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REUTERS’ MERCENARY JOURNALISM………Efforts by Reuters to Blackmail the Nigerian Military Through Mercenary Journalism Fails

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REUTERS’ MERCENARY JOURNALISM………Efforts by Reuters to Blackmail the Nigerian Military Through Mercenary Journalism Fails

 

 

 

Sadly, Reuters, an international news agency, now part of Thomson Reuters, wrote that it was working on a series of stories about purported actions of the Nigerian military during the government’s 13-year war against Islamist insurgents in the country’s North East. To them, they were committed to producing an accurate, fair and complete report hence, their request to arrange a time to discuss before their reporting. The supposed stories were purported to focus on 2 specific areas: First, supposed military-run programme of forced abortions performed on women and girls who were held captive and impregnated by Islamist militants and second, a supposed killing of children by the military as part of counterinsurgency operations.

 

 

 

REUTERS’ MERCENARY JOURNALISM………Efforts by Reuters to Blackmail the Nigerian Military Through Mercenary Journalism Fails

The Reuters report was to also allege that, since 2013, Nigeria’s military had run a secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme in the country’s North East terminating at least 12,000 pregnancies among women and girls. That, many children were shot, poisoned, suffocated or run down by vehicles in army-led actions. Furthermore, the report was to allege that soldiers selected babies and toddlers for killing after rescuing them and their mothers from Islamist militants, amongst other weighty concocted allegations. The key motive for supposedly carrying out the abortions was allegedly the notion that the children of Islamist militants, because of the blood in their veins, would one day follow in their father’s footsteps and take up arm against the Nigerian Government and society.

Hmmm! Wickedness really runs in the veins of some people and it surely runs deep in the veins of the Reuters team that concocted such evil for interrogation. The fictitious series of stories actually constitute a body of insults on the Nigerian peoples and culture for, no people or culture in Nigeria practices such evil as dreamt up by the Reuters team. Irrespective of the security challenges we face as a nation, Nigerian peoples and cultures still cherish life. Hence, Nigerian military personnel have been raised, bred and further trained to protect lives, even at their own risk especially, when it concerns the lives of children, women and the elderly. This much is reflected in Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs), Concepts of Operations, Rules of Engagements (ROEs) and other documents that guide military operations. Hence, nowhere has the Nigerian military operated (Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, [Darfur] Sudan, Gambia and Guinea Bissau, amongst others) that, there has been any trace or allegation of infanticide. The Nigerian military will not therefore, contemplate such evil of running a systematic and illegal abortion programme anywhere and anytime, and surely not on our own soil. The Nigerian military will not also deliberately plan to target children during its counterinsurgency operations or other operations, both within and outside Nigeria.

The Reuters team must have been schooled in, and have now become proponents of scorched-earth and inhuman policies employed by colonialists during the colonial era and during the battles for independence in Indo-China, Malaysia, Algeria and other places. Villages and crops were burnt. Children, women, elderly, the innocent were killed in systematic and inhuman programmes. Nigerians, and by extension Nigerian military, are not made in such wicked mould, and the Reuters team cannot appropriate the evil of infanticide to the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the Nigerian peoples.

But, let’s interrogate the issues. It took Reuters 13 solid years to craft an allegation of infanticide against the Nigerian military and the Nigerian nation. This shows that a news agency as ‘renown’ as Reuters is itself complicit for failing in its mandate to draw attention, to inform the publics about supposed occurrences that offend not only the laws of armed conflict but also international humanitarian law.

Let us analyze the period from July 2021 till November 2022. A total of 82,064 Boko Haram fighters with members of their families have surrendered to troops of Op HADIN KAI. Out of this number, 16,553 were active male fighters, 24,446 were women while 41,065 were children. The Borno State Government is camping and accommodating them family-by-family, as per households, without having to separate the children from their parents. In the same camp are thousands of pregnant women and nursing mothers. A total of 262 babies were born within a period of 4 months (94 in July, 98 in August, 60 in September and 11 in October 2022). This figure comprises 150 female and 112 male children. The children were neither aborted nor yanked from their mothers and killed, as may have been the joy of Reuters.

Let us now spotlight the rescued Chibok girls who were kidnapped from their school by Boko Haram Terrorists in 2014. A total of 11 of the Chibok girls were rescued this year 2022. Hauwa Joseph with her child, Mary Dauda with her child, and Ruth Bitrus were rescued in June 2022. Troops also rescued Kauna Luka with her child and Hanatu Musa with her 2 children in July 2022. In the same vein, Aisha Grema with her 4 year-old child and Falmata Lawal were rescued in August 2022. Furthermore, Asabe Ali with her child, Jinkai Yama with her 3 children, Yana Pogu with her 4 children and Rejoice Senki with her 2 children were rescued in September and November this year. The names of the rescued girls are in Serials 18, 46, 41, 38, 7, 11, 3, 12, 20, 19 and 70 respectively (in the order of rescue) in the list of the abducted Chibok School girls. The rescued girls were handed over to the Borno State government after their rescue.

A visit to the Rehabilitation Centre accommodating the Chibok girls on 29 November 2022 revealed that, there were 2 other Chibok girls (with their children) recued earlier, making the number of the Chibok girls in the Centre to be 13. Other residents in the facility were children who were rescued by troops unaccompanied (by any adult) or who separated from their parents/relatives due to fog of war. The welfare of the Chibok girls with their children and the unaccompanied children, is a major priority of the Borno State Government. UNICEF is assisting the Centre in tracing the relatives of the Chibok girls as well as those of the unaccompanied/separated children to facilitate reintegration with their communities. If there was any evil, illegal programme to systematically kill the children of Boko Haram terrorists, then the children that the terrorists begat through the Chibok girls would have been prime targets.

The Joint Investigation Centre (JIC) is where captured terrorists (men and women) are being processed, to determine their level of complicity in the heinous crimes committed by the Boko Haram Terrorist group. There were 1,952 persons in the facility, which included 23 women with 11 children who remain attached to their mothers as at 30 November 2022. There is also a medical facility being run by the Centre in collaboration with medical staff of ICRC. The welfare of all the occupants at the JIC is thus highly prioritised, including basic education for the children, tailoring and hat-making skills acquisition for the adults as well as provision of recreational and sporting facilities for all the occupants.

Since July 2021 when the Boko Haram terrorists started surrendering with their families in droves, a community-based reintegration process is evolving, involving local traditional leaderships, town councils and family members. The process is made easier due to the fact that most of the surrendered terrorists were actually conscripted from their villages by the core terrorists, whose ranks have been degraded by more than 95 percent. Accordingly, a total of 4,933 recued civilians/surrendered persons (including 1,977 children, 1,423 women and 1,533 men) have been reintegrated with their communities from the camp housing the Chibok girls alone. The children were not taken from their parents and killed; unaccompanied ones were not also rounded up and killed.

A crucial point to note is the fact that, more than 245 United Nations agencies, International NGOs and local NGOs operate in the North East, who are active in the IDP camps and other concentrations of vulnerable peoples. They provide food, medical care and other services in collaboration with the Nigerian and Borno State Governments. But the wickedness of the Reuters team members must have blinded them, shutting them off from the humanitarian realities in the North East of Nigeria. UNICEF, Girl Child Concern, International Medical Corps, Save the Children International, Girl Effect, Concern For Women and Children Development Foundation, International Federation of Women Lawyers, Women and Children’s Right and Peace Building Awareness Initiative, Medicin Sans Frontiers (France, Switzerland, Belgium and Spain) as well as Centre for Protection of Women and Girls are some of the humanitarian organizations operating in the North East. These have direct responsibilities for the welfare of children and/or women in the crisis area. Could the humanitarian community operating in the North East of Nigeria be equally complicit in condoning or supporting infanticide as thought of by Reuters? Could the United Nations Secretary General have commended troops of OP HADIN KAI when he visited Maiduguri recently? Or, is he, himself also complicit for failure to address an organized infanticide in the North East, which exists only in the warped, wicked imagination of the Reuters team?

The history of the Nigerian military dates back to 1863, especially with respect to the Nigerian Army that conducts land operations either as a single Service or in joint operations with other Services or security agencies. So, what metamorphosed into the Nigerian military actually passed through several processes and experiences through the First and Second World Wars as well as a Nigerian Civil War. Contingents of the Nigerian military have also taken part in several UN or regional peace keeping or peace enforcement missions abroad, with honours as mentioned in previous paragraphs. To participate in such missions, Pre-Induction Training and In-Theatre Training are usually carried out vigorously. The protection of civilians especially women, children and the elderly, always formed a major plank of such training sessions.

Military training institutions in Nigeria also focus extensively on Laws of Armed Combat and International Humanitarian Law. Aside all these, Nigerians and the Nigerian military are lovers of children. Nigerian military personnel have thus constantly denied themselves ration, supplies, transport and medicine in order to cater for rescued civilians especially children, women and the elderly. The Nigerian military have grown in leaps and bounds in experience and stature in humanizing operations, even in the most confused and intense operational environment. Hence, it offends the pedigree of the Nigerian military, it offends the Nigerian culture, and it offends honour for Reuters to postulate that the Nigerian military had routinely carried out both small-scale and mass killings of children in its counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism efforts in the North-East of Nigeria.

The Reuters condemnable series of stories can only have arisen from a mentality of “media or Press-bullying”. Reuters is a media company with world-wide reach that sells news to print, electronic and online media outlets. The so-called News Editor for Sub-Saharan Africa, Alexandra Zavis, remains in South Africa and concoct evil lies to insult Nigerian peoples and cultures with allegations of infanticide purportedly being sponsored and carried out by the military and civilian leaderships in North East of Nigeria.

The Reuters’ series of stories are akin to telling the world that Nigerians still live on top of trees. It now seems that the new stock in trade for Reuters is, ‘mining’ and selling lies to demonize Nigerian military, Nigerian institutions and Nigerian leaderships. This new vocation of Reuters is worse than illegal arms trade, worse than hard-drug trafficking, and actually worse than terrorism. The so-called Reuters’ News Editor for Sub-Saharan Africa, Alexandra Zavis, should better retrace her steps, before the founder, Paul Julius Reuter, starts to regret the demonic journalism being practiced by the journalists that he left behind!

JIMMY AKPOR
Major General
Director Defence Information
2 December 2022

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MFM WINS RARE VICTORY OVER THE UK CHARITY COMMISSION AS TRIBUNAL QUASHES ITS ORDER CONSTITUTING THE INTERIM MANAGER AS SOLE ADMINISTRATOR OF MFM (UK)

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MFM WINS RARE VICTORY OVER THE UK CHARITY COMMISSION AS TRIBUNAL QUASHES ITS ORDER CONSTITUTING THE INTERIM MANAGER AS SOLE ADMINISTRATOR OF MFM (UK)

On 21st September 2021, the Charity Commission notified the trustees of the MFM UK that it had reviewed the Initial Order under which the Interim Manager was appointed to continue the said appointment whilst varying the terms of the Initial Order to permit the Interim Manager to manage the Charity.
to the exclusion of the trustees of the Charity. (The order as so varied is referred to as the “2021 Order”).
This 2021 Order, like its predecessor appointing the Interim Manager, provided canon fodder for further unbridled criticism and vicious maligning of MFM and its General Overseer in the social media, championed by Sahara Reporters and one Maureen Badejo, a British based Vlogger.
On 28th September 2021, the trustees of the Charity submitted an appeal against the
decision of the Charity Commission to issue the 2021 Order. The trustees of the
Charity set out the grounds of their appeal under three headings: –
– the actions of the Respondent and his agents were generally unlawful
– the operations and actions of the Interim Manager/Respondent were
procedurally unfair; and
– the decisions of the Interim Manager/Respondent were generally irrational.
The notice of appeal submitted by the trustees of the Charity (referred to as the
“Appellant” in the decision) set out in some detail the grounds on which this appeal was being brought. The Appellant stated that the outcomes that the trustees were
seeking from the appeal were as follows: Firstly, that the 2021 Order should be set aside.
Ruling on the appeal, the 3-member Tribunal unanimously quashed those parts of the 2021 Order, including the Schedule, that appointed the Interim Manager to the exclusion of the Trustees.
The Tribunal directed the Charity Commission to permit the trustees of the MFM (UK) to remain in office with such powers and responsibilities as are necessary or useful to enable them to work with the Interim Manager in amending the constitution of the Charity and in implementing and
operating effective systems and controls across the whole of the Charity.
By this decision, the Tribunal effectively stripped the Interim Manager of the powers of a sole administrator of the charity to the exclusion of its
trustees and is therefore tantamount to a return to the  status quo, where the Interim Manager continues to work hand in glove with the trustees.
The hearing lasted two days. 29/09/2022 and 03/11/2022.
As at the time of going to press, the Solicitor acting for MFM, Mr Tayo Arowojolu of  Freeman Solicitors in London could not be reached for comments.

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Gateway City Project: Otegbeye Lied to Imams – OGSG

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Gateway City Project: Otegbeye Lied to Imams - OGSG 

Gateway City Project: Otegbeye Lied to Imams – OGSG

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That The Ogun State Government has advised the people to be wary of political opportunists who take delight in lying to get sympathy and votes.

Gateway City Project: Otegbeye Lied to Imams - OGSG

This call was made following the claim by the Governoship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the March 11 election, Biyi Otegbeye, that the Government spent N7bn on the Gateway City Gate Project at the Sagamu Interchange, whereas the cost was less than 5 percent of his claim.

 

A statement issued in Abeokuta on Friday by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Dapo Abiodun, Mr Kunle Somorin described Otegbeye’s assertion as “monumental falsehood”.

 

According to him, “Otegbeye does not have an idea of how Government runs  hence dishes out lies that catches his fancy to whip up sentiments against the people’s governor, including this manner of unpardonable lie”.

 

The statement reads:

 

“The attention of the Ogun State Government has been drawn to a video clip of the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, one Biyi Otegbeye, purporting that the Gateway City Gate Monument at the Sagamu Interchange was erected at a whooping N7bn.

 

“While we do not intend to join issues with Mr Otegbeye and his likes over barefaced falsehood and puerile attempt to sell his candidacy to the good people of Ogun State, it is pertinent to state that his claim is not only pure falsehood, but also absolute fallacy, complete calumny and a figment of his warped imagination.

 

“Having failed to clinch the APC gubernatorial ticket, Otegbeye has been wandering round parties, shopping for cheap and less known parties’ ticket, trying to get on the ballot through the back door – fair or foul.

 

“His attempt to hoodwink the public through his appearance before the revered League of Imams and Alfas. spewing falsehood around the City Gate  Monument shows the kind of mindset he has if he were to be Governor of the State

 

“The fact of the matter is that the iconic Gateway City Gate Monument that has received rave reviews and endorsements by a wide segment of the public, including the Presidency costs less than 5 percent of his imagined cost. Mr. Otegbeye must probably have thought or believed that a project of such magnitude could not have cost less than N7bn. He probably would have spent this or more if he or any of his kind were to be in charge of the people’s Commonwealth in Ogun State.

 

“The custodian of this Commonwealth today – Prince Dapo Abiodun – is a proven prudent manager of men and resources, whose track records in the private sector justifiably earned him the people’s trust and mandate, which he equally brought to bear on public service and governance in the last 44months!

 

“He has deployed people’s resources to build more than 400km of roads, rehabilitated over 1000 public schools, built 1,500 affordable housing units, revamped the health sector, created thousands of jobs in ICT and agriculture, digitised the state economy  and turned Ogun State to investors’ first destination of choice and the Industrial Capital of the country.

 

“We are confident that Ogun State people are too sophisticated for this kind of infantile politics of Mr Biyi Otegeye and other mudslingers and fake godfathers

 

“We would not be deterred from delivering the dividend of democracy by the antics of people like Biyi Otegbeye. While calling our people to ignore him, it is in his enlightened self-interest to seek knowledge in order to address his ignorance and apologise to the people of Ogun State,  especially the League of Imams and Alfas for his lies. The people deserve to know how Mr Otegbeye arrived at this bizarre figure. Of course, it was simply concocted!

 

“Otegbeye, probably out of ignorance thought the Gateway City a fancy flight. No. It is a more fundamental symbolic depiction of our diversity and strength.

 

“The Gateway City Gate Project is not just a Park or beautification project, it is a welcome sign to visitors, investors and everyone that something new is happening in Ogun State.

 

“It is our welcoming brand to the entrance of the State Capital and centre point of our State and an ICON depicting the joining of hands for Building the future Together in our State. It is a symbol of our unity and a unifying structure that binds our people together”

 

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Sen. ‘Soji Akanbi Commends President Buhari’s New Petroleum Committee, acknowledges Tinubu’s role

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Sen. ‘Soji Akanbi Commends President Buhari’s New Petroleum Committee, acknowledges Tinubu’s role

 

 

 

Oyo State frontline politician, Senator Rilwan Adesoji Akanbi has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his recent setting up of a 14 man petroleum committee which he is heading, in order to resolve the current petroleum scarcity.

Senator Akanbi pointed out that the action is worthy of note and goes a long way to show the humane side of the president and the fact that he cares for the citizenry.

The Senator went on to recall the President’s recent visit to Lagos and his cutting of the tape to put in process the operational opportunities of the new Dangote Refinery in the Lekki area of Lagos as being one of the major highpoints of President Buhari tenure, which will galvanise commerce and development in the whole of Africa, since the new Dangote Refinery, happens to be the biggest refinery so far in Africa.

“Time has finally come through this present dispensation, to offer Nigerians, an economic breakthrough that will eventually, and soonest too, see a huge number of employment opportunities in Nigeria, and a roll out of more multiplier economic benefits in the land,” said Senator Adesoji Akanbi.

“And I must also commend Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his Deputy, Obafemi Hamzat and the entire Lagos State government for the Blue Rail mass transportation project and the Rice Mill project, both capital intensive development projects which are targeted to change the entire face of the state into a mega city, where there is ease of transportation and easy access to rice, a staple food which has come to be one of the most loved by the entire Nigerian populace.

“But the best is even yet to come, and more shall we see once Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu wins the upcoming presidential election. You can recall that these new Lagos development projects were all laid out during the governorship of Tinubu in Lagos, of which subsequent governors ensured it’s continuity. I can assure you that, there are more people waiting to build more gigantic refineries and so many investors waiting right now in the wings for Asiwaju to win the election, so that they can commence their different projects. Definitely, with Tinubu in the saddle as president, Nigeria will be great again. It’s the private sector that drives any economy and its takes a leader like Tinubu to provide such enabling environment for such infrastructure s to take place. The Lekki free trade zone and the airport and the other good things happening in Lagos, are just a tip of what a President Tinubu in office, will do to replicate in the entire country.”

Senator Akanbi also said that some people are saying that the change of money by the Central Bank of Nigeria, was targeted at Tinubu and the APC. “That is very wrong,” he replied. “Everyone knows that elections are costly. In some countries, trillions are spent on elections. The change of money affects all the political parties because we all need money to pay for logistics. And I am hereby using this opportunity to call on the Central Bank, to extend the deadline, because as at today, some banks are still paying customers the old notes, so extension of the deadline is now a must.”

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