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THE STATES

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Bauchi

The newly appointed Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Azare, in Bauchi State, Dr Musa Dambam, has promised to transform the centre to serve the people better.

The CMD, who is the outgoing State Chairman of Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA) said this in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi.

He described his appointment as the CMD as a challenge and urged staff of the centre not to entertain any fear as his appointment was for the betterment of the centre.

“I don’t look at it as anything but rather a challenge for me to be an agent of change who has come to work with anybody to transform the new place.”

The new CMD enjoined the staffers to give him the necessary support to enable the centre to deliver quality healthcare services.

 

Jigawa

The Permanent Secretary Jigawa State Executive Council Affairs, Alhaji Aminu Zakari, says unregulated Almajiri system of education constitutes a security risk in the country.

Zakari made this known in an interview with newsmen in Dutse on Thursday.

He said Islamic Religious Knowledge teachers and traditional rulers in the north should support the Federal Government policy of integrating the Almajiri system of education in the formal school system.

He was speaking at the end of a three-day retreat for political office holders and permanent secretaries in the state, which was held at the Manpower Development Institute, Dutse.

Zakari said: “if the Almajiri system of education was integrated with the formal school system, it will be more attractive and interesting. “

He, therefore, enjoined traditional rulers and the local Arabic teachers to put heads together with a view to harmonising the system.

 

Katsina

Three former governors of Katsina State and three deputies have received multi-million Naira pension packages from the state government, in line with a recent pension law enacted in the state.

The beneficiaries included two former Governors of the old Kaduna State, Alhaji Lawal Kaita and Alhaji Abba Musa Rimi, and the first civilian Governor of the state, Alhaji Sa’idu Barda.

The three Deputy Governors are, Amb. Abdullahi Aminchi, Alhaji Tukur Jikamshi and Alhaji Surajo Damari.

Our correspondent  reports that late President Umaru Yar’Adua, who was governor of the state between 1999-2007, was not among the beneficiaries, as his pension would now be paid by the Federal Government.

Governor Ibrahim Shema said while presenting the package to the beneficiaries in Katsina that the gesture was in recognition of their contribution to the development of the state during their tenure.

According to him, it is also in compliance with the provision of the new state’s Pension Law.

“You have contributed immensely to the development of our dear state during your time, we are still benefiting from your advises in achieving peace, unity and stability, as well as in moving the state to greater heights.”

 

Kogi

The Kogi Government has announced a 50 per cent reduction in rents payable on the three categories of shops at its Lokoja International Market.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Mike Abu, Press Secretary to the state deputy governor in Lokoja.

It said that the reduction was part of government’s efforts to discourage street trading and accommodate more traders in the market.

According to the statement, a small shop, which hitherto attracted N40,000 per annum, is now N20,000, while a medium-sized one now goes for N25,000 against the previous rent of N50,000.

 

Niger

The Niger State Government is to spend N30 billion on the construction of 8,000 new houses in Minna and Suleja, to reduce the housing deficit in the state.

The Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Alhaji Nuhu Musa, told news men in Minna on Thursday at the end of the State Executive Council meeting, that the project would be executed under Public Private Partnership.

He said the project, which would be completed before the end of 2014, involve the construction of 4,500 housing units in Minna and 3, 500 in Suleja.

Musa said the project was not part of the 2, 000 on going housing works started in 2008 in Minna, Bida, and Kontagora, which had reached 90 per cent completion.

He said five developers had been chosen after due diligence was carried out on their past performances and the sources of their finances.

Musa said the government was expected to release to the companies certificates for the land within the next two weeks, while the developers must show physical presence on the sites within six months.

 

Ondo

The Jegun of Idepe-Okitipupa, Oba Michael Adetoye, has appealed to government to always consider Okitipupa indigenes while employing workers at the Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH).

Speaking to newsmen  in Okitipupa on Thursday, Adetoye said Okitipupa indigenes had not really benefited from the employment opportunities at the university.

“A higher institution is a community on its own; wherever one is sited, it attracts so many things into the area. That area will flourish.

“Those are some of the gains of having a university and consideration should be given to the people in the catchments area regarding employment,’’ he said.

He said the people of the area wanted more dividends from the establishment of the university in Okitipupa, adding that many qualified indigenes had approached him for employment.

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Oyo

A 40-year-old suspected ritualist, Femi Akande, who was arraigned over the murder of one Sekinat Emiola, has been remanded in prison by an Ibadan Chief Magistrates’ Court.

Akande and others now at large were accused of killing Emiola on April 19 at Oke Aremo area of Ibadan.

The police prosecutor, Insp. Ade Adebusuyi, said the accused severed the head and wrist of the victim from her body.

The offence, he said, was contrary to Section 316 and punishable under Section 319 of the criminal code Cap 38 Vol II Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000.

 

Plateau

A member of Plateau House of Assembly, Mr Daniel Dem, has called for the immediate introduction of community policing to stem further violence and bloodshed in the state.

Dem, who represent Riyom State Constituency made the disclosure in an interview with the newsmen in Jos.

He said that the measure had become necessary because the Special Task Force (STF) had not been able to effectively protect the affected communities.

He said after condoling with families of victims of Tuesday’s attack in Riyom that the people must be fully involved in the efforts to safeguard their communities.

“Obviously the STF has not helped much and we must look for other devices toward peace,’’ he said.

The lawmaker expressed regrets that so many attacks were being carried out in spite of the emergency rule in the local government.

Dem urged the Federal government to immediately introduce community policing as members of affected communities were conversant with their terrains.

Our correspondent reports that Mr Emmanuel Ayeni, the Plateau Commissioner of Police, confirmed that five persons were killed and many others injured during the Tuesday attack on Riyom village.

 

Taraba

The Taraba  State Government has approved the implementation of minimum wage for teachers in the state, the state Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT)  Alhaji Aliyu Mafindi has said.

Mafindi told newsmen in Jalingo that the government had also approved the promotion of teachers as well as yearly increaments on their salaries.

“His Excellency, Governor Danbaba Suntai, has graciously promised officials of the NUT that payment of minimum wage will start in April and arrears will be paid in the next three weeks,” he said.

The chairman urged teachers to be dedicated to their duties to justify the increase in their salaries.

He warned that absenteeism would no longer be tolerated, adding that the union would support any disciplinary measure against erring teachers.

With the implementation of the minimum wage for teachers, staff of local government councils are the only category of civil servants in the state that are yet to benefit from the new wage.

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FG Vows To Check Modern Day Slavery

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The Federal Government says it plans to check modern day slavery through awareness creation activities on the effects of illegal immigration, child labour, sexual abuse and other vices.
Director, International Cultural Relations, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Mrs Memunat Idu-Lah, stated this in an interview with The Tide source in Abuja yesterday.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), designated August 23 each year as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, and Nigeria is preparing to join other member countries to commemorate the day.
Idu-Lah said the ministry in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders would use the celebration to showcase the experience of victims of trafficking, to educate Nigerians on the tricks of potential traffickers.
She said: “We are looking at the effect of this slave trade on Africans and the effects of what we termed as modern day slavery.
“We have learnt in history about how people are enslaved; now we can see how people are being trafficked.
“There is illegal immigration where people are moving to locations they are not sure of their means of livelihood.  Many of them die in transit, all those vices, child labour, sexual abuse, all sorts of things that are going on.
“We want to see how we can use this celebration to also reach out to people to create awareness, let them know that these things people are doing are another forms of slavery.
“And it means we are not yet out of slavery, as of those of us who went to school and study history, we learnt of Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
“We should be able to look at what is happening now and correct these modern day slavery.”
According to her, this is because generations to come will sit down and read what we did during our own time.
“It will be bad if we as educated as we are, cannot check this modern day slavery that is going on.
“One of the ways of checking it is through awareness because a lot of people don’t even know when they are being lured to be trafficked, they don’t know.
“Through this celebration, we can reach out; we might be having people who have experienced it,
“They will come out to tell people their experiences and alert people on the kind of languages traffickers use, how they lure them.
“People will get to know that when somebody comes and says those kinds of things they will know that this is a possible trafficker,” Idu-Lah said.

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Imo Police Resist Armed Bandits’ Attack

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The Operation Restore Peace team of the Imo State Police Command has repelled armed bandits attack at Njaba town in the Njaba Local Government Area of the state.
The Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abutu Yaro disclosed this in a statement issued by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, CSP Michael Abatham at the weekend.
According to him, the convoy of bandits was moving towards Njaba town to launch an attack but were intercepted by Operation Restore Peace team of the Nigeria Police , Imo State Command . 
The Commissioner explained that during a fire fight which ensured immediately, one of their operational vehicles was de-mobilised and two of them neutralised while the remaining ones scampered into the bush.
According to the Commissioner, one Ak 47 rifle was recovered with ten rounds of live ammunition and a locally made double barrel pistol with two expended cartridges.
The Police boss stated that the team detonated an Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) into the parking lots of a nearby Njaba Police Station causing minimal damage. 
 Mr. Yaro said that cordon and pursuant exercise is on going  in the area while advising members of the public residing in the area not to panic as the ongoing Police clearance operation is designed to root out violent criminals in that axis.
He appealed to them to avail Police information of  persons seen treating  bullet wounds or hiding within the community.

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NDLEA Intercepts 35 Wraps Of Cocaine, Drugs En Route Italy, Turkey

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), says it has recovered 35 wraps of cocaine from a lady passenger at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.
NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in a statement made available to The Tide source yesterday in Abuja.
Babafemi said that the suspect, Okafor Ebere Edith was arrested on July 31, during the outward clearance of passengers on Air Cotevoire bound to Monrovia Liberia.
He said the suspect, who tucked pellet of cocaine in her underwear to beat security checks at the airport, was however picked up for search.
This, he said, included questioning during which the wraps of the illicit drug were found on her.
“During preliminary interview, the suspect claimed that the desire to make money pushed her into drug trafficking,” he said.
Babafemi said the operatives arrested another suspect, Echendu Jerry Maduakolam, an intending male passenger going to Istanbul, at Gate A Departure hall of the MMIA on July 27.
He said the suspect was arrested during outward clearance of Egypt Airline bound to Turkey in possession of 78grams of Cannabis mixed with dried bitter leaf.
“On the same day another intending male passenger, Egbon Osarodion going to Milan, Italy was arrested at the airport’s Gate A Departure hall.
“This was also during outward clearance of passengers on Egypt Airlines with different quantities of 225mg Tramadol and Rohypnol concealed in foil papers wrapped in a polyethylene bag,” he said.
Babafemi disclosed further that NDLEA operatives, Kontagora Area Command, Niger State, raided a warehouse at Mailefe village in Kontagora Local Government Area of the state.
The spokesman said the operation was carried out on July 29, at a warehouse where suspected drug supplies for bandits operating in parts of the state were stored.

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