Some Northern clerics have condemned comments made by the former president Goodluck Jonathan on the crisis in the regions.
The clerics said the statement made by Jonathan last week in a meeting with the United State congress on the religious crisis in the Northern part of the country is reckless and unpatriotic.
They also called on security agencies to invite the former president for questioning.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Monday, February 6, the national chairman of the Middle Belt Patriotic Front Musa Fomson urged security agencies to invite the former president for questioning.
Fomson said an invitation and interrogation of Jonathan will enable security agencies unravel his intentions about Nigeria.
“It was the mindlessness of his administration that amplified the schism to a point where persons that were once neutral learnt to hate adherents of other faiths. It was Goodluck Jonathan that made religion and ethnicity into campaign issues in order to cover the incompetence of his rule in the quest for re-election,” Fomson said.
The cleric added that the former president used his comment to sow seed of discord.
Fomson said: “Ill advised romance with the then President of the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, who even ran errand as weapons buyer, was instrumental to reducing Christendom into the current level where whatever CAN has to say is being second guessed.”
He said Jonathan failed to tell his US audience that killers herdsmen would not be on rampage and occupy the position of the fourth deadliest group in the world if he and his aides had not stolen the money meant for buying weapons to defeat Boko Haram.
“Several of his aides, like Ankio-Briggs have stopped short of endorsing the war these militants are waging against the Nigerian state. His speech before the US House Committee stopped short of doing same by anchoring the attacks on oil export infrastructure on resource control,” Fomson said.
“If the former president thinks we have forgotten his foot soldiers and multiple persons from the Niger Delta threaten to make the country ungovernable should he lose the 2015 election, which he glaringly lost because of his serial failures and rejection by Nigerians,” he said.
He further blamed the former president for the hardship faced by many Nigerians in the country.
“If Goolduck Jonathan truly loves Nigeria, he must immediately stop all his subversive activities like the speech he made before the US House Committee in which he usurped the role of a sitting government by negotiating a US intervention.
“He must speak with all his cronies to return all monies stolen from Nigeria, whether it was the one meant for arms purchase, stolen from crude oil sales or foreign loans that were channeled into their personal pockets.
“Also, the military crackdown in the Niger Delta will not end the agitation there. It will have the opposite effect of provoking the youths which will cause them to seek to acquire sophisticated weapons to defend themselves and their communities.
This may in turn lead to secessionist movements and the reincarnation of the Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro led revolution and the Biafran civil war.”
Army withholds salaries of 45 soldiers in Borno
Authorities of the 7 Division Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, have withheld the salaries of 45 soldiers, according to sources.
The soldiers, who were among the 149 troops of the 153 Task Force Battalion withdrawn from Marte, Borno State, after spending three years in counterinsurgency operations, were accused of for abandoning their duty posts.
The battalion came under attack on three occasions during which several soldiers were killed while a range of weapons, equipment and vehicles were either carted away or destroyed.
The battalion was overhauled after the last attack in February.
A source said necessary changes were made and troops who served with the battalion were moved to different formations in Maiduguri before a new deployment was made.
“Some of the soldiers who were not seen at their new units were believed to have gone on AWOL (Absence Without Leave). Their salaries accounts were not credited in April,” he said.
But one of the affected soldiers said the allegation of desertion against them was untrue.
“We were not given our salaries and when we asked our supervisors in the 7 Division, we were shocked to hear that we had forfeited all our entitlements over desertion.”
Attempts to get the response of army authorities were not successful.
EFCC goes after top officials of PDP over N10bn scandal
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has invited officials of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for questioning over alleged criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of funds and fraud.
This is coming barely a month after a chieftain in the PDP, Kazeem Afegbua, petitioned the anti-graft agency to scrutinise the Secondus-led National Working Committee on financial misappropriation.
In the letter of invitation dated May 17, 2021, and addressed to the Prince Uche Secondus, the EFCC said the need to obtain certain clarification from the party has become imperative.
The agency, however, requested the party’s National chairman to release the National Auditor, National Organising Secretary and Director of Finance to report at the EFCC headquarters from May 19th to 21st 2021.
The agency also requested the national officers to honor the invitation with relevant documents relating to sole of forms into the party’s elective positions from January 2017 to date.
Kazeem had in his petition alleged that much of the financial transactions of the PDP under Prince Uche Secondus has been shrouded in mystery, accusing the leadership of deliberate attempt to shortchange the party in the build up to the 2023 general elections.
However, Secondus had since denied the allegation and filed a N1 billion suit against the petitioner, Kazeem Afegbua.
Nigeria’s drug control agency approves new COVID-19 vaccine
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has granted approval for the conditional emergency use of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.
Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is the third vaccine recommended for administration in the country.
The director-general of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojiola Adeyeye, in a statement on Tuesday, said information on the vaccine shows it met the criteria for efficacy, safety and quality.
She said, “The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a single dose. Results from a clinical trial involving people in the United States, South Africa and Latin American countries found that Janssen COVID-19 vaccine was effective at preventing COVID-19 in people from 18 years of age.
“The Phase III clinical trial involved over 44,000 people. Half received a single dose of the vaccine and half were given placebo (a dummy injection). People did not know if they had been given Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine or placebo.
According to her, the trial showed a 67 per cent reduction in the number of symptomatic COVID-19 cases after two weeks in people who received Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.
The most commonly reported side effects were pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and nausea. Most of these side effects were mild to moderate in severity and lasted 1-2 days.
On the vaccine safety, Adeyeye said NAFDAC, in line with its pharmacovigilance and safety monitoring plan for COVID-19 vaccines, will closely monitor and subject the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to several activities that apply specifically to COVID-19 vaccines.
The AstraZeneca vaccine which Nigeria has been giving out has garnered many sceptics internationally after some recipients of the vaccine died.
At least 16 countries including Germany, France and Sweden have suspended the use of AstraZeneca, which put on the Nigerian government to suspend it.
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