When it mattered most: The game changer (2)

She explained that NBMA has been saddled with the responsibility of regulating GMOs to ensure that they are safe for human consumption and the environment.

She, therefore, asserted that PBR cowpea is safe, nutritious, and harmless, adding that science has been politicised by those who are bereft of ideas about innovative technology.

“We need to embrace this technology. We lost out in other revolutions. In this gene revolution, the biological era, we are talking about sustainability and economic diversification.

“I feel so sad when people don’t understand this technology. It is about the collection of facts and evidence.

“In the midst of emerging issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and climate change, we just have to embrace this innovative technology to feed the teeming populace.

Gidado further appealed to the government to invest more in biotechnology research, adding that government needs to empower the youth and women with the technology.

In his welcome speech, Mr. Opuah Abiekwen, co-ordinator, Alliance for Science Nigeria, said conventional crops have not been able to solve the nagging issue of food insecurity in the country.

He underscored the need for the deployment of agricultural biotechnology to feed the teeming populace in view of the fact that the innovative technology is climate-smart, environmentally friendly, and ensures higher yields when compared to conventional or traditional crops.

He noted that the forum was organised to foster the understanding of agricultural biotechnology among journalists and scientists in order to inform the populace accurately as well as to examine the status of GM crops in Nigeria.

Mr. Greg Odogwu, National Co-ordinator, Centre for Renewable Energy, said the world is changing in a rapid way as there is a crisis in the world food system.

Odogwu stressed the need for journalists to accurately educate the public on the need for farmers to embrace the technology.

He urged the media not to relent in its awareness creation and education of the populace through well-researched and objective reportage.”

On July 3, 2022, security issues were the main item on the menu.

(i) “Sunday Telegraph” newspaper front page headline:

“Self defence: Nigeria degenerating into anarchy”

“Alhaji Yerima Shettima is the national president of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF). In this interview with Baba Negedu in Kaduna, Shettima says the country might degenerate into anarchy if the calls to bear arms becomes a reality.

The Zamfara State governor recently called on citizens to purchase arms and use it to defend themselves. What is your take on the development?

Under normal circumstances that should not be so, though it is also the right of every citizen to protect themselves, but not in this manner, it all depends on the situation, time, perspective and what your mind tells you to do. Under normal circumstances it is solely the responsibility of government to protect the citizens, that is if the government is responsive, you don’t need to go extra miles to protect yourself.

But in the circumstances of today government is not doing enough and if people want to take your life what do you do. You will have to defend yourself.

But then if you get arms to defend yourself, it then invariably means you can kill anyone that comes your way and if we have a society that puts people in this stead then there might be total anarchy because sometimes it might not be what you are thinking of. People may take advantage of the cover by the government people may do a lot of things that contradicts why they were told to hold guns in the first place.

That is what the governor of Zamfara State and whoever wants people to carry gun, that is what they are saying, so we need to be very careful. I am of the view that government should wake and do more than they are doing, they should not succumb to blackmail or to believe that they are being overwhelmed by those behind what is happening in the country.

They can do better, they is no institutions that is stronger than the government anywhere in the world. It is surprising that a governor will say that they have been overwhelmed and that citizens should take up arms and defend themselves I do not think that is good for our society, especially a society like Nigeria the way it is today.

Read also: Insecurity: Zamfara’s desperate measure against banditry

Government has been at this for years, since you don’t support bearing of arms what can government do to change the situation?

Government should come up with the idea of a community police or empowering the vigilantes, train them and give them arms because they need people within the society where most of these crimes are happening, there should be law backing them and their operations. Let them be well trained. So that they can remain in the places where some of these criminal minded people within the society stay and can curb their activities.”

(ii) “The Nation” newspaper July 3, 2022 front page headline: “Insecurity: Defend yourselves against attackers – Adeboye tells Christians”

“The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has said it is now in the hands of the children of God to defend themselves, amidst rising insecurity in Nigeria. He stated this during the church’s July 2022 Holy Ghost Service. The highly respected cleric stated that there is nowhere in the bible where God said a child of God cannot defend himself when under attack. His call came days after Zamfara State government, asked residents of the state to ‘obtain guns to defend themselves against terrorists.

The state’s Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara, who made the call in a statement during the week, said the directive was a result of the increase in the activities of bandits in various parts of the state, adding that the governor had notified the state Police Commissioner, Ayuba Elkana, of the development,

Dosara said the state government was committed to ensure adequate security and protection of lives and property of the citizenry in the state, particularly during this rainy season. He explained that the government had resolved to take further measures to deal with the recent escalating attacks, kidnapping and the criminal levies being enforced on innocent citizens of communities in the state.

“This act of terrorism has been a source of worry and concern to the people and government of the state. Therefore, in order to deal decisively with the situation in our respective communities, government has no option than to take the following measures. Government has, henceforth, directed individuals to prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against bandits, as government has directed the state commissioner of police to issue licence to all those who qualify and are wishing to obtain such guns to defend themselves.

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