The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has cautioned Christians, especially those in the Southern part of the country to remain vigilant despite the suspension of the controversial RUGA settlement programme for Fulani herdsmen.
Secretary of CAN in the 17 Southern States, Dr. Joseph Ajujungwa gave the warning in a statement issued last Wednesday and obtained by The Tide in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital
Ajujungwa, said that the suspension of the programme by President Muhammadu Buhari may not be its end, saying there was every indication “though it is claimed that it has been suspended, the underground work is still going on.”
He called on every Southerner and Christians all over the country to be watchful, stressing that, “even as we pray, we don’t need to keep quiet; they are experts in underground work.”
According to him, “We do not have land to give to anybody as a grazing field or colony and we call on the South East governors to maintain their stand that they do not have such a place. Do you know what it means to give 10 hectares of land to herdsmen? We say no to that.
“As CAN, we will preach it from our pulpit, every Imam should preach from the mosque and the traditionalists should stand against it; nobody should relent; no land should be given; any traditional ruler that does that should be dethroned.
“In the North, we have the largest hectares of land, very vast that nobody is occupying. Why are they not building the ranches, Ruga of whatever there? They can come here, take grass and go, and we buy cow in exchange, just like the governors said. We do not have such mass land required.”
“We are also calling on the Federal Government to be mindful of what they are doing because cattle rearing is a private farming business. Why should the government support individual cattle farmers against other farmers?”
On the threat and ultimatum issued by a coalition of Northern Youths, Ajujungwa said: “they should understand that nobody has the monopoly of violence.
“As they are planning to attack, others are planning to defend themselves and we cannot run away.
“CAN is calling on all Christians, all law-abiding citizens of Southern Nigeria to please watch and pray. Watch means that you must open your eyes to see what is going on and therefore pray; do not relent”, statement said.
Group Honours Shell Over Youth Dev Programmes
Energy giant, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), has been honoured for providing opportunities to talented secondary school students in the Niger Delta to participate in the United Nations Model Conferences in the United States of America.
Founder and Country Director of Future Trust Initiatives, Dr. Maureen Egbuche, announced the corporate award at the 2nd African Future Trust Model United nations Conference held in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
“It is truly long over-due for society at large to appreciate all Shell’s strategies at securing the future for our younger generations,” Egbuche said.
According to Egbuche, “Shell’s Environmental Conservation Clubs and the Sustainable Development Club laid the foundation for Nigerian students’ participants in the United Nations Model Conference, USA, a simulation of real life UN sessions by student delegations from around the world.”
Namibian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Humphrey Geiseb, presented the award to SPDC’s General Manager External Relations, Igo Weli.
Speaking on the award, Weli said, “We are glad that our programmes have enabled young people from Nigeria to showcase their talents to the world.
“Here, in Nigeria, Shell has been at the forefront of commitment to Nigeria’s economic and social development for over 61 years and we continue to show belief in the Nigerian project, supporting the development of the Nigerian people.”
Edo Special Marshals Strategise For Yuletide
In order to ensure safer roads during the yuletide and beyond, Special Marshals in Edo State, on Monday, held a sectoral workshop to brainstorm on possible ways of achieving optimal efficiency.
In his opening remarks at the one-day workshop, the State Coordinator of the Special Marshals, Mr Friday Ekhator said that he and his colleagues were working towards being regarded as the best in the country.
Ekhator said that the special marshals were engaged in aggressive paradigm shift that had engendered unprecedented initiatives to achieve the vision of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
“Presently, there are no fewer than 774 special marshals in the state, and even with this figure, there is still need for more marshals.
“The theme of the workshop: “Special Marshals Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”, is apt, as it will provide the incoming marshals an opportunity to know the historical antecedents of the marshals.
“They will know where we are coming from, where we are presently and x-ray into the future prospects of special marshals in the country,” he said.
Ekhator expressed optimism that the workshop would enhance the productivity, efficiency and visibility of the special marshals on the road.
While declaring the workshop open, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, the FRSC Corps Marshal, said that nobody could separate special marshals from regular marshals.
Boboye, who was represented by Mr Kehinde Adeleye, Zonal Commanding Officer (ZCO), Zone Rs 5, comprising Edo, Delta and Anambra, said that the workshop was meant to prepare the special marshals for better performance on the road.
He said that the workshop would also serve as an assessment on the journey so far by the special marshals since inception as well as enable possible corrections, where needed.
The corps marshal stressed that the synergy and collaboration between the special marshals and the corps was for efficiency and effectiveness, adding that the collaboration went beyond the workshop.
According to him, special marshals are special people drawn from across various vocations, who volunteer to help maintain services on the road.
Boboye, however, threatened to de-marshal any special marshal, who henceforth failed to participate in the National Patrol Day.
Earlier, Edo Sector Commander, Mr Anthony Oko had said that it was a season of rumination on the 30 years of existence of the special marshal.
Oko explained that the services required of special marshals as individuals and as a group were primarily surveillance, traffic control, enforcement and public education.
He noted that the key functions were expected to tame recklessness of road users and eliminate mediocrity among them.
“While I encourage the leadership of the Edo special marshals to maintain their tempo on capacity building for members, it is imperative for them to have enough preparations to handle the practical dimensions of being visible on our roads,” Oko said
NDDC Audit: Deputy Speaker Wants Offenders To Face Prosecution
Deputy Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Mr Joseph Bassey, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for ordering a forensic audit of the operations of the Niger Delta Development Commission from 2001 to 2019.
Bassey, who spoke in an interview with The Tide’s source in Calabar, urged the President not to relent in prosecuting the offenders after the audit exercise.
He lamented the poor state of rural development in the South-South region, adding that some few individuals had looted what was supposed to bring collective development to the people.
According to him, the Calabar-Itu-Akwa Ibom Federal Highway is in need of urgent intervention from the Federal Government.
“From the time past, we have had Chairmen and Managing Directors of NDDC from Cross River and Akwa Ibom states and the volume of budgets have been high.
“It is sad that the only road that connects the two sister states is still in a state of decay years after years because some few individuals have taken what belongs to the people.
“I strongly commend Mr President for ordering the audit of the commission. Also, I want to commend the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, for standing firm to that.
“However, I am soliciting for the immediate intervention of the Calabar-Itu road because as we speak, a journey from Calabar to Akwa Ibom that ordinarily should be for an hour is now five hours.
“The establishment of the Commission was to make life meaningful for the people of South South. But some individuals who lack conscience have looted the resources for their personal benefit,” he said.
Bassey alleged that the South South region has the worst road network in the country due to the greed of few individuals, adding that the culprits should be sent to jail after the audit.
“This is not time for PDP or APC, this is above party affiliation because both politicians and non politicians pass on that road.
“The economy of both states has been affected by this very particular road. I want to urge the President to start the audit immediately.
“I pity the common man on the street. As a politician, I feel very guilty passing through that road because you cannot drive for a minute without falling into a major ditch.
“I don’t think anybody who has been in NDDC and was given resources to do that road should be forgiven because most of them are flying around and building houses with the funds,” he said.
He urged South South indigenes to support Akpabio in his drive to ensure speedy development in the region, adding that all forms of distraction towards him should be discouraged.
He suggested that when the funds are recovered from the audit, the focus should also be on immediate rehabilitation of roads in the South South, especially the Calabar-Itu road.
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