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THE NATION

Again, Group accuses presidency of desperation, deception on NIA Rufai Ahmed’s saga

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A group, the National Patriot’s Forum, has said the Presidency, in its seeming desperation to cover up the fraud at the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, and defend the wrong appointment of Abubakar Rufai Ahmed as the substantive Director General has been telling unbridled lies and half-truths, using its propaganda machinery

A statement by the group noted Thursday that “In a Hausa Radio programme on Vision FM monitored in Abuja on Wednesday, one of the Presidential spokespersons, Garba Shehu tried misleading the gullible Nigerian Hausa listeners ignoring the obvious contradictions in the birth and nationality of Rufai Ahmed.

The group’s statement signed by Comrade Adewale Benjamin, convener and Mustapha S. Tarajo, co-convener said “Whereas Garba Shehu, in seeming ignorance of what is contained in the official Resume of Rufai Ahmed stated that the NIA DG was born in Chad, which is the truth, the official records, as contained in Rufai’s CV however indicates that the man was born in Katsina state of Nigeria. The poser here is who is telling lies between the Presidency and Abubakar Rufai Ahmed?

“Suffice it to state that, being born in Chad automatically confers on Abubakar Rufai Ahmed the citizenship of Chad, going by conventional practice which makes citizenship either by birth, by naturalization or by registration.

It added that “Since The Presidency admitted the truth of his place of birth, it pre-supposes that a holistic vetting would have been carried out from the cradle. As far as we are concerned, he could have been born anywhere else since nobody has carried out any vetting on him as required by law.

Going further, the Patruiot’s Forum said “On the issue of his marriage to a foreigner, it is necessary to point out that, contrary to Garba Shehu’s postulations that no law exists guiding the marriage of a foreigner by diplomats and other officers of the foreign Affairs Ministry; regulation no. 6, appendix c, section 2, sub section (a) and (b), of the Federal Public Service Rules which the Foreign Affairs Ministry subscribes to stipulates amongst others that: (a) Any member of the foreign service who proposes to marry a foreigner shall first seek prior permission of the Permanent Secretary before proceeding with the marriage.

“It is needless to expatiate that it is completely forbidden in the case of Head of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA. This is intended to insulate officers from vulnerability to double loyalty and exposure to Hostile Intelligence counterparts.

“It was rather laughable the explanations made by the Presidency on the issue of Abubakar Rufai Ahmed’s failure in promotion examinations, to the effect that Garba Shehu said, Rufai was made to sacrifice his promotion having come from outside the country to sit for the examinations at each turn.

“It is rather absurd to say that he was prevailed upon to be patient on the grounds that he had been a Director at the UN. Abubaker Rufai Ahmed never rose to the rank of a Director at the United Nations. At best, he was a P5 Officer, the equivalent of an Assistant Director. He was given an honorary Deputy Director so that he will be entitled to pensions, as has been the practice at the UN.

According to the Forum, “The contradiction is, whether he accepted to return to the NIA as an Assistant Director, having been a Director at the UN, or that he was too provident to allow others proceed, while he downgrades? The fact remains that he was a glorified Personal Assistant, PA, to Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, who was head of Africa’s Peace Keeping Mission, UNAMID, before it was taken over by the UN.

It said “In accordance with Civil Service Rules, where an officer comes from does not count in his promotion, just as it does not subtract anything from his record of service. It has always been a level playing field, with no room for forfeiture on account of one’s duty post.

“There is nowhere all over the world that an officer will be prevailed upon to forgo his promotion, in a situation that he passed necessary evaluation tests, under the guise of sympathy for others. The question to ask include; whether Rufai Abubakar was prevailed upon verbally or in written and under which Director General did that take place?

“That Abubakar Rufai came in from Katsina then into the NIA is a fact, contrary to the claim that he came in from the United Nations. In fact the issue coming from the UN does not arise because it is assumed that he came from the NIA to take up appointment with the UN.

“It remains an aberration that the NIA DG who was supposed to have been downgraded on his transfer of service from Katsina State to the Foreign Affairs, he was rather promoted from Grade level 12 to Grade level 14.

“That Abubakar was both a permanent staff of the NIA as well as the UN, and retired from both in the same year are issues to be investigated. It is not practicable anywhere for an officer to hold two appointments both on permanent basis at the same time.

“There is the need to state for the avoidance of doubt that Nigerians, including supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari are not impressed with the infantile defenses being put up to save the job for the cabal, using Abubakar Rufai Ahmed and the NIA as a proxy.

“Lies, however beautifully colored can never take the place of truth, neither can deceit, however well clothed take the place of reality. Nigerians are watching,” the group said.

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THE NATION

Why DSS must obey court order, release Dasuki – APC chieftain, Orji Kalu

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A former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, has said if court has ordered the release of former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, then security agencies should comply with the order.

Kalu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Sunday.

He noted that the various tiers of government, individuals and corporate entities should have respect for the decisions of the courts.

According to Kalu, “We are making many unlawful things possible.

“If a court issues an order that Sambo Dasuki be released, it should be obeyed.

“If we Nigerians genuinely want democracy to endure, we should learn how to respect the laws of the land.

“The law of the land is our constitution and any pronouncement made by the court based on the constitution should be obeyed.’’

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THE NATION

Ortom: No amount of persecution will make me return to APC

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Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, says no amount of “torment or persecution” will make him reconsider his defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a statement issued on his behalf by Terver Akase, his chief press secretary, the governor accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of being a strike squad of the ruling party.

He also alleged that the federal government had been using the anti-graft agency to “cripple governance in the state.”

“After succumbing to nationwide condemnation of its illegal freezing of Benue State Government accounts, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has resorted to yet another shameful act in its desperation to cripple governance in the state,” the statement read.

“The anti-graft agency’s latest move is the bandying of figures in national dailies claiming that such figures are those of transactions in the accounts owned by the Benue State Government.

“It released figures allegedly withdrawn from the Benue State Government accounts without disclosing the dates of the withdrawals and the period during which they were made.

“The commission has also not been able to state accounts into which such monies withdrawn were paid to prove that the funds had been diverted.

“EFCC is contented with publishing the figures without stating how impropriety has been established.

“Are government monies supposed to be kept in the accounts indefinitely without expenditure? Their objective is apparently to give Governor Samuel Ortom and his administration a bad name.

“On this score, it is clear that the EFCC has now become both a strike squad of the APC for torment, and their law court for the trial and conviction of political opponents.

“The commission may torment and persecute Governor Ortom and his subordinates on the directives of the powers that be as much as it serves their purposes, but he will neither be distracted nor reconsider his defection from APC.”

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Osinbajo berates gospel preachers for failure to preach against corruption

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Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has berated gospel preachers for failing to lend support to the Federal Government’s anti-corruption war by failing to preach against the scourge.

Speaking at the 30th National Biennial Conference of the Students Christian Movement (SCM) of Nigeria holding in Enugu, Osinbajo noted that preachers were preoccupied with preaching prosperity rather than righteousness.

“Very rarely do you hear our preachers talk about corruption from their pulpits. If a nation is not righteous nothing will help it.”

Osinbajo said that the problem with Nigeria was neither ethnicity nor religion but systemic corruption.He said that corruption had been so entrenched in the country that if you dare challenge it, you will be in the minority.

He, however, challenged the youths to change the narrative and make the difference by checking the impunity of those that had stolen the resources of the country.

“Our problem in this country is not ethnicity or religion; it is not about Christians or Muslims. Our problems are the same wherever you go in this country.

“The story of our country is about good and evil. It is about those that have left us in this condition by stealing our common resources. Do not let anyone deceive you.”

The acting president challenged members of SCM to ensure that the movement becomes one of the tools that will move the country forward. “You should understand that our country can be delivered by people like you.”

According to him, young Christians have special and distinct roles to play in the transformation of the country which is superior to those of other sets of people.

“All of the great nations of the world were transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not a gospel that tickles people’s imaginations or dwells on prosperity.

“It is not a gospel that fits your fancy. It is a gospel that teaches that righteousness exalts a nation.”

Osibanjo appealed to Nigerians to stand against the plundering of the nation’s resources as well as support the anti-corruption initiative of the Federal Government, irrespective of party affiliations.

Earlier in his address, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State commended the organisers of the event for a successful convention, stating that Christians needed such events in order to seek spiritual reformation and renaissance, considering the situation in the world.

He said that Christians also needed to contribute their quota toward promoting good living among Nigerians.

Ugwuanyi urged Nigerians to continue to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari and for the peace of the nation.

In an address of welcome, the National President of SCM, Rev. Eric Ighalo, commended Osinbajo for honouring their invitation.

Ighalo said that the conference was about active involvement of youths in reversing the problems that had held the country down through dialogue, collaboration and contention.

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