Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has threatened to call out workers if the federal government failed to expedite action on the state of insecurity in Nigeria.
The national publicity secretary, Deji Kolawole, who disclosed this in press statement yesterday, said “We wish to serve notice to the government that we would not hesitate to call out our members, starting from our Kaduna zone, if government continues by its inaction to imperil the lives and limbs of Nigerians, particularly those residing in the northern part of the country.
PENGASSAN therefore calls on the federal government of Nigeria to wake up to its primary responsibility by providing adequate security to the people as enunciated in section 14 of the 1999 Constitution.
Jonathan can take decision from anywhere – Maku
The federal government has fired back at those condemning President Goodluck Jonathan’s trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the United Nations Earth Summit, RIO+20, at a time the country is facing serious security crisis, saying that the President can rule the country from any part of the world.
Minister of Information Labaran Maku stated this yesterday in Abuja while briefing State House correspondents alongside the minister of housing and urban development Ms. Ammal Pepple and minister of state for finance Yerima Ngama after the Federal Executive Council meeting.
The FEC meeting was presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo.
According to Maku, Jonathan’s decision to attend the UN Earth Summit and his absence from the country did not amount to negligence of duties.
He said: “The president can take decision from anywhere in the world. His absence will not hamper his power to act. The vice president effectively takes charge of affairs once the president is out of Nigeria and he is in touch with the president on an hourly basis. There is no vacuum; the most important thing is that the president and the vice president work harmoniously and are in constant touch.
“If the president panics, what will the people do? We must stop making politics out of the unfortunate incident going on in northern Nigeria. The world is now a virtual society. That the president is out of the country doesn’t mean he cannot make decision on a matter. We should not play politics; he is in constant touch with this country on an hourly basis.
‘‘On Tuesday, he (the vice president) convened an emergency security meeting with security chiefs. If the President did not travel, the same people would condemn him for not doing so.”
Meanwhile, addressing members of the Nigerian community in Brazil soon after his arrival for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Jonathan said that Nigeria would make faster progress towards fulfilling its immense potentials if all Nigerians united in support of the sincere efforts of his administration to positively transform the country.
Pope seeks end to killings, bombings
Pope Benedict yesterday called for the immediate end to what he called ‘‘terrorist attacks’’ against Christians in Nigeria and urged all sides to avoid reprisals.
The Pope stated this while reacting to the recent killings of people in clashes between Muslim and Christian residents in Kaduna and Zaria.
‘‘I am following with deep concern the news from Nigeria, where terrorist attacks are continuing especially against Christians,’’ the pope said at his weekly general audience. ‘‘I appeal to those responsible for the violence to immediately stop the spilling of the blood of many innocent people.’’
He urged all groups in Nigeria to shun ‘‘the path of vendetta’’ and work towards building a peaceful society where people were free to practise their religion.