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Nigerian Newspapers: 10 things you need to know this Saturday morning

Good morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers

1. The Religious Preaching Regulation law, 1984, before the Kaduna State House of Assembly seeking substitution, was on Friday passed into law

The bill, which purpose is to regulate religious preaching in Kaduna State with a view of promoting religious harmony and peaceful co-existence amongst the residents of the state was brought to the House since 2016.

2. A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to issue Certificate of Return to Rochas Okorocha as the duly elected Senator representing Orlu Imo West Senatorial district of Imo State.

Justice Okon Abang ruled that the decision to deprive Okorocha of the certificate was a “lawless decision,” adding that only the returning officer of the INEC had the constitutional authority to declare a winner.

3. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has declared that none of its members is involved in the alleged diversion of funds meant for local government administration in their states.

Reading the communique of the marathon meeting on Friday morning, Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, the chairman of the forum, said the PDP governors condemned the issue of local government funds diversion in strong term.

4. A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted an order ex-parte for the maintenance of status quo pending the determination of a motion filed by DAAR Communications, in its suit challenging the action of the NBC.

Delivering his ruling on Friday, Justice Inyang Ekwo, rejected two prayers by DAAR Communication, owners of the two stations, for restraining orders against the respondents – NBC, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture (FMIC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

5. Kano State Police Command has resolved to suspend permission to hold any form of rally, demonstration, procession or assembly aimed at promoting any given aim in the State.

A statement signed by the command Public Relation officer DSP Abdullahi Haruna, explained that the move was to prevent and avert any threat, breach of peace or break down of law and order in face of various security challenges in the State.

6. Former Nigeria President, Goodluck Jonathan, has emerged as the Chairman of the African Union’s International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP).

Speaking at the International Leadership Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he emerged as the chairperson of the newly inaugurated ISCP, a body made up of mainly African former Presidents and ex-Heads of State, Jonathan urged the AU to set minimum acceptable standards for appointing the leadership of electoral commissions.

7. Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, says governing the state is not an easy task, as he has lost weight in just one week of assuming office.

Sanwo-Olu, whospoke with State House correspondents after a private meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, shortly after the expanded security council meeting on Friday, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said Lagos is not a tea party, as the experience and challenges are real.

8. Some senators-elect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressive Party (YPP), on Friday, declared support for Sen. Ahmad Lawan’s Senate Presidency ambition.

The opposition parties’ senators-elect at the occasion included Clifford Odia (PDP-Edo), Mathew Urhoghide (PDP-Edo) and Gershom Bash (PDP-Cross River), Abba Moro (Benue South) and others, said Lawan remains the most experience and competent senator to assume the office of the senate president.

9. The Police in Anambra State have apprehended two Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) officials in Onitsha, who reportedly killed one of their colleagues.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Mustapha Dandaura, said the incident occurred in FRSC office in Onitsha on Thursday.

10. Real Madrid, on Friday night, officially confirmed a deal for Eden Hazard from Chelsea.

Hazard would cost the Spanish giants an initial £88million, rising up to £130million with add-ons.

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Middle-belt forum backs TY Danjuma-led group, accuses Buhari govt of supporting Fulani herdsmen takeover Southern Nigeria

The Middle Belt Forum, MBF, has completely aligned itself with the position of the Nigerian Christian Elders’ Forum, NCEF, over the ceaseless bloodshed that is allegedly founded on the orchestrated plans by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to annihilate and dispossess the peoples of the Middle Belt and Southern Nigerians of their ancestral lands.

The forum said the killings are a deliberate plan by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to hand over their lands to marauding Fulani herdsmen, saying, “This plan to subjugate and conquer our people and Southern Nigeria will be vehemently resisted.”

DAILY POST recalls that the NCEF, under the leadership of former Defence Minister, Lt. Gen. T.Y Danjuma (retd); ex-Military Governor of Rivers State, General Zamani Lekwot (retd); and Chief Solomon Asemota, SAN, had dragged Buhari to the United Kingdom, UK, Parliament, over alleged move to Islamise Nigeria.

Alleging that the Nigerian leader was pursuing a jihad or Islamisation agenda, they told the UK parliament that Buhari was not serious about tackling insecurity arising from Boko Haram insurgency and herdsmen-farmers crises in the country.

In a latest development, the MBF National President, Dr Bitrus Pogu, in a statement, said, “The Forum wishes to align itself completely with the position of the NCEF over the ceaseless bloodshed that is deliberately founded on the orchestrated plans by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to annihilate and disposses the peoples of the Middle Belt and Southern Nigerians of their ancestral lands and hand over same to marauding Fulani herdsmen terrorists. This plan to subjugate and conquer our people and Southern Nigeria will be vehemently resisted.”

The forum said its attention has been drawn to a statement credited to what it called an amorphous group that calls itself the Middle Belt Conscience Guard (MBCG), adding that in its publication, the said group did not hide its desperate intention to rubbish the former Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd), former military governor of old Rivers state, Gen. Zamani Lekwot (rtd), among other notable members of the Nigerian Christian Elders’ Forum (NCEF) over their written submission to the United Kingdom Parliament on the ongoing killings across communities of the Middle Belt and other parts of Nigeria.

MBF said Middle Belt Conscience Guard in its press statement that was purportedly signed by its president, bearing the name, Prince Raymond Enejo, chided the NCEF for its publication in which it accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of brazenly pursuing an agenda of ‘Islamisation and Fulanisation’ in the country.

MBF added that in its submission, the so-called group led by Enejo claimed that the NCEF’s statement amounted to a deliberate act of provocation against the country, aimed at encouraging Christians and Middle Belters to rise against the present government.

MBF maintained, “Ordinarily, our Forum would not have bothered to respond to a publication that is baseless and outrightly mischievous. We are, however, constrained to observe that as an umbrella body for all groups in the Middle Belt Region, we are totally unaware of the existence of this Middle Belt Conscience Guard. Our Forum, being a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural and non-partisan organisation, is obliged to respond and clarified on issues raised by the conscience group that is out to mislead members of the public.

“Though we believe that the NCEF is capable of responding to all accusations raised againt it by the group, we need not be its mouth piece. However, for the mere fact that two illustrious sons of the Middle Belt Region, who are also members of the NCEF were deliberately and mischieviously targeted for attack, this response has become unavoidably necessary.

“The Forum considers the position of the so-called conscience group as a deliberate falsehood that is aimed at misleading the unsuspecting public through foisting diversionary plot to draw the attention of the public away from the heinous genocide being perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen terrorists across the Middle Belt and other parts of the country in pursuit of the ‘Fulanisation’ agenda as earlier raised in the NCEF’s submission and observed also by other notable persons and groups.”

MBF stated that considering the inordinate reaction of the group to the position of the NCEF, it is either the conscience group is non-existent or may be just a mercenary group hired by its paymasters who are the real sponsors of the heinous pogrom in our communities and ‘Fulanisation’ agenda in the country.

“As categorically declared by the NCEF, current attempts at implementing the ‘Fulanisation’ agenda enjoys the active support of the Buhari-led government. There are many proofs to back up the NCEF’s assertion that there is a collusion between herdsmen and the Federal Government in advancing this campaign. In the past four years of the Buhari administration, tens of thousands of Nigerians have been decimated, with several thousands killed on account of Fulani herdsmen terrorist invasion of peaceful communitues across the country. Despite the troubling death toll, none of the culprits has been arrested or brought to book.

“While attention of the present government is being focused on combating the dread of Boko Haram in the North-east zone, the present administration has been demonstrating fudging attempts at battling rampaging Fulani terrorists whose bloodthirsty disposition has brought devastation and anguish on our people.

“For avoidance of doubt, we wish to inform Nigerians and the international community that the Middle Belt peoples are now victims of a conspiracy to subjugate them and disinherit them of their ancestral lands. We are calling on men and women of good conscience to spare no efforts in exposing the ongoing heinous crimes against humanity in a bid to unveil the dark spot of human conscience surrounding the massacres of Nigerians and destruction of communities in the Middle Belt Region and other parts of the country.

“The Forum has confidence that history and God is on the side of the just. We remain steadfastly confident that someday, we shall witness an end to these tragedies that have befallen the Middle Belt Region and our nation,” the Middle Belt Forum observed.

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Atiku reacts to re-election of CAN president, Ayokule

Former vice-president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has congratulated Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle on his re-election as President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

DAILY POST had reported that Ayokunle got 59 votes to defeat the runner up, Rev. Caleb Solomon-Ahima, President, Fellowship of Christian Churches in Nigeria, TEKAN, who got 44 votes.

Ahima, according to the CAN constitution, becomes the Vice President of the organisation.

Ayokunle was born on Jan. 25, 1957 and hails from Isheke, Oyo State.

Reacting, Atiku on Twitter wrote, ”Congratulations, Rev. (Dr.) Samson Ayokunle on your re-election as President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

“I pray for God’s wisdom & divine direction to you in the running of the affairs of CAN and the interface of the association with the rest of the Nigerian society.”

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Kwara PDP kicks as Gov Abdulrazaq sacks 16 LG chairmen

The Peoples Democratic Party in Kwara State Tuesday kicked against the sacking of the 16 Local Government Councils chairmen by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

Abdulrazaq took the decision few hours after the state House of Assembly recommended their sack pending completion of investigation against them.

In a statement signed by the party’s state chairman, Engr Kola Shittu, the party demanded its retraction, describing the move by the legislature as illegal and undemocratic.

He said it was wrong for the House to recommend the suspension of the councils bosses on allegation of financial misappropriation when they hadn’t been properly investigated or invited for questioning.

The PDP chairman said” it should be noted that neither the House nor the governor has the power to suspend the council chairmen who were lawfully elected by their people.

“The council chairmen were lawfully elected in 2017 by the people for a three-year tenure, which will expire in 2020.

“Neither the governor nor the state Assembly has the power to suspend or sack them before the expiration of their administration.

“We wish to remind the lawmakers of a subsisting court order barring the state governor or any of his representatives, including the state House of Assembly from suspending or dissolving elected local government chairmen or interfere in their financial activities until the lawful expiration of their tenure in 2020.

“It is also instructive to note that the Supreme Court had also declared as illegal and unconstitutional the dissolution of local government councils by state governors and state Assemblies,” the statement added.

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