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Boko-Haram: Zulum Declares Monday For Second Statewide Fast, Prayers After Meeting Islamic, Christian Clerics

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… Asks citizens to pray against sponsors of boko haram, those reaping from crisis.

Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State

Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, Saturday, held separate meetings with Islamic, and Christian leaders after which he declared Monday, October 19 as day for second round of statewide fasting and prayers for enduring peace in the state.

Zulum, in a media address, explained that his regular trips to front lines were not out of pride or attract attention but rather to satisfy his conscience and discharge his obligations to the people of Borno.

Below is full text Governor Zulum’s remark tonight, October 16, 2020.

Borno: What options do we take?

Address by Governor Babagana Umara Zulum

I will like to start by, once again, registering our depth of eternal gratitude to the good people of Borno State for the overwhelming support and sincere goodwill our administration has been accorded in the last 17 months.

Nothing I say here or anywhere else can best describe the extent of my gratitude to the people of Borno and many Nigerians outside Borno.

We have been shown enormous love and support from day one till date. Above being loved and supported, the people of Borno State have proved to trust us and have faith in what we do.

For me, one of the greatest feats a leader can attain is to earn the trust and confidence of those being led. On the other hand, the worst thing that can happen to any leader is to lose the trust and confidence of the people.

Trust is a burden. When people trust you, they invest their fears and hopes in you and they leave you to your own conviction, your own decisions, and most importantly, they leave you to your fear of Allah or the lack of it.

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We are grateful for the trust the people have shown to us and I do solemnly reaffirm that Bi-iznillah, we will not betray the trust and confidence reposed in us by the people of Borno.

As humans, we will continue to do whatever we can, within the limit of our resources and laws, to stand firm in our fight against Boko Haram, and in economic recovery, reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement efforts.

Fellow citizens of Borno, in the midst of our firmness, individual and shared commitments to Borno State, we must always recognize that the kind of challenge Borno is facing, is one that is complex.

Our gallant armed forces in the military, police, DSS, paramilitary and our courageous volunteers in the Civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes are facing enemies who conceal their identities. We are in battle with an insurgent group which has the advantage of laying ambush from rain-grown grasses, and who oftentimes, use the uniforms of soldiers and Civilian JTF to conceal their movements and presence on our highways.
Quite often, they pretend to be Nigerian soldiers until their victims are in defenseless positions.

These realities account for the notoriety of Boko Haram, especially in these days when rain-fed grasses on highways give them opportunities to hide and ambush their targets.

Oftentimes, I have been confronted with risks of moving around some areas, especially in Northern Borno. As a human being, as a father and husband, I, of course, do not seek harm for myself or anyone.

But then, as a leader, I have often asked myself: should I remain in peaceful Maiduguri where there are less challenges and ignore local government areas where Borno’s challenges actually are? Should we all just sit in Maiduguri and wait till whenever Boko Haram chooses to give us peace?

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The reality of our situation creates a conflict between our human needs for safety versus our conscience and obligation to those we represent.

It is not an issue of pride, boasting or to catch the limelight. It is an issue of conscience and obligation.

As we gathered to hold meetings with religious groups here in Maiduguri, there are more than a million homeless fellow citizens who are living in camps at Monguno, Kala-Balge, Ngala, and other parts of Borno. Are we going to ignore their existence by refusing to give them food and get them homes to live and earn livelihoods? Or are we going to converge all the people of Borno to come to Maiduguri? What about those who are not willing to leave their communities?

The solution lies in continued and genuine determination of our armed forces with the support of our gallant volunteers.

We all have roles to play in supporting the military and volunteers in ways that we all can.

One of the easiest ways all citizens can continue to help is never to associate with the insurgents, to pass useful information to security forces and to consistently pray for our armed forces and volunteers. Our prayers should include those risking their lives, including humanitarian workers and those who undertake reconstruction works in communities.

It is against this background that I called for today’s meeting with His Eminence, the Shehu of Borno, the Chief Imam and Imams of Juma’at mosques. We have rubbed minds. I also met with leadership of our Christian brothers and sisters who have consistently shown sincere commitment to our togetherness.

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Fellow citizens of Borno State, as an outcome of today’s consultation, I hereby declare Monday, the 19th day of October 2020 as a second day for statewide fasting and prayers for peace in Borno State. I will like to request, with gratitude, that we approach the fast with the same enthusiasm, devotion and faithfulness as we did on Monday February 24, 2020.

I will like to clarify that there will be no public holiday on Monday and there will be no dramatic gatherings. What is required is the purity of our intentions and submission to Allah as we fast and pray from our homes, offices, market shops, other businesses and places of legitimate endeavours.

One of the key goals of fasting together is deferring to the Almighty as a community in worship and hope. Fasting together would also remind us of the realities we face and strengthen the faith and patriotism of our military and volunteers in frontlines as well as others who risk their lives for humanitarian and reconstruction courses.

Our fast in worship should very well include prayers against anyone funding or supporting Boko Haram in any way, and prayers against anyone who consciously benefits from the Boko Haram crisis by any means.

We cannot afford to lag in our steady call upon God to free Borno. The role of prayers, especially one that is combined with practical human efforts, is very critical in our kind of battle that has raged for far too long, with huge and negative consequences.

May Allah accept our prayers and may peace return to Borno, all parts of the northeast and Nigeria.

Thank you.

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Crime

Armed Thugs Attack Christian Procession, Beat Pastor To Stupor, Abduct Three Worshippers In Kogi

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Idris Ahmed, Lokoja.

Christian worshippers in Kogi were on Monday evening attacked by persons suspected to be armed thugs who allegedly stormed Dunamis International church Ayingba .

Eye witnesses report that the pastor was striped naked and beaten to stupor, while three other worshippers were allegedly kidnapped.

According to reports, the thugs allegedly led by the former Administrator, Dekina local government council, who is also All Progressives Congress (APC) chairmanship candidate, Ishaq Shuaibu Okolo.

The assailants were said to have violently disrupted the peaceful prayer walk organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria, Kogi east chapter, to pray for the peace of the country and God’s intervention to stop the current shedding of innocent blood.

The thugs were said to have shot sporadically into the air and went straight to the leader of Christians group, Bishop David Sanders, beat him, tore his clothes into shreds until he was rendered unconscious.

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Several other church leaders and worshippers were also said to have been beaten to stupor including some women and children, while the property of Dunamis Int’l church were vandalised

Three other church leaders including the zonal secretary of the prayer group, Silas Edegbo were later abducted and carried to unknown destination.

Speaking with newsmen on phone, the resident pastor of Dunamis Int’l church, Ayingba, Samson Ejila expressed sadness that a peaceful Christians’ prayer walk for the country could be so disrupted with so many people securing various degree of injuries.

According to him, the organisers of the programme took permission from the appreciate authorities including the police with the knowledge of the state deputy governor, Edward Onoja, who gave them the go ahead and wondered why a prominent political player in the area could lead armed thugs to disrupt and harm group.

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In his words, We are surprised that it is a past LG boss in person of Ishaq Shuaibu Okolo who is contesting for the chairmanship Election for Dec 12 LG poll that has done this to the Christians

” This is not rumours, he was the one that physically led the thugs including some Vigilante members to attack us, we have every document including video clips, and so he can not deny this” he added.

Ejila however confirmed that the three abducted members were released in the early hours of Tuesday after they had been thoroughly tortured.

Meanwhile, the State Governor Yahaya Bello has condemned the Monday’s attack on the Christians who were on a peaceful prayer walk in Anyigba area .

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The Governor in a statement issued on Tuesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed, while condemning the act, assures that perpetrators of such unholy act will be fished out to face the full wrath of the law.

Bello said at a time the nation is facing unrest and disturbance, there is need for every religion organisation to intensify their faith by praying to God for His intervention in the affairs of the country, noting that any act capable of truncating peaceful religious gathering is sacrilegious, repugnant and unacceptable.

Meanwhile, attempts to get the reaction of Okolo proved abortive as several calls to his cell phone were not responded.

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Religion

Prince Ishaq Advocate For Religious Harmony

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The attention of Hon. Prince Ishaq Shaibu Okolo, Former SSA Security Matters, Dekina Local Government Area has been drown to an online news alleging an attack on Christian in Ayigba.

To put the record straight, we wish to respond as follows :
Hon Prince Isahq Shaibu Okolo is a man who has successfully distinguished in leadership position right from time till date and he is trusted with many award as a peace ambassador of the Local Government.

As a candidate for the fourth coming LGA election under the plat form of All progressives Congress (APC) security of lives and properties is his top priority and from the record, there have not be security breach in the LGA either with the Christian, Muslim, traditional worshipers and other religions in the area.

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There was a directive from the Governor that, all forms of protest should stop and at about 4pm yesterday been 19th Oct 2020, a group of Christian’s were staging a procession and my attention was drown by the Divisional Police Office (DPO) Ayigba of which the protesters were advised to return to their churches to avoid the protest being hijack, it’s on this note that the police peacefully escort them to the church and return back to their station.

Hon. Prince Ishaq Shaibu Okolo

Prince Isahq is a member of peace and security committee Council which Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Dekina LGA branch has its representatives, the plot of land hosting CEFN church, Ayigba was his family land that was given to the church and both Christian, Muslim and other religions have been living together perfectly peaceful for ages. He urges the general public, most especially the christian community in the area to disregard the media propaganda of mischief makers.

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The directive of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello for no protest of any form still remain valid and subsisting till further notice and advice the public to go about their normal business. Thank you and remain peaceful.

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Religion

Police Arrest Prophetess Over Alleged Fraud In Ogun 

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A prophet with Celestial Church of Christ, Oluwakemi Sotonode also known as Marvelous, has been arrested by the Ogun State police for allegedly obtaining money running into millions of naira from many people under false pretense.

According to a statement by Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, the self-styled prophet of C.C.C, Marvelous Model Parish, Obada-Oko, has been on wanted list of the command for quite some time when a petition was received by the command from one Idris Ilyas on the 11th of November 2019 in which he reported that the suspect contacted him to supply Kaolin stone to a company, and that when he did, the suspect went to the company, received the sum of N1.2million on his behalf and converted it to her own use.

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“Also, on the 30th of September 2020, the same prophet collected the sum of N200,000 from one Olabangboye Olalekan under the pretence that she would sell a plot of land for him at Obada-Oko area of the state but disappeared after collecting the money.

“Likewise in April this year, the same suspect contacted one Kehinde Ojekunle to supply Kaolin worth of N300,000 to a company and she went behind her, collected the money on her behalf and converted it to her own use.

“In March 2020, the same suspect obtained the sum of N670,000 from one Gbolagade Damilola under the pretence of supplying her 40 bags of rice but she ran away since then. On the strength of these complaints, the Commissioner of Police, CP Edward Ajogun directed the officer in charge of the Public Complaint Bureau to ensure the arrest of the so called prophet.

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“The team embarked on an intelligence-based investigation, which yielded positive results on Tuesday 6th of October 2020, when she was apprehended in her hideout.

“On interrogation, she admitted collecting all the money stated above but she has not been able to give any reasonable account of it all.

“Meanwhile, the CP has ordered a thorough investigation of the suspect and that she should be prosecuted accordingly.”

 

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