The Sultan of Sokoto and co-chair of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has ruled out the grim prospect of the country experiencing another civil war.
The Sultan who spoke at the second quarterly meeting of NIREC in Abuja on Wednesday said he would always advocate dialogue as a way to achieve peace.
“People have been talking about war; there will not be war in Nigeria, who is going to fight who? In families we have Christians and Muslims; you have ethnic nationalities in your country; you are inter-married.
“So, all this noise people are making is trying to draw attention to what they can get out of this country and if you look at them, they are in the minority. In this country, there are excellent people that mean well for the common man and humanity and that is what God created us to do”, he said.
The Sultan said he remained a believer in dialogue which his religion has advocated.
He stated: “So, let’s continue to work together; let’s continue to sit together; let’s continue to dialogue. I am a total believer in dialogue and nothing will change my mind because my religion teaches me to always dialogue.
“And I believe no problem is too big to be resolved when we sit down and talk because even wars are fought to bring peace but if you know you can bring peace without fighting war, then why do you have to take up arms?”
Abubakar, however, acknowledged that things are bad in the country, as insecurity has adversely affected the country’s growth.
“It is a very trying time for our country, Nigeria, for so many reasons, most notably insecurity which does not allow anybody to do what he or she wants and at the time and place he or she wants.
“That’s why we are very worried with the way things are in our great country at this time because things are really very stressful and there is no doubt about it, and you don’t have to tell anybody things are bad.
“To travel short distances today calls for serious prayers and travelling with perhaps security personnel because of kidnapping for ransom, ritual killing, armed robbery, insurgents attack, banditry and other forms of violence”, he added.
On his part, president of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Samson Ayokunle, said insecurity had paralysed activities across the country.
Ayokunle, who is also the co-chairman of NIREC, noted that food security had been threatened as farmers were being killed by bandits on their farms.
“Many things are not right with the nation, the most challenging one today being insecurity, which has almost paralysed all human activities apart from the havoc the restrictive COVID-19 brought.
“Farmers are threatened on their farms while some have been killed while farming. The result of attacks on farmers is the scarcity of farm products which will lead to famine if care is not taken by those in authority.”
While expressing worry over the daily killings of innocent citizens, Ayokunle called on religious leaders to unite and speak against the deplorable state of the nation.
He cautioned that while breaking up the country may not solve the problem, the government should be proactive in addressing issues that caused the agitations.
The CAN President also called for more funding of security forces and close monitoring of how the funds were being spent.
The secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said the level of insecurity in Nigeria was so high that religious and traditional rulers must assist the government to tackle it.
Mustapha, who was represented by the permanent security in the SGF’s office, Morris Mbaeri, said, “In every ethnic group, there are good people and there are criminal elements.”
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‘Governor Abiodun Committed To Rule Of Law, Democracy’
The commitment of the administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun in Ogun State to ensure the preservation of the rule of law, battle corruption and, protect the tenets of democracy in the country has again been reiterated.
According to a top functionary of the government, apart from prioritising the welfare of the people, the administration is working hard to deepen the people’s beliefs in the nations democratic process.
Kayode Akinmade, a Chief Consultant on Media to the governor, who spoke while answering questions on a television programme on Friday, said as a law-abiding leader, the governor has always taken recourse to the judiciary to seek redress for himself and his administration whenever the need arises, rather than engage in self-help.
Akinmade stressed that the decision of the governor to approach the court over the matter between him and the impeached chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area, Wale Adedayo, is a demonstration of his belief in the rule of law and his indisposition to ‘rule of force’.
Adedayo appeared before a Magistrate’s Court at Isabo, Abeokuta, on a petition filed by the state government against him over an earlier allegation of diversion of funds meant for Council Areas in the state. Governor Abiodun is insisting that the former Council boss must prove his allegations against his administration or face the wrath of the law for falsely inciting the people against the government.
Adedayo was arraigned on a two-count charge. According to Akinmade, it is wrong for people to rush to accuse the governor of persecuting Adedayo, who according to him, has “severally apologised to the governor in private while continuing with his ill-motivated misinformation in public.”
“The governor believes that taking Adedayo before the court will deepen our democracy and entrench the rule of law.
“Unlike some other people in Governor Abiodun’s shoes who would readily recourse to sending thugs after and unleashing other forms of violence on those who accused them rightly or wrongly, our governor decided to seek redress in court. I think he should be commended by all and sundry for this. What he is doing is giving Adedayo a chance to prove his allegations,” Akinmade said.
On the allegation by the impeached chairman that the governor is behind his removal, Akinmade said Adedayo was already facing removal from office before he raised the false alarms against the governor. “He has already been accused of several impeachable offences before he wrote the letter alleging that the governor diverted council funds. He had already reached out to the governor and other leaders of the party to help him stave off his removal. It was when he realized he may not survive the impeachment move that he connived with some other unscrupulous politicians in the party to malign the governor and discredit the APC in Ogun State,” Akinmade said.
The media chief added that claims by Adedayo that he got zero allocation since he became chairman of his local government were proved wrong by the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) in the state when the House of Assembly looked into his petition. He recalled that other council chairmen in the state also debunked the allegation and even brought Adedayo with them to apologize to the governor for the wrong allegations.
“But in spite of all these, he didn’t stop his scripted plot to tarnish the image of the governor. Hence, Governor Abiodun approached the court for redress,” he added.
Speaking further, Akinmade recalled that the impeached council boss has been in office for more than two years before making his frivolous and unfounded allegations. “One then wonders why he is raising this alarm now. He claimed zero allocation, but he has been collecting his monthly N3 million security votes regularly. Local government staff in his LGA are not being owed, and primary school teachers there are paid as at when due. We all should be asking him to explain what he meant by zero allocation,” he said.
BREAKING: Kaduna Guber Tribunal Nullifies Election Of Governor Uba Sani
The governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Kaduna on Thursday declared the election of Uba Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as inconclusive and thus nullified the exercise.
The tribunal made the declaration while delivering judgement via Zoom in a petition by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Isah Ashiru, challenging the election of Sani in the March 2023, election.
The tribunal ordered that fresh election be conducted in seven wards in four LGAs of the state.
In Shakeup Of FCT Administration, Wike Sacks Agencies, Parastatals Heads
In a decisive shakeup of the administration of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), its Minister Nyesom Wike, has sacked the heads of 21 parastatals, agencies, and government companies.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Director of Press, Office of the Minister, Anthony Ogunleye, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ogunleye identified the affected heads of the agencies as follows:
1. Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Abuja Investment Company Ltd
2. CEO/Managing Director, Abuja Markets Management Ltd
3. MD/CEO, Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company
4. CEO/MD, Abuja Property Development Company
5. CEO/MD, Abuja Technology Village Free Trade Zone Company
6. CEO/MD, Abuja Film Village International
7. CEO/MD, Powernoth AICL Equipment Leasing Company Ltd
8. MD, Abuja Broadcasting Corporation
9. MD, Abuja Enterprise Agency
10. General Manager, FCT Water Board
11. Director-General, FCT Emergency Management Agency
12. Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Healthcare Board
13. DG, Hospital Management Board
14. Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board
15. Director, FCT Scholarship Board
16. Director, FCT Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board
17. Director, Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board
18. Coordinator, Abuja Infrastructure Investment Center
19. Director, FCT Health Insurance Scheme
20. Coordinator, Satellite Towns Development Department
21. Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council
The director of the press said that the affected appointees should hand over the affairs of their offices to the most senior officers in rank.
He added that appointments in the offices would be made in due course.
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