Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, defied the heavy rains to host the Muslim Ummah in the State to a special Salah Day banquet as part of the Eid-El Kabir celebration.
Speaking at the ceremony, which was held at Government House in Yenagoa, Governor Diri said Nigerians from all walks of life need to live harmoniously in love, peace and brotherliness in order to build a united and progressive country.
The Governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said both the Lord Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed preached love, peace and togetherness.
According to him, love and peacefulness are the two major attributes that will enable people to identify who a true Christian or Muslim is in society.
He insisted that all the crimes and killings being perpetrated in the country were as a result of the lack of these virtues.
He tasked Nigerians, irrespective of their religious persuasions and ethical backgrounds, to promote peaceful coexistence as they are all creatures of God Almighty.
The Bayelsa helmsman, who faulted the argument that Nigeria’s major problem was its ethnic diversity, noted that the country’s diversity should be exploited for positivity, saying that the real problem is lack of love for one another.
“Everybody should plant a seed of love wherever you are. I want all of us to be agents of peace wherever we are. Some people say it is because we have diversity, that is why we have insecurity.
“No, that is not true. That is a lazy man’s excuse. Nigeria’s diversity should be exploited for positivity. I do not believe that diversity is our problem. Our problem is lack of love and peace”, he said.
He continued that, “the message from Governor Douye Diri is that, we should extend the love we show to our children and close family members to every other neighbour. Once we do that, Nigeria will be peaceful.
“Here in Bayelsa, it is because of the love the Governor is spewing or radiating, that you see the seamless and very pleasurable relationship between Muslims and Christians.
“We celebrate together and share the same emotions. And the most important thing is that we are all working towards the progress and prosperity of Bayelsa State.”
In his welcome remarks, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Religious Matters, Rev. GodspowerAsingba, said the State Government believes strongly in the secularity of the country and would continue to promote religious tolerance.
Asingba, who described the Governor Diri’s administration as detribalized and non-discriminatory, said the Muslem community in the State was happy with the administration for supporting them to celebrate the 2022 Eid-El-Kabir in a grand style.
Speaking on behalf of the Muslim Community, the Secretary General of the State Council for Islamic Affairs, Mr Mohammed Erefagha, expressed appreciation to the Governor for organizing what he described as an unforgettable Eid-El-Kabir get-together, despite the downpour.
Erefagha, who specially thanked government for appointing two of their members into the Bayelsa State Pilgrims Welfare Board, reminded the Governor of his promise of providing a bus for the Council in the State.
Highpoint of the celebration was the serving of food by the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, to more than a hundred Muslim faithfuls who attended the banquet.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Shun Cultism, Naval College Urges Graduating Students
The Commandant of the Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Akpabuyo, Cross River State, Commander Felicity Uchime, has charged graduating students of the school to shun cultism, examination malpractice and other vices.
Uchime, who gave the charge last Saturday during the graduation ceremony of 195 students of the 2021/2022 set, urged the students to see their graduation from the school as a ladder to climb to higher grounds.
She said the graduation signified the hard work, determination and resilience of the students.
“As you graduate today, I want to advise you all to stay away from cultism, examination malpractice and vices.
“The Nigerian Navy School has imbibed sound character and discipline in all of you, hence we expect you to be worthy ambassadors of this great school, “ she said.
She said the school was poised for academic excellence and quality education, adding that the school has imbibed sound character and discipline in the students.
“Your parents have dedicated financial resources to see you through school; you must not disappoint their trust in you,” she said.
I want to wish all of you the best in your future endeavours,” she said.
Speaking, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Adm. Ibrahim Dewu, congratulated the students for the successful completion of their secondary school education.
Dewu, who was represented by Capt. Dauda Isa, said that their graduation reflected the training and quality of education the students had received in the last six years.
“With the quality of teaching we have in this school, I have no doubt that you all have the requisite credentials to excel in your future endeavours.
“We are going to do our best to upgrade the facilities in this school with a view to meeting the expectations ofstudents and parents,” he said.
The Tide’s source reports that Master Divine Akpan was awarded the best performing student of the school in the just released released by the West African Examinations Council.
The school also presented other certificates and awards to deserving graduating students.
First Female Immigration Boss In A’Ibom Assumes Duty
Mrs Francisca Dakat has assumed duty as the 21st Comptroller, Immigration Service (CIS) and the first female Comptroller in Akwa Ibom Command.
Dakat, whose last posting was Rivers Marine Command, is taking over from Comptroller George Didel, who has been redeployed to Migration Directorate, Service Headquarters, Abuja.
Speaking with The Tide’s source during the exchange of baton in Uyo last Friday, Dakat said she would build on the achievements of her predecessor.
“The outgoing Comptroller has done so well and I intend to consolidate on those achievements, and if God helps us, we will do more.
“We always want to be better than our teachers. So, whatever we can do to make the command better, we will do it,” Dakat said.
Dakat, who was appointed into the Service in 1990, charged personnel of the Command to remain committed to duty and be disciplined, to move the service forward.
In his farewell message, the outgoing CIS, Didel, urged the personnel to remain loyal and committed to the service.
“I want to tell my staff that they must continue to be loyal to the country. They must be hard working and must be disciplined, especially in the performance of their duties.
“As public servants, we must continue to serve the public. So, I will leave them with that message, to be patriotic and be committed to their duties,” Didel said.
IPMAN Threatens Depot Shutdown Over Police Harassment
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), South East Zone, has threatened to shut down depots in Calabar, Port Harcourt and Enugu over incessant police harassment of its leaders.
Cross River State Chairman, IPMAN, Mr Robert Obi, made the threat last Friday in Calabar while speaking with newsmen.
Obi said the association decided to close all the depots and stations after a series of meetings with some stakeholders over police harassment of its leaders.
He alleged that there were moves by the Police Legal Unit at the Force Headquarters in Abuja to arrest its executives across the zone and possibly install a factional leadership.
He said that any arrest of its leaders in the zone would create more crisis in the association in spite of various court pronouncements laying the matter to rest.
Obi said the Attorney-General of the Federation, in a letter which was copied to Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo and his faction, who lost out at the Supreme Court, had acknowledged Alhaji Sanusi Fari as the authentic National President of IPMAN.
Obi frowned at the alleged moves by the police authorities and some, he described as “disgruntled elements”, to either misinterpret the Supreme Court ruling or subvert the will of the people.
He said their aim was to impose their cronies on the association even when the facts of the matter were very clear.
“Despite the legal advice, the police are putting all arsenals to arrest the current executives of IPMAN in Nigeria, particularly in Calabar NNPC depot and hand the leadership of the association to the people of their choice.
“IPMAN warns that further step shouldn’t be taken by the police to interfere with the current leadership of the association. We will shut down the distribution channels of petroleum and allied products in Nigeria pending when the police do the right thing.
“IPMAN leadership has resolved to continue with their rights in the constitution and abide by the extant laws and subsisting judgments of the courts in its favour,” he said.
The Tide learnt that the zone has been embroiled in leadership crisis which led to various court cases.
The South East Zone of IPMAN, comprises Enugu, Aba, Rivers, Cross River and Benue State with more than 40 depots and 1,000 petrol stations with about 2,000 members.
The zone has been having a running battle with officers of the Nigeria Police over alleged attempt by the police to force a factional leadership on the association.
Meanwhile, Force Headquarters spokesman, Mr Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said he was not aware of the matter.
Earlier, the Cross River State Command of the Nigeria Police had said it was not in position to react to the allegation.
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