National Assembly won’t legislate against any religion – Saraki

Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki has assured Nigerians that the Senate will not pass any law against the fundamental rights or freedom of religious practice of Nigerians.

Dr. Saraki who stated this in Ilorin at the close of 31st National Qur’an reading competition at the weekend enjoined all religious leaders in the country to use the word of God to spread love, unity and peace stressing that “we should tolerate and have harmonious relationship and understanding among ourselves.”

He urged Nigerians to pray for quick recovery of President Muhammad Buhari in order to continue to pilot the affairs of the nation.

Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, said the use of religion to perpetuate acts of violence was unfortunate given the emphasis placed on peace and justice by Christianity and Islam. He stated that it was the responsibility of all Nigerians to resist, through peaceful means, those who are bent on misrepresenting religion and fomenting conflict in its name.

According to him, “as a government focused on sustaining peaceful co-existence, we will continue to ensure peace and harmonious relations based on the principles of justice, fairness and equity”.

The governor said he remained committed to equitable distribution of infrastructure, socio-economic programmes adding that no community in the state will be excluded from the benefits of prosperity on account of their religious or political inclinations.

Earlier, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIA), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, who described religion as a personal matter, hailed the court of appeal’s verdict on the right of female Muslims to wear hijab in Lagos State.

He urged Muslims to always employ legal means in asking for their rights.

“As Muslims, we do not intend to dominate anyone, but what we demand is the freedom to practice our religion. Religion is a personal matter. We should preach peace, stability and peaceful co-existence no matter what religion we profess,” he stated.

He also charged Nigerian leaders to be united in addressing common issues of poverty, unemployment and insurgency.

You will rot in hell if you kill in the name of religion, Sultan of Sokoto tells religious zealots

Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III has warned Nigerians that anyone who killed in the name of religion would go to hell.


The Sultan, who is also the Co-Chairman of Nigeria Inter-Religious Council spoke yesterday in Ilorin at the opening of a two-day international conference organised by the Kwara State government on security and peaceful co-existence in Nigeria.


He warned against any attempt by anyone to disintegrate the country in the name of religion, adding that the Bible and the Quran, two holy books serving as guide to Christians and Muslims did not recommended murder as a prerequisite to faithful worship.

He deplored the massacre in southern Kaduna, describing it as a Godless act and urged the military intelligence unit to arrest all the perpetrators of the crime. 

The Sultan stated that: “We accepted to attend this programme for obvious reasons. We know the serious insecurity issues affecting our country now. There is no state that is not facing one crisis or the other.


“I give kudos to the Kwara State government for organising this forum to help us chart a way forward. I will challenge the state government to come up with a model that other states could emulate and have a peaceful atmosphere.


“God did not make a mistake when he created us as Nigerians and put us together. We must understand that and all of us who profess to be Christians or Muslims have a guide which is either the Quran or Bible. In these two major religions there is nowhere where killing of innocent people is allowed.”


He added: “Therefore, it is wrong when people wake up and dress themselves up with explosives going into market and other public places and shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ and killing innocent people under the guise of ‘jihad’ thinking you are going straight to heaven.


“I have said it many times that they could profess to be Muslims but what they are doing is anti-Islam. It is against the Holy Quran, the dictates of Almighty Allah and they are going to hell for committing murder unjustly.”


Explaining the reasons for the crises in the country, he said, “we have been having this problem because of impunity in Nigeria. People do things and go scot-free. It means crime pays. People steal government money and nothing is done to them.


“We have been working hard to see how we can stop the menace of herdsmen. I don’t want to say Fulani herdsmen. They could be any other thing. How could Fulani who move with their cows and family come to a village, kill people, destroy everything there and disappear into thin air like spirits? What are our security men doing? Where is our intelligence gathering mechanisms to know where these people come from to know who they are?”


Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed said it was apposite for a conference on security and peaceful co-existence is held at this crucial time in the country.

Religion will kill Nigeria if not tamed, says Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka, a professor and playwright, has warned that religion may bring about the downfall of Nigeria if it is not tamed.

Reacting to the recent spate of religious killings in Southern Kaduna, Soyinka wondered if religion has been more beneficial than detrimental to Nigerians.

He made the comments on Thursday at the presentation of ‘Religion and the Making of Nigeria’, a book written by Olufemi Vaughan.

“If we do not tame religion in this nation, religion would kill us,” he said.

“I do not say kill religion, though, I wouldn’t mind a bit if that mission could be undertaken surgically, painlessly perhaps, under anaesthesia, effectively sprayed all over the nation or perhaps during an induced pouch of religious ecstasy.

“However, one has to be realistic. Only the religiously possessed or committed would deny the obvious. The price that many have paid, not just within this society but by humanity in general, makes one wonder if the benefits have really been more than the losses.

“Can one think of any landscape without religious architecture?” the Nobel laureate asked.

“For both the monk and the cleric or spiritual leaders, it is simply no longer sufficient to say this or that form of conduct is not permitted by this religion or the other. Or those who do this or that are not true believers of this prophet or that avatar or sage for the simple reason that others, who dissociate themselves from conduct, which universally is condemned, are themselves declaring themselves partisan of their own in contradistinctions to others.”

Soyinka further noted that the “innocent” are usually the victims of religious confrontations and strife, adding that religion has been a “disaster” for the African continent since time immemorial.

“What, however, concerns the rest of us – no matter the internal wrangling, rivalries or controversies within any religion – what concerns us is that the innocent are often those who pay the highest price.

“Religion in the history of this continent has been a disastrous venture, a disaster in many zones and continues to be even so today.

“In this very nation, in Southern Kaduna, over 800 souls were brutally extinguished suddenly while the issue of grazing land versus farming is unquestionably part of the conflict. It is equally undeniable that religious differences have played crucial role in the conflict.”

CAN Rejects Idea of Christian Courts in Nigeria

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has rejected the proposed bill seeking to establish Christian Courts in the country.

Rev. John Hayab, who is the Public Relations Officer of the body, argued that the bill might trigger religious crisis.

In place of the Christian Court Bill, Hayab urged the lawmakers to make laws that will unite Nigerians, rather than further divide them.

“This Christian Courts Bill cannot help us, that is why we are voicing it out.

“This thing is not really what Nigerians want now”, he declared.

Hayab also noted that the traditional religion worshippers were entitled to rights of worship as enshrined in the constitution, adding that “what if they wake up tomorrow and demand that there must be court for the ‘pagans?’”

Shi’ites Is The Next Boko Haram – Nothern Elders Tell Buhari

The Borno Elders Forum via its Chairman Usman Galtimari has written a letter to President Buhari advising him to intervene and put a stop to the power tussle btw security forces and Shi’ites in Kaduna State

The letter read in part, “From what we read and heard in the print and electronic media, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria has been branded as an insurgency group and therefore outlawed. We see what is happening in Kaduna State as similar to what happened in Borno State back in 2009 leading to a sorry state of affairs in the State.

“Your Excellency may concur with us that there is the need to draw lessons from our recent and indeed ongoing crisis in the North-East and pockets of other crisis across the country. It is therefore necessary to take all the available routes to avert any further incidents.

“We wish to appeal to you to arrest the Kaduna situation and amicably settle all contending issues so that peace will reign in central Nigeria. Our harrowing experiences in the North-East should be enough to guide us as a nation to cultivate peace and peaceful co-habitation.”

CAN Demands Justice for Woman Killed on Alleged Blasphemy

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged the Kano State government and the inspector general of Police to bring to book those responsible for the alleged killing of a Christian woman in the city.

CAN said it was deeply sad by the news of the “release without trial of the five suspects accused of killing a 74-year-old Christian woman in Kano, Mrs. Bridget Agbahime”.

She was murdered sometime in June.

A statement in Abuja by CAN’s Director Legal and Public Affairs Kwamkur Samuel said: “This is a highly provocative and insulting act on our collective sensitivities as a democratic nation, if newspaper reports are correct.

“The association condemns the continuous act of killing of innocent Nigerians under the pretence of blasphemy and considers the wilful absence of justice for victims of these mindless killings in Nigeria by relevant authorities as a serious constitutional breach and security threat to our unity and collective survival as a nation.

“The now-familiar tradition of avoidance to arrest or properly investigate and prosecute cases involving the deliberate killing of innocent Nigerians is evidence of a scripted plan to operate another nation within the Nigerian state and to deny justice to those who truly deserve justice.

“The cardinal responsibility of government to protect life and property of citizens is sacrosanct and must not be sacrificed on the altar of religious convenience. As it stands today, there is no single prosecution record of any criminal who killed under the pretence of blasphemy in Nigeria despite the number of victims and incontrovertible facts showing that those killings were done in daylight and mostly by persons who live within the communities, where these heinous crimes were committed.”

The association called on the state government and the IGP to execute justice on behalf of the victim

“The act of condoning crass criminality in the name of blasphemy deserves greater attention and broader treatment in this era of transforming the mindset of the citizens to work toward progressive change.

“CAN deeply sympathises with the family of the Kano victim over the rather very sad outcome of the case and assures that the pursuit of justice is a noble task of all well-meaning citizens working together toward a more decent and better society.

“As the umbrella body of Christians in Nigeria, we will not relent in our effort to ensure that justice is served on the religiously intolerant and to ensure that all Nigerians are treated equally irrespective of their faith, social status and where they come from.”

Just In: Kaduna upholds religious freedoms and all constitutional rights – ElRufai

The Kaduna State Government wishes to reiterate its respect for the right of every resident to practise the religion of their choice. As it has often stated, the government has a duty to uphold fundamental rights and the security of everyone. This involves ensuring that nobody or group exercises their rights in ways that restrict the rights of others or subjects them to danger, distress or the diminution of their humanity.




Every resident of Kaduna State is free to practise the religion of their choice. This is a fundamental, constitutional right. The freedoms that are so guaranteed by the constitution, including that of worship, thought, association, and movement are enshrined in Sections 38 and 40, and their exercise is limited only by considerations that they do not infringe on the rights of others or constitute a danger to public order and public safety.

It is not the place of government to assess or certify any creed. That is strictly the purview of the individual. But it is a fundamental obligation of the government to preserve security and uphold the rights of all citizens, both to practise faith and not to be imperilled or distressed by others’ exercise of faith.

The Kaduna State Government did not, and cannot, ban any religion. At every moment, the government is guided by its duty to prevent threats to the peace and security of the state. In discharge of this obligation, it has acted to declare unlawful a specific group that continues to threaten public order in the state. The IMN was never a registered organisation and it refused to conduct itself with adherence to the laws of this state.




Other groups in the Shia tradition are active in Nigeria. Like adherents of all other faiths, they are free to practise their creed, and like everyone else must take care not to injure the rights of others.

Kaduna State Gazette No. 21 of 7th October 2016 has declared the IMN an unlawful society. The reasons are clearly set out and the laws on which it is anchored are spelt out, mainly Section 97A of the Penal Code Law of Kaduna State and Sections 5(2) and 45(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

The Gazette noted that:
1.      The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the clashes between the group with the appellation ‘’Islamic Movement in Nigeria’’ (IMN) and the Nigerian Army in Zaria between Saturday 12th and Monday 14th December 2015, found as facts inter alia that:

i.      The Islamic Movement in Nigeria is an unregistered society and recommended that immediate steps be taken by the Kaduna State Government to proscribe it.

ii.     The members of the movement have over the years engaged in acts of aggression and violence against individuals and communities resulting in clashes with security agencies which culminated in the recent deaths of at least 347 persons.

iii.    The Movement has constituted itself into a parallel government with a uniformed paramilitary wing in complete disregard to the Constitution and Laws of Nigeria.

2.      The Movement has overtly continued with unlawful processions, obstruction of public highways, unauthorized occupation of public facilities including schools without regard to the rights of other citizens and the public peace and order of the State.

3.       These acts, if allowed to go unchecked will constitute danger to the peace, tranquility, harmonious coexistence and good governance of Kaduna State.

Gentlemen of the Press, these are the facts.

There is a common law in Nigeria, and it serves to protect everyone. The law courts are the appropriate platform for any citizen to challenge any legislation or order they consider improper. No citizen or group of persons can decide to disobey a valid law, without expecting that law enforcement will do its work. The day individuals choose which law to obey and proceed to violate the laws with which they disagree and get away without any sanction, then the rule of the jungle will have triumphed.

But the Kaduna State Government insists that only law enforcement agencies have the authority to act to prevent and deter violations of the law, or to arrest violators. We have warned that mob action will not be permitted under any guise. The duty of every citizen is to report every illegal action or suspicious activity to the security agencies.

Kaduna State has suffered and endured too many calamities, triggered by persons and groups that insist on foisting their faith or political preferences on others. It is a hallmark of civilisation that every assertion of rights by a citizen is done with full acknowledgement of, and respect for the rights of other citizens. That is the norm in a free society that is anchored on the equality of persons. We have a duty to build a state that upholds lawful conduct.

Thanks for your kind attention.

19th October, 2016, Kaduna.

Aruwan is Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s Spokesperson.

“I’m Not Allowed To Get Married As An Hausa Actress” – Rahama Sadau

About two months ago at the City People Entertainment awards, embattled Hausa actress, Rahama Sadau had a chat with popular journalist Morakinyo Olugbiji where she talked about Challenges faced by actresses in the Northern part of the country. According to her, one of the challenges is that she is not allowed to get married as long as she is still practising the profession. She either quits or remains single. She also told the journalist her dream to become an international actress. With her recent ban from acting in Kannywood and the invitation to Hollywood by Jeta Amata and US singer, Akon, it looks like Rahama’s dream is fast coming to a reality. Read the interview below… 

You just won an award at the 2016 City People Entertainment Awards, what does this award mean to you?
A lot! It means a whole lot. I was actually surprised about the award.

What would you say that you’ve done within Kannywood to have deserved this?

Well, I will first of all say that finally, my hard work paid off because I am a very hard-working person and a dedicated person. Although I was surprised by winning this award because I wasn’t expecting it,however, it wasn’t a big surprise because I have been working hard and hard work always definitely get rewarded at the end of the day.

With this kind of prestigious award, do you think Kannywood is finally getting it’s due recognition in the Nigerian film industry?
Yes, I think so. It is getting recognised which is why we could be included in this kind of award. In fact, I would say Kannywood is now everywhere.

What’s your major challenge as a Kannywood actress?

My main challenge is trying to break from Kannywood into Nollywood. That is the challenge. I want to be able to juggle between the two industries because I believe that I am a Nigerian actress, not a Kannywood actress. Although, I must say that Kannywood is a foundation for me to start. Kannywood is my root, but then I am a Nigerian actress. A true actress is not boxed into a certain area, a true actress is versatile. So, crossing fully into Nollywood and being accepted as a Nigerian actress, instead of being referred to as a Kannywood actress has been a challenge. I just want to beable to act the two together. But I’m gradually overcoming that.

How did you get into acting?

I had always been a big fan of actors. When I was in secondary school, I joined this drama group entertaining our mates in Secondary school. So being an actress wasn’t something that hadn’t been a part of me. I had been dreaming of being an actress, and I am now.

Who is your mentor in the industry?

Ali Nuhu is my mentor. He is my brother and everything. He is the one that introduced me to Kannywood and everywhere. I am where I am today because of Ali Nuhu. If not for Ali Nuhu, I wouldn’t be here.

What are you aiming towards career-wise?

I want to be an international actress, apart from being a Nigerian actress. I just don’t want to be this actress that whenever it is mentioned anywhere in the world that she is an actress, what will come to mind of people is she belongs to a particular part. I just want to be a world actress, an international actress. So I have this dream of becoming an international actress.

You want to crossover, but a lot of your colleagues seem to complain about the religious and traditional restraint of acting in Kannywood, with that in mind, do you think crossing over will be possible at all?

Honestly, it feels a bit bad. It makes me feel a little bit bad, but you know, you can’t just crossover because of religion and tradition; what you can just do is to be careful in order not to offend the society. You just have to be very careful, especially in my own case that I’m determined to fully cross over. I will be having this challenges of different culture and tradition from Nollywood and Kannywood. So like I said, you just have to be careful.

Now, that you want to fully cross over to Nollywood, don’t you think the ‘offensive’ style of the industry will rub off on you; like the dress sense and all which might infuriate many?

I won’t express too much to attract the fury of the Northerners. I am an ambassador of my northern society and wherever you find yourself, you must represent yourself in a worthy manner. Just as we are here now, everyone that sees us at this event will know that we are from the north.

But that’s because you are still in Kannywood, is that not so?

(Laughs) Even if it is still in Nollywood, there are certain things that you just have to be careful about because you are representing your people and you have to protect their interests and their culture.

I know you are still growing, but what would you consider as the climax of your career so far?

There have been a lot. Like you said, I am still growing. I’m just grateful for every moment. Every moment has been a high point. I just had one with this award. So I would say, Alhamdulillah, Masha Allah.

You saw a lot of jaw-dropping dressing among Nollywood actresses here, for instance when Kiki Omeli was going to claim her award, she causes a stir because of her bum-short which had her derriere wiggling, what was going through your mind?

Yeah, I saw a lot of Nollywood actresses and their dressing and I was like huh? I mean, we don’t dress like this in the north. You know, I can’t walk like that, I just can’t!

What’s your advice to them, do you condemn that or would you say that it’s a free world?

No, no, no! I’m not complaining. It’s their life! Everyone has their lives to live. I’m not complaining at all. They should just do what they want; what they like. So it’s a free world, yes.

Anyone you would like to work with in Nollywood?

Yes, so many people. I have worked with so many already. I have worked Majid Michel, that’s Ghallywood. I have worked with Mercy Johnson, Eniola Badmus, OC Ukeje, Deyemi Okanlawon and a few others I can’t remember now. I’m aiming to work with much more.

What determines your fashion style; I mean you are all covered up, yet you look attractive and fashionable?

Thank you. I just wear what suits me best. What makes me comfortable. That’s just what determines my dress sense.

I’m aware that once you are married, you will not be able to act again, how true is that?

Yes, yes it’s true! But in my own case, I’d say no because there are politicians that are working mothers. Same, there are journalists and broadcasters that are working mothers. Are they not all media people, so what happens to we actresses? Why? That’s my own challenge I’m posing. why? So in my own case, I say no!

When you go against the norm, don’t you think the society that you are will frown at you, or despise you?

They might. I know they might.

So when that time comes what are you going to do?

Hmm, I don’t know. Honestly, I really don’t know.

Are you going to vacate Kannywood?

No, no, no! I won’t do that. I can’t quit acting for marriage.

What if your husband does not want to accept that you continue acting while married to him?

Whoever sees me now and say he wants to marry me, has definitely seen what I do. So, we need to decide whether he can bear me doing this as his wife or not. That’s it. Marriage cannot stop me.

Have you ever been criticised based on being an actress?

Yes. I have been criticised especially for the way I dressed as an actress.

Oh, you are dressed this way and someone still, thinks it’s not appropriate?

Yes, yes because they believe we are meant to cover everything totally. Also, I have been criticised for the things I do on TV and for the collaborations with Nollywood stars of course. That’s my main challenge because I am the first Kannywood actress to cross over to Nollywood.

Finally, tell me briefly about your family background?

My families are all northerners. My dad is from Kaduna state while my mum is from Gombe state. The only difference between my parents and other parents is that my parents don’t care what career you choose as long as you are protective of your background and tradition. They allow you follow your dream. My parents don’t believe in a world of strictness because they believe strictness leads a child to become a bad person.


ISIS Threatens To Bomb Miss Universe Competition In Philippines

A beauty contest in the Philippines has been targeted by the jihadis in a veiled online threat.

The Miss Universe event, which is set to be staged in the Philippines next year, was mentioned on an online tutorial that explained how to make a suicide bomb.

In one of the comments underneath the video, one sick poster suggested “Create bomb for miss

According to the Sun , the exact location of the competition has yet to be decided, but current Miss World champion Pia Wurtzbach, a Filipino-German actress, is set to attend.

This year’s winner will be crowned at the end of January 2017.

FG Scraps Plan To Build N3bn Film Village In Kano Following Public Outcry

The federal government has cancelled its plan to build a massive film village in Kano state.


According to BBC, the government shelved the plan as a result of social media outcry and opposition from Muslim clerics. More than N3bn was reportedly budgeted for the project as part of the government’s efforts to improve the Hausa language film industry known as Kannywood.


The government argued the village would create thousands of job opportunities and promote cultural activities.But Muslim clerics argued it would promote immorality and people on social media also called on the government to stop the plan.


An aide to President Muhammadu Buhari said the president listened to the people’s concerns.

Nnaemeka Oruh: Nigeria; A Nation Of Religious Buffoons

N2.2Billion spent on prayers! The sheer number of zeros you have to add to get that amount was what first hit me. Then again, we spent N2.2 Billion on prayers and God gave us Buhari, dwindling oil prices, a nation gradually being encased by insecurity from all quarters, and an economy in the toilet. Seeing as everything has to revolve around the head(who in this case is Buhari),it follows then that one of two things is possible; Buhari was God’s choice for Nigeria, or God never got the money.
If we operate under the assumption that Buhari was God’s choice for Nigeria, then it follows that God either hates Nigeria, or Buhari is the mythical leader that will take us through fire for us to become pure as gold. I hope we do not completely get so burnt that nothing will remain at the end of the day. Fulani herdsmen have emerged, Boko Haram has no plans of taking their feet off the gas, IPOB agitators are growing by the day, and in the South South, kidnapping and armed robbery have escalated. In the meantime, the fuel situation in the country has struck an all-time low, prices of goods and services have skyrocketed, and the common man? Well, if they cannot afford it, let them leave it(I am just trying to sound like Buhari).So what exactly did N2.2Billion worth of prayers buy for us?
Maybe the money did not get to God. Those corrupt government officials from the last administration must have taken the money for themselves. Or they shared it with “holy men”. So what happened to “…in as much as you did this to the least of my brethren…”?Abi those ones no be God brethren? Or they are not the “least” of his brethren?
Either way, the people of Nigeria got the worst end of the deal. We were set back a cool N2.2Billion, yet, what did we get out of it? Let me make a quick list for you
  1. A coterie of inept ministers who have been “sleeping beauties” for months now
  2. A caricature nation where government officials talk from both sides of the mouth with nauseating boldness
  3. A nation encircled by growing agitation and insecurity.
Those three are enough for now.
A few weeks ago, Buhari, toeing the fine path of his predecessor also went to Mecca to pray for us too(according to his media people).There is no need to calculate how much that trip cost us. We should be more concerned with the fact that we need prayers as a nation.
A nation of religious fanatics, in the Northern part of the country, Muslims and Christians fight from time to time in the name of religion(by the way, both of them worship the same God. Only difference is that they have different names for Him, and of course, different “sons”–paths– of God), while in the South, different Christian denominations daily criticize one another in a simmering cold war.
So we kill for “God”, fight cold wars for Him, then turn around and pray to him for our safety, our economy, and everything about the country. We just do things the wrong way, and expect that our very expensive prayers will fix the glaring human mistakes we have been making. God wants us to help ourselves. He probably wanted us to use the N2.2Billion to fix some aspects of our economy. But no, our religious fanaticism, which has led to several deaths by the way, makes us believe that throwing all our problems at His feet, while folding our arms will solve all of our problems.
N2.2Billion for prayers, and we got Buhari, and a nation that is gradually shutting down. Our religious fanaticism has finally tapered off to buffoonery.
*Nnaemeka Oruh, who is Editor-in-Chief of Ikenga Chronicles tweets from @liliemmyz, and wrote in from Port Harcourt.
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Muslim Engineer Rapes Female Colleague For 5 Days To Convince Her To Convert To Islam

An Indian man has been accused of kidnapping and raping a female colleague for five days to force her to convert to Islam.

Engineer Syen Emad Hasan, 30, proposed to the 27-year-old woman but she rejected him and said her family would not allow ‘an inter-religious marriage’, police said.He harassed her until she cut short a work trip to Dubai. When she returned home to confront Hasan, he abducted her, locked her up at his house and took away her phone.

According to Indian Express,Hasan and the woman, who has not been named, worked together at a
Dell computer repairs shop in Gachibowli, Hyderabad.Police said

When she left the company and moved to Dubai in August, he ‘continued to torture her on social media’,
‘The woman told us she was forced to talk to Hasan as he showed her photos and videos of them together in Hyderabad, and threatened to send them to her father, said Inspector Ravinder. ‘He [Hasan] also demanded that she send inappropriate photos of her.’

When she returned home to Hyderabad to confront him, he snatched her away to his flat in the al-Hasanath colony.

‘He took three days’ leave and brutalised and sexually assaulted her,’ said an officer of Hyderabad’s ‘She Team’, a police unit tasked with investigating sexual assault.
‘He threatened to continue doing so until she agreed to marry him after converting to Islam. He even threatened to set her on fire and strangle her.’He took away her phone, passwords of her e-mail, Facebook, and started using them in her name. She was denied access to anybody.’

After four days of captivity, the woman managed to get onto Facebook when Hasan was out and messaged her friend.

Her friend contacted her brother in the south western city of Karnataka, who made the 280 mile journey to Hyderabad and alerted the police.Police found the woman locked in a bathroom in a state of shock with severe injuries to her head and face.

‘Hasan said they were lovers, but the woman appears very scared in his presence,’ the ‘She Team’ official said.

Gambia Becomes Islamic Republic

The Gambia has been declared an Islamic republic by President Yahya Jammeh who said he wanted to further distance the West African nation from its colonial past, UK Guardian reports.

The tiny, formerly secular country joins the ranks of other officially Islamic republics such as Iran and Afghanistan.

“In line with the country’s religious identity and values I proclaim Gambia as an Islamic state.

“As Muslims are the majority in the country, Gambia cannot afford to continue the colonial legacy,” Jammeh said on the state television.

The Gambia’s population of 1.8 million people are 95% Muslim. Jammeh said citizens of other faiths would still be able to practise.

Jammeh, an animated orator who has earned the reputation for making surprise declarations over the course of his 21-year presidency, pulled the Gambia out of the Commonwealth in 2013, calling it neo-colonial. In 2007 he claimed to have found a herbal cure for Aids.

In November the president announced he would outlaw female genital mutilation after international pressure that included a campaign by the Guardian. However activists have since said continued international pressure is needed for the president to pass his declaration into law.

Despite strong commercial ties with Britain and other European countries whose citizens are regular visitors to the Gambia’s white-sand beaches, relations with the west have deteriorated in recent years.

“Religion Has Become Very Oppressive” – Kirk Franklin

Kirk Franklin’s title for his 11th studio album “Losing My Religion” sparked a mixed reaction. Last month, the 45-year-old took to Instagram to reveal the title of the album, writing:
“In the beginning religion created a mask … for generations church was where we went to go hide …. rules without relationship is empty inside. … There’s room at the cross for everyone even me … religion is a prison, but truth sets us free. The preacher isn’t God, religion’s first mistake … I’m losing my religion, Thank God … Helping you lose yours is my job.” 
On “Tom Joyner Morning Show”, the Gospel singer explains why he believes people should focus on their relationship with Christ more than anything else.
     “Religion, throughout the years, has become a very oppressive thing that doesn’t allow people to get to know the God it was created to try to lead them to. So basically, it’s just like marriage cannot guarantee intimacy, religion doesn’t guarantee relationship,” the recording artist and songwriter said.

     “It doesn’t guarantee you’re going to have a loving relationship with God. So God becomes this distant person that’s always pointing at my sins, always beating me up and you never know Him as a friend and as a father.”

On the contrary, Franklin made a point to speak about how much God loves people, despite their sins.
     “We don’t have to try to be perfect. We’ll never be,” he said. “It’s really only one person that has lived the Christian life and that was Christ Himself.”
According to the songwriter and former choir director, people should not rely on man to determine their personal relationship with God.
     “We think we need man and these systems to make us right with God and it’s not that. It’s when we accept His gift, we’re right. Right there and then, we’re right. We’re getting rid of the systems and all the rules, and the processes, and it’s like, let’s fall in love with the Father and see Him as a father that loves us, as flawed as we are.”

Source: Christian Post

This Pastor Says God Does Not Listen To Poor People

In a recent sermon he said :

“When one is rich and they have truly given their life to God they worship God truly. When one is poor they cannot worship God. It is in the mission of the devil to destroy people through poverty because he knows that when you are in poverty you will become a complaining machine instead of fulfilling your true purpose which is to worship God. The mammon god is the one responsible of controlling money. The mammon is the chief God of poverty. He directs the flow of cash. He ensures Christians are poor so that they will choose to be heathens. The mammon god also works in conjuction with marine spirits and ensures they take money to their kingdom.

When a demon of poverty attacks it does not attack an individual but it attacks the whole generation. You are not only poor alone but you are also poor for your children. It attacks the father, child and grandchildren. It uses four weapons, it uses the spirit of lack, pride, debt and lust.

When these four spirits attack you, you will not be able to separate them. These spirits make you live a lie. They make sure you start to believe your own lies. It blocks your eyes and it even leads into divorce and people believe they can do it on their own. When this spirit attacks you it makes you love the ones you are supposed to hate and makes you hate the ones you are supposed to love. When this spirit attacks you it ensures you never identify your blessor. No one succeed on their own you need people to succeed.

The spirit of poverty ensures that those around you are there to take away from you and never to give you. You are surrounded by people who are destined to take away from you. When you are under this spirit you are ever fighting and it ensures you cross the path of your blessor so that they walk out on you and you remain in poverty. Time and chance happens to them all and how you respond to the person who is supposed to bless you is what determines your success.

Stop Making Fun Of Pastors In Your Jokes, Oyakhilome Warns Comedians

Pastor Oyakhilome has warned comedians asking them to stop making jest of pastors while cracking jokes. According to him, this is not a message from him, but from God. The General Overseer of Christ Embassy made this known during a meeting which holds every first Sunday of the month with the BLW nation’s citizens worldwide and a host of other global audience spanning more than 6 continents via live transmission across TV stations and online platforms around the world.

“For those of you, who are comedians, try all you can not to make fun with pastors in your comedy. Because you are going to see some comedians whose lives would be a comedy. This is what the lord said I should tell you. Because a lot of them who does such will have their lives reduced. Which
means you are going to see them and say; is this you? Is this what your life has become? Don’t joke with sacred things. Pastors occupy sacred place. You must know what to joke with and what not to joke with,” the Pastor said.

He that has ears let him hear.

Mozambique Scraps Ban On Same- Sex Marriage!

Mozambique decriminalized homosexuality Monday when a new penal code came into force that swept away old Portuguese colonial laws, in a victory for campaigners for gay rights.

The old code, dating back to 1886, targeted anyone “who habitually engages in vices against nature” — though no known prosecutions took place after Mozambique became independent in 1975.

Breaking the law was punishable by up to three years of hard labor.

“It’s a symbolic victory, as social inclusion remains the main challenge,” Frank, a student gay rights activist who declined to give his full name, told Agence-France Presse.

The new penal code, which was announced last December by then President Armando Guebuza, also decriminalizes abortion after lobbying by civil rights organizations.

Women can now end a pregnancy until the 12th week. Extraordinary circumstances, such as rape or threats to the mother’s life, allow for the procedure until the 16th week.

The code came into force on Monday, though no official events or celebrations were scheduled to mark the occasion.

The majority of African countries outlaw homosexuality, but Mozambique has seen little anti-gay violence or social friction over the issue.

Dercio Tsandzana, an influential blogger and activist, said there had been an absence of public discussion over homosexual rights.

“The government instead abides by the external pressure put by some embassies and foreign donors,” he said.

“Most Mozambicans don’t deny homosexuality, but one can’t say either that it is accepted.“

Despite a seven-year campaign, the Mozambican government has not officially recognized Lambda, the only gay rights organization in the country.

In neighboring Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe is known for his crusades against homosexuality, and discrimination is widespread across the continent.

Homosexuality is punishable by death in Sudan, Nigeria and Mauritania.

Religious Campaigns Will Be Fined 1M- INEC

INEC in Bauchi State has issued a stern warning to any political party using religion as part of their campaign.

The statement, made during an interactive session with stakeholders in local government, has warned parties that they will be issued with a N1 million or face a 12 month prison sentence should they use religion as a tactic during campaign season.

The warning comes hot on the heels of allegations made against politicians who allegedly threatened PDP supporters in Darazo Local Government, based on their choice of presidential candidate.

According to Emmanuel Umenger, INEC Administrative Secretary in the State, electioneering campaigns based on religious sentiments provided grounds for political parties to be prosecuted.

Read More: Vanguard

2015 Elections: Mixing Religion and Politics By Will Ross

As tensions rise ahead of elections in Nigeria, some fear the country’s unity will face a new test and divisions will be exacerbated by a vote which sees a Christian presidential candidate from the south, Goodluck Jonathan, facing stiff competition from Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim candidate from the north.

It is not their first face off but is likely to be by far the most closely contested. But to what extent will voters pay attention to the religion of the candidates?

“If the Christian leader does not have what it takes to provide good leadership I will not vote for him merely because he is a Christian,” says Arome Okwori at his home in Jos where the Christmas decorations still twinkle.

“However, I will make a choice between that Christian leader and a Muslim leader who may not guarantee freedom of religion… so to that extent I may lean to the Christian leader but that is not how it should be,” the father of two young children adds.

He says he knows many other Christians who fear that Mr Buhari has a hard-line Islamist agenda and wants stricter implementation of Sharia – Islamic law is already in place across the north.

“Gen Buhari believes in the secular nature of Nigeria,” says Lai Mohammed, a spokesman for his All Progressive Congress (APC) party. “He is not a religious bigot. He is not a fundamentalist. That is mischievous talk.”

There are Nigerians, and by no means only Muslims, who say President Jonathan is too close to some of the hugely popular “super pastors” who have grown rich from their Pentecostal churches.

Nigerians are notoriously religious and the voting patterns will once again no doubt look very different in the predominantly Muslim north compared to some areas in the south where more Christians live.

“You can never divorce the religious sentiment from a typical Nigerian,” says Khadijah Hawaja Gambo, a white veil framing her face.

“But the way things are going people are beginning to downplay the role of religion in deciding who you vote. I hear people talking a lot about credibility,” she says.

The Muslim mother of six adds that she wants a leader who can end the insecurity in Nigeria and “take the country back to where it used to be with people co-existing peacefully, not the kind of Nigeria we are seeing today”.

Read More:

The Hut

Jake Okechukwu Effoduh Represented Nigeria at the World Economic Forum Meeting at the Vatican. He shares his experience from his meeting with the Pope.

The Hut

by Jake Okechukwu Effoduh.

Insight from the World Economic Forum meeting at the Vatican

 There is a common Igbo[1] proverb that says, ‘A man who does not leave his hut will bring nothing in.’[2] This saying describes a person with self-interest who is only concerned about the business in his hut and does not see the need to go or look outside. The hut represents a mindset. It is a way of thinking, that restricts not only the individual, but also their family and community at large.

Reflecting on this proverb reveals the potential of an increasing value to an individual and the community at large when a person is willing to go outside and bring more people in. The notion of: ‘with more people in the hut, the food gets smaller for everyone’ is a deceitful concept because with more people let inside, there will be more food. There are more resources outside therefore, more people coming in, means more resources and capacities.

“Whoever looks into a mirror in order to improve himself hasn’t really changed”. The capitalist world has looked at businesses in the same mirror for many years and the image it creates is a widening gap between the rich and the poor. Perhaps it is time to look, maybe not at the mirror anymore, but the window – to see who is outside the hut and if possible open the doors to let them in.

This reason why the World Economic Forum called together 80 leaders from around the world was to explore ways of overcoming social and economic exclusion. The event was a result of the collaboration between the Holy See (Pontifical Council for the Laity) and the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and it took place on the 18th and 19th of November 2014 in Rome, Italy. The meeting was inspired by the teachings of Pope Francis contained in the book, Evangelii Gaudium[3] and his message to participants at the Annual Meeting 2014 in Davos-Klostiers[4]. His Holiness states that, ‘Business is – in fact – a vocation, and a noble vocation, provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life’[5].

Jake Okechukwu Effoduh Speaking With Chidiogo Akunyili, The Senior Manager Africa Of The Global Shapers Community As Well As, Mauro Ometto, A Global Shaper Of The Rome Hub.

Jake Effoduh Speaking With Chidiogo Akunyili, The Senior Manager Africa Of The Global Shapers Community As Well As, Mauro Ometto, A Global Shaper Of The Rome Hub.










Today, half of the largest 100 economies are companies[6]. The governments who are meant to be custodians of the ‘greater meaning’ are now losing economic power to the Fortune 500s. Businesses are more interested in profits than the ‘greater meaning in life’ and this has dragged the world to an extreme poverty trap. With a billion and a half of the world’s population living in slums, the current social inequality has resulted into a global economic dysfunction. Economic and social inequalities are the root causes of social evil. This is evidenced by Oxfam’s statistics revealing that more than half of the world’s population owns the same wealth as the richest 85 persons[7]. In other words, 85 individuals in a world of 7 billion are living in huts that can accommodate half of the world.

Participants at the Vatican meeting comprised of World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers, Young Global Leaders and Social Entrepreneurs communities. Also present were representatives from the Holy See, senior business leaders and global experts on inequality and social inclusion. We examined the drivers of inequality and explored novelties from the private and public sectors, and civil society that can help build more inclusive, entrepreneurial economies that are based on the principles of love and respect for all.

The outcome of the meeting was the creation of a new social contract for all human progress, which will provide essential resources for economic engagement, ensure well-functioning institutions, rights and responsibilities, and enable all global citizens to lead purposeful lives. The three areas to enable the realization of a new global mindset are: personal transformation, organizational transformation and cultural transformation.

Jake Effoduh Discussing With A Caucus Group As They Draft The "New Social Contract"

Jake Effoduh Discussing With The Caucus Group As They Draft The “New Social Contract”









On personal transformation: The Pope made it clear that people can make relevant contribution by placing their expertise at the service of those who are still in poverty; “The vocation of an entrepreneur is a noble work when it is led by a quest towards the broader meaning of life[8].” One hut can change the mindset of an entire community. One person can make the difference. Professor Klaus Schwab is one person. He founded the World Economic Forum in 1971[9] through inspiration from his own book, Moderne Unternehmensführung im Maschinenbau[10] – in which the stakeholder principle was first ever defined[11]. He is the same person who created the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship[12] in 1998, at a time when nobody knew what social entrepreneurship was! Two heads may be better than one, but one head is enough to inspire and commit others to improving the state of the world. Schwab’s ideology is that even if one hut (or stakeholder) may be too small, one must realize that there are those who do not have huts – and they constitute one and a half billion people.

The purport of organizational transformation is to create a new language in organizations. The language of using long term dynamism to meet short term goals; the language of leadership not rulership; the language of owning the responsibility for social transformation and human development. We have to evacuate ourselves from the circular economy of “take-make-waste” to “take-make-retake-remake-retake-remake.” Capitalism in its current model is unequivocally broken and it is going to get worse if we don’t incorporate ecological boundaries as well as the need to embrace equality in humanity. We need a world of plenty and not plenty for a few. Therefore there is need for organizations to transform their mindsets. It’s not about making profits but about making people.

Cultural transformations will only fruition with acceptance. We must work towards a system that embraces all people from all backgrounds, ensuring that each individual and group has the ability to contribute to a prosperous, purpose-driven world to their highest potential. They say what a man can do; a woman can do better. But why do women constitute 70% of the world’s poorest?[13] Anti-discrimination laws covering sexual orientation have an especially strong correlation with GDP per capita[14]. But do we need a business case before we advance equality? Living by the culture of your hut is like looking into the mirror to improve yourself. Stepping outside your hut will give you an opportunity to have a better perspective. Stereotypes must be unlearned.


The Podium









The new mindset is about recognizing the human dignity. It is about selflessness and sacrifice. It is ensuring that institutions exist for common good and stewardship. Businesses must be capable of feeling emotion, compassion and humanity. ‘How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?’[15]

The Qur’an instructs us to ‘give them [the poor] of the wealth of God, which He has given you’.[16] The bible says ‘whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed’[17]. Charity is a necessity in life because some of us are tested by being rich and some of us are tested by being poor, but charity is not enough. The new mindset goes beyond the thinking that the poor cannot help themselves, or that they have no capacity. Our role in helping the poor is not likened to filling up empty vessels but to ensure that the vessels are uncovered to all their potentials. There is no dignity in giving another man bread, if you are capable of teaching him how to make bread.

Social and economic exclusion is not our inescapable destiny. We can make what seems inevitable, intolerable. We need to change the mentality of “we can’t fix this world” to “we can’t have this world like this” Hence the reason why the pope calls us to action, with a sense of urgency: ‘to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it’[18].


Cross Section of Participants

At The Plenary With Participants





Speaking With Experts On Inclusion


Jake Okechukwu Effoduh is one of the 4,401 Global Shapers: A Community of exceptional young individuals under the age of 30, initiated by the World Economic Forum with currently 359 independent hubs worldwide. Jake Okechukwu is the Deputy Curator of the Abuja Global Shapers Hub, one of the 5 existing hubs in Nigeria. He was invited to The Forum’s meeting at the Vatican where he worked with a selected caucus to draft the new social contract; a framework for meeting the challenge to overcoming social and economic exclusion in the world. It was submitted to, and accepted by His Holiness Pope Francis I. Email:


  • [1] A tribe from the South- Eastern region of Nigeria and one of the major spoken languages in Nigeria.
  • [2] Akporobaro F.B.O and Emovon J.A Nigerian Proverbs: Meaning and Relevance Today Nigeria Magazine, Lagos, (1994), p. 113.
  • [3] His Holiness, Pope Francis I ‘Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of the Holy Father Francis to the Bishops, Cergy, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World’ accessed 7th December 2014.
  • [4] The Vatican, ‘Message of Pope Francis to the Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum on the occasion of the Annual Meeting 2014 at Davos-Klosters’ (17 January 2014) Vatican.
  • [5] Ibid.
  • [6] Michael Posner, former U.S Under Secretary of State, Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, July 2012
  • [7] Oxfam International, “Number of billionaires doubles since financial crisis as inequality spirals out of control”, accessed 7 December 2014.
  • [8] Ibid. (n3).
  • [9] The history of the World Economic Forum, accessed 7 December 2014.
  • [10] Meaning “Modern Management in Mechanical Engineering”
  • [11] This concept states that the management of an enterprise is not only accountable to its shareholders but must also serve the interests of all stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers and, more broadly, government, civil society and any others who may be affected or concerned by its operations.
  • [12]
  • [13] Carly Fiona on ABC’s “This Week” January 12th 2014. accessed 7 December 2014.
  • [14] The Williams Institute, ‘The Relationship between LGBT Inclusion and Economic Development: An Analysis of Emerging Economies’ (2014) P.2.
  • [15] Ibid. (n3), P. 53.
  • [16] The Holy Quran, Verse 24:33.
  • [17] The Holy Bible; Proverbs 19:17.
  • [18] Ibid. (n4).



Religion is the credence in and reverence of a God or gods; it is a belief in a particular way of life. Nigeria is an heterogeneous state that comprises of several pluralities like ethnic diversity and religious variation. Each religion has its own perspective about life, politics, fashion and so many things that shape the personality of men. Their varied beliefs has had both negative and positive impact on the political stability and socioeconomic growth of the nation. Though religious leaders have tried to expunge polity from their religion, it has corrupted politics as it brings bias based on religious belief. This has over the years broken the rule of political correctness. Though religion has one way or the other claimed to be able to create a better man by crafting a just and corruption free men, I has only ended up in widening the gorge of regionalism that has been tearing us apart.

Religion in the Nigerian case has brought chaos, calamity and social-unrest; it now hides behind the peril of tribalism wrecking cancerous havoc to the marrow of the country. Apart from issue of poor leadership, the economic doldrums of this nation has been aided by the religious differences of the tribes that make up Nigeria. We have allowed our religion to be tainted by the smears of tribalism as we were made to believe either from birth or by chance that our religion is the right one and with every opportunity we seek to establish the superiority of our religion over that of others.

On a Friday, go on a tour round the mosques in your area, you will be amazed with the turnout of people fully clad in the Islamic way of dressing to worship Allah. On a Sunday, take a trip to all the churches in your area you’ll be astonished with the numbers of Christian devotees that turn up to worship their God. The only question that comes to mind is “Will the world be a more peaceful place if there was no religion?”.

Someone said “religion, fanaticism and favouritism have been politically employed to popularize the people and thereby sustaining unhealthy tension in Nigeria” (Restated in my own words). Karl Max also buttressed it by defining religion as the only opium that the masses hold true, and it has been used as a tool of political jogging and manipulation of the oppressed.

Religion has failed the nation times without number; standing aloof and watching the collapse, it has sped up the rate of decay of the threads of unity that hold this country together. We are now in a pitiful state where the way we are plying at top speed to end in a ditch. Religion has only exacerbated the sorry state of our nation.

Religion will be advantageous if all religious bodies lay emphasis on peaceful co-existence with one another. The Holy Bible and the Holy Quran preach peaceful existence among human beings on earth, as it is part of the criteria for a glorious afterlife. This nation needs people that love their fellow countrymen, people who will put others first. Religion can only help out if it makes its cause to be towards making a better world rather than limiting the scope to making a better person.

When politics is secularized by extruding it from the world of religion, there’s bound to be unity of political and economical purpose. That will be our starting point for political and socioeconomic development as the unity that arises amidst us will make us see and then together remove the clogs that are in the wheel of progress of this country. Let federalism be practiced in truth that is in the book with consensus of purpose, ideology and philosophy towards making our Nation great.


God bless Nigeria.

Ologbenla Adedeji Samuel

Twitter: @Deejaybond07


To say in the affirmative that religion is a curse is to intelligently throw out the bath water, the bathtub, and the baby all together. What hasn’t been abused by man in the real sense of the word ‘abuse’? Think of it, is it drug, food, money, or our environment? And to crown it all, man has also perfected how to abuse man. Or isn’t that the basis of child abuse? So with what side of the brain do we now categorize money, man, food as a curse?

In the words of Abu’l-Ala-Al-Ma’arri (973-1057), a Syrian Poet, “The world holds two classes of men – intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.” His brilliant articulation and classification finds deep and absolute expression in the Nigerian society most especially the former. Over here lack, destitute, poverty and ignorance has partially wiped out the space to marry intellect with religion if not totally.

It’s quite understandable that the level of lack, hunger and ignorance has been solely responsible for the total dependence on the divine for the most mundane things of life. It is here that we essentially have to pray that our roads be fixed, when God himself has abundantly provided all that we need in terms of natural resources to fix them. It’s here that you have to pray that your rights as a citizen come to you on time and in right proportion.  In this part of the world, we only haven’t perfected how to abuse man, we’ve also learnt to abuse God, too.

There’s this old saying that says that when the knowledge of a things is lost or deficient, the abuse of that thing is out rightly inevitable. Anyone who must use a drug and get the desired result must be willing to abide by the terms and condition of prescription administered by the pharmacist. It’s so easy to lazily blame religion for the backwardness in our nation or the inability of people to stay true to what they claim to believe. Wait and think, how many of those who claim to belong to one religion or the other actually know the basics of such religion, and how many have thwarted and amended the tenets of their religion for personal gain?

The Bible and the Koran are the two religious books that has its tenets well documented. I’m yet to see any compiled book or document that compiles the tenets of any of our local deity be it Ifa, Orunmila or Amadioha.

“My point of view is this, and I sincerely care less if you regard it as radical. Both camps would get a lot from reading their religious book as far as they don’t murder its interpretation in any way. If Islamist scholars are saying that Islam doesn’t in anyway support the killing of innocent people in God’s name, then it shows that some people are getting things twisted somewhere.

Yeah many Christians actually love the bible, though till date many only use it as a guide, well placed under the pillow. But how many actually read or know what it truly says? Many just carry these things around and probably feel that carrying and claiming to know what it entails is more fanciful than reading it.

It’s so very uncalled for to say that one religion is more perfect than the other or say that the good things in Nigeria were done by a particular religion as Sheik Gumi pointed out during the course of the week. To be candid, both religions are well represented in the group of charlatans who have brought big setbacks to this nation.

Do well to join me as we discuss other angles to this topic in my next column.

But till then if you must practice religion, be truth to yourself and the tenets of your faith. Also learn to respect the other fellow’s religion.

Do have a nice weekend!

#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD runs on every Saturday.

‘Lanre  Olagunju blogs @

Tweets @Lanre_Olagunju on Twitter.