Femi Fani-Kayode, the former Minister of Aviation has, yesterday, replied those criticising former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s submissions that there are plots to islamize the nation.
Fani-Kayode, in a statement titled “press statements on Obasanjo’s submissions and my response to Sule Lamido’s comment on them,” expressed sadness over their comments, adding that the former President has done more for the core North, Lamido’s Fulani tribe and Nigerian unity than any other former President or Head of State in the history of Nigeria.
“President Olusegun Obasanjo remains the only politically active southern and Middle Belt leader that understands what is really going on, the grave danger that we are in and what lies ahead. He is deeply courageous and his latest contribution that there is an agenda to Fulanise West Africa and Islamise Africa says it all.
“OBJ needs say no more. History and posterity will be kind to him for speaking the bitter truth and saying what almost every other Southern and Middle Belt politician and leader knows to be true but is too timid and too scared to say publicly.
“With his latest contribution he has vindicated yours truly and many others. I saw this coming in late 2013 and I told the world. Nnamdi Kanu saw it coming in 2014 and he told the world. Asari Dokubo saw it in 2015 and he told the world.
“Afenifere, OPC, YOLICOM, PANDEM, MEND, the Middle Belt Forum, the Niger Delta Avengers, IPOB, MASSOB and Ohaeneze saw it in 2017 and they told the world. The Christian Elders Forum, CAN and the Church saw it in 2018 and they told the world.
“Sadly, the world refused to listen, left us on our own and, instead of rising to the occasion and confronting the evil, Nigerians went on bended knee to the powers that be and acted as if they were not saddled with a major problem that was bound to eventually consume them all. Now they know better even though most of them are still in denial,” he said.
The former Aviation Minister said that those, who refused to speak out must now live with the consequences of their indifference, ignorance, cowardice and stoicism, adding, “what a pity.
“It is a tragedy of monumental proportions that a nation that is so blessed with extraordinary human and mineral resources should end up going this way.
“I hear one or two people like Sule Lamido are not too happy with what OBJ said and have called him out for saying it. That is sad and unfortunate because Obasanjo has done more for the core North, Lamido’s Fulani tribe and Nigerian unity than any other former President or Head of State in our history. He also fought in a civil war to keep the country together.
“For anybody from the core North to call him names for speaking the truth and baring his mind over what is unfolding in Nigeria today tells you how blinded by power, insensitive and callous some of these people are.
“It is only those that subscribe to the Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda that will criticise or oppose Obasanjo’s observation and describe him as ‘a bigot’ for making them.
“What OBJ said was timely and necessary and millions are commending him for it. He spoke the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
Meanwhile, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed a grand plot by some elements to foist a Fulani and Islamic agenda on Nigeria and other West African countries, just as he called for global action against terrorism and other organised crimes.
Obasanjo, a one-time military Head of State and two-term civilian president expected to be privy to local and global intelligence on terrorism, said lack of education and employment for the youths could no longer be advanced as the reason Boko Haram insurgency still festered.
“It is no longer an issue of lack of education and lack of employment for our youths in Nigeria which it began as.
“It is now West African Fulanisation, African Islamisation and global organised crimes of human trafficking, money laundering, drug trafficking, gun trafficking, illegal mining and regime change,” he said.
The former president made the revelation on Saturday while speaking on the topic Mobilising Nigeria’s Human and Natural Resources for National Development and Stability, at the second session of the Synod of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, held at the Cathedral of Saint Paul’s Anglican Church, Oleh in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State.
He knocked the Federal Government for allowing the Boko Haram and herdsmen’s attacks to fester by treating the matter with kid gloves, urging President Muhamamdu Buhari to rally local and global stakeholders in seeking solution to the fight against terrorism.
The former president tasked Buhari to take the issue of insecurity seriously at all levels and address it at once “without favouritism or cuddling.”
“Both Boko Haram and herdsmen’s acts of violence were not treated as they should at the beginning. They have both incubated and developed beyond what Nigeria can handle alone. They are now combined and internationalised with ISIS in control.
“Yet, we could have dealt with both earlier and nip them in the bud, but Boko Haram boys were seen as rascals not requiring serious attention in administering holistic measures of stick and carrot.
“And when we woke up to the reality, it was turned to industry for all and sundry to supply materials and equipment that were already outdated and that were not fit for active military purpose.
“Soldiers were poorly trained for the unusual mission, poorly equipped, poorly motivated, poorly led and made to engage in propaganda rather than achieving results.
“Intelligence was poor and governments embarked on games of denials while paying ransoms which strengthened the insurgents and yet governments denied payments of ransoms.
“Today, the insecurity issue has gone beyond the wit and capacity of Nigerian government or even West African governments.
“Government must appreciate where we are, summon each group that should make contributions one by one and subsequently collectively seek the way forward for all hands on deck and with the holistic approach of stick and carrot.
“There should be no sacred cow. Some of the groups that I will suggest to be contacted are: Traditional rulers, past heads of Service Chiefs (no matter how competent or incompetent they have been and how much they have contributed to the mess we are in), past heads of paramilitary or organisations, private sector and civil society.
“Others are community leaders particularly in the most affected areas, present and past governors, present and past local government leaders, religious leaders, past Heads of States, past Intelligence Chiefs, past heads of Civil Service and relevant current and retired diplomats, members of the opposition and nay groups that may be deemed relevant,” he said.
On the poor state of the economy, Obasanjo advised the Buhari-led government to wriggle itself out of the temptation of excessive borrowing and the attendant devaluation trap.
“What have we gained from moving Nigerian currency value from one naira to almost two dollar to N360 to one dollar in one generation’s impoverishment?” he asked.
“The synod called on the President to show compassion and empathy for the abject conditions of the citizenry. The synod observed that the widening gulf between the rich and the poor does not speak well for the future of this great nation.
“The synod admonished government to consider bailing out our manufacturing companies to aid industrialisation. This will yield positive results, as it will reduce violent crimes and other forms of criminality and further engage the teeming youths profitably.”
Similarly, the Anglican Archbishop of Lagos Province, the Most Reverend Olusina Fape, said there was more corruption in the nation’s system under President Buhari’s administration.
Fape, who doubles as the Diocesan Bishop of Remo, Ogun State, said this in a presidential address he presented to the 3rd Session of the 12th Synod of the Diocese of Remo (Anglican Communion), at the All Saints Anglican Church, Irolu-Remo, Ogun State, on Saturday.
The bishop added that the government’s fight against corruption ought not to be selective, saying “the ‘war’ must be fought holistically without any fear of favour; regardless of political affiliations of those found culpable.”
He said, “The present government rode to power on the goodwill of the people, because of the promise to fight corruption to a standstill and bring about positive change. Unfortunately, four years after, there seems to be more corruption in the system than they identified when they came in.
“The past four years have been devoted to blame games; accusing the past government of one wrong or the other. Nobody elected anybody to come and complain. People elected to govern should sit up and start addressing the perennial problems besetting this nation.”
Speaking further on the resolve of the synod with the theme; “The Glory of the Crucified Life,” Bishop Fape said the country was no longer a safe place, considering the nefarious activities of the Boko Haram sect and murderous herdsmen.
“There seems to be no respite for our nation, as far as the security situation is concerned. It is our prayer that God will expose those behind these evil groups and disgrace them out of our country,” he prayed.
CAN Kicks As Kaduna Gives Quit Notice To 110-Year-Old Church
The Kaduna State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has raised alarm over a purported quit notice handed to one of its churches in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Agency allegedly served the 110-year-old St. George, Anglican Church, Sabon Gari, Zaria, a seven-day quit notice.
The notice also claimed that compensation had been duly paid to the church.
The quit notice, which was not dated, was addressed to House No. 27, Church House, Sabon Gari Market, Zaria which is St George’s Church.
It reads, “Reference to the directive given by the executive governor on the issue of market development which compensation has been duly paid.
“You are hereby directed to vacate your residence within seven days from now; failure to comply will leave the agency with no option than to evict you at your own expense (from 19h – 24 September).”
The signatory of the notice did not include his name, but it was signed by the “Zonal head” of KASUPDA on behalf of the “Zonal Manager.”
It was gathered that the agency planned to pull down the structure to pave the way for the expansion of the Sabon Gari Market.
The state CAN Chairman, Rev. Joseph Hayab, in a statement, yesterday, in Kaduna, faulted the quit notice.
Hayab noted that the quit notice smacks of foul play as according to him, such an order wouldn’t have emanated from the Governor of the state, Malam Nasir El-Rufai.
Though in 2016, the chairman claimed that the state had made such moves to relocate the church to pave ways for the expansion of the market but later realized that the church had all valid documents.
The chairman in the statement entitled, ‘Governor Nasir El-Rufai should call KASUPDA to order,” partly stated, “We are alarmed and apprehensive about this, if it is true, that it is a directive from the governor. But we doubt much if the governor issued the directive.
“This is because in February, 2016, the government made moves to relocate the church to pave way for the expansion of the market, but later realized that the church has all valid documents and that even some parts of the market are on the church land.
“Following the presentation of the necessary documents by the church, the matter was resolved amicably. We wish to state categorically that no compensation was paid to the church.
“Where did the KASUPDA officials get this false information that compensation had been paid?
“It should be noted that the church which was founded about 110 years ago, was liberal enough to allow the market in question to operate in some parts of its land. Is it now a crime to be liberal and accommodating?
“How could the governor revisit the issue which was resolved amicably in 2016, by issuing a 7-day quit?”
The CAN leader also called on the governor to immediately investigate the purported quit notice from KASUPDA and take prompt action.
“This will go a long way in allaying fears and apprehension among Christians in the state and the nation at large”, the body added.
We’re Proud Of You, Fayemi Tells Wike …Commissions Rumuwoji Int’l Market
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has said that the frequency with which Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike churns out quality projects justifies his world acclaimed name, ‘Mr Project’.
Commissioning the Rumuwoji International Market built by the Wike administration in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday, as part of activities marking the first 100 days of his second term in office, Fayemi commended Wike for his outstanding performance.
The Ekiti State governor said: “We are proud of Governor Wike. We are proud of the work he is doing in Rivers State. He is going to continue to commission projects till 27th September. That is almost 10 days from now.
“Even if it is one project per day, it will be almost 10 days. Now I understand why they refer to him as ‘Mr. Project'”, he added.
Fayemi said that governance was about improving the living standard of the people, noting that Wike has worked hard for Rivers people.
He said: “The promise that the governor made is what he is fulfilling today. That is what government is all about. Government is about affecting the lives of our people.
“Governance is about improving the quality and condition of our society. Governance is about ensuring that we fulfill promises that we make to the people”.
He said though he is not in the same political party with Wike, his duty as chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum is to support, protect and defend all governors irrespective of their party affiliations.
In his address, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike described his Ekiti State counterpart and NGF Chairman, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, as a highly focused leader who does not discriminate against members of the opposition party, but sees them as partners in progress.
Wike said Fayemi was given the honour of commissioning the market in recognition of his rare qualities as a leader who does not discriminate based on political party affiliation.
The Rivers State governor recalled how Fayemi’s intervention helped douse the tension that was brewing over the issue of mosque demolition in the state earlier in the month.?
Wike said that he pledged to rebuild the market, and that the commissioning of the Rumuwoji Market was a fulfillment of that promise.
“I made a promise to construct this market. We started this market from the foundation to its completion.
“When we make promises to the people, we are bound to fulfill the promises. Hold us accountable to our promises, because there is no need for excuses. We made a promise and we have fulfilled that promise”, he noted.
He explained that the Rivers State Government has finished paying for the project.
Wike established a management committee for the market, directing the committee to ensure that the market serves the people.
He announced that he would give allocation to Rumuwoji community, Rumuwoji women while other people would get their shops through open balloting.
“I will give Rumuwoji women shop allocations in this market. I advise that they should not sell their shops because we will release funds for the Rumuwoji women to ply their trade”, he said.
The governor stated that he would build a market for the Nkpolu community as a means of improving the economy of the area.
In his remarks, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Mr Joseph Amiofori said that the market has two banking halls, clinic, police post, fire station, fire hydrants, pumping station and fire alert system.
Amiofori said that the market has 421 lock-up shops, 34 open stalls and 441 concrete tables.
Also speaking, Mayor of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, Hon Victor Ihunwo commended the Rivers State governor for delivering a market of international standard to the people of the city.
The Chairman of the Rumuwoji Market Association, Eze Nyeche thanked the Rivers State governor for keeping his promise to the traders.
Meanwhile, residents of Port Harcourt City have applauded the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for the successful completion of the Rumuwoji ultramodern market in Port Harcourt.
Some of the residents, who spoke to our correspondent during the commissioning of the market, last Wednesday, said the feat would end the hardship being faced by traders since the unfortunate fire that gutted the former market.
One of the residents, Chief Wilford Egbule said, “I am happy to be alive to witness the commissioning of the new Rumuwoji market today.
“I thank the Rivers State governor for this feat. It touches the life of our people directly”.
Also commending the governor, another resident, Madam Cecelia Nwafor said, “I can still reflect back on that unforgettable day when traders cried and wept uncontrollably as fire burnt their goods.
“Comparing that heartbreaking day with the excitement of today, I must thank God for using Governor Wike to wipe out the horrible tears and replacing the tears with laughter.
“I must thank Governor Wike for keeping to his promise”.
Similarly, Ms Gloria Fineface, described the project as a historic one.
She said; “Honestly, I must tell you this is historic for those of us in this city when the former market was gutted by fire
“Yes, subsequent administrations in the state made one effort or the other, but I think this is the mother of them all.
“From make-shift arrangements for traders around Rumuwoji community hall, former Obi Wali Cultural Centre and others, the governor has finally provided a permanent market for us.
“I commend Governor Wike for this huge concern to the people especially the traders who were mostly affected”.
To Mr Jackson Bassey, it is not the new market Wike built that excites him most.
According to him, “I saw raw care and concern for the people when the governor said he was even going to build another market for those helpless street traders around.
“This goes to tell you that Wike, unlike most selfish political leaders we have in Nigeria, thinks of the common people.
“Let God bless Governor Wike for us and also turn the minds of self-centred politicians in the country to emulate Governor Wike”, he prayed.
Reps Minority Leader: PDP’s BoT Chair, Secretary Disagree Over Report
It was all drama as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoTs) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Walid Jubril and its Secretary, Senator Adolphus Wabara, disagreed over the submission of an investigative report on the minority leadership position in the House of Representatives, yesterday.
Briefing journalists shortly after a marathon meeting of the board at the party’s Abuja secretariat, yesterday, the two elderly chieftains contradicted each other on the status of a report of the committee that investigated the embarrassing sell-out.
At issue was a report of a five-man committee set up by the BoT on July 9, to investigate why PDP members in the House of Representatives elected Hon Ndudi Elumelu of Delta State in the Green Chambers as minority leader, against the party’s choice of Hon Kingsley Chinda of Rivers State.
Miffed by the action, the leadership of the party had suspended Elumelu for one month.
Besides Elumelu, others affected by the suspension order were Lynda Ikpeazu, Wole Oke, Anayo Edwin, Gideon Gwadi, Toby Okechukwu and Adekoya Abdul-Majid.
The BoT investigation committee, chaired by a former Senate President, Dr Iyiorchia Ayu also had two other former Senate Presidents, Chief David Mark and Chief Adolphus Wabara as members.
A former Deputy President of the Senate, Alhaji Ibahim Mantu was also a member while a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Austin Opara served as secretary of the committee.
However, Opara resigned from the committee before it concluded its assignment.
During a question-and-answer session at the briefing, the BoT chairman said the board had received the Ayu committee report but had yet to submit same to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
Jubril said: “We have received the report from the Ayu committee but we have not submitted it to the NWC because we are still deliberating on it, and we have not taken a decision on it yet.”
But he was swiftly countered by BoT secretary, who said that the board had, indeed, submitted the report to the NWC.
Wabara said: “We have considered the report and we have submitted the report on Elumelu to the NWC”.
This was followed by muffled disagreement between the two elderly party chieftains with the BoT chair raising objection to the secretary’s statement even as the latter stood his ground.
Their verbal exchange was in hushed tones but was audible enough for journalists to hear their voices.
The disagreement dragged till the end of the media briefing, with the two board members frowning and mumbling at each other as they left the venue and walked through the drizzling rain into their waiting cars.
Curiously, however, while the BoT meeting was still ongoing, the leadership of the party had issued a statement regarding the disputed report.
The statement, signed by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the NWC had not received the said report from the BoT.
The statement reads in full: “In the light of public enquiries and conflicting reports on the position of the leadership of our great party on issues related to the minority leadership of the House of Representatives, the National Working Committee (NWC) hereby clarifies that it has not yet received any report from the Board of Trustees (BoTs) concerning the outcome of the five-member committee it set up to intervene on the contentious matter.
“Consequently, the NWC maintains that it has not taken any decision to review its subsisting stance on the minority leadership of the House of Representatives.
“The NWC, therefore, urges critical stakeholders, party members and the general public to completely disregard any report to the contrary”.
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