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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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Issue Based Campaign: I Agree with Tinubu – Obi

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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, has thrown his weight behind the call by Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu for the campaign, whenever it starts, to be based on issues and not personality. Obi was reacting to the call by Tinubu, through his campaign organization, for the candidates and their supporters to base their electioneering on issues that would, in their words, “advance the growth, progress and stability of Nigeria”.

A statement signed by Obi’s Media Adviser, Mr. Valentine Obienyem, said the statement by APC advising candidates to “desist from spreading lies, malice and denigrating other candidates,” exactly mirrored what Obi had propagated over the years.

He said if supporters were mindful of this, some articles published in some newspapers against Obi would not have been published, including those with offensive titles.

On the alleged fake Letter from the President of Ghana and the alleged request of 50 Billion Naira monthly payment, Obienyem said that while Obi was not bothered about their authenticity, it was wickedness to link them to his supporters, insisting that any publication from Obi’s group was always properly signed and the place it was coming from very clearly spelt out.

Obienyem also described as the height of mischief, the attempt to link his campaign to IPOB. In his words: “We know that things are not well in Nigeria. We know of the agitations in different parts of the country, our principal has always said what he would do with such organizations to stop their agitation and bring then back to Nigeria as one happy family. Rather than others say what they will do, they are here creating more problems by trying vainly and wickedly to link their follow contestants to some of those organisations.”

He expressed happiness that Nigerians knew the truth and that such gimmicks used to deceive them would no longer work.

Concluding, Obienyem said that right from Obi’s position as the Governor, he was not known for the habit of attacking people or building lies against others. Obienyem said Obi’s disposition was contrary to those of some of his opponents, whom, he said, actually originated most of those fake news, published them under false names and turned round to ascribe them to Obi or his supporters.

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Northern Christians Reject APC’s Muslim-Muslim Ticket

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** Say it is an agenda to Economically, Politically Marginalise Northern Christians

As Lawal, Dogara , others rally Northern Christians to reject Tinubu/Shettima joint Muslim-Muslim ticket

AHEAD of 2023 general and Presidential elections, Northern Christians have rejected in totality the Muslim/ Ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC that has produced Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the Presidential candidate and Senator Kashim Shettima as the running mate, describing the action as an agenda to economically and olitically marginalise Northern Christians.

The decision which was taken Friday at Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja during the APC Northern Christians Leader Summit in conjunction with Christians from the north is a serious indication that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate Sen Shettima Kashim would face the herculean task convincing christains of northern extraction to vote for them in the 2023 poll.

The Christian leaders have vowed that no Christian would vote for the present arrangement of the APC

Speaking as the Chairman of the event which has Christians drawn from the Nineteen Northern States, former Secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Engr Babachir Lawal who noted that the Muslim-Muslim ticket was an extension of the exclusion of christains from the scheme of things in the country, however stressed that the measure would disrupt the peace and social development of the country, he argued that the Muslim-Muslim ticket remains part of the subterranean plot to Islamise the country.

Babachir who gave a detailed reference of the marginalisation of christains in the APC NWC, Federal executive council (FEC), state and federal owned institutions of learnings in the country, charged christains in not only the north but the entire country not to be deceived the APC leadership on the Muslim-Muslim ticket since matters of religion cannot be divulge from the politics of the country.

He said, “We are not the ones that started this fight. APC started it. They should be ready to carry this cross. We are open to discussion with whoever discuss with chrustain community in good faith.”

On his part as the Guest Speaker, former Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara  who spoke in the same vein,  described as “hogwash” the argument that the choice of Shettima was based on consideration of competence rather than his religious leanings.

According to Dogara,  notwithstanding his love for Tinubu, the argument that christians votes would not count as that of the Muslims lacks any logical basis as Nigerians irrespective of their religious leanings had ensured the emergence of former president Goodlick Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo in the past.

(Vanguard)

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I Didn’t Endorse Tinubu – Pastor Bakare

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The General Overseer of Citadel Global Community Church formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has refuted claims that he endorsed the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate for 2023 elections, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Bakare who made the rebuttal in a statement debunking insinuations that he was working against the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on the Muslim-Muslim ticket by Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima.

In a recent post on Bakare’s Facebook handle, he described the aforesaid allegations as absolute lies.

“My attention has been drawn to the viral but concocted and ridiculous statements credited to me, by some unscrupulous writers and bloggers. Amongst other things, I was quoted to have said that the agitations by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), were ploys by the opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to force a weak candidate on APC.

“In addition to this, I was alleged to have said that CAN wanted to lure APC into presenting a weak candidate. The spurious writers also alleged that I stressed that Christians are righteous people who behave like Christ, and that CAN are politicians who behave like PDP.

“As if the poorly strewn lies were not enough, I was quoted as saying that Tinubu is my candidate. Isn’t this the same Tinubu that I announced to all and sundry at the APC Presidential Convention that I was not stepping down for? He has suddenly become my candidate!

“I wish to state unequivocally that the statements are absolute lies. There was nowhere I granted anyone any interview, or preached on any platform, where I said the ludicrous statements. I challenge anyone who is in possession of the video or audio file of the statements to please put it in the public space.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I am a nation builder who will not in any way create real or imaginary division among the people of our great country, through the medium of political parties or religion.

“I therefore use this medium to ask everyone to disregard the alleged statements. The statements are not mine, and do not in any way represent my position. This is part of the lying propaganda of the mischievous ones seeking approval by deceit and at all costs. If the peddlers of this deliberate falsehood don’t desist from their highly condemnable acts, they will definitely have their day in court. Enough is enough“

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