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2023: Northern Elders Oppose Zoning Of Presidency To South

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The Northern Elders Forum has opposed the clamour for zoning of the 2023 presidency to the South, saying power should remain in the North.
In a key note address on Saturday at the Meeting of Northern Leaders of Thought, NEF spokesperson, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, noted that every Nigerian and region had the constitutional right to run for the presidential race.
The group’s comment coming days after the National leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress, Bola Tinubu, announced his intention to run for the 2023 presidency.
The group said, “For the North, we cannot say it louder. A Northerner should be voted President only if he is the best. Being Northerner is not enough. All Nigerians need good leaders, but for us in the North, we will demand to see evidence that a candidate does not just want power to fulfill a personal ambition.
“We want to see evidence that those who want to lead us in future understand the roots of and solutions to our insecurity and poverty and distances from each other.
“We want to know how irredentism will be handled; how and when major changes in our structures and systems will be made to address popular grievances over the way our country should operate; how our economy can be re-engineered to achieve sustainable development and work for the rich and the poor equally, and how our young will be groomed to become productive, honest and patriotic citizens.
“We will demand to see an inclusive and competent team that will campaign with the candidate and transit with him into governance.
“We want a thoroughly Nigerian President who will be as hard on the bandit as he will be on secessionists and insurgents. We want a president with vision and the energy to retrieve a country on the verge of collapse and place it securely on the path of stability, security and growth.
“We are, of course, some distance from next year’s elections, but it will be dangerous to ignore signs that the journey from this point until those elections could place the country in greater danger.
“We should warn politicians to avoid destroying a country they seek to lead. We must demand that the fight against organized, violent crimes is intensified. We need to improve elite cohesion even in the context of intensely-divisive electoral campaigns.”

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NDLEA Destroys 21 Tonnes Of Drugs In Niger

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has destroyed drugs weighing 21 tonnes in Maikunkule village of Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State.
The NDLEA claimed that the destroyed drugs street value was worth more than N1 billion.
The Commander of NDLEA in the Niger State, Mr Haruna Kwetishe, said that the destruction was symbolic and in line with the NDLEA Act.
“NDLEA Act mandates us to arrest drug traffickers and dealers, seize illicit drugs and prosecute all drugs related offenders who contravene the Act and destroy seized drugs publicly, in fulfilment of this mandate.
“NDLEA Niger Command obtained court orders from Federal High Court, Minna, for the public destruction of the 21 tonnes of various types of illicit substances.
“Public destruction of drugs is therefore a continuous exercise in our quest to have a drug-free and secured society in the country and the world at large”, he said.
He said that the destroyed drugs included Cannabis Sativa, psychotropic substances and various grammes of other banned stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
“Nigeria used to be a transit port because of the activities of drug cartels that import drugs from drug producing countries to the country before smuggling same to Europe, Asia and America”, he noted.
The state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, represented by the state Commissioner for Internal Security, Emmanuel Umaru, said that the security of lives and property was a cardinal focus of his administration.

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FG Trains CSOs, NGOs To Monitor School Feeding Programme

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The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (MHADMSD) has trained members of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) on school feeding programme monitoring.
Speaking at the capacity building programme in Abuja, Monday, the facilitator, Dr Grace Dafiel, said that the aim of the training was to ensure effective accountability and sustainability of school feeding programme.
“The essence of the training is to ensure that CSO/NGO capacity is built to be able to monitor the National Home-Grown School Feeding programme.
“This is to help us understand how we can institutionalise the programme which is one of the four clusters of the social protections programme under the ministry.
“The CSOs involvement means that a lot of advocacy work is going to go into it, especially at the community level for the community participation ownership.
“As well as ensuring sustainability even if all odds are there, you know the government cannot do it alone, there is a need for the CSOs to come on board’, Dafiel said.
She said that after the training, they would come up with strategies that would ensure sustainability.
“Give life to the programme as well as ensure that the programme is executed in a transparent, open and accountable manner”.
One of the participants, Mr Salaudeen Hashim, stated that building the capacity of the CSOs was very crucial as they were the ones closest to the communities.
While noting that one of the key gap noticed in the programme was stakeholders’ coordination, Hashim said the training would go a long way in breaching the gap.
“This is actually a stepping stone as it will encourage stakeholders’ participation.
“It is also important to remove the issue of politicisation of the programme”, he said.
He also expressed concern over the number of out-of-school children in some parts of the country, saying that currently 9.8 million children were already benefiting from the programme.
“While there are still about 10.5 million out-of-school children in the North East, it is very necessary to get more people to enrol and participate in school feeding programme”, he said.
On her part, the Executive Director, Youth Child Support Initiative, Enugu, Mrs Ijeoma Nnaji, described the programme as a good innovation.
She said that partnering with the CSOs would aid effective monitoring of the programme at the community level and ensure accountability.
It was gathered that the capacity building workshop under the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme was organised for the CSOs and NGOs across 34 states.

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Insecurity: NHRC, UNDP, Adamawa Govt Advocate People-Oriented Approach

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Adamawa State Government have advised that initiatives aimed at addressing the nation’s security challenge should be people-centred.
They argued that the success of any peace building and conflict resolution initiative requires the buy-in of the people.
The Executive Secretary, NHRC, Tony Ojukwu; Solicitor General of Adamawa State, Samuel Yaumande and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Humanitarian Services, Aishatu Bibi Umar Rilwanu, also suggested the adoption of transitional justice at securing peace in troubled parts of the country.
This was the submission at a training workshop on ‘Transitional Justice and Reconciliation in North-East Nigeria’, organised by the NHRC with support from UNDP and the European Union (EU) in Yola, on Monday.
Represented by his Special Human Rights Adviser, Hilary Ogbonna, Ojukwu stressed the relevance of transitional justice in the country at ensuring peace and reconciliation among inhabitants of the crisis-ridden parts of the country like the North-East.
He noted that the desire for transitional justice was no longer limited to the North-East, because other parts of the country, including the North-West, South-East are equally battling insecurity.
Ojukwu added that it was gradually becoming important to develop a national framework for promoting peace, reconciliation and reintegration.
He said the two-day training was aimed, among others, at exposing the media to the concept of transitional justice, and its application to addressing causes of conflicts and ensuring accountability.
Yaumande and Rilwanu hailed the NHRC for the initiative and pledged Adamawa State Government’s support towards engendering peace, reconciliation and reintegration of its people.
In his paper titled: “Framing speech: Roles of Media in Peace Building, Reconciliation and Transitional Justice in Conflicts Societies in West African,” Dr. Chukwuemeka Eze said the media is an important tool in conflict management.
He urged the media to refrain from emphasising issues that would escalate conflicts and avoid sensational reportage.

 

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