Showing posts with label NIGERIAN NEWS. Show all posts


…As PDP Rally Witnesses Low Turnout 

By Vincent Atondu

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benue State have expressed their disappointment in the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar for failing to condemn the attacks on their communities which have forced them into different camps for more than five years. 

The IDPs were reacting to what they called “Atiku’s lame statement” when he addressed the PDP presidential rally yesterday at Aper Aku stadium in Makurdi. Atiku, while speaking on the occasion, said if elected, he will ensure that peace returns between herdsmen and farmers in Benue state and also promised to provide security. But he failed to condemn the attacks by his Fulani kinsmen on the state. This has angered those who are in IDP camps and some of them vehemently spoke out and vowed to reject the PDP presidential candidate during the coming elections. Remember that INEC has made arrangements to give IDPs the opportunity to also vote. 

One of the IDPs Tersur Ayaga who spoke in Tiv language at the Abagena camp said “what is more disturbing to us is the fact that Atiku makes campaign promises to ensure security, but is not being sincere. His silence over the killing of our people shows that he will be worse than Buhari. We were waiting yesterday to hear him condemn the attacks on us and warn his Fulani people who have occupied our communities to leave, but he didn’t do anything like that. We don’t trust him”.

Another member of the camp, Mrs Bridget Shember said Atiku’s refusal to visit the camp and sympathize with them when he knows that he needs their votes is proof that he is only pretending about what he said that he will provide security. 

“Since his brothers started killing us, he has been in Benue state but not bothered to know how we are surviving. Atiku has never sent even a bag of garri to us. Is it when he has power that he will remember us? I don’t believe him ooo” 

A young man named Jonathan Mnenga who lost both parents during the 2018 twin attacks on Guma and Logo and has been living with his younger siblings in the Daudu IDP camp, broke down in tears while reacting to what he described as Atiku’s mockery of the victims.

“Who will vote for Atiku if all Benue people are killed before the elections? He has shown hatred towards the people of the state. For him, the lives of cows are more important than the lives of human beings. Does Atiku care to know how I and my younger ones feed? All he wants from us are our votes. I won’t vote for a man who does not believe that I exist”. 

The Benue IDPs pointed out that as the “Zege Mule u Tiv” Atiku has not visited the state even once to say ‘thank you’ to the people after they voted for him in 2019 when he defeated President Buhari in the state. Nearly two million Benue people have been displaced with over 6,000 deaths recorded as a result of herdsmen attacks on Benue state. 

As the 2023 general elections draw closer, the PDP Presidential candidate has an enormous burden to win the confidence of the Benue people. Unfortunately, observers say Atiku does not seem to realize this fact. They fear that he will be only for a section of the country and not for all Nigerians. That he will pamper and protect Fulani terrorists because of his ethnicity. These and more fundamental issues are starring Atiku in the face as we head to the 2023 polls.

The presidential candidate of Labour party Mr Peter Obi came second in the recent presidential trending search on google, his vice Hon Dalti also came second in the.


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 A Nigerian woman by the name of Chiamaka Agim has disclosed the response that she received from Zenith Bank in response to her complaint that more than N4 million mysteriously vanished from her Zenith Bank account.

The bank advised her that she ought to be grateful for the fact that she is still alive.
On Tuesday, she uploaded a video to Twitter in which she begged the bank to give her back the money she had lost.
Agim told FIJ that she was unwinding in her apartment on the evening of January 9, 2023, when she received three notifications for debits that amounted up to a total of N4.039 million. Agim was speaking to FIJ about the incident.
The woman who lives in Lagos further stated that she opened the bank account that was subsequently cleaned out of all of her savings when she was employed with Zenith Bank.
"Around 8.25 in the morning, when I saw the first alert, I was under the impression that it was a message from WhatsApp. "When I checked it, I couldn't believe it when I saw that it was a notification for N3.715 million," she added.
I was perplexed because I had not given permission for any transaction, so I opened the mobile banking application for my bank to see what was going on. At that time, I received a second debit notice for the amount of N222,000, and then I received a third warning for the amount of N100,000.
Agim claimed to the FIJ that the authorities at Zenith Bank did not take her complaint seriously when she reported the incident on Tuesday at two branches of the bank located in the Yaba area of the state. Agim told the FIJ that she reported the incident at two branches of the bank.
She stated that she was given the instruction to compose a letter of complaint, which she completed and then handed in at each branch of Zenith Bank.
"In the beginning, I went to the Herbert Macaulay branch of the bank, and I explained to the customer service person that I needed to have a conversation with the bank's management. "At that moment, a woman emerged from her office and instructed me to accompany her back to the office," the witness related to the FIJ.
"I am not sure if she is the manager of the branch, but I am positive that she is in a position of authority. She advised me that I ought to give thanks to God that I am still alive because as long as there is life, there is hope.
The former employee of Zenith Bank proceeded to a another bank in Alagomeji, Yaba, because the reaction she received from the first branch did not meet her expectations.
Despite the fact that she claimed the manager at the second branch was initially careless in his answer, Agim mentioned that she still got the necessary attention in comparison to the first location that she visited.
"After I had finished writing a letter in accordance with the manager's instructions, he informed me that they were going to investigate it. She shared this information with the FIJ and added that "he also said he would see what they could accomplish before Friday."
Zenith Bank responded to FIJ's request for comments by stating that the referred complaint was being reviewed and that feedback was being conveyed to the consumer.
See the video down below:

As a socio-political group, we the Friends of Terver Akase, FOTA read with great displeasure how Hyacinth Alia, the disputed APC governorship candidate in Benue State literally lifted ideas from
the guber manifesto of our principal, Mr Terver Akase to develop the document he presented before the media on Sunday 8th January 2023 morning in his Makurdi residence. We find this approach appalling, deceitful and unacceptable.

FOTA observes that in the said document which is tagged "A Strategic Development Plan for A Greater Benue”, Alia copiously used ideas from our principal's gubernatorial manifesto titled "Benue' S-WEALTH Template" which was officially presented to the public on February 25, 2022 and is available at for open access to anyone in any part of the world.

We expect Alia to have known that lifting our principal's ideas contained in his manifesto without permission and the deserved credit given to him is a crime punishable under extant laws of this country. If a man who aspires to govern the state is bereft of ideas of his own to the extent of simply copying another person's ideas and presenting them as his, then, there is a great cause for worry.

Akase’s manifesto had a 7-point agenda. Alia has adopted the same 7-point agenda in what he falsely claims to be his document. A perusal of the sectors such as Security, Education and Agriculture will leave no reader in doubt that the document is a wholesome adaptation of Akase’s original manifesto.

We strongly condemn Alia's deliberate crude approach in plagiarizing our principal's manifesto. We are however not surprised that the APC candidate could go this way which clearly exposes his unpreparedness for the enormous task of governance. It is glaring that he lacks the basic ideas about governance and policy formulation. As the Latin phrase summarizes, 'Nemo dat quod non habet' - 'you cannot give what you do not have' which Alia has clearly demonstrated that he has no depth.

Given his crafty and abysmal conduct, Benue people must understand the shallowness and lackluster disposition of the APC guber candidate in his desperate political ambition which continues to hang in the balance.

FOTA demands that Alia should immediately retract the plagiarized document and tender an unreserved apology to our principal, Mr Akase. Failure to do so, we will be left with no option than to seek redress in a competent court of justice.

Enoch Tsambe
FOTA Media Coordinator,
10th January, 2023.

 The Governor of Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji, and his Deputy, Mrs. Monisade Afuye, have both had their elections validated by the Election Petition Tribunal.

The plea of Mr. Segun Oni, the candidate for governorship put forth by the Social Democratic Party (SDP), was rejected by the Tribunal in its verdict delivered on Thursday in Ado-Ekiti.

In the ruling that was read by the Chairman, Justice Wilfred Kpochi and a member of the Panel, Justice Sa'ad Zadawa, resolved all of the matters that had been brought up in dispute against Oni and his party, SDP.

According to the decision made by the Panel, the appeal that Oni submitted in opposition to the repatriation of Oyebanji and Afuye respectively "failed horribly head or tail."

By Joe Nashima

A cold war is brewing between the leader of All Progressives Congress APC in Benue state and the governorship candidate of the party hon. Hyacinth Alia which is threatening to sink the party before the 2023 elections.

Tuesday 27th December 2022 was the leader’s birthday but Alia refused to wish him a happy birthday celebration. 48 hours later, no such message has come from the embattled candidate. I will tell you why.

Trouble between the two began when two northern (Fulani) governors sent N500 million to support the ambition of the suspended priest who had visited them and pledged to serve the Fulani interest, if elected as Benue governor. The governors however decided to channel the N500 million through the Benue APC leader (Lida) who refused to release it Alia.
The disputed candidate was very angry and expressed his frustration with some of his friends. The two northern governors also will later find out that Lida cornered the funds for himself.
Since that time, the relationship between the two men has not remained the same.

Another strong cause of the friction between Lida and Alia is the wife. Alia’s close relationship with Lida’s wife is beginning to raise doubts and suspicion in the minds of those close to the former first family of the state. Madam is the one who brought Alia knowing that as a reverend father, he doesn’t have a wife so she would assume the position of first lady for a second time. Alia calls madman even at odd hours and speaks in romantic tunes. The ugly scenario has created a gulf between him and Lida.

That is why you have not seen Lida at any campaign event organized by Alia.

Then there is a former female House of Reps member representing Jechira who is also hotly contesting for the position of first lady in the event that Alia wins. Another group of ladies who are girlfriends of Alia recently began to print posters and billboards to campaign for him. He has children with some of the ladies. They have vowed to slug it out with the “old ladies” and install one of them as the First Lady.

As the Court of Appeal prepares to rule on the cases brought before it against Alia, the man’s headache has increased. He is already regretting why he left priesthood to pursue a mirage.

* Nashima writes from Akpehe, Makurdi

By Samson Ochono

The governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress APC in Benue State, Hon Hyacinth Alia is not pretending about his connection with Fulani oligarchs and pastoralists. He is ready to do the dirty job of the undertaker who would blink no eye in sacrificing his people and hurrying them to their early graves in exchange for wads of currency and power.

The report that he is being sponsored by a group of Fulani governors led by the diminutive governor of Kaduna State began like a joke until the suspended priest was seen in photographs with the Kaduna Governor and other prominent Fulani persons.

Benue people woke up one day in June 2022 to read a shocking news report which quoted Alia as blaming the insecurity in the state on the youths of the state. He tagged the youths as idle minds who indulge in gossip and communal clashes.

That was his maiden outing to impress his sponsors and to assure them that he is committed to the terms of the agreement they entered into in Kaduna that they would support him so that if he wins, he will grant them free access to Benue State and repeal the law prohibiting open grazing of cattle.

A few months later, he was appointed as the coordinator of the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of APC in the state. In his excitement, he began to compose songs in praise of Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shetima. The songs sparked negative reactions even from some of his supporters who felt disappointed and betrayed. It was all about his selfish interest.

A few weeks ago, some Fulani groups met in Lafia, Nasarawa State and declared that Alia is their candidate for the 2023 governorship election in Benue state. The groups vowed to mobilize support for him to win the election so that he can fulfill his side of the agreement - to give them lands in the state to occupy.

The report of his endorsement by Fulani groups was widely published by the media. If anyone had doubts about the earlier reports that Alia is an agent of Fulani, such a person needed no further proof after the Lafia endorsement. He has not come out to distance himself from the endorsement up till now.

Alia has been in constant touch with the Governors of Kaduna and Katsina as well as other Fulani fundamentalists who are bent on installing a governor in Benue State to serve their interests. The first time they sent money to him running into hundreds of millions, his benefactor George Akume reportedly hijacked the funds. The issue caused a serious brawl between him and Akume on one hand and the minister’s wife Regina on the other hand.

The questions every Benue voter must ask before casting his ballot in next year’s election are:
1. Why has Alia not condemned the herdsmen attacks on Benue communities since he became a candidate?
2. Why has he not visited any of the IDP camps to sympathize with victims of the attacks?
3. Why has he visited Kaduna and Katsina many times since June this year?
4. Why has Alia not made any public statement regarding his endorsement by Miyetti Allah groups?

* Ochono writes from Apo, Abuja.

By Samson Ochono

The 2023 governorship election in Benue State may just be a walkover for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Rt Hon Titus Uba. I say this without any shred of doubt or equivocation because the coast seems to be getting clearer for Uba each passing day. His supposed main challenger, Hyacinth Alia of All Progressives Congress, APC has a mountain of problems that have already buried his ambition.

Most of the obstacles facing Alia are self inflicted. They are unforced errors which are too late to be corrected and his disposition does not look like one who is ready to learn from the bitter experience of Emmauel Jime who flew the APC governorship flag in 2019 and was defeated by Governor Samuel Ortom.

One of Alia’s pitfalls is his links with some Fulani governors and groups such as Miyetti Allah who are believed to be sponsoring him to win and repeal the Benue open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law to grant herders free access to lands in Benue State. This is the same factor that sank Jime in 2019.

For some years now, Benue people have been fighting a survival war against the Fulani jihadists who are bent on taking over the Benue Valley to occupy. Anyone who enjoys the support of the Fulani oligarchs and pastoralists is outrightly rejected by Benue people. Alia has been seen in several pictures with Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna, Governor Bello Masari of Katsina and Miyetti Allah groups after closed door meetings where he is believed to have promised the Fulanis that he will do their bidding, if elected.

The story has spread rapidly across the Benue landscape and now many people including the rural folks have been discussing the issue in market places, beer joints etc. Alia seems to have lost the election even before we enter the year 2023! He now has the moral burden to reject the billions thrown at him by the Fulani or face humiliation at the polls. But does he have the moral strength and conscience to resist the lure of Fulani billions? No! I understand that he loves good money and the good things of life.

Benue people have made up their minds about who they want as Governor. Their survival is non-negotiable! They won’t be voting for a man who will turn them to slaves for Fulani in their homeland. They won’t be voting for a man whose loyalty lies with their perennial attackers. They won’t be voting for a man who has refused to sympathize with thousands of those who have been displaced by killer herders and forced to live in IDP camps for years.

The other factor that has defeated Alia even before 2023 is the man who brought him to contest for governorship. George Akume has a reputation for destroying those he helps to ascend the position of Governor. He attempted it against Governor Gabriel Suswam and did the same against Governor Samuel Ortom. Though he did not succeed in destroying the two gentlemen, he is on record as a godfather who does not allow his godson the free hand to work. Alia is a novice in politics so Akume can easily manipulate him. Even Ortom and Suswam who are highly experienced in the game of politics did not find it funny working with Akume.

The last factor that is Alia’s biggest albatross is his ego and untrustworthiness. He is known to be a very arrogant person who claims to know it all. Those on his campaign team have complained often that their candidate is not a team player. He is also associated with corruption dating back to when he was still a practicing priest.
Alia eagerly accepted the result of the sham primary election that his party conducted when every other person saw the nomination as fraud of the highest level.

The conclusion of observers and analysts is that Titus Uba has no real challenger going into the election. Even if Alia survives the lawsuits against him at the Court of Appeal (which I doubt that he will), the people have already made their choice and he is not that choice.

* Ochono writes from Apo, Abuja.

By Vincent Ogbu

The contumacious candidate of All Progressives Congress APC in Benue state Hon. Hyacinth Alia has once again shown that he lacks what it takes to govern the people. All other governorship candidates have issued statements since yesterday wishing Benue people a merry Christmas, but Alia has done nothing of the sort.

The Christmas day has come and gone, yet no message has come from the camp of the yahoo yahoo APC candidate. His arrogance won’t allow him to wish anyone good. He sees himself as someone who towers above all other human beings.

After taking millions from Tinubu, El Rufai and other sponsors with a fake promise do Christmas for those deceiving themselves about his ambition, Alia did not buy even one sachet of water or a half bag of rice for anyone. He was not reachable throughout yesterday and has remained unavailable today.

Yesterday, being the eve of Christmas, some members of the APC trooped to Alia’s Makurdi house in New GRA to find out what was happening as their people back home were expecting the Christmas package from them. Eye witnesses said on getting to the gate, stern looking thugs chased the APC members from the gate and told them to go and seek Christmas elsewhere.

Some of the courageous ones among them brought out their phones and dialed the number of Alia which was switched off. He could not be reached even at 6 o’clock in the evening. The hungry and angry APC members who could no longer wait began to leave in frustration and regret.

Some of them were heard saying “Is that how this man hopes to win elections?” “How can you treat your key supporters this way with just two months to the elections?” ‘Let’s see how he will continue like this and win. I am tired of the whole thing”.

They said it was the first major test of Alia and he has failed. The APC members frowned at his conduct and gave the suspended priest till the morning of Christmas (today) to release the funds or face a public protest.

At the time of this report, APC people have not seen any money. The frustration and confusion in their camp has now grown to anger. A number of them are already insulting Alia and calling him a selfish and arrogant person.

By Tunde Olusunle

Samuel Ioraer Ortom's name without doubt, is one of the most well-known in Nigeria's subsisting democratic dispensation. The Benue State helmsman is something of a "comrade governor," who is well-spoken, vocal and activist. He is never shy of baring his mind on issues of fairness, equity and justice. He reminds you of Adams Oshiomhole, the hitherto khaki-wearing trade unionist, turned governor of Edo State. His voice was recognisably loud and clear in the ears of the public and the government at the centre, even when he was chief executive of his home state. I can't forget the scene of the near fisticuffs Oshiomhole engaged with Mohammed Adoke, SAN, attorney-general and justice minister under the Goodluck Jonathan presidency, sometime in 2012.

Oshiomhole's beloved principal secretary, Olaitan Oyerinde, also a foremost unionist, was murdered in his home in Benin City, early May 2012. The investigation process seemed to drag forever and Oshiomhole angrily confronted Adoke, the nation's number one law officer months later, about the snail-pace of the interrogation. Attendees at the chambers of the federal executive council in the State House where the incident happened, had to come between both men. Watching Ortom fume at airforce officers at Airforce Base in Makurdi last February for denying him access to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who was transiting through the facility to Wukari, Taraba State, re-echoed the Oshiomhole/Adoke saga.

Much as you will hear Ortom's voice on developments in politics, governance and administration nationally, there is a reticent streak about his noise levels, concerning his own endeavours. His background as a multitasking business man and entrepreneur, has taught him requisite shrewdness which he applies to the business of governance. He does a mental aggregation of the cost of staging a ceremony to inaugurate a completed project, and checks what other pressing need can be addressed with the vote for such fanfare. He has therefore opted for informed conservatism on matters related to self-promotion, preferring to work quietly and deliver on his developmental vision. The visit of Ortom's "G-5" colleagues to Benue State early November 2022, opened the astonished eyes and astounded lips of the world to certain accomplishments of his administration, in his seven and half year stint in office.

Except you were a wary, circumspect resident of Makurdi the Benue State capital, the dominant, self-introducing structure which was sprouting on the immediate outer circumference of Government House, would have passed for just another building. Located to the right, en route "Makurdi Waterworks," the building sits with uncommon elan, its backside overlooking the "Benue River" in the proximal distance. The complex retained its mystique even when its name, BENGIS Service Centre was plastered on its forehead. Frenetic completion works, installation of kerbs, grassing, cleaning, test running of equipment, red-carpeting, in days preceding Monday December 12, 2022, gave insights into the place of the project in the grand vision of the Ortom administration. The "Benue Geographic Information Service Centre," (abbreviated BENGIS), had been birthed! The state had thus joined select Nigerian states and entities which have subscribed to the deployment of digital instruments for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness in land administration. These include: the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT); Lagos, Niger, Bauchi, Cross River, Edo, Gombe, Kaduna and Nasarawa, among others.

The colourful commissioning of the project was transmitted on live television to underscore how much value the Ortom administration places on the BENGIS initiative. Benue State commissioner for lands, survey and solid minerals, Bernard Aondoaver Unenge, recalled the groundbreaking of the project September 30, 2000. He explained that the concept deploys information communication technology, (ICT), through digital platforms and software for seamless management of land administration. He noted that the technology will accelerate the processing of certificates of occupancy, (C of O); efficient land recertification; regularisation and registration of titles and warehousing of documents in soft copies and hard copies.

Unenge equally noted that the new technology will automate transparency in revenue generation, by eliminating leakages at various junctions. He announced to the delight of the audience at the inauguration of the new facility, that the duration for the receipt of certificates of occupancy, (C of O), will henceforth be between 30 days and 60 days. The project he noted, is fitted with "high-tech state-of-the-art-facilities, comparable to the most up to date anywhere in Nigeria.  He expressed delight that in spite of delays occasioned by COVID-19 and the prevailing economic situation, the Ortom government remained focused and committed to the conclusive completion and operationalisation of the project. He saluted Ortom's vision in the holistic reformation of land management in Benue State.

Ortom while delivering his speech, said the delivery of the project could not have come at a better time, given the increasing importance of land assets in the socioeconomic development of the people of the state. He noted that feedbacks he received during the test run of the facility, suggested that the challenges encountered by his constituents on land management, had been largely reduced. According to him: "Since the commencement of the BENGIS Project, the land digitisation initiative has greatly improved improved urban planning, infrastructure development and environmental management. Investors are also increasingly encouraged." Gone are the days of rat-eaten, rain-worsted, oil-soiled files and land folios, gathering dust, moisture and cobwebs in the shelves of government offices. There will no more be incidents of files growing wings and flying to space.

The Benue State governor observed with utmost delight, that: "With the commissioning of the historic project, we have achieved global best practices in land administration. I am optimistic that this project will attract the World Bank's grant of USD 2.5 million, through the "States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability, (SFTAS) Programme. This will be diligently applied to developmental projects in the state." Ortom who noted that a princely sum of N6.5 Billion was expended on the project, noted that BENGIS will operate throughout Benue State, as it will have additional service points in important towns in the state, notably Gboko, Otukpo and Adikpo. He admonished owners of all residential and commercial properties in the state capital, Makurdi, and sociocultural headquarters like Gboko and Otukpo, to subject to recertification of their titles within six months.

Leader of the "G-5" governors who have subsisting issues with the main opposition party, the Peoples' Democratic Party, (PDP), Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State, was the special guest of honour at the programme. He commended Ortom's vision and consciousness in the conception and completion of the project, despite the generally unfriendly national economic situation. He observed that whereas some of his governor colleagues were perennially bemoaning the insufficiency of monthly allocations and accruing resources, Ortom was practically squeezing water out of stone to serve his people. Wike reminded the audience that the people of Benue North West have requested Ortom to proceed to Abuja to serve them as their Senator, upon the completion of his gubernatorial assignment. He counselled that all Ortom's opponents from other political parties contesting the senatorial position with him, should drop their ambitions. Ortom, according to him, has done very well.

For an administration in its final months, the commissioning of BENGIS attracted several dignitaries including royalties, parliamentarians, (from the federal and state legislatures), members of the state executive council and political leaders. The Tor Tiv, James Ortese Iorzua Ayatse, (a respected professor) was represented, while the Och'Idoma, John Elaigwu Odogbo, (hitherto a revered clergyman) attended the event. Deputy Governor of the state, Benson Abounu; senator representing Benue South, Patrick Abba Moro; and members of the House of Representatives including: Bem Benjamin Mzondu; John Dyegh; Robert Aondona Tyough; Ottah Francis Agbo, were present. Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chris Adaji; Secretary to the State Government, Anthony Ijohor; Head of Service, Veronica Onyeke; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Tivlumun Nyitse, attended the event. Benue State Secretary of the PDP, Bem Zoho and Information Adviser to Ortom, James Uloko, graced the event.

Facilities in BENGIS include: the arrival hall/reception desk; conference rooms; equipment and hardware rooms; offices, among others. The outfit will, in addition to the aforementioned benefits, assist with the digital area mapping of the state; identification of solid mineral resources; elimination of land speculation and boosting the real estate sector. It will also enhance the identification and collection of revenues and dues, including ground rents, C of O fees and other land charges. BENGIS will facilitate the computer-based decentralisation of land management, courtesy of the establishment of zonal centres. Importantly too, it will be useful in locating and classifying swathes of land based on their suitability for crop cultivation, forestry, mining and other uses. Individually and collectively, these will enhance sustainable development and economic and budgetary planning, among others.

Tunde Olusunle, PhD, poet, journalist, scholar and author, is a Member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors

Fulani pastoralists from Benue and Nasarawa yesterday endorsed the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC in Benue state, Fr Hyacinth Alia as the man they will support for the 2023 election.

Addressing journalists after the meeting in Lafia, spokesman for the group, Alhaji Sahabi Husaini stressed that Alia is the only one who has promised that if elected as governor, he will protect Fulani herders with their cows and accommodate them for peaceful coexistence in the state.

“We are fully behind that reverend father. All Fulani men and women will support him to win the election because he has given us his word that our people who have been chased from Benue state will be allowed to return to carry out their legitimate business of cattle breeding,” he stated.

Husaini thanked the leadership of APC in Benue state for giving the governorship ticket to Alia whom he described as “a true friend who is ready to defend the Fulani interest”.

“Let me tell you that even in 2019, we preferred Jime, who was like a son to us instead of Ortom but the majority of Benue people wanted Ortom so we had to wait for the right time (2023) when we will install a governor who will serve the Fulani interest in that state”, said.  

The herders’ spokesman further said that they would mobilize support for the Benue APC governorship candidate with financial resources to enable him emerge victorious at the polls next year.

Alia last month received a similar endorsement from another group known as APC Fulani Nationwide which said it is working round the clock to ensure that he becomes Benue governor in 2023.

National Leader of the group, Garus Gololo, told our correspondent on telephone that the Benue APC candidate is the only one who has held meetings with Fulani pastoralists and condemned the Benue anti-open grazing law while giving them assurance that he will protect their interests if they support him to win the coming election.

Gololo accused Governor Samuel Ortom of making a law that has grounded the business (open grazing) of Fulani herders in the state. He said their reason for backing the APC candidate in 2019 against Ortom and now supporting Alia is to have a Governor who will repeal the law prohibiting open grazing and allow their members free passage in parts of Benue state.

Gololo added that the struggle to return Fulanis to Benue will not end until they succeed in achieving their target, no matter how long it takes.

 The Most Reverend Daniel Okoh, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has given the citizens of Nigeria the assurance that the general elections in 2023 will not result in the dissolution of the country.

This remark was made by Okoh as he was emphasizing the fact that God has already chosen people who will rule the country.

He claimed that God was on Nigeria's side and that because of this, the country would not fall apart.

The promise was provided by Okoh during his speech at a Christmas Concert held in Asaba, which is located in the state of Delta.

The President of the CAN pleaded with Nigerians to cast their ballots for candidates who would improve the country's economic situation and assured them that God would not leave Nigeria to its own devices.

Okoh claims that the upcoming election will not be enough to bring Nigeria to its knees. In point of fact, 2023 is the year that Nigeria has the best chance of realizing its full potential.

"God has already chosen those who will lead the people come 2023, and since God is interested in the government and the economy of men, then the people should be involved because God will use the people to turn things around for the country." [T]he people should be involved because God will use the people to turn things around for the country.

The President of the CAN also helped to alleviate the fears of the Nigerian people by emphasizing that God was concerned in the administration of the country.

By Peter Ahenakaa

If there is anyone who should not be talking about governing Benue State in 2023, such a person is Hyacinth Alia, the man whose only achievement is conducting fake healing masses and stealing church funds and building materials to build mansions for himself and his many women.

That man is not a priest. He only used the priesthood to hide and commit atrocities. This is why an old priest like him didn’t have a parish where he was presiding as the priest before he abandoned the work of God to have more time for worldly pleasures.

Alia is also a very corrupt man. In all the places he served as a priest, there are records of his mismanagement of funds and embezzlement to build mansions for himself and his women.

A Randy Priest

In 32 years of being a priest, Alia who is better known as ‘Orhiti’ for his sexual escapades with women, did not build even a toilet for the church. The money that poor parishioners raised through their meager efforts, he squandered it all with a life of pleasures - alcoholism and womanizing. He diverted the trailer-load of cement generously donated to the Catholic Church by philanthropists at Anum near BSU and used it to build the house he and his women call the “white house” in New GRA.

Alia violated the Oath of Celibacy many times. The oath of celibacy is the state of a Catholic priest remaining unmarried and totally abstaining from sexual activities. But here is a priest who has not only violated that oath but also had children with different women from Nigeria and abroad. The church confirmed his illicit acts and decided not to give him any parish to head. He is believed to have not less than 16 children by 12 different women.

Some of his sex partners are married women. He has caused them to divorce their husbands. The reason he no longer had a parish was that once he was assigned to head a parish, one of his foreign women who is a Canadian with whom he had a child would write a petition to the Bishop. The church has not been able to reply her petitions and justify why Alia should be a parish priest.

Fake Healing Masses

Alia deceived many unsuspecting people in the 1990s and early 2000s with fake miracles of healing of sick people. Till today, he can’t point to anyone who is a well known person in any part of Benue State who was cured by his “healing miracles''. The good thing is that the church soon discovered his fake life and many people stopped attending his “healing masses”.

He Lacks Credibility

In politics, people's antecedents are a prerequisite for trusting them with bigger responsibilities and Alia's case cannot be different. We must ask questions. Who is Alia? Has he been a successful priest? If yes, which development did he bring to those parishes he served in?
What was his conduct and relationship with his parishioners and his relationship with his superiors?

His Conspiracy With Enemies of Benue

Alia has been meeting secretly with some northern Governors and other individuals and groups of Fulani extraction. The Fulani have made a deal with him and are sponsoring him so he can win and give them free access to land in Benue State.  Alia eagerly promised them that the first time he will do, if elected, is to repeal the open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law of the state. He has met with the diminutive Governor of Kaduna State and that of Katsina State on several occasions to perfect the deal. He is on the payroll of the Fulani.

His Failure As Priest

Alia served in many parishes including St Thomas The Apostle Quasi-Parish Anum, opposite BSU First Gate, Makurdi.
 1.  He started a perimeter fence at Anum and left it half-way.
 2. Built a children's church with mere wooden poles.
3. He didn’t even build a toilet there.

4. He merely repainted Father's house within the Anum church premises and claimed that the repainting cost N120m. The missing church money has remained unaccounted for since then.

Alia left the Parish without executing any meaningful project within his five years as the senior priest in that Parish with all the foreign donations that he received on behalf of the church. His successor Rev. Fr Jude Ortese has so far spent 6 years in the Parish as a junior priest but has done remarkable things with meager resources at his disposal. He has completed the perimeter fence started by the church and also redesigned and rebuilt father's house and finished the same with state-of- the-art facilities.

People must be held accountable for their deeds and be made to suffer the consequences of their actions and inaction. Alia has not done well in church leadership and does not qualify to seek higher responsibilities.

* Ahenakaa writes from Agedam in Gboko.

 The government of Plateau State has taken disciplinary measures against the state's educational institutions.

All of the state's nursery schools, primary schools, and secondary schools had their licenses to operate in the state withdrawn by the government.

This information was shared with the press by Elizabeth Wampum, who serves as the State Commissioner of Education for the Secondary Level on Thursday.

The commissioner claims that the decision was made after it was discovered that more than 5000 private schools were operating illegally without the proper licenses.

She stated that ninety percent of the private schools in Plateau do not follow the policies and mandates of the government, and she added that eighty-five percent of the private schools that had been awarded licenses in the past had compromised.

She stated, "This is to advise the general public that the operating license of all private Nursery/Pre-primary, Primary, Junior Secondary, and Senior Secondary Schools in the State would have to revalidate their certification in order to continue to operate legally."

However, the commissioner stated that the purpose of the effort was to limit the expansion of unlawful private schools and to help those that operate within the purview of the law in order to accomplish the goal of providing quality education to everyone.

 Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo's Esan Central Local Government Area have urged Chief Mathew Emiohe, a party leader in the area, to reconsider his decision to leave partisan politics.

The leaders were headed by Mr. Aselm Ojezua, a former state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a close supporter of Gov. Godwin Obaseki, according to news reports.


Ojezua, who said they were taken aback by Emiohe's "sudden decision," pleaded with him to reconsider, saying he was still required to assist PDP reposition itself in the council area and the state as a whole.


"We've come because having him back is important. His choice to quit the home he assisted in the construction of was unexpected and unacceptable.


"Chief Emiohe is one of the people who contributed to the state's reshaping of politics. He has the right to make his own decision, but we have reminded him of what he will do to his supporters and followers if he rejects our request.


"But thank God, he has listened to us, and we have also committed to bringing to the notice of the administration those matters he said had influenced his decision to leave politics," he said.


In a similar vein, Mr. Macaulay Shaka-Momodu, another party leader in the local government area, hailed Emiohe as a powerful mobilizer and supporter of the party who could not afford to leave active politics today.


"A tree does not form a forest, but there are some trees that can, and Emiohe is one of them," says the narrator.


"He is a natural politician; he is at ease with his people, and he is a powerful mobilizer who we can not let go without a fight.


He remarked, "We need him to play partisan politics because there are a lot of conflicts ahead."


Mr. Jonathan Aigbiremohen, a former chairman of the council, said Emiohe was responsible for bringing several people over from the APC to the PDP, emphasising that the people still needed his help.


"Whatever happens in the government, you don't leave because you're upset with it." You must stay back to repair the system's perceived abnormality, "he stated.


In his response, Emiohe thanked the party leaders for their visit and clarified that his decision to leave politics was not due to the breakup of Ambrose Alli University's Governing Council, of which he was a member.


He cited a lack of government presence in his area as the reason for his decision to leave partisan politics.


The PDP leader cited a dearth of teachers at two government-run schools as well as the poor state of the roads in his neighborhood.


"First and foremost, I must express my gratitude for their presence, which demonstrates their regard for me.


"I've listened to them, and I've come to the conclusion that I can't influence things from the outside. To be able to make things happen, I need to be inside.


"It was never about me; it was always about my people and my community.


"For example, in my neighborhood, one school with roughly 200 pupils has no teachers, while another with the same number has only two teachers. We do not have access to a road.


"I have written to the relevant authorities on all of these issues multiple times without success," he stated.

 Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has assured the People's Democratic Party (PDP) that the party will be able to take over national leadership in 2023.

Ortom made this promise yesterday at St. Francis Primary School Aliade in Gwer East Local Government Area, where he received thousands of new PDP members who had defected from the APC, APGA, LP, and other parties.

The governor, who was represented by his Commissioner for Information and Culture, Rt. Hon Ngunan Beeka Addingi, stated: "I'm glad you saw the light and decided to leave the darkness behind and collaborate with the governor, who has done an excellent job for the people of Gwer East. Please keep mobilizing others because the road ahead is longer than the one behind. We all go to the same markets as members of the ruling party, and no one is immune to rising inflation. By God's grace, the PDP will be able to win Nigeria in 2023 "....

In his remarks, Sir John Ngbede, State Chairman of the People's Democratic Party, PDP, praised the defectors for choosing virtue over evil and promised them equal treatment with others.

"The PDP has no new or veteran members. Every member will be provided with the same level of care and benefits "Ngbede stated unequivocally.

Hon Emmanuel Zungwe, Chairman of the PDP in the local government, welcomed the large crowd and thanked them for coming despite their hectic schedules, wishing them safe travel back to their respective destinations.

Engr Nathaniel Apir (Mallam Gambo), Engr Rogers, Engr Peter Damkor, and Elder John Asen, leaders of the new decampees and those who embraced the umbrella earlier, responded independently but in the same vein, thanking PDP leaders for the warm reception and promising to reciprocate the kind gestures.

Aside from numerous appointments and project executives in local government, they stated that their return to the People's Democratic Party was due to Gov. Samuel Ortom's tenacity in standing up to external aggressors who sought to take over the state and subjugate the people.

 Lorver Angbir, a 48-year-old farmer from Tse-Nyamsho village in Keana Local Government Area, Nasarawa State, has gone into hiding after a fulani herdsman who had impregnated his wife threatened his life. In Angbir's words, his sin was that both his wife, Mwuese, and the child she had from the pregnancy perished while she was in the process of giving birth. After speaking with a herdsman who identified himself as Alhaji Abu, Angbir decided that he was responsible for Mwuese's and the baby's deaths due to his dissatisfaction with the fact that she had been impregnated by another man.

When Angbir spoke to our correspondent from hiding, he confessed that he regretted the day he first met Mwuese, with whom he had been married for eight years before she was taken over by another man, in a manner he considered humiliating, while Mwuese appeared to take pleasure in every aspect of the ignominious development.

"My wife had a sexual relationship with a Fulani man with whom we had lived as brothers in the same community for years," Angbir, who has since sought sanctuary in another area, explained. "She became pregnant for him, and she came out out and told me that he was the one who caused her pregnancy." It took me completely by surprise when Alhaji Abu began appearing in my wife's chamber and ordering me out of the house out of nowhere.

His words were chilling: "He stated I should search for another place to sleep since he had taken over my wife and threatened to slaughter me like a bull if I attempted to raise any suspicions about what was happening."

He would always show up armed with a rifle and other tools of the trade.

"He would come into my house and lay on top of my bed virtually every night, and he would do the same with my wife." It surprised me because she didn't seem to have any issues with it." This dreadful development persisted for over a year before she was finally taken in.

"We had been married for about eight years at the time, and I adored her."

"I kept quiet because he threatened to eliminate me if I did anything funny," I said. "I assume that he put a charm on my wife, because he completely took over my wife, offering stuff to her while my wife was carrying meals to him directly in my presence."

When asked about his marriage to Mwuese, Angbir recounted how he had used up all of the income from his farm about eight years ago, saying, "We had lived blissfully together without any worries." We were so in love that I didn't want her to suffer because of the difficult terrain in our area, so I hired her to sell provisions while I went to the farm on my own. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Alhaji began sleeping with her. He quickly gained entire control over my wife and me, sleeping with her in my own room and threatened to murder me in the event that I raised any suspicions. This went on for a while until my wife become pregnant. Since the beginning of their clandestine affair, I have been unable to have sexual relations with my wife. When she was about to give birth to a child and died in the process, Alhaji Abu believed I had purposefully killed her in order to prevent her from giving birth to the child. I denied this. As a result, he vowed that the moment he laid eyes on me, he would slaughter me like a bull. "It was for this reason that I had to flee for my life." This occurred in May, and I have not returned to my hometown since.

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'If it hadn't been for certain Fulani herdsmen who stood by me in the village, I would have died by now,' says the narrator.

Angbir is now forced to live as a fugitive, unable to return to his home for fear of being assassinated by Alhaji Abu, who he claims has vowed to eliminate him. He is unable to visit his family or friends.

The man has also claimed that he has been the subject of mental and psychological stress as a result of his wife's alleged infidelity and betrayal while they were still legally married.

A hamlet in the Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State called Tse-nyamsho is where the couple was living together at the time.

A full-time farmer, Angbir was said to have cherished his now estranged wife to the point that he raised money for her to launch a small business selling provisions in the community while abstaining from interfering with his farming operations.

His suspicions were confirmed six years after their marriage when he discovered that the 51-year-old herdsman was having an affair with his wife.

According to one of Angbir's cousins, who identified himself only as Mr. Agba, his quest for financial security, which frequently required him to be away from home and on the farm from the wee hours of the morning to the wee hours of the night, caused a rift in his marriage.

The following conversation happened between Angbir and our correspondent, who was listening in from the former's hiding place in a settlement in the suburbs of Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State:

What's your name, by the way?

I am Lorver Angbir, a resident of Tse-nyamsho village in the Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. My father is a farmer.

Is it really necessary for you to be here during farming season, when you should be at your village?

In my neighborhood, we live among the Fulani. We had lived peacefully among them for many years, until a good friend, Alhaji Abu, came to my house at approximately 11:30 p.m. one night and asked me to find another place to sleep since he was going to spend the night with my wife. This was about two years ago. I thought it sounded unusual, so I inquired as to why. He claimed he had seized control of my wife and threatened to murder me if I refused to comply or notified anybody about it. He pulled out a small gun and cautioned me once more not to reveal its location to anyone else.

That's how the man gained control of my wife and continued to threaten to kill me. It was the first time he'd heard it. He also told me not to sleep with my wife or demand sex from her again, even on the nights when he did not come to the house.

As a surprise, I attempted to make sexual moves toward her one fateful night when Abu did not appear. She refused, stating that she would inform Alhaji Abu if I attempted to do so. I was completely taken aback. She informed me straight to my face that Abu had taken over and that she would now be able to cook for me and do other household responsibilities like a wife, but that sex would be out of the question. Soon after, she became pregnant, and many people assumed I was to blame. However, Alhaji Abu confronted me and told me that the unborn child belonged to him and that if anything went wrong with the pregnancy, he would hold me accountable. I felt uncomfortable with what was going on, so I attempted to express my dissatisfaction to her parents. The problem was that Alhaji Abu had bought them over and there was little they could do about it, so I just accepted fate and let the sleeping dog lie. I was able to concentrate on my farm job while Abu took care of our daughter. He would offer her money, poultry, and other items in exchange for her services.

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We reside in a rural place where there is no access to a medical facility. Consequently, when my mother went into labor, my younger sisters were with her in the village, and Alhaji Abu also dispatched two of his daughters and his first wife to be present for the occasion. She had been in labor for the entire day, and when she was unable to give birth, Alhaji Abu arranged for a motorcycle to take her to Gizer, the nearest clinic, where she was delivered. During the course of the procedure, she gave birth to a baby boy who died shortly after. She succumbed to her injuries two hours later.

When this occurred, Abu assumed that I had something to do with the woman's death, and I inquired as to how. One week after this event, he came to my house in the middle of the night and threatened to shoot me with a gun. I was deep asleep at the time. It was only through the intervention of some Fulani herdsmen that my life was saved. I fled the region because he was serious about eliminating me since he accused me of being responsible for the death of my wife, who was pregnant with his child at the time. I'm taking refuge here for my own protection.

It is harvest time, but I am unable to return to my home because a guy has threatened my life, claiming that I was responsible for my wife's murder, despite the fact that I have no knowledge of the incident.

What about your family members?

There are still some of my younger siblings in the neighborhood. In fact, they took care of everything throughout my absence. Alhaji Abu stated that, with the exception of me, he had no business or concerns with my family members. He believes that I killed my wife on purpose because she was pregnant his child at the time of her death. All of my explanations were met with deafening silence.

Have you contacted the authorities about the situation?

I'm concerned that if I disclose the incident or the threat to my life to the police and an arrest is made, my family members would be put in immediate danger. That is the task I have set for myself.

But did you actually kill your wife or do any harm on her when she was giving birth?

How would I go about doing that, my brother? I was truly upset that someone had taken control of my gorgeous wife, whom I had to endure in order to marry, but I couldn't kill her since she had betrayed me. It is possible that she died as a result of complications from the lengthy labor she endured. It is not accurate to state that I murdered her. I didn't say or do anything to hurt her. She died as a result of natural causes.

You may not be aware of the fact that my in-laws feel that I killed her because they are dissatisfied with my actions. But God knows I didn't do anything to her, and I have no doubts about my character.

 The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced that it will begin refunding applicants for Bureau De Change licenses their N35 million required capital deposits.

The bank will also begin refunding license payments, according to a statement issued by the apex bank's Director of Financial Policy and Regulations Department, Ibrahim Tukur.

The prerequisites for awarding licenses to BDC operators include a non-refundable licensing fee of N1 million and a minimum capital of N35 million.

The new move follows the apex bank's decision to prohibit the sale of FX to BDCs on the grounds of illegal operations and graft.

The bank urged the BDC promoters to request a return in writing to the bank's Director of Financial Policy and Regulations Department.

“The request should be supported by a Telex copy of the N35 million capital deposit, account details for the refund, which should be the same as the account from which the capital deposit was made, and a copy of the bank draft/telex for payment of the N1 million license fee (if any)”.

A photocopy of the letter of request should also be sent to the CBN's head office in Abuja or Lagos, in an envelope clearly labeled "Refund of BDC capital deposit."

It is possible to email the softcopy of the writing to ahead of the hardcopy.

All commercial banks were ordered by the apex bank to stop accepting capital deposits on its behalf.

“In addition, all Deposit Money Banks are hereby advised to cease accepting client orders to transfer capital deposits of N35 million to the designated CBN account for the purpose of applying for BDC licenses.

Meanwhile, the CBN has ordered all Deposit Money Banks to establish teller stations at selected branches across the country to process valid forex requests.

Previously, BDCs were the primary source of forex for all Nigerians wanting it for business, study, or pleasure.

On Wednesday, the CBN issued a memo to deposit money banks, which was signed by the Director, Bank Supervision Department of the apex bank.

It instructed all banks to help clients seeking forex for a variety of reasons, including personal travel allowance, business travel allowance, tuition expenses, medical payments, and SMEs transactions.

“In this regard, DMBs must publicize the locations of authorized branches appropriately and make the necessary arrangements to sell FX to consumers in cash and/or electronically in accordance with existing regulations.

“DMBs should make every effort to guarantee that no customer is turned away or denied FX if all documentation and other standards are met. Similarly, unnecessary delays, rationing, and/or diversion of FX are strictly discouraged, and DMBs must implement electronic application and alert systems to keep consumers informed about the progress of their FX requests."

The CBN has established up a toll-free line for bank customers to escalate unresolved complaints about their FX requests, according to the bank.

According to the note, the CBN will continue to closely monitor banks' behaviour and compliance with the instruction in order to guarantee that the FX market is efficient for all legitimate users.

 The Buhari administration has been fined N30 million by an ECOWAS court for the maltreatment of journalist Agba Jalingo in Cross River state.

The ruling was handed down today as a result of a litigation filed on Jalingo's behalf by SERAP.

“Agba Jalingo was arrested and shackled to a deep freezer for around 34 days without being charged to court, brutalised and dehumanised,” the court ruled in a ruling today. SERAP has taken this action on Jalingo's behalf in order to seek compensation from the court for the inhumane abuse and suffering he has received. We've examined the evidence in front of us. There was no response to the facts that Jalingo was held, brutalised, and dehumanised after being arrested and illegally detained.”

“This is in violation of international human rights treaties, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, to which Nigeria is a signatory. The Nigerian government has disobeyed the rules of these international treaties governing fair trials.”

“As a result of these factors, SERAP has been able to substantiate the claims for compensation for ill-treatment and torture. We condemn the Nigerian government's actions and award Mr. Jalingo N30 million in damages for violations of his human rights. Within three months, the Nigerian government must comply with the court's ruling and submit a petition in this court to that effect.”

“In light of the continued brutalization of hapless Nigerian people by the police and other security services, this judgement could not have come at a more opportune moment than now,” Femi Falana, SAN, remarked in response to the ruling.

“It is hoped that the Federal and state governments, as well as other law enforcement agencies, will examine the contents of the judgement and refrain from further infringing on the human rights of Nigerians, especially criminal suspects who are deemed innocent until proven guilty by the State.”

The ruling came after SERAP filed a lawsuit at the ECOWAS Court against the Nigerian government and Governor Ben Ayade's Cross River state government over Mr Jalingo's protracted, arbitrary arrest, unjust prosecution, persecution, and sham trial.

On August 22, Jalingo, the publisher of CrossRiverWatch, was detained on a report stating that Mr Ayade had syphoned N500 million from the state.

After hearing arguments from SERAP's Solicitor, Femi Falana SAN, and the government's lawyers, Abdulahi Abubakar and A. A. Nuhu, the court issued the reparation ruling.

Senator Ajayi Boroffice raised a point of order in the Senate, informing his colleagues of the popular man of God's passage. 
According to The Nation, the Senate observed a minute of silence on Tuesday in honor of late Pastor Temitope Balogun Joshua, the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN). 

 Senator Ajayi Boroffice raised a point of order in the Senate, informing his colleagues of the popular man of God's passage. Boroffice bemoaned Pastor Joshua's death, citing order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules. He described him as a passionate leader who made significant contributions to the development of Ondo State and Nigeria as a whole.

 He urged the Senate to dispatch a delegation to express condolences to the Ondo State Government and the deceased's family for their irreparable loss, as well as for the Federal Government to name a monument to the late Pastor.
 “The Reverend T.B. Joshua was an illustrious Ondo State son who contributed his fair share to the state's development. Boroffice stated, "He contributed to the advancement of sports, education, health, and other social amenities in the state."



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