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EYN: Rev. Billi, Distortion of History, and The Living Tamarind Tree 

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EYN: Rev. Billi, Distortion of History, and The Living Tamarind Tree 

By: Balami  Lazarus 

One man with a Holy Bible forcefully tried in an attempt to disjoint and change the course of history of the 100-year centenary celebration of EYN-CCBN in Nigeria. What is the rationale for “celebring 100 years of existence at two different locations”?  Likes of one Rev. Joel Billi, who lacks a sense of history, if given the chance, will turn historical events and their marks upside-down and inside-out to create different versions and interpretations. 

Men are subjects of history and have always neglected the importance of their footprints in the place of history, failing to realize that their activities could be a topic of history in discourse. The tempest raised by Rev. Billi at the wake of the 100-year centenary celebration of Ekklesiya Yan’uwa a Nigeriya, Church of Brethren in Nigeria (EYN– CBN ) was alarming, dire, appalling, and hair-rraising that shook the church founded over 100 years ago: March 1923, to March 17th, 2024 (101 years) as of now.

As an observer of the events, I write not only in support of one Mr. Yohanna Yusufu Balami (YY Balami), as he is known. His book, “Emerging Issues and Concerns: The 76th EYN General Church Council (Majelisa),” 2023. Has brought to light the deliberate distortion and near-death of the history of EYN Church in Nigeria. Rev. Joel, the President of EYN-CCBN was at the peak of this urgly and unhealthy situation that nearly consumed EYN as a Christian organization with her churches and members. 

Looking at the issues from a historical perspective, considering the fact that Rev. Billi has discredited the true and correct source of a living history from his actions in the aftermath of the church centenary celebration to mark its 100 years of existence at Garkida, where it first started in 1923,. He began this by using the privileges of his official capacity as President of EYN-CCBN to change the course of the living history of the church that first appeared in Ladin Gabas’ northeastern Nigeria, where it was planted precisely on March 17, 1923, under a living tamarind tree at Garkida in Adamawa State by two white, humble missionaries, Rev. Stover Kulp and Dr. Albert Helser.

The news of circumventing the centenary celebration has turned the entire church council into confusion; clerics and members were disturbed by this eruption. With repeated rejection of Rev. Stephen Billi intentions that lack merit with no justification, only but to distort and change the history of origin, date, and site bore out of selfishness wrapped in greed, ethnic and monetary capitalization on the gainers chart, nurtured and promoted by him.

The concerned elders of the church and other high-profile personalities from the region, Rev. Joel, refused to shift ground, and of course darkness fell that came with a thick smell of breakup rearing its head among her many church branches. He was near achieving this feat through the disunity he created, powered, and sponsored through his throng of’vultures’  for the sole purpose of personal interest by tempering with the history of 100 years. Rev. Billi has technically distorted the church history of Nigeria.

In spite of the historical relics—tombs and plagues—on and under the living Tamarind Tree, individuals like Rev. Billi have had the guts to dare see such glaring evidence of church history long before he was born. “All other places the EYN missionaries went to were on different dates after March 17, 1923. Kwarhi was not there and has no significant attachment to its history dating back to 100 years.

The 17th of March 1923 will always and forever remain our Founders Day in Garkida under the blessed Tamarind Tree, making it our spiritual headquarterss.”  My individual concern is the near collapse of the church and the damage to the rich history of EYN-CCBN. The question on the lips of members is: What has March 15, 2023, to do with the coming of Rev. Stover Kulp and Dr. Albert Helser? I put it to Rev. Joel Stephen Billi that this is but a broad-day robbery of EYN history. However, the cries of members and some well-meaning individuals in the public have helped to water down his intentions, which might have caused catastrophe for the entire EYN Church. I believe such will and shall not happen again in EYN-CBN as a church.

Balami, a publisher and columnist.

EYN: Rev. Billi, Distortion of History, and The Living Tamarind Tree 

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Troops nutrialised bandits kingpin Shuaibu Danlukutu, scores of bandits in Zamfara

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Troops nutrialised bandits kingpin Shuaibu Danlukutu, scores of bandits in Zamfara

By: Zagazola Makama

Nigerian Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji in collaboration with the Zamfara State Community Protection Guards on Wednesday, April 24, eliminated scores of terrorists in Zamfara including a top Bandits kingpin, Shuaibu Danlukutu.

It was gathered that the terrorists met their gruesome end after they were ambushed by the troops at Gengene village located along Magami Road in Gusau.

The renewed onslaught against bandits in the general area has continued to be in the upswing as scores of bandits are daily neutralized and their enclaves busted by troops of the Nigerian Army in conjunction with other security forces.

Troops nutrialised bandits kingpin Shuaibu Danlukutu, scores of bandits in Zamfara

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NCP Mulls BOA-NIRSAL Merger, Injection Of Fresh Capital

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NCP Mulls BOA-NIRSAL Merger, Injection Of Fresh Capital

*We must reposition BOA to drive Nigeria’s food security- VP Shettima

By: Our Reporter

The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has received key recommendations from its committee on the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), including a proposed merger with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s NIRSAL Microfinance Ltd and a fresh capital injection to revitalize the bank.

Addressing the second NCP meeting of 2024 at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday, the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima reiterated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to repositioning and reforming BOA to drive the administration’s food security agenda.

“Let’s get very sound professionals with integrity to manage the bank. If we use it well, it’s going to be a tool for the transformation of our economy because agriculture is the key,” the Vice President said.

Presenting the committee’s report, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, who doubles as NCP Vice-Chairman, said the Council’s decision was informed by the challenges identified and the need for urgent resolution of the issues confronting the Bank.

Edun outlined the major recommendations, including “the immediate reconstitution of the Board of Directors of the Bank to enhance corporate governance” and “a merger of BOA with the CBN’s NIRSAL Microfinance Ltd.”

He also highlighted the proposal to “cede National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) land titles to BOA so that it reflects in its Balance Sheet, thus increasing its capital adequacy for the purpose of raising funds from institutional investors.”

Acknowledging the need for financial reinforcement, the Minister identified “adequate capital injection into the Bank by the shareholders” as a crucial step forward.

The committee’s report comes after the NCP empanelled an 8-member inter-ministerial body in December 2023 to review the state of affairs at BOA, given agriculture’s critical role in the economy and the Tinubu administration’s commitment to food security under the Renewed Hope Agenda.

In 2016, the NCP had approved the collaboration between the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the then Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Federal Ministry of Finance to restructure and recapitalize BOA.

A consultant, Lead Capital Consortium, was engaged in 2019 to review the bank’s operations and advise on strategies for rebirth and growth. The consultant’s core recommendation was for the government to recapitalize the bank, implement reforms, provide technical assistance, and transform BOA into a sustainable agricultural development bank.

Edun further outlined additional recommendations, including “Provision and upgrade of the Bank’s ICT infrastructure to automate processes, reduce costs and enhance the Bank’s outreach to the grassroots” and “Enhance governance and risk management by appointing qualified Board members and senior management with relevant expertise.”

In a move to bring transparency and efficiency to the nation’s energy sector, the NCP also noted the proposal seeking approval for the establishment of an independent system operator from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

NCP Chairman, Vice President Shettima, set up a committee to liaise with the Special Adviser to the President on Energy and the Federal Ministry of Power to provide a roadmap and reach out to stakeholders.

The committee is chaired by Mr. Oye Hassan-Odukale, Technical Committee Chairman of NCP.

On a Strategy Paper for the Optimisation of Oil and Gas Assets, the Council also formed a committee to look into issues concerning oil and gas infrastructure, stressing the strategic importance of investors in the sector.

The committee chaired by the Minister for Budget and Economic Planning includes the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, the NCP Secretariat, the Ministers of Power, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil) and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas),

The committee was given three weeks to come up with its report on optimizing the nation’s oil and gas assets.
End

NCP Mulls BOA-NIRSAL Merger, Injection Of Fresh Capital

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USAID: Zulum passionate on livelihood of Borno citizens

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USAID: Zulum passionate on livelihood of Borno citizens

… Gov says we would focus more on medium, long term solutions to our problems

By: Our Reporter

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has commended Borno State Governor, Banagana Umara Zulum, for his passion for enhancing the livelihood of Borno citizens.

The Mission Director of USAID, Melisa Jones, made the commendation in Maiduguri on Wednesday while speaking to journalists at the Government House.

She said, “The governor (Zulum) is very passionate about ensuring the livelihood and well-being of his citizens. That is what we as USAID would continue to do.”

She added, “Our partnership is with this government, and our partnership would be strengthened by this visit and by the leadership of this Governor (Zulum). We are very appreciative of his thinking, thought leadership and direction and we will continue with this partnership.”

Earlier the USAID Mission Director to Nigeria, Melisa Jones, held a meeting with the governor of Borno State, Babagana Umara Zulum, which was concluded behind closed doors.

… Gov says we would focus more on medium, long term solutions to our problems

Meanwhile, Governor Babagana Unara Zulum said that Borno State Government would shift its focus from a short-term humanitarian solution to a medium and long-term development-driven approach.

Zulum made this known on Wednesday when he received the Mission Director of USAID, Melisa Jones, at his office in Maiduguri.

The governor said, “We are not objecting to the continuous provision of humanitarian support, but gradually, we want to shift our focus to the medium and longer-term sustainable solution.

He added, “However, we still need humanitarian support; all the concerns of the humanitarian partners will be addressed, and we shall work to see how areas in need continue to receive humanitarian support from our partners.”

The governor also extended gratitude to the government of the United States of America and the US International Development Agency (USAID) for their support to the government of Borno State.

“I convey our deep appreciation to the government of the United States, particularly USAID, for all the support they have been rendering to the government of Borno, the people of Borno State and indeed the entire northeast,” Zulum said.

USAID: Zulum passionate on livelihood of Borno citizens

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