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FG urges U.S not to grant visa to Atiku

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Atiku lobbying for U.S visa

Atiku lobbying for U.S visa

The Federal Government has advised the U.S. to be cautious in issuing visa to the PDP’s Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who, for many years, had been denied the document.

The government said it was concerned in order not to create the impression of endorsing the candidate for the 2019 election by the U.S.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the government position at an interactive session with media executives in Abuja on Thursday.

Mohammed said that the government was aware of the move by the former Vice President to lobby the U.S. to lift the visa ban imposed on him.

He said, while the U.S. has the prerogative of whom to issue visa, it should be mindful of the timing, in order not to give the impression that Atiku has been endorsed by the U.S. government.

“We understand and appreciate the fact that it is the prerogative of the U.S. to grant a visa to anyone who applies.

“However, we want the U.S. to be neutral and be wary of taking any decision that will give the impression that they are favouring or endorsing one candidate over the other

“Impression must not be created that the U.S. government is endorsing one particular candidate over the other,’’ he said.

The minister recalled that for years, there has been a kind of congressional bi-partisan investigation on corruption against certain individuals which had made it difficult for Atiku to secure a U.S. visa.

“I am sure you will all recall the Jefferson’s case and the cold 90,000 U.S. dollar in fridge.

“We are not unaware that Atiku has engaged the services of some lobbyists to persuade the U.S. to issue visa to him.

“Our position is that if the former Vice President is seeking the U.S. visa we have no problem about it.

“However, we want the U.S. government not to create the impression that it is endorsing one candidate over the other,’’ he said.

Speaking on security, the minister insisted that despite the recent set back brought about by attacks on the military, the Boko Haram insurgents had been largely decimated.

He recalled that when they took over in 2015, Boko Haram was active in 10 states including the FCT where they chose where and when to attack

The minister said that 20 of the 27 Local Government Areas in Borno were under the insurgents where they hoisted their flags collected taxes and deposed the Emirs.

He said since they took over, no inch of Nigeria territory is under the control of the insurgents who now operated in the fringes –Lake Chad Island- to launch guerilla attacks.

“What happened was a set-back and it is not enough to say that we are losing the war against the Boko Haram.

“We want to appreciate the gallant military who are sacrificing day and night and those who have lost their lives to protect Nigeria’s sovereignty,’’ he said.

The Minister added that the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Borno and his ongoing visit to Chad were indications of renewed vigour to end the war.

Mohammed also denied the allegations that the government was closing media space against the opposition.

On the arrest of Deji Adeyanju, convener of Concerned Nigerians by the Police, the minister noted that “being an activist or in the opposition does not protect anyone from arrest and prosecution’’.

He said the case had been charged to court and it would be prejudicial to make further comments on it.

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Troops inflict devastating casualty on Boko Haram terrorists in fresh Baga encounter

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Combined Special Forces troops of the Nigerian Army, Navy and the Air Force operating under the auspices of Operation LAfiYA DOLE in the ongoing counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in northern Borno have inflicted devastating man and equipment casualty on Boko Haram terrorists in a fresh encounter with the dissidents in the late hours of Saturday 19 January 2018.

The terrorists, armed with two Gun trucks, a vehicle laden with Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and a suicide bomber met their water loo while frantically fighting to break into the formidable defensive position of the troops. The gallant troops responded swiftly in a fierce counter offensive, unleashing superior and overwhelming firepower on the terrorists and neutralizied five of them, including a driver and a gunner firing from a gun truck, a suicide bomber in a vehicle loaded with IED and two other terrorists.

In the ferrocious counter attack, the valiant troops destroyed one Gun truck ànd one IED – Carrying vehicle. The troops also recovered one Anti Aircraft Gun and three AK 47 Rifles belonging to the terrorists. The troops are relentless and in high morale as they continue in hot pursuit of some of the terrorists who fled the scene of the encounter when they were overpowered by the troops.

It will be recalled, that only recently, the special forces troops resolutely dealt a deadly blow on the terrorists in a battle in which the terrorists attempted to contest the control over Baga town with the Special Forces troops.

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Boko Haram: Nigerian Army seeks strategic military partnership

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…As COAS visits Republic of Korea

As part of the efforts to further enhance the professional efficiency and capabilities of the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General TY Buratai has led a delegation to the Republic of Korea to seek strategic bi-lateral collaboration in the fight against terrorism and insurgency. The visit which was at the instance of KIA Motors Corporation, was further aimed at improving the capacity building of the Nigerian Army by Republic of Korea in the areas of military logistic, intelligence gathering, army aviation and military vehicle manufacturing.

The visit began on 16th January 2019 with a courtesy call to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Korean Armed Forces, General Park Hanki, at his office. During the visit, both emphasised the need for more collaboration between the Republic of Korean and the Nigerian military especially in the areas of training and equipment support. They also promised to further enhance the relationship between the Republic of Korea military and the Nigerian Army. Lieutenant General TY Buratai also paid similar visit to Chief of Staff Republic of Korean Army, General Kim Yong-woo, where they exchanged ideas and emphasised on the need for further collaboration between both Armies.

Thereafter, the COAS was at the Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA), at Duteopbawi-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, which was equivalent to Defence Industries of Nigeria (DICON). While there, he interacted with the Minister in charge, Mr Wang Jung Hong and other management staff of DAPA on ways of further collaboration between DAPA and the Nigerian Army.

As part of his itinerary, the COAS also visited the Headquarters of 11th Infantry Division of the Korean Army, at Hong Cheon. On arrival, he was received by the Commander, Major General Kim, who briefed him on the organisation, operations and exploits of the Division. The Division also displayed the sophistication and potency of some of the formation’s equipment and Armoured Fighting Vehicles for the COAS.

On Friday 18th January 2019, the COAS and members of his delegation were at the Corporate headquarters of KIA Motors Corporation, Gwangju, where they were received and briefed by Mr Il -Tae Kim, Director Special Vehicle Global Sales Group. Thereafter, they were conducted round the company’s manufacturing plants particularly the KIA Light Tactical Vehicles manufacturing plants.

The COAS also had another meeting with Mr Il-Seop Lee, the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Special Vehicle Division of KIA Motors Corporation in Seoul. Present at the occasion was Mr Ik-tae Kim, Director, Special Vehicles Global Sales Group.

The COAS was accompanied on the visit by Major General VO Ezugwu, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the newly established Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company, Brigadier General Hussein Ahmed, Acting Provost Marshall (Army) and the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General SK Usman.

Earlier on arrival at Incheon International Airport, Seoul, on Wednesday 16th January 2019, the COAS and the entourage were received by Mr Gabriel Olufemi Asaolu, a Minister with Nigerian Embassy at Seoul, Republic of Korea, Nigeria’s Defence Adviser to Beijing, Major General TOB Ademola, Navy Commodore EO Ferreira, Nigeria’s Defence Adviser to New Delhi, Republic of Korean military delegation and some officials of Kia Motors Corporation. They also accompanied the COAS delegation throughout the visit.

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Onnoghen: Nabena cautions South-south leaders, governors, others over threats

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Justice Walter Onnoghen

Justice Walter Onnoghen


The threats and comments by some South-south leaders, Niger Delta agitators and South-south governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the prosecution of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen has been condemned by a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Speaking with newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, Yekini Nabena, the APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary said the attempt to give Justice Onnoghen’s prosecution at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over false asset declaration an ethnic colouration is dangerous, unacceptable and totally misplaced.

“The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen has already confirmed inadvertent discrepancy in his asset declaration, although the law says ignorantia legis neminem excusat (meaning: ignorance of law excuses no one). The right and proper thing is to allow the CCT or any other empowered judicial body look at the allegation contained in the petition, consider Justice Onnoghen’s defence and take a judicial decision.

“Resort to blackmail, ethnic coloration, inciting statements and threats to sabotage the country’s economic assets by the South South leaders, Niger Delta agitators and South South governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the legitimate prosecution must be condemned by all.

“They will be held responsible for any breakdown of the peace in the Niger Delta that has sustained since the advent of the President Muhammad Buhari government.

“The fight against corruption and ensuring the rule of law is blind to ethnic, religious, social, economic and political standing of whoever is accused or indicted for breach of our laws.” The Bayelsa-born APC chieftain stated.

Citing a court decision, Nganjiwa vs FRN (2017)LPELR-43391(CA), Nabena dismissed arguments of the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to entertain the petition against the Chief Justice of Nigeria without recourse to the National Judicial Commission.

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