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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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NDLEA Act Amendment ’ll Further Strengthen Nigeria’s Drug War – Marwa

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Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), said the ongoing amendment of the Agency’s Act at the National Assembly will further boost the country’s fight against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
Marwa, who stated this at the NDLEA Special Purpose Committee conference (SPC) in Abuja, Friday, disclosed that some of the details of the new bill, which is in its final stage of being passed, will strengthen the hand of the Agency and discourage trafficking of illicit substances because of the stringent punitive measures stipulated for drug offences.
While appreciating the SPC members, who are experts in relevant fields that constitute an advisory group to support the work of the Agency across the country for their contributions to the achievements of NDLEA under his leadership, Marwa said the time is now for well-spirited Nigerians to join the fight against the drug scourge, which though may not be in every family, but affects every community.
He said: “Let me state from the onset that contrary to a recent report that the drug abuse problem is in every household in Nigeria, I’ll like to correct that misrepresentation and state that there are indeed families not afflicted by this menace.
“However, that we can’t say of the communities. It is almost certain that every community has this problem. That said, I would like to assure that the NDLEA Act is presently in its final stage of its amendment at the National Assembly.
“It’s a private bill sponsored by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, Senator Hezekiah Dimka, and it will among other things remove the option of fine in the sentencing of offenders as well as make punishments for drug offences more stringent.”
Marwa added that President Muhammadu Buhari understands the drug problem very well and has as part of his continuous support approved the recruitment of additional 5,000 officers and men to further strengthen the Agency.
While briefing the conference of the several successes so far recorded by the NDLEA under him, Marwa said apart from putting premium on training, he has also ensured that personnel welfare remains top on his agenda.
In her goodwill message, wife of Edo State Governor, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, who is a member of the SPC, emphasised the importance of the strategic committee to the work of NDLEA.

She urged the gathering to remain optimistic about a glorious Nigeria.

“What NDLEA has achieved in recent times is a reflection of the focus, patriotism, and commitment of Gen. Marwa. He is the kind of person Nigeria needs in leadership positions to take this country to the great height it’s destined for,” she added.

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GBV: FG Wants Partners’ Support In Forensic Machines  Acquisition

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The Federal Government has called for support from development partners to acquire forensic machines and to expand the scope of test and evidence gathering to address rape and other forms of Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases.
Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, made the call at a joint news conference to launch activities to commemorate the 2022 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence and Harmful Traditional Practices in Abuja, Friday.
Tallen explained that the establishment of more forensic laboratories across the country would guarantee access to reliable information and evidence to prosecute reported cases of rape, sexual and GBV.
She said “want to appeal to our development partners to support the acquisition of more forensic machines to make it easy to carry out test on rape cases in the country, as the existing ones are only accessible in Adamawa and Lagos states.
“We are talking with the Minister of State for Budget to ensure that we have it in the budget so that we can have at least one forensic lab in each geo-political zone and from there we will move down to states.”
The UN-Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS,  Beatrice Eyong, said “GBV is not only a violation of human rights, but a critical threat to the economic development and GDP growth of the country.
“Gender-Based Violence has the capacity of reducing the gross domestic products, which means there is a detrimental relationship between GBV and economic growth”.
Eyong further said the theme of this year’s activism campaign — “UNiTE! Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls” called for coordinated actions from government, CSOs and the UN systems to share knowledge and innovations to end GBV.
Also speaking, the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms Samuela Isopi decried the prevailing cases of GBV, especially in cyber spaces, stressing the need for more strategies to prevent and address it.

On her part, the Resident Representative of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Nigeria, reiterated the Fund’s commitment toward advancing the cause of women and ending all forms of violence and harmful practices against them.

The National Programme Manager, Rule of Law and Anti- Corruption (RoLAC), Danladi Plang, while commending government and other stakeholders for the progress in addressing GBV, called for more measures to end the menace.

Highlights of the event include commitments by representatives of the diplomatic community to address GBV and a candle light possession in honour of women, girls, boys and men that lost their lives as a result of violence.

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We Are Winning War Against Insecurity-Uzodinma

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The Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, has insisted that his administration is winning the war against insecurity in the state.
Uzodimma stated this during the 31st edition of the Annual Lecture/Awards of the Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN), which was held in Ikeja, Lagos State.
Represented by the Commissioner for Information, Declan Emelumber,  Uzodinma, who received CRAN’s coveted Platinum Award in Fight Against Insecurity, was among 36 respected and deserving Nigerians recognized by the association for their services to the country and humanity.
The Governor said it was because the fight against insecurity in Imo State was yielding dividends that attention could now be given to other essential issues in the state.
According to the Governor, if not for insecurity which took most of the attention and resources of the Imo State Government, the state would have become incredibly transformed to the level that other states would be envious of Imo.
He further explained that it was because the insecurity had been tackled and checkmated to a certain level that the government decided to focus attention on other important state matters, which led to the promotion of civil servants across board in the state.
The commissioner also stated that “But he said I should come to represent him. His Excellency is super excited with the award because it hit the point of his dogged fight against insecurity in Imo State, which has worked, and today, Imo State is relatively safe.”
“When people appreciate sacrifices made in restoring peace in Imo State, then the Governor too will be happy. When you appreciate somebody for what he has done, he will do more.
“He said I should thank CRAN, for not only watching and monitoring what he had been doing in Imo state, and is still doing, but for appreciating.
“Civil servants in Imo State had not been promoted in the past ten years in the State because of the enormous amount of money involved, but he approved the promotion of all civil servants in Imo State across the board.
“This is happening now because there is peace in Imo State and the governor can now focus on other important things”, he stated.
He continued that “when people appreciate sacrifices made in restoring peace in Imo State, then the Governor too will be happy. When you appreciate somebody for what he has done, he will do more.”

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