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Return to Farm: Cleric Advises Non-returning Politicians

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Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Ebonyi branch, Rev. Fr Abraham Nwali
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Political office holders in Ebonyi who are not returning to office during Gov. David Umahi’s second term have been advised to go back to farming and effectively utilise their severance allowances.

Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Ebonyi branch, Rev.

Fr Abraham Nwali, gave the advice yesterday in Abakaliki while delivering the second term inauguration lecture.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that theme of the lecture is: ‘Alternative opportunities to political appointments and elective positions.

Nwali, who is Umahi’s Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Religion and Welfare Matters, urged them not to see their non-return to political offices as the end of the world, but put their severance allowances into effective use.

“When you go back to farm, you will discover that the air and environment are natural which make you feel proud.

“You do not know how the money that is gotten through politics comes and so will not know how to spend it.

“You will however know when and how the money that comes through the farm came and how to judiciously monitor its expenditure.

“When you take a severance package of N10 million for instance and go back to the farm, Ebonyi will remain the food basket of the nation,” he said.

Nwali who is also the Judicial Vicar of the Catholic Diocese of Abakaliki also advised them to invest in agriculture and entrepreneurship.

“You should invest in mini industries such as in areas of flour, cellophane, sachet water industries among others as investment of N10 million in these areas can make one an industrialist.

“You can also invest in Information Communication Technology (ICT) which generates the world’s highest Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) instead of using sticks to pursue people on the road for revenue,” he said.

He warned them not to use their severance allowances to marry as it will only increase their burdens.

“The Vice Chancellor of the state university is here for instance as the cost of school fees might increase next term.

“This means that you might not keep up to three or four undergraduates in the school,” he said.

Umahi, represented by his Deputy, Dr Kelechi Igwe, urged political office holders to take advantage of the industrial clusters in the three senatorial zones to be self-reliant.

“The government has embarked on several empowerment schemes and provided credit facilities through the Bank of Industries (BOI) among others to make the people economically independent,” he said.

Chief Austin Umahi, the National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) South East Zone commended the conveners of the lecture and described it as ‘timely’.

“We should however recognise that despite the call for individuals to invest in business, fiscal policies of government can influence the viability of such investments,” he said.

NAN reports that participants at the lecture made contributions on how political office holders could live meaningfully if not returned to office. (NAN)

Faith

Niger Coup: CAN States Position on Military Intervention

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….Position on Military Intervention

Laide Akinboade, Abuja

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged the Economic Community Of West Africa States (ECOWAS) not to use military intervention to resolve the current crisis in Niger.

In a recent statement signed by the CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, the apex Christian association commended President Ahmed Tinubu, and other heads of ECOWAS for their unwavering commitment to discouraging coups d’état and the forceful takeover of power.

“We also applaud their commendable efforts in resolving the crisis currently faced by our neighbours in the Republic of Niger.

“CAN fully recognizes the gravity of the situation in Niger and the importance of upholding democratic principles, peace, and stability within the West African region. We believe that the peaceful resolution of conflicts is vital for the progress and well-being of our nations and our people.

Read Also: Niger Coup: Activate Standby Force, ECOWAS Orders Defence Chiefs  

“We applaud President Ahmed Tinubu for adopting a diplomatic approach in addressing the crisis by sending a high-level delegation, led by the eminent statesman General Abdulsalam Abubakar, to engage with the Nigerien authorities. This diplomatic overture demonstrates President Tinubu’s commitment to peaceful dialogue and his belief in the power of constructive engagement to foster understanding and resolve conflicts.

“Furthermore, we commend the inclusion of the esteemed Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, in the delegation. This representation showcases the unity of purpose and the collaborative spirit of Nigerian leaders, transcending religious and ethnic boundaries to jointly pursue peace in our region.

“CAN also commends the notable efforts of other prominent leaders, who have engaged with the Nigerien authorities in their personal capacities, leveraging private contacts. Their wisdom, experience, and counsel will undoubtedly contribute to the resolution of the crisis in Niger and the restoration of peace and stability in the region

“As an organization deeply committed to promoting justice, peace, and harmony, CAN urges Tinubu, to remain on the path of dialogue and avoid any form of military intervention or measures that would create enmity between the good people of Nigeria and Niger. We firmly believe that the path to lasting peace lies in upholding democratic processes, respecting the sovereignty of nations, and engaging in peaceful dialogue to address grievances and resolve conflicts.

“We implore all stakeholders involved in this matter to embrace peaceful negotiations, exercise restraint, and tirelessly work towards a sustainable resolution of the crisis in Niger. It is crucial to remember that peace is a collective responsibility, and only through joint efforts and unwavering commitment can we build a future of progress, stability, and prosperity for our nations, the statement read.

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Faith

Cleric Urges Tinubu to Ensure Even Resource Distribution

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Tony Obiechina, Abuja

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been urged to inclusively involve all segments of the country in his administration and ensure the equitable distribution of resources to address the citizens’ plight.

Reverend Babatunde Idowu, the District Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church in Wuse, Abuja, gave this advice during the Church’s 10th District Anniversary.

He emphasized that directing resources appropriately would also help alleviate economic challenges and address the country’s infrastructural decay.

Reverend Idowu acknowledged that the current administration’s economic policy is commendable, but stressed the importance of appointing the right individuals to manage the proceeds from fuel subsidy removal.

He stated that only Nigerians who fear God and are committed to serving the nation should be engaged for such responsibilities.

The Cleric believes that when both leaders and the public act responsibly, divine intervention will lead to the country’s transformation.

Assistant Pastor of Foursquare Utako, Abuja, Mrs. Stella Eniola Huthman, appealed to women to fulfill their responsibilities, set examples, and foster peaceful households.

Pastor Stella Eniola attributed the current moral decline in society to the failure of some women in fulfilling their roles, urging them to contribute positively to building a better nation.

Deacon Samson Olorunda, Chairman of the anniversary committee, stated that the church would persistently pray for divine intervention to address the country’s challenges.

He assured that the church would remain dedicated to promoting peace and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The theme for the week-long program was “Much More Than This,” derived from the book of 2 Chronicles 25:9-10.

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CAN Raises the Alarm Over Extreme Hardship Faced by Nigerians

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said that the increasing hardship faced by the majority of Nigerians due to recent hikes in fuel prices, school fees, and other essential expenses ignites worries.

In a statement issued by CAN President, Daniel Okoh, over the weekend, he urged the Federal Government to take immediate measures to alleviate the suffering in the country.

“While we acknowledge the complexities and difficult decisions taken by the government to manage the nation’s economy, there is an urgent need to prioritize measures that will alleviate, rather than exacerbate, the existing poverty level and hardships of Nigerians.

“The recent price hikes have placed an enormous burden on the already struggling masses, making it extremely difficult for them to afford the basic necessities of life,” the CAN President remarked.

He further advised the Federal Government to engage with critical stakeholders in meaningful dialogue to explore sustainable solutions to the current situation.

As part of the recommendations, Okoh stressed the importance of developing comprehensive economic policies that promote inclusive growth, job creation, and social well-being. He urged the government to focus on diversifying the economy, reducing dependency on volatile commodities, and promoting investments in sectors with the potential to create sustainable employment opportunities. These measures, according to him, would not only bolster economic resilience but also enhance the overall well-being of citizens.

“The fuel subsidy palliatives being considered by the government should go beyond cash transfers and should include the introduction of mass transport across states to reduce the cost of transportation. The multiplier effect of this will be profound,” Okoh emphasized.

Additionally, the CAN President called for measures to reduce the price of fuel, including the removal of unnecessary levies and taxes on imported petroleum products, stabilization of the foreign exchange market, and the restoration of local refineries to functional and effective use.

“While we understand that there is no gain without pain, the pain must not be unbearable,” he added.

Appealing to Nigerians to exercise patience with the government, Okoh urged everyone to work together to build an inclusive and resilient economy that offers opportunities for every Nigerian to thrive.

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