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Ajimobi Urges Christians, Muslims To Pray For Nigeria

Posted: Dec 24, 2015 at 7:59 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on Wednesday urged Christians and Muslims to use the Eid-el-Maulud and Christmas festivities to pray for sustained peace, progress and economic revival of the country.

The governor made the call in a statement issued in Ibadan by Mr Yomi Layinka, his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy.

In it, he felicitated with them on the occasion of Eid-el-Maulud and Christmas celebrations.

Both celebrations commemorate the birth of Prophet Mohammed and Jesus Christ, respectively.

The governor said the close celebration of the birth of the holy ones was a rare coincidence that should be accordingly savoured by adherents of Islam and Christianity.

Ajimobi urged Christians and Muslims to use the occasion to rededicate themselves to the worship of the Almighty and to emulate the sterling lifestyle of both the Son and Messenger of God.

He advised the people of the state to remember the less-privileged in the orphanage homes, hospitals and prisons during the season by extending love to the inmates through visits, gifts and money.

“As the nation grapples with the fallout of the economic downturn, the governor encouraged the privileged ones among us to be their brother’s keepers’’, the statement reads in part.

The governor urged residents of the state to embrace modesty in celebration and be security-conscious during the season, adding that such celebrations often witnessed upsurge in criminal activities.

Ajimobi, however, commended the fighting spirit of citizens and workers in the face of biting economic realities.

He said that the state government was working hard to turn around the fortunes of the state in the coming year.

Ajimobi admonished the citizens, especially the youths, to shun the use of fireworks and explosives, as well as avoid careless handling of combustible materials to guard against destruction of lives and property.

The governor asked the people to be weary of criminal elements, who always hide under the guise of celebratory fireworks to rob during the end-of-year festivities.

He assured the people of adequate protection, adding that the full weight of the law would be unleashed on troublemakers and outlaws that might attempt to test the resolve of law enforcement agents.

In Port Harcourt, prices of goods doubled at the popular Oil Mill Market following the announcement of Dec. 24 as holiday before Christmas.

The rush by consumers to buy goods led to hike in prices of goods.

A bag of rice which sold between N8, 500 to N9, 000 now sells for N12, 500 while a half bag of similar brand which sold for N5, 000 is now sold for N6, 500.

A bag of melon sold for N55, 000 now sells for N60, 000, a cartoon of tomatoes that was sold at N1, 300 now sells for N2, 700, while a gallon of groundnut oil which sold for N1, 500 now sells for N2, 500.

A carton of seasoning which sold for N3, 500 now sells for N5, 000, while another brand which sold for N800 now goes for N1, 700.

A bag of dry pepper which sold for N 16, 000 now sells for N19, 000, a bag of flour sold at N6, 800 now sells for N7, 400 while a carton of butter sold at N5, 000 now sells for N5, 400.

Some wholesale traders who spoke to our correspondent linked the rise in prices to the high taxes paid on importation of goods while consumers said that the traders hiked prices because of the increase in patronage.

They urged the government to evolve policies that will encourage local production of some consumer items.

According to them, the government should also reduce the taxes paid on some items not produced in the country.

Mrs Angela Onochie, one of the traders, said sales were relatively higher than it was on Dec. 23, 2014.

“The times are hard in the country”, she said.

Transport fares and prices of most commodities in Owerri witnessed a slight increase two days to the celebration of Christmas.

Our correspondent who visited some of the motor parks and markets reports that transport fare increased by between 20 per cent and 30 per cent.

At the Imo Transport Corporation the fare from Owerri to Lagos remained N2,800 for a non-air conditioned bus, the air-conditioned bus goes for N3,200 while the Sienna cars went for N4000.

Bus fare to Aba costs N500, Umuahia transporters paid N450; while a trip to Port Harcourt that was hitherto between N650 and N750 now costs N900.

For the Peace Mass Transit, fare from Owerri to Enugu that was between N900 and N1000 now costs N1,200, travellers to Nsukka now pay N1,700 as against the former N1,200 to N1,500 (depending on availability of fuel).

The journey to Lagos stood at N4000 as against N3,500.

At the Ohonba Line Transport service, Owerri to Lagos goes for N3000, the same for Heartland Express Service.

Similarly, God is Good Motors collected N4000 from Owerri to Lagos for a trip that used to cost between N3,500 and N3,800 before the season

A small tuber of yam that sold for N200 now costs between N250 and N300 while a bigger tuber that was sold for N400 now goes for between N500 and N600.

A medium tin of tomatoes that sold for N120 now costs N150 to N160, La Mama that was N100 before now goes for N120; while Haano tomatoes that was N100 now sells for N120.

Chicken at the Ekeonuwa Owerri market sold for between N2000 to N4000 while it went for N1,7 00 to N3000 at the Relief Market.

Christmas Tree went for between N7000 and N30,000 depending on size and colour.

A bag of Mama Gold and Mama Africa rice and some other brands goes for N11, 500 to N12, 000, while others went for between N10,00 and N11,000.

Some marketers interviewed attributed the slight increase to “normal occurrence.’’

Mrs Agatha Nwosu explained that one would always expect such increase in prices of goods and commodities during the season.

Miss Ngozi Oleka, who sells stew condiments, said she had to increase the prices of her commodities because she bought from suppliers at higher prices too.