Connect with us


Bello’s Looters tithes’ comment get horrendous backlash from Catholic bishops, CAN and others



Spread the love

Bello’s Looters tithes’ comment get horrendous backlash from Catholic bishops, CAN and others

Governor Yahaya Bello’s mockery of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria over visit to President Buhari has recieved horrendous backlask.

The Christian Association of Nigeria, prominent Catholic bishops, two Catholic groups among others have taken on Governor, Yahaya Bello of Kogi State for attacking Catholic leaders who visited President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock last week.

Prominent groups that lambasted Bello for taunting the clerics are the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership and the Progressives Peoples Alliance.

Others, who reacted to the governor’s statement, were the Archdiocese Emeritus, Catholic Archdiocese of Ibadan, Alaba Job, and the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah.

The Catholic bishops had, during a visit to the Presidential Villa on Thursday, told the President that his goodwill had depleted by his glaring failures.

The bishops, under the aegis of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, had expressed their disappointment with the state of the nation and told the President that Nigerians were angry as a result of bad governance in the country.

But Bello, in an interview with the State House correspondents on Friday, told the bishops that only those who were no more getting stolen money to pay tithes were angry with Buhari.

“And of course, those who have looted the country dry and normally go to the church and mosque to pay tithe, are no longer doing so. Of course, these are the category of people that are angry,” the governor had stated.

Bello, a character who accidentally found himself in power –Kukah

But in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents on Saturday, Kukah described Bello’s statement as “a tragedy of leadership in Nigeria.”

He said, “The statement of the governor is not worthy of my comment because I believe that the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria stands for something higher than that. I won’t even dignify him with a response.”

When prodded to speak further on the issue, Kukah added, “This is a character (Bello) that nobody heard anything from until he suddenly accidentally found himself in power. What does he (Bello) know about what the bishops have said? So, I don’t even want to dignify him with any response. I don’t think it’s worth giving him a story.

“Frankly, people of his calibre do not deserve our response. It is also a measure of the kind of people who have strayed into power. I am not going to go into any details. It is a tragedy of what we call leadership now in Nigeria. People who have come with no antecedents; they just come out of the woodworks and occupy an office. And so, I won’t dignify him (Bello) with any response.”

It’s a great pity if Bello made that statement — Job

In another reaction, the Archdiocese Emeritus, Catholic Archdiocese of Ibadan, Alaba Job, described the statement made the governor as disappointing and out of context.

In an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday in Ibadan on the telephone, Job advised the Kogi governor to revisit the purpose of the meeting and what the President told the bishops and compare with his statement.

Job stated, “The governor will not say it if he read what we said to President Buhari at the meeting in Abuja. We told Buhari the truth about what is happening in the country. We told him about hunger, lots of atrocities being committed in the nation, lots of killings here and there and he was happy that we spoke to him. He also told us what he is doing and what he plans to do more.

“I am sorry that the governor made that statement. Who are the people stealing for us? What he said is different from what we discussed with Buhari. Killings, kidnappings, and other forms of evil (practices) are around us. Boko Haram has, to some extent, been suppressed but we now have so many atrocities.

“We did not discuss any issue about money to the church. It is a great pity if a governor made that statement. As far back as 1994, Catholic Church bishops constituted a prayer group that has been praying against corruption in Nigeria.

“The governor’s statement does not ‘belong’ to us, not to the Catholic Church bishops in Nigeria. He should read the statement issued at the meeting and compare it to his own statement. It is out of context.”

Workers committing suicide under Bello’s watch — CAN

Also, CAN and the CDHR, in separate interviews with SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday, advised the governor to address the rot, which he had allegedly brought upon Kogi State.

CAN urged Bello to focus on rescuing his state from the grip of kidnappers instead of “trying to be the President’s errand boy.”

The media aide to CAN President, Pastor Bayo Oladeji, noted that Bello had the rights to express himself, but insisted that what the bishops told the President was the truth about the situation in the country.

He added that the CAN leadership, led by Dr. Samson Ayokunle, had raised similar issues with Buhari during a visit in November last year, adding that what the President told the delegation was what he re-echoed during the Catholic Bishops’ visit.

Oladeji stressed that Nigerians had not experienced so much hardship like the prevailing one under the Buhari administration, adding that Bello should keep quiet if he had nothing sensible to say.

He added, “If he (Bello) says some people were looking for free money, he should keep quiet if he has nothing to say. Under his watch, people are committing suicide and he has refused to pay workers. If he is the one that would be running to Abuja to defend the President, then something is wrong somewhere.”

CAN explained that stakeholders had been harping on the terrible situation in the country, noting that only a few people, including Bello, were more interested in endorsing Buhari for another term in office rather than focusing on the welfare of their people.

“Go to his (Bello’s) state and see what is happening there; Okene is now the headquarters of kidnapping. If the welfare of his people is not his concern, he shouldn’t force the President to follow in his steps. If he wants to become the President’s errand boy, he should resign and relocate to Abuja,” he said.

He’s a disgrace to Not-too-Young-to-Run Campaign –Catholic groups

Also, the National Director, Caritas Nigeria and Justice Development and Peace Commission, Rev. Fr. Evaristus Bassey, said Bello was a disgrace to the Not-too-Young-to-Run Campaign. The CN and JDPC are two agencies of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria.

Bassey said, “Governor Yahaya Bello does not dignify a response. However, he is a disgrace to the Not-too-Young-to-Run Campaign. I believe Bello thinks that by freezing when President Buhari coughs, he will be spared from the wrath of God through the Kogi people who are dying each day because of unpaid salaries and misgovernance.

Even if he escapes human judgment, he will not escape the eternal consequences unless he repents and be a true servant of the people.”

He’s not God-fearing, states PPA chairman

In his own reaction, the National Chairman of the PPA, Chief Peter Ameh, in a statement on Saturday, said Bello had shown he lacked God-fearing characteristics.

Ameh, who is also a Catholic, said, “Knowing the level of sacrifice it takes to become a priest in the Catholic Church, I’m really baffled by the unwarranted attack by the non-performing governor of Kogi.

“It is on record that he remains the governor with the highest number of months of unpaid salaries and non performance despite the huge amount of both internal and federally-generated revenues.

“It is obvious Bello is really looking up to the President for salvation because it is the opposite of the culture and respect Kogi people are known for that he will descend so low to attack the highly-respected position of the Catholic bishops for advice directed at the President.”

Bello is overzealous when defending Buhari — CDHR

Also, the President, CDHR, Malachi Ugwummadu, said Bello was being more Catholic than the Pope.

He said, “Governor Yahaya Bello’s overzealousness in defence of Buhari on every issue as a party faithful is understandable, but certainly he is sounding more Catholic than the Pope.

“You recall that he was the same person that declared a three-day holiday in Kogi State simply because Buhari came from a long medical holiday abroad.

“If he understands the composition of that body, he would devote more energy in interrogating the issues raised rather than the disservice of attempting a dismissal which cannot, in effect, dislodge the critical issues raised.”

His comments opportunistic, says CACOL

In a similar vein, CACOL warned that the submissions of the Catholic bishops should not be dismissed as some Nigerians were truly dissatisfied, saying Bello’s comments were opportunistic.

The CACOL Director, Debo Adeniran, said, “It is true that people are angry for different reasons; although the bishops didn’t carry out any scientific study, the social media is there with so many commentaries.

“A few people are still very germane in their observations, particularly in the aspect of the President’s skewed appointments to a particular region. If there is lacklustre from those security quarters, people can raise complaints.

“Some of the comments (from the Kogi Governor and the bishops) are just opportunistic.”

Melaye apologises for Kogi gov’s ‘verbal diarrhoea’

Meanwhile, the Senator, representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, Dino Melaye, has apologised to the Catholics and Christians in general for Bello’s alleged attack on the clerics.

Melaye, in a statement on Saturday, described Bello’s comments against the bishops as “verbal diarrhoea.”

He said, “I apologise to the Catholic Church and the Christian community for the verbal diarrhoea of the Governor of Kogi State. It is more obvious than ever that he needs some ‘equational’ balances at his end. This affliction on Nigeria shall not arise a second time.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


FG not withholding any budgetary allocation to the Nigerian Army, says Finance minister




Spread the love

FG not withholding any budgetary allocation to the Nigerian Army, says Finance minister
**senate Panel chair decries paltry budgetary allocation to the Army

The Minister of Finance Budget and National Planing Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed on Tuesday said the Federal Government has been doing its best to ensure all budgetary allocation to the Nigerian Army are released promply.
Reacting to the statement by the Senate Committee chairman on Army Senator Ali Ndume statement that the situation is so bad that the Nigerian Army now rations ammunition because of inadequate funding,
She said, “This sensitive issue of financing the security sector of the country, apart from the fact that we try our effort to fund with what is provided from the busget almost 100%, there are also instances when the swcurity services will go to the president for special approval and we still provided the funds.
“So if it is to take stock of the needs of the Nigerian Army, we have an opportunity in the supplementary budget that is coming and we can address some of that.
She enumerated some of the
capital funding for the Nigerian Army in 2019 fir which she said what was budgeted was N19.6b and N12.84b was released representing 64.37%
“In 2020 the total capital budget was N74.37b and this amount was released 100%.
“In 2021, the total busget for the Nigerian Army is N29b and so far we are in May we have released 17.9% of that which means we are on course to also release 100%.
There were some of their needs outside budget because the need was higher than what was provided in the budget provision of N64.5b for the procurement of military equipment that was provided from seperate approval by the president.
we have the detals attached.
she indicated that, in terms of overhead cost, what was budgeted for the Nigerian Army was N15.64B out of which we released N14.22b representing 91.01% for 2019.
“In 2020 what was budgeted was 20.634b and out of it 20.47 representing 99.21%
“In 2021 the budget for the year is N20.6b and 3months releases with overhead is N4.99b representing 96.75% of the autorated budget for the 3 months because the year is still running.”
Ndume earlier had said the people of the North East are gettjng used to BoKoharam attacks because they have vowed that they cannot go anywhere again
“We have been displaced for 6 or 7 years we are scattered all over the country. Those that were strong enough to go back can not sleep confortably.
“I have the insight in the armed forces. it is so bad that the Nigerian Army now rations ammunition. To ration Food is normal but not ammunition.
“I can be quoted I have gone round I have not seen a Nigerian Soldier holding a brand new AK47. I can Understand because in a budget of N13trillion you are allocating less than N30 Billiion to the Nigerian Army.
He alleged that thee only place he has seen Army holding new AK47 is in Abuja because it is the seat of power.

Continue Reading


Nigerian workers demand full implementation of N30,000 minimum wage




Spread the love

Nigerian workers demand full implementation of N30,000 minimum wage

Workers across Nigeria have expressed anger at the non implementation of the N30, 000 minimum wage, insisting that henceforth no worker would accept anything short of full implementation of the N30,000 national minimum wage.

The Workers who gathered for the May Day celebration under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress across the country called on the state governors to fully implement the N30,000 minimum wage approved by the Federal Government.
The workers, said the new minimum wage was not only their rights but also non-negotiable.
The labour union leaders noted that while some states had yet to implement the N30,000 minimum wage, a number of other governors who had implemented it failed to do so fully.

Continue Reading


Humanitarian Minister tackles State Governments over shoddy distribution of CIVID-19 palliatives




Spread the love

Humanitarian Minister tackles State Governments over shoddy distribution of CIVID-19 palliatives

The minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq has blamed State Governments for the shoddy distribution of the COVID-19 palliatives.
She expressed regrets for ever using States for the distribution of COVID-19 palliatives.
Speaking on Thursdsy at an investigative hearing organised by the Senate committee on Special Duties, she said she has not recieved any report from the state governors on how they distributed the food items.
“This has made us to have a rethink and restrategise to see how we can engage other bodies especially the NGOs in subsequent interventions by the ministry.”
It would be recalled that some of the palkiatives given to states were stockpiled in warehouses with many wasting away until the #ENDSARS protest uncovered them. The palliatives were later looted as youths went on rampage, broke into the ware houses and carted away most of the commodities.

Continuing the minister said,
“We handed over grains as directed to the state governments and when we handed over we told them what the intervention is meant for and who it  is meant.
“Unfortunately the EndSARS came with some revelations, some warehouses were vandalised we got to know that some of those warehouses existed.”

She said the ministry was allocated the sum of N551462 for covid-19 intervention in 2020 appropriation which she said has been sum has been utilised for various interventions.
“In addition, the sum of N2 billion 457 million 500k was released to the ministry in respect of the covid19 rapid response and this is part of the allocation of N32,457, 000, 0000 allocated from which N30 billion is yet to be released.
“This sum is meant for the payment of N5,000 each to 1 million vulnerable urban and fairly individuals for 6 months.
“On the modified national home grown school feeding programme, in an effort to ensure and achieve response during covid-19 pandemic, the ministry experimented the modified school feeding programme whereby food was tailored to be provided to households with children of benefiting schools.”
She said the experiment was conducted in FCT, Lagos and Edo.

The Senate Commitee on Special Duties, took up the Minister over spendings of the N32.4billion allocated to her office for palliatives provisions against COVID – 19 pandemic .

The Committee drilled the Minister on how the fund was spent during an interactive session on Thursday.

Senator Ali Ndume ( APC Borno South) who said the Ministry was not doing enough tackled the Minister asking how she thinks Nigerians are not feeling the impact of alleged interventions made by the Ministry in the heat of the COVID- 19 Pandemic.

” You are not doing enough as far as poverty eradication in the country is concerned.

” The modus operandi being adopted by your Ministry cannot in anyway help in fixing the country .

“Humanitarian intervention should be looked at more holistically “, he said .

Also lampooning the Ministry on its modus operandi, the Vice Chairman of the committee, Senator Biobarakuma Degi Eremionyo ( APC Bayelsa ) said the handouts being doled out to some Nigerians as palliatives by the Ministry, cannot in anyway, take them out of poverty line .

“Giving unemployed people N10,000 or even N20, 000 for a month or two, cannot help them out of the poverty related problems facing them .

“The handouts should be channelled into creation of employment for the unemployed ” , he said .

As a face saving measure for the Minister , the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf ( APC Taraba Central), quickly intervened by telling the members that the interactive session was not on poverty eradication by the Ministry but interventions made by it as palliatives against COVID – 19 from the 32.4billion earmarked for it out of the N500billion appropriated by the National Assembly last year .

Continue Reading