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Nigeria Faces Desertification, NCF Warns

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Nigeria is losing about a half kilometre of its land mass annually to desert encroachment and it is only a matter of time before the entire country becomes a desert.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Dr Muktari Aminu-Kano who raised the alarm in Lagos, yesterday, made the disclosure at the 2018 edition of the Green Ball series with theme: “Green Recovery Nigeria: Restoring Mangroves and Reclaiming the Desert.”
Aminu-Kano said that mangroves were also being lost in the Niger Delta and that the nation had already lost up to 95 per cent of its forest cover.
He warned that urgent measures must be taken to curb deforestation and forest degradation to stop what he described as ugly consequences of climate change for the nation.
The NCF chief also warned on the “firewood crisis,’’ saying that the problem must be addressed to discourage use of firewood for cooking.
He stressed the need to strengthen the Green Recovery Nigeria scheme aimed at retaining a significant proportion of Nigeria’s landmass under forest.
Aminu-Kano also called for sustained intensive awareness campaign among all tiers of governments to change the practice of tree felling to tree planting.
He noted that government must have to promote clean sources of cooking energy to protect the nation’s forests from being used as firewood.
“Green Recovery Nigeria is our push to bring the agenda that Nigeria is pathetically losing 95 per cent of its forest cover and we have only five per cent left.
“350,000 hectares of land are being lost annually to desertification and the land lost is about 0.6, which is about half a kilometre every year.
“If you think you live in Lagos and it cannot reach you, it will only take some time. Imagine the annual movement of 0.6 kilometres,’’ he said.
The Chairman of the NCF Board of Trustees, Chief Philip Asiodu, in a speech, recalled that Nigeria entered an agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1988 to restore 25 per cent of its forest cover.

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Kwara Reaffirms Use Of Hijab In Public Schools

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The Kwara state government has reaffirmed the use of the hijab by willing Muslim schoolgirls, in all categories of public schools in the state.
The Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Sa’adatu Moddibo-Kawu, made this known yesterday at a meeting with stakeholders.
It was during a peaceful meeting between Muslim and Christian stakeholders of Ijagbo, Oyun Local Government area, held at the Ministry’s  Headquarters, Ilorin on Tuesday.
A statement issued by Mr Yakub Aliagan, the Press Secretary, Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, to newsmen, yesterday, confirmed the development.
It said the policy statement of the Kwara state government allowing willing Muslim schoolgirl to wear the hijab in all public schools, including grant-aided ones, was binding.
“This conforms with the judicial pronouncements of the courts of law and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” it said.
The statement said the commissioner, therefore, appealed to both Muslim and Christian leaders to allow peace to reign in the state.
Hajia Modibbo-Kawu thereafter directed the school heads of Oyun Baptist High School, Ijagbo, to immediately implement the policy statement on the use of the hijab in public schools.
The Commissioner warned that anybody trying to sabotage the peaceful coexistence amongst the people of Kwara would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
According to the statement, the meeting was also attended by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, the Teaching Service Commission and TESCOM Board members, ANCOPSS/ NUT members.
Also in attendance were the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Ijagbo, Rev. Samuel Ajayi, Chairman Muslim Stakeholders, Offa & Oyun LGA, Abubakar AbdulWasiu and the Chairman, Kwara state Muslim stakeholders, among others.

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Sanwo-Olu Extols AIG Odumosu’s Service In Lagos

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday praised the performance of Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Hakeem Odumosu (rtd), as Commissioner of Police (CP) in Lagos State.
Sanwo-Olu gave the commendation during the Farewell/Pulling-Out Parade in honour of AIG Hakeem Odumosu, held at the Police College, Ikeja.
He said that the announcement of Odumosu as CP of Lagos on Nov. 14, 2019, came with lots of high expectations for his job.
“His appointment at that time welcomed very high expectation, that his arrival will bring the much needed succour that a lot of Lagosians were crying for, because of all of the various security challenges in the state then.
“Their expectation was certainly not unfounded, based on his very deep knowledge of the nooks and crannies of the state, his very deep knowledge of all the security architecture in the state.
“Tango One, as we all used to call him then, came with a wealth of experience and was evidence when he introduced several innovative approaches to the schedule and duties of his men in the command.
“Of course, those approaches led to better improved security of life and property.
“Who can forget ‘Tango One’, who can forget what he stood for? Tango One came, he saw and he conquered.
“I am indeed, happy to stand as your governor to say that you have served your state, you have served the citizens of the state, you have served the Lagos State Command, the Nigeria Police Force and served them with everything you have, ‘Tango One’, thank you very, very much,” the governor said.
He said that the promotion of Odumosu to the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police, Federal Operations, Abuja, was well deserved, owing to his outstanding performance in the Police Force generally.
According to him, AIG Odumosu is an outstanding and courageous police officer, who did his best to discharge his constitutional duty, professionally, especially at very difficult and extremely challenging times.
“Today, we celebrate a man whose brilliance in nature kept him in good stead with his peers and subordinates alike, while his unique character ensure that discipline was respected and maintained all around the command.
“AIG Odumosu, AKA ‘Tango One’ is pulling out today, with a loud ovation to his good works and the laudable achievements in Lagos State Police Command, and indeed, the entire Nigeria Police Force,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, who was represented by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), coordinating the South-West Zone, Johnson Kokumo, congratulated Odumosu for meritorious service to the fatherland.
“He has been able to do this without blemish. He did his best to contribute to the tranquility of the country.

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Reps Urge IGP To Probe Alleged Murder Of Two In Enugu

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The House of Representatives has urged the Inspector General of Police to investigate the alleged murder of Mrs Monica Okwuibe and Mrs Nkiruka Anyaegbunam, which occurred in Enugu on Jan. 6.
The resolution, which also called for the probe of attempted murder of Mrs Chidinma Benita Anyaegbunam, was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Nnolim Nnaji (PDP-Enugu state) at plenary on Tuesday.
Moving the motion earlier, Nnaji recalled that on Jan. 6, Mrs Monica Okwuibe and Mrs Nkiruka Anyaegbunam were allegedly murdered by unknown armed men.
According to him, there was also an attempted murder of Mrs Chidinma Benita Anyaegbunam of Edumegu, Okorouba–Ozalla autonomous community in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu state.
The lawmaker said that the acts were committed at Obosi in Anambra on the day that Mrs Chidinma Anyaegbunam was conducting the burial ceremony of her late husband, Mr Onyedika Jeremiah Anyaegbunam, who died on 6 Dec., 2021.
“At about 6.00 p.m., on the said date, three masked gunmen forcefully entered the compound of the bereaved Anyaegbunam family in Obosi and shot sporadically, scaring away mourners with the intent of locating Mrs Chidinma Benita Anyaegbunam, who ran for safety.
“The assailants searched for Mrs Chidinma Anyaegbunam and threatened to kill her if she did not confess what happened to their late brother, Mr Onyedika Anyaegbunam; to which she pleaded for her life to be spared or be made to swear an oath.
“But she was shot severally leaving her in critical condition of which she is currently in the intensive care unit under life support at the hospital,’’ Nnaji said.
The Rep said that Mrs Monica Okwuibe (mother of Mrs Chidinma Anyaegbunam was shot to death instantly, while Mrs Nkiruka Anyaegbunam (Mrs Chidinma’s sister–inlaw, who accommodated her during her ordeal with her late husband’s family members), was equally shot to death;
“The suspects, who perpetrated the heinous crime and unlawful act against humanity, are allegedly brothers– in–law to Mrs Chidinma with unidentified accomplices, who had nurtured their plans since the death of Mr Onyedika, and forcefully took away his house and other properties from the young widow under false allegations,’’ he said.
The lawmaker said that the deteriorating health condition of Mrs Chidinma Anyaegbunam, who has left concerned Nigerians apprehensive of her survival and thus requires urgent attention in a more equipped medical facility.
Nnaji said that two of the suspects were presently in police custody in Awka, but one key suspect was still at large with no information from the public.
He said there is need to condemn such odious acts where widows are subjected to illicit, unpleasant livelihood and deprivations at the death of their husbands in a bid to confiscate properties.
The legislators urged the IGP to take over the case from the Anambra police command and place the only surviving victim in the hospital under police protection
The Reps also urged the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian, Disaster and Social Development, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and the Human Rights Commission to assist Mrs Chidinma Benita Anyaegbunam get justice.

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