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Clergy challenges Government, INEC to make polling units devoid of thuggery

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Clergy challenges Government, INEC to make polling units devoid of thuggery

By John Akubo

The catholic Bishop of Idah Diocese Right Reverend Bishop Anthony Adaji has admonished the major actors in the 2019 general election especially INEC to ensure the environment at the polling units is conducive for the electorate to freely exercise their franchise without any let or hinderace.
The clergy who spoke yesterday in Lokoja said however that if the gangsters highjack the place and thugery becomes the order of the day people should stay back because it is not worth dying for.
“The politicians if you die for them their children are overseas and poor people will be suffering and they are unable to pay school fees so in election it is not worth fighting for any political party.”
On the other hand he said, If they make the make the situation conducive for election people should go out to vote.
Earlier on Sunday the Bishop challenged christian politicians to made the difference by living out their faith as Christians in their political lives as greed among leaders has remain the bane of Nigerian development.
Speaking at a thanksgiving Mass offered for the survival of the minster of State for labour and employment Professor Stephen Oceini earlier on sunday at the cathedral church of Our Lady of Mercy at Idah he berated politicians who try to stockpile properties and wealth for their children and children yet unborn as being selfish.
Adaji noted that it is wrong for politicians to be arrogant and care less for those they are supposed to serve diligently and selflessly.
He said if politicians would do the needful by ensuring good governance is allowed to prevail when they are elected, there would be no need to amass wealth in corrupt manner for their children as they would would grow to live their own lives to the fullest by acquiring what would be enough for their lifetime.
Adaji bemoaned the greed among leaders and politicians that have truncated the needed development that would have made Nigeria a better place for all.
He said God has a purpose why he saved the minister, the vice president and the others on board the Helicopter that crashed and they all came out unscathed.
You are seated alive today strong and alive because of the power and mercy of God.
The Bishop indicated that the plan of the devil was for all of them to perish however God said it would not be.
He said the purpose is to make them more charitable by doing what is right.
“Place before yourself the view of eternity which many tend to forget when they are in power. Be a different and Christian politician and know that eternity is larger than anything. God is kind to you because you are kind to people.”
While thanking God for the life of the Minister and others in the ill-fated helicopter crash, the Bishop admonished politicians to always make positive impact on the society and to serve humanity and their creator with sincerity and deep commitment.
The minister in his response described his miraculous escape along with the vice President Yemi Osibanjo and 7 other members of his entourage in the ill fated helicopter crash as the handiwork of God.
The said crash was happening barely 2 years and half after his predecessor James Ocholi who was also minister in the same ministry died along with his wife and first son on 6th, March 2016 in an auto crash.
The minister said it was not the first time he was escaping death in an accident recalling that in 1993 he also escaped death in an auto crash that claimed 6 lives adding he was among the only three survivors.

He said it was not in the plan of the enemy for them to be alive but because of the mercy of God they were in the church celebrating the thanksgiving.
He prayed for the church that non of the members will witness accident.
“I believe in the word of God which has been seeing me through not without challenges. This is not the first of its kind, that is why I have every course to continue to pray and give more devotion to the service of God.
“Right from first experience in 1993 when I was involved in a very fatal accident when 6 lives were lost and only 3 of us survived that accident. That is why I made a vow that I will continue to serve God in my life.
I want to say here in the course of my duty as Minister or as a member of this church if I have offended any person please forgive me.
“When you see me going wrong in any aspect of my life draw my attention, give me a call or send me a text.”
“The world is a very small place, it is the grace of God that is seeing us through. Sometimes when we seat down we plan for five years, ten years without recoursse to God who is the only one that can determine a person’s life in the next 10 minites.”
Professor Ocheni also thanked Nigerians, and indeed the people of Kogi State for their concern and prayers.

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EndSARS Protests: NGO urges FG to deploy legal, constitutional means

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EndSARS Protests: NGO urges FG to deploy legal, constitutional means


By Friday Idachaba

Patriots for Growth and Development Initiative (PGDI), a Kogi-based Non‐Governmental Organization has called on Federal and State Governments to deploy every legal and constitutional means to end the nationwide EndSARS protests.

Mr Isaac Salami, Executive Director of PGDI who made the call at a Press Conference on Monday in Lokoja.

Salami said the call had become necessary to protect lives and livelihoods of Nigerians in view of the escalating acts of disruption, attacks and killings in recents days in parts of the country.

He said that the trend, if not quickly arrested, could plunge the nation into a state of anarchy as he attributed it to efforts of Fifth-columnists.

He described it as “A careful planned effort and hardwork of Fifth-columnist and enemies. If you see crises coming into peaceful agitations like this know that the 5th Columnists are at work to subvert the relative peace and unity in Nigeria.

Salami noted that President Muhammadu Buhari in his October 12, national broadcast, stated that the disbandment of SARS was only the first step in government’s commitment to police reform.

He held that the government had started implementing all the five-point demands of the protesters and did not see any justification for the escalation of the protests.

“We therefore see no reason why the protesters should continue to be on the streets thereby creating opportunities for negative characters to perpetrate anarchy leading to threat of lives and livelihoods of Nigerians.

“We clearly understand that the original intentions of the protesting youths is for an end to SARS, and Police reform. We also affirm the constitutional and democratic rights of every patriotic Nigerian to protest.

“But the violent dimension that the supposed peaceful protest has taken in the past few days has shown that some enemies of the State are marauding as protesters to unleash mayhem and confusion on the peace and unity of Nigeria.

“We ask the government at the Federal and State levels to use every legal and constitutional means to protect lives and livelihoods of all”, he said.

Salami also called on all patriots and leaders to lend their voices and support to end the protests across the country while the citizens await and monitor implementation of the demands “to a logical conclusion.” (NAN)

FDJ/

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Gov Tambulwa commends President Buhari for flood intervention

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Gov Tambulwa commends President Buhari for flood intervention

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambulwa of Sokoto state has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his intervention after floods that ravaged Gwadabawa, Ilela, Sokoto North, Wammako, Bondinga and Tambuwal Local government areas, destroying farmlands and crops in the state.
The Governor gave the indication at the weekend when the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq visited the state to distribute relief items to flood victims and also flag off the Rural Women’s special Grant Project .


“I must thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his goodwill message, empathy and sympathy earlier, on the natural disaster that ravaged a number of our communities, as well as his support to the victims affected.
He said they are working on a supplementary budget to be presented to the State House of Assembly, to see how we can rebuild houses, hospitals and schools affected by the flood.
He also commended President Buhari for the Social Investment Programs.
“There are so many of them and we appreciate the much that Sokoto state has benefited from these programs. We assure you that the people and government of Sokoto state are willing to partner with you on any program that will benefit the people”. 
The Governor who described Sokoto state as women friendly also promised to do more to empower women especially those in the rural areas.
Earlier, the Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq sympathised with the state government on the flood incident.

She said President Buhari is concerned about the devastation caused by the flood and has directed her ministry to activate the National Emergency Management Agency to respond in providing necessary support to the affected persons.
“I am here with the Director General of NEMA to present relief items approved for distribution  to assist the affected persons”
Food items delivered to the state include 1,502 bags of Maize, 1,502 bags of Rice 1,502 bags of Beans, 107 kegs of palm oil, 43 kegs of Vegetable oil, 202 cartons of seasoning , 141 cartons of tin tomatoes and 22 bags of salt. 
Other relief items given to Sokoto state include 3868 blankets, 3868 mattresses, 3004 mosquito nets, 3780 bags of cement, 3780 bundles of roofing sheets, 723 bags of nails, 200 packets of zinc nails and 72 cartons of detergent.
The minister noted that before the distribution of the items, the flood affected persons in Goronyo Local Government Area had already received support from the Federal Government through NEMA. 
“NEMA Sokoto Operations Office has conducted an on-the-spot assessment in the Local Government Areas of Binji and Silame and the following relief items have been approved and due to be delivered before the end of the week. 
455 (12.5kg) bags of rice,  455 (12.5kg) bags of maize, 455 (25kg) bags of beans, 76 cartons of seasoning, 46 kegs (20 Litres) of vegetable oil, 38 cartons of tomato paste, 910 blankets, 910 mattresses, 910 mosquito nets, 600 bags of cement, 600 bundles of roofing sheets, 200 packets of zinc nails, 67 bags of 3 inch nails
Minister Umar Farouq also announced the payment N5,000 monthly to 3,465 poor and vulnerable households in Sokoto state, while 29,676 vulnerable households awaiting enrollment.
She appealed to the governor to assist the state to enroll more people for the intervention programs. 

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Martins warns FG against deployment of army to quell #ENDSARS

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Marthins warns FG against deployment of army to quell #ENDSARS

Archbishop of Lagos Catholic Archdiocese Alfred Adewale Martins has warned the Federal Government against the deployment of the Nigerian Army to quell the unending #ENDSARS protest.

This was contained in press Statement the cleric personally signed and was issued on Saturday.
The Archbishop was speaking against the backdrop of a BBC News report on 15th October that insinuated that the Nigerian Army may be deployed to quell the protests by force.
He observed that such action if carried out would be counter productive henceforth he expressed the hope it does not happen.

Such a measure he said if adopted, can only lead to injuries and possible deaths, and an escalation of the protests.
“It has the tendency of turning the largely peaceful protests into a violent one.”
He said Nigerians must all remember that the whole world is watching to see how they handle this situation.
“We, therefore, call for dialogue and mutual understanding in addressing the situation at hand for the benefit of our young people and the future of our country.”
He expressed the believe that a sincere and transparent response to the demands of the young people would go a long way in resolving the present impasse.
“The youths, on their part, must continue to go about their protests peacefully and not allow themselves to be led into any act of violence, no matter how small.”
He however commended the government for acceding to the demands of the youth. According to him, now, the whole country looks forward to practical steps that would be taken to implement them.
“We therefore urge the Federal Government to toe the line of engagement in dialogue, listening to the demands of the youth and other well -meaning Nigerians.
Martins indicated that the disbandment of the dreaded Special Anti -Robbery Squad (SARS) and subsequent replacement with the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) has not assuaged the demands of the youths, who have consistently trooped out on the streets in rain and sunshine, even at nights, to show their dissatisfaction with the solution offered by government to their demands.
“The issues are clearly more fundamental than the replacement of one police unit with another. The youths, and indeed most well-meaning Nigerians, are calling for justice for the individuals and families affected by the brutality of the policemen attached to the disbanded SARS unit.
“They are also using the protest to bring to the fore the systemic failures which have led to widespread corruption, lack of accountability and massive youth unemployment, among other ills.”
Hence he concluded by asking the Government to dialogue with the protesters rather than the use of force.

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