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Outspoken clergyman describes Nigerian leaders as ‘drunken men searching for way home

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Outspoken Nigerian Priest, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, has described the crop of leaders the country has produced in the last 60 years as “men in a drunken stupor who stumble and fumble while searching for the way home.”

Kukah, who is the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese in Northern Nigeria, in his Easter message to the nation on Sunday, said since Nigeria gained independence in 1960, successive leaders had failed to create a template on which the country should run seamlessly but rather facilitated a situation where “immoral and sordid debauchery has spread like cancer destroying all our vital organs.”

Bishop Kukah further called on the present government to come up with a robust template on how to reverse the trend of bad governance and put the country on a path of national healing.

“Our leaders chose the feast rather than the fast. We are today reaping what we sowed yesterday. For over 60 years, our leaders have looked like men in a drunken stupor, staggering, stumbling and fumbling, slurring in speech, with blurred visions searching for the way home,” he said.

“The corruption of the years of a life of immoral and sordid debauchery has spread like cancer destroying all our vital organs. The result is a state of a hangover that has left our nation comatose.

“Notwithstanding, Easter is a time to further reflect on the road not taken. It is a time to see if this Golgotha of pain can lead us to the new dawn of the resurrection. Nigeria can and Nigeria will be great again. Let us ride this tide together in hope.

“The government must design a more comprehensive and wide-ranging method of recruitment that is transparent as a means of generating patriotism and reversing the ugly face of feudalism and prebendalism

“There is a need for a clear communications strategy that will serve to inspire and create timelines of expectations of results from policies.

“There is a need for clarity over questions of the who, what, when, and how national set goals are to be attained and who can be held accountable.

“Second, the notion of rejigging the security architecture is a hackneyed cliché that is now at best, an oxymoron. It is difficult to fathom our current situation regarding the ubiquity of the military in our national life.

“It is impossible to explain how we can say we are in a civilian democracy with the military literally looking like an Army of occupation with an octopussean spread across all 36 states and Abuja.

“This has very serious consequences both for its professionalism, its integrity and perceived role in protecting society.

“No other person than the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, who recently referred to the military as facing the dilemma of what he called ‘see finish.’ It is now difficult to say whether the persistence of insecurity is a cause or a consequence of military ubiquity.

”Trillions of naira continue to go into bottomless pits with little measurable benefits.

“Our military’s professionalism cannot be diluted by the recruitment of hunters, vigilante groups, and other unprofessional and untrained groups,” the fiery cleric added.

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President Hichilema pledges support for Zambian SMEs

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Zambian President, Hakainde Hichilema, has pledged his government’s commitment to support the country’s small and medium scale enterprises as well as the principles of solidarity, equity and inclusivity in his administration’s development agenda.

Hichilema who made the pledge during the 2024 Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Co-operatives Indaba in Lusaka on Wednesday, said his government was committed to promoting the growth of in the country.

The President who was represented at the event by the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Elias Mubanga, stated that his administration had already embarked on the journey because of the important role MSMEs played in national development.

While delivering a speech on the theme “Harnessing the power of collaboration in fostering Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Cooperative growth for sustainable economic development”, Hichilema noted that this would be achieved by providing MSMEs and Co-operatives genuine engagement in decision-making processes and capacity-building programmes can boost their creativity.

“Inter-connection and inter-independence collaboration stand as a cornerstone of growth across all sectors of the Zambian economy particularly among MSMEs and Cooperatives.”

He added that this can also boost the resilience and entrepreneurial drive of small businesses in order to stimulate development.

“Government is focusing on MSMEs and cooperatives’ engagement, as well as strengthening policy execution to promote and facilitate advanced investments for the nation’s long-term growth.”

He further added that government was engrossed with the participation of MSMEs and Co-operatives and strengthening the implementation of policy to promote and facilitate increased remittances and investment for the nation to attain sustainable development.

Hichilema stressed that in 2023, government, through the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development launched the Revised National MSME Development Policy and its Implementation Plan (2023-2028).

“This underscored government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for MSMES to thrive,” the Head of State said.

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In Sallah message, Tinubu charges Nigerians to have faith in his reform agenda

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President Bola Tinubu has once again urged Nigerians to have faith in his “bold reforms” and the commitment to his administration’s “Renewed Hope Agenda.”

Tinubu, who gave the reassurance in his Eid-el-Fitr message to the nation on Wednesday, praised Nigerians for their resilience, sacrifice, and endurance in the face of the hardship they are going through as a result of the policies of his administration.

The President who observed his Eid-el-Fitr prayer at the Dodan Barracks in Ikoyi, Lagos State, also urged Nigerians to defend the integrity of the country at all times.

In a chat with journalists after the prayers, President Tinubu said called on Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of the recently concluded Ramadan fasting.

“Today marks a significant day in Islam as Muslims worldwide commemorate the conclusion of Ramadan and the Eid-el-Fitr festivities,” he said.

“Moreover, let us perpetuate the spirit of compassion and support for one another, as demonstrated during the month of Ramadan, and extend assistance to those in need.

“The kind of resilience, sacrifice, endurance that we have, we should preserve that for the country. Be a kind and cheerful giver, love our country better than any other country – that is the only one that we have.

“And we must continue to protect the integrity of our government and leadership. The new hope is alive, well and fine and Nigerians should continue to be very hopeful.

“Without hope there is no salvation, without hope, there is no development, without hope, there is no life,” Tinubu said.

The President went further to state that the Renewed Hope Agenda would result in a better Nigeria in the shortest possible future.

“Renewed hope is very much alive, Nigerians should be hopeful,” he added.

Shortly after he assumed office on May 29, 2023, President Tinubu had assured Nigerians that his Renewed Hope Initiative would be a culmination of his government’s commitment to ensuring that Nigeria and Nigerians fulfill their potentials.

“The Renewed Hope Agenda of my administration is defined by our commitment to unleashing our country’s full economic potential, by focusing on job creation, access to capital for small and large businesses, inclusiveness, the rule of law, and the fight against hunger, poverty and corruption,” President Tinubu had declared during his inaugural speech.

But almost a year after that speech and declaration, Nigeria has been plunged into economic crisis occasioned by high cost of living, inflation, and hardship due to the policies of the government.

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