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Zamfara killings: Nollywood celebrities name those behind banditry, kidnapping in North West

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Zamfara killings: Nollywood celebrities name those behind banditry, kidnapping in North West

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Top Nollywood actors have accused ex-governors, ministers and traditional rulers in Zamfara State of being behind the menace of insecurity in the state and the Northern part of the country.

Led by veteran Nollywood actor, Larry Koldsweat, the celebrities under the auspices of Human Rights Monitoring group alleged that those mentioned were behind the killings in Zamfara and the North West.

Speaking during a solidarity walk on Friday in Abuja, Koldsweat called for an end to banditry and kidnappings in North Western part of the country.

According to Koldsweat, the world should take “notice that high ranking politicians such as Governors, Ex-Governors, Ministers, traditional rulers from Zamfara State are behind the resurgence of killings in the north-west.”

Koldsweat urged Nigerians to rise up against politicians that were sponsoring those killings all over Zamfara State with a firm demand that they stop it now.

He said: “We are gathered here today as patriotic Nigerians who do not want to be complicit in an injustice being perpetrated against other Nigerian. Our march is about not being complicit by remaining silent in the face of grievous harm being done to our compatriots in several states of the country. What the perpetrators of this crime are banking on is that they have gotten away with their evil in some places and they can therefore spread their deadly merchandise to other parts of the country.

“We speak to the killings in Zamafara and its environs. Those facilitating these killings began by making us initially think it was a case of petty crime gone wrong. It later became cattle rustlers killing victims to steal cow. Then we began hearing of armed bandits. Even their harmed bandits have later been discovered to be militias that were unleashing violence as a smokescreen while the mineral resources, gold, in Zamfara state was being mined by the tonnes while the environment is degraded beyond comprehension and the citizens deprived of their livelihood.

“Our shock as a nation upon finding out about this pillaging of Zamfara and neighbouring communities should have been a red card for the people benefitting from this evil to call it quits and scamper away like the criminals that they are.

“But this is not the case. These people have resolved to dare our collective will as a people and to test the capacity of Nigeria to respond to their felonious activities with the powers of a sovereign state.

“Instead of being contrite and seeking out escape route from criminal trials that will naturally follow their evil deeds, they have decided to embark on further provocations. On top of the theft of natural resources of Zamfara, killing of its citizens under the pretext of being bandits and destroying the environment, they have resorted to kidnapping. They have shown by their modus operandi that they receive instructions from entities that are no different from those dishing orders to Boko Haram terrorists.

“The trend we have seen is that they are now exporting their security threat to other parts of the country in a desperate bid to prevent the full scale of their atrocity in Zamfara from coming under scrutiny. They have moved into Katsina state and we are aware that they have design on other states unless they are decisively stopped by security agencies.

“We have been able to ferret out information. The new spate of banditry and kidnappings are masterminded by high ranking political actors in that part of the country.

“The bandits pulling the trigger to kill innocent Nigerians are but mere puppets. The hand pulling the strings for these killers to commit evil are higher up and highly placed hence the efficiency with which they have evaded detection and being held to account for the mass murder that has been committed in Zamfara.

“The high-ups that have been identified include serving and former Governors of Zamfara state, serving and former high ranking cabinet officials of Zamfara state and federal appointees such as Ministers, Deputy Governors and their allies. The traditional rulers and a sprinkling of religious leaders are, tragically, also part of the axis of evil.

“Their grouse is nothing other than the wise decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to put a stop to the illegal activities of gold miners. These illegal miners have now been proven to be business associates of these politicians, who continue to benefit from the crimes being committed by the criminal activities of the miners.

“The recent kidnap of the traditional ruler of a neighbouring community is in reaction to the President’s ban on illegal mining. It is an attempt these criminals and their minions to bully Mr. President into submission, forcing him to restate illegal gold mining.

“But we assert that this criminal plot shall fail. Not only shall it fail but any attempt to try the will of the Nigerian people would be rejected and those making such attempts made to face the full weight of the law. We shall reject such evil plot with the benefit of the lessons learnt from the Niger-Delta where politicians manipulate militants just to have their way while holding the country to ransom.

“Dear Compatriots, in our solidarity with the innocent citizens of Zamfara State and the rest of the north-West people who are being tormented by these criminal elements and their political allies, we have clear cut outcomes that we envisage.”

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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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