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THE STATES

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Taraba
An eight-memebr gang of armed robbers laid siege on Magami area of Jalingo, Taraba State Capital, in a robbery attack, which lasted several hours.
The robbers during the operation carted away cash and valuables like handsets, electronics and clothing materials.
The incident occurred against the backdrop of a recent assurance by the state Police Commissioner, Aliyu Musa, that his command had put necessary security measures in place to check crime.
A victim, Rashidat Hamzat, lamented that the police were nowhere to be found during their ordeal, saying that armed robbers were having a field day in the state.
She said: “We thought the state government claimed to have equipped the police with necessary gadgets like handsets, to combat armed robbery activities. But I must confess to you that we are highly disappointed in them because when these boys (armed bandits) came in to our compound last night, the lines the police gave to the public could not even be reached.”
The Southern Zone of the state, which comprises Danga, Takum, Wukari, Ussa, Ibi and the special development area of Yangtu, have in recent times been under attack by armed bandits.
Residents of the areas, who spoke with newsmen said policemen only patrol at daytime and desert the streets at night.
A resident, Benjamin Makoroa, said: “once it is night, especially from 10.00p.m, you are on your own and no longer under the protection of the joint military/police patrol teams. I believe the command has not effectively put to use the assistance extended by our state government.
While Musa was unavailable at the command headquarters, a senior police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “even though I am not the right person to speak to you, I must confess that police in Taraba State are trying their best and we shall continue in that direction. As you know, we are not spirits that can be everywhere at the same time. As we strategise, the armed robbers too are planning.”
On the recent robbery activities in the state, he said: “No arrest has been made, but I assure you that our surveillance teams are already out and the hoodlums would soon be brought to book.”

Ekiti
Governor Segun Oni of Ekiti State has called on the Federal Government to urgently assist his administration to dredge the Ureje Dam in Ado-Ekiti to avoid a major flood disaster in the state capital.
Also, speaker of the State House of Assembly Olatunji Odeyemi, has advised all tiers of government to spend their share of the excess crude oil account on the agriculture sector to boost food production in the country.
Speaking yesterday during a visit to his office by the House of Representatives Committee on Environment, Oni noted that the Ureje Dam, which was built over 50 years ago, had silted due to lack of proper maintenance by previous administration.
He added that the situation posed great danger to the people living along the dam’s river bank.
His words: “The Ureje waterworks was constructed over 50 years ago. Those who designed the dam expected that maintenance dredging and other maintenance works would be carried out on the dam periodically.
“I know you would find it hard to believe that apart from the expansion works, which we recently carried out on the dam, no major maintenance work had been carried out on the dam since its construction in the mid-1950’s. The dam has now silted up due to lack of maintenance dredging over the years.
“In fact, the dam now contains only about 30 per cent of the installed capacity for water because of the large quantities of silt deposited in it in the past five decades. This is responsible for the flash floods that occur after heavy downpours in the South-Western part of the State capital.”
Oni recalled that many houses, along the course of the river, were flooded and submerged after a heavy downpour two weeks ago.
He pointed out that his administration had already made representation to the Federal Government on the looming flood disaster around the Ureje River, as well as areas around the abandoned Oke Osun flood control project in Ikere.
The governor, who called for more Federal Government’s erosion control projects in the state, noted that the prevailing undulating landscape in Ekiti made the State prone to erosion.
Chairman of the House Committee on Environment, Duro Faseyi, said the committee was on inspection tour of on-going ecological projects initiated by the Federal Government in the state as part of the committee’s over sight function.

Borno
Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Sao Tome and Principe, Saidu Pinda, has condemned the Borno state government’s alleged “slow response” to the recent cholera epidemics in the state.
Pinda, who spoke to newsmen yesterday in Maiduguri, the state capital, also accused the state of being insensitive to the plight of residents of Biu Local Council, where cholera reportedly claimed six lives everyday.
He argued that the state’s alleged insensitivity fuelled the recent clash between operatives of its operation Flush II and Commercial Motor-cyclists over the latter’s refusal to wear crash helmets, in which two riders died.
His words: “The Borno state government is insensitive to the prevailing cholera epidemic in Biu and other communities in Hawul and Shani.”

Oyo
The Court of Appeal siting in Ibadan has nullified the election of a People Democratic Party (PDP) member in the House of Representatives, Folake Olunloyo-Osinowo on grounds of irregularities and non compliance with the election act.
In a unanimous decision in court, the judge said the lower tribunal erred by upholding Olunloyo-Osinowo’s victory as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (NEC), since the election was fraught with irregularities.
After voiding the April 21, 2007 poll in the Ibadan South West/North Federal Constituency, the three man panel of justices led by Justice C. B. Ogunbiyi directed INEC to conduct a fresh poll to fill the vacant seat within the next 60 days.
The Action Congress (AC) candidate, Idayat Adebusuyi, who is the appellant, had prayed the court to declare her winner of the said polls, having polled the majority of the lawful votes cast or in the alternative order a rerun in the affected constituency but the court held that declaring the AC candidate winner in the circumstance would amount to backing a candidate to benefit from the established irregularities.

Abuja
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Prince Vincent Eze Ogbulafor, has congratulated President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on Nigeria ’s historic election into the United Nations Security Council.
In a congratulatory message to president Yar’Adua, Prince Ogbulafor said he and the PDP note with great pride the steady recognition of Nigeria as an emerging world power which, he said, is as a result of her significant contributions to world peace and stability in recent years.
The congratulatory message contained in a statement issued in Abuja and signed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali reads in part: “This honour which has been bestowed on Nigeria unanimously by member states of the UN further cements the stature of Nigeria as an influential voice in the international arena and also as an indispensable partner and actor in the comity of nations.
“This election also bears testimony to the endearing leadership qualities of Mr. President who has consistently demonstrated a large capacity for the resolution of conflicts in domestic, sub-regional and global affairs.
”We are happy that Nigeria ’s shining example in peace keeping both internally and globally has once again been acknowledged by the international community. This election, coming shortly after the heroic implementation of President Yar’Adua’s amnesty programme in the Niger-Delta region is an acknowledgement of the Federal Government’s capacity for peaceful resolution of conflicts wherever they exist. We believe strongly that the world would benefit immensely from Nigeria’s membership of this august body.
“While we commend the United Nations for this timely and well thought-out election of Nigeria as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, it is our hope and prayer that the current reforms going on in the United Nations would include the expansion of the permanent membership of the Security Council to create room for regional powers such as Nigeria to assume their rightful place in the World body”.

Lagos
65 communities in Ibeju Lekki, Epe area of Lagos state affected by the state proposed international airport will soon be relocated.
Top government officials have already held a meeting with the leaders of the communities to reassure them of government’s commitment to relocating them.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands Bureaus, Mr. Gbenga Ashafa, at the meeting reassured the people of government’s intention to adequately compensate them adding that government will not embark on any demolition until after compensation and relocation of affected people, just as it did to the displayed people of Lagos –Badagry expressway under construction.
He explained further that “the convening of the meeting is our way of showing that government intends to carry the people along in the projects.”
Ashafa warned the people not to think of entering into conflict with the state government as that would not solve the problem.
“You should continuously seek dialogue with the government which has demonstrated its openness and transparency” he said.
The International Airport is to complement the Lekki free trade Zone already being built in its first phase by the China Corporation Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC). The proposed International airport will also lead to further development of Lekki axis of the state and make it as a hub of commercial and economic activities while linking people from other parts of the world for business trade.

Kaduna
The Nigerian Airforce (NAF) has set up an inquiry to unravel the circumstances that led to last months murder of a civilian diver Nallam Abdullahi Shittu.
Shittu was allegedly killed after a disagreement with some airforce personnel near the airforce base in Kaduna.
Disclosing this to newsmen in Kaduna, the NAF Public Relations Officer, Squadron Leader Edward Gallowin said the airforce as a responsible arm of the military values the life of any Nigerian, and would not engage in shielding any of its personnel who takes the law into his hands.
Last month, a cab driver with two wives and 10 children slumped into a comma after allegedly being beaten by an Airforce officer attached to a security outfit “Operation” Yaki.
Gallowei added that the career of the Airforce officer involved in the incident and the life of the cab driver were among the important factors that necessitated the investigation so that it can carefully find out what and who were responsible for the death of the civilian victim.

Kwara
The Executive Secretary of National Sugar Development Council Alhaji Usman Baleh has deplored the low level of investment in the sugar sub-sector of Nigeria.
Speaking at the North Central Zone Sugar Forum in Illorin, Baleh noted that the prospects of the sugar sub-sector were very bright in the country as he urged more investment in the sector.
He disclosed that sugar projects were in various stages of development but regretted that the problem was with the procurement of processing plants of different capacities.
According to him, so far two of the companies have placed order for the equipment and concluded plans to produce about 350,000 tonnes of sugar whenever they commence operation.

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Banditry Displaces 151, 380 People In Two Years In Niger

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At least over 151, 380 people, mostly peasant farmers, were displaced by the activities of bandits in the last two years in Niger State, the state government has said.
The Secretary to the State Government, Ahmed Matane, who addressed a press conference in Minna said the state’s emergency agency compiled the figure.
However, Mr Matane said the figure could be higher as many displaced persons who took refuge with their relatives could not be captured in the displaced persons register.
He said although the state has two official permanent internally displaced persons camps, most of those registered were at temporary camps opened following incidents of attacks.
Matane said the displaced persons were registered in 13 local government areas of the state, with Rafi council area neighbouring Zamfara and Kaduna topping the chart with 28,987 displaced persons.
In Shiroro Local Government Area, 27,678 persons were displaced in the last two years, while in Munya 19, 712 persons were displaced.
There were 11,678 in Paikoro, 22,754 in Mariga and were displaced 8,913 in Kontagora.
Matane said the state has spent over N300 million on the displaced persons within the period, while individual donors and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs also expended millions of naira in support.

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Subsidy: ‘N5,000 Palliative Huge Disgrace’

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The Archbishop of the Enugu ecclesiastical province, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma has asked the Federal Government to jettison the idea of paying N5,000 palliative to 40 million Nigerians.
The Federal Government had said the decision was to cushion the effect of the planned removal of fuel subsidy.
But Archbishop Chukwuma, who rejected the removal of subsidy, described the proposed N5,000 palliative “as a huge disgrace.”
He said this during a press conference on the activities lined up for the 50th Anniversary of the Enugu Diocese, Anglican Communion.
While noting that the Enugu Diocese was concerned about the level of governance of Nigeria, he added that “we are also concerned about peace and the unity of Nigeria, as well as infrastructural development.”
He called on the government “to be sensitive about the situation of Nigeria; we frown against the killings, the banditry, the kidnappings, inequality, injustice and all the evils.
“Of late, we can see how ‘Mkpurummiri’ is destroying our youths, it is highly condemnable. We are calling on our youths to please avoid this so that they don’t get their heads out of order. This is not how they will become future leaders.
“Right now, I want to say that the government of Nigeria has not treated the South-East fairly; particularly now that we are getting into the yuletide, Enugu-Onitsha Expressway is a total disaster, Enugu-Port Harcourt they are putting it to use but it is not yet complete.
“We are calling on the minister of works to stop playing pranks and politics with the roads in the South-East. Rail transport should also be extended to the South-East; we see no reason the minister of transport should neglect his own zone.
“It is important for our government to know that most youths are angry; they are angry because they are hungry. I just heard about giving N5,000 to 50 million Nigerians, it is a disgrace. It will not bring any positives on our people. We are also frowning at galloping inflation.
“Our naira is becoming useless and something must be done about it. E-naira or whatever is not the solution at all.”
He also called on the residents of South-East not to toy with the on-going voter’s registration exercise, stressing that “these things count; South-East should stop shortchanging themselves; that’s the only way they will have a say in 2023.”
On the Church’s anniversary, Archbishop Chukwuma disclosed that, “It became a Diocese in August 1970; exactly last year August, Enugu became 50 years of its inauguration with the first Bishop, Rt, Rev. Gideon Nweke Otubelu. By the grace of God, he championed the course of Enugu Diocese for 27 years.
“Last year, when it became 50 years of Enugu’s inauguration as a Diocese, we could not celebrate because of COVID; we had to shift it to this year.

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UNICEF Alerts On 152,243 Stunted Children In Enugu

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said on Friday that 152,243 children below five years of age are stunted in Enugu State, Nigeria’s South-east.
Its Planning and Monitoring Specialist, Enugu Field Office, Maureen Zubie-Okolo, disclosed this at a policy dialogue with Enugu State executive and legislative councils on investment in nutrition.
Zubie-Okolo attributed the situation to poor nutrition arising from poor maternal, infant and young child feeding practices during the first 1,000 days of birth.
“In Enugu State, only 7.8 per cent of children below five years of age receive the minimum acceptable diet, while less than one-fifth of children 0-5 months are exclusively breastfed.
“This is a call for both the executive and legislative arms to come together to ensure that nutrition is placed on the government’s agenda,” she said.
She said malnutrition had become a silent emergency with “too little attention”.
She said that the meeting was in line with the Sustainable Development Goals agenda of ending all forms of malnutrition by 2030.
Zubie-Okolo said the goals also included achieving the internationally-agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children below five years of age by 2025.
UNICEF was committed to working with its partners, including the state government to achieve the agenda, she said.
Nutrition, according to her, gets low attention in Nigeria and in Enugu State and, therefore, contributes to the high global malnutrition rates.
She said that investment in scaling-up nutrition would yield immediate returns, save lives, and enable children and their mothers to have a better future.
In her contribution, a nutrition specialist, Chizoba Steve-Edemba, said the nutrition indices in Enugu State were so low and needed to be addressed.
Steve-Edemba appealed to the state government to extend maternity leave of nursing mothers to six months.

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