The Christian Association of Nigeria has expressed hope that the ban on religious gatherings in the country may be lifted by the first Sunday of June.
The ban is among the safety precautions in place to combat coronavirus in the country.
CAN President Rev Samson Ayokunle gave the indication in a statement on Wednesday.
He said they had been consulting with the Federal Government on the modalities to follow.
He said if the government did not entertain any fear in opening markets and banks, there would not be any basis to hesitate in opening churches considering the fact that they are more organised than markets and banks.
Ayokunle said, “As a law-abiding institution, the church in Nigeria and the Christian Association of Nigeria that binds all of us together complied, hitherto, with government’s directive suspending church services for the past eight weeks now.
“However, the Church is well prepared for resumption of worship and as one of the most organised institutions in the country with trained leadership and good guidance by the Scripture.
“We are in discussions with the Federal Government and are drawing the guidelines that churches would follow in order not to endanger the life of any worshipper and equally prevent COVID-19 infection.
“We are sure of compliance if the government allows our compliance team to work hand-in-hand with their law enforcement agencies to monitor compliance. If the government didn’t entertain any fear in opening markets and banks which are not as organised as the church, why should government entertain fear about the compliance of the church?
“We are hopeful that latest by the first Sunday in June, all our churches would open again for congregational worship under COVID-19 prevention regulations. As I said before, we are consulting with the government on this.”
Meanwhile, CAN, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 met on Wednesday over the issue.
The CAN delegation was led by the Chairman of its North Central chapter and President of FCT Baptist Conference, Rev. Israel Akanji.
The representatives of the Federal Government were said to have promised to prepare their own recommendations to be presented to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), who would decide the accepted ones and present them to the country in his nationwide broadcast scheduled for next week.
Apart from the usual the guidelines, the NSCIA was said to have asked that worship be held the same hour according to Qur’anic injunctions, but said children would not take part.
A source said, “The PTF and NCDC promised to prepare their recommendations which will be presented to the President, who will decide the accepted ones and present them to the nation in his nationwide broadcast scheduled for Monday.
“All parties agreed that it was time to reopen worship centres,” the source added.
Among the 13 guidelines sent to The PUNCH by Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media and Communications) to Ayokunle, every worshipper must be screened before going into the church hall, while people with high temperature would be advised to see their doctors.
He said, “CAN will constitute a committee together with law enforcement agencies to enforce full compliance.
“The guidelines for the church should be along these suggestions: churches should disinfect their premises first before they are reopened for services. Churches should provide alcoholic sanitisers, temperature readers, soap and water on their premises to be supervised by medical professionals in the church.”
NSCDC Boss Becomes Fellow of Institute of Criminology, Says ‘I Won’t Rest on My Oars’
By Eric Elezuo
The Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Lagos State Command, Commandant Ayeni PK, has been honoured with the DISTINGUISHED FELLOW of the Institute of Criminology and Strategic Studies.
The investiture, which was conducted with strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols, was performed by the Institute’s Registrar-General, Dr S. A. Adekunle, at Alausa – Ikeja, of the Commandant.
During the course of the event, a brief citation of the Commandant was presented, before he was inducted, decorated and certified.
The honour bestowed on the Commandant is seen as the most prestigious award of the Institute to any person.
In his remarks, the Commandant extended his heartfelt appreciation to the Almighty God for His mercies and for sparing everyone’s life to the present. He also lauded the Institute for considering him for the honours.
Furthermore, he specially thanked the Chairman Governing Council of the Institute and the immediate past Commandant General of the Corps, Dr Ade Abolurin Phd OFR psc+, saying he was grateful to him for being a great inspiration.
In his key note address, the Institute’s Registrar-General, Dr S.A. Adekunle, remarked that the mandate of the Institute, is to train and retrain members. T
“The Institute also identifies various sources of crimes and proffer solutions, before the commission of such crimes,” he said.
He stressed that Commandant Ayeni PK is one of the best Commandants the Corps has produced in recent times, affirming that selection of awardees is being done without any form of bias or prejudice.
“His selection is informed by his high-level performance, and doggedness towards ensuring the security and safety of lives and property, in Lagos State. His hardwork and and dedication to duty amidst other professional and administrative qualities are also some of the reasons, for his investiture today,,” the Registrar concluded.
“This is another inspiration for me to do more and give my best to my father land. I will therefore, not rest on my oars,” Ayeni promised while requesting the Institute to develop a training programme for officers and men of the Command.
Among officers of 1.DCthe Corps who attended the event were Obimma Frederick ( 2ic to the Commandant), 2. DC Paul O. Shomide ( HOD Administration), 3. DC Jayeola Margaret ( HOU Anti- Corruption and Transparency Monitoring Unit), 4. CSC Atolagbe Mohammed ( S A to the Commandant), 5. SC Durodola Abdullahi ( HOU Protocol), 6. ASCI Abolurin Oluwaseun O. ( PRO).
There were also members of the Institute present, and they were the Registrar-General, Dr S. A. Adekunle; the Registrar, Revd John Olagunju; the Deputy Registrar, Mr Gideon Ogundare; Director, Education and Training, Dr Adeniran Adewale S.; Director, Membership, Mrs Nwobodo Ijeoma; Director, Media and Publicity, Ovi John Aziamagba and Mr Odunlami Davidson, Asst Director Management Services.
Tincan Island Port Customs Declares N112.7bn Income in Three Months
The Tincan Island Ports had declared its revenue earnings for a three months period covering January to March 2021.
The revenue earnings for the period under review stood at One Hundred and Twelve Billion, Six Hundred and Ninety-Five Million, Six Hundred and Ninety-Three Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty-Eight Naira, Sixty-Six Kobo (N112,695,693,158.66), which shows an improvement of about 21.05Billion (23%) when compared with Revenue earnings of 91Billion In the first quarter of the previous year 2020.
This improvement, according to a press statement signed by the Area Controller, M.B.A. Musa, is in spite of the twin threat to lives and livelihood posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic, noting that the Command had inspired their officers to continue to work hard while observing all the safety measures to achieve the best of performances through the use of technology and collaboration.
“We kept our lines of communication open and concerted effort was made to ensure that the supply chain is not disrupted,” he said.
The statement also noted that during the period under review, anti-smuggling activities yielded result with a spectacular seizure of cocaine weighing 43.110kg concealed in Raw Bulk Sugar, arrest of 20 suspects in connection with the seizure and detaining of the vessel MV SPAR SCORPIO.
The Command has handed over the case file, suspects and the vessel to National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further investigation.
The Command has also put various trade facilitation measures in place to help ensure stress-free engagement with clients, customers and the Nigerian public. The statement observes as follows
“The Command has put measures in place with a view to ensuring that legitimate trades are given expeditious attention.
“Accordingly, the Dispute Resolution Committee and the Help Desk have been re-jigged with a mandate to attend very expeditiously to all Trade related disputes. We have also reinvigorated the use of inter-modal transport system (Use of Barges for Cargo movement in line with Global Best Practices.”
NSCDC Arrest 50 Armed Herders in Ekiti, Cross River, Borno
Commandant-General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ahmed Audi, has said operatives of the security outfit have arrested 50 armed herders.
The armed herders, he said, were arrested in different parts of the country, including Ekiti, Borno and Cross River states.
NAN reports that Audi spoke on Wednesday in Abuja while presenting licences to private guard operators.
He said: “We arrested 50 illegally armed herdsmen and realised that some of them are into cattle rustling and kidnapping.
“The armed herdsmen were arrested in Ekiti, Borno and Cross River states and in some other parts of the country.”
Audi said the arrest of the illegally armed herders, shortly after his assumption of office, was an indication of his determination to reposition the corps for optimal delivery on its core mandate.
“It is part of our mandate to settle disputes between herdsmen and farmers and to also give some security protection to our agro-allied investments,” he said.
Audi spoke on the need for synergy between security agencies, noting that the nation’s security challenges could only be addressed substantially through intelligence sharing.
He charged the private guard operators to ensure valuable contributions to ongoing efforts at checking rising insecurity.
“The nation is bedevilled with a very serious insecurity crisis, and that is the asymmetric warfare,” he said.
“If you want to deal decisively with this, you must synergise with all stakeholders in terms of credible intelligence.”
He warned that the licences of private guard operators would be withdrawn if they engage in unethical practices.