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Okorocha Finally Abrogates Imo Abortion Law 2012

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The controversial Imo State of Nigeria Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law No. 12 of 2012 has been finally scrapped as the State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha signed the bill repealing the “Abortion Law”.

In a brief ceremony held at the Multi-Purpose Hall, Government House Owerri, October 2, Governor Okorocha noted that he had to repeal the law in obedience to the wishes of the church and the masses.

He tendered what he called “collective apology”, adding that the repeal of the law within 27 days the bill was presented to the House of Assembly was a strong indication that both the legislature and executive were sensitive to the feelings of the people.

The Governor noted that no issue or policy since he assumed office more than two years ago had generated much interest and controversy as the so- called “Abortion Law”.  He said that government would work in synergy with the church and traditional rulers to find ways of addressing all forms of violence, including pregnancy as a result of rape and incest.

He enumerated several aspects of the Law No. 12 of 2012 which he considered very necessary to protect persons, especially women and children from violence, adding that this law should not be completely thrown out.

Signing the bill into law, Governor Okorocha noted that his government was founded by the Church and the masses and expressed the need for government to dialogue with the church, especially on spiritual and moral issues.

“I therefore sign this law to the glory of God and the benefit of Imo people”, the Governor said amidst applause.

In his remarks at the occasion, the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu, noted that the Law No. 12 had very good intentions and was never made to generate the kind of uproar it has generated.

He said that after aggregating the views of the people in the 27 local government areas of the state, the House had no option than to repeal the law “to please the people we are representing”.

The Speaker observed that a similar law was passed by the Achike Udenwa administration in 2007, noting that the only difference is that their own defined  abortion as “medical termination” while our own defined it as “medical abortion” and called on the clergy and traditional rulers to find solution.

Earlier in his introductory remarks, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Chukwuma Machukwu Umeh (SAN) also enumerated the good intentions of the Law but observed that a section of it had “a small virus” which could lead to abuse; a reference to No. 40, Sections (g), (h) and (i) which made liberal provisions for abortion.

Responding, the Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, commended both the House of Assembly and the Governor for repealing the Law No. 12 of 2012.

Governor Okorocha (sitting) with the Speaker,Archbishop Obinna who was represented by Rev. Fr. Ray Nzerogu, Director of Assumpta Press and Editor of The Leader Newspaper however, drew the attention of the Governor to a declaration of the Catholic Bishops of Imo State two weeks ago, which called for the repeal of “anti-life sections of Law No. 12 of 2012 and Law No. 7 of 2007 which habour liberalist – abortion provisions. He thanked the governor for his courage to go ahead for the repeal of the “abortion law”. The Catholic bishops he said “are in no way against any law that prohibits violence against women. The problem the church had with the Law No.12 of 2012 was the abortion element which was like a virus in the entire law”. He said it is wrong to give women absolute control over their body thereby encouraging them to allow pregnancy only at their convenience.

Also in his remarks, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Imo State, Bishop Samford Nworgu expressed overwhelming appreciation in the way and manner the Governor promptly responded to the outcry of the people of the state by repealing the obnoxious law No. 12 of 2012. He said that attitude was a sign of real democracy.

The ceremony was witnessed by the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, the Secretary to the Government of Imo State, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, the Clerk, Imo House of Assembly, Barr. Chris Duru, the Chairman of Ndieze Imo State, Eze Samuel  Ohiri, etc.

 

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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