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THE STATES

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Taraba
An eight-memebr gang of armed robbers laid siege on Magami area of Jalingo, Taraba State Capital, in a robbery attack, which lasted several hours.
The robbers during the operation carted away cash and valuables like handsets, electronics and clothing materials.
The incident occurred against the backdrop of a recent assurance by the state Police Commissioner, Aliyu Musa, that his command had put necessary security measures in place to check crime.
A victim, Rashidat Hamzat, lamented that the police were nowhere to be found during their ordeal, saying that armed robbers were having a field day in the state.
She said: “We thought the state government claimed to have equipped the police with necessary gadgets like handsets, to combat armed robbery activities. But I must confess to you that we are highly disappointed in them because when these boys (armed bandits) came in to our compound last night, the lines the police gave to the public could not even be reached.”
The Southern Zone of the state, which comprises Danga, Takum, Wukari, Ussa, Ibi and the special development area of Yangtu, have in recent times been under attack by armed bandits.
Residents of the areas, who spoke with newsmen said policemen only patrol at daytime and desert the streets at night.
A resident, Benjamin Makoroa, said: “once it is night, especially from 10.00p.m, you are on your own and no longer under the protection of the joint military/police patrol teams. I believe the command has not effectively put to use the assistance extended by our state government.
While Musa was unavailable at the command headquarters, a senior police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “even though I am not the right person to speak to you, I must confess that police in Taraba State are trying their best and we shall continue in that direction. As you know, we are not spirits that can be everywhere at the same time. As we strategise, the armed robbers too are planning.”
On the recent robbery activities in the state, he said: “No arrest has been made, but I assure you that our surveillance teams are already out and the hoodlums would soon be brought to book.”

Ekiti
Governor Segun Oni of Ekiti State has called on the Federal Government to urgently assist his administration to dredge the Ureje Dam in Ado-Ekiti to avoid a major flood disaster in the state capital.
Also, speaker of the State House of Assembly Olatunji Odeyemi, has advised all tiers of government to spend their share of the excess crude oil account on the agriculture sector to boost food production in the country.
Speaking yesterday during a visit to his office by the House of Representatives Committee on Environment, Oni noted that the Ureje Dam, which was built over 50 years ago, had silted due to lack of proper maintenance by previous administration.
He added that the situation posed great danger to the people living along the dam’s river bank.
His words: “The Ureje waterworks was constructed over 50 years ago. Those who designed the dam expected that maintenance dredging and other maintenance works would be carried out on the dam periodically.
“I know you would find it hard to believe that apart from the expansion works, which we recently carried out on the dam, no major maintenance work had been carried out on the dam since its construction in the mid-1950’s. The dam has now silted up due to lack of maintenance dredging over the years.
“In fact, the dam now contains only about 30 per cent of the installed capacity for water because of the large quantities of silt deposited in it in the past five decades. This is responsible for the flash floods that occur after heavy downpours in the South-Western part of the State capital.”
Oni recalled that many houses, along the course of the river, were flooded and submerged after a heavy downpour two weeks ago.
He pointed out that his administration had already made representation to the Federal Government on the looming flood disaster around the Ureje River, as well as areas around the abandoned Oke Osun flood control project in Ikere.
The governor, who called for more Federal Government’s erosion control projects in the state, noted that the prevailing undulating landscape in Ekiti made the State prone to erosion.
Chairman of the House Committee on Environment, Duro Faseyi, said the committee was on inspection tour of on-going ecological projects initiated by the Federal Government in the state as part of the committee’s over sight function.

Borno
Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Sao Tome and Principe, Saidu Pinda, has condemned the Borno state government’s alleged “slow response” to the recent cholera epidemics in the state.
Pinda, who spoke to newsmen yesterday in Maiduguri, the state capital, also accused the state of being insensitive to the plight of residents of Biu Local Council, where cholera reportedly claimed six lives everyday.
He argued that the state’s alleged insensitivity fuelled the recent clash between operatives of its operation Flush II and Commercial Motor-cyclists over the latter’s refusal to wear crash helmets, in which two riders died.
His words: “The Borno state government is insensitive to the prevailing cholera epidemic in Biu and other communities in Hawul and Shani.”

Oyo
The Court of Appeal siting in Ibadan has nullified the election of a People Democratic Party (PDP) member in the House of Representatives, Folake Olunloyo-Osinowo on grounds of irregularities and non compliance with the election act.
In a unanimous decision in court, the judge said the lower tribunal erred by upholding Olunloyo-Osinowo’s victory as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (NEC), since the election was fraught with irregularities.
After voiding the April 21, 2007 poll in the Ibadan South West/North Federal Constituency, the three man panel of justices led by Justice C. B. Ogunbiyi directed INEC to conduct a fresh poll to fill the vacant seat within the next 60 days.
The Action Congress (AC) candidate, Idayat Adebusuyi, who is the appellant, had prayed the court to declare her winner of the said polls, having polled the majority of the lawful votes cast or in the alternative order a rerun in the affected constituency but the court held that declaring the AC candidate winner in the circumstance would amount to backing a candidate to benefit from the established irregularities.

Abuja
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Prince Vincent Eze Ogbulafor, has congratulated President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on Nigeria ’s historic election into the United Nations Security Council.
In a congratulatory message to president Yar’Adua, Prince Ogbulafor said he and the PDP note with great pride the steady recognition of Nigeria as an emerging world power which, he said, is as a result of her significant contributions to world peace and stability in recent years.
The congratulatory message contained in a statement issued in Abuja and signed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali reads in part: “This honour which has been bestowed on Nigeria unanimously by member states of the UN further cements the stature of Nigeria as an influential voice in the international arena and also as an indispensable partner and actor in the comity of nations.
“This election also bears testimony to the endearing leadership qualities of Mr. President who has consistently demonstrated a large capacity for the resolution of conflicts in domestic, sub-regional and global affairs.
”We are happy that Nigeria ’s shining example in peace keeping both internally and globally has once again been acknowledged by the international community. This election, coming shortly after the heroic implementation of President Yar’Adua’s amnesty programme in the Niger-Delta region is an acknowledgement of the Federal Government’s capacity for peaceful resolution of conflicts wherever they exist. We believe strongly that the world would benefit immensely from Nigeria’s membership of this august body.
“While we commend the United Nations for this timely and well thought-out election of Nigeria as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, it is our hope and prayer that the current reforms going on in the United Nations would include the expansion of the permanent membership of the Security Council to create room for regional powers such as Nigeria to assume their rightful place in the World body”.

Lagos
65 communities in Ibeju Lekki, Epe area of Lagos state affected by the state proposed international airport will soon be relocated.
Top government officials have already held a meeting with the leaders of the communities to reassure them of government’s commitment to relocating them.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands Bureaus, Mr. Gbenga Ashafa, at the meeting reassured the people of government’s intention to adequately compensate them adding that government will not embark on any demolition until after compensation and relocation of affected people, just as it did to the displayed people of Lagos –Badagry expressway under construction.
He explained further that “the convening of the meeting is our way of showing that government intends to carry the people along in the projects.”
Ashafa warned the people not to think of entering into conflict with the state government as that would not solve the problem.
“You should continuously seek dialogue with the government which has demonstrated its openness and transparency” he said.
The International Airport is to complement the Lekki free trade Zone already being built in its first phase by the China Corporation Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC). The proposed International airport will also lead to further development of Lekki axis of the state and make it as a hub of commercial and economic activities while linking people from other parts of the world for business trade.

Kaduna
The Nigerian Airforce (NAF) has set up an inquiry to unravel the circumstances that led to last months murder of a civilian diver Nallam Abdullahi Shittu.
Shittu was allegedly killed after a disagreement with some airforce personnel near the airforce base in Kaduna.
Disclosing this to newsmen in Kaduna, the NAF Public Relations Officer, Squadron Leader Edward Gallowin said the airforce as a responsible arm of the military values the life of any Nigerian, and would not engage in shielding any of its personnel who takes the law into his hands.
Last month, a cab driver with two wives and 10 children slumped into a comma after allegedly being beaten by an Airforce officer attached to a security outfit “Operation” Yaki.
Gallowei added that the career of the Airforce officer involved in the incident and the life of the cab driver were among the important factors that necessitated the investigation so that it can carefully find out what and who were responsible for the death of the civilian victim.

Kwara
The Executive Secretary of National Sugar Development Council Alhaji Usman Baleh has deplored the low level of investment in the sugar sub-sector of Nigeria.
Speaking at the North Central Zone Sugar Forum in Illorin, Baleh noted that the prospects of the sugar sub-sector were very bright in the country as he urged more investment in the sector.
He disclosed that sugar projects were in various stages of development but regretted that the problem was with the procurement of processing plants of different capacities.
According to him, so far two of the companies have placed order for the equipment and concluded plans to produce about 350,000 tonnes of sugar whenever they commence operation.

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No Room For Cultism, Sex-For-Marks In UNIMAID -VC

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The Vice-Chancellor, University of Maiduguri, Prof. Aliyu Shugaba, says there is no room for cultism and sex-for-marks in the institution.
Shugaba said this at a forum yesterday in Abuja.
The vice-chancellor said that the university was intensifying measures to ensure that cultism and other social vices were checked adequately.
“Our university has all these while maintained a zero tolerance to cultism and exam malpractice and to some other vices.
“We have never had a situation of cultism on the campus, it is always outside the campus very close to the university,’’ he said
While emphasising that the institution had recorded success in addressing the problems of cultism, Shugaba said that the management was, however, determined to discipline those involved in nefarious activities.
“Where we had a similitude of that we have dealt with it.
“The vice-chancellor has that power to suspend students and arraign them before Students Disciplinary Committee.
“That committee has been working. Each time we have cases we refer it to them and they make a good job of it and report to us.
“Those that need to be expelled will be expelled, those that need to be rusticated for one semester or two they will be given the appropriate punishment.
“There was something that happened and it involved one of the military guys on campus, we reported to the military authorities and they took swift action against that officer of theirs.
“That was the only thing that happened on the campus, they were trying to initiate someone and I think the guy has been dismissed from the military; so we do not have much of that problem,’’ Shugaba said.
The vice-chancellor, who decried the rate of exam malpractice in the education system admonished students to refrain from it, stressing that appropriate sanctions awaited defaulters.
According to him, one that is so much rampant and it is in most of the universities is the issue of exam malpractice.
“There is no single exam we conduct that we do not have students that do that kind of thing but when we catch them doing it we have ways of making them realise their mistakes.
“We have always counselled them; we have always embarked on campaign using bill boards, orientation programmes and the radio station to tell them about the consequences,’’ he said.
Shugaba added that the institution was collaborating with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to check the menace of drug related vices.
“We bring the NDLEA to the campus to counsel the students on the effects of drugs.
“So, that has brought it to the barest minimum but our greatest headache is the examination malpractice where every semester we have reports.
“We bring the students before the committee, examine and give them chance to defend themselves and those found guilty depending on the level of the offence will either be expelled or suspended for one or two semesters.
“Because we are doing that it is gradually reducing and in the last two semesters there hasn’t been much cases.
“We have had some that were expelled but if you consider the total number of students on the campus the number expelled is negligible.
On the issue of sex for marks, Shugaba said “since we got to know about the happenings in other institutions, we have been working on our own academic staff to ensure that these things don’t happen.
“There are instances where we have invited some that were reported, they have been seriously warned and I can assure you that the situation is now giving way,’’ Shugaba said.

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Ex-Lawmaker Advises Reduction In Rice Prices 

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A former House of Representatives member, Rep. Joseph Akinlaja, has advised the Federal Government to ensure reduction in the price of rice commodities
Akinlaja gave the advice yesterday in Abuja while reacting to the one million bags of rice paddy pyramids launched by President Muhammad Buhari.
He explained that the rice pyramid showed that the country was ready to be self-sufficient in rice production and should continue to showcase its achievement in terms of agriculture.
Akinlaja, who is also the former National Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), maintained that it was necessary Nigerians benefited with discounted price after processing the rice.
He added that there was the need for a drastic reduction in price of the commodities as soon as it rolled into the market with the cooperation of the millers association.
”I hope that rice will remain the cheapest commodity in the Nigerian market.”
The building of the paddy rice pyramid at the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Airport Road, started mid- December 2021.
The rice pyramids were built with million bags of rice paddy planted and harvested from states across the country under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme.
The President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Mr Ado Hassan, had earlier said that the country would commence exportation of rice in the near future to engender the twin benefits of food security and economic diversification.
Secretary of the Kano State chapter of RIFAN, told the journalists on the sidelines of the unveiling of the mega rice pyramids in Abuja, that it was a joint project between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under its Anchor Borrowers Programme, and RIFAN.
“For the fact that Nigeria has not imported even a grain of rice in the last four years is enough prove that we are already self-sufficient in the commodity. The cultivation of rice is a reality and it will continue to happen,” he said.
Hassan said that though insecurity was a setback, it has not discouraged farmers from cultivating different crops.
He assured that the massive investment in rice cultivation by Nigeria will bring down its price and make it available to the ordinary Nigerians

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Expert Advises Nigerian Leaders To Be Self-Motivated

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The founder of TEXEM UK, Dr Alim Abubakre, a British Nigerian, has urged Nigerian leaders and entrepreneurs to be self-motivated before trying to motivate their team in the uncertain era of COVID-19.
Abubakre, who spoke with the The Tide in Abuja said a prolific leader must be self-motivated to motivate his or her team for maximum productivity.
“It becomes easy to provide strategic direction and inspire your team to achieve organisational goals when you are self-motivated.
”But, how do you motivate yourself? Well, be open to change, learn from others, reflect on your progress, balance your emotions, be deliberate about the company you keep and what you read, and always make positive affirmative statements,” he explained.
Speaking on how strategic leaders could develop a growth mindset and win in 2022 and beyond, Abubakre noted that improving performance during and after a pandemic could be challenging due to many disruptions.
“While it looks challenging and daunting during times of uncertainty, yet there are executives out there who are performing exceptionally well despite the many challenges they face.
“Such cases present an opportunity to learn how such leaders are sailing through the storms of the pandemic, competition, disruption and other headwinds.
“As a public or private sector leader, you need to learn and adopt the right strategies, with the appropriate executing competencies, that will assist you to circumvent the innumerable hurdles of the prevailing post-lockdown volatile operating context.
“And to better implement this, you must pursue a holistic stakeholder engagement and involvement strategies to stimulate an effective and efficient organisation-wide goals achievement.
“By the way, contrary to what many people think, leadership is not about coercion.
“On the contrary, sometimes transformational leadership improves organisational performance through appropriate coaching and inspiration.
“Arguably, certain qualities and characteristics are common among successful leaders who continually contribute to nation-building.
“How such individuals respond to circumstances, including disruptive pandemics such as the COVID-19 and the strategic choices that they make, all factor into their success and effective leadership.

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