimes, no matter the motive or who is involved. But, to define crime from the nameplates, as a number of commentators have erroneously done- which group they belong to, the language they speak, their geographical location or their faith is atavistic and cruel.

“We need to delink terrorism and crimes from ethnicity, geographical origins and religion—to isolate the criminals who use this interchange of arguments to hinder law enforcement efforts as the only way to deal effectively with them.”

Shehu said the president, who swore to defend the constitution has spoken against groups which issued threats that could spark tension in the country.

“The president has spoken against the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in asking citizens of Northern origin to leave; he did not spare the group based in Sokoto, ‘Muslim Solidarity Forum,’ which asked the Bishop of Sokoto to leave and is prepared to do all that the law permits to protect citizens all over the country in their choice of where they wished to reside and are treated as equal citizens,” he said.

“The government of Ondo, and all the 35 others across the federation must draw clear lines between the criminals and the law abiding citizens who must equally be saved from the infiltrators. Beyond law and order, the fight against crime is also a fight for human values which are fundamental to our country.” (The Cable)

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Please Forgive And Let An Igbo Man Succeed You —APC BOT, Okoloagu Begs Buhari |The Republican News

  • President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to forgive the hostility of some Igbo youths and work to put a southeasterner in Aso Rock when he leaves office in 2023
  • APC BoT member, Okoloagu, a retired brigadier-general, made the plea on behalf of the people of the southeast
  • Okoloagu noted that it is only fair to let the Igbos, the third-largest nation in Nigeria, pick the country’s next leader

A member of the All Progressives Congress (APC’s) Board of Trustees (BoT), Joseph Okoloagu, has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that he is succeeded by someone from the southeastern part of Nigeria in 2023.

The retired brigadier-general made the plea in an interview he had with a national newspaper, Daily Trust, where he also pleaded with President Buhari to forgive the hostility of some Igbo youths towards him.

He said: “I humbly appeal to my revered President Buhari to ignore the hostility of the Igbo youths against him and his administration and be a nobleman, to make sure at the end of his tenure, an Igbo man succeeds him.

Okoloagu noted that for the sake of equality, the southeastern should be allowed to produce the country’s next president in 2023.

“I want to make it abundantly clear that it is fair and proper to let the Igbo have a shot at the presidency. But it can only be done on a party platform. If the party the Igbos are using now is okay to give them the presidency, so be it.

“But if the party they have been patronizing is not strong enough to give them the presidency, what I am advocating is that, for peace, equity and good conscience, there should be a president of Igbo extraction and not necessarily an Igbo president when Buhari leaves office in 2023.”

Okoloagu’s plea came just days after President Buhari on Tuesday, December 17, said that he would not allow anyone to use his name to campaign for votes in the bid to compromise the 2023 presidential election.

The president said this when he was paid a visit by Secretary to Federal Government (SGF) Boss Mustapha alongside his aides to celebrate the Nigerian leader’s 77 birthday.

He promised Nigerians that he will give them free and fair general elections in 2023.

Specifically, the president said he would not make the mistake of attempting a third term and went on to enumerate reasons why he would not seek another term.

Buhari’s announcement has since thrown open the floodgates of intentions among politicians.

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Presidency Replies Arewa Youths Letter To Osinbajo Supporting Biafra’s Peaceful Secession

yemiosinbajo

Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo

From: Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Presidency has reacted to Arewa youths’ letter to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, urging him to allow agitation for Biafra to succeed through peaceful means.

According to the Presidency, the ongoing  consultations with leaders of thoughts and traditional rulers from the North and Southeastern regions of the country, following the escalation of ethnic tensions occasioned by the agitation for Biafra and the vacation order  issued by Northern youths for Igbo to quit the North, was the best way to approach the issue.

A top Presidential source, who pleaded not to be named, told Daily Sun that, “our response is the ongoing consultations Mr Acting President is engaged in with leaders of thoughts from both regions. It is the best way to get everyone to see reason. The Presidency doesn’t want to escalate the matter by responding to individual groups. The ongoing parley is the best approach.”

The coalition of northern youth groups that recently gave all Igbo persons resident in the North three months ultimatum to vacate the region had, in a letter on Monday urged Osinbajo to take allow agitation for Biafra to succeed through peaceful means.

The group, in an open letter to the acting president, urges him to take “steps to facilitate the actualization of the agitation in line with the principle of self-determination as an integral part of contemporary customary international law”.

The coalition, while commending Osinbajo for initiating series of discussions with leaders from the north and south-east, however, said going by recent events, the talks would not yield any positive results.

The letter, which was signed by five leaders of the group insisted that  principle of self-determination has, since world War II become a part of the United Nations Charter which states in Article 1(2), that one of the purposes of the UN is “to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples”.

” We submit that this protocol envisages that people of any nation have the right to self-determination, and although the Charter did not categorically impose direct legal obligations on the Member States; it implies that member States allow agitating or minority groups to self-govern as much as possible,” they said.  (Punchng.com)

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