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BREAKING: Gunshots As Shi’ites, Police Clash At Federal Secretariat Again, Many Injured

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Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria have again dared government as they clashed with the police at the Federal Secretariat.

The police fired gunshots and tear gas to disperse the protesters.

SaharaReporters reports that many people were injured in the violent clash on Monday.

According to the online news outlet, a journalist with Channels TV was among the casualties as he was shot and rushed to the hospital.

The clash sparked panic as anxious workers, commuters and motorists fled in fear.

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It would be recalled that they stormed the National Assembly complex two weeks ago during which they shot two policemen and damaged many vehicles and properties.

The spokesman of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Abdullahi Musa, who spoke with The Nation vowed to continue the protest on Monday despite the development.

Inside Nigeria

We’re Winning War Against Corruption — Buhari

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Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has again declared that his administration was winning the war against corruption in the country.

He said the successes recorded so far by anti-graft agencies, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had bolstered Nigeria’s international image.

Buhari added that his government was poised to use cutting-edge information technology to strengthen the achievements and ensure that no government financial transaction was done in secret.

He assured that he would work towards making sure that reforms were deepened in such a way that there would be no hiding place for looters.

The President stated these on Tuesday in Kaduna at the Passing out parade of Detective Inspector Course Five, of the EFCC.

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Buhari said: “The fight against corruption is becoming much more effective. I make bold to say that Nigeria is winning the war against corruption. We have been working within the frameworks of National Action Plan for Open Government Partnership (OGP), National Anti-Corruption Strategy which is an adaptation of United Nations Convention against Corruption and the Global Forum for Asset Recovery (GFAR).

“Several of the reforms have been effective for several years with great impact on revenue and expenditure management. These include; the Government Integrated, Financial and Management Information System (GIFMIS), Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), Treasury Single Account, and Bank Verification Number (BVN).

“Executive Orders, such as Preservation of Suspicious Assets Connected with Corruption (Executive Order 6), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Act 2018; and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 2018 have been operating for a few years and effectively limiting system opportunities for corrupt practices.

“This administration, right from the inception, aligned with the Open Governance Partnership and Global Forum for Asset Recovery in addition to existing commitments to African Union and Economic Community of West African States’ Conventions Against Corruption, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).

“These frameworks focus significantly on systems reforms in order to prevent corruption. Nigeria’s active participation in these global anti-corruption platforms means that the country is subjecting itself to periodic review of its progress in implementing the articles of conventions thus the fight against corruption.

”Our fight against corruption is being recognised by the international community as real and effective. The face of the country abroad is also changing as the international community is beginning to see Nigeria making substantial progress in the enthronement of transparency, accountability and good governance.

“The President of the 7th Session of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) had this to say when announcing Nigeria as Vice Chairman of Conference of State Parties: ‘It is an election well-deserved. Nigeria has demonstrated remarkable determination in the fight against corruption.’ Nigeria retained the position of vice chair of the 8th Session.

“During the 10th Session of the Conference of State Parties, the Implementation Review Group Report also noted the high number of Asset Recovery cases successfully initiated by Nigeria in cooperation with other countries under the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) framework.”

Stressing that his administration was poised to use cutting-edge information technology to combat administrative corruption and espouse fiscal transparency, Buhari explained that all government financial transactions would soon be done in the open with the implementation of the various reform agenda.

The President noted that the various national reforms and collaborative efforts with international organisations were designed to strengthen anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria.

His words: “My resolve is to ensure that the reforms are deepened such that there will be no hiding place for corrupt persons and proceeds of corruption. My aim is to ensure that no government financial transaction is done in secret and all are subjected to public scrutiny.

“The objective of this administration is to institute a level of transparency in governance through mainly information technology platforms. Just as advanced democracies and some developing countries, I am determined that within a short period, citizens would be able to follow core government operations on line.

“Our government has reached advanced stage in Fiscal Transparency. The Appropriation Bill is placed online within hours of its presentation in National Assembly. The Budget Office of the Federation has been engaging interest groups in the budget cycle. A pilot scheme of 10 MDAs has been test running online display of their budgets and expenditure movements.

“Our commitment to online disclosure of Beneficial Owners of Companies generally within the framework of the Corporate Affairs Commission and in the extractive industries through Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) is on course.

“I am aware the portals are ready but owners of companies are unwilling to comply with all disclosure requirements. I urge all well-meaning Nigerians to fully comply.”

The President said he was “determined that recovered assets are effectively managed with greater impact on fiscal operations of government and social investment policies of our administration.”

He praised efforts of the EFCC in making the war against corruption effective.

He added: “I have listened attentively to the report in the speech presented by the Chairman of EFCC. The report is an attestation that right policies have been put in place to fight corruption and the fight is becoming much more effective.

“I congratulate the EFCC on its good work and I urge that the current level of success be sustained and accelerated.”

Buhari also expressed happiness that the EFCC was making steady progress by the recruitment, training and deployment of a special force of 665 cadets to its zonal offices within the past two years.

In his opening remarks, the acting Chairman of the EFCC. Ibrahim Magu, stated that corruption was deadlier than cancer, coronavirus, Ebola virus and Lassa fever.

He also said the commission secured 1,893 convictions between 2015 and December 2019.

Magu added: “Corruption is worse than cancer, Ebola virus, coronavirus and all other deadly diseases put together. Corruption is responsible for the insecurity and other vices experienced in Nigeria today and if we can remove corruption from our system, insecurity will disappear.

”In 2015, 103 convictions were secured. By 2016, 195 convictions were recorded, 314 convictions in 2018 and over 1,281 convictions in 2019.”

Magu also said that the commission was “currently developing its Statement of Strategy for 2020 to 2025, in line with the five pillars of National Anti-Corruption Strategy.”

He added that the EFCC, with the support of development partners, has built one of the best investigative laboratories in West Africa.

The laboratories, according to him, have aided investigators and prosecutors in achieving accuracy and deployment of “incontrovertible” evidence in courts.

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Inside Nigeria

Sacking Service Chiefs Will Threaten National Unity — Presidency

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The Presidency on Tuesday said sacking service chiefs would create cracks in the country and threaten national unity.

The Presidency added that there were processes that should be followed in the disengagement of heads of security agencies insisting that “at the right time, those processes will be followed.”

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, stated this at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, during the public presentation of a book titled, ‘CAN, Religion and Power in Nigeria,’ written by a former General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Samuel Salifu.

He said, “Well, I don’t think this (sacking of service chiefs) is appropriate for this forum; you don’t sack people like that. There are processes and I believe that at the opportune (sic) time, those processes will be followed.

“We need everybody to be on board. We need synergy within the intelligence community, within the military formations that will help fight this war. We are in a very difficult situation and when we begin to create cracks and divisions who will be the beneficiaries?”

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The SGF described the book as a reservoir of information, history and past years of struggle.

At the event, Ijaw leader and former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, represented by a former Nigerian Ambassador to Scandinavia, Godknows Igali, attributed the insecurity and disunity in the country to religious differences.

Clark said, “No religion should be regarded as superior to another or be given priority consideration. For instance, the whole country and indeed the international community is watching out to see how Mr President will handle the next appointments for the Presidency of the Court of Appeal as the current occupier bows out and the position becomes vacant on March 4, 2020. It is also the same for the service chiefs which will soon be vacant. My prayer is that Mr President will do the correct thing.”

The President of CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, advised government to put an end to the killings in the country.

He said, “It will be good to make sure that those in government fight violence in Nigeria. Because if they fail to accomplish a Nigeria where there is peace and security, it will be sad and it will be part of their history forever and ever.”

A former Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan said Nigeria would stand and flourish only when Muslims and Christians walk together to make religion a factor of stability, unity, peace and prosperity.

 

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Muslims And Christians Are All Sons Of Abraham, Buhari Tells Nigerians

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A statement has been released by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, February 18 in commemoration of the abduction of Leah Sharibu who is the only remaining Dapchi schoolgirl in Boko Haram’s den.

President Buhari disclosed that no one can force Nigerians to change their religion against their will because everyone has the right to practice any religion of their choice.

While regretting that Leah Sharibu is still in captivity, Buhari assured Nigerians that his administration will continue working towards emsuring Leah Sharibu and other children in captivity regain their freedom.

The statement reads;

WE’LL CONTINUE TO SEEK AND SECURE RELEASE OF ALL CHILDREN AND CAPTIVES OF TERRORISTS – PRESIDENT BUHARI

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On the second anniversary of Dapchi, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria makes the following statement:

Two years ago, 110 innocent children from the town of Dapchi were taken, against their will, by the terrorists of Boko Haram. 107 survived the ordeal. Today all but one – Leah Sharibu – are returned to their families.

Now aged 16, Leah remains in the hands of the terrorists – they say because she refuses to renounce her Christian faith.

We say, as the government for and of all Nigerians, that no person has the right to force another to change their faith against their will and that all life is sacred.

This government continues and seeks to secure the release of all children and captives of terrorists – and we do so regardless of their creed or the name of their creator.

As we redouble our efforts for Leah’s return, we can never allow the terrorists to divide us – Christian against Muslim, Muslim against Christian. We are all Sons of Abraham. And all Nigerians have the same worth and rights before the law, and before God.

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