Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has released a new video on Thursday, threatening minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, and human rights lawyer and leading Boko Haram expert, Audu Bulama Bukarti.
In the 15 minutes 26 seconds video seen by, Mr Shekau fiercely attacked Mr Pantami who is an Islam scholar.
The Boko Haram leader questioned Mr Pantami’s authority to speak for Islam, saying “Is it because you speak English? Islam is not in speaking English” and accused him of working for infidels.
Mr Shekau condemned Mr Pantami’s ministry’s new policy to restrict the number of mobile SIM cards a subscriber can legally own to three.
DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that the policy was intended to prevent terrorists and criminals’ exploitation of technology.
Mr Shekau reminds Mr Pantami of the fate of Sheikh Jaafar Adam, a renowned Salafi cleric that was assassinated in his mosque in Kano, and called on terrorists across Africa to target him saying, “My brothers in Africa, Nigeria or elsewhere, what happened to Jaafar is nothing, take action on Isa Ali Pantami wherever you find him.”
Mr Shekau also warned President Buhari, Chief of Army Staff Buratai, BBC, DW, Radio France and Dandal Kura Radio.
In the same video, Shekau reminded Mr Bukarti, a sub-Saharan Africa analyst at Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, about his previous threat against him, stating “Bulama Bukarti in England, you have heard my recent message [to you]. You are all just little insects. Even your bosses cannot fight us”.
On 1 November, Shekau issued a statement entitled “Shaykh’s Abubakar Shekau Response to Malignant Bulama Bukarti” in which he threatened Bukarti, a leading Boko Haram expert and PhD candidate at SOAS, University of London. In the 5-minute audio, Shekau declared that Bukarti was “in trouble” and would “never find peace”.
Mr Bukarti became a target for Boko Haram because of his insightful analyses on Boko Haram and other violent extremist groups across the Africa and his use of Islamic text to counter-extremism. He is a regular guest on the media and has published widely on Boko Haram in Nigeria, the United States and the United Kingdom.
With the latest threats, Messrs Pantami and Bukarti have become prime targets on Boko Haram’s radar.
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BREAKING: Workers To Earn More As FG Seeks Pay Parity, Says Finance Minister
Contrary to reports by some media, the federal government is not thinking of cutting wages, rather mulling salary harmonisation.
Therefore, the government, according to Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, is seeking more of pay parity. She disclosed at the ongoing ‘National Policy Dialogue on Corruption and Cost of Governance in Nigeria’ organised by the Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC) in Abuja on Tuesday that the President had directed the salaries committee to review payroll and also review the number of agencies.
“What government hopes to achieve is to redistribute wages equally across board.
“We still see government expenditure increase to a terrain twice higher than our revenue,” Ahmed said.
The government had approved a N13.88trillion budget with a deficit of over N5.6trillion, and projected a revenue of N7.98trillion to fund part of the 2021 budget.
The Honourable Minister urged that all agencies must come together to trim their costs, given Nigeria’s dwindling revenue. According to her, the government would also remove some unnecessary items from the budget as a move to cut the cost of governance in the country.
She said, “We need to work together, all agencies of the government to cut down our cost. We need to cut down unnecessary expenditures. Expenditures that we can do without. Our budgets are filled year in year out with projects that we see over and over again, and also projects that are not necessary.”
“President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the salaries committee, which I chair, work together with the head of service (HOS) and other members of the committee to review the government pay rolls considering stepping down on cost.”
She revealed that the government would also review the number of government agencies in terms of their mandates. Ahmed disclosed that for agencies with the same mandate, the government would look at merging the two.
The Chairman of ICPC, Mr. Bolaji Owasanoye, noted during the stakeholders meeting, that the cost of governance is the “driver of corruption in Nigeria.” He said that the government had committed to improving the country’s revenue from new and existing sources.
Owasanoye said that the government’s commitment to streamline payroll, removal of subsidies and reduction of the cost of contracts and procurement are all for the benefits of the poor and vulnerable. He also said that a critical area of concern was he called ‘payroll padding’ and the ‘phenomenon of ghost workers.’
The ICPC boss lamented the duplication of projects such as the constituency projects of lawmakers, and noted that funding for such projects was usually released without any mechanism for monitoring and evaluation and reconciliation of the funding. He then cited a project executed by the Redeemed Christian Church of God which was inadvertently diverted as an executive project.
Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi
Special Adviser, Media and Communications
To the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning
5th May, 2021
Three Kidnapers Lynched by the Men of Vigilatee in Sokoto State.
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