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THE STATES

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Bauchi

The Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Isa Yuguda, last Wednesday urged the state’s Christian pilgrims going on pilgrimage to Israel and Rome to pray for peaceful conduct of the 2011 elections.

Yuguda, who gave the charge while addressing the intending pilgrims in Bauchi, said that 2011, being an election year, was crucial in the history of the nation and therefore, required special prayers.

The Governor, represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Babayo Gamawa, charged the intending pilgrims to imbibe the virtues of peace, love, understanding and tolerance as exemplified by the life style of Jesus Christ.

Appealing to the pilgrims to pray for peace, unity and progress in the state and the country as a whole Yuguda said “Jesus Christ taught love, sacrifice and service to mankind.

Borno

 The National Insurance Commission (NIC) is planing a road show in Maiduguri to sensitise the people to the need to embrace the culture of taking insurance policy.

The commission’s Director of Research and Statistics, Alhaji Adamu Balanti, told newsmen yesterday in Maiduguri after a stakeholders meeting that the event, slated for December, would hold in major streets in Maiduguri and environs.

“The road show is part of the strategies to sensitise the people to the need to imbibe the culture of taking insurance policy.

“The objective is to let the people know that the 2003 Insurance Act has made third party insurance policy mandatory for all Nigerians,” he said.

FCT

 Participants at the ongoing Regional Deepwater Offshore West Africa Conference and Exhibition on Wednesday described the attendance as impressive.

Some participants, who spoke to newsmen at the forum in Abuja, expressed satisfaction with the quality of  participation.

Mr Ofordile Okoye, the managing director of an  indigenous firm which manufactures  safety work wears,  said the exhibition was a platform for Nigerian companies to showcase their progress following the recent enactment of the Nigerian Content Law.

He said the industry was anxiously awaiting the passage of the PIB which he said would address the concerns of all the stakeholders and provide the legal framework for the growth and development of the oil and gas sectors.

Kano

The Kano State Commissioner for Health, Hajiya A’isha Isiyaku, has cautioned the public against “over consumption” of meat during the Sallah festival to avoid stomack disorders.

She gave the warning on Thursday in Kano in an interview with newsmen when the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, paid the traditional Sallah homage to Governor Ibrahim Shekarau.

Isiyaku also urged the people to avoid taking too much animal fats during the festival to avoid heart problems and arthritis.

She advised the people to take a lot of fruits and vegetable during the festival for improved good health.

Katsina

The Katsina State Government has awarded a N3.9 billion contract for the completion of the first and second phases of the state’s stadium.

The deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Sirajo Damari, said this last Wednesday in Katsina during the traditional “Hawan Bariki, “ a programme held to mark the Sallah celebration.

He said the decision to complete the abandoned multi-million Naira stadium was borne out of the state government’s commitment toward boosting sporting activities.

Damari, who represented Governor Ibrahim Shema, also said the state government had within the last three and half years rehabilitated all the mini-stadia in the state.

“It is known that sporting activities play a significant role in politics of the world today, hence the decision by government to give the sector the attention it deserves,” he said.

Kebbi

Some children in Birnin Kebbi metropolis last Wednesday urged the state government to build an amusement park for their leisure.

Musa Ahmadu  told newsmen that lack of an amusement park has denied children  a special arena to mark the Sallah celebration.

“I have played with friends but a modern amusement park is required here,” he said.

Abbati Ali, who came with his parents from Abuja, also lamented the absence of a park.

“I miss the fun in Abuja, though I have made new friends here,” he said.

Kogi

The reconstruction of the 200-year old Odogi traditional market in Kabba-Bunu Local Government of Kogi has commenced.

The project, being executed under the World Bank assisted Fadama III programme, will be completed soon.

Chairman of the Fadama Community Association (FCA), Mr Samuel Olobatoke made this known in an interview with newsmen in Kabba last Tuesday.

Olobatoke said the project of 24 cubicles and VIP latrines would cost N1.83 million provided by the World Bank, with counterpart funding from the community and the Federal and State Governments.

He said the market had historical and traditional significance having served the fore fathers of the community and its neighbouring towns and villages for more than 200 years.

Kwara

One policeman was killed and fifteen others seriously injured in a community clash at Ganmo Muslim Prayer Ground in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara on Tuesday.

The palace of the Olu of Ganmo, Oba Atanda Kolawole and some vehicles were damaged in the fracas by irate youths.

The crisis started in the morning at the Ganmo prayer ground over who should lead the prayer following an age long chieftaincy dispute.

Police spokesman, Mr Ezekiel Dabo, said the Command received a distress call from the traditional ruler of the town, Oba Kolawole.

“The command mobilised its anti-riot policemen to restore peace, but suddenly, some soldiers, numbering about eight, appeared and engaged the policemen in a gun battle.

He pointed out that one faction in the chieftaincy dispute had mobilised some youths to prevent the other faction from leading them at the prayer. “That was how the crisis started.’’

Lagos

The inauguration  of  the Customs Examination Bay at Seme border earlier scheduled for this month has been postponed to  June 2011.

Mr Fred Udechukwu, Managing Director  of  Global SCAN SYSTEM Ltd., the firm handling the project,  told newsmen last Wednesday in Lagos that the date was no longer feasible.

“The commissioning of the Bay has been postponed till June next year because some important aspects of the contract have not been concluded,’’ he said.

Udechukwu also  said the delay in concluding the job was caused  by the swampy nature of the area which called for sand filling.

The firm had during an inspection visit by officials of the Ministry of Finance in August promised that the Bay would be ready in November.

Ogun

Former Commonwealth scribe, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, on Monday suggested that traditional rulers should be enlisted into the country’s governance under the current presidential system.

Delivering a lecture to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the coronation of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, in Abeokuta, Anyaoku said the role of traditional rulers in the nation could not be over-emphasised.

He described traditional rulers as the custodians of their people’s culture and the embodiment of their collective conscience.

He noted that the traditional rulers played an important role in the sustenance of the cohesion of societies, thereby maintaining law and order, especially in the rural setting.

Osun

The Osun chapter of  the Action Congress of  Nigeria (ACN) last Wednesday  again took up the state government over the N18.4 billion loan it took in  April.

It would be recalls that the loan was approved by the House of Assembly on April 27 in spite of  criticisms  by opposition parties.

The state government had said the loan was to boost development projects which had already been captured in the 2010 budget.

But ACN in a statement by  its Director of  Research and Strategy, Mr Sunday Akere, expressed concern over what the loan had been  used for since it was obtained in April.

Plateau

Plateau United FC Technical Adviser, Ndubusi Nduka, says the players will  blend with each other  by the end of Week Five of  the current season.

Nduka told newsmen last Wednesday in Jos that  perfect understanding in the team was crucial to picking the continental ticket.

He said just two weeks into the league, the NPL was  showing remarkable improvement in form and content and attributed this  to the revolution in  Nigerian football.

The former Dolphins FC Coach said ace midfielder, Olaniyi Olayinka,  had resumed light training after suffering from a groin injury which sidelined him since the commencement of the league.

On the standard of  officiating, he said referees and other match officials had lived up to expectations and appealed to them to maintain this.

Sokoto

 An international conference on climate change and desertification is scheduled to take place at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, from Dec. 6 to Dec. 9, 2010, a statement said.

The statement signed by Prof. Saka Yusuf, a consultant to the university, was made available to newsmen in Sokoto on Wednesday.

It said that one of the objectives of the conference was to identify areas of human endeavour most at risk to climate change and desertification in Nigeria.

The statement said the conference would be organised by the university in conjuction with the Ilorin-based consultancy firm, Saka Yusuf and Associates.

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NDLEA Arrests Doctor, Ex-Soldier For Dealing In Drugged Cookies, Cocaine

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The operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a medical doctor, Jane Chioma Ofoma, in Auchi, Edo, for selling drugged cookies and biscuits.
Its Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, said in a statement yesterday in Abuja, that Chioma sold the drugged cookies and biscuits through an online catering service, Omachi’s kitchen.
Babafemi said the arrest followed intelligence and surveillance where narcotic officers of the Edo Command of the agency on Saturday June 19, stormed her operational base at 1 Winners Way, Auchi.
This, he said, led to her arrest and at least 94 pieces of cookies produced with cannabis sativa were recovered from the suspect.
According to him, Chioma, 26, who is a graduate of medicine from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, recently completed her housemanship at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
“She has confessed to baking the cookies with skunk in her statement while under interrogation,” he said.
In the same vein, Babafemi said a 30-year-old Emmanuel Ehiramhen, of No. 10 Egan Street Ekpoma, has been arrested by officers of the Edo Command of the agency for dealing in crack cocaine.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives in Kwara have arrested a 52-year-old ex-Soldier, Ibrahim Musa, with 12.167 kilograms of Arizona (cannabis sativa), 4 grams of Cocaine and 25 grams of flunitrazepam.
Babafemi said the suspect was apprehended on Thursday June 17, at Oke-Odo, Tanke area of Ilorin, when he arrived from Lagos to supply his customers.
He said Musa worked in the maintenance department at Abati Army Barracks, Lagos from where he was deployed to 117 Battalion in Chibok, Borno, before he deserted the Army.
He added that the suspect had arrived Ilorin with his wife, Basirat Musa, in his Honda Accord car with registration number JJ 707 BL Lagos with the seized exhibit.
He was, however, arrested at the point of delivery by operatives of the Kwara Command of the agency.
“Under interrogation, Ibrahim revealed that while at Chibok he got the connection of a supplier of Arizona (Cannabis) and other drugs in Lagos who he immediately contacted when he deserted the Army in October 2020.
“He said he decided to go into the illicit drug business to enable him fend for his two wives and three children.
“The suspect revealed that the latest journey was his second trip to Ilorin to deliver the drugs and decided to travel with one of his wives who was not aware of his mission to Ilorin,” he said.
Babafemi quoted the Chairman, NDLEA, retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as commending the Edo and Kwara Commands of the agency for their vigilance and commitment to the goal of ridding Nigeria of the menace of illicit drug trafficking and abuse.
He charged the Commanders, officers and men of the two Commands and their counterparts across the country not to relent in the discharge of their responsibilities.
He assured them of his commitment towards making their welfare a priority.

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13 Vehicles Burnt In Tanker Explosion On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says six tankers, five trucks and two cars were destroyed in a tanker explosion at Ogere on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway yesterday.
Earlier, FRSC Sector Commander in Ogun, Mr Ahmed Umar, confirmed the incident to The Tide source, saying that it occurred at about 6.20 a.m.
Umar had said the explosion occurred in front of Romona trailer park on the expressway.
Giving update, he said, “the fire is serious, six tankers, five trucks and two cars are burnt in the explosion.’’
Umar said that one person had so far been rescued and taken to a private hospital in Ogere.
Meanwhile, the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), has advised motorists plying the road to use alternative routes.
TRACE spokesman, Mr Babatunde Akinbiyi explained that the tanker which was laden with fuel suddenly burst into flames affecting other vehicles.
“Vehicles moving inbound Lagos should go through Saapade-Ode/Remo-Iperu-Sagamu to relink Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
“In addition, vehicles moving inbound Ibadan should also go through Sagamu-Iperu-Ode/Remo-Saapade to relink Lagos-Ibadan Expressway,’’ Akinbiyi said.
The incident was the fifth of such tragedies involving fuel tankers in the Lagos and Ogun State axis since the beginning of the year.
A similar fuel tanker-related fire was recorded on Jan. 7 on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.
On March 21, a fuel tanker was the cause of fire on Otedola Bridge, also on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in which many vehicles were burnt.
On March 25, a diesel-laden tanker went up in flames at the Ikotun area of Lagos, leading to the incineration of other vehicles and shops.
On June 17, fire from the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant at the Ogun State Property Investments Corporation (OPIC) Plaza in Lagos trailed a leaking gas truck which was on motion in the area.
This resulted in a fire snowball which engulfed many other vehicles and property.
Twenty-five cars were destroyed in the OPIC Plaza inferno, while 13 persons, mostly workers in the restaurant, sustained burn injuries.

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S’ East Leaders Denounce Secessionist Groups …Seek Protection Of Igbos

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Leaders of the South East geo-political zone have urged leaders of other geo-political zones in the country to protect Igbos living in their regions, even as they condemned in totality the activities of violent secessionist groups in the zone and elsewhere. 
The lgbo leaders comprising the governors of the five states, members of the National Assembly, Ministers, Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly, the Clergy and Traditional Rulers, made their feelings known on Saturday, in a communique issued when they rose from a closed-door meeting at the Government House, Enugu. 
Explaining that they made the request in view of what they described as “threats by some groups against our people”, the South East leaders promised to protect everyone, including Igbos and people from other regions, residing in the zone.
On the impression that South East leaders are silent over agitations for secession by some youths of the region, they stated that “is not correct”, stressing that “South East Governors, Ohaneze President, National Assembly members, notable leaders had come out publicly many times in the past to speak against such agitations”.
Proclaiming firmly that “we do not support them, they do not speak for South East”,  the communiqué read by the Governor of Ebonyi State and Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum, Engr. David Umahi, made it clear that the leaders of the zone reiterated their “commitment to one united Nigeria under a platform of justice, equality of rights, fairness, love and respect for one another”.
The communiqué revealed that South East leaders, in order not to mismanage the unfortunate situation, “have set up a committee to engage such youths to stop and allow elders speak to address such fears”. 
It added that South East leaders also condemned the killing of security agents, burning of strategic infrastructure and killing of civilians in South East and in other regions, and requested the security agencies to discharge their duties within the rules of engagement and the law
They, however, explained that the meeting was held “for articulation of our positions and further meet with the Presidential team”, sequel to the earlier meeting with the Presidential delegation, led by the Minister of Defence, Retired Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi, on June 11, 2021.
The communiqué disclosed that the meeting consequently “set up committees under Ohaneze Ndigbo to articulate and address our positions on all burning issues to further meet among ourselves and thereafter meet with the Presidential team”.
On the safety of the Igbo indigenes in other parts of the country and the newly established regional security outfit, the communiqué added that the “meeting directed our Governors and Ohaneze Ndigbo to liaise with indigenes from the northern part of Nigeria and indigenes of other regions to assure the nation, Nigeria, and their people of their safety in South East.
“The meeting endorsed our South East joint security outfit – Ebubeagu and asked them to work with security agencies and to respect the rights and privileges of all those living in the South East and our visitors”.

By: Canice Amadi, Enugu

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