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THE STATES

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Adamawa

Members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) that participated as ad-hoc staff in the just concluded Adamawa governorship election have been commended for their good conduct.

The Adamawa Coordinator of NYSC, Alhaji Shittu Suleiman, made the commendation in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Yola.

Shittu said apart from returning safely to their places of primary assignment after participating in the exercise no corps member was caught wanting in his or her conduct during the exercise.

“This is a good development and we have to commend them for a job well done,’’ Shittu said.

The state coordinator said that the outstanding allowance of all those that participated was with his office and would be paid to them on Wednesday.

He lauded all stakeholders particularly security and the people of Adamawa for their active support and cooperation in ensuring the safety of all corps members and other ad-hoc staff that participated in the election which was generally peaceful.

 

Benue

A 36-year-old man, Christopher Emmanuel, was on Tuesday arraigned before a Makurdi Chief Magistrates’ Court charged with murder.

Emmanuel was arraigned on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide.

Police Prosecutor, Sgt. Michael Iwoh, told the court that one Anthony Odoh reported the matter at the Divisional Police Headquarters, Oblegi in Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue.

He said that Odoh alleged that the accused conspired with a group of men and killed one Inalegwu Abah.

Iwoh said that the accused along with one Emmanuel Sunday, Micheal Okpe and others now at large, stabbed the deceased with a knife while they were drinking at John Brown Beer Parlour in Obu Branch, Otukpa.

He said that during Police investigation, the accused was arrested at Nsukka in Enugu while trying to escape to Port-Harcourt.

 

FCT

The Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Zainab Maina, says 28 states of the federation have so far benefitted from the Federal Government’s Women Fund for Economic Empowerment (WOFEE) scheme.

WOFEE is a micro-credit scheme aimed at strengthening women’s operational bases in the rural areas through the formation of women cooperatives.

Zainab, who was speaking at the ongoing Annual Microfinance Conference organised by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Abuja on Tuesday, said the scheme was being implemented by the ministry in partnership with the Bank of Agriculture (BOA).

She said the ministry in collaboration with the bank also initiated the establishment of “Business Development Fund foe Women” (BUDFOW), following the successful take off of the WOFEE programme.

“Following the successful take off of WOFEE, a gap was also observed regarding the need for a higher level of financial and technical assistance for women who will be graduating from the WOFEE programme to establish a small and medium scale businesses of their own.

 

Kaduna

Retired Maj.-Gen. Bala Usara has commended the Nigerian Military School, Zaria, Kaduna State, for graduating “sound and vibrant” young soldiers.

He gave the commendation during the school’s 2012 West African Social Activities, held in Zaria on Saturday.

Usara observed that the young soldiers were not only given professional training but also sound academic education helped them to score excellent grades in both WAEC and NECO.

He appealed to the commandant of the school, Col. Abdullahi Lawal-Faskari, not to relent in his efforts aimed at maintaining excellent standard.

Earlier, Lawal-Faskari said the school had stepped up efforts to molding the students to enable them cope with global technological challenges.

 

Kano

The Kura Local Government Council of Kano State has set up a 14-man committee to oversee the disbursement of scholarship funds to students of the local government in tertiary institutions.

Inaugurating the committee on Saturday in Kura, the council Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Halilu, said that setting up the committee was in line with the state government’s effort to enhance the students’ welfare.

Halilu said the council found it necessary to constitute the committee to ensure transparency and fairness in the payment of scholarship allowances to students from the area.

 

Kebbi

A stakeholders parley on security in Birnin Kebbi has recommended regular meetings between Christians and Muslims to promote cordial relationship among the faithful of the two major religions.

The meeting also urged security agencies in the state to enforce the laws guiding the conduct of Muslim and Christian preachers.

A statement by Alhaji Abubakar Mua’azu, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, in Birnin Kebbi on Tuesday said the meeting, which was chaired by Gov. Saidu Dakingri, urged the public to be security conscious by reporting on criminal activities in their neighbourhood to security agencies.

The meeting urged the state and local governments to urgently facilitate the demarcation of grazing lands to prevent frequent clashes between farmers and cattle breeders.

 

Kwara

The Kwara State Government and the National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND) have approved the release of N500 million to assist Small Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the state.

The state’s Commissioner for Commerce and Cooperatives, Alhaji Saka Omimago, said this on Tuesday in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin.

According to him, Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed has provided the sum of N250 million while NERFUND will provide the balance.

He explained that the fund would be disbursed in two phases of N250million each through 10 micro finance banks already identified by government.

 

Lagos

The Police in Lagos have  paraded two suspected armed robbers, who allegedly robbed two bankers of $12, 800 (about N1.92m) on January 30.

Parading two of the three suspects, the Police spokesman, SP Jaiyeoba Joseph, said that the suspects were arrested a day after the incident.

Joseph, however, confirmed that $8, 320 dollars was recovered from the two suspects, while the third member of the gang was on the run.

Of the two suspects, Joseph said one was a 200 level law student of the University of Uyo, while the second, who allegedly masterminded the robbery, was a driver with the victims’ bank.

 

Nasarawa

The Nasarawa Commissioner for Planning, Hajiya Maryam Buba, has re-affirmed the state government’s readiness to partner with civil society groups and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) for the rapid development of the state.

She gave the assurance recently  in Lafia when officials of the state chapter of the National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS) paid her a courtesy visit.

Buba said the administration would continue to partner with unions, associations and NGOs to proffer solutions for the development of the state.

She said government would do everything humanly possible to facilitate good working relations between it and the various organisations.

 

Oyo

The Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) is to establish 10 forestry villages in different parts of the country.

FRIN’s Executive Director, Prof. Solomon Badejo, made this known on Tuesday while speaking with newsmen on phone in Ibadan.

He said the villages would help create awareness about FRIN’s activities.

“We want to establish 10 adopted villages in different ecological zones of the country whereby we can demonstrate most of the technologies developed and perfected here at FRIN,’’ Badejo said.

 

Plateau

Eventolicks, a world class tour packaging in Spain, has indicated interest in exploring the abundant tourism opportunities in Nigeria.

Otunba Segun Runsewe, Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, told newsmen  in Jos recently  that the outfit was interested in “packaging tours to Nigeria for different categories of its clients’’.

Runsewe, who just returned from this year’s World Fair held in Madrid, Spain, quoted Mr Javier Arambarri, the company’s representative at the fair, as describing Nigeria’s tourism potential as “great and attractive’’.

The Madrid fair, which was attended by 72 countries, brought together countries and private industry practitioners from all over the world.

 

Sokoto

Former Sokoto Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko, says he would execute projects worth over N2 billion for three Local Government Area (LGAs) that give PDP the highest number of votes at the governorship poll.

Wamakko, the PDP candidate in the forthcoming governorship election in the state, made the offer at Binji on Tuesday while addressing PDP supporters during a campaign rally in the area .

The Independent Electoral Commission ( INEC) had fixed February 18 , 2012 for the gubernatorial poll in the state sequel to the judgment of the Supreme Court, which sacked five state governors, including Wamakko.

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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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