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THE STATES

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Adamawa

The lack of improved toilets in households and public places in Mubi-North  local government  area of Adamawa, is a major threat to public health in the area, an environmentalist, Mr Jika Hayatu, has said.

 Hayatu, an Assistant Director, Health Education and Women Affairs in the council, told newsmen in Mubi  on Monday, that the lack of adequate toilet facilities in households exposed residents to diseases.

He expressed concern over the indiscriminate disposal of waste  and defecation in open places in the area.

 “The rate of defecation in open places is alarming and a major health problem,” Hayatu said.

He said the council had embarked on an enlightenment campaign to sensitize communities on the need to build improved latrines and to ensure proper waste disposal.

He said that 10 health educators and sanitary inspectors had been deployed for the exercise.

Bauchi

Security personnel on Thursday night, rescued a seven-year old girl, Jamila Ahmed, kidnapped two weeks ago in Bauchi.

The suspected captors of the girl, four men and two women, along with their two babies, were arrested by the security agents.

Briefing newsmen on the rescue operation, the Bauchi State Director of the State Security Service (SSS) said on Thursday night in the state capital, that SSS operatives, soldiers and the police undertook the mission.

Jamila is the daughter of a former Executive Secretary of the Corporate Affairs Commission, Alhaji Ahmed al-Mustapha.

She was kidnapped while being conveyed to her school, the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University International School, Bauchi, two weeks ago.

The SSS director, who refused to disclose his name, said his men initiated the operation while the military and police gave them cover.

Ekiti

The University of  Science and Technology, Ifaki-Ekiti, Ekiti State, on Tuesday, banned male and female students from cohabiting.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Samuel Oye-Bamidele,

announced the ban while addressing a forum of parents at the institution’s temporary site in Ifaki-Ekiti.

He said investigations conducted by the authorities showed that some students had formed the habit of abandoning hostel accommodation on campus in preference for rented apartments in the town.

According to him, the male and female students live together off-campus to engage in unhindered sex.

The VC said such practices were contrary to the state government’s ideals of making the institution a world class university.

He maintained that the university would not allow children from different sexual and parental backgrounds to live together in the same room for any reason.

FCT

President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday in Abuja, urged the African Development Bank (ADB), to give greater support to the development of public infrastructure in Nigeria.

Jonathan, made the appeal at a meeting with the President of ADB, Mr Donald Keburuka and other senior officials of the bank, at the State House.

Jonathan said that the Federal Government, would particularly welcome ADB’s support for improvements in Nigeria’s power sector.

He commended the ADB for making support for the development of critical infrastructure in African countries the main focus of its operations.

Keburuka assured Jonathan that ADB would support his administration’s efforts to boost economic growth and development in every possible way.

According to him, the bank recognises the fact that Nigeria is the main driver of economic development in the West African sub-region.

He praised efforts being made by the Federal Government to achieve better management of Nigeria’s oil resources.

Gombe

The National Environmental Standard Regulation and Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has called on the people to be alert and report suspicious dumping to law enforcement agencies.

Dr Williams Arabs, the North East Zonal Director of  NESREA made the appeal in Gombe recently.

This followed the discovery of 20 jute bags containing rotten fish deposited in Wuroyoli village of Akko local government area of Gombe State on November 13.

Kaduna

The Kaduna State Government has attributed the scarcity of water being experienced in some parts of the state to insufficient power supply from the national grid.

The government also identified the current rehabilitation at some water works across the state as also one of the reasons for the shortage.

 The General Manager of the Water Board, Malam Hassan Mohammed, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Kaduna on Sunday.

Mohammed was reacting to complaints by the residents on the scarcity of water supply in various parts of Kaduna Metropolis.

He said the rehabilitation work resulted in the under utilisation of facilities to adequately provide water to the residents.

Kebbi

The Kebbi State-owned radio and television stations have reopened after RATTAWU and NUJ called off their three-day warning strike over improved remuneration.

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Radio, Television and Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU) had called the strike on Monday, demanding an increased salary package due to the hazardous nature of the profession.

Malam Abubakar Chika, the Kebbi State Chairman of RATTAWU, told  newsmen in Birnin Kebbi on Tuesday that the call-off was sequel to a directive from the national headquarters of the union.

Chika warned members who failed to resume duty immediately that they “will have themselves to blame”.

He said the union had signed an agreement with the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission on the implementation of enhanced salary for members.

“The NUJ, RATTAWU, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity as well as the commission have signed an agreement for salary increment and members have resumed duty,” the chairman said.

Kwara

Chief Bode Oyedepo, the sole administrator of Kwara State Road Maintenance Agency (KWARMA), has pledged the organisation’s commitment to the reconstruction of all deplorable roads and drains in the area.

He made the pledge on Tuesday in Ilorin, in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin.

Oyedepo said that Governor Bukola Saraki was concerned about the deplorable condition of roads in the state, adding that officials of the agency were currently on an inspection tour of the roads to  determine the urgency of the repairs needed.

He promised that the roads would be rehabilitated to boost economic activities in the state.

Oyedepo said some of those already identified for urgent rehabilitation in the next few weeks included Adewole Kano Road, Sawmill Garage Road and Adabata Road in Ilorin.

Lagos

The Chief Executive Officer, Ijodee Dance Centre, Laidi Adedayo, said on Tuesday that dance could be used to promote unity in Nigeria and the world.

Adedayo told newsmen at the venue of the 5th edition of TRUFESTA in Lagos that, “dance provides interpersonal peace, unity and a sense of purpose in the society.’’

TRUFESTA is an annual dance festival which features training of dancers as well as workshops for professional dancers from Nigeria and abroad.

Ogun

Chief  Theophilus Adenaike, President, Ijebu-Ode Grade II Customary Court, has advised parents to rededicate themselves to the task of ensuring proper parental care and upbringing of their children.

He gave the advice in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State on Tuesday in an interview with newsmen stressing that proper upbringing of children would stabilise the society. Adenaike explained that the only way parents could do this was by staying together and resolving their differences amicably, rather than seeing divorce as the last option to any marrital disagreement.

He observed that many children had become wayward due to the  lack of proper training and care by parents who, in most cases were already separated.

Adenaike noted that divorce always had negative effects on children’s upbringing, asserting that “a better society can only be achieved when children are brought up by both parents”.

“Divorce destabilises the society. When a marriage is dissolved, children from such union will not have access to proper parental care because they will be left with one of the parties, which is not good, he declared.

Osun

The First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, has urged states which have yet to implement the National Gender Policy, to do so without further delay.

The President’s wife made the plea during the launch of her project, Women for Change Initiative (W4CI) in Osun.

She noted that although Osun produced the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as having a female deputy governor, women were still under-represented in the state.

She said: “I must point out that Osun State is among the six states in Nigeria with a female deputy governor. This is heartwarming and most commendable. However, women are still under represented in the state.

“Osun State has no female representation in the Senate and it has only one female member in the House of Representatives and one in the State House of Assembly.  In summary, the state is yet to implement the National Gender Policy on 35 per cent representation for women in governance, the first lady.”

Plateau

Representative Joseph Gumbari, an aspirant to the Senate, has promised to work towards more Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Southern Kaduna, if elected in 2011.

“The economies of China, India and the so-called Asian Tigers were the same with Nigeria’s economy in the 1960s. In fact, Nigeria’s economy was better than those economies.”

“But such countries had since gone past Nigeria because they embarked on deliberate policies that developed their MSMEs, they also made sure that such policies were sustained to fruition,’’ Gumbari said on Monday.

He spoke at the launch of a Women Traders’ Cooperative Society formed by a group of petty traders of Southern Kaduna origin in Plateau.

Gumbari promised to advocate a strong state policy toward an autonomous MSMEs commission empowered to seek local and international funds to establish strong enterprises.

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Kidnapping Of Students, Ploy To Discourage Schooling In Nigeria – MSSN

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The Muslims Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) has said that the incessant kidnapping of students in some parts of the country was a strategy to discourage the pursuit of education.
MSSN National President, Malam Shehu Usman- Abubakar, said in a statement on Saturday, in Birnin Kebbi, that many students had withdrawn from school as a result of kidnapping.
He said that education was the major source of strength and power to every nation and community in the world.
“As kidnapping has started affecting schools, we, as members of MSSN, view it as an effort towards discouraging the pursuit of education, especially in educationally backward communities of the northern parts of the country.
“Therefore, more should be done to put a stop to that with all the might and urgency possible,’’ he said.
Usman-Abubakar urged governments at all levels to do more in ensuring the protection of lives and property of their citizens, saying that the rate of criminality in the country was alarming, especially banditry and kidnapping.
He, however, noted that security agencies had been doing a lot in combating insecurity in the country, while commending the Kebbi state government for its efforts in the immediate rescue of some of the kidnapped students of Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri.
“We urge other state governments affected to follow suit  as set by Gov. Atiku Bagudu,” he said.
The MSSN president also urged Muslim faithful to return to Almighty God in repentance and be prayerful for a better Nigeria.

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FG, UN Unveil Programme To Empower Youths

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The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to partner with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) to empower 20 million Nigerian youths by 2030.
The initiative tagged: “Generation Unlimited” and set to be inaugurated today in Abuja, is targeted at 20 million persons between the ages of 10 and 24 out of the nation’s 65 million young people.
The Country Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, said this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja yesterday.
According to him, the initiative is also being replicated in many other countries with 1.8 billion young people targeted around the World.
With specific reference to Nigeria, Hawkins said that the Generation Unlimited programmes were aimed at developing the capacity of young Nigerians to be better positioned as leaders of tomorrow.
He said that if the youths were not equipped with the right skills, especially in view of the ongoing digitisation of the World, they would be unable to bring value to the future of Nigeria.
The UN representative added that such initiatives would also help in turning the youth away from drugs or crime.
“Nigeria has 65 million people between the ages of 10 and 24, so young people of Nigeria are more importantly the future. That generation would shape the future of Nigeria.
“What Generation Unlimited is trying to do is to first act as a platform between the government, the United Nations and the International Community and the private sector.
“Out of the 65 million young people, Generation Unlimited is trying to help 20 million of those over the next 10 years to step over the generation that they are in to be able to meet their own ambitions and be valuable commodities in Nigeria.
“What is going to define the future of any country, particularly Nigeria is the digital platform – access to data, access to digital information.
“It is not only expanding the digital platform but expanding young people’s access to that platform.
“There are initiatives like School-2-School connectivity, looking at how we can bring digital learning into the schools, communities and ensure that young peoples’ skills around digital platforms come to the fore,” he said.
He pointed out that other areas include education skills on the one hand and employability and entrepreneurship on the other hand.
Hawkins said that UNICEF was particularly focused on connection between the skills and opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship, trying to develop the skills that jobs require.
Hawkins added that the last part was engagement of the young people not only to understand what they want to do but also to create an environment where they are contributing to the future of this country as a voice.
“Already, over the past year, we have been engaging with 450,000 young people through different initiatives around the country.
“There is a massive prospect in this country to engage young people. So in summary, Generation Unlimited is trying to help 20 million young people to achieve skills and jobs with digital platform being the main conduit for many of these jobs and skills.
“On Monday, Nigeria’s Vice President will inaugurate the Generation Unlimited Nigeria, this is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate a vision for the young people of Nigeria and give them the opportunity to engage in what happens in Nigeria in the future.
“There are many initiatives at the moment currently ongoing, especially around skills development, education a live skills learning.
“What we are trying to do at Generation Unlimited is to allow the platform of all of these to go to scale, using different initiatives to trigger off other initiatives to reach the 20 million that we want to reach in the next 10 years,” he said.
The UNICEF Representative listed some of its partners to include: GIZ, EU, USAID, Unilever, Microsoft, Tony Elumelu Foundation, and MasterCard, amomg others, adding that they were open for partnerships with institutions and the private sector.

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PDP Tackles el-Rufai Over Insecurity, Insists Jonathan Resisted Insurgency

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A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Emeka Kalu, has slammed the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, over comments on ex-President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
It would be recalled that El-Rufai had severally criticized Jonathan’s administration for being incompetent and weak in tackling terrorism.
The Kaduna governor also adduced that all the technical advice given to Jonathan was refused.
In a statement, yesterday, Kalu, a former governorship aspirant in Abia State, opined that under Jonathan, insurgency was resisted with all apparatus within the reach of the government to tackle the ugly trend.
He lamented that countless persons have lost their lives to herdsmen killings in the north and southern part of Nigeria while el-Rufai as the Chief Security Officer of Kaduna, with full confidence in Buhari-led government, is busy watching the atrocities while the perpetrators go unpunished as a result of ethnic sentiment.
Kalu queried, “What has he successfully put in action to contain the marauding and uncontrollable cases of kidnapping and banditry that had almost swept the entire nooks and crannies of Kaduna State or is he short of ideas now on how best to engage the criminals?
“Why has he not been able to apply those security tackling measures the technical committee that he was one of the members during Jonathan regime recommended to improve security situation in Kaduna State as the governor on seat?
The party chieftain, however, called on el-Rufai to stop playing politics with the deteriorating insecurity in the country, warning the governor and the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress to stop the mudslinging in politics, promote ethnic co operations and tolerance, as well as run inclusive government.
Parts of the statement said, “It is always easier to castigate a leader, find faults and apportion blames but when it gets to the doorstep of the fault finder, with all statutory power and resources to perform the same functions, the actor retires into his shelf as snail does.
“Instead, he would come up with a cheap propaganda that any person who killed a Fulani Man would have himself to blame. When interviewed for explanation, he said it was because Fulani are scattered in various parts of Africa and when you kill one in Nigeria, those in Sahara would come to say, you killed their fathers and brothers, then as result attack the locality in retaliation.
“Does this make any sense for a government that values the lives of her citizens? Why would the government condone criminals and give shot at side order in another part of the country to wipe away the people of that ethnic nationality in the pretext of fighting criminal. Are all criminals not the same or those from a given ethnic group are anointed not to be killed?
“The same expert on security intelligence as he claimed to be could not suggest how best to tackle bandits but with all velocity suggested how to treat and handle ethnic agitators who had not killed even an ant. This signifies the kind of government we run and expect the citizenry to wave banners of praises for us.
“Nigeria has a long way to go. Except we drop divided sentiment and nepotism, the journey would be farer for us; except the government eschews unnecessary cuddling of herdsmen with carrots hands by taking strict actions to stop their rampage and marauding activities, Nigeria will still be singing the same songs of sorrow instead of peace and unity.
“The formula is very simple. Stop mudslinging in politics, promote ethnic co-operations and tolerance, run inclusive government, drop revenge-oriented use of EFCC/DSS apparatus against party opponents, revive the dwindling economy, create jobs and employment using Federal Character Principles, open full resistance against bandits and all forms of terrorism, stop ethnic harassment of the southern Nigerian peaceful agitators, learn how to dialogue, work to restructure the fiscal federalism then Nigeria will become an ice in a hot water pot”.

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