We Are Members of CAN- Abuja pastors And Tinubu Supporters
The President of Nigeria Coalition of Pastors for Good Leaders, Apostle Babatunde Oguntimehin, on Monday, presented proof of ordination and registers of members to dismiss the claim of Christians Association of Nigeria that they were faceless clerics.
Fidel Info reports that the action was coming barely 24 hours after a delegation of Abuja-based pastors and bishops endorsed the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at a town hall meeting with some party chieftains of Tinubu support group, City Boy Movement.
But CAN disowned the clerics hours after the endorsement, saying it is standing on its earlier stance of “No to same-faith ticket”.
Luminous Jannamike, Special Assistant on Media to the CAN President, Most Rev. Daniel Okoh, stated that in as much as the body cannot prevent individuals and self-acclaimed ministers from voting certain candidates, they cannot be seen joining issues with religious blocs not affiliated with CAN.
An emotional Oguntimehin disclosed in a media chat that it was unfortunate such a comment was coming from the highest Christian body in the country.
According to him, none of the pastors who attended the town hall meeting at the weekend was faceless, saying they belong to one or two of the five blocs of CAN.
This is even as he stated that every human being has a right to play politics in Nigeria.
He said, “Let me clear the air on CAN recent comment, tagging us faceless pastors. We are not. We are Christians, pastors and members of CAN. Some of our pastors are also members of PFN and Organisation of African Instituted Churches.
“I think we should be careful in our choice of words as men and women of God. Even the Bible told us that it is not what goes into us that defines us but what comes out of us. We can’t say anything against them because they are our fathers and body. But I just want to appeal to them not to use such words against men of God. We are not faceless. This is my face.”
“To further prove that these pastors are not faceless, I have a register of their names, churches, locations and even streets of their churches here with me as evidence. We have a nine-member executive committee in every state of the federation.”
“In my own church, for instance, I have 750 members. Others have mega centres with about 1,000 to 2,000 members spread across Nigerians. This is because our coalition deals with grassroots pastors who have personal connections with their followers. I don’t think it is out of place if these pastors and their members all over the country made up their minds to vote for APC candidates.”
“In that town hall you attended that day, you have seen the 630 pastors in attendance. These pastors you saw were heads of several churches. Some of them are general overseers that have about five to 10 parishes under them.”
“When it comes to politics, we have our rights to support a candidate and participate in elections. That is the position we took on Saturday.”
Lai Mohammed bags international advocacy job
Ballard Partners, an international governmental affairs firm has appointed Alhaji Lai Mohammed, immediate past Minister of Information and Culture, as Managing Partner of its first office in Africa.
In a statement issued by the firm and made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, Mohammed is to serve as Managing Partner of its newly opened Abuja office and its satellite office in Lagos.
With its headquarters in Washington, Ballard Partners specialises in all aspects of governmental and public affairs, including legislative and executive agency advocacy.
In the statement, Brian Ballard, the firm’s President and founder said they were opening their first African office in Nigeria to expand the firm’s international footprint to three continents.
He said the opening of the office, would also help in building upon the important work they had done on behalf of African nations and companies in Africa and the U.S.
On the choice of the former minister, Ballard said that Mohammed “has a long record of public service and is one of the most respected officials in the country.
Adding that “his outstanding reputation and exceptional experience will be invaluable to our firm”.
Ballard recalled that since the advent of Nigeria’s fourth republic in 1999, Mohammed played key roles in the political life of his country as Chief of Staff to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Governor of Lagos.
He added that Mohammed was also the National Spokesperson for the Opposition for over a decade (2005-2015) and a candidate for the Governorship of Kwara State in the 2003 General Elections.
The statement also reflected the former Minister’s happiness in accepting the international job.
“I am very pleased to join Ballard Partners and to open the firm’s first office in Africa,”
“Ballard Partners has an impeccable reputation internationally and is well known for its success representing African countries and American firms in Africa.
The opportunities in Nigeria are substantial and I look forward to helping the firm’s clients achieve their objectives,” Mohammed was quoted as saying.
Born in Oro, Kwara state, Mohammed graduated with second class upper honors with dual degrees in modern European languages (majoring in French) and law.
He was called to the Nigerian bar in 1986.
The former Minister has also been awarded several diplomas in different parts of the world including Diplomes d’Etudes Francaise 3ieme Degree in both Dakar, Senegal and Vichy France
Powers Behind the Throne: Era of ‘Go and See Rauf’ Appears Gone!
Powers Behind the Throne: Era of ‘Go and See Rauf’ Appears Gone!
By Ismail Omipidan
In every corridor of power around the globe, there are people who call the shots. Some are seen. Others are invisible. But you hear and see their exploits. They are real. They wield enormous powers such that the real occupier of the office, on behalf of whom the powers are wielded, most times, defers to them and relies on them to take certain critical decisions. Most times, when they are not within reach, critical decisions must be delayed. Unless they have their say, nothing moves, nothing works. They are called the powers behind the throne!
Around President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in those days, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the immediate past Interior Minister, was the de facto Power Behind the Throne. You hardly get anything without his input and final stamp. Once you encounter President Tinubu, the next thing is ‘go and see Rauf’.
As Governor of Osun State, unless certain Lagos matters get to Osogbo, they are never resolved. Tickets into certain offices in Lagos are got from Osogbo, with the express approval of ‘Rauf’.
With Tinubu, Rauf’s words were law. Fall out with Rauf, then you are out of favour with Tinubu.
But somehow, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola mismanaged the relationship, abused the trust and even attempted to play God. Now, he is left in the cold to leak his wounds.
Curiously, rather than retrace his steps, show remorse and find a way to be reintegrated into the fold for possible political rehabilitation, Aregbesola appears to be grandstanding. Unfortunately, those he misled and turned into political orphans in Osun are still urging him on. They are the ones who say they are welcoming him back to Osun. For what really, I do not know.
As minister, he was treated to a celebratory banquet by the APC Government in Osun, led by Adegboyega Oyetola. Today, he is being welcomed not by the Osun State APC.
While in Abuja, he never participated in any election here in Osun. He never showed any iota of concern for Osun as a minister during the raving COVID-19 pandemic. It is on record that as a member of the Presidential Committee on COVID-19, Aregbesola behaved as though Osun needed no support from the FG to the extent that after Osun successfully contained the famous Ejigbo 127 Ivory Coast returnees, he almost forced another set on Osun.
If the so-called ‘welcome home’ gathering is to relaunch himself back to political reckoning, I think Aregbesola and those behind it have missed the point again.
But if it is to continue his political war against the party and persons that brought him to political reckoning, it is a good start. Unfortunately, he and those behind it may not go far either, unless the Osun State PDP government is willing and ready to fund the political war. Historically speaking, since 1999, those that are today waging war on the progressives in Osun have never spent their personal money to advance any political cause. They have always relied on Tinubu’s financial war chest and government’s money. Once these two sources of funding are blocked, give them six months from now, the market will seize to exist and the traders will go their separate ways.
But one thing Aregbesola must know is that an average Osun APC faithful only appears to be waiting for the appropriate time to square up with him. One thing that is however certain for now is that, except Aregbesola changes his perceived arrogant posture, with regard to his relationship with APC in Osun especially, it may be difficult for him to return to political reckoning as far the progressives’ politicking is concerned because for now, the era of ‘go and see Rauf’ appears gone!
Omipidan, a journalist and Public Affairs analyst writes from Ile Olorisa Compound, Eyindi, Ila Orangun.
I Owe My Success To God, President Tinubu, President Buhari – Aregbesolaa
Immediate past Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has attributed the success of his political career to President Bola Tinubu and Former President Muhammadu Buhari.
Aregbesola, while paying a homage to the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba (Dr.) Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran, to mark his homecoming reception in Osun, noted that the support of the two leaders of the country, enabled his success in the roles.
He expressed gratitude to family, friends, colleagues, and associates for standing by him throughout his sojourn as Commissioner, Governor, and Minister praising them for their support.
He used the occasion to enumerate some of the interventions and projects he attracted to Ijesaland during his tenure as Minister.
His words: “We thank God for how far he has brought me.
“Again, I must thank President Muhammadu Buhari for counting me worthy to be made a minister and also President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for counting me worthy to be a commissioner in Lagos. Because from there, God continued to uplift me to where I’m today.
“If you recall, when I left government in November 2018, I came here to pay homage and thanked God for a successful tenure.
“After my tour of duty as Minister in Abuja, I felt it was proper for me again to come and pay homage as a worthy son of Ijesaland.”
“Some of the projects God used us to achieve and facilitate to Ijesaland are the Fire Service Zonal Training School, 3,000 capacity custodial centre under construction, Passport front office, Regional passport production centre, Covid-19 crisis intervention fund Hospital, Ilesa and the National Institute of Domestic Security.
“The institute is a research and training centre for all paramilitary agencies in Nigeria and all over Africa,” the former Governor of the State of Osun stressed further.
In his remarks, the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba (Dr.) Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran praised the Minister for being a worthy son of the Ijesas.
The monarch recalled with nostalgia the myriads of projects and achievements recorded while the former Minister governed Osun, and his imprints, which stands him out as a worthy ambassador of the state.
He prayed for higher responsibility and God’s continued benevolence on Ogbeni Aregbesola
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