Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday took to state TV in his first speech since returning from a long medical absence in Britain in a bid to dampen mounting separatist tensions in the country.
The 74-year-old, who received treatment for an undisclosed condition in London, looked thin as he read slowly from a prepared statement in which he also vowed to redouble the fight against Boko Haram militants.
“I was distressed to notice that some of the comments [in my absence], especially in the social media have crossed national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far,” he said.
“The national consensus is that it is better to live together than to live apart,” added Buhari, who returned to Nigeria on Saturday after more than 100 days away.
Nigeria is facing a number of breakaway movements, including the Indigenous People of Biafra led by fierce Buhari critic Nnamdi Kanu in the country’s southeast which is dominated by the Igbo ethnic group.
The group has become increasingly vocal in its bid to win independence in recent weeks, with Kanu previously appearing in images meeting a private army.
Arewa, a radical Muslim youth group in the country’s north, has issued an Oct. 1 deadline for all Igbo people to leave the region.
Boko Haram militants have been fighting a bloody insurgency in the country’s northeast since 2009 in a bid to establish a hardline Muslim state.
Buhari vowed renewed energy for the fight against “terrorists and criminals,” singling out Boko Haram, kidnappers and those responsible for ethnic violence.
“We will tackle them all,” the president said.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting