Wednesday, September 20, 2017

CAN Alleges Islamisation Plot Through Sukkuk Bond.

Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media & Communications) to the CAN President, his eminence, Rev Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle Ph.D.


PRESS STATEMENT

SUKKUK ISSUANCE UNCONSTITUTIONAL: IT IS SELLING NIGERIA THROUGH THE BACK DOOR - CAN.

Once again, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is compelled to raise a petition and protest against the unrelenting plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria to introduce Islamic financing into a secular state in violation of Section 10 of the Constitution.

According to this section in the Constitution, the Nigerian State is Secular and Government is expected to be neutral on issues involving religion. By promoting a sectional religious financial policy, the Government is violating both the spirit and the letter of Section 10 of the Constitution.

The Christian Association of Nigeria has been protesting against this aberration since the Osun State Government, under Governor Rafiu Aregbesola embarked on this violation of the Constitution. Rather than stand in the defense of the Constitution, it is disappointing to note that the Federal Government, is pursuing what is out rightly a confirmation of an Islamization Agenda.

The recent floating of Sukkuk Bond by the Federal Government is not only sectional but illegal and a violation of the Constitution. Every law that has been promulgated to back the Sukkuk issuance and promote an Islamic banking system in Nigeria is ultra vires, illegal, null and void.
Islamic finance is financing which conforms to the doctrines of the Islamic law known as “Shari’a”. The sources of Shari’a (in hierarchical order) are as follows:

(1). The Qur’an; (2). Sunna (the teachings and practices of The Prophet Muhammad); and (3). Ijtihad and Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence).
There has never been a time that Nigerians held a Referendum or convened a Constituent Assembly that passed a resolution that the nation has transmuted into an Islamic State.
Therefore, the manipulations and scheming to smuggle the country into a full blown Islamic state should stop. These manipulations became apparent with the smuggling of Nigeria into OIC in 1986, by the Ibrahim Babangida Military junta.

OBJECTIONS
Our objections to the Sukkuk Bond and all forms of Islamic financing are as follows:
1. Funds raised under Sukkuk MUST be used for Shariah compliant (halal) activities. Nigeria is not a Sharia compliant nation, it is a Democratic country. Nigeria cannot operate two National Ideologies.
2. The Sukkuk shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as the Islamic Law of Mu’amalatmaliyyah. We insist that there cannot be two laws for one nation.
3. Sukkuk is ASSET BASED banking system unlike the conventional banking that is ASSET BACKED. While under the conventional banking system, the borrower provides collateral to back the loan and retrieves his asset after the loan is redeemed, under Sukkuk, the loan is BASED on an asset which is land and irredeemable. The Sukkuk holder (lender) accepts land as asset on which the loan is based. At no time does the title pass to the customer, nor is it expected to pass. If the customer wishes to retrieve his asset at a later date, a separate agreement has to be drawn up. This in our view, is a sly and treacherous attempt to sell Nigeria to Arab Islamic Nations. It infringes on the sovereignty of Nigeria as the loan giver becomes part owner of the land of the receiver.
4. The operation of Sukkuk is based on Islamic value system and Sharia Jurisprudence. This makes Sukkuk unconstitutional.
5. The IMF says that the issuance of Sukkuk by non-Islamic states/countries is a breach of the religious neutrality of the government of such state.

CONCLUSION
The Federal Government must dismantle all legal and institutional framework established to promote Islamic Financing in Nigeria. The NEW RULES/AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, Section 313(6) of the Investments and Securities Act 2007, and all other forms of law guiding operation of Sukkuk issuance in Nigeria should be repealed, forthwith.
In the alternative, legal redress willl be sought to defend the Sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria if the National Assembly failed to checkmate the Executive on this unconstititional action.

We affirm that the territorial integrity of Nigeria is undermined through the issuance of Sukkuk in the country. We hope that the Federal Government shall desist in its policies of unbridled religious sectionalism.

We seek your support and assistance in making this CAN position known to the whole world.

Thank you.

Signed
Rev. Dr. Musa Asake, General Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)
19th September, 2017
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

President Buhari Speech At The UN, 2017.

The president of the United Nation’s General Assembly, Your Excellencies, Heads of States and governments, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen.


On behalf of the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I congratulate you, Mr. President, on your election to preside over the 72nd session of the United Nations’ General Assembly. I also wish to express my country’s appreciation to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Guterres, for his steady leadership and this body’s
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dedication to the search for a peaceful and equitable world through the charter of the United Nations.

Every year we gather here to deliberate on the affairs of the world. Sometimes we implement what we talked about and move humanity an inch closer to that ideal relationship as members of the world community. At other times, we have our talks and end up not implementing anything to the disappointment of millions and millions of people around the world who look up to this body to provide leadership in a world that is constantly oscillating between advancement and doom. In all of these, we often forget that what we have accomplished in the last 72 years is unprecedented in the annals of human history. The world may be badly governed, but the fact that there is a form of governance agreed upon by all is an accomplishment in and of itself. So, I congratulate us all.

Mr. President, as we say in Nigeria, he who does not look ahead remains behind. Our charge now is to aspire to make this world better for the next generation. We, the generation that knows how the world was before the United Nations was formed, must bequeath to those coming behind us a better United Nations that would be in a position to deal with the challenges of tomorrow. To accomplish that, we need to fast forward the reformation long proposed in this chamber.

To restructure or not to restructure is no longer the question – the United Nations must be restructured for it to remain relevant in years to come. How to restructure the United Nations should be our priority number one. Several ideas are out there. All that we need is to get them together and agree on what works for majority of the people of this world. As a leader of one of the leading African nations, I want to see a United Nation’s Security Council that is expanded to have one or two African permanent members with veto powers. It is a fair thing to do – one that will benefit the world by giving it a chance for a more balanced outlook to matters of importance to us all. As we have learned in Nigeria, sometimes you need to change in order to remain the same. It is the first principle of renewal.

In the continent of Africa, the post-colonial era is going into a new phase. In another generation, there would not be any African alive who could remember when European powers once governed Africa. That emerging generation is creating new challenges for the African order left behind by the colonial powers. My generation is managing that challenge with the hope of leaving behind nation states that are less prone to crisis. We cannot continue to pretend that conflicts that emerged as a result of our colonial heritage have been resolved. Across our continent, they are still there. In some cases, bad governance is exacerbating these conflict points.

Here are some of the things we are doing to make sure that we bequeath to the upcoming generations of Africans a continent that is healthy, wealthy and well grounded in law and order. We are close to enshrining in the African Union’s creed the fundamental principle of democracy, which says that a credible people’s mandate should determine who governs any nation across Africa. We are taking it a step further by pushing to make that mandate limited. We believe that Africa has numerous talents and no man or woman should be in the leadership saddle for an inordinate time. We are also working hard to expand the African market and open it up for our people to benefit from the free flow of goods, services and knowledge across the continent. It is the only path to prosperity for over one billion people in Africa yearning for opportunities to show the world the potentials they have.

As Africans, we will continue to build partnerships across the world. As we stretch our hands out for friendship, we do so with the expectation that our hands would be met not with pity and charity but with respect and dignity. Africans have a lot to offer the world, not just its minerals and human potentials. We are committed to resetting that old perception with a new one that proclaims Africa as a land ready for business. Those who have taken the steps to invest in Africa can attest to the mutual benefit that comes with it.

In areas of infrastructural developments, research and security, we urgently need a respectable and mutually beneficial partnership with the world. Integration of the continent and expansion of prosperity can only come when there are good roads, constant electricity, clean water and descent healthcare for our people. The United States government, The European Union, private investors and non-governmental organizations are getting involved in these ventures. Africa will continue to welcome the world in every enterprise that will uplift our people.

It is only when we add value and build capital that we will reduce the grim statistics of Africa’s child mortality rate from preventable deaths. It is only then that we can reduce deaths on the Mediterranean Sea of African youths running away from conflicts and poverty. The challenge is ours. We accept the responsibility. As in the past, we know that we do well when we share skills and expertise. That was how we were able to work together with partners around the world to reduce the AIDS epidemic. That was how, in the last two decades, we were able to defeat diseases like polio, tuberculosis and ringworm in several parts of Africa. Africans have always been appreciative of the assistance we receive. We have also paid back to the international community with our involvement in Peace Keeping missions across the world.

Mr. President, on matters of security, there is no gainsaying that when one part of the globe is insecure, all parts of the globe become potential victims of that insecurity. The activities of several extreme groups jeopardize not just the nation where they emanated but everyone far and in-between. The free movement of fighters and weapons has all but made the issue of security a global problem. As we have learned in Nigeria, you compromise the security of the whole when components of the sum are not fully valued, appreciated and integrated with the whole.

We in Africa have been partners in the quest for a secure world. We will continue to be committed to the mission until all threats to peace across the world are eliminated. In Nigeria, we have degraded the capability of the Boko Haram terrorist group. We are on the path to eliminating the last of their safe heavens. We have also secured the release of some of our abducted Chibok Girls. We are working hard to secure the release of the rest and to finish the job of closing the Boko Haram chapter and get the North East of Nigeria back to a peaceful region that it used to be.

Along this line, Mr. President, we at the United Nations need to do more to bring about a more equitable world where a large group of people does not feel suppressed, undervalued and alienated. Last year, I talked about the need for Palestinians to have their own state. Progress has not been made on that matter in the past one year. It is one of those problems that we must not punt to another generation. Any glaring unfairness, like the Palestinian case, diminishes our moral authority to preach and lecture the world on other cases. As we have learned in Nigeria, our stubborn self-righteousness blocks our ears from hearing the cry of those that we left on the fringe of society and blocks our eyes from seeing and reading the handwriting on the wall.

In the urgent matter of the nuclear stand off with North Korea, we hope that calm heads prevail. And as our ancestors say, that the disobedient fowl does not wait to be put into a pot of soup before it obeys. We in Africa hope that North Korea and, indeed, all the nations with nuclear weapons will hasten to eliminate them all. We don’t aspire to have nuclear weapons in the continent of Africa, the cradle of mankind. We will preserve Africa in case the nuclear-armed nations of the world decide to destroy themselves in their so-called mutual assured destruction. Should that happen, be assured that there will be a place in Africa for those of you who will be lucky enough to survive your self-inflicted annihilation. While we do not wish for that, we have this saying in Nigeria that, “na when soldier slap you, you go sabi say police na your friend.”

Mr. President, Nigeria is always willing to work with the United Nations and other international organizations to advance human progress. May the United Nations continue on its challenging task of being an instrument for peace, and may the goals that this General Assembly “for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet” be accomplished in our time.

Thank you all for listening.

Muhammadu Buhari,
President, Federal Republic of Nigeria
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Monday, September 11, 2017

Restructuring: North Organises Conference For October.

The conference organised by the Area Research and Development Project (ARDP) in collaboration with other northern platforms seeks to blend academic presentations with real politick with a view to charting a way out of the problem.


The convener of ARDP, Dr. Usman Bugaje in a press conference over the weekend in Kaduna said, "A lot has been said on restructuring and the future of the Nigerian federation for some time now.

"Different columnists, scholars and indeed cultural groups claiming to speak on behalf of their kith and kin, have made their views known and many of their views have been rushed, emotive and parochial and have added more to the confusion than bringing clarity into the debate.

"It is important that we leverage knowledge to elucidate the debate and avoid the confusion and tensions around the admittedly important matter which informed ARDP haven consulted numerous northern platforms decided to hold a conference on the issue in October in Kaduna."

"Also speaking at the opening will be the Chairman, ARDP Board, General John Shagaya, Atiku Abubakar, the Chairman of the Northern Elders Forun, Waterrange Paul Unongo and the Chairman of the Area Consultative Forum (ACF), Ibrahim Coonasie."

Dr. Bugaje added, "Some of the key papers will be on historicity of the Nigerian federation; an examination of the constitutional developments in pre- and post colonial Nigeria; and the dangers of war, dynamics of peace. Others will look at the principles of fiscal federalism and revenue allocation; the land question and the development agenda of the north.

"It is expected that at the end of the two-day conference, a committee will be set up and that committee will take an informed position of the north."
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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Panic As FG Rolls Out Amored Tanks And Hardware To South East.

Reports reaching us has it that the police have increased the number of their personnel in the South-East and South-South zones of Nigeria a few days.

And following in quick succession, armored tanks and military hardware have been spotted entering the South East as residents and passersby watched in fear.

At least 10 trailers conveying armored tanks and military hardware were seen entering the South East as residents and passersby watched in fear.

This may be part of measures to prevent a breach of the peace, which may result from the activities of Biafran agitators ahead of the upcoming Anambra State governorship election.

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has also reportedly been placed under surveillance to prevent him from fleeing the country should the court revoke his bail and order his re-arrest for allegedly flouting his bail conditions.
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Thursday, August 31, 2017

PDP Dangles 2019 Presidential Ticket Before Dangote.

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and members of a Think Tank Committee, set up by former President, Goodluck Jonathan,

is making overtures to Billionaire Businessman, Aliko Dangote, to come and contest the Presidential election on its platform.

An impeccable source in Abuja, said the party in a determined effort to win the 2019 election, has already sent an emissary to Dangote, who is reputed as the wealthiest Businessman in Africa.

It was learnt that the decision to reach out to Dangote, with a view to wooing him to come and contest the Presidential election on the platform of the PDP, was part of the decisions reached by members of a Think Tank Committee, put together by the immediate past President of the country, Jonathan Goodluck.

The source said: “I can confidently tell you that the PDP has made overtures to Alhaji Aliko Dangote, to come and fly the Presidential flag of our party, for the 2019 Presidential election.

“So many things were taken into consideration before the party arrived at this decision.

“Alhaji Dangote has the clout, the pedigree, the name, the followership, and above all, the financial war chest to match any Presidential candidate that the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), or any other party, may bring forward in 2019”.

Meanwhile, the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has ruled out the possibility of him running for Nigeria’s Presidency in the 2019 general elections, or in the near future.

Dangote in a recent interview with Bloomberg Markets Magazine, declared that he is not cut out for politics, stating that he is more comfortable with business.
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Ibadan Obaship: A Governor Confronts History.

It would take years before the full implications of what happened on Sunday August 27 in Ibadan to manifest. On that day, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State installed 21 new persons as monarchs in Ibadan to superintend over the affairs of the city and its satellite towns and villages.

With this masterstroke, he has tampered with age-long traditional system in Ibadan that has become ossified for generations. For better or for worse, something has happened in Ibadan that has shaken the traditional elite class. Twenty-one men have just been installed as Kabiyesi. And they were not even princes!

Ibadan was a unique experiment in nation building during the turbulence of the 19th Century following the collapse of old Oyo Empire. After Oyo, the capital of the empire was destroyed by rebels from Ilorin, aided by the Fulanis, the old city and all the adjourning settlements were evacuated and the refugees, including members of the soldierly class, moved south. This was to have serious demographic impact on the rest of Yorubaland. A band of soldiers, led by Lagelu, an Ife war commander, was the first to settle in Ibadan. He was succeeded by another Ife man called Maye. Oluyole, a war commander from Oyo was the third ruler. He was the one who instituted the republican Constitution for Ibadan. There had been tampering since then, but nothing as fundamental as what Ajimobi did on Sunday.

One thing that set Ibadan and Ilorin, its old rival, apart from other Yoruba towns was the scant regard paid to the old Ife system which dictated that for someone to become an Oba, he must trace his roots to the House of Oduduwa in Ile-Ife or to one of its princes or princesses. Ibadan, a city built by soldiers, had no time for such niceties. It saw itself as the rightful successor state to the Oyo Empire and after its subjugation of Aare Kurumi of Ijaiye, tried to bring other Yoruba states under its wing. It was spectacularly successful, bringing a large part of Yorubaland under its influence, if not direct rule, until checkmated by the Ekitiparapo Grand Alliance in the Kiriji War.
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Niger State Employs 70 Herdsmen To Curtail Clashes

The director general, Nomadic Affairs, Niger State, Alhaji Abdullahi Babayo has disclosed that 70 Fulani youths and herdsmen from the state have been employed into the state and federal governments’ services aimed at curtailing the incessant herders/farmers clashes.


Babayo, who made the disclosure in an interview at the weekend, said that the move was to engage the Fulani herdsmen in other for them to co-exist peacefully with other members of the society.

He stated that it was a deliberate programme aimed at taking the educated Fulani youths with degree and certificate, out of criminal activities and serve as models to other herdsmen to acquire education.
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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Federal Cabinet Reshuffle Imminent.

According to top Presidency sources, Buhari is torn between moving around the current crop of Ministers, or dropping them completely and replacing them with new appointees.


With Buhari’s return since August 19, the President has been preoccupied with reshuffling his cabinet as soon as possible.

However, a Presidency source revealed that the Ministers who are all aware of the likely changes to take place, have been lobbying Buhari through their Governors or close allies of the President, to either retain them in their Ministries, or be moved to other Ministries that they deem more “important”.

“The cabinet would definitely be reshuffled very soon, and all the Ministers know that. It is for this reason they have been lobbying their Governors and allies close to Mr President, since he returned from London.

“The problem is that some of these same allies have advised Mr President to discountenance the list that was presented by Vice President Osinbajo, when he met with him last month in London.

“His allies would rather he dissolves the cabinet completely, and bring in a new team that would be completely loyal to the President.
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Governor Fayose, And Senator Mrs Olujimi Supporters Clash.

Several persons were reportedly wounded on Sunday evening, as supporters of Governor Ayodele Fayose and that of the Senator representing Ekiti South Senatorial District, Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi engaged in a bloody clash.


Fayose and his estranged god daughter, Olujimi, had been enmeshed in crisis over the latter’s governorship ambition, which the governor was alleged not to have been favourably disposed to.

This is also as two members of the State House of Assembly, Hons Adeojo Fajana and Michael Adedeji are reportedly under probe over their alleged conviviality and loyalty to Senator Olujimi, who is now in the bad book of the governor.

The clash allegedly took place in Kota-Ekiti in Ekiti East Local
Government area of the state during the meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the council.

A source said the two factions had come to the meeting with mind sets to outdo each other, which he said made the personalities involved to start displaying enmity towards each other shortly after the meeting commenced.

According to the source, the lawmaker representing Ekiti East constituency II and a known Fayose’s ally, Hon. Dare Pelemo, was said to have been beaten, with his dresses torn into shreds by Olujimi’s angry supporters.

Those wounded during the clash were said to have been taken to an undisclosed hospital for treatment.

The source said: “The meeting ended in disarray as the team loyal to Senator Olujimi and those loyal to Governor Fayose exchanged fisticuffs

“The house of assembly member representing Ekiti East constituency was beaten while other members of the team loyal to Governor Fayose ran for their lives”, he said.

The fight had attracted those in the neighbourhood and they were said to have been frightened to the extent that they had to run for their lives.
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Saturday, August 19, 2017

President Buhari Arrival: Preparations In Top Gear.

There are wide jubilation at the seat of power, Abuja as staff and security personnel are making last minute preparations to receive President Muhammadu Buhari who is expected back to the country Saturday.


There are indications that Mr. Buhari, who has been receiving medical treatment in the United Kingdom for the past 100 days, is expected to arrive the Nnandi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at 3.00 p.m.

Other itinerary members of staff in the presidency are also on standby, while security vehicles and personnel attached to the president’s convoy had since left for the airport to receive the president.


It was observed that members of the presidential guards brigade were seen moving toward the airport after conducting rehearsal at the arcade in Abuja.

Mr. Buhari, whose absence sparked protests both in Nigeria and London, with some asking for his resumption or resignation, is expected to make a national broadcast to Nigerians on Monday at 7a.m.

He left Nigeria on May 7, for another round of his medical treatment in London.

While in London, Mr. Buhari received a number of visitors, including Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who first hinted Nigerians about the president’s recovery.

Other visitors are leaders of the All Progressives Congress, state governors, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara.


Pastor Enoch Adeboye, leader of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, also visited the president.

(NAN)
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