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  26-year-old man threatens to commit suicide over non-payment of late father’s N13m gratuity

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Mr Joseph Odey, 26, an indigene of Yala Local Government Area of Cross River, on Wednesday protested the non-payment of  his late father’s gratuity put at N13 million, threatening to commit suicide if the  government delays further.

Odey, who spoke to journalists during his protest to the governor’s office in Calabar, said his deceased father, Anthony Odey, served the Cross River Government for 32 years.

He added that his father’s last post, was Principal of Government Secondary School, Ebo in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River.

According to him, his father died on Dec.12, 2015, three years before his retirement from service.

“Following his sad death, I commenced processing the papers for payment of his benefits, completed it in 2017 and received official approval in January 2018.

“After waiting for another year and no payment was made to my family by the government, I approached the accountant-general of the state about the matter but he told me that no payment was being considered.

“He added that there was a backlog of pending payments stretching back to 2014, all awaiting the governor’s approval.

“Following this disclosure, I have attempted several times to bring this issue to the governor’s attention, but failed as all messages to that effect were not answered.

“My late father’s gratuity is N13 million and I have the blue print which I got from the Office of the Accountant- General of the state.

“My family has been facing hard times since the death of our father who was the breadwinner of the family.

“My two immediate younger sisters at different levels of study in the university are on the verge of dropping out, while the third who passed WAEC and JAMB exams this year faces an uncertain future due to our financial incapacitation”, he said.

He appealed to Gov. Ben Ayade to ensure the settlement of the gratuity to enable his siblings to live  a decent life.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Christian Ita, said the present administration  inherited  a backlog of gratuities from 2013 while reacting to Odey’s protest.

He said the payments for 2013 had been concluded while the ones for  2014 were being paid in batches.

“The state would definitely pay, what is delaying the payment is a function of money, but it will pay, since the young man has gone through the whole process with the office of the accountant-general”, he said.

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Council of Imams berates CAN Chairman over alleged politicization of security issues in Kaduna 

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Council Imams berates CAN Chairman over alleged politicization of security issues in Kaduna

Kaduna State Council of Imams and Ulama, on Saturday, reacted to recent comments by the state Chairman of CAN, Rev. Joseph Hayab on the security challenges in the state.

The Council’s Secretary General, Malam Yusuf Arrigasiyyu,  said at press conference in Kaduna that Hayab’s comments  were unfortunate and an attempt to politicise the issues to achieve a hidden agenda.

The state Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had on Aug. 9, in a press statement claimed that over 500 Christians were kidnapped in the last two years in the  state and N300 million paid in ransom to Fulani kidnappers.

He was also reported to have claimed that there is a grand design to exterminate Christians and pastors in Kaduna State.

“The politicization of the security challenge in Kaduna State by the CAN chairman, for only God-knows why, is worrisome and he should be called to order before it’s too late.

“Failure to do this, the consequences of his unbridled verbiage will no doubt lead to breakdown of law and order in the state, if urgent steps are not taken.”

The council said it would not sit by and watch the divisive rhetoric of the Chairman endanger lives of innocent citizens and pitch the people against one another.

The Imams accused Hayab, who is a politician, of hiding under CAN to execute a hidden agenda.

“As followers of the religion of peace, the Council of Ulama finds it pertinent to sound this alarm in order to forestall breakdown of law and order.”

It noted that Hayab’s statement “is as divisive as it is patently false, especially the claim that kidnappers  only abduct Christians in Kaduna State.”

The clerics noted that kidnapping has become a nationwide security challenge and the criminals as well as their victims cut across ethno-religious divides.

“For instance, along Birnin Gwari-Kaduna Road alone, between 22nd June and 30th July 2019, over 55 persons have been kidnapped and over 20 persons were killed, including five Nigerian Air Force and Army personnel, according to news reports.

“Specifically, majority of the citizens killed and kidnapped along Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi and Abuja-Kaduna roads and the border towns with Niger, Katsina and Zamfara States have been Muslims.

“However, we never viewed the unfortunate situation from a religious angle.

“In fact, we have always condemned the act of criminality and have called on the State and Federal Governments to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians, irrespective of where they are or how they worship.”

It added that the attempt by the CAN chairman to allude to “conspiracy theory is already breeding tension in the State.

“We also have it on good authority that Hayab’s  divisive campaign is a ploy to set the stage for a bloodshed that is being hatched by the CAN Chairman.

“On this note,  we want to draw the attention of all lovers of peace, security agencies, Federal and State Governments, not to look far in the event of a breakdown of law and order in Kaduna State.

“We are also appealing to people of goodwill and conscience, to put  these divisive elements to shame, by ignoring their drumbeat of war.

“In fact, they are ethno-religious warlords disguising as peacemakers.”

It assured that the council and other Muslim bodies would work together with genuine Christian faithful to curb the activities of hate-mongers and purveyours of falsehoods, in the name of evangelism.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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Former Niger governor extols IBB at 78

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The immediate past governor of Niger, Dr Babangida Aliyu, on Saturday extolled the virtues of former military leader, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) of contributing positively to Nation building.

Aliyu made the remark in Minna, while congratulating IBB who turned 78 years on Aug. 17.

“Many people will be interested to know about IBB’s birthday because he is an elder statesman who has contributed positively to the development of our country.

“I am happy that he is still alive and healthy, I wish him well at 78.

“We hope he will still live longer because we need him around to continue to contribute to national development,” he said.

He assured he would continue to encourage and support Babangida towards contributing to the development of Nigeria.

“I think IBB is a statesman that we will continue to pray for,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that IBB, who was born Aug. 17, 1941 was the military President of Nigeria between Aug. 27, 1985 and Aug. 26, 1993.

He previously served as the Chief of Army Staff from January 1984 to August 1985.

OCU/IS

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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First Lady celebrate APC ex-chair at 80

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First Lady Aisha Buhari has described the former national chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, as a complete gentleman and a peace maker.

She made this known in her Instagram handle on Saturday in a message to celebrate the former APC chairman on his 80th birthday anniversary.

The first lady also described the celebrant as a unifying factor who worked tirelessly for the development of his fatherland.

She therefore wished him long life in good health and prosperity.

The message reads: ”Happy Birthday, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, former National Chairman of APC.

”A complete gentleman, a peace maker and a unifying factor of our time.

”Wishing you many years ahead in good health and prosperity.”

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Chairman, Organising Committee of the event, Mr Ray Morphy, said the committee plans to mark Odigie-Oyegun’s birthday in Abuja on Aug. 17.

Morphy said that eminent Nigerians, including top APC chieftains, are expected at the event.

He urged young Nigerians to emulate the leadership qualities and values demonstrated by Odigie-Oyegun when he served as a Permanent Secretary, governor of Edo and National Chairman of APC.

“Chief Odigie-Oyegun has kept his name clean right and fair over the years.

”Even as he left office as National Chairman of the APC, you noticed that he has never engaged in any battle with anybody in the party.”

AMU/IS

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Road crash claims 1 on Lagos-Ibadan highway

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The Ogun State Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says one person lost his life in a road crash at Danco, near Sagamu, on the LagosIbadan highway.

The Sector Commander, Mr Clement Oladele, told Nigeria News Agency on Saturday in Ota that the accident happened at about 8.00 p.m on Friday.

Oladele explained that a Toyota SUV with registration number GGE 30 DF, was coming from Lagos when the driver lost control due to speeding.

He said that the driver veered off the road, somersaulted and crashed into a parked bus.

“The corpse of the victim has been deposited at the mortuary of Idera Hospital in Sagamu, Ogun State,’’ he said.

The FRSC boss advised motorists to obey traffic rules and regulations to avoid avoidable road crashes and its attendant fatalities.

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FG flag-off agric. inputs distribution in Adamawa

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The Federal Government, through its North East Multi-Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project, has flagged off the distribution of agricultural inputs in Adamawa.

The over 20,000 beneficiaries would be given inputs and non food item kits from seven local government areas affected by insurgency in the state.

Maj.-Gen. Paul Tarfa, Chairman, North East Development Commission (NEDC) flagged off the distribution in Michika Local Government Area.

Tarfa, who was represented by Alhaji Muhammed Danjuma, federal project coordinator of the Programme, said the intervention included rehabilitation of infrastructure affected by insurgency in the areas.

“The North East Multi Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project (MCRP) is being implemented by the Federal Government in partnership with the World Bank in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

“The core objective of the project is to support Government of Nigeria in rehabilitation and improving critical infrastructural service delivery to improve and sustain the livelihood of conflict and displacement in affected communities in North East,” Tarfa said.

Mr Maurice Vonubolki, Adamawa project coordinator of the programme, listed the benefiting councils to include Madagali, Michika, Mubi North, Mubi South, Maiha, Song and Gombi.

He said the distribution was a continuation of several interventions made by the programme in the benefiting communities.

“Apart from the distribution of agricultural inputs and non food item kits witnessed today, the project under component one had reached out to thousands of beneficiaries with improved small animal inputs, non agricultural livelihood and soft skills training for small entrepreneurship.

“Under component two, the project has commenced rehabilitation of critical physical infrastructure that include water provision, transport sector, education, health and public buildings in the affected areas,” Vonubolki said.

He noted that already about 295 hand pumps and 59 solar boreholes had been provided across the affected communities in the seven councils.

Responding on behalf of the state government and the benefiting communities, Mr Haruna Ali, Deputy Transition Caretaker Chairman of Michika, thanked the federal government for the intervention.

Ali tasked the beneficiaries to use the items to improve their living condition for sustainable economic development of their areas.

AMA/IS

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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