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NATIONAL NEWS

Govt. celebrates Imo at 38

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How to move the state forward – Fr. Nkwocha

The Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, his wife Nkechi and members of the State Executive Council stormed the Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri, Sunday, February 2, 2014 to commemorate the 38th anniversary of the creation of Imo State.

Imo, with six others, was created on February 3, 1976 by the late Head of State, General Murtala Mohammed

Governor Rochas Okoroch and wife during the thanksgiving procession at Assumpta Cathedral to Mark the 38th Birthday of Imo State

Governor Rochas Okoroch and wife during the thanksgiving procession at Assumpta Cathedral to Mark the 38th Birthday of Imo State

The anniversary Mass was presided over by Rev. Fr. Andrew Nkwocha, the Administrator of the Cathedral, who represented the Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, who was attending an already scheduled pastoral visit.

In his sermon, Fr. Nkwocha said the day was special not only to the government and people of Imo State but also to the Church which was celebrating the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord that day.

Reflecting on the Readings of the day, the Administrator harped on the need to obey the laws of the state, warning that any society that does not respect its laws and rules is inviting anarchy and chaos.

He said that Mary and Joseph presented Jesus to the Lord in obedience to the law which required that every first son must be consecrated to the Lord.

The priest observed that many Nigerians don’t obey the laws of the land, regretting that the worst offenders are government officials.

Fr. Nkwocha praying for the Imo State Executives and citizens during the thanksgiving Mass

Fr. Nkwocha praying for the Imo State Executives and citizens during the thanksgiving Mass

Fr. Nkwocha warned that nobody is above the law and blamed growing indiscipline and disobedience on leadership.  “If those who make the laws keep them, others will follow but unfortunately, in Nigeria and elsewhere, top government officials, including lawmakers break the laws they make including traffic rules.  He said there are several cases of such impunity and recklessness on our roads resulting in the death of many innocent Nigerians.

Fr. Nkwocha commended the founding fathers of Imo State for their vision and the State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha for his efforts to put the state on the right track.  “Things are getting better but more efforts are still needed to reach the Promised Land”, he said.

For the state to achieve this, Fr. Nkwocha said all hands must be on deck.  “The government must be patriotic, show example by obeying the laws and respecting the rights of the ordinary citizens and embarking on programmes that will better the lots of the citizens.  The citizens on their part must also co-operate with the government, respect constituted authorities and discharge their civic responsibilities”.

He called on both government and the people to embrace Christ, obey the law as Mary and Joseph did, assuring the congregation that “if we do these, things  will be better in the country, in the state and in the church”.

In his brief remarks at the church, Governor Okorocha said he would not make any speech because: “His Grace, Archbishop Obinna is not on seat and I don’t want to disobey the rule of the church”.  He said he would have liked to speak if the Archbishop was around but in any case, he would address the people of the state the next day (Monday, Feb. 3) on the 38th anniversary of the state.

Meanwhile, the Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dr. T.O.E. Ekechi has explained why the state government decided to celebrate Imo at 38.

In a press release issued last week, Dr. Ekechi said: “In the past, not much attention has been given to the idea of commemorating the date of the creation of Imo State as is done for other anniversaries.  It is a strong omission which the Rescue Mission government has spotted and is committed to redressing”.

“This 38 years anniversary calls for thanksgiving to God for sustaining us all these years and for payer to keep protecting and directing us as we march on to full-fledged adult age with the idiosyncrasies of adulthood”.

The Commissioner observed that: “Two years from now, precisely by 2016, Imo will be 40 years old.  At 40, every expectation is that the state, not being young anymore ought to exhibit the whole mannerism of a full-fledged adult”.

“As a Rescue Government, what we are doing this year is to awaken Imolites to the consciousness that we are of age and for us to be prepared to behave more maturely while taking our destiny in our own hands”.

 

CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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