Leaders and Elders of Nigeria under the aegis of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Afenifere, Ohaeneze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF and Middle Belt Forum, yesterday took a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari saying he has again admitted that he does not have the wherewithal to protect Nigeria and Nigerians.
President Buhari delivers his address at the General Debate of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 25th Sep 2018 They have however reiterated their collective position that Nigeria at the moment and with the unfolding scenario, coupled with what they termed, inept leadership, needs a new leadership from next year that understands what the duties of a responsible and responsive government is.
According to the leaders and elders, they were totally disappointed and embarrassed that President Buhari has again gone to the global stage to restate his position that terrorism and insurgency in the Sahel region and Lake Chad Basin are fuelled by local runaway fighters from Iraq and Syria and arms from the disintegration of Libya. READ
The leaders said that the position of the President was obviously what they described as a disingenuous way of explaining the failure of leadership of Nigeria under him to fulfill the elementary obligation of any constituted authority -protecting the lives of its citizens .
A statement jointly signed by former Federal Commissioner for Information and South South Leader, Chief Edwin Clark; Leader of Northern Elders Forum (NEF) , Professor Ango Abdullahi; Leader of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; President- General of Ohanaeze, Chief John Nnia Nwodo and President, Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, read,
“The Nigerian Leaders and Elders Forum is totally embarrassed that President Muhammadu Buhari has gone to the global stage once again to restate his position that terrorism and insurgency in the Sahel region and Lake Chad Basin are fuelled by local runaway fighters from Iraq and Syria and arms from the disintegration of Libya.
“The President spoke in New York where he unfolded Nigeria’s positions on international matters before the global audience during the opening of the General Debate of the 73rd Session of the United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA73).
“The position of the President is obviously a disingenuous way of explaining the failure of leadership of Nigeria under him to fulfill the elementary obligation of any constituted authority -protecting the lives of its citizens .
“In the last three and a half years,thousands of lives have been lost to bandits and terrorists with our government failing to apprehend any suspect except giving one excuse or the other for its inability to secure our country .
“The palpable failure of the administration has led many citizens including Lt Gen TY Danjuma to conclude that there could be some complicity between the terrorists and some members of our security forces . “This is why it is so scandalous that the President would still be offering this jaded line a few months to the end of his tenure .
Does he expect Nigerians to hold an appreciation rally that he is telling them that he knows where those killing them are from and he cannot do anything about it? “It is more appalling that one of the major planks of campaign by the President in 2015 was to secure Nigeria.Is this how to secure a country ?If a group of foreign gangsters decide to take over the government of Nigeria today ,is it this kind of lamentations we would see?
“It is pretty clear Nigerians cannot have security under a President that admits this kind of abysmal failure and incapacity at a global stage .
It is a confirmation of our position that Nigeria needs a new leadership from next year that understands what the duties of a responsible and responsive government is.
“We cannot continue to die daily as a people unprotected under this type of leadership for another four years after the first unfortunate four of this administration.”
Herdsmen Kill Four, Raze 50 Houses In Plateau Attack
The Plateau State Police Command has confirmed, at least, four persons dead and 50 houses razed in renewed clash between suspected Fulani militants and youths of Jebbu in Miango, Bassa Local Government of the state.
The clash, according to police, was between Irigwe youths in Miango community and Fulani militants over an age-long land crisis in the area.
The three other persons were injured in the bloody clash on Saturday night.
It was gathered the clash lasted for hours.
Spokesman of Plateau State Police Command, ASP Gabriel Ubah, in a statement, yesterday, explained “On 31/07/2021, the command received a report that there was a conflict between gunmen suspected to be Fulani militias and youths from Irigwe at Jebbu Miango, Bassa LGA of Plateau State.
“Unfortunately, fifty houses were torched and four natives were also shot dead.
“Upon receipt of the report, the tactical team of the command was immediately deployed to the scene to tighten the security of the area and to restore peace.
“The Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka, with other senior officers of the command visited the scene and has ordered a discreet investigation to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act. Normalcy has been restored in that area.”
Mother Of Kidnapped Bethel Baptist School Student Begs For Help
A 85-year-old mother of one of the 78 Bethel Baptist School students still in kidnappers’ den, Mrs Esther Joseph, has called on relevant authorities, including international bodies, to urgently intervene in the release of the students.
She expressed faith in God to intervene in the students’ case.
Looking weak and dejected, Mrs Joseph, who said she sold all her properties and paid ransom for the release of her daughter, said she was disappointed as the kidnappers made a fresh demand.
It would be recalled that kidnappers had reached out to parents last week, making a fresh demand of N100million after they had paid N68million.
The kidnappers released 28 students two weeks ago and promised to release the rest in batches.
However, they have made a fresh demand for ransom.
Mrs. Joseph said she spoke with her daughter when the kidnappers made contact.
“From the way she was responding to me, I knew my daughter was in pain. Her speech was distorted as she was crying throughout the period we spoke on the phone,” she said.
“As a widow, I can’t even afford to feed myself and other siblings as I have sold everything I had. I am trusting God that one day, my daughter will be freed,” she added tearfully.
Gunmen had on July 5 abducted 121 pupils during an attack on the school along the Kaduna-Kachia highway, Damishi, in the Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
Made-In-Nigeria Foods: NAFDAC Raises Alarm Over Rejection By US, EU
The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Moji Adeyeye, has decried the incessant rejection of food and agricultural commodities from Nigeria by the United States of America USA and the European Union member countries over what she described as “poor quality”.
The DG, in a press statement on ‘Quality and Safety of Export Food Trade’ made available to newsmen, yesterday, urged all the regulatory agencies at the port saddled with the responsibility of ensuring high quality of imports and exports to find urgent and lasting solutions to Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) Border Rejection Notifications from the European Commission on products originating from Nigeria.
Adeyeye lamented the resultant bad image the repeated rejection of commodities from Nigeria by the EU has caused the country.
She expressed concern over the volume of food and agricultural commodities from Nigeria that is currently facing challenges at entry points in some countries in Europe and the US where they have been repeatedly rejected.
‘’NAFDAC has a statutory responsibility to safeguard public health through the execution of its mandate. We are charged with the responsibility to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled and packaged water, chemicals – generally referred to as NAFDAC regulated products.
“NAFDAC is designated as World Trade Organization/Sanitary and Phytosanitary Enquiry Point in Nigeria on Food Safety to facilitate international trade, and respond to enquiries on safety standards, regulations, and guidelines on food trade in Nigeria”.
Adeyeye said internationally, Nigeria’s products meant for the export market are faced with the presence of contaminants such as pesticide residues, notoriously dichlorvos and other impurities, exceeding maximum permitted level and some with inadequate packaging and labelling which had caused a lot of products’ rejections in the global market.
She noted that the international market is competitive in nature and only welcomes products of high quality with relevant certifications and quality packaging that is environmentally friendly, to trade globally, stressing that the problem of quality, standard, certification, and appropriate packaging for made-in-Nigeria products destined for export has been an issue in the international market and there is a need to address the issue of rejections.
The NAFDAC boss disclosed that the agency has over the years intervened to assist Nigerian exporters to meet with international regulations thereby creating employment and earning foreign exchange for Nigeria.
Through this intervention by NAFDAC, she added that it was agreed that these products be subjected to 100 per cent pre-export testing and issuance of Health Certificate to products with satisfactory limits before European Union further verifies at their border control points.
Adeyeye further disclosed that her agency had analysed the RASFF alert from the EU and observed that most rejected products by the EU were smuggled out and not certified by NAFDAC nor the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services at the ports, adding that this calls for proper collaboration and synergy amongst all agencies of government to curb the indecent behaviour of some exporters and ensure only quality and certified products are exported.
‘’We need to close gaps and work together to prevent regulatory gaps being exploited by the unscrupulous traders and their collaborators. There must be convergence for all regulatory activities especially at the Ports of Exit as a starting point before we begin cleaning up and capacitating the honest operators and traders within the country’’.
Based on the RASFF alert received from the EU, she said NAFDAC had sensitized food processors, handlers and exporters through training programmes, workshops and seminars on current Food Safety Management requirements such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), Good Manufacturing Practises (GMP), Good Hygiene Practices (GHP), Risk Analysis to ensure that products are safe and of good quality, to gain consumers’ confidence and acceptability in Nigeria and international export markets.
“Effective assessments of export products are very key and basic information that may need to be considered in the accompanying shipping documents include Certificate of Radiation, Health certificate, Sanitary and Phytosanitary certificate, Evidence of fumigation of vessels and evidence of risk-based inspection on food Safety, must all be certified by the appropriate and designated competent authorities having current scope-testing accreditation.”
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