The Lies About President Jonathan Being A Christian President

The Lies About President Jonathan Being A Christian President

BY GABRIEL OLALEKAN POPOOLA

Politicians’ desperate appeal to religion as a resort of last line of hope when confronted with firm failure is at once ubiquitous in nature and repetitive historically. Ordinarily, politicians ought not to be thugs and rogues; they ought to be leaders chosen by the larger society to administer the land on behalf of all members of the given society. The constitution and other extant laws of the land make that otherwise difficult administrative job a very easy one. Unfortunately, as events have revealed over the years, particularly in our nation Nigeria, politicians, because of their materialism and acquisitiveness, are more of problem-creators than problem-solvers.

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and others pray for President Goodluck Jonathan during a pilgrimage to Isreal in 2013
State House Photo
They fail again and again where they should have succeeded; they steal where they should not have stolen; they lie where simple truth should have been told; and they deceive where acting in a straightforward manner would have sufficed. This is the tragic situation of our shameless and dishonourable politicians in Nigeria. Then, when it becomes certain that the failed leader is about to be thrown out of office, having incurred the justifiable anger of the electorates, he suddenly begins to appeal to religion. He claims that he is a Christian or Muslim; he openly identifies with some religious leaders of his proclaimed faith, and in turn, expects all adherents of the faith he bogusly lays claim to, to support him. And this just for political benefit.

This is President Goodluck Jonathan’s situation at the moment as he faces a more than cloudy presidential election in 2015. It is clear that Nigeria, a not so fortunate country with regard to qualitative leadership, is terribly divided along politically created religious fracture lines. The fact remains that no President, in the history of this nation, has succeeded, through complicit actions and inactions, in polarising the nation as much as President Goodluck Jonathan. This fact is already in the public domain. My concern however, is to expose the underbelly motivation of Mr. President’s handlers’ religious hoodwinking of Christians in Nigeria. Christians need to know that they need not rush to give support to just any leader who mouths Christianity, without carrying out diagnostic examination of such a leader. The Bible enjoins us to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

To begin with, there’s nothing wrong with Christians in Nigeria giving wholehearted support to another Christian who aspires to any political office in the land, provided that the said Christian is a Christian indeed, and that he possesses leadership qualities to move the nation in the right direction. As a matter of fact, in our pluralistic nation, just anyone who, irrespective of religious affiliation and inclination, has character, wit, insight, generous spirit, self-control, resolve, honesty and a clear picture of where the nation ought to be, as well as the understanding of how to get there, can aspire to be anything in the country and get the support of the electorates.

In President Jonathan’s case, the undeclared reason for his appeal to religion is simply to take advantage of the numerical strength of Christians among the Nigerian electorates. This is sad. The rush and push currently going on in certain quarters within Christian circles in Nigeria today is totally political and shameful; and all is being done to give undue support to a non-performing president because he is supposedly a Christian. This is not the Bible. The God of the Bible, in actual sense, hounours only responsible people. He demands that leaders be accountable and faithful (1Cor.4:2).  Therefore, Christian leaders ought to help Mr. President become more accountable, and rescue him from terribly political pettiness being displayed at the moment.

Let’s consider this important question: should we even consider President Jonathan a President with Christian character? I think not! But wait a minute; am I in a position to determine whether or not an individual is a Christian? Scripturally speaking, the simple answer is yes. In Matthew 7:21, the Lord Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”. The implication of this passage is that open declaration of one’s religious standing, church membership, hobnobbing with credible and influential Christian leaders, as well as financial donations to churches does not confer Christianity on anyone. In fact, the above is totally useless without the heart and attributes of Christianity. To know who a Christian is, the Bible recommends that you look at what he does, and how he does it; check his character.

And then, the Holy Scripture also tells us that we know people – genuine Christians, fake Christians, genuine leaders, not-so-genuine leaders, totally corrupt leaders etc. – by their fruits. The Lord Jesus said, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:18 & 20). The Lord Jesus simply said, just look critically at people, see what they do, how they do it, check the fruits they produce, and you will easily understand where they belong. They may claim they are God’s, but when you check the fruits of their lives, you will understand to whom they belong.

The word of God then explains how a Christian – and this, all the more, applies to a leader – should conduct himself. The first of these points to be considered here is that a Christian is expected to keep his word. His word should be his bound. He should keep his promises and not be given to frivolities. This is how the Bible puts it: “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:12). This is God’s standard. Do what you say or promise with your own mouth. Now does Mr. President keep his word? I’m sure he does not! I’ll give some examples shortly. But before the examples, please understand that he can still be supported by those who still wish to support him; however, that support should not be based on the fact that he says he is a Christian. Not at all! This is so because he’s not a man who keeps his word, and Christians, real Christians, do keep their words.

In 2011, while going around begging for votes, these were the words of Mr. President: “I do not make empty promises in my campaign because whatever I promise to do, I had already carried out adequate study to make sure I can accomplish it in the next four years.” This was on the 27th of February in Onitsha, Anambra State. But the truth, as available to us all, is that he did promise, but then he failed to fulfill his promises.

On the 12th of March, 2011 in Abeokuta, he promised to revive ailing oil refineries and build new ones. The available fact, as at today, is that Mr. President merely deceived people into voting for him with that empty promise, because as we all know, no ailing oil refinery has been revived, not to talk of building new ones. I know his supporters can come up with a million and one reasons why he didn’t fulfill that promise; but the fact still remains that he did not fulfill his promise. Then on the 31st of March, the same year in Abuja, he promised to expand and develop the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry to provide about one million jobs. Today, we are still waiting for these jobs in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.

Earlier, in Awka on February 26, he said he would construct all the major roads which link Anambra with its neighbors; complete the ongoing aero-dynamic survey of gas in the Anambra River basin; complete the second Niger Bridge; and complete the Onitsha Inland Port. Nigerians would not be talking about generators by the time his four years in office would have ended, he guaranteed. It is about four years since these promises were made; however, if a Nigerian today does not have his own generator, it is because he is financially incapable to procure one. The promises were largely unfulfilled. Did Mr. President lack anything he needed in fulfilling these promises? Did he lack money, hands, time or occasion? None that I know. He just won’t do what he said he would do.

The above are few of the many unfulfilled promises, pledges and vows of Mr. President. I want to say that no Christian in Nigeria should be deceived into voting for Mr. President in 2015 because he lays claim to Christianity; he should simply be judged by his performance in office. He should be seen as a person – the current President of the country, who made several promises in 2011 while campaigning, and who failed to fulfill those promises – and be treated as such. This is the foundation upon which his re-election or rejection in 2015 should be based, not some useless religious mawkishness.

But then, there are other two important points we need to consider in this discourse: integrity and skillfulness. As far as God is concerned, these two qualities are central to leadership, and without them, no one in any leadership position, in the eyes of the Almighty God, could be considered successful. Hear the Bible: “He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: from following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands” (Psalm 78:70-72).

That’s the Bible talking about David. In this passage, David’s background as well as his emergence to leadership was examined. God took David from following animals and made him a King. He named him His servant and empowered him for just a reason: to feed His (God’s) people, the Israelites. Now this is one important purpose of leadership: feeding, supporting, sustaining, nourishing, nurturing, encouraging, maintaining, strengthening and bolstering the led. Can we say this is what is currently obtainable in the nation under President Goodluck Jonathan?  I think not. With the very basic requirement for meaningful living in the 21st century – electricity – almost totally missing in most homes, it is clear that the major focus of this administration is not to feed the poor, but to feed on the poor.

King David, having understood his assignment, settled down to lead his people, employing two important qualities in the process. First, he led his country with the integrity of his heart. He was a man in possession of very firm principles; wholly dedicated to his business, and displayed uncommon veracity in his dealings with his followers. Integrity requires that a leader be open and truthful. Integrity drives a worthy leader to eschew corruption and fight it. It equally demands that the leader be true to the laws of the land and not try to circumvent any aspect of it. A leader with integrity has nothing to hide from his followers, and he constantly fights and punishes, according the laws of the land, those engaged in sleaze. Can we say this is the situation in our nation under President Jonathan? Again, I think not.

Nigerians have not forgotten the recent stinking revelation of how the current Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, squandered 10 billion naira while junketing around. In the revelation, which the House of Representatives later passed a resolution to probe, it was alleged that the minister spent the amount to charter and maintain a jet for her personal use. As shocking as the embarrassing news was, the President has not found any reason to reprimand the minister for spending 130 million naira per month to maintain the aircraft in just two years. Were we blessed with a President who understands integrity and deals with us in the integrity of his heart, this reckless act would have been thoroughly dealt with. There won’t be any reason to bother you with other well-known corruption issues and cases around this government. But what is plain and obvious to all is that this is one administration that lacks integrity.

Now if President Jonathan willingly and consciously flouts important scriptural requirements and recommendations; if he chooses to scoff at the divine principle of integrity, should I then blindly follow him, simply because he claims he is a Christian just like me? This is my point. No Christian anywhere in the nation should allow himself to be sold a dummy. We should not be herded into wrongdoing simply because we have a “professing”, but in actual sense, a scripture-breaking Christian as our president. However, if an individual Christian, given his own conviction of the president’s performance and integrity, decides to vote for him next year, fine. The issue being that the Christian is voting, not because he is glad that the aspiring leader is a “Christian” and not a Muslim, but because the would-be leader is worthy and owns integrity.

The second virtue employed by David in his leadership adventure was skillfulness. Political and administrative skillfulness is possessing competence, adeptness, dexterity and proficiency in handling issues and situations in a way that avoids sloppiness, clumsiness and wastage. It is the hallmark of very capable leaders. It is a virtue that a nation like Nigeria needs in her leaders because of the inherent ability of this singular virtue to clean up built-up political muddle and clutter. Where unfortunately this quality is lacking in a leadership endeavour, as is currently the case with President Jonathan, disorder, disarray and chaos ensue. It is lack of skillfulness that causes a president to confer unconstitutional powers on ex-militants, freeing them to move around in convoys with security men, while reputable men are being hounded for saying their mind.

Imagine the one big ball of mess the nation has suddenly become, all because political and administrative skillfulness in missing. The way political issues and other sundry happenings in Nigeria have been handle by this administration really puts mud on the faces of Nigerians. It is the case of continual falling into one scandal after another, with the most recent one usually being more potent than the previous. Consider the latest in the series of misadventures of an administration void of political dexterity and steeped in error – the invasion of the National Assembly by security men.

While this act has been roundly condemned by people of wit and imagination in the country, the President is yet to see anything wrong with that assault and insult. And why would he? The unfortunate blitz obviously serves hisF purpose. It makes one to wonder whether the President have people who advise him at all. After all, even when a president is not particularly skillful, he still can tap into the skillfulness of brilliant and able souls within the country. With the way things stand at the moment, it is clear that the nation is being ruled by someone with shortage of political and administrative skillfulness, and Christians need to be reminded that God demands skillfulness in leaders that must deliver.

As a function of the above, the important question all Christians, indeed all Nigerians, need to ask before being goaded into voting based on religious or political sentiment is whether we are ready to withstand and stomach another four years of unproductive, completely messy political space dominated by shoddiness, corruption, unresponsiveness and a sense of despair never known to Nigerians since the end of the civil war. The crucial question is whether we are willing to endure President Goodluck Jonathan till 2019!

That idea, that thought alone, for me, is frightening! A president who doesn’t keep his own words, fights dirty, institutes and promotes ethnic racketeering, unable to manage rather commonplace and uncomplicated situations is, undoubtedly, not the person Nigerians need for the next four years of our national life.

Source: Sahara Reporters

Pastor Gabriel Olalekan Popoola, a former University of Port Harcourt Students’ Union Leader, worships with Living Faith Church and can be reached at gabrolap@gmail.com

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Kano Mosque Bomb Blast: Victims in Dire Need of Blood and Consumables

Kano bomb blast victims ‘in dire need of blood’

by Taiwo George

The federal government has promised to supply hospitals in Kano with blood to help save the lives of victims of Friday’s bomb blast that rocked the city.

Many victims of the attack are currently being treated at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Nassarawa Hospital, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Dala Orthopedic Hospital and various hospitals in the state.

Musa Ilallah, the north-west coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said the ministry of health had directed its officials to supply blood from its blood bank in Katsina.

“We went round the hospitals to assess the conditions of those who are receiving treatment and we were informed that what they needed most is blood and consumables,” he said.

“I spoke with officials of the federal ministry of health and they have assured me that they will mobilise blood bank in Katsina to supply blood to the hospitals.”

He added that the ministry had also promised to supply drugs and other needed consumables from Abuja.

Ilallah commended the Kano state government for providing needed materials for the treatment of injured persons in the hospitals.

On his part, Kabir Maso-Kano, executive secretary of the Kano state hospitals management board, said lack of consumables was hindering the treatment of the victims.

He however commended Kano residents for visiting hospitals to donate blood for the victims.

On Saturday, Muhammad Sanusi, the emir of Kano, condemned the attack, saying the aim of the perpetrators was to prevent people from worshipping at the mosque but he vowed that they would not succeed.

“We will never be intimidated into abandoning our religion, which is the intention of the attackers,” he said.

More than 100 people were killed on Friday when suicide bombers attacked the Ado Bayero central mosque in Kano, during Juma’at service.

Source: The Cable

Presidential Grades and Gaffes Written by Sonala Olumhense

Presidential Grades and Gaffes

Written by Sonala Olumhense

“Most of the Ministers and Special Assistants/Advisers in that government were mini-tyrants; they saw every criticism of government policy as an act of affront, the more deluded and disoriented ones among them, with their arrogance helped to make more unnecessary enemies for government. It was also a style of governance that encouraged sycophancy. The point was often made that Ministers went to the Federal Cabinet meeting only to massage the President’s ego…”

Those words were penned on May 26, 2007, just days before Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan took office, part of a newspaper columnist’s postmortem of the Olusegun Obasanjo years.
 
“The General ran a government in which he was the wisest man in the entire country. Nobody was expected to contradict him, and those who did were punished for their insubordination. Governors struggled to be in Baba’s good books. The President was called Baba: he was the father of everyone whose words could not be questioned since this is the dictate of age-old culture and tradition…”

Of the centrality of sycophancy in that administration, the author said, “When on one occasion all the Ministers in a show of solidarity with the President rose in unison against the Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who had become Obasanjo’s adversary, it was clear at last that we had a civilian dictatorship on our hands.”
The article was “Obasanjo’s Legacy (4),” by Reuben Abati, who was the Chairman, Editorial Board of The Guardian (Nigeria).

Four years after those words, Abati took office as Special Adviser for Media and Publicity to President Jonathan.  In that capacity, he has blossomed in the past three years as some kind of Director of Denials: when there is something for Mr. Jonathan to deny, he calls upon the man who so well understands tyranny—mini and maxi—delusion,
disorientation, sycophancy, and presidential ego massage.  
However, if there is someone who takes presidential ego massage more seriously than Abati, it is far and away his colleague, Senior Special Adviser Doyin Okupe.  

 If Abati is the Doctor/Director of Denials, Okupe is without question the most dangerous man in the presidency.  He is the quintessential mini-tyrant described in Abati’s article, gifted with the easy ability to accumulate enemies for the president.
Okupe courts the mainstream media, but he is also heavy on social media, with particular loudness on Twitter.  That is not difficult to understand: Twitter is easy: 140 characters by which to combine praise and worship, 24 hours a day.  Okupe is the propaganda champion.  

But he is also a chameleon.  Recently, as he praised Mr. Jonathan’s so-called Transformation Agenda, I asked him: Are Mr. Jonathan 2011 electoral promises part of the TA?  

I also asked: Were Mr. Jonathan’s post inauguration vows also part of the TA?  His response has been deep silence.
But this same man, a medical doctor brought into the presidency not to heal the sick but to injure the healthy and deceive the hopeful, leads the charge to portray Mr. Jonathan as special.

Last week, citing “facts on the ground, he declared, “…In terms of performance and achievements, no administration since 1960 when Nigeria gained independence from Britain, has done as much as that of President Jonathan.”

He immediately reminded me of another man who once observed, accurately, how the more deluded and disoriented among Nigeria’s Ministers and Special Advisers “with their arrogance helped to make more unnecessary enemies for government…a style of governance that encouraged sycophancy…”

Sycophancy is a difficult word to spell, but even Mr. Jonathan, by now, understands that some of the people close to him are sycophants.  Were Mrs. Jonathan to ask him for an example of sycophants, I have no doubt he would point one finger at Okupe.
No administration…has done as much as that of President Jonathan?   You can almost see Mr. Jonathan, turning to Mrs. Jonathan, pointing at Okupe.

You thought, for a moment, that perhaps Mr. Jonathan did something unique, something exemplary, or something profound.
You thought perhaps he read a book…perhaps to a child, or took his Ph.D dissertation in his hands to a department of agriculture to share his ideas.
Perhaps he declared his assets publicly—determined to enthrone example and presidential transparency—thereby launching an unprecedented era of accountability?
Perhaps he inherited 36 States from his predecessor, and 36 months later, still had all of them within his control?
Did he implement one of the presidential reports submitted to, and applauded, by him?
Perhaps Mr. Jonathan, upon assuming office, was stunned to discover the presidency had an embarrassing pool of jets and expensive automobiles, and swiftly proceeded to rationalise the needs of the office and sell-off the excess capacity to make the funds available for drinking water for elementary schools?
Did he walk through a shopping mall in Abuja, encouraging small businesses to broaden employment?
Did he achieve a ceasefire with Boko Haram, or end the militant group as he has promised over and over?
Perhaps some kidnappers were stupid enough to seize hundreds of schoolgirls from a school somewhere within the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and he, outraged, ensured they were swiftly returned to their parents and schools unharmed?
Perhaps he demonstrated courage, literally under fire, by visiting and sleeping in one of the states under emergency rule?  Did he go to Chibok and break bread with the families whose children were spirited away under his watch?
Perhaps, unknown to us, the President wrote up a cheque, representing 50 per cent of the vast, private wealth he knows he will never need and used it to develop libraries or to offer scholarships to indigent students?
Perhaps he made his wife return her bogus earnings as Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa?
Did he give his country electricity, or did he explain why Aso Rock must buy new generators every year?
Did he persuade the people of South Africa or of Kenya that Nigeria’s presidential jets and other government toys are not used for extensive money-laundering?
Did he finally kill Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau?  Did he transform the people of Chibok, or just the citizenry of Aso Rock?
These are a few of the questions that Okupe ought to be answering in prosecuting the mission to sell the 2015 Jonathan candidature.  
Obasanjo, who rated the Jonathan presidency as “average,” was actually offering unearned credibility.  Jonathan’s administration is the very definition of a tragedy.  How can anyone define as an achievement the epochal equivalent of arson and looting?  
The bigger tragedy is that it is to Obasanjo that Nigeria owes the Jonathan administration. Seven years ago, the PDP certainly had men of presidential potential, but Obasanjo permitted them no electoral opportunity.
I have written elsewhere that if the former president must be taken seriously concerning his criticism of Jonathan, he must first apologise for inflicting him on Nigeria. In 2006, Jonathan was minding his business trying not to attract attention when Obasanjo offered him the buffet.  

As Nigeria slips from unworkable into unmanageable, we are paying for that colossal crime, driven on by ruthless sycophants who have no regard for truth or for the corporate interest.  Nigerians must respond by speaking loudly and courageously for themselves.
• sonala.olumhense@gmail.com

Defiant Sanusi Leads Prayers at Bombed Kano Mosque as Conttroversy Trails Death Figure

Defiant Sanusi Leads Prayers at Site of Bombed Kano Mosque

Outrage as death toll rises beyond 130     
Sultan, Mark condemn attack
By Omololu Ogunmade and Kasim Sumaina in Abuja, Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

In a symbolic act of defiance, following Friday’s terrorist bombing of the Kano central mosque, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, cut short his lesser hajj trip to Saudi Arabia and returned to Kano on Friday to lead the Maghrib evening prayers on Saturday at the bombed mosque.

The emir, who had on Friday visited the scene of the bomb blast and the hospitals where victims were being treated, ordered an immediate clean-up and rehabilitation of the affected areas of the mosque. Sanusi, who was in the company of the members of his emirate council, shunned all attempts to make them speak to the press.

He had in an earlier statement said Nigerian Muslims will not be intimidated into abandoning Islam following the coordinated bomb and gun attacks on the Kano central mosque that left at least 130 people dead.

“We will never be intimidated into abandoning our religion, which is the intention of the attackers,” the emir was quoted to have said during a 20-minute-visit to the mosque, which adjoins his palace.  This was shortly after his return to the country.

Statements by officials of both the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital and Muhammadu Abdullahi Wase Hospital mortuary in Kano indicated that over 130 people died in Friday’s Kano Central Mosque bomb blast.

An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to THISDAY, said: “I was asked to count those deposited [in the morgue] and I counted over 102 bodies before I was asked to stop, as the figures kept rising on Friday after the blast.”

Another official, who also would not be identified, said “this casualty [figure] is only for Murtala Hospital and my colleague at the Abdullahi Wase Hospital, also known as Nassarawa Hospital, told me that they can’t precisely state the number of the dead, because bodies were brought into the hospital in large numbers with no one bothering to count them.”

According to him, the bloodstains on the floor were an eloquent testimony of the fatality figures. “There is also shortage of blood to those sustained injuries. There had been radio announcements calling on people to come and donate blood.”

Indeed, there had been calls to donate blood to the victims of the Kano central mosque  blast  most of whom are currently being treated at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Nassarawa Hospital, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Dala Orthopedic Hospital in Kano.

The head of the State Hospital Management Board, Dr Kabiru Maso Kano, also declined to reveal the number of causalities to journalists yesterday, saying: “I don’t know exactly the number of causalities.”
A medical doctor, Dr Bashir Usman, said “most of those receiving treatment in the four hospitals of the state are in dire need of blood and we are appealing to people to come and donate their blood to rescue the victims.”

However, some eyewitness accounts indicate more alarming fatality figures. One of the eyewitnesses, Malam Musbahu Sheik Nasir Kabara, told THISDAY: “Immediately after the start of the prayers, we heard a deafening sound of an explosion followed by sporadic gunshots. The whole place was filled with smoke.

“It was a terrible situation because so many people, comprising old people, kids and women were killed. Others were burnt beyond recognition. I spoke with somebody who was at rescue operation and he told me that he saw and counted over 200 dead bodies.”

Another eyewitness, Alhaji Isyaku Tudun Wazirci, who burst into tears, said: “I was at the mosque when I heard heavy sound of explosion three times and I passed out through corpses lying down inside this mosque. I did not have any wound in my body, but I lost so many brothers who we went to the mosque together.”
The latest casualty figures are much higher than the ones released by the state’s Deputy Commissioner of Police, Sanusi Lemu , which had put the number of the dead at 35 people and the injured at 150.

Lemu had also revealed that “three suspected bombers were apprehended and mobbed by the youths and three AK 47 rifles were recovered at the scene after the blast.”

Also, security around the scene of the bomb attack has been beefed up, as some of the residents were seen assisting to control vehicular traffic.

More reactions have meanwhile continued to pour in in condemnation of the blast. Senate President David Mark yesterday, decrying the gruesome massacre of worshippers at the Kano Central Mosque, described perpetrators as insane minds who have lost their human senses.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, Mark called on right thinking members of the society to rise up against the activities of terrorists, which he said “was putting asunder the peace and unity of Nigeria.”

He urged security operatives not to be deterred by recalcitrant attitude of insurgents but encourage them to rather be strengthened and committed to protecting and defending the territorial integrity of the nation.

Also, the Sultan of Sokoto and Leader of Muslims in Nigeria, Alhaji Muhammed Abubakar Sa’ad III, yesterday condemned the Friday suicide bomb blast at the mosque which left scores dead and wounded.
He was speaking at the Post 2014 Hajj Conference, organised by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), held at the National Mosque in Abuja. “I do not believe that those perpetrating these acts are Muslims and if they are, they are not professing what Islam teaches,” he said.

He lamented and condemned the dastardly act in strong terms, saying that it was time for all stakeholders and, particularly, the federal government to rise up to its responsibility and bring to an end insurgency in the country. “The world over, it is the duty and responsibility of government to provide security for its citizenry. This is time for the various Muslim sects in the country to come together with a purposeful effort to rally round one another and bring insurgency to an end.

“We call on stakeholders to join hands and end the problem of Boko Haram in the country.”

In his reaction, the Secretary General, Jama’ Atu Nasril Islam, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu said there should be a purposeful effort on the part of the government who has the constitutional mandate to look after the security and welfare of the people.

Source: ThisDay

News Headlines Nov 30. Headlines from Nigeria’s major newspaper

News Headlines Nov 30. Headlines from Nigeria’s major newspaper. Compiled by Demola Adefajo for demoadefa.wordpress.com

The Punch
Egypt court drops murder charges against Mubarak
Boko Haram: America not Nigeria’s friend, says Gowon
Ashiru, ex-Foreign Affairs minister, dies in S’Africa
My style is elegant, classy —Iretiola Doyle
Olaniwun, Kokori caution IG against partisanship
Our inclusion in impeachment list, a scam –PDP Reps
APC lauds Ajimobi over new road projects
Sultan asks Muslims to unite against Boko Haram
Human flesh, blood litter Kano mosque
S’East govs say assault on worshippers senseless
Mosque bombing, attack on all Nigerians – CAN
Austerity measures will increase crime rate, depression —Economist
GSK announces success on Ebola trial vaccine
Ondo PDP factions hold parallel Assembly primaries
… Thugs assault Channels crew in Kwara
Where has the Fed Cup glamour gone?
Wenger ignores fans’ banner
Local insurers seek foreign support for terrorism insurance
Oil plunge, sign of weakness in global economy
Storm over for Ebele Obiano?
Abdulmumin Jibrin shuts down Argungun
Jonathan has not committed any impeachable offence –Itulah
Jonathan committed impeachable offences —Ahmad
I wrote songs for Haruna Ishola, others – 93-yr-old engineer
Fourth Republic: Knocks for opposition parties
Nigeria should crush Boko Haram like Biafra –Prof. Ogbonnaya
Building your own business by leveraging on technology
For music, Yungskillsz woos Fine Lady
Ilesa welcomes poets to House Party
Counting cost of strike in unity schools
Adults are not immune to measles – Expert demoadefa.wordpress.com
Why aren’t we getting our act together?
Strangers to their mother tongues: Home-bred Nigerians who don’t speak their native languages
Dad didn’t give us any special privileges — Biodun Shobanjo’s son
I recommend entrepreneurship for women – Afodeso
I help my wife cook — Elvis Obi
Ogba Zoo: Nature in city’s heart
Iron deficiency
Never live apart
Heavy telephone users should pay tax – RMAFC Chairman
It was painful missing the World Cup due to injury –Echiejile
Banks’ biometric verifications: What you should know and do (2)
I can’t do without silver bracelet – Austin Aimankhu
Nigerians react: Austerity measures to cushion oil slump
Nigeria does not celebrate talents – Savage Ayodeji
I love to be sexy – Myah J
Obasanjo v Jonathan: Nigerians give verdicts on performance debate

The Vanguard

Why irritating comments from America should stop, by Prof Akinyemi
Terror should never compel concession of power — AKIN OSUNTOKUN
Adeboye storms Vanguard again
63 escape death as plane crash lands in Ilorin
11 feared killed in Rivers gun attack
Kano Blasts: ‘We saw hell in the house of God’
This House of Disrepute
Invasion of NASS: IGP turns interpreter of the law
Rage in the Senate over police invasion of National Assembly
Gov. Suswan moves to sack Senator Gemade!
Insurgency in North-east could have been worse —Hon. Gujbawu
Unveiling Nigeria’s Top 100 Companies
Nigeria on The Brink of Economic Doom? A catastrophe foretold!
‘The structure of the economy must change’
I believe in the leadership of Aremo Olusegun Osoba – Bukky Wright
CBN Gov’s golf tourney tees off
How to save Rovers from extinction —Etta Egbe
Keshi should take a walk — Prince Odua demoadefa.wordpress.com
Johnson rescues Liverpool
Van Persie ends barren run as United breeze past Hull
Welbeck wins it for Arsenal
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You’re Not a Muslim. You’re a Terrorist’

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Former Foreign Minister, Ashiru dies at 66

Ashiru, former foreign minister, dies at 66

Olugbenga Ashiru, former minister of foreign affairs, has died in a South African hospital after a long battle with illness.

The career diplomat, credited with re-energising Nigeria’s presence in international diplomacy in the post-Olusegun Obasanjo era, died on Saturday.

Family sources told TheCable that he had been battling with brain tumour for a while and had been hospitalised for over three months.

Ashiru played a key role in the diplomatic face-off between Nigeria and South Africa in 2012 over the deportation of 125 Nigerians for not possessing valid yellow fever vaccination certificates.

Nigeria retaliated and the stand-off was eventually resolved.

Ashiru, appointed minister by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, was removed in 2013 in a cabinet reshuffle.

He had been one of the most respected ministers but he was said to have been nominated into the cabinet by Obasanjo who had publicly fallen out with Jonathan.

Ashiru, while handing over, said he had succeeded in securing 22 key international appointments for Nigerians.

Some of the positions included the commissioner for political affairs in African Union and commissioner for peace and security at the ECOWAS commission.

“I am leaving foreign ministry as a fulfilled man considering my achievements in just two years,” he said.

He was born on August 27, 1948 in Ijebu Ode, Ogun state.

The product of University of Lagos, was Third Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1972, and served as ambassador to the South Korea in 1991.

He was Nigeria’s high commissioner to South Africa, with concurrent accreditation to Lesotho and Swaziland, in 2005
Source: The Cable

‘You are not a Muslim. You are a terrorist’

‘You’re Not a Muslim. You’re a Terrorist’

By Simon Kolawole

This quotable quote, more than anything else, captures my position on the Boko Haram maniacs. It is taken from Season 3 of the American political thriller, Homeland. Nicholas Brody, a retired US Marine sergeant ─ who had turned against his country, converted to Islam and become a terrorist while fighting in Iraq ─ was on the run. He was a suspect in the bombing of CIA headquarters. A bounty of $25 million was placed on his head. On self-exile in Venezuela, he escaped from his overbearing “protectors”, moved into a mosque and introduced himself as a Muslim to the Imam, who gladly received and housed him.

But not long after that, the Imam discovered Brody was a fugitive ─ declared wanted in America for terrorist activities. The Imam immediately confronted Brody, telling him to leave his mosque and shouting: “You are NOT a Muslim. You ARE a terrorist!”

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the missing jigsaw in our attitude to Boko Haram in Nigeria. We continue to view these thugs through Christian and Muslim lenses rather than see them for what they truly are: bloody-sucking terrorists from the pit of hell. No genuine Muslim should be proud of the activities of these demons. No genuine Christian should rejoice at the unending slaughter of the innocent. No true Nigerian should be happy that a section of this country has been turned to killing fields by deranged fanatics, who murder children and women with brainless fervour, who haul bombs into crowded churches and mosques.

For too long, we have failed to isolate these retarded adults and treat them as a different bunch of gangsters who are a threat to all of us ─ Muslims, Christians, Northerners, Southerners, PDP, APC, Jonathan, Buhari, etc etc. When this whole madness began to unfold on a large scale, we chose to treat it as a religious or political problem. To many Muslims, it was a problem for Christians ─ until Boko Haram went past churches and started attacking emirs and mosques. To many Christians, it is “these Muslims who hate us” ─ but we can now see that even “these Muslims” hate fellow Muslims. The attack on the Central Mosque in Kano last Friday is as barbaric as the one on St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, on Christmas day in 2011.

To many Southerners, terrorism is a problem for Northerners. “Let them keep bombing themselves” is their terrible attitude. But they forget that the victims in Abuja, Nyanyan, Maiduguri, Kaduna, Kano and elsewhere are full-blooded Nigerians from different tongues. “Let us divide Nigeria” is a chart-buster among some Southerners ─ as if having blood-drinking terrorists next door is going to be a tea party. Ask Kenya about the al-Shabab menace in neighbouring Somalia.  Ask Turkey about the hazard of ISIS in Iraq. Ask Mali about the fall-outs from the fall of Muammar Ghaddafi in Libya. It is pure ignorance to think that leaving innocent Northerners at the mercy of these lunatics is a great idea ─ when they will eventually share border with you if your dream of breaking up Nigeria comes true.

The politicisation of Boko Haram is absolutely odious and horrendous. On the one hand, the All Progressives Congress (APC) sees it as a publicity tool to win votes by highlighting how clueless the PDP-led government is. A party chieftain once said APC would end Boko Haram within three months if voted into power. That easy? On the other hand, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been trying to demonise APC as the sponsors of Boko Haram ─ all because of 2015. And I keep saying: if PDP is sure APC is behind terrorism, is it not the job of government to arrest and prosecute the suspects? Does the PDP government have a game plan to defeat terror? Is the game plan working? That should be their preoccupation rather than demarketing APC.

For too long, we have had a wrong attitude towards Boko Haram. We underestimated the problem. We played politics with it. We have been pointing fingers back and forth. We have been propounding all sorts of senseless theories. The only theory that I understand, and I will continue to say this, is that Boko Haram is a committee of vampires. They display their insanity by hiding behind religion, but they easily lose the case when even Muslims become their prey. What point are they making by killing worshippers at a Jummat service? What God do they believe in that takes pleasure even in the death of Muslims like them? The only sensible conclusion is that these hooligans are not Muslims. They are terrorists.

What exactly do these guys want? I have been monitoring and analysing Boko Haram’s pronouncements since the emergence of Abubakar Shekau as their leader in 2009. He has never suggested ceasefire or complained about poverty or lack of infrastructure. He has been incredibly consistence with his mission statement: to establish an Islamic caliphate and get rid of the infidels. Infidels, in this case, are not just Christians ─ who, in any case, are their natural targets ─ but Muslims who do not share their bestial brain. From the very beginning, he said he had a divine mandate to kill human beings “like chickens”. He said the Nigerian system is anti-Islam and he had a divine call to cleanse the land. He has said this again and again and again.

If we are wise enough, it should be clear to all by now that we are not dealing with a religious problem, even if it has a religious content. We are not dealing with a political problem, even though they have a political message. We are not dealing with a regional problem, even if the North-East happens to be their base. We are dealing with a security problem. A national security problem. A problem that spares no one. We saw this problem start in the backyard of Maiduguri. It became a Borno problem. It became a regional problem. They started with swords and daggers. Now they are using bombs. They started with hit-and-run. Now they are in command of towns and villages.

If we are to learn from the pattern of insurgency around the world, what we are seeing is just an introduction. Nobody knows the next frontier. Nobody knows their next strategy. And nobody is safe. Nowhere is safe. That is why it hurts me to my bones when we play politics with this insurgency. It hurts me to my soul that we cannot see beyond our nose. It hurts me deep when we introduce 2015 and regionalism and bigotry into this unambiguous national security tragedy. What we have in our hands is, evidently, a copycat of Al-Qaeda, Taliban, ISIS, name them ─ funded, equipped and motivated by forces who have a global terror agenda, headlined by Osama bin Laden in the last decade.

Fellow Nigerians, I am convinced beyond reasonable ─ and unreasonable ─ doubt that this Boko Haram lunacy can only be tackled when we take away the religious and political veil from our face. We need the buy-in of every Nigerian to confront this insanity. We need the political class across the divides. We need Nigerians of all religious persuasions. We need a national consensus to cast out these devils. They are not Muslims. They are terrorists.

AND FOUR OTHER THINGS…

ECONOMIC CRUNCH

So crude oil prices have fallen, demand for forex is on the rise and the CBN has finally devalued the naira (or, to quote economists, allowed the naira to depreciate)? We saw all these coming one day, didn’t we? We were warned, weren’t we? Yet we kept on spending like there would be no tomorrow. We were piling up travelling allowances, buying jets, building state-of-the-art (they call it “befitting”) governors’ lodges, padding up allowances, embarking on white elephant projects, looting the treasury and holding sex parties in Dubai. Who cares? Who cares about the future? Who cares? Heartlessness.

GOD BLESS FASHOLA

He sure has his critics, but you are not going to get many public administrators who understand the basics of rebuilding the society like Babatunde Fashola. The governor of Lagos has just handed over the rebuilt Area C headquarters of Nigeria police, which was set ablaze by “unknown soldiers” in 2006. It is what a modern police station should be, complete with CCTV, forensic room, finger print room, interrogation room with cameras, cameras office, communication equipment, gym, befitting male and female cells. I dare say it is the most modern police building in Nigeria today. God bless Fashola. Amen.

DAYLIGHT ROBBERY

Was it some joke? The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has fined Coca-Cola and Nigerian Bottling Company N100million because of a defective product. That is, two half-filled cans of Sprite. Now, I don’t have anything against imposing fines and sanctions on all these big companies who have gone virtually unpunished over the years. For all I care, CPC can fine them N1billion. However, what amazes me is the justification of the hefty fine by CPC. According to them, they spent N60million to investigate the case. N60million! I mean N60million! What exactly were they investigating? How many countries did they visit? Scandalous.

DIEZANI’S DIADEM

Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of petroleum resources, last week made history as the first female president of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). It may escape many of us but this is truly historic: a woman heading an organisation where the all-powerful Arabs call the shots. A women at the top of such an organisation is novel indeed. Having been the first Nigerian female executive director at Shell and first female petroleum minister of Nigeria, Alison-Madueke has hit an interesting milestone. She must use this position to raise Nigeria’s profile and clout in the cartel. Very important. Congratulations!