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NATIONAL NEWS

Governor suspended from APGA

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The Imo State Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha has been suspended from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for engaging in alleged anti-party activities.

Report reaching us disclosed the rising from an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting Saturday in Abuja, the party said NEC unanimously decided to dissolve the Imo State chapter of the party’s executive, replacing it with a 21-man committee to be appointed to oversee the party until a new congress is held.

“The NEC unanimously resolved to suspend with immediate effect the Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okoroacha, from the party, for gross anti-party activities, bordering on his involvement with the All Progressives Congress (APC), contrary to the clear provisions of the APGA constitution.

“The NEC also unanimously resolved to dissolve the Imo State executive committee of APGA with immediate effect. A 21-man caretaker committee shall be appointed to run the affairs of the party in Imo pending the conduct of state congress,” it said.

The party approved APGA’s electoral guidelines for the state governorship primary election for the 2013 poll and  afterwards adjoined its sitting till August 31.

Meanwhile, Umeh has debunked insinuations that he received N8 billion from the Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi to enter into the peace pact over the crisis in the party.

Umeh said rather,  the July 15 judgement of the Court of Appeal Enugu Division which had upheld his appeal and affirmed him as the national chairman of APGA was the catalyst that brokered the peace.

Umeh spoke when he visited the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and APGA governorship aspirant Uche Ekwunife to commiserate with her over a ghastly motor accident she had in Abuja. The National Vice-Chairman of APGA (South-West), Alhaji Tayo Sowunmi, who read out the resolutions of the NEC meeting said the party leaders discussed preparations for the Anambra governorship election and approved guidelines for the exercise.
He said barely three days after the party invited aspirants to declare interest in the race, 14 persons have already collected the expression of interest form, paying N10 million for men and N5 million for women.

“We have opened the sale of the expression if interest forms from the 29 of July and August 2 and by the close of work on August 2, 14 people have taken the expression of interest forms.

“The people who have taken the expression of interest forms will be expected to pick the nomination forms and will be screened and face the primaries; the forms for the males is N10 million and to encourage women to actively participate, the women will pay N 5 million,” he stated.

Sowumi said the NEC again restated that it  is not part of APC as some of their governors have mischievously made it a point of duty to include the APGA logo in their advertorials.

“We had demanded an apology from Fashola and the payment of N20 billion, and Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura repeated the same thing in a national daily and we will be demanding the sum of N5 billion from him,” he said.

“We call on all the parties that are involved in the Anambra State Government to stick to the code of conduct signed with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and shun all acts  capable of causing confusion during the elections,” he said.
Speaking shortly after the NEC meeting, National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, said the meeting was summoned to prove that the party’s crisis has come to an end.

He said with return of peace amongst the key stakeholders, APGA will definitely regain the governorship seat in the November 16 election.

“APGA is set to retain the governorship of Anambra State come November 16. We welcome all other parties to engage us in the context but we advise that they avoid acts that will cause problems during the elections,” he said.

Umeh also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure a level playing ground for all parties.

“We are calling for a level playing ground and fair-play.  It is therefore important that all political parties that are participating in the contest should keep to the code of conduct and avoid anything that will mar the exercise.  People should shun brigandage,” he said.

At the NEC meeting Saturday, the Commissioner of Works in Anambra State, Architect Calitus Ilozumba,  represented the Governor of the state, Mr. Peter Obi.

Umeh said: “I am very happy that I and my brother Governor Obi have reconciled and I want to assure you that this reconciliation is for real and not superficial, we did it for the sake of the state, the people, the party and we believe that there is the need to move the party forward. When I told a woman that you had an accident, she collapsed which goes to show that you live for the people.”

On statements credited to Maxi Okwu that he will not accept the peace , Umeh said: “Well I did not expect anything less from Maxi Okwu and his cohorts. Maxi Okwu is not a member of the party. We had maintained that, he was expelled from the party since 2005, like I said some people wanted to exploit the division between me and my brother to make money and this reconciliation will bring that business to an end.”

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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