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CAN hails Nigerian Government for kicking against same sex marriage

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The Christian Association of Nigeria led by Rev Samson Ayokunle, has commended the resolute stance of the Nigerian Government against same sex marriage, transgender and homosexual activities in the country, describing it as a step in the right direction.

Rev Ayokunle, who made this known in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, in Abuja on Tuesday, lamented how immoral and sacrilegious practices are gaining popularity in Nigeria, adding that the so-called transgender is evil and ungodly.

He commended the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, for his campaign against lesbianism, homosexuality, transgender and other social vices.

Ayokunle said, “We are optimistic that all right thinking people and the civil society will collaborate with the government with a view to eradicating the evil practices in the country.

“Our constitution and extant laws have no place for obnoxious practices such as same sex marriage or homosexuality, transgender, sodomy and related practices. They are abomination before God and they are alien to our culture as a people.

“It is capable of plunging our country further into moral abyss, a situation that, according to scriptural historical accounts, attracted divine judgments and wrath on rebellious people and societies.”

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Education

Gov. Abiodun arrested, arraigned us so we don’t talk about our unpaid salaries – TASCE lecturer alleges [Interview]

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A lecturer at the Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), Omu, who was one of those arraigned at an Ogun State Magistrate’s Court on September 11 for alleged robbery, has accused the Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, of being the brain behind their arrest, detention and arraignment.

In this interview with DAILY POST, the lecturer, Daniel Aborisade, talked about how the five lecturers were arrested, detained and taken to court for allegations, he claimed were orchestrated by Gov. Abiodun to prevent them from agitating for their 60 months unpaid salaries and other crises rocking the college.

Excerpts:

DAILY POST: You were arrested and arraigned, alongside four other lecturers of TASCE, for alleged robbery, kidnapping, assault and others. I also saw your allegations that some individuals, who you described as “errand boys” to Gov Dapo Abiodun arranged your arrest and detention. Please elucidate.

Aborisade: I want to tell the whole world that those allegations levelled against me and some members of staff of TASCE were to silence us over our demand for our legitimate right.

I was arrested on Wednesday, 11th September, 2019 at the Governor’s office with one other colleague, Seyi Akinola. I was invited to have an amicable solution to the crisis of unpaid salaries running to 60 months, so I asked the other colleagues to join me in that very important meeting.

We had a brief meeting with the Special Assistant to the Governor on Tertiary Institutions, another Special Assistant and then the Chief Security Officer to the Governor. One thing that was germane in these short meetings was that we were advised to eschew peace.

It was at the tail of our meeting with the CSO that some security officers came in. (The CSO had sent a message to them). He exchanged his phone number with me and we left his office.

It was in the front of the Governor’s office that we were told that we were to be taken to Eleweran, Ogun State Police Headquarters.

I need to inform you that other three (3) members of staff had earlier been picked up on Monday, September 9. They are, Com. Tosin Hembah, Labake Ballard and Bolaji Odunsi. It may interest you to know that we were heading to seek for their bail when the impromptu call for the meeting with the kitchen cabinet of the Governor emanated.

At first, I was sceptical about the meeting. My friend, Olamide Lawal, and a member of the defunct Education Transition Committee facilitated the meeting, but by the time we arrived at the Governor’s office, we could not find him. He directed a young chap to come and welcome us.

When we arrived Eleweran, we were led to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, we were made to write a statement and taken to the cell. We were cajoled that a peace meeting would be called between us and TASCE management the following day.

It was in the wee hours of Wednesday that we were charged to court. We were taken to the Ibara Prison as a result of our inability to meet up with the bail conditions. We were released the following day. I want to say that all the allegations of theft, kidnapping and armed robbery levelled against us were false.

DAILY POST: Do you mean that the governor orchestrated the arrest, detention and arraignment?

Aborisade: Yes. Some of our women staff were at his Iperu residence and he confirmed to them that he ordered the arrest of our staff that were picked on Monday. As of today, Dapo Abiodun government just paid half salary of only May and June 2019, he is yet to pay the balance of May and June and we have not received July and August as of Sunday 15/9/19.

We were owed 57 months salary by OGD and Amosun administrations, Dapo Abiodun promised to pay us instrumentally, but nothing has been done on it.

DAILY POST: Are you saying the governor is trying to send you people to jail because you are calling for the payment of your entitlements?

Aborisade: Yes, he wants to put us behind bars so as not to agitate for our owed salaries again. He wanted to add ‘Resolving TASCE Crisis’ in his 100 days achievements without doing the needful. He asked us to resume work without paying us a kobo, which we did, at least to honour him. The next thing he did was to proscribe our association (Coalition of TASCE Staff, COTAS) and refused to unban our staff unions as recommended by the visitation panel he set up to look into our case.

The governor has been deceived by the Provost of our college, Dr Lukmon Kaidese, to silence us for them to have their ways. This is the Provost that we accused of mismanaging our IGR and subvention, also that he is not qualified to be our Provost. His appointment was terminated by the University of Ilorin, and the governor still keeps him there to wrongly deal with us.

DAILY POST: What are your requests?

Aborisade: Our requests include, setting up of governing council, reinstatement of our staff unions, payment of substantial part of our 60 months salary, release of our three year promotion letters, removal of the Provost as he is not qualified according to our college enabling law; we also want massive infrastructural development of the college. The government should assume payment of 100% of our salary.

DAILY POST: What about the case in court, that is, the allegations of robbery and others?

Aborisade: It is rather unfortunate that TASCE management and Ogun State Government can stoop so low and accused innocent staff leaders agitating for payment of 60 months owed salaries, three years promotion and other welfare packages as kidnappers, armed robbers and so on, just to coerce and silence us. We challenge them to provide concrete evidence on their allegations. They should show us the person that was kidnapped, the ransom collected, who was robbed with guns or other dangerous weapons?

TASCE management and Ogun government should be bold enough to say the truth and do the needful to bail TASCE staff out of our present predicament. All these allegations were cooked just to put staff union leaders behind bars. It is better for them to pay us now. They can only kill the messengers and not the message. The message is, keep TASCE alive, stop the killing of our staff. We have lost 51 staff to the cold hand of death due to non-payment of salaries. As for the case in court, we were granted bail and the case adjourned till 4/11/19.

DAILY POST: Do you see an end to this prosecution and are you sure it will not affect your careers as lecturers?

Aborisade: We are so sure we shall be vindicated as there are no substances in their allegations. We are law-abiding staff of the college. We are just requesting for our 60 months owed salaries. We are neither kidnappers nor armed robbers.

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Pressure On Buhari To Sue South Africa For Xenophobic Attacks

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The federal government says it will not rule out any option in its response to xenophobic attacks against Nigerians by South Africa, The Guardian reports.

It stated this following the advice by a former External Affairs Minister and Professor of Political Science, Bolaji Akinyemi, urging the Nigerian government to take South Africa to the International Criminal Court of Justice.

The violence against Nigerians and other Africans in parts of South Africa had erupted on September 1, forcing the Nigerian government to evacuate its citizens from the country. Akinyemi accused the South African government of failing to protect Nigerians and making statements unbecoming of a responsible country.

According to him, Nigeria must sue because the attacks were in violation of Article 2, Paragraph 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. He said they also violated Article 2, Paragraph 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the International Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers.






He further accused South African authorities of sponsoring or condoning the attacks, noting that the stance of the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Naledi Pandor, amounted to Acrophobia.

He noted that statements by South African leaders such as Pandor, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and former Deputy Minister of Police Bongani Mkongi encouraged the latest attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals.

But former Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyaoku said it would not be wise for Nigeria to approach the ICC on the matter, stressing: “The two countries have large mutual interests to protect for themselves and for Africa.”

He said the statement of apology by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday at the funeral of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in Harare “should be welcomed and high-level diplomacy should now be employed by Nigeria to de-escalate the situation and make South Africa pay compensation”.






Anyaoku described the recurring aggression as provocative, given Nigeria’s role in ushering in non-racial democracy in South Africa and his (Anyaoku’s) seminal role as Commonwealth Secretary-General in the negotiations.

“It is very saddening,” he said, “to see the current xenophobic violence against Nigerians and other Africans legally residing and doing business in South Africa. But maturity and internal African solution must be brought to bear on the situation.”

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina and Special Adviser on Diaspora Abike Dabiri-Erewa said only the ministers of foreign affairs and information could comment on Akinyemi’s advice.“All matters relating to diplomatic moves or foreign affairs policies should be directed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs,” Dabiri-Erewa said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama told The Guardian that Nigeria “cannot rule anything out for now” when asked if the country would sue South Africa. “We are still receiving reports from our High Commission and the Consulate General, evaluating them and weighing options,” Onyeama said.

Minister of Information Lai Mohammed had not replied to the inquiry sent to him at the time of filing this report.

Ramaphosa, meanwhile, has dispatched three special envoys to seven African countries to deliver messages of pan-African unity and solidarity following the attacks, said presidential spokesperson, Khusela Diko.






The envoys will reassure fellow African countries that South Africa is committed to the ideals of pan-African unity and solidarity. They will also reaffirm South Africa’s commitment to the rule of law, Diko said.

The envoys, according to him, will visit Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

They will brief governments in the countries about steps the South African government is taking to stop the attacks and hold the perpetrators to account.

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Buhari

Catholic bishops send message to Buhari

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The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to further strengthen the peace and security of the nation.

Most. Rev. Augustine Akubeze, CBCN President, said this during the opening ceremony of the second plenary of CBCN in Abeokuta on Sunday at the Sacred Heart College Hall.

Akubeze said that it remained the duty of the government to protect the constitutional rights of its citizens and also ensure peace and effective security.

He said that adequate security of lives and properties would bring about peace and would eventually lead to sustainable development.

Akubuze also the Catholic Archbishop of Benin Archdiocese condemned the recent killings of some Catholic priests in some parts of the country.

“Only recently we heard of the burning of Rev. Fr. David Tanko of Jalingo Diocese to death and only recently we heard of the killing of a priest in Enugu Diocese”, NAN quoted him as saying.

“We Catholic priests and faithful must preach daily the message of peace and justice. It is part of the message of Christ. It is part of the mission of the church.

“As missionaries, we must be harbingers of justice and peace in our land.

“We are just interested in living our lives peacefully without any fear of being kidnapped for ransom or being driven from our home land.

“Every government that fails to protect the constitutional rights of her citizens has failed. The leaders of a country should ensure peace and security of his people,” he said.

Also, the Chairperson of the conference, Prof. Catherine Eromosele, decried the continued keeping hostage of Leah Sharibu.

Eromosele said that she had spent no less than 1,980 days in the custody of Boko Haram, and urged the Bishops to keep her matter land others abducted alive.

Eromosele appealed to the Catholic clerics to urge the Federal Government to do all that is possible to ensure their release without further delay.

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