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Kukah sowing discord, strife among Nigerians – Presidency

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…Says bandit attacks not targeted at Christians, Buhari not nepotistic 

By Abdullahi Mohammed, Abuja
The Presidency Sunday described Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah as one of the influential figures in the country spreading falsehood and sowing discord and strife among Nigerians.

Kukah had, in an address to the U.S. Congress,
accused President Muhammadu Buhari of nepotism in key appointments in favour of Muslims and poor handling of security situation in the country.

In a statement issued innAbuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Mr Garba Shehu said the condemnable attacks in the country are not targeted at Christians as claimed by Kukah.

“With due respect to the esteemed position he holds, the Bishop’s assertion that only Christian schools are being targeted by bandits or terrorists is not supported by the facts on the ground. It is sad to say but also true that victims of crime, kidnapping, banditry and terrorism cut across all strata of the society. Sad but true that Kankara students in Katsina State were stolen by bandits of the same Islamic faith as those they took away.

“The same may be true of those who are still holding the 134 students of the Islamic School at Tegina in Niger State. The nation witnessed the sad incident of the female students abducted by bandits at Jangebe in Zamfara State and the over 100 predominantly Muslim students of the Federal Government Girls College Birnin Yauri in Kebbi State who are  currently in captivity- and the nation’s security agencies are hard at work to release them unharmed.

“The attack on Christian students is sad and unacceptable; so also is the abduction of students of other faiths. The claim that only Christian schools are being targeted is totally untrue,” the statement said.


The statement also dismissed remarks by the cleric that the President was nepotistic in appointments into sensitive offices such as the heads of security agencies and service chiefs.

“There is no bias in this government when the president is northern and Muslim, the vice president southern and Christian, and the cabinet equally balanced between the two religions. But neither is there anything in our Constitution to state that political posts must be apportioned according to ethnicity or faith. It takes a warped frame of mind for a critic to believe ethnicity is of primary importance in public appointments. It is yet more troubling to hear a Churchman isolating one group for criticism purely on ethnic lines,” the statement said.The statement reads: “It is unfortunate, and disappointing, for citizens of Nigeria to bear witness to one of their Churchmen castigating their country in front of representatives of a foreign parliament.

“We are all too familiar with these overseas political tours that opposition politicians take – visiting foreign leaders and legislators in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe.

“So, the argument goes, if they are heard seriously abroad, then Nigerian citizens back home should surely listen to them too. But in order to be heard at all, and to maximise media coverage back home for their activities, inevitably these visits involve painting the worst possible picture of our country before their chosen foreign audience.“Soon enough we inescapably hear an identical list of racist tropes against northerners, how one religion dominates governance above all others, how the government is doing nothing to address herder-farmer disturbances, and how the government spends money on infrastructure to benefit everyone but the group and religion of the speaker.

Of course, in order not to disappoint their western audience, regardless of fact, the list is always the same-and always slanted for whoever wishes to cross-check.“Nigerians expect this from their unimaginative opposition – but it is troubling when a so-called man of the Church copies the worst excesses of those seeking personal advancement in public office.“Only this government has put forward the first and singular plan in nearly a century to address herder-farmer challenges – a fact recognised by international NGOs, including the International Crisis Group. To declare to a foreign audience that this government does nothing is an incredible falsehood.

“To suggest that investment in infrastructure between Nigeria and Niger is wasteful and biased – when a similar infrastructure project between Lagos and Benin has revolutionised the two neighbouring economies to the advantage of both our countries – is quite disturbing.“There is no bias in this government when the president is northern and Muslim, the vice president southern and Christian, and the cabinet equally balanced between the two religions. But neither is there anything in our Constitution to state that political posts must be apportioned according to ethnicity or faith.

It takes a warped frame of mind for a critic to believe ethnicity is of primary importance in public appointments. It is yet more troubling to hear a Churchman isolating one group for criticism purely on ethnic lines.“With due respect to the esteemed position he holds, the Bishop’s assertion that only Christian schools are being targeted by bandits or terrorists is not supported by the facts on the ground. It is sad to say but also true that victims of crime, kidnapping, banditry and terrorism cut across all strata of the society. Sad but true that Kankara students in Katsina State were stolen by bandits of the same Islamic faith as those they took away.

“The same may be true of those who are still holding the 134 students of the Islamic School at Tegina in Niger State. The nation witnessed the sad incident of the female students abducted by bandits at Jangebe in Zamfara State and the over 100 predominantly Muslim students of the Federal Government Girls College Birnin Yauri in Kebbi State who are  currently in captivity- and the nation’s security agencies are hard at work to release them unharmed.“The attack on Christian students is sad and unacceptable; so also is the abduction of students of other faiths. The claim that only Christian schools are being targeted is totally untrue.“As a nation and a people, we must together define evil as evil. We must not allow our religious differences to divide us. No one gains but the evil doers when we divide our ranks according to ethnicity and religion in confronting them. The bandit, kidnapper and terrorist are the enemies of the people who should be confronted in unison.To be clear, The Bible is definitive on matters of ethnicity and racialism: In Romans 2:9-10, it says: “There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honour and peace for everyone who does good”; And in Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Whether Christian or Muslim, we stand by these beliefs and are steadfastly committed to them in governance.

“There is no place in mainstream civil discourse for those who actively, negatively, and publicly label an individual ethnic group, especially before a foreign audience. These are not the views expressed or opinions held by the vast majority of the citizens of Nigeria. For all our challenges as a nation, nearly all of us seek to live together in harmony, celebrating differences, and finding common ground as Nigerians above all. But people like Kukah are doing their best to sow discord and strife among Nigerians.

“More than any other set of people, leaders – in politics or religion who preach respect for truth have a duty to practice it. It is a moral and practical responsibility.“Going by the history of the Church as is well known, it will stand up publicly for the truth.It is time others did the same.”


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Tanks head for Kosovo-Serb border as Balkans tensions grow

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A Kosovo security unit trooper guards the border with Serbia as the Balkan nations trade accusations.
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Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti has accused neighbouring Serbia of “provoking a serious international conflict”, with tensions between the two countries at their highest for years.

In the latest flashpoint, two interior ministry offices in northern Kosovo were on Saturday attacked near border crossings blocked by local Serbs angered by a ban on cars with Serbian licence plates entering the country.

The car registration office in the town of Zubin Potok was set ablaze, and two hand grenades were thrown at the civil registration office in the nearby town of Zvecan, though they did not go off, police said.

There was no mention of any casualties.

Serbs from Kosovo’s north have blocked two main roads near the border since the government ban went into force on Monday.

Drivers from Serbia must now use temporary printed registration details that are valid for 60 days.

The Kosovo government says its move mirrors measures in force in Serbia against drivers from Kosovo since 2008, when Kosovo declared independence from their neighbour.

Serb fighter planes flew close to the border crossing of Jarinje where protesters cheered them. A day before, three helicopters also flew in the vicinity.

Media in Belgrade reported that tanks and other military equipment were heading towards the border, but the Serb army did not give any details.

NATO’s mission in Kosovo, where peacekeepers maintain a fragile peace, called for restraint.

Source: (NewDaily)


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Edo State Governor finally releases cabinet list

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By Goodluck Ikiebe

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has finally released list of Commissioner-nominees members of the State Executive Council.

The list was released by the Governor on Friday and obtained by our Correspondent.

Here are the names as follow;
1) Barr. Osamudiamen Wole-lyamu (Oredo).

2) Mr. Chris Nehikhare (Orhionmwon)

3) Mr. Richard Edebiri (Uhunmwode).

4) Barr. Andrew Emwanta Adaze (Egor).

5) Mr. Tony Aganmwonyi (Ikpoba Okha).

6) Mr. Ethan Uzamere (Ovia South West)

7) Ms. Efosa Uyigue (Ovia North East).

8) Barr. Donald Okogbe (Akoko Edo).

9) Barr. Anthony Innih (Etsako East)

10) Mrs. Omo Otse Omorogbe (Etsako West).

11) Hon. Damian Lawani (Etsako Central).

12) Mr. Jimfred Obaidiku (Owan West).

13) Barr. J O Braimah (Owan East)

14) Hon. Felix Akhabue (Esan West).

15). Fred Emefiele (Igueben)

16) Mrs. Anehita Ojezua-Emeya (Esan Central).

17) Dr. Olu Ayewoh (Esan North East).

18) Mrs Magdalene Ohenhen (Esan South East).


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Oyo CAN holds one million man peace prayer walk in Ibadan

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Oyo State Chapter, on Saturday embarked on a one million man prayer walk in Ibadan to pray for peace in Nigeria.

Newsmen report that the faithful wore white and green shirts and caps with inscriptions ‘Peace Be Unto Nigeria and CAN is 45.’

They began the prayer at the Oyo State Government House Remembrance Arcade, Agodi, proceeded to Idiape junction Iwo road, Gate, NTA junction, UCH, Agodi Garden junction, Oyo State Secretariat, among others.

NAN reports that prayers were made at each of the junctions by the faithful.

In the opening prayer, Apostle Sunday Popoola, General Overseer of Word Communication Ministry, Ibadan, remarked that the plans of God for Nigeria would surely come to pass.

Popoola prayed that God would continue to show mercy to Oyo State and Nigeria at large.

“We pray that righteousness shall continue to exalt Nigeria while sin will no longer be a reproach; Nigeria, Oyo State will know peace, progress and good governance,” he said.

Also speaking, Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State urged the faithful to use the opportunity to pray for peace to reign in Nigeria and the state.

Makinde, represented by his Executive Assistant, Rev. Idowu Ogedengbe, congratulated CAN on its 45th anniversary and urged the members to continue to pray for the well being of the state.

Earlier, Oyo State CAN Chairman, Apostle Joshua Akinyemiju, said the prayer walk was part of its activities to celebrate CAN’s 45th anniversary.

“CAN clocked 45 on Aug. 25 but we decided to celebrate it through the prayer walk today.

“We have praised, prayed and made supplications to God concerning CAN, Oyo State and all of us, we believe He will surely hear us and grant our heart desires,” Akinyemiju said.

He, however, appreciated the ministers of God who supported the prayer carnival financially and morally.

NAN also reports that the faithful after embarking on the three-hour prayer walk reconverged at Agodi Government House where the final prayers were said.

Security operatives including the Federal Road Safety Corps, Civil Defence and Boys Brigade were on-ground to ensure peace and orderliness.

Source:( NAN)


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