Nigeria @63: Jonathan praises Nigerians’ patriotism to the nation

In spite of the country’s meagre achievements and the developmental obstacles it has experienced since independence, former president Goodluck Jonathan has praised Nigerians for their tenacity and dedication to the nation.

In a message of goodwill to Nigerians on the occasion of the country’s 63rd Independence Anniversary, the former president made this statement and urged them not to give up on the mission of forging ahead with further progress for a better tomorrow.

In a statement released by his Special Adviser, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, Dr. Jonathan

remarked that the occasion provides Nigerians with a chance to reflect on their country’s national development since independence.

His words, “It is now 63 years since our dear country got her independence from Britain. This commemoration offers us the opportunity to reflect on Nigeria’s great journey of nationhood; acclaim our modest strides, reassess the odds we survived, chart a path out of present challenges and renew our hopes for a greater tomorrow.

“Our country has seen progress as well as setbacks. Patriotic Nigerians, believing in their country, have always stood firm, sharing in the glory of successes and feeling the pain of missed opportunities.”

He stated further that if there was a sense of disappointment among our population, especially the youths, on the nation’s failed aspirations, over the years, such feeling was not entirely out of place.

“Yet, rather than despair, we should look back at the encouraging signposts that set the tone for an auspicious future and the promise that we could attain our growth and development goals. Our nation survived a civil war, pulled through economic downturns at different times and has continued to hold its ground against threatening socio-political challenges, leveraging that indomitable spirit that guided our nationalists to remain steadfast and focused. This is the same disposition that today strengthens our citizens and enlivens their spirit and hope against the menace of terrorism, insecurity, economic hardship and worsening effects of climate change,” he said.

Dr. Jonathan added that it is the spirit that pushes Nigerians to excel on the global stage in sports, medicine, music, arts, technology and scholarship.

“As we mark yet another independence anniversary, we should focus our energy towards enthroning equity, justice, peace and national cohesion in order to bring to fruition the dream of Nigeria realising its full potential and holding up the torch of liberty and progress for all Africans. Happy Independence Anniversary. God bless Nigeria.”

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Just in: Gunmen abduct 25 church members in Ondo

In Akure, the state capital, no fewer than 25 choir members of the Christ Apostolic Church, CAC, Oke Igan, have been kidnapped.

According to reports, they were kidnapped on Friday around 3 p.m. while en route to Ifon in the state’s Ose council area for a funeral service.

The victims were on their way to a church member’s funeral when the kidnappers struck, according to a church member who spoke with newsmen.

According to her, the vehicle conveying the victims was abandoned on the highway.

When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Funmi Odunlami said that ” the police was informed that a church Bus with the Inscription CAC was abandoned around Elegbeka area and there are suspicions that the passengers in the vehicle were kidnapped.

Odunlami added” The Police Anti kidnapping squad and other tactical teams have been deployed to the area to rescue the victims and arrest all involved in the crime.

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“Lets sit and talk together” -Tinubu, Sultan beg NLC, TUC

Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, and President Bola Tinubu have urged the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress to cancel their planned protest over the elimination of the fuel subsidy.

The start of an ongoing walkout over the elimination of fuel subsidies was set for Tuesday, October 3, by organised labour.

Speaking during a public lecture and special Juma’at prayer to commemorate the nation’s 63rd anniversary of independence at the National Mosque in Abuja, Tinubu urged the employees not to go on strike.

Represented by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Jibrin Barau, the President reiterated the commitment of his administration to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal.

In a statement by the media aide to the Deputy Senate President, Ismail Mudashir, he said, “The Sultan has talked about the issue of strike by the NLC. I also call, on behalf of His Excellency, the President, and the entire government, on the labour leaders to shelve the strike.

“Let’s dialogue, let’s sit together, let’s understand ourselves, and let’s look at the prevailing situation in the country. How do we meet this country, the challenges ahead and the current challenges? It is through dialogue that we can solve our problems collectively.”

While stating that the government was new and working hard to bring succour to Nigerians,” he added, “It has set aside N500bn and other packages are being unveiled to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal. Therefore, we need to support and pray for the government.”

The Sultan earlier requested that organised labour give the Federal Government another chance.

For the love of God and the love of Allah, he pleaded with everyone contemplating a strike to reconsider and give the administration another chance. Give the government another chance and reconsider, please.

The Sultan, who claimed to have been involved in the negotiations between the government and the labour leaders since 2007, asserted that if the NLC and TUC went on strike, it would be more detrimental than beneficial.

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Osimhen: FG warns against maltreatment of Nigerians oversea

Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, the minister of foreign affairs, has issued a warning against the mistreatment of Nigerians overseas.

Tuggar added that Nigerian athletes living abroad must be handled with respect.

The minister made this comment on Friday in response to a popular TikTok video from Napoli mocking Super Eagles forward Victor Osimhen for missing a penalty kick in a game against Bologna.

 In a statement signed by his media aide, Alkasim Abdulkadir, the minister said the government considered the life and dignity of every Nigerian in the Diaspora sacrosanct and deserving of respect and dignity in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

He said, “When we go about our duties, we should always remember Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

“They are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

“Napoli did not act in the spirit of brotherhood by mocking her star player, Victor Osimhen, who was crucial to the team winning the Serie A championship last season,” the minister continued.

Abdulkadir stated that the Federal Government of Nigeria and Nigeria’s embassies would continue to keep an eye on events not only in Naples but also elsewhere in the world regarding how her athletes and all other citizens living abroad were being treated, and they would move quickly to seek redress of such wrongdoings.

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Punish those caught collaborating with bandits, Northern Elders tell FG

The federal government has been encouraged by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) to use the nation’s current security system to punish individuals found working with criminals.

In a statement released on Friday, the NEF’s Director-General, Prof. Doknan DD Sheni, expressed regret over recent deaths and kidnappings in the nation and urged the federal, state, and local governments to work closely together to establish a strong security system.

The statement read: “Nigerians in general and the people of Northern Nigeria in particular, have over the years, seen their lives and businesses cruelly ravaged by mounting insecurity, which is characterized by religious insurgencies, banditry, herders -farmers feuds and violent kidnappings.

“We strongly recommend that given the overwhelming cases of bad elements hibernating and nesting in the existing security system, there is an urgent need for government to, on a continuous basis, fish -out and administer severe punishment on all those caught red handed collaborating with the cowardly bandits and also criminally fostering their many nefarious kidnapping escapades in our peace -loving nation.

“The cumulative adverse effects of these societal ills on the relative state of stability, strong social cohesion and the future economic prosperity of the North, have been well documented elsewhere, to really belabour us here.

“Suffice it to say, that, while we in the NEF feel enormously encouraged by the good news of the recent timely rescue of some of the kidnapped Gusau girls by our gallant soldiers, notably following the order given by His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we in NEF, shall remain unwavering in our determination to secure the release of all those still in captivity and the speedy return of peace and stability to the North and Nigeria as a whole.

“Towards this end, we wish to reaffirm our unqualified sympathy and shared concerns with the parents and families of the victims of this inhuman act.

“The Forum also calls on the federal, states and local governments to forge a strong collaboration aimed at creating a more holistic, robust and enduring security system which is anchored on activating local vigilance, empowerment and fair and effective service delivery to all citizens”.

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Breaking: FG invites NLC, TUC to emergency meeting to stop nationwide strike 

In an effort to prevent the statewide strike scheduled to begin on October 3, the Federal Government has called an urgent meeting with the heads of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) counterpart.

According to information obtained by Vanguard, the meeting will take place later this evening in the conference room of Aso Villa, the office of the Chief of Staff to the President.

According to reports, the meeting was originally scheduled for today at noon but had to be moved to the evening so that Organised Labour could contact its leaders outside of Abuja.

The government invited the NLC and its TUC counterpart this morning via the Ministry of Labour and Employment, according to sources.

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Bomb blast kills 25 in Pakistan religious procession

Officials in Pakistan’s Balochistan region said that at least 25 people have died as a result of a suicide bombing that occurred during a religious procession.

According to Zubair Jamali, the Balochistani home minister, “at least 25 people were killed and more than 80 injured, including 20 critically injured people.”

Local media earlier stated that a blast near a mosque in Pakistan’s Balochistan region on Friday claimed the lives of six people while injuring more than 30, according to the reports.

The Assistant Commissioner of Mastung district said the  explosion happened as people gathered for a procession marking the birthday of Prophet Mohammed.

“The attack on innocent people who came to participate in the procession of Eid Milad-ul-Nabi is a very heinous act,” it said in a statement.

Balochistan’s Minister for Information Jan Achakzai posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that the number of dead was rising.

While the celebration of the prophet’s birthday is accepted by the majority of Islamic sects, certain denominations view it as an unwarranted innovation.

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PDP rejects Kaduna tribunal’s judgment upholding Gov Sani’s election

The governorship election petitions tribunal’s decision validating the election of Gov. Uba Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been rejected by the Kaduna State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which has said it will appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal.

This information was revealed by Mr. Alberah Catoh, the state’s PDP publicity secretary, in a statement made accessible to journalists on Friday in Kaduna.

Catoh stated last night that the PDP’s attorney had reviewed the judgement and found that it did not adhere to the standards of substantive justice.

The reaction came hours after the tribunal, sitting in Kaduna, upheld Sani’s election.

He further argued that the verdict was not in alignment with extant electoral laws, guidelines and regulations.

“The party has accordingly directed its lawyers to appeal the judgment at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, within the timeframe specified by law,” the statement added.

Catoh also urged PDP teeming supporters across the state to be calm and of good cheer in the belief that though the walk to justice is slow, they would reach their destination. (NAN)

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BREAKING: Tribunal declares Kaduna guber polls inconclusive, orders re-run

The 2023 governorship election in Kaduna state has been ruled invalid by the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which is based in Kaduna.

According to a report from the Vanguard Correspondent, the tribunal declared the election inconclusive during its resumed proceeding on Thursday and ordered that a new election be held by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) within 90 days.

Because of this, the three-member panel headed by Justice Victor Oviawe ordered a second round of voting in 24 polling places across seven wards and four local governments with a total of 16,300 registered voters.

After the judges avoided the actual hall, the decision was made public via Zoom.

Remember that Isah Mohammed Ashiru, a candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), submitted the petition.

Isa Mohammed Ashiru, a candidate for the PDP, is contesting Uba Sani’s election as governor of Kaduna State on the grounds of purported anomalies and electoral fraud.

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No agreement with FG to suspend strike – NLC

The Nigerian Labour Congress, or NLC, denied on Thursday that it had made any agreements with the federal government to put a halt to the scheduled indefinite strike, which was set to start on October 3.

Recall that on Tuesday, the NLC and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, or TUC, announced that workers would go on an indefinite strike until the government provided palliatives to mitigate the effects of removing the petrol subsidy.

Some media outlets stated that there had been an agreement between organised labour and the government to put the planned walkout on hold, according to Mr. Olajide Oshundun, the ministry’s director of press.

Though, Oshundun had since denied saying any such, the NLC said there was no agreement whatsoever and that the government has not invited the union or given any date to meet with the union over the proposed strike. 

NLC in a statement issued by its Head of Information and Public Affairs, Benson Upah, said, “The press statement issued by the Director of Press, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr Olajide Oshundun on our proposed strike action and illegal occupation of the secretariat of the National Union of Road Transport Workers has been brought to our attention. We note some inconsistencies.

“Accordingly, we find it necessary to make clarifications. Firstly, we do not have any agreement with  the government to suspend the planned strike action. Neither do we have any date for a meeting with government that may lead to  the suspension of the proposed strike. 

“While we do not intend to demean or minimise the office of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, this matter is beyond the Ministry. This  should have been obvious to them during our most recent meeting.

“Secondly, while we appreciate the role played by the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Barrister Simon Lalong in securing the release of the executives of the National Union of Road Transport Workers from unlawful/illegal police detention, we take exception to the Ministry describing these executives as factional leaders. 

“They were lawfully elected into office. We still find it necessary to advise the police and those elements  behind their travails to desist from this  despicable and shameful conduct. They are advised to retrace their steps. 

“If democracy is to be of meaning to us, then we should resist the urge or temptation for impunity. Enough is enough.”

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