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Benue
A Benue State-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), House of Hilkiah Foundation, says educating the girl-child is a veritable tool that can help to minimise gender-based violence in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, Miss Dorothy Akende said this in an interview with newsmen last Monday in Makurdi.
He, therefore, urged the three tiers of government to focus more on girl-child education.
Akende said that the group had been involved in advocacy, encouraging communities to educate the girl child through its humanitarian services and education initiatives.
The founder of the NGO added that aside supporting education initiatives, the group had continued to fight retrogressive cultural practices on the girl child in the country.

Borno
The Nigerian Army on Sunday said it had foiled a bomb attack and killed three female suicide bombers in Konduga Local Government Council of Borno State.
A statement signed by the Director Army Public Relations Brig. Gen. Sani Usman and made available in Maiduguri on Saturday night, said the incident occurred at Kawuri village of the council.
Usman said that the female suicide bombers were killed when they tried to attack a military formation in the area.
“Troops of 103 Battalion, Operation Lafiya Dole, on Saturday morning, neutralised three female suicide bombers trying to infiltrate their location at Kawuri, Konduga  Local Government Area of Borno State.
“The  female suicide bombers, who were on obvious mission of committing mayhem, were spotted by a vigilant sentry while trying to access the military location.

FCT
The Director-General of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Maj.-Gen. Johnny Hammakim,  says more still need to be done to check violent extremism in the country even though Boko Haram has been degraded.
Hammakim said this last Monday when he declared open a four-day course on “Leadership in Counter-Terrorism and Counter, Violent Extremism’’ for senior military officers, police, para-military personnel and other stakeholders.
The course is organised by the resource centre in collaboration with the Peace Building Development Foundation (PBDF).
Hammakim described terrorism as a dynamic challenge where various issues come up every day.
“The ability to identify those issues and educate these stakeholders is very important that is why we are organising this course,’’ he said.

Gombe
The Gombe State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board (MPWB), says transportation of pilgrims from the state to Saudi Arabia for the 2017 hajj will begin on August 2.
The Secretary, Gombe State MPWB, Alhaji Usman Gurama, announced this last Thursday in Gombe, when he briefed newsmen on activities for the 2017 pilgrimage.
He said that preparations had reached about 95 per cent, and urged the pilgrims to abide by the flight schedule.
“When we talk of preparation for this year’s hajj, as far as Gombe State is concerned, we can say it is almost over, because we have achieved more than 95 per cent level of preparation so far.
“At this material time, we are close to even commencing the airlift of pilgrims.

Kaduna
Governor Nasiru el-Rufa’i of Kaduna State last Sunday appealed to parents to inculcate fear of God in children to ensure decent society and facilitate national growth.
He made the plea at award presentation ceremony for Qur’anic memorisation and Islamic quiz completion held in Zaria.
The competition was organised by Rep. Abbas Tajuddeen (APC Zaria) for schools in 13 wards of his constituency.
el-Rufa’i, represented by Executive Secretary, Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Sheik Hussaini Tsoho-Ikara, said the call was necessary  because fear of God was a key to success.
While stressing the importance of religious education in shaping peoples’ life, el-Rufa’i observed that in life, there was nothing better than engaging in the services of the holy Qur’an.

Kano
The Nigerian Export and Promotion Council (NEPC), has proposed to the Federal Government the approval of five billion naira to support industries in the country.
The NEPC Executive Director Mr  Olusegun Awolowo,  made this disclosure last Monday during an inspection visit to some industries in Kano.
“One of our major aims for this visit is to find out the challenges these companies are facing and find a way to see how we can assist them in addressing them.
“The intervention is part of the Federal Government’s Export Development Fund for industries for pre-shipment incentive for exporters, which has been stopped three years ago,’’ he said.

Lagos
An Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Olawale Oba, has advised pregnant women to embrace vaginal birth rather than Cesarean Section (CS) if they have no medical condition warranting it.
Oba, who is a Senior Registrar, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
“There are so many misconceptions about CS and vaginal birth; some women think that giving birth through vagina can slack their vagina.
“Some women are asking for cesarean section based on the fact that vaginal birth is painful.

Nasarawa
The Nasarawa State House of Assembly in Lafia last Wednesday passed a resolution, urging Gov.Umar Al-makura to arrest, prosecute and sack government officials found diverting fertilisers in the state.
The resolution was sequel to a motion on the matter, which was moved by Assemblyman Abubakar Kana (APC-Kokona West), Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi, said that such action would serve as a deterrent to others and help in boosting food production in the state.
He called on farmers to report any case of diversion of fertilisers in their communities to the appropriate authorities for necessary action.

Niger
Wife of the Niger State Governor and founder, RAISE Foundation Cancer Screening Centre, Dr Amina Bello, said last Thursday that the foundation would partner with the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), to empower women in the state.
Bello said this when members of the state chapter of the association paid her a courtesy visit in Minna.
The foundation, an NGO, was established to raise awareness and spur affirmation on issues affecting the survival and growth of women and the girl-child.
Bello said that through the partnership, both organisations would engage in advocacy for improved reproductive health rights,awareness campaign on maternal and child health and development of the girl-child.

Ogun
For breaking into a church and stealing a set of drums valued at N75,000, a 44-year-old man, Prosper Onaka, is to spend the next three years in prison, an Ogun State court ruled last Monday.
An Ota Magistrates’ Court ordered that Prosper Onaka should be sent to jail for three years for breaking into a church and stealing a drum set worth N75,000.
The Senior Magistrate, Mr S.O. Banwo, who gave the ruling, did not give the convict an option of fine.
The Tide source eports that Prosper, whose address is unknown, had pleaded guilty to a two-count charge of stealing and burglary brought against him.
Earlier, the Prosecutor, Sgt. Chudu Gbesi, told the court that the accused committed the offences on July 11 at 6.30.p.m. at Iyana-Iyesi near Ota.

Osun
Governor Rauf Aregbesola of  Osun State has described the death of the popular  playwright, Adebayo Faleti, as a huge loss to the Yoruba language and cultural heritage.
In a condolence message issued on Monday in Osogbo by his media aide, Mr Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola said Faleti was a ‘complete man of the theatre – an actor, director, choreographer and designer ’ who created performance spaces influenced by traditional architectural forms. ‘’
He said  the appearance and dressing of Faleti spoke  volumes of his origin, adding that he was always ready to advocate the  promotion of Yoruba language and culture.
”I received with great sadness, news of the passing away of one of Nigeria’s gifted scholars, culture icons, nationalists and top-on-the-shelf dramatists, Pa Adebayo Faleti.
”The death of the playwright, theatre director and teacher was a huge loss not only to the creative world alone but also to the world of Yoruba language and culture heritage which he promoted till his death,’’ he said.

Yobe
A team of 25  doctors and other medical personnel have conducted successful surgeries, blood transfusions, emergency cases and general consultations for 650 patients at a medical outreach in Buni-Yadi, Yobe State.
Chairman MaiGoje Foundation, Dr Mohammed Goje,  disclosed this in an interview with newsmen last Sunday in Damaturu.
He said the foundation, Smile Mission and Edushine Organisation on Saturday, organised the outreach to provide healthcare service to the people.
According to him, the decision to organise the retreat is due to lack of functional health institution in Buni Yadi since the residents returned after their displacement by insurgents.
Goje said the doctors came from Kano, Abuja, Lagos, Maiduguri and Damaturu to provide free medical services to the community.
He said the outreach attended to cases of gynecology, pediatrics, dental, ear, nose and throat, and general ailments.

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Group Urges Police To Apologise To Protesters

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The Alliance on Surviving Covid-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), has asked the Nigeria Police to apologise for violating the fundamental right of the protesters to freedom of expression.
A statement by the human rights group yesterday, by its Interim Chair, Femi Falana (SAN), also accused the police of deliberately contravening Section 83 (4) of the Police Establishment Act 2020. 
The section provides that “Where a person or organization notifies the police of his or its intention to hold a public meeting, rally or procession on a public highway or such meetings in a place where the public has access to, the police officer responsible for the area where the meeting rally or procession will take place shall mobilize personnel to provide security cover for the meeting, rally or the procession.”
The group noted that Section 36 of the Constitution guarantees the fundamental right of the Nigerian people to freedom of expression including the right to protest against policies of the government. 
Many Nigerians in many states across the country trooped out on Saturday, June 12 to mark the day– Democracy Day – with protests against bad governance. 
The protesters chanted ‘Buhari must go’ in apparent dissatisfaction with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government that has seen security, economy, youth employment rate and some other sectors and indices worsen. 
However, there were arrests and harassment of peaceful protesters by the policex particularly in Abuja, Lagos and Cross River. 
The group in the statement said, “For having the audacity to insist on their fundamental right to protest against unpopular policies of governments, teams of armed police personnel fired teargas to disperse the peaceful rallies. As if the unprovoked attack was not enough, the Police brutalised and arrested scores of protesters in Lagos, Abuja and Calabar (Cross River State capital). 
“Since the protesters who were arrested during the peaceful rallies did not commit any offence, they have since regained their liberty. But the police authorities ought to apologise for violating the fundamental right of the protesters to freedom of expression.
“More so that the Police had deliberately contravened Section 83 (4) of the Police Establishment Act 2020 which provides that ‘Where a person or organization notifies the police of his or its intention to hold a public meeting, rally or procession on a public highway or such meetings in a place where the public has access to, the police officer responsible for the area where the meeting rally or procession will take place shall mobilise personnel to provide security cover for the meeting, rally or the procession.’
“While commending the protesters for conducting the themselves in a matured and peaceful manner, we condemn the official lie that the protesters were teargassed to prevent hoodlums and miscreants from hijacking the peaceful rallies. Since the Police admitted that protesters committed no offence whatsoever why were some of them arrested? Why were the so-called hoodlums and miscreants who wanted to cause mayhem and unleash violence on the protesters not arrested? 
“Or were they treated like sacred cows because they had been hired to disrupt the peaceful rallies of the protesters? Why were the scanty pro-government protesters who were reported to have fought openly in Abuja over their booty not arrested for breach of the peace in the Federal Capital Territory?

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‘MKO Most Acceptable Nigerian Democrat’

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Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has described the late Chief Moshood Abiola, widely believed to have won the June 12, 1993 presidential poll, as “the most acceptable democrat cherished by Nigerians”.
Mohammed said this in Gamawa Local Government Area (LGA) of the state during the distribution of empowerment items to youths and women under the Kaura Economic Empowerment Programme (KEEP).
He said the empowerment scheme historic as it coincided with Democracy Day which he described as an unforgettable day in the history of Nigeria.
The governor, who was full of praises for the late business mogul, said Abiola provided the country with a lot of empowerment programmes without considering the tribe, language and geographical location of the beneficiaries.
“Our launching of this empowerment programne today is historic and passionate; we remember today is democracy day and we decided to do it on this day.
“This is because Chief Moshood Abiola, who we are celebrating, empowered several people.
“He did that across board without considering the religion, language and origin of those that benefited from the gestures.
“Abiola will remain in our memory as the most acceptable democrat or politician in Nigeria.
“We all voted for him and that is why myself, my deputy and the government decided honour to him this day by coming to Gamawa and Zaki to empower the people,” he said.
Mohammed noted that democracy day meant remembering people who had empowered the masses, adding that the late Abiola was in that category.
The gesture, he said, was also to show appreciation to the people who brought his administration to power, adding that his government had a lot to offer to the people.

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Buhari, Bello Greet Abubakar At 79

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President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated former Head of State, retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, on his 79th birthday, joining family members and friends to celebrate with the iconic leader.
The president’s congratulatory message is contained in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja yesterday.
Buhari noted that Abubakar’s legacy of setting the country on the path of democracy and good governance, and passionate pursuit of peace had continued to yield results.
He congratulated the General for another age, appreciating his patriotism and visionary leadership style of always advocating unity, projecting maturity and wisdom on national discourse, and providing a rallying point for the future of the country.
The president noted the goodwill that the former Head of State had continued to attract to the country, both at national and international levels.
He particularly lauded him for sacrificing his time and resources to reach out to individuals and institutions on the need to work for the growth of Nigeria.
Buhari prayed for increase in wisdom, strength and long life for the former military leader that midwifed return of democracy to the country in 1999.
Similarly, Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger has felicitated former Military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd), on his 79th birthday.
Sani-Bello, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs Mary Noel-Berje, last Saturday in Minna eulogised Abubakar and described him as a “complete gentleman”.
According to him, the former head of state is a patriot who has remained “consistent and significant” in the progress and development of the country.
He said Niger and the country were indeed lucky to have an outstanding leader and statesman who had consistently remained on the path of promoting national unity and integration, as well as pursuit of global peace.
“Undoubtedly, your resolve to rededicate yourself to the service of our fatherland and humanity in general is a clear testimony of your statesmanship and influence which cuts across the length and breadth of the country,” Sani-Bello said.
He noted that at 79 years, Abdulsalami had remained a reference point for good governance, diplomacy and conflict resolution.
He prayed Allah to grant him sound health, many more years of wisdom, courage and determination to continue to offer selfless service to the nation and humanity.

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