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THE STATES

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President Goodluck Jonathan, ministers and senators met on
Tuesday night in Abuja on the way forward for the country.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Chief Press
Secretary to David Mark, Mr Paul Mumeh, on Wednesday in Abuja.

It said that at the meeting, which took place at the Apo
Mansion, the official residence of the Senate President, the executive and
legislature agreed that they must work together in the interest of the
citizenry.

The statement quoted President Jonathan as saying that
although the presidential system of government prescribed separation of powers
“our goals and interests are the same.’’

“This interest has to do with the welfare of our people and
the development of our country, adding that the president called for regular
social interactions between the two arms of government to cement the accord and
erase grey areas or misconceptions.

 

Jigawa

Dabi, a community in Ringim Local Government Area of Jigawa
State, has contributed N2 million to construct culverts and drains as a measure
to tackle flooding in the area.

Malam Muhammad Sa’idu, the Commissioner, Public Complaints
Commission in Jigawa State disclosed this to our correspondent in Dutse on
Thursday.

Sai’du, who hails from Dabi, said that the community had set
up a committee to take census of the affected areas ravaged by flood and
address the problems, adding that members of the committee were expected to
construct culverts and drainage systems in every nook and crannies of the
village to facilitate water passage.

The commissioner said that “lack of drains and culverts are
the main causes of flooding in Dabi which would soon be a thing of the past.”

 

Kano

The House of Representatives Committee on Works  has ordered the contractor handling the
construction of Kano Western by-pass to return to site or face sanction.

The Tide reports that the contractor abandoned the site in
December 2011, shortly before its delivery date, following the deterioration of
security situation in Kano metropolis.

The committee’s Deputy Chairman, Alhaji Mohammed Ali, gave
the order in Kano during the committee’s oversight tour of Federal Road
projects in Kano State.

“There is need for you to resume work immediately since the
security situation in Kano has improved.

On the expansion of Kano-Wudil- Shuwari Road, legislator
charged the contractor to expedite action and complete the job on schedule,
according to specifications, within one year.

 

Kebbi

The Kebbi State Government says it will fund the corrective
surgery of 70 persons living with physical disabilities as part of efforts to
give them a sense of belonging.

The Senior Special Assistant Alhaji Abdulnasir Argungu, on
Disabled Matters to Governor Saidu Dakingari, said this in an interview with
The Tide in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday.

He said that the surgery would be performed at the state
owned Sir Yahaya Memorial Hospital.

“The corrective surgery of the 70 people living with
disability is expected to commence next month,’’ he said, adding that would
undergo the surgery to enable them to either use crutches or walk with walking
aids.

 

Kogi

The Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Mr Yomi Awoniyi, has
expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for its immediate intervention
and release of N17.5 billion as support for flood affected states.

Awoniyi’s appreciation is contained in a statement issued
through his Press Secretary, Mr Michael Abu, in Lokoja on Thursday.

The deputy governor, who was on a visit to flood displaced
persons in Ofu Local Government Area of the state said that the Federal
Government’s intervention was timely.

He also said that the intervention would go a long way in
assisting the state and the flood victims, adding, “though the damage wrecked
by the flood is enormous, we are glad the Federal Government has helped us’’.

The Deputy Governor said that women and children were most
affected by the flood.

 

Lagos

Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Archbishop Alfred Martins on
Thursday urged the faithful to pray for justice, peace and unity in the
country, as the Catholics begin to celebrate the year of faith.

Martins said this in his homily at the opening ceremony of
the year of faith, held at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos.

The Tide reports that Catholics in Nigeria are joining their
counterparts worldwide to celebrate the “Year of Faith’’ to renew their
confidence in the gospel.

The year of faith offered the faithful opportunity to
rediscover the truth of the faith.

Martins urged all Catholics to use the period to pray
specially for God to intervene in the violence in some parts of the country.

 

Niger

The Niger State College of Education Wednesday matriculated
249 students under its Long Vacation Student programme (LSVP) for 2012 contact
session.

The Provost, Prof. Farouk Haruna, who made this known during
the matriculation in Minna, urged the students to be disciplined and focus on
their studies as no act of examination malpractice would be condoned.

Haruna, who was represented by the Deputy Provost,
Academics, Dr Mohammed Isah-Chado in his matriculation speech, urged the
students to be law abiding and focus on their studies.

He said that 150 cell phones used in examination malpractice
by students in 2011 contact session were confiscated and burnt by the school
authority.

“I urge you to be studious and disciplined as this college
has zero tolerance for examination malpractice, any student caught will be
expelled and shown the way out.

 

Ogun

The Ogun State Assembly Committee on Local Government last
Wednesday in Abeokuta warned council chairmen against diverting funds meant for
capital projects.

The chairman of the committee, Mr Olakunle Oluomo, gave the
warning during the committee’s oversight visit to Ewekoro, Ifo and Ado Odo/Ota
councils.

He said that any money received from federal allocation
through the state government should be used in developing the local government
areas and advised the chairmen to embark on aggressive revenue drive to
increase their internally-generated revenue and avoid depending solely on
federal allocation.

He also advised them to be prudent and transparent in
running the affairs of their councils, and endeavour to carry along councillors
in conducting the affairs of the councils.

 

Ondo

The Ondo State Government on Wednesday engaged 100 youths in
tractor operation as part of efforts to reduce unemployment.

Governor  Olusegun
Mimiko stated this during a training programme for the operators and mechanics
in Akure.

The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Ademola Olorunfemi, who
represented the governor, said that the government was collaborating with
private sector operators to strengthen and improve demand for tractor
operators.

Mimiko said that the empowerment would deepen tractor
service delivery to enhance job creation.

The Federal Director of Agriculture, Mr. Rufus Omakinwa, who
represented the Minister for Agriculture, Adewumi Adesina, said that the
programme was organised to equip the youths with appropriate skills in handling
the tractors.

The Chairman of the Agricultural Mechanic and Machinery
Operators Training Centre, Mr Ladeinde Mabayomije, said the training and
empowerment would boost job creation efforts.

 

Osun

The Osun State House of Assembly has condemned the kidnap
of  wife of the Speaker, Alhaja Muibat
Salam, by gunmen at Ejigbo in Ejigbo Local Government area of the state.

In a statement signed by Media Secretary to the House, Mr
Goke Butika, the members expressed the fear that the incident could disrupt the
prevailing peaceful atmosphere in the state.

According to the statement, for some gun-wielding men to
waylay a woman on her way home from her shop was unfortunate, nauseating and
uncalled for.

It called on security operatives to investigate the incident
to determine whether or not it was politically-motivated.

When contacted for comments, the speaker said he would not
comment on the incident until the circumstances surrounding the kidnap are
known.

 

Plateau

The Plateau State Government on Thursday said plans were
underway to build an ultra-modern digital library in the state.

The State Commissioner for Information, Mr Abraham Yiljap,
said this on Thursday in an interview with our correspondent in Jos.

The commissioner said that the issue was extensively
discussed at the last state executive council meeting.

“Governor Jonah Jang has directed that the information
ministry should forward a proposal on the project to his office for
consideration.

“Right now, we are working on that and I am assuring you
that as soon as the proposal is ready, the governor would give his consent in
view of the passion he has for the project,’’ he said.

 

Taraba

The Taraba State Commissioner for Education, Mr Yakubu
Agbaizo has commended the initiative of a youth corps member, Miss Patience
Toyin, for donating standard library materials to Government College, Jalingo.

The Tide reports that the corps member also donated 50 desks
and constructed a toilet at Government Science Secondary School, Jalingo.

“It is amazing that these donations are coming from a corps
member. Toyin has demonstrated a high sense of patriotism.

Earlier, the state Coordinator of the National Youth Service
Corps, Mr Tumba Freeman, pledged to support any corps member that initiated
projects with direct bearing on the lives of the people.

Earlier, Toyin, said that she initiated the project to
support efforts at imparting quality learning to the students as her
contribution to the growth and development of the community.

 

Zamfara

A 45-year-old man, Malam Ahmad Kawaye, whose two wives gave
birth to five babies in three days on Thursday received assistance from the
Zamfara State government to enable him take care of the babies.

Making the donation on behalf of the state government in
Gusau, the acting Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Wakkala, said the deliveries were
“wonderful and an act of God, who never gives His servants what they cannot
bear”.

Wakkala said the five children, comprising four females and
one male, were blessings from God and an increase in the number of Muslims in
the state.

He said that the state government would continue to support
the family to cater for the babies until they grew older.

On behalf of the government, he donated N100,000, five rams,
20 brocades and five bags each of rice, maize, guinea-corn and millet to the
family.

Receiving the items, Kawaye thanked the government for the
gesture, and said, “we do not have enough words to express our gratitude but we
will continue to pray for this administration for being sensitive to the
yearnings of its people.”

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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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