Home Blog

24hrs into Tinubu govt, DSS, EFCC reignite inter-agency rivalry


In less than 24 hours after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu assumed office as the 16th leader of Nigeria, PRNigeria reports that inter-agency rivalry among security agencies in the country may have returned.

The latest incident involves the Department of State Security Services, DSS, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

While Yusuf Magaji Bichi is the Director-General of DSS, Abdulrasheed Bawa is the Chairman of EFCC. Wilson Uwujaren, spokesperson of the anti-graft body, in a statement obtained by PRNigeria, said operatives of the DSS on Wednesday morning, layed siege on their Lagos office.

He described the action of the Nigerian secret police’s agents as ‘shocking’.

The statement of the EFCC spokesperson reads: “The operatives of the Lagos Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arrived at their office on No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, this morning, May 30, 2023, to be denied entry by agents of the Department of State Services, DSS, who had barricaded the entrance with armoured personnel carriers.

“This development is strange to the Commission given that we have cohabited with the DSS in that facility for 20 years without incident.

“By denying operatives access to their offices, the Commission’s operations at its largest hub with over 500 personnel, hundreds of exhibits, and many suspects in detention have been disrupted.

“Cases scheduled for court hearing today have been aborted, while many suspects who had been invited for questioning are left unattended.

“Even more alarming is that suspects in detention are left without care with grave implications for their rights as inmates.

“All of these have wilder implications for the nation’s fight against economic and financial crimes.

“The siege is inconsistent with the synergy expected of agencies working for the same government and nation, especially when there are ongoing discussions on the matter”.

But the DSS, through its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, denied ‘fighting’ the EFCC over a property in Lagos.

It said in a statement signed by Afunanya also obtained by PRNigeria, “The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to some media reports that it barricaded the EFCC from entering its Lagos office. It is not correct that the DSS barricaded EFCC from entering its office. No. It is not true. The Service is only occupying its own facility where it is carrying out its official and statutory responsibility.

“By the way, there is no controversy over No 15A Awolowo Road as being insinuated by the Media. Did the EFCC tell you it is contesting the ownership of the building? I will be surprised if it is contesting the ownership. Awolowo Road was NSO headquarters. SSS/DSS started from there. It is a common knowledge. It is a historical fact. Check it out.

“There is no rivalry between the Service and the EFCC over and about anything. Please do not create any imaginary one. They are great partners working for the good of the nation. Dismiss any falsehood of a fight”.

By PRNigeria

Uganda enacts new anti-LGBT law


Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed a new anti-LGBTQ legislation on Monday.

Museveni “has assented to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023. It now becomes the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023,” the Ugandan presidency said on Twitter.

Uganda’s head of state had called on lawmakers to amend the bill, and a new draft of the legislation was presented earlier this month.

The amended version clarifies that merely identifying as gay would not be cause for imprisonment.

Museveni had also advised lawmakers to remove a provision that made “aggravated homosexuality” subject to capital punishment, but this suggestion was rejected by Uganda’s parliament. The provision pertains to repeat offenders and those found to have had sex while HIV-positive.

Uganda has not carried out capital punishment in many years.

Same-sex relations were already illegal in Uganda under a law that dates back to the British colonial period.

The new law introduces a 20-year sentence for “promoting” homosexuality.

“With a lot of humility, I thank my colleagues the Members of Parliament for withstanding all the pressure from bullies and doomsday conspiracy theorists in the interest of our country,” Parliament speaker Anita Among said.

Law draws international condemnation

The new law has been widely condemned by rights groups and Western countries.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the UN’s HIV/AIDS program, and the US AIDS relief program all expressed concern over the harmful impact of the newly signed law.

Amnesty International said that the law “flagrantly violates the human rights of LGBTI people in Uganda, including the right to a private life, protection against discrimination, and the right to equal protection before the law.”

Ugandan authorities have also recognized the possibility that the new law will lead to the imposition of international sanctions.

When Museveni signed a less restrictive anti-LGBTQ law in 2014, Western governments suspended some aid, reduced security cooperation with Uganda, and imposed stronger visa restrictions on its citizens.


Ghanaian official says China’s economic rebound, tech dev’t benefits Africa


By Xinhua Writer Xu Zheng

China’s rapid economic recovery and technological development will bring more benefits to African people, a Ghanaian politician has said.

Speaking to Xinhua in a recent interview, Kwaku Amponsah Asiama, the executive and political assistant to the general secretary of Ghana’s ruling New Patriotic Party, said the viewpoint is anchored in his close observation in China, life and work experiences in Africa, and confidence in the evolving cooperation between the two sides.

   In April, Asiama participated in the 7th China-Africa Youth Festival held in China as the sole representative of Ghanaian youths, during which he visited different Chinese cities and projects for the first time and shared his thoughts on China-Africa cooperation with other representatives.

   “It was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life as an individual. I was quite impressed with everything that I saw in China, and how things have been put in place in China,” he said, praising the country for its hospitality, amicable environment, and vibrant economy.

   Asiama said he is struck by the splendor of the Great Wall and Mount Taishan, and the scene of tourists at home and abroad now flocking to those well-known tourist attractions, mirroring a boom in China’s tourism industry.

   According to him, the recovery of the tourism sector bodes well for China’s economy as it could fuel growth in many other sectors such as catering, hospitality and transportation.

   “I must commend China for this; it is obviously still one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Things are back on track, and they’re moving with a very high speed to make sure that things get to the very normal level,” Asiama said.

   Describing China’s high-speed train as top-notch, Asiama said he was amazed at how Chinese people have leveraged their wisdom and creativity to solve residents’ travel problems in the process of urbanization, which also offered a valuable experience to Africa, a continent with huge numbers of people facing various challenges in transportation.

   “If you look at the quality of roads being constructed (by Chinese) in most of these African countries, there is no difference from what we see in China,” he said, stressing that this trip bolstered his idea that Chinese-built projects always deliver one of the best qualities under the Belt and Road initiative.

   As a crop science major, Asiama has always been itching to study China’s agricultural technology and how it is being applied to feed a country with a population of 1.4 billion. Finally, the trip allowed him to take a closer look at China’s agricultural development.

   “China has the machinery, technology, and equipment to be able to cultivate arable crops, vegetables, or fruits in large quantities or on a large scale production,” Asiama said, noting that China’s advancement in agriculture could benefit African countries like Ghana, which urgently needs to revamp its traditional farming.

   “We have the rainy season and the dry season here in Ghana. So once we are out of the rainy season, how could we be able to irrigate our lands? It will need a huge irrigation system and technology to be able to cultivate (the crops),” he said.

   Asiama voiced his hope that more agricultural cooperation could be achieved between the two countries to enable more low-income Ghanaian farmers to benefit from the boom in modern technology.

   Asiama said the trip also reinforced his idea of being a narrator of Chinese stories in Africa. “I think that the best thing is to talk about it. The more we talk about it, the more people get to know about China.”  Enditem

Chinese president’s special envoy to attend inauguration ceremony of Nigerian president

   BEIJING, May 29 (Xinhua) — At the invitation of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Special Envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Peng Qinghua will attend President Bola Tinubu’s inauguration ceremony in the capital of Nigeria Abuja on May 29, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning announced on Monday.  Enditem

UN highlights Angola’s potential for regional stability

   LUANDA, May 29 (Xinhua) — The United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix on Sunday emphasized the potential of Angolan diplomacy for regional stability, according to a statement from the Angolan Ministry of Foreign Relations.

   Following a meeting with Angola’s Foreign Minister Tete Antonio in the Angolan capital of Luanda, Lacroix said that Angola has significant potential to contribute further to UN peacekeeping operations.

   He also highlighted the strong cooperation between the UN and Angola, particularly in peacekeeping operations.

   He mentioned that the UN had been a key partner in pacifying the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and normalizing relations between that country and its neighbor Rwanda.

   Accompanied by the UN secretary-general’s special representative and head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC Bintou Keita, Lacroix visited Angola to assess aspects related to peace and security in the Great Lakes region and Central Africa. 


UN commends China’s contributions to UN peacekeeping operations


By Xinhua writer Wang Jiangang

United Nations peacekeeping chief is immensely proud of the illustrious 75-year path of UN peacekeeping and commended China’s invaluable contributions to this noble endeavor.

   In an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Wednesday, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, noted the “extensive list of countries that have successfully regained stability with the support of peacekeeping operations. Countries like Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Angola have all witnessed positive transformations.”

   “The lengthy roster stands as a testament to the effectiveness of peacekeeping efforts,” said Lacroix, also highlighting the significant role of peacekeepers on a daily basis.

   “Their crucial role in preserving ceasefires cannot be underestimated. In many conflict-stricken regions, peacekeepers actively monitor and maintain peace, preventing potential hostilities from escalating into full-scale conflicts. This vital function often goes unnoticed but remains integral to maintaining stability,” he stressed.

   “Peacekeepers safeguard hundreds of thousands of individuals on a daily basis,” Lacroix went on to say. “The gratitude expressed by the protected population emphasizes the profound impact peacekeepers have in providing security and instilling hope.”

   “These successes, often underreported, represent the dedication and commitment of peacekeepers to make a tangible difference in the lives of those affected by conflicts worldwide,” said the peacekeeping chief.

   Lacroix applauded China’s significant role as the second-largest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping efforts and its “invaluable contributions.”

   Lacroix underscored the tangible impact of China’s unwavering support in advancing UN peacekeeping endeavors.

   “First of all, I want to highlight the key areas where China has been really in the lead, particularly the issue of safety and security,” said the peacekeeping chief, expressing his heartfelt appreciation of China’s proactive engagement and unwavering collaboration, specifically its instrumental role “in deploying crucial resources.”

   China has recently accomplished the deployment of indispensable helicopter units in the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). At a critical moment, Chinese peacekeepers “took on a pivotal role, utilizing these helicopters to successfully extract UN staff members who found themselves trapped in Sudanese regions amid escalating conflicts,” said Lacroix.

   “We are truly grateful for China’s invaluable support and the vital contributions made by their peacekeepers,” he said.

   Speaking of the ongoing cooperation between the UN and China, particularly in relation to the deployment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems in Mali, Lacroix said this collaboration “signifies the continuous exploration of new possibilities and the commitment to leveraging technological advancements in peacekeeping operations.”

   “The deployment of UAV systems holds great potential for enhancing situational awareness and response capabilities in challenging environments,” he added.

   Looking ahead, Lacroix highlighted an upcoming minister-level meeting on peacekeeping to be held in Ghana. “China’s participation and contributions in this meeting are highly valued, given their significant role and contributions to peacekeeping operations.” 


Kenya, Uganda to install more scanners to decongest border


Kenyan and Ugandan officials on Monday announced plans to install more scanners at the Malaba town border post to tackle congestion that inhibits the free movement of people and goods.

   The officials from the two neighboring countries that are members of the East African Community (EAC), a regional bloc, said an agreement has also been struck to open auxiliary roads at the border to accelerate its decongestion.

   Kipchumba Murkomen, the Kenyan cabinet secretary for Roads and Infrastructure, and his Uganda counterpart, Musa Ecweru, said Sunday evening that installation of the scanners and auxiliary road are temporary measures aimed at decongesting the Malaba border post ahead of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) extension.

   The agreement to erect more scanners and open auxiliary roads at East Africa’s second busiest exit and entry points is among key resolutions reached during a meeting attended by roads and transport cabinet ministers in the EAC region in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, on May 26.

   “We have identified challenges that are related to scanning processes within the border and agreed to increase the number of scanning equipment to make it faster with backup machines on both sides of the border,” Murkomen said during an inspection tour at the Malaba border.

   Congestion has been an endemic challenge at the Malaba border with snarl-ups by cargo trucks, sometimes stretching for more than 70 km.

   Murkomen regretted that malfunctioning of scanners hamper cargo movement along the single-lane Malaba-Bungoma highway in western Kenya, causing gridlock in the highway linking the Port of Mombasa and Malaba.

   He said investment in the acquisition of additional scanners and opening of new lanes for cargo trucks will decongest the Malaba border that clears approximately 1,000 cargo trucks daily.

   Murkomen noted that with an auxiliary road built, cargo trucks will be diverted to a lane that will connect to Malaba, adding that the lane will primarily be constructed to accommodate cargo movers.

   He said engagements between Kenya and Uganda and other EAC member countries are at an advanced stage to extend the SGR from Naivasha to Malaba and later to Kampala.

   The extension of SGR all the way to the Democratic Republic of the Congo would turn the region into a transport hub, and spur the growth of businesses, said Murkomen.

   Ecweru said that governments in the EAC region are committed to facilitating the free movement of goods and people, adding that decongestion at the Malaba border will be realized soon.