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    Tuesday, 28 October 2014 09:52
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    Wednesday, 17 September 2014 08:50
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    Friday, 05 September 2014 09:11
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02
Jun

APC Sympathises With Boko Haram – Femi Fani-Kayode

Written by Alaba Johnson.

APC Sympathises With Boko Haram – Femi Fani-Kayode

In an emotional treatise monday evening, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode declared the end of his reign with the All Progressive Congress (APC) due to the party's sympathetic nature towards the dreaded Boko Haram sect. See the full transcript of his speech below;

"WHY I HAVE LEFT THE APC - FFK

I declared for the APC in June last year in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti state well before the party was registered by INEC. I formally joined the party, amidst great fanfare, on 7th February 2014 in my hometown Ile-Ife and I registered my membership on that day.

The registration was done outside the Ooni's palace and it was done in the prescence of the media, numerous party leaders in the state, including Hon. Rotimi Makinde, who represents Ile-Ife at the Federal House, and all the other key leaders of the APC in the state and Ife-Ife including Chief Akantioke and Alhaji Soko Adewoyin the former Deputy Governor of Osun state.

After registering we proceeded to pay a courtesy call on my traditional ruler, the Ooni of Ife, and from there I went to spend a few days with Governor Rauf Aregbesola who, together with Governor Kayode Fayemi, I am close to and I consider to be friends.

I have stated these facts and set the record straight due to the fact that Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the spokesman of the APC, had the effontry to say in an interview with Premium Times magazine earlier today, that I was never a member of the APC and that I never joined them formally.

He also went further to say that had if I had been a member of the APC the party would have sanctioned me for expressing my opposition to the idea of a muslim/muslim ticket. The truth is that Mohammed is not only a liar but he is also a coward. If he wanted to know the truth he and those that sent him to issue the statement could have called me and asked me.

He ought to have done his homework before speaking out. I was not only a member of the APC but I was also a leader of that party and a foundational member. Yet once I joined I began to see things as they really were. I have never been and will never be part of a cult and the fact that people like Mohammed and those he represents within the APC are not comfortable with any form of admonition or criticism from senior party members like me speaks volumes.

I have nothing but the fondest thoughts and memories for the majority of APC leaders including all the governors and most of the Presidential aspirants but today I have an important announcement to make. I wish to inform the general public that as at today, 2nd June 2014, I have left the APC and gone back to the PDP. I wish the APC well in all their endeavours but as at today we have parted ways forever and my spirit has left them.

My reasons for leaving the party are because I consider nation-building as being far more important than party politics, party affiliation or party formations. I am a devout and committed christian and I cannot remain in a party where a handful of people that have sympathies for Boko Haram and that have a clear islamic agenda are playing a leading role. This is made all the more untenable when some of those people are working hard silently and behind the scenes to impose a muslim/muslim ticket on the party for the Presidential elections next year.

I believe that religion ought to play no part in politics but a situation where members of the christian faith are not treated as equals and where the all the substantive positions of the National Executive of the party are made up of almost exclusively muslims is unacceptable to me.

In fairness to the members of the party there are many leaders within it's ranks who share my views and who are also opposed to the religious agenda that the few have but I am not prepared to stay and fight from within because the very prescence of any closet Haramites on the same political platform as me is something that I find utterly repugnant.

I have raised these issues privately with virtually every key party leader including most of the governors but nothing has changed. I cannot be in a party in which the spokesman. Lai Mohammed, only last year said that it was wrong and ''unconstitutional'' for the Federal Government to proscribe Boko Haram.

This is the same Boko Haram that has killed no less than 15,000 Nigerians in the last three years. I cannot be in a party where the leading Presidential candidate, only last year said that Boko Haram ought to be killed but ought to be treated like the Niger Delta militants, granted amnesty without any conditions, pampered and paid and who said, in 2001, that muslims should only vote for people who will protect their faith.

I cannot be in a party where a number of leading people question the secularity of the state and yet those people are not called to order by the so-called party leaders and where such people seem to hold sway. I cannot be in a party which appears to have politicised the whole of the Chibok issue and who are not sincere in trying to get the girls back. I cannot be in a party where a few of it's leaders are more interested in playing politics with the whole Chibok issue and hurling bricks at our military for not doing a better job.

I cannot be in a party in which the role of one of it's governors is not clear on the Chibok issue: this is a governor that has not been able to explain to the world why he insisted that the girls should do their exams in that school and remain in Chibok for the night even though WAEC and the Federal Government had warned them about the dangers of doing so.

I cannot be in a party in which dissent and a differing opinion with others on fundamental issues is seen as an offence and something to be frowned upon or to be queried or expelled for. I have been in politics for the last 24 years of my life and all along I have taken monuemental risks and been guided by my princples.

I have also exhibited that I have the courage of my convictions and more often that not I have dared to say what many others are thinking but dare not to say. It is clear to me that such sentiments are not appreciated in the APC under it's present leadership and consequently I have chosen to move on.

I believe that every religion and every ethnic nationality in this country ought to be treated with the greatest respect even within the context of a political party. I believe that we are all equal before God regardless of our religious differences. A situation whereby, as a christian, I am made to feel that I am a second class citizen in any association or political party which I am part of and for which I have taken risks is unacceptable to me.

In order for any political party to move our country forward you need the input, support and confidence of the adherents of ALL religious faiths and not just that of the muslims. This is something that some in the APC do not seem to appreciate.

As a christian I feel deeply offended by some of the rhetoric and behaviour of some of the APC leaders and I cannot be expected to remain silent in the face of such expressions. These are the main reasons why I have left the APC.

I wish them well in all their endeavours and like I said earlier many of their key leaders and governors remain my personal friends and will continue to do so even after this. Thanks and may God guide and bless Nigeria."

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01
Jun

Chibok Kidnapping: Killing Non Muslim "Not Necessarily Bad"-Islamic Preacher

Written by Alaba Johnson.

Chibok Kidnapping: Killing Non Muslim "Not Necessarily Bad"-Islamic Preacher

A United Kingdom-based Islamic preacher, Mizanur Rahman, is being investigated by police after a video showed him praising Boko Haram for kidnapping over 200 schoolgirls.

The 31-year-old of Palmers Green, north London, claimed in the video-recording posted online that killing non-Muslims was ‘not necessarily a bad thing.’

The sect had abducted the pupils from Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State since April 14.

A report by a UK tabloid, Daily Mail, said Rahman also praised the terror group for its activities.

He said in the video, “People want to make it out as though history began on the day these girls were taken from – sorry I should say these women – were taken from this high school in Nigeria.

“They didn’t do to these girls what the Nigerian government had been doing to the Muslims all these years. They didn’t rape anybody. They didn’t torture. They didn’t murder any of these girls.”

The preacher was quoted to have described the terrorist group as being “full of good messages,” including its support for al-Qaeda. Add a comment

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31
May

Presidency: Jonathan Did Not Promise Amnesty to Boko Haram

Written by Alaba Johnson.

Presidency: Jonathan Did Not Promise Amnesty to Boko Haram

Contrary to claim by the Minister of Youth Development, Boni Haruna that President Goodluck Jonathan had granted conditional amnesty to terrorists group, Boko Haram, the Presidency Saturday said Jonathan did not make such promise.

Haruna had in a speech at an event tagged ''a day with young leaders of Nigeria'' in commemoration of Democracy Day Thursday, disclosed that Jonathan offered amnesty to the dreaded sect with a view to putting permanent halt to insurgency in the North-east.

The minister had said "President Goodluck Jonathan has also declared amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect. Series of integration programmes have been lined up for the members of the sect who would surrender their arms and embrace peace."

Fielding questions from State House correspondents, Special Adviser to the President on media and publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, disclosed that Jonathan did not mention the word amnesty in his Democracy Day broadcast.

"Well I think I will refer you to the speech by the President, if you read it line by line, you will see that it contains the very message that the President wants to put across".

"And in that speech, if you look at it, I don't think the President used the word Amnesty." Add a comment

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30
May

Social Media Activist Creates Kill GEJ Hashtag

Written by Alaba Johnson.

Social Media Activist Creates Kill GEJ Hashtag

Amazingly, a Social Media activist, one Alimiyah Akbar, has created a hashtag, #killGEJ in response to a saharareporters.com story on Boko Haram's kidnap of three emirs in Borno state.

The hashtag is so shocking that NaijaPundit felt a social responsibility need to expose this activist.

See picture below.

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29
May

$20bn oil money: Senate Declares Deizani Innocent

Written by Alaba Johnson.

$20bn oil money: Senate Declares Deizani Innocent

THE Senate Committed on Finance, which probed the allegation of missing $20 billion oil money made by the suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi, on Wednesday, said no such money was missing.

The committee, headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said the suspended CBN govermor lied in making the allegation, adding that forensic audit of the accounts of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) did not reveal any such amount.

In a report submitted to the Senate on Wednesday, the committee held that its investigations did not confirm that the said sum was missing, adding that “the committee could not see how the figure of $49.8 billion was arrived at by the ex-CBN governor in the first instance.

It recommended that the Federal Government should take steps to scrap the oil subsidy regime, but added that stakeholders have to be fully carried along in the process that would lead to the termination of the subsidy programme. Add a comment

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28
May

God Allowed Chibok Kidnapping Because He's Fed Up With Nigeria-Amaechi

Written by Alaba Johnson.

God Allowed Chibok Kidnapping Because He's Fed Up With Nigeria-Amaechi

Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said that President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and the Peoples Democratic Party should be held responsible for the abduction of over 200 Chibok school girls.

Members of the Boko Haram sect had stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State and kidnapped hundreds of female students.

Speaking on Tuesday during an interdenominational church service marking this year’s Children’s Day celebration in Port Harcourt, Amaechi also said that Nigerians were guilty of the crime against the kidnapped girls by voting the Peoples Democratic Party into power.

Explaining that change could only come if Nigerians resolved to vote out the PDP in the 2015 general election, the governor stated that God allowed the kidnap of the girls in order to expose the leaders and the uncontrollable level of corruption.

“The blame is on us; your parents and those of us who are in government. We owe you the responsibility of safety; we owe you the responsibility of good education, so that you can become for us the future parents when we depart this world.

“All of us are guilty of this crime; because in 2011, we went and voted for this government. So, we are responsible for the kidnap of Chibok school children, because we chose the government; you chose me and you chose the president. Add a comment

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27
May

FG Must Compensate Boko Haram and Send Them Abroad Like Niger Delta Militants-Northern Elder

Written by Alaba Johnson.

FG Must Compensate Boko Haram and Send Them Abroad Like Niger Delta Militants-Northern Elder

Going by the position of northern delegates at the ongoing National Conference, it seems the North is against true federalism and regional autonomy. Why?

What is true federalism and what has the North said that shows that it is against federalism? There is federalism in Nigeria right now. The federal system is a system of government where certain powers are left with the federating units. The question is whether you want the centre to be strong or weak. Some want the centre to be weak, others want it to be strong. We, in Nigeria, voted for a strong centre. Chief Obafemi Awolowo kept on saying that what was needed was a complete Sovereign National Conference of the ethnic nationalities that make up Nigeria. He said these ethnic nationalities should be convoked into a Sovereign National Conference or a constituent assembly and that these ethnic nationalities should form the federating units of Nigeria. His colleagues and contemporaries rejected that and they stayed with the British-imposed regions. The British recognised the Igbo in the East; in the North they recognised Hausa/Fulani; in the West they recognised the Yoruba. The British did not recognise the other ethnic nationalities in these regions. We felt there should be a more balanced regional arrangement. We supported the Calabar/Ogoja Region, the Middle Belt Region and other regions, but we were opposed. The British dangled before Awolowo and others the idea of being a Premier and being independent within their regions. They said we shouldn’t worry, that after we get independence in the regions, the governors of the regions, who were called Premiers, would sit down with the Prime Minister and dialogue, and then create additional regions. I was just an adviser to my leader, JS Tarka then. I told him it was rubbish, that once they begin to enjoy the perks of power, nobody would do that, and I was proved right. The only region that was created, which was the Midwestern Region, was created out of spite. It was to spite the Action Group. The Northern Peoples Congress and the National Party of Nigeria collaborated to break up the “troublesome” region led by Awolowo. That was not good enough. If they allow us, Nigerians, to hold a Sovereign National Conference comprising all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, then we can decide the type of federalism we want.

Are you saying the ongoing National Conference cannot discuss federalism?

I’m disappointed with the current national talk of Jonathan’s friends. They are not representing anybody. They are just friends of the President who were handpicked. Is that good enough for Nigeria to spend billions of naira on? Nigeria has serious problems of governance and we should be allowed to discuss them. What they are doing in Abuja in the name of National Conference is not a National Conference. It is a conference of Jonathan’s friends that were handpicked to go there and praise him. We should have leaders like the late Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of the North, Sir Ahmadu Bello, who said his mind when the East and the West were agitating for independence. He said “I’m not against independence, but my people are not quite ready yet and I cannot take independence for people in my region in 1956; the East and the West were ready. Let them take independence, they are better than us. Let’s continue to bring my people up until 1959.” They laughed at him.

Even before the National Conference was inaugurated the notion has been that the North does not want the status quo to change.

We have not discussed and people assume that northerners are afraid of federalism. It’s not true. A few people have ganged themselves into political parties; I don’t believe they are political parties. And those who seize power through these parties oppose those who seek power as independent candidates. I should refuse to join a political party if I don’t want. That should not stop me from running for an election. I should be able say I don’t like the Peoples Democratic Party; I don’t like the All Progressives Congress; I don’t like the Peoples Democratic Movement; I don’t like the Labour Party; I just want to stand election as Paul Unongo. That should be my right. If my country does not allow me to do that, it means my freedom is limited.

The main issue here is fiscal federalism and the concept of resource control. The northern delegates said every section of the country has equal right to the resources of the country no matter where they are found while South-West and South-South want the regions to control their resources and pay subvention to the Federal Government.

We have fiscal federalism. By our law, the Federal Government is to share resources between itself and the federating units. We are committing an illegality in this country, which people don’t want to pay attention to because they are afraid of Sovereign National Conference. The only federating units that made up Nigeria, that were granted independence in 1960, were the Northern Region, the Eastern Region and the Western Region. There is a notion, a delusion, that the thing that the military brought by fiat, called six geopolitical zones – South-South, South-West, South-East, North-Central, North-west and North-East – are regions. They are not. They are not the federating units of the nation, Nigeria. The military imposed this division. Prof. Ben Nwabueze, my friend, wanted us to turn these six military-declared zones to regions and turn government into six regional governments. Who told them I want to be a part of a North-Central? Nobody asked me. Who told them my people consider themselves to be North-Central, when there are as many people of my tribe in Taraba State (in the North-East) as there are in Benue State (in North-Central). There are Yoruba in Kwara and Kogi states who may want to join their kinsmen in the Western Region.

But do you think the northerners should have equal rights with the people of the Niger Delta when it comes to oil and gas?


The money that was used to develop oil in the Niger Delta came from the North, especially the groundnut pyramids of Kano. If I hail from a region where Federal Government developed oil wells and now they say there is something called zones and the zones have become federating units, will it be right for me to propose that all the money made from oil should be spent by me? The issue is that the people of the Niger Delta didn’t use their money to develop the oil. Much of the money that was used to develop the oil industry came from the North. So, I wonder when people say the North is afraid. I don’t think northerners are afraid of discussing. If other parts of Nigeria want, lets us agree on the creation of new federating units and what type of federation we want. We can also agree that any resource found in any part of the country would be developed by that region and allocation should be made from the federating units to the Federal Government. But that would not include the resources found offshore. The size of the offshore territory of a country is determined by its landmass. According to international law, the continental shelf or offshore distance is determined by the landmass of the nation state. So, if a nation has one-quarter of its landmass shared by two federating units, with the North having three-quarter, therefore we can segment the discussion. We can say offshore belongs to the federation. It was like that before. It was the northerners, who are said to be opposed to it now, that passed a resolution in the House of Representatives, against the wishes of the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, to say oil is oil, whether offshore or onshore, and if we are going to dash it to one particular place, let it all go to them. Since oil and gas have become so critical and most of Nigerian oil is offshore, these issues should be discussed. The northern delegates are making a point that is legal in international law. Whatever is found in the international waters of Nigeria belongs to Nigeria. And it should be shared in the proportion of the contribution to the territorial waters, which is based on the landmass of Nigeria, three-quarters of which is the North. Each region should realise that we are inter-dependent.

Do you also support the suggestion that the 13 per cent derivation for oil-producing states should be reduced to five per cent and that the Ministry of Niger Delta, Niger Delta Development Commission and Amnesty Programme for Niger Delta militants should be scrapped?

That is politics; I’m not part of that. I’m an elder statesman. Why would they say the 13 per cent derivation should be reduced to five per cent? If something worked for the Niger Delta people and it helped develop the place, it should be applied in other parts of the country that have a similar situation. To say something that has worked should be canceled is bad politics. The people of Niger Delta benefitted from the creation of the Ministry of Niger Delta because government was pumping money through that ministry to develop the areas that were devastated by the exploration of oil. If it worked there, instead of scrapping it why don’t we apply this method to solve the problems of the desert areas in the North or in the North-East, where there has been total devastation by Boko Haram?

Some have argued that Boko Haram members shouldn’t get the same treatment as the Niger Delta militants.

They should stop this intellectual argument that Boko Haram is different from Niger Delta militants. Some say they could talk to the militants but can’t talk with Boko Haram members. But some Boko Haram members have been arrested, can’t government get Nigerians who can talk to them? Can’t they make the same kind of arrangement they made to talk to Niger Delta militants in order to talk to Boko Haram? Government should promise Boko Haram that they would be treated well, and sent to schools abroad, just like Niger Delta militants, if they would stop the senseless killings. And to prove that it is serious, government should create a ministry for the development of North-East. When you suggest things like this people would say, ‘No, Boko Haram is different, kill all of them.’ The question is: do you have enough soldiers to kill all of them? What is the difference? Killing is killing. All the policemen and other security operatives that were killed in the Niger Delta, and all the people that were abducted and killed, are they not human beings? There is no difference. Some even say Niger Delta militants are not terrorists. They killed people and you say they are not terrorists?

Would you say northern leaders did their best to stop the Boko Haram menace from getting to this level?

If by northerner leaders, you include those of us in Northern Elders Forum, I would say we did. I also think the indigenes of the places that are most affected did their utmost best to stop it from growing. They were crying and talking about it nobody listened to them, until it went out of hand. This Boko Haram started like the Maitasine, which reared its head and Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) crushed it. There was a lot of cry from the region, when Boko Haram was growing, but government did not listen to them and this is the tragedy of our country.

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