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Group lauds MDAs’ accountability,  probity under PMB’s administration

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The Coalition of Civil Rights Groups (CCRG) has rated ministries, parastatals and agencies under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration high on accountability, probity and transparency. 

The coalition said it made this conclusion after scrutinizing policy formulation and implementation across the various MDAs. 

Unveiling its interim report on Monday at a press conference in Abuja, President, Comrade Isaac Ikpa, said various indices indicate sustainable efforts towards building strong institutions capable of addressing corruption and other forms of societal ills that retards development. 

According to the report, the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has ensured that finances of MDAs are subjected to the best possible accountability procedures which have greatly reduced incidence of siphoning off government funds. 

The report added that the implementation of Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) has blocked loopholes that hitherto cost the country billions of dollars. 

The coalition also noted that high-profile politicians, civil servants and retired military officers have been prosecuted for corruption, securing convictions in a handful of cases.

The Coalition of Civil Rights Groups’ findings, therefore, invalidates Transparency International’s report for lacking evidence and “different from reality”. 

The group revealed that there are political undertones to T.I’s low rating of Nigeria, noting that it is hinged on permutations towards causing a distraction for the president. 

The coalition, however, advised the Federal Government to institute measures that would keep the citizens abreast of happenings in the polity with regards to the introduction of policies and programmes that affect their lives. 

It also charged MDAs to respond to Freedom of Information request in a timely fashion and make such known to the general public in a bid to carry the citizens along at all times. 

Read the full statement below.

Introduction: 

The Coalition of Civil Rights Groups in fulfilment of its mandate of holding government accountable in governance assessed the Muhammadu Buhari administration to highlight the commitment towards good governance in delivering the dividends of democracy to the people. 

The assessment entailed detailed scrutiny of policy formulation and implementation across the country’s various MDAs, emphasizing accountability, transparency, and probity. It also touched on the various programmes implemented by the Muhammadu Buhari administration regarding governance, the rule of law, and human rights.  

The various social intervention programmes of the Muhammadu Buhari administration were also scrutinized in any objectivity manner, devoid of sentiments to put issues in proper perspectives. 

The Issues: 

There have been insinuations that Nigeria’s rule of law is selective – the rich and powerful do not play by the rules, which has fuelled corruption in the polity. This has indeed questioned the sincerity of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in the fight against corruption. 

There were also insinuations that the operations of MDAs in Nigeria have been fraught with a lack of accountability and transparency, which has aided massive corruption and disregard for extant procurement laws in the conduct of government business. 

The implementation of the rule of law was also questioned through allegations that the government has displayed total disregard for the rule of law through questionable actions that undermine individuals’ rights to express themselves on matters of national concern. There were also allusions to implementing a selective justice system targeted at perceived political opponents while shielding individuals and organizations with ties to the present administration from being held accountable for questionable transactions and activities that fuel acts of corruption and undermine sustainable growth and development.   

This also on the heels that Transparency International in its yearly report stated that Nigeria had dropped two places down to rank as the world’s 34th most corrupt nation. While this position has been canvassed, the factors responsible were not adequately highlighted. 

Findings: 

The assessment report’s findings indeed brought up questions on how the Muhammadu Buhari administration has fared in the fight against corruption. Our findings revealed acts of political colourations that possibly influenced the perception that the Muhammadu Buhari administration is selective in the fight against corruption. 

An analysis of the institutional framework in place negates the claims. This is on the heels that the framework is not subject to manipulations as the various mechanisms in place provide for checks and balances in the conduct of government business. 

It was also discovered that the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has ensured that finances of MDAs are subjected to the best possible accountability procedures which has greatly reduced incidence of siphoning of government funds while entrenching a regime of accountability in the disbursement of government funds for purposes intended.  

The Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) was also identified as one of the measures implemented by the Muhammadu Buhari administration in tackling corruption in the system by blocking loopholes that hitherto cost the country billions of dollars. 

Our findings also revealed the prosecution of high-profile politicians, civil servants and retired military officers for corruption and secured convictions in a handful of cases. His administration has also recovered billions of Naira in stolen assets from corrupt Nigerians.

Scores of corrupt politicians across party lines and government officials are currently undergoing trials for various forms of financial impropriety, thereby rating the Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign against corruption as the most intense the country has ever seen. 

The Realities: 

The Coalition of Civil Society Groups in the extensive analysis of the issues at stake states that what is being propagated in the public space is different from reality. The various indices indicate sustainable efforts towards building strong institutions capable of addressing corruption and other forms of societal ills that retards development. 

As discovered in the analysis of issues, there are political undertones to rating the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration low in the war against corruption. This is hinged on permutations towards causing a distraction for the administration. 

The Coalition of Civil Rights Groups’ position is that there has been an entrenchment of accountability and transparency in the conduct of government business. The loopholes for siphoning government resources have been blocked. This has also brought about accountability which remains the hallmark of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. 

It must also be stated that there hasn’t been any tangible evidence that supports the claims of selective implementation of the war against corruption from our analysis. The bulk of the insinuations are hinged on hearsays and illogical conclusions, which remains questionable by all known parameters.  

It is thus a statement of the fact that there hasn’t been an era in the annals of the country where the government has displayed an unalloyed commitment to the judicious putting use of resources of the country than now. And those in leadership positions have been tasked through various mechanisms to play by the rules. 

Our position remains that the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has not been found to promote corrupt practices. No record indicates systematic protection for individuals and organizations that runs afoul of the law. 

Recommendations: 

The Coalition for Civil Rights Groups as a result of the forgoing herby makes the following recommendations: 

That the government must institute measures that would keep the citizens abreast of happenings in the polity with regards to the introduction of policies and programmes that affect ordinary citizens’ lives. 

That the government must task MDAs to respond for Freedom of Information request in a timely fashion and make such known to the general public in a bid to douse tension and carry the citizens along at all times

Through its various MDAs, the government must provide accurate information on burning issues to allow the citizens to make their independent judgment on the government’s efforts in all sectors of the economy. 

That the government must engage in town hall meetings with critical stakeholders to allow them to seek clarification on areas that requires attention and collective inputs. 

That the government must address concerns in the public space in a most decorous manner without making allegations that smacks a mockery of the whole governance process. 

Conclusion: 

The Coalition of Civil Rights Groups concludes that the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration since inception has been at the vanguard of promoting accountability and transparency in the conduct of government business. 

This has consequently led to an enviable level of accountability and transparency across the MDAs. Therefore, it remains acts of sabotage activities of individuals and organizations that rate the government low in accountability and transparency in governance in Nigeria.

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Troops Foil Boko Haram Attempts To Infiltrate Dikwa Town

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The troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have decisively routed elements of Boko Haram Terrorists and their Islamic State of West Africa Province(ISWAP) counterpart who attempted to infiltrate and attack Dikwa town in Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State.

The terrorist groups who stormed the town in an unconfirmed number of gun trucks and motorcycles were visited with heavy bombardment and overwhelming firepower by troops of 81 Task Force Battalion with reinforcement from other formations of the Nigerian Army and aided by air support of Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

The terrorists attempted to invade the town to loot food items and other logistics having got wind of the recent food distribution to residents of the town by the state governor, Professor Babagana Zulum.

They came in their droves through the Marte axis but could not gain access to the town due to the combat readiness of troops who were positioned there.

The terrorists subsequently lost initiative as they were cut off completely following the recent successful recapture of Marte town by the gallant troops.
In desperation and to scare off residents from returning to their homes, they planted series of landmines on the roads which were also detected and successfully detonated by troops.

Consequently, the Army Headquarters wishes to debunk the unsubstantiated reports on social media suggesting that the terrorists attacked UN Base in BORNO, trapping 25 Aid Workers as published by some outlets.

Those false and sensational reports are clearly aimed at stirring up tension in the region and diminishing the glaring efforts and sacrifices of the Nigerian military in the fight against insurgency.

The COAS, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, has commended the efforts of the gallant troops’ and the prompt response of the Air Task Force in providing air interdictions throughout the operation.

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Apologise To Abia Gov Or Face Recall, Kogi West Youths Tell Adeyemi

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A group called Concerned Kogi West Youths has called on the Senator representing Kogi West, Smart Adeyemi, to immediately apologise to Abia State governor, Victor Ikpeazu, over his uncomplimentary comment on the latter or face recall from the Senate.

A statement issued by the group and signed Mr Michael Oluwaseun Bolorunduro on Monday said Senator Adeyemi must apologise to the Abia governor and the people of Abia State within seven days or be ready for the consequence.

The youths, however, apologised on behalf of the Kogi West people to Governor Ikpeazu for the “behaviour” of Senator Adeyemi on the floor of the Senate during a debate on the Safe School Initiative agaisnt the backdrop of incessant attacks on schools by bandits in the North last week.

“We the concerned Kogi West Youth are writing to apologise for the behaviour of the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Smart Adeyemi, recently on the floor of the Hallowed Chamber.

“It took us this long to react or respond to his ungentlemanly attitude because the character trait that he displayed is alien to our culture in Kogi West. We tried to know reasons for such reactions and alas, we couldn’t find any justifiable and sensible reason for such.

“We, too, were personally shocked and offended by his actions and utterances which were a direct contravention of the values of dignity and good mannerism that we teach in our locality.

“We all know that emotions can get heated, but it does not excuse the language and behavior of our representative,” the group said.

They added that they as “wise constituents” have decided “to right the wrong of the malady and public show of shame as displayed by Senator Smart Adeyemi” to apologise and as well demand apology from Adeyemi.

“It is on this note that we demand that Senator Smart Adeyemi within seven days apologise at the same Hallowed Chamber of the Senate for his uncontrollable utterances against the governor and people of Abia State or face recal,” Bolorunduro declared.

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COVID-19: Coalition Salutes FG, NPHCDA Overall Early Arrival Of Vaccine

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With the expected arrival of coronavirus vaccines into the country on Tuesday, the National Coalition on Vaccine Awareness and Administration (NCVAA) has applauded the Federal Government and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

The group, at a press conference on Monday in Abuja, noted that this is a big step in containing the rampaging contagion that has consumed millions across the world.

Nigeria will become the third West African country to benefit from the COVAX facility after Ghana and the Ivory Coast when it receives 3.92 million doses of the vaccine.

And the convener, Gabriel Agogo, speaking on behalf of the coalition, said Nigeria can not be left alone in the global immunisation against the disease, especially with the conspiracy theories and propaganda being peddled around.

He urged all Nigerians to become agents of this public awareness and actively partake in the immunization to protect ourselves, our families and the public health of the nation.

The NCVAA, however, called on all Nigerians irrespective of partisan, religious and ethnic affiliations to come out en mass to mobilize their families and friends for the Covid-19 vaccine administration as a way of totally defeating the spread of the coronavirus disease and saving humanity from its destruction.

Read the full statement below:

The leadership and members of the National Coalition on Vaccine Awareness and Administration (NCVAA) salutes and welcome all of you to this press conference. We also salute the courage and perseverance of Nigerians in the firm determination to fight Covid-19 to a standstill by observing the Government protocols to curtail its spread. Our case would have been worse, had Nigerians failed to imbibe self-discipline.

As all of you are aware, we have lost thousands of our brothers and sisters to the pandemic since it broke out in Wuhan, China in February 2020 and became a world health threat. And many more people infected by the virus are still hospitalized in different hospitals in the country. We prayerfully wish them a speedy recovery.

But the good news is that majority of Nigerians are uninfected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is this larger population of Nigerians free from the venom of the Covid-19 pandemic that our Government is more interested in insulating from the deadly disease. It is in this light that we have decided to create public awareness of the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine for immunization through this press conference and other necessary public enlightenment activities, to attract massive public awareness to it.

Therefore, we have decided to address Nigerians and draw their attention to the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country and the kick-start of the Covid-19 vaccine immunization exercise nation-wide. The vaccine is a proactive public health safety measure, which we believe will automatically arrest the spread of Covid-19 and put a halt to the other public inconveniences it causes if all of us avail ourselves to the immunization which is free of charge to everyone.

We wish to let all Nigerians know that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has acquired and taken possession of millions of dosages of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is a scientifically approved immunization vaccine, certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) for onward worldwide circulation to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Nigeria cannot afford to be left out of this global trend. Nigerians should therefore emulate other very religious nations like Saudi Arabia, Rome, India, Australia, Sweden and a host of other countries worldwide which have accepted the Covid-19 vaccine and immunized their people with it. These countries have overcome the Covid-19 pandemic as a result of the intake of the Covid-19 vaccine. And with our collective resolve now, we shall also overcome it.

We find it imperative to emphasize this point because of the underground campaigns, conspiracy theories and propaganda peddled by perpetual anti-progressive forces in the country, who have aligned the Covid-19 vaccine to some unproven and barbaric death claims. There is no scintilla of truth in these negative assertions on the Covid-19 vaccine

Permit us to sound it loud and clear that the Covid-19 vaccine is approved by WHO, the global health body, after several scientific and clinical tests, before certifying it as safe for all humanity. So, in Nigerian, we must guide against repeating the same mistake which opposed the idea of launching a G5 network for telecoms in Nigeria. We are too enlightened to be deceived by those who wish us no good.

Nigeria is a very strategic country in the African continent, which cannot afford indifference or antipathy in the global fight against the deadly Covid-19 epidemic. NCVAA is aware of the campaigns of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on the Covid-19 vaccine and has decided to add its voice to it. We expect all Nigerians to become agents of this public awareness and actively partake in the immunization to protect ourselves, our families and the public health of the nation.

NCVAA is hereby calling on all Nigerians irrespective of partisan, religious and ethnic affiliations to come out en mass to mobilize their families and friends for the Covid-19 vaccine administration as a way of totally defeating the spread of the coronavirus disease and saving humanity from its destruction. We must resolve today to victoriously conquer the Covid-19 pandemic, in the same manner, we defeated Ebola, bird flu, SARS which occurred years back.

The Covid-19 vaccine is advantageous in several ways. Socially, the immunization against Covid-19 will secure us against contracting the coronavirus disease and ensure greater chances of our freedom from other allied ailments which comes with the Coronavirus and restore our social and communal interactions.

The Covid-19 vaccine is not only capable of saving the lives of the entire humanity, but it can completely prevent hospitalizations’ and the mass deaths we have experienced in the past over Covid-19. It will save us from agonies and pains associated with it. All conspiracy’s theories against the vaccine should therefore be discarded.

Also, medical scientists and researchers who have painstakingly worked and developed the Covid-19 vaccine have attested to its nearly 100% effectiveness at preventing other related severe illnesses related to it, like the common cold amongst others. Taking the vaccine is akin to the popular African proverb which alludes to someone using one stone to kill two birds.

Furthermore, a general public immunization against Covid-19 nation-wide in Nigeria would ease the Government lockdowns and other disproportionate or stifling public health measures, which causes us varying disruptions in our everyday operations. This is why we have found it expedient to endorse the NPHCDA Campaigns. It is now a direct invitation to every Nigerian not only to take the vaccine but become the chief propagandists of this good message of redemption from the grip of Covid-19.

NCVAA profoundly thanks the Almighty God for His Grace upon us; we salute the medical scientists for their wisdom in developing the Covid-19 vaccine and finally, the FGN under President Buhari for securing the vaccines and their early delivery to us. It shows we have a Government and a leader who is sensitive to the public health of Nigerians. We immensely thank all of you.

Thank you all and journey mercies to your various destinations.

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