President Muhammadu Buhari has described as “bloody nonsense” the penchant of some Nigerians to hide under the canopy of ethnicity and religion to perpetrate injustice and corrupt acts.
Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, quoted the president as saying this when he hosted his former staff who worked with him during his tenure as military head of state (January 1984-August 1985) on Sunday night at the State House, Abuja.
The president added that recourse to the smokescreen of religion and ethnicity “is just corruption, pure and simple.”
Mr Buhari went down memory lane to justify his position, drawing lessons from his electoral battles at the courts in 2003, 2007, and 2011, where those who ruled against him were Muslims from the North, but those who defended him were Christians from the South.
His words: “I was recently forced to talk to somebody I respect a lot about Nigeria. I said in 2003, when I started out, complaints about presidential election used to start from the Court of Appeal.
“The president of the court then was my classmate in secondary school for six years. Himself, myself and Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, were classmates.
“My lawyer, Mike Ahamba, was Roman Catholic and an Ibo man. My first witness was in the box. Ahamba said he needed the register of voters in certain constituencies and states to prove that votes were just allocated, and not true reflection of what existed in the constituencies.
“He asked them to record his request and sign. They did so.
“When they came to give judgment later, the matter was not mentioned at all.
“In the panel was another Roman Catholic and Ibo, who raised his hand and said, this is what Buhari’s lawyer had said. Did we write to those constituencies and states to submit the register? If so, why is it not in the judgment? They just shut him up.
“He had to write a minority judgment. Of course, he’s now our Ambassador in United States of America.
“I petitioned the Supreme Court. Who was the Chief Justice? A Muslim, probably a Fulani, from Zaria. After 27 months, we went.
“Ahamba addressed the court for 2 hours and 45 minutes. They went in, came out after about 45 minutes, and said they were proceeding on vacation the next day.
“They were away for three months, making it 30 months in all. When they came back, they dismissed the case within 45 minutes.
“In 2007, they repeated the same thing. Who was the Chief Justice? A northerner and Muslim. After 18 months, they dismissed the case.
“The third time, who was CJ? A Muslim, Fulani man from Jigawa. After 8 months, he dismissed the case.
“This bloody nonsense about Nigeria on ethnicity and religion is just corruption, pure and simple. Wherever we find ourselves, let’s pray to God that we maintain our faith. That’s all we have.
“I try to do my best, and pray to God to help me. May God Almighty give us the ways and means to continue to do our best for the country.
“Whatever religion we follow, let’s do it seriously, as finally, we would appear before God. Whether we believe it or not, it will happen. So, we better continue to behave ourselves.’’
President Buhari described the reunion and interactive meeting as an “emotional one” for him, as he had not seen some of the people since 1985, when the military regime he headed was toppled.
While commending his former Aide-de-Camp, Mustapha Jokolo, who used his initiative to put the parley together, the president equally lauded his former Number 2 man, Tunde Idiagbon (now deceased), whom he said showed uncommon loyalty and courage.
Mr Buhari said: “He (Idiagbon) was in Saudi Arabia, performing the hajj, when we were removed. The Saudi king said the coup was not just against us, but also against him, since Idiagbon was praying with him.
“He asked him to send for his family to join him in Saudi until it was clear where I was. Idiagbon said no, I want to go back, Your Majesty. If they kill him, let them kill me also.
“He joined the next flight and came back. I think there’s no way you can describe such loyalty, such courage. May his soul rest in perfect peace.’’
Earlier, spokesman of the delegation, Mustapha Jokolo, described the departure of the former staff from government as “unexpected and disappointing, if not regrettable.’’
He said “the affected people recall the ugly experiences today, not with bitterness because individually, they had since moved on with their lives, though painfully aware that they were victims of misplaced aggression.”
“The fact that among us today are highly respected Royal Fathers, businessmen, captains of industry, lawyers and other specialists in the professions, and a university professor, speaks volumes that God is good and that values of discipline and perseverance that we imbibed under Your Excellency’s tutelage had not been in vain.’’
Deadly Zika Virus fast circulating in Kenya
The deadly Zika virus, which almost marred the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, has been detected in Kenya for the first time.
On Friday, local researchers said they have detected 33 Zika incidents in West Pokot County and one in Turkana County, the first ever recorded in Kenya.
The team from the Ministry of Health, the Nairobi-based International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe), Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology want measures put in place to prevent a possible outbreak.
The researchers in the study published in Virology Journal on Friday on May 17, 2019, said they had found evidence Zika virus has been circulating undetected in human populations in West Pokot and Turkana counties.
The team led by Edith Chepkorir of Icipe was hunting for yellow fever, dengue, West Nile and Zika viruses in the two counties.
The areas were being investigated because they border Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia where recent outbreaks of yellow fever and dengue have been reported, with possibility of spillover into Kenya.
In the study, they found all the four viruses present with Zika being recorded for the first time in Kenya.
The team had collected 877 samples from the two counties with 33 turning positive for Zika in West Pokot and one in Turkana.
“The results in the current study suggest circulation of Zika in both counties, yet there have never been reported or confirmed cases of Zika in Kenya,” the report notes.
The virus was first identified in a rhesus monkey in 1947 in the Zika forest in Uganda. Coincidentally, the new study says the Kenya cases were detected in an area called Kanyerus, West Pokot, which is very close to where the virus was first recorded in Uganda.
EFCC arrests 10 suspected Internet Fraudsters in Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abuja Zonal office have arrested ten suspected internet scammers popularly known as “Yahoo Boys” at Favour Estate Land Estate, in Abuja.
They were arrested following a tip-off by an anonymous source.
Some of the items recovered from the suspects were exotic cars, laptops and smart phones.
A statement released by the antigraft agency gave the names of the suspects as Okorokpa Clifford, Ejechi Rukeme Clarence, Omoagbere Nelson, Olamide Agbi, Prosper Williams, Zhenom Moses, Nasiru Saudi Ali, Shakajede Okiemute, Okoro Andrew and Amorighoye Laju Precious.
Christchurch shootings: Court charges Mosque attacker with terrorism
The man accused of killing 51 people in the Christchurch mosques attack has been charged with terrorism, New Zealand police have said.
Brenton Tarrant was charged with “engaging in a terrorist act”, police said in a statement on Tuesday.
He is already facing charges of murder and 40 of attempted murder following the attack on two mosques in the South Island city on 15 March.
The Australian is next due in court in June.
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