Another evidence of religious intolerance by state-run institutions in Nigeria has shown its ugliness with the banning of all Christian student fellowships and associations by the authorities of the Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua University in Katsina State.
An internal memo dated January 17, 2017 from the university, obtained by The Trent, indicates that the institution has placed a blanket ban on all Christian student associations and fellowships and those that are non-Muslim.
The circular, signed by the acting dean of student affairs, Dr. Sulaiman Sani Kankara, says that the only religious association allowed to operate in the university is Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, MSSN. This order excludes all the Christian fellowships and associations for students that operate in Nigerian universities.
This action by the university is unconstitutional because it tramples on the religious freedom of some of the students. It is one more manifestation of the Islamisation plot which has been intensified by way of religious intolerance since President Muhammadu Buhari, a sworn jihadist, came to office in May 2015.
The order also violates the fundamental human rights of ethnic groups and other political groups to meet and associate.
The memo, which is addressed to all students clubs and associations, is titled “Re: Registration of Students Clubs/Associations”. Below is the text of the unconstitutional letter.
“Reference to the memo sent to you on the above subject matter intimating you on Management’s resolutions at its 59th meeting held on 10th January, 2017, I wish to make the following clarifications:
i. Participation in clubs/associations is strictly optional, as such no student should be compelled to pay any dues.
ii. Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) is the only religious association allowed to operate in the University.
iii.. Duly registered Departmental Associations should be allowed to operate but they should observe item (i) above.
iv. All tribal and local government associations are prohibited by the University.
The Northern West zone of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, on Saturday raised alarm over alleged plot to annihilate the Christian community in the region through continuous demolition of churches.
The alarm was raised by the zonal Chairman of CAN, Bishop David Bakare.
Worried by the continuous demolition of churches, Bakare asked, “Do we still have rights to exist as a church in northern Nigeria? Is religion still part of the fundamental human rights guaranteed by the United Nations and our own Nigerian constitution? Do we have any right to practice our religion where we live?
“We need to be told all these things for us to know what is illegal and legal.”
Bakare claimed that on January 11, 2017, “two churches were demolished in Jigawa State capital, Dutse. They included The Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, and The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Renewal Ministry. These are big churches.
“The reason for the demolition was that the buildings were located in residential areas though the said buildings have been on that same position for well over 17 years.
“Besides that, there are also mosques in these same locations. How come the churches were demolished and the mosques were not demolished? Beyond this, it is important to note that five more churches have been marked for further demolition in the same location.
“The worst part of the matter is that the churches were not notified either in writing or any other form for an intended demolition. They were simply there to see caterpillars which began to demolish their churches.”
The clergy man, while dismissing claim that the church buildings were pulled down because they were located on residential areas, wondered why the residential houses attached to the churches were also demolished.
He said, “There are even personal houses attached to these buildings, like the Chosen Church has three bedrooms flats. The Redeemed had another one.
“The churches were demolished alongside the residential houses. All these issues beg for answers, particularly issues that have to do with religion at a time like this in Nigeria. The Christian Association of Nigeria, particularly in the North West is worried because this same time last year, churches were demolished in Zamfara. Anglican churches, Catholic churches were demolished for similar excuses and nothing has happened and barely one year after, another set is being demolished in Jigawa.
“There is crisis going on in Southern Kaduna; who knows where and what is going to happen to who next and where. CAN in North West Nigeria is asking that should the churches in the region go extinct because we are Christiane? Do we still have rights to exist as a church in northern Nigeria?
“How come nobody is giving answers to these matters? How come its now a yearly ritual to demolish churches built with hard earned money for years. In any case, is religion still part of the fundamental human right guaranteed by the United Nations and our own Nigeria constitution? Do we have any right to practice our religion where we live?
“We need to be told all these things for us to know what is illegal and legal.
“It is time to stop this yearly ritual of demolishing churches in the north west Nigeria.
“We are peace loving people. We want to live in peace and we need somebody to tell us what we have done wrong. As citizens we need to know what exactly is the reason why before demolition, during demolition after demolition, nobody is told what is happening.
“Uptill now, the government of Jigawa State has refused to meet the Christian leaders to discuss the matter in any form.
“These things are begging for questions and they are becoming too worrisome for us in North West Nigeria. We appeal to the authority to note that these are dangerous times that can worsen the situation that Nigeria is already going through and everybody responsible for these need to be called to order.”
Presidency has denied that President Muhammadu Buhari is dead as being speculated by mischief makers.
The Presidential spokespersons on Saturday night in Abuja described as ”evil rumours” the social media reports on President Muhammadu Buhari’s health conditions.
In their separate posts, published on their Twitter handles, Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President and Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, dismissed the reports as false and clear case of mischief.
Adesina said: “Best wishes to all who wish PMB well.
“As for those who carry evil rumours, may they receive grave to repent.’’
Shehu also dismissed the rumour that President Buhari was dead as being speculated by mischief makers.
He also described as false and untrue the report that the President was flown to Germany.
Shehu said: “He is alive and well! President Buhari is not magical. He cannot be holidaying in the UK and be in Germany, dead or alive at the same time.
“He is unlike a past President who was at Ota, with Chief Obasanjo and attending the Trump inauguration in D.C, being in two places at the same time!’’
President Muhammadu Buhari left Abuja for the United Kingdom on Thursday on a short leave, which is part of his annual vacation.
Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, who made this known, on Thursday, said: “During the vacation, the President will also undergo routine medical check-ups.
“He is expected to resume work on Feb. 6, 2017.”
He said that in line with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the President of the Senate, and Speaker, House of Representatives, had been duly communicated.
“While away, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, will perform the functions of the Office of the President. ” Some people has taken to the social media speculating the Buhari had died in a London hospital.
A post with the headline: “Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari di…. London – Nigeria” was attributed to metro-uk.co”.
When opened, the headline appeared briefly without the the body of the story, The headline disappeared completely later in the night of Saturday.
On further search, metro.uk.com, is a domain name that had been put up for sale.
Meanwhile, many Nigerians have taken to twitter and Facebook to castigate the mischief makers.
One of the post on Facebook said: “Godly for mouth, devilish at heart…how on earth could anyone use death as a mischief tool? It is only God the almighty that giveth life and HE alone has the power to taketh same life.”
“For those spreading wicked and evil rumour about death of a soul, they should know that; they themselves don’t know when, where and in which circumstances they will perish. They can wish PMB death thousand times and have fun; the same God that created them from drop of sperm to their miserable state is watching them. Long live Nigeria and good Nigerian people, long live PMB!”
Kiibati Bankole @KBT_BANKOLE tweeted: “ Metro UK is carrying the news that the President is dead.’’
A.S. Aruwa @MusadiqZ said “ May God continue to guide and protect my GCFR, Muhammadu Mai gaskiya Buhari.’’
Ex-President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh has left the country after 22 years in power as part of a deal in which he agreed to hand over power to President-elect, Adama Barrow. Jammeh had lost a Presidential election to Barrow on December 1, 2016 but rejected the outcome of the election one week later.
ECOWAS leaders as well as the U.N negotiated with Jammeh to get him to step down ahead of the transition on January 19 but he only accepted a deal on Thursday night.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday sneaked into Ibogun ,Ogun State, the ancestral village of one of his predecessors in office,and an architect of his defeat in the 2015 election, ex – President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The rare meeting between the duo who were bitterly divided in the run-up to the election saw Obasanjo tell his host how wise he (Jonathan) had become since leaving office.
“When leaders come, they have little or no experience. When they have to go is when they have really amassed a lot of experience, where they have wisdom, their experience is in high demand.
“Those like you and me who have the grace of God to bow out gracefully, if there is now what I call constitutional office, we have residual responsibilities for Nigeria,”Obasanjo said.
With Jonathan on the trip, which observers branded as fence mending yesterday ,were former Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Kabir Turaki; a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Suleiman Abubakar; King A.J.Turner ;and a former Chairman of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency( FERMA), Engr. Jide Adeniji.
They flew into the village in a chartered helicopter at about 11.30am.
The visit lasted about four hours of which Obasanjo and Jonathan alone spoke behind closed doors for 40 minutes.
No member of Jonathan’s entourage or Obasanjo’s associates was allowed into the inner room where the secret talks took place.
One source said yesterday that the visit was part of Jonathan’s new rapprochement with some of the key figures that had a hand in his defeat in the April 2015 polls.
Obasanjo received his visitor in company with former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who was ousted as National Secretary of the then ruling PDP by Jonathan and his loyalists.
Obasanjo took Jonathan round the village for a door-to-door greeting of the elders and the residents.
The people sang and danced in appreciation of Jonathan’s visit.
Obasanjo, welcoming Jonthan, said: “The first point I want to make is to thank you very sincerely and most sincerely for taking it upon yourself to pay us a visit at this point in time and at this location. Secondly, since you left office, you hardly have time to sit down and relax like you have been able to do today and I hope, I sincerely hope and pray for more such relaxed situation where we can reminisce on situations of the past that we have been through in this country and we can also look at what the future portends.
“I believe that not only Nigeria, West Africa and Africa and indeed the world will continue to tap our experiences, our wisdom and I hope and pray that when the call is made to you, you will be more than ready to put your experience, the lessons you have learnt into the service of this country, for African and indeed for humanity in general.
“ I have said to you before and I will say again that there are plenty of opportunities out there, within the country, within West Africa, within Africa and indeed in the larger world where people will want you to make contributions.
“I believe that you are resting now and when you have fully rested and you will be hearing from me because I have this opportunity to be around the world and if I mention your name in dispatch, I thank you sincerely that you have received us as we are in this village to prove to you that we are in a typical village, I was telling you that your village is better than mine.
“I want to say that we have it. Nigeria is a good country and we must never be tired of lifting the country up to the height that God has created it to be and God did not make a mistake when he put all of us together and if He doesn’t want us to be together no power in the world will have made us come together.
“My regards to everybody at home, especially your wife. Please, tell her that my wife sends her regards and I hope sooner or later we will be on your part of the world to enjoy the atmosphere together. I want to thank you on behalf of everyone here in this village.”
Explaining his mission,Jonathan said he had planned to visit Obasanjo during the yuletide in company with former military ruler, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB), but the plan fell through owing to unforeseen circumstances.
He said the idea came about when he visited Babangida in Minna when the two of them agreed to come to Ibogun.
Jonathan thanked Obasanjo for the warm reception accorded him and entourage.
Thereafter, Obasanjo and Jonathan retired to one of the sittings rooms for “strictly personal talks for 40 minutes.”
Talks over, Obasanjo and one of his friends launched into the popular Yoruba game of ayo.
Jonathan watched as the game went.
A source at the meeting said he was “full of admiration” for it.
It was not immediately clear if the trip was part of the ongoing political realignment for 2019 general elections.
But a top source simply said: “It is a reunion of Papa and his son. Do not read any meaning into it.
“The ex-President decided to make it a private visit in order to be able to have frank talks with Obasanjo.
“During the visit, Obasanjo and Jonathan locked themselves up for 40 minutes. No member of Jonathan’s entourage nor Obasanjo’s associates in Ibogun was allowed to be part of the private session.
“All I can tell you is that the two leaders were able to iron out a few things and Jonathan has since returned to Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.”
“At the end of the visit, ex-Minister Turaki, who is the Chairman of ex-Ministers Forum, gave the vote of thanks.”
Jonathan started out as Obasanjo’s political godson having been plucked out of office as Bayelsa State governor to become presidential running mate in the 2007 election.
He went on to become president, following the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua and won the 2011 election.
The parting of ways came in 2015, following persistent disagreements between them with Obasanjo launching vitriolic attacks on Jonathan culminating in the tearing of his membership card of the PDP and openly campaigning against Jonathan’s re-election.
They had not seen eye to eye since then until yesterday.
A Boko Haram terrorist suspected to be a foreigner has been captured by Nigerian troops in Rann, Borno State.
The suspect not yet identified by Nigerian military authorities, was among the ban of terrorists that staged an attack on Rann, the location of the Internally Displaced Persons Camp, that was accidentally hit by Nigerian Air Force jet on Tuesday.
The attack was a bad adventure for the terrorists.
Fifteen of them were killed by Nigerian soldiers.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, confirmed the killing and capture of the terrorists in Rann on Friday, when he paid an operational visit to troops of 3 Batallion.
Buratai said the insurgents came again to the town in two gun trucks on Thursday at about 6p.m. to attack, but were repelled by the soldiers, who killed 15, while others escaped with one gun truck.
He added that the troops recovered the other truck with weapons, including one General Purpose Machine Gun, three AK47 and ammunition.
Buratai recalled that the Tuesday’s incident, the Air Force component of the Operation Lafiya Dole based on intelligence that the terrorists had infiltrated Rann with intent to attack, deployed the rockets.
He, however, regretted that the weapons mistakenly hit IDPs camps in the town, killing over 50 civilians and wounding many others.
“Two of our soldiers were also affected in the unfortunate incident,” Buratai said.
He described the incident as unfortunate and big mistake.
“We have all learnt lessons from it.
“We will take note of this; the issue of coordination and passage of the right information will help to prevent such incident again.
“It is a mistake which can happen and it has happened in other places. We pray it never happen again,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while addressing the troops, Buratai urged them not to allow the unfortunate incident to demoralise them.
He charged them to remain committed, dedicated and patriotic, assuring them that their efforts would be rewarded.
The chief of army staff also met with elders of the community and condoled with them over the incident.
According to the Commanding Officer of 3 Battalion, Lt.-Col. I. P. Omoke, Rann was one of the last towns retaken from the insurgents on March 22, 2016.
Omoke said since then, the terrorists had made five failed attempts to attack the town but never succeeded.
Rann, the headquarters of Kala Balge Local Government Area of Borno, is 175km from Maiduguri and 8km to the Republic of Cameroon.