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Chopper Crash: No Amount Of Thanksgiving Is Enough …CAN Thanks God For VP -Osinbajo

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The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), yesterday, felicitated with the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for surviving a helicopter crash on Saturday in Kabba, Kogi State.
In a statement in Abuja, issued by his Special Assistant, Media and Communications, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, the CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, also appreciated God for Osinbajo’s safety.
“The leadership of CAN is grateful to God and rejoice with the Federal Government and Osinbajo.
“We give glory to God for sparing the life of the Vice President and his team from the helicopter crash while mobilising support for his party in preparation for the coming general elections,” he said.
The cleric recalled that the Vice President had similar experience while visiting the Nigeria Customs College in Gwagwalada, Abuja.
“It is our prayers that God will continue to watch over him and other top government functionaries in Jesus’ Name,” he said.
Ayokunle urged the technical team or those responsible for the certification of the aircraft and helicopters used by the government officials to be more meticulous so as to avoid putting their lives in danger.
“May God continue to watch over our nation, our leaders and its citizens in the name of Jesus,” he said.
However, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, said that no amount of thanksgiving and praises to God would be enough for saving his life and nine others in Saturday’s helicopter crash.
Osinbajo spoke during a Thanksgiving Service at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), City of Grace, Lokoja.
“Only God can take the glory for saving my life and that of the nine crew members on board.”
He said that it would have been breaking news on local and international media that Vice President Osinbajo and nine crew members died in a helicopter crash, but God had not allowed such to happen.
“No amount of thanksgiving and praises to God would be enough for saving my life and nine crew on board.
“God is the one, who can do all things, and only Him can take the glory; we return the glory to Him.
“We are here to say thank you, thank you Jesus. We bless his name forever and ever,” he said.
He prayed God to bless all the people that have celebrated with him in the state, the nation and the world at large.
“All I have to say is that we are grateful and we are moving to the next level; the Lord will uphold us to the next level and Kogi will be number one,” Osinbajo said.
Similarly, in a live telecast from the RCCG headquarters, Lagos, the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, asked the congregation to rise and give glory to God for saving the life of his son, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, from a crash.
According to Adeboye, the devil wanted to take the life of Yemi Osinbajo, but God put the devil to shame.
He, therefore, asked the congregation to specially appreciate God on behalf of the Vice President and all the crew onboard, for his supernatural protection, saying Nigeria would not mourn.
In his sermon, entitled: “Carriers of Glory”, Adeboye said for anybody to carry glory, he must be a true child of God and live a life of holiness.
Taking his lesson from the Bible in the book of Matthew 5:14-15, he said: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
“As a carrier of glory, anywhere you arrive the darkness will automatically disappear.
“When God begins to use you, the glory belongs to God and you, so, you must learn to always give glory to God.
“Do not take the glory to yourself because it is not yours, it belongs to God,” Adeboye said.
Dignitaries that attended the service included: Speaker, Kogi House of Assembly, Hon Matthew Kolawole; Secretary to the State Government, Dr Ayoade Arike; Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Comdr. Jerry Omodara; commissioners and Sen. Smart Adeyemi.
Meanwhile, the Presidency has clarified issues around the crash of the helicopter in Kogi.
A statement by the Vice President Spokesperson, Laolu Akande, explained: “The Vice President departed Abuja around 1 p.m. Saturday on a chopper ride to Kogi State in continuation of the Family Chats Next Level engagements.

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SSANU, NASU Threaten Warning Strike Over Unpaid Arrears

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The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), University of Jos, have threatened to embark on warning strike next Monday, if the Federal Government does not pay their N30billion unpaid arrears.
The Chairperson of ASSANU and Chairperson of Joint Action Committee (JAC), Esther Ezeama disclosed this, yesterday, during a peaceful protest at the premises of University of Jos, Plateau State.
She said the staff are protesting the poor condition of service, non payment of arrears accumulated to N30billion and noted that Federal Government has being paying lip service to their plights.
“If Federal Government does not look into our matter we will be going for a compulsory five days warning strike, after that we will go for indefinite strike if our demands are not made.
“We have being on this struggle since 2009 and government is no other willing to meet their demands, it has being promising them and failing, we are saying enough is enough. We want them to do something urgent to arrest the situation.
“We want the National Assembly, the office of the Accountant General, the National Universities Commission (NUC) should all put their heads together to resolve our problem before the system is shut down.”
The staff, who were protesting and holding placards with inscriptions reads, “Government must stop lip service, Federal Government should pay us our N30billion arrears, Federal Government must respect NIC judgment on staff school” among others.

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Gunmen Kill Scores, Raze Houses In Ogoni Communities

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No fewer than 10 people were killed and property worth millions of Naira destroyed when gunmen, suspected to be cultists, invaded Okwale and Taabaa communities in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Tide reports that the first attack was launched about 6pm in Okwale community on Tuesday leaving, at least, four persons dead with the residence of one Chief Monday Abueh and others touched by the rampaging gunmen.
Also, similar violent attack was carried out in Taabaa community on Wednesday morning with about five persons killed; while the assailants razed the Palace of the Paramount Ruler of Taabaa, M.S.K Nule and burnt cars packed in the compound, three generator sets and other valuable properties.
The incident also spilled over to Nyokuru community in Khana, where the daredevil hoodlums set fire on the residence of the President, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Comrade Legborsi Pyagbara, just as it was further leant that three policemen were injured.
It was not exactly clear what led to the invasion and sporadic gunshots as residents of the area ran in different directions and into the bushes to avoid being hit by bullets.
Recounting the incident to newsmen, the Paramount Ruler of Taabaa, M.S.K. Nule said efforts by the community to have a police checkpoint near the area has been unsuccessful, saying, “”This morning (Wednesday), some cult boys invaded Taabaa through our neighbouring community called Luekum. They entered into the community at about 6am. They moved straight to my palace and burnt down the entire place. And some ancestral properties of the palace were removed by the hoodlums before they set the buildings ablaze.
“They moved from my palace into the community, where they killed five people, four indigenes of the community and one outsider (stranger) who ran away from Kpor for refuge in Taabaa. They burnt people’s cars; my elder brother’s was also burnt.
“When those people came into the community, we ran and reported to the policemen at a police checkpoint in Taabaa along East-West Road. They were over 20 policemen at that checkpoint, with three Hilux vehicles and their private cars as at the time of the attack.
“They (policemen) told us that their duty is to protect the East-West Road and not the community; that we should call the Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura. The whole people in the community were there begging them but they insisted that it is not their duty to protect the community, except directed by the CP,” Nule narrated tearfully.
Nule revealed that he had written a petition to the State Police Command when he got wind of a planned attack on his community, saying, “While the operation was going on, I also called the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Nnamdi Omoni and reported to him.
“There has never been any crisis in the community since 2014 that the community had such experience,” Nule said, just as he called on the state government and security agencies to intervene and return normalcy in the area.
In her account, a resident who did not want her name in print for fear of being identified and attacked said, ”At about 6am this morning (Wednesday), I was preparing to travel to Port Harcourt. As soon as I got to the road, everywhere was dried; nobody was seen on the road and is a busy area. About 15minutes later, somebody came on a bike and asked me to run that the whole village is under siege. They said some militants have entered the community and that they have started killing people.
“I ran back to the house in safety. By the time the gunmen left the community, they have killed about five people, burnt cars and houses. Our Highness’ house was burnt and another building was also burnt. After they left my community, they went to Nyokuru, and we are not sure of the number of persons killed there. They invaded Okwale yesterday (Tuesday) evening and killed some people. They burnt cars and houses in the community, and one person was taken alive”.
A male resident of Taabaa told The Tide that “From 8am to 9am on Wednesday, some group of boys came to our community and started chasing people and shooting. We ran into the bush.”
Meanwhile, the member representing Khana/Gokana Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon Dumnamene Dekor has promised to support security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of the attacks were unmasked and made to face the law.
Dekor, who stated this after he visited the affected communities and the hospital where the injured policemen were being treated, said, “I understand in Okwale, there are about five persons killed; four corpses have been recovered; one person was taken alive. In Taabaa, five persons killed, several cars burnt, houses destroyed and it is quite sad.
“While thanking the security operatives for the swift way they acted to prevent loss of more lives and property, I want to call on them to improve on the security, especially in Khana Local Government Area.
“For those who carried out this dastardly act, everything is being done to unmask them and bring them to book,” the federal lawmaker stated.
Commenting on the incident in a statement, MOSOP expressed sadness over what it termed “unjustified attacks”, and called on security agencies to ensure that peace returns in the area.
The statement issued by MOSOP’s Publicity Secretary, Sunny Zorvah reads, “MOSOP receives with sadness reports from some Ogoni communities of the sudden emergence of violence and killings carried out by members of some cult groups in the area.
“Reports say the renewed violence, which took place in Okwale on Tuesday (yesterday), spilled over to Taabaa and Nyokuru communities, all in Nyokhana district in Khana LGA of Rivers State.
“MOSOP is pained over this unjustified attacks leading to the burning down of the house of the MOSOP President, Comrade Legborsi Pyagbara, in Nyokuru community.
“The movement also feels distressed over reports of the killing of about four persons early today (Wednesday) and razing of the palace of His Highness, “Chief Nule (Jnr) in Taabaa community, and yesterday’s killing of scores of persons and attack on the residence of Chief Monday Abueh and others in Okwale community by cult gangs.
“This ugly situation demands urgent and thorough actions by the security agencies and every necessary action required of the government.
“We call on the police and the Special Joint Military Task Force to ensure the return of peace to the troubled communities, go after perpetrators of this barbaric and retrogressive onslaught on the communities, but without hurt on innocent persons.

 

Dennis Naku

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‘FG Not Committed To Ending Gas Flaring’

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The Environmental Rights Activist, Nnimmo Bassey, has stated that the Federal Government lacks the commitment to bringing gas flaring by companies to an end.
Bassey, who is the executive director of Environmental Rights Action, stated that if the government was ready to end gas flaring that it should ensure that companies pay fines for gas flared.
The activist spoke in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, yesterday, at the Youth Climate Incubation Hub, organized for youths of the South-South zone by the Federal Ministry of Environment with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Bassey said that the government has not shown enough commitment to ending gas flaring in the nation, noting that the process requires a lot of investment.
He said: “We need to get youths active in the issues of climate change. We need to place Nigeria on a better foothold for the future. We are losing our habitat and our environment. So, we are for restoration of mangrove forests. If we are serious about tackling global warming one of the ways is tree planting.
“The only problem is that the government is not ready. If the Federal Government is committed to make companies pay fine for the gas they flare, the menace will be stopped. We have to take steps to stop global warming and climate change. Gas flaring has been going for over 62 years now and that is the primary thing that needs to be tackled.
“The deadline to end this malady is 2030, some of us feel it is too far. We are feeling that the deadline should be 2020. We should end it next year. It is achievable we should only be ready to invest.”

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