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FG developing strategies to completely dismantle Boko Haram ideology – Lai Mohammed

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The Federal Government says it is developing narratives and communication strategies to completely dismantle and neutralise the Boko Haram violent ideology and messages.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday at the public presentation of the “Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism.’’

The minister said that although the terrorists had been defeated and now on the run, the challenge of countering their violent ideology remained.

“We are committed to developing narratives and communication strategies that will completely dismantle and neutralise the Boko Haram ideology and messages.

“Thanks to the leadership and political will demonstrated by President Muhammadu Buhari, which has served as a morale booster for our gallant men and women in uniform, Boko Haram has been decimated and put on the run by our gallant military.

“The record of success is there for all to see: At least 30,000 hostages kidnapped by Boko Haram extremist group, including women and Children, have been rescued by the military.

“More than 100 Chibok girls have so far been rescued.

“The government is committed to the safe return of the remaining Chibok girls, while rehabilitating and reuniting them with their families and communities.

“Sambisa Forest has become too hot for Boko Haram and they are now escaping to neighbouring communities.

“Boko Haram is no longer able to carry out organised attacks. They hold no territory and their flag, which they were flying in Bama and other territories they used to occupy, has become a shroud.

“But the challenge is for us to develop the strategies to counter the dangerous ideologies and messages being peddled by the extremists,” Mohammed said.

He also said that government was not unmindful of structural conditions that made the environment conducive to the growth of violent extremism.

He said the conditions included unemployment, poverty, lack of education, corruption, and other social-economic factors but that through various policies and programmes, government was addressing them on daily basis.

The minister listed some of the programmes introduced by government to address them as the Anchor Borrowers programme, Home Grown School feeding Programme and the N-Power programme.

All these, according to him, are to help build community resilience against the violent extremist group.

Mohammed also said that as part of soft approach in tackling security challenges, the federal government was engaging in dialogue with different key stakeholders.

He said that the engagement was to find “possible and lasting solutions to the issue of herder-farmer conflicts, which is one of the security challenges we face today.’’

He, therefore, appealed to the media not to relent in the critical they play in the fight against violent extremism.

“It is on this basis that I applaud the critical role which the Nigerian Media have played, and continue to play, in the fight against extremist groups in our country.

“In spite of intimidation and attacks on some media outfits by Boko Haram, the Nigerian media stood firm and are still standing by the Nigerian people.

“I encourage the media to sustain this momentum and to deny extremist groups the oxygen of publicity which they badly crave, until we collectively dismantle Boko Haram extremist ideologies through constructive alternative narratives.

“I also encourage you to engage in a responsible use of the social media so that it doesn’t become a platform for spreading fear, hatred and violence, which are capable of tearing apart any society,’’ the minister said.

He said concerted efforts were needed in building resilience against violent extremism, including efforts of women and girls, families, faith-based organisations, civil society organisations, media and social media influencers.

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We’ve saved $21bn on food imports -FG

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has lauded Nigerians for curbing excessive taste for foreign products, which has positioned the country for food self-sufficiency and resulted into savings of over 21 billion dollars.

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, quoted the president as saying that the humongous savings would be deployed to other critical areas like infrastructure, education, health care and many others.

Adesina said that President Buhari was reacting to recent disclosures by Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who spoke at the 2018 Annual Bankers’ Dinner.

Emefiele at the dinner said: “Noticeable declines were steadily recorded in our monthly food import bill from 665.4 million dollars in January 2015 to 160.4 million dollars as at October 2018, a cumulative fall of 75.9% and an implied savings of over 21 billion dollars on food imports alone over that period.

“Most evident were the 97.3% cumulative reduction in monthly rice import bills, 99.6% in fish, 81.3% in milk, 63.7% in sugar, and 60.5% in wheat. We are glad with the accomplishments recorded so far.”

President Buhari said with the commitment of Nigerian farmers, and the support given by the government, “in no distant future, food importation will be completely alien to us, and we will even export actively, thus reversing our position as a mono- product economy.”

The CBN governor equally spoke on the number of jobs created in the agriculture sector:

“In the agriculture sector, the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) has ensured that Nigeria emerged from being a net importer of rice to becoming a major producer, supplying key markets in neighbouring countries.

“As at October 2018, a total number of 862,069 farmers cultivating about 835,239 hectares, across 16 different commodities, have so far benefited from Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, which has generated 2,502,675 jobs across the country.”

While describing the development as “heart-warming,” the President said it was just a matter of time before a significantly positive impact would be made in the statistics of the unemployed in the country, particularly from the agriculture sector.

He asserted: “We are on a productive voyage, which would see the ship of state berthing at the harbour of food self-sufficiency, gainful jobs, peace and prosperity for Nigerians.’’

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Akpabio blasts Bishop for scolding wife

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Senator Godswill Akpabio

Senator Godswill Akpabio


Senator Godswill Akpabio yesterday took the Archbishop of the Methodist Church, Ikot Ekpene, His Grace, Most Rev. Sunday Uko, to the cleaners for stopping his wife, Unoma, from making political comments during church service.

Unoma Akpabio spoke at the Methodist Church, Ukana in Essien Udim Local Government Area during a service marking the presentation of the immediate past Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Sir Etekamba Umoren, as lay president of the church.

She asked the congregation to vote for all candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), specifically President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC governorship candidate in the state, Obong (Dr.) Nsima Ekere in 2019.

But the Archbishop of Ikot Ekpene, His Grace, Most Rev. Sunday Uko, who presided over the church service, got up from where he was sitting and approached Senator Akpabio to express his displeasure over his wife’s political comments.

The clergy scolded Akpabio’s wife for using the church service to do political campaign and made attempts to seize the microphone from her.

A visibly angry Akpabio, who got hold of the microphone after his wife apologised to the clergy for her action, scolded the Archbishop for embarrassing his wife.

He said it was wrong for the Archbishop to stop the wife from talking politics in church, saying that the reason why the clergy embarrassed his wife was because he was supporting Governor Udom Emmanuel.

“You can’t embarrass my wife for talking politics in church because of your support for Governor Udom Emmanuel. I brought Udom and made him governor so nobody can claim to love the son more than the father.

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Keyamo Blames Electoral Bill Controversy On NASS ‘Self-Serving’ Nature

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Festus Keyamo

Festus Keyamo


As controversy continues to trail the rejection of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, Mr Festus Keyamo has accused the National Assembly of putting their interests over that of Nigerians.

Keyamo made the allegation on Sunday in reaction to claims that President Muhammadu Buhari declined to assent to the bill to win his re-election in 2019.

“I want to say clearly to Nigerians that we got to this point because of the self-serving nature of the National Assembly,” said the Senior Advocate of Nigeria during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

“The same international community they are appealing to will tell them that international conventions all over the world say that in any build-up to any election, it is wrong, it is against the international best practices to make any changes in any electoral law less than six months to any election,” said the spokesman for the Buhari Campaign Organisation.

He added, “If the President signs the Electoral Act Amendment Bill now, our elections will not be deemed to be credible, our elections will not be deemed to be free and fair.

“If he does not sign it like he has refused to do, that is when it will be deemed free and fair.”

Keyamo stressed that the President’s reason that the signing of the bill was too close to the elections was in tandem with the international protocol.

According to him, elections were cancelled in Kenya because of a similar situation in the country.

The senior advocate condemned the claims that the President rejected the bill because he was against the use of card readers for the polls.

He said, “Nigerians don’t know that the version of the bill that was transmitted to the President in August this year, which was the third time, did not include the provision regarding the card reader.

“If the President does not want card reader, the President would have quickly signed that version that was sent to him in August. It was the President that pointed it out to them.”

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