ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The President, Royal Queens of the Niger Delta Initiative (RQNDI), Dr. (Evang.) Josephine Diete-Spiff, has appealed to the media practitioners to change the narrative of classifying native doctors and criminals causing mayhem in the country as pastors.
Queen Josephine, wife of the first Military Governor of old Rivers State, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, made this known during the third edition of the Bayelsa Media Network Awards (BMNA), which held in Yenagoa at the Secretariat Complex of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State chapter.
Queen Josephine was conferred with an Award of Excellence as the ‘Symbol of Hope for the Girl Child, Women and the Elderly’ by the BMNA.
She lamented that native doctors and criminals had moved into the church, saying that pastors who are ordained by God would never be found in despicable acts.
Josephine emphasised that native doctors and criminals should be given the right nomenclature as criminals and not to be referred to as pastors.
She stated: “I realise that these days when there is crime, a pastor is always mentioned. It is becoming the norm that when crime is committed, the person is referred to as ‘Pastor’. I am a Pastor and I like to say that since the native doctors have moved into churches, we should actually classify them properly and stop calling them pastor somebody.
“We should say either native doctor or a criminal has committed an offense because a child of God will not be found in such acts. I would like the media to put it out there that we Christians are not criminals especially when we are titled ‘pastor’.
“So if criminals or native doctors have moved into the church and begin to cause mayhem, pastors should not be classified with them. They should give them the right nomenclature as criminals.”
She commended the BMNA for the award, saying it was her passion to care for the girl child and women, especially the widows and the elderly through her foundation.
She noted: “I am really happy about the award because it is my passion. I have received so many awards; this is my fifth this year.
“I really thank God that I am being acknowledged and I think it is a call to do more and I hope God keeping me strong, I will do my best always.”
She also regretted that some men who had huge amount of money in the bank as well as properties, unexpectedly died intestate without disclosing to their wives and children about their wealth.
Josephine said that non-writing of Will was one of the reasons widows who were not supposed to suffer were suffering all over the place today.
Queen Josephine, therefore, called on men to write their will now that they still could so that their wives and children who would represent them in future would not suffer unduly after they are gone.
“I was in the banking sector for 20 years. I learnt there that men who died too early or untimely, never told their spouses about their money in their bank accounts and the banks won’t tell them either, so the money got lost,” she stated.
The Chairman, Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council and Amayanabo of Twon-Brass Kingdom, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, who was full of admiration, appreciated his wife and queen for the award of recognition given to her by the media practitioners.
Diete-Spiff said: “She is a trailblazer. She has never stopped impressing and surprising me daily. So this has come again as a very pleasant surprise and that’s why I am here in person. I wish her more power to her elbow.
“I think the media award has come in at the right time. Congratulations to the organizers and to the press. So keep the flag flying!”
The former military governor expressed his displeasure over the deprivation and neglect by the multinational oil companies to clean up the crude oil spill and compensate impacted communities caused by the Santa Barbara OML 29 oil field in Nembe area of Bayelsa.
He called on the media to do their best to give the level of environmental degradation and suffering of the Nembe people the needed publicity it deserved in order to attract global attention.