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MTN Faces Criminal Charge Over Pollution

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The National Environmental Standard and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has filed criminal charges against telecommunications giant, MTN, before the federal High Court, Enugu.

A statement issued by Sule Oyofo, the press officer of NESREA and made available to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, accused MTN of violating environmental regulations.

He said the telecommunications company did not obtain an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate before installing its base station at Nkpologwu district, Emene in Enugu State.

The charge was field by NESREA director of legal services, Mr Bola Odugbesam.

It indicated that MTN Nigeria communication Limited operated a base transmission and telecommunications station, which generated harzardous waste, leading to the pollution of drinking wells at Nkpologwu.

Also joined in the suit were Celestine Jaja of Ekulu Estate, Enugu and Ahmed Farroukh of Golden Plaza building Ikoyi, Lagos.

It stated that such activity ran contrary to Regulations 78 of the National Environmental Sanitation and Waste Control) regulations, 209, which is punishable under Regulation 103 of the National Environmental Sanitation and Waste Control Regulations.

However, NESREA had on Friday March 5, sealed the base station after series of complaints by the residents of Nkpologwu district.

The agency conducted an inspection and found that the base station was generating hazardous waste, leading to pollution of drinking wells at Nkpologwu district as diesel used at the base station drained off.

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Going Too Far…

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In his first broadcast to Nigerians after his longest stay away from the country on medical vacation during his first tenure, President Muhammadu Buhari used this expression “going too far…” The issue was that during his absence there were some agitations to rekindle Biafra, restructuring, etc. So, it became necessary to warn such agitators that they were going too far. Nigerians had expected in vain to hear their President say something about his prolonged health vacation and other matters relating to it, but something else was more important.
Perhaps, some well-meaning Nigerians may not be going too far in drawing the attention of the Federal Government to certain issues that should be of concern to a responsible leadership. Two of such issues were raised in The Tide newspaper, Wednesday, January 8, 2020, namely: “Nigeria Now Fulani Republic” (Page 6) and “You Are Fanning Embers of Civil War, Kuka Tells FG” (Page 7).
Alaigbo Development Forum (ADF) condemned the recent Federal Government’s Visa Free Policy for Africans. Chairman, Central Planning Committee of ADF, Dr. Onyi Gbiyie, called for thorough examination of an alleged January 13, 2018 call by National Movement of Fulani in Nigeria, “for all Fulani in Africa to prepare, get armed and come over to Nigeria for an immediate and inevitable Jihad 9war) ,“ Has this a connection with the Visa Free Policy for Africans?
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kuka, was quoted as saying that “The Federal Government is using different methods to achieve the same goal of Islamic dominance…” He went on to say: “if the people in power don’t do enough to integrate Christians, then they give oxygen to Islamism. If they have countries where everybody in power is Muslim, then you give vent to the idea that Islam should be supreme.”
In the Guardian newspaper of August 27, 2009, one Edwin Madunagwu wrote as follows: “if the ruling classes and blocks continue to behave as if Nigeria is their property and Nigerians are their slaves – to exploit as they wish – and if popular – democratic and Pan-Nigerian forces cannot remove them from power, then a fate worse than disintegration will befall us.”
It is a historical fact that religion is often co-opted and used as an instrument of power hustling and influence peddling. Those who pursue such strategy for political purpose rarely go too far before they encounter bitter challenges. Neither can a peaceful and stable polity come about through subterfuge.
It does not require the crafting of a bill on hate speech to reposition Nigeria or get maximum support of Nigerians. Neither should the settlement of the Fulanis in diaspora take some clever forms that would create some animosity in the country. Those pursuing such projects by subtle means would not go too far before they would encounter oppositions.
Why was it considered expedient to disburse the sum of N100 billion to the Miyetti Allah group by the Federal Government, when Ruga project could not fly? Similarly, why was IPOB considered so dangerous to warrant declaring it a terrorist organisation, while repentant Boko Haram terrorists are being re-cycled into the Nigerian armed forces?
Did the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) go too far by asking “how many Christians are heading any of the security agencies in the country”? Or did a former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, go too far when he raised an alarm about possible moves to Islamise and Fulanise Nigeria? Surely, a man in that position must have some reliable intelligence reports to be able to make such a weighty allegation.
If there is anything going too far in Nigeria, it is the joke in some quarters that Nigerians have become so gullible, malleable and docile that they can be recolonised. It is true that the military laid the foundation during several years of intervention in politics, but it would be false to assume that a state of docility can remain so indefinitely. One may not be going too far to ask if the nation’s armed forces are truly neutral, nationalistic and democratic in temperament! Also include the security apparatus.
To go too far is to do things in excess and cross the line of decency with impunity. Political chicaneries and religious zealotry can be taken too far when compulsion rather than conviction becomes a means of winning the minds of people.
Even the Holy Quran stresses this issue of a free volition, saying: “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error. Whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks.”
The origin of the “Arab Spring” began with the use of compulsion and intimidation to win popular acceptance. It was a proof of the truth that taking the docility of the masses too far and the use of the instrument of intimidation, can be counter- productive. There come a time when the merchants of power can run short of ideas and when prevailing tools of coercion can no longer perform magic. It is usually then that the deficiencies and hidden agenda of power holders can come to light. Things would fall apart!
The issue of one group taking an undue advantage of another group considered as weak, docile or conquered, can create instability in society. Be it in economic, political, religious or a combination of many forms, domination is a factor that raises tension. It is quite worrisome that the issue of resource control in Nigeria is not being seen as the basis of social justice. The use of “gun-boat diplomacy” of which the Ken Saro-Wiwa saga is a reminder, would not always be a winning streak.
A highly placed elder statesman said that the treatment given to Niger Delta people should not be taken too far. Those who lead others should go far enough to feel the pulse of the mases.
B. Nmirize

 

Bright Amirize

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CAN Spits Fire As Boko Haram Beheads Christian Leader …Accuses Buhari Of Working With Insurgents, Wants Service Chiefs’ Sack …Atiku, Amnesty International Condemn Terrorists’ Act

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Terrorist group, Boko Haram, has killed the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev. Lawan Andimi.
The news was first broken by journalist, Ahmed Sakilda, on Twitter, yesterday.
He said, “To break some news items can traumatise. I’m battling with one of such. Reverend Andimi, abducted by Boko Haram was executed yesterday (Monday). Rev. Andimi was a church leader, a father to his children and the community he served. My condolences go to his family.”
Andimi, who was declared missing on January 3, 2020, had in a video published on January 5, confirmed that he was in the custody of Boko Haram.
Andimi had pleaded with the Adamawa State Government and the CAN leadership to come to his rescue.
He claimed that he was not maltreated by his captors as they were taking good care of him.
The cleric, who spoke in Hausa and English intermittently, urged his family not to be afraid, adding that he would return home safely if it is the will of God.
He said, “I have never been discouraged because everything is in the hands of God. God who made them to take care of me and leave me alive will touch them… So, I am appealing to fellow reverends, particularly my President, Rev. Joel Billy, who is a strong man of love that he will do his best to speak with our governor and other necessary agents for my release.
“These people (Boko Haram) have been doing well to me. They have been feeding me with what I want to eat, and they provided me with a nice place to sleep, a blanket and everything. So, they have not done anything wrong to me, and I believe that God, who made them to act in such a way, is still alive.
“By the grace of God, I will be together with my wife, children, and colleagues, and if the opportunity has not been granted, then maybe it is the will of God. All well-wishers and colleagues should be patient. Don’t cry, don’t worry but thank God for everything.”
However, the Adamawa State Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has confirmed the execution of its Chairman of Michika Local Government Area, Rev Lawan Andimi.
The spokesman for the CAN President, Rev. Bayo Oladeji, confirmed this to newsmen, yesterday.
“It is unfortunate what has happened. A statement will be issued soon,” he said.
Reacting, the Adamawa State Chairman of CAN, Bishop Dami Mamza also confirmed the incident.
The beheaded church leader served as the Local Council Chapter Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and also a pastor with the Church of the Brethren (EYN) at the District Church Council of Michika.
He was abducted when the insurgent group attacked the town on January 2 around 7:00 p.m.
Rev. Lawan Andima was 58 years old, married, and the father of nine children.
It was gathered that the Boko Haram sect executed Lawan Andimi, last Monday afternoon weeks after he was declared missing on January 3, 2020.
Mamza said that the terrorists, who earlier demanded a ransom of £2million, rejected an offer of N50million before they killed him.
The CAN chairman also disclosed that two pastors in the state were killed at the same time.
He, further, called on the Federal Government to wake up to its constitutional obligations.
Andimi’s disappearance followed a foiled attack on Michika Local Government Area in Adamawa by Boko Haram.
In a video, Andimi, while pleading with the authorities, commended his captors for treating him well.
He urged his family members to pray for his release, adding that if he is not released, maybe it is the will of God.
Also reacting, Amnesty International Nigeria condemned the murder of Rev. Lawan Andimi by Boko Haram.
In a statement, yesterday, the Director of AI Nigeria, Osai Ojigho said the organisation was appalled by reports that the Chairman of a local chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Lawan Andimi, was killed by Boko Haram.
“With this horrific murder, and an increasing number of attacks in recent weeks, Boko Haram has again shown its brazen disregard for the sanctity of life. These deplorable crimes must not go unpunished.
“It is appalling that Boko Haram followed up the killing of Rev. Lawan Andimi on Monday with an attack on his village – in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State. Targeting civilians is a crime under international law.
“Boko Haram must immediately stop its attacks on civilians. All those responsible for war crimes and other human rights violations and abuses in Nigeria must be brought to justice in a fair trial.
“The human rights group has now tasked authorities in Nigeria to re-double their efforts in ensuring the rescue of hundreds of civilians still detained by Boko Haram.
“Since December, last year, Boko Haram has been escalating attacks on civilians, commuters, infrastructure and humanitarian facilities across North-East.”
Andimi was abducted by Boko Haram when they attacked Michika on January 3.
Initially, he was declared missing but later appeared in a video released by Boko Haram, wherein he pleaded with authorities to secure his release.
Michaka and some other areas in North-East Nigeria have been repeatedly attacked by Boko Haram.
Reacting, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle yesterday, described the killing of Adamawa State CAN Chairman, Rev. Lawan Andimi as gruesome, unfortunate and a shame on the federal government.
Andimi was abducted by Boko Haram on January 2 when the insurgents stormed the community.
Ayokunle faulted the security architecture of the country, wondering: “What has become of Intelligence gathering of our security agencies? Is this government and the security agencies still claiming that the war against these criminals in religious garments has been won despite all the killings?
“Is the government sincere in fighting these terrorists or merely paying lip service to the war against the insurgency? Is there any hope that our security is guaranteed under this government?”
A statement issued by the Director, Legal and Public Affairs, CAN, Evangelist Kwamkur Vondip said: “The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle and indeed the entire CAN leadership and the Nigerian Church are deeply saddened with the news of the gruesome murder of Rev. Lawan Andimi the CAN Chairman Michika Local Government Area and the District Church Council Secretary of the Ecclesiya Yan’uwa a Nigeia (EYN) Church in Michika, Adamawa State.
“We recall sadly that late Rev. Lawan Andimi while in captivity made a passionate appeal to the leadership of his church and the Federal Government to come to his rescue. The church did everything within her reach to secure the safe release of this pastor gentleman but it was not possible because they didn’t have the military power to do so.
“Just last Sunday, a clergyman, Rev Denis Bagauri was murdered by unknown gunmen in his residence at Mayo Belwa of Adamawa State. The church views the unabated kidnappings, extortions and killings of Christians and innocent Nigerians as shameful to the government that each time boasts that it has conquered insurgency”.
CAN said it was reprehensible and saddening that each time the government comes out to claim the defeat of the insurgency, more: “killings of our people are committed. In the light of the current developments and the circumstantial facts surrounding the prevailing upsurge of attacks against the church, it will be difficult for us to believe that the Federal Government under President Mohammadu Buhari is not colluding with the insurgents to exterminate Christians in Nigeria bearing in mind the very questionable leadership of the security sector that has been skewed towards a religion and region!
“Is that lopsidedness not a cover up for the operation of the insurgency? If not, why couldn’t the well equipped security agents of Nigeria get this man killed rescued?”
The religious body further urged the federal government to ensure the release of the prisoner of faith, Leah Sharibu and hundreds victims in the Boko Haram and ISWAP captivity before it is too late.
CAN said: “A government that cannot protect the governed is a failed government. Can the government tell us what they did since Rev. Andimì cried out to them for help?
“If the security agencies claim the terrorists are operating outside the country, why is it possible for these hoodlums to invade the country, kill, maim, burn and kidnap without any convincing checks on the part of the security agencies?
“Since the government and its apologists are claiming the killings have no religious undertones, why are the terrorists and herdsmen targeting the predominantly Christian communities and Christian leaders?
“If the security agencies are not living up to the expectations of the government, why hasn’t it overhauled them with a view of injecting new visionaries ones into the security system?”
CAN said as long as government continues to live in denial and fail to face the reality: “these criminals will not stop their criminalities. We are almost losing hope in government’s ability to protect Nigerians, especially Christians who have become endangered species under its watch”.
Ayokunle called on the International community and developed world like the US, the UK, Germany, Israel and others to come to: “our aid of Nigeria, especially, the Nigerian Church so that we might not be eliminated one by one.”
However, CAN said: “The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria Rev. Dr. Samson Supo Ayokunle and indeed the entire CAN leadership and the Nigerian Church are deeply saddened with the news of the gruesome murder of Rev. Lawan Andimi the CAN Chairman Michika Local Government Area and the District Church Council Secretary of the Ecclesiya Yan’uwa a Nigeia (EYN) Church in Michika, Adamawa State.
“We recall sadly that Late Rev. Lawan Andimi while in captivity made a passionate appeal to the leadership of his church and the Federal Government to come to his rescue. The Church did everything within her reach to secure the safe release of this pastor gentleman but it was not possible because they didn’t have the military power to do so.
“Just last Sunday, a clergyman, Rev Denis Bagauri was murdered by unknown gunmen in his residence at Mayo Belwa of Adamawa State.
“The Church views the unabated kidnappings, extortions and killings of Christians and innocent Nigerians as shameful to the government that each time boasts that it has conquered insurgency.
“CAN deeply sympathises with the immediate family of Late Rev. Andimi, President and members of EYN Church, the government of Adamawa State and the entire Nigeria Church.”
CAN also wondered what was the essence of SIM card registration if the authorities cannot use it to track down these killers who rely on phones as a mean of communications to do their criminalities?
“What has become of Intelligence gathering of our security agencies?
“Is this government and the security agencies still claiming that the war against these criminals in religious garments has been won despite all the killings?
“Is the government sincere in fighting these terrorists or merely paying lip service to the war against the insurgency?
“Is there any hope that our security is guaranteed under this government?
“Can the government tell us what they did since Rev. Andimì cried out to them for help?
“If the security agencies claim the terrorists are operating outside the country, why is it possible for these hoodlums to invade the country, kill, maim, burn and kidnap without any convincing checks on the part of the security agencies?
“Since the government and its apologists are claiming the killings have no religious undertones, why are the terrorists and herdsmen targeting the predominantly Christian communities and Christian leaders?
“If the security agencies are not living up to the expectations of the government, why hasn’t it overhauled them with a view of injecting new visionaries ones into the security system? As long as the government continues to live in denial and fail to face the reality, these criminals will not stop their criminalities.
“We once again call on the International community and developed world like the US, the UK, Germany, Israel and others to please come to our aid of Nigeria, especially, the Nigerian Church so that we might not be eliminated one by one.
“We cannot loose hope on divine protection and the power of our Lord Jesus Christ to expose those behind the sponsorship of terrorism in Nigeria and to get Nigeria safe from the arms of the criminals. We shall remain constant and not bow to the antics of terrorists and their sponsors. We know that very soon, God will unmask these ungodly and wicked elements amidst us and their collaborators in Jesus Name.
“We urge all Christians to set three days apart this week to fast and pray for Nigeria.”
The Kaduna State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev John Hayab has condemned the killing of the chairman of CAN in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev Lawan Andimi by Boko Haram, saying it’s a “sad day for the church in Nigeria.”
In an interview with newsmen, Hayab said it is not enough for the government to “condemn” the killings but the government must take concrete steps to protect the lives of Nigerians.
“The news of the killing of Rev Andimi by Boko Haram has added to sorrows, pains and suffering that the church is facing in Northern Nigeria. This sad news is coming just a day after our dear President Buhari met with the British Prime Minister.
“What other evidence do those in authorities in Nigeria want from us to convince them that our members, Pastors and fellow citizens are no longer safe?
“We have said the condemnation of atrocities without any concrete action is not good enough,” he said.
The CAN chairman said people living in the northern part of the country are living in fear of their lives because of the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists and other security challenges.
“How do you expect a person living in fear to do something meaningful for himself and his country?” he asked.
He added that the killing of the cleric was “another sad day for the Church in Nigeria and for the country at large especially for those who care and value human lives.
Our condolences to Rev Andimi’s wife, children and the church in Northern Nigeria. Let us not give up our salvation is near.
“We are calling on the Federal Government and our security agencies to God and to fellow citizens about the state of insecurity. We are praying for divine intervention since no one knows who is the next target”, he said.
Nevertheless, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has reacted to the beheading of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Chairman in Adamawa State.
Reacting to this development, Atiku said the killing was saddened, saying there was a compelling need to re-calibrate the nation’s security architecture.
“This development saddens me. There’s a compelling need to recalibrate our security architecture.
“I sympathise with the family of Pastor Lawan Andimi and the entire body of CAN in Nigeria. May the soul of the deceased Rest In Peace”.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari administration has come under attack over the reported execution of the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Lawan Andimi.
This was made known, yesterday by a journalist known to have access to Boko Haram, Ahmed Salkida.
His killing has since raised diverse reactions from Nigerians on social media.
Some Nigerians called on Buhari to sack service chiefs and stop telling lies about the eradication of Boko Haram.
Some of the comments read; @Akeemrahman “Sack all the service chiefs now; they are ineffectual and not knowledgeable enough to stop the wanton waste of innocent lives.”
@Godday_Parker “Where are those northerners that said Christians are not being persecuted in Nigeria? It’s time the nation disintegrated. May the blood of these innocent souls being spilled every day be upon all those who contributed to Buhari’s re-elections.”
@Godswilluv “Are we to keep suffering this concurrent mayhem just to keep one Nigeria. These Islamic Jihadists have massacred the chairman of CAN in Michika, Adamawa State. Once again I ask is keeping unworkable Nigeria more precious than humanity.”
@IkeBright “Tomorrow they will come and tell that some repentant Boko Haram members are undergoing rehabilitation.”
@Adeoluwa5 “Despite all the calls made. May the Lord grant his family the heart to bear the loss.”
@Martinluther_Charles “And our president is busy setting Boko Haram prisoners free there is something they are not telling us.”
@Felixakponwei “Yet there is a pastor as Vice president without any say! Sometimes, we find it very sad to understand the atrocity of the so-called leaders on a disguise as the government of the day. Human blood means nothing to them. If Christians are not careful what happened in turkey years back will repeat itself here in Nigeria. My sincere condolences to the family of the pastor! God we need you in Nigeria more than before, come and wipe away the so-called evildoers in Jesus Name.”
@Jahson “So sorry, so Buhari could not rescue this man, oh! My God, so they have killed this man, and Malami is fighting over the establishment of Amatekun and they cannot provide simple security to Nigerians, may his soul rest in peace.”
@PeterIroegbu “Yet the security outfit being floated by some regions is being frustrated by the government. I guess their preference is that we all have our throats slit in our sleep. Nigerians wake up and learn!…the danger is much closer than we think, evil under the guise of government.”
@King Saldee “This is barbaric, after I watched his video praising how they treated him and calling for stakeholders to pay his rescue no one did something about, later the hypocrites in authority will start lamenting how they put in the effort to rescue him with made-up stories!
@AllenEke “Any government that failed to secure the life of her citizens should be asked to resign. What are we waiting for?
@AliSubi “We thank God that the clergyman held on to his faith. He hasn’t denounced his faith. We sympathize with his family and the entire Christian community in Adamawa State.”

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Protest: Wike Didn’t Insult PDP, RSG Clarifies

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The Rivers State Government has debunked reports in the social media that Governor Nyesom Wike insulted the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) for staging a protest against the removal of Emeka Ihedioha as governor of Imo State.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, made the clarification in a statement issued, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, saying that Wike was a strong pillar and loyal party man.
Nsirim said the authors of the fake news quoted the governor as saying that PDP has gone totally insane, noting that Wike has high regard for the party’s leadership and would never use such uncouth language against a party he laboured to build selflessly.
The statement reads, “The attention of the Rivers State Government has been drawn to news circulating in the social media that Governor Nyesom Wike insulted the leadership of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
“The authors of the fake news quoted the governor as saying that PDP has gone totally insane.
“Those who are close to the governor know that he has very high regards for the leadership of the PDP, and as an accomplished legal practitioner he will never use such an uncouth language to talk about a party he has laboured selflessly to build.
“Governor Wike never berated the PDP for staging a protest against the Supreme Court judgement that ousted Hon. Emeka Ihedioha from office. It is laughable that mischief makers think they can use fake news to whittle down the rising political profile of Governor Wike.
“We make bold to say that Governor Wike remains a strong pillar, committed and loyal party man, who should not be associated with a call to sack the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus.”
The commissioner further said the ‘fake’ report is the handiwork of those he describe as mole within the party who are bent on discrediting a man who has given his all to a party that is dear to his heart.
“This is the handiwork of moles within the party who will stop at nothing to discredit a man who has given his all to a party he loves so dearly.
“We therefore urge members of the public to disregard the fake news circulating in the social media, because it has no iota of truth in it,” the statement said.

 

Dennis Naku

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