The Federal Government has berated a UK parliamentarian, Tom Tugendhat, for accusing a former Nigerian leader, retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, of stealing during a debate on the #EndSARS protest in the House of Commons.
The government also rebuked the UK parliament for acting in an uninformed manner in recommending sanctions for Nigeria over the hoax massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate during the protest.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a meeting with online publishers in Lagos yesterday said the knee jerk reaction of the House of Commons was informed by fake news and disinformation.
He lambasted the chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee of the British House of Commons Tugendhat, for being “ignorant’’ and “flippant’’ in his accusation against Gowon.
“It is most disheartening that parliamentarians in a country with a history of upholding the finest ideals of democracy will act in such an uninformed manner on an issue such as EndSARS.
“The quality of the debate at the British Parliament on EndSARS was under par.
“Fake accusations based on fake news and disinformation were levelled against the Federal Government by poorly-informed participants at the debate.
“One MP even accused former Nigerian leader, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), who served this country to the best of his ability, of stealing half of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“Sheer Ignorance! The flippant MP, who unfortunately chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British House of Commons, did a great disservice to himself, the committee he chairs and the entire parliament by allowing himself to be misled by fake news exponents.
“Fittingly, the British Government has distanced itself from him,’’ he said.
Tugendhat, a Conservative Parliamentarian for Tombridge, Edenbridge and Malling had during the debate which led to the recommendation of sanctions against Nigeria, accused Gowon of stealing and money laundering.
“Now some people will remember when Gen. Gowon left Nigeria with half of the Central Bank, so it was said, and moved to London,’’ the MP had said.
Mohammed stressed that the twin evils of fake news and disinformation aggravated the recent #EndSARS protest and the aftermath.
He said the reactions of some countries were informed by fake news and disinformation, and varying figures of those purportedly killed in the hoax massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate.
“For example, parliamentarians in Britain put the figure of those killed at 10, CNN first reported 38 and then lowered the number to 1.
“And DJ Switch’s numbers cascaded from 78 dead to 15 to 7!
“Even an international broadcaster like CNN was misled by fake news and disinformation.
“But CNN has itself to blame for relying on unauthenticated videos which it took from social media
“Now, CNN is seeking to save face by trying to clarify its report, which was not only inaccurate but failed the simple test of balance and fairness,’’ he said.
The minister recalled that the government had petitioned CNN, asking it to use its own internal mechanism to probe its so-called investigative report on the Lekki Toll Gate incident.
Anambra Guber Poll: PDP Chieftain Tasks Aspirants On Manifestoes
Ahead of November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in the state has advised interested party members in the election to sell their manifestoes to the public, and not to the national secretariat of the party.
A contestant for the Zonal Women Leader of the South-East PDP, Amb. Juliet Anaeme, gave the advice in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by her Media Consultant, Soji Bamidele.
She recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had scheduled Anambra governorship election for November 6 and the period should not be seen as long for adequate preparations to achieve success.
“I call on the aspirants in the forthcoming Anambra governorship election to showcase their manifestoes, programmes and grassroots capacity not to the party’s national headquarters but to Anambra people on how they intend to govern the state when elected.
“This is because it is the people of Anambra that will vote and not Abuja connections that will vote any aspirant as the governor of the state.
“I call on the party also not to work against the will of the people of Anambra so as not to allow the ticket to be driven by the highest bidder aspirant against the will of people,’’ she said.
According to her, if PDP candidate cannot win Anambra, automatically the ticket becomes useless.
“So the big question remains that after you must have got the party’s ticket, what next are you going to do with it.
“There is always a winner and not winners when it comes to governorship election, nothing such as second position and the only way of becoming the winner is by venturing into grassroots mobilisation and getting closer to the voters,’’ she advised.
She also noted that PDP relied on the masses’ votes, advising the aspirants to identify with the grassroots, especially the students and groups to feel the pulse of the people.
According to her, party members ought not to wait until they have the party’s ticket to begin mobilisation in the grassroots to have a resounding success and victory in the election.
She further urged the executives of PDP in the state to, as a matter of urgency, put in place an internal mechanism that could bring all hands on deck to ensure the party’s victory in the November 6 governorship election in the state.
C’River CP Vows Not To Dabble Into Politics
The New Commissioner of Police, in Cross River State, CP Sikiru Kayode Akande has said that he will not dabble into politics.
Speaking to newsmen in Calabar, Cross River State Capital, CP Akande said he was in the state as Commander Mopol 11 and vowed not to dabble into Politics.
On what he would not like to do, the CP said he will not dabble into politics and that he was not going to replace wrong for right or right for the wrong
The CP said the Command would use technology to look at crimes in Cross River State so that crimes can be identified and tackled immediately.
On the operation of a Security Outfit code name ‘Operation Akpagu’ introduced by the Cross River State Governor, CP Okande said “I am studying the operational plan of Operation Akpagu.
“It came into existence before I came, one thing I know, I have told the Governor, if we want internal security to be 100%, give all that you have to the police”
“If you look at the headquarters, it is as old as Nigeria itself, when you go around, you observe that the oldness seems to have affected the ways we are doing things.
“I have mandated my Provost to take a structural appraisal of all that we have. I saw the PRO’s office, that building should be like about 100 years and it should be in the National Achieve.
The CP, however, regretted that the State Government was not providing adequate assistance to it, “All the DPOs are complaining that they don’t have operational vehicles, what do you want them to do, the moment you give us what we want we will clear everywhere the moment, we are empowered”.
Ondo: OPC News Era Lambasts Presidency
The Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) New Era has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to allow Governor Rotimi Akeredolu fix the security situation in his state.
OPC New Era made this disclosure while reacting to a statement credited to Mr. Garba Shehu Special Assistant to President Muhamadu Buhari on Media and Publicity.
It will be recalled that Akeredolu had given an ultimatum to herdsmen to vacate Ondo forests.
Shehu in his reaction however said that Akeredolu does not have the power to do so.
But, National Publicity Officer of OPC New Era, Comrade Adesina Akinpelu, while reacting, hinted that the group is ready to mobilise all militant groups in the South Western States of the country in favour of Akeredolu.
Akinpelu who spoke with newsmen in Ibadan yesterday condemned in totality the reactions of Buhari’s spokesman on the ultimatum given by Akeredolu to the unregistered herdsmen grazing on the soil of Ondo.
Akinpelu added that Yorubas both at home and in the diaspora should not allow the struggle of their leaders to be in vain.
He said, “Why is it that President Buhari is only responsive to issues that concern the Fulani more than other tribes in the country.”
Akinpelu disclosed that when the daughter of Pa Reuben Fasoranti was allegedly killed by the Fulani kidnappers, there was no tangible response from the Federal Government except a condolence letter sent to the family without any action to fish out the killers.
Akinpelu, however, disclosed that all militant groups in the Southwest will be mobilised to defend Akeredolu and the entire Yoruba speaking states.
Akinpelu hinted that it was obvious that the herdsmen have President Buhari as their patron.
“During the reign of the former governor of Oyo State, late Lam Adesina, Buhari rushed down to Oyo State when a crisis erupted between the Fulani and Yoruba people, and that was an indication that President Buhari maintained a bond with the Fulani herdsmen.
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