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Ohanaeze backs Okorocha in battle for his Certificate of Return as Senator-elect

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Workers give Okorocha 7-day ultimatum over salaries, pensions

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The apex pan Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has demanded immediate issuance of Certificate of Return to Governor Okorocha of Imo State as Senator-elect for Imo West District.

It also demanded that INEC declares the Senator representing Imo North Benjamin Uwajumogu winner of the election, which result is still yet to be announced 10 weeks after it was conducted.

Ohanaeze, in a statement on Wednesday signed by the President of its FCT Abuja chapter, Odozi Nwodozi, further accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, of plotting to exclude the South East zone in the leadership of the country, especially at the National Assembly.

The statement entitled, “This deliberate systemic exclusion of Ndigbo from the governance structure is unacceptable” specifically alleged that the ruling party of was conniving with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to ensure that nobody from the zone emerges as presiding officers of the 9th National Assembly.

The statement reads, “Ndigbo have watched with mixed feelings the deliberate systemic attempt by the ruling APC and its agents in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to exclude Ndigbo from the governance structure of the Nigerian state.

“These attempts, which have been made manifest by the disdainful manner of allocation of Principal Offices in the National Assembly by the Adams Oshiomole-led APC where Ndigbo were blanked out, an action further amplified by the orchestrated attempt at excluding the South-East from contesting for any of the offices in the 9th Senate through the deliberate connivance of INEC in withholding the certificates of Return of Igbo persons who possess the capacity, qualifications and wherewithal to challenge their malicious impunity.

“Elected legislators like the Imo State Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha and the highest and most experienced Igbo senator in the APC, Senator Benjamin Uwajimogu, have been denied their Certificates of Return on unconstitutional grounds. Actions aimed at crippling the Igbo attempt at a shot in the leadership of the 9th Assembly.

“It is common Knowledge that despite the exclusion of the Igbo nation from the Executive arm of government, amplified by our been veiled off from the entire security apparatus of Nigeria, the post-election actions of both the APC leadership in out-zoning Ndigbo in the distribution of offices of the 9th National Assembly, and the collaborative actions of their INEC appointees have shown that there is a deliberate attempt to perpetuate the exclusion of Ndigbo from governance in the current dispensation.

“We demand the immediate release of the Certificates of Return of both Governor Okorocha and Senator Uwajimogu, to enable them participate in the inauguration and election of officers of the 9th Assembly.

“Furthermore, it is sad and disheartening that experienced legislators from the South-East like Hon. Chike Okafor and Nkiru Onyejocha are overlooked in the allocation of offices in the House of Representatives, not minding the fact that they passed through the needle’s eye to win their elections and the qualities they have exhibited in their previous legislative tenures.

“To achieve an all-encompassing and unity government as espoused by the APC leadership, they should return back to the drawing board and ensure the inclusion of the Igbo nation in their planned 9th Assembly leadership; while calling their agents in INEC under Prof. Mahmud Yakubu to without further delay ensure the immediate issuance of Certificate of Return to both senator Benjamin Uwajimogu and Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha.

“INEC should follow the institutional procedure of allowing aggrieved candidates to approach the electoral tribunals to sort out themselves and not the crude and banana republic style of withholding the certificates of return of persons already declared winners, with the intention of caging them till the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly and the election of its officers.

“To the Igbo National Assembly members of the APC divide, your exclusion has shown you that you are strangers in the party which has shown much disdain and scorn to all that you represent.

“It is also the wish of Ndigbo that there should be a synergy and coordinated institutional approach in your quest for offices in the 9th Assembly rather than the prevailing individual approaches that have you unserious, and consequently placed you outside the favored corridors.

“The deliberate exclusion of Ndigbo in the recent zoning of offices in the National Assembly is unacceptable to Ndigbo. It is also a confirmation of the fact that the APC as a party does not have a place for the Igbo nation, and as such does not deserve the vote of Ndigbo.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo can’t be more right and visionary in rejecting the party, which has exhibited unhindered disdain for the restructuring of the Nigerian state and equitable distribution of patronages, the pillars of the prevailing Ohanaeze Ndigbo ideology.”

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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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