The Emir of Mubi, Alhaji Abubakar Isa, has appealed to the electorate to ensure the safety of their voters’ cards, to guide against possible mutilation.
The emir made the call at a voter enlightenment and advocacy campaign in Gude District of Mubi-South Local Government Area on Wednesday.
Isa advised voters to handle their cards with utmost care and protection.
“Safeguard your voter’s card the same way you keep your money and other valuables. The card is your right to vote, therefore you must ensure its safety,” Isa said.
He cautioned the people against multiple registration, adding that such unpatriotic acts would invalidate their registered cards and make them to loose their voting rights.
The Borno State Government on Wednesday promised free transportation to Nigerians affected by the recent border adjustments with Cameroon Republic to enable them to register in the ongoing voter registration.
Governor Ali Modu Sheriff made the promise shortly after undergoing the registration process at Ngala, headquarters of Ngala Local Government Area of the state.
He said the free transportation would be offered some communities such as Dara, which had been seeded to Nigeria after the International Court of Justice Ruling.
“We are going to provide transport to convey villagers from the communities nearest the registration centers to enable them to register as eligible voters.
“It is our responsibility as government to take care of our brothers,” he said.
Sheriff expressed dismay at the slow pace of the registration exercise.
“I do not know why it takes so long to register a single individual. I wonder if we will be able to get all eligible Nigerians registered before the deadline,” he said.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr Hafiz Ringim, has given contractors handling police projects one month from Jan. 7 to fulfil their contractual obligations or face prosecution.
Ringim’s warning is contained in a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Olusola Amore, on Wednesday in Abuja.
The statement said that there was no sign that the contractors had executed 350 projects for which N4.6 billion had been released, adding that 17 of the projects had been abandoned.
It said that N4.7 billion was earmarked for the execution of projects at the various police formations and commands across the country.
“It is observed that several projects for which initial payments have been made have been executed outside the contract’s specifications, while many others have not been executed in spite of the payments,” it added.
The statement warned that contractors who had collected funds for contracts they failed to execute or those who executed projects outside the contracts’ specifications would be arrested and prosecuted.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has written the Federal Government explaining the re-opening of schools operated by the Catholic Church during the period of the registration of voters.
The Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna, the Most Rev. Matthew Ndagoso, made the fact known in an interview with newsmen on the re-opening of Catholic schools in Kaduna State.
Ndagoso said the Conference had explained its position on the losure ordered by the Federal Government on Thursday, January 6.
He said it was regrettable that the government did not follow due process in giving the directive and added that if stakeholders were consulted, the Church would have complied.
He said Catholic schools in Kaduna State would abide by the decision of the Conference in the matter.
The Federal Government had ordered the extension of the resumption date of public and private primary and secondary schools in the country till Jan. 30 when the registration would end.
Many schools were due to re-open on Jan. 10 after the Christmas and New Year holiday but had to call off their resumption plans in compliance with the order.
The archbishop said the method the government adopted in giving the directive was “undemocratic”, pointing out that stakeholders in the education sector should have been consulted before the decision was taken.
“The point we are making is that, as stakeholders we should be consulted on an issue that affects our schools.
“Our schools are not under government subvention and our premises are not being used for the registration. Why should our students stay at home?,” he asked.
The contractor handling the rehabilitation of the Katsina-Jibia-Kauranamoda Road may withdraw from site over the continued delay in the payment of his entitlements.
The Federal Controller of Works in Katsina State, Mr Aliyu Mohammed, made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Katsina on Wednesday.
He said that the contract was awarded about two years ago at a cost of over N3.9 billion.
He said that the non-payment of the contractor was responsible for the delay in completing the project.
Mohammed said “the contractor handling the construction has been able to achieve much in the past one year despite the delay in paying him for jobs done.
“This is the reason why the contractor is threatening to stop work and if that happens, it will cause a major setback to the entire project.”
The controller explained that a total of N20 million was also required for the payment of compensation to people whose lands were acquired for the expansion of roads in Jibia and Zurmi Towns.
Mohammed said: “we are trying to ensure that the payment is made to the affected persons as promised within the next few days”.
When completed, the road is expected to boost socio-economic activities in Katsina and the neighbouring Zamfara State.
The people of Offa Local Government Area of Kwara have pledged to support INEC to ensure the success of the ongoing voter registration.
The Secretary of Offa Descendants Union (ODU), Mr Dele Abolarin, made the pledge in Offa yesterday during a sensitisation workshop on the registration.
Abolarin said the community was determined to give the necessary support to INEC to perform its duties without fear, favour or hindrance.
Vice Chairman of Offa Local Government, Mr Adebola Afolabi, urged the participants to use the knowledge to sensitise the people on the need to participate in the exercise.
This, he said, would enable them to elect leaders of their choice in April general elections.
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), says there is no going back on the government’s plan to privatise the power sector before the end of second quarter of 2011.
The Director-General, Ms Bolanle Onagoruwa, told newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos, that the only way to ensure success in the power sector was through effective privatisation.
Onogoruwa urged both the local and foreign investors to show more interest in the ongoing bidding to get credible companies that could champion the effective distribution and generation of power.
The director-general said that the ongoing privatisation process would be driven by greenfield private sector investments.
She said that the citizens would benefit from the reform through stable and consistent electricity supply that would significantly boost economic activities for jobs creation, improving living standards and education.
“Government has come to the unequivocal acceptance and conclusion of the fact that only private sector investment in the sector can give the desired result.
“The process will satisfy Nigeria’s yearnings for stable power supply because government alone cannot afford to make all capital investments required in the sector to satisfy the energy needs of the people,” she said.
The people of Egbeda Local Government Area of Oyo have called on INEC to provide them with more DDC machines to enable them register and vote in the forthcoming general elections.
Some of the communities include Olodo, Oki, Alagbon, Arubiewe, Olojo, Opa Musa, Kumopayi, Oriile, Ominiade, Aba Oku, Ogundipe and Galili, among others.
A resident in one of the communities, Mr Ganiyu Zaiyanullahi, told newsmen Egbeda, Oyo State, yesterday that the only DDC machine in their centre could not cope with the large turn-out of people.
“There are more than 20 communities in the area, all of which are densely populated due to influx of people from Ibadan.
“We wake as early as 4.00a.m. to go and register at the Community High School; but we meet people who had been there since 1 a.m. while others say they slept there.
“In fact, many of us are now thinking of going to Ibadan to register since the only machine here cannot cope with the crowd.
Zaiyanullahi, therefore, called on INEC to review its operation and deploy more machines to the rural areas to cope with the large turnout of people who want to be registered.
Governor Aliyu Doma of Nasarawa has installed Joel Aninge as the Odyong Nyankpa, a first-class title in Panda development area of the state.
The chieftaincy was upgraded to a first-class status by the Abdullahi Adamu-led administration in 2007 but was not officially installed.
The presentation of the staff of office to the traditional ruler was made on Wednesday in Panda by Doma.
Speaking during the presentation, Doma said the Odyong Nyankpa Chiefdom deserved the first- class rating, considering the contributions of its people to the development of the state.
He said the government was committed to respecting and recognising traditional institutions.
He assured the people that the government would continue to create an enabling environment for traditional rulers to function as agents of social mobilisation, community integration and harmony.
Responding, the newly-installed chief thanked the state government for its developmental strides, and urged his people to turn out en masse and register as voters.
Aninge challenged the people to avoid the mistakes of the 2006 population census by turning out to register as voters.
The installation of the Odyong Nyankpa has brought the number of first-class chiefs in Nasarawa to 14.
Yobe Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, has assured the people that the current political activities and the forthcoming general elections will to slow down projects initiated by his administration.
Geidam gave the assurance in Bukarti in Yobe on Wednesday while answering reporters’ questions after he had registered as a voter in Bukarti.
He said: “Government will not suspend funding of any project because of politics.
“The contractors also have no reason to abandon any project because government has been living up to its contractual obligations by paying them as soon as their certificates of job completion are raised.” The governor warned that government would not tolerate poor quality work from the contractors.
“Projects must be executed in accordance with the stipulated agreement for government to get value for its money,” Geidam stressed.
He expressed satisfaction with the improvement recorded with the INEC DDC machines being used in the ongoing voter registration.
Infrastructure: Fashola Advises Communities On Land
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has advised communities yearning for infrastracture to be ready to give up some land to pave way for the constructions.
Fashola said this at the inspection of the new 1.2km two-lane Ikom Bridge, which is to replace the old one-lane bridge built during the colonial era, on Monday in Cross River.
He said the objective of the Buhari administration was to expand, renew and upgrade the quality of Nigeria’s infrastructure, including rail, airport, seaport, roads and bridges.
He explained that the old bridge had a low head roof and for that reason some of the big cargoes, vessels and trucks could not evacuate in Calabar.
“Some places had been damaged on head roof as a result of the impact by trucks, so this bridge solves that problem and so you will expect more trade and shipment coming to Calabar now.
“Because this is the A4 axis from Calabar to Maiduguri through Ogoja and it is no accident that Cross River bears its name; there is actually a river that names the state, and that opens to the sea and to the Gulf of Guinea for high impact international trade.
“It is infrastructure consistent with the Buhari economic recovery and growth plan to increase trade and improve the ease of doing business.
“And for those who still have any doubt, the first bridge we went to is by an African Development Bank loan and this one we are standing on was largely funded by Sukuk.
“So you see what government is doing with the money it has raised,” said the minister.
On Calabar-Itu road, Fashola said there were two contractors there, adding that the contractors are able and willing; what is needed is cash backing.
“Our contractors have the experience but the real deal is the cash and also let me use this opportunity to say along that axis there are compensation issues by the communities.
“So, those who want infrastructure must be ready to give some land; we are not taking your land away, we are just asking for a right of way to pass.
“So, when you start making compensation claims almost equal to the cost of construction where are we going to get the money from.
“The President has said that if you need infrastructure you should be able to give up land and these lands belongs to the state and the communities.
“I want to appeal to the communities along Calabar-Itu aaxis to allow us pass. We will leave reasonable amount for the crops so we expect to see more cooperation along and this is the way forward,” Fashola said.
Offering more insight on the projects executed by the government, Mr Bassey Nsentip, the Controller of Works for Cross Rivers, said the Calabar-Oban road had been completed.
“They are of two sections; Calabar to Oban is about 60km and it has already been awarded.
“And then between Oban and the Cameroon border; Ekan because from Calabar to Ekan and the border is about 128km, so 60km has been awarded now.”
Speaking also at the inspection, Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers, appreciated all the effort the Federal Government was putting into building infrastracture in the state.
Ayade was represented by Mr Daniel Osimatsu, the state Commissioner for Works.
“We really appreciate the government, out of 11 sections A projects in Cross Rivers state this is the seventh and adding the other two makes it nine.
“To name a few, Ikom-Alesi road completed; Mge-Ebiase road completed; Ebiase to Urugbane junction, the award of the Calabar East road to Julius Berger and the TransAfrican highway.
Fayemi Restates Commitment To Nation’s Unity, Peaceful Co-Existence
Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti says the state government is committed to contributing its quota to building a nation where unity, peace and justice will continue to flourish.
Fayemi said this when he received the Prelate of Methodist Church, Dr Samuel Uche, in Ado- Ekiti last Monday.
The governor, who described the task of nation building as a continuous process, said building a virile nationhood could not be achieved by fiat.
According to him, for a perfect union to be achieved, the nation must continue to exist without any sense of discrimination and feeling of oppression among its subjects.
He said that those in position of authority must continue to work assiduously for the peaceful co-existence of Nigerians.
“I heard you spoke to the media about some of the challenges we were experiencing in the country and your perspectives on how to overcome those challenges.
“It is heartwarming that these perspectives are not altogether far away from some of the things that we have been preaching because most importantly our country needs prayer and that is what you have been doing relentlessly.
“We must continue to build a nation where justice and peace will reign, but the nation building process is always work in progress.
“Nation building is not something that can be done by fiat,” Fayemi said.
He said that if the government must work toward a perfect union, it must continue to improve the ownership of the land by all that belong to it without discrimination or feeling of oppression.
“And for us in Ekiti, may be because we are of one stalk, we don’t even understand the concept of discrimination very well.
“That is why we don’t subscribe to it in any form and we don’t think our country will grow if it discriminates against any of its citizens,” he said.
The governor commended the leadership of the Methodist Church for contributing immensely to the socio-economic development of the country, especially in the areas of health and education.
Fayemi called for more prayers to overcome the challenges of the country and to sustain harmonious and peaceful coexistence among the people.
Speaker Urges Peaceful Co-Existence In Nasarawa
The Speaker of Nasarawa House of Assembly, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, has urged communities in the state to embrace unity and peaceful coexistence for development to thrive in the area.
Abdullahi made the call yesterday when he hosted different groups in Umaisha, Toto Local Government Area of the state.
The state’s third citizen said that the importance of unity and peaceful coexistence to the development of the country could not be overemphasised.
He described peace as the necessary requirement for development of every society.
“ Peace is priceless and non negotiable as well as key to societal development.
“Let us continue to live in unity, embrace peace and tolerate one another for development to thrive,” he said.
The speaker appreciated them for the visit and assured of his continued commitment to key into positive policies and programmes that would have direct bearing on the lives of the people of the area and the state at large.
According to him, Gov. Abdullahi Sule remains an upright leader with the fear of God and passion for the people of the state, especially with his security efforts and investment drive.
“The governor is up and doing in developing the state,” the speaker said.
He called on the people of the area and the state at large to give their maximum support to Sule’s administration to succeed beyond 2023.
Earlier, member representing Toto/ Gadabuke constituency in the state legislature, Mr Usman Shafa, while leading the village head and community members of Shafan Kwatto, assured the speaker of their total support and loyalty.
He said that the visit was to appreciate the speaker for his
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