Former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike and former Senate President, David Mark have urged Christians in Nigeria to show untainted love, spirit of forgiveness and sacrifice, as they celebrate this year’s Easter.
In their separate Easter messages, Jonathan, Wike and Mark also called on Nigerians to use the period to pray for the peace of the country and the stability of her democracy.
Jonathan said: “On this Easter Sunday, I urge all Nigerians to show love and tolerance for each other, especially for those God has seen fit to put in positions of influence.
“Leaders should imbibe the qualities of our Lord and Saviour, whose resurrection we celebrate.
“Even though He was heavily reviled and criticized, He never retaliated and even prayed for those who reviled Him. Nigerians are not animals.
“Together, we are perhaps some of the most decent, Godly and accommodating people on God’s earth.
“We must never forget that. He is risen and Nigeria will also rise. Happy Easter Sunday!”
On his part, Wike felicitated with Christians on the celebration of Easter, urging them to emulate Jesus Christ by making sacrifices that will advance the course of development.
The governor noted that Easter exemplifies the ultimate sacrifice made by Jesus Christ to save mankind, noting that as individuals, Christians must take into consideration the welfare of others.
He called on the people of Rivers State to re-dedicate themselves to the service of the state as they reflect on the ideals of the Easter celebration.
Wike assured the good people of Rivers State that he will continue to make sacrifices for the state, defend her interests and ensure that the people always enjoy good governance.
He said, “Easter is a period of fresh beginning, forgiveness, love and friendship,” and urged the privileged to reach out to the less privileged as everyone works to deepen the culture of true Christianity.
While wishing the people of the state a Happy Easter celebration, Wike assured them of their security before, during and after the celebrations.
Also, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo described Easter as the foundation of Christianity.
The deputy governor stated this in a good will message from the Government House in Port Harcourt to commemorate the 2018 Easter celebration.
According to Banigo, “Man lost his exalted position in the Garden of Eden as a result of sin but the Almighty God gave us another opportunity to reconcile us to Him by allowing His Son to die in order to bring us back to a state of perfection for us to make heaven, if only we can repent and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour”.
She said the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was real and not a fable, noting that Easter celebration was a reminder of God’s love for mankind.
In the same vein, the Rivers State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bro. Felix Obuah urged Christians to use the Easter celebration to pray for the continued success of the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike.
Obuah, in his special Easter message to Christians, said such prayers would go a long way to engender good governance and uplift the well-being of the people.
He stressed that the price for Christ’s death for humanity was immeasurable as the Christian faith is anchored on His death and resurrection.
“It would have been unimaginable what would have befallen Christians if Jesus had not resurrected after telling the world that he would die and rise on the third day”, Obuah stated.
The PDP chairman stated that the Christian faith is driven by the Holy Spirit, and urged Christians to call on Him for divine power if we must live above the natural.
He charged Christians and people of the state to make sacrifices and complement government’s effort by meeting one another’s needs, adding that this period calls for a renewed spirit to support one another, pray and fast.
Obuah noted that the Nyesom Wike-led government needs their prayers for God’s favour and mercies to meet the socio-economic needs of the people.
“Our governor needs our support and we have to do the needful like carrying out our obligations as good citizens. We should not sabotage his efforts by engaging in acts inimical to his administration,” said the PDP chairman.
Similarly, the immediate past President of the Senate, David Mark has again harped on the need for citizens to live in peace and harmony with each other in order to create an enabling environment for development.
In a goodwill message to Nigerians to commemorate this year’s Easter celebration, signed by the Media Assistant to Senator David Mark, Paul Mumeh, the senator craved for a harmonious relationship between and among adherents of various religions saying, “We have more to gain staying together as a people with a common destiny”.
Mark expressed worries that the unabating upheavals and violent crimes across the country portend a threat to the future of the country.
The senator, in apparent reference to cases of kidnapping, abductions and killings by criminal elements in parts of the country, said the issues raise serious concern to every right-thinking member of the society.
To this end, Mark canvassed that the Federal Government takes a critical look at the clarion calls by Nigerians for the review of security apparatus as well as the restructuring of the polity.
Such a review or restructuring, he submitted, should however be anchored on fairness, equity, justice and in a manner that will give every section of the nation a sense of belonging.
“For me, we can no longer shy away from the agitation by the citizens for restructuring of the nation, if that would give everyone a sense of belonging as equal stakeholders in the Project-Nigeria”, he stressed.
He stated, “It will be catastrophic to allow citizens to lose confidence in a system. That would be a sure way to anarchy. The deteriorating situation could spell doom for the nation. Both the government and the governed must rise up to the challenge and make our country a safe haven”.
Mark specifically urged Christian faithful to use the period of Easter celebration to take the destiny of Nigeria and her people to God in prayer.
The essence of Easter which is prayer, sacrifice, forgiveness and peace, he advised, should not be lost on celebration or merriment.
Minister Blames Judiciary For Prisons’ Congestion
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has blamed the congestion in Nigeria’s correctional facilities on the country’s Judiciary, explaining that the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCOS) was not allowed by law to reject inmates sentenced to correctional centres or to release them.
Aregbesola, represented by Special Adviser on Nigerian Correctional Service, Suleiman Tala, stated this while delivering a paper at a policy advocacy conference entitled, “Decongestion of Correctional Centres: Status Quo”, organised as part of the 60th-anniversary celebration of the Order of The Knights of St Mulumba, Nigeria, Lagos Metropolitan Council, which was held in Lagos, adding that the primary responsibility of NCOS is to hold offenders pending the adjudication of their cases before a law court.
“It is important for the public to be aware that the NCOS and the Ministry of Interior are trying their best to tackle the issue from different angles as the length of time the inmates stay at the custodian centre is not determined by NCOS but by the justice system. I may not be able to reiterate exactly what the challenges are with the judiciary, however, as it affects the NCOS we are doing all we can not to compromise the traditional responsibility of the NCOS,” he stated.
Representing the Inspector General of Police, Baba Usman, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, accepted that the police contribute to the congestion but gave his reasons.
“Inconsistence of the appearance of police officers to give evidence at trials has been identified as one of the alleged causes of prolonging trial but the IGP has mandated officers must attend court cases as at when due. The police are being hampered by a high level of distrust between the citizens and their police institution,” he stated.
Also at the conference, Lagos State Catholic Archbishop, Alfred Adewale Martins, who was represented by Rev. Paschal Uwaezeapu, stated that decongestion of the prisons would continue to be a matter as long as the government has refused to fix the country.
“The prison would continue to be congested if we don’t fix the society. As long as our society is a place where everybody takes for himself without considering the neighbour then our prison would continue to be congested. If we need to fix the prison we need to fix the family. These prisoners come from a family. We need to fix the education system also. We need to promote justice, without all these, the prison will soon overflow,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Lagos Metropolitan Grand Knight, KSM William Adebisi, urged the government to declare a state of emergency on the congestion of prisons.
“The government needs to take the matter seriously as it affects the health of the inmates, economy of the company and behavioural change of the inmates,” he stated.
FG Seeks $3bn With Eurobond Offer
The Federal Government has announced plans for a Eurobond issuance in the International Capital Market (ICM) to raise $3billion.
The Debt Management Office (DMO) said, yesterday, that Virtual meetings with investors have been scheduled for today, and September 20, 2021.
It said, “In order to avail local investors the opportunity to invest in the Eurobonds, meetings will also be held with local investors.
“This is the first time local investors will be included in the Roadshows, and this is one of the reasons why a Nigerian Bookrunner (Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Services Ltd) was appointed as one of the Transaction Advisers.
“Through the Eurobond issuance, Nigeria is expected to raise up to $3billion but no more than $6.2billion.”
According to the DMO, the issuance for which all statutory approvals have been received, would be to implement the New External Borrowing in the 2021 Appropriation Act and that “Proceeds are for the financing of various projects in the Act.”
The agency gave further insight, saying, “In addition to providing funding to part-finance the deficit in the 2021 Appropriation Act, the issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria benefits the country in many other strategic ways; amongst which are: 1. It is an inflow of foreign exchange, leading to an increase in External Reserves.
“External Reserves help support the Naira Exchange Rate, and Nigeria’s sovereign rating.
“When Nigeria raises funds externally, through Eurobonds, it frees up space in the domestic market for private sector and sub-national borrowers. In effect, it helps the sovereign not to crowd out other borrowers in the domestic market.
“The issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria has opened up opportunities for Nigeria’s corporate sector notably banks, to issue Eurobonds to raise capital in the ICM.
“By so doing, their capital base has been strengthened to provide banking services whilst also meeting regulatory requirements. Nigeria has a sovereign yield curve in the ICM, extending up to 30 years.
“The local listing of Nigeria’s Eurobonds on the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. and the FMDQ Securities Exchange Ltd., have increased the range of products on these two (2) exchanges and their respective market capitalization.
“Overall, Eurobond issuances by Nigeria and the investor meetings that precede the pricing have provided a strong global platform for Nigeria to tell its own story and opportunities available in Nigeria for investors.”
The Transaction Advisers appointed by Nigeria for the issuance were: International Bookrunners – JP Morgan, Citigroup Global Markets Limited; Joint Lead Managers -Standard Chartered Bank and Goldman Sachs; Nigerian Bookrunner – Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Services Ltd; Financial Adviser – FSDH Merchant Bank Ltd; while White & Case LLP, was appointed International Legal Adviser; and Banwo&Ighodalo would serve as Nigerian Legal Adviser.
The last time Nigeria accessed the ICM was November 2018.
Insecurity: Put Nigeria First, FG Tells Media
The Federal Government has tasked the media to put Nigeria first in the reportage of the country’s activities, particularly the fight against insecurity.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the call in Abuja during the ceremony of the renaming of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Headquarters Building after the former Managing Director and Board Chairman of NAN, late Wada Maida.
Mohammed said it may seem obvious and trite, but for any professional, including a journalist in Nigeria to be able to carry out his or her responsibility at all, the nation must first exist, in peace.
“In other words, if the country goes down, all professionals and everybody go down. It is that stark, and this is why I want to use this platform to appeal to our media to put Nigeria first”, Mohammed said.
Speaking further, the minister said if one picked up most newspapers, watched most television stations or listened to most radio stations in the country, one will be right to think Nigeria is a country at war.
While acknowledging that there were challenges in the country, especially in the area of security, Mohammed, however, said the Buhari administration had not only acknowledged the challenges, it is earnestly tackling the challenges.
“A good example is the decisive manner in which our gallant troops are tackling the banditry in the North-West or the way they are combating the terrorists in the North-East. Our security agencies have also successfully tackled the separatists in the South-East and South-West and the militants in the South-South. Unfortunately, these efforts have only been perfunctorily reflected in the reportage of the security challenges that we face. This is not only unfair, especially to those who are sacrificing their lives to keep us safe, it is unpatriotic.
“To illustrate the damage this non-acknowledgement of the efforts of the security agencies pose to the country, let me tell you what transpired when I recently hosted some members of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) UK Chapter, who visited me in my office here in Abuja. They said some of their colleagues who would have come to Nigeria for their programme tagged,‘A Week in and For Nigeria’ during the month of July, did not come out of fear of the security situation in Nigeria. However, those who made the trip said they travelled to their hometowns across the country and returned to Abuja safely. If Nigerians in the diaspora can be afraid to come to their country, imagine how foreigners, including investors and tourists, will feel about coming to the country.
“Whatever image problem Nigeria is suffering from today is mostly due to the unflattering portrayal of the country by the country’s media.
“Even when some media organisations report fake news, they never have the decency to retract such stories and apologise. They simply move on as if nothing has happened.
“We are not saying the media should not report on the security challenges we face. All we are saying is: Be fair and report accurately the efforts being made by the state and federal governments to tackle the challenges. Even if you don’t want to encourage the men and women in uniform fighting to keep us safe, please don’t discourage them with negative reporting. The security challenges we face today will be successfully tackled and Nigeria will not cease to exist, despite the antics of naysayers”, Mohammed added.
Mohammed congratulated the family, friends and associates of the late Maida for the great and much-deserved honour done to him.
He commended the management and staff of the NAN for coming up with the idea to immortalise the late Maida.
“The Federal Government’s decision to approve the proposal was not difficult, upon realising the role played by Alhaji Wada in making NAN the respectable agency that it is today. A man who was everything from Zonal Editor to Foreign Correspondent to Editor-in-Chief to Managing Director to Board Chairman, a man who built this glistening NAN headquarters edifice deserves to be immortalised by the organisation he served so well in his lifetime”, Mohammed stated.
Mohammed prayed that God will continue to comfort and strengthen the family of Maida, even as he prayed that the soul of the departed continues to rest in peace.
- Maritime5 days ago
Pirates Attack Vessel, Injure Crew Members At GoG
- Rivers5 days ago
LG Boss Hosts HOSTCOM, Lauds Group’s Proactiveness
- Opinion5 days ago
Abuses Of Indemnifying Provisions
- Niger Delta5 days ago
C’River Police Decry Shortage Of Personnel To Fight Crime
- Opinion5 days ago
Texas Of Icy Trauma
- Sports5 days ago
Diamond League Win African Record Thrills Amusan
- Oil & Energy5 days ago
MOMAN Seeks Representation In PIA Implementation Committee
- Politics5 days ago
NASS Has Spent 2% Of Nat’l Budget -Gbajabiamila