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Hoodlums Attack Jonathan’s Convoy In Yola, Jalingo …As PDP Lifts Tukur’s Suspension

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President Goodluck Jonathan’s convoy was yesterday pelted with stones in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.
Goodluck Jonathan Jonathan was in the state in continuation of his presidential campaign that is widely being resisted following his 2011 promise that he will be a one-term president.
According to the source, angry protesters were chanting anti-Jonathan songs, condemned his failure to crush Boko Haram fighters.
The protesting citizens also destroyed cars and other valuables before security operatives overpowered them in the course of the protest.
Mobile policemen were said to have sprayed teargas on the protesters.
As at the time of this report, the police are yet to react officially regarding the incident. Hoodlums vandalise 12 cars in Taraba PDP’s office
No fewer than 12 vehicles were vandalised yesterday as some hoodlums descended on the secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party in Jalingo, the Tarba State capital, as President Goodluck Jonathan took his campaign for the February presidential election to the state.
It took the intervention of security agents to curb the youths’ attempt to reduce the edifice to rubble.
The angry youths, said to be numbering over 100, were said to have laid siege to the secretariat located along Barde Way, hours before the arrival the President, who was on a campaign to Taraba State.
They were said to have stormed the premises when Jonathan and his entourage were holding the rally at the stadium located at the outskirt of Jalingo.
Security operatives were said to have been overwhelmed as the rampaging youths apparently took them unawares, but they managed to secure the building before much damage could be done.
Public Relations Officer of the party, Mr. Napoleon Adamu, expressed anger that despite the Abuja accord, signed by all the candidates seeking the presidential slot, some disgruntled elements of some political parties could still go as far as attacking members of the ruling Party.
He blamed the attack on members of the opposition party, adding that the attack was carried out when the president was busy campaigning at the stadium.
He said, “We are happy that no life was lost and we want to appeal to our teeming youths to eschew violence and not take the law into their hands as security operatives, according to him, will soon fish out the perpetrators.
“Even before the coming of Mr. president, they have been complaining that they were not carried along by the committees constituted for the visit.”
However, the APC chairman, Alhaji Hassan Ardo, denied the involvement of the party in the vandalism at the secretariat, stating that “we are just coming into Jalingo from our campaign.”
Meanwhile, business activities were disrupted as Jalingo, the state capital, was brought to a standstill following the visit of the presidential campaign train.
Jonathan expressed his determination to ensuring the completion of both Kashimbila Dam and the Mambilla Hydro Power projects, both of which are located in the state.
But despite the attack, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential rally in Adamawa State went on as planned, yesterday.
Speaking at the rally, the party announced the lifting of the suspension of a former Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, announced the lifting of the suspension at the presidential rally of the party in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.
Tukur was suspended in December 2014 for dragging the party before the court in his attempt to reclaim the chairmanship of the party, where he was forced to resign in January last year.
Sambo said Jonathan was transforming Taraba just as the PDP-led Federal Government had embarked on the dredging of the River Benue to enable ships and bigger boats to berth in Taraba.
“I have another good news; Mr President has approved the dredging of River Benue. Very soon you will see ships and boats coming to Jalingo.
“Mr President is transforming Taraba State, Mr President is transforming Nigeria”.
He, therefore, called on the people of Taraba to reelect Jonathan to enable him to complete the good works he had begun nationwide.
He also charged them to vote for all PDP candidates in all the elections.
However, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said the Federal Government would ensure that the vast agricultural potentials in Taraba were harnessed.
Jonathan said this in Jalingo when the presidential campaign train of the PDP paid a courtesy call on the Emir of Muri, Alhaji Abbas Tafida, ahead of the Feb. 14 election.
The president said if re-elected, his government would ensure that the state’s vast land was harnessed for commercial rice farming.
Responding, Tafida, described Jonathan as an experienced leader, having been in the corridors of power for some time.
He advised Jonathan to ensure that a sustainable environment was created for the conduct of free and fair elections in the country.
Earlier, the PDP Chairman,  Adamu Mu’azu, had said they were at the palace to solicit for prayers and support from the emir.

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Nigeria, US Sign Pact To Reduce Illicit Trafficking Of Ancient Arts

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The Federal Government and the United States, yesterday, signed the Cultural Property Implementation Act (CPIA) Agreement.
According to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the CPIA would reduce the pillage of Nigeria’s ancient arts which are mostly smuggled to Europe, the US and other places for the benefit of art collectors.
Mohammed said the signing of the MoU became necessary because, despite all efforts by the Ministry of Information and Culture and the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, with the assistance of law enforcement agencies, to prevent illicit export of the nation’s archaeological and ethnological materials, widespread looting and illicit excavation of these materials still continue.
He said this when he signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the CPIA with the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja.
Special Assistant to the President on Media, Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Nigeria, US Sign Pact To Reduce Illicit Trafficking of Ancient Arts.’
Mohammed was quoted as saying, “This legislation was enacted by the United States to restrict the importation into the US of archaeological materials ranging in date from 1500 B.C. to A.D. 1770 as well as ethnological materials, including those associated with royal activity, religious activity, etc from nations that have entered into the kind of bilateral initiative that we are signing here with the United States today.”
The minister said on the basis of the agreement, Nigerian antiquities being imported into the US without the requisite export permit will be seized at the border of the US and returned to Nigeria without the arduous and costly task of going through the labyrinth of judicial and diplomatic processes.
“We are optimistic that this agreement will reduce the pillage of our irreplaceable archaeological and ethnological materials, as the market for these materials is being shut in the United States against illicit traffickers.
“The agreement will last for an initial period of five years. If it works well, as we anticipate it will, it shall be renewed for a longer term. We implore other friendly nations to take a cue from the United States of America and join us in finding means to prevent the illegal importation of our antiquities into their countries,” he said.
The minister, who thanked the US Government, in particular the US Embassy in Nigeria, for making the MoU possible, said the Nigerian Government looks forward to a diligent implementation of the landmark agreement, so it can become a game-changer in the nation’s efforts to prevent the looting of its priceless ancient works of art.
In her remarks, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Beth Leonard, said the agreement was aimed at preserving, restoring and protecting Nigeria’s cultural heritage.
“In Nigeria, over the past decade, the US Mission has partnered with the Nigerian government and state institutions to preserve cultural landmarks and sites through projects worth over one million dollars and funded by the US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.
“Just last November, I signed a grant award to digitally survey the Busanyin Shrine located within the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove. That $125,000 grant will help document a series of shrines within the Grove and provide training to local professionals in digital tools and cultural heritage management,” she said.
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Three Out Of 10 Nigerians Are Mentally Sick -Reps

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The House of Representatives has said that three out of every 10 Nigerians have one form of mental illness or another.
Quoting the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, the House added that over 20,000,000 Nigerians were currently suffering from various degrees of mental illness or disorder without psychiatric health care.
To this end, the House mandated its Committees on Health Institutions and Healthcare Services to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Health towards improving mental health facilities around the country and further carry out serious sensitization of Nigerians on this issue.
It also asked the Committee on Health Institution to explore the modalities of liaising with stakeholders in the health sector to promote, educate and sensitise Nigerians on mental health.
The resolution, however, followed a motion titled “Need to Address the Rising Cases of Mental Health in Nigeria” presented by Hon. Uchechuku Nnam-Obi from Rivers State and considered by the House at yesterday’s plenary.
Presenting his motion, Nnam-Obi noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) considers mental health as a state of well-being in which the individual can cope with the stress of life, work productively and contribute to the community.
According to him, mental illness manifests in mood disorder, anxiety disorder, trauma-related disorder, personality disorder, old age-related disorder, substance abuse disorder or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning.
He said: “According to the World Health Organisation statistics, over twenty million Nigerians are currently suffering from various degrees of mental illness or disorder without psychiatric health care.
“Three out of 10 Nigerians have one form of mental illness or the other, presently there is no mental health legislation in Nigeria. However, the Nigerian mental health policy is the only framework that has access to mental healthcare, dealing with mental and neurological disorders in Nigeria, discouraging stigmatisation against persons with mental disorders and has institutionalised standards for Psychiatric practice.
“The increase in cases of depression is traceable to multifactorial inter and intrapersonal issues which leads to suicidal death in the country and this requires urgent attention.
“Nigeria has only 130 Psychiatrists with over 20million citizens suffering from mental disorders.
“With the few functional Mental Health Facilities and inadequate mental health practitioners in the country, mental health cases are left for traditional practitioners, hence the upsurge in mental health in Nigeria.
“The statistics are troubling and the continued lack of a legal framework on mental health in the country will simply cause the situation to degenerate”
Adopting the motion, the House gave six weeks to the committees within which to carry out the assignment and report back to it for further legislative action.

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Wike, PDP Govs Commiserate With Tambuwal Over Brother’s Death

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Representatives of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, yesterday, paid a condolence visit to the Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal over the death of his elder brother, Alhaji Muhammed Bello.
Bello, who is also the Waziri of Tambuwal, passed on in Sokoto, last Tuesday night at the age 87.
He was the head of the Tambuwal family.
On the PDP governors’ delegation were, Governors Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Oluseyi Makinde (Oyo); and Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State.
The Vice Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who led the delegation, said they were in Sokoto to commiserate with Tambuwal and his entire family over the sudden death of his elder brother.
“We feel your pain, and we understand that a great vacuum has been created, not only within the caliphate, but across Nigeria and other places where Daddy had sphere of influence. We believe that God Almighty will grant you the fortitude to bear this great loss.
“We are, however, consoled by the fact that Daddy left legacies that will remain indelible; one of them is your very good self and your impact and contributions to our dear country.”
The governors urged the Tambuwal family, particularly the Sokoto State governor, to remain strong, steadfast and uphold those virtues which the late Waziri of Tambuwal, cherished so much.
In his response, Sokoto StateGovernor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who is the PDP Governors’ Forum chairman, said the entire Tambuwal family was gladdened by the condolence visit.
According to him, his late elder brother, who lived his life in the service of community, held the family title, Waziri of Tambuwal for 37 years after the demise of their father.
“We are, indeed, very highly consoled not only by your presence, but your words of consolation. For you to have left behind whatever you are doing in your respective states to come all the way to Sokoto this afternoon, shows clearly how you sympathise with us and how close you are to us. I assure you that we appreciate this.”

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