The Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has cautioned christians to avoid mistakes they made in 2015 and 2019 general elections in order to save the nation from total collapse.
He made the call at Saint Barnabas Anglican Church, Sagbama, during the second session of the fifth synod of the Western Izon Diocese of the Anglican Communion.
Ewhrudjakpo, in a statement issued at the weekend by his media aide, Mr Doubara Atasi, warned that failure to vote wisely in the upcoming general elections would spell greater doom in every sphere of Nigerians national life.
The Deputy Governor said instead of wasting time engaging in unnecessary debates, churches should sensitize their members to vote for the party that will promote the growth and development of Christianity as well as the unity, security and economic wellbeing of the country.
He insisted that repeating the mistakes of the past was tantamount to madness caused by the proverbial dog biting the same person a second time.
The Deputy Governor cautioned christians against what he called “sleeping on duty”, and charged the body of Christ in the country to wake up from its slumber and begin to interrogate issues in such a way that will promote the common good.
Making a reference to the fate that befell the Church in Turkey, he said Christians in Nigeria could not afford to remain docile in the face of current realities but rather, take action in doing the right things it is called out for in society.
“I am not here to campaign, but the truth is that the mistakes we did in 2015 and 2019, if we make those mistakes again, then we are going to behave like a man whom a dog bit twice.
“When a dog bites you once, that dog must be mad; but if the same dog bites you a second time, then probably it is you that is mad because you should have taken caution.
“I believe that caution is the senior brother to carefulness. We must be careful as we vote again in 2023, if not, we will throw this country into greater doom and suffering. I’m saying this because ‘a stitch in time, saves nine’”, he said.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo also re-echoed his concern that the undiluted gospel of Christ was being pushed aside with “contemporary teachings” that lay less emphasis on holiness, righteousness and discipleship.
The Deputy Governor, who congratulated the Anglican Diocese of Western Izon for a successful synod,, encouraged the Church in Nigeria to learn from her mistakes and correct them before it was too late.
“The essence of a synod is for us to reflect on and know where we were yesterday, where we are today, and where we are going to be tomorrow. It is not a ritual, but it is an obligation.
“The bishop’s charge is very clear. He has told us what it is going to look like. Within the charge, there are issues that are political; religious, moral, and also issues that are social.
“The gospel is almost pushed aside with contemporary teachings, but let’s stick to the traditional message of the church.
“We must learn from our mistakes as a church. Turkey today is an Islamic country, but all of us know that Turkey was not an Islamic country before. What brought about this? They made mistakes.
“Are we sure we are not making the same mistakes? Are we not sleeping on our duty as Christians? Let the church interrogate itself. The church is too docile and distracted”, he added.
In his Charge, the Bishop of Diocese of Western Izon, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Right Reverend Victor Ebipade Okporu, underscored the need for both the church and the nation to seek divine help from the Almighty God for a positive turnaround in the country.
Drawing from Psalm 121, Rev. Okporu noted that the church and humanity need spiritual help to overcome sin and the power of the enemy, as well as grace for healing, good governance and success in every aspect of life.
The Bishop decried the worrisome state of the nation, citing the issues of insecurity, failing economy, rising public debts, and decadence in the education sector, saying that it was time the church came together in unity to seek God’s face for the country.
The Synod of the Western Izon Diocese, with the theme: “Help From God”, had in attendance several men of God, including the Archbishop of Bendel Province, The Most Reverend Cyril Odutemu, and the Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Izon, Right Rev. Funkuro Amgbare.
Dep Speaker Cautions Supporters Against Hate Speech, Violence
Deputy Speaker of Cross River State House of Assembly, Mr Joseph Bassey, has called on his supporters to shun all forms of hate speeches and violence as they prepare to get into campaign.
Bassey, who is also the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Akpabuyo/Bakassi/Calabar South Federal Constituency, made the call in an interview with The Tide’s source in Calabar.
He urged his supporters and well-wishers to focus their campaign for his election on issues that affects the people and not on personalities.
The Deputy Speaker, while reiterating his position on peaceful polls, said there was no need for any of his supporters to incite unnecessary comments towards any personality, especially on social media.
He urged them to be mindful of their choice of words, adding that the timetable for his campaign activities would be made public soon.
“As we prepare to get fully into the campaign, we don’t need to abuse anyone or spread hate speech on personalities. Let us get into the campaign with issues that affect the people.
“The election is coming up in a few months, we must sustain the tempo of our advocacy, consultations and peaceful conduct because we are sure of victory during the polls.
“Avoid any language that may heat up the polity, be civil and courageous enough in selling me as a brand to even your opponents,” he said.
He told his supporters that his aspiration to represent them in 2023 was to create a better opportunity to uplift the youths through job creation and empowerment.
He also promised to attract the needed development to the constituency, empower the women and men and also promote their socio-economic status.
2023: Retiring AIG Warns Officers Against Job Compromise
Retiring Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police, Zone 16, comprising Bayelsa and Rivers States, Mr. Ayim Abrahim Eyong, has cautioned officers and men of the zone against compromising professional policing in their relationship with politicians in the forthcoming 2023 polls.
He added that instead of working in consonance with the directives of politicians which may not be for the betterment of society, police officers should rather take directives and commands from the force’s authorities.
The retiring AIG gave the charge in his farewell speech in Yenagoa during the celebrations of his 60th birthday, grand child’s birth, and his meritorious sentforth party.
He said if he was given a second chance, he would rather still love to enlist into the Nigeria Police Force, adding that he has no reservations about being a police officer.
“God has always been with me after praying. He has protected and guided me aright. I know He can do it for you too. I advise police officers and men of the various police commands to hold unto God in all that you do as humans and officers.
“I thank the Governors of Rivers and Bayelsa States for their co-operation, immense assistance to the zone. I want to appeal that such hand of fellowship be extended to my successor”, he said.
In her remarks, the Zonal Police Public Relations Officer (ZPPRO), CSP Ikwue Lafiaghe, described the celebrant as a man that is generous to a fault.
“One thing about our boss is that he’s very generous. He can give his last to please people to be happy. He’s generous to a fault, he’s down to earth, he relates with everybody both junior and senior officers and civilians alike”, she said.
Also speaking, the State Chairman of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Chief Oyinkuro Ereboh described the retiring AIG as a trustworthy man, saying that the zonal police boss was an icon in the Nigeria Police force.
The RTEAN Chairman revealed that he has learnt a lot from the retiring AIG, noting also that he would want to emulate the police boss’s legacies on peace and conflict resolution, stressing also that he would prefer the retiring police zonal AIG be succeeded by an officer with indisputable unique qualities, capable of handling challenges like the retiring AIG.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Coconut Refinery: A’Ibom Recommits To Planting 2m Seedlings
The Akwa Ibom State Government has restated its commitment to plant two million coconut seedlings to generate raw materials for the St. Gabriel’s Coconut Oil Factory in the State.
The State Governor, Udom Emmanuel made this known at the inaugural planting of 300, 000 coconut seedlings in Mkpu, Itu Mbonuso in Ini Local Government Area of the state.
He said the coconut planting exercise was the hallmark of activities held to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the state.
Emmanuel said the state would become an economic hub with the availability of raw materials to boost production.
“In all the activities to mark the 35th State Anniversary, this is one of the most remarkable. Today, we want to commission the first phase in this Local Government Area.
“Based on the survey that we have carried out, Ini LGA will give us a very high yield with hybrid coconut.
“As announced all over the 31 Local Government Areas, we are planting 300, 000 coconut seedlings across the state.
“Our target is before I handover the baton to the incoming governor, we will plant two million coconut seedlings and before December, we will meet that target,” Emmanuel said.
He urged the community to protect the project, saying that the coconut plantation will generate income to the state.
According to the governor, virgin coconut oil sells higher than crude oil at the international market.
Earlier in her remarks, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Offiong Offor, thanked the Governor for facilitating the project to ensure raw materials for the coconut factory.
Offor said as the state marks coconut day with the planting of seedlings, many job opportunities would be created for the youths and income would be generated through the production of the coconut oil.
Also speaking, the Paramount Ruler of Ini, Edidem Etim Umoette, commended the Governor for the various development projects put in place across the state.
Umoette added that the huge investments in agriculture across the 31 local government areas remains a panacea for food sufficiency.
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