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Arrest, Prosecute Witch-hunting Clerics – AfAW

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Rights Group Lashes Out At Buhari, IGP Over Owerri Attacks

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) has urged the Nigerian Police to arrest and prosecute all pastors, mallams, and traditional priests who attribute individual or collective misfortunes, personal or family problems to witchcraft or occult individuals in families and communities.

This was contained in a statement by Dr. Leo Igwe. He continued: “Such mistaken assumptions are at the root of pervasive persecution and killing of alleged witches, especially the vicious treatment that is meted out to these innocent human beings. This call has become necessary following several cases of witch torture and murder that are linked to the instruction and declarations of pastors, mallams, prophets and prophetesses, and traditional priests/priestesses. Many people who have been arrested or convicted for killing alleged witches claimed to have indulged in these atrocious acts after consulting so-called godmen and women.

” It is common knowledge that faced with problems and challenges, some persons consult men and women of god and other ‘spiritually powerful’ people for answers and solutions. And people unquestionably believe what these self-acclaimed occult experts say.

“Too often, these charlatans attribute the cause of poverty and misery, unemployment, diseases, accidents, and deaths to witchcraft or some occult or magical malevolent force. Pastors and other self-styled men and women of god openly and publicly impute witchcraft; they incite violence, hatred, and persecution of alleged witches with impunity. They use the Bible, Quran, and tradition to justify their wild speculations and mistaken assumptions. Many clerics motivate witch believers to attack, and murder imagined evildoers and suspected agents of the occult in their families and communities.

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“For instance, in Ondo, a 30-year-old woman has confessed to killing the mother with a cutlass. She murdered the mother because a pastor revealed that the mother was a witch and was responsible for her health problems. The pastor made the revelation when the woman went to him for spiritual cleansing. In a related development, a pastor has also been linked to the attack and persecution of an alleged witch in Adamawa. In this case, the pastor claimed to have identified the woman as a witch while in a trance. Church members believed what the pastor said and descended on the woman. They beat and tortured her. They stripped her naked, injured and disgraced her. Pastors, Imams, traditional priests have been implicated in other cases of witch persecution in Ogun, Plateau, Cross River, Sokoto, etc. Unfortunately, these pastors or imams, prophets or prophetesses, traditional priests or priestesses are seldom arrested or punished.

“This trend must change if witch persecution and killing must stop in communities across the region. These godmen and women valorize witchcraft narratives and motivate witchcraft accusers to attack, torture and murder suspected witches. They enable and sanctify the injustice against alleged witches and therefore should not be allowed to go scot-free. Witch-hunting pastors and imams are accessories to the crime of witch persecution and murder. AFAW asks the police to take extra measures to combat witchcraft accusations, witch persecution, and killings. The police should rise to the occasion and ensure that witch imputing and witch finding pastors and imams pay for their crimes.”

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Tinubu Approves N70,000 Minimum Wage

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BREAKING: Dogara, Babachir Lead Northern Christians Against Tinubu's Muslim-Muslim Ticket

By John Michael Ojo

The Federal Government on Thursday, pegged the new national minimum wage at N70,000.

This was made known by Mr Bayo Onanuga, a Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, in a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“President Bola Tinubu has approved N70,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers with promise to review the national minimum wage law every three years.

“President Tinubu also promised to find ways to assist the private sector and the sub-nationals to pay the minimum wage.

“President Tinubu announced the decisions at the meeting held with leaders of TUC and NLC on Thursday in Abuja, the second time the parties met in 7 days,” the statement read.

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Olaopa Urges Youths To Shun Japa Syndrome, Prepare For Leadership

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Prof. Tunji Olaopa flanked by Hon Abike Dabiri (left )and Prof. Oladapo Afolabi , former Head of Service of the Federation ( right) at the event on Thursday.

The Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, has urged youths to prepare for leadership positions early in life instead of travelling overseas to seek opportunities, a development that is popularly known as the Japa syndrome.

The seasoned bureaucrat and former federal permanent secretary said that opportunities abound for youths but that they could only access them when they begin early .

According to Olaopa who spoke on Thursday during the 2023/2024 graduation of KIA Lakeside Academy in Abuja, these opportunities will elude the youths if they opt to go and wander on the streets of foreign countries. He said : ” In the civil service I am very familiar with, people grow old and retire every day. We need youths to fill such vacancies that the old people leave behind . If all the youths go abroad to be doing menial jobs, do we go to Ghana and other neighbouring countries to employ their youths?

Prof. Tunji Olaopa and Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, former Head of Service of the Federation at the event.

He said that under his leadership of the Federal Civil Service, there is so  much hope for youths to access federal jobs. He said he had decided to maintain a policy of transparency and equity in making jobs in the civil service available for all eligible Nigerian youths through open advertisement.

He said in the area of political leadership, the older generation could not keep on dominating the sector. He said that the youths would be need to replace the old political leaders as they quit the scene.

According to him, the ability to prepare early for leadership goes hand in hand with a clear vision. He said nobody could prepare for anything if there is no clear vision of where they are going or what they want.

He said people who reach great heights in life always have a clear vision of where they are going early in life and they work towards it. He gave the example of former United States President Bill Clinton who as a youth had a clear vision of being his nation’s leader.

According to Olaopa, past and current leaders in Nigeria have had early in their youths clear visions of what they want in life. He said it was this clear visions early in life that made them trailblazers in different areas of life. In politics he cited Chief Obafemi Awolowo , Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and others. He said that these were trailblazers in their youth. He said in business, young people have become trailblazers.

He said that because of the opportunities the current world offers, youths do not need to become old people before reaching great heights in life. According to him, youths have become trailblazers in technology . He mentioned the examples of Zuckerberg of Facebook, Elon Musk and a younger Bill Gates.

Talking about breaking the glass ceiling, Olaopa said that no gender barrier should stop anyone from reaching the summit of life. He said many women in the past and the present have been trailblazers. He mentioned Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. Dora Akunyili,l and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. He said unlike in the past , many bank CEOs in Nigeria are currently women.

However, Olaopa said that nobody could be a trailblazer without preparation. He said this preparation comes in the form of education. He quoted Nelson Mandela who once observed that “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” He said if in the past people we regard as great today could get education despite the huge barriers they were faced with, youths of today have no excuse. He said Awolowo was faced with a huge educational disadvantage which he overcame by studying at home . He said Azikiwe had to find his way overseas where he suffered to educate himself. According to him, one of the greatest lawyers today in Nigeria is Chief Afe Babalola. He said Babalola overcame his challenges by studying at home and that today he owns one of the best universities in the country.

According to him, youths who lack the opportunity of going to formal university classrooms can avail themselves of the opportunities offered by the open university system that the Federal Government supports .

He said that in fact President Bola Tinubu has demonstrated his interest in the education of the less-privileged through his government’s Student loan scheme. He said that youths who desire to acquire university education but have no sponsors can use that scheme.

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Tinubu Appoints Walson-Jack Head Of Service As Yemi-Esan Retires

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Walson-Jack

As the current Head of Service Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR, is due to retire on August 13, 2024, President Bola Tinubu has approved her replacement. She is Mrs. Didi Esther Walson-Jack.

Mrs. Walson-Jack was appointed as Federal Permanent Secretary in 2017 and has served in several Ministries.

While thanking Yemi-Esan  for her stewardship, President Tinubu tasked the incoming Head of Service to discharge her duties with innovative flair, integrity, and stringent adherence to the extant rules and regulations of the Civil Service of the Federation.

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