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The degeneration and dementia of Pastor William Kumuyi

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By — Femi Fani-Kayode | View Report Online

“History teaches us of the danger of being afraid to speak truth to power”- Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, 2nd June 2019.

Pastor William Kumuyi, who says we should not attack President Muhammadu Buhari, has much to learn from these words. If the world had remained silent in the face of Hitler’s Nazis we would not be here today.
If Moses had remained silent in the face of Pharaoh’s tyranny the Jews would still be slaves in Egypt. 
If Elijah and Jehu had remained silent in the face of Jezebel’s tyranny Israel would never have been delivered. If Peter had remained silent in the face of Herod’s tyranny he would never have left prison.
 If Samuel had remained silent in the face of Agag and the Amalekites the Jews would have been decimated. If Esther had remained silent in the face of Haman the Jewish race would have been wiped out. 
 If Hezekiah had remained silent in the face of Sennacherub, Jerusalem would have fallen. 
The Bible tells us that we must resist evil, oppose injustice, stand up for the oppressed, liberate the downtrodden, speak for the voiceless, defend the persecuted, defend the faithful and set the captives free. Has Kumuyi forgotten all that? 
Does he know the meaning and understand the concept of  liberation theology? 
Is he familiar with the great role that the Church played in liberating Southern American countries from military dictatorships in the 20th century, in fighting for the abolition of slavery in the 19th century and in destroying apartheid in South Africa in the 20th century? 
Does he know that the primary purpose of any great msn or leader is to liberate his people, oppose tyranny and fight injustice?
Does he know how many great men and women of faith died for these noble causes and stood against these great evils and so many others? 
Has he heard of Gideon, Jeptha, David, Daniel, Jehu, Samson, Peter and Paul in the Bible. Did they not oppose evil, speak out against injustice and stand against tyrants in their day?
Every single one of the Lords disciples died for their faith by defying and opposing the tyranny of the rulers of the land. Some were beheaded or fed to beasts whilst others were boiled to death or burnt alive. 
In Nigeria today we are facing the greatest, most deadly, most relentlesss and most glaring Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda in the history of our country and it is unfolding before our very eyes. 
Hundreds of people are being slaughtered every day and genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass murder is alive and well in our shores. 
All this and someone is telling us not to attack the man that is responsible for it by his actions and inactions? 
More Nigerians have been slaughtered by Islamist terrorists and ISIS-backed Fulani militias in the last four years in our country than at any orher time in our history other than during the civil war. Yet this man says we must kepo quite and not speak out? 
By his  shameful words and his bogus and misleading counsel Kumuyi has spat on the blood and pissed on the graves of every single Christian martyr that ever sacrificed their lives for the faith by opposing tyranny, injustice and evil. 
He has also insulted our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Himself who opposed the devil, the rulers of this world and the Kingdom of Darknes and died for our sins. He has belittled Jesus’ suffering on the cross and sought to destroy the purpose of his ministry. 
If he can say we must not attack Buhari 
the next thing he will say is that we must not attack satan and that we must forgive and love the devil. 
Shepherds are meant to protect their sheep from ravenous wolves and hungry lions. They are meant to give them hope: they are not meant to sacrifice them to wild beasts and cruel rulers as a weekly blood offering. 
It appears that senility and dementia have set in and eroded this once great preacher’s annointing. Worse still cowardice and greed have shattered his his mantle of leadership, decimated his calling and destroyed his credibility. It is time for him to take a break, go home and rest. 
I urge everyone to ignore his manifestly irresponsible counsel and to oppose and attack the policies and person of Muhammadu Buhari as much as they deem fit. That is what democracy is all about. Presidents are meant to serve the people and not to be worshipped by them. 
May God deliver us from shepherds that slaughter the sheep, that defend the cruel, that support injustice, that love the wicked, that serve the tyrant, that despise the weak, that enslave the poor and that worship genocidal maniacs and sociopathic butchers.
I can only thank God that we still have men of God in this country that are more than ready to speak truth to power and that have proved their worth. 
Men like David Oyedepo, T.B. Joshua, Paul Enenche, David Ibiyeomi, Johnson Suleiman, Matthew Hassan Kukah, Tunde Bakare, John Onaiyekan, Paul Adefarasin, Isah El Buba, Samson Ayokunle, Nicholas Okoh, Ayo Oritsejafor, John Praise, Sam Oye, Mike Okonkwo, Sarah Omaku, Daniel Olukoya and so many others. 
They are the saving grace of the Church in Nigeria. They are the true servants of the Most High God.
As for those that have chosen to remain silent despite the evil and tyranny in the land and those, like Kumuyi, who have failed in their calling and told us all to keep quiet and not attack Buhari, I say “shame in you!”

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Politics

Benin’s opposition goes into hiding

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Critics say the West African country has veered into authoritarian rule under President Patrice Talon, a former cotton magnate first elected in 2016.

Silence has fallen around the political opposition in Benin, once a beacon of multi-party democracy, where arrests have proliferated since presidential elections less than four months ago.

“It’s better not to say anything, not to see anything, and most of all, to support the president,” said an opposition leader who asked to remain anonymous.

“It’s simple — we are scared of getting arrested like the others.”

Critics say the West African country has veered into authoritarian rule under President Patrice Talon, a former cotton magnate first elected in 2016.

After that victory, major opposition figures were targeted for investigation by a special court and went into exile.

Since the last elections on April 11, which Talon won with 86 percent of votes, “the situation has worsened and the fear of speaking out, of ending up in a jail, has never been stronger,” said Benin-based analyst Expedit Ologou.

Press contact with opposition leaders and civil society figures, in what was once a vibrant political forum, has shrivelled.

“I would rather not speak to the press”, “can I speak off the record?”, “let’s wait and see” were frequent responses to AFP for interview requests this month.

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– Arrests –

The trigger for this self-imposed blackout has been the arrest of two key opposition leaders, Joel Aivo and Reckya Madougou, who were disqualified from running in this year’s election.

Aivo was arrested just days after the vote, and stands accused of undermining state security.

A few weeks before the vote, Madougou was arrested, for plotting terrorist acts to undermine the ballot.

Both say the charges are politically motivated.

“If the regime is capable of imprisoning personalities as respected and important, then no-one is safe,” said the leader of a France-based organisation supporting Benin’s opposition.

“Aivo and Madougou are the most emblematic cases but there are many more young opposition members who have ended up in jail before and after the election.”

Critics of the government say at least one hundred opposition members are currently detained.

Authorities in Benin did not respond to AFP’s request for comment on their claim.

“After these arrests, many of us have fled to neighbouring countries,” said a source close to Aivo, who in mid-April moved to Togo.

There, and in Nigeria, “about a hundred young people have arrived” recently, many with little resources but too scared to go back home, he said.

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One is 33-year-old Bill Souleymane Kingninohou, a local representative of the Democrats opposition party.

He left Cotonou on April 7 and headed to Togo, where he has since asked for asylum.

“A police officer threatened me by phone, and people close to me were arrested, so I left,” he said, adding that his family stayed behind.

“It’s better than ending up in prison,” he added.

Many of those who fled are from the centre of the country, said the source close to Aivo, where violence erupted during the campaign.

– Tensions –

In the lead-up to the vote, two people were killed when troops opened fire to clear opposition protesters blockading a major highway.

Government officials say security forces responded after they came under fire.

For his second term in office, hopes were that Talon would attempt to ease tensions. But three months after the vote, “there is no sign of any political dialogue,” said Ologou.

Presidential spokesman Wilfried Houngbedji told AFP that the country had a “chief opposition leader in accordance with the law.”

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“Nobody is stopping anyone from speaking out, from criticising. You simply have to take responsibility for your words,” he said.

The opposition gained no seats in the National Assembly in the 2019 legislative elections.

In such a scenario, under a law passed that year, the title of chief opposition leader goes to the opposition candidate who garnered most signatures of support from elected local officials.

That title thus fell to Paul Hounkpe, leader of the Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin (FCBE) — a party criticised by its founder ex-president Thomas Boni Yayi, a Talon rival, as having become too close to the government.

“After the press, the unions, it’s now political parties which are under pressure,” said journalist Vincent Foly, director of a pro-opposition paper, La Nouvelle Tribune, banned three years ago.

Even parties seen as radical, such as the Democrats and the Social Liberal Union, are in a “state of lethargy,” he said.

“There are no more meetings, protests or even strong statements from their leaders,” said Foly.

“And the regime has no interest in sitting down with the opposition if they don’t have to.”

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Nigeria: National Assembly legislators are saboteurs — Catholic bishops

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President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila

The National Assembly legislators are saboteurs, say Catholic bishops in Nigeria, accusing them of having “perfected the art of sabotaging” Nigerians’ progress.

Under the Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province, the Catholic clerics advised the federal legislators to prioritise Nigerians’ interests above party and selfish interests.

“With the National Assembly at various occasions prioritising party and privileges over people’s rights and interest, relief and progress continue to elude Nigerians,” said the bishops. “Simply put, those who claim to represent the people seem to have perfected the art of sabotaging the progress of their (sic) same people.”

They urged Nigerians to challenge their representatives “by all legitimate means,” asserting that they must not accept the parliament’s “non-representative decisions.”

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“Indeed, the time may have come for Nigerians to no longer simply roll over and accept non-representative decisions of the assembly, but to challenge them by all legitimate means,” stated the bishops.

The bishops from Ibadan Archdiocese, Ilorin, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti, and Osogbo Dioceses, said this in a communique after their meeting at the Domus Pacis Pastoral Institute, Igoba, Akure, on Wednesday evening.

The clerics condemned the passage of the amended Electoral Act and the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and urged Nigerians to challenge the Senate and the House of Representatives’ decisions.

They appealed to Nigerians not to lose hope in the possibility of a peaceful, united, and prosperous country, urging the media and civil society groups to sustain the momentum on increased public awareness and education on the importance of political participation at all levels of governance.

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“We say stand firm and never lose hope for God cannot be defeated. We call on Nigerians to continue to pray and work for a better nation, for we have no other country than this.

“If we do not give up doing good and believing in God’s promise, we shall see better days…. We also urge our people to register and obtain their voters’ cards; only this grants them the power to exercise their rights to determine who governs them from time to time.

“Our country will greatly benefit from this,” added the Catholic bishops.

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Ethiopia prepares to vote as famine stalks Tigray

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Ethiopian army soldiers watch a truck full of militia men at Mai Aini Refugee camp, housing Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia (AFP via Getty Images)

Ethiopia is preparing to hold crucial and twice-delayed elections across the country on June 21, despite growing concern over the credibility of the vote as well as a famine in war-torn Tigray.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, appointed in 2018 after years of anti-government unrest, craves a popular mandate through competitive elections to cement a promised democratic rebirth in Africa’s second-most populous nation.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner is pushing ahead with the election despite ongoing fighting and a humanitarian crisis in Tigray, where voting will not proceed on Monday, along with some other restive parts of the country.

Opposition parties in other pivotal regions are boycotting the election, the sixth since the end of military rule in Ethiopia 30 years ago.

All previous ballots fell short of international standards for fairness, and Abiy — who won early praise for embarking on democratic and economic reforms — insists that June 21 will mark a departure from the authoritarian past.

“A week from today, Ethiopians we will cast our vote in the sixth national elections, which will be the nation’s first attempt at free and fair elections,” Abiy posted on Twitter on Monday.

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“Go out and vote next Monday… let’s make it a positively historic day together!”

– Tigray –

But the war in Tigray — not Abiy’s much-vaunted vote — has been the focus of global concern, with appeals from the pope and world leaders at the G7 for the bloodshed to end.

UN agencies say 350,000 people in the northern region are barely surviving in famine conditions, including tens of thousands of malnourished children. Ethiopia disputes the figures and says aid groups have been granted unfettered access to the region.

Abiy’s reputation as a reformist and peacemaker has been seriously dented since he sent the army into Tigray in November to oust the ruling TPLF party there.

Eritrean soldiers and allied militias joined the fight, which Abiy promised would be short but has dragged on for seven months. The conflict has been characterised by terrible atrocities and alleged ethnic cleansing.

There will be no vote in the mountainous region of six million on June 21, with no future date set.

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But Tigray — with 38 of the 547 seats in Ethiopia’s national parliament — is just one place where no ballots will be cast Monday.

Ethnic violence and logistical setbacks forced the National Election Board of Ethiopia to postpone voting in numerous locations until September 6. The board has not specified the exact number of constituencies affected, but there are dozens in addition to Tigray.

– ‘Obstacles’ –

The United States, historically an ally of Ethiopia but an increasingly vocal critic as the Tigray conflict drags on, has expressed alarm at the conditions under which the vote will occur.

The detention of prominent opposition leaders and ethnic conflict roiling swathes of the country pose “obstacles to a free and fair electoral process and whether Ethiopians would perceive them as credible,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said last week.

“The exclusion of large segments of the electorate from this contest due to security issues and internal displacement is particularly troubling,” he added.

The European Union said in May it would not send observers to the polls, citing a failure to reach an agreement with the government on basic issues like communications and the observers’ independence.

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Staging nationwide elections is a logistical feat at the best of times in the enormous nation of 110 million where poor infrastructure barely reaches into remoter parts of savannah, mountain and desert terrain.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the first postponement in August 2020, then the vote was pushed back to June 21 because of technical problems, including a massive shortage of election officials and slow voter registration.

In early June, with the vote just weeks away, the board said ballot paper irregularities and fake polling stations had hindered preparations, but that about 37 million voters had registered.

Abiy’s Prosperity Party is fielding the most candidates for national parliamentary races and is the firm favourite to win, with a broad reach unmatched by other political parties.

The campaign has been muted in the capital Addis Ababa, while south of the capital in Hawassa, an AFP journalist this week noted a near-total absence of opposition posters.

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