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THE STATES

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Adamawa

As the rainy season sets in, the Adamawa State Government has commenced the training of rural farmers’ groups and extension officers on commercial farming.

Malam Usman Pallam, the Director, Planning, in the state Ministry of Agriculture, disclosed this to newsmen in Mubi, one of the five training centres in the state.

Pallam said the training was part of measures to transform agricultural practice in the state.

“The present administration initiated this programme to change the present system of agriculture in the state which is subsistence to commercial.

“We are trying to do that by building the capacity of our farmers by imparting knowledge and skills in farming.

 

Bauchi

The Senate President, David Mark, has said that the internal crisis rocking the PDP would be amicably resolved.

Mark who was speaking on Sunday in Gamawa, Bauchi State, while receiving Sen. Nazif Gamawa, who defected to the PDP, said the current crisis would make the party stronger.

He said that efforts were going on to resolve the crisis amicably, adding that all the contending parties had demonstrated their interest in the well-being of the party.

According to him, most of those who left the party at local government, state and national levels are making efforts to return.

The Senate President also solicited support for a second term for Governor Isa Yuguda to enable him complete his developmental programmes.

 

Ekiti

The Ekiti State Government plans to establish an international market for plantain/banana at Ilawe-Ekiti, in Ekiti South West Local Government Area of the state.

Governor Segun Oni, who made this known at Ilawe-Ekiti, said the project is aimed at boosting the revenue base of the area.

Oni spoke during the handing-over ceremony of a Toyota bus to St. Peter’s, Christ Apostolic Church, Oke-Isegun, Ilawe-Ekiti, and a Toyota Corolla car to Mr.Dayo Olugbade, the youth leader of the community.

The vehicles were donated by a philanthropist, Mr. Sina Awelewa, who also awarded a N60,000 scholarship to Mr. Gbenga Arisoyin, a law student from the community.

 

FCT

Mrs Justina Okoror, Chairperson of the Society of Women in Taxation (SWIT), the female body of the Chartered Institute of Taxation in Nigeria (CITN), has said that women are mostly affected by tax policies.

Okoror said this at a press briefing in Abuja to announce the forthcoming inauguration of SWIT and the investiture ceremony of its chairperson and other members.

“In the Nigerian society, those affected mostly by tax policies are women who are mostly at the lowest point of the economic ladder,’’ Okoror said.

“Indeed tax governance in Nigeria must be made to be friendlier towards the female gender. It is therefore important that they must have voice and be heard on issues that affect them in this sector.’’

She said some of the taxes affecting rural women included multiple taxation and extortion, among others.

 

Kaduna

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has solicited the support of the Methodist Church of Nigeria in curbing preventable communicable diseases.

The Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Dr Mohammed Pate, made the call in Kaduna on Monday during an advocacy visit to the Methodist Bishops’ Council of Nigeria.

Pate urged the Church to complement government efforts in addressing health issues, including the prevention and treatment of diseases.

He specifically appealed to the Church to offer special prayers for the eradication of diseases in the country.

 

Kebbi

The Kebbi Government said it spent N587.1 million between 2007 and 2008 on the provision of electricity to 72 rural communities.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Muazu, and made available to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi.

The statement said the government spent the money on power projects because “it is one sector that could not be ignored for economic development.”

“Completed rural electrification projects have since been energised and linked to the national grid and only a few are yet to be commissioned,” it said.

 

Kwara

Ten residential buildings obstructing water mains in Ilorin metropolis would be demolished, the Kwara State Commissioner for Works, Dr Abubakar Kannike, said on Monday.

Kannike, who is also the Chairman of the Inter-ministerial Committee set up to fast track the delivery of water infrastructure in the state capital, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin.

He said the location of the buildings had hindered the speedy construction of the water mains.

He gave assurance that compensation would be paid to owners of property that might be affected by the ongoing construction work.

He, therefore, urged them to cooperate with the contractor as exercise was in the interest of all.

The commissioner advised property owners to adhere to the specified rules when building along the highways.

 

Lagos

Governor  Sule Lamido of Jigawa State said he is not interested in the 2011 Presidential race.

“Honestly before God Almighty I am not interested. I am too old for that kind of thing. It should be left for the next generation,’’ Lamido told newsmen at  the Murtala Muhammed Airport before his departure for Jigawa.

On the zoning of the presidency to the Northern part of the country by the ruling PDP, Lamido said that although the zoning of the presidency is in the party’s constitution, the nation’s constitution is superior to that of any party.

 

Nasarawa

A new book entitled “Leadership Issues” has been launched in Mararaba near Abuja.

Making the presentation on Monday, Pastor Dan Asukwo of Deeper Life Bible Church, called on Nigerians to imbibe the habit of reading intellectual publications to enhance their knowledge in various areas.

He lauded the ingenuity of the author, Pastor Charles Nelson, for his courage in writing the book, and urged the audience to purchase the book as he was “proud to present it to the public”.

The chairperson at the event, Mrs Constance Udeh, Head, Department of Languages, G.D.S.S. Karu, Abuja, stressed the importance of leadership.

Leadership, accrding to her, starts from home, in the church, places of work, in government, and all other organised places in the society.

 

Ondo

More than 25,000 PDP  members in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, Akure announced their defection to the ruling Labour Party (LP).

The defection comes barely one week after thousands of PDP, Alliance for Democracy (AD) and Action Congress (AC) supporters in Akoko SouthWest/NorthEast Federal constituency joined the party.

Addressing a news conference, the spokesman of  the group, Mr Gbenga Edema, hinged their decision to quit PDP on activities of some “hawks who have hijacked the affairs and soul of the party”.

 

Osun

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Osun Council, has called on media owners in the country to embark on upward review of welfare package for journalists.

This was contained in a statement in commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day, signed by the assistant secretary of the council, Goke Butika and made available to newsmen in Osogbo.

The council advised media organisations to institute insurance scheme that would indemnify journalists against the hazards of the profession.

It further stated that nothing short of a good remuneration would further enhance the practice of journalism in the country.

Oyo

 The Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, has said that Oke-Ogun Community in Oyo State would give total support to Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala in the 2011 general elections.

Ojerinde, who is a native of the community, made the statement at Okaka in Itesiwaju Local Government Area of the state while speaking in an interview with newsmen.

“Our support is based on physical development of the area, because the governor has constructed roads which no other administrations has done in the history of Oyo State,” Ojerinde said.

The Registrar called on the National Assembly to quicken the process of amending the constitution for the creation of new states for the socio-economic development of the country.

                                    Sokoto

Sokoto State Deputy Governor, Muktar  Shagari has charged politicians to learn to deliver on their campaign promises.

Shagari, who gave the charge recently in Sokoto when the Peer Review team of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) Secretariat visited him, said that was the only way they could secure re-election.

The team was in the state in continuation of its project inspection and peer review exercise, an initiative of the 36 governors and National Economic Council.  

 

                                    Zamfara

The Federal Government has urged states and local government councils in the country to intensify effort toward environmental conservation to safeguard lives.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Suleman Bello, made the call on Sunday in Dangaladima in the Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara, where the second wild polio-virus was reported in the country.

Bello said that the call had become necessary because “the greatest challenge of our time, is the issue of climate change that has direct bearing on human life.

“I therefore call on you to assist the government in the area of environmental conservation, by taking measures that would curb indiscriminate felling of trees, pollution and improve environmental sanitation,” Bello said.

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NBA Chieftain Tasks Lawyers On Fairness, Social Justice

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As the world celebrated the World Day of Social Justice yesterday, the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Remuneration Committee, Mr Afam Osigwe (SAN), has urged lawyers to ensure justice at all times.
Osigwe added that Nigerian lawyers must reflect on their call as ministers of justice, and protect the same at a cost.
The World Day of Social Justice is celebrated annually on February 20.
Its observance aims to do justice and to remind us each year of the need to build fairer and more equitable societies.
In a statement yesterday, Osigwe harped on the need for lawyers to uphold the principles of justice, equality, and fairness within their society.
“Social justice is not just a concept; it is a call to action that requires our unwavering commitment to safeguarding the rights and well-being of all individuals, irrespective of their background or circumstances.
“As aspiring leaders and contributors to the legal landscape, we have a unique opportunity to effect positive change.
“Let us strive to bridge gaps, break down barriers, and create an inclusive legal environment that resonates with the principles of social justice.
“Our actions, both individually and collectively, have the power to shape a more equitable future for all.
“As we mark the World Day of Social Justice, we must, therefore, reflect on our collective responsibility as legal professionals to uphold the principles of justice, equality, and fairness within our society,” he said
Osigwe noted that the legal profession plays a pivotal role in shaping the legal landscape, adoing that as the bar embarks on this journey, it must stand united in our commitment to promoting fairness, equity, and the rule of law.
“Through continued education, advocacy, and engagement with our communities, we can contribute meaningfully to the advancement of social justice principles in Nigeria,” he said

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Abia Govt Flays Butchers’ Protest Over Alleged Eviction Rumour

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The Abia State Government has formally reacted to the street protest by the Umuahia Butchers Association over an unfounded speculation that it plans to relocate the abattoir to another area.
The government described the protest as ill-conceived, saying that there was no truth in the speculation.
The butchers took to the streets of the state capital last Thursday over an alleged plot by the government “to forcefully evict them” from the abattoir located at Mgbarakuma Community, near Umuahia.
They alleged that the plot was being hatched by the community and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Navy Capt. Macdonald Uba.
The protesters, who marched through the major streets of Umuahia, ended up at the Government House in Umuahia, displaying placards with different inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions read: “Save us, our governor”, “Ministry of Lands, Garki land is not for sale, please leave us”, “Abia people, slaughter Garki is not for sale”, amongst others.
In an interview with newsmen, the President of the association, Chief Ngozi Williams, said that the abattoir had existed at Mgbarakuma since 1994.
According to Williams, the host community had, in the last two years, made several attempts to force them out of the abattoir.
He said: “The community had gone as far as selling some parcels of land that make up the abbatoir to different individuals.
“We were relocated from the old Garki in Umuahia Town to this place in 1994 during the military administration of Col. Ike Nwosu (rtd.) and the abattoir was inaugurated by the then Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Adamu Chiroma.
“But the Mgbarakuma indigenes came up about two years ago and asked us to leave the place.
“They claimed that government had revoked the land.
“Ever before that time, about six hectares of the land were sold to unknown individuals by the community,” Williams said.
He also said that about a month ago, the governor’s aide started fencing the abattoir, claiming that the place had been sold to him by the government.
“About two to three weeks ago, he brought armed operatives of the Operation Crush to manhandle and chase us out.
“Most of our property were damaged.
“We have written to several agencies of the government to register our complaints,” Williams further said.
He said that the development had affected their businesses and appealed to the government to come to their aid.
“If the government doesn’t want us to continue doing our business in the present location, it should relocate us to another place within Umuahia.

“This is because it is only the government that has the right toa relocate us and not individuals,” Williams said.
But reacting to the protest and allegations by the association, the Traditional Ruler of the community, Eze Ebere Ubani, said that the butchers were not asked to leave the abattoir.
Ubani also said that the association was seeking for ways to divert people’s attention from the actual issue on ground.
“We have never asked them to leave, all we are saying is perform your corporate social responsibility to us as the host community,” he said.
Also, the security adviser to the governor described the allegations made by the butchers as “spurious”.
Uba said that the construction works taking place in the market were meant to improve the state of the abattoir and not to evict the butchers.
He said: “We have commenced the fencing of the cattle market in Lokpanta and extended the same to the Abattoir in Mgbarakuma.
“We at no time told them to relocate or to leave the place or plan for the place to be used for any other purpose than what it is currently being used for.
“The thing is that whatever be their reasons for resisting any further improvements in the market is a figment of their imagination.
“And I think I should say their resistance is based on their selfish interest.”
The Chief Security Officer to the Governor, Mr Ken Nwosu, who received the protesters at the Government House, appealed to them to be peaceful and law-abiding.
Nwosu said that protecting the interest of the people remains paramount in the government’s agenda.
He said: “The letter you have brought to us will definitely be delivered to the governor.
“I know that issues concerning abattoir and cemetery are under the Local Government’s jurisdiction.
“So, your letter will also be delivered to the Transition Committee Chairman of Umuahia South Local Government Area, where the abattoir is situated.”

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CJN Calls For Justice, Equity From West African Leaders In Building Region

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria, (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola has called on West African leaders to use justice and equity to build a prosperous region for the coming generations.
Ariwoola made the call in Abuja on Tuesday while declaring open the Statutory ECOWAS Judicial Council meeting holding in Abuja.
The CJN presided over the meeting being attended by Chief Justices of West African Countries.
He said that the call has become necessary in view of the economic, political and leadership challenges engulfing the region at the moment.
He challenged West African leaders to reaffirm commitment to the ideals of justice, equity and solidarity and work together to build a just region for the people.
“The ECOWAS Judicial Council (EJC), though not widely known like other bodies, has been playing crucial roles in maintaining the rules of law and justice within the region.
“The Council which comprised eminent jurists from West African States has also been serving as the guardian of the rule of law and the protector of human rights within the region.
“In addition, the ECOWAS Judicial Council plays a crucial role in the resolution of disputes among member states, ensuring that conflicts are resolved peacefully and in accordance with the rule of law”.
He added that, the Western Region characterised by diverse legal systems and traditions, the harmonization of laws and legal practices is essential for promoting regional integration and cooperation.
“While the ECOWAS Judicial Council has made significant strides in promoting justice and rule of law in West Africa, the Council is faced with the challenges of inadequate funding, capacity constraints and the need to bolster cooperation among others.
“However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation and collaboration, as we work together to overcome shared obstacles and build a brighter future for our region.
“The council stands as a beacon of hope and progress in the quest for justice and regional integration within West Africa”.
He assured that, the council, under his leadership will continue to pay attention to addressing situations that threaten the judiciary system in West Africa and organisation of the Community Court of Justice.
“By so doing, the court contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region.
“The various national judicial systems in member States are also expected to play these critical roles of nation and regional building”, he said.
He, therefore, called for support to the council to be able to play the role of ensuring an integrated West Africa.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) also charged the ECOWAS Court of Justice to pay attention to the peculiarities of member States and refrain from issuing orders and judgments that are practically incapable of enforcement.
“There is a dire need to promote and deepen alternative dispute resolution measures within West African region.
“The ECOWAS Court must adopt strategies that would strengthen its jurisdiction, whilst appreciating the jurisdictional boundaries of the court and limiting unnecessary conflict with domestic laws of member States.

“The extensive jurisdiction conferred on the ECOWAS Court calls for recruitment of jurists with extensive experience, expertise, high moral character and discipline”.
He stressed the need for the Community Court of Justice to undergo necessary reforms to bring it in tandem with the current emergencies and manage the challenges associated with justice delivery in the region.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, in his speech said, the Judiciary remains crucial in the efforts to curb instability, insecurity in West African Sub-region.
“In this era where instability and insecurity are overwhelming our
community, the role of the justice sector is crucial in conflict prevention, through the promotion and defence of the rule of law and human rights.
“Over the years, the community court has been a reference point for ECOWAS Institutions, as well as individuals, entities, and governments in search of advice, arbitration, and adjudication.
“The regular session of the Statutory Meeting of the ECOWAS Judicial Council is important to address issues affecting the effective operation of the Community Court and to ensure excellence, high standards of conduct.
“The enforcement of the judgments of the Community Court has remained a major issue in the effective delivery of the mandate and responsibility of the judicial institution to the community citizens”, he said.

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