Some Christian leaders have expressed disappointment with the United States over the inclusion of Nigeria among countries violating religious freedom in the world.
The group, under the auspices of Northern Christian Leaders of Nigeria (NCLN), urged the Donald Trump-led administration to review and reaccess its earlier position which it believes inferred support for terrorist sympathisers in the country.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday in Abuja, through President, Rev. Job Idoko, the NCLF said Nigeria’s inclusion is unacceptable and illogical owing to the politics of bitter opposition “who have deployed every means to run down the current administration”.
According to the group, the same aggrieved politicians are in support of the blacklist, playing the religious card openly while surreptitiously supporting the masked evil against Nigeria for partisan reasons.
While admitting to sponsored armed gangs and criminals in the country, the Christian leaders said it bears no religious undertone as being portrayed by the U.S.
The group, therefore, demanded an immediate review and removal of Nigeria’s name from the repulsive blacklist, adding that the country is among the safest to practice any religion.
The NCLF, however, urged all Nigerians to join the Federal Government to “reject resoundingly, the generalized foreign tagging of their country by anyone as a terrorist’s nation”.
Read the full statement below:
“USA’s blacklist of Nigeria among countries violating religious freedom is extremely faulty; inferred support for terrorist sympathizers in Nigeria.”
Being full text of a Press Conference addressed by the Northern Christian Leaders of Nigeria (NCLF) President, Rev. Job Idoko, which frowns at United States of America’s glaringly deceptive lure into the politics of Nigeria’s internal terrorist’s sponsors, sympathizers and agents of terror acts and call for its immediate reversal, held on December 14, 2020, in Abuja.
Read the full statement below:
We wish to welcome you to this brief Press Conference. We also thank you for the prompt response and may Almighty God bless all of you and Nigerians abundantly.
We have summoned this urgent interaction with you to speak to Nigerians on a very serious matter of national and international dimension. And our greatest worry is the conscious revival of our permanently sentimental and destructive fault-lines of ethnicity and religion.
Most of you must have heard about the USA’s inclusion of the name of Nigeria among countries, the White House approved as blacklisted for what it calls “systematic” violation or stifling of religious freedom. With American’s latest list, Nigeria has now been paired alongside countries like Eritrea, Myanmar, North Korea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and others.
As Christian leaders, we find the latest categorization of Nigeria among these countries very unacceptable and illogical. The debate of whether or not Nigeria should be included in the defaming and demeaning black/watchlist of Nigeria by America on targeted countries famed for violating religious freedom is not new to us. We want to believe the USA is hoodwinked into taking the hasty decision on Nigeria at the moment.
NCLF’s is aware of the US Law which has permitted this blacklist, and its threats sanctions on countries in the blacklist, if they fail to improve. But if the USA has ever blundered, anytime in its history, it is on this score. We are surprised that with all its claims to sophistry, it cannot denote the internal politics of bitter opposition members who deploy every weapon at their disposal to run down an incumbent Government in Nigeria.
These soulless politicians can unconscionably seek the backing of even a blind man or cripple to push the devious agenda. It is what is happening to Nigeria now. And it is expected that America with its global aura of significance and desire to see a better world on the principles of freedom, liberty, fairness and justice would condescend to listen to gutter gossips on Nigeria and adopt or stamp an official decision based on it.
Let us crave the indulgence of the world to elucidate President Donald Trump and indeed, the American Government of the recurring games politicians play in Nigeria. These are antics they have been unknowingly goaded to believe its Government stifling of religious freedom or persecution of Christians in Nigeria.
Of course, Nigeria is under heavy and near unbearable conspiratorial pressures by armed gangs and criminals. These armed criminals whether as Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists, herdsmen, armed bandits, insurrectionists, armed robbers/kidnappers and the likes have a common agenda- it is to destabilize Nigeria, cause the general breakdown of law and order, increase the tempo of lamentations’ in the land to discredit all incumbent leaders especially, President Muhammadu Buhari who is only guilty of their blackmail by his faith as a Muslim.
These are sponsored armed gangs by disgruntled politicians in the country. And once the armed gangs go out to commit atrocities and horrendous crimes against humanity, there is no distinction between Christians and Muslims. Their swords of blood affect everybody indiscriminately, depending on where and when they descend their fury on innocent citizens.
Records of such killings in Nigeria by these armed gangs bear no special imprimatur of haunting for a particular religious sect or ethnic groups in the country. It is just a manifestation of the crimes some Nigerian elites have decided to visit their country. From Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists to armed bandits, the sectarian crisis in Kaduna to herdsmen invasions, the story is the same. Both Christians and Muslims are caught in the crossfire of bloodshed and all have been killed by these agents of the devil in competitive numbers, including traditionalists or believers in traditional religion.
We believe America has such details in their kitty before now. Therefore, we shall not bore anybody with a repetition of such past gores. But let us recount the latest violent incident of gunmen invasion of a boarding school in Katsina state a few days ago. Katsina happens to be the home state of incumbent President Buhari.
But about three days ago (last Friday night), some armed and unidentified persons stormed Government Science Secondary School, in Kankara LGA area of the state, a strict boarding school with a population of slightly above 800 students. It was in the night and they started shooting, ending this violence with the kidnap of over half the population of the school. The BBC even reported on Sunday, 12th December 2020, that about 400 kidnapped students are still missing from the incident.
Katsina state in Nigeria’s Northwest is near 100% or predominately a Muslim state and Mr. President’s home state. So, could anybody reasonably conclude that the over 400 students kidnapped in the boarding school at Kankara were all Christians? Could Mr. President be so callous and insensitive as to allow gunmen kidnap children of his own kith and kin, also Muslims like him? This is what some hired Nigerians are doing to their own country and playing the religious card of persecution to the global community.
We are, therefore, cautioning America to re-watch, and deeply reassess to review its hasty decision. It should rather explore ways to possibly assist Nigeria to get out of this insecurity quagmire than bow this low to charlatans campaigning for selfish agenda.
We wish to openly reiterate that the internal supporters/campaigners of America’s blacklist of Nigeria are aggrieved politicians who are simply, playing the religious card openly; while surreptitiously supporting the masked evil against Nigeria for partisan reasons. These deviously cursed souls are after the heart of Nigeria, intent on causing its total ruination. And the global attention they seek, by playing the religious card is because President Buhari happens to be a leader of Nigeria now, who belongs to the Islamic faith and the tales.
That’s why some leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), most of whom are also politicians, so in support of the blacklist of Nigeria on America’s blacklist of countries violating religious freedom. But members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) (Shiites Muslims) have also accepted the wrong American decision on Nigeria. But are Shiites a Christian sect in Nigeria? How, then do they claim religious persecution, under a President of Muslim extraction?
These are the salient issues which should guide America’s review and next decision. It’s just the evil which has perverted our land. It is courted and romanced by the non-state actors gleefully.
Consequent upon this, we wholeheartedly back up the FGN’s total rejection of the allegations of Christian persecution in Nigeria and describe the U.S’s decision as very unripe, unthoughtful and unreasonable. We, therefore, boldly inform the U.S. Secretary of State. Mr. Mike Pompeo to delist Nigeria from its freshest list of suspected violators of religious freedom among the nine other nations as “countries of concern.”
It is an attempt to prevent America from withholding the supply of the 12 Tucano Fighter Jets, which Nigeria paid in 2017 to fight Boko Haram terrorists. And also, other possible Military assistance the USA might want to render to Nigeria to defeat Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists.
NCLF therefore, call for an immediate review and removal of Nigeria’s name from the repulsive blacklist. Nigeria and Nigerians deserve her respectful position amongst the comity of nations. Nigeria doesn’t and hasn’t violated anyone’s religious or human rights on freedom of worship.
Nigeria remains the freest country in religious tolerance. We should avoid mixing politics with insecurity and American is in the best position to understand it better. Once again, we reject the resentful tagging of Nigeria by America. They are propelled by the handiwork of Nigeria’s enemies and we again, repeat the call for an immediate retraction.
Lastly, we are calling on all Nigerians to reject resoundingly, the generalized foreign tagging of their country by anyone, as a terrorist’s nation. We are only battling invading terrorists, but we are neither a terrorist nation onora country which violates religious freedom. Thank you and may God bless you and Nigerians.
COVID-19: Coalition Salutes FG, NPHCDA Overall Early Arrival Of Vaccine
With the expected arrival of coronavirus vaccines into the country on Tuesday, the National Coalition on Vaccine Awareness and Administration (NCVAA) has applauded the Federal Government and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
The group, at a press conference on Monday in Abuja, noted that this is a big step in containing the rampaging contagion that has consumed millions across the world.
Nigeria will become the third West African country to benefit from the COVAX facility after Ghana and the Ivory Coast when it receives 3.92 million doses of the vaccine.
And the convener, Gabriel Agogo, speaking on behalf of the coalition, said Nigeria can not be left alone in the global immunisation against the disease, especially with the conspiracy theories and propaganda being peddled around.
He urged all Nigerians to become agents of this public awareness and actively partake in the immunization to protect ourselves, our families and the public health of the nation.
The NCVAA, however, called on all Nigerians irrespective of partisan, religious and ethnic affiliations to come out en mass to mobilize their families and friends for the Covid-19 vaccine administration as a way of totally defeating the spread of the coronavirus disease and saving humanity from its destruction.
Read the full statement below:
The leadership and members of the National Coalition on Vaccine Awareness and Administration (NCVAA) salutes and welcome all of you to this press conference. We also salute the courage and perseverance of Nigerians in the firm determination to fight Covid-19 to a standstill by observing the Government protocols to curtail its spread. Our case would have been worse, had Nigerians failed to imbibe self-discipline.
As all of you are aware, we have lost thousands of our brothers and sisters to the pandemic since it broke out in Wuhan, China in February 2020 and became a world health threat. And many more people infected by the virus are still hospitalized in different hospitals in the country. We prayerfully wish them a speedy recovery.
But the good news is that majority of Nigerians are uninfected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is this larger population of Nigerians free from the venom of the Covid-19 pandemic that our Government is more interested in insulating from the deadly disease. It is in this light that we have decided to create public awareness of the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine for immunization through this press conference and other necessary public enlightenment activities, to attract massive public awareness to it.
Therefore, we have decided to address Nigerians and draw their attention to the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country and the kick-start of the Covid-19 vaccine immunization exercise nation-wide. The vaccine is a proactive public health safety measure, which we believe will automatically arrest the spread of Covid-19 and put a halt to the other public inconveniences it causes if all of us avail ourselves to the immunization which is free of charge to everyone.
We wish to let all Nigerians know that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has acquired and taken possession of millions of dosages of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is a scientifically approved immunization vaccine, certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) for onward worldwide circulation to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Nigeria cannot afford to be left out of this global trend. Nigerians should therefore emulate other very religious nations like Saudi Arabia, Rome, India, Australia, Sweden and a host of other countries worldwide which have accepted the Covid-19 vaccine and immunized their people with it. These countries have overcome the Covid-19 pandemic as a result of the intake of the Covid-19 vaccine. And with our collective resolve now, we shall also overcome it.
We find it imperative to emphasize this point because of the underground campaigns, conspiracy theories and propaganda peddled by perpetual anti-progressive forces in the country, who have aligned the Covid-19 vaccine to some unproven and barbaric death claims. There is no scintilla of truth in these negative assertions on the Covid-19 vaccine
Permit us to sound it loud and clear that the Covid-19 vaccine is approved by WHO, the global health body, after several scientific and clinical tests, before certifying it as safe for all humanity. So, in Nigerian, we must guide against repeating the same mistake which opposed the idea of launching a G5 network for telecoms in Nigeria. We are too enlightened to be deceived by those who wish us no good.
Nigeria is a very strategic country in the African continent, which cannot afford indifference or antipathy in the global fight against the deadly Covid-19 epidemic. NCVAA is aware of the campaigns of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on the Covid-19 vaccine and has decided to add its voice to it. We expect all Nigerians to become agents of this public awareness and actively partake in the immunization to protect ourselves, our families and the public health of the nation.
NCVAA is hereby calling on all Nigerians irrespective of partisan, religious and ethnic affiliations to come out en mass to mobilize their families and friends for the Covid-19 vaccine administration as a way of totally defeating the spread of the coronavirus disease and saving humanity from its destruction. We must resolve today to victoriously conquer the Covid-19 pandemic, in the same manner, we defeated Ebola, bird flu, SARS which occurred years back.
The Covid-19 vaccine is advantageous in several ways. Socially, the immunization against Covid-19 will secure us against contracting the coronavirus disease and ensure greater chances of our freedom from other allied ailments which comes with the Coronavirus and restore our social and communal interactions.
The Covid-19 vaccine is not only capable of saving the lives of the entire humanity, but it can completely prevent hospitalizations’ and the mass deaths we have experienced in the past over Covid-19. It will save us from agonies and pains associated with it. All conspiracy’s theories against the vaccine should therefore be discarded.
Also, medical scientists and researchers who have painstakingly worked and developed the Covid-19 vaccine have attested to its nearly 100% effectiveness at preventing other related severe illnesses related to it, like the common cold amongst others. Taking the vaccine is akin to the popular African proverb which alludes to someone using one stone to kill two birds.
Furthermore, a general public immunization against Covid-19 nation-wide in Nigeria would ease the Government lockdowns and other disproportionate or stifling public health measures, which causes us varying disruptions in our everyday operations. This is why we have found it expedient to endorse the NPHCDA Campaigns. It is now a direct invitation to every Nigerian not only to take the vaccine but become the chief propagandists of this good message of redemption from the grip of Covid-19.
NCVAA profoundly thanks the Almighty God for His Grace upon us; we salute the medical scientists for their wisdom in developing the Covid-19 vaccine and finally, the FGN under President Buhari for securing the vaccines and their early delivery to us. It shows we have a Government and a leader who is sensitive to the public health of Nigerians. We immensely thank all of you.
Thank you all and journey mercies to your various destinations.
Insecurity: Group Demands Collective Action By Governors
The Coalition for Truth and Justice (CTJ) has charged state governors to rise to the occasion as chief security officers of their states and stop playing politics with human lives.
The coalition, which made the call at a press conference, on Monday, in Abuja, also noted that collective action is required to end the tide of insecurity across the nation.
In his address, the head of the secretariat, Comrade Ohene Dominic, said the lackadaisical attitude of some governors has escalated criminal activities in the country, adversely causing untold hardship on the people.
Dominic said their failure to commit resources to security has made schools and other places of importance more susceptible to attacks by unscrupulous criminal elements.
According to him, these governors should be treated as saboteurs whose interests is on how they can amass wealth by dipping their hands in state coffers to sustain their lavish lifestyles.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice therefore called on all well-meaning Nigerians to henceforth begin to demand accountability from the various state governors.
On their part, the coalition, however, urged the governors to wake up from their slumber and do the needful as this is not the time for playing to the gallery.
Read the full statement below:
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to this press conference standing on the existing protocol.
The peculiarities of time occasioned by the unwholesome activities of criminal elements across that country have once again brought out the national question on how state governors have abdicated their responsibilities as Chief Security Officers of their states.
It is indeed worrisome that this trend has continued unabated and largely responsible for the escalation of the activities of criminal elements across the country which has indeed caused untold hardship on the people.
The various cases of kidnappings and armed banditry in some states are consequences of the lackadaisical attitude of some governors that have been engaged with playing politics to the detriment of human lives.
It is unacceptable for this trend to continue because of the larger consequences which if not abated could spiral out of control and Nigeria might be engulfed with acts of criminalities, so much so that might lead the country on the path of regression.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice as a critical stakeholder in the country is aware that some governors have deliberately allowed criminal elements to have a field day in their states because of what they aim to achieve politically. Consequently, we must ask questions hence this press conference to put issues in proper perspective before the generality of Nigeria towards making the country safe for all concerned.
It is our considered view that if the various state governors had been alive to their responsibilities, the embarrassing incidences of kidnappings of school students in public schools would not have been possible.
It is indeed shameful that some state governors would commit huge resources to pursue endeavours that do not have a direct impact on the lives of the citizens while ignoring the need to provide adequate security for schools and other places of importance that are susceptible to attacks by unscrupulous criminal elements.
It is gladding that this much was highlighted by a fellow governor wherein he stated that governors have failed in providing security in their states in their capacity as Chief Security Officers. It remains despicable that the song on the lips of most governors is that they are not in charge of the security of their states; we beg to ask what they have been doing with the security votes that are accruing to states monthly. How have these monies meant for security spent by the various state governors?
If the governors also claim not to have the required funds to provide security in their states, we also beg to ask where they get the funds with which they pursue their political agenda during times of elections.
It remains a sad tale that this anomaly has thrived over the years and the various state governors have been playing politics with human lives and they seem to have no grouse with how innocent school children are abducted from their dormitories. They also have no grouse with how under their nose, militant groups are grouping and entrenching acts of violence that have led to scores of death and destruction of properties.
It is thus our stand that the various state governors can be regarded as saboteurs whose interests lie in how they can amass wealth by dipping their hands in state coffers to sustain their lavish lifestyles.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice is using this medium to call on all well-meaning Nigerians to henceforth begin to demand accountability from the various state governors with how they have been utilizing the security votes that run into billions of naira monthly.
It is also our stance that the federal government must begin the process of holding state governors accountable for avoidable security breaches in their states and taking steps to ensure that monies meant for security are not diverted to private pockets.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice is using this medium to appeal to the federal government to withhold allocations to states whose governors have been found wanting in the discharge of their responsibilities as Chief Security Officers of their states.
This is our opinion would make the governors wake up to their responsibilities and ensuring that they live up to expectations in this critical task at hand because if funds are continually made available to these non-performing governors, it would be tantamount to economic waste.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice is of the considered opinion that Nigerians must begin the process of tasking the various state governors on accountability and commitment to entrenching good governance for the task at hand requires all hands to be on deck.
The state governors must also wake up from their slumber and do the needful as this is not the time for playing to the gallery. Nigerian Governors must wake- up to their responsibilities and stop playing politics
Thank you for your attention in this regard and we expect to see results in the coming days, weeks, and months in Nigeria.
God bless Nigeria.
RCCG Prayer Walk: Province 11 Pastor Prays For An End To COVID-19
Pastor Tunde Benjamislani , The Pastor RCCG Throne Room Parish Transcorp Hilton Abuja Parish , prayed for a permanent end to covid-19.
The Pastor stated this in Abuja while leading the global maiden prayer walk of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
The Pastor stated that the Prayer walk was a global one going on co-currently in all the 119 nations of the world .
He also stated the prayer walk was an instruction received by the general overseer Pastor E.A Adeboye
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