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Catholic Bishop Tasks Nigerians On Less Priviledged

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As Christians celebrate the Yuletide, Bishop Emm-anuel Badejo of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo has urged Nigerians to share kindness with the less privileged.
Badejo gave the advice in a statement yesterday.
Badejo also advised all Nigerians, including political, economic, social, religious and traditional leaders to do good and bring good news to all around them.
He said that the jubilation, singing and dancing, lights, colours, hope, joy, and even the exchange of gifts that normally characterise this period must focus on Jesus and on those around us, especially, the less endowed.
“Let us reach out and share what joys and good things we can according to our capacity because that is the spirit of Jesus and of Christmas.
“God gave his son, Mary gave her life, Joseph gave his freedom, the angels gave their adoration, the shepherds gave their time and even the owner of the manger gave what he could then,” he said.
He said that to celebrate the season, people should give to others as much as they had received from God.
“Give your best out of love and not just of what is left. None must come empty-handed, everyone can give something for prisoners, the sick, the aged, the lonely,” the bishop said.
He said that the current happenings around the world, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic, economic downturn, insurgency, violence and kidnappings should not stop the cellebration and rhythm of the Immanuel, meaning : “God with us.”
Badejo also advised Nigerians to thank God that Christmas can not be locked down by any power.
“It is the fulfilment of God’s promise to send us a saviour to save us from our sins and that is truly a cause for joy.
“Let us celebrate Christmas and rejoice like many before us did and like many after us will, but all according to our means,” Badejo said.
“Let the media bring good news to all. Let families and relatives bring good news to one another because this is much needed in our violent, sad, unjust and depressing world.
“Make the world better through your wealth, position, status and talent and you will experience the mercy of God which Jesus has brought. We all will benefit from a happier country,” he said.
The bishop called on all who lived on the fringes of society to change their ways because Jesus loves everyone and would always give peace.
“Terrorists, kidnappers, robbers, killers, whatever may be your crime, Jesus loves everyone and you too can do good for your country and for humanity. You deserve the joy and peace of Christmas,” he said.
He added that it was not too late for Nigeria to become the place of cosmic harmony which prophet Isaiah described, if only we all sustained the spirit of Christmas.

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Reps Urge FG To Revisit School Feeding Programme

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The House of Representatives, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to revisit the school feeding programme, suspended over sundry controversies.
The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme was a pilot programme launched in 2004 targeting 12 states to provide a nutritious midday meal to public primary school pupils in the country:
In 2016, the programme was relaunched nationally, targeting public primary school children using locally sourced ingredients to improve health, stimulate agricultural production, and boost smallholder farmers’ income.
Recall that President Bola Tinubu, on January 12, 2024, suspended all programmes of the National Social Investment Programme Agency for six weeks.
The four programmes administered by NSIPA are N- the Power Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, and Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
Following the adoption of the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Special Duties and Finance to invite the Ministers of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Education, and Finance to revisit the program and propose solutions for its future success.”
The House, while adopting a motion on “Urgent call to revisit school feeding policy” moved by the member representing Tarauni Federal Constituency, Kano State, Mr Muktar Zakari, noted that the philosophy behind the NHGSFP is to encourage enrollment into the public primary schools, address childhood hunger pangs, and improve their ability to concentrate, learn, and increase school attendance.
The lawmaker, a member of the New Nigeria People’s Party, lamented that “The suspension of the NHGSFP by the current administration is unsettling for several reasons, namely reduced school enrollment and attendance, compromised health and cognitive development of the children, and disruption of the income of smallholder farmers.”
He also said “Addressing the programme’s challenges is crucial, but a complete suspension may cause more harm,” noting that “It is important to find alternative solutions or efficient implementation of the NHGSFP to ensure Nigerian children continue to benefit from this important initiative.”
In his words, “The cancellation of the programme is causing an upsurge in the number of out-of-school children, posing a threat to the country’s future and leading to a high rate of crimes, insecurity, and unemployment.”

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Kogi Lauds Appeal Court’s Verdict On Ododo’s Victory

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The Kogi State Government has hailed the verdict of the Appeal Court, Abuja that yesterday uAtiku hails Supreme Court judgment on LG autonomypheld the victory of the state governor, Usman Ododo.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, made the government’s position known in an interview with journalists shortly after the judgment was delivered in Abuja.
Fanwo described the judgment as “sound,” adding that the it represents “echoes of the indisputable victory” of the governor at the poll.
He said the governor remains unwavering in his faith in the judiciary.
The conmissioner said, “Today’s judgment represents echoes of our victory on November 11, 2023. We campaigned round the state and worked hard to reassure the people that our party is the most reliable to take the state forward.
“November 11 will continue to be remembered in Kogi as the day that Kogites across the senatorial districts united to speak with one voice, birthing a resounding victory for the incumbent governor.
“Today’s verdict has offered another great opportunity for those who lost at the poll and in the courts to join the governor in moving the state forward.”
Fanwo said the court case did not in any way slow governance down as the governor has continued to “roll up his sleeves and deliver democracy dividends to the great people of the state.
“The jubilation that greeted the verdict affirming the victory of the Chief Servant of Kogi is a demonstration of the triumph of the people’s will.”
He urged the people of the state to continue to support the governor to make the state the Confluence of Excellence.

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Insecurity: Reps Want Modern Technology Deployed In Nation’s Borders

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The House of Representatives has called on the Nigeria Customs Service to deploy modern technology to secure the nation’s borders with neighbouring countries.
The directive followed the adoption of a motion on “Need to employ the use of modern technology to secure the nation’s borders,” sponsored by the member representing Awka North/Awka South Federal Constituency, Anambra State, Obiageli Orogbu at Thursday’s plenary.
Consequently, the Reps mandated “The Nigeria Customs Service to beef up the nation’s border security with modern technological gadgets.”
It also directed its Committees on National Security and Intelligence and Customs and Excise to “Interface with the relevant agencies of the executive arm to ensure implementation and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.”
Leading the debate, Orogbu said that there are over 320 illegal routes into Nigeria “That serves as horrendous channels for the influx of inadmissible aliens and goods.
“Nigeria at the moment lacks sufficient security personnel to safeguard the existing illegal routes across the borders. These unmanned routes provide avenues for insecurity, proliferation of arms, and dumping of unwholesome goods into the country;
“The porous borders have provided an impetus to the thriving drug and human trafficking routes all over the country.”
Justifying the significance of the motion, the Labour Party chieftain noted that, “Border policing has since shifted from the mundane use of only human beings to the deployment of sophisticated electronic based equipment for potency.
“The deployment of technologies like electronic sensors, video monitors, and night vision scopes to detect illegal entries has proved more effective in western countries than human security.
“Advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, (drones) and dark fighter cameras are available to further enhance border controls,” she added.

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