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THE STATES

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Borno
Alhaji Kabiru Turaki, the Minister for Special Duties,
said on Saturday that it was illogical to link the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents to the Federal Government.
Turaki said this while speaking at the PDP Presidential Rally held in Maiduguri.
He described individuals peddling such romour as “most unpatriotic.’’
“It is an open secret that government does not have a hand in the current insecurity facing us.
“Although, some people have been spreading falsehood linking government with the problem,” Turaki said.
“The people of Borno are well known for their intelligence. I am sure that they know very well that government cannot have a hand in this mess,” he said.

FCT
Australia’s High Commissioner to Nigeria has appealed
to political parties and their candidates to refrain from violent acts and inflammatory speeches ahead of the February general elections.
Mr Jonathan Richardson, gave the advice on the occasion of the celebration of Australia Day in Abuja.
Our correspondent  reports that the Australia celebrates its National Day on January 26 every year to commemorate the establishment of the first European settlement at Port Jackson, now part of Sydney, in 1788.
Richardson said that Australia was, however, confident that the poll would be peaceful.
He welcomed the Abuja Peace Accord of January 14, and appealed to all the stakeholders to abide by the non-violence pact.
He said, “Australia wishes Nigeria every success in holding free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.

Gombe

Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State said  that
the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would emerge victorious at all levels in the state in the February general elections.
Dankwambo, who spoke to newsmen in Yola shortly after presiding over a stakeholders’ meeting, said the meeting had resolved all issues within the party in the state.
“I am here on a mission of the PDP to meet some of the stakeholders in Adamawa on how we will move the party forward.
“We met and discussed on how we can carry everyone in the party along to face the February general elections.
“I see Adamawa as one of our strong base and by the grace of God victory is certain,” Dankwambo said.
Also speaking, Prof. Jibril Aminu, a PDP Board of Trustee member, urged those who felt aggrieved and had already left the party to return, saying everyone would be carried along.

Jigawa

Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa has  urged traditional
rulers to caution their subjects against harassment of any leader in the name of politics. Lamido gave the advice when he stopped over to pay homage to Emir of Kazaure, Alhaji Najib Adamu, during the ongoing campaign tour in the area. He said that the recent attacks on leaders were bad for the country’s democracy and tasked monarchs to educate their subjects on what leadership was all about and how people should honour and respect those in power.
“I am not happy with the ugly development where our youths are used to boo leaders during political campaigns. It is a bad precedent that everyone must rise against.
“As Nigerians, we have been living peacefully, people from the North have been living and doing business in the South and those from the South have been living and peacefully doing business in the North, therefore, we have to avoid doing anything that will endanger their lives.’’

Kaduna

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
said it would use 35, 000 ad hoc staff in Kaduna State for the forthcoming general elections.
The commission’s Administrative Secretary in the state, Alhaji Yusuf Hadejia, said this in an interview with newsmen  in Kaduna  recently.
According to him, the ad hoc staff will include National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members, students of tertiary institutions and facilitators from universities.
He said training had already commenced for staff as the commission was getting set to conduct hitch-free and acceptable polls.
Yusuf added that materials for the elections had started arriving, noting that “we have commenced the collection of non sensitive materials from Abuja, and we are organising series of workshops ahead of the elections.’’

Kwara

No fewer than four shops were saved from being de
stroyed by fire in Ilorin  following the quick intervention of the men of the Kwara Fire Service.
Our correspondent  reports that the incidence occurred opposite Yusjib Industrial Medi-care Hospital in Offa Garage area of Ilorin recently.
The Fire fighters, who got to the scene of the inferno early enough, were able to put out the fire in good time before it could escalate.
Some sympathisers told  newsmen  that the fire was triggered by an unknown person, who was burning debris in the yard behind the shops.
He explained that his men were informed of the fire incident and quickly rushed to the scene.

Lagos

The Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Re
view of Nigeria’s National Defence Policy, said the outcome of its work would enhance the efficiency of the armed forces.
AVM Mohammed Umaru (Rtd), gave the assurance in an interview with   newsmen  in Lagos
Umaru said, following the committee’s two-day stakeholders’ interactive session in Lagos, the outcome of its work had so far been fruitful.
“From all indications we expect to have a result-oriented review that would ensure the efficiency of the armed forces.
“In Lagos for instance, the sessions dwelt on issues bordering on the people and the efficiency of the armed forces,” he said.
Nasarawa
The Andoma of Doma in Nasarawa, Alhaji Aliyu Onawo,
has cautioned politicians to desist from campaign of calumny  ahead of the February polls.
Onawo gave the advice  in Doma when the Nasarawa State governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Innocent Lagi, visited his palace to seek royal blessings.
The traditional ruler noted that the ongoing campaigns by the politicians dwelt more on personality rather than on issues and this could heat up the polity as well as instigate violence.
He urged the politicians to eschew bitterness and violence in the overall interest of the country, saying that they should focus on issue-based campaigns for the election.

Plateau

Senator Gyang Pwajok, the PDP governorship candi
date in Plateau State, has decried the ‘utter neglect’ of the tourism sector, and promised “massive investment’’ toward reviving it, if elected governor.
“The tourism sector is the pride of Plateau. It should actually our main source of revenue but that has not been possible because the sector has been neglected over the years.
“There are more than 250 tourist attraction sites and my plan is to develop these sites to international standard, so as to attract local tourists and open up Plateau to investors,’’ he told newsmen in Jos.
According to him, the potential in the sector is vast and has the capacity to rake in revenue and create employment for many because the multiplier effects of a robust tourism sector cannot be quantified.
“Plateau people also have all manners of annual cultural festivals; we shall work toward packaging these festivals to attract more visitors,’’ he said.

Sokoto
Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State has distrib
uted 10,000 bags of rice and N10 million to the needy in 85 districts spread across the 23 Local Government Areas of the state.
The chairman of the State’s Zakkat and Endowment Committee, Alhaji Lawal Maidoki made this known in an interview with newsmen  in Sokoto recently.
Maidoki, who supervised the distribution of the commodity, said that the governor had also provided N 10 million to be given to all the beneficiaries.
“Each person will get a bag of rice and N 1,000 to transport it.
“The gesture is aimed at alleviating the suffering of the beneficiaries,’’ he explained.

Speaker of House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminubello Tambuwal (right) with Ogun State Governor, Senator Amoseun Ibikunle and his Lagos State counterpart, Alhaji Fashola, during the APC presidential rally in Port Harcourt, recently.

Speaker of House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminubello Tambuwal (right) with Ogun State Governor, Senator Amoseun Ibikunle and his Lagos State counterpart, Alhaji Fashola, during the APC presidential rally in Port Harcourt, recently.

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NPC Warns Against Interfering With Pre Test Exercise

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The National Population Commission, NPC, in Kwara State has cautioned stakeholders to refrain from undue interference in the second pre-test census exercise in the state.
The second pre-test census exercise is part of the preparations for the main census exercise billed to take place in May 2022.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training of supervisors and enumerators for the exercise in Ilorin yesterday, the NPC Federal Commissioner for the state, Malam Abdulrazaq Gidado, also charged stakeholders to allow field functionaries to carry out their duties professionally for a good outcome.
The Federal Commissioner appealed to state and local governments concerned, traditional institutions, and communities to support the commission in carrying out the second pre-test census exercise by allowing unfettered access to facilities and places to be enumerated.
He said the pre-test exercise will be carried out in four local government areas of the state, namely, Kaiama, Ilorin South, Offa and Oke-Ero.
The Federal Commissioner explained that pre-test census exercise is usually conducted before the actual census and primarily aimed at testing the census methodology, questionnaires, data collection methods, and manual for fieldwork among others.
He assured Nigerians that all necessary steps have been taken to ensure that the commission’s field functionaries are properly kitted and trained to observe all Covid-19 protocols throughout the period of the exercise as prescribed by the Presidential Steering Committee, PSC, on Covid-19.

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Man Jailed 15 Years For Stealing 16 Phones, Other Items In Adamawa

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A man in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for breaking into houses and stealing 16 phones and other items.
Abdulazeez Adamu, 22, from Nasarawo, Jimeta, was found guilty by Chief Magistrate Court 1, Jimeta, which established that he, along with two cohorts now at large, committed the offence at Bekaji, another residential community within the Jimeta axis of Yola.
The court established that Abdulazeez and the others, while armed with weapons, stole a TV set, an HP laptop, and 16 handsets valued at N734, 000 from a number of residents in their houses, namely Rebeccah Samuel, Rhoda Chiroma, Wedelo Pwamboki, Walia Hamman and Mary Zaro, all residents of Bekaji who jointly reported the thefts to the police on 11th November 2021.
The accused was said to have run out of luck during one of the operations with his cohorts in Karewa extension when they hit a security guard with a cutlass and injured him.
The guard, Muhammad Umar, raised alarm which attracted the occupants and his colleague who was on duty in a neighbouring house and who rushed to the scene, but by which time the convict and his accomplices had fled.
He was later trailed and arrested by vigilantes who were mobilised for the purpose.
During the trial, the prosecutor, Seargent Galeon Nimrod of the Karewa Police Division, called Umar as a witness.
The witness narrated his encounter with Abdulazeez who, under cross-examination, said the witness told the truth.
Consequently, Adamu was jailed for 15 years with the option of N150,000 fine for the offence of theft in a dwelling house and was sentenced to six months in prison without an option of fine for being in possession of dangerous weapons.
He is also to pay N500,000 as a compensation fee.
Reading out the verdict, Chief Magistrate Abdullahi Mohammed Digil said, “This court has sentenced you, Abdulazeez Adamu, to 15 years or you pay an alternative fine of N150, 000, for theft and also sentenced you to six months imprisonment for being in possession of dangerous weapons without an option of fine.”

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JAMB Tasks Tertiary Institutions On CAPS

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has warned against offering of admissions to applicants by higher institutions outside the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS).
JAMB said apart from distorting the statistics of enrollment into the nation’s tertiary institutions which it noted is required for national planning and development strategies, the conduct is also “a violation of ministerial directive on education policy.”
The JAMB registrar, Is-haq Oloyede, who said this on Tuesday at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, noted that in spite of the constant warning against such conduct, Nigerian tertiary institutions offered a total of 706,189 ‘illegal’ admissions across universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and monotechnics between 2017 and 2020.
According to Oloyede, a total of 114 degree-awarding institutions including universities and colleges of education that are affiliated with them conducted 67,795 ‘illegal’ admissions within the period.
He added that a total of 137 National Diploma (ND) certificates awarding institutions such as polytechnics and school of health technologies offered a total of 142,818 ‘illegal’ admissions within the three-year period, while 37 institutions that are categorised as monotechnics offered 5,678 ‘illegal’ admissions.
The JAMB registrar said; “In 2017, the Board introduced the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS) as a flowchart to ensure quality control, transparency and credibility of admissions. Among other reasons, it was also meant to completely eliminate human interference, which invariably led to abuse, in the processing of admissions into the nation’s tertiary institutions. The system allows institutions to only admit candidates that meet the requirements as prescribed by individual institutional proprietors and academic Boards/ Senates. The process entails: initiation of the admission of a candidate by the institutional admissions officer after having confirmed the satisfaction of the set criteria; recommendation of the candidate by the head of the institution; approval of the admission by JAMB; acceptance of the admission by the candidate; and printing of the admission letter by the candidate.
“All these are done without hassles or encumbrances. Any process outside this scheme is illegitimate and it renders the admission process null, void and ultra vires. It is rather disappointing that some institutions continue to defy this decision of the National Policy Meeting, ably chaired by the Honourable Minister of Education, that CAPS is the only platform for processing admissions to the tertiary institutions in Nigeria.”
According Mr Oloyede’s presentation, the top five universities with the highest number of ‘illegal’ admissions offered within the period are the Universities of Jos, Plateau State with 7,600 cases; Benue State University, Makurdi with 6,161 cases; Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, with 5,669 cases; Kwara State University, Malete with 4,281 cases and Novena University, Delta State with 3,432 cases.
Among the ND certificate awarding institutions, the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, topped the chart with a total of 45,471 cases within three years, and it is closely followed by Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State, with 37,828 cases and Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, with 30,856 cases within the same period.
Others are the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State and the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa, Nasarawa State with 24,335 and 24,335 respectively.
Oloyede said apart from distorting the national statistics, candidates admitted through the irregular admission processes are made to go through difficult times in their efforts to climb the next rung of either their career or academic ladders.
“Sadly, this practice by our institutions has damaged the image of the country as statistics provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and similar agencies are rendered inaccurate by as high as 900 per cent in some cases. This distorts the statistics of the number of students in our tertiary institutions. JAMB is then made to supply radically different figures of entrants for the same year. In addition, misplaced pressure is annually mounted on JAMB to condone (or regularise) such illegal and improper admissions made three or four years earlier by the heads of institutions who in almost all the cases are not the incumbent ones.
“Another absurdity is that the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for tertiary education which JAMB provides for the Federal Ministry of Education is fed into the global databank of tertiary institutions and Nigeria continues to publish a low GER record which is far from the reality on ground. Also, one of the unsavoury effects of the undisclosed admissions by tertiary institutions is that it makes planning difficult. As we all know, failure to plan is planning to fail and we cannot overemphasise the importance of proper planning.”
According to Oloyede, beneficiaries of such ‘illegal’ admissions upon graduation are made “victims of deprivations.”
“When the graduates of the illegitimate process need JAMB admission letters to pursue post-graduation endeavours like housemanship, scholarship, enrolment into the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), among others, they realise that they are out of sync. Some candidates had been forced in the past to seek Direct Entry into other universities after graduation just because their degrees were not recognised as a result of lack of admission letters at critical stages. The physical, psychological and mental strain on such candidates is better imagined than experienced. This could have been avoided if everyone played the game according to the rules,” Mr Oloyede added.
The JAMB registrar also expressed disappointment over what he described as massive fraud in the conduct of the two A Level entrance examinations in the country- Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB) and the Interim Joint Matriculation Board Examination (IJMBE).
“It is quite disappointing that some of our colleagues were arrested while conniving with various examination syndicates to compromise the noble objectives of these two examinations. The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) conducted a sting operation the result of which is monumentally embarrassing,” he said.
As a way of finding a lasting solution to the challenge, JAMB said it has already proposed to the education minister, Adamu Adamu, the desire to establish both A-Level task team and A-Level Qualification Verification Databank, which he noted will serve as repository for verified A-level qualifications in the country.
Meanwhile, the examination body said it has approved the introduction of two more subjects in its examination to be added to the existing 23 subjects for possible combinations by candidates.
The addition of the two subjects- Computer Studies and Physical and Health Education, will “enhance the career prospects of students transiting to tertiary institutions.”
Oloyede said the subjects will be available for candidates taking the UTME examination in 2022.
JAMB said as part of efforts towards curbing some identified “unethical practices” by operators of the accredited computer based testing (CBT) centres, it has resolved to embed the centres’ approved N700 charges for registration purposes in its application form fees.
“These centres are allowed to collect only Seven Hundred Naira (N700.00) as registration charges but they use the opportunity to engage in conduct unbecoming, including extortion, during the exercise. In order to put a stop to such extortion, we propose to make UTME registration henceforth cashless. In other words, JAMB will now be collecting the approved N700.00 registration fee on behalf of the CBT Centres along with its UTME registration fees and then remit what is due to each registration centre to its bank account on a weekly basis or any time frame acceptable to the centre owners. This intervention will block all loopholes through which hapless candidates are extorted by unscrupulous service providers,” the JAMB registrar said.

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