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June 12: Group urges establishment of National Commission for Reconciliation, Rehabilitation



Ndigbo Unity Forum (NUF), a pan-Igbo socio-political group, has called for the setting-up of a National Commission for Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Re-construction to take care of age-long disputes, grievances and injustices.

The President of NUF, Mr Augustine Chukwudum, made the call on Wednesday while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria on the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day.

Chukwudum, however, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for initiating the process of genuine and patriotic national healing.

He noted that the commission, which was propounded by former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, would help in healing the nation of grievances and past mistakes of the nation’s leaders.

According to him, issues as far back as 1960 and more recent issues that caused tension and differences should be sorted out by the commission.

“Buhari should take a step further by inviting Prof. Humphrey Nwosu to officially announce the results of 1993 June 12 Presidential Election and legally and constitutionally declare Chief M.K.O. Abiola as President-elect.

“Abiola should be accorded all benefits accruing to the office and his portrait should be placed besides other former presidents and heads of state in Aso Rock,’’ he said.

According to him, NUF will appeal to our dear president to accord national honours and immortalise those who paid supreme sacrifice fighting and agitating for de-annulment of June 12 Presidential election.

Chukwudum also urged government at all levels to accommodate and ensure the interest and well-being of all sections of the country both in sharing national appointments, political offices and responsibilities.

“Abiola’s victory is a clear indication that patriotism, generosity and tolerance pays. We must cherish, embrace, imbibe it and do away with parochial, selfish interest and religious leanings,’’ he said.

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FG award winning inovator improves capacity of invented power bank



Mr Luka Bot, winner of the 2019 best technological innovation at the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) of the Federal Government has improved on the capacity of his invented power bank.

Bot made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Jos.

According to the 27-year-old innovator, the capacity of the invention had been improved and upgraded from 13,000MAH to 15,600MAH.

” l was awarded N1 Million as National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) award for the best in technology earlier in the month.

“I have used the money to make the power bank meet international standard, ” he said.

Bot said he was still working on the automatic candle quencher which when completed can help control fire outbreaks caused by the use of candles in homes.

” The users will be able to set the quencher , to automatically control the period they want the candle to go off.

” The computer foot mouse can also assist amputees in the use of the computers for their various works and even non amputees can use the device, ” he said.

The inventor said his passion and interest in technology was the driving force in his achievements thus far and that he was currently mentoring 5 youths in inventions.

He urged Nigerians to patronise made in Nigeria technology to develop the sector and provide employment for the teeming unemployed youths.

Bot urged individuals, corporate organisations and government to partner with his organisation, Zang Technologies to invent products which would make life easier through providing enabling environment and sponsorships.

Edited by Emmanuel Nwoye and Abdullahi Yusuf


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9 suspected electricity vandals apprehended in one-month in South-East – EEDC



The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) says no fewer than nine alleged notorious vandals of electricity installations were apprehended in the South-East region recently.

The Head of Communications, EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, in a statement issued in Enugu on Wednesday, said that the vandals were apprehended in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states.

Ezeh said that the increasing rate of vandalism of electrical installations across the South-East region was a major hindrance to its operations, thereby subjecting electricity consumers to irregular power supply and impacting on the company’s revenue.

According to him, despite several imprisonments and arrests of vandals, in addition to engagement of customers as well as stakeholders within its network, this unpleasant trend had continued.

“Just recently, Okereke Ugochukwu and Paul Kelechi were arrested by villagers at Obinagu Umuadar, for vandalizing 11KV-T-Off, carting away 13 spans of cables, belonging to EEDC, located at Obinagu Umuadar, Isuochi in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia state.

“Another suspected vandal, Chukwuebuka Igwe, an indigene of Ebonyi, was apprehended by members of Ogbo-Otu Ikenga, Ogidi in Idemili Local Government Area of Anambra state, while in possession of cutting implements and four intermediate cables suspected to be EEDC property.

“Chibuoke Jude was arrested by police from Umumba Police Station in possession of two intermediate cables suspected to be property of EEDC. Jude confessed to have gotten the cables from distribution sub-station belonging to EEDC at Umuaga-Udi in Enugu state.

“In Ihe town, Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu state, Sunday Ike, was arrested by members of Electricity Committee of Ihe town, for vandalising a low tension aluminum cable belonging to EEDC at Okpatu sub-station of the town.

“In Ebonyi state, one Ifeanyi Adom was arrested by members of the Amazu Vigilance group in connection with vandalism a transformer belonging to EEDC, located at Amazu Junction Nkalagu.

“While in the course of interrogation, Adom identified one Iloegbunam Oruegbala as the buyer of the cables.

“The buyer was subsequently arrested and both of them detained for further investigation at the Ebonyi State Police Headquarters, Abakaliki.

“Similarly, in Ebonyi state, the duo of Chinedu Ogbu and Ebere Nwovu were arrested by some members of the community vigilance group for vandalism of a 300KVA transformer, belonging to EEDC at Nwezenyi Izzi in Izzi Local Government Area,’’ he said.

The EEDC spokesman said that all the apprehended vandals along with the buyer were handed over to the police in the respective states for proper investigation and prosecution.

“We are concerned that while we strive to improve on the quality of service delivery to our esteemed customers, some individuals that should engage in productive activities resort to frustrating both us and our customers,’’ he said.

Ezeh, however, appreciated the various community vigilante groups and state security agencies for their support in apprehending the vandals.

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Peace advocate decries rising spate of cultism, criminality among Jos youth



Mr Jacob Pwakim, a Jos-based peace advocate, has decried the rising spate of cultism, gangsterism and criminality among youths in Jos communities.

Pwakim, a consultant with Search for Common Ground, an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), made the remark in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Jos.

According to him, activities of these groups pose serious threats to the security of lives and property within Jos and environs.

“Jos city is suddenly awoken to the reality that cultism, gangsterism and criminality among youths are increasing day by day.

“This ugly trend is threatening the life of everyone in communities within the city of Jos and posing serious threat to the fragile peace the state is currently enjoying,” he said.

To address the menace, Pwakim said all hands must be on deck and called on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to arrest and ensure that drug peddlers in the state were prosecuted.

The advocate also called on government as well as the private sector to provide job opportunities for young people, adding that such move would take them off the streets.

“Government and private sector should create opportunities for young people; no one will love to hold a gun or a knife rather than to earn a genuine living which earns them money and prestige.

“These things make impression on young people and spur them into becoming positive minds. We need to give young people hope.

“Government must also support security agencies with logistics to contain the ugly situation and make our communities safer,” he urged.

Pwakim advised community and religious leaders, NGOs, Civil Society Organisations and other stakeholders to engage young people in communities in positive and meaningful ventures.

He also advised security agencies in the in Plateau to synergise toward ending the menace.

Edited by Abiemwense Moru and Abdullahi Yusuf

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Oyo-Ita visits Presidential Villa, attends swearing-in of Ministers



The Head of Service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, who was reported to be on medical leave, on Wednesday visited the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to witness the swearing-in of Ministers-designate.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the Head of Service, who was also reported to have submitted her resignation letter to the Presidency over alleged contract scam, was seen seated on her `traditional’ position at the Council Chamber of the presidential villa.

NAN gathered that the head of service, who arrived the presidential villa shortly before the commencement of the inauguration of the ministers by the president, was seen heading towards the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari

NAN, however, observed that Oyo-Ita, who was listed as one of the speakers at the just concluded presidential retreat held between Aug. 19 and 20, was conspicuously absent at the venue of the event.

Oyo-Ita was reported to be on medical leave after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) quizzed her over an alleged contract scam to the tune of N3 billion.

NAN reports that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, who was earlier reappointed by the president, first took his oath of office during the inauguration of the Miniters.

NAN reports that the inauguration of the ministers-designate was ongoing as at the time of filing this report.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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ActionAid Country Director says peaceful coexistence recipe to violent extremism



Mrs Ene Obi, Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, says promotion of peaceful coexistence and encouragement of women to take leadership positions in various communities are plausible means of preventing violent extremism in the  country.

Obi disclosed this at the “2nd Women Summit on Preventing Violent Extremism in Kogi State”, on Tuesday in Lokoja.

She said there was a higher percentage that the country would attain greater endearing peace when women were entrusted with leadership positions to drive development process.

Represented at the Summit by Mr David Haba, Manager, Humanitarian and Resilience, ActionAid Nigeria, Obi noted that violent extremism was becoming a major challenge for many societies.

She said it was a threat to security and fundamental rights of citizens especially women all over the world.

“It it is true that while women rarely take part in conflicts they often bear the aftermath of an effects of violence ranging from psychological emotional and physical loss which continue to occur even after the conflict has ended.”

She held that women were prone to violent extremism saying that of the 970,000 migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean to Europe from violence prone-Middle East, 17 per cent were women and 25 per cent were children.

According to her, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2015

report says operations of Boko Haram have displaced 1.2 million people internally in Nigeria and forced more than 200,000 Nigerians to flee to Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

She noted that most of the victims were women and children.

She, however, commended the Kogi government for its commitment and maintenance of peace  but stressed the need for government to increase its investment on women issues.

Declaring the summit open, Dr Folasade Ayoade-Arike, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), called on women to keep close eye on their children and to advise them against being used by politicians as thugs in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.

The SSG reiterated the state government’s willingness to partner any agency that could assist the state in curbing violent extremism and other vices likely to ruin the future of women and their children.

Speaking earlier, Mrs Bolanle Bola-Olorunsaiye, the state Commissioner  for Women Affairs and Social Development, commended ActionAid for the summit.

She noted that the summit would provide the platform for a robust, deep and continuous advocacy about the scourge and trend of gender violence in the state.

The commissioner said “we are taking proactive measure and also collaborating with relevant agencies and partners to support policy strengthening, and institutional capacity building towards delivering interventions that address gender based violence, women, peace and security.”

Bola-Olorunsaiye commended organisers of the summit, ActionAid Nigeria and Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) for their constant willingness to partner the Ministry and the impactful programmes of the SERVE II project in the state.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the summit attracted no fewer than 1,500 women from the 21 Local Government Areas of the state.

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