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The National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyorchia Ayu has broken his silence after being accused of sending millions to the National Working Committee  (NWC) as bribe.
 
This comes after some PDP NWC members returned over N100 million paid into their accounts by the party.
 
A media report claimed that Ayu allegedly paid over N100m into the account of NWC members after the primaries of the party as bribe.
 
The report alleged that Ayu transfered the money from the over N10 billion realised by PDP from the sales of nomination forms.
 
The NWC members that returned the money to the party include, the National Vice Chairman (South-West), Olasoji Adagunodo, the Deputy National Chairman (South) Taofeek Arapaja; National Vice Chairman (South), Dan Orbih and National Women Leader, Stella Affah-Attoe.
 
However, it was gathered that some NWC members had started remitting various amounts to the party.
 
It was reported that Orbih and Effah-Attoe got N28.8 million each, while Arapaja got N36 million.
 
Orbih in a letter addressed to Ayu and the party disclosed that he got the notification of the payment from his bank without any description.
 
Orbih denied claims that members of the NWC were offered N28 million to gloss over scandalous financial misappropriation.
 
He also claimed that that the national chairman did not inform the NWC members about the funds paid into their accounts until it was reported in the media.
 
Reacting to the development, Ayu said he didn’t order the payment of money into the accounts of PDP NWC members.
 
Speaking through his media aide with The Punch, Simon Imobo-Tswam, added that he has not seen the letters written by the concerned PDP NWC members.
 
He said, “We have not seen the letters. So, I can’t say anything for now.”

The chairman, of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu has said that retail insurance is where the future is in Nigeria. He said this at an event marking the 60th anniversary of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) in Lagos, on Thursday, September 29. 

Elumelu urged stakeholders to introduce simple and smart insurance to Nigerians, especially now that there is a widening poverty gap in the country.  

He says; “It is high time the brokers community began to shift focus to retail because this is where the future of insurance lies in Nigeria. Brokers have the capacity to lead in this area.  

“Ladies and gentlemen, innovation and disruptive practices cannot occur if we do not broaden our thinking 

“Trying to make profits from existing lines is not going to deepen insurance penetration, rather we must look at the blue ocean opportunities.” 

Elumelu emphasized the importance of insurance in Nigeria. He said collaboration with non-industry practitioners will help achieve set goals. 

According to him, through insurance, families, businesses, and assets are protected against hazards and losses. So, the economy is as advanced as its insurance sector. 

In order to achieve widespread retail insurance in Nigeria, Elumelu said there must be adequate awareness, which showcases the value of insurance to the public, promoting participation, especially in the retail space. 

He asked stakeholders to bridge the insurance knowledge gap if they are to make insurance attractive to Nigerians.
 

What NCRIB needs to focus on  

While commending the NCRIB for its massive contributions to the growth of corporate insurance in the country, Elumelu said the body needs to do more work in the following areas; 

NCRIB needs to advocate for pro-insurance laws, corporate governance, excellent service, and innovation, for the benefit of Nigerians, especially future generations.  

NCRIB should work on the recapitalization of the brokerage industry in Nigeria. Elumelu recommends a minimum of N50 million as a capital base.  

 

NCRIB should lead the war against unethical practices in the industry, like premium rate cutting, delayed premium remittance, unremitted premium, overloading of premium, returned premium, fake documents, fraudulent claims, collusion to defraud, mis-spelling, unhealthy competition, misrepresentations, manipulation of policy conditions, self-enrichment methods disguised as marketing expenses, etc.  

NCRIB needs to work towards positioning its members properly for digital integration, mediating between the insuring public and the underwriters digitally.  

In conclusion, Elumelu talked about the urgency to develop the next generation of talent to serve the Nigerian insurance industry. He advised the broker community to rally and become the hub for the education and training of youths to get qualified talent for the next phase of the industry. 

In those days when I was in university, what drove me to want to join banking? It was the profile of bankers, sharp suits, nice cars.  

“It’s funny now that I think about it, but little things on how the people that worked in banking looked made me aspire to the banking profession. 

“We need to raise the profile of our insurance professionals, make it attractive for the younger generation,” he says.  

What you should know  

  • Insurance remains a viable tool for financial inclusion in every country and Nigeria cannot be an exception. 
  • Tony Elumelu also operates Heirs Life Assurance, Heirs Insurance Brokers, and Heirs Insurance Limited, 
  • NCRIB has the ability to partner with others to support the financial inclusion drive in Nigeria. 

[Nairametrics]

The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has denied reports that the over N90 million returned by six members of the National Working Committee (NWC) were paid as bribes.

Naija News reports that there had been reported that the PDP national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu,  allegedly paid over N100m into the account of NWC members after the primaries of the party.

 

The report alleged that Ayu transfered the money from the over N10 billion realised by PDP from the sales of nomination forms.

Four members of the party’s NWC on Thursday returned monies ‘mysteriously’ paid into their accounts.

The NWC members that returned the money to the party include, the National Vice Chairman (South-West), Olasoji Adagunodo, the Deputy National Chairman (South) Taofeek Arapaja; National Vice Chairman (South), Dan Orbih and National Women Leader, Stella Affah-Attoe.

It was reported that Orbih, Adagunodo and Effah-Attoe got N28.8 million each, while Arapaja got N36 million.

Reacting to the allegation of bribery on Thursday, the National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Debo Ologunagba said the money was meant for ‘Housing Allowance.’

He said the attention of the NWC “been drawn to misrepresenting reports in a section of the media alluding strange and unfounded motives to the Housing Allowance duly approved and paid to NWC members and staff of the Party

“The NWC has noted that this misleading report stemmed from an unfounded publication by a particular media outlet which suggested that the Housing Allowance, an entitlement duly approved and paid to national officials and staff of the Party amounted to bribery.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP states in an unequivocal term that no funds were paid into the account of any member of the NWC as a bribe for any purpose whatsoever for that matter.

“To set the record straight, the Housing Allowance being referred to went through the Due Process of the Party in line with the Conditions of Service and Entitlement of the Staff and Principal Officers of the Party.”

He stated that if any individual, for any reason decides to return money duly approved and paid, such does not in any way suggest that the money was paid as a bribe or indicate that it was illegitimate or unlawfully paid.

According to Ologunagba, “A bribe is defined as ‘money or any other valuable consideration given or promised with a view to corrupting the behaviour of a person, especially in that person’s performance as a public official.

“This is not the case in the payment of Housing Allowance duly approved for officials and staff of the Party.”

[Naijanews]

The controversial Kano State cleric, Sheik Abduljabar Nasiru Kabara, yesterday accused his lawyer, Dalhatu Shehu-Usman, of allegedly collecting N2 million to bribe the presiding Judge of an Upper Shari’a Court in Kano in his ongoing trial.

Abduljabbar is facing trial before the Sharia Court in Kano over alleged blasphemy.


The cleric is charged with four-count charges bordering on blasphemous comments against Prophet Muhammad on August 10, October 25 and December 20, 2019.

The defence counsel, Shehu-Usman, represented by Muhammad Lawan, in his prayer before the court, urged the court to allow the defendant adopt his final written addresses himself.

In adopting his final written addresses dated and filed September 20, 2022, he urged the court to dismiss the case filed by the Kano State Government against him, and order the state government to apologise to him.

According to him, “My lawyer came to the prison and told me that the Judge ordered him to collect N2 million to discharge and acquit him.


“My lawyer told me he gave the Judge N1.3 million, another person N200,000, and he (lawyer) took N500,000.”

The prosecution counsel, Mamman Lawan-Yusufari (SAN), in his final written addresses dated and filed September 22, urged the court to convict the defendant according to the law and adopt their addresses as evidence against the defendant.

The prosecutors closed their case with four witnesses to prove their case, while the defendant presented one witness, books and a memory card as evidence to prove his case.

The presiding Judge, Ibrahim Sarki-Yola, denied the allegation of receiving any bribe, adding that the judgment date would later be communicated to both parties.


The defendant was alleged to have made a blasphemous comment against Prophet Muhammad in his marriage with Nana Safiyya in Jautul Fara, Section 93 (40) and Hadith 1,365 and 1,428. Sahih-Bukhari and Muslim.

In an interview with journalists after the court session, Shehu-Usman denied the allegation of receiving bribes, saying: “I am not surprised. My client has also made some allegations against his other three sets of lawyers before.”

The Legal Practitioner’s Privilege Committee (LPPC) has elevated 62 legal practitioners in Nigeria to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

This was announced in a statement on Thursday by Hajo Sarki Bello, the acting Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, who doubles as the secretary of the legal practitioner’s privilege committee.

She noted that the LPPC committee chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola approved the list at its 154th plenary meeting held on Thursday.

 

What you should know

The rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria is awarded as a mark of excellence to members of the legal profession who have distinguished themselves as advocates and academics.

According to the statement, the SANs-designate is made up of 53 in the advocate category and 9 in the academic category. They will all be sworn in on November 21 at the Supreme Court premises in Abuja.

Appointees in the Academic category

  1. PROF. KATHLEEN EBELECHUKWU OKAFOR
  2. PROF. MUHAMMED TAOFEEQ ABDULRAZAQ
  3. PROF. AMOKAYE OLUDAYO GABRIEL
  4. PROF. ISMAIL ADENIYI OLATUNBOSUN
  5. PROF. ABDULLAHI SHEHU ZURU
  6. PROF. JOY NGOZI EZEILO
  7. ASS/PROF. THEODORE BALA MAIYAKI
  8. PROF. OLAIDE ABASS GBADAMOSI
  9. ASS/PROF. CHIMEZIE KINGSLEY OKORIE

Appointees in the Advocate Category

  1. MOHAMMED ABDULLAHI ABUBAKAR, ESQ.
  2. JOHNSON TARIGHO OMOPHE UGBODUMA, ESQ.
  3. LAWRENCE SUNDAY OKO-JAJA, ESQ.
  4. CHRISTOPHER AGBOMEIRHE SUNDAY OSHOMEGIE, ESQ.
  5. SANUSI OLUGBENGA SAI’D, ESQ.
  6. WAHAB KUNLE SHITTU, ESQ.
  7. EMMANUEL IDEMUDIA OBOH, ESQ.
  8. DIRI SAID MOHAMMED, ESQ.
  9. OLADIPO AKANMU TOLANI, ESQ.
  10. AYODEJI OYEWOLE OMOTOSO, ESQ
  11. CHIJIOKE OGBONNA ERONDU, ESQ.
  12. AJOKU KINGSLEY OBINNA, ESQ.
  13. YAKUBU MAIKASUWA, ESQ.
  14. HENRY ESHIJONAM OMU, ESQ.
  15. DAGOGO ISRAEL IBOROMA, ESQ.
  16. JOSEPH ADEMU AKUBO, ESQ.
  17. GOZIE BERTRAND OBI, ESQ.
  18. INAM AKPADIAGHA WILSON ESQ.
  19. ABUBAKAR BATURE SULU-GAMBARI, ESQ.
  20. ABIOYE ARAOYE OLOYEDE ASANIKE, ESQ.
  21. SYLVANUS TAHIRU, ESQ.
  22. BOLARINWA ELIJAH AIDI, ESQ.
  23. TONYE TOMBERE JENEWARI KRUKRUBO, ESQ.
  24. ADEREMI MOSHOOD BASHUA, ESQ.
  25. KOLAPO OLUGBENGA KOLADE, ESQ.
  26. SAMUEL PETER KARGBO, ESQ.
  27. IFEANYICHUKWU SYLVESTER OBIAKOR, ESQ.
  28. OLASOJI OLAIYA OLOWOLAFE, ESQ.
  29. MUTALUBI OJO ADEBAYO, ESQ.
  30. VICTOR ODAFE OGUDE, ESQ.
  31. SULAYMAN OLAWALE IBRAHIM, ESQ.
  32. MUMINI ISHOLA HANAFI, ESQ.
  33. TANKO TANKO ASHANG, ESQ.
  34. DAMIAN OHAKWE OKORO, ESQ.
  35. ANDREW MWAJIM MALGWI, ESQ.
  36. ETUKWU ONAH, ESQ.
  37. ADEBORO LATEEF ADAMSON, ESQ.
  38. BANKOLE JOEL AKOMOLAFE, ESQ.
  39. KELECHI CHINEDUM OBI, ESQ.
  40. ANDREW OSEMEDUA ODUM, ESQ.
  41. OKORO OKECHUKWU EDWIN, ESQ.
  42. GODSON CHUKWUDI UGOCHUKWU, ESQ.
  43. STEVEN ONYECHI ONONYE, ESQ.
  44. IKANI KANU AGABI, ESQ.
  45. MUSTAPHA SHABA IBRAHIM, ESQ.
  46. MUIZUDEEN YUNUS ABDULLAHI, ESQ.
  47. MAGAJI MATO IBRAHIM, ESQ.
  48. SUNUSI MUSA, ESQ.
  49. OLADOYIN OLUSEYI AWOYALE, ESQ.
  50. ROTIMI ISEOLUWA OYEDEPO, ESQ.
  51. CHUKWUDUBEM BONAVENTURE ANYIGBO, ESQ.
  52. LUKMAN OYEBANJI FAGBEMI, ESQ.
  53. MICHAEL JONATHAN NUMA, ESQ.

[Nairametrics]

Nollywood actress and politician, Tonto Dikeh, has taken to social media to call for prayers, admitting that she is struggling with a heavy heart.

In a quite disturbing post on her Instagram page on Thursday afternoon, the deputy governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) asked the public to pray for her.

 
 
 

According to her, her heart is so heavy and she’s not ashamed to admit that she needs the prayers and love from everyone at this time.

 

“I don’t ask for nothing at all.. Not ashamed to say I need you all, If you got a minute say a quite prayer for me. My hearts so heavy, Thanks”, she wrote.

Reacting to the post, concerned fans and followers trooped to the comments to express their concern and drop words of encouragement for the mother of one.

See her post below,

 

This comes after Tonto Dikeh took to social media to express regret after a mother whom she refused to help for the medical treatment of her ailing son lost the child.

The politician revealed the mother had sent her an Instagram DM a while ago asking for financial help for the treatment of her child who was sick, but she ignored the message because of her past experiences with people.

According to the mother of one, she refused to help the troubled mother because she thought it was a scam, as she had recently fallen victim to a scammer who used the same pity story to get almost half a million naira from her.

Sadly, she got news that the woman’s son had died, apparently due to lack of medical care, and she now regrets not helping the woman.

A final year student of the University of Cross River State (UNICROSS), Blessing Kona Udie, has been identified as one of the four persons gruesomely murdered in Abuja.

The microbiology student, along with a popular Abuja-based singer, Chop Boii, and two others, were brutally murdered by unknown assailants in the Gwarimpa area of Abuja on Tuesday, September 27.

 
 
 

It was gathered that their fingers were cut off by the assailants, who also used their blood to write on the wall.

 

The spokesperson of the FCT Police Command, DSP Josephine Adeh, who confirmed the incident, said the police have launched an investigation to unravel the mystery behind the attack.

Meanwhile, family, friends, and course mates of the deceased have trooped to social media to mourn her sad demise.

See more photos of Blessing below,

 

 

A Twitter user, who took to the platform, to announce the tragic news wrote,

The Twitter user said the tragic incident happened on Tuesday night, September 27. He claimed that Chop Boii was working on a new song with his producer friend and two others when they were attacked.

“Yesterday my friend and three of his friends were butchered and killed In Gwarimpa at their house and their fingers were cut and their blood was used to wrote on the wall Rip chop Abuja will miss you. You were just at the wrong place at wrong time I still love you.

“He was producing with his producer a friend and his producers girlfriend That they came for the producer and his girlfriend but unluckily for them they were also there and the butchered them all even wrote on the wall with their blood cut their fingers off He was just damage.” The Twitter user wrote.

A third-party presidential candidate trying to capitalize on widespread discontent in Nigeria said he’ll scrap multibillion-dollar fuel subsidies and restructure debt to free up funds to tackle insecurity and boost investment if he wins the election next year.

Peter Obi -- a former state governor and banker -- has emerged as the politician with the best chance of upending the two-party status quo that has ruled Africa’s most-populous country for more than 20 years. His bid to replace President Muhammadu Buhari has swiftly gained a following that hopes to grow its momentum in the run-up to the vote in February.

“I am in it to bring the change that Nigeria has been missing all these years,” Obi said in an interview in the capital, Abuja. 

His rivals are Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress and Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, whose political organizations have provided every head of state since 1999 and dominate both legislative chambers. 

Obi faces an uphill battle against stalwarts of parties that know how to turn out voters -- he is running on the ticket of the Labour Party, which had a single lawmaker elected in the last election and has a much smaller presence throughout the vast West African country.

 

‘Fiscal Recklessness’

Despite these major organizational challenges, Obi has built up an enthusiastic base known as “Obidents” -- initially active online, but increasingly marching in the streets -- and his appeal appears to be spreading. A clear majority of respondents named him as their preferred choice in an opinion poll conducted for Bloomberg News by Premise Data Corp., whose results were released on Sept. 28 when the official campaign kicked off.

Nigerians are contending with accelerating inflation, rising unemployment, a depreciating currency and pervasive insecurity. Production of the economy’s historic mainstay -- crude oil -- has collapsed to multi-decade lows, while the government’s debt service bill is currently outpacing the revenue it’s earning. Total public debt has more than tripled to 42.8 trillion naira ($98 billion) since Buhari took office in 2015.

“We cannot continue this level of fiscal recklessness,” Obi said, adding that he would cut gasoline subsidies that give Nigerians some of the world’s cheapest pump prices. That intervention is consistently depriving the state of more than $1 billion per month and, if not phased out, could cost the government a sum greater than its entire income next year.

“We are going to remove it,” he said, arguing that corruption accounts for half of the subsidy bill.

Buhari’s administration delayed its previously announced plans to shelve the subsidies until after the election, leaving his successor the politically thorny choice of whether to expose struggling consumers to considerably higher prices to spare much-needed funds for other investments.

If he wins, Obi said he will try to restructure Nigeria’s debt “to a manageable level” because the current burden “doesn’t give us breathing space to invest in critical areas.” Instead of “borrowing for consumption” and to finance the cost of government, new lending would fund spending on education, health and security, he said. 

Violent groups have expanded their reach across Nigeria in the past seven years, leaving larger swathes of the country living in fear of attacks and kidnappings. Stemming that insecurity will be his “number one priority,” Obi said, adding he will decentralize the police and invest in more personnel.

The stakes could not be higher, according to Obi. Because the government no longer controls its territory or the economy, Nigeria meets the “two main critical measures of a failing state,” he said. “It is a crisis situation but it’s solvable.”

 

Improbable Outsider

A wealthy businessman who chaired local lender Fidelity Bank Plc before serving two terms as the governor of the southeastern Anambra state from 2006, Obi ran as Abubakar’s vice president in an unsuccessful campaign three years ago. He also contested the PDP nomination this year before withdrawing from the primaries. A 61-year-old in a country where 70% of the population is under 30, he is younger than his two main septuagenarian opponents.

The Labour Party candidate also attracted controversy last year when a Nigerian online newspaper reported, based on the Pandora Papers leak, on offshore companies he controlled while serving as governor and said he had breached local asset-declaration rules. Obi has repeatedly denied that his arrangements broke any laws. 

Obi says he’s ready to face up to the hopes and frustrations that have been placed on his perhaps improbable shoulders. “I want the whole country to hold me responsible,” he said. “We are not going to change it overnight but we must start doing the right things. I am not going to do magic.”

[Bloomberg]

Friday, 30 September 2022 07:09

Akeredolu unveils security surveillance app

The Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has unveiled a security surveillance app during the passing out parade of Course 3 and 4 Amotekun Corps in Ondo State.

Akeredolu, in a statement made available to The PUNCH on Thursday, said that millions of cellphones would be converted into state security cameras with the security monitoring app, which would aid citizens in reporting bad or poor services in government, institutions, or facilities.

It read, ‘‘It will be a tech-based neighbourhood watchman/whistleblower platform where citizens can report a crime in real-time to alert all security agencies for immediate action.

‘‘The Ondo State Security Network Agency, code-named Amotekun Corps, will be armed in accordance with the law since, in the absence of such, the training would be insufficient and the lives of great patriots will be in danger and the ground-breaking platform will make sure that Ondo State’s citizens and natives actually become their brothers’ guardians.’’


Akeredolu emphasised that his administration would continue to support the operational capability of all security agencies in the state in terms of providing equipment and the welfare of their staff.


He also said the passing out ceremony served as a reminder of the need to develop a plan of action and deal with the current security situation, which he claimed had been allowed to snowball into an existential crisis throughout Nigeria.

The Governor said, “The South Western Nigeria Security Network, Amotekun Corps, as a response, is now not just the first line of defence, but the ultimate bulwark in the protection of a way of life and civilisation.

“On our part, we will continue to support the operational capacity of all security agencies in the state both in terms of equipment and the welfare of their personnel.”

Clarifies northern bishops’ meeting with APC presidential candidate

Reverend Danjuma Byang, a member of delegation of the Northern Pentecostal Bishops that met with All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a couple of months back, has regretted being part of the gathering.

 

The Guardian gathered that the cleric posted the remorse in a WhatsApp group, ‘Blunt Truth’, where he explained what transpired at the meeting.

The bishops had been accused of receiving millions in naira as ‘transport money’ and branded souvenirs. Contacted, Byang, who confirmed his attendance, explained that the religious leaders visited the politician to table their grievances with northern governments.

He said: “It is a smear campaign. Yes, I attended the meeting and wrote a short report of it. I am surprised that the only thing they read there is the transport money I said I collected. Let me send you the report I made.”

In the report he titled, ‘The Northern Pentecostal Bishops’ Meeting With BAT’, Byang observed: “It is true that the Northern Pentecostal Bishops, under the leadership of Archbishop John Praise Daniel, who is the National Vice President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and chairman of Northern Pentecostal Bishops, called for the meeting in Abuja. The meeting was enlarged to include all Pentecostal Archbishops, Bishops and Apostles from the North, with about 100 people in attendance.”

He said one of the organisers, Bishop Jonas Katung, invited him, explaining that Katung held that the church in Nigeria, most times, plays the politics of exclusion, often with grievous consequences, when the outcomes manifest.

 

The embattled cleric went on: “He (Katung) said there is nothing wrong in interfacing with all political aspirants and candidates, even with the ones we do not share in their manifestos or those we think are not likely to win, to hear what they have to offer and have the opportunity to express our fears and challenges if they eventually win the elections.

“This made much sense to me and I decided to attend the meeting. And I thank God I did! “Bola Ahmed Tinubu personally came to the meeting without much fanfare.”

For almost an hour, he took time to try and convince us that in all his political, public and private life, he had never been a religious bigot, who discriminated against Christians and gave several examples to buttress this. He (Tinubu) explained also that he didn’t choose Senator Shettima Kashim as his deputy to spite or despise Christians in the North, but only as a political strategy to win the election. He, therefore, pleaded that conscious efforts must be made by all concerned to try and play down the role of religion in politics and governance in Nigeria.

 

“After the speech, I was one of the three attendees, who were permitted to respond by way of comments and questions. I appreciated the points he had made, but made him realise that the situation in the North was quite different from what obtained in the South.

“I told him that Christians in the North were not happy with his choice of another Muslim from the North to deputise for him for good reasons. I explained that in the North, there is a deliberate agenda to marginalise Christians from the public square and to annihilate Christianity in due course, if possible. I said there are at least eight states with a majority Christian population and a few others more which are roughly equal in population between the two faiths. But these are our experiences:

“In this government, there are more than 30 ministers in the Federal Executive Council from the North and Abuja, but we have only two Christians, who are ministers among them. Christians find it hard to acquire land documents to build churches or even to renew the ones that have expired.

“Christians are not allowed to preach their faith in government-owned media houses in some states. The teaching of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) and or Bible Knowledge (BK) has been banned in public schools in many states, including Borno, in which the ban was done by the man he had chosen to deputise for him.”

Byang continued: “Christian students are denied admission into public universities and other tertiary institutions and the few admitted, are denied their choice of some professional courses like medicine, engineering, law, accounting, which are needed for Nigeria’s development.

“I had to stop because of time constraint. I then asked him that if by any means we supported him and he wins the election, how would he redress these challenges? The applause I got after my question showed that I spoke the mind of almost everybody in the hall.

 

“The two other speakers also raised issues about what he had for us as Christians in the North if he wins. In his reply, he appreciated the issues raised. Obviously, some of them were eye openers to him. But he said for political exigencies, he wouldn’t divulge what he planned doing, but that he had heard them and would surely act on them, if elected. He said all he wanted the Christian community from the North to do was to identify capable men and women with integrity to present to him for engagement in his government if he becomes President.

“In closing, the convener thanked BAT for coming and the comments he had made and told him to consult widely among Christian leaders in the North, who are still grieving for what they perceive as rejection and despising Christians in the North, among whom he did not find anyone capable to deputise for him. He also asked him to ensure he recovered occupied Christian lands and communities violently taken over and occupied by terrorists, if he becomes President in 2023.

“At the end, breakfast was served, with some campaign souvenirs like towels, tea mugs, notebooks and some transport money to all attendants.

“It must be emphasised that Archbishop John Praise Daniel and Bishop Katung, the conveners of the meeting, made sure that BAT did not leave the meeting thinking that the Northern Pentecostal Bishops had endorsed his candidacy for the office, but wished him the best of luck.

“Thanks for your time.”
Rev. Byang told The Guardian that the above was what he wrote on the WhatsApp group, stating: “But you can see that the main thing I said was never reported, only that he gave us money.

 

“The truth is that I don’t know how much Tinubu gave John Praise. And I don’t know how much each person got, but the TP (transport fare) I got could hardly bring me back to Jos and fix my car due to the badness of the road to Abuja.

“The error of judgment I mentioned was to explain to my people how indeed I shouldn’t have accepted to attend the meeting, if doing so, would be misinterpreted as has been done.”

But The Guardian had on Monday reported that PFN (PFN) disowned the ‘Pentecostal Bishops’ Forum of Northern Nigeria’, which met with Tinubu on Friday in Abuja.

The move followed the uproar generated by the single faith ticket adopted by the ruling party for the poll. Denouncing the clerics’ parley on Sunday, Deputy National Secretary of PFN, Bishop David Bakare, submitted that such a group does not exist within the Fellowship.

“There is nothing in PFN that is region-based like Southern or Northern Pentecostal Bishops.

“The PFN was not part of the meeting with the presidential candidate that was highly politicised. We are, however, aware of the ripples in the public domain about this matter. I am speaking officially to clarify that PFN has nothing to do with that,” he had asserted.

[Guardian]

 

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