by Ibrahim Faruk
It has been another week in Nigeria and events making the news have been varied, from convocation lecture in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, World Economic Forum in Davos as well as the rift in the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
In this round-up, we bring you The Scoop’s 7 Top quotes this week, featuring President Goodluck Jonathan, Obiageli ezekwesili, Bishop Matthew Kukah, and three others. Enjoy:
1. “My dear, I do not like to talk about it. I’m not interested in 2015 because you and I do not know whether we will reach 2015. We do not know who will be alive to witness 2015. The truth is, 2015 is really not my business and it is politically irresponsible for people to be talking about 2015. ”
– Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, in an explosive interview gave his views on the North, 2015 and a host of other issues.
2. “CAN is now being run as part of the government and we said no. Because they (government) will dictate to us what to do and they will not take our advice seriously. The Catholic Church decided to withdraw from the activities of CAN at national level… So, what we are saying is that our religious leaders should be honest, upright and they should also be the conscience of this nation. If you are bought, the masses of this country are finished. If you can use money to buy our religious leaders, then there is no hope for the common man. That is the Catholic Church’s stand. We are supposed to speak for the people to correct the wrongs in the society and assist every government to know the will of God for them and we still stand by that.”
– Monsignor Christopher Ajala, Administrator of Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta, highlighting why the Catholic Church had decided to suspend its activities in the national body of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), at a press conference to mark the 15th anniversary of the diocese in Abeokuta on Tuesday. As expected, his position was followed by a rebuttal by the CAN leadership. Uneasy times in Christendom in Nigeria.
3. “No, no, no!! Boko Haram is not as a result of misrule; definitely not. Sometimes people say it is as a result of poverty; definitely not. Boko Haram is a local terror group.”
– President Goodluck Jonathan in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday argued that Boko Haram is not a result of poverty in the North. A lot of Nigerianstook issues with a lot of claims made by the president in that interview.
4. “Yes of course, some of the local terrorists in Nigeria called Boko Haram are trained in Northern Mali. There is a solid link between what is happening in Northern Mali and what is happening in Northern Nigeria. People have written a lot about how to manage terror. Nigeria is not the first country that is experiencing terror. Managing terror takes different dimensions and we are taking all the dimensions and options that are known to man.”
– In a more assured interview, President Jonathan spoke to Al-Jazeera’s Stephen Cole about the conflict in Mali and its effect on the international community.
5. “…the squandering of the significant sum of $45billion in foreign reserve account and another $22billion in Excess Crude Account being direct savings from increased earnings from oil that the Obasanjo administration handed over to the successor government in 2007… One cannot but ask what exactly does this level of brazen misappropriation of public resources symbolize? Where did all that money go? Where is the accountability for the use of these resources and the additional several hundred dollars realized from oil sale by the two administrations that have governed our nation in the last five years?”
-Oby Ezekwesili, former Vice President (Africa) at the World Bank and minister under President Obasanjo spoke in Nsukka on Thursday, while delivering the Convocation Lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, blasted the way both President Goodluck Jonathan and his predecessor handles Nigeria’s reserves.
6. “For many years now, Borno State has been battling with insecurity, flood and so on, but neither the presidency or its top aides
had deemed it fit to visit us as a people, so what makes them think we need them now? They should stop using this good governance tour to cover up their inadequacies… Since the inauguration of the present government in the state and the commencement of the ongoing security challenges in the state, the state government has never received a dime from Abuja in the name of assistance to the state. As far as we are concerned, except in states where the Federal Government has some projects, the tour remains unnecessary and a jamboree.”
-Borno State Commissioner for Information, Inuwa Bwala warned the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, against visiting the state for the ongoing Good Governance Tour he is currently undertaking all over the country. He said there is nothing to showcase in Borno and accused the FG of discriminating against the state due to political differences.
7. “The Governors’ Forum is now acting as an opposition party to the Federal Government. It deliberately breaches with impunity the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that of the PDP without any challenges. The forum has now become a threat to the peace and stability of Nigeria. Most of the governors today are more dictatorial than the then military governors… I have seen and made enquiries about counterparts in the United States of America (USA). A governors’ association called the National Governors Association (NGA) does exist, but their existence and operations are practised and operated within the confines of the law of the land.”
– The man that refuses to just go away, Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, on Thursday, chided the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) in a press conference in Abuja.