Nigeria’s civil war veteran and elder statesman, Alhaji Ahmed Adoke, has cautioned the Federal Government over plans to slam a ban on the use of commercial motorcycles as means of transportation in the country.
Adoke, a human rights activist, yesterday in Abuja, explained that the reason adduced by the Federal Government to justify the planned ban of commercial motorcycles popularly known as ‘Okada’ nationwide is not only ridiculous but an admission of failure that government has no solution to insecurity challenges.
In a statement issued to journalists, Adoke warned the Federal Government not to actualise the planned ban on Okada riders on the ground that the multiple negative effects would be too much for the nation to bear.
He said that the failure of the Federal Government to provide jobs for the teaming university graduates has forced them to opt for the job of commercial motorcycles, adding that any attempts to enforce the ban could spell doom for the nation.
For such a ban to be meaningful and acceptable, the elder statesman insisted that government must first find alternative means of livelihood for the millions of Nigerian youths who have taken to Okada riding to keep their lives together.
Similarly, he canvassed that other visible means of transportation must be provided for the market men and women as well as civil servants to enable them keep up with the realities of the present economic hardships.
Adoke said using insurgency, banditry and terrorism as grounds and reasons to impose a ban on the use of motorcycles as a means of transportation will not be acceptable to Nigerians.
He said that the Federal Government must come out in clear terms to explain to Nigerians how Okada riders should be held responsible for insurgency, banditry and terrorism when the operators are well known in the communities and even operate under government registered associations.
Adoke’s statement read in part “Last Friday, 22nd July, 2022, Nigerian Dailies and other media outfits were awash with the news that the Federal Government of Nigeria was considering banning the use/distribution of Motorcycles, as well as mining activities in the country.
“The news followed the press statement issued by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who briefed the press on the outcome of the National Security Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari during the week.
“The move according to the minister was one of the resolutions reached at the meeting.
“It is the belief of the National Security Council that both decisions, when implemented will help to check the menace of terrorists, Boko Haram and Bandits among others.
“To several Nigerians, the decision to ban the use of motorcycles in the country is not only ridiculous but an open admission that government lacks a solution to the security challenges in the country.
“It is very clear that the use of motorcycles by terrorists, bandits or Boko Haram to the scene of operation falls into the semi-final stage of their operations; meaning that they can be checked at the early stage before execution if the intelligence unit of the nation’s security outfit is effectively utilised.
“Several questions that linger in the minds of Nigerians are; will there be no other means of transportation available to the terrorists?
”Is it not possible that terrorists can even strike at their target without the use of any modern means of transportation?
“Again, weighing the economic implication of the Federal Government’s decision on the ban on motorcycles, there is no denying the fact that across the nation, today, the use of motorcycles for commercial purposes has become a major source of employment and livelihood for needy Nigerians.
“Thus, throwing these people into the unemployment market would pose a bigger security threat to the country.
”Is it not also baffling that the government is in the knowledge of the base or hide-outs of the criminals and yet the government cannot do anything.
“Government or its agents sometimes go into negotiation with the terrorists, meaning that government cannot deny knowledge of where the terrorists are hiding.
“For instance, terrorists behind the Kaduna train attack released some captives on two different occasions after the payment of heavy ransom. Is it not cowardice that Nigerian Security could not locate where the rest captives are kept in the bush for their release?
“Is it not in this country that terrorists or bandits are photographed with their captives, release video threats to the helpless and yet the Federal Government failed to act to rescue her citizens?
“Motorcycle is a veritable means of transport to average Nigerians and below and as government cannot just decide to impose a ban on its use without weighing the consequences, especially on those to be rendered jobless.
“It is incomprehensible to listen to President Muhammadu Buhari that he is eager to leave office, meaning that he is no longer keen or has become helpless in the affairs of Nigeria.
“Then, let President Buhari resign and hand over to his vice. Undoubtedly, Nigerians are tired of the rampant cases of killings by terrorists, bandits and Boko Haram”.
Place More Value On Children, Group Urges Govt, Stakeholders
A non profit organisation, CVG-AFrica, has urged the three tiers of government and other stakeholders in the education sector to place more value on children through qualitative education, infrastructure and development of teachers’ capacity.
Its Coordinator, Mr Moses Solanke, made the plea on Monday at a seminar organised for teachers of St Leo’s Primary School, Ibadan, with the theme: “Sustaining a Valuable Primary Education: The Teachers’ Role”.
Solanke said the group’s aim was to reach out to those in the primary schools in order to encourage them because of the challenges inhibiting teaching in schools.
“We see that many teachers are no longer committed and dedicated to their works and this rubs off on the children.
“CVG-Africa is an outreach focusing on children’s education, but that cannot be without focusing on the teachers.
“So, the seminar is to help them to rediscover their roles and boost their commitments in a hostile environment.
“Schools are not funded, the structures are bad; you expected so much from the teachers, but once in a while we need to encourage and charge them to revive their commitment to work,” he said.
The group coordinator said that there was a need to value children to develop African continent.
“You can only place value on the children through qualitative education.
“CVG-Africa is asking the government, schools and other stakeholders in the education sector to place more commitment and value on children for a better society and continent,” he said.
In a lecture on the theme of the event, the Coordinator, Students and Youths Discipleship Outreach (SAYDO), Mr Elijah Olatunji, said, “No nation can be greater than her teachers; and there is no generation that can be different from what its teachers are.”
Olatunji enjoined teachers to see their roles as a calling and pour themselves into it with dedication and commitment to make a positive impact in the lives of their students.
According to him, it is hard to imagine what the world would look like without teachers.
“Teachers at all levels are indispensable in the society; from the nursery and primary school level to tertiary level; even in the vocational apprenticeship area,” he said.
Olatunji described teachers as the most powerful influencers, saying that teachers’ roles are crucial to bring about a change and development in any society.
“Teaching profession is not just a job; it is a calling and also a passion; a calling to affect lives; a passion to mould lives, to bend and straighten lives at the prime of their years. It is a calling as a foundation layer and builder,” he said.
The outreach coordinator advocated teaching methodology that would address the peculiarities of every child and the one that discovers and enhances their potential, saying, “no child is a dullard” .
Menstrual Hygiene: HILWA, UNICEF Train 200 Principals, Teachers
A group, the High Level Women Advocate (HILWA), in collaboration with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has begun training of 200 female principals, Head teachers and teachers in Katsina State on menstrual hygiene management.
The HILWA Chairperson, Hajiya Mariya Abdullahi, said during the opening of the three-day training on Sunday in Katsina, that the selection of the topic ‘`Menstrual Hygiene” was necessary.
She explained that the topic was purposely selected because of its sensitivity and importance especially to the girl child.
“We selected these principals and teachers for the training, because the girls are directly under their watch.
“Therefore, it is very important to train them so that they can also teach the girl child.
“This menstrual hygiene is important for the girl child to learn right from their childhood.
“Most girls find themselves in this situation without being prepared for it.
“So, we are preparing them in the event they see anything like this happening to them, they should not take it as a surprise”, she said.
She said that though parents ought to teach their daughters about menstraution, but that if they howver failed to do so in their homes, the girls should be taught in school.
Mariya said that the group had the Girl’s Education Project (GEP-3) benefiting schools in the state to assess the level of successes so far recorded.
Also speaking, the HILWA Secretary, Hajiya Wasila Sani-Saulawa, said the training was targeting all principals of girls secondary schools in the state.
She added that the project was funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and implemented by UNICEF in collaboration with the Federal and state governments.
According to Sani-Saulawa, the training for the principals is also funded from the GEP-3 funding in Katsina State.
Sani-Saulawa said that 100 participants were drawn from the Katsina zone, while 50 each from Funtua and Daura zones would also benefit.
She explained that at the end of the training, the participants would not only step it down to their girl students, but also their children, family members and their community members.
According her, HILWA, since inception has been involved with the girl child education in Katsina state because the state is among the states with low number of girls in schools.
ACRESAL Critical To Lifting 100m Nigerians From Poverty-FG
The Federal Government says the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACRESAL) project is critical to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
The Honourable Minister for Environment, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, said this at the ACRESAL technical workshop in Lagos.
The Tide’s source reports that the workshop is organised for the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Water Resources in conjunction with the World Bank.
“The ACRESAL Project is one of the central components in President Muhammadu Buhari’s strategy of ensuring environmental sustainability.
“And improving community livelihoods toward lifting 100 million people out of poverty,” Abdullahi said.
He said that his passion for the ACRESAL project exposed him to further understand the environment portfolio and its link with the broader society.
“I am also very passionate about ACRESAL. It is the first project that heralds my assumption of duties when Mr President redeployed me to the Federal Ministry of Environment.
“I saw the political will and desire of the three ministries in ensuring that targets are meant,” Abdullahi said.
According to him, ACRESAL is all about sustainable land management.
He said the ministry was deliberate in inviting stakeholders from the National Parks Service and the Great Green Wall Agency to engage with the World Bank to ensure the success of the project.
The Minister urged the Project Management Units (PMUs) from the different states to be ‘diplomatically independent’ in their relationship with their state governors.
He added that the ACRESAL project had the mandate to ensure land restoration, wetlands cultivation for the improvement of the land to make them fit for cultivation.
He continued that the ACRESAL would strengthen Nigeria’s long-term enabling environment for an integrated climate-resilient landscape.
“I am here to motivate and energise you, and also to encourage you to deliberate on the Draft Annual Work plan prepared by the various PMUs and clears same for onward transmission to the steering committee for approval.
“This is the much-needed step that will kick start disbursement of funds by the World Bank for implementation activities to begin,” Abdullahi said.
He expressed gratitude to Dr Joy Agene and her team from the World Bank on their efforts toward the full implementation of the ACReSAL project.
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