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CAN Accuses FG, MURIC Of Twisting Kukah’s Christmas Message

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have risen in defence of Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, saying he never in his Christmas message made any expression suggesting an affront to Islam or call for a coup.

The Christian body, therefore, accused the Federal Government and the President of Muslims’ Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof Ishaq Akintola of twisting Kukah’s message, stressing that it was injurious to the development of the country.

CAN’s position was contained in a statement signed by its Vice Chairman in-charge of 19 Northern State and Abuja, Rev. John John Hayab, and made available to newsmen.

The vice chairman said that Akintola’s earlier statement as a reaction to Kukah’s message was misleading.

He called on the international community to counsel Akintola on the need to take the path of honour in matters of national importance.

The statement read thus: “CAN 19 northern states and Abuja has read with great shock attempts to further divide the nation by the Presidency, the leadership of MURIC and other individuals and groups aimed at twisting the crux of the homily Bishop Kukah gave at Christmas.

“Of grave misgiving is the baseless claim in a statement signed by the President of MURIC, Prof. Ishaq Akintola that Bishop Kukah had “referred to Islam as a violent religion” and “calls for a coup.

“That such a statement comes from Prof Akintola is not only laughable but misleading and tissue of lies. Records show MURIC’s leadership is often careless with assertions and many times acting as if it was a political platform instead of a religious one.

“CAN 19 northern states and Abuja, therefore, condemn in its entirety the misleading and inciting statements of MURIC and its likes calling on the international as well as the local community to particularly counsel Prof Akintola of MURIC to learn to walk the path of honour and not be a merchant of crisis.

“Reading through Bishop Kukah’s ‘A Nation In Search of Vindication’, CAN is unable to find any expression suggesting an affront to Islam or a call for a coup.

“Sadly, MURIC aims to incite citizens against one another along the lines of faith instead of denouncing the insecurity witnessed across the country which is the point Bishop Kukah’s message. From the east to the south, west and all over the north, travelling has become a nightmare while hapless people are dragged from their homes for ransom.

“Our memory is fresh with the gruesome killings of 76 farmers in Borno State in early December 2020 whose crime was simply being farmers irking for a source of livelihoods for their families. What was MURIC’s statement at the time of that national tragedy? How about the Kankara boys kidnap and the excruciating pains the kids, their parents and school were thrown in?

“CAN 19 northern states and Abuja do not read a statement from MURIC and their likes. Now, from the blues, as Bishop Kukah talked the truth to power, we read unscrupulous statements aimed at painting black a message that was clear and concise alerting the government of its failure on the security of lives and property of Nigerians.

“Given the current happenings in Nigeria with kidnapping, banditry, horrible atrocities committed against hapless citizens by members Boko Haram, Nigerians should be united in condemning and finding solutions to the awful condition that we are in as Bishop Kukah has rightly done. For those castigating the referred cleric, we would call them by name – they are sectional zealots who only see the trouble in Nigeria from their primordial views.

“It is time for the Presidency, MURIC, and misinformed individuals to eschew their intolerance and admit that Nigeria under Buhari has strayed from the path and vision that the independence of this great country was fought for and won.

“Let the government do the right thing by creating a sense of inclusion for all sundry, defending the citizens from harm, bringing an end to the growing insecurity in towns, cities, and villages that we could attain greatness together.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Reps Urge FG To Revisit School Feeding Programme

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The House of Representatives, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to revisit the school feeding programme, suspended over sundry controversies.
The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme was a pilot programme launched in 2004 targeting 12 states to provide a nutritious midday meal to public primary school pupils in the country:
In 2016, the programme was relaunched nationally, targeting public primary school children using locally sourced ingredients to improve health, stimulate agricultural production, and boost smallholder farmers’ income.
Recall that President Bola Tinubu, on January 12, 2024, suspended all programmes of the National Social Investment Programme Agency for six weeks.
The four programmes administered by NSIPA are N- the Power Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, and Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
Following the adoption of the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Special Duties and Finance to invite the Ministers of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Education, and Finance to revisit the program and propose solutions for its future success.”
The House, while adopting a motion on “Urgent call to revisit school feeding policy” moved by the member representing Tarauni Federal Constituency, Kano State, Mr Muktar Zakari, noted that the philosophy behind the NHGSFP is to encourage enrollment into the public primary schools, address childhood hunger pangs, and improve their ability to concentrate, learn, and increase school attendance.
The lawmaker, a member of the New Nigeria People’s Party, lamented that “The suspension of the NHGSFP by the current administration is unsettling for several reasons, namely reduced school enrollment and attendance, compromised health and cognitive development of the children, and disruption of the income of smallholder farmers.”
He also said “Addressing the programme’s challenges is crucial, but a complete suspension may cause more harm,” noting that “It is important to find alternative solutions or efficient implementation of the NHGSFP to ensure Nigerian children continue to benefit from this important initiative.”
In his words, “The cancellation of the programme is causing an upsurge in the number of out-of-school children, posing a threat to the country’s future and leading to a high rate of crimes, insecurity, and unemployment.”

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Kogi Lauds Appeal Court’s Verdict On Ododo’s Victory

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The Kogi State Government has hailed the verdict of the Appeal Court, Abuja that yesterday uAtiku hails Supreme Court judgment on LG autonomypheld the victory of the state governor, Usman Ododo.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, made the government’s position known in an interview with journalists shortly after the judgment was delivered in Abuja.
Fanwo described the judgment as “sound,” adding that the it represents “echoes of the indisputable victory” of the governor at the poll.
He said the governor remains unwavering in his faith in the judiciary.
The conmissioner said, “Today’s judgment represents echoes of our victory on November 11, 2023. We campaigned round the state and worked hard to reassure the people that our party is the most reliable to take the state forward.
“November 11 will continue to be remembered in Kogi as the day that Kogites across the senatorial districts united to speak with one voice, birthing a resounding victory for the incumbent governor.
“Today’s verdict has offered another great opportunity for those who lost at the poll and in the courts to join the governor in moving the state forward.”
Fanwo said the court case did not in any way slow governance down as the governor has continued to “roll up his sleeves and deliver democracy dividends to the great people of the state.
“The jubilation that greeted the verdict affirming the victory of the Chief Servant of Kogi is a demonstration of the triumph of the people’s will.”
He urged the people of the state to continue to support the governor to make the state the Confluence of Excellence.

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Insecurity: Reps Want Modern Technology Deployed In Nation’s Borders

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The House of Representatives has called on the Nigeria Customs Service to deploy modern technology to secure the nation’s borders with neighbouring countries.
The directive followed the adoption of a motion on “Need to employ the use of modern technology to secure the nation’s borders,” sponsored by the member representing Awka North/Awka South Federal Constituency, Anambra State, Obiageli Orogbu at Thursday’s plenary.
Consequently, the Reps mandated “The Nigeria Customs Service to beef up the nation’s border security with modern technological gadgets.”
It also directed its Committees on National Security and Intelligence and Customs and Excise to “Interface with the relevant agencies of the executive arm to ensure implementation and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.”
Leading the debate, Orogbu said that there are over 320 illegal routes into Nigeria “That serves as horrendous channels for the influx of inadmissible aliens and goods.
“Nigeria at the moment lacks sufficient security personnel to safeguard the existing illegal routes across the borders. These unmanned routes provide avenues for insecurity, proliferation of arms, and dumping of unwholesome goods into the country;
“The porous borders have provided an impetus to the thriving drug and human trafficking routes all over the country.”
Justifying the significance of the motion, the Labour Party chieftain noted that, “Border policing has since shifted from the mundane use of only human beings to the deployment of sophisticated electronic based equipment for potency.
“The deployment of technologies like electronic sensors, video monitors, and night vision scopes to detect illegal entries has proved more effective in western countries than human security.
“Advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, (drones) and dark fighter cameras are available to further enhance border controls,” she added.

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