Monday 22nd July 2019
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Biotech agencies, NIREC report and unpatriotic activism

Lagos-based research scientist, Dr. Hannah Nnadi, has expressed concern that some activists may “have taken it upon themselves to smear the integrity of government agencies and individuals working for the good of the country”. She believes that “the attitude of these so-called activists to frustrate government agencies must be resisted as their actions are very unpatriotic and misleading.” In this piece made available to EnviroNews, she makes reference to statements on NIREC credited to Nnimmo Bassey, director of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), and a staunch anti-GMO campaigner

Professor Lucy Ogbadu

Professor Lucy Ogbadu, Director General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA). Photo credit: economic confidential.com

Recently, a group representing the National Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) issued a press release with the intention of misleading the public and pursuing an alien agenda. In the said release, the group, led by anti-GMO activists, listed the names of the Director General/CEO of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr. Rufus Ebegba, and Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, the Director General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), as members of NIREC.

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Both agencies reacted to the release and issued statements distancing themselves and their DGs from the purported report. Nnimmo Bassey, one of the architects of the report, in an article published by EnviroNews, acknowledged that both agencies and their directors general were not part of the report.

In that publication, Bassey, after shamefully acknowledging that those personalities were not members of NIREC, went further to cast aspersions on the integrity of the agencies with the intention of discrediting them before the public. Bassey has become desperate and personal in his pursed agenda. His actions show a vendetta against these personalities and dragging the public along.

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It is therefore important to state the following:

  • The NBMA and NABDA are both agencies of government created by law.
  • Both agencies were established and given specific mandates by the federal government.
  • Nnimmo Bassey was an active player in the processes that cumulated in the establishment of the NBMA, so to turn around and say that the Agency is a brain child of NABDA questions his credibility and integrity. Moreover, the National Biosafety Bill passed through two legislative houses from 2009 to 2015. He cannot be more knowledgeable on matters of biological sciences as an architect than the experts on the subject matter.
  • There is a difference between activism for personal aggrandisement and activism for national development, Nnimmo of the former.
  • Government will not be drawn into the mud by self seeking and see-nothing-good-in-Nigeria activists.
  • Paid activists have infiltrated and cornered the objective for setting up NIREC to their own selfish interests. NIREC should be on the watch out so that it will not be dragged to the mud.
  • It is a shame that Bassey cannot, till now, differentiate between the National Biosafety Management Agency abbreviated as NBMA and the National Biotechnology Development Agency abbreviated as NABDA.
  • NBMA is a government agency that strictly regulates the use of modern biotechnology in Nigeria. NABDA is another government agency charged with the responsibility of promoting the use of modern biotechnology. Because one regulates and the other promotes does not mean, they cannot collaborate or work together.
  • There is a limit to which individuals seeking their daily bread should go, so running down a government agency that you contributed actively to establish questions your rationale and unnecessary and destructive criticisms.

3 comments

  1. Omoba (annybassi@hotmail.com):

    Can the Spokesperson of NABDA and NABMA ‘Scientist’ ‘Researcher’ Dr. Hannah Nnadi, kindly tell Nigerians what ‘aspersions’ the activist Nnimmo Bassey cast on Dr. Rufus Ebegba DG NABMA, and Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, the DG of NABDA? Please list them.
    Is it not an established fact that these two agencies operate like conjoined twins? Is not true that one of the DG’s literally dragged the other out of the NTA studio with the NTA officials pleading with them to stay and participate in the open and transparent debate, to no avail?
    I watched that particular episode of Good Morning Nigeria from Lagos and I heard the moderator of the Program say that The DG of NAMBA Mr. Rufus and the DG of NABDA Mrs. Lucy left their station together despite pleas for them to stay and tell Nigerians their own side of the story, why they think GMOs should be allowed in Nigeria. Why were they so afraid of an open debate? If GMOs are that good as they so claim let them have the debate and sell their market to Nigerians.
    I have goggled Nnimmo Bassey and thousands of pages popped up. I also tried severally to goggle DR. Dr. Hannah Nnadi without success, the only tangible thing I could see was this: ‘Dr Nadi Hanna – reprimanded by Medical Professional Standards Committee 21 October 2011’ https://www.hccc.nsw.gov.au/Publications/Media-Releases/Dr-Nadi-Hanna—reprimanded-by-Medical-Professional-Standards-Committee I don’t know if that is you, if not show thyself. Nigerians would like to know they are dealing with a real person not one wearing a mask to speak to us.
    As a ‘Researcher’ it would be great if you could do your research properly get your facts right and your thoughts together. I read Nnimmo’s response to both Agency’s NIREC disclaimer and the name I saw on his write up was Dr. Rose Gidado not Dr. Lucy Ogbadu. if you are mixing up simple details like this I am just wondering what other things you got all mixed up.
    You also said Nnimmo Bassey was an active player in the processes that cumulated in the establishment of the NBMA Act. Seriously are you joking with Nigerians? I have gone through Nnimmo’s organizational webpage and I see that he and his group have vehemently objected to a lot of the provisions in the then Nigerian Biosafety Bill and of course also objected to a lot of the provisions establishing the Biosafety Act. In fact I see a detailed and well laid down review of that ACT in HOMEF’s webpage: ‘NBMA Act 2015: In Whose Interest ? A Review.’ They were calling on Mr. President and our Law Makers to repeal the Act or at least they should be a complete overhaul of the Act as it clearly favours corporations like Monsanto that Dr.Rufus the DG of NBMA issued permits to on Sunday 1st of May 2016 ( when Government offices do not open) to bring in their risky and failed GM Maize and cotton into our environment. Could this also amount to casting aspersions?
    I like very good arguments and debate. Your write up is empty. I see why NBMA and NABDA are running away from a debate. You and the two agencies cannot defend this failed and risky technology that you want Nigerians to be forced fed with.
    We know that ‘experts’ and some scientist’ have a long history of dealings with the Biotech Industry and Corporations like Monsanto who indirectly call the shots using local agents to do their biddings and create Biosafety laws that are watered down and allow the free reign of all kinds of unwholesome food and GMO crops, feed and products into our environment.
    I don’t understand all the hullabaloo by you and NBMA and NABDA’s over a well-articulated and cogent response by Nnimmo on NABMA and NABDA. Please stop chaffing about straightforward issues.
    We are a so grateful that activists such as Nnimmo, are alert to the shenanigans of folks like you, NABDA and NABMA and are rigorously opposing them.

  2. Can the Spokesperson of NABDA and NABMA ‘Scientist’ ‘Researcher’ Dr. Hannah Nnadi, kindly tell Nigerians what ‘aspersions’ the activist Nnimmo Bassey cast on Dr. Rufus Ebegba DG NABMA, and Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, the DG of NABDA? Please list them.

    Is it not an established fact that these two agencies operate like conjoined twins? Is not true that one of the DG’s literally dragged the other out of the NTA studio with the NTA officials pleading with them to stay and participate in the open and transparent debate, to no avail?

    I watched that particular episode of Good Morning Nigeria from Lagos and I heard the moderator of the Program say that The DG of NAMBA Mr. Rufus and the DG of NABDA Mrs. Lucy left their station together despite pleas for them to stay and tell Nigerians their own side of the story, why they think GMOs should be allowed in Nigeria. Why were they so afraid of an open debate? If GMOs are that good as they so claim let them have the debate and sell their market to Nigerians.

    I have goggled Nnimmo Bassey and thousands of pages popped up. I also tried severally to goggle DR. Dr. Hannah Nnadi without success, the only tangible thing I could see was this: ‘Dr Nadi Hanna – reprimanded by Medical Professional Standards Committee 21 October 2011’ https://www.hccc.nsw.gov.au/Publications/Media-Releases/Dr-Nadi-Hanna—reprimanded-by-Medical-Professional-Standards-Committee I don’t know if that is you, if not show thyself. Nigerians would like to know they are dealing with a real person not one wearing a mask to speak to us.

    As a ‘Researcher’ it would be great if you could do your research properly get your facts right and your thoughts together. I read Nnimmo’s response to both Agency’s NIREC disclaimer and the name I saw on his write up was Dr. Rose Gidado not Dr. Lucy Ogbadu. if you are mixing up simple details like this I am just wondering what other things you got all mixed up.

    You also said Nnimmo Bassey was an active player in the processes that cumulated in the establishment of the NBMA Act. Seriously are you joking with Nigerians? I have gone through Nnimmo’s organizational webpage and I see that he and his group have vehemently objected to a lot of the provisions in the then Nigerian Biosafety Bill and of course also objected to a lot of the provisions establishing the Biosafety Act. In fact I see a detailed and well laid down review of that ACT in HOMEF’s webpage: ‘NBMA Act 2015: In Whose Interest ? A Review.’ They were calling on Mr. President and our Law Makers to repeal the Act or at least they should be a complete overhaul of the Act as it clearly favours corporations like Monsanto that Dr.Rufus the DG of NBMA issued permits to on Sunday 1st of May 2016 ( when Government offices do not open) to bring in their risky and failed GM Maize and cotton into our environment. Could this also amount to casting aspersions?

    I like very good arguments and debate. Your write up is empty. I see why NBMA and NABDA are running away from a debate. You and the two agencies cannot defend this failed and risky technology that you want Nigerians to be forced fed with.

    We know that ‘experts’ and some scientist’ have a long history of dealings with the Biotech Industry and Corporations like Monsanto who indirectly call the shots using local agents to do their biddings and create Biosafety laws that are watered down and allow the free reign of all kinds of unwholesome food and GMO crops, feed and products into our environment.

    I don’t understand all the hullabaloo by you and NBMA and NABDA’s over a well-articulated and cogent response by Nnimmo on NABMA and NABDA. Please stop chaffing about straightforward issues.

    We are a so grateful that activists such as Nnimmo, are alert to the shenanigans of folks like you, NABDA and NABMA and are rigorously opposing them.

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