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Group tackles Buhari over Lopsided Appointments, wants immediate review

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Group tackles Buhari over Lopsided Appointments, wants immediate review

…insists that Christians are being persecuted in Nigeria under Buhari

A group, the Christian Rights Agenda (CRA), has tackled President Muhammadu Buhari over his lopsided appointments that is skewed against Christains.
They want the President to immediately review the appointments to douse the growing suspicion and discontentment.
This was contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the group’s interim director of Publicity, Tom Chiahemen which was made availlable to the NationalUpdate in Abuja.
The group indicated that available data has shown that the President’s
appointments, especially in his second term, are heavily skewed against Christians, especially those of northern extraction.
They therefore challenged the Presidency to make public the entire list of all Federal
Agencies and Parastatals and their heads noting that appointments such as Personal Assistants
and Special Assistants cannot in any way be equated with those of heads of Parastatals and
agencies.
The group noted that for the first time since Nigeria’s independence in 1960, Christians, especially those from the northern part of the country are not adequately represented in all arms and agencies of the Federal government.
“And for a nation that claims secularity as a principle, this development is not only worrisome but
a precursor to a feeling of marginalisation and its consequences, CRA notes.
“The president ought to (and should) see himself as father of the nation but his body language
and appointments since 2015 have left much to be desired.”
The group explained further that it is the first time in the Nigerian political history that all the three arms of government are headed by Muslims.
They pointed to the fact that the Executive is headed by President Buhari, the Legislature is headed by Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan and the Judiciary is headed by Justice Mohammed Tanko who are all muslims from the North. “Nigerians may recall
that President Buhari illegally removed a southern Christian, Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria and replaced him with a northern Fulani Muslim in the person of JusticeTanko.
“The situation is even worse in the legislature as both chambers of the National Assembly are
not just headed by Muslims but the House of Representatives is completely and totally in the hands of Muslims with the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Majority Leader and the Chief Whip all
Muslims.
“In this circumstance, we may not be wrong to conclude that the coast is now clear for anti-Christian laws and other legislative resolutions to pass through this 9th
Assembly unhindered.”
The CRA said it expects the President who chose and endorsed the present leadership of the legislature to
have taken notice of the Nigerian reality as a people.”
The statement indicated that from the foregoing the only agenda of Buhari would have been pursuant to his islamisation agenda in Nigeria.
“CRA notes with concern, that for the first time since 1999, when Nigeria returned to civilian rule
there are only two northern Christians in the Federal Executive Council as ministers out of 24 ministers from the northern part of the country.
“They are George Akume (Special Duties) and Mrs. Pauline Tallen (Women Affairs) from Benue and Plateau states respectively

“Worse still is the fact that these two very low members of the cabinet are assigned to what the
Federal government itself regard as “Grade C” ministries. All the remaining 22 are all Muslims.”
They also accused the president of appointing two senior ministers from the same states-Defense and Agriculture both from Kano state and Finance and Environment from
Kaduna state.
This they said had never happened since 1999 to have all such positions with all Muslims from the same goe-political zone (north west) as the President.
“In Kwara state, the two Ministers Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Senator Gbemisola Saraki are all
Muslims and then in Bauchi State, with Minister of Education Malam Adamu Adamu and Minister of State for Trade and Investment Hajiya Maryam Katagum all Muslims.”
The statement indicated that in Kaduna state particularly, since 1999, it has been the convention that where the Governor is a Muslim the minister is appointed from Southern Kaduna to balance the equation.
“There are many qualified southern Kaduna Christian APC members who worked for Buhari’s election and are still in the APC and yet have been left in the cold.
“In the Federal Capital Territory FCT, where the minister is a northern Muslim, the minister of
state has always been a southern Christian.
They said however, under Buhari, “We have both the minister Alhaji Mohammed Musa Bello and minister of state, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani, northern Muslims
from Adamawa and Kogi states respectively. This is unprecedented in our history.
“On the whole, out of the 44 ministers in Nigeria, only 16 are Christians while 28 are Muslims.
This huge disparity in the constitution of the Federal cabinet is not only the first of its kind in Nigeria, it is a dangerous precedent to say the least.
“As if this is not enough, the lopsidedness in the appointments of security and service chiefs has
left Christians, especially northern Christians, in the cold.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the following appointments in the military, para-military and security
sectors will suffice to buttress the point as out of 17 heads only four (4) are Christians while all
the rest are northern Muslims.
They listed them to include, National Security Adviser, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Inspector General of Police, Comptroller General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service, Comptroller General of Nigerian Immigration Service, Comptroller General of Nigerian Correctional Service (Prisons) and Director General of the Department of State Service
Othwres are Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Commandant of the Federal Fire Service, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Chief of Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA).
“All the above are not just Muslims but are all northerners.
The question we are asking President Buhari is: Are there not qualified Christians in the north
and other Christian parts of this great nation, whose strength lies in her diversity, that can hold these posts?
“The entire south and Christians are just left with Chief of Defense Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, and Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Commission and the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission.
‘Only four, just four.’
They observed that in a desperate effort to counter allegations of his anti-Christian appointments and deportment the Presidency released a list of political appointments however,the list of Directors- General, Managing Directors,
Executive Secretaries, Executive Directors and heads of extra-ministerial Parastatals is omitted.
“This is nothing but a desperate attempt to hide the facts and cover up for the unprecedented
lopsided appointments by President Buhari. CRA believes that is another form of corruption.”
The group explained the lists of appointments as enumerated above has put paid to the belief that President Buhari
is implementing an islamisation agenda in Nigeria where all sensitive and strategic Federal
government positions are now the exclusive preserve of Muslims especially northerners.
“Recently, the National Judicial Council NJC, recommended Rosemary Kanyip from Taraba
State, and Eleojo Enenche from Kogi state, respectively, for appointment as Judges of the High Court of FCT but missed the chance and their sin is the religion they profess. ‘CRA notes
that a larger percentage of people don’t choose their religion.
Recently, the National Judicial Council NJC, recommended Rosemary Kanyip from Taraba state
and Eleojo Enenche from Kogi state for appointment as Judges of the FCT High Court but missed the chance and their sin is that they are northern Christians.

“CRA notes that a larger
percentage of people don’t choose their religion.
“Taking cue from the body language and policies of President Buhari, some northern state Governors have also been pursuing a total islamisation agenda.
“In June 2019, Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu removed Justice Elizabeth Karatu as Acting Chief Judge of state and replaced her with a Muslim, Justice Suleiman Ambursa who was her junior on the bench and compulsorily retired her from service.
“In December last year, Gombe state Governor Inuwa Yahaya removed Justice Beatrice Iliya as
Acting Chief Judge of the and replaced her with Justice Muazu Pindiga who was also her junior
on the bench.
“In Kano state, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje removed Justice Patricia Mahmoud as Acting
Chief Judge and replaced with a Muslim Justice Nura Sagir even though she was the most
senior in the state. “Justice Patricia Mahmoud was appointed into acting capacity by former Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso on January 10, 2015 at the twilight of his tenure.
“In Borno state, a Christian judge was also blocked from becoming Chief Judge of the state even though he was the most senior in service.
“The marginalization and persecution of Christians in Kaduna state under the administration of
Malam Nasiru El-Rufai is not only unparalleled but is the worst in the country.
“For the first time the Governor, Deputy Governor, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, the Secretary to the state Government, and over 70 percent of Commissioners are all Muslims.
Yet according to them it was happening despite the fact that the 2006 National Population Census indicated 12 out of 23 local
government areas with dominant Christian population constitutes 51.5 percent of the population
of the state.
They drew the attention of the International community to the
brazen marginalization and persecution of Christians, especially northern Christians by
President Buhari and his co travelers in the ignoble path.
“There cannot be any further confirmation of persecution of Christians in Nigeria under President Buhari than this.
“This is a
confirmation of the recent report of persecution and marginalization of Christians in Nigeria
under the Buhari administration released by the United Kingdom Parliament.”
They urge President Buhari to review the skewed and one-sided appointments in the spirit of equity, inclusiveness, national cohesion as well as the overall interest of peace.

They say by so doing the president would be engendering peaceful
co-existence.
“The Federal Character as enshrined in section (14) sub-section (3) of the 1999 constitution which states that, “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of
its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the
federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command
national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few
State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its
agencies.”

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Humanitarian ministry insists States hoarded palliatives

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Humanitarian ministry insists States hoarded palliatives

The minister of Humanitathas denied having any link with hoarded palliatives meant for distribution to the needy during the COVID-19 pandemic by many states as she restated that all palliatives donated to the ministry were distributed accordingly.
The minister made the disclosure on Monday during a national Press conference in Abuja on the activities of the ministry since inception.
She said, “Recently, the world witnessed the unfortunate incidence of looting of palliatives and relief materials stashed away in warehouses in some states of the country during the #EndSars protest.

“As the Minister of
Humanitarian Affairs, I want to categorically state that the Palliatives
donated to the Ministry by the Nigerian Customs Services, National
Strategic Grain Reserve, and many good willing donors were handed to
State officials for onward distribution to the poor and vulnerable in thier
states.

“The Ministry identifies its strategic role and impact in the everyday lives of the Nigerian. We want to assure the public that we are on ground working every day for Nigerians.”

She expressed satisfaction with the success story of one of the Federal Government’s Investment programs, the N-POWER as 109, 823 benefitiaries have successfully started their own businesses

According to her, “After the two-year period, facts and reports show that some of the
beneficiaries of Batch A and Batch B of the programme have established
businesses in their communities, with no fewer than 109,823
beneficiaries of the N-Power Programme who have identified themselves
as business owners.

According to her, “Current Enrolment Status of beneficiaries for N-power Batch C closed in July 2020 and we have received over 5 Million applications since the portal opened.
“The application process will be concluded as soon as possible to provide additional Nigerian youths access to the programme.
“At this juncture, I want to officially announce that the Central Bank of
Nigeria in collaboration with the Ministry has developed a portal to
enable the exited N-Power beneficiaries to log on and apply for the
various economic empowerment and entrepreneurship options provided by the Central Bank such as the AGSMEIS loan and the AnchorBorrowers Program (ABP). “Interested N-Power exited beneficiaries
should log on to the CBN portal for more information.
The website portal is nexit-fmhds.cbn.gov.ng as displayed on the screen.

Farouq also refuted the claim that her ministry has been feeding the Internally Displaced persons with poor nutritious food saying the Ministry has been making different grains available and also allow other bodies who make donations of their choice which the Ministry cannot restrict or limit.

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FG mulls reversal of Fuel price (PMS) as organized labour mounts pressure

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FG mulls reversal of Fuel price (PMS) as organized labour mounts pressure

The Federal Government may be planning to reverse the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to N160 per litre if the pressure being mounted by the organised Labour on the Federal Government is fruitful.

At the end of the resumed negotiations between government and the labour movement Friday night, the Federal Government indicated willingness to consult widely with the view to reviewing the price downward.

The indication shows that   the new price might be unveiled at the resumed meeting slated for December 7.
The Federal Government said the period between now and then would allow it embark on a wide range consultation over Labour’s request.
Labour had insisted that the pump price must be reviewed downward to N160 before negotiations can proceed on the hike in electricity tariffs and deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, who disclosed this at the end of the latest meeting between the Federal Government and organised Labour on the recent increases in the pump price of petrol and electricity tariff, added that the meeting agreed to let the government side consult with their principal and every relevant authority on the request of the Labour
He stated: “The message from the organised Labour is clear; they want a reversal of the pump price of PMS. The parties have agreed to let the government side consult their principal on that. We will consult the President, minister of Petroleum and the Economic Management Team.”
The minister noted that though it was no longer the responsibility of government to fix the pump price of PMS as it had been deregulated, the matter still fell within the realm of the economy.
On the issue of the electricity tariff, Ngige said the committee working on it, headed by the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, already had an interim report and would use the opportunity created by the adjournment of the meeting to undertake field visits to the different Distribution Companies (DisCos) in Nigeria and come back with a more comprehensive report.

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INEC chair: Lawan denies taking N2b bribe to confirm Yakubu

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INEC chair: Lawan denies taking N2b bribe to confirm Yakubu

By James Ojochegbe

The president of the senate Ahmad Lawan has denied collecting any gratification of N2b to facilitate the confirmation of the INEC chairman as alleged by an online publication.

This contained in a Statement issued in Abuja by his special Adviser on media Ola Awoniyi.
The statement reads, “The attention of the Office of the Senate President has been drawn to a report by SaharaReporters alleging that a group led by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, collected N2billion from Professor Mahmood Yakubu to facilitate the confirmation of his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari to a fresh five-year tenure as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“It is noteworthy that the publication, as always with its ridiculous fabricated reports, could not even expand the entertainment of its readers by providing the names of members of the fictitious group and where the group operates from.
“To be sure, that group exists only in the mischievious imagination of the writer of the fiction.”
The Statement enjoined Nigerians to ignore the report as yet another incident of hallucination by the comical characters operating the fabricated news platform.

“The online medium has long earmed its notoriety as a purveyor of fake news with high profile public officials as its targets. 
“It is well known that only the President can nominate a candidate for appointment or reappointment as Chairman of INEC.
And only the Senate as a body can confirm or reject the appointment, after due screening of the candidate.
“The parliamentary process for the confirmation of nominations by the President is open and involves all distinguished senators.
“The Senate President is only a presiding officer of the Senate and does not lead any group in or outside the august chamber that acts in any way to circumvent the processes of the Senate. “We reassure Nigerians that the Senate President did not receive any gratification, in his or behalf of others, to help Professor Yakubu get a second term as chairman of INEC.”

He challenged SaharaReporters and the sponsors of the false publication to provide whatever evidence that they can in support of their glib claims, failing which Nigerians should dismiss the report as another cheap blackmail from a platform that has no reputation for credible reportage and ethical journalism practise.”

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