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Priests of Lokoja Catholic diocese pleads with Bello to pay workers salary

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Priests of Lokoja Catholic diocese pleads with Bello to pay workers salary

The Nigeria Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NCDPA/LD), Lokoja Diocese has decried over one year economic hardship being experienced in Kogi State due to unpaid salary of some workers.
The State has been enmeshed in prolonged workers verification and screening exercise for the past 13 months, though some have taken their salaries but many are yet to get salary for over 12 months.
This was contained in a communique tagged a message of hope to the lay faithful of the catholic diocese of Lokoja, signed by Very Reverend Fr. Cyril Fanaiye and Rev. Fr. Daniel Sule chairman and secretary respectively and was made available to the Guardian in Lokoja yesterday.

It stated,
“That we are fully aware of the yoke of poverty as well as its stench prevalent among our people for over a year now.
“In fact, we are all in the same fragile Titanic ship being tossed here and there by the whirlwind of economic recession almost to its sinking point.
The communiqué likened the plight of the people to the narrative of Chinua Achebe’s two popular novels: “No Longer At Ease” and “Things Fall Apart”.
It pointed out that a good numbet of Parents, aging poor pensioners, and the vast majority, workers, have gone without pay for over a year.
“Business men and women are affected as well and have become dejected because potential and regular customers – (the same unpaid workers and pensioners), have no money to make purchases from them.”
Continuing it stated that even the innocent children and students whose schools may or may not be on strike, are forced to go on empty stomachs during the course of their studies and while at home.
The communique indicated that the agonies and pains are being felt by most families in the state. “We are even aware that some have even died in the course of this one year of untold hardship.”
It reiterated the position of the clergy of being prophetic in tandem with our collective calling; to be the voice of the voiceless and rise to the defense of the oppressed.
“The Lenten message of the Holy Father, Pope Francis based on the story of the rich man and Lazarus in the gospel of St Luke 16: 19 – 31, said among other things that, although “‘the other person is a gift,’ but ‘sin blinds us’ enough not to see poverty in the faces of the many ‘Lazaruses’ created by our pomposity, opulence, greed, avarice, wastage and negligence”.
The communique called on all stake holders especially Catholic faithful who are in privileged positions to advise the government to pay attention to the plight of the people.
It appealed to the government to pursue and seek the desired change with a human face.
“We ask that they show pity and concern for the citizens of the state since by law, the primary role of any well meaning government is the well being and security of her citizens always.
“Good as infrastructural development is, only those who are alive can benefit from them.”
The communique however said there is hope in that Government has put modalities in place to pay workers all their salary arrears as well as pensioners benefits.
“We want this speedily done because our people have suffered enough already. We have never stopped praying for all our people and the government too.
“We are a people of hope and just as Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto Diocese says, “hope is never in recession”. So, we believe that things will be better again.”
It stated that there will always be a resurrection after death for those who are in Christ Jesus and for all people of goodwill.

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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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