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Elections: Meta to open operation centre

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Meta, formerly Facebook, has announced plans to activate an elections operations center for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.

It stated that to help ensure a safe and secure general election in the country, it was investing in people and technology to reduce the spread of misinformation and remove harmful content across its apps.

It disclosed this in a post titled, ‘How Meta is Preparing for Nigeria’s 2023 General Elections’ by Head of Public Policy for Anglophone West Africa, Adaora Ikenze.

The firm stated that its work towards the elections would continue in the lead-up to, during, and after the vote.

It said, “As Election Day approaches, we will activate a Nigeria-specific Elections Operations Center focused on identifying potential threats across our apps and technologies in real-time, accelerating our response time.

“This initiative will bring together experts from across our company on our intelligence, data science, engineering, research, operations, public policy and legal teams.”

Meta explained that part of its strategy to combat misinformation and false news would involve removing serious kinds of misinformation from Facebook and Instagram, such as content that could contribute to imminent violence or physical harm, or intended to suppress voting.

It stated that for the Nigerian elections, it would remove photos and videos shared out of context that falsely depict ballot stuffing, acts of violence, or weapons.

Meta said it was working with independent fact-checking organisations such as AFP, Africa Check, Dubawa, and Reuters.

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‘Tinubu paying fuel subsidy more than before’ – El-Rufai

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The former governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has claimed that the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government is currently subsidising fuel for Nigerians.

Fielding questions from journalists in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on Monday, El-Rufai said the FG is now paying fuel subsidy more than before.

President declared during his inauguration on May 29, 2023, that the country can no longer subsidise fuel for the citizens, saying the petrol subsidy is gone.

The development skyrocketed the price of fuel and other products and services, triggering the economic hardship that has been bedevilling the nation since 2023.

But the former governor told journalists on Monday that the subsidy is back.

According to him, the FG returned the subsidy because “the impact has been seen and the packages of support that would reduce the impact have not been so effective in reducing the impact, so the federal government is back now subsidising petrol.”

He said many people don’t know that the fuel subsidy is back.

“If they want to know whether we are subsidising or not, they should compare the price of petrol and diesel because petrol should be more expensive than diesel but diesel is priced above a thousand naira while petrol is at N600 per litre.

“So, we are still subsidising Petrol because the government has realised that the way it implemented the fuel subsidy initially required some adjustments,” El-Rufai said.

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Clark calls for special taskforce for release of Chibok girls

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Pa Edwin Clark, Leader of  the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), has urged the Federal Government to appoint a special taskforce to ensure the rescue of the remaining Chibok girls held by Boko Haram

The elder statesman made the call while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Monday at a ceremony to mark the Chibok girls’ 10th anniversary in captivity.

While expressing displeasure over the failure of past administrations to rescue the girls, Clark urged President Bola Tinubu to leave no stones unturned to secure the release of the girls.

“About 90 of them are still missing after 10 years. This should be a source of worry and concern to any government.

“Tinubu should appoint a special taskforce with brave soldiers, who are competent and transparent and not nepotic.

“Their main duty will be to travel at all times to Sambisa forest or where ever these citizens are, to look for these girls and rescue them.

“In giving this advice, I also want to add that a time limit should be given to them to carry out this task.”

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Oodua Nation Agitation: NSCDC puts personnel on red alert in Ondo

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Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ondo State Command, has ordered divisional officers and tactical teams to be on red alert and ward off any incursion into the state by Oodua nation agitators.

NSCDC Commandant in the state, Oluyemi Ibiloye, who stated this at the weekly muster parade where the corps’ operations during the last Eid-el Fitr celebration were reviewed, also ordered the teams to be on standby for other miscreants.

Ibiloye, in a statement made available to newsmen by the command’s Spokesperson, Aidamenbor Daniel on Monday in Akure, admonished officers to take positive posture toward their job.

He reminded the officers and men of the corps of the ongoing political activities within the state and the need to be professional and apolitical in their operations.

“The intelligence department, armed squad, counter terrorism unit, rapid response squad and operations are to be on red alert to ensure that the security breach that took place in Oyo State does not happen in Ondo State,” he said.

According to him, this has become imperative especially now that various political parties are having their rallies in the state, with mixed crowds in attendance.

“The command wishes to reiterate its commitment to safeguarding lives and properties, and ensuring the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure.

“We would do all within the ambits of the law to ensure the safety of all good and law-abiding citizens of Ondo State.

“For quick intervention and actionable intelligence sharing, the command’s quick response lines 08034027234, 08037871044 and 08032797388 are open for public use,” Ibiloye said.

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