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Obasanjo warns APC against Muslim-Muslim ticket; “Nothing wrong with it” – Buhari



A former head of state has seriously warned against pairing up two Muslims or two Christians to run for president and vice president in next year’s election.

The timely warning by General Olusegun Obasanjo came on the heels of a statement by General Muhammadu Buhari, former head of state and All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant that he was not opposed to a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket.

“Sensitivity is a necessary ingredient for enhancement of peace, security and stability at this point in the political discourse and arrangement for Nigeria and for encouraging confidence and trust. It will be insensitive to the point of absurdity for any leader of any political party to be toying with Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian ticket at this juncture,” Obasanjo said.

Obasanjo stressed that Nigeria cannot, at this stage, raise the spectre and fear of islamization or christianization.

According to him, the idea of proselytization in any form is a grave danger that must not be contemplated by any serious-minded individual politician at this delicate situation in Nigeria, as this time is different from any other time.

“Therefore disregarding the fact that there are fears that need to be allayed at this point will amount not only to insensitivity of the highest order but will also amount to very bad politics indeed.”

Obasanjo’s written statement was given to journalists in Abeokuta while Buhari made his comment in an interview published online.

Buhari, a Muslim from the core north, is being rumoured to have Lagos State Governor Barbatunde Fashola, a southern Muslim, as his running mate under the APC.

In the online interview, General Buhari argued that he was not a religious fundamentalist and therefore could run with another Muslim, an idea which many people disagree with.

Buhari further argued that he had in previous elections demonstrated his religious tolerance by picking up Christian deputies.  They included Chuba Okadigbo, former senate president, late Edwin Ume-Ezeoke former speaker of the House of Representatives and, more recently, Tunde Bakare, a pastor .

Buhari also argued that the famous but annulled June 12  election was won on the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of M.K.O Abiola and Babagana Kingibe.

“The late Joseph Tarka, in a clearly Roman Catholic environment, brought Ibrahim Imam from Borno, to his constituency to represent Tivland in the Northern House of Assembly in 1961.

“ This new phenomenon of religion is another blackmail political confusionists in Nigeria are bringing to the fore.  I will tell you something.  Tinubu’s wife is a Christian, Governor Fashola’s wife is a Christian, Bisi Akande’s wife is a Christian and Governor Ajimosi’s wife is a Christian.

“For goodness sake, the children of those political leaders in Nigeria were bred and brought up by Christian mothers.”

However, Buhari did not name any prominent man in his state Katsina or any other Northern State, whose wife is a Christian.

Reacting to the Obasanjo- Buhari statements, the Nigerian Labour Congress insisted that the issue of religion should not come up in election.  According to them, the ‘religious formation of presidential ticket in 2015 was wrong and unconstitutional’.

Speaking at the 26th annual national education conference of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) in llorin, vice president Isa Aremu said Nigeria should not be divided on religious lines by its leaders.

He said the constitution did not recognise its citizens based on their religion and as such religion should not be considered in choosing leaders.

It is wrong for both former president Obasanjo and General Mohammadu Buhari to  have mentioned  Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian ticket for the 2015 presidential election. It is a wrong mindset. Just like Obsanjo was wrong to say we need a Muslim-Christian balance … the balance Nigeria is looking for is good governance balance. We are looking for a president as defined in Nigeria’s constitution regardless of religious background, who is willing to guarantee welfare and security of Nigerians,” Aremu said.

APC national publicity secretary, however, said Obasanjo’s advise had been ‘noted’ adding that the party would follow its guidelines and also abide by the country’s constitution.

Also reacting, Olisa Metuh, national publicity secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said the party would keep religion and focus on politics.

“At this point in time, due to what is happening in the nation, the PDP has refrained from commenting on religious matters. We want to keep religion out of politics. We are focused on politics; we do not want to make comments on religion,” he emphasised.



Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes



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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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers



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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Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike



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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