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L-R: Saturday Punch Editor, Bisi Deji-Folutile, Sunday Punch Editor, Toyosi Ogunseye, Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, The Punch Editor, Martin Ayankola, Controller of Publication, The Punch Newspapers,  Adeyeye Joseph and Chairman, Editorial Board of the Newspaper, Segun Adediran, during the visit of the Minister to the Newspaper's Head Office in Lagos, yesterday

L-R: Saturday Punch Editor, Bisi Deji-Folutile, Sunday Punch Editor, Toyosi Ogunseye, Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, The Punch Editor, Martin Ayankola, Controller of Publication, The Punch Newspapers, Adeyeye Joseph and Chairman, Editorial Board of the Newspaper, Segun Adediran, during the visit of the Minister to the Newspaper’s Head Office in Lagos, yesterday

Adamawa
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)
has organised a Christmas get-together for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) returnees in Yola, Adamawa State.
Our correspondent reports that the IDPs were largely Nigerians that recently returned from Cameroon Republic.
Speaking during the party, Mr Sa’ad Bello, the agency’s Coordinator in the state, said that the gesture was to give hundreds of the IDPs a sense of belonging.
“This is to show our love and sense of belonging to the IDPs, majority of whom are women and children,’’ he explained.
Bello said the ceremony was organised in all the four major designated camps at Damare, Fufore, Girei and Malkohi camps.
Bauchi
The Secretary, Bauchi State Agency for Nomadic Edu
cation (BASABNE), Alhaji Musa Hardo, has decried the poor condition of most nomadic schools in the state.
Hardo told newsmen in Bauchi that most of the schools were operating under trees and make-shifts improvised buildings provided by their host communities.
According to him, the agency presently has 265 schools, with an enrolment figure of 50,65 pupils and 1,074 teachers respectively.
He, however, said only few of the schools had one block of two classrooms each.
The secretary noted that some of the schools with permanent structures were dilapidated and yearning for renovation and additional classrooms.

FCT
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep re
gret over the loss of lives following gas explosion at an industrial complex in Nnewi, Anambra State.
A statement issued in Abuja by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said the president was greatly shaken and shocked by such large-scale loss of human lives in a single industrial accident.
The president extended his condolences to the families of the victims, the people and the government of Anambra over what he described as “this unfortunate tragedy on Christmas eve’’.
The statement revealed that President Buhari also commisserated with the Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Barkindo Musdafa, over the death of his mother, Hajiya Adda Gombeji, who passed away at the age of 87.
“He has placed a call to condole with the Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, who has equally lost his own mother,” Garba said.

Gombe
No fewer than 35 inmates have regained their freedom
from Gombe Prisons following the payment of their fines by Gombawa Forum, an NGO.
Speaking at a forum to mark their release in Gombe, the Organising Secretary of the NGO, Malam Dahiru Saidu, said the gesture was to decongest the prison and reintegrate the inmates back to society.
He said the NGO paid fines totalling N300,000 on behalf of the inmates, adding that the gesture would equally reduce the burden on the prison authorities.
“Our aims and objectives are to improve positively on the lives of the people of Gombe State and to improve on the general living condition of the people to the best of our ability by advising government on its policies,’’ he said.

Jigawa
The Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in
Jigawa State, Malam Usman Ya’u, has expressed joy over the State Government’s decision to continue payment of the 18,000 minimum wage.
Ya’u, who spoke with newsmen in Dutse said that the gesture would boost morale of civil servants in the state.
“As the head of NLC in Jigawa, I am very excited with the decision of the Jigawa State Government.
“This is because some state governors had a meeting where they said they cannot continue paying the minimum wage.
“So, on behalf of the entire civil servants of the state, I want use this opportunity to commend Badaru for his decision to continue paying the 18,000 minimum wage.
“It will go a long way in boosting our morale, It would also encourage service delivery in the state,” Ya’u said.
Kaduna
A group of Muslim women in Kaduna fed more than 500
Christian inmates in Kaduna prison in order to celebrate Christmas and to promote unity and togetherness among Nigerians.
The leader of the women group, Hajiya Maryam Abubakar, told newsmen in Kaduna that the gesture was to show love to Christians who were incarcerated.
Abubakar, who was received by officials of the prison, said that the food was cooked to join Christians in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
She addded that “we are here to feed inmates who are incacerated in the spirit of togetherness and to join them in celebrating the birth of our noble Prophet Isa.”

Kano
Marketers caught diverting petroleum products in Kano
State will henceforth pay a fine of N150 per litre of the diverted product.
Chairman of the Taskforce on Distribution of Petroleum Products in the state, Alhaji Rabiu Bako, said this during a news conference in Kano.
Bako said the measure was to check the continued fuel shortages being experienced in the state.
Bako, who is also the Commissioner for Commerce in the state, said marketers had not heeded to earlier warnings to desist from sharp practices.
“The decision followed series of warnings by the Task Force to oil marketers in the state to desist from sharp practices and illegal increases in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS),” he said.
He said any marketer found diverting petroleum products would be so sanctioned and also risk forfeiting such products.

Kebbi
Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State has called on
Christians and Muslims to imbibe the spirit of peaceful coexistence as exemplified by Prophet Muhammad and Jesus Christ.
This is contained in a statement issued by Alhaji Abubakar Muazu, the Press Secretary to the governor.
According to the statement, the governor made the call as part of activities to mark this year’s Maulud Nabiyy and Christmas in the state.
He advised adherents of both religions to propagate their faith peacefully, devoid of acrimony and ill will.
He enjoined people to live in peace, love of one another and uphold forgiveness at all times, especially as that would ensure rapid development of society and mankind.

Lagos
A Consultant Urologist, Dr Oseremen Shadrach-
Aisuodione, said that the country did not have enough urologists to attend to the healthcare needs and services of Nigerians.
Shadrach-Aisuodione, who works with College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja, made the call in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
He said that there were not enough urologists considering the large population and that the insufficiency needed to be addressed for better service outcomes.
According to him, there are few number of urologists in Nigeria, currently put at less than 300 in a country of over 170 million people.
Ogun
The Ogun State Police Command says it is ready to part
ner with local hunters to provide adequate security in the state.
The Police Commissioner in the state, Abdulmajid Ali, said this while addressing the hunters at Odeda Police Divisional Headquarters in Odeda Council Area of the state.
Ali said the police had concluded plans to incorporate the hunters and other relevant groups in its security network for more effective policing of the state.
He said no serious police formation would jettison or underrate the role of hunters in intelligence gathering and effective policing of the community.
He assured the hunters of adequate support and protection if they (hunters) were law-abiding and operated within the ambit of the law.

Ondo
The Ondo State House of Assembly has commiserated
with the family of late Soji Akinkurolere, a former member of the assembly.
The House stated this during a ceremonial sitting in honour of the late member of the Seventh Assembly.
The sitting, which was presided by the Speaker, Jumoke Akindele, urged the children of the deceased to keep alive the legacy of their father, whom she said possessed wonderful qualities during his life time.
Akindele described the deceased as someone who didn’t bear grudges and said he discharged his duties effectively.
Earlier, Mr Ifedayo Akinsoyinu, Majority leader and member representing Ondo-West 2 constituency, said the deceased lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation.

Plateau
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has urged eth
nic groups in the country to preserve their languages and save them from extinction.
Lalong made the call at the 2015 Gamai Cultural Festival in Shendam Local Government Area of the state, where he hails from.
He said that languages were vital tools for interacting and expressing ideas, emotions, knowledge, memories and values.
“Languages are also primary vehicles of cultural expressions and intangible cultural heritage, essential to the identity of individuals and groups.
“Safeguarding endangered languages is thus, a crucial task in maintaining cultural diversity, worldwide.
“The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO’s) recent reports on endangered languages shows that half of the 6,700 languages spoken all over the world are in danger of disappearing before the century ends.

Yobe
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai,
has assured residents of the North East of a more peaceful region in 2016.
He gave the assurance after his operational visits to troops locations in parts of Borno and Yobe states.
He said joint forces had within the timeframe given by President Muhammadu Buhari, decimated the Boko Haram sect and substantially destroyed its enclaves on Nigerian territory.
He added that “going by the present pace and momentum of the military operation, no insurgent or group will be able to operate freely by 2016.

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Senate Urges NDDC To Complete Okitipupa Power Sub-Station

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The Senate yesterday in Abuja urged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to complete the installation of a transmission power sub-station in Okitipupa council  of Ondo State.
According to the Senate, completing the installation of the transmission power sub-station is  urgent in order to restore electricity to Ondo South Senatorial District comprising Okitipupa, Ilaje, Ese-Odo, Irele and Odigbo Local Government Areas (LGAs).
This was contained in a statement signed by Mr Olumide Akinrinlola, the media aide of Senator Nicholas Tofowomo, representing Ondo South at the senate.
He said that the senate acted on the motion filed by Tofowomo on, the urgent need to restore power back to the affected area before the end of the year.
The  Senator, who is of  the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lamented that the Southern Senatorial District was hosting the Omotosho Power Plant in Okitipupa LGA with a capacity of 512.8MW and 451MW Net since 2005 without residents benefitting from power supply.
“The situation is embarrassing  because I continue to wonder if Ondo South is part of Nigeria because suffering from electricity blackout for about 14 years has grounded many economic activities.
“Almost 90 per cent of my people have been deprived of electricity since 2007 and since put them uninterrupted darkness.
“The district is hosting the Omotosho Power Plant in Okitipupa LGA with a capacity of 512.8MW and 451MW Net  since 2005 without the people benefiting from the distribution of electricity.
“The intervention came in 2012 by NDDC in a contract; 132KV transmission and 132KV/33KV sub-station and line were  awarded in Okitipupa LGA.
“As at today, 85 per cent of the job has been completed and all the 145 Transmission Line Towers from Omotosho Power Station to the Sub Station has been completed.
“The sub-station’s outstanding works remain 15 per cent of which can be accomplished without delay if all the necessary machinery are put in place.
“The substation can be ready for transmission to the federal feeders in Irele, Odigbo, Ilaje, Ese-Odo and Okitipupa LGA within the shortest possible time,” Tofowomo told the senate.

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Delta Assembly Passes Anti-Grazing Bill

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The Delta State House of Assembly yesterday passed a Bill for a Law Prohibiting Open Grazing, Indiscriminate Breeding, Rearing and Marketing of Livestock in Delta also known as “Anti Grazing Bill”.
The passage of the bill followed a motion for the third reading moved by the Majority Leader of the House, Mr  Ferguson Onwo, during the plenary of the Assembly in Asaba.
The motion which was unanimously adopted by the house, was seconded by the Minority Leader of the Assembly, Mr Innocent Anidi.
Earlier, the Chairman of House Committee on Special Bills,  Mrs Pat Ajudua, had presented the report on the bill on the floor of the House, which was received and adopted.
Ajudua, while presenting the bill,  said that inputs of stakeholders formed part of the proposed law.
She noted that the bill when signed into law would  prohibit the carrying of firearms, either licensed or otherwise, by residents or individuals in the state,  just as it seeks to address the arbitrary rearing and movement of livestock.
In his reaction, the Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, expressed happiness over the development, saying that the people and residents of the state would be very happy that the bill was passed.
“Dear colleagues, I congratulate all of us on the passage of this very important bill.
“Today, the house has fulfilled the commitment of our dear state to the agreement reached at the South-South Governors’ meeting held here in our state capital, Asaba.
“By virtue of this bill, this house has demonstrated its resolve to protect the people of the state from the menace of clashes between herders and farmers.
“I must therefore, commend all the sponsors of this bill, for recognising that the security of lives and property of the people of the state as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) are sacrosanct,” Oborevwori said.
Oborevwori said that with the passage of the bill, well-meaning persons who seek to carry on the business of breeding, rearing and marketing of livestock should do so within the boundaries of the law.
“Also, farmers can now go about their businesses without fear of anyone grazing on their crops.
“This for sure will boost food production in the state; dear colleagues, this Bill is a right step in the right direction as our women can now go to their farmlands without fear of molestation.
“Once again, I thank you all for your untiring support as always and for your resolute commitment in the passage of people oriented bills, such as this.”

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FG Tasks Media On Fight Against Fake News, Misinformation

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The Federal Government has urged the media to complement the government’s efforts in the fight against fake news and misinformation in the country.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha gave the advice yesterday at a training of “Communication Managers on Fake News and Hate Speech’’ in Abuja.
The training was organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms.
Mustapha, represented by Mrs Veronica Agugu, the Director, Public Affairs Department in the office of SGF, described fake news as false and misleading information presented as news.
He urged media practitioners and managers to assist in bridging the divide between governments and citizens in terms of implementation of government reform policies and programmes.
“Strengthening transparency in governance will require public sector to public communication as a tool to systematically raise citizens awareness which in turn would reduce the potency of hate speech in the country,’’ Mustapha said.
Dr Bala Muhammad, a lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano State, described media managers as media literates.
He urged them to unite against fake news and misinformation to promote peaceful co-existence in the country.
Muhammad said that most of the users of social media were not media literate, hence they easily fall for fake news and misinformation in the country.
Mr Yushau Shuaib, one of the resource persons, expressed concern over the huge number of social media users who were not media literate.
Shuaib stressed the need for relevant stakeholders to redouble their efforts in regulating the activities of social media in the country.
Mr Dasuki Arabi, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, said the training was to tackle the growing incidences of fake news, and hate speech occasioned by internet technology in the country.

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