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THE STATES

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Bauchi

Bauchi State Government, Thursday had warned leaders and elders of communities in Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Local Government Area to desist from destroying the peace they have all agreed upon to reign in the state.

The warning was contained in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Abdu Aliyu Ilelah on behalf of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ahmed Ibahim Dandija.

The statement revealed that government was taking steps to avoid frequent crisis in the two councils pointing out that security operatives and representatives of elders would tour the councils to recover animals either stolen or lost during the crisis.

It said the government would soon rebuild the palace of the District Head of Lere in Tafawa Balewa Local Government, which was destroyed during the crisis and urged those who fled the area to return and assist in the building.

The statement further warned that anybody who obstructs the building team in the area would be punished and called on the people of the area to partner with the government in bringing lasting peace to the area.

Ekiti

Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State had assured its citizenry that the state government would raise money from the capital market to subsidize its low revenue base.

The governor gave the assurance last Friday during the hosting of the Managing Director, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc, Ladi Balogun and other members of the bank’s management in his office in Ado-Ekiti.

Governor Fayemi said his administration would go to the capital market to raise bonds in view of what he called the ‘precarious financial situation’ of the state.

Fayemi noted that his administration was poised to develop sectors such as agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, health, education, urban renewal initiative and job creation, maintaining that it would build an enduring, long-term and mutually benefiting relationships with financial institutions in the country to strengthen the state’s economy.

On its part, the MD, FCMB, Ladi Balogun said his bank was interested in helping Ekiti raise the intended bond as one of the issuing houses.

Balogun revealed that civil servants in the state could also benefit from the direct credit system being operated by FCMB which he said would help them obtain loans within 24 hours even when they do not operate accounts with the bank.

FCT

Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to improve the lot of Nigerian children.

The MoU was endorsed by the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr. Bukola Saraki and signed at the forum’s secretariat, Abuja by Mr. Asishana Okauru, on behalf of the governors and Suomi Sukai, the country representative of UNICEF.

Saraki revealed that the Mou was aimed at promoting child-friendly government systems and values, exploration of opportunities of leverage resources and translation of politics into results for children.

The partnership he said would also ensure the recognition and realization of children’s rights in the country as part of efforts at achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

Saraki maintained that the signing marks another milestone for he governors’ forum, pointing out that it had earlier successfully partnerships with the Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, UNDP and  DFID.

“The initiative are in furtherance of NGF’s mission of fostering national unity and development” he said.

Jos

Mushin Women in Jos, the Plateau State capital, have appealed to warring factions in the state go put an end to the killings and destruction of properties in the state.

The Mushim women leader, Hajiya Khadjat Gambo Hawaja made the appeal in a peaceful protest against the recent killings in the state.

Clad in white, the women said the protest became necessary following the sufferings of women and children in the state.

Hajiya Hawaja said “we have lost our husbands and children. Some of them are  in prison for the reason having being arrested in their homes.”

She appealed that the Special Task Force (STF), Operation Safe Haven and other security agencies to remain in the state to prevent further violence.

Receiving the protesting women at the Jos Central Mosque, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Ibrahim Baba Hassan promised to deliver the women’s letter to governor Jonah David Jang.

While nothing that lawmakers have done all they could to stop the violence, Jang said “it is all about carrying everybody along. We cannot live in isolation. We must co-exist, Muslims, Christians, Hausas, Berom, Afizeres and Anagutas.”

no

Kano State Governor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau has inaugurated a multi-million information and technology centre built and equipped by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for Rumfa College, Kano.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Alhaji Abdulkareem Hassan, Sheharau expressed appreciation to Shell for the gigantic project expressing hopes that it would be maximally utilized for the benefit of the students by making them computer literate which is the global phenomenon.

According to him, the project was the first of its kind in the state, urging he school to ensure that they provide maximum protection of the ICT facilities.

The project he stated was an important one, which he believes would impact positively on the acquisition of computer skills by the students of the college in meeting up with the Millennium Development Goals.

Also speaking, the Managing Director, Shell Exploration and Production Company, Mr. Chike Onyejekwe, explained that the donation of the ICT centre was part of the oil firm’s corporate responsibility in contributing to the development of computer literacy among secondary and tertiary institutions in the state.

Kogi

The governorship candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Kogi State, Alhaji Usman Idris Maiyanga had threatened to sue the party if it decided to substitute him.

Maiyanga who wont he CPC’s governorship primary in the state alleged that the national leadership of the party was making moves to replace him with an unpopular candidate.

Describing the purported moves as a departure from the party’s rules Maiyanga stated that he would contest the substitution even in court.

 He said “I have worked and sponsored this party with my money. The entire congresses held in the state were sponsored by me. I don’t understand why the party would want to repay me this way.”

Maiyanga urged the party leadership at the state and national levels to concentrate on the party’s victory instead of going contrary to its rules.

Lagos

The Lagos State government, had announced a new salary structure for public servants under it employ, effective from January 1, 2011.

Addressing newsmen last Thursday, at the Government House, Lagos, the Commissioner for Establishment, Pension and Training, Mr. Jide Sanwo-Olu, said the decision was reached during a special session by the State Executive Council.

Sanwo-Olu stated that workers of the state government would be paid one month salary arrears.

While noting that the state government was yet to reveal the details of the package, the commissioner said however, that details will come before the end of this week.

He said “details will come by next week. We don’t want to do it all by ourselves but will allow the union members to see it before announcing it.”

Sanwo-Olu further urged all civil servants in the state to double their efforts in the discharge of their duties in order for their efforts to commensurate with the new salary structure adding that the government would not condone any laxity in the state civil service.

Oyo

Doctors in Oyo State have lamented what they called the ‘progressive decline of healthcare services’ in the state owned hospitals.

They said their strike would subsist until their demand are met by the government.

The chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Prof. Millicent Obajimi, who spoke with reporters in Ibadan said the NMA was demanding the implementation of CONMESS and the recruitment of more doctors in the state and local government hospitals across the state.

Obajimi said the 30-year-old Adeoye Maternity Hospital, which is the largest state hospital was a shadow of itself due to insufficient doctors.

She said “the Department of Surgery alone in this hospital used to boost of four general surgeons, three orthopaedic surgeons two plastic surgeons, two urologists  among others but now had only one elderly and retired general surgeon employed on contact as the only one serving the whole of Oyo State.

Obajimi also revealed that the department of Internal Medicine which used to have at least four specialist physicians, no longer have any adding that it is now being runned by young medical officers.

Osun

The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) have been called upon to intervene in the crisis between Osun and Oyo States over the ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho.

The Osun State governor, Rauf  Aregbesola made the call last Friday while receiving he YCE members led by it national chairman, Major General Adeyinka Adebayo in his office.

Aregbesola who expressed concern over the huge toll which the crisis has taken on the university said Yoruba people have a traditional norm which guides joint ownership of property and stressed the need for the Oyo State government to take such consideration to allow peace to resign.

He commended the YCE for its maintenance of peace and unity among Yoruba communities and appealed to the council to be in the vanguard of social re-orientation, which he said his administration was embarking upon.

Zamfara

The Zamfara State Government had launched concerted efforts towards the improvement of Agriculture and Agro business in the state.

Through the Zamfara State Comprehensive Agricultural Revolution Programme (ZACAREP), farmers have been registered and given incentives in terms of Agricultural imput such as fertilizers, agro chemicals, pesticides, tractors and other mechanized farm implements, as well as improved seedlings.

Addressing Zamfara State Government House correspondent on the state of agriculture in the state, Governor Shinkafi disclosed that the state government had offered free tractor services to the farmers as a pragmatic approach to promoting mechanized agriculture and increasing agricultural yields in the state.

He stated that apart from providing incentives to the farmers, it had also put in place a policy to buy excess agricultural produce from farmers during harvest seasons at good prices in order to give the farmers value for their labour.

In is words “the state is also producing about 10,000 tones of cash crops such as ground nuts, cotton, soyabeans among others each year in recent years.”

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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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