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THE STATES

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Benue

The Benue State Government last Monday said that
retired civil Servants in the state were being owed gratuities amounting to N7.4 billion.
The Head of Service, Mr Terna Ahua,  disclosed   in Makurdi, that the debts dated back to 1995 and represented unpaid gratuities, owed either to retired civil servants or their next of kin.
Ahua said that it was unfortunate that during the military era, many public servants were relieved of their jobs, even when there were no resources to settle their benefits.

FCT

Commercial drivers at Abuja’s Jabi Motor Park have
lamented the dearth of passengers for them in recent times, blaming this on “illegal parks’’ and dwindling spending power of many Nigerians.
Some of them told our source last Sunday that “the poor state of the country’s economy’’ could be particularly responsible for the situation.
They said there was a paucity of cash in circulation in the last one month, pointing out that many Nigerians have as a result refrained from spending as before.

Jigawa

The Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC) last Sunday announced Alhaji Abubakar Murtala of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the State House of Assembly by-election in Ringim Constituency of Jigawa, held last  Saturday.
The INEC Chief Returning Officer, Alhaji Umar Sani, said that the PDP candidate polled 22,431 to defeat his close rival of All Progressive Congress (APC) who scored 11,533 votes.
The re-run poll followed the death of the former Deputy Speaker of the state assembly, Alhaji Inuwa Udi in a road accident in August.
Sani said that a total of eight political parties participated in the by-election.

Kaduna

Christians resident in Kafanchan in Kaduna State
could not attend the usual Sunday church service as a result of the curfew imposed on the city after the civil strife in the city, last Friday.
They had to stay in their respective homes in compliance with the restriction on movements within the city.
The situation in the city, which is the Jama’a Local Government Area’s headquarters, was against the usual practice, as there was always a large turnout of Christians on Sundays for services.
Some  residents said the presence and strict measures adopted by security agents made it impossible for them to go to their respective churches.

Kano

Some victims of flood disaster in Tarauni Local Gov
ernment Area of Kano State last Sunday appealed to Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso to take necessary measures to ameliorate their sufferings.
Making  the appeal in an interview, one of victims, Malam Musa Lawan, said the call was necessary as no fewer than 575 persons were displaced in the area during the flooding of August 9 stating that nobody had come to their aid or given them any assistance since the flood disaster.

Lagos

Some lawyers last Sunday said the endorsement of a
national conference by Senate President, David Mark, was a realisation that the challenges facing the country needed to be discussed.
In interviews in Lagos, the lawyers said that it was important a national conference was convened in order for the country to remain a single, peaceful entity.
According to Mr Onyekachi Ubani, chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, Nigeria stands to gain by organising a talk where the questions of the ethnic nationalities staying together will be honestly and unemotionally discussed.
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Nasarawa

The Police in Nasarawa State last Monday confirmed
the arrest of no fewer than 40 suspects in connection with the recent ethnic clashes in the state.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Umar Shehu, told newsmen in Lafia that the police also recovered weapons and charms from the suspects.
He said that the police had also discovered a shallow grave at Tudun Adabu in the Obi Local Government Area of the state, where Alhaji Alhassan Gidado, Managing Director of the Police Community Bank, Tunde Banwo and their driver, Aliyu Adamu, were buried after they were killed.
The commissioner said that the suspects directly linked to the killing of the bank chief were among those arrested by the police, while their remains had been unearthed for proper burial.

Ogun

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ota, Ogun
State, last Sunday, said it was set to embark on programmes that would reduce road accidents in the ember months.
The Ota Unit Commander of the corps, Mr Omafu Sunday, said in Ota that the programmes would help to sensitise motorists on speed limits.
According to him, the rate of road mishaps in Sango-Ota and its environ in the ember months is alarming and something must be done fast to check it.
“Our first outing will focus on public enlightenment rallies at all the auto parks in Ota. Subsequently, we will then move to other areas,’’ he said.

Ondo

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB)
said last Monday that its Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) would be computer-based from 2015.
The JAMB Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, said this in Akure at an advocacy campaign on the advantages of the Computer-Based Test (CBT).
Ojerinde, who said that there were enough facilities for the CBT in Ondo state, also made it clear that candidates who chose to write the next UTME in the state would have no option than the CBT.

Oyo

Nigeria may not be classified as a developed nation
by 2020 if the country fails to tackle child labour.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of a three-day workshop on elimination of child labour in Nigeria organised by the International Labour Organisation International Programme on Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) for media professionals.
The National Bureau of Statistics had in 2000 estimated that more than 15 million Nigerian children are involved in child labour consisting of 7,812,756 males and 7,214,856 females.
The ILO, however, said “Nigeria may not be classified as a developed nation by 2020 if predisposing factors are not addressed by stakeholders.”

Sokoto

Chairman of the Poverty Reduction Committee in
Sokoto State, Dr Jabbi Kilgori, says the Yabo Local Government in the state is planning to give jobs to 1,000 unemployed youths.
The committee chairman said last Sunday in Sokoto  State that the gesture was sequel to a recent directive by Governor  Aliyu Wamakko noting that the employment scheme was under the Subsidy Re-investment Programme (SURE-P) in the state.
Kilgori, who is also the state’s Commissioner for Environment said the youths would be paid monthly allowances of N10,000 each and disclosed that “The youths will be engaged in some projects aimed at improving the environment and keeping environmental problems at bay.”

Zamfara

Governor  Abdulazez Yari of Zamfara State las Mon
day in Gusau said gunmen had killed 160 people and abducted 10 married women in different villages of the state in the last three months. Yari who made the disclosure when he addressed members of the state House Assembly on security situation in the state  said the situation had caused disaffection between residents of the affected villages and the state government.
The governor said the hoodlums, who continued to terrorise villages in parts of the state, stole no fewer than 6,000 cows and 4,000 sheep within the period.
Yari said the state government was handicapped, and urged the Federal Government to deploy more security personnel to the state to protect lives and property of the people.
The Speaker, Alhaji Sanusi Rikijin, assured the governor of the assembly’s support,“We will consult with other state houses of assembly and the National Assembly to ensure justice, equity and fair play in the country,’’ Rikijin said.

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Group Urges Police To Apologise To Protesters

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The Alliance on Surviving Covid-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), has asked the Nigeria Police to apologise for violating the fundamental right of the protesters to freedom of expression.
A statement by the human rights group yesterday, by its Interim Chair, Femi Falana (SAN), also accused the police of deliberately contravening Section 83 (4) of the Police Establishment Act 2020. 
The section provides that “Where a person or organization notifies the police of his or its intention to hold a public meeting, rally or procession on a public highway or such meetings in a place where the public has access to, the police officer responsible for the area where the meeting rally or procession will take place shall mobilize personnel to provide security cover for the meeting, rally or the procession.”
The group noted that Section 36 of the Constitution guarantees the fundamental right of the Nigerian people to freedom of expression including the right to protest against policies of the government. 
Many Nigerians in many states across the country trooped out on Saturday, June 12 to mark the day– Democracy Day – with protests against bad governance. 
The protesters chanted ‘Buhari must go’ in apparent dissatisfaction with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government that has seen security, economy, youth employment rate and some other sectors and indices worsen. 
However, there were arrests and harassment of peaceful protesters by the policex particularly in Abuja, Lagos and Cross River. 
The group in the statement said, “For having the audacity to insist on their fundamental right to protest against unpopular policies of governments, teams of armed police personnel fired teargas to disperse the peaceful rallies. As if the unprovoked attack was not enough, the Police brutalised and arrested scores of protesters in Lagos, Abuja and Calabar (Cross River State capital). 
“Since the protesters who were arrested during the peaceful rallies did not commit any offence, they have since regained their liberty. But the police authorities ought to apologise for violating the fundamental right of the protesters to freedom of expression.
“More so that the Police had deliberately contravened Section 83 (4) of the Police Establishment Act 2020 which provides that ‘Where a person or organization notifies the police of his or its intention to hold a public meeting, rally or procession on a public highway or such meetings in a place where the public has access to, the police officer responsible for the area where the meeting rally or procession will take place shall mobilise personnel to provide security cover for the meeting, rally or the procession.’
“While commending the protesters for conducting the themselves in a matured and peaceful manner, we condemn the official lie that the protesters were teargassed to prevent hoodlums and miscreants from hijacking the peaceful rallies. Since the Police admitted that protesters committed no offence whatsoever why were some of them arrested? Why were the so-called hoodlums and miscreants who wanted to cause mayhem and unleash violence on the protesters not arrested? 
“Or were they treated like sacred cows because they had been hired to disrupt the peaceful rallies of the protesters? Why were the scanty pro-government protesters who were reported to have fought openly in Abuja over their booty not arrested for breach of the peace in the Federal Capital Territory?

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‘MKO Most Acceptable Nigerian Democrat’

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Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has described the late Chief Moshood Abiola, widely believed to have won the June 12, 1993 presidential poll, as “the most acceptable democrat cherished by Nigerians”.
Mohammed said this in Gamawa Local Government Area (LGA) of the state during the distribution of empowerment items to youths and women under the Kaura Economic Empowerment Programme (KEEP).
He said the empowerment scheme historic as it coincided with Democracy Day which he described as an unforgettable day in the history of Nigeria.
The governor, who was full of praises for the late business mogul, said Abiola provided the country with a lot of empowerment programmes without considering the tribe, language and geographical location of the beneficiaries.
“Our launching of this empowerment programne today is historic and passionate; we remember today is democracy day and we decided to do it on this day.
“This is because Chief Moshood Abiola, who we are celebrating, empowered several people.
“He did that across board without considering the religion, language and origin of those that benefited from the gestures.
“Abiola will remain in our memory as the most acceptable democrat or politician in Nigeria.
“We all voted for him and that is why myself, my deputy and the government decided honour to him this day by coming to Gamawa and Zaki to empower the people,” he said.
Mohammed noted that democracy day meant remembering people who had empowered the masses, adding that the late Abiola was in that category.
The gesture, he said, was also to show appreciation to the people who brought his administration to power, adding that his government had a lot to offer to the people.

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Buhari, Bello Greet Abubakar At 79

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President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated former Head of State, retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, on his 79th birthday, joining family members and friends to celebrate with the iconic leader.
The president’s congratulatory message is contained in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja yesterday.
Buhari noted that Abubakar’s legacy of setting the country on the path of democracy and good governance, and passionate pursuit of peace had continued to yield results.
He congratulated the General for another age, appreciating his patriotism and visionary leadership style of always advocating unity, projecting maturity and wisdom on national discourse, and providing a rallying point for the future of the country.
The president noted the goodwill that the former Head of State had continued to attract to the country, both at national and international levels.
He particularly lauded him for sacrificing his time and resources to reach out to individuals and institutions on the need to work for the growth of Nigeria.
Buhari prayed for increase in wisdom, strength and long life for the former military leader that midwifed return of democracy to the country in 1999.
Similarly, Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger has felicitated former Military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd), on his 79th birthday.
Sani-Bello, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs Mary Noel-Berje, last Saturday in Minna eulogised Abubakar and described him as a “complete gentleman”.
According to him, the former head of state is a patriot who has remained “consistent and significant” in the progress and development of the country.
He said Niger and the country were indeed lucky to have an outstanding leader and statesman who had consistently remained on the path of promoting national unity and integration, as well as pursuit of global peace.
“Undoubtedly, your resolve to rededicate yourself to the service of our fatherland and humanity in general is a clear testimony of your statesmanship and influence which cuts across the length and breadth of the country,” Sani-Bello said.
He noted that at 79 years, Abdulsalami had remained a reference point for good governance, diplomacy and conflict resolution.
He prayed Allah to grant him sound health, many more years of wisdom, courage and determination to continue to offer selfless service to the nation and humanity.

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