The Chairman of the Financial Accountability Council of the Pentocostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Bishop Charles Ighele, has advised the embattled Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, to step aside for proper investigations to be conducted over the allegations of his link to terrorist organisations.
Ighele also called on the Presidency to investigate the allegations levelled against the minister.
While describing security as a sensitive matter that should be handled with all the seriousness it deserves, the cleric urged the government to establish the facts surrounding Pantami’s case even if the matter in question took place before his elevation to his current office.
He said, “The Federal Government should not treat the issue with kid gloves, they should dig deeper and establish the fact surrounding the Minister’s alleged romance with terror groups before his appointment to office. “Government needs to get more information from international community.
“The issues involved here are so serious that you are never going to convince the United States, Britain and other international community that you are fighting terrorism.
“It is very possible that he has repented of that extra Islamic attitude. But many people might not be convinced that he has repented. Ditto for security agencies and the international community. They might think that he wants to remain in office, that’s why he said what he has said so far.
The cleric further said, “For the sake of the nation and citizens, the Minister should step aside. There are things that for the sake of the society and nation you forego. So, the Federal Government may believe him but the international community won’t. I think it is more honourable for Pantami, a Muslim cleric himself, to resign, as a token of his remorse for what he said years before.
“The minister should take a cue from the former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who honourably resigned when the occasion was loudest.
There are times that public opinion is powerful but all I know is that what will give him honour is to resign. But if he chooses to remain in office and his tenure expires, he has lost the honour forever and the international community will not respect him too. So, he has to choose between the office that may not last between now and two years or resign now and gain honour forever. If I should counsel him, I’ll ask him to resign.”
Govt approach wrong, ransom payment won’t end kidnapping – Obasanjo
FORMER President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday declared that governments of former President, Goodluck Jonathan, and Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) paid ransom to kidnappers but they denied it.
Obasanjo said he did not believe in payment of ransom to kidnappers and banditry, maintaining that it encouraged criminals indulging in the act.
He spoke on Wednesday at his Penthouse residence within Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while playing host to members of Tiv Professionals’ Group led by Prof. Zacharys Anger Gundu.
He, however, submitted that the government must develop the means to deal with kidnappers and bandits heavily in place of ransom payment.
Obasanjo insisted that it required a “carrot and stick” approach to fight insecurity challenges to a standstill.
He said, “Some people are still reaching out, and hoping that lives can still be saved. But a situation whereby anybody thinks paying ransom is the way out, that person is folly. This is because when you pay ransom, you encourage.
“But if you are not going to pay ransom, you must have the means to deal heavily with it. You must have the stick to deal with it. Government has always paid ransom. Not only this government, even during (Goodluck) Jonathan (administration). They paid ransom, but they denied it.”
Speaking on the forthcoming 2023 elections, Obasanjo said leaders must ensure the election birthed the emergence of a new federation in Nigeria; otherwise the country might be “sliding into grand dissolution.”
He bemoaned insecurity challenges and insisted that 2023 must mark a watershed for Nigeria.
He said, “I do believe that whatever else we do we have to make the year 2023 a watershed for Nigeria. The year 2023 should give us the beginning of emergence of a new federation or feeling that the rot continues, and then, we are going to be sliding back to a grand dissolution. God forbid.”
While relaying the position of a military friend, Obasanjo expressed fears that those beating drums of division in Nigeria didn’t think about the interest of the minority ethnic groups.
He added, “And he would say to me if the Yoruba can stand as a country, if the Igbo can stand as a country, if the Hausa/Fulani can stand as a country, if you, major tribes, decide to break up from the country, where do you want the minority ethnic groups to stand? That, many Nigerians don’t know about, unfortunately.
“Where do we want those minor groups to stand? Wherever they stand, now they are by virtue of Nigeria’s present situation a little bit protected. But if Nigeria breaks up and they are in a smaller country, they will be oppressed. They will always be exterminated. Are we thinking of that?”
Presenting a paper earlier, the leader of the group, Prof. Zacharys Anger Gundu, told Obasanjo that “blood is flowing in Benue State” following killings of the people allegedly by Fulani and bandits.
He, however, demanded that full compensation for the victims of killings and destruction in Tivland, proscription of armed fulani groups, while “land grabbing must stop and all occupied lands must be vacated.”
IPOB orders sit-at-home, bans church services on May 30
The Indigenous People of Biafra has ordered protest and a sit-at-home on May 30.
It also banned church services on that day in Biafraland.
It said the protest would hold in 100 countries where IPOB members and sympathisers reside.
The group’s media and publicity officer, Emma Powerful, made this known in a statement on Sunday.
He said the exercise was to honour its fallen heroes and heroines, adding that it would be observed in markets, churches, parks, airports and seaports within and outside the region and beyond.
The IPOB publicist said there would be no procession, protest nor church services anywhere in the zone, urging its members to stay indoors throughout the day.
The statement read in part, “We the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra wish to announce to the public and Biafrans both home and abroad that the annual anniversary of our fallen heroes and heroines will be on Sunday, 30th of May 2021.
“As usual, there will be a total lockdown of the entire Biafra land on that day.
“There will be sit-at-home across Biafraland, Lagos, Abuja as well as northern towns with reasonable Biafran population.
“The sit-at-home order is also to be observed in all the markets within and outside Biafra land where our people do their businesses. It shall also be observed by Diasporan Biafrans in the over 100 countries with the IPOB family is present.
“We equally request our fellow comrades in Yoruba, Middle Belt and other Christians living in the far North to solidarise with us in the event as we honour all those who have paid the supreme price in our struggle for total freedom.
“All Biafrans living overseas must hold rallies in their respective countries of abode in honour of our fallen heroes and heroines including the gallant Imo State Eastern Security Network commander, Ikonso and his men murdered by the Nigeria security agents.
“The rallies will also show the outside world of our resolve and preparedness to leave Nigeria. We equally advise our Diasporan people to ensure they get the written approval of their host countries before embarking on the rallies.
“30th of May every year is very dear to Biafrans because it was the date our Hero, Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, declared our resistance to the genocidal attacks by Nigeria and Fulani Janjaweeds which culminated into the 30-month civil war from 1967 to 1970.
“We shall always remember all those who died in the course of the war and our march to freedom.
“Consequently, there will be no movement on the roads throughout Biafraland; no banking or financial services in our territory; no commercial activities of any kind.”
Nigeria Has Become A Giant Killing Field – PDP
The National Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has decried the current security situation in the country, saying Nigeria has become a giant killing field.
In a communique read by the national chairman of the party after a meeting of the caucus at the Akwa Ibom Governors’ Lodge in Abuja, the party said Nigeria was fast descending into anarchy, with the security of lives and property “practically non-existent.”
“Terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling, rape, arson, mindless murder of citizens and even security agents are ravaging the land. Criminals have taken complete control of most aspects of our lives unchecked. The government seems powerless to act. Nigeria has become one giant killing field.
“The meeting also noted the unrestricted expansion of Boko Haram into newer and inner territories close to the seat of government in Abuja and expressed alarm at the capitulation of the security agencies and President Muhamadu Buhari’s APC government. In the view of the meeting, President Buhari has failed the people at a time of grave national crises,’’ part of the communiqué reads.
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