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Kukah challenges JNI to identify his attack against Islam, says he’s ready to apologise

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The Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, has challenged the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) Secretary General, Khalid Aliyu, to identify where he attacked Islam in his comment.

He said he was ready to apologise should Aliyu point out an offensive against Islam and Muslims in any of his statements and comments.

He was responding to JNI recent criticism of him following his Christmas homily.

He said in a statement on Tuesday that

“Dr Aliyu has accused me of being an enemy of his religion, Islam. He accused me of what he calls, firing an arrow at the heart of Islam and Muslims in Nigeria.

“He says I have been accorded respect and accommodated in Sokoto and I have turned around to bite a finger that has fed me.

“He poses a question: How can Muslims continue to be hospitable to one who proves to be an ingrate many times over? How can Muslims be comfortable in associating with a bitterly vindictive person disguised in the garb of a religious cleric?

“Finally, I will make only two points. First, my area of research is Religion, Politics and Society. I am concerned about how religion can help to form good citizens and also how the state can create an environment that enables citizens to achieve this.

“In all of my writings over the last forty or more years, I have never written a single paper or article on Islam as a religion. If there is any scholar anywhere who knows, let him or her say so.

“I have written about religion focusing on how both citizens and the state deal with it with focus on politicians. My concerns are summarised in what the late Professor Bala Usman loosely referred to as the manipulation of religion. This manipulation is what has turned religion into a weapon of war in Nigeria.

“Secondly, I will request Dr Aliyu as a matter of honour and based on the text of my sermon to formally identify where in my sermon I attacked Islam or all Muslims in Nigeria and the world according to him. I am more than happy to apologise for the offensive part of the statement.

“The relevant paragraphs in my sermon focused on the two painful themes of nepotism and the hemoraging of lives in our country, a fact that as I said, most religious leaders and statesmen and women have alluded to.

“How a critique of government policies suddenly becomes hatred of Islam and the north, beggars belief.

“I am therefore calling on Dr Aliyu to clarify and validate his accusations against me and advance the reasons why he should incite violence against me.

“I am unaware of anyone in Sokoto who has accused me of any misdemeanour or actions aimed at undermining the state or anyone, no least the faith of Islam.”

“I believe that today, nepotism poses a serious threat to our country.”

The cleric said the second point was the issue of the insecurity and how the north has become so affected.

“My belief was to add my voice to the voices of millions of Nigerians, Muslims, Christians, Traditional rulers, Statesmen and all who have shown genuine concern.”

“It will be a great pity and a disservice to our efforts at national cohesion if we resort to the kind of diversionary threats that Dr Aliyu has embarked on. It only makes the job of insurgents easier if we become enemies to one another.”

 

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BREAKING: Fani-Kayode Formally Defects To APC

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BREAKING: Fani-Kayode Formally Defects To APC

A former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode on Thursday formally defected from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the APC, and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, presented Fani-Kayode to President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Fani Kayode said that he was led by the Spirit of God in his decision and that he joined the APC to help the unity of the country, adding that he was against anything that would cause the disintegration of Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Southern Governors Meet, Insist On VAT Collection, Anti-open Grazing Law, Others

He disclosed that he was instrumental for the exit of three PDP governors to the APC.

The governors he mentioned were Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Ben Ayade of Cross River State and Bello Matawale of Zamfara State.

According to him, he has friends across party lines and he is wooing the governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde and the governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed to join the ruling party.

 

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Southern Governors Meet, Insist On VAT Collection, Anti-open Grazing Law, Others

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Southern Governors Meet, Insist On VAT Collection, Anti-open Grazing Law, Others

Southern governors jointly took some decisions as they met in Enugu on Thursday, declaring that it is within their purview to collect the Value Added Tax (VAT).

This is coming amid a row between the Rivers State Government and the Federal Government, a case that is now a subject of litigation.

The governors also reaffirmed their stand on open-grazing ban, urging every state in the region to quickly pass a law in that regard.

A communiqué after the meeting was read by Chairman of the Forum and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.

Also present were Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta, Babajide Sanwolu, Lagos, Gbega Oyetola, Osun, Emmanuel Udom, Akwa Ibom, Nyesom Wike, Rivers, Dapo Abiodun, Ogun and the host Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.

Deputy Governors present included Rauf Olaniyan, Oyo, Bisi Egbeyemi, Ekiti, Philip Shuaib, Edo, Ude Okochukwu, Abia, Kelechi Igwe, Ebonyi, Placid Njoku, Imo.

READ ALSO: Southern Governors Take Stand On National Issues At Enugu Meeting

The communiqué read in full:
“The Nigerian Southern Governors’ Forum at its meeting of today, Thursday, 16th September 2021 held in the Government House, Enuqu, Enugu State reviewed tne state of the nation and the progress of implementation of the decisions reached in her previous meetings and further

resolved as follows:
“1. Expressed satisfaction with the rate at which the States in the Southern Nigeria are enacting or amending the Anti- Open Grazing Laws which align with the uniform template and aspiration of Southern Governors and encouraged the States that are yet to enact this law to do so expeditiously.

“2. Encouraged the full operationalization of already agreed regional security outfits; which would meet, share intelligence and collaborate, to ensure the security and safety of the region.

“3. Reaffirmed its earlier commitment to Structural and fiscal federalism as resolved at the inaugural meeting of the Forum held on Tuesday, 11th May 2021 at Asaba, Delta State and emphasized the need for the Southern States to leverage the legislative competence of their respective State Houses of Assembiy as well as representation in the National assembly to pursue its inclusion in the Nigeran Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.

“4. Following from paragraph 3″ above, the meeting resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the States.

“5. Expressed satisfaction with the handling of issues around the Petroleum Industry ACT (PIA) and ownership of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by the larger Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

“6. Reiterated their earlier position that the next President of Nigeria must come from the Southern part of Nigeria in line with politics of equity, justice and fairness.

“7. The Forum thanked the host Governor, Rt. Hon. IfeanyiUgwuanyi, and chose Rivers State as the next host for the
Southern Governors’ Forum meeting in November 2021.

“Arakunrin Oluwarotimí O. Akeredólu; SAN Governor, Ondo State and Chairman, Southern Governors’ Forum.”

 

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South East Lawmakers Move For Kanu Nnamdi’s Freedom

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South East Lawmakers Move For Kanu Nnamdi's Freedom

The South East caucus in the National Assembly on Wednesday decried the marginalisation of their part of the country and resolved to work for the freedom of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu.

This was contained in the communique at the end of an extraordinary meeting of the caucus held on Wednesday.

The meeting took place at the residence of the former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu.

The communique signed by all federal lawmakers from the region reads: “The South-East caucus of the National Assembly held an extraordinary session on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, to review developments in the South East, particularly (a) The security situation in the region vis-à-vis the sit-at-home orders and (b) The detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

“Expressed solidarity with our people of the South East over the marginalisation of the region in the scheme of things within the Nigerian commonwealth. The Caucus feels the pains of our people and their quest for equity, justice, and protection of their lives and property in every part of the country. The caucus, therefore, resolved to continue to fight for a level-playing ground and an enabling federal system where Ndigbo is able to develop their homeland at their own pace and equally pursue their happiness and actualise their enormous potential in every part of the country, unmolested.

READ ALSO: Blame Governors, Others, Not IPOB Over Sit-at-home Order – HURIWA

“Reviewed the sit-at-home orders by the IPOB and the mayhem some nefarious elements have seized the opportunity to visit on the lives, properties, and psyche of our people. The Caucus equally reviewed and rued the incalculable economic losses and hardships these have brought upon our region.

“Resolved to condemn in strongest terms the disruption of the ongoing Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in some parts of the South East, particularly the incident at Comprehensive Secondary School, Nkume, Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State, where the English examination organised by the West Africa Examination Council, WAEC, on Monday, September 13, 2021, was ruthlessly scuttled by armed men, who chased away the students, teachers, and examiners before setting ablaze motorcycles belonging to the teachers. This is certainly not who we are as a people.

“On the contrary, we are a people, who have always cherished and encouraged learning from the ages. We are a people that fully appreciate the place of education in the liberation and enlightenment of the human mind and the socio-economic and political emancipation of a people.

“Equally condemned in strongest terms the incessant killings in the South East. This must stop immediately. We call on the security agencies to unravel the culprits behind these wicked acts and ensure that they are brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others.

“Noted with delight that IPOB has called off the Monday sit-at-home order and resolved to ensure that nobody uses them as façades to bring ruination on Igbo land.

“Call on our people to go about their lawful businesses and enjoin our governors and the security agencies to rebuild confidence in our people by not only ensuring the security of their lives and properties but also ensuring that our people feel safe as they undertake their legitimate businesses.

“Elaborately discussed the issue of Mazi Nnamdi and resolved to intervene. To this end, we resolved to set up a committee to constructively interface with relevant stakeholders, the Federal Government and its relevant agencies towards finding a political solution. We will keep Ndigbo abreast of developments in this regard.

READ ALSO: Abia Threatens To Seal Markets, Others Observing IPOB’s Sit-at-home Order

“Appeal to our people not to allow anyone to destroy the South East region. The post-war South-East was not built through government patronage, but largely by the sheer determination and sacrifices of our people, who refused to resign to fate or bow their heads in defeat. It is in Igbo land that you easily find hospitals, schools, roads, and other social amenities built by individual or communal efforts of the people, home and abroad, through the instruments of the town unions and other community organisations such as the age-grades, Umuada, etc. The result is the comparative transformation witnessed in every nook and cranny of Igbo land post-civil war. Therefore, as a people, we cannot begin to undermine ourselves or become our own nemesis.”

“Times like these call for introspection. We must also always bear in mind that our people thrive in the industry, commerce, and informal sector. Importantly, most of our people depend on daily income. Therefore, while we must fight for our rights and legitimately express our displeasures over every form of mistreatment, injustice, and inequity, we certainly cannot afford to be the proverbial lizard that ruined his mother’s funeral. Anything that threatens Igbo businesses, the peace, security, and stability of the SouthEast threatens our very existence as a people. Consequently, bearing in mind that if we allow cracks in the wall, lizards will invade our home, we must all pull together as one people to discourage and resist any tendencies and actions, within or without, which pollute our business environments or encourage anarchy and instability in our region.

“Finally resolved to join hands with other patriotic Nigerians across regional, religious, political, and ethnic divides to reconstruct a federal system where our rights, happiness, and prosperity and those of our unborn generations are guaranteed.”

 

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