Five members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) were injured, yesterday during a clash between the security operative and members of Shi’ites.
The confrontation occurred during the procession of members of the IMN at Burger roundabout in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Shi’ites are demanding the unconditional release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat detained by government in a correctional facility in Kaduna State.
A member of the IMN Ibrahim Yahaya, told our correspondent: “As I am speaking to you five of our members have been killed by the police.”
However, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has told President Muhammadu Buhari and Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, to watch their backs as the day of reckoning was very nearer than they ever thought.
The group also condemned recent comments that their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky was being tried for crimes committed in Zaria in the past.
IMN, also known as Shiites, in a statement signed by President of its Media Forum, Ibraheem Musa, yesterday morning, said that contrary to recent reports attributed to el-Rufai that their leader and his followers perpetrated terror in the Zaria clashes of December, 2015 between IMN and the Army, they were the victims of the terror orchestrated by the state.
“With increasing pressure on the Buhari regime from home and abroad occasioned by the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague to investigate the crimes against humanity committed by this regime during the Zaria Massacre of 2015, there have been increased efforts at belittling the matter and trivializing the issues.
“This reached a peak when the Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru el-Rufai insinuated that so long as he remains Kaduna Governor, Sheikh el-Zakzaky would remain in detention. According to the governor, Sheikh el-Zakzaky is being tried for crimes he and his followers committed in the last 30 years in Zaria.
“On the contrary, the Sheikh and his supporters were the victims of state terror and crimes and not the perpetrators. After the criminal invasion of the Sheikh’s residence in December of 2015 and the subsequent killing of hundreds of his supporters including his sons and relatives by officers and men of the Nigerian Army, the Sheikh and his wife were shot at and arrested.
“The Department of State Security (DSS) illegally detained them without charges until May, 2018, when the pressure on the government to release them became so intense and unbearable. It was at that point that the government thought of charging them of inciting his followers to commit alleged offences.”
He said before then, the government had struggled to find explanations for their continued detention, forcing it to claim that the Sheikh was being kept in protective custody, while his wife, Zeenat, was keeping her husband, company.
“The government arrested hundreds of members of the Sheikh el-Zakzaky-led Islamic Movement and put them on trial for allegedly being responsible for the death of one of the soldiers, who was accidentally shot by his colleagues. The Kaduna High Court has cleared all of them of these framed up charges and subsequently discharged and acquitted them all. So, what crimes is el-Rufai referring to?
“Governor el-Rufai’s fraudulent claims that only court can free Sheikh el-Zakzaky pales in the face of the obvious. Firstly, the fabricated charges of inciting, aiding and abetting brought against him (as a ploy to perpetually keep him in detention) have been squashed in the high and appeal courts. Secondly, the Federal High Court had declared his detention as unconstitutional, and therefore, ordered his release.
“Thirdly, even when the Kaduna High Court granted the Sheikh medical leave, el-Rufai never conceded. He took measures to thwart the medical bail, putting stringent terms and conditions independent of the courts. Clearly, el-Rufai, like General Buhari, has no respect for the rule of law. Justice will be served. We will intensify our peaceful campaigns until justice is done to the victims of Zaria genocide of December, 2015 and Sheikh el-Zakzaky and all those still being held regain their freedom,” Ibraheem added.
Shell’s Ultra-Modern Medical Centre Donation Excites Ogun Community
The government of Ogun State and leaders of Ogijo Community in Sagamu Local Government Area of the state have described the 20-bed ultra-modern medical centre donated to the community as a model of primary health care facility worthy of replication across the state.
The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, who took delivery of the facility in a virtual ceremony last Wednesday said the donation was timely, coming at a time that the state was struggling with the dearth of facilities to manage the increasing cases infection of the novel coronavirus in the state, adding that the state government alone could not bear the burden of public healthcare delivery.
The medical centre, with doctors’ quarters, alternative power system, water treatment plant and a medical ambulance was built, equipped and furnished by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) in partnership with SNEPCo’s co-venture partners.
“We’re very appreciative to NNPC and SNEPCo. This medical centre could not have come at a better time as it will go a long way in strengthening the state’s primary healthcare delivery system,” said Coker.
According to Coker, NNPC and SNEPCo had supported Ogun State for more than eight years during which the companies had trained over 200 state health workers.
“With this state-of-the-art medical centre, I am sure that the people of Ogijo would have the qualitative, affordable and accessible healthcare that the governor promised all the citizens of Ogun State.”
The traditional head of Ogijo, Oba Kazeem Gbadamosi, noted that the facility was not just a pride for Ogijo but for Ogun State.
“This is the best of its kind in Ogun State and we’re so excited to have this delivered to our community by NNPC and SNEPCo.”
Managing Director of SNEPCo, Bayo Ojulari, who handed over the facility to the state government noted that the focus of the social investment policy of the company was on health and education, and that SNEPCo would continue to strengthen its relationship with governments across Nigeria for better healthcare and education systems.
“Our health intervention programmes have been delivered in many states and our secondary school and university scholarships are continuing to grow. With the support of NNPC and our co-venture partners, we will not relent.”
General Manager of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, an NNPC subsidiary, Bala Wunti, who was represented by NNPC’s General Manager, Services, Yahaya Yunusa, charged the state and Ogijo Community to provide effective management of the facility in a manner that will provide the required healthcare services to the people.
“Sustainability should be paramount in the management system to ensure that the facility serves the purpose for which it is meant.”
The facility was the second of its type donated by SNEPCo in recent times.
The company had recently rehabilitated and equipped the Casualty and Trauma sections of the General Hospital Odan, Marina in Lagos State with state-of-the-art medical emergency equipment, and also donated fully equipped custom-made ambulances for easy access different parts of the state.
Shell Employees Launch N82m Free Feeding Programme
Employees of Shell companies in Nigeria have launched free feeding programme in COVID-19 isolation centres in seven states under the Shell Employee Care Programme, the General Manager External Relations of Shell Nigeria, IgoWeli, said in a statement issued on Sunday.
“The programme has kicked off in Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo, Lagos, Ogun and Rivers States and it is a further demonstration of care to the people following the numerous intervention programmes by Shell companies in Nigeria particularly in support of government at all levels in the fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic,” Weli said.
The feeding programme, according to Weli, was being funded from personal donations by staff and contractors of the Anglo-Dutch integrated energy giant, the total amount of which was matched by the companies to make up the N82.6million for the programme.
The programme delivery strategy involves a collaboration with the state governments, non-government organisations and certified caterers to provide freshly cooked meals daily to patients and healthcare workers at the isolation centres.
Head of Clinical Services at the Bayelsa State Isolation Centre in Yenagoa, Dr James Omietimi, who oversees the distribution of the meals said, “I eat the lunch provided and the nutritional value is good because of the variety. I can tell you it’s tasty and meals have been coming in daily.”
So far, this intervention has provided over 31,000 meals to the isolation centres with plans to scale up to 54,000.
Shell companies in Nigeria had earlier donated ambulances, testing machines and kits, medical consumables and personal protection equipment to Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Rivers states to help in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2012 and 2018, staff and contractors of Shell companies in Nigeria had also made personal cash donation to provide succor to victims impacted by the unprecedented flood and Internally Displaced Persons humanitarian crises in the Niger Delta, Kogi and Anambra States, and North East of Nigeria, as part of the Shell Employees Care scheme.
Shell companies in Nigeria comprise The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC); Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo); and Shell Nigeria Gas.
Social Action Condemns Police Arrest Of Fuel Hike Protesters
Social Action comprising of various non-governmental organisations has called for urgent reversal of hike in fuel price, as it condemned police arrest of fuel price hike protesters.
In a statement signed by the Communications and Advocacy Manager of Social Action, Lilian Aikhigbe, and made available to The Tide, in Port Harcourt, the body averred that the fuel price hike was ill-timed and unwarranted.
It further said, “the organization, therefore, condemns the harassment and brutalisation of several civil society actors, students and journalists who were arrested by the Nigeria Police following a series of demonstrations across the country, against the petrol price and electricity tariff increment.”
The organisation maintained that it was within the rights of Nigerian citizens to publicly express displeasure with the insensitive policies of the government which were glaringly inimical to the wellbeing of the Nigerian masses.
“Most Nigerians are yet to recover from the economic downturn occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many lost their jobs or experienced a drastic drop in personal income, owing to the pandemic”, it said.
The body insisted that the price increment was, therefore, ill-timed and highly insensitive for the government to initiate policies that could bring more suffering upon the people, no matter the reasons proffered by the government as justification for the increment.
“We, therefore, strongly demand for a reversal of this anti-people policy which has already brought untold hardship to many Nigerians. We stand in solidarity with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), students’ union bodies, Civil Society Organisations and the Nigerian masses to call for the immediate reversal of the fuel price increment and electricity tariff hike.
“We also call for an immediate end to the needless harassment of patriotic citizens protesting the hike in fuel and electricity costs, as it is undemocratic for such well-meaning citizens to be arrested on account of their legitimate stance against the suppressive and draconian policies of the government. Such arrests portray the Muhammadu Buhari-led government in bad light and the Nigerian Police ought to know that the people have the right to hold the government accountable by demanding for good governance and better standards of living,” it insisted.
The body urged the Federal Government to expedite action in revamping the moribund oil refineries in the country, and establish modular refineries as well.
“After several decades of importing refined petroleum products, it is high time the oil-rich nation, popularly referred to as the ‘giant’ of Africa, began to refine as much of its crude oil as is needed to meet local demand, rather than exporting it and placing the burden of these exports on the masses who are made to pay exorbitant prices to purchase the imported, refined products”, it added.
By: Kevin Nengia
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