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Islamic group urges Nigerians to pray for Nigeria

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The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has urged Nigerians to work and pray for peace and stability.

MURIC urged Nigerians to change their mindset from negativity to positivity and adopt the principle of ‘ora et labora’ (work and pray) to overcome the challenges facing the country.

This was contained in the Sallah message made available to DAILY POST on Saturday by the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

It added, “First, we must change our mindset from negativity to positivity. We must stop seeing Nigeria as a failed state. if a Muhammadu Buhari can be governor of the whole Northern region, military head of state, chairman Petroleum Trust Fund and now president of Nigeria without a single trace of corrupt enrichment, if Professor Ishaq Oloyede can remit N7.5 billions to JAMB’s coffers within one year alone whereas only N50 million naira was remitted by his predecessor in seven years, then there is indubitable evidence that not all Nigerians are corrupt.

“If an Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar, the 83-year old Imam of Nghar village in Barkin Ladi Local Government of Plateau State can save 300 Christians from being killed, Muslim-Christian conflict can be resolved. If an air force man Bashir Umar can return 37,000 euros which he found in a parcel to its owner, then there is evidence that not all Nigerians are dishonest and greedy. Not all Nigerians are thieves.

“There is hope in the horizon. Nigeria is on the path of greatness. The panacea to our challenges are not far-fetched. First, we must change our mindset and believe that we can be great again. We must determine to rebuild our country, to love our neighbours, to shelve corruption, etc. We can call this our intention or niyyah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Intention comes before work” (an-niyyat qablal-‘amal). He also said, “Works shall be judged according to intentions” (Innamal a’maal binniyyaat).

“Initiate good intention to serve Nigeria and not self. This is part of the reengineering of the Nigerian mindset. Initiate an intention to start the new Nigeria. Let change begin with you. Eliminate that negative belief that everyone is corrupt and that nothing can work in your country.

“Drop that negative idea that it is impossible for us to live together. The late reagge maestro, Jimmy Cliff, probably had Nigeria on his mind when he sang the lines: ‘You can get it if you really try. But you must try, try and try. Try and try. You’ll succeed at last… Listen, Rome was not built in a day. Opposition will come your way. But the harder the battle, you see. Is the sweeter the victory now…’

“Next, we must adopt the principle of ora et labora (i.e. pray and work). Prayer is the sword of those who have faith in God (Ad-du’aau sayful-Mu’min). We must follow our intention to change Nigeria with prayer and start working towards it. Prayer is good but we must work to follow it up. That is why the Romans say, ‘Ora et labora’.

“We must not spend the whole day on our knees or mats praying. Allah will bring the fishes but we must dig the bait. That is why the Qur’an says, “Work and Allah, His apostle and the believers will see your work” (Qur’an 9:105). The idea of Allah and the believers seeing your work is a metaphor for rewarding it. It is such reward that will serve as necessary incentive for more work and better service.

“It is in this context that we call on Nigerians to pray for the security agencies who are toiling day and night to bring the security challenge under control. They are fighting for us and dying for us. They spend sleepless nights so than we can sleep with both eyes closed. They are in the trenches come rain or shine so that we can enjoy peace in our homes.

“Let us reward them with prayers and active support. Let us pray for the families they leave at home. We must support them actively because security is a collective responsibility. Active support to the police can be in form of material support and giving reliable information. Companies, wealthy individuals and communities should donate vehicles, walki-talkies, etc to the police. It will make them more effective. We must not forget other arms of the security agencies like the civil defence and the secret service men. The latter work behind the scene and make huge sacrifices for our safety. They all deserve our prayers and support.

“In this same context again we are constrained to remind President Muhammadu Buhari of the plight of the 54 soldiers who have been in jail since 2014. If we are talking about rewarding those who risk their lives so that we can enjoy peace, we must not abandon those who fought against Boko Haram but are rotting in jail today.

“Once again we appeal to Mr. President to grant them presidential pardon. The 54 soldiers were those who asked their commander to provide them with better weapons before sending them back to the battle field. It was their request which exposed the 2.1 billion dollar arms fraud. They should be treated as heroes for exposing a scandal, not as criminals rotting in jail.

“On a last note, we urge Nigerians to change their mindset from negativity to positivity and to adopt the principle of ‘ora et labora’ as a panacea to overcoming the challenges facing the country. We must not lose hope. If Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) could receive a ram to replace his son at the last minute, there must be light at the end of the tunnel for Nigeria. Let us keep the fire of hope burning.

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Senate issues 7-day ultimatum to CBN, FIRS, others over submission of statement of income

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The senate on Wednesday issued 7-day ultimatum to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, and others defaulting to submit their statements of income and expenditure accounts spanning from 2017- 2019 to do so or face dire consequences.

Other agencies are the Federal Airport Authority, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Federal Capital Territory Administration, Niger Delta Development Commission, Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, Federal Airport Authority and National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure.

Also defaulting are, Nigeria Football Federation, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, National Space Research and Development Agency, Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and Industrial Training Fund.

The senate also urged the defaulting agencies to submit their lingering responses on issues raised about the belated statement of accounts as contained in their earlier exchanged correspondences.

Those invited also include, Presidential Amnesty Program, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Petroleum Equalization Fund Management Board, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, Nigeria Railway Corporation and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency.

The Senate also invited the Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Nigeria Insurance Trust Fund and National Primary Healthcare Development Agency.

This development followed the Public Account Committee (PAC) of the Senate’s press briefing in National Assembly wherein it disclosed that some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government, have not disclosed their accounts for years, as stipulated by law.

Senator Matthew Urhoghide, Chairman of the committee, told Journalist that the PAC had issued correspondences to the affected agencies to submit a statement of accounts, to enable the committee carry out “special oversight functions”.

The committee said it has the backing of sections 85, 88 and 89 of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria and Order 97(5) of the Senate Standing Orders 2015 as amended.

Despite several notices for agencies to submit their statement of accounts, the committee said many of the MDAs have refused to comply.

“In the light of this, all the defaulting agencies are by this notice, given the last opportunity to make submissions before their invitation to the scheduled public hearing”, Senator Urhoghide said.

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Buhari

Buhari signs another open defecation bill into law

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President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday signed Executive Order 009 entitled, ‘The Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025 and Other Related Matters Order’ into law.

The Order declares as follows:

That by this Order, Nigeria is committed to being open defecation free by 2025.

That the National Open Defecation Free (ODF) Roadmap developed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources with support from other key sector players across Nigeria be put into effect.

a. There is established in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources a National Secretariat called “Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat.”

b. The Secretariat is authorized on behalf of the President to implement this Order by ensuring that all public places including schools, hotels, fuel stations, places of worship, market places, hospitals and offices have accessible toilets and latrines within their premises.

All Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government shall cooperate with the Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat.

The National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly shall enact legislation on the practice of open defecation with appropriate sanctions and penalties.

All development projects shall include construction of sanitation facilities as an integral part of the approval and implementation process.

The Secretariat shall terminate when Nigeria is declared Open Defecation Free.

All enforcement authorities are hereby directed to diligently collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in implementing this Order.

The Executive Order 009 came into being against the background that:

Nigeria is ranked second amongst the nations in the world with the highest number of people practising open defecation estimated at over 46 million people – a practice which has had a negative effect on the populace, and has contributed to the country’s failure to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);

President Buhari had described the statistics on open defecation and access to pipe-borne water service and sanitation as disturbing, and had declared commitment to implement the National Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Action Plan.

The President had declared a State of Emergency on Nigeria’s water supply, sanitation and hygiene sector, the action being imperative as it will reduce the high prevalence of water-borne diseases in different parts of the country which have caused preventable deaths.

Nigeria is committed to ending open defecation throughout the country by 2025 in consonance with her commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This Executive Order takes effect from Wednesday, November 20, 2019.

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Arewa

Boko Haram: NAF destroys meeting venue of insurgents, ISWAP leaders killed

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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has neutralised some Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) leaders and destroyed their meeting venue at Jubillaram in the Northern part of Borno State.

Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said the operation was conducted on Tuesday through the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

“The operation was executed yesterday, Nov. 19, sequel to intelligence reports indicating that some top ISWAP leaders had assembled for a meeting at a compound within the settlement, which they also used to store some of their logistics supplies.

“Accordingly, the ATF dispatched a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform as well as fighter jets to attack the location.

“Overhead the target area, several terrorists were observed around some buildings in the middle of the settlement.

“These fighters were neutralised in successive strikes by the attack aircraft as they attempted flee the location.

“The air strikes also led to the destruction of some terrorists’ structures, including one of their logistics stores, which was seen engulfed in flames,” he said.

Daramola said the NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, would sustain its efforts to completely destroy all remnants of the terrorists in the North East.

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