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Christmas Message: Muslim Coalition Warns Against Attacks On Kukah

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Those vilifying the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Archdiocese, Rev. Father Matthew Kukah for speaking against the current administration have been warned to desist from actions that could deplete the peace of the country.

The coalition of Nigerian Muslim Professionals, in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, said that Nigeria would be a great place if there were two or three persons like Kukah.

A statement signed by the group’s National Coordinator, Prof. Mohammed Inuwa, noted that President Muhammadu Buhari may have meant well for the country but faulted the President in some actions taken by his administration which it said was not promoting unity.

The coalition said instead of vilifying the cleric, it would be to the President’s best interests to take Bishop’s message as a wake-up call to adjust for the good of Nigeria

It noted that promoting the interest of one region against others is not what a good leader is known for, adding that in as much it loves the president, the coalition will want him to leave a legacy of a united Nigeria.

The Muslim coalition condemned in its entirety attacks trailing Kukah’s Christmas Day Message, where he bemoaned the state of the nation, warning that unless leaders sit up, Nigeria was heading towards a failed state.

Kukah had also accused Buhari of piloting Nigeria into darkness in the message titled: “A Nation in Search of Vindication.”

He had emphasised the worsening state of insecurity in the country and berated the current Federal Government of glaringly abandoning the nation’s extant Federal Character Principles and rather promoting nepotism with impunity.

The development has been drawing criticisms from the President’s friends, political associates and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

However, the coalition commended Kukah for what they described as “his boldness to speak truth to power”, faulting those vilifying him.

The Nigerian Muslim Professionals took a swipe at those trolling the Bishop, saying they were doing it for their pecuniary gains and not the interest of the country.

It warned against twisting the message to mean the Bishop endorses coup, saying contrary to those promoting that insinuation, the revered Bishop was too learned to support such ignoble path to installing leadership, saying Nigerians with a conscience would not fall to the antics of those twisting the Bishop’s message for selfish reasons.

The group said having followed Kukah’s activities and preaching since the days of the military, it was convinced that not too many Nigerians took the interest of the country at heart like Kukah.

“Even during the military era where people dreaded the powers that be at the time, Kukah, who was then a Catholic priest spoke truth to those at the helm of affairs without fear or favour. He has shown through his actions all the years that he is a true son of Nigeria in particular and Africa in general,” the group stated.

“We should support him for being bold enough to come out to speak what many Nigerians know is the truth but afraid to speak out for fear of the leadership.

“While we must admit that President Muhammadu Buhari means well for the nation, we must say that most people in his government are grossly incompetent and don’t deserve to stay around power even in an uncivilized space,” the group stated.

The group said it would not shy away from the truth even though most of the president’s actions drawing criticisms were in favour of its region.

It flayed the glaring marginalisation of the Igbos in every facet of national life, saying the development was not promoting national cohesion which nationalists that laid down their lives for the country’s independence wanted.

“There’s nothing wrong with Kukah’s statement in the actual sense. Some regions particularly the South-East has been marginalized in successive governments, and the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari came and amplified it with the worst,” it added.

It described those attacking Kukah as faceless individuals who were being promoted by selfish people in leadership to silence the truth.

”We strongly condemn the wrong approach taken to respond to a message by a patriotic Nigerian by these incompetent people working to derail the president’s agenda.

“It is completely wrong to be attacking Kukah by some faceless sponsored groups. Kukah did not in any way call for a coup, he is too learned to do that.

“We stand completely with Kukah, this government must be fair to all Nigerians irrespective of tribe and religion,” it said.

 

 

 

 

 

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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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