The All Progressives Congress (APC) has found itself in further crisis as party bigwigs flex musles over who picks the governorship ticket of the party in various states.
Delegates and some members of National and State Houses of Assembly, yesterday, protested the postponement of Adamawa governorship primary election by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party’s NWC also shifted governorship primaries in Lagos, Zamfara and Enugu states.
A statement issued by the acting National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Yekini Nabena, announced the rescheduling of governorship primaries for Adamawa, Enugu and Lagos states.
The governorship primaries for Adamawa and Enugu have been shifted to tomorrow, while those of Lagos and Zamfara hold, today.
In Zamfara, the Chairman of the APC Primary Committee, Dr. Abubakar Dari, said the gubernatorial primary election had been shifted to today after it was postponed from Sunday to yesterday.
It was observed that APC members thronged the primary election centres in Zamfara as early as 7:00am for the election.
Our correspondent reports that delegates who were gathered for the exercise, expressed disappointment over the shift.
Addressing journalists after a stakeholders meeting held at the State Police Command, the committee chairman said the postponement of the election to today was a decision reached by the stakeholders, including all the gubernatorial aspirants of the party.
In Adamawa, the state Governor, Mohammed Bindow, while addressing protesting delegates at Ribadu Square, urged them to take it easy and accept whatever happened as an act of God.
He said, “I want to apologise to you over the development and to thank you for your patience and cooperation as we await further directive from the party.
“I remain loyal to the party and urge every party member in Adamawa to be calm and loyal party member”.
Also speaking, Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Information, Abdulrazak Namdas, urged the delegates and lawmakers to remain calm, adding that whatever the situation, be it direct or indirect primaries, it is the people of Adamawa that will vote for the candidates of their choice.
“We are not afraid of facing direct or indirect primaries,” Namdas said.
The APC primaries initially scheduled for Sunday ran into a hitch when two of the three aspirants, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and Dr Mahmood Halilu contesting with Bindow announced their withdrawal over the method of primaries and choice of venue.
In rescheduling the governorship primaries in Lagos, Enugu and Adamawa states, the APC NWC also changed the mode of primaries for Enugu and Adamawa from indirect to direct primaries.
It was learnt that the primaries for Lagos and Imo were earlier slated for Monday.
The National Working Committee of the All Progressive Congress sent from Abuja to monitor the party’s governorship primary in Lagos State has nullified the exercise held across the 20 local government areas of the state, yesterday.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Clement Ebri, who addressed the press around 4.30pm at Protea Hotel, Alausa, said the election could not have held because the committee was still expecting the list of representatives of one of the two aspirants.
The primary is being contested by Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
Ebri, however, did not mention the camp that defaulted on the modalities for the election.
He explained that the governorship primary election in Lagos State may be rescheduled.
The committee had earlier dissociated itself from the ongoing primary.
Ebri explained the confusion that trailed the exercise.
“We want a victory that will be credible, and will be in line with the guidelines and rules. We are now ready to do the ground running.
“In the next few minutes, I will contact the national office to inform them that we are now ready for the primary.”
Displaying the result sheet to be used for the primary, Ebri added: “We were waiting for the Lagos APC chairman to provide some information, but it came barely an hour ago.
“We have the electoral materials here but considering the Lagos situation, traffic and all, we will wait on the national office for action.”
When asked what would happen to votes cast all day, he said: “I contacted the national office and I was asked to realign with the position on ground”, before admitting that “we may have to reschedule the exercise”.
The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Oluranti Adebule, yesterday, abandoned Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to support Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the two-horse race to pick the ticket to represent the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 governorship election.
Adebule told newsmen at Ward A and D, in Iba Local Council Development Area of Lagos where she participated in the governorship primary of the APC, that she would endorse the candidate chosen by the party.
“The party has chosen a man and it is that man that I will support and follow,” she said.
Sources said that when the deputy governor arrived at the ward, some of her aides came with Sanwo-Olu’s posters and banners.
At the ward, accreditation started at about 10.36 a.m. as party electoral officials arrived.
There was no formal announcement of the results as the accreditation was brief.
Many party members at the venue started singing the praises of Sanwo-Olu.
However, hours after he withdrew from the race, former EFCC chairman, Malam Nuhu Ribadu yesterday made a U-turn and indicated interest to participate in the rescheduled Adamawa APC governorship primary election.
The Director-General, Ribadu campaign organisation, Alhaji Salihu Bawuro, made the announcement at a news conference in Yola. Ribadu withdrew from the primary election on Sunday evening as the exercise was about to start but the exercise was cancelled and rescheduled for Thursday.
Bawuro said the Ribadu campaign organisation was satisfied with the decision taken by the party’s national headquarters on the cancelation and rescheduling of the governorship primaries in the state.
“Now that the national headquarters had intervened to correct the abnormalities surrounding the Sunday’s unsuccessful primaries, Malam Nuhu Ribadu will be in full contest now that it is the direct primaries,’’ Bawuro said.
He said that the organisation was well prepared to participate in the election, adding that it would do everything possible to ensure free and fair primaries.
Meanwhile, the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo State yesterday witnessed chains of scuffles that led to violence between members of the camp loyal to Rochas Okorocha known as Ugwumba Movement and those of the opposition called Coalition Alliance.
As at press time, two persons were feared killed from the fracas that ensued.
Our correspondent who monitored the exercise observed that there was late arrival of electoral materials at the party secretariat in Okigwe Road.
The party secretariat was besieged by anxious party members, even as party bigwigs stayed back in Abuja and were nowhere to be seen in the state.
At the Uzii layout primary school within Owerri Municipal Council, party members arrived as early as 8:30am for accreditation, which however did not commence till 11am.
In virtually all the wards in the Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta local government areas, irate party members rabidly opposed to the planned imposition of Uche Nwosu as the party’s governorship candidate by Governor Okorocha impounded all vehicles on sight bearing the Ugwumba Movement inscription and diverted them to unknown destination.
In the Mbaitoli local government area where the deputy governor, Prince Eze Madumere, hails from, some vehicles belonging to the movement were reportedly set ablaze.
But as at press time, yesterday, sources said that Senator Hope Uzodinma had emerged winner of the APC governorship primary in Imo State, amid confusion.
In another development, Lagos APC has declares Sawoolu winner of Lagos guber primary. The chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Lagos State Chapter, Alhaji Tunde Balogun has declared Babajide Sanwo-Olu the winner of the Gubernatorial primary election, held Tuesday, across the 245 wards of the 20 Local Government Areas of the state. By this declaration, Sanwoolu has emerged as APC flag-bearer for the 2019 governorship elections in Lagos State.
Balogun, who described the exercise as free, fair and credible, maintained that it would be unfair to disenfranchised the 1.7 million registered members of APC following conflicting reports that has trailed the conduct of the exercise.
The panel of the National Working Committee from Abuja deployed to oversee the conduct of the election earlier denied any knowledge of any conduct of election in the state yesterday.
However, Balogun, announcing the results said, the incumbent Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State polled a total votes of 72,901, while Sanwoolu polled total votes of 970, 851 to emerge winner of the contest.
He said: “We thank the members for participating in the election to peacefully select APC standard bearer for next year’s election.
“They did this with enthusiasm and dedication To be clear, an APC primary election was held in Lagos and this was in accordance with the party constitution.
“In pursuant to the constitution, it was stated that the primary would be conducted in direct open system where each voters would queue behind their preferred candidate.”
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday described the results being circulated as the outcome of the Imo governorship primaries as fake. Oshiohmole stated this while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
The APC chairman also revealed that the party had disbanded the Ahmed Gulak-led Committee that conducted the party’s governorship primaries in Imo.
According to him, another committee will be set up immediately for the conduct of fresh primaries in the state before the end of the week.
“Imo was not too good news for today, but not surprising they have to learn to begin to comply with rules, they have two fake results, none of them is genuine.
“We will disband and we will appoint a fresh committee (electoral panel) that will conduct transparent direct primaries that reflect the will of members of APC in Imo regardless of the interest and powers that are behind any of the groups.
“The truth does not require supporters club to stand, it has its hands and legs and we will do just that”. Oshiohmole, who said he was in the villa to update President Buhari on the developments in the APC, ruled out the possibility of honouring parallel results from states.
On the conduct of the APC primaries in Lagos State on Tuesday, the APC chairman disclosed that the National Working Committee (NWC) was in charge of the primaries and that every situation had been put under control.
“ I told the president that the primaries held as planned and everything is being done to ensure there is no violence because democracy doesn’t flourish with violence.
“Nigerians must begin to learn how to differ in opinion and in choice without fighting; this is something people have to acquire over time. “For me, I’m excited that if we can do it in Lagos it can be done anywhere.
“Everything that is being done is done under the control, supervision and direction of the NWC.’’ Oshiohmole maintained that no matter how highly a member may be, he or she must subject himself/herself to the constitution of the party.
It would be recalled that the APC National Working Committee (NWC) panel had yesterday announced the cancellation of the Lagos governorship primary election, saying the preparatory process for the election had just been concluded.
The Chairman of the panel, Chief Clement Ebri, made this known when he spoke at a news conference in Alausa, Ikeja. He said : “The preparatory process had just been concluded for the primaries.
The primary is to begin anytime soon. “There was no election. Election materials are being sorted. “The stage is set and election begins anytime from now. We have guidelines and we will stick to the guidelines.
“Because of the political tension in the state, we decided to be very careful, very methodical. As party men, peace is more important to us than victory. “We want a kind of victory that will be celebrated by both parties.
“We want an election that will be credible and in line with the guidelines, the extant rules and the laws of the country.
“And that is what we have done. We are ready to go to the field and execute this so that at the end of the day, we will not be accused of partisanship. Lagos is very important to us and it is a flagship of the APC.’’
Don’t Borrow Money Without Approval, Wike Warns New LG Chairmen
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has told newly sworn-in chairmen of the 23 local government areas of the state not to approach any financial institution to borrow money without first clearing with the state government.
The governor gave the warning shortly after the elected chairmen of the 23 LGAs took their oath of office at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
According to Wike, the caution has become necessary in order to stem unguarded desire of some council chairman to access money without any development plan.
“Don’t go and borrow money without the state government approval. Some of you tried it last time and started with your blackmail, saying help us, we are finished. You have no authority to go and borrow money. Even we as state government, before we go and borrow money we get approval from the Debt Management Office. No bank will even give us.
“Before you borrow money, the state must know what you want to use it for, and how you will pay it back, so that others who are coming will not suffer because of your indebtedness.”
Wike also charged the council chairmen to pay proper attention to issues of security in order to stem likely security breaches in their various councils.
The governor particularly urged them to establish a robust working relationship both with the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and the traditional rulers that will engender having regular security meetings for proper briefings.
“Stay in your council areas. Don’t stay in hotels and in Port Harcourt. If you’re not at home, how do you know about the security situation in your local government? Security is key!
“Relate with your DPOs. It does not cost you anything. Even if it cost you, governance is not easy. Governance is expensive. Security is expensive. Some of you cannot relate with the DPOs.
“It’s only when you have a problem that you relate with your DPOs and some of them are intelligent and when you call them that time, they turn their face the other way. You must make effort to relate with your DPOs.”
The governor urged the council chairmen to ensure they hold Security Council meeting weekly or better still, once in every two weeks for proper briefing.
Speaking further, Wike warned them against embarking on needless travel outside of the state and the country without notifying the state government.
He also encouraged them to work to strengthen the unity of the party in their various councils, consult widely with the leaders over appointments, and on other issues that will give everybody a sense of belonging.
Wike frowned at the worsening sanitary conditions particularly in Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt City, Eleme, Oyigbo LGAs, and charged the council chairmen to work assiduously to regularly evaluate refuse dumped on major roads in their councils.
The state governor revealed that the state government prevented the former chairmen whose tenure ended, last Wednesday, from paying local government workers salary due to security report and complains by some councillors and political appointees that they will not be paid what was due them.
“So, I decided to suspend the payment of local government workers and political appointees, so that the newly sworn-in chairmen will have to pay them without any crisis whatsoever.”
He said the state government will set up a committee to oversee the payment of all entitlement of immediate past chairmen, their political appointees and councillors.
According to him, “All the former council chairmen, all political appointees and councillors must be paid their money.”
Wike said he has received intelligence report that some council chairmen have sworn that they will not swear in some elected councillors who they perceive to be opposed to them.
He warned that if this happens, appropriate sanction will be taken against the erring council chairmen.
The newly sworn-in chairmen are, Daniel E. O. Daniel (Abua/Odual); Benjamin Eke (Ahoada East); Hope Ikiriko (Ahoada West); Rowland Sekibo (Akuku-Toru); Barrister Awortu Erastus (Andoni); Onengiyeofori George (Asari-Toru); Irimagha David ( Bonny); Michael Williams (Degema); Obarilormate Ollor (Eleme); Dr. Lloyd Chidi (Emohua); Obinna Anyanwu (Etche); Deko Confidence (Gokana); and Engr Nwanosike Samuel (Ikwerre).
Others include, Bariere Thomas (Khana); Barrister Ariolu George (Obio/Akpor); Nemieboka Vincent (Ogu/Bolo); Akuro Tobin (Okrika); Nwaiwu Chisorom (Omuma); Vincent Job (Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni); Enyiada Cookey-Gam (Opobo/Nkoro); Nwaogu Akara (Oyigbo); Ihunda Allwell (Port Harcourt City); and Mbakpone Okpe (Tai).
Drop Press Regulation Bill, Media Bodies Tell Reps
The Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO), which comprises the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has called on the House of Representatives to step down a bill seeking to amend the Nigerian Press Council Act, noting that it is still a subject of litigation the Supreme Court.
Several media organisations and groups also criticised various clauses in the bill as possibly discouraging freedom of speech and press in the country.
The House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, which organised the hearing on the bill, however, insisted on going ahead with the exercise.
The committee had organised the hearing on five bills including the ‘Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigerian Press Council Act, CAP N128, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, to Remove Bottlenecks Affecting Its Performance and Make the Council in Tune with Current Realities in Regulating the Press and for Related Matters (HB 330).’
At the opening of the event, Chairman of the committee, Hon Olusegun Odebunmi, apologised to the media bodies, especially NPAN, which had protested, last Wednesday, over exclusion from the exercise.
He noted that an “open invitation” to the event was extended to stakeholders.
“So, I am sorry if there is anybody who thinks we did not invite them. It is not by intention; it was definitely a mistake. Notwithstanding, we have covered everybody through our advert,” he said.
The Editor-in-Chief of Leadership Newspapers, Azubuike Ishiekwene, who represented the NPO, stated that contrary to the claim of an “open invitation” by the committee, the organisation did not receive any notification that would have enabled it to engage the lawmakers and Nigerians robustly on the bill.
Ishiekwene said, “There is a matter and I am sure that as stewards of the people and the law, you are aware that there is a pending matter between the NPO and some parties involved in this legislation.
“That is why a negotiated conversation seems to us to be a way to deal with it because there is a matter pending before the Supreme Court: between the NPAN and some parties involved in this bill that is being amended. And as stewards of the law, I am sure you are constrained just as I am to make any further conversations on this matter because it is a pending matter before the Supreme Court.
“The last time it came up in 2010 – it is a matter that has actually been pending since 1999 – 17 of the 39 clauses contained in the bill that you are considering were ruled unconstitutional by the court at that time. Of course, the Federal Government appealed the ruling. We won the appeal and the matter is currently before the Supreme Court.
“I will rest my case by appealing to the honourable members of this committee; I crave your indulgence to refer to a conversation that was had on a similar matter in 2018 when this matter came up before the Senate and the pendency of this matter before the court was canvassed. And the Senate – the 8th National Assembly – at that time agreed that the prudent thing to do was to step it down. I urge this House to also consider a similar step.”
Odebunmi, however, argued that the House was doing its constitutional job “and I am very sure (that) no court will restrain us from doing the job.”
He noted that while the lawmakers would not stop anybody from going ahead with the judicial process, the lawmakers have the mandate of Nigerians to amend laws.
“It is not about the matter in court, it is an Act of the National Assembly and we deemed it fit to amend it and we are doing that. It does not stop you from what you are doing but this is the position of the National Assembly,” he stated.
Also, the International Press Centre, Media Rights Agenda, Centre for Media Law and Advocacy, and the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism, in a joint memorandum titled, ‘For a Truly Independent and Media Freedom Friendly Nigeria Press Council’, called on the National Assembly to expunge all laws intended to criminalise free speech and press.
The memo was signed by the Executive Director, IPC, Lanre Arogundade; Executive Director, MRA, Edetaen Ojo; Executive Director, CMLA, Richard Akinnola; and Executive Director, PTCIJ, Dapo Olorunyomi.
Arogundade, who read from the memo, said, “First, we like to say that the international behaviour towards media regulation is peer regulation, constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the press, and the expunging from statute all laws that criminalises freedom of expression. This is the line the committee should tow like Ghana has done and like South Africa has done; and with regards to throwing off defamation statute from the books, the way Sierra Leone has done.
“A consideration is that the amendment seeks an unabashed focus to restrict freedom of expression while masking the toga of something else. It attempts to do what other laws have done like the Cybercrimes Acts which Sections 24 and 38, which in no fewer than ten instances have been used to clampdown on bloggers or journalists for expressing opinion antagonistic to politically or economically powerful elites.
“Bodies like the Amnesty International has documented 50 cases where the law had targeted, not cybercrime suspects, but bloggers and journalists for writing on what they ‘know to be false, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to another.’”
Others are that, “The ethical code that should be operationalised by the council is the Code of Ethics of Journalists in Nigeria as adopted by the Nigerian Press Organisation, comprising the Nigeria Union of Journalists, the Nigerian Guild of Editors and the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria in Ilorin in 1998, and as may be regularly updated. This has been the practice. A political and non-journalism office like that of the Minister of Information should not be given the power of approval over the code of conduct of journalists.
“The power to determine sanctions relating to hefty fines should be vested in the courts and not the council. The Court of Appeal has clearly established this legal principle in NOSDRA v Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (2018) LPELR-44210 (CA) where it held that ‘the imposition of fines by NOSDRA was contrary to its powers on the basis that penalties or fines are imposed as punishment for an offence or violation of the law and the power as well as competence to establish that an offence has been committed belongs to the courts and not a regulatory agency.’
“The provision relating to revocation of license for alleged publication of fake news should be removed from the Act. Decisions for appropriate sanctions in relation to such offences should be vested in the law courts.”
Buhari Promises Support For Families Of Fallen Military, Security Personnel
President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration would ensure that resources are devoted to the care of the families and loved ones of the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces, as well as operatives of other security agencies, who have died in the course of fighting insecurity in the country.
The President who spoke, yesterday, during a visit to personnel of the Armed Forces and security agencies in Operation Hadin Kai, at the Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri, Borno State, also expressed the gratitude of the nation to the security agencies.
The President, who is on an official visit to Borno State, however, charged the military and security agencies not to give breathing space to terrorists and criminals in various parts of the country, saying the war must be concluded with restoration of peace and reconstruction of all the affected areas.
“I am delighted to be with you this afternoon, to address you on this special occasion of my official visit to Borno State. I want to seize this opportunity to put it on record that our nation will forever be indebted to you, for your patriotic commitment to the defense of our fatherland against insurgency and criminality.
“I, therefore, commend you and remember all the personnel who have paid the supreme sacrifice in ensuring that Nigeria remains an indivisible and secure entity.
“As I send my heartfelt condolences to the families of our fallen heroes and pray for the souls of the departed, I want to assure you that my administration will spare no effort or resources to ensure that the widows and children of our fallen heroes who paid the supreme price in defense of our beloved country, are well cared for,” he said.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President said wounded comrades will get the best medical attention towards their full recovery.
“While acknowledging your collective efforts at decimating and degrading the terrorists and reaffirming the inviolable sovereignty of our nation, I also wish to extol your steadfastness and untiring efforts in the face of the difficulties you experience in the Theatres of Operation.
“Your collective efforts have resulted in the relative peace being enjoyed in the region today. Under my watch, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have been provided a firm strategy and clear sense of direction to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.
“We should not allow our adversaries the opportunity or breathing space to challenge or undermine our national interests and core values. The defense and security agencies should rest assured of the Federal Government’s unalloyed commitment to winning the battle against terror and criminality,” he added.
Buhari commended the military and security agencies for the synergy that translated into successes in restoring peace and order.
“I am particularly happy to note the increasing understanding and cooperation within the military, as well as the inter-agency cooperation in the fight against the terrorists and other criminal elements in the North-East.
“The outcome of this synergy is evidenced by the successes recorded in the ongoing Operation Tura Takaibango, which has so far degraded the insurgents’ capabilities in the Timbuktu Triangle, Sambisa Forest and the Lake Chad Region.
“I am, therefore, pleased to acknowledge that the military and other security agencies including civilian stakeholders are adhering to the true spirit of Operation Hadin Kai, which implies “jointness, synergy and cooperation.
“By pooling together the collective resources and comparative advantages of the Armed Forces and other security agencies, we hope the enemy will now feel the ferocity of our firepower and the weight of our resolve,” the President said.
Side-by-side with the efforts of the Armed Forces and security agencies, Buhari assured that his administration is developing a strategy for post-war reconstruction and peace building.
“Concerted efforts are being made to fast-track reconstruction and development programmes in the affected communities in the North-East.
“I am hopeful that this will lead to the speedy resettlement of displaced persons, as well as the restoration of bubbling community life as people return to their homes.
“Alongside investment in development and reconstruction, we will sustain our investment in the Armed Forces in a manner that balances the carrot and stick,” he said.
The President said several interventions by the Federal Government had led to the procurement and delivery of large consignments of critical combat enablers, including high calibre weapons and ammunition, “Many have been injected into the theatre and soon other equipment that have just arrived in the country would also be deployed to the theatre of operations. Much more equipment will be procured for the Armed Forces to cater for both the short and long-term requirements.
“I would like, at this point, to also commend the hierarchy of our Armed Forces for their strategic foresight in ensuring that some of our critical military equipment are fabricated locally.”
Buhari also noted that repairs and maintenance of some of the vital weapons were now being carried out in the country, thereby saving the nation a lot of foreign exchange and also creating jobs for our teeming population.
“As personnel of our Armed Forces and security agencies, you must understand that these items of equipment must be put to good use against the terrorists and other criminal elements. There is no room for complacency, and no need to be less than 100 per cent alert at all times.
“As your Commander-in-Chief, I want to assure you that my government will continue to work towards the provision of timely funding and procurement of equipment for the Armed Forces and other security agencies. This is intended to boost the prosecution of the ongoing war to a logical conclusion and also to serve our collective interests and well-being.
“In addition, your welfare is of utmost importance and concern to this government. I am glad that the gradual rotation of the troops in the field has commenced, as I directed. I am sure that this will minimize and possibly eliminate battle fatigue, as well as enhance troops’ morale,” he added.
The President thanked the military and security agencies for unalloyed loyalty and selfless sacrifices towards the defence of our country, adding, “Your courage and gallantry will continue to inspire others, as they echo into the future.”
“While I commend your resilience, let me remind you that there is still a lot of work to be done, to completely restore peace to the North-East, stem the activities of armed bandits in the North-West and North-Central, as well as deal with other security challenges across the country.
“You must, therefore, remain steadfast and see this war to a conclusive end. In doing so, you must rely on inter-agency cooperation, and strengthen your cohesion with the troops of neighboring Republics of Cameroon, Chad and Niger in our collective fight against the terrorists, under the auspices of the Multinational Joint Task Force. This will consolidate our efforts and facilitate the speedy return of peace and stability to the region,” the President said.
He urged the military and security agencies to continue to make Nigeria proud.
Buhari also interacted with some of the wounded soldiers, assuring them that the government was fully committed to their recovery and welfare.
In his remarks, the Commander of Theatre Operations Hadin Kai, Maj-Gen Felix Omoigui, assured troops of the President’s confidence and commitment to their welfare, especially in bringing the war to a conclusive end.
The commander thanked the President for the visit to the troops, which he said will greatly boost the morale of all those fighting to keep the country in peace.
Governors of Borno and Yobe State, Babagana Zulum, and Mai Bunu, respectively; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Leo Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Maj-Gen Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo; Chief of Staff, Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao; and National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd), were also at the event.
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