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NATIONAL NEWS

2019: I’m concerned about re-uniting Kaduna – Ashiru

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ASHIRU

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Ismail Omipidan

Isa Ashiru was in the Kaduna State House of Assembly for eight years, he was also a member of House of Representatives for eight years. In 2014 he attempted securing the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), after defecting to the party from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but lost to the incumbent governor, Nasir el-Rufai. He is now the PDP’s candidate for next year’s contest.

But there has been some controversies surrounding his educational qualifications. He speaks on this and why he thinks Kaduna people will prefer him to el-Rufai, next year. 

 

You tried to run in 2014, you didn’t get the ticket. But now, you have the ticket, what makes you think you can make it?

I’m sure you’re a believer, I’m also a believer, and I know that power belongs to nobody but the Almighty God and that is where I’m heading to.

I’ve prayed, gone round the state and visited my constituents, state-wide, when I say constituents, I meant the whole state.

They welcome the idea, they promised to support me because they know me and I know them. I know their challenges and I’m sure my team and I can provide the solutions to their challenges, taking into consideration the fact that I’ve been in the state since birth.

Having served for18 years in the state civil service, I related closely with the different tribes and sections of my society so they know me, I know them and know what they want, so I think I will be in a better position to deliver the deliverables.

 What are you bringing to the table that is different from what is available today?

First, I want to be remembered for restoring peace to Kaduna. The unity that I knew we had is no longer there. The state has been balkanised according to religious and sectarian lines. That was not what we left in 2007.

If I am able to achieve just this in my first four years, I will bow down and thank my God for giving me the opportunity to reunite my people irrespective of tribe and religious differences.

So, in terms of what I am bringing on the table for my people, I have my blueprint which I will unveil at the appropriate time and I will avail you the opportunity to get copies to go through and ask questions and I’m sure I’ll be in a position to give you answers then.

Talking about restoring peace, one of the greatest challenges to peace in Kaduna has been the issue of the Shiites and their leader, Sheikh El- Zakzaky. How do you intend to address it?

Well, the issue is that of approach, no human. You must allow room for dialogue, bring them to the table, discuss with them and highlight areas of challenges, then provide solutions to the challenges.

So, as long as you are determined in what you are doing, I assure you that we’ll get out of this quagmire. Besides, every Nigerian has been guaranteed the right to worship in accordance with the constitution of Nigeria.

Away from what you will do or not do, some persons believe you are parading fake educational qualifications. Is that true?

Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity. Your paper is a national paper and widely circulated, I am sure that was why you took the pains to come and hear my own side of the story. I commend The Sun Publishing for this rare gesture.

Having said that, you see, when you’re in politics, you should prepare for the worst especially when it comes to the issue of contest.

There are people that believe in God and these people believe that it is only God that gives power. But some lack this belief and therefore find it difficult to absorb the shock they received during the primary.

The story about my certificate is unfortunately emanating from both within and to some extent outside the PDP. I’m not surprised.

Why?

Prior to the primary, there were insinuations that some persons were recruited to join us as moles. So what is happening now appears to confirm the insinuations.

Sorry for the digression, back to the certificate issue, whose certificate are you carrying?

The truth is, I am carrying my certificate. I attended Kufena College from 1975 to 1980 and Kufena College will outlive all of us. I challenge anybody that has any issue with my papers to go to Kufena College, it is there, go and verify.

WAEC as an institution is still in existence, it has not been scrapped, so they can still visit WAEC and verify the documents I gave to INEC.

I contested four times and won with the same certificate, nobody raised an eyebrow, so why now? Why now? I will avail you the opportunity of seeing the documents, they are here before me. Look at them (he brings them out) and ask any question you want to ask.

There is also the issue of the serial number on your NYSC certificate; you claimed to have served in Borno, but there is a Kaduna number on it. How did that come about?

That is why in life when you don’t know something you ask questions. When you ask you will know. But in a situation where you have doubt regarding my document and you did not approach me or the appropriate quarters for clarification; I’ll leave that to you. But since you have asked, I will respond.

I was posted to Maiduguri for my NYSC; I had my orientation in Maiduguri and was posted to Monguno as Corps Liaison Officer. I was going in and out of Maiduguri with complaints of corps members.

I became seriously ill, so I approached my then director, Mr. Onwuasoanya; I remember his name because he told me that it means death is not afraid of anybody. Since then I retained the meaning in my head.

When I was sick I wrote to Mr. Onwuasoanya that I prefer to go back home to continue my service because of the state of my health, and he accepted.

That was how I was redeployed to Kaduna to finish my primary assignment. That is why the code on my certificate is BO/KD /the number.

NYSC office is here in Kaduna and they have documents relating to my service, the year I served, 1989. If you cannot get the confirmation, proceed to Abuja, the records are there.

There is this insinuation that you may be using your father’s secondary school certificate, how about that?

This is another lie. On the secondary school certificate, they are querying why I have Ashiru Mohammed.

My father died in August 1975, he could not have been the one that went to Kufena College and spent five years to get that certificate. But I will explain.

During the Local Government election, one of my candidates had a similar problem. He was disqualified because it is a state election management board.

On seeing that, I knew they could use it against me. I approached Kufena College, and this is the letter from the school (displaying it) to show that the certificate belongs to me.

This whole thing started shortly after our primary because in all my documents I went to the High Court and got them certified.

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So, when I saw this other certificate, I knew it is new. They got this document from the net; it is not from WAEC or the school.

They approached the principal of the college, asking him to give them information about the other document they got from the net. The principal told them he can avail them opportunity of accessing my document but that he wants a letter of authority.

He told them, one of my juniors, Senator Baba Kaita, just left the previous day with his own certificate. But that he (Kaita) wrote requesting for it. So the principal ask the people too to write to access mine.

He now added that, ‘but the Ashiru you are talking about was my senior in school. When he was in Form 5, I was in Form 2. He was the person that renovated that mosque you are seeing.’

He told the guy who paraded himself as an Army Major from the Defence headquarters, with two others in suit. So they left and said they would go and write and come back. But he told me they are yet to return up till the time I am granting this interview.

Looking at your WAEC result, you had just three credits, how did you qualify for an ND programme, since the requirement is five credits?

Yes, I did not fulfil the requirements of gaining direct entry but the school had an internal arrangement for gaining admission and that was what qualified me.

I was there for Pre-ND after which I got admitted into the National Diploma programme. I had a three year programme not two. I went for my HND and I did my NYSC.

After that I had a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing before proceeding to the Bayero University, Kano for my Master’s programme.

They never knew I had a Post Graduate Diploma, because they are also asking how I could go for a Master’s programme with an ND.

But you were dismissed from service or did you resign?

I retired in 1997 to join politics fully. I am a pensioner, I receive my pension. I left the service honourably. As at the time I retired, I was on Grade level 10 but due for promotion to 12.

Before I went for computation of my benefits, because I was due for promotion, I also pursued it. I got the promotion without arrears.

So, another letter was sent to me, saying it cancels and supersedes the earlier one which had shown I retired from the ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, on Grade level 10.

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See God for you, look at the comment on the letter as the officer then minuted ‘Typist, please, issue retirement notification as per approval on page 1318 to cancel page 117.’ Did they say issue letter of dismissal?

The one on page 117 is the earlier letter which approved my retirement before promotion. So the letter that cancels the earlier one is the one they are saying was for dismissal.

On a final note, you are about to face a brand, El-Rufai, in 2019. What is your message to Kaduna people?

Never to forget history, Governor Nasir El-Rufai was elected into office about three and half years ago. If he has fulfilled his promises, they are in a better position to tell the world, if he has not, God has given them the power to decide.

They should decide their future. Power belongs to Almighty Allah. If God and Kaduna people can make El-Rufai governor, the same God and people can also make me governor of Kaduna State.

Besides, with what is on ground, we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We shall triumph and everybody in the state will be happy for it.

 

The post 2019: I’m concerned about re-uniting Kaduna – Ashiru appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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