The United States Mission in Nigeria and the Rivers State Chapter of the U.S. Government Exchange Alumni Association, have advocated for more inclusion of women in leadership and governance positions across all strata of the Nigerian society.
They made their position known, yesterday, when the U.S. Embassy Counsellor for Public Affairs, Mr. Aruna Amirthanayagam, joined the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof Stephen Okodudu, and the Rivers State Chapter of the U.S. Government Exchange Alumni Association to commemorate the 2021 Women’s History Month in Port Harcourt.
In his opening remarks, Amirthanayagam noted that economic empowerment of women was crucial to the development of every country.
According to him, without women’s inclusive participation in society, any gains in economic growth and development, as well as advances in science and technology, are unsustainable.
“The U.S. Mission in Nigeria recognizes the importance of women’s inclusion for national security and economic growth, which is why the White House launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, which supports women through various capacity building programmes, mentorship seminars, and entrepreneurship programmes,” Amirthanayagam said.
Also speaking, Acting Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof Stephen Okodudu said the university’s management was consistently looking at ways to promote women’s equal participation within the campus community.
He urged all in the university community to commit to the goal of advancing the course of women in the public sphere.
As part of activities marking the Women’s History Month, the Rivers State Chapter of the United States Government Exchange Alumni Association (USGEAA) recognized women who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment in Rivers State.
Delivering keynote remarks, Prof Andrew Efemini of the Department of Philosophy said that events such as Women’s History Month are important in moving gender equality forward and building networks of women who support women.
He emphasized the importance of education in ensuring women are able to reach their full potential in the public sphere.
It would be recalled that March is Women’s History Month.
Consequently, governments, corporate oganisations, social and rights groups and institutions around the world design activities which highlight the contributions of women to events in history, science, contemporary society and humanity.
By: Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi
FBI, S’African Police Nab Nigerian Scammers In Cape Town
Eight Nigerians aged between 33 and 52 were, yesterday, arrested for Internet scams, money laundering and international-wide scale financial fraud in Cape Town.
According to reports, those arrested were members of the Black Axe that preys on widows or divorcees and scammed them out of their millions.
Six leaders and the founder of the Black Axe organised crime group’s Cape Town chapter were amongst those arrested.
The group is believed to be behind hundreds of thousands of romance scams.
Spokesperson for South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), otherwise called Hawks, Col. Katlego Mogale said the operation involved the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), United States Secret Service (USSS) Investigations and Interpol.
They were assisted by the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation unit, Crime Intelligence (CI), K9, National Intervention unit, Special Task Force (STF), Tactical Operations Management Section (TOMS), Criminal Record Centre and Cape Town Metro Police.
According to reports, Mogale said the operation was initiated based on the Mutual Legal Assistance from Central Authorities of the United States of America that was approved by the Republic of South Africa.
She said all suspects were arrested during a large-scale operation in the early morning hours of yesterday, and would be charged with a variety of financial crimes, including conspiracy to commit wire/mail fraud/mail and money laundering.
“The suspects in this investigation are alleged to have ties to a transnational organised crime syndicate originating in Nigeria,” she said.
It was alleged that those suspects allegedly preyed on victims, many of whom were vulnerable widows or divorcees who were led to believe that they were in genuine romantic relationships but were scammed out of their hard-earned money.
The suspects used social media websites, online dating websites to find and connect with their victims.
Other modus operandi used by the suspects includes business email compromise, where email accounts are diverted in order to change banking details.
They assumed fake names and trolled dating sites.
Mogale said once they had ingratiated themselves with their victims, they allegedly concocted sob stories about why they needed money – taxes to release an inheritance, essential overseas travel, crippling debt, etc. – and then siphoned money from victim’s accounts to the amount of R100million.
She said the crimes allegedly committed by the suspects hit close to home.
Neighbours, parents, friends and family would be targets of this organisation.
“The fraudsters intimidated and berated their victims, ruined their lives and then disappeared. We are confident that this investigation will have a significant impact on this region and beyond,” Mogale said.
The FBI estimates that more than 100 people lost more than R100million in romance scams from 2011 till date.
Anambra Guber: Stakeholders Set To Sign Peace Accord, Nov 4
Ex-Head of State and Chairman of National Peace Committee, Gen Abdusalami Abubakar, has disclosed that a peace accord by various political parties and stakeholders in the forthcoming Anambra State governorship election would be signed on November 4, ahead of the exercise slated for November 6, 2021.
This came as the committee appealed to various contending interests in the election to eschew violence and all other actions inimical to a peaceful democratic process in the state.
In a statement, yesterday, on behalf of the group adjudged to be greatly responsible for the nation’s ongoing peaceful democratic transition, the former Head of State said the peace-signing accord would take place at the Prof. Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka.
“As Ndi Anambra prepare for the November 6, 2021, Governorship Election in Anambra State, the National Peace Committee (NPC) wishes to announce that a peace accord will be signed by the various political parties and stakeholders on November 4th, 2021, at the Prof. Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka,” the statement read.
He tasked key stakeholders to come forward to contribute their quota to the peace and stability of the country, particularly before, during and after the Anambra election.
The state read in part: “In ensuring the effective discharge of its objectives, the NPC has been carrying out back-channel negotiations and private meetings for peace amongst political stakeholders across party lines.
“We call on all key stakeholders to come forward and contribute their quota to the peace and stability of the country, particularly before, during and after the Anambra Governorship Election.
“The NPC also wish to reiterate that as an apolitical body, the peace, unity and tranquillity of the country is of paramount importance which cannot be over emphasised.
“Considering the orgy of violence witnessed in Anambra State in recent time, which in particular, has claimed the lives of notable personalities in the state, we therefore, call for the collaboration of all stakeholders as we work towards achieving our desired goal,” Abdulsalami said.
The National Peace Committee further urged all stakeholders to eschew violence before, during and after the election so that Anambra State will come out of the election stronger and live up to its name as the ‘Light of the Nation.’
Fashola, Kyari, Others Headline Editors’ Confab On Security,’Morrow …Govs, CBN, UBA, Glo, NNPC, Others Boost Summit
All is now set for the 17th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference, starting tomorrow, with Publisher of Premium Times, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi; Editor-in-Chief of Leadership Newspaper, Azu Ishiekwene; Minister of Works, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, and other security chiefs, scheduled to lead discussions at the conference.
A statement signed by the NGE President, Mustapha Isah; and General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren; indicated that some state governors with security challenges, including Dr Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Malam Nasiru el-Rufai (Kaduna); Alhaji Yahaya Bello (Kogi); Engr. Seyi Mankide (Oyo); Alhaji Bello Matawalle (Zamfara); Prof Babagana Zulum (Borno), and Chief David Umahi (Ebonyi) have also been scheduled to be part of the conversation.
Others state governors expected at the event include, Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN (Ondo); Prof Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun); and others.
The conference with the theme, ‘’Media in Times of Crises: Resolving Conflict, Achieving Consensus’’, would bring together editors and media owners across the country, as well as their foreign colleagues to discuss the security challenges in the country and agree on the solution to the raging strife.
Sponsored by corporate moguls, including Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Glo, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Air Peace, and Trustfund Pensions Limited, the conference would take place at the Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre, Kado area of Abuja.
Other promoters are Nigeria Deposit Insurance Company (NDIC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and the Yobe State Government.
Olorunyomi, an accomplished internationally acclaimed investigative journalist and journalism teacher, would give the keynote address that would be discussed by security chiefs, including Monguno; Irabor; Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. Yusuf Bichi; and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Usman Baba.
The NGE said Kyari would be the special guest of honour, while the President, Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Malam Kabiru Yusuf, would be the guest of honour.
‘’A doyen of the media, Mr. Ray Ekpu, would chair the opening session with Fashola and others, including President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Chris Isiguzo, and foreign ambassadors giving goodwill messages.
‘’Besides the opening session, the conference would have three others; the second session for the Day 1 of the conference has a paper titled, ‘Conflict Reporting: The Editor as a Mediator’, to be delivered by the Editor-in-Chief, Leadership Newspapers, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene.
‘’The paper would be discussed by Editor-in-Chief, 21st Century Chronicle, Dr. Mahmud Jega; Director-General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Mr. Mansur Liman; and another leading journalist, Mr. Emmanuel Yawe. Notable broadcaster, Ms. Kadaria Ahmed, would chair the session’’, the statement added.
The statement said that the morning session of the Day 2, would have Managing Director, Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Lending (NIRSAL), Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, presenting a paper, ‘’Accessing Capital for Alternative Career Development for Editors.’’
Discussants at the session to be chaired by the Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, are former NGE President, Mrs. Funke Egbemode; Managing Director of New Telegraph Newspapers, Mr. Ayodele Aminu; and Executive Director (News), FRCN, Mr. Sani Suleiman.
The afternoon session with the theme, ‘’Security Challenges: Recovering Lost Grounds’’, which the statement explained, would be attended by state governors, would be chaired by the Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi.
“The conference is to be rounded off in the evening with the induction of new fellows and members of the Guild,” the statement stated.
Over 300 editors and media owners – from print, broadcast stations and online newspapers have registered for this year’s conference.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
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