The Minister of Interior, Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola has called on security agencies in the country not to give up the fight against terrorism, banditry and all forms of crimes and criminality.
The minister urged them to embrace the spirit of patriotism, commitment and love for fatherland in order to ensure a peaceful nation.
A statement by Mr Mohammed Manga, the Director Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Interior, quotes Aregbesola as making the call at a patriotism advocacy programme on Monday in Abuja.
The event, which was tagged “Do the right thing: Fall in love with Nigeria”, was organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA).
The minister said love for one’s country was “undoubtedly a good trait that imbued people with a sense of loyalty and a desire to coexist peacefully with one another, regardless of religion, political affiliation and cultural background”.
Aregbesola said that in view of the on-going battle against the spate of insecurity, crime and criminality, as well as corruption in Nigeria, commitment of all the security agencies was imperative.
The minister stressed that Nigeria was in dire need of positive values, peace, security, national integration and change of attitude at all levels, with a view to overcoming all threats to internal security.
He said this would improve socio-economic development, which is in line with the policy thrust of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The minister urged Nigerians and the security agencies to continue to demonstrate high level of patriotism to the country by ensuring that all enemies of the state were stopped from gaining entry through the country’s borders.
Aregbesola, who unveiled the “Fall in Love with Nigeria” campaign banner made by the NOA, commended the security agencies for their doggedness towards curtailing the activities of the insurgents, bandits and other criminal elements.
He said that the damage to the country would have been devastating without the security agencies.
The Director-General, NOA, Mr Garba Abari, noted that the promotion of peace and security was a task for every Nigerian.
Abari said that all hands must be on deck in supporting government’s effort at sustaining peace and security in the country.
“As the nation waits with bated breath and great expectations for the celebration of our 60th independence anniversary, come Oct. 1, it is indeed time to cast our minds back to our long journey to ultimate nationhood as a people from diverse cultural, social and political backgrounds,” he said.
The NOA boss therefore urged all Nigerians to remain resolute “in our march towards greatness”.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
Google on Tuesday announced the launch of a $1 million pan-African Google.org fund to support innovative ideas around privacy, trust and the safety of families online across sub-Saharan Africa.
Seember Nyager, Policy and Government Relations Manager, Google Nigeria, said at the 16th annual Safer Internet Day (SID) “that Google was committed to a safe internet for children, as well as the empowerment of organisations who shared the commitment.
“The fund will be administered by a third-party partner on behalf of Google.org, and we will be sharing details on application criteria and deadlines soon.
“Google would look to support initiatives across Africa and be administered by a trusted partner.
“Details of how to apply, deadlines and criteria will be made available in due course.”
According to her, beyond our own products, we also want to help kids learn how to be safer, more confident explorers of the online world.
“Today, we join the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to hold SID events in 36 states towards empowering teachers, parents and younger children to better understand and navigate the Web with confidence.
“Google also announced ‘Be Internet Awesome’, in Nigeria, Abuja, Netherlands, South Africa today, and earlier in Kenya, which is a landmark child online safety programme,’’ she said.
Head of Brand and Reputation, Africa at Google,said that Internet Awesome seeks to help minors explore the internet safely and confidently.
She said that Google was excited to strengthen the work being done with parents and children in the field of online safety in Nigeria.
She said in addition to Family Link, which allowed parents to help their families develop healthy digital habits, Google also launched Password Checkup exactly one year ago to empower users to check and strengthen online security settings for their Google Accounts.
“Be Internet Awesome teaches kids important skills for surfing the internet, like how to recognise potential online scams, using the internet securely and safeguarding valuable information.
“(It teaches) how to identify and refrain from cyberbullying, as well as what to do when encountering questionable content on the internet.’’
Nkemdilim Ilo, CEO, Public Private Development Centre, (PPDC) said that SID brings schools, parents, teachers and industry together to make sure children have the power, information and resilience they need to make safe and informed choices online.
She said that this year, PPDC was particularly pleased with the support of Google and the Government.
According to her, we have been able to infuse online safety courses into the Nigerian school curriculum.
“This will teach children the practical and emotional skills they need as they navigate their way through the digital world.”
Dr Garba Abari, D-G, NOA said that “SID provides a great opportunity to promote internet safety across a range of audience and it’s an event which the agency strongly support.’’
Abari, represented by Mette Edokobi, said that the agency was really glad to collaborate with Google and our reliable partners, PPDC, to launch “The Digital Parenting Initiative.
He said it was a programme aimed at educating guardians, teachers and families on online tools that bring families together to learn, have fun and be safe online.
According to him, we are excited to strengthen the work we have been doing with parents and children in the field of online safety in Nigeria.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the SID was organised by the Public and Private Development Centre, National Orientation Agency in partnership with Google.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Donald Ugwu
As Nigerians join the rest of the world to mark the 2020 Internet Safety Day, Mrs Seember Nyager, Policy and Government Relations Manager, Google, on Tuesday commended the Federal Government for introducing online safety in schools’ curriculum.
Nyager was speaking in Abuja at the launch of the ‘Be Internet Awesome’ in commemoration of the day.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that ‘Be Internet Awesome’ is a flagship programme of Google in collaboration with Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) designed to bring internet safer to children and parents.
She said that Google had taken a giant step to support teachers’ training to equip them on the emerging trends in the world.
According to her, the essence of the Internet Safety Day is to make students responsible.
“Google has worked with relevant stakeholders in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa to equip students with the knowledge on how to be safe when using the internet.
“Last year we worked with the Ministry of Education, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) and others.
“The essence was to see to it that we catch the children young and the Minister of Education has now announced that online safety be introduced into school curriculum.
“The minister has called on all commissioners for education in the states, UBEC and all Basic Education Board heads to make sure that online safety are taught in schools,’’ she said.
Nyager further said that the organisation would continue to monitor progress to see how internet safety was being taught in schools.
She explained that the organisation was also working with state governments to ensure compliance.
Also, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr Garba Abari, said there was need to also equip parents digitally so that both parents and children would be on the same page when using the internet.
Abari, who was represented by Mrs Mette Edekobi, Director, Special Duties/State Operations, NOA, said that it was important for parents and caregivers to take control of children’s online experience.
He said that responsible use of the internet should be encouraged and monitored by parents to be able to checkmate the children on proper use of the internet.
“We have complained about the youth going the wrong way but our business is to ensure that parents begin to look at the problems rather than complaining about the use of the internet by children.
“Our call in the agency is not to the children but to the parents to know what to do to the children who use the internet.
“It is high time for parents to begin to follow their children instead of shifting them away, as this will help them know what the children are doing.
“This is a smart generation and we need smart parents to do that for all to be safe in the use of the internet,” Abari said.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Adeleye Ajayi
Former Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, on Thursday stressed the need for wholistic data base collation to address security issues threatening Nigeria’s unity.
Arase, during the 4th annual public lecture organized by United Action for Change with the theme “Security of Citizens as a Social Contract’’ in Lagos, said policy sustainability was important.
He said that crime and criminality was gaining ground because data gathering mechanisms, which was started in the past, were not sustained and improved upon hence, the current identity problem in the country.
“I think what is wrong with our system is that we don’t have sustainability when it comes to policies, we don’t sustain anything in this country, when the person who initiated it leaves, there is no continuity,’’ he said.
He recalled and lamented the abandonment of a comprehensive digital database started during the Babatunde Fashola regime in Lagos which was designed to track crimes.
Arase called on organisations and government to evolve continuity plans to stop such policies retrogression issues.
Speaking on theme of the lecture, the IGP said that the concept of security has been expanded to cover environment, economy and social life.
He explained that countries that have been able to resolve the issues around social security have less crime rates, hence the need for Nigeria to take the issue of security beyond governance.
He said that the current agitation for community policing across the nation should be harnessed and fine-tuned to work in harmony with the Federal Police to address the current security threat.
Mr Muize Banire, covener of the programme, said that government must put up trust building mechanisms to help Nigerians believe in government again.
“I think people generally don’t just have trust in government and by extension, officials. If a public officer comes out to say something, people just don’t take them serious.
“And part of the problem is inaction, you say something and you don’t act on it, next time you say it, people will just say, ignore him.
“There must be a mechanism through which we start building confidence in the people for example, you give information to the police and you are not afraid that something will happen.
“Or you help somebody that is in terrible condition on the road as a result of attack, or is dying of one ailment or the other and you become the victim.
“So until we start protecting against such invasions of people’s right, particularly when they have performed their civic duties, that is when people will start believing in the system,’’ he said.
He said that if all professionals and stakeholders played their parts, it will ensure social harmony
Speaking on the ban on commercial motorcycle operators in Lagos, Banire said that violence was not acceptable but that the riders should engage with the state government.
The former Commissioner for Transportation in Lagos said that the current intermodal modes of transportation being planned will tackle gridlock.
Dr Garba Abari, Director General National Orientation Agency (NOA), said that the agency was doing its best to address value collapse through advocacy of various channels, including the social media.
He called on communities to support government efforts at solving security challenges and security consciousness for the overall benefit of the nation.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
The National Orientation Agency (NOA), has restated its commitment to collaborating with health agencies and Civil Society Organisations (COSs), toward raising awareness on some health challenges facing the country.
Mr Garba Abari, its Director-General, reaffirmed the commitment while briefing newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
Abari said that such initiative was imperative to enlighten Nigerians on the danger of such diseases and also to educate them on available prevention and treatment.
He said that one of such partnerships was with Mike Omotosho’s Foundation whose focus is the eradication of Hepatitis in Nigeria.
According to him, the impact of the virus on people’s health is huge.
He said that the agency went into the partnership to minimise the spread of Hepatitis across the country, adding that NOA had plans to flag-off a huge campaign around the country.
He further said that the outbreak of Coronavirus disease in some countries, especially in China, should be of great concern to everybody.
“The government has stepped up surveillance in our various ports of entry, especially airport, to ensure those coming from the countries with high incidence of the disease are properly checked, before they are admitted into our country.
“Government has also advised our country men and women not to go to some of these countries for now, unless it is absolutely important.
“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has also issued several advisories on the virus; these advisories are expected to guide us in prevention, identifying the symptoms, general precaution and treatment,” he said.
He also said that the agency had been educating Nigerians on Lassa Fever and its prevention, and emphasised the need for improved personal hygiene.
“Our outdoor van has been busy spreading the gospel of prevention as the potent way to stamp out Lassa fever in Nigeria.
“The campaign is targeted at cleanliness in our neighbourhood so that rodents that carry this disease do not have a field day,” he said.
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has restated commitment to collaborate with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), to deepen digital literacy and curb cyber crimes in the country.
Mr Paul Adonyi, NOA’s Head of Press Unit, made the disclosure in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
He said that the Director General of the agency, Mr Garba Abari, stated this when he received his NITDA’s counterpart, Mr Kashifu Abdullahi.
Abari said that such initiative was imperative to tackle spate of cyber crimes and improve security in the nation’s cyber space.
According to him, improved digital literacy would ensure better protection of communities, noting that for Nigeria to attain economic sustainability in the modern world, agriculture and other sectors of the economy need to be modernise and technologically driven.
Abari noted that NOA as a citizens engagement agency recognised NITDA as a natural ally in harnessing the potentials of vast youth population, adding that they serve as resource for national development rather than a liability.
He stated that the agency had planned to establish 1, 000 Integrity and Digital Literacy Clubs otherwise called ‘web-rangers’ in schools in the country this year.
The director added that the inputs of NITDA’s into the project was essential to ensure successful implementation and sustainability of the initiative.
Abari further pledged to revisit and strengthen partnership between the two agencies.
Also speaking, Abdullahi observed that ICT has overtaken oil and gas in the past two years, saying that the achievement was based on contributions to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with over 32 million Nigerians active on social media.
Abdulalhi explained that this huge number of active citizens on the net need to be properly educated on how to protect their personal data in order to avoid falling victim to cyber crimes.
He said that NITDA was focusing on building national digital economy, hence the need to develop the digital skills of Nigerians to prepare them for decent work for the future.
According to him, the partnership with NOA could help re-orient Nigerians to re-position themselves for relevance in the labour market for sustainable social and economic development.
Abdullahi reiterated commitment to the actualization of the 7 pillars of ICT development which include Regulation; Capacity Building, Local Content, Government Digital Services, Digital Job Creation, Digital Inclusion and Cyber Security.
Edited By: Rabiu Sani Ali
Controversial hip-hop artist, Azeez Fashola, a.k.a Naira Marley, has advised the Federal Government to empower the Nigerian youth and take them away from the streets.
The singer stated this via his Twitter handle @officialnairam1.
He wrote: “Our government’s creating conditions for trouble that can have dramatic consequences.
“Neglecting youths on the street with no hope, no support and no future, ” he tweeted.
According to the singer, what the government is creating can have a dramatic effect.
Marley recently advised his fans, who he called ‘Marlians’ to live right in order not to destroy their future.
He also appealed to the youth not to endanger their future while enjoying their lives.
According to him, as you enjoy your life, you should not also destroy your future.
The News of Agency reports that the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Garba Abari, had earlier advised youths not to emulate the heinous lifestyle of any Nigerian artiste.
Abari also called on parents to teach their wards the norms and values expected of them, check the movies they watch and the people they relate with on social media.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Ifeyinwa Omowole
African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) on Thursday unveiled a Media and Information Literacy (MIL) and interreligious dialogue project to empower religious leaders to fight misinformation that cause crisis.
Coordinator, AFRICMIL, Dr Chido Onumah at the launch of Media and Information Literacy(MIL) in Abuja said the project was aimed at creating awareness about the importance of MIL and to promote its relevance as a catalyst for peaceful communication.
According to Onumah, this is necessitated by the fact that potentials for intense religious crisis are more in this age of internet technology where fake news and hate messages targeting religions and culture are disseminated.
He said that MIL is the ability to access, analyse and create media as a prerequisite for citizens to realize their rights to freedom of information and it enables them to make informed judgments as users of information.
He said AFRICMIL focused on four states in the North -Benue ,Kaduna ,Nasarawa and Plateau for the pilot project because religious crisis were more prevalent and often take dangerous dimensions in the North more than the South.
“More than ever, and because of the enormous powers they wield ,this is the time religious leaders should be made to recognise and respond to groups or individuals that are using the internet to promote stereotypes ,preach religious extremism and promote violence .
“Over the years, there have been serious outbreaks of violence between Christian and Muslim faithful in different parts of the country leading to loss of lives and destruction of property worth billions.
“There are genuine fears of religious conflicts breaking out in Nigeria which could threaten ,not just peace but the unity of the country if not quickly checked so there is the urgent need to use media information literacy as a tool to change behaviour of opinion leaders in the society,’’ he said.
Onumah said that as persons whose opinions mattered, getting religious leaders thoroughly sensitised about the dangers of hate speech and spreading fake news would lead to significant reduction in violence.
He said that the overall goal of the project was to promote peace and religious coexistence in Nigeria, create forum for interreligious dialogue, reduce religious tension in the media and create a forum for peaceful resolution of conflict.
Some religious leaders present at the event pledged their support for the programme adding that both the Christianity and Islam preach peace.
The Chairman of the Kaduna State chapter of the association, Rev. Joseph Hayab, welcomed the MIL idea adding that dialogue remained the best ways to understand each other.
Hayab expressed hope that the project would help to address the challenges faced especially in terms of abduction of clergy and payment of ransom thereby bringing to light the tribulations that affect them.
Dr Ali Mohammed, Chief Imam, Juma’at Mosque,Lafia ,Nasarawa state, said that Islam is a religion of peace and Allah warned his followers not to instigate fight.
Mohammed, however, blamed the media for sometimes misrepresenting facts noting that the project which would help to differentiate between factual reporting and opinion reporting.
Dr Garba Abari, Director-General, National Orientation Agency who was represented by Mr David Akoji, his Special Assistant commented AFRICMIL for the initiative.
Abari pledged the agency’s support to the MIL project in order to take the lessons learn in the pilot states to other parts of Nigeria so that the impact would be more encompassing to curb religious crisis in the country .
Edited By: Ali Baba-Inuwa
Controversial hip hop artist, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, on Wednesday advised his fans, who he called ‘Marlians’ to be wary of their lifestyle, so that they do not mortgage their future.
The music star made this known via his Twitter page @nairamarley that the youths should not endanger their future, while enjoying their lives.
According to him, as you enjoy your life, you should not also destroy your future.
“As Marlian, you have to enjoy your youth but don’t destroy your future,” he tweeted.
Marley’s tweet might be connected to the recent events where fans were thrilled at his educational background.
The bubbly singer, who was seen as bad influence because of his way of life and statements which is alleged to support internet fraud might have taken a twist from his usual take on life.
The singer in spite of being called names on social media defies all odds and is still releasing music that seemingly promotes immorality.
NAN reports that the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Garba Abari, had expressed deep concern over what he called heinous lifestyles of some Nigerian artistes.
He noted that the lifestyle of some artistes was negatively influencing the youth.
Meanwhile, in a recent Instagram live session, the singer urged Nigerians to pray for internet fraudsters (Yahoo boys), saying they are the reason money circulates to the common man.
He said, “All you guys, all the money in your pockets, all the money you spend, you think it’s the government that is making the money go round?”
The video has since stirred reactions from Nigerians, who described Marley as a disgrace and bad example for young Nigerians.
Edited by: Dorcas Jonah/Ifeyinwa Omowole
Dr Garba Abari, Director General of National Orientation Agency (NOA), has called on Nigerians to embrace “moral rebranding’’ to encourage development of the nation forward.
Abari made the call on Thursday in Abuja, at a press conference to mark the 19th anniversary of Mater Dei Communication Centre, an NGO.
He was represented by Mr Musa Chatun, who is a director in the agency.
He said that the act of rebranding would ensure that citizens were loyal to the country.
“Rebranding Nigeria simply means to redefine our concept of nationhood and engage wholly in the process of nation building to attain a height where national interest is exalted above personal, ethno-religious and regional interests.
“ It connotes the renewing of our dreams and aspirations, and it rekindles the fire of patriotism as an unflinching and unconditional love and loyalty to the nation,’’ he said.
He urged Nigerians to “overhaul their value and believe systems’’ and express greater love for the nation.
“Nigerians should be conscious of the fact that inspite of our national challenges, what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart,’’ he said.
Mr Nnamdi Opara, Country Director, Mater Dei Communication Centre, said that the centre was adopting rebranding to push for a positive change of attitude.
“We want to ensure that Nigerians have “self motivation’’ to do what is right at all times.
“Moral rebranding will help Nigeria grow and excel,’’ he said.
Edited by: Abigael Joshua/Ifeyinwa Omowole