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Democracy Day: Gombe Gov Seeks Citizens’ Participation In Electoral Process 

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The Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Yahaya, has urged residents to continue to play their role in deepening democracy by actively participating in the electoral process, which he noted had improved over the years.
In a goodwill message to commemorate Democracy Day in the state, Governor Yahaya noted that democracy had come to stay in the country, and called on the people of the state to get involved and remain steadfast as major stakeholders in the process of governance.
The statement signed by the Director-General of Press Affairs, Gombe Government House, Ismaila Misilli, noted with delight, the successful conduct of party congresses and primaries, and called on the people of the state to exhibit the same maturity in the 2023 electioneering process.
The governor urged the people to take advantage of the opportunity of the continuous voter registration, especially those who are just attaining voting age and those that had not registered previously, to obtain their permanent voter cards in order to be eligible to exercise their rights and contribute to nation-building.
Yahaya noted that the 23 years of uninterrupted democratic governance in Nigeria had ushered in sustainable development in Gombe State, which had helped in improving the lives of the people.
He paid glowing tributes to both the past and present leaders of the state, noting that their efforts ensured that Gombe remained one indivisible entity.
Yahaya said, “For us in Gombe State, there is no denying the fact that democracy has ushered in a period of sustainable development for our dear state. Three successive civilian administrations have come and gone, paving the way for our administration.
“Let me use this opportunity to pay tribute to our past and present leaders, who have contributed to deepening our democratic experience and strengthening our political culture”.
Governor Yahaya also called on the citizenry to rededicate themselves to nation-building, remain united, and frontally confront problems with total commitment and prayers, adding that the task of nation-building is a collective responsibility.
He urged the citizenry to appreciate the state’s diversity through understanding and recognising the interests of various ethnic and religious groups as well as promoting brotherhood and respect for one another.
The governor also reassured the people of the state of his administration’s commitment to continually prioritise their well-being through the provision of socio-economic infrastructure, ensuring peace and security, law and justice as well as providing equal opportunities for all.
“To this end, we shall continue to engage all stakeholders in order to give our people a sense of belonging. We will also remain focused to ensure the full actualization of our vision for the creation of Gombe State, which is to build a prosperous, peaceful, and all-inclusive state for all its people.
“Our objective is to build a broad developmental consensus for our dear State, one that is built on a foundation of shared ownership and collective responsibility. In this regard, we are meticulously implementing our novel 10-year Development Plan as a roadmap for the transformation of the state that aligns with Sustainable Development Goals as set by the United Nations”, he assured.
He said the cumulative effect of his administration’s prudence and leadership character is the coming of various development partners to the state with remarkable results to show.
Yahaya added, “Gombe is now the best state in the ease of doing business in Nigeria and has been adjudged the safest and most peaceful state. It is now clear that the Jewel in the Savannah is now set on the path of a new dawn and the impact of our transformational leadership is gaining traction within three years of our stewardship”.

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NDLEA Arrests 774 Suspects, Seizes 3,874.3kgs Of Drugs In Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau

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NDLEA arrested 774 suspects and seized 3,874.3kgs of various narcotics and psychotropic substances in Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau State in the first half of 2022.
The three states make the Zone D of the narcotics agency.
Zonal Commander in the zone Umoru Ambrose, said this in Lafia yesterday while marking the 2022 UN International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
He said 134 drug suspects were prosecuted during the period, while 378 drug users were counselled and rehabilitated.
He added that states in the zone had intensified their operations in the War against Drug Abuse and sensitisation.
Ambrose called on all stakeholders to get involved in curbing drugs menace in the zone.
In his remarks, NDLEA Commander in Nasarawa State, Peter Odaudu, said the celebrations underscored the need for access to proper treatment for people with drug disorders.
He stressed that the war against drugs must be intensified in Nasarawa State especially given its position as the second highest drug prevalence state in the North Central after Kwara.
“Statistics from the 2018 drug survey showed a very alarming trend, the involvement of females in drug issues.
“We have at least one female out of every four drug users; this development is worrisome and must be reversed,’’ he said.
Odaudu thanked Nasarawa State’s Governor Abdullahi Sule for his support for the NDLEA and solicited urgent intervention in the provision of operational vehicles and the construction of a rehabilitation centre.
Guest speaker, Mr Nwora Okpalaeke, who is coordinator of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria in Nasarawa State, said 494,000 users died of drug abuse in 2019.
He spoke on “Illicit Drugs in Health and Humanitarian Crises.’’
He said drug abusers suffered liver cirrhosis, stroke, hepatitis, kidney and heart failure, noting that 14.3 million Nigerians are drug addicts, while three million are suffering from drug-related disorders.
“Government should strengthen the system to prevent proliferation of drugs and pay attention to agencies charged with reversing the situation.
“Drug abuse affects economic growth; the higher the abuse the higher the level of insecurity and poverty,’’ he said.
Senior Special Assistant on Primary Healthcare to Governor Sule, Margaret Elayo, commended the NDLEA in the state and assured of partnership to curb drug abuse in Nasarawa State.
The theme for this year’s celebration of the Day is: “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises.’

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NDLEA Arrests 218 Suspects, Seizes 1,471.314kg Of Drugs In Imo

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The Imo State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested 218 drug suspects made up of 171 males and 47 females.
The agency has also seized 1,471.314kg of drugs between July 2021 and June 2022.
The state commandant, NDLEA, Mr. Reuben Apeh, disclosed this while speaking to The Tide ahead of this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drugs Trafficking.
He said that 1,458.49kg of Cannabis Sativa, 1,0513kg of cocaine, 0.2077kg of Heroine, 3.896kg of Methamphetamine and 3.184kg of Tramadol were exhibits seized within the period under review.
Apeh disclosed further that cannabis farm in hectares was also destroyed in Imo State while 0.5278kg of Rohypnol and 2.5135kg of diazepam were among the seized exhibits.
He stated that some of the arrested suspects had been arraigned and convicted for drug related offences at the Federal High Court.
According to him, “Within the period covered, 51 were convicted and 145 were charged and their cases are still on going”.
Apeh described the drug situation in Imo State as worrisome, saying women have joined the illicit trade for financial gains.
He lamented that drug peddling was alarming among the younger generation in the state.
He, therefore, called on the stakeholders to partner with NDLEA to sensitize the society on the dangers of drug abuse.

By: Joe Nwachukwu, Owerri

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NDE Trains 750 Youths On Apprenticeship Skills In Imo

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The National Directorate for Employment (NDE) has commenced the training of 750 youths on various apprenticeship skills in Imo State.
Director-General of the NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu-Fikpo, made this known while flagging off the training programme in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
The Tide reports that the training is captured under the Advanced National Open Apprenticeship Scheme (A-NOAS) and Basic National Apprenticeship Scheme (B-NOAS) of the Directorate’s Department of Vocational Skills Development (VSD).
The training skills include barbing, basic tailoring, hairdressing, welding, event planning, make- up, confectionery and auto mechanic, among others.
Nuhu-Fikpo, represented by the State Coordinator of the NDE in Imo State, Mrs Ngozi Ihenacho, explained that the trainees include youths and women drawn from the 27 local government areas of the state.
According to him, the intensive training programme will take place in the Directorate’s training centres, one in each senatorial district of the state, and last for three months.
He urged the trainees to utilise the opportunity provided by the training programme to acquire viable skills that would enable them become self-reliant, and thereby decongest the labour market, and reduce poverty and hunger.
“In today’s world, opportunities such as these are rare and hardly come on a platter and I  urge you, my dear beneficiaries, to take this opportunity serious, be punctual at the training venue with the aim of liberating yourselves from the chains of poverty and unemployment”, he advised.
Also speaking at the programme, Director of the VSD, Mallam Isa Abdu, explained that the training scheme would run simultaneously, with the beneficiaries receiving transport allowances for the duration of training.
Abdu, represented by a senior staff in VSD, Mr Onyekwelu Igwesi, said that expert trainers had been hired to conduct the training and urged the trainees to justify the opportunity given them to become employers of labour.
“All over the world, as the value of money depreciates, entrepreneurs are adjusting with the times, hence the need for viable skills that can drive the economy. Learn the skills and be your own boss”, he said.
One of the trainees, Miss Oluchi Uchenna, who responded on behalf of his colleagues, thanked the NDE for creating the opportunity for them to thrive in their quest to become economically independent.

By: Joe Nwachukwu, Owerri

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