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Don’t introduce Sharia in South-West, PFN warns Senate

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Bishop-Francis-Wale-Oke

Bishop Francis Wale Oke

THE ongoing public hearing on the amendment of the 1999 Constitution continued across the country on Thursday with a warning by the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria to the Senate to avoid surreptitious moves by some groups to introduce Sharia law to the South-West region through the on-going constitution review.

The President of PFN, Bishop Wale Oke, said in a statement issued by his Media Office on Thursday that the move was capable of adding to the numerous problems facing the country.

He urged the Senate not to succumb to such agitation which he said was capable of further plunging the country into major religious crisis.

He said, “The problems confronting our nation are enormous than wanting to create more. Sharia law is alien to our culture of religious existence in the South-West. As such, nobody should through any subterfuge, bring it in to cause crisis.”

S’South demands power devolution, state police

In Rivers State, the South-South geopolitical zone demanded devolution of power, resource control and creation of additional states in the area.

The hearing organised for Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states by the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Amendment of the Constitution, chaired by Senator George Sekibo, had many stakeholders from various ethnic nationalities in attendance.

The host, Nyesom Wike, who declared the hearing open, said there was urgent need for the amendment to produce a people’s constitution that would guarantee devolution of powers, fiscal federalism, creation of state police, as well as strengthening of the electoral system.

Wike, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Ipalibo Banigo-Harry, said the amendment must allow the states to create and sustain local government councils and ensure reduction of the cost of governance at both federal and state levels.

“Nigerians need a constitution that will give them a true sense of belonging, secure and advance their wellbeing and enable their children to aspire to actualise their potential for any office without discrimination,” he said.

On its part, the Akwa Ibom State Government said the challenges plaguing the country was deeply rooted in the ground norm that held various parts of the country together.

Represented by the Director of Litigation, Bassey Ekanem, he said the Federal Government was completely overburdened, adding that the state had listed about 25 matters in the exclusive list that should be transferred to the concurrent list.

Earlier in his remarks, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who was represented by Senator George Sekibo, representing Rivers East, disclosed that zonal public hearing on the 1999 Constitution review adopted the bottom to top approach in order to entertain the views of stakeholders at the zonal level.

Meanwhile, the National Vice-President, PFN, Apostle Zilly Aggrey, said the country needed a brand new constitution, even as he expressed fears that the ongoing selective amendment might end in futility.

Aggrey stated, “The PFN is firmly of the view that the review process by amending a segment of the constriction may just be another exercise in futility that cannot meet the expectations of the people.”

S’West seeks fiscal federalism

Also, the Lagos zonal constitution hearing entered Day Two on Thursday with stakeholders reiterating calls for a total review of the constitution to reflect fiscal federalism; implementation of the Child Rights Act and Disability Act in states, local government autonomy, judicial autonomy and creation of state police.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Wole Olanipekun, represented by his son, advocated that judicial outcome be respected and adhered to so that the common man could feel protected and their rights protected.

According to him, the Electoral Act should be amended to allow governorship election cases to terminate at the Supreme Court.

Rights activist, Femi Falana, made a large case for the poor and vulnerable, insisting that it was important to give secession agitators the confidence of peace and inclusion if they must remain.

The lawyer also advocated that the Child Rights Act enacted in 2003, and the Disability Act, be domesticated and implemented in states if the constitution review must make meaning to the common man.

Ex-CP declares state police anti-Igbo

There was, however, a mild drama at the Enugu Centre as Ibezimako Aghanya, a retired Commissioner of Police, declared that creation of state police would not be in Igbo interest.

The former Kogi State police commissioner said the Igbo should only support state police when state of origin was removed and replaced with state of residence, adding that “otherwise if state police is created, Igbo will suffer.

Aghanya said, “So what I am saying, if actually we want to create a state police let us first remove state of origin in our constitution and put state of residence. With it an Igbo boy born in Lagos can join Lagos police, an Igbo boy born in Kano can join Kano police and an Igbo boy born in Sokoto can join Sokoto police.”

Southern Borno alleges animals, humans drink from same source

However, the people of Southern Borno in Borno State have lamented that the zone has been marginalised for a very long time, hence their demand for the creation of a state for the zone.

They lamented that despite their contributions to the development of the state, the region had been left to suffer with their people drinking water from the same river with their animals.

They stated these in an interview with journalists on the sidelines of their presentation on Thursday at the Zonal Senate Public Hearing on the amendment of the 1999 Constitution held in Bauchi on why they are agitating for Savannah State.

Captain Ibrahim Mshelia of the Southern Borno Global Initiative lamented that their children were learning under leaking classrooms while some studied mathematics on bare ground using their fingers.

He said, “Some people have no drinking water; they drink water with animals. The same river that feeds them water for everything is the river that they feed their animals with. But in Maiduguri, there are taps, our children are still sitting on stones, inside the buildings; you can see the sun, and when it is raining, they go under trees. They are sitting on the stone.”

Credit: Punch

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2023: ‘Buhari’s successor can come from any part of Nigeria’ – Sheriff

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Sheriff

… says APC must work harder than ever before to gain the confidence of Nigerians in order to retain power beyond 2023.

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, a former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff, has asked Nigerians to choose a leader with capacity irrespective of where he or she comes from.

The leader, he said, can hail from any part of Nigeria as long as he can bring succour to Nigerians.

He made the statement in Abuja while receiving members of an All Progressives Congress (APC) pressure group, Frontier for Equality Leadership and Good Governance, on Thursday in Abuja.

The group had visited the former governor to ask that he contests for the position of APC National Chairman.

While he asked Nigerians to discard ethnicity and religion when choosing the next president, he said competence should be the main focus of Nigerians in making a choice.

“Unless we believe in ourselves as a nation, and believe all of us are equal and believe that a good leader will emerge from any part of the country, regardless of religion, tribe or where he comes from, we will not succeed in getting the country we dearly love.

“We must put our differences aside and look for leaders from anywhere.

“If the man that will bring succour to Nigeria is coming from a mountain in Ogoja (Cross River), we should go and look for him. If it is in the extreme end of Adamawa, we should go and look for him. If he is coming from the end of Anambra, we should go and look for him. We must do soul-searching and look for a leader,” Mr Sheriff said.

Leadership cross

The former governor also warned Nigerians against criticising their leaders and asked that prayers be made for them.

“When I see people criticise leaders on what they know nothing about, I pray for them because you will only know the challenges of this country when you are saddled with responsibility. When we have leaders we should pray for them that God will intervene, we should not curse our leaders.

“If you must blame any leader you must look at the followers, what have we done? To help our leaders to be strong – and we have to do soul searching.

“Everyday we wake up with a different challenge and these challenges are not only for our leaders, we must understand that, it is for all of us,” he said.

APC’s burden

Mr Sheriff who was once the National Chairman of Nigeria’s main opposition party, PDP, stated that the APC might have lost the trust of Nigerians.

READ ALSO:  Anambra 2021: Stella Oduah dumps PDP for APC

The party, he said, “must work harder than ever before to gain the confidence of Nigerians in order to retain power beyond 2023”.

He noted that by the end of the tenure of the President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023, “the APC would have to work extra-hard to gain a fraction of the 12 million votes which the Buhari administration carried over the years”.

In response to the group’s for him to contest for the national chairmanship of the APC, he said he would only contest “if the position is zoned to the North-east”.

Mr Sheriff’s comments comes amidst uncertainty as to where the presidential ticket for the APC will be zoned to.

Although he is yet to officially declare his intention to run for the position of chairmanship, PREMIUM TIMES had reported him saying his decision to contest is largely dependent on how the position is zoned by the party.

“…Whether I will run for the office or not will be determined by what the caretaker committee takes as a decision on where the leadership of the party will go. Whether it will go to another place or it will remain in our zone.

“If it goes to another zone, I will not contest. But if it stays in our zone, I will contest,” he had said.

He is among other key political players jostling for the position.

Others are former governor of Nasarawa State and serving senator, Tanko Al-Makura; his counterparts from Borno and Gombe, Kashim Shettima and Danjuma Goje, who are also serving senators; former governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari; a former member of the House of Representatives from Bauchi, Ibrahim Baba; and a former chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Abuja, Sunny Moniedafe from Adamawa State.

The party is expected to hold its national elective convention before the end of the year.

It is, however, not clear when Mr Sheriff and other aspirants will publicly declare their intent to contest.

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Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema sworn in as President in rare victory for an African opposition leader

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Zambia’s newly-elected president, Hakainde Hichilema, has been sworn into office after pulling off a stunning rare victory for an African opposition leader.

Hichilema was inaugurated Tuesday morning at a ceremony attended by leaders such as Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Malawi leader Lazarus Chakwera.

Zambia’s second female Vice President Mutale Nalumango was also sworn in during the ceremony.

Hichilema defeated outgoing President Edgar Lungu in a landslide by almost one million votes in his sixth attempt at becoming ruler of Zambia.

It was a stunning turnaround for the politician known as HH — Hichilema spent several months in prison in 2017 for what were widely seen as politically motivated treason charges. The charges were dropped under intense international pressure.

After initially indicating he may challenge the result, Lungu addressed the nation following the elections, saying: “Based on the revelations issued at final results, I will comply with the constitutional provisions for a peaceful transition of power.

Despite conceding defeat early, Lungu was booed by some of the crowd as he made his way to the stage at the packed Heroes stadium in the capital Lusaka to hand over power.

Hichilema called Tuesday “a new dawn in Zambia,” in a tweet ahead of the ceremony. “As I sit here in our vehicle being driven to Heroes Stadium, I see the love, the joy and the jubilation as people line the streets on our way. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. I love you all so much,” he added.

An example for Africa

Opposition leaders from other African countries were also invited to the event.

Nelson Chamisa, opposition leader in Zimbabwe, told CNN: “This is a significant and fantastic for what is possible for the future of Africa. Zambia is an inspiration to stubborn laggards in democracy. Strong institutions are key for effective power transfer and smooth transitions,” he said in a statement when asked about the significance of today’s inauguration.

Chamisa added that Zambia is an excellent example to be emulated on the continent.

“Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular needs leaders not rulers, strong institutions – not strong men. Leaders must lead and leave, serve and go. Zimbabwe must be free and Democratic. Freedom can be delayed but never denied,” he said when asked what the message for Zimbabwe is.

It is the third time that power has shifted peacefully from a ruling party to the opposition since the southern African country’s independence from Britain in 1964.

There was a huge turnout of mostly young people, some who came dressed in their academic robes to protest lack of employment post graduation.

Joseph Kalimbwe, a youth representative of Hichilema’s UPND party told CNN

Young people gave us the vote. Four million young people between the ages of 18 to 24 registered to vote. It was a huge turnout and it was very personal to them. They want to ensure the mistakes of their parents were corrected. They have voted for our leader on basis he has better policies and ideas and can strengthen our state institutions.”

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Politics

Uche Secondus Suspended As PDP National Chairman

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Court suspends Uche Secondus as PDP National Chairman

 

Uche Secondus
Uche Secondus

The leadership crisis currently rocking the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, worsened on Monday as a High Court in Rivers State has restrained Uche Secondus from parading himself as the National Chairman of the party.

The order was given by Justice O. Gbasam at the State High Court sitting in Degema local government area of the State on Monday.

The judge who gave the order, also approved the suspension of Secondus as a member of the party pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.

The order followed a complaint brought before the court by some aggrieved members of the party.

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