An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has insisted that there is a connection between the Amotekun initiative and recent agitation for the establishment of Oduduwa Republic.
The group, therefore, declared that Muslims in the region will never be part of the proposed Oduduwa Republic.
It called on the governors in the region to be wary of the activities of irredentist elements who are exploiting the euphoria of the moment to achieve their selfish and parochial objectives.
The group also warned that breaking away from the rest of Nigeria cannot be in the best interest of the Yoruba.
This was contained in a press statement issued by the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Monday.
It reads, “While we are pleased to observe that it seems the authorities have taken note of our agitation to balance the appointment into amotekun by recruiting into all caders from all religious groups, our suggestion of a change of name from ‘amotekun’ to ‘Oduduwa Guards’ is yet to come to reality.
“That notwithstanding, the most pressing issue now is the call for the carving out of a Yoruba Republic out of present-day Nigeria. Moves being made include the circulation of a fraudulent survey in Yorubaland asking people to reply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the establishment of a Yoruba Republic. Anybody can guess what the result of such a survey coming from an unverified source can be.
“Another document which is also being circulated lists the capital of the proposed republic as Ibadan. However, those behind the idea exposed themselves as dreamers when, apart from the six Yoruba states of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo, they claimed that the geographical area of Oduduwa Republic includes Edo, Kogi, Kwara and Delta. However, Ijaw youths have predictably denounced the Utopia.
“It is becoming glaring day by day that the amotekun initiative is leading to the formation of a Yoruba nation. The same group that agitated for the establishment of Amotekun security outfit is the same that is now clamouring for a sovereign Yoruba nation. It is no longer a smokescreen, or a ‘bojuboju’ game. The masquerade has uncovered its face.
“Among the dangerous steps taken by the Yoruba separatist group is the quit notice they gave to Hausa-Fulani residents in the region.
“Another cause for concern is the appointment of military retirees as heads of the amotekun security outfits in Yoruba states instead of using retired senior police officers. This portrays a militant body language.
“It is noteworthy that Chief Alao Akala, a former governor of Oyo State has condemned the appointment of retired military men as heads of amotekun in five of the six states and predicted that the initiative would fail.
“The fact that the appointment of retired senior military men also coincided with the beginning of agitations for an Oduduwa Republic speaks volumes. Besides, the agitation has already been taken to the United Nations.
“It is however heartwarming that some conscious Yoruba groups have staged protests against the amotekun security outfit.
“Equally disturbing is the fact that the proponents of amotekun and Oduduwa Republic are most eager to employ both fair and foul means to achieve their target. This Machiavellian disposition reveals the group’s desperation to unleash anarchy. Their threat to assassinate the director of MURIC exposes them as a group that will not stomach opposition.
“Other foul methods adopted by the group include trailing and surveillance of the residences of those who oppose amotekun, use of fake and nonexistent Islamic organisations to demarket our organization, cyber war, ‘killing’ MURIC’s press statements and sponsorship of columnists to disparage the organisation and its director.
“But we remain undaunted. Our resolve to uphold justice, fairplay and peaceful coexistence within a united and strong Nigeria is as solid as the Rock of Gibralta. The tough must get going when the going gets rough. For us it is ‘No surrender, no retreat’. A group that goes all out to do all the above cannot be trusted to lead the Yoruba people to El-Dorado.
“MURIC hereby declares that the silence of Muslims in the Yoruba states must not be mistaken for approval of secessionist moves. Yoruba Muslims have no confidence in the irredentists particularly because the latter have never been given fair treatment whether in political appointments, employment in the job market or in matters of Allah-given fundamental human rights. It is public knowledge that it is in Yoruba schools that Yoruba Muslim children are intimidated, harassed and humiliated over their civil rights particularly the hijab question.
“So what is the guarantee that Muslims will not face worse discriminatory treatrment, oppression and persecution in an Oduduwa Republic? It is on record that a prominent Yoruba politician, Femi Fani-Kayode threatened publicly that they know where to keep people like the director of MURIC ‘when Oduduwa … is ready’. Oduduwa Republic is therefore going to be a slaughter slab and a deadly trap for Yoruba Muslims.
“For the umpteenth time, we wish to clarify our position regarding the Yoruba security outfit, amotekun. MURIC is not opposed to a security initiative which will complement police efforts in curbing criminality in the South West. What we oppose is a system targeting Muslims and people of other tribes who reside in the region or marginalising Muslims in recruitments into its units.”
“We also frown at all criminal propensities, including the activities of herdsmen who destroy farmlands though we are aware that this is not limited to Yorubaland alone. We strongly condemn non-indigenes in Yorubaland and other places who make crime their preoccupation and cause disaffection between the Yoruba and law-abiding people of their tribes. In this regard, we call for stiff penalties for the suspected killers of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Chief Reuben Fasoranti, the Afenifere leader who are currently facing trial once they are found guilty.
“We appeal to those behind the formation of an Oduduwa Republic to let Nigeria be. We are stronger in a union. There is also no guaranty that the proposed republic will last if it ever becomes a fait accompli. Yoruba Muslims will be the leading voice of opposition to the unholy union in post-secession. Next, the various tribal groups, principalities and communities will suddenly wake up from their slumber and revive the old bitter rivalries. Will the Egba submit to the Ijebu? Will the Modakekes kowtow to the Ife? What of the Ijesha? Will they stand akimbo while Iwo and Ede go away with all the milk and honey from the phantom republic? It will be a den of jealous, rancourous and disunited neighbours.
“We call on Yoruba governors to be wary of the activities of irredentist elements who are exploiting the euphoria of the moment to achieve their selfish and parochial objectives. We have no reason to assume that the governors are part of the grand scheme. Our assumption is that all the governors are interested in is to secure the people of the region and their properties. MURIC is fully in support of this kind of security arrangement.”
Covid-19: Buhari expresses fear over increase in poverty
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed fear over the high possibility of the covid-19 pandemic making people poorer.
This statement was uttered by President Muhammadu Buhari while speaking in a recorded video message to a virtual high-level UN meeting on trends, options and strategies in poverty eradication across the world.
President Buhari apprised the UN meeting on steps to revive the nation’s economy in the wake of the pandemic and also warned that COVID-19 pandemic risks reversing decades of progress achieved in the efforts to eradicate poverty globally.
“It is my conviction that devoting our efforts towards human capital development, efficient management of our resources, greater financial inclusion and transformation of the agricultural sector to ensure food security are crucial to poverty eradication.
”In this regard, Nigeria continues to strengthen its existing social safety net initiative by increasing access to enrolees who fit the various programmes in the scheme.
”Nigeria will also continue to provide easier and increased access to financial services for micro and small-scale businesses through the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme. But we are determined to do more.
”Nigeria holds the view that education is a critical driver of sustainable development and has an immense capacity to eradicate poverty.
”Educating our children, especially the girl-child, contributes significantly to the fight against poverty, environmental sustainability, and improved health, as well as building peace and resilient societies.”
In a similar statement released by Femi Adesina, the media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday July 1, it was also gathered that the Nigerian leader expressed concern that more than 700 million people or 10% of the world’s population are classified as living in extreme poverty.
He also noted that in Nigeria as in many other countries, the domestic supply chains and trading corridors have come under enormous strain, bringing to fore the health versus economics debate.
‘‘All the while they struggle with the most basic needs like nutrition, shelter, health, education and access to clean water and sanitation.
‘‘In this condition, the number of poor people is estimated to triple as livelihoods across almost all economic sectors have been adversely affected.”
He also disclosed at the meeting that with a population of about 200 million; a large percentage of Nigerians live in various stages of poverty.
According to him, the prospect of the population sliding further into extreme poverty is real and his government is also striving to combat and reverse the trend.
Obiano hails Buhari over Ewelukwa’s NBET appointment
The Governor of Anambra, Chief Willie Obiano, has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Dr Nnaemeka Ewelukwa as the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc.
A letter issued on behalf of the governor, signed by Mr C-Don Adinuba, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment on Wednesday in Awka, described Ewelukwa’s appointment as a round peg in a round hole.
“You couldn’t have appointed a more qualified, competent and reform-minded technocrat for the job”, Obiano said in the letter.
Two weeks ago, the Minister of Power, Mr Saleh Mamman, announced that Buhari had approved Ewelukwa as the replacement for Dr Marylyn Amobi.
Amobi, who also hails from Anambra is to complete her five-year tenure on July 24.
“It is self-evident that the president recognises the critical role of NBET in the electricity value-chain in Nigeria and so went for the best to help move the power sector forward,” Obiano said.
Ewelukwa was until his elevation, the NBET General- Counsel.
The incoming NBET boss has been involved in Nigeria’s power sector reforms for more than 10 years, having worked at the Presidential Task Force on Power, headed by Prof. Bart Nnaji before he was appointed the Minister of Power in July, 2011.
The letter further stated that as the pioneer NBET General Counsel and secretary, Ewelukwa led the team which negotiated with independent power producers on power purchase agreements.
He also helped to facilitate huge investments from the private sector into Nigeria’s electricity generation business.
Obiano observed that the new NBET chief played a key role on the team which identified serious legal, regulatory and policy constraints to the development of Nigeria’s electricity.
“Due to the exceedingly impressive work done by such outstanding technocrats as Prof. Nnaji and Dr Ewelukwa, the British and American governments, among others, assisted Nigeria to develop the critical power infrastructure.”
Obiano recalled how such global firms as General Electric of the U.S., Siemens of Germany and Daewoo Heavy Industries of South Korea took an unprecedented interest in Nigeria’s power sector, due to the sterling contributions of the team.
Obiano described Ewelukwa as “infectiously humble and principled, a team player and far-sighted leader with a good international exposure — key leadership requirements in today’s globalized world”.
The governor expressed his optimism that Ewelukwa would bring glory to Nigeria the way a number of Anambra indigenes given critical national assignments discharged their duties.
Ewelukwa has so far authored three books on electricity transactions and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
PDP sweeps Taraba LG polls
The Taraba State Independent Electoral Commission (TSIEC) has declared candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winners of the sixteen local government councils of the state on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, local council polls.
Declaring the results of the local government election which, was conducted on Tuesday, the chairman of the commission, Dr. Philip Duwe, said candidates of the PDP for chairmanship won all seats across the sixteen local government councils of the state.
Duwe said though the results for the 168 councilors in the state were earlier announced at the ward levels immediately after the elections on Tuesday, the commission was yet to compile the accurate results for the councilors, which he said would be announced shortly.
He urged those who lost in the polls to accept defeat and agree that leadership comes from God.
Earlier on Tuesday in Takum, Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba state shortly after casting his vote for the council election describe the election process as peaceful, transparent, and impressive.
The governor, who cast his ballots at Kurupanti polling unit Gutu ward Takum alongside his wife, Ann Ishaku, expressed happiness over the peaceful exercise.
“Before coming to my polling unit, I have gone to observe other polling units and I can tell you that the process is peaceful and transparent, I have also heard from my deputy who is voting at Gassol LGA and he said everything is going on peaceful and other places have also reported peaceful conduct of the exercise so I can tell you it is all peaceful.”
Contrary to the insinuation that council executives were imposed on the people against their choice by the government, the governor stressed that the selection process of the party’s flagbearers was transparent and the consensus was reached even at the primaries to avoid the crisis.
“I am the Father of democracy I can never allow the imposition of candidates against the will of the people, that is why right at the primaries we decided to go by consensus so as to avoid crisis and the people decided who should represent them.”
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