A prominent Islamic scholar, Dr Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi, has predicted that Nigeria will disintegrate and that the North will suffer most compared to the other regions.
According to him, in the face of a possible break up, the South-West will be relatively stable; South-East will be stable, but the North will be volatile.
Narrating what Nigeria will be like if it disintegrates, the cleric said, “I see chaos and probably Nigeria can even disintegrate. And disintegration will be bad for Nigeria”.
“Let me tell you about the North if there is disintegration. The worst thing any country will like is to have an unstable country as a neighbour.
“So, South-West will be relatively stable; South-East will be stable, but the North will be volatile. How can we contain Boko Haram in the North-East? No way.
“How can we contain the problem of the herdsmen in the North? We cannot contain them.
“In fact, the little weight the South-West and South-East are adding to fight them is what is suppressing them, but if you go and leave us with them, we will just eat ourselves and you have a very volatile North and I do not think we will have peace there because the borders are not barbed-wires and there are so many inter-marriages.
“In fact, Nigeria will just be like another Lebanon or Yemen. Nobody can control the North because nobody has monopoly of power in the North.
“The herdsmen, if they have any iota of political acumen, even if they are evil since your man is in power what do you do? You lie low to allow him to have the power.
“You don’t become so virulent that you end up destroying the northern power by attacking people everywhere not caring who is there. Let me tell you this.
“Nobody is in control of the North now. No northern politician has that clout to embrace everybody in the North.
“Everybody in the North is with his clique and that is a very dangerous situation for the country. The South-West is divided into two equal houses, and nobody is in control there too, but generally, the people there are not violent.
“They can negotiate and stay in peace. The people of the South-East seem to understand each other because their own is business. I see it to be more stable even though the Kanu IPOB people are there because generally the population there can understand and negotiate.
“They can only have population problem if people ask them to go back to their region. But the North? So, you can just imagine.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has described violent extremism as the biggest challenge facing Islam.
In his Eid-el-Kabir message to Muslims, yesterday, the president said that the only way to neutralise the evil influence of extremism is for Muslims to distance themselves from the activities and teachings of those who preach indiscriminate violence against innocent people.
According to Buhari, the greatest commitment to Islam is for Muslims to put its good virtues into practice, and by making justice and righteousness the guiding principle of their everyday life.
“We should be the mirror through which others see the good virtues of our faith,” he said.
“Islam is a religion of peace, and we should avoid violent extremist ideas that give Islam a wrong name because our conducts leave more lasting positive impressions than what we say by word of mouth.”
The president regretted that “violent extremism is the greatest challenge facing Islam today and the only way we can neutralise its evil influence is to distance ourselves from the activities and teachings of those who preach indiscriminate violence against innocent people. And this flies in the face of the teachings of Islam.”
In a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari, advised parents to “protect their children from the deadly exposure to violent extremists who manipulate and exploit those children for their own evil agenda.”
The President noted that “Boko Haram became a deadly force and a major security scourge because Muslim societies were indifferent from the beginning to the activities of extremist preachers who manipulate innocent and gullible followers.”
He said that “extremism is like a cancer, which must be detected and destroyed from its early stages of growth.”
He, however, assured Nigerians that the Boko Haram terrorism, kidnappings and other forms of banditry “would be dealt with uncompromisingly until we see the back of these evils plaguing our country.
“Despite occasional setbacks, the Boko Haram militants have been so militarily weakened and scattered by our Armed Forces that they are no longer in a position to occupy any part of Nigeria, let alone hoist their flag and impose their reign of terror longer than 24 hours.
“As our armed forces get more equipped and trained, in addition to being more motivated and reinvigorated, this administration is relentlessly committed to protecting Nigerians no matter what it takes to bring a permanent end to this evil.”
He advised Muslims to be tolerant and continue to work for peace, unity, national integration, and peaceful coexistence.
Also in his message, Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSICIA), Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar felicitated with Muslims on the occasion of 2019 Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.
In a statement by the Deputy Secretary General, NSCIA, Prof Salisu Shehu, yesterday, the Sultan prayed to Allah to grant faithful the opportunity to witness many more of it.
The statement read, “the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, felicitated with the Nigerian Muslim Ummah and indeed the entire Muslim world on the auspicious occasion of the 1440 AH ‘Eidel Adha celebrations. We beseech Allah to grant us the opportunity to witness many more of it.
“According to the Sunnah of the noble Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Muslims who are not on pilgrimage in the Holy Land are encouraged to fast on the day of ‘Arafat and engage themselves in acts of worship and veneration to Allah, believing that with sincerity of intentions, He will forgive their transgressions and overlook their short-comings of the preceding and succeeding years as well as admit them to His Jannah.
“We, therefore, ask Allah to accept our ‘Ibadat, increase our ‘Iman and grant us protection, contentment and grateful hearts throughout the first ten days of this month and most especially on the Arafat Day.
“Fellow servants of Allah, in celebrating this year’s ‘Eidel Adha, we must not lose sight of the moral and spiritual reasons for the season. ‘Eidel Adha is a period of introspection and soul searching. It symbolizes sacrifice, which was sufficiently demonstrated by our patriarch – Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH).
“Making sacrifice for the collective good of all and posterity (a key component that is missing in our national life, which is partly responsible for the quagmire we have found ourselves in) is one of the major themes for ‘Eid. Our patriarch was willing to let go (sacrifice) that which he cherished most – his only son, Isma’il — as sacrifice in obedience to Allah’s dictates. (Q37:102)
“In the same vein, the council fervently appeals to our millions of brothers and sisters to continue to emulate the example of Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) in making the needed sacrifice to keep the country united and to honour the labour of our heroes past.
“The council is worried that the security situation in the country has degenerated rapidly from a state of benign manageability to that of intractable malignancy in recent times. This situation, which seems to preoccupy the attention of the Federal Government at the expense of other issues in the socio-political and economic spectra, appears increasingly problematic.
“The situation is further exacerbated by the political polemics and hate speeches by separatists disguised as statesmen, which have greatly undermined social cohesion and eroded our shared values as Nigerians.
“The council hereby calls on the Federal Government to be decisive in dealing with those who are bent on heating the polity with hate speeches in the country, no matter how highly placed they may be.
“It is on this note that we urge Muslims in the country to be security conscious while they also remain very prayerful as they celebrate ‘Eidel Adha. NSCIA appeals to the relevant authorities to beef up security for all Nigerians especially in the places of worship and places of important events and gatherings during the Eid celebrations.
“The council calls on all Muslims in Nigeria to be good ambassadors of Islam as we continue to promote peace, and eschew all forms of any anti- social behaviour that may be inimical to peace, national cohesion and stability.
“Finally, we beseech Allah to restore peace and stability to all the troubled parts of our great country and the world at large. Also, we pray that Allah grant our President, Muhammadu Buhari, sound health and divine wisdom to lead our great nation to enviable heights”.
The Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, also urged Nigerians to be steadfast in the process of nation-building, as they join the rest of the world to celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir.
Lawan, in his Sallah message, enjoined Nigerians to always remember their shared heritage and destiny of national greatness and be guided by the Nigerian spirit of firm confidence as they tackle the contemporary challenges of nation-building.
He also congratulated Muslims from Nigeria who joined their brothers and sisters in participating in the rites of the Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
Muslims, he stressed, should remember the purpose of the celebration, which is to commemorate the trials and triumph of Prophet Ibrahim.
He said: “I urge all to take inspiration from the exemplary virtues demonstrated by Prophet Ibrahim through his sacrifice, patience, steadfastness, generosity and obedience to Allah’s command and constituted authority.”
The Senate president is currently in the Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage.
Also, the All Progressives Congress (APC) asked Nigerians to shun disruptive and divisive utterances and actions emanating from some unpatriotic quarters lately.
The party, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said that in the spirit of the Sallah celebration, Nigerians should learn to exhibit the pan Nigerian spirit anywhere they find themselves.
“As we celebrate the Sallah feast with family, friends and loved ones, Muslim faithful and indeed all Nigerians are implored to show love to neighbours and cater for the less privileged around us,” he said.
He added: “In our national life, Eid-ul-Adha is a reminder for us to make our individual and collective sacrifices for the well-being, unity, peace and development of our dear country, Nigeria.
“We must, therefore, shun the disruptive and divisive utterances and actions emanating from some unpatriotic quarters lately.
“In our private capacity, official duties, wherever we find ourselves, we must all exhibit the pan-Nigerian spirit. We should embrace our country’s diversity and harness it for good. We must see every Nigerian as a brother. We should take advantage of his strength, help him with his weakness. That is the only way we can grow as a country.”
In its message, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked Nigerians, particularly Muslims, to use this year’s Eid-el-Kabir to imbibe the life of total trust in the Almighty God in all spheres of life.
The party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir “offers us great lessons on selflessness and absolute trust in God, as exemplified in the life of Prophet Ibrahim.”
All compatriots, he said, should use the occasion to particularly pray for the nation, reach out and share with the less privileged, the deprived as well as victims of escalated insecurity in various parts of our country.
Besides, the PDP charged leaders in all walks of life, including public office holders, faith-based and community leaders, captains of industry and employers of labour to “note that their positions are bestowed on them by God for service to humanity, and for which they must give account.”
The party prayed for the unity, peace, stability and development of Nigeria.
Meanwhiile, the Emir of Daura, Umar Faruq Umar, has prayed for Buhari, assuring him that he will continue to triumph over all his enemies.
The Emir made the prayer at the Eid-el-Kabir prayers which took place at Kofar Arewa praying ground, yesterday.
President Muhammadu Buhari, along with his guest, the Guinean President Alpha Conde, had joined other Muslims in Daura, Katsina State, yesterday morning to observe the Eid-el-Kabir prayers at Kofar Arewa praying ground.
Buhari and his guest arrived the praying ground in a black Mercedez Limousine at about 9.35 am.
The President was in Khaki colour flowing robe (Babanriga), brown cap and a pair of brown shoes.
The two Raqat prayers were immediately observed.
The Chief Imam of Daura, Sefiyanu Yusuf led the prayers and read the sermons, which revolved around the importance of the Sallah as a demonstration of Muslims’ loyalty and obeisance to almighty Allah.
In his brief comments, the Emir of Daura, Umar Faruq Umar, lauded Buhari’s administration, assuring him of the support of people of the state.
The Emir said, “We are proud of you; we are proud of your administration and we shall continue to pray for you.
“You will continue to triumph over your enemies.”
In his remarks, Katsina State Governor, Hon Aminu Masari, who also attended the prayer session, praised President Buhari for his strong attachment to the people of the state.
He urged him to continue in his efforts at re-positioning the country.
Buhari and the Emir, later at the praying ground, performed the traditional slaughtering of the Sallah rams.
Similarly, minority caucus of the House of Representatives has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to release the social activist, Omoyele Sowere from the state detention facility.
The caucus also asked the president to direct the attention and the resources of the Federal Government to the economic and security challenges facing the country with a view to finding permanent solutions to them.
The caucus said that their demands were hinged on the spirit of Eid-el-Kabir which entails the display of love and sacrifices to humanity.
It would be recalled that Sowere was arrested in Lagos last week sequel to his call for a national protest under the banner of #RevolutionNow#.
Interpreted to mean revolution against the sitting democratic government, the Department of State Service (DSS), arrested him.
The State Department subsequently obtained a court order to detain Sowere for 45 days to properly investigate his call for a “revolution”.
In their goodwill message to the Muslim faithful issued by the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, the caucus also called on Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love, forgiveness, and sacrifice in order to move the nation forward.
The lawmakers stated the challenges bedeviling the country were surmountable if the government could rally round all Nigerians to work together as one people.
The lawmakers also wished the Muslim faithful a memorable Sallah celebration.
“The House Minority Caucus felicitates with the Muslim faithful at Eid-el-Kabir. We also call on our Muslim brothers and sisters to use the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir to pray for the peace and wellbeing of our nation. There is the need to reflect on and imbibe the exemplary legacies of the Prophet Mohammed, especially his life of love, forgiveness, and sacrifice.
“In the same vein, we urge President Mohammadu Buhari to order the release of the activist, Mr. Omoyele Sowere, in the spirit of Eid-el-Kabir and in deference to democracy.
“Nigeria is currently besieged by enormous economic and security challenges and we expect the Federal Government to direct its attention, energies, and state resources at surmounting them. And in doing so, we expect the government to rally Nigerians across political, religious, and ethnic divides to work as one people to salvage the nation”, the caucus said in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Sallah Day”, Elumelu said in the statement.
RSG Uncovers 11,000 Workers With Forged Age …1,500 With Multiple Pay Points, Identifies 5,000 Fake Pensioners
The recent biometric exercise on civil servants and pensioners conducted by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike-led administration has uncovered no fewer than 11, 000 civil servants who forged their age in service.
The government also discovered no less than 1,500 civil servants with more than one pay point, meaning that they were stealing from the government by earning double salaries from different ministries.
It also identified no fewer than 5,000 fake pensioners during the last biometric exercise, just as the government has concluded plans to begin fresh biometric capture of all retiring civil servants from next week.
These details were made public by the Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Mr. Ibifuro Asawo, during a chat with newsmen, last Monday in Port Harcourt, over the activities of his department in the past two years.
Asawo explained that the new policy of the Wike administration was to ensure that all sectors were driven by ICT to inject transparency and accountability in the system.
“We plan to synergise and link all ministries, departments and parastatals for the ease of doing business in the state,” he emphasised.
On the new policy of government to run an ICT-driven administration, the governor’s aide said that the new automated public service system was such that no civil servant can cut corners.
“What we have done now is such that we know how many people will be retiring each month and at each quarter, and so, nobody can short-change government”, Asawo noted.
The plan in the upcoming months, according to Asawo, is to move down to the grassroots, stressing, “We plan to cover the 23 local government areas. Our vision is to encourage them to invest in ICT because that is the way to go now.”
Currently, he revealed that the ICT department has covered all health institutions in the state through an automated and integrated system.
“Everything we are doing now is going digital. So, if you go now to the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, doctors are now using the system to register patients and keep records for easy tracking and retrieval.”
The next step, he revealed is to capture all health facilities and professionals online. This, he said, will curb quackery.
Wike’s Feats In Education, Unprecedented, Aide Affirms …As Rivers Excels In WAEC Exams
The Rivers State Government has stated that its investments in education development have yielded quality results and improvements in the sector since May 29, 2015.
In a joint press briefing, yesterday, the Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Prof Kaniye Ebeku and Information and Communications Commissioner, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, noted that Governor Nyesom Wike has been outstanding in reviving the education sector.
They argued that aside renovating and revamping abandoned public schools and tertiary institutions, the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration has set new record in the revitalization of the education sector in the past four and half years in Rivers State.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku stated that on assuming office in 2015, the governor began a special rehabilitation programme to restore and upgrade abandoned public schools, which among them were: Government Girls’ Secondary School, Rumuokwuta; Government Secondary School, Ogu; Birabi Memorial Grammar School, Bori; Nyemoni Grammar School, Abonnema; Government Crafts Development Centre, Port Harcourt; County High School, Ahoada; Government Secondary School, Abua; Government Secondary School, Ubima; and Government Secondary School, Okaki; among others.
This, he said, was aside the primary schools that were equally rehabilitated and renovated across the 23 local government areas of the state.
For tertiary education sub-sector, Ebeku said that the expansion and completion of the Faculties of Law and School of Medicine in the Rivers State University remains landmark as those projects can speak for themselves.
He pointed out that the recent registration of state indigenes for the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) and West African Examinations Council (WAEC) sets the Wike administration above past administrations as the gesture was first of its kind in the history of the state.
Currently, he disclosed that in a bid to further boost learning of indigenous language, the state government has started making arrangements for the teaching of indigenous languages in schools.
In the same vein, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, said that so far, the governor’s achievements in education has began to resonate with the milestones recorded by the state in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Senior School Certificate Examinations by taking second position in 2017 and fourth in 2016, 2018 and 2019.
Nsirim added that, “these milestones cannot be possible without adequate attention to education because WAEC is the bedrock of education for any person or society.”
Both commissioners explained that, “Governor Nyesom Wike, former Minister of State for Education, came into office as Rivers State governor with a clear vision on the education sector. At his first inauguration on May 29, 2015, he declared that he seeks to provide accessible, quality and affordable education for all in the state. Nearly five years on the seat, he is walking his talk. In this press briefing, we provide you snippets of his giant strides in the education sector.
“Within 100 days in office, he completed and furnished the Faculty of Law of the Rivers State University, which had been abandoned by successive governments since the 1990s.
“He further established a Medical School in the Rivers State University, which had been without medical school since the university was established in 1980. A befitting building was speedily completed and commissioned by him. Moreover, the school has received accreditation from the National Universities commission (NUC) to run several medical programmes. To consolidate on this, the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital has been upgraded and equipped to a standard teaching hospital.
“Within the Rivers State University Campus, several departmental buildings have been completed and others are still ongoing. You will find similar infrastructural developments in other tertiary institutions of the state”, they stressed.
They pointed out that the annual Rivers results and placement in WAEC show the extent of the success recorded by the Wike administration.
“The state in the last five years has maintained first four in WAEC Ranking for 36 States, including Abuja, which shows sustained growth in the education sector.
“They are as follows: 2016 – 4th; 2017 – 2nd; 2018 – 4th; and 2019 – 4th.
“Shortly, the state government is making arrangements to implement the state law on the teaching of indigenous languages in the state schools. This important aspect of education has been ignored by previous administrations, but Governor Wike recognizes that indigenous language, being part of our culture, should not be allowed to die.”
The commissioners noted that Governor Wike has demonstrated his love for education by sponsoring free JAMB 2019/2020 registration for candidates of Rivers State origin and free WASCE 2020 registration for all candidates in public schools in the state, notwithstanding where they come from.
They stated: “At the basic and secondary school levels, the giant strides of Governor Wike are clearly manifest. The reconstruction and furnishing of primary and junior secondary schools in the state under the auspices of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) are testimonials for everyone to see.
“Besides infrastructural development, Governor Wike has further demonstrated his love for education by sponsoring free JAMB 2019/2020 registration for candidates of Rivers State origin and free WASCE 2020 registration for all candidates in public schools in the state, notwithstanding where they come from.
“Furthermore: 100 medical students of Rivers State origin to enjoy state scholarship at PAMO University of Medical Sciences annually for five years; all basic school teachers across the 23 LGAs in the state were given a one-month capacity building training in August, 2019; Endowment of Education Trust Fund for high-flying pupils in public schools who recently won national laurels”, they listed as some of the extraordinary achievements of the Wike-led government in the state.
Rivers Angels, Others Share $194,031 From World Cup
Rivers Angles FC and 19 others Nigerian Women’s Football League clubs will share to the tune of US$194,031.57 as a result of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 Club Benefits programme.
The female clubs are Rivers Angels, Nasarawa Amazons, Bayelsa Queens, FC Robo Queens, Delta Queens, Coal City Babes, Invincible Angels, Sao Paulo Queens and Delta Youth Sports Academy.
Others are Ibom Angels, Abia Angels, Iwundu Academy, Living Boot Academy, C & C Sports Club, Clever Stars FC, Novia Queens, Omidiran Babes, Pelican Stars, Remo United Queens, YFSON Queens and Pelican Stars.
While some had already received their allocations, the relevant payments for others are currently being processed by the Nigeria Football Federation, having received a payment from FIFA.
The world governing body recognises the importance of club football in developing the women’s game and improving its professionalisation with providing professional football pathways.
With this in mind, financial rewards were paid to member associations to pass on to their affiliated clubs that have helped contribute to the successful staging of the competition.
For the first edition of the Fifa Women’s World Cup Club Benefits Programme, the total amount of US$8.48million will be paid as rewards to clubs.
These amounts are part of the overall financial contribution of US$50 million for the Fifa Women’s World Cup France 2019, which was approved by the Fifa Council on 26 October 2018.
The Club Benefits Programme 2019 will be based on the principle of rewarding clubs for providing players with a professional football pathway.
The amounts will, therefore, be split between the clubs with which the players representing the participating member associations at the final tournament are currently registered and the clubs that have trained these players between the ages of 12 to 22.
Seven of 23 Nigeria players in France were from Nigeria’s Women’s Premier League clubs, with Tochukwu Oluehi and Chiamaka Nnadozie, Evelyn Nwabuoku and Alice Ogebe all from Rivers Angels.
While Chidinma Okeke came from FC Robo, Alaba Jonathan from Bayelsa Queens and Amarachi Okoronkwo from Nasarawa Amazons.
In the breakdown, Rivers Angels will receive $45,500 – the largest amount under the allocation, followed by Nasarawa Amazons with $27,534, Bayelsa Queens third with $27,103 and FC Robo Queens fourth with $25,810.
The Super Falcons reached the World Cup knockout stages for the first time in 20 years at the showpiece event in France under the tutelage of Thomas Dennerby after their last progression in 1999.
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