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Refrain from dragging Nigeria through the mud, Tinubu admonishes religious leaders

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President Bola Tinubu has admonished doom and gloom merchants who denigrate their own country in the guise of religious sermons as leaders to refrain from such forthwith

Speaking during Ramadan Iftar with traditional and religious leaders at the State House on Thursday in Abuja, the President emphasized the important role of reiterated leaders in shaping public opinion and fostering a sense of unity among citizens.

He urged the leaders to be more constructive in their criticism of those in elective positions.

President Tinubu also declared that his administration is determined to turn Nigeria’s challenges into opportunities for prosperity.
He declared that no terrorist can defeat the collective will of Nigerians, no matter how hard they try to prey on innocent citizens.
The President further urged traditional and religious leaders to forge a strong bond with the government to defeat terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and other forms of criminality in the country.

”Yesterday in Abuja, I attended the burial of the 17 soldiers killed in action at Okuama, Delta State. I saw their pregnant wives and little kids.

”The love of the nation is in your hands. Pray for our country. Educate our children. The sermons we preach to the members of our churches and mosques are important.

”Do not condemn your own nation. As a Yoruba man and as our fathers will say, ‘No matter how slippery the bottom of your child is, you must leave the beads there.’

”Leave the beads there. This is your country; do not condemn it in sermons, do not abuse the nation. Leadership is meant for change.

”Yes, this leader is bad, fine. Wait until the next election to change him, but do not condemn your country. Do not curse Nigeria. This is a beautiful land.

The President, who acknowledged the birthday wishes and goodwill extended to him on the occasion, reminded the leaders that his birthday on March 29, 2024, coincided with Good Friday.

”I have earned the honour of having my birthday fall on Good Friday, and I pray that on this Maundy Thursday, you all shall return to your homes safely. May God guide and keep you and your families in good health, and lift your spirits,” the President prayed.
Various speakers at the dinner expressed gratitude to God for the opportunity to come together in the spirit of Ramadan to share a meal with the President and renew the bonds of friendship that unite the nation.

Vice-President Kashim Shettima reiterated the pivotal roles religious and traditional rulers play in promoting peace and unity, as he urged them to continue to ‘‘build bridges that transcend ethnic and religious divides.’’

The Vice-President expressed delight that the nation’s economy is on a rebound with the strengthening of the naira against the dollar.

”The President means well for the nation, and he has continued to redefine the meaning and concept of modern leadership.

”For many years, fuel subsidy was an albatross. The President took a bold decision from day one, and he hit the ground running. Now the economy is turning the corner,” the Vice-President said.

Speaking on behalf of the Traditional Rulers Council of Nigeria, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, assured the President of the unwavering support of traditional rulers and commended the government’s efforts to address the hike in food prices and the security challenges.

”You are not alone, Mr. President. The prices of food items and goods are gradually coming down. You are doing your best on security, and we cannot allow you to do it alone. We will join hands to support your vision for the betterment of our nation,” the Ooni said.

Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, Emir of Zazzau, speaking on behalf of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), highlighted the significance of Ramadan as a period of reflection, empathy, and unity.

On the security situation in the country, the Emir of Zazzau, who represented the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of NSCIA, expressed optimism that the country will return to peace and stability.

”I am happy to see representatives of Muslim and Christian communities in this room. I pray God Almighty blesses the President for him to do more to take the country to the Promised Land,” the Emir prayed.

Apostle Samson Fatokun, General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), noted that the Ramadan dinner with religious and traditional leaders, coincided with Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, observed in commemoration of Jesus Christ’s institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.

The General Secretary, who delivered the address of CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, commended President Tinubu for fostering a harmonious relationship between the State and the Church.

”We are encouraged that your administration has shown great determination in tackling the challenges of kidnapping and banditry and bringing to justice the perpetrators of this dastardly act.

”We shall continue to show our support to your administration so that you can execute your noble intention for the nation,” CAN General Secretary said.

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Group demands Coordinated security surveillance at Hajj Camps, Embarkation points   

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A faith-based Civil Society Organization, (CSO), that monitors and reports Hajj and Umrah activities Independent Hajj Reporters, (IHR) has called on the Federal and state governments to make adequate security arrangements for pilgrims at embarkation points across the country.
This is coming as the airlift of Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia begins on Wednesday this week.

In a statement on Monday signed by its national coordinator Ibrahim Mohammed the IHR indicated that over 65, 000 intending pilgrims from Nigeria will be leaving their homes to various Hajj camps for screening and onward transportation to about 15 airports within the next 30 days.
The Statement observed that such mass movement of people from one point to another creates serious security challenges that need a comprehensive and coordinated strategy by the various security agencies in the country.

“While we appreciate the efforts made by security agencies in previous operations, we call on the federal government to order and activate a high-level security surveillance system to monitor and protect the movement of pilgrims throughout the outbound and inbound airlift operations.
“We also urge State Muslim pilgrims’ welfare boards to advise intending pilgrims against coming to hajj camps with large escorts usually made up of family members as such increases the likelihood of security breaches especially 
when airlift operations demand that pilgrims can be invited to hajj camps at any time of the day or night.
State governments should complement the federal security architecture by mobilizing local vigilantes and other volunteers to form a hajj security team and provide them with internal communication equipment with state hajj officials, airliners and other airlift stakeholders.

“As journalists who worked closely with security agencies during hajj operations, IHR had in the last few years honour security institutions during its annual hajj lectures and awards to appreciate and encourage them to improve on their daunting tasks of maintaining security of lives and properties across the country.”

 

IHR further appealed to Security forces to take necessary “measures to prevent evil-minded groups from exploiting the Hajj season to carry out acts of sabotage. 

“Anticipating and preparing for potential security threats before they materialize will help in identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities and weaknesses ahead of time”.  The statement said.

 

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Lucky Aiyedatiwa clinches APC ticket for Ondo gubernatorial election

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Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State has clinched the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket as the candidate of the party for the forthcoming November 16 governorship election in the state by sefeating fifteen other aspirants in a landslide victory

The Chairman of the Governorship Primary Election Committee and Governor of Kogi State, Ahmed Ododo, made the declaration on Monday morning in Akure, the state capital.

Ododo said Aiyedatiwa clinched the APC ticket with a total of 48,569 votes followed by his closest rival, Mayowa Akinfolarin, who trailed behind with 15,343 votes, while Chief Olusola Oke secured the third position with 14,865 votes.

Below is a breakdown of the final results of the election.

Total number of voters – 117922

Total number of accredited voters – 95,178

Total votes cast – 95178

Invalid – Nil

Jimi Odimayo – 490

Omogoroye Judith – 115

Lucky Aiyedatiwa – 48,569

Isaacs Kekemeke – 1045

Soji Ehinlanwo – 492

Olugbenga Edema – 395

Jimoh lbrahim – 9456

Adekojo Funmilayo – 529

Akinfolarin Samuel – – 15343

Wale Akinterinwa – 1952

Olusola Oke – 14,915

Olamide Ohunyeye – 424

Morayo Lebi – 290

Diran lyantan – 348

Prof Dayo Faduyile – 353

Ife Oyedele – 462

1: Ilaje LG

Lucky Aiyedatiwa 2,485

Wale Akinterinwa. 26

Olusola Oke. 2,511

Jimoh Ibrahim 589

2: Ile Oluji/Okeigbo

Jimoh Ibrahim: 282

AIYEDATIWA: 1225

WA: 474

3: Ondo West LG

Jimoh Ibrahim: 2668

Aiyedatiwa: 10610

4: Ese Odo LG

Aiyedatiwa – 298

Akinterinwa – 0

Oke – 147

Jimoh Ibrahim – 174

5: Owo LG

Aiyedatiwa – 2,123

Akinterinwa – 345

Oke – 225

Jimoh Ibrahim – 192

6: Idanre LG

Aiyedatiwa – 1, 579

Akinterinwa – 119

Oke – 225

Jimoh Ibrahim – 120

7: AKOKO NORTH EAST LG

Aiyedatiwa 1, 664

Akinterinwa 135

Oke 138

Jimoh Ibrahim 505

8: AKOKO NORTH WEST LG

Aiyedatiwa 5, 430

Akinterinwa 198

Oke 2, 721

Jimoh Ibrahim 728

9: AKOKO SOUTH EAST LG

Aiyedatiwa 2, 533

Akinterinwa 43

Oke 391

Jimoh Ibrahim 67

10: AKOKO SOUTH WEST LG

Aiyedatiwa – 2, 747

Akinterinwa – 272

Oke – 415

Jimoh Ibrahim – 466

11: No results for IFEDORE LGA due to alleged violence

12: OSE LGA

Aiyedatiwa 1, 091

Akinterinwa 39

Oke 800

Jimoh Ibrahim 267

13: IRELE LG

Aiyedatiwa 1, 203

Akinterinwa 15

Oke 93

Jimoh Ibrahim 139

14: ODIGBO LG

Aiyedatiwa 2, 631

Akinterinwa 114

Oke 138

Jimoh Ibrahim 845

15: AKURE NORTH LG

Aiyedatiwa 2, 860

Akinterinwa 177

Oke 1, 239

Jimoh Ibrahim 1, 606

16: AKURE SOUTH LG

Aiyedatiwa 3, 265

Akinterinwa 86

Oke 328

Jimoh Ibrahim 294

17 OKITIPUPA LG

Aiyedatiwa 1, 622

Akinterinwa 27

Oke 1, 571

Jimoh Ibrahim 109

18: ONDO EAST LG

Aiyedatiwa 4, 803

Akinterinwa 141

Oke 1, 171

Jimoh Ibrahim 406

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Massive turnout for Ondo Primaries excites Gov Ododo, Commends stakeholders, others

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Governor Usman Ododo of Kogi State and chairman of the Ondo State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election committee has applauded stakeholders and members of the party in the state for their orderly conduct and massive turnout during the direct primary election in the state.
Special Adviser on Media to the Governor Ismaila Isah in a statement quoted the Governor to have given the commendation while receiving reports from members of the APC Governorship Primary Election committee, security agencies and other stakeholders who monitored the conduct of the election in different parts of the 18 local government areas in the state.

According to the Governor

“I have received reports from our committee members and security agencies as well as NGOs monitoring the election including video footages and I can say that the process has been transparent and we are going to produce a candidate that will unify the APC ahead of the November, 2024 governorship election in the state.”

Responding to questions over delay in arrival of materials in some wards and local government areas, Governor Ododo said he was certain that the delay has no adverse effect on the conduct of the primary election.

The Kogi State Governor also expressed confidence that concerns noticed in the revalidated membership list would not have any major impact on the outcome of the primary election, stressing that the committee is well guided by the APC guidelines for the nomination of candidates for general elections and relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.

Governor Ododo called on the aspirants and their supporters to see the primary election as a contest among brothers and sisters in one family seeking to make the family better as candidate of the party in the November, 2024 Governorship election in Ondo State.

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