BREAKING: FG orders security agencies to monitor social media posts of ‘prominent Nigerians’ - FAITH ADAMA'S BLOG

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Thursday, 25 January 2018

BREAKING: FG orders security agencies to monitor social media posts of ‘prominent Nigerians’



The federal government has directed security agencies to tackle the propagation of hate speech, especially through social media The order was given at a security meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja. Mansur Dan Ali, minister of defence, had described the trend of hate speech on social media as worrisome. “Relevant security agencies should as a matter of urgency tackle the propagation of hate speeches through the social media, particularly by some notable Nigerians,” Ali said. Top on the agenda were the stringent conditions imposed by the United States government for the sale of 12 Super Tucano A29 planes and other weapons worth $495 million. It warned that the Armed forces is currently synergising with other security agencies through intelligence sharing and joint operations to address the various security challenges in Nigeria. The meeting which last led three hours was held inside the President’s office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali; and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, led the security chiefs to the meeting. The new Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar, attended the security meeting for the first time since his recent appointment. In attendance were the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, and Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris. Dan Ali, who briefed State House corespondents after the meeting, said while the US government insists that the payment must be made by February 20, 2018, it also maintained that the aircrafts can only be available in 2020. Apart from that, the US government has also forbidden Nigerian personnel from being sent to understudy the production process of the aircrafts as Nigeria had done in the case of other countries. The minister said the council has approved that the Ministry of Defence meets with the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, to iron out out the contending issues. The Donald Trump administration last December, agreed to proceed with the sale of the aircrafts to Nigeria after the Obama administration had delayed it following bombing of a refugee camp in January last year by the Nigerian Air Force. He said, “The contract include cost which is $494 million to acquire the Super Tucano A29 plans as well as training, where the facilities will be accommodated and continuous servicing among others. “Some of the stringent measures include that we will start having them from 2020, which is two years from now. They are also thinking of not allowing our technicians to be part of the production inspection. But this is what we normally do in all the defence contracts, we send our personnel to go and understudy especially when it comes to specialized aircrafts like in Russia, our personnel are permanently based in where the production is being done for this MI35 helicopters.” On the curtailment of the proliferation of light arms, DAN-Ali said the council has set up committee to work out modalities to transform the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PRESCOM) to a National Commission. He said the members of the National Commission are drawn from all security services with the Office of the National Security Adviser, Ministry of Defense as well as Ministry of Interior and will be headed by a retired General. He added: “In compliance with the presidential directive for the establishment of National Commission on the Control of small Arms and Light Weapons in the country, the Ministry of Defence in conjunction with the office of the National Security Adviser has set up a committee to work out modalities to transform the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PRESCOM) to a National Commission.” The said he informed the meeting that in line with the decision of the present government to increase the strength of the Armed Forces to address manpower problem, the three services have in the last two years enlisted and recruited qualified Nigerians. He said the Ministry of Defence is also building befitting accommodation for members of the Armed Forces in the six geopolitical zones. According to him, “similar accommodations were built by Defence Headquarters and commissioned by the HMOD in Abuja last month. This has gone a long way to solving accommodation problem and boosting the morale of personnel serving in Abuja.” He also spoke on the the Military Pension Verification Exercise was conducted in all the 36 states and FCT during the period under review, saying that yhe process enabled the Military Pension Board to update its data payroll and ensure financial savings for the Government. thThe minister revealed that the council also discussed the remote and immediate causes of the frequent farmers/herdsmen deadly clashes in the country, which he blamed on the blockage of cattle routes and the establishment of anti-grazing laws by some states and the existence of local militias. (The Cable )