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Stop supporting corrupt politicians – El Rufai tells Pastor Oritsejafor



-Emulate Cardinal Okogie

Mallam-El-RufaiFormer Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, again took a swipe on the leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, by further accusing the preacher of supporting corrupt politicians.

The former Minister who has been in the news lately over his controversial comment on the Christian leader, appears unperturbed by the several attacks on him as a result of his recent remarks, urging Oritsejafor and other CAN leaders to emulate their past leader, Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, who fought tirelessly for the unity of the nation. He made this latest comment in a communique he issued on Thursday.

He said “a time when many people kept silent in the face of human rights abuses, Okogie faced down the military government and told them some home truths.” The minister added, “It didn’t matter if the victims were Muslims or Christians; it didn’t matter whether they were from the north or south; CAN fought for all Nigerians. Okogie had the moral authority to act, and did so with dignity, to the admiration of all of us.”

El Rufai further recalled that Cardinal Okojie was one of those who fought for democratic governance in Nigeria. “Okogie’s bravery was not unusual for CAN leaders; if anything, in the turbulent history of this country, there is a proud tradition of leaders of CAN who spoke for and stood by the people of this country,” said the former minister.

He hailed past CAN leaders for using “their moral authority to defend the rights of all Nigerians even during the most brutal military dictatorships or corrupt and inept civilian administrations,” using Archbishop Peter Jasper Akinola, the Reverend Sunday Mbang and Cardinal John Onaiyekan,“shining examples of faith in action, with compassion for the oppressed and chastisement for the tyrants.”

The former Minister further accused Oritsejafor of using his office to cover the shame of corrupt politicians.

“In spite of the corruption that blights much discourse these days, it is evident that a clear distinction exists between CAN as a body and the individual that leads it. Ayo Oritsejafor cannot be allowed to conflate himself with CAN. He bears personal accountability for the conduct and utterances that portray him as a messenger of the powerful, or as an active soldier of the ruling party,” He reiterated.

He added, “Except for the informed, the casual observer may mistake Oritsejafor for a minor protocol official of government, so pathetically has he cheapened the erstwhile integrity of the CAN presidency.”

El Rufai said Oritsejafor’s “utterances and behavior amount to repudiation of the moral authority, fair-mindedness and high standing his predecessors invested in that office.”

According to him, while CAN’s past leaders “spoke the truth to power in the exalted prophetic tradition,” the current leader “cossets and pampers the government of the day.”

He also accused Pastor Oritsejafor of championing “politics of ethnic and religious division by making unfounded allegations against opposition leaders.” He asked: “How else can any neutral observer rationalize his two calls for General Buhari’s arrest? In contrast, Oritsejafor was dead silent when persons that are Jonathan’s sidekicks threatened the nation with violence if he is not voted president in 2015”

The ex-minister accused the cleric of choosing “”to be a subaltern to power,” but praised the efforts by other men of faith “to stem division and help the country achieve peace.” He added that such laudable efforts earned Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan and the Sultan of Sokoto a joint nomination for Nobel Peace Prize.”

El Rufai reminded the current CAN leader that nomination for the Nobel, an esteemed global honor, “is a measurement of leadership quality and character,” adding that it was “distinct from Oritsejafor who prefers earthly gains and ostentatious lifestyle of private jets!” He recalled that Pastor Oritsejafor had in November, 2012 accepted the gift of private jet “in the presence of a smiling President Jonathan.”

According to him, religious leaders must not exploit their faith “for political and commercial favors.” He concluded that, “In the final analysis, the needs and wants of a less privileged Christian destitute in Abia is not that much different from that of a Muslim Almajiri in Zamfara!”


… Respond to El-Rufai’s  accusations, CAN urged

A senatorial aspirant for Edo Central, Mr. Egheomhanre Eyieyien, Sept 23, urged Christians to respond to recent outbursts of the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, concerning President of Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.

In a statement, on Monday, Eyieyien said El-Rufai remains the National General Secretary of All Progressives Congress, APC, and some people listen to him.

He said: “CAN cannot and should not ignore El Rufai’s outbursts because lies have a way of being perceived as truth when often repeated. El-Rufai has taken up a crusade against CAN President, Pastor Oritsejafor and has said several damaging things.

“He claims he knows the person that bought the jet which members of Word of Life Bible Church, Warri, Delta State, contributed money to buy as a gift for Pastor Oritsejafor to celebrate his birthday and his 40th year in ministry.”

He said that the umbrella body of Christians in the country should challenged El-Rufai to disclose who he says actually provided the funds.

He said: “How can such an issue be ignored by CAN, when it calls to question the integrity of the official leader of Christians in Nigeria?

“How can El-Rufai say that the President of CAN is the ‘propaganda spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party’ and some people cannot see the agenda at play? Is the CAN President a politician? Is he a member of any political party?”



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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