…..protests omission of Delta from NIRC
By Blessing Ogwara
The United Nations Positive Livelihood Award Centre (UN-POLAC), a non-governmental organisation, has reiterated its commitment to building peace bridges across religious and ethnic boundaries in Nigeria.
Director-general of UN-POLAC alongside, the country’s deputy president, Mike Dikwe, emphasized this recently during the inauguration of the NGO’s secretariat in Abuja and the presentation of award certificates and appointments to some peace advocates.
Speaking with newsmen in Warri on what occurred at the meeting, the Delta state chairman of POLAC, Alhaji Paxman Okpuzo, called for all hands to be on deck in order to effectively tackle the challenges facing Nigeria, pointing out that positive thinking on the part of every Nigerian will make the country a “better place”.
He explained further that the theme of the programme, ‘Stand Up for Human Right’, sought to expose people’s right to freedom and the dangers of not allowing them to exercise their right.
“When people are being oppressed and you don’t say anything, then you would be held accountable to God. These are the things human right is protecting. We should standup for human right. When one man is oppressed, all men are oppressed.
“We should know that anybody, who transgresses against his fellow human being is not doing it against that person, but against God. We should respect people, we should give them their rights and give them their honour and dignity and make this world to be a paradise,” Alhaji Okpuzo stated.
Climax of the event was the hoisting of POLAC’s flag.
Further addressing the issue of insecurity plaguing the nation, POLAC’s chairman recalled a sad experience in the hands of alleged Fulani hoodlums who attacked their vehicle.
“When we were going, I had an experience which I have never seen before in my life. Between Abaji and Abuja, our vehicle was fired upon by this people who call themselves Fulani, because the people I saw that came to the vehicle are Hausas. They had guns machine guns, solider guns and punched all the tyres, put holes in all the vehicles and started taking people into the bush.
He charged law enforcement agencies to go on a manhunt for the hoodlums in the bushes, adding that the basic responsibility of government is security of lives and property.
“When Nigerians and their properties are not safe, then government should think of what to do fast. I was asked to go with them to the bush. We got to a point they asked me to sit down and I refused. I asked him what he wanted and he said money. I gave him the money and that was how I was freed while others were taken away,” Okpuzo stressed.
In a related development, out of 60 delegates, 30 Christians and 30 Muslims approved for the Nigerian Inter Religious Council (NIRC), Delta State appears not to have a representative.
According to Alhaji Paxman Okpuzo, the omission of a representative for Delta state should raise “concern” for not only Deltans but the leadership of the NIRC, which is supported by the federal government.
He said: “I don’t think this is a good development. If you are given responsibility, you should do your job. I have reported to the appropriate quarter which is the executive secretary, he should be able to pick it up from there. Because if Deltan’s are not represented then something is wrong.
“Nigeria is a nation. We cannot live in one place and marginalize some people or segregate people.”