Press zooms in on Easter messages of two Nigerian clerics, others

The advice of two prominent clerics, Bishop Matthew Kukah and Pastor Tunde Bakare to President Muhammadu Buhari over the high…

The advice of two prominent clerics, Bishop Matthew Kukah and Pastor Tunde Bakare to President Muhammadu Buhari over the high level of insecurity in Nigeria, warning that the country is rapidly descending into anarchy dominates the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Monday.The Punch reports that two prominent clerics, Bishop Matthew Kukah and Pastor Tunde Bakare, have advised President Muhammadu Buhari over the high level of insecurity in Nigeria, warning that the country is rapidly descending into anarchy.

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Kukah, in his Easter message on Sunday, said the Buhari regime was taking care of repentant Boko Haram insurgents, but lacked empathy for their victims.

In his Easter message titled, ‘the conspicuous handwriting on the wall,’ the Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, Bakare, said that Nigeria was in a state of emergency, adding that her health was in danger.

Kukah, in his message titled, “Nigeria: Before our glory departs” recalled that Buhari, on May 29, 2015, during his inauguration, said, ‘Boko Haram is a typical case of small fires causing large fires.’

The Catholic Bishop lamented that before Buhari’s watch, “the fires are consuming the nation, and in many instances, they indeed start small.”

Kukah also hit the Buhari regime for rehabilitating insurgents, saying it was a clear demonstration of the regime’s lack of feelings for victims of banditry and insurgency, who were left to mourn their dead ones and paid ransoms to free their relatives.

Kukah said the recent World Happiness Report stated that Nigeria was one of the unhappiest nations in the world.

The newspaper says that the upturn in the price of the international oil benchmark, Brent crude, has pushed Nigeria’s oil revenue above the estimate in the 2021 budget.

Brent, against which the country’s crude oil is priced, has been trading more than $20 higher than the Federal Government’s benchmark for this year’s budget in recent months.

The 2021 budget, which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, on December 31, was based on an oil price benchmark of $40 per barrel and a production level of 1.86 million barrels per day.

According to the budget, 30 percent (N2.01tn) of projected revenues is to come from oil-related sources while 70 percent is to be earned from non-oil sources.

Brent crude, which closed at $51.22 per barrel in December, reached the $60 per barrel mark in February and rose further to as high as $70 per barrel before paring some of its gains. It closed at $64.86 per barrel on Thursday.

ThisDay reports that gunmen, in the early hours of Monday, attacked Imo the Correctional facility in Owerri, Imo State capital and freed several inmates.

The gunmen also attacked the State Police Headquarters, during which they razed vehicles parked in the premises and freed detainees in the cell of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID).

The Monday attack is coming on the heels of several similar attacks on security agencies in the Southeast suspected not to be unconnected to the battle between the security agencies and secessionist group, Independent People of Biafa (IPOB).A news release by PRNigeria said the attack started at about 1am and lasted till 3am.

“Heavy gunshots and explosions could be heard in the area when they arrived with sophisticated weapons including dynamite and guns.

The Guardian says that Dr Enema Amodu, the Chairman of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), FCT chapter, on Sunday, pleaded with Federal Government to respond to the needs of health workers in the country.

He made the plea at a news conference in Abuja in response to the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

The resident doctors went on strike on April 1 to press home their demand for upward review of their N5000 hazard allowance, payment of outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance, among others.

The branch chairman said NARD was on strike over unresolved issues, adding that part of the issues was hazard allowance and health insurance.

He noted that there were other issues presented to the Federal Government, and called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, address the doctor’s grievances with all the seriousness it deserved.

Amodu, who pointed out that NMA FCT and by extension NMA national is in support of the NARD strike, urged the government and those saddled with the responsibility of discussing with the union to take the matter seriously.

He urged the government to address the COVID-19 allowance, health insurance for doctors, and other contending issues which led to the ongoing strike.

He said “a lot of issues have been troubling us in the health sector; we want to use this opportunity to plead with the government to respond to the needs of health workers.

The Vanguard reports that former president Olusegun Obasanjo and prominent Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to rehabilitate bandits who are willing to surrender.

The call was made after Gumi led a delegation to meet with Obasanjo in Abeokuta, in Ogun State.

A source present at the meeting told Vanguard that the choice of Chief Obasanjo by Gumi, was based on the fact that the former president is a critical stakeholder and a respected elder statesman to discuss such issues with.

Gumi briefed Obasanjo on his recent peace advocacy visits to the Fulani bandits in the North, with the hope that government would understand the situation better and adopt his suggestions as the best possible way of ending the current insecurity crisis.

Those on the entourage of Sheik Gumi included Prof. Usman Yusuf, Mallam Tukur Mamu, Dr. Umar Ardo, Dr. Ibrahim Abdullahi, Suleiman Gumi, Alhaji Suleiman Yakubu and Mallam Buba Mohammed.

Others at the meeting were Oba Babajide Bakre, Agura of Gbagura, Abeokuta; Bishop Tunde Akin-Akinsanya, Chairman of Ogun State Christian Association of Nigeria; Sheikh Sa’addallah Alade Bamigbola, Chief Imam of Egbaland; Chief Kenny Martins, Chief Ola Babajide Jaiyeoba; Rev. Tony Ojeshina, Chief Imams of Oke-Ona, Gbagura, Owu and Mr. Vitalis Ortese.

In a statement jointly signed by Obasanjo and Gumi at the end of the meeting, they both agreed that the menace of banditry, kidnapping, other crimes and atrocities leading to insecurity is a nationwide phenomenon. The statement reads: “We acknowledge that people from different parts and outside the country are involved, although some people are more predominantly involved than others.