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THE STATES

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Adamawa
The Provost of Adamawa State College of Agriculture, Ganye, Dr Abubakar Yaji, says the school in 1991 had been operating without any of its courses accredited by the relevant government agencies.
Yaji said this on Thursday in Ganye while briefing Gov. Muhammadu Bindow of Adamawa when he visited the school.
The provost said that the school would require N508 million to upgrade its facilities to meet up with requirements for accreditation of its courses.
The provost said that the non-accreditation of courses run by the school had been affecting its graduates from getting jobs and gaining admissions into universities to further their education.

Benue
Two persons, Sewuese Orbunde and Victor Godwin,  were on Thursday arraigned in a Makurdi Magistrates’ Court for selling a baby after birth.
The duo were charged with criminal conspiracy and concealment of birth punishable under sections 97 and 240 of the Penal Code Laws of Benue, 2004.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Gabriel Agbadu , told the court that the case was reported at the State CID, Makurdi, on February  23.
Agbadu said that on February 22, Yaaya Terver of Vigilante Group, Logo 1, Makurdi, arrested and brought Orbunde and Hembadoon Godwin to the ‘E’ Division Police Station, Makurdi.
He said that Terver stated that  Orbunde was carrying a pregnancy as at December 2016 when she travelled to Port Harcourt only to return to Makurdi on January 3, 2017 without the pregnancy and without a child.

FCT
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) says it has earmarked 38 million euros for poverty eradication and empowerment in five countries.
The Chief Executive Officer, NEPAD Nigeria,  Mrs Gloria Akobundu, made this known at a two-day workshop organised by the programme on Tuesday in Abuja.
Akobundu explained that 35 million euros would go for the empowerment programmes, while three million euros had been earmarked for the technical support interventions.
According to her, the three million euros technical interventions will be used in expansion of facilities and training centres and sensitisation and awareness on the programme.
She said NEPAD Nigeria has concluded governance mechanism of the programme at the continental level in South Africa.

Gombe
National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Gombe state, has arrested 20 suspects and confiscated 23.453 kilogrammes of dangerous substances and 16.88 Kg of cannabis sativa between January and February 2017.
Commandant of the agency, Mr Aliyu Adole, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Gombe on Thursday.
According to him, most of those involved in the act are youth and such drugs are dangerous to their health.
“The activity of the agency from January to date was very successful.
“The agency went out in search of drugs peddlers and we were able to arrest 20 suspects with 23.453 kilogrammes of substances of abuse and 16.884 of cannabis,” he said.

Kaduna
The Adamawa Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Ahmadu Waziri, has said that the state government had introduced a database to document farmers’ statistics and check irregularities.
Waziri disclosed this  to newsmen in Zaria on Thursday.
‘‘We have started creating a useful data base of farmers in the state that can be taken anywhere for any intervention.
‘‘This is as a result of the irregularities that have been perpetrated in some states that have started the CBN Anchor-Borrower-Programme,’’ he said.
According to him, the state government is aware that there are issues in some of the pioneer states that have started the programme.
‘‘Before we embark on implementing it in Adamawa, we went round such pioneer states and drawn a number of conclusions.

Kano
The Nigerian Customs Services (NCS), Kano/Jigawa State Area Command has generated N2.8 billion as revenue from January to date.
The command’s Comptroller, Mr Abutu Onaja disclosed this when he received the officials Nigerian Association of Crimes and Judicial Journalists (NACAJJ) Kano State branch who paid him a courtesy call on Thursday in Kano.
He said out of the amount, N1.05 billion was generated in January while the remaining N1.8 billion was collected in February.
Onaja said, “The NCS had never recorded such revenue generation in the history of Kano/Jigawa  State area command. So it is a great achievement.”

Kogi
The Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority ( NIWA), Mr Boss Mustapha, last Thursday said the agency had commenced routine maintenance of the dredged channel of River Niger.
Mustapha confirmed in a statement in Lokoja that the maintenance dredging would only be from Ajaokuta to Onitsha.
He said that the maintenance was to ensure smooth navigation of vessels and barges, adding that the exercise would be carried out by his workers.
The dredging of the 523-kilometre lower River Niger was executed at a cost of N36 billion.

Lagos
A Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Lagos, Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, has approached a Federal High Court, Lagos to challenge his arrest and detention by the Department of State Security Service.
It will be recalled that Gbadamosi was arrested by the DSS in Lagos on February 21, and was immediately taken to Abuja, where he has been in custody.
A fundamental rights suit was consequently filed by a rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, challenging the arrest and detention.
Joined as respondents in the suit are the DSS, the Director, Department of State Security and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

Nasarawa
The 13 local governments in Nasarawa State have collectively approved the sum of N160 million to offset the gratuity of its deceased pensioners.
According to  the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Haruna Iliya-Osegba, the sum was approved by the joint accounts committee involving all local governments and other stakeholders.
Iliya-Osegba told newsmen on Thursday in Lafia, that the money was for pensioners that died between 1997 and July 2016.
He explained, however, that the approved amount was not part of the monthly allocation to the local government pension bureau.

Ogun
A  31-year-old man,  Adeniran Adebisi,   was on Tuesday discharged and acquitted  by  an  Abeokuta Magistrates’  Court over alleged N850,000 fraud.
Adebisi was arraigned  on a  two- count charge of fraud and stealing.
The accused was accused of  fraudulently obtaining  N850,000 from one Adeniyi Adebayo on the pretence of supplying him  assorted  wooden planks.
But the  Magistrate, Mrs Oriyomi Sofowora,  said that based on the evidences tendered before the court, the accused  was  a genuine  wood business man and had actually supplied wood to the complainant.
She consequently discharged the accused.
The prosecutor, Insp  Sunday Eigbejiale, had told the court that the accused  committed  the offences  in June 2014  at Lafenwa in Abeokuta.

Osun
The Osun State Government on Tuesday presented retirement bond certificates worth N1.1billion to the fourth batch of retirees under the state contributory pension scheme.
The state governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, made the presentation through the state Head of Service, Mr Sunday Owoeye, at a seminar organised for workers.
The seminar was organised for them by Pension Fund Administrators to give them a better understanding of what pension schemes were all about.
Aregbesola said that 159 pensioners from the scheme would benefit from the bond, with 100 of the beneficiaries coming from Local Government while the remaining 59 retired primary school teachers.
The governor explained that in a bid to improve the standard of living of pensioners, government had approved the establishment of a data base.

Plateau
Sgt. Apollos Aliyu of ‘A’ Divisional Police Headquaters, Jos, has told a Jos High Court that Stephen Luka, who is standing trial over alleged culpable homicide, had confessed to the crime in a written statement.
Aliyu, the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) in the case, testified against the accused, who had since denied the allegations.
The  accused person is facing a four-count charge of murder, attempted murder, assault and sexual abuse.
He was accused of attacking two sisters – Justina Dusu and Simi Dusu, on July 27, 2016 at his home in Sabon Gari, Tudun Wada, Jos, after they went to confront him over Justina’s pregnancy.
Luka, who allegedly used a machete on the duo when they rejected his insistence on procuring an abortion, was said to have killed Simi, while Justina sustained deep cuts.

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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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