- Buhari Dismisses Harassment Rumour as Japanese in Nigerian Attires Welcome Him
The Presidency on Monday dismissed allegations trending on social media, of a harassment order against the President in Japan by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kano while on his visit to attend the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) which is scheduled to hold from Wednesday, August 28, to Friday, August 30.
It also said that since the President’s arrival in Yokohama, Japan on Sunday, he has had no business with the IPOB; adding that the rumours being propagated on social media were “concocted stories” created by “hate mongers”, focused on tarnishing the image of the President.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina said, “The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra group has had nothing to do with President Muhammadu Buhari since he arrived Yokohama, Japan, on Monday.
“Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora are urged to disregard concocted stories, backed with spurious visuals, of any protest or harassment of the President and his team.
The President is on a current visit to Japan to attend the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development.
“It is the stock-in-trade of hate mongers, who do not realise that the rest of Nigerians have left them far behind.
“President Buhari will make his presence at the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) count for Nigeria, and no scare-mongering or sabre-rattling will detract from the outing.”
Meanwhile, Japanese in Nigerian attires were present on Monday to welcome President Mohammadu Buhari, who arrived in the company of Lagos and Kwara State Governors, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Abdulrazak Abdurahman.
Photos of the Welcome party was shared on Twitter by his Media aide, Bashir Ahmad.
Also present were the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema and the Nigerian Ambassador to Japan, Mohammed Gana Yisa.
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Nigeria Eyes BRICS Membership within Two Years as Foreign Minister Emphasizes Strategic Alignment
In a strategic move towards global economic collaboration, Nigeria is aspiring to join the BRICS group of nations within the next two years.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, affirmed that Nigeria is open to aligning itself with groups that demonstrate good intentions, well-meaning goals, and clearly defined objectives.
Tuggar stated, “Nigeria has come of age to decide for itself who her partners should be and where they should be; being multiple aligned is in our best interest.”
He emphasized the need for Nigeria to be part of influential groups like BRICS and the G-20, citing criteria such as population and economy size that position Nigeria as a natural candidate.
BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, stands as a formidable bloc of emerging market powers.
In a recent move to expand its influence, BRICS invited six additional nations, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates, to join the group.
Nigeria, as Africa’s largest economy, has been absent from the BRICS alliance, prompting discussions on the potential economic and political advantages the bloc could offer the country.
Analysts have noted that BRICS membership could provide Nigeria with significant leverage on the global stage.
Vice President Kashim Shettima clarified that Nigeria did not apply for BRICS membership after the bloc’s announcement of new members in August.
Shettima emphasized the principled approach of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, highlighting a commitment to consensus building in decisions related to international partnerships.
As Nigeria eyes BRICS membership, the move is seen as a strategic step towards enhancing its global economic and diplomatic influence.
Nigeria Spends N231.27 Billion on Arms Procurement in Four Years Amidst Rising Security Challenges
The Federal Government of Nigeria has disbursed a total of N231.27 billion for arms and ammunition procurement over the past four years.
Despite this significant investment, security agencies argue that the allocated funds are insufficient to effectively tackle the myriad security challenges afflicting the nation.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, defended the substantial budget for arms purchases during a session with the House of Representatives.
He emphasized that Nigeria’s dependence on foreign countries for military hardware, which are priced in dollars, diminishes the impact of the substantial budget when converted to the local currency.
General Musa explained, “We don’t produce what we need in Nigeria, and if you do not produce what you need, that means you are at the beck and call of the people that produce these items. All the items we procured were bought with hard currency, none in naira.”
He further illustrated the challenges faced, citing that a precision missile for drones costs $5,000, underscoring the magnitude of the expenses associated with arms procurement.
An analysis of the annual budgets for the Ministry of Defence and eight other armed forces from 2020 to 2022 reveals allocations of N11.72 billion, N10.78 billion, and N9.64 billion, respectively.
In 2023, N47.02 billion was disbursed for arms procurement, supplemented by a recently passed budget of N184.25 billion, resulting in a total of N231.27 billion.
Security expert Chidi Omeje raised concerns about the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), which is tasked with manufacturing arms locally. Omeje criticized DICON’s underperformance, urging the government to revamp the agency to reduce reliance on foreign nations for arms and ammunition.
Omeje stressed, “The new government must make sure that DICON lives up to its responsibilities,” highlighting the urgency of fostering self-sufficiency in arms production to address the country’s security challenges effectively.
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