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THE STATES

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            Bauchi

Alhaji Yahaya Jalam, the Bauchi State Commissioner or health has pleaded with health workers to ensure judicious distribution and effective utilization of drugs provided by government in public hospitals across the state.

Jalam made the call recently in Bauchi during the de-briefing of the mosquito net distribution exercise.

The Tide’s correspondent recalled that the government had, in 2008, introduced free medical treatment and food supplement scheme for children under the ages of five and for pregnant mothers in its hospitals.

The Scheme was designed to enhance health care delivery and reverse the trend of high maternal and infant mortality rate in the state.

                                    FCT

Ustaz Musa Muhammad, the Chief Imam of the Abuja national Mosque, has called on Nigerians to continue to pray for the peace and stability of the nation.

Muhammad made the call in Abuja in an interview with newsmen shortly after the juma’ at prayers.

He urged Nigerians to intensify their prayers “as the country marches toward the 2011 general elections”.

Muhammad stressed the importance of Juma’ at prayers and urged Muslims to take advantage of it to supplicate to God for their needs and ask for forgiveness for their sins.

                       

                                    Kaduna

Farmers in Zaria and its environs have expressed concern over the delay in the supply of fertiliser for this year’s farming season.

An investigation conducted by The Tide’s source in Zaira revealed that farmers have already started clearing their farmland in preparation to commece farming.

Alhaji Aliyu, Africana a farmer in the area, told the source that the commodity usually arrive late when farmers had already resorted to other althernatives.

“Most of us do not wait for fertilizer procured by the government; we source for the commodity from the black market.

“Nevertheless, I want to appeal to the state government to expedite action and ensure availability of the commodity in good time”, Africana said.

 

                                    Kogi

The Kogi State government has commenced the implementation of the white paper on the crisis in Ebira land, the Commissioner for Information, Dr. Tom Ohikere, has said.

Ohikere told newsmen in Lokoja, that the move was to find lasting solution to the crisis in the area.

According to him, government has commenced the banning of masquerade outing in Ebira land in line with the recommendations of the white paper.

The law banning masquerades came into being during the first civilian administration in the state.

Ohikere said that government had equally granted permission for the setting up of a vigilance group to check questionable movements and behaviours, especially in Okene and other suburbs.

He said that names of identified persons, who were behind the crisis had been submitted to the security agents for necessary action.

The commissioner also told our source that government was considering “hosting a broad-based economic summit, to enable experts do a brain-storming on various social and economic issues capable of turning around the economy of the state for good.

 

                             Lagos

The Acting General Manager of the National Theatre, Lagos, Alhaji Yusuf Atai said about N6.5 billion would be needed to renovate the edifice.

Speaking in an interview with newsmen Atai said the national monument has become decrepit following several years of neglect.

“The National Theatre is like a village, so it requires huge amount of money to maintain. The facilities and buildings are in a deplorable state,” he said.

According to Atai, since 1976 when the structure was built by the Bulgarian contractors, no major renovation had been done to keep the building in shape.

“In the master plan, the instruction left by the contractors was that renovation should be done on the structure after 10 years, but for over 34 years now, no major renovation has been done”.

                             Niger

A High Court in Minna has ordered that the suspended Chairman of Rafi Local Government Council in Niger, Alhaji Ali Kagara, be reinstated.

In his judgment, Justice Aliyu Maiyaki ruled that “the appointment and swearing-in of the Acting Chairman of Rafi Local Government Council is declared “null and void.”

“He should vacate the office of the Chairman of Rafi Local Government Council forthwith.

“The defendants are also ordered to reinstate the plaintiff to the office of the executive chairman of Rafi Local Government Council forthwith and pay to him all his emoluments for the period he was unlawfully removed from office”, the Judge ordered.

Reacting to the judgment, Kagara expressed gratitude to Almighty Allah for the judgment and the judicial system for upholding his fundamental rights.

                                    Oyo

A dietician at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Mrs Iyabode Alabi, has advised Nigerians to consume more water as against soft drinks and processed fruit juice.

Alabi, the head of Department of Dietetics, told newsmen Ibadan that “many Nigerians consume more soft drinks because we attend social parties a lot.”

She further said: “Water transports nutrients from the body into the cell and allows free bowel movement.”

“Soft drinks do not contain any other useful nutrients to the body, their sugar content is high and also contain high caffeine.

“Caffeine is a stimulant which increases the body’s nervous activities, so it is not good especially if you are hypertensive or have stomach ulcers.”

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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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