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NATIONAL NEWS

APGA appoints Peter Obi new National Chairman

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anambra-govThe National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) yesterday named Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, the new party’s leader and chairman Board of Trustees (BoT).

The appointment is however, subject to  the ratification of APGA’s National Executive Committee (NEC) on January 18, 2014. If approved by the NEC, Obi will step into the shoes left by the late Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu.

Addressing newsmen after the party’s NWC meeting in Abuja, National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, hinged the choice of Obi as the new BoT charman/leader on his contributions to the growth of the party in the last 11 years.

Umeh, who read the nine points communique of the meeting, described Obi as an extraordinary leader whose good leadership had helped APGA to win the last governorship election in Anambra state.

The APGA boss sayd: “The National Working Committee noted the great contributions made by Governor Peter Obi (CON) towards keeping the party alive in the past 11 years of his membership of our great party and particularly for ensuring that an APGA governor will succeed him on March 17, 2014, a promise made and faithfully kept.

“In appreciation thereof, the NWC unanimously resolved to present Peter Obi (CON) (Okwute) to the next National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of our great party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

“Obi’s recommendation to step into Ojukwu’s shoes as the national leader and chairman of the BoOT is based on his performance, financial discipline, and commitment to APGA in the past 11 years. He never contemplated leaving the party, his sterling performance led to the superlative performance we recorded in the Anambra governorship elections which also  led to the landmark victory APGA recorded in the elections.

“You will recall that Okorocha strayed into our ranks, we supported him despite the fact that he has never won an election in his life, we supported him and less than two years, he defected to another party.

“The National Working Committee thanks the people of Anambra State for the confidence they reposed in our great party and its government in the state, led by Peter Obi by giving the party a landslide victory in the last governorship elections.

“We dedicate this victory to the evergreen memory of our iconic late national leader and chairman, Board of Trustees of APGA, Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu (Eze Igbo Gburugburu). We commend the National Chairman of our great party Chief Sir Victor Umeh, (Ohamadike) and the Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi (Okwute) for their extra ordinary vigour in the prosecution of the campaign and election, we equally commend all our party members for working very hard to achieve the victory in Anambra State.

“We also commend the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its efforts and diligent planning in the conduct of the election. We however urge the commission to exercise caution in the recruitment of ad-hoc staff for the conduct of future elections. This is necessary because of the sabotage of the conduct of the elections in Idemili North Local Government Area, which resulted in the conduct of a supplementary poll in the council area.”

Reacting to the decision of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to go to the election tribunal to challenge the outcome of the elections, Umeh said: “we welcome the action taken by the APC by taking their grievances to court instead of their attempt to bring INEC down, it is unfortunate that a new party that prides itself as the party that will bring change to Nigeria cannot accept electoral defeat, they should learn to accept defeat.

“It is only when they win elections that they commend INEC. When they won Edo State, Alhaji Tinubu and Akande paid glowering tribute to INEC, when they lost the Delta Senatorial bye-election, they started crying foul, threatening fire and brimstone and when they lost in Anambra State, in an election they tried to manipulate, they are shouting blue murder, 16 out of the 23 parties that took part in that elections have already accepted defeat and congratulated the winner, the independent observers hailed the elections as free and fair,” he added.

He insisted  that INEC put in a lot of dexterity and innovations to ensure that the elections were successful, saying the commission brought in a novel that decentralized the distribution of electoral materials from the local governments to the wards which eased the distribution process.

“The APC has not been able to accuse any electoral officer except in Idemili North where the same APC sabotaged the elections, the security agencies were thorough, which made the elections very peaceful, the criminals that were trained by the APC to rig the elections were arrested in Imo State based on a tip off, they arrested the 183 persons from Osun State who were lodged in a hotel, and to show their involvement of the APC, the Director of Public Prosecution, Osun State applied to the court to transfer the miscreants to Osun State to stand trail,” he stated.

“At the last quarterly meeting between the political parties and INEC, I repeated my advice that the commission should be wary of ad-hoc staff, I asked why only the electoral officer, Okeke, is standing trial?

“Local government elections in Anambra State will hold on December 21, it was delayed due to the supplementary elections,” he added.

 

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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