Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has enjoined Christians to pray fervently for the nation and its leaders and take advantage of the Easter period to show love and forgiveness.
A release signed by Amaechi’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. David Iyofor, says the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ was a clear indication of the love of God for mankind, and urged Christians to always emulate Jesus Christ and imbibe the virtues of love and forgiveness.
“Let me call on Christians to always pray for the growth of Nigeria. We should also remember that it was out of love that Christ died and forgave us of our sins, so we should also learn to love and forgive one another. That’s a sure path to building a better nation,” Amaechi said.
In his message, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, urged Nigerians to embrace love and peace, as exemplified by Jesus Christ.
Jonathan gave the advice in his goodwill message delivered at a service to mark Easter at the Our Saviour’s Church, Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos.
“We are here today because Christ was killed, buried and rose from the dead. We have hope that he will come again,” he said.
Jonathan said he decided to celebrate 2013 Easter with Lagosians, and to sincerely thank all Christians for their prayers.
“Through the various intercessory prayers, God has continued to stabilise the country. If not, it would have been worse,’’ Jonathan said.
He said that the country had challenges, “especially in these days of terrorism’’.
The president said the government was working hard to check terrorism, adding that such incidents should make Christians wonder the kind of social environment that existed during Jesus Christ’s time.
He said that as a mortal, he would do his best within the nation’s limited resources, to fix infrastructure such as railways and roads, as well as stabilise the power sector.
Also speaking, former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), urged Christians to continue in the faith.
Gowon, who is the leader of ‘The Nigeria Prays’, told the President that, if he continued in the faith, things would be well with him.
“Trust in the Lord. He is all sustaining. He did, when l was ruling the country,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins, yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to rise above the challenges facing the country and deliver his electoral promises to Nigerians.
The prelate gave the charge at a media briefing where he condemned the level of insecurity, corruption and unemployment in the country.
Martins urged the president to address the contending issues of good governance and commit all available resources to address them.
“Nigerians are tired of mere promises, they want concrete action.
“They want to see in practical terms that this government is committed to fighting insecurity and restoring the country to its past glory.
“Events of the past few weeks, particularly the spate of insecurity in the land, leave much to be desired.
“A specific reference is the callous bombing of a South-bound luxury bus, in which several people were sent to their early grave. This is clearly inhuman, ungodly and unacceptable.
“I want to join other people of goodwill to condemn this dastardly act and to pray for the repose of the souls of the deceased, that they might find lasting peace in the bosom of our Lord,” he said.
Martins commended security operatives for the discovery of lethal bomb-making materials and ammunition in Lagos, and urged Nigerians to be vigilant and to pay attention to events and activities around them.
He also advised landlords to pay attention to those they hired out their properties to.
“I believe this is a way by which we can, as citizens, help to secure ourselves and our environment,” he said.
In the same vein, the Northern States Governors Forum has urged Christians to imbibe the ideals of perseverance, sacrifice and commitment to the will of God which characterised the Lenten season.
The Chairman of the forum and Niger Governor, Dr Babangida Aliyu, yesterday congratulated Christians and all Nigerians, who are alive to witness this year’s Easter.
“We are alive today only by God’s grace and favour and not that we are in any way special before the Almighty,’’ he said.
In a statement signed by Governor Aliyu’s Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, the forum urged Nigerians to continue to render selfless service to humanity.
He said that this underscored the essence of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday.
The forum urged citizens to use the opportunity of the Easter celebrations to pray for the quick resolution of the security challenges confronting the nation.
It urged Nigerians to pray and work for peace, stability and progress of Nigeria, while supporting the actualisation of the nation’s transformation agenda.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis has prayed for peace in the world during his first Easter Sunday message, delivered from the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.
Addressing an audience of about 250,000 people from around the globe, the pontiff specifically prayed for reconciliation in places of conflict including the Korean peninsula, Mali, the Middle East, and Nigeria, saying that hostage-taking, senseless killings, and bombing by Boko Haram Islamic sect were unnecessary.
“Yes, Christ is our peace and through him we implore peace for the world. Peace for the Middle East, and particularly between Israelis and Palestinians, who struggle to find the road of agreement, that they may willingly and courageously resume negotiations to end a conflict that has lasted all too long. Peace in Iraq, that every act of violence may end, and above all for dear Syria, for its people torn by conflict and for the many refugees.”
After the Easter Mass, the Pope was driven around the square in an open vehicle. He kissed babies and handicapped children along the way and waved to the cheering crowds.
Christians around the world celebrated Easter yesterday. It is the holiest day of the liturgical year that marks the resurrection of their savior Jesus.
United States President Barack Obama and his family attended an Easter service yesterday morning at an Episcopal church near the White House.
In his weekly address Saturday, he said Easter provides an opportunity “to rededicate ourselves to interests larger than our own.”
Many Christians traveled to the Holy Land to visit places where Jesus preached and was crucified.
In Syria, Christians observed Easter in a somber mood, many of them attending mass in areas devastated by conflict.
Iraqi Christians attended churches amid tight security.
In the Philippines, President Benigno Aquino said that just as Jesus rose from the dead, hope has been resurrected among Filipinos against the forces of graft and corruption.
In Australia, on Melville Island in the Tiwi Islands group, worshippers observed Easter with a unique blend of indigenous culture and Catholic influences.
Not all Easter celebrations are strictly religious. Hundreds of New Yorkers participated in the annual Easter Parade that features the city’s residents clothed in their best finery topped with elaborate hats.
Rivers Monarchs Begin Another Round Of COVID-19 Vaccination, Today
Members of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers will, today, begin another round of COVID-19 vaccination exercise in the state as part of the state government’s policy of ensuring that all Rivers people and residents of the state get fully vaccinated from the pandemic.
A statement signed by the Secretary to the council, Dr. Ogwuokwa Jonah, and made available to The Tide, last Monday, invited all government recognised traditional rulers to turn up at the council’s secretariat in Port Harcourt, for the crucial exercise.
The statement reads in part, “I am directed to invite you to take part in the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccination exercise scheduled for Wednesday,January 19 through Friday, January 21, 2022, at the council’s secretariat.
“Vaccination begins at 10.00am each day. Please, note that there are other free medical examinations that have been arranged for you during the period.
“You are entitled to 15 persons either from your family or area/district council. Kindly attend during the turn of your LGA”, the statement added.
According to the statement, Abua/Odual, Akuku-Toru, Ahoada-East, Ahoada-West, Andoni, Asari-Toru, Bonny and Degemawould receive their vaccinations today.
To be vaccinated tomorrow are traditional rulers and members of their families from Eleme, Emohua, Etche, Gokana, Khana, Ikwerre, Obio/Akpor and Oyigbo local government areas.
However, monarchs and their families from Opobo/Nkoro, Ogu/Bolo, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Okrika, Omuma, Port Harcourt and Tailocal government areas are due to get their shots on Friday.
The statement appealed to all affected traditional rulers to take the exercise seriously, and come along with the required number of persons to enable government reach as many Rivers people as possible.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
PDP’ll Surely Produce Next President -Ayu
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyorchia Ayu has urged Nigerians to keep faith with the party as it was poised to produce the next president of the country.
He maintained that the current inept rule of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government, which has pulled the country backwards economically, has to be changed.
Ayu gave the assurance at the gala night hosted by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for PDP governors at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Port Harcourt, last Sunday night.
The PDP national chairman emphasised that the APC leadership has been unable to harness the rich diversity of Nigerians into better fortunes that should strengthen the bond of brotherhood and promote peaceful coexistence.
“Unfortunately, a very poor leadership has presented Nigeria at home and abroad as an extremely divided country.
“We must change this narrative, and the only way to change this narrative and harness not just the culture, but the environment and the richness therein, is to back the Peoples Democratic Party which is determined to produce a new leadership for this country.”
Ayu also enthused that Nigeria would bounce back again with the PDP at the saddle because the project of rescuing the country and making it great was realisable.
The PDP national chairman stated that the expected leadership they would offer at the national level would change the negative characteristics associated with the APC that have been used to deepen the divide among Nigerians in the country.
“The PDP will definitely produce the next president and take the country back to the days when we were in power, when we cleared all foreign debts, when we were developing this country at reasonable speed.
“At a time, we became the richest country on the African continent. But today, we are the poverty capital of the world. All that will change”, he said.
In his welcome address, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike said the gala night was a pride to the usual meeting of PDP governors, adding that it was rotational.
He stated that such meetings have always been used to discuss salient issues of economy, politics and others that bother on how to chart a virile Nigerian society.
“It has been ritual for PDP governors to gather and meet and discuss about the welfare of the party. And this has been rotating from one state to the other.”
On his part, the Chairman of PDP Governors Forum and Governor of Sokoto, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal said the PDP governors and other party leaders were already working in synergy towards rebuilding the party.
He said the focus was to rescue Nigeria, which would also require all Nigerians of goodwill to join forces with the PDP to achieve that goal.
“All Nigerians of goodwill who believe in this country, who believe Nigeria is going the wrong direction, ought to join us.
“And like I always say, there are two divides in Nigeria today. Those who are happy with the confusion because they are benefiting from what is happening at the centre, and those of us who are truly patriotic enough to disagree with the way our country is being governed and being run.
“I appeal and beseech every Nigerian, even those in APC that are patriotic enough, to join hands with us as we continue to march towards rescuing Nigeria together.
“I believe it is our responsibility to do so, not for ourselves but for our younger ones and generations unborn.”
Governors present at the gala night were, Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Mohammed Bala (Bauchi); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Seyi Makinde (Oyo); and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
Also in attendance were the deputy governors of Rivers and Zamfara, Dr Ipalibo HarryBanigo; and Aliyu Gusau; PDP National Secretary, Senator Sam Anyanwu; and several other dignitaries.
UPTH Begins Transplant Procedures In 2023 …Launches Five-Year Strategic Dev Plan
The management of University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) has said that the hospital would begin transplant procedures in 2023.
The UPTH said it was its desire and dreams to transform the hospital to a five-star hospital in the region.
The management said the infrastructure for the transplant procedures and Cardiac Unit would be completed soon.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD), UPTH, Prof. Henry Arinze Ugboma stated this during the official Hospital Strategic Development Plan Implementation Workshop and Roll Out held in the hospital Auditorium, in Choba, near Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Ugboma said the Amenity Ward project was also mapped out in its five year strategic plan, which began from June, 2021 to 2026.
He noted that the hospital was ready to begin the transplant procedures as arrangements had been concluded for its take off next year.
Ugboma said as part of the commencement of the project, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited had donated $500,000 to support the hospital.
“Transplant procedures are an important area we need to invest, as a hospital, such will be beneficial to the hospital and the society”.
The CMD said, as part of its capital projects in 2022, the hospital would change its aesthetics and make the hospital more beautiful.
“We shall change the aesthetics of the hospital to attract investors and beautify the environment”.
On the problems faced by the hospital, Ugboma said workers’ poor attitude to duty was a great challenge to the management.
“Work ethics, relationship to patients and visitors are not encouraging and must improve for a better hospital.
“If workers change, UPTH will grow faster.People come to work whenever they like and leave whenever they also like”, Ugboma said.
“You look for files, you will not see, most of our consultants are not always on duty call, there is no handover note amongst them”, he lamented.
He also said that part of the plan was to build residential quarters for staff of the hospital to enhance efficiency and productivity.
Earlier, the Board Chairman, UPTH, Muktar Anka, had appealed to the staff of the hospital to be diligent to duty and shun truancy.
Anka noted that a change in the attitude to work would enhance productivity and efficiency in the hospital.
The chairman insisted that idleness and truancy on duty promote bad attitudinal behaviours and tarnish the corporate image of the organisation.
By: Chinedu Wosu
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