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President Buhari under attack over killing of Catholic priests, others

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The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan and the Director of Legal and Public Affairs of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kwamkur Vondip, have brought President Muhammadu Buhari under fire over recent killing of some Catholic priests and other Nigerians.

They expressed concerns over increasing insecurity in the country, saying that Nigerians were no longer safe anywhere.

Vondip and Onaiyekan were reacting to the recent killing of Catholic priests in Enugu and Taraba states when they spoke to the Nation.

They expressed sadness about the development and faulted government’s method of security operations.

Onaiyekan said, “The insecurity is getting out of hand and it is affecting everybody. In a way, we can say that we are not surprised that even the priests are not exempted from the general insecurity in the land. It is not as if those hoodlums or the bandits will take their time to make sure that they do not kill a priest. They don’t seem to have any sense of horror about anything.

“The only thing I can say about this is that my priests are also being killed. It only shows how terrible the situation is. And I must say that I am also sad when we saw President Buhari himself speaking on the issue and insisting that the people responsible for killing the reverend father should be fished out.

“On one hand, I commended his efforts, and on the other hand, we should ask too that not only the reverend fathers but all those who are killed; those who killed them should be fished out. Everybody’s life is precious and it is given by God. We are praying on this issue and doing our part.

“Everybody knows what President Buhari should do to stop this menace and I am sure Buhari also knows what to do. There is no excuse because the rate of insecurity we have in our land, no matter under what name, weather it is insurgency of Boko Haram or banditry in the Northwest or herdsmen killings in the Middle Belt or kidnapping, we have never had it so bad.

“The government should have known that their efforts so far have not yielded adequate results. It is the duty of government to make sure that people are safe in the country. You do not have to be in the opposition to know that. When they themselves are travelling on the road, don’t you see how they protect themselves?

“They always have armed policemen with them. That is a clear sign that the road is not safe. If the road is safe, would they need so many soldiers and policemen to protect them? If they are using so many soldiers and policemen to protect themselves, what about the rest of us?

“The matter is serious and we are not at war. Other nations are tackling their security challenges.”

Vondip on his part, added, “For a nation as big as Nigeria, something is wrong with our security setup. With the kind of leadership we have and what they say on daily basis about their willingness to fight insecurity and crime, you can see that all is not well.

“My belief is that there is something underneath. There are a lot of compromises, and many of our national leaders know this. Some people are compromising in the same circle. The same people that are meant to protect the people are the ones arranging these killings, just like you saw in Taraba State between the police and the military. That incident should not be taken lightly.

“My suggestion is that the investigation should go beyond that, beyond what is happening, because a lot of our military men are being killed in the North. Each time the military is embarking on any operation, they will be ambushed. It is not a normal situation.

“There people that are leaking vital information to cause confusion and their purpose is either they have a project they are fighting for or they are having some financial gains.

“We have a nation with highly educated people, but you have not found anybody taking time to investigate that there should be an independent opinion on what is happening from security experts. But we seem to be quiet.

“So, anybody who speaks against it will seem to be speaking against the government, as if we are not living in this country.”

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Bayelsa Election: We’ve no ill feelings towards Jonathan – PDP

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The Peoples Democratic Party has said that it holds no ill feeling towards former President Goodluck Jonathan over his role in the just concluded Bayelsa governorship election.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, disclosed this in an interview with journalists after a meeting of the party’s National Working Committee in Abuja.

Reports had suggested that Jonathan might face internal party sanctions for what looked like his support for the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, who eventually emerged winner of the governorship elections.

But debunking that notion, Ologbondiyan said, “The issue of former President Goodluck Jonathan did not come up at the meeting and it was not discussed.

“You must know about the procedure and processes in our party. If we do not have a report or an issue before us, we cannot delve into.

“As we speak now, we do not have any matter concerning Jonathan before us in the party.”

Ologbondiyan said that the only issue discussed at the meeting was the November 16 election in Kogi and Bayelsa, of which the National Chairman, Mr Uche Secondus, would formally address the press on the party’s position on Thursday.

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Cancel Bayelsa/Kogi elections, former Niger gov. tells INEC

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A former governor of Niger, Dr Babangida Aliyu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel Saturday’s governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

Aliyu made the call in a press statement on Thursday in Minna by Mr Bala Bitrus, his media officer.

According to Aliyu: “we hereby ask INEC and the government in power to annul the elections in the interest of peace, the growth of democracy and fairness.

“(This is) for the soul of Salomi Acheju Abuh and of all those who were slain in Kogi and Bayelsa states in the course of last Saturday’s elections by the agents of the states.

“We ask the federal government to not only condemn the wanton killings and destruction of properties but to empaneled well balanced committees to probe the dastardly acts and speedily bring those behind the arsons and fish out their sponsors for proper justice.”

He condemned the killing of the PDP’s Women Leader of Wada Aro Campaign Council in Kogi state, Salomi Abuh who was burnt to death in her house by alleged sponsored armed political thugs.

“As civilized citizens, we note with serious concern that the general conducts of the governorship elections in the two states, where innocent citizens were subjected to crude, brutal and naked use of force have rubbished the essence of the elections.

“Therefore we reject the outcomes of the two elections in their entirety,” he said.

“The conducts and outcomes of the elections in the two states are therefore not the reflections of free choice by the electorate in the two states nor are they in tandem with democratic traditions hence we reject the results posted by INEC in all their ramifications.

“It is pertinent to say here that subversion of the free will and wishes of citizens at elections and at any public fora amounts to, not only illegality but gross abuse of the fundamental principles of the rights of citizens to elect candidates of their preferred choice to govern them,” he added.

The Former Governor said that it was time for the country to begin to have critical look at the electoral system and ensure that the right things are done toward safeguarding democracy and its true culture in all elections.

Responding, Alhaji Mohammed Imam, Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Niger, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Aliyu was merely seeking for relevance.

“He is actually canvassing for such, knowing fully well that INEC cannot annul election after it had declared it,” he said.

NAN reports that David Lyon of the APC in Bayelsa had polled 352,552 votes to defeat Sen. Douye Diri of the PDP who got 143,172 votes.

While the incumbent in Kogi, Alhaji Yahaya Bello polled 406,222 votes to defeat his major opponent, Musa Wada of the PDP who scored 189,704 votes to emerge second.

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IPMAN appeals to FG to lift ban on petrol supply at borders

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has appealed to the Federal Government to repeal the ban on the supply of petroleum products to stations located 20 kilometers away from Nigerian borders.

IPMAN’s National President, Mr Sanusi Fari, made the call in a statement issued to newsmen in Owerri by its National Publicity Secretary.

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