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Tears Flow As Major General Hassan Ahmed Is Finally Laid To Rest

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Major General Hassan Ahmed-Crystal News

A former Provost Marshal of the Nigeria Army, Maj.-Gen. Hassan Ahmed has been laid to rest on Friday.

Ahmed was buried according to Islamic rites, following his assassination by unknown gunmen on Thursday night.

The deceased was ambushed alongside his sister, who was abducted, around Abaji, close to Abuja.

His remains were laid to rest at the Guards Brigade Cemetery, Lungi Barracks, Abuja

Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, who was in attendance, described the death of Ahmed as a great loss to the Nigerian army and the nation at large.

“For us who are behind, we owe it a duty to take care of his family and be with them in this trying time.

“The army has provisions in our laws in terms of entitlements and other responsibilities and we fulfill that.

“Beyond that, the army, under my watch, will improve on those provisions and will be with the family of the late general and all others who have also paid the supreme price.

“Ahmed was a friend and colleague and we have been together for a long time. He was a very dutiful, responsible and professional officer but everyone has his time.

“On behalf of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army, we heartily condole with the family of late Maj.-Gen. Ahmed.

“May his gentle soul rest in peace and may God grant us and his family the fortitude to bear the loss,” he said.

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Stakeholders Call On NERC, EEDC To Scale Up Performance In S’East

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Electricity

Stakeholders in the electricity industry in the South-East have charged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to scale up their performances.

The people gave the charge on Thursday in Enugu at a NERC Stakeholders’ Engagement on Consultation on the Review of Customer Protection Regulations.

They described the periodic review of the regulations after five years as worthwhile.

They, however, said the practical implementation of the regulations, especially concerning the treatment of customers’ complaints, was of greater importance than the proposed review.

An electricity consumer, Mr Joshua Itumo, said the period between the supply of bills and disconnection of defaulting customers “must be reviewed to meet present realities and hardship customers face to get the money to pay their bills.

“The review also has to include that those enforcing disconnection must do it with human face and listen when superior argument or evidence of payment is presented,” Itumo said.A landlord in Trans Ekulu, Enugu, Mr Ifeanyichukwu Okorie, urged NERC and EEDC to clearly state the amount, which when accumulated by a tenant, must be paid before he or she parks out.

Okorie said: “It is not palatable that someone will park into a new apartment and inherit over N500,000 as electricity liability.

“Where does he start as a new tenant to off-set such a huge bill?”

Mr David Emeson, who lives at Agui Road, Enugu, said it was better to ensure the existing regulations were implemented to the latter than have a review that could not be implemented.

“We are not lacking good regulations. The problem is that NERC and EEDC most times fail to carry out what the regulations say and leave customers to their fate,’’ Emeson said.

Earlier, Prof. Frank Okafor, the Commissioner in charge of Engineering and Performance Monitoring in NERC, said the review had become necessary after five years in order to accommodate new ways of doing things, technology and other innovations.

Okafor said the review was not to witch-hunt any stakeholder but ensure more efficient and robust regulations to the benefit of electricity consumers.

“We are looking for ways to ensure more proactive and fast-result oriented ways of attending to customers’ complaints and using technological devices to do this, since NERC cannot be everywhere,” he said.

He said it was difficult for NERC to be proactive due to limited manpower, pointing out that the commission had only 150 staff members nationwide.

Responding, the Managing Director of EEDC, Mr Chorghade Praveen, assured the customers that the company was eager to resolve their complaints in good time, “just as we have recorded noticeable improvement in power supply across our network”.

Praveen also said the company was designing some technological innovations for complaints to be reported and solved within few hours of the report, where possible.

“We are working to improve our customers’ experience just as we have improved in the rate and quality of power supply throughout our franchise area.

“EEDC is moving from customers’ satisfaction to customers’ affection in order to allow our esteemed customers the best quality of service and care so far.

“All the complaints raised here and others to come, I assure you will be treated with dispatch,” he said.

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Exploit Technology To Promote National Security, NSA Tasks Military, Others

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NSA

The National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, has urged the armed forces of Nigeria and other security agencies to exploit more of cyber technology in their quest to safeguard national security.

Monguno, made the call at the Defence Space Administration (DSA) Cyber Security Awareness Day 2021 with the theme, “Developing Cyber Capabilities for the Enhancement of Armed Forces of Nigeria Operations and National Security” on Thursday, in Abuja.

The NSA was represented by the Director, Policy and Strategy, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Amb. Aminu Lawal.

He said that Nigeria, like several other countries across the globe was currently witnessing a surge in digital transformation with many new activities migrating to the Internet especially with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic.

NSA stated that Nigeria’s cyberspace had become a centre stage for new business innovations, governance and social interactions.

He said that the trend had created an opportunity for government to redefine its national objectives and address some of the major developmental challenges currently facing the country, including the emergence of new forms of criminality and terrorism perpetrated through the cyberspace.

According to him, the transformation is a vital priority for the armed forces and security agencies because of the enormous benefits they stand to derive from the cyberspace.

“It is pertinent to note that digital transformation in the armed forces is no longer about innovation but is considered as culture because of the exponential rates of accepting technology and its dynamism.

“The use of the cyberspace is increasingly impacting almost every aspect of our lives as a country and armed forces of the world exploit its benefits to transform their economies and operations.

“Also, the cyberspace is fast evolving, creating technologies, dismantling barriers to commerce, security and allowing seamless communication across borders for people to collaborate and share information,” he said.

Monguno said that cyberspace had been regarded as the fifth domain and newest theatre of warfare after land, sea, air and space, adding that conflicts in cyberwar were rarely military-on-military because of its borderless nature.

He, however, said there was need for the military through DSA in collaboration with ONSA to consolidate and redouble efforts for a more resilient infrastructure, enhanced capacity against cyberattacks and sustainable service delivery.

He commended DSA for organising the event to discuss ways to create opportunities from the nation’s cyber space for economic and operational planning.

Earlier, the Chief of Defence Space Administration (CDSA), Rear Adm. William Kayoda, said that DSA had entrenched the value of space to support the operations of the armed forces, especially on how space systems infrastructure would apply to national critical functions.

Kayoda said the Administration had continued to provide resilient cyber security solutions in the protection of Nigeria’s cyber space.

He said such were, especially, in the regulation, monitoring, vulnerabilities penetration assessment, testing and mitigation exercise to safeguard military and other security agencies’ websites and servers.

He added that DSA also followed the trends and ensure cybersecurity maturity model certification were sustained in the understanding of latest requirements.

According to him, the global re-occurring supply chain attacks that are very destructive, especially malware and ransomwares attacks, call for adherence to developing and sustaining basic cyber security hygiene.

“Thus, the issue of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFAs), passwords, decryption and other key management real world physical access control mitigation for supply chain security are very essential.

“In the Nigeria security perimeters, Multi-Factor Authentication, system control, hygiene culture, training, enforcement, segmentation, control of routine networks, physical access at all times, collaborations, end source investigation amongst others in line with global best practices must be our priority.

“This is very relevant as trust model for all devices has revealed the need for zero trust for machines due to vulnerabilities.

“Adherence to procedures, monitoring, reporting and policy compliance and enforcement devoid of complacency by cyber analyst, Network administration and other end users is important,” he said.

The CDSA disclosed that the cybersecurity awareness month was organised to increase sensitisation efforts on models to mitigate cyber threats and build national cyber resilience to shape cyber security standard, particularly information sharing and identifying critical solutions for implementation at all government levels.

In his goodwill message, the Ministry of Defence, retired Maj -Gen. Bashir Magashi, commended DSA on its unrelenting efforts towards creating a robust indigenous space competence capable of producing and utilising space assets to meet the operational requirements of the Nigerian armed forces.

Magashi said the awareness week was a critical step in addressing increasing cyberattacks on businesses and even the military.

He said that creating awareness of this menace was imperative especially with the drive for global connectivity, usage, recent launch of the e-naira by Mr. President and prevalence of more sophisticated cyber security attacks.

“No doubt, this exercise if sustained will go a long way in curbing new cyber threats and promote the proper use of the social media.

“On this note, I urge the participants to take full advantage of this Workshop and wish the DSA well in the pursuit of its mandate,” he said.

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Ohanaeze Begs IPOB To Reconsider 7-Day Sit-At-Home Directive

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IPOB

Ohanaeze Ndigbo has appealed to the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB)  to reconsider its seven-day sit-at-home directive which coincided with the Anambra governorship election.

Recall that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ahead of the Anambra Governorship election recently declared a seven day sit-at-home order starting November 5 in support of its detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, unless he  is released by the Federal Government on or before November 4.

Noting that Anambra is the economic live wire of the South-East, Ohanaeze Ndigbo said any harm to the state will “create untold disastrous chain reactions and catastrophe for the Igbo.”

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze urged the Chairman, South-East Governors Forum and the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi, to convene an emergency meeting of Igbo stakeholders and Youth Leaders for the purpose of addressing the legitimacy crisis in the zone especially as it relates to Anambra State election and the political solution for the release of Nnamdi Kanu.

The statement read: “The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide pleads with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to reconsider the 7 days’ Sit at Home order in the South-East of Nigeria from November 5 to November 11.

“This is to enable the governorship election for Anambra State scheduled for November 6 to hold.

“It is important to note that Anambra State is the economic live wire of the South East with an impressive steady growth trajectory.

“For instance, Anambra State showcases the best rural road network and rural community development in the South East if not in entire Nigeria.

“Anambra is home to the greatest number of small, medium and large scale industries in the South East.

“Most recently, Anambra has added a cargo airport to its resource base.

“Above all, Onitsha is the largest market in West Africa. The implication of the above illustration is that Anambra State is the melting pot of Igbo traders and artisans.

“It stands to reason that Anambra is the big Iroko tree that provides a shade for most Igbos. Apart from the shade, it also hosts the numerous birds that perch on the branches.

“Therefore any harm to the Iroko tree will create untold disastrous chain reactions and catastrophe for the Igbo.

“While pleading with the IPOB to rescind the Lock Down plan, Ohanaeze Ndigbo requests the Chairman, South East Governors Forum and the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi to convene an emergency meeting of Igbo stake holders and the Youth Leaders for the purpose of addressing the legitimacy crisis in the South East, especially as it relates to Anambra State election and the political solution for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

“It is important to point out that one of the causes of the crisis of confidence in the South-East is because of the yawning gap between the Youths and indeed the masses, on one side and the political leaders on the other.

“Therefore, the leadership of the various youth groups should not be excluded in any meeting aimed at resolving the current crises in Igbo Land. In other words, the Youths want to be fully convinced of our commitment to their plight.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo reiterates its solidarity with any group that protests the Igbo alienation in the project Nigeria with a caution for restraint, maturity and wisdom.

“It is based on the foregoing that Ohanaeze adopts the philosophy of dialogue, negotiations in coalition with other concerned groups that comprise the Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum led by Chief E K Clark.

“It is also lamentable that the burial ceremony for the Afara Ukwu born Chief Mrs Victoria Aguiyi Ironsi, slated for November 5 in Umuahia, Abia State may be drastically affected by the prevailing Igbo social climate.

General JTU Aguiyi Ironsi represents so many things to the Igbo and we owe his soul a duty.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo urges the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willy Obiano to convene a joint meeting of the Anambra State chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief Emeka Udodeme and the Association of Town Union (ASATU) led by Barr. Titus Akpudo with a view to activating meetings in all the 181 towns of Anambra State.

The traditional rulers, Archbishops, Bishops and the Clergy are also requested to brace up in their roles as the cultural and spiritual leaders of society.

“Ambassador Professor George Obiozor, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide is very perturbed that the serenity, tranquility and aggressive entrepreneurship for which the Igbo are known are gradually yielding to the unknown dark forces.

He is more perturbed when the Anambra ordeal is juxtaposed with the calibre of personages for which the State is known. Some of them include Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Dr. Alex. Ekwueme, Professor Chinua Achebe, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Professor Chike Obi, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Cardinal Francis Arinze, Professor Dora Akunyili, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, Dr. Nwafor Orizu, Professor Keneth Dike, Peter Obi, Professor ABC Nwosu, Engr. Arthur Eze, Dr. Chris Ngige, Igwe Alfred Achebe, etc and numerous young and old billionaires.

“In many respects, Anambra is the engine that propels the Igbo enterprise. As elders we should not fold our arms while the goat dies in the tether.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo is of the conviction that the disruption of the Anambra State election and the adverse consequences are a major setback to the Igbo civilization.”

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