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Economy & Politics

Reps, NIDO, Ghana government respond to attack on Nigerian residential building

Despite the reports made with the Police, no arrests have been made as of Monday morning.

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Attack on Nigerian residential buildings, Reps, NIDO, Ghana government responds 
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The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Ghana chapter, has provided details of the attacks on Nigerian residential buildings in Ghana.

In a phone interview with NAN, Vice-President of NIDO-Ghana, Mr Kingsley Attoe, stated that unknown armed men stormed the Nigerian High Commissioner’s residence in Accra, Ghana, with bulldozers and demolished four units of the nearly completed four-bedroom block of flats, on the property on the night of Friday, June 19.

At about 10 pm on June 19, the men entered the premises and ordered the Charge D’ Affairs to leave or be bulldozed. She left after calling the police headquarters, which was just a few meters away. Though there was no record of injury, the security operatives were harassed.

According to Attoe, the demolished buildings which were still under construction were meant to house staff and visiting diplomats to the High Commission upon completion.

Despite the reports made with the Police, no arrests have been made as of Monday morning.

“The information we have is that the High Commission was not informed, the guy who is said to be a businessman claims he owns the land title in 2019.

“We are petitioning the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Presidency in Nigeria, National Assembly and other relevant authorities in Nigeria, we need to act fast,” Attoe stated.

READ MORE: U.S. publishes names of 6 Nigerians charged with internet fraud against Americans

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Attoe said further that Ghana is a sister nation to Nigeria and citizens of both countries do a lot of business together, hence their shock over the attack.

SSKOHN

House of Reps response

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs has said Ghana must face the consequences of its actions and inactions.

In a statement by its chairman, Rep. Yusuf Buba on Monday, the committee said the action infringed the International Rights of Nigeria and signifies an invasion of Nigeria’s sovereignty.

The lawmaker said that it was a gross violation of all known conventions and treaties on diplomatic relations and friendship between both countries, and Nigeria cannot let this one pass silently in the name of diplomacy.

“While the demolition lasted, several frantic efforts were said to have been made by members of the Nigeria Mission to report what was ongoing to both the Ghana Police Service and their Foreign Affairs Ministry.

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“In spite of those efforts, no reprieve, we were told, came the way of the Nigerian diplomats. We further learned that, even when the Police finally arrived at the scene, they could not do anything,’’ he said.

READ MORE: France’s Orange move into Nigeria spells trouble for resident Telcos

Buba noted that that the present Nigeria mission in Accra, constituted four hectares of land that was officially allocated to Nigeria as part of the agreement to situate the mission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Ghana, and Nigeria possessed all necessary legal titles and certifications, including site plan, payment receipts and allocation papers from the Ghanaian authorities in respect of the land.

“The action, and indeed, inaction which makes the authorities complicit in the act, the Ghanaian people violated many an article in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1949 and, therefore, must be sanctioned,” he added.

Ghana Govt reacts

The Ghanaian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has issued a statement confirming the attacks by unidentified individuals who breached the premises of the High Commission and demolished the property under construction.

“The Ministry views with concern this development which is a breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR, 1961).

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“Investigations are ongoing to unravel the facts of the matter and bring the perpetrators to book. Meanwhile, the Ghanaian government has beefed-up security at the said facility and the situation is under control,” it said in its reaction.

The ministry assured that the Ghana government will do all to ensure upholding the rule of law, and the safety of members of the Diplomatic Corps in Ghana.

 

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Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career.As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via [email protected]

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    Business News

    Isa Pantami: Terrorist sympathizer or victim of his NIN policy

    Despite renouncing his past radical views, more people on social media and even public figures, have joined the agitation for his resignation.

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    NIMC. Ali Isa Ibrahim Pantami, 5G network, NIPOST defiant to FG’s instruction on cash payments  , How the NCC’s Strategic Management Plan Will Drive The Digital Economy, FG set to commission National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Abuja
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    The calls for resignation and pressure on the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, over his alleged links to extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram in addition to his pro-Taliban views has continued unabated.

    The campaign which started with unconfirmed media reports that the United States Government had allegedly placed him on a security watchlist over alleged links with the late founder and leader of the dreaded Boko Haram group, Mohammed Yusuf, later snowballed into a series of other allegations which border on his extreme Islamic views and activities in the past.

    Pantami, an Islamic cleric, in his initial reaction to the allegation of being on US security watchlist due to his extremist views, denied the allegations, saying that he had always preached against the Boko Haram sect for over 15 years over its condemnable doctrines and practices at the expense of his life.

    He alleged that those behind these allegations are those who are not happy with his implementation of the good policies of President Muhammadu Buhari on security especially the government policy on National Identification Number (NIN) and threatened legal action against the publishers.

    READ: Transport Minister says $1.9 billion for Kano-Maradi rail to be sourced from Europe

    The Minister in his statement said, ‘’News Wire Nigeria your retraction through your independent investigation has been noted. However, investigative journalism requires the investigation before publishing, not after. Further, major publishers will meet my lawyers in court on this defamation of character.

    My lectures against the doctrines and all other evil people have been available for over 15 years, including debates that endangered my life against many criminals in Nigeria. If you can’t understand Hausa, get an objective Hausa speaker to translate for you objectively.

    For your information, by the Almighty, no amount of intimation will stop Isa Pantami from implementing the good policies of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on security.”

    READ: President Buhari charges newly appointed Service Chiefs to secure the country

    SSKOHN

    As the calls from Nigerians for the resignation of the 48-year-old Minister continued, over his religious views, Patanmi, for the first time on Saturday, April 17, 2021, according to some media reports, acknowledged his past religious views but said that he has since renounced those radical comments.

    He blamed his past radical leanings on age, immaturity and limited knowledge as well as based on his understanding of religious issues at the time, adding that he has changed several positions taken in the past based on new evidence and maturity,

    However, despite renouncing his past radical views, more people on social media and even public figures, have joined the agitation for his resignation, saying that his views as a student cannot be blamed on age.

    Some Nigerians have expressed their views on the matter with a good number of them insisting that the Minister has to resign.

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    A Twitter user, Chris Chukwu, said Nigerians are not going to sleep on this issue because he is a threat to National security.

    Festus Ogun said that if the President refuses to sack Pantami, he should be prepared for #EndSARS part 2.

    Effiong John, while stating why President Buhari would not sack the Communications Minister said that a terrorist apologist will not sack another terrorist apologist.

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    A human rights activist Comrade Deji Adeyanju said that a terrorist sympathizer is a terrorist.

    Ayemojubar lamented that Nigeria has been taken over by terrorists.

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    Another Twitter user, Abiodun Sanusi said that sympathizing with Isa Pantami is the same as showing sympathy for Osama Bin Laden.

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    However, while responding to Governor Wike’s reaction to the issue, a former presidential aspirant, Omoyele Sowore said that the Rivers State Governor was only grandstanding as he was some time ago, caught on tape threatening to kill an INEC official.

    Some Nigerians have, however, expressed their support and sympathy for the Minister as they believed that he is being victimized for some of the government’s policies that he is driving.

    A Twitter user Khaleel Kumo said that #Pantami must go is purely hypocritical and directed at anything good that comes out from Islam.

    A Twitter user Faarees asked that the #PantamiMustGo must stop trending and Nigerians should go and link their SIM with their NIN.

    Musbey in his defence for Pantami said that as long as you are a practising Muslim and successful, they will hate you.

     

    Also, in defence of the Communications Minister, the Presidency through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity said that Pantami, made those extremist remarks when he was in his 20s and has since then retracted them and changed his views.

    The Presidency pointed out that this currently manufactured dispute has nothing to do with the Minister’s prior words but rather concerns over his actions in the present which include leading the charge against illegal data deductions and pricing, deregistering 9.2 million SIMs thereby ending the ability for criminals and terrorists to use mobile networks undetected.

    Also reacting to alleged links of Pantami to the death of the late former Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa, the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State chapter, Rev. John Hayab, warned against linking the death of Yakowa to Dr Isa Pantami.

    He called on Nigerians to ignore such insinuations and release of some documents with doubtful authenticity, which endangers national peace.

    The very critical question is why these allegations are coming up now after almost 2 years in office as a Minister. Is he a terrorist sympathizer, an allegation he has denied or is he a victim of some of the government policies whose execution he is spearheading?

    These are questions that are still begging for answers.

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    Business News

    Presidency condemns smear campaign against Dr Isa Patanmi, the communications Minister

    According to Garba Shehu, the FG stands behind Minister Pantami and all Nigerian citizens to ensure they receive fair treatment, fair prices, and fair protection in ICT services.

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    The Presidency has dismissed the ongoing smear campaign against the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, instigated by those who want him to be removed from office.

    This follows the calls for his resignation by Nigerians over his alleged links to some terrorist organizations and some extremist statements he made over 20 years ago.

    This reaction is contained in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Thursday in Abuja, describing such calls as unfortunate.

    He said that it is unfair and unfortunate for anyone to seek for the downfall of a hard-working public servant due to a statement he/she made in the past even after such a statement had been rejected by the affected person.

    READ: NCC reacts to claims that minister chased Diaspora Commission’s staff from office complex

    What the Presidential Media Aide is saying

    Shehu in his statement, said, ”Today, there is an unfortunate fashion in public discourse that makes leaders in politics, religion, and civil society liable in the present for every statement they have ever made in the past – no matter how long ago, and even after they have later rejected them.

    This insidious phenomenon seeks to cancel the careers of others on the basis of a thing they have said, regardless of when they said it. The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami is, currently, subject to a “cancel campaign” instigated by those who seek his removal.

    They do not really care what he may or may not have said some 20 years ago: that is merely the instrument they are using to attempt to cancel him. But they will profit should he be stopped from making decisions that improve the lives of everyday Nigerians.

    The Minister has, rightly, apologized for what he said in the early 2000s. The views were absolutely unacceptable then and would be equally unacceptable today, were he to repeat them. But he will not repeat them – for he has publicly and permanently condemned his earlier utterances as wrong.

    SSKOHN

    READ: GITEX 2020: Nigeria receives $50m Start-up investment – Pantami

    In the 2000s, the minister was a man in his twenties; next year he will be 50, time has passed, and people and their opinions – often rightly – change.”

    Shehu pointed out that Pantami was deliberately being attacked to rubbish the achievements of the Buhari administration in the ICT sector.

    He also listed the achievements of Pantami in the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy in the past two and a half years.

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    This Administration is committed to improving the lives of all Nigerians – and that includes ensuring they are not over-charged or under-protected for those services on which modern life depends.

    The Minister has been leading the charge against illegal data deductions and pricing. He has revolutionized the government’s virtual public engagement to respond to COVID-19 and save taxpayers’ money. He has established ICT start-up centres to boost youth entrepreneurship and create jobs.

    READ: How NCC’s Strategic Management Plan will drive digital economy

    He has changed policy to ensure locally produced ICT content is used by ministries, starting with his own; and he has deregistered some 9.2 million SIMs – ending the ability for criminals and terrorists to flagrantly use mobile networks undetected.

    In two short years, Minister Pantami has driven the contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP to more than 18 percent, making it one of the top two playing a critical role in the emergence of the economy from the COVID 19-induced recession.’’

    Shehu said, “The minister and this administration have made enemies. There are those in the opposition who see success and want it halted by any means.

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    And there is now well-reported information that alleges newspaper editors rebuffed an attempt to financially induce them to run a smear campaign against the minister by some ICT companies, many of which do indeed stand to lose financially through lower prices and greater consumer protections.

    The government is now investigating the veracity behind these claims of attempted inducement, and – should they be found to hold credence – police and judicial action must be expected.

    The Administration stands behind Minister Pantami and all Nigerian citizens to ensure they receive fair treatment, fair prices, and fair protection in ICT services,” he added.

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    It can be recalled that Some Nigerians had asked Pantami to resign over his alleged links to some terrorist groups including Boko Haram, an allegation that the Minister had denied.

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