Updated: Buhari asks Senate to confirm Dr Afikpo as NAHCON Commissioner, Board member

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*Photo:Buhari *

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President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to confirm the nomination of Dr. Suleiman Agha Afikpo as a Commissioner of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

The request was contained in a letter to the Senate dated 21st July, 2022 and read by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at the start of plenary on Tuesday.

President Muhammadu Buhari in the letter requested the upper chamber to confirm the nomination of Dr. Afikpo as Commissioner representing the South-East zone, in NAHCON.

He explained that the request was in accordance with the provision of Section 3(2) of the Hajj Commission Act. Cap. 321, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004.

 Dr. Afikpo is a religious minority management specialist and coordinator general of Igbo Muslim Forum.

Under his leadership, the Muslims of Ebonyi State once demanded for N2.5 billion compensation from Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. Dave Umahi, for all the alleged ill-treatments and denials meted against the Muslims of the state by his administration and past governments of the state.

They also sought security for the Muslim communities across the state. 

In a press statement Dr Afikpo co-signed with the public relations officer, Mallam Abdulqadir Nnachi, the Igbo Muslim Forum alleged that the unabated maltreatment and frustration of Muslims of Ebonyi state have been the trend of the past governments of Ebonyi State and said this became worse in 2015 when Umahi took over .

They said the governor has openly declared himself as the governor of the Christians and  alleged that about 2500 pastors called Dave Umahi’s 2019 mandate pastors are on the payroll of the state, in addition to building a multibillion naira ecumenical centre in the state as well as giving the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) a N500 million cash donation to share from the Ebonyi state treasury. It identified other numerous gifts aimed at establishing pastors and bishops of other communities outside Ebonyi state such as about 1000 bags of rice and yams of equivalent number in addition to N10 million to Father Mbaka.

“The Ebonyi state chapters of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Jama’tu Nasril Islam (JNI), the Ebonyi Muslim Council, the Ebonyi chapter of FOMWAN, amongst other, have never benefitted anything from the governor”, the Afikpo-led group observed.

If confirmed, he will replace the late Alhaji Ibrahim Ogbonnia Amah.

Also from Afikpo, Ebonyi State, Alhaji Amah died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital on Monday, 30th November,2021.

Head public affairs, Hajiya Fatima Sanda Usara, had while announcing the death of  Alhaji Amah said he will be remembered for his meaningful contributions to the 4th NAHCON Board headed by Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan.

She added that Alhaji Amah contributed to the promotion of Islamic ethics in the South-east region and peace and harmony in Nigeria.

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