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THE STATES

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Bauchi

Residents of Bauchi metropolis said on Saturday that the planned return of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to PDP might not be as rosy as his supporters thought.

Speaking to our correspondent Alhaji Shehu Ali, a political commentator, said that Abubakar might not find it easy in PDP because from all indications his reason for rejoining the party was not unconnected to his ambition to become the president of the country.

“Atiku will face a formidable task if he really wants to secure the PDP ticket for its presidential candidate in 2011.

“I say so because there are other prominent and strong personalities who also want to have the same opportunity as him.

“Because of his absence for a long time it will be difficult for him to have an automatic ticket to contest as president,” Ali said.

However, another resident,  Alhaji Sulaiman Ibrahim, a political chieftain and a member of PDP, said that Abubakar left the party because he felt he was frustrated and from the look of things the frustrating elements were gone that was why he wanted to return to it.

He said it was due to problems he was facing in PDP that he left and created another party in the name of Action Congress (AC).

FCT

The Minister of Defence, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, on Friday in Abuja said the Federal Government would redouble its commitment to the welfare of the armed forces.

Adetokunbo disclosed this while inspecting some projects, executed by the Nigerian Army Engineering Corps, through direct labour.

“The Acting President has given the mandate to support every effort to improve the welfare of all those in uniform. What I have seen today shows the need for government to redouble its commitment in this direction.

“I believe first of all, that the welfare of our men and officers is being taken care of by this approach of the Chief of Army Staff, and I want to urge all services to emulate this approach,” he said.

The minister said he had been briefed on assumption of duty in the new ministry that the services, especially the Nigerian Army had embarked on projects by direct labour.

“It appears strange and from what I have seen today I am impressed”, he added.

On his part, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau, said for each project carried out through direct labour, the army had spent not more than 10 per cent of what would have been spent through the award of contracts.

Dambazau added that the project that would have taken five years to complete were completed within one year by the army personnel through direct labour.

 

                        Jigawa

 

Jigawa Police Command has arrested three people who allegedly tried to defraud the state government, police public relations officer of the command, Assistant Supritendant of Police Abdu Jinjiri, said.

Jinjiri told newsmen in Dutse on Saturday that the suspects were Haruna Mustapha, Saidu Mustapha from Abuja and Mohammed Ali of Nassarawa Quarters

in Kano Metropolis.

Jinjiri said the suspects sent a text message to one Abuja-based business man, Alhaji Malami Shehu, requesting money to facilitate the procurement of a N3 billioncontract for the supply of fertiliser to the state government.

The suspects claimed that the Chief of Staff, Government House, Dutse, Alhaji Aminu Ringim, was aware of the contract.

Luck ran out of the suspected criminals when Shehu called Ringim to verify the story.

The police were immediately alerted and the three suspects were arrested.

At the time of filing this report the Jinjiri said the criminals were in police custody for full and further investigation on the matter.

                                    Kaduna

 Alhaji Shehu Idris, the Emir of Zazzau, on Friday urged religious and traditional leaders to redouble effort to promote religious tolerance, trust and understanding among their followers.

Speaking at a quarterly meeting with religious leaders and traditional rulers in his palace in Zaria, the emir described peace as a vital ingredient for socio-economic growth.He explained that no religion preached violence, hence the need for leaders to show the fear of God Almighty by promoting peace and unity among the people.

He called on traditional rulers and religious leaders to complement the efforts of the Kaduna State Government toward sustaining the prevailing peaceful atmosphere in the state.

The emir urged the Ulama (religious leaders) to adopt a means of finding solution to the differences among various religious groups and advised youths against thuggery.

In their contributions, Sheik Abubakar Imam-Ikara, Sama’ila Dakace and Alhaji Garba Ra’is restated their commitment to a peaceful society.

They described the meeting as a way of strengthening peace and harmony among the people of Zazzau Emirate and the state as a whole.

 

                                    Kebbi

The Campaign Organisation of Gov. Saidu Dakingari of Kebbi for the 2011 election, has announced the removal of its chairman, Alhaji Muhammed Kwasara.

A statement by the Assistant Public Relations Officer of the organisation, Nasiru Masama, in Birnin Kebbi on Friday, said the removal was because of Kwarasa’s crowded schedule, which had not allowed him to pay required attention to the project.

It noted that Kwasara was also a Senior Special Adviser on Special Duties to Dakingari.

The statement named Alhaji Kabiru Sani as the new chairman of the organisation.

Speaking on his appointment, Sani said he would promote the achievements of Dakingari toward a successful re-election in 2011.

He appealed to supporters of the party to remain committed to the effort to re-elect the governor.

 

                                    Lagos

 The Chairman, Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Mr Kunle Soname, said his administration would assist voluntary organisations to train youths in the area.

Soname told newsmen in Lagos on Saturday that the council would support the groups with funds and logistics in training their members.

“We have written to schools and landlords of places where these groups meet to allow them free assess and also to give them other forms of support,’’ he said.

According to him, letters have also been written to all private and public primary and secondary schools within the LCDA to encourage students to belong to any one of the voluntary associations.

He said that head teachers and principals of public schools had been directed to set aside a day in the week for students to participate in the activities of the voluntary associations.

“Our intention is in line with the aspirations of the state governor to integrate voluntary associations into the re-orientation programme for youths and children in the state,’’ he said.

Our correspondent  reports that 65 under-10 pupils of Caleb International Schools, Magodo, were inducted into the Nigerian Red Cross Society in March.

Another 100 pupils from five public schools within the LCDA were inducted into the Boys Scout and Girls Guide associations as part of the re-orientation programme.

 

                                    Niger

The Chief Imam of Umaru Majigi Central Mosque, Bida in Niger, Sheikh Adamu Liman-Yakatun, has urged Nigerian Muslims to give their children both western and Islamic education.

Liman-Yakatun spoke on Friday in Bida at the graduation ceremony of 20 students of Imam Aliyu Quranic School.

He said by acquiring western and Islamic education “ Muslims can contribute meaningfully to national development.

“We cannot endeavour to contribute our own quota to the socio-economic development of Nigeria if we neglect the pursuit of both western and religious education.”

Liman-Yakatun also called for the education of girls like their male counterparts to facilitate national development.

“Women are the mothers of the society just as they mould the character of our children and as such they should be adequately educated to face that challenges,” he said.

The proprietor of the school, Malam Usman Aliyu, emphasised the need for parents to complement the effort of the government in funding education.

 

Osun

Mr Sina Mohammed, Special Adviser to Gov. Olagunsoye Oyinlola on Project Monitoring, on Friday scored contractors handling projects in the state low.

Inspecting some projects on Friday, the special adviser said the contractors were now taking advantage of the ending phase of the present political dispensation to do shoddy jobs,

The tour followed a call on government by the affected communities to make the contractors to be committed to their jobs.

Mohammed expressed dissatisfaction with the shoddy jobs done by the contractors, in spite of the fact that they had been properly mobilised to enable them perform well.

The special adviser expressed disappointment with the renovation work being carried out at the Maternal and Child Health Wards of the Comprehensive Health Centre at Ikire.

Mohammed, who is also the Chairman of State and Local Government Capital Project Monitoring Committee, was at Iwo, Ede, Ejigbo and Osogbo to assess projects.

He described the quality of work done in Ikire as unacceptable and directed that the contracting firm should not be paid until the defects were rectified.

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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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