Connect with us

News

‘Little To Show For Billions Spent In North-East’

Published

on

The Chairman of the North East Development Commission (NEDC), Major General Paul Tarfa (rtd), has said that despite the billions of dollars spent annually in northeast Nigeria, there is no significant change in the lives of the suffering population of the region.
Tarfa gave the damning verdict yesterday at a one-day roundtable to review the northeast peace building initiative.
Represented by Chief David Sabo Kente, a Federal Commissioner Representing Northeast in the NEDC, Tarfa pointed to systemic and institutional failings.
Tarfa noted that up till the present moment, if not well managed with the right political will devoid of vested interest, the northeast crisis still poses the most potent existential threat to the country.
He recalled that the conflict in the northeast provoked by Boko Haram resulted in widespread displacement, violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, protection risks and a deepening humanitarian crisis.
Tarfa further said the prolonged humanitarian crisis has had a devastating impact on food security and nutrition in the northeast, with millions of people in need of emergency food aid.
Tarfa took note of the series of intervention programmes initiated from the inception of the crisis by the Federal Government.
He also took note of the intervention programmes initiated by the organised private sector to complement and support the efforts of the government in stabilising the northeast, amongst others.
“The international community has also supported Nigeria because in the 21st century knowledge-based global economy, the insecurity of one nation is a threat to the security of the world.
“In this vein, the World Bank recently approved USD775 million in IDA credit to rebuild the livelihoods of those badly affected by the crisis, address drivers of fragility and bring long term development to a region affected by insecurity. The recovery programme consists of six projects and focuses on basic education and health services, agricultural production, and livelihood improvement opportunities. It draws from the Recovery and Peace Building Assessment (RPBA) carried out by the World Bank Group, the United Nations and the European Union.
“This year, the United Nations and partners are appealing for $848 million for 183 projects to be implemented by 69 humanitarian organisations, including the United Nations and international/national NGOs. As of 31 March 2019, 51.3 million (six percent) of the funds have been received.
“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, despite this enormous resources spent in the past and present on projects and programmes of both local and international actors, the impact analysis which is reflected in the current troubling statistics shows that billions of dollars is being spent annually without any significant change in the lives of the suffering population of the northeast. It is however instructive to say that ‘something systemic and institutional is definitely wrong,’” Tarfa said.
Tarfa further added that if development stakeholders honestly wanted to save lives, stabilize the situation, and rebuild lives and communities for the future, then they must courageously interrogate their conscience, re-examine their character and evaluate the integrity of their intentions.
“We must be fearless in confronting vested interests who are profiteers and merchants of war, chaos and crisis. We must re-calibrate our principles to be consistent with the fundamental values that uphold the dignity of humanity,” Tarfa added.
Earlier, Tarfa said up to three million people were estimated to suffer from critical food insecurity in the northeast, with almost a million children ages six months to five years acutely malnourished, and 440,000 facing severe malnutrition.
He also recalled the Borno State Government’s submission that the state warehouses over 40,000 orphans, 57,000 widows and about 500,000 displaced persons in the most deplorable conditions, with United Nation’s estimate of infrastructure loss in the region to the tune of $9 billion.
On his part, the Director-General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Professor Bakut Tswah Bakut, said the institute decided to host scholars and experts on matters of peace and conflict to share knowledge and experiences on how best to recover and sustain peace in the northeast sub-region.
Bakut added that Boko Haram activities in the Northeast have caused many security challenges, hence the need to engage multilateral peace building efforts to combat radicalisation and ethno-religious strife in order to help the NEDC achieve its objectives.

Continue Reading

News

RSU, IAUOE Join Varsity Workers Strike. Today

Published

on

Workers of Nigerian universities will begin a nationwide “warning” strike today following the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum given the Federal Government to address issues of Earned Allowances, sacked workers of university staff schools and other issues affecting their members and the university system.
President of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Chairman of Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU, Samson Ugwoke, told newsmen that the strike would be “total and comprehensive”.
Ugwoke pointed out that already, their members have been mobilised, while all the non-teaching staff in the university system across the federation have been directed to stay at home from today.
The SSANU president, however, said it would last for five days, from Monday to Friday, to serve as a warning to the Federal Government.
“Yes, the strike will start on Monday, and it will be comprehensive and total. It will last for five days – Monday to Friday. To ensure its success, we have already mobilised all our members, and they have been directed to stay away from work from Monday,” Ugwoke said.
The unions, under the Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU, had issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to meet their demands or face a nationwide strike.
The unions said the strike had become imperative as the government failed to response to their demands.
In a circular issued after the JAC meeting penultimate Thursday, and sent to all branches, the unions warned that at the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum, they would be left with no other option than withdrawing their services and closing down the universities if the government fails to address all their grievances.
Entitled: “Notice of Industrial Action,” the circular, which was signed by Ugwoke and the General Secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi, lamented the non-challant attitude of the Federal Government towards addressing their grievances and obeying court judgment.
The circular read: “That a 14-day ultimatum of industrial action be given to the Federal Government to address the pending issues with effect from Monday, August 5, 2019. During the period of the ultimatum, all branches are hereby directed to carry out peaceful protest on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 and Thursday, August 15, 2019.
“At the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum, Sunday, August 18, 2019, without any positive response from the Federal Government, members shall proceed on a five-day warning strike in all branches from Monday 19 to Friday, August 23, 2019, inclusive.
“You are, therefore, directed to properly mobilise our members for this action. All defaulting branches shall be sanctioned accordingly.”
However, academic and other official activities would be paralysed in the two state-owned universities, the Rivers State University (RSU) and the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUOE) following the nationwide industrial strike embarked upon by the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) under the aegis of Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU, today.
Speaking to The Tide on the decision to join the strike in the state, the Chairman of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) at the Rivers State University (RSU), Nkpolu-Oruworukwo, Port Harcourt, Comrade Azuma Cheta said members of the union would join the strike beginning from today because of alleged government’s insensitivity to the plight of their members working at the university staff schools as well as its inability to comply with the national directives of the union.
Cheta disclosed that the state government had refused to pay their members working at the staff schools and the international schools their salaries for the past four years.
The chairman said they would have relaxed the strike but for the interest of those members now languishing in pains over the government’s refusal to pay them salaries since February, 2016.
“We will comply with the directive but for our members at the international schools and staff schools, who the state government has refused to pay salaries for the past four years”, he stated.
Also at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUOE), the Chairman of SSANU, Comrade Chisa Egwu could not be reached for comments, but a senior staff working at the administration department, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said they held a congress meeting on the proposed strike, last Friday, at the union’s auditorium.

Continue Reading

News

Police Confirm Three Deaths In Khana Fresh Violence …LG Boss, Ex-Youth Leader’s Houses Razed

Published

on

The Rivers State Police Command has dispelled ‘fake news’ making the rounds that more than 36 persons were killed by suspected cultists in a raid on two Khana communities of Opuoko and Lumene in Rivers State, yesterday.
In a statement, yesterday, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed that only three persons were actually killed during the attacks on the communities in Khana Local Government Area.
The statement reads, “The attention of the Rivers State Police Command has been drawn to the above ‘caption’ making the rounds on social and traditional media on the state of affairs in Opuoko and Lumene communities in Khana LGA.
“Ordinarily, this distorted news should have been ignored as the command is not given to frivolities and fake news capable of stirring disaffection and causing panic and tension in the state.
“However, in order that the public will not be immediately misinformed and hold erroneous impression resulting from the fake news, we have, therefore, deemed it necessary to put the records straight, and state as follows: That today 18/8/19 at about 0630Hrs, information got to us that a group of cult boys invaded two communities in Khana (Opuoko and Lumene) where they attacked and killed one person in Opuoko and two in Lumene, altogether three persons died.
“The houses of the LGA chairman and the former youth leader came under attack.
“The attackers on sighting the police took to flight but were chased and two of them arrested, while the trail for others is still on.
“The two suspects are Damwua Karagbara, 33 years (alias Spider); and Dinee Prince, 23 years.
“Exhibits recovered from them include: Assorted phones and military camouflage.
“So far, calm has returned in both communities.
“The CP has ordered Investigation into the incident with a view to ascertaining the remote and immediate causes of the attack and to bring perpetrators to justice.
“We are again appealing to the public to help us with useful information that can lead to the arrest of these mindless criminals, via the following security numbers: 08032003514, 08098880134, and 08182157778”, the statement added.

Continue Reading

News

Lawyer Petitions UK, DSS To Probe Buhari’s Cambridge Documents

Published

on

The Department of State Services and the London Metropolitan Police Service have received petitions to investigate the documents said to have been obtained from Cambridge University and tendered by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential election petition tribunal.
Copies of the separate petitions dated August 14, 2019, were signed by a Nigerian lawyer, Kalu Kalu Agu.
It would be recalled that the president’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, had told the tribunal that he obtained the President’s ‘assessment’ documents from Cambridge University.
He was quoted as saying he personally signed for and collected the documents on behalf of the President.
The UK-based examination body oversaw the conduct of final year secondary school examination in Nigeria and placement into foreign universities in the 1960s.
In the two petitions forwarded by Agu, the lawyer questioned the authenticity of the ‘certifying statement’ said to have been obtained from the Cambridge Assessment International Education.
He asked the UK police and the DSS to launch an investigation into the circumstances leading to the procurement.

Continue Reading

Trending