Good morning Nigeria, welcome to mnaija.com trending gist on social media platforms in Nigeria for Monday 2nd November 2020.
Plans by the Nigerian Army to embark on local manufacturing of aircraft has been greeted with mixed feelings.
Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, disclosed the plan during a working tour of the Command Engineering Depot, Kaduna by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
The news was received with scepticism, as some on social media said the move would likely be sabotaged. Others, however, expressed support for the initiative, adding that if necessary modalities are put in place, the Army, in partnership with civilian engineers and scientists, could design and produce standard aircraft locally.
Crime against journalists
A cross section of Nigerians have reacted to the position of the Federal Government on crimes against journalists in Nigeria.
This follows a pledge to end all forms of impunity for crimes committed against journalists as made by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, to mark the United Nation’s proclamation of November 2nd as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.
Reacting to this, some Nigerians were of the view that for the government to be taken serious, it should first of all start with the lifting of fines imposed on AIT, Arise TV and Channels Television for reportedly breaching the National Broadcasting Commission’s code.
Others said that the commitment by the Federal Government was a right step in the right direction, adding that recently there have been fewer reported incidents of crime against journalists in the country.
Meanwhile, the 2020 global index for impunity for crimes against journalists by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), released on 28 October 2020, indicated that Nigeria is the only country that came off the index from 2019.
Ibadan, Operation Burst
Criticisms have trailed the Nigerian Army after some group of soldiers attached to ‘Operation Burst’ in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, were alleged to have brutalized and extorted money from some men and women over indecent dressing.
Videos that went viral on social media, show a soldier flogging a woman who sits on a dusty road, with a belt.
In another video, a young man is seen sitting on a dirty floor while the soldiers cut off his hair with unsterilised scissors.
Consequently, the videos generated uproar with many calling on authorities of the Nigerian Army to fish out the perpetrators and make them face justice for their unprofessional conduct.
They lamented that while government was working hard to put an end to all forms of brutality perpetrated by security personnel on innocent members of the public, the soldiers were, by their actions, frustrating government’s effort and giving it a bad publicity.
The West African Examination Council trended on social media following the release of the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results.
According to WAEC, 1,003,668 candidates, representing 65.24 per cent, obtained credits and above in a minimum of five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics, while results of 215,149 candidates are being withheld.
The announcement of the results has somehow put to rest speculations regarding students’ performance against the backdrop of inadequate preparations occasioned by the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown that led to the closure of schools.
With over 65 per cent pass rate, many Nigerians have adjudged performance in the examination to be fair, given that students struggled to take the examination amid challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The presence of former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Babatunde Fowler, at the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), has got many talking about it on social media.
Both mainstream and online media platforms widely reported that his invitation by the EFCC was not unconnected with a N100 billion tax evasion allegations levelled against a tax firm, Alpha Beta Consulting.
A former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Alpha Beta Consulting, Dapo Apara, had accused the firm of tax fraud to the tune of N100 billion.
Alpha Beta is a consulting firm that monitors and collects Internally Generated Revenue on behalf of the Lagos State Government.
Some have insinuated that the move was targeted at crippling Bola Tinubu by those who were uncomfortable with his 2023 presidential ambition.
Others, however, disagreed with the narrative, saying the investigation of Fowler by the EFCC was in order, especially considering the fact that he was a former Chairman of Lagos State Internal Revenue Service.
Nigerians have reacted over protest staged by retired civil servants in Cross River, who claimed that the state government has not paid them pension for several months.
The pensioners blocked the Murtala Mohammed Highway along SUBEB office in Calabar, and shut it off to traffic for several hours.
Those who reacted to the development flayed the state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, and described the non payment of pension to the senior citizens as the height of insensitivity on the part of government.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Mrs Stella Odey, has explained that no verified pensioner in the state or local government service is owed pension.
Mrs Odey, who was reacting to the protest, promised that every genuine pensioner will be paid once they undergo screening and are captured in the payroll.
She said the periodic screening exercise became necessary following the discovery of a high number of ghost pensioners in the payroll.
The commencement of training for personnel enlisted into the newly created Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit of the Nigeria Police Force has created a kind of comic relief on social media as some Nigerians literally laughed themselves out.
Video clips of personnel undergoing various drill circulated on social media with some comparing the training to that undertaken by the boys scout and members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
According to their assessment, the training exercise lacked rigour and the usual commando-like display associated with a tactical unit of this nature.
They, however, suggested that psychological and emotional evaluation as well as basic concepts in human rights education must be core part of the training for the SWAT personnel.