February 24, 2017

Wada loses bid to stop probe of past regimes by Kogi State government

A Kogi High Court sitting in Lokoja has thrown out a suit by former Governor Idris Wada challenging the setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry to probe past administrations in the state.

Justice Henry Olusiyi of High Court II while delivering the judgment on Thursday struck out the suit for lack of merit.

Challenging the constitution of the Commission of Inquiry in Suit No: HCL/88/2016, Wada had questioned whether Governor Yahaya Bello had the constitutional powers to probe the alleged stealing of government funds.


Wada had sought 13 reliefs including an order of injunction restraining the commission members from investigating any matter concerning him and his administration from January 2011 to January 2014.

He also questioned the competence of the eight-member commission, its composition and venue and whether the 9th defendant (Bello) had not already found him (Wada) guilty by reason of the addresses and speeches he had made in several events.

But Olusiyi explained that Bello has the constitutional powers as enshrined in Section 2 (1) of the Commission Inquiry Law, Cap 25 of the Laws of Northern Nigeria 1963 to set up a commission of inquiry into the conduct of public officers.

He described Wada's position that his right to fair hearing could not be guaranteed in view of the commission's composition and location in Government House as mere speculation and conjecture.

Olusiyi held that each of the 13 reliefs sought by the former governor against chairman of the commission and eight others including Bello failed and were accordingly dismissed.

Army Arrests Two Boko Haram Suspects, 15 Others In Kogi State

The Commander, Army Records Lokoja, Brig. Gen. Henry Ayamasowei, who paraded the suspects at the Chari Maigumeri Barracks, Lokoja, said the operation launched by the army in the last three weeks led to the arrest of two members of the Boko Haram sect while the 15 other suspects were those that have been coordinating various kidnappings and armed robbery operations along the Okene, Adavi, Obajana and Adogo axis of the state.

The Nigeria Army on Wednesday paraded 17 suspects arrested during a military operation launched on Boko Haram cells and hideouts of kidnappers existing within the Kogi Central senatorial district.

The Commander, Army Records Lokoja, Brig. Gen. Henry Ayamasowei, who paraded the suspects at the Chari Maigumeri Barracks, Lokoja, said the operation launched by the army in the last three weeks led to the arrest of two members of the Boko Haram sect while the 15 other suspects were those that have been coordinating various kidnappings and armed robbery operations along the Okene, Adavi, Obajana and Adogo axis of the state.

The Army displayed large cache of weapons recovered from the suspects including a pump action gun, AK47, locally double barrel guns, pistols, IED materials, live ammunitions, fire extinguishers, face hoods and a T-shirt with Boko Haram inscriptions, amongst others.

Governor Yahaya Bello who witnessed the parading of the suspects, commended the Army for the feat, saying that his administration will not condone the activities of any terrorist group in the state.



February 19, 2017

An Open Letter To Ebira Leaders Over Unacceptable Silence On Insecurity

Ebira People’s Assembly (EPA) links unemployment in Kogi to insecurity

 
A group, yesterday, attributing growing insecurity in Kogi State to unemployment has called on the Federal Government to urgently complete the Ajaokuta Steel project to create jobs.
The group, the Ebira People’s Assembly (EPA) said that the Ajaokuta Steel project when completed is capable of generating over 3 million jobs, especially for those in the state, which will help address the insecurity challenges that are crippling its economy.
At a briefing in Abuja yesterday, the President-General, EPA, Dr. Musa Abdulrahman Adeiza said the association is seriously concerned about the rampant cases kidnapping, robberies and other violent crimes defining every day life in the state, despite government’s efforts at all levels.

News  |  Metro  

Group links unemployment in Kogi to insecurity

By Anthony Otaru, Abuja   |   19 February 2017   |   1:37 am
Youths
A group, yesterday, attributing growing insecurity in Kogi State to unemployment has called on the Federal Government to urgently complete the Ajaokuta Steel project to create jobs.

The group, the Ebira People’s Assembly (EPA) said that the Ajaokuta Steel project when completed is capable of generating over 3 million jobs, especially for those in the state, which will help address the insecurity challenges that are crippling its economy.

At a briefing in Abuja yesterday, the President-General, EPA, Dr. Musa Abdulrahman Adeiza said the association is seriously concerned about the rampant cases kidnapping, robberies and other violent crimes defining every day life in the state, despite government’s efforts at all levels.


Adeiza said, having examined the issues critically, the group has unequivocally linked the causes mostly to youth unemployment.

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Group Declares Ajaokuta House of Representatives Member Wanted

 

A socio-political group, Ajaokuta Youth Forum has declared the member representing Ajaokuta Federal Constituency, Honourable Idris Lawal wanted. 

The group through her Spokesperson and Coordinator, Comrade James Mohammed noted that since the election of Hon. Idris into the House of Representatives, he (Idris) has not done anything that affects the lives of the people he is representing positively.

The group alleged that Hon. Idris has no constituency office in the area.

“We hereby declare Hon. Idris Lawal, a member representing Ajaokuta Local Government at the Federal House of Representative wanted. It is nearly two years now, that our people out of negligence elected Mr. Lawal to represent us at the lower chamber and up till date Mr. Lawal is nowhere to be found. He has no constituency office in the area. We are declaring him wanted until he comes back home to do the needful. 

“Since 2007 till date, Ajaokuta LGA has not witnessed good governance. We are retrogressing every year. Our people are suffering. No good road, no drinkable water, no social amenities. As I am talking to you now, the headquarters of the area (Adogo) has been in darkness for close to a year now.
“Mr. Lawal is just there eating our constituency allocation, putting the people in abject poverty and suffering. We are tired of keeping quiet. Our representatives are all criminals, selfish and greedy. They have no human feelings at all. This is the only local government that is privileged to produce her House of Representative member alone, not sharing with any other local government but yet, it is the worst local government in Kogi state. Representatives of other local governments are busy empowering their people while ours is busy doing nothing. Our people are regretting voting APC. If not for the efforts of Governor Yahaya Bello and Ajaokuta Local Government Administrator, Hon. Mustapha Akaaba in curbing insecurity in the area, Lawal has nothing to offer in terms of security and human welfare.
“We are tired of all these archaic politicians who have nothing to offer to us” 

The group urged the leadership of the All Progressive Congress, APC, at the local government, state and national levels to call Hon. Lawal Idris to order as his actions and inactions are capable of causing doom for the party in 2019. 

“2019 is at the corner, the people are wiser now. They wouldn’t be influence to vote for criminals again. Their N500 and N1000 wouldn’t give them votes again, let them come back home and work if they want to be voted for. APC should call their representatives to order, especially, Mr. Lawal Idris if not they may be shocked with the outcome of 2019 election in the local government”.


February 17, 2017

We’ll defeat criminality —Kogi govt

LOKOJA—Kogi State government has vowed to tame and arrest all forms of criminality in the state, declaring its resolve to ensure that criminals are made to face the full weight of the law. This was part of the resolutions reached at the State Executive Council meeting, yesterday, in Lokoja, the state capital.

 

Briefing newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, Director-General, Media and Publicity to the Governor, Kingsley Fanwo, said the state government, after reviewing renewed wave of crimes in parts of the state, warned those involved, especially the political class trying to compromise the peace and security of the state, to desist or face the full wrath of the law.

Government, he said, would not be deterred in its efforts to make the state an investment haven by ensuring that lives and properties were secured.

February 14, 2017

“Every Pastor Who Collects Tithes Is A Thief” With Proove From The Bible.

“Every Pastor Who Collects Tithes Is A Thief”
 
As far as many pastors are concerned, the most important scripture of all is not to be found in the word of Jesus.

Neither is it even in the New Testament.  That scripture says: “‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try me now in this,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.’” (Malachi 3:10).

This scripture is drummed repeatedly into Christians on Sundays.  However, the only time Jesus mentioned tithing in scripture, he pointed out that it was not a weighty matter of the law. (Matthew 23:23).  Hebrews says people only receive tithes “according to the law.” (Hebrews 7:5).  It then insists tithing (and everything else under the law) has been annulled: “The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless.” (Hebrews 7:18-19).  Nevertheless, mercenary pastors continue to insist on the payment of tithes….

Latter-day Pharisees 
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for keeping part instead of the whole law. (Matthew 23:23). That is what tithe-collecting pastors do today.  If we insist our congregants must pay tithes, we must also insist that they keep the rest of the law.  James says: “Whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10).  Therefore, if we insist on tithing, we should also refrain from eating pork.  We should stone adulterers, execute homosexuals, kill Sabbath violators and restore blood-sacrifices.

Tithe-collecting pastors counter this by maintaining the payment of tithes pre-dated the law.  Here Abraham is cited as the cardinal example of someone who paid tithes before the promulgation of the Law of Moses, as did Jacob, his grandson.  However, such arguments are disingenuous.
Before the law, tithing was at best an example but not a commandment.  Moreover, pastors fail to mention that Abraham only tithed once in his lifetime.  When he did, he did not even tithe his own money: he tithed the spoils of war.  He gave ten percent of the plunder he took when he rescued Lot to Melchisedec, king of Salem.  But then he did not even keep the rest but returned it (all ninety percent) to the king of Sodom.

For his part, Jacob also tithed only once.  He did this in a “let’s make a deal” arrangement he offered to God: “Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God.  And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will surely give a tenth to you.’” (Genesis 28:20-22).  This kind of deal about accepting God only under certain self-serving conditions should certainly not be a term of reference for any serious believer.

Lies upon lies
The first lie pastors tell Christians is what some have referred to as “the eleventh commandment:” “Thou shalt pay thy tithes to thy local church.”  But the bible says no such thing.  The storehouse of Malachi was not a church.  It was a place where food was kept.

Pastors hide from church-members the fact that money was not acceptable as tithe.  The tithe was a tenth of the seed and fruit of the land and of the animals which ate of the land. (Leviticus 27:30-32).  That is why God says: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be FOOD in my house.” (Malachi 3:10).  He does not say “that there may be MONEY in my house.”  The food was used to feed the Levites, the poor, widows, orphans and strangers.

Pastors also conveniently fail to teach the biblical tithe.  The principles of tithing were not laid down by Malachi.  They were laid down by Moses.  The study of Moses’ guidelines quickly reveals that the biblical tithe has no application whatsoever to Christians and is mischievously violated by tithe-collecting pastors today.

According to the Law of Moses, the tithe was divided into three allocations.  The first year, it was given to the Levite.  The second year, it was given to widows, orphans and the poor.  The third year, it was eaten in the company of the faithful before the Lord as thanksgiving for his faithfulness. (Deuteronomy 14:22-28).  In the seventh year, there was no planting and no reaping and therefore no tithing.

So the next time your pastor asks you to pay tithe, ask him about the seventh-year reprieve.  Also ask him if you can give your tithe to the orphanage, or bring it as food items to be eaten in church.  Believe me; he will not agree with you because it is your money he is after.

Inapplicability of tithes
Tithing was only applicable to Jews and to the land of Israel.  When large populations of Jews lived in Babylon, Ammon, Moab, Egypt, and Syria, these lands became tithe-able lands.  However, tithes were not acceptable from strictly Gentile lands.  So you need to ask your pastor how come he is collecting tithes in Nigeria.

Servants or slaves who worked on the land did not tithe because the land did not belong to them.  Since only agricultural and animal resources were included, a fisherman gave no tithe of his fisheries.  Neither did a miner or a carpenter pay tithes, nor anyone from the various professional occupations.  So if you are not a farmer or a keeper of livestock, tell your 419 pastor tithing is biblically inapplicable to you.

Moreover, the only people authorised to receive tithes were the Levites. (Hebrews 7:5).  So if your Pastor is a “tithe-collector,” ask him if he happens to be a Jew.  Remind him that, even though a Jew, Jesus could not receive the tithe because he was not from the tribe of Levi but from that of Judah.
The trick, of course, is for pastors today to claim we are “Levites.”  If your pastor is one such dissembler, ask him if he lives as a Levite.  Remind him that Levites had no land and did not have private property.  Ask him also how he knows he is from the tribe of Levi, which happens to be one of the lost tribes of Israel.  Point out to him that even Jewish rabbis don’t claim to be Levites today because all Jewish genealogical records were lost with the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, ensuring that it is no longer possible to ascertain the true identity of Levites.

Therefore, if Jews no longer tithe because the Levites are a lost tribe, how can Christian pastors collect tithes when we are not even Jewish, how much more Levites?  If Jewish rabbis, whose terms of reference remain the Old Testament no longer collect tithes, then pastors who insist Christians are under a New Testament have no business doing so.
The conclusion then is inescapable. Every pastor who collects tithes is nothing but “a thief and a robber.” (John 10:1).

February 13, 2017

Bello pledges to crush terror cell in Kogi

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has pledged to crush the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist elements in the state.

Bello pledges to crush terror cell in Kogi


Bello made the pledge when he visited victims of gunmen attack at a police station in Eika, Okehi Local Council area of the state, where two policemen, a detainee and a community leader were killed, before setting the station ablaze.

In a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Petra Akinti Onyegbule, he promised to flush out criminals from the state in order for peace to reign in the state.


According to the governor, most members of the Muslim Brotherhood are remnants of fleeing members of the Boko Haram sect.

He explained that his administration has been proactive on security matters, having fully equipped the security agencies to tackle armed robbery and kidnapping.

“This terrorist cell depends on the proceeds they make from kidnapping to finance their activities. But unfortunately for them, their activities have been greatly reduced by the police and other security forces in the central part of the State,” he said.

The names of the people who died in the attack were Sergeant Nurudeen Audu Richman, Inspector Oga Festus and a community leader Sadiq Salawu.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had disclosed that an affiliate of Boko Haram has been established in the state.

He said the terrorists had acquired bomb-making chemicals and high-calibre weapons to perpetrate “acts of terror,” including attacks on banks, arms depots and prisons in the country.

A statement by the minister’s media aide, Segun Adeyemi, in Abuja on Friday, said intelligence monitoring showed that the cell had advanced in its Improvised Explosive Device (IED)-making capability.

The minister said the group had also acquired chemicals like sodium azide (for producing improvised detonators), potassium chlorate (alternative to ammonium nitrate that is used for producing IEDs) and aluminum powder (a fuel source for amplifying explosions).

February 12, 2017

Kogi state Governor Yahaya Bello and the rest of us

January 27, 2016 was an epochal date with destiny for the people of Kogi State as a son of a nobody, man from the rurally rugged Agassa community in Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State, Alh. Yahaya Bello was inaugurated as the 4th Executive Governor of Kogi State. 

 

The late Prince Abubakar Audi was the first democratically elected Governor of Kogi State. He was succeed by Alh. Ibrahim Idris who also handed over to his bosom friend, Capt. Idris Ichala Wada. The coming of Alh. Yahaya Bello was unusual.

He lost the primaries of his party to the late Prince Abubakar Audi. But Audu died while the election was yet to be concluded. By the doctrine of necessity, the party replaced the departed hero with the man who came second in the gubernatorial primaries. As unusual as his coming, Alh. Yahaya Bello, popularly called GYB, introduced uncommon policies and political ideologies that has threatened the gerontologists of democracy.

For decades, the Kogi political elites had hoodwinked the populace with the wool-in-the-eye politics of ethnicity. Since they had nothing to offer, their only selling point was ethnographic divisions, bitter chauvinism and crafted innuendos that were cancerous to the unity and wellbeing of the inflicted people in order to decimate the process of governance responsiveness. The advent of the GYB leadership has cut short the disingenuous entrenchments of the idiosyncrasies of ethnic play for interest mulching. Hoofing self-centredness with the destinies of others. Today, we have a state where the citizens think Kogi.

On the day of his inauguration, the youngest Governor in the nation demonstrated the remonstrance against ethnic jingoism in the state. He saw Hon. Edward Onoja, his Chief of Staff as a brilliant Kogite rather than an Ogugu man from Kogi East. GYB is the first Governor to look beyond his ethnic root in appointing a Chief of Staff. He also appointed his then SA Media from Kogi Central and his then Chief Press Secretary from Kogi West.

The action showed the fairness in the man known as FairPlus in business circles. Another unusual: GYB spread his appointments across the 21 Local Government Areas in the state.

He has built a state where everyone sees Kogi first and above ethnic considerations. Unity is not a gospel.

It is achieved through demonstrative actions. Within his first year in office, Governor Yahaya Bello was able to commission projects in the College of Science and Health Technology, Idah. He was the first sitting Governor to visit the school. Within his first year in office, GYB was able to commission architectural edifices such as the Revenue House, SDG Office and many others across many sectors.

The Governor has also flagged off many projects that, when completed, will impact positively on the welfare of the Kogi people.

What many have not really acknowledged is the new look of Lokoja, the state capital. The city used to be one of the dirtiest before the advent of the present administration in the state. But today, the city is wearing a good look with better intercity roads and saner environment. Achieving a new look Lokoja took the political will of the Governor. The boldness of the Governor to embark on Staff Verification Exercise is worthy of applause. Previous administrations in the state had seen the menace but they saw it as a fire that puts off whoever wants to put it off. But if the fire is not quenched, it would consume the state. And the Governor dared. At the Screening Centre, we have seen how a West African School Certificate holder was place on GL 13 as a Medical Officer by a former Deputy Governor. We have heard civil servants confessed printing certificates to gain employment. We have seen how people inherited the employment of of their late relatives with the connivance of people in authority. The exercise was as revealing as it is saving.

This is not to say the exercise didn’t come with some resistance and hardship. The entrenched corruption in the system put up a resilient resistance against the exercise. Media wars were waged against the government. But the belief of the people that the exercise is to their advantage has helped in winning the media war.

As a government, we have not shied away from the fact that the exercise caused the people some discomfort, even casualties while travelling for the exercise. We feel sorry about those incidents and feel strongly about ensuring the success of the exercise to decongest the doubt of the doubters on the genuineness of the exercise.

To ensure justice, the listening Governor recently set up a Screening Appeal Committee to listen to the complaints of the affected workers and ensure justice for all. Last December, the State Government ensured the surface dressing of the Lokoja-Okene, Obajana-Kabba, Ayetoro Gbedde-Egbe roads as well as many others across the state to give comfort to commuters. The gesture also reduced crime rate as there was free flow of traffic. That was a demonstration of good governance. GYB has already declared a State of Emergency in the agricultural sector of the economy. He referred to himself as the Chief Farmer of Kogi State.

He convoked an Agricultural Summit to which he dragged the juggernauts in the agricultural industry to the state and elucidated his plans, programs and policies for the development of the sector. By visiting the Kampe Omi Dam Project and signing an MOU with the Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority for the use of the irrigable land and facilities at Omi Dam, the Governor has succeeded in demonstrating his desire to make Kogi the Agricultural Capital of Nigeria. The Healthcare Plus, a health program that takes the healthcare cost off the people, has not only strengthen healthcare access, but also leaves more money in the pockets of Kogites.

The past 13 months has seen Kogi flex its potential and the will of the Governor to write his name in gold. Revenue generation has improved despite no new taxes were imposed. Anti-corruption has been the bulwark of financial management prowess under the present administration. As a government, we expect constructive criticism. It helps grow the system and strengthen accountability and fiscal responsibility. As a democrat, the Governor is respectful of opposing views and superior alternate views.

However, not all critics are public good-driven. Some critics are uncomfortable with the anti-corruption war in Kogi State. Some critics are antagonistic of the Civil Service Reforms in the state because of their stinking anus. Some critics are playing a distractive game to enable the Governor lose focus. And the last will be explained last. To his officials, the Governor has said solid performance must be the answer to destructive criticism. Let me conclude with the faceoff between a splinter group of the APC Exco and the APC government in Kogi State. The Governor will not fight anyone. He is focused and unperturbed by the scheming of the few Exco members. Their gang up against the Governor “which God voted for” (in the words of Sen Dino Melaye), will not prevail.

All Kogites are looking forward with hope. The Governor is relentless in watering his seedlings to fruition. And the detractors are still in awe of the strength of character called Yahaya Bello. He invested millions on security by procuring Ford Rangers for patrol and better gadgets for 21st Century security. Today, he has been honoured as the number one crime fighters among the governors. More honours will come. Your Governor will listen.

By Kingsley Fanwo Fanwo Kingsley is the Director General on Media and Publicity, Office of the Governor of Kogi State, Lokoja.

Kogi to feed 181,000 pupils to complement FG’s effort

The Kogi Government says it will feed 181,000 pupils in primary four to six to complement the Federal Government’s feeding programme for public primary schools in the state.

 

Adoga Ibrahim, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Multilateral Donor Agencies and Special Projects, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lokoja.

Ibrahim said the State’s Governor, Yahaya Bello, in his magnanimity had offered to feed pupils in primary four to six to complement the Federal Government’s efforts, since they were not included in the plan.

“The Federal Government would cater for a meal per day for 195,000 pupils from primary one to three, while Kogi government would feed 181,000 pupils in primary four to six across the 21 Local Government areas of the state.

“No fewer than 376,000 pupils from primary one to six in 2,100 public schools in Kogi will benefit from this partnership between the Federal and Kogi Government.

“We want to have the best home grown school feeding programme in Kogi; we are getting technologies that will effectively enhance our drive.

“This home grown school feeding programme would commence in Kogi hopefully by April.
“We are sending the working and technical committee to Osun State in the next few weeks, to understudy what they are doing there to enhance our performance.

“We will have a good structure that will enable our children to be well-fed nutritionally, and equally ensure that “ghost children are not captured.’’ Ibrahim said.

The special adviser said that the programme would revive public schools as well as to encourage parents to enroll their children in schools for better and quality education.

He said that the programme would also empower farmers, reduce poverty and illiteracy at the grassroots.
Ibrahim added that the state government would also provide free set of school uniforms and pair of sandals for the pupils, in batches, starting with the state capital.

The home grown school feeding programme is part of the Federal Government social investment programmes to give a meal per day to pupils in public schools from primary one to three.