President of Umuahia District of Nigeria of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, Lemmy Odoemelam, has called on the government at all levels to lay greater emphasis on enlightenment of the masses on the implications of living in a clean environment instead of focusing more attention on refuse clearing.
Speaking with The Tide Saturday during a clean up exercise carried out by Umuahia District members of the church at Apummiri Ubakala headquartes of Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia State, Odoemelam also charged people to imbibe the habit of living in a clean environment and teach the younger ones the virtues of selfreliance.
Suggesting ways of evolving an enduring sanitation culture that would leave the environment sparkling at all times in the country, the Umuahia District President said:
“The government, first and foremost, will have to teach more of cleanliness; the need for people to live in a clean environment and not always embarking on contracts to clean the places for the people.
“For us, as individuals who are members of the society, we should always know that cleanliness is next to godliness and that we should learn to work for ourselves and then teach our children the principles of work. By so doing, one, they would learn to be selfreliant and, two, it will assist them in whatever endeavour they will embark upon in their future.”
He pointed out that a clean environment would have positive health, economic and social implications for the people.
The three-hour clean-up exercise which saw hundreds of members of the church cutting and weeding overgrown grasses and sweeping same; raking and picking up of dirt and clearing of accumulated refuse heaps inside and outside the council headquarters lasted from 8 – 11 am. It is an annual humanitarian service observed by the church throughout Africa.
“We embarked on this’assignment because it is a commandment from God that we should serve one another and the service we mean here is assisting our neighbour in doing that
he could not do for himself and annually the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the whole of Africa carries out this obligation,” Odoemelam volunteered, adding, “last year, we (Umuahia District) had it at Umuahia North LGA and we decided to come to Umuahia South this year.”
He explained that the essence of the humanitarian service, apart from practicalising “pure religion,” was aimed at impressing it upon the people that they should be partners in progress with the government.
“We want to teach people that we are partners in progress with the government. We are government. So we don’t wait for the government to do everything for us and as we do this (clean-up), it will assist in reducing the overhead cost in the running of the local government administration here. That is why we are here today,” he observed.
Assessing the impact of the exercise on residents of Umuahia over the years, Odoemelam said “by my reckoning, the impact so far observed is that the places we have done this projects before have taken a different shape like the Umuahia main town. Now, people have learnt to keep, most particularly the market area, clean always, knowing fully well that they can do that without waiting for the government. It is a matter of living in a clean environment, so they have learnt to do that. Second, it has helped to publicise the church because not everybody is aware of the church here.”
Flagging off the exercise, Chairman of Umuahia South, Pastor Goddy Kanu, represented by the Supervisor for Works, Chief Leonard Omenazu, said the council was overwhelmed by the kind gesture of the church.
“We were all happy, including the chairman. This shows that the churches around us show great concern for this local government area. We are very happy,” Omenazu said, urging other organsations and individuals to emulate the church in promoting environmental cleanliness which would impact positively on the health of the people.
Buhari Seeks Return To Family Values In Rebuilding Nigeria …Wike, Tambuwal, Other Govs Attend Ikpeazu’s Son’s Wedding
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the reason why there were so many problems in the Nigerian society was because of a diminishing emphasis placed on the importance of family values.
Buhari said this, yesterday, at the wedding of Mr. Jachimike Ikpeazu, son of Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu at the International Conference Centre in Umuahia, Abia State.
At the event, the groom wedded his heartbeat, Miss Thelma Chidinma.
The wedding was also attended by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tanbuwal, and several other dignitaries.
Others present at the wedding service that was conducted by the Seventh Day Adventist Church were Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel; Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri; Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed; Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi; and Enugu State Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Also at the event were the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; and National Secretary-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Sam Anyanwu.
Buhari, who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uche Ogah, decried the situation where parents and guardians who should have paid greater attention in inculcating good character in their wards, have abdicated that responsibility.
He sued for a collective effort across tribes and regions towards restoring family values and giving it its rightful place.
“Marriage is family value, character. The reasons why there are issues in the society, today, is because families are broken. When values are enshrined in families, the entire society will be good.”
Buhari charged the couple to build their family on the word of God, have a regular family altar of prayers, and give good attention to building enduring character.
Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, who was represented by wife of the Ebonyi State Governor, Mrs. Rachael Umahi, told the couple to know that marriage is where love is celebrated.
She urged them to continue in the training given to them by their parents, and learn to love themselves more so that their home can be a blessing and impact positively on others around them.
In his sermon, Pastor B. E. O. Udoh, admonished the couple not to allow their love for each other to diminish.
He further urged them to be tolerant, support each other to become their best, build and cultivate goodly character.
In his remarks, Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu said it was delightful to watch his son take a wife to himself, and prayed God to make their union fruitful.
Ikpeazu expressed gratitude to Buhari and his wife, his brother governors, political associates and friends who attended the event, for honouring him with their presence.
Insurgents Planning To Attack Military Bases, DSS Alerts
The Department of State Services (DSS) has issued an alert over planned attacks by insurgents on Ogun border communities and other border communities in Nigeria.
In a letter signed by the State Director of Security, Ogun State Command, M.B. Abdullahi, DSS warned that it has intelligence that the insurgents were plotting to attack military bases in border towns.
The DSS also advised customs and other security agencies in the country to put counter-measures in place to frustrate the plot by the insurgents.
The letter titled, ‘Plans by insurgents to launch attacks on military bases in various border communities’ read, “Available intelligence indicates plans by insurgents and criminal elements to carry out simultaneous attacks on military posts and bases in various border communities across the nation anytime from now.
“In view of the foregoing and the likelihood such attacks not limited to the military personnel only, all law enforcement and security agencies with operational bases at border communities are advised to take note of the above threat and emplace countermeasures with emphasis on personal security of operatives to frustrate the planned attack.”
PAP Partners NNPC To Sustain Peace In N’Delta
Towards attaining sustainable peace in the Niger Delta region, the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have agreed to work together to tackle pipeline insecurity, unemployment and other challenges in the region.
The agreement was reached when PAP’s Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) led a delegation to visit the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, in Abuja, over the weekend.
In a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the Acting Administrator, Mr Neotaobase Egbe, PAP said the meeting was strategic and in line with the objective of programme to partner with all relevant stakeholders for the full implementation of the amnesty programme.
He said PAP was courting willing partners to have robust synergy to drive the Niger Delta Recovery Plan (NDRP) to fruition.
The statement noted that though PAP was executing its own role in reintegrating 30,000 ex-agitators captured by the Presidency, there was a need to strengthen partnership between sister agencies of government for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta.
He said the NNPC like other institutions of government had roles to play in oil assets redistribution, infrastructural development and environmental remediation.
Dikio said that there was a need to control disruptions in oil production, saying destructive energies could be channelled into productive ventures through re-orientation and sustained advocacy.
He also said that PAP had made efforts to cut down irrelevant trainings and had become intentional about successfully empowering its delegates.
He said trainings over the years had become contractor-driven and were not meeting the beneficiaries’ needs.
Dikio maintained that the PAP was targeting functional businesses that had the capacity to train, employ and mentor delegates into becoming successful business owners.
He said: “For instance, if we have someone that has a commercial poultry farm and we partner with them to train our delegates, they will be employed after their training. In the course of two years and five months they will be taken through the ropes of poultry farming before they are sent out to start their own poultry.
“It is a win-win for everybody. We did the research and we discovered that the cassava plant in Bayelsa needs about 20,000 metric tons of cassava daily, so there is ample opportunity for our delegates to go into that kind of business.
“Again, palm oil when sold in international markets is above $1,000 a ton, and here, we are in the region only focusing on oil and gas”.
Dikio further said there were arrays of businesses the PAP was looking to inject delegates into, adding that exceptional graduates under the PAP scholarship scheme had more opportunities for employment.
In his remarks, the NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari, commended Dikio for the efforts to ensure peace in the Niger Delta, and emphasised the need to sustain the peace through accommodation and inclusiveness of Niger Delta youths.
He bemoaned the inability of the oil industry to fulfil its obligations to the region over the years, saying that it was one of the reasons the amnesty programme had prolonged.
He said: “As we speak today, we have seen a number of increasing incidents of unrest; cases that remind us of the past we don’t want to recollect again.
“Therefore, everything you have said points to the fact that inclusion, support and empowerment for young people particularly in the Niger Delta will bring peace and development to the Niger Delta. No amount of resources available to you will give you peace except there is alignment with the respective players in the space”.
Kyari said the award of licences to investors to begin production on about 57 marginal oil fields within Niger Delta in 2022 was designed to support businesses that originated from the region because most of the beneficiaries from the marginal field programme were indigenes of the Niger Delta.
He said working together would bring lasting peace to the region, explaining that the number of experienced technical people produced from the programme, would easily fill employment opportunities.
He said: “Once you create opportunities and investments return, more employment opportunities will come. I think it is a good thing that we work together, both the amnesty programme and all other actors in this space to bring the lasting peace to the Niger Delta and across our country, where people can benefit because ultimately if we cannot give, there will be nothing to show in another five to ten years, that is the reality that we are in.”
By: Akujobi Amadi
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