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Outgoing President’s Handover Speech, Jan 2017

Date: 1.29.2017

Secretary-General, Dr. Freeman Kamuru

Treasurer, Mr. Ibrahim Maikori

Immediate Past President, Prof. Tunga Lergo

Fellow Dear SOKAD Members, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

It is has been great pleasure serving as President of this great Association, these past 4 years. To be specific, Nov. 25, 2012 was when I assumed the mantel of leadership (first as Interim President and subsequently as the President). Thanks to all of you members of SOKAD who made my tenure, and on behalf of the exco, our tenure successful. We could not have done anything without you. We are very appreciative of all the support you gave us.

What did we achieve in the last four years? Let me spend a few moments to remind members of the things we accomplished in the last 4 years.

1)   Schools Aide Program.

In the last 4 years we were able to provide material support to some select Primary schools. In all we have provided materials to 6 primary schools. These are:

2013- Lea Primary school Zac-Zawan-Sanga LGA (2012).

2014-i)  LGEA Primary School Kurdan, Zangon Kataf Local Government Area

  1. ii) UNICEF Model Primary Schools, KurminKwara, Dadu, Jaba Local Government.

2015-i) LGEA Primary School Dura, Jab LGA

  1. ii) LGEA Primary School Kamuru-Ikulu, Zangon Kataf LGA

2016- LGEA Primary School, Tunga Nok Jaba    LGA

As at today our donations amounted to at least $6000 over the last 4 years.

All these accomplishments could not been done without the help of our great friend Professor Bala Dogo whose NGO (CARE NGO) has been instrumental in executing our projects at home. They print the books, purchase the materials and provided logistics on the delivery of the materials to the respective schools. To Professor Bala Dogo and CARE-NGO, we say a loud and big thank you.

Executing these projects has not been without a cost. We spent a total of $6000.00 to execute these projects. Where did this money come from? It came from members’ contribution and dues.

Attendance at these presentations has been very encouraging. Reputable journalists have attended and covered our presentations. In the last presentation the Current Commissioner of Education attended.

2)      Advocacy.

We have championed aggressively an advocacy role in the last 4 years. This included press releases, Publications in news outlets-Nigeria world, Nigeria Village square, Elombah, National impressions. Some of the press releases(to mention few) were:

  1. i) National Conference.

https://www.sokadusa.com/memorandum-by-southern-kaduna-in-the-diaspora-sokad-united-states-of-america-to-the-national-conference-i/

  1. ii) Religious Bill

https://www.sokadusa.com/the-need-for-free-exercise-of-religion-in-kaduna-state/

iii)               On the elections of 2015

https://www.sokadusa.com/%ef%bb%bfsokad-urges-southern-kaduna-voters-to-go-and-vote-on-february-14-28-%ef%bb%bf/

  1. iv) Fulani/Herdsmen attacks, Moroa, fadan Karshi, etc.
  2. a) https://www.sokadusa.com/the-ethnic-and-religious-cleansing-in-kaduna-state/
  3. b) https://www.sokadusa.com/southern-kaduna-facing-worst-situation-since-independence-sokad-usa/
  4. c) https://www.sokadusa.com/save-nigeria-stop-the-islamic-political-agenda-an-open-letter-to-president-mohammed-buhari/
  5. v) Danfulani:
  6. https://www.sokadusa.com/southern-kaduna-john-danfulani-and-the-current-political-dispensation/
  7. https://www.sokadusa.com/kaduna-state-indigenes-abroad-call-for-the-immediate-release-of-detained-kaduna-state-university-lecturer/
  8. vi) Land Grab, The Gbadyi people

https://www.sokadusa.com/an-open-letter-to-governor-el-rufai-temper-justice-with-mercy-on-the-gbagyi/

vii)             Grazing Reserve

http://nigeriaworld.com/news/source/2014/may/6/1003.html

viii) Call for Indictment-Gov. Yero

https://www.sokadusa.com/southern-kaduna-diaspora-making-the-case-for-indicting-governor-mukhtar-ramalan-yero-of-kaduna-state-nigeria-for-crimes-against-humanity/

Please refer to: sokadusa.com for more

3)      Website

Our website is vibrant. sokadusa.com. Descent features and publications are there. Needs improvement, though. Members are encouraged to visit and take advantage of it.  Suggestions are welcome to improve on it.

4)   IRS Registration

SOKAD is now a registered  Not for Profit Organization. We have 501(c)3 status. Which means when you make donation it will be tax deductible. Members are encouraged to take advantage of this development as well.

Challenges It was in my heart that we have a general meeting where we will all gather in person. This could not take place. I suggest the in-coming Exco to look into it seriously. I wish all of us in the USA are all in one city. That will make it easier.

Funds: We want to reach out to many communities and/or institutions with our Home Aid projects. But fund is the limiting factor.

Ladies and gentlemen, all the accomplishments listed above could not be successfully executed without your inputs.  On behalf of the Exco I say Thank you.

When I took office I promised we will abide by our constitution and by-laws. We did. These documents were our guiding principles. We did not deviate from them. I take pride in that

We are not where we want to be. I see the promised land. We will get there. Our people are in poverty. Our lands are being taken away from us. Ethnic/Religious cleansing is going on in our homeland. I encourage us to join hands in the fight for our land on behalf of our people. We should not despair. It may seem dark now but light is at the end of the tunnel. We will overcome.

Let me encourage you with these 2 proverbs. The first says, “The journey of 1000 miles begins with the first.” The second says, “How do you eat an elephant? By taking one bite at a time.”  Also it was Edmund Burke who  said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. By taking one mile at a time or one bite at a time we will accomplish much. Every one of us in this forum have something valuable to contribute to the growth SOKAD. Please contribute to the development of SOKAD and the Southern Kaduna People.

Finally, just as you supported me I urge you all to support Dr. Freeman and the incoming Exco with all that you have. On this note I wish to thank you for the opportunity to serve and now I hand over the mantle of leadership to Dr. Freeman Kamuru.

Long live SOKAD

Long live the Southern Kaduna People

May God bless you all.

Thank you.

Likita Aminu, MD, MPH

President, SOKAD-USA, 2013-2016

Southern Kaduna Killings: Southern Kaduna in Diaspora hit hard on Elrufai Bigotry over Southern Kaduna

Your Excellency,

Southern Kaduna Diaspora ( SOKAD) continues to be troubled by your handling of the genocide in Southern Kaduna.  We have expressed our concerns about this on several occasions, specific to the intimidation of your critics, with the hope that the state will modify its approach, but to no avail.  While the Kaduna State government has made pronouncements on its desire to secure a lasting peace in Southern Kaduna, its actions, so far, have directly contradicted its pronouncements.

One important step in the process of securing peace in any community is to dialogue with legitimate representatives of the people of the community. However, when the state arrogates to itself the sole power to decide who it will dialogue with, and ignores the people’s choice, it shows that the state call for peace is not genuine.

A case in point is your attitude toward Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU). SOKAPU is the legitimate representative of the ethnic groups in Southern Kaduna. For the Governor of Kaduna State to refuse to dialogue with this respected group and to refer to its officers as bigots, is unfortunate and unacceptable.  Your statement on National Television that you will not meet with SOKAPU to discuss strategies for achieving peace in Southern Kaduna raises serious questions about your commitment to peace in the area. SOKAPU is a nationally and internationally respected group, led by learned professionals in different fields of human endeavors, who are well equipped to offer useful advice to the Governor and others in leadership who are truly concerned about the ethnic and religious cleansing going on in Southern Kaduna.

The recent Operation Harbin Kunama in Southern Kaduna, was initially seen as a positive step toward achieving lasting peace in the area; it was hoped that perpetrators of the genocide-the armed Fulani herdsmen, would be disarmed. Many people in southern Kaduna were leery and skeptical of the effort, just as they were of the establishment of a permanent military presence in the area.  Those fears are now confirmed as the Operation Harbin Kunama entered its second phase a couple of weeks ago.  As it turned out, it is innocent and helpless people of Southern Kaduna who are having their hunting tools and rifles confiscated and soldiers are reported to be going house to house disarming them.  The state has failed these citizens by not protecting them and now it is taking away any chance of resistance against the terrorist that are wiping them out.  The state is therefore aiding and abating the ongoing genocide.  This is wrong and therefore unacceptable.  From available reports, no terrorist has been disarmed or arrested. The Fulani herdsmen are still armed and keeping their weapons. While some elected Southern Kaduna politicians, such as Senator Danjuma Leah have had their legally obtained guns confiscated, the Emirate in Kafanchan which is widely believed to be a repository of illegally obtained weapons, has not been searched.

SOKAD is also troubled that Kaduna State is deliberately undermining the education of Southern Kaduna. Under the pretext of security, you and your Commissioner for Education, have closed the only two tertiary Institutions in Southern Kaduna and have no plan to reopen them.

The State and Federal governments’ actions have clearly demonstrated a half-hearted and biased commitment to finding peace in Southern Kaduna.  In several instances, their actions have and continue to undermine the ability of the people to defend themselves.  Such actions amount to war crimes that are prosecutable.  Their offices are term limited and the actions or inaction of those in power, who have sworn to protect and defend the constitution of the Republic and to comply with international agreements on basic universal human rights will be called to order and tried in due time.

SOKAD will continue to contribute its quota to ending the genocide in Southern Kaduna. We are committed to being a watchdog for accountable leadership from those elected to serve the people. In his recent letter to you, Rev Fr. Paul D.Jatau reminded you of your pledge “…. that you will do your best to restore Kaduna to a State that works for the people regardless of tribe, ethnic or religious affiliation.  You said that when this is achieved, we will shout for joy, saying Liberty!, Freedom! Tyranny is dead”Governor, the people of southern Kaduna have had little cause to shout for joy under your regime as the liberty and freedom that you promised as a candidate continues to elude us.  Instead, unspeakable tyranny has been visited on us under your watch more than at any time in living memory.

Meanwhile, for real first step to bringing security to our part of the State, SOKAD suggests the following:

  1. The State should establish dialogue with SOKAPU as the umbrella organization that represents the people of Southern Kaduna.
  2. The search and seizure of the hunting weapons of Southern Kaduna farmers must stop. The focus of Operation Whatever should be on the real perpetrators of the genocide.
  3. All Perpetrators of atrocities in Southern Kaduna must be arrested and brought to justice
  4. All Southern Kaduna indigenes wrongly arrested should be released without preconditions.
  5. The Kaduna State University Kafanchan Campus, and College of Education, GidanWaya, that have remained on indefinite closure, should be reopened.

Freeman Kamuru, PhD, MD, President, SOKAD

 

Danlami Ngboze, MA, PhD, Secretary General, SOKAD

 

Saidu John, B.Eng , Financial Secretary, SOKAD

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Southern Kaduna Killings: Audu Maikori Arrested

Southern Kaduna Killings: Audu Maikori Arrested

A Nigerian Lawyer and music industry mogul, Audu Maikori, has been
arrested by some men of the Nigeria Police Force on the orders of
Kaduna state governor, Nasir El Rufai, it was gathered.

Audu Maikori who is the head of Choc-City, was arrested in Lagos today
Friday and flown to the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

The governor ordered his arrest following advocacy that Maikori, a
native of Southern Kaduna, had been doing online over the systematic
killing of his people by Fulani herdsmen militia.

A lot of human rights activists are working for his release.

Southern Kaduna facing worst situation since Independence – SOKAD-USA

 http://dailypost.ng/2016/11/07/southern-kaduna-facing-worst-situation-since-independence-sokad-usa/

fulani-herdsman

The people of Southern Kaduna in the diaspora (SOKAD), United States branch has said that their people back home are facing worst time since Nigeria got its independence in 1960.

Among issues raised by the group are the continued detention of Dr John Danfulani and the continuous killing of its kinsmen by suspected Fulani hearsmen.

The group said instead of the government to channel it energy in addressing the killing, tax payers’ money was being used to prosecute Dr John Danfulani for speaking against its policies, despite the fact that a lower court had thrown out such charges.

In a statement titled, “Southern Kaduna, John Danfulani and the Current Political Dispensation,” the group said it met on October 30, 2016, on the plight of its brethren and communities back home.

“This is the worst possible condition that our people have experienced since the modern Nigerian State was formed.

“The repeated massacre of innocent people, including children, women by Fulani herdsmen and their mercenaries and the political persecution of Dr. John Danfulani by the Kaduna state government are among the recent developments that are very troubling and disturbing to us,” the group said.

The statement jointly signed by Aminu Likita, MD, MPH President, Freeman Kamuru, PhD, MD Secretary General, Ibrahim A. Maikori M.Ed Financial Secretary said, “The community of Godogodo in Sanga local government area has been turned into a genocide field where natives and indigenes of the area have been under relentless brutal and barbaric attacks for no other reasons other than being who they are.

“Several weeks ago, Governor El-Rufai visited the area and promised the affected communities and all of southern Kaduna that he would work hard to end these atrocities. The State Security Council met in Kafanchan that week as a demonstration of the commitment of the State to bring lasting peace to the area.

“Sadly, since then, the frequency, severity and intensity of the attacks have all increased with no response from the state government.

“On October 10, 2015, over 40 innocent people were murdered in and around Godogodo and many others were injured.

“To date, no one has been arrested or charged with these heinous crimes. We believe that an ill-informed plan to expand grazing reserves in this part of the state has fueled the barbarism of these terrorists, who have often claimed that the locals were residing in land earmarked for grazing reserves.

“The unwillingness of the state to protect the lives and properties of citizens of southern Kaduna in their homeland suggest that we are actually witnessing the intended consequences of the expansion of grazing reserves in the area.

“The treatment of Dr. John Danfulani by the state, including his unwarranted and illegal detention by agents of the state, underscores what the current regime thinks about our people.

“This gentleman and scholar has had his basic and fundamental civil and human rights violated and denied with impunity.

“This is a flagrant demonstration and abuse of power. The man lamented the plight of Northern Nigeria and expressed strong views about the contributing factors that explain our condition in the larger North for which he was arrested and detained in January this year; in August, the government lost the case.

“However, on October 27, he was rearrested for the same offence, and in a show of arrogance of power, the Judge refused him bail because she had to attend a seminar.

“The right to speak freely is enshrined in our constitution and has been enjoyed by many, including those who took offense to what he wrote.

“There was nothing in his writings remotely close to inciting people to disrupt public peace and order, as was alleged by the state. There has been no loss of life and no injuries suffered by anyone that can be attributed to the write up.

“Yet, he has been repeatedly harassed, arrested and detained while the Fulani herdsmen and their mercenaries who have killed many innocent and law abiding citizens in Southern Kaduna are walking around freely.

“The democratic credential of the leadership of Kaduna has been severely tarnished by the vindictiveness being projected and expressed towards the southern Kaduna people and some of its elites.

“The elections are over and it is past time to strive to be the governor of the entire state without reprisal based on the voting results. The leaders of the liberal state, as our beloved state is known, should live to those ideals of liberalism that work toward achieving justice and liberty for all. At the moment, the people of southern Kaduna are not feeling the goodwill of the state government.

“This week, former President Goodluck Jonathan, a giant in African political transitions and inclusive governance, proudly observed that, throughout his time as president, not a single Nigerian was incarcerated for his or her political views.

“That is worthy of emulation and should instruct the current state and National leaderships, which benefitted immensely from that political philosophy when they were in the opposition. We call for the state to use all available resources to protect our communities from terrorist attacks and to free Dr Danfulani without further delay. Justice delayed is justice denied.”

Save Nigeria: Stop the Islamic Political Agenda; An Open Letter to President Mohammed Buhari

Southern Kaduna in the Diaspora (SOKAD), USA                                                    Email: gurarakaduna@yahoo.com

                     Web site: sokadusa.com

 

Last month, a coalition of 20 major Christian groups in Nigeria drew the attention of all Nigerians and the world to the most serious challenge currently facing our beloved country since the civil war.  The clarion call was appropriate and timely.  The scourge of Islamism, which was well defined in the press release, is a global menace that has brought untold suffering to millions of people around the world and is affecting peoples of all religions.  That radical and violent political ideology appears to have reared its head in Nigeria, first in the beastial activities of Boko Haram, and now in the civilization jihad of the current APC-led government at different levels.

As the PR correctly and accurately pointed out, a vast majority of the key appointments in the federal government have gone to people from just 3 of the 389 ethnic groups.  In addition, many of those appointees are avowed Islamists.  In the security sector, for example, the IG of police, chief of army staff, ministers of defense and internal affairs, director general of the state security service, national security advisor, and commandant general of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp are all of the Hausa-Fulani Muslim extraction.  The same is true of the presidency, where the chief of staff, ADC, CSO, principal, and private secretaries are also of that extraction.  In the judiciary division, the chief justice of the federation, head of federal courts of appeals, registrars, and principal officers are, likewise, mainly from that group.  Strangely and interestingly, for a group not known to value education as compared to other groups, they also head the councils of higher institutions, including universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and admission boards, including JAMB.  Of the 48 crucial appointments made by the president, more than 50% of the appointees came from 1 of the 6 broad geographical zones; the Northwest zone produced 25 of his 48 appointments to critically important offices, while the Southeast, for example, had none (zero).

In his inaugural speech on May 29, 2015, the president stated the following:

“With the support and cooperation he has given to the transition process, he has made it possible for us to show the world that, despite the perceived tension in the land, we can be a united people, capable of doing what is right for our nation. Together, we cooperated, to surprise the world that had come to expect only the worst from Nigeria. I hope this act of graciously accepting defeat by the outgoing president will become the standard of political conduct in the country.”

The perceived tension that the president alluded to is worse and more palpable today than when he was inaugurated.  This is not only because of the severe economic hardship that average Nigerians are subjected to these days, but also because of the unmistakably strong agenda that he is pursuing against the rest of the 386 ethnic groups in Nigeria. There is a palpable sense that the country is being pushed to the brink.

The rise of Islamic terrorism by jihadists and Fulani herders mostly targeting lush communities in the middle belt is being fueled by what is seen as tacit support from the APC government at the three levels of government.  No meaningful effort has been made to stop the endless killing of innocent women, children, and the elderly during their most vulnerable and defenseless hours—while they sleep.  The affected communities have not been provided any assistance to defend themselves.  After the attacks, survivors struggle to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, with no help from any level of government.  We note, with dismay, that the federal government promptly responded with a robust security program to combat cattle rustling in the Northwest, but is unwilling to develop a similar response to protect human lives in the middle belt states, southern Kaduna, and farming communities in the Nigerian south, that have suffered the barbarism of Fulani herders.  Instead, these states are being coerced, and with totalitarian tactics, their ancestral lands are being hijacked for grazing reserves.  Incidentally, the proposed grazing reserves in Kaduna State, for example, are said to include permanent structures, including schools for primary and secondary education, as well as bore holes and dams, among other facilities.  This is hardly a sensible way to squander limited public resources on a single minority group who are at liberty to use the existing educational infrastructure available to all other Nigerians.  The history of Nomadic education in the last 30 years has been a colossal failure; billions of Naira have gone into the pockets of the domesticated Fulani, with no significant improvement in education attainment or social evolution in the targeted group.  But a government that buys into the political Islamic ideology would not care less about the stewardship of public resources, even if it carries a progressive label.

The political Islamic agenda of President Buhari must be discontinued henceforth, as a practical step toward demonstrating a willingness and readiness to pull Nigeria back from the brink of what would be an unmitigated disaster.  The president must recalibrate and move toward the ideals expressed in his inaugural speech—he should be a president for all, not just for a few.

The federal appointments so far are unfair, unjust, and ill-advised. SOKAD suggests that federal appointments reflect the federal character, as enshrined in our constitution. The appointments should also reflect religious balance across the country, since the president is president for all Nigerians.

Aminu Likita, MD, MPH, President

Freeman Kamuru, PhD, MD, Secretary General

Ibrahim A. Maikori, M.Ed Financial Secretary

 

Kaduna community protests incessant attacks, killings

August 26, 2016

  NAN

The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, in collaboration with Coalition of Professionals in Southern Kaduna, on Friday staged a peaceful protest in Gwantu, Sanga Local Government Area, over “incessant attacks by herdsmen”.

Many communities in the area had come under attacks that claimed scores of lives.

The attackers also destroyed crops and livestock in Ninte, Angwan-Ayu, Gad-Biyu and Angwan- Mada villages in Jema’a and Sanga Local Government Areas.

The protesters, who were led by SOKAPU President, Mr Solomon Musa, and the Chairman, Coalition of Professionals, Mr Mark Jacob, condemned the “systematic and continuous killings of innocent people” in the areas.

Musa said that the people took to the streets to appeal to people of good will and conscience to reach out to the authorities to tackle the security situation in the area.

He said, “We want to tell the whole world that there has been enough bloodshed here; we want everyone to know that harmless and armless people in Sanga and other parts of Southern Kaduna are being killed.”

Musa called for a joint military operation to stem the tide of the killings as was done to other crises-ridden areas.

He claimed that more than 50,000 people had either been killed or displaced from 24 villages since the first invasion that took place in 2011.

He said, “In 2014 alone, there were 30,000 refugees that fled from Sanga alone.

“Those natives have yet to return home as herdsmen have converted their farm lands into grazing grounds,” he said.

The President said that the people of the area had the right to live in peace and pursue their livelihood in a free society as guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution and the United Nation Convention charter.

He said that the protest was not motivated by any political, religious or ethnic affiliations, pointing out that the people were only united in their grief and their desire to be protected.

Musa commended Gov. Nasir El-Rufai over his recent visit to the ravaged villages, and urged the government to back its words with actions by deploying adequate security to the area.

Jacob, in his remarks, regretted that people were killed “barely two days after the visit of the Governor”.

He said, “One Pastor Luka Ubangari of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Ungwan Anjo in Godogodo was killed not long after the governor left.

“Two days ago, the attackers went to Ningon and killed Mr Gambo Sule and Benjamin Auta.

“A major concern for us is that in spite of these massive attacks, no one has been arrested and charged to court.”

The protesters also solicited assistance for the Internally Displaced Persons from members of the public, Churches, Mosques, corporate and public organisations, NGOs, international agencies and governments.

The protesters carried placards some of which read: “Enough is Enough,” “Stop the Genocide,” “Free our children,” amongst others.

SOKAD donates learning materials to primary school in Kaduna, 2016

NAN-H-7
Donation
Kaduna, July 2, 2016 (NAN) The U.S. Chapter of Southern Kaduna in the Diaspora (SOKAD) on Saturday donated books and instructional materials worth N330,000 to Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) Primary School, Tunga Nok.

Tunga Nok is in Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Presenting the items to the beneficiary in Kaduna, the President of SOKAD, Dr Likita Aminu, said the gesture was part of the organisation’s contribution to the state’s educational development.

Aminu said: “On May 6, 2013 our organisation, SOKAD, donated school supplies worth N158, 000 to Zack-Zawan Primary School, Sanga Local Government Area.

“On that day, SOKAD said the gesture was the beginning of series of such donations to come.

“And in 2014, we made similar donations to LGEA Primary School Kurdan, Zangon Kataf Local Government Area and UNICEF Model Primary Schools, KurminKwara, Dadu, Jaba Local Government Area’’.

He explained that in 2015, two other schools, namely LGEA Primary Schools Dura and Kamuru-Ikulu I in Jaba and Zangon Kataf Local Government Areas respectively, received donations from the association.

“As at today, our total donations have amounted to N1.8 million.

“We will continue to play our part by contributing to the socio-economic development of our society.

“We are committed to the education of our people and hope to play an active role in that regard because education remains the main driver of development of any society,’’ he said.

Aminu listed some of the items donated as books, pens, school bags, rulers, pencils and other instructional materials.
SOKAD former President, Prof. Tunga Lergo, represented Aminu at the occasion.

Receiving the items on behalf of the school, a former Chairman of Jaba Local Government Area, Mr Alex Guruza, thanked SOKAD for the gesture.

Guruza called on other organisations to emulate SOKAD and join the crusade of liberating rural dwellers from illiteracy through the provision of educational infrastructure and materials.

Earlier, the state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Andrew Nok, thanked SOKAD for the laudable gesture.

Nok particularly applauded the association’s support in developing the young ones educationally, adding that the gesture would go a long way in building a healthy and viable nation.

He said the Malam Nasiru El-Rufai-led administration had made education and health priorities to ensure that the younger generation was developed mentally and educationally.

He appealed to other organisations, both within and outside the country, to emulate SOKAD and support the current administration’s quest to reposition the education sector in the state.

Meanwhile, Mrs Joy Dogo, the Executive Director of a Kaduna-based NGO, Care and Action Research, which hosted the event, appealed for partnership with the state government.

Dogo explained that the NGO wanted to partner with the Kaduna State Government with focus on improving the literacy level of out-of-school youths as well as aged men and women.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SOKAD is an organisation of indigenes from the southern part of Kaduna State in the Diaspora with branches in the U.S. and Canada. (NAN)
FDY/ASS/PDE
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Nigeria

Campaign funds: Director of Finance of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman, returns N23m to FG

Campaign funds: Director of Finance of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman, returns N23m to FG


Nenadi Usman
Adelani Adepegba and Eniola Akinkuotu

The Director of Finance of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman, has returned N23m to the Federal Government, SUNDAY PUNCH has learnt.

Usman was last Thursday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly receiving N2.5bn which emanated from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

A reliable source at the EFCC told our correspondent on condition of anonymity that she had promised to return more funds.

“Nenadi Usman has been cooperating with us. In fact, she has returned N23m to the Federal Government,” he said.

Usman, who is being quizzed by the EFCC, told investigators that all she did was based on the instructions of Jonathan, adding that she did not know that the funds belonged to taxpayers.

According to the source, Usman told investigators that as the Director of Finance of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation, she was asked to set up a bank account during the build-up to the election, which she did.

She allegedly said all donations were made to Jonathan’s campaign through Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited and it was through the said account that funds were released to all campaign directors, zonal coordinators and other related parties and groups which campaigned for the PDP.

It was through the same account that the Director of Publicity, Femi Fani-Kayode, was paid N840m. It was also through the same account that the Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Olu Falae, and Rashidi Ladoja, allegedly received N100m each.

Ex-political adviser to Jonathan, Prof. Rufai Alkali, who was the Coordinator of the Goodluck Support Group, allegedly collected N320m on behalf of the group while several governorship candidates of the PDP equally received money from the account.

However, the EFCC source said, “She told us that she did not know the funds belonged to the Federal Government. However, we asked her why she didn’t verify and also why didn’t she set up an account bearing the name of the PDP. Why did she use her company account if not that she wanted to keep things secret.”

Meanwhile, one of the campaign managers of Jonathan’s re-election campaign said the National Intelligence Agency was aware of the alleged diversion of funds from the CBN.

It was reported that N4bn was transferred from the account of the CBN into a mysterious account known as the Ministry of External Affairs Library before it was moved to an account known as Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited which is controlled by Usman.

However, the source said the account was set up by the NIA, which is under the Office of the National Security Adviser.

It was learnt that some officials of the NIA had been quizzed by the EFCC to explain why the account was set up.

A reliable source said, “During the build-up to the last elections, when monies were going to be diverted from the account of the CBN, the Ministry of External Affairs Library was set up with the connivance of officials of the NIA. It was done so that the transaction would seem as if the money was being transferred to a Federal Government account and it would not raise any red flags. The Permanent Secretary at the Villa then drew up a memo on the instructions of the President and the CBN deposited the funds into the account of the Ministry of External Affairs.

“From there, the money was paid into Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited, from where monies were sent to all stakeholders during the electioneering. Preliminary investigations however suggest that the Ministry of External Affairs Library does not even exist.”

From the Ministry of External Affairs Library, N2.5bn was transferred to Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited while N140m cash was allegedly paid into her Zenith Bank Account with number, 1000158311, domiciled on 7, Kachia Road, Kaduna.

In a related development, security experts have called for investigation into the alleged diversion of N4bn through the NIA.

A former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, said if it was true that the agency was used for money laundering, this means it had lost credibility.

“If they are using NIA for money laundering, it means it has lost credibility. If it was being used for money laundering, a crime against the nation, this means that NIA has totally lost credibility.”

Another security analyst, Max Gbanite, said it was unlawful for politicians to use an intelligence agency to divert public funds, adding that officers involved in the alleged crime should be interrogated and made to explain what transpired. “Politicians have been embezzling money before now, but if politicians used the NIA to divert money, it is criminal and the officers in the agency need to be interrogated,” Gbanite said.

Re: THE NEED FOR FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION IN KADUNA STATE

April 19, 2016

By    Bitrus E Gwadah

Brothers, 

              I found in my inbox the above – stated article, and want to sincerely thank you for sharing your views on this very important topic. I commend your observations on the proposed “BILL FOR A LAW TO SUBSTITUTE THE KADUNA STATE RELIGIOUS PREACHING LAW, 1984….”

Permit me to comment without any reference to the statement credited to His Excellency the Governor concerning Muslim/Christian population. I would also not make any references to comments already being made by other participants, for personal reasons.

Because matters of faith and belief tend to appeal first to emotion, I will appeal that you go through my observations with a huge dose of unusual patience.

Here are my comments, observations and views: 

1. It is helpful, as a Christian, to ask this question, which I also humbly recommend to you too: if Christ was here on the same table participating in this discussion on this topic, what would have been His view, or views?

2. It is not helpful to always label any issue as one between THEM and US. I believe that the elite of every community have a duty and a responsibility to offer criticism and advice in a manner that will build society, not destroy it, irrespective of the “provocation” offered.

3. Human Rights and Democracy are not absolute terms. Your (human) rights and that of others rest always on shared grounds, hence the saying “your rights end where my nose begin”. 

4. It is true that the 1984 edict as amended in 1987 were military legislations, however, upon the return of civilian administration, all legislation initiated by the military while in power, whether decrees or edicts, become Acts and Laws of the Federal/State governments and remain in force until properly repealed. The applicability of the 1984 and 1987 laws subsist, and are not unconstitutional. The Kaduna state government effort to substitute this law is therefore legal and does not offend the constitution of Nigeria.

6. In your first paragraph, you condemned the 1984 law as military and unconstitutional, but in your last paragraph you said “what is needed is to enforce the existing law. There is no need for a new one.” I do not understand how you could condemn a law for being unconstitutional and then turn right round to advocate for its enforcement? But to give you the benefit of doubt, I can only assume, in essence, that you agree with the need for a law, that is, the intent of the law, but disagree with its content? If that is the case, then here we share some common ground, and here is my explanation: 

a. The regulation of religious preaching in Kaduna is absolutely advisable. This need is of great antiquity. It even predates the birth of Mallam Nasir. Back in 1958, the legislature of the northern region empaneled jurists, to examined the need for a law to regulate religious preaching in a pluralistic and largely illiterate society such as Northern Nigeria. The Jurists used drafts of similar codes used in India, Pakistan and the Sudan and eventually recommended the one for Northern Nigeria, named the NORTHERN NIGERIA PENAL CODE LAW, which was then adopted as law in 1959. On the attainment of Nigeria’s independence, the Penal Code Law became operative throughout the North in 1960. Chapter XVI of the Penal, containing four sections, is perhaps the earliest post independence law in the North on OFFENSES RELATING TO RELIGION.

b. In February, 2012, the late Governor Yakowa inaugurated the Kaduna State Peace and Reconciliation Committee (KSPRC), co-chaired by elder Abbas Dabo Sambo and AVM Ishaya Aboi Shekari (rtd). The KSPRC name is sufficient explanation of its objectives. There were 70 members, one later withdrew. A the end of deliberations, the KSPRC made far reaching recommendations on matters of peaceful co-existence. More specifically, the KSPRC recommended as follows: 

                           

                         ”  i. Government should regulate religious activities in the state BY ENFORCING 

                              EXISTING LAWS ON RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES.

                            ii. Government should legislate against stereotyping and hate preaching penalty     

                                should be imposed on any person or group of persons involved in 

                                stereotyping and hate preaching.”

7. As a member of the KSPRC, I can testify that the above quoted recommendations were some of the very few that received unanimous approval. This recommendation was reached after a thorough review of existing legislation on the subject.  Although the final decision would ultimately be that of the Governor, members voted to clarify that EXISTING LAWS meant Chapter XVI, Sections 210, 211, 212 and 213 of the Penal Code, and no other.

Here, my brothers, I suggest that you adopt the KSPRC definition of EXISTING LAWS, since you agree that “there is no need for a new one.”

The problem, my brothers, is not the laws or the lack of them. Nigeria can boast of one of the most comprehensive system of laws on the continent. WHAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN LACKING IS EXECUTIVE COURAGE TO ENFORCE LAWS. 

8. Consider for a moment, just as a quick example: the Government of Kaduna State pays for the cleaning of township streets daily, including weekends. Each morning the sweepers do their job thoroughly. But, as soon as they are done, herdsmen bring their cows onto the tarred city streets for “grazing”. The cows drop their dung all over the streets. Vehicles drive over and splash the dung on other vehicles and pedestrians. Day in, day out. Then you ask, why does govt waste so much money to clean streets just so cows can do their thing on it? Simple. Government does not have the will, the courage to control a few cows because they are owned by powerful men the govt would rat her avoid a confrontation with. Try driving without your seat belt in Kaduna. The FRSC will give you a ticket, but not the herdsmen, who violate Sec 197 of the Penal Code daily.

The only reason people get away with crime is Govt’s lack of will to enforce laws.

9. Before I end, permit me to share with you some of my views about the proposed legislation.

a.the new law is unnecessary, reasons aforementioned. The Penal Code sections quoted cover the mischief without incensing the passion.

b. the recognition of two religions for the purpose of the proposed law is unconstitutional.

c. The use CAN and JNI as intervention agents is not proper. These are mere NGOs, whose constitutions don’t even bind all of their assumed members. So who will hold them accountable for the role given? Besides, of late it has been publicly proven that both JNI and CAN are both susceptible to political manipulation and control by politicians. These are not the best NGOs to be assigned a role on the enforcement of public laws.  I have no objection to the use of individuals in committees that can be held accountable. 

d. I disagree with the proposal that Muslim suspects would be tried in sharia courts and Christian suspects be tried in customary courts. These two courts are part of our justice system and are presided over by qualified members of the legal profession. NEVERTHELESS, this provision will introduce an unhelpful EMOTION into the process. Let all suspects, Muslim or Christian, be arraigned in the Magistrate or High Courts of the State.

10. As the KSPRC found out, in spite of the existence of the 1984/1987 laws and the Penal Code, no one has ever been prosecuted or jailed for participating in ANY religious conflict in the whole of Kaduna State, all these years.  Our problem is not a dearth of laws, it is the lack of executive will to enforce laws. What we have in Nigeria are weak systems, weak institutions, and strong individuals who live above the law.

11. Finally, law making necessarily demands a lot of consultations each ad every way. This should be encouraged, but it should be undertaken in a manner that seeks to establish truth, for the enthronement of peace, good governance and progress.

Thank you for your time.

Bitrusgwadah.