The Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has said that the 2014 Children’s and Democracy Day celebrations will not be celebrated with the usual fanfare as a result of the security challenges currently facing the country.
Addressing a press conference to kick-start the Democracy Day programme of activities in Asaba on Wednesday, the Governor explained that the Democracy and Children’s Day celebrations would be marked in the state with fasting and prayers for the nation.
In particular, Uduaghan who called for the observance of a minute silence in honour of those that died in a Jos explosion said: “These are trying times for us as a nation. Two days ago there was twin blast in Jos train terminal and several persons lost their lives. This calls for deep sober reflection and vigilance by all”.
According to him, “because of the situation of things in the country, we have decided that 2014 is not a year of celebration but a year of serious prayers,” adding, “on May 27, Children’s Day, we are going to get our children to fast and pray.
“Our children will pray for Nigeria, they will pray for their colleagues who have been kidnapped, and they will pray that our children should be encouraged to be educated rather than be discouraged from being educated,” the Governor said, stating, “On the29th of May, we will pray because there is nothing God cannot do.”
Governor Uduaghan said, “as a state, we had challenges but they were overcome through prayers,” adding that President Goodluck Jonathan and his team were doing a lot to deal with the security challenges, noting, “let me assure all of us that the life and property of all Nigerians are dear to the heart of the President.”
Governor Uduaghan disclosed that his administration has taken proactive steps to ensure that Delta State was safe from any form of attack and urged residents of the state to be security conscious.
“We must be conscious of our environment. We must be conscious about the people around us. We must be conscious about cars parked in public places. We must be conscious about who we give our houses to as landlords. We must be alive to security challenges.”
He disclosed that due to the excesses of cattle rearers which has led to destruction of farmlands, rape of women and killing of some Deltans, security operatives in conjunction with the Nigeria Immigration Service have embarked on a mission to remove all illegal immigrants and Nigerians with evil intents.
“We had challenges of other nationals invading Delta State. Some were coming in trucks, some coming in as cattle rearers, but as a matter of fact, non-Nigerians who are here illegally are being taken care of by the immigration.”
The Governor explained that, “the exercise was not meant for Nigerians with legitimate businesses in our midst,” but warned, “we shall not allow those who are not legally acceptable to be with us.”
On the 2015 general elections, Dr. Uduaghan stated that all aspirants for political offices were free to pursue their consultations and ambition peacefully and should avoid actions capable of causing breach of the peace.
He said, “We are not against anyone’s ambition. What we are against is anybody overheating the system, a life lost in your attempt to get a position is a life that cannot be replaced, don’t incite people either by publication or action, don’t accumulate weapons because, you may not have opportunity to use them.
“If you are in my cabinet and you want to campaign for elective position, you are free to leave my cabinet. My responsibility is to guide the transition process in a very peaceful manner so that no life is lost and those who are going to vote for their candidates do that without threat of any kind.”
Dr. Uduaghan stated that besides the peace and security that his administration has restored to the state, tremendous success has been recorded in the infrastructure and human capital components of his three point agenda.