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1,600 intending pilgrims from Adamawa to perform 2019 Hajj

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No fewer than 1,600 intending pilgrims from Adamawa are expected to perform the 2019 Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

Bobboyi said the board has commenced preparations for the Hajj to ensure that it is hitch free.

He said the board has also begun biometric data capture of intending pilgrims, which is mandatory for all intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

“About 1,600 intending pilgrims are expected to perform the 2019 Hajj from Adamawa.

“All necessary arrangements are being made to ensure that the exercise is hitch free, we have began biometric data capture of intending pilgrims as well as securing standard accommodation for them in Saudi Arabia,” Bobboyi said,” he said.

He advised intending pilgrims who have not completed payment of the Hajj fare to do so in order to secure their seats for the rite.

Bobboyi also spoke on the ongoing construction of a permanent corporate headquarters of the board in Yola, and explained that the building is to provide conducive operating environment for staff and to ensure efficient service delivery.

He said the state has been issued with a category “A” license by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to operate both Umrah and Hajj services.

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Strikes in France over planned pension reform to continue for second weekend

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Strikes over a planned pension reform in France look set to continue for a second weekend and Parisians can expect serious delays on Saturday, according to a statement by RATP which runs Paris’ public transport network.

Nine metro lines will be closed completely on Saturday, the state-run company said.

However, 60 per cent of bus services will be running and trams will run as normal.

Long-distance rail services will also be delayed, with only one in four long-distance TGV trains running on Saturday, SNCF said Friday.

The state-run rail firm said it would publish a timetable this weekend of train services this week should strikes run over the Christmas period.

People from a range of professions have taken part in industrial action opposing plans by the government to reform pensions for more than a week.

Demonstrations are expected to take place in Paris and other cities on Saturday.

YEE

Edited by: Emmanuel Yashim

(NAN)

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32-man Borno delegation understudies Kaduna on participatory governance

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A 32-man delegation from Borno is in Kaduna State on a study of key government institutions in the area of good practices and participatory governance.

Leader of the team, Alhaji Musa Abubakar, said on Friday in Kaduna that the 2-day visit is supported by Mercy Corps Nigeria.

Abubakar said the aim was to apply the experiences of Kaduna state in tackling poverty and build secure, productive and just communities in Borno.

He explained that Mercy Corps is running a peace programme on conflict management and stabilization in 20 communities in Gwoza, Damboa, Dikwa, Maiduguri and Jere local government areas of Borno.

According to him, the programme has three components which includes social cohesion, social inclusion and governance.

“One of the lineups of activities under these components is a learning visit by government officials to see the innovations and restructuring happening in Kaduna public service,” he said.

Abubakar disclosed that at the end of the visit, the team would develop action plans for implementation in Borno.

He said the 32-man team consists of officials from Ministries of Women Affairs, Finance, Justice and Local Government, as well as Legal Aid Council, Borno State House of Assembly and Local Government Councils.

The team leader said they would visit the Kaduna state

Ministries of Justice, Human Services and Social Development, and Budget and Planning, as well as the state Peace Commission, Civil Society Organizations and Interfaith Mediation Centre.

Also, the Director Women Affairs in Borno, Hajiya Falmata Gambo, said she was impressed with what the team had seen so far.

Similarly, the Desk Officer, Borno State House of Assembly, Baba Kura Maina, said their experiences in Kaduna would help to add value to the transformational efforts of Gov. Babagana Zulum.

Maina, who described the Borno governor as a blessing to the state, said he has put in place machineries needed for restoration of the lost glory of the state.

Edited by: Maharazu Ahmed

(NAN)

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Nothing secret, sinister about us — Ogboni Fraternity

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Leader of the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity (ROF), Chief Francis Meshioye, has again debunked public perception that the fratenity was a secret society.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos during flag off of 2019 Founders’ Day Celebration of ROF, Meshioye, said there was nothing sinister in the activities of the fraternity.

“We are far from being a secret society; we are a registered entity that abides with the laws of the land and our objectives are to promote positive values, truth, justice and cultural heritage,” he said.

He explained that contrary to beliefs in some quarters, there was nothing secret or sinister about the fraternity, saying it was founded for the good of the society.

Meshionye further explained that the fraternity was actually founded in 1914 by a Christian, Deacon Jacobson Ogunbiyi, saying the initial objective was to promote Christian values among the people.

He added that the group was later expanded to accommodate people of other faiths, hence the change in name from Ogboni Fraternity to Reformed Ogboni Fraternity.

Meshioye said a number of distinguished Nigerians, dead and living, were members of the group, emphasising that the fraternity was strictly for positive values.

He said that it was note-worthy that the founding fathers of ROF were part of those who fought for decolonisation of Nigeria, developed such establishments as the civil service, judiciary and many functional post-colonial institutions.

He listed some of them as late Sir Adetokunbo Ademola, late Chief Ladoke Akintola and late Sir Adeyemo Alakija.

The ROF leader said every Nigerian of good character could join the group as the fraternity was not for those who were seeking quick wealth.

According to Meshioye, it is important for people to understand what the group stands for, urging Nigerians to embrace the virtues of the fraternity

”The Reformed Ogboni Fraternity (ROF) has the ultimate objective of promoting good values, love discipline, not only in Nigeria but in other parts of the world wherever her members finds him or herself.

”There is a clear distinction between ROF as a fraternity and any other forms of organisations.

”Our fraternity compels her members to imbibe the fundamental injunction of ”do unto others as you wish others to do unto you ”

”However, the fraternity had to overcome many challenges that were rooted in misinterpretations of what we stand for,” the ROF leader said.

He said the celebration of ROF’s 2019 Founders’ Day was to promote the ideals of the fraternity and show the world that the group was all positive.

Edited by: Wale Ojetimi

(NAN)

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Cleric advises Nigerians to utilise advantages of border closure

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A Cleric, Christopher Qwolabi, on Friday, advised Nigerians, especially youths, to utilise the advantages of the nation’s border closure to be self-productive and reliant.

Owolabi, the General Overseer, Christ Apostolic Church, Ori-Oke Irapada, Omu-Aran, gave the advice during the church’s special service tagged: “Toward a Prosperous 2020 and Beyond”, in Omu-Aran, Kwara.

He said the closing of the nation’s borders to curb banditry, insurgency, incessant dumping of contraband, fake and contaminated drugs, was long overdue.

According to him, the border closure no doubt has started yielding fruitful results and very glaring for the citizens to see.

“There are many things that are being imported that can be produced in large quantity locally.

“It’s an insult on our integrity and intelligence to continue to import toothpicks, food items, furniture products with our array of expertise and intellectual capacity.

“Production of local rice has increased and the commodity has flooded major markets across the length and breadth of the country.

“Patronage of other locally-produced items like beans, cassava, semovita, poultry products have also soared following the closure of the borders.

“It’s high time Nigerians, particularly the youth, utilise this positive development to engage in different aspects of agriculture for their own benefit and advantage.

“With the present high rate of unemployment and non-availability of white collar jobs, the closure of borders is, therefore, a veritable alternative for the youth to be self-productive,” he said.

Owolabi also urged practitioners of traditional medicine to come together and come up with locally-produced effective and well-packaged therapy for common ailments.

According to him, this will be a good replacement for such therapy being imported from neighbouring African countries.

“Alomo Bitters from Ghana is a good example of such highly -preferred imported stuffs being consumed by Nigerians.

“Our practitioners can also come up with such therapy for mass production and local consumption after necessary certification by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

“Our neighbours are just taking advantage of our large population and turned the country to a dumping ground for their products.

“Their recent reactions to the border closure have shown that Nigeria is a big market in the continent, especially in the ECOWAS sub-region.

“With the right attitude, conducive environment, most  essential needs of the citizens can sufficiently be produced locally,” he said.

Owolabi urged parents, community leaders and religious leaders to always use their parental ability, counselling and preaching to sensitise the youths on the need to be self-productive.

Edited by: Angela Okisor/Adeleye Ajayi

(NAN)

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Orphanage appeals for more support for less privileged

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Talitha Cumi Orphanage, Federal Housing Authority Nyanya, Abuja, has appealed to well-spirited Nigerians for more support for the less privileged in the society.

Manager of the Orphanage, Pastor Adamson Bolyawa, made the appeal when a group, Praying Women, visited the orphanage on Friday.

He said that one of the greatest challenges confronting the orphanage was the issue of school fees as most of the children were enrolled in schools.

“We call on Nigerians to come to the aid of these children who had either lost a parent or both parents.

“As children, they need the basic necessities of life,” he said.

Bolyawa said that the orphanage was a registered entity but was not a centre for child adoption.

“We don’t do adoption; we see our house as a house of refuge where people are taken off the streets and given better life.

“Some are in the universities and as a Christian home, we inculcate godly virtues in the children,” he said.

On her part, Mother of the Centre, Mrs Keziah Bennett, who expressed gratitude to God and the members for the visit said that the orphanage presently had 41 children within the toddler and teenage age groups.

She noted that the orphanage which started in 2001 had some of the children as graduates from universities across the country.

“All the children in the home are in regular schools and also engaged in skills acquisition.

“We thank God for His faithfulness which has been tremendous through out the years,” she said.

Earlier, while presenting the items ranging from food, clothing and toiletries coordinator of the group, Mrs Bukola Adewumi, said that the visit was part of the group’s mandate in contributing its quota in bringing succour to the less privileged.

While noting that the visit was the seventh edition, Adewumi said that they were at the orphanage to show love to the orphans as part of events heralding Christmas.

“We are here to share with the home out of the abundance God has given us in this season of Christmas.

“We are here to exemplify the teaching of Jesus on love for one another,” she said.

Edited by: Donald Ugwu

(NAN)

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