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US cautions FG against allowing untrusted 5G service providers

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Mary Leonard, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, warned the government to be careful on permitting telecommunications providers to take part in the 5G network, at the 2021 International Legislative-Stakeholders’ Conference on Digital Technology and Cybersecurity.

She particularly warned against enabling untrusted providers, for it may lead to risks on national security, critical infrastructure, privacy, and human rights.

“This is a particularly timely issue for Nigeria, as Nigeria prepares for next week’s 5G spectrum auction and looks to roll out Nigeria’s 5G networks after the New Year,” she said.

The ambassador also reminded the government to design national measures that can mitigate significant security risks from any high-risk supplier.

“Any nation’s ability to effectively prevent, detect, mitigate and respond to threats in cyberspace depends in part on the capacity, cooperation, and resilience of global partners, the private sector, civil society, and the public,” she said.

Also speaking in the dialogue was Nigeria’s Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, who was represented by Hassan Hadejia. Currently, the country is in an urgent need to protect the nation from the ever-growing concerns of insecurity in cyberspace.

The sentiment was shared by the Director-General of The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa. As the country is currently placed 35th worldwide for online business, it is essential to create safe cyberspace for people and businesses.

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PDP governors meet in Port Harcourt to rescue Nigeria

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo; Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers; Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom of the PDP

PDP Governors Forum will hold a special meeting on Monday 17th January 2022 at the Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt, to strategise on how to rescue Nigeria.

Hon CID Maduabum, director general, PDP Governors Forum in a statement on Sunday said the meeting will review the state of the States, the state of the nation and readiness of the PDP to provide the necessary leadership to ‘RESCUE and REBUILD’ Nigeria.

All the elected PDP Governors are expected to attend the meeting to be presided over by the Chairman of the Forum, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR .

PDP logo Gusau

The meeting will be preceded by a Gala night to be hosted by the Chief Host, His Excellency, Gov Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.

“The PDP Governors are working in concert and consultations with other leaders of the party and in particular the Senator Dr Iyorchia Ayu led National Executive Committee of PDP to craft a credible process and programme for Nigeria’s positive rebirth.

“Dr Ayu has been invited to attend the Port Harcourt meeting to hold consultations with the Governors on strategies for executing the Rescue and Rebuild Nigeria project,” the statement said.

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INEC fixes Feb. 26 for by-elections

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Festus Okoye of INEC says supplementary polls to hold in Kano Sokoto Adamawa Bauchi Plateau and Benue
Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed February 26 for the conduct of six constituencies by-elections in four states.

The commission announced this in a statement issued by Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee on Friday evening in Abuja.

Okoye said that the decision was taken at INEC regular weekly meeting held on Thursday and an extra-ordinary meeting of Friday, where issues that led to the vacancies and the rescheduling of some of the elections as well as the security situation in some of the states were discussed.

Okoye said that the decision followed the declaration of vacancies by the speaker of the House of Representatives and the speakers of some state houses of assembly.

The vacancies according to Okoye are Akure North/Akure South Federal Constituency, Ondo State; Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency, Plateau and Pankshin South State Constituency, Plateau.

Other are Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency, Cross River, Akpabuyo State Constituency, Cross River and Ngor-Okpala State Constituency, Imo.

Okoye said that the by-elections would hold on Feb. 26 immediately after the FCT Area Council elections.

“This will enable the commission to clear most of the by-elections, focus on the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections and ongoing preparations for the 2023 general election,” Okoye said.

The national commissioner said that some of the vacancies arose as a result of the death of the previous occupants; substantial disruption of the electoral process and fulfillment of constitutional and legal requirements in the electoral process.

He said that INEC decided to combine the Ekiti East 1 State Constituency election with the governorship election in Ekiti, which would hold on June 18.

Okoye also said that the commission was consulting with security agencies and the critical stakeholders relating to the vacancy in Shinkafi State Constituency of Zamfara.

He added that the speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly had not declared vacancy in relation to Giwa State Constituency of Kaduna State.

Okoye said that the official notification for the elections would be published on Jan. 24.

“Political Parties shall conduct their primaries, including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries, between Jan. 26 and Feb. 5,” he said.

He added that the last day for submission of list of nominated candidates is on Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. and that must be done through the commission’s online nomination portal.

“Political parties shall submit the names of their polling agents for the election to the electoral officer of the local government on or before Feb. 12 and campaigns by political parties shall stop on Feb. 24.

“The access code for the nomination forms shall be available for collection from Feb. 5 at the commission’s headquarters,” he explained.

He advised parties to comply with INEC timelines and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) in conducting transparent and valid direct or indirect primaries.

He warned that any parties that present a candidate who does not meet the qualifications stipulated in the constitution and the Electoral Act shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a maximum fine of N500,000.

Okoye said that INEC at the meetings also reviewed its preparations for the area council elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) holding on Feb. 12.

He said that INEC was finalising all arrangements for the election.

He appealed to citizens who applied for fresh registration as well as transfers and replacement of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to immediately collect it and avoid last minute rush for those cards.

He said that PVC for all new registrants as well as requests for transfers and replacement of damaged cards had been printed and were available in all the six area councils of FCT for collection.

“The commission will continue to provide regular update on the preparations for these elections in the days and weeks ahead,” he said.

Okoye also noted that INEC in keeping with its tradition of engaging with stakeholders in the regular quarterly consultative meetings would meet political parties on Jan. 18.

He said that the commission would also meet CSOs on Jan. 19; Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on Jan. 20 and media organisations on Jan. 21.

(NAN)

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Buhari orders military to decimate bandits, Boko Haram in Niger

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Governor of Niger state Abubakar Bello

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday ordered the military to decimate remnant bandits and Boko Haram militants in Niger state.

In a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, Buhari as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces set the ball rolling for a major military operation in Niger State which has faced continued attacks on its communities by bandits and remnants of Boko Haram terrorists fleeing theaters of war in the Northwestern and Northeastern parts of the country.

“In a directive to the Defence Headquarters a few days ago, the President asked the military to respond robustly to the cases of killings and kidnappings in the State and to give effect to the strategic objectives through the use of force,” the statement said.

Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger state

In his message to the government and people of Niger State, President Buhari said, “I would like to express sincere sympathies to the government and people of the State following recent security incidents.”

  • 13 not 37 killed in Niger attack – Police

The President reiterated that security is a responsibility of every member of the community and only through solidarity and cooperation with law enforcement agencies can we defeat the problems finally.

“The Federal Government is willing to strengthen support and cooperation with all the states. I believe that with the full cooperation of the citizens, we will surely overcome this problem,” the President said.

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