Congress of the United States
Washington, DC 20515
November 25, 2019
Ambassador Sylvianus Adiewere Nsofor Head of Mission
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
3519 International Court, N.W.
Washington DC. 20008
Dear Ambassador Nsofor,
We write to express strong concern about closing media and Civic space in Nigeria. There have been a number of troubling reports about Nigeria security services assaulting and detaining journalists using excessive force on non-violent protesters and taking other actions that inhibit freedom of expression, and otherwise prevent Nigerians from fully exercising their constitutional rights.
Journalists and activists such as Omoyele Sowore, Jones Abiri, Kofi Bartels, Samuel Ogundipe, and others investigating and speaking-out politically sensitive problems like corruption or insecurity have been harassed and detained, with reports that some have been tortured.
In at least one instance, the Department of Security Services has ignored a court order to release a detained activist. Restrictions and deadly crackdowns on non-violent protesters since 2015 have similarly reflected a lack of apparent commitment to civic freedoms which is beginning to negatively impact the image of Nigeria’s government, both home and abroad. Security forces used live ammunitions on Shiite protestors in Zaria, Kaduna State in 2015; on protestors in Onitsha, Anambra State in 2016, again on a Shiite procession in Abuja in 2018, raided the office of Daily Trust, and arrested the editor in January, 2019, and shot and killed Precious Owolabi, a journalist covering a July 2019 protest in Abuja.
The crackdowns have collectively killed hundreds of Nigerian citizens and serve serve as troubling demonstration of the excessive force used by the military. The alleged perpetrators of these abuse have yet to be brought to justice.
Mr. Ambassador, Nigeria has a critical role to play in preserving peace and and stability in West Africa, and as the most popular democracy in the continent, it could serve as a shining example of how countries can best observe the rights enshrined in the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
However, failure to failure to respect the rights in the Charter and those in Nigeria’s own constitution undermine your nation’s ability to lead in this area.
We urge you to ensure that the rights and liberties contained in the constitution are observed for all citizens, and to take strong action against further closing space for journalists, political opposition, and those in civil society.
The rights of all citizens must be respected without the threat of government reprisal. We look forward to seeing progress on this critically important issue. Thank you for your attention on this urgent matter.
United States Senator
Member of Congress
APC Crisis: How Gov. Zulum Aborted Plot By Fayemi, El-Rufai To Oust Oshiomhole
It was supposed to be a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, but some All Progressives Congress (APC) governors had other plans – the removal of National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole.
It took the swift intervention of Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum to kill the plot hatched by Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa) and Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi). Zulum was said to have spilled the beans when he saw that the quartet wanted to use the other governors to get the President’s backing for Oshiomhole’s removal, The Nation learnt on Sunday.
Sources said he told the President that El-Rufai, Fayemi, Bagudu and Badaru, among others, want to hijack the party leadership because they want one of them to be president in 2023. The quartet see Oshiomhole as an obstacle to the project. ”It is all about 2023. They want a pliant person as chairman, someone they can manipulate. That is why they want Oshiomhole out”, he told a stunned President Buhari, adding: ”They want to hijack the APC for selfish reason”.
The President agreed to the meeting after being told by the El-Rufai group that the governors wanted to see him on an issue of national importance. The four governors told their colleagues that the President wanted to see them penultimate Thursday. They informed them about the meeting late on Wednesday, ostensibly to make it difficult for them to attend.
Apparently wary of the quartet’s motive, the pro-Oshiomhole governors shelved other state matters and travelled to Abuja. At the meeting, the President sought to know the governors’ mission. El-Rufai responded that the governors have resolved that Oshiomhole should go because he is not running the party well. He said they came to inform the President about their plan.
Zulum and other pro-Oshiomhole governors were stunned by the disclosure. Other pro-Oshiomhole governors at the meeting were Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Gboyega Oyetola (Osun). Zulum countered: ”Who are the APC governors with you? Where and when did we meet to agree that the national chairman should resign?” he asked El-Rufai. He told the President that the governors were told he wanted to compare notes with them.
Zulum said they were shocked to hear that El-Rufai and those with him asked for the meeting. A source privy to the meeting and how it went said Zulum told the President to be wary of the four governors
He told the President that El-Rufai and his collaborators had sinister motive. Zulum revealed that Bagudu once pleaded with him to support former Zamfara State Governor Abdulazeez Yari in his (Yari) bid to replace Oshiomhole. He challenged Bagudu to deny it. Oyetola told the President that what El-Rufai said was a figment of his imagination.
No APC governors meeting took place where it was resolved that Oshiomhole should be replaced”, he said. The source also quoted Zulum as saying: “Mr. President, you see all these governors seeking the removal of Oshiomhole are doing so because they are aspiring to be President in 2023. This is why they are calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it. Must we destroy the party because of presidential ambition? I think we should be careful. “I believe our National Chairman is a fair and equitable leader. I have never met him, yet he allowed due process in the party which made me to emerge as the governorship candidate of the APC in Borno State. He knew me during the presidential campaign in our state. He has never asked me for a favour.”
It was gathered that Zulum enjoyed the backing of Oyetola, Abiodun and Sanwo-Olu. “The anti-Oshiomhole governors were glued to their seats as the President left”, the source added. It was learnt that Zulum received “follow up telephone calls from some of the anti- Oshiomhole governors. He reportedly told one of them: “I know what I am doing, I am not running anybody’s errand. I am not only a PhD holder, I am a Professor.
Having attained professorial level, I am knowledgeable enough to know the right thing.” But the anti-Oshiomhole governors are not relenting in their mission. They have been strategising on how to woo about 120 members of the the APC National Executive Committee (NEC). They are either looking at ex-Governor Yari or a former aspirant for APC chair, Mr. Sam Jaja.
A party source said: “I think they are peddling Yari, the choice might be Jaja eventually. They know Yari loves ego boosting and he has a lot to spend. If Yari is their ultimate choice, they will meet their match in President Buhari, who believes the ex-Zamfara governor must account for his tenure in the state. Buhari has refused to stop the investigation of Yari despite the entreaties of some of these anti-Oshiomhole governors.
“It also does not add up for the President to come from the North-West and the party chairman from the same zone. Yari is just a smokescreen. “If they are able to convince Jaja to replace Oshiomhole, they must be running the errand of a third force. “Some of these governors, their allies and foot soldiers are so petty to the extent that they are deploying huge cash to remove Oshiomhole. Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is having a running battle with Oshiomhole, is said to be one of those funding the project.
They have offered some NEC members as much as N500,000, and even infiltrated the National Working Committee ( NWC) of the APC by dangling N10million to N20million to the members. Those offered the huge cash were from both North-Central and South-West.
“A member of the NEC said he was offered N100,000 but he will collect the balance after the removal of Oshiomhole.” It was learnt that the aggrieved governors have shifted base to the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ovie Omo-Agege, who is a staunch backer of Oshiomhole.
They are throwing the presidential ticket to him as a bait, if the 2023 presidency is zoned to the South-South. “Omo-Agege is wiser, he is presently a Deputy President of the Senate and the South-South leader of APC. His future will take care of itself”, a source said. As at press time, Oshiomhole’s camp has started fighting back with about 90 NEC members ready to ”sink or swim” with him.
A member of the NWC said: “It is not only the governors that make up the NEC. Out of about 120 members, we have 36 from the National Assembly, state chairmen of APC and non-NWC members among others. “And some governors have started backing out of the plot having realised that the proposed removal of Oshiomhole has to do with the presidential aspiration of some of their colleagues.”
While El-Rufai, Badaru and Bagudu are said to be banking on power likely being retained in the North, Fayemi is said to be either eyeing a joint ticket with El-Rufai or a presidential slot, if power shifts to the South in 2023. Fayemi and El-Rufai are close to Oshiomhole, but because of their ambition, they are determined to sacrifice him, an APC insider said.
They visit Oshiomhole regularly and pretend that they are with, the source added. El-Rufai was said to have sold a dummy to his colleagues that he is ”the only one who can read the body language of the President”. He was said to have told them ”the body language of the President is that Oshiomhole must go” The confidence exuded by el-Rufai was said to have informed the deployment of huge cash, ranging from N500,000 to N10million, as bribes to the APC NEC members. Despite the huge war chest, about 90 NEC members have signed up to ”sink or swim” with Oshiomhole.
Findings revealed that at the prompting of El-Rufai, the anti-Oshiomhole governors had tried four times in the past two months to get him out to no avail. They made the attempts at the November 21 National Caucus session; the November 22 NEC meeting; the emergency session of the Progressives Governors Forum in Abuja; and the December 5 session with the President.
APC stalwart Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr. Boss Mustapha were said to have saved the party from sinking into a deeper crisis at the APC Caucus meeting on November 21.
It was learnt that when Tinubu moved a motion to raise a National Reconciliation Committee, Oshiomhole unwittingly called for a counter-motion. But with Badaru raising about 22 defects in the party’s Audit Report, those who wanted the party intact (like Boss Mustapha) quickly waded in. It was the same SGF who rescued the party at the November 22 NEC meeting when he doused tension by telling members that the President had a tight schedule, which led to the abrupt adjournment of the session. Buhari, who had been fully briefed about the governors’ plot, was said to have given nothing away with his inscrutable countenance.
Although Buhari had asked the aggrieved governors to “follow due process and adhere to the constitution of APC in effecting any change”, the intelligence at his disposal about their plot was rated as “disturbing” before the NEC meeting.
His address at the NEC meeting, according to a source, was a “subtle warning” to the ”coup plotters.” Unknown to the El-Rufai group, intelligence had picked up his audience with the APC chairman some hours before the NEC session.
The source said: “Pretending to have met Oshiomhole as a long-standing friend, El-Rufai asked the APC chairman to resign to avoid being disgraced at the NEC meeting. “Oshiomhole, however, snapped by asking him the basis for his resignation having led the party to secure a comfortable majority in the National Assembly and put in place good leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives to assist the President to achieve his agenda. He also said the party has won more states in recent elections.
“The National Chairman of APC put El-Rufai to task in a manner that made him look ordinary. Oshiomhole was emphatic in telling El-Rufai that he will not resign.” “He (Oshiomhole) said: ‘There is nothing to this office, I am a leader who knows when to quit if I have committed infractions. I know the standard all over the world, I am not an exception’. This is what he told El-Rufai.” Investigation revealed that Oshiomhole had to take on El-Rufai because he had reposed “much trust” in the Kaduna State governor only to hear that he is one of those plotting against him.
God ‘ll Fight For Those Being Persecuted In Nigeria –Pastor Adeboye’s Wife
The wife of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Mama G.O Folu Adeboye, has said that God will fight for those who are being persecuted in Nigeria and other countries.
She said this while leading the congregation to pray for Nigeria and other countries represented at the 22nd Holy Ghost Congress, an annual programme of the church, held at the Redemption Camp along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Saturday morning.
She said, “We are really desperate tonight; we want God in his mercies to come down to all the nations.
“We cannot afford to have this kind of topic (the Great Turnaround) and the devil will still cheat us. It is too late for the devil because the word of the Lord is prevailing over every action of the devil in all our nations.
“God will arise and fight for people that are being persecuted in all nations. “We are going to pray that in all our nations where Christians are being persecuted and denied what our Father has given us as our inheritance- our Father should fight for us.
“Every form of persecution in the government, persecution of civil people, persecution of the old and young in all our land, in all our nation should come to an end.
“Every form of persecution, going on in all the nations, starting from Nigeria tonight, oh Lord, arise on our behalf, fight our battles for us. Devil, whatever it is that you have been doing ceases tonight, an end has come to you.” She also urged the worshipers to ask for mercies for Nigeria, saying “without sin, there cannot be punishment.”
She added, “We have to humble ourselves and be convinced that we are sinners most especially in this nation-Nigeria, apart from all other nations; we all know who we are as individuals. We say we are of the Lord but we deny the power in Him. We don’t live by his word, we don’t obey his commandments and we do things the way we like.
“Therefore, in all humility and soberness, let’s ask God to please have mercy on us because we have not measured up.
Also, the General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, advised worshippers to be bold to confess their challenges. He also urged Nigerians to exercise divine faith in order to attract God’s intervention in their challenges. Adeboye, who took his sermon from Mark 10: 46-52, the story of blind Bartimaeus, said “our turnaround and blessings begin the moment we say enough is enough.
“The moment we say no to suffering, sickness, loneliness, fruitless efforts and barrenness in our lives, our turnaround begins. “As you go out today, remember the story of blind Bartimaeus; problems are not limited to poor homes, you will be amazed that many area boys are from wealthy homes. “Let us say without any doubt that we are tired of suffering, the devil does not respect titles, sickness does not recognise that you have doctorate degrees,” he said.
Nigeria Needs Factories The Size Of Ibadan NOT Churches – DaddyFreeze Replies Pastor Adeboye
OAP, DaddyFreeze has countered 77-year-old General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, who during the week, said one of the things he must do before he dies is to build a church as big as Ibadan city in Oyo state.
Preaching on the third day of the Holy Ghost Congress 2019 holding at the Redemption Campground, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Pastor Adeboye said he has a plan of building a church as big as Ibadan. According to him, no one should believe he is dead until that is done.
Freeze has now countered his dream. In a post shared on his IG page this evening, Freeze said what Nigeria needs more of now are factories and not more church edifice as she already has enough of that. Read his post and share your thoughts.
GOD DOES NOT LIVE IN HOUSES BUILT BY HUMAN HANDS!!!
This in my opinion, is a selfish ambition (scripturally selfish ambitions are in the same category as witchcraft and sexual orgies), that does nothing for Christians, rather I see it as a quest to turn believers into beasts of burden!
? Galatians 5:20 ?
New International Version
idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
The more I think about it, the angrier I get. Adeboye wants to use 3,080 square kilometers to build a church or a bigger business center, which one???
In this poverty riddled land, with more people in extreme poverty than China and India combined (according to worldpoverty.io), couldn’t he at least have been a little more creative????
We need factories the size of Ibadan NOT churches, we have way too many churches already.
With 10 churches on each street, we have so much religion, so much hunger and underdevelopment yet so little love.?
WE ARE THE CHURCH, NOT A BUILDING, the church is not the ‘house of God’, it’s just a building and God does not live in temples built with human hands.
? Acts 7:48 ?
New Living Translation
However, the Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands. As the prophet says,
? Acts 17:24 ?
New Living Translation
“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples,
? 2 Corinthians 5:1 ?
New International Version
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
? Hebrews 9:11 ?
New Living Translation
So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world.
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