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The board of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Makurdi, last Thursday approved the establishment of an outreach centre in Mbatyerev, Gboko Local Government Area of Benue.

The Chairman of the board, Sen. Emmanuel Nwaka,   said during a press briefing in Makurdi at the end of  its facility tour  that the approval was to meet up with the medical needs of the rural dwellers of the state.

He said that the board had also discovered that the FMC was the major source of health care service delivery in Benue.

According to him, “the Federal Government, through the FMC, is meeting up its responsibility of bringing quality medical services closer to the rural dwellers’’.

The board chairman explained that the exact amount needed for the entire project was not yet known as the work was done in accordance with funds released by the Federal Government.



The Jigawa State Pilgrims Welfare Board last Wednesday inaugurated a 132-member committee to facilitate training of prospective pilgrims in the state.

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), had allocated more than 3,000 seats to the state for the 2013 Hajj exercise.

The Executive Secretary of the Board, Alhaji Sani Alhassan, who inaugurated the committee, said the gesture was to ensure proper training of prospective pilgrims on the basic tenets of Hajj exercise.

Alhassan said the committee was made up of males and females selected from the 27 local government areas of the state.

According to him, the state government has adopted proactive measures to improve the well being of the pilgrims and ensure a hitch-free Hajj.

In a remark, Alhaji Falalu Gantsa, chairman of the board, urged the facilitators to ensure proper training of the prospective pilgrims in accordance with the guidelines set by the board.

Malam Muhammad Yusuf, who spoke on behalf of members of the committee, pledged to be fair and just in the discharge of their duties.



The Katsina State Government says it will spend N1.3 billion to dualise Nagogo Township Road and upgrade Barhin Housing Estate Road in Katsina metropolis.

The Commissioner for Works and Housing, Alhaji Mustapha Maikudi, made this known when he briefed newsmen on the outcome of the state executive council meeting in Katsina last Thursday.

Maikudi said that the dualisation of Nagogo Road would gulp over N1billion, while the upgrading of Barhin Housing Estate Road would gulp N300 million.

He said that work on the three kilometres Nagogo road was awarded to Borini Prono Nig. Ltd. with a completion of period of 15 months.

The commissioner said that the 11.5km Barhin Road was awarded to CDC Nig. Ltd. with a completion period of six months and  reiterated the commitment of government to the development of the state.



The First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, has called on Nigerian women to champion the cause of peace in finding a lasting solution to the security challenges in the country.

The first lady made the call in Lokoja  last Thursday while addressing delegates to the 15th regular meeting of the National Council on Women Affairs and Social Development.

She called for more women participation in addressing the remote causes of the widespread violence now pervading some parts of the country.

Mrs Jonathan called on women to rise up with the firm resolution of providing an environment where peace could reign and women rights freely-expressed.

She said that, although women had achieved appreciable progress in the country, they should still work towards the attainment of the 35 per cent affirmative action across board.



The Senior Special Assistant to  Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State on Poverty Alleviation, Hajia Sarat Adebayo has urged women to strive to be role models and shun begging for alms.

Adebayo who  made the appeal last Thursday in an interview in Ilorin, said that women should shun begging on the streets and government offices since the state government was committed to their welfare.

Adebayo urged them to be productive and to engage in entrepreneurial activities instead of begging.

“There is no gain in begging. It is unchristian and unislamic for women to go about begging instead of engaging in productive activities.”Women should uphold their dignity inwardly and outwardly by striving to be role models at all times,” she advised.

Adebayo also urged them to look inward on how they could add value to the people around them.



The Lagos State Scholarship Board says the state government has approved N160.1 million for the payment of bursaries to its indigenes in tertiary institutions.

The Secretary to the Board,  Mrs Yetunde Jegede,  said on Thursday in Lagos that the amount covered the 2011/2012 academic session.

Jegede said that out of the total sum, N63.4million was for the state indigenes in Lagos State University (LASU) adding that for now the board would immediately pay LASU students and others thereafter.

According to her, the indigenes are expected to bring their scholarship award letters, school identity cards and two passport photographs.

“They are also to provide a progress report for the respective year duly stamped and signed by their school authorities,” she said.

Jegede said that the board would soon begin the documentation of the state indigenes for the 2012/2013 academic session.



The  2012 Batch ‘B’ corps members posted to Nasarawa State concluded their service year last Thursday without the usual passing out parade and fun-fare.

The NYSC State Coordinator, Mr Stephen Alabi, said the ceremony was shelved because of the security challenges facing the state.

According to him, certificates are being presented quietly to the outgoing corps members simultaneously across all the zonal headquarters in the state.

Alabi said a total of 2,871 corps members successfully completed the service year and would be given Certificates of National Service.

In his remark, the Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Mr Angama Weibey, congratulated the corps members for their meritorious service.

He assured them that the state government would always provide an enabling environment for those, who would want to start their post-service life in the state.



Rector, Sacred Heart Catholic Minor Seminary, Akure, Valentine Omolakin, has urged government at all levels to return schools belonging to missionaries.

Omolakin who made this known at a press conference in Akure on Thursday ahead of its Sacred Heart Feast, scheduled for June 7, said it would help to achieve the purpose for which the schools were created.

The cleric noted that Gov. Olusegun Mimiko had promised to set-up a panel to look into the issue of returning schools to the missionaries.

Mimiko, he said, made the promise when the Papal Nuncio, Augustin Kasuja, visited the country in August 2012.He noted that there was a difference between a Catholic School and a Minor Seminary.

“The return of schools to the missionaries is long overdue in Ondo State and it should not be politicised,” he said.



Retired Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo, former governor of Western Region and Chairman of the Governing Council,  University of Ibadan, has called on residents of  Oyo State to support government in its transformation efforts.

Adebayo made the call when he led  members of the council on a visit to Gov. Abiola Ajimobi in Ibadan on Thursday.

Adebayo said  Ajimobi had given the education sector a boost, adding that  the university had benefited from the educational initiatives  of the state government.

Responding, Ajimobi said the state government attached much importance to education because of its belief that no nation could  develop without quality education for its youths.



Two persons have been confirmed dead while 20 others were injured following a rainstorm which destroyed over 300 houses on Tuesday in Gusau.

Executive Secretary of Zamfara Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Atiku Maradun, said this in an interview on Thursday in Gusau.

Maradun, who spoke on behalf of Alhaji Musa Kwatarkwashi, Special Adviser on the state governor on Emergency Management, said that the adviser had already visited the affected areas namely Abarma, Janyau Fulani, Gidan Dutse, Gada Biyu and Unguwar Danfodio.

According to him, two girls, aged 11 and 15 were killed in the incident, adding that the residents also lost foodstuffs and animals.

He said that the Agency was compiling a report on the disaster for submission to the state and federal governments for immediate assistance and  appealed to the victims to plant trees around their homes to minimise the effect of such disaster.

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NDLEA Arrests Doctor, Ex-Soldier For Dealing In Drugged Cookies, Cocaine



The operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a medical doctor, Jane Chioma Ofoma, in Auchi, Edo, for selling drugged cookies and biscuits.
Its Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, said in a statement yesterday in Abuja, that Chioma sold the drugged cookies and biscuits through an online catering service, Omachi’s kitchen.
Babafemi said the arrest followed intelligence and surveillance where narcotic officers of the Edo Command of the agency on Saturday June 19, stormed her operational base at 1 Winners Way, Auchi.
This, he said, led to her arrest and at least 94 pieces of cookies produced with cannabis sativa were recovered from the suspect.
According to him, Chioma, 26, who is a graduate of medicine from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, recently completed her housemanship at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
“She has confessed to baking the cookies with skunk in her statement while under interrogation,” he said.
In the same vein, Babafemi said a 30-year-old Emmanuel Ehiramhen, of No. 10 Egan Street Ekpoma, has been arrested by officers of the Edo Command of the agency for dealing in crack cocaine.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives in Kwara have arrested a 52-year-old ex-Soldier, Ibrahim Musa, with 12.167 kilograms of Arizona (cannabis sativa), 4 grams of Cocaine and 25 grams of flunitrazepam.
Babafemi said the suspect was apprehended on Thursday June 17, at Oke-Odo, Tanke area of Ilorin, when he arrived from Lagos to supply his customers.
He said Musa worked in the maintenance department at Abati Army Barracks, Lagos from where he was deployed to 117 Battalion in Chibok, Borno, before he deserted the Army.
He added that the suspect had arrived Ilorin with his wife, Basirat Musa, in his Honda Accord car with registration number JJ 707 BL Lagos with the seized exhibit.
He was, however, arrested at the point of delivery by operatives of the Kwara Command of the agency.
“Under interrogation, Ibrahim revealed that while at Chibok he got the connection of a supplier of Arizona (Cannabis) and other drugs in Lagos who he immediately contacted when he deserted the Army in October 2020.
“He said he decided to go into the illicit drug business to enable him fend for his two wives and three children.
“The suspect revealed that the latest journey was his second trip to Ilorin to deliver the drugs and decided to travel with one of his wives who was not aware of his mission to Ilorin,” he said.
Babafemi quoted the Chairman, NDLEA, retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as commending the Edo and Kwara Commands of the agency for their vigilance and commitment to the goal of ridding Nigeria of the menace of illicit drug trafficking and abuse.
He charged the Commanders, officers and men of the two Commands and their counterparts across the country not to relent in the discharge of their responsibilities.
He assured them of his commitment towards making their welfare a priority.

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13 Vehicles Burnt In Tanker Explosion On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway



The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says six tankers, five trucks and two cars were destroyed in a tanker explosion at Ogere on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway yesterday.
Earlier, FRSC Sector Commander in Ogun, Mr Ahmed Umar, confirmed the incident to The Tide source, saying that it occurred at about 6.20 a.m.
Umar had said the explosion occurred in front of Romona trailer park on the expressway.
Giving update, he said, “the fire is serious, six tankers, five trucks and two cars are burnt in the explosion.’’
Umar said that one person had so far been rescued and taken to a private hospital in Ogere.
Meanwhile, the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), has advised motorists plying the road to use alternative routes.
TRACE spokesman, Mr Babatunde Akinbiyi explained that the tanker which was laden with fuel suddenly burst into flames affecting other vehicles.
“Vehicles moving inbound Lagos should go through Saapade-Ode/Remo-Iperu-Sagamu to relink Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
“In addition, vehicles moving inbound Ibadan should also go through Sagamu-Iperu-Ode/Remo-Saapade to relink Lagos-Ibadan Expressway,’’ Akinbiyi said.
The incident was the fifth of such tragedies involving fuel tankers in the Lagos and Ogun State axis since the beginning of the year.
A similar fuel tanker-related fire was recorded on Jan. 7 on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.
On March 21, a fuel tanker was the cause of fire on Otedola Bridge, also on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in which many vehicles were burnt.
On March 25, a diesel-laden tanker went up in flames at the Ikotun area of Lagos, leading to the incineration of other vehicles and shops.
On June 17, fire from the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant at the Ogun State Property Investments Corporation (OPIC) Plaza in Lagos trailed a leaking gas truck which was on motion in the area.
This resulted in a fire snowball which engulfed many other vehicles and property.
Twenty-five cars were destroyed in the OPIC Plaza inferno, while 13 persons, mostly workers in the restaurant, sustained burn injuries.

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S’ East Leaders Denounce Secessionist Groups …Seek Protection Of Igbos



Leaders of the South East geo-political zone have urged leaders of other geo-political zones in the country to protect Igbos living in their regions, even as they condemned in totality the activities of violent secessionist groups in the zone and elsewhere. 
The lgbo leaders comprising the governors of the five states, members of the National Assembly, Ministers, Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly, the Clergy and Traditional Rulers, made their feelings known on Saturday, in a communique issued when they rose from a closed-door meeting at the Government House, Enugu. 
Explaining that they made the request in view of what they described as “threats by some groups against our people”, the South East leaders promised to protect everyone, including Igbos and people from other regions, residing in the zone.
On the impression that South East leaders are silent over agitations for secession by some youths of the region, they stated that “is not correct”, stressing that “South East Governors, Ohaneze President, National Assembly members, notable leaders had come out publicly many times in the past to speak against such agitations”.
Proclaiming firmly that “we do not support them, they do not speak for South East”,  the communiqué read by the Governor of Ebonyi State and Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum, Engr. David Umahi, made it clear that the leaders of the zone reiterated their “commitment to one united Nigeria under a platform of justice, equality of rights, fairness, love and respect for one another”.
The communiqué revealed that South East leaders, in order not to mismanage the unfortunate situation, “have set up a committee to engage such youths to stop and allow elders speak to address such fears”. 
It added that South East leaders also condemned the killing of security agents, burning of strategic infrastructure and killing of civilians in South East and in other regions, and requested the security agencies to discharge their duties within the rules of engagement and the law
They, however, explained that the meeting was held “for articulation of our positions and further meet with the Presidential team”, sequel to the earlier meeting with the Presidential delegation, led by the Minister of Defence, Retired Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi, on June 11, 2021.
The communiqué disclosed that the meeting consequently “set up committees under Ohaneze Ndigbo to articulate and address our positions on all burning issues to further meet among ourselves and thereafter meet with the Presidential team”.
On the safety of the Igbo indigenes in other parts of the country and the newly established regional security outfit, the communiqué added that the “meeting directed our Governors and Ohaneze Ndigbo to liaise with indigenes from the northern part of Nigeria and indigenes of other regions to assure the nation, Nigeria, and their people of their safety in South East.
“The meeting endorsed our South East joint security outfit – Ebubeagu and asked them to work with security agencies and to respect the rights and privileges of all those living in the South East and our visitors”.

By: Canice Amadi, Enugu

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