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Ethnic, religious tensions: Osinbajo tasks leaders on sacrifice, risking popularity

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says leaders must be willing to make sacrifices and risk their popularity in order to attain long-lasting resolutions in situations of conflict, including ethnic and religious tensions.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Monday, said the Vice President disclosed this when he received a delegation from the Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) led by its Executive Chairman, Mr Disu Kamor, in Abuja.

MPAC is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the promotion of peace building and interfaith cohesion, among other objectives.

“There is a need to understand first of all, that there is no way that we can deal with the tensions between the faiths and ethnicities in Nigeria today unless those in leadership are prepared to make some important sacrifices.

“Those sacrifices are sacrifices even in what you say, how you say it, and then sacrifices also in the acknowledgment of whatever people are saying and the willingness to accept.

“It is very important that we don’t diminish the importance of language and respectful non-violent communication so that we are able to keep our discussions at a level that ensures that we don’t degenerate too quickly to violence.”

He cited the examples of the sacrifices made by the late South African leader, Nelson Mandela and Imam Abubakar Abdullahi of Barkin Ladi in Plateau.

 He said that Mandela, who had spent such a long time in jail under apartheid before becoming President still pushed for a South Africa where even his tormentors got equal treatment like other black South Africans.

Osinbajo said that, Abdullahi in 2018, put his life on the line to save the lives of over 200 Christians who took refuge in his mosque when some gunmen attacked the village of Nghar Yelwa in Barkin Ladi, Plateau,  and sought to kill the Christians.

“These are stories of people who are not only political or religious leaders but just ordinary people, doing the right thing.

“Unless we are prepared to not just talk about it but to make an open display, first of all, of those who are doing the right things, but more importantly, challenging our leaders to say the right things and to be prepared to risk some popularity in order to do so, then we will just be wasting a lot of time.”

He commended MPAC’s  efforts in promoting interfaith cohesion.

The vice president said that setting up an inclusive platform for interfaith dialogue should be an important consideration by concerned stakeholders.

“I think it is something that is important, especially one that takes into account younger people, professionals who are not necessarily religious leaders in that sense, maybe there might be a way to have a more inclusive interfaith dialogue.

“We are at a point in time in our history, where people who are responsible and like-minded from all of the faiths and ethnicities should come together to do something,” he said.

Earlier in his presentation, Kamor said MPAC had been involved in programmes and activities aimed at promoting cohesion among people of different faiths over the past decade.

He said the group was ready to collaborate with other stakeholders in deepening efforts aimed at ensuring peaceful coexistence and dousing the tensions across the country among people of different faiths.(NAN)

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Rivers Crisis: Police Barricade Of LG Secretariats To Continue, Says IGP

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The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun has directed the continuation of the police barricade on local government secretariats in Rivers State to prevent a breakdown of law and order.

IGP Egbetokun gave the directive while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja on the sideline of a Conference with Commissioners of Police and other Senior Officers.

He said the police will continue to occupy the secretariats until a court of competent jurisdiction delivers judgment on the local government crisis in Rivers State.

The IGP who also spoke on the controversy over the recruitment of constables and the allegations by the Police Service Commission (PSC) said the management of the Force will not sit idly and watch questionable and untrainable persons recruited into the police.

Egbetokun maintained that the Nigeria Police Force is a specialised institution that is not meant for all Nigerians.

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Eid-el-Kabir: Senate Leader Felicitates Muslim Faithful, Canvasses Patriotism

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Senate Leader, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
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The Leader of the Senate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele on Sunday urged Nigerians to demonstrate more patriotic spirit and keep hope alive amid diverse strategic measures the federal government had been taking to guarantee fiscal and monetary stability.

Bamidele, representing Ekiti Central in the Senate, also pleaded with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to accept whatever the federal government offered them above N60,000 as the new minimum wage.

He made the call in an Eid-el-Kabir message released by his Directorate of Media and Public Affairs on Saturday, highlighting some achievements of the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR.

While felicitating all Muslim faithful nationwide, Bamidele noted that Nigerians, regardless of religion and tribes, should team up with and rally support for the Tinubu administration to safely steer the ship of the nation into a successful end.

Bamidele further emphasised that no nation could travel the journey of national rebirth alone without the unwavering support of its citizens not minding their political, cultural and social backgrounds and orientations.

He assured that the current administration would leave no stone unturned in alleviating the economic hardship most Nigerians “are currently grappling with and ensure stability in our macroeconomic environment.

“The administration might have taken some measures affecting nearly every citizen. The measures were meant to subject to hardship and penury. Rather they were taken in the best interest of our dear country. But with courage and tenacity in implementation, the measures will soon yield desired outcomes.”

On this note, Bamidele passionately appealed to the NLC and TUC to toe the path of dialogue and peace in the negotiation of a new minimum wage, which the President had promised to duly address without delay and within the capacity of the federal government.

Bamidele said the federal government “has conceded to N60,000, which obviously translates to a 100 percent increase. However, the organised labour turned down the 100 percent increase offer, the highest wage increase since the birth of the Fourth Republic.

“In the interest of public welfare, the federal government has agreed to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will not remain in this condition forever. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse negative economic indicators.”

In the spirit of the season, the Leader further urged all Muslims to emulate love and good neighbourliness exemplified by Prophet Mohammed during his time and how he related very well with people of other faiths and nationalities.

He appealed that the ongoing reengineering initiatives of the Tinubu administration could only yield democratic dividends in an atmosphere devoid of insecurity, but where lives and property are protected.

He said: “Just to mention a few among ongoing projects like the 700 kilometres Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, the establishment of N50 Billion Pulako Initiative and annual recruitment of 30,000 new police personnel are Key Performance Indicators of this government.

“Only recently, this government declared a state of emergency in agriculture and launched the National Agricultural Development Fund with N100 billion, in addition to the Dry Season Farming Initiative and the Green Imperative Programme to ensure food security across the land.

“All these and other components of the 8-point Renewed Hope Agenda require the patriotic support and prayers for their deliverables to multiply at the doorsteps of Nogerians in the remaining three years of the first term of this government.”

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OSUN GOVERNMENT TO HOST INDUSTRIAL INVESTMENT SUMMIT IN SEPTEMBER, 2024

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Osun State Gov Ademola Adeleke
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The Osun State Government under the leadership of Governor Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke has concluded arrangements to host an Industrial Investment Summit, come September 2024.

This is contained in a press statement by the Summit Consultant, Prince Rotimi Awelewa, in Osogbo on Thursday.

The Industrial Investment Summit is expected to hold at the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, Cultural Centre, Abeere, Osun State.

It will be recalled that the State Governor, represented by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Rev. Bunmi Jenyo, in May this year inaugurated the Central Working Committee for the Osun Industrial Investment Summit, 2024.

According to the statement, the State will be hosting a 3-day “Industrial Investment Summit 2024 from September 11 to September 13,2024 with the theme ‘Connecting Progress with Purpose’ which will focus on the bid to position Osun State as a major industrial and Commercial hub in Nigeria and West Africa.

The Osun State Investment Summit 2024 is packaged to showcase bankable opportunities and strategic matchmaking platforms, convening stakeholders to Osun Industrial ecosystem to facilitate partnerships and investments in the State.

According to Prince Awelewa, “the principal objective and focus of the Summit is to set an economic policy agenda for accelerated industrial investments in Osun State, Nigeria, underpinned by sustainable and inclusive development”.

“Through focused discussions and deliberations, the Summit seeks to identify and address the key challenges and opportunities for transforming Osun State economy, with a particular emphasis on the role of Agriculture, Industrial Advancement, Manufacturing, Tourism and Capital Investment”, he said.

The Summit is also expected to focus on driving double-digit industrial investment and economic growth across every nook and cranny of Osun State.

“This year’s Summit will create and expand channels for leveraging the qualitative Industrial, Agricultural, Mining, Tourism and ICT potentials of the State, for inclusive and sustainable wealth creation for the people and the nation”, the consultant said.

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