The Southern and Middle Belt leaders have condemned the current wave of killings in the southern part of Kaduna.
The leaders, under the aegis of Southern and Middle Belt Forum (SMBLF), expressed concern by the latest wave of killings in southern Kaduna which, according to Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), have claimed 63 lives.
The Forum, in a joint statement signed by Yinka Odumakin (South-west), Chief Guy Ikokwu (South-east), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-south) and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), stressed that it is quite worrisome that the orgy of killings has continued in spite of the curfew imposed by the Kaduna State Government.
The leaders therefore called on the federal government to wade into the crisis “and stop the killings, bring the perpetrators to book and stop making statements seeming to justify the killings and deceive the world about the situation in the area as only bloody minded people will refuse to heed this advice now”.
The one-page release issued on Sunday stated inter alia: “In the past weeks, there have been reports of killings, especially in the southern part of Kaduna State with the most recent massacres at Kukum Daji and Gora Gan put at 33 deaths, aside from the scores who are in hospitals receiving treatment from various degrees of gunshots.
“However, instead of the Buhari-led Federal Government of Nigeria stepping in to find a lasting solution in the midst of tardiness by the state government, it is unfortunate that it has resorted to provocative statements. One of such is the annoying claims credited to the Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity) to the President of Nigeria, Malam Garba Shehu, on the 21st July 2020 that ‘the problem in southern Kaduna is an evil combination of politically-motivated banditry, revenge killings and mutual violence by criminal gangs acting on ethnic and religious grounds’.
“As if the above confusion is not enough, Garba Shehu further misinformed the Nigerian and the international communities that ‘southern Kaduna enjoys comprehensive security deployments, including the Army, Special Forces of both the Army and the Air Force, surveillance aircraft by the Air Force and mobile police units that are on the ground on a 24-hour basis to forestall criminality and keep the peace’.
“These are not responsible statements from any government in the midst of body bags daily being counted by the people of southern Kaduna in the hands of alleged Fulani marauders.”
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Insecurity: Redeemed Christian Church of God Holds Prayer Walk
The Redeemed Christian Church of God has held a prayer-walk seeking God’s intervention in the security challenges afflicting the nation as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The procession was organised for members to pray for Nigeria, revival and personal breakthroughs.
The procession was held in the church branches across the world.
The procession in Abuja took members from the Transcorp Hotel to the Federal Secretariat and back where intense prayer was held.
The prayer walk was organised by the Throne Parish of the RCCG in Abuja.
Addressing journalists during the procession, Pastor Tunde Benjamins-Laniyi, the pastor-in-charge of the parish, said the prayer intercession was a mandate from God.
He noted that the procession was also taking place in the over 40,000 parish churches of the RCCG in 198 nations across the world.
He said Nigeria was in dire need of divine intervention to overcome the present challenges.
“It’s a mandate that God almighty gave to us to pray everywhere. RCCG has a presence in over 198 nations of the earth. What we are doing here is being done everywhere. “We walk round and pray on four cardinal points, our national security, personal breakthrough, revival, and against COVID-19,” he said.
Pastor Laniyi commended the clergy, parishioners and journalists, who participated in the prayer walk in Abuja and charged Nigerians to continue praying for the nation and the leaders.
He maintained that only God that had the solution to the problems confronting mankind. He called on Nigerians to adhere to all government-approved protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 stating that it was imperative that Christians in Nigeria respect the authorities.
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Biden Pushes for Legalisation of Homosexual, Lesbian Rights in Nigeria, Others
United States President Joe Biden has directed American Embassy in Nigeria and other countries to push for the legalisation of homosexuality in their respective countries of residence.
Biden gave the directive in a White House statement on Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Persons Around the World.
The United States president said the memorandum reaffirms and supplements the principles established in the Presidential Memorandum of December 6, 2011 (International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons).
“It shall be the policy of the United States to pursue an end to violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics, and to lead by the power of our example in the cause of advancing the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world,” Biden said in the memorandum.
“Through this memorandum, I am directing all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that United States diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons”
Biden said the memorandum calls for “Swift and Meaningful United States Responses to Human Rights Abuses of LGBTQI+ Persons Abroad.
“The Department of State shall lead a standing group, with appropriate interagency representation, to help ensure the Federal Government’s swift and meaningful response to serious incidents that threaten the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons abroad.”
Biden noted that “When foreign governments move to restrict the rights of LGBTQI+ persons or fail to enforce legal protections in place, thereby contributing to a climate of intolerance, agencies engaged abroad shall consider appropriate responses, including using the full range of diplomatic and assistance tools and, as appropriate, financial sanctions, visa restrictions, and other actions.”
One of the countries with a restriction against the legalisation Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Persons globally is Nigeria – with a law prohibiting their acts.
The Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act (SSMPA), signed into law in 2014 by former President Goodluck Jonathan, was enacted on the premise that the Nigerian culture is antithetical to homosexuality.
With the population of the country largely divided between Christians and Muslims, there was also a religious urgency to the prohibition. Persons of the LGBTQ+ community risk up to 20 years jail term in Nigeria.
However, Amnesty International said the prohibition by the government exposes persons of the LGBTQ+ in the country to harm and called for a reversal of the law. US President Biden shared the same sentiment in the memorandum.
“All human beings should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear no matter who they are or whom they love,” Biden said.
He said the United States belongs at the forefront of this struggle — speaking out and standing strong for members of the LGBTQ+ and holds the values of treating people with dignity regardless of race, colour or sexuality.
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Newly Confirmed US Secretary of State Vows to Promote Gay, Lesbian Agenda
*To fly gay pride flags at embassies around the world
The newly confirmed U.S. secretary of state has vowed to support the LGBT agenda by flying pride flags at United States embassies and resurrecting the “special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons.”
Antony Blinken, who was confirmed 78-22 by the United States Senate Tuesday, shared his thoughts about LGBT issues during his Senate confirmation hearing last week, which took place before President Joe Biden took office.
As he questioned Blinken, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, “You and President-elect Biden have indicated that you’re going to support, appoint a new special envoy for human rights on LGBTI people, a position that I’ve been pushing to make permanent through the International Human Rights Defense Act.” As a presidential candidate, Biden vowed to make LGBT activism a centerpiece of his foreign policy.
“After four years of Trump administration efforts to specifically marginalize, minimize, do damage to the rights of the LGBTI people, I think it’s going to be vital to appoint a seasoned expert on this issues. Are you going to move forward towards a speedy appointment towards an LGBTI envoy and would you consider raising it to an ambassadorial level?” Markey asked.
Blinken answered in the affirmative: “This is a matter, I think, of some real urgency, we’ve seen violence directed against LGBTQI people around the world increase. We’ve seen, I believe, the highest number of murders of transgender people, particularly women of color, that we’ve seen ever and so I think the United States playing the role that it should be playing in standing up for and defending the rights of LGBTQI people is something the Department is going to take on and take on immediately.”
Markey also asked Blinken if he would “repudiate the findings of the report of the Commission on Unalienable Rights and reaffirm the United States’ acceptance and adherence to the human rights laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and whether he would “ensure that ambassadors are able to fly the pride … flag at our embassies around the world.”
“Yes to both,” Blinken replied.
The Commission on Unalienable Rights was created by the State Department under then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in July 2019. In a press conference announcing the State Department Commission, the secretary of state argued that “international institutions designed and built to protect human rights have drifted from their original mission.” According to Pompeo, “As human rights claims have proliferated, some claims have come into tension with one another, provoking questions about which rights are entitled to gain respect.”
Democrats and progressive advocacy groups quickly criticized the move to create the commission, warning that it constituted an attempt to remove LGBT rights and abortion from the consensus definition of human rights. During the Trump administration, the United States signed the Geneva Consensus Declaration, which declared that “there is no international right to abortion.”
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