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21 Jan 2019

Buhari's Minister tackles him for shunning NOA forum on elections

Adebayo Shittu, minister of communications, has tackled President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders who did not attend a forum on the peaceful conduct of the elections organised in Abuja.

Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria, were among those billed to speak at the forum which held on Monday.

But none of them came or sent a representative to the event organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in partnership with national stakeholders committee on peaceful general election.

Shittu, who was apparently displeased, condemned the “lackadaisical” attitude of leaders in the country over their absence at the programme.
“I want to commend the chairman by reminding us particularly about the lackadaisical attitude of our leaders … political leaders who seek our votes and who unfortunately do not consider the mandate of the National Orientation Agency as sufficiently important for them to leave whatever they are doing to be here,” he said.

“The NOA should not be complacent with the refusal of our leaders to attend this all-important programme.

“If truly our leaders are not merely paying lip service to issue of peaceful and credible elections, they must assist the NOA to do its work for Nigerians to benefit from it.”

Garba Abari, director-general of NOA, said the agency is flagging off a nationwide campaign for peaceful elections.

“This campaign across Nigeria which will be implemented in the 774 local government the 36 states and Abuja will also feature six zonal sensitization sessions to be coordinated from Headquarters alongside the national stakeholders committee for peaceful general elections who are working closely with our officers at local government, state and national level,” he said.

“As part of this campaign for peaceful general elections, the National Orientation Agency is deploying peace-building programmes and peace messaging through jingles and flyers to sensitize the public on the need for collective commitment towards peaceful general elections.”

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