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Sultan, Onaiyekan, others call for peace, reconciliation

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The Nigerian Inter-Faith Initiative for Peace (IIP), under its Tripartite Consultation (TC), has called for reconciliation, peace and national cohesion for a prosperous nation under God.

The group spoke on Wednesday during TC’s joint consultation meeting on the “State of the Nation” in Abuja.

The convener of the meeting, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, expressed worry that as heavy clouds of impending tempest hung over the nation, people should not just sit and complain.

“Nigerians cannot just sit back, complaining or merely waiting for the worst to happen.

“Many are thinking aloud, speaking out clearly, discussing and dialoguing to seek a way out of our impasses quickly.

“This tripartite consultation is one of such many voluntary fora for positive conversations on the state of the nation.

We must find our way back as a country from the brink of chaos and look forward to reconciliation, peace and national cohesion, for a prosperous nation under God,” he said.

Onaiyekan said the state of the nation called for major concern as the challenges facing the country were many, serious and well known to all.

According to him, Nigerians are talking, often complaining and at times even threatening to quit a dysfunctional state in which they have lost trust and faith.

The eminent cleric noted that in the midst of the voices, the government needs to come out with a clear position and explain why certain things that ought not to happen have happened in a modern and civilised state.

He also said the National Assembly, which is the institutional forum for fruitful dialogue and conversation, should try to measure up to expectation.

Onaiyekan prayed to the Almighty and Merciful God to save and prosper the nation.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, who also led the Nigerian Inter-Faith Initiative for Peace, said the National Peace Committee (NPC) would go beyond restoring peace in state elections.

NPC has done so much in building peace and solving crisis in state elections.

“It will go further in building national peace and reconciliation,” he said.

Former Head of State, Gen. Abubakar Abdulsalami, who led the NPC, said the tripartite consultation meeting was timely.

He said series of meeting had been held over time to restore peace and unity in the country.

The former military leader urged the group not to remain silent over the challenges bedeviling the nation but to lend its voice for Nigeria and for Nigerians.

“Hopefully, we will find a way out of the mess we have put ourselves in this country,” he said.

Also, a member of the Working Group on Peace Building and Governance, Dr. Usman Bugaje, said Nigeria has witnessed more of a moral crisis and decay than any other types of crisis.

“Nigerians are looking up to its moral leaders to help. It is actually time for those with moral credence to come forward and help,” he said.

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Another Lagos LGA chairman dies

Hon. Olufunmi Rafiu Olatunji, Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area in Lagos is dead

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Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area in Lagos Hon. Olufunmi Rafiu Olatunji is dead.

Olatunji died on Monday night.
It was gathered Olatunji had been battling with illness before his death.

He will be buried in accordance with Islamic rites today at his residence in Sangotedo, Ajah, Lagos.

Before his demise, he was seeking re-election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He emerged winner in the APC local government primary election with 1977 votes to become the party’s candidate in the forthcoming July 24th election.

Confirming his death, his Media Team on Tuesday morning in a Facebook post said: “With sorrow in our heart but in total submission to the will of Almighty Allah (S. W. T), we announce the passing, after a long battle with illness, our dear father, brother, friend, confidant, role model, Nation-builder, Hon. Olufunmi Rafiu Olatunji.

“He was until late night of Monday 21st June, 2021 the Executive Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area, Eti-Osa Local Government.

“He will be buried in accordance to Islamic rite by 9 am prompt at his residence in Sangotedo, Ajah, Lagos. We invite you to join us in paying the last respect to our beloved father, brother, friend and Boss.

“We are confident that Almighty Allah will grant him Al Jannah Firdaus.”

In a terse statement, chairman of Lagos Mainland Local Government, Hon. Mrs Omolola Essien expressed sadness over his sudden demise.

She said: “We commiserate with his family, friends, colleagues and staff of Eti-Osa Local Council development Area and pray against such unfortunate deaths in our fold.

“And On behalf of the good people of Lagos Mainland Local Government Areas, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the Conference 57 Chairmen, his family and pray that The Good Lord grants the people he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss and make paradise his final abode.”

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Lagos Assembly passes LASIEC Amendment Bill

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The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed the State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC (Amendment) Bill, 2021 for passage into Law.

Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa on Monday, passed the bill Having gone through its first, second and third reading at the plenary.

Obasa stated that: “The Election process of the Local Government and LASIEC which has started with the Parties contesting for the position is possibly affecting the tenure of the existing LASIEC Officials and the State needs to be on the safe side, hence, the need to look at the laws and amend where necessary to protect the effort of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission.

“The Intended Bill will empower the Governor to elongate the tenure of the officials of LASIEC and I think the six month proposed is too wide in this consideration because we need to be ahead in order to protect the State, so I proposed three month.”

The Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions and LASIEC, Victor Akande, stressed that the amendment being proposed was needed to ensure the Bill gets the necessary backing in order to stand the test of time.

Akande stated: “Only a singular fraction of the Bill is amended; the Bill also seeks to give the Governor the leverage to be able to use his power in case the tenure lapses. It is a good amendment in the right direction.”

Other members who made contributions, noted that the proposed amendment is a worthy one because the House and its democratic dispensation must ensure that it abides by the rule of Law.

The only addition is subsection 2 of the extant Law which provides for legislation that will necessitate the extension of the tenure of the Electoral Commission to perform it duties is however proposed to be amended since the Constitution states that no part of the people from the Commission shall administer themselves as democratically elected among the selection in the electoral process.

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DSS releases Kano singer detained for Blasphemy

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has released an Islamic singer, Ahmad Abdul, taking into custody after releasing a blasphemous song.

DailyTrust reports that Abdul was picked by the security agents for releasing the uncensored song titled ‘Barhama Gwaska’, perceived as blasphemous and capable of creating chaos in the state. The DSS had said it took the singer into protective custody to avert likely violent reactions against him from Kano residents.

While in detention, Abdul tendered an apology to the entire Muslim community, Kano state government, and Islamic scholars.

Confirming his release from custody today June 21, the Executive Secretary of Kano State Films and Video Censorship Board, Ismaila Na’abba Afakallah, said he had received hundreds of petitions against the song from concerned citizens. Afakallah said he reported the singer to the DSS which later arrested him at a hotel where he had been hiding for days to save him from the mob.

“He has been released as he regretted and apologised over his offence, promising not to repeat it” Afakallah said

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