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NCPC Assures Pilgrims Of Quality Aircraft

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The Executive Secretary of

the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Mr John-Kennedy Opara, says the commission will not compromise quality in the selection of aircraft for the transportation of pilgrims for the 2012 pilgrimage.

Opara said this during an interactive session with newsmen on the preparation of the commission for the 2012 exercise in Abuja on Thursday.

He said that the commission was aware of the fears nursed in some quarters over the safety of air transportation in the country, assuring that only the best aircrafts would be used for the 2012 exercise.

The executive secretary said that only aircrafts that measured up to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) standards would be approved for the transportation of pilgrims for the exercise.

“On the Dana Air crash, I want to say, most Christians have expressed fear, I know it’s just normal, but one thing I know is that it is not going to affect our operation in any way.

“I want to tell you that for the Christian pilgrimage operation, we have always treaded on the part of caution; we always make sure that the aircraft that we use is the best we can get in the market at the time of the operation

“So we are also going to go that extra mile to ensure that any aircraft that we are going to use will be the best that we can get in the market and of IATA standard; so we can assure our people that they need not to be afraid of anything.”

Opara allayed fears that recent developments in the aviation industry would affect the operation of pilgrimage in 2012.

He said that the present administration could not afford to jeopardise the lives of intending pilgrims, hence its insistence on the best carriers for the exercise.

Opara called on intending pilgrims not to exercise fear as the commission was poised to ensure that the approved air and ground carriers complied with the best safety standards.

On the issue of Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and the State of Israel, Opara said that a position would be reached before the commencement of the 2012 exercise.

He said that discussions between aviation and foreign affairs officials of both countries had reached advanced stage.

On insinuations that the government’s participation in Christian pilgrimage was a wasteful venture, Opara said that government had to intervene because of the large number of people involved.

He explained that it was inconceivable for such a large number of people to individually negotiate with foreign authorities on issues relating to their entry and exit from such countries.

Opara debunked claims that the Federal Government was involved in the direct sponsorship of Christian pilgrims to the holy land.

He said that the Federal Government only participated in providing medical and consular support services for pilgrims while in the holy land, hence its involvement in the exercise.

Opara said that the present management of the commission had in the past two years intensified the campaign for private sponsorship of pilgrimage in the country.

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RSG Alerts On Orchestrated Media Campaign

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The Rivers State Government has raised alarm over alleged moves by some critics of the government to use selected media houses in the state to denigrate the state government.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, reads, “The Rivers State Government is aware of clandestine plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State to use selected media houses in the state to denigrate the government of Governor Nyesom Wike.
“This is as a result of the intimidating sterling performance of Governor Wike in infrastructure, healthcare, education, agriculture, rural transformation, housing development, administration of justice, social welfare and sports development.
“This orchestrated campaign spearheaded by a defeated and dumped governorship aspirant of the APC, Dr. Dakuku Peterside is designed to portray the government of Governor Wike as one that is not meeting the developmental aspirations of Rivers people.
“However, the uncommon transformation of the 23 local government areas as witnessed during the last six years of projects commissioning and flag off shows clearly that Governor Wike is actually meeting the yearnings of the people.
“The fact that Rivers people that turn out en mass at the various projects sites to heartily welcome their beloved governor and his guests drawn from all political divides is a clear indication that Rivers people can no longer be swayed by cheap politically induced blackmail.
“The truth of the matter is that the APC government that boasted that Governor Wike will not see money to pay workers’ salaries and execute projects has been humbled by the revolution in governance currently witnessed in the state.
“Instead of people like Dr. Dakuku Peterside and his acolytes to eat the humble pie, they are busy looking for cheap popularity through sponsored appearances in the media.
“No matter how hard these detractors push their propaganda, Governor Wike will never be distracted in executing his social contract with the people of Rivers State.
“In the next few weeks, more projects that have direct bearing to the lives of Rivers people will be unveiled.
“Governor Wike’s promise to continue working as if this is his first tenure and not abandon any project remains sacrosanct.
“Rivers people are watching those whose stock in trade is to dance naked and pray that they continue as merchants of mischief, falsehood and baseless allegations.”
“The people of Rivers State love Governor Wike whose outstanding achievements in salvaging the state from the dearth of basic infrastructural development required for speedy socioeconomic transformation has received national and international applause.
“Therefore, no amount of negative propaganda by the failed APC can diminish the legacy of Governor Wike in Rivers State.
“Rather than launder the thoroughly battered image of the APC, such media appearances by Dr. Dakuku Peterside and his cohorts will further expose APC’s penchant for lies and deception which is now a public knowledge.
“The former governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, has confirmed that Governor Wike is the best Rivers State has produced.
“’I have been there. And I make bold to say Governor Nyesom Wike, you are the best,’ Dr. Odili said.
“Odili’s comment serves as an answer to those masquerading as informed commentators with puerile and suffocating commentaries”, the statement added.

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Bandits In Trouble As Super Tucano Aircraft Arrives

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The first batch of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft has arrived in Kano, yesterday, at about 12.34 pm.
The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, confirmed the arrival of the fighter aircraft in a statement.
“On hand to receive the aircraft were the Hon. Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd); Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Farouk Yahaya; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao”, he said.

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We’ve No Patience With Failure, Oyedepo Lashes Out At Sacked Pastors

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The General Overseer and Founder of The Living Faith Church International also known as Winners’ Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, has reacted to the recent sack of over 40 pastors by the church.
One of the affected Pastors, Peter Godwin, took to social media, claiming they were sacked for not generating enough income.
Godwin, who was in one of the church’s branches in Ekiti State, had claimed, “I was told by the management that the church doesn’t operate at a loss.
“They also told me that the total income that is being generated from my station should be able to cater for my welfare and accommodation, so as a result of low income, I’m hereby dismissed.”
Reacting to the allegation in a video posted on the social media, Oyedepo said the sack of the pastors was not about money, adding that the latter were sacked as a result of their failure and the church “has no patience with failure.
“Money? Nonsense! We have never lacked it, and yet, we have never prayed for it.
“We are just simply obeying God, and He is backing up what He is asking us to do. Awesome God,” he noted.
On those criticising the sack, the GO said, “People are confused about our ministry. I learnt some fellows said, you know, they are not bringing income, that is why they asked them to go”.
He added, “We asked you to go because you are unfruitful. Unfruitful! Blatant failure. Doing what there? We have no patience with failure here.
“When we employed 7,000 people at a time, social media was dead.
“We have more employees in this organisation than most of the states. No one is owed a dime salary and we don’t borrow, we don’t beg. Ask our bank whether we take overdraft.
“We are covenant bound, working in the light of God’s word, enjoying an open Heaven.”

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