….. Asked Nigerians To Focus On His Message, Not The Baseless Propaganda Cooked against Him.
Bishop Matthew Kukah of the Sokoto Catholic Archdiocese, has responded to attacks on him over his Christmas Day message, urging Nigerians to ignore the lie against him.
He disclosed this in a chat with newsmen on Tuesday, 29th December, and asked Nigerians to dwell on the statement he made, not on lies against him, He explained that his message, titled ‘Another Christmas with Dark Clouds of Death,’ was based on his love for the country without any political or ulterior motive.
On the attacks on him, he said he was pained that his critics had failed to see that many innocent lives were being lost on daily basis and had failed to show concern for the loss of lives in the last ten years, even before the advent of this administration.
He said: “The reactions are a reflection of every citizen that make up Nigeria. It is sad that when you drop something in Nigeria, everybody goes back to their enclave and abandons the larger picture. I am someone who never takes offence to what people say about me.
“What I said was my opinion based on evidence and what has happened in Nigeria, and if you looked into the records, there is evidence that justifies that statement, and if anyone thinks I am wrong, they should come out with a superior position.”
He described as unfair news reports that he called for a coup while expressing his personal view about Nigeria.
To those calling him to drop his priesthood cassock and join the political fray, Kukah said if he was to join politics, it would have been during the time of the late Aminu Kano and not now.
He said: “I have no plan and will never play partisan politics for any reason. Those who link my message to partisan politics are only playing to the gallery.
He argued that his views on governance and politics would not make him a politician, saying: “Take, for instance, brilliant Nigerian youths making comments about Chelsea or Arsenal and have never been to England, does that make them players of such club sides?”
He argued that people who called him a politician because of his comments on governance were totally ignorant of elementary politics and the role of a priest.
“Whatever I said can please or displease anyone, but that is my own. I have no problem with Muslims, Christians, or any other religion but what I don’t like is when someone is using a religious issue to play politics, it is wrong.”
Meanwhile, the COALITION of Nigerian Muslim Professionals (CNMP) and other groups had, yesterday, joined the ranks of those condemning attacks on Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto Catholic Archdiocese.
The latest support for Kukah by the CNMP and others came as the cleric broke his silence on the attacks against him, tongue-lashing his attackers and accusing them of deliberately misinterpreting his message to suit their selfish pursuits.
The coalition commended Kukah for “his boldness to speak truth to power.” They faulted those who rose against him over his sermon. In the statement signed yesterday by the group’s National Coordinator, Prof. Mohammed Inuwa, the group noted that President Buhari meant well for the country, but faulted him for some actions taken by his administration against the country’s unity.
They said the country would be a great place to live if it had three persons like the Catholic bishop, saying that persons attacking the truth do so for their personal interests.
It urged the President to see the bishop’s message as a wake-up call with a view to adjusting his policies and programmes for the betterment of the country and Nigerians.
The professionals accused attackers of the bishop as doing so for pecuniary gains and not in the interest of the country. It warned against twisting the cleric’s message to mean that he called for a coup, saying the bishop was too learned to support such ignoble path to installing leadership, saying Nigerians with a conscience would not fall for the antics of those twisting the Bishop’s message.
The group said: “Even during the military era where people dreaded the powers that be at the time, Bishop Kukah, who was then a Catholic priest spoke truth to those at the helm of affairs without fear or favour. He has shown through his actions all the years that he is a true son of Nigeria in particular and Africa in general. We should support him for being bold enough to come out to speak what many Nigerians know is the truth but are afraid to speak out for fear of the leadership.”
It continued: “While we must admit that President Muhammadu Buhari means well for the nation, we must say most people in his government are grossly incompetent and don’t deserve to stay around power even in an uncivilised space.”
The group said it would not shy away from the truth even though most of the President’s actions drawing criticisms were in favour of its region.
It flayed marginalisation of the Igbo in every facet of national life, saying the development was not promoting national cohesion, which nationalists that laid down their lives for the country’s independence wanted.
“There’s nothing wrong with Bishop Kukah’s statement in the actual sense. Some regions particularly the South East have been marginalised in successive governments, and the administration of President Muhammad Buhari came and amplified it with the worst,” it added.
SOUTHERN Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) youth wing and the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), yesterday, joined the list of those declaring their support for Kukah and his sermon.
The Secretary General of ECWA, Rev Yunusa Sabo Nmadu, in a statement, said there was nothing new about what Bishop Kukah said.
“The bishop has spoken our minds and we will resist any attempt by any group or agency of government to harm him. Enough of this intimidation.”
He said effort by government to silent dissenting voices was unacceptable and must be resisted.
The cleric reinforced Kukah’s position on nepotism, saying: “as a matter of fact, Nepotism under President Buhari’s administration is topnotch. This administration has first class in nepotism and maladministration. The Federal Government must immediately take steps towards addressing those concerns raised by Bishop Kukah, rather than sponsoring fake groups to attack the revered bishop.”
He said the earlier the administration took steps to address the concerns raised by Kukah, the better for the country.
SOKAPU youth leaders flayed the statement credited to Arewa Youths Consultative Forum and signed by its national President, Yerima Shetima, “calling for the arrest of Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah.
A statement issued by the group, signed by its national leader, John Isaac, lamented that despite the obvious lopsidedness in the composition of the security architecture of the country as pointed by Bishop Kukah, the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum allowed itself to be dragged into the “murky waters of tribalism, ethnic loyalty and religious bigotry, choosing to look away the realities of the North which has become a pool of blood and a yard of graves”.
APC Primaries: FCT Minister Expresses Concern Over Court Litigation by Chairmanship Aspirants.
By Sadiq Abubakar, Abuja.
The minister of state for FCT, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has expressed concern over court litigation by some chairmanship aspirants over the Apirl, 23, 2021 chairmanship primary elections.
Aliyu, who was speaking at the FCT APC stakeholders meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, said despite she had met with the aggrieved aspirants to shed their swords and support the chairmansship candidates, some of them still went ahead to file litigation to challenge paramount decision of the national secretariat of the APC.
According to her, She respect the right of every individual to seek redress wherever such person felt aggrieved, but she also respect the decision of APC because the party is supreme.
She maintained that any aggrieved aspirant has every constitutional right to take the party to court, saying the party also has its own constitutional right to invoke some certain sections of the party to either suspend or expel such aspirant for taking the party to court.
“In fact, I went as far as offering appointments to the aggrieved chairmanship aspirants, yet they will went ahead to file a litigation before the court to challenge national secretariat of the APC,” she said.
The minister, thefore, appealed to the party’s stakeholders to beg all aggrived aspirants on the need to withdraw their suits before the court for the success of APC.
Also speaking, the chairman of APC in the FCT, Alhaji Abdulmalik Usman, said no individual can be hundred percent in terms of politics, saying the decision taken in the last primaries was based on the outcome of the committee put in place by the national secretariat of the party.
He, therefore, appreciated the party stakeholders for coming together to sit and chat a way forward that will ensure the unity of the party across the FCT.
Global Times Nigeria learnt that the chairmanship candidates for AMAC and Abaji area councils, Alhaji Suleiman Hassan Gwagwa and Alhaji Mohammed Angulu Loko, has filed suits before a high court to challenge the national secretariat of APC over their unlawful substitution after they emerged winners of the April, 23 2021 chairmanship primaries.
NSSIP: Lafia Populace Gets 4th Payment Of 5000 Monthly Stipends, To Cater For Poorest Of The Poor.
By Yahaya Idris, Lafia.
The Nasarawa State Social Investment Programme (NSSIP) and Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) office under the leadership of Hon Imran Usman Jibrin, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Nasarawa State and Focal Person has been commended for his tireless efforts towards ensuring the program is sustained.
The programme which aimed at values addition, enhancement of economic viability of the poorest of the poor with total commitment was a cardinal objectives of Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi A Sule.
Hon Imran Usman Jibrin, Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Humanitarian Services and Focal Person on Social Investment Programme, Hon Imran Usman Jibrin announce this at a monthly take off of the scheme in Lafia, the State capital
He said the scheme was part of ongoing efforts made by Governor Abdullahi A Sule at improving the living conditions of the poor and the vulnerable people in the state.
The programme held on Tuesday, 3rd August, 2021 with commencement of Fourth payment cycle of the 5000 naira monthly stipend also known as “Kudin A A Sule”.
The fund was disbursed to beneficiaries of the State registered Conditional Cash Transfer Programme (NASCCTP) in Lafia local government area of the State.
Reacting to the peaceful, transparent and sincere conduct of the organization during the disbursement, Hon Imran Usman Jibrin said the state government put so much commitment in ensuring the success of the exercise which is targeted at assisting the most vulnerable in the society.
He equally advised all the beneficiaries to make judiciously use of the stipend to improve their lives.
The beneficiaries while expressing their open appreciation to the State government under the leadership of His Excellency, Abdullahi A. Sule and office of the Social Investment Program for gesture.
They prayed God to grant Governor Abdullahi A Sule sound health, more wisdom and understanding for improving their leaving standard and assured of their support, solidarity and loyalty.
Recalled the NASCCTP is a programme initiated by the Nasarawa government under the stewardship of Governor Abdullahi A. Sule with aimed at minimize poverty through regular payment of N5,000 to registered poor of the poorest and vulnerable beneficiary.
Global Times Nigeria investigation revealed that beneficiaries of monthly stipend in the Nasarawa State Conditional Cash Transfer Programme was reportedly used cash to start up and personal businesses of their choices.
FCTA Takes Steps To Tackle Climate Change, Institute Best Environmentally Friendly Area Council
As part of measures to support the actualization of President Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge that Nigeria will within a 10 year period plant 25 million trees to mitigate the effects of climate change and enhance the country’s carbon sink, the FCT Administration has announced the institution of an annual award to select the best environmentally friendly area council in the territory.
FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, made this known on the occasion of the 2021 tree planting campaign and flag off of the distribution of tree seedlings to area councils, communities and schools in the FCT held in Kuje Junior Secondary School, Abuja.
The minister also added that the administration has sustained the tree planting campaign with the planting of over 12,000 trees across the six area councils annually as part of efforts by the FCT Administration to reclaim lost trees and forests as well as keep the existing forest landscapes intact, stressing that this campaign also helps in raising the level of public awareness on the importance of engaging individual and collective actions to boost tree planting activities in the nation’s capital.
Aliyu, who described the theme: “Forest Restoration: A Path to Recovery and Well-being” as apt, however, stressed that the theme sets an agenda for countries to demonstrate practical commitments to the safety of the environment by engaging in actions that would address issues of land degradation, desertification and effective management of the ecosystem towards the restoration of forest resources and mitigating the effect of climate change.
While calling on developers to make adequate provisions to accommodate trees, she used the occasion to remind residents that it is against the law to cut down trees without recourse to the relevant extant environmental laws or to agencies of the FCT Administration.
The minister said: “you will recall that in 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Climate Action Summit organized by the United Nations, pledged that Nigeria will within a 10 years period plant 25 million trees to mitigate the effects of climate change and enhance the country’s carbon sink.
” To support the actualization of this pledge, I would like to announce the institution of an annual award to select the best environmentally friendly area council in the FCT. The seedlings that will be distributed today on this occasion is symbolic. It is expected that the area councils will play their part by organising tree planting exercises in their various domains towards meeting this target”.
The minister revealed that as part of steps to protect the forests, the administration has begun the process of training and empowering the FCT Forest Guards to enable them effectively carry out surveillance activities to prevent further damage to the environment in the territory.
Earlier in his remarks, the Ag. Secretary Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mr. Ibe Prospect, noted that the global community is facing growing challenges of climate change, while adding that harmful agricultural practices and developmental activities are known to have largely contributed to the destruction of billions of trees around the globe.
Ibe said that the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat has intensified public enlightenment campaign in all the area councils, ensuring that relevant stakeholders such as the area council authorities, traditional institutions, estate developers and students are carried along to engage in practical activities towards tree planting and forest restoration.
The highpoint of the event was the distribution of tree seedlings to stakeholders and planting of trees by the FCT Minister of State, area council chairmen, traditional rulers, and notable actors in the entertainment industry.
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