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THE STATES

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 Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (2nd right), presenting relief materials to internally displaced persons, during her visit to the refugees camp in Maiduguri last Wednesday. With her are Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State (right) and Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Mohammed Sidi (middle).

Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (2nd right), presenting relief materials to internally displaced persons, during her visit to the refugees camp in Maiduguri last Wednesday. With her are Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State (right) and Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Mohammed Sidi (middle).

Adamawa

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
in Adamawa State last Tuesday, inaugurated Inter-Agency Advisory Committee on voter education and publicity.
Inaugurating the committee, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr Kasim Gaidam, said the main objective of the committee was to assist the commission on general elections awareness.
Gaidam said that members of the committee were drawn from various relevant government agencies and professional bodies.
He also urged the committee to make useful inputs to the commission that would guide it in achieving successful polls in 2015.

FCT
The Supervising Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Darius
Ishaku,  says the ministry is being hampered by many problems ranging from natural to human factors
Ishaku , disclosed this  in Abuja on Tuesday at  the 2014 National Technical Conference of the Nigeria Society of Engineers.
He said that the successes recorded so far by the ministry were as a result of management of  physical infrastructure planning in the Niger Delta region.
The minister said that funding posed a major challenge to development of infrastructure in the region and was further compounded by high population growth.

Jigawa
The Jigawa  State government said it had provided sun
cream worth N1.4 million to 150 albinos in the state in the last one year.
Executive Secretary of the Jigawa State Rehabilitation Board, Alhaji Ibrahim Raba-Kaya, revealed this in an interview with newsmen   in Dutse last Tuesday.
Raba-Kaya said that the cream was provided to protect them from the effects of sun rays and reduce risks of skin diseases.
According to him, the gesture is also meant to give albinos in the state, a sense of belonging adding that the board had been providing the cream to the albinos for seven years now.
Raba-Kaya said that the board had identified and registered all persons with albinism across the 27 local government areas of the state.

Kaduna
The Pentecostal Bishops’ Forum has called on religious
and traditional leaders to preach peace in the country.
The Chairman of the forum, Bishop Tinuoye Ademola made the call last Tuesday at a news conference,  after their meeting held in Kaduna.
According to him, religion is a way of life and a personal relationship between the creature and the Creator.
The bishop condoled with the people of Kano State over the death of the late Emir, Alhaji Ado Bayero, and also congratulated the new Emir, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, advising him to have a “large heart”.
Ademola called on Nigerians to change their attitude and return to God, and to support government to move the nation forward.
The bishop promised that the forum would not relent in offering prayers for “lasting and absolute peace to reign in our country”.
Kwara
An agriculturist, Mr Richard Adewoye, has called for
collaborative efforts among stakeholders to achieve the desired transformation in the agriculture sector of the nation’s economy.
Adewoye,  who made the call in an interview  in Omu-Aran, Kwara last Tuesday blamed the under development of the sector on the wrong mind-set about agriculture of most managers in government, bankers, entrepreneurs and investors.
He said there was an urgent need for the government and the private sector to re-order priorities with a view to boosting food production and ensuring self-reliance.
“Food crisis today is a global concern; most African nations are presently faced with serious food deficiency which needs collective responsibility of all stakeholders to resolve.
Lagos

The Lagos State Government last Tuesday, said
it had concluded plans to create database on  all local emergency responders across the 57 local government and development areas in the state.
General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency(LASEMA), Mr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, disclosed this in Ikeja.
Osanyintolu  said the database  would assist LASEMA  to ensure a better co-ordination  of  local emergency responders  to enhance emergency response structure in the state.
He  said that this would promote interactions and also facilitate information sharing for effective response to emergencies among responders.

Nasarawa

Governor Umaru Al-Makura of Nasarawa State has
ap
proved more than N280 million for the payment of the 2013 bursary allowances to students of the state in higher institutions of learning across the country.
Executive Secretary of the state’s Scholarship Board, Alhaji Abdulwahab Sulaiman,  disclosed this to newsmen  in Lafia last Tuesday.
Sulaiman said the disbursement of the allowances would begin on June 30, at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi.
He explained that a total of 18, 762 of the 19, 678 students who applied for the bursary would benefit from the gesture.
Ogun
The Chairman, Ijebu-Ode Local Government, Mr
Rasak Daddah, has called on women to play active roles in politics at all levels in the coming 2015 general elections.
Daddah who made the call  in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State last Tuesday said that the era of relegating women to the background was over and they needed to engage in healthy competition with their male counterparts.
According to him, women are great agents of change who have impacted positively on the history of the nation.
“Nothing should stop our women from participating actively in politics like the men, regardless of our perceived social norms”, he said.
Osun

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Osun
State has  announced that it has displayed the list of candidates participating in the August 9 gubernatorial election in the state.
The announcement is contained in a statement issued by  the Chief Public Affairs Officer of the electoral body Mrs Nike Tadese, in Osogbo.
The statement quoted Tadese as saying that the public display of the list was in compliance with Section 31,  sub-sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
He said the list was now on display at the state office of INEC and all the 30 local government offices of the commission.

Oyo

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has approved the ap
pointment of five new judges for the State High Court.
This is contained in a statement signed by  Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adebayo Ojo, in Ibadan last Tuesday.
The new judges are: Bolaji Sikeade, Deputy Chief Registrar: Ganiyu Adebayo, Director, Litigation and Advisory Services, Ministry of Justice; Mojisola Sule, Acting Director, Citizens Mediation Centre, Ministry of Justice.
The others are Kamorudeen Olawoyin and Adeyemi Sherifat, who are legal practitioners based in Kano and Ibadan, respectively.
The statement said that the appointment was sequel to the recommendations of the National Judicial Council (NJC), adding that the newly-appointed judges will be sworn in today, Friday, June 20.
Plateau
The suspended Chairman of the Plateau State chapter of the
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Haruna Dabin, said last Tuesday that the crisis in the state chapter would soon be resolved by the party’s national secretariat.
Dabin was suspended at an extraordinary meeting of the State Executive Committee held in Jos, last Monday.
A communiqué issued at the meeting claimed that majority of the members of the State Working Committee of the party (SWC) were dissatisfied with the handling of the party by Dabin.
The communiqué accused Dabin of failure to call periodic meetings refusing to render financial accounts to the party and for instigating some members of party to institute a law suit against it.
The communiqué said that Dabin would remain suspended pending the outcome of investigations by the disciplinary committee, whose report was expected in two weeks.

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Senators Fault Buhari’s Planned Farm Settlements

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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

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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

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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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