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2023: South/Middle Belt Coalition Tackles NEF

NEF

2023: South/Middle Belt Coalition tackles NEF over numerical claims

A coalition of Southern and Middle Belt groups, the Southern and Middle Belt Alliance (SaMBA) has dismissed the position of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) that the north has a numerical advantage over other regions and therefore, is capable of retaining the presidency in 2023.

NEF, through its Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, had, at an event on Saturday, said the north could retain the country’s presidency, irrespective of clamour by the South for the next president to come from the region, taking the population of the north into cognisance.

However, the coalition says the claims are both reckless and careless and does not hold water in the present political scheme in Nigeria.

In a statement issued on Monday, signed by SaMBA’s spokesman, Rwang Pam Jnr, the group posited that the NEF assertion lacked basis, wondering why a body of respected northern elders should resort to such lowly submission.

The statement reads:

“Let Dr Baba-Ahmed be reminded that without the Middle Belt, such numbers boasted about in the North are mere political posturing.

“It is disheartening that Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed will make such reckless and careless statement at a time, when we are still battling to keep the country united.

“One would have expected that the retired Permanent Secretary with his exposure and academic prowess, will choose his words carefully, but it is quite unfortunate that NEF will talk recklessly.

“It is certain that some liberal minded people in the North will be shedding secret tears as a result of the statement credited to the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), because it is based on a delusion of a ‘one north’ that has treated the Middle Belt region as second class citizens.

“The so-called ‘north’ cannot boast of numerical strength to win election without reckoning with the strength of the Middle Belt and other northern Christians that have decided to work with their southern Nigeria counterparts to produce fresh and effective leaders for the country.

“Rather than boasting of numerical strength to win election, NEF should look for ways to turn the numerical strength to productivity.

“Nigeria is presently rated as the poverty headquarters of the world, because of poor standards of living in the region under the present leadership.

“We, therefore, urge liberal minded northerners to work with the Southern and Middle Belt Alliance (SaMBA) to produce a new crop of leaders in 2023 with the requisite competence, character and courage to usher Nigeria into the 21st century.”

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NSCDC To Deploy 30,000 Officers For 2023 Elections

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has disclosed that it will deploy 30,000 operatives to ensure peace during the upcoming general elections in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Commandant- General of the NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Audi at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Sunday,

He said the operatives would be deployed nationwide to maintain peace.

He said the NSCDC has perfected plans to deploy all resources needed to provide security during the election.

“The corps is poised fairly, and ready to apply all the arsenals needed to provide security and safety for the elections.

“We have an operations department of over 30,000 personnel but then we will also deploy others when the time comes.

“Normally we have the bulk of our people in operations and those who are in operations partake in election processes,” he said.

Audi said that the corps had also perfected plans to begin seminars and workshops in October to discuss the preparedness of the organization towards the general elections.

“We want to tell our people that if you go and involve yourself by becoming partisan you are on your own.

“There are certain things we have introduced in our Standard Operating Procedure — that once you go partisan and you are caught, you will face sanctions and you are on your own.

“So we are ready to partake in the election like I said because we are apolitical and we are going to provide a level-playing field for all citizens to be involved in the elections and exercise their franchise.”

Audi said that the NSCDC partook in election activities because it’s a member of the Inter-agency, Consultative Committee on Election Security.

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NSIA Not Stakeholder In Nigeria Air- F.G

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has declared that the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is not an investor in the Nigeria Air project.

Sirika made the clarification in a statement issued by James Odaudu, his special assistant on public affairs, on Saturday.

The minister had listed NSIA as part of the local investors with stakes in the national carrier.

He said the NSIA is not part of the private equity ownership of the airline, adding that the error was made during his media briefing.

“We wish to clarify that the Authority (NSIA) is not part of the private equity ownership of the airline, being a government establishment,” Sirika said.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the equity ownership structure of Nigeria Air stands as Ethiopian Airlines 49%, Nigerian private investors (SAHCO, MRS and other institutional investors) 46% and the Federal Government 5%.

“The public, especially the business community and the media, should please note”, the statement added.

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Nigerians Not Ripe Enough To Bear Arms- NSCDC

Nigerians are not ripe to be allowed to bear arms.

This is according to the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Ahmed Audi who made the observation when he attended the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja.

“I strongly disapproved of it. Even now that there is no law in existence, you still have proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the hands of people.

“It has to do with civilisation and education.

“Even in Europe and America where they have that law where virtually everybody once you can drive can have arms, they are trying to control it now because of how some events unfold.

“In the world, especially in Europe and America, somebody will just wake up and just go to a school and open fire on kids. You know that is madness.

“And so for me, I don’t think we are there yet to allow citizens carry arms” , he said.

 

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