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2023: We have the final say – Constituents tell Ekweremadu

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2023: We have the final say - Constituents tell Ekweremadu

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Citizens of Enugu West Senatorial Zone have declared that the decision over who would represent them in 2023 lies in their hands.

This is coming in reaction to the statement by the Senator representing the zone, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu that he would end his stay in the Red Chamber by 2023.

He dropped the hint during his birthday celebration in Enugu last Sunday.

But in a statement signed by stakeholders from the zone, among whom are Hon Alex Ogbonna, Rt. S.K.E Udeh Okoye, Hon. Chigozie Akalusi, Rt. Hon Donatus Uzogbado, Hon. Ralp Onovo, Hon Mike Chukwu and Hon. Princess Chioma Chiaha, they said the constituents reserved the right to determine where Sen. Ike Ekweremadu’s services were most suitable.

The statement read, “Our attention has been drawn to a remark by His Excellency, Sen. Prof. Ike Ekweremadu, Ph.D, CFR, Deputy Senate President during his 57th birthday celebration recently in Enugu State to the effect that he will not be seeking re-election into the Senate come 2023.

“While our respect and admiration for the Distinguished Senator remains unshaken, we are minded to state that Senator Ike Ekweremadu is a product of our collective mandate and to that extent answerable to his constituents in all matters relating to his services to our people; including his decisions concerning his political future in 2023.

“As a people, we reserve the right to determine where Sen. Ike Ekweremadu’s services are most suitable for the overall interest of our people. At the appropriate time, we will decide if we are best served by his continued stay in the Senate or otherwise.

“We are certain that in his meteoric rise to prominence in Nigeria and the world at large, he has had little or no control in determining his choice of service to his people. For instance, it was members of his age grade in Mpu that collectively decided to entrust him with the chairmanship of the age grade at a time he least expected it at the tender age of 10.

“The same is true about the decision of the entire Mpu community to elect him as the President-General of the Town Union. His election as the Executive Chairman of Aninri LG was also the outcome of the collective decision of the Leaders of Thought of Aninri LGA.”

They added that “his becoming the Chief of Staff to former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani and later the Secretary to the Enugu State Government was also a fortuitous interplay of forces involving the former governor and other major stakeholders in Enugu State at that time who wanted him to serve in such capacities.

“The same is true of his election into the Senate in 2003, which was a collective decision of the people of Enugu-West.

“Of significance is the fact that in his recent re-election into the Senate for a record 5th term, the decision was not his but a collective resolve of the people of Enugu-West who themselves bought the nomination form for him.

“We also make bold to state that his emergence as the Deputy Senate President for a record third term was not of his own volition but by the collective approval of his colleagues in the Senate who saw in him an uncommon trait and capacity to serve in that position.

“In essence, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu’s political trajectory could be likened to the wind, which you can hear but cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. In the same vein, no one can actually explain how Ike Ekweremadu got to where he is today; but one thing that is certain is that he did not ascend to any of the aforementioned positions by his own volition or decision but by the Will of God and the consent of his people.

“In truth, His Excellency, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu is a man of history whose destiny is intertwined with the yearnings and aspirations of his people. In real term, we, his people have the final say on where he goes to on our behalf in 2023. In real terms, whereas His Excellency, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu has a right to his opinions, we, his people, have the final word, as always, in his political decisions, now and in the future.

“Thus far, we are satisfied with his stewardship since he emerged on our political horizon as a leader. He has represented us effectively and has attracted numerous democracy dividends to our people.

“We, therefore, charge him to raise the bar on his performance in the 9th Senate, which will soon be inaugurated and keep the flag of his illustrious performance aloft. Presently, let us concentrate on the task ahead essentially because we know that emerging events will define our preferences in 2023.”

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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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