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.
Trans-Kalabari Road: Banigo, Stakeholders Condemn Abduction Of Expatriate
Kalabari traditional rulers and stakeholders have condemned the recent abduction of an expatriate staff of Lubric Construction Company working on the Trans-Kalabari Road.
Speaking at a meeting at the Government House in Port Harcourt, last Friday, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo said she was deeply pained by the unfortunate incident carried out by unknown miscreants.
According to the deputy governor, who said that the State Chief Executive Officer, Nyesom Wike, was desirous to bring more development projects to Kalabari Kingdom, regretted that this act was capable of discouraging him.
“I want to reiterate that our governor is very desirous to do more developmental projects in our communities, there are many more things he has in the card to do for us, and if we allow this ugly thing to surface, that attitude will discourage him”, the deputy governor noted.
Banigo, who said that perpetrators of the heinous crime did not drop from the sky, insisted that they were community people, and must be fished out and dealt with decisively, while calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the abductee.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, expressed regrets that a project as important as the Trans-Kalabari Road would be tampered with by persons who do not mean well for the Kalabari people.
“If their intention is to run down the good works of our dear governor, over a project which the Kalabari people have been yearning for over the years, then, I am sure God Almighty will not allow them to get away with this dastardly act of kidnapping one expatriate”, Alabraba stressed.
Alabraba further said, “It is important that we talk to ourselves and ensure that everything possible is done to ensure immediate release of the victim, and ensure that measures are put in place to forestall this type of thing in the future”.
Presenting a seven-point communique, Amanyanabo of Minama, King Iboroma Talbot Pokubo, who represented the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Disreal Gbobo Bobmanuel, demanded for the immediate and unconditional release of the expatriate, and reassured Governor Wike of their unwavering support for the governor.
Buhari Approves Incorporation Of NNPC, Appoints Board Members
President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited be incorporated.
He also approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited with Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as chairman.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, was appointed chief executive officer.
This was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, saying that the president acted in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, has directed the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
“This is in consonance with Section 53(1) of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, which requires the Minister of Petroleum Resources to cause for the incorporation of the NNPC Limited within six months of commencement of the Act in consultation with the Minister of Finance on the nominal shares of the company.
“The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, has, therefore, been directed to take necessary steps to ensure that the incorporation of the NNPC Limited is consistent with the provisions of the PIA 2021.
“Also, by the power vested in him under Section 59(2) of the PIA 2021, President Buhari has approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited, with effect from the date of incorporation of the company.
“Chairman of the board is Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, while Mele Kolo Kyari and Umar I. Ajiya are chief executive officer, and chief financial officer, respectively.
“Other board members are; Dr Tajudeen Umar (North-East); Mrs Lami O. Ahmed (North-Central); Mallam Mohammed Lawal (North-West); Senator Margaret Chuba Okadigbo (South-East), Barrister Constance Harry Marshal (South-South); and Chief Pius Akinyelure (South-West).”
Reject Buhari’s Fresh Loan Request, SERAP Tells NASS
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; to reject the fresh request by President Muhammadu Buhari, to borrow $4billion and €710million.
SERAP said if such request must be granted, the Federal Government should publish details of spending of all loans obtained since May 29, 2015.
The group also expressed fear that if the fresh request is granted, it may take Nigeria’s to over N35trillion.
Buhari recently sought the approval of the National Assembly to borrow $4,054,476,863 and €710million, on the grounds of “emerging needs.”
The request was contained in a letter dated August 24, 2021.
In an open letter dated September 18, 2021, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation expressed “concerns about the growing debt crisis, the lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of loans that have been obtained, and the perceived unwillingness or inability of the National Assembly to vigorously exercise its constitutional duties to check the apparently indiscriminate borrowing by the government.”
SERAP said, “The National Assembly should not allow the government to accumulate unsustainable levels of debt, and use the country’s scarce resources for staggering and crippling debt service payments rather than for improved access of poor and vulnerable Nigerians to basic public services and human rights.
“The country’s public debt has mushroomed with no end in sight. The growing national debt is clearly not sustainable. There has been no serious attempt by the government to cut the cost of governance. The leadership of the National Assembly ought to stand up for Nigerians by asserting the body’s constitutional powers to ensure limits on national debt and deficits.
“Should the National Assembly and its leadership fail to rein in government borrowing, and to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of public loans, SERAP would consider appropriate legal action to compel the National Assembly to discharge its constitutional duties.
“SERAP notes that if approved, the country’s debts will exceed N35trillion. The government is also reportedly pushing the maturity of currently-secured loans to between 10 and 30 years. N11.679trillion is reportedly committed into debt servicing, while only N8.31trillion was expended on capital/development expenditure between 2015 and 2020.
“Ensuring transparency and accountability in the spending of loans by the government and cutting the cost of governance would address the onerous debt servicing, and improve the ability of the government to meet the country’s international obligations to use maximum available resources to ensure the enjoyment of basic economic and social rights, such as quality healthcare and education”, SERAP added.
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