FG declares Shiite movement ‘new Boko Haram’, paper review

The newspapers for Monday, March 3, report on the proscription of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria by the FG among other issues.

The federal government has said the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) is not different from the Boko Haram terrorist group that has killed about 100,000 people since 2009.

According to This Day, the government spoke through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the weekend in a response to the annual report of Amnesty International (AI) for 2015/2016, which accused Nigeria’s security forces of “extreme” human rights violations and brutal response to security concerns, such as the Biafra agitation, Boko Haram insurgency and Shiites’ movement incessant processions.

The foreign ministry stated firmly that “the activities of the El-Zakzaky movement is one that cannot be tolerated by any progressive democratic government

In other news, the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led national caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, has said members of the party are free to join other political associations to realise their political ambition.

Speaking through the spokesperson for the caretaker committee, Dayo Adeyeye, on Sunday, March 3, Makarfi said his committee would not abandon the PDP for Sheriff, the Punch reports.

Adeyeye, however, said national caretaker committee has no hands in the purported planned registration of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Party.

He said: “We state clearly and without ambiguity that the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP is not, in any way, involved in the plans to register any party by the name of APDP or any other party for that matter.

It is unthinkable that the National Caretaker Committee, which, without any doubt, enjoys the support of all the recognised organs of the party, will contemplate such a move.

“We, however, acknowledge and recognise the right of party members to seek alternative platform to actualise their political dreams, which is an inalienable right guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Adeyeye stated that the caretaker committee “is holding leadership power in the party in trust for the millions of party” members, who, he said, instituted the committee at the national convention.

Meanwhile, a resident electoral commissioner (REC), who completed his tenure on Friday, March 6, is alleged to have collected about N140million of the N23.29 billion 2015 election bribe.

The Nation reports that A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) allegedly coordinated the bribe.

The allegations against the INEC staff was made by a probe committee headed by National Commissioner Baba Shettima Arfo.

Most of the 202 indicted officials may be dismissed from service for gross misconduct and handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for trial.

The corrupt officials who have retired with their loot may either be blacklisted by INEC or have their entitlements withheld. Besides, the bribe may be deducted from their benefits.

Still on alleged corruption, the Senate has declared that it had uncovered some fraudulent practices in the petroleum industry through which the nation lost N10 trillion between 2006 and 2016.

According to the Guardian, the leadership of the upper chamber has instructed the joint committee on petroleum (upstream and downstream) and Gas to investigate the alleged fraud.

The panel alleged that out of the N10trillion fraud, some N5.2 trillion was lost through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) alone, which would be summoned to account for the loss.

Meanwhile, Former president, Goodluck Jonathan, has dismissed reports by a foreign newspaper that his administration refused help from the British government to rescue the abducted Chibok girls.

The UK Guardian, had reported that Jonathan-led administration rejected the offer of British armed forces to help in rescuing the girls, who were abducted in April 2014.

The paper reported the British Armed Forces in a mission named ‘Operation Turus,’ conducted air reconnaissance over northern Nigeria for several months, following the kidnapping of 276 girls from the town of Chibok.

Quoting a source involved in the operation, the paper said the Nigerian government declined the offer from the British government to help rescue the girls after they were kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents.

However, Jonathan has described the report as lies by people playing politics with the issue of the abducted girls.

The former president in a statement signed by his media adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, said his administration made efforts to rescue the Chibok girls, especially in relation to collaborating with the international community, the Cable reports.

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