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LG Boss Accused Of Certificate Forgery, Fake Identity

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The Chairman of Somolu Local Government Area in Lagos State, Abdul Hamed Salawu, has been accused of certificate forgery, falsified identity and fraud.
Salawu, who is at the centre of a multi-million dollar fraud in the United States, allegedly uses a false identity in Nigeria after being indicted abroad.
The chairman, who is popularly known as ‘dollar’ due to his flamboyant lifestyle, was based in Germany where he had a daughter with a native but left after committing a felony.
On his return to the country in 2008, however, it was gathered that he obtained a certificate to begin on a clean slate in his sojourn into politics.
The embattled chairman, who was initially known as Abdulsalau Ogembe, changed his name to Abdul Hamed Salawu without any legal document to back the change.
A source, who pleaded anonymity said, “dollar is living a fake life with a false identity. If he changed his name legally, he should provide a newspaper where he did so. I only pity Somolu people who know nothing about this fraudster.
“A man who can change his name, is there another fraud bigger than that? Please Salawu, clear your name, your people deserve to know the truth,” he said.
This implies that the Somolu LG boss uses a false certificate which makes him illegible to hold any elected position according to the Constitution.
In sections 66 (1) (i), 107 (1) (i), 137 (1) (j), and 182 (1) (j), the Nigerian Constitution disqualifies candidates from gaining a public seat under review if “he has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission”.
The source expresses hope that the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) will do due diligence in screening the candidates appropriately before the elections.
He said, “With Salawu seeking re-election, it is expected that the commission will put aside partisanship and the ‘dollar’ effect and screen out the incumbent.
“We know that he enjoys the goodwill of national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, hence he may emerge the party’s candidate. But we are hopeful that this rogue will be exposed. This German deportee is only using political office to evade prosecution.
“It is no longer news that Salawu’s papers were seized in Europe and America. He has written to the German and Canadian governments to demand them but to no avail.”
Salawu brags to have transformed Somolu in numerous areas. However, fact check shows otherwise.
One of these is the ‘Ijeun Agba’ initiative, a monthly welfare package programme for aged people of 60 years and above, that he claimed to have started, which has been discovered to be a mere mirage.
Aside from this, the Somolu road project, as against claims by the chairman, was initiated and completed by the state government. The semi-mechanised abattoir has nothing to do with Sawalu too, against general perception.
“They said senior citizens receive stipends from Dullar every month since 2017. I am a native of Somolu, aged 75 and I have not got a penny. Don’t I qualify to be paid?” a retired teacher asked.
“All we hear is that the chairman has done this and that but what is on the ground doesn’t reflect the buzz. If indeed he paid stipends to retirees, he should publish their names. He should also make a compilation of his achievements in office public as well,” a source said.
When Salawu’s media aide (name withheld) was contacted, he failed to provide answers to the allegations levelled against his principal.
Instead, he labelled it as “propaganda” aimed at tarnishing the chairman’s reputation, especially as the Local Government elections were fast approaching.
He said, “If you read between the lines, you can smell lies and falsification. The election is coming. Expect propaganda.”

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Stakeholders Seek Improved Commitment To  Neglected Tropical Diseases’ Treatment

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The need for improved zeal for political commitment, through high-level advocacy and awareness creation for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) visibility has been stressed.
The  Zonal Coordinator, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), Federal Ministry of Health, Department of Public Health, NTDs Control/Elimination Programme, North East Zone, Hauwa Abubakar, made the call in a keynote address to mark the 2023 World NTD Day with the theme: Invest in Neglected Tropical Disease #ACT NOW #ACT TOGETHER held at Dajin village in Tafawa Balewa LGA, Bauchi State.
Abubakar stated that in a bid to pay attention to the Neglected Tropical Diseases, there  is need for solicitation for counterpart support, through resource mobilization.
She said there should be a strengthening integration and inter-sectoral collaboration between NTDs- WASH by active involvement of Line Ministries such as Environment, Water Resources, Education, Information, National Home Grown School Feeding (NHGSF) and others.
According to her, concerned agencies should strive for an there should be an all-inclusive agenda including Persons with Disabilities in implementation while calling for the release of more funds by Funders and Government in order to scale up MMDP interventions to other endemic LGAs.
She added that there should be sensitization of Communities for Behavioral change communication (BCC) across the LGAs in the state for Hygiene sustainability.
“It is important to mention that NTDs activities in Bauchi State had recorded tremendous achievements ranging from Trachoma elimination in Trachoma endemic LGAs, Passed several Pre- Transmission assessment surveys conducted over the years, in Lymphatic filariasis interventions, Conducted Epidemiological surveys for Onchocerciasis interventions,” Hauwa stated.
”Akl endemic LGAs for Schistosomiasis has migrated to ward level in terms of treatment, to enhance Schistosomiasis paradigm shift for elimination as recommended by World Health Organization.
“And more interestingly, the state had scaled up to MMDP interventions, and these included, TT surgeries in all endemic LGAs, Hydrocele surgeries and Lymphoedema Management in some LGAs, Snakebite awareness creation and Management and Yaw’s identification and Management, all with support from Mission to Save the Helpless (MITOSATH) and Health and Development Support (HANDS)”, she said.

Abubakar congratulated all the stakeholders and Partner NGOs particularly the MITOSATH and HANDS for their continued campaign and support towards NTDs elimination in Bauchi State and in Nigeria at large.

She also appreciated the NTDs control team in the state for not only taking charge of ownership but its tireless effort in NTDs elimination processes.

In her remarks, the Programme Manager, MITOSATH, Esther Ijeoma, lamented that NTDs have continued to suffer from a lack of attention from the government and other agencies saying that her NGO would continue to lend a helping hand in giving attention to the NTDs.

Ijeoma commended Bauchi State Government through the BASPHCDA for its support in making drugs available for victims in all PHCs across the state.

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Minister Tasks NIS Officers On Maintenance Culture

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Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has charged officers and men of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Lagos Command, to embrace high maintenance culture, serene work environment and transparent service delivery to persons seeking their services.
Aregbesola gave the charge  during the commissioning of the new Alimosho Front Desk Passport Office, in Lagos, Monday.
Describing the complex as one of the massive edifices of the NIS, Aregbesola said the event was part of government’s commitment to providing conducive environment for the workforce to enhance productivity.
The Minister urged the officers and men of the Service to show gratitude by improving in their service to Nigerians.
He said, “there can be no alternative to motivating workers. If you want good service, efficiency and quality performance, the work environment must be attractive and motivating.
“Whoever leaves his house to such work environment that motivates his spirit, no matter his personal challenges, the ambiance of the work environment can motivate him to do more than expected of him.”
Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Tayo Ayinde, commended the Minister for coming to commission the complex, describing the gesture as a demonstration of strong commitment and leadership of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
In his address, the Comptroller General of NIS, Isah Idris, noted that the complex used to be the Headquarters of NIS until 1990 when the Federal Government directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to move to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), while the space served as the Zonal headquarters for Zone ‘A’ before same was relocated to Ikeja.
Idris described the new front desk office as timely in the largest local council in the country adding that it would help to decongest traffic in Ikoyi, Alausa and FESTAC passport offices.
Also Speaking, Chairman of Alimosho Local Council, Jelili Sulaimon,  described the complex as a laudable project and a game-changer for the residents.

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Enugu CSOs Hail INEC Over PVC Collection Extension

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Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Enugu State have lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for listening to the cry of Nigerians to extend the distribution of the ongoing Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) nationwide.
The CSOs gave the commendation in separate interviews with newsmen  on the numerous benefits of the extension in Enugu, Monday.
Chairman of Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO), Anambra,  Vincent Ezekwueme, said the extension was more beneficial to those in the Southeast due to the numerous sit-at-home orders by agitating groups.
He said INEC officials should address all the complaints, difficulties, predicaments and lamentations encountered by prospective voters, especially those in the Southeast.
Ezekwueme urged Nigerians to utilise this unique opportunity provided by the extension to collect their PVCs and be alive to their civic rights and responsibilities.
He further called on Nigerians to report to security agents anyone demanding monetary inducements or gratifications before PVC collections.
In his words, “the Federal Government and INEC have made it clear that registration and collection of PVC is free throughout the country without exception.
“It is incumbent upon the citizens to help the government in this regard by reporting those violating government directives to the appropriate authorities.
“Remember your vote is your power; your complaints about bad leadership can only be corrected with your vote, not with destructive criticisms”.
On his part, the Executive Director, Daniel Ukwu Leadership Foundation, Comrade Daniel Ukwu described the extension of the PVC collection as a positive development, which should be lauded by all.
Ukwu, however, stressed  the need for more publicity on the PVCs collection points as some registrants might not know where to collect their PVCs since the initial locations had changed.
While commending INEC for the extension, the Executive Director, Women Centre for Self-Empowerment and Development (WOCSED), Mrs Onyeka Obi, said the development was a positive one for most Nigerian women.
Obi said: “You know most times, women do multi-tasking to ensure that they meet up with their daily demands and responsibilities.
“So you see that it is not really easy for women to spend hours waiting in queue for PVC collection without attending to other families, personal, and business demands”.
INEC extended the PVC collection to February 5 to enable more prospective voters to get their cards to vote during the elections.

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