Translational inhibition due to CHEAP RETIN-A the fact that the path of the excitation occurs Br neuron. recurrent inhibition     Carried intercalary brake cells (Renshaw). Axons of buy nolvadex online canada motor neurons often give collaterals (branches), ending with Renshaw cells. Renshaw cell axons terminate on the body or dendrites of the motor neuron, forming inhibitory synapses. Arousal that occurs in motor neurons travel in a straight path to the skeletal muscle, as well as collaterals to inhibitory neurons, which send impulses to motoneurons and inhibits them. The stronger the motor neuron excitation, the more excited Renshaw cells and the more intense they exert their inhibitory effect, which protects nerve cells from overstimulation. lateral inhibition    
 

[ Masterweb Reports ] - Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu has advocated a single-term presidency of five or six years for Nigeria and other African countries to deepen democracy and good governance.
 
He also suggested a rotational presidency among the ethnic groups or geographical zones to promote loyalty to the nation.
 
Ekweremadu spoke while delivering a lecture ‘Constitutionalism and the Challenges of Leadership in Africa:an Evaluation of Tested Models’ on Tuesday.
 
The event was organised by the Centre for Media and Peace Initiatives, a New York-based NGO to mark its 10th anniversary.
 
"A more modest proposal seeks not the abandonment of the presidential system per se but the re-designing of term limits for political chief executives.
 
"This is in order to reduce the acrimonious conflict, divisiveness and instability arising from partisan or factional competition for executive offices in the federation.
 
"I support the proposals to transform the current tenure of two four-year terms into a single term of five or six years.
 
"Among other advertised benefits, single terms would avoid the distractions, manipulations and divisiveness of re-election campaigns while facilitating a more rapid circulation or rotation of power among the various groups".
 
He said a single term of four years is also less costly.
 
Ekweremadu urged Nigeria and other African countries to learn from the failures and successes of older democracies, particularly, the Latin American democracies.
 

He noted that many of the Latin Americans transited from autocratic regimes to democracies, discovering that the politics of succession, including incumbents’ penchant for self-perpetuation, was overheating the system. (NAN)
 
*Photo Caption - Ike Ekweremadu
 

 

[ Masterweb Reports: Isiaka Wakili reports ] - The annual budget of about N7 trillion can’t build a modern economy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said. He said the desire of the Federal Government to grow the economy was limited by the fact that its annual budgeted expenditure is only a small part of a multi trillion naira economy.
 
The vice president said government’s policy of partnering with the private sector was also borne out of reality.
 
"The private sector is clearly the bigger contributor to the economy. It thus follows that the private sector must be enabled and encouraged to play its decisive role if our development efforts are to succeed," he said.
 
Osinbajo said this in Abuja yesterday at the commencement of the 23rd Nigerian Economic Summit with the theme "Opportunities, Productivity and Employment: Actual is in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan".
 
The vice president’s speech was made available to State House correspondents by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.
 
Osinbajo said government was concerned with the very high interest rates which, he noted, had to do with government borrowing.
 
He said since the evidence pointed to a crowding out of the private sector, the government would reduce its demand for domestic paper and seek to refinance maturing domestic debt with longer tenor and cheaper external borrowing.
 
He also stated that intervention funds would continue to be made available through the Bank of Industry, and the repositioned NEXIM and the Bank of Agriculture, as well as the newly established Development Bank of Nigeria.
 
He assured that government would continue to sustain the dialogue with the private sector through the National Economic Summit and the Presidential Quarterly Business Forum.
 

Osinbajo also stated that government counted on the continued engagement of the private sector to support its economic policies.
 

*Photo Caption - Nigeria Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

 

 

[ Masterweb Reports: Judd-Leonard Okafor reports ] - A disease suspected to be monkeypox has been reported in six more states, after the first case of the pox emerged in Bayelsa late last month, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said Monday.
 
The discoveries bring the total number of likely monkeypox cases to 31, across seven states—Bayelsa, Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun and Cross River.
 

"So far, there have been no deaths recorded," said NCDC chief executive Chikwe Ihekweazu. "It is unlikely that many of the suspected cases are actually monkeypox, but all are being investigated."
 

Two cases emerged in Lagos, where officials have been prompted to raise their "index of suspicion," Lagos health commissioner Jide Idris told a press briefing.
 
Of the two cases under watch for monkey pox, one is confirmed to have visited Bayelsa and eaten "bush meat," Idris said.
 
NCDC centre said samples had been collected for laboratory confirmation and results are yet to return.
 
All 31 cases are hospitalized in respective states and said to be "improving clinically. While there is no treatment for monkeypox, supportive care and management helps patients recover, since the virus is self limiting.
 
An emergency operations centre has been activated to coordinate investigation and response to the outbreak across all seven states. But a notification for "preparedness" has been issued for the entire country.
 
The first case of monkeypox in Bayelsa has been traced to a monkey, but the biology of the virus allows it to be transmitted from human to human once it gets into human populations, Ihekweazu said in a Daily Trust video.
 

 

*Photo Caption - A Nigerian monkeypox patient

 

[ Masterweb Reports: Emma Elekwa reports ] - A primary school teacher in Anambra State, Mr. Okodo Clement Nwoye, has been named as the winner of Nigeria’s 2017 Overall Best Teacher. Nwoye, a teacher in Central School Abagana, in Njikoka Local Government Area, won the award organised by the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja.
 
Announcing the winner in Awka, Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, represented by the Director, Education Support Services, Mrs J. N. Ibeh, said the award presentation ceremony would hold on October 5 in Abuja during the World Teachers’ Day celebration.
 
Also, Roseline Nkemdilim Obi, a teacher at Federal Government Girls College, Onitsha, was said to have won the maiden edition of Maltina Teacher of the Year Award in 2015.
 

Reacting, the state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, said she was proud of Mr Nwoye and all the other teachers because they were perfect examples of all honesty and hard work.
 

*Photo Caption - As seen.

 

 

[ Masterweb Reports: Emma Elekwa reports ] - Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka, has urged the Nigerian Army to release the report of its investigation on the recent activities of the army in the South East tagged 'Operation Python Dance II'.
 
He also called for appropriate punishments to be meted on errant officers, while mechanisms are put in place to end such violations.
 
A press statement signed by Viola Ifeyinwa Okolie, Director of Media, Osita Chidoka Campaign organisation, the former Corps Marshall, of the FRSC urged the continued spirit of brotherliness among Nigerians.
 
He called on the Federal Government to use the occasion to heal the wounds caused by the civil war on the Igbo by issuing an official regret.
 
Chidoka, who is the governorship candidate of the United Progressives Party, PPA for the Anambra governorship election, said this was necessary as Igbos commence the 50th remembrance of the horrific massacre of the innocent in Asaba during the civil war.
 
The statement reads: "We urged the military high command to release the report of its investigation on alleged abuses and violation of the rights of citizens by security officials involved in the widely criticized Operation Python Dance in the South-East.
 
"Recalls that the military had acknowledged that it was investigating reports of alleged rights violations including a video showing the dehumanization of civilians by some soldiers along Port-Harcourt – Enugu Expressway.
 



"We therefore urges the military to accelerate its inquest, make its findings public and apply appropriate punishments on errant officers, while mechanisms are put in place to end such violations."
 

The UPP candidate commended well-meaning Nigerians from other parts of the country who identified with the anniversary including Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka and Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Father Matthew Hassan Kukah.
 
He pledged his commitment towards the pursuit of the interest of Ndi-Igbo through institutionalized legal and legitimate means.
 

*Photo Caption - Osita Chidoka
 

 

[ Masterweb Reports: Emeka Mamah reports ] - The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has denied allegation by the former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, that its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, escaped to the United Kingdom, through Malyasia, adding that Kanu had not been seen or heard from since the military invaded his country home and killed some members of his family.
 
IPOB said that its lawyers would compel Dr Kalu to appear in court and speak on oath, all that he knew about Kanu's whereabout on October 17, when his case would come up before an Abuja High Court.
 
According to IPOB's Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, "It has come to the knowledge of the worldwide family of IPOB and it's leadership, regarding the wild and widely reported comments of Orji Uzor Kalu on the whereabouts of our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. This man Orji Uzor Kalu has again made claims that could only classify him as beholding to the Fulani caliphate interests.
 
"His spurious claim that the overall leader of IPOB and prophet of our time Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has made his way to London via Malaysia is confirmation that he would do or say anything to escape his ongoing trial.
 
"Worse still, he might be a hapless victim of a well orchestrated blackmail by his masters...
 
"We expect many more compromised Igbo leaders to follow suit in the coming days. After all selling collective Igbo interest and by extension that of Biafra has been their hallmark. It didn't start today but their era is coming to an end.
 
"Biafrans are now well accustomed to Hausa Fulani errand boys euphemistically referred to as Igbo leaders coming out once in a while to condemn what is in the collective interest of the people. They have no qualms about conniving with Hausa Fulani soldiers to kill and maim their own people as long as their meaningless and fake interests are protected.
 
Only people who have no qualms about what happens to their natives man without honour, and devoid of shame will spout such unfounded, uncorroborated nonsense in the hope of letting Buratai off the hook for the abominable atrocities his soldiers committed in connection with the disappearance of our leader when his home was raided on September 14, 2017.
 
"Both the United Kingdom and Malaysia are civilised countries and not as corrupt as Nigeria, where there is no accurate record of migration in and out of the country. What Orji Uzor Kalu is saying in essence is that United Kingdom government officials were lying when they rightfully demanded the whereabouts of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
 
 
"For the information of those who may have fallen for the bare faced lies of Orji Uzor Kalu, United Kingdom is an island nation surrounded by water and it is near impossible to enter without being documented. If our leader is in the UK their government will not bother demanding that he be produced by the Buhari regime. Lying it seems runs deep in APC.
 
"It is not right to apportion blame to Orji Uzor Kalu alone but, there is no other humiliating indictment of the an entire race than when those, who in traditional Igbo setting would not speak in public, suddenly rise up to spread falsehood.
 
There seems to be an ongoing battle among so-called political leaders in Biafraland as to who will emerge the anointed son of the Fulani caliphate."
 
IPOB through her lawyers will compel Orji Uzor Kalu to appear in court alongside Buratai on the October 17, 2017 to tell the world, under oath, what he claims to know about the whereabouts of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
 
His laughable assertion that the IPOB leader is in London is confirmation that all along he has been working in tandem with Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, Willie Obiano, Rochas Okprocha and others to slaughter as many IPOB family members as possible in order to please the core North.
 
Any right thinking person, aware of the dubious upbringing of Orji Uzor Kalu and his fraudulent paternity claim against the famous businessman Nnanna Kalu, a man that publicly denied him, should dismiss his latest antics as another calculated attempt to endear himself more to his Hausa Fulani Islamic handlers. The question Orji Uzor Kalu must answer is this, if indeed you are Nnanna Kalu's son, why do you tell people you come from Igbere when the man you fraudulently claim is your father is not from there.
 
Our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu before his abduction by Nigerian Army has brought an end to the era of cash and carry politics politics of subservience to Hausa Fulani to the detriment of Biafra. That was why he flatly rejected your monetary offer to him to compromise his uncompromising stance on Biafra restoration. Thankfully today you have told the world that Nnamdi Kanu cannot be bought. The politics of selling the interest of the East to the North is why all Hausa Fulani stooges in government houses across the South East ganged up with their Hausa Fulani masters to kill Nnamdi Kanu and proscribe IPOB.
 

Their wish having come through, they are now lining up to exonerate the military because they know their names will be mentioned as accomplices to mass murder of IPOB family members.

 
Orji Uzor Kalu and his co-conspirators must await the fury of the people which is slowly building up. The same way Romans rose against the murderous Brutus and his gang that slayed the popular Julius Ceasar, so will the mob in Biafraland descend on all traitors in no distant time.
 
Planning and executing the mass murder of IPOB members including our leader and looking to cover up your complicity with bare faced lies, will expose and render Orji Uzor Kalu inconsequential and expose him for the Hausa Fulani slave he truly is. The masses will set an example with the likes of Orji Uzor Kalu, Okezie Ikpeazu and Willie Obiano in no distant time that other quislings like them may learn.
 
We have formally instructed our attorneys to add the name of Orji Uzor Kalu as one of those who might help in locating of our leader. He should be prepared to present his evidence in a court of law and be cross examined under oath. The surviving members of Kanu family have all denied ever talking to the lying Orji Uzor Kalu about the whereabouts of our leader, so he should be prepared to mount the witness box because his lies have gone on for far too long.
 

*Photo Caption - Nnamdi Kanu
 

[ Masterweb Reports: Catholic Bishops Speak On the State of the Nation ] - Catholic Bishops in Nigeria, at the end of their Second Plenary Meeting under the name ‘Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN)’ held at St. Charles Borromeo Pastoral Centre, Jalingo, Taraba State, from 7-15 September 2017, issued a communiqué on their views regarding the state of the nation and offered suggestions towards unity, peace and progress. According to the communiqué titled “OUR HOPE IN DESPAIR: TOWARDS NATIONAL RESTORATION” and signed by both their President and Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev. Ignatius Ayau KAIGAMA, and the Secretary and Bishop of Gboko, Most Rev. William AVENYA, the communiqué reads thus:
 
1. PREAMBLE
We, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, held our Second Plenary Meeting of the year at St. Charles Borromeo Pastoral Centre, Jalingo, Taraba State, from 7 to 15 September 2017. Having prayerfully reflected on the issues affecting the Church and our country, we now issue this Communiqué.
 
2. URGENT NEED TO ADDRESS GRIEVANCES
Our country is currently passing through a phase that is marked by tension, agitation and a general sense of hopelessness and dissatisfaction. This we believe is as a result of years of injustice, inequity, corruption, and impunity. There are agitations in many sectors of the country against the one-sidedness in appointments to key institutions and sensitive national offices, against marginalisation, and unfair distribution of resources and amenities. There are also allegations of cases of selective application of the rule of law.
 
In his inaugural speech as civilian President of Nigeria on 29 May 2015, the President sent out a message of hope and of his commitment to national integration and cohesion. He said:“Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians. I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody. A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores.
 
” More than two years later, the reality on ground and the verdict of most of our people across the nation – irrespective of religious affiliation, ethnic group or social status – point to the contrary. The inability of the Government to address the inequitable situation in the country has provided breeding ground for violent reactions, protests and agitations, which exploit the grievances of different segments of the country. We call on Government at all levels to urgently address these anomalies, remove everything that smacks of injustice, and give everybody and every part of our country a sense of belonging. We insist that merit and ability should be the primary criteria in making appointments and genuine needs the criteria for the distribution of amenities. We also urge the Government to be always sensitive to the multi-religious and multi-ethnic configuration of the nation.
 
As Catholic Bishops, we affirm that the legitimacy of every Government derives from its ability to listen to the legitimate yearnings and genuine cries of the people and honestly seek to address them. We therefore urge the Government at all levels to engage the aggrieved sections of the citizenry in a conversation worthy of a democracy. We are concerned that the deployment of soldiers in the midst of already restive youths could increase the nervousness among the populace with the potential of igniting a fire that could turn into an uncontrollable conflagration. On the other hand, we enjoin all aggrieved persons and groups to employ peaceful means within the framework of the existing laws of the land to express their grievances or even exercise legitimate pressure on the Government. Care must be taken by all to avoid actions and utterances capable of causing yet another armed conflict in the nation or any of its parts.
 
We demand fair treatment from those State Governments in the North that deny some of our Dioceses their rights to own landed properties for mission work by their refusal to issue them with Certificates of Occupancy. People of different religions need to co-exist, communicate, and be allowed to freely practice their respective religions everywhere in this country.
 
Furthermore, the other members of the political class in all the arms of government have, as a matter of urgency, to reduce drastically the immodest cost of running government in this country. If for no other reason, they have to do this as a sign of solidarity with most of their compatriots for whom the basic necessities of life – feeding, clothing, shelter, healthcare, energy, quality education – have almost become unrealizable dreams.
 
3. ARMED HERDSMEN AND THEIR THREAT TO SECURITY
The continued havoc caused by armed herdsmen in various parts of our country, can no longer be treated as mere clash between pastoralists and farmers. For apart from wanton destruction of farmlands and crops, some of these armed herdsmen are known to have laid siege on entire villages, killing, maiming, kidnapping, and raping. Besides, there are also reports that some of them are foreigners who have entered the country without proper checks by the competent authorities. Such persons are therefore to be considered a great threat to our national and individual security and their activities treated as acts of terrorism. We demand that adequate and prompt action be taken and be clearly seen to have been taken to stop their onslaught.
 
4. SOME LIGHT IN THE MIDST OF DARKNESS
Along with other groups in Nigeria, we acknowledge the modest success recorded in the ongoing fight against corruption, the substantial curtailing of the activities of Boko Haram and the release of some of the Chibok Girls. We note the positive report about the economy gradually coming out of recession. Nevertheless, we expect the Government to put in place economic policies and strategies that will make positive impact on the lives of our people, thereby reducing hardship and advancing the socio-economic welfare of citizens.
 
We commend the vast majority of Nigerians for standing together and remaining law-abiding citizens in the face of many difficulties, challenges and even provocation. We condole with the victims of terrorism, natural disasters, conflicts and violent crimes, while we continue to pray for the deceased. The solidarity shown by many Nigerians to those affected by the recent floods that affected some parts of the country is a sign of hope for our common peaceful co-existence. We equally commend the assistance rendered by individual Dioceses and other humanitarian agencies to the displaced and distressed persons. We appeal to the Government to carry the Church along in the work of the rehabilitation of such persons.
 
5. NATION-BUILDING: A COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY
Since the founding of our country Nigeria, too much attention seems to have been focused on “sharing the national cake” rather than on “baking that cake” by first building a strong and stable nation. The task of nation-building is a responsibility that rests on all the citizens of the country. We therefore call on all Nigerians to put more effort into working for the common good according to the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity. Individuals as well as smaller groups ought to have enough space for development while all contribute to the commonwealth.
 
Irrespective of nomenclature, we sincerely believe that most Nigerians earnestly desire a truly federal system of government that enhances the welfare of all citizens. This would not only address the allegations of marginalization, but also make the fight against corruption more successful. Nevertheless, no matter what system of government we adopt, without a true conversion of heart by all and the readiness to make sacrifices for the common good, especially by persons in public office, we shall only be reshuffling our problems without solving them and shifting the epicentres of our national tragedies.
 
6. HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL
As a Church, we reaffirm our commitment to the integral development of the citizens of Nigeria, especially through the provision of quality education. In this regard, we once more call on all State Governments to return to the old tradition by which Church and State collaborated in the provision of high quality education for all our citizens.
 
We also enjoin the Federal and State ministries and departments of education to ensure adequate and comprehensive curriculum for Christian Religious Studies (CRS), in such a way that individual right to religious freedom and the right of the Church to teach and disseminate the Christian faith is not infringed upon. We totally condemn the so-called Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and dubious Maternal Health techniques that are not only contrary to divine law but also would encourage immorality. All health related programmes ought to show respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life, every human life, from conception to natural death.
 
We note with great concern the ongoing strikes among various members of professional groups in our country. We appeal to the federal government to honour all legal agreements with these organisations so as to limit the grave damage that is already being done to our society.
 
7. CHRISTIAN COMMITMENT TO NATION-BUILDING
In our journey towards national restoration, the role of Christians, the Clergy as well as the Laity, is fundamental. As priests, our commitment to Christ in our total and obedient self-giving to him through prayers and service of our brothers and sisters not only makes us grow in holiness but also contributes immensely to the restoration of our nation. While not permitted to participate in partisan politics, clerics are urged to foster among people peace and harmony based on justice (cf. Canon 287). The lay faithful, on the other hand, are expected and encouraged to bear witness to the Gospel in their private, public and political lives. In the words of Pope Benedict XVI: “The Mission of the lay faithful is... to configure social life correctly, respecting its legitimate autonomy and cooperating with other citizens according to their respective competence and fulfilling their own responsibility” (Deus Caritas Est,22).We therefore earnestly call on the Lay Faithful to intensify their efforts in bringing the light of the Good News to those places only they can reach. They are by their life of witness to bring Christ into the temporal order such as politics, business, and in their places of daily engagements (Christifideles Laici 42). By their vocation they are to challenge government policies that negate fundamental human rights and their individual and collective right as Christians.
 
8. THE MODERN MEDIA AS ALLY
We observe that modern media, especially social media, can be effective means of information, education and evangelization. We, however, note that rather than tap their great potential benefits for expanding knowledge, many, especially our youth, have become exposed to such negative dimensions of the social media as organs for crime, the dissemination of hate speeches, slander, for peddling outright falsehood and misinformation. In these difficult times, we appeal to our people to be more circumspect and positive in the use of information obtained from and disseminated through the modern media.
 
9. THE MARIAN YEAR – PRAYING FOR PEACE IN NIGERIA
The Catholic Church in Nigeria declared the year 2017 a Marian Year, in honour of the Centenary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal. We invite all Christ's Faithful to participate actively in this national celebration and to its solemn conclusion scheduled to take place in Benin City from 12 to 14, October, 2017. During this celebration we shall re-consecrate Nigeria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In doing so, we entrust Nigeria to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Nigeria, asking her to intercede on our behalf to stabilize the Nigerian ship of state. May she also obtain for us all the blessings and graces that we need as a nation. May she pray for us to attain peace in our hearts, unity, and tranquility.
 
10. GRATITUDE TO GOD FOR EVENTS IN THE CHURCH
We are grateful to God for the appointments, ordinations and installations of new Catholic Bishops in Nigeria: Most Rev Donatus AKPAN, ordained and installed Bishop of Ogoja Diocese on 7 July 2017; and Most Rev Hilary DACHELEM, ordained and installed Bishop of Bauchi Diocese on 17 August 2017. We heartily congratulate them and warmly welcome them into the CBCN. We are grateful to His Holiness Pope Francis for the appointment of a new Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido FILIPAZZI. We welcome him to Nigeria and pray that his tenure be blessed with a resounding pastoral and spiritual growth for our Church and the nation.
 
We thank the Holy Father Pope Francis for intervening directly to definitively resolve the crisis in Ahiara Diocese, which has lingered for nearly five years. We urge all the priests and the lay faithful of Ahiara Diocese to unconditionally embrace the paternal gesture of the Holy Father.
 
11. CONCLUSION: OUR HOPE DOES NOT DISAPPOINT US
We, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, do hereby make a passionate appeal to all our Christians and the rest of Nigerians not to lose hope. We may be traumatized but we shall not be broken (cf. 2Cor.4:8).We advise that Nigerians look at themselves and the country in a better light. Much cheering news abounds in the land amidst the suffering and hardship, the pain and the feeling of helplessness. We are hopeful that Nigeria will survive the present hardship and will become the better for it. “And our hope does not disappoint us” (Rom 5:5). We all are stakeholders in the Nigerian project. We must therefore work hand in hand with a better understanding of ourselves to build the Nigeria of our dreams.
 
We welcome back our President, Muhammadu Buhari, from his medical leave. We thank God who brought him back safely to the country to continue to work assiduously for the betterment of our land. May our Lady Queen of Nigeria continue to intercede for us now and forever. Amen.
 
*Photo Caption - Catholic Bishops pose for photo at the conference

Catholic Bishops Speak On the State of the Nation

Catholic Bishops in Nigeria, at the end of their Second Plenary Meeting under the name ‘Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN)’ held at St. Charles Borromeo Pastoral Centre, Jalingo, Taraba State, from 7-15 September 2017, issued a communiqué on their views regarding the state of the nation and offered suggestions towards unity, peace and progress. According to the communiqué titled “OUR HOPE IN DESPAIR: TOWARDS NATIONAL RESTORATION” and signed by both their President and Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev. Ignatius Ayau KAIGAMA, and the Secretary and Bishop of Gboko, Most Rev. William AVENYA, the communiqué reads thus:

1. PREAMBLE
We, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, held our Second Plenary Meeting of the year at St. Charles Borromeo Pastoral Centre, Jalingo, Taraba State, from 7 to 15 September 2017. Having prayerfully reflected on the issues affecting the Church and our country, we now issue this Communiqué.
2. URGENT NEED TO ADDRESS GRIEVANCES
Our country is currently passing through a phase that is marked by tension, agitation and a general sense of hopelessness and dissatisfaction. This we believe is as a result of years of injustice, inequity, corruption, and impunity. There are agitations in many sectors of the country against the one-sidedness in appointments to key institutions and sensitive national offices, against marginalisation, and unfair distribution of resources and amenities. There are also allegations of cases of selective application of the rule of law.
In his inaugural speech as civilian President of Nigeria on 29 May 2015, the President sent out a message of hope and of his commitment to national integration and cohesion. He said:“Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians. I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody. A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores.”
More than two years later, the reality on ground and the verdict of most of our people across the nation – irrespective of religious affiliation, ethnic group or social status – point to the contrary. The inability of the
Government to address the inequitable situation in the country has provided breeding ground for violent reactions, protests and agitations, which exploit the grievances of different segments of the country. We call on Government at all levels to urgently address these anomalies, remove everything that smacks of injustice, and give everybody and every part of our country a sense of belonging. We insist that merit and ability should be the primary criteria in making appointments and genuine needs the criteria for the distribution of amenities. We also urge the Government to be always sensitive to the multi-religious and multi-ethnic configuration of the nation.
As Catholic Bishops, we affirm that the legitimacy of every Government derives from its ability to listen to the legitimate yearnings and genuine cries of the people and honestly seek to address them. We therefore urge the Government at all levels to engage the aggrieved sections of the citizenry in a conversation worthy of a democracy. We are concerned that the deployment of soldiers in the midst of already restive youths could increase the nervousness among the populace with the potential of igniting a fire that could turn into an uncontrollable conflagration. On the other hand, we enjoin all aggrieved persons and groups to employ peaceful means within the framework of the existing laws of the land to express their grievances or even exercise legitimate pressure on the Government. Care must be taken by all to avoid actions and utterances capable of causing yet another armed conflict in the nation or any of its parts.
We demand fair treatment from those State Governments in the North that deny some of our Dioceses their rights to own landed properties for mission work by their refusal to issue them with Certificates of Occupancy. People of different religions need to co-exist, communicate, and be allowed to freely practice their respective religions everywhere in this country.
Furthermore, the other members of the political class in all the arms of government have, as a matter of urgency, to reduce drastically the immodest cost of running government in this country. If for no other reason, they have to do this as a sign of solidarity with most of their compatriots for whom the basic necessities of life – feeding, clothing, shelter, healthcare, energy, quality education – have almost become unrealizable dreams.
3. ARMED HERDSMEN AND THEIR THREAT TO SECURITY
The continued havoc caused by armed herdsmen in various parts of our country, can no longer be treated as mere clash between pastoralists and farmers. For apart from wanton destruction of farmlands and crops, some of these armed herdsmen are known to have laid siege on entire villages, killing, maiming, kidnapping, and raping. Besides, there are also reports that some of them are foreigners who have entered the country without proper checks by the competent authorities. Such persons are therefore to be considered a great threat to our national and individual security and their activities treated as acts of terrorism. We demand that adequate and prompt action be taken and be clearly seen to have been taken to stop their onslaught.
4. SOME LIGHT IN THE MIDST OF DARKNESS
Along with other groups in Nigeria, we acknowledge the modest success recorded in the ongoing fight against corruption, the substantial curtailing of the activities of Boko Haram and the release of some of the Chibok Girls. We note the positive report about the economy gradually coming out of recession.
Nevertheless, we expect the Government to put in place economic policies and strategies that will make positive impact on the lives of our people, thereby reducing hardship and advancing the socio-economic welfare of citizens.
We commend the vast majority of Nigerians for standing together and remaining law-abiding citizens in the face of many difficulties, challenges and even provocation. We condole with the victims of terrorism, natural disasters, conflicts and violent crimes, while we continue to pray for the deceased. The solidarity shown by many Nigerians to those affected by the recent floods that affected some parts of the country is a sign of hope for our common peaceful co-existence. We equally commend the assistance rendered by individual Dioceses and other humanitarian agencies to the displaced and distressed persons. We appeal to the Government to carry the Church along in the work of the rehabilitation of such persons.
5. NATION-BUILDING: A COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY
Since the founding of our country Nigeria, too much attention seems to have been focused on “sharing the national cake” rather than on “baking that cake” by first building a strong and stable nation. The task of nation-building is a responsibility that rests on all the citizens of the country. We therefore call on all Nigerians to put more effort into working for the common good according to the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity. Individuals as well as smaller groups ought to have enough space for development while all contribute to the commonwealth.
Irrespective of nomenclature, we sincerely believe that most Nigerians earnestly desire a truly federal system of government that enhances the welfare of all citizens. This would not only address the allegations of marginalization, but also make the fight against corruption more successful. Nevertheless, no matter what system of government we adopt, without a true conversion of heart by all and the readiness to make sacrifices for the common good, especially by persons in public office, we shall only be reshuffling our problems without solving them and shifting the epicentres of our national tragedies.
6. HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL
As a Church, we reaffirm our commitment to the integral development of the citizens of Nigeria, especially through the provision of quality education. In this regard, we once more call on all State Governments to return to the old tradition by which Church and State collaborated in the provision of high quality education for all our citizens.
We also enjoin the Federal and State ministries and departments of education to ensure adequate and comprehensive curriculum for Christian Religious Studies (CRS), in such a way that individual right to religious freedom and the right of the Church to teach and disseminate the Christian faith is not infringed upon. We totally condemn the so-called Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and dubious Maternal
Health techniques that are not only contrary to divine law but also would encourage immorality. All health related programmes ought to show respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life, every human life, from conception to natural death.
We note with great concern the ongoing strikes among various members of professional groups in our country. We appeal to the federal government to honour all legal agreements with these organisations so as to limit the grave damage that is already being done to our society.
7. CHRISTIAN COMMITMENT TO NATION-BUILDING
In our journey towards national restoration, the role of Christians, the Clergy as well as the Laity, is fundamental. As priests, our commitment to Christ in our total and obedient self-giving to him through prayers and service of our brothers and sisters not only makes us grow in holiness but also contributes immensely to the restoration of our nation. While not permitted to participate in partisan politics, clerics are urged to foster among people peace and harmony based on justice (cf. Canon 287). The lay faithful, on the other hand, are expected and encouraged to bear witness to the Gospel in their private, public and political lives. In the words of Pope Benedict XVI: “The Mission of the lay faithful is... to configure social life correctly, respecting its legitimate autonomy and cooperating with other citizens according to their respective competence and fulfilling their own responsibility” (Deus Caritas Est,22).We therefore earnestly call on the Lay Faithful to intensify their efforts in bringing the light of the Good News to those places only they can reach. They are by their life of witness to bring Christ into the temporal order such as politics, business, and in their places of daily engagements (Christifideles Laici 42). By their vocation they are to challenge government policies that negate fundamental human rights and their individual and collective right as Christians.
8. THE MODERN MEDIA AS ALLY
We observe that modern media, especially social media, can be effective means of information, education and evangelization. We, however, note that rather than tap their great potential benefits for expanding knowledge, many, especially our youth, have become exposed to such negative dimensions of the social media as organs for crime, the dissemination of hate speeches, slander, for peddling outright falsehood and misinformation. In these difficult times, we appeal to our people to be more circumspect and positive in the use of information obtained from and disseminated through the modern media.
9. THE MARIAN YEAR – PRAYING FOR PEACE IN NIGERIA
The Catholic Church in Nigeria declared the year 2017 a Marian Year, in honour of the Centenary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal. We invite all Christ's Faithful to participate actively in this national celebration and to its solemn conclusion scheduled to take place in Benin City from
12 to 14, October, 2017. During this celebration we shall re-consecrate Nigeria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In doing so, we entrust Nigeria to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Nigeria, asking her to intercede on our behalf to stabilize the Nigerian ship of state. May she also obtain for us all the blessings and graces that we need as a nation. May she pray for us to attain peace in our hearts, unity, and tranquility.
10. GRATITUDE TO GOD FOR EVENTS IN THE CHURCH
We are grateful to God for the appointments, ordinations and installations of new Catholic Bishops in
Nigeria: Most Rev Donatus AKPAN, ordained and installed Bishop of Ogoja Diocese on 7 July 2017; and
Most Rev Hilary DACHELEM, ordained and installed Bishop of Bauchi Diocese on 17 August 2017. We heartily congratulate them and warmly welcome them into the CBCN. We are grateful to His Holiness Pope Francis for the appointment of a new Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido FILIPAZZI.
We welcome him to Nigeria and pray that his tenure be blessed with a resounding pastoral and spiritual growth for our Church and the nation.
We thank the Holy Father Pope Francis for intervening directly to definitively resolve the crisis in Ahiara Diocese, which has lingered for nearly five years. We urge all the priests and the lay faithful of Ahiara Diocese to unconditionally embrace the paternal gesture of the Holy Father.
11. CONCLUSION: OUR HOPE DOES NOT DISAPPOINT US
We, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, do hereby make a passionate appeal to all our Christians and the rest of Nigerians not to lose hope. We may be traumatized but we shall not be broken (cf. 2Cor.4:8).We advise that Nigerians look at themselves and the country in a better light. Much cheering news abounds in the land amidst the suffering and hardship, the pain and the feeling of helplessness. We are hopeful that Nigeria will survive the present hardship and will become the better for it. “And our hope does not disappoint us” (Rom
5:5). We all are stakeholders in the Nigerian project. We must therefore work hand in hand with a better understanding of ourselves to build the Nigeria of our dreams.
We welcome back our President, Muhammadu Buhari, from his medical leave. We thank God who brought him back safely to the country to continue to work assiduously for the betterment of our land.
May our Lady Queen of Nigeria continue to intercede for us now and forever. Amen.

Catholic Bishops Speak On the State of the Nation

Catholic Bishops in Nigeria, at the end of their Second Plenary Meeting under the name ‘Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN)’ held at St. Charles Borromeo Pastoral Centre, Jalingo, Taraba State, from 7-15 September 2017, issued a communiqué on their views regarding the state of the nation and offered suggestions towards unity, peace and progress. According to the communiqué titled “OUR HOPE IN DESPAIR: TOWARDS NATIONAL RESTORATION” and signed by both their President and Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev. Ignatius Ayau KAIGAMA, and the Secretary and Bishop of Gboko, Most Rev. William AVENYA, the communiqué reads thus:

1. PREAMBLE
We, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, held our Second Plenary Meeting of the year at St. Charles Borromeo Pastoral Centre, Jalingo, Taraba State, from 7 to 15 September 2017. Having prayerfully reflected on the issues affecting the Church and our country, we now issue this Communiqué.
2. URGENT NEED TO ADDRESS GRIEVANCES
Our country is currently passing through a phase that is marked by tension, agitation and a general sense of hopelessness and dissatisfaction. This we believe is as a result of years of injustice, inequity, corruption, and impunity. There are agitations in many sectors of the country against the one-sidedness in appointments to key institutions and sensitive national offices, against marginalisation, and unfair distribution of resources and amenities. There are also allegations of cases of selective application of the rule of law.
In his inaugural speech as civilian President of Nigeria on 29 May 2015, the President sent out a message of hope and of his commitment to national integration and cohesion. He said:“Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians. I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody. A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores.”
More than two years later, the reality on ground and the verdict of most of our people across the nation – irrespective of religious affiliation, ethnic group or social status – point to the contrary. The inability of the
Government to address the inequitable situation in the country has provided breeding ground for violent reactions, protests and agitations, which exploit the grievances of different segments of the country. We call on Government at all levels to urgently address these anomalies, remove everything that smacks of injustice, and give everybody and every part of our country a sense of belonging. We insist that merit and ability should be the primary criteria in making appointments and genuine needs the criteria for the distribution of amenities. We also urge the Government to be always sensitive to the multi-religious and multi-ethnic configuration of the nation.
As Catholic Bishops, we affirm that the legitimacy of every Government derives from its ability to listen to the legitimate yearnings and genuine cries of the people and honestly seek to address them. We therefore urge the Government at all levels to engage the aggrieved sections of the citizenry in a conversation worthy of a democracy. We are concerned that the deployment of soldiers in the midst of already restive youths could increase the nervousness among the populace with the potential of igniting a fire that could turn into an uncontrollable conflagration. On the other hand, we enjoin all aggrieved persons and groups to employ peaceful means within the framework of the existing laws of the land to express their grievances or even exercise legitimate pressure on the Government. Care must be taken by all to avoid actions and utterances capable of causing yet another armed conflict in the nation or any of its parts.
We demand fair treatment from those State Governments in the North that deny some of our Dioceses their rights to own landed properties for mission work by their refusal to issue them with Certificates of Occupancy. People of different religions need to co-exist, communicate, and be allowed to freely practice their respective religions everywhere in this country.
Furthermore, the other members of the political class in all the arms of government have, as a matter of urgency, to reduce drastically the immodest cost of running government in this country. If for no other reason, they have to do this as a sign of solidarity with most of their compatriots for whom the basic necessities of life – feeding, clothing, shelter, healthcare, energy, quality education – have almost become unrealizable dreams.
3. ARMED HERDSMEN AND THEIR THREAT TO SECURITY
The continued havoc caused by armed herdsmen in various parts of our country, can no longer be treated as mere clash between pastoralists and farmers. For apart from wanton destruction of farmlands and crops, some of these armed herdsmen are known to have laid siege on entire villages, killing, maiming, kidnapping, and raping. Besides, there are also reports that some of them are foreigners who have entered the country without proper checks by the competent authorities. Such persons are therefore to be considered a great threat to our national and individual security and their activities treated as acts of terrorism. We demand that adequate and prompt action be taken and be clearly seen to have been taken to stop their onslaught.
4. SOME LIGHT IN THE MIDST OF DARKNESS
Along with other groups in Nigeria, we acknowledge the modest success recorded in the ongoing fight against corruption, the substantial curtailing of the activities of Boko Haram and the release of some of the Chibok Girls. We note the positive report about the economy gradually coming out of recession.
Nevertheless, we expect the Government to put in place economic policies and strategies that will make positive impact on the lives of our people, thereby reducing hardship and advancing the socio-economic welfare of citizens.
We commend the vast majority of Nigerians for standing together and remaining law-abiding citizens in the face of many difficulties, challenges and even provocation. We condole with the victims of terrorism, natural disasters, conflicts and violent crimes, while we continue to pray for the deceased. The solidarity shown by many Nigerians to those affected by the recent floods that affected some parts of the country is a sign of hope for our common peaceful co-existence. We equally commend the assistance rendered by individual Dioceses and other humanitarian agencies to the displaced and distressed persons. We appeal to the Government to carry the Church along in the work of the rehabilitation of such persons.
5. NATION-BUILDING: A COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY
Since the founding of our country Nigeria, too much attention seems to have been focused on “sharing the national cake” rather than on “baking that cake” by first building a strong and stable nation. The task of nation-building is a responsibility that rests on all the citizens of the country. We therefore call on all Nigerians to put more effort into working for the common good according to the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity. Individuals as well as smaller groups ought to have enough space for development while all contribute to the commonwealth.
Irrespective of nomenclature, we sincerely believe that most Nigerians earnestly desire a truly federal system of government that enhances the welfare of all citizens. This would not only address the allegations of marginalization, but also make the fight against corruption more successful. Nevertheless, no matter what system of government we adopt, without a true conversion of heart by all and the readiness to make sacrifices for the common good, especially by persons in public office, we shall only be reshuffling our problems without solving them and shifting the epicentres of our national tragedies.
6. HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL
As a Church, we reaffirm our commitment to the integral development of the citizens of Nigeria, especially through the provision of quality education. In this regard, we once more call on all State Governments to return to the old tradition by which Church and State collaborated in the provision of high quality education for all our citizens.
We also enjoin the Federal and State ministries and departments of education to ensure adequate and comprehensive curriculum for Christian Religious Studies (CRS), in such a way that individual right to religious freedom and the right of the Church to teach and disseminate the Christian faith is not infringed upon. We totally condemn the so-called Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and dubious Maternal
Health techniques that are not only contrary to divine law but also would encourage immorality. All health related programmes ought to show respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life, every human life, from conception to natural death.
We note with great concern the ongoing strikes among various members of professional groups in our country. We appeal to the federal government to honour all legal agreements with these organisations so as to limit the grave damage that is already being done to our society.
7. CHRISTIAN COMMITMENT TO NATION-BUILDING
In our journey towards national restoration, the role of Christians, the Clergy as well as the Laity, is fundamental. As priests, our commitment to Christ in our total and obedient self-giving to him through prayers and service of our brothers and sisters not only makes us grow in holiness but also contributes immensely to the restoration of our nation. While not permitted to participate in partisan politics, clerics are urged to foster among people peace and harmony based on justice (cf. Canon 287). The lay faithful, on the other hand, are expected and encouraged to bear witness to the Gospel in their private, public and political lives. In the words of Pope Benedict XVI: “The Mission of the lay faithful is... to configure social life correctly, respecting its legitimate autonomy and cooperating with other citizens according to their respective competence and fulfilling their own responsibility” (Deus Caritas Est,22).We therefore earnestly call on the Lay Faithful to intensify their efforts in bringing the light of the Good News to those places only they can reach. They are by their life of witness to bring Christ into the temporal order such as politics, business, and in their places of daily engagements (Christifideles Laici 42). By their vocation they are to challenge government policies that negate fundamental human rights and their individual and collective right as Christians.
8. THE MODERN MEDIA AS ALLY
We observe that modern media, especially social media, can be effective means of information, education and evangelization. We, however, note that rather than tap their great potential benefits for expanding knowledge, many, especially our youth, have become exposed to such negative dimensions of the social media as organs for crime, the dissemination of hate speeches, slander, for peddling outright falsehood and misinformation. In these difficult times, we appeal to our people to be more circumspect and positive in the use of information obtained from and disseminated through the modern media.
9. THE MARIAN YEAR – PRAYING FOR PEACE IN NIGERIA
The Catholic Church in Nigeria declared the year 2017 a Marian Year, in honour of the Centenary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal. We invite all Christ's Faithful to participate actively in this national celebration and to its solemn conclusion scheduled to take place in Benin City from
12 to 14, October, 2017. During this celebration we shall re-consecrate Nigeria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In doing so, we entrust Nigeria to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Nigeria, asking her to intercede on our behalf to stabilize the Nigerian ship of state. May she also obtain for us all the blessings and graces that we need as a nation. May she pray for us to attain peace in our hearts, unity, and tranquility.
10. GRATITUDE TO GOD FOR EVENTS IN THE CHURCH
We are grateful to God for the appointments, ordinations and installations of new Catholic Bishops in
Nigeria: Most Rev Donatus AKPAN, ordained and installed Bishop of Ogoja Diocese on 7 July 2017; and
Most Rev Hilary DACHELEM, ordained and installed Bishop of Bauchi Diocese on 17 August 2017. We heartily congratulate them and warmly welcome them into the CBCN. We are grateful to His Holiness Pope Francis for the appointment of a new Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido FILIPAZZI.
We welcome him to Nigeria and pray that his tenure be blessed with a resounding pastoral and spiritual growth for our Church and the nation.
We thank the Holy Father Pope Francis for intervening directly to definitively resolve the crisis in Ahiara Diocese, which has lingered for nearly five years. We urge all the priests and the lay faithful of Ahiara Diocese to unconditionally embrace the paternal gesture of the Holy Father.
11. CONCLUSION: OUR HOPE DOES NOT DISAPPOINT US
We, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, do hereby make a passionate appeal to all our Christians and the rest of Nigerians not to lose hope. We may be traumatized but we shall not be broken (cf. 2Cor.4:8).We advise that Nigerians look at themselves and the country in a better light. Much cheering news abounds in the land amidst the suffering and hardship, the pain and the feeling of helplessness. We are hopeful that Nigeria will survive the present hardship and will become the better for it. “And our hope does not disappoint us” (Rom
5:5). We all are stakeholders in the Nigerian project. We must therefore work hand in hand with a better understanding of ourselves to build the Nigeria of our dreams.
We welcome back our President, Muhammadu Buhari, from his medical leave. We thank God who brought him back safely to the country to continue to work assiduously for the betterment of our land.
May our Lady Queen of Nigeria continue to intercede for us now and forever. Amen.

 
[ Masterweb Reports: President Buhari Boadcast to Nigerians October 1, 2017 ] - My dear Nigerians; October 1st remains a special date for all Nigerians as this marks the day when we attained one of the most precious of human desires - freedom..
 
Over the years the country has gone through trials and tribulations, but October 1st is always a day for celebrations.
 
It is a day for thanks giving, reflection and re-dedication.
 
It is also a day for remembrance. We should remind ourselves of the recent journey from 1999 - 2015, when our country happily returned to democratic rule.
 
However, in spite of oil prices being an average of $100 per barrel and about 2.1m barrels a day, that great piece of luck was squandered and the country’s social and physical infrastructure neglected.
 
We were left with no savings and huge infrastructure deficit.
 
The APC Government’s Campaign rallying cry to restore security, re-balance the economy and fight corruption was not all rhetoric.
 
The country must first be secured. The economy must be re-balanced so that we do not depend on oil alone. We must fight corruption which is Nigeria’s Number One Enemy. Our Administration is tackling these tasks in earnest.
 
In the past two years, Nigeria has recorded appreciable gains in political freedom. A political Party at the Centre losing elections of State Governor, National Assembly seat and even State Assemblies to the opposition parties is new to Nigeria. Added to these are complete freedom to associate, to hold and disseminate opinions. Such developments clearly attest to the country’s growing political development. But like all freedoms, this is open to abuse.
 
Recent calls on re-structuring, quite proper in a legitimate debate, has let in highly irresponsible groups to call for dismemberment of the country. We can not and we will not allow such advocacy.
 
As a young Army Officer, I took part from the beginning to the end in our tragic civil war costing about 2m lives, resulting in fearful destruction and untold suffering. Those who are agitating for a re-run were not born by 1967 and have no idea of the horrendous consequences of the civil conflict which we went through.
 
I am very disappointed that responsible leaders of these communities do not warn their hot-headed youths what the country went through. Those who were there should tell those who were not there, the consequences of such folly.
 
At all events, proper dialogue and any desired constitutional changes should take place in a rational manner, at the National and State Assemblies. These are the proper and legal fora for National debate, not some lop-sided, un-democratic body with pre-determined set of objectives.
 
Government is keeping up the momentum of dialogue with stakeholders in the Niger Delta to keep the peace. We intend to address genuine grievances of the communities.
 
Government is grateful to the responsible leadership of those communities and will pursue lasting peace in the Niger Delta.
 
SECURITY
 
On security, Nigerians must be grateful to our gallant Armed Forces for rolling back the frontiers of Boko Haram’s terrorism, defeating them and reducing them to cowardly attacks on soft and vulnerable targets.
 
Nigeria is grateful to its neighbours and the international community for the collective efforts to defeat this world-wide menace of terrorism.
 
Not even the most organized and most equipped police and security forces in the world can escape the menace of modern day terrorism, as we have seen in recent years in Europe and other parts of the world.
 
But we are not letting up. Our Armed Forces in an effort to enhance the operational capability of troops of OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE have established Mobile Strike Teams in the North East. These will ensure the final push to wipe out the remnants of Boko Haram.
 
In addition, through targeted air strikes most of the leadership and identified logistics bases and routes of the insurgents have be strikes most of the leadership and identified logistics bases and routes of the insurgents have been neutralized. The Armed Forces have established a Naval presence in the Lake Chad Basin as part of the coordinated military efforts to curtail the movements or re-emergence of the sect in the area.
 
Government is working round the clock to ensure release of the remaining Chibok girls, as well as other persons in Boko Haram captivity. Government will continue to support the Armed Forces and other security agencies to fight not only terrorism, but kidnapping, armed robberies, herdsmen/farmers violence and to ensure peace, stability and security in our country.
 
ECONOMY
 
With respect to the economy, the Government has remained pro-active in its diversification policy. The Federal Government’s agricultural Anchor Borrowers Programme, which I launched in November 2015, has been an outstanding success with:
 
· N43.92 billion released through the CBN and 13 participating institutions,
 
· 200,000 small holder farmers from 29 states of the federation benefitting,
 
· 233,000 hectares of farmland cultivating eight commodities, namely Rice, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, soya-beans, Poultry, Cassava and Groundnuts, in addition to fish farming.
 
These initiatives have been undertaken in close collaboration with the states. I wish to commend the efforts of the Governors of Kebbi, Lagos, Ebonyi and Jigawa States for their support to the rice and fertilizer revolutions.
 
Equally commendable are contributions of the Governors of Ondo, Edo, Delta, Imo, Cross River, Benue, Ogun, Kaduna and Plateau States for their support for the Presidential initiative for palm oil, rubber, cashew, cassava, potatoes and others crops.
 
With the abundance of rainfall last year and this year, agriculture has enjoyed Divine intervention.
 
Since December last year, this Administration has produced over 7 million 50Kg bags of fertilizer. Eleven blending plants with a capacity of 2.1 million metric tons have been reactivated. We have saved $150 million in foreign exchange and N60 billion in subsidy. Fertilizer prices have dropped from N13,000 per 50Kg bag to N5,500.
 
Furthermore, a new presidential initiative is starting with each state of the Federation creating a minimum of 10,000 jobs for unemployed youths, again with the aid of CBN’s development finance initiatives.
 
Power remains a huge problem. As of September 12th, production of power reached an all - time high of 7,001 Megawatts. Government is increasing its investment, clearing up the operational and financial log jam bedeviling the industry. We hope to reach 10,000 Megawatts by 2020.
 
Key priorities include better energy mix through solar and Hydro technologies. I am glad to say that after many years of limbo, Mambilla Power Project has taken off.
 
Elsewhere in the economy the special window created for manufacturers, investors and exporters, foreign exchange requirements has proved very effective. Since April, about $7 billion has come through this window alone. The main effect of these policies is improved confidence in the economy and better investment sentiments.
 
The country has recorded 7 consecutive months of lower inflation, Naira rate is beginning to stabilize, appreciating from N525 per $1 in  February this year to N360 today. Broad-based economic growth is leading us out of recession.
 
Furthermore, in order to stabilize the polity, the Federal Government gave additional support to states in the form of:
 
· State Excess Crude Account loans,
 
· Budget Support Facility,
 
· Stabilization Fund Release to state and local government as follows:
 
· N200 billion in 2015
 
· N441 billion in 2016
 
· N1 trillion in 2017
 
Altogether totaling N1.642 trillion.
 
This was done to enable states to pay outstanding salaries, pensions and small business suppliers who had been all but crippled over the years.
 
In addition, the Government’s current N500 billion Special Intervention Programme is targeting groups through;
 
· Home Grown School Feeding Programme,
 
· N-Power Job creation to provide loans to small-scale traders and artisans,
 
· Conditional Cash Transfer,
 
· Family Homes Fund and
 
· Social Housing Scheme.
 
CORRUPTION

Fellow Nigerians,
 
We are fully aware that fighting corruption was never going to be a straightforward task. We expected corrupt elements to use any weapon to fight back, mainly judicial obstruction and political diversion. But we are determined to eradicate corruption from our body politic.
 
In this fight, the Government has:
 
· Empowered teams of prosecutors,
 
· Assembled detailed databases,
 
· Accelerated the recovery of stolen funds.
 
The Administration’s new institutional reforms include:
 
· Enforcing Treasury Single Account,
 
· Whistle-Blowers Policy,
 
· Integrated Payroll Personnel and Information System.
 
We have signed multi-lateral cooperation agreements on criminal matters with friendly countries. There are signs of increasing cooperation from the Judiciary. Recently the Chief Justice of the Federation directed Heads of all our Courts of first instance and Appeal to accelerate hearings of corruption cases and dismiss any judicial officers found to have been compromised.
 
Justice Salami has just been appointed to chair the Judiciary’s anti-graft committee. Government expects a lot from this Committee.
 
I commend the National Assembly for refocusing on its oversight committees. They should, in addition, ensure swift passage of enabling corruption laws. But fighting corruption is a bottom to top operation. I call on all Nigerians to combat corruption at every turn. By not asking for and refusing to accept a bribe, by reporting unethical practices or by blowing a whistle, together we can beat corruption. The government for its part will work for accountability at all levels - Federal, State and Local Governments. CHANGE will then be real.
 
As we enter the second half of our term of office, we intend to accelerate progress and intensify our resolve to fix the country’s challenges and problems.
 
Thank you and a happy holiday to all of you.
 
God bless our country.

 

 
*Photo Caption - President Buhari