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House Of Reps Pledges Adequate Funding For North East

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The House of Representatives Committee on the North East Development Commission (NEDC), yesterday pledged adequate budgetary allocation to the commission to tackle humanitarian challenges in the region.
The Chairperson of the Committee, Khadija Bukar-Abba, made the pledge in Maiduguri during a two-day oversight tour of the NEDC’s activities.
Bukar-Abba said that the committee had taken note of challenges facing the people of the Northeast zone.
She said that given the quantum of work that needed to be done, it became imperative that the commission should be provided with more funding to enable it effectively carry out its mandate.
The chairperson said the committee had gone round some of the projects being prosecuted by the commission in displaced communities and IDP camps, noting that a lot of people needed life-saving assistance.
“We have visited some of the IDP camps and had a firsthand experience of the depth of suffering people are going through, especially the women and children.
“We have also seen the impressive works that the NEDC has achieved in such a short period of a year since it began operation.
“But we have observed how overwhelming the work that the NEDC needed to do has been, and how their progress may be affected due to lack of resources.
“We visited Ngwom village in Mafa Local Government, about 18km outside of Maiduguri, and we have seen the 1,000 housing projects that the NEDC has embarked on; we are excited that the project would be concluded before the end of 2020.
“At the IDP camps, we have seen many women and children, and old persons who needed food more than anything else to survive, and we felt the challenges are overwhelming and the NEDC is underfunded,’’ she said.
Bukar-Abba commended the commission for achieving so much in the last one year, noting that rather than being accused of misappropriation of funds, “the NEDC is grossly underfunded ’’.

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RSHA Backs Panel On Disbanded SARS

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Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi Owaji-Ibani, says the House backs the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike in setting Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate human rights abuses carried out by the disbanded SARS in the state.
The Speaker said the action had been vindicated by the directive of the President to state governments to set up panel of enquiry over the excesses of SARS.
Owaji-Ibani who said this in an interview with journalists in Port Harcourt explained that the world would now understand why the governor had called on the Presidency to address the issues of SARS brutality in the state.
He recalled the role of SARS during the last elections, and the alarm the governor, including other stakeholders raised over the operations of the police unit.
He said the actions the governor took in imposing curfew in some parts of the state as a result of violence that erupted during the End SARS protest was in order.
“The security of lives and property is the main responsibility of government and so the order is to ensure the safety of lives and property of residents in the state,” he said.
The Speaker who is also the lawmaker representing Andoni State Constituency advised the youths that after the protests, they should be able to provide a roadmap on youth development to enhance their objectives.
Rt. Hon. Owaji-Ibani, however, on behalf of the members of the State Assembly commiserated with families of those who lost their loved ones in the course of the End SARS protest.

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#EndSARS: Edo Assembly Declares Support For Peaceful Protest

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The leadership of the Edo State House of Assembly yesterday declared its support for the peaceful protest against police brutality, the #EndSARS agitation, describing it as the right of the citizens but decried the violent dimension the demonstrations have taken.
The Assembly leadership in a statement issued by the Speaker, Marcus Onobun, was reacting to a recorded voice that has gone viral where there were threats to attack government buildings in the state except hospitals.
“The destruction of public and private property anywhere in Edo State only serves the interest of enemies of the State and brings untold hardship to our people”.
It added that while such comment would have been considered a mere threat, “it however aligns with the worrisome pattern of destructive activities perpetrated by hoodlums who have since hijacked the well – intentioned peaceful #ENDSARS protests by youths across Nigeria”.
“The House wishes to reiterate its support for the rights of citizens to freedom of speech, expression and peaceful assembly. But, as an arm of government, we have a constitutional responsibility to ensure the full protection of lives and livelihoods of Edo people”, the statement reiterated.
The Assembly, therefore, “calls on security agencies to commit all of its resources to ensure safety of lives and property of law – abiding residents of our state. Our people desire peace and tranquility which will enable Governor Godwin Obaseki to deliver on the unequivocal mandate entrusted to him on 19th September,2020”.

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Obiano Declares 24-Hour Curfew In Anambra

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The Anambra State Government yesterday declared a 24-hour curfew in the state beginning from 8 pm.
Governor Willie Obiano made the announcement during a statewide broadcast in Awka, the state capital. According to the Governor, “the curfew has become necessary due to unpleasant incidents recorded so far, as well as rising tension in the land.
While describing the anger of the #EndSARS protesters as justifiable, Governor Obiano declared that all schools and markets in the state have been closed down, stressing that all large gatherings in any form are banned.
He said that the security agencies are on notice to do the needful, asking them to resist all efforts to provoke them to the use of extreme force.
The Governor called on stakeholders including the clergy, traditional rulers, youth leaders, among others, to lend their voices and help address the escalating situation, adding that the sum of two hundred million naira has been approved to compensate families of those affected by SARS brutality in the state.
According to Governor Obiano, “This is not the time for destructive rumours, but a time to unite and keep Anambra state safe.”
Meanwhile, the 2021 budget presentation scheduled by Gov. Willie Obiano has been postponed indefinitely.
According to Mr Uche Okafor, Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly, who conveyed the governor’s message at plenary yesterday, said a new date will be communicated to the House.
“Due to the #EndSARS protests and unrest in the country, Gov. Willie Obiano will not be presenting the 2021 budget proposal as scheduled.
“He said he owes it to residents of the state to ensure the security of lives and property, which is more important.
“He said that the government is looking into the security situation in the state to ensure calm and when this is achieved, a new date will be fixed for the budget presentation.
“The Governor urges residents to support the efforts of the government to ensure security for all,’’ he said.
The Speaker commended Gov. Obiano for sacking James Nwafor as his Senior Special Assistant on Security following accusation by multiple sources of his alleged connection with various extrajudicial killings of suspects by SARS.
He said that the accusations were directed at him during his time as the Officer Commanding (OC) of Anambra State SÁRS.

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