The Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Oyo State branch, Pastor Benjamin Akanimu, has urged government at all levels to reintroduce Christian Religious Studies in primary, secondary and higher institutions.
Akanmu made the call while speaking on the significance of Easter, in an interview with newsmen in Ibadan, yesterday.
He said this would go a long way to help the young ones to know about God early in their life as they pursue their academic dreams.
He said this will also ultimately bring peace to the society, as the students grow with the fear of God.
Akanmu urged Christians to have faith in the power that resurrected Jesus Christ from the dead, live patiently and trust in God despite their plights.
“If Jesus didn’t resurrect, we will still be in sin, the Jewish leaders chose to make up the story that it never happened, but on the third day after his death He rose, today He is alive and reigns eternally.
“For broken homes, the neglected, betrayed, bereaved, prisoners, sick, among others, can be restored by the power of His resurrection, the same power that raised Jesus is available for us today, if we can embrace Him,” he said.
Also speaking, the Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo, urged Christians to emulate Jesus who laid down His life for the redemption of man.
“Easter Sunday changes the history of humanity, for the righteous, death is a mere passageway, not the end, death will not have the final word, but love and God will; Jesus conquered the devil, death, sin and darkness.
“We must emulate Jesus and live sacrificially; our leaders must similarly make sacrifice for the people, no leadership has legitimacy if it doesn’t make sacrifice and serve citizens.
“Our government must do everything possible to protect Nigerians, secure freedom for the kidnapped, deal with all forms of killings,
“We suffer heavy loss of lives and the authorities do little about it, this must change.
“All Nigerians should believe in Christ and never lose hope, don’t commit suicide, do not despair, God conquered death so what else can He not do for us, let’s always love one another irrespective of tribe, religion or status,” he said.
Badejo further urged Christians to spare a thought for fellow citizens suffering from all manner of insecurity, especially in the North and other places, even as they celebrate the season.
“I express solidarity with fellow Nigerians who are victims of clashes, bloodshed, killings, kidnappings, other tragedies, I pray fervently for a turnaround for peace and harmony all over Nigeria,” he said.
In his remarks, Rev. Alex Okoye of All Saints Anglican Church, Koroduma, Nasarawa, called on the government to emulate the selfless life of Jesus Christ and offer selfless service to the masses.
Okoye urged them to also show love and compassion to the masses by fulfilling the promises they made during electioneering.
“Easter shows that Jesus Christ has power over death, grave, it gives Christians hope, it shows that he who believes in Christ has eternal life; Jesus Christ is the resurrection and life.
“As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection, I pray that everything dead in Nigeria comes back to life in Jesus name, amen,” he said.
It would be recalled that Easter is observed by Christians three days after Good Friday, it commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; churches in Ibadan metropolis joined their counterparts to celebrate the day.
However, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has felicitated with Nigerians across the country on the Easter celebration, and charged the Federal Government to ensure safety of lives, property and free movement of people.
The President of CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle revealed this in a statement by the Special Assistant, Media and Communications to the CAN president, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, last Saturday in Abuja.
Ayokunle urged all Nigerians to imbibe the teachings of Jesus Christ so as to drive out vices such as hate speech, bigotry, corruption, banditry and terrorism.
“Kidnapping, increasing wave of armed robbery and resurgence of insurgency coupled with relentless attacks by ethnic militia men are a great concern for patriotic Nigerians and an embarrassment to the nation. These issues should be addressed squarely, promptly and fairly.
“On behalf of CAN, I congratulate all Christians in Nigeria and beyond on this most auspicious occasion of this year’s Easter, which is a commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour,” he said.
He said lack of love today was the breeding ground for religious intolerance, killings and destructions, which in turn lead to insurgency and other forms of violence.
He added that this has led to humanitarian crises such as mass human displacements, hunger, outbreak of sicknesses and diseases across the nation.
He, however, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for assuring Nigerians of his commitment to the provision of security for all, irrespective of tribe, religion or political divide.
The cleric said that Nigerians would want to see that this noble promise is translated into action in the most patriotic way.
Mexicans Set Up Labs In Nigeria To Produce Meth, Reps Confirm
House of Representatives, yesterday, explained that since 1990 the production of crystal meth had been hijacked by Mexican drug dealers, who set up laboratories in Nigeria for the production of Mkpuru Mmiri in 2016.
The lawmakers then mandated the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), to go after peddlers of Methampheramine nicknamed Mkpuru-Mmiri and other hard drugs in the country with a view to stamping them out.
The House also asked the agency to reintegrate and strategize further on its enforcement and enlightenment capacity to cover the mode and cure for meth addiction which, it said, has no medical treatment at the moment.
The resolution followed a motion titled “Urgent Need to Sensitize Nigerians on the Danger of Widespread Meth Epidemic and Effect of Crystal Meth on the Nigerian Youths”, moved by Henry Nwawuba at the plenary.
Presenting the motion, Nwawuba noted the widespread meth epidemic and the effect of crystal Meth on Nigerians, especially the youths.
He also noted the highly addictive street form of the pharma grade amphetamine and the ill-equipped handling or stopping of the spread.
“Many homes in the south east are currently facing the dangerous effect of Methampheramine nick-named Mkpuru-Mmiri which translates to seed of water.
“Crystal meth is a crystal narcotic hallucinogen that is capable of destroying a person mentally.
“An estimated 75percent of the users in our society are adversely affected and they have become a burden to their families and communities.
“Since 1990 the production of Crystal Meth has been hijacked by Mexican drug dealers who set up laboratories in Nigeria for the production of Mkpuru Mmiri in 2016.
“Methamphetamine also known as Crystal Meth or Mkpuru mmniri was developed in Japan in 1919 and grossly abused during World War II when it was issued to pilots on suicidal mission then called KamKaze.
“After the world war, it was used briefly as a medication for depression and for controlling obesity, but it was quickly abandoned and banned thereafter, especially in the 1970s.
“As a stimulant, it has a powerful euphoric effect similar to those of cocaine.
“Meth typically keeps users awake depriving them of sleep, making them react violently and takes a toll on the physical look of its users,” he said.
Contributing to the motion, the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu asked NDLEA to trace the manufacturers and others in the chain.
“Who are the manufacturers? Where is the factory? Where is it manufactured? Who are the traders?
“When you beat young people, it is like double jeopardy. Somebody is a victim of the drug and you are still beating them.
“NDLEA should trace, and we should ensure rehabilitation of the victims and make sure we take meth out of the market.
“That is the quickest thing we can do; after taking meth out of the market, then we will know what to do with our citizens who are already victims,” he said.
Also speaking, Lynda Ikpeazu said that many youths of young ages were involved in the consumption of the drug.
“It does sound like a joke, but it is actually very serious and killing a lot of people.
“In the next 10 years, if we don’t stop it, we are going to have a zombie society.”
Join Campaign To End Violence Against Women, Girls, Banigo Tells Nigerians
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has called on all well- meaning citizens, especially the male folk to join the campaign to end violence against women and girls.
Banigo made this call in her goodwill message in Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, to commemorate the 2021 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls.
The deputy governor, who urged the male folk to be strong advocates in the quest to eliminate violence against women and girls, noted that violence against women and girls increase in the society during crises.
She said it manifests in physical, sexual and psychological means and most times perpetrated by trusted family members, while the rest of society look the other way, adding that sometimes women are also culpable when it comes to violence against fellow women.
Banigo said the state government under the leadership of Governor Nyesom Wike takes the security and wellbeing of women as top priority with zero tolerance for violence against women.
It would be recalled that November25 each year is set aside to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
It also marks the launch of 16 days of activism that would end on December 10, 2021, which is the International Human Rights Day.
The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”.
Similarly, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has said that every girl-child must be intentional and focused in order to achieve success in life.
Banigo stated this while speaking during the Girl Child Initiative, Just Girls Talk Programme at the Government Girls Secondary School, Rumuokwuta (UBE), last Wednesday, organised by the Youth Church of the Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries in Port Harcourt.
Speaking through the Coordinator, Protect the Girl Child Initiative of the Deputy Governor’s Office and Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor, Barrister Inegogo Fubara, Banigo said women are leaders created by God to solve problems.
“We are problem solvers, do not ever think of yourselves as being little because you are wonderfully created for a purpose. We are here to tell you that you can be whatever you want to be, but you have to work it out, education is very important and you must take it very seriously and be diligent in what you are doing”, Banigo said.
The deputy governor, who described Wike as the most gender friendly governor in the country said apart from having a female deputy, he has continued to appoint women into positions of trust and has encouraged women to run for elective positions.
Banigo commended the school authorities and the Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries for the putting up the Just Girls Talk Programme.
In his remarks, the Regional Overseer of the youth church, Pastor Chinedu Udechukwu said the Just Girls Talk Programme, has been going on in the church for years, noting that after the pandemic they decided to re-strategize and take it off to schools to talk to young girls about their vision and expose them to our Lord Jesus Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith.
Also speaking, the Coordinator of the Just Girls Talk Programme, Mrs. Esther Udechukwu said the Just Girl Talk was organised to enlighten young girls on the consequences inherent in premarital sex, the physical and spiritual aspects, as well as to empower and sharpen them for the future.
Police Smash Four Deadly Kidnappers In Rivers
Operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in collaboration with policemen from the Rivers State Police Command, have arrested a kidnap syndicate that specialised in using Facebook and WhatsApp to lure their victims, in Port Harcourt.
The suspects admitted during interrogation to have kidnapped, tortured, raped and robbed their victims.
They admitted that their targets were usually female and that they have successfully collected ransoms from at least ten 10 female since January, 2021, with N5million their highest ransom.
The nabbed suspects are: Izunna Fidelis, 21; Humble Unity Okeregwu, 24; Izuchukwu Nwaobiri, 22; and Chibeze Nwike,23.
They were arrested in Choba and Etche areas of Rivers State.
According to the police, for suspects to get the attention of their victims, they take to their respective Facebook pages posing as foreigners working in multinational oil companies in Rivers State and professing love as well as proposed marriage to their Facebook girlfriends, all in a bid to trap them.
The police said their arrest followed report of kidnapping for ransom and the gang-rape of a 27-year-old lady identified simply as Happiness, on August 28, 2021.
According to leader of the gang, Nwaobiri, “The first thing we do is to check Facebook profiles for beautiful girls. Then, we would add them to our friend lists. Each of us works on different persons. I would start up a conversation with my supposed girl, exchange pleasantries and tell her that I worked with an oil company. I also asked if she was married or single.
“It takes time to familiarize with them, say two to three months. Thereafter, we would progress to WhatsApp chats and then telephone calls and when friendship has been established, we will invite them over to the company’s base which is a bush where they would be blindfolded and calls put across to their families.”
Nwaobiri added: “I started earlier this year because of circumstances. My mum is late, my dad has a stroke and I have been the one catering for everything. I have been involved in seven cases but succeeded in four.
“We only rape our captives if they don’t cooperate. That is, if they don’t mount pressure on their relatives to pay ransom.”
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