The American University of Nigeria (AUN) has graduated 289 students at its fifth convocation ceremony held last Saturday in Yola.
Speaking at the convocation, the President of the university, Prof. Margee Ensign, said that the university since its inception nine years ago had centred on community-based services and development.
She said the university was committed to helping the community and society achieve equitable and sustainable prosperity, and disclosed the university’s sustainability initiative was one of its many developmental projects.
On the insecurity in the country, Ensign said that the university had attained a meaningful development where it had become a major sponsor of peace initiative groups, including the popular Adamawa Peace Council.
She explained that the group was assisted with a view to fostering peace and harmony in the state and in the region. “The goal is to assist young people to acquire the knowledge and skills, needed to work or start their own small businesses,” Ensign said.
Residents of EFAB Estate in Mbora District, Abuja, have lauded the remedial work on a deep gully caused by excavation work in the area.
Sammyal Construction Company was awarded contract by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to build infrastructure at Mbora District, close to EFAB estate.
It was said to have abandoned the site after excavating the terrain and clearing shrubs and trees which later caused gully erosion in the area.
A resident, Mr Obed Amazu, commended the company and the FCDA for coming to the aid of the residents.
Another resident, Mr John Shamaki,commended the government for addressing the environmental challenge which threatened more than 60 families.
Shamaki said the gully would have escalated if nothing had been done, noting that some residents had relocated to other parts of the FCT due to the threat posed by the gully.
The managing director of the company, Mr Sammy Adigun, said the company had to fill the ditch as part of its corporate social responsibility.
Adigun said the people needed to be assisted because the provision of infrastructure is for the people to live comfortably.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Jigawa, on Thursday arrested three randy commercial motorcycle operators for alleged sexual abuse of two minors.
The NSCDC Commandant in the state, Mr Muhammad Gidado, told newsmen that the suspects were nabbed after they allegedly had canal knowledge of two teenage girls in Birnin Kudu.
He claimed that the suspects (names withheld) had enticed the girls with gifts and money to have sex with them. ‘’We are not bringing rape charges against the suspects because the girls were not forced to consent to sex. ‘’Based on investigation, beside the suspects, the girls admitted having sex with other men,’’ he said.
According to him, the suspects have admitted to having sexual intercourse with the minors on several occasions.
The commandant added that preliminary medical check up at the General Hospital, Dutse, indicated that the girls’ virginity had been tampered with over long period of time.
More than 249,858 children under five years of age have been immunised against polio and other childhood killer diseases in Fagge Area Council in Kano Municipal, an official said on Saturday.
The Health Coordinator of the Council, Hajiya Fatima Mohammad, said last Saturday in an interview that the exercise would make it possible for more children to be immunised considering that the people had accepted the programme through mass sensitisation by the council.
‘’The large turnout in the previous exercise was the outcome of the state government’s commitment to eradicate the childhood killer diseases in all the area councils of the state. “Fagge keyed into this objective and got this great result from the last exercise,’’ she said.
The coordinator said that Fagge Council was always collaborating with major stakeholders, such as district and ward heads, parents as well as health officials and other ad hoc staff.
The Kwara State Committee on Flood Disaster and Rehabilitation has began advocacy visits to flood-prone areas to persuade the people to vacate river banks. The committee’s chairman, Alhaji Mohammed Dabarako, is leading the group on the visit that started on Friday in Shonga in Edu Local Government Area.
Dabarako, who is also the Head of Service of the state, urged the monarch to assist in persuading residents to vacate river banks and move upland before heavy rain sets in.
The chairman said the advocacy visit had become imperative in view of the warning by the Federal Government that the nation will witness heavy rains in 2013.
Responding, the Etsu Shonga described the havoc created by 2012 flood in his domain as devastating, and thanked the state and the federal government for providing immediate succour to the 2012 flood victims in the area.
Chief Maxi Okwu, who emerged National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), at the party’s national convention held in Awka, Anambra, on April 8, has faulted INEC’s recognition of Chief Victor Umeh as the new Chairman of APGA..
Okwu said in Lagos last Saturday that the Independent National Electoral Commission’s recognition of Umeh was unacceptable to the party.
However, the Court of Appeal, sitting in Enugu on April 7, restored Umeh as the National Chairman of the party after he was previously restrained from parading himself in that capacity by an Enugu High Court on February 10.
INEC on May 9, intervened in the crisis, recognising Umeh as chairman of the party.
Governor Tanko Al-makura of Nasarawa State has given assurance that those fanning the embers of violence in the state will not go unpunished.
The governor gave the assurance in a statement issued on Sunday in reaction to the killing of 30 policemen at Alakyo village by the Ombatse militia, said “The state government will not watch while some disgruntled individuals hold it to ransom and turn the state into theatre of death, undermining the development efforts of this administration.”
“We have had enough bloodshed in Nasarawa, those who are hell-bent on sabotaging our efforts will not go unpunished. “It is unfortunate that some people still perpetrate evil against their fellow human beings at a time when the state has begun to count the gains of democracy. “The crisis has no religious colouration as been speculated by some section of the media; some people are just bent on destroying the state because they feel they are not in power,” he said.
Gov Babangida Aliyu of Niger State has dissociated himself from posters depicting him to be seeking the PDP presidential ticket for the 2015 election.
Aliyu distanced himself from the posters in reaction to the news of the seizure of the posters by security agents in Kaduna, at a one-day North Central Zonal Security Awareness Workshop in Minna.
The governor said that he had not ordered anyone to produce any poster for him and that he had no intention of doing so yet, adding that as a loyal member of the party, he would abide by the party’s guideline of June 2014 deadline before making any pronouncement of my political ambition.
Aliyu said he had earlier on ordered the removal of the posters of governors Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers and Sule Lamido of Jigawa, which flooded the state about a week ago, in keeping with the party’s directive.
More civil servants in Ondo State have offered to retire voluntarily from service as a result of the on-going staff screening embarked upon by the government to expose “ghost’’ workers.
The Head of Service, Mrs Kosemani Kolawole, said last Thursday in Akure that the screening which kicked off in the 18 local government areas of the state had led to the discovery of 6,000 junior “ghost’’ workers and 3,500 senior “ghost’’ workers.
Kolawole said that the government conducted the screening when it realised that many workers had falsified their ages to remain in service beyond their normal retirement age.
She said that the government had discovered that some local governments officials had inflated leave bonuses by N310 million, adding that instead of N540 million they request for N850 million annually.
According to her, workers who came in through the back door will go, while those who have attained 60 years of age will also leave to allow the injection of new blood into the service.
The Osun Government has directed its ministries, departments and agencies to replace old number plates on official vehicles with new ones without further delay.
Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, gave the directive in a statement in Osogbo last Saturday.
The new number plate is bearing the re-branded official designation of the state, “Land of Virtue.’’
The secretary also directed all those having governor’s office vehicles with old number plates to contact the Department of Special Services in the Bureau of Cabinet and Special Services.
“This is with a view to exchanging the old number plates for the new official number plates,’’ the statement directed.
The National Zoological Garden Jos on Saturday organised a special and unique 50th birthday party for two chimpanzees popularly known as ‘Bobby and Paulina.’
Director-General, National Commission for Museums and Monument ( NCMM), Mr Yusuf Usman, said that the birthday was the first of its kind in Africa.
Usman who was represented by Mrs Caroline Ezeokeke, Curator, National Museum, Jos said that there was the need to develop consciousness to protect animals and for them not go into extinction.
Director, Monument, Heritage and Sites of NCMM, Dr Areo Biodun,said that the essence of the celebration was to accord the two animals the respect they deserved by being among few lucky ones in the world that lived that long.
Director, Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) University of Jos, Prof. Naomi James-Rogu, in her remarks commended the management of the zoo for taking good care of the animals.
James-Rogu, a Professor of Zoology, advised the management of the zoo to organise a Zoo Week to educate students and the general public about animals.
She pledged the cooperation of the university in partnering with the zoo in providing the necessary assistance it might require.
Timothy Nyam of the Plateau Tourism Cooperation presented a paper entitled “Unity and Conservation”.
The PDP in Yobe State has said that the defection of some politicians from the party to the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) will not affect the party’s fortunes in the state.
The PDP chairman, Alhaji Lawan Karasuwa, said in a statement on Friday in Damaturu that the politicians left the party because they failed to actualise their personal and selfish programmes.
Some PDP chieftains, including former members of the National Assembly, former deputy governor and several others, defected to ANPP on Thursday.
The statement, however, said the exit of the politicians had resolved the internal squabbles within the party, adding that their exit would go a long way in repairing the damage done to the party.
The statement also emphasised the party’s support to President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. “The party is very proud of the abundant dividends of democracy provided by the Jonathan administration,’’ it stated, adding that PDP is unwavering in its commitment and readiness to ensure the party’s victory in the state.
Emirates Resumes Flights To Nigeria, June 23
The UAE carrier, Emirates Airlines, would start carrying passengers from South Africa, Nigeria and India from June 23, the UAE Embassy said as it announced revised rules on Covid-19.
“We look forward to facilitating travel from these countries and supporting various travellers’ categories,” the airline said in a separate statement, yesterday.
“Residence visa holders from India and travellers from South Africa should’ve taken two doses of a vaccine approved by UAE authorities and carry RT-PCR tests reports from labs approved by the federal governments of these countries.
“But for Nigerians vaccination is not made mandatory but all other conditions apply.
“In addition to the above, Indians have to take a rapid PCR test four hours prior to their travel.
“While there are four vaccines in the UAE for use on eligible individuals against the Covid-19 infection – Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V and Oxford-AstraZeneca, it is unclear if the UAE has approved vaccines administered on Indian, South African and Nigerian citizens in their countries,” it stated.
“All travellers are also required to present a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 48 hours before departure.
“UAE citizens are exempted.
“Only QR coded PCR test result certificates are accepted.
“All passengers must take a rapid PCR test four hours prior to flight departure.
“All passengers must undergo a PCR test on arrival at Dubai Airport.
“Passengers should undergo institutional quarantine until they receive their PCR test result, which is expected within 24 hours.
“Passengers should produce a negative PCR test certificate with a QR Code from labs approved by the Nigerian government.
“All passengers must undergo a PCR test on arrival to Dubai Airport.
“Transit passengers should comply with entry protocols of final destinations.
“Entry will now be permitted to residents who have received two doses of UAE-approved vaccines,” the state said.
The revised procedures for travellers coming from the Republic of India, South Africa and Nigeria were issued by the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai.
They are effective from June 23, the Dubai Media Office said.
It said the updates are part of the committee’s keenness to protect passengers and ease hassles for them without compromising on Covid-19 preventive measures, said the Chairman of the Supreme Committee, Sheikh Mansoor Al-Maktoum.
The Media Office announcement said the updated travel protocols are part of a normal process of revising and optimising preventive measures based on the latest local, regional and international developments.
Bagudu Vows To Lead Rescue Operation Over Yauri Abduction
Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State last Saturday vowed to lead the rescue operation of teachers and students abducted from the Federal Government College (FGC), Birnin Yauri, in Ngaski Local Government Area of the State.
Bagudu, who is also Chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum, spoke when local hunters visited him.
Reports had that the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and his Jigawa State counterpart, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar, also paid a solidarity and sympathy visit on Gov. Bagudu.
Bagudu assured that some other governors and stakeholders will join him in the ongoing search operations for the abducted students and staff of the school.
According to him, he will discuss with his colleagues and security agencies in this direction, so as not to jeorpardise the ongoing commendable operations to rescue the abducted students and staff.
He said: “But, we will go out there and like I promised, the day we will move out, I will not be in the office because we will join you in the field.”
The Kebbi State Governor said that this would be done barring all consequences in a bid to rescue the abductees.
Bagudu argued: “It is not weapons that win wars, but it is the will that bad people cannot triumph and we will show that, we have enough will power .
“President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies have been doing the best they could with limited resources.
“But, we also need to mobilize, kit ourselves and take on these bandits. Our various scriptures as Muslims and Christians allow us to put our lives at risk in defence of our honour, property and our faiths.
“In what the bandits are doing, they have challenged all of us, so, we can’t let them.”
Bagudu asked the hunters to go back and fully mobilise, pending when he gets the necessary clearance from the security agencies, adding, “we will meet in the field.”
The governor maintained that governors were not sworn in only to sit down in the office and work.
He stated that they are aware that one day they would be required to lead in the field, even though they are not military or police personnel.
He said that if hundreds of thousands of people can be mobilised during campaigns, same should be done now to join the search party.
He said: “What happened in Birnin Yauri should be the last straw. We should follow these bandits wherever they are and take them on.”
Bagudu also described the abduction as very callous, even as he lauded the security agencies, management of the school, ‘Yan Sakai and vigilantes for their heroic efforts since the bandits struck at the college.
Govs, Others Task Security Agencies On S’East
South-East governors and leaders have requested security agencies in the zone to respect the rights and privileges of all those living in the zone.
They made the call on Saturday in Enugu after a meeting attended by political leaders, socio-cultural organisations, clerics and the traditional leaders.
The Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, who addressed reporters after the meeting, condemned the killing of civilians in the zone by security agencies.
Umahi urged them to discharge their duties within the law and in accordance with their rules of engagement.
The Ebonyi governor reaffirmed the commitment of the region to the corporate existence of the country.
Umahi, however, said that such union must be based on love, mutual respect and equality of rights irrespective of one’s religion, ethnic group, political inclination and creed.
The governor said the various secessionist groups from the region were not speaking for the people of the area.
He said the leaders from the zone had set up a committee to engage the agitators to allow elders of the region to address their fears.
“We have come out publicly on many occasions to speak against such agitations,” he said.
Umahi said the meeting was in fulfilment of the June 11 agreement they had with a federal government delegation led by the Minister of Defense, Bashir Magashi, a retired major-general.
“Consequent upon that, we scheduled our own meeting today to discuss and articulate our positions.
“This is to enable us not only engage the presidential team but also engage our people over all burning issues,” he said.
The governor said leaders from the region had noted with concern threats against the Igbo people by some groups in other regions.
“The meeting pleaded with leaders of other regions to note such threats to our people, address it and protect our people,” he said.
He said that governors from the South-East had assured people from other ethnic nationalities of their safety in the region in spite of the prevailing circumstances.
The leaders condemned the killing of security personnel and burning of government infrastructure in the region.
He called on National Assembly members from the region to support the creation of state police in the ongoing efforts to amend the constitution.
The governor said the meeting endorsed the South-East joint security unit called EbubeAgu, and requested the personnel to work with statutory security agencies.
Those present at the meeting included Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu.
Anambra and Imo states were represented by the deputy governors, Nkem Okeke and Placid Njoku respectively.
Others were the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe; Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige; Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah, and President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, George Obiozo.
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