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Terrorism: Nigerians react as US allegedly places Isa Pantami on watch list

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Nigerians have reacted to news that the United States has allegedly placed the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, on watch list for having links with Al-Qaeda.

According to Daily Independent newspaper, Pantami, before his appointment as Minister, was a known Islamic preacher and held what was termed ‘dangerous views’ against the American govern­ment with allegiance to Al-Qaeda.

The report read in part “Ibrahim, also the Dep­uty Secretary General of the Supreme Sharia Council in Nigeria and a former student of Salafist ideologies, was trained in Saudi Arabia and the Mid­dle East with other top Is­lamic jihadists.

Before his appointment as a minister, Ibrahim was a known Islamic preacher and held what was termed ‘dangerous views’ against the American govern­ment with allegiance to Al-Qaeda.

“According to a report, the minister was said to be a very close confidant of the late Mohammed Yusuf, the killed leader of Boko Haram with whom he allegedly shared jihad­ist doctrines.

In one of his narratives, Ibrahim had eulogised Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi as a great leader, who joined Al-Qaeda group after em­igrating to Afghanistan at the end of the September 11, 2001 terror attack on the World Trade Centre in America.”

Reacting to the news, A Twitter user, @firstladyship tweeted: “Sheikh Isa Pantami is on America’s Watch List of persons with ties with the Boko Haram. Terrorists & their apologists are in charge of Nigeria. Pantami is the man Nigerians entrusted with their BVN & NIN. So your inability to buy & register new SIM cards is an economic sabotage.”

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@onyedikaAnambra tweeted: “This same Isa Pantamicame up with forceful NIN registration that has forced thousands out of job. SIM vendors, WiFi marketers such as smile, Spectranet and ntel have been out of job for months. How can I deregister my NIN, Can’t entrust our info with an Al Quaeda affiliate “

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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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