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We must utilize the power of ICT to contain insurgency–Dambatta

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Dambatta has said that Nigeria must utilize and appropriately deploy telecoms and ICT resources in the fight against insurgency and to contain other emergencies.

He affirmed that empirical knowledge of what ICT can do in tackling numerous challenges explained the commission’s insistence on compliance by all stakeholders to the guidelines governing SIM registration, and why NCC had been upbeat in getting the Emergency Communication Centres (ECC) ready all over the country as directed by the Federal Government.

Prof. Dambatta stated this on Wednesday at the Conference Room of NCC Head Office during the induction of the commission into the membership of Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA).

The NCC Vice Chairman was represented at the forum by Bassey Uket, a Principal Manager at the Commission’s Special Duties Department.

Mr Dambatta recalled the collaboration between NCC and the security and other emergency response agencies especially at the ECCs and suggest that many of the multi-faceted challenges can be addressed with scaling up the degree of deployment of electronic strategies.

To underscore the imperative of electronic and digital communication systems in managing the nation’s security challenges, Mr Dambatta stated that “as we are addressing the situation in one part of the country, you find escalation in another part of the country.”

He  also gave an example of the 112 Emergency Communication Numbers, which are routed to the ECCs, as “a practical implementation of a security system that is bringing succour to citizens in distress”.

The NCC Chief Executive added that he was gratified that there is an increasing “interface between citizens who are in distressed security situation and virtually all security and other emergency response agencies connected to it”.

Mr Dambatta described the ECCs as a well-conceived project. It is a project that has enhanced the capacity of agencies in the security governance sector to manage crises. He informed the audience that the Centres are well-equipped to address the purpose for which they were established.

He said 18 of the Centres, which are located in state capitals, have been completed and he assured that with support of the Federal Government “we are not going to stop. We would like to express our commitment to continue with the remaining 18. We would not rest on our oars until all other 18 are fully functional because the ECC have started attracting attention” and are quite central to the management of security in the country.

He emphasised that the ECCs have become a success story today because of the commitment of the Federal Government and the culture of dedication to continuity of strategic national projects by successive leadership of the Commission.

Earlier, Oluwatoyin Asaju, Director, Special Duties at NCC said FOSSRA, which was established 6 years ago by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), has performed well in coordinating public information activities of security and emergency response agencies and has helped to improve inter-agency collaboration.

He said the induction of NCC into the forum is a testimony to the Commission’s strides in this regard and also the visionary leadership of the Prof. Danbatta.

He recalled the nature of operation and kind of facilities at the ECCs and urged Nigerians to use the Toll-Free 3-Digit Emergency Communication Numbers 112 to get help in times of security challenges.

Brigadier Onyema Nwachukwu, Director, Defence Information and Chairman of FOSSRA told the participants at the meeting that crisis is not peculiar to Nigeria and the present escalating trend speaks to emergent global culture where non-state actors resort to violence to express grievances.

He said agencies in the security sector are working all-round-the-clock to improve the nation’s security situation.

The FOSSRA’s role according to him is to bring the public to speed on the activities of the security forces. He affirmed that other issues needed to be addressed for the physical security provided by the armed forces to have better impact.

“One of these issues is national mobilisation of the mass media around the issues of security. Therefore, developing a national networking strategy of all stakeholders is important to address other challenges just as the challenge of inter-agency cooperation and collaboration among the security forces had been addressed.”

Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (rtd), the Executive Secretary of Crisis Communication Centre (CCC), also spoke about the efforts of FOSSRA in rallying information and communication stakeholders to ensure appropriate crisis communication management.

Commodore Anas expressed the gratitude of the Centre and other partners to NCC for the vital roles the Commission had played in enhancing the management of the Nation’s security communication programmes.

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Shekarau advocates power shift to south

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Nasiru Yusuf

A former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, has urged the All Progressive Congress (APC) to field a southerner as its presidential candidate in 2023.

Ibrahim Shekarau says political power shift is necessary for all Nigerians to have a sense of belonging.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Shekarau, who is a serving senator, spoke in an interview with BBC Hausa Service on Wednesday. He said the idea is to ensure justice and fairness.

According to him, although rotational presidency is not written in APC’s constitution, he believes it is desirable for justice and fairness.

“For instance, the present six geopolitical zones are not reflected in Nigeria’s constitution, but it is a good arrangement. You cannot implement any policy in Nigeria without taking geopolitical zones into consideration.

“This is also the same with rotating the presidency between the North and the South. If we ignore power shift, we are not being fair to ourselves and we are not fair to history. In my opinion, power shift is necessary for all Nigerians to have a sense of belonging.

“I am of the opinion that, we should exercise patience and bring our brothers from the South close to us.

“You see, the North alone cannot produce the votes enough for the president. Likewise the South, it is only when we come together. My believe is not only geopolitical regions, there is no state in the federation that does not have a competent person to lead this country.

“Violating this arrangement will further divide Nigerians. Some will feel neglected or rejected,” Mr Shekarau said.

On the possibility of the opposition party fielding a northern candidate, the politician said both the PDP and APC face the same dilemma. “Each is trying to outsmart the other.

“My advice to the parties (APC and PDP) is they should not look at zoning from political exploitation, but what should be just and fair. Fair play and competence of the candidate should be the be the guiding principle,” he said.

Commenting on the defection of some politicians to the APC, Mr Shekarau described it as a remarkable success worthy of celebration.

He said: “within the last two months, two governors have defected to APC. It is quite a success. There are also groups and individuals who joined the party.

“However, there is a need to conduct congresses and elect party officials from the ward to national levels. There is also a need to set up a modality of how to spread political appointments across the country

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Kano gets 3,148 new polling units

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expanded the polling units in Kano state from 8,074 to 11,222 to create easy access to polling units.

Kano Focus reports that the INEC chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu revealed this to journalists on Wednesday in Abuja.

Mr Yakubu revealed that Kano Central has 1,978 more polling units while Kano South and Kano North have 658 and 513 respectively.

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The 10 local governments that have the highest number of additional polling units are Nassarawa 334, Kumbotso 220, Gwale 207, Tarauni 207, and Ungoggo 179.

Others are Dala 163, Fagge 163, Kano Municipal 160, Danbatta 94, and Dawakin Kudu 92.

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Nigerian Navy to establish desert warfare institute in Kano

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Chief of Naval Staff CNS Real Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, has agreed to move Desert Warfare Institute to Kano.

KANO FOCUS reports that this was disclosed by, Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Navy, COR Ezekobe

when he led a delegation to governor Ganduje at his office, in Kano, Wednesday, to brief the governor about development so far.

He said “We are here to actualize the fruitful engagement we had when His Excellency visited us on the 3rd of June. He Chief of Naval Staff directed me to lead this team in actualising some of the promises made to you when you visited the Naval headquarters.”

“Our project standing on 12 hectares of land, is a multi-purpose project. We are moving our Desert Warfare of our Special unit to Kano Your Excellency. This unit is highly trained in both United States of America and Britain. And they are recognized to be of best performance.”

“This is where we will use for a garment industry and other things that will be of significant benefit to the society.”

“We would like to develop a Barack, so that when the need arises we can defend ourselves and also the state. That will definitely help in improving the security of the state in particular and the nation in general.”

He requested that, the Chief of Naval Staff would want to deliver a lecture on Maritime in either Bayero University, Kano, for people here up North to understand the activities of the Nigerian Navy in the national scheme of things.

Ezkobe, a rear admiral in Nigerian Navy, requested another piece of land on behalf of the Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA) for the establishment of hospital in the state.

“Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA) is desirous of establishing a 200-bedded hospital in Kano. We also need to get a piece of land for this effort to see the light of the day,” he requested.

“Your Excellency we witnessed the tremendous development in your state. This is highly commendable Sir,” he concluded.

In his response, governor Ganduje appreciated the speed of the process for the visibility of the Nigerian Navy in the state, appreciating that, “We are so happy to have you here. I can see that the return match is so quick. This shows the level of seriousness from your part.”

“Your presence in Kano will definitely boost the morale of our youth in joining the Nigerian Navy. It will also improve our security of the state generally,” he stated.

“We are very much ready for all the requests you came with pertaining this and other projects for the development of the state. And for improving the security of our dear state. We are always ready.”

Concerning the Chief of Naval State Conference, Ganduje said the state would always be ready to see to the realisation of the proposed Conference, adding that, “For the Conference we will create an enabling environment for it to hold.”

“We will also facilitate for the proposed Maritime lecture by the Chief of Naval Staff in one of our universities. There is no doubt about this. Tell him he is always welcome.”

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