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Southern Kaduna Killings: Christian leaders demand N50 billion compensation from FG

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Following recent and previous Killings in Southern Kaduna by suspected Fulani herdsmen, a group under the auspices of Southern Kaduna Christian Leaders’ Association (SKCLA), has demanded N50 billion as compensation from the Federal Government for the destruction of property during the bloody crisis.

The body which comprises all Christian leaders in Southern Kaduna said the Killings of their kinsmen was worrisome as they have endured the pains for so long.

In a statement by the chairman of the Christian leaders, Bishop Simon Peters Mutum noted that “A careful study shows that the factors of religion, land, and ethnicity are the tools used in the past, and still being deployed, to the disadvantage of our people in Southern Kaduna”.

Bishop Mutum said demand for the compensation was one of the recommendations needed for peaceful coexistence in the area.

He recalled the wanton destruction of property and Killings that took place in various communities in Southern Kaduna from January 2019 to July 2020, saying that the victims were, “peaceful and unarmed persons in Christian communities”

However, he called on Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i, to use his position as the Chief Security Officer of the State to confront the killers believed to be hiding in bushes with equal zeal as being demonstrated at containing the novel Corona Virus.

“From our assessment, our people have lost so much in terms of property destruction. We call on the government to work out immediate modalities for paying compensations worth 50 billion Naira.

“We recommend that as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, hinged on Justice and fairness for all, irrespective of creed or region, especially the underpinnings of the Federal Character Commission, we call for the inclusion of our people in Federal and State Governments appointments.

“As Christians and Christian leaders, we are worried over the state of things; the state of our people and the nation at large. Southern Kaduna area has suffered economic, political, and social marginalization from the period of the colonialists; pre-independence as well as post-independence eras.

“Till date, painfully for us, the murderers are roaming about freely, while the villagers, numbering over a thousand, are now taking refuge with relations in nearby towns, under tough conditions, in this grim period made worst by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“In the midst of these barbarisms against us as a people, which have been systematic and unabated, we have finally come to a point of holding government accountable and responsible. Being the sole regulator for security services, we have keenly observed a pattern of deliberate delay or refusal to deploy security personnel to the flash points.

“We have no logical reason to believe that the government is overwhelmed by these terrorists; rather, she has only chosen to play it down. Without mincing words, we call on His Excellency Malam El-Rufa’i, our Governor, to use his position as the Chief Security Officer of our dear State to confront the killers hiding in our bushes with equal zeal as being demonstrated at containing the novel Corona Virus.

“There is an urgent need to establish IDP camps in Southern Kaduna, where victims would live and be taken care of. As we write this, thousands of Christians, who have been displaced from their homes, are in Zonkwa and other places, based on the Christian spirit of good neighbourliness and the cultural family solidarity and care.

“Farmers should be protected from armed Fulani militia, who destroy our crops with impunity. The changed narrative that what we are passing through is purely ‘farmers-herdsmen clash’, ‘banditry’ and ‘reprisals’ ought to stop, and it should be properly stated as it is: attacks, terrorism, genocide, and unprovoked killings.

“This is because our people are always attacked and killed, not in their farms fighting, but in their homes while asleep; when it is in the farms, they are definitely just looking for means of survival and unarmed.

“There is a need for proper investigations into these killings. A Fact-Finding Committee (FFC) should be inaugurated with members comprising people of proven integrity from both religions, to go to the affected areas, not only to hear the accounts of the victims but to record every information so received, for the public to know the truth of all that is happening. This will complement the efforts of the Kaduna State Peace Commission”

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NIGERIA

Ijaw nation vows to resist national water resources bill

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Following its earlier condemnation by different groups and individuals, the Ijaw Nations Development Group (INDG) has condemned the reintroduction of the National Water Resources Bill in the National Assembly, vowing to resist it vehemently.

The INDG described the bill as not only provocative but also a complete distortion of Nigeria’s federalism, insisting that reintroduction of the bill was the height of insensitivity to the plight of ordinary Nigerians.

Ijaw stakeholders, who stated this yesterday during a virtual meeting attended by over 100 participants, lamented that the Federal Government sent the bill to the National Assembly without engaging the states and peoples that are the direct stakeholders but only acknowledged them as footnotes.

The Keynote Speaker at the meeting, Anthony George-Ikoli (SAN), described the bill as a deleterious agenda.

“Taking a critical look at the National Water Resources Bill 2020, currently in the legislature and our national consciousness, I am compelled to align myself with more speakers, who in recent times, have come to the conclusion that such a bill can only be the product of an undisclosed, deleterious agenda,” he said.

He explained that true federalism usually serves to recognize the rights of the constituent units to ownership and protection of the same, noting that by its vesting sections, the bill represented an egregious distortion of federalism.

“The Federal Government has not only deprived the states of the minerals and mineral oil in the land within their territories, but it is also now plotting to take the only resource left for the states to administer for the benefit of their people through the National Water Resources Bill,” he added.

He said the time was past when the Ijaw nation would sit aloof and watch, but it was time to set an agenda for its legislators at all levels.

Another speaker and Niger Delta activist, Ann Kio-Briggs, said it was disheartening that the Federal Government was tampering with the rights of Ijaw people and the Niger Delta region.

“Water represents life and belongs to my people, we live on and by the water. For the first time, the Ijaw have to wake up because they have taken our land, oil, and air through pollution and now, they want to take our water. It is our responsibility to protect our rights,” she stated.

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NIGERIA

Finally, APC concedes defeat, admits Edo poll free, fair

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The governing All Progressives Congress on Monday conceded defeat 24 hours after Governor Godwin Obaseki, of the Peoples Democratic Party, was declared the winner of the Edo Governorship Election.

Chairman of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee, Mai Mala Buni, in a statement titled, “Edo State Governorship Election: Victory for Democracy,” which he signed, congratulated Obaseki over his victory.

Buni said,  “Edo State Governorship election is over, the winner has been declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the person of the Mr. Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the People Democratic Party.

“We hereby congratulate the winner of the election, the people of Edo State and all Nigerians. The peaceful conduct of the election and its outcome represent a victory for Nigeria’s democracy

“As a party, we join our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, to affirm our ‘commitment to free and fair elections’ in order to strengthen ‘the foundation for our political and moral authority.

“ We commend INEC, our security agencies, and all political parties that contested the election for the successful conduct of the election. As a governing party, we will take every step necessary to support the Federal Government to consolidate all the gains achieved. “

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NIGERIA

Government has no business running refineries — Osinbajo

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The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said the problems associated with Nigeria’s refineries will persist if the Federal Government continues to own and run them.

He noted that experience has shown that refineries were better managed by the private sector hence the need for the government to restrict itself to providing the regulatory framework for such businesses to thrive.

Osinbajo said this at a virtual meeting organized for the All Progressives Congress bloggers and social media influencers at the APC National Secretariat, in Abuja, Monday.

According to him, it was time for the nation to do more to develop its gas and renewable energy resources which are cheaper and cleaner.

He said, “If the refinery is left in the hands of the government, it will continue to experience the same problem it is experiencing now. I do not think that it is the business of the government to run the refinery. It should be the business of the private sector, which is why we are trying to focus on assisting the private sector to develop modular refineries.”

Speaking further Osinbajo said, “There is a 100,000-barrel capacity refinery about to come on stream and we hope it will by the next year. It is completely private and closely located near the Port Harcourt refinery so that it can share the facilities of the Port Harcourt refinery. We are hopeful it will come on stream in the first quarter of next year.

“There are also six modular refineries that are almost ready. There is a Niger Delta Petroleum refinery in Delta state, there is another one in Imo, there is also another modular refinery in Edo State.

“We engaged the oil-producing communities to find a new vision for the Niger Delta and we tried to encourage modular refinery that will give the people in the oil-producing states a stake so that the modular refinery is not just private but the people there have some stake and equity.

“The whole idea is to support as many private refineries as possible. We are also waiting for the Dangote Refinery with 250,000 barrels capacity which is bigger than all of the government refineries put together.

“In the next two or three months, we will see the private sector playing a bigger role and things will quickly improve. We hope that this particular effort will complete the refurbishment of the refineries which will be completed soon but I am more hopeful of the private effort been the key to the future.”

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