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Important positions given to particular ethnic groups under Buhari: U.S.

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The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has shown overarching favouritism in handing out important federal positions to particular ethnic groups, a U.

S. 2020 report on human rights practices in Nigeria has said.

Though the report agreed that Mr Buhari complied with the minimum constitutional requirements to appoint cabinet ministers from all the 36 states of the federation, it pointed out that “traditional relationships were used to pressure government officials to favour particular ethnic groups in the distribution of important positions and other patronage.”

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Mr Buhari has long faced credible charges of nepotism over his evident favouritism in appointing cronies from his northern Fulani base to essential public offices even when there are better-qualified persons for such positions from other parts of the country.

President Buhari previously being accused of a sectional leader with regard to other tribes

In one report, The Gazette detailed how the president plotted to ease out a southern police chief, legally in line for appointment as Inspector General of Police, to clear paths for a northern IG. Despite the report, Mr Buhari went on to retain Mohammed Adamu as police inspector-general, ignoring his retirement after 35 years in service — the first of such in the history of Nigeria.

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Recalled report then further exposed how aides of the president such as Yusuf Sabiu, Bashir Ahmad and others landed highly-courted federal appointments without cognate experience or capacity.

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In 2018, Mr Buhari removed Matthew Seiyefa from office as the director-general of the State Security Service (SSS), replacing him with Yusuf Bichi who had long retired from service prior to his recall over apparent section considerations. Mr Bichi has himself been overfilling the SSS with people from his northern region, The Gazette uncovered last September.

The “federal character” principle, enshrined in the Nigeria’s Constitution, stated that the government must ensure that appointments to public service institutions fairly reflect the linguistic, ethnic, religious, and geographic diversity of the country.

By this, all high-level positions must be distributed to persons representing each of the 36 states or each of the six geopolitical regions. This has not been the case, the U.S. suggested.

Responding to the president’s new year broadcast, civil rights advocates Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), blamed Mr Buhari’s nepotistic appointments in the military, police, customs, immigration, customs as well as board appointments at the NNPC and NPA, among others, for raging division and insecurity in Nigeria.

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“What the President does is to practise his deep-rooted nepotism and favouritism in appointments, whereby he prefers his fellow Fulani/Hausa northern Muslims to hold such strategic portfolios as heads of Department of States Services; Inspector General of Police, Comptroller Generals of Customs and Immigration; Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps,” the group said.

HURIWA added that Mr Buhari’s nepotistic and skewed appointments are the most treacherous acts of corruption and a grave threat to Nigeria’s national security.

The group further held that such illegal practice offends sections 14(3) and 42(1) of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 as amended, which speak to the twin critical components of Federal Character principles and the absolute delegitimisation of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion or political affinities.

Under Buhari’s administration, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have employed children of politicians and persons said to be biologically related to the president.

Following the president’s nomination of Yusuf Buratai and other service chiefs as non-career Ambassadors-Designate, former lawmaker, Muhammad Junaid, called on the National Assembly to pass a law to stop Mr Buhari’s nepotism and introduce anti-nepotism statutes like the United States.

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“I think to avoid this kind of mediocrity by Buhari and his government, it is better for the NASS to establish a marker that if you have been a service chief or senior general or whatever, you cannot be appointed into a civilian office until you have spent a certain number of years out of service.

“So Nigeria should take a leaf from the Americans because it will avoid this kind of nonsense. People using their friends or relations or in-laws to give them a revolving door, once they are out of uniform they immediately get into a top political assignment which confirms the nepotism of Buhari in the history of this country.

“So it is important for the NASS to now step in and establish either a resolution or a law”, Mr Mohammed, who passed on in February at 71, added.

A spokesman for the president did not return a request seeking comments about the U.S.’ nepotism charges, but the president has frequently defended himself against allegations of lopsided filling of key federal positions. Mr Buhari said the claims were being overblown by his political detractors, often pointing to some positions like the CBN governor and head of the navy that went to southern Christians.

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Catholic Church Suspends Father Mbaka Over Row With Buhari

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Mbaka was asked to proceed on suspension with effect from May 3 after being summoned by Callistus Valentine Onaga, the diocesan bishop.

The Catholic Diocese of Enugu has suspended Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka from church activities for one month as the controversial priest’s political escapades continue to overshadow his theological obligations on a scale that nurtures unending concerns amongst his senior clerics.

Mbaka was asked to proceed on suspension with effect from May 3 after being summoned by Callistus Valentine Onaga, the diocesan bishop.

Onaga called Mbaka in following his repeated clashes with President Muhammadu Buhari and warned that his conduct was smearing the church’s image, the largest of any Christian organisation worldwide, church officials familiar with the matter told The Gazette.

SaharaReporters had reported last Wednesday Mbaka’s criticism of the Muhammadu Buhari regime over its inaction on the widespread killings across the nation.

Speaking at the Adoration Ministry in Enugu, Mbaka said it is wrong for Buhari to maintain grave silence despite the incessant killings in the country.

He accused the government of being behind several killings across the country and tagging separatists groups as terrorists rather than focus on getting them good jobs.

The cleric also frowned on the activities of herders that destroy the farmland of people without any repercussion.

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He said Buhari had failed Nigeria woefully and that he should resign now. Mbaka also called for the President’s impeachment.

Following his suspension, Mbaka returned to his ministry that lies north of the outskirts of Enugu city centre, where he subsequently incited his members against the bishop, sources said.

Mbaka’s followers claimed without evidence that he was kidnapped by Mr Onaga and handed over to the State Security Service. They subsequently marched on the premises of the bishop on Wednesday morning, looting and destroying assets therein.

The mob also descended on the Holy Ghost Cathedral, again looting and destroying items in the building. The members also went to town to allege that the SSS had arrested Mr Mbaka — generating widespread media reports despite lacking requisite corroboration.

A spokesman for the SSS denied taking Mr Mbaka into custody or coming in any contacts with him when reached by The Gazette, contrary to his followers’ rumours.

A spokesman for the diocese did not immediately return a request seeking comments. Mbaka’s line was switched off when dialled by The Gazette on Wednesday night.

Before falling out with Buhari recently, Mr Mbaka was an ardent supporter of the President. He endorsed his campaign in 2015 and claimed his blessings played a role in its success.

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But as Buhari’s regime failed to tackle acute poverty and insecurity, Mr Mbaka said he was compelled to speak up and distance himself from his regime, describing it as evil and satanic and calling on the President himself to vacate office.

Church sources said Mbaka’s latest suspension was being viewed as significant for its undertone, but not the first time the fiery priest would face administrative action.

“We know people will link this to his confrontation with Buhari, but he was once demoted from a parish priest to a deputy under a parish priest,” a church official told TheGazette. “He had also been transferred from bigger parishes to smaller ones for his frequent infractions in the past.”

Still, church officials admitted Mbaka’s Adoration Ministry has been a cash cow for the Enugu Diocese, even though it was built by Mr Mbaka and not directly under its control.

“The real problem is the Diocese has been financially dependent on Mbaka, collecting his millions,” a source said, adding that some of the senior clerics themselves have also been in bed with politicians whom Mr Mbaka has long railed against.

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I will leave no stone unturned to better the life of my people, RT. Hon. Momoh Jimoh Lawal

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A Peoples Democratic Party, PDP chieftain and former speaker of kogi state house of assembly, Rt.

Hon. MJ Lawal who represented the good people of Okene II state constituency in the state assembly has once again intervened in the poor state of educational infrastructure in kogi central.

Hon. Momoh Jimoh Lawal is a well grounded grassroots mobilizer of the PDP in kogi state and he is known for his philanthropy across the senatorial district. Recently, some students of Government Day Secondary School, Iruvucheba had approached him to solicit for his support to help renovate a classroom to enable the WAEC candidates sit for their exams giving the dilapidated and poor conditions of their classrooms.

The kogi central political icon after receiving the call took it up on himself to erect four (4) blocks of classrooms and two (2) office buildings to enable the students sit for their examinations.

In a quiet ceremony, Rt. Hon. MJ Lawal handed over the newly completed buildings to the principal of the school, Mall. Ohiare J.Z

While speaking at the handing over ceremony, Hon. MJ Lawal noted that education is the bedrock of any society seeking the path of progress and development. He equally stated that he’d never leave any stone unturned to see that he better the life of his people especially in the areas of education and empowerment.

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Recall that some months ago, Hon. MJ Lawal had built, commissioned and handed over some block of classrooms and learning materials to Lennon memorial college, Ageva.

For the political icon, RT. Hon. MJ Lawal, giving back to the society is a mandate he can never go against.

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Kano Hisbah sacks official found in hotel room with married woman

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The Kano State Hisbah Board, in its effort to ensure transparency as well as guide against immortality, has sacked a top official allegedly found with a married woman in a hotel room in Sabon Gari area of the state.

The Hisbah Public Relations Officer, Lawal Fagge, confirmed the sacking of the official

It will be recalled early in the year, an official of the command (name withheld) was allegedly found in a questionable manner with the married woman.

The report gathered that the decision taken on Tuesday followed a report by a committee set up by the board to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident.

It was, however, discovered that before the incident, the official was said to be at the forefront of arresting prostitutes and other wayward girls.

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