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Eid-el-Kabir: Wike, Others Harp Tolerance, Peace

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, his Benue, Osun, and Kano states’ counterparts, Samuel Ortom, Prof Gboyega Oyetola and Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, have felicitated with Muslims on the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, urging them to emulate the Holy Prophet Mohammed by imbibing the ideals of sacrifice, tolerance and peace exemplified by the Prophet.
In a Sallah message, 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.
He 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 Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has urged Muslim in the state to continue to emulate the virtues of obedience demonstrated by Prophet Muhammad.
Banigo stated this in a goodwill message in Government House, Port Harcourt to felicitate with Muslims as they celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir festival.
According to the deputy governor, Prophet Muhammad was willing to sacrifice his son in obedience to Allah’s Command which she said was a rare quality.
Banigo, who assured them that the Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike-led government would continue to carry all residents in the state along in the scheme of things, urged them to continue to support the governor.
She said the state government was collaborating with the security agencies to ensure a hitch-free celebration, and wished all Muslims a Happy Eid-el-Kabir.
In the same token, Governor Samuel Ortom urged Nigerians to intensify prayers and support for unity and peace in the country.
While felicitating with the Muslims on the occasion, the governor observed that Eid-el-Kabir offered all Muslims the opportunity to exemplify the virtues of piety, honesty, charity and generosity according to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.
The governor, in a statement, yesterday, in Makurdi by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, reiterated that the current spate of insecurity where hundreds of school children were kidnapped daily in parts of the country, armed herders frequently attacked farming communities and kill many people, as well as other acts of terrorism, could only be surmounted if security agencies were given adequate support.
“He emphasized that the safety of lives and property in all parts of the state would remain the priority of his administration, and gives assurance that the present administration will continue to uphold the values of transparency, accountability, justice, and equity in serving the people of the state.
“Governor Ortom once again appreciates the understanding and support Benue people have given him since 2015 despite the challenges the state government has faced within the period; and wishes the people of the state a joyful Eid-el-Kabir celebration.”
Also speaking, Governor Gboyega Oyetola urged Nigerians to maintain religious tolerance and peace in the country.
He urged Muslim faithful to extend the hands of fellowship to the less privileged during and beyond the festive period.
Oyetola said this, yesterday, after the two rakats prayers at Osogbo Central Eid, Oke-Baale, Osogbo.
While congratulating the Muslim faithful, the governor harped on the need to live in peace despite the religious differences.
He said, “I congratulate all the Muslims in Osun State, in Nigeria and all the whole world at large. We thank God that we are able to celebrate this year’s celebration. Last year, we couldn’t celebrate it. But we thank God for giving us the grace to be here today.
“I want to enjoin our people to live in peace. They should extend hands of fellowship to the less privileged. They deserve to celebrate as well.
“We should not emphasise religious differences. We must have religious tolerance. We must love our neighbours.”
Oyetola enjoined Osun citizens and residents of the state to continue to maintain peace and avoid anything that will threaten the peace of the state.
“Let’s live in peace. Osun is noted for peace. I want us to continue to be celebrated as the most peaceful state in Nigeria,” he added.
Earlier in his sermon, the Grand Imam of Osun State, Sheik Musa Animasahun, who spoke on the theme of peace, emphasised the need for Nigerians to promote peace and unity.
He also enjoined the Muslim faithful to appreciate God who made it possible to mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir despite the setbacks of last year which were triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The central mosque was filled with excited Muslim faithful from Osun State and beyond who had gathered to pray to God and mark the Eid-el-Kabir festival.
The worshippers also complied with the safety protocols against the Covid-19 pandemic through the use of facemasks among others.
Similarly, Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has urged Muslims and other Nigerians to pray against insecurity across the federation.
Ganduje, who congratulated the entire people of Kano and Nigerians over the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir, urged them to see to the peaceful and healthy Sallah period, with strict observance of Covid-19 protocols.
He said this immediately after the Eid-Prayer with the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, members of the state Executive Council, party leaders, elders, members of the business community among others at Eid-Prayer ground, Kofar Mata, Kano, yesterday.
“I have to congratulate the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, Chairman of Kano State Council of Emirs, and all other Emirs, the Ulamas, members of the business community, women and youth and the entire people over the coming of this Sallah period,” he said.
He cautioned that, “And also it is very important, since the third wave of Covid-19 is in sight, we should be able to follow the protocols so that we prevent its effect. We say prevention is better than cure. I think that is very important.
“Also, we should continue to pray to Allah Ta’ala to continue protecting our state and the entire country from the insecurity situation that we observe at the moment.”

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Trans-Kalabari Road: Banigo, Stakeholders Condemn Abduction Of Expatriate

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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.

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Buhari Approves Incorporation Of NNPC, Appoints Board Members

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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).”

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Reject Buhari’s Fresh Loan Request, SERAP Tells NASS

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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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