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THE STATES

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Borno

The Borno State Government plans to create a special task force to ensure timely completion of various projects in this year’s budget, an official said  in Maiduguri last Wednesday.

In a statement he issued, a Special Adviser to the state governor, Malam Isa Gusau, said Governor Kashim Shettima announced the plans while presenting the state’s 2014 budget proposal.

Shettima had presented to the State House of Assembly in Maiduguri, last Tuesday, a budget proposal of N178.5 billion.

“Shettima announced that a special task force, with extant powers, is likely to be created. “The task force is to have the mandate of accelerating the speed of projects to ensure timely completion in 2014,’’ Gusau said in the statement.

 

Gombe

Gombe State Police Command has confirmed that a gang killed two persons and injured one in Ceceniya quarters of Gombe.

Spokesman of the command, DSP Fwaje Atajiri, said  in Gombe that the attack took place last Tuesday at about 11.45 p.m.

Atajiri said that a group of criminals attacked and killed their victims in Gombe Wednesday, metropolis with various dangerous weapons.

He described the incident as unfortunate, calling on the public to always report suspicious movements and promised a handsome reward for any one that could feed the police with information about the criminals.

 

Jigawa

As Nigerians celebrate the new year, farmers in Hadejia, Jigawa, have expressed hope for bumper harvest in the next cropping season.

A cross section of farmers in Hadejia last Wednesday, also hoped that the country would experience total peace and prosperity in 2014.

A farmer, Malam Ali Makintari,  expressed optimism that farmers would record high yields in 2014 “in view of the application of new farming techniques and farmers’ support programmes initiated by the federal and state governments.’’

Makintari said he recorded a bumper harvest in 2013 due to prompt availability of fertiliser and other inputs, adding “we hope that the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) programme initiated by Federal Government will be expanded to include other farmers.”

 

Katsina

About 4,000 patients with various eye diseases from 11 local government areas of Katsina South Senatorial District have received free eye treatment in Funtua.

Special Assistant to Katsina State Deputy Governor on Special Duties, Alhaji Qassim Muhammad, said last Thursday in Funtua that the exercise, tagged  “Free Eye Camp’’, took place from December 26 to December 31, 2013.

Muhammad said the treatment was conducted by a team of 14 doctors from Abasar Foundation in Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with Ihsan Yardam Vakfi Foundation from Turkey.

He said the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Garba, facilitated the exercise and sponsored all the required logistics used for the exercise and disclosed that the six day exercise was a milestone that enhanced the health of the people, especially the elderly from the rural communities in the state.

 

Kebbi

The Gwandu Local Government Area in Kebbi State last Thursday, said it had earmarked N35.7 million to boost water supply in the area.

Chairman of the area, Alhaji Juli Dangi, said in Gwandu that the council would drill 30 additional boreholes in Gwandu, Dalijan and Kambaza districts.

Dangi said the council had drilled 20 open wells in remote areas to augment the existing water projects initiated by the state government.

He said the council would continue to provide social services to improve the living condition of the people “in line with our mandate as representatives of the people” and

commended the state government for constructing one of the best health facilities in the area.

 

Kwara

Some religious leaders in Omu-Aran, Kwara State, last Wednesday, urged Nigerians to reflect on the significance of the New Year celebration and collectively proffer solutions to the nation’s challenges.

The Bishop of The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Omu-Aran, Rt. Rev. Phillip Adeyemo, urged Nigerians to embrace love, peace and unity in the New Year and he appealed to citizens to check their shortcomings in the previous year and re-dedicate themselves to God in the New Year.

Adeyemo urged politicians and civil servants to shun corrupt practices, ungodliness and other acts capable of retarding the growth of the nation.

The President of the Women Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN), Kwara Chapter, Prophetess Bosede Adimabua,urged wealthy Nigerians to extend their assistance to the poor and those with disabilities.

 

Lagos

A Muslim cleric in Epe Local Government Area of Lagos State, Alhaji Haroon Daya-Biu, has urged Muslims and Christians to embrace the peace and live in unity in 2014.

Daya-Biu, who is the Head of “Ratibi Imam” in Epe, gave the advice last Tuesday night at a special prayer, tagged “Tahajjud Night’’, to mark the end of 2013.

In his message, Daya-Biu appealed to both Christians and Muslims to live in unity and embrace the peace to enhance progress in the country and urged adherents of both religions to show love to one another.

“Muslims love peace, Islam does not preach violence and we are peaceful people. “That is why we are going to use this prayer to pray for the peaceful coexistence of Muslims and our Christian brothers and sisters,” he said.

 

Nasarawa

No fewer than seven persons have died from cholera at Badawa-Galadima ward in Nasarawa Local Government Area of Kano State, an official of the council has said.

The Head of Health Department of the local government, Alhaji Ma’azu Doka, said in Kano on Wednesday that 68 patients were now receiving treatment.

Doka said 29 of them were at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) Kano, while the remaining 39 were outpatients.

“The outbreak, which started five days ago, has so far claimed seven lives. “We have also treated more than 71 persons, particularly those with cases that are not severe,’’ he said.

 

Ogun

For the umpteenth time, Iwoye-Ketu community leaders in Yewa North area of Ogun State have called on Federal and Ogun governments to intervene in the provision of road and other infrastructure in the border town between Nigeria and Benin Republic.

The traditional ruler, Oba Ademola Aremu, made the appeal last Tuesday, while conducting newsmen and leaders round the road and parts of the 20,000-strong community.

He decried what he called abject neglect of the community by previous administrations in the state, saying, “the neglect is dehumanising and unfortunate.’’

 

Oyo

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has granted amnesty to five condemned prisoners, total release and state pardon for four convicts who are on life imprisonment as well as amnesty to 12 convicts who are on various terms of imprisonment for misdemeanors.

In a statement issued by the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ojo Adebayo , the amnesty was in commemoration of the New Year.

According to the Attorney-General, the amnesty was an exercise of the governor’s power to grant prerogative of mercy to convicts as conferred by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 under section 212(1) of the Constitution.

The State Attorney-General said the governor is empowered to pardon, free, grant respite or substitute a severe punishment with lesser one as a form of amnesty for convicts, and by sub-section (2) of that section, can exercise that power on the advice of the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.

 

Plateau

Two officers in the Plateau State Police Command, Usman Adamu and Saad Ibrahim, both Chief Superintendents of Police (CSP) last Wednesday in Jos, received the State Commissioner of Police awards for dedication to duties and excellence in crime prevention.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Chris Olakpe who decorated the officers, said they were honoured for their consistency in high performance in their line of duties.

Olakpe, who described Adamu as the engine room of the command’s administration department, extolled him for discharging his duties without complaining.

The commissioner also said Ibrahim, who is the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Laranto Police Station, had consistently and tenaciously been fighting crime in his area.

Responding on behalf of the recipients, Adamu said they were ready to work tirelessly for the progress of the command.

 

Taraba

Acting Governor of Taraba State, Alhaji Garba Umar, last Wednesday, said his loyalty to his ailing boss, Governor Danbaba Suntai, was consistent and unshakable.

Umar, who made the disclosure in his New Year broadcast in Jalingo, said he was only holding brief for his principal, pending the time the governor would fully recover and capable of resuming full duties as governor.

The acting governor listed some of his achievements to include the completion of work on Jalingo-Sunkani-Garba Chede Road and the completion and inauguration of Takum General Hospital.

Others, he added, include the connection of Suntai Village, the governor’s country home, to the national grid, as well as the state’s House of Assembly Service Commission Complex.

L-R: Former Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Adamu Muazu; Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, Mr Johnkennedy Opara and Commissioner, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Ambassador Abdullahi  Bage, during arrival of the last batch of Christian pilgrims in Abuja, last Friday. Photo: NAN

L-R: Former Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Adamu Muazu; Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, Mr Johnkennedy Opara and Commissioner, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Ambassador Abdullahi Bage, during arrival of the last batch of Christian pilgrims in Abuja, last Friday. Photo: NAN

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

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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

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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

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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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