The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has felicitated with Nigerian Muslims on the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, urging them to emulate the Holy Prophet Mohammed by imbibing the ideals of sacrifice exemplified by the Prophet.
In a Sallah message, yesterday, Wike said Eid-el-Kabir is a season of love, peace, friendship and sacrifice.
He urged all Nigerians to embrace religious tolerance which would promote peace across the country and enhance national development.
Wike assured the people of Rivers State that the government would work with the security agencies to ensure that all citizens celebrate the Sallah in peace and harmony.
He congratulated the Muslim community in Rivers State on the Sallah celebration, assuring them that his administration would continue to partner with them to move the state forward.
The governor thanked the state Muslim community for the consistent support that they have always extended to his administration.
Also, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, urged Nigerians to use the Eid-el-Kabir celebration to pray for the unity and stability of Nigeria.
Secondus, in a statement issued, yesterday in Abuja by his Media Aide, Mr Ike Abonyi, to mark the Eid-el-Kabir festivities, said Nigeria’s present situation required God’s intervention.
He said intense prayers for the country had become very necessary more than ever before.
The PDP national chairman said the killing of innocent souls and security situation should be enough mitigation to plead to God to save the country.
He said that the festival period provided citizens with an opportunity to put aside every political, religious and ethnic sentiment to unite against common challenges.
Secondus admonished the people to seize the chance to return to God in supplication to change the country’s situation.
“I charge you not to allow challenges of now make you lose your dignity and modesty as a people and miss the essence and meaning of Eid-el-Kabir festivity and the divine succour it brings, in assuring us that there is always a light at the end of every tunnel,’’ he said.
Secondus urged Nigerians not to lose faith in the country in spite of experienced challenges, but to recommit their individual and collective security and economic welfare in the hands of God.
The chairman on behalf of the PDP National Executive Committee wished all Nigerians joyful and peaceful celebrations.
Similarly, Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23, 2019 general election, Mr Peter Obi, has asked Muslims to use the period of Eid el Kabir celebration to pray God to beam His searchlight on Nigeria and revive it.
The former governor of Anambra State, in a statement, yesterday, said that God has destined Nigeria to be great but human failings have led the nation to its present state.
“We must all therefore return to God in deep supplication to save our country and time like this provides huge opportunity for us to cry to God for justice and fair play in our land”, he said.
“Without Justice and freedom this society cannot blossom, let us therefore in unison cry to God for mercy by providing people conscious and God fearing political leadership,” he added.
Obi lamented the prevailing hardship in the country including the needless blood-letting but urged the people not to allow it affect their spirit of love, brotherliness and peaceful co existence which Sallah festivity is about.
“Nigerians should use this year’s Eid-El Kabir festivities to engender the spirit of oneness and also re-dedicate themselves to the virtues of love, patriotism and unity for the desired national development”, he added.
Obi admonished the government to relax the tensed situation in the country by seeking a pragmatic solution to the increasing security challenges and following the rule of law and respect for the rights of citizens as required by democracy.
Obi wished all Nigerians a happy Sallah celebration and prayed for enduring justice and peace.
However, as the Muslim Ummah celebrate Eid-el-Kabir, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Supo Samson Ayokunle has called on governments at all levels to do everything within their power to curb criminality in the country, by using “more technologically-based surveillance and prompt action against violence of any disguise”.
The CAN president also urged governments at all levels to consider the responsibility given to them to govern the citizenry as a divine call, by being more “committed and practical” in carrying out their mandate of securing the lives and property of Nigerians.
Ayokunle through the National Director, Legal and Public Affairs of CAN, Evangelist Kwamkur Samuel Vondip, stated this while delivering his Sallah message for the Muslim Ummah in the country, yesterday.
He said, “The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Rev. Dr Supo Samson Ayokunle on behalf of the Christian Association of Nigeria felicitates with the Sultan of Sokoto, the President of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and Co-Chairman Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), His Eminence, Alhaji Saad Abubakar III and the entire Muslim Ummah in Nigeria as they celebrate Ed-el-Kabir.
According to him, “This is a period for deeper reflection on the challenges of Nigeria and the need to build confidence in one another by deliberate show of love for peace building.
“We urge Muslims and indeed all Nigerians to be reminded that we have no any other nation to call ours beside Nigeria hence the need for all well meaning Nigerians to be patriotic and support the fight against insurgency, kidnapping and all forms of insecurity and criminality bedevilling Nigeria”, he maintained.
“Government at all levels are urged to consider the responsibility given to them to govern the people as a divine calling and be more committed and practical in carrying out their mandate of securing the lives and property of the citizens.
“It is our hope and prayers that the challenges of our nation will very soon be a thing of the past as Nigerians renew their commitment to God at this trying moment.
“We call on the government to do everything to rightly curb criminality in the nation through more technologically based surveillance and prompt action against violence in any disguise”, Ayokunle stressed.
The CAN president wished all Muslims in the country a peaceful and wonderful Sallah celebration.
Buhari’s COS Queries FIRS Chairman Over Worsening Tax Collection
Indications emerged yesterday that the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Abba Kyari, has queried the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr, Babatunde Fowler, over alleged discrepancies in tax collections from 2015 to 2018.
A letter dated August 8, 2019, and addressed to the FIRS chairman, which was signed by Kyari, asked Fowler to explain reasons for ‘significant’ variances in budgeted collections and actual collections of tax in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
In the concerned years, the actual amount collected as tax fell below the budgeted target.
In 2015, actual collection was N3.7tn, while the budgeted target was N4.5tn.
A similar shortfall occurred in 2016, when actual collection was N3.307tn, less than the N4.95tn budgeted target.
Also, in 2017, the FIRS collected a total of N4.027tn, less than the set target of N4.89tn.
NCP Charges FG On Minimum Wage
The National Conscience Party (NCP) has urged the Federal Government to do its best to speedily resolve all issues delaying the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage.
The Lagos State Chairman of the party, Mr Fatai Ibuowo, gave the advice in an interview with The Tide’s in Lagos, yesterday.
He said workers had endured enough hardship owing to the prevailing economic realities, saying that implementation of the new minimum wage would give them some succour.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government to do its best to implement the N30,000 minimum wage.
“Nigerian workers have faced a lot of hardship because of high costs of goods and services and so cannot wait to be paid the new wage.
“We are aware that there are issues between labour and government on what to pay as increment to those on certain levels,’’ Ibuowo said.
According to him, we must emphasise that all categories of workers deserve substantial wage increments in view of the present economic realities.
Ibuowo implored the government to arrive at a middle ground with labour and speedily implement the Minimum Wage Act, signed in April to better the lots of workers.
He noted that in a country where lawmakers earned what he called “astronomically-high wages and allowances’’, it was unfair not to pay workers a living wage.
The NCP chairman pointed out that the new N30,000 minimum wage, though better than the earlier N18,000, was still one of the lowest in the world .
Ibuowo said insecurity and corruption were major problems in the country, saying the issues could be addressed through improvement in workers’ welfare.
“Insecurity and corruption are two of the major problems facing our country now and we think by improving the welfare of workers, we can substantially address the problem.
EFCC Probes FIRS Staff Over N1.2bn Fraud
As part of its investiga
tion into the N1.2billion duty tour allowance fraud in the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has commenced a forensic analysis of the bank accounts of the staff members.
The Tide’s source gathered that EFCC detectives had obtained details of the bank accounts of FIRS staff and were carrying out a painstaking forensic investigation into “the financial inflows and outflows” in the various accounts in different commercial banks.
It was gathered that the aim of the detectives was to know the depth of the malfeasance perpetrated by the top echelons of the revenue agency in the last four years.
The commission, in April, 2019, recovered part of the DTA allowance from the beneficiaries who refunded millions of naira.
Following the development, the commission widened its investigation into the contracts awarded by the agency since the FIRS Chairman, Babatunde Fowler, assumed office in 2015.
Our correspondent had reported how Fowler attempted to influence the acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, to drop the ongoing investigation into the sleaze in the FIRS, but the anti-graft agency boss resisted the pressure.
The commission subsequently mobilised different teams to investigate the contract awards and estacode payment for foreign trips by the FIRS management.
Head of the FIRS Coordinator Support Services Group, Peter Hena, who allegedly authorised the illegal payment had reportedly made revealing statements during investigation about how the DTA fraud was perpetrated.
The FIRS Director of Finance, Mr Mohammed Auta, had similarly informed detectives that he acted on the instructions of Hena to disburse the fund.
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