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Doubts Mount As Applicants Lament

Commissioner Reassures Job Seekers

More than six months after Governor Nyesom Wike ordered the recruitment of five thousand workers into the Rivers State civil service, some youths who applied for the jobs have expressed dismay that the process has yet to be implemented by the state government.

Some of the applicants who spoke to The Vortex expressed frustrations on the inability of the state government to complete the process.

Blessing Idama, one of the applicants told The vortex that since she sent in her application over six months ago, nothing has been heard from the government.

She lamented that she and others applicants have become disillusioned over the governments inaction on the matter.

“It was not easy going through the online application process but I was able to break in but my efforts and expectations are turning into nightmare,” she stated.

Justice Ejiowhor, an indigene of Emuoha Local Government Area, said he has been making enquiries on when the recruitment will be announced and what the next step in the exercise would be but to no avail.

Ejiowhor appealed to the state government to speed up the process so that Rivers Youths can get proper employment under the present government in the state.

Another applicant, Joy Idawari from Degema told The Vortex that it was disappointing that after over five years of the present government in the state, no formal recruitment has been carried out by the state government.

Miss Idawari expressed worry that the recruitment of the five thousand workers may go the way of the previous announced recruitment of teachers in the state which never saw the light of day.

“The process is taking long. We expected the announcement on the recruitment during the last Labour Day but nothing was mentioned about it. Even the leaders in the state never mentioned it in their address to the governor,” she lamented.

The vortex reporter who visited the Ministry of Employment Generation and the office the State Head of Service on the matter was told there was no information on the matter.

A lady staff of the Ministry of empowerment Generation told this medium in confidence that the ministry had never been involved in the process and referred the reporter to the office of the Head of Service and the Rivers State Civil Service Commission for further clarifications.

However, the Director of Public Affairs in the office of the Head of Service who gave his name as Ephraim clarified that recruitment of workers for the civil service was the responsibility of the Rivers State civil commission and has nothing to do with the Head of Service office.

“Our office only deals with those in the service, welfare, discipline and transfers of employers. The job of recruitment of workers for the service is that of the civil service commission;” he stated.

However, the Rivers State The Rivers State Commissioner for Information, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, has assured of government’s commitment to create sustainable employment opportunities for the teeming youths of the state.

Nsirim, who made the disclosure in an exclusive interview with City News, said job creation is a top priority for the Nyesom Wike administration.

He urged candidates who recently applied for the 5,000 jobs promised by the state government to be optimistic as applications are still being sorted and processed and emphaszed that it is not the modus operandi of the Wike administration to make promises it cannot fulfill.

“Those who applied should be patient. The character of this administration is one that keeps promises. Wike is one governor that has said he will not leave any abandoned project and this 5,000 jobs is one promise he will fulfill. It is top priority for him. He wants to see how he can empower the youth, because when these people are employed, it will have a ripple effect. They will be able to take care of others close to them.”

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As the quest to produce a riverine  governor in  the state, heightens, it has been revealed that Bala Mohamed, the Governor of Bauchi State is a Bille man.

The  President of Jahr Development Association in Bauchi, Chief Amos Gizo disclosed this in a chat with The Vortex during the coronation of the Amanyanabo of Bille Kingdom last week.

Gizo who was the leader of Northern delegation of Bille ethnic nationalities in Nigeria said Bille ethnic nationalities extend beyond Rivers State and the South-South.

According to him Bille indigenous group is the fourth largest  in the country and could be found in Bauchi, Nasarawa, Plateau  and Taraba States.

“The people of Dass in Bauchi State are Bille people and they occupy over seven Local Governments in the state. In fact the present Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohamed is a Bille Man” Gizo emphasised.

The Jahr president also disclosed that plans were on to convene a conference of Bille ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, adding that the conference will  likely hold before the end of the year in Nasanawa State.

Gizo explained that “the conference will bring together the Bille people of Rivers State and  GBille in the Northern part of  the country to discuss  issues affecting the welfare and development of their people as they share common culture and tradition”.

“The Billes in Rivers State migrated from Nasarawa State to their present abode. The time has come for all the indigenes of Gbille an the North and South to come together to express their common bond and unity”, he declared.

The Sarkin Tarilim Dass of Dass Emirate  in Bauchi State, Comrade Sadegi Sadigi who expressed delight in witnessing the coronation of the Amayanabo  of Bille, commended the people of Bille in Rivers State for their spirit of accommodation.

 Comrade Sidigi listed some prominent names of Bille people in Northern Nigeria such as Thar, Bille, Mbul, Tambor in Adamawa State, Karim, Kuluma in Taraba, as Bill people.

He disclosed that in Bauchi the Bille people cover  Bauelu, Dass, Tafewa Balewa, Toro, Alkelor and Bogoro. Others include Tarawa, Dugwn, Mbat, Kantaria and Bartal all in Bauchi State.

Sadigi also listed the people of Jos North, Jos East, Kanan, Wuse as descendants  of Bille people in Plateau State while in Nasarawa State, Bille people, can be found in Narba Local Government Area.

The Sarki Tarihim Dass also explained that the presence of delegate from Northern Nigeria at the event is a home coming for them, stressing that the Bille people in the north and south have been interacting over the years and assured that exchange of visits will be intensified.

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Nigeria To Begin COVID-19 Vaccination In Jan.

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, on Thursday, officially declared the second wave of the virus in Nigeria.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, represented by Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika stated during the daily media briefing said Nigeria has entered a second wave of infections and stands the risk of losing the gains from the hard work of the last nine months.

According to him, while the country in the last two weeks on the one hand, received cheering news of the COVID-19 vaccine on the other hand, “we have witnessed spikes in number of infections at home and abroad. The real threat is upon humanity and the progress made in the global health sector in the last five decades or more.”

Meanwhile the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said Nigerians would start getting COVID-19 vaccine from January, 2021.

Briefing newsmen after the virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Enahire said, “We’ve signed up with the World Health Organisation and Gavi for access to vaccines immediately they’re available. But you know that these vaccines are new and are in packets and the producers aren’t given any indemnity.

He said, “these countries where these vaccines are manufactured, have of course, given themselves the priority to serve themselves and we hope that the pressure from the WHO and Gavi will be able to get reserves for other countries that aren’t manufacturing and they’ll be able to attend to what will be signed up to. We signed up for advanced market participation in Covax; so, if we will be able to get our own, I think it’ll be in January.”

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…69Yr-Old Reveals

Sixty-nine year old, Ipubo David Davis said officers of the defunct Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS)  unlawfully detained him over a text message he sent to the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike on how to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

 Speaking to journalists after presenting his petition at the State Judicial Commission of Inquiry Investigating Acts of Brutality, Violence, intimidations and right abuses of Citizens by officers and personnel of the Nigerian Police in Port Harcourt on Thursday, Ipubo narrated his ordeal in the hands of SARS officers who picked him from his residence in Port Harcourt.

The witness said in the heat of the coronavirus upsurge in the state, he sent a text message to the governor suggesting the establishment of a special centre for victims of the virus in the state and the need to open a dedicated phone line for the public to report incidences of infections for prompt medical attention to victims.

According to him, the Governor acknowledged receipt of the message and promised to get across to him.

He alleged that on the 17th of April, 2020, two policemen visited his residence and informed him that they were sent by the Chief of Staff, Government House, to bring him for a meeting with Governor Wike.

“I hesitated following them because the policemen came in a private vehicle but I decided and left with them in the car. The two men instead of taking me to Government House to meet with the Governor, took me to SARS office at Rukpokwu and detained me till the next day”, he stated.

He said the next day, April, 18 the officers took him to Government House where the Governor received him.

 “When the Governor saw me, he asked if I was the person who sent him the text message and I said yes. He said I should give him few minutes. The governor, later returned accompanied by one of his aides with an envelope containing some money,” the petitioner said.

According to him, rather than handing over the money to him, the official gave the cash to one of the security officials who counted the sum of N5000 and gave to him. “They said I should appreciate them for giving me the money,” Ipubo explained.

He alleged that the security officers drove him back to their Rumukpokwu office and charged him with sending threat messages to the Governor of the state and demanded N500,000 for bail.

“Through the assistance of friends I was able to raise the sum of N120,000 before I was released on the 20th of April after three days in their detention,” Ipubo said.

He alleged that security agents and some officials at Government House plotted his unlawful detention and torture to deprive him of the cash gift of appreciation by Governor Wike over his candid suggestions to the state government.

He appealed to the commission to compel the Nigerian police to return his phone which he alleged was taken from him, and also demanded the sum of N50m as compensation for the trauma inflicted on him by the police.  

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RSU To Start Etche, Emohua, Ahoada Campuses

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike said funds have been appropriated in the 2021 budget for the provision of   infrastructure and commencement of academic activities in the three new campuses of the Rivers State University in Emohua, Ahoada and Etche Local Government Areas of the State.

Governor Wike in his address at the 32nd Convocation and 40th Anniversary of the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Tuesday, said for the universities to be reckoned internationally as serious citadels of learning, creativity and innovation, stakeholders must find the means to address the problem of declining quality of graduates.

Governor Wike said his administration has completed and equipped long-abandoned buildings of Faculties of Environmental Sciences, Management Sciences, Technical and Science Education, and Law in the University, adding that his administration also established a College of Medical Sciences for the institution and approved the conversion of the Braithwaite Memorial Hospital to the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital as a first-rate teaching hospital.

Governor Wike congratulated His Royal Highness, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage (rtd), Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs, on his appointment and investiture as the new Chancellor of the University.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Nlerum Okogbule, disclosed that a total of 5486 graduands were certified to be worthy in character and in learning. Among them, are 34 students who bagged first class and 209 Doctor of Philosophy.

He commended the governor for appointing Justice Bage as the 4th Chancellor and expressed hope that his wealth of experience will greatly impact on the running of the affairs of the institution.

Justice Bage (rtd.) thanked Governor Wike for counting him worthy to be Chancellor of the University and assured him that he will use the opportunity to advance the frontiers the rich impartation of knowledge for which the institution is reputed.

The Pro-Chancellor, Hon Justice Iche N. Ndu (rtd) said Governor Wike will be remembered for his monumental feat in initiating the College of Medical Sciences of the University and recruiting some of the best brains in medical field to run the college.

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… Parents Beg SARS Panel

The Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry probing alleged acts of rights violations by officers and operatives of the Nigerian Police have been inundated with cases of missing persons from the custody of the Nigerian Police in the State.

At the resumed hearing of petitions at the commission last Thursday in Port Harcourt, Mrs. Julian Ekezie said her son, Ugochukwu Ekezie who was reportedly arrested on the December 16, 2019 by officers of the defunct Special Anti Robbery Squad has not been seen till date.

Mrs. Ekezie stated that her son who she said had altercations with a friend, called Nelly over girl-friend issues in Rumuepirikom in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, later invited the OSPAC vigilante group to arrest him.

Mrs. Ekezie said she quickly went to the office of OSPAC, where it was confirmed that her son was arrested but informed her that has been handed over to Anti Cultism Unit of the Nigerian Police.

She explained that when she visited the Anti Cultism office at the old GRA near Moscow Road in Port Harcourt, she met one Inspector Dagogo and Sergent John Okon, and was asked to pay the sum of N20,000 to register the case of the arrest of her son.

She said the Police also demand another N20,000 from her to make petition about her son, adding that she spent over N76,000 in the office of the Anti Cultism Unit, adding that despite her efforts, she was never allowed to see her son till date.

She demanded that the commission should order the release of her son alive or if dead, release the body for burial, while compensation should be paid to the family for the loss of her son.

Another petitioner, Dawaye Bob Ikiyo also narrated how his son, Jerry Dawaye Omubo, a professional photographer was arrested on his way home in the Borikiri area of Port Harcourt.

Dawaye told the commission that when he received phone calls from his son that he was arrested by SARS and that he has been asked to pay the sum of N100,000 for his release, he visited the SARS office with the little money he had but was chased away by officers at the desk office, who threatened to kill him if he makes further enquiry of his son.

The 76 year-old man said he later received information from one of the officers whom he said was a Jehovah Witness who confided in him that all the boys arrested along with his son were matched outside in the night, killed by the SARS operatives and buried in a mass grave.

“On hearing the news of my son’s death, I slumped and fell on a hard surface, and since then I have suffered stroke, spent all the money I had and no one to care for me.  I have not seen my son till date,” the witness lamented.

Dawaye described SARS as a dreaded organization that go about carrying out indiscriminate mass arrests of people.

When asked by the counsel to the police if he reported the matter to any police authority, Dawaye said he never did because of the threat to his life by the police.

He demanded that the commission order the release of his son alive and if dead, release his body for proper burial according to Kalabari custom and tradition.

The matter however was adjourned for cross examination for December 21, 2020.  

Also, Mr. Christian Chima on Thursday told the Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry investigating acts of police brutality, murder and violation of fundamental rights of citizens sitting at the Obi-Wali Civil Centre in Port Harcourt how the officers of the Nigerian Police, Area Command in Port Harcourt obtained a forged autopsy report to cover for the torture and murder of his younger brother, Benjamin Chima while he was detained in their custody.

The witness told the commission that his brother was arrested by the Agip Police Division of the Nigeria Police on July 16, 2010 but was later transferred to the police Area Command in Port Harcourt.

According to him, he visited the command on the day and met a police officer Sgt. Bright, who told him to come back the next Friday.

Mr. Chima explained that on the next day when he visited the area command, he was told that there was nobody bearing the name Benjamin Chima in their custody.

The witness also told the commission that while at the station, he met one Livingstone who was in police custody with his brother who told him that the detainees including his brother were mercilessly beaten and tortured in the cells.

He said Mr. Livingstone told him that his brother was among those taken away the previous night to an unknown destination.

He said on further enquiries from the officer in the command, he was told to meet, the then head of the command, DSP Livinus Iwu, who they said was the only officer who could speak on the matter. 

“I met DSP Iwu on the July 18, 2010 in his office and he told me that my brother was sick and had been taken to the then Braithwait Memorial Hospital (BMH) for medical attention and requested that I come back next week,” he explained.

Chima said when he reported back to the command the following week, “DSP Iwu showed me a picture of my brother to confirm if he was the person I was looking for.

He told me that my brother had died in the hospital and that the autopsy they had carried out on him indicated that he died of heart attack.

The witness, through his lawyer tendered several petitions and publications made to human rights bodies, the Inspector General of Police IGP and the then commissioner of police in the state.

“We went to the BMH to enquire about the purported autopsy which the area commander told me was done in the hospital, but the hospital denied that no such autopsy was carried out on the deceased by the hospital” he explained.

He equally told the commission that the area command, DSP Iwu, later invited him for discussion and settlement of the matter. 

However, counsel to the Nigerian Police Iyu Ubulon opposed the hearing of the petition on the ground that a matter that had already been filed at the Federal High court, but was struck out by the court it cannot be heard by the commission.

His submission was over-ruled by the commission who ruled that since the matter was struck out by the court for want of jurisdiction and procedural errors, the petitioner can still be heard by any other court or commission of enquiry.

The petitioner demand for the release of the corpse of his brother for proper burial, and that a compensation of N500m to be paid to the family while a public apology from the Nigerian police to published in national and local newspapers in Nigeria be tendered to the family. 

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N’Delta Groups Dare FG Over Botched Meeting

…Reject further consultations until…

As individual and groups express anger and disappointment over the sudden cancellation of the meeting between Niger Delta stakeholders and the Federal Government delegation  expected to be led by the chief of staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Service, UNDEDSS, said there will be no further discussions with the Federal Government on issues of the Niger Delta people following the botched meeting with the Federal Government last week.

Rising from an emergency meeting, the group said all future cooperation with the Federal Government has ceased.

In a statement after the meeting through its Secretary-General, Mr Tony Uranta, UNDEDSS said the decision would remain until the 2016 16-point demands laid directly before President Muhammadu Buhari “were urgently and comprehensively met as promised by the president at a parley held in Aso Villa with representatives of the group and Niger Delta leaders.”

The statement reads: “Niger Delta will mark any putative regional leaders who will attempt to break the no more dialogue embargo.Enough is enough. We shall no longer remain in a union where we are third-class citizens. 

Also, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) described the failure of a federal government’s delegation to show up for the meeting, planned at its instance with key stakeholders of the South-South geo-political zone, as one insult too many.

The meeting, which was scheduled to hold last Tuesday, to discuss critical national issues was botched at the last minute, after traditional rulers, the governors, clergy, elders, leaders, women and youths of the six South-South States had gathered in Port Harcourt, and waited for hours.

PANDEF in a statement issued by its National Chairman, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd), said the absence of government’s team was a clear demonstration of contempt and disregard for the entire South-South zone.

It said: “The reason offered for the deplorable action is completely untenable and unacceptable. This is one insult too many. How else can anyone explain what happened – if not an act of disrespect, disregard, and contempt to the entire South-South Zone. They went to the North, South-west and South East, met with the people, no emergency security meeting was summoned to stop them from attending those meetings. But when it was for the South-south zone, an emergency arose to scuttle the meeting.

“We have cross-checked and are yet to ascertain that there was any national security threatening situation to warrant their staying away.What they have told us, in essence, is that we do not matter but the truth is that we do matter. It is awful and preposterous for anyone to delude that we do not matter. That they can treat the region that has sustained the country for decades, in this way and manner, only speaks to the kind “upside-down” thinking that has kept the country in its unworthy state” the statement added..

PANDEF said, “we are curious that the ministers and other top government officials from the South-South geo-political zone were also not present for the meeting, and did not deem it fit to call the governors or leaders. Were they also part of the emergency security meeting at the Presidential Villa or they had foreknowledge of the plan to botch the meeting”?

PANDEF further stated “We are, however, not overly surprised at all of these occurrences because we have been talking of the inconsistencies, discrimination and injustice against the Niger Delta region by this administration for the past five years. Let it be known to them that whether they desire to meet with us or not, the people of the South-South geo-political zone have taken a firm stand”.

“This latest event has made it evident to everyone from the Niger Delta Region and South-South zone, the extent to which this presidency can go in disrespecting the region. And so we have to be united and work together, that is the only way we can make any significant difference in the Niger Delta, for the good of present and future generations” , the statement added.

The Chairman the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), Rivers State, Comrade Sotonye George in a telephone chat with our correspondent in Port Harcourt said it was a desperate act to further frustrate the people of South-South, especially the Niger Delta region that have been laying the golden eggs for the country.

Comrade George opined that it is a sign of wickedness and injustice to the people of Niger Delta region as the meeting would have been fruitful in addressing pressing issues of the region especially resource control.

He noted that the meeting which would have also addressed the rights of the people of Niger Delta was long overdue, and deliberate act to further trample on the rights and justice of the people.

According to him, Zamfara State is controlling their resources and wondered why Niger Delta region should not control its resources, stressing that despite the 13 percent derivation for the region, there is nothing to write home about as a people that produces oil and gas that is sustaining the country.

George said, without Justice, there would be no peace and further called on the Federal Government to without reservation tender an apology and reschedule the meeting in no distant time to address the agitation by the people.  

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…MOSOP Warns On Projects

…Demand Clemency For Slain Leaders

Ogoni activists have rejected the ongoing construction of a Federal Prison and Cemetery projects in Ogoni land by the FederalGovernment twenty five years after renowned environmental activist and former leader of the apex Ogoni cultural organization, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) and others were killed by the Military Government of General Sani Abacha.

According to the MOSOP Coordinating Committee at a memorial lecture in honour of late Ken Saro Wiwa and the other Ogoni leaders, the construction of a prison and cemetery in the area was a ploy to further incarcerate and kill Ogoni people over their continued agitation for the control of their resources.

Dr. Gbenemene Kpae and Comrade Celestine Akpobari said the Ogoni people were not consulted in the decision to build the prison and cemetery project in the area, insisting that the original plan to establish a research centre in the area has now been converted into a prison and cemetery project.

“We demand for justice and equity. Ogoni land should not be used for the implementation of criminal justice system in Nigeria. The prison and cemetery project is to continue to annihilate and imprison Ogoni people.  We say no to prison and cemetery in Ogoniland” they stated.

Ogoni people, they added, will continue to oppose all forms of oil exploitation and exploration in the area until Ken Saro Wiwa and the eight other murdered Ogoni leaders are exonerated from the alleged crime against them.

They called for accelerated implementation of the cleanup of the devastated Ogoni environment in line with the United Nations recommendation emphasizing that the Ogoni people desire to breath fresh and unpolluted air after twenty five years of continued struggles.

Civil society organizations and other human right activists have also demanded for environmental audit of the entire Niger Delta region.

Rising from the 25th memorial environmental summit put together by various groups; including the Environmental Rights Actiions/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria (ERAFEN), Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) held in honour of the late environmental activists in Port Harcourt, the groups declared that an urgent environmental audit of the Delta region should be undertaken and the late Ken Saro Wiwa and his 8 Ogoni compatriots should be officially exonerated of any convicted crimes.

They demanded that the federal government should pay the Ogoni nation compensation for decades of injustice including, environmental pollution, displacements and deprivations from the benefits of the resources in their land adding that a judicial panel of inquiry should be instituted to review the circumstances of the gruesome murder of Ken Saro Wiwa and other leaders.

They also called for the immediate release of the Ken Saro Wiwa Memorial bus seized by the Nigerian Custom Services.

Other demands of the summit included; that the Rivers State Government should take necessary steps to remove the names of the late military head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha and other actors responsible for the miscarriage of justice and killing of the Ogoni leader in 1995, from all edifices and archives of the state.

They urged the federal government to halt the growing cases of suppression of the rights of the Niger Delta people and peaceful protesters in the country.

The event which had the theme; “The Nigerian Environment and Lessons Learnt,” was attended by prominent environmental rights activists and groups including Dr. Nnimmo Bassey, Director of HOMEF, coordinator of oil watch, Togo, Kwami Kpondoz, South Africans, Patrick Bond and Bobby Peak of Groundwork and Steve Kriesemann of the United nations. 

The 25th anniversary event held in Bori, Khana Local Government featured the unveiling of the Ken Saro Wiwa Memorial Park built in Bane, the hometown of the late environmental activist.

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Same Sex Union: The Nigerian Perspective (1)

Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, in a move that looks to further amplify heated divergences on abnormal unions, has given his most clear support to same-sex marriage.

The Pope made the remarkable declaration on “Francesco” a documentary film directed by Russian filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky, that premiered at the Rome Film Festival, according to the Catholic News Agency, the CNN reported.
According to the Pope, “homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it,” the Pope reportedly said in the film which also explores his work and views in other issues, including climate change, migration and economic equality, according to the film’s website.

“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the Pope added.

Although the Vatican has said the Popes’ comments were misunderstood and that the comments were not from a new interview as Pope Francis has been subtly throwing support for gay people since he was elected in 2013.

“The key is for the church to welcome, not exclude, and show mercy, not condemnation. If a person is gay and seeks God and has goodwill, who am I to judge?” the pope said back in 2013.
Even before he became pope, as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis had endorsed same-sex union after debates on whether to legalize such arrangement sprung in Argentina. However, his latest comments in the film the producers hoped would be allowed to streamed from homes is the first time Francis as pope would openly endorse same-sex union.

The pope’s conservative opponents were enraged by his statements, according to the Guardian UK, regarding it as part of an effort to shift the church towards progressive values. Some even accusing him of heresy.

His views were a sharp contrast of his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who had in a famous remark labelled homosexuality “an intrinsic moral evil.”

The Guardian UK reported that in 2003, a Vatican document “set out why it was necessary to oppose legal recognition of homosexual unions because they “obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage”.

Several countries around the world has held contrary views on legalizing gay marriages. Acts of gay sex are illegal in at least 30 countries across Africa where persecution of gay people still prevails.

Even in countries where it is legalized, gay people still face a lot of discriminations and stringent legislations. In June, before Poland’s second round of presidential elections, incumbent Andrzej Duda presented a draft amendment to the constitution that would ban gay couples from adopting children.

Nigeria is among countries yet to legalize Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender [LGBT] unions. Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill in 2014 criminalizing same-sex relationships in Nigeria, despite pressure from Western governments to preserve the rights of gay, lesbian and bisexual people.

The Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act (SSMPA) bans gay marriage, same-sex “amorous relationships” and membership of gay rights groups with penalties of up to 14 years in prison.

“Many African political and religious leaders argue that decriminalizing homosexuality would be akin to promoting it and that it goes against their traditions and culture,” the report noted.

Meanwhile, in recent times, there has been some growing acceptance of gay men, women and transgender in Nigeria with the likes of “Bob-risky” gaining popularity, even with his gay antics.

A 2017 survey which compared attitudes towards LGBT people in Nigeria against a 2015 poll showed a growing acceptance of such abnormality. One of the contentious issues in the debate over homosexuality and same sex marriage in Nigeria is whether a marriage between persons of the same gender is totally alien to Nigerian culture and tradition. Those opposing same sex marriage have continued to argue that same gender union is foreign to Africa.

Across Africa, homosexuality is often viewed as a violation of cultural and religious values. Gay sex is outlawed in 38 African countries, according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Trans and Intersex Association. In 13 African countries, homosexuality is legal or there are no laws banning it.

In Mauritania, Sudan and Northern Nigeria, homosexuality is punishable by death. Offenders can receive life imprisonment in Uganda, Tanzania and Sierra Leone.

In 2013, a legislation was proposed in Nigeria that would ban same-sex blessing or marriage ceremonies, penalize those involved in them, and outlaw, efforts to promote same-sex activity of any kind and through any means, with penalties of five years imprisonment. This proposed legislation has been publicly upheld by the Nigerian moral community.

The Nigerian senate took a strong stand against same sex marriage in Nigeria in an all-in-favor debate on a bill prohibiting same sex marriage in Nigeria.

To be continued

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Revealed! Why Americans Dumped Trump

President Donald Trump has declined to give a concession speech acknowledging the election of former vice president Joseph Biden as the 46th President of the United States of America.
President Trump has rather asked his legal team to challenge the polls outcome in the Supreme Court even as there was widespread jubilation over Biden’s victory.
There have been speculations over the likely cause of Trump’s failure . They include neglecting to manage the coronavirus infection at the early stage of infection and failure to condemn white supremacists sentiments.
When George Floyd, an African-American, died with his neck under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, Trump reacted by seizing on isolated acts of rioting and vandalism to stoke fear.
He defied presidential norms and was largely aggressive even to the press. His use of racist language in tweets maligning people of colour was also deemed unsavoury.
His conspiracy theories and divisive policies affected his re-eleciton bid. His approval rating was also on the average due to the country’s economic downturn.
Trump is insisting on a vote recount in the states of Georgia and Pennsylvania claiming that he won the elections if legal votes only were counted.
Meanwhile President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated former Vice President Joe Biden.
In a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, Buhari, said the most powerful group are not the politicians, but voters who can decide the fate of candidates for elective office at the polling booth.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, in a congratulatory message to President-elect Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, advising both to be magnanimous in victory and accommodate all Americans.
In his message titled: ‘Goodwill message to United States President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’, Jonathan appealed to the incoming government to partner with African nations to help the continent overcome the vicissitudes of the pandemic, by building on existing trade and expanding on new frontiers for cooperation
“My special thoughts and prayers goes to Mrs. Harris for making history as the first woman and first person of African American ancestry to be elected as Vice President of the United States. “This is one big step for her, and one giant leap for the Black Race and the female gender. “I pray that God will bless their joint tenure, and that in four years from now, we will have a better world because of their administration.
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Believers Love World popularly known as Christ Embassy has said that US President, Donald Trump, is hated by many because of his support for Christians and the tenets of the Christian faith.
Oyakhilome in a viral video said many are angry at Trump because he didn’t come for their sponsorship. According to the cleric, things will not be calm if Trump is out of office.
”Before he started giving his voice in support of Christians and before he started giving his voice in support of Israel, he was their darling, they loved him.
Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, said United States President Donald Trump will retain his seat.
In his article yesterday titled, ‘U.S. election: Before you pop the champagne’,Fani Kayode said people were believing the “fake news” in major news networks and accepting their narrative that the election was free and fair.
Uti Nwachukwu, ex-Big Brother Africa reality show star, has revealed that Jesus Christ would be disappointed in Nigerians who are in support of US President, Donald Trump, all in the name of Christianity.
The Big Brother Africa, BBA, winner, said Jesus will be disappointed with those supporting Trump because he clearly perpetuated hate, division and anarchy.
“I’m so ashamed of the hypocritical brainwashed Nigerians supporting Trump all in the name of Christianity. Someone that clearly perpetuated hate, division and anarchy. Is this the love Jesus preached?, he asked.

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