Adeosun’s certificate forgery worse than Pantami’s comments on terrorists – Garba Shehu

The Presidency has described Southern Governors Forum’s recent ban on open grazing as an action of questionable legality, accusing the Governors of politicking with a serious security issues and an attempt at show of power. The Presidency’s position was contained in a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu. It insisted the Governors’ action during the recent meeting in Asaba, Delta state is a violation of the constitutional right of Nigerians to live and do business in any part of the country, irrespective of such citizen’s state of origin. It recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had already approved specific measures to bring the incessant farmers/herders clashes to an end, adding that the southern governors did not offer any solution to the farmers/ herders crisis, which has bedeviled the nation for decades. The Presidency announced the Federal Government would commence partial implementation of the plan to rehabilitate grazing reserves in willing states, starting from June. “President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed a strong resolve to address the conflicts of herders and farmers in a sustained and lasting manner that should lead to the emergence of a permanent solution to the frequent clashes between them, as well as the associated problem of the gun-wielding ‘killer herdsmen’. “The President had approved a number of specific measures to bring a permanent end to the frequent skirmishes as recommended by Alhaji Sabo Nanono, the Minister of Agriculture in a report he submitted and the President signed off on it back in April, well before the actions of the Southern Governors Forum which attempts to place a ban on open grazing and other acts of politicking intended by its signatories to demonstrate their power. “It is very clear that there was no solution offered from their resolutions to the herder-farmer clashes that have been continuing in our country for generations. “But the citizens of the southern states – indeed citizens of all states of Nigeria – have a right to expect their elected leaders and representatives to find answers to challenges of governance and rights, and not to wash their hands off hard choices by, instead, issuing bans that say: ‘not in my state’ “It is equally true that their announcement is of questionable legality given the Constitutional right of all Nigerians to enjoy the same rights and freedoms within every one of our 36 states (and FCT) -regardless of the state of their birth or residence. “Fortunately, this declaration has been preempted, for whatever it is intended to achieve and Mr. President, who has rightly been worried about these problems more than any other citizen in consultation with farmers and herders alike, commissioned and approved an actionable plan of rehabilitating grazing reserves in the states, starting with those that are truly committed to the solution and compliant with stated requirements. “With veterinary clinics, water points for animals, and facilities for herders and their families including schooling – through these rehabilitated reserves, the Federal Government is making far-reaching and practical changes allowing for different communities to co-exist side-by-side: supporting farmers to till their fields, herders to rear their livestock and Nigerians everywhere to be safe. “The entire country is acutely aware of the strain the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on public finances, for both Federal and States. Still, given the pressing urgency of addressing the perennial challenges, the federal funding for the project that has been delayed is now being partly unlocked. Actual work for the full actualization of the modern reserve system in a few of the consenting states should take off in June,” the statement reads.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s media aide, Garba Shehu, said certificate forgery involving Kemi Adeosun, former Finance Minister, is worse than Isa Ali Pantami’s views on terror groups.

Shehu made the remark on Friday when he appeared on Channels TV.

Adeosun was forced to resign in 2018 after over her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate said to have been forged.

Pantami, the Communications Minister, expressed views in support of Al-Qaeda and Taliban during his lectures in the 2000s.

The Islamic preacher explained his views had changed but a there are calls for his resignation. The presidency, however, dismissed the demand.

Shehu said in the case of Pantami, “you are probing the thoughts, what is called ‘McCarthyism’; you search the inner recesses of the minds of individuals, bring out things they have said or they are about to say or you think they would say and use that against them.”

“If Pantami had forged certificate before coming into office, the attitude would have been different”, he added.

Pantami commissions 7 NCC, NITDA’s projects in Abuja, Bauchi, Enugu, Ogun, others

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, on Friday virtually commissioned seven digital economy projects executed by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)

The projects include Emergency Communication Centres established by the NCC in both Ogun and Enugu states.

Other digital economy projects commissioned by the Minister include the Community ICT Centre, Dutse, Jigawa State; Information Technology Hub at Abubakar Tafawa Belewa University, Bauchi; and Digital Economy Centres (DEC) in Imo State Polytechnic; Garki Secondary School, Abuja and Ojodu Grammar School, Ojodu, Lagos State. These five projects were executed by NITDA.

The seven projects were inaugurated by the Minister during the virtual commissioning of the batch nine of digital economy projects for a Digital Nigeria which took place at the Communications & Digital Economy Complex, Mbora, Abuja on Friday.

The ECCs are deliberate projects embarked upon by the Commission pursuant to its mandates, enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, to dedicate a national emergency number and to ensure the protection of lives and property of Nigerians

To date, 19 states of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, have benefited from functional ECC projects, the implementation of which has received greater momentum under the Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, as the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of the Commission.

By simply dialing a dedicated toll-free Emergency Number, 112, citizens can easily receive timely succor in times of emergency from appropriate emergency response agencies (ERAs) such as the Police, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Fire Service, Ambulance Service, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and so on.

Speaking during the commissioning, Pantami, who commended the agencies under his Ministry for joining hands in collectively advancing the course of digital economy which he is spearheading, stated that the projects are in line with the tripartite agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The agenda, according to the Minister, focuses on the tripod of economic development, curbing corruption and improving security of the country.

“It is the goal of the Federal Government to leverage ICT to address developmental issues in our country and that is what we have been doing in the Ministry by facilitating development of Nigeria’s digital economy targets through a number of policy and regulatory initiatives,” Pantami said.

In attendance during the commissioning ceremony were the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Engr Festus Daudu; the EVC, NCC, Prof Danbatta; DG, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Inuwa Abdullahi and the Postmaster General, Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), Dr. Ismail Adewusi.

Others are the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat), Dr. Abimbola Alale; Director-General, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Dr. Abdulaziz Aliyu and Ayuba Shuaibu , Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) who is also Chairman, Project Review and Commissioning Committee.

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