Arewa elders in the North have commenced plans to douse the tension building up due to political intrigues and speculations on the health of President Umar Yar’Adua.
Sources informed The Tide that beginning from this week, notable personalities from the Arewa Consultation Forum (ACF) will be making strategic visits to several influential personalities across the country.
The visit is aimed at ensuring that their avowed support for any necessary constitutional procedure is followed in case of any development in the presidency.
According to the sources, ACF leaders have firmly resolved not to oppose the vice President as the nation’s leader, if it becomes inevitable.
Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate in the April 14, 2007 election in Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, has described as illegal plans by the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to conduct the Osun East Senatorial District and Osogbo State Constituency e-run elections on Wednesday.
Citing a federal court ruling INEC had last Friday announced its plan to hold the elections.
But speaking with reporters at the weekend in Ilesa, Osun state, Aregbesola faulted the electoral commission, saying the election could not go on because a court order restraining, INEC from conducting the election subsisted. Aregbesola was in Ilesa, his hometown, for the Iwude festival, which attracted sons and daughters of Ijesa land, including the state deputy governor, Erelu Olusola Obada, who led government functionaries to the cultural event.
The Ondo State representative on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Barr. Benson Enikuomehin, has advocated synergy between states in the Niger Delta and the interventionist agency.
The Federal Commissioner warned that it would not be in the interest of the people for representatives on the board to work across roads with their state governments.
Addressing Ilaje elders who paid him solidarity visit on Christmas day, Enikuomehin assured the people that he would join hands with the Governor Olusegun Miniko-led government to ensure visible development in the state.
The NDDC Chief, who emphasized his membership of the people democratic party, thanked the governor for his support while the “struggle lasted.”
He expressed dismay at opposition put up by some PDP chieftains in the state against his confirmation, adding that he had forgiven them.
He praised the leadership style of the governor and urged the people to shun politics of “bad belle” and key into the new vision of transformation in the state.
An auto accident has claimed eight lives in Bama Local Government of Borno State. The accident which occurred at Ngoresoye village along Bama-gwoza road also left two of the passengers with serious injuries who are now on admission at the Bama General Hospital, the headquarters of the Local Governemnt. An eye witness told The Tide that a Peugeot Wagon en-route the Gwoza had an head collision with a truck going to Bama which was driven that night without head light. The eye-witness who said he assisted in the evacuation of the accident victims, described the accident as fatal and blamed it on the driver of the truck who was driving without head light in such a busy road in the night. The Borno State Police Public Relation Officer (ASP), Adamu Azare when contacted, confirm the incident and urged drivers to put their vehicles in good order and obey all traffic rules.
Basking on the success of the N6 billion infrastructural bond recently secured by Niger State, government is set to float another N30 billion bond, just as it plans to increase the internally generated revenue (IGR) by over sixty per- cent.
The State Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning, Alhaji Mu’azu Bawa who disclosed this in Minna at the weekend at the post 2009 budget press conference, said that the bond to be floated is essentially for the infrastructural development, adding that the package was put in place in the line with the vision 3:2020 of the state government.
Giving a breakdown of the facility, the commissioner who spoke through Alhaji Ibrahim Matani, Permanent Secretary, Budget and Planning, said that out of the whole package, N20 billion will be devoted to the construction of urban and rural roads, provision of water, health and sport facilities.
He further said that the remaining N10 billion of the package will be use for the establishment of Matani maintaining that the lesson learnt and the success recorded in the just concluded N6 billion bond will greatly help in the drive for the proposed N330 billion bond. On the N17 billion deficit in the 2010 budget proposal, the commissioner who was not explicit as to him the shortfall will be financed, however said that adequate measures are in place to address the deficit.
The General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God, (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has called on the Federal Government to decongest prisoners across the nation, to ensure the welfare and physical well-being of inmates.
Pastor Adeboye made this call while commissioning the newly refurbished chapel in Agodi prisons, Ibadan by the RCCG, as part of the activities for this year’s annual evangelism programme, tagged “let’s go a fishing.”
The cleric, who urged the inmates to count their earthly punishment as a blessing, in view of the eternal condemnation that awaits sinners in heaven, lamented the congestion of prisons in the country, adding that government should do something about the situation.
The pastor, who was apparently reacting to the information provided by the Deputy Controller of Prisons, Oyo State, Mr Olumde Ayokanbi, that Agodi prison, which was build in 1894, to accommodate 390 inmates, as against the current 670, told the inmates, to be focused on God and forsake their evil ways when released.
“If you have been convicted for your crime and punished here on earth, you should rejoice, because people will be punished eternally for their evil deeds on earth; and eternal punishment it greater than the one on earth,” he added.
He therefore urged them to make up their minds to serve God, nothing that those who lived for the gratification of their evil desires would be confined to hell, the place, which he described as a venue of eternal pains and groaning, adding that hell was not fit for man.
Operative of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the early hours of Christmas day arrested a full truck-load of cannabis worth several millions of naira.
The MAK-truck with registration number XM 950 FK, allegedly owned by Road Network Transport Company was intercepted along Ring Road at the point of off-loading the consignment.
The trailer took off last Wednesday night from Ogbese in Ondo State.
The illicit drugs stuffed in sacks were concealed with saw dust in a bid to deceive the narcotic agents.
Nicholas Sahu-Walter, Area Commander of NDLEA in Kano also displayed two buses, one J-5 and gulf car arrested two weeks ago with large quantity of cannabis at entry point along Zaria-Kano road.
Monetary value of all the illicit drugs arrested by the agency in Kano within two weeks of the yuletide was put at over N100 million.
Seventeen suspects are cooling in the NDLEA cell in connection with the latest arrest described by Walter as the biggest haul made in the history of the common within such period of time.
Paul Keji (31) and Okebumi Yinka (23) are among those in the NDLEA net.
While Okebunmi claimed to be an employee of Road Network, Paul said he was trained by the company as a driver but was sacked in January 2007, after his involvement in an accident.
“My elder brother, Hezekiah is the driver of the truck. He took ill at Ife and asked me to help him convey goods to Nassarawa,” Paul narrated, adding that he was flagged down to carry the goods at Ogbese Ogun State, on is way back to Ife.
Governors Adams Oshimhole and Gbenga Daniel of Edo and Ogun State respectively as well as Christian leaders across the country have urged Nigerians, as they celebrate Christmas, to pray for the recovery of President Umaru Yar’Adua, just as they lamented that over 70 percent of Nigerians are living below poverty line.
They also enjoined Nigerians to use the occasion to reflect and pray about the numerous socio-political challenges currently facing Nigeria and stressed the need for all stakeholders to imbibe the values of tolerance and patience.
Daniel, in his message, urged Christians to remember that the season was not all about festivities and merriment but more about the goodness of God to humanity and the irth of the founder of the Christian faith whose life of humility, sacrifice, obedience, love and patriotism should be emulated by all.
“This is a time for us to reflect on the lowly birth of Christ, His immutable teaching, His sacrificial death and glorious resurrection which showed the supremacy of the power of the Almighty God and His willingness to intervene in the affairs of men. We should all imbibe and put to practice Jesus Christ teachings, share the joy of the season with the less priviledged and renew our commitment to the course of building an enduring and prosperous nation,” he stated.
While urging Nigerians to remember Yar’Adua in their prayers, he said only God has the power to heal and preserve the lives of all mortals.
Sokoto State High Court II granted bail to the former governor, Attahinu Bafarawa and eight others who are standing trial before it on a 47-court charge of alleged corruption involving over N15 billion, just as Bafarawa thanked God for the ruling. He added that the struggle to retain his integrity continued.
Bafarawa and fifteen others had been arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on December 16. The court had at its sitting of Monday, December 21 granted the application of the lead counsel to the commission, Chief Adeniyi Akintola, for the issuance of bench warrants for the arrest of the seven other accused persons who failed to appear before the court for no just cause.
In response to the bail application, the presiding judge, Justice Bellow Abbas, said that the applicants brought three applications for bail relying on section 341 (2a, b and c) of the Criminal Procedure Code, CPC.
According to Abbas, “the application is a constitutional matter and having carefully examined all the averments of the applicants and the respondents, the court is satisfied that the applications ought to be granted bail.”
He however ruled that the each of the nine applicants including Bafarawa were admitted to bail in the sum of N20 million and a surety in like sum each. Describing the applicants as men of integrity and urging their supporters to remain clam in the interest of peace, Justice Abbas warned the applicants not to take any step to jeopardize the case.
SEAMATA Condemns Inport Duty Increment On Cargo
Members of the the South East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA) have strongly criticised and rejected the recent astronomical and indiscriminate increment in the import duty on cargoes charged by Nigerian Customs.
SEAMATA is the umbrella union of traders in all the markets in the South-East Geo-political Zone and traders of South-East extraction doing business across the states in the Federation and in Diaspora.
This is contained in a statement jointly signed by SEAMATA’s President General, Chief Gozie Akudolu and its Secretary General, Mr Alex Okwudiri, in Enugu yesterday.
According to them, the Nigerian Customs introduced a method of working out import duty payment on goods and set out a particular minimum amount payable for each 40ft container.
The statement noted that items with the least percentage tariff of five per cent are not even spared.
The current import duties, the statement further regretted, are no longer calculated based on invoice value of consignments.
”Between 2020 and now, the amount charged on cargoes as import duties have risen in geometric proportion from N750,000 to N2 million, again to N3 million and presently, to N3.3 million for 40ft containers; while 20ft containers jumped to N1.8 million.
”The Nigerian Customs on their own, work out payable import duty now based on “estimated” invoice value of consignment as against the actual invoice value of goods from the country of origin.
”This development is not only bringing untold hardships to importers but is also compounding the pains of the citizens as it dovetailed to astronomical increase in prices of imported goods as the Nigerian Customs estimated invoice value is always far above the actual cost of the imports.
”The indiscriminate estimate of value of goods by Nigerian Customs is adversely affecting the prices of goods in the markets today both imported and locally produced as it triggered a chain reaction.
”Even agricultural products are not spared in the chain effect of the price increase.
”In the general meeting held in Onitsha on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, the traders resolved to very strongly condemn and reject the increment.
”We are appealing to the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to prevail on the Nigerian Customs to, as a matter of urgency, suspend the exercise.
”This is to save the Nigerian citizens from further economic hardships as further economic pains that follow such situations could lead to social unrest which our nation doesn’t need now”.
The statement also prayed and expected that the appeal of the traders would be favourably considered in the overall interest of the masses across the country. 7Ends.
By: Canice Amadi, Enugu
Kaduna SUBEB To Sack 233 Teachers Over Fake Certificates
Chairman of the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (KADSUBEB), Alhaji Tijjani Abdullahi, on Thursday, hinted that 233 primary school teachers have been pencilled down for dismissal for gaining employment with fake certificates.
Abdullahi, who spoke at a press conference in Kaduna yesterday, further noted that for the Board to be sure that the newly-employed teachers have the requisite qualifications, it went into secret verification of their credentials from various institutions attended.
According to him, the board has already verified 451 institutions they claimed to have attended, but only nine of them have responded so far.
He further added that the responses from the institutions showed that 233 teachers presented fake certificates.
He added that one of the institutions disowned 212 of the 233 fake certificates, adding that, the board would forward their files to the Ministry of Justice to initiate prosecution for forgery.
A visibly shaken Abdullahi noted that the Board will continue to check the integrity of the certificates presented by teachers to ensure that the teaching profession is not devalued by impostors.
How I Delivered 125 Children After Govt Hospitals Rejected Us -Woman Leader
Women leader of the Internally Displaced Persons, Durumi camp, Garki Abuja, Mrs Liyatu Ayuba, has narrated how she became a midwife in the camp following rejection of their pregnant members in government hospitals.
The women leader, who was displaced from Borno State after the Boko Haram insurgents killed her husband in 2015, revealed that she has successfully assisted in delivering about 125 children in the camp.
Speaking with The Tide source in the camp, Mrs Liyatu alleged that the National Hospital, Abuja, and other government medical facilities had denied their pregnant members access to medical care following their inability to pay bills.
According to her, a lady in the camp who needed a cesarean section died in the National Hospital after they were unable to pay for the operation.
“Few years ago, a lady came to this camp and she was 7 months pregnant. She came barefoot with only a wrapper and she didn’t have a bacha (hut) so she was squatting on another person’s own.
“The next three days, she was in labour and we took her to the National Hospital in Abuja here and we were told to bring 100,000 but we told them that we do not have such money that they should please try and save her life.
“They said they can’t do anything, that we IDPs are disturbing them. That was how the woman and her baby died in the hospital. They even refused to release the corps for us because we could not pay,” they disclosed.
According to her, she was angered by the incident which prompted her into midwifery to save the lives of other women in the camp.
“I learnt how to be a midwife from my grandmother. I started delivering babies on January 2, 2015, so from that year till date, I have delivered a total of 125 babies in this camp,” she stated.
Liyatu told our source that she has been sensitizing households in the camp to embrace family planning due to lack of funds to train the children.
“I have been telling them that people who have four to five children should do family planning because we are facing a lot in this camp, we are not collecting salary.
“And these children are not going to school and women keep getting pregnant. God will hold us responsible for the children that we are bringing to this world without training them,” she noted.
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