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2019: Politicians Using Religion To Divide Nigerians, Says Cleric

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The Senior Pastor, Father’s Touch Ministry Church, Nyanya, Abuja, Pastor Evans Idoko, has accused some politicians of using religion and ethnicity to divide Nigerians ahead of the 2019 election.

Idoko made the allegation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday in Abuja.

“It’s regrettable that the unity of Nigerian is strengthened during sporting activities and otherwise becomes the case during electioneering activities.

“It is an indication that politicians have taken pleasure in using religion to divide Nigerians against themselves for political or selfish reasons. It must stop forthwith! Nigerians must resist it because it will take us nowhere,” he said.

He recalled with nostalgia how Muslims and Christians lived together peacefully some years back irrespective of religious or ethnic differences.

He said such divisions have been responsible for the obvious hatred among Nigerians, which, he said, has slowed down socio-economic and political development in the country.

“As 2019 political activities gather momentum, we appeal to politicians seeking elective offices to eschew hatred and bitterness, and promote courses that will promote peace and unity among Nigerians,” he said.

Idoko advised that the church should take the front row in moblising Nigerians to participate in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

“It doesn’t come by words alone. We have to take a step further to empower people educationally, financially and otherwise so they could have voice and knowledge to take their rightful place in Nigerian political and economic discussions,” he said.

He explained that the church could partner with the Social Exchange Market, to disburse financial grant to citizens not minding their religion or ethnicity.
“We are all one body in Christ Jesus,” he said.

The cleric said that such empowerment initiative should be borne out of utmost desire of the church to rekindle the hope of Nigerians.

He, however, encouraged churches, corporate organisations and individuals with financial ability, to assist to lift the poor off poverty so they could confidently participate in political and economic activities.

 

Sourced From: The Nation Nigeria

 

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Army Rescues Five Abductees, Kill Bandits In Katsina

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By Augustine Okezie – Katsina

A joint military operation in Katsina/Zamfara border forest on Saturday led to the rescue of five abducted residents and left several bandits dead.

The Secretary to the Government of Katsina State, Mustapha Inuwa, who confirmed the development while receiving the rescued kidnapped victims from representative of the Commander, 17th Brigade, Katsina, said the coordinated operation was simultaneously carried out by the joint ground forces of the 17th Brigade and the Air force from Katsina and those in Zamfara axis.

He said the Joint military action, which started in the morning and lasted in the evening, had successfully led to the destruction of the bandits camps and recorded several casualties on their side.

”Some of the bandits fled and abandoned their kidnapped victims who became stranded and finally ran into the hands of the soldiers,” he stated.

A statement by the Director Press to the Secretary to the Government of Katsina State, Abdullahi Aliyu Yar’adua, quoted the SGS as saying: ” if the coordinated military occupation continues and carried out simultaneously in all the affected states, very soon armed banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling would become history in the North West”.

The SSG commended the troops for their gallant operation and called on the leadership to sustain the tempo.

The five rescued persons include 2 males: Amadu Rufa’i, 45years and Habibu Yakubu, 25, both of Mazanya village in Jibia local council of Katsina State.

The three females were: Hauwa’u Lawali,13; Khadija Rabe, 13 and Sumayya Rabe, 10, all of Karamne village in Madarumfa region of Niger Republic.

Narrating their ordeals, the two men said they were kidnapped while working on their farms while the girls said they were hawking onions in Gurbi, which is a neighbouring town in Zamfara State, when the bandits whisked them away.

According to Rufa’i, they spent five days in captivity, adding that the bandits had started demanding for N10m ransom from his family when the military aircraft suddenly stroke followed by “gound soldiers”.

All of them attested that the operation had caused serious damages to the bandits and their camps, claiming to have stepped over several of their corpses in a struggle to get out of the forest.

 

Sourced From: Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics

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Nigeria Resumes Export Of Hibiscus To Mexico

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The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) said that Nigeria would resume the export of hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo, to Mexico.

Dr Vincent Isegbe, the Coordinating Director, NAQS, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said that in 2017, Nigeria exported 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone and earned $ 35 million within nine months of that year.

He added that NAQS had initially suspended the export following the detection of storage pest in some consignments from Nigeria.

”The issue has now been taken care of. That is why we are resuming the export of the plant again.”

He noted that the issue was resolved in collaboration with stakeholders across the value chain, adding that Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus.

“Nigeria is ready to resume export of the plant to Mexico. In a couple of weeks, we will resume shipments.

”Our farmers are eager and the fields are near ready. The harvest season of hibiscus will start any moment from now.

“And the good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt, with harvest available all year round.

“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for the country and support the present administration’s diversification of the economy,” he said.

Isegbe, however, called on farmers to show more commitment to growing the plant in order to increase their income.

 

Sourced From: The Nation Nigeria

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Court Quashes Suspension Of Five Imo Lawmakers

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An Imo State High Court sitting in Owerri, on Monday declared the suspension of five members of the state House of Assembly as null and void.

The presiding Judge, Justice Goddy Anunihu, who declared the processes that led to the indefinite suspension of the five lawmakers as “putting the horse before the cat” awarded, N8m as cost against the three defendants.
The defendants in the suit instituted by the embattled lawmakers were, the Imo state House of Assembly, the speaker, Acho Ihim and the governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha.
The embattled lawmakers are Chiiji Collins, Isreal Nnataraoye, Nkenna Nzerue, Uche Oguwuike and Donatus Onuigwe.
They represent Isiala Mbano, Mbaitoli, Ikeduru, Oru East and Oru West state constituencies.
The lawmakers were in July suspended by their colleagues in what the speaker described as “un-parliamentary conducts.”

They were suspended during the build that led to the impeachment of the state deputy governor, Eze Madumere.

The court had since re-instated Madumere
The presiding justice who tongue lashed the legislature for acting against the law, faulted the setting up of an investigation team to look into the allegations against the now reinstated lawmakers.
Anunihu said that based on the evidence before him, the panel was set up even before the “purported indefinite suspension”

Sourced From: The Nation Nigeria

 

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Ekiti, Two Others To Benefit From $321 Million Abacha Loot

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Indigenes residents in Ekiti State are to benefit from economic empowerment from the $ 321 million loot recovered from the late former Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha.

Two other states in the Southwest, Osun and Oyo, are to benefit from the disbursement of the cash through a cash transfer programme aimed at lifting the poorest of the poor from the abyss of poverty.

The deal for the disbursement of the cash was sealed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between two civil society organizations, New Initiative for Social Development (NISD) and African Network for Economic and Environmental Justice (ANEEJ).

Addressing a news conference on Saturday in Ado-Ekiti, NISD Executive Director, Mr. Abiodun Oyeleye, appealed to the Federal Government not to allow unscrupulous and corrupt politicians divert the $ 321 million Abacha loot released by Swiss government, for personal use.

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari must live up to the expectations of the agreement reached with the Swiss Bank that all recovered loots will be deployed to finance the welfare of poor Nigerians.

Oyeleye revealed that in compliance with the agreement reached with the Swiss Government that the money will be used to cater for the poor, which he said facilitated the release of the looted funds that the three states were listed in the region to benefit in the first tranche of the scheme.

The NISD boss said the monitoring mechanism became expedient to ensure that only the poor Nigerians are captured in the data already prepared by the World Bank and not those that have alliances with politicians and political parties.

According to him, ANEEJ is presently implementing the monitoring of received assets in Nigeria through Transparency and Accountability projected tagged MANTRA, which is being supported by the British Department for International Development (DFID).

He stated that the Swiss and British Government had released a sum of $ 394 million looted funds to Nigeria in recent under the guise that the monies would be used to cater for poor Nigerians, saying proper monitoring by apolitical bodies like his organization will ensure strict compliance to agreements.

Oyeleye said: “The essence of the MANTRA programme to be undertaken by ANEEJ and NISD, is to ensure that the cash transfer to get to the direct beneficiaries in Ekiti, Osun and Oyo States in Southwest.

“We are also to create awareness across all the State, so that they can key into the programme. We are to ensure accountability and transparency in the disbursement of the fund.  We must ensure that it is not politicized or diverted or seen as a national cake that can be misused by powerful people.

“Available statistics by the World Bank revealed that over 75 percent of Nigerians are extremely poor. Only 20 percent are of the middle class and five percent are super rich.

“It was the intention to lessen poverty and bridge the wide gap between the rich and poor that made the Swiss government to release the looted funds and we must not betray that trust.

“The data of each state were already compiled, the beneficiaries are known and our task is to ensure that those who don’t have any means of livelihood benefit and they must be productive members of a family to develop economic activities like business that can sustain their people.

“Ours is to deploy monitors to all the towns and villages and interact with these people and we are going to establish a feedback mechanism for beneficiaries and citizens on the implementation of the programme in the three states”.

 

Sourced From: The Nation Nigeria

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