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Don’t disrespect Osinbajo, Yoruba group cautions Reps

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OSINBAJO

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Chinelo Obogo

The Yoruba Progressive Youth Congress (YPYC) has cautioned the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara against any veiled disrespect’ of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

National president of YPYC, Kola Salawu, said in a press conference in Lagos that the recent probe of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) by a House of Representatives’ adhoc committee set up by Speaker Dogara was a case of a parliament trying to overstep its bounds.

The group said the report of the Isa Ali-led Committee on Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness, released last week, by the House which indicted the Vice President, and calling security agencies to further investigate him (Osinbajo) is unacceptable.

READ ALSO: 2019: INEC urges Nigerians to be vigilant

The committee’s report, according to the YPYC, struggled frantically to implicate Prof. Osinbajo, who is the statutory chairman of NEMA’s Governing Board, over some perceived fraud in the management of the agency’s finances and “baselessly faulted financial approvals by the Board to the agency, which Prof. Osinbajo is  the head and proceeded to directly indict the Vice President on what it said were unlawful approvals for projects that were not executed.

Salawu said, “The probe panel by this submission directly indicted Osinbajo, with the unsubstantiated allegation of illegally approving N5.8 billion North East Intervention Fund.

“Sadly too, it claimed the fund was subsequently mismanaged by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). We do not think Speaker Dogara and his cohorts in the parliament embarked on a voyage of fantasy.”

Salawu said while his group supports good governance, transparency and accountability in public office, it could not tolerate the ‘persecution’ of a renowned leader based on ethnic sentiments in the bid to blot the years of hard earned reputation and integrity in the guise of a probe.

“We hasten to say confidently that the report never proved NEMA’s Governing Board, chaired by Prof. Osinbajo  had no  powers under the law establishing it,  to approve emergency expenditures for the agency to the amount queried by the House. It has not disclosed how due process was allegedly abused or violated,” Salawu said.

The YPYC insisted that the report is tainted by procedural breaches, bias and lack of depth to arrive at its conclusions.

“We are not told whether the amount approved by the NEMA Governing Board exceeded their permissible limits under the law, which established it. The report only sent a bland cheque  to the public and raised an alarm so loudly to tarnish his name .

“And quite damply, the report only intimated of an alleged mismanagement of the funds. So, is the Vice President or members of the NEMA Governing Council in   that capacity responsible for the administration of funds they approve?,” the group asked.

READ ALSO: Lagos needs urgent transformation, says Owolabi Salis

YPYC said that when the report alleged there were  monies missing, the committee wanted a conviction of Prof. Osinbajo in public domain.

It said when the committee attempted, to summon the Vice President to explain the decision of the Governing Board in suspending the six serving directors  implicated in the alleged N2.5 billion fraud, as requested by EFCC to enable thorough investigation, it ‘became obvious there was something fishy.’

“What propelled our  initial skepticism of the job of the committee’s assignment  was its usurpation of the duties of statutory investigation bodies.

“But after the conclusion of its  investigations, it still  referred the cases to either EFCC or the ICPC to investigate.

“What then have they investigated? It does not make sense to us,” Salawu said.

The post Don’t disrespect Osinbajo, Yoruba group cautions Reps 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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