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The Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the National Symposium, organized by Nasirul-Lahi-Faith Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), tagged “Islam and Peaceful Co-Existence in a Contemporary Multi Religious Society.
Sambo, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion, said: “government is ready to discuss. History has proven that even wars that are fought for decades, at the end, are only concluded by dialogue.”
According to a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Umar Sani, the vice-president lamented the activities of some negative forces whose activities have portrayed Islam in a negative and evil light.
He said: “Islam is a religion of peace; it is a way of life. It cannot promote senseless killings and wanton destruction of property. I am not aware of any religion in the world that encourages unprovoked and relentless attack on other people.”
Sambo commended the organizers of the symposium, noting its aptness, adding that it would help to educate the public on the Islamic view of peaceful co-existence and the concept of Jihad.
He used the opportunity to enumerate the strides the administration had made in achieving the objectives of the Transformation Agenda, which cut across improved electricity supply; education; agriculture, transportation system; and poverty alleviation.
The vice president stated that to deliver on government’s promise on the revitalization of the Railway system, government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with General Electric for the delivery of 200 locomotive heads and also for the location of a locomotive manufacturing plant in Nigeria, which would also serve the West African sub-region.
Similarly, he assured that the activities of militant groups would not jeopardize government’s desire to propel Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs).
In his remarks the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, called on the Muslim Ummah to champion the principle of peaceful co-existence and education.”
Source: The Nation Newspaper
By Onwuka Nzeshi
The Senate Tuesday expressed concern at the recent spate of bomb attacks and the general level of insecurity across the country.
It urged the Federal Government to re-open dialogue with Boko Haram, which had claimed responsibility for the terror attacks.
President of the Senate, David Mark said the growing insecurity was unacceptable to the parliament and the generality of Nigerians. He said it was in the national interest for the country to experience peace and security particularly if the transformation agenda of government must succeed.
In a brief remark on resumption from his medical vacation, Mark said since the members of the dreaded sect were Nigerians, government should explore the dialogue option to the resolution of the crisis. He said the activities of the group was not only a declaration of war on Nigerians but a threat to the unity and corporate existence of the country.
Mark admonished the group to eschew violence and seek better ways of expressing whatever grievances they may have with the government.
“In spite of all these bombings, we should not despair or be disillusioned. We shall overcome through our collective determination.
“This is the time for concerted action by all Nigerian; ethnic group, political affiliation, religious belief notwithstanding. We have a real problem on our hands and we must handle it with the seriousness it deserves and we should never politicise it,” he said.
“Divisive statements or finger pointing are not helpful. Attempts to apportion blame for failures at this time of the burgeoning terror threats will not lead to any practical and long lasting solution. The primary responsibility of tackling this challenge lies with the Government but that notwithstanding, we all have roles to play,” he said.
Mark also urged security agencies to intensify efforts geared towards improving on their operational capacities and prevent further bomb attacks.
He also challenged the standing committees of the Senate to strengthen their oversight responsibilities on government agencies to curb inefficiency and corruption in the system.
“In this regard, all Committees must submit their reports before our summer recess and as soon as we resume we shall take the Committee Reports in plenary. May I remind us that in the course of preparing our Committee Reports, we should look at the capital appropriation released for the first two quarters of the year and weigh it against the implementation of the capital projects,” he said.
The party accused the opposition party of afflicted by misplaced belief that it will exert non-existing strength and acceptance with the people of the state.
In a statement, the party’s Publicity Secretary, Mr Joe Igbokwe, berated the PDP -led Federal Government of having nothing to show more than 12 years in the saddle. He noted that with resources of over N100 trillion it had not better the lots of the people.
He said: “Thinking it will gain relevance by denying that the ACN government in Lagos has recorded immutable milestones in its stay in power, the party advises the PDP to first go and atone to Nigerians for prosecuting the destruction of a rich and vibrant country than making ignorant statements with the hope that it will make impact in capturing Lagos is a wild dream.
“We know that in making that spurious allegation, Lagos PDP misconstrued these celebrations, which are no more than fruitful engagement with vital stakeholders in Lagos, the PDP was ruled by the belief that the celebration was tantamount to the many revelries and wild orgies the party has made of a fundamental principle of state policy since 1999. “We want to educate them that what they are childishly labouring to criticise are meaningful forums that offers the governor an opportunity to report to select stakeholders and take their feedback.” It is understandable why such would not appeal to a party that sees power merely as opportunity to wine, dine, make merry and share booty.
“While we insist the PDP that has excelled in ruining Nigeria these past thirteen years of unrestrained destruction, is the least qualified to talk about performance in government, we want to let Lagos PDP know that Fashola is celebrating milestones Lagosians will ever see as a golden era in the annals of the state’s history. “We want to let the PDP know that unlike their party and its so-called governments that are seized with unending profligacy, the celebration of days by Fashola’s government are only meant as strategic engagement forums between the governor and different segments of the Lagos society.” We want to educate them that what they call celebrations are no more than sessions of strategic engagement where the government renders account and takes important input from these critical stakeholders for the betterment of Lagos.
“In the celebration of his first 100 Days, Fashola engaged the youths, in his 900 Days, he engaged the Artisans. In his 1,000 Days, he engaged the Public Service, while in the 1,100 Days, he engaged members of the diplomatic community. In the 1,200 Days, Fashola engaged the Organised Private Sector, while in the 1,300 Days to 1,700 Days, he engaged the general public. in the 1,800 Days, he engaged the professionals and we dare say these meaningful engagements has improved transparency in the governance of Lagos.”
Igbokwe further said: “Lagos ACN wondered how the PDP, which recently exported the culture of idleness and slothfulness to Lagos by closing down the city on a busy working day for a meaningless jamboree where public fund was freely lavished, now feeling so uncomfortable about such periodic engagements, as Fashola’s celebration of his days in office . “We know that reporting back to the people does not matter to the PDP. Neither does it care about drawing input from the people to improve governance. “We know that the Lagos PDP is struck by a credibility crisis and the complete lack of home support it enjoys in Lagos, has led it to believe that ranting ignorantly over issues it hardly understands will give it electoral currency that will engineer a miraculous takeover of Lagos. “Lagosians know so well about PDP to fall for its antics. At least the wreckage they have left in Nigeria these past thirteen years is enough to warn any person that would wish to give the PDP hemlock a second look. We want to assure them that Lagosians are wiser to their antics.”
Source : The Nation
Riyom is one of the four local governments under the state of emergency in Plateau and has been under frequent attacks by armed Fulani within the past two weeks.
Those killed between Monday night and yesterday morning, were from Tahoss, Bangai, Sopp, Angwa Werem, Danjol and Gwom.
Residents of the villages have fled their homes to take refuge at police stations and primary schools in Riyom, headquarters of the council area.
A resident of Gwarim village, Dauda Gyang, who lost his younger brother in the night raid, said: “Fulanis came in large number. Their mode of attack is that they will start shooting from distance to scare the villagers and as soon as the villager run out of fear, they will come and set our houses ablaze. From my village alone they burnt more than ten houses last night”
Gyang said, “I swear to God, these Fulanis who are attacking us are doing this in collaboration with men of the Special Task Force (STF). In the day time, the soldiers will come and raid our village and seize dane guns from villagers and at night the armed Fulanis will come in for attack; this is what has been happening for about two weeks now.
“Last weekend, a mobile police shot one youth three times and the guy died. The mobile officer called it accidental discharge. How can you shoot three times and call it accidental discharge?“
When The Nation visited one of the primary schools in Tahoss, no fewer than 200 displaced persons mostly women and children were there.
A former member of the Plateau State House of Assembly from the area, Emmanuel Jugul, said: “Governments at the federal and state level are not doing enough to protect its citizens. It is bloodletting everyday in Riyom and we have government shoulder with the responsibility of protecting lives and properties.
“Apart from government, the security agencies in charge of the area are not sincere. It is either they are not doing their job, or they are conspiring with the attackers, because they securities did nothing to stop the killings and the council is under state of emergency.”
STF Spokesman Capt. Mdhayelyah Markus, who confirmed the incident, said he was not aware anyone was killed. He said houses were burnt.
Markus said: “As a result of the incident, the STF commander has mobilised troops from other places as reinforcement to Sector 9 so as to be able to handle the situation. The commander himself has visited the area and addressed the refugees. He asked them to return to their houses with promise of adequate security. So, we are in control in the area.”
However, the lawmaker representing Riyom Constituency in the House of Assembly, Daniel Dem, told The Nation on phone: “The crisis is affecting my constituency directly. The truth is that five people were killed in the night raid, several others who sustaind injuries from gunshots are receiving treatment in various hospitals. There are thousands of displaced persons whose houses were set ablaze.
“I cried to the security agencies on ground and they were telling me there is nothing they can do to stop the attackers because they are short of man power while the attackers are coming in hundreds.”
Dem appealed to the Federal Government to send in more troops to salvage the situation. He said: “This is beyond the state government because Riyom is currently under the state of emergency; the Federal Government should show more commitment in saving lives”
Sunday Madaki, one of the displaced persons, said the state lawmaker only counted the corpses in one village. He said: “From the list of casualties I have from all the six villages, there are 13 people killed already and over 20 others who were injured are in the Vom Christian Hospital and over thirty residential houses have been burnt. All these displaced persons have no home to return to.”