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2023: Shelve your presidential ambition – Bauchi Christians tell Gov Mohammed

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The Christian community in Bauchi State on Saturday urged the State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, to shelve his presidential ambition and go for a second term in the state in order to complete the good work he has started.

The leader of the community and chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Abraham Damina Dimeus, said this while speaking on behalf of the community at the Government House, Bauchi, when Christian faithful joined the governor to celebrate this year’s Christmas.

Dimeus declared that Christians in the State were enjoying the Governor Mohammed-led administration since coming on board in 2019, hence they wanted him to remain as the state governor to complete the good work he started.

According to the CAN chairman, under the current administration in the State, Christians had not been discriminated against and were being carried along in governance.

“Though we are ready to go with you anywhere you go, for now, we still need you to remain here in Bauchi State to complete the good job you started.

“The Christian community has been enjoying your administration since you came on board. You have not shown any form of discrimination against the Christian community. You have carried us along in the affairs of governance,” Rev Dimeus said.

He, however, appealed to the Governor to fulfill his promises of providing a new graveyard for Christians, saying that the current one is out of space.

He further made an appeal for the completion of the CAN Centre and College of Nursing as well as the provision of a functional vehicle for the association for mobility.

Responding, Governor Mohammed expressed gratitude to God for allowing all to witness another Christmas, describing this as a grace and mercy from God.

The governor said that he had no choice but to treat everyone in the state equally, irrespective of their religions as he was from a family that had both Muslims and Christians.

He added that his administration has been able to break the barriers of segregation it met and appointed Christians into sensitive positions in government.

In his words, “I am not ashamed to associate with you because I am from a mixed religious background. In my family, we are both Muslims and Christians. I have no choice than to treat everyone in the state as the same.

“We have broken the barriers of segregation we met on ground. We have appointed Christians into sensitive areas of governance and I am glad to say that I have not been disappointed by the move. We have been able to allay the fears of those who were initially skeptical about it.”

He then warned clerics preaching disunity among the people of the state, saying that, “we as a government are going after those clerics who are preaching disunity among the people.

“We have arrested some of them and they will be punished as provided for in the relevant laws of the country.”

Mohammed, however, urged the Christian community in the state to imbibe the peaceful nature of Jesus Christ by living harmoniously with adherents of other religions, submitting that by doing so, they will demonstrate that they are indeed disciples of the Lord.

Also speaking at the event, the Speaker, Bauchi State House of Assembly, Right Honourable Abubakar Suleiman commended the Christian community for exhibiting good followership in the State.

Sulaiman asserted that the state has been able to achieve development in the last two years largely due to the existing cordial relationship between the executive and the legislative arms despite the political differences between them.

He, however, appealed to Christians in the State not only to continue to support the current administration but also be law abiding and steer clear of vices capable of tarnishing the good name of the State.

The highlight of the Christians visit to the governor was the presentation of a letter of appointment to him as a Grand Patron of the Boys Brigade of Nigeria.

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POLITICS

Wike meets PDP senators, Orubebe

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The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Thursday received the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership in the Senate in Rumuepirikom, his country home in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

The PDP delegation was led by the Senate Minority Leader, Philip Aduda.

Also a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe met with Wike

Orubebe recently resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party.

In attendance at the meeting were the Senate Minority Whip, Chukwuka Utazi; Shuaibu Lau, Danjuma La’ah and Barry Mpigi.

A Government House source said the senators arrived at the governor’s residence some minutes past 3pm and immediately went into a closed door with their host.

The outcomes of the separate meetings were not made public.

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ADC presidential candidate denies tax fraud allegations in US

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Dumebi Kachikwu

The presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Dumebi Kachikwu, has denied allegations of tax fraud in the United States.

Kachikwu said this in a statement on Wednesday titled, ‘Allegations of tax evasion, fraud against me untrue, politically motivated’.

The presidential candidate said the allegations were propagated by his political opponents who were unhappy with his victory at the ADC Presidential primary.

The Roots TV boss, therefore, asked supporters to ignore online reports that the US government had indicted him for tax evasion running into millions of dollars.

The statement read in part, “A few days ago, my campaign team received information that one of the aspirants who lost out in the just concluded ADC presidential primaries was planning a series of smear campaigns against me.

“I was therefore not surprised when I saw this story. Contrary to the information being peddled, I was assessed an additional $9m several years ago by the US Inland Revenue Service.

“This amount was reduced to $2m and when the IRS sued to collect the amount, my lawyers didn’t contest it and instead waited for a default judgement in order to go to the next stage which is making an offer in compromise to reduce the amount to be paid. This is a standard legal practice in tax matters.”

Kachikwu also denied allegations that he delivered a bribe to convicted US Congressman, William Jefferson.

The ADC candidate said rather, he was the one who reported the former Congressman to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The statement further read, “(The report) claimed I had delivered a $100,000 cash bribe to curry the favour of the former US Congressman.  This is another lie as multiple evidence abounds online clearly showing I was the victim who reported the US congressman to the EFCC and the FBI for defrauding my company.

“I have now instructed my lawyers to sue all digital media organisations who participated in the dissemination of this falsehood.”

The Roots TV boss said he was sure of victory in next year’s Presidential election.

Kachikwu, who is a younger brother to a former Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, surprisingly defeated a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, to win the ADC’s Presidential ticket.

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Kwankwaso’s party gains one, Labour Party another as senators defect from APC, PDP

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Two Senators on Wednesday announced their defection from their former political parties to another party ahead of the 2023 general election.

The Senators are: Francis Ezenwa Onyewusi representing Imo East Senatorial district and Haliru Dauda Jika representing Bauchi Central Senatorial district.

Their defection was made known by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan during a plenary on Wednesday.

While Senator Francis Onyewusi who is a first-timer to the Senate was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and defected to Labour Party (LP), his counterpart in Bauchi was a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) before he defected to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

The defected Senators cited injustice and inequity in their former political parties that made them fail the primary elections.

On Tuesday, three All Progressives Congress (APC) senators defected to other political parties.

Ahmad Babba Kaita, senator representing Katsina north; Lawal Yahaya Gumau, senator representing Bauchi north, and Francis Alimikhena, senator representing Edo north, all defected to other parties.

Kaita, who represents President Muhammadu Buhari’s senatorial district, defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alongside Alimikhena.Advertisement

Gumau defected to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), a party led by Rabiu Kwankwaso, former governor of Kano state.

The defectors have cited “marginalisation” and unfair treatment by their former parties as the reason for joining new parties.

Most of them were seeking reelection, but lost their tickets in their former parties.

The number of APC senators now stands at 66.

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