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By Omeiza Ajayi ABUJA – Official activities at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, OSGF, in Abuja went on smoothly Thursday despite Wednesday’s presidential decision suspending the SGF, Babachir Lawal.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Engineer David Babachir Lawal
Vanguard’s visit to the office at about 10 am indicated that normal business of the day went on unhindered. An official who spoke off the record to our correspondent said following the presidential directive, the most senior Permanent Secretary in the OSGF had effectively taken control to ensure that there was no vacuum.
“As it is now, the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office, Hajia Habiba Lawal is the most senior among them and she is in charge for the time being. So, life goes on as usual”, he said.
Asked whether Mr Lawal could have sent any of his aides to access his office, another staff who did not want her name in print said she had only had the privilege of physically seeing Mr Lawal twice, since his appointment in 2015, adding that his absence does not affect her own brief.
Efforts to speak with the Director, Press, in the OSGF, Bolaji Abdullahi were futile as he did not immediately respond to media enquiries.
The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has revealed that his criticisms of the style of leadership of former President John Dramani Mahama were not in bad faith but just in a quest to drum home what was amiss in the party.
Mr. Bagbin, who is a leading member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), said though some elements within the party disagreed with the manner in which it was done, he meant no harm.
He explained that he was merely issuing early warning signals of a looming danger that could befall the party if nothing was done.
The Nadowli-Kaleo lawmaker who is one of the longest serving Members of Parliament (MPs) described the NDC’s defeat as shocking, indicating that he only anticipated that some of his colleagues were not going to return to Parliament but not that of the presidency.
“For the president losing yes it was shocking. What we saw and the experience in the 2016 election, there was no way a prophet could have convinced anybody President John Dramani Mahama was going to lose the elections.
You realised that my speeches at that time were focused on the Members of Parliament because I realised we were going to lose our numbers but not to this extent. To me it was a shock,” he disclosed.
“What I did was to give early warning signs, ring the alarm bells that something was going wrong. In spite of our intellectual wealth, we still needed cool heads, knowledge and experience that was lacking in the leadership of the party but some people understood me wrongly. A few things were corrected on my outcry but that was not enough,” he added.
According to Mr Gbagbin, his earlier concerns were meant to avert what befell the party at the polls saying, “That is why I came out early enough but some people misunderstood me. The blame game is expected, but we are trying to reorganise and I can assure you we will bounce back in 2020.”
Source : ghanaiantimes.com.gh
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Prague, April 19 (CTK) – The Czech government approved on Wednesday a plan of enhancing the protection of places with a high concentration of people against terrorist attacks, including preventive measures such as an information campaign and instruction courses, PM Bohuslav Sobotka has tweeted.
According to the concept drafted by the Interior Ministry, the state and society must prepare for a potential terrorist attack, in view of attackers’ current tendency to hit easily accessible targets.
The new plan is another step the government has taken to enhance security in face of new threats, Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) wrote.
A part of the plan is the creation of a national system of soft targets protection that would enable a complex and rapid reaction to threatening attacks.
Its another goal is to make most of the soft targets capable of reacting to an attack in a way to maximally reduce the inflicted damage.
Soft targets are places with a high concentration of people that have not been permanently protected and are easily accessible, such as shopping, cultural and sports centres, hospitals, clubs, schools, tourist sights and public transport premises.
The ministry plans to establish an advisory team including representatives of ministries, self-governing regions and towns and associations of big cultural and other events’ organisers.
A series of instruction courses is to be launched along with instruction materials available to the public.
The courses will be designated for members of the law enforcement bodies who will be in contact with organisers of events and will provide assistance to them.
The courses are to be freely available for anyone who will show interest in them.
An information campaign will also be launched.
The plan’s last point is the early distribution of warning information.
“The previous attacks in the world evidently showed that an attack was followed by another in the same locality, either simultaneously or with a slight delay,” the ministry writes in the concept.
A permanent police phone line has been operating in the Czech Republic in connection with soft targets since last year, giving security advice to owners and operators of publicly accessible sites and organisers of sports, cultural and other events.
Last year, the government approved an anti-terrorist package of measures aimed to reduce the risk of a terrorist attack.
Source : praguemonitor.com