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THE STATES

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Benue

Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State says his
administration has worked out modalities to reduce poverty in the state to the
barest minimum.

He said this in Makurdi while inaugurating 42 units of buses
acquired by Benue Links Transport Company Limited.

The governor said he intended to achieve poverty reduction
through collaborative efforts with relevant agencies such as National Poverty
Eradication Programme (NAPEP) among others, pointing out that the acquisition
of the buses was also a move toward poverty reduction as they would ply all the
routes in the state and beyond at very reduced cost.

He urged the management of the company to handle the buses
with care in order to continue to serve the people for years.

 

Gombe

Gombe State Government will introduce a new method to screen
out pregnant intending pilgrims to this year’s Hajj, Dr Ya’u Kashere, Head of
the state Hajj Medical Team, has said.

Kashere said this during a sensitisation tour to Balanga and
Deba Local Government areas of the state by the state Amirul Hajj, Alhaji Usman
Baba-Liman.

He said the method would help to detect pregnant pilgrims
through scanning to void any more problems for the state during Hajj operations.

According to him, the Saudi Arabian Government had reduced
10 Hajj seats for the state this year as penalty for allowing a pregnant
pilgrim, who delivered in the Holy land, to travel for the Hajj last year.

 

Jigawa

The Jigawa Agricultural and Rural Development Authority
(JARDA) has introduced new farming techniques to farmers in the state, Alhaji
Rabiu Taura, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, has said.

Taura told The Tide on Friday in Dutse that the development
would boost crop yields during the next farming season adding that the measure
was aimed at transforming farming from subsistence to commercial venture for
economic growth and sustainability.

The commissioner pledged that the government would continue
to support agriculture in line with the Federal Government’s Agricultural
Transformation Agenda.

‘’It is in view of this that the state government has
provided tractors, fertiliser and other farm inputs toward boosting agriculture
not only in the state, but also in the country in general, ‘’ he said.

 

Lagos

An Environmentalist, Mr Godwin Ategwasi, has commended the
Federal Government for setting up the Presidential Committee on Flooding to
ascertain the level of devastation and proffer solution.

Ategwasi, the Deputy Director, Land Resources and Watershed
Monitoring in the Federal Ministry of Environment, gave the commendation in an
interview with our correspondent in Lagos.

He said that the committee, chaired by the Minister of
Environment, Mrs Hadiza Mailafia, would carry out vulnerability study on flood
test and proffer solutions to the perennial disasters

“The Federal Government is doing everything possible to
address flooding but Nigerians too must put up a good attitude towards the
environment,’’ he said.

 

Kano

The National Assembly has received 10 requests for creation
of new states from various communities in the North-West geo-political zone, a
member of the assembly has said.

Rep. Kawu Sumaila (ANPP-Kano) said in Kano while answering
questions from newsmen that two of the requests were from Kano State.

“There are a number of parameters to be considered before
creating a state such as landmass, population and Federal Constituencies.

“And in addition to that, 24 state assemblies must back or
support the requests,’’ he said, and advised the communities agitating for new
states to come up with reasonable demands in order to realise their dream.

On the issue of state police, the legislator who represents
Sumaila/Takai Federal Constituency, said he did not support the move in view of
the complex nature of the country.

 

Katsina

The Kebbi State Government has invested N1.6 billion in the
IFAD-assisted Community-Based Agricultural and Rural Development Programme
(CBARDP) in the last three years, an official said.

The programme is being financed by the International Fund
for Agricultural Development (IFAD), with the federal, states and local
governments providing counterpart contribution.

The seven benefitting states in the northern part of the
country are Borno, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.

Alhaji Garuba Hassan, the Kebbi State Project Officer told
The Tide in Katsina that the government had also disbursed N1 million to each
political ward to execute projects of their choices.

 

Kebbi

The Fityanul Islam of Nigeria group has pledged to sustain
the forum to foster peaceful co-existence between Muslims and non Muslims as
part of efforts to ensure national development.

Dr Muhammadu Abdulfathi, the group’s National President made
the pledge recently at the 2012 annual executive meeting of the group in Birnin
Kebbi.

He said that the forum was aimed at ensuring that youths
were united as bedrock of society and leaders of tomorrow.

“Our organisation is an advocate of peace and progress
through maximum support for the youth to imbibe global trends and contribute
towards rapid development and tolerance for one another devoid of tribal,
religious and ethnic sentiments.

 

Kogi

Governor Idris Wada of Kogi has reiterated the commitment of
the state government to render essential support to people displaced by flood
in the state.

Wada made the pledge on Saturday in Lokoja when he received
a 21-member presidential committee on flooding, who were in the state to assess
the level of damage caused by the disaster.

Represented by his Deputy, Arc. Yomi Awoniyi, the governor
said he had taken the issue of the disaster very personal, adding:  “the government is on top the situation.’’

He said several measures aimed at granting relief to the
victims had been taken by the government while efforts were ongoing to relocate
and rehabilitate them.

 

Kwara

Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed of Kwara State, has described the
death of Ahaji Kehinde Abdulrahaman, who died in a flood disaster last Thursday
in Akerebiata, Ilorin as a great loss.

The governor stated this in a condolence message to the
family of the deceased on Saturday.

Represented by his Special Adviser, Relief and Emergency,
Alhaji Musa Abdullahi, the governor said he was deeply touched by the death of
the deceased, describing death as a necessary end that every human being would
taste and urged the family of the deceased to see it as the wish of God.

Ahmed donated the sum of N200, 000 to the family of the
deceased to provide immediate succour to them.

 

Nasarawa

The Nasarawa State government on Saturday in Rinze, near
Akwanga promised to release more funds for the development of the 13 local
governments in the state.

Mr Dameshi Luka, the state’s Deputy Governor, made the
promise at the ceremony accompanying the distribution of materials for development
projects in the Akwanga West Local Government Area.

“The state government is ready to release more funds to
local governments and development areas which show commitment to quality
service delivery,’’ Luka, represented by Mr Samuel Meshi, the Commissioner for
Science and Technology, said.

He said the distribution of materials was to make life more
meaningful as well as bring development to the people at the grass roots.

The Tide reports that materials distributed included
transformers, an ambulance, a car, zinc and beds among others.

 

Niger

The Niger State Government is discussing with United Nations
Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Bank of Industry to
establish a Shea butter factory, an official has said.

Alhaji Ahmed Kontagora, Director General, Niger State Export
Promotion Council, said at a press briefing on Saturday in Minna that the
discussions had reached advanced stage.

“Niger State Government is talking with UNIDO and Bank of
Industry with a view to establishing a Shea butter refinery in the state; this
is because in the whole of Africa there is no Shea refinery.

The Director General did not say when and where the refinery
would be sited in the state but said that discussions with UNIDO and the bank
was on.

He said that the world market value of Shea nuts stands at
$3.8 billion, adding that one tone of Shea nut in the state now sells for
between 250, 000 and N300, 000.

 

Ondo

Ondo State Government spent N2.5 billion on rural
electrification projects in the last three and a half years, Mr. Sola
Akinsanmi, Chairman, Ondo State Electricity Board, said.

Akinsanmi told The Tide in Akure that the current state
administration completed 110 electrification projects in the 18 Local
Government areas during the period.

He said the administration inherited 43 uncompleted
electrification projects from its predecessor but had completed them, adding
that the board was currently executing 16 projects out of which eight would be
connected to the national grid in one week.

He, however, said that inadequate funding was a major
challenge to the activities of the board, in addition to acts of vandalism on
equipment by miscreants, which had slowed the pace of work by the agency.

 

Plateau

Fish farmers in Plateau State will access facilities offered
by the National Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (NACS) only if they
organise themselves into groups.

Mr. Badmus Olanrewaju, the Deputy National Secretary of the
Fishery Society of Nigeria (FISON) and spokesman of the body in Jos, told The
Tide that all necessary steps had been taken to ease access to such facilities.

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Cleric Wants Review Of Retirement Age For Civil Servants To 70

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Rev. Fr. Godfrey Gopep, Parish Priest of St. Finbarr’s Catholic Church, Rayfield, Jos, has appealed to the Federal Government to review the retirement age for civil servants from 60 to 70 years.
Gopep made the plea in his sermon yesterday in Jos, adding that such move would address some of the challenges that retirees in the country were currently facing.
The cleric, who decried the rising spate of unemployment in the country, added that the move would also reduce incidences of falsification of age by people in order to be employed.
He added that it would also enable those who would be employed late to enjoy some good years in service before retiring.
“Because of scarcity of jobs and high rate of unemployment in the country, most people get to be employed are in their 40s.
“So, I want to call on the Federal Government to review the retirement age of civil servants from 60 to 70 years.
“If this is done, those who get employed a bit late can also have a enough time to contribute their quota to the development of the nation.
“It will also curtail the act where people have to reduce their ages just so that they can get employed and also spend some good years in service,” he said.
Gopep called on government at all levels to create job opportunities in the country and an enabling environment for private sector to thrive so as to create jobs as well.

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Lalong Seeks End To Divisive Actions Among Nigerians

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Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, yesterday urged Nigerians to shun divisive actions such as hate speeches and fake news for the peace and unity of the country.
The governor made the call at an interdenominational church service in Jos to mark the 61st Independence of Nigeria.
He said such acts were inimical to the nation’s progress, adding: “we must come together and solve our problems because no one can build Nigeria for us.’’
He said the country’s challenges, especially insecurity, would be overcome and urged Nigerians to be grateful for the country’s progress so far in spite of the challenges.
“God has indeed been faithful to Nigeria and we must be grateful,’’ he said.
Governor Lalong said also that Nigeria was blessed with abundant human and natural resources, but required unity, tolerance, sincerity, loyalty and patriotism to maximise such resources for its development.
According to him, commitment from the leadership and followership was critical to achieve the feat.
“There is no nation which is great today that has refused to embrace diversity, tolerance, excellence, good work ethics, and a national philosophy that is based on honesty, reward for hard work and punishment for deviance,’’ he said.
He added that Nigerians were known as a highly religious people which should be demonstrated by showing love to all irrespective of ethnic, religious or political differences.
“We must stop being religious and start being godly,’’ the governor stressed.
He noted that the security challenges were setbacks Plateau’s Progress and assured the people that he was determined to put an end to them while calling for the cooperation of residents especially religious and community leaders to achieve the objective.
“I call on you to play your part in securing your immediate community and giving prompt information to security agencies to be able to act appropriately,’’ he said.
He also called on Nigerians to intensify prayers and vigilance as security agencies and government worked towards defeating perpetrators and sponsors of crises.
Governor Lalong assured Plateau people that the Oct. 9 local council polls in the state would be conducted peacefully.
In his homily, the Deputy Chaplain of Government House Chapel, Rev. Ezekiel Dewan, admonished Nigerians to shun negative narratives as there is power in the tongue.
He called for prayers for God’s intervention and mercy on Plateau and on Nigeria, as God instructs his people to not only pray for their leaders, but also for the cities they live in.
Special prayers were conducted for leaders, governments and the nation at the service.

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Why I Shunned APGA Guber Campaign Flag-Off-Bianca Ojukwu

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Mrs Bianca Ojukwu said in Awka yesterday that she shunned Saturday’s flag-off of APGA governorship campaign to protest “post-mortem disrespect’’ to her deceased husband.
She laid the blame of the “post-mortem disrespect’’ to Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu on the doorstep of APGA’s leadership.
Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and Dr Ifeanyi Ibezim, APGA’s governorship and deputy governorship candidates, respectively, kick-started their 2021 campaign at on Saturday.
Bianca was conspicuously absent at the event unlike previous mega political activities held by APGA, a party that branded late Ojukwu as the spiritual leader of the party.
Another obvious sign which made some political observers note that there was serious crack in the party was the removal of Ojukwu’s image on the customised uniform of APGA worn by people at the event.
Some party faithful, however, wore the old uniform bearing the image of the Eze Igbo Gburugburu, Dim Ojukwu, to the event.
Bianca described as an affront, the treatments to her late husband by the present leadership of APGA.
“It is an irony that today Governor Willie Obiano has resuscitated Dim Ojukwu’s pictures for use in campaigning for the upcoming elections in Anambra.
“This is the height of opportunism and hypocrisy. Is Ojukwu not the same man Obiano once described as a dead man who was no longer relevant to the party?
“Why should I permit him to keep trampling on the legacy of my late husband who put his heart and soul into this party?
“Ojukwu should not be like a light switch to be turned on for party campaign, and turned off once the election is won,’’ she said.
The former Nigerian ambassador to Spain, expressed displeasure at the decision of APGA’s leadership to expunge her husband’s image from APGA uniform and other insignia of the party.
“It is most unfortunate that Gov. Obiano decided to remove the picture of Ojukwu and replace same with his picture just to drive home his statement that `he would no longer tie the fate and fortunes of APGA to the memory of a dead man’, obviously in reference to my husband,’’ Bianca said.
She listed other ill-treatments meted to her and the deceased husband and maintained that her presence at Saturday’s flag-off would have been an endorsement to the defrauding of scores of aspirants by the party during the party’s primary in the year 2018.
“It is unfortunate that the same APGA election managers that were responsible for the disastrous 2018 party primaries which resulted in severe damage to the party’s brand were also left to handle APGA’s campaign flag-off.
“Any political party that consistently robs its own members will not endure, APGA inclusive,’’ she noted.
She also lamented that the report of the Sen. Victor Umeh-led Peace and Reconciliation Committee that visited her in Enugu few weeks ago which pointed the way forward for APGA, had been discarded by the governor and the party leadership.
Bianca, however, indicated that she remained hopeful that in spite of APGA’s current travails that the party has a fair chance of producing the next governor of the state.
She described the party as presently constituted as a field of ‘sorrow’ for so many walking wounded…from aggrieved aspirants, party members at the grassroots, as well as party stakeholders.
Reacting to Bianca’s charges, Mr C-Don Adinuba, Director Media, Soludo Governorship Campaign Organisation, said that the omission of Ojukwu’s image on APGA uniform was not a ploy to insult late Ojukwu and his family.
“It was a mistake by the person who handled the recent uniform the party printed,’’ he said.
Adinuba who is also Anambra Commissioner for Information said he was confident that Bianca had nothing against Prof. Soludo as APGA’s candidate.
“I am sure that in the next couple of days Bianca will join the campaign tour of Prof. Soludo,’’ he said.

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