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Ex-Minister Kicks Against Same Faith Presidential Ticket

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A former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the Mingi of Nembe Kingdom in Bayelsa State, King Edmund Dakoru, has kicked against Muslim-Muslim, or Christian-Christian presidential ticket, saying it is at variance with the spirit of justice, fairness and equity.
The monarch said choosing presidential and vice presidential candidates from the same faith was against the secular status of the country.
Dakoru stated this while speaking to aviation correspondents at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, on Wednesday.
According to him, those promoting the idea of same faith presidential ticket do not wish Nigeria well, adding that their action will further divide the country along religious fault lines.
He expressed doubt that Nigerians would want to vote any party that fields presidential candidates from the same faith.
“Nigeria is a multi-religious country of more than 200 million people who are Muslims and non-Muslims as the case may be.
“One can say that the country is owned by more than 200 million citizens who are of diverse religious groups and backgrounds.
“In order to be just to all the citizens of the country, and also to balance the apparent religious sentiments prevalent in the country, Nigeria’s politicians and its major political parties have avoided fielding same-faith presidential candidates since the present political dispensation from 1999.
“The combination of a Muslim and non-Muslim in a presidential ticket, in Nigeria of today, also gives vent to the spirit of justice, fairness and equity, and considering the fact that the country is for the Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
“I believe that both the religion of Islam and Christianity order the sincere administration of justice on all, regardless of any distinction, be it religious, ethnic, geographical, tribal, and so on.
“As a secular nation, we ought to always stand for justice as a matter of principle, whether for Christians, Muslims and others, even if justice should side against them”, he said.
The former minister also enjoined all Nigerians, irrespective of religion, to always show love for mankind, regardless of any social difference.
Meanwhile, the founder of the Royal House of Grace International Church in Port Harcourt, Apostle David Zilly Aggrey, has also opposed presidential ticket featuring same faith.
Speaking to aviation correspondents recently, Rev. Aggrey, noted that past Presidents in the country had always maintained a balance in the system for the Christian and Muslim ticket.
“We have a Mosque and a Chapel at the Presidential Villa, and either the President or the Vice had maintained either of them for worship and prayer.
“Choosing a Muslim-Muslim ticket will mean a deviation from what is ideal, and that means that the Aso Rock Chapel may be locked for four or eight years.
“If Ahmed Bola Tinubu feels he can neglect Christians, and choose a Muslim-Muslim ticket, no problem, let him go ahead with it, but Nigerians still have their choice to make”, he said.
Also reacting to this development while interacting with journalists at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, the Senior Pastor of WordLife Gospel Center, Israel Nnokam, said Nigeria is a multi-religious nation, with two dominant religions: Christianity and Islam, which reflect people’s political life.
Consequently, he said, Nigerians should be allowed to decide whether or not they will support a Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2023, rather than allow the issue to create tension in the polity.
Nnokam noted that as long as the process was democratic, people would be able to choose the candidate of their choice during the presidential election, scheduled to hold on February 25, 2023.
“There has been public disquiet over reports that the presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, may pick a fellow Muslim as his running mate because the North, where he’s expected to choose from, is dominated by Muslims.
“Several individuals and groups, including the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), have kicked against Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian ticket, saying it would not stand. But those in support of the move argued that competence should be placed above religious consideration.
“However, the political process is democratic and if it is so, the people will decide, except it is not (democratic).
“So, whatever any political party is projecting in terms of its candidates, the people would have to decide if that is acceptable to them or not.
“That is what democracy is all about. You won’t compel them to vote for a person they don’t want to. I don’t think it’s an issue. Let the people decide what they want. That is what the democratic process is all about.” he concluded.

By: Corlins Walter

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Emohua Admin Building For Delivery In December

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By: Theresa Frederick & Wokoma Emmanuel 

The Chairman, Emohua Local Government Area (LGA), Dr. Chidi Lloyd, says the Council’s administrative building being executed at the headquarters is expected to be delivered in December ahead of the next phase of project commissioning by his administration.
He said the administrative building will upon completion provide comfortable office accomodation for members of the management committee and principal officers of the LGA.
The Council Chairman disclosed this during an unscheduled visit to project sites within the council headquarters.
He charged the contractors handling the project to comply with the agreed delivery date and specification of the project, with a view to delivering it before the next phase of project harvest by the LGA.
Meanwhile, work has commenced in ernest at the proposed site for the construction of a vaccine cold chain and office complex for Emohua Local Government Primary Healthcare Center, following the council chairman’s approval, in line with his administration’s commitment to improving healthcare services in the LGA, as well as the working condition of staff of the council.
Dr. Lloyd during the project inspection said the construction of the vaccine cold chain became necessary following the absence of any cold storage facility for vaccines and other temperature controlled pharmaceutical instruments in the local government area.
According to him construction of the office complex was also conceived by his administration to provide comfortable working environment for staff of the primary healthcare center who had over the years blamed their negligence to duty on the insufficiency of the office space at the healthcare center.
The Council Chairman said no staff of the Primary Healthcare Center would have any reason to justify their negligence to duty after the completion of the project.
At the ongoing construction of the local government legislative council complex and the 350 seater ICT studio named after Chief Emeka Woke, being executed simultaneously at the council headquarters.
The Emolga council boss expressed satisfaction with the progress of work at the project sites and encouraged the contractor handling the projects to intensify efforts to ensure that they are delivered on time.
Dr. Lloyd was joined by the Vice Chairman of Emohua LGA, Hon Mrs. Edna Nyeche.

 

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Andoni Youths Disown Group

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Some youths in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State under the aegis of Obolo Community Youth Leaders Council (OCYLC) have disowned the purported existence of a group known as Obolo Youth Stakeholders.
This was contained in a press release made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt.
According to the group, there is no youth body with the name Obolo Yotuth Stakeholders in Andoni LGA, describing those behind the purported group as faceless individuals who are out to cause disaffection in the LGA.
“Firstly, there is no such organisation like Obolo Youth Stakeholders in Andoni, at least to the best of our knowledge”, the statement noted.
Noting further that the purported group cannot even speak for their respective community youths, the Obolo Community Youth Leaders Council also claimed that some of those behind the purported group have applied for a merger with it, a request which it turned down.
It noted that since OCYLC formation in 2018, it has been on the field interfacing with relevant stakeholders on how to get the youth involved in the oil and gas industry.
The release, signed by Comrade Amini Moses Clifford, the Chairman, stated that “to achieve this, we have discussed with our brother and leader, Hon.Timothy Igbifaa, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) National President, and urged him to use his good office to fast track these opportunities, adding that the effort has yielded results as Total Energy has implemented most of their agreements with Andoni.
They listed some projects carried out by Total Energy in Andoni to include the award of Several scholarships, skill acquisition programmes, employment through the award of contract to local contractors, construction of roads at Ikuru Town, and donation of learning materials to schools in the area.
The group commended the Andoni Council Chairman, Barrister Erastus Awortu, the Traditional Rulers Council, and the President of IYC for putting smiles on the faces of Andoni youths.

By: John Bibor

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Federal Agric Ministry Empowers 30 Rivers Poultry Farmers

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In a bid to encourage agricultural growth, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has empowered 30 poultry farmers from Rivers State.
This was part of a 2-Day training/empowerment programme organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with the Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture.
The 2- Day training, taking place at the Rumuodomaya office of ADP, saw starter packs handed over to the 30 beneficiaries drawn from the 23 Local Government Areas of the State
In his speech, the Programme Manager, Rivers State Agricultural Development, Vitalis Chindah, said the empowerment would enhance food security and alleviate poverty.
Chindah hinted that the training would prepare small holder poultry farmers to appreciate poultry business.
“The small holders farmers who constitute 75% farming population will make maximum use of the platform,” he stated.
He noted that the poultry industry played vital role in reducing malnutrition, poverty and promoting economic growth.
“The farmers’ efforts in producing eggs, chickens are vital sources of animal protein and maybe the only source for high quality protein for the poor and venulrable in the society
“It is essential for capacity building, strengthening the business economically by developing knowledge of trainers on production practices to, enhance market strategies that will enable farmers perform effectively to enhance household income and food security.
“It will also reduce poverty and sustain the economy. It will remove misconception, and give right direction to the small holders farmers”, he said.
He commends the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development for demonstrating the political will in agricultural development by ensuring regular payment on agric businesses and supporting farmers and providing necessary incentives for farmers.
According him, the vision of the Ministry is to work with relevant stakeholders to build an agric economy capable of delivering prosperity and meeting domestic food security through extension services.
He encouraged the beneficiaries to take it serious and warned that they should not sell the starter packs.
Also speaking, representative of the Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Extension Department, Gloria Iboroma, said the empowerment would make them be independent.
She charged the beneficiaries to sustain food production in the country, saying the exercise was taking place simultaneously across 23 states of the federation.

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