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Uyo church collapse: Adjoining churches provide insurance cover for worshippers



Uyo church collapse: Adjoining churches provide insurance cover for worshippers


Joe Effiong, Uyo

The Akwa Ibom State Government has concluded plans to demolish illegal buildings including churches built close to the collapsed Reigners Bible Church along Uyo Village Road, Uyo.

Reigners Bible Church collapsed, on December 10, 2016, killing more than 30 people and injuring hundreds of others including commissioners in Akwa Ibom State Government who had accompanied Governor Udom Emmanuel to the bishopric  consecration of the church founder, Pastor Akan Weeks.

The state commissioner for lands and town planning, Mr. Chris Ekpo told Daily Sun, on Monday, that some of the churches had since been put on a red alert, even as they had been instructed to provide insurance cover for 500 of their members in case of any such mishap.

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“They say they have approval. But I will like to see such approval. That church (name withheld) structure we had already given them demolition notice.

“When they came begging, what I told them was given three to four years, that structure will come down on its own because the erosion behind the church is very active.

“By the time we went on inspection, even the first fence they erected had gone down.

“So, what I insisted they should do is to pose an insurance of 500 worshippers so that if anything happens, the families would have something to fall back on. So they have done that and I have made sure that it is active on a yearly basis.

“There are a lot of illegal structures in Uyo. In this ministry we have already set a demolition squad.

“We have already identified structures we need to bring down so that others will also know that before they erect a structure they must get approval.

“That is why you have development control agencies like Uyo Capital City Development Authority and the area planning authorities.

“Master plans are supposed to be guides to development control which people are supposed to adhere to.

“But people, instead of submitting their drawings to the appropriate quarters, they take the laws into their hands and feel that they can erect structures they way they like. That is why you have all these problems.”

Ekpo attributed the increasing flooding in Uyo to illegal structures which were not a problem when the Uyo master plan was conceived.

“By right, the cost of the demolition is supposed to be borne by the illegal developer. How to enforce that is going to be a problem.

“So, we will not wait for that. As soon as we the funds we are expecting, we are going into demolition.

“So, if you have a friend that has illegal structure and has been fortunate enough to see the description on the building, tell him to make alternative plans; to start looking for another accommodation.”

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He said as early as November 2000, there was a relocation order  for all the inhabitant of Uyo village road in which the ill-fated Reigners Bible church was situated because of the poor nature the of the soil and topography of the areas.

He, however, lamented that the villagers were still selling plots along the area to unsuspecting members of the public including even the Nigerian Society of Engineers which only realised their mistakes when they went to get approval to start constructing their state secretariat.

The commissioner disclosed that the state government has earmarked for development, 1,000 units of different typology of houses in five local government areas  of Uyo, Eket, Ikot Abasi, Onna and Uruan, where are suspected as areas people are moving into from the city.

He also expressed concerns over the proliferation of markets in Uyo, especially around the Ibom connection and other similar city centres; but promised that two new public-private-partners markets would be developed in Uyo to take care of the seemingly stranded traders in the streets.



The post Uyo church collapse: Adjoining churches provide insurance cover for worshippers appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.


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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes



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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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers



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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Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike



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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