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BELLO, AUDU’S FAMILY RIFT DEEPENS

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BELLO, AUDU’S FAMILY RIFT DEEPENS

•OUR SON’S ARREST, POLITICAL PERSECUTION —AUDU’S FAMILY

•IT IS UNFAIR TO CONNECT ME WITH MOHAMMED’S ARREST —BELLO
Yinka Oladoyinbo, Lokoja
The crisis generated by the arrest of the first son of a former governor of Kogi State, Mohammed Audu, continued on Friday as the Audu family and the state government traded blame over the development.
The Audu Oyidi Royal Family of Ogbonicha, Ofu Local Government area of the state, described the arrest and the arraignment as “political persecution of the highest order”.
The family accused the state government of masterminding the arrest for political purposes.
In a statement signed on behalf of the family by the Oregoh Attah of Igalaland, the paramount ruler of Ogbonicha, the family lamented the media frenzy that attended the arrest and arraignment of their son on trumped up charges that are politically motivated and affirmed their implicit confidence in his unimpeachable integrity.
It will be recalled that Mohammed, son of the late Prince Abubakar Audu,  All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the November 21, 2015 governorship elections in the state was arrested and arraigned before the Chief Magistrates Court in Lokoja on Thursday for armed robbery, conspiracy and attempted culpable homicide.
The statement reads: “We are surprised with the news of the arrest and arraignment of the son of our late patriarch, Mohammed, on trumped up charges of armed robbery, conspiracy and attempted culpable homicide.
“We believe that Mohammed is a responsible man from a respectable background who would do no such thing as to bring disrepute to the name of our family. The story by his uncle, Yahaya, that he was attacked and beaten up and that the attack was masterminded by Mohammed is purely a family matter that should not have been politicised to this extent.
“Since the matter is already before a law court, we shall refrain from further comments for now but suffice to express our utter condemnation of the apparently coordinated media frenzy that attended the arrest and arraignment,” the family stated.
Also, stakeholders of the APC from the three senatorial districts of the state on Friday rose from an emergency meeting in Lokoja and condemned the arrest and arraignment of Mohammed.
According to Hon Kehinde Afolabi, who spoke on behalf of the group, it was unfortunate that members of the late Prince Audu’s  family were being hounded and persecuted despite the political nightmare the family is going through.
“Why would people not allow the soul of the dead to rest well. Prince Abubakar Audu lived and did his best for Kogi State as governor. The least the authorities should do is not to persecute his family members but to encourage them.
“We hereby condemn in totality the show of shame where Mohammed was arranged on what we believe are pure trumped up charges aimed at scoring cheap political points. Kogi is currently passing through some difficult times politically and we are of the view that all hands must be on deck by the various stakeholders  to keep the peace and not to disrupt it,” the statement said.
But the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya  Bello, has again dissociated himself from the ordeal of the first son of the former governor.
He said as a governor, he had no power to stop the security operatives from performing their duties of protecting the lives and properties of the people of the state.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Kingsley Fanwo, said the governor never ordered the arrest of Mohammed.
He said, “It is unfair to connect the arrest of Mohammed Audu to Lugard House. Since his inauguration, the present administration has accorded respect to the late political icon. The state-owned university was named after the late Prince Abubakar Audu and the state government also gave him a posthumous award for his contributions to the development of the state.
“The arrest of Mohammed Audu was an affair of the late politician’s family. We would not want to comment heavily on what is before the court because the administration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello holds the judiciary in high esteem.
“However, we must begin to separate criminality from politics. The fruitless attempt by our opponents to use the arrest to score cheap political scores has failed woefully because the people knew the facts of the matter.
“Yahaya Audu, younger brother to the late Prince Abubakar Audu was allegedly attacked and he mentioned the people behind the attack. It has nothing to do with the governor.
“We are laying down the gauntlet in Kogi State that nobody is above the law. Even the governor is not above the law. The law is no respecter of anybody, therefore, anyone caught breaking the law must be made to dance to the music.
“Kogi State government will continue to ensure the protection of lives and properties. The Governor was elected to ensure security.
“Governor Yahaya Bello will not be found interfering with the duties of security agencies.
“Kogi State belongs to all and the governor is working hard to make the state achieve its potential.
“We urge political opponents to embrace the spirit of a new Kogi State under the new direction, which frowns upon criminality and ethnic chauvinism. We are one people, united by destiny for prosperity and posterity.”

Bello, Audu’s family rift deepens •Our son’s arrest, political persecution —Audu’s family •It is unfair to connect me with Mohammed’s arrest —Bello


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17 persons die in seperate accidents on same route in Kogi

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17 persons die in seperate accidents on same route in Kogi


17 persons including five children, two policemen and their driver lost their lives in seperate autocrashes Thursday on Itobe-Anyigba road in Kogi State.

First was that involving a mercedez-Benz truck and an ambulance conveying an empty casket with two police inspectors and a civilian driver travelling to Anyigba to take the body of a dead police sergeant.

The trio died when their ambulance van had a headon collision with a Mercedes-Benz truck coming from the opposite direction.

On the same day 14 persons also perished in a multiple accident involving three vehicles; two trucks and a passenger bus along the same route.
The State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Solomon Aghure, who confirmed the incident to newsmen in Lokoja on Friday, indicated that three vehicles; two trucks and a passenger bus, were involved in the accident.
He said that the three vehicles were travelling on the same lane enroute Anyingba when a truck suddenly hit the bus from behind and as a result of the impact, the Bus skidded and hit the truck in its front.
Aghure said that the bus was trapped in between the two trucks with all the passengers before his men arrived the scene to carry out rescue operation which lasted for hours.
He disclosed that 14 out of the 23 persons involved in the accident died on the spot, adding that nine others sustained various degrees of injury.
Aghure said that three men, one woman and five children (two males and three females) survived the accident with some injuries.
He said that the injured were taken to Holley Memorial Hospital, Ochadamu for treatment while corpses of the dead were deposited at the morgue of Grimard Hospital, Anyingba.
Aghure,who attributed the accident to possible break failure,said further investigation would be carried out to determine its actual cause.

 

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Presidency tells Muslim group to exercise restrain even though Kukah actually injured Islamic faith

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Presidency tells Muslim group to exercise restrain even though Kukah actually injured Islamic faith


The Presidency has indicated that, though it agrees with Muslim Solidarity Forum that Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto actually injured the Muslims in his Christmas day homily it’s unconstitutional for them to issue him quit notice.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu spoke in reaction to the threats for the Bishop to quietly pack and leave Sokoto should he fail to apologise over the controversial sermon.
The Muslim Solidarity Forum had issued what seem like a subtle threat to Bishop Hassan Kukah to tender an unreserved appology or quietly leave the seat of Caliphate.

The spokesman for the President in a statement said, Kukah has truly injured the Muslims, but he should be guided in his utterances and take into cognisance, Sokoto’s heartbeat of Islam in Nigeria.
Shehu said, it’s unconstitutional for an individual or group to issue quit notice to a citizen under whatever circumstances, saying, father Mathew Hassan Kukah must be allowed to practice his religion.
Nationalupdate reports on Tuesday indicated that the Sokoto based Islamic group, “Muslim Solidarity Forum”, at a press briefing said the Bishop is known for his perchance to speak in parables and innuendos against Islam in a provocative manner.

The spokesman for the President in a statement said,
“Father Kukah has greatly offended many with his controversial remarks against the government and the person of the President, with some even accusing him of voicing anti-Islamic rhetoric.
“On matters such as these, responsible leadership in any society must exercise restraint. Knee-jerk reactions will not only cause the fraying of enduring relationships, but also the evisceration of peaceful communities such as Sokoto, the headquarters of the Muslim community as beacon of pluralism and tolerance.
“The reported ultimatum by a group based in Sokoto, “Muslim Solidarity Forum,” calling on the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev Matthew Hassan Kukah to tender an unreserved apology to the entire Muslim Ummah over his recent “malicious comments” against Islam, or quietly and quickly leave the state, is wrong because it is not in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Under our Constitution, every citizen has the right to, among others, freedom of speech and expression, the right to own property and reside in any part of the country, and the right to move freely without any inhibitions.
“Nigeria’s strength lies in its diversity. The right for all religions to co-exist is enshrined in this country’s Constitution.
“The duty of the government, more so, this democratic government, is to ensure that the Constitution is respected. But all must respect the rights and sensitivities of their fellow Nigerians.
“The Sultanate has historically had good relations with followers of all faiths. That is why Father Kukah was received on his arrival in Sokoto with friendship and tolerance.
“Under our laws, groups or factions must not give quit notices, neither should they unilaterally sanction any perceived breaches. Where they occur, it is the courts of law that should adjudicate. Unilateral action is not the way to go.
“Groups such as the Muslim Solidarity Forum must be seen to share and uphold the country’s multi-religious principles. And individuals like Father Kukah must respect the feelings of his fellow Nigerians in his private and public utterances.”

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Group tackles Bishop Kukah, demands immediate arrest

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Group tackles Bishop Kukah, demands immediate arrest

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has described Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah’s recent controversial statement as unguarded and open incitement to military coup and insurrection against the democratically elected government of Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement signed by its National President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima on Monday, the group
condemned “Kukah’s use of nepotism as weapon of calumny against government and people of Nigeria.”

The AYCF demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution of Bishop Kukah for what it described as treasonable felony against the Nigerian state.

In the alternative, the group called on Federal Government to place Kukah on special watchlist for this open attempt to “set the South against the North in order to destabilize our country and further complicate matters.”

Shettima, in the statement, took exception to what his group described as “Kukah’s latest role in devil’s advocacy, as the North struggles to restore peace and enduring security in the region and indeed Nigeria.”

The statement noted that “such a reckless statement by Kukah betrays something much more sinister against both the North and the nation as a whole because Nigeria is at a stage that it requires responsible advice for attaining peace and stability, not deliberate attempt to mischievously compound our problems.

“If Kukah wants to play politics, he should not do so in the pulpit and he should keep the Bishop’s office aside and chose any Nigerian political party platform to contest President in 2023 and stop all the pretences,” the statement said.

It reminded Kukah of the rough road tread by democracy heroes to rid the nation of military dictatorship at a time when he was nowhere in sight.
“We will not allow opportunists who did make any contribution to scuttle the democracy achieved through the our sweat and toil and the sacrifice of our liberty,” Shettima said in the statement.

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