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Flood ravages INEC office in Edo

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says its office in Benin City, Edo has been ravaged by flood.

“The flood damaged a section of the building. It destroyed voters registration machines and other items,” Mr Sam Olumekun, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.

He said that INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Edo, Dr Anugbum Onuoha, reported that the state was completely flooded following a torrential rainfall on Friday.

According to Olumekun, preliminary assessment shows that the heavy downpour damaged a section of the building, while movable and immovable items were submerged.

“Property submerged included vehicles parked at the premises as well as office furniture and equipment,” he said.

He added that some of the voter enrollment machines already configured for the forthcoming Continuous Voter Registration (CVR)  in the state were affected.

“The commission is delivering additional machines from the neighbouring states to make up for the shortfall.

“We are determined to ensure that the CVR will commence as scheduled on Monday, May 27, in all the 192 Wards across Edo.

“However, in view of the emergency situation, the state headquarters will not serve as a registration centre as planned.

“Instead, the exercise will now take place in our Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area office located at 16, Customs Road, off Benin/Auchi Road, Benin City,” he said.

Olumekun said the attention of security agencies and emergency services had been drawn to the incident.

Tinubu’s administration revolutionalising Nigeria’s health sector – Minister

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The Federal Government says  that President Bola Tinubu’s administration is taking significant steps to revolutionise Nigeria’s health sector.

These initiatives included new infrastructure projects, enhanced regulations and efforts to boost local manufacturing, workforce development and health insurance coverage.

Prof. Ali Pate, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, disclosed this on Friday in Abuja at a Ministerial Sectoral briefing ahead of Tinubu’s first anniversary.

Pate revealed that groundbreaking ceremonies would soon be held for 10 major healthcare infrastructure projects across Nigeria.

“These projects will establish new radiology and clinical pathology centres in several regions, including Kaduna, Idubu, and Asaba, among others,” he said.

The minister emphasised that these facilities are part of a broader strategy to improve healthcare access, and diagnostic capabilities nationwide.

“The President has committed to renewing the health sector and these groundbreaking projects are a testament to that promise.

“These new centres will bring advanced diagnostic services closer to the people, enhancing early detection and treatment of various health conditions,” he said.

He said that  the administration is focusing on enhancing local pharmaceutical production to reduce dependency on imports and create jobs.

“Effective regulation has played a crucial role in this effort, providing a conducive environment for local manufacturers.

“A notable example is the partnership with a Brazilian entity investing 240 million dollars to establish manufacturing plants in Lagos for producing test kits,” he said.

Pate said that to address healthcare workforce shortage, the administration had increased training slots from 38,000 to 64,000.

“This expansion aims to produce a new generation of healthcare professionals equipped to meet the country’s growing needs,” he said.

He also highlighted the importance of encouraging Nigerian medical professionals abroad to return home, and contribute their expertise to the nation’s healthcare system.

“We’ve seen an encouraging trend of well-trained Nigerians returning from abroad. This influx of expertise will significantly enhance our healthcare services,” he noted.

The minister said that the government aimed to increase the health insurance coverage from 17 million to 50 million Nigerians.

“This initiative is crucial for making healthcare services more affordable and accessible.

“Imagine the transformative impact of providing fair insurance to 50 million Nigerians. It will change the dynamics of our healthcare sector dramatically,” he said.

He said that the ministry in collaboration with Ghana, have closed several open drug markets to combat fake drugs in the country.

Pate said they are also working to establish coordinated wholesale centres to streamline the supply chain, and ensure distribution of safe medications.

He reassured Nigerians that the government was vigilant in protecting Nigeria’s health security through a One Health approach.

“This strategy involves collaboration between the health, agriculture, environment, and water resources sectors to address health issues comprehensively. We are committed to ensuring the health and well-being of all Nigerians.

“Our multifaceted approach, including surveillance and regulatory measures, is designed to tackle both infectious and non-infectious diseases,”he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that since Tinubu`s assumption of office, he had focused on implementing the “Renewed Hope Agenda” for the health sector.

NAN reports that the agenda is aimed at improving healthcare delivery and outcomes across Nigeria.

The administration has significantly increased the budget for the health sector to ₦1.58 trillion, marking a substantial rise from previous allocations.

This increase aims to support extensive infrastructure development and health system improvements.

Tinubu’s “Renewed Hope Agenda” has set ambitious goals for Nigeria’s health sector, focusing on increased investment, expanded insurance coverage, and improved infrastructure.(NAN)

Sudden death of former Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, shocks EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, says it received with shock, the sudden death of one of its former Executive Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde.

Dele Oyewale, Head, Media & Publicity, recalled in statement Sunday that Lamorde, pioneer Director of Operations and third substantive Chairman of the EFCC between February 15, 2012 and November 9, 2015, served the nation actively as a focused and gallant anti- graft fighter.

Oyewale said Lamorde will be sorely missed both at the EFCC and the nation at large.

The Commission prays for the repose of his soul and comfort for his family, the EFCC and the entire nation.

Plateau govt seeks media support to tackle insecurity 

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The Plateau Government has called on journalists in the state to support its efforts toward tackling the security challenges currently confronting the state.

Retired Brig.-Gen. Gakji Shipi, the Special Adviser on Security to Gov. Caleb Mutfwang, made the call while interacting with some journalists on Friday in Jos.

Shipi queried the faulty casualty figures reported in a section of the media on the recent attack in Wase Local Government Area of the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)  reports that a section of the media reported that forty persons were killed in the incident as against the nine confirmed by the authorities.

”As you all know, our governor is doing his best to tackle insecurity and bring meaningful development to Plateau by attracting investors.

”This is why we are calling on all journalists, our partners in progress, to be professional and consider the interest of the state while reporting.

”We will not stop you from doing your job, but we are appealing to you to always put Plateau in the news for the right reasons.

”Please, always get the correct details before publishing your stories. Doing so will simply show that we are working together,”he said.

The security adviser also promised to be available at all times for journalists to get confirmation and clarification on any security issue in the state.(NAN)

Boost food security, stakeholders urge FG

Some stakeholders in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have urged the Federal Government to improve food security nationwide.

They also appealed to the federal government to beef up security in the country.

The stakeholders spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja, while assessing the one-year performance of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

They said Nigeria still had the opportunities to grow and improve on the economy even though the year was full of economic challenges.

Mr John Awoyi, President, Bwari Youth Forum, said the past one year had been challenging for citizens, especially with the increase in the cost of living.

He, however, said that if the government could improve on food security to address the rising cost of living and the issue of insecurity, Nigerians would be proud of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the president.

“I can say that the administration has done well in tackling the issue of insecurity in Bwari Area Council.

”The council had suffered insecurity for years now but from December up until now, we have enjoyed relative peace.

“However, if the Federal Government can extend this type of proactive measure to other parts of the country that are suffering from banditry, kidnappings and other forms of insecurity, it will be good,”he said.

Awoyi also called on the federal government to support the agricultural sector as it was the only way to ensure food security.

”We need to support the agriculture sector by supporting the farmers to produce more.

”There is need to meet the demands of the farmers at the grassroots because they are key to the major food chain.

”The government should find ways to bring down prices of goods and services that have already risen too high for the average Nigerians,” he said.

Awoyi also urged the federal government to consider implementing policies that are people friendly.

Similarly, Madam Agnes Oroboh, a market leader in the area also appealed to the federal government to consider putting smiles on the faces of Nigerians.

”Government needs to end the suffering of the people as we are yet to get an ease from the removal of fuel subsidy by implementing policies that will bring swift solutions to the ones already on ground.”

She said that business owners have not had things easy as they have had to struggle with meagre resources to meet up their customers’ demands.

She appealed to the federal government to work out modalities that would impact on Small Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) that would help people to access loans and other government incentives.

Also, Mr Ayu Jonathan, a major electronics distributor, said that government needed to improve on power supply, adding that consistent power outage was a major setback to SMEs.

Jonathan urged the federal government to look into the epileptic power supply in Abuja and the nation at large and find a lasting solution to the issue, including transportation and rising food prices.

On her part, Mrs Maryamu Barnabas, a politician and an activist, however, lauded the efforts of Tinubu-led administration while assuring that, things might look hard for now but better days lied ahead.

She said that the administration’s policies may look tedious to Nigerians at the moment but was for good.

She also urged Nigerians to continually pray for the leaders and the country, while also urging them to be patient and allow God take control of every situation. (NAN)

Kano: the emir and the emirate

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By Isah Aliyu Chiroma

“The man we fell in love with is called Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and what’s made him the darling of the progressives is his characteristic public intellection. You can never take that away from him. There’s always a price to pay for refusing to play by the book of the Establishment”.

_Gimba Kakanda

Everything that has a beginning must have an end, and as the time may have it, the nightmare of history will be awoken. The 14th Emir has returned to Kano, just as how Sarki Kukuna Dan Alhaji (1651-1652), who ruled for 1 year and was deposed. He was reinstated after 3 months and ruled for 8 years and 7 month.

This came after the Kano State House of Assembly has passed Kano emirates council law (repeal bill) 2024. The law has abrogated establishment of 5 new Emirates in the state. All offices established under the repealed law have been set aside.

From the other hand, one might ask, is it possible for a bill to be repealed within the short time frame?  When a bill is passed, it must go through first, second and third reading. There is no stated time on when those reading should take place. It is possible to do the readings just as how it is been done by the state assembly. This gave the Kano state Governor the right to sign the repeal bill, which he did.

Going down the history lane, the late Abubakar Rimi humiliated the emirs of Kano and Hadejia in the 1980s by establishing five new emirates (four in Kano and one in Hadejia) in the former Kano State. He accused both emirs of being supporters of the then-ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN) without providing any proof. What took place? Shortly afterward, Sabo Bakin Zuwo annulled all of the “emirates” at his inauguration ceremony, and Rimi was voted out of government.

For the kwankwasiya, this is a dream coming to reality, bringing back the Emir dethroned by the opposition party. It is also a big slap on the face of the former Governor. But for HH Sanusi II, it is a time to correct a narration written on his history. As he once said, “In a sense, there is a lot of good in this; only that people are thinking about today and not how history will record it. For those of us who come from families with a history, we are more interested in how future generations will see us than in the petty tribulations that fate inflicts upon us”.

For us that believed in fate, anything can happen at any time. And when the time comes, it is bound to happen. But I am afraid of one thing; Kano’s monarch system has already been destabilized, any new Governor can repeal the bill, which can give him full autonomy to reinstate a new Emir and bring back the Emirate. Should this be the fate of Kano’s traditional ruling system, can the mistake be corrected? This is a question only time can answer, where interest and loyalty will pay.

I will conclude with the word of HH Sanusi II, he said, “Whichever way this turns out, I am not a loser and Insha Allah, and justice will be done”. Is the installment of HH Sanusi II a justice on the play, time shall tell.

Food prices rise in April 2024- NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says prices of rice, garri, tomato, beans, yam and other food items increased in April 2024.

The NBS said this in its Selected Food Prices Watch report for April 2024 released in Abuja on Friday.

The report said that the average price of 1kg of local rice increased by 155.93 per cent from N546.76 recorded in April 2023 to N1, 399.34 in April 2024.

“On a month-on-month basis, 1kg of local rice increased by 3.47 per cent in April from the N1, 340.74 recorded in March 2024.”

It said that the average price of 1kg of white garri increased by 134.98 per cent on a year-on-year basis from N362.50 recorded in April 2023 to N851.81 in April 2024.

“On a month-on-month basis, 1kg of white garri increased by 13.59 per cent from the N749.89 recorded in March 2024.”

The report said that the average price of 1kg of tomato increased by 131.58 per cent on a year-on-year basis from N485.10 in April 2023 to N1, 123.41 in April 2024.

“On a month-on-month basis, the price increased by 17.06 per cent from the N959.68 recorded in March 2024.”

The NBS said that the average price of 1kg of brown beans rose by 125.43 per cent on a year-on-year basis from N615.65 in April 2023 to N1387.90 in April 2024.

“On a month-on-month basis, 1kg of brown beans increased by 12.44 per cent from N1, 234.40 recorded in March 2024 to N1,387.90 in April 2024. ”

In addition, the average price of 1kg of yam tuber rose by 154.19 per cent on a year-on-year basis from the N444.69 recorded in April 2023 to N1, 130.37 in April 2024.

“On a month-on-month basis, it increased by 5.76 per cent from N1, 068.78 recorded in March 2024 to N1, 130.37 in April 2024.”

On state profile analysis, the report showed that in April 2024, the highest average price of 1kg of local rice was recorded in Niger at N1, 785.47, while the lowest was recorded in Benue at N993.72

It said that Bayelsa recorded the highest average price of 1kg of white garri at N1, 095.26, while the lowest was recorded in Benue at N494.47.

The NBS said that the highest average price of 1kg of tomato was recorded in Delta at N1, 851.19, while the lowest price was recorded in Zamfara at N547.22

According to the report, Abuja recorded the highest average price of 1kg of brown beans at N2, 288.36, while the lowest was reported in Yobe at N818.03.

It said Cross River recorded the highest average price of 1kg of yam tuber at N 1,797.15, while the least average price was recorded in Bauchi at N638.64.

Analysis by zone showed that the average price of 1kg of local rice was highest in the South-West at N1, 615.21, followed by the South-South at N1, 564.85.

“The lowest price was recorded in the North-West at N1, 163.13.”

The South-South and South-West recorded the highest average price of 1kg of white garri at N1,031.19 and N 982.42, respectively, while the lowest price was in the North-West at N681.77.

The report said that the South-South recorded the highest average price of 1kg of tomato at N1, 689.40 followed by the South-West at N1, 429.06 , while the North-West recorded the lowest price at N615.54

The NBS said also that the North-Central and South-South recorded the highest average price of 1kg of brown beans at N1, 594.84 and N1, 579.64, respectively.

“The North-West recorded the lowest price of 1kg of brown beans at N966.9.”

Yusuf presents letter of appointment to Emir Sunusi

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Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf, on Friday, presented letter of appointment to Sunusi Lamido Sunusi, as the 16th Emir of Kano.

The development is sequel to the signing into law of the amended Kano State Emirate Council Law by the governor on Thursday.

The amended law abolished the five Emirate Councils and sacked the emirs appointed by former governor Abdullahi Ganduje in 2019, paving way for the re-enthroment of Sunusi.

Speaking while presenting the letter, Yusuf said, “Sunusi is a victim of the immediate past administration, who is now being restored to his rightful position to lead the people”.

The ceremony was graced by members of the Kano Emirate Council, district heads and title holders.

It also marked a new chapter in the history of the Kano Emirate with re-enthroment of Sunusi, who was deposed in 2020 by the Ganduje administration. (NAN)

Boko Haram Commander, 5 fighters surrender in Borno

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The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), says a Boko Haram Commander, Adamu Muhammad and 5 other fighters have surrendered to the military authorities in Borno

This is contained in a statement by Lt.-Col Abubakar Abdullahi, the Chief Military Public Information Officer, N’djamena – Chad on Friday in Maiduguri.
Abdullahi said that the terrorists surrendered on May 2 following military’s intensified operations.

“The terrorists escaped from the ISWAP faction hideout in Jubillaram, situated in Southern Lake Chad. Adamu, 22 years old, had participated in numerous terrorist attacks and roam around Kangarwa, Alagarno, Doro Naira, and Dogon Chikwu in Kukawa Local Government Area, Borno,” he said.

 Abdullahi said that while surrendering they handed over 11 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and one warhead of anti-aircraft rounds

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 “Other surrendered fighters include;  Isah Ali, 18; Hassan Modu, 18; Nasir Idris, 23 escort for the Commander of Jubillaram Usman Rash; Abba Aji, 21and Abubakar Isah.

“The surrendered fighters are currently undergoing investigation.

“This brings the total number of terrorists who have surrendered since the commencement of Operation Lake Sanity ll on April 23 to 119.

 “The MNJTF appeals to other terrorists to follow suit, lay down their arms, and embrace peace. We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring a secure environment in the Lake Chad,”he said.(NAN)

Ganduje donates N5m, rice to victims of Kano Mosque attack

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Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has donated N5 million to victims of the recent attack on Gadan Mosque in Gezawa Local Government in Kano.

The former governor also gave 50 bags of rice to the victims.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that one Shafiu Abuvakar, 38, on May 18, set the Mosque during the dawn prayer.

The dawn attack left 18 people dead and 25 others injured.

Ganduje, who was represented by a delegation led by the APC chairman in Kano State, Abdullahi Abbas, visited the victims in the hospital and the affected Mosque.

The national chairman expressed his condolences and prayed for the souls of those who died in the attack, while wishing those injured quick recovery.

He also promised to rebuild the burnt Mosque.

NAN reports that the seven injured victims still in the hospital got a donation of N50,000 each, while N5 million was donated to families of those killed.(NAN)

Governor approves Sanusi Lamido’s return as Emir of Kanov

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Gov. Abba Yusuf of Kano State on Thursday signed the amended Kano State Emirates Council bill into law.

The bill, which was passed by the Kano State House of Assembly few hours earlier, dissolved the Emirate Council and sacked the five Emirs sappointed by former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

Yusuf also approved the return of Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former Kano Emir, who was deposed in 2020, to the seat.

The abrogated Kano State Emirates Council Law 2019, signed by the then-Governor Ganduje, had created five Emirates – Kano, Bichi, Rano, Gaya and Karaye.

Ganduje, in March 2020, dethroned Sanusi, citing insubordination.

He was replaced by Aminu Ado Bayero, who was transferred from Bichi Emirate, to Kano.

The new law states that all offices created under the repealed law have been dissolved, and district heads appointed or elevated under the law are to revert to their former positions.

The Commissioner for Local Government shall oversee all transitional arrangements, including how to deal with the assets and liabilities of the abolished Emirates and the new structures created under the repealed Principal Law dated 5th December, 2019.

Similarly, all the affected Emirs of the five Emirates have been directed to handover properties in their possessions to the Commissioner of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.(NAN) 

Nigeria witnesses significant strides under Tinubu – SGF

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Sen. George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation says Nigeria witnesses significant strides in various sectors, in one year of President Bola Tinubu’s stewardship.

Akume stated this on Wednesday in Abuja, at the ministerial press briefing to mark one year anniversary of President Tinubu in office.

“Through prudent fiscal policies and strategic investments, the Nigerian economy has shown resilience and potential for growth.

“The President has declared his unwavering commitment to unleashing Nigeria’s full economic potential by focusing on job creation, access to capital for small and large businesses.

“Other areas of priority by the administration are; inclusiveness, the rule of law, and the fight against hunger, poverty and corruption for the good of the people.

“It is therefore imperative that the public is made aware of such commitments, as well as the programmes and projects being pursued by the government,’’ he said.

The SGF reiterated that the country’s economy under President Tinubu had shown resilience and potential for growth within his one year in office.

He added that government was also poised to unveiling measures being taken to positively change the trajectory of the current Nigerian economy.

Speaking on other areas of achievements, the SGF said Tinubu’s commitment to enhancing the nation’s infrastructure was evident in the completion and execution of numerous projects.

He listed some of such projects to include; the extensive road networks, improved rail systems, and the modernisation of the ports, which he explained, were vital for boosting trade and connectivity.

“From the outset, President Tinubu’s administration set forth an ambitious agenda focused on economic revitalisation, social inclusion, and infrastructural development.

“Government has implemented significant economic reforms aimed at stabilising our economy and fostering sustainable growth.

“Key among these is the introduction of policies that have attracted foreign investments, reduced inflation, and boosted job creation across various sectors,’’ Akume said.

He said the briefing offered an opportunity to reflect on the journey the Tinubu’s administration embarked upon about a year ago and to share the remarkable progress made under the President’s visionary leadership.

Akume said Nigerians would also be acquainted with the giant strides taken within the first year of the present Administration. (NAN)

INEC tasks states electoral commissions on credible LG polls

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has advised States Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) to ensure that local government councils elections are credible in all states.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this when he received the executives of the Forum of State Independent Electoral Commissions (FOSIECOM) in his office on Wednesday in Abuja.

He also advised state governors to allow the SIECs some level of independence to enable them conduct credible polls.

Yakubu said the conduct of local councils elections was fundamental to the proper functioning of the Nigerian   democracy.

He said that although both INEC and SIECs were created by the constitution, SEICs were responsible for the conduct of local councils elections, while INEC was uncharge of federal and state elections.

He said that INEC was also empowered by Section 98 of the Electoral Act 2022 to conduct local government or area council election in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Yakubu said that over the years, attempts were made to encourage the SIECs to maintain their independence.

This,  according to him,  included the signing of Memorandum of Understanding with SIECs in the form of training, provision of some facilities, and institutionalisation of the culture of planning.

He said that INEC also established the joint INEC/FOSIECOM consultative committee headed by a national commissioner.

Yakubu said all these initiatives were done in the firm belief that by working together, the 36 SIECs would leverage on the experience of INEC for a progressive improvement in the conduct of local government elections.

“Unfortunately, the conduct of local government election in virtually all the states of the Federation has become mere coronation of candidates of the ruling parties.

“It is time to stop the coronation and conduct proper elections. State governors should allow the SIECs to have greater capacity for independent action.

“Many of the SIECs have no functional offices in the local government areas in their states and cannot recruit their own permanent staff.

“In some states, the SIECs are either not properly constituted, have no security of tenure or their critical functions have been taken over by government officials,” he said.
Yakubu added: “Some SIECs are only constituted on the eve of elections and dissolved thereafter.

“They are also severely under-resourced to the extent that some of them rely on INEC even for basic facilities such as ballot boxes and voting cubicles.”

He said that consequently, many Nigerians including some candidate in local government elections mistook the SIECs for INEC.

This situation according to Yakubu,  had forced INEC to reconsider some aspects of its relationship with the SIECs.

“Our support is now largely restricted to the voters’ register as provided by the Constitution.

“ INEC cannot shoulder its own extensive responsibilities and at the same time extend almost limitless support to other independent electoral commissions for elections outside our mandate across the country from our lean federal budget,’’ he said.

Yakubu appealed to the commissions to learn from the FCT area council election conducted by INEC, so they could enhance the credibility of LG polls.

“While there are legal and financial constraints to your operations, your independence does not necessarily draw from statutory or financial provisions alone.

“The courage with which you discharge your obligation to protect the integrity and credibility of elections is the most important determinant of success.

“There are no shortcuts to the discharge of this enormous responsibility,’’ he said.

While assuring SIECs of INEC’s  continued support to push the boundaries of electoral reform, Yakubu said there must be a determination on SIECs part to do the needful.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of FOSIECOM, Chief Jossy Eze, called for  review of the MoU between INEC and the forum to make SIECs more functional and effective in the face of changing electoral needs, challenges and expectations.

Eze said it would also give the forum more impetus and new direction toward achieving the core objectives of conducting free, fair and credible elections at all levels.

He also called for the development of a new strategic work plan for support to SIECS which the last plan was for the period of 2019-2023.

Eze, also the Chairman, Ebonyi SIEC, appreciated INEC’S innovations to improve Nigeria’s elections as well as its support to the struggle of SIECS, toward financial independence.

“We strongly believe that our financial independence is not only achievable but a sine qua non for virile Local Government elections in Nigeria.

“FOSIECON has again,  recently submitted a memorandum to the National Assembly Committee on Constitutional amendment.

“We solicit INEC to throw its weight behind our quest for true independence,’’ he said.(NAN)

Tinubu to attend inauguration of Dèby of Chad

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President Bola Tinubu will on Thursday, May 23, depart Abuja for N’Djamena, the Republic of Chad, to attend the inauguration of President Mahamat Déby.

Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) disclosed this in a statement Wednesday.

The inauguration of President Déby follows his declaration as the winner of the country’s presidential election earlier this month and subsequent affirmation by the Constitutional Court of Chad.

According Ngelale, President Tinubu will be accompanied on the trip by senior government officials and will return after the ceremony.

Nasarawa stakeholders laud Tinubu, Sule on achievements in education sector

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Stakeholders in the education sector have applauded President Bola Tinubu and Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa for their giant strides in the sector since May 29, 2023.

Some of the stakeholders gave their assessments in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Keffi Local Government Area  of the state.

They were particularly elated with the issue of remuneration of staff and welfare of students in tertiary institutions.

According to Prof. Orame Alaku, Dean, Faculty of Education, Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), Tinubu’s administration increased the salary of academic staff of universities since coming on board.

“For some years, we have been agitating for this increment but nothing  happened.

“We even embarked on strike to get the government to meet our demand to no avail until Tinubu came to effect it, which is a plus,” he said.

Alaku also applauded the Tinubu’s administration for the recent approval of scholarship for final year students studying education in all tertiary institutions in the country.

“This is another plus to this administration given the current economic realities that most parents find it difficult to pay school fees and so on. This will go a long way to assist them,” he said.

Also, Mr Peter Ahemba,  Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Sule on Public Affairs, pointed out the launching of the Student Loan Scheme by the President as part of the administration’s commitment to empower Nigerian youths with the resources to get educated and achieve their dreams in life.

He noted that Gov. Sule had made giant strides in education among which is the allocation of more than 20 per cent of the state’s annual budget to the sector in 2024.

Ahemba said that the governor had provided massive infrastructure and interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in the state.

The SSA said that the Sule-led administration had also employed thousands of teachers for the primary and secondary schools across the state.

“As we speak, the process of recruitment of more than 4,000 teachers is ongoing through the state Universal Basic Education Board.

“The recruitment approved by the governor is to ensure that  there is adequate manpower to cater to the educational needs of pupils and students in the state,” he said.

Similarly, Dr Hauwa’u Mainoma, Director, Centre for Gender Studies, Nasarawa State University Keffi (NSUK) applauded Gov. Sule for recruiting more teachers in public schools across the state.

“The governor has done a lot especially for making provision of more classrooms in the secondary and primary schools as well as renovation of old classrooms.

“Also with regards to tertiary education, the governor has really done well especially in the Nasarawa State University.

“In the past, the University management was responsible for payment of salary of staff. But now, the state government has taken that burden off the management, thereby giving to opportunity to concentrate on developmental projects in the university, ” she added. (NAN)

Number of female inmates increases by 4.82% in 2022 – NBS

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The percentage of females admitted into the Nigerian Correctional Centre increased by 4.82 per cent in 2022, according to the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS).

This is contained in the NBS Statistical Report on Women and Men in Nigeria 2022 released in Abuja on Wednesday.

The report showed that in 2020, the percentage of females admitted into the Nigerian correctional centre stood at 4.90 per cent, then dropped to 4.48 per cent in 2021 and increased to 4.82 per cent in 2022.

It also showed that in 2020, 2021, and 2022, male inmates accounted for 95.10, 95.52, and 95.18 per cent respectively.

The report further indicated that stealing was the most prevalent offence committed by both men and women.

It also showed that in 2020 the number of men convicted of stealing stood at 40,555, which declined in 2021 to 31,921 and increased to 44,477 in 2022.

”Similarly, the number of women admitted to prison for stealing in 2020 was 1,981, which decreased in both 2021 and 2022 to 1,320 and 1,272 respectively.

The report showed that there was a decline in the crime of bank fraud in the period under review.

According to the report, in 2020, the number of persons arrested was 22 males and four females, whereas the number of persons convicted was eight males and two females.

”This decreased in 2021 as there was no person either arrested or convicted, while in 2022 there was an increase in the number of persons arrested.

”In 2022, three males and four females were arrested while the number of persons convicted was two males and one female.”

The report further showed that male suspects accounted for 90 per cent of all the suspects arrested for drug-related offences in Nigeria between 2020 and 2022, while female suspects arrested ranged from 7.35 and 7.62 per cent.

The report also showed that the percentage of females trafficked for forced labour was 64.87 per cent in 2020, 59.93 per cent in 2021, and 59.14 per cent in 2022.

It showed that the percentage of women aged 15 to 49 who had experienced physical violence since age 15 increased from 27.80 per cent in 2013 to 31 per cent in 2018.

The report also showed that 8.20 per cent of females aged 0 to 14 had been circumcised in Nigeria in 2021.

The NBS said that from 2020 to 2022, the percentage of females aged 26 to 35 trafficked was 87.86 per cent, 91.08 per cent, and 71.09 per cent respectively.

”In 2019, all victims trafficked for prostitution were females (100 per cent), however, it was 97.82 per cent, 99.72 per cent, and 99.55 per cent in 2020, 2021, and 2022 respectively.”

The Statistician-General of the Federation, Adeyemi Adeniran, said the statistical report analysed the status of women and men across Nigeria from 2020 to 2022 using statistics from agencies at the federal and state levels.

Adeniran said that the report covers six key economic policy domains, which included Population, Health, Education, Employment, Power and Decision-Making in Governance, and Violence Against Women and Crime.

”It benchmarks gender equality across these critical areas annually to measure progress, by compiling and analysing comprehensive national statistics disaggregated by sex.

”The report aims to support policies and programmes enhancing equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities for women and men in Nigeria, using data from relevant agencies at Federal, State, and Local Government levels”, he said. (NAN)

Food security: Jigawa rice production hits 800,000 tonnes, says  Namadi

Gov.  Umar Namadi of Jigawa says this year’s dry season rice production has hit 800,000 tonnes.

Namadi made this known shortly after inspection of rice forms in Auyo, Hadejia Miga and Ringim Local Government Areas of the state.

The governor, therefore, expressed happiness that the 200,000 hectares of rice farms currently being cultivated across the state will no doubt reduce the nation’s food insecurity challenges.

“Today, I think am one of the happiest persons. We have have gone round all the rice farms in Jigawa  and by our estimation about 200,000 hectares of rice have been cultivated in the state.

“With this 200,000 hectares, this translate to almost 800,000 tonnes of rice.This 800,000 tonnes of rice is quite huge in Nigeria and therefore by the time we multiply these by the rainy season, we will have an estimate of 1.6 million tonnes of rice.

”The 1.6 million tonnes of rice is about the 27 per cent of Nigeria’s rice requirement.

“If Jigawa can produce 27 per cent of the Nigeria’s rice requirement then we are on the right course. Therefore, we will continue to support our farmers, we will continue to encourage them and will continue to support the renewed hope agenda, especially as it relates to food security in Nigeria,” the governor said.

Namadi said:“this is our modest contribution to the food security in Nigeria and we will continue to improve that’s why we are going round to encourage the farmers and understand their problems so that we will be able to deal with these problems.”

He said the only support given to rice farmers was the fertiliser subsidy given by President Bola Tinubu, adding that the state government must do all it can to multiply its support to the teeming rice farming communities in the state.

Though the governor was not immediately ready to explain his administration’s plans toward tackling the annual flood disaster which for years had been a threat to farmers along river bank communities where the state was estimatng to cultivate rice being cultivated during dry season in the same areas.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that majority of the farms visited by the governor are owned by small scale farmers who single handedly put efforts to perfect the cultivation.

NAN also reports that these thousands of hectares of farmlands were hardly being cultivated during rainy seasons by the farming communities as a result of annual flood being experienced in these areas.

NAN reports that most flooding in the areas were linked to problems associated with the overflow of Minjibir, Tiga and Challawa dams in Kano State, as well as the Rivers in Ringim and Hadejia in Jigawa.

Other communities usually affected by the annual flood in the areas visited include Malammadori, Kafin Hausa, Kaugama, Taura, Ringim and Jahun. (NAN)

Bandits kill 9 persons, raze 6 houses in Plateau

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Bandits have killed nine persons and destroyed six houses in Zurak and Dakai communuties in Wase of Local Government Area of Plateau.

A statement by Mr Alfred Alabo, the Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Police Command in the state has, however, indicated that the bandits met an “aggressive onslaught” by a combined team of security operatives.

“Some of the bandits were killed and one arrested at the Bangalala forest in Wase which is a border between Plateau, Bauchi and Taraba States,” he said.

According to him, other bandits who fled during the operation, attacked Zurak and Dakai Villages, killed nine persons and burnt down six houses.

”Following the incident, the Commissioner of Police has deployed more personnel to the area and directed the Area Commander of Langtang to relocate to Wase with immediate effect

”One of the bandits, who escaped and went to seek treatment at a hospital in Wase, was arrested with gunshot wounds.

”He has been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), for further investigation,” he said.

He said that the commissioner, who commiserated with those who lost their loved ones, assured residents of the command’s readiness to secure lives and property in the state.(NAN) 

Yusuf seeks Netherlands partnership on agric, climate change

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Gov. Abba Yusuf of Kano State on Tuesday sought diplomatic support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to boost agricultural production and mitigate the impact of climate change in the state.

Yusuf made this request during a meeting with Ms. Eva De Wit, First Secretary Migration at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria, on Tuesday in Kano.

Yusuf admired Netherlands’ impressive achievements in agriculture and climate change management in Europe.

He expressed his administration’s willingness to partner with the Dutch government to replicate such success in Kano.

During the meeting, Yusuf highlighted his administration’s initiatives to refocus the productivity of the youth population in Kano and ensure food security.

He also discussed the devastating impact of drug abuse among young persons and the efforts made to address it, including the reopening of 24 skill acquisition centers to empower youths.

He said his administration had also rehabilitated 713 youths who were thugs.

De Wit pledged to Netherland’s collaboration with Kano State government in the areas of youth empowerment, food security, and climate change.( NAN)

Female enrolment into adult/basic literacy declined to 38.32% in 2022-NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says female enrolment into Adult/Basic Literacy declined to 38.32 per cent in 2022.

This is contained in the NBS Statistical Report on Women and Men in Nigeria 2022 released in Abuja on Wednesday.

This statistical report analyses the status of women and men across Nigeria from 2020 to 2012 using statistics from agencies at the Federal, and State levels.

The report covers six key economic policy domains: Population, Health, Education, Employment, Power and Decision-Making in Governance, and Violence Against Women and Crime.

The report said female enrolments into Adult/Basic Literacy increased from 40.55 per cent in 2020 to 46.10 per cent in 2021 and dropped to 38.32 per cent in 2022.

The NBS said male enrolments were higher compared to female enrolments in 2020, 2021, and 2022, with 59.45 per cent, 53.90 per cent, and 61.68 per cent respectively.

The report said in 2020, Lagos state had the highest female enrolments with 20,345, while in 2021, Sokoto state recorded the highest with 203,608 and in 2022, Bauchi state had the highest with 60,698 in 2022.

“Adamawa recorded the least female enrolments in 2020 and 2021 with 37 and 320 respectively, while Yobe had the least with 6,508 in 2022.”

The report said from 2020 to 2022, female enrolments into Nomadic Schools were found below average; from 49.28 per cent in 2020 to 49.11 per cent in 2021 and 44.21 per cent in 2022.

The report said the percentage of female enrolments in public and private primary schools in 2020 was 48.50 per cent, which increased to 49.03 per cent in 2021 and declined to 48.92 per cent in 2022.

“These rates are lower compared to the male enrolments in 2020, 2021, and 2022 recorded at 51.50 per cent, 50.97 per cent, and 51.08 per cent respectively.”

It said female enrolments in Public and Private Junior Secondary School (JSS) in 2020 stood at 49.80 per cent, it decreased to 48.73 per cent in 2021 and rose to 51.47 per cent in 2022.

“Similarly, 49.10 per cent of enrolled Senior Secondary School (SSS) students in 2020 were female, which stood at 48.82 per cent in 2021.”

It said according to the National Universities Commission, the percentage of female enrolments in the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 academic sessions were 43.46 per cent and 44.49 per cent, respectively.

The report said in 2020, the percentage of female and male teachers without a teaching certificate stood at 14.03 per cent and 4.32 per cent in Public and Private Early Childhood Care Development and Education (ECCDE).

It said in Public and Private Primary Schools, 6.47 per cent of female teachers and 15.45 per cent of male teachers were without a teaching certificate.

“In Public and Private JSS, 6.13 per cent female teachers and 9.85 per cent male teachers were without a teaching certificate.”

The report said according to the Nigeria Living Standard Survey (NLSS) 2019, 72.30 per cent of women and 77.30 per cent of men between ages 15 and 24 were literate in English.

It said according to the 2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS)/National Immunisation Coverage Survey (NICS) report, 7.40 per cent of women and 17.20 per cent of men read newspapers at least once a week.

The report said females who listened to the radio at least once a week constituted 34.40 per cent as against 50.80 per cent of males.

“While 42.70 per cent of females and 48.90 per cent of males watched television at least once a week nationwide.”

The report said 13.40 per cent of females and 21.80 per cent of males accounted for those who ever used a computer.

“The percentage of women and men who have ever used the internet was 24.00 per cent and 41.60 per cent, respectively.”

In addition, the report showed that 58.2 per cent of females and 73.4 per cent of males owned a mobile phone.

The percentage of females and males that used a mobile phone at least once a week during the last three months stood at 78.10 and 65.80 per cent respectively. (NAN)

Kebbi-Segbana border with Benin will boost regional trade cooperation – Tuggar

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The Minister of foreign Affairs Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar (OON) has described the ongoing bilateral engagement to bolster trade between Nigeria and Benin Republic as a historical milestone and the making of a major hub for trade.
He made the statement at a bilateral meeting at the Segbana customs border post in Benin Republic where he led a strong Nigerian delegation comprising of the Governor of Kebbi State, Dr Nasir Idris Kaura, the Comptroller-General of Customs Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, Dr. Dakorinama Alabo George the Director-General of the Border Communities Development Agency, Alh. Aliyu Mohammed the Director Home Finance who represented the Minister of Finance.
The Benin side were represented by Mr. Romauld Wadgani Minister of Economy and Finance in charge of cooperation, Mr. Shegun Adjadi Bakari, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Madam Adidjatou Hassan Zanouvi Director General of Customs.

The meeting according to Tuggar was key to operationalizing  the Kebbi-Segbana border and  imperative in showcasing President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to enhancing economic ties between the two countries with a view to promoting economic growth and prosperity, in line with the 8 point agenda of the government.
The bilateral meeting also agreed to set up a project implementation working group within a short, medium and long term framework through the resuscitation of the Nigeria-Benin Joint Commission which last held a meeting in 2014 in Cotonou.
The two countries agreed that the establishment of the Permanent Joint Commission will complement governments’ subsisting efforts for robust economic bilateral relations.

In line with the 4 Ds foreign policy goals, the Minister also used the occasion to call the attention of the government of Benin to the the incessant border frictions by both countries, especially the ongoing efforts to repatriate 700 hundred Nigerians living in the Segbana, Northern Benin Republic. The Minister stressed the need for the
maintenance of harmonious relationships in our common borders, by embracing mutually inclusive approaches to remove all irritants and work towards finding a peaceful and sustainable resolution to clashes between Nigerian and Beninese communities around the border areas.

Alkasim Abdulkadir
Special Assistant on Media and Communications Strategy
To the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

COAS commiserates with widow, family of late Gen. Duba

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, on Monday comm

iserated with the family of late Lt.-Gen. Garba Duba, who passed on last Friday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Lagbaja accompanied by some top brass of the Nigerian Army (NA), paid a condolence visit on Hajiya Rabi Duba, widow of the deceased.

This is contained in a statement by the Director, Army Public Relations, Maj.-Gen. Onyema

Nwachukwu on Monday in Abuja.

The COAS described the demise of Gen. Duba as shocking and a colossal loss, not only to the army but also to the entire Armed Forces of Nigeria and the nation at large.

He extolled the virtues of the late General, describing him as a torch bearer, a disciplinarian, a mentor and a leader, who brought up most of the top brass of the army as the then Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy.

According to him, his contributions to the development of the army and the defence of the nation will remain indelible in the institutional memory.

He assured the family of the deceased General that the Nigerian army would continue to support them whenever the need arose.

Responding on behalf of the family, the first son of the deceased, Mohammed Duba, expressed appreciation to the COAS and the entire army for the condolence visit and show of love.

He said that the army had stood by their father throughout his life time and in death.

NAN reports that the late Lt.-Gen. Duba reportedly passed on after a brief illness.

“During his active service, he held numerous appointments notably, General Officer Commanding, 3 Division, Commandant Nigerian Defence Academy and Chief of Training and Operations Defence Headquarters.

“He was also one time Governor of Bauchi State from 1978 – 1979 during the regime of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo

“He was also the Administrator of Sokoto State from January 1984 to August 1985 during the military regime of Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari,” Nwachukwu said. (NAN) 

Air Peace dismisses alleged safety violations in UK

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Air Peace has dismissed reports of alleged safety breach in the United Kingdom, stating that ramp inspection issues were resolved with UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The Lead, Corporate Communications of the airline, Mr Stanley Olisa, dismissed the allegation in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday in Lagos.

In response to a publication alleging safety concerns, Olisa confirmed the UK CAA’s letter to the NCAA, but said the issues raised had since been resolved.

He said the publication was false and was meant to create fears and doubts in the minds of the flying public.

According to him, since Air Peace’s inaugural flight to the UK, the airline has been subjected to rigorous scrutiny by relevant authorities.

He said the UK CAA had on April 7 requested clarification on the airline’s use of the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) and some other concerns, which were immediately addressed and settled.

“It is, therefore, wrong to say that the airline did not have approval for EFB. Air Peace received approval from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), and all our Boeing 777 aircraft are certified to operate with EFBs.

“Regarding the claim that our B777 aircraft lack iPad mounts and charging ports in the flight deck, this is incorrect.

“All B777 aircraft are equipped with charging ports in the cockpit, and we ensure that all our B777 aircraft have iPad mounts,” Olisa said.

He also said an issue raised by the UK CAA was the location of the airline’s cockpit library on the B777, adding that the B777 designated two locations for storing manuals and books – one behind the captain and one under the jumpseat.

Olisa said during the inspection, the books were stored under the jumpseat, as it was commonly practised.

“We understand the inspector’s preference for the books to be placed behind the captain and have ensured this preference is accommodated for all operations going forward.

“There was also a concern about the captain’s choice of runway exit after landing. Instead of exiting at the middle runway exit, the captain, out of his professional discretion, opted to exit at the end of the runway.

“This may have delayed the arrival of another aircraft. We acknowledge this deviation and have addressed the matter with the captain, to ensure adherence to preferred exit procedures in the future.

“Ramp inspection is a normal procedure carried out by aviation authorities globally, and the UK CAA did the right thing by notifying the NCAA of the outcome of their inspection,” he said.

Olisa, however, said the airline’s management was shocked to see several media publications with exaggerated and sensationalised accounts of this matter that were closed with the authorities over a month ago.

He restated Air Peace’s commitment to safety, employing robust operational mechanisms, to guarantee full compliance always, as it continued pursuit of operational excellence and unwavering commitment to the safety and security of passengers. (NAN) 

FCT witnessing improved security under Tinubu – DSS

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 The Department of Security Services, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), says the territory has recorded improved security within one year of President Bola Tinubu-led administration.

The Director of the department, Adamu Gwary, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

Gwary told NAN while assessing the performance of Tinubu-led administration on security in the FCT, that the impact was impressive, considering the reduced incidents of security breaches.

According to him, the security situation has significantly improved since Mr Nyesom Wike assumed office as the FCT Minister in August 2023.

“We receive not only a situational report from security agencies, but from members of the public.

“In the past, it used to be a daily affair where you will hear there are these issues, there are those issues, here and there, within the city, the environs, and the suburbs of the FCT.

“But today, sometimes a whole week will pass without any report.

“We have an interface with traditional rulers, who give us intelligence reports, which we process and forward to responsible security agencies, but this has really died down.

“Also, if you recall, the issue of theft of manhood was at its peak at the commencement of the Tinubu-led Administration, but that has been completely addressed.

“This is not to say that we are there, but the improvement is very visible in terms of the reduced number of reported cases of criminal activities.”

He attributed the successes to the proactiveness of the FCT minister through intensive community engagement and provision of logistics and equipment support to security agencies.

He recalled that Wike had organised town hall meetings across the six Area Council of the FCT, where he and security agencies interacted with community members on their active participation in addressing insecurity.

“The minister had equally provided vehicles to traditional rulers across the FCT to enable them to move around their domain and mobilise their subjects to support ongoing security efforts.

“This is with a view to take security to the doorsteps of the residents and assure them of the FCT Administration’s readiness to support security agencies to do their work.

“These have really paid off,” he said.

Gwary added that the minister equally set up security task forces to address heinous crime, like kidnapping the dreaded one chance criminal activities.

On logistics support to security agencies, the director said that the FCT minister, under Tinubu-led administration had procured and distributed motorcycles to security agencies, including vigilance groups to improve security in rural communities.

He added that the FCT Administration had equally procured patrol vehicles, fitted with modern communication gadgets including combat protective gears.

“Plans have also been concluded to procure surveillance drones and other equipment to enhance surveillance and operation of security agencies in the city.

“These are all geared towards ensuring zero tolerance to heinous crime within the city centre and the suburb, which is plagued with the issue of kidnapping and the rest,” he said.

The director described security as everybody’s business and called on the resident to cooperate with security agencies in sharing timely and accurate information.

“See something, say something and we will do something,” he said.

Mr Edward Orim, Principal Consultant Edgard Consulting, a private security firm, equally said that Wike, under the Tinubu’s government had made significant headway in addressing insecurity in the FCT.

Orim, who is also the Chairman of ASIS International, Chapter 273, Abuja, an international security organisation, particularly lauded the current government for curbing the trend of kidnapping in the territory.

“From my own assessment, I think the current administration has done very well,” he said.

He, however, advised the FCT Administration to do more in strengthening community policing, where everybody would be involved in assisting the police with critical information, including logistics where necessary.

“Community policing is very critical to addressing insecurity; know your neighbour and give information out to the police to help them do their job.

“There should be more awareness on the residents to be aware of their surroundings, security threats and work with security agencies to address them,” he said.

Reps urge FG to beef-up security in Kogi communities over banditry, kidnapping

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The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to beef up security in Yagba axis of Kogi West senatorial district of the state following the activities banditry and kidnapers.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Rep. Leke Abejide(ADC-Kogi) on the floor of the House In Abuja on Tuesday.

Presenting his motion, the lawmaker, he stated that comparable violent attacks and kidnappings had been occurring on a weekly basis, in the area.

He stated that two individuals were abducted from the residence of a prominent businessman and political figure named Mr David Joseph, an
abduction that tragically resulted in the death of one of the victims.

He said the area had turned to epicentre of banditry and kidnapping, with criminals operating on a daily basis, leaving the local populace in a state of constant fear and despair.

Adopting the motion, the House urged the Federal Government to direct urgent attention and concentrated efforts towards the area.

The house urged the Chief of Defence Staff and the Inspector General of Police
to identify and profile each individual living in obscurity within the forests of the Yagba Federal Constituency.

It  noted that lots of those living in that forest were non Nigerians and must be identified for security purposes.

The house further urged the IG-P to carry out a comprehensive mop-up of all arms, ammunition, AK-47, cutlasses, and other weapons in the possession of herders and individuals within the constituency.

It stated that there was a need to prohibit the public carrying such arms and weapons.

The house urged the Security Architecture, including the IG-P, Director General, DSS, the commandant General, NSCDC to comb Yagba forests and secure immediate release of victims and arrest the kidnappers.

The house also urged the Federal Government to set a comprehensive security strategy, in collaboration with local stakeholders to address the root causes of insecurity.(NAN)

Tinubu restates commitment to Protection of Children’s Rights

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President Bola Tinubu has restated its commitment to the protection of the rights of children, especially the ‘Almajiri’ child in the country from all forms of molestation and abuses.

Dr Muhammed Idris, Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Almajiri and Out-of-School Children’s Education, delivered the President’s commitment when he visited a 13 -year- old boy (name withheld) who was molested in Dala Hospital in Kano.

“These have been happening for many years. Some consider the almajiri children to be children of the masses. They think that these children are not protected.

“Henceforth anybody, who molests any Nigeria child, be it almajiri children or anyone, will have to contend with the government.

“The long-arm of the law will catch up with anyone caught in that respect,”he said.

The president said that the commission has taken measures to revatalise education and make sure each child lives a life of dignity.

“We will also embark on a serious advocacy visit to sensitive communities, to let teachers and parents know how important these children are.

“The commission will also let their parents know that they are God’s gift and need to be protected.

Idris thanked security operatives for taking bold step of justice by arresting the culprit and further assured the parents of the victim of proper and adequate care.

Speaking earlier, the mother of the molested boy, Yahanasu Auwal, pleaded with government to get justice for her son and also ensure that the culprit faces the law to serve as deterrent to others.

Auwal said that her son was working as an errand boy for the culprit’s wife when the incident occurred.(NAN)

International HR Day: Shaping the New Future.

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By Imam-Malik Abdullahi Kaga (ACIHRM, CPM, PGD-HRM)

Today Monday, May 20,2024, marks International Human Resource Day, a celebration of the vital role HR professionals play in shaping the future of work. As a Certified Personnel Manager, I write to celebrate this special day in line with the theme: Shaping the New Future.

International HR Day was founded by the European Association for People Management – EAPM, and was first observed in 2019, with the aim of recognising the momentous contributions of HR professionals globally. Prior to this day, the then Jamaican Governor-General, Sir Patrick Allen, proposed the celebration in 2013, but was not successful in bringing to live the day. Until in 2018, the Jamaican government declared the day.

Since then, it has become an avenue for HR practitioners to come together, share best practices, and discuss the latest trends and challenges by organizing webinars, workshops, et al in the industry.

This year’s HR day is tagged with the theme: Shaping the New Future, and sub themes of: Championing Ethical Tech and AI Integration, Excellence in People Management, Continuous Investment in Skills and Education, Redefining the Future Workplace.

Championing Ethical Tech and AI Integration

The integration of technology and AI has revolutionized the way our department works. However, it also raises important ethical consideration. Despite the increasing reliance on technology and AIs, it’s very important that HR professionals champion ethical practices to ensure these technologies are used responsibly and for the betterment of organizations, companies, and the society at large.

This includes implementing AI systems that are transparent, unbiased, and protect employee data privacy.

Excellence in People Management

There is this adage by MSF “MSF is People” HR professionals play a crucial role in attracting, retaining, and developing top talent. At the heart of any successful organization is its people. This requires a deep understanding of the changing needs and expectations of employees.

By nurturing a culture of excellence in people management, HR can improve employee engagement and create a positive work environment. This involves adopting a holistic approach to talent management, spotting the diverse needs of a global labours, and providing opportunities for growth and development.

Continuous Investment in Skills and Education

The stride of technological change demands that employees continually update their skills to remain relevant. HR invest in education and training programs that arm workers with the skills needed to succeed in their roles.

This includes providing access to online learning platforms, workshops, and mentorship opportunities. For example, organisations like the MSF, have a department called learning and development, where staff’s KSA are developed. MSF also has a platform called a Tembo for its staff to learn and develop. By prioritizing continuous learning, HR can future-proof the workforce, initiative innovation, and stay ahead of the competitive world.

As we celebrate International HR Day, we urge all departments in every organization, be it humanitarian, government or profit based, to adapt the culture of continuous learning for professional growth and excellent work outcome.

Happy International HR Day to the “retention strategists”

Imam-Malik Abdullahi Kaga, is a member of Chartered Institute of Human Resources Management and a Certified Personnel Manager. He writes from Maiduguri and can be reached via imammalikabdullahikaga@gmail.com

Tinubu establishes c’ttee on green economic initiatives, appoints Ajuri as Special envoy

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the establishment of a committee to oversee the Green Economic Initiative, known as the Presidential Committee on Climate Action and Green Economic Solutions.

Tinubu also approved the appointment of Chief Ajuri Ngelale as Special Envoy on Climate Action and will retain his role as the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity.

This is contained in a statement by Mr Segun Imohiosen, Director, Information & Public Relations, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, on Sunday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this is part of a strategic move of the President to ensure the advancement of his administration’s climate and green economic initiatives.

The committee will coordinate and oversee all the policies and programmes on climate action and green economic development.

This is to remove the constraints to coordination, foster a whole-of-government approach to climate-action programmes and provide an efficient governance architecture.

It will ensure that all the relevant institutions in the sector are plugged into the President’s vision and are collectively implementing the Renewed Hope Agenda on climate action.

The committee consists of President Bola Tinubu – Chairman; Balarabe Abbas Lawal (Minister of Environment) – Vice-Chairman; and Ajuri-Obari Ngelale (Special Adviser) – Secretary/Special Presidential Envoy.

The members are Lazarus Angbazo (CEO, InfraCorp); Salisu Dahiru (CEO, NCCC); Michael Ohiani (CEO, ICRC); Aisha Rimi (CEO, NIPC); and Aminu Umar-Sadiq (CEO, NSIA).

Others are Yusuf Maina-Bukar (CEO, NAGGW); Abdullahi Mustapha (CEO, ECN); Abba Abubakar Aliyu (CEO, REA); Uzoma Nwagba (CEO, CrediCorp) and Khalil Halilu (CEO, NASENI).

Fatima Shinkafi (CEO, SMDF); Bala Bello (Deputy Governor, CBN); Lolade Abiola (UN SE4ALL); Teni Majekodunmi (NCCC Adviser) and Representative, (Federal Ministry of FCT) as members.

Other representative members are Federal Ministries of Finance; Power; Industry, Trade & Investment; Water Resources; and Agriculture & Food Security.

The committee members also include representatives of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigeria Customs Service.

The committee shall, among other functions, identify, develop, and implement innovative non-oil & non-gas climate action initiatives.

It will coordinate all the activities of relevant federal institutions towards the attainment of all agreed climate action and green economic objectives and non-oil/non-gas ambitions of the federal government.

It will also collaborate with all the relevant government, sub-national governments, non-government, and civil society entities towards the attainment of the climate action objectives and ambitions of the federal government.

In the same vein, it will collaborate with national governments and multilateral institutions towards the attainment of the climate action objectives and carbon market ambitions of the federal government.

The committee wiil also monitor, evaluate and guide the progress of all climate action and renewable energy projects and activities of the federal government.

Other functions include: ”Track and guide the implementation of initiatives and developments conducted by the Energy Transition Working Group.

”Supervise the work of the Presidential Steering Committee on Project Evergreen.

”Prepare a half-yearly green ambitions update, covering all associated climate action achievements of the Federal Government.”

Imohiosen said that Tinubu remained committed to achieving Nigeria’s green economy objectives on the path of a just energy transition while unlocking new investments in this critical sector.

NDLEA intercepts China, UK-bound drug consignments

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA),  has intercepted two parcels, containing Cocaine and Amphetamine concealed in steel bolts and shea butter.

This is contained in a statement by NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy , Mr Femi Babafemi on Sunday in Abuja.

Babafemi said NDLEA officers of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigations, (DOGI), attached to a courier firm in Lagos on Wednesday May 15, intercepted the consignments.

He said  the cocaine which weighed 587g, was concealed in eight steel bolt screws going to China.

He also said the Amphetamine consignment packed in vape pens and hidden in shea butter was going to the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile. Attempt by Emeka Nwadiaro (a.k.a Mega) to export 3.6kg Loud, a strain of cannabis concealed in 36 water flasks to Dubai, UAE was also thwarted.

Babafemi said that the attempt was foiled at a logistic company in Port Harcourt, Rivers on Thursday May 16.

“A swift follow up operation led to the arrest of the owner of the consignment, Emeka Nwadiaro in Onitsha, Anambra,  same day, “ he said.

Also, NDLEA operatives in Lagos intercepted a mercedes benz bus loaded with 840kg cannabis and arrested the driver, Samuel Henry, at Olojo in Ojo area of  Lagos.

Babafemi said that another suspect, Lawal Adam was nabbed along Otukpo road, Aliade, Benue on Friday,  May 17 with 75,000 pills of opioids including tramadol and exol-5.

“Two suspects: Olisa Etisi, 32, and Jonathan Umeh, 25, were arrested along Owerri – Onitsha road, Imo.

This followed the discovery by NDLEA operatives of a big gas cylinder used to conceal six blocks of Loud, a strain of cannabis weighing 3.85kg, “he said.

In another development, Babafemi said that a 70-year-old Adamu Mohammed was arrested at Mbulamel, Biu area of  Borno on Thursday,  May 16 with  two kg cannabis and 33.55 grams of diazepam.

Babafemi said that another suspected drug trafficker, Gaddafi Sani, 27, was arrested with 30kg  of cannabis along Abuja-Kaduna road, Kaduna.

SERAP sues 36 governors, Wike ‘over failure to account for trillions of FAAC allocations’

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against Nigeria’s 36 governors and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Mr Nyesom Wike “over their failure to account for the spending of trillions of FAAC allocations collected by their states and the FCT since 1999.”

The suit followed reports that the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursed N1.123 trillion to the federal, state, and local governments for March 2024. They shared N1.208 trillion in April. States collected N398.689 billion in March while they collected N403.403 billion in April.

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/666/2024 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court, Abuja, SERAP is asking the court to “direct and compel the governors and Mr Wike to publish spending details of the FAAC allocations collected by their states and the FCT since 1999 including the list and locations of projects executed with the money.”

SERAP is also asking the court to “compel the governors and Mr Wike to invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission [ICPC] to probe any allegations of corruption linked to the allocations and to monitor how the money is spent.”

In the suit, SERAP is arguing that, “Nigerians ought to know in what manner public funds including FAAC allocations, are spent by the governors and FCT minister.”

According to SERAP, “Opacity in the spending of the FAAC allocations collected by the governors and Mr Wike would continue to have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of the citizens.”

SERAP is arguing that, “trillions of FAAC allocations received by Nigeria’s 36 states and the FCT have allegedly gone down the drain. The resulting human costs directly threaten the human rights of socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians.”

SERAP is also arguing that, “Without the information on the spending details of the FAAC allocations, Nigerians cannot follow the actions of their states and the FCT and they cannot properly fulfill their responsibilities as citizens.”

SERAP is also arguing that, “Directing and compelling the governors and FCT minister to provide the information sought and widely publish the spending details of the FAAC allocations collected by them would serve legitimate public interests.”

According to SERAP, “The failure by the governors and the FCT ministers to account for the spending of the FAAC allocations collected by them is entirely inconsistent and incompatible with the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended] and the country’s international anti-corruption obligations.”

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare, Kehinde Oyewumi and Andrew Nwankwo, read in part: “States and the FCT should be guided by transparency and accountability principles and proactively account for the spending of the FAAC allocations collected by them.”

“Secrecy in the spending of FAAC allocations collected by the governors and the FCT minister also denies Nigerians the right to know how public funds are spent. Transparency in the spending would allow them to retain control over their government.”

“The governors and FCT minister have a legal obligation to provide the information sought including the list of specific projects completed with the FAAC allocations collected, the locations of any such projects and completion reports of the projects.”

“The information sought should also include details of the salaries and pensions paid from the FAAC allocations collected, as well as the details of projects executed on hospitals and schools with the FAAC allocations.”

“Despite the increased FAAC allocations to states and FCT, millions of residents in several states and the FCT continue to face extreme poverty and lack access to basic public goods and services.”

“The reported removal of petrol subsidy and the floating of the exchange rate by the Federal Government has translated into increased FAAC allocations to states and the FCT. However, there is no corresponding improvement in the security and welfare of millions of Nigerians.”

“FAAC allocations received by the states and the FCT are reportedly characterised by mismanagement, diversion of funds, and abandoned projects. FAAC allocations have also been allegedly spent for other purposes such as election campaigns and political patronage.”

“Publishing the documents on the spending of FAAC allocations by the states and the FCT would promote transparency, accountability, and reduce the risks of corruption in the spending of the funds.”

“Publishing the documents would also enable Nigerians to meaningfully engage in the implementation of projects executed with the FAAC allocations collected.”

“The report that some 140 million Nigerians are poor suggests corruption and mismanagement in the spending of trillions of naira in FAAC allocations collected by the states and the FCT.”

“According to our information, the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursed N1.123 trillion to the federal, state and local governments for March 2024.”

“State governments got N398.689 billion while local government councils got N288.688 billion. The mineral-producing states received an additional N90.124 billion (13% of mineral revenue). In February, states collected N336 billion.”

“According to the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the federal, states and local governments shared N10.143 trillion from the Federation Account as statutory revenue allocations in 2023, with states collecting N3.585 trillion.”

“Section 15(5) of the Nigerian Constitution requires public institutions to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.”

“Section 16(2) of the Nigerian Constitution further provides that, ‘the material resources of the nation are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good.’”

“Section 13 of the Nigerian Constitution imposes clear responsibility on the states and FCT to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of Chapter 2 of the constitution.”

“Nigeria has also made legally binding commitments under the UN Convention against Corruption to ensure accountability in the management of public resources.”

“Nigerians are entitled to the right to receive information without any interference or distortion, and the enjoyment of this right should be based on the principle of maximum disclosure, and a presumption that all information is accessible subject only to a narrow system of exceptions.”

“The Freedom of Information Act, Section 39 of the Nigerian Constitution, article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantee to everyone the right to information, including the documents on the spending of FAAC allocations.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Kogi committed to win war against criminality – Ododo

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Gov. Usman Ododo of Kogi, says the state is committed to win the war against criminals, and enemies of peace and progress.

Th governor stated this in a statement by the state’s Commissioner for Information, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, on Saturday in Lokoja.

Ododo was quoted as saying that: “My administration is rising to the challenge of defeating the torrent of criminality waged against our dear state in the last one month.

“We believe that the torrent of attacks on insurgents, bandits and kidnappers in the North-East has dislodged them and many of them are now trying to find their feet in the North-Central.

“All the same, Kogi government is deploying an iron-cast approach to safeguarding the state from the fangs of these criminals “.

He said the recent rescue of 21 out of the 24 kidnapped students of Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), was a clear testament that Kogi would be ruthless against criminals in the state.

The government, he said, on Saturday received heart-warming reports of the rescue of two kidnapped women from Yagba West and Yagba East Local Government Areas of the state.

Ododo said the government had also secured the release of scores of kidnapped victims who were not even residents of the state but kidnapped in their various states and taken to the forests.

He added that: “We are still searching frantically for the three remaining CUSTECH students yet to be rescued.

“This is because every citizen’s life is important to the government.

“Consequently, I have approved the immediate employment of thousands of local hunters across the 21 local government areas of the state.

“Their immediate task is  going after the criminals and taking the fight to their camps and hideouts, which is already yielding positive results.

“Also, the Joint Forces of the army, police, DSS, NSCDC, Metropolitan Response Squad and hunters group are currently carrying our simultaneous operations in Lokoja as well as across the three senatorial districts, including our border communities.”

Ododo disclosed that he had silently declared war on criminals in the state, deployed resources and forces to ensure that enemies of the people are defeated.

The governor also expressed profound gratitude to President Bola Tinubu for his support and encouragement to make Kogi a crime free state.

Accordong to him, his administration is working hard to protect everyone, adding that the criminals were learning in a hard way that Kogi would not be a ground for their criminal trade.

“The criminals are rattled and they won’t escape justice as this government has put everything into winning this war against criminality.

“Therefore, we urge residents to also play their part by volunteering intelligence to security agencies for the effective security of our dear state”.

Bribery allegations: Kano Court fixes June 5 for Ganduje’s arraignment

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Kano State High Court No.7  has re-scheduled the arraignment of the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Abdullahi Ganduje to June 5.

Ganduje is standing trial alongside his wife Hafsat Umar, his son, Abdullahi Umar and five others

The defendants in the case included Abubaka Bawuro, Jibrilla Muhammad, Lamash Properties limited Safari textile ltd and lasage General Enterprise Ltd

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Kano State High Court No. 5 presided over by Justice Usman Na’abba had earlier scheduled May 16 for ruling on the request substituted service on the defendants.

This was before the State Chief Judge, Justice Dije Aboki reassigned the case to High Court No 7 presided by Justice Amina Adamu.

The new charge sheet sighted by NAN contained 11 count charges against the initial eight  count charges against Ganduje and his co-defendants.

They include allegations bordering on criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust. (NAN)

NNPC clarifies Lagos depot fire incident  

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd., (NNPC Ltd) has assured that the fire incident in a depot in Lagos will, in no way, affect petroleum products supply and distribution across the country.

Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Ltd., Mr Olufemi Soneye, said this in a statement on Friday in Lagos.

Soneye said that the fire incident at a tank farm in Marine Beach, Apapa, Lagos, was at a depot belonging to HOGL Energy Ltd. (Honeywell Depot), and not an NNPC Retail Ltd.’s facility as circulated by early responders.

He said that the fire, which has since been extinguished, was as a result of petroleum products spillage within the perimeter of the tank farm.

Soneye said that NNPC and other depots in the area had resumed loading activities.

Similarly, Mrs Grace Aderemi-John, Corporate Communication Officer, HOGL Energy Ltd., (HOGL), said that the fire incident at HOGL energy terminal was successfully extinguished.

According to her, the fire began at approximately 11.10 a.m., sparked during routine maintenance of its Petroleum Motor Spirit cargo pipeline.

“Thanks to the concerted efforts of our facilities unit, the Lagos State Fire Service, and local stakeholders, the fire was successfully extinguished by 1.45 p.m.

“We are pleased to report that operations in surrounding terminals were not impacted, there was no damage to our storage facilities, and no casualties were recorded.

“Loading operations will resume once we receive clearance from the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA),” she said.

Aderemi-John said that the company’s commitment to the highest standards of workplace health and safety remained unwavering.

“The swift resolution of this incident is a testament to our rigorous safety protocols and the effectiveness of our emergency response teams,” she added

She, however, thanked the host community, stakeholders, and the Lagos State Fire Service for their swift response and collaboration in combating the fire incident. (NAN)

The abolition of Governance and ministerial accountability

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By Isah Aliyu Chiroma

Ministers play a crucial role in government, where choices mold countries and laws mold communities. These guardians of public confidence bear the heavy burden of converting political pledges into real-world initiatives. They are susceptible to weakness, though, because they are stewards of authority.

When ministers falter, the machinery of governance sputters, and the mandate of the people is compromised. It is imperative for governments to rigorously assess ministerial performance and promptly remove those who fail to meet the expectations. Such measures are not only necessary but also indispensable for the sustenance of effective governance.

Accountability lies at the heart of democratic governance. Elected representatives are bound by a social contract with the electorate to act in the public interest. When ministers fail to deliver on this mandate, they erode the very foundation of democratic legitimacy. Citizens need to be confident that their leaders are answerable for their deeds in a democracy. This idea is compromised by the lack of ministerial responsibility, which breeds dissatisfaction and erodes public confidence in governmental institutions.

Underperformance of ministers can have a significant impact on how well the government functions. Ministers that lack efficiency or effectiveness hinder the execution of policies, discourage creativity, and encourage bureaucratic lethargy. This inhibits economic growth and jeopardizes national advancement in addition to making it more difficult to provide basic services. The demand for flexible and capable leadership in a world that is changing quickly with dynamic issues is greater than ever.

Not only is the dismissal of ministers who perform poorly an act of punitive justice, but it also shows a dedication to meritocracy and excellence. Holding ministers responsible for their actions shows governments’ steadfast dedication to public service and sound governance. Competence ought to be the primary criterion for selecting and keeping ministers in a merit-based system.

The importance of sound administration should not be subordinated to the fear of political repercussions. Strong procedures for guaranteeing ministerial accountability are necessary for efficient governance, which is the foundation of long-term political stability.

Governments need to invest in transparent and objective performance evaluation in order to operationalize effective ministerial oversight. These systems ought to include qualitative evaluations of leadership, ethics, and public involvement in addition to quantitative measures like budget management and policy achievements. In order to guarantee the legitimacy and objectivity of the ministerial assessment process, it must be shielded from political meddling and special interests.

Assessing ministerial performance and removing underperforming ministers is not a matter of choice but a fundamental prerequisite for effective governance. Accountability, efficiency, and meritocracy are the cornerstones of a robust democratic system. In an era of unprecedented challenges and opportunities, the need for competent and accountable leadership cannot be overemphasized.

There is a need to reshuffle some of those Ministers that are not performing. Through checks and balances, those not performing can be identified, and replaced with vibrant knowledgeable leaders who are capable of doing it. Those who are not timid, and ready to take the renewed hope agenda to the benefit of the populace.

In the final analysis, we need those who can perform and make the nation prosper. It will not be shameful, if one cannot perform and render his resignation, and pass the opportunity to those who are ready for the task. At the moment, the country needs all hands to be on deck, on this rescue mission.

Makinde approves recruitment of 7000 public primary school teachers

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Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has approved recruitment of 7000 teachers into public primary schools in the state.

The government also approved recruitment of 100 caregivers in special schools across the state.

Dr Nureni Adeniran, Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), who disclosed this in Ibadan on Friday at a news conference, said the recruitment would bridge manpower gaps in the sector.

Adeniran said this was in fulfilment of Makinde’s electioneering promise and fulfilment of yearnings of the people of the state.

He explained that the process for recruitment would commence soon, urging intending applicants to be wary of scammers who have the habit of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.

Adeniran said that information regarding the recruitment exercise would only emanate from the board, adding that no authorisation had been given to a third party to act on behalf of the government or the board.

The SUBEB boss said that the intending applicants would not pay any amount to anybody on account of the recruitment either staff or any other persons.

“This press conference is the first stage of the recruitment process; the next stage will be made known as well as the requirements.

“The board will comply with the directive of the governor that the exercise will be conducted based on merit,” Adeniran said.

He, however, urged intending applicants to apply based on their local government areas, adding that teachers would be posted to teach in their local government areas.

According to him, it will solve the problem of having to transfer teachers later and as well, ensure every local government is adequately catered for.

“We want the recruitment to be localised; every applicant should apply from his/her local government to increase the chances of being employed,” Adeniran said.

He said the recruitment would take care of about 70 per cent manpower shortage that was in existence.

He added that the exercise would be inclusive with special consideration for Persons Living with Disabilities. 

Zamfara APC suspends Rep. Jaji over alleged anti-party activities 

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The Zamfara Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has suspended Rep. Aminu Jaji over some alleged anti-party activities and the factionalisation of the party’s organs, among others irregularities.

The State APC Publicity Secretary, Malam Yusuf Idris, announced the suspension at a press briefing in Gusau on Friday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Jaji represents Kaura-Namoda/Birnin-Magaji Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives on the platform of APC .

Idris said other allegations against Jaji include the engagement in dishonest practices and habitual absenteeism from the party’s meetings and other activities.

He said that the sanction was sequel to the notice of confirmation of suspension of Jaji from the Birnin-Magaji ward APC executives over the alleged anti-party activities, among other irregularities.

Idris said, “The suspension notice was forwarded to the state APC headquarters by the APC executive committee of Birnin Magaji Local Government.

“The state executive committee of the APC held an emergency meeting at the State Party Secretariat, Gusau today, Friday 17th May, 2024, where Jaji’s suspension matter was tabled to the state executive members.

“The state APC executive committee resolved and approved the suspension of Aminu Jaji from the party.

”This is based on the recommendations of the State disciplinary committee in line with his earlier suspension by the APC Birnin Magaji Ward Executive Committee and  affirmed by APC Birnin Magaji LG Executive Committee.”

Reacting to his suspension, Jaji told NAN in a telephone interview that all the allegations against him were baseless and untrue.

Jaji said that the state APC leadership has not followed constitutional provisions of the party.

He said, “This is a clear indication that the party in the state has no focus and leadership.” 

New Senegalese president visits Nigeria

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President Bola Tinubu on Thursday received President Bassirou Diomaye Faye of Senegal and called for an alignment of purpose and structure in West Africa to effectively address the challenges confronting the region. 

Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to President Tinubu(Media & Publicity) disclosed this in a statement.

While speaking during a meeting with the Senegalese President at the State House, President Tinubu said West Africa must work together to defeat the hydra-headed problems of terrorism, banditry, human trafficking and poverty.

He advised that leaders in the region must make the people the point of convergence in governance, noting that the essence of democracy is lost when the people are not the focal point.

The President emphasized that democratic governance, democratic values, and constitutional order are sacrosanct and must be protected.

He also stated that critical institutions and precepts, like the judiciary and the rule of law, must be respected and observed for the sustenance of democracy. 

“Constitutional democracy is what Senegal proved to the rest of the world and Africa. It is a joy to have you here; to meet the hope and aspiration of our youths. You fit in perfectly well. 

“A critical time it is in the history of constitutional democracy, particularly in West Africa. What you have embarked upon, a struggle couched in freedom, is remarkable,” President Tinubu said.

The President described Nigeria and Senegal as brotherly nations, recounting both countries’ long history of cooperation.

“We are brothers. We have shared interest in democracy. To make democracy sustainable in the interest of our people, we definitely must work hard. 

 “I am glad that you are a shining example of patience, perseverance, and commitment to democratic values.

“We must partner to make our people the focus of our democratic commitment. Your belief in the sovereignty of Africa is shared by all of us. But how can we work for our people and make them the focus of our democracy if we are violating the rule of law and promoting unconstitutional takeover of government?

“As the Chairman of ECOWAS, I am inviting you to collaborate and meet those other brothers. To persuade them to come back to the fold.

“We will continue to work together. We share good backgrounds, and we will continue to embrace and promote democratic governance. We must be able to partner and build the freedom we believe in – in economic growth, development, and other spheres of governance. It is left for us to provide assurance to our people and walk our talk. 

“We must defeat human trafficking; we must defeat terrorism, banditry, and poverty in our society. That must be our focus and commitment,” President Tinubu said.

In his remarks, President Faye acknowledged Nigeria and Senegal’s shared values, ideals, and challenges, emphasizing that both nations have always had good relations since the 1960s. 

“The good relations we have and the relations between our private sectors should be beneficial to our countries,” he said. 

The Senegalese President called for the reactivation of the Nigeria-Senegal joint commission to strengthen bilateral relations across the areas of diplomacy, trade, and other spheres.

Speaking on ECOWAS, President Faye said that with President Tinubu’s wisdom and experience, relations among member states can be strengthened and bolstered for the advancement of the community.

“ECOWAS is the beacon of successful regional integration in Africa and globally. It is something we owe to the founding fathers of the community, and I have no doubt that you want to continue this legacy of integration. The union is going through a rough patch, but not everything is lost. 

“I know I can rely on your wisdom and experience, as the leader of this great African nation, and the more recent example of Senegal; so that together, hand in hand, we can grow together, and that we can discuss with our brothers and convince them to come back into the fold. To come back and share our common democratic values and what we stand for.

“Your wisdom and your democratic values should be an asset to that vision, and my youth and determination can also be an asset. If we come together, with all these assets and advantages, I am convinced we can open a window of opportunity to discuss.

“United, we are stronger. Faced with common challenges, such as human trafficking, migrant smuggling, and all other challenges, we need to show resolve to confront these challenges so that economically we can thrive and satisfy the wishes of our people,” the Senegalese President said.

Northern Governors` wives partner NGO to fight drug abuse

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The Forum of the 19 Northern States  Governors` wives in the country  have given their nods to the Drug Prevention, Treatment and Care strategy of the Re-Orientation Advocacy of Nigeria (RAN).

Mr Charles Folayan, Executive Director, RAN said this while speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.

The partnership, he said, followed the Northern Governors Wives Forum stakeholders’ meeting on “Substance Abuse held in Gombe on May 14 at the Government House.

He said that RAN made a presentation on the successes and aspirations of the organisation in their efforts to prevent drug abuse, particularly in the 19 Northern states.

Folayan said that the Chairperson of the Forum, Hajia Asmau Inuwa-Yahaya called on all stakeholders and well-meaning Nigerians to support their efforts on rehabilitation and reintegration of people with drug use disorder.

Folayan called for treatment and care of victims of drugs, adding that RAN focuses on the wives of the Governor in the region to end drug abuse.

He said RAN is currently working with two of the governor’s wives in the region.

The director said that RAN is seeking the involvement of others in the establishment of modern social and rehabilitation centres in their various states.

According to him, some of the Governor’s wives who responded to the partnership proposal of RAN, agreed on the need to step up prevention and treatment programmes in Nigeria.

“They expressed their acceptance to work with RAN and their partners on the project.

“RAN earlier in the year entered into partnership with Annmom Foundation USA, and formed a joint task with the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on drug prevention

He said the organisation is also in partnership with the Nigeria Police Force and other relevant government agencies, on drug prevention, treatment and care programmes.

47 suspected Boko Haram, ISWAP Terrorists surrender to MNJTF

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No fewer than 47 individuals associated with Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP),  have surrendered to troops of 403 Amphibious Brigade of Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF)  Sector 3, Nigeria.

Lt.-Col. Abubakar Abdullahi, Chief Military Public Information Officer, N`djamena, Chad, stated this in a statement on Thursday in Maiduguri.

Abdullahi said that the group included seven men, nine women and 31 children.

He  said that the terrorists’ families returned to Kwatan Turare and Doron Baga, Kukawa Local Government Area, Borno  Nigeria, after spending several years with the terrorists.

He disclosed that during the initial investigation conducted, it was discovered that those who surrendered managed to escape from Sharama, located in the Lake Chad Islands.

According to him, among those who surrendered was Mallam Muazu Adamu, a known fighter within the Jama’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihad (JAS) faction.

”He operated under Commander Alai Gana and has surrendered alongside his wife,“he said.

Abdullahi  said that other members of the group disclosed that they had been engaged in farming activities before deciding to make their escape.

According to him, the items found in their possession include clothes, blankets, mats, pots, plates, and various other personal belongings.

He said that the surrendered individuals were currently in custody, and undergoing further investigation to ascertain more details regarding their activities and affiliations.

Abdullahi said that the MNJTF remain committed to maintaining peace and security in the Lake Chad basin region.

”This development marks a step in the ongoing efforts to weaken the operational capabilities of terrorist groups in the region.

”The MNJTF continues to encourage those still involved in terrorist activities to surrender and embrace peace”, he said. (NAN)

Amed O releases ‘Aboki Na Asu Igbo’ to promote unity

Nigerian artiste, Amed O, has released a four-track album, among which is ‘Aboki Na Asu Igbo’, meaning ‘The Northerner who speaks Igbo Language’, to promote unity in the country.

Amed O disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Lagos.

According to him, the song  particularly positions inter-tribal marriage as a veritable way to foster Nigeria’s unity.

He said the tracks were released ahead of the highly-anticipated ‘MySuperSugar’ album that would drop at the end of the year.

“Most of my songs are based on personal experiences in life and lessons from other experienced individuals.

“That is why my songs are uniquely inspirational and educating, like ‘MySuperSugar’ which is based on many love relationships breaking up now in the country and in the diaspora, causing unnecessary depressions and untimely deaths.

“So, the entire album will help people to digest the emotional trauma positively, knowing too well that the worst that will happen to humans is losing their lives, which is why everyone should manage without giving up,” he said.

Amed O said that he was looking forward to a musical tour of Europe this summer as he appreciated his numerous fans for their support.

My message to my fans is that I will not disappoint them. I will continue to give them good, meaningful, inspirational songs laced with good rhythm.”

Other tracks which are ready and available on audiomack include, ‘MySuperSugar’, ‘My Music’ and ‘Anybody in Love’, which he solely composed and wrote as part of the new album to be released by the end of the year. 

Plateau Govt. commends police for apprehension of bank robbery suspect

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 The Plateau Government has commended the state police command for the swift apprehension of a suspect involved in an attempted bank robbery in Jos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the suspect, who claimed to be a suicide bomber, attempted to rob the United Bank for Africa (UBA) branch in Dadin Kowa, Jos, on Monday.

Mr Musa Ashoms, Commissioner for Information and Communication, said in a statement on Thursday that the incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of vigilance and collaboration in maintaining security within the state.

Ashoms stated that the act of the individual, a student by some accounts, was deeply a concern.

“And in light of this ugly event, we urge parents and guardians to closely monitor the activities of their children and wards and to instill in them the values of honesty and integrity, which this state is known for.

“We must work together to prevent such occurrences in the future.

“The Plateau Government, under the leadership of Gov. Caleb Mutfwang, remains resolute in its commitment to collaborating with security agencies and communities to combat all forms of criminal activity.

“Government will continue to provide the necessary support to ensure the safety and security of all residents,” he assured.

The commissioner stated that the attempted robbery highlighted the potential dangers associated with youth involvement in crime.

He emphasised that Plateau Government was committed to addressing the root causes of crime through various initiatives, including educational programmes and social development projects.

Asoms urged all citizens to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the nearest law enforcement agency.

According to him, the state government, in collaboration with law-abiding citizens, would build a safer and more secured Plateau for everyone.

APC optimistic of winning Yobe LG poll

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has expressed optimism of winning the June 8 Yobe local government councils poll.
Alhaji Muhammed Gadaka, the APC Chairman said this at the inauguration of the party’s campaign for the election on Wednesday in Damaturu.


Gadaka called on the party faithful to vote massively for the party to ensure its victory at the poll.
He lauded Gov. Mai Mala Buni for appointing many youths in key position of the government.
He urged the party’s candidates to reach out to the electorate across the state to campaign for the poll.


The chairman handed over the party’s flags to seven candidates from Zone A, where the campaign was launched.
Mr Aji Bularafa, a chieftain of the party, called on electorate, especially women to come out en masse to cast their votes in the election.

NAF offers Bayelsa residents free medical treatment

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 No fewer than 1,000 residents of Igbogene Community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa on Wednesday benefited from the medical outreach programme of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the outreach is part of activities lined up to mark the 60th anniversary of the service.

At the flag-off, the Air Officer Commanding, Mobility Command, AVM Tajudeen Yusuf, said the service would continue to employ other non-kinetic measures to win the hearts and minds of its host communities.

“The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Hasan Abubakar, has directed that all units and formations should conduct a free medical outreach today as one of the activities to mark the day.

“Now what informs the choice of place? You will recall that the Nigerian Air Force, Mobility Command, has been in existence since 2011.

“During that time, Bayelsa State had no airport, and our role at the mobility command involves a lot of flying activities but it is not in our purview to establish one for the state.

“However, since we still needed to carry out our role, the Nigerian Air Force then decided to establish a helipad in this community and they have hosted us very well since that time.

“This is why, today, we are giving out in terms of medical outreach. We felt this community should be the first to benefit and that is why we are here today,” he said.

The commander said that within the area of the command’s responsibility, they would love to encourage everyone to be law-abiding, assuring them of their safety and security.

“If there is anything they see as abnormal, they should be free to get in touch with us, as I assure them that we are here for their safety,” he said.

One of the beneficiaries, Mr Johnson Ebi, describing how he was properly checked and given the right medication, commended the NAF for the free medical outreach. (NAN)

WAEC introduces CBT as option in Nov. 2024 WASSCE

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West African Examinations Council (WAEC) says candidates for the November West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) will have the option of choosing between Computer Based Tests (CBT) and Paper Based Tests.


Head of National Office, WAEC, Nigeria, Dr Amos Dangut, stated this in Ibadan on Wednesday while monitoring the ongoing WASSCE, along with some principal officers of the council.
He said that the examination body had successfully conducted the first edition of the computer-based West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), also known as CB-WASSCE in January/February.


According to him, private candidates writing WASSCE in November will have the opportunity of choosing between CB-WASSCE and paper-based test.


“The examination, held in January and February, yielded better performance compared to the previous year, with a significant decrease in malpractices from five per cent to 0.8 per cent.
“We are now gearing up for the upcoming private candidates’ examination in October and November, offering candidates the choice between the traditional pen and paper and the computer-based method,” Dangut said.


He said that the initiative was aimed at expanding computer-based examination to rural areas.
“It’s part of our plans to eventually implement computer-based examinations for all schools, in collaboration with the Federal Government and other stakeholders.
“We are also working on providing necessary facilities and training for schools to facilitate this transition,’’ he said.


The WAEC boss said contrary to what skeptics were saying, the transition to CBT method was a success and had reduced malpractices rate significantly.
“In any case, the world is already moving technologically. We also, as part of the global community, must ensure that we move along.
“And we can only do that by equipping our schools, getting the candidates prepared to face what lies ahead of them,” Dangut said.


While expressing satisfaction with the monitoring of WASSCE in some schools in Ibadan, he commended the calm and confident demeanor of the candidates and the conducive examination environment.
“It is my goal to maintain high standards across all schools to ensure fair comparisons of performance,” he said.
Dangut said that he was pleased to see the use of metal detectors and CCTV in some schools, expressing the hope that such practices were widespread.
He stressed the need for adequate infrastructure, well-equipped examination halls and qualified teachers, all of which, he said, were crucial elements for the advancement of the country’s educational system.
Also speaking, Mr Muhammad Musa, the National President, All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools of Nigeria (ANCOPSS), said the monitoring exercise was an indication that the examination body was proactive.
“WAEC’s goal is to ensure credible and malpractice-free examination, and today’s experience reflects positively on public schools’ efforts.
“Teachers and students alike appear well-prepared, exuding confidence despite our presence,” he said.
According to Musa, to enhance education, the federal government should focus on empowering teachers.
“Well-trained teachers with subject mastery can effectively educate students.
“I encourage schools and government to prioritise teachers’ participation in national and state coordination as well as marking exercises.
“This hands-on experience equips teachers to better understand examination requirements and, in turn, improves their teaching.
“Additionally, government support in terms of infrastructure and qualified educators is crucial for the development of education,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that WAEC officials on the monitoring team included Prof. Jacob Kwaga, the Federal Government’s nominee in WAEC; Director of ICT, Mrs Olufolake Ajayi and Zonal Coordinator of WAEC, Ibadan, Rosemary Ojo-Odide.
Others were: Director of Human Resources, Mrs Genevieve Chukwudi-Nwoko and Victor Odu. (NAN) 

EFCC, police and army team up to fight against Corruption

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The Acting Zonal Director of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Uyo Zonal Command ,  Assistant Commander of the EFCC,  ACE 1 Oshodi Johnson has called for greater collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force in the fight against economic and financial crimes.

He made the call on Thursday, May 9, 2024, when he paid a courtesy visit to the Akwa Ibom State’s  Commissioner of Police,  CP Waheed Ayilara at the State Police Command Headquarters in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Oshodi,  who has been on a familiarization visit to sister agencies in the state, said the visit to the State Police Headquarters was aimed at ensuring a smoother synergy with the force. He commended the Police for collaborating with the Commission seamlessly, and sharing intelligence.  He called for more cooperation between the Police and the EFCC.

According to him, “both agencies must show good examples to other sister agencies in tackling cybercrime, oil bunkering, bank fraud, money laundering and other economic and financial crimes. The Commission cannot do it alone, we are both agencies of the Government and our collective effort will yield desired results, hence we must sustain and build on the existing partnership”, he said.

He added that the Police and the EFCC have an existing working relationship that has been very cordial right from inception, till date. “Sir I seek your assistance and response to our call for backup whenever we do and any relevant assistance that we may need from your Command, even though your Command has been assisting us. Remember that the EFCC is a child of the Police and there is no way that the EFCC can work without the Police’, he said.

Responding, Ayilara assured the Zonal Director of his readiness to assist the Commission and promised a more proactive relationship. “I am happy to receive you at the Command and we will do our best to work with you as we have done with past leaders at your Command. We will always share information when necessary and exchange good ideas due to the nature of our jobs”, he said.

Oshodi also extended his familiarisation visit to the 2nd Brigade Nigeria Army, Akwa Ibom State Headquarters on Friday, May 10, 2024, where he called on the Army to sustain the partnership with the Commission, in order to improve on the progress made so far.

According to him, the Army has been very supportive in the fight against economic and financial crimes, especially in the area of tactical arrest of crude oil thieves, pipeline vandals, and smugglers. “Sir, sometimes, we will call for your assistance or backup when the need arises to execute certain tasks, it could be here in Akwa Ibom, Abia, or Cross River States, I believe your response to our call will be swift. I’m a product of the Nigerian Army War College, so I’m at home and I believe the existing synergy between the EFCC and the Army will be stronger and better”, he said.

While receiving  Oshodi and his team, Brigadier General Jafaar Ibrahim expressed optimism in the possibility of a smooth working relationship between both Commands in the State and beyond. According to him, the core function of the Army is to protect the territorial boundaries, ”my office will respond 24 hours to your call, anytime the EFCC requests for the Army, due to the working relationship between the two organizations. We are most honoured to receive you today, and I assure you of our support, we are ready to assist you even though our core duty is to protect territorial boundaries, your business is for national development, and you are the lead agency in that. You deserve some applause and I applaud the positive efforts the Commission has made since inception”, he said.

Africa does not need foreign PMCs and mercenaries – Tuggar warns great powers

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Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honourable Yusuf Maitama Tuggar has cautioned great powers not to use Africa as a ground for “political contestation,” warning that Africa needs to learn lesson from Nigeria by devising homegrown solutions to the insecurity and terrorism that plaque the Sahel region.

The minister made the statement in an interview with MSNBC network during his follow-up visit to the United State to strengthen ties as Nigeria moves ahead with its efforts to fight the threat of insecurity in West Africa and beyond.

“we are very wary of Africa becoming the ground for the great power contestation that has been changed from a unipolar to a multi-polar world. This tends to attract contestation by great powers. Our outlook is that of strategic autonomy. We get along with everyone. We also have a history of non-alignment, but we are democratic. We have had several successive elections since 1999. We don’t want to see any private military company or mercenary on our continent,” the minister said.

Following a series of military coups in Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, there is fear that China and Russia may capitalize on waning French and American influences in the Sahel and establish a military foothold on on the continent. However, the minister stated that Nigeria has a long history of non-alignment foreign policy, and that Nigeria would continue to assert its strategic autonomy in its foreign policy.

The minister also highlighted that Nigeria has been able to defeat terrorism alone with homegrown solutions, and Nigeria still seeks support from the likes of the United States in the areas of economy, security and development and democracy which have become the foreign policy priorities under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Moreover, Honourable Yusuf Maitama Tuggar also called for reforms in the United Council Security Council as African interests need to be protected.

“We need to democratize the very governing organs of the world. Nigeria needs to belong to the G20. There needs to be a reform in the UN Security Council. Nigeria needs to be in that Security Council as a permanent member.” The minister added.

Plateau Govt. partners NIPSS on creating digital opportunities for youths

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The Plateau Government has entered into a partnership with the National Institute for Policy and Strategy Studies (NIPSS), to create digital opportunities for the state’s teeming youths.

The Commissioner for Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Goselle Nanjul, who disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Jos, said the collaboration was aimed at unlocking the potential of the digital space for youth empowerment and educational revitalisation.

The Commissioner said the decision was made during a parley with senior officials from NIPSS, who were conducting research within the state.

He explained that the discussion was focussed on a comprehensive survey aimed at exploring the untapped opportunities within the digital realm, and how they could be harnessed to empower the youths and rejuvenate educational systems.

Nanjul, who highlighted some notable achievements of the ministry during the discussion, underscored the importance of embracing digital technologies as catalysts for socio-economic development.

He stressed the necessity for strategic collaboration between governmental bodies and institutions, to effectively harness the transformative power of the digital space.

According to him, the study will also unearth promising insights into the current landscape of digital adoption and its implications for youth empowerment and educational advancement.

”It aims to identify key areas of focus, including access to digital infrastructure, digital literacy programmes, and the development of innovative digital solutions tailored to the local context,“ he said.< He therefore, stressed that the collaboration between the ministry and NIPSS would be a significant milestone towards harnessing the transformative power of the digital space for youth empowerment, educational revitalisation and good governance in the state. (NAN) 

FEC approves memos on aviation, other sectors

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The Federal Executive Council, presided by President Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday approved memos from the Ministries of Aviation, Communications, Power, FCT and Works.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this at the end of the meeting in Abuja, adding that the Ministry of Interior’s memo on the review of the new visa regime was also approved.

Idris said that the new visa regime was to address the lacuna and challenges faced by citizens and foreign investors coming or going out of the country.

He said the new visa process would now be completely online, with background security checks of applicants done within 48 hours, adding that this would commence in the next four weeks.

Minister of Aviation Festus Keyamo disclosed the ministry’s approval to involve the withdrawal of exemption of payment of tickets by some highly placed Nigerians at the nation’s airports.

He said the former system, which had cost loss of revenue, had been bought into by the president and the vice-president, respectively.

‘’The ministry has been losing huge revenue that ordinarily should not be. With the new system everybody coming into the nation’s airports must pay the toll gate fees. Already the President and the Vice-President has agreed to be part of those that would pay.’’ he said.

On the recurrent runway incidents, Keyamo said that the ministry would continue on the path of ensuring adherence to proper regulation while supervision under him would be sustained.

‘’There is no way I will allow the safety of air passengers to be jeopardised under my watch. Any airline that is consistently found wanting in this issue will be sanctioned appropriately; as in the case of the Dana Airline.’’

The Minister of Communication, Bosun Tijani, said that a Special Purpose Vehicle would be set up for the construction of 90,000 fiber cable across the country in the next three years to improve internet service and its cost.

According to Tijani, this cable forms a part of the government’s strategy aimed at connecting local, sub-national and federal government into a system for accountability and transparency in governance and to improve service delivery in the areas of health, education, revenue generation among others.

Also, Minister of Power Adelabu Adebayo said the council approved the provision of earthing, reactor and emergency equipment for the sector in order to increase power generation, transmission and distribution in the country.

Adebayo said that these contracts are expected to strengthen the power sector reforms, reduce down time and increase access of electricity to Nigerians.

He said the contract would also address the decay in infrastructure in the power sector, which had been the bane of low power distribution and transmission over time.

The council, he said, also approved the initiative of the ministry to use complementary energy sources like solar and wind to add to the efficiency of the national grid.

He said that solar would continue to be used in the sunny parts of the country while wind energy would be integrated at the southern coastal parts.

The FCT Minister of State, Mariya Mahmoud, disclosed that the council approved three memos on development of bus terminals, building of Appeal Court and the operation and maintenance of street light generators in the territory.

Minister of Work Dave Umahi also disclosed council approval of 12 memos bordering on redesign and continuation of road projects across the country, adding that the projects underwent adequate bidding and followed due process.

Umahi said the contract for the Lagos-Calabar was done through due process contrary to some reports claiming otherwise, adding that the government was concerned about having value for all funds allocated for any project.

The minister of Finance, Wale Edun, said that the government would continue to prioritise the infrastructural needs of the nation for a better future development of the country as well as to improve the living standard of the citizens.

In this way, he said, the federal government was working out special funding to develop the housing and infrastructural sub-sector of the economy, adding that this would involve the private sector and development partners’ financing.

Edun said the government would leverage on the huge funds under the pension scheme, Sovereign Wealth Fund, Ministry of Finance Incorporated, insurance and other financial options to resuscitate the sector and make housing more accessible and affordable to ordinary citizens at a low interest rate. (NAN)

NITDA reiterates need for digital content moderation, online safety

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says there is need for safety and content moderation in the digital space in line with global practices.

Malam Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General, NITDA, made this submission on Monday when a team from TikTok, a social media platform, visited him in Abuja.

Inuwa said it was important for stakeholders to collaborate in advancing the Nigerian digital space, because activities online generated human and Artificial Intelligence compendium, accessible to the rest of the world.

He called for the implementation of content moderation strategies which would address online issues like hate speech, misinformation, cyberbullying in relation to the protection of minors across the country.

“With the Code Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries in place, this will help in ensuring digital safety in accordance with global best practice and content moderation to enhance security.

“No organisation can operate in silos; we need each other for the actualisation of our goals and objectives towards services delivery and for the advancement of the nation.’’

Highlighting some critical areas, the director-general said that leveraging on the interactive computer service platform, would advance the country through their Digital Literacy 4 All (DL4ALL) programme.

According to him, it will ensure capacity building, knowledge sharing, trainings, and curbing misinformation, digital safety with the aim of creating a safer cyber space and empowering online environment for Nigerian users.

“The platform also allows for creative expression through filters, stickers, and editing tools, entertainment and comedy which are dominant themes.

“Other features are informational videos on various topics that are gaining traction, which has become a launchpad for influencers and trends that can go viral,’’ he said.

Inuwa said that NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan 2.0 (SRAP 2024-2027) were structured around eight pillars, which part of them provided avenues to safeguard the digital space.

Earlier, Mrs Tokunbo Ibrahim, Head of Government Regulation and Public Policy, TikTok Nigeria and West Africa, commended NITDA, because according to him, the agency’s policies aligned with the vision of TikTok.

”Asides leveraging the social media platform to market products and services, Ibrahim said, it had enabled some projects, programmes in collaboration with Africa Creator Hub.

“The Africa Creation hub has encouraged users to do campaigns for tech creation, support, empower and educate them on content creation, while exploring other sections of TikTok to change the narrative.

“TikTok platform considers online safety as one of its critical areas to secure the cyber space by providing an avenue for users to thrive and be productive in their various activities,” she said.

She said that TikTok was currently running an African mall; an idea to push the continent’s narrative to the world, while content creators were being empowered with skills for products and services in Nigeria.

Ibrahim explained that such services could be exported to other countries of the world; which would further attract investments. (NAN) 

Mutfwang appreciates Tinubu for 997 metric tons of grain palliatives to Plateau

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Gov. Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau has appreciated President Bola Tinubu for the 997 metric tons of grains donated to Plateau to alleviate the sufferings of the indigent and vulnerable.

Mutfwang extended his appreciation when he received the palliatives on Monday in Jos.

The governor said that Tinubu’s gesture was a demonstration of care and concern about the plight of the vulnerable.

“Thank you, Mr President, for listening to the cry of the vulnerable in Nigeria.

“We are living in a difficult times and moment when mistakes of the past have led us to the current problems we are confronting.

“The problems required painful policies to be put in place, which made life painful at the moment.

“Mr  President has deemed fit to procure and release these items to every state of the federation so that we can address the immediate stomach challenges while we are waiting for bumper harvest this year.

“It is my prayer that next year we will not need to supply palliatives but will be able to farm sufficiently to be able to provide food security to our people and be able to drive hunger from every home in Nigeria,” he said.

Mutfwang said that his administration was determined to tackle poverty and, by the grace of God, ensure that all farmlands were cultivated to be able to maximize the blessings God has put in the land for the Plateau people.

The governor announced that in addition to the palliatives the state received from the Federal Government through NEMA, the state government would add to the basket 26,979 bags of 25kg of rice for onward distribution across the state.

He hoped that the distribution would go on seamlessly, transparently, and honestly and reach the vulnerable.

He warned against selling the items, as anyone found culpable would be punished.

Mrs Zubaida Umar, NEMA Director General, said that palliatives were in fulfillment of President Tinubu’s promise to reduce the impact of the current economic downturn being experienced in the country in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda.

Umar was represented by Alhaji Bashir Garga, NEMA North Central Zonal Director, who said that Mr President had approved the release of 42,000 metric tons of assorted food commodities from the national strategic reserve.

The D-G said that the assorted food commodities include maize, millet, sorghum, and garri.

“It is worthy of note that based on the allocation table, Plateau has been allocated 374 metric tons (7,480 50kg bags) of maize, 442 metric tons (8,840 50kg bags), and 161 metric tons (3,230 50kg bags) of sorghum.

“The above food items will be shared equally to all 17 local government areas (LGAs) in the state.

“Also, based on the directives of Mr President, 20 per cent of the food items due for each LGA should be given to religious organizations (JNI and CAN) and three per cent to be given to boarding schools in the LGAs,” he said.

Mr Sunday Abdu, Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management (SEMA), said the gesture marked a significant milestone in the collective efforts to alleviate the suffering of our people.

Abdu said that it was a testament to the unwavering commitment of this administration to the welfare of her citizens.

“As we gather to flag off the distribution of these palliatives, I am reminded of the strength and resilience of our people.

“We have faced challenges, but here we are standing strong. We have been knocked down, but we have always gotten back up by the grace of God,” he said. (NAN)

UniAbuja: ASUU says strike continues

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The Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), University of Abuja (UniAbuja), says the union will not call off the strike until all issues are addressed.

The branch Chairman, Dr Sylvanus Ugoh, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja that the members were not working.

“Those against the strike may possibly be beneficiaries of what the union is fighting against.

“Any member found breaking the strike will be subjected to disciplinary procedure.”

According to him, 90 to 95 per cent of lecturers are on strike.

NAN reports that UniAbuja, ASUU branch had on May 2 declared an indefinite strike to draw attention of the school management to issues bordering the union.

One of the issues listed by the union was the University’s refusal to conduct elections for the office of the Deans of Faculties and Provost, College of Health Sciences.

The Union also accused the University of carrying out promotion of some members of staff without following due process.

Other reasons for the strike, according to the union, include: “Advertorial for the vacancy of the post of Vice Chancellor without following due process, among others.’’

The chairman said that ASUU as a body in the university had withdrew the services of their members in the university.

“ASUU do not lock university, what ASUU did was to withdraw the services our members render to the university.

”What we are saying is that our members are not working,” he said.

On the issue of some lecturers indicating interest to lecture, he said that even in a national strike some would still want to go against the action.

However, Dr Habib Yakoob, the Acting Director, Information and University Relations, said the management was not aware of any strike.

Yakoob said that many lecturers have indicated interest to lecture, adding that students were also prepared to receive lectures.

A NAN correspondent, who was at the university’s permanent site reports that students were seen on campus to officially resume for their second semester academic activities.

NAN also reports that as at the time of the visit, no academic activities was seen going on in the lecture halls.

A Student, Adenike Owolabi, said students were just resuming for their second semester and hopefully lectures would commence soon.

Owolabi, who said the students were not ready for any strike, added that they have wasted so much time as a result of incessant strike.

She, therefore, called on the school management to resolve whatever the problem was to avoid the school being shut down. (NAN)

Police, Customs investigate customs officers’ death in Kano

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The Kano Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has launched an investigation into the death of Mr Abdullahi Magaji, a serving officer at the customs headquarters in Abuja.

Magaji was a resident of resided of Farm Centre Quarters, Kano.

The Area Controller of Customs, Kan/Jigawa, Dauda Chana, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview on Monday that incident occurred on Sunday.

He said the deceased died at his residence in located in Tarauni Local Government Area.

He explained that the customs and police have been authorised to jointly conduct an intensive investigation to apprehend those responsible for the crime.

The authorities are appealing to residents, especially neighbours of the deceased, to come forward with reliable information to aid in the apprehension of those involved in the killing.

NAN reports that the Kano State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Mr Haruna Kiyawa, confirmed the incident, adding that that a full-scale investigation has been initiated. (NAN)

Court Convicts Mother of 5 for Forging Late Abba Kyari’s Signature

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A Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Gwagwalada, Abuja has found guilty and convicted one Mrs. Ramat Mercy Mba, a mother of five children guilty of forging the signature of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, the late Abba Kyari.

The presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Mohammad however deferred the sentencing of the convict till Thursday, 16th of May, 2024 but directed that she should be remanded in Suleja Correctional Centre.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had arraigned Mba in June, 2022 on a 5-count charge bordering on cheating, fraud and forgery contrary to Section 13 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 200 and Sections 320 (b), 366 of the Penal Code Cap 89 laws of Northern Nigeria.

One of the counts read: “THAT you RAMAT MERCY MBA (F) sometimes in the month of October, 2019 or thereabout at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently induce one Mr. Ismail Adewole Oladipupo, an unsuspecting job seeker and collected the sum of Seven Hundred Thousand Naira only N700,000.00 from him which sum was paid into your private account under the guise of securing employment for him at the National Space Research and Development Agency. (NASDRA), AND you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320(b) and punishable under Section 322 of the Penal Code Cap 89 Laws of Northern Nigeria.”

In the course of the trial, ICPC’s Prosecutor, Mr. Hamza Sani, Esq. led evidence before the court on how the convict dishonestly induced her victims in the guise of securing employment for them with government agencies like Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Furthermore, the documentary evidence tendered shows that the convict fraudulently forged a letterhead paper of the Office of the Chief of Staff to former President Muhammad Buhari, Abba Kyari and his signature.

The letter, addressed to the Chairman of ICPC was a request for the recruitment of three individuals by the Commission. However, the late Chief of Staff, in a written correspondence that was also tendered in court as exhibit distanced himself or his office for authorising the letter.

In his judgement, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad convicted the mother of five children on counts 1, 2, 3 and 5 that deal on cheating and forgery while she was discharged on count 4 that deals with felony.

Nigeria to strengthen economic ties with Canada – Tuggar

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, on May 10, 2024, paid a working visit to Canada where he engaged with various critical stakeholders in furtherance of Nigeria’s commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with Canada. During his meeting with the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, Tuggar noted that Nigeria is Canada’s largest trade partner in Africa and called on both countries to strengthen trade ties, given the ongoing implementation of the AfCFTA. Similarly, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, stated that Canada is committed to supporting socioeconomic development in Nigeria and the wider region for mutual benefit. Both countries resolved to take steps to finalise the outstanding MOUs, including the bilateral Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (FIPPA) ahead of the Canadian Trade Mission to Nigeria in June 2024.

This is contained in a statement signed by Alkasim Abdulkadir, a special advisor to Tuggar on Media and Strategic Communication which is made available Daily Review Newspaper

The Ministers also discussed regional security in Africa. Minister Joly lauded Nigeria’s leadership role in the region and offered Canada’s support in strengthening stability and democracy in West Africa. They also agreed to work together on a range of regional and global issues, ranging from seeking peaceful resolutions to conflicts to multilateral reform and countering disinformation. The bilateral engagement represents a significant step forward in the already robust relations between the two countries.

Tuggar also met with the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association (CAAF) to discuss Canada-Nigeria relations and regional African issues. He used the opportunity to explain the 4-D foreign policy thrust and ongoing developments in ECOWAS and the implementation of the AfCFTA. Equally, he met with the Parliamentary Secretary, Robert Oliphant, where he explored avenues for enhanced partnership on multilateral reform, African security, education, healthcare, trade, and investment, particularly in the areas of mining, metals refining, energy, and digital economy. Mr. Oliphant expressed deep appreciation for the visit, stating that it demonstrated the robust relations between the two countries.

The Minister also met with the senior leadership of Carleton University and took a tour of its facilities, including the technology and innovation hub, as well as the Institute for African Affairs. Carleton University has several partnerships with Nigerian universities and is an example of the strong educational cooperation between Nigeria and Canada. He met with the President of the Business Council of Canada (BCC), Goldy Hyder, where they discussed opportunities for enhanced trade and investment, particularly in renewable energy and infrastructure. The BCC is exploring the possibility of visiting Nigeria later this year to follow up on the productive engagement.

Also, Tuggar met with the Canadian Parliamentary Secretary on Export Promotion, International Trade, and Economic Development, Maninder Sidhu, to expand the bilateral trade relationship between the two countries. Tuggar highlighted the linkages between democracy, stability, and sustainable growth, especially given the emergence of the AfCFTA. The Parliamentary Secretary stated that Canada wants to support Nigeria’s economic development. They also discussed partnerships in the areas of infrastructure, energy, agriculture, technology, and AI

Sanwo-Olu receives Prince Harry, Meghan

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, received the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on Sunday. 

The British Royal couple was received by Governor Sanwo-Olu; his wife, Dr. Ibijoke, and some members of the State Executive Council during a courtesy visit at Lagos House, Marina. 

Prince Harry, accompanied by his wife, Meghan, is on a three-day visit to Nigeria to promote the Invictus Games, which he founded in 2014. The couples had a stopover in Lagos on Sunday.

The Invictus Games are aimed at raising funds and supporting serving members of the military as well as veterans to overcome their physical and mental illness or injuries, which would help them to develop a sense of belonging and increased self-esteem.

Speaking to journalists after a closed door meeting with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Governor Sanwo-Olu praised the British Royal couple for the work they are doing with Nigeria’s military men, especially on issues around mental health.

He said: “We are honoured to receive them (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) at the Lagos House, Marina. We are excited about the ideas and what they are planning to do, especially with the office of the Chief of Defense Staff, General Christopher Musa, and his wife, Mrs. Lilian Musa.

“For Prince Harry, it has been a very interesting and informative trip to the country. He has seen a lot. And part of the things we are hoping he will take away is the diversity and extent of how big our country is, how we continue to ensure that we live together in peace and harmony, and what role Lagos plays in the whole conversation.

“They have been to Kano, Abuja, and now Lagos. I am sure they have their own experience of what Nigeria looks like. We have extended an additional invitation to them that they can always come back when they want to. 

“We are indeed happy for what they are doing, especially for our military men, on the conversation around mental health issues and how they can galvanise their various NGOs to ensure that people who require their support, both in the military and private, can seek that support. 

“Mental health issues are all around us. Denial and stigmatisation, are some of the things we talked about. And more importantly, at what point in Nigeria can we have the Invictus Games that Prince Harry is known for so that the true Nigerian competitiveness can also be reflected in those games.”

Labour Party loses a key member to defection

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Comrade Erasmus Ikhide, a former Labour Party (LP) House of Representatives Candidate, Owan Federal Constituency (Owan East and West LGA), Edo State, has resigned citing intractable crises plaguing the party.

The disgruntled labour party faithful made his decision known in a resignation letter addressed to the Labour Party National Secretariat Abuja.

Ikhide stated,”It is with a heavy heart that I submit my resignation as a member of the Labour Party, effective immediately. This decision has not been easy for me, but I am compelled to take this step due to the intractable crises plaguing our beloved party and the destruction of the ethical standards and integral norms that we are universally known for.

“As you are aware, I was the Labour Party’s candidate for the House of Representatives in the 2023 general election, representing Owan Federal Constituency (Owan East and West LGA) in Edo State. Throughout my political journey, I have always been driven by a passion for justice, equality, and the well-being of the Nigerian people. Unfortunately, the current state of our party has made it clear that these values are no longer prioritized.

“The persistent infighting, factionalization, and disregard for democratic principles have eroded the very foundations of our party. The Labour Party was once a beacon of hope for the working class and the marginalized, but it has now become a shadow of its former self.

“I can no longer continue to be a part of an organization that has abandoned its core values and principles. My resignation is not taken lightly, but I believe it is necessary to maintain my integrity and commitment to the ideals that drove me into politics in the first place.

“I appreciate the opportunities I have had while serving in the Labour Party, and I am grateful for the experience and knowledge gained. However, I can no longer continue to be associated with a party that has lost its way.”

2024 Hajj: NAHCON’s advance team departs for Saudi, Sunday

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) says a group of 43 Advance Team of the commission will depart Abuja on Sunday for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to mark the commencement of the 2024 pilgrimage.

Malam Mousa Ubandanwaki, Deputy Director, Information & Publications, Division, NAHCON, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commission had scheduled May 15 for the inaugural flight for the 2024 hajj.

Ubandanwaki explained that the team made up of 35 NAHCON officials and eight Medical Personnel would be in Saudi Arabia for the final preparation to receive the first set of Nigerian pilgrims from Kebbi State, who would be arriving the Kingdom on May 15.

He said that the Executive Chairman of NAHCON, Malam Jalal Arabi, while addressing the team urged them to live up to expectation by discharging their duties in accordance with their mandate.

Arabi noted that the performance of the team could make or mar the success of the exercise.

” You are the first point of call or contact with the pilgrims. Their impression and perception of your action or activities will go a long way towards assessing the commission.

“If you get it right, we get it right and on the contrary, if you get it wrong, the rest will just be about crisis management.

“Therefore, you must be up and doing in order to earn our reward here and that of Allah in the Hereafter, for treating His Guests well.

“They are the reason you are there, so at every point in time, make sure you attend or treat them with courtesy and respect,” he said.

Arabi, however, warned that the commission would take drastic step against anyone who may be reported to have deviated from the rules of engagement.

The NAHCON boss stated that he would not hesitate to recall any staff accused of dereliction of duties.

He further called on them to “take the admonition seriously” stressing, “the bar has been raised and the expectation is high”.

” You have been carefully selected because of the trust we have in you and as such, you need to brace up.

” Laxity and procrastination will not be tolerated.”

Arabi also stressed the need for the medical personnel to respect their patients and pilgrims ” on whose essence they were going there.

Responding on behalf of the team, Alhaji Ibrahim Mahmud, who is the Madina Coordinator, expressed appreciation to the management for the trust and confidence reposed in them.

He assured of their determination and readiness to make this year’s hajj more successful than the previous years.

“We will ensure that pilgrims get value for money and also do everything possible that pilgrims perform their Hajj rites without hitches Insha Allah.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the team is to organise and coordinate the reception, accommodation, feeding and transportation, health and general welfare of the pilgrim held in the Holy land throughout the Hajj period. 

I cannot function if my men are not happy – Defence Chief

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The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, says the happiness of his men remains paramount to him in discharging his responsibilities as defence chief.

Musa expressed this view while addressing newsmen on Saturday during the novelty volleyball match in honour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, who are on private visit to Nigeria on the invitation of the CDS.

He said it was his desire to celebrate the wounded soldiers and veterans that prompted the invitation of the royal prince to come to Nigeria and celebrate with the injured veterans.

“These guys have given everything they have just to make sure that Nigeria remains one.

“These individuals have families and people that depend on them but we will never allow the situation they are in, to keep them out.

“That is why, for me particularly, it is very important for the morale of my men.

“For me, I cannot function if my men are not happy and I will do whatever it takes for me to make sure that they are happy.

“That is why we are acknowledging what they have done and we are commending them and we appreciate the sacrifices they are making,” he said.

The defence chief  said the Nigerian armed forces was committed to investing in Invitus game which commenced in 2014, adding he was wondering why Nigeria delayed in taking part in the game.

He promised that the Nigerian team would go all the way to build up the capacity of the personnel to be able to continue to win laurel for Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that visitor, Prince Harry interacted members of his Invictus Foundation and urged them to keep up the good work.

He also cheered up the injured soldiers and veterans who participated in the novelty game.

NAN recalls that the visitors had on arrival on Friday had a closed door meeting with the CDS after a visit to a school in Wuse Abuja.

They later proceeded to 44 Army Reference Hospital Kaduna where they interacted with wounded soldiers who are currently receiving treatment.

At Kaduna, they also met with Gov. Uba Sani and top government functionaries. 

FG to implement 70% indigenous cartoon content policy –NOA DG

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The Federal Government is set to implement policy that will ensure that 70 per cent of the contents of cartoons will basically be about Nigeria values.

The Director-General of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of a Town Hall Meeting with Stakeholders in Lokoja, Kogi, on Saturday.

Issa-Onilu also said cartoon creators would be engaged  to produce local contents as part of measures to bridge the parenting gap and ensure good value systems.

This, he said, would enable the children to know Nigeria history and know about the heroes of the country, celebrate their achievements and cultures.

“Our children must know the heroes of the communities and be proud of where they come from, so that they will be good ambassadors of their cultures and communities,” he said.

The NOA boss decried the surge in decadence of the right values and characters in the country due to children’s exposure to foreign cultures on television and social media that were alien to Nigeria’s moral values.

The director-general further disclosed that the Federal Government would soon introduce Citizenship Studies as core subjects at all levels of education in Nigeria.

Issa-Onilu added that NOA would be engaging about 37,000 citizen brigades in schools at all level of education across the country to promote national values.

He added that the agency had compiled data with detailed information of all leaders of various unions and associations across the country for proper mobilisation to support all government policies, programmes and activities.

NAN reports that the stakeholders at the town hall meeting include: religious and traditional leaders, civil society organisations (CSOs) women and youth groups, media organisations, and retired state directors of NOA among others. (NAN)

FG restate commitment to revitalise revenue generation – Shettima

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Vice-President Kashim Shettima on Saturday restated President Bola Tinubu’s  commitment  to revitalise  revenue generation in the country.

Shettima stated this at the close-out retreat of the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee  at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

Shettima was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on General Duties (Office of The Vice President), Dr Aliyu Moddibo.

” Our aim remain the revitalisation of revenue generation in Nigeria while sustaining an investment-friendly and globally competitive business environment,”he said.

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Shettima  said that Nigeria’s tax reforms under  Tinubu was targeted at improving the system for the overall benefit of all Nigerians.

” Contrary to speculations in some quarters, we are not here to frustrate any sector of our economy but to create an administrative system that ensures the benefits of a thriving tax system for all our citizens.”

He said that the dynamics of the nation’s fiscal landscape prompted the Tinubu administration to pause and reconsider the direction it was going.

Shettima who expressed confidence in the ability of the committee to deliver on the mandate, emphasised the significance of the task ahead.

“We are gathered here today because we are transitioning from the phase of proposal in the operations of this committee’s work to the phase of implementation.

“I am confident that both the Federal and State Governments stand ready to ensure the effective implementation of your reform proposals.

” We shall provide the institutional framework to guarantee the adoption of the consensuses of this committee, aligning them with our economic agenda.”

Jamb results and the time for sober reflection

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Isah Aliyu Chiroma

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) outcomes mass failure is a complex problem that affects students, the educational system, and society at large. This is a worrying occurrence, it is imperative to look at the underlying causes of mass failure and possible methods to deal with this problem.

Many students could not have access to sufficient resources, or useful study tools, which could result in gaps in their knowledge and comprehension of the subjects covered in exams. Students from underprivileged backgrounds may be disproportionately impacted, which could prolong access disparities to higher education. Some of the students have access to quality education, and some are even opportune to have extra moral classes, to prepare them for the exam.

The pressure and stress that come with taking the exam for the first time can also influence the performance. Due to the high stakes involved in JAMB exams, which determine admission to postsecondary schools, students may experience performance anxiety. This pressure could make it more difficult for them to do well on the exams, which would reduce their scores and increase the percentage of failures.

To some, there’s a chance that the structure and subject matter of JAMB exams don’t necessarily match the secondary education curriculum or learning objectives. Students may find it difficult to adequately exhibit their knowledge and abilities as a result of this mismatch, which could have unforeseen repercussions like widespread failure. But then, each year JAMB releases its Curriculum, which any student that registered can have access to.

Addressing mass failure in JAMB results requires a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of the issue. The government and Schools need to invest in teachers training, curriculum development, and educational resources to ensure that students receive quality education and are adequately prepared for exams.

There is also a need to ensuring that JAMB exams are aligned with the curriculum and learning objectives of secondary education, most especially in their final class of secondary school, which will prepare them for the exams.

On the other hand, we can also categorized the failure into three categories; those that are opportune to have access and materials to prepare, those at the middle class that have to work hard to access those materials and learn, and those that sits comfortably in their comfort zone, waiting for miracle from the sky to happen.

The last category is those that mostly have all it takes to excel in their education, but then live below expectation. Then, where does those the problem lays. The true foam of education is the one you obtain by yourself, through hard work and dedication. You can have access to all you need, receive all the lessens to prepare you and still fail.

Let’s strike a balance here. The mass failure in this year’s JAMB is not the beginning, it has always been happening. What makes this different is, the time we are, where we can have access to information within the blink of our eyes. I am saying this because, I am aware of those processes, and those who took charge amongst us got what they worked for.

By working together to address the root causes and implementing targeted interventions, we can create a more equitable, inclusive, and effective education system that supports student success and achievement.

Nigerian Army pulls out 29 Infantry Corps Generals

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The Nigerian Army on Friday pulled out 29 Generals of the Infantry Corps who retired from active military service.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that out of the 29 retired infantry officers pulled out of active service at the Jaji Military Cantonment in Kaduna State, 19 were Major Generals and 10 Brigadiers General.

Leading the pack was Maj.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, who spoke on behalf of the retirees.

Ezugwu  encourage their successors to not only sustain the modest strategic, operational and tactical achievements made, but also to surpass them.

”The frontline is expanding and the Nigerian Army is becoming increasingly committed with the eyes of the nation and the world on it.

”Our Infantry Corps must therefore not relent or rest on her oars as the entire Nigerian Army depend largely on the Infantry Corps to achieve its core mandate and mission.

”I admonish the Infantry that as the threats to Nigeria sovereignty is becoming asymmetric in time and space, you must be proactively way ahead of our adversaries in all aspects of the unfolding combat scenarios,” he added.

Ezugwu also called on the Infantry Corps to review some of its tactical and operational strategies in the areas of night fighting capabilities, and frontline intelligence gathering on enemy activities.

He further advised the corps to strengthen basic field crafts training in the areas of aggressive fighting patrols to dominate at least 5 km radius of their locations, Ambushes, listening and observation posts as well as all levels of battle drills.

Ezugwu advocated for employment of modern technology and ICT enablers, and deliberate efforts to develop the leadership skills of junior commanders.

“Be rest assured that my colleagues and I will be glad and willing to avail the Infantry Corps our time, energy and resources until our last breath on earth.”

He announced the donation of 200 books and encyclopedia to the Infantry Corps Centre and Nigerian Army School of Infantry libraries to  promote training, reading culture, mentorship and capacity development of officers and soldiers.

“We are also availing the infantry Corps the sum of N1 million to purchase more Corps related books.

“This is our modest way to encourage  the edification of younger Infantry officers and soldiers so as to inspire and motivate them to reach their full potentials as they grow in service,” Ezugwu said.

He described military career as the most priceless, honourable and sacrificial call to duty globally, and thanked God for allowing them to end their careers alive after serving the nation for between 30 -38 years.

The General described the day as full of emotional feelings, nostalgic memories, wholesome gratitude, unending joy and unwavering fulfilment.

“For every service personnel, retirement from active service remains a natural and inevitable end which begins to count from the day we passed out from NDA as officers in the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

”Our joy and that of our families, colleagues and friends gathered here today knows no bounds as we take a final bow from the  Infantry Corps.

“On  behalf of my retired colleague Generals, I most respectfully and dutifully appreciate the incumbent Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Taoreed Lagbaja for organising this benefitting and memorable pulling out parade in our honour,” he added.

He also appreciated the Commander Infantry Corps, Maj.-Gen. Olufemi Oluyede, for mobilising the entire Infantry family including veterans and other luminaries in the Infantry Corps to honour them.

”As I stand on this podium and looking around this Parade Ground, I am moved with hysterical feeling of excitement considering the mammoth turn out of the infantry family.

”Host and neighbouring communities of Jaji, Labar, Wusono, Railway, Birnin Yero, Angwan Loya and other parts of Zazzau Emirate, led by our revered Emir, to celebrate our retirement.”Maj-Gen. Victor Ezugwu during the pulling out parade on Friday at Jaji Military Cantonment, Kaduna State. (NAN)

Double Emoluments: Court Upholds Sack of Varsity lecturer

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Justice J.D. Peters of the National Industrial Court, Ibadan on April 15, this year, upheld the sack of a lecturer in Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Dr. Elizabeth Aanu, for illegitimately drawing salary and pension simultaneously from both the university and Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).

Delivering a judgment in the case filed by Aanu against the university, praying the court to declare the termination of her appointment as “wrongful, null and void,” Justice Peters upheld the submission of counsel to OOU, Barrister Felix Ogunmade, that given the stipulation in paragraph 2(a), Part 1 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal (CCT) Act which prohibits receipt of two emoluments simultaneously, Aanu’s conduct as a public officer violated the fifth schedule of both the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the CCT Act.

Counsel to Aanu, B.A. Ogunleye, had among others, sought declarations setting aside the sack of her client, who was engaged in August 2006 by Appointment and Promotion Committee (A&PC) of OOU for a probation period of two years but was not confirmed until her sack in June 2021. The counsel also demanded for payment of arrears to Aanu and her reinstatement for what he described as wrongful termination of his client’s appointment.

 Dr. Aanu who had been engaged by OOU as Assistant Lecturer in 2006, failed to disclose to the institution that she had retired from SUBEB, paid gratuity and also earning pensions while also drawing a monthly salary from OOU. She later obtained a doctoral degree and was consequently promoted to the position of Lecturer II but was not confirmed following the discovery that she had retired from SUBEB, drawing pensions and yet seeking another pensionable job with OOU.

Reviewing submissions before his final judgment, Justice Peters said, “yet the question as to how the claimant disengaged from SUBEB remained unanswered. I, at this stage opt to ask some pertinent questions and proffer answers within the available evidence before me in resolving this issue. Did the Claimant work with SUBEB, Ogun State for 26 years? Yes.

“Did the Claimant retire from SUBEB, paid her gratuity and drawing monthly pensions? Again, I answer in the affirmative. While under cross examinationin this case, Claimant in response to a specific question told the Court that she was paid her gratuity by SUBEB. She also responded to another question that she is presently receiving monthly pensions from SUBEB. She, however, stated that she could not say for how long she had been collecting pensions.”
Harping on Aanu’s misconduct by earning double emoluments, the judge added:
“My attention was drawn by the learned counsel to the defendants, Felix Ogunmade, to the fact that the claimant was a public officer within the meaning of Part 11 of the 5th schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended. Now by paragraph 2(a), Part 1 of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, a public officer shall not receive or be paid the emolument of any other public office. Within the meaning of Interpretation of Section of the 5th Schedule to the Constitution, salary, gratuity and pensions are part of the meaning of emolument.”

Describing the appointment of the plaintiff as irregular, Justice Peters held that the “the Claimant was disqualified from accepting another permanent and pensionable appointment having once retired from the service of SUBEB under Ogun State Government.”

The judge, while dismissing the suit filed by Aanu, also dismissed other reliefs sought by her counsel, including an order for payment of N883,596 salary arrears from July, 2021 to 31 December, 2021; N662,697 for accumulated leave for 2007 and 2008 and N147,266
as balance of 2021 unspent leave. He also described the plaintiff’s prayer for some reliefs, if not the total reliefs she sought, as baseless because she had not acted in good conscience, reiterating that he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.

The judge therefore dismissed the entire suit and awarded N200,000 against the plaintiff in favour of the defendants.
 “Finally, for the avoidance of doubt and for all the reasons as contained in this judgment, I dismiss the case of the claimant in its entirety for lack of proof. The claimant shall pay to the Defendant the cost of this proceeding assessed at N200,000 only,” the judge held

INEC, others adopt draft framework on inmates voting in Nigeria

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other stakeholders on Thursday adopted the draft framework on inmates voting rights developed by Carmelites Prisoners’ Interest Organisation (CAPIO).

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, was among the stakeholders that adopted the draft framework in Abuja during a one-day validation workshop organised by CAPIO.

Yakubu, represented by his Special Assistant, Prof. Mohammed Kuna, said that the commission was moving the country forward by adopting the draft framework for inmates to vote.

He said that the framework was not a law but a guide to assist stakeholders and enable inmates in custodial centers to cast their votes.

The INEC chairman said that the draft contained suggestions for the National Assembly to include in the proposed amendment of the Electoral Act.

According to him, the commission is committed to ensuring that inmates are given the right to vote.

“This is what is happening across the world and I don’t think we should be different as far as democracy is concerned.

“The commission is very much interested and committed to see inmates vote in Nigeria, because this is a human right issue.”

He however said it was important to think hard on how to deal with the implications, adding that “the issue of voting where you are registered is key.’’

The INEC chairman assured that a final draft would be submitted after undergoing critical appraisal.

Also, Mr Olatunbosun Ajibogun, the Controller Planning, Research and Statistics at the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), said the adoption of the draft document was a right step in the right direction.

Ajibogun said that the draft framework was put together by professionals, based on the perspective of NCoS.

“That is what we have come here to do, we came here to validate all these ideas, the deliberations were very robust as all the stakeholders actually did their best,’’ he said.

Earlier, the Executive Director of CAPIO, Rev. Fr. Jude Isiquzo welcomed the adoption of the document by stakeholders including INEC.

“We are happy that INEC is happy with the work CAPIO has been doing and for also collaborating with them to see that the rights of inmates in correctional centers are well protected.

“There is still more work to be done. This is just the first thing which is a framework that has been developed.

“The National Assembly also needs to do some work again, and that is why we submitted a memorandum to the National Assembly to capture the rights of inmate to vote in national elections.

“We are not going to relent until we see the end of it and inmates begin to vote.

“We believe that it is possible and INEC can do that, because they have the right.

“IDPs in camps vote, if they do, nothing stops inmates in custodial centers from also voting,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the stakeholders agreed to set up a committee to review the document and come up with the final framework capturing all the ideas and suggestions made during the validation workshop. (NAN)

Students feared abducted as bandits enter Kogi varsity

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Bandits on Thursday night invaded the Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTEC), Osara, Okene in Kogi, and abducted some students.

An eye witness account indicated that the bandits swooped on the university around 9.00 p.m. while the students were reading for their upcoming exams.

The source said that the bandits came in through the bush, went into three lecture halls and began to shoot into the air to scare the students.

“They trapped the students inside the halls and started taking them; the school was thrown into total confusion as fear-stricken students in other halls scurried to safety, scampering in various directions.

“By the time local security guards and the conventional security men at the gate engaged the bandits, they had already succeeded in abductiing some students.

“But the efforts minimised the damage as the attackers didn’t go beyond the first three halls,” the source said.

According to the source, the students were preparing for their first semester examination expected to commence on Monday, May 13, when the bandits struck.

A student, who craved anonymity, said that he and some colleagues ran to the bush and hid there for “more than an hour”.

“We only ventured out when everywhere became quiet,” he said.

Contacted, CUSTEC Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdulraman Asipita, confirmed the incident but refused to give details of the number of students abducted.

“I don’t talk to journalists on incidents like this, but I want you to know that we are on top of the situation,” he said.

Efforts to reach the Commissioner of Police in Kogi, Mr Bethrand Onuoha, were not successful.

Retired Cdre Jerry Omodara, State Security Adviser, could equally not be reached for comments as calls to his line were not picked nor returned. (NAN)

Reps to investigate activities of Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Foreign Affairs to carry out a holistic investigation into the activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its missions.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Ben Etanabene (PDP-Delta)  during plenary in Abuja on Thursday.

Moving the motion, Etanabene noted that  the government had set in motion reforms for effective service delivery in the Ministry of foreign Affairs, Parastatal agencies and the Missions.

He expressed concern that the House had taken several steps to ensure that the reforms and policy thrust of the ministry came to fruition for the good of the country.

He said in spite of the efforts of the House, Nigerians around the world were faced with general and urgent Consular Services Challenge.

According to him, many Nigerians are illegally held or imprisoned in foreign countries and often under harsh conditions that may lead to loss of lives if urgent actions are not taken.

“Many Nigerians go through extreme difficulties to secure visas for legitimate travels including Government Officials and Legislators after paying exorbitant visa fees.”

He said Embassies in a bid to ease visa application processes have resulted to outsourcing the processes to agent whose cost of services are borne by Nigerians.

The lawmaker said several modes of visa applications were in force including express services with huge cost paid by applicants who are sometimes denied visas after such payments.

He said the Ministry in addition to budgetary allocations, benefited from intervention  funds, for running the affairs of the ministry and missions as well as the internally generated revenue by several of its missions.

He said the committee received several complaints regarding issues of employments in the missions, appointments, postings, redeployment and disciplinary issues that affect morals and service delivery.

He added that a lot of local staff ceiling in some missions had been exceeded due to violation of rules employments  and in some instances, the ceiling placed on the number of Foreign Service Officers.

This, he said had further resulted to indebtedness in the respective missions.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Foreign Affairs to carry out a holistic investigation and report back to the House within three weeks.(NAN)

Tinubu appoints Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas) as Co-Chairman, NCDMB Council

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr. Ekperikpe Ekpo, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), as the Co-Chairman of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity)who disclosed this inna statement Thursday said the move was in line with his avowed commitment to establish a more efficient, targeted, and consistent approval process for unique oil and gas projects in the country.

Ajuri added that this is also to further ensure effective oversight of the gas aspect of the nation’s assets.

“The President remains committed to unlocking Nigeria’s immense gas potential to stimulate industrial development, job creation, and sustainable economic growth,” the statement said.

Senate moves to strengthen judiciary, criminal justice system

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A bill for an Act to prescribe the salaries, allowances and fringe benefits of judicial office holders in Nigeria has passed second reading in the Senate Thursday.

The bill, sponsored by the Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, scaled second reading following the debate on the proposal by Senators during plenary.

In his lead debate, Bamidele explained that the proposal was an executive bill, forwarded to the two Chambers of the National Assembly by President Bola Tinubu, in accordance with the provisions of Section 58 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended.

According to him, one of the intendments of the legislation is to unify the salary structure as well as allowances and fringe benefits of Judicial Office1 Holders both in the Federal and at the State levels.

The lawmaker stated further that when passed into law, the bill would bring about significant improvement in the welfare, capacity and independence of the Judiciary, which have been contentious issues of public discourse over the years.

“The Bill, in a nutshell, seeks to prescribe salaries, allowances and fringe benefits for Judicial Officers in order to nip in the bud, the prolonged stagnation in their remuneration so as to reflect the contemporary socio-economic realities of our time.

“Similarly, the Bill intends to unify the salary structure as well as allowances and fringe benefits of Judicial Officers Holders both in the Federal and at the State levels.

“This proposed legal framework, undoubtedly, will bring about significant improvement in the welfare, capacity and independence of the Judiciary, which have been contentious issues of public discourse over the years.

“In conclusion, I wish to categorically state, that the purport and intent of this Bill are in conformity with the current administration’s resolve to strengthen the country’s Judiciary and the criminal justice system, with a view to ensuring its independence in the performance of its constitutional role, as the arbiter of the temple of justice.

“Accordingly, I implore Distinguished Senators to support the ‘expeditious passage of this Bill in view of its importance to the socio-economic and political development of this country”.

Governor Ododo Condoles with  NSA Ribadu over brother’s death

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Kogi State Governor, Ahmed Usman Ododo has expressed deep sadness over the demise of Ahmadu Salihu Ribadu, elder brother of the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

In a condolence letter signed by the Kogi State Governor, Governor Ododo noted that he was shocked by the death of the late Ahmadu Salihu and shared in the grief of the National Security Adviser and the entire Ribadu family. 

Governor Ododo who reflected on the inevitability of death said it was painful for a family to lose a loved one especially when the deceased is dear to the family and the community like the late Ahmadu Salihu Ribadu. 

The Governor prayed for the peaceful repose of the soul of the  late Ahmadu Salihu Ribadu and urged the family to take solace in the knowledge that the deceased led a life full of personal fulfillment and impact in the community.

The late Ahmadu Salihu Ribadu died on Sunday in Yola, Adamawa state and has since been buried in accordance with Islamic rites