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Immigration Tragedy: Survivors, families of victims recount ordeals

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  • I was taken to mortuary with the dead—Ogida
  • My sister died saving her pregnant friend—Victim’s sister
  • 11 survivors still hospitalised in Abuja

SUNNEWSONLINE – The survivors and families of the dead victims of the stampede at the Nigeria Immigration Services aptitude test in Abuja have continued to recount the harrowing ordeal they passed through at the venue of the exercise, emphasizing that they were lucky to be alive to tell the story.

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While the families appealed to the government to facilitate the release of the victim’s corpse for burial and free them from further ordeals in the hands of the hospital authorities.

Some of the survivors still on admission at the National Hospital told sunnewsonline.com that they cheated death by the whiskers.

Speaking to sunnewsonline.com  on her hospital bed, a 2006 graduate of Mass Communication, Mrs. Mary Ogida, caught in the stampede, narrated that the trauma was so much that she would prefer to hawk pure water to participating in such recruitment exercise again, revealing that she was taken into the mortuary with the dead victims.

Her words: “I’m lucky to survive the stampede. I was rushed to the hospital in an unconscious state. They brought me to the hospital along the dead ones before they later discovered that I was not dead. I passed through the mortuary.

“The population at the gate was too much and when we were about to enter the stadium, instead of them to open the whole gates, they just opened just one of them to the extent that many of them climbed the fence in an attempt to gain entrance. You know the desperation to get the job from many of us was responsible for everybody trying to gain entrance ahead others.

“My case was a peculiar one because I was at the centre. People pushed me from every side to the extent that I can’t breathe or retreat and before I could know it, I fell down. I was lucky that one boy built a wall around me to reduce the number of people trampling on me. I kept shouting I’m dead, help me,” she narrated.

It was almost the same pathetic story from newly graduated indigene of Ogun State, Miss Oluwatosi Amoda, who told our correspondent that she thought she was death after sustaining multiple fractures during the stampede.

“When I got there before 7.00am, I met large crowd but I have to push my way forward, but when I got to the front, I noticed that they did open any of the gates. We pleaded with them to open the gate so that we can go in and sit down inside, but they refused. When the crowd surged so close, some started climbing the fence and that was how the push started.

“We were held up in the situation until we were choked and suffocated to almost death. I thought I was dead until I woke up in the hospital. I tried to walk but I could not. If I had known, I would not have even attempted going close to the stadium in the first place. I just finished my youth service last year,” she noted.

Binikisu, a sister to one of the dead victims, Mrs Oyiza Yusuf, expressed grief that sister died with her pregnant she tried to safe during the stampede, disclosing that the death of her sister’s first husband in an auto crash was responsible for her looking for job after graduation in 2006.

“I didn’t really have any premonition apart from the dream I had while taking a nap that morning after calling her number without success. In the dream, I saw myself in a party where people merriment, I saw people carrying well-dressed dead body to the venue of the occasion with its two legs up.

“I did not only refuse to eat but also left the party because I saw something very strange. I woke up immediately and started praying only for my phone to ring to inform me about my sister’s death.

“She was married for eight years without any child. The husband was a banker in Maiduguri until he had an auto crash while going back after his annual leave. My sister then joined us in Kano but the Kano riot forced us to relocate to Abuja.  In Abuja, she met and got married to another man and had a child for him about a year and eight months ago, only for her to die trying to safe her pregnant friend. It was too heavy a burden for one person to pass through,” Binikisu narrated.

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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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