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Dasuki denies maltreating Buhari after 1985 coup

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Immediate past National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd), has sworn that he never maltreated nor took part in maltreating President Muhammadu Buhari when he, as military Head of State, was removed in a 1985 coup, as being erroneously alleged.

He said: “I always respect and dignify my seniors and those in positions of authority whether in service or after. Though a young officer, I was reluctant to be among those that arrested him. And I was not.

“I only met him afterward at Bonny Camp with Lawal Rafindadi. There is no way I could have maltreated him as being alleged in some quarters. I am glad most of the actors are still alive.”

The former NSA made the disclosure even as he stated that he knelt down begging Baba Bisi Akande, who was then Chairman of Action Congress Nigeria, ACN, to accept then General Buhari because “General Buhari is a man to be trusted.”

Dasuki, who spoke to blogger Yushua Shauib in Abuja, also disclosed how he and some others confronted late General Sani Abacha over June 12 election, which was won by late Chief Mashood Kashimawo Abiola.

He said: “This led to our premature retirement. The persecution that followed forced me into exile, where I teamed up with opposition elements struggling for the return of democracy.”

‘My campaign for him’ On his roles in politics, the former NSA, who had been having running battles with the Department of State Services, DSS, narrated how he supported the campaign aspiration of Muhammadu Buhari in 2003, 2007 and 2011 presidential elections.

He said respected Northern elements like Adamu Adamu, Bashir Kurfi, Sule Hamman, Wada Maida and Kabir Yusuf are among individuals privy to his active involvement.

While revealing how he campaigned for Buhari to emerge the joint candidate of ACN and CPC in 2011, Dasuki disclosed how he pleaded with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the presence of Bisi Akande to accept Muhammad Buhari as the joint presidential candidate for ACN and CPC.

Dasuki said: “In the belief that Yoruba and south-westerners are never religious fanatics, especially regarding politics, me and my group suggested that Tinubu should be a running mate to Buhari.

“When other elements opposed that proposition, Tinubu team therefore recommended a Buhari-Osinbajo ticket. Unfortunately, the ticket failed to stick as Pastor Tunde Bakare was eventually pushed forward by other forces.”

Speaking further, the former NSA recalled how prior to the 1983 coup that ousted President Shehu Shagari, himself and two young military officers, who are still alive, travelled to Jos to brief Major General Buhari, who was then the GOC of 3rd Armoured Division, on the furtherance of the planning of the 1983 coup, which made Buhari the major beneficiary.

He said: “Buhari expressed his bitterness about insinuations on his stewardship in one of the public institutions, but I assured the then GOC not to worry about such reckless and mischievous insinuations.”

Asked why he participated in the ouster of Buhari less than two years afterward ousting Shagari, Dasuki simply answered that General Buhari should know who to blame.

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APPLY: WTO opens entry for 2022 young professionals programme

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The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has opened applications for its 2022 Young Professional Programme (YPP).
The programme provides opportunity for young professionals to enhance their knowledge of the organisation and international trade issues.

In 2021, 14 professionals out of 2,400 candidates were selected for the programme from Bangladesh, Belize, Dominican Republic, Eswatini, Guatemala, Georgia, Indonesia, Malawi, Mauritania, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Chinese Taipei and Thailand.

WTO said “The YPP is a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience which can help open the door for future professional opportunities in the field of multilateral diplomacy and global trade.

“The YPP selection gives preference to young professionals from developing and least-developed countries that are members of the WTO and whose nationals are currently under-represented or not represented in the organization’s Secretariat.

“The programme is part of the Secretariat’s overall goal to increase its diversity to better reflect the make-up of its membership.”

To be eligible, applicants must be of age 32 as of January 1, 2022, and selected candidates will work at the WTO secretariat for one year, starting from the beginning of next year.

The areas of work at the programme includes accessions, agriculture, dispute settlement, intellectual property rights, market access, media and external relations, WTO rules, trade and development, trade and environment, trade in services and investment, trade facilitation, trade policy analysis and trade-related technical assistance.

WTO said candidates must have advanced university degree in law, economics, or other international trade-related subjects relevant to WTO work; must possess relevant expertise or continued academic study in a field of interest to the work of the WTO.

Equally, candidates must similarly have a minimum of two years relevant work experience.

The trade organisation further said selected candidates will be paid $3821.66 (N1,454,141.63 million) monthly and applications can be accessed on the WTO e-Recruitment website and should be completed no later than 29 April 2021.

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Buhari receives briefing from Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday briefed President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The President had last Thursday returned to the country after a16-day medical trip to London, United Kingdom.

He left Nigeria on Tuesday, March 30, briefly after a security meeting with defense and intelligence chiefs as well as other security sector managers.

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Gunmen attack Imo police station, kidnap officer

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A police officer has been abducted in an attack on Mbieri Divisional Police Headquarters in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo state on Thursday morning.

This comes three days after the state Police Command headquarters and Owerri Correctional Center were attacked while 1,884 inmates released.

A resident of Mbieri said the gunmen released the suspects in custody.

However, the policemen on duty were said to have engaged the attackers in a gun duel but they were reportedly overpowered by the gunmen who had sophisticated weapons.

A community leader, Nokey Ebikam, told newsmen that the police divisional headquarters was not burnt but only freed the suspects in detention after vandalizing it.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the attack on the police station but did not go into details.

It was gathered that aside the officer who was abducted, two others sustained injuries in the incident which is the second major attack on a police station since an armed gang invaded the state police headquarters on Monday.

The Police authorities have blamed the attacks on the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) but the group has distanced itself from the attacks.

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