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THE STATES

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Adamawa

The Adamawa State Government has set up a powerful committee to handle the closure of all Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the state.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Ahmed Sajoh, told newsmen in Yola at the end of the state security meeting.
The state government had on December 28, 2016, announced plans to close the IDPs camps across the state in January 2017.
Sajoh said that the committee would liaise with all relevant stakeholders on how to evacuate the IDPs to their respective states and shut down the camps.

Benue

A former Military Governor of Benue State, Retired Brig.- Gen. Atom Kpera, has been selected to head the committee for the coronation of the fifth Tor Tiv.
The decision was taken in Makurdi at the end of a meeting between Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue and the Tiv Traditional Council.
Kpera also chaired the burial committee of the late Tor Tiv, Alfred Akawe Torkula, who ruled for 24 years.
At the meeting, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Titus Zam, was also selected to serve as the secretary of the committee.

Borno

The Nigerian Army says it has killed three female suicide bombers when they tried to ram into troops along Dutse area in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno.
The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.- Gen. Lucky Irabor, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Maiduguri.
Irabor said the three female suicide bombers were intercepted following an intelligence report on their going toward Limankara in Gwoza Council.
“Just this morning, we intercepted the bombers but the three of them resisted and tried to ram into our troops. And of course, we had no choice but to open fire on them,” he said.
Jigawa

The Jigawa Savings and Loans Company says it has sold 93 houses in Mobile Base, Dutse to civil servants in 2016 in the state.
The Managing Director, Alhaji Babangida Umar, made this known to newsmen in an interview in Dutse.
Umar said that the one-bed-room house apartments were given to beneficiaries at affordable prices.
He explained that the initial 10 per cent of the value of the houses had been paid by beneficiaries, adding that the remaining money was expected to be paid within 10 years.

Kaduna

Governor Nasiru el-Rufai of Kaduna State, has advised the state chapter of the Nigerian Legion to venture into profitable business to assist its members.
The governor gave the advice in Kaduna at the 2017 Emblem Launch of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration.
The governor, represented by Speaker of the state Assembly, Aminu Shagali, noted that venturing into profitable business would enhance the financial liability of the association and make its members self reliant.
He urged residents of the state and Nigerians to live in peace with one another to engender socio-economic development of the state and the country.

Kebbi

The Emir of Gwandu and Chairman of Kebbi State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Muhammadu Bashar, has urged the new local government sole administrators in the state to ensure rapid socio-economic development in their respective areas.
The monarch gave the advice when he received the new sole administrator of Birnin Kebbi Local Government, Alhaji Sulaiman Kardi, who paid him a courtesy visit in Birnin Kebbi.
“I congratulate you and your colleagues on your appointment as sole administrators and I also want to remind you of numerous tasks before you”, he said.
Bashar also enjoined the administrators not to interfere unnecessarily in the affairs of traditional institutions in their respective areas.

Kogi

The Centre for Ethics and Self Value Orientation (CESVO),
Lokoja, has bestowed the year 2016 “Ambassador of Ethics and Conscience’’ Award on Kogi Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya.
CESVO is an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), exposing corruption, promoting ethical leadership, education and value re-orientation.
Presenting the award to the commissioner in Lokoja, the Executive Director of the NGO, Mr Salih Yakubu, said the recipient’s personal leadership traits were independently assessed in some key thematic areas.

Kwara

The Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) in Kwara State has commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigeria military over their victory against Boko Haram insurgents in Sambisa forest in Borno.
The Coordinator of OPC Mr Maruf Olanrewaju, made the commendation in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin.
Olanrewaju said that the Federal Government deserved to be lauded for the destruction of the insurgents base, which he said, signaled their defeat in Borno.
He said the feat was in line with the electioneering campaign of the president, and urged the military personnel, who he said, made the victory possible,  not to relent in their efforts to finally dislodge the group from the country.

Nasarawa

A Mararaba Upper Area Court in Nasarawa State, has remanded a 25-year-old driver, Paul Oluwa and his conductor, Yahaya Danboyi, 28, in prison for alleged conspiracy and theft.
The area judge, Mr Ibrahim Shekarau, ordered that the duo should be remanded in Keffi prison after the accused persons denied the allegation leveled against them. Shekarau adjourned the case till January 26 for hearing.
The prosecutor , Cpl. Heman Donald , told the court that Abubakar Mohammed of Kerimo, FCT, Abuja, reported the matter at the ‘A’ Division Police Station, Mararaba, Nasarawa State.
Niger

Bandits and cattle rustlers have killed 400 people in Niger East Senatorial District in 2016, according to Mr David Umaru, the senator representing the area.
Umaru, who briefed newsmen on the deteriorating security situation in the crises-ridden area, in Minna, said that the bandits raped and abducted several women and girls, while thousands of livestock were rustled.
Umaru, chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary and Human Rights, further disclosed that communities bordering Kaduna State were more vulnerable as bandits consistently used the sorrounding forest as escape route. He named communities worst affected by the attacks to include Kaure, Kusasun, Mwaignu, Sabon Gida, Kwaki, Ajata, Kushaka, Bagna, Bassa/Kukoki, Allawa in Shiroro and Rafi Local Government Areas.

Ogun

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo  has denied allegations that he influenced the arrest of the Chairman of Globacom Telecoms Limited, Chief Mike Adenuga,  by the EFCC in 2006.
Obasanjo’s denial is contained in his  letter to the Awujale of Ijebu land, Oba Sikiru Adetona, who had made sundry allegations against the former president in his recently published autobiography.
A copy of the letter dated December 30, 2016, was made available to newsmen in Abeokuta. Obasanjo said that while he was Nigeria’s civilian president, the EFCC was free to do its job as it deemed fit.
Ondo

A 35 year-old trader, Ebunoluwa Akinya, who allegedly defrauded a man of N400,000 on the pretext of selling land to him, is to remain in police custody till January 10, an Okitipupa Magistrates’ Court in Ondo State has ruled.
The Magistrate, Mr Banji Ayeomoni, who gave the order, directed the police to carry out necessary proper investigation in the case.
The accused is facing a charge of advance free fraud to which he pleaded not guilty.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Insp. Zedekiah Orogbemi told the court that the accused committed the offence on September 10 at No. 2, Akinwunmi St. Okitipupa.

Osun

The Osun State Government says the monthly payment of N5,000 by the Federal Government to vulnerable Nigerians will reduce poverty, crime and other social vices in the country.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Director of Bureau of Communication and Strategy Office of the Governor, Mr Semiu Okanlawon, in Osogbo .
It said the Federal Government’s gesture, couple with the Osun government monthly payment of N10,000 to vulnerable elderly persons in the state, would reduce hunger among the citizenry.
The statement added that the implementation of the N-Power programme in which youths would be paid N30,000 monthly, would reduce youth restiveness and kidnapping in the country.
Oyo

Governor  Abiola Ajimobi of  Oyo State says his administration  will  introduce  a workers  evaluation system to enhance efficiency and service delivery.
The governor disclosed this at the 2017 Annual Inter-Religious Service organised by the Oyo State Government in Ibadan to mark the beginning of the New Year.
Ajimobi said the state’s  civil service had improved tremendously and that  government had created a unit to evaluate and compensate efficiency, and urged the labour unions to be proactive, creative, innovative and engage the government.
Also speaking, the state’s  Head of Service, Mr Soji Eniade,  said the restructuring exercise was to sanitise the system and make the workers function well.

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Cleric Wants Review Of Retirement Age For Civil Servants To 70

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Rev. Fr. Godfrey Gopep, Parish Priest of St. Finbarr’s Catholic Church, Rayfield, Jos, has appealed to the Federal Government to review the retirement age for civil servants from 60 to 70 years.
Gopep made the plea in his sermon yesterday in Jos, adding that such move would address some of the challenges that retirees in the country were currently facing.
The cleric, who decried the rising spate of unemployment in the country, added that the move would also reduce incidences of falsification of age by people in order to be employed.
He added that it would also enable those who would be employed late to enjoy some good years in service before retiring.
“Because of scarcity of jobs and high rate of unemployment in the country, most people get to be employed are in their 40s.
“So, I want to call on the Federal Government to review the retirement age of civil servants from 60 to 70 years.
“If this is done, those who get employed a bit late can also have a enough time to contribute their quota to the development of the nation.
“It will also curtail the act where people have to reduce their ages just so that they can get employed and also spend some good years in service,” he said.
Gopep called on government at all levels to create job opportunities in the country and an enabling environment for private sector to thrive so as to create jobs as well.

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Lalong Seeks End To Divisive Actions Among Nigerians

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Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, yesterday urged Nigerians to shun divisive actions such as hate speeches and fake news for the peace and unity of the country.
The governor made the call at an interdenominational church service in Jos to mark the 61st Independence of Nigeria.
He said such acts were inimical to the nation’s progress, adding: “we must come together and solve our problems because no one can build Nigeria for us.’’
He said the country’s challenges, especially insecurity, would be overcome and urged Nigerians to be grateful for the country’s progress so far in spite of the challenges.
“God has indeed been faithful to Nigeria and we must be grateful,’’ he said.
Governor Lalong said also that Nigeria was blessed with abundant human and natural resources, but required unity, tolerance, sincerity, loyalty and patriotism to maximise such resources for its development.
According to him, commitment from the leadership and followership was critical to achieve the feat.
“There is no nation which is great today that has refused to embrace diversity, tolerance, excellence, good work ethics, and a national philosophy that is based on honesty, reward for hard work and punishment for deviance,’’ he said.
He added that Nigerians were known as a highly religious people which should be demonstrated by showing love to all irrespective of ethnic, religious or political differences.
“We must stop being religious and start being godly,’’ the governor stressed.
He noted that the security challenges were setbacks Plateau’s Progress and assured the people that he was determined to put an end to them while calling for the cooperation of residents especially religious and community leaders to achieve the objective.
“I call on you to play your part in securing your immediate community and giving prompt information to security agencies to be able to act appropriately,’’ he said.
He also called on Nigerians to intensify prayers and vigilance as security agencies and government worked towards defeating perpetrators and sponsors of crises.
Governor Lalong assured Plateau people that the Oct. 9 local council polls in the state would be conducted peacefully.
In his homily, the Deputy Chaplain of Government House Chapel, Rev. Ezekiel Dewan, admonished Nigerians to shun negative narratives as there is power in the tongue.
He called for prayers for God’s intervention and mercy on Plateau and on Nigeria, as God instructs his people to not only pray for their leaders, but also for the cities they live in.
Special prayers were conducted for leaders, governments and the nation at the service.

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Why I Shunned APGA Guber Campaign Flag-Off-Bianca Ojukwu

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Mrs Bianca Ojukwu said in Awka yesterday that she shunned Saturday’s flag-off of APGA governorship campaign to protest “post-mortem disrespect’’ to her deceased husband.
She laid the blame of the “post-mortem disrespect’’ to Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu on the doorstep of APGA’s leadership.
Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and Dr Ifeanyi Ibezim, APGA’s governorship and deputy governorship candidates, respectively, kick-started their 2021 campaign at on Saturday.
Bianca was conspicuously absent at the event unlike previous mega political activities held by APGA, a party that branded late Ojukwu as the spiritual leader of the party.
Another obvious sign which made some political observers note that there was serious crack in the party was the removal of Ojukwu’s image on the customised uniform of APGA worn by people at the event.
Some party faithful, however, wore the old uniform bearing the image of the Eze Igbo Gburugburu, Dim Ojukwu, to the event.
Bianca described as an affront, the treatments to her late husband by the present leadership of APGA.
“It is an irony that today Governor Willie Obiano has resuscitated Dim Ojukwu’s pictures for use in campaigning for the upcoming elections in Anambra.
“This is the height of opportunism and hypocrisy. Is Ojukwu not the same man Obiano once described as a dead man who was no longer relevant to the party?
“Why should I permit him to keep trampling on the legacy of my late husband who put his heart and soul into this party?
“Ojukwu should not be like a light switch to be turned on for party campaign, and turned off once the election is won,’’ she said.
The former Nigerian ambassador to Spain, expressed displeasure at the decision of APGA’s leadership to expunge her husband’s image from APGA uniform and other insignia of the party.
“It is most unfortunate that Gov. Obiano decided to remove the picture of Ojukwu and replace same with his picture just to drive home his statement that `he would no longer tie the fate and fortunes of APGA to the memory of a dead man’, obviously in reference to my husband,’’ Bianca said.
She listed other ill-treatments meted to her and the deceased husband and maintained that her presence at Saturday’s flag-off would have been an endorsement to the defrauding of scores of aspirants by the party during the party’s primary in the year 2018.
“It is unfortunate that the same APGA election managers that were responsible for the disastrous 2018 party primaries which resulted in severe damage to the party’s brand were also left to handle APGA’s campaign flag-off.
“Any political party that consistently robs its own members will not endure, APGA inclusive,’’ she noted.
She also lamented that the report of the Sen. Victor Umeh-led Peace and Reconciliation Committee that visited her in Enugu few weeks ago which pointed the way forward for APGA, had been discarded by the governor and the party leadership.
Bianca, however, indicated that she remained hopeful that in spite of APGA’s current travails that the party has a fair chance of producing the next governor of the state.
She described the party as presently constituted as a field of ‘sorrow’ for so many walking wounded…from aggrieved aspirants, party members at the grassroots, as well as party stakeholders.
Reacting to Bianca’s charges, Mr C-Don Adinuba, Director Media, Soludo Governorship Campaign Organisation, said that the omission of Ojukwu’s image on APGA uniform was not a ploy to insult late Ojukwu and his family.
“It was a mistake by the person who handled the recent uniform the party printed,’’ he said.
Adinuba who is also Anambra Commissioner for Information said he was confident that Bianca had nothing against Prof. Soludo as APGA’s candidate.
“I am sure that in the next couple of days Bianca will join the campaign tour of Prof. Soludo,’’ he said.

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