CAN Blasts Police Over Arrest Of Okorocha’s Son-In-Law In Church
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned the invasion of a church by men of the Nigeria Police Force to arrest Uche Nwosu, son-in-law of a former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, during a church service at Eziama Obieri in the Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State.
According to the religious body, the move by the officers desecrated the house of God.
This was included in a statement issued yesterday by Special Assistant (Media &Communications) to the CAN President, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji,
The association said it was embarrassed by this act by men of the police force as it could not remember whether such had ever happened before in our country.
CAN said it was not asking the police or the security agencies not to do their constitutional duties but urged officials to be more circumspect in carrying out their duties.
A statement from the body reads, “The National leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) condemns in strong terms the arrest of one Mr Uche Nwosu at St Peter’s Anglican Cathedral, Umunwokwe village, in the Eziama-Obieri Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State.
“We feel highly embarrassed by this ugly development and feel pained that the Nigeria Police had no respect even for the House of God. We cannot remember whether this act of disrespect for God ever happened before in our country.
“The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has nothing to apologise for over what the police did because we were never and would never be a party to their horrendous act. The police that did the disgraceful thing should appropriately apologise without giving any excuse. We expect them to be more circumspect in the performance of their duties.
“We are not asking the police or the security agencies not to do their constitutional duties but the idea of desecrating the House of God in doing so is totally unacceptable, unfortunate and reprehensible.
“In view of the foregoing, we urge the Inspector General of Police to call his men to order and continue to respect all houses of worship, whether church or mosque. This type of act should never happen again in our country.”
The body also commiserated with the South African government over the death of the late Nobel Peace Laureate and anti-apartheid hero, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Tutu battled prostate cancer for a decade but lived to celebrate 90 years on earth before he died in a care facility at Cape Town on Boxing Day.
CAN said, “The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has commiserated with the government and the people of South Africa on the Home Call of a great Oracle of God, Bishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu.
“We thank God for a life well spent by His great servant who used every given opportunity to speak a potent voice against the defunct apartheid system of racial segregation and white minority rule in South Africa.
“The revered bishop was a South African Anglican bishop and theologian, known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. He was also the first African Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996. He was also known as a theologian who sought to fuse the Black Theology with African Theology.
“We recalled with nostalgia when from 1978 to 1985, Tutu was the General -Secretary of the South African Council of Churches. That was when he emerged as one of the most prominent opponents of South Africa’s apartheid system of racial segregation and white minority rule.
“Although an activist yet he was an advocate of non-violent protest and foreign economic pressure to bring about universal suffrage. In 1985, he became bishop of Johannesburg and in 1986 the Archbishop of Cape Town, the most senior position in southern Africa’s Anglican hierarchy. In this position, he emphasised a consensus-building model of leadership and oversaw the introduction of female priests.
“Tutu played prominent roles that led to the release of the foremost anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990 and they both led the negotiations that ended apartheid and introduce multi-racial democracy.
“After the 1994 general election resulted in a coalition government headed by Mandela, Tutu was appointed the chairman of the historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses committed by both pro and anti-apartheid groups.
“This Commission was used to heal all the wounds of apartheid inflicted on both the Whites and the Blacks. Tutu will always be remembered for his strong support of Palestinians in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict especially his strong belief in Israel’s right to exist. His strong criticism against the perceived anti-people policies under the South African Presidents of Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma further made him a respected voice of the voiceless.
“Our hearts go to his immediate family, the South African Churches and the common man of that country who saw him as their advocate and protector. May God console and comfort them all in Jesus’ Name.”
FG Sensitises Security Personnel On Revised National Gender Policy
In a bid to deepen the gender components of the security system in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, last Monday kicked-off a three-day high level Sensitization/Capacity Building Workshop on the Revised 2021-2026 National Gender Policy.
Participants at the workshop were drawn from Nigerian Army, Navy, Airforce, Department of State Services, Nigerian Correctional Center Service, Immigration, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Shehu Shinkafi, who declared the workshop open, recalled that Nigeria developed its first National Policy on Rights of Women in 2000.
This was replaced with the National Gender Policy in 2006 as a result of review and integration of lessons learnt from the implementation of the Women Policy 2000.
A key lesson then was the need to work from a gender perspective, even though the key purpose remains addressing Women’s rights issues.
He listed women’s rights to include the right to live free from violence and discrimination, the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; the right to be educated, the right to own property, the right to vote and be voted for etc.
“But as we all know, many women and girls still face discrimination on the basis of sex and gender. This gave rise to the review of the 2006 National Gender Policy”, he said.
The Permanent Secretary said the strategic objectives of the revised National Gender Policy are: to bridge gender/social inclusion gaps and achieve parity in all spheres of life; protect women’s human rights and mitigate sexual and gender- based violence, through appropriate buffers and related services; and explore and fully harness women’s human capital assets, as a growth driver for national development through women’s economic empowerment.
Others are to advance women’s participation and representation in leadership and governance; support women and girls’ education, lifelong health, survival and sustainable development; fnsure that gender equity concerns are integrated into social protection and complex humanitarian actions, legislation and policies and ensure that socially excluded groups (such as persons with disabilities, the elderly and the poor etc.) are mainstreamed into development projects and programmes of government.
He also stated that the 2021-2026 National Gender Policy focuses on the protection of the girl–child: addressing violence against women and girls; addressing issues of conflict, especially as it affects women and girls; and peace building; rights of women with disabilities and implementation strategies, including the institutional framework, funding and human resource for gender mainstreaming among others.
CAN Condemns Resurgence Of Killings In Plateau
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned the recent resurgence of killings in some parts of Plateau State.
CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, in a statement, described the killings as barbaric, and disheartening to see innocent citizens being killed and their properties destroyed in such a gruesome manner.
He said: “It’s with deep concern that I address the nation on the recent resurgence of mindless killings of innocent citizens in Mangu and Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau State.
“The killings which started in Mangu villages on Monday, 15th May 2023, by so-called unknown gunmen have claimed many lives and properties with many persons still missing.
“The villages affected include Fungzai, Hale, Kubwat, Bwoi and many other communities of Kombun District of Mangu Local Government Area and some communities in Riyom Local Government Area.
“According to reports, about 130 people were killed, about 1000 buildings were burnt, and about 22 villages were affected. We condemn these barbaric acts in the strongest term possible.
“It is disheartening to see innocent citizens being killed and their properties destroyed in such a gruesome manner”.
He appreciated the efforts of the security forces to maintain peace, calling on the government and law enforcement agencies to bring the perpetrators of the heinous acts to justice and ensure the protection of lives and properties of all citizens.
The CAN President implored all parties involved to embrace peace and dialogue as means of resolving their differences, stressing that violence only begets more violence, hence he advocated the breaking of the cycle so the state and Nigeria can witness peace and prosperity.
He added: “It’s also important to emphasise that the CAN unequivocally opposes any form of violence or reprisal as we strive to advance the well-being of all individuals, regardless of their religious or ethnic background”.
He appealed to all Nigerians in Mangu and Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau state and indeed, all over the country, to remain calm and law-abiding in the face of the challenges.
“We must not allow ourselves to be provoked into taking actions that will further escalate the situation”.
Oyebanji Presents N915m Gratuity Cheques To 289 Pensioners
Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji last Monday, reiterated his administration’s commitment to programmes and policies that will enhance the quality of life of Ekiti residents, especially the pensioners.
The governor stated this during the presentation of cheques worth N915 million naira as gratuities to 289 State, local government and primary school retirees in the state at the Governor’s Office, Ado-Ekiti.
Speaking at the event, which was hailed as unprecedented in the state, Oyebanji said the payment of the gratuity was in fulfilment of his campaign promise of shared prosperity, adding that his administration would continue to ensure that pensioners enjoy a worthy life after their meritorious service to the state.
Oyebanji, who said he was not unaware of challenges confronting the retires as a result of a regrettable delay in accessing their gratuity benefits as and when due, assured the senior citizens that his government is irrevocably committed to ending the regime of endless wait in the payment of gratuities.
He informed the gathering that since the inception of his administration in October 2022, over N1.2 billion had been paid as a gratuity to both the State and Local government retirees while payment of monthly pensions had been regular.
He said, “As elders and critical stakeholders who occupy strategic positions in the scheme of things, our government is living no stone unturned to ensure that you all live a quality and happy life at retirement. I am aware of the many odds and challenges confronting retirees as a result of the regrettable delay in accessing your gratuity as and when due.
“I am therefore committed to ensuring that the welfare of our retirees continues to be of topmost priority. We are also irrevocably committed to ending the regime of endless wait in the payment of gratuity by our senior citizens. This is a priority for us and we will continue to explore innovative ways to support you in your retirement.
“Since we came on board, we have always paid pensions along with salaries of public servants. This, I assure you, will continue. Today, the sum of N700 million has been paid out to 192 retired civil servants as gratuity and the sum of N215 million to 79 Local Government retirees”.
Oyebanji used the opportunity to express his appreciation and to commend the management of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Department (PTAD) at both state and local government levels for the hard work and transparency they have deployed in processing this payment with particular reference to their policy based on first-to-retire, first-to-be-paid, urging to sustain it religiously.
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