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2023 Polls: PFN, Northern Christian Elders Kick Against Muslim/Muslim Ticket

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The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), yesterday, warned against the foisting of Muslim/Muslim ticket on the nation by any of the political parties eyeing the presidential seat in 2023, insisting that any political arrangement short of producing a Christian president for Nigeria would be unacceptable to the Christian populace.
The PFN President, Bishop Wale Oke, who is also the president of The Sword of the Spirit Ministries, gave the warning at the grand finale of a 5-day Zoe World Congress tagged: ‘Zoe Worship Extravaganza’ held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Oyo State.
This is as a group, Northern States Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF) has described as insensitive and selfish, thoughts of fielding a Muslim-Muslim ticket for presidency in the 2023 general election.
The group warned that such moves would be massively resisted.
Speaking at the event organised by his ministry, Oke described as evil and selfish, those behind the agenda of having a Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket at the coming polls.
Though he said the PFN was not routing for any party, the cleric, however, maintained that any of the parties that does not factor in the interest of the Christian community in the country, would fail.
He said: “It is disturbing that with the 2023 general election fast approaching, some politicians who are hell-bent in further scuttling the fragile peace in the country are desperately seeking to foist a Muslim/Muslim political agenda on us, a development that will further throw unsavoury spanner into the works, fibre and the tenuous peace of the nation.
“Nigeria is a nation predominantly populated by Christians and Muslims. In fact, the PFN, which by the grace of God I head today, has membership strength of over 65million adherents of Jesus Christ. So, we vehemently say no to Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket; we say no to arrangement that will relegate the Christians to obscurity. This we shall resist by all available lawful means.
“We urge that we follow the routes already taken by the previous administrations of Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, so as to avoid the pitiable paths some are trying to tread for selfish reasons and aggrandisement.
“Anyone who is flying a Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket is satanic and from the pit of hell. The Lord, God of hosts, will crush that satanic agenda. Any party that flies a Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket has failed completely. In fact, it will not only fail, it will scatter.”
He prayed that those behind the plot would not succeed, adding; “It is only the will of God for Nigeria that shall prevail, not the satanic agenda of any corrupt, selfish, self-centred unpatriotic, evil politician who thinks he has enough money to buy up the South-West of Nigeria, and the whole of the nation.”
Besides, he said: “Nigeria belongs to all of us and it will only thrive when there’s fairness, equity and justice. This we are calling for in all our engagements in the country.
“If the two major political parties in the country field Muslim/Muslim candidates, they will both fail. What we want is a Christian president. Buhari must hand over to a Christian. Let everybody know that any arrangement short of that will be totally unacceptable to us. The 65millions strong members of PFN are vehemently opposed to any arrangement of that nature.”
He, however, prayed for peace in the country, imploring those itching to destroy it through their selfish pursuits and primordial sentiments, to have a rethink.
Similarly, a group, Northern States Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF) has described as insensitive and selfish, thoughts of fielding a Muslim-Muslim ticket for presidency in the 2023 general election.
The group warned that such moves will be massively resisted.
This came as the Kaduna Integrity Group and five others, perfected arrangements in Kaduna to woo Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim of the APC into the Presidential race in 2023, insisting that he was the perfect, potential president that would unite Nigeria.
NOSCEF, in a statement, signed by its Chairman, Engineer Ejoga Oyinehi Inalegwu, made available to newsmen in Kaduna, yesterday, said “the Northern States Christian Elders Forum (NOSCEF) read with concerns the reported meeting of a frontline politician with some Northern elders, advocating a Muslim/Muslim ticket, if given the presidential ticket and many days after, the report has not been refuted.
“We wonder which Northern elders were in the said meeting. Let us recall the Abiola-Kingibe Muslim-Muslim ticket that won the election in a military imposed two-party system in 1993. Majority of Nigerians, including myself voted for that ticket because, a vote for that ticket was a vote for fairness, equity, justice and power rotation between North and South, South-East and North-East,” they said.
They submitted that at the previous election, Alhaji Shehu Shagari (North-West)/Dr. Ekwueme (South-East) ruled Nigeria and Abiola/Kingibe, therefore, meant power shifting between North and South and in the North, power shifting from North-West to North-East and in the South, from South-West to South-East.
“Remember there were no other alternatives since it was a two party system.
“Therefore, the same injustice, inequity, marginalisation that Nigerians fought against to vote a Muslim–Muslim ticket cannot now be promoted by voting same Muslim-Muslim or Christian- Christian ticket,” it said.
They explained that Nigerians in 1993, bent over backward to vote and affirm with one voice, that the ill of religious and regional differences were more tolerable than injustice, inequity and marginalisation.
“Northerners across religious lines voted for Abiola from the South, and expected thereafter that it would only be fair, for power to shift back to North-East or North-Central.
“The voting pattern re-echoed Fayemi’s saying that ‘unity cannot endure where injustice, marginalisation and inequity thrives’. It was a vote against injustice and marginalization,” they recalled.
NOSCEF said that it was deeply concerned about this kite being flown again.
“When we remember the speculated rift between Senator Bukola Saraki and the clique that had pressed in 2015 for a Buhari/Tinubu Muslim-Muslim ticket, which Saraki and many like-minded patriots had considered insensitive in the Nigerian state.
“Linking it with the North-West, would remind observing Nigerians, who have seen how a similar insensitivity has deepened the divide and mistrust in the North-West state,” they pointed out.
The group said that they had identified with the president in his call for unity, and therefore, condemn in strong terms, any move that will further aggravate the lines of divide for selfish political gains at the expense of a peaceful and united Nigeria.
“We appeal to all Nigerians across party, regional, ethnic and religious divides to rise up and mobilise the citizenship against any inconsiderate politician or political grouping, seeking to promote exclusion and marginalisation of any section of our country.
“Those that do not wish Nigeria well have no business seeking its leadership,” they warned.
They added that such politicians will make every attempt to manipulate Nigerians as a people, through double talks and deceit but, “we trust that God who put us together for a great nation, will defeat them in all their antics/craftiness and bring to pass the expectations of true and patriotic Nigerians seeking a truly united and prosperous Nigeria.”
They, therefore, tasked Nigerians to pray that anyone who plans to rise to power in Nigeria, by fuelling the embers of discrimination, using the instrumentation of religious ethnic differences will fail, because God is greater and wiser than any manipulation of man.
“NOSCEF being mindful of the various crisis that has bedevilled our nation to date calls on all Nigerians to be vigilante and prepared to defeat the enemies to our peaceful co-existence without regard to party affiliation and persuasion.
“Remember that loyalty to the nation Nigeria, ranks far above loyalty to any party.
“The nation is in dire need of a selfless, considerate, sensitive, honest, transparent leader who will unite, bind, and heal the wounds that have posed a great danger to our corporate existence as a nation, integrate and foster lasting bonds of unity of our dear country.
“We need politicians across party lines and all peace loving Nigerians across religious, regional and ethnic divides to reject politicians sowing seeds of further polarization and work for/align with inclusiveness, unity, equity, fairness, justice.
“This might even entail going against regional and party affiliations to drive home the point that power is giving in trust for the good of the people not for self-centred ambition.
“Anyone that is seeking the highest political office of the land at the expense of the peace the nation and building of tolerance amongst the diversity of our country cannot lay claim to being a patriot and would, therefore, have no business being encouraged or voted to such a position.
“NOSCEF enjoins Nigerians to continue to pray for our country,” it concluded.

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FG Declares Thursday Additional Holiday For Eid-el-Fitri

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The Federal Government has declared tomorrow, Thursday, as additional public holiday to commemorate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr Aishetu Ndayako, made this known in a statement he shared on the ministry’s X account, yesterday.
The statement said, “The Federal Government has approved Thursday, April 11, 2024 as an additional public holiday to celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr.
“The Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, while congratulating the Muslim Ummah for a successful completion of a month of spiritual rejuvenation, reiterates President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s firm commitment to providing a safe and prosperous Nigeria for all to thrive.”
Saudi Arabia, on Monday, said the crescent of Shawwal has not been sighted, indicating that the fasting would continue on Tuesday.
It also added that the Eid-el-Fitr would hold today, Wednesday, to mark the beginning of the new Islamic month.
The Federal Government had earlier on Sunday declared yesterday (Tuesday) and today, (Wednesday) as public holidays to mark the Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

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Engage In Credible Opposition, We Won’t Hunt You, Fubara Tells IPAC …As Group Passes Confidence Vote On Rivers Gov

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has assured that the right climate will be created for all political parties to operate so that they can engage with Government and offer credible opposition.
The Governor emphasised that it was the best thing to do, especially because the opposition political parties have acknowledged that elections are over, and are resolved to offer effective support required to advance good governance in the State.
Governor Fubara spoke on Monday when he played host to the leadership of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Rivers State Chapter, led by its Chairman, Barrister Sensei Solsuema Osaro, at Government House in Port Harcourt.
The Governor insisted that an egalitarian society will be engendered so that people can feel free to voice their opinions without intimidation, because, according to him, those criticisms will contribute to having more focused implementation of policies that serve the general good of the State.
“So, we are happy to identify with you. We are assuring you, even when you leave here, criticise me, I don’t have problem with that, it is meant to spur me to do well. We will continue to give you the freedom. We will not cage anybody. We will not revoke your property.
“You can also take my message to your National Secretariat, we will continue to stand on the right path. We will support them because we can see that they are also doing what is right. Anytime they need our support, let them feel free to ask for it,” the Governor said.
Governor Fubara commended IPAC for identifying with his Administration, and pledging to collaborate efforts for the good of the State.
The State Chief Executive pointed out that no person who truly loves Rivers State, whether embittered, or not, will gladly want to burn down the State to achieve personal or political agenda.
The Governor said whatever political strength anybody claims to have, it amounts to nothing without the State and its people.
Governor Fubara assured that his team in Government will steadily work, genuinely, to protect the interest of the State.
While thanking the delegation for the vote of confidence passed on him and investing him as their Grand Patron, Governor Fubara urged them to tread the path of peace always in their activities.
Governor Fubara promised to consult with them and include their interest whenever appointments are made, and promised to donate a utility vehicle to enhance their logistics, while committing to support the upcoming programme of the body.
In his address, the Rivers State Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Barrister Sensei Solsuema Osaro, thanked Governor Fubara for the opportunity to meet with them, and announced that IPAC has passed a vote of confidence on the Governor.
He also announced the decision of IPAC to honour the Governor as the Grand Patron and Leader of the umbrella body of all political parties in the State.
“IPAC is a roundtable of political parties saddled with the responsibility of enlightenment, advocacy, educating, and inspiring courage among political parties and the society at large.
“With the elections come and gone, it is practically the time for governance and to ensure all derivable of dividends of democracy to the people of Rivers State.
“Herein lies the core of our visit today to forge a collaborative bond with you, His Excellency, to foster partnership for the overall interest of Rivers State.
“We heartily congratulate you on your victory at Supreme Court judgement, which affirmed your election at the polls. To this end, we in IPAC have passed a vote of confidence on His Excellency, and assure you of our collaborative, collective and individual support to succeed now, and in the course of your administration, and after,” he added.
More than 17 State Chairmen of Registered Political Parties in the State were in the delegation to pay a solidarity visit to the Governor.
Highlights of the visit were the presentation of a large plaque of portrait picture, certificate as Grand Patron, IPAC T-Shirt and Fez Cap by IPAC Chairman to Governor Fubara.

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Our Position On Rivers PDP Ward, LGA, State Excos Unshaken -Fubara

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The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has debunked as fake and misleading, the purported list of Caretaker Committee members circulating in the social media and published in some national dailies on Thursday, April 4, 2024.
The Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, who said this after a meeting with the NWC at the National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza in Abuja, last Thursday evening, restated that the resolutions of a meeting held between the NWC and members of the Board of Trustees (BOTs) and PDP Governors’ Forum in Abuja in March on the issue remain valid.
Governor Fubara reiterated the position of the party that the executive officers whose tenures had expired in March, shall remain in their various capacities until the three months’extension period approved by the NWC elapses, and new congresses conducted to replace them.
He recalled that a letter signed by the National Organising Secretary, Hon Umar M. Bature, dated Wednesday, March 27, 2024, addressed to the Chairman, Rivers State Caretaker Committee, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon Aaron Chukwuemeka, and titled: “Approval of Wards, Local Government Area and State Caretaker Committee Members for Rivers State”, had clearly resolved the issue of the authentic members of the Caretaker Committees at the affected levels.
The letter, copied the Acting National Chairman, Amb. Umar Iliya Damagum; Deputy National Chairman, South, His Excellency, Amb. Taofeek Arapaja; the Executive Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara; National Secretary, Senator Samuel Anyanwu; and National Legal Adviser, Ajibade Kamaldeen Adeyemi, SAN, reads in full, “Following the expiration of the elected Ward, LGA, and State Executive Members in Rivers State, the National Working Committee (NWC), pursuant to the provisions of Section 29 (2) (b) of the Constitution of our Party, has, on behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC) approved the appointment of the expired Excos as Caretaker Committee Members.
“For the avoidance of doubt, attached to this letter is theauthentic list of the Caretaker Committee Members in Rivers State. These Caretaker Committees shall run the affairs of our Party at their appropriate levels for a period of three (3) months effective from the dates of their expiration, i.e. March 14, 18, 21, 2024 for Wards, LGA, and State, respectively.
“Please note that the NWC equally approved that anywhere vacancies have occurred due to death, removal, resignation, or defection, such vacancies shall not be filled.
“While thanking you for your continuous commitment, please accept the assurances of the NWC’s highest regards”.
Governor Fubara emphasized that the party stands on the agreement reached on the issue as encapsulated in the letter by the NWC to the State Chairman of PDP dated March 27, adding that no amount of intimidation, clandestine moves, wasteful lobbying and needless expenditure of public funds will change the position already taken.
The Governor stated that the list purported to be members of the Caretaker Committees of the party in the state was only the imagination of its purveyors, and advised those whose names were removed in the fake list and gullible members of the public to ignore it in its entirety.
He said that the party did not at any time remove or replace the names of officers whose tenures had been officially extended for three months, pending possible National Executive Committee ratification on April 18.
Governor Fubara insisted that what was published on Thursday and circulated on social media is not only fake, concocted and manipulated to suit the desperate ambitions of enemies of the State and its people, but a deliberate attempt to provoke members and cause discord in the party.
He observed that the list published in some national dailies and circulated on social media on Thursday was the handiwork of politicians who were spending public funds to cause unnecessary tension, anxiety and friction in the polity, and also distract the Government from the real task of governance in the State.
The Governor urged the elected officers of the party at ward, local government, and state levels whose names were removed and replaced with fictitious names to remain calm, and go about their legitimate duties as officers of the party.
He also warned those fomenting trouble and fanning the embers of confusion and disunity to retrace their steps, and embrace peace or face severe consequences.
The Governor also warned those whose names were forced into the fake and fabricated list of purported Caretaker Committee members being circulated not to be deceived by anybody with unmerited appointment, and avoid parading themselves or showing their presence at any party offices pretending to be officials, as anyone caught would be made to face the full wrath of the law for forgery and impersonation.

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