Category Archives: In the news

As Church resumes, Lagos Catholic Archdiocese set guidelines


TO ALL PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS WORKING IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF LAGOS, AND THE LAY FAITHFUL

Dear Msgri. /Frs., Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
GUIDELINES TOWARDS THE GRADUAL RESTORATION OF PUBLIC MASSES AND CELEBRATION OF OTHER SACRAMENTS

There is no doubt that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still very much with us. Day by day, we continue to receive news of increase in the number of infected persons and deaths from complications arising from infections with the virus. However, as government and the people continue in their efforts to curtail the spread of the virus, it has become necessary to move on with our lives while trying our best to remain safe and healthy.

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As Catholics, we maintain that celebration of the Sacraments and other acts of worship are not just important for our overall well-being as Catholic Christians, they are also an integral part of our lives that we cannot do without. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everything, even our liturgical worship. We have been forced to participate in Masses via the television and on the internet. However, visual worship cannot substitute worship in physical presence.

We have been in dialogue with other Christians on the one hand and with government on the other hand. From these engagements, we have indications that the restrictions imposed in the wake of COVID-19 would be lifted soon. It has therefore become necessary that we give the following Guidelines as we implement a gradual restoration of public Mass in our Archdiocese:

  1. Requirements of Churches and Places of Worship.
    a. Church premises and environment must be clean at all times
    b. Parishes should ensure well ventilated spaces for worship at all times.
    c. Hand washing facilities i.e. running water and soap at the entry point and strategic places within the church premises.
    d. Hand Sanitizers must be provided at major entrances to Church premises.
    e. Proper refuse bins should be put in place within church premises and the surrounding so that people can properly dispose tissue paper/face mask.
    f. Parishes should have designated points for entry and exit clearly designated.
    g. Trained personnel are to check body temperature at entry points.
    h. Hygiene personnel to disinfect chairs, door handles and surface arears in the church at regular intervals.
    i. Arrangement/demarcation of pews to accommodate physical distancing of 2meters/6 feet in front, beside and behind worshippers.
    j. We have advocated that the size of the Church and the compliance with the 2meters distancing in front, beside and behind each worshipper should determine the number of worshippers to be present at each Mass. However, we await government announcement to determine the number that would be gathered at any single celebration.
  2. Procedures and Protocols
    a. Anyone coming into the church premises must wear a face mask.
    b. Anyone coming into the church premises must submit to body temperature check.
    c. After the temperature check at the gate, parishioners should sanitize their hands before entering the church premises
    d. Attendance at Mass should be strictly under the direction and supervision of the Parish Priest who must ensure that there is a record of Parishioners that attend each Mass. This he can ensure either through the use of the Parish Database in determining those who attend or through decisions on who comes from the Small Christian Communities. Or else, leaders of Associations of Lay faithful may be directed to form their members into groups to determine those that would attend which of the Masses on different Sundays. Parishes should use whichever procedure suits their situations as long as they ensure that they keep to the numbers and keep a list of names and information on those at each Mass.
    e. Public Masses are to be celebrated on SUNDAYS ONLY for now and between 7am and 3pm in order to ensure that people do not break the curfew. Priests are strongly encouraged to maximize this period to make more Masses available for the faithful.
    f. The following categories of persons who are generally recognized as being more vulnerable to infection are dispensed from their obligation to attend Sunday Mass. They are therefore STRONGLY ADVISED TO STAY AT HOME:
    i. The elderly, above 70 years,
    ii. Children below 10 years
    iii. Nursing mothers
    iv. Those who feel sick
    v. Those who don’t feel safe or comfortable enough to gather in a crowd even with the precautions we have put in place.
  3. Particular Liturgical Practices and Actions
    a. Only Priests should celebrate Mass without wearing masks. Other liturgical ministers on the Sanctuary should wear face masks.
    b. Where processions are to be made, the shortest possible route is to be used and they should be with the ministers in a single file with the required physical distance maintained.
    c. The number of Ministers on the sanctuary should be reduced to the barest minimum. A lector and two Mass servers at most is recommended.
    d. There should be minimal contact between the ministers on the sanctuary; their sitting positions should be arranged bearing the required physical distance in mind.
    e. Proper hygiene should be observed in the use of the microphone. Where possible, more microphones should be used by each minister.
    f. ALL offertory collections (1st, 2nd and Thanksgiving) should be taken up only and ONLY AFTER Holy Communion. This is to ensure that the faithful whose hands have been sanitized would have received Holy Communion on their palms before touching money again with their hands.
    g. For offertory collections, offertory baskets or collection bags with a long handle should be used, with physical distance always maintained. Alternatively, parishioners may go to the front of the sanctuary to give their offerings while maintaining physical distance.
    h. There would be no offertory procession. The gifts for the Eucharist should be left on the Credence Table from where Altar Servers would bring them to the Priest for preparation.
    i. The Sign of Peace is to be omitted.
    j. The Extra-ordinary ministers of the Holy Communion should sanitize their hands before consecration.
    k. Whenever there is a Concelebration, provision should be made for an additional chalice separate from the one from which the Chief Celebrant receives the sacred specie. Other priests would receive communion by intinction such that only the last of the concelebrants receive directly from the chalice.
  4. l. The Ciborium containing the small hosts for the distribution of Holy Communion should remain covered during consecration. The same thing should be done when there is more than one chalice for consecration.
    m. Those to receive communion are to come forward to the foot of the Sanctuary while maintaining physical distance.
    n. Holy Communion should be received directly on the palm of the hand; no hand gloves.
    o. Holy Communion should be given without the words since face masks will not be worn.
    p. Thanksgivings should be earlier arranged with the Parish Priest, with due consideration for the required physical distancing.
    q. Liturgical ministers other than priests may not use liturgical vestments. However, they should be dressed in regular clothes proper and befitting of liturgical worship.
    r. The use of the Holy Water font remains suspended
    Live-streamed Liturgies: we encourage parishes to continue the live streaming of Masses in order to provide for those mentioned in 2f above.
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Other Sacraments and Pastoral Activities

  1. Penance/Reconciliation
    As restrictions are further lifted, the Sacrament of Penance should be scheduled, taking into account the number of individuals permitted to gather. Confessions are not to be heard in small spaces (e.g., traditional confessionals, reconciliation rooms, etc.). A big space which allows for required physical distancing, privacy and above all the maintenance of the dignity of the Sacrament is to be adopted for use. Those mentioned in 2f above may come to the church or parish office outside the scheduled times for confessions.

Priests are allowed to hear confessions under the following conditions:
 Priest and penitent wear face mask
 Both maintain physical distance.
 The sacredness of the sacrament is not to be compromised.

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  1. Pastoral Care for the Sick and Dying
    Priests are encouraged to continue to pastorally care for the sick, the elderly and those who cannot attend mass. Care for the Sick and Elderly which includes Communion, Anointing of the Sick, and Penance, may be celebrated for those in need at the discretion of the priest. In such situations, priests should ensure the following:
     that both Priest and recipient wear face masks
     they observe the required physical distancing while administering the Sacrament of Anointing of the sick.
     Anointing will be done using a piece of cotton wool.
     Use of hand sanitizer before and after the sacrament
  2. Baptism
    When restrictions have been relaxed further, the Sacrament of Baptism may once again be administered, taking into account the number of individuals permitted to gather while observing the required physical distance. Baptism may be celebrated given the following conditions:
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 Those to be baptized do not exceed a maximum number of 10 candidates, each accompanied by both parents and one sponsor only.

 Anointing should be carried out using cotton wool, a fresh cotton wool should be used to anoint each candidate; the priests sanitizes his hands immediately afterwards.

 The Rite of Laying of Hands should be carried out without physical contact.

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 The Rite of Ephatha may be carried out without physical contact.

  1. Marriage
    On the condition of further easing of restrictions, the Sacrament of Marriage may be administered taking into account the number of individuals permitted for gathering, while observing physical distance except for the couple for whom physical nearness is inevitable.
  2. Funerals
    Funerals may take place in compliance with the number of individuals permitted to gather while observing physical distance. In this case, the following conditions should be observed:
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 Rite of Reception at the Entrance of the Church: the number of family members should be limited to a maximum of 5 members while maintaining the expected physical distance.
 At the graveside: the number of people at the interment should not exceed, the maximum number of persons required at social/religious gathering. Physical distance and standard hygiene practices should be strictly adhered to.

My dear brothers and sisters, these are indeed unusual times for the whole world and the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to adopt modifications in our way of worship. These Guidelines have been provided in accordance with recommended safety precautions in order to keep us safe as we begin the celebration of public Masses again. We strongly encourage all Priests, Religious and the Lay Faithful of our Archdiocese to carefully study and implement these Guidelines. We must all keep in mind our obligation to protect ourselves and the faithful entrusted to our care as well as all our loved ones. We shall monitor the situation of things as they develop and review these Guidelines according to the developments and as needs arise. May God keep us safe and command this virus to depart from our world.

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Finally, we cannot over-emphasise the fact that these modifications are temporary and their use is strictly for this period alone. We must not get so used to them that we begin to see them as normal. Therefore, if there are so-called new normal situations, they do not pertain to the core of the teachings and rites of celebrating the liturgy even if they have been modified for the moment. Physical presence at Mass, reception of Holy Communion as prescribed as well as other practices remain the ordinary ways and the present practices are extra-ordinary. May the Lord strengthen our faith and keep our feet on the path of life eternal.

(signed)
+Alfred Adewale MARTINS
Archbishop, Metropolitan See of Lagos


#Newsworthy…

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Trump’s Biddings: Pentagon squirm under pressure, amid protests.


President Donald Trump wants the US military to take the lead in stopping violent race protests, making the Pentagon increasingly vulnerable to accusations of being a tool for his political goals.
Trump put the issue out in front Monday in a made-for-TV show of force.

After having police fire tear gas to clear away peaceful protestors in front of the White House, he walked with Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley at his side to a nearby church to pose for pictures.

Minutes earlier, he had declared that he was dispatching “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers” to help quell unrest, which appeared to invoke the rarely used Insurrection Act to involve the US Army in domestic peace-keeping.

The Pentagon stressed that the Insurrection Act had not been activated.

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But Trump’s words, and the picture of Milley in his camouflage battle dress at the White House, left many nervous.

Likewise did Esper telling governors of US states earlier Monday that they should “dominate the battlespace” to end the protests, sounding like he too viewed the situation as war.

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One week after the killing of handcuffed African American George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman sparked protests and riots for racial justice across the country, such talk sparked anger and concerns that Trump would use the military against political foes, and to boost his own stature.

“America is not a battleground. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy,” said retired General Martin Dempsey, who held Milley’s job from 2011 to 2015.

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“I am not convinced that the conditions on our streets, as bad as they are, have risen to the level that justifies a heavy reliance on military troops,” Mike Mullen, Dempsey’s predecessor as the top Pentagon commander, wrote in the Atlantic on Tuesday.

“Furthermore, I am deeply worried that as they execute their orders, the members of our military will be co-opted for political purposes.”

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‘Not aware’
The Pentagon sought Tuesday to dampen the concerns, even as hundreds of army policemen were placed on standby for duty if violence continued in the US capital.

A senior official, speaking on grounds of anonymity, insisted that Esper’s “battlespace” was simply his habit of using the jargon of the US military.

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“It’s the common term we use for the area we are operating in,” he said.

As for Milley’s and Esper’s presence when Trump made his political display, the official claimed they had been called to the White House at short notice — hence Milley’s camouflage uniform — and did not know it was going to happen.

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“The president indicated an interest in viewing the troops outside and the secretary and the chairman went with him,” the official said.

“They were not aware that the police and law enforcement had made a decision to clear the square.”

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‘Autocratic rule’
That failed to douse concerns that the two top military leaders were being sucked and pressured into Trump’s political plans.

“I remain gravely concerned about President Trump’s seemingly autocratic rule and how it affects the judgement of our military leadership,” said the chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith.

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“The role of the US military in domestic US law enforcement is limited by law,” he added.

“It must not be used in violation of those limits and I see little evidence that President Trump understands this fundamental premise.”

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Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for president, accused Trump of “using the American military against the American people.”

It was clear, too, that African Americans in the US military had their focus on brutality toward blacks and less so on Trump’s machinations.

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“Just like most of the Black Airmen and so many others in our ranks … I am outraged at watching another Black man die on television before our very eyes,” tweeted Chief Master Sergeant Kaleth Wright, the senior-most enlisted man in the US Air Force.

“I am George Floyd,” he wrote.


#Newsworthy…

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Saudi Prince in 14 years Coma finally moves head – ‘Tears of Joy’.


Popular Saudi Arabia prince, Khalid Bin Talal Al Saud who has been in a coma for fourteen years has raised the hopes of all Saudi Arabians and the world at large as he moves his head for the first time.

All over the world, many are saying a word of prayer for the ‘Sleeping Prince’ as he still lays on his bed for more than a decade.

During one of the sessions where he was receiving treatment whilst in a coma, Khalid miraculously moved his head from side to side.

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The action was captured on tape and from the video, we could a reaction from Khalid’s caretakers as they could not believe what had just happened.

The doctors and some family members could not hide their excitement and the video has since garnered tons of joyful remarks from social media.


#Newsworthy…

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Just in: Donald Trump Galvanize Protesters’ Movement.


In the blocks surrounding the White House on Tuesday, evidence of violence from the previous days of riots littered the streets: shattered windows, rubber bullets, melted remnants of burnt cars. Washington D.C.’s curfew expired in early morning, but as the sun rose, all signs pointed to a city bracing for another day of conflict.

Those who hadn’t already boarded up their business fronts were doing so, as if preparing for a hurricane. Spray paint was getting washed off walls, but one Secret Service agent wondered as he watched whether it would help, when there was likely more to come. People dropped off cases of water and snacks for protesters, who were gathering peacefully as military vehicles and troops armed with riot gear paraded through downtown as if patrolling a war zone.

If the curfews and crackdowns were meant to lower the intensity of the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death, they’ve had the opposite effect in the U.S. capital. A day after the White House deployed federal forces to clear out protesters so President Donald Trump could walk to a nearby church for a photo op, roughly twice the number of demonstrators had reconvened by the early afternoon in Lafayette Square — not on it, because a high fence had been erected around it —than had been there the day before.

Many said Trump’s political theater and the brutal treatment of peaceful protesters the previous day was just the latest in a long pattern of action by the President that was uniting them in their cause.

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“I saw Trump’s speech on TV last night and he stood in front of this church and held up a Bible and acted like that would fix everything, and it just made it worse to me,” said Celete Kato, a Washington resident, as cars driving by Lafayette Square honked in support. She said Trump is actually “galvanizing this Black Lives Matter voice to want to do better and be better and respond in a more coordinated way. So maybe he’s helping the cause.”

Though there have been organized demonstrations across the nation since George Floyd was killed in police custody on May 25, many in the crowd of protesters outside the White House on Tuesday appeared to have come spontaneously and on their own. They came whenever they could, and however they could, to show their support. On Capitol Hill, one group of young adults wandered the complex looking for a protest to join; there were none at that particular time, so they headed toward the White House.

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One woman, Tia Smith, from Springfield, Missouri, drove more than 1,000 miles to be in Washington for the protests. She had never attended one before this week. “I just love my people. I want to support them. Even with everything going on, I still feel there needs to be a voice, and I am all here for it,” Smith said. “I just hope things get better from here. I really do.”

Jennifer Jones, standing outside the White House around 8:30 a.m., had deviated from her normal morning running route to stop by the protest site for a quiet moment of prayer. Jones has been avoiding the protests because of concerns about coronavirus, but she was offended that Trump had used a Bible as a prop the day before. “I just wanted to come and see it for myself. I just want to remember this moment so that I can also really feel it for myself, so I can channel it in a positive way,” Jones said. “I’m encouraging everyone to channel their anger to the primaries and to the election in November.”

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Over the past week, in D.C. and other cities around the country, peaceful protests over Floyd’s death during the day have been followed by violent riots and looting at night. On the one hand, some believe any violence detracts from the protest message of ending police brutality against black Americans. On the other, many don’t think the daytime protests would be getting as much attention without them. And others say they don’t blame the people who participate in the rioting at night: Hasn’t everyone spent enough time trying to convey the same message peacefully? Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem comes up a lot as the evidence. Look what happened to him.

As of Tuesday evening, social media posts showed that protesters had continued on past the city curfew of 7PM. At least during the day, it appeared they were largely peaceful. But in one discombobulated moment, it was clear how easy it was for the environment to turn.

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Outside the park, people wearing masks chanted, holding signs with the names of police brutality victims and supportive messages like, “Riots are the voices of the unheard!” A lamp post with a bottle of Germ X taped onto it served as an ad hoc hand sanitizer stand, a reminder of the ongoing pandemic. Then, suddenly, police stormed out of the fence around the park and pulled a woman out of a grey BMW SUV she’d been sitting in for some time, pinning her to the ground. It was not immediately clear why.

The crowd erupted. Several people shouted, “Stop! She’s not resisting!” The police picked her up and took her behind the barricades. Protestors ran to that side of the fenceline and began chanting at police, as law enforcement officers also rushed to that end. “Hold the fence!” one of the law enforcement officers instructed the others, to prevent them all from consolidating in the same spot.

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Jay Hamilton, a 45-year-old D.C. resident who was at the protest on Tuesday, thinks the heavy-handedness of the police has provoked the riots. “This is America, right? America’s all teams. So depending on the team that you’re on, that’s how you’re going to see [the riots]. For me, it’s not [detracting from the peaceful protests], it’s part of the protest,” he said.

He pointed to the gate around the park as an example of law enforcement provoking protesters into violence, arguing it was unnecessary to put it up. As he spoke, a line of troopers armed in riot gear moved through the protesters. People in the crowd jeered. “Why [do] they even send those guys down the block like that? That’s that bullshit right there.”


#Newsworthy…

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Breaking: Trump’s post force Facebook employees ‘Pen on Paper’.


Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has defended himself for not condemning remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump appearing to threaten violent retribution against demonstrators protesting the death of a black man at the hands of police, according to media reported on Tuesday.

In a tweet that was also visible on his Facebook page, Trump slammed demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis as “THUGS” and appeared to promote a violent response by saying, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

That phrase was first used by a Miami police chief in 1967 to justify a violent crackdown on black neighborhoods.

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Twitter placed a “public interest notice” on the post for violating the platform’s rules “about glorifying violence,” a move not mirrored by Facebook.

Online magazine The Verge reported that Zuckerberg held a long conference call with Facebook employees and addressed accusations that the social media platform allowed election misinformation and veiled promotions of violence from Trump.

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Zuckerberg told employees he should have offered them more transparency, The Verge reported citing a recording of the meeting.

But he stood by what he termed a “pretty thorough” evaluation of Trump’s posts, saying the choice to avoid labeling or removing them was difficult but correct.

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According to the recording, Zuckerberg described being upset by some of Trump’s recent posts, including the one regarding looting.

“(But) I knew that I needed to separate out my personal opinion … from what our policy is and the principles of the platform we’re running are.”

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Several Facebook employees have resigned over the lack of action, NobleReporters learnt

One said publicly that the company would end up “on the wrong side of history.”


#Newsworthy…

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Church service should last for one hour – PMB


The Federal Government of Nigeria has given one hour as the duration for each church service.

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, stated this on Tuesday during a briefing in Abuja.

Aliyu while rolling out guidelines for the reopening of worship centres said, “Churches to open from 5am and close by 8pm.

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“For churches, each service should be for a maximum of an hour with an interval of thirty minutes in between services to allow time for disinfection.”

Similarly, the national coordinator said Friday prayers in mosques should also not exceed one hour.

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“Mosques may open 15 minutes before and ten minutes after prayers. The total time for Friday prayers should not exceed an hour.

“Islamiya schools, Sunday schools, night vigils, and children classes are to remain suspended.

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“Worshippers should be encouraged to sign up for preferred worship and make the option of virtual service an option.

“There should be no gathering either or after worship and business outlets within the premises should remain closed,” he explained


#Newsworthy…

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Just in: FRSC spokesperson, others get new rank.


The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, has decorated spokesman Mr Bisi Kazeem and others with the new rank of Assistant Corps Marshal.

The decoration ceremony followed the just concluded promotion of senior officers on 30 May by the FRSC board.

According to Oyeyemi, it has been the culture of the Corps since 2014, not to delay the seasons of reward or let go without due recognition of individuals.

“These are for those who have continued to strive to make FRSC a best global practice sustainable corporate organisation,’’ he said.

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Oyeyemi congratulated the newly promoted officers for the deserved elevation and implored them to be happy and proud of their success.

He said that the promotion was an indication of their hard work.

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Kazeem thanked the board and management of FRSC for giving them the opportunity to serve in the new capacities.

He commended the transparency and objectivity that heralded the entire promotion process.

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He pledged the officers’ commitment to work more, noting that he was aware that every promotion comes with more responsibility.

“This particular one, no doubt, will certainly propel us to work harder to ensure that all lives are saved on the road,’’ he said.


#Newsworthy…

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Dino Melaye defeat FG in court over Crimes charge.


A Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja on Tuesday discharged former Kogi West Senator, Dino Daniel Melaye of criminal charges leveled against him by the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF.

The FCT High Court cleared Melaye of giving false information to police, as claimed by the AGF.

He was accused of deliberately accusing the ex-Chief of Staff to the Kogi State Governor, now Deputy Governor, David Onoja of plotting to assassinate him in April 2017.

Melaye was accused of giving a false statement during a conversation with Mohammed Abubakar, son of Abubakar Audu, ex-Kogi governor.

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In a two-count charge, the former lawmaker was accused of giving out false information with the intent of harming Onoja’s reputation.

The lawmaker, however, denied committing the offense punishable under Sections 140 and 393 of the Penal Code Law, Cap. 89, Laws of Northern Nigeria, 1963

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His counsel, Mr. Olusegun Jolaawo, SAN, had filed a no-case-submission when the prosecution closed their case.

However, Justice Olasumbo Goodluck, while delivering a ruling on the no-case -submission, held that “there was no evidence that the defendant gave false information to any person in public service.”

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The Judge described the evidence given by a government witness Mr. Edward Onoja as “vague and unreliable”

Justice Goodluck held that “neither of the two witnesses elicited evidence on the status of Mohammed Abubaker Audu.”


#Newsworthy…

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Why Lagos Churches, Mosques won’t reopen despite National ban lift.


The Lagos State Government has announced that churches and mosques in the state will not be reopened for worshippers.

Prince Anofiu Elegushi, the State Commissioner for Home Affairs, said this during the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing commemorating the first year in office of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday, lifted the ban on mosques and churches in the country.

However, Elegushi said the state will not reopen worship centers because the state was the epicenter of the deadly COVID-19.

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According to him, before the pronouncement by the Federal Government, the possibility of reopening religious centers was ruled out in a meeting with religious leaders in the State.

He said the leaders of both faiths claimed they cannot assure that only 20 to 50 people pray behind them.

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”Like an Imam said, he doesn’t know what is going on at the back immediately he is leading a prayer. He said if more than 20 or 50 people are staying at his back he is not going to take responsibility for their presence.

”So, in the meeting, we ruled out in totality the issue of reopening the religious houses until we have a clear coast for us to do so.

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”We all know Lagos is still having more figures. So definitely that will speak to our decision,” NRM quoted him as saying.

He added that the governor of the state would come out with further directives on the matter.


#Newsworthy…

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Churches, Mosques that won’t open – Nigerian Govt specify.


The Federal Government has said churches and mosques that do not comply with “required measures”, will not be allowed to reopen.

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, stated this during the daily briefing on Tuesday.

Aliyu also suggested that it was safer for congregants to worship at home, despite the lifting of ban on religious gatherings.

He however warned that “Places of worship that do not comply with required measures should not be allowed to operate.

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“State authorities should not allow such churches or mosques to operate.”

Aliyu explained that strict compliance to provided guidelines was important, as that nature of religious gatherings could see Coronavirus spread easily.


#Newsworthy…

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Churches, Mosques to begin service?


The Federal Government has relaxed the restriction placed on churches, mosques and other places of worship as part of measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, announced this during the daily briefing of the panel on Monday.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to Government of the Federation, said the ban on inter-state travel is still in place. Effective Tuesday, the Federal Government on Monday announced that the nationwide curfew remains in place but with a new timing of 10pm—4am.

It has also approved the full opening of the financial sector – normal working hours for banks.

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It has approved the restricted opening of places of worship, (regular church and mosque services only), to be based on State Governments protocols.

It also said hotels are now free to operate but within the protocol guidelines released.

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The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on coronavirus (COVID-19), Dr. Sani Aliyu said this at the daily briefing of the task force.

The chairman of the PTF and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said President Muhammadu Buhari approved the recommendations of the PTF.

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He said: “After considering all factors mentioned above, the PTF submitted its recommendations and the President has approved the following for implementation over the next four weeks spanning 2nd – 29th June, 2020, subject to review-:

Based on the overall assessment, including available data on the public health considerations and resultant economic impacts, the PTF is of the opinion that Nigeria is ready to allow SCIENCE and DATA determine her cautious advancement into the second phase of the eased lockdown for a period of four (4) weeks.

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​After considering all factors mentioned above, the PTF submitted its recommendations and the President has approved the following for implementation over the next four weeks spanning 2nd – 29th June, 2020, subject to review-:
i. Cautious advance into the Second Phase of the national response to COVID-19;

ii. Application of science and data to guide the targeting of areas of on-going high transmission of COVID-19 in the country;

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iii. Mobilisation of all resources at State and Local Government levels to create public awareness on COVID 19 and improve compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions within communities;

iv. Sustenance of key non-pharmaceutical interventions that would apply nationwide and include:

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a) Ban of gatherings of more than 20 people outside of a workplace;

b) Relaxation of restriction on places of Worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and Protocols agreed by State Governments

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c) Managed access to markets and locations of economic activity to limit the risk of transmission;

d) Ban on inter-state travels except for movement of agricultural produce, petroleum products, manufactured goods and essential services;

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e) Mandatory use of non-medical face masks in public places;

f) Mandatory provision of handwashing facilities/sanitisers in all public places;

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g) Extensive temperature checks in public places;

h) Maintaining 2 metres between people in public places;

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i) Strengthening infection prevention and control at healthcare facilities;

j) Isolation of vulnerable populations (elderly and those with underlying health conditions)

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k) Massive information and education campaigns.​

v. Deepening of collaborative efforts with the community leaders, civil society, faith-based organisations, traditional institutions, etc;

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vi. Continuous mobilisation of State governments to take up greater role in the implementation of the guidelines and advisories provided by the PTF;

vii. Continued provision of support by the NCDC to States through guidelines to shape decision-making in responding to high burden LGAs and Wards; and

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viii. Easing the total lockdown of Kano State and introduction of Phase One of the Eased Lockdown.

22.​Ladies and gentlemen, this is still a fight for life and our advancement to phase two does not mean that COVID-19 has ended. It is still potent and highly wasteful of human lives. I implore all Nigerians and corporate citizens to take responsibility and play the expected role.


#Newsworthy…

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Obaseki visit Buhari in Aso Villa.


President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met with the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Personal Assistant on New Media to the President, Bashir Ahmad, announced this via his Twitter handle.

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He said, “President Muhammadu Buhari meets with Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki this afternoon, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.”

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Newsmen reports that eight governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, on Sunday, held a meeting with the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, at the State House Marina, Lagos State to make a case for Obaseki.

It was gathered that the governors were at the closed-door meeting to seek Tinubu’s intervention in the search for a truce in the political conflict between Obaseki and his godfather, the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole.


#Newsworthy…

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Buhari is driving Nigeria to destruction – Umar.


Abubakar Dangiwa Umar is not a stranger to stirring up a hornet’s nest. He has walked this path for most of his adult life. The cost has been huge. His promising military career was cut short. And he quit as a colonel.

From speaking against the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election to opposing Gen. Sani Abacha’s dictatorship and President Olusegun Obasanjo’s third term bid, Umar has remained a thorn in the flesh of public perpetrators of inequity and injustice.

Umar yesterday called out President Muhammadu Buhari for dividing the nation along ethnic and religious lines, warning that lopsided appointments in government would spell doom for the country’s unity.

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In an open letter to President Buhari, Umar said the country was near the precipice as a result of his alleged unpopular policies that have undermined the unity of the country. He warned that unless the Buhari’s administration changed its style of governance, Nigeria might further be faced with crisis.

In the letter titled “Mr. President, Please Belong To All Of Us”, the former state military administrator said: “At this time and in the light of all that have happened since you took office, any conversation with you Mr. President cannot gloss over the chaos that has overtaken appointments into government offices in your administration.

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“All those who wish you and the country well must mince no words in warning you that Nigeria has become dangerously polarized and risks sliding into crisis on account of your administration’s lopsided appointments which continues to give undue preference to some sections of the country over others.
“Nowhere is this more glaring than in the leadership cadre of our security services. Mr. President, I regret that there are no kind or gentle words to tell you that your skewed appointments into the offices of the federal government, favouring some and frustrating others, shall bring ruin and destruction to this nation.”

Umar quoted Sheikh UsmanDan Fodio as saying that “One of the swiftest ways of destroying a kingdom is to give preference of one particular tribe over another or show favour to one group of people rather than another. And to draw near those who should be kept away and keep away those who should be drawn near”.

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Umar continues in the letter:” I have been prompted to write you this open letter, Mr. President, by the loud sounds of drums, singing and dancing that erupted within many groups in the last few days on the grounds that you attained the 5th year in office as president of Nigeria. It comes as no surprise that enthusiasm for the celebration is not shared equally by segments of the public. While your admirers and supporters believe you have performed well, many others believe the five years you have been in office as our President has not met the yearnings, expectations and change promised Nigerians.

“Mr. President, you know me well enough and my position on issues to realize that I can be neither a rabid supporter nor a fanatical opponent of yours. I believe being a responsible citizen is enough reason to wish you well and to work for your success. As we have seen all too clearly these past few years, your success is ours as is your failure. We swim or sink with you!

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“You might wish to recall that after the results of the 23rd of February 2019 presidential elections were announced, giving you victory, I addressed a press conference during which I urged the runner-up, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to concede defeat. The reason was clear: tensions were running high and little missteps by the leaders might ignite violence, as often happened after major elections. Some supporters of Abubakar Atiku disagreed with me and told me off. As it happened, Alhaji Atiku went ahead to mount a legal challenge to the outcome of the elections up to the Supreme Court. Mercifully, his actions did not result in outbreak of violence as we feared.

“At the same occasion, I counselled the declared winner, your good self, to use the opportunity of your second term to redeem your pledge of being a leader and president of all Nigerians. On the occasion of the first-year anniversary into your second four-year term, I feel there is an urgent need to revisit this subject matter.

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“Mr. President, you have often expressed the hope that history will be kind to you. It is within your competence to write that history. But you have less than three years in which to do it. You may wish to note that any authentic history must be devoid of myth. It will be a true, factual rendition of the record of your performance.

“And truth be told, Mr. President, there are quite a lot of things that speak to your remarkable accomplishments, not least of which is that for the first time in our democratic history, a sitting president was defeated. That feat was achieved by Muhammadu Buhari. The reason was the public belief of you as a man of integrity.

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“The corollary to this is that at the expiration of your 8-year tenure in 2023, your achievements will not be measured solely by the physical infrastructure your administration built. An enduring legacy would be based on those intangible things like how much you uplifted the spirit and moral tone of the nation. How well have you secured the nation from ourselves and from external enemies?
“I need not remind you, Mr. President, that our political history is replete with great acts of exemplary leadership which, at critical moments, managed to pull this nation back from the precipice and assured its continued existence.”

He mentioned some examples of how the country survived difficult moments in history.

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“In February, 1965, the NPC-led Federal Government was faced with a decision to appoint a successor to the outgoing Nigerian Army General Officer Commanding (GOC), General Welby Everard, a Briton. Four most senior officers were nominated; namely, Brigadiers Aguiyi Ironsi, Ogundipe, Ademulegun and Maimalari. The first three were senior to Maimalari but he was deemed to be the most qualified due to his superior commission. He was the first Sandhurst Regular trained officer in the Nigerian Army.

“His being a Muslim northerner like the Minister of Defence, Alhaji Muhammadu Ribadu, and the Prime Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, granted him added advantage by today’s standards. But to the surprise of even the Igbo, and opposition from some senior NPC members, Minister Ribadu recommended Ironsi, pointing to his seniority. The prime minister concurred and Aguiyi Ironsi was confirmed as the first indigenous GOC of the Nigerian Army.

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“When on 13 February 1976, the Commander-in-Chief, General Murtala Muhammed, was assassinated in a failed coup de tat, General Olusegun Obasanjo, his deputy and the most senior officer at the time, was sworn in as his successor. The Chief of Army Staff, General T.Y Danjuma, a northern Christian, was next in line to succeed Obasanjo as the Chief of Staff, SHQ and Deputy Commander in Chief. General Danjuma, however, waived his right and recommended a much junior officer, Lt. Col. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, for the post. Shehu was promoted two steps up to the rank of Brigadier and appointed Chief of Staff, SHQ and Deputy Commander-in-Chief. Lt. Col. Muhammadu Buhari was appointed Minister of Petroleum. This was done to placate Muslim North which was deemed to have lost one of its own, Murtala Muhammed.

“Both the chief of staff, Mr. Sunday Awoniyi, and Dr. Ishaya Audu, the personal physician to the Premier of Northern Nigeria, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, a direct descendant of Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio, were Christians.”

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Umar continued: “Barely nine years after the civil war in 1979, the NPN Presidential candidate, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, picked an Igbo, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, as his running mate. They enjoyed a truly brotherly relationship as president and vice president. President Shagari’s political advisor, Dr.Chuba Okadigbo, and National Assembly Liaison Assistant, Dr. K.O Mbadiwe, were both Igbo. His economic advisor, Prof. Emmanuel Edozien and his Chief of Personnel Staff Dr. Michael Prest, were of Niger Delta extraction. Remarkably, all his military service chiefs were Christians with the exception of his last Chief Army Staff, General Inuwa Wushishi under whose tenure he was removed in a military coup de tat.

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“Mr. President, as a witness and beneficiary, it is our expectation that you would emulate these great acts of statesmanship. Which is why we have continued to engage with you. You may wish to recall that I had cause to appeal to you, to confirm Justice Onnoghen as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria a few days before the expiration of his three months tenure of acting appointment to be replaced by a Muslim northerner. We were saved that embarrassment when his nomination was sent to the senate by the then acting President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo.

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“When he was finally confirmed a few days to the end of his tenure, he was removed after a few months and replaced by Justice Muhammed, a Muslim from the north. May I also invite the attention of Mr. President to the pending matter of appointment of a Chief Judge of the Nigerian Court of Appeal which appears to be generating public interest. As it is, the most senior judge, Justice Monica Dongban Mensem, a northern Christian, is serving out her second three-month term as acting Chief Judge without firm prospects that she will be confirmed substantive head. I do not know Justice Mensem but those who do attest to her competence, honesty and humility.

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“She appears eminently qualified for appointment as the substantive Chief Judge of the Court of Appeal as she is also said to be highly recommended by the National Judicial Council. If she is not and is bypassed in favour of the next in line who happens to be another northern Muslim, that would be truly odd. In which case, even the largest contingent of PR gurus would struggle to rebut the charges that you, Mr. President, is either unwilling or incapable of acting on your pledge to belong to everyone — and to no one. I hope you would see your way into pausing and reflecting on the very grave consequences of such failure not just to your legacy but to the future of our great country.”


#Newsworthy…

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Facebook to fight racism, injustice – Mark Zuckerberg reveal.


Mark Zuckerberg has revealed plans to use his platform to combat racial injustice as he spoke about racism and police brutality.

Mark Zuckerberg reveals plans to use Facebook to combat racial injustice

The Facebook founder made this known as he mourned the murder of, not just George Floyd, but also Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others.

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Mark Zuckerberg reacted to the deaths of a number of African Americans resulting from police brutality and he disclosed the efforts he’s making to use his platform to combat racial injustice.

He condemned police brutality saying it “reminds us how far our country has to go to give every person the freedom to live with dignity and peace.” He wrote;

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“The pain of the last week reminds us how far our country has to go to give every person the freedom to live with dignity and peace. It reminds us yet again that the violence Black people in America live with today is part of a long history of racism and injustice. We all have the responsibility to create change.

“We stand with the Black community — and all those working towards justice in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others whose names will not be forgotten.

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“To help in this fight, I know Facebook needs to do more to support equality and safety for the Black community through our platforms. As hard as it was to watch, I’m grateful that Darnella Frazier posted on Facebook her video of George Floyd’s murder because we all needed to see that. We need to know George Floyd’s name. But it’s clear Facebook also has more work to do to keep people safe and ensure our systems don’t amplify bias.

“The organizations fighting for justice also need funding, so Facebook is committing an additional $10 million to groups working on racial justice. We’re working with our civil rights advisors and our employees to identify organizations locally and nationally that could most effectively use this right now.

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“I know that $10 million can’t fix this. It needs sustained, long term effort. One of the areas Priscilla and I have personally worked on and where racism and racial disparities are most profound is in the criminal justice system. I haven’t talked much about our work on this, but the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has been one of the largest funders, investing ~$40 million annually for several years in organizations working to overcome racial injustice. Priscilla and I are committed to this work, and we expect to be in this fight for many years to come. This week has made it clear how much more there is to do.

“I hope that as a country we can come together to understand all of the work that is still ahead and do what it takes to deliver justice — not just for families and communities that are grieving now, but for everyone who carries the burden of inequality.”


#Newsworthy…

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Open Letter to President Buhari.


Former military Governor of Kaduna State, Colonel Dangiwa Umar (rtd), has penned an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.

In the letter with the subject “Mr President, please belong to all of us”, Colonel Umar critically reviewed PMB’s five years in office. He warned that the country risks sliding into crisis as Nigeria has become ”dangerously polarized due to Buhari’s lopsided appointments.”

Read the full letter below:

OPEN LETTER FROM COL. DANGIWA UMAR (RTD) TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI

Muhammadu Buhari, Sunday 30th May 2020

President,

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces,

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Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Dear Mr. President,

MR. PRESIDENT; PLEASE BELONG TO ALL OF US.

“One of the swiftest ways of destroying a Kingdom is to give preference of one particular tribe over another or show favor to one group of people rather than another. And to draw near those who should be kept away and keep away those who should be drawn near” Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio.

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I have been prompted to write you this open letter, Mr. President, by the loud sounds of drums, singing and dancing that erupted within many groups in the last few days on the grounds that you attained the 5th year in office as President of Nigeria. It comes as no surprise that enthusiasm for the celebration is not shared equally by segments of the public. While your admirers and supporters believe you have performed well, many others believe the five years you have been in office as our President has not met the yearnings, expectations and change promised Nigerians.

Mr. President, you know me well enough and my position on issues to realize that I can be neither a rabid supporter nor a fanatical opponent of yours. I believe being a responsible citizen is enough reason to wish you well and to work for your success. As we have seen all too clearly these past few years, your success is ours as is your failure. We swim or sink with you!

Advertisements

You might wish to recall that after the results of the 23rd of February 2019 presidential elections were announced, giving you victory, I addressed a press conference during which I urged the runner-up, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, to concede defeat. The reason was clear: tensions were running high and little missteps by the leaders might ignite violence, as often happened after major elections. Some supporters of Abubakar Atiku disagreed with me and told me off. As it happened, Alhaji Atiku went ahead to mount a legal challenge to the outcome of the elections up to the Supreme Court. Mercifully, his actions did not result in an outbreak of violence as we feared.

At the same occasion, I counselled the declared winner, your good self, to use the opportunity of your second term to redeem your pledge of being a leader and president of all Nigerians.

Advertisements

On the occasion of the first-year anniversary into your second four-year term, I feel there is an urgent need to revisit this subject matter.

Mr. President, you have often expressed the hope that history will be kind to you. It is within your competence to write that history. But you have less than three years in which to do it. You may wish to note that any authentic history must be devoid of myth. It will be a true, factual rendition of the record of your performance.

Advertisements

And truth be told, Mr. President, there are quite a lot of things that speak to your remarkable accomplishments, not least of which is that for the first time in our democratic history, a sitting President was defeated. That feat was achieved by Muhammadu Buhari. The reason was the public belief of you as a man of integrity.

The corollary to this is that at the expiration of your 8-year tenure in 2023, your achievements will not be measured solely by the physical infrastructure your administration built. An enduring legacy would be based on those intangible things like how much you uplifted the spirit and moral tone of the nation. How well have you secured the nation from ourselves and from external enemies?

Advertisements

At this time and in the light of all that have happened since you took office, any conversation with you Mr. President cannot gloss over the chaos that has overtaken appointments into government offices in your administration. All those who wish you and the country well must mince no words in warning you that Nigeria has become dangerously polarized and risk sliding into crisis on account of your administration’s lopsided appointments which continues to give undue preference to some sections of the country over others.

Nowhere is this more glaring than in the leadership cadre of our security services.

Advertisements

Mr. President, I regret that there are no kind or gentle words to tell you that your skewed appointments into the offices of the federal government, favoring some and frustrating others, shall bring ruin and destruction to this nation.

I need not remind you, Mr. President, that our political history is replete with great acts of exemplary leadership which, at critical moments, managed to pull this nation back from the precipice and assured its continued existence.

Advertisements

Colonel Dangiwa Umar writes open letter to President Buhari

A few examples will demonstrate this:

In February, 1965, the NPC-led Federal Government was faced with a decision to appoint a successor to the outgoing Nigerian Army General Officer Commanding (GOC), General Welby Everard, a Briton. Four most senior officers were nominated; namely, Brigadiers Aguiyi Ironsi, Ogundipe, Ademulegun and Maimalari. The first three were senior to Maimalari but he was deemed to be more qualified due to his superior commission. He was the first Sandhurst Regular trained officer in the Nigerian Army. His being a Muslim Northerner like the Minister of Defense, Alhaji Muhammadu Ribadu and the Prime Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa granted him added advantage by today’s standards. But to the surprise of even the Igbos, and opposition from some senior NPC members, Minister Ribadu recommended Ironsi, pointing to his seniority. The Prime Minister concurred and Aguiyi Ironsi was confirmed as the first indigenous GOC of the Nigerian Army.

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When on 13 February 1976, the Commander-in-Chief, General Murtala Muhammed, was assassinated in a failed Coup de tat, General Olusegun Obasanjo, his deputy and the most senior officer at the time, was sworn in as his successor. The Chief of Army Staff, General T.Y Danjuma, a Northern Christian, was next in line to succeed Obasanjo as the Chief of Staff, SHQ and Deputy Commander in Chief. General Danjuma however waived his right and recommended a much junior officer, Lt. Col. Shehu Musa Yar’adua, for the post. Shehu was promoted two steps up to the rank of Brigadier and appointed Chief of Staff SHQ and Deputy Commander-in-Chief. Lt. Col. Muhammadu Buhari was appointed Minister of Petroleum. This was done to placate Muslim North which was deemed to have lost one of its own, Murtala Muhammed.

Both the chief of staff, Mr. Sunday Awoniyi, and the personal physician Dr Ishaya Audu to the Premier of Northern Nigeria, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, a direct descendant of Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio, were Christians.

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Barely nine years after the civil war in 1979, the NPN Presidential candidate, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, picked an Igbo, Dr Alex Ekwueme, as his running mate. They enjoyed a truly brotherly relationship as President and Vice President. President Shagari’s political advisor, Dr Chuba Okadigbo and National Assembly Liaison, assistant, Dr K.O Mbadiwe, were both Igbos. His economic advisor, Prof. Emmanuel Edozien and his Chief of Personnel Staff Dr Michael Prest, were of Niger Delta extraction. Remarkably, all his military service chiefs were Christians with the exception of his last Chief Army Staff, General Inuwa Wushishi under whose tenure he was removed in a military coup de tat.

Mr. President, as a witness and beneficiary, it is our expectation that you would emulate these great acts of statesmanship. Which is why we have continued to engage with you.

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You may wish to recall that I had cause to appeal to you, to confirm Justice Onnoghen as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria a few days before the expiration of his three months tenure of acting appointment to be replaced by a Muslim Northerner. We were saved that embarrassment when his nomination was sent to the senate by the then acting President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo. When he was finally confirmed a few days to the end of his tenure, he was removed after a few months and replaced by Justice Muhammed, a Muslim from the North.

May I also invite the attention of Mr. President to the pending matter of appointment of a Chief Judge of the Nigerian Court Appeal which appears to be generating public interest. As it is, the most senior Judge, Justice Monica Dongban Mensem, a northern Christian, is serving out her second three-month term as acting Chief Judge without firm prospects that she will be confirmed substantive head. I do not know Justice Mensem but those who do attest to her competence, honesty and humility.

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She appears eminently qualified for appointment as the substantive Chief Judge of the Court of Appeal as she is also said to be highly recommended by the National Judicial Council. If she is not and is bypassed in favor of the next in line who happens to be another northern Muslim, that would be truly odd. In which case, even the largest contingent of PR gurus would struggle to rebut the charges that you, Mr. President, is either unwilling or incapable of acting on your pledge to belong to everyone — and to no one. I hope you would see your way into pausing and reflecting on the very grave consequences of such failure not just to your legacy but to the future of our great country.

Thank you for your time, Mr. President.

COL. ABUBAKAR DANGIWA UMAR (RTD)


#Newsworthy…

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First Ever: India celebrate direct flight from Nigeria.


Air Peace airline has taken delivery of a new ERJ-145 aircraft to help boost its domestic and regional operations.

The government of India celebrated the first direct flight from Nigeria when the nation’s major carrier, Air Peace, airlifted 312 of its citizens from the Murtala Muhammd International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to Kochi.

According to the verified twitter account of Indians in Nigeria, @india_nigeria, the “repatriation of India nationals from Nigeria began today (Sunday) with the Lagos-Kochi Air Peace flight with 312 passengers. It is the first ever Nigerian airline to fly directly to India”.

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The Indians in Nigeria commended the Nigerian government, the Indian embassy in Nigeria and others that made the flight a reality.

According to information from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Air Peace flight P47812 pushed back by 1:15 am Nigerian time with 312 passengers and 15 crew members and was airborne by 1:28 am.

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Air Peace, in a statement, said the 10-hour non-stop flight from Lagos to Kochi was operated with a B777 aircraft with registration number 5N-BWI. The flight, operated by 15 crew members, was expected to arrive Cochin International Airport in Kerala.

The Chief Operating Officer of the airline, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olajide, who expressed delight over the evacuation flight, thanked the Indian authorities for engaging Air Peace to operate the flight, while also giving kudos to the Nigerian government for supporting the airline in all its special flights during the lockdown.

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She added that the airline alongside other relevant government agencies ensured that all the passengers complied with established health protocols before boarding.

“It can be recalled that on Thursday, May 28, 2020, Air Peace embarked on an evacuation flight of 301 Chinese nationals and flew back 268 stranded Nigerians from China on Saturday,” the statement added


#Newsworthy…

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Chinese Doctors: You owe Nigerians apology over ‘Misinformation’ – ADC tells FG


The African Democratic Congress (ADC) Sunday asked the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, to apologize to Nigerians for “misinforming” them on the mission of the 15-member Chinese medical team which arrived in the country last month.

The ADC National Publicity Secretary, Yemi Kolapo, who made the call in a statement in Lagos, said the party was at the forefront of calls for support for the Federal Government because of its conviction that politicising the COVID-19 pandemic would neither benefit citizens nor the economy.

The minister had informed Nigerians that the Chinese medical personnel are not guests of the federal government but that of Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC).

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Kolapo said: “Ehanire has failed to address the real issues raised by concerned Nigerians on the whereabouts of a 15-member Chinese medical team.

“The minister’s explanation that the 15 Chinese men were guests of the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) and not of the Nigerian government could not close the ‘untidy’ case.

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“In a matter that had been followed by the entire world, a simple apology will reassure Nigerians that we are not being taken for fools.

“Not apologising for this needless messy situation would send a wrong signal to the world on the manner of governance in Nigeria.”


#Newsworthy…

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Nasarawa Sergeant-at-War Dies


The Sergeant-at-Arms of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Alhaji Aliyu Bako, is dead.

He was 69.

The Press Secretary to the Speaker of the House, Mr. Jibrin Gwamna, who disclosed this in a statement in Keffi on Sunday, said the Speaker Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, described Bako’s death as a painful and colossal loss to the state.

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He said: “On behalf of the principal officers, members and staff of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly I, Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Speaker has condole with the family of the late sergeant at Arm and Kwandere Emirate Council over the death of our dedicated and committed sergeant at arm who is the Makongiji Kwandare.

“He was a committed staff and has contributed his quota to the development of the House and the state at large while alive.

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“His death is painful but God gives life and take at His own will.

“May his soul and the souls of other departed rest in peace.”


#Newsworthy…

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