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Friday Sermon: The Road to Perdition



By Babatunde Jose

…Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the Men in high and low places that seek Bribes and demand 10 percent, those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers or VIP’s at least, the tribalists, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds.” – Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, 1966

Unfortunately, the scenario has not changed from what it was in 1966; it might be even worse. As a people, we all stand guilty. Although unrepresentative and irresponsive government, abuse of power and denying people’s fundamental rights  are clear signs of injustice which have no place in Islam, these are, unfortunately, common in our country today; added to these are lop-sided allocation of values and kleptocracy of the elite. Prophet Muhammad has cautioned: “No sin is more swiftly punished than injustice.”

Imam Ibn Taymiya, the great Islamic teacher, while explaining prophetic sayings on the issues of justice and injustice, wrote the following: “God upholds the just state even if it is unbelieving, but does not uphold the unjust state even if it is Muslim.”   In the Quran, Allah has described how He punished many of the nations of old for indulging in injustice and mischief on earth. How can we gain exaltation by adopting the same conduct? We have to be standard-bearer of truth and justice, as they are commanded in the Quran:

“O You who believe! Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for God alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives. Whether they are rich or poor, God is well able to look after them. Do not follow your own desires and deviate from the truth. If you twist or turn away, God is aware of what you do.” (Quran 4:135).

History bears this witness that nations that caused injustice to their fellow human beings did not survive for long.  Our present trials and tribulations should be taken as a warning from God for us to wake up and return to the path of righteousness. The Quran reminds us:

“Evil has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that He (God) may let them taste (the consequences of) some part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (to the right path).” (Quran: 30:41)

Today, our sins and iniquities stink to high heavens. An Ex-Governor is currently being quizzed by the authorities to explain where he got the funds to purchase a $72 Million private aircraft after he left office. Our ex-Governor like many of his ilk does not own a factory nor is he an entrepreneur; neither is he a Sugar or Cement Baron. He is not even an oil merchant. He is atypical of the leadership of our society; both spiritual and temporal. You might ask, what were the iniquities for which God sent down the flood to destroy the people of Noah, nor the offense committed by the inhabitants of Sodom before the ‘nuclear’ annihilation? Yeah, our leaders are ‘of their father, the Devil’. John 8:44 (KJV)” Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

A 52-year-old man was accused of defiling a nine-year-old girl after seducing her with N10 biscuits on her way home from school. Why not approach a scarlet woman? The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has frozen 30 accounts and seized 37 assets allegedly belonging to the former Chairman of an insurance trust fund. The agency had obtained a court order to seize 37 of the 38 houses liked to the person. In one of the houses detectives were said to have uncovered a state of the art bathroom suspected to have cost about $2m to $4million. The EFCC is probing about N62.3billion fraud in the matter with $48,485,127 credited to the subject in question: Haba!

Our Senators receive N13.5M monthly running cost and N750,000 take home pay, plus N200M for Constituency Project, in a country where the minimum wage is N18,000 and for which they are being owed by both Federal and State governments. If there is anything called inequality, this is it.

Therefore, when you see reptiles and other wild animals opening safes and swallowing millions; when you see an ex-governor unable to account for the purchase of a $70M private jet; when governmental agencies keep millions of Dollars and other currencies in rented flats instead of bank vaults; when a sitting governor celebrates the wedding of his son for two weeks and spends millions, yet cannot pay the salaries of workers, when a radio and TV owner collects N2.1Bilion from a past government for doing nothing, then that society is on the road to perdition.

Why won’t God destroy a nation where elected leaders spend N250M of people’s money to hold a reception for a convicted ex-Governor; all fully clad in specially printed fabric at state expense? In a country where government officials embezzle funds meant for the welfare and rehabilitation of returnee migrants; then that nations lacks compassion and is destined for destruction. In a country where inadequate placing in universities rob 6 Million children of university education; then destruction and ruin are on the fast track!

ALLAH says  He Has Destroyed generations before you. We are being warned: If we do not come back to our senses and refrain from committing sins ALLAH (SWT) will surely destroy us as He destroyed previous generations.

Certainly We destroyed [several] generations before you when they perpetrated wrongs: their apostles brought them manifest proofs, but they would not have faith. Thus do We requite the guilty lot. (Quran 10:13)

Killing of innocent people is an act of injustice wherever it is done; Boko Haram, Herdsmen or Delta Avengers. Using suitable language to cover up carnage does not make it humane or legitimate; it becomes only a deception and another act of cruelty against humanity.

We are today passing through an uneasy and uncertain time. We are witnessing deception, death and destruction. People of conscience need to be a voice for justice, and say, enough is enough. It’s time to bring madness and insanity to an end. Otherwise, history will not forgive us. There is no denying that remaining silent in the face of injustice is tantamount to taking part in it and that is a grave offence by any standard.

Our current predicament is man-made: It is not a question of destiny but of ‘fate’, unlike Destinies, Fates could be changed and punishments could be averted if righteousness replaced sin, if piety replaced profanity, if justice prevailed over injustice. In the Book of Jeremiah we read: I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. Jeremiah 23:14

Is our society today different from Sodom and Gomorrah? It’s a question begging for answer.

Barka Juma’at and Happy weekend


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You’ve Nothing to Offer Nigerians, Only Insults, Akwa Ibom Gov Slams Tinubu




Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, on Monday, replied the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, saying that he (Tinubu) always resorts to abusing and insulting people during campaigns because he has nothing to bring to the table for Nigerians.

He also said that despite being insulted by the former Lagos State Governor, he would prefer to allow peace to reign by ignoring him and focusing on helping install good governance to rescue Nigerians from their present woes.

Emmanuel spoke on Monday evening at Government House, Uyo while inaugurating newly appointed Permanent Secretaries, Chairmen and Members of Boards and Commissions, as well as a Transition Committee to ensure the smooth transition of power to the next administration.

Recall that Tinubu had during his rally in Uyo Monday afternoon, reportedly said, “Akwa Ibom, that boy wey bring Atiku here, wey de call himself Governor, tell him enough is enough! He lives in my backyard in Lagos, If no be say we be one, I would have driven him home. You see that mansion he is living, I would just use lizards, pigeons and scorpions to put him inside.“

But reacting few hours later, the Akwa Ibom State Governor said, “for the country to remain in peace, one party must ‘play saint’ and that is why he would refrain from replying Tinubu.

Emmanuel who is the Chairman of the PDP presidential campaigns said, “I also go to other states, and if you watch our campaigns, my principal (Atiku Abubakar) has never spoken about any Governor, he has never spoken openly about Asiwaju before.”

He added that it was unfortunate that Tinubu, who was granted state-owned facilities such as the airport, security, stadium, and a good atmosphere to come in and sell his manifesto, ended up coming to insult the integrity of over 7.9 million Akwa Ibom people.

The Governor wondered if it is possible for any Akwa Ibomite to go to Lagos that Tinubu stays or the actual state that he hails from, to insult Tinubu in like manner and still be allowed to safely return home, “but here our people at the stadium including some state governors just laughed and applauded him.”

“What makes him think he will govern Nigeria? If I reply him now, people will call me and say, haba oga you are not like that. But I will reply him one day. There is nothing like ‘emilokan’ (it is my turn) here, Nigeria is in God’s hands.”

He maintained further that despite being the highest revenue contributor to the federation account, Akwa Ibom State has not gotten a single kilometre of road from the APC-led Federal Government for nearly 8 years adding that the poor response from the Federal Government also caused the delayed commencement of the seaport in the state.

Meanwhile, the governor thanked the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries for accepting the onerous task of service, and urged them to see themselves as ambassadors and work towards raising the bar of leadership which would encourage productivity and promote good working relationship with subordinates in the service.

“This is one thing I promised Akwa Ibom people that appointment of Permanent Secretaries shall be totally on merit and not by mercy, let those that can do the work be given the opportunity. Permanent Secretary is not a promotion, it is an appointment on merit.

Governor Emmanuel also reiterated his commitments towards enhancing efficiency within Civil Service, noting that during his administration civil servants have been promoted on yearly basis.

He assured that before he exits office more Permanent Secretaries would be appointed into the service to fill vacant positions left by the ones who retired.

Addressing Chairmen of Boards and Commissions, Governor Emmanuel who described them as pillars in government, acknowledged their commitment particularly, Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection & Waste Management Agency, Prince Akpan Ikim, for winning laurels for the state through his outstanding performance in keeping and making the state the cleanest in Nigeria for five consecutive years from 2018 through 2022, and tasked others to create an impact that will stand them out.

In the same vein, the Transition Committee members were handed the task of ensuring a seamless transition of government to an incoming administration, and also verify all projects executed by the present administration.

The newly appointed Permanent Secretaries are; Mfon Inuaesiet Edemekong Esq., Dr. Stephen Effiong, Atim Chelly Okoko, Iquo Okon Abia Esq., Uwem Sunday Andrew-Essien, Isaiah Robson Ntekim and Emaeyak Nyong Akpan as Auditor-General for Local Government.

The Transition Committee has Mrs. Ekereobong Umoh -Chairman, Uko Udom SAN, Prof Augustine Umoh, Dr. Ini Adiakpan, Mrs. Nsemeke Daniel, Dr. Nathaniel Adiakpan, Mr Elijah Udoiyak, Mrs. Esther Inyang, Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien, Mr. Isaiah Ntekim, Mr. Effiong Ekpenyong and Mrs. Bella Akpanya as members.

The Punch

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PDP Condemns Attack on Buhari in Kano, Blames Tinubu, Ganduje




The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, has blamed the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for the attacks on the convoy of President Muhammadu Buhari, during a visit to the state on Monday.

The spokesperson of the campaign council, Dino Melaye, who shared one of the videos from the reported attack, wrote, “The fight between Tinubu and Buhari is entering a new dimension. The attack in Kano was properly coordinated and funded allegedly by Asiwaju.

“The meeting to push Buhari to submission or face sponsored attack in the north was said to be hatched in Bourdillon. Me, I am busy with Atiku.”

A political activist, Deji Adeyanju, who shared another video of the reported attack, said, “They are showing Buhari and APC Shege in Kano and many northern states.”

Similarly, the PDP in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, on Monday also blamed Tinubu and the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for the attack.

According to the party, the attack was designed to undermine the Presidency, cause confusion, trigger violence in the country, disrupt the conduct of the 2023 general elections “and derail our democracy having realised that he cannot win in a peaceful, free and fair electoral process.”

The statement read in part, “The PDP invites Nigerians to note how Governor Abdullahi Ganduje attempted to abridge President Buhari’s movement and even tried to stop him from visiting Kano State.

“More disquieting is the fact that the APC Presidential Campaign sought to humiliate and harm President Buhari while performing his official duties in Kano.

“It should be noted that the APC presidential candidate has been displaying open aversion and making inciting statements against President Buhari since Mr President’s declaration, in line with democratic best practice all over the world that Nigerians should freely vote for any candidate and party of their choice in the 2023 general elections.

“The apparent frustration of Asiwaju Tinubu to resort to encourage or condone violence is fueled by his entitlement mentality, that it is his turn to be President, despite his numerous ineligibility and disability baggage.”

Ologunagba reminded Nigerians about Tinubu’s infamous statement in London where he declared to his supporters that “political power is not going to be served in a restaurant, it is not served a la carte.”

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Organ Harvesting: Ekweremadu Battles for Freedom, Appears in Court Tuesday




A former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, will on Tuesday appear again in court in the United Kingdom where he has been accused of human trafficking.

The lawmaker was in June 2022 arrested at Heathrow Airport in London after Staines Police Station received a report from a young man claiming to have been trafficked into the UK.

The young man, who made the report shortly after arriving in the UK from Nigeria, also alleged that he was made to undergo some medical tests, none of which he consented to.

Ekweremadu was immediately arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court for bringing a child into the UK to harvest his organs.

While the lawmaker had been in custody since June 23, his wife, Beatrice, who was arrested with him, was granted bail by a criminal court in London shortly after their arrest.

Monday (today) makes it 221 days since Ekweremadu was placed in the custody of UK authorities.

The case against the lawmaker which had been slated for May was later scheduled for January 31.

The 60-year-old, who denied the allegations against him, will again appear before High Court Judge, Mr Justice Johnson.

His daughter, Sonia, had on November 7, 2022, appeared in court to defend the accusation of trafficking a homeless man into the UK to harvest his organs for herself.

According to Daily Mail, the 25-year-old, who is battling a kidney-related illness, pleaded not guilty to the charge level against her when she appeared again in court on January 13.

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