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BREAKING: No harm should befall Kukah – CAN warns Islamic groups, security agencies



The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Thursday issued a strong warning to the North and Islamic groups over threats on Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah.

The Christian leadership warned them to watch their utterances and actions.

Joseph Bade Daramola, CAN General Secretary, in a statement sent to Muhabarishaji warned that “enough is enough”.

Trouble started when Kukah lambasted Muhammadu Buhari on Christmas Day.

The National Peace Committee member accused the Nigerian leader of nepotism and that he had reduced others in public life to second class status.

The cleric declared that if a non-Nothern Muslim was the President and did the same things as Buhari, there could have been a coup or war.

Individuals, Northern, Islamic bodies including Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), among others, have attacked Kukah.

In its reaction, the Muslum Solidarity Forum told the Bishop to leave Sokoto, a warning the presidency condemned in an apparent move to douse tension.

CAN has now charged security agencies to ensure the Kukah’s safety.

Daramola said the body has been watching the unfolding scenario since Kukah spoke his mind on the State of the Nation in his Christmas homily.

“Some groups of people have been threatening him with fire and brimstone while all relevant security agencies are pretending as if nothing unusual is happening. We wonder if those threatening the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto are above the law or if they are sacred cows in the country.

“We have studied the whole Christmas message of Dr Kukah and we are yet to see any incitement against Islam or non- Christians. We see nothing wrong in his message to the nation that has been under the siege of terrorists, herdsmen killers, bandits and kidnappers as if there was no government in place.

“We see nothing wrong in telling a government whose lopsided appointments are against Christians the whole truth. If criticism against a Muslim President today, is an incitement to violence against Islam, it then means those who were criticising the duo of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan when they were in power were actually attacking Christianity.

“When has it become an offence to speak the truth to power? When has it become a crime to criticise a government in the country? When did the lawful fundamental of human rights suspend in the country? When did some sections of the Constitution suspended without the awareness of the public?

“When did the Police and the Directorate of the State Security Services lose their power to miscreants and lawless people who are making boast of their lawlessness without a challenge? We wonder if those Muslim groups who are threatening to deal with Kukah got equal response from their Christian counterparts, are we not setting up the country on fire?

“Bishop Kukah was posted to serve in Sokoto by the Papacy and threatening him to leave is a global threat to Christianity. In this same country, we have a Catholic Priest whose name is synonymous with President Muhammadu Buhari yet the Catholic Church has not deemed it fit to sanction him because Freedom of Speech and Association is not only a constitutional matter but godly.

“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari and all the security agencies to ensure that no harm befall the Catholic Bishop of the Sokoto Diocese, Dr Matthew Hassan Kukah. As far as the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is concerned, what he said in his Christmas Homily was still within the ambience of the law.

“It is high time those hiding under religious sentiments to promote violence and crises stopped doing so if we want this country to progress. We have had enough of bloodshed in the country and we call on the security agencies to rise up to their constitutional responsibilities. Nothing must happen to Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah”, the scribe added.

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Court admits evidence against Naira Marley



The Federal High Court Ikoyi, Lagos State, on Wednesday, admitted more evidence against Azeez Fashola, popular musician also known as Naira Marley.

Naira Marley was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for offences bordering on conspiracy and credit card fraud.

He pleaded “not guilty” to the 11 counts filed against him.

The EFCC had on February 28, 2020, through its second witness, Augustine Anosike, sought to tender in evidence a compact disc containing information, analysis and extractions from the defendant’s iPhone.

The defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo, SAN had objected to its admissibility, which was equally opposed by the prosecution.

In his ruling, Justice Nicholas Oweibo dismissed the objection, noting that “the disk and investigation report include some of the contents extracted from the iPhone which has already been admitted in evidence”.

Thereafter, prosecuting counsel, Bilikisu Buhari, informed the Court that the prosecution was ready to continue with the case as the witness was in court to continue with his testimony.

The case was adjourned following the plea by one of the defence lawyers, Akinwale Kole-Taiwo.

Kole-Taiwo appealed with the Court for an adjournment because, “the lead counsel, Ojo, was in Edo for another matter”.

Following the appeal, Justice Oweibo adjourned till March 8 and 11, 2021 for “continuation of hearing”.

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Icon Marwan Barghouti to run for Palestinian presidency



The prominent Palestinian Fatah group’s leader Marwan al-Barghouti, who is serving a life-term sentence in Israeli jails, will run for the Palestinian presidency in July, sources in the Fatah group told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday, Anadolu reports.

Member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council Hatem Abdel-Qader said al-Barghouti is “intending to run for the Palestinian Authority presidential elections”.

Abdel-Qader told Anadolu Agency that the nomination of al-Barghouti is normal and a “healthy phenomenon” for the electoral race.

“We are with the legitimacy, but when going to the ballots, it is the right of the Palestinian people to give their opinion and elect whom they found suitable.”

Al-Barghouthi was detained in 2002 by the Israeli forces and is currently serving a life-term sentence over charges of “directing armed groups that killed and injured Israelis during the Second Palestinian Uprising (intifada)”.

Abdel-Qader said he “supports Al-Barghouti to run on behalf of the Fatah group if he is approved by the group in a democratic way.”

However, he added that it “would be difficult to get a person in such conditions approved by the Fatah group,” referring to him as languishing behind bars for decades.

READ: As Abbas seeks a safe exit, who’s waiting in the wings?

Two other sources who are close to al-Barghouti confirmed to Anadolu Agency on condition that he intends to run for the presidential elections.

They, however, said a final decision is yet to be taken in the coming weeks.

The Fatah group has yet to comment on al-Barghouti’s intention to run for the presidency as it already announced that President Mahmoud Abbas is the group’s candidate for the elections.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian NGO, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, released results of an opinion poll on Wednesday that the Palestinians prefer al-Barghouti over Abbas to become the president.

Palestinians are set to hold parliamentary, presidential, and National Council elections under a decree signed earlier this month by President Abbas.

The parliamentary elections will be held on May 22, presidential elections on July 31, and the National Council elections on Aug. 31.

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Zionists to speed up their collapse in case of miscalculation



Zionists to speed up their collapse in case of miscalculation

Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi made the remarks on Wednesday, noting that the recent threats made by the Chief of Staff of the Zionist Army are just psychological warfare.

He went on to say that if the Zionist regime makes any mistakes, the Islamic Republic will destroy their missile bases as well as Haifa and Tel Aviv.

According to Shekarchi, the Zionist regime is not yet aware of all the military capabilities of Iran. Tehran is able to destroy Tel Aviv in the shortest possible time and any miscalculation of the Zionist will accelerate their destruction, he said. 

He further said that Iran’s nuclear energy facilities are completely peaceful, underlining that Tehran does not seek to produce and maintain nuclear weapons.

The Spokesman also highlighted that the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic are capable enough to defend the Iranian territory.

MNA/ 5132739

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