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The American University of Nigeria (AUN) has graduated 289 students at its fifth convocation ceremony held last Saturday in Yola.

Speaking at the convocation, the President of the university, Prof. Margee Ensign, said that the university since its inception nine years ago had centred on community-based services and development.

She said the university was committed to helping the community and society achieve equitable and sustainable prosperity, and disclosed the university’s sustainability initiative was one of its many developmental projects.

On the insecurity in the country, Ensign said that the university had attained a meaningful development where it had become a major sponsor of peace initiative groups, including the popular Adamawa Peace Council.

She explained that the group was assisted with a view to fostering peace and harmony in the state and in the region. “The goal is to assist young people to acquire the knowledge and skills, needed to work or start their own small businesses,” Ensign said.



Residents of EFAB Estate in Mbora District, Abuja, have lauded the remedial work on a deep gully caused by excavation work in the area.

Sammyal Construction Company was awarded contract by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to build infrastructure at Mbora District, close to EFAB estate.

It was said to have abandoned the site after excavating the terrain and clearing shrubs and trees which later caused gully erosion in the area.

A resident, Mr Obed Amazu, commended the company and the FCDA for coming to the aid of the residents.

Another resident, Mr John Shamaki,commended the government for addressing the environmental challenge which threatened more than 60 families.

Shamaki said the gully would have escalated if nothing had been done, noting that some residents had relocated to other parts of the FCT due to the threat posed by the gully.

The managing director of the company, Mr Sammy Adigun, said the company had to fill the ditch as part of its corporate social responsibility.

Adigun said the people needed to be assisted because the provision of infrastructure is for the people to live comfortably.



The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Jigawa, on Thursday arrested three randy commercial motorcycle operators for alleged sexual abuse of two minors.

The NSCDC Commandant in the state, Mr Muhammad Gidado, told newsmen that the suspects were nabbed after they allegedly had canal knowledge of two teenage girls in Birnin Kudu.

He claimed that the suspects (names withheld) had enticed the girls with gifts and money to have sex with them. ‘’We are not bringing rape charges against the suspects because the girls were not forced to consent to sex. ‘’Based on investigation, beside the suspects, the girls admitted having sex with other men,’’ he said.

According to him, the suspects have admitted to having sexual intercourse with the minors on several occasions.

The commandant added that preliminary medical check up at the General Hospital, Dutse, indicated that the girls’ virginity had been tampered with over long period of time.



More than 249,858 children under five years of age have been immunised against polio and other childhood killer diseases in Fagge Area Council in Kano Municipal, an official said on Saturday.

The Health Coordinator of the Council, Hajiya Fatima Mohammad, said last Saturday in an interview that the exercise would make it possible for more children to be immunised considering that the people had accepted the programme through mass sensitisation by the council.

‘’The large turnout in the previous exercise was the outcome of the state government’s commitment to eradicate the childhood killer diseases in all the area councils of the state. “Fagge keyed into this objective and got this great result from the last exercise,’’ she said.

The coordinator said that Fagge Council was always collaborating with major stakeholders, such as district and ward heads, parents as well as health officials and other ad hoc staff.



The Kwara State Committee on Flood Disaster and Rehabilitation has began advocacy visits to flood-prone areas to persuade the people to vacate river banks. The committee’s chairman, Alhaji Mohammed Dabarako, is leading the group on the visit that started on Friday in Shonga in Edu Local Government Area.

Dabarako, who is also the Head of Service of the state, urged the monarch to assist in persuading residents to vacate river banks and move upland before heavy rain sets in.

The chairman said the advocacy visit had become imperative in view of the warning by the Federal Government that the nation will witness heavy rains in 2013.

Responding, the Etsu Shonga described the havoc created by 2012 flood in his domain as devastating, and thanked the state and the federal government for providing immediate succour to the 2012 flood victims in the area.



Chief Maxi Okwu, who emerged National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), at the party’s national convention held in Awka, Anambra, on April 8, has faulted INEC’s recognition of Chief Victor Umeh as the new Chairman of APGA..

Okwu said in Lagos last Saturday that the Independent National Electoral Commission’s recognition of Umeh was unacceptable to the party.

However, the Court of Appeal, sitting in Enugu on April 7, restored Umeh as the National Chairman of the party after he was previously restrained from parading himself in that capacity by an Enugu High Court on February 10.

INEC on May 9, intervened in the crisis, recognising Umeh as chairman of the party.



Governor Tanko Al-makura of Nasarawa State has given assurance that those fanning the embers of violence in the state will not go unpunished.

The governor gave the assurance in a statement issued on Sunday in reaction to the killing of 30 policemen at Alakyo village by the Ombatse militia, said “The state government will not watch while some disgruntled individuals hold it to ransom and turn the state into theatre of death, undermining the development efforts of this administration.”

“We have had enough bloodshed in Nasarawa, those who are hell-bent on sabotaging our efforts will not go unpunished. “It is unfortunate that some people still perpetrate evil against their fellow human beings at a time when the state has begun to count the gains of democracy. “The crisis has no religious colouration as been speculated by some section of the media; some people are just bent on destroying the state because they feel they are not in power,” he said.



Gov Babangida Aliyu of Niger State has dissociated himself from posters depicting him to be seeking the PDP presidential ticket for the 2015 election.

Aliyu distanced himself from the posters in reaction to the news of the seizure of the posters by security agents in Kaduna, at a one-day North Central Zonal Security Awareness Workshop in Minna.

The governor said that he had not ordered anyone to produce any poster for him and that he had no intention of doing so yet, adding that as a loyal member of the party, he would abide by the party’s guideline of June 2014 deadline before making any pronouncement of my political ambition.

Aliyu said he had earlier on ordered the removal of the posters of governors Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers and Sule  Lamido of Jigawa, which flooded the state about a week ago, in keeping with the party’s directive.




More civil servants in Ondo State have offered to retire voluntarily from service as a result of the on-going staff screening embarked upon by the government to expose “ghost’’ workers.

The Head of Service, Mrs Kosemani Kolawole, said last Thursday in Akure that the screening which kicked off in the 18 local government areas of the state had led to the discovery of 6,000 junior “ghost’’ workers and 3,500 senior “ghost’’ workers.

Kolawole said that the government conducted the screening when it realised that many workers had falsified their ages to remain in service beyond their  normal retirement age.

She said that the government had discovered that some local governments officials had inflated leave bonuses by N310 million, adding that instead of N540 million they request for N850 million annually.

According to her, workers who came in through the back door will go, while those who have attained 60 years of age will also leave to allow the injection of new blood into the service.



The Osun Government has directed its ministries, departments and agencies to replace old number plates on official vehicles with new ones without further delay.

Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, gave the directive in a statement in Osogbo last Saturday.

The new number plate is bearing the re-branded official designation of the state, “Land of Virtue.’’

The secretary also directed all those having governor’s office vehicles with old number plates to contact the Department of Special Services in the Bureau of Cabinet and Special Services.

“This is with a view to exchanging the old number plates for the new official number plates,’’ the statement directed.



The National Zoological Garden Jos on Saturday organised a special and unique 50th birthday party for two chimpanzees popularly known as ‘Bobby and Paulina.’

Director-General, National Commission for Museums and Monument ( NCMM), Mr Yusuf Usman, said that the birthday was the first of its kind in Africa.

Usman who was represented by Mrs Caroline Ezeokeke, Curator, National Museum, Jos said that there was the need to develop consciousness to protect animals and for them not go into extinction.

Director, Monument, Heritage and Sites of NCMM, Dr Areo Biodun,said that the essence of the celebration was to accord the two animals the respect they deserved by being among few lucky ones in the world that lived that long.

Director, Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) University of Jos, Prof. Naomi James-Rogu, in her remarks commended the management of the zoo for taking good care of the animals.

James-Rogu, a Professor of Zoology, advised the management of the zoo to organise a Zoo Week to educate students and the general public about animals.

She pledged the cooperation of the university in partnering with the zoo in providing the necessary assistance it might require.

Timothy Nyam of the Plateau Tourism Cooperation presented a paper entitled “Unity and Conservation”.



The PDP in Yobe State has said that the defection of some politicians from the party to the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) will not affect the party’s fortunes in the state.

The PDP chairman, Alhaji Lawan Karasuwa, said in a statement on Friday in Damaturu that the politicians left the party because they failed to actualise their personal and selfish programmes.

Some PDP chieftains, including former members of the National Assembly, former deputy governor and several others, defected to ANPP on Thursday.

The statement, however, said the exit of the politicians had resolved the internal squabbles within the party, adding that their exit would go a long way in repairing the damage done to the party.

The statement also emphasised the party’s support to President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. “The party is very proud of the abundant dividends of democracy provided by the Jonathan administration,’’ it stated, adding that PDP is unwavering in its commitment and readiness to ensure the party’s victory in the state.

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NEDC Distributes Palliatives To People With Disabilities In Borno



The North East Development Commission (NEDC) has commenced distribution of palliatives to people living with disability in Borno State.
During the exercise on Saturday in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, the Managing Director of the Commission, Mr Mohammed Alkali, said the gesture was in line with the commission’s mandate.
Alkali, who was represented by the NEDC Coordinator for Borno, Mr Mohammed Umaru, said the exercise started with the people with disability in Maiduguri metropolitant and would be extended to their members in the 26 LGAs of the state.
“What we are doing here today will also be done in remaining 26 LGAs of Borno.
“It has also commenced or has been done in other north east states as part of measures to ensure that everyone is given a sense of belonging in line with the NEDC mandate”, he said.
Responding, the Chairman of people living with disability in Borno, Mallam Mohammed Abubakar, thanked the commission for the gesture and assured of the leadership’s commitment to ensure fairness in sharing the 50 bags of rice and 50 cartons of spaghetti to its members in the metropolis.
Abubakar urged other organisations to emulate the gesture by the commission in reaching out to vulnerable groups in their support to victims of insurgency at this critical period.

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Tribunal Upholds Gov Alia’s Election 



The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Makurdi on Saturday upheld the victory of Governor Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 18 Governorship Election.
Delivering the judgment, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, held that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain pre election issues raised by the petitioners, Titus Uba and PDP.
Karaye, who read the unanimous judgment, stated that only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain issues bordering on pre-election matters.
He further said the petitioners’ case was also an abuse of court processes because the same case was filed by the petitioners before the Federal High Court Abuja Division and its judgment was not challenged by the petitioners.
He said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of the 2nd and 3rd respondents by the 4th respondent since they were not members of the 4th respondent.
Justice Karaye further said that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations of forgery against the 3rd respondent before the tribunal.
He said the 2nd and 3rd respondents were qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election and therefore, dismissed the case.
The petitioners, Titus Uba and the PDP, had dragged the respondents, INEC, Hyacinth Alia, Dr Sam Ode, and the APC before the tribunal, challenging their declaration by the INEC.
The petitioners argued that the 2nd and 3rd respondents, Gov Alia and Dr Ode, were at the time of contesting the election, not qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election.
They averred that the 4th respondent – the APC – did not follow the provisions of the law in the nomination of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates.
They also alleged that the 3rd respondent had presented a forged certificate to the 1st respondent, INEC, therefore, should be disqualified.
They therefore, prayed among other things, for the nullification of their election and declare the petitioners as winners of the election, having scored second highest lawful votes.
They also contended that having not qualified to contest the election, their votes should be declared invalid and certificates earlier issued to them by INEC be withdrawn.
The Tide’s source reports that the petitioners in the suit did not challenge the result of the March 18 Benue Governorship Election but qualifications of the candidates.
However, the respondents in their counter arguments, urged the tribunal to dismiss the suit in its entirety as it was an abuse of court processes.
The respondents stated that the Federal High Court Abuja Division, had before the election, delivered judgment on the same matter which was filed by the petitioners but they did not appeal the judgment till date.
They also said the issues raised were all pre election matter and only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain same.

The 2nd and 3rd respondents clearly stated that since the prayers sought by the petitioners were all pre-election matters, the petitioners case was status bar and should be struck out.

They said the petitioners lacked locus standing to challenge the nomination of candidates of other political parties as they were mere meddlesome interlopers.

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PDP Chieftain Makes Case For Culture, Tradition Maintenance 



A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, Prince Dotun Babayemi, has called on traditional rulers and other relevant stakeholders not to allow culture and traditions to go into extinction.
Babayemi gave the advice in Osogbo on Saturday to commemorate the  Olojo festival celebration slated to hold between Septwmber 29 and October 2 in Ile-Ife.
The Tide’s source reports that Olojo festival is an ancient festival aimed at celebrating the remembrance of “Ogun”, god of iron, who is believed  to be the first son of Oduduwa, progenitor of the Yoruba people.
Babayemi said relevant stakeholders in Yoruba land should rise up to rescue the culture and traditions as well as the language of the race from going into extinction.
“We have to go back to the days of yore because our known valued ethos and mores are fast ebbing.
“Sadly, these are already taking tolls on our value system as reflected in the moral decadence pervading our society today.
“It is sad that gradually our culture is being submerged by modernity/ civilisation and this portends a great danger for the future of the culture and traditions of Yoruba race.
“Unless everyone rises up to rescue this avoidable cultural eclipse, the future of our culture and traditions will be in jeopardy”, he said.
Babayemi, who is also a former PDP governorship aspirant in the state, congratulated the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja ll, sons and daughters of Ile-Ife across the world on the celebration of the Olojo festival.
He said the constant celebration of  the festival would not make the coming generations to lose touch with the history of the race, thereby rekindling cultural renaissance.
“I want to sincerely congratulate our highly revered traditional ruler of Ile-Ife, Ooni Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja ll, and the good people of the ancient town home and abroad on the celebration of Olojo Festival.
“Sincerely speaking, unless we sustain the tempo of celebrating our culture in Yoruba land in the challenging face of modernity/civilisation, coming generations will lose touch with our history.
“Moreso, we are blessed with relics, artefacts and other cultural events worth celebrating”, he said.
The party stalwart urged  custodians of Yoruba cultures and traditions to ensure cultural engagements that would continually ingrain the needed values in the subconscious of the younger generations.

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