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THE STATE

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FCT

 

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.

 

 

Osun

 

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.

 

 

Ondo

 

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.

 

 

Borno

 

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.

 

Niger

 

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.

 

 

Lagos

 

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.

 

 

Kano

 

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.

 

Ogun

 

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

 

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.

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MFN President Lauds IFMA Over Tournament Sponsorship

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President of Muaythai Federation of Nigeria MFN, Comrade Paul Egonu has lauded International Federation of Muaythai Association (IFMA) over the sponsorship of about 600 Khru Muaythai, trainers and foreign Muaythai boxers to perform the Wai Khru Muaythai ceremony.

The event was held at the Ancient Olympia Stadium in Greece, the birth place of Olympics Games. It was witnessed by a huge crowd including notable Muauythai athletes all over the world.

Comrade Egonu made the commendation in an exclusive Interview with Tidesports yesterday, shortly he arrived Port Harcourt from MFN meeting in Lagos, saying that the commendation was also borne out of the fact that IFMA made it possible for Muaythai to feature in Tokyo Japan 2020 Olympics as a scoring sport.

He further commended IFMA leaders, Dr. Sakchai Tapsuwan, President Stefan Fox, Secretary-General Janice Linn, Sports Director Dr. Supranee Kuptasara, former manager of the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF)Associate Professor Dr. Anan Meksawan, Dr. Chao Watayotha, International Khru Muaythai and other leaders to organise ” Muauythai IFMA Senior World Championship 2024″ in Patras, Greece, May 31 through June 9, 2024.

According to him, over 1,200 Muaythai athletes from 79 countries from five continents participated in the World Muaythai Championship and Muaythai boxers were divided into different categories.

“We commend our Internatiomal body to have successfully hosted Muauythai IFMA Senior World Championship 2024″ in Patras, Greece, between May 31 – June 9, 2024 and sponsor over 600 Khru Muaythai, trainers and foreign Muaythai boxers to perform the Wai Khru Muaythai ceremony in Ancient Olympia Stadium in Greece, the birth place of Olympics Games and prepared to showcase talents at the forthcoming 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.

” Apart from that we are also happy that our parent body is making sure that the sport is acceptable in every part of the world including in Nigeria”, Comrade Egonu said.

He use the forum to urge Muaythai athletes in Nigeria to keep faith and their moral high as the Federation awaits Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports to do the needful by recognising Muauythai as a scoring sports in NSF, as they have met the statutory requirements.

” As Federation we have met statutory requirements to be a scoring sports in NSF because we have appeared in three National demonstrations and have two-third of Muaythai athletes in the States which we have achieved since 2006 at the NSF Gateway Ogun State and unofficial demonstration at the 20th National sports Festival tagged Edo2020 NSF held in Edo state”, he stated.

The MFN President also assured Muaythai athletes in Nigeria that they will participate at the forthcoming NSF scheduled to hold in Ogun State next year January.

 

Tonye Orabere

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Winners-Take-All Approach Detrimental To Political Justice And Unity – Jonathan

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has cautioned that the prevailing “winners-take-all” approach to politics in Nigeria is detrimental to political justice and unity.
Speaking yesterday as the chairman of the national symposium to mark this year’s Democracy Day at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Jonathan emphasised the need for a more inclusive system where parties that perform well at the polls are given a role in governance.
The symposium, which marked this year’s Democracy Day, brought together prominent figures from across the country to discuss the state of democracy in Nigeria and the need for reforms.
Jonathan highlighted the negative impact of the current zero-sum practice, which he said fosters a culture of do-or-die politics. He urged the National Assembly to work out a formula that would ensure parties that score a certain percentage of votes in an election are included in governance, thereby promoting political justice and unity.
“The powers of the presidents are defined by different constitutions and so on and so forth.
“So our National Assembly can also look at models that will suit us. The zero-sum approach, where a party that even sometimes gets 40% of votes, especially at the state levels will have nothing, gives rise to this do-or-die politics.
“That zero-sum approach, I think, is inimical to consolidating and strengthening our democracy.
“Let me conclude by saying that together, we can forge a Nigeria where every citizen has a voice, where opportunities abound, where the promise of a better tomorrow is not just a dream but a tangible reality.
“Let us therefore celebrate this milestone with pride and renewed determination.”
President Jonathan also advised President Bola Tinubu’s administration to ensure that the politics of the next 25 years are transformative and inclusive, saying that there must be a determined effort to dilute the politics of region and religion.
“And I know you and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was a key actor in the June 12 crisis, will have the capacity to navigate through that process.
“I believe this programme and others commemorating this landmark will point the way to that glorious vision and prepare the nation for golden time centenary celebrations of enduring democracy.”
Noting that the path towards democratic consolidation has been a difficult one, he said the return of democracy in 1999, after many years of military reign, signalled a new phase in the national journey and shared vision of unity, peace and progress.
The former president added: “In the last 25 years, we have made modest progress in this regard amid some challenges. As a nation, we built an economy that was once the biggest on the African continent, experienced significant infrastructural growth, made strides in the arts and sports, and recorded many peaceful political transitions at the national and sub-national levels.
“Democracy has also brought about improved access to governance, amplified silent voices and reinforced the idea of sovereignty.
“Whenever I tune in to Nigerian TV stations, especially in the morning and see young men and women discussing and interrogating contemporary political issues and holding leaders to account, I thank God for democracy and appreciate the gains we have made over the years.
“In these 25 years, through four power transitions from one president to another, including the death of a sitting president, we have seen the gradual strengthening of our democratic institutions, the expansion of civil liberties, and the active participation of our citizenry in the political process. This progress, while commendable, also reminds us that our work is far from done.
“It is, therefore, time to make this journey seamless, through good citizenship, patriotic service as well as sacrificial and exemplary stewardship.
“We must continue to build upon the foundations laid, deepen our democratic roots, and ensure that the dividends of democracy are felt by all Nigerians, regardless of their social, economic or geographic status.”
Jonathan also called on the political class and elites to lead by example and work with unity of purpose to guarantee peace, social justice, and effective governance for Nigerian citizens.
He emphasised the need for elected representatives to reflect their roles through their lifestyles and actions.
He said: “For democracy to yield its desired dividend, we the political class and elites must lead by example and work with unity of purpose to guarantee peace and social justice for the citizens. And our lifestyle must reflect that we are elected people.

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Ibom Developers Drive Sustainable Growth Through Skill Acquisition Workshop In Amazaba Community, Akwa Ibom

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Skill acquisition is a principal factor for building a successful career, significantly enhancing one’s employability and opening doors to various career opportunities. It serves as a cornerstone for driving holistic development within communities, fostering economic empowerment, and promoting sustainable growth.
Recognising the transformative impact of its ongoing skill acquisition initiatives, Ibom Developers has extended its programme to the Amazaba community in Eastern Obolo LGA, Akwa Ibom State, from 3rd to 14th June 2024.
This initiative aims to foster economic empowerment and community development by equipping participants with practical skills essential for economic independence.
During the event, 160 women received intensive training in catering, food hygiene, packaging, hairdressing, wig making, ventilation, and styling over a period of two weeks.
Distinguished guests, including Chief Gogonte Luke Nglass, Chairman of the Amazaba Council of Chiefs, Chief Alexander Ikowa, Village Head of Okorobilom, Chief J.J Job, Village Head of Bethlehem, Mrs. Gloria Gogonte, Vice President of the Amazaba Women Association, and Victoria Solomon Bibama, Assistant Secretary of the Amazaba Women Association, were present.
Grateful for the initiative and its impact on the community, especially in advancing women’s skills, Chief Gogonte Luke Nglass expressed optimism for transformative change, stating, “We are grateful, and we eagerly anticipate witnessing the profound effects of this initiative on our community.”
Skill acquisition empowers individuals to navigate the modern job market, achieve personal and professional growth, and contribute to economic and social development.
Emphasising the role of skill acquisition in empowering women and youth, Victoria Solomon Bibama expressed, “This is highly commendable, and initiatives like these bring us closer to a future where every woman can thrive, and no community is left behind.”
Equipping women with relevant skills, especially in rural areas, expands opportunities for meaningful employment. Ibom Developers’ efforts contribute to building a stronger society, facilitating economic growth and social progress.
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