.CAN tasks Bello on equal opportunities


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger State of being behind the travails of its state Chairman, Alhaji Tanko Beji, who is currently in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the past two weeks.

PDP also alegged that the inability of EFCC to charge Beji to court was an attempt at muzzling opposition and clamping down on critics of the APC government in the state.

Secretary of the party in Niger State, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi Santali, said in Minna that Beji had been under incarceration because of his criticism of the APC government before and during the 2017 Democracy Day celebration, which marked the second year in office of the Governor Sani Bello administration.

“Whereas the party chairman was recently arrested and detained by the EFCC believed to be acting on the prompting of the ruling party in Niger State after his comments on Democracy Day on the failure of the APC government in the state to deliver desired dividends of democracy”.

According to the party secretary, “The EFCC and the ruling party in Niger State are now alleging the offences of aiding and abetting of the former governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, against the state PDP chairman.

“In fact the former governor was arrested, investigated and has since been facing trials in the two courts, but alas, the EFCC just realized that the state chairman aided and abetted the alleged crimes of Aliyu after the May 29, 2017 criticism of the government of the ruling party”.

Santali however said: “Despite intimidation and harassment of party leadership in the state, the PDP will remain focused in carrying out its responsibilities as a credible opposition party in the state and will not be deterred from pointing out the flaws and failures of the APC government.

“We shall be informing our members and the general public as events surrounding the clamping down on opposition voices unfold, indeed this is the beginning of politics in Niger state”, the state party secretary said as he called for calm among party supporters.

Meanwhile, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Niger State chapter, has called on the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, to fulfil his electioneering promises of not discriminating against anybody or groups on the basis of religion, tribe or region because ‘we all jointly voted for your emergence to power’.

For over two years since he came into office, CAN has waited for Governor Bello to increase the number of Christians in his cabinet and employ Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) teachers as promised equal recognition but so far he favoured Moslems against the Christians.

State CAN Chairman, Rev. Matthias Echioda, who made the position of Christians in Niger state at a press conference which took place at the CAN state secretariat, said that it was unfortunate Governor Bello was exhibiting bias against Christians who massively voted for him.

The message tagged, “Honour your Campaign Promises”, the state CAN chairman argued, “We have maximally supported this administration led by Alhaji Abubarkar Sani Bello for over two years now and we are appealing to him to give us fair treatment not only as law abiding citizen but stakeholders who have equal stakes to state affairs.

“It is not fair when, of the 15 Executive Council members, only three commissioners are Christians and that is why we are therefore asking the Bello led government of Niger state to immediately address this political imbalance.

“The assurance of Christian presence amongst the Principal officers of the governor (Deputy Governor, Secretary to the State Government, Chief of Staff and so on) were part of his promises that he would give us at least a slot”.