The Industrial Training Fund (ITF), has decried what it described as orchestrated efforts to malign, impugn and whip up negative sentiments against the agency and its functionaries through outright lies and calculated misinformation.
In a statement it issued at the weekend, the ITF also described as false and unfounded, charges of ‘nepotism, wrongful appointments and marginalization of Muslims in the running of the agency’ levelled against its Director-General, Mr. Joseph Ari, by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).
The statement, signed by the Director, Public Affairs Department of the ITF, Suleyol Fred Chagu, said it became necessary to respond to the press release entitled “Investigate Mother of all Nepotism in ITF, Jos” by MURIC, in order to correct the erroneous impression that the publication may have created in the minds of Nigerians.
The rest of the statement reads: “The Director-General is a devoted Christian, whose lineage, including his direct siblings is populated by both religions. As a result of this, he does not believe in nepotism and tribalism and does not indulge in religious bigotry. Indeed, the DG is a detribalised Nigerian who has formed long lasting and enduring relationships cutting across all faiths and tribes in Nigeria.
“With regards to what the group alleged to be “Christianisation” and “Plateaurisation” agenda of the DG in the ITF, we want to place on record that this is far from the truth and a product of the imagination of the writer as the recruitment exercise conducted in February, 2019 that they hinged their allegations on, followed all due processes and was co-ordinated by the Federal Character Commission, which even issued a letter of compliance to the Fund after the exercise. It must equally be noted that the DG recused himself from the examination\ interview sessions that were conducted by a panel that comprised officials of our parent ministry- the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Federal Character Commission and the ITF Governing Council, which is headed by Alhaji Musa Gwadabe, OFR- a detribalised Nigerian among others.
“MURIC further cited the constitution of the Fund’s Management to buttress its baseless accusation of ‘Christianisation’ of the Agency as only four Muslims were appointed into a fifteen-member management body during his first tenure while five are currently in the team of seventeen in his second term”. This is also sadly untrue. The reality is that as a consummate and experienced administrator, the DG has ensured that all zones are represented in management, which is the first time such has happened in the history of the organisation.
“However, it will be necessary to note that there will be disparities in the constitution of any management due to the fact that other considerations namely: seniority, merit, vacancies apart from spread of representation are factored into the process. It will also be necessary to remind MURIC that the ITF system is close to 50 years with a well-developed chain of command that has been structured to the point that the succession process into management has been well entrenched and embedded in the organisation such that no Chief Executive can circumvent the process and impose favoured candidates. In addition, the process involves the ITF Governing Council and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the DG, therefore, could not have sought to “Christianise” the ITF especially management, even if he wanted to.
“On the allegation that the appointment of the Director-General did not follow due process, we wish to state that the DG withdrew his services from the Plateau State Civil Service and joined the ITF in 2007 (not 2006 as suggested by the writer). He did not retire as suggested by MURIC as he had not served up to 35 years of service, nor was he of retirement age.
“His first promotion as Director came in 2011. The termination of the appointment of the DG in 2015 was said to be in line with the tenure policy for Directors that served up to 8 years. However, when the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation discovered that he had only served 4 years as Director, it ordered that the DG be reinstated. It was after his reinstatement, that Mr. President graciously appointed him as the DG/CE of the Industrial Training Fund.
“It must be stated that since his appointment, the organisation that hitherto was restive suffering from poor perception and performance is now excelling. Indeed, it has transformed into one of the key organisations that are contributing significantly to the attainment of the policy objectives of the Federal Government in line with its mandate.
“As a result of this, the DG/CEO is now acclaimed as the architect of modern ITF and has won numerous awards and accolades from all quarters.
“In conclusion, every one that knows the DG understands that he does not believe in nepotism and tribalism and does not indulge in religious bigotry.
“MURIC’s release is therefore a sad commentary directed at a personality whose interest is to run a public institution based on the values of public trust, meritocracy and integrity.”
The Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) has denied appointing Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh as the commission’s Ambassador for Peace.
It will be recalled that Tonto Dikeh on Friday took to social media to announce that she’s now a “proud Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) Ambassador for Peace Building.”
In a press statement issued by the NCPC on Friday, the commission stressed that it had not appointed Dikeh as an ambassador.
It said Dikeh paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission, Rev Yakubu Pam, on 25th February, 2021.
The statement also stated that it was Dikeh who expressed her willingness and interest in partnering with the Commission in the area of peace building.
The statement reads: “The Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission NCPC wishes to state in categorical terms that King Tonto Dikeh paid an official courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission Rev Yakubu Pam on 25th February, 2021 at the corporate headquarters of the Commission in Abuja.
“As the founder of Tonto Dikeh Foundation, she expressed her willingness and interest in partnering with the Commission in the area of peace building.
“She equally cashed in on the visit to commend the NCPC boss for his positive and relentless peace initiatives across the country.
“However, we are suddenly inundated with claims from King Tonto Dikeh herself that she has been officially appointed as Ambassador of peace by this great Commission. This claim has gone viral in the media.
“The Commission frowns at this claim which is a clear misrepresentation of what transpired.
“The fact remains that the Executive Secretary of NCPC never appointed King Tonto Dikeh an Ambassador of Peace for NCPC and this was not part of her visit therefore this claim by her is spurious, unfounded and should be discarded and seen by all Nigerians as a figment of her imagination.
“Nevertheless, we appreciate her desire to partner with us in our peace building initiatives and in the area of pilgrimage sponsorship to the Holy Land.”
Reacting to NCPC’s statement, the actress insisted she didn’t lie and that there are video proofs to show she’s telling the truth but that she is willing to take the fall.Read her post below:
Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed, has denied reports making the rounds that he is backing criminal herdsmen in the country.
The governor, in a statement by his media aide, Muktar Gidado, said “The primary objective of the governor is to avert the dangerous prospect of nation-wide backlash as tempers were flaring up and given that the phenomenon of inter-ethnic migration, is a national pastime involving all ethnic groups in Nigeria.”
“At no time did the governor set out to justify criminality by anyone, no matter the person’s ethnic nationality.
“Rather, he admonished us in the interest of national unity to avoid wholesale branding of any ethnic group, as it is inconceivable that anyone group can be made up of only criminals.”
Governor Mohammed said it was erroneous to label any tribe based on the crimes of a few members of the ethnic group; adding “The governor’s reference to AK47 was simply to put in perspective, the predicament and desperation of law-abiding Fulani herdsmen who, while carrying out their legitimate cow-rearing business, have become serial victims of cattle rustling, banditry, kidnapping and assassination.
“As ‘no man’s land’, (please read as gift of nature), is a carry-over from his own geopolitical environment where a pastoralist could set up camp, in any forest, for a few weeks without causing any uproar or opposition. To interpret such a temporary stay as a form of ‘land grab’ by the Fulani herdsmen is completely incorrect.”
“The Governor would want it placed on record that his statement was intended to caution all stakeholders to guard against escalating the tension, just as many patriotic stakeholders, particularly from the North, have been working round the clock to avert reprisal actions that could throw the entire country into a cauldron of unimaginable proportions”, the statement read in part.
The statement says genuine reforms, modern ranching and other innovations done genuinely help addressing the problem of herdsmen rather than media hypes that criminalise an entire tribe.
The Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona has denied authoring a statement widely circulating on the social media on activities of Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
In the statement that has gone viral on the social media, the respected monarch was quoted to have said: “As a traditional ruler, or a leader in Yorubaland, you must support Sunday Igboho at this moment if you are not a bastard.”
Though there has been no indication of when or where the the paramount ruler of Ijebuland made the statement, many had cited it as indication of the Oba’s support for activities of Sunday Igboho against criminal herdsmen terrorizing people in different parts of the Southwest.
But in a statement made available to journalists in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State by Tunde Oladunjoye, his personal assistant, Awujale denied authoring the viral statement.
“The attention of the Aafin Awujale has been drawn to a fake news trending on the social media quoting our revered royal father, Oba Dr Sikiru Kayode Adetona, the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, as having issued a statement on the current situation in some states concerning Mr Sunday Igboho”.
“The Aafin Awujale hereby categorically denies that Kabiyesi Alayeluwa ever issued such statement or comment on the issue”.
“As you are all aware, Kabiyesi Alayeluwa is a great patriot and at all times fully in support of Yoruba’s progress, development and aspirations. However, it should be clarified that the statement credited to him in the meantime is a “fake news”.
“This statement is issued as a matter of principle that nobody has the right to put anything in the news in our name without our knowledge and consent”
Apostle Johnson Suleman, founder of Omega Fire Ministry, has debunked contents of the viral audio recording released by Mike Davids as evidence that he was threatening him.
Davids, a former pastor in the church, sued Suleman for N2bn for destroying his marriage.
While he admitted that the voice in the audio recording was his, Suleman however said that it was from a conversation he had with a young lady three years ago.
He however apologised for reacting angrily, stating that he is no longer the man he was at the time.
Suleman also stated that the audio recording was doctored by Davids, as he had not spoken to him for two years.
He wondered why he would call Davids to threaten him and advised him to repent.
Suleman recalled that he sent Davids out of his ministry because of how evil his heart is; spending time plotting against people, planning against pastors and thinking of how to pull pastors down.
Suleman also revealed that it was Davids who dissolved his marriage to his wife, Faith Edeko and tried to stop anyone from reaching out to help Faith. But having raised her under his care, he felt a fatherly duty to make sure she doesn’t suffer. This is coupled with the fact that his wife fully endorsed whatever help he rendered to her.
The Founder and Leader of Glorious Word and Power Ministry, Rev. Isaac Owusu Bempah has vehemently denied prophesying that Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia would be elected as the NPP’s flag bearer in 2024.
The controversial man of God in a post on his official Facebook wall, Rev. Owusu Bempah denied a prophesy attributed to him that “Nothing can stop Bawumia from becoming NPP’s flagbearer in 2024”.
Rev. Isaac Owusu Bempah stated that the said prophecy has been calculated by some unscrupulous persons to stage their own parochial agenda.
Rev. Isaac Owusu Bempah who has a track record for prophesying outcomes of general elections under the Fourth Republic urged the public to disregard the false story and treat it with all the contempt it deserves.
He has referred the false publication to his lawyers for advice and further urged all those peddling false news about him to desist from doing so forthwith.
Internal jostling in the quest to seek a replacement for President Akufo Addo whose tenure expires in the next four years has started quite early within the ruling New Patriotic Party.
While some are rooting for the Minister of Trade designate, Hon. Alan Kyerematen to lead the party into the 2024 elections, others are rooting for Dr. Bawumia as President Akufo-Addo’s successor.
Below is the full statement
Sarkin Fulani of Igangan in Ibarapa local government area of Oyo State, Seriki Salihu Abdulkadir, has denied conniving with kidnappers operating in the area as alleged by Mr Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
Speaking with journalists at a press conference in Ilorin on Thursday, Abdulkadir also denied any knowledge about the killing of one Dr Aborode in Igangan.
AbdulKadir, who said that all the allegations against him by Igboho were aimed at getting the Fulani out of Igangan and other parts of Yoruba land, adding that “my family and I have been living in Igangan for over 50 years without any challenges from anybody either in Igangan or any other places.”
He, therefore, called on the Emirs and other traditional rulers in the 19 northern states to come to the rescue of the Fulani residents in the South-West.
He also called on the federal government to probe the burning of his house, vehicles and the killing of seven of his men in Igangan by alleged agents of Igboho.
“When a Fulani boy named Omomogeto was reported to me that he raped someone, I told the vigilante to arrest the Fulani boy. When he was arrested, I investigated the matter and discovered that he committed the offence, I handed him over to the family of the victim. Also, a young lady was raped by an indigene of Igangan last year to the extent that the young lady died in Igangan, nothing was done to the man who raped the young lady.
“There was no case of farm destruction reported to me that I will not send people to go and look at the farm that was destroyed. If discovered that it’s true, I will order the Fulani to pay money to the farmers; i.e the Agoro family in Igangan and many more. I have a record where I’m recording the issues affecting the farmers.
“On the issue of killing of one Dr Aborode, I don’t know anything about it. Where Dr Aborode was killed is very far from my village. It’s about two hours drive to my village; you will pass through Igangan town before you get to where I am.
“Finally, I want the federal government to investigate this matter and anyone found guilty should face the law. My houses, 12 vehicles belonging to myself, my children and some visitors were burnt and seven of my people were killed. The corpses of two were yet-to-be-found and some of my animals were carted away.”
Ekiti State Government has said there was no truth in the story making the rounds that herdsmen fleeing Ondo State are relocating to Ekiti forests following the 7-day ultimatum issued by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, the State Commissioner for Information and Values Orientation, Hon Akin Omole described the news report as a figment of the imagination of the author and pure speculation most likely originating from the recent security threat in the neighboring Ondo State.
Omole assured residents in Ekiti State of security to their lives and properties adding that relevant security agencies including the State Amotekun Corps are monitoring the State boundaries round the clock.
According to him, the State Government and security operatives are investigating and in control of situation surrounding the only skirmish that occurred at Ago Aduloju at the outskirts of the State capital.
“The State Government sympathises with all those who were affected by this and would like the community to be assured that no efforts will be spared to ensure that Ekiti citizens are able to conduct their affairs in peace, unhindered by criminals of any kind”, Omole stated.
Stressing the commitment of the Fayemi led the administration to the general wellbeing of people in the State.
Omole advised the people to disregard all unsubstantiated news reports and go about their lawful endeavors without fear of intimidation or threats to their lives and property.
Apostle Johnson Suleman of Omega Fire Ministries has reacted to reports that the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, is investigating him.
A former pastor of his church, Mike Davids had accused Apostle Suleman of sleeping with his wife.
Davids claimed that Suleman was threatening his life and has denied him access to his three children even after making his wife Faith Edko, leave him to lead a church in Abuja.
Against this backdrop, Davids had petitioned the IGP to probe the clergyman.
Reacting, Apostle Suleman urged Nigerians to disregard such claims.
In a tweet, he wrote: “IGP orders probe on me where, when?. Maybe my ghost, just reading stories now. Please discard, there is no such thing.”
The Federal Government has denied paying N100billion to members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to stop killings and kidnappings in Nigeria.
The government reaction comes against the backdrop of a video claiming the government negotiated with the group and agreed to pay them the huge amount for them to stop kidnapping people.
However, a reaction from the official federal government Twitter account @NigeriaGov, denied the claims in the video.
While there was no denial of meeting with the group to bring about peace and ensure a lasting solution to security challenges facing the country, including incessant issues of herders-farmers clashes, the government denied offering money during any of the meetings.
It also recalled that the spokesperson to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Garba Shehu had denied the claims in the video when it first surfaced in May, 2019.
The government wrote on Twitter: “The information contained in this video, which first made the rounds two years ago, is absolute falsehood. According to @GarShehu at the time: “That is an absolute falsehood. In all of those meetings, nothing like money was discussed.”