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The Benue State Government has promised to

organise subsequent editions of the Youth Carnival in the State.

Governor Gabriel Suswam, represented by his Deputy, Stephen Lawani, announced this in Makurdi last Saturday at the end of the Youth Cultural Carnival in the state.

Suswam explained that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism would henceforth, partner with the office of the Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth Affairs, to organise subsequent youth carnivals.

He said the just-concluded carnival was the best of its kind in the country due to its positive effect on the dying cultures in the state. The governor said the carnival was capable of transforming Benue youths into international celebrities if they were adequately trained.




Unidentified persons have kidnapped a mem

ber of the Gombe State House of Assembly, Alhaji Jalo Ganga (PDP-Gombe North ), at his residence in the Gombe metropolis on Sunday. A source told newsmen that the kidnappers with a motorcycle, abducted the lawmaker around 5 a.m. when he was going for his morning prayers. The source said the lawmaker shouted for help to no avail as his captors were bent on taking him away to an unknown destination. The Commissioner of Police in Gombe, Malam Mohammed Sule, confirmed the incident, saying that the lawmaker was kidnapped last Sunday morning.




The Jigawa State Government has threatened

to prosecute traders, who manhandle chickens and other poultry animals in the state.

The Chairman, Consumer Protection Agency in the state, Alhaji Abdulkadir Hadejia, gave the warning last Saturday during a sensitisation exercise at Furji Market in Yankwashi Local Government Area.

He said the government had placed a ban on the manhandling of chickens in all markets across the state and warned that defaulters would be prosecuted. “The action is cruel, inhuman and exposes the animals to maltreatment.




The remains of Mr Idris Mohammed, the Aide

De Camp (ADC) to Kogi Governor, was buried in Sabon-Gari, Zaria, Kaduna State, last Saturday. It would be recalled that Mohammed died in an auto crash in the same car with Governor Idris Wada, at Emi-Woro village on Ajaokuta-Lokoja Road on December 28.

Mohammed, 42, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), is survived by his wife, five children and his aged mother, Hajiya Amina.

Mohammed attended Alhudahuda College and Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, both in Zaria before he enlisted into Police Academy for Cadet Inspectors’ Course.



The Deputy Governor of Kogi, Mr Yomi Awoniyi, has ex

pressed thanks and appreciation to God for sparing the life of Governor Idris Wada, who was involved in auto crash on December 28. This is contained in a statement signed by Micheal Abu, his Chief Press Secretary, in Lokoja last Saturday. Awoniyi also expressed thanks to all those who supported the state during its trying moment and those who wished the governor speedy recovery through their visits, phone calls and prayers. He also commiserated with the family of the Aide De Camp to the Governor, late Mohammed Idris, who died in the crash.




The Lagos State Government last Saturday expressed satis

faction with the performance of its students in the 2012 May/June WAEC examinations. Chief Fatai Olukoga, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, expressed the satisfaction, while speaking with newsmen in Lagos.

He stressed that the state recorded a significant improvement in the students’ performance in the examinations. “The state scored 38 per cent outstanding performance in core subjects in the results released by WAEC.

“It is the best in the country and the main reason for the improvement is the government policy which ensures that pupils are only promoted on merit in our primary and secondary schools,’’ Olukoga said:



The Niger State Government has spent N80 million on train

ing 10 pilots at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology’s facilities at the Minna Airport, the state’s Commissioner for Transportation, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammad, said on Sunday.

Mohammad made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Minna. “The trainee pilots had completed their ground training preparatory to their flying training. “We are spending N8 million each for the training of each pilot, who had concluded their ground training, using the stimulators in Minna and the training facilities in Zaria.




Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun has ordered the re

lease of 20 prisoners and commuted the death sentences of three others to life imprisonment.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, said in a statement in Abeokuta that the governor took the action in exercise of his powers of Prerogative of Mercy under Section 212 (1) of the 1999 Constitution.

The statement said the governor acted on the recommendations of the Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy.

“The 20 prisoners whose freedom has been ordered were those serving sentences of three years imprisonment and have 12 months left. “They are also are adjudged to have good records and good conduct, “ it said.



The Osun Commissioner for Environment and Sanitation,

Prof. Olubukola Oyawoye, said on Monday that the State Government would no longer tolerate defecating in public places from next month.

Oyawoye, who gave the warning in Osogbo while speaking with newsmen, decried the way and manner some public places in the state had been operating without functional toilets.

The commissioner called on business organisations to provide toilets for their workers and customers to ensure public health.



A driver, Adedoyin Musibau (43), was on Monday dragged

before an Oyo Chief Magistrates’ Court on a three-count charge of conspiracy, unlawful possession and stealing of seven goats.

The accused and others now at large on Dec. 9, at about 1:30 a.m., allegedly stole one goat worth N5,000 belonging to one Alhaji Agboola Tunde and seven other goats found in his possession worth N21,000.

The Police Prosecutor, ASP. Abiodun Aluko, said the accused could not give satisfactory account of the additional goats found in his possession.



The Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’I, last

Saturday pledged the Federal Government’s commitment to give priority to teachers’ education through effective training to improve their skills.

Rufa’I made the pledge in Sokoto at the closing of the 2012 Millennium Development Goals capacity building workshop for teachers.

She said the nationwide programme was split into two and designed to target 40,000 teachers across the federation.

Represented by Mr Ojo Joel, the Director of Education in the ministry, Rufa’i said the workshops would improve teachers capacity in subject contents, pedagogy and general methods of teaching.



The Zamfara State Government has supplied medical equip

ment worth millions of naira to the newly inaugurated Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital in Gusau.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Bello Kwatarkwashi, made this known to the newsmen in Gusau.

Kwatarkwashi said that the items include surgical equipment, special beds for intensive care units and a large number of parameters. He said that other items include blood and sugar monitoring instruments, radiotic incubators and cardiology machines for heart diseases.

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Senators Fault Buhari’s Planned Farm Settlements



Some senators have expressed concerns over plans by the regime of President. Muhammadu Buhari, to establish farm settlements in each of the 108 senatorial districts in Nigeria.
They noted that any arrangement to acquire land by the Federal Government at the moment without giving details of what it would be used for, might face stiff resistance from various communities.
The President had last month, directed the National Agricultural Land Development Authority to set up the integrated farm estates in 108 senatorial districts nationwide.
Already, the policy has been greeted with criticisms from the leadership of the various ethnic groups in the middle belt, and southern part of the country, describing it as an attempt in disguise, to create grazing areas for cattle.
The Senator representing Edo South Senatorial District, Matthew Urhoghide, said the Federal Government should give details of the project before approaching state governments for land allocation.
He said, “We are in the Senate to represent our people. I know what my people want
“What we quarrel against is open grazing; we are not against ranching. We are not saying that a Fulani man that has a herd of cattle cannot come to the South to do the business of ranching but he cannot come to carry out open grazing.
“Grazing has two effects. It leads to wanton destruction of farmland. You cannot use animal husbandry to destroy crop farming. There are also criminal cases associated with it including murder.
“If the Federal Government is coming to get land in my state for ranching, it is okay because we need beef, which would be richer, when it is from the ranching system.
“However, the government should make its intention very clear on the policy to avoid major clashes and crisis.”
Similarly, Senator Abba Moro, representing Benue South in the red chamber said government could make arrangements for herders to do the business of ranching but not at the  expense of the farmers.
He advised the Federal Government to go to the drawing board and come up with a modern arrangement to make ranching the way to go.
He said, “When government policies are viewed with suspicion, when citizens lack trust in government policies, then something is wrong.
“Until we address the root causes of conflicts between herders and farmers, and genuinely come out with the right way to go through dialogue, any policy that is thrown at the citizens will be looked at with suspicion which would cause some level of tension.

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Senator Wants Improved Network For Results Transmission



The Senate Chief Whip, Sen. Orji Kalu, says  Nigeria requires 95 per cent of national network coverage to enable electronic transmission of election results in the country.
Kalu said this in an interview with The Tide source yesterday in Abuja.
Recall that 52 senators on July 15 voted against electronic transmission of results in the forthcoming general election while 28 voted for and 28 absentees.
The senators insisted that the Independent National Electoral Commission should be compelled to seek clearance from Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) while the National Assembly would have to approve the verdict of NCC.
Kalu, insisted the current network coverage was inadequate.
“I have never been against transmission of results , I only said we don’t have adequate coverage where we live,this is the issue.
“We have coverage, but it is not adequate.
‘Like Abia North Senatorial District where I come from, there is no adequate coverage, may be 43 per cent coverage, so how are we going to do that.
“ I believe in electronic transmission,but I want to quickly urge the NCC to deploy their technology to ensure wider coverage; I believe in that process because it is transparent.
“ I don’t want to listen to officials who want to buy equipment and make commissions, I am telling myself the truth, if we even have a coverage of 95 per cent it will be okay, but we have below 50 per cent in the entire country.
“I am not talking about my constituency.
“ It wasn’t a party decision to vote against e transmission and not a clique decision, it was out of my conscience.
“ I can only do what I will do that will benefit all Nigerians,” Kalu said.

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Igbo Stakeholders Decry Absence Of S’East Govs At Forum



The absence of four Governors of the South-East in the Southern Governors’ Forum meeting held last Thursday in Enugu has been strongly condemned by members of the Concerned Igbo Stake-holders Forum (CISF). 
The leader of the group, Mr Chukwuma Okenwa told newsmen in Enugu that there was no justifiable reason that would be enough for these governors to be absent in a meeting of such magnitude.
According to him, it was wrong particularly coming at a time when the region is battling socio-economic and security concerns stemming from the sit-at-home order issued by the proscribed separatist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
His words: “The absence of the Governors of Abia, Ebonyi, Imo and Anambra States leaves a lot to question the commitment of these governors to the growth and advancement of the South-East in missing a crucial meeting held within their geopolitical zone.
He further described as very disturbing the conspicuous absence of the Anambra Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, or a representative from the state at the meeting. 
Okenwa said that the body language of the South-East governors in recent times leaves no one to doubt that these governors have magnified their interest above that of the region and Ndi-Igbo in general.
“Their gaze at the forthcoming elections in 2023 is becoming an unbearable distraction for them in delivering their mandate to the people,” he also lamented.
The group, therefore beckoned on Ndi-Igbo, regardless of political party affiliation, to unite and formidably negotiate a favourable space in the political scheme of things.
According to him, when this is done, we will ensure an unhindered growth and development of all Igbos, he added.

By: Canice Amadi, Enugu

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