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Middle Belt group tackles Shettima over alleged ‘manipulative tendencies’



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***Demands he resigns to pave way for a Christian Vice president if he is patriotic

The coalition of Middle Belt Youth Leaaiders have called out the Vice President-elect senator Kashim Shettima to honorably resign his position to pave the way for his replacement by a Christain Vice President.

The group spoke on Thursday against the backdrop that Senator Shettima was reported on 13th May, 2023 to have counseled the elected legislative members of the 10th Assembly that “the Senate president and the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives cannot be of same faith because it would fuel Islamisation agenda narrative.

The vice president elect had explained further that, “What we are trying to avoid is a situation whereby the number one citizen, number two citizen, the number three citizen, and the number four citizen are all of the same faith. That will lend credence, and validate the negative narrative of the Islamization agenda of Nigeria”.

In his opinion, a situation where the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are Muslims, could “validate the negative narrative of the Islamisation agenda of Nigeria”. 

“Shettima added that the leadership of the 10th Assembly must be all inclusive because the “stability of the nation is much more important than any other consideration”.

Addressing a Press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the Youth Leader of the Middle Belt Forum, Comrade Nasiru Jagaba who spoke on Behalf of the Coalition said Shettima is only riddiculing Christianity as well as deceiving and or manipulating Nigerians, particularly the elected members of the 10th Assembly as they prepare for the elections of leaders of the National Assembly in a matter of weeks from now.

“This is a cunning way to attempt to hoodwink the elected lawmakers into accepting the zoning arrangement of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the leadership of the 10th national assembly.

He said Shettima sounded in his counsel like a patriot and great democrat in that quote. 

“However, it would have been better judged so if these words from Sen. Shatima came against the call for him to pick the Vice Presidential ticket along side a Muslim in person of the President Elect, Bola Ahmed Asiwaju Tinubu. 

“Recall that there was immense tension at the announcement of Sen. Shatima as the running mate of Tinubu in the months before the general elections, from the party, organizations, associations, spirited individuals and even from the  international community.

“There were agitations against that ticket on the basis of the same threats to the Nation’s stability that Sen. Kashim Shatima is basing his arguments on today. 

“Notably on 5th of September, 2022 the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) outrightly registered her rejection of the Tinubu-Shatima ticket on the basis of being a same faith ticket and a threat to the Nation’s stability as reported in Punch Newspaper of same date. 

“Thisdaylive reports Hon. Yakubu Dogara on 31 January, 2023 a member of the APC then as saying that “Muslim-Muslim Ticket Will Polarise Nigerians along Religious, Tribal Lines…” Sahara Reports had a news item tiltled “APC’s Muslim-Muslim Ticket Is Call To Jihad, Shows Supremacy Of Islam In Nigeria – Kano Preacher, Auwal, Tells Congregation To Vote Massively…” reported 6 January, 2023 and also in Channels Television Sen. 

“Kabiru Marafa a Member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council is reported as having said that “those against the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the party are hypocrites treating the presidential race with bias…” ( 

“These were more than enough triggers of threats to the stability of the nation and the causal force to that is the appointment of Sen. Shatima as the running mate of Tinubu. 

“While all of these was happening, our dear vice president elect was comfortable with the narrative that he was appointed on the basis of competence and the stability of the nation was not a matter to sacrifice for then. 

“We are surprised that Sen. Kashim Shettima, a Muslim from Borno who did not only lobby but accepted to be vice to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a Muslim from the South, could not advise his principal on the danger of running a same faith ticket in the executive arm of the nation’s government but suddenly found his voice against a same faith leadership in the Nation’s legislative arm. 

“It is equally alarming, that Sen Kashim Shettima could not think about “stability of the nation” when himself and his principal ran on a same faith ticket, thereby causing so much disaffection among citizens of the country along religious lines as reported above and the many here not captured.

“We wonder, Why Shettima did not remember or think about the stability of the country when Bola Tinubu picked him and ran on a Muslim-Muslim ticket? 

“Where was this counseling ability when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was searching for running mate? Why didn’t he decline his nomination as running mate to Asiwaju for the sake of the “stability of the nation”. 

“However, despite the Muslim-Muslim ticket, Nigerians, (Muslims and Christians alike) campaigned for the ticket and voted for it not minding the faith. Suddenly, because of his parochial interest on the leadership of the National Assembly, he is conscious to the fact of threats to the nation’s stability and feels bold enough to champion a war against the same faith.

According to him,if the vice President Elect was a democrat, a patriot, and a true leader whose interest is the good of the nation he would have suggested a mixed faiths ticket for each arm of the nation’s government and not only the legislative arm. 

“This to us is a clear show of shamelessness and reckless disregard to the common interests for self interest and if our opinion is true, then Nigeria is in for a ride with a mind as this on the second most powerful seat in Nigeria.

“Mr Vice President Elect this problem was created by the Executive and the Legislature cannot be used as a pawn to solve this problem. 

“As patriot and objective minds whose interest is the good of the nation, We here today warn Kashim Shettima to stop this manipulation and unnecessary incitements against the relative peace that we are enjoying for now. 

“He should not remind us of the past, it was under his regime that Christian girls were abducted in Chibok and till this day, some of them are still being held captive. 

“Election of the leadership of the National Assembly has never been about religion/faith, so, we employ Kashim Shettima and his co-travelers to desist forthwith from the unhealthy incitement and allow elected lawmakers to choose their leaders. 

“Shatima should note that he holds no moral justification to give that counsel even if it were to be the best counsel. 

“Nigeria and Nigerians are calm and okey with how the elected members of the 10th National Assembly are going on with their activities ahead of the elections of her leaders in accordance with the constitutional provisions and extant laws thereto.

Hence , we advise he and his agents must let them be as it is because his counsel is not needed. The country has moved on, and we do not need this. 

“We believe that the best way Sen. Kashim Shettima can show that he is sensitive to the stability of this country and his sudden advocacy for Christianity is to humbly step down for a Christian Vice President as it is still not too late. 

“This is the best way forward now that he has found his voice and conscience. Until that is done, we will continue to rate Shettima as a bigot, who specializes in manipulating religion for his personal interest.”

He admonished elected lawmakers of the 10th National Assembly not to let themselves be deceived by Shettima’s Machiavellian moves. 

“They should elect leaders that defend the interest of the majority of Nigerians, irrespective of their faith or ethnicity. They should know that Nigerians have great expectations and goodwill for them and that we support whatever they decide by themselves hence, they should guide and guard themselves from the voices that they take counsel from.”

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Senator Kadiri eulogises ex-president Shagari for initiating Ajaokuta Steel company




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***Says, Kogi governorship election was a sham

An All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart, Senator Alex Kadiri has eulogised late former president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari for several infrastructural development initiated by his administration, notable among which is the conception and construction of the Ajaokuta Steel Company, in Kogi State.

Senator Kadiri who represented Kogi East in the Senate from 1999 to 2003 said the Shagari administration made giant strides towards the advancement of the Nigeria.

The steel complex which was said to have been about 90% completed in 1984 by late Nigerian first executive President Alhaji Shehu Shagari had been abandoned by successive administrations and the gigantic project has been lying fallow almost in the shadow of its potentials.

He lamented that if subsequent governments after the Shagari administration in 1983 had been sincere in completing the project, it would have taken Nigeria to its Eldorado.

Senator Kadiri spoke to journalists receltly in Abuja after a trip to his hometown Odu in Dekina, Local Government of Kogi State.

He urged Nigerians to pray for the late president Shagari because the level his government left Ajaokuta as the president of Nigeria is where it is today as he described the gigantic project as a national disgrace and shame.

“Nigerians, we are so wasteful, so indecent. I don’t think Nigerians deserves any good thing,” he said.

He said the road leading to Lokoja the Kogi State capital has been under construction for the past seventeen years, yet the road has no portion that can be said to have been concluded.

“There’s no other state capital that looks like mine. Which was also the first country’s capital. I passed through that road with tears in my eyes.
“It’s very unfortunate for me that my party is APC. It has not done any thing across the river Niger for the past eight years.

“God knows, we know, If this is democracy, then we are not practicing such in that part of kogi state. Nigerians resources were just wasted by INEC by conducting a sham election.

“Once I arrived at my village, everyone was looking very frail and impoverished and dispirited in a country in which they live. They can’t go elsewhere, they’re stuck.

“I’m even mocked by my children about the fact that I speak about such things and I’m being paid with a deaf ear. They feel that I’m criticizing the government too much and should just keep quiet like every other person, because that’s what Nigeria wants.

“Nigerians are bing treated like conquered slaves. We’ve not conquered Nigerians. We’ve not conquered Kogi State. We’ve not conquered the Igala people. We’ve not conquered the individuals. We’ve forced them and this force cannot be sustained.”

According to him, the November 11, governorship election was a rape of democracy as nobody voted for anyone, adding that there was no election.

“The government will feel like, they in control of all the local governments, we’ve all the councils, all the chairmen.
He pleased with God to forgive him, his family because we know not what we’re doing. We’re taking Nigerians as nothing, and in fact they have no choice. They can’t protest.

He blamed the National Assembly members from Kogi State who want to play roles of the executive.

“They now want to construct boreholes, roads, schools and so on, which are the functions of the executive. They are supposed to make laws for good governance of the country, the state and the local governments. They are not expected to do such.”

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ACF chairman makes case for host communities to get 13% revenue derivation 




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**Says Governors have been misappropriating the monies

The Arewa Consultative Forum, (ACF) chairman, Architect Gabriel Aduku has appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensure that the 13% Revenue derivation is not given to States but for communities bearing oil and other mineral resources.
He said the monies should be directly given to the communities instead of their State governments

Aduku who was a former Minister of Health was also an elected member of the Abacha’s Constitutional Conferece between 1994 to 1995 where he was the chairman of the Revenue Allocation committee which was on the schedule.

“So for this particular 13% revenue derivation Formular I will appeal to the president of the country to ensure that the governors have nothing to do with it.

He said, Tinubu who himself is experienced in governance as a two term Governor of Lagos State, a former senator and is a person that has mixed with people to reconsider the implementation and ensure that the host comunities benefit directly.

“The implementation of these should be strictly put together. The governors will have nothing to do with the derivation of thirteen percent fund that is in the constitution, its for all the communities that are affected. 

He said the derivation is good but  implementation had been the problem. “Many of the governors thereafter saw money and they would look at what to do, they would prefer to do the things themselves rather than give it to the people that are affected for the purpose for which it is derived. 
“So that has been wrong, it became a major problem and one of the problems in Nigeria since the 13% revenue derivation came into law during the administration of Obansanjo in particular.
“We have seen what some governors have done with it and it encourages them to aspire to become President of Nigeria since they have money now. They use money making a factor for democracy so unfortunately it’s one of the evils that have eaten up this country. 

“But it can be simply managed if only there is sincerely of purpose in the people. So I submit again that the derivation factor is a blessing to Nigerians, and in all other considerations it affects the people, because governance is about the people, not about individuals, how much one can make out of it, or how much their friends made out of it. 

He said Implementation of ideas or critical decisions for the progress of this country has been bedeviled overtime and it appears to continue to get worse. “So my candid input is that we should ensure that that particular 13% is allocated to the communities, by identifying the communities and putting an instrument, a management instrument that will be composed of people of integrity within the communities.  
“And when they put themselves together they should constitute their leadership themselves, and such leadership can only be supervised by the government of the State and that of the federation on how that resource of thirteen percent is used within the communities.

“The interesting thing is that discussion were taken, we made an agenda for it and more of it was amicably discussion all through. 

“Cardinal among the issue is the decision which is the derivation factor. Derivation factor from our search and researches has been on even during the self government of Northern Nigeria, western Nigeria, Eastern Nigeria and so on. 

“Derivation were being applied to manage resources. We found out that derivation is important and so it should come to play in what we are doing. 

“So in the course of our meetings and so on the 13% derivatives formular became necessary for the areas of oil production of which at that time were mineral contributing States substantially to the nation’s economy.
He said the approval was given and it was organised and members of the committee travelled to the oil bearing areas in Portharcourt in the South South, warri for a physical visit to the sites where we can observe for ourselves the extent of damage the exploration has caused the people, the pollution of the natural water, the danage to the arable lands and so on
He said after their trip they settled to discuss the issue of 13% derivation as basis for revenue allocation.
According to him, the Olu of Warri at that time after they explained their mission to him and what they had done so far, asked what the committee had seen. 
He provided an aircraft to come or one of those oil expert to come and take to go and see more. 
“That’s how he provided for us and got the oil companies to aid us to see these sites and that’s why we were able to fly over areas where the oil exploitation was carried out, including areas where gas flaring took place and we could see the effect. 
“We flew round and in fact came as near as certain points where they were habitations within the area of this gas flaring. We saw people living in some kind of islands on top of the river.
“The effect of the oil was very obvious on the water. So we had the opportunity of seeing quite a bit of what was going on, and it made our discussion a little more fascinating for everyone that was in the committee, in the sense that we could appreciate the difficulties that people who lived in those areas were facing.

“Their water polluted, their atmosphere polluted. So there’s definitely need to take care of these people who by nature are already living in that area. They were pockets of agricultural activities but you could see certain areas where the agricultural activities were also affected by the oil spillage all around. 

“This is not to talk of the open naked water that is polluted, and that’s where they drink water from. So we could imagine their difficulties. By the time we came back through Ajaokuta, because the same Olu of warri provided us an aircraft which could land on water and on ground. 

“So it was easy for us to come back through Ajaokuta, so we landed on river Niger in Ajaokuta, at the Julius Berger’s port. 

“It was amazing for the members. Most of the members had never really travelled South to see things,

not to talk of with an aircraft that lands on water and then goes like a boat to the port, and then drop us and went back. 

“By the time we met at Ajaokuta and reviewed the situation in Ajaokuta we could only sympathise that Nigeria has the opportunities, but are we tidying them up?. It made our discussion, again a lot easier with full attention of my members most of the time. 

“We got a resolution that says final resolution apart from details. It is to say that for all, the Revenue Allocation will be based on derivation. 

“The derivation factor we arrived at was, not less than 13% of the minerals produced in that area which should go back to service the people. 

“That is the ultimate aim. Looking at the sufferings of the people. The first set of governors that were to utilise the place was shortly after Abdulsalam’s administrstionAnd when they got in there was derivation factor of course had gone in and it should go to the states that are affected that’s how it was simply put. 

Today the surprising thing is that Abacha’s regime was not accorded the opportunity of turning that conference outcome into reality because of the change that occurred. “And we could see that because of the value of that derivation committee work the regime of Abdulsalam decided to extract that portion, and carry on. 

“And that is why it is today in the constitution which is being used and of course the normal ammendment today is resolved into the Petroleum bill as we started. 

“So the background is very interesting and I’m happy that I chaired that controversial issue and it has become a reality and it should be applied. 

“Now Nigeria has a problem as some of us have observed in all sectors the problem of implementation. 

Why do we have that? We have loaded ourselves with so much of insincerity and lack of purposefulness of what we are to do to manage our country, we lost it. 

“With the insincerity, indiscipline, it has resulted into what we’re having now,Total insecurity that is destroying our development. By the time we analyse this in things that is insincerity, indiscipline that is equating to insecurity, we are not very safe. 

“But the intentions have always been there a lot of desires are all in the cupboards of all governments ,but implementation is. So we saw it coming.”

“Today, I find myself in kogi state and I chaired that occasion. Kogi state has become the only state in the North that has been marked as oil producing state after some protractions here and there but at last it is there. 

“I would like to give you the insight on how this implementation should be carried out just in the way I have said it. 

“We have traditional leadership which was established before the colonial times and we have a head of it of which we call the Atta of Igala. “The area of petroleum that came out is in his domain, Ibaji area, so to say and there are several locations that are very close to it. 

“The communities are obvious and whatever derivation comes out of it should directly be used in the interest of the people through the community administration, native authorities administration.

“That is how we grew up, that is how we saw sense in using and enjoying government facilities and caring for it. So the idea of sincerity of purpose has to come into administration of these resources otherwise it can be another blow”

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FG says it will set aside over 1.2m metric tonnes of wheat for National Food Reserve




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By Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse

In its effort to curtail overdependence on importation of Wheat from foreign countries, the federal government has projected to add over 1.2 million metric tonnes to the national food reserve at the end of 2023/2024 dry season wheat farming.

Minister For Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari made the disclosure on Saturday while flagging off the 2023/2024 national Wheat productions policy at Kadume village of Hadejia local government, Jigawa state.

He indicated that over 100,000 hectres would be cultivated this year to limit the country’s dependence on importation of the product.

Senator Abubakar Kyari said over 250, 000 farmers are to benefit from the federal government support to achieve production of over 1,250,000 metric tones across the nation.

The minister explained that, the flagging off of the program is a key activity in the implementation of federal government food security policy.

He noted that 100,000 hectres are targeted under the 2023/2024 national dry season Wheat productions policy, and a special package for 50 percent subsidy was designed for the registered farmers and their cluster.

“The registered farmers will be given free seeds while other inputs will be sold to them at 50 percent subsidy, aims at enhancing their capabilities to implement the program.

“Under the Federal Government policy we want improve our crops yields by 20 percent this year, with Wheat outputs targeted at 400,000, to 500,000 tones. Equally we will gradually continue to improve our irrigation facilities to diversify crops production for achieving food security, Jobs creation, growth and development “.

The Minister commended the commitments demonstrated by Jigawa state government and it’s farmers which proved to federal government that the state is a key and a reliable partner in achieving federal government food security policy, jobs creation and poverty eradication.

In his speech the JIgawa State governor, Malam Umar Namadi has called on the federal government to accelerate the completion of the Hadejia Valley Irrigation Project with potential irrigable area of over 25,000 hectares.

The governor said the area has the capacity to significantly deliver the Food Security objective of President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

Malam Umar Namadi explained that the Hadejia Valley Project, which was initiated by the Late Shagari Administration in the early 1980s, is still less than 25% completed after almost four decades.

According to him “Following a flag-off of the project performed in 2018, it is noteworthy that earlier this year, former President Muhammad Buhari has commissioned the successful completion of a segment of the Project covering about 6,000 hectares”.

The governor maintained that “There is no doubt that has significantly contributed to our quest for food security, job creation, and economic diversification. Despite this significant stride, however, there is still a long way to go considering the Project’s potentials. It is my prayer that the Tinubu Administration will make history by completing the project 100%.”

The governor note that the elaborate flag-off event as blessed by the presence of all these dignitaries underscores the priority attached to the Program which is critical to the attainment of State’s and National Development objectives of food security, economic diversification, and empowerment of the citizens.

He added that as many of us are aware, the Wheat Development Program an integral part of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu aimed at accelerating the Nation’s drive to achieve food security.

It also perfectly aligns with several aspects of our 12-Point Agenda for Greater Jigawa particularly as it affects food security, economic diversification, job creation, provision of sustainable means of livelihoods for the citizens, and overall poverty reduction.

Accordingly, both the Federal Government and the Government of Jigawa State have accorded a topmost priority to the Program for which all hands would be on deck to ensure its success.

“Over the years, Jigawa State has successfully pursued an Agricultural Transformation Agenda which has significantly contributed to our Nation’s quest for food security and economic diversification”.

Malam Namadi stated further that, “Today, Jigawa State is a leading producer of rice, sesame, and hibiscus among many other crops. One of the resolutions under our 12-Point Agenda is to ensure full exploitation of the Jigawa State’s agricultural potentials through all-year round production by bringing more of our fadama lands under cultivation, gradual expansion of our irrigation facilities, and mobilizing our teeming youths into Agriculture and its entire value chain”.

He emphasized that the Wheat development programme partnership with the Federal Government is in line with state the government’s resolve to sustain progress and build on previous achievements of the agricultural transformation agenda. “It is in line with our objective to sustainably improve the socioeconomic well-being of our citizens.”

“I am also truly delighted by the choice of Jigawa State as the primary focal State for the Wheat Development Program. It is common knowledge that Jigawa State is the heart of wheat production in Nigeria with potential to provide up to 200,000 hectares for wheat production. “

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