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Soyinka, Ooni Of Ife To Nigerians: Defend Your Ancestral Lands

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Nigeria cannot survive another civil war, Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; and frontline monarch, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has warned.

They called on the authorities to arrest what they see as the prevailing drift into “a dysfunctional state on multiple levels of citizenship, community belonging, security and productive opportunities”.

In a communiqué they issued at the end of a meeting at the weekend, the duo counselled the government on ensuring co-existence amongst Nigerians.

The communique was issued after a visit by the royal father to Soyinka in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

They said solutions must be found to the challenges threatening national cohesion and survival.

According to the literary icon and the royal father, efforts must be made to douse the tension over the suspended Ruga settlements.

The government has suspended the project, saying the implementation was inconsistent with its plan.

The communique decried a situation where some groups consider themselves, especially privileged and above the law.

It states: “We have in mind destructive forms of social transactions that characterize groups such as nomadic cattle herdsmen, and their umbrella groupings in the nature of Miyetti Allah.

“We confess ourselves increasingly distressed and appalled that the hitherto harmonious cohabitation, even routine collaboration, among the productive arms of society that Nigerians have taken for granted even from pre-colonial times, have deteriorated to unprecedented levels of barbarity, contempt for human lives and a defiant trampling on the civic entitlements of other productive vectors, such as farmers, the providers of both food and cash crops.

“This abhorrent, yet consistent pattern of sectarian, and homicidal arrogance is obviously not merely counter-productive but inhuman, criminal and divisive.”

Soyinka and Oba Ogunwusi said the recent ultimatum delivered by a sectarian order to President Muhammadu Buhari to set up the so-called Ruga cattle settlements across the entire nation within a stipulated time, despite national outcry, should be acknowledged as their entitlement under the law that grants them freedom of expression.

Given the current state of affairs, the eminent citizens called on Nigerians across the states to defend the sanctity of their ancestral lands, because such birthright has never been annulled, “not even under colonial occupation”.

They said those who indulge in what they described as “internal colonisation project are backward, primitive and underdeveloped minds that have failed to overcome delusions in the antiquated belief in sectarian dominion as the key to social existence”.

Soyinka and Oba Ogunwusi urged Nigerians to convoke a series of frank encounters, across various interests and concerns, to debate and determine the future structure of their nation, most especially with a view to attaining a genuine, decentralised functional governance arrangement.

They added: “We propose a structure that enables the constitutive parts to progress at their own pace, determine their own priorities, and encourage creative exploitation of their resources for the benefit of their peoples. Such encounters will simultaneously address the numerous anomalies that plague the nation – from youth unemployment, infrastructural decay, insecurity and ethical collapse, to the untenable aspects of the protocols of the present constitution that supposedly bond the nation as one.

“We consider it a primary imperative of nation existence that the constitutive parts of the nation take steps to preserve and enhance their distinct cultural identities, including tested and relevant pre-colonial values, their spiritual apprehension of phenomena and worship, all without detriment to the principles and ideals of mutual co-existence.

“To this end, we undertake to create state-of-the-art Ethnic Museums for our people both at home and in the Diaspora, where present and future generations can access their histories and cultures vividly, as living expressions of their very humanity, not simply as relics of eras vanished forever or irrelevant to the present.

“We pledge ourselves to join hands with others in fashioning a realistic, functional, and sustainable charter of development for the welfare and progress of our peoples, culturally, economically, and spiritually, where every individual freely obtains access to the means of his or her chosen path of development, and the fulfilling knowledge of valuable contribution to the well-being and advance of the overall community, and of humanity.”

The Nation.

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Trouble Brews In FIRS As Workers Rejects Fowler’s Handover To Aina, Demand Handover To Senior Director

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Twenty-four hours after the change of guard at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), members of staff of the Service have given the authorities till Friday for the most senior director to take over as acting chairman.

Mr. Babatunde Fowler handed over to Abiodun Aina, Coordinating Director, Domestic Taxes Group after President Muhammadu Buhari named Muhammad M. Nami to replace him as chairman and sent his name to the Senate for confirmation.

According to a communique sent to the Acting Executive Chairman, the workers, under the aegis of the Joint Union Council of FIRS, threatened that they cannot guarantee industrial harmony after Friday if Aina continues to act as chairman.

The FIRS claimed that Aina, “does not have the basic qualification/requirement (HND or BSc) to be employed into the Service.”

Besides, the union said Aina’s appointment to the position of Coordinating Director “was against the provision of Section 2.19 of FIRS Human Resource Policies and Processes which states as follows: Appointment to the post of Coordinating Director shall be made by the Board on the recommendation of the Executive Chairman.”

Aina’s appointment they claim should “be open to all confirmed Directors of the Service and it shall be competitive based on experience, competence, and seniority, as he was never a director in the Service rather a Senior Special Assistant to the erstwhile Chairman of FIRS.”

They also claimed that “his name is not on the seniority list of confirmed FIRS staff and FIRS directors on the staff nominal roll rather on the list of Contract Staff of FIRS.”

At the end of the emergency meeting, union members resolved that “in accordance with the Presidential Directive, the seniority list should be followed and the appropriate person be directed to act, pending assumption of duty of the New FIRS executive chairman.

“That if by close of work on Friday, 13th December 2019, no action is taken to this effect, Union will no longer guaranty further industrial harmony in the system.”

The communique was signed by Okere Samson (JUC Chairman); Idris Hassan Abdulrahaman (JUC Vice-Chairman); Lekwot Friday Thomas (JUC Secretary); Jimoh Idowu; Kenechukwu Oliver; Shehu M.D; Esther Acheme; Jane Akinbami; Abba Dalhatu; Akpabio N.M; Ajoge J.Y; Akorga Lucy; Ohiwere Ahmed A; Abubakar Abeni; Hussaini Moses; Nwoha Godwin and Habiba Adekunle.

The union leaders sent copies of the communique to Finance Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nígeria President and his Nigeria Civil Service Union counterpart.

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FG Has Commercialized Christian Marriage —- PFN Cries Out Over New Law That Mandates Couples To Pay N51,000 Before Getting Married In Church

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has expressed fury over the new law by the Rauf Aregbesola led Ministry of Interior that mandates the payment of N30,000 by Churches to conduct statutory marriages and N21,000 for each marriages certificate.

PFN has alleged that churches are being targeted by the Federal Government following the new marriage certificate law introduced by the Ministry of Interior.

PFN’s National President of the fellowship, Rev.(Dr.) Felix Omobude who lashed out at the Ministry of Interior over the imposition of a compulsory N30,000 charge license for Christian worship centers for the conduct of statutory marriages in churches and N21,000 for each marriage certificate alleged that it is an attempt to commercialize Christian marriages in the country.

Omobude called on the Federal Government to shelve the unpopular policy which he said is exploitative and targeted against Christian marriages in the country. He added that they will use every legal means to stop the new marriage certificate law.

He said;

“This is very unfair and to the best of our understanding, the new law is targeted against the Church because the Traditional and Islamic weddings are exempted from paying the new marriage certificate fees.

“PFN is at a loss as to why Church Marriages should be in the exclusive list of the nation’s constitution. The PFN, therefore calls on the Federal Government to immediately shelve the unpopular policy targeted against Christian marriages in the country.

“If the Ministry of Interior is in dire need of funds, it should look elsewhere and resist the temptation of placing an extra financial burden on the Christians and their churches.”

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Incest!!! Man Banished For Impregnating His Daughter A Second Time In Anambra

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A man in his late ’60s was, on Tuesday, banished with his daughter from Okofia community in Okofia, Otolo Nnewi, Anambra State, for impregnating his daughter for a second time.

According to a Facebook user Chinonso Okoro who announced the incident via a Facebook group, the community decided to banish the man because instead of repenting of his wrong deed, he decided to do it a second time.

A picture shared by Chinonso showed members of the community handing the man and his daughter fresh palm fronds, while some more palm fronds were tied round the man’s neck and his daughter’s legs as a sign that they were engaged in abominable acts.

The second picture showed a bus laden with their property and ready to drive out of the community while in another picture his daughter was seen carrying a less than a year old baby which allegedly was a result of the first pregnancy.

The unidentified man is said to hail from Okija, in Ihiala Local Government Area but has lived in Nnewi for a long time.

Chinonso in his post said: “Happening now at Okofia Otolo Nnewi the location of the Unizik college of health. This man from Okija impregnated his own daughter for the second time. Now they’re asked to leave Nnewi. Wonders shall never end.

A resident in the area, Mr. Ikechukwu Anaocha, who spoke to News Express expressed shock that the man did not repent after the first pregnancy.

He said: “I know the man personally. I think he is sick in the head. Whatever will make a sane man want to sleep with his daughter? That’s madness. They have defiled the land and deserve to be banished. Abomination should not be condoned in whatever guise.”

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