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Sunday, 16 February 2020

Buhari Lied On 90% Killing Of Moslems By Boko Haram...Catholic Church

Buhari Lied On 90% Killing Of Moslems By Boko Haram...Catholic Church

The Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Rev. Fr. Zachariah Samjumi, has said that the recent statement by President Muhammadu Buhari that Muslims were 90 per cent victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the country is an act of insensitivity.

Samjumi, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Yola, told Sunday Sun in Abuja that every day Nigerians wake up, the number of people killed and attacked were majorly Christians, with those in the minority in the North, asking: “Who are the people leaving their villages? Who are the IDPs and the rest?”

According to Samjumi, “we know that they are mixed up, but the majority are people coming from the Christian side, the minority group. You go to the Northeast, the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa in Nigeria, the EYN Church, they are the people that are mostly decimated.”

Turning to the president, Samjumi said: “I think that the president, sorry to say, I think he is not sensitive enough to say that 90 per cent of the people killed are Muslims. Well, he may have the statistics, but I don’t think that he is sensitive enough.”

Samjumi also spoke on the general state of insecurity in the country, the role of the Catholic Secretariat, return of mission schools to the Catholic Church, the return of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) fold, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka’s prophecies, amongst others. Excerpts:

On your website, you wrote that as the administrative headquarters of the CBCN, there is no doubt that the social profile of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria is intimidating in many respects, both within and outside the country. How intimidating?

Intimidating is perhaps, the word that is used to capture, so to speak, the kind of arrangement, the structure that is there; well laid out structure. That would be what it is when you say it is intimidating.

Even though the CBCN speaks on national issues from time to time, people are surprised that the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria that used to be very vocal on national issues, has remained silent in the face of the ills and odds in the society, particularly insecurity. What is responsible for this?

I don’t think that is the true picture of your description. The Catholic Secretariat in the first place, is the administrative arm of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria. It exists actually to carry out the policies, the decisions of the bishops of Nigeria, in other words, the Catholic Church in Nigeria. The bishops, when they come in plenary, it is actually the work of the Catholic Secretariat to see that the meetings are carried out successfully and whatever information they have, they are done in a way that is good and meaningful. The Catholic Secretariat itself, from time to time, we have our Catholic Secretariat Forum where we talk on national issues, issues concerning the Church and society. So, it has been doing that, perhaps, we have not been getting good press attention.

In spite of the situation you have just painted, there are still some people who have been following the activities of the secretariat, who believe that the Catholic Secretariat was more vocal in the past, particularly during the military era and it is no more so. These sets of people believe that maybe some of your predecessors, by their actions, brought the secretariat to its knees by not using it as a tool to correct happenings in the society. Do you agree?

It is a perspective. The Church is always prophetic. And you rightly mentioned ‘during the military era.’ During the military administrations, there were a lot of abuses at that time, so the Church was expected to speak and that was why the leadership of the Catholic Secretariat then was very vocal on those ills, on those issues at the time, to speak out despite whatever will happen. And I think that up till today, the Catholic Secretariat, with the bishops in general, talking out; in fact, I would say that the Church in Nigeria has been talking. It has been talking a lot. So, the Catholic Secretariat is not cut off from the Bishops Conference.

But is it that the bishops are no longer giving free hand to the secretariat as they used to do?

Of course, whatever we do, it has to be censored by the bishops so that you do not misrepresent the Church. So, if I am speaking now, I will tell you I am speaking as Father Zechariah. I am not speaking as the Bishops Conference; and I am not speaking as the Catholic Secretariat. So, those are some of the issues.

What are the challenges facing the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria?

Of course, every organization will have its challenges. As a Catholic Secretariat in Nigeria, I think that our structures are good. We have a well laid out structure. For example, in the Catholic Secretariat, we have what you call Pastoral Affairs, a department that handles the worship situation of the Church; the life of the Church itself. So, it looks after that. That will concern its liturgy, the laws in the Church, evangelization, ethics, and all other things are put under that. You also have the Department of Mission and Dialogue to look at the issues of mission – the work of the Church, the reason for which the Church exists and at the same time, knowing that it is not only the Church in the whole world. We are living with other people, so we need to dialogue in order to live together. That has its own department and they have been doing their work. So, we have also, the Department of Pastoral Agents and this concerns all those involved in the work of the Church, the personnel of the Church and this is not only priests. And we have different segments of the personnel – the clergy, the religious, those in formation, young people and the generality of the lay faithful. And that department concerns itself with policies, guidelines and issues. Like when we talk of sexual abuse and the rest of them, it is that department that will see to what needs to be done and the rest of them. We also have the Department of Church and Society. And under that comes issues of justice and peace, education, family and human life and health. So, that is the matter with Church and society. And then, we also have generally, administration. That is a separate department. So, you see that the structure is there. Of course, we may have challenges; one that is very obvious would be having the resources to carry out these functions effectively.

The issue of the return of schools to the Catholic Church, is it something that the CBCN puts at the forefront or it has to do with each diocese?

All the states, I must confess, they are not the same. The disposition is not the same. Take, for example, the eastern part of Nigeria: The set up, I would say, is Christian. And you may say you have more Catholics. So, in that case, the disposition to see to the cry of the Church over the years, they will hear it more. When you come to the North, this is a place where even if you want to build a Church, you are not given. To get a little place to build a church, nobody wants to hear. In fact, the land they give to you to build even school, they want to take it away. So, you can see that the takeover of schools, more or less in some of the states up North, is like a blessing for them, something fine, something reasonable that was done. So, the takeover of these schools cannot be done at the national level just like that. It has to be state by state as the case may be.

Let me take you back again. You said the Catholic Church was more alert during the military days because of abuses. Are you trying to say that we are not having such situations in this present time?

We have, we have! The issue of insecurity, I mean, is very obvious. Everybody in Nigeria knows. Everybody! Everybody! All of us, we know that the security situation is horrible. Many of us cannot travel to our villages. We can’t go anywhere.

Is there any way the Church can work with the government to curb the insecurity?

It is the government that has the apparatus to tackle insecurity. So, you wonder how as a Church you will come in. Are you going to form your own police? Are you going to form your own military? What are you going to do as a Church? So, I think as a Church, what we should do is what we have been doing, to tell government that see, things are like this, and things are like this. But in our time, whenever the Church voices this, it is taken as an enemy. Yes! Because it is like you are too critical, you are not seeing the good and you are blaming always. Well, it is the job of the Church.

What is responsible for the government always seeing the Church being too critical?

I intend to see that they don’t want anybody to say anything negative about them. I think so. Generally, I think that is it. The government does not want people to say anything negative. Meanwhile, these are obvious things. Insecurity is too much.

Where do you think all these things are leading us to?

I mean, people have been having very robust conversation on radio, television stations in this country. I hope that the government itself is listening. But whenever we say something like this, you will hear the media representatives of government are coming out and to say things that are very worrisome. Whatever that has been happening, I am a Christian and we know Muslims are also killed. But what we are saying in general is that the security matters are very terrible. Just few days ago, I heard that the president said 90 per cent of those killed were Muslims.

What is your take on that comment?

I think that the president, sorry to say, I think he is not sensitive enough to say that 90 per cent of the people killed are Muslims. Well, he may have the statistics, but I don’t think that he is sensitive enough. Every day we are waking up, the number of people killed, the number of people attacked are Christians. Who are the people leaving their villages? Who are the IDPs and the rest? We know that they are mixed up, but the majority are people coming from the Christian side, the minority group. You go to the Northeast, the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa in Nigeria, the EYN Church, they are the people that are mostly decimated. Yes! They are the people that are mostly decimated, and people are crying everyday and you are saying, why are you crying, 90 per cent are Muslims, so you have no right to even talk. For me, I think that is not too sensitive.

Do you foresee a religious war?

Well, I don’t think we will reach that level because everybody knows that war is not a solution to most of these things.

As an arm of CAN, has the CBCN returned fully to CAN?



Yeah, at the national level, the CBCN is back to CAN.

What is the relationship between the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria and priests in the country?

As I mentioned to you before, in the Catholic Secretariat, we have a department known as Pastoral Agents. The Pastoral Agents liaise to deal with the issues of priests, the clergy generally across the country. So, these clergy, in the diocesan set up, they have Diocesan Priests Association of Nigeria – Nigerian Priests Association. And the religious, they have their own as a religious coming together as a conference. The same thing with the female religious; they have their own. It is a conference. So, the department works with them – the Association of the Diocesan Priests and that of the Religious Groups. But we do not work as a control unit to the priests. We don’t oversee their actions whatsoever. It is the local ordinary.

Recent prophecies of Fr Ejike Mbaka, particularly on the political space, have continued to generate mixed reactions. I recall that your predecessor once reacted to one of his prophecies. Is Fr Mbaka on the right lane or going against the Church’s doctrines?

Generally speaking and to be honest, every priest, you are supposed to be prophetic. Prophetic in the sense that if there are things going wrong, you point out in society and if there are good things going on, we also commend them. If there are abuses of some sort, you are to speak it out, you are to say it. In this case, the work of the priest is not only limited to the Church, he is also a man of society. So, he can speak on what is happening in the society. But when one limits himself as a priest just to giving predictions, that is not of the work of the Church; that is not the work of the priest to just give out predictions.

I think Fr Mbaka is also fully involved in the pastoral ministry of the Church…


But just that once in a while, he gives prophecies which some people are usually critical of. How do you see the development?

Many bishops have spoken on this matter. We see that it is going like outside his role as a priest. Definitely, the way Mbaka is going is not what the Church teaches; it is not what the Church says a priest should function. But whatever be the case, it is actually the responsibility of his bishop.

To call him to order?

If he is wrong, to call him to order and I think it is not the work of the Catholic Secretariat; it is not the work of the Catholic Bishops Conference. It is just precisely the duty of his bishop.

Do you have information that his bishop, maybe, called him to order in the past or anything like that?

Yes, I can say that. His bishop has called him. I learned he apologised, but that sometimes, in the process of apologising, he causes another stir. You think he is apologising, he then he adds something to it and it becomes another problem.

What is the theme of the forthcoming CBCN first plenary for the year?

The theme is Psalm 119, verse 105: ‘The Word of God is a Lamp to My Feet and a Light to My Path.’

What necessitated it?

Two things: One, this year, the Pope, in commemoration of Saint Jerome whose work was on the Bible, directed that we should go back and let us look at the Word of God once again; that the Bible, the Word of God, is our guide. So, the conference will look on this issue – the Word of God as the guide of Christian life. Secondly, with whatever that is happening in the country, how is the Word of God guiding us? So, that is where we will now see the prophetic role, the duty, what the Word commands us to do – how is the Word a light to all of us?

I Will Renounce My Nigerian Citizenship If Tinubu Wins 2023 Presidential Election ...Bode George

I Will Renounce My Nigerian Citizenship If Tinubu Wins 2023 Presidential Election ...Bode George

A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olabode George, speaks with PUNCH NEWSPAPER on the state of insecurity in the nation, his plans to contest the 2023 presidential election, and the problems in his party, among others

You have shown interest to contest the 2023 presidential election. What are the motivating factors?

First, our party will have to agree if it is coming to the South-West or not. We have a highly cerebral group made up of seasoned Nigerians where we discuss issues on Nigeria and the South-West. The thought came out when people started talking about the South-West and in my part of the world, if some people are wishing you to do something, you do not deflect it. Although the time is still far ahead and nobody knows who will be alive or not, when this discussion came up, I got calls that this is what they were thinking. I did not tell them to stop, neither did I tell them to go ahead because these are things you will have to put into prayers and if it is the wish of the Almighty, it will get open to me. Like I told them, there is a myriad of problems in this country today and usually, in four-year term governance, you start political discussions at least during the third year. If you have a problem, you will start to address it from the top to the bottom. We just concluded an election process and it is not up to one year but the state of the nation gives me a lot of concern. I am talking as a Nigerian. The level of our civility, development and the level in which this country has achieved, the whole thing is crumbling.

What is responsible for that?

First, it is our nation and it has nothing to do with a political party. If you do not talk when issues are like this, then you have no right in the future. You may advise which may not take, but to be quiet is immoral and dishonest. Look at the recent rating by Transparency International on our corruption index, we have further plunged.  As a nation, how well are we respected internationally? I can tell you that it is almost zero.

So, what is responsible for the rising debates about the 2023 election?

They probably think that if they start early, there would be calmness in the minds of the people. Or are they afraid that the present administration should wind up and get out of the office? There are so many meanings you can read into it. Our major issue now is not about politics but the management of the country. All is not well. There is hunger in the land and hunger does not have a tribe. We are expanding the grudges between tribes and promoting divisive things. You cannot make suggestions without attacks from other quarters. What is responsible for this? However, let us resolve the issue of mistrust before we talk of any election. Why are we looking at ourselves as enemies? A divided house is a defeated house. Our nation must survive. I concluded that we would need to go and dedicate one week to pray to God Almighty because we have offended His dictates. Whether Muslim or Christian, we need to fast and pray.

You had also recently expressed desire to challenge the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in the next election. Why did you make a direct challenge?

It is a challenge. It would be the most illogical and most disruptive issue to have him (Tinubu) elected as President. If this happens, I will disown Nigeria to take the citizenship of Togo or any other country. Look, what this fellow did in my state, all the lies and the most painful thing was that on the day of the election (2019 election) two bullion vans drove in the daylight to his house and what did Prof Itse Sagay say, that he (Tinubu) had been a very wealthy man before. Where was he wealthy? If his (Sagay’s) conclusion was that, then something is wrong. Let us call a spade a spade and stop deceiving ourselves. So, if that is the way they want to do it, then I am ready to face him (Tinubu). Let us get out there because it would be the greatest disservice for our nation to have him contest as a presidential candidate.

But Tinubu is one of the pillars of the APC and people believe he can lead the country…

The APC to me is a congregation of strange bird fellows and you can see the effect. Nobody is talking for the party or the government, all you hear are a cacophony of voices and that is why the party is not working. So, if Tinubu is one of the leaders of the party, it means it is not working. I am convinced that Nigerians who voted the APC into government would be regretting it now. I am not saying this because I belong to another party, but the management of that party (APC) is archaic and it is rural in its concept. They can modernise themselves though. You heard what the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, once said that all those that have sinned before should come to the APC and their sins would be forgiven. Is that the kind of statement that should come from the national chairman of a ruling party? So, it (APC) is a congregation of sinful people. What is required in Nigeria is the provision of food, shelter, and good infrastructure, but the APC is now very far from providing that. Whether you are a rich or a poor man, we all fall into the same category and it is scary.

Your party is trying to realign ahead of the 2023 election. What are the best ways to achieve this?

Our party itself needs a remodelling. All is not well with the PDP unless we are deceiving ourselves. When they should have been out in the field before the Supreme Court judgment on Emeka Ihedioha (former governor of Imo State), they were asleep and suddenly they popped out- that is not the way to manage a party. If you have a case of that nature, we should have been all out to give him all the necessary support from the onset, not now trying to act when it is medicine after death. If we go on like this, we would be beaten stupid at elections. The PDP itself has a monumental problem and that is why I accepted this interview because I do not want to talk on the platform of being partisan. I want to talk as a Nigerian.

Specifically, as one of the leaders of the party in the South-West, what are you doing to bring the PDP together?

Fortunately, we have a governor (Seye Makinde of Oyo State) and we have resolved that there will be a meeting of elders by next Thursday (February 20) in Ibadan. This meeting will take care of all the things going on, positively and negatively, in the party.  The guy who is managing the party in the South-West has created some ripples in some states and when it comes to issues like these, we would concern ourselves with ‘righting’ the ‘wrong’ by doing what is just and fair. This meeting of elders in the South-West is to stabilise the zone ahead of the party’s national convention that will be coming up in April.

What is the problem of the PDP in Lagos that has made it difficult for the party to win elections in the state since 1999?

It is mainly attitudinal and the lack of cohesive and comprehensive electoral process. What normally happens is that when the people go for election, from the polling unit the results are hand-written to ward collation centre and from there to local government area collation centre before it gets to the state collation centre. So, cheating is unimaginable and undependable. That is why you find out that when a government makes policy, should it not be in the interest of the people? If they do not respect the people then it shows that they know that they would go back to the election to manipulate the result because of the archaic methodology that is adopted. That is all that is happening. It is not that our people do not win elections in Lagos State. Look at the last general elections, especially the presidential election; it is so mundane and illogical. We cannot continue this way and say the election is credible. Results are constantly being altered as they go from one collation centre to the other.

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You had wished to contest the presidential election with Tinubu, are you not worried that the APC in which Tinubu belongs had been winning in your local government area all these while?

This is why I am telling you that the system of operation is very abysmal, terrible, and illogical and it does not make any sense. How many elections have we had that does not end up in the court? The technology is available with the use of the Permanent Voter Card. This would enable us to reduce the paper voting. I believe we have a long time between now and the next election for the electoral body to get things sorted.

So, are you saying with credible conduct of elections, you can win the APC in your Lagos Island LGA?

People will make up their minds. Who is happy in Nigeria today? Everybody is crying under the heavy storm. We are all at the precipice and my major concern is the electoral process. This is the 21st century and we are still carrying results from location A to B and C by hand, why would there not be complaints. Let us respect the will of the people and the only way this can be done is to make sure that elections are transparent, just and fair.  Look at what happened in Osun and Imo states where the court took over the role of INEC, adding and subtracting figures.

There is a general clamour that if the Presidency rotates to the South, it should be the turn of the South-East?

I had said it before that ideally, from our party, once it comes back to the South, it must go to the South-East. But, when we, in the South-West, were looking for some support, I was shocked about what some of their leaders in the South-East did. I was one of the first to express my belief in the zoning system based on the rotational level, but when it was our turn to produce the national chairman of the party, the South-East people abandoned us. However, as I Christian I have risen above that level, but it is just a reminder that you should be careful in life to be just, fair and rational because someday it would be your turn. So, ideally, when it comes to the South it should go to the South-East because they have never had it, but if the name Tinubu pops up in the APC, I would go all out to contest with him.

But some members of the PDP believe that the 2019 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, could still clinch the ticket in the 2023 election. If this happens, what would you do?

That was why I said baring all last-minute discussions, I believe in good thinking. I cannot stay off that because of personal things. Whatever they discuss or plan, I will go along with it, but there is a caveat.

What is the caveat?

Our party requires introspection because the management style currently being exhibited calls for a question. We would get worse than the APC if we are not careful. However, whatever the party decides, I will swing on it.

There was a change of leadership in the structure of the Lagos State PDP. Are you in support of the new state executive members?

I am not in support of that change. Those are the kind of things that I am talking about. The mismanagement and arrogance in the leadership style will take us nowhere. I was one of the party managers for 12 years, if we had mismanaged the PDP the way they are doing now there would have been no party. We are derailing like a ship without a rudder in a sea-state that is very bad. I believe that the elders and founders of the party must come together for us to have a closed-door discussion. The party is sinking. Although the case of Lagos PDP is in the court, that management style is bad. You cannot have a total power control. You must discuss with the elders of the party. Politics is all about discussion. You cannot just wake up from the wrong side of your bed and just take a decision. It is affecting everything. If you start taking illegal steps, of course, people would challenge you.  Did you consult? You did something illogical and illegal because you are managers of the party now, it cannot work. These are things that we must revisit to put our party and reinforce our platform, otherwise, it would keep wobbling. If you stand on a wobbling platform you cannot fly.

The state of insecurity in Nigeria had topped the front burner in recent months, as a former military officer, do you think our security agencies are doing well in the fight against kidnapping, banditry, and insurgency?    I have thought very deeply about this. Ideally, all those areas mentioned are all for the Police, but when the Police cannot cope with the operation, they reverse to the President to tell him that they cannot cope with it, then the military will come in. The way the military is set up, we are to fend off enemies of this country. If it is a matter between Nigerians, which side is the enemy? Unless they are doing things that are inimical to the stability and quietness of our country and it will be in a short-term operation with the military. A quick bang, finish the operation and move back to the barracks. Our training is different from that of the Police but right now, this issue of insurgency has made it also perpetual and I do not know where we are. People are still being murdered and people are not safe. So, I believe it is not a job for the government alone anymore if we are serious. The government must now open their doors and open up a national discussion. This is mistrust and it is getting out of hand. The lack of love that we once exhibited is no longer there. We are 100 years old as a country and people are going to the precipice to say we should go our separate ways. To me, separating is not the issue.

As a result of this insecurity, the six governors in the South-West came together to set up a regional outfit code named Operation Amotekun, was it a right step?

There is nothing wrong with the establishment of Operation Amotekun by the South-West governors. The reason why I am in support of the intervention is that the number of policemen for the population of this country is inadequate. How many policemen do we have at the moment that is policing over 200 million people? I learnt we have about 300,000 policemen right now, how can they be effective? So, if the state governments now adopt a concept like the Amotekun issue to have people doing community policing, there is nothing wrong with that. These people will come from the localities that they are operating and they will checkmate the activities of strangers. Community policing is such that the operatives will know members of their communities and that will be a deterrent to criminals.  You will know for instance that Fatai, who leaves next door, is a mechanic. This was what we had in place during the pre-colonial and colonial era.  We copied the American system of governance and we should know that the local government areas (counties) in the US have their Police. There is also the state Police and the Federal Police. So, the immediate surrounding is secured by those who are there.  They will not, for instance, get someone from New York to carry out the task of community policing in Florida. We can make it work in Nigeria. This central control of the Police was introduced by the military because of their style of government where the order is from the top to bottom, and it was appropriate for them.  But in a democratic dispensation, the power comes from the bottom, so it is bottoms up. We cannot have people sitting in Abuja and ruling over my local government area in Lagos, or other LGAs in Sokoto, Borno, Rivers or Niger, it cannot be effective. So, there is a need for us to devolve power and give to Peter what is Peter and to John what is John, otherwise, we are going to continue to swim in the dark. It is already affecting our image outside. Where is that giant of Africa today? We started the vision 20:2020 a couple of years ago, we are now in 2020. Are we among the 20 economically viable nations in the world today? So, for me, it has become imperative for us to discuss it.

With regards to insecurity, there was a recent call for the service chiefs to be removed, would you subscribe to that?

Let me do an analysis here.  Yes, it is the prerogative of the President to hire and fire them. Nigerians are now getting involved, is it the problems of service chiefs that is responsible for all these? The beheading of the local chairman of CAN in Adamawa State will you tie to the service chiefs? Their defined jobs are to defeat enemies of the country. What we have right now is the insurgency largely as a result of mistrust between people of different faiths and tribes. The service chief is just one man and a tree does not make a forest. It does not mean that if you change one man all is well. Those who are currently service chiefs have GOCs, Flag Officers and so on, it is teamwork and the joint team goes back to the number one citizen to report. If the number one feels their performance is below his expectation, he can fire them. Yes, there is also a need for morale-boosting by elevating those looking forward to being service chiefs too, but basically, it is either you clock 60 years of age or 35 years in service, whichever one comes first they retire you. If the President says you should stay on, you can stay on, but any day you leave, the system will collect back every kobo that you received after you had clocked your retirement age. I do not know the ages of the current service chiefs, but the issue is a collective responsibility. Their loyalty to the country must outshine everything they think of.

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In the recently conducted governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states, there were complaints of heavy involvements of security operatives and people are getting worried that such development should be curtailed ahead of the 2023 general elections, what do you make of that?

If the electoral system continues that way, this nation will never get out of the doldrums. There are a lot of young people who are so versatile in this age of Information and Communications Technology; we should engage them to make us go fully electronic during elections. We still run elections in a semi-automatic manner. Why can’t we go the whole hub? Look at the United Kingdom, they recently had a general election and just a few hours after voting had ended, the result was already in the public domain. Why can’t we do that here or are they saying we do not have people with brains? Our electoral system is very faulty and people are still saying the process is good. God loves this country and I believe that we are stretching our luck beyond sensibilities. If we do the right thing the security operatives cannot assist people to snatch ballot boxes. The current electoral system is faulty and useless and we must do something about it. We still have enough time to build it up. I believe that voters could immediately vote with the Card Reader technology immediately after accreditation and this will be recorded instantly in the database instead of this thumb printing on ballot papers. All those results that they take from the polling units to the ward collation and state collations centres, the results will keep changing. The unfortunate situation is that we have these vice-chancellors who are being used as state collation officers to carry out these damages to the system. I remember the Osun State case where a Chief Returning Officer, a vice-chancellor who said they can go to court when vote-counting was still ongoing.

What is your position on the ban of okada and tricycles in some parts of Lagos State?

How can they (state government) do that? Let us forget about politics, the governor is my younger brother and his uncle is my friend. I talk to him like an elder. He should sit down and revisit that law. It is inimical to anything that makes any sense at all.  Most workers in Lagos work in the Island, how do they get to their offices early now? Must everybody buy a car? Which alternative employment do they have for the people that they have stopped from riding a commercial motorcycle? So, how do they survive? They are only expanding the kingdom of armed robbers. The number of people out of job is unbelievable and you are adding to it. Get the Amotekun to be in every area and they will monitor the movement of these people (okada riders).

Source :Punch
We Don't Need Foreign Assistance To Solve Our Problems..Osinbajo

We Don't Need Foreign Assistance To Solve Our Problems..Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says it is evident that many of the country’s problems can be solved by Nigerians themselves without recourse to foreign aid. He spoke while receiving a delegation from the West African College of Surgeons (WACS) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday. The delegation led by Prof. Ibrahim Yakasai briefed him on the activities of the college, including its 60th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference scheduled for Abuja.

Osinbajo, in a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, said it was possible for Nigerians to solve their problems in view of their impressive performance and achievements across diverse fields at home and abroad.

The vice president, who spoke after listening to a brief on the achievements of the WACS, said, “I believe that a lot of our problems, some of the aids that we need, can be provided by ourselves. We have the resources including human capacity to do it.”

Earlier in his remarks, a former president of the college, Prof. King-David Yawe, highlighted some of the achievements of WACS, especially with regard to free medical outreach to several Nigerian communities.
Seven Killed,10 Injured In Ogun Accident...Same Spot Has Claimed 40 Lives In 5 Years ..FRSC

Seven Killed,10 Injured In Ogun Accident...Same Spot Has Claimed 40 Lives In 5 Years ..FRSC

At least seven people have been killed in an accident involving a truck and two other vehicles at the Old Toll Gate end of the Lagos – Abeokuta Expressway in Ogun State.

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) confirmed this on Saturday in a statement by its Ogun State Command Public Education Officer, Florence Okpe.

According to the statement, 10 people were also injured in the accident which occurred at about 11:35am in the Ota axis of the state.

In the process of protesting against the incident, an irate mob was said to have set the truck which was carrying bags of cement ablaze.

While FRSC officials were at the scene along with firefighters to extinguish the inferno for a faster rescue operation, Okpe said other security and emergency agencies were contacted to assist in curtailing the situation.

She revealed that a total of 17 people were involved in the accident suspected to have occurred as a result of speeding and brake failure.

The Public Education Officer added that two children were among those killed but none was injured.

She noted that the injured victims have been taken to the General Hospital in Ota while the bodies of the dead were deposited at a morgue in the state.

Reacting to the incident, the FRSC Sector Commander in Ogun, Clement Oladele, sympathised with the families of the victims.

He, however, decried that the area where the accident occurred was a black spot notorious for frequent crashes which have claimed over 40 lives in the last five years.

Oladele called on motorists, especially articulated vehicles to drive cautiously whenever they were using that section of the corridor.

He also advised passers-by to desist from turning into mobs and resorting to self-help and destroying public properties or vehicles involved in accidents.
Supreme Court To Hear Emeka Ihedioha's Appeal On Tuesday

Supreme Court To Hear Emeka Ihedioha's Appeal On Tuesday

A former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, will begin his quest to convince the Supreme Court to reverse itself on the judgement sacking him from office on Tuesday.

This comes as the apex court fixed the date to hear the appeal filed by Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asking it to review its judgement on the governorship election held on March 9, 2019, in Imo State.

“The Supreme Court has fixed the 18th of this month (February) for hearing of Chief Emeka Ihedioha’s appeal seeking a review of the apex court’s January 14 judgment,” a source confirmed to Channels Television on Saturday.

The Supreme Court fixed the date one month after it sacked Ihedioha on January 14 and declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Hope Uzodinma, as the duly elected governor of Imo State.

The decision was reached on the grounds that the results from 388 polling units were excluded when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the final result of the poll in 2019.

Ihedioha had later filed the appeal on the heel of protests by supporters of the PDP, demanding the review and reversal of the judgement by the apex court.

In their quest to reclaim the governorship seat, leaders of the main opposition party organised a protest across the country.

The demonstration in Abuja was led by the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, and the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, and other chieftains of the party.

The protest, however, recorded a sad incident elsewhere in the nation’s capital as two trucks conveying party supporters collided at a junction, although it could not be ascertained if there were casualties.

Leaders of the PDP also called on the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as the European Union to prevail on the Supreme Court to reverse its judgement on the Imo State governorship election.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

2000 Protesters Have Been Hired To Protest Against Service Chiefs On Monday..Presidency

2000 Protesters Have Been Hired To Protest Against Service Chiefs On Monday..Presidency

The Presidency has cautioned those it described as “a section of the political class” against misleading the public and inciting protests against the heads of military institutions in the country.

The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, gave the warning in a statement on Saturday.

He said, “A group of politicians and beneficiaries of the Boko Haram insurgency is right now paying for people to join their planned protest against our country’s service chiefs.”

This follows the various calls by prominent citizens in the country for the sack of the service chiefs over the spate of killings and crimes recorded recently.

Also worried about the security situation, some lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives chambers of the National Assembly recently called for the replacement of the service chiefs with those with fresh ideas.

A False Narrative?

In Saturday’s statement, Shehu raised an alarm that the Presidency had received reports that about 2,000 men and women have been hired to protest against the service chiefs on Monday.

He also accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as being one of the sponsors of the demonstration, but the opposition party has yet to respond to the allegation.

The President’s spokesman said, “This imminent gathering is the latest in a series of demonstrations orchestrated by the opposition to embarrass the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“As part of this overall scheme, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with its belligerent politics, has been marching from one embassy to the other in protest against the Buhari administration and the nation’s highest court of justice, the Supreme Court.

“They are keen to give the impression that Nigerians are in support of them as they take to the streets, and they will go to any length to promote this false narrative.”

Cheer Vs Boo

Following the killing of 30 travellers along the Maiduguri – Damaturu Road in the North East, President Buhari had paid a condolence visit to Borno State.

There were reports that a crowd of residents trooped to the streets and booed the President, supposedly over the recent attacks by the insurgents in the state.

President Buhari with Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, and Shehu of Borno, HRM Abubakar Umar El-Kanemi, at the Shehu’s Palace on February 12, 2020.

Although Shehu did not deny that his principal was booed, he insisted that those jeered him were ‘a handful’ while the President was cheered by a crowd.

He claimed that the incident was part of the elaborate scheme of the opposition and criticised those who termed to be a verdict against the President.

“This was clearly a hired few, but the news was promoted by the opposition who had, of course, positioned themselves to record the booing – all just to embarrass the President,” he said.

The presidential aide, however, urged the media to remain unbiased and discerning in their reporting.
Inciting Utterances:Arrest Oshiomhole Now..PDP Tells IGP

Inciting Utterances:Arrest Oshiomhole Now..PDP Tells IGP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) calls on the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, to immediately pull in the factional National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, for questioning and prosecution for incitement.

The party says the violence and arson being perpetuated by APC agents in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital, on Friday, was in furtherance of Oshiomhole’s inciting call that no governor would be sworn-in in Bayelsa state, contrary to the judgment of the Supreme Court.

Oshiomole’s statement was a direct call for sedition and violent subversion of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the statutory authority of the Supreme Court and the mandate of the people of Bayelsa state.

He should therefore be pulled in immediately for prosecution for inciting violence and arson in the state.

Nigerians can recall that our party had on Thursday cautioned Oshiomhole over his utterances and apparent plots to cause violence and a breakdown of law and order in the state.

The world however watched with horror as APC agents, chanting APC slogans, assaulted the people of Bayelsa state, set the PDP secretariat in the state ablaze, attacked the premises of Radio Bayelsa, vandalized vehicles and equipment, took over major highways and attacked travellers, all in the bid to violently subvert the judgment of the Supreme court and forcefully take control of the state.

The PDP therefore charges the people of Bayelsa, the security agencies and Nigerians at large, to hold Oshiomhole responsible and accountable for the violence in Bayelsa state and deal with him accordingly in line with the provisions of our laws.

Oshiomhole must be brought to book and stopped from the use of garrulity and clear misuse of language to cause crisis in our country.


Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary