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THE STATES

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Borno
The United Nations last Saturday reaffirmed  its commitment to support the Federal Government’s  counter-terrorism efforts in the North-East region.
The UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr Peter Lundberg, said this   at a press conference in Maiduguri.
Lundberg said the UN would continue to support Nigeria to address  the major problems affecting education, health, malnutrition and security challenges occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency.
He said  the raid conducted by the military on UN Humanitarian facility in Maiduguri would  not affect its relations  with Nigeria, adding that the issue  had been amicably resolved.
“I am very pleased to inform you that our relationship of collaboration and trust is intact, and at this stage we are focused on the work ahead, to ensure that the millions of vulnerable people in the North-East are supported with life saving humanitarian aid”, he said.

FCT
The Academic Staff Union of Universities  (ASUU), has commenced an indefinite nationwide strike due to the Federal Government’s failure to fulfill the 2009 agreement made with the union.
President of the union Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, disclosed this at a news conference on Monday in Abuja.
Ogunyemi said the decision to embark on the industrial action was resolved at its emergency National Executive Council meeting held on August 12.
According to him, during the strike, “there shall be no teaching, no examination and no attendance of statutory meetings of any kind in any of our branches till government meets the union’s demands”.
The industrial action actually took effect from August 13.

Gombe
The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) last Saturday said it had arrested three farmers in Kulani village, Balanga Local Government Area of Gombe State for allegedly cultivating 160 Kilograms of Indian hemp.
The NDLEA Commandant in the state, Mr Aliyu Adole, told newsmen in Gombe.
Adole said many farmers were involved in the cultivation of the weed in the state and the agency had been on their trail.
He said the agency had been monitoring the suspects before their arrest, adding, “this morning my boys went to the bush and brought them with the exhibits.’’
The commandant said the agency would continue to comb villages in the state to apprehend those involved in the cultivation of Cannabis.

Jigawa
The Jigawa State Agency for Nomadic Education says it would soon distribute school uniforms free to 8,000 nomadic pupils in the state.
The Executive Secretary of the agency, Alhaji Ali Manu, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Dutse last Sunday.
Manu said the items would be distributed to the pupils in 132 out of the 304 nomadic schools across the state.
He said the uniforms were provided by the state government to encourage children of herdsmen to go to school.
‘‘I assure you that very soon we will distribute these uniforms to the pupils in 132 nomadic schools across the state.
‘‘And they will be distributed to the pupils free,” the executive secretary said.

Kaduna
Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) say they are working hard to minimise the frequency of occurrence of conflicts in the North West, particularly in Southern Kaduna.
A survey conducted by newsmen indicated that various organisations had been meeting with key stakeholders, organising town hall meetings and bringing warring groups to agree to peace deals aimed at ending conflicts in some of the states in the zone.
They were also focusing on tracking hate speeches and encouraging residents to ignore divisive comments, especially in the social media.
In Kaduna State, where ethno-religious crises keep reccurring, some of the CSOs had been actively involved in peace-building and encouraging mutual respect among the diverse communities.

Kano
The Director General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Sule Kazaure, has charged corps members to be committed in the discharge of their duties at their places of primary assignment.
Kazaure, made the call during an inspection visit to the permanent orientation camp at Kusalla la in Karaye Local Government Area of Kano State.
The DG, who was represented by the Director, Human Resources Department, Mrs. Eze Makinde said it was only through commitment, dedication and selfless service that the corps members could excel and achieve the desired results.
“You should also consider your posting to Kano State as a will of God, and put in all efforts through conducting yourselves in such a way others can admire you”, he said.

Kogi
Officials of Ecological Fund Office, under the aegis of Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, last Monday arrived in Kogi State for an assessment of flood and erosion sites.
Mr Abdullazeez Umar, who spoke on behalf of the team at the office of the Deputy governor in Lokoja, said that they were in the state to carry out a comprehensive assessment of the flood and erosion sites.
He said that the exercise was approved by the Federal Executive Council, as part of efforts to tackle the ecological problems facing the country via the effective management, co-ordination, monitoring and implementation of programmes.
Speaking, the Deputy Governor, Mr Simon Achuba, welcomed the team on behalf of the state government and said that their visit to Kogi was timely.

Lagos
The new President of Rotary Club of Omole Golden District 9110, Nigeria,  Rotarian Oshinibosi Abiodun, said last Sunday, that the club would provide 30 incubators and 10 phototherapy machines for Ifako/Ijaiye General Hospital.
Abiodun announced the plan during his installation as president for 2017/2018 at the Excellence Hotel, Omole, Ogba, Lagos
He promised that the club would continue to put smiles on the faces of the less-privileged during his tenure.
The Rotarian said that the incubators planned for Ifako/Ijaiye General Hospital would help in saving lives.
Abiodun said a visit to the hospital showed that the seven incubators there were the ones the club donated some years back.

Nasarawa
Nasarawa State Police Command has arrested two persons in connection with a mob action that led to the death of a soldier, Lance Cpl. Ayuba Ali, on Mondaym in Akwanga, Nasarawa State.
The Command’s Spokesman, DSP Kennedy Idirisu, confirmed the arrest to newsmen last Monday in Lafia.
Idirisu said that available information revealed the  victim, allegedly hit a street hawker at Agwan Affi area of the town while riding on a motorbike.
According to him, the victim, who was in mufti, tried to pacify the hawker and an altercation ensued resulting in irate youth beating him to coma.

Niger
The police last Friday, arraigned two men, Ado Sani and Shafiu Umar in a Minna Magistrates’ Court for allegedly killing two members of the force.
The defendants are standing trial on charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal trespass, abduction, armed robbery, causing hurt, mischief and murder.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Emmanuel Danladi, told the court that one Alhaji Bello of Tagina Kabata village reported a case of abduction of seven persons to the police on June 2.
Danladi alleged that on May 5, the accused who hail from Allawa village, conspired with 16 others now at large, and committed the act at the Tagina Kabata Central Mosque.
He alleged that the accused robbed one of the victims of N750, 000.
He said that a team of five police detectives had gone to Allawa village on investigation, but the accused attacked them, killing two and injuring three.

Ondo
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) of Ondon State, last Monday called for more effective community policing as one of the ways to tackle criminal activities in rural areas.
Akeredolu gave the advice during a courtesy visit to the Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Hilda Ibifuro-Harrison, at the Police headquarters in Akure.
He thanked the command for the selfless discharge of its duties and urged them to discourage loitering by non-uniformed people around checkpoints.
The governor canvassed for more police commands in the state, saying that the three existing commands were not enough to tackle the noticeable increase in criminal activities.
He said that five area commands were needed for effective policing of the state.

Taraba
A total of 1,100 intending pilgrims from Taraba State will commence their journey to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj tomorrow, Executive Secretary of the state Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board, Alhaji Umaru Leme, has said.
Leme told newsmen in Jalingo last Monday that 177 of the pilgrims were sponsored by the state government and 37 by local councils.
According to him, the state governor, Mr Darius Ishaku has appointed the Lamido Gashaka, Alhaji Zubairu Sambo as leader of the state contingent for the pilgrimage.
He disclosed that the state government had released N310 million to the board to ensure successful hajj operation.
Leme said that 1,100 passports for the intending pilgrims had been processed and assured that all the pilgrims would be transported before the end of August.

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UNICEF, NGO Train Youth Activists On FGM Elimination

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A Non-Governmental organisation, Trailblazer Initiative Nigeria (TBI) in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Nigeria, has commenced training of some youth activists to end rising cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria.
The three-day training which involved reporting on the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation(FGM), Gender Based Violence(GBV), violence against women and children as well as child marriage was to further strengthen youth participation in policy advocacy.
The Executive Director, TBI, Dare Adaramoye, said that the pilot phase of the project, funded by UNICEF, would be implemented in three Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Oyo State due to high prevalence of FGM in the selected locations.
According to him, the LGAs selected included Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North and Kajola LGAs.
Adaramoye said that the selected youths from the LGAs were identified during community mapping and due also to their previous efforts in making changes in their localities.
“FGM brings complications such as intense pain, excessive bleeding, urinary inconvenience, difficulties during menstruation, clitoral neuroma and difficulties during sexual intercourse and childbirth, among others.
“We noticed that the state has many policies on FGM and other GBV, kept on the shelves, while many people are not aware of as their rights.
“We are engaging youths from different communities because of the peculiarities of each community.
“So, the youths residing in these communities would be trained to advocate for the policy makers, traditional leaders, religious leaders and other decisions maker in their localities on issues that concern FGM and other forms of GBV.
“They will also be documenting stories of change because we need to monitor events and see the effectiveness of UNICEF programmes in the state.
“This is to bring it to the awareness of the public, for people to know the changes, challenges, the lessons learned and the way forward,” he said.
The UNICEF facilitator noted that the 10 youths activists were picked from the three LGAs; including one participant from state level for the pilot phase of the project with the aim of extension to other LGAs of the state in subsequent phases.
He urged the people to always speak up and report whenever they noticed cases of FGM around them to build safer society for every girl child in the state.
Speaking, the Director, Child Welfare, Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social inclusion, Lateef Ariori, said that FGM was still on rise in the state and attributed it to issues such as traditional and religious beliefs as well as monetary gains of local circumcisers who sees FGM as their daily business.

Ariori stated that State Ministry of Women Affairs, in collaboration with UNICEF and TBI, would continue to organise sensitisation programmes with relevant stakeholders such as legal practitioners, security agencies and religious bodies among others.

He urged the selected youth activists to put in their best to the project to achieve the set goal of thesociety; with no cases of FGM and other forms of violence against women, children and girls.

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2023 Polls: FG Deploys New Firefighting Trucks In Lagos, Kano, Others

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Ahead of the 2023 general election, the Federal Government has deployed eight new fire trucks to Lagos, Kano, Kwara, Oyo and Edo states.
Controller General of Fire, Engr. Abdulganiyu Jaji disclosed this  at a one day session on, “Providing Fire Cover for the Forthcoming General Election” organized for top management, Heads of Departments and Commanding Officers at the Force Headquarters, Wednesday.
According to him, the recent fire attacks on offices and personnel of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC nationwide have heightened the need for the meeting.
“It is essential that we come up with solutions to these problem in order to ensure the safety of INEC infrastructure, personnel and the integrity of the electoral process.
“This brainstorming session will provide an opportunity to have a robust engagement, drawing from your resources and experience, strategies and stratagem.
“By coming together to brainstorm, we can create a safe and more secure environment to forestall future attacks on INEC infrastructures, personnel and to safeguard the electoral process from political hoodlums and enemies of the state, who now use fire attacks as a tool to frustrate INEC in the discharge of her statutory mandate.
“We must ensure that our resources are properly allocated and be prepared to respond to any potential fire related issues that may arise.
“I am confident that with the hard work and dedication of my officers and men of the Federal Fire Service, we will be able to ensure the safety of polling units, ward, local government and state collation centres, as well as providing a secure environment for citizens to cast their votes”, he stated.
According to him, it is the duty of the Service to ensure fire cover for all and sundry, before, during and after the election.
Jaji said the recent attacks on INEC offices across the country places a burden on fire officers to ensure that the ugly situation is nipped in the bud.
On plans for the election, he said; “Fire personnel will be on standby to respond to any fire incident that may occur during and after the election.
“Fire safety education and awareness campaigns will also be conducted to ensure that citizens are well informed on fire safety measures and protocols.
“The Federal Fire Service will work closely with local fire departments and other emergency services to ensure that all fire incidents are dealt with swiftly and effectively.
“It is worthy to note that President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has extended unwavering support to the FFS. This was again demonstrated when the FFS received 8 no. of the state-of-the-art Fire Trucks, whilst expecting 15 no. of Rapid Intervention Vehicles in the coming days”.

 

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Institute Challenges States On LG Autonomy Bill Passage

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The National Institute For Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) has called for sustained activism for the  passage of 1999 Constitutional alteration pending bills, especially bills on local government financial and administrative autonomy.
NILDS Director- General, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman, made the call at the Capacity Building Workshop for Clerks, Deputy Clerks, and Legal Directors  of State Houses of Assemblies, in Abuja, Wednesday.
He said the two related bills stood at the very core of Nigeria’s democracy, adding that Nigerians have a solemn patriotic duty to our country to ensure their passage.
“It is not flattering to us as a people that twenty-four years since the transition to democratic rule, we are still debating the merit or otherwise of such fundamental issues.
“We are all aware of the pressure from some governors to scuttle this significant reform.
“Still, I challenge us to rise above individualistic short-term interests and focus instead on our children’s future and those after them.
“The bill on local government financial autonomy seeks to abrogate the State Joint Local Government Accounts and provide for a special account into which shall be paid all allocations due to local government councils from the Federation Account and the government of the states and for related matters.
He said 15 states have considered and approved the bill, listing the states to include , Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Cross-River, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Kano, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun and Osun.

He, however, listed 10 states that rejected the bill, to include  Benue, Borno, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Imo, Kaduna, Lagos, Ondo, Rivers and Yobe while two other states of Adamawa and Bayelsa, abstained.

According to him, nine states which included Gombe, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara were yet to transmit the bill.

“We must do everything to stop history from repeating itself all over.

“Recall when state houses of assembly voted against their own financial autonomy at the behest of their governors.

“Today, many of those lawmakers are living with the guilt of that poor choice. It is my contention that state assemblies are yet to recover from that initial setback.”

He said Nigeria has made tremendous progress in strengthening its democratic processes, as attested to by the Electoral Act, 2022, adding that states also have an obligation to continuously support efforts being made at the centre and contribute to nation-building.

Suleiman  said the workshop was  specifically targeted at providing refresher knowledge to clerks, their deputies and legal directors on some of the essential requirements of their  work during a legislative transition.

“The responsibility of managing transition rests with you, and it is crucial that you understand the essentials of concluding one assembly and starting another. In addition, you will have to deal with issues of finalising legislative business, payment of severance, and inducting and inaugurating members-elect.

Suleiman lauded participants for their determination and commitment in facilitating consideration and passage of the Constitutional Alteration Bills which he said have been transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

The NILDS boss further encouraged the participants to pay close attention to the topics, given the expected high rate of legislative turnover in 2023.

He thanked  NILDS partner, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), and the Resident Representative, Marija Peran, for the sustained partnership with the Institute towards deepening democracy in Nigeria.

In his remarks, Peran  said the  workshop would be tasked with part of constituting the new state houses of assembly, stating that KAS and NILDS have once more teamed up to deliver a timely training that was designed to be  practical.

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